You can lose fat and build or maintain muscle at the same time. In fact this is what happens the majority of time with the average person. If you are building muscle, then you are losing fat. The rate may be different and what you are eating will effect this heavily.
If you are already muscular and simply want to define further by reducing the last bit of fat, then this is a slightly more complex version of the same thing. If you are trying to bulk up heavily, than maybe what you eat will focus a bit more on the bulking rather than the trimming part. But you can still do both. You don’t need different phases. Though separating it into phases can simplify things nutritionally for those who are competing. The problem I have with phasing things is that this can mimic a “diet”. If you are eliminating a lot of foods and/or cutting calories significantly and consistently then we may be looking at a hit to your metabolism and hormone balance.
Dieting is NOT going to help you maintain weight. CONSISTENCY with nutrition and exercise is what is going to get you lean or ripped and it is what is going to keep you there.
The following are general rules but the details of a workout and nutritional program depend on the individual. Everyone performs movements differently, digests different foods with ease, finds motivation from different sources, etc..
Forget cardio. I’m sure you have heard this a lot. If you follow my blogs then you’ve been hearing me say it for about a decade now. Use cardio to maintain or improve cardiovascular ability specific to whatever movement you prefer. Other than that…it’s not helping you. In fact its probably hurting your progress.
Resistance training keeps you in a higher metabolic state so that you are doing “work” for longer periods of time. And if you lift with short breaks you will still maintain an aerobic effect which will keep your endurance capacity up.
You don’t have to lift heavy
The majority of studies comparing heavy to light resistance training shows statistically insignificant results favoring the heavy side. Many studies show that high rep/low weight will do just as well as low rep/high weight. There are 2 things that make this less appealing to most. First, it takes longer to do high reps..people want a more efficient program. They also lose focus quickly and we need perfect form for every rep. The other problem is that we tend to want to impress with big plates and heavy dumbbells. But you know whats more impressive? Not injuring yourself. If you think a lifetime of lifting heavy isn’t doing damage to your connective tissue, you are lying to yourself. Lifting lighter still adds stress to the tissues enough for you to build size but it keeps the load low on your joints and tendons. This will allow you to stay strong for longer. Longevity is the goal, folks….sorry sorry getting shredded is the goal…just for longer.
Try 30-50% of your max weight for a movement. Upwards of 20-25 reps. 3 sets.
You can try adding one set where you increase your weight by 10-20%, reducing the reps accordingly. One study showed this to be effective in building mass while maintaining a minimal load for most of the workout.
You can also prolong muscle activation by adding tempo to your lifts. Try a moderately heavy weight but elongate the eccentric phase of the motion. You can even hold the pose for a few seconds before the concentric movement. As long as you can keep perfect form, this is a way to keep the load lighter and maximize results.
A common tempo for a bench press would be 4-1-1-0. This translates as 4 seconds of the lowering phase then a 1 second hold, then 1 second to press the weights up and no rest at the top (0).
DO STABILITY WORK
Your ability to train for long periods of time depends on your foundation. Stability in movement or under load while static is going to be a major factor in your success in consistency. Build a strong foundation and you will find less need for prolonged recovery from physical stress.
EAT WELL AND EAT LOTS
You need lots of protein to repair and build muscle tissue but you also need lots of fats and micronutrients for recovery and to keep your digestive and immune system working properly. Your demanding more of your body when training hard so don’t deny it nutrients thinking it will help you lose fat while you build muscle. Without the proper intake of micronutrients your recovery, focus and performance will all hurt. This may lead to injury which will slow down the whole process way more than the added calories will. More over all calories will increase the training effect, just be smart with what you’e fueling with!
You don’t need to carb load. But if you do, first figure out if your body can handle the sugar spike. You can often find glucose level testing kits at the pharmacy, go grab one and see how your body reacts to a plate of pasta or a couple sandwiches. If your blood glucose and insulin (you can test for this too) spikes and if you feel tired or bloated or low energy afterwards, you are unable to handle carb loading.
If you are training for 2 hours and lifting really heavy while adding a prolonged cardio segment to your routine, than you will definitely need some fuel. But I would suggest changing the routine rather than the over eating. Seems like a waste of time and unnecessary stress on the body. Again, this is for the average person trying to put on muscle, not for a competitive body builder.
Start by adding 250 calories per day. Monitor your progress for 3-4 weeks. If you haven’t gained any muscle then add another 150-250 calories. It may take a bit of time before you see results so don;t rush into a massive increase just to force it. You may end up putting on fat as well.
HARD GAINERS – Train less / eat more – but watch out for the gremlin
If you have a really hard time putting on muscle than you will need to adjust a bit further. 500 extra calories a day may not cut it. But start with that and increase/monitor if need be. I have a tried and true method for both vegans and non vegans. It means counting calories for a couple months but then it becomes second nature.
Train less – eat more. Sounds good, right? It’s not. You need to watch what you eat still. funyuns and pizza pockets might jack up your calorie count but this is going to set you up for low returns in your performance – in the gym and in the sack! Your body is under performing in its capacity to build tissue so lets figure out why. A hormone profile may do you some good. I would test for food allergies and micronutrient level as well. But often times it comes down to you just not eating enough for your metabolic rate.
Even so, get everything working well so that when you do flood the system with high quality foods, it will use them accordingly. Try not to eat 5-6 times a day. Eat 2-3 big meals and don’t snack too heavily. We don’t want to spike your insulin too often. Again, we want consistency. Find something sustainable and healthy, If you get your body used to food intake all day long, your circadian rhythms will follow. You will teach your body to expect and want food all the time. Lets say you go on vacation for 3 weeks. Lets be real, not all of us keep up our training nor our eating habits when we are on the road. But guess who is coming with you on this trip – the gremlin. You fed the gremlin for the last several months..it may have been fruit and nuts or veggies and hummus, but now you’re traveling and the closest food is pizza, croissants or ice cream. Its going to happen…the gremlin is real and it is hungry.
If you become dehydrated, your energy will lag and your performance with your weight training will be hampered. This is going to slow down your progress physically but it will also take a bite out of your mental game. Consistency fuels motivation and so we need as many good days as possible, Hydrating keeps everything running smoothly so that we can surpass any mind games that come up when we are struggling a bit due to external factors such as work stress or every day obstacles.
