Sep 14

Your Late Night Cravings

It’s 11 PM. You’re a week into starting your fitness journey and you’re sitting on the couch, stomach rumbling because you’re so damn hungry. For 10 minutes you have an internal battle with yourself. On one shoulder the angel is telling you to be good and resist the temptations. On the other the little devil is calling you a little bitch and telling you to go grab those potato chips you have sitting in the cupboard. One night isn’t going to hurt, right? You keep telling yourself that. You say “screw it” and grab those chips and eat them like a shark attacking a half eaten tuna. Next thing you know the entire bag is gone and you’re sitting there, stomach hurting, pissed at yourself for making such a dumb and rash decision. It’s more common than you think.

The first thing we have to address here is the fact that you’re hungry late at night. When I’m working with someone and they tell me how starving they are right before bed, the first thing I ask them is how many calories they’re taking in every day. If you’re hungry, that’s your body telling you to eat. When I’m hungry I eat. It’s not rocket science. There is a reason my body is telling me to eat food. But if you’re THAT hungry right before bed, there’s a good chance you’re just not eating enough throughout the day. I was in that position when I first made a change in 2008 and would sit there pissed off that I couldn’t eat anything. So instead, I did what every person told me to do, drink water. Yeah, that never fucking worked. My hunger didn’t magically go away after I drank a glass of water. It always cracks me up, too, when people say “if you’re hungry, maybe you’re just thirsty.” No, I’m pretty sure I know the difference between hunger and thirst. When I’m hungry I eat food, when I’m thirsty I drink water. It’s not hard to understand. But nobody should get to the point where they are starving. All that does is lead to giving into temptations. Instead, try eating more throughout the day. As a 5’7″ dude that has quite a bit of muscle, I have to eat around 2,700 – 3,000 calories per day to be comfortable later in the evening. If I’m low, my body let’s me know how angry it is at me by giving me hunger pangs.

Have you ever noticed that you crave carbs late at night? It’s never “Oh man I need to eat some chicken right now.” Rather, it’s “Where the hell are the Lucky Charms?” There can be a few reasons for this. First, you’ve not kicked your sugar addiction. Did you know that sugar is just about as addicting as cocaine? No? Now you do. If you ever go from drinking 2 cans of soda a day to quitting cold turkey, you understand how bad the withdrawal symptoms can be. Shaky, headaches, and other annoying symptoms. I’m not going to go into detail about this, but this is one of the many reasons why you need to move from consuming processed sugar to complex carbohydrates you find in fruits, veggies, and whole grains. It will be tough and you will have some intense sugar cravings for a while, but eventually they will subside. The other reason could be that you’re actually carb depleted. A lot of people like to do the whole no carb thing when trying to lose weight, which I think isn’t the smartest idea, but none-the-less they do it. Personally, I believe that carbs play an important role in results. I think that carb cycling is fine, where you’re doing 1 day of very low carbs and 1 day of high carbs, but eliminating carbs all together can lead to cravings and being physically drained. (You can check out my carb cycling plan here). Carbs are important for energy. If you’re not consuming any carbs, of course you’re going to crave high carb foods late at night. You’re body is craving the glycogen.

So what can you do? Normally I tell the people I work with to grab a small high protein or healthy fat food, such as a handful of almonds, a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter, or a “fat bomb”. I’ll include the fat bomb recipe at the bottom of this post. But the worst thing you can do is grab a high carbohydrate food. When you eat carbs they increase glycogen in your body, which is used for fuel to get you through the day and any physical activity you do, such as your workout. If that glycogen goes unused, which it will late at night, it will be stored as fat. That’s not something you want if you’re trying to lose some weight. Normally a high protein or fat food will be enough to reduce the cravings. Something else you can do is get rid of all the crap in your cupboards. When I first committed to a program back in 2008, one of the first things I did was go through my cupboards and throw away (or donate) all the shit food, such as Oreos. Man did I love my Oreos. But if it wasn’t there I couldn’t eat it. Instead I was forced to go for a healthier alternative.

Hopefully you now have some solutions on how to cure those late night cravings. If you have any questions or would like to be Coached by me, all you have to do is reach out to me on Facebook. I answer all my Facebook messages within 24 hours.

Peanut Butter Fat bomb

  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 TBS grassfed butter
  • 4 TBS peanut butter
  • 3 TSP cocoa powder
  • 3 packets stevia
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract

Mixed all together ingredient and put in the microwave for 30 sec & stir it very well and if need more dissolved put in the microwave again 15 to 30 sec then pour into mini cup cake size then put in the freeze at least 30 mins. SERVING: 12

 

Sep 05

The Spencer Carb Cycling Plan

Right now I’m in the best shape of my life. Have I been leaner before? Yeah, when I was about 16 lbs lighter than I am now. I was ripped as hell, but I also lacked strength. In the past, it’s always been one or the other. I was either strong, big, and bulky or shredded and weak. It was never both. Over the past few years I’ve been working hard on finding a great balance between the two and I’ve figured it out. I’m lean, in probably the best cardio condition of my life, but yet still strong. Of course a lot of that has to do with the type of workouts I’ve been doing, but my nutrition has played the biggest role. I’ll get to what type of workouts I’m doing in another post, but for this one I want to explain my nutrition plan in detail. I want to talk about how a carb cycling plan is what has led me to being in the best overall fitness level in my life.

