Here’s The Problem with Flexible Dieting & Why It Doesn’t Always Work

Here’s The Problem with Flexible Dieting & Why It Doesn’t Always Work

Flexible dieting is all the rage. Ranging in approaches from If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) to Intuitive Eating, flexible dieting has become the industry standard for “optimal nutrition coaching” and, to many, any other approach is not only useless but self destructive.  Important to note… I’m a HUGE Proponent of Flexible Dieting I’ve written extensively about the benefits of flexible dieting and how to use it with extraordinary success on numerous occasions.  And while flexible dieting is one of the best approaches to help people achieve and maintain long-term nutrition success, its utility has been taken entirely out of context to an unrealistic extreme.  Every day I see and hear coaches touting the benefits of flexible dieting and the perils of having a structured diet. “You can eat anything you want” they say “just as long as it fits within your calorie guidelines.“ “You need to indulge and have treats,” they explain. “If you don’t regularly indulge you won’t succeed.“ “Look! I eat ice cream, pizza, and beer while staying lean and strong. That’s what flexible dieting is all about!“ They’re Wrong That is not what flexible dieting is all about. Flexible dieting is about teaching individuals how to eat an overall “healthy” diet made up of a variety of satiating and nutrient dense foods while learning how to occasionally incorporate their favorite “unhealthy” foods and making continued progress without accompanying feelings of guilt. Unfortunately, that’s not as sexy or marketable as saying “eat whatever you want to get ripped” so many fit pro’s just ignore the proper definition altogether. So What’s the Problem with Flexible Dieting? Keep in mind…flexible dieting isn’t bad. When used and taught properly it’s honestly amazing which is...
18 Utterly Mind Blowing Body Transformations

18 Utterly Mind Blowing Body Transformations

My clients are incredible. They train hard. They eat well. They study relentlessly. And, above all, they devote extraordinary amounts of time and effort to accomplish their goals. In 2014 I had the honor of working with numerous individuals, each of whom not only achieved incredible results but monumentally succeeded in motivating me every single day. While I couldn’t feature every single person in this lone article (it’s already incredibly long) I’m beyond proud of every single one of my clients and couldn’t possibly consider myself any luckier to call each and every one of them my friend. With that said, I’m excited to share with you 18 of the most insane body transformations you’ve ever seen. Consisting of 9 body composition transformations and 9 strength-based successes, the results of these 18 individuals will absolutely blow your mind. Enjoy, -J 9 Amazing Body Composition Transformations Carly Before: 155lbs Current: 136lbs (-19lbs) The last time Carly was 136 lbs… Then                                   Now Pretty crazy, huh? Just goes to show you the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. Over the course of roughly 16-weeks, Carly added serious muscle and dropped a ton of fat. Surprise, surprise…she weighs the same but looks completely different. Which brings up a good point… Do You Think Weight Loss is Linear? Here is Carly’s daily weight chart from the past 16-weeks.  As you can see, there were many days (and even weeks) when her weight would inexplicably fluctuate upwards. This is so freakin’ important to know ahead of time because if you only base your progress on the scale...
The Powerlifting Diet: Wait…Really? THAT’S What Powerlifter’s Eat?!

The Powerlifting Diet: Wait…Really? THAT’S What Powerlifter’s Eat?!

Powerlifting exemplifies the ultimate expression of strength. Testing the absolute most amount of weight you can lift in the squat, bench press, and deadlift…there is no ambiguity. There is no cheating. There is no doubt. You’re either strong enough to lift the weight or you aren’t. And while old-school powerlifting dogma used to preach the importance of getting as big as humanly possible at all costs (even if that meant eating like shit and getting obscenely fat), the new world of powerlifting has shown getting bull-strong can be accomplished while staying lean year round. That’s exactly what I’m going to show you how to do. The Powerlifting Diet: Wait…Really!? THAT’S What Powerlifter’s Eat? As an IPA World Record Powerlifter people often assume I either: A)Relentlessly gorge myself with McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King and other fast food staples. or B)Maintain an incredibly strict (or “clean”) diet, accounting for every last calorie and neverlay a finger on a single “bad” food. Fortunately for my health, performance, and social life…neither of those assumptions are remotely accurate. So What Do I Eat On the Powerlifting Diet? As a business owner, full-time performance coach, competitive athlete, and social butterfly…I don’t have a lot of time to cook. As such, I’ve developed a very simple, easy, and relatively inexpensive system to help me perform at a high level, maintain a low body fat year round, and enjoy my life as a ridiculously good looking 23-year old. But before I get into what I eat, I want to briefly discuss several key points. 1) Fat Loss is Like a Bank I forget where I heard this first but, to whoever...
Fitness Myths that NEED to Die: The Paleo Diet Edition

