08: Eating Healthy During the Holiday Season with IFBB Pro Alexa Berg

08: Eating Healthy During the Holiday Season with IFBB Pro Alexa Berg


Welcome to the Only in Seattle podcast. I’m
not going to say which number it is, but we are in double digits. So I want to introduce
our folks that are helping produce this podcast super quick. We’ve got Nicky Smit, we’ve got
Tristan Hotan, Yoltan sorry. Just butchered your name Tristan sorry. Starts with a Y.
It’s tricky, and Darien Dunstan. And so thank you guys for making this happen today. All right, so this is a simple eating strategies
for the holiday season podcast. Normally we talk about business. Normally we would talk
about real estate, but we’re going to take a little… We’re going to hang a little bit
of a left hand hook here and go down a different road. But I think it’s a topic that applies
to everybody. So I’m going to introduce our guest here today and she is Alex Berg and
she is an IFBB professional bodybuilder. She’s the only bodybuilder to come out of
the city of Medina, Washington. That’s where Bill Gates is from, and she’s a recent graduate
of Purdue university. And while going to school at Purdue university, Alex earned her pro
card at her second amateur bodybuilding competition ever. Which has only happened, I think we
couldn’t figure out the fact checking on that. But probably only a couple of times ever has
somebody earned it. Some people spend all their careers trying to get a pro card and
don’t. Alex has amazing genetics and worked super
hard in the gym. She’s an expert in training physiology, nutrition and food prep. So on
this podcast we are going to get from Alex tips, tricks and eating advice as we head
into the worst time of the year for most people to gain weight. The holidays. Welcome to the
Only in Seattle podcast Alex, it’s nice to have you. Thank you. And so we should let the listeners and viewers
on YouTube know that the way you and I met was at the Bellevue club. We just happened
to workout at the same gym. Yeah, and see you there all the time. And
it took a long time to get an attention. Yeah, see my kids there, some of their friends
there and I’ve kind of known who you are for quite a while, but until one of my kids went
up and talked to you. I mean I’m just not going to randomly go up and talk to another
kind of person training there. I’ll talk to guys but not girls. It’s okay. I know, but we know each other now and we
kind of talked about having you on the podcast and going over this topic, which I think is
an amazing topic because everybody kind of struggles with eating during the holidays.
And I was recently having a conversation with one of my summit brokers. His name is Oscar
Hailar and he’s also an amateur bodybuilder. And he’s like, Hey, it is so hard to meet
up with clients and go out to eat, maybe have a few drinks and make some bad food choices
as a real estate broker or as somebody in business. And so we had that conversation.
Yeah, tough you got to discipline yourself. And so I kind of wanted to do a podcast with
you on how do you get through the holidays without gaining a ton of weight. And I have a plethora of tips and tricks that
I’ve thought of, but I personally don’t go out too much over the holidays, just because
I like to keep my diet as tight as possible and eating at restaurants and eating at holiday
parties. You don’t really know what’s going into that food because you’re not personally
cooking it. So there’s a lot of variables that you have to just try and get in check
and put into you, however you like to calculate your nutrition or macros. It just gets into
be a lot of gray zone. So we’ve brainstormed a couple of ideas of how you can get through
your holiday parties without completely going off the rails. Just destroying your diet or whatever you
got going on. And I think- Too many pieces of pumpkin pie. Yeah, too many pieces of pumpkin pie, too
many big Turkey dinners with mashed potato, too many company drinks that company functions.
Most big companies have at least one drinking function. And if you get invited to a handful,
it’s just like, Oh there’s three or four times where you’re just not eating what you probably
should be. And you want to be on the same level as your
coworkers that are there. So you’re automatically obligated to have at least one drink and one
drink usually is not the limit. It usually goes far beyond that because you want to feel
comfortable and social and warm and cozy on the inside with your coworkers and their spouses,
but- You got to keep up. You got to keep up just to- Go be a quitter. Yeah, you want to be on the same level and
unless you really go in with your goals in mind in saying that I’m not going to drink,
I’m just going to have like another cup of my whatever, red solo cup I’m going to fill
it with something else. But most people don’t do that. Yeah, that’s people don’t know what’s in your
cup. Exactly. So as long as you’re carrying one
around. That would be my personal strategy, just filling it up with water because I don’t
want someone like nagging me. Speaking of water. Saying like why aren’t you drinking anything?
Come on, let’s get you a drink because your hands are empty. Two or three drinks in, they’re not going
to know. Yeah, exactly. So, well tell me a little bit, how did you
become a professional bodybuilder? Give me a little bit of that background. Well when I was in high school and before
that I was really into competitive soccer. So I played a premier level soccer my whole
life. And then once I got to college I had gotten a couple of injuries and didn’t want
to play in college. So I got to Purdue and just went there off of academics, and was
like I don’t want to get the freshman 15 so what am I going to do? Well first of all I’m
not- Freshman 15 being freshman gain 15 pounds
at first year, and why do they gain that? Usually because it’s a lot of drinking. And
when you’re in high school you’re doing so many different sports, and you’re really active.
So combining all that extra exercise and calorie output and the of drinking. So you’re usually
like a lot fitter in high school and then the second you get to college, you’re like
an engrossed with all of these drinking culture. And people wanting to, like I said being on
the same level, not having a red solo cup in your hand. People are just like, okay,
it’s time to drink. And that was just never really my shtick. Not your thing. But even when I got there, I did try drinking
and it really wasn’t for me. It seems like everybody in Indiana had like been very well
versed in drinking beer and vodka. I just couldn’t handle it. I just really couldn’t. Not your thing? Not my thing, but I did join a sorority, so
that was kind of the culture that submersed me within alcohol. But really early on I decided
it wasn’t for me and so I started going to the gym. And I had already been going to the
gym in high school on the days that I wasn’t training for soccer, but not super serious.
I was doing all the rookie mistakes, like doing excessive cardio, not challenging myself
with like really, really heavyweight just because I didn’t know about it. And then once
I got to Purdue it was like… I think it’s because it’s so flat there you don’t have
like a lot of other people doing like cross training outside or going on hikes because
there’s no Hills or anything you can really do. And then in the summer it’s really buggy
and humid. So people aren’t really going outside to get their exercise. Whereas when in Washington
growing up here, everybody’s- That’s when you go out. People are going on hikes and going out on
the water doing different kinds of sports, and it just felt like there’s never an end
for people in Washington to get fit. But in Indiana it’s like there’s a lot less opportunities
to control your weight other than keeping your nutrition in line, which if you know
a lot about the Midwest, there’s usually not a whole big emphasis on eating super clean.
Plus it’s like- Eating as a sport in the Midwest. Yeah. And the Southwest. Who is drinking, I mean the two go hand in
hand. So you’re at a party, you’re at a family function, everybody’s drinking, there’s a
lot of smoking, there’s a lot of cigarettes. And that was even huge in Washington. So in terms of health, people didn’t really
pay attention to it out there. So the two sports that I did come across that most people
in Indiana did, was either CrossFit or bodybuilding. And that was totally new to me. So I was being
educated by all my gym friends about bodybuilding and lifting heavier. And so I did that probably
for a year and a half, like just building it up. Like your freshman year? Yeah freshman year, sophomore year. And then
sophomore year to junior year, I just started really buckling down and my main social outlet
was going to the gym. There’s so many friends there who are encouraging you, who are able
to spot you and they’re always telling you ways stronger than you think. So they would
push me a lot more than I was thinking that I was capable of. And that’s when I stopped
doing such excessive cardio and started to focus more on weights. And then some of my friends were competing
and I had been exposed to the sport before, but not super serious about it. So I was like,
okay, I’m going to get a coach because I want somebody to at least dial in my nutrition,
because I’ve never had somebody tell me what I need to eat in order to be successful. I’d
always just kind of guessed and ate healthy, but didn’t really know how- Like most people do? Right, it’s like generally how to stay healthy.
And the big idea is calories in versus calories out. So you energy balance is ultimately king.