The Keto Plan

“But Josh, I thought you shifted to a Keto diet?” I did for a while. But as I stated in one of my recent “Just Man Up” videos on my Facebook page, it wasn’t sustainable. At least it wasn’t for me. I know a Keto plan works for some people because I’ve got friends who follow it successfully and have gotten outstanding results, but again, it just isn’t for me. Why? I don’t exactly know why. All I know is that when my body fat % dropped to a certain point with Keto, I began to feel extremely worn down and sluggish, especially after my intense workouts. My body needs carbohydrates for energy while I’m following an intense workout regimen. Plus, following a Keto diet is tough to do during the weekends when you go out to eat or want to have a few drinks with your friends. One beer or mixed drink can knock you right out of ketosis. I want to be able to enjoy life. I don’t want to have to constantly stress over possibly being knocked out of ketosis and that’s what was happening for a while. Did Keto work for me while I was doing it? Absolutely. I leaned out quicker than I have in my entire life, but eventually I just couldn’t sustain it anymore.

Spencer Carb Cycling Plan

I’m still following a high fat plan. Contrary to what most people believe, high fat intake doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to gain body fat. Usually the opposite is the case if you’re consuming the right kinds of fats. There are an incredible amount of benefits to eating foods like coconut oil (contrary to what the biased American Heart Association will tell you), avocado, fish, and almonds. One of those benefits is the ability to battle inflammation. Since I shifted to a higher fat plan, the pain associated with my disease has basically disappeared. Of course there are other factors involved there, but I believe the high healthy fat intake has played a major role. But just because I stopped Keto doesn’t mean I stopped eating healthy fats. I would say about 50% of my calories per day still come from healthy fat sources. I just have decided to add back in some healthy carbohydrates.

What is carb cycling?

In 2009 I was very close to the condition that I’m in now. At the time I tried out carb cycling for the first time and saw how well it worked for me personally. Basically what I did was a day of low carbs (1-2 servings), which was on my cardio days, and a day of high carbs, which was my resistance training days. The reason for the low carbs on cardio days was so that my body would focus on burning body fat for energy instead of targeting the glycogen in my system. If you didn’t know, you get glycogen from carbohydrates (rice, pasta, breads, fruits, vegetables, etc.) and your body uses that glycogen to give you energy throughout the day and during intense workouts. When it’s not there, body fat and muscle are targeted for fuel. That’s why I stress the importance of using a good quality BCAA supplement during your workout if you’re carb depleted, to stop the body from using muscle for energy. Then on my resistance training days I load up with carbs so that I have enough glycogen to provide the energy I need to get in an excellent strength workout. This is what I’ve been doing for the past 2 months and I’m seeing incredible strength gains and staying lean because of it. It’s one day of high carbs and one day of low carbs and I keep alternating. Also, I forgot to explain, on the high carb days I’m pretty much taking in a healthy carbohydrate at every meal. I’ll give a low carb and high carb sample day below.

Low Carb Sample Plan

  • Breakfast – 4 whole cage free eggs scrambled with peppers, onions, 2 slices nitrate free bacon, and black coffee
  • Snack – fat bomb
  • Lunch – 6 oz. organic chicken salad with peppers, onions, olives, and homemade italian dressing
  • Pre-workout – 2 scoops Energize
  • Post-workout – 1 scoop vanilla vegan Shakeology, banana, organic almond milk, 1 cup spinach, 1 tablespoon organic almond butter, ice, and blend
  • Dinner – 6 oz. grilled chicken, zucchini, and asparagus
  • Snack – fat bomb

High Carb Sample Plan

  • Breakfast – 4 whole cage free eggs scrambled with peppers, onions, 2 tablespoons organic ketchup, slice of Ezekiel bread with avocado, and black coffee
  • Snack – large handful of homemade trail mix (almonds, cashews, raisins)
  • Lunch – 6 oz. organic chicken salad with slices apples, pecans, strawberries, and homemade dressing
  • Pre-workout – 2 scoops Energize
  • Post-workout – 1 scoop vanilla vegan Shakeology, banana, organic almond milk, 1 cup spinach, 1 tablespoon organic almond butter, ice, and blend
  • Dinner – swordfish with brown rice
  • Snack – strawberries and a tablespoon of organic peanut butter

So that’s what I’ve been doing to get such outstanding results. Again, in this post I only covered the nutrition aspect of it. The workouts I’m doing are playing a big role as well. The Spencer Carb Cycling plan is what works best for me. Questions? Just comment below and I will respond quickly. Or you can just message me over on my Facebook page. If you’re ready to fully commit to making a change, I started a 30 day “Become a Badass” group every month. Fill out the BADASS FORM if you would like to take part.

 

Aug 18

Should I Use BCAAs?

There are so many supplements on the market today that it can make your head spin. Anymore it’s confusing about exactly what you should be using. To make matters worse, there are so many people saying so many different things that it can be overwhelming. In the end, BCAAs are just another supplement added to the massive list. However, BCAA supplements are ones that tend to get a lot of hype, but is there merit to the hype? Yes, I believe there is. I’m going to break down why I feel BCAAs are an absolute must to add to your supplement arsenal.

