Alright, I know this is animal research, but it is still pretty cool for all you coffee lovers out there.
Turns out even the smell of coffee can help get you going in the morning.
You can learn more here ==>
Coffee Smells Great
Friday, June 27, 2008
Alright, I know this is animal research, but it is still pretty cool for all you coffee lovers out there.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
If I use the wrong shampoo I end up looking like Will Farrel from Semi Pro.
3. I'm sure any parent will agree that when you are shopping for baby food, you pay little attention to the exact ratio of protein to carbs in the food. You don't examine foods and try to guess whether the protein is slow release or fast release, and I doubt you'd go looking for baby formula with extra added green tea extract.
Nope, the obsessive compulsive nutritionism approach to food goes out the window when you are dealing with little ones.
Instead, you fret over quality. You want food without anything 'added' that shouldn't be added. You want food made from ingredients you recognize.
I go out of my way to avoid baby oatmeal with extra 'stabilizers', or yogurt with thickening agents. It is quality above everything else when dealing with very young children.
In fact, this is where I developed my theory of eating for quality (see the post HERE).
What I beleive to be the optimal way to approach eating, was actually developed during a rather stressful Daddy-anxiety attack while grocery shopping and trying to find yogurt made from whole milk as opposed to 'modified milk ingredients'
So the nutrition advice for today is feed your self the way you would feed a baby..just without the mess
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I thought today I would share some of the latest emails I have received about Eat Stop Eat. I typically end up answering about 20-30 per day, so these are just a random 'sampling'
Eat Stop Eat is expensive. I am having to buy smaller clothes every 4 weeks. :)
I am down 15lbs since February. My weight loss and being healthier rules are simple.
Follow Eat Stop Eat.
Workout full body 15 to 30 minutes per day.
The weight Just seems to be melting off. Thirty more pounds and I will be lighter
than I have been in 10 years. That is my goal for end of year!
Thanks for the great email! And, congratulations on the great success to date.
I love that you've got the Eat Stop Eat philosophy nailed down so perfectly.
I can't wait for you to hit your goal!
I like the "sound" of the eat stop eat program but.. what happens when one goes off the program after losing weight? Do they continue fasting? Aren't they going to gain the weight back since there aren't restrictions on their diet per say?
It is nice to meet you and thank you for the email.
If you stop fasting all together and go right back to your old way of eating, you will eventually gain weight, until you hit the weight that your old amount of eating supports.
I know it is depressing, but each an everyone of us has our own internal balance, where a certain amount of food will make us weigh a certain amount. If you increase or decrease the amount of food you eat, then you will either gain or lose weight.
This is why most people use eat stop eat twice per week to lose weight, then once per week to maintain their new weight, while still being able to enjoy great tasting foods.
Both my wife and I have been following this lifestyle for almost 2 years now, and I can tell you there is a great sense of relief knowing that I can have cake for father's day, and not worry about putting on weight, because I know that when I fast on Tuesday it will all "even out".
I hope this answer helps,
Thanks a million for the really quick and helpful response!
I’ve got another question that is probably going to be a very stupid question but what about hypoglycaemia?
We’ve always been told that it’s caused by a lack of glucose in your blood and that’s why you feel dizzy and faint and you should have something high in fast-release sugar to get better. Is there a way to get past this nauseous feeling without breaking the fast or is it simply a symptom of withdrawal from the “sugar drug”?
I hope your first fast went well!
Great timing with your question. I just finished reading a paper titled "Effect of fasting on young adults who have symptoms of hypoglycemia in the absence of frequent meals".
In this paper the researchers found that in a group of healthy young subjects a 24 hour fast did not cause blood sugar to dip below 3.5 mmol/L. Meaning that during the entire fast, blood sugar slowly lowered itself, but remained at normal non-hypolgycemic levels.
Here are some examples of a similar experiment that I conducted on myself..