So you want to make sure that you’re eating enough to fuel your basal metabolic rate in
addition to the extra calories that you’re burning on top of your workout. And that’s
going to be the key threshold for how many calories you need to eat. But I didn’t really know how much that was,
I didn’t know what my basal metabolic rate was. So hiring a coach that has done this
before. She specializes in bodybuilding was really, really helpful. And that’s when I
noticed my body start to change drastically. This is after like a year and a half? Is that
right? Yeah, of doing it in the amateur way. But
in terms of when I hired her, it was like immediately. So within like the first two
to four months, my body responded so quickly. I got really lean and I didn’t feel like I
was starving or anything, because I knew exactly what I was supposed to eat. I didn’t eat under,
I didn’t eat over. I felt like this is what I know I can eat and I’m going to be really
successful. And that’s exactly what happened. And then I decided after like two, four months
like okay, I’m ready to do a show. Originally I wasn’t really sure if I wanted
to or not. I just kind of wanted to dial in my nutrition. And then once I saw the results
I was like, I can do this bodybuilding thing. Like my body’s made for it given like how
lean I got so quickly. And then I did my first show, got first runner up at my first show
down in Florida. So that qualified me for nationals. And then I went to my first national
show about two months after that. So only eight weeks of prep after my first show and
then went into my first national show and got first runner up overall and got my pro
card. That is crazy. Yeah, totally didn’t see that coming. Yeah. So from the time you started dialing
in your diet and doing some shredding until you got your pro card. How long was that time
period? Not quite eight months. Six months, somewhere
there. Right, so that’s what nobody ever typically
does? I think it also comes down to like where your
body’s at before you start prepping. And I was already had a lot of muscle mass, didn’t
have a whole lot of fat to lose. So that’s why when I first jumped on a diet. And my
body had never been on a diet before. I mean I had definitely under ate before just because
I didn’t really know about it. I just knew I needed to eat less, but I did some crucial
rookie mistakes, like eating a ton of protein and like no carbs. It was like tuna, tuna,
tuna, Greek yogurt, tuna salad. Like there was no carbs coming in. So once I was able
to have a certain amount of carbs that I knew I needed, my body responded super well and
I was just blown away by the results. So then I just realized that bodybuilding was my sport. That’s your thing. Yeah, that’s crazy because
to put that in perspective, like we talked about earlier, some people spend their entire
career trying to obtain what you did in eight months. Yeah. And that’s why I felt like I’m a super
rookie to the sport. Moreover, I’m a rookie in the pro league, so now I feel like a baby
on ice. I mean everybody in there is amazing looking and they’re from all over the world.
You’re competing with people from every different country, you can imagine. And you don’t know
if they’re doing this full time as their career. Maybe they own a gym, maybe they own a nutrition
company, maybe they’re just sponsored a whole bunch by different companies that they work
with. And that’s how they make their income. Or you get a bunch of people coming in with
different kinds of jobs and bodybuilding is more of their hobby. And it’s really cool
because you’re going to go up there with like nurses and doctors and lawyers who are also
bikini athletes. So they’re really inspiring women that you get to talk to you backstage.
And everybody’s very group oriented. Everybody’s kind of rooting for each other. There’s not
a whole lot of bad mouthing between competition. So it’s the community that I was welcomed
into that really made me want to keep doing it. Let’s talk about that community a little bit.
Let’s talk about the division that you compete in is the bikini division. Yeah that’s the smallest one. Right, so run us through from that one go
up. Because I think a lot of people still have… Especially of my generation, have
that mental concept of female bodybuilders are huge. Are huge and bulky and not feminine. They’re bulky, jacked and not very feminine
of which you do not fall into that category. I scoff at people that think that. That’s what we have in our heads, and it’s
like she’s a pro bodybuilder. She doesn’t look like that. But then she’s in bikini division.
I don’t really know what that is. So walk us through what that looks like. So bikini, it started as kind of like more
of the modeling division and it’s really progressed a lot throughout the years. It’s gotten way
more muscular. What bikini looks like now 10 years ago is what figure looks like. Figure
is the next step up from bikini, where you’re worried a little bit more about your back
muscles and wide lats and then you still want a small waist. And then they look at glute
development and leg development. Bikini, they don’t really want big legs but
they want big glutes. They want a tiny waist and some laps. So you have a nice X-Frame
with big shoulders, but you’re not supposed to show your back in bikini. So you have to
like keep your hair covered and in figure you want to show your back. So you want to
show all the back development. And then up from that is physique. And then up from that
is bodybuilding. And one of the biggest distinguishers between
each of those is there’s a lot more performance enhancing drugs as you continue on in the
divisions. Just because the rate at which you’re putting on muscle can be pretty slow.
I mean for a female you can get newbie gains. Same with men if you’ve never lifted before,
you get a lot of muscle mass, especially if you’re eating the right diet in those first
few months of training for the first time. But then once you’ve been training for a while,
it’s really hard to get the same effect of newbie gains. So people start turning to performance
enhancing drugs if they’re really looking to put on more muscle mass. But bikini, we don’t really, we’re not too
concerned about being bigger. We’re concerned about the overall shape. That’s what you’re
judged on. And then like appearance, the hair, the nails, the tan, your suit. It’s like the
whole package that comes together as what they’re looking for. And you can have some
bikini athletes that are smaller and more feminine and then you can have some that are
more muscular. I range a little bit more on the muscular side, but I definitely couldn’t
do figure I’m not big enough for them to have to put on substantial muscle. Like how much so give the people kind of a
range when you are not competing. If you’re not comfortable talking about it with your
bodybuilding. Am fine. So weight wise you are between what and what? And that’s hard because there so many different
Heights in bikinis. So its not like that really matters. I think in some other divisions,
if for men they do weigh-ins before the show, but weight is such a minute. So it’s not that big of a deal what the weight
is? Yeah, because it’s your lean muscle mass,
like right now I’m 16% body fat and 132 pounds and I’m a little bit over five, seven. So
it’s hard to say. And to put that in perspective for people
who don’t, who are kind of outside of the fitness industry. Most women your age are
probably going to be closer to double that. Yeah, I mean for a healthy woman and to be
considered athletic, you’re usually 20 to 25% body fat looks good. See I think that’s super low. I think most
are going to be considerably above that. Well in terms of like medical diagnoses, they
say I think its above 25% or above 30% that you start to get obese. So I don’t think that
a lot of women my age are obese, but they definitely have more body fat. Because people
in their early twenties are usually drinking because they’re finally legal and they’re
still writing out that early excitement. But for me it died very early. I’m not interested. And obese is considered, I think 20% over
your recommended? Perhaps. So it is not hard. So if you are a 150 pound
woman and so if you’re- We should think about how much of that weight
is lean body mass and fat. So like I’ve been running 50 and I was probably between 20 to
25%. Yeah, you’re whole nother. But I’m saying it’s like comes down to like
what that weight is coming from. So people can be 150 but be like a lot more fat than
their muscles. So that’s going to look a lot different. But so if there are normal weight should be
150 and there are 180 plus, they are considered obese. And that is- That is 30 pounds of fat. Yeah, that’s not hard to do. I mean that’s
pretty… It’s just, it really comes down to diet and
you have to make sure that you’re exercising to keep that lean body mass. Because that’s
what’s going to give you shape and definition and muscle aligns. Which is what people want
when they say they want to look toned or tight. All of these no name or words that we throw
out there. But really what that comes down to is you
have to have muscle mass in order to tone. You can’t just like do a whole bunch of band
workouts and hope that you’re going to look tone. Like you have to put on muscle mass,
which is going to increase your weight. So some people think that they just want to see
the scale go down, but if you’re always looking for the scale to go down, you’re probably
going to be losing some muscle mass in that too. Especially if you’re overdoing it on
cardio and under doing it on your diet. And we’ve kind of talked about that and I
call that and a lot of people call that the skinny fat. Yes. So you are losing pounds from your overall
body weight, but you are losing more muscle mass than you are fat. So now your percentage
of your body fat actually goes up. So you weigh less. But it would be like you weighing
less but going from 16% body fat to 18%. Exactly. And that happens to people all the time and
they don’t know it because they don’t know how much body fat they have. And they don’t know how much to eat and how
much in order… They don’t know how to properly use cardio. Like that shouldn’t be your main
source of losing calories. It should be coming from weightlifting and then your overall neat
throughout the day. Which is your non exercise activity thermogenesis. So how many calories
you burn just from like fidgeting, walking around the office, going up the stairs, brushing
your teeth. Those are all going to contribute to your overall neat for the day. Which is
one of the largest places of a calorie expenditure that we’re going to get. In terms of your
workout, that’s only a fraction of. It’s only a few hundred calories. Yeah. That’s probably like 300 to 500 calories
I guess. Maybe, yeah and you have one bad snack. You
have erased those gains for the day. Yeah. Go to Chipotle gone. Go to Detroit for
lunch. Go to trader Joe’s and get a bag of Cheese
Crunchies. Yeah, Cheese Crunchies. See I just can’t do
the Cheese Crunchies because I know if I started I wouldn’t stop. They’re delicious. So it’s Cauliflower. No Cauliflowers not. 60 calories. Yeah, so that’s why I wanted to have you on
the show because you know your food so well. Yeah, so
did we cover all the… I feel like we didn’t cover all of the divisions of bodybuilding.
