I was recently asked in The Academy a question from Dave regarding alcohol consumption with our fasting programs.
That, which was also responded to from Richie, led me to brainstorming a larger topic.
For that reason, I want to cover some ways you can still have fun, travel, and party while also achieving your goals. It’s the same ways we have fun throughout the rest of the year, but I think it’s specifically important to zone in on this subject to make it even more apparent.
I’ll let you guys have just a quick second to guess the exact sentence I’m going to use right now…..
Sustainability is key.
I say this so often here at SHJ, and it’s what we live by. You guys saw it in my own story: without sustainability I fell apart – while WITH it, I was able to take my transformation to new places and it was the easiest it has ever been.
We’re going to talk about a good handful of things in this post, but the main purpose is to tell you that it’s okay to enjoy yourself, as long as you’re also staying focused on your progress at the same time.
So, sit back with your drink (or maybe you should hold off on that part until the end of the article) and be prepared to learn how to live it up a bit – while still heightening your transformation.
Don’t forget nutrition is still more than half the battle…
Just because I’m telling you to go ahead and enjoy yourself doesn’t mean I want you to go ahead and run out to McDonalds and order whatever the heck you want…
That’s actually not what I’m saying.
What I’m saying is: it’s okay to indulge in the things you want. I would never ask the SHJ Army to give up all the things they love in order to become SuperHumans.
What I DO ask is that you keep it under moderation and utilize the tools I give you in order to find what is most sustainable for you.
Aside from talking about sustainability being key, the other thing that we repeatedly see at SHJ is the fact that nutrition is definitely more than half of the battle. So, that definitely tells us we need to stay on track and not allow these indulgences to let us fall off the rails.
I unfortunately have felt the failure of indulgences taking over in my own life, but also witnessed them firsthand. When you cheat, sometimes it can completely derail your habits, and forming them is the hardest part. Once you’re in a groove the sustainability is so much easier and you can keep on rolling [because of it]. Remember to push through as hard as possible to form the habits you need to utilize, and then indulge when you know you’re able to (while still being capable of flipping back into your habits).
We just did an article on The Secret to a Flat Stomach and Six Pack Abs that touched on the importance of a low body-fat to see our defined stomachs. And, if you read through it you’ll find out just how much nutrition even impacts that as well. Nutrition is KEY!
Your indulgences should be earned.
You’ll notice that a lot of these little categories I’m talking about fit hand-in-hand with others that I’ll be mentioning. Keep them all in mind, as they help each other out like any other SuperHuman team.
Just like the Vikings would be nothing without their battle axes, we’d be nothing without our specific Nutrition Pillars allowing us to sustain and press forward through our indulgences.
So, what exactly do I mean when I say indulgences should be earned?…
I told you already that I would never ask the SHJ Army to give up everything they love [to indulge on]. That being said, I also mentioned that you’re not allowed to just go pig out on fast food. What I mean is, you need to utilize our pillars and nutritional guidelines the majority of the time, and then indulge as a reward for all the hard work you’ve put in.
Insert the 80/20 Method of Nutrition
Do you like how I transitioned and brought us here?
We know the 80/20 Method fits right in with our Nutrition Pillars, and it’s the cyclical ketosis that actually makes it improve our dieting by cheating!
Yeah, I said it.
A quick synopsis for you guys will do the trick, and then you can head over into the actual article to find out more…
The cyclical ketogenic diet allows us to utilize carb reloading to increase hormones in our body allowing us to gain muscle and improve a ton of other things in our transformation.
Meaning: we preach sustainability, and this allows us to utilize so-called “cheat meals” to carb reload and somehow improve our dieting power.
But, pay attention for a quick second to exactly what I’m saying here: it’s okay to “cheat” and carb reload as long as you’re earning it. If you’re on point 80% of the time, it’s okay to indulge 20% of the time.
Did you pick up on that last line? It’s important.
Do NOT Forget about our Intermittent Fasting
Did you really think we weren’t going to be fasting?
I mean, c’mon you had to know…
And, although I already just linked to it directly, I want to make it a point to send you to our Official SHJ Guide for Intermittent Fasting.
