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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

What’s going on guys? Sean Nalewanyj, with another Q&A
video here. This is part two, where I’m answering some
of your guys’ fitness questions from over on my Instagram. If you’re not yet following me on Instagram,
it’s @Sean_Nalewanyj. Make sure to check that out, because I do
post new content there every single day that you’ll get a lot of value from. If you do have questions of your own, you
can go ahead and post them there and I’ll do my best to help out. So I’ve got 10 more questions here. I’ll timestamp them in the description box
below, and let’s get into it. The first question is, do you think tracking
macros is really necessary, or is it okay to just focus on total calories instead? I would say that for most people in most situations,
tracking all three macros right down to the exact figure probably won’t be necessary. You don’t need to precisely track macros to
build muscle and lose fat effectively. It’s usually not sustainable for most people
over the long term, and trying to count and balance everything out in terms of every single
gram of protein, carbs, and fats that goes into your mouth every single day, will likely
just over complicate your diet and make your day to day eating plan more stressful overall. Now if you’re competing, or you’re just going
through a temporary phase where you’re really trying to get a handle on your nutrition and
learn the ropes with things, or if you’re someone who just thrives on organization and
you don’t find tracking macros to be stressful, then that’s fine. I’d say that all in all, tracking overall
calories is usually enough, and then just making sure that you’re hitting your daily
protein minimum. So that’s going to be about 0.8 grams per
pound of body weight, which is pretty easy to do. A good percentage of people will usually just
get that amount in without even needing to specifically try. So total calories should be the main focus. Calories absolutely do matter, so make no
mistake about that. You do need to be in a calorie deficit if
you want to lose body fat. If you’re in a focus bulking phase, then you
need to be in a calorie surplus as well. Eventually after you’ve built up a foundation
with your physique, and you have some decent experience under your belt when it comes to
caloric tracking, then you can start moving onto a more intuitive style of eating, where
you’re just estimating things throughout the day without specifically needing to track
the numbers. I think that intuitive eating should be the
ultimate longterm goal for most people, but you do have to put in the time and effort
first in order to learn how to do that properly, rather than just going straight into an intuitive
style of eating right from the get go. Next question. Are low carb diets effective for losing fat? I’ve talked to a lot of people who went the
low carb route and saw great results, and I’m thinking of trying it out myself. The main reason why some people do have success
when they switch over to a low carb approach isn’t because carbs are inherently fattening,
but it’s just the simple fact that when you significantly reduce the intake of an entire
macro-nutrient, your total calorie intake is also going to go down as a result, because
just like protein and fat, carbs contain calories. So if you take a person who regularly eats
calorie dense, refined high carb foods like bagels, granola bars, muffins, sugary drinks,
things like that, and then they go ahead and cut those foods out and they start eating
more protein and vegetables, it’s pretty obvious that they’re going to start losing weight. They’re eating less total calories, and now
that they’re eating more protein, more total food volume relative to their calories, they’re
going to be fuller and they’re going to have better appetite control. Specific macro-nutrient breakdowns aside,
creating a calorie deficit is still the ultimate bottom line when it comes to fat loss. If for some reason you prefer eating lower
carbon, you feel mentally and physically fine with that approach, then you can certainly
go that route, but at the end of the day, carbs are not detrimental to fat loss when
total calories are equated. Most people will probably do better on at
least a moderate carb intake in terms of their gym performance, their mood, and just not
feeling overly restricted in general. All right. I’ve been cutting for four months, I’ve dropped
20 pounds. I’m down to about 12% body fat, and I’m fairly
lean all over, but I still have a thin layer of fat on my lower abdomen that I can’t seem
to get rid of. Is it just a matter of continuing to push
the deficit, or is there anything else that will help? The simple answer is that, yeah, it really
is just a matter of continuing to maintain a calorie deficit. If your body weight has plateaued for a good
one to two weeks, and you aren’t seeing any visual improvements or any changes in your
measurements, then it just comes down to decreasing your calories slightly, or adding in some
