How to Burn Fat, Day and Night

Michelle wants to lose body fat.

She asks her friends that go to the gym quite frequently and they say to "burn more calories than you take in". Ok, pretty simple, right?

She quickly agrees and buys a Fitbit, a new pair of running shoes, and a Nike workout shirt that says "Just Do It". Oh, she's gonna do it alright! 

The next day, Michelle has a hard boiled egg for breakfast and parks in the furthest spot away from the entrance of her work building. She has a big salad for lunch with grilled chicken and took the stairs instead of the elevator. She even hits the gym after work and walks on the treadmill for 30 minutes!

After a long day of activity, Michelle looks at her FItbit and sees that she burned a whopping 1,200 calories! She has a bowl of multi-grain pasta and goes to bed.

When Michelle wakes up, she feels weak, very sore, and her knees hurt her. She struggles to walk to the bathroom to step on the scale only to see the same number as the day before. But how?!

She moved more, definitely ate less calories, and she even went on the treadmill after work! Ahh! So frustrating!

Today's Lesson: Lower Calories Means Lower Energy. 

Hi all, Carl here and I'd love to tell you exactly what happened here. First and foremost, let me tell you a little bit more about our friend here "the calorie". The calorie has gotten a bad rap for many years now and it's time to scientifically and realistically, dissect this subject.

Lower calories literally mean lower energy. It's like putting gasoline in a car. You put a certain amount in, you burn the gasoline, and you get more when it's all gone. That's it.

With that being said, cutting back your "calories" is cutting back on energy that the body can use to expend. Why would anyone want to do that!? No wonder why Michelle felt so weak and sore the next day.

Michelle was so focused on reducing calories by restricting foods in her diet and burning more calories by moving more but little did she know that her body was at an extremely low caloric state, causing her to experience fatigue, increased muscle soreness, a slower recovery rate, and loss of muscle (a natural, fat burning tissue). She may have thought she had a successful day but I would put money that she wouldn't be able to continue that for 2 more days. She'll see a picture of a slice of pizza, rebel against cutting calories, binge eat, and start again when she feels like it.

This cycle of feeling success and failure, over and over, is not a sustainable way of eating. It's also not healthy, mentally. Focusing your diet strictly on calories leads to lack of energy, increased chances of binge eating, and ultimately leads to higher chance of storing body fat!

One of the first things to understand about food is that our body NEEDS calories because it constantly burns calories (mostly from fat) all of the time, most of it when you're at complete rest! It takes calories to sit down, to eat, to stand, lift a finger, and breathe. You're even burning calories right now reading this awesome post!

But what Michelle lacked was the knowledge of her METABOLISM.

The Science: Understanding Metabolism and Its Thermic Effects

There are three types of ways that your body automatically burns calories. When you completely understand how they work, you can turn your body into a never ending fat-burning furnace that ignites hot and fiery all day long!

#1 The Thermic Effects of Eating

Between 10 and 30 percent of the calories you burn everyday come from the simple act of digesting your food. Now that's pretty cool! Your body actually burns calories when you eat! Your body burns even MORE calories when it attempts to digest protein (about 25 calories burned for every 100 consumed). Just by incorporating more lean protein into your diet, like almond butter, Greek yogurt, grilled chicken, and ground turkey, you'll burn more total calories at the end of the day.

#2 Exercise and Movement

An added 10 to 15 percent of your total calories burned comes from simply moving your muscles, whether you were squatting a 25 pound kettle bell at the gym, catching the bus ride home, or stirring non-fat milk in your coffee. Moving the body costs calories or energy. Period.

In addition, when you gain 1 pound of lean muscle, it takes an extra 50 calories just to keep that muscle alive. So just by gaining 6 pounds of lean muscle, you can burn an extra 300 calories daily. How cool is that?!

#3 Your Basal Metabolism

Your basal, or resting, metabolism refers to the calories you burn when you're doing absolutely nothing. In fact, 60 to 80 percent of your daily calories are burned up just by sitting listening to your music, watching TV, driving to and from work, etc. This is because your body is always changing and is constantly in motion: your heart beats, your lungs are breathing, your cells are dividing all the time, your muscles are growing (when you feed it protein), you even burn calories when you sleep.

You'll begin to understand that most of the calories that you burn on a daily basis don't come from working out or moving more, they come from the physiological functions that you thought would never come from, the thermic affect of eating and your resting metabolism.

Some individuals do have the ability to burn more fat calories at rest. How? They focus on foods that keep their body burning calories all of the time. When they add intense workouts into their weekly routine, it only amplifies the thermic effect of their metabolism. With this approach, they can develop a hotter, fiery, supercharged, fat-burning metabolism! These individuals also probably never look at the calories on a nutrition label, rather they choose foods that will cause a higher and longer thermic effect so that their body continues to keep burning calories throughout the day. Wow, smart!