You all probably know this already, but we’ve seen guys like Terry Crews and Hugh Jackman utilize fasting to amazing success. Crews actually refers to it as his fountain of youth, while Jackman used it to get into Wolverine shape, and had it programmed for him by none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson!
I could go on and on about intermittent fasting, but the best thing for you to do is to navigate through the rest of the site to find just how much it’s talked about here (if you don’t already know).
The main point of having this point here is to let you know that it’s going to be a huge part of our 80%!
You’re still going to be intermittent fasting and sticking to whatever other pillars you incorporate with it throughout the week.
That’s going to be your 80.
That’s how you’re going to EARN your indulgences, AKA your 20%.
It’s all coming together, eh?
This will allow you to specifically see where your indulgences fall within your diet. You can count your calories and macros with an app like MyFitnessPal and see where you’ll have to fit them after your intermittent fast.
Either way, make sure you’re hitting your 80%!
Let’s talk about Empty Calories!
First of all, what is an empty calorie?
That’d be a good starting point…
Wikipedia tells us that an empty calorie is:
In human nutrition, the term empty calories applies to food such as solid fats or added sugars supplying food energy but little or no other nutrition.
This goes for things like granulated sugar, or more specifically: alcohol.
When we indulge in things, we need to know why they’re unhealthy, and what the things we’re ingesting are doing to our bodies (regardless of whether that’s negative or positive).
That means when you’re drinking a beer or having your mixed cocktail you’re really taking in empty calories with little to zero nutritional value.
That also is exactly why we’re referring to things like this as indulgences.
The main purpose of this section is to promote awareness. I want you to know what your indulgences are, and I want you to know that I’m not specifically telling you to go pound down some beers or sodas this summer…I’m more-so telling you that it’s okay to have fun and it’s not going to completely ruin the progress you’ve made if you’re still doing your 80% properly.
Keep this part in mind when we move further into my “Go-To Drinks” and even when I make some discussion about traveling. Sticking to your 80/20 is key, as well as knowing what that 80/20 exactly is. I allow for indulgences because I know I earn them and can still press on without setting myself back.
We use the word SuperHUMAN because it’s okay to still be human while trying to gain the qualities of some of our favorite superheroes.
Don’t Feel TOO Bad, Everyone Does It!
When I first set out to write about our Nutrition Pillars for the site I wrote an eBook titled “The SuperHuman Diet”. This eBook covered the same pillars that eventually grew, adjusted a bit, and turned into The Superhero Academy classes. It also touched upon the exact theory I tried to talk to you about when I say it’s okay to be human.
I’m going to take an entire section from that old eBook of mine and utilize it here to show just how serious I am about this 80/20 method of dieting. I want you guys to know that it’s okay, as long as you’re making the proper decisions.
In this section of the eBook I talked about professional athletes and their specific cheat meals. Let’s take a look:
Athlete/Celebrity Cheat Meals
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Actor, Producer and Professional Wrestler
The Rock is an amazing athlete, and he’s actually proven to be quite good at just about everything he does! This includes fitness, muscle gain, and nutrition.
The Rock even helps other celebrities with their nutrition. That being said, if you follow him on social media you know he’s documented some of his AMAZING cheat meals. This can range from ENORMOUS stacks of pancakes all the way to loaded boxes of pizza.
3 Time World Fittest Man
Basically Froning is a machine among men. BUT, even as a machine, he knows it’s okay to still be human…or super-HUMAN. He’s not only known for loving peanut butter and protein shakes, but he’s also spoken about his Tuesday night McDonalds Burgers and Large Milkshake after his hockey sessions.
Lori “Lolo” Jones
American track and field and bobsled athlete who specializes in the 60 and 100 meter hurdles
Favorite Cheat Meal: Chicken Wings
In an interview with SHAPE.com Lolo states: “I usually treat myself to wings once a week, and in the off-season I want to go for the record of eating 70 super spicy wings.”
A former American professional soccer player
Favorite Cheat Meal: In-And-Out Burgers
In an interview with The Huffington Post Donovan says: ““I don’t eat perfectly all the time,” and “I have In-N-Out burgers after the game.”.
