What I Eat in a Day – My Daily Diet Routine

As discussed on Episode 13 of the Wise Eats Podcast:

MY DAILY DIET ROUTINE

To give you an idea of the Wise Eats diet plan in practice, let me run you through a typical day for me as it relates to diet.

PRE-BREAKFAST

When I first wake up, the first thing I do is get hydrated. You can see exactly how I do this in my recipe video, “Always Workin’ Water”, available at Wise-Eats.com/water. Usually, I’ll follow hydration with black coffee, sometimes with MCT oil, and a fasted walk, core workout, stretch, or foam rolling. I’m a huge fan of coffee so go check out Wise-Eats.com/Coffee to see my favorite blends. Four Sigmatic sponsor!!

BREAKFAST

My first meal of the day is usually scrambled eggs with some sort of vegetable, potato or rice, and spices. If I skip on the egg scramble, I’ll do a salad, smoothie or the power oatmeal. Whatever the meal is, I always plan it ahead of time, especially if I know I’ll be on the go. That’s why food prep is so important. If you don’t give yourself healthy meals to choose from, you’ll end up in a situation where your starved with nothing on hand, forcing you into poor dietary choices. And that won’t be anyone else’s fault but your own. So, take control and be accountable.

LUNCH/DINNER

Lunch and dinners are pretty interchangeable. For me, it’s typically a salad made with spinach or kale mixed with a lean protein like chicken, sardines, or salmon. Our other favorite proteins are grass fed steak, wild caught fish, and ground turkey. Then, I add some combination of spices, peppers, beans, cucumber, pickles, olives, dried cranberries, shredded almonds, pumpkin seeds, tomato, feta cheese, onion, and hemp seed. For dressing, I’ll use extra virgin olive oil, liquid aminos, balsamic vinegar, salsa, or even pasta sauce. Sometimes, I’ll throw on some fresh fruit like apple or blueberry and don’t use dressing at all. Salads are terrific because you can rotate ingredients to enjoy a variety of flavors, while getting the benefit of many different nutrient profiles and all major dietary needs in one meal. I used to think of salad as just a pile of iceberg lettuce with some chicken, shredded cheddar cheese, some crotons, maaaaaybe a cucumber slice, and a pile of ranch dressing. Well, those days are long gone. Salads are your one-way ticket to better health if you make them a staple in your diet and get creative with the ingredients. Aside from salad, we’ll do some type of stir fry or ground turkey chili, and for a side we’ll have baked potato, quinoa or rice. To get an idea of these meals in action, go to Wise-Eats.com/Recipes and you’ll find a complete list of recipes broken down by category.

DESSERT

I have a bunch of recipes over on the website, like Banana Bread, Coconut Oil Chocolates, the Muscle Milkshake, and many others that are all made with wholesome ingredients. Just remember that it’s still dessert at the end of the day and should be enjoyed in moderation. That said, I have dessert pretty much every single day. Usually, it’s chocolate protein pudding, a bowl of Greek yogurt, or a protein shake. Sometimes it’s as simple as some apple with almond butter or some frozen fruit. I always switch it up depending on where my calorie count is for the day, and usually aim for something high in protein. So, dessert is my last meal of the day, and that’s what a typical diet day looks like for me. Hopefully, that gives you some ideas on ways you can make some changes to your own diet. I’m by no means perfect, and try to get better every day. The bottom line is that the more ways you can get whole foods in their most natural states and from good sources, the better you’re going to feel, and the healthier you’re going to be.

7 QUICK DIET TIPS

  1. DON’T OVERHAUL YOUR DIET. Add one thing in or take one thing out. Pop, fast food. Add in veggies, drink more water. Keep it simple at first. Don’t have to change everything at once, just gotta start somewhere.
  2. STAY HYDRATED. Most overeating comes when you’re dehydrated or bored. Keep drinking water and stay active. Go for walks between meals and don’t hang around the kitchen.
  3. COUNT CALORIES/KEEP A DIET JOURNAL. Can’t recommend this enough. If I were to train any one person today that would be the first thing I would tell them to do. How can you know where you’re going if you don’t even know where you are currently?
  4. AVOID BUYING FOODS YOU TEND TO OVEREAT. Peanut butter, dates, popcorn, other snacks. Even greek yogurt!
  5. VISUALIZE YOUR FITNESS GOALS. Is this food going to bring to closer to or further away?
  6. FIND SOME CONSISTENCY. With diet you have to find consistency somewhere in your life. My diet is pretty clean most days of the week. It can’t be a little bit of this today and a little bit of that tomorrow. You need to have a period of time when you’re only eating real food, otherwise you’ll never achieve any sort of consistency with your diet.
  7. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO GET STARTED. It took me until age 25 to finally wise up and get serious about my health. My Dad was stricken with diabetes and had a leg amputated before he decided to quit drinking, quit smoking, and start eating healthy. At age 55, he lost 60lbs and cured his diabetes. Work with another guy near retirement age who’s just now starting to work out and get in shape. Riding his bike, lifting light weights, and taking charge of his health. Change is possible no matter what your age, weight, or fitness level. Sooner or later, your health is going to become your #1 priority, so why not start today before it’s too late?

For a deeper dive into healthy diet philosophy, check out the Wise Eats Diet Plan.

Submit questions, comments, feedback to WiseEatsPodcast@gmail.com. Thanks for watching, listening, reviewing, liking, subscribing, and sharing. Be good to yourself, be good to others, and make wise choices!