more activity, or doing a combination of both to get that deficit going again. There aren’t any special secrets, and the
reality is that it just gets harder to lose fat the leaner you get. Now that said, you should also keep in mind
that even if you are really lean overall, it’s still pretty normal to have at least
a little bit of fat still hanging around on that lower stomach area. Even the people you see on YouTube, or over
on Instagram who appear to have this perfectly flat rock-hard stomach all the time, usually
still have some fat on their lower ab area. You just don’t see it because all the pictures
are taken flexed or partially flexed, and using the best angles and lighting and also
usually from a standing position. When you’re sitting down, it’s pretty normal
to have that last little roll of fat that bunches up and sits there. Most people do have that unless they’re extremely
lean. It’s okay to want to be lean, but being perfectly
lean everywhere all the time isn’t realistic for the vast majority of people. If you’re just an average lifter who wants
to be in great shape, but you’re not competing, it might not even be worth it for you to drop
your overall body fat levels further just to get that last little bit of fat loss on
that one tiny area of your body. So that’s something that you’ll need to weigh
out for yourself. Next question. Do you think multivitamins are a worthwhile
supplement? I always hear conflicting views on this. I already eat pretty healthy, so I don’t know
if I should bother. If you’re eating a minimally processed whole
food based diet, you’re getting in your fruits and veggies, then yeah, a typical full spectrum
multivitamin isn’t something that I’d recommend, because you’re already going to be covering
a good percentage of your micronutrient needs as is. Going to high on certain micros can actually
be detrimental to your health. In the case of something like vitamin C or
vitamin E, it could even be directly detrimental to muscle growth. So rather than just aimlessly supplementing
with every single vitamin and mineral out there, it’s much better to just selectively
focus in on the ones that most people don’t get optimal amounts of, which would be things
like vitamin D and vitamin K, and the ones that hard training lifters also tend to benefit
from, especially if they sweat a lot, which would be zinc and magnesium. Those specific micros are important for testosterone
production, mental functioning, mood, bone health, and supplementing with them can be
helpful as a way to round out your overall diet and make sure that everything is fully
on point. Even with good nutrition, you might still
end up falling short of the optimal amounts. That was the approach that I took with the
Real Science Athletics product Micro Core, which was to only include the select few vitamins
and minerals that you’ll actually benefit from. Then to eliminate all the ones that you either
don’t need, or that are potentially harmful. I genuinely think that this is a much better
approach than 99% of what’s out there in this category. You can click up here or down in the description
box to check that out, or just visit Micro Core combined with a good nutrient dense
whole food diet, that’s going to be your best overall approach when it comes to a multivitamin
supplement. Okay, I’ve been out of the gym for over a
year due to personal reasons. I need to get back into it, but I have anxiety
about going to the gym. What’s the best way to get over this? Pretty straight forward answer, but ultimately
the best way to get over it is to just go to the gym. You can really only think your way out of
anxiety to a limited degree, and actually sometimes thinking more about it will only
make you more anxious. So you really just have to go ahead and expose
yourself to whatever it is that’s making you anxious, and gradually desensitize yourself
to it. Usually we build things up in our heads and
turn them into a much bigger deal than they actually are, but once you just go ahead and
do it, most of the time it’s nowhere near as bad as you thought. Keep in mind that most people in the gym really
don’t care what the other people around them are doing, and everyone is really just in
their own world and focusing on themselves for the most part. So there’s really no need to be anxious about
going to the gym. This advice applies to most things in life. You can’t really force yourself to feel confident
just by thinking about something. Usually the confidence only comes after you’ve
done the thing that you were nervous about in the first place. So most of the time you just have to plunge
in and force yourself to do it, and over time you’ll gradually become less and less nervous. What will happen is that the physical nervousness
in your body won’t change that much, but your mental interpretation of the nervousness will. So you’ll still feel nervous on a physical
level, but the nervousness won’t phase you and you’ll just be able to go ahead and do
the thing that you were setting out to do even with that nervousness still there. Next question I’m bulking and sometimes I