I talk about this all the time so I won’t go into detail here but Sleep is so important. Your muscles heal when you sleep, your brain heals when you sleep, you work out complex emotional problems when you sleep. Some people say they thrive on little sleep, I don;t buy it, I’d say they thrive until they dive. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are both linked to lack of sleep. We need to rest and recover in order to be healthy for long periods of time. It is really the easiest thing we can do to improve health and fitness. Stress borne adrenaline can keep someone running for a while, until adrenal fatigue sets in and when it does you are in real trouble – this can take a long time to recover from.
So take recovery days from your workouts, practice stress management techniques and get some sleep!
A ten to twenty minute, daily exercise regimen should suffice to augment the natural healing process. If the abdominal separation is the width of 2 fingers or more, this is what I consider level 2 diastasis. While a similar routine may be enough to heal it, I like to put emphasis on changing daily behaviors so as to really avoid putting unwanted stress on the tissues in between training sessions. If you’re going to spend an entire hour of your day jogging and then go eat a cheeseburger and fries…I mean, sure, have at it but the burger and fries basically undid all of your mind numbing, boring work running, and then some. Can you tell I love running?
When you get up from sitting or lying down, or you hunch over, pick something up, lean against a counter or wall; these are all moments of opportunity where you can avoid further damage and actually help heal the separation. Up until now we have relied on reflexive activation of our muscles to get us through our daily activities. This is fine and dandy for most of us but when you suffer from any kind of core weakness, be it diastasis recti or slipped discs, you have to switch over to purposeful activation.
The very first step in our postnatal rehab program is learning how to connect to your deep core muscles, primarily the transversus abdominus (TVA) and the anterior pelvic floor. These are the two main muscles we want to use for your “purposeful activation” or your brace. The other, bigger muscles we can allow to act reflexively once the deeper muscles are properly contracted. Creating a connection to these muscles can be difficult. While we can see and touch our biceps ass we contract them, there is no visual feedback for the deep core muscles. Some of us have a small pocket between the rectus abdominus and obliques where you can feel the TVA. But if this isn’t an option there are a few tricks on learning how to feel it contract. Some of the low impact exercises we use in our conditioning program can be used to make the mind/body connection. The TVA muscle is solely involved in stabilization so taking the body just slightly out of stabilization while concentrating on changes within your core can help give you an idea as to where the muscles is and how it feels when in use. Any exercise that requires the bigger muscles in addition to stabilize or move the torso will override any connection to the deep tissues.
There are also some breathing techniques that can help form a connection. Something simple that often works is this –
Lay down on your back, knees bent and feel flat on the floor. Take a breath and then exhale allowing for all the air to leave your lungs without pushing it out forcefully. Before taking another breath, draw in your belly button towards your spine trying not to press your back into the floor. It helps to put your hands on your abdomen to check that your big muscles in the front are not being activated. When successful, it is your TVA being used to draw inwards. Even though this is pretty simple, it takes a lot of practice to properly activate this muscle when you are not laying down and completely focused on it.
Add a pelvic floor hold to the TVA activation and you have got the brace! I suggest that you activate the pelvic floor before activating the TVA. The transversus abdominus contraction, if significant, can put pressure on the pelvic floor and make it difficult to initiate the hold.
The degree at which you need to activate depends on the movement you are performing.
If you are attempting to sit up out of bed, whether you turn over on to your side first or just sit up straight like a creepy vampire, you need to create your core brace first, and a strong one. I would suggest bracing at 75% of capacity or more.
You really have to brace for any kind of crunching motion. Same goes for any time you bend over to pick something up. If the option is there, try to bend into a deep squat to pick whatever it is up. If pelvic floor weakness is part of the issue for you, then be sure to activate your pelvic floor before squatting.
Try and avoid leaning on counters and walls. Use the moment to activate your brace and practice purposeful posture strengthening. A light brace of the TVA will do.
Sitting on the edge of a chair rather than leaning back is another small change you can make. Sitting on the edge tends to put us in proper posture. It keeps our tailbone from tucking in and rolling our pelvis upwards. In this position we can then lightly activate our brace and keep a neutral spine position.
We use dozens of different exercises, all with several progressions to help heal diastasis recti. Every single one involves some sort of movement. It is so rare that we are completely still during every day life, so the isometric exercises, though helpful for creating connection to muscles, are less functional for our purpose here.
The very first exercise I teach is the knee drop –
Lay down on your back, knees bent and feet flat on floor, hip width apart. Do not use anything to support your head, we want to maintain neutral spine. You can keep your hands next to your hips or you can rest them on your abdomen to try and feel the slight activation that occurs. You can start with pelvic floor activation if this is something you need to work on. Often times it is, so it won’t hurt to start there. Lightly draw in your TVA to about 25% capacity. The movement will be the drop of one knee outwards towards the floor. The movement should be as slow as possible trying to maintain a fluid motion rather than a stop and start like motion. This takes time and practice. Go as low to the floor as possible without changing your foot position. While you are dropping your knee to the floor you want to make sure that there is no compensation for change of stability by movement of your opposite leg or your torso. Keep an eye on your stable leg and if you need to you can place a plate or piece of paper on your abdomen to give you some feedback on whether you are moving. And don’t forget to breathe! The TVA can minimize your ability to take deep breaths and often times my clients go red faced not realizing they are holding their breath.
What we want from this is to preemptively activate your stabilizer so that the motion can be carried out without compensation from any other parts of your body. You may need a reflexive increase of activation to maintain proper form. This is great. We want a bit of both purposeful and reactive contraction.
One repetition should take at least 20 seconds – 10 seconds down and 10 seconds back up. I suggest taking a break between each full rep. The relaxation phase is just as important. While we want to train the muscles to contract on command we don’t want to create a tendency to stay tense all day. So take the time to breathe and relax your muscles. 3-5 reps on each side is a good start for this exercise.
A progression to this would be to strap an ankle weight around your knee to add a bit more resistance. A more advanced version would be to create a much stronger brace and lift the “stable” foot off of the floor before beginning the knee drop. This will require involvement of your bigger muscles and so you will want to make sure you have gone through other exercises to get prepared for this one.
There are youtube videos of people flapping both knees up and down like a drunk butterfly. This does not work. Many of the exercises are slow and involve high concentration. Its boring as all hell but this is what works. remember its just 10-20 minutes per day!
There are many progression of this exercise. It is probably the most important one we use but It is important to go through the stages at the right pace.