We’ve got bikini which you’re in. Figure, physique, Bodybuilding. And bodybuilding is like the old school I
was talking about. That’s like its big as you can get. Just jacked up in all kinds of cycles. Muscle performance enhancing drugs. yeah, still awkward. Yeah. And you don’t see very many women competing
in that? I mean they’re out there, but I don’t really
know what states that they come from. Because Darren and I went to the Emerald Cup
here. The regional show. Regional show. So that’s like where you go if you’ve never
competed in a show before, you can sign up for the Emerald cup and compete. Anybody can
go. There were only a handful of women competing
in the bodybuilding division. Which should benefit them as well because
they don’t have as much competition against them in order to get that national qualifier.
Which is what people are going for at those kinds of shows. They want to get nationally
qualified and then once you can compete at a national show, that gives you an opportunity
to go for your pro card. Which is what everybody wants. That’s what everybody’s shooting for, which
you have. Do you actually carry around your pro card? It’s like a paper. I actually lost my wallet
and it had three different pro cards in it from the years. So what you do when you have
you earn your pro card, they send you this little piece of paper. Which some people get
laminated, but I would just put it in my wallet. And then you just pay a certain fee at the
beginning of the year. It’s kind of like having a gym membership. You pay like $200 and then
you can compete in as many shows as you want for the year. But then next year you have
to renew it. When you’re a national level competitor or
a regional competitor, you have to pay to do those shows. So that’s kind of the benefit
of being a pro. Is you can compete at as many shows as you want and you don’t have to pay
to sign up. So you just pay an annual membership fee and
then you get to compete. Yeah, you email the IFBB pro league and say,
I’m going to do such and such show. And then they submit you a contract that you have to
sign and send in. So you don’t back out and then that’s all you have to do. And then you
get to compete for money, which isn’t a lot. Can you make a living as a professional body
builder? Some people do, but not necessarily from the
prize money. That’s not where your big money is going to come from. It’s going to come
from sponsorship and your social media content. Right. But people do, do it. Something I forgot to mention about you, you
have like 13,000 close to 14,000 followers on Instagram. Yeah. I curated that as when I was in college
and I took some time off from social media when I got done and kind of went away for
like a year and saw my follower just count slowly decrease because I wasn’t posting the
same amount. Yeah. But you really do have to put out a lot of
content, a lot of content of yourself, a lot of content of your physique and sometimes
you don’t want to show your physique. Especially like for me, I went into an off season and
like put on more body fat than I had wanted to and I just kind of wanted to shy away.
Which happens to a lot of competitors also. It just takes a lot of work, a lot of vulnerability,
a lot of putting yourself out there and it’s really hard to just do that all the time.
I just kind of got fed up with taking pictures of myself really wasn’t my thing. But I know
that, that’s something that you have to do in order to get more followers, but I’m hoping
that like one day people are really going to want to hear my recipes. Yeah, your content and we’ve kind of talked
about that. That Instagram and especially for fitness athletes is they want to see a
certain kind of content, but they don’t really want to see deep content. They will read it,
but they won’t respond to it. You don’t know if they’re getting it at all. It’s kind of
lost like us creating a lot of real estate content. People don’t really engage with that,
but they will consume it. And you just don’t know. Whereas if you have the standard fitness
shots, which are all over, if you’ve got a fitness feed like I do, people doing poses
and doing all kinds of stuff, showing a lot of skin. That is what gets all the engagement And that’s what’s so sad is because you put
up, you try and at least this is my strategy is I’ll put up like one physique photo, then
maybe a cooking photo, then maybe like a quote and then picture of my dog and then a physique
photo. I can see from the feedback of who is engaging with my content that the pictures
that I’m posing of my physique get almost double the amount of the interaction than
the pictures of my dog or something funny because it’s still like my personal page.
I used to have one that was solely a personal page and I just abandon it once I started
my fitness Instagram and then that’s where all my followers came from. So I made that
in my main one. But I still wanted it to be my Instagram. So stuff that I thought was
important to my life and what people might want to see that’s also going on in my life
outside of the gym to create this full person. I’m not just a gym Barbie. That’s not all
I stand for. In fact, it’s very little of what I stand for, but it is a big part of
my life and something that I really care about. But I want to try and balance it with this
other stuff, and people just don’t want to interact with that. I think it’s also like
when you’re scrolling through a feed and you see a picture of like roasted chickpeas versus
when you see a picture of some girl in a bikini on stage. You probably going to be more awestruck
by the girl in the bikini on stage than you aren’t just this picture of chickpeas. You’re
not going to go and look at the recipe or what the content is under that. You’re just
going to be like blah, blah. I don’t really care. Don’t care. But the picture of the girl in the bikini,
you’re just like, okay, what’s the caption here? Like you might actually pay more attention. And then engage with that. And then engage with that. Yeah, and that is just so standard in the
fitness world? Yeah. It’s just kind of, that’s the way it is? Yeah, and so I learned that I built up my
following and then I kind of got realize that, that’s kind of where it ended. And I just
kind of walked away from social media for a while, lost a lot of followers and now I’ve
retained some. But I mean, I don’t know how many of those are like active followers. There’s
probably a bunch of those followers in there, which just happened as you’re building up
a following but. Right, they followed you at one time. Probably
don’t look at your content, whatever still comes through, but yep. Social media. What
are you going to do? I know. Unfortunately it’s a really important part
of what you guys do in the fitness world. It’s kind of where you put out you as a competitor Because people want to… They see how you
look and they’re like, well she can do it then maybe I can do it. So how did she transform
her body? Especially if there’s like those transformation photos, like maybe what you
looked like before you started lifting and eating right and then after. But a lot of
it does come down to genetics and like where you were at before you started lifting. Like
I already had a lot of muscle mass just from doing soccer and especially in my lower body
and my abdomen. And then once I started bodybuilding I started worrying about building up my lats.
Something that I’d never considered in high school. And tell people where the lats are. Right under your armpits. So it’s- It gives you that ring- That nice X frame. So people say yeah, if
you’re going and doing your back workouts, people say, I’m trying to grow my wings so
I can fly away. Like Sylvester Stallone in Rambo. Amazing
lats just huge wings. Nice and thick. Yeah, or Arnold back in the golden era. Just
amazing for a guy that’s six, two, just huge lats just… And the goal of that is the wider your back
looks, the smaller your waist looks. So people want to see that hourglass for a woman or
like the X frame for a guy. Right. But that’s ultimately what people are seeking. Right, so for those out there seeking but
are having a tough time eating through the holidays. So we just got through Thanksgiving,
maybe people indulged a little too much. Like we said, a little too much pumpkin pie and
whatnot. What are some strategies? Say going into the company dinner or the company drinks
event. What can they do to kind of offset that or to put themselves in a position where
maybe January one you’re going to crank up your fitness? Which I think a lot of people want to do starting
January 1st but if you can probably just say screw it over December and then you want to
get back on in January. You’re going to have a very low motivation, probably a little bit
of self-loathing and feeling guilty. And people don’t want to have those feelings just to
start off the new year. That’s not a happy place to start. So I think it would- But it’s where most people start. Because people are just saying screw it during
December. Especially because you’re coming out of Thanksgiving. In November. And maybe you have like one slip up because
it was one day on Thanksgiving. That’s the first day of like all out eating and now people
are starting to make Christmas cookies, and then you’re having like a Christmas breakfast
and then there’s company parties. So the first thing I would say is maybe write down in your
calendar what events you have going on later in the month. Maybe decide which ones you
really want to enjoy. Maybe the ones with your family on Christmas day is really important.