have trouble hitting my surplus for the day. Would it be okay to use a weight gain powder
to help out with this? For the most part, most typical commercial
weight gain powders are really just whey protein mixed with simple sugar, usually Maltodextrin. So if your diet is otherwise fairly clean
and on point, and you’re just using a moderate amount to help bump your calories up further,
then that could be an option. I think a much better option is to just go
ahead and make your own shake at home using whole food ingredients. That way you can get the extra calories that
you need, but also the added micronutrients and fiber. I used to do this back in the day when I was
heavier and when I was eating much higher calories. My standard recipe was two scoops of protein
powder, milk, banana, oats, peanut butter. Then to raise the calories up higher, I’d
add in some healthy oil like flaxseed oil or olive oil, and sometimes yogurt or even
ice cream. Blend that all up, and you can easily get
in 800 to 1200 calories plus if you really need it, and it’ll make hitting your overall
calorie goal for the day a lot easier. All right. I’m very active, and I currently play basketball
three to four times a week for an hour plus have a physically demanding job. Can I still make gains, or will it be too
hard for me given how active I already am? Yeah, you can definitely still build muscle
effectively in that situation, but there are a few steps that you’d want to follow here
if you’re someone who is highly active outside of weight training. So first off, you’re obviously burning a lot
of extra calories throughout the week, so you’re going to need to pay attention to your
food intake to make sure that you are replacing all of the calories that you’re burning, and
getting yourself into a net calorie surplus on top of it. So make sure to monitor the scale, because
if it’s going down or if it’s staying the same, then that means that you’re not in a
calorie surplus currently and that you need to eat more. About two pounds of overall weight gain per
month, that would be a pretty standard rate of weight gain for a beginner. Secondly, I would say don’t go overboard on
weight training volume. So all the activity that you’re already doing
is going to impact your recovery to some degree. So you don’t want to then go ahead and add
in five or six days of weight training per week on top of that, because most likely you’ll
have issues with recovery. So I’d say to just go with a simple three
day per week plan that’s easily enough to make great gains, and it will help to prevent
the chances of over training. Also, this probably goes without saying, but
don’t bother performing any additional gym cardio on top of what you’re doing now, because
the sports you’re playing and having a physical job on top of it, that’s already going to
be enough to cover your weekly cardio needs. Going and running on the treadmill in addition
to that is probably just going to be counterproductive. The bottom line is that if you eat enough
total calories and protein, you keep your weight training volume on the moderate side,
you limit additional cardio. Also make sure that your sleep is on point,
that’s important too, you can definitely still make great gains even if you’re pretty active
outside of weight training. It might not be 100% optimal, but it should
be pretty close to it if you execute everything properly. Next question. What do you think about intermittent fasting? Are there any particular benefits or is it
just hype? Intermittent fasting is a perfectly acceptable
way to structure your diet. For some people, it can be a better approach
in comparison to a standard evenly spaced out meal frequency, but it’s by no means some
magical fat loss solution like some people try to promote. It also doesn’t work by boosting your actual
metabolic rate or creating some sort of special environment in your body that causes you to
directly burn more fat. If you look at the research that compares
intermittent fasting to continuous energy restriction, there isn’t any significant difference
between the two if total calories are equated for the day. Losing fat is ultimately about maintaining
a net calorie deficit. For some people, if they restrict their eating
window down to just eight hours a day or even less than that, they just end up eating fewer
calories overall, and they can maintain their deficit more easily that way. So IF is just one potential option experiment
with, and it can improve dietary adherence in some people. So if you’re in a situation where you’re having
a tough time controlling your appetite, or you just prefer the simplicity of eating a
couple of big meals per day rather than eating a bunch of small meals all throughout the
day, then intermittent fasting is definitely something that you could experiment with to
see how it works for you. Next question. I track my intake, and my calories are fairly
low right now, only 1,800 per day. I’m pretty sure I’m in a deficit, but I’m
not dropping any weight on the scale. What could be the problem here? Well, the bottom line is that if you are on
