My Blog Has Moved!

With the latest update to my website, I can now blog from there! WordPress has been good to me, but I’m excited to blog from my own platform.

If you want to keep seeing my content you have two options.

  1. You can friend me on Facebook, where I share all my new articles.
  2. You can sign up for my newsletter

Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed my articles and I hope I haven’t lost you as a reader!

Cheers!

P.S. I have an instagram now! Follow me @mortonfitness

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Weekly Fitness Reads: 5/16/16

https://authoritynutrition.com/13-tips-to-stop-mindless-eating/

We eat most of our extra calories without realizing it. Being mindful might be the most important skill in eating for fat loss. It’s not easy though. Here are 13 science backed ways to limit mindless eating.

http://tonygentilcore.com/2016/05/why-train-the-posterior-chain/?utm_source=tony&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=whytrainposteriorchain050916

The posterior chain consists of the low back, glutes, hamstrings and calves. It’s basically everything you can’t see in the mirror. While a nice backside can be easy on the eyes, there are also some very important reasons other than appearance that we should focus on this area more than the mirror muscles. This piece does a great job of explaining why and how to train the posterior chain.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/05/health/afternoon-hunger-munchies/index.html

The picture is often bigger than we perceive. Lots of mindless snacking happens in the afternoon. But why?

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook “Insanity Free Loss” 🙂

 

Do I Need To Be Hungry To Lose Weight?

What exactly do we mean by hunger?

Let’s lay down a few terms.

Level 1: Sort of hungry: I could eat a little something, but I’m not ravenous.

Level 2: Hungry: If I don’t eat something in an hour I’m going to be really hungry.

Level 3: Really Hungry: Thanksgiving sounds perfect.

Level 4: Hangry: When did you turn into a hot dog? Also, why do I HATE EVERYONE ALL OF THE SUDDEN!?!

Level 5: Hangry Like the Wolf: My stomach is about to implode in on itself. I’m too famished to be pissy. I’m in physical pain. Carry me up the mountain Sam!

samwise

You don’t need to be Level 3 hungry all the time to lose weight. Maybe if you’re cutting weight for a fight or a photoshoot or something like that, maybe. I just don’t know. That’s not my field of expertise. That’s not who I speak to when I write.

Phew! Glad that’s out of the way!

Who am I speaking to?

People who want a reasonable level of leanness. They want some muscular definition. They want to feel hot when they’re nekkid. They’re not trying to get to -3% body fat or whatever. They just don’t want to feel flabby.

You don’t need to starve yourself and be miserable to make your thighs and stomach feel tighter.

However, it is necessary to deal with hunger in it’s many forms. For instance, we shouldn’t panic when hunger hits. That’s a signal that it’s time to eat.

So in this sense yes, we do need to feel hungry…sometimes. However, we don’t need to be hungry.

Depending on how lean you’re trying to get and how lean you are presently, the relationship with hunger is going to be slightly different.

And in some cases it will be required that we feel Level 1 hunger often. However, being perpetually Level 2 hungry or higher, isn’t necessary or productive in any case. 

Let’s take two scenarios and discuss how hunger relates to fat loss with each.

I feel like I have a lot of weight to lose

If you do your nutrition right you don’t need to feel chronic hunger.

We can balance satiety with a caloric deficit by getting most (80-90%) of our calories from things like lean proteins and colorful plants. If you’re eating like this, even if you go a little overboard on portions, you’ll still probably end up dropping weight.

You can technically lose weight eating hamburgers and french fries all the time, but then we have to worry about portion control and shit. And honestly, that’s just more effort than I’m willing to put in. But if that works for you, if that’s an easier habit to change, awesome 🙂

At this point in the fat loss journey, we have a bit of wiggle room. We can maintain a large caloric deficit without adverse health effects. As you lean out, you won’t be able to cut calories this drastically. This is because you won’t have as many calories to cut out!

The less you weigh, the less calories are required to maintain that weight. The heavier you are, the more calories your body needs to sustain itself.

Cutting 1,000 calories means very different things to a 100 lbs individual vs. a 200 lbs individual.

I’m on the last leg of my fat loss journey. Do I need to be Level 2 hungry all the time?

No.

Level 1? Maybe?

Level 2? Probably not.

People often hit a plateau at this point. The game changes a little bit.

Because you have less calories to spare there’s a greater chance that losing additional weight will require being Level 1 hungry often.

