Here an Interesting take on the research behind Intermittent fasting and longevity from Scientific American's Podcast "60-Second Science".
You can listen to the podcast here:
PS- I just put the finishing touches on my presentations for my 1 day seminar coming up on January 17th. All I can say is that I've even surprised myself with how many nutrition myths I manage to tackle in this presentation!
It's going to be an amazing day, and there are still a couple seats left so make sure you sign up soon ==>
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Here an Interesting take on the research behind Intermittent fasting and longevity from Scientific American's Podcast "60-Second Science".
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Why team up with Craig? Well I beleive exercise is a vital component to weight loss, and I think Craig is the best in the Biz at simple and effective weight loss programs.
Craig is going to cover weight training strategies so you can get the most out of your workouts in the least amount of time, and I'm going to help you discover how to burn bodyfat and get in shape without falling for misleading weight loss scams or nutrition marketing hype.
This is the part that is really exciting for me - Other than national television, this will be the first time I will be sharing this type of information LIVE in a non-academic setting!
I'm gong to hit the hard topics -
- why metabolism has become nothing more than a marketing term,
- why green tea will simply NOT help you lose weight,
- and the surprising truth about low insulin levels and burning body fat.
Date: Saturday, January 17th
Where: Mississauga, a suburb just west of Toronto.
Topics: Please check the website for more details!
BONUSES: Don't miss the $250 worth of free gifts we are giving away to ALL seminar attendees.
It's going to be a blast, and there's going to be even MORE surprise goodies given away at the event.
Reserve your spot here:
We can't wait to meet you and help you burn fat in 2009,
PS - You have our Canadian Strength Guarantee.
If at the seminar's lunch break, you feel the seminar wasn't worth your time and energy, you can just let us know, return your free bonus gifts, and we'll return your registration. We'll even give you an extra $50 for your time and travel costs.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I don't believe in Starvation Mode (If you've read my book you know why).
However, I do believe in diminishing returns when it comes to weight loss exercises like running or walking.
The amount of calories running or walking causes you to burn (above and beyond your normal resting metabolic rate) is dictated by how much you weigh and how far you move.
If you lose weight then these exercises burn less calories. And, it doesn't matter if this weight is fat OR muscle.
The bottom line - The more weight you lose the less effective these exercises become at burning calories.
You can watch my video for more details:
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I always find it confusing when I read things like:
"Protein slows insulin levels, which you want to keep in balance to avoid weight gain."
I find it confusing for two reasons.
1) I'm really not sure how you can 'slow' a level
2) I'm really not sure how they define 'balance'.
Honestly I really dislike vague terms..especially when applied to science.
What I do know is that from the research conducted on sports supplements we know for sure that a protein/carb meal can have just as big an effect on insulin as a carb only meal. And, that as long as you are eating your insulin levels are going to go up and down...
Watch the Video for more details:
I've decided that I am going to have to moderate the comments on my blog.
There is just too much spam, and its ruining it for everyone.
I will continue to allow different opinions, arguments, snide comments...really anything goes, as long as it is not robot-generated spam.
It sucks that I have to do this, but its the best option to keep this blog an informal but beneficial area to share and gather knowledge.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Here are three more 'Best Evers' that I want to share. When it comes to the food and hospitality industry, I am very particular about what I like and don't like, and these three places exceeded my expectations every time I visited them:
Best Hotel Ever:
I was involved in a lot of exercise physiology & nutrition research that was being conducted at the University of Nottingham. Before I left the supplement industry we were deep into looking into cellular protein signaling and muscular growth…super interesting stuff.
Whenever I was in Nottingham I made a point to always stay at Hart’s Hotel.
No real gym, barely a lounge…and the rooms were of a mediocre size at best.
BUT, the garden rooms opened up to their garden terrace, essentially making your room “3 walled” – the perfect way to just relax and just chill after a long day of working and being “on”.
If you have ever traveled for work, then you know how tiring it can be to always be “on”.
You are “on” during meetings, “on” during the dinner after the meetings and you are even “on” during drinks, after the dinner, after the meetings.
If you can’t find a way to relax on business travel you will burn out quickly.
I’ve stayed in much fancier hotels, but Hart’s is my Best Ever hotel, simply based on atmosphere.
If you ever visit Nottingham I suggest Hart’s.
Best Restaurant Ever:
The three Chimneys, Isle of Skye, Scotland.
If I wasn’t in Nottingham for research I was in Glasgow, and I grew so fond of Scotland during my business trips there, my wife and I chose Scotland as our honeymooned destination.
During our honeymoon B&B and Distillery tour across Scotland, one of my favorite dinners was at the Three Chimneys.
If you ever get a chance to visit Scotland (go during the summer months) I highly recommend the Three Chimneys Restaurant.
(In North America, my favorite still has to be Dragon Fly Sushi and Saki Company. A Sushi Fusion restaurant in Gainesville, Florida.)
Best Tea Ever:
Hands down, runaway favorite has to be “Tea at the White House” in Waterdown Ontario…huge selection of tea, great people, great atmosphere…just a class act. Worth the visit, but you’d be best to make a reservation.
My advice would be to order the high Tea and split it between two people…with a pot of sticky toffee tea…( mmmmmmm..sticky toffee tea)
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Here's a great interview with Jennifer from Austria, a long time friend of Eat Stop Eat.
Jennifer is living proof that you can look amazing in your 40's with the right attitude, the right workout routine and a little help from Eat Stop Eat.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The first is a technique, the second is advice.
The technique I want to share with you is the hook grip.
If you are a big-time dead lifter then you most likely use an overhand/underhand grip when the weights start to get heavy.
I was the exact same way.
Any time I attempted a dead lift above 400 pounds, I moved to an over-under grip. I did my best to make sure I evened this out each set (left hand over, right hand under, followed by right hand over, left hand under).
After years of dead lifting using this grip I had developed chronic lower back pain, and a NOTICEABLY more developed right erector muscle and right trapezius muscle.
(Noticeable to the point that every time I took my shirt off, someone would feel the need to point it out that the right side of my back was bigger than the left side of my back...).
Long story short - My back is now fine (and symmetrical), but it took some rehab work and about 5 years off from dead lifting.
So my best ever for you is this - If you love dead lifting, then try the hook Grip.
It is an awkward but effective way to handle big weights without having to resort to the dreaded over-under grip.
Basically, you grip the bar with a standard overhand grip, but with a hook grip your thumb goes UNDER your first two fingers....imagine making a fist with your thumb tucked in.
Essentially, your first two fingers "hook" your thumb into place so the bar doesn't role out of your grip.
It's a really tricky technique, but if you love dead lifting and are pulling big weights then the hook grip may be useful to you.
I found great benefits from this grip, (including finally being able to dead lift again), so hopefully you may also find some benefit.
OK...on to my best ever workout advice...
My best ever workout advice is to understand WHY you are working out. You need to define your purpose.
My workouts improved IMMENSELY when I finally figured out why I workout.
I lift weights to try to build muscle.
I do NOT go to the gym to burn fat.
This realization has saved me from hours of wasted time in the gym. My workouts build muscle and the WAY I EAT burns fat. (or, more correctly the way I DON'T eat burns body fat)
By keeping this focus, I am able to constantly remind myself WHY I am in the gym, and WHY I eat the way I do.
I've admitted to myself the awful truth that you can't correct a bad diet with an hour of 'cardio' a couple times a week.
(Treadmills are a great way to stay in your comfort zone, but a BAD way to lose body fat)
I'm not sure why I ever thought an extra 20 minutes of walking on a treadmill after my workout would be anything other than a complete waste of 20 minutes, but by admitting this and keeping my focus in the gym, it saved me a lot of time and frustration.
