October 18, 2016

Eating Fat to Burn Fat: Metabolic Flexibility

Eating Fat to Burn Fat: Metabolic Flexibility


Jim Beaumont -Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSC); Sport Nutrition Specialist; Primal Blueprint Certified Expert; WKC Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning Coach. (208) 412-6079.

Class Goal

Introduce advantages of utilizing fat instead of sugar as your body’s primary energy source (ketosis).

Nutritional Ketosis

Nutritional ketosis begins when your body switches from burning glucose (sugar) to burning fat as its primary fuel source. This is not to be confused with a dangerous medical condition called ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when the pancreas cannot secrete enough insulin to keep excessive ketone production within healthy ranges. This only occurs in Type 1 diabetics and very brittle Type 2 diabetics with pancreatic burnout, or extreme longterm alcoholics.

Your body will make enough glucose to run via gluconeogensis to run your brain. You don’t necessarily have to eat carbs to function effectively. While in ketosis, your body’s primary energy source is beta-hydroxybutyrate (B-OHB).

Fat burning (we’ll just call ketosis that from now). Is the body’s preferred state. Throughout over 90% of our evolution this is how we operated. We did not have a consistent and reliable source of carbohydrate until fairly recently.

Different Ketogenic Strategies

1) Standard Ketogenic Diet: Very low-carb, high-fat, and moderate protein. 75-80% of calories come from fats, 5-10% from carbs, and around 20% from protein.

2) Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: Carbs are strategically timed to remain in ketosis for the vast majority of the time. Usually, this entails only consuming carbs right after exercise, and it might entail introducing high-carb meals on select days.

3) High-Protein Ketogenic Diet: This method works well in conjunction with strength training. Protein is generally in the 30% range, carbs around 5-10% and the rest fats (this is basically where I am 90% of the time). This does very well to keep body fat in check and is very satisfying.

Benefits of Being a Fat Burner

1. Proven weight loss without deliberate calorie restriction…”Carbs drive insulin; Insulin drives fat.”

2. Healthy blood sugars though increased insulin sensitivity.

3. Low levels of inflammation and lowered blood pressure.

4. Better skin.

5. Effortless appetite control.

6. Potential resistance to cancer, Alzheimer’s, dementia, premature aging.

7. Ketogenic diets are currently being researched to help epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and assist in recovery from brain injuries (look these up if you don’t believe me).

8. Increased endurance performance. Endless energy supply for athletic purposes. Dual fuel sources.

Foods to Avoid to become a Fat-Burning Beast

* Added sugars of all kinds.

* All grains and starches (pasta, bread, rice, corn).

* Fruit. One small piece per day is about it.

* Diet products or low-fat foods.

* Legumes (beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, etc.)

* Most root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.

* Man-made fats like soy and canola oil, trans-fats, and seed oils.

* Most alcoholic beverages.

Preferred Beast Foods

* Meat, eggs, and fatty wild fish.

* Small amounts of full-fat cheese.

* Cream and grass-fed butter.

* Nuts and seeds such as almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts.

* Avocados.

* Low-carb veggies like broccoli, spinach, kale, red cabbage, onions, peppers, etc.

* Healthy oils like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil.

* Spices


* MCT oil. Helps increase ketone production. Instant energy.

* Caffeine. Why not? Helps to mobilize fatty acid stores.

* Magnesium. Preferred types are magnesium glycinate, aspartate, and citrate.

Side Effects

Ketogenic diets are very safe.The main downside is what is called the “low-carb flu.” It is generally over in about 4-5 days. This can include brain fog, low-energy, nausea, some sleep or anxiety issues. Plenty of water, extra salt (up to 5000mg per day), potassium, and magnesium are the best ways to combat this.

Additional Information

Here are some easy additional resources.


Peter Attia, M.D. – “An Advantaged Metabolic State: Human Performance, Resilience & Health” 

Dr. Stephen Phinney – “The Art and Science of Nutritional Ketosis” 


The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living: Jeff Volek, PhD, R.D. and Stephen Phinney, M.D., PhD.