But maybe you have like one or holiday company events that you’re you want to go to and you
want to participate in. But you know that they’re not really as important to you. So
I would write those down and then put it in your however you like to calculate or track
your food. Which I use MyFitnessPal, which is a macro calculator. It’s a free app. Yeah. You can just calculate. So its an app that you can download on your
phone. And I talk about this all the time in the gym because nobody else cares. because
most people don’t track their macros. In macros are macronutrients, its protein,
fats and carbohydrates. Most people don’t track that. And then also
tracking your calories. So you’ve got those three, the protein, fat, carbohydrate, and
then you cumulatively you’ve got the calories. And that’s what kind of determines how your
physique either takes on muscle or it takes on fat or maybe stays even. So you use MyFitnessPal.
I think a lot of other people do too. And Fitbit also has a very similar, that’s
what my mom uses. Tracking? Tracking app. So I would say making sure that
you’re monitoring the food throughout the month and just seeing like I’m going to stay
to a certain calorie goal the rest of those days. And then if you can, look ahead onto
the day that you have that holiday party are login one to three drinks, I would recommend
one. But I know some people have higher tolerance than they need. Three in order to feel good. What about five? About five? So maybe you can limit yourself
because maybe you want to have endless glasses of wine with your family on Christmas day
and if you’re going to do that, then maybe like holding the reins a little bit on those
two holiday party days. Because who are you there to impress really? You’re just trying
to like get in, get out, say your hellos, be social and you’re just going to go home.
So you don’t want to be shooting yourself in the foot after our holiday party knowing
that you have another day coming up, where you really would rather be enjoying yourself.
But you don’t want to have to get to Christmas and feel like, Oh, I already like went to
those two holiday parties. I drank way more than I wanted to. Now I’m going to have to
restrict myself on Christmas. Which nobody really wants to do. So I would say keep your
macros tight throughout the rest of December. Maybe you want to do a challenge with your
favorite influencer. They do tons of like 28 day, 30 day challenges just to keep you
regimented throughout the rest of the month. And then that also gets you a little bit of
motivation going forward. Saying that I’ve already been so good about my diet and my
exercise. I know that if I have done this for 15 days straight for 20 days straight,
that I can keep it up throughout the holidays. And so at least if I go to that holiday party,
I know that I’ve already either gotten my workout in or I’m going after or the meals
leading up to that holiday party we’re on point. So I know I’ve already calculated this
into my macros for the day that I’m going to have these drinks, I’m going to enjoy them.
I’m not going to have more, I’m not going to have less. I’m going to enjoy what I said
I was going to enjoy and then go home and be done with it. But then on Christmas don’t
track and it’s just going to be a pain. Let it rip. Yeah, because grandma’s cooking, your cousins
are bringing food. You don’t want to be that person that say, what’s in this? How much
butter did you use? How many eggs? Which is funny because you are that one person. Yeah. I tell my mom, if you’re making something
like a casserole. Casserole they’re very hard to track because there’s so much that goes
right. Well you have to put in so many ingredients
on MyFitnessPal. You can create a recipe. You totally can. It’s a lot. And then it’s like serving sizes. So if you
take one serving, how much does that weigh versus like trying to eyeball it. If you want
an accurate measurement, you should put it on a food scale. But maybe she added a little
bit of extra cream because you thought it would taste better. You can’t really- It probably tastes better. And it probably does. And you want to be able
to enjoy that without making your mom feel bad. But it ups the fat and it ups the calories
and everything else as well. Okay, so strategy number one would be to kind of prioritize
the days that you want to go rogue with your eating. Yeah. And on the days that you feel like they’re
less important. So maybe those holiday parties have a limit of things that you know that
you can track. So like I’m only going to have drinks. I know that I’m going to eat before
so I’m not super hungry. I’m only going to drink at these parties. I’m going to have
one to three drinks, I’ve already logged them in my nutrition calculator and then I’m going
to go home and have my other meal that I’ve already planned. If you’re going to be eating
rogue on those days too, again it’s going to throw another variable and curve ball into
the equation because you don’t really know what people are going to be cooking with.
But an option if you do want to eat and go to those parties is to bring something for
yourself. I mean, you can cook something that you know what’s going into it and then bring
it kind of like as a potluck or offering. You don’t care eat my really healthy food. Yeah, I mean like maybe it’s like some sort
of like sweet potato casserole and you know exactly what goes into it. It’s fibrous, it’s
carb heavy. Maybe that’ll help digest your alcohol at the same time. So you’re not drinking
on an empty stomach. I know I wouldn’t want to do that, but maybe if you want to drink
on an empty stomach, maybe you feel it more whatever works for you. But- What would be a good drinking strategy? So
say that you know you’re going to have four drinks, let’s call that a big night for somebody. Okay. I call that just getting started, but different
well. I would know exactly what I’m drinking. Probably
don’t have any additives with a sugary drink or maybe you have like a Whiskey and Diet
Coke. I don’t even know what drinks people make, but I would stick to the clear alcohol. Vodka and Tonic. Vodka and Tonic yes something like that. And
if you’re going to have four than however many calories that could be upwards of 600
calories depending on how you take it. I mean probably 150 per drink for those. It can get
up. Clearer the alcohol, this is what I’ve read.
The clearer the alcohol, the less fat content and hard alcohol has less fat content and
fewer calories because it’s less. Its carbohydrate and it’s going to get broken
down into sugar. And your body is going to- Yeah, and same thing with all alcohol as far
as that goes. Yeah, but maybe you’re a wine person and maybe
you want to have two glasses of wine. You could have three but you’re going to limit
yourself to two. That’s 300 calories. So you’ve already logged that for the day. And that’s
going to come in the source of carbohydrates. So maybe you skip your morning bowl of oatmeal
or your morning pancakes or what have you. Instead you just opt for a protein shake or
a bowl of Greek yogurt and you would do like half the fruit. Because fruits, carbohydrates
and sugar too. I wouldn’t say you should substitute your
fruit for alcohol. That’s not like the wisest decision for like longevity purposes, but
on one day it’s not going to kill you. It’s not going to kill you. It’s going to be carbohydrates. That’s just
one way to fit in your alcohol for the day. You’re going to have 300 calories of wine
at your holiday party no more, no less. And for the rest of the day you’re going to need
to eat around that. So just a slight adjustments. Right. Okay, so let’s talk, so that’s drinking
strategy. How about the actual meal itself? You are sitting down to family dinner and
you have got a smorgasbord of food in front of you. What should you eat? I would not go about it saying I’m going to
try everything because then you’re into like a binge mentality. Like I’ve been restricting
this long. This is the day that I said I was going to eat. I’m going to eat everything.
