Monday, September 25, 2006

How to Beat Chocolate Cravings

I've been doing a lot of reading about Chocolate lately.

The history of chocolate is really quite amazing. The making of chocolate traces back to the Mayans and the Aztecs, who worshiped chocolate for its health and anti-fatigue benefits as far back as 2,600 years ago.

In fact, I think Cocoa roughly translates into "food of the gods".

Nowadays, chocolate is often thought of as a nutritional "evil". No matter how hard we try, most of us just can't resist chocolate. Many of the women I work with have tried to quit cold turkey, and then end up 'breaking down' and eating more chocolate then a kid on Halloween night.

Even when I was training for a bodybuilding contest and consuming 3-4 chocolate flavored protein shakes (I don't do this anymore), I still broke down several times and had some chocolate!

It seems that no matter how hard we try, a good chocolate craving can derail even the best diet plan.

Unless of course you have learned the secret to beating your chocolate cravings...

The one way that I have discovered can help people beat their chocolate addiction is by becoming a chocolate snob.

You can have chocolate while dieting, in fact, you can have a little bit of chocolate everyday, it just has to be the good stuff.

By good stuff I mean real dark chocolate, or anything over 70% cocoa mass.

Did you now that when scientists refer to the health benefits of chocolate, they aren't talking about your grocery store check-out line variety of chocolates, they are talking about the good stuff.

Chocolate is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, rivaling red wine and green tea in these areas. Not only that, but chocolate also contains healthy fat. I bet you didn't know that much of the fat in chocolate is oleic acid, the same healthy fat that is in olive oil!

Problem is, these health benefits are highest in the good dark stuff. When it comes to those check-out line chocolates, the more diluted the chocolate, the less antioxidants and polyphenols it contains.

Here's the trick with real dark chocolate, its bitter. It takes a while to get used to how bitter it is. But, because its so bitter, it only takes a little bit to really conquer your chocolate craving, so you end up eating less.

Also, as an added bonus, once you've developed a taste for the good stuff, you learn to love the bitterness, and your typical check-out line variety simply tastes like chocolate flavored wax. They're just not appealing anymore.

So if you want to beat your chocolate cravings, start by eating a little bit of the good stuff. It will help you eat less chocolate, get all the health benefits, and keep you from going back to the check-out line varieties.


Fasting Diet, Circuit Training

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Monday, September 04, 2006

The "Secret" to Fat Loss

Can I eat carbs with fats if I am dieting?

Which fats are better, monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats?

Is it true that I shouldn't eat after 7 pm?

How much protein do I have to eat to lose weight?

I get one of these questions at least once a day over at When it comes to dieting, people are just plain confused. And no wonder, if you search "dieting" on you will find that there is over 14,000 books available on dieting. Each with their own set of rules and gimmicks.

In last Friday's health section of the Toronto Star, Megan Ogilvie wrote a very interesting article about the amount of diets that are out there.

According to the article, Megan has been on 55 diets in the last 56 weeks. She has had varying degrees of success with each diet. According to Megan, the key problem with diets is that "Unless you are an expert in nutrition you could easily fall for a diet fallacy".

So true .

Megan then goes on to say that, "diets that promote health weight loss- and prescribe it in a healthy way are the minority in this mega-business".

Again, very true.

The fundamental "problem" with diets is that they all work in theory. Anytime you lower your calorie intake below your daily need, you will lose weight. And, we know from previous research that if you are lifting weights while on ANY of these diets you will not lose any muscle mass.

Therefore, the very best diet for you is the one that fits your lifestyle and that you can stay on for an extended period.The more limited the diet is, and the more crazy rules you have to follow, the more likely you are to fail.With this in mind, here are my five golden rules of dieting.

1. Lower you calories to a level where you will see 1-2 pounds of weight loss every one to two weeks. Typically, this is about 500 to 750 Calories below what you would normally consume.

2. Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you possibly can. Fruits and veggies are the cornerstone for any successful diet or nutrition plan.

3. Eat foods you like. Let's face it. If you don't like oatmeal, then trying to follow a diet that calls for oatmeal for breakfast is going to be painful. Pick foods you like, just make sure the portions are correct.

4. Lift weights to preserve muscle mass. We know from research that the number one way to ensure you are burning as much fat as possible is by resistance training. Our Turbulence Training program has been designed to ensure you burn as much fat as possible by helping you preserve muscle mass. You can check out Turbulence Training HERE.

5. Record what you eat. I know you are probably sick of hearing me say this, but I believe recording what you eat is the key to successful weight loss.A good diet is not a sprint, it's a marathon. Most likely, you are going to be dieting for anywhere between 6 and 12 weeks, sometimes much longer. It is vitally important to your success that your diet is realistic, and built around foods you like.

Ignore diet fads. They will only cause you to become frustrated.


PS- You can read Megan's article HERE

Fasting Diet, Circuit Training

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