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How Seriously Should You Take Your Training?

How Seriously Should You Take Your Training?

Thinking Emoji


We’ve all been there.. We’re motivated, we’re ready to go, we’re really going to change this time. Time to get back that body you had in high school, or college, or whenever it was that you peaked. And when are we going to start? On Monday.. It’s always Monday. Your friends came over for a barbecue on Sunday, and Saturday you were recovering from Friday night so you couldn’t start then. So Monday it is.


Even if you’re already in a regimen we have moments, or ruts, in our training where we seem to just be going through the motions and not making any progress. A lot of times the reason isn’t that we aren’t putting in the work, but that we overreact to small speed bumps. You were counting macros at the barbeque on Sunday but then dessert came out, your eyes lit up, and that’s the last thing you remember. So after that, you just stopped counting. You decided to pick things back up on Monday.


What if I told you that you could have your Aunt’s famous dessert at your family cookout and not have to feel bad about it? I’m not talking about “if it fits your macros”. I’m not talking about macros at all. I’m talking about setting up the goals that are right for you.


So let’s get into it… First and foremost, what are your goals? Are you a weekend warrior who puts in 60 hours a week at a job and then crushes it on the weekends to stay healthy? Or are you an aspiring fitness athlete who is looking to compete? As you can imagine, these two scenarios are gong to play out with two very different goals. These are two people at opposite ends of the spectrum just to make my point, but there are stages in the middle where most people find themselves. We’ll go step by step and you can decide what category you fall into, and how you can decide how to follow a program from there.


Category 1: I just want to be healthy


A significant portion of the population will fall into this category. These are the people who have full time jobs on top of full time jobs. They might be married with kids, or travel for work 90% of the time. Or they just might not care a lick about the idea of “fitness” and just want their doctor to give them good news every year. It’s ok to be in this group! It’s not always about aesthetics! SD Evolution preaches healthy LIFESTYLES. Not all of our clients are training for a competition. A lot of them just want to be healthy. And we love that. We are building a fitness COMMUNITY and that covers all goals being HEALTHY and in any way that any of our individual clients views that.


SO, what does this mean? What do you have to do? What don’t you have to do? Well, this might come as a shock to hear me say this, but you DON’T have to count your macros. You don’t even need to follow a fitness regimen. The guideline here is just making healthy choices. Here is where I would recommend using the 80/20 rule. 80% healthy, 20% “hey shit happens”. You ate healthy all week, cooked healthy dinners for your family, and then the cookout came up on Sunday and you had an entire plate of dessert. I’m ok with it.. If you had McDonalds all week and ate nothing but Hot Tomales (my favorite candy by the way) while you watched Shark Week every night, then no, I would tell someone to slap that plate out of your hand you shouldn’t eat all that dessert! The world we live in sees most people getting the 80/20 backwards. That’s a whole other topic and I won’t get off on a tangent, but you get the idea. As far as training, a workout program would be helpful, but it isn’t necessary. Maybe you like finding new hikes. You just got a pool and you love swimming. You just joined a basketball league at work. Those are all forms of exercise; they just happen to be so fun that you forget you are working out. With enough frequency and balance, those are more than enough.


Why would I say all this when I run a fitness business? Well for starters, because I’m honest. But even still, we offer programs that consist of lifestyle coaching. So someone in this category would still benefit from an online coach, we just wouldn’t be giving them workouts and meal plans. They would be getting outlines of how to make their current lifestyle healthier, and we would teach them how to incorporate those things step by step, as well as keep them accountable.


Category 2: I don’t want to compete, but I do want to change my body


This category is where the majority fall into. Not everyone wants to go stand on stage and lift heavy weights, or put their sculpted physiques on display. Some people just want to feel more confident. I want to look good naked, I believe is what a lot of people talk about from this stand point. They might have accumulated a few pounds over the years, or they never really did have a great body but they decided they wanted to set their sights on having the mirror make them smile. Either way, they are at a point in their lives where they want to make a visible change to the way that they look.


These guys have to go a little farther than the 80/20 rule. To change your body, the numbers have to add up. We have this down to a science where “if you do this, then this will happen”. There are a lot of calculations that go into this, but the most basic form is a topic called caloric balance. If you are in a caloric deficit, you will lose weight. If you are in a caloric surplus, you will gain weight. There are a lot of other things that go into this, and some of those things actually make my previous statement false, but I won’t bore you with the details. For the vast majority, caloric balance holds true. From there, it is also very important WHERE your calories come from. We’re not just talking about the specific foods, but the macronutrient breakdown of those foods.