My BCAA Experiment 

I’ll get into the scientific evidence backing BCAAs in a bit, but first I want to cover my personal experience with BCAAs. I tend to go through different phases of personal fitness. Sometimes I want to gain mass, others I just want to lean out and stay shredded. In order for me to lean out, though, I have to add in quite a bit of high intensity interval training (cardio). When that happens, I will do around 2 resistance workouts and 5 cardio trainings per week. Before ever using BCAAs I would lose a significant amount of strength by doing a lot of high intensity cardio training. For example, I might go from doing sets of 10 of 100 pound dumbbells for bench press down to only being able to do the same amount of reps with just 70s. This would happen almost every single time over the course of a few months. I do have to note, though, that when I am trying to lean out I do fasted workouts, meaning I haven’t eaten anything for hours beforehand. Normally I get up in the morning and work out before eating. When your insulin levels are low, fat loss is accelerated. The only issue with that is that the body tends to use muscle (in addition to body fat) for energy when in a fasted state. This is why I lost so much strength over the course of just a few months. After a ton of research I decided to add in branched chained amino acids during my workouts. Keep in mind that the only thing I changed was the use of BCAAs. My nutrition plan was the same as it was before. After adding in BCAAs and doing another cycle of gaining mass and leaning out, I noticed almost no decrease in strength, even with adding in all the high intensity training and doing the fasted workouts. That is a true testament to BCAAs in itself.

How do BCAAs work and what do they do?

There are basically three main amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. All 3 of them play a role, but in a nutshell they help promote protein synthesis and increase glucose intake in the muscles. When used as a supplement during workouts, they help prevent the breakdown of muscle (to use for energy), reduce fatigue, and kick-start the muscle repair process. What was happening before I started using BCAAs was that my body was drawing from muscle for fuel because of doing the fasted workouts. Once I started using them, muscle breakdown was halted and my body was drawing energy solely from my body fat. I noticed that I maintained strength and experienced a quicker fat loss than I have before.

What BCAAs do I use?

If you follow me, you know how much I hate the majority of supplements because of all the artificial flavors and dyes added. Most companies do the same with BCAAs. I’m the type of guy that will use a supplement even if it tastes like shit if I know it’s good quality. I don’t use supplements for the taste. If you do, maybe you should start thinking about why you use supplements in the first place. But the brand of BCAAs that I’ve been using for quite some time is Scivation Xtend Raw. The flavored versions of Xtend have all those dyes and chemicals I was talking about, but the Raw version does not. But it tastes like crap.

How much do you take and when do you take it?

I put one scoop (12.2 g) into my shaker cup of water, shake it, and sip on it all throughout my workout.

So should you use BCAAs? I think so. All I know is that they have made a big difference in my workouts, muscle loss prevention, and fat loss. Questions? Don’t hesitate to message me on my Facebook page. If you want to try out the brand I use, here is the direct link to it on Amazon. SCIVATION XTEND RAW BCAA

Jun 05

Should I Do Fasted Workouts?

One of the most common questions that I get asked from people that I coach revolves around whether or not they should be doing fasted workouts. Anywhere you look online you will see people going back and forth on this topic, arguing with who’s right and who’s not. It’s annoying, really. Most people just don’t understand that there are multiple effective ways to work out and still get results. I have done both fasted and non-fasted workouts over the years. Believe it or not, I have gotten great results with both. My goals tend to determine whether or not I do it as well. I’m going to explain that below and talk about what I’m currently doing and how it’s affected my results.

Basically we all have two different types of goals. We either want to lean out or put on size. At least that’s how it is for me. I go through phases where I want to be really big and bulky, but then super lean and ripped. The seasons tend to influence that as well. If it’s the winter time, since I’m covered up all the time and not worried about gaining a little bit of body fat, I tend to focus more on mass gaining. During the spring and summer, like right now, I focus more on leaning out. When I’m trying to bulk, in the past I have always tried to eat a well balanced meal with good carbs and protein about an hour and a half beforehand. In a nutshell, I wanted to make sure that my body is burning consumed carbohydrates and that I have enough protein in my system to prevent muscle breakdown during my workouts. Over time, though, as I’ve gained more knowledge and gotten older, my views on the goal of getting big and bulky has changed. I wanted to be that way in the past, but I’m at the point in my life where I want to remain lean and in excellent cardio condition, all while maintaining the muscle that I have put on over the past year or so. So far I’ve been able to do so.

What exactly am I doing right now? I’m doing fasted workouts. A lot of people who are trying to lean out do fasted workouts. My process goes like this. I wake up, drink a massive glass of water and then shortly after mix 2 scoops of Energize, a pre-workout supplement, into another small glass of water and chug it. The reason for the Energize is just what you would think. I want a boost of energy before I do any type of crazy intense workout, like Max 30 or Insanity Asylum. Energize is the best pre-workout supplement that I’ve used and I’ve tried a lot of them over the years. The reason why it’s so good is because it doesn’t use shit ingredients, works quickly, lasts the entire workout, and there is no crash afterwards. You can learn more about it from my Just Man Up Episode on Pre-Workout supplements.