The first stage is the heel tap –
Lay on your back, knees bent and feet flat, hands at your side. Create your brace, activating your pelvic floor and TVA. You want to maintain neutral spine, so try not to push your lower back into the floor when you draw in your abdomen. From this position you will raise one foot about 12 inches off the floor, hinging at the hips but not bending your knee. You should have about a 90 degree angle in your knee for the entire movement. When you lift your foot off of the floor, the combination of your brace and any reflexive contraction should be enough to keep the rest of your body completely still. Just like the knee drop exercise, we don’t want any compensation for the instability brought on by taking one of your points of contact off of the floor. This is what enhances the activation of the TVA.
The movement should be fairly slow but not as slow as the knee drop, maybe 2 seconds per repetition. You want to just tap your heel on the floor rather than place your foot down. This keeps the stability work going through the entire set. Start with 8-10 repetitions. When you finish with one leg, take time to relax all of your muscles. Take 3-4 deep breaths allowing for slight expansion of your abdomen. Then reset your brace and move onto the next leg.
A note about breathing
In our prenatal fitness training, and really all of our training other than postpartum, abdominal rehabilitation I encourage all of our clients to use diaphragmatic breathing as a way to enhance oxygen intake and stimulate the vagus nerve in order to bring on a relaxation effect, trigger gut/immune response and create elasticity with the abdominal tissues. BUT, too much of this kind of breath work can stretch the linea alba (tissue that has been thinned out in your abdomen) and slow the pace or even stop recovery. A few deep breaths is fine but prolonged diaphragmatic breathing may not be what you need just yet. Allow for some of the healing to happen first.
The two above exercises are a great start and I usually keep them in the mix for the entire recovery process. As you begin to move on to harder progressions, these exercises can be used as an excellent warm up.
The program must evolve. You want to increase your endurance for the brace and be able to hold it under much more pressure than a simple heel tap or knee drop. You want to do these kinds of exercises while on your knees, on your feet and while in movement. Don’t limit yourself to a program that keeps you on you on the floor.
Building solid stability and then working on elasticity will increase your functional health for the rest of our life. And if you plan on having another child, these exercises may save you from sustaining diastasis recti the second time around.
I have written about this in the past but it still seems to be a topic that so many people are unaware of or not sure about, so it seems fit to have another go at it. First off, diastasis recti is not limited to women who are pregnant or just delivered a baby, men and non pregnant women can suffer from this as well. The information below can be applied to anyone but most people with diastasis recti are new mothers and so this post reads more specifically for them.
After 10 years of experience helping my clients recover from Diastasis recti I can tell you two things for certain. One is that, in almost all cases it is fixable using specific corrective exercises along with changing daily habits. And the other thing is that there is no one-size-fits-all program.
In Part 1 (of 2) I am going to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions I get from my clients. Part 2 will cover some habit changing tips as well as a few progressions of the more universally effective exercises. Read More
If you have become resistant to weight loss, the things you used to do don’t work anymore chances are your metabolism is damaged.
Many of us have gone on diets throughout our lives, losing significant amounts of weight and then gaining it back. Every time this happens, if done quickly and improperly, your metabolism can slow. Studies on some contestants of The Biggest Loser have shown that most of them have gained back a lot of the weight. Sadly, even if they held on to the weight loss, many of these contestants have shown metabolic problems, lowering their daily potential caloric burn to as much as 700/day. At this point, weight loss is next to impossible.
So, what can you do to lose weight and maintain a healthy metabolism?
Get food allergy tests – You could be eating a fantastic diet, nutrient dense and clean food with great ratios of macros. But if something(s) in your meal plan are causing inflammation or destabilizing healthy gut bacteria then you will have a hard time losing weight and/or gaining muscle. The first time I did a 6 month vegan experiment, I responded very poorly to an increased intake of soy and it caused major inflammation and ended with a loss of muscle mass and tendinitis in my forearms. The second year I did it, I cut all Soy and managed to gain 8 lbs of muscle (this is a lot for me, I don’t put on weight very easily. It took over 4000 calories a day with less training than I had done in years) and my tendinitis was under control!
* If any of you are suffering from tendinitis, I highly recommend getting food allergy tests done. 3 other things that might help – cut out coffee and tea, in Eastern medicine, the tendons are directly linked to the liver and if your body is taxed by processing caffeine it may have detrimental effects on your tissues. For the same reason, avoid alcohol. Maintaining hydration will help keep your tendons in good shape so cutting these diuretics will do wonders.A systemic enzyme supplement may help reduce inflammation. I took one for about 6 months and it seemed to help.
Fine tune your systems – Every system in our body needs to be fed in order to run optimally. Vitamins and minerals play a huge role in maintaining your digestive, immune, cardiovascular, lymphatic systems. A blood panel is a great tool to get a glimpse into what you may be deficient in. Of course multiple tests are ideal but one will at least let you know if anything is in serious need of attention. Is getting your micros from food better than supplementation? Absolutely. But is it possible? Depends on how much you eat and how varied your diet is. If you have a hard time getting any one vitamin, do yourself a favor and get a high quality supplement. Look for companies that self regulate so you know you are getting what they say is in the capsule or liquid.
Avoid drastic calorie cuts – While you may want to change your macronutrient ratios, focusing on serious calorie cuts will only increase the damage done. Putting your already stressed and potentially inflamed body in a starvation mode will increase hormonal imbalance and solidify your bodies reflex to hold on to fat stores. You may even need to eat more for the time being. Adding nutrient dense foods to your diet while increasing your exercise can optimize how your body functions and get the ball rolling for weight loss. Remember it should be the long game you are playing. Quick weight loss destroys metabolism.
Improve your sleep – The two most important factors for maintaining a healthy weight are nutrition and sleep. Your circadian rhythms play a direct role in hormone cycles and recovery. Having a stable pattern of high quality sleep will help you put on muscle which will increase your metabolism and improve fat loss. If you don’t sleep your body and brain do not recover from your activities. This will inevitably lead to a build up of tissue damage and allow your stress hormones to run wild –> fat stores.
Increase your protein and fat intake – More Protein and fat while limiting unhealthy carbohydrates will reduce stress on your digestive system. Your sources of protein should be as clean as possible – organic, grass fed or pastured meats, organic yogurt, grass fed whey protein powder, wild caught bottom-feeder sea food, organic beans, lentils, chickpeas etc., are all good examples. Protein first thing in the morning is much better than starting with breads or cereal.