I also just recently reviewed a paper on glucose metabolism that was examining subjects who had a history of what they considered to be hypoglycemic episodes. During the study these subjects never had any periods of documented hypoglycemia, even when the supposed symptoms of hypoglycemia were present. The researchers concluded that they felt the symptoms were related to anxiety over not eating, as opposed to hypoglycemia.
I hope this answer helps.
It's Jennifer checking in.
I thought you might enjoy a visual as to what I have accomplished with Eat-Stop-Eat. I have said it before in my numerous emails, this program has been the best and easiest eating plan I have used to date. I am now maintaining my goal weight with one fast per week. I enjoy my favorite foods, within reason, and it is effortless. It is just amazing that I lost fat and didn't feel like I was dieting. Plus, I truly do enjoy the fasts. I get so much accomplished, for example, writing this email because I am so pleased with your program.
Jennifer in Austria
PS. These photos were taken about 12 weeks apart AND the second one was taken about 15 weeks from the red bikini beginning. I am getting visible abs!
Its great to hear from you again. Your pictures blew me away! you've done such an amazing job. I don't think you are 'getting' visible abs, you definitely HAVE visible abs.
It is emails like this that make all the work worth while..thank you so much.
(I wish I could share the pictures with you, but I don’t think that would be fair to Jennifer)
I hope these Q n A's have answered some of your questions about Eat Stop Eat.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I'm back from a busy weekend of cake, more cake and ice cream.
I came out of this weekend with 2 new pieces of knowledge:
- I am in complete denial that my little girl could already be 1 year old,
- I gained some really cool knowledge about ice cream that I want to share with you.
When it comes to ice cream, I beleive that Haagen Dazs is pretty much the cream of the crop. In the ice cream world Haagan Dazs is the premium brand. It tastes great, but you also pay a lot of money for it.
In fact, it is so expensive that on Friday, when I was out buying ice cream for Brier's first birthday party, I by-passed the Haagen Dazs and went right for the less expensive stuff.
Then, I got curious.
I read the ingredients on the less expensive stuff...this was what was in the vanilla flavor:
Milk Ingredients, Modified Milk Ingredients, Sugar, Glucose, Mono and Diglycerides, Locust Bean Gum, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Natural and Artificial Flavours.Now to compare, this is what is in the vanilla flavor from Haagen Dazs:
Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Egg Yolks, Natural Vanilla.I'm sure you can spot the differences.
- 11 ingredients versus 5
- Ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen versus some things that don't even sound like food.
- Cream as the first ingredient in ice-cream, versus milk ingredients
But, what about Calories?
Well, the Haagan Dazs KILLS the cheaper ice cream, providing 270 Calories versus 120 Calories per half cup. So if you are watching what you eat and trying to lose weight, this is where it gets interesting.
After all, we all know that a tablespoon full of the good stuff is way more satisfying then an entire bowl of the cheap stuff..but why is that?
Well, The next time you buy ice-cream, look at how it is sold..Ice-cream is not sold by weight, it is sold by volume. So you will buy 2 quarts of ice-cream, not 2 pounds of ice-cream.
And herein lies the mystery of premium quality ice-cream.
The small 500 ml container of Haagen Dazs weighs almost as much as a entire quart of one of the cheaper products.
Haagen Dazs ice-cream is very calorie dense because it contains much less air than the cheaper brands, which is why it does not need all of the extra stabilizers that the cheaper ice-cream contains (Mono and Diglycerides, Locust Bean Gum, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan).
The cheaper brands try to get as much air into their ice-cream as possible so that they can fill a big container with less product, ultimately saving money.
So by sticking to your guns and only eating the premium stuff, you end up eating a lot less additives, you get a better tasting product, made from real food ingredients and you get roughly the same calories PER GRAM, with a whole lot more satisfaction.
Demand quality in the foods you eat, and you will end up eating a lot more food and a lot less food-like products. You will also end up eating less often, so even if the quality stuff has more calories, it should all even out in the end.