There is one big mistake that I see a lot of people make when doing fasted workouts, though. They skip out on a crucial intra-workout supplement, BCAA’s. If you’re going to do a fasted workout, meaning you haven’t eaten anything for many hours beforehand, I highly recommend that you sip on a good quality BCAA supplement throughout the workout. Here’s the reasoning. When you work out on an empty stomach, especially if you work out in the morning after not eating anything since the night before, your body has to find an energy source from somewhere to get you through the workout. Since there are no carbs (glycogen) or fat (from healthy fat consumption), the next place is stored fat and/or muscle tissue. Ideally, you want the body to target the stored fat for energy instead of the muscle. Consuming branched chained amino acids (BCAA’s) during the workout assists the body in doing so because it helps prevent muscle breakdown and repairs damaged tissue. In the past when I did intense routines on an empty stomach without consuming BCAA’s during the workout, I leaned out, but I always lost quite a bit of muscle mass. By the end of a 30 day program, I would have a 6 pack, but my strength decreased significantly. Then I learned about BCAA’s and the effect that they had on the body and started using them during my fasted workouts. Currently, I’m doing an insane training routine, shifting between intense lifting and Max 30, Asylum, and Asylum 2, drinking my BCAA’s during the workout, and have not had a decrease in strength yet, which is remarkable. I’ve been doing this routine for about 3 months. The BCAA’s have made a huge difference for me personally.

What BCAA’s am I currently using? Unfortunately, Beachbody hasn’t come out with one yet so I’m using Scivation Extend Raw. Just a warning, it tastes like shit. It’s awful, but I don’t use it for the taste. Rather, I use it because it’s a good quality supplement. The reason for the “Raw,” which means that it has no flavoring added, is because it’s chemical and dye free. If you haven’t read my blog post about the effects of artificial flavoring and dyes on the body yet, I highly suggest that you do so. Here’s the “Toxic Dyes in Your Food and Supplements” post. I’m all about consuming good quality food and supplements. I put one scoop in my shaker cup full of water, shake it, and sip on it throughout my entire workout.

If you’re asking me if you should do fasted workouts or not, I guess it’s up to you. Personally, I’m a huge fan of fasted workouts and will continue doing them from now on. I feel it is the most effective way to lose unwanted body fat. If you do choose to do fasted workouts, I suggest that you get yourself a good quality pre and intra workout supplement. If you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com. Don’t forget to LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK and visit my site JoshSpencerFitness.com as well.

May 31

Stop Avoiding Fat!

There is a huge misconception that has swept across the nation. This isn’t something that has just appeared out of nowhere either. It’s a movement that has been been around for years. We have been taught that fat is bad. For some reason most people associate being fat with eating fat. That just isn’t the case. Fat is NOT bad! Well, some of it is, but we have to start changing our mindsets to understand that there are good fats as well. Part of the blame goes to all the fad diets that popped up over the years. There have been quite a few that have preached that high protein, low fat, and low carb is the way to go. All that does is lead to a lot of pissed off, irritable, hangry people, which I will get to in a bit. But good fat serves an important purpose for our health. It’s time to put our negatively influenced views to the side and stop avoiding fat!

How did I get on the fat train? Back in 2015 when I discovered I had Lyme Disease, I started digging into natural treatment methods. Because Lyme causes a lot of inflammation in the body, I had to consume foods that would help battle that inflammation. That’s when I discovered that healthy fat sources, such as avocado, fish oil, and coconut oil play a major role in reducing inflammation. Before I made the changes to my nutrition plan, my macros consisted of about 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fat. Those macros came from healthy foods, of course, but I would go through most days feeling drained. Like most people, I never fully understood the purpose that healthy fat plays in our health so I avoided it like the plague. I then shifted from a 50/30/20 ratio to 30/20/50, meaning most of my calories throughout the day came from healthy fats. This was well before I understand the energizing effects that healthy fat has on our systems as well. Once I made that shift, the pain I was feeling slowly became less intense and eventually disappeared. I’m 100% sure that the increase in healthy fat played an important role in that happening.

Fast forward a few years, I began to hear a lot about a ketogenic nutrition plan. I heard about it in the past, but I always thought it was one of those fads that I mentioned above so I always quickly dismissed it. However, after learning about the anti-inflammatory effects that healthy fat has on our bodies, I wanted to dig a little deeper and find out what else a plan high in healthy fat could do for me. After quite a bit of research, I was surprised to find out all the additional benefits. They include raising the level of good cholesterol (yes, there is such a thing), lowering bad cholesterol, improving brain function, improving skin health, promoting heart health, reducing arthritis, and improving energy. Not to mention that they contain many minerals and vitamins.