a “low calorie” diet but you aren’t losing any body weight, then that’s basically a guarantee
right there that your calories aren’t actually as low as you think they are. You could be making measurement errors throughout
the day. There could be little snacks and liquids that
are sneaking in without you realizing it. Restaurant meals that are higher calorie than
you think. Weekend cheat days and cheat meals that you’re
not properly accounting for. The bottom line is that most people on average,
way under report their calorie intake and they over-report their activity level. I’ve seen this countless times throughout
my coaching experience, and the research also pretty clearly shows this as well. So chances are that like a lot of people out
there, you’re just eating more than you realize, and given that a standard calorie deficit
for fat loss is only about 500 calories below maintenance, it doesn’t take much in terms
of tracking errors to really cut that number down significantly, or remove it altogether. Also remember that this is about your average
calorie intake for the week as a whole. So if you go really high on calories on the
weekend, for example, that can easily erase the deficits that you created during the regular
week. So my suggestion for you is that you go through
and do a careful and precise dietary audit, by tracking every single bite of food and
every liquid that you consume throughout every single day, because that’s going to allow
you to see how much you’re truly taking in and it will allow you to make the proper adjustments
from there. All right. Last question, bit of a more random one here,
but thoughts on NoFap? I guess that depends on exactly what you mean
by NoFap. Whether that means just not watching porn
or not fapping at all, or just fapping less often. So let me answer each one of those individually. When it comes to the question of porn, I would
say that all in all, I’m pretty much of the mindset at this point that for most people
out there, there are always going to be exceptions. For most guys in most situations I think that
your life will be better overall if you don’t watch porn. I think when used in excess, it is overstimulating. I think it decreases your social motivation
in real life, and even just your motivation in general. For some guys, it can even lead to legitimate
sexual dysfunction. I think as with most things in life, the devil
is in the dosage. So if you were to only watch it once in a
while, like say once a week or every couple of weeks, something like that, I’m sure it
probably wouldn’t be a big issue. The problem is that because porn is so addictive
for most people, it’s a very hard thing to just use in moderation. So usually eliminating it completely is going
to be the best overall approach. As far as just fapping in general is concerned,
I don’t think the whole extreme NoFap thing is really necessary, like going months on
end without it. If you want to do that as some sort of personal
challenge or as like a mental reset, then that could make sense, but it’s not really
practical or sustainable as an overall lifestyle for most guys out there. I don’t think, but I do think that reducing
your fapping frequency, let’s call it, I do think that that can be beneficial. I don’t think you should be doing it every
single day or even every two days. Like with porn, I think it just a general
draining effect. No pun intended. That when you do it less, you will be more
socially confident, you will feel more motivated, and you’ll just feel better in general I think. I don’t have a prescribed frequency that I’m
going to recommend to you here, but I would say that if you’re doing it much more than
once or twice a week, that you should perhaps make an effort to cut back and see what kind
of an effect it has on you, because I predict that you’ll probably find that the effect
is a positive one overall. There you have it guys, 10 more of your questions
answered. Thanks a lot for watching the video. If you did find this Q&A helpful, and you
appreciate this straight ahead no BS approach to fitness, and you want to learn the exact
step by step methods that I recommend using in order for you to build muscle and lose
fat as efficiently as possible, then it made sure to take my physique quiz over at
because that’ll get you started on the proper training, and the proper nutrition plan that
you need based on your individual goals, body type and experience level. You can click up here for that, or use the
link in the description box below. When it comes to the supplementation side
of things, you can also visit to check out my research-backed clinically
dosed formulas that I personally created to help improve the overall convenience, and
the effectiveness of your muscle building and fat loss plan. Link for that is also in the description. Of course, as always make sure to hit that
like button. Leave a comment down below, and subscribe
if you haven’t already in order to stay up to date on the future videos. Thanks for watching guys, and I’ll see you
in the next one.