The Wise Eats Diet Plan – Change Your Diet, Change Your Life

As discussed on Episode 12 & 13 of the Wise Eats Podcast:

In this article, we’re diving deep into diet philosophy and exactly the types of foods you should be eating to lose body fat, build lean muscle, and optimize your life. This is Part 1 of the Wise Eats Diet Plan. Among the topics discussed:

  • The Wise Eats Diet Philosophy
  • My Personal Diet History & Relationship with Food
  • The Foods We ALL Should Be Eating & Avoiding
  • Best Sources of Carbohydrates
  • Grocery Shopping Tips & Tricks
  • Importance of Hydration
  • Macros: The Best Sources of Proteins, Fats, and Carbs
  • Cooking Tips
  • Ketogenic Diet
  • Supplements
  • Seven Quick Diet Tips!

For an example of my typical diet day, head over to Wise-Eats.com/Ep13DietRoutine

Recipes Mentioned in This Article:

WELCOME TO THE WISE EATS DIET PLAN

What’s up wise guys and gals? Today, we’re diving deep into diet philosophy and exactly the types of foods you should be eating to lose body fat, build lean muscle, and optimize your life. This is an important topic to me because there’s so much confusion these days. So many diets to follow and so many workout regimens to choose from. So many greedy corporations trying to sell garbage and lies and personal agendas instead of educating people about what actually works. But I’m hoping to change all of that with Wise Eats. We’re bringing it back to basics – telling you the tactics that will truly help you become the very best version of yourself. We’re all different with varying nutritional needs, beliefs, and goals, but no matter what YOUR diet philosophy is, there are some simple truths that apply to all humans in general, and that’s what I want to get into with today’s episode. We’re not talking shortcuts or quick fixes here. No pills, no potions, no macro restrictions, just what works coming from someone who has overcome some of the worst diet habits imaginable.

WISECHOICENATION.COM FOR A FREE GIFT

Before we dive in, head over to WiseChoiceNation.com and subscribe to my free newsletter, if you haven’t done so already. When you do, you’ll immediately receive a welcome e-mail containing the full list of Wise Eats Approved Foods, Drinks, and Supplements. Building your diet based on these real foods will help you lose weight, build muscle, increase energy, fight depression, prevent disease, and feel amazing. So, get over to WiseChoicenation.com right now, sign up for free, and get that list of approved foods delivered instantly.

THE WISE EATS DIET PHILOSOPHY

Now, the idea behind the Wise Eats Diet Plan is a real simple philosophy that you may have heard before and that is to EAT REAL FOOD. We eat for optimization, plain and simple. No soda, no processed foods, no junk food, take out, or added sugar. Of course, we all have these things from time to time, myself included, but as a general rule, you want to be consuming foods from whole sources, because the nutrients you fuel your body with make up your physical appearance, attitude, mental clarity, energy levels, creativity, mindfulness, and so much more. Literally your entire existence is defined by the things you put into your body. When you put in nothing but junk, that’s what you’re going to get back out. Tired, sick, depressed, and worst of all, imprisoned both mentally and physically from lifestyle-related choices.

WHAT IS REAL FOOD?

So, what exactly is real food? It’s things that come from the Earth, not a science lab. Things that were alive at one time. Fresh fruits, vegetables, free range chicken, grass-fed beef, wild caught fish, nuts, seeds, and grains. We want foods that are raw, organic, and as close to their natural source as possible. Farm fresh and locally sourced. That’s real food. Potato chips, cookies, cheez-its, and monster energy drinks are not real food; they’re poison. They’re scientifically engineered, modified in a lab, then loaded with chemicals, additives, preservatives and fillers. They’re marketed to generate profits but provide no real value or life force to your body. Now, this may seem like common knowledge to you, but it wasn’t always obvious to me.

MY DIET HISTORY & JUNK FOOD ADDICTION

Back in my mid-twenties, I didn’t understand what real food was. I’m sure I had a general sense of what was good and bad for me, I just didn’t pay it much attention. Back then, buy-one-get-one free whoppers from Burger King were life. I would buy entire large pizzas for myself, usually 2 at a time, spread over breakfast lunch and dinner. My most prized kitchen utensil back then was my fry daddy. French fries, mozzarella sticks, fried mushrooms, chicken nuggets, and bosco sticks were all I knew. My life was a constant cycle of junk food. At 270lbs and miserable, I stumbled across a fitness article very similar to the podcast episode I’m recording today. It told me to ditch the junk food and processed food if I wanted to change my body. Imagine that. I wasn’t going to get into great shape eating McDonalds and Taco Bell all the time? Get out of town! Call me naïve, ignorant, or just plain dumb. I simply didn’t realize the impact my diet was having in all areas of my life. Now, I understand proper nutrition, and hope this message can impact someone else who may be in the same spot I was.

FOODS TO FOCUS ON

So, what kinds of real food do we want to consume? Starting with the most important, it’s vegetables in all forms, especially green leafy ones. There are literally an endless amount of benefits for eating green vegetables, like fat loss and disease prevention, but they basically turbo charge your existence. For most of my life, I rarely ate vegetables outside of an iceberg lettuce salad. Today, I have smoothies, salads and stir fries made with all kinds of greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli. Any way I can think of to add vegetables to my diet, I do it, and the health benefits are dramatic! Just try a google search on any way to improve your health and fitness, whether it be getting better sleep, preventing cancer, fighting disease, becoming stronger, or feeling energized, and eating vegetables is going to be very high on the list of ways to accomplish these things. It simply helps with so many different areas of life. It took a long time for me to get used to it, but now I have them with nearly every single meal and can’t live without them. I know if my junk-food addicted self can grow to love vegetables, ANYONE can.

FAVORITE CARBS

My favorite carb sources other than vegetables include oat bran, quinoa, white jasmine rice, sweet potato, and fresh or dried fruit. One of my favorite easy carb recipes is the Slammin’ Sweet Potato which you can find at Wise-Eats.com/SweetPotato – Baked in coconut oil with cinnamon – the perfect complement for a lights out delicious meal!

