Ryan’s Nutrition and Dieting 101


I think one of the most challenging things to do is understand nutrition and dieting.  There is so much information relative to nutrition floating around out there and it always seems to frustrate every one of us.  I would be a liar if I said I know everything there is to know about this topic. Nutrition is something I am always fascinated to learn more about and is what keeps me intuitively eager as a professional to learn more and more.  I am mystified each time I compete because I learn something new every show I prep for.  Every client I work with that is interested in nutrition consulting also makes me learn something new each time as well.  As I said before, every one of us is so different and figuring out the best plan that suites each of us is the challenge of it all.  I do think that there is a perfect diet and lifestyle for everyone of us out there that we can look our best and also enjoy life too.

The hardest concept to grasp in nutrition is implementing a program that works specifically for your schedule and likings.  I strongly believe that if you don’t like what you are eating, that your diet program will never work as effectively as it should be.  Everyone’s schedules are totally different.  It’s so hard for me to answer questions like “Should I not eat after 7:00? 8:00? 9:00?)  That question is so relative and there are many variables for me to consider when answering that questions.  I always return that question with like 20 other questions.  Trust me; I have dealt with the some of the pickiest eaters in the world.  There are many professionals who have different viewpoints on dieting programs, as I am sure you already know.

There are so many programs out there such as Jenny Craig, WeightWatchers, calorie counting, Atkins, Southbeach, etc.  Picking which diet always seems to be the hardest of it all.  I think these diets are a great start in understanding types of foods and most importantly objectivity and progression.  Sometime these diets are a true “eye opener” to understand how you really live from eating.  Do understand that each of these diets can be critiqued very much depending on what your goals are.  Some of the hardest people for me to change are people who had success with “calorie counting” who started an exercise program and changed their metabolic pathways.  If this is the case you need to consume more calories than ever to lose weight.  It’s a very hard concept to explain.  A lot of time this whole concept scares people because they feel they are going to start storing fat again..  Most people don’t understand I eat different calories every single day depending on the response of my metabolic rate and recovery.  I am very dynamic depending on different variables and responses.  The higher my metabolic rate the higher glycemic simple sugars I take in.  The sorer I am the different form of amino acid chain protein I consume.  If it’s the end of the week and I am totally depleted I swear by Red Meat for recovery.  Would I tell someone who isn’t’ fit to eat something red meat? Probably Not..  I change things CONSTANTLY, literally every single day.  The faster my fire is burning the more wood I throw in (best analogy for metabolism and food) When I drop my carbs for water retention loss I increase my polyunsaturated fat intake to make sure I still have cellular processes still occurring.

Some of my favorite people to study are the Russian exercise and nutrition researchers.  I was reading a study the other day that assessed some pretty in depth objective results with fat loss, muscle gain, inches lost, blood lipid profiles, biochemical changes, etc.  The scientists did a psychological evaluation of each person to see if they were actually enjoying the food or force feeding.  The study had some people eating the stereotypical dieting foods while the others were eating foods like animal crackers and soda.  All said and done the results were pretty incredible to me but I thoroughly believed in it.  It proved that the sedentary person who liked what they were doing with their dieting shown great results with their levels.  The person who did not like eating the food and was force feeding showed various inconsistent types of results.  Some results being they improved only a little, not at all, and some got worse!  The neat part I liked was a person who was most happy with what they were doing and was eating pure junk.  The study showed just as much results as the person who hated the dieting foods.  The one girl even added an exercise program in with eating the junk and got more results than anyone.  Point of it all, your mind dictates all even nutrition including metabolism.  Adding exercise in with dieting also making nutrition a totally different ball game.  Aerobic, Anaerobic, flexibility, Meditation all effects metabolic pathways differently.  My moto for all of this has always been the same and will never change.  Health is happiness.  If you are not happy with what you are doing, you are not going to get the results you are looking for.  The body is pretty incredible how it can convert various things into energy.  All said and done it is pretty simple, the body was meant to move.  A combined plan with nutrition, aerobic, strength, flexibility, meditation, and more only makes you better rounded.  One is not better than the other I truly believe, you need it all.