That is why this group needs to track what they are eating. The simplest way to do so… Counting your macros. More advanced people in this group may not need to do so because they already have their meals planned out and prepped the same way they have been doing it for a long time. But most of us will have to do this on a day to day basis because we will not want to eat the same exact things on a day to day basis. Counting our macros allows us the flexibility to eat with diversity, but also gives us the structure to not overdue it on any one part. You can do this manually, or most phones will let you download an app where you can just punch in the food and the amount you had and BOOM, macros tracked.. **cough cough** “MyMacros+” **cough**


Your workouts should also be programmed in this category. You will need to track volume to ensure progress. You don’t have to go overboard, but knowing what you did last week, and how to increase it this week is pretty important. And again, this stuff doesn’t have to be all in the gym. A lot of the peeps in here like to do other activities in place of the gym. But making sure you reach a certain intensity for a certain amount of time during you basketball game should be tracked in order to make sure you are getting to the level you need to, to achieve your goals.


Category 3: I want to be the best


You want to be the best? You better work harder and smarter than the best. This category is where very few people will take it. Not a lot of people want to compete. The biggest, most shredded dude in your gym might not want to step on stage. He’s just there to be big and shredded, and that’s ok. But some people strive to be the best in everything they do, and they want something measurable to tell them that. That measurement would be which flavor medal you bring home from a competition. Anyway, this category is the easiest to talk about, and the hardest to achieve.


Are you tracking your macros? Yes… Unless you’re on a meal plan eating the same thing every day. In which case you or your coach determined your macros on day one and that is set until it is adjusted moving forward.


Are your workouts programmed? You better believe it.. One of the easiest ways to determine if your weight gain is lean mass or fat is to look at your lifts. Are they the same weight that you started with when you were 200 and you are now 210? That was mostly, if not all, fat buddy.. Sorry. How do you program for improvements? Very simply put, make sure you do more than you did last time. It could be an extra set, or it could be an extra 5 or 10 pounds on your lift. Your volume must grow for you to grow.


What category do you fall in? Are you doing the things you need to in order to reach your goals? Do you now know what your goals are? If you need help, you know where to find us…

Until next time,


Recognizing a binge & tips on dining out while Flexible Dieting

Recognizing a binge & tips on dining out while Flexible Dieting


As an Exercise Physiologist and Personal Trainer, I deal with a lot of clients who struggle with bingeing on food. Whether they are dieting to lose weight or not, it is a common struggle of many of my clients to control this issue and usually results in them emailing me feeling incredibly guily, down on themselves and in a worse place than they were in before. Thankfully, Flexible Dieting has fixed a lot of those issues on it’s own, however it is important to also realize the WHY behind your bingeing- and it usually has nothing to do with actually being hungry.

In 2014 as many of you know I prepped myself to compete in a bikini competition. I stuck to an incredibly strict meal plan and I was eating the same foods daily for about 6 months or so. I restricted myself from SO many foods that I used to love simply because it was not on my plan. There were numerous occasions where I would have a weekend “cheat meal” and end up going crazy. I over-ate dramatically, ended up with a swollen belly for days after and felt incredibly guilty and ashamed of myself. In this blog I want to address ways that you can begin to control your bingeing and start to live a more balanced lifestyle.

I recently listened to an episode of Layne Norton’s Podcast (Physique Science Radio) that touched upon this issue with guests Sohee Lee and Kory Propst. Kory is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health and Professional Counselor and she also has an extensive education in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition. While listening to this episode (which you can tune into HERE) I not only could relate to the issues being discussed personally, but I thought about my clients. SO many have struggled with bingeing and my main focus always was to do my best to make them feel better about it and get back on track. In reality, the issue goes so much deeper. It all comes back down to educating yourself on WHY we make these decisions. WHY do we feel the need to binge? Are we really that hungry or is stress and anxiety taking over? If you feel a binge coming on, walk into another room and talk to yourself. Figure out why you’re feeling that way. If you are truly hungry, maybe it is time to adjust your macros, however most of the time it is other emotions that are trying to take over.