February 24, 2015

“Graduate” to Building Strength and Health

“Graduate” to Building Strength and Health.

Conversation with a long-time member of IKSC yesterday about goals:  It really brought me to one of the things of which I am most proud.

I feel safe to say that not many are here at IKSC because they are trying to “lose” anything, and there has never been a short-term weight loss challenge or contest.  We do lots of monthly challenges, of course, but they are always centered on building some physical skill or healthy eating pattern.

We are here to build positive things, not focus on a negative. I think you’ll find that in doing so, the negatives kind of go away on their own. Things like weight loss challenges are about focusing on some element of dissatisfaction that is to be reduced, not building a positive. Think about that for a minute.

Some fat or weight loss may occur as a result of training appropriately and following a healthy eating pattern, but most are truly here in order to build rather than reduce.

  • Strength – Because it makes everything in life better. Without this, nothing else is important or possible.
  • Proper Movement Patterns –Because this enables strength to be utilized. Without it, it is like a car with a great engine, but no wheels to travel with.  
  • Low-Risk/High-Yield training  Living pain-free should be your default setting. If you are becoming injured as a result of your training system, you’d better take a long look at it.
  • Health -Through the best nutrition education available, I am happy to say that those that follow our nutrition education guidelines are just as likely to report better skin, hair, energy levels, less inflammation, higher strength levels, and  improved clinical blood test results as they are pounds lost on a scale.
  • Long-term Focus and Lifestyle Change –The goal is never about a few weeks out. It is about what is continuing to happen in 5, 10, or 20 years.

These things are not an accident.

The fitness industry preys on people’s insecurities and self-hatred. This simply does not happen here.

You truly have to enjoy making yourself stronger and healthier to train here. When a new member makes the decision to train, I think of them as a “student” that is here to learn and build something permanent.

This is quite a paradigm shift for many. In a way, I feel that they “graduate” to advanced study at Idaho Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning .


Idaho Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning

June 29, 2014

July Fitness and Nutrition Challenge

July Fitness and Nutrition Challenge

For the vast majority of exercisers, the July Challenge is a more productive month than can be had from any fitness or nutrition program anywhere, at any price. It entails eating unprocessed foods and doing lots of bodyweight exercise.

It is totally free to do, but I’ve seen people spend $1,000s in a month’s time for private nutrition and training without the results this CAN get you. This is also why this has been copied by gyms in other parts of the country, usually with some sort of entry fee attached.

Here is why it works: It forces people to pre-plan exercise into their week or day and carefully consider everything they eat and drink. That is it. The vast majority of the population doesn’t do this and when they do, changes are rapid and positive.

There is no magical mixture of exercises or nutritional combination. You are eliminating man-made foods as much as practically possible and replacing sitting time with exercise.

Doing a base number of reps (100 reps of some kind of pulling, 300 reps of some kind of pushing, and 500 reps of some form of squatting) is really not a huge challenge, as long a person prioritizes it. If they procrastinate, it may not be possible, but as long as you divide it up throughout the week it isn’t that tough.

I started this July Challenge thing in 2011, and every year I see some of the most amazing changes of the entire year.

Here are the details:

July Fitness and Nutrition Challenge

(Do as much as you can…some will be better than none. The goal of this is to get a bunch of low-level activity in and eat nutritious foods.)

Do not overthink this!
Eat ONLY meat, fish, eggs, raw nuts, and fresh produce (if you want to drop body fat, potatoes, corn and sugary fruits like bananas are not going to help with that).
Drink ONLY water.
(Reasonable amounts of condiments, like real butter, real sour cream, coconut oil, olive oil, vinegar, etc are allowed).

Supplements are OK, as long as they are not a primary source of nutrition or consumed as meal replacements. Unsweetened coffee or tea are supplements and are just fine. Preworkout drinks are supplements too, just don’t go overboard.

ONE cheat meal per week is allowed. Plan it and enjoy whatever you want.