FOODS TO AVOID

Now, I talked a little bit about the things you should be eating, but how about some of the things you should NOT be eating? For starters, eliminate fast foods, completely. No Taco Bell, Burger King or McDonald’s. I can already hear the 2009 version of myself cringing at the thought of eliminating fast food. But, it happened. I went from having fast food pretty much every day for most of my life to  barely touching the stuff. These days, it doesn’t even register to me as food. Of course, the idea of fast food sounds pretty good when I REALLY think about it, but then I just have my normal, delicious, healthy food that I prepared ahead of time and forget all about it. It’s simply not worth it to poison myself when I know the negative effects it will have on my mood, energy levels, and focus. Of course, I do eat out from time to time or for special occasions, but almost never fast food, it really is the worst of the worst. It’s usually some combination of refined flour, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavor and colors, trans fats, salt, genetically modified toxins, petroleum products, cow feces, and antibiotics. Your body doesn’t even recognize these foods as fuel, so instead of digesting them, it stores them away as excess body fat. I cringe when I think that I’ve lived more than 2/3 of my life eating these types of foods on a regular basis. These days, my cheat meals consist of home cooked food or a dinner out with my wife, where I’ll fully enjoy myself for one meal then get right back to normal eating afterward.

PROCESSED FOOD

Another poison disguised as food that you should avoid as much as possible is processed food. Chips, cookies, cakes, and snack foods are off limits. If you are buying something packaged, check ingredient lists and avoid chemicals you don’t understand. If it has some type of health claim like low calorie or low fat or low sugar on the package, don’t trust the marketing. Read nutrition fact labels and choose foods with simple ingredients. Educate yourself and take accountability for the things you’re putting in your body. When you sign up for my free newsletter at WiseChoiceNation.com, you’ll instantly receive a list of foods that I recommend as part of a normal, healthy diet.

GROCERY SHOPPING

Now, let’s talk one of my favorite past times: grocery shopping. I used to get everything done at the big supermarkets like Meijer or Wal-Mart. Now, I only go there as a last resort. First, I hit local farmer’s markets as much as possible. Fresh, local produce is the way to go. The closer to the original source, the better. We live in a suburb of Detroit and have a farmer’s market that meets two days per week to offer fresh vegetables and farm fresh eggs. This market was there my whole life and I never took advantage of it! Finally, a couple years ago I decided to try it out, and have been hooked ever since. I try not to buy my vegetables anywhere else. Next to growing your own, I think these markets are your best option. So, find out where your local markets are if you don’t know already. It will be a game changer.

MY FAVORITE SPOTS TO SHOP

My top three places to shop other than farmer’s markets are Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Amazon. When I do go shopping, I stick to fresh produce sections and avoid the middle aisles where most processed junk is located. The bulk of your time in a grocery store should be spent in those outside sections where the fresh produce and meats are located. I stay away from the majority of frozen items unless it’s produce or meat. Frozen dinners and packaged snacks are loaded with sodium, refined sugar, preservatives, and additives. I know because I used to eat them every single day multiple times a day, and they were a staple of my diet when I initially lost 90lbs. Sure, low calorie foods can help you lose weight no matter how processed they are, but all they’ll do is leave you skinny and sick just like they did me.

HYDRATION

You can’t talk diet without touching on hydration. Because I exercise in some form every single day, I usually have about a gallon and a half or more of purified water, but I challenge any person, no matter their fitness level is, to get at least a gallon per day. That might sound outrageous to some, but it’s not hard when you make it a priority. Back in the day, I hardly drank water at all – just pop, Kool-Aid, and fruit juice. I remember as a kid constantly waking up in the middle of the night so miserably tired and thirsty. I’d get up out of bed, do my sleepy eyed, zombie walk to the fridge, and suck down a heaping glass of ice cold kool-aid, Hi-C fruit punch, or Boppin’ Berry. It was the best thing ever, and I was completely oblivious to the toll it was taking on my body. Those were the good old days! But nowadays, water is automatic, and it’s my #1 priority when I wake up each day. By the way, the home filtration system I use is called the Berkey, but there are less expensive options out there. If water quality has not been a priority for you up to this point, it’s time to Wise Up.

MACROS

The three dietary macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Your diet should include various possible amounts of each of these depending on your goals. In general, your total calorie intake each day should be made up of about 15-20% fat, 30-40% protein, and 30-50% carbohydrate. I’m a 34-year-old male, 6-foot-tall, about 200lbs, with very active lifestyle. I’m lifting weights 3-5 days per week and stay pretty active on my off days. In order to maintain my current weight, I need about 2,900 calories each day. In order to gain weight, I need to bump that up to around 3200 calories per day. In order to lose body fat, I need to drop that calorie amount to about 2,600 calories per day. Obviously, your body has different requirements than mine. These numbers are just estimates that will fluctuate based on your individual characteristics, goals, and genetics, but it’s a great place to start. There are many resources out there that you can use to estimate your required calorie intake based on your goals and the macro amounts you need to hit in order to lose weight or build muscle.

CARBS & KETO

In Part 1, I touched on carbs and my favorite sources, which are fruits, vegetables, jasmine rice, potatoes, and oats.

Carbs are a bad word nowadays because keto is the hotness right now, but I believe healthy active individuals should be eating healthy carbs, period. I love eating carbs and feel amazing when I have them, so that’s my preference.

My understanding is that following a keto diet can help curb cravings and provide some mental clarity. I know it’s also popular because it does result in rapid weight loss initially, but often it’s only temporary and there’s often a massive rebound effect when you come off the diet where you’re cravings intensify and your appetite skyrockets. I can’t speak from personal experience, but that’s what I understand about keto. The bottom line is that the fitness and nutrition experts that I trust do not recommend keto. A healthy balance of all the macros coming from real food combined with good sleep, exercise, and stress management are the keys to unlocking all of your fitness dreams.