Plus, it kept me honest with my diet...once you admit that cardio can't fix a bad diet, you will get hit with a HUGE incentive to watch how you eat and make sure you are doing the things you need to do to lose weight and keep it off.
No more using exercise as a weight loss crutch.
(This is EXACTLY why Eat Stop Eat is a combination of flexible intermittent fasting AND resistance training)
So my best advice workout is to not get side tracked, and do your best not to fall for the "comfort zone" mentality and believing that all is standing between you and your ideal body is an hour
on the elliptical a couple times a week.
Remember your purpose - workout for muscle, eat for weight loss.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
As we approach Jan 1 2009 (Far, far too quickly in my mind), I think its best we took a second to consider our weight loss resolutions.
I'm all for goals. I think they're great, and an INTEGRAL part of success, but it is important that we KEEP IT REAL.
Take the picture below. Same pic, just pre- and post- photoshop work. (I think the original photo is from www.celebritysmackblog.com).
This kind of work is standard in almost all magazines, and movies (ESPECIALLY the new trend of etching in guys abs in action movies...).
So when you are setting your goals, hopes and dreams for 2009 remember, if you want to look like Jessica Alba in 2009, then focus your attention to the gorgeous woman on the left, not the barbi-doll on the right.
PS- if this photo turns out to be a fake, the message still stands. Stay realistic in 2009.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
December is a month for giving and sharing, and this entire month I am going to share with you my personal list of "BESTS"...
I only know of 3 people who I consider to be truly successful in business.
None of them became successful by taking shortcuts. None of them were the "right place, right time" stroke of luck success story either.
In fact, they all became successful the EXACT same way.
They used the EXACT same method that worked for me in my life, and its the EXACT same method that will work for you no matter what you goal is.
All 3 people had to move outside of their comfort zone in order to become successful.
I had the same thing happen to me...twice.
The first time was when I was in my third year at university. Back then my goal was to bench 300 pounds. Both my workout partner and I were mid-200 benchers and 300 seemed like 'the ultimate bench press goal'.
By the end of my 3rd year I was benching 280 pounds. It wasn't 3oo, but I thought it was pretty darn good. After all, in my group of friends, I was one of the top benchers.
That summer I decided to stay at University and take some extra courses.
I can remember the first day I went to the gym during the summer semester - It was a COMPLETELY difference crowd.
My usual crew was not there, instead the gym was almost empty, except for 4 or 5 guys who were A LOT bigger and A LOT stronger than me.
Adam, Steve, John and Big Jer were all 50 or 60 pounds heavier than me, and they were ALL high 300 pound benchers.
At this point I had 2 options:
Stay in my comfort zone, workout by myself and try to hit 300 pounds on the bench.
Move out of my comfort zone, Start training with the big boys, and accept the fact that 300 pounds was no longer an acceptable goal.
I picked the later. It was uncomfortable. Actually, that's not true. It was darn right SCARY.
But I'm glad I did it.
By moving outside of my comfort zone 300 pounds was no longer a mental block, and by the end of August I was bench pressing 355 pounds for sets of 2.
55 pounds more than what I previously thought was the 'perfect' Bench Press.
This was the first time I reaped the rewards of moving out of my comfort zone.
The second time was when I walked away from my career in the supplement industry.
I had a great job, a great title, a massive office, financial stability, good co-workers, a great staff, even the commute wasn't too bad.
But I knew it wasn't what I was meant to do.
I moved out of my comfort zone the day I resigned. And while this isn't a rags to riches story, I am now doing something I love. And this wouldn't have been possible if I didn't move outside of my comfort zone.
Most likely it is YOUR comfort zone that is keeping you from reaching your goals. ESPECIALLY if you goal is weight loss.
Doing an extra 20 minutes on the elliptical two or three times a week isn't going to help you become noticeable leaner - What it IS going to help you stay in your comfort zone.
Switching from a white bagel to a whole wheat bagel for breakfast isn't gong to help you lose weight- all it will do is keep you in your comfort zone.
The number one reason why most people have not tried Eat Stop Eat is because it is too far outside of their comfort zone. They miss out on hitting their weight loss goals simply because they are afraid to try something different.
Make a commitment to move outside of your comfort zone. Do the things you need to do to become successful.
Here is THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I have ever been given:
If you want to be successful you have to do the things that unsuccessful people aren't willing to do.Your comfort zone is what is keeping you from attaining the success you want. Move out of your comfort zone and you will FORCE change and you will see results.
Unsuccessful people do the same ineffective things over and over because they are the things they are comfortable doing. To be successful you have to break this habit.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results"
This quote is used so often in the weight loss industry it has almost become cliche (plus I find it very confusing), so here is one that I find much more valuable.
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
This quote is from Albert Einstein, and I think it can be used to describe our current obesity crisis very nicely.
To put it bluntly, if we try to use the nutrition and diet recommendations that caused our obesity problems as a way to FIX our obesity problems, we're doomed for failure.
If you are happy with your current routine and you are happy with the way it makes you look and feel then you do not need to change your program. IT IS WORKING.
However, if you find your current weight loss routine, boring, monotonous, hard, restricting, or ineffective then stop spinning your wheels and find a new routine, because the one you are following right now is NOT WORKING.
If you want a change of pace, and a routine and way of life that is unlike any other weight loss routine then maybe it's time you gave Eat Stop Eat a try.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
My question for you is, even though weight training is a primo form of resistance training, do you exclusively recommend the use of weight training with Eat Stop Eat?
This was my answer -
With Eat Stop Eat ANY FORM of resistance training will do. I realize that when most people hear 'resistance training' they automatically think 'weight training' however, resistance can mean so much more than simply weights.
Really, it should be called something more vague, like muscle-stress training, since what we are really trying to accomplish is adding an acute stress to the muscle. Isometrics, weight training, contact sports (think a football line or a wrestling match), and body weight exercises (gymnastics) ALL accomplish this.
Even with weight training there is still a lot of variety with what you can do and use to stress your muscles. You can use traditional tools like dumbbells and barbells or more obscure implements like lengths of chain and even rubber bands - I just read about an entire
workout program designed around the convenience of rubber bandexercises (Resistance Band Workout).
The most important aspect of any resistance training program is to make sure that you are constantly improving by putting the muscle under a little more stress each time you train it. The method or tools that you decide to use to create this stress are not nearly as important as the stress itself and making sure it increases in some way from exercise session to exercise session.
And, yes -You can weight train while you are fasting
PS- Here is a video of one of my favorite Chest exercises - The Corkscrew Incline Press
Monday, December 01, 2008
When I saw this, I couldn't help but get out my video camera and shoot a quick video for you.
I thought of just telling you about it, but it sounds too unbelievable to be true.
I thought about just taking pictures,but I'm sure someone would claim it was photoshopped.
So I went with a video.
If you've ever wondered why some people find it so hard to stick with a diet, or why people who go to a gym or weight loss center still have problems losing weight, look no further then the awesome weight loss irony of marketing and product placement.
See the video below...
If you see any examples of weight loss irony in your neighborhood, shoot a video or take a photo of it...who knows, maybe we can start a brand new blog on the topic.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Quick Post today, with a little bit of tough love.
These two mistakes are ones that I see ALL the time.
If you are making either of them it is time to STOP. With these mistakes you could be missing out on almost ALL of the results from your workouts.
If you are trying to gain muscle then the #1 mistake you can make is not measuring your progress. Without solid metrics, you are just spinning your wheels and wasting your time in the gym.
It does not matter how great your pump is or how annihilated your muscles feel. If you don't track your progress then you don't know if you are making any progress at all.
Pick measurements that are important to you and that are trackable.
Then keep track.
