Blog | Nick Deacon Fitness
134
blog,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,qode-theme-ver-13.1.2,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.5,vc_responsive

When you’re just getting started, it can feel like you need a physiology degree to understand what’s going on in your body. It’s important to track progress, but some metrics are downright useless - like BMI. I’ll teach you why you should forget about it, and 4 critical fat loss stats to focus on instead. What is BMI?   BMI (Body Mass Index) basically tells you how big or small you are for your height. (And most of the time, that information isn’t news to you.) It comes from this simple equation comparing your weight to your height.   photo credit: Wikipedia That number is then compared to a reference chart of many, many, many people, and you’re put into a category (underweight, normal, overweight, obese, etc.) photo credit: Wikipedia Why is it used?   1. It’s a quick and easy way to estimate the average person’s body fat. This is because gaining weight usually means getting fatter. Losing weight usually means losing fat (and some muscle unless you’re following an intelligently designed body recomposition program like this one). Unfortunately, it doesn’t take into account age, sex, or LITERALLY the most important factor in obesity - how much FAT you actually carry on your body. 2. It saves time and money for research scientists. Inviting 5,000 people to do anything costs time and mon-ey. So when you’re conducting large-scale research, why call everyone in individually to do an expensive body-composition analysis when you can just email them asking for their height and weight? Much easier. Besides, their individual body composition doesn’t matter. Unless the research is on a unique population like bodybuilders, BMI already does a decent job of estimating the average. If they’re they’re muscular enough to throw off the BMI scale, then they’re not the average. Their data point simply gets washed out as an irrelevant outlier. 3. The medical world doesn’t like change. That’s why...

In my exploration and study of training, movement, therapy, emotional trauma, and the human condition, I have witnessed all sorts of SEEMINGLY unrelated phenomena. But it’s always tied together somehow.   Just two weeks ago I attended a new course by >>Dr. Seth Oberst: Stress, Movement, and Pain<<. Unexpectedly, it has helped me tie countless ideas together with the common concept of >>The Polyvagal Theory<<*. Although I didn’t know what to expect, the course was nothing short of impressive.   Of all the things I love about Dr. Seth Oberst, his teaching style takes the cake. Unlike most "teachers" who spit information at you and test you on your parroting skills, Dr. Oberst takes the high road. Once he gives you the raw materials, an impressive curation of information, science, and clinical case studies, he encourages you to synthesize your own takeaways. This is a refreshing take on nurturing your own creativity and pure education.   After several days of digesting it all, I have compiled my own notes and takeaways for you.   *If you have not yet read the >>PRIMER<<, go do that first. Then you will understand the underlying concepts and mechanisms I am about to discuss.   A Flood of Emotion   After deep scientific lecture, we moved to begin practicing the Somatic Recovery techniques on each other.   During the first demonstration, I sat and watched in disbelief.   The first guy to receive the technique f'n cried. The guy f'n cried.   WHAT.   For seemingly no reason.   On the table, he asked if there was a tear in his eye. After sitting up, he described getting cold. After a few moments on the table, he began to actually well up with emotion. It was as if it needed time to bubble up after he sat up.   "VOODOO MAGIC," I thought.   So I partner up with my friend, which I believe was a key component as...

Your ancestors developed key reflexes to protect you from danger in emergency situations. This is good because your survival didn't depend on thinking before acting. This is bad because in modern society, these reflexes get triggered, and get stuck on repeat. Since they're beneath conscious control, we can't reset them with our thoughts. Using these as a lens, I would argue that getting stuck in these emergency survival reflex patterns can literally begin to explain just about every malady I can think of. (Or at the very least, play a role in):   weight gain carb cravings diabetes lethargy and chronic fatigue back pain muscle tightness and stiffness any postural pain feeling of stress / overwhelm feeling of loneliness, isolation, disconnectedness social anxiety blank stares; ability to win staring contests inability to laugh/cry difficulty swallowing / coughing / gag problems dry mouth, oral health problems constipation / diarrhea vision and hearing problems addiction lack of motivation, feeling helpless, like things are pointless, useless to even try wounds that won't heal   So how does it all work? Survival Reflexes   For my first trick, I will now attempt to make this mess of science as digestible as possible. Okay so your brain as you know it is the product of MILLIONS of years of evolution. Before your earliest ancestors had the luxury of conscious thought, every action and behavior was instinctive, reactionary, and subconscious. In other words, you weren't the boss - your DNA was. If you ever found yourself in danger, your ancestors had already passed on reflexes telling you exactly what to do. (What's FREAKIN COOL is that they can still be observed in all of mammalian life in the wild! I've got some videos for you later.) As time went on, subsequent brain layers developed, and our mammalian nervous systems became increasingly complex. New layers brought with them new survival abilities, and...