*Not everyone responds to this kind of eating in the same way. Some people, if very active, can keep a decent level of high glycemic carbohydrates in their diet. Not everyone reacts with the same spike of insulin. You can check by testing your blood glucose levels after a meal. You can buy testing kits at almost any pharmacy. But if you tend to crash after a meal with carbs in it then you already know that your body has a hard time handling it.
Choose strength training – Exercise is a key component to fixing your metabolism. Not all forms are equal for this purpose though. Steady state, long distance cardio is going to have to take a back seat for the time being. If you like running or spinning or rowing, don’t worry, you can get back to it eventually and you can even do these exercises for short sprints.The problem is that long distance cardio tends to increase stress hormones in the body, the same ones that your body may already have too much of floating around.
Metabolic rate decreases as we age. One of the factors is a reduced amount of muscle mass. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that intense strength training leading to higher lean muscle mass increased the resting metabolic rate in healthy older men, After a 16 week resistance training program body weight didn’t change but fat percentage dropped while muscle mass increased. No steady state cardiovascular work was used in the program.
Try some breath work – While the above mentioned exercise works the parasympathetic system, we want to balance things out by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation or simple breath work all have amazing benefits in this department.
Slow Diaphragmatic breathing is easy and effective. It stimulates the vagus nerve, which has been shown to connect the digestive/immune system and the brain. Here is a link to a quick explanation from Harvard Health on how to perform this kind of breathing exercise. But I urge you to try something with some movement involved like Tai Chi or Yoga, the benefits will go way beyond what you get from the breath work. Even better, is if you can find a class that takes place outdoors. Research has shown that outdoor activity has a significant positive mental benefits. A 2010 study showed that even 5 minutes of outdoor activity can improve mood and self esteem. Regulating mood as you would guess reduces stress and physical tension. A body and mind at ease will smooth the way for the metabolic benefits from improved nutrition and exercise to lose weight!
Everything is connected. If you want to improve or maintain your metabolism there isn’t one quick fix, its about finding balance. What works for you won’t work for everyone, which is why it’s important to do things like find out if you have allergies, intolerances or deficiencies. If you don’t know what to do for exercise, or how much muscle to put on that makes sense for your body type, find a professional and get a program designed for you!
Your body is constantly feeding you information and one of the best ways to get results from a nutritional and exercise program is to listen.
I have a list of behaviors and sensations that I ask clients to monitor on a daily basis. Small things like if and when you hit a wall in the afternoon, or if you crave certain foods or when you fall asleep can say a lot about what your hormonal balance is like. Read More
I keep saying this during conversations with clients, friends and strangers (pro tip – when you meet people while out for dinner or at a party, don’t tell them you’re a trainer unless you wanna hear their excuses for eating bad food in front of you. Ps – I don’t care, eat drink and be merry!). The conversation starts with how someone is trying to cut something out of their diet or is trying to eat better in general. We talk about what foods you can use to curb cravings or keep hunger at bay. By the end I always end up saying the same thing – food should be boring.
Variety is blessing and a curse. We can use it to maximize our nutrition by adding all sorts of fruits and vegetables for a wider range of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. But we can also become a slave to change. If we don’t know how to use herbs and spices and bring new life to old staples, then the healthy meals we eat become dull. This inevitably leads us to using foods that appeal to our tongues more than anything else, like sugar, salt and fats (the deep fried kind). When in doubt, deep fry it! Am I Right? No! That was a trick question!
We have made an art form out of pleasing our taste buds by exploiting our tendency for fatty or sugary foods that long ago would replenish much needed nutrition and energy reserves during times of rarity. It’s an amazing feat really – the highly manipulated use of foods to mesmerize nations into quiet acceptance of illness – mass suicide by muffins, also known as breakfast cake.
It’s not fun to eat the same thing for lunch everyday. Trust me I get it. I love going out to eat, I truly enjoy trying new foods or new combinations and I occasionally indulge in the fatty, sweet and salty goodness that tempts everyone else. But here’s the thing, food isn’t supposed to be fun. Its meant to sustain, nourish and build community. I do think that cooking and eating together is important. Removing this part of the equation will again push us towards fast food. When we don’t know how to cook, when we grow up without the knowledge of what is good for us, or where it comes from then we end up forgoing the whole thing.
The food itself can still taste good. But it shouldn’t have to tantalize our taste buds every gosh darn meal. I truly believe we all need to find a way to live with boring – to live with less. One of the best results from trying intermittent fasting for me was to remember what it was like to be hungry. Truly hungry. I mean, I’ve been hungry here and there but rarely has it been so apparent. I usually get to the point where my body says ‘hey, I think you’re forgetting something” but not the “For the love of god, feed us” point. It puts things into perspective. It awakens this deep genetic imprint, a feeling and reaction that our ancestors lived with on a fairly regular basis. It reminds me of how many people at this very moment don’t have enough food. Those people don’t give a damn about variety, they just want to survive.
I’m not saying that we need to return to this extreme. Don’t starve yourself and don’t limit your diet to bugs and mushrooms (sounds kinda good though). But cycling your meals on a weekly or even monthly basis is a good place to start. This is very effective for weight maintenance. Why? It allows your body to balance. When your nutrition intake is predictable your body can find hormonal balance, your digestive, lymphatic and immune systems work better and cognition and mood stabilizes. Of course, this is only true if you are eating foods that have enough vitamins and minerals and fuel your activity level. But we can figure this out a lot easier if you eat the same things. If you change your meals up all the time then its harder to track where/when your deficiencies are coming from.
If you want to lose weight, eat the same meals every day. Want to bulk up? Same thing. Are you trying to balance your hormones to get pregnant? Same same! Is it boring? Hell yes it is! But I really think it does us all some good to bring it back to boring.
The key to avoid committing crimes in the name of boredom is to cycle your meals. Start with 1 week. Plan out your meals for the entire week. Keep them simple so that your prep and cooking time isn’t insane. For example, I make a bean salad every week. I eat it at lunch and dinner. The size of the portion depends on whether I have something else prepped or not. Sometimes its a side and sometimes its a main. Here is the recipe –
- 1 cucumber
- 2 bell peppers (different colors)
- 2 cans of beans (Kidney and black)
- 1/2 cup of olive slices (black and green)
- 1/2 avocado (I add this after, so I get this amount each serving)
- Small amount of Feta (optional)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
With this super simple meal, I get plenty of protein, fiber, slow carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and it’s cheap! Yes, if I made a baby with my girlfriend it would probably come out as a bean but I’ve become accustomed to this meal as a major staple of my diet and my digestive system loves this. When I remove it from my diet everything goes wonky.
