Tag Archives: diet


The Correct Use of Supplements

by 3j, www.3jsdiet.com

Being in the position that I am as a sports nutritionist, my days are filled with questions that are directed towards the individual needs of my clients.  One of the questions that I have to ask as I am building a program for my clients is what supplementation does this particular client need?  Then it got me thinking of all the people out there abusing and overusing supplements.  So let us get into some defining of words here.  Supplements are products that will, well, supplement your diet with certain nutrition that can be advantageous to your body.  Whey, Casein, BCAA, ZMA, multi-vitamins, pre-workout energy powders, and creatine are all supplements that you can use at your disposal to better your body in terms of reaching your goal. creatine_muscle_building_supplements

So what’s the issue? People forget that these things are only there to SUPPLEMENT your diet.  They are not REPLACEMENTS for whole foods.  You can get your protein from whole foods instead of whey and casein.  Creatine natural occurs also, so do BCAAs. You can get your multi-vitamins from food and fruits also! Most of the micro and macro nutrition that your body needs can come from whole foods and SHOULD come from whole foods.  The issue I see is people using supplements as replacements for whole foods, and whole foods is always king! Here is a basic example of what I mean.  I have seen people get over 50% of their protein from whey.  Whey plays its part, it’s a wonderful and quick way to get protein in your system while keeping the caloric intake low since most whey is fat and virtually carb free.  But whey will not affect your metabolism the same way chicken will.  There is a digestive process that is lacking with whey.

WheyIsolate-BerryBlastThe correct use of supplementation is just that, to supplement your diet with things that are difficult to get in.  Have you ever read the back of your multi-vitamin?  Believe it or not, its not that easy to get that much micro nutrition in your diet from whole foods in one day.  The diet becomes very complex.  But if you’re eating well and using the multi-vitamin as a supplement to your diet then you are getting all that micronutrition that you need.  We know certain supplements like creatine and glutamine are wonderful for working out and replenishing our bodies.  It would be tough to get the amount of creatine or glutamine in our bodies that would be beneficial to our goals without supplementation.  Whey can easily be replaced by liquid egg whites.  Actually liquid egg whites are more bioavailable than whey.  But it is tough to carry and keep cool the liquid egg whites, and whey comes in a close second for your goals and is much more convenient.  So we use whey post workout for our protein needs and that’s ok!

The point here is that you should rely on whole foods every chance you can get and only resort to supplements when needed.  Don’t get me wrong, there are people out there who, due to time constraints, have to use supplements to replace their meals.  This is not the most ideal way to approach your diet, but when you don’t have a choice, supplementation is better than nothing.


dirty bulk

Dirty Bulking – Not As Dirty As You Think

by 3J Nutrition

I believe it is time I addressed a misrepresentation that is common in the bodybuilding community when it comes to dirty bulking.  Working with many clients who range from the average joe to pro level bodybuilders, I have come to realize that many people are using the phrase “dirty bulking” to eat foods that are completely unacceptable for the term.

Here is the issue, many people believe that dirty bulking means they can eat pizza and fast food.  The thought of it is obscene to a nutritionist like myself.  The dirty bulk was not made to be an excuse for amateur  bodybuilders to eat like crap and then complain when they realize all they did was gain a bunch of extra body fat with the same amount of muscle they would have gained if they did it correctly.

As a sports nutritionist I follow a strict code of healthy fats, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates.  For 80% of people this approach is all they need to bulk.  With such measures and a calorie surplus they can gain the 1-2 lbs a week and keep their bulk clean, hence the term “clean bulk” or “lean bulk.”  So where is the issue, you may ask?  The issue comes with people eating crap food thinking that its acceptable in a dirty bulk.  So here is what im doing in this article, I will explain what a dirty bulk is and when its ok to transition to a dirty bulk.

dirty bulkA dirty bulk is not McDonalds, Jack in the Box, KFC, or Dominos pizza – it is not processed foods and trans fats. A dirty bulk manipulates macros into something that would not be considered the orthodox 40/40/20 macro split (protein, carbs, fats) that has been popularized to be the best way to bulk.  When you bulk dirty, your main changes in the diet will be increased healthy fats and a switch from complex carbs to semi-simple carbs.

Here is a short list of complex carbs and semi-simple carbs for reference:

Complex carbs

black beans

brown rice

sweet potato



Semi-simple carbs

white bagel

white bread

white rice

idaho or white russet potatoes

white pasta

The difference between the two is that the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) of semi-simple carbs will sit higher, causing more of an insulin spike per meal.  Insulin is one of the most anabolic hormones your body makes, we like insulin so long as it is used in a controlled manner.

