What is the Deal with the Ketogenic Diet?

Although it is not a particularly new fad, the Ketogenic Diet is a topic I have gotten a lot of questions on recently. Usually the question presents itself as: “what’s up with this ketogenic diet, and should I do it?” The answer to those questions are somewhat complex, so it is very difficult to provide a general answer on the spot. The details are crucial when discussing “keto.”   What is it?   First and foremost, let’s cover what keto actually is. If one were to subsist off a diet which causes their body to mimic the state of fasting for a long enough period, their body’s form of producing energy would shift. The goal is to get the body to stop relying on stored glucose (which we get from consuming carbohydrates) for energy production, and instead utilizing a fuel source called ketone-bodies.   In order to turn to this

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Will You be Ready?

Anyone who watched the College Football National Championship on Monday was witness to a fantastic story; one that people will be talking about for ages. For those of us who did not watch the game, are not into college football, or don’t know the background of the story, here is the shortened version of what happened:   Georgia was beating Alabama 13-0 at halftime, and they seemed to have the wind at their backs going into the break Jalen Hurts, the Sophomore QB who had started the entire season for Alabama found himself on the bench for the second half Alabama’s Freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa, who had only taken a handful of snaps throughout the season (all in throwaway time) took the field for the rest of the game Tagovailoa played lights out, threw for 3 touchdown passes, the last of which being a walk-off overtime winner   Whether you

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Advanced Strategies: Intermittent Fasting

The past few blog posts here have been geared toward very practical nutrition that just about everyone can benefit from. They could be applied to anyone, regardless of how advanced their nutritional knowledge is. This post, however is for people who classify themselves as intermediate to advanced with nutritional knowledge.   If you rate yourself on a 1-10 scale (1 = eats candy for breakfast, 10 = grow your own kale and raise grass-fed cattle to slaughter and eat in your backyard) as a 7 or higher, this post is for you.   This post is going to breakdown one particular method of intermittent fasting (IMF). This form of caloric restriction has become very popular recently, and is something we are all fans of here at Compete. As a practice, IMF exists in many shapes and sizes. I have found a method that works for me, and that is the

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A How-To Guide for Crushing 2018 Resolutions

People are pretty split on the concept of creating resolutions at the beginning of the new year. Some people think it promotes the unhealthy habit of yo-yoing; that is, going all in on something (usually nutrition) for a short period of time, then boomeranging back the other way and falling off the deep end. A good way to avoid this impulse is embodying an 80/20 mentality, which I wrote about last week. And so, if you are properly maintaining this 80/20 mindset, and you are at a low risk of yo-yoing, I am all for New Years Resolutions. I am a big self-auditor (another thing I wrote about on this blog) and the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to call your medium-term goals into check. A goal is no good if it just exists ambiguously in your head. Furthermore, a goal is no good if it is

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How to Succeed at Failing: the 80/20 Principle

With the holiday season fully upon us, now seems like as good a time as ever to discuss one of the guiding principles of my entire life: the 80/20 Principle. There are many different ways the 80/20 Principle can be applied and put into practice in life, but the one I will be discussing here is how it can pertain to a diet (or if you’re allergic to the term “diet” then think “nutrition program”). Every time I go to a holiday party the following situation happens: 1. Someone comes up and offers me a Christmas cookie from a platter 2. They immediately recant the offer and assume they’ve offended me since I’m a “nutrition guy or whatever” and cookies aren’t healthy 3. I aggressively grab the cookie from their plate and eat it without breaking eye contact. That being said, I don’t go to a lot of Christmas parties.

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CARBS: The Ultimate PEDs

Every once in awhile, the public likes to pick an aspect of nutrition, demonize it, and blame it for all the bad in the world. For a while, it was fat (specifically saturated fat). The notion that eating fat makes you fat and eating cholesterol raises your cholesterol were considered to be simply facts of life. That is, until science stepped in and proved those to be inherently incorrect.   Currently, the whole nutrition world seems to be against carbs. Mythical stories of Lebron’s “Carb Free Summer” circulate around, paleo guys talk about ketone bodies like they’re the food-form of Jesus Christ, and nearly anyone looking through a menu at a restaurant comments on the fact that they’re “trying to cut back on carbs.” The fact of the matter is: carbs are GREAT for you. And in this post I am going to outline why that is.   . .

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Everything You Need to Know about BCAAs

Recently I have noticed a trend on health/fitness accounts on social media. For whatever reason, in the past few weeks everyone has been bashing BCAAs. If I spend 2 minutes on the “Explore” page of Instagram, I will find at least 10 posts explaining (entirely unscientifically) why BCAAs are a waste of money and do nothing for you. In this post, I am going to refute these claims, and defend BCAAs as a performance supplement. If you want to geek out on science with me, read the whole post. If you don’t care about that and just want some answers, skip to the last paragraph right now.   In this post, I’m going to start by explaining what BCAAs are, outline why they are important, and offer recommendations on when/how to use them.   Step 1 – What are BCAAs?   BCAA stands for “Branched Chain Amino Acids” of which

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How to Meal Prep: Your 3 Step Guide

         ->          Knowing how to efficiently meal prep is one of the most important skills a health-conscious person can learn. Whether you’re a 16 year old athlete trying to get stronger and improve performance or a 40 year woman trying to lose some body fat to get ready for beach season…YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO MEAL PREP.  The whole point of this article (and video) is to show you how easy meal prep can be and the benefits you can reap. Click here for the “HOW-TO Meal Prep” Video Guide. Let’s put a nutritious spin on one of my favorite quotes from Ben Franklin: “Early to bed. Early to rise. [MEAL PREP] makes a man Healthy, Wealthy, & Wise.”  The benefits are too great to ignore: HEALTHY: Keeps you on track to your nutritional goals. Hard to sneak in cheat meals when

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In-Season Training

Related Post: In-Season Nutrition > 4 Reasons Why Your Performance will Decline and how to Prevent it In-Season Training Guide Strength training, tissue care, and quality nutrition can be difficult paths to navigate while competing in a sport. By the end of the season, most athletes lose up to 10 lbs of lean muscle mass, gain 2-3% body fat, and lose upwards of 20% of strength /power output. Athletes re-enter the weight room after 3 months of competition and start their off-season training back at square one.  Why bust your ass in the weight room 6-9 months out of the year if you’re going to lose what you’ve worked so hard to gain during the season?  This is what I call the “Yo-Yo” training effect.  After working hard to make gains in lean muscle, strength, power, speed, and overall athleticism during the off-season, an athlete stops training to focus on competing. During that

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Combating Adversity: 3 Practical Ways to Increase Resiliency

“It is precisely in times of immunity from care that the soul should toughen itself beforehand for occasions of greater stress, and it is while Fortune is kind that it should fortify itself against her violence. In days of peace the soldier performs manoeuvres, throws up earthworks with no enemy in sight, and wearies himself by gratuitous toil, in order that he may be equal to unavoidable toil” – Seneca the Younger   How do you handle adversity? When real hardships come up in your life, do you feel like you can remain calm, cool, and collected, or do you typically hit the panic button? If you’re anything like me, your first instinct is likely to drop everything, freak out, and then curl up in a ball and feel sorry for yourself for a few days. This type of reaction can manifest itself as anxiety, over-thinking, lack of action, etc.

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