Protein and Weight Loss



The protein and weight loss connection

When people think about protein supplementation, they often think about its role in building and repairing muscle. And, of course, it’s ability to help you gain lean muscle mass. And maybe even its alleged role in helping you bulk up?

Clients often approach me to ask various questions about supplementing with protein, via shakes, or otherwise. The most common questions I get are:


When’s the best time to have a protein shake?

Will it help me pack on muscle?

Or the flipside—often from scared females who don’t want to get “bulky”—Am I going to bulk up?

Less frequently, though, do we talk about protein’s ability to help you actually lose weight. But if a new pilot study is at all accurate—the study was conducted by researchers from three American universities and published in theJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutritionthis year—then it might be worth taking protein to help your body become more efficient, and ultimately help you lose weight. Here’s a link to the study: (


Although we often think we need to take protein right after a workout for recovery, this study looked at the effects of taking a pre-workout protein supplement.


The researchers discovered that when the participants (who were male in this case) fasted and then took protein—25 g of whey protein isolate or 25 g of casein protein 30 minutes before a medium-intensity treadmill workout—they had higher post-workout energy expenditure compared to both the group who took 25 g of carbohydrates (maltodextrin) before their workout and the non-caloric control group.


What does this mean exactly?


Well, a higher post-workout energy expenditure has frequently been linked to both weight loss and fat oxidization, which basically means their ability to burn fat. Also notable is that those who took casein protein had even better results than the whey protein group.


The researchers were also hoping to see if protein before exercise might also minimize protein degradation during exercise, but more research is needed to see if this is the case, they reported.


Though this was just a pilot study, it’s certainly not the first evidence of protein consumption being linked to weight loss. A 2012 study, for example, published in the Nutrition Journal ( looked at whether taking extra proteins and amino acids through a liquid shake would help elderly, obese people lose weight.


The result: Those who took at the protein supplement actually lost more fat than those who didn’t. They believe this is because protein requires the greatest caloric cost for digestion (when compared to fat and carbohydrates), so more protein might actually assist in weight loss even if it means consuming more calories overall.


Interesting stuff…


For what it’s worth, from an personal anecdotal evidence-based standpoint, in the years I have been involved in the fitness industry helping people get fit and become leaner through diet and exercise, I will say without a doubt that increasing protein in your diet, be it through regular food or a supplement, usually leads to a leaner body composition. Period.


Actually bulking up requires (for most people) a TON of time lifting weights and pounding way more protein than most people are willing to eat. For the average person, however, consuming more protein (and reducing carbs) won’t make them bulky. Instead, they usually feel better and look leaner. So if that’s your goal, talk to us about your protein intake today.


Why your body is better off without Canola Oil




You have probably heard us talk about the importance of consuming healthy fats and healthy oils—healthy oils being olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, almond oil, to name a handful—but we haven’t talked much about the negative consequences of consuming less healthy oils. Like the evil canola oil.

Health tip of the day: Go ditch that giant bottle of poisonous vegetable oil that has been lingering in your pantry for years! Because, quite literally, canola oil has fundamental elements that are poisonous to humans.

Have you ever thought about where canola oil comes from? It doesn’t come from canola. In fact, canola isn’t even a thing. When it first because popular in the years following WWII, canola oil was called LEAR, which stood for low-erucic acid rapeseed. Considering erucic acid is poisonous and rapeseed doesn’t exactly sound appealing, the name was soon changed to canola oil, basically for marketing purposes.

Seems like it was probably a good idea. Who wants to consume something called erucic acid rapeseed?

But that is what canola oil is: It comes from the rapeseeds of a rape plant, which contain erucic acic, and erucic acid is NOT something we want to be eating. In rodents, erucic acid has shown to produce fatty deposits in the heart, the muscle and the adrenals and impair their growth. You can read more about erucic acid here: (


As canola oil became more and more popular, people started to fear the erucic acid component of it. This led to plant and canola oil producers initiating programs to reduce the levels of erucic acid in rapeseed oil. By 1974 in Canada, 95 percent of rapeseed oil was considered “low-erucic acid,” and therefore deemed safe for human consumption (this means it allegedly contains less than 2 percent erucic acid).


Though less than 2 percent might be considered safe, or at least it won’t kill you, let me ask you this: Why would you want to consume oil with even 2 percent poison? Why wouldn’t you aim to consume healthier oils with 0 percent poison?


OK, erucic acid aside….


Another reason canola oil should be avoided is because it’s generally quite processed. By 2005, 87 percent of canola oil in the U.S. was found to be genetically modified, and by 2009, 90 percent of Canadian canola oil was genetically engineered.


The process of making canola oil—a refined oil—means it goes through a procedure of bleaching and degumming at high temperatures and with the help of chemicals. And because Canola oil is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, it’s susceptible to becoming rancid and smelly, so it also has to be deodorized before it can go to market. This process involves actually removing some of the Omega-3 fat acids and turning them into trans fatty acids.