Bodyweight Exercise Minimum Quota:

Level III
200 pullups per week
300 pushups per week
1,000 squats per week

Level II
150 pullups
200 pushups
800 squats

Level I
100 pullups per week
200 pushups week
500 squats per week

-Break this up over as many days, into as many sets as needed. Do this as part of, or in addition to, your normal training. Don’t overthink this! Just start doing reps. Feel free to do more.

ANY needed or reasonable modification of these exercises is permitted.

Omission of any of these is OK for bonafide medical reasons (not just because you are sore or too busy. Suck it up).

Get creative and get moving.

Please…I don’t want to hear a single excuse from anyone.

Either do it or choose not to. I only want to hear what you CAN do, not how hard this is, or hear reasons why you can’t do any part of it. We’re all adults. If something just doesn’t work for you then it doesn’t. Modify or improvise if you need to. Do the best you can.

-Jim Beaumont
Idaho Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning

April 7, 2014

Nutrition Education Program

By Jim Beaumont

What is it?
This is a 6 week program tailored for your needs to determine the right direction to meet your goals. You will work one-on-one with an experienced coach and certified sport nutrition specialist who will hold you accountable to the plan, while educating you to better understand nutrition and your body’s needs.

Initial private one-hour consultation to gather your history, dietary needs, goals, etc.
Beginning weight and measurements.
Custom written program and manual.
2nd private consultation to explain the program and how to follow it including:
Food measurement.
Food label reading tutorial.
Shopping and supplement guidelines (NOTE: I don’t sell supplements and will only tell you what I know to be proven safe and effective. This is not a marketing gimmick.)
Online nutrition logging program and support.
Weekly 30-minute weigh-in and check-up.

How do I know this will work?
This only works if you are willing to change your old habits. If you are ready, and honest with me and yourself, I won’t let you fail.
There are no guarantees (your success depends on your consistency).

Is this a “crash diet?”

Absolutely not. I don’t believe in diets or the concept of a temporary weight-loss strategy. I am giving you tools to use to help yourself permanently. This is an education program to help you make a lifetime of good nutrition choices.

After a solid month and a half of intense nutritional coaching and monitoring, you can make your own plan and make effective adjustments yourself. I don’t want you to thank me in 3 or 6 months, I want you to thank me years from now.

Who needs this program?
If you’ve bought diet books or infomercial diet products;
You’ve tried nutritional plans on your own and failed;
You are trying to lose weight and have not been successful on your own;
You want to improve athletic performance through healthier hormones, via proper nutrition;
You are a guy and even thinking of taking one of the many “testosterone boosters” on the market;
You crave sugar and have low energy;
You frequently search the internet looking for pieces of nutrition information, only to become more confused.

This program will NOT be for you if…
You are not prepared to be 100% honest about everything you eat and drink.
You are not prepared to give up harmful foods in your diet for one month, because you enjoy them.
You want to mix this program with another nutrition plan or eating strategy.
You are not prepared to take charge of your nutrition and full responsibility for everything you eat or drink.
You are looking for a quick fix in order to prepare for some event or contest.
You are doing this to please someone else, or to compare yourself to someone else.
You are not ready to learn and make a lifelong commitment to healthier choices.

Jim Beaumont, Idaho Kettlebell Strength and Condtioning. (208) 412-6079.

NCSF Certified Sport Nurtition Specialist, Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning Coach, Kettlebell Instructor, WKC-Ranked kettlebell lifter.

What are people saying about my nutrition program?

“I’ve learned more in one year from Jim than I learned in four years studying Exercise Science & Nutrition in college.”
-Cristy ‘CodeRed’. Former NPC figure competition competitor, and professional boxer, named “Top 3 Most Dangerous Females on the Planet” by Ring magazine, and voted “New York’s Best Trainer” by Allure magzine (2008).