So when is it ok to make the switch between clean bulking and dirty bulking?  Remember guys, dirty bulking is a last resort.  If your clean bulking and eating something like 300g protein, 400-500g carbs, and 70g fats only to find that your not gaining weight, its time to make the changes into a dirty bulk.  The first step is to go from complex carbs in your diet to semi-simple carbs.  When you stop gaining weight there and only then do you start to add more healthy fats.  The increase in calories should not go over about 200 calories per every 5 days.  That allows your body to slowly gain the weight.  Remember guys fast weight gain means fat gain.

I hope this article has helped you understand the difference between a clean bulk and a dirty bulk, and define what a dirty bulk truly is.

If interested in becoming a client for diet advice please feel free to visit my website or contact me through email - www.3jsdiet.com3jdiet@gmail.com.

spousal support diet

The Importance of Spousal Support While Dieting

by 3J, www.3jsdiet.com

picture of spousal support diet

spousal support diet

One of the key ingredients in a successful nutrition program is willpower and motivation. Many people who take the time to plan out a nutritional program are more likely to be successful in such a program.  These people usually play it smart.  They remove TEMPTATION from their life to make it easier.  Rummaging through their kitchen, they get rid of all junk food or anything else that would stray them away from the set goals they have in mind.  It is a wonderful practice.  But what happens when you cant get rid of the things in your home because those things do not belong to you?

One of the most important aspects of sticking to a program is environmental support.  Getting rid of junk food, for example, is a form of environmental support.  But the largest form of environmental support, or lack thereof, comes from family, friends, and especially your significant other.  As human beings we all have triggers, we are no different than Pavlov’s dog.  When we see food we like, we salivate, we start to gain an urge.  That urge is called temptation and it can flush your program and the goals you have set up for yourself down the drain.  

Usually, your spouse is the most influential person of your adult life.  Having spousal support is actually one of the bigger factors in reaching your goals.  Imagine you have created a nutrition program that is perfect or even worse, have paid a professional nutritionist to create one for you.  Your spouse is not on board.  So, as you sit there and eat your chicken and sweet potatoes she is scarfing down jack in the box, McDonalds, ____________ (<- insert crap food here), or your favorite cultural dish. Obviously these foods are not a  part of your program, but you start to get that urge, that craving, for foods you enjoy eating.  Nothing throws a wrench in a program like someone sitting in front of you eating your favorite foods while you’re scarfing down chicken, potatoes, and 8 cups of salad.  Sooner or later you’re going to break and start eating junk food again. Before you get on a program, you have to make sure your partner will get on it with you.  If your partner is not on top of the program with you, it makes the program that much harder for you to  follow.  Its the equivalent of one person in a relationship being diabetic and the other eating candy every day in front of him. 

Talk to your partner, explain to him/her what you want to do.  Tell your partner you need his/her help and cannot do it with them.  Having someone who will help you, cook for you, motivate you to go to the gym, and do many other productive and proactive things is an invaluable tool! Many nutritionist (like myself) will offer strong discounts to couples who want to sign up together in order to reinforce this bond between the two people and give them a better chance at making a true lifestyle change and reach their goals.


How To Properly Read Nutrition Facts

by 3J, www.3jsdiet.com

This article will teach you how to properly read nutrition facts.  Many people do not understand how to properly read nutrition facts, leading to miscalculated macros and total calorie count.

Serving size:usda-guide-to-nutrition-labels-ga-1

The first line under the Nutrition facts is the serving size.  The unit of measurement for a serving can be different based on the product, but most all nutrition facts will usually have a gram weight.

Amount Per Serving:

This is the amount of the macro and micro nutrients you will receive from the serving size.  In this case, the serving size is 172g.  Every time you eat 172g of the product, you get the nutritional value from the information listed below the amount per serving.


Here is where people get confused, remember that you get the number of calories, carbs, fats, etc. that are listed PER SERVING.  The serving amount her is 172g which is just a little over 6oz.  If you eat 12oz of the product then you are getting twice what is shown in the nutrition facts.  Thats twice the protein, twice the carbs, twice the fats, etc..

Total Fat:

Gives the total fat intake of each serving.  Do not be fooled by the 0 trans fat reading.  The FDA has strange requirements from companies that let them slip by with trans fats.  I have seen peanut butter that says 0 trans fats yet specifically has the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredients.  If you see these words in the ingredients, know that your eating trans fats!


Gives the amount of cholesterol the product with provice


Sodium is simply salt.  Its the amount of salt in the product. Be weary of salt intake! You should be aiming for 2000-3000mg of salt daily.  Some foods have a very high salt content.  Soy sauce is a perfect example. Soy sauce can have 300-500mg of salt per tablespoon!