If keto helps you get closer to your fitness goals, fantastic, but you shouldn’t be worried about whether you should be on Atkins, or paleo, or carnivore if you’re not even eating at least three servings of fruits and vegetables a day or going for daily walks or exercising a few days per week. Stop focusing on all the nitpicky stuff like fad diets and start doing the legitimate fundamentals that actually matter like getting good sleep and meditating and drinking tons of water and avoiding sugar. If you sleep well, exercise regularly, eat plenty of vegetables, and avoid sugar, it really doesn’t matter what diet your following.

PROTEIN

Protein is extremely important if you’re looking to lose body fat and/or build muscle. Most adults looking to improve their body composition want to aim for about 1g per pound of body weight. My first recommendation to any person trying to improve health, lose weight, or improve their physique would be to increase protein intake. I always make sure I get enough protein for the day whereas my fat and carb intake will fluctuate. My favorite sources include chicken, fish, sardines, ground turkey, steak, tofu (beware of estrogen), eggs, beans, black bean pasta, Greek yogurt, chicken broth, cottage cheese, and whey protein isolate.

FAT

Dietary fat is very healthy but also the macro most easily converted into body fat, so be careful. I usually keep fat intake as low as possible because it’s really easy to overdo it. My favorite sources are almonds, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, peanut butter, feta cheese, sardines, walnuts, flax seed, and chia seed.

Balancing these three macronutrients is critical for accomplishing your fitness goals as efficiently as possible. When I first lost 90lbs, I focused strictly on total calorie intake, and it worked. I only had a general sense of the amount of protein, fat, and carbs my body required, but because I was taking in less calories than my body required, I lost weight. Now that I’m focused on improving performance and building muscle, macros are much more important to me. If you understand your needs ahead of time, you’re going to have a huge advantage.

In the past, I haven’t been too obsessed with macros, I just focused on real food. I believed that by eating a variety of healthy foods in moderate amounts, you’re likely going to end up fulfilling your requirements. Just because you didn’t get enough healthy fats in on Monday, doesn’t mean you can’t make up for it on Tuesday. To an extent, this philosophy works, but it’s very easy to overeat this way. Over time, I have learned that you can eat very clean and still gain excessive weight, so getting a handle on your total calorie intake and macro ratios is really useful when you want to fine tune your eating habits, accelerate progress, and change body composition. In general, I keep my dietary fat moderate, about 40-60g, protein intake at about 1g per pound of body weight, and the rest of my diet is made up of healthy carbohydrates.

COOKING

Everything we prepare is done in the oven, on the stove, or in our Blend Tec blender. No fancy gizmos or microwaves. We actually haven’t owned a microwave in years and don’t miss it at all. We either heat everything up on the stove, in the oven, or eat it cold. Actually, some food is better cold, so don’t hate.

For high temperature cooking, we use olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. Avoid refined vegetable oils, since those are inflammatory and low in omega 3’s. You’re going to run into those a lot when you eat out also.

BATCH COOKING

One tactic that I’m a big fan of is batch cooking. I don’t just prepare one meal. I quadruple the recipe to have for multiple meals. Make the most of your time in the kitchen by multitasking. This works especially well if you lead a busy life or work a full-time job, which most of us do. This way, your meals are always ready to go, leaving no excuse to eat out or buy from that vending machine or catering truck. I’ll usually steam a large batch of frozen vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower rice. Then, I’ll bake a few chicken breasts and have those chopped up ready to go. Then, I’ll make a starchy carb like white jasmine rice, quinoa, or potato. Once you have food prepared, sticking to your diet goals is a breeze. Grab a little bit of this, a little bit of that, reheat on the stove with a little avocado oil and some fresh greens for a quick, convenient, healthy meal any time. One hour or so of preparation one day can set you up for several days’ worth of delicious, healthy, and convenient meals. Very often, our lunches and dinners are just stir fries of stuff we already have prepared and ready to go.

SUPPLEMENTS

The bottom line when it comes to supplements is that you truly don’t need any of them. You can do just fine by eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. That said, supplements can help you achieve your goals more quickly and conveniently. Because I’m lifting weights often, I use several different proteins, including whey protein isolate, pea protein, and casein protein. The brands I currently use are Naked and Legion Athletics. For strength training, I take 5g of creatine in my post workout drinks to help speed muscle growth and recovery. Black coffee w/ MCT oil is my favorite pre-workout. Most other pre-workouts are just overhyped, overpriced junk. Once in a while, I’ll use Legion Athletics Pulse, so if you’re really deadest on taking a pre-workout, that’s the one I recommend. I try to stay away from it because the stimulants tend to affect my sleep. If you’re going with a pre-workout, beware of ingredients and go with a company that you trust.

On a daily basis, I usually take a fish oil, multivitamin, and vitamin d. Sometimes before bed, I’ll take broccoli sprout tablets or magnesium. But, most of these nutrients can be covered through a healthy diet. Supplements are good for optimization, but you don’t really need them. The truth is, the best supplement you can take is a diet that is rich in a variety of earth grown foods and vegetables. This isn’t the sexy answer, but it’s true. Supplement companies won’t make any profits by selling kale or olive oil, which is why so many different pills and powders exist. Block all of that fancy marketing out of your mind and know that real food is the supplement that actually works!