48 thoughts on “Fitness Q&A #2 (Intermittent Fasting, NoFap, Multivitamins, Low Carb Diets)

  1. Hope you found this Q&A helpful, and if you have any other questions you'd like to ask then make sure to follow on Instagram and post them there:

    See you in the next one!

  2. I love all of your videos. You are a great communicator and very very intelligent! I agree with everything you say pretty much. I’ve lost 68 lbs. and am about to transition into maintenance and trying to build muscle, I guess I should lean bulk? Not sure if recomp is possible, lots of people are telling me recomp but I don’t want to waste my time.

    Also, just some topic ideas for next QA, I’m not sure if you’d be interested in talking about this, but would you want to talk about body dysmorphia, stretch marks, and loose skin from being overweight, if those topics would interest you.

  3. “People should hit their .8G protein per BW without really trying”. Uuuh, you know that’s not even remotely true at all lol. You really think the average 200 pound man is eating 160G of protein almost ‘by mistake’?

  4. Hi Sean, I have difficulty when doing heavy squats because I have a back injury from when I was in high school. Is there an alternative for the regular squat?

  5. Nofap ( NoPMO) helps a lot with social anxiety, low self esteem, and motivation and obviously these things effects our lives in many aspects

  6. I went on a low carb diet once I lost weight but frankly I was moody and miserable. Im at a healthy weight now and I moderate my carbs but never deprive myself. I had a cheat day recently and it had no negative effect cause I got right back on track soon after. It's about moderation not deprivation

  7. ^.^ Shout out to your fapping Q&A ending. . answered like a pro , with a straight face and not halfassed
    Good line up of Q&As overall!

  8. You may get comments like "This is only common sense" or "Everyone knows this." but it jusst ain't so. The info is all correct so valuable. Could save a lot of time for some. Keep ;it coming.
    t sot

  9. I would actually like to see you do more Q & A … Alex at Alpha Destiny does Q&As quite frequently and his views are always around 20-30K and well received. He has around the same subscriber count as yourself and I would say you are FAR more knowledgeable… You also need to get involved in showing actual workouts as they are BY FAR the most requested and demanded fitness content right now and they would massively help your statistics!

  10. That pun at the the end about fapping was hilarious. I'm loving these Q&A. You answered at least 2 of my questions here. Thanks Sean for the great content!

  11. Good video, Sean. Got a question. Why is everyone using the 24hour period as a overall caloric intake? Couldn't be other periods of time more relevant, like 30 hours, or I don't know, 50 hours? It's clear that the incorporation of the night "fast" (sleep) is used for relative comparisons, but maybe other factor could count, like after burn effect which could last longer than 24hours?
    P.S. I know you want the questions to be asked on instagram, I got one but not a fan of Instagram, I avoid it, it makes people use photoshop and other fake methods to promote themselves.

  12. Sean, you're one of the most informative channels… However, BestGuyEver, an anime/manga channel, made a video about him trying to become fit and healthy again. His energy and humor really influenced me to begin habits that promote superior discipline. Any thoughts?

  13. I'm wondering if dieting and lifting reduce sexual🤔🤔, since I've been lifting for a year, I never feel want to have a girl as I used to be, 😂😂☻, this is why some people say that going to the gym is return to be gay,😢😢💪💪🤙,

  14. That's not the primary reason for switching to fat instead of carbs. It puts your body in a permanent ketotonic state. This means it's burning fat as it's primary source of energy, so when you go hungry, such as when you are asleep, your body will still be seeking fat and will burn your reserves much quicker, since it's already in fat burning mode. When you are on carbs the process to switch to fat burning takes longer, which is where intermittent fasting should be used, since I takes a good while for your body to switch to it's fat stores. You also don't get as hungry as your body doesn't experience a long delay in getting reserve fuel from your surplus, as it would if it is used to getting it's fuel from carbs. You are however correct in pointing out that the calorie deficit is the primary driver for this to work, and it's easier when on a fat/protein diet to loose weight, since you still get to eat things like bacon and burgers and fried eggs.

  15. As far as fapping goes, it takes up to 48 hours to replenish the baby making juices once drained from your happy sack, and this requires testosterone. You know what else requires testosterone? Building muscle. You know which of these the body prioritizes? Making more love custard to keep the species well stocked. My rule is to keep this activity well away from training days and limit to once a week if I'm bulking. I believe it's hurt my gains in the past. It's worse for those with an already low testosterone level, which according to the latest research is nearly all of us compared to our forefathers. T counts are alarmingly low in society, hence modern terms such as soy-boys, beta cucks, incels etc.

  16. What are your thoughts on calorie cycling when in a deficit?
    What are your thoughts on calorie cycling when in a surplus?

  17. Hormones play a role…low carb low insulin u will lose stubborn fat…if u stopped losing weight on low cals means ur metabolism has adapted too low and need to eat more to fix this

  18. I have those exact same thoughts on NoFap. Personally I'm trying to do the 90 day challange as a mental reset. It is hard though ..

  19. Hey Sean if you can discuss about how to work out in a crowded gym where you have to either wait for a long time for someone to finish an exercise on an equipment or you switch to another exercise or you skip the exercise. Thank you


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