Total Carbohydrate:

Gives the total amount of carbohydrates that you will ingest per serving.  For those of you who are worried about “impact carbs” or carbs that will cause an insulin spike, pay attention to the dietary fiber listed under total carbohydrates.  Subtracting your total carb intake from the dietary fiber will give you your total “impact carbs.”  Sugars are listed to let you know how much sugar is in the product


Gives you the total protein intake per serving


The last two rows will give you the vitamins and minerals that you receive from the product.

So what are those percentages to the right of each value?

The FDA requires that nutrition facts are based upon a 2000 calorie diet, and that the percentage of the governments required daily amounts of each value be listed.

muscle mass

Bulking For Beginners

by 3J, www.3jsdiet.com

This article will focus on the steps necessary to build a bulking diet based on your individual needs. There is a lot of commotion and, therefore, different opinions on how to bulk or the bulking approach.  A few of the popular philosophies like IIFYM (if it fits your macros) and traditional clean bulking (40/40/20) with higher carbs and lower fats will be discussed, as will the distinction between “clean bulking” vs. “dirty bulking.”

Before one begins a bulking program, he has to create such a program that will fit his needs.  Eat too much too quickly and you will just get fat.  Eat too little and you will not have a successful bulk.

picture of man with strong muscle mass

man with strong muscle mass

Figuring Out your Daily Needs:

I cannot begin explain how important it is to begin your bulking diet with a daily caloric goal in mind.  In order to get a rough estimate of what that caloric goal for your body should be, you must calculate your BMR (basil metabolic rate) and TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). Here is how you calculate both:

BMR formula #1 (if you bf is high, use this one… you need an accurate bf reading)

BMR (men and women) = 370 + (21.6 X lean mass in kg)

In order to figure out your BMR, you need to know what your lean body mass is.. so, in turn, u need to know what your body fat percentage is. If you don’t know your body fat percentage, go to your gym and get tested (please don’t use electronic scales to get your bf checked, they’re horrible). If you cannot find a gym to get tested at, please post up a picture for estimates on a bodybuilding forum, many vets are good at giving estimates.

Total weight x bf (bodyfat) in decimal form = total bf weight

Total weight – total bf weight = total lean body mass

If your total lean body mass is in lbs, u can divide it by 2.2 to get it in kilograms.

Here is an Example:

6’4 275lbs at 14% bf.  I would multiply 275 by .14 (bodyfat percentage converted from percent to decimal)= 38.5lbs

275 – 38.5 = 236.5lbs lean body weight

236.5 / 2.2 = 107.5 lean mass in kg

370 + (21.6 x 107.5) = 2692 BMR

BMR formula #2 (only to be used if your bf is under 15%)

Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )

Female BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )


Once you have your BMR, you need to calculate your TDEE, this is simply done with some multiplication. You can multiply it by an activity number to figure out your daily caloric expenditure, be honest here as this is the very cornerstone of your diet, if you are between two of the below activity levels then just multiply by a number in between them. To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2

If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375

If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55

If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725

If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

The Sweet Spot:

The term in bodybuilding is defined as the amount of calories and macros one needs to gain 1-2lbs of weight per week.  The sweet spot is usually 500-700 calories over your total daily energy expenditure.  There are many factors that come into the sweet spot, and the sweet spot can change as you progress.  Your body is a big fan of homeostasis and will adapt to any environment to the best of its abilities for survival purposes.  Here is an example of the sweet spot changing:

John Doe is 5’11 feet tall and weighs 165lbs.  John is not an avid eater, he eats once or twice a day and regularly consumes 1500-1700 caloires.  It is clear that john has been undereating and his metabolism has slowed down to compensate for the lower calorie intake.  When John decides he wants to bulk, he cannot jump to 3000 caloires.  Instead, his sweet spot is likely going to be somewhere between 2000-2300 caloires.  As john gains weight and progresses, his sweet spot will move up quickly until he has reached a prime metabolism (where his metabolism would be if he was eating correctly in the first place). John will gain weight at 2300 calories for a short while and come to a stall.  When John sees this stall, he should up his calories by 200 for 5 days to see if he is gaining weight again.  This cycle should be repeated until the weight gain continues.  Gaining weight is like an onion, there are layers to it.  As you progress, you must peel of the layers.  Usually a stall means you’re through with the current layer, you must peel it off to continue by adding weight.

picture of steroid user

steroid user

The 40/40/20 approach to bulking has been long known to be the gold standard for good reason, it works for the average bulker. This approach requires that 40 percent of your total calories come from protein, another 40 percent come from carbs, and the final 20 percent come from fats.  Lets break it down so you understand a bit better.