It is simple, but if you aren't doing this you are wasting your time.
Strength and body part circumferences are easy and effective ways to track your progress in the gym.
If you are trying to lose body fat then the #1 mistake you can make is compensating with over nutrition. If you are drinking a 700 Calorie protein shake, or eating a giant pasta dinner after your workouts then you could be completely undoing all the work you just did in the gym.
It does not matter that you are soaked in sweat or how much your legs are burning. If you are an overcompensator, you have just WASTED YOUR TIME in the gym.
Post-workout nutrition has been glorified for the simple reason that it helps sell post-workout supplements.
And while post workout nutrition is very important for competitive endurance athletes, it can completely undo hours of hard work for anyone who is trying to lose body fat.
Avoid these two killer mistakes, and you will see results from your hard work.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
My little brother is back in Ontario visiting for the week. To celebrate, my parents hosted an 'open house' where neighbors, friends and family got together and we all had a chance to catch up.
We also ate.
Actually, given the way I was eating, I'm not sure if anyone else even had the chance to eat.
I was a glutton. I'm not sure why, but I think I subconsciously decided to either start training to be a professional eater, or was just trying to see if I could make my stomach explode.
It was THAT bad.
Personally, between you and me, I blame my sister-in-law-to-be's Xmas cookies. They are amazing, and they are what caused me to "break the seal".
To use lingo from my alma mater (the University of Guelph) - I crushed it.
Xmas cookies, walker's chocolates, muffins, some AMAZING meat balls (thanks Mom!), more muffins, more Xmas cookies, pastry, even more cookies....and a stick of celery ;)
It wasn't until my stomach actually started to hurt and BEGGED ME TO STOP that I realized I had gone WAAAAY overboard.
But this is what happens when you hit the holiday season. You over eat and when you do, there is a chance you overeat BIG TIME.
But here's some interesting info for you: At the height of my stomach busting gluttony, about 1 hour after my eating frenzy, I tested by blood sugar.
5.5 mmol/L (about 100 mg/dL)
Not even postprandial (the amount you would expect from an average person after an average meal).
Thank you 2 years of fasting and weight training.
I ate sugary cookies and pastries until I could barely keep my eyes open and still had a normal blood sugar reading.
Here is another great thing I want to share with you. On the drive home, I obviously knew I had overate, but I also knew it wasn't a big deal.
I knew I wasn't going to wake up 5 pounds heavier on Monday (I checked this morning..just to make sure)
And since I knew I could fast twice this week I still had everything under control.
So here's my point - We all mess up. And chances are if it's gonna happen, it's going to happen during the holidays. Yes I could have been a little better, but (AND HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART) there is no need to stress out.
Devoting your entire life to losing fat and not taking time off to enjoy the cookies every once in while is a recipe for a very boring life.
Don't let your quest for weight loss get in the way of what truly counts.
Food, family and friends.
PS - Freedom comes from knowing that you CAN eat less. That your metabolism won't slow down and you won't lose muscle just because you decided not to eat for 24 hours.
Eat Stop Eat – Experience freedom now.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Today I want to share one of my favorite exercises for you.
While I think that the standing barbell shoulder press is the king of upper body exercises, this is a pretty good assistance exercise for building strong shoulders and arms.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Boosting your metabolism is big business.
From supplements and foods to exercise and even meditation, everybody is pushing the idea that they can help you boost your metabolism.
You will see claims like Boosts Metabolism by 78% or 115%, and while this sounds promising, have you ever stopped to think about what this would actually look like?
An elevated metabolic rate is a physiological phenomenon. It does happen, but it also has clear and definite symptoms.
Take exercise as an example.
Whether you are running or performing an intense weight training workout, your metabolic rate is elevated during the time you are exercising. Because of this, you display all the CLASSIC SYMPTOMS of an elevated metabolic rate:
You are tired and sweating. Your heart rate is elevated as is your breathing rate. You are experiencing an increased level of thirst.
These are the classic symptoms of an elevated metabolic rate.
The drug Clenbuterol is often used by bodybuilders and fitness models because of its ability to increase metabolic rate.
The symptoms of Clebuterol use include:
Fatigue, increased sweating, elevated heart rate and breathing rate, increased thirst and even palpitations and arrhythmias.
Hyperthyroidism is a medical condition that is associated with an elevated metabolic rate. Some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
Fatigue, weakness, irritability, sweating, increased sweating and an increased heart rate.
All of these things share an elevated metabolic rate, and its associated symptoms.
Since most of us have not taken Clenbuterol or suffer from hyperthyroidism, the best example of an increased metabolic rate is exercise.
The next time you are in the gym, set the treadmill at a speed of 5 miles per hour and walk on it for 10-20 minutes.
Once you are done, stop and take note of how you feel.
To increase your metabolic rate by a LARGE amount all day long, this is how you would have to feel ALL DAY LONG.
Obviously a teaspoon of cinnamon or a cup of green tea is simply not going to have this effect.
The bottom line is that a truly elevated metabolism leaves you sweaty, fatigued and thirsty for the entire day. And as evidenced by medical conditions with elevated metabolisms can lead to some serious health problems.
Very small but prolonged increases in metabolism are beneficial, such as the effect of increasing your muscle mass, but this is nowhere near the 50%-100% increase in metabolism you read about in fitness magazines.
To lose weight, concentrate on eating less, not necessarily burning more. Use your diet to lose body fat and your workouts to maintain or even increase the size of your muscles. Things like green tea and cinnamon may have health benefits, but they are probably not going to help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I often get asked "How much weight will I lose with Eat Stop Eat?"
For the record, I answer this question in the FAQ's at the end of Eat Stop Eat, however it is an important question that I am also going to answer on this blog...
With the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle, you should be able to lose weight at a rate of 1-2 pounds per week.
I know there are lots of reports of people losing 3, 4 even 7 pounds a week with Eat Stop Eat, but these are people are anomalies...
Even when people lose 3-4 pounds per week for the first couple of weeks, this is mostly inflammation and excess water weight disappearing (and obviously some fat mass as well).
And while some people do see very impressive results over the first month or two, it is important to remember that Eat Stop Eat is not a starvation diet nor is it a crash diet.
Think long term sustainability, look for trends in your weight (remember it fluctuates by as much as 2-3 pounds day to day) and strive for long term weight loss success!
Eat Stop Eat was designed to be a lifestyle of sustainable weight loss,
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I just read a very interesting article on nutraingredients.com titled "Unilever drops Hoodia"
After spending years studying the weight loss potential of Hoodia, the massive corporate conglomerate Unilever has decided to drop its interest in the herb after concluding that the super popular South African plant extract did not meet both safety and efficacy requirements.
While I can't say the comments about efficacy surprised me, the mention of safety is a tad worrying.
Just another reason to stick to calorie restricted diet and weight training. Save your money, get results.
PS- For more information you can visit - Hoodia Article
Monday, November 17, 2008
One of the best things about Eat Stop Eat is that it allows you to really take control of how you eat.
After all, once you have gone without food for 24 hours a couple of times, you really start to get a feel for the real reasons behind why you eat, what you eat and when you eat.
Often times, hunger isn't one of these reasons. Habit and emotional connection are usually the culprit.
If you take this new found wisdom, you can create a big difference in the way you eat by making SMALL changes.
Take coffee for instance.
One of the first things I noticed when I started fasting was how much I loved my coffee with cream and sugar (I put up with black coffee during my fasts, but I DEFINITELY don't like it)
Fasting also made me realize just how often I craved coffee...typically drinking 2-3 cups per day.
I realized very quickly that this was the perfect opportunity to make SMALL CHANGES for BIG RESULTS.
My typical coffee was (at the time) was an extra large with two cream, two sugar - which contains about 280 calories.
