The Keto Diet; Is it All Its Cracked Up to Be?

By Chris Prosser

If you’ve found yourself on any sort of online fitness forum or perhaps other blogs, you’ve read about ketogenic dieting and the recent burst of popularity it has experienced as of late. For those of you that have been living under a rock for the past few years, allow me to shed some light on the subject and discuss if keto is really the route for you if you want to lose weight. Ketogenic or “Low-Carb” dieting is a diet fad in which you eat a minimal amount of carbs, typically less than 50 grams, to send your body into a ketogenic state.

Now if you’re following up to this point but aren’t too sure what a ketogenic state entails, in layman’s terms… your body will produce ketone bodies (from fat) in order to accommodate your body’s energy needs in spite of the lack of its favorite energy source, glucose.

If you have seen posts about ketogenic dieting in the past they were most likely “Pro-keto” because what’s not to love about the simple equation “Eat less carbs + Exercise = More Energy & Faster Results” right? Well, ya see, it’s not exactly that simple. There is a reason you have to practically starve yourself for in some instances weeks to get into a ketogenic state, because it is a state your body does not want to be in – especially for extended periods of time.

Despite the popularity of ketogenic dieting, it is something that should be approached with great caution and with a very limited timeframe in mind. One of the main concerns that fitness specialists get concerned with prolonged Keto dieting is sending the body into a ketoacidosis state (Ketones cause your internal environment to become more acidic, despite what Keto advocates tell you this doesn’t just apply to diabetics).

The point of this post is not to turn you away from ketogenic dieting, rather inform you of the risks versus reward. If you have a goal of losing 30+ pounds, ketogenic dieting probably won’t serve a great benefit because as soon as you reintroduce carbohydrates into your diet your body will have become incredibly sensitive to them and will cause rapid weight gain even past the point in which you started (who wants that?). Ketogenic dieting should be followed, if at all, if only slight adjustments in your composition need to be made. In my book slight adjustments would be considered 5-10 pounds.

A Guide To Flexible Dieting

Written by: Chris Prosser

This past weekend, I finished up a prep for a client that left most people really confused. The reason? This particular client took an approach that is pretty much forbidden in the sport of bodybuilding – flexible dieting.. How could someone not follow a set meal plan and still drop 40+ pounds of fat?!

Most think to get in great shape (yes, even stage shape) you must follow a rigid, structured meal plan or you simply won’t see the results you want. While for some this may be true, this is not due to physiology but how they operate as an individual (their habits).

Fortunately, habits can change, which is why I am writing this article. There is a (very short) time and place for structured meal plans, but in the long-haul flexible dieting is by far the best route to go. In this article I want to talk about some of the most common questions I hear, and hopefully shed some insight on this great tool!

First, how does it work..?

I like to think of nutrition components as being in a hierarchy, they aren’t all created equal nor do they contribute equally to your progress. I would like to note that the list below (and the corresponding percentages) were originally published by the folks over at Renaissance Periodization.

The components (in order from most impactful to least) are…

  1. Calorie Balance (50%): How much food you are eating vs. how much you are burning
  2. Macronutrients (30%): The ratios of the 3 macronutrients in your total calorie intake
  3. Meal Timing (10%): Typically in reference to intake around pre-, intra-, and post-workout
  4. Meal Composition (5%): The types of food you eat
  5. Supplements & Hydration (5%): The various supplements you can add into your diet to compliment it + your levels of hydration throughout the day

One of the key reasons flexible dieting works, is because it is fairly easy to address the two largest contributing factors of your success.. how much you are eating and the ratios of macros at any given meal. Just by addressing those two areas, you can expect to see about 80% of your desired result – not bad! The remaining 3 components can be addressed either by hiring a coach to help educate you or by committing a lot of time to studying and understanding these concepts.

Why is flexible dieting more sustainable than structure meal plans?

When researchers compare these two approaches, results generally are identical (assuming the above components are accounted for and equal). So where does flexible dieting gain the advantage? Your mind. That’s right, flexible dieting is healthier for your mind and how you approach your nutrition, making it an obvious choice for a lifetime of healthy living.

It is well-known that individuals following a structured meal plan for prolonged periods of time (6+ months) are at higher risk for developing unhealthy eating behaviors and eating disorders. The exact opposite is true of those following a flexible approach to their nutrition. Flexible dieting is so sustainable because of how it allows you to manage your nutrition and change it based on circumstances. There is hardly any wiggle room on a structured meal plan.

As long as I hit my calorie goals, I can eat whatever… right?

Yes & No. If you are looking purely for aesthetic progress you can certainly see results by only focusing on calorie intake and activity. However, I highly advise against this approach as you will end up paying the price later in life. To see both external and internal progress (i.e. looking good AND feeling good) it is important to primarily stick with whole foods / single ingredient foods.

A good rule for this is 80/20.. 80% of the foods you consume should be the types of foods we all know we should eat and the remaining 20% can be your guilty pleasure foods. This is another factor that makes flexible dieting so sustainable, you don’t have to eliminate anything!

This all seems sort of overwhelming, how can I get started?

