FREE Shipping! Code: SAVETIME (orders $130+)
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Total
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    ICON Meals Blog — balance

    Blog Menu

    Get Fit For Fall Checklist

    Get Fit For Fall Checklist

    Fall is a notoriously difficult time for dieters — the cool weather and upcoming holiday season make it easier than ever to dabble in desserts and other high-calorie temptations.

     

    With that in mind, here is a checklist to help you stay on track every single day. With discipline (and by bookmarking this page) you can make it through this season better than ever.

     

    Before you get to work, let's get your mind right. If you're not mentally strong you'll never be able to achieve your potential. Everything GREAT that you've achieved so far began with a single thought. A realization. The following framework will bring you clarity, allowing you to do the work and build the life that you were destined to create!

     

    Download Checklist

     

    Success Framework

    Your Why

    Before you consider what you're capable of achieving, take a moment and consider why you should. Write a list of the people, belongings, and experiences in your life that mean the most. Here's one of mine: I love my family and will provide for them at any cost. In order to do so, I must take care of my mind, body, and spirit at the highest level.

     

    If you were to achieve your highest calling, how would that impact the areas that you care most about? What kind of difference would you be able to make? 

     

    If your visions are based purely on short-term desires disconnected from what you care about, you will fall short. Our immediate, selfish desires change on a week-to-week basis. The vision has to be connected to something much larger than ourselves.

    Your Vision

    Visions are separate from goals. Being happy and healthy, enjoying life on the beach with six-pack abs, is a vision. The end result of your goals. The beach might not be your vision, but you know what you want your end result to be. Take a moment and put yourself there.

    Your Goals

    Now that you have a vision, what are your goals?

    Goals are measurable amounts of work, over a certain period of time, that are in line with your vision. "I want a six-pack" is not a goal. Let’s say your vision is to be healthy, live long, and set a good example for everyone around you — your goals should include following a diet plan and being active every day. Here's an example of several goals:

     

    1. I will follow the Superset city workout plan (4 week program)
    2. I will drink 1 gallon of water per day for the next 30 days
    3. I will consume 150+ grams of protein per day, and remove all processed food and sugar from my diet, for 30 days

     

    Notice how each goal is an action based on my vision. Each day you do the action, you achieve your goal. Each day you achieve your goal, you're closer to the vision.

     

    Embracing this mindset is a huge relief — success is no longer a mystery. You don't have to think about it! Determine the vision, set up the goals, and do the work. Success is just around the corner.

     

    Your Work

     

    With a vision and goals in place, you're ready to do the work. Nothing will happen if you don't commit to the work, and this is where routines come into play. Figure out how to fit your goals into your day with the least amount of friction possible. This is the main reason I get up and work out first thing every morning. My family is asleep, my phone is silent, and there's no distractions. 

     

    With each passing day your confidence will build, and the work will become more enjoyable as the light of your vision becomes brighter.

    When Should You Eat Carbs? By Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

    When Should You Eat Carbs? By Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

    You may have heard about “protein timing,” — but if you haven’t it refers to the distribution of protein throughout the day, and before/after training sessions for optimal muscle protein synthesis (the process by which cells make proteins).


    There are different studies and philosophies on how this should be accomplished depending on your overall goals. If you train regularly, then you probably have a system down pat already.


    But are you paying attention to “carb timing?”


    If you’re not, you might be putting yourself at a disadvantage when it comes to your health, physique, and losing those last 5-10 lbs


    The research for carbs and high-intensity exercise is very clear; however, the research about meal distribution for metabolic flexibility and body composition is not as well-established and definitely not widely-recognized.


    So why should you pay attention to how you distribute carbs throughout the day?


    It primarily has to deal with “metabolic flexibility,” or your body’s ability to adapt to different metabolic demands (aka the stress you put on it through eating and training).


    We know that the consumption of any carbohydrates requires an insulin response so that our cells can absorb the sugars from the macronutrient for energy. Eat too many carbs, though, and your body might not be able to keep up.