I slowly weaned myself down to a large coffee with 1 sugar and 1 cream, which contained about 110 calories.
After about a week of drinking large coffees with 1 sugar and 1 cream I realized I wasn't enjoying my coffee nearly as much as I used to, so I switched to 2 cream, 1 sugar..about 180 calories.
This did the trick.
So, thanks to one small change I reduced my coffee calorie intake by 100 Calories, 2 to 3 times per day, saving myself between 1,400 to 2,100 Calories per week without cutting out any of my favorite foods.
In my opinion this is much better than simply trying to stop drinking coffee all together. After all, I enjoy my coffee, so this would have been punishment, and weight loss and eating healthy should NEVER be about self-punishment. Plus, I know that I would have lasted about 3 days without coffee before going back to my old habits, so it would have been futile punishment at that.
Small changes, big results.
PS- the other day I tried a coffee with 2 cream, 2 sugar (for old time's sake)..I can honestly tell you I like my coffee with 2 cream 1 sugar better!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Even in well controlled clinical research, counting calories is extremely difficult.
This is why good research uses tools like diet records and food frequency questionnaires as ways to identify changes in eating patterns, and not to measure calorie intake.
The truth is, it is very difficult to accurately measure how many calories you eat in any day. Anybody who tells you they eat EXACTLY 3,125 calories in a day is really telling you they eat somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 to 4,000 calories per day (average margin of error in research trials is 30%, and the more calories a person eats, the bigger the error becomes!).
I'm not against calorie counting tools and software, but I do think you should use them to identify trends, and not to measure the exact number of calories you eat.
To learn more, watch the video below:
Calories are definitely important, but obsessive over exact numbers is a recipe for diet failure.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Both of these statements are great claims to put on a food or supplement. After all, everybody wants more energy in their day. More energy to hit the gym, take the kids to swimming, make it through class, or just make it through the day.
But is this the type of energy we are talking about?
If we take a look a the things that 'boosts energy' – eggs, milk, protein bars, so called energy drinks and lately...tuna.
The 'energy' these things provide is Calories.
Calories ARE energy.
So when a food or supplement tells you that it provides energy, what it is actually saying is that it provides Calories. And, 'boosts energy' simply means 'boosts the amount of Calories you eat'
Its a clever marketing claim that is based in semantics. They say the truth, and we interpret it in a completely different (and much more appealing) way.
The funny thing is, the type of energy that we are looking for – alertness and vigor can be created by these "Fab Five" – A good nights sleep, the right attitude, exercise, fasting and a stress free lifestyle.
Add these five things into your life and you will have days full of unlimited energy...without relying on foods or supplements that 'boost energy'
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Mistaking correlation for causation.
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes we make in nutrition and weight loss research.
If you added up every single grammar error and spelling mistake I have made on this blog over the past year, it still wouldn't even come close to the amount of times people have mistaken correlation for causation in weight loss research.
There are a lot of fancy definitions for correlation, but I like to think of it this way - If two 'things' are correlated, this means they are related.
This is very different than Causation.
Causation is when you change one thing, and you cause another thing to change.
They are similar, but quite different.
For example, I live in the small (but rapidly growing) town of Waterdown. If I were to conduct a research study on the women in Waterdown between the ages of 16 and 22, looking at the relationship between their body composition and the clothing that they own, I would most likely find a significant correlation that would read something like this:
There is a significant correlation in women who own Lululemon workout pants and Nike running shoes and having a low body fat and lower body weight. That is, the women who owned more pairs of workout pants and Nike running shoes, would tend to be leaner and lighter then women who owned less.
This is a correlation.
Obviously the Lululemon pants and Nike shoes did not CAUSE these women to be lighter and leaner (even though it would be great for sales), rather the women that own these clothes tend to go to the gym more often and live a 'fitness lifestyle' that includes watching what they eat, thinking about their health and working out regularly.
So the correlation is in the lifestyle.
This finding happens a lot in research and is often mistaken for causation.
Take for instance all the research that shows that people who eat more frequently tend to be leaner and weigh less than people who eat less frequently.
This would be a great example of a lifestyle correlation.
Over the last ten or so years the trend in the health and fitness industry has been to promote the idea of eating more frequently. And, as a result, people who are heavily into fitness and health tend to eat more frequently then people who are not into the health and fitness lifestyle.
This creates a lifestyle correlation. This does not mean that eating more frequently CAUSES a person to be lean...it just means that people who are lean live a lifestyle that (currently) includes multiple meals per day, because this is what is popular.
But what happens when we remove the lifestyle variable?
Well that is exactly what Karine Duval and her team examined in the research publication "Physical activity is a confounding factor of the relation between eating frequency and body composition"
When you removed physical activity from the equation, the correlation between meal frequency and body composition disappeared.
Or, as they put it:
"It is interesting that the associations between eating frequency and adiposity disappeared after correction for physical activity energy expenditure and VO2peak"
A perfect example of well conducted research proving that we often mistake a correlation for causation.
Scientific research is very difficult. And trying to control all of the components of a persons life so that you can make definitive statements about cause and effect still eludes even the most skilled researcher.
Monday, November 10, 2008
It's probably not much of a surprise that I like muscle. If you look through my previous posts I think it is pretty obvious that I am very much a workout junkie.
I like to do me best to be efficient about working out, and not to simply go the gym for the sake of being in the gym, but I do enjoy it.
And, if I thought fasting was going to cause me to lose muscle - even just a little bit - I wouldn't do it. Not for all the fat loss in the world.
To me, weight training is like an insurance policy. With weight training I beleive with 100% certainty that I am losing body fat, but not losing muscle.
I've tried many different workout styles and routines throughout my training days. Some I liked, some I didn't.
The key to working out is fairly simple - have a good plan of attack and execute that plan to the best of your abilities. It does not matter if you are following a full body training routine, a body part split program or some variation of the two...as long as you have a plan that allows you to progress, and you follow that plan, you will get results.
To get the very best results out of your workout your exercises need to be challenging. And, while I am not an exercise physiologist by any means, I do have my favorite exercises, the ones that I enjoy doing, and the ones that challenge me the most.
So from time to time, I'm going to share some of my all time favorite exercises on this blog. Starting with the simple Chin-up made challenging with a big rubber band.
It's an exercise that takes a minimum amount of equipment, and that can easily be done in a commercial gym or in a home gym.
How to workout with Eat Stop Eat
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Here are two quick "Did you knows?" concerning fasting, exercise and blood sugar.
Did you know that it takes 30 to 60 minutes of running at 75% of your V02 max (for conditioned runners) to get your blood insulin levels down to the same level found in people who have been fasting for 23 hours? (Dohm LG 1986)
Did you know that when scientists studied people who exercised after fasting for 23 hours, their blood sugar levels were actually found to be slightly higher then when the same people exercised after a small meal? (Coyle EF 1985; Dohm LG 1986)
What this means to you- running at 75% of your VO2 max for as long as 70 minutes in well trained runners who had been fasting for 23 hours did not cause hypolgycemia (low blood sugar) So if you like exercising while you are fasted, this research suggests you don't have to worry about hypoglycemia (as long as your exercise intensity isn't way above these levels).
And it takes between 30 and 60 minutes of running at a VO2 of 75% to get the same insulin lowering effect as simply sitting around the house after fasting for 18-24 hours.
Two things to think about the next time you are fasting.
I've seen the writing on the wall for months, and the evidence is now strong enough that I am willing to say that the next wave - the future if you will - of multi-vitamin supplements will consist of products who derive their entire micro-nutrient list from fruit and vegetable sources.
The whole foods and organic people should be very proud. The demand they have created in the food industry has finally started to leak into the supplement side of things.