You can easily like blow out all of your hard work and one day just by- But that’s where the fun is. I mean if you like to binge maybe, but if
you prefer to keep your gut in check and you want to keep working on those six pack abs
into January. So then come spring, you’re already there. You don’t feel like you have
to keep covering up because you screwed yourself in January and December. And that’s why we’re kind of talking about
what we are. Is because we’re trying to eliminate as many mass ups that happened earlier in
the year and then it seems like it steamrolls over the holidays. Exactly. It’s like, you know what? I’m going to have
some candy at work. We make it a point to try and not bring candy in except when Darian
brings in, what’s that? Don’t bring it. Don’t bring it. If it’s an out of sight out of mind. So even
though I love pizza and donuts and chocolate. I’m not going to go to the grocery store to
buy those things and put them in my house. Because I know if I have them there. You’re going to eat them. I’m going to eat them. And it’s not usually
going to be a serving size like what it says on the box or on the bag. Right. It’s going to be more than that and those
are highly palatable foods. So it’s really easy to go over on those. And those are way
more calorie dense foods. Where if I’m stocking my house with cauliflower and tuna and bananas
and almonds and things that I know exactly what’s in them. I could look forward to those
foods. But I also don’t, I know that I’m not going to overeat on them cause they’re more
filling. They’re more voluminous. They’re lower in calories. So I’m going to get full
on the good stuff and I’m not going to have like… Because I mean one piece of pizza
is like 300 calories. Yeah, depending on what kind of pizza it is. Yeah. I mean it’s really hard to find pizza
that is lower than 300. And the pizza is lower than 300 a piece. It
does not taste good. Its not worth it. No, if you’re going to blow your calorie expenditure,
just go hard. Yeah. But it’s just like for me, I would have
to have like three pieces in order to feel maybe full and that’s maybe fall like I could
probably eat more than that. And then you’re into like the thousand calorie club in order
in like one sitting and you know that you’ve already had breakfast, you’ve already had
lunch. And you’re having this pizza at your company party. Maybe somebody brought in pizza
before the end of the day. And so you didn’t think about having these thousand calories
of pizza. And then you go home and have dinner because you’re still not full. The foods that
you just ate are very low volume and really high in calories. Yeah, and a huge hit of sodium, which is bloats
you up, which on top of the Christmas chocolate you ate earlier in the day, there’s another
500 calories. Yeah. That’s normal. Yes. And if you’re not drinking enough water,
it’s really easy for your subcutaneous fat to hold on to water. So you look really watery,
like and then you’re gaining like maybe three, four pounds of water just because you had
all that extra sodium and you’re not flushing out your system. So if you do feel bloated,
one thing that you can do is up your water intake for that day. Drink a bunch of water. That’s the best way to drop that extra little
water that’s hanging out right underneath your skin. So I saw one of your strategies, I think it
was either yesterday or today. I can’t remember because I knew we’d done a little bit of prep
on this but not a ton. And it was, if you know you’re going to be doing a family function
or a company function. Have two scoops of protein in water at like 10:00 AM. Another
two scoops of protein and water at 2:00 PM and then just let it all hang out during your
actual meal. Yeah because there’s probably not going to
be like a lot of protein sources. There might be one or two, especially if it’s like a Turkey
or a Chicken is like your main dish, but it’s going to be a lot of those sides, those casseroles,
those, those green beans, that’s where all the action is and that’s what people usually
bring. They don’t really bring the entree. Maybe one person cooks the entree, so that’s
going to be your main source of protein. Everything else is going to be mostly comprised of carbs
and- Carbs, yeah. So if you know that you’re hitting your protein
goal, then you can really enjoy all of those side dishes that grandma made without having
to feel like- Mashed potatoes and gravy. Yeah, so you know that all I’ve had is protein
today. So I know I have 200, 300 grams of carbohydrates that I can eat and so I’m going
to these mashed potatoes and not feel bad about it. But do you know those mashed potatoes
are probably not just plain potatoes. No they got some butter. They’ve got some
cream There’s probably a bunch of other good stuff.
Maybe crumbling breadcrumbs, you don’t know. Maybe a role. Yeah, two. Maybe two, with some butter. With more butter, more carbs and fats. Yeah, I mean taste the season, but this is
the whole point of the podcast this a season to just say, screw it I’m going to go in on
this bench. So how do people slow down or get it in their
head? I actually need to be accountable for my eating. How does that take place? Well, that’s why I think making sure that
you’re in the beginning of the month. So starting right now, not waiting until December 25th
to say like, I should probably be eating appropriately and not like a jerk. Because your body is
what you have to look at every single day. And if you really care about your physique,
then you should do the best things for it. Which is going to be feeding it right, exercising
right, lowering your stress levels, drinking enough water, taking care of yourself overall. So if you want to have that one day to enjoy,
setting yourself up for success in the beginning of the month is going to be really crucial.
So sticking to your macros, thrust throughout the rest of the month and then a lot in yourself,
those calories that you want at your holiday parties. And not just saying screw it on those
days, I’m going to have all these entrees that people brought. I’m going to have the
drinks, but I said I’m going to enjoy myself and then I’m going to go home and get back
on my diet. Because I’ve made this room for myself. I knew that I was going to come here,
I knew what I was going to drink, but the day that I want to actually enjoy myself and
not track. And have a little bit more easy breathing is going to be on Christmas. Right, so just prioritize the dates you know
you’re going to have a blowout? Yeah. And on that day that you do have blowout,
what I would say is ask your relatives like, is this good? Like have you tried this? See
what people say about the different dishes. See maybe you can decide what’s worth those
calories and what’s not. And then if like, okay this corn casserole isn’t worth the calories
but I do want to try it. You just have a little bite just to satisfy it and be like, okay
it’s not that good. I don’t need to have a full serving of it. Have a full serving of
the things that you know you really want or have like good recommendations. Maybe it’s
something that your grandma makes every single year and you only get it once a year. So go
and enjoy it but have one serving so then you can have a mismatch of different things
that you want, without overdoing it on one certain thing. So it’s kind of like do a sampling but have
some restraint and have a little bit of portion control. For sure. And then you’re kind of off the hook. You
get to taste everything, but you haven’t had a massive meal, which I think the average
Thanksgiving, the average American consumed. Something like 2,600 calories in that meal. And that’s more than I eat in a day. Right, and you’re exercising. Right. So you are burning off another, call it 500
calories? Yeah, on a good day. Okay. Yeah, right. That’s crazy. So that’s
why, and then people are… And you’re young, so you’ve got a younger person’s metabolism.
You’re not old like me at 51 and lower testosterone levels. So I have to work that much harder
to stay at the same energy expenditure level and calorie expenditure level as you do. And
so as an old dude, if you eat like you’re still 12 years old and don’t exercise, that’s
how everybody just gets so overweight so quick. Yeah, you have to be an adult about it. You
have to say like- What? That’s annoying. Yeah, you have to be an adult about your diet. No, that’s annoying. To know what’s going in and out of your tank
and try and fuel it properly. And on Thanksgiving or on Christmas, think about what you’re doing.
Are you going to go to the gym that day? Maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re going to take a rest
day. Are you going to be going on a walk with your family or are you going to be sitting
at home and doing a lot of the driving and schlepping things in and out of the house?
Those are like, you’re going to decrease your meat there too, but if you know that you’re
going to be eating a lot more and you don’t want to go to the gym. Maybe offer to go take
the dog on a walk. Maybe somebody is already walking the dog. Just offered to go with them.
Spend some time with your family outside. Get some extra steps in order to put that
food to good use. And not just that, it’s sitting in your stomach feeling lethargic
the whole day, and then the next day you wake up and you want to restrict yourself. That’s
not a good mentality, get in the habit of. Right, and that walk can burn another couple
100 calories. Yeah. If you go for an hour walk, you can
burn 300 calories. And that’s like a slow gym day for me. It’s like 300 calories. Yeah, 300 calories. Yeah, that’s a decent
cardio burn. Like an arm day. An arm day, yeah. Which is a lighter day.
It’s not a leg or a back day. Yeah. Yeah, okay. Well I think we’ve covered a lot
of strategy. One thing you mentioned earlier was follow or doing a challenge with an influencer.
So tell the listeners and viewers what an influencer is? And where they might find a
challenge. Like a fitness challenge is what we’re talking about. Influencers are everywhere. It’s not a real
job. It’s just people that are on Instagram. Maybe they have a big following. But they make it seem like it’s a real job. Right, it depends how many sponsorships are
they getting paid to post pictures with certain products? Are they receiving any money for
those posts or are they just getting free discount codes? You can have 500,000 followers.
