Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Great Magazine!!

For those of you who are interested in food politics, the fight against obesity, food addictions and the threat of tainted food, you should really check out the September 07 issue of Scientific American.

I'll be posting about some of the articles later, but for now, I highly suggest you pick up a copy.


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Friday, August 24, 2007

Marketing to Kids

I read today that the UK consumer watchdog group "Which?" has 'condemned' the use of superheros in advertising to children, particularly by large food companies such as Kellogg's.

I also read that Nickelodeon will stop allowing its characters to be used in 'junk food' advertising. The group last week said that as of January 2009 its licensed characters on food packaging will be limited to 'better for you' products, in accordance with government dietary guidelines.

Advertising does play a role in our continuing obesity crisis, but I question if this is the right decision. From working in the food and supplement industry I know that the target 'consumer' for kids products is not the child, it is the child's mother. After all, typically a 5 year old doesn't go out and by frosted cereals, mom buys them for the 5 year old.

So, if we want to lower the amount of junk food in children's diets, perhaps we should spend less time looking at how often superman appears on packaging (which really only appeals to the child) and more time examining the supposed health claims that are increasingly appearing on labels and packaging (which appeals to the moms)


Eat Stop Eat

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

How to Lose Muscle Mass

As you can imagine, questions about Eat Stop Eat have been pouring in to my In-box, with the most common question being about fasting and losing muscle. Most people are still very concerned that they will lose muscle if they don't eat every 3 hours. My answer has always been, don't worry, if you are Resistance training then you won't lose muscle.

Then I received a very interesting question that went something like this - "If calorie restriction doesn't cause muscle loss, then what does?"

Great question. We all know that people who are bedridden and on a low calorie diet lose muscle. When I first starting writing Eat Stop Eat, and was running the idea past several dietitians for input, they all brought up stories of muscle loss in their patients who were bedridden and on a low calorie diet.

And since I am constantly saying that caloric restriction doesn't cause you to lose muscle if you are working out, then that leaves being 'bedridden' (or 'disuse' as they say in research) as the cause of muscle loss.

Ever break your arm and have to wear a cast, or know someone who did? Do you remember how skinny that arm was when the cast finally came off? Put a cast on your arm and your muscles shrink faster then an expensive new shirt in the dryer.

There was no change in nutrition, only a change in the amount the muscles were used, and the muscle wasted away.

In fact, 'casting' is so effective at causing muscle loss that it has been used in research to study something called 'disuse atrophy' or muscle loss from lack of use.

In a study conducted at the University of Nottingham, 22 male and female studies had casts put on their right leg for two weeks. Their diets didn't change, yet after only two weeks the cross sectional area of their quadriceps (the big muscles in your thigh) decreased by 10%.

NO change in diet..but the muscle still decreases in size by 10%.

Bottom line - as long as you are working out, and meeting some sort of caloric minimum (studies have gone as low as 80 grams of protein and 800 Kcals a day), you won't lose muscle. However, if you don't use the muscle, then it really doesn't matter what you are eating, the muscle is going to shrink.


PS- If, by some fluke accident you do break your arm, the research from Nottingham found that Creatine Monohydrate can speed the rehab process, helping you build back your muscle and strength quicker than normal.

Toronto Personal Trainer

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What's Next?

Now that I've finally launched Eat Stop Eat, it's back to writing.

I won't be pushing Eat Stop Eat on this blog, (The nutrition help blog will maintain its original purpose of helping people understand nutrition) however, I will be explaining some of the science that I come across as I begin my research for 'Eat Stop Eat Advanced'.

I already have some great information that I can't wait to share in the coming days!

PS- thanks to everyone who bought a copy of Eat Stop Eat, your support is greatly appreciated.


Fasting for Weight Loss

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Eat Stop Eat

Hi Everyone,

After spending well over a year researching and writing, my book "Eat Stop Eat" is finally finished.

Please feel free to check out the book at

I hope you all like it, and I will be on the blog constantly to answer questions that you may have.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pizza 3 Times Per Week?

Last Wednesday I spent the day listening to a series of nutrition seminars put on by a group of graduate students.

The day was full of great information and lots of really cool research that was presented by a group of very bright students.

Here is the most startling thing I learnt yesterday-

One particular student was doing her research on school time activity. Her plan was to go into schools during lunch, initiate an 'activity hour' and then measure the health effects this extra activity had on the kids.

Here's the kicker. When she was trying to recruit schools, one particular school couldn't participate because their lunch times were taken up by 'pizza days' three days per week!

Now, I can remember back to my days in grade school and pizza days were a big thing. Once every month or two, my class would have pizza brought in for lunch. Talk about a special treat.
But this particular school had pizza day 3 DAYS A WEEK!!!

The reason - probably because it brought in fund-raising money. Unfortunately, it also helps develop some horrible eating habits at a very young age.

Whether you are running 'pizza days' at a school or entertaining guests at your house, low-quality high-calorie food will always be the quick and easy choice. And, every now and again this is perfectly OK. However, when it starts to happen 3 or 4 times a week, you are looking for trouble.

Take a look at what you eat this week. If 'every once in awhile foods' have turned into 'every day foods' it's time to retool your nutrition plan.


Eat Stop Eat

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Monday, August 06, 2007

One Dedicated SOB

If you want to read a great story about one man's weight loss quest, check out:

"Billy" has dropped from almost 260 pounds down to a svelte 190, over the course of 8 months.

Inspiring to say the least,


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Friday, August 03, 2007

Food, Food groups and Nutrients

Before University, I ate food. I ate things with names like ' Ham sandwhich', 'scrambled eggs', and 'tuna casserole'.

After earning a degree in nutrition I ate food groups. Meats, breads, and fruits and vegetables.

When I worked in the supplement industry I ate nutrients. Quick digesting whey protein, complex carbs and heathy fats.

Now, after studying nutrition for ten plus years, I eat food again.

I can sum up what I've learnt in those ten years by saying: A grilled-cheese sandwhich is a grilled-cheese sandwhich. No better or worse for you then any other food., especially if you eat a variety foods.

It doesn't matter if you are a bodybuilder, someone trying to lose 50 pounds, or if you are just interested in the foods you eat, my message to you is the same;

Enjoy the foods you eat.


Eat Stop Eat

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It's a Yes or No Question

A little of topic, but nonetheless...

I believe Dick Pound is a brave man for his willingness to take on pro-athletes and their accused steroid habits.

My favorite quote from Mr. Pound was in regards to asking athletes "have you ever taken steroids" Mr. Pound said, "any answer other than 'No' is some form of 'yes'"

In my opinion this is so true.

Again, Off topic, but something to think about over the weekend.


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