Things to keep in mind:

1g Protein is 4 calories

1g Carb is 4 calories

1g Fat is 9 calories

So you have figured out that you need 3000 calories to bulk (with a TDEE of 2500 this would be the place to start).  OK guys, get ready.. we have some math to do again!

40% of 3000 calories is 1200 calories (3000 x .40= 1200).  So we immediately know that we need 1200 of our 3000 calories to come from protein and 1200 to come from carbs since they both combined have to make up 80% of your daily intake (that’s the 40/40 part of the 40/40/20).

As stated above, we know that a carb or a protein has 4 calories per gram.  We divide 1200 by 4 to get the amount of carbs needed for both.

1200 / 4 = 300

We now know that we need 300g protein and 300g carbs.  We must now figure out the amount of fats we need in this diet.

Since 2400 calories have already been taken by protein and carbs, the last 20% of the calories will be 600. Remember that a gram of fat is 9 calories.  So we divide 600 by 9.

600 / 9 = 66.6 (round off to 67 is fine)

In order to run a successful 40/40/20 split at 3000 calories you need 300g protein, 300g carbs, and 67g fats. Simple enough right?

Disclaimer: The 40/40/20 split is not an ideal split for someone who has a tdee over 3000 caloires.  Simply put, anything over 300g protein is unnecessary for bulking for the majority of the population.  When having to go over 3000 calories one should increase their carbs up to 500g a day and, ONLY WHEN REACHING THAT POINT, should add fats to increase calories past the 3800-4000 calorie mark.

Good meats/protien to eat: Chicken Breast, Turkey Breast, Eggs/Egg Whites, Bison/Deer Meat, 93% and up lean beef (ground beef, roast beef, london broil are just a few examples), Fish (tuna, salmon, talipa etc..), Whey (PWO ONLY), Casien (BEDTIME ONLY), Game meat

Good Complex Carbs: Oats (all natural steel cut/rolled oats), Sweet potatoes, Yams, Ezekiel Bread (or any sprouted wheat bread), Glutin Free Bread, Red kidney beans, Black beans

Good Essential Fatty AcidsAlmonds, Avocado, Cashews, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), Fish Oil

The IIFYM Approach:

One of the most controversial and talked about approach in dieting as a whole is the IIFYM or if it fits your macros approach.  I personally dislike the approach as its known in the bodybuilding community not because its not effective but because it is highly abused by the general public.  IIFYM requires that you have a set amount of calories and macros that come within the daily needs that you have for your goals.  For example, if you are bulking at 3500 calories, you set your daily goals to 250g protein, 300g carbs, and 90g fats.  Your total calorie count is 3010 which leaves 490 calories for you to eat whatever you want daily, and i do mean anything; You could have pizze, ice cream, waffles, whatever your heart wants.  In theory, the program will work. Will it be as optimal as the 40/40/20 split i have described above? It absolutely will not.  But, one can lead a fairly healthy life and make progress in his bulk using this method.  The issue with this approach comes with people abusing the system by thinking they can eat ANYTHING they want as long as it hits their macro goals.  To the IIFYM dieter “a calorie is a calorie.”  It is at this point that the whole system goes down in smoke.  It also leads us to our next topic.

The “Clean Bulk” vs. “Dirty Bulk”

Lets go back to the last subject we were talking about.  Those who believe they can eat anything they want, e.g. “dirty bulking,” allow themselves to eat fast food and junk food in order to hit their total daily goals.  To the IIFYM bulker who has the notion that “a calorie is a calorie” and “the body cant tell the difference between a simple carb and a complex carb” the world is a free flowing river of junk food and crap that he will put in his body.  Nothing angers me more than these ill advised self-justified notions!  A calorie from a complex carb will affect the  body MUCH DIFFERENTLY than a calorie from simple carbs like sugar/dextrose/high fructose corn syrup.  The most obvious difference will come in the amount insulin spikes after eating complex carbs and simple carbs.  Also, fats play an important part of the human bodies daily process.  There has to be a balance between the different types of fats.  One of the most important balances come from omega-3/omega-6 fats, monosaturated fats, polysaturated fats, and saturated fats.  In all honesty your body needs ALL OF THESE FATS.  But eating fast food and junk will fill your body will too much of one fat and not enough of the other (usually high trans fats and saturated fats).  

So what is the real difference between the clean bulk and the dirty bulk? Simply put, clean bulking pulls macros from complex carbs, has a balanced fat intake, and the correct amount of protein to reach the daily macros prescribed.  A IIFYM dirty bulk will not have the correct balance between fats and will not pull from complex carbs.