PS- If you don't think you can lose weight while still enjoying cake and ice-cream at summer birthday parties then you need to check out Eat Stop Eat.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Happy father's day to all my fellow Dad's and especially the Daddy bloggers out there!
PS- For all you busy dad's out there, check out my friend Chris Lopez's blog "The fit and busy dad blog" at www.fitandbusydad.blogspot.com
Friday, June 13, 2008
I found this interesting graph on the New York Times website...You can click the image to make it bigger.
I really don't know how to explain this article except that you should definitely read it to find out whether or not Japan would consider you "Metabo"
You can read the article here ==> Japan Measures Millions
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Right about now my little brother is killing himself laughing.
As a Simpson's affectionado, I bet he immediately realized that I just quoted the Simpson's in the title for this post.
And while watching the Simpson's family form a Conga line and sing this song to mock Lisa for becoming a vegetarian was entertaining, salads are no laughing matter.
Most salads are wolves in sheep's clothing.
Let me explain..
Almost every big restaurant chain makes the nutritional profile of their meals available on the internet.
I highly recommend you do some surfing and check out the calorie content of some of the salads that are available at your favorite restaurants...of course, do it on your lunch break if you are at work...no slacking ;)
You will probably be surprised when you find that most salad entres have just as much IF NOT MORE calories than many of the traditional entres (the main meals salads, not the appetizers).
My favorite Salad at Boston Pizza has over 1,000 Calories! The salad I like at Kelsey's has over 800!
The bottom line is that a lot foods get a halo around them because they are 'healthy'. When you hear people complaining that they "eat like a bird" but still can't lose weight...typically this is because they are assuming some foods are healthy and low calorie, when in fact they are not.
Quick quiz, if you were to order a snack at Starbucks, which of these options has the least amount of calories
a) The blueberry Oat Bar
b) The Banana Loaf
c) The Espresso Brownie
d) The Multi-Grain Bagel
The answer is C) The Espresso Brownie.
Watch for wolves in sheep's clothing when you are eating at restaurants and fast food places. These days the 'healthy' option isn't always the best option.
PS - Here is a great email that I received form Denise...
I just wanted to let you know that I've had real success with Eat Stop Eat in just a short time. I've lost 10 pounds since April by fasting 1-2 days a week. On top of that i've increased weights in my deadlifts and kettlebell training as well as increased in pullups. I plan on continuing the Eat Stop Eat program forever. -DeniseI love the fact that she is losing weight AND getting stronger! Keep up the great work Denise!
Monday, June 09, 2008
Traditional diets and exercise plans are mediocre at best when it comes to helping us lose weight. But don't blame the diets, and don't blame the exercise either.
After all, it's our extremely poor ability to estimate how many calories we burn and how many calories we eat that is their downfall.
Take this study as an example.
Women exercised on a treadmill until they burned a set number of calories (the researchers new what the number was, but the women did not). After they were done exercising the women were asked to guess how many calories they burned during the workout.
Shockingly, the researchers found that the women overestimated how many calories they burned by 300 to 400%!
If you find this surprising, it gets better.After exercising the women were then instructed to go into another room where there was a buffet set up. The women were instructed to try to eat the same amount of calories that they had just burned during the workout.
The subjects ate double to triple the amount of calories that they had previously burned during exercise!
And this is just one study. Research consistently shows that we are very poor at estimating calories. We constantly overestimate how many we burn working out, and underestimate how many we eat.
When left to eat as we please, our mind and body will try and convince us to overcompensate and eat more than we need.This is why diet and exercise often fail for so many people. If we overestimate how many calories we burn during exercise, and underestimate how many calories we eat AFTER exercise, we could very easily end up in a positive calorie balance after each and every workout if we are not careful.
This is why I like the Eat Stop Eat method of fasting for weight loss so much. Simply, you don't need to count ANYTHING. This means you have absolutely no chance of messing up your diet with faulty calorie counting.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
I think it's time to let you in on a little secret.
I don't think fat causes obesity. I also don't think it sugar either. The same goes for high fructose corn syrup and soda pop.
