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Kelly Ryan's Corner - May 2004.

Kelly Ryan's personal area to answer your questions about getting into fitness.

Welcome to another edition of fantastic questions and informative answers on training, nutrition, competition preparation, and just plain simple inquiries about living a fit lifestyle. I think the best part about writing this column every month is the involvement of you the faithful readers and getting to meet a lot of you during my travels each month around the U.S.

I absolutely love when I have someone come up to me at a show and say, "Hi Kelly, I am one of the people who have written you and you published my question on the website." Russ, Ryan, Jeremy and the rest of the folks over at are awesome enough to give me this opportunity each month to communicate to you the fans what's happening in the exciting world of bodybuilding and fitness.

This month I am happy to announce that will be selling the entire product line of Olympic Tanning. The sunless bronzer (for everyday use) Competition Tan (for stage and photo shoots), Exfoliator - face and body scrub, and last but certainly not least the Posing Oil that has a bronzer in it as well, so you never fade under the stage lights.

We are in the prime of the competitive season so score some serious points on stage with Olympic Tanning and order it right here online and have it sent right to your very own home. Make getting ready for shows as stress free as possible. Also make sure to keep up with your supplements by ordering them here at as well.

The next Emperor Entertainment Production will be the Night of Champions' After Party at Club Deep in New York. Results for the show are here.

Questions & Answers

[ Q ] I was wondering if you could tell me about any good bronzing, sunless tanners. If there are any that are especially good (that do not look orange).

I do not need to be really dark; however I find that a lot of self tanning lotions do not have the depth that can be achieved with a good indoor tanning lotion w/ self activating bronzers.


    A: Cara, I can help you because I just signed with a company that beforehand I did a trial run of every product and they carry a great sunless bronzer that has only golden hues, no orange tints whatsoever.

    I used the sunless bronzer for my last guest posing and it worked out great. I didn't need to be as dark as I would be for a show, but like you said yourself, I didn't want to look orange. This product can be ordered here at and this is the procedure to follow for a great natural looking tan.

    View All Olympic Tanning Products...

    I showered and used the exfoliator and body scrub, patted myself dry and then with my gloves on, applied a generous coat. This bronzer comes in a bottle that pumps it out as foam, and dries rather quickly. It has a nice clean scent so you don't walk around smelling like you are wearing a tanning product. I try not to use tanning beds in the off-season to save my skin, and this has helped me out tremendously.

    Check out the product page has set up for Olympic Tanning products and see for yourself how the Olympic Gold (sunless bronzer) works for you. P.S. just so you know, I have tried every sunless bronzer from Clinique. to Banana Boat, and they all seem to leave streaks, and that funny orange glow the Hollywood celebrity critics make fun off in the magazines/tabloids.

[ Q ] I have a couple of questions regarding your diet on and off-season, I know I've read articles that say if you want to be a fitness pro you must be "on" all the time.

Do you allow yourself a couple of cheat meals throughout the week when you are off-season? Also how does your caloric intake compare with your on and off-season? Thanks so much for your time, and I'm so excited because I am off to the Nationals in November from taking second in my class at the Emerald Cup.

    A: First, let me congratulate you and wish you good luck in Dallas. I know you will have a great show! Second, you are correct; it is true that to be a fitness pro you must be "on" so to speak all the time. But, here is how you can accomplish this without wearing out your body or your metabolism.

    Over the years I used to eat clean all the time, but I found it hard to make the type of muscle gains I needed for my shows. I trained hard year round and really took advantage of the time off between shows to make improvements on my physique. When I first got together with my husband I learned a very valuable lesson, and that is in order to keep your metabolism working properly or even to speed it up, cheat meals during the week are a necessity.

    Eating clean all the time can actually slow, yes slow your metabolism down. When your body is accustomed to having a certain amount of calories and fats each day, having a cheat meal on two days a week will completely shock your system and actually cause your metabolism to speed up.

    The fats, and sugars and extra calories from these meals force your digestive system to have to work harder to breakdown these types of foods. It will take a couple of times doing this process to see that you will wake up the very next day leaner and harder, and usually much more vascular.

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    I use my cheat meals on Wednesdays and Sundays because of two reasons; Having a cheat meal on a Wednesday will break up the monotonous of the week and will motivate you to go back on to your diet plan.

    Cheating on a Sunday is great because it gives you the freedom to go out and have some fun dining out with friends or going to the movies and enjoying a box of chocolates and some popcorn. It brings the sense of normalcy back into your regimented and very structured life.

    Mentally and physically cheat meals are great for you to have in your program and so I would recommend doing this so your fitness career goes on for as long as you may wish. My calories only differ when comparing my pre-contest to off-season diet when I am six weeks out I cut my cheat meals back to only once a week. Other than that, my calories are usually pretty close and around the 1800-2000 mark because I would rather increase my intensity of my training or cardio, than starve myself down for a show.

    Getting your body into this type of rhythm will make competing several times a year much easier to do as well. The more weight you gain in between shows, the more you have to suffer and do more severe diets to get back into shape. This is why you hear of girls saying they have thyroid problems from competing. My metabolism has sped up, not slowed down from competing, and so should yours.

[ Q ] Do you know of anything that will help get rid of or at least reduce cellulite on the lower inner thigh area? I am 46 years old and I have large quads. It seems like no matter how much muscle I have in my legs, I still cannot get rid of the cellulite. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    A: In reading your question my first thought was to train your legs differently so that you force more workload on the muscles rather than just building them. Try super setting and giant setting your leg workouts with little to no rest in between your sets.