    Research studies have shown that the body can use (burn or store) about 40 grams of carbs after a meal (assuming you’re not exercising while digesting the meal). Meals that exceed 40 grams require more and more insulin to shut down fat metabolism and force the extra carbs to be converted into fat for storage.


    This limits the body’s ability to burn fats, increases fluctuations in blood glucose, and increases hunger.


    For the average person trying to lose weight - keeping carbs lower at the beginning of the day and higher towards the end of the day.




    Stay connected with Team ICON Member Emily Hayden:

    Want to be featured by ICON Meals? Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook! 

    Macros Made Simple by April Imholte

    Macros Made Simple by April Imholte

    Do you ever hear the word “Macros” and nod your head like you know exactly what the other person is talking about when in reality, you have absolutely no clue? It wasn’t that long ago, I myself looked like a deer in headlights when Macros was the topic of conversation. A few years ago, I started digging deep into understanding macros and how they can affect your physique. 

     

    Let me be the first to tell you that understanding Macros is comparable to “winning the jackpot” when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. It’s a complete game changer. And the good news is, it isn’t nearly as complicated as it may seem.   

     

    If you want to impress your friends and family and contribute to the next conversation you are a part of surrounding this very topic, keep reading as I break down the ABCs of Macros for you in 5 simple steps.  

     

    1. What exactly are Macros? Macronutrients, aka “Macros”, are simply your Proteins, Fats and Carbs. They make up the foods we eat and are needed in large amounts in order to provide our body with energy (aka calories) on a daily basis. Macros allow our body to function properly and carry out activities of daily life. Certain food items are considered to be Proteins, others Fats and then there’s my personal favorite, Carbs. Some foods contain a little of each macro and are considered to be “combo foods.”   

    2. What is the function of each Macronutrient? Protein is responsible for several duties; primarily repairing and rebuilding tissues which includes, you guessed it, lean muscle tissue. Protein contains essential amino acids which are the “building blocks” for our muscles. This is not exclusive to muscle tissue but also includes skin, hair, nails, even the cells that line our intestinal tract. Protein also helps support immune function which can ward off illnesses. Our body must convert protein sources into essential amino acids. In order to ensure I am getting enough of the essential amino acids my body requires, I also supplement with REAAL EAAs which have been clinically proven to be 3x more effective than whey protein and 36x more effective than BCAAs at building and restoring lean muscle tissue! Carbohydrates are our bodies primary source of energy. This includes the cells of the brain. Last but not least, let’s talk about fats, which tend to get a bad rap. Healthy fats supply our body with fatty acids. These fatty acids must be consumed through the foods we eat as our bodies cannot make them, such as Omega-3 found in fish oil. Fats also aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as Vit A, D, E and K. They also help to protect vital internal organs.  

    3. What are some examples of Proteins, Fats and Carbs? One of the easiest ways to understand if a food source is considered a protein, fat or carb is to read the nutrition label. If the grams of one macronutrient are higher than the others, that is what it should be considered. For example, let’s say the protein grams in an item are quite a bit higher than carbs or fats, you would consider that food to be a protein source. Ideally, the majority of foods consumed per day will be whole foods. If there is no nutrition label to refer to, here is a list that you may find helpful.  

      1. Lean Protein Sources: chicken breast, turkey breast, extra lean ground beef, egg whites, fish, and dairy products such as cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.  

      2. Carbohydrates: fruit, potatoes, rice, oats, quinoa (also contains a good amount of protein), beans, whole wheat bread, starchy vegetables.  When choosing carbohydrates, stick to complex carbs versus simple carbs such as sugar, sweets, juice, etc. 

      3. Healthy Fats: olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, natural peanut butter or almond butter, fatty meats such as salmon, and egg yolks.  

    4. How do Macros make up our Calorie Intake for the day? Most people would be able to give you a fairly close estimate of how many calories they consume from day to day. However, if asked how many grams of protein, fats and carbs one consumes per day, the majority have no clue. Simply put, Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats all contain calories. Protein and Carbs contain 4cal/gram. Whereas Fat, which is more calorie dense, contains 9cal/gram. For example, if a food item contains 20g of Protein, 80 calories would be derived from Protein. It’s simple math but helpful in understanding how food makes up your total calorie intake per day.  