American professional basketball player
Favorite Cheat Meal: Fruity Pebbles
Yes, I’m talking about the amazing sugary cereal. Nike even made a signature Lebron James Fruity Pebbles shoe to commemorate this.
Canadian professional ice-hockey player
Favorite Cheat Meal: Chinese Food
Crosby said in a 2005 interview with Penguins.com, “I love Chinese food, egg rolls, beef fried rice, sweet and sour chicken. . . it has to be the right place, though.”
American football quarterback
Favorite Cheat Meal: Dessert
Rodgers said in an interview with TMJ4: “I’ve been trying to eat healthier in the past calendar year, but I love dessert, so I got to say any type of ice cream or white cake.”
American professional baseball pitcher
Favorite Cheat Meal: Taco Bell
Verlander said in an interview with Conan O’Brien: ”[I get the] same thing every time, three crunchy Taco Supremes, no tomato. [A] cheesy gordita crunch. And a Mexican pizza, no tomato.”
We’re talking about some of the worlds greatest athletes. Instead of taking one example from one sport I decided to give you a wide range of professional athletes to prove to you it’s okay to be human.
That last couple sentences is also right out of the eBook. It’s okay to still be human while becoming a SUPERhuman.
Closing Thoughts about Traveling, Drinking, and Having Fun (plus some of my “Go-To Drinks”)
When I think about traveling I know that I’m going to want to let loose and have fun. That doesn’t matter what the situation is. If I’m on a resort vacation I might want to hangout on the beach and just eat some “good food” the entire time. If I’m visiting a new city or even a few of them, I know I’m going to want to indulge in the different types of foods they have to offer (this is actually one of my favorite things).
Sometimes that includes foods that have empty calories, or even beers and sugary drinks/foods.
And guess what, that’s okay!
I find that I’m also a bit more active over vacation. Whether that’s from swimming, fun random activities, or even walking through all the new, fun places, I generally burn a good amount of calories even without hitting the gym or a hotel workout.
If this is NOT the case for you, there are always options to supplement quick 10 or less minute workouts, or even in-home type of training like the Nightwing Bonus Path. (Check out The Workout Database in full to see 10 minutes or less, AND these other in-home type training regimes)
So let’s just say we’re doing these things (whether that’s higher activity or including some type of workout however we can), and also utilizing our intermittent fasting and 80%…
That means the first portion of our day is devoted to fasting, activity and whatever else we want to discover (which might mean discovering some newly found relaxation!), and then the second half can go towards our indulgences.
That’s the nice and simple answer.
I’m all about the K-I-S-S method! Keep it simple stupid.
Some of my Go-To Drinks for Indulging
This was actually how the question started for Dave in The Academy. It was in reference to alcohol consumption (especially now that summer is here)! So, naturally, my answer included some of the things I like to indulge on.
I want to start this off by saying that I still love my beer. I don’t fully give it up, I just make the natural decision to go with some other options if I can. Just like I’d still order a diet soda even if I was indulging on a cheat meal!
That last line went pretty deep if you really analyze it…
- Vodka and Seltzer (or Club Soda) with lots of lemon
- Vodka has roughly 64 empty calories in it (and zero carbs). From there I like to stick with the 0 calories in seltzer and club while getting a little zesty kick from some squeezed lemon or lemon juice.
- Any other Liquor with a Diet Soda Mixer
- Like vodka, other liquors, such as whiskey, gin, tequila and scotch (I see you Richie), have zero carbs and generally slightly lower amounts of empty calories. I like to mix some diet sodas such as: diet coke, diet tonic, etc.
- Corona Light w/ Lime
- I figured I’d include my go-to “simple” beer for you guys. Corona Light has roughly 99 calories in it, and is much like the statement I made regarding the diet soda during a cheat meal. Although I love my Corona, I’ll still pick up a case of Corona Light in my indulgences.
So, to finish off: don’t forget or neglect the 80/20 Method, Intermittent Fasting and our Nutrition Pillars – BUT, also don’t be scared to indulge and have fun. It’s okay to still be human while becoming a SuperHuman.
Join The Superhero Academy and start unleashing your inner SuperHuman.