The “improving energy” part is the one I want to focus on now. Just about anyone I’ve ever talked to, besides health professionals, have the “holy shit are you serious?” look on their face when I tell them that fat can be used as a fuel source rather than carbs. This is something that nobody is taught. Since we were little we have correlated carbohydrates with increased energy. Hello candy and the sugar rush! Basically this is the process. You eat carbs. Carbs are converted to glucose. The body releases insulin, allowing the glucose to enter the cells for energy. What people don’t know is that healthy fat consumption can give you energy as well. When you stop eating so many carbs and increase healthy fat intake, the body will automatically shift from using carbs for fuel to using fat for fuel. Interestingly enough, carbs aren’t even the preferred fuel source, fatty acids are. Is your mind blown yet? Don’t worry, mine was too when I discovered all of this. I subsequently shifted to a plan that consisted of 10% carbs, 60% fat, and 30% protein, sometimes increasing that 60% to 70%. Initially when I made the change my body didn’t really like it. I felt sluggish and completely exhausted for the first 3-4 days and then experienced an immediate change once my body got used to using fat for energy. Not only did I start having a lot more energy and felt great, I started really leaning out as well. The problem that most people have is that they lower the carbs AND the fat, therefore consuming a ton of protein. I’ve done this in the past and it leads to a very sluggish, exhausted feeling. The body just has nothing to use for fuel, so it eventually starts burning muscle. Not only that, but the cravings are usually out of control. With a high fat plan, because good fats are so nutrient and calorie dense, normally there aren’t any cravings. I’ve been following a high fat low carb plan for a while now and love how I look and feel. Plus, even though only 20-30% of my calories are coming from protein, I’m still maintaining strength and mass.

Healthy Fat Foods

Most people then ask me, “What foods contain healthy fats?” I’m going to list them below.

(1) Avocado. They are loaded with monounsaturated fats (the good fat). I eat a half an avocado every single day.

(2) Coconut Oil. These contain medium chain fatty acids (another good type of fat). I usually have about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily.

(3) Almonds. Contain monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber. I usually have 2 tablespoons of almond butter daily.

(4) Butter. I’m not talking about margarine or fake butter, I’m talking about REAL, grass fed, organic butter. Contains Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids, which help improve brain function and skin health. I might have 1-2 tablespoons of butter per day. I usually cook it with my eggs and vegetables.

(5) Salmon. Contains loads of Omega 3’s. It’s important that you stay away from any fish that is farm raised and go with wild caught.

(6) Olive Oil. Contains high levels of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. I might have 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil per day.

(7) Eggs. The best is organic pastured eggs. I have 4 whole eggs (cooked) daily.

Fat Bomb Recipe

The last thing I want to do is give you a recipe for something we like to call a “Fat Bomb.” Basically it’s a snack that is extremely high in healthy fat. Goes great with high fat low carb nutrition plans.

  • 2 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp organic grass fed butter
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 10 drops stevia
  • Melt oil and butter, add all ingredients and mix well. Pour into small cup mold with paper lining and freeze. Makes 4 servings.

Questions? Email Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com. Don’t forget to head on over to my LIKE PAGE and follow me there! You can message me there as well. From this point on, I hope you start incorporating healthy fat into your nutrition plan.

May 17

Toxic Dyes in Your Food and Supplements

The other day I was browsing my news feed and came across someone that was recommending a certain supplement. Because of all the knowledge I’ve gained about the toxicity of our food and supplements, my curiosity got the best of me and I did a brief Google search for the ingredient list. There isn’t much that pisses me off more than someone who knowingly recommends something to others that could be potentially harmful to them. Notice I said “knowingly.” Unfortunately, there are a lot of supplement reps that unknowingly recommend a toxic supplement. They just don’t know better. Maybe they weren’t taught or didn’t do enough research into what they were selling in the first place. This rep didn’t know better. Anyways, in that specific supplement not only did I find artificial flavoring, but food dyes as well. He praised how his clients were losing weight with it, but didn’t take into factor what it’s actually doing to the inside of those people’s bodies. It’s not good. That’s why I figured I would shed some light on the true toxicity of food dyes and why you should avoid them.

Why use food dyes?

Because it makes the food and supplements look better. Yes, you heard that right. Companies are more focused on appearance than the actual quality of the product. The company shares part of the blame, but not all of it. Consumers share the other half of the blame. Interestingly enough, I just watched a video yesterday about the process fast food companies go through to make their products look especially appetizing in advertisements. It’s all about appearance. We just don’t spend any time looking into what we are eating. If it looks and tastes good, we eat it. It’s a major reason why obesity, diseases, and cancer are out of control. We don’t pay any attention to what we are putting into our bodies. A good habit to get into from now is checking out the ingredient list of everything that you consume and doing just a little bit of research to see if it’s good for you or not. Over time you will get familiar with toxic ingredients and can quickly make a judgement on the product on the spot without doing research. That’s the point where I’m at now. If I’m about to purchase a new supplement, for example, I instantly flip it over, look at the ingredient list, and search for specific ingredients. One type of ingredient that I avoid at all costs are food dyes, sometimes labeled “artificial coloring.” Organic products don’t contain dyes, so always purchase organic when you can, but sometimes that’s just not an option. Food dyes are just one of many toxic ingredients, but it’s what I’m focusing on specifically in this post.

What are some common foods (and products) you will find dyes in?

Here’s a list. It’s most certainly not just limited to these, though.