A transition to real flexible dieting can be intimidating for some, simply because of prior failures or bad habits they know will get in their way when trying to stick to a plan with seemingly no safety net. Everyone’s journey will look different based on prior nutrition history and current habits so my best advice here is to save yourself from the headache and hire a coach that can mentor you through this transition and provide plenty of guidance (tips and grocery lists) to help you get started.

 

Change Your Habits. Change Your Life.

Written by: Chris Prosser

There is no shortage of “the best” training and nutrition programs available today. If you don’t believe copy and paste that phrase into Google and tell me how many results you get.

Lack of access to programs and information is not the reason why people aren’t hitting their health and fitness goals… so what is?

Their habits.

It is very rare to come across a program nowadays, especially from online coaching gurus, that emphasize the most important part of your fitness journey – habit and behavior change.

Your routine of habits and your natural response (behaviors) are likely the two most important factors in the success of any type of program, so why are more people not focusing on it? My guess is that it is not as sexy to tell someone to stop eating midnight snacks as it would be to tell them that if they fast for 18 hours they’ll magically lose 20 pounds of fat.

Check out my top 3 habits I believe EVERYONE (regardless of experience level or goal) need to develop in order to find success in and out of the gym.

  1. Start your day with 10-15 minutes of intentional movement. This could be going on a brisk walk around the block, doing a moderate intensity circuit of bodyweight exercises, or anything else you can easily fit into your morning. By starting off with intentional exercise, you are setting yourself up to have a productive day!
  2. Stop skipping meals and create a consistent eating pattern. When you have an inconsistent eating schedule, it becomes much easier to fall off track due to flat out being hungry or being rushed for time.
  3. Journal every day. Whether it is about fitness or life, journaling can help bring clarity to what you are trying to accomplish and also serve as a form of accountability and motivation when things get hard, it helps to go back and see that generally there are more days when you are on track and killing it rather than being off.

Implement these three habits ASAP and let me know in a few weeks what sort of improvements you notice!

Stay Healthy & God Bless,
Coach Chris

5 Fun Fitness Activities in Allen Texas

Allen is a city in Texas, which offers a wide variety of fun activities. No matter if you are new to town, or just passing by, you will definitely find something interesting to do.

If you are an athlete or just a more active person that loves to move, here are top 5 fitness activities in Allen that are suitable for anyone, seeking to have a good time.

1 – Wakeboarding

If you are looking for a cool adventure in the water, you should visit Hydrous Wake Park. This place is one of the very few cable wakeboarding in the USA and is great for both beginners and advanced wakeboarders.

There is an Aqua Park and a Main Cable zone, where you can spend time mastering new skills and learning fun tricks. The park offers private lessons, summer camps, and gift cards, if you want to make an unique present to a loved one.

2 – Hiking and biking

Is there a better way to explore a new city than biking? With more than 60 miles of paved hike and bike trails, Allen continues to develop a complete city-wide trade system.

If you want to get to know the city and feel its vibe, pick a route and start your journey! There are a few loops that you can choose from:

  • Allen Parkway Loop – main loop 14 miles and includes Ridgeview, Rowlett Creek, Cottonwood Creek, and Mustang;
  • Cottonwood Creek Loop – 7 miles;
  • Rowlett Creek Loop – 9 miles;
  • Watters Branch Loop – 10 miles.

3 – Trampoline park

Visiting a trampoline park guarantees nothing but fun! There are tons of games and activities, appropriate for anyone – from very young children to adults, everybody is welcome!

Urban Air Adventure Park offers a wide variety of attractions, such as Warrior obstacle course, Spin zone bumper cars, Sky rider, Adventure hub, Walls climbing, Wipeout, Battle beam, Tubes playground, and much, much more! The place is great for celebrating your kid’s birthday, participating in group events, or just have a great day exploring new skills!

4 – Skate park

If one of your hobbies is skateboarding, in line skating, riding a BMX bike or a scooter, then you should visit The Edge Skate Park in Allen! With an area of 37, 915 square-foot, the skate  park is one of the largest in Texas.

Some of the elements there include street fixtures, boxes, rails, ledges, large bank slope areas for beginners, and a wide variety of bowls and transitions. The facility is lighted and there is restroom access and water fountains on the east side of the youth center.  Sport enthusiasts of all ages and skills-levels are welcome to practice during the hours of operation, everyday from 8am to 11 pm.

5 – Allen ice skate rink

Do you practice  ice skating, hockey, or figure skating? Have you always wanted to try? If yes, come take a look at Allen Community Ice Rink!

The ice rink has a surface of 85 feet by 200 feet and a seating capacity for over 300 spectators. The facilities include locker rooms, Pro Shop, skate sharpening, meeting rooms, skate rentals and off-ice training areas. No matter if you are a complete beginner in ice skating, or an advanced athlete, you will love the skate rink. The rink is also available for rentals for parties!

By now you should be convinced to visit Allen and willing to try these fun fitness activities. In case you are up for a workout at a gym, group workout, or want to try boxing, do not hesitate to visit us at Hidden Gym!

In our fully equipped gym we have only one mission – to bring out the fittest versions of our clients! If you are ever coming around Allen, Dallas, or Plano, you are more than welcome to come for a workout, or to become a member!