When to “Dirty Bulk”

here is a place for dirty bulking in the bodybuilding world.  But it only comes when you have to eat over 4200 calories usually.  At some point,  the lower levels of insulin from complex carbs and the total amount of food that you can eat in a day have reached their limit in weight gain.  At that point, its time to introduce more simple carbs.  Carbs like white bread, white rice, white pasta, white potatoes, or any carb that would be considered semi-simple/simple that is not full of processed stuff is ok! Also, it is a good time to increase your fats for the better duration of your bulk.  I hope this article has given you a new perspective on the correct way to bulk.


Muscle-loss study could be key to weight loss and anti-aging

picture of muscle loss medication

muscle loss medication

A recent discovery by researchers in Singapore may be the key to developing new drugs to burn fat, cure common diabetes and even slow down the effects of aging.  The study by researchers at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) looked at the body’s mechanisms of muscle loss due to aging and illness. What they discovered is that a molecule called Myostatin is responsible for muscle deterioration.

Myostatin binds to muscle cells and causes a drop in the cell’s mitochondria (a necessary part of a cell’s energy production). This leads to atrophy of the muscles because of the lack of energy in the cells. In healthy and young people, this cycle of myostatin depressing the mitochondria is a necessary function of muscle cells in order for them to regenerate new cells. However, people who are sick experience higher levels of myostatin and the related atrophy. As we age, myostain levels increase as well.

“If we block myostatin from binding to cells, then muscles won’t waste away and we can then mitigate the effects of aging and chronic diseases,” said Associate Professor Ravi Kambadur from the NTU School of Biological Sciences.

In addition to regulating growth and loss of muscle, myostatin is also responsible for deciding whether the body will burn either stored fat or available carbohydrates. When myostatin is present in the cells, the body will burn available carbohydrates and continue to store fat. However, when myostatin is blocked, the body will burn fat.

“In near future, myostatin blockers could increase fat utilisation in the body and give you the benefits of exercise, without actually doing intense physical activity,” Professor Kambadur said. ”This would be a good alternative treatment for people who are unable to exercise, such as those who are bed-ridden or are in cancer treatment, who are most at risk of massive muscle loss.”

A myostatin-blocker could be the answer to the obesity epidemic and be a cure for diabetes caused by being obese. Although a myostatin-blocking drug is years from development and commercial or medical availability, the NTU study has revealed some helpful information that can be used today – poeple who exercise regularly have a natural low level of myostatin.

Ultimate MMA Diet

Ultimate Diet for Mixed Martial Arts

by 3Js

With the recent craze that has been going on due to the growth of mixed martial arts, thanks to leagues like the UFC, there has been a growing number of everyday people who have gained an interest in Jiu-Jitsu, Maui Thai, and mixed martial arts generally.  Everyday people have dropped their regular gym memberships to sign up at their local Jiu-Jitsu and MMA academies.  I can’t blame them.  Jiu-Jitsu and MMA in general are not only great for your health, but a very fun way to get or stay in shape.   When speaking in terms of resistance training and cardiovascular exercise you can get the best of both worlds blended together in Jiu-Jitsu.  Maui Thai is also a very high endurance sport. These two  can bring one better physical health, anti-depressive properties, and an overall boost in confidence that one can apply in his/her daily life.  But as with all physical activity, the most important part of it is not in the dojo or the gym, it’s in the kitchen.  In this article, I will give a general layman’s explanation of how to approach your diet while training in MMA.   There is a lot of malnourishment going on with practitioners of high endurance sports and I hope this article will help set some people straight.  We will cover the basic macro nutrients like carbs, fats, and protein and I will touch up on some supplements that can help along the way.

picture of male boxers

there has been a growing number of everyday people who have gained an interest in Jiu-Jitsu

I cannot express how important it is for high endurance athletes to get the right amount of protein in.  Protein is the building block of muscle in your body.  If you dont get enough in you will not gain muscle and more than likely lose it.  If you get too much in your kidneys will be given a hard time and you creatinine levels might go up, causing concern from your doctor when you do blood work.  Now there are alot of ratio to bodyweight figures out there that confuse the heck out of people.  I have seen the 1.5g protein per bodyweight bit that is the standard in the community.  When you dont have a professional nutritionist figuring out your protein intake this isn’t the worst of choices.  The issue comes with a guy who is 280lbs and 35% bodyfat.  This ratio of 1.5g to pound of bodyweight isn’t total bodyweight but lean bodyweight.  Since people get pretty confused about how to figure out their lean bodyweight, I have given the formula below.