When someone is looking to diet I always have them give me a base idea of their current schedule and what all foods they typically eat in a day’s time.  People always seem to be embarrassed of their current lifestyle but people need to understand there are times I too eat terrible. (I feel you should bad sometimes, keeps us sane and human).  I think small changes are the best way to start off doing any nutrition program instead of getting crazy authoritarian into your program.  The stereotypical bodybuilding diet is eating Chicken, brown rice, yams, etc.  I always say this relative to dieting; you don’t HAVE eat anything.  You always hear people preach you HAVE to eat fish, you have to eat chicken, etc.  I believe in eating various kinds of nuts but some people are allergic to tree nuts or nuts in general (Even fatal). If this is your case then obviously you should not eat them.  I always get the “Nuts are high in fat” comment or criticism.  Yes good fat, fat that makes you lose fat.  Everyone’s situation and circumstances are so different and that is ultimately what dictates nutrition prescription.   You have to be ignorant to think that certain things you put into your body doesn’t affect overall metabolism or hormonal balances.  Anything can contribute to effecting metabolism including taking Tylenol, birth control, any medications, drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, toothpaste, literally anything.

I think eating fish is one of the best foods in the world, however, if you despise fish I don’t feel you should eat it.  Grapefruit is shown to do some amazing things for sports nutrition implemented correctly in your program but if you can’t enjoy the taste of it, you more than likely shouldn’t eat it.  Depending on what kind of medication you are on you shouldn’t eat grapefruit at all.  Believe it or not, my favorite bird to eat while dieting is actually pheasant or grouse.  What a lot of people don’t understand is that there are so many good dieting foods out there and can be extremely cheap too.  The hardest thing to do is change the lifestyle that people are currently in or raised to do.  The hardest people for me to change are the stereotypical middle age men who were raised to eat meat and potatoes and are as stubborn as can be.  If you are middle aged man and you broaden your horizons to eat better foods, I admire you dearly.  I have had so many issues in the past with these people.  I know when I am that age I too will be the stubborn guy who thinks I know everything and will not want to change (I’m like that now).  Change is good in anything you do and will always dictate ultimate success.

Never be afraid to try different things in your diet.  I have been adding different foods from different cultures into my bodybuilding regime and I love it.  I have been eating sushi 2 times a week which I learned from the Japanese I trained with out at the Boetsch camp, which I never have dared done before.  I have eaten moose twice a week in my bodybuilding regime which I learned from the Newfoundlanders.  There is nothing that ever helped me get stronger and recover better than Moose meat, best stuff in the world.  I like trying different kinds of berries such as mangosteen (from Inodenisa) and Acai (from South Africa and Brazil).  I like taking coral calcium extracted from Japan to help with my oxygen levels and muscle function.  I wouldn’t even mind eating some raw venison or fish this time practiced by the Indians.  The Indians prayed for every animal they killed and felt they consumed the spirit of the animal which made them stronger.  I can truthfully say I buy into some of that stuff.  I thank God every time I harvest an animal and I always felt so much stronger in the weight room when I am eating something I know I personally have harvested.  If it a mental thing? Probably, but it works for me.  There is not such thing as placebo if you think it works.  Same goes for a having a garden and eating your own garden food.  People seem to be more proud of growing their own vegetables and seem to taste better to them also.  I honestly think that mindset helps people with their spirit and metabolism.  No matter how in-depth you get with science, biochemistry, etc. there are still always holes in the game.  Things you just can not explain.

I think fish is something that a lot of people have a misconception about.  There are so many different kinds of fish out there that are good for you.  Tuna and Salmon only seem to be the marketed fish for dieting but I eat about 20 different types of fish on a regular basis.  Halibut, swordfish, Rainbow trout, catfish, walleye, orange roughy, tilapia, sea bass, and so many more are great fish with different Omega chain properties in them.  I don’t believe in preaching to eat one type of fish. I think you should eat as much as you can to find out what you like the best.  Fresh water and Salt water fish do have different properties and benefits but I think you should eat all of it.  Most people don’t like fish because they don’t know how to prepare it right.  There are so many good spices out there that add some great flavor.  I have been adding tumeric to my fish lately to my pan fried trout which is incredible.

