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    ICON Meals Catoring To The Competitor In Each Of Us

    ICON Meals Blog — fitness food lifestyle

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    This is Why Your Diets Don’t Work by Mike O'Hearn

    This is Why Your Diets Don’t Work by Mike O'Hearn
    Have you noticed how people jump onboard with a popular fad diet, lose 5, 10 or even 20 pounds…only to gain it all back and then some? Why does this happen? It’s actually a simple concept, and once you understand it you will be forever saved from the tortures of yo-yo dieting. 

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    My Fitness Journey: Things I Wish I Would Have Known!

    My Fitness Journey: Things I Wish I Would Have Known!

    Things I wish I would have known when I started my fitness journey!

    1)  Don’t overthink workouts. There was so many times I doubted if I was doing things wrong and wasting time - but I soon realized mistakes are bound to be made and so long as I keep learning I’ll always keep making progress!

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    Mental Nutrition

    Mental Nutrition

    From Michael Mastrucci (@themacrodiabetic)

    We often associate things like exercise and diet with physical improvement while mental-specific activities like reading keep our mind sharp. However, something I don’t see or hear enough of is how our food choices play into our mental state.

    At one point, we all learned how to track calories/macros and how this affected our physique. Through this, we discovered how to manipulate food choices to allow us the ability to fit “fun” foods into our diet plan. While I’m a proponent of flexible dieting, there’s plenty of people that take these “fun” foods (or more of an IIFYM approach) to an extreme.

    I believe it’s important to find a balance between both nutrient-dense and nutrient-void foods to allow you to truly enjoy your nutritional protocols…but if consistently leaning towards more nutrient-void foods begs the question; have you ever considered how food affects your mind?

    Whether it’s the ability to focus for long periods, processing information, or just clear-headed decision making, your brain NEEDS nutrients just as much as your body.

    While everyone runs on different wavelengths, and some can get away with a more “loose” sort of diet, it’s extremely important to pay attention to not only how our food choices make us feel or operate physically, but mentally as well.

    Enjoy that donut, cereal, ice cream, or whatever treats you love indulging in, but don’t rob yourself of proper fuel just because it fits your macros.

    How To Eat Healthy In College

    How To Eat Healthy In College

    From Michael Mastrucci (@themacrodiabetic)

    College students are no strangers to full class loads that include cramming for exams, late-night studying, and regular assignments or projects. Many students take on part-time (and some even full-time) jobs to keep some money in their pocket, be it for course materials they may need, some weekend spending money, or trying to get ahead on their savings. While everyone works for that end-goal or "light at the end of the tunnel" there's no doubt things can be hectic and feel like they might never let up.

    But amidst the chaos in trying to keep the pace going and not fall short on whatever deadlines you may face, it's of the utmost importance to NEVER neglect your health.

    Sometimes it seems like all you have time for between classes and studying is to reach for a pack of ramen, an energy drink, or some fast food on the corner. And while all food is sustenance in some way, WHAT you put in your body determines just how far and well you'll be able to perform both physically and mentally.

    While I'm not here to bore you with a word problem, assuming you hear enough of those in math class already, think of your body and mind as a car. You have a long trip ahead of you and need to ensure your car doesn't just drive as long as you need, but that you won't have any permanent breakdowns along the way. Knowing your car runs on a certain type of fuel, ask yourself: what would putting the WRONG fuel in my car do for my journey? Would it be able to function optimally to get me where I need to go?

    You see, food is the same.

    By choosing relatively unprocessed, whole-food sources you're providing your body with the ability to remain healthy and your mind the opportunity to remain focused on the demands placed on it. Of course, this can be easier said than done, as those quick grab-and-go types of foods aren't just convenient (and often cheaper than the healthy stuff), they tend to taste better too. But the keyword here is "cheap" and opting for foods that give you the RIGHT nutrients offer you more than just "growing big and strong.”

    Back in my college days, I put a lot of the wrong fuel in my body. Sleepless nights studying were often fueled by too much caffeine and convenience store snacks. This often came at the cost of lethargy, low energy throughout the day, and just feeling like I was in a constant mental fog no matter how much I slept or tried to get into a studying groove during my classes.

    How I wish I had ICON Meals then!

    What I enjoy most about them is how they don't just give healthy options to choose from (be it their weekly Signature Menu or their custom meal options) but they all taste great. These days my routine stays just as busy between auditing classes from my degree as well as running my own web development company. This keeps me extremely busy and I don't have time to stop what I'm doing to cook every single meal, much less spend my weekend grocery shopping, cooking, and prepping the following week's meals in advance.

    ICON Meals doesn't just take the guess-work out of what I'm going to eat, they save me massive amounts of time I wouldn't have otherwise, allowing me to grab a healthy meal and keep grinding away at everything on my plate (pun intended).

    Even when I DID start taking care of myself with a proper fitness and nutritional routine I never considered a meal-prep/delivery service before. But if I'm going to spend the money grocery shopping just to spend chunks of time weighing and cooking the food only to package it up for when I need it, why not just have ICON Meals do the majority of it for me?

    All the food is properly weighed out and comes from REAL food that isn't processed. It's minimally seasoned (especially the custom meals) so I can spice dishes up a different way if I want to. They have options for protein, carb, and vegetable sources I enjoy having regardless of whether I made them myself or used them!

    Treat your body right by feeding it right. Remember that good practices make good habits and that even after your time at school, things stay busy. For that reason alone, while your education sets your career up for success, ICON Meals sets your nutrition, body, and mind up to keep you going.

    Stay connected with blog author Michael Mastrucci on

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

    Growing Muscle Faster by Optimizing Protein Synthesis

    Growing Muscle Faster by Optimizing Protein Synthesis

    Building vs Breaking Down

     

    Throughout the day your body switches between synthesizing and breaking down protein. To build muscle you want your muscle protein synthesis (MPS) to exceed protein breakdown rate (PBR).

     

    When you are fasting your PBR rises, and if PBR is higher than MPS the result is muscle loss — negative protein balance. When you eat protein MPS goes up, and when MPS exceeds PBR the result is muscle gain.

     

    The Basic Formula

     

    PBR > MPS = muscle loss

    MPS > PBR = muscle gain

     

    How To Do It

     

    The most important part of growth/retention is consuming enough protein, and you can optimize synthesis rates with numerous high-quality protein feedings during the day. These also ensure you retain muscle while you’re in a deficit.

     

    For example (and I’m generalizing): whey protein elevates synthesis rates for 4 hours while casein does so for 6. The idea is to re-spike MPS rates when they begin to fall so MPR doesn’t exceed them. That’s one good reason whey is preferred during the day, while casein is better for sleeping/longer periods between feedings.

     

    It’s About Speed

     

    This isn’t to say if you decide to fast most of the day muscle starts “falling off” your frame. The body stubbornly holds onto muscle and fat. But, if you want faster progress in strength, size, and energy, numerous quality feedings is the way to go.

     

    I don’t find myself hungry during the day and prefer to bank calories until my last meal. However, ensuring I consume protein several times a day makes a huge impact on my progress, especially when I’m trying to build muscle and strength.

     

    Get them feedings in!

     

    Michael Mastrucci (Follow on Instagram)

    The Macro Diabetic, Host of Diabetically Speaking