  • Cereal
  • Soda
  • Fruit Juice
  • Salad Dressings
  • Ice Cream
  • Cosmetics
  • Processed Meat
  • Desserts
  • Yogurt
  • Fish (salmon)
  • Salsa
  • Pickles
  • Most Supplements

Surprising? Most people believe that salmon is very healthy and it is, just as long as it’s wild caught and purchased at an organic grocery store. If you purchase it at a restaurant, more than likely that beautiful, pinkish color that you see isn’t what it actually looks like. Most of the salmon you find in restaurants are farm raised and dyed to look better. Farm raised salmon is gray. With ice cream, not only is it normally loaded with chemicals and sugar, it contains dyes to make it more appealing, especially to young children. Hell, as a kid I normally chose the one that looked the best. Remember “Superman” ice cream? Those colors aren’t natural. That’s the food companies hard at work attempting to manipulate people to purchasing their product. I’ve said this before, the food industry is a crooked, money-hungry, unethical industry.

How are food dyes labeled?

Usually in the “other ingredients” section you will see something like Blue #1, Red #40, Green #3, or Yellow #6. Those are all food dyes. Basically, if you see anything with a color and a number beside it, put in back on the shelf.

Why are food dyes toxic?

Believe it or not, there have been a lot of studies on the effects of food dyes. Most of those studies were done on mice and rats, though, but regardless, there were some pretty awful after effects. Red #40 and Yellow #5 are known to cause hyperactivity in children. Blue #1, Blue #2, Citrus Red #2, and Yellow #6 are known to cause cancer and tumors in mice and rats. Red #3 has actually been labeled as a carcinogen. Many of the dyes are contaminated with cancer causing chemicals. Basically, what it all comes down to is that food dyes are highly toxic and should be avoided completely.

As I say all of the time, what you consume has a drastic effect on your health. As a man who consumes a lot of supplements, I am around other guys who do the same. Most of them pay no attention to what is actually in the supplements they are buying. They believe that just because it’s labeled as a “supplement” that it’s healthy. That’s most certainly not the case. In fact, there are barely any regulations in the supplement market. Some supplements may be just as bad for you as hot dogs. That’s why I always recommend that people do their research and only consume ones that are of high quality. If you’re using supplements for the color or the flavor in the first place, you’re using them for the wrong reason. Again, this isn’t just for supplements either. It goes for anything that you’re consuming or putting on your body. In the end, you need to avoid any type of artificial coloring at all costs.

Questions? I’ve got a lot of knowledge in this area. Feel free to reach out to me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com or message me over on my Facebook page.

Apr 13

How To Stop Your Bullshit Excuses

If you don’t know me, the first thing you need to know is that I’m about as straightforward as it comes. I don’t mind telling people how it is, but it’s not because I’m trying to be an asshole. Rather, I know that in order to help people move forward I have to tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. In my opinion, if I’m not that way then I’m doing them a disservice. It’s either that or let them continue being stuck in life. Sure, people might get pissed at me right away, but eventually they understand that in the end I’m just trying to help them out. If that’s what has to happen to help people change then so be it. I’m tough and can deal with people not liking me. When it comes to excuses, I have no tolerance for them. Quite frankly, I hate excuses. I don’t care what it is, whether it’s a time or money issue, give me an excuse and I will quickly prove that the excuse is not valid. Below I’m going to explain why I live excuse free, give personal examples of how I overcame certain obstacles, and how you can stop the bullshit excuses yourself.

What Is An Excuse?

First, let me give you my definition of an excuse. This is the one I came up with that is in the book I’m releasing called “Just Man Up.” Excuses are illegitimate reasons people create for why they can’t do something or failed with something just to make themselves feel better for giving up or never taking action in the first place. Oh shit, did that possibly piss you off? Good, let’s get those emotions stirring. Like it or not, it’s the truth. Once you realize that, then you can begin to change your life around. Keep making excuses, keep sitting stagnant in your current position. The choice is yours.

Ask anyone I know, they will tell you they have never heard me make an excuse within the past 15 years. I just don’t do it. I’m not saying that I never did it because that would be a straight up lie, but after the age of 15 I have lived excuse free. Before 15 I was a kid that found any way possible to justify why I struggled or failed at something. Couldn’t do conditioning? It was my asthma. Couldn’t make friends? It was my personality. Hell, I could go on and on. Then my dad introduced a book into my life that changed it all. It was “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz. I read it and haven’t made an excuse since. It’s no surprise why I’m in incredible shape, have had so much success with business, and have an excellent relationship with my wife and kids. No excuses on my part. I take ownership of everything and just make shit happen.

“I Don’t Have Time” Excuse

I love it when people tell me they don’t have time. Maybe it’s for starting a business or changing their health, but they repeat “I don’t have the time” over and over to me until my ears bleed. It’s ironic, especially when it comes to starting a business, because if they don’t have the time, isn’t that more reason to start? Everyone wants time freedom. If you say you don’t you’re lying. But not having time is an excuse. Ultimately, if you want something bad enough, whether you’re busy or not, you are going to find the time. If you don’t, you don’t want it bad enough. It’s as simple as that. Back in 2008 when I started my fitness program because of being out of shape, I was working 16 hours a day sometimes more. I didn’t have a ton of time to work out, but you better believe that I somehow found an hour every single day to fit in my workout. It didn’t matter if it was 1 A.M., I didn’t skip a workout for 90 days straight. I was rewarded for it and got into the best shape of my life. When I started my business, I was still working 16 hours a day with my full time career. I didn’t have a ton of time to work a side business, but I found the time so that eventually I could get to the point where I could quit my job and become financially independent and secure. Sometimes that meant I was working my business until 2 A.M., but I never used time as an excuse. No matter how busy you are, if you truly want to change you will find the time.