7 QUICK DIET TIPS

  1. DON’T OVERHAUL YOUR DIET. Add one thing in or take one thing out. Pop, fast food. Add in veggies, drink more water. Keep it simple at first. Don’t have to change everything at once, just gotta start somewhere.
  2. STAY HYDRATED. Most overeating comes when you’re dehydrated or bored. Keep drinking water and stay active. Go for walks between meals and don’t hang around the kitchen.
  3. COUNT CALORIES/KEEP A DIET JOURNAL. Can’t recommend this enough. If I were to train any one person today that would be the first thing I would tell them to do. How can you know where you’re going if you don’t even know where you are currently?
  4. AVOID BUYING FOODS YOU TEND TO OVEREAT. Peanut butter, dates, popcorn, other snacks. Even greek yogurt!
  5. VISUALIZE YOUR FITNESS GOALS. Is this food going to bring to closer to or further away?
  6. FIND SOME CONSISTENCY. With diet you have to find consistency somewhere in your life. My diet is pretty clean most days of the week. It can’t be a little bit of this today and a little bit of that tomorrow. You need to have a period of time when you’re only eating real food, otherwise you’ll never achieve any sort of consistency with your diet.
  7. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO GET STARTED. It took me until age 25 to finally wise up and get serious about my health. My Dad was stricken with diabetes and had a leg amputated before he decided to quit drinking, quit smoking, and start eating healthy. At age 55, he lost 60lbs and cured his diabetes. Work with another guy near retirement age who’s just now starting to work out and get in shape. Riding his bike, lifting light weights, and taking charge of his health. Change is possible no matter what your age, weight, or fitness level. Sooner or later, your health is going to become your #1 priority, so why not start today before it’s too late?

Thanks for reading the Wise Eats Diet Plan. Take at least one thing from this article to improve your habits going forward and contact me below to let me know what it is! Now get out there, eat something fresh, do something good, make wise choices.

Why Every Human Should Lift Weights

As discussed on Episode 6 of the Wise Eats Podcast

There’s something I wish someone had told me when I first started working out: Stop doing so much cardio and start lifting heavy weights more consistently. Resistance training is the most effective way to lose body fat, build muscle, and achieve that healthy physique most of us desire. Don’t get me wrong: I love cardio. I lost 90lbs mostly by running my butt off. Eventually, I got into the best shape of my life by doing high intensity cardio at home with bodyweight movements. I used P90X, Insanity, Body Beast, UFC Fit, whatever I could get my hands on. Those kinds of routines are convenient to do at home and far better than doing nothing. But if you want to make the biggest change in the shortest amount of time, resistance training is your best option, especially if you’re not currently lifting weights regularly. If you’re a newbie, you have the added benefit of making significant progress very quickly. You can also burn fat and build muscle at the same time, which is the perfect recipe for achieving the body of your dreams.

Find Your Exercise Passion

So, what actually is the best workout program for you? In short, it’s whatever you’re able and willing to do, and do consistently. Any exercise program is better than no exercise program. If you’re currently doing nothing, you better stop what you’re doing right now and go for a walk around the block. Seriously, walking is one of easiest and very best things you can do for your body. I actually used to believe walking was pointless. It’s so natural and easy, how could it really be good for you? Well, turns out it’s extremely good for you, and you can do it anytime, anywhere. So, why not start there? Walk for at least a mile. If it takes you 25 minutes to do, fine. Just do it again tomorrow, and get it done one minute faster. A little bit better every time is the key with all forms of exercise.

Weight Lifting is a GAME CHANGER

Now, if you’re looking for something a bit more intense than walking, I believe weight lifting is the answer. I can’t recommend any form of exercise more passionately. Sure, I love biking, swimming, running, kettlebells, stretching, foam rolling, and yoga. They all play a part in optimization, but nothing beats moving heavy weights. No matter what exercise routine you’re following or fitness goal you have, resistance training can help you get there faster. Even if you want to run a marathon, you can incorporate high intensity training with dumbbells or circuit training with a variety of resistance movements. I once trained for a 5k almost exclusively by doing dumbbell cardio workouts in my living room. I just did it for fun, and finished top 5 for my age group! Obviously, a 5k is no marathon, but you get the idea.

Lifting weights not only can improve your cardiovascular fitness, but it will also help you burn more body fat because the benefits last for hours beyond just the actual work out. I’m going to get more into cardio in future episodes, but if you want to know what I think the best workout program is for you, it’s definitely one that incorporates resistance training. If you only have 30 minutes for a workout, you’re going to get much more accomplished by using that time for lifting weights than you would with any other exercise.

So, we’ve established that I love weight lifting and believe it’s the best way to get fit, but the perfect exercise routine for you depends entirely upon your goals. If your goal is to get a lean, sculpted body, then you want to lift weights regularly to build strength and muscle. If your goal is to run a race in the fastest time, you want to be doing high intensity cardio workouts. If you’re into just general wellness and want to be more functional, then go with full body movements, stretching routines, and yoga. Like I said, it’s all part of the puzzle, you just have to identify what your primary goal is and find your passion. Let me know what YOUR goal is by e-mailing wiseeatspodcast@gmail.com or leaving a comment on this YouTube video.

 

Weight Lifting Routines & Tips

Alright, let’s say you’re ready to buy into the whole weight lifting thing. Awesome. What should your routine look like? Although there are countless ways to go about it, you can make significant progress by lifting weights at least 3 days a week and focusing the bulk of your energy on the four major compound lifts: squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead shoulder press. I recommend doing at least 3 heavy sets of 3 different full body movements per workout. That’s 9 sets all together and can be accomplished in 30-60 minutes. That’s really all you need. For example, on leg day, you would do 3 sets of barbell squats, followed by 3 sets of walking lunges, followed by 3 sets of split squats or leg presses. 9 total sets is very doable and you can make huge progress doing just that. For each set, the 4-6 rep range is great for men and the 8-10 rep range is ideal for women. And for those of you who don’t know, a set is just the number of times you perform the same exercise at any one time. No matter how many reps you’re doing in each set, the key is that on your last rep you can just barely get one more without your form breaking down. So, say you’re doing bench press at 4-6 reps. You want the weight to be light enough so that your performing the movement correctly but also heavy enough so you’re coming close to technical failure on the 4th, 5th, or 6th rep. If you can go beyond 6 reps, it’s time to increase the weight.