I usually don’t eat this on the weekends. This seems to be a good cycle for me I get a bit of variety a couple days each week but the rest of the month(s) its the same. I actually look forward to it now! For those of my clients that are trying to lose weight (and we are on a macronutrient counting phase) keeping the same meals on rotation makes this whole process so much easier. We count everything out once and then they just repeat the same portion. If I try and get someone to count macros on a “free diet” it inevitably fails. Without mild OCD, almost no one can keep up this attention to detail for several weeks or months.
So, Is this sustainable? We have been reprogrammed to expect change and eat according to taste. I think it is if you don’t take it to an extreme. If you can cycle your foods 80% of the time and then allow for days or weeks where you focus on variety then you will be doing well. Once you’ve figured out your meals and taken into consideration adequate levels of macro and micronutrients you can rest easy knowing everything is accounted for and all you need to do is eat and move on. The time spent searching for a recipe is no longer an issue, you won’t be as tempted to fill your meals with easy carbs and before you know it your weight will begin to shift. As always though, if you have intense fitness goals, then you may need to be more consistent than 80%. If you don’t know how to manage your nutrients, hire someone to set out a plan for you.
Before you begin, find about 10 recipes that you really like. Try them out, experiment with spices and cooking methods to see what you enjoy the most but remember, keep it simple. Scrambled eggs are an easy breakfast. You can add vegetables and spices such as turmeric to keep things interesting. Try adding some heat! Spicy dishes release endorphins. If you find the right amount this may make a boring baked chicken into something you look forward to!
Example week for a moderately active client of mine. Portions will change for each oerson so I have not included measured amounts here.
- Breakfast – 1 piece of Kamut toast with avocado & 3 scrambled eggs 1 serving of fruit (alternating the type of fruit daily) – for slight changes of flavor they alternate between adding chili powder, turmeric, or just salt and pepper to the eggs. The kinds of veggies they add to their scrambled eggs depend on whats in their fridge but the base meal stays the same.
- Lunch – Cucumber, mushroom and tomato salad with spinach, kale, flax seeds, feta and entire can of tuna. Big portion. On training days, they add avocado and a turkey burger they prepared earlier in the week (no bun)
- Grass fed beef tacos and baked vegetables – 1 on a wheat tortilla and 1-2 others on a lettuce shell with hot sauce and a light sprinkle of yeast to give it a cheesy flavor. We alternate this with a black bean “sloppy joe” mix for weeks where they want to eat a more vegan diet.
- Snacks – nuts – change the type of nut regularly. Veggies and humus, fruit
1 day per week is a variety day – Anything goes as long as they stick to the same portions of macronutrients and include lots of vegetables. We switch up the meal plan every 2 weeks as that seems to be this clients’ particular threshold of food boredom.
Trust me, if you want results you need consistency and the easiest way to remain consistent is by keeping it simple and dropping your need for variety. Sometimes boring is best!
Though we speak of it more as an abstract quality, something inherent that we are either born with or not and subsequently unable to cultivate, I truly believe that motivation is a skill; something you can learn and practice to get better at.
The same line of thought is used when people say things like they aren’t artistically inclined. All it is, is practice, a deep focused practice, but nonetheless, just practice. Has your friends’ kid ever drawn you a picture and you put it on your fridge because its sweet and you’re just happy that someone made you something out of love and without you asking for it? Me too! But did the drawing kinda suck? Of course it did! Because they’re like 3 years old and they just started drawing and they haven’t learned concepts of perspective and dimensions and how to translate that onto paper. And….they haven’t practiced enough yet. But because they are 3 and its adorable, we give them some slack and we don’t criticize them, in fact we encourage them and tell them how great it is. If you are struggling with motivation, that’s where you are with it…the concepts, strategies and perspective hasn’t been practiced enough for you to be good at it – for it to look so natural that we call it inherent. So give yourself some slack, start slow, begin to practice and learn self encouragement. I promise, it will come.
So where do you begin? Do you have a big goal? Something that may take months or even years? Is it so lofty and vague that it causes anxiety because there is no specific pinnacle that defines your achievement? That’s fine, all we need to define are the steps that get you there or on the right path. Everything is in flux so sometimes its best to keep the big goals vague but define the means to the general end.
Visualization is a tool often talked about by successful people. You hear them describe how they visualized a championship bout, holding the belt or trophy, or doing a victory lap before having it happen. There seems to be a correlation between visualizing victory and achieved it.
One day. a broke and depressed Jim Carey sat in his car daydreaming of success. He thought about what success would meant to him at the time and he wrote himself a cheque for 10 million dollars, post dated it for 10 years from that day and put it in his wallet. He visualized something that symbolized his future achievement (though somewhat vague), put it in writing and with a lot of hard work (practice) he eventually made it a reality. This is a great story, one that inspires us and goes to show what belief in oneself, even when in the midst of struggle, can accomplish. But the story does a slight disservice in that it glosses over the actual work that was necessary for the achievement and how belief in oneself is actually harnessed.
Belief in oneself can start with visualization and is reinforced through repetition. Visualizing your big goal is great because it can reignite the spark that got us excited to begin with. But it can be a bit overwhelming when it seems so far away. I like to think that success comes in increments rather than being defined by the big splash moments. The same goes for confidence and motivation. You have to practice the path and not just the goal.
Take some time out of your day and envision yourself going through the simplest of tasks, the things you need to do to achieve the loftier goals. Want to have an exhibit of your artwork? Visualize the path. Go through the steps you need to take, see yourself setting time aside to sign up for painting lessons, see yourself buying supplies and making room in your house for a little art space/studio, see yourself practicing, painting the pieces, prepare yourself for setbacks, envision the struggle but know that each of these simple steps is achievable. Use visualization to break the path up to its smallest challenges and see yourself getting past each one. This is how you can use visualization to help build self belief and it is backed by science!
In 1999, research by psychologists Lien Pham and Shelley Taylor showed that visualization of the process of studying made for better grades compared to students who visualized simply getting a good grade or not visualizing anything at all. Not only did it reduce anxiety linked to studying for exams it also improved organization and increased time spent studying. Since then, more research has shown similar results for athletes who spent time visualizing training more so than those who visualized winning.