In fact, when it comes to the being overweight I think all of these things are only the tools that make us heavy, they are not the cause.
In my opinion, the single leading cause of obesity is this - We have all been taught to not be discriminating when it comes to what we eat.
Think about it. If I offered you a watch for 2 bucks that was made by "Rolecks" would you buy it from me? Would you wear it and show it to all your friends? How about if I offered you a 10 dollar "Goochi" purse? You'd probably laugh at me and walk away, right?
We may turn our noses up at cheap imitation clothes and accessories, but we have no problems accepting cheap imitation food.
Seriously, a 99 cent burger? An 8.99 Lunch special steak that is tough and tasteless? Where did we learn this complete lack of eating class?
We have taste buds for a reason. Their purpose is to allow us to discriminate between good food and bad food. Fresh or Spoiled. Ripe or Rotten. Yet over the last 100 years, the food industry has figured out how to trick us into thinking bad things taste good.
The right pictures, the right colors, the right wrapper and the right massive levels of sweet and salt. That's all it takes to completely blind our taste buds.
If you have ever had a chocolate flavored protein shake ask yourself 'did it actually taste like a "rich and creamy" chocolate shake?'
I sampled a protein shake last night.
I went to the store and picked out the one brand that said it was the 5 time award winner for best tasting product.
I took it home, mixed it exactly as instructed. At first taste, it was fine. But when I really truly tasted it do you know what I tasted?
I tasted sweet. Sweet combined with aluminum, tin, and the unmistakable zing of artificial sweeteners.
It did not taste good at all.
My coffee this morning tasted exactly like it always does. When I stopped and actually TASTED my coffee I realized it was horrible. I can't even describe what it tasted like, but it wasn't coffee and it wasn't good. I drank it anyways. Why?
As I am writing this I am eating a "Caramelt" chocolate bar (In the name of research of course!). It doesn't taste like caramel, chocolate, or for that matter fresh.
It tastes sweet, waxy and preserved.
I have eaten good chocolate before, the kind that is rich and melts in your mouth. This was NOT good chocolate. It was artificial. It was imitation chocolate.
We eat this horrible imitation food on a daily basis. Worse, we eat way more of it than we want to.
This is why I beleive that our loss of ability to discriminate between good foods and bad foods is the root cause of obesity.
Forget inactivity, sugar or saturated fat. It is the simple fact that the food industry has figured out how to fool our taste buds into thinking that every piece of food that is made available to us
tastes good and is desirable - THIS is what is causing all of us to become heavier than we want to be.
But it's not just our taste buds that have been fooled.
Our brains have been tricked too. We now eat for 'nutrition'. We eat because we just finished our workout. We eat to get some protein, or vitamin C, or any other new and popular nutrient that just might save our life. And worse of all, we eat because some health expert told us if we don't eat, we'll get fat.
So we are actually guilt-tripped into eating bad tasting food. So we accept imitation food, because we are led to beleive that eating something is better than eating nothing.
The alternative, is to be a discriminating eater. Be a connoisseur of food. Be picky and only eat good tasting food. If good food isn't available, you don't have to eat (if you've read Eat Stop Eat, you know that we can easily go 24 hours without eating, with nothing but good consequences).
Pay good money for good food, but eat less often. Stop and think about just how fun that could be. By eating less, and eating less often, you can allow yourself to eat good foods. And not just dessert, but everything. Every single piece of food you put in your mouth could actually be full of rich flavor.
A well made creme brule will always, always taste better than any fast food treat. Real ice cream will always taste better than imitation frozen milk ingredients. A good steak is better than a cheap one. Fresh strawberries are better than frozen.
Sure it is more expensive, but you pay for quality. And, if you are eating less, you really won't be paying more for food in the long run.
Don't worry about the fat content or sugar content or how much phytochemicals are in the foods you eat. By being picky you will eat less, and eating less is far more important to your health then the percentage of a nutrient in your foods.
