Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category


Just the other day I had a newsletter subscriber email and ask me what my thoughts were about an article which challenged the traditionally accepted idea that you shouldn’t eat after 7pm!

Now traditionally when we talk about nutrient timing we are usually looking specifically at the timing of individual nutrients pre and post workout, etc. Here I am going to address two topics, which I like to refer to as half-truths or half-myths. I’m going to fill in the pieces of blank information most people leave out. I am by no means a nutrition expert, Bryan is (he made me write, but common sense is all that’s really needed here.

 Half-Truth # 1: Eating LATE Causes You To Gain WEIGHT!!!

Some people will tell you to never eat after a certain time. Usually the time they mention is 7pm. I’m not too sure what’s so magical about 7pm (can someone please tell me), but they never tell you why. I understand that as the day progresses into evening time most people are winding down their day and level of activity, therefore it makes sense to ease back on food consumption….

The truth is… eating after 7pm isn’t ‘bad’ … What you eat and the amount you eat is what determines whether it’s good or bad! Also, if you train in the evening, as I most often do, you must eat after. The body does most of its repair work while you are sleeping and you therefore need to make sure you are consuming the nutrients your body needs to carry out these repair works.

You don’t need me to tell you that you shouldn’t be eating sugary or wheat based foods late in the evening and close to bed time, do you? If you are going to eat late and don’t want to gain weight, have a snack or small meal that has quality amounts of protein and some healthy fats.

Avoid the carbs I mentioned above (sugars and wheat), but if you want some fruit go for a small serving of berries, maybe mixed with a small amount of low-sugar high-protein Greek yogurt. Berries are a good source of fiber and have a low sugar and calorie count. Another treat I like is half an apple and some natural peanut butter, but most often I will have a 30gram serving of nuts, getting in a good mix of protein and fat.


People often tell you to eat breakfast in order to ‘Break The Fast’, as that’s basically what you’re doing within the time period between breakfast and your last meal or feeding the previous day. Have a small snack an hour or so before bed time and make the fast a little shorter.

Like I said, eating late isn’t bad, but choosing the wrong foods is! Most often the problem is people ‘choose’ the wrong foods when they eat late at night because of the social activity (watching TV) they are doing! Popcorn, candy and coke isn’t a good late night snack option…

So should you ‘strategically’ eat late? Even though I just discussed breaking the fast by eating a snack prior to bed time, etc, this does not mean ‘you must’ see eating late as being advantageous! I just want you to know that eating late is not bad, provided the food choices and servings sizes you make are good!

The same goes for strategically cheating. Although I personally like to do it and allow clients to do it, I don’t feel for one second that anyone is missing out by not utilizing strategic cheat meals. Not cheating does not put you at a disadvantage… Nutritional cheating is something people have to personally choose to do, and if they decide to do so, they had better make it strategic and not accidental or haphazard!

Half-Truth # 2: Eat Your Carbs in the Early AM!!!

Here’s another one I refer to as a half-truth. Are you chowing down on boatloads of oats and fruit between 7am and 12 noon? Why? If you are training early on in the day then that’s not too bad, but if you are going into the office to sit on your backside for 8-10 hours and not hitting the gym until the evening time, you might want to hold off on the higher carb intake until later on in the day and strategically time your carb intake in and around your training sessions and your most intense of sessions.

You see this one is kind of like the opposite of the ‘don’t eat late’ debate. The idea here is that you eat the majority of your carbs early on in the day, so you have the day (time) to burn them off. Kind of makes sense, but not really…

You see, carbohydrate is a fuel and by definition a fuel needs to be burned. If you have a full tank of fuel (glycogen stores in the muscle) then adding fuel to that full tank will result in ‘spillage’ and your fat stores do all the cleaning up – you store fat! You need to fuel your workouts and aid recovery, but you don’t need to take in excess carbs when you really don’t need them.


 So how do I time my carbs around my workouts?