Below you will find my earliest experiences with the now-popular intermittent fasting, as well as 3 of my favorite articles that summarize the key points you need to know if you’re interested in this style of eating. Experiments with Intermittent Fasting - Precision Nutrition Dr. Ben House passionately rips into Intermittent Fasting with serious science (and vitriol). Intermittent Fasting for Women - Precision Nutrition Could You Imagine IF..?   My very first experience with intermittent fasting came back in 2008. Back then, it was still just called “fasting." As a young bodybuilder, I was discovering the limits of my digestive system as it struggled to trudge through over 4,000 calories a day of eggs, pasta, meat, and sweet potatoes. Despite the overfeeding, my energy wasn’t great. I was always conscious of how full I was - even going into the next meal. And every bite of food tasted terrible. It was just too much. I felt like if I could just get ONE day of reprieve from eating, I thought my digestion could catch up and I’d make better use of my food. I’d get better pumps in the gym, muscles would grow, and all would be right in the world. But I was TERRIFIED. As a bodybuilder, I went to the church of gains every Sunday and squatted away my sins for fear of ever losing my hard-earned muscles. Intellectually, it all made perfect sense. Just let the body handle the food it has for a moment and then jump back on track. Even if you’re eating less, why would this be any worse or different than a dieting phase where you’re chronically calorie-deprived? Too bad the meathead holy gospel preaches a stubborn adherence to beliefs like “more is better”. So, I asked a few of my jacked gym-bro mentors at the time what they thought, all of whom were very hard-working....

When I was a kid, I loved junk food. I grew up on the best junk in the world. When I moved to the US, I discovered a whole new world of wonderful junk: like Chips Ahoy!, these damn things, and good ol’ ice cream sandwiches. That was my diet in a white chocolate-coated nutshell. Eventually, I decided migraines were lame, and I didn’t want to end up tired and sick like my family members. Besides, being skinny sucked, so I set out to make some muscles. I started eating better, but I continued to struggle with wanting all the sweet junk my body was used to. Do The Opposite. Most people think of eating healthy like it means eating LESS. As someone who knew nothing about nutrition, I observed that people who eat lots of junk were unhealthy. I knew I wasn’t on a good path. I also noticed that I never saw anyone eat “healthy” foods in high quantities. So in my quest for building muscle, I had an idea: What happens if I eat a ton, but instead of crappy food, I used "healthy" food? I filled my cupboards with all the classic bodybuilding staples (oats, egg whites, brown rice, chicken breast…) and started eating. Did I get fat? Did I get muscular? Fill It Up, Please. So I just moved to Texas from the City of Philadelphia. And I mean like, INSIDE the city proper. Skyscrapers, one-way streets, parallel parking, you know, a city. Back in Philly, I was driving my car about a mile a week. Lately? I've been driving 50 miles a DAY under the hot Texas sun. Needless to say, my gas tank is emptying much faster. I like to let it run down to completely empty (just like Kramer), before stopping to fill it all the way back up....

5 Reasons You Don’t Look Like You Workout   There’s nothing worse than putting in the time and effort in the gym only to look in the mirror and have nothing to show for it. While your workouts are important, they’re not everything. You could be missing a critical piece of the puzzle - your nutrition. Here are the 5 most common nutrition mistakes that are keeping you from looking like you actually work out. 1. Eating too MANY calories It might seem obvious, but like many others, you could be making this mistake without even realizing it. Just because you cut out processed sugar or eliminated all carbs and went all-out keto doesn’t give you a pass to eat an endless amount of avocados and bacon. The food you DO eat still provides energy, and any excess needs a place to be stored. Gluten-free cookies and Paleo muffins are still treats with more calories than your body needs. You can’t always rely on simply choosing “healthy foods” to regulate your calories and how much you’re eating. Listen, I love me some coconut oil too, but be honest - do you really need that scoop in your morning coffee? By the way, do you like to cook? You could be overdoing the oils. One tablespoon of coconut oil alone is about 150 calories, and that’s just greasing the pan! Whether you’re stir-frying roasted veggies or keeping the eggs from sticking, these fats add up faster than anything else. 2. Not eating enough calories It sounds counterintuitive, but you’ll also struggle to reveal any muscle if you’re not eating enough. This works in two ways: Hormones Binge Cycles When you undereat (and over-exercise*), your metabolism adjusts to keep you from accidentally starving yourself. Changes (not defects) to key hormones like leptin, thyroid, and ghrelin make you feel tired, lazy, and...

You may not realize it, but guilt is the poison that will kill any momentum towards your goals dead in its tracks. You must avoid it at all costs. But where does it come from?...