Fitness Myths that NEED to Die: The Paleo Diet Edition

First and foremost… I support the paleo diet. Emphasizing lot’s of veggies, fruit, and high quality protein…the paleo diet offers a great framework for people to live a healthy(er) lifestyle. It also helps that research has found paleo-esque diets to be more satiating (filling) than other popular diets. This speaks volumes considering people often fail with certain diets, not because they aren’t motivated, but because they’re constantly hungry. That being the case, finding a diet that helps to increase satiety on a per calorie basis is extraordinarily important and something I appreciate and recognize within the paleo diet guidelines. Having said that… I don’t agree with all of it. Like most things in the fitness industry, many key tenets of the paleo diet lack context. Not only that, much of the paleo diet is based on false assumptions and unrealistic expectations.  In order to help you create the best diet for your individual needs, in this piece I’ll examine several tenants of the paleo diet with which I most adamantly disagree. Through reading this piece you’ll not only learn why certain paleo diet principles are incomplete, but also how you can incorporate the best nutrition practices into your lifestyle regardless of whether or not they’re “paleo.” No Dairy Allowed The paleo diet doesn’t allow dairy. Leaders of the paleo movement assert dairy must be eliminated from our diet for several major reasons, including: Dairy was not available during the paleolithic era and, consequently, we as humans are not meant to consume it. Dairy, for a variety of reasons, is dangerous for human consumption. Dairy produces a large insulinemic response which promotes the...
Fitness Myths that NEED to Die, Volume 01 of Infinity: SPOT REDUCTION

Fitness Myths that NEED to Die, Volume 01 of Infinity: SPOT REDUCTION

A Brief Announcement As mentioned in the latest installment of The Week in Review, I’m excited to announce that I’m beginning a new weekly column here on SF. Specifically, this series – Fitness Myths that NEED to Die – will [obviously] be dedicated to addressing and de-bunking common fitness myths that are relentlessly propagated throughout the mainstream and…well…never seem to die.  As always, these articles will be backed by the most relevant, up-to-date, and well-performed research. Of equal importance, I’ll also be drawing from my personal and professional experiences in the field to ensure that you get the best of both experimental and anecdotal research. Covering a variety of fitness-related subjects, I’m always on the lookout for new topics so if you have anything in mind that you’d like me to cover, leave a comment below or shoot me an e-mail (jordanATsyattfitnessDOTcom) with your ideas. So, without further ado, let’s get to the first installment of Fitness Myths that NEED to Die. Spot Reduction What is it? Spot reduction is, very simply, the idea that fat loss is site-specific. In other words, proponents of spot reduction believe you can target specific spots on your body to lose fat. More often than not, the methods claimed to increase the effectiveness of spot reduction are exercise (not nutrition) based and focus on targeting certain muscle groups by way of isolation exercises.  Take, for example, the fat on the backside of your upper arm (tricep).  Advocates of spot reduction often claim targeted exercises such as tricep kickbacks will help to burn fat in that specific area. The notion that ab exercises (crunches, sit-ups, planks,...
1 Powerful Mind Trick to Help You Stay on Track with Your Diet…FOREVER!

1 Powerful Mind Trick to Help You Stay on Track with Your Diet…FOREVER!

What if I told you everything you’ve been told about dieting is a lie? What if I told you eating “healthy” doesn’t have to suck? And what if I told you I know 1 powerful mind trick that will help you stay on track with your diet…forever? You’d probably be skeptical…but hopefully curious and open-minded enough to hear me out. The Key to Successful Dieting is Flexibility No, not that that kind of flexibility. I’m talking about a flexible mindset. The ability to understand and appreciate that not every day is going to be (nor should it be) 100% nutritionally perfect…and that’s o.k.! Not only is it O.K., it’s probably even beneficial in the long-run. See, successful dieting isn’t a like sprint; it’s like a marathon. If you’re overly strict with your diet to the point where it controls nearly every aspect of your life you’ll either fail over and over again or live a truly miserable existence. On the other hand, if you can learn to become a flexible dieter, a dieter who incorporates nutrition into your life opposed to incorporating life into your nutrition, well…then you are truly setting yourself up for long-term success. How Do You Become a Flexible Dieter? Practice. Lot’s and lot’s of practice. Like anything worth being good at, getting your nutrition “right” can take a couple tries. But there’s more to it than just practice. It’s also about creating the right mindset. It’s about learning and understanding how to view your nutrition, choices, and habits in a manner that facilitates continual progress. This is where my powerful mind trick comes into play....
How Often Should You Weigh Yourself? 10 Things You NEED TO KNOW Before Stepping on the Scale

How Often Should You Weigh Yourself? 10 Things You NEED TO KNOW Before Stepping on the Scale

I used to hate weighing myself. Every day I’d wake up and dread the long, anxiety-producing walk over to the bathroom scale. Will I weigh less today? I’ve been good the past few days so my weight should be down… With each step my heart rate would rapidly increase until I was face-to-face with the scale and my heart all but exploding out of my chest. Whatever the scale read would determine the rest of my day. If I lost weight I was ecstatic. The day was glorious, my smile infectious, and everything I encountered would be warm & fuzzy miracles. If I stayed the same or, god forbid, gained weight…the day was ruined. I was pissed at myself, the world, and everything in between. It was a bad cycle. Like…really bad. Fortunately, many years have passed since those dark times and I now have zero issues maintaining a lean physique year-round. To get to this point I’ve had to learn a lot. Nutrition, science, and other boring stuff aside, one of the most important things I’ve learned is how to use the scale without going insane. “How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?” See, some people say weighing yourself is pointless. They say weighing yourself is a waste of time and an inaccurate measurement of fat loss. While I agree that some people are better off never stepping foot on a scale, I wholeheartedly disagree with the contention that weighing yourself is pointless. For instance, research has shown that  individuals who weigh themselves on a consistent basis are better at maintaining their weight loss in the long-term. Considering long-term weight loss...
The Dirty Truth Behind Emphasizing Good Fats In Your Diet