There is a lot to be said about visualizing the struggle and set backs. It makes things slightly more visceral. Research has also shown that those who imagining possible problems in a positive manner has more benefits than visualizing everything just going well, or simply focusing on the negative. Thinking the path is going to be a smooth one, is a recipe for being overwhelmed.
You can start really small by using visualization to help yourself accomplish a simple physical exercise, like a plank.
Begin by kneeling on the floor. Focus in on your breath, try to elongate each breath just by a little bit, prolong your inhalation and exhalation so that it becomes purposeful rather than just reflexive. This in itself is great practice, it brings attention inwards and allows you to focus on a single goal. To make this slightly more complex, run through the following steps to visualize each component of the plank, once you’ve visualized each step, follow through with the action
1 – Draw in your abdomen to create a brace
2 – Place your hands on the floor and walk out until your body is extended, but you are still on your knees. Hands directly under your shoulders.
3 – Brace your core as much as you can to prepare for lifting your knees off of the floor.
4 – Activate your shoulder blades so that they are not collapsed.
5 – Stretch out one leg and squeeze your quad and glute.
6 – Stretch out your other leg and squeeze that side.
7 – Tuck in your pelvis slightly as to not put pressure on your lower back.
8 – Hold for as long as you can maintain this perfect position, Go back to focusing on your breathing but stay aware of your body.
This simple exercise of visualization and execution can do wonders. You can then take it to another level and try and use it for an exercise that you can’t complete just yet. The progress will be surprising. You may just need some guidance for the proper steps to use.
The next part is to recognize each successful moment. As I do with clients who have been struggling with a certain movement pattern (which is just a step in the path to reach a bigger goal of higher fitness or weight loss or rehabilitation) I try and take the time to point out the effort it took to get there. We go over the progressions we used, the time it took and most importantly the effort they exerted. Each session is a challenge overcome. If you get in the habit of recognizing all the mini successes, you begin to cultivate self belief, you build on motivation and perpetuate good habits. So take the time to reinforce your effort and then visualize the next steps. Practice the path and it will all come together into something you are proud enough to put on your fridge.
Looking for help with your own customized workout and/or meal plan? Contact Joey. Online coaching available for everyone and personal training/coaching available to Montreal residents.
Is there a perfect diet? There is one for you, but it most likely does not apply to the person sitting next to you. Most people want to lose body fat while gaining or maintaining muscle mass. Lose fat/gain muscle this is the dream, right?….now where is the god damn genie to fulfill my wishes! In that joke lies the main problem, people want a quick fix. Most of my clients’ “realistic” timelines for reaching whatever goal they have is still usually only half the time needed.
And its not your fault. Its ours as trainers and nutritionists. Too many of us try to sell our services by making false promises of complete body transformations in 30 or 60 or 90 days. It’s just not going to happen that quickly, not in a healthy way that will keep the weight off permanently, or without sacrificing muscle mass and all the negative effects that come with that. So step one is going to be a commitment to slowing down.
Name me a diet and I will show you elements from it that are definitely worth incorporating into your plan. Paleo? Great but hard to sustain and lacking in certain nutrients. Keto? Has some very interesting research behind it but some people do very poorly on this diet. They all have something worth doing, but be weary if any one diet that proclaims that it is universal. Each and every diet is a marketing ploy. This article is no different. I may not be trying to sell a specific diet but I am, indirectly selling my services.
Have you heard the term “skinny fat”? Its a term used to describe someone who is slim but unhealthy. After ten years of doing physical evaluations all of the worst ones were by people who fit this description. Past clients who came to me severely overweight still had a decent amount of muscle – you need to be strong to be able to carry around a hundred pounds of extra weight! What we want to avoid is turning someone who is obese into someone who is “skinny fat”. We want to avoid the same result for people who are physically fit but want to lose 10-20 lbs. Quick fix diets tend to sacrifice muscle mass in order to obtain that overall goal of weight loss. I am not going to outline a perfect diet for you but I am going to give you some approaches you can try and adapt into your routine.
The majority of the nutritional programs I have used with clients looking to lose weight and put on or maintain muscle mass involved adding more food to the diet. I know, you are like “sign me up!” but hold on a second.
The EAT MORE rule comes with a caveat – MOVE MORE.
More is also a bit of a vague term, eat MORE GOOD FOOD is closer to what I mean. I have definitely had clients that needed an overall calorie cut. But as activity increased and intensified, the cut was fairly small as we focused on shifting the source of calories rather than just cutting. Over all, the rule stands as eating more…and moving more.
Remember this “perfect meal plan” is one based on longevity. This is not just a weight loss program. We want low body fat % (relative) and healthy muscle mass. We want to balance hormones, improve sleep and digestion. Simply losing weight is just one facet. So think about adding more food rather than just cutting some out.
CALORIES & MACRONUTRIENTS
This is your foundation. We want to figure out what your calorie count should be with regards to your activity level. A good diet is much more complicated than this but this is what we start with. How closely you follow these metrics is up to you and how specific your body composition goals are. If you want high performance, very low fat percentage and muscle gains, you are going to have to count those calories. Most of us do not need this.
JUST DO IT ONCE
Something I use for clients who are averse to counting calories is to just do it once. I ask them for 12-15 meals they like. We go over the ingredients, replace anything deemed too unhealthy and then proceed to count the calories for a couple different portion sizes. Its really not that much work. Once you have all the numbers crunched you have a very good idea as to what you can or can not eat given how many calories you are allotted that day.
A term coined by Dr. John Berardi, G-Flux is the fluctuation of energy consumed and energy expended. Increasing G-flux means increasing both sides of the equation. This is essentially the same principle as what I have been using with my clients. When you increase energy output through activity while simultaneously increasing energy input with nutrient dense food you get a much stronger, positive reaction from the body. Many of us simply cut energy input and while this may be effective for weight loss, we end up with the skinny-fat effect and then the weight comes back. When we stimulate the body with more energy expenditure you build more efficient use of the nutrients you are consuming. As muscle grows and as cardiovascular health improves, your body’s systems function better and the metabolic processes involved in fat loss are stimulated more than they would be by simply cutting calories. You become more resilient against infections, your hormones balance out, your digestive and lymphatic system become better at doing their job! Diet alone can’t do this, nor can just exercise.