If you’re just starting out, it will only take a couple workouts to get your baseline numbers down and then you can increase weight and progress from there. Remember, proper form is essential. As soon as your form is starting to break down, you’re done. I work in the 4-6 rep range most of the time, but also throw in extra sets of 8-10 reps later in the workout, or if I feel like I wanna change things up. So, by the time I hit that 6th rep, my muscles are fatigued to the point where I can’t go anymore and have a rest until the next set of 4-6 reps. As I mentioned, 3 sets on 3 different compound movements is really all you need, but do as much as you can depending on your fitness level, goals, and available time. I’m typically doing 9-15 total sets in any workout and am done in about an hour.

A couple other quick things. Rest time between sets should be anywhere from 1-3 minutes, which is about how much time your muscles need to recover and get ready for the next lift. If you’re looking for some nutrition tips and supplements I recommend, head over to Wise-Eats.com/approvedfoods, and you’ll see a list there. The thing about supplements though is that you don’t need them. You can get strong and in excellent shape without taking any supplements. Good nutrition, proper rest, regular training, and hydration are all you need to make progress.

Finally, if lifting weights makes you nervous or you’re intimidated, I get it, we’ve all been there. You just gotta know that everyone is there to do their own thing and they’re not paying attention to you nearly as much as you’re paying attention to yourself. So stay focused, train hard, and you’ll get over that real quick. Finally, if you’re worried that lifting weights is going to make you look big and bulky, think again. That’s a myth. The only way you get that bulging muscle look is if you’re on steroids.

How to Get Started

So, how do I get started you might be asking? If you head over to Wise-Eats.com/Workout, you’ll see a list of workouts that I currently follow and recommend for most humans looking to build a stronger physique and better overall body. It is a 5-day lifting program that is based on Mike Matthews’ Bigger Leaner Stronger Program. If you can’t lift weights 5 days a week, that’s fine, you can combine some of the exercises to accommodate 2, 3, or 4 days per week. Just make sure you’re hitting those big lifts: squat, deadlift, bench, overhead press. There are videos outlining each of the workouts, including exactly the number of reps you should be doing. This is not meant to be the epitome of good form, it’s just to give you an idea of what the workouts look like. If you’re a newbie, search videos on the exercises and start with light enough weights.

Are You Ready for Weight Lifting?

Actually, depending on your fitness level, you may not need any weights yet. Bodyweight movements may only be appropriate for you. If you can’t do a proper bodyweight squat or pushup, you need to start there before you start throwing weights around. The goal is not to lift the heaviest weight you can. The goal is to perform the movements as close to perfect as possible while challenging yourself and getting better every time. Progression and safety are the most important aspects of training in my opinion. Evaluate your form with a trainer, a friend, or by videotaping yourself and comparing to other videos. Finally, make sure you track the exercises you’re doing and the number of reps you get, and try to improve on those numbers every time. If you’re able to lift heavier weight or do more reps with good form, that’s a great sign that your diet, training, and rest are on point.

Do You Even Lift?

So basically, there are two types of people in this world. Those who lift weights and those who don’t. Obviously, it’s the form of exercise I believe will help you achieve results the fastest. But what do I know? You’re probably saying Wes what makes you so smart? Why should I listen to you? You’re not even a personal trainer! Well you’re right, I’m not, so don’t just take my word for it. I only know what I know because, for years, I’ve followed amazing coaches like Mike Dolce, Ben Greenfield, Mike Matthews, and Shawn Stevenson. Take my advice, but also do your own research and seek knowledge for yourself.

At the end of the day, only you can decide what the best workout program is for you based on your goals and fitness level. But I think the majority of people looking to build a better body and improve overall health need to be doing some sort of resistance training several days per week because it’s by far the best way to lose body fat, build muscle, and achieve that healthy physique most of us desire. Outside of weight lifting, another strategy I recommend is getting movement throughout the entire day. I love randomly going for a quick walk or doing some push-ups, pull-ups, or bodyweight squats to get an energy boost. I also love foam rolling or stretching first thing in the morning to loosen up. You don’t have to confine your workout to a ½ hour or hour in the gym. You can incorporate exercises throughout the whole day no matter where you are.

Take Action!

Some say the best workout program is the one you’re not currently doing, and I couldn’t agree more. If you already exercise regularly, it’s time to step up your game and take it to the next level. If you’re sitting on the couch every day doing nothing, it’s time to wise up and get to work. Stop wishing you were in better shape, take ownership of your body, and get into action. Whether it’s lifting weights, P90X, a group gym class, a YouTube video, or walking the dog, it’s time to find something you’re capable of doing that you love and will keep doing no matter what. Exercise is never a chore when you’re doing something that motivates you and makes you feel great.

That’s gonna do it for today’s article. This was just a quick rundown of a simple but effective workout program that I believe may be the most beneficial for you, if you’re up for the challenge. I’ve gone from being obese, to super thin, to super fit, trying many things along the way, and can say from experience that having a consistent weight lifting regimen made the most impact by far. Regardless of what you end up developing a passion for, a lifestyle centered on physical movement should be a non-negotiable element of your life. So, find that thing, get good at it, then get great at it, and become a better version of yourself through it every time.

Contact Me!