And if anyone knows how to identify a cash-cow when they see it, its the supplement industry.
Rip on them if you like, but the cold hard facts are, these people know how to make money, and there track record is very impressive.
So in time for the new year, keep your eyes out for multi-vitamins to claim "whole food sources" and to have ingredient lists that include extracts of:
Carrots, broccoli, spinach, cherries, blueberries, mangoes, tomatoes, onions, cranberries and almonds.
.....is it just me, or doesn't that sound like a really awesome salad? But hey, who wants to EAT their nutrients when you could simply pop them in a pill?
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I just finished reading Craig Ballantyne's new book "Just say no to Cardio".
It's a great read.
One of the reasons I like this book is that it reminds me of Eat Stop Eat. It's quick and to the point - no fluff.
It's not 300 pages long and it doesn't contain filler (like the dreaded recipe section of any weight loss book!)
Craig's account of the ineffectiveness of cardio reminds me of OCE(1) (Obsessive compulsive eating). In fact, I'd go so far as to call cardio training OCE(2) (Obsessive compulsive exercise).
**unless you are actually an endurance athlete, but then its endurance training, not cardio**
When it comes to cardio training for fat loss, it is a ritualistic practice and very obsessive compulsive...Just like traditional dieting.
Since traditional cardio does not tend to give you great fat loss results, people end up doing cardio for longer and longer periods of time.
Then when very long sessions of cardio still don't work they start with the over analysis of WHEN they should do cardio, HOW they should do cardio, WHAT types of cardio....its a never ending downwards spiral, and Craig does a great job of pointing this out.
I even liked Craig's chapter on nutrition. Any one who's recommendations for weight loss involves the phrase "If you are not losing fat, eat less" is OK with me.
You can check out "Just Say No To Cardio" by clicking on the following link to visit Amazon.com: Just Say NO
I feel very confident in saying that the vast majority of professional health care providers know that starvation mode is a myth.
I also feel confident in saying that any professional health care provider who would tell a patient that the reason they aren't losing weight is because they are not eating enough has no business giving anyone health advice.
To be blunt, the scientific community has debunked the idea of starvation mode.
But starvation mode was just a theory. And it was a theory that was created in an attempt to explain a phenomenon that is VERY REAL.
There is scientific evidence to support the statement that it is possible for people who are following extreme diets to stop losing weight. This is not a myth; it is a very real phenomenon.
And while you may think this is strange, what's even stranger is that when this phenomenon happens, the people it affects are STILL LOSING BODY FAT.
That's right, they are not losing weight, but they are losing body fat. Only you can't tell. In fact, it may even look like they are putting on fat.
No doubt you probably think I've gone 'off the deep end' and fallen deep into the murky waters of obsessive compulsive eating - but don't worry, this isn't some OCE scare tactic (I'm not going to try to scare you into eating in some methodical or obsessive manner). It's a real metabolic situation with a very logical explanation and very simple solutions.
It took some massive digging for me to find the answers to this phenomenon ( I ended up having to track down research from World War 2). When I finally found this research it completely changed the way I looked at weight loss, extreme diets and (believe it or not) bodybuilders.
I've put everything together in my newest audio file "Why Diets Stop Working" which is now available exclusively with the Eat Stop Eat Advanced Audio files.
If you'd like to know about this under-reported silent culprit that could be sabotaging your weight loss results, then it's time to listen to the Eat Stop Eat Advanced Audio files.
My goal with Eat Stop Eat is to help you lose weight easily and effectively, and also to help you see through the myths and pseudo-science that are so prevalent the field of nutrition.
I think this new project does a great job expanding on this goal.
PS - the Eat Stop Eat Advanced Audio files are available at www.EatStopEat.com
Friday, October 31, 2008
PS- Happy Halloween!
PPS- Here's another quick tip. Enjoy your candy tonight, but then get rid of it. It's better to overeat for one day then to overeat for 7!!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
It's funny how sometimes slight exaggerations can create stories that justify extreme measures.
Take for instance the idea that:
Your weight is something that is closely regulated by your body and that in cases of obesity this regulation maintains weight at a high than normal level.On the surface this tends to make sense. And, the truth is, while fundamentally flawed, if someone were to say this to me at a party, I would probably just let it slide.
And if I did 'let it slide' then the next statement could very easily be:
The process of weight loss activates mechanisms in our bodies that are designed to return a person to their pre-weight loss weight.And after this giant leap of faith we could quickly end up moving to the conclusion that:
And because of this, life-long drug therapy is justified for those with significant weight problems.I hope you see the trend here.
If left unchecked there are people who will tell you that weight loss is impossible and that it involves EXTREMELY complex mechanisms that you or I couldn't POSSIBLY comprehend.
They will do their best to make you feel hopeless, then, they will offer you a multi-billion dollar solution in the form of "life-long" therapy with weight loss drugs.
Now, here is the real kicker...
Right now pharmaceutical companies are working very hard to create drugs that can mimic..you guessed it..the metabolism that occurs when a person is fasting.
That's right - they are looking for a pill that can reduce insulin, increase growth hormone, grehlin and FGF-21, and increase the sensitivity of the enzymes responsible for releasing fat from your body fat stores.
We are led to believe that we couldn't possibly lose weight without their help.
But the truth is, we really don't need any help at all.
As I have said before...Since the day we were born, our bodies have known EXACTLY how to burn body fat.
It's true. Unless you have some ultra-rare metabolic disease, your body is already AMAZING at burning body fat...you just have to give it the opportunity.
If you give your body the opportunity, it will do exactly what it is built to do.
So do yourself a favor, find the easiest possible way to eat a little less than you need to (I recommend Eat Stop Eat), then step back and watch your body do its job.
You have better things to do with your time than to listen to people who try to sell you Life Long drug therapy as a way to 'cure' weight loss.
Fat loss can be incredibly simple, if you let it be.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Curious, I opened it, worried that I had somehow contradicted myself in a recent email or a blog post.
Luckily, it wasn't me, but rather a fitness celebrity who had written a newsletter that the writer thought contradicted the Eat Stop Eat philosophy.
Apparently, this particular newsletter was using data from a new research trial to suggest some things that go against the Eat Stop Eat philosophy.
Specifically, it was stating that dieting for weight loss was "bad" and that exercising for weight loss is "good". (I love definitive statements like these - talk about over-dramatization!)
And since I love nothing more than sharing my thoughts on research with you, I figured it would be fun to take a look at this study.
The paper was titled "Weight regain is related to decreases in physical activity during weight loss".
In this study a group of women who were obese and in their late fifties were asked to lose weight by reducing their calories by 400 per day for 20 weeks. Then, 6 months and 1 year after the trial the women were reassessed to see how much of the weight they had gained back.
Here is the first claim that the fitness celeb made:
CLAIM 1: When you diet your level of non-exercise physical activity (NEAT) drops spontaneously, even if you don't realize it's happening.
- The first group cut their calories by 400 Calories per day.
- The Second group cut their calories by only 350 Calories per day, and increased the amount they exercised to make up the 50 calories by doing low intensity exercise
- The Third group only cut their calories by 350 Calories per day, and increased the amount they exercised to make up the 50 calories by doing High intensity exercise
What the study found was that a CALORIE DEFICIT (whether by diet or exercise) was associated with a slight decrease in non exercise physical activity.
In this study this was defined as the energy you expend above your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) but does not include the energy you expend during your exercise periods. So this could be anything from bouncing your leg, to walking the dog or emptying the dishwasher. Basically, it was ANYTHING that caused you to expend energy other than your assigned workouts periods.
To give you an idea it was calculated as:
Total Energy Expenditure - RMR - the calories expended during exercise (as calculated by the read out on the treadmill.