The first thing your going to need is your bodyfat. There are a few ways to get this done:

1. Calipers: Your local gym should have calipers and a bodyfat test available

2. Dexascan: Check your local schools and gyms and see if you can get this process done

3. BodPod:  This is my favorite way of getting my bodyfat tested. You can usually find one at your local university

4. Hydrostatic bodyfat testing: This is the old school way of doing it and thought to be the most reliable way of getting your bodyfat tested.  Again, check with your local university to see if its available

5. When all else fails, getting on a bodybuilding forum and posting pics can usually get you a pretty decent estimate if you talk to the right person.  I would personally speak to a vet or the board nutritionist.  They usually deal with people regularly and can give a decent guess to what your bodyfat might be.

Once you have a bodyfat percentage the rest is actually pretty simple, all you need is a calculator.  Here is a step by step example of how your get your lean bodymass.

Lets say your stats are that you weigh 220lbs and have a bodyfat percentage of 18%.

You can turn the bodyfat percentage into a decimal point (in this case 18% would become .18) and subtract that by 1.00 (so 1.00 – .18 = .82).  Your answer would be .82 (because .82 + .18 equals 1).  Then you would simply take the .82 and multiply it by your bodyweight of 220lbs.  So 220 x .82 = 180.4.  Your lean body mass is 180.4.

Now that you have your lean body mass, take that and multiply it by 1.5.  Your total protein intake in this case would be 270g which is reasonable.   In all my years as a nutritionist I have yet to put a male weighing more than 135 lbs on anything less than 200g protein a day.  Also, rarely have I taken a client above 350g protein.   Please keep in mind that less than 20% of protein should come from supplements.  You should be following a whole foods approach and getting your protein from lean choices of meats.


A high endurance sport means high energy requirements.  Those who do high energy sports should not be looking into very low carbohydrate diets like ketogenic diets like the atkins approach.  Ideally as a practitioner of MMA you dont want to bring your carbs down lower then 200g a day spread evenly between at least 4 meals (you should be eating 6 meals a day).   If your looking to lose bodyfat 200g is a good place to start.  If the loss of bodyfat is not your main concern I recommend a minimum of 300g carbs daily for energy use.  The foods you choose should be complex carbohydrates throughout the day and a simple carbohydrate right after training with your whey shake.  Ideally you want to get at least 50g carbs post workout from simple carbohydrates and the rest of your day should pull from complex carbohydrates.  Try to spread your carb intake evenly throughout the day, but keep carbs out of your final meal (meal 6) unless you worked out immediately before.  There is research that shows carbs before bed lower natural growth hormone productions, a big no no in your goals!

Examples of complex carbohydrates:


Brown rice

Sweet potatoes

Red Potatoes


Examples of acceptable simple carbohydrates

A white bagel

White rice

dextrose or maltodextrine

waxy maze


People freak out when they think about fats.  They believe the intake of fats will only make them fatter.  This is far from the truth when you pull from the right fat sources.  Foods like avocados (my fav!), organic peanut or almond butter, extra virgin olive oil, cashews, and fish oil to name a are essential to you daily needs and should be a part of your diet.  The rule of thumb is that the higher your carb intake the lower your fat intake should be.  As you bring down your carb intake, your fat intake goes up to make up for the calories.

Here is an example:

If you need 3000 calories for your diet, your macros might look like this:

300g protein

300g carbs

66g fats

If you wanted to lower your carbs, your fats would have to go up to take the place of those calories:

300g protein

200g carbs (we have lost 400 calories here)

77g fats (we have added about 400 calories here, remember that fats have more than twice the calories then protein or carbs)

I recommend you take in a little fat with every meal except your post workout nutrition and take in the larger sum of fats in the last meal of the day where it will do the most for you.


A sport would not be called a high endurance sport if it did not take alot of endurace.  Green leafy veggies have been found to promote endurance levels in athletes.  If you watched the UFC hall of fame champ Randy Couture put a beating on Tito Ortiz years ago you may have noticed that Randy had a lot of gas in his tank even though Tito was much younger than him.  Randy was on a high greens diet, and all high endurance athletes should follow this approach.  Get those veggies in guys!  Spinach, celery, broccoli, asparagus.. if its green its good to go!!!  I recommend a total of 6 cups of veggies a day for MMA practitioners!

I hope this article has helped you get a better grip on what’s necessary in the kitchen when training in the wonderful sport of MMA.  Look for more articles in the near future!

For more information on dieting and nutrition for people with aggressive workout routines, visit www.3jsdiet.com.