Plus, by eating better tasting foods, you will almost always be eating healthier foods.
By increasing your expectations of your food, and aiming for quality and flavor, overeating will never be an issue.
Most importantly, don't be afraid to eat less and eat less often, especially if the trade off is truly enjoying the foods you eat.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
In the last couple days I have read a number of articles from the Health section of the New York Times that were written by author Gina Kolata of "Rethinking Thin" fame.
The first article dealt with the possibility of the human body having a weight set-point that is tightly regulated.
According to the article 'For the Overweight, Bad Advice by the Spoonful',
"Scientists now believe that each individual has a genetically determined weight range spanning perhaps 30 pounds".
Immediately after I read this I thought of all the examples of people who have gained (or lost) more than 30 pounds.
At the age of 24 I weighted 216 pounds. At the bodybuilding contest I did when I was 28 I weighed 168 pounds, and I currently weigh between 175-180 pounds. That is a range of 48 pounds.
And while it took an extreme amount of eating to get to 216 (I did this on purpose), I also spent most of my late twenties between the weight of 185 and 195 pounds. For the last two years I have weighed between 175-180 pounds, but use fasting to maintain this weight.
So what is my set point?
John Barban, the editor of Eat Stop Eat has another similar story. When I first met John he weighed over 240 pounds. This was the weight he was at for duration of his graduate work.
When he returned from the first year of his PhD, he weighed 187 pounds.
For the three to four years after that he weighed between 220 and 230 pounds. Since he started following Eat Stop Eat almost two years he has weighed around 205 pounds. So this is a range of over 50 pounds.
What is his set point?
The truth is, I beleive there is some validity to the set point theory, but I think it is very ignorant to suggest that this is purely biological (NOTE: this was not Gina Kolata's suggestion, but one that is prevalent).
Biologically, I can see how your lean mass could be relatively fixed. Your height is the best determinant of your lean mass. A 6 foot 8 human being is almost always going to have more lean mass that a person who is 5 foot 3, regardless of any weight training or even drug use.
As another example, an adult man who is 175 pounds at 10% body fat would be very unlikely to ever reach 215 pounds at 10% body fat. However, if that same adult man is who is 175 pounds at 10% could change his lifestyle dramatically enough he could become 215 pounds at 27% body fat.
So just by increasing fat mass, you could easily move outside of a 30 pounds set point.
Now here is where it gets interesting. In another article by Gina, she reported that scientists have shown that:
Every year, whether you are fat or thin, whether you lose weight or gain, 10 percent of your fat cells die. And every year, those cells that die are replaced with new fat cells. The result is that the total number of fat cells in the body remains the same, year after year throughout adulthood. Losing or gaining weight affects only the amount of fat stored in the cells, not the number of cells.
So based on this information I believe that drastic changes in lifestyle can cause drastic changes in weight and body composition. I can see how a set point of 30 pounds would and could apply to lean body mass, and I can also see how changing fat mass can completely blow this 30 pound limit out of the water!
The problem is that for most people, drastic changes in lifestyle are not possible and/or desired.
Your family, where you work, the foods you like, the friends you have, the activities you do, even the shows you watch on TV, all can effect how you eat, what you eat, when you eat and how active you are.
The bottom line is that even though at some point in our lives the amount of fat cells we have may become fixed, and our ability to drastically alter the way our body looks is limited by factors including genetics, height and lifestyle, we can all still get leaner and we can all still add muscle.
Monday, June 02, 2008
After finally finishing Michale Pollen's latest book "In defense of food" and reading a fantastic article by Trisha Gura in this months Scientific American Mind, I think it is time to revisit my one golden rule of eating.
"Eat less but enjoy the foods you eat. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and lots of herbs and spices. And maybe most importantly, spend less time stressing over the types of food you are eating."
I know my grammar could use some work, but this credo still remains as true to me today as it did when I first wrote it over three years ago. In fact, looking at it now, I think the first part is even more important than I ever realized...