This also depends on how fast you’re trying to lose weight. If you’re willing to be patient, we don’t need to feel hungry as often. This is what I recommend in my Online Fat Loss Groups. However, my clients goals are their own, so I help them with whatever they want help with.

I recommend using portion control as a last resort because it’s hard and often unnecessary. Improving food quality and listening to hunger cues is usually enough.

Only after a client has their food quality dialed in (lean proteins and veggies=90% of diet) will we look at portion sizes.

Smaller portions may result in feeling Level 1 hunger more often, at least until you reach your goal weight.

Sometimes we’re not actually as hungry as we think. It takes time to adjust to smaller portions, physically and mentally.

And we still want to limit feelings of deprivation. This will take some experimentation to find a happy medium between enjoyment, sustainability, and results

We still want fat loss to be as easy as we can make it. That said, pushing through a plateau is challenging. That’s why it’s a plateau.

If you’ve hit this plateau and don’t know what to do, measurements can be helpful. That said, if taking measurements can make you feel crazy and/or upset, it’s not a good idea for the time being.

Measurements are a tool to assess gaps in your strategy. Only take measurements if you can analyze them objectively, with zero emotion. This means don’t look at the scale unless it gives you no feelz whatsoever. Not one single feel.

In any case, feeling really hungry occasionally isn’t the end of the world.

Hanger makes choosing healthy foods more difficult psychologically. However, it’s just an unpleasant feeling, not unlike being exhausted or having to pee really bad (totally stole this comparison from an interview with Georgie Fear btw).

We have to deal with unpleasant feelings from time to time because life.

The big takeaway here is that learning to listen to our hunger cues is important and takes time to master.

Listening to hunger cues entails 3 main tenets

  1. Eating when we’re hungry.
  2. Stopping when we’re satisfied.
  3. Not deliberately making ourselves ravenous in an effort to cut calories.

We want to moderate hanger so that making healthier choices is easier. However, we also want to be OK with the feeling of hunger as that’s our body telling us it’s time to eat.

On that note, I’m getting pretty hungry. Bagel time!

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook “Insanity Free Fat Loss” 🙂

 

Finding Your Knight In Shining Lululemon: 3 Traits To Look For In A Workout Partner

Everything is better with a buddy– going out to eat, hiking, orgasms. You name it. Pretty much everything is better when you have somebody to do it with.

This is ESPECIALLY true with fitness goals.

Enter the accountabili-buddy. This person is someone who helps keep you accountable. You do the same for them because you’re a good person.

We grow and change our behaviors most effectively in groups. Just look at how well Crossfit(ers) is/are doing.

That said, not just any group will do. Finding the right person(s) to join forces with can be a silver bullet for sustainable fat loss.

silver bullet bill

For that wonderful life-changing growth to happen, your buddy needs to needs to meet some criteria.

1. We ought to have similar goals

Losing 20 lbs of fat and gaining 20 lbs of muscle are two completely different pursuits.

While the workouts for each goal have some overlap, the nutritional part i.e.the HARD part, is vastly different. That’s not to say a buddy with different goals won’t ever be helpful. However, it’s better when your buddy shares the exact same arduous adventure with you–minutia and all.

2. We ought to be at a similar point in the journey

Maybe they’re a little better at some things. Maybe you’re a little better at other things.

This is ideal.

We don’t want someone who is so advanced we feel intimidated or awkward. We don’t want to feel like we can’t keep up.

We don’t want to be on the other end of that dynamic either. We don’t want to wait for someone to catch up before we can move forward as a team.

It works better when both of us are at the same point in our journey. That way, we can work through the same struggles feeling like equals. We feel safe enough to have some friendly competition.

3. We ought to have something else in common besides fitness goals

Awkward silences aren’t great for building accountability.

We should have something to talk about besides fitness. The stronger the human connection, the more successful we will be.

An important side effect of a good accountabili-buddy is that you start looking forward to going to the gym, hanging with your buddy, and lifting some stuff.

Boring and uncomfortable social situations aren’t exactly conducive to enthusiasm.

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook 🙂
P.S. if you want to join an army of accountabili-buddies for maximum results, I have 5 slots open in my Online Fat Loss Coaching Group for those looking to lose between 10-20 lbs.

Weekly Fitness Reads: 4/25/16

Five myths about our habits

This one nails it. Our problems often aren’t what we think they are.

A Stanford professor says eliminating 2 phrases from your vocabulary can make you more successful

These things can be a bit corny, but what we say to ourselves does, in fact, matter. Like, a lot. Granted, a difference in self talk won’t necessarily change everything, but every piece of the puzzle is important.

