Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition’


This post will not involve lining your pockets with bricks or chugging water right before your initial weigh-in.  If you are planning on doing a weight-loss challenge at work, school, gym, or just for yourself, why not try and do it right.  I will also not be talking about tricks for your final weigh-in to nudge past your competition.  That being said, here are a few points to have a successful and healthy weight-loss competition:

  • Have fun and be a team – Even though you want to destroy Sally in HR or make Steve in Accounting cry, you will not be successful unless you and your fellow participants are working together to achieve the goal for the greater good.  Some appropriate, motivating smack talk and competitive strategy is great, but if there are people lagging behind in the contest, motivating them will be beneficial for them AND for you.  Leading a weight-loss charge makes a fun and exciting challenge right through the final weigh-in and beyond.
  • Plan ahead – Do you have a big lunch meeting scheduled and feel obligated to eat? Plan ahead by reviewing the menus online to find an appropriate meal that fits within your diet restrictions.  Will you not have time to run out for lunch tomorrow?  Make sure you have a supply of healthy and readily available foods at home to bring for lunch or if you are traveling.
  • Read your food label or menu – Nutritional callouts like ‘low-fat’, ‘low-carb’, or ‘cholesterol-free’ don’t necessarily mean LOW-CALORIE.  Make sure you are eating the appropriate type of foods for whatever your dietary goals might be.  Do a little research into the ingredients used to make your choices.  Understand what a real portion size is as it relates to the ‘per serving’ ingredient and nutritional labeling.  Some choices may be better than others in some circumstances, however it might not be appropriate for YOUR diet.   For instance, olive oil has more health benefits compared to butter, however both are fats which contain about 9cal/gram, meaning they both have the same amount of calories, and if you are on a calorie restrictive diet, supplementation is not as good as reduction.
  • Keep Eating – Metabolism is a tricky thing, however if you don’t eat enough calories, your body will shut down and you will not lose any weight.  Take a look at my previous post on metabolism to understand how  it works.
  • You have time to work out – Anyone who says they have no time to workout is lying.  In the morning before work, at lunch, right after work, while traveling, with your family or co-workers are all possible as long as you plan accordingly.  When you have limited time, a quick, high intensity workout is going to separate the losers from the real-losers.
  • Weight-loss diet is temporary, weight-maintain diet is permanent – There is nothing worse than losing a whole bunch of weight, only to put it back on after the competition.  You have to remember that once you reach your weight-loss goals, your diet needs to evolve into a weight-maintain diet.  Read my previous post about the weight-maintain diet and make sure you adjust accordingly so you don’t bounce back.
  • Write it down – Keeping track of your food and beverage consumption can really put into perspective what your calorie and nutrient intake is like.  Writing down meal plans, exercise schedule, or list of appropriate foods for your diet allows you to stay on track without losing focus on your goals.
What are some of your tips for a successful weigh-loss challenge???
  • Skinny – You get to wear smaller sized cloths and look good
  • Fit – You get to wear tighter fitting cloths and look sexy


  • Skinny – Success is measured in pounds
  • Fit – Success is measured in inches, and how many pounds you can move


  • Skinny – You save money on food because you don’t eat much
  • Fit – You get to eat a LOT of food, and work it off if needed


  • Skinny – It is easier for your significant other to pick you up
  • Fit – It is easier to pick up your significant other


  • Skinny – Perfect…if you like doing nothing
  • Fit – You can run up stairs, pick up heavy stuff, and not struggle when trying to stand up


  • Skinny – You are breakable
  • Fit – You break stuff


  • Skinny – Things still jiggle
  • Fit – Rock solid


  • Skinny – Results from doing nothing
  • Fit – Results from doing things other people can’t


Please add some more if you have any!


“When I was your age, we used to go outside and play!”  We have all heard this line before and it basically proves my point about why the food and beverage industry should not be at fault for the obesity problem.

Quick history lesson…potato chips were first massed produced and the first fast food restaurants were introduced in the 1920’s, 7up and Hostess Brands like Wonder sliced white bread were invented in the 30’s and  soda fountains, ice cream parlors, candy stores, and television were all rising in popularity, TV dinners and frozen pizza were introduced in the 50’s; THEN the current obesity problem didn’t start creeping in until the mid 80’s and 90’s.  So for all those years and many generations, the US consumer enjoyed prepared and manufactured foods, all was good with the world.