The average reduction was about 160 calories worth of activity per day, about the amount of calories expended in a 20 minute brisk walk for these woman).
More importantly, the study found that there was NO DIFFERENCE between the group who was dieting and the groups that were exercising in ANY MEASURE.
So when it comes to weight loss, it is the CALORIE DEFICIT that matters, not the way the deficit was created. However it is true that a being in a calorie deficit for 20 weeks seemed to cause these woman to reduce their non-exercise activity levels (But again, there was no evidence to suggest that this was caused by dieting)
CLAIM 2: The drop in physical activity during the diet was DIRECTLY RELATED to the weight regain 1 year after the diet.
FACT: In this study people lost an average of 27 pounds during the 20-week weight loss period. 1 year later the average weight regain was 11.5 pounds. Not bad, but not great either.
It is very important to remember that the purpose of this trial was to investigate whether or not things that occurred DURING a weight loss protocol could be ASSOCIATED with results 1 year later.
So they weren't looking for the absolute, definitive, you-bet-your-house-on-it cause for weight regain, they were just searching to see if they could find any associations.
In other words, they did not measure things like diet or exercise during that one-year time between the weight loss and the last weigh in one year later.
So while there was a slight relationship between the reduction in non exercise physical activity during the study period and weight regain one year later, this does not indicate a direct relationship.
Now, it gets a little tricky here because we start looking for correlations in data that isn't non-normally distributed. What was found was that while a significant finding, the strength of the correlation may not actually be that meaningful (for my fellow stats geeks we are only talking about a p of -0.4 for the pooled groups.)
So this tells us that what found was simply an association, suggesting that the people who tended to move around the least while they were dieting also were the ones who tended to put the most weight back on a year later.
CLAIM 3: There is a difference between losing weight from dieting, versus losing fat with dieting and exercise.
FACT: Not according to this study. The three groups saw almost IDENTICAL weight loss results. And, they saw almost identical weight REGAIN results.
CLAIM 4: if you want to maximize your fat loss and keep fat off permanently it is best to follow a reduced calorie diet and make a conscious effort to make sure your activity level does not drop as you lose weight.
FACT: I could not agree more. Exercise and staying active is still an important part of ANY weight loss program. However when it comes to weight loss, I think the benefits of resistance training FAR OUTWEIGH the benefits of cardio or endurance style training (as I'm sure the author of the newsletter in question would agree).
So, there really wasn't that much of a contradiction. Our interpretations of the research are drastically different but our conclusions are the same.
The bottom line is (and always will be) that the best way to lose weight is to find a the easiest and simplest way to reduce the amount of calories you consume, and to follow a weight training routine.
While most people think of Eat Stop Eat as only flexible intermittent fasting, the truth is that the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle is the COMBINATION of flexible intermittent fasting and weight training. And, the weight training is very important!
You don't have to be a gym addict to get great weight loss results, but resistance training does have to be a part of your lifestyle for best results.
Now, lets take a closer look at this trial, as there were some 'gems' hidden in all of its data:
GEM #1- the people in this study were women in their late 50's and who were obese (almost 200 pounds) at the start of the study. By the end of the study they lost 27 pounds in 20 weeks, proving that no matter your age...weight loss IS possible!
GEM #2- Even one year later, with no diet counseling, they were able to keep more than half of their weight loss. Like I said earlier - not great, but not bad either.
GEM #3, There was no difference in weight loss between the woman who only dieted and those who dieted and exercised. Another example of classic "cardio" style exercise not being any better than simply dieting.
GEM #4, all groups lost Lean Body Mass, pointing to the importance of resistance training in a proper weight loss program (which they didn't do in this study).
GEM #5, RESTING METABOLIC RATE RELATIVE TO LEAN MASS REMAINED UNCHANGED! Again, so much for starvation mode!
So in my opinion this was a great study showing that creating a CALORIE DEFECIT will help you lose weight, and that it really does not matter whether or not you get that deficit from a combination of diet and exercise, or from diet alone.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
You really can't go wrong by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
They are full of nutrients, and provide very little calories relative to their bulk.
But are they essential to a healthy diet?
Right now, the North American obsession with the idea that there is only one true 'perfect' way to eat is pretty consistent in stating that a healthy diet MUST consist of a combination of lean meats with ample fruits and green leafy vegetables.
Even my own guidelines run pretty close to this statement:
Eat less while enjoying the food you eat. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and herbs and spices...
But the question remains, for OPTIMAL human health and performance...is there really one diet, and are fruits and green leafy vegetables truly essential?
To answer this question we can look at examples of extreme human performance on what we would classically consider to be 'poor nutrition"
Luckily I happen to know a fantastic researcher who does exactly this type of research.
The team at ICEARS (International Centre for East African Running Science) led by Dr. Yannis Pitsiladis (oddly enough, located in Scotland) has found that the diets of world champion long distance runners from Kenya consist largely of starchy vegetables (potatoes), porridge, ugali (a gruel made from corn) and considerable amounts of tea.
The analysis of these runners also showed that more than 75% of their calories came from carbohydrate sources, and they ate roughly 3,000 calories per day.
My guess is that if you were to take this exact diet to a Dietitian in North America he or she would tell you that this is a diet that would more than likely lead to obesity, diabetes and a host of other nutrition related diseases.
Dr. Pitsiladis also shared with me that many of these runners are in a slight caloric deficit for the months leading up to a major event.
So while fruits and green leafy vegetables are an important part of any one's diet, and play an important role in helping us eat great tasting foods that are low in calories, it should be pointed out that the human body is capable of performing at very high levels despite considerable variation in the way we choose to fuel it.
This research combined with a host of other studies just like it, leads even more evidence to that idea that there probably is no one single way to eat that is 'best' for human health, and that the human body is remarkably consistent in its ability to adapt to a whole host of different nutritional intakes.
Please don't take this as me being anti-fruits and vegetables (fruits and vegetables are your friend) but I do want you to consider that nutrition may not be as 'cut and dry' as many experts would lead you to believe.
PS - to learn more about the exciting research being conducted by ICEARS, visit http://www.icears.org/
Monday, October 27, 2008
My appearance on the Morning Show with Mike and Juliet has helped rid me of my camera shyness...and as result I am going to start answering the most popular Eat Stop Eat questions with Videos.
You can check out my first two videos here:
Can you drink Juice while following Eat Stop Eat: Juice Fasting
What can you drink while following Eat Stop Eat: Water Fasting
How to schedule your fasts: How to Stop Eating
What I think of the BMI: BMI (body mass index)
More QnA's to come.
Friday, October 24, 2008
There is a very large difference between Eat Stop Eat and some other forms of strict fasting - Namely with Eat Stop Eat you are allowed (and encouraged) to drink fluids during the fasting periods.
This makes Eat Stop Eat a form of water fasting, but you are allowed to drink more than just water. I list of a bunch of different options in the video below.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Here is a fantastic post that really exemplifies what I believe to be the best philosophy for working out while following Eat Stop Eat.
Actually, it is a great philosophy for working out regardless of whether or not you are following Eat Stop Eat.
Of course, the actual article has NOTHING to do with working out, so you will need to replace the word "WORK" with "WORKING OUT" to apply it to exercise.
Even though it wasn't written as a guide for working out, this quick substitution works beautifully.
You can check out the article here:
The Zen of Working Out
PS - Remember replace "work" with "working out"
PPS - Take point 3 with a grain of salt. Remember, this isn't actually an article on working out or nutrition, nor was it written by an expert in these areas.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Occasionally I get the question "how much should I eat on the days I'm not fasting"
Since I don't believe in complex mathematical equations that involve counting calories (within reason), I have a simple approach to this problem.