Is it better to eat 5-6 small meals or a few big meals if I want to burn fat?

There are many great questions every human must face at some point in their lives: Why are we here? Why are people such raging dick-wads to each other? Team Edward or Team Jacob?

This post doesn’t deal with any of those. However, it does deal with a different important question: How many meals a day should we eat? The answer might surprise you. Oh god, did I just turn into an Upworthy article? WHAT HAVE I BECOME!?!?

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook 🙂

The Answer Is Always David Bowie

When I lived in Oakland, I would do pub trivia with a few friends every Tuesday.

We never won.

We got pretty damn close though. At one point we were getting 3rd place semi-regularly.

The music round was always fun. We had to guess the artist for the song blaring on the loudspeaker. When we didn’t know the answer I would shout “DAVID BOWIE! DAVID BOWIE!!!!!” with earth shattering consistency. Then one fateful day, “The Width of a Circle” played. I lost my shit and a hearty guffaw was had by all.

bowie-2

There’s nothing wrong with wrong answers. In this case, the wrong answers were right in their own way. Not objectively, of course. But I’d rather contribute to a running gag than have all the right answers.

We can’t know all the answers all the time, to anything. Is there any benefit in beating ourselves up about it? Nah.

I had no way of knowing which songs were worth knowing. Getting pissed at myself for not listening to music I don’t listen to? Where would that get me?

Nowhere. And I wouldn’t be laughing.

We might as well make light of this inevitable condition, the inescapable dynamic of life:

We can’t know what we don’t know yet.

And if we’re doing something different, something outside our comfort zone, there’s A LOT we can’t possibly know. Every new pursuit is like learning a new language– Not knowing comes with the territory. In fact, not knowing IS the territory.

That’s not to say that I can just laugh off any mistake I make. Far from it. I’m just as susceptible, if not more so, to being really fucking hard on myself. Consciously, I realize it’s silly to beat myself up for things I have no control over, subconsciously is another matter.

We will never know what the awaits us on the path ahead. We have no choice but to figure things out as we go. This is the culture my online coaching groups operate on: Progress is all one big experiment and we’re all figuring things out as we go.

Next time you feel bad about a mistake, I encourage you to look in the mirror and say “David Bowie”.

Sometimes the wrong answer is the right answer, if for no reason other than a good laugh.

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook 🙂

How I Feel About White Chocolate

My relationship with white chocolate is similar to my relationship to my white skin: complicated and riddled with guilt.

Just kidding.

I don’t feel guilty when I eat white chocolate. I freaking love the stuff.

white chocolate

Now, you may say, “Jeff, white chocolate isn’t chocolate you simpleton.”

And these are the fucks I give.

aardvark

You could call the stuff fermented echidna droppings and white chocolate would still taste the same.

It would still taste amazing.

I don’t care about formalities or technicalities when the purpose is still crystal clear. I eat white chocolate because I want to eat white chocolate, not because I want to pay homage to the gods of chocolate zealotry.

It’s important to be mindful of why we’re eating a food. The only “right” reason for eating something is the accurate one. This means if we’re going to eat a shit-ton of bacon, let’s not convince ourselves it’s healthy because it’s paleo. Or let’s not say chocolate is healthy because it has antioxidants.

It’s fucking candy. And it’s amazing.

There’s nothing morally wrong with eating candy. Yes, too much candy is detrimental to our health. That doesn’t mean candy is completely forbidden for those of us looking to feel more confident in a tank top.

Eat whatever you want. Just be honest about it. Stop rationalizing it. You don’t need to. You’re better than that. If you feel the need to justify your decision with phrases like :

“I earned this because I went to the gym”

“Or it’s not that bad because it has dark chocolate and almonds in it. It’s also non-GMO and made from the blood of adolescent centaurs. Organic, of course.”,

then I encourage you to take a minute to look inward. To figure out WHY you feel the need to justify a dietary decision.

The rationale for eating ice cream is that you’re human and ice cream is objectively delicious. That’s as good a reason as any. There aren’t acceptable and unacceptable reasons to eat junk food.

Just own up to whatever the actual reason is. Regardless of how we perceive a decision, the repercussions are the same. Again, there is nothing morally wrong with eating one way or another. This is simply a discussion of being honest with yourself.

White chocolate has the same nutritional value regardless of what you call it.

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Get in touch at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/