So, let me know what you think and any questions you may have. What did I leave out? What can I help YOU with? What workout programs get YOU fired up? I’d love to know more about them. Again, if you want to see some weight lifting programs mapped out for you, head over to Wise-Eats.com/Workout. This is the exact program I currently follow, and it’s a great one for beginners also. Let me know what you think in the comments or via e-mail. There’s a million ways to contact me. Facebook.com/WiseEatsPodcast, wiseeatspodcast@gmail.com, and WesFitness.com. Before I go, just a quick reminder to please subscribe wherever you’re hearing or seeing this show. If it’s on YouTube, click the thumbs up and subscribe buttons. If it’s on apple podcasts, make sure you’re subscribed there also, and if you have a second, leave a 5-star iTunes review so other people know this is a cool show. You can also find all my fitness articles, recipe videos, and more over at Wise-Eats.com. Thanks a lot for tuning in. Now get out there, find your workout, get moving, and of course, make wise choices!

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Wise Eats Approved Foods / Grocery List

Here is a complete list of Wise Eats approved nutrition. It is broken into categories based on the three dietary macronutrients: Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrate. Any items outside this list should be consumed with discretion. There are other healthy foods that are not mentioned, but these are the ones we use on a regular basis and consider to be ideal for a healthy, varied diet. If it’s on this list, it’s definitely a wise choice! Constructing your diet based on these real foods will help you lose weight, build muscle, increase energy, fight depression, prevent disease, and feel amazing.

If there is a food you believe should be added or removed from this page, we’d love to know why! Please contact us.

Carbohydrates (40-50% of Daily Calories) – Complex, Slower Digesting – Ideal for Normal Meals & Workout Fuel

  • Grains – Oat Bran, Steel Cut Oats, Buckwheat, Quinoa, Amaranth, Millet, Barley, Spelt
  • Beans – Garbanzo, Black, Kidney, Pinto, Red, Fava, Lima, Hummus
  • Sweet Potato
  • Brown Rice, White Jasmine Rice, Wild Rice
  • Pasta Variations – Quinoa Flour Pasta, Red Lentil Pasta, Other Gluten-Free Pastas
  • Ezekiel Bread, Dave’s Bread
  • Green Vegetables – Spinach, Kale, Asparagus, Broccoli, Zucchini, Brussel Sprouts, Celery, Collard Greens, Cucumber, Wheat Grass, Barley Grass, Green Beans, Parsley, Snow Peas, Peas
  • Other Veggies – Bell Peppers, Tomato, Onion, Beets, Carrots, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Mushrooms, Olives, Radishes, Water Chestnuts, Artichokes, Squash, Pumpkin, Cabbage (Sauerkraut), Heart Palms, Salsa
  • Sea Vegetables – Dulse, Kelp
  • Flour – Tapioca Flour, Coconut Flour, Almond Flour, Pamela’s Baking Mix, Kodak Pancake Mix

Carbohydrates – Fast Digesting – Ideal with Protein for Pre/Post Workout

  • Coconut Water
  • Rice Milk
  • Fruit – Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Acai, Goji, Cherries, Lemon, Lime, Pears, Apples, Oranges, Mangoes, Bananas, Pineapple, Melon, Grapes, Kiwi, Peaches
  • Dried Fruit – Goji, Mulberries, Raisins, Cranberries, Dates, Apricots

Protein (30-40% of Daily Calories)

  • Greek Yogurt, Goat’s Milk Yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Eggs (Organic, Cage-Free), Egg Whites
  • Chicken Breast
  • Ground Turkey
  • Grass Fed/Organic Beef
  • Venison or Other Wild Game
  • Fish (Wild Caught) – Tuna, Sardines, Salmon, Cod, Flounder, Tilapia
  • Protein Powder (Hormone/Antibiotic-Free, Organic, Grass Fed, Naturally Sweetened) – Whey Isolate, Casein, Hemp Protein, Egg Protein
  • Bone Broth – Beef, Turkey, Chicken

Fat (20-25% of Daily Calories)

  • Cooking Oils – Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Grass Fed Butter, Ghee, Olive Oil, Peanut Oil
  • Non-Cooking Oils (Salads, Smoothies) – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Hemp Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Walnut Oil
  • Avocado, Guacamole
  • Nuts (Raw) – Almond, Cashew, Walnut, Pistachios, Pumpkin Seeds, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Macadamia, Brazil Nuts, Pine Nuts, Unsweetened Coconut
  • Nut Butter – Almond Butter, Peanut Butter, Cashew Butter, Sunflower Seed Butter
  • Hemp Seed, Chia Seed, Flax Seed
  • Cheese (Organic and/or Grass Fed) – Feta Cheese, Goat Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Ricotta, Pecorino Romano, Vegan Cheese

Drinks

  • Purified Water (Reverse Osmosis, Spring Water, Berkey Filtered)
  • Natural Sparkling Water – No Carbonation Added (Pellegrino)
  • Lemon Water
  • Coconut Water
  • Green Tea
  • Herbal Teas (Unsweetened, Organic)
  • Raw Vegetable Juice
  • Organic Black Coffee
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Milk Alternatives – Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Coconut Milk, Cashew Milk, Goat Milk

Flavor Enhancers, Electrolytes, Other Nutrients & Minerals

  • Sea Salt
  • Liquid Aminos, Coconut Aminos
  • Mustard
  • Hot Sauce
  • Balsamic Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Mixed Seasonings & Spices (Basil, Thyme, Parsley, Cumin, Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, etc)          
  • Natural Sweeteners – Stevia, Xylitol
  • Sugar Sweeteners – Raw Honey, Agave, Maple Syrup
  • Vanilla Extract, Almond Extract, Peppermint Extract
  • Peanut Butter Powder

“Super Foods” (Provide Balanced Nutrition, Vitamins, Energy)