Basic diet for cutting

spousal support diet

picture of spousal support diet

Here is a basic rundown of a diet to follow when cutting.  In the morning you want to have ½ cup of oats and 6-8 eggs whites.  For lunch, grilled chicken cooked on a George Foreman grill (or any fat separating grill) and ¾ cups of brown rice with broccoli on the side.  For your snack in the middle of the day you should have ½ cup of oats along with WPI Protein.  Dinner will consist of grilled chicken, string beans, and 1 sweet potato.  Remember, your dinner is your pre-workout meal.

Your post-workout meal will be a scoop of WPI with either a banana or an apple.  Then an hour before you go to sleep you will have ½ cup of cottage cheese and ¼ cup of almonds mixed into it.

It should be noted that using fish oil along with a sound nutritional plan is excellent for your health.  Consume water as much as possible throughout the day. Drink a glass of water with every meal, in between meals and after. It will help suppress appetite and water will keep your system hydrated. However, be sure not to drink too much before you go to bed or else you will find yourself waking up every two hours to use the bathroom.
I like to have some days where I substitute chicken with salmon or top round steaks. It’s good for a change. You have to remember that a cutting diet isn’t something everyone can do. Some will try and give up within a couple of weeks.  This diet is only a guide to follow to help set you on your path.

Simple strategies for weight loss

The first tip that I can give you is that you should never go shopping hungry.  It will make it a lot easier to resist the food that you crave when you’re hungry.  Another tip is to never, and I repeat NEVER, keep snack foods in the house.  It is a logical way to make sure you don’t have unnecessary snacks in your home so that it makes it exponentially easier to resist temptation.  Another reasoning for this is because many of the foods that we eat are based on impulse, so if the snacks are out of site, then they are out of mind.

spousal support diet

picture of spousal support diet

Next, you should be eating off a smaller plate during meal time. This is based off how visual people are.  So if I had a small plate I would only put 2 slices on it, but if I had a big plate then I might put 3-4 slices on there depending on the size of the plate.  So when you continually eat off a smaller plate you’re in a sense forced to put less on your plate and in turn you consume less calories.

My last tip is to know your limits and also your weaknesses.  The trick is to know your weaknesses and develop strategies to cope with them. For example, try making a list outlining the things you know tend to set you off and how you react to them, then add a column for how you could deal with it. For example, you might write “talking to my crazy mother makes me anxious and I eat things I shouldn’t, immediately after the phone conversation” which would be followed by a suggestion of steps to change it, such as “always eat a meal right before talking to mom” and “only take calls from mom when I am ready and able to deal with her” and “go for a walk immediately after talking to mom to distress and give me time to get over impulse to eat junk” and so on.

In conclusion, the best way to make sure you stay on track to losing weight is to never shop hungry, eat from a smaller plate, don’t keep snack foods in the house, and lastly, know yourself.  Know what triggers your eating impulses whether it be stress or just hunger.

Thermogenesis and Weight Loss

The best way to look at a fat loss equation is to make sure there are more calories going out than coming in. Butt there needs to be enough calories coming in to sustain yourself throughout the day.  First, you need to eat the right amount of protein in your diet.  Protein cannot only be used to get big, but to lean out as well.  Every time you eat you burn calories, just like you burn calories walking or going to the gym.  The reason for this is that the breaking down of food takes energy and in that it burns calories as well. The scientific term for this is called thermogenesis.

picture of african american girl eating healthy lunch

african american girl eating healthy lunch

Here’s how thermogenesis works. When you eat something that is nearly all fat, say a tablespoon of butter which yields 100 calories, about 3% of those 100 calories are burned off as metabolic heat. Three percent or three calories are burned in order to breakdown, digest, and absorb that tablespoon of butter.  So when it comes to protein it takes 30 calories to the energy found in 100 calories of protein.  For example, when you eat a small chicken breast that is 100 calories your body burns 30 calories in breaking it down.  Then, that 100 calories from the chicken then turns into 70 calories.

The next way to increase fat burn is to eat 5-6 meals to muscle you up and slim you down.  Eating more frequently increases your metabolism, which in turn increases your thermogenesis rate.  Over a 6-12 week period a person that is eating 6 times a day will have more weight loss than a person that is eating 4 times a day because of the added increase in metabolic rate.

The third way is to eat less at night.  You can also benefit by eating less to no carbohydrates and more protein in your final meal of the day.  The reason for this is because as you continue to eat carbohydrates during your first five meals of the day, the body’s reserve tanks for carbohydrates (called glycogen) begin to fill up. The closer they come to being full, the smaller the thermogenic effect.  And when you have your protein you need to have a very low calorie vegetable with it like lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers, and peppers.

Fourth, you need to rotate your carbs because your thermic effect begins to fall as you become full of glycongen, which comes from carbs.