    5. How do I know how many Macros to consume per day? This question is the most complicated to answer as not two individuals are alike when it comes to nutrition. Trying to copy a meal plan your buddy, neighbor, spouse, has will most likely not work for you. Hiring an online trainer or following a program like those offered on bodybuiling.com will be your best bet when it comes to figuring out what works for you. If you are looking for a general starting point, the 40/40/20 rule is a good place to begin. 40% of your calories should come from carbs, 40% from protein and the other 20% from fats. For example, if following a 2000 calorie diet, this would equal out to 200g protein, 200g carbs and 44g fat daily. I would also encourage you to document your daily intake using a macro tracker such as Myfitnesspal app.  

    In conclusion, the best thing you can do is familiarize yourself with macros. Stay consistent for at least a week and only adjust your macros if you aren’t making progress. And remember, progress is measured by more than just a number on the scale. Until next time, wake up each day reminding yourself to Be Strong & Courageous and Keep “Livin Fit”.  

     

    For more helpful training tips, workout ideas, macro-friendly recipes and more, follow me on Instagram@aprilimholte

     


     

    Stay connected with ICON Meals Influencer April Imholte:

    Want to be featured by ICON Meals? 

    Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!

    Avoid These 5 Weight Loss Mistakes

    Avoid These 5 Weight Loss Mistakes

    Originally published by Matt Weik on nutrabio.com



    When it comes to weight loss habits, it seems like everyone has their own quirks.  Some make sense, and some have no scientific backing whatsoever.  That being said, some weight loss habits start with good intentions but go south incredibly fast.

    This article will look at five weight loss habits that could be stalling your results and what you can do to fix each.

    Setting Unachievable Goals

    Setting goals is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable, stay on track, and look at measurable milestones.  Writing down both short and long-term goals and putting them somewhere you’ll see them every day is a great reminder to keep pushing forward towards your end goal.

    Things go awry with your weight loss habits when you start off by setting unachievable and unrealistic goals.  You can, in a healthy manner, lose anywhere from 1-2 pounds of body weight a week.  If you are extremely heavy, you may see even more (but it tends to be a lot of water weight).  Thinking you can lose 50 pounds in a single month is not realistic.

    Allow your short-term goals to align with your long-term goals.  In fact, what you should do is reverse engineer your long-term goals.  If you want to lose 10 pounds in two months, reverse engineer it and develop a weekly (short-term) weight loss goal.  If you factor two months is around eight weeks, that means you would need to lose around 1.25lbs each week – which is within the healthy weekly weight loss range.

    Don’t go crazy with your goals.  Keep them straightforward and achievable, so you don’t set yourself up for failure before you even get started and wind up frustrated.

    Dropping Your Calories Too Low

    In order to lose weight, you need to put yourself in a daily caloric deficit.  This means consuming fewer calories than what is required to maintain your current body weight.  One of the common weight loss habits you may see or have even experienced is drastically dropping your daily calories.

    If your maintenance is at 2,000 calories, try to eliminate 250-500 calories per day, or simply reduce your intake by around 20%.  When you drop your calories too quickly, your body is going to shift into survival mode as it believes you are starving, and for self-preservation, it will hold onto and store any food you consume.

    Dropping your calories too quickly will also destroy your metabolism and cause it to slow down to conserve energy and calories.  It doesn’t want to be in a fat-burning mode because it thinks you’re in starvation mode.  Ease into reducing your calories, and don’t drop them too quickly.  Only make a change when you plateau and aren’t seeing the scale decrease after a week

    Not Getting Enough Sleep

    One of the weight loss habits that not many people think about or consider is your sleep quality.  How much sleep are you getting each night?  If you’re not getting a minimum of seven hours, you could be stalling your weight loss progress.

    Why would sleep even matter?  After all, you’re not even up and moving, which means you aren’t burning calories, right?  While that is true, sleep is what helps regulate various hormones in your body.  One, in particular, is cortisol. 