I have reviewed Flexible Dieting plenty of times prior to this so if you are still confused on what exactly it entails or want a refresher course, read our previous blog HERE. Flexible Dieting has changed my life. It has allowed me to find my balance of nutrition and really support my training with the food choices I make. Being a restrictive eater/binger myself, finding that freedom has made me not only more educated about my nutritional intake, but has allowed me to adapt a lifestyle that I truly love and enjoy. As a coach, I often get the question from newer clients, “What happens when I go out to eat? How do I track that?”. I even have had some clients simply refuse to go out to dinner while obtaining the flexible dieting lifestyle. Now if you think about it, does that really sound flexible? One of my goals here is to help you realize that it is OK to go out and enjoy yourself and there are a few steps you can take to make sure that it doesn’t interrupt your goals.

Step 1: Make a plan. If I know I’m going to dinner, I always try to look up the restaurant beforehand to check out the Menu. Most restaurants have their menus posted online. I then decide what I’m going to have and guesstimate the portion sizes when I get there if I decide I want to track it. If I want to simply go out and have a relaxed or “untracked” meal, I still decide something I’m going to have beforehand, and stick to my plan.

Step 2: Eat until you are full-nothing more. Be done once your stomach is full. It can be easy to overeat and want to finish everything on your plate, but with restaurants having HUGE servings sizes these days, chances are your stomach is going to be full way before your plate is licked clean.

Step 3: Have mindfulness. Recognize how you are feeling at that exact moment. If you arrive at the restaurant, and change your mind all of a sudden and want something that doesn’t fit your macros- no big deal IF you are mindful and realize the consequences. If you are ok with going over your macros, realizing that you may see the scale go up the next day, then go ahead and get whatever it is that you are thinking about. OR on another note, if you have an untracked meal on the horizon, and you really aren’t feeling like eating or indulging anymore, don’t force it! I can’t tell you how many times I have been wanting ice cream all day and plan to have it later at night, then I go workout or go do something else and by the time that moment comes, I am either not hungry for it or don’t REALLY want it. As much as I like to stick to plan, it is ok to listen to your mind in the moment.

Step 4: The last thing I tell clients is to enjoy themselves. Consistency is key in all areas of our lives and that includes flexible dieting. Go out, enjoy your time with your loved ones or friends, but know your limits. Balance out your dilemma in your head- when you are truly at peace with whatever decision you make, you know that you have fully adapted a lifestyle that you can sustain.

Do you eat enough protein?

Do you eat enough protein?



Protein, protein, protein! This macronutrient is essential for not only living but also muscle growth and maintenance. We have noticed lately that many of our new clients struggle with meeting their protein goals in their Macro-Based Nutrition Plans  that we offer on our website. It is important to eat enough protein if you are an avid exerciser and especially if you lift weights. To put it simply, the more muscle mass you have on your body, the more energy you are going to expend to keep that muscle. Why does this matter? Well for those of you who are interested in fat loss, this is necessary!

When you think of protein, you may immediately just think of a boring old Whey Protein shake. Luckily for you, this is not the only or “best” source of protein! While we do recommend Whey before and after a workout (as it is digested fast and can go straight to the muscle site), you don’t need to drink shakes all day long to hit your goal. Here are some of our favorite protein sources:

  • Eggs/Egg Whites
  • Lean Ground Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Tuna
  • Cod
  • Low-fat Cottage Cheese
  • Low-fat Greek Yogurt

And as far as Whey Protein goes here’s a few good options:

  • Quest Nutrition Whey Protein
  • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Natural Whey
  • True Athlete Natural Whey Protein

While these are not the ONLY sources of protein, they are our favorites and go-to’s. You can get so creative with these few items including hard-boiled eggs as a snack, turkey/hummus wraps or even Greek Yogurt parfaits. So now that you have the tools to create some healthy high-protein dishes, how much protein should you be eating each day?

Everyone requires a different amount of protein. You may have heard the old 1g of protein per pound of body weight rule, however that much is not even necessary for the average person. We suggest 1g of protein per KILOGRAM of body weight which equates to less than that of a pound.

To convert your bodyweight from pounds to kilos, simply divide by 2.2. Whatever that number may be is the amount of protein you should be consuming daily.

We have our clients using the app “My Macros+” to track their daily intake however MyFitnessPal works just fine as well, or if you are old-school: jot it down in a notebook! While you don’t need to hit this number perfectly every single day, coming close (within 5-10g) may just push you a little further towards your goals of fat-loss or muscle maintenance or gain.

For further questions or information about our Macro-Based Nutrition plans, shoot us an email at We would love to help you reach your goals!