 You train late in the evening and don’t want to eat too much after, but you also want to refuel and replenish for the next workout, so what do you do? When I train late in the evening, I will have a small protein rich and veggie rich meal afterwards and then if timing allows I’ll have a small serving of nuts close to bed time.

The next morning I will then eat 2 breakfasts. I eat my carby meal consisting of oats, berries and perhaps some natural yogurt, and about an later I’ll have some eggs and maybe some lean turkey sausage.

Something fast to digest for recovery then something slow to digest for satiety.









Ian Graham, ABS Co-Author and BEST Body Award Winner
Sculpt Your WHOLE Life, Not Just Your BODY

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I am delighted to tell you that this weeks ‘Fitness Body Interrogation’ is with the beautiful and highly successful 2009 Fitness Universe Champion, Brooke Griffin of


Let’s jump on in to this ‘Fitness Body Interrogation’ with Brooke. I hope you enjoy the interrogation and find her words inspiring to you!

Name: Brooke Griffin

Quick Bio:  The 2009 Fitness Universe Champion, personal trainer, wellness coach and author of the bridal fitness program and the healthy holiday guide. 

Hometown: Corbin, Kentucky 

Current Location: Cincinnati, Ohio


Facebook Fanpage: Click Here To Become a FAN!!!


2009 Fitness Universe Champion, Former NFL Cheerleader, Former National Champion University of Kentucky Cheerleader

Vital Statistics:

  • Hair Colour:  Blonde      
  • Eye Colour:  Brown
  • Height: 5′ 4″     
  • Weight: 120lbs
  • Chest: 34c
  • Waist: 25
  • Hips: 32
  • 3221_81232060933_81229770933_2479183_780285_n Brooke… Tell us a little bit about your background? Did you play sports as a youngster and what was it that led you to become a fitness competitor and fitness professional?  

    BG: I have played sports most of my life, I was involved in gymnastics at a very early age and then was a cheerleader, ran track and field, and played golf.  My active background is what lead to me getting involved in fitness. Lifestyle habits for getting and staying lean and sexy… Apart from training and nutrition, tell us about the lifestyle (habits) required to achieve and maintain a lean and sexy body. Obviously you don’t smoke, but would you ever consume alcohol… and what about junk food (pure cheat meals), do you ever indulge in these…. as I know you spend a lot of time in the kitchen making ‘CLEAN’ treats!

    BG: I think everything is ok in moderation.  I do not smoke and only drink on occasion.  I love having a weekly cheat meal which usually includes one of the following: Mexican, pizza, ice cream, or candy!  I also love to cook which makes it easier to live a healthy lifestyle. 











   How important do you feel quality sleep, stress management and social support is for someone, especially a female, who’s looking to take control of their health, lose weight and ultimately carve out a lean and sexy physique?

    BG: I think it is so important to live a well balanced lifestyle including getting enough sleep, avoiding stress, and being around friends and family. Confidence gained and lifestyle enhancement. From reading your blog posts, watching your youtube videos, as well as seeing you on stage it’s clear to see that you have developed a fantastic physique and are a perfect representation for your personal training business. I am 100% confident that you have the look all of our female readers would love to have… and you are also come across as a very confident and humble individual. How important do you think being fit and healthy and seeing ‘visual’ results are in developing and maintaining ones confidence? 

    BG: I think it is extremely important….when you see “visual” results you are then motivated and inspired to continue on living your healthy lifestyle, however, I truly believe that a big part of my confidence comes from the way I feel on the inside….I am very happy and grateful for the opportunities and many blessings I have had. 

    12143_189425115933_81229770933_3978594_6550715_n Planning and Goal Setting… How much planning do you put into your programming and nutrition? Do you plan out your workouts well in advance and do you pencil in planned days off and would you ever plan a week off? And what about goal setting… is it that important? 