But now, the food and beverage community is being blacklisted for providing what is now considered unhealthy foods and the cause of the current health and obesity problem.  Does anyone else see a problem with this?  We have at least 60 years when the American consumer utilized prepared and manufactured foods in there diet without an obesity outbreak.  So what else could be the cause?

The wonderful and historical modern technology I am using to communicate this message to you is the cause in my opinion! We are texting, tweeting, facebooking, searching the internet, using smart phones, gaming, staying indoors, working at our computers, and letting technology do everything for us.  People are no longer encouraged to work outside, have jobs that involve manual labor, walk instead of drive, or exercise.

That being said, I love video-games as much the next person, and TV, movies, and the internet are utilized more than they should at my house, but I balance this with physical activity.  Everyone loves to pull information from movies like ‘Super-size Me” or discuss what is being served at schools, but have we discuss the activity level of your average person between the 30’s, the 60’s, the 90’s and now?  I have a feeling you will see a DRAMATIC drop in calorie expenditures while the calorie intake level will have a much slower, steady increase.

20% of an elite Kenyan runner’s diet consist of plain old SUGAR, an average professional athlete is consuming 3000 – 4000 calories a day, and olympic level athletes have been quoted as eating what you might call ‘junk food’ to achieve the 6000 calories needed for top performance.  Michael Phelps can sustain on a 10,000 calorie a day diet which includes: eggs, french toast, pancakes, pizza, and energy drinks, but he has the physical activity to back it up, which proves my point that it’s not what you eat, but how to use it.

Am I the only one who feels activity level is the cause of our obesity problem, and not the food?


Here is a quick explanation on how metabolism works in regards to your diet.  Yes, many factors affect your overall metabolism (age, sex, muscle, physical activity), but this analogy will discuss why smaller meals more frequent is the way to go for successful weight loss.

  • YOU ARE A MACHINE – You are a car.  You run on fuel, and get a certain amount of miles per gallon (this is your metabolism).  Some gas is better than others, however for this explanation,  we are converting gas into general calories.  So to sum it up, the amount of miles you travel compared to how much gas you have in the car will represent how well your metabolism is working.
  • RAN OUT OF GAS – Let say you have no gas in your car.  Your car will, of course, not move.  It is a fact that when you consume little to no calories, your metabolism is inactive.  Your body will stop utilizing gas (calories) as its energy, and start breaking down the internal car parts to move.  I don’t think I have to tell you that this is bad.  Many people who are on a very calorie restrictive diet who also work out a lot will find it hard to lose weight because your body is trying to hold on to as much as it can to function normally, while using what it does’t think is important as energy. YOUR CAR WON’T MOVE WITHOUT GAS.
  • TO MUCH GAS – Your car has a gas tank that can expand and can hold WAY more gas than it needs.  You can fill it up as much as you want, and your car will work VERY hard, but your car will move SLOWLY.  All of that gas is weighing your car down and decreasing your miles per gallon.  You are producing excess exhaust and making your engine parts dirty.  Overfilling your gas tank will cause some gas to spill out and unfortunately, your car absorbs this excess weight as ‘hard to use gas’ aka…fatty fat fat.  YOU DON’T NEED ALL THAT GAS.
  • JUST RIGHT – When you fill up your gas tank just enough to get to your next destination, you win.  You have found that happy medium of the right amount of gas for the right amount of miles. When you are traveling, and you are running out of gas in this mode, you will coast to the next gas station to refuel (coasting is my way of saying fat/weight loss).  You are getting the best miles per gallon because you are not being weighed down, and you have gas to move.  Your parts are running very efficiently and your system know how to handle the waste.  For longer road trips, you can add more gas to the tank, but just enough to handle the extended distance. JUST ENOUGH GAS IS GOOD.

As stated earlier, this is in regards to your diet.  If you have a high tech car with super premium gas, you will have better performance.  Certain model cars just work better than other.  Upgrading your car parts will increase its ability to run.  Now how hard is that to understand???

Eat smaller meals more often Speed-Racer!


ID-100145911So you have your trailer packed like a game of Tetris with extra tubes, strings, and sticks.  You have sent your stage plot and input list to all the clubs and venues on your tour.  You strategically planned your route to consume a minimal amount of gas.  You brought enough Febreze  (a.k.a. shower in a bottle), to deodorize even the smelliest of roadies.  You have a few extra bucks to handle the flat tire, detour, bar tabs, and occasional motel stay on your epic rock & roll adventure.