“In March of 2012 I embarked on a new chapter of my life, guided by Jim Beaumont. I learned from him a new way of looking at food that provided me with the groundwork for an entire new way of life. I ultimately ended up shedding 35 pounds, and was able to get off all of my medications for cholesterol and insulin resistance…. With his assistance I learned how to become physically strong, and for the first time in my life I had the toned arms, shaped legs and hips, and the well muscled abs I had always dreamed of. I went from a size 14 to a size 4/6, and at the age of 46 I looked and felt better than when I was 30. The lessons I learned from Jim has allowed me to make a long lasting life change and that I still continue to follow today, more than two years since beginning this journey.”
– Paula Turner. Pocatello, ID. Mother of 2, veteran law enforcement officer, and Taekwon-Do black belt.

“After years of being a slave to calorie counting and food measuring plus endless hours of cardio and intense weight training in order to compete in fitness competitions I became sick at 30 years old. I developed an autoimmune disease that shut down my thyroid function…

After following Jim Beaumonts advice and changing my eating patterns, habits and nutrition choices I was able to wean myself off of my thyroid medication, sleeping pills and balance my hormones…

Adopting a “Paleo” or anti inflammatory diet has helped me improve my own health, quality of life, training style and overall relationship with food. As a Fitness Professional in an industry that puts an enormous emphasis on the female “ideal” form this has been a huge win for me and many of my clients.” -Jennifer Ludington, Chief Fitness Officer of A2O Fitness in Boise, ID.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Beaumont in 2012 at a nutrition seminar he held at A2O Fitness. At the time I was on the “normal” eat plan of 5…-6 small meals throughout the day and was struggling with fatigue and the inability to lose weight, in fact my weight was starting to creep up.

Each evening it would take me 30 minutes to weigh and measure the meals I took to my office every day: breakfast, lunch and two snacks. I had to eat every 2 hours or I would get brain fog and could not function at work. My career as an insurance broker can be very stressful and it involves traveling to meet with clients as well. Having to eat every 2 hours or suffering brain fog was starting to affect my work and personal life too. I had been weighing and measuring all of my food for 10 plus years and quite frankly this type of diet was not working for me anymore.

Jim’s approach to nutrition was radically different than what I had been taught. No calorie counting, no weighing or measure food, eat butter, bacon, nuts, avocado, eat as much steak and vegetables as I wanted until I was satiated. Honestly, the first 3-4 weeks were very difficult as I had trained myself to not eat 90% of the foods that Jim said I could now enjoy.”The eating plan was fairly easy; the hard part for me was changing my thinking. Going from eating no fat, low fat, cereal, bread, rice and pasta with a small amount of protein, salad with low fat dressing, lots of fruit, yogurt and cottage cheese to nuts, avocado, eggs, beef, chicken, bacon, pork, tons of vegies, no potatoes, rice, refined carbs, no processed foods was a challenge. The results speak for themselves, I completed a 6 week plan and lost 6 lbs. and reduced my body fat to 14% from 21%.

Fast forward to today and eating this way has become second nature, my weight has stabilized, my body fat continues to be low, my energy is higher, no more brain fog, I can travel all day and not have to eat every 2 hours. In fact, I can go 12+ hours between meals and keep the same level of energy and mental alertness. Needless to say, I will never return to the traditional way of eating.” -Gina Price Insurance Broker. Boise, ID.

$250 for the entire Nutrition Education Program, online coaching, and personal accountability meetings.

April 2, 2014

Hill Sprints

Ajax Hill Sprint

You all know I recommend hill sprints once a week to compliment strength training.

How to start?

Here is the simplest “program” I can think of:

Find a hill, steep or not. Walk UP the hill for about 45 seconds or about 100 steps.

Walk back to the start. Set a timer or stopwatch for 15-20 minutes.

Run up the hill to the spot you reached before. Walk slowly back to the start. Repeat for 20 minutes. Done. That’s it. No, this isn’t true max-speed “sprints” but they will be just fine for most people. You want to rest enough between efforts that you can run as fast as possible, but the hill will reduce the stride length and add enough resistance that the risk of injury is minimized.

For best results, do this on an empty stomach.