    BG: I think planning is key to ones success.  I plan out everything!  My workouts, nutrition program, things to do…….I can not stress this enough to my clients, planning and goal setting is a big part of anyones success in this industry. Nutrition and taste bud satisfaction… When it comes to ‘eating clean to get lean’ a lot of people assume they must eat boring and bland foods. I think a lot of this comes from how bodybuilders and fitness competitors diet down for shows. What’s your take on eating clean and what do you do to keep your taste buds satisfied?… I know you have some awesome recipes and share loads via your YouTube video Channel 

    BG: I completely disagree that you have to eat boring and bland foods.  There are so many options available!  I try to share this with others as I love to cook and it only takes experimenting with different ingredients and thinking out of the box.  I would not have it any other way…..I enjoy how eating clean makes me feel! Nutritional madness… Counting calories and weighing food… Do you make your clients weigh their food and count calories? Or do you have them use and implement simpler strategies? Also, are there any nutritional myths you find people still fall for when it comes to nutrition for fat loss and physique development? 

    BG: I try not to count calories or have my clients count calories unless of course they are training for a show and down to their last few weeks.  I rather try to educate my clients on portion sizes, and portion control.  The one myth that I still hear and see is that fat-free is better….. not so!  Our bodies need a little fat and when something is fat-free it usually has sugars, carbs, or other ingredients added to it for flavour which are equally or sometimes worse! Supplements… Personally I think there’s a limited number of ‘EFFECTIVE’ supplements on the market today and find that most people don’t have their training or nutrition in order… or consistent enough to validate their use of supplementation. What’s your take on supplements and do you have certain rules or guidelines people must meet before they start to supplement?… Are there any supplements or health foods you personally recommend? 

    BG: I completely agree with the fact that there are a limited number of “Effective” supplements on the market.  I am supplement free and do not recommend supplements to my clients.  I do believe that some of them may work but I like to stick to healthy eating and exercise. 

    9125_142520748099_693063099_2658244_5021495_n Training… Tell us a little bit about your training approach to training and sculpting a lean and sexy feminine figure? Share with us how you train yourself and your clients? 

    BG: I do a ton of interval training…..and then of course I use resistance training but for myself and most of my clients I stick to lighter weights and tons of reps and try to combine these exercises with a form of intense interval training to burn fat. Not only do you have a stunning physique but you are also a stunning lady and always well groomed… do you have any make up and beauty tips for our female readers?

    BG: I love mascara and never leave home without it!  My fav right now is Dior Show.  The best beauty advice I ever received was to always Smile….so true….everyone always looks better with a smile! What’s your favourite…

    Exercise to perform? I have a love/hate relationship with dead lifts

    Body part to train? Shoulders

    Physique(s) you admire? I love Alicia Marie

    Food? Anything Mexican

    Cheat food? Pizza

    Drink? Margarita

    Place to visit? Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia

    TV Show?  The Office and The Real Housewives of Atlanta

    Activity to do? I love to golf

    Website: You just put together a FREE resource called ‘The Healthy Holiday Guide’… tell us a little about what’s inside of that and where people can grab a copy for themselves? 


    BG:Yeah….so I know how hard it is to eat good and exercise during the Holidays so I worked really hard to put together a program that everyone could do during the holidays.  You can download the program for free which includes a grocery list, meal plans, and workouts that you can do at home or wherever you may be travelling to this Holiday Season!  The website is Any closing words of wisdom for our readers? 

    BG: I will leave everyone with my fav quote….I think this is perfect for not only achieving your goals in the health and fitness industry but in life as well “Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can.” Author unknown

    I hope you enjoyed this interview with Brooke. Be sure to grab her FREE Healthy Holiday Guide at and go ahead and check out her main website at









    Ian Graham, ABS Co-Author and BEST Body Award Winner
    Sculpt Your WHOLE Life, Not Just Your BODY

    I’m on a diet… the last thing I want is ‘CHOCOLATE’

    NO, I’m not on a diet. Those of you who know me well will know I am anti-dieting, dieting in the sense of regimented and highly restricted eating plans. PLUS, you’ll know that I’m a food lover and was still eating 3000kcals the week of my fitness contests earlier on this year in Canada.