Even though we’re led to believe that the trans fat content in canola oil is less than 0.2 percent, research done at the University of Florida discovered some canola oil has trans fat levels as high as 3.6 percent. Meanwhile, another study published in the Journal of Food Lipids discovered trans fat levels in various canola oils were between 0.56% and 4.2%. Of course these levels aren’t listed on the label. (


All of this means health consequences to you. Two commonly believed dangers of canola oil include:


GMOs: Bad for the kidneys and liver…and all sorts of other things


Check out this 2011 study published inEnvironmental Sciences Europefor more about the health consequences on your kidneys and liver from consuming GMOs: (


Other known side effects of consuming GMOs include: an increased chance of cancer, antibiotic resistance, allergic reactions, and a suppressed immune system. Read more here: (


Hydrogenation: Bad for the heart


Partial hydrogenation, as is the case with canola oil, has been linked to inflammation and calcification of the arteries, which are two known dangers linked to developing heart problems.


Further, when the oil goes through the hydrogenation process, it often increases the levels of trans fats, which are known to increase your bad cholesterol (LDL) and decrease your good cholesterol (HDL), which is also bad for the whole developing heart disease thing.


Finally, for what it’s worth, animal studies have shown links between canola oil and strokes, as well as to high blood pressure (


So…godo it if you haven’t already: Ditch the canola oil and replace it with the likes of olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or almond oil…

  1. May Retard Normal Growth

Up until recently, it was not legal to use canola oil in infant formulate. There have been what I think are valid concerns about canola oil retarding growth in children. Specifically, the euroric acid in canola oil is harmful to infants due to an inability to properly break it down. The FDA previously made the use of canola oil illegal in baby formula. However, as of  a few years ago, canola oil made it to the generally recognized as safe list. (11)

Not only is it highly concerning to feed developing infants a GMO oil, but it’s also highly questionable to give them unhealthy fats. Proponents brag about canola’s overall healthy fat profile, but I don’t buy it. Now it’s being sold in the form of a baby’s first meal. Of course, I highly encourage skipping the commercial formulas and opting for breastfeeding or, if necessary, homemade baby formula.

  1. Increases Intake of Unhealthy Trans Fats

According to a study published in the Journal of Food Lipids, when soybean and canola oils purchased in the U.S. were evaluated, “The trans contents were between 0.56% and 4.2% of the total fatty acids.” (12)

When canola oil undergoes hydrogenation, which it often does to become a partially hydrogenated oil, this increases its level of trans fats. These are a group of fats you want to avoid as much as possible since they’re scientifically known to increase LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol.

When you read “partially hydrogenated oil” on any food label, that guarantees there is some amount of trans fat present. This is true even when the label tells you that there is zero trans fat. How can that be? Well, if a serving contains less than 0.5 grams, the company is allowed to indicate there are no trans fats. Frustrating, I know. (13)

Trans fatty acids are hazardous byproducts of food processing and are truly health destroyers. In fact, if you decide to get rid of your canola oil, I would also stop cooking with these oils as well: corn oil, safflower oil, soy oil and vegetable oil.

  1. Numerous Potential GMO Health Side Effects

I already mentioned the link between GMOs and negative liver and kidney implications, but it doesn’t stop there. According to the Center for Food Safety, there are several new and very serious health concerns and unexpected effects of genetic engineering unearthed by scientific research: (14)

  • Toxicity
  • Allergic reactions
  • Immuno-suppression
  • Cancer
  • Loss of nutrition


What to Substitute for Canola Oil

So, what are the best oils for cooking? Here are the top oils I personally use as a substitute for canola oil:

  1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is best when it’s cold-pressed and virgin. Do NOT buy refined coconut oil. Your coconut oil should smell like you’re on a beach in the Caribbean. It has a high heat threshold and contains medium-chain fatty acids that can support both fat loss and your nervous system.

  1. Olive Oil

People often compare canola oil to olive oil. Olive oil wins every day of the week!

I don’t recommend it as the first option for cooking, but olive oil benefits are tremendous and at the heart of the Mediterranean diet. Look for an organic extra-virgin or cold-pressed olive oil that’s available in a darkly colored glass container. Many inferior, fake olive oils are mixed with cheaper, GMO vegetables oils so make sure it’s GMO-free. Olive oil is great in homemade salad dressings and for drizzling on finished products like cooked vegetables.

  1. Ghee or Organic, Pasture-Raised Butter

Both butter and ghee benefits come from alpha lipoic acid and conjugated linoleic acid, which can promote weight loss. Also, they contain healthy short chain fatty acids and have a higher heat threshold. When buying butter, stick with organic grass-fed varieties.

  1. Red Palm Oil

Red palm oil is made from the palm fruit instead of the palm kernel, and in its unrefined state, it’s high in vitamin E and beta-carotene. It’s also stable under high heat and great for cooking. Make sure when buying palm oil that it’s certified sustainable.