More often then not, your band did not factor in the food situation into the equation.  You can only live on budget priced fast food for so long before you become sluggish, tired, sore, and even loopy.  Unless you are filling arenas, you are most likely moving most of your own equipment, performing on hot stages while head banging and karate kicking, then packing up to do it all over again the next day.  Since you aren’t getting paid much, you save those hard earned dollars for gas, merch, and ‘other’ shinanigans.  Here are a few ideas to help you stay full, healthy, and energized to melt those faces.

BREAKFAST – First morning on tour, and you have a long drive ahead.  Time is money and you need to keep the pit stops, and money spending to a minimum.  You might be hungry but others might not be.  I recommend breakfast bars and dried fruit to start the day and here is why.  You can have a filling breakfast for less than $2.00!  You can eat when you are hungry and not have to stop to get food.  You should have bought these items ahead of time and factored it into your tour budget.  If you were smart, you would have bought something like Kashi GOLEAN Crunch bars and dried cranberries which are high in protein and fiber to repair those torn muscles and to keep you full longer.  YES FIBER!!! After a few days of having this type of breakfast, you can schedule ‘regular’ pit stops (wink wink, nudge nudge). The fruit has vitamin C in it which will be incredibly helpful when your other band members start to get sick, and your van won’t smell like fryer grease.

LUNCH – This should be one of your pit stops.  This is where I recommend eating vegetables.  Who would ever believe that you, a super hipster indie rock star would eat vegetables anyway?! First, they are nutrient dense and relatively low in calories.  This means you can pack it in and again, stay full for longer (remember, this is lunchtime so there are still plenty of miles to lose that full feeling before your show).  $3.00 6 inch subs, $4.00 fast food salads, farmers markets, truck stops…the cool thing about being in the middle of nowhere is you might actually have a little more variety in unsuspecting places.  You should have at least one of your daily meals be actual food, you know, like grown from the ground.

DINNER – This can either be before or after your show, depending on your preference.  Hopefully you worked out a deal with the venue for food of some kind.  It is more than likely going to be tasty fried bar food, BUT you planned ahead and ate good all day, so if you can eat at the club for free, then go for it.  If not, just remember it is getting late so you aren’t really going to need any more carbohydrates (plus you will be drinking you carbs anyway).  You are going to want to stay away from high fiber, and filling foods because you have a crowd to please…jumping around and moving gear while full is not a good idea.  Most bars will have one or two items that are half-way ok, chicken or turkey wraps, grilled chicken sandwich, something like that.  If you can swap out the fries for a side salad, even better.  Avoid smelly foods because your fans don’t want to talk to you with onion breath and garlic seeping from your sweaty pours.

BEDTIME SNACK – Yes, you read that correctly.  You drove 400 miles, unloaded gear, performed, loaded gear, then ran around like a fool.  You have burnt up more calories than you think.  You have lifted weights and done a cardio workout all at the same time.  Before sleeping I recommend a protein shake.  Yeah yeah yeah, weightlifters and bodybuilders drink it by the gallon, but protein after a workout is an amazing way to relieve sore, stiff muscles so you can party like a rockstar tomorrow.  Another bonus is you are drinking additional liquid, which will help you fight the impending hangover.  This might also help you shed those unwanted pounds so you slide into your skinny jeans that much easier.  You can get a ready-to-drink version for less than $2.00 each, or save even more money and buy the powder to mix yourself.

OPTIONAL – I do recommend supplementing with a multi-vitamin for the duration of your tour.  We both know that you are not going to have the most variety in your diet on tour, plus the risk of sickness.  These are not a cure all, but anything you can do to battle 5 smelly band members in close proximity to each other would be beneficial.

So lets recap…in one day you ate: a hearty breakfast bar, dried fruit, a bunch of vegetables in salad or sandwich form, free meal at the bar, beer (that still counts as calories), and a protein shake.  You are consuming calories at 5 points throughout the day which is what ‘The Man’ says is good for you (smaller meals more frequent), you are taking a multi-vitamin, and from my rough estimate, for $8.00 to $9.00 a day (much of which has been paid for up front.)  You will wake up with minimal soreness, you will regulate your pit stops, you will have food already purchased so you don’t need to worry about having money for it, and you will be cranking your amp up to 11 for the duration of the tour.  If you cannot afford food for your tour, you are not ready to tour.

Do you have any other tips for the starving artist on tour???

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