“I Don’t Have Money” Excuse

This is my favorite excuse. When people say “I don’t have the money” I get this big ass grin on my face because I know I’m about to give them a big dose of reality. The expression on their faces after I share my story is always priceless! Later in 2008 I ended up quitting my job and started working part-time for my dad. I was still working hard on building my side business, but I was failing miserably and couldn’t make enough money to support my wife and daughter. In 2009 things got so bad that we could barely afford our rent and were living with just about $50-$100 in our account at a time. My wife got on government support to help our family out. We had to. There just wasn’t any other choice. I can tell you, though, that there is nothing worse than knowing you can’t properly support your family. As a man, it’s a giant kick in the nuts. I constantly had this guilt and pit in my stomach that I couldn’t shake. However, instead of dwelling on it, I did something about it. No matter how shitty our financial situation was, I had to find the money to invest in my side business to get us out of the situation. I had to find the money to travel to events, to invest in trainings, to purchase certain products, and I did. If that meant selling stuff on eBay, that’s what I did. If that meant purchasing our groceries in bulk to save a few bucks here and there, that’s what I did. I did whatever was necessary because getting our family out of that situation was a priority. If you really want to afford something, there are about a million different ways for you to do so. Sometimes you have to be creative, but there are so many ways to make money. By saying “I don’t have the money,” you’re being incredibly narrow minded and lazy. In the end, it’s just an excuse.

Once you can get out of your own way and stop the excuses, only then can you move forward in life. Get into the habit of stopping yourself when you start to make an excuse. Unfortunately, because so many people make excuses so often, they’ve developed a habit of doing so and it takes a lot more effort to stop. You’ve got to completely control your mindset and be conscious about who’s really to blame for your lack of success and struggles. In the end, it’s the person staring back in the mirror. Work your way towards an excuse free life and you’re going to be surprised with just how much progress you make in a short amount of time. Stop the bullshit excuses.

Mar 15

Beachbody Coach For Men

Josh Spencer BeachbodyThere are a lot of women Beachbody Coaches in the Team Beachbody network, so if you’re trying to find a Beachbody Coach for men, there’s pretty slim pickings. Hell, I think 90% of the network, or something crazy like that, is women. Of those 10% or less that are men, not all of them are actually engaged in coaching others. That leaves a lot of dudes who want a Coach, but just can’t find anyone to help them. Then there’s me.

—> MAKE ME YOUR COACH <—

I’ve been a Beachbody Coach for a long time now. I started as a Coach back in 2008 because I went through P90X, got great results, and developed a passion for health and fitness. I’ve always enjoyed helping others so becoming a Coach seemed like the perfect fit. In 2010 I became a full time Beachbody Coach and have been doing it ever since. In that time frame I’ve literally helped thousands of people get results, 99% of them men. There’s a difference between me and most other male Beachbody Coaches. I actually know my shit. It’s not arrogance, it’s confidence because I’ve helped so many people get results. I actually won the Top Beachbody Coach award back in 2010 for helping so many people. If you don’t know what that is, it just means that I was the #1 Coach out of all men and women in the network. I’ve helped a lot of guys gain mass and lose weight since I have been able to successfully do both. I actually lost 25 lbs and got into the best shape of my life after going through P90X back in 2008, and then gained 11 lbs of muscle in 90 days just recently in 2016 after going through one of our programs called Body Beast. Here are my most recent Body Beast results.

Beachbody Coach for Men – 4 Key Points

Most guys who are trying to find a Beachbody Coach for men want someone who (1) communicates with them regularly and answers their questions, (2) won’t validate excuses, (3) has a lot of knowledge on workouts, nutrition, and supplements, and (4) will motivate them throughout their journey. I’ll break down how I am with all of these below.

Communication

I have great communication with all of my customers. Not only am I in contact with them through messaging over on Facebook, but I send out weekly check-in emails as well. In those emails I usually give some sort of excellent nutrition or workout tip. In addition, I have an incredible Facebook group for just men called the “Ultimate Man Cave.” What’s so great about that group is that we talk about more than just fitness. Sure, it’s mainly a fitness group, but we talk about sports, cars, girls, pretty much anything guy related as well. We also have a fantasy football league and weekly Draft King leagues once football season starts. Needless to say, we have a great time and keep each other motivated while working on our own individual results.

Excuses

When searching for a Beachbody Coach for Men, most guys want someone who isn’t going to validate their excuses. Pretty much they want someone to tell it like it is. That’s how I am and have always been. If I’m doing something wrong, I don’t want someone to beat around the bush, but rather just tell me exactly what I’m doing so I can correct it and move forward. I’m not going to be offended. That’s exactly how I am with both the people I coach and the Coaches on my team. If I see them making a mistake, I’m quick to jump in and help them correct it. Or if I see them making excuses, I have no problem calling them out for it. In the end, excuses are just illegitimate reasons people create for why they can’t do something just to make themselves feel better for giving up or not taking action in the first place. If you want someone to be real with you, I’m your guy.

