ICON Meals Catoring To The Competitor In Each Of Us
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!
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.
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.
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:
- I will follow the Superset city workout plan (4 week program)
- I will drink 1 gallon of water per day for the next 30 days
- 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.
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.
By ICON Meals Athlete, Mike O’Hearn
When it comes to long term fitness, there is no such thing as a quick fix. Sure, there are ways you can achieve your fitness goals in the short term — but if you want to make a lifelong change it’s all about adapting to the lifestyle. Developing healthy habits that become an everyday part of who you are.
Here are five habits of successfully fit people:
1. Having Perspective
You’re not going to be able to meet your fitness goals every day. Have an off day? Accept it, figure out how to not make the same mistake tomorrow, and move on.
2. Eliminating Excuses
Fit people make hitting the gym a priority, and if something gets in their way they don’t give in to excuses: they find MORE reasons to work out. Short workouts are better than no workout.
Instead of giving into excuses, fit people find MORE reasons why they need to hit the gym and find the time to do it. A short workout is still better than no workout.
3. Sleeping and Eating Well
There’s virtually a library of studies showing the benefits of proper nutrition and sleep. Whole, unprocessed foods keep you fuller longer, providing energy and strength all day. Good sleep keeps your body’s systems running smoothly. Both are necessary for long-term fitness.
4. Tracking Progress
This habit is so valuable for two reasons: it rewards you by showing you tangible progress, and motivates you in the same stroke by showing you all your hard work — countless gym hours, smart food choices, and appropriate sleep — is really doing something.
5. Consulting A Professional
There’s no faster way to improve than being around people more experienced than you. Find somebody more advanced in the gym and learn everything you can from them. Maybe one day YOU will be the fitness pro.
Big Boy is quickly becoming a well known internet sensation, with over 640,000 YouTube subscribers. The entertaining YouTube channel documents his impressive strength challenges, eating, and everyday fun. Big Boy is also the CEO of the popular fitness-centric brand "Strength Cartel".
Big Boy recently stopped by the ICON HQ where he joined Chef Danny in the making of a legendary brisket burrito. Check out the video below to see behind-the-scenes footage of the ICON kitchen and learn how to make a simple burrito at home.
Ready to make your own brisket burrito?
- Over medium-high heat, use a skillet to sauté peppers and onions until desired tenderness
- (While the peppers are cooking) Over medium heat, use a pot to warm one 8oz can of black beans
- Warm the brisket using a stove-top pan or microwave
- Warm the Cilantro Lime Rice in the microwave
- Warm tortilla using a skillet on medium-high heat.
- Place ingredients on tortilla and wrap to form a burrito.
Follow Big Boy for more entertaining videos!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Lean Protein Sources: chicken breast, turkey breast, extra lean ground beef, egg whites, fish, and dairy products such as cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.
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.
Healthy Fats: olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, natural peanut butter or almond butter, fatty meats such as salmon, and egg yolks.
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.
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”.