    This will not only change your training to become more cardio, but like I said, will make your legs work harder during each training session to stimulate the areas stubborn enough to hold onto body fat.

    Second, I would re-evaluate your diet or nutrition program. You may not want to hear this but, you're going to have to diet your body down low enough to tap into the stubborn body fat area on your legs. Most of the time, people in general, do not diet hard enough to get rid of the cellulite.

    If you are not a competitor, then surely this is the case. No worries, you can achieve what you are asking of me, and one supplement that has been known to help with such a thing is Yohimbe. Yohimbe helps break down the brown adipose fat cells that most typically are found in a woman's lower body.

    This supplement, with a good nutrition program, enough cardiovascular activity, and intense training should help you out a lot. I write nutrition and training programs for a fee and can be contacted either through my brand new website www.KellyRyanFitness.Com or my e-mail Good luck and stay positive!

[ Q ] Kelly, I am writing to tell you how much you have helped me. I have lost 8 lbs but don't have a clue about body fat. I guess I'll worry about that later as I get closer to a more reasonable weight! My stats are: 39 year old female, weight 156 lbs, height 5'0".

I also wanted to ask you if you have ever heard or experienced a metallic taste in your mouth.

I have had this tin like taste in my mouth the last few days like I have been sucking on copper pennies and it's driving me crazy! I'm not sure what the cause is. I have no intestinal or dental issues and I have been eating clean. I eat 1200 calories daily with 120 grams each of protein and carbohydrates with no more than 26 grams of fat.

Someone mentioned that I might be in Ketosis, but I thought that only happened when you exhausted your carbohydrates. What are your thoughts on the subject?


    A: Wow, this is the first time anyone has ever asked me this question and what is so weird is that I experience the same thing, but only when I am preparing for a competition. I notice this metallic taste in my mouth when I incorporate the use of thermogenics and lower the amount of complex carbohydrates in my program.

    This taste will last the entire duration of the contest prep and really take its toll on the taste buds of my tongue as well. It usually takes a few weeks to get rid of this taste and for my tongue or taste buds to get back to normal.

    The state of Ketosis only occurs when your body begins to use its' own body fat for energy by not taking in the adequate amount of complex carbohydrates for energy.

    Complex carbs are usually transformed or converted into ATP or energy for the body. A diet on high amounts of protein and fats, and little to no complex carbs will help you achieve ketosis. BUT, Ketosis is only healthy when it is achieved for a short amount of time.

    Once the ph levels of the body become too high, meaning too acidic, you begin to burn or use muscle for energy instead of body fat. Once this has occurred you are really defeating the sole purpose of going into Ketosis in the first place.

    I can only tell you what I have experienced and what I actually know. I do not know the physiological reasons for the metallic taste in the mouth to occur; only what I believe causes it to happen. Since you are taking in 120 grams of carbs, are you counting both fibrous and complex as one category?

    Also are you taking any type of thermogenic or fat burner product? I would need to know these things specifically to see if the similarities between our programs could maybe pin point the actual cause. I am definitely going to investigate this further and will keep you updated on any information I come across.

    In the meantime, keep up the good work with your program, e-mail me back the necessary info I have asked for and we'll see if we can get to the bottom of this. Craig and I only we were the only ones who experienced this taste in our mouths while dieting.

[ Q ] Dear Kelly, I am a really big fan of yours and you would not believe how much you have influenced me to get into better shape. I have been working out for a while now and would love to be able to see my abs more.

My boyfriend said that I should clean up my diet. My question to you is do you have any advice on diets or sample meal plans?

Thank you so much,

    A: Thank you so much Amanda Lynn for writing me to say that and here is what I would suggest for a sample meal plan.


    • 8 a.m. - Breakfast - ? cup oatmeal with 4 egg whites and 1 yolk.

    • 11 a.m. - Mid- morning - A 2 scoop protein shake (Pinnacle's Juiced protein - Chocolate-yum!) and ? cup cream of rice cereal.

    • 2 p.m. - Lunch - 1 med potato with 4 ounces of chicken breast grilled (you may have barbeque sauce but no butter).

    • 5 p.m. - Mid Afternoon - 2 scoop protein shake- 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter.

    • 8 p.m. - Dinner - 4 ounces of tuna steak grilled with a mixed green salad made with balsamic vinaigrette dressing using Virgin olive oil for your fats.

    • Snack - If necessary 1 cup of diet or sugar- free hot cocoa with 4 Arrowroot baby cookies.

    This would be what I would do for one day. I choose my foods accordingly, meaning pick one protein source per meal and one complex carbohydrate source for the first three meals of the day. Then, after your 2 p.m. meal, switch the complex carbs to fibrous carbs and add in your fats sources.

    Make sure you drink at least a gallon of water a day and take your vitamins every day. Use supplementation for meals if missed. For example: use a meal replacement for a morning time meal because it has carbs in it as well as a protein source. Use just protein shakes rather than a cooked source of protein if time is a problem for you in the latter part of your days.

    Remember that nutrition is 80% of the program - 80%! If you wish to see your abs from all the training and hard cardio sessions, then eat wisely and see the results you so desire. Thanks Amanda Lynn and get on that clean diet right away.