Yes, there are some people that are born with a genetically "faster" metabolism but that doesn't mean that your metabolism was dealt the crappy hand at birth. There are so many ways to fire up your metabolism and reach its peak before it begins to naturally decline with age.

The Application: How to Supercharge Your Metabolism and Burn Fat, Day and Night

#1 Change the Way You Exercise.

Studies have shown that although more calories can be burned during a 30-minute, steady state running session, individuals that lifted weights for the same time have a longer thermic effect that lasts almost up to 48 hours post workout! This phenomenon is called the after burn - where your body continues to burn calories in the hours and days after a weight lifting workout. Message here: lift weights more often if you want your body to burn calories all day, everyday.

#2 Change the Way That You Eat.

Many diets fail in the American society because they never focus on the single most powerful macronutrient for building muscle and firing up your metabolism: PROTEIN!

Protein, in proportion with foods from other groups, works in two primary ways. First, incorporating more protein in your diet cranks up the thermic effect of digestion by as much as one-third. Second, protein is the main building block for fat-burning muscle.

Studies have shown that consuming protein from lean meat, like tenderloin, burns up to 2 percent more calories during a 24-hour period than protein obtained from soy. Message here: lean animal protein burns more calories just to digest it than a protein coming from a vegetable source.

#3 Change the Way You Think About the Word "Diet"

I honestly hate the word diet. Diet to me means having rules to follow and restricting a nutrient from my food choices. If you're so restricted on what you can eat, you'll eventually act out like a rebellious teen and break all the rules. Rather than focusing on restricting your body of certain foods, focus on how to properly fuel your body to burn calories all the time.

The Take Away: Stop Counting Calories, Just Understand How To Burn Them All The Time

For years, maybe all of your life, you've probably had one notion about what dieting needs to be. Restrict your foods, eat like a super-model, sweat on a treadmill, and you'll lose body fat. In reality, those were the reasons why you couldn't lose the weight in the first place. Its the reason why you gained back what you lost.

Our approach to nutrition at Empyrea Group Training is to reprogram circuitry. You'll stop thinking of every calorie and start thinking about how to best burn calories all of the time. Once you master that, your body will be well equipped with all the tools it needs to fire on all cylinders, strip away unwanted body fat, day and night, and show off those sexy abs that lie underneath!

How to Take the Stress Out of Summer!

Hello Empyreans!

Carl Here and I'm here to shed some light on something that is putting more unwanted pounds on you faster than eating Moose Tracks ice cream smashed between 2 chocolate chip cookies (oh yea...) and that my friends, is STRESS.

Lets Go Back in Time Real Quick...

In the prehistoric ages (like cavemen era), there were only 2 known MAJOR stresses that the human body experienced and they were...

1. Don't get eaten by animals higher than you on the food chain.

Survival makes the body move.

Survival makes the body move.

2. Hunt enough animals lower than you on the food chain to survive long winters.

And Fast Forward...

Now, in modern society, we probably experience all different kinds of stresses every minute of everyday. If you live in America, you know that this is true. The same feelings of stress are now triggered by all different kinds of stress now!

For example, being stuck in traffic and the thought of being late for work, children and working your butt off to pay (a yearly increasing) college tuition, when you look at yourself in the mirror and wondering if you're in control of your health, paying rent or a mortgage, trying to be appreciated or desired, and last but not least trying to distress yourself for the summer and you find yourself working just as hard! The list can go on forever but when do you ever catch a break nowadays!  

The summer begs lazy days and trying to unwind. The reality is that we're working, balancing family obligation,s and trying to take vacations – which seem almost non-existent in corporate America. Some may even replaced the term "work-life balance" with "work-life integration." Their thinking? There is no more balance. We are working all the time, whether if its at the office or at the beach. 

Its hard to unplug nowadays!

Its hard to unplug nowadays!

The Magical Power of Visualization

The most effective and powerful communicators and leaders know how to decompress and find ways to release tension. These are some very simple yet incredibly impactful tips which can be applied to a host of business and life situations.

Let's say you're trying to leave on a seven-day vacation with your family. But at the office there are reports to be completed, clients to be updated, 200 emails to answer, and four more meetings than there are hours left in the day. Your to-do list is longer than your arm.

Stop and Try This

Close your eyes, take two deep breaths and imagine you are at the beach. Hear the surf, and feel the sand between your toes and the sun on your skin. Why the beach? The warmth of the sun, the white noise of the waves, the smell of the surf, the feel of sand between your toes. In other words, four of your five senses will become involved in this imaginary excursion. (If you want all five, imagine eating an orange, or something else juicy and delicious.)



Why do this? If you can truly put yourself in this imaginary "play" – your mindset will shift and hopefully put you in a different, less tense state. By enlivening the five senses, by shifting focus, by creating a mental image that engages the mental "body" summer vacation will come early.

Mind Over Matter

The ability to alter your mind to minimize the internal feelings of stress is a powerful tool for business and life. Recent studies have shown that it is not stress itself that is damaging to our health, but our opinion about stress. Those who think stress is bad have increased restriction in their blood vessels, which is indeed damaging over the long haul. But those who see stress as a part of life, a welcome challenge, nothing to be worried about, a strength or character booster seem to suffer far fewer physical effects.

We know so little about the impact of the mind on the body. I recall reading about a study years ago where a smell was associated with the delivery of a pain-reducing drug. Later, those who had associated the smell with the drug merely needed to smell the same scent for their pain to be reduced. I do not know, but have often wondered if perhaps they reached the point where just imagining the smell had the same effect.

Bring Summer, Wherever, Whenever

What I do know is we all tend to get stuck in the same mental ruts as we do physical ones. We think the same tired, and perhaps stress-inducing, thoughts over and over, and rarely give ourselves the time and space to play with our thoughts in the same way. For example, we'll give ourselves a break from routine by playing a sport. Why not?

Listen to this and play imagination!

Why not bring summer into winter? Why not spend a few solitary moments imagining sitting under your favorite tree, feeling a breeze, listening to birds and smelling the grass? Why not bring summer vacation a few days early? What might happen? You may just find that by allowing yourself a few moments of imaginary play, when you do reenter the stress of work and deadlines and meetings, they're not nearly as onerous as they seemed before.

Other Ways to Filter Stress

There are 2 other ways that can help significantly reduce stress.

1. Exercising intensely at Empyrea Group Training.

2. Getting great sleep.

Exercising and deep sleep has been shown to filter stress hormones that have been built up through a long day and releases feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.

Sleep is the only time our bodies has to recharge the batteries. If were are always running low on energy, we're always stressed about being tired. Try your hardest to get more sleep!

We Hate Stress!

Stress stinks, Empyrea works.

Stress stinks, Empyrea works.

Our workouts get pretty intense but the best part about them is that anyone can do them. Whether its your first time or you're just simply looking to take your workout to the next level. All of our exercises are modifiable for all fitness levels! Ask our clients!

If you want to relieve some stress, burn body fat, build lean muscle, and get better sleep; easily sign up to one of our classes here.

Always Dedicated to Your Success,

Carl Anthony Grande

Blueberry & Cucumber Smoothie Recipe

Hey Empyreans!

Justin Here!

I wanted to share with you this great Blueberry and Cucumber smoothie recipe.  This should taste great on a hot day, and will make you feel energized and healthy as well!


Blueberry Cucumber Smoothie Recipe

Serves 3


2 large cucumbers, peeled and diced

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 tbsp lemon juice


1 Scoop of Vanilla Whey or Flavorless Protein Powder 

Great for Pre or Post Workout with added protein!

All you ever need to prepare this smoothie is a good blender.

Throw all the ingredients in, blend until smooth, and your smoothie is ready to enjoy!

If you would like to discuss your OWN nutrition and feel like you are ready to make a positive change on your own lifestyle, contact me!

Here for All of Your Nutritional Needs!

Justin Marrone

To Caffeine or Not to Caffeine, That is the Question.

Hello Empyreans!

Carl here and I hope everyone has started the week off on a healthy foot!

With all of the hustle and bustle that comes with the fast paced lifestyle of the East Coast, tourists shouldn't be surprised why there is a Starbucks within every mile in New York City. Caffeine is what gets the people goin'!

Caffeine has also been shown to significantly improve performance during tough workouts. In recent studies, simply downing a cup of coffee before you lace up your kicks can help you get more out of your workouts by boosting your metabolism, fire you up into the right mindset, pump blood faster into working muscles, deliver messages faster to muscles from the brain, and delay time to onset fatigue according to a recent Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness study.

What is Caffeine?

Did you know that caffeine is actually classified as a psychoactive drug?! The FDA classifies caffeine as "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS). Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug but unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world.

Benefits of Caffeine

The first thing most Americans think of when they rise in the morning is having that first cup of coffee to start your day. I don't blame you! Indeed, the most commonly cited benefit of caffeine is its ability to make you more alert, improve your concentration, boost your energy, and improve your physical performance.

Caffeine is used to treat conditions, such as headaches and migraines, to temporarily relieve fatigue and drowsiness. In a review of the literature on the health effects of caffeine in the “IFIC Review,” the International Food Information Council Foundation reported that caffeine might help reduce risk of several chronic diseases, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease and colorectal cancer. In addition, as an antioxidant, caffeine also might improve your immune function.

Side Effects of Caffeine

Even though there are many benefits that come from caffeine, there are some side effects when consumed in excess.

Excessive caffeine consumption can make you jittery, restless, anxious and irritable. Too much caffeine can also cause insomnia and poor sleeping when consumed late in the day. In some cases, too much caffeine can induce headaches and abnormal heart rhythms. Since caffeine is also a diuretic, you may make more trips to the bathroom than usual, and because of this, it can leave you chronically dehydrated. 

Caffeine Addiction and Withdrawal

Another side effect of caffeine intake is your ability to get hooked on the substance, which in turn causes severe symptoms when you stop taking it. Caffeine, “in the context of adrenaline and dopamine production,” provides senses of “lift and pleasure,” according to a paper published by Harvard Law School.


As caffeine metabolizes, adrenaline and dopamine diminish, causing fatigue, depression, and a craving for another dose. The cycle of repeated caffeine intake is called caffeinism, and can lead to adrenal fatigue. When you try to stop, you might endure withdrawal. As your caffeine levels drop, your blood vessels dilate, causing headaches as excess blood flows into your brain. You also might experience severe drowsiness and mood disturbances as you come off of caffeine.

 Here's a breakdown of caffeine levels of average servings and amounts of caffeine in coffee and tea.


Brewed8 oz. (237 mL)95-200 mg

Brewed, decaffeinated8 oz. (237 mL)2-12 mg

Brewed, single-serve varieties8 oz. (237 mL)75-150 mg

Brewed, single-serve varieties, decaffeniated8 oz. (237 mL)2-4 mg

Espresso, restaurant-style1 oz. (30 mL)47-75 mg

Espresso, restaurant-style, decaffeinated1 oz. (30 mL)0-15 mg

Instant8 oz. (237 mL)27-173 mg

Instant, decaffeinated8 oz. (237 mL)2-12 mg

Specialty drink (latte or mocha)8 oz. (237 mL)63-175 mg


Brewed tea  

Black tea8 oz. (237 mL)14-70 mg

Black tea, decaffeinated8 oz. (237 mL)0-12 mg

Green tea8 oz. (237 mL)24-45 mg

Iced tea  

Instant, prepared with water8 oz. (237 mL)11-47 mg

Ready-to-drink, bottled8 oz. (237 mL)5-40 mg

How to Get the Most Out of Caffeine

Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That's almost having four cups of coffee everyday. Try to consume all caffeinated beverages before 5pm to reduce chances of delaying sleep unless you're working out at night and you need a little "pick me up" before stepping into the gym.

Try to switch caffeinated beverages every now and then. Green tea has shown to have a small amount of caffeine in it. If you're looking for that night time caffeine fix, go for a cup of less potent hot green tea instead.

If you're consuming caffeine before a workout, have it at least 30 minutes before. This will give ample time for the benefits of caffeine to rev up (and time to go to the bathroom) just in time for your first set.

Replace the same amount of your caffeinated beverage with water right after to prevent chronic dehydration. This is a helpful tip to replace the water the caffeine will dispose from your body.

If you're a coffee drinker, drink your coffee through a straw to prevent staining your teeth. Coffee is very acidic and it will start to kill the help enamel that keep your pearly whites, pearly white. The straw will also cool the coffee as it reaches your mouth resulting in NO MORE BURNT TONGUES!

Caffeine the Savior!

Caffeine is a stimulant. It will make you more alert, give you the perception of high amounts of energy, increase your blood flow and focus, delay fatigue, improve your mood, and the list goes on.

Too much of anything is bad for you but when you consume caffeine in safe amounts it can benefit your health, support fat loss, and elevate the performance of your workouts.

See the difference in the outcome of your workout with some caffeine pumping in your system. Big difference!

Always Dedicated to Your Success,

Carl Anthony Grande

The Cost of Getting Lean: Is it REALLY Worth it?

Hey Empyreans!

Justin here!

I hope you are all having a healthy week! 

I wanted to take a moment to share with you some incredible information about the different stages and phases of "getting lean", and all of the physical, psychological, and behavioral changes and sacrifices that each level requires. 

This piece was written by Ryan Andrews and Brian St. Pierre of Precision Nutrition. Alongside Precision Nutrition co-creator, John Berardi, PhD, these two contributors (Ryan Andrews and Brian St. Pierre) are a wealth of knowledge from the vast amounts of research they have conducted over the years. Ryan Andrews holds two Master's degrees and is a Registered Dietitian to top it off. Bottom line: They know what they are talking about.

Please click on the link below to read all about what it really takes to become lean, and hopefully you will walk away from this with a new perspective on your own goals and lifestyle habits.

The Cost of Getting Lean - CLICK HERE TO READ

If you want to speak with me about the Empyrea Nutrition Program, please email me! I learned from the best - Precision Nutrition. 

Here for All of Your Nutritional Needs!

Justin Marrone