  • Cacao Powder, Cacao Nibs, Maca, Carob
  • Moringa Powder
  • Green Superfood Powder (Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheat Grass, etc.)
  • Camu Powder

Supplements (For Optimization Only, Not Required in Diet)

  • Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate (Hormone Free, Naturally Sweetened)
  • Grass Fed Casein Protein (Hormone Free, Naturally Sweetened)
  • Hemp Protein Powder
  • Egg Protein Powder
  • BCAAs (Fasted workouts)
  • Fish Oil
  • Multivitamin
  • Creatine Monohydrate
  • Caffeine
  • MSM Powder
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D
  • Probiotics
  • Green Superfood Powder with Spirulina, Chlorella, etc.
  • Collagen, Colostrum

Tips:

  • Watch your ingredient lists – Eat only real food!
  • Be careful of hidden sugars, artificial flavors, additives, and other harmful chemicals
  • Avoid added sugars and refined vegetable oils
  • Avoid processed foods, convenience foods, and fast foods
  • Buy organic, cage-free, grass-fed whenever possible
  • Get as close to the original source as possible (Farm, Butcher, Minimally Processed, Raw)
  • Supplements are only necessary in order to complement a diet rich in healthy foods or if you are deficient. Strive to get the majority of your nutrients from whole food sources (Fish oil from fish, protein from meat/vegetables, vitamins from vegetables, etc.). Supplements can also help take your fitness game to the next level. Choose wisely!

Where to Shop

  • Grocery Stores/Locally Sourced Markets
  • Farmer’s Markets
  • Amish Markets
  • Costco
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Amazon.com
  • ThriveMarket.com

Sample Meal Plan #1 (Recipes Available Here)

  1. Breakfast: Razor’s Edge Scramble and Energy Bowl
  2. Pre-Workout: Organic Black Coffee
  3. Post-Workout: Whey Isolate with Coconut Water
  4. Lunch: Sautéed Vegetables with Chicken, Quinoa, Spices
  5. Dinner: Chokeslam Chicken Salad
  6. Pre-Bed Snack: Blueberry Yogurt Bowl

Sample Meal Plan #2

  1. Breakfast: False Finish Fried Eggs, Filthy French Toast
  2. Pre-Workout: Organic Black Coffee
  3. Post-Workout: Whey Isolate with Blueberries & Rice Milk
  4. Lunch: Sauteed Vegetables with Salmon and Quinoa
  5. Dinner: Chokeslam Chicken Salad
  6. Pre-Bed Snack: Almond Butter & Apple

Sample Meal Plan #3

  1. Breakfast: Sidewalk Slam Smoothie
  2. Pre-Workout: Whey Isolate with Rice Milk
  3. Post-Workout: Whey Isolate with Banana & Rice Milk
  4. Lunch: Salmon with Veggies and Sweet Potato
  5. Dinner: Chicken Wise Rice
  6. Pre-Bed Snack: Casein Protein w/ Almond Milk

A Note on Calories & Macronutrients

Calorie and macronutrient requirements vary depending on the individual, body type, and activity level. In general, your daily calorie intake should be broken up into 40-50% Carb, 30-40% Protein, and 20-25% Fat. These numbers can be manipulated to your own specific needs based on your goals. For instance, the ketogenic diet utilizes a high fat, low carb approach. A normal diet focused on weight loss should include high quality protein with each meal (about 40% of total daily calorie intake). For someone who is working out vigorously on a regular basis, a higher carbohydrate intake is recommended. Identify your goals, determine your caloric needs, fulfill your dietary requirements, and you are destined for success.

To calculate your daily caloric and macronutrient requirements, visit:
https://www.muscleforlife.com/macronutrient-calculator  

A balanced diet rich in whole foods and low on heavily processed foods will promote healthy weight, muscle growth, high energy levels, strong immune system, and longevity. Take control of your life today by getting these high-quality nutrients in your life!

Wise Eats Approved Foods/Grocery List
http://www.wise-eats.com/approvedfoods

Complete List of Recipes
http://www.wise-eats.com/recipes

12 Lessons Learned from 90lb Weight Loss – Full Article
http://www.wise-eats.com/weightlosslessons

The Following Announcement Complete Episode Guide
http://www.tfashow.com

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Always Workin’ Water


Drink Your Way to Better Health with the Always Workin’ Water

Hydration is one of the most important elements of overall health and fitness. Every day when I wake up, drinking high quality water is my first priority of the day. It fires up your metabolism, flushes out toxins, fuels your brain, and reduces appetite. Only after I fully hydrate will I start to work, check my phone, e-mail, text, etc. Take your hydration to the next level with Wise Eats “Always Workin’” Water. Your drinking water will never be the same again!

Ingredients

  • Filtered Water
  • MSM Powder
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Optional: Condensed Greens Powder

Health Benefits/Tips

  • Drinking more water is going to help you lose weight, improve energy levels, fuel your muscles, aid digestion, and improve your mood.
  • MSM powder helps detoxify the body, improves flexibility, healing, energy, and promotes skin health.
  • Lemon juice adds a little flavor and Vitamin C.
  • Greens powder provides energy, detoxifies your body, aids digestion, and supports immune system.
  • Himalayan sea salt provides trace minerals that detoxify the body and help balance blood sugar. Adding minerals will help your body absorb the water and keep you more hydrated.
  • Be sure to drink purified water. Reverse osmosis water or a Berkey home filtration unit is what we use.
  • How much water should you drink? More than you’re drinking now! Personally, I drink a gallon or more per day.

I used to drink at least full liter of pop per day. If I can drop the pop and start making wise choices, you can too!

Make hydration part of your daily routine, and you will be amazed at the results. Next time you’re in the kitchen, make a wise decision.