So, using an online calorie calculator, go figure out what you need for someone your size, age, sex, height with accordance to your activity level. Don’t cut the calories just yet, you may even need to increase them as many of my clients have. Once you have an idea as to what your calorie count should be based on what you want to do we can find out the ratio of carbs, protein and fats.
How do you break up your macronutrients? This should fluctuate but I’ll give you an idea on how to organize it.
If you have increased your activity with some high intensity training, including strength training you will want a high percentage of proteins to help build muscle. Don’t worry, this is not going to make you bulk up. Bulking up takes a lot more effort than you think. But if you find you are getting bigger than you like, simply dial it back. You won’t ever wake up one day having ripped your wonder woman pj’s with because you got massive in your sleep. And if you do, than feel free to curse my name and send me hate mail for your brand new awesome muscles…and then cut the protein down. Start with 40% Protein
Carbs, Ew, he just said the C word. Vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes and rice. These are all carbs and they’re just fine. Don’t go eating a bucket of rice or anything, focus on the fruits and veggies, but if you’re training hard then some yams or sweet potatoes and a fist size of rice will do you some good. Start with 35-40%
Now that fats are no longer the devils food lets all rejoice and shove some avocados in our faces. Healthy fats, you know what they are – Go get some and be generous. Start with 20-25%.
This is just the start. You can adjust the ratio as you begin to adapt to your training regimen and see how you feel throughout the day. You can also adjust day by day. On particularly heavy training days you may want to add calories, just make sure they are nutrient dense – Lean meats, fish, eggs, fruits and veggies, nuts, etc..
Training Days vs Rest Days
This is where you can play with your calorie totals as well as your macro ratio. On rest days I would drop your carb intake to 25-30% and replace the missing percentage with fats. The increase in fats will keep you satiated and help with recovery. If you have increased your total calorie count for your training days, then take 500-1000 calories out on the rest days is you are focusing on losing fat. As long as your protein count is still relatively high, you will still maintain muscle mass.
If you are trying to gain muscle weight, then don’t drop your calories. Keep them where they are but I would still adapt your macro ratio to a lower percentage of carbs.
Some point systems like weight watchers or Insulin sensitivity diets allow for you to eat almost anything you want as log as it fits in with your calorie count and/or macro ratio. I don’t love those approaches as it allows for bad habits to continue but there can be moments, like special occasions when you can adopt this way of thinking. If you are on a short vacation or out for a holiday meal, then let the calories guide you but don’t worry about the kind of foods you’re eating.
I’ve written before that sometimes taking things out of your diet is not what you need to do in order to help lose weight or gain muscle. Sometimes what you are missing are essential vitamins and minerals that will help stimulate or balance your systems. Metabolic, hormonal, immune and digestive processes are complex and they require the building blocks in order to function effectively. If all you eat is meat and bananas, some stuff is gonna be missing. So include a variety of foods and make sure it includes a variety of colours. That is always a good indicator that micronutrients are of plenty. skittles don’t count, ya goofballs.
Some key vitamins and compounds that often end up being deficient in out diets (think about supplementing) –
Zinc / Magnesium / D3 / EPA and DHA / E /
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to go get some blood tests done and see if you are deficient in anything. It could be the one missing piece of the puzzle!
YOU ARE WHAT YOU ABSORB
Speaking of tests, it should be mandatory for everyone to do food intolerance tests every few years. It is crazy how simple the tests are and what kind of dramatic effect it can have on our well being. Our ability to digest food changes over time so what one test said 7-8 years ago may no longer apply.
If you are consistently eating one or a few things that you have an intolerance to than you can expect inflammation build up. Once this happens, your digestion, immune function and cognition can all go out the window. Plus you’ll probably be in pain and you’re gonna be a fart machine – no fun for you or your friends and coworkers.
Glucose tests can also give you an ideas as to how your body processes certain foods. You may need to change your carb intake in order to level out your glucose and insulin levels.
Your ability to absorb nutrients and pass them on to help build cells and muscle tissue, fight infections, remove waste and metabolize fat all require a healthy gut. One moderate food intolerance can, over time, impede your digestive health. So get yer gut checked, and save us all from your gassy assault.
On a similar note – while on a body re-composition phase you want to eat easily digestible foods. Once you are on more of a maintenance phase, you can reintroduce certain foods that may be more difficult to digest but hold a decent amount of nutrients. For this reason, I tend to suggest a reduction or temporary elimination of legumes, soy products and most seeds from people diets.
If you avoid the harder to digest foods but maintain as much variety, you will keep a diet going that is sustainable. Paleo diet is close to what we are looking for with its focus on easily digestible foods but its fairly extreme restrictions make it hard to sustain. The Mediterranean diet is also quite close but doesn’t take into account G-Flux and so we need to take those principles (minus the hard to digest foods) and adapt it for your purposes. Limit but do not eliminate unless it is something you are intolerant or allergic to.
- NOTE – An example as to how finding out how your body is able to digest and metabolize food can drastically change your life. Women with Polycystic Ovarian syndrome have an increased insulin response to many foods. With a simple fasting glucose test (fasting being the important term here), you can determine whether this is something you need to pay attention to, it can also pinpoint for some women, who may or may not be trying to get pregnant, what the problem may be. With a change in diet to foods that illicit less of an insulin response, many of the symptoms of PCOS can be reversed or downgraded. Going blindly into any diet without this information will most likely cause further problems.
The term intermittent fasting (IF) is spreading like wildfire these days. Maybe for good reason, maybe not. Most of the research done is on animals and so we need to take the conclusions with a grain of salt. But what little science we do have on IF has demonstrated surprising results with regards to weight management, gut health, mood/motivation enhancement, cardiovascular health and preventing cognitive decline, cancer and neurodegenerative disease. So what is intermittent fasting? Just like it sounds, it is sporadic phases of calorie reduction. There are several different ways to practice IF, one way that has shown improvements in weight loss and insulin sensitivity is the 5-2 protocol. Where 2 days of the week, calorie restriction is practiced and the other 5 days are normal. The amount of restriction is up to you but most of the benefits seem to occur after the 16 hour mark.
I don’t always suggest 2 days a week of a strict reduction but you can try adding 1 day each week. Lets say you stop eating at 8pm on a training day and the following day is a rest day. If you go to bed at 11pm, you still need at least 13 hours of no eating. So if you sleep for 7 hours, then you can’t eat for the first 6 hours of the day. Typically I get my clients to reduce their calorie intake by about 1000 calories. If you go up to 20 hours for the fasting period then the calories restriction will most likely be even more intense. You may have another rest day for the week and on that day you can try limiting your calorie intake but taking them in throughout the day the way you normally would.