    When cortisol levels increase, it can turn on the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and cause you to become “hangry” almost all of the time.  Additionally, high levels of cortisol can also cause your body to store more body fat.  Therefore, sleep is necessary to help keep cortisol levels under control while also helping you recover and provide you with energy to get you through the day.

    Eliminating And Focusing On Food You Enjoy

    Have you tried a fad diet that forced you to eliminate a certain food or macronutrient you enjoy?  How did that diet work out for you?  Probably not very well, right?  That’s because it’s not sustainable.  Eliminating foods will only cause you to crave them and focus on them more – we tend to want what we can’t have.

    Should you find yourself craving food all of the time, you are more likely to binge and fall off the wagon.  When it comes to weight loss habits, you want to allow for some flexibility.  What that means is, everything in moderation so long as it fits within your daily caloric and macronutrient requirements. 

    You shouldn’t have to say no to all of those delicious treats if you work them into your nutrition plan every once in a while.  It’s about a healthy lifestyle, balance, and changing habits, not about eliminating some of life’s joys.

    Doing Too Much, Too Quickly

    The old saying, “If a little is great, more must be better” is implemented into many weight loss habits – such as cardio.  People think that going from zero to 100 is a good idea.  It’s not.

    Your body is the world’s most powerful computer.  It adapts and changes exceptionally quickly.  When you do cardio, your body will adjust and make improvements to be more efficient. 

    If you start doing cardio for an hour, and your body makes the necessary changes, what do you think will happen next?  You’re going to need to do even more cardio in order to achieve the same results.  Most people don’t have hours to spare each day to do cardio (nor do they want to do that much), so it would be wise to start with 15-20 minutes per day and work your way up from there.

    An Effective Way To Speed Up Your Results

    When you combine a solid workout plan that includes weight training and cardio with a clean nutrition plan that incorporates a supportive supplement regimen, you can fast-track your results.  By implementing NutraBio Thermo Fuel V9 into the fold, you can support fat metabolism, thermogenesis, a reduction in appetite, energy production, and mental focus.

    Establish healthy weight loss habits and allow NutraBio to help you cross the finish line.  Achieving your weight loss goals has never been easier!

    What Human Pattern Is Holding You Back? By Ann Marie Lawrence

    What Human Pattern Is Holding You Back? By Ann Marie Lawrence

    People have so many patterns they follow which hold them back from succeeding! I am not here to call you out on your “bad” patterns, but I am here to help you identify them so we can acknowledge and move forward. 

    Which of these patterns is holding you back?

    1. Putting others first and yourself last. When you do this, you lack the ability to give to others around your full potential! If your cup is empty, you can’t fill anyone else’s.

    2. Controlling others. Focusing everything on other people and trying to perfect them before you have even started working on yourself. Note: Don’t be a hypocrite.

    3. Assuming the worst. The reoccurrence of negative thoughts brings consistent anxiety in your life leaving you unable to grow. 

    4. Playing small. You’re not living up to your true potential!

    5. Perfectionism. The socially acceptable form of procrastination that we regard as high standards. Note: TAKE ACTION! Making imperfect progress is better than doing nothing at all with the obsession of "perfection" holding you back.

    6. Doubting your higher wisdom, heart, or your intuition. Our intuition knows best, although our primal mind thinks it's unsafe. When you aren’t taking risks, you kill your soul! Take uncertain action everyday! Do something that scares you everyday. 

    7. Addiction. Anything that is negatively taking time away from your purpose. Addiction and obsession are two very different things. Know the difference! This is distracting you from your true potential.

    8. Procrastination: not taking the actions you know you need to because you’re SCARED. Scared of either failure OR success.

    9. Toxicity. Holding on to anything that doesn’t serve you!

    10. Need for approval or acceptance from your peers and family; most likely fear of isolation.

    Identify your old “bad" patterns and begin to make a shift! YOU are responsible for your results in life.

    Stay connected with Ann Marie Lawrence on IG at @annmarielawrence

    Want to be featured as an "Everyday ICON?" Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!