If for some reason you must buy canola oil, make sure that it’s organic because then it at least can’t be from genetically modified plants. It’s still illegal to use genetic engineering or modification in certified organic products. (15)


Southwest Active – Wednesday – Dec. 12

Wednesday – Upper Int/Varied + SL Int + Core EMOM

A. Weighted Strict Pronated Pullups @ 20×1, 3-4 reps every 1:30-2 min x 5 sets or Pronated Negatives, or Ring Rows or Rope Body Rows – make these tough

B1. Close Grip Bench Press @ 20×1, work to a tough set of 3

B2. Kipping Toes to Bar, Kipping Pullups, Hollow Arch, Kipping Toes to Rings, Bar Muscle Up, Ring Muscle Practice in b/t bench sets

C. Barbell Reverse Lunges – 10 tough REPS every 2 min x 5 sets – make em ass melting

D. For Time

Accumulate 5 minutes Front Bridge

*every break 50ft Bear Crawl

*12 min time cap

Be Honest With Yourself

Watch and Listen!!! This leads especially true going into the holidays. Just because schedules change, different things come up, don’t be quick to forget about the conversations you have with your coaches. Your goals shouldn’t just be forgotten easily. Keep the goal the goal and start being serious about them.


Southwest Active – Tuesday – Dec. 11

Tuesday – DODL Linear + Fsq Ecc + Sn Cyclical
A. Double Overhand No Hook Grip Deadlift @ 11×1, 3 reps x 5 sets, 2-3 min b/t
B. Front Squat @ 40×1, 3-3-3, 2-3 min b/t – tough sets
C. Warm-Up/Prep
D. Teams of 2 –  3 rounds for time
10 Burpees – each – one must complete 10 before partner can complete 10 burpees
14 DB Power Snatch  @ 35/50lbs each – one must complete 14 power snatch before partner can complete 14 Power Snatch
18 cal Rowing – each -one must complete 18 cal Rowing before partner can complete 18 cal Rowing
22 Wall Balls  @ 15/20lbs to 9/10ft – each one must complete 22 wall ball before partner can compete 22 wall balls
* can do this workout in partners or AS WRITTEN individually

Christmas Classic + Southwest Active – Monday – Dec. 10

This SATURDAY – Dec. 15 – we have Southwest Strength Christmas Classic + Christmas Party.


Southwest Strength Christmas Classic will be a fun time where we establish a Southwest Strength Total


Totals in the following

  1. Close Grip Bench Press
  2. Front Squat
  3. Either Deadlift or Power Clean!

This is something we did last year, so will be awesome to track progress over the years. Plus its just a FUN time to lift weights with friends, cheer each other and see what you got!!!! 😉

CAN YOU GUYS EMAIL ME – if you are coming or SIGN UP on MindBODY ONLINE !!! please and thank you 😉


The Christmas party at our house is going to fun, drinks, food and games. We also have a hot tub! the sign up for our party is at the gym. COME OUT its going to be a fun.

Sara and I are excited to get together with you guys and celebrate another year of our awesome community!!



Wk 4/4 – Dec. 10
Monday – Sn EMOM + LSD Gym
A. Below Knee Hang Snatch High Pull. Floating Squat Snatch 1.1 x 10 sets, 1-2 min b/t – the goal is contact and good lifting – FLOATING SQUAT Snatch is when the bar starts from the hang and “almost” touches the floor – like 1” from the floor
B. 20-30 min Rowing or AirBike @ 75%
@ minutes 3,6,9,12,15 – get off and perform either BMU, Strict Pullup/Progression, Rope Climb Progression, Upper Pulling CP work
@ minutes 18,21,24,27,30 – get off and perform WALL WALKS, Handstand Holds, FLR on Rings, Stir the Pot on Swiss Ball

Southwest Active – Dec. 7/2018

Friday – Upper Int/Varied + MG EMOM
A1. Close Grip Bench Press @ 22×1, 3-4 reps x 5 sets, 30 sec
A2. Pendlay Rows @ 20×1, 5 heavy reps x 5 sets, 10 sec
A3. 50ft Sled Pull with Pulling Rope x 5 sets, 1:30 min
B. EMOM x 20 minutes @ high effort:
1st – 6-12 cal AirBike *challenge yourself and be honest with your effort
2nd – 8-12 toes to Bar – will be given individual things to work on here
3rd – 6-12 cal Rowing * challenge yourself and be honest with your effort
4th – HSPU, Wall Walks, Pike work, etc – will be given individual things to work on here

*the goal is to make the AirBike/Row really hard effort and the gymnastic practice to benefit you

Southwest Active -Thursday – Dec. 6

Thursday – Cj EMOM + Cj Cyclical
A. Power Clean. Below Knee Hang Squat Clean. Split Jerk 1.1.1 x 10 sets, 2 min
B. Warm-Up/Prep
C. For Time: – teams of 2
4 rounds (each partner has to do each element, only one work @ a time, cant move on until both have finished each element)
1 Round of Cindy Each – 1 Partner Completes Entire Round, while Partner 2 rests, etc
15 cal Rowing Each – 1 Partner Completes Row, While Partner 2 Rests, etc
1 Round of DT Each – @ 75/115lbs – 1 Partner Completes Entire Round, while Partner 2 rests, etc
15 cal AirBike Each  – 1 Partner Completes AB, While Partner 2 Rests, etc