The Dirty Truth Behind Emphasizing Good Fats In Your Diet

The fitness industry survives on extreme’s. Everything is either the best or the worst… Amazing or terrible… Healthy or unhealthy… It’s sexier, more appealing, and marketable to sell extremes.  Selling moderation…not so easy. People want insane results and they want them now. It’s easier to sell a magical elixir guaranteed to melt fat and pack on muscle than it is to sell an intelligent diet and consistent training program. Why train and eat right when I could take a pill with my morning mug o’ joe and get jackt in 14 days or less? See what I mean? Extreme sells. Moderation doesn’t. What’s Fat Got to Do With It? Fat is the quintessential victim of fitness extremism. Calorically dense and a waste of calories, fat is touted by some extremists as the Adolf Hitler of macronutrients. Too soon? Anyway… On the opposite end of the spectrum, other camps (like the hacks selling Bullet Proof Coffee) swear by high-fat diets and their limitless health benefits. I mean, shit, Dave Asprey, creator of Bullet Proof Coffee, recommends adding upwards of 400 calories worth of butter & MCT Oil into your morning coffee in order to, supposedly, improve a variety of health markers. Fitness extremism at it’s finest. Q: So What’s the Deal: Is Fat Good or Bad? Well…neither. Fat isn’t inherently good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. O.K…Then What Is It? What makes fat “good” or “bad” depends on 3 major factors. Listed in no particular order of importance, these factors are: 1) Total Daily Caloric Intake 2) Ratio of Fat Consumed in Relation to Protein & Carbohydrates 3) Quality of Fat Consumed To make...
Syatt Fitness Success Stories: 11 Jaw Dropping Transformations

Syatt Fitness Success Stories: 11 Jaw Dropping Transformations

I have the best clients in the world. Seriously, I do. They work extraordinarily hard, dedicate incredible amounts of time, and do everything in their power to achieve their ultimate goals. I am very lucky to work with such remarkable individuals. The best part about my relationship with each client is that we delve deeper than most coach/client arrangements; far beyond the realm of business and deep into the domain of friendship. We become friends. Great friends. Sometimes even best friends. With that in mind, I’m honored to present 11 transformations – jaw dropping transformations – of my best friends. Let their success inspire you to achieve more than you ever imagined possible. Never Minimal. Never Maximal. Always Optimal. -J Kyle Before: 230lbs After: 173lbs Kyle’s Story This is where my journey has taken me, every step has lead to this point. Today the scale reads 173lbs, just 12 weeks ago this same scale read 228lbs, and 14 weeks ago that scale read 237lbs. Looking down at that number, I realize how far I’ve come not just in these past 12 weeks but in the past few years. I look back and I see a past that I don’t care to think about. That part of my life is behind me now, as well as every pound that I carried with me from each of those painful memories. Every Big Mac was a hug that I didn’t get, every chocolate cake was approval that I sought after so longingly, every pound I packed on was just an emotion that I couldn’t deal with. These last 12 weeks have given...
Body Transformation Scams Exposed: How the Fitness Industry is Fooling You!

Body Transformation Scams Exposed: How the Fitness Industry is Fooling You!

Body transformation “before” and “after” photo’s are one of the best marketing tools ever created. We’ve all seen them: A gloomy “before” picture showing a sorry looking guy or gal with a big ‘ol gut and “I hate my life” all but stamped across their forehead. The “after” picture, however, displays the same, albeit barely recognizable, lean and sexy person with a fresh set of abs and – for some odd reason – tanning oil spread luxuriously over their [now hairless] body. While most of us understand these photo’s don’t tell the whole truth, they’re still extraordinarily convincing and often push us to buy products or services promising the same incredible results in 30 days or less! Granted, not all transformation photo’s are scams (hell, even I use them to display my clients’ success), but it’s important to maintain a critical eye and understand a vast majority of mainstream advertisements are flat out frauds. To show you how easy it is to fake an incredible transformation, below I’ve posted two separate pictures – taken no more than 60 seconds apart – of myself in the bathroom of an Amtrak train. Before: January 11th 2014, 1:25pm After: January 11th 2014, 1:26pm How is this possible!? In one picture I look like a fat mess while in the next I have a decently cut physique and a clear set of “penis lines” (i.e. hips) as my female friends like to call them. Could it be the sideways hat? Or maybe the infamous duck face? Oh wait! It’s gotta be the dick grab! Sorry to disappoint…but it’s none of the above. While the...