Lastly, you should use a thermogenic supplement formula, which is also a rapid fat loss and energy booster.  These are used to support and increase thermogenesis, this leads to accelerated fat loss.  The up side of these kinds of formulas is also that they can curb your appetite so it will make dieting more bearable.

Diet is the most important factor in showing perfect abs

Importance of diet for perfect abs

picture of man with good abs

Diet is the most important factor in showing perfect abs

The real truth about ab workouts is that it is best not to buy into the late night infomercials that are preaching that their product will get you abs in a matter of weeks.  The best thing to do is to put your credit card away and heed this advice:

There is only one true way to get the stomach that is depicted on the commercials and that is to lower your body fat.

Sounds simple right? Because it really is that simple. In reality, everyone has the perfect set of abs – they are just covered by a layer of fat.

Now, the way to go about lowering your body fat is to have a perfect diet and stick with it. Then after a period of time (depending on the amount of body fat you have) you will start to see your abs appear.

Actually, there is really no need to do ab workouts at the gym, because you can just do 5 minutes of crunches 3 times a week. The ones that I recommend you do is the basic abdominal crunch and then leg raises.  The overall time of the workout will be about 5-15 minutes.


fish can contribute to a healthy diet.

The thing that will make or break your perfect abs is the diet and cardio. When you stick to relatively strict diet and do cardio on a regular basis your body fat levels will decrease and then you will see the results you always wanted.

So the next time you are up late enough to witness one of these infomercials first hand, instead of picking up the phone, just get on the floor and do some crunches instead.  Don’t forget that your diet and cardio is key to getting the abs you always wanted.

Health & Nutrition Books

The Gabriel Method

The pile of recent dieting books is growing faster than the average American’s waistline. From the well-known programs that deprive and restrict to ones that rely on juice alone, it seems that everybody has an answer to the growing problem of obesity.

The Food You Crave

Do you think that healthy food couldn’t possibly taste good? Does the idea of “eating healthy” conjure up images of roughage and steamed vegetables? Author Ellie Krieger, host of Food Network’s Healthy Appetite, will change all that. A registered dietitian, Ellie is also a lover and proponent of good, fresh food, simply but deliciously prepared.

Yoga Anatomy

See inside every yoga pose! With clear, expert instruction and full-color, detailed anatomical drawings, Yoga Anatomy depicts the most common asanas to provide a deeper understanding of the structures and principles underlying each movement and of yoga itself.

DietMinder Personal Food & Fitness Journal

The DietMinder is a deluxe food diary with plenty of room to record quantities and food counts (calories, fat, carbs, protein, etc.) of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. A special area for daily totals makes it easy to see at a glance how you are doing. Each “day” consists of two pages with space for exercise details, too.

YOU: The Owner’s Manual

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it’s true that we live in an age when we’re as obsessed with our bodies as we are with celebrity hairstyles, the reality is that most of us know very little about what chugs, churns, and thumps throughout this miraculous, scientific, and artistic system of anatomy.


A groundbreaking and fascinating investigation into the transformative effects of exercise on the brain, from the bestselling author and renowned psychiatrist John J. Ratey, MD.

Ride ‘Em Cowgirl!

Why is this today s best sex position guide? Instead of twisting you into impossible pretzel poses, Dr. Sadie illustrates hundreds of ways to shape your favorite sex positions into a more passionate orgasmic fit for the two of you. Comfortably! Even better, Dr. Sadie s fun, empowering hands-on coaching inspires intimate new explorations and sensational erotic touches.

She Comes First

“When it comes to pleasuring women and conversing in the language of love, cunnilingus should be every man’s native tongue,” writes clinical sexologist Ian Kerner, Ph.D. in She Comes First, a straightforward, intimate, and exuberant guide to cunnilingus.

BodyMinder Workout and Exercise Journal

The BODYMINDER is the ultimate physical fitness diary. With a focus on workouts, it can also be used to keep track of any and all other exercise.

Yoga as Medicine

Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing by Yoga Journal

Zero Limits

If it seems like you work hard but never get anywhere, maybe the problem is something within you. Maybe the limitations holding you back come from inside you, not from the outside world. Zero Limits presents a proven way to break through those self-imposed limitations to achieve more in life than you ever dreamed.


The first book written in English on the art of Sushi, Sushi provides the curious with a detailed summary of the origins of sushi, a description of the sushi bar, sushi etiquette, and a veritable encyclopedia of knowledge on sashimi, rice, nigirizushi, makizushi, and Kansai-style sushi.

Hana Sushi

Hana Sushi: Colorful & Fun Sushi for Parties by Boutique Sha