You can have a million followers and not make any money from it. Maybe you make a chump
change from it. But you didn’t have to do some other side hustle in order to actually
make a living. But those influencers do put out a lot of content because they want to
keep all those followers happy and a lot of the time they’ll do challenges where it’ll
take place over the course of a month. So then you don’t have to necessarily sign up
for them to be your coach or dial in your nutrition. It’s just certain workouts every
day of the month. But you could have them be your coach. That
is always an option typically. Yeah, you could have them be your coach. Yep, so find a challenge. So this is on Instagram? On Instagram. Or YouTube maybe? Yes, and usually people that are in the fitness
industry probably have an Instagram and a YouTube, but a lot of the times they’ll publish
or publicize their challenges on Instagram. Maybe they’ll do more informational videos
on YouTube about like how their challenge is going. But that’s how a lot of people I
know are getting started into their fitness careers rather than just hiring a coach full
on and having them tell, like dictate their workouts and their nutrition. They’re just
saying like, Oh, I’ve done a couple of this influencer challenges and it’s really worked
for me. It’s like as long as you’re doing your own
nutrition, somebody else’s giving you your workouts for a month. And usually those are
really low prices. It can be like $30, $20 because these influencers know they don’t
have a ton of credibility, but maybe they write really good workout plans, because they
know what they’re doing. Maybe you found them on Instagram because
you were looking under the hashtag like ab workouts or leg workouts or glute workouts.
And they’re using that hashtag and you realize they have like a million followers and a bunch
of likes on that and people saying that they’ve had really good results from doing those challenges. There’s a really easy way for you to know
what you’re doing in the gym, and only spend like 20, 30 extra dollars without having to
hire a coach, without having to do this extra nutrition thing. You just want to have somebody
give you a little bit more structure for a limited amount of time. And maybe you want
to go and reuse that same challenge for like all of those workouts and you can keep using
it into January. Maybe you really like the results that you’ve gotten and maybe you want
to go hire them as a coach, or maybe you want to seek even more information and structure
with another coach that actually has the credibility and the decree and the certification. What the first guy didn’t or girl didn’t. Probably not. We talk about that all the time is, all it
takes to be an influencer is I’m an influencer. Yeah, maybe you just look good. yeah. Maybe you post really good pictures of whatever. You’ve got good social media content, that
is literally all it takes. And what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for
another person. And I think you see a lot of just content. It’s like that doesn’t make
any sense at all, but maybe that worked for them. I don’t know, and they kind of use it
as this goes for everybody. And that’s another thing is that you can’t…
Like if somebody posts their calories, those calories or what that person has worked for,
their metabolism can handle. So just because they’re able to cut on 1800 calories, 2000
calories doesn’t mean that you can start eating that many calories and you’re just instantly
going to lose body fat. You might be a lot lower place, you could be at a higher place,
you don’t know. But just following somebody else’s meals or macros is not a good place
to start. Know that, that person has worked for those macros and that’s what’s working
for them right then. But everybody is different. Yep. And what I hear a lot of influencers
saying is just keep your workouts and your food consistent and see what works for you. That’s a really good place to start. Yeah, because not everything is the same for
everybody. And before I forget, you are on Instagram as Alex A Berg and that’s B E R
G fit. Yeah, so Alexa Berg fit. Alexa Berg fit, add Alexa Berg fit. That is
you. That’s me. Yep, so if you want to follow Alex in her
fitness journey, she’s there. So let’s talk about something that has been kind of going
around. It has to do with everybody’s kind of on their own journey and they’re doing
their own thing and there’s media out there that you just have to be aware of. And that
is the Netflix special, the Game Changers. And that has come up a lot because people
are starting to embrace veganism just from all angles. And so you and I have talked about
that and you were like, Oh the Game Changers. Tell me what you think about the Game Changers,
and tell us first what it is. Okay. I think they call the Game Changers
is because the vegans are here to change the game of nutrition. All games? The documentary, we can’t even call it a documentary.
The film, because documentary would entail that you’d see both sides of the evidence
and this film pretty much cherry picks what they want to show you. They don’t show you
the other side. Like what? Meat eaters and they don’t talk about like Hussein Bolt, who
ate like a hundred chicken nuggets before his- A day. A day. He gained over a thousand before he set all
those worlds records in the Olympics. There only looking at- You know how much a thousand chicken nuggets
is? A lot of calories. That’s a lot of protein
and you’re getting that from an animal source, which is going to have a full range of essential
amino acids, whereas plant proteins are only partial amino acid profiles. So you’re going
to have to eat a lot of plants in order to get all of your necessary amino acids. And
for those who don’t know, amino acids are the building blocks of protein and how to
put your protein to work. And then you are essentially pescatarian,
meaning you eat fish and some dairy products. Yeah, I don’t only eat dairy just because
it is- Okay, I hear you eat eggs? I do eat eggs, but I don’t know if I’d qualify
eggs as dairy. It comes from a chicken. Yeah, I don’t know. But dairy I think dairy
is milk and yogurt. I do have kind of like an inflammatory response to dairy. So it’s
not really bad. I just kind of get kind of phlegmy and I do know that that it’s an inflammatory
response. So I just want to keep inflammation as low as possible so that it- You eat mainly fish. Mainly fish. So it’s not like you’re either on the pro
meat or the pro vegetarian side. I did, I was a vegetarian when I was eight.
My sister was one, two years before me. So we always had the vegetarian option available.
One year after I became a vegetarian, my mom became a vegetarian, so then we just stopped
making meat-based meals for dinner. What about dad? My dad still eats meat. But only he only eats
meat when my mom’s out of town. Good for dad. Yeah, he’s hanging in there. So when I got
to college, there wasn’t a lot of protein sources. I mean, I was getting them from like
protein bars. I was living in a sorority and in a dorm. Those were the first two places
that I lived. So it wasn’t like I had access to my own kitchen and I wasn’t able to make
my own food. But once I was, then I started eating fish because I could. I knew that I
could get 10 canned tuna and that was going to be a safe food that I could eat In Indiana. There’s not a whole lot of like great fresh
water sources near Indiana, so it’s going to be shipped from somewhere and then it’s
like how fresh is your fish? And then you could probably do something like frozen shrimp.
That’s a good place to start, but I just didn’t really know how to start eating fish, like
what I deemed was safe and what wasn’t. I just knew that my mom and my sister ate fish.
When I became a vegetarian. I felt so weirded out by fish by like the bones and fat. I just
felt like it was so real to me and I would associate everything with Finding Nemo. It’d
be like I’m eating a fish. This fish would talk and I don’t want to eat anything with
a face. But then I kind of matured once I got into college and I was like, okay, for
my health, I know that I need to get protein in the gym more. I know protein is a big deal. I want to get
it from whole food sources. I don’t want to just keep eating protein shakes because that
does a whole number on your digestive system if that’s all you’re eating. So I started
eating fish and that was really efficacious for my bodybuilding career. So I ate tilapia,
shrimp, tuna, salmon. Those were kind of my safe ones. I didn’t venture too far out of
there and I still won’t, like I won’t do oysters or muffled. That’s just too gross for me. Shellfish. Shellfish thanks. But like scallops, I can
do okay. So they’re just so limited like what I want to do, but I’m not going to say no
to everything for the rest of my life. But I do know that we are a family of very proud
vegetarians. But my mom is pescatarian and my sister’s now with vegan. Okay, and have they seen the Game Changers? I don’t think so, but I feel like they should
because especially my sister, since she’s a vegan, she should hear what they’re saying.
