Friday, October 31, 2008

More Eat Stop Eat Videos For you

Here are two quick tips for everyone who enjoys reading weight loss research and weight loss studies.


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!!

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obesity Drugs

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 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 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.


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dieting vs. Dieting + Exercise (and the importance of Activity)

I received an email yesterday titled "A Contradiction?"

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.

FACT: In the 20 week study there were actually 3 groups of women,

  1. The first group cut their calories by 400 Calories per day.
  1. 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
  1. 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.

This includes:
  • Total weight loss
  • Lean mass loss
  • Fat mass loss
  • V02 Max (surprisingly)
  • Resting metabolic rate

  • and

  • Non Physical activity induced energy expenditure

    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).


    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.


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    Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    Nutrition and Fruit

    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 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

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    Monday, October 27, 2008

    Eat Stop Eat Videos

    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.


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    Friday, October 24, 2008

    Is Eat Stop Eat a Water Fast?

    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.


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    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    Eat Stop Eat and Working Out

    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.

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    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    How much should I eat

    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.

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    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    The best part of working out

    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:

    Hi there,

    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!

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    Monday, October 20, 2008

    How to Eat with Eat Stop Eat

    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.

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    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Metabolism and Obesity

    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:

    Hi Darren,

    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.


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    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    Simple food test

    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 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.


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    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    My Experience on the Morning show

    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.
    So even if they weren't taking the opposite view just for the sake of good TV, I should point out that I certainly did not expect either woman to be completely up to date on the literature in this field.

    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:

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    Monday, October 13, 2008

    My Best Fat Loss Advice

    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 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.


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    Thursday, October 09, 2008

    Forget the BMI

    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.


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    Wednesday, October 08, 2008

    Metabolism = Overrated

    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.
    Consider this-

    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”
    “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.


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    Tuesday, October 07, 2008

    Making Fasting Work for You

    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 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.


    Hi Brad,

    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.

    Amy x))

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    Monday, October 06, 2008

    The Real Reason Diets Don't Work

    It was back on March 12 of 2007 that I first wrote about the now famous A to Z weight loss trial (you can see my original blog post HERE ).

    In this ground breaking study, 311 overweight women were recruited to follow one of the following popular diet programs: The Atkins Diet, The Zone Diet, the LEARN diet or the Ornish Diet.

    To start the study, each woman was given a copy of the popular diet book that she was randomly assigned to follow.

    Then, to make sure she was an “expert” on her program before she started dieting, each woman attended a series of 8 classes (each lasting an hour) explaining exactly how to follow her assigned diet.

    (Side note- This just shows how OCE these diets are considering that it takes EIGHT classes for these women to know how to properly follow each diet!)

    After the courses were completed the women then set off to follow their assigned diet plan for a total of 1 year.

    The results were pretty much exactly what I expected – everybody lost a lot of weight in the first two months, after that the diets tended to even out and by the end of the trial the weight loss was far from impressive – none of the groups averaged more than 10 pounds of weight loss after an entire year of dieting.

    And while many people used this study to ‘prove’ that diets simply didn’t work, or that the body somehow adapted to dieting, my take was much simpler – Firstly, this trial is in agreement with most research that shows it is very hard to accurately measure how many calories a person eats in a day, and secondly I thought that these results showed that the number one reason diets fail is compliance.

    In other words, the more complicated and the more rigid the diet is (or the more OCE it is), the more likely it is going to fail in the long term. – People just can’t stick to these types of diets for long periods of time.

    Apparently I wasn’t alone with my analysis.

    In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity titled “Dietary adherence and weight loss success among overweight women: results from the A to Z weight loss study” researchers re-examined the A to Z weight loss trial to see if there was an association between the level of compliance and the amount of weight that was lost.

    Guess what they found?

    Astonishingly only ONE subject in the ENTIRE study followed the diet as directed for the whole 12 months. This means that every other subject was not following her assigned diet properly at some point during the research trial!