"Eat less but enjoy the foods you eat"
Here is my simple suggestion for today. If you ever plan to go on a diet, or change the way you eat, get a pen and paper and simply write the following statement.
"I will eat less, and I will enjoy the foods I eat"
Trying to do the first (Eat less) without the later (enjoying the foods you eat) is what many of us are still doing wrong with our eating habits. Food should be about enjoyment not deprivation.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
There are many personalities in the fitness industry who are promoting the combination of 'fat burning workouts' with 'muscle building' nutrition.
When it comes to improving the way your body looks, I think this a completely backwards approach. Not only do I think it is backwards, but I believe it is highly ineffective.
It is very difficult to lose weight with exercise alone. It doesn't seem to matter if you using long distance running, interval training, high-intensity weight training or any combination of the three.
Despite what people tell you when they are pushing their "ultra fat burning workouts", the simple fact is exercise alone is a very poor stimulus for weight loss. Even if the workouts are metabolically demanding, the effect they have on calorie burning is actually pretty small.
Even the calorie burning that happens after hard workouts is only an extra 8-10 extra Calories per hour, and typically does not last the 24-36 hours that some authors say it does. The research on the benefit of this type of after-exercise metabolism boost is inconclusive at best.
There is also very little proof that any sort of eating style can actually build muscle. Again, I know lots of companies and people who promote certain methods of eating to gain massive amounts of muscle mass, but this just isn't backed by science.
I've been in full research mode now for the last 6 months working on my new book "How much protein?" and let me tell you, I am very disappointed with the lack of evidence that is available for any muscle building diet advice - This even includes ideas as simple as "eat an extra 500 Calories a day to gain muscle". Diet seems to have very little to do with muscle building.
Now, when you put these two concepts together you are in a real messy situation.
You are eating to gain muscle...eating multiple times a day, high protein, a little more calories than 'maintenance' and you are working out to burn fat, doing fancy weight training circuits, combined with cardio intervals, and lots and lots of ab exercises.
Since neither approach is effective, you end up spending a lot of time in the gym, and even more time planning your nutrition and worrying about macro-nutrient ratios and when to take your supplements. despite all of this hard work you still end up seeing very little results.
A much better approach would be to eat for weight loss, and workout to build or maintain muscle.
Research does support the rather simple concept that eating less will cause you lose weight. And that muscle building workouts will preserve muscle mass, even when on very extreme diets, thus ensuring that the weight you lose is from body fat.
This is why Eat Stop Eat involves a combination of fasting and resistance training. It is the combination of the two that leads to optimal fat loss with the least amount of physical or mental work.
So simply, the most ideal way to improve the way your body looks is to-
Eat for weight loss and exercise to build muscle.
It sounds ridiculously simple, but in reality it is very difficult to do. We are constantly bombarded with the latest and greatest new way to burn fat in the gym and it is very easy to get roped into this way of thinking.
The best advice I can give you if you are looking to change the way your body looks is: Keep your workouts simple and geared towards building muscle. Let your diet take care of your fat loss.
To accomplish this you have to follow a couple simple rules:
- Switch from high reps to lower reps (if you have been doing 15-20 rep exercises try increasing the weight and moving to sets of 5-8 reps)
- Remove most isolation exercises from your workout and use total-body multi-muscle movements.
- Get rid of crunches and sit-ups from your workout and spend that time on larger multi-muscle movements.
- Change your workouts frequently
- Find the easiest possible method that allows you to eat less than it takes to maintain your current body weight, and use that method. (I know there are many other diet tips for improving your health, but for weight loss, I feel this is the only one that is truly important)
If you are someone who is stuck in the rut of spending hours in the gym every day and trying to eat in a way that supposedly maintains or builds muscle, try switching your approach and see what kind of an amazing difference it can make.
PS- Once you have conquered the mindset of eating for weight loss and exercising for muscle building then adding in additional exercise like intervals or metabolically demanding body weight exercises may speed up the fat burning process, but only if you have the first two steps set into motion.