Take 2 weeks off of from fasting.
On day three weigh yourself. On day four weigh yourself again. Take the average of these two number as your starting point. Then on days 13 and 14 weigh yourself again and average these two numbers.
If your weight has gone up more than three or four pounds between your starting average and you final average then you are eating slightly more than you need too.
If your weight has stayed within three or four pounds during these two weeks you are eating the right amount.
If your weight has gone down by three or four pounds then you have some room to add some more food into your life.
(Remember to weigh yourself in the morning before eating.)
This technique works very well for men, but woman will have to keep in mind that their monthly changes in hormones may affect their body water levels. So for men I would use the 3 pound limit, for woman I would allow myself up to 4 pounds.
This technique works very well for people who have lost considerable weight with fasting and need to figure out how much food would be eating responsibly for their new weight.
PS - Please keep in mind, the reason I use 3 or 4 pounds is to account for the daily fluctuations in weight. Due to the weight of water and food, most of us will see our weight change by one or two pounds over the course of the day, so the 3 or 4 pounds includes this fluctuation.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I think I have finally figured out why I love lifting weights.
Obviously, there's the health benefits and the way it makes me look, but I actually like the act of lifting weights, and this has nothing to do with any of the long term benefits.
I was in the gym yesterday and decided to do a "back in the day" workout. I pulled out one of my favorites from my university days, 20 rep squats and 20 rep standing barbell shoulder press.
In was in between my second and third set of squats when it hit me:
When I'm really pushing it in the gym, my mind is quiet.
No inner dialogue, no thinking about things I need to get done, no thinking about things I have read or things I want to write. Nope, when I'm really into a workout, my mind is a whole lot of empty.
I'm doing without doing, as they say.
For a person who thinks waaay to much, this could be the best part of working out - The amazing feeling you get when you realize you are accomplishing things without really thinking about it, or thinking at all.
This was more of a ramble then a blog post, but hopefully the next time you are working out, you experience the same thing.
PS- Here's a great post that Suzanne left on my blog:
I thought I post my results so far too.I am ~ 5 weeks in to fasting 24 hours 2 times a week. So far I have lost 12 pounds, 1.5 inches off my waist and 1 inch off my hips. I really look forward to my fasts and enjoy my results so far!
I love the positive Eat Stop Eat feedback!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Dietitian Kerri Gans made a very good point about Eat Stop Eat while we were chatting backstage after filming our segment on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet.
Apparently, nowhere on the Eat Stop Eat website do I mention how you are supposed to eat during the times you aren't fasting.
So to make sure this information is available to everyone, here is my super complex list of things you must and must no do in order to lose weight and to ensure you are eating 'healthy':
1. Eat less while enjoying the foods you Eat. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and herbs and spices. And, maybe most importantly - stop stressing about the foods you eat.
That it. If you can follow this one guideline then in my opinion you are eating perfectly.
Sure, we could talk about the importance of eating real food over food-like-substances, but if you are eating lots of fruits and vegetables then you are probably already doing this.
We could also talk about avoiding flavoring your food with salt and sugar, but if you are eating lots of herbs and spices you are already doing this too.
And lastly we could talk about the very important (and VERY underrated) role of having a good healthy relationship with the foods you eat. I know this sounds very 'new age' but I assure you that a lot of today's overeating and obsessive compulsive eating comes from unhealthy relationships with food, where people feel stressed and guilty every single time they eat.
If you are enjoying the foods you eat, and not stressing about your food choices, than you are doing an amazing job avoiding this problem too.
So with the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle, (where rational simplicity is always the goal), this one simple guideline is all you need to guide your eating habits.
PS- If you are curious if Eat Stop Eat is right for you, you can CLICK HERE to find out more.
Friday, October 17, 2008
As a response to this post, a reader (Darren) asked a really good question:
I am curious about a comment you made...
"The truth is, our love affair with our metabolisms is a main cause of obsessive compulsive eating."
I Would love you to elaborate on that, as on the face of it, I am skeptical that it is the MAIN cause of obsessive compulsive eating.
This was my response:
My point was that it was 'A' main cause, not 'THE' main cause.
However I beleive this point to still be very valid...if we are afraid to eat less because we are worried about our metabolism slowing down, we are doomed to continue to overeat.
If we eat extra foods because we think they will speed up our metabolism, we are doomed to continue to overeat (There are NO negative calorie foods).
And if we rely on eating styles that don't cut our calories, but simply rely on metabolism boosting foods, then we are doomed to continue to overeat.
So it may not be THE main cause, but I beleive it is A main cause.
While the word 'Metabolism' is amazing for selling magazines and supplements, the fact that it is over-hyped as being an easily manipulated part of our lives does (in my opinion) contribute to the obesity epidemic.
If we continue to look for answers in the wrong places, we are never going to help anyone.
Eat less and enjoy the foods you eat.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Here is a very simple test that you can use to see if you are eating food, or if you are eating food-like substances.
Take the food in question and put it into a bowl. Next, leave the bowl on your kitchen counter for two weeks.
If after two weeks your bowl is full a disgusting mushy mess of mold then what was in the bowl was definitely food. It was something that can support life..in this case the life comes in the form of mold.
If after two weeks the stuff you put in your bowl looks EXACTLY THE SAME, then it is not food, it is a well preserved food like substance.
Even the overly villainafied white break gets moldy...oddly enough I tried this with a bowl of a popular breakfast cereal and it lasted more than a month!
The one exception to this rule would probably be nuts..but I'd be willing to bet if you removed their protective layer, they'd go bad just like everything else.
It's not a perfect rule, but it can definitely help.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I’m back home after a whirlwind trip down to New York City to film a spot on the Morning Show with Mike and Juliet.
From my experience this was a win. Not a giant win, but a small significant one.
After all, the point of my appearance on that show wasn’t to win the approval of a dietitian and a medical doctor (It's not like this was a scientific debate), and I fully expected them to be skeptical….(after all, they got to hear a 30 second hyped up montage, me talk for about 1 minute and then were asked to give an opinion.)
Instead, my plan was to expose a large audience of people to a style of eating that can help them lose weight, and to help them understand that this method is incredibly simple and effective.
No supplements, no phases, no stress, no guilt, no unhealthy obsession with 'eating clean', just a simple way to eat less while enjoying the foods you eat.
Given the time I had, I think I did a fairly good job.
OK, so now lets get to the good stuff, here is the behind the scenes info:
First, let’s start with the evil dietitian and the mean medical Doctor – They were actually both super nice, open minded women. I kid you not! Off the air they were both very likable people.
And, Dr. London is no stranger to the weight room, that lady had some muscle!
As for their on-air personalities and their concerns about Eat Stop Eat, well we’ve all heard them before. “Your metabolism will slow down and you will lose muscle.”...nothing new here.
I knew this was what they were going to say, after all, I thought the EXACT SAME THING before I went back to school.
And as I said before, my goal wasn’t to convince these two people that I was right and they were wrong…because you simply can't change a person's way of thinking in only 30 seconds.
But just for the sake of argument and to show that I'm not just cherry picking one random unnamed, unreferenced study... here is a snapshot of just a few of the papers that I review in Eat Stop Eat that show that your metabolism does NOT slow down and that you do NOT lose muscle:
- Carlson MG, Snead WL, Campbell PJ. Fuel and energy metabolism in fasting humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Jul;60(1):29-36.
- Halberg N, Henriksen M, Söderhamn N, Stallknecht B, Ploug T, Schjerling P, Dela F. Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. J Appl Physiol 2005; 99: 2128-2136
- Jensen MD, Ekberg K, Landau BR. Lipid metabolism during fasting. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Oct;281(4):E789-93.