    The researchers also found that adherence was significantly correlated with 12-month weight change for all three-diet groups. So the better a woman was at following her diet, the more weight she lost.

    The fact that adherence was so low is very interesting considering that these women spent eight class sessions reviewing their assigned diets with a registered dietitian before they even started the diet…you can imagine what adherence must be like for someone who simply bought one of those books, read it cover to cover and then gave it a try!

    The findings from this follow-up analysis also suggest that the difference in dietary macronutrients had only negligible effects on the participants weight loss success.
    The bottom line is that you can generally figure out how successful a diet will be by looking at how complicated it is.

    More rules = more complicated = low chance of success

    Less rules = less complicated = high chance of success

    In my opinion weight loss can be incredibly simple if you let it.

    Find the easiest, most comfortable way to reduce the total amount of calories that you eat. The less intrusive a diet is on your lifestyle the greater chance you have of sticking to it long term.

    For me, this is flexible intermittent fasting. After all if you can fast for 24 hours once, you know you will always be able to do it. Some fasts maybe harder or easier than others, but you know you can do it!

    Obsessive Compulsive Eating habits that make diets complicated and difficult spell doom for long-term weight loss.


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    Thursday, October 02, 2008

    Stone Cookware gets A+

    I like to bake.

    I like to bake ALMOST as much as I like to eat baked goods.

    Muffins, cookies, cakes and brownies...I love them all!

    The secret to enjoying baking and staying lean is simple - Baked goods are for sharing.

    And with the more people the better.

    Since I do bake a lot, and I enjoy sharing my baked goods, I take a certain pride in both their taste and appearance. Which is why I was really happy when I received stone cookware from the pampered chef last Christmas.

    This stuff is great! Even cooking temperature (no nasty 'hot spots'), easy clean up...and an even color all the way through on your final product - No more golden brown on the top of the cookie, burnt brown on the bottom!


    Here's a quick tip- With stone cookware you get what you pay for..I've used a whole range over the last year and nothing beats my Pampered chef set.

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    Wednesday, October 01, 2008

    The Trans Fats Legacy

    Over the past couple of years the potential marketing tragedy that was trans fats has been turned into a marketing edge for the food industry.

    It seems that by simply reducing the amounts of trans fats in its food products…a food company can market the fact that they are a “health conscious company” that is “looking out for their customer.”

    Surely, we missed the important lesson to be learned from trans fats.

    Artificially manufactured Trans fatty acids are produced when vegetable oils are “hydrogenated” a processing technique that transforms liquid oils into solids. You will find artificial trans fats in everything from margarine to cookies and fast food.

    Natural Trans fats can be found in milk, and most other dairy products as well as the highly popular weight loss supplement CLA.

    So our problem wasn’t trans fats, it was an overabundance of artificially manufactured trans fats appearing in our food supply.

    So, how do we solve the Artificial Trans fatty acids problem?

    Well the food industry has decided that new techniques of product blending and further chemically transforming oils to create solid oils that are “virtually trans fat free” is the best solution to this problem.

    But the other, less talked about option is a simple one:

    Recognize that this problem was caused when we started to over-process our foods. And, that if we moved back to using whole foods and whole foods ingredients in our foods, this problem would be eliminated.

    However, it is important to note that this is not the fault of the food companies.

    Food companies simply react to the demands of their customers. We want healthy food options, and we want healthy food options that meet the trend of the day, and we want them NOW.

    In my opinion, Artificially manufactured Trans fatty acids are just another example of the widespread damaging effects of obsessive compulsive eating and our addiction to the idea of creating super nutritious foods.

    After all, Artificially manufactured Trans fatty acids were born from the OCE decision that butter was EVIL and had to be replaced in our diets at all costs…(and that’s exactly what happened)

    Nutrition should not be difficult and eating should not be complicated.

    If the idea of making foods healthy involve massive amounts of processing and making conscious decisions to eat a food based on its supposed health value, then we are going down wrong path.

    Keeping it simple will always be the healthiest answer


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