Despite my background and involvement in ice hockey, I get more questions on a daily basis about fat loss than any other topic.
Should I lift weights?
How much cardio should I do?
What supplements do you recommend?
How do you find time to prepare healthy meals all the time?
To which I respond: Yes. 3-4 high intensity interval training sessions per week. Hard work and dedication. Make time.
Usually not satisfied by this response, I usually get a continued stare.
“Cmon. What should I REALLY do?”
So here it is, my ultimate secret revealed!
The truth is, I’ve been training like a dedicated athlete for years, and was never able to manipulate my body fat like I am now. So what was it? A change in my training? A change in my diet? A change in supplementation?
The answer: All of the above, under the guidance of Dr. John Berardi. No, I don’t work with him personally. That’s not necessary. He did such a good job with putting together the Precision Nutrition program that I’ve never had to. I read through it once, and instantly understood why I hadn’t been able to drop body fat in the past and what I needed to do to lose body fat in the future.
He also includes Gourmet Nutrition, a cook book with recipes of all kinds (appetizers, entrees, desserts, smoothies, etc.) with recommendations on when to consume each (anytime vs. post-workout). As if that wasn’t enough, the program also comes with access to an online community, with a wealth of articles, answers to any question you could think up, recipes, and forums use as a support network. I was baffled that so much came in one package, and frustrated I hadn’t come across it earlier. I actually used a modified version of the “Get Shredded Diet” he provides at the Precision Nutrition website in my recent 6-week fat loss experiment.
I’ll admit, the preparation that goes into making sure you have a healthy option for every meal of the day can seem like a daunting task. Dr. Berardi provides some helpful hints into how to save time though. Just this week I noticed that I pulled into the Stop n Shop parking lot at 7:10pm. By 9:00pm, I had completed preparing meals for the week (or at least the first half of the week. We’ll have to see how hungry I get), as well as having cooked and eaten dinner (a 3-egg pepper, onion, and cheddar omelette), as well as cleaned all the dishes. And because I had so much spare time on my hands, and because my digital camera doesn’t get a lot of use, a picture of my food preparation efforts stacked for your viewing convenience is shown below.
Figure 1. Displayed food involves chopped onions and green peppers for easy omelette making, 4 heads of chopped broccoli, 3 sliced green peppers, 3 tubs of “Reese’s Cottage Cheese”, 6 pork chops (chopped into bite size pieces), 10 oz steamed spinach, 1 lb of cooked ground turkey, and conveniently bagged baby carrots.
As an aside, the cottage cheese containers are filled with what I call “Reese’s Cottage Cheese”, a trick I learned from Berardi on how to make foods I don’t like (Cottage Cheese) taste like foods I do like (Reese’s Cups).
The secret to having healthy choices for every meal? Plan ahead, cook all at once, and store everything in tupperware. With this set-up, I can heat up and eat a meal in less than 10 minutes. I can eat the Reese’s Cottage Cheese with ZERO prep time. And cooking all at once saves countless hours throughout the week.
Keep working hard…but plan smart too.
Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He spent the last 7 years as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ, the last 3 of which he was also the Strength and Conditioning Coach and Manual Therapist for the Philadelphia Flyers Junior Team. Kevin is in his 5th year as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s National Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey .