Certified nutritionist and fitness expert, Brad Davidson is taking a lot of what weekend warriors think and throwing it off a cliff. But it’s all in the name of better health. In his recently released book The Stark Naked 21-Day Metabolic Reset, Davidson, a performance specialist for both professional and everyday athletes, is taking what he’s learned about over-training, overeating and generally overdoing it in exercise to spin a new story. And it appears to be working.
NFL quarterback Blake Bortles (of the Jacksonville Jaguars) was quoted on the book jacket as getting a career-extending eating plan from Davidson. “As a rookie coming into the NFL, I had no idea about nutrition. Not only did Brad set me up with an unbelievable (great-tasting) plan, he educated me on how to properly fuel my body.”
Tom Ferry, author and CEO of Your Coach, has used Davidson’s metabolic-reset lifestyle and nutrition plan with hundreds of hard-charging clients with “amazing” results, including healthy weight loss, better sleep and more energy.
“This all came from my younger pro athletes,” Davidson told GrindTV. “With active people, eventually the stress they experience starts to overwhelm their metabolism. It starts to shut down, and you have to fix what’s broken before you can get results.”
He advocates starting with something that’s tough for any committed athlete: taking 21 days off. Davidson plans his own annual break at Thanksgiving, taking only 30-minute walks each morning for three weeks. That’s it.
Davidson’s pro athletes, from surfers to national-level team-sport athletes, often take the reset directives as schedule time to travel, rest and relax with family, finding the time off a welcomed retreat. It’s the weekend warriors and people who live aggressively who have a harder time with this plan, explains Davidson.
“People who push are fatigued, they’re just tired. We’re taught that only option is to train harder. But that’s not the answer,” he says. “With rest, your metabolism can recover from obsessive exercise and will come back craving it. Now you can go to the gym and optimize your time, and actually get results.”
He says the other positive effects that come with a full-body reset include “real, natural energy, better sleep and extreme brain clarity.” Yes, please!
The title of his book means something, too. “Being naked is our most vulnerable state. The question is, are you strong enough to try something that you think is wrong? Are you strong enough to take three weeks off?”
However it’s not as easy as recharging and going back to ballistic mode. There are some everyday tricks of the trade that can keep metabolism in check all year long. Here are two that Davidson touts, well, obsessively:
Make mornings matter
“I’m a big fan of strategic mornings all year round,” he says. “I find when big performers manage their mornings well their days go well, too.” First thing is warm lemon water. Yeah, not that exciting, but this seriously kicks starts digestion (and the day) and you can still drink coffee when you return from your calming, low-stress morning walk.
Stick with proteins and fats for breakfast and plenty of veggies at lunch, and you will be able to train harder and focus better, according to Davidson.
Save carbs for dinner
Sounds counter-intuitive to everything you’ve ever heard, but Davidson thinks this trend is coming around, citing a study done on high-stress Israeli police officers who ate 85 percent of carbs from dinner on and showed major metabolism improvements.
“It’s not intuitive, but science has duped us,” he says. His approach — throw in some rice or sweet potato with your lean-meat or protein-based dinner — is all about managing the stress hormone cortisol. Carbs can bring this level down, calming you at the right time to promote better sleep, which Davidson claims is the key to everything else.
“Sleep is the golden key to metabolism.”
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