And, take your dog or dogs. They’ll love this!

July 30, 2012

Five Guaranteed Ways to Sabotage Your Strength and Fitness Goals…

Five Guaranteed Ways to Sabotage Your Strength and Fitness Goals…

1. Unrealistic Goals:

If your goal is to look like a model on the cover of a fitness magazine, but you are only willing to exercise 2-3 times per week, you have an unrealistic goal. Perfect physiques take years of work and lives that revolve around training. Unless you are willing to make training and nutrient timing a 24/7 job, you will not attain that physique. Get that image out of your head unless you are willing to make that type of commitment for several years to come.

2. Missed Training:

This should be obvious, but allowing yourself to miss training times is unacceptable if you plan to progress. To make progress beyond a bare beginner level, expect to spend a minimum of 5 days per week training.

3. Fail to Maintain Strict Nutritional Guidelines:

Consuming junk – in any amount – such as: pop, cookies, candy, bread, chips, beer, cereals, anything that comes from a drive-thru window, sugary coffee drinks, etc..

One planned cheat meal per week is fine, but beyond that don’t expect results. “Just a handful” of this and that does nothing but preserve a nice layer of fat.

4. Fail to Make Yourself Accountable:

Keep a detailed training and nutrition log. If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen. Unless you are logging nutrition, you really don’t know what you are taking in.

5. Focus on new movements/routines, rather than on weight, reps and rest intervals:

Sometimes the answer is simple: It is hard to understand this when so much marketing is done to make it seem as though every training method is the best thing out there.

Want to build muscle and to burn fat? Move more weight. Rest less.

Do not get sidetracked by 100 different exercises and new fitness gadgets that claim to work wonders.

Focus on moving a prescribed weight in a mechanically sound manner for prescribed rest/work intervals.

June 29, 2012

July Fitness/Nutrition Challenge

July Fitness/Nutrition Challenge.

Do not overthink this!
Eat ONLY meat, fish, eggs, raw nuts, and fresh produce.
Drink ONLY water.
(Reasonable amounts of condiments, like real butter, real sour cream, coconut oil, olive oil, vinegar, etc are allowed).

Supplements are OK, as long as they are not a primary source of nutrition or consumed as meal replacements.

ONE cheat meal per week is allowed. Plan it and enjoy whatever you want.

Bodyweight Exercise Minimum Quota:
200 pullups per week
300 pushups
1,000 squats
-Break this up over as many days, into as many sets as needed. Do this as part of, or in addition to, your normal training. Don’t overthink this! Just start doing reps. Feel free to do more.

ANY needed or reasonable modification of these exercises is permitted.

Omission of any of these is OK for bonafide medical reasons (not just because you are sore or too busy. Suck it up).

Get creative and get moving.

Please…I don’t want to hear a single excuse from anyone.

Either do it or choose not to. I only want to hear what you CAN do, not how hard this is, or hear reasons why you can’t do any part of it.

-Jim Beaumont

April 12, 2011

Double Kettlebell Workout: Squats, Presses and Pullups.

Double kettlebells for a few weeks.

Squats (mostly for flexibility and stability, while recovering from a pulled hamstring).

Double presses supersetted with pullups.

10 sets of 5 week 1.

8 sets of 6 week 2.

6 sets of 8 week 3.

90 seconds rest between sets, in order to reduce soreness and hypertrophy. Working on strength and stability. I’m as big as I need to be.

Today’s training:
Double Kettlebell Front Squats (32kg)
8 x 6. 90 seconds rest between sets.

Double Kettlebell Presses/Pullups. 90 seconds rest between supersets.

Finished with three 1-minute sets of kettlebell Mill Presses with the 32kg at 12 reps/minute. Sets of 6 pullups immediately after presses.
Shop today!

January 3, 2010

Hard truth about corporate gyms…

Why doesn’t my commercial gym just have a whole bunch of kettlebells, barbells, dumbells and pullup bars instead of machines?
This is not a simple question, and therefore will not get a simple answer.