- Johnstone AM, Faber P, Gibney ER, Elia M, Horgan G, Golden BE, Stubbs RJ. Effect of an acute fast on energy compensation and feeding behavior in lean men and women. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002 Dec;26(12):1623-8.
- Klein S, Sakurai Y, Romijn JA, Carroll RM. Progressive alterations in lipid and glucose metabolism during short-term fasting in young adult men. Am J Physiol. 1993 Nov;265(5 Pt 1):E801-6.
- Mittendorfer B, Horowitz JF, Klein S. Gender differences in lipid and glucose kinetics during short-term fasting. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Dec;281(6):E1333-9.
- Samra JS, Clark ML, Humphreys SM, Macdonald IA, Frayn KN. Regulation of lipid metabolism in adipose tissue during early starvation. Am J Physiol 1996;271:E541-E546
- Webber J, Macdonald IA. The cardiovascular, metabolic and hormonal changes accompanying acute starvation in men and women. Br J Nutr. 1994 Mar;71(3):437-47.
- Zauner C, Schneeweiss B, Kranz A, Madl C, Ratheiser K, Kramer L, Roth E, Schneider B, Lenz K. Resting energy expenditure in short-term starvation is increased as a result of an increase in serum norepinephrine. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jun;71(6):1511-5.
- Gjedsted J, Gormsen LC, Nielsen S, Schmitz O, Djurhuus CB, Keiding S, Ørskov H, Tønnesen E, Møller N. Effects of a 3-day fast on regional lipid and glucose metabolism in human skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2007 Nov;191(3):205-16.
I had to go back to school full time, spending almost two years reviewing papers full-time just to get to the level of understanding I currently have - and I am nowhere near the world’s leading expert on this topic.
Both these woman run extremely busy personal practices…it simply wouldn’t be fair to think they had time to review all of these papers before we went on the air. (TV moves fast, I only found out about this appearance on the Weekend, so I imagine both Kerri and Dr. London only even heard about Eat Stop Eat on Sunday, maybe 24 hours before the show went live.)
So in the end, despite the fact that I was met with the same old argument, it was a good experience and I met some great people.
I hope I exposed a lot of people to a style of eating that will help them lose weight without asking them to become obsessive compulsive about what they eat or by asking them to spend hundreds of dollars a month on useless supplements or specialty foods.
The Morning show is run by a group of very nice, very professional people, and if even one person who saw the show has success with the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle then it was worth my time.
PS- if you missed the show you can see the clips by using the following links:
Monday, October 13, 2008
It is very easy to get caught up in all the health and nutrition information that is available today.
It seems like every web page, every magazine cover, every T.V. newscast, and every email newsletter wants to help you lose fat.
So here's something I want to you to remember, that will help simplify your life, and your fat burning goals:
Since the day you were born, your body has known EXACTLY how to burn body fat.
It's true. Unless you have some ultra-rare metabolic disease, your body is already AMAZING at burning body fat...you just have to give it the opportunity.
It does not matter how many books on fat loss you read, how many articles you review or how may experts you question, this will not change how well your body burns fat.
If you give your body the opportunity, it will do exactly what it is built to do.
So do yourself a favor, find the easiest possible way to eat a little less than you need to (I recommend Eat Stop Eat), then step back and watch your body do its job.
You have better things to do with your time than to stress over trying to learn about things you are already an expert at doing.
Fat loss can be incredibly simple, if you let it be.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Right from the day it was designed (In the early 1800's), the Body Mass Index has been limited.
It was supposed to be a way to calculate and ideal weight for your height..if you moved above or below the 'optimal' range you were considered to be 'less healthy'
However, its shortcomings are very apparent. It's a tough equation (Your weight in KG divided by your height in meters squared), it doesn't account for people with higher than average lean mass, and its ability to predict health is often disputed.
So if the BMI is confusing and doesn't really tell us what we want to know, what else can we use?
Here is a simple, simple equation - your waist circumference should be no more that half your height.
Simple, easy and effective.
So for me, at a generous 5 foot 11 or (71 inches) my waist should be no more than 71 divided by 2, or 35.5 inches.
The great thing about this equation is that it is inline with a lot of the aesthetics research that shows that a man's body is aesthetically pleasing when the waist circumference is just a little below 45% of height, and a woman's body becomes more aesthetically pleasing the closer her waist circumference gets to 40% of her height.
The best part about this equation is that there is no mention of an ideal weight, and there doesn't need to be.
Simply, you cannot be a 6 foot tall man with a 33 inch waist and have a dangerously high body fat level. The same goes for being a 5 foot 5 inch woman with a 28 inch waist.
So remember- as a rule of thumb, try to keep your waist circumference to less than half of your height.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I’ve got some bad news from you.
Despite what all the OCE Diets tell you, at a given weight and muscle mass, your metabolism isn’t going to go up, (or down) a whole bunch.
If you are 170 pounds with 150 pounds of lean mass…your resting metabolism is not going to fluctuate more than the equivalent of 100 or 200 calories worth of calorie burning over a 24 hour period.
I’ll admit that it fluctuates throughout the day, depending on your workouts and eating habits and sleeping habits...but when added up over 24 hours the total effect of these fluctuations is VERY SMALL, and it is MINISCULE compared to the fluctuations in the amount of food you eat.
It is very easy to overeat by 2,000 calories during a given day.
It is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to raise your resting metabolic rate by even 1,000 calories above normal…Not with a high protein diet, not with ephedrine, not by adding ten pounds of muscle, not even by experimenting with drugs like Clenbuterol.
This begs the question -if the fluctuations that are possible with metabolic rate are minuscule compared to the fluctuations that occur with calorie intake, then why does ‘metabolism’ get all sorts of attention?
It’s because it sounds mystical, magical, and to a certain extend…down right sexy.
It is great media fodder.
It is a great buzz word.
Put “boost metabolism” in the headline of an article…and it will get read guaranteed.
What do you think would sell more copies of Cosmo -
“3 secrets to losing weight by boosting your metabolism”or
“3 secrets to losing weight by eating less”The truth is, our love affair with our metabolisms is a main cause of obsessive compulsive eating.
The belief that what you eat can DRASTICALLY change your metabolism is not only wrong, but it can derail your weight loss efforts.
The bottom line is if you are counting on the foods you eat to burn your body fat for you, you are going to be very disappointed with the results.
The most important thing you should learn about eating is not how foods affect your metabolism, it’s learning to appreciate the value of simply eating less.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Occasionally I get email from people who have difficulties with there fasts.
Fasting is like every other aspect of your life. You are going to have easy fasts and you are going to have days that are a little tougher.
But here is the beauty of flexible intermittent fasting - you can tailor your fasts to your own individual needs.
For instance, let's say..you tend to get hungry around 16 hours into your fast. In this scenario I would suggest a 11 am to 11 am fast.
This way you are asleep at the 17 hour mark (around 4 AM), and by the time you do get up, you only have a couple of hours left in your fast.
Another example is when people have problems eating too much after their fasts.
In this scenario you could use later start and stop times, such as 9 pm to 9 pm. This way, once your fast is completed you only have 2 or 3 hours before it's time for bed..which means less time for eating.
By tailoring your fasts to your own personal needs you can guarantee weight loss success with as little effort as possible.
I just wanted to give you some feedback on the fasting suggestions you gave me the other day. The noon to noon fast is perfect for me!
I even did an intense weight training session and had SO much energy that evening and the following day. It's helped to keep my blood sugar levels more stable when I'm not fasting too.
I've realised that I actually feel better when I'm fasting, and you can see the changes in my body already! My mum told me last night that my abs were amazing! Always room for improvements though. So given all of that I can't wait for my next fast tomorrow.
Thanks again Brad.