But then if she says anything positive about it, I’m just going to be like, okay, watch
this documentary, watch this video, debunking everything and just know that you’re dumb
to believe this stuff because they were only taking the evidence that they wanted to show
you in order to- Give us some examples. We’ve got the Hussein
Bolt, they don’t talk about that. Run through a few other. One of the first things that I noticed was
they say the gladiators were vegan. And they- And it benefited them wildly because obviously
they’re fierce guys in the arena. So they said they had this like kind of plant
mash and that’s what they had. Like in between battles and whatnot. And they had, they found
in their bones that they had high level of calcium. Which indicated that they ate a lot
of plants, but that was only gladiators in one area. If you looked at other gladiator
bones, they found that they had some high really high levels of sulfur which came from
seafood. So it really depends on your access to food and that’s what they were thinking
is like, whatever’s available to me, I’m going to eat it. We didn’t have whole foods back
then where you can go and make all these decisions. It was really like, do we live next to a sea
where there’s fresh fish. And gladiators were prisoners of war. They
did not get to choose their food at all. So why were they eating barley and these other
foods that were basically making them fat? Because it was there. That was it, it’s just
kind of locality. And it helps them when they get cut. Not to
bleed out. But plant proteins, like I said earlier, are
low in essential amino acids. So you have to eat more of them, which is going to be
a lot more carbohydrates, lower in protein. Whereas if you’re going to eat meat, which
is going to be lower in calories, higher in protein, and it’s going to be a full essential
amino acid profile. So you don’t have to eat as much to get those building blocks of protein. But with plants you have to eat a lot more.
You’re going to have more calories. So that’s where you’re going to get more energy from.
So maybe if they’re burning a whole bunch of calories throughout the day, maybe they
look better. I don’t know, because they have more of an energy source coming in and maybe
other gladiators only had access to fish and weren’t eating as many plants, but they had
more protein. They’re still going to have a lower energy balance for them. So they just
eat less. The other thing that I found was really disturbing
is they were claiming that a peanut butter sandwich has the same amount of protein as
a three ounce steak or three eggs. So three eggs has 18 grams of protein and approximately
210 calories. They’re in one egg. It’s 70 calories, five grams of fat, and six grams
of protein. So you’re thinking like it’s just a protein source. You’re wrong. It’s a predominantly
also a fat source. A lot of fat. But that’s just for eggs. And that’s 210 calories
for three. For a steak, it can range from 18 to 24 grams of protein for about three
ounces. And that’s 150 calories. So that’s way less than the eggs, but it’s all protein.
Depending on what slice there were cut of steak, then your fat range is going to differ.
That’s why I say it ranges from 18 to 24 for two servings of peanut butter. One serving
of peanut butter is 180 to 200 calories, and that’s two tablespoons. So the volume is way,
way less. So you’re not going to feel as full. Two servings of peanut butter is going to
be about 16 grams of protein, so less than the eggs and less the steak, but comparable.
And that’s going to range for about 360 to 400 calories for way less volume of food and
tons and tons of fat. So there’s- Is that with the bread without? That’s without. Yeah, so you put in the bread, the sandwich
that they show on the movie, let’s say it’s wheat bread, 150 calories a slice. Sure, and so there’s 300 calories of carbohydrates
on top of your 400 grams of fat. So there’s 700 calories right there. So they’re saying
that peanut butter sandwich has the same amount of protein as steak or eggs, but you’re not
talking about how much peanut butter you’re putting on that sandwich and the total calorie
content of each of those products. So does it benefit you to eat a peanut butter sandwich
over three eggs? Probably not, especially if you’re looking at counting your calories,
but maybe you’re having a really high calorie count and that’s one way to get dense nutrients
in for sure. But know that you’re getting more fat in that meal and more carbohydrates
than you are protein. Whereas the other two are predominantly protein sources, except
for the eggs. The eggs are also a fat source. They’ve got the healthy fats. The healthy fats and a full range of amino
acids in that egg. Eggs are great. Right, so who produced this movie? Arnold Schwarzenegger. Who has a line of products that include… Vegan products. And James Cameron. Who else are- He is the Titanic. He did the Titanic and
he also has a vegan company. Cash grab. Yeah, so you got to kind of take who is putting
the content out and why. And who’s benefiting from it. Who’s benefiting from it. Yeah, and I think
a lot of what people are saying seeing is this is awesome to go vegan and I’m going
to feel better and I’ve eaten a lot of meat and I do feel better when I don’t eat quite
as much meat. So it’s one of those things where you have to kind of read between the
lines and figure out what works for you. Going vegan doesn’t necessarily work for everybody.
And there are countless professional athletes right now who are switching back to a meat-based
diet because they don’t have enough collagen in their diet and they’re getting hurt. And
so to heal- Joint health and skin elasticity. They’re getting hurt, they’ve gone on the
vegan kick doesn’t work for them. For some people it works great. It works amazing. There
was I think strength athlete in there who had some world records. But he was also probably
just juiced up on all kinds of steroids and he had massive amounts of protein shakes. Yeah, what I heard from that is he was mostly
supplementing a ton, like he was having his BCAAs, his EAs, essential amino acids on top
of protein shakes. So I mean he was hitting his macro goals. So it really doesn’t matter
where you’re getting your proteins, fats, and carbohydrates from as long as you’re hitting
those goals. But what’s hard about being a vegan only diet is you do get a lot of excess
carbs and fats coming from mostly carbs from your past. Because you have to eat more food in order
to get the protein in there, and it’s not as good protein. So you just got to kind of
be really careful. So they usually end up eating a lot less protein,
which if you’re trying to build muscle isn’t the best thing for you. Yeah, it doesn’t work. Where you’ve got, how
about like, Oh the swimmer blanking 12,000 calories a day. Michael Phelps? Michael Phelps, eating everything in sight. Because he has to. Yeah, and he was not vegetarian. So I don’t know, if he had to eat up a vegan
diet, he had to have to like, the amount of volume you would have to eat his stomach would
be so distended. He wouldn’t be able to train. Talk about bloated. Yeah, so there’s all kinds of examples of
athletes who have done well on the vegan diet and then athletes who haven’t. And I think
something interesting for people to do is just to Google the Game Changers debunked. Yes. And there’s so many examples out there of
when you… Because when I first watched the Game Changers I was like wow, this makes a
lot of sense. Me too. I might give this a try. I was like I shouldn’t be eating as many eggs. Yeah, oh I need to put the chicken down. The thing that really has stuck with me was
when they interviewed the Miami Dolphins and had them eat three different kinds of burritos.
They had a steak burrito, a chicken burrito, and a plant-based burrito. Bean. Bean burrito, and then they tested their blood
and they put it in the centrifuge and showed the blood at the bottom and the clear liquid
at the top. And they showed that once you ate a plant-based burrito, that it was really
clear and it was really cloudy for the chicken and the beef. But what they’re not showing
you is. First of all, we don’t know what kind of cut of chicken that is. So it could be
more of a fatty chicken, but what causes that cloudiness is fat. So that’s the only thing
it is. It’s just not coming from animals or not. It’s just having fat in your blood and
in your body. So they’re totally distorting that just to make it to demonize meat in general. And that’s what so many of the bodybuilders
and fitness coaches and the doctors out there are saying, is that this documentary Cherry
picked everything and now everybody is… And we see like- Confused. Yeah, they’re confused. And this happens like
once a year as you get some special and some information out there or a special study that,
Oh we should do this. And then it doesn’t really work for everybody. Just like dieting
doesn’t work for everybody through the holidays, the way we’ve talked about it. Everybody’s
got to kind of figured their own way to operate their own body. I mean you can take the tips and tricks if
you want to get a hold on yourself. But that might not be for you. Maybe you do just eat
throughout the holidays and that’s what your does and you don’t want to sacrifice your
quality of life just to look a little better or maybe lose five pounds and that’s okay.
Whatever floats your boat really. When it’s going to make you happiest. You don’t want
to just be miserable throughout the holidays just to look a little bit better, unless that’s
something that’s really important to you and then it’s going to make you overall more happy
because you do look leaner. Yeah. Because it’s actually pretty easy to
get through the holidays eating clean if you want to. It’s just what do you prioritize
in your life. Just like you budget money, you budget your
calories. Yeah, but nobody wants to do that. Nobody wants to budget money? No. Wow, I think it’s easier for people to
budget money because it’s like, well I don’t really have to take all that much responsibility
there. I can work those numbers but for my body, I’m just going to eat this because I
like eating this. Maybe that person doesn’t have as much of
a close relationship with their self worth to have a look. Right. And other people maybe looking really fit
and being athletic and performing well in the gym is more important to them, so they’re
probably going to end up taking a little bit better care of their body. I think it’s important to everybody and it’s
an ideal to everybody, but only some people want to put the work in to have it actually
become a reality. I think what also goes into that is having
a little bit of motivation under your belt. Maybe you’re not that far away from your goal.