Money for nothing.

Like most everything else, it comes down to money. Corporate gyms don’t make money from people who get results from exercising through effective training methods. They get results from people who sign a membership contract and don’t use the gym.

I trained at a corporate gym for a while, and their own statistic was that 75% of those who sign a membership will not even be using the gym in 90 days. Of course, they’ll still be paying and the gym owners will be making money for nothing for the next two years.

Effective exercise takes time, discipline and lots of hard work and nothing else. Most people won’t pay to work that hard. Machines appear to offer an “easy way out” for lazy, misinformed or desperate people.

Any idiot can step on an exercise machine, slap on an iPod and watch TV, while making some flailing motions on some worthless exercise machine. Ever had to “elliptical” your way quickly from one place to another? I rest my case.

No doubt you will burn slightly more calories than sitting on the couch at home, but you gain little else from it.

As far as strength training with machines goes, forget it. Just forget it. Lifting heavy objects is the only way to teach your body to lift other heavy objects safely. Pushing or pulling a lever on a machine does nothing but teach you how to push and pull levers, no matter how much resistance is offered.

The owners and sleazy salespeople at big corporate gyms make money off people who come to a commercial gym, are in awe of all the fancy machines, and sign a two-year contract with the good intention of using the gym almost everyday.

The inviting atmosphere and vision of getting in shape while watching TV gets you in the door. I’m sure there are pictures of fit people on the walls using those worthless machines, and if you only sign on the dotted line, you’ll get there too. I’m sure they also have a rack full of miracle supplements – that are marked up at least 100% – to help you meet your goals.

Congratulations! You are now paying hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for a gym membership at a corporate gym.

For the first few weeks, all is well and you may even lose a few pounds as your body adapts to the new routine. But quickly, your body will find ways of decreasing the effort required to pedal that bicycle, or “elliptical” your way to health. The results stop, and you soon find reasons not to go to the gym.

That is how corporate gyms make money. The initial investment of those machines is more than offset by the steady stream of people willing to pay for easy fitness.

The problem is there is no such thing as easy fitness!

Being strong and lean requires work, sweat and sacrifice. Not machines. Muscle soreness, missed social engagements, and denying yourself things like junk food is part of the game. There are no shortcuts. No easy routes.

You will feel pain from working out. Deal with it.

Learn to separate slight soreness from actual injuries. If you haven’t been moving much, your body will hurt at first, but the results will come fast. Just don’t fall into the trap of gauging the productivity of your training strictly by the amount of soreness you experience. More on that later.

You will have to miss out on the after work party, the football game or your favorite TV show. Deal with it.

You will have to plan your meals, because working out hard while eating nothing but processed junk will hurt. All that sugar, salt and fat does not fuel a body well enough to accommodate hard training.

You have to pay attention while you train (not watch TV). If you are not paying attention while lifting a heavy kettlebell, dumbell, barbell or your bodyweight, you will get hurt. Period. And, it will be your own fault.

You will have to cut the bullshit and be accountable. No more crap about how you have a “slow metabolism” or “I eat pretty good.” You don’t.

If you don’t measure out every gram of food, you don’t know what you are eating. You have a “slow metabolism?” That is because fat requires less calories to maintain than muscle. Want to change that? Move more, and gain muscle.

Yes, there are some people who have health issues that impede their progress. Guess what? No one cares. The task is the same. Take responsibility for your health and work hard.

Leave your self-pity at the door. It does not serve a purpose. You must take control. No one else will, or can. Find out from a medical professional if you have some physical reason why weight loss is difficult (for a small percentage this is a real issue).

The bottom line

Your neighborhood corporate gym makes money on the promise of easy fitness. There is no such thing. Machines are the tool they choose to use to separate you from your money.

Serious training is not for the person who is content to disconnect their mind and body with an iPod, a TV and some form of repetitious movement that serves no purpose.

It takes hard, intelligent work to meet a fitness goal. Lifting your bodyweight and other heavy objects is the best means to that end.

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