    I’m all about the lifestyle approach and tell people to base their nutritional plan on their training plan, and not the other way around. If you train using old school methods… doing daily bodypart routines working small muscle groups and then adding on top of that long, low intensity cardio routines, then you’ll have to eat less than you could eat if you were to train more athletically and in a manner that will condition your metabolism to work more optimally!

    The ‘RICHIE RICH’ Movie… is where I got todays article title. When in Orlando, Florida 2 weeks ago, I saw a clip in the movie were his parents were in an aircraft and the mother told the father not to be looking for the chocolates. The father replied and said “I’m on a diet, the last thing I want is chocolates”, and then proceeded to search for and eat the chocolate.


    DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR TO YOU??? You try to permanently eliminate something, telling yourself you can’t have it, but then you automatically crave it! That’s the problem with the all or nothing approach. It works for some, but not for most of us! I know this all too well myself.


    Photo Above = Fat guy looking for the ‘FOOD’ he previously said he wasn’t going to eat. The food he said he was going to eliminate permanently from his diet!!! Kind of like telling a child not to touch something… as soon as you tell them that, they instinctively want to touch it even more! Little

    Many times I’ve tried to go dairy free, but the more I tried to do it, the more I found myself with a big spoon in my hand and a mouth full of creamy It’s far better for me to have short periods of ‘ELIMINATION’ and then the days when I do consume dairy, try to consume it in smaller amounts. I still struggle with the consuming smaller quantities part. Haha

    DON’T go EXTREME… in an attempt to get LEAN!!!

    Make small, subtle nutritional changes and become consistent with them first, then look at making some more changes! Now, if you are a chocolate lover or fast food junkie, you know that these foods cannot be consumed daily, unless of course you are happy to eat 1 tiny square of chocolate per day. That would be acceptable with me, but maybe not with your taste buds… they may want more than one piece!

    My advice to you is to be strategic about your nutritional approach and use the ABS  R.I.C.E. Nutritional Protocol. See below for details!

    R stands for ‘REDUCE’. There will potentially be many foods that you need to reduce your intake of. For most this will be dairy, red meat and sugary and wheat based and starchy carbohydrates. I also like to think of R as standing for ‘REMOVE’… in that you will need to remove certain foods, mainly your trigger or temptation foods, from your house.

    I stands for ‘INCREASE’. There will be many foods you will want to increase your intake of… mainly green veggies, berries, nuts, seeds and lean protein sources. I also like to think of I as standing for ‘INTRODUCE’. You should try and introduce new foods, colours and tastes into your meals and snacks. Foods you may have disliked years ago… May be very pleasing to your palette now.

    C stands for ‘CONSUME’. You will need to consume ‘MORE’ of certain types of foods. More single ingredient foods, more raw-natural foods (no processed food), more plant-based foods, more organic produce, etc! I also like to think of C as standing for ‘CONTROL’… in that you will need to take complete control of your nutrition, control your cravings and therefore you will ultimately be taken control of the results you achieve!

    E stands for ‘ELIMINATE’. There will be certain foods and liquids you will want to temporarily or permanently eliminate. Alcohol for example may need to be temporarily eliminated, for at least 4 weeks, in order to give your fat loss attempt the best kick-start possible. Permanent elimination won’t work for the majority of people, so know yourself before trying to eliminate anything permanently. I also like to think of E as standing for ‘EARN’. You must earn the right to eat certain foods and to have a cheat meal or treat. You earn this right by eating clean 90% of the time and training ‘INTENSELY’ and consistently!









    Ian Graham, ABS Co-Author and BEST Body Award Winner
    Sculpt Your WHOLE Life, Not Just Your BODY