If the fasting protocol works well for you and you don’t experience any energy dip, cognitive decline, or mood imbalance, then give it a few weeks and see where you are at with your measurements.
I know we’re talking about nutrition here but one of the best things you can do for body composition goals is to get 8 hours of sleep. How to do so is for another post but if you are a good sleeper and are just going to bed later than you should…try going to bed earlier for 4 weeks and see what happens.
EXAMPLE PLAN – calorie count of 2500 – P/C/F = 40/40/20 = 1000c/1000c/500c – These are numbers based on a client of mine. You would have to calculate your own.
Training day —> Strength Training —> 2500 calories
Training day —> Strength Training —> 2500 calories
Rest day ——–> Stretching/yoga —–> IF/500-1000 calories
Training day —> Interval Training —–> 2500 calories
Training day —> Strength Training —-> 2500 calories
Rest day ——-> Total Rest/walking —-> 1500 calories
Training day —> Interval Training ——> 2500 calories
Proteins – Lean meats/fish/eggs (no legumes or soy products unless vegan/vegetarian)
Fats – Coconut oil, grass fed butter, avocados, nuts, fatty fish
Carbs – yams/sweet potatoes, rice, fruit, vegetables. Make sure to cook your mushrooms and cruciferous vegetables. You may want to avoid peas, corn, tomatoes, coconut and pineapple as those can all be difficult to digest.
Keeping with the G-Flux strategy, 2500 calories may be a surplus of calories for someone who was not training as much beforehand. But given the increase in training, we want to fuel the body and maximize efficiency within our systems. Fat loss will be slower but muscle mass will not be in jeopardy, metabolic rate will increase and so any weight that is lost will be less likely to return.
So what can you try out that we have gone over?
- Commit to going slowly. Consistency and patience will extend your life
- eat more/move more – don’t cut calories all willy-nilly, try fueling for action
- organize your macronutrients/calorie count – use the “do it once” method
- add protein and fats and be choosy with carbs
- do a blood test to check for vitamin deficiencies
- get a food intolerance/allergy test done and avoid hard to digest foods
- a glucose test can tell you if you are prediabetic or if you have PCOS
- try fasting or intermittent fasting
- get 8 hours of sleep
For help with your own customized workout and meal plan contact Joey. Online coaching available for everyone and personal training/coaching available to Montreal residents.
WE ARE CURRENTLY ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS.
One on one training works for a reason. A few reasons, actually
The biggest challenge in maintaining a fitness routine is holding on to motivation. We all have moments that spark our interest and get us started but keeping the drive going is a bigger challenge than the physical work itself.
Accountability is one thing: when we have someone to answer to other than ourselves, it can help keep you dedicated to your routine. We are not our own best coach because we are susceptible to every other moment of the day that may wear down our ability to keep focus on goals. This is normal, we are all at the mercy of the chaos that can be our lives.
Even more important than simple accountability though, is the relationship that you develop with the person you are accountable to. Inherent motivation is learned, and a good partnership between trainee and trainer should help cultivate motivation from accountability. Motivation and consistency are born from reasonable challenge and dedication but also from joy. The right trainer and the right program can help you find this in your workouts.
Monthly payment – 199$
- This pays for the first month – evaluation, detailed questionnaire, photo analysis, medical records assessment (if necessary), as well as the first months training program(s) and weekly monitoring.
- This pays for the monthly program design, journal and progress assessment as well as occasional skype sessions.. Joey is available any time for questions and will respond via e-mail within 24 hours. This is very much a hands on training program. The monthly fee will is auto-billed to your credit card and can be cancelled at anytime via email request.
Nutritional program – OPTIONAL
- If you choose to add a nutritional program component to your training, we will add 100$ to your first months payment and 50$ for any additional monthly payment.
If you would like to begin Online Personal Training with Joey, please contact us for any questions you may have and let us know a bit about what your goals are and what kind of routine you are currently following, if any.
What to expect from our programs –
The number of programs you receive depends on your goals and time commitment we decide on but you may get upwards of 5 different workouts a week. The workouts are designed around your personal evaluation and goals. We also take into consideration the equipment you have access to. If need be we can work around no/limited equipment.
You will have detailed explanations of each exercise with links to video instruction to make sure each one is completed properly.
Nutritional plans will include a daily meal plan that is in tune with your goals, matched your training program and takes into consideration any dietary restrictions. we have designed meal plans for vegans, pescatarians, vegetarians and carnivores. Supplement suggestions are also included.
Weekly check-ins are included. So we suggest you begin a food/mood/sleep and training journal so that we can monitor anything that may change throughout the week including energy levels, sleeping patterns and mood fluctuations. Every piece of information is important!
To sign up or if you have any questions contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A word from Joey – The single most important thing I have learned as a fitness trainer and martial arts instructor over the last 15 years is that every training program has a psychological element to it. Every individual reacts to challenges in different ways and understanding this is the key to helping people realize goals and learn to self motivate.
“I started training with Joey about a year and a half ago after being told by several doctors that I would have to struggle with back and knee pain for the rest of my life and there was not much that could be done. We started extremely slowly with very low impact exercises. Today I exercise 7-9 times a week and have never felt better. I have seen slow but constant improvements and am now able to do things I never dreamt I could. I could not have done this without his guidance and support and my progress is a true testament to his skills and experience. I highly recommend him!”
I am lucky enough to have clients who have been with me for almost 10 years, not because they are not capable of training themselves at this point but because the relationship that builds makes us both stronger and even more dedicated to our goals. Whether someone trains with me for a month or for a decade, I always strive to build a trusting bond between myself and each client.
Another big challenge to maintaining a fitness routine is the amount of time it can take in researching good programs, and figuring out how a program should evolve to keep challenging yourself. The sheer amount of information you need to sift through, a lot of which is garbage, is enough to let the gym membership card collect dust in your drawer. The solution is to let someone do this work for you.
Joey devotes a lot of time to each client, through the evaluation process, program design, weekly monitoring and consistent reevaluations and program evolution. Due to the acute attention to detail, he is limited to how many people he can take on at once. See the top of the page for notices of openings or waiting list registry.