If you despise fish then you absolutely should consider adding to your diet regime some fish oil supplements.  I like supplementing extracts from foods that I personally don’t like.  I am adding Resveratrol to my supplement regime for my contest prep which is something totally new simply because I don’t eat grapes that much.  Green tea extract pills are great if you don’t like drinking green tea. I really do think supplements are great for this reason but people miss the whole point in what supplements are for.  I have people often ask me questions like “Will flaxseed oil make me lose weight? Or will CLA make me lose weight? Will HMB make me bigger?  Again, this is so hard to answer!  It’s only a small piece of the pie so to speak.  When I diet for contest prep I assess all of the things I learned from the show previously then add all of my new research theories I found out in the year that I “took off”.  Do I think CLA and flaxseed help me lose adipose tissue?  Yes I do, but only when I add them in when I do.  Do I think distilled water makes me lose weight?  Yes, water weight and retention not fat.

If I am waking up eating captain crunch cereal, eating whatever I want to at lunch, there is absolutely no point in me taking CLA.  If I am getting real low body fat and my regime is dialed in, will adding CLA take me to the next level?  Sometimes yes I do think it really does help me but only when I am doing the right thing with the other foods and taking good extracts and dosages.  You can not expect to get miracle results out of one single pill, forget it.  One thing is not better than the other it all is a part of the whole entire arsenal.  The more advanced you get the more advanced your diet should get.  I like taking flaxseed/krill/MCT/coconut oils when I am 4 weeks out dropping my calorie intakes for getting energy from the hydrogen chain breakdowns.  I will never take any of these supplements in my offseason however  I like drinking protein shakes or eating protein bars (Prosource of course) when I am on the run all of the time and can’t eat a full balanced meal.  Supplements are great but only when you use them correctly and understand the purpose of them.

I am a person who preaches lifestyle not dictatorship dieting.  I seem to do more facilitating for people to show them what all types of foods there really are out there.  I never say you have to eat specific types of food to lose weight.  Losing fat is an art and there are so many avenues to choose to be able to do so.  Being honest with your diet regime is also the key to success also.  If you are a chocolate lover, chips lover, hoagie lover or whatever your demon maybe, I tell you to continue to eating these things.  Some people just do not have the mental toughness for dieting than others and that is fine.  If that is the case I always have these people pick one day where you can reward yourself to whatever you may like and enjoy it.  This way you have something to look forward to and strive for as a reward during the week while you are dieting.  Sometimes these practices seem to benefit a lot of people.  Do I believe that it “messes with the metabolism”, not really so much?  I think that whole idea of your spirit being higher during the week to know at the end of the week you can reward yourself helps overall efficiency.

My philosophy about food is really so simple and that is the more natural the state, the better it is.  I learned nutrition at a fairly high level of understanding compared to others and the more I learn the more simple it really is.  The whole “organic craze” just really kills me.  I spoke with one of my city friends a while back and they told me how they went to the farmers market and bought an “organic fed” turkey.  They paid always 100 dollars for an 8lbs turkey which is insane to me.  I told them that my turkey in my freezer was more organic than theirs and I didn’t pay a dime for it.  The turkey that I shot out in the woods is as organic as organic can be.  There was no stress from humans raising it and it ate as natural fed food as it could get.  Granted, the turkey could be eating pesticides in the fields but that proves my point that anything can be criticized. That turkey is still better than any turkey you get from a grocery store and cheaper than the organic turkey you bought at the farmers market.

Everyone thinks that this organic craze is a new fad but it’s no different than the way our ancestors raised us.  We just grow up in a society that we eat all packaged items (I don’t even call it food).  I eat as organic as organic can be and I never go to the organic section of Wegmans or Giant stores (Once in awhile).  I am a big hunter and fisherman so I always have an array of various kinds of meats in my freezer to diet down on.  I have deer, elk, moose, rabbits, wild turkey, pheasants, grouse, quail, chuckers, trout, salmon, and many more that I use as my “organic” meat.  People kind of frown upon eating deer, which I never really understood that concept.  Eating a cow and a pig I think is one of the most disgusting things in the world especially knowing cows are force fed corn (which they aren’t supposed to be eating in the first place) and shot up with hormones and antibiotics.  Look at a pig also, that is totally gross to me.  People just skip the whole idea and process of what happens to the animal and they think the bacon magically appears on the meat rack.