Workout, Nutrition, and Supplement Knowledge

I have made it a priority to continue expanding my knowledge on supplements, nutrition, and workouts every single year. I don’t like not knowing something, so you will always find me reading books, researching on Google, and watching videos. I have a very good understanding of what supplements are effective, when you should take them, why they are effective, and which are good or poor quality. With the workouts, I’ve done many different programs over the years to reach very different goals, from leaning out to gaining mass. Name a Beachbody program and more than likely my wife or I have done it, with the exception of Country Heat. I don’t dance. And with the nutrition, you probably don’t know this but I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease back in 2015. My plan was to take mostly a natural approach to healing, so I started really digging into proper nutrition. I’m not kidding when I say that I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of hours of research on nutrition and have made some drastic changes in my lifestyle. Because of it I’ve been able to get back to my normal life again. You’re not going to find a Beachbody Coach for men that’s more knowledgeable in all of these areas.

Motivation

My goal is to help men get results, period. As a Coach, I have to make sure that the guys that I coach stay motivated long enough to get results. Once they get results, then it’s hard to go back to their old, unhealthy ways, but it’s getting them to that point. Every journey that each guy will be on will be different, but they will all hit obstacles at one point or another. It’s too easy for them to lose motivation and then quit when they hit an obstacle, but I do my best to help them figure out a solution quickly and keep up their motivation to continue moving forward.

So, when searching for a Beachbody Coach for men, hopefully you have come to the conclusion to make me your Coach. –> CLICK HERE TO MAKE ME YOUR COACH <– If you already have a Coach, but aren’t active with him/her, email me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com and I will give you instructions on the next strep. Once you sign up, I will reach out to you and we will get started. If you want, I will immediately add you to the Ultimate Man Cave so that you have additional support as well. Don’t forget to follow me on my — > Facebook Page <– as well. If you don’t hear from me right away, make sure you message me and let me know you’re ready to get started.

 

Feb 09

Man Up Episode 2 – Grocery Lies

If you haven’t watched “MAN UP!” Episode 2 yet (above), I talked about the lies that grocery suppliers are telling to consumers. Because we have begun to become more knowledgeable about junk food VS healthy food, suppliers have jumped on board the “health train” and will purposely deceive consumers into thinking that something is healthy for them when in reality it isn’t. It’s why you’ve seen terms such as “low-fat,” “fat-free,” “low-sugar,” “sugar-free,” “natural,” “multigrain,” and “made with whole grains” pop up everywhere within the past 10 years. Really, it’s made it tougher for us who are looking to be healthy to purchase healthy food. You have to really have a lot of knowledge to understand what is healthy VS not healthy anymore. In the examples above, you might be surprised to learn that “natural” and “multigrain” are not regulated at all, meaning suppliers can use those terms freely to describe whatever they want. So whenever you see these terms used, run in the other direction. With the other examples above, when something says “low-fat” on it, it doesn’t mean that it’s not loaded with sugar, and vice versa. All of these terms are used to trick consumers.

But there are some things that you can do.

(1) Shop at your local organic grocery store. My wife and I shop at a place called Earth Fare, where everything is certified organic. Just a word of caution, though, just because it uses organic ingredients doesn’t mean it’s that great for you. For example, there might be products that contain 60 grams of unprocessed cane sugar. In the end, organic shopping is the best route because it eliminates added chemicals and toxins, but you still have to watch your macros.

(2) Check the label and ingredient list. When we shop, we always turn the product around to check the ingredient list and label. If we find something that has a massive ingredient list with words that we’ve never even heard of before, we put it right back on the shelf. Most organic products, though, contain a very short ingredient list that contains words you have probably heard of before. From personal experience, the shorter the ingredient list, the healthier for you. That’s not always the case, of course, but most of the time it is.

(3) This goes along with #2, but stay away from anything that has dyes or preservatives in it. Dyes especially are linked to many health issues. If we pick up a product that has Red #40, for example, we put it right back on the shelf. You’ve got to understand that companies purposely use dyes to make the products look more appealing. Just because it’s more vibrant doesn’t mean it’s healthier. Some other dyes to completely avoid are Blue #2, Red #3, Yellow #5, and Yellow #6.

(4) If you’re going to purchase breads and pastas, stay away from “multigrain” and stick with “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat.” Ezekiel Bread is another great alternative for bread. If you stay away from gluten like I do, you can even move to brown rice pasta, which I think is actually better tasting than regular pasta anyways.

If you go to my YouTube (–> Josh Spencer’s YouTube Channel <–), and subscribe, I have been posting all of the episodes on there. I’ve got a lot of great future episodes planned. If you know of any family members or friends that you think will find this helpful, have them subscribe as well. If you have any questions, email me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com.

Jan 31

Man Up! Episode 1 – Land of the Lazy

From this point on I’m going to be creating a show LIVE on Facebook ( –> My Facebook Page <–several times a week called the “Man Up! With Coach Spence” show. In the show I’m going to cover a lot of topics. I will be giving a ton of helpful and valuable tips regarding nutrition, workouts, beard care, motivation, and also talk about things like sports, cars, relationships, being a father, sex, and much more. Below is Episode 1 of the Man Up! show, called “Land of the Lazy.” Enjoy!

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