But if you’re 30. 40 pounds overweight, it’s really hard to keep going to the gym every
day and eating a clean diet because you’re not seeing crazy drastic changes every single
day. Once you get to a leaner body fat percentage, then a couple pounds here and there make a
really big difference when you’re looking in the mirror and you know that if like, Hey,
I’ve been eating 200 less calories for the past two, three weeks. I look a lot better.
Wow, I know that I can keep this up. Right. Whereas if somebody else was like, I’ve had
been eating to 500 calories less every day and I’m going to the gym and I’ve maybe lost
one pound. Or maybe you lose 10 pounds, but you’re so overweight that you can’t really
see what those 10 pounds look like. But you’re still making progress. Making progress, yeah. So we are about at
the wrap up point. So I thought we’d kind of finish off with somebody who was either
listening to this podcast or watching this podcast. What are a couple of tricks or what
are a couple of tips for them to actually just start an exercise routine or start watching
their food? This is ground zero. Maybe they haven’t done a lot of exercise. They haven’t
exercised in a while. They haven’t counted their food. What are a couple of easy steps
they can do to kind of maybe start going down that road? The first thing I would do is download MyFitnessPal.
It’s a free macro tracker, so it’s just one way to have the numbers calculate in with
what you’re eating. And it’s got like a bar scanner on it. Yeah, so if you’re eating packaged foods,
if you’re eating like oatmeal or something that you have to measure out. That was why
I would pair with a food scale. So I would do exactly what you’ve been doing. Don’t change
your diet, but just start to measure and log your food to get an estimate amount of calories
that you have been eating. And then once you kind of realize where you’ve been, then you’ll
have a better jumping off point for when you decide to lower those calories and start to
like having a bigger hold on your diet. You’ll kind of know. You’ll know how many- You’ll what a serving looks like of certain
food. Yeah and so maybe serving of oatmeal is 40
grams, but you’ve been eyeballing a lot more than that and maybe you do more some days
and less other days. But you don’t really know because you’re eyeballing it. A big differentiator
on your diet is going to be weighing your food out on a food scale. And then put that
into your MyFitnessPal and maybe you find out that you’re eating 2000 calories. Okay,
great. So this is how your body looks with however much exercise that you’ve been doing
and this many calories. So once you add in a little bit of exercise,
maybe you want to keep your food there. If you just want to maintain your physique. Maybe
you want to do like a lean book, keep your food high, but make sure you’re prioritizing
protein. And so I would say a baseline for that is between point eight to 1.2 per grams
of your body weight. So just multiply whatever your body weight is by either point eight
or two. If you really want to put on muscle 1.2 grams. That’ll give you an estimate of
how much protein you should be eating and then fill in the rest of your day with carbs
and fats. Some people like to eat more fats, some people
like to eat more carbs. I would say carbs are better for energy in a workout, but some
people just like having higher fats. Maybe they love their avocados and their eggs and
stuff. And you want to- Yeah, healthy fats? Yeah, healthy fats are not bad for you. But
you do know that for one gram of fat, it’s nine calories. For one gram of carbs, it’s
four calories. For one gram of protein, it’s four calories. So carbs are a little less
expensive than fats. So that’s why I would say keep your fats moderate around 20 to 30%
and then the rest of your day should be carbohydrates after you’ve allotted yourself their protein. And MyFitnessPal will give you like a pie
chart that will show you your percentages. Yeah. So that’s the cool thing about it. Yeah, it’s really helpful. Yeah, it’s really helpful. Because they’ll usually say like 50% is your
carbs. How however many, like 25% for protein, 25% for fats. Maybe you change that a little
bit. Right, one of the things that I watch is,
and I told you about this and talked to you about this is, Christian Guzman and he has
summer challenge. He’s done a summer challenge for the last three years and hit videos every
single day of that summer challenge, and he gets shredded and he’s basically a professional
YouTuber. He owns a gym and fitness clothing and stuff. And he’s tried to go pro and hasn’t turned
pro yet. Yeah. So there’s like a good, as like I was saying
like even somebody that looks amazing has tons of followers, does not mean they’re a
professional in the eyes of the IFBB. No, he just doesn’t have enough of a seek
to get that done in his. He just probably needs to look a little bit
bigger. Maybe he doesn’t want to mess around with PEDs. Maybe he has messed around with
PEDs and it’s just not working for him. He doesn’t look big enough. Yeah. But he’s like more of a physique model.
I mean he owns a clothing company. So we want to look good in his clothing. I mean every
guy’s probably like, I could be bigger. But he probably looks fine and he’s fine with
his lean physique. But in order to go pro he’d probably have to put on a couple more
pounds of muscle. Yep, so if you’re looking for examples of
a physique athlete who shreds and shows you how to use MyFitnessPal, that’s a great way
to do it at YouTube. Granted he’s young and he’s probably annoying to most older folks.
But I found a lot of inspiration there because he really dials in. This is how you eat, this
is how you exercise. If you want to cut fat. And he knows how to shred because he knows
how much he has to eat when he has to maintain his physique. Where it’s like a little bit
higher body fat. But like maybe he has more energy, he can put up more weight in the gym
and then maybe when he’s cutting, he goes from anywhere from 200 to 500 calories in
a deficit. He increases his cardio, which it further increases the energy output and
then decreases the calorie input. So you are going to lose those calories. Your body’s
going to respond, it’s going to find that extra energy from your fat stores and that’s
how you get nice and shredded and cut. Right. And you’ll have to find what your baseline
is first. So that’s why I would recommend any new beginner to find out what you’re eating
already and then make your changes. Maybe you start going to the gym. So you already
are in a 300 to 500 calorie deficit in addition to those 200 calories. So maybe you don’t
need to 2000 calories. So maybe you don’t need to go on a strict cut right away because
a lot of the time people will go into too severe of a deficit and lose some muscle overdue
on the cardio and then you’re getting into that skinny fat. Yep, well Alex thank you so much for coming
on. Yeah, thanks for having me. I enjoyed talking something other than real
estate and business today. That was awesome because fitness is kind of one of those things
that I really enjoy doing outside of what we do here. And we are out of here typically
at 4:00 PM. And that’s because I am on my way to the gym and so as Darien and these
guys do their own thing, so that’s kind of a big priority for us. So it’s fun to be able
to talk to somebody who is in that world. We get that world just by watching videos
on TV. So I encourage you to do some videos, do some more content because you have good
content when you put it up. Just needed to make more of it. Just put up the content. It’s kind of like
Gary V says that we always talk about how much content should you be putting up more.
It’s just that simple. Yeah, and I could definitely be putting up
a lot more. I’m not posting once a day. Which is usually a rule of thumb for a lot of influencers,
but I’m not doing that. I’m lucky if I get one every few weeks but I can do better. Yeah, it’s kind of like people starting on
that diet or starting to think about fitness. Just start those reps going. Yeah. Yep. So Alex thank you so much for coming
to our Only in Seattle podcast. I really appreciate it. I hope you have the great holidays. Thank you. And do you have any plans for shows in the
near future. No, after doing so many shows. It does take
a hit on your hormones and your thyroid health and both my thyroid and my hormones have taken
a big hit. So I’m trying to get into a healthy homeostasis before I do any kind of cutting.
But I’ve already been able to lose a lot of body fat without doing anything too crazy. 60% really low for being off season. And over 2000 calories a day. Yeah, that’s pretty impressive. Well, good
luck with that. Look forward to seeing your progress at the gym and also on Instagram. For sure. Thank you again so much for coming in. Thanks for having me. All right, now you bet. Again, I’m Sean Reynolds,
the owner of Summit Properties NW and Reynolds & Kline Appraisal for everybody listening
to the podcast. Thank you so much for listening and for those of you watching on YouTube,
I appreciate it. And we’ll see you in the next one. Happy holiday everybody, thank you.