Society and culture is what makes me so close minded with they way they view animals and consumption.  I have nothing against a vegan diet but I learned something interesting the other day.  A colleague of mine told me their mom was trying to diet to help lower their blood cholesterol because it was a little high.  His mom chose a vegan diet and in 4 weeks after dieting she checked her blood profile again and it went from 220 mg/dl to 300 mg/dl.  I don’t think this is always the case for people depending on previous diet but I believe it.  We were meant to eat animals and most of us like to eat animals.  I feel we should eat animals.

My philosophy on fruits and vegetables is actually no different.  If it were up to me I would have a garden and would grow everything.  Local farmers are finally starting to make some money because local “organic farmers” are supposed to be the best.  Well to me, no kidding?  Farmers suffered a big loss in the 90’s when Dr. Atkins started preaching no carbs and ketosis P.H saying fruit is the devil.  I remember seeing some of the orange manufactures really losing business from it.  Now everyone is preaching eating grains and barley, quinoa, rice, steelcut oatmeal, etc.  People have been eating that for years?

The bottom line is I think we need to eat it all.  We need fruit, vegetables, grains, greens, red meat, white meat, bird meat, fresh water fish, salt water fish, whatever.  I don’t think one is any better than the other.  When you start focusing on one thing and saying it’s the best, that’s what gets into trouble.  Anything at its most natural state will always be the best for you.  I just bought some wheat grass the other day simply because that’s wheat as wheat can get.  Humans are the ones that messed up nutrition, never forget that.  My philosophy of nutrition is simple; whatever God put on this earth is what we are supposed to eat.  If you are a scientologist that’s fine too, then understand that the science of the earth is how we are supposed to function.  I just read an article that article sweetener has a worse GI effect than sugar now.  I have been saying that for years that stuff is terrible.  They preach to diabetics to drink artificial sweeteners in substitute of sugar.  I think that’s the worst thing you can do is manipulating cellular function of the cell body by putting in an unknown source a cell can’t filtrate and has clue what to do with.  I think everyone bodies respond different to these kinds of chemicals too.  Some people can get away with it and others can’t.  Even if it is not affecting you weight it maybe messing up other things.  Brain cancer has been pretty much linked to chemicals like aspartame.  I would much rather drink 6oz of pure grape juice than 6 oz of diet soda.  The “calorie counter” only goes so far in my preaching’s and here is a prime example.  Always know that ANYTHING can be manipulated.  There is not one person out there that eats totally perfect and is not exposed to bad nutrition on a regular basis.  Let’s take eating fish as an example.  Of course with fish everyone gives a lot of hype to the PCP and mercury problems.  My answer to that whole idea is always this, would you rather eat a bunch of tuna or a bunch of processed crushed up lips, tendons, and ligaments from processed meat?  Anything can be criticized no matter what it is I don’t care what anyone says.  Your “organic free range chickens” still eat the grass that is ruined by the pollution from the environment.  I do feel some things are better for you than others, but trust me no one eats perfect.

I don’t like to go real in depth with my nutrition articles because it really can confuse and intimidate people which I don’t like to do.  I like to open peoples mind and help them think outside of the box and ultimately become conscious and make lifestyle changes.  I don’t know many people that know sports nutrition as well as I do, and I still feel I have so much more to learn.  Nutrition can be just as interesting as it can be confusing.  The human body is so complex and we all have a lot of different things going on within our bodies.  I do totally believe there’s an answer for any individuals various circumstances, schedule, pathologies, hormonal imbalances, disability, or whatever factors people use as an excuse that they can’t lose weight.  Never give me excuses help me find solutions.  I have dealt with some crazy situations and every single person that gave me their full attention and effort had just as much success as I ever did.  The goal is to figure out every piece of the puzzle that works for you.  We all get older while our bodies change, but we also get wiser.   We always can figure out how to diet and do something.  Dieting is not easy and we always have days that we just do not eat perfect, but remember tomorrow we will do better.

Be sure to tune in on Spike T.V as my UFC fighter Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch takes on Ultimate fighter winner Kendall Grove at his first fight at Middleweight (185lbs) The fight is going to be live on May 28th in Las Vegas, check local listings of time.  We did a big change with his diet and you all are going to be surprised how my man looks.  Be sure to check out my fitness and nutrition consulting website on Tim’s banner.  www.precisionhfn.com.  If anyone is interested on nutrition, fitness, dieting plans please contact me.  I only work with the best and make you look how you dreamed!

I will leave you with an awesome quote from one of the best.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

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