Sunday, July 5, 2009
Once you’ve lost the weight, you need to learn how to keep it off. Most people do gain the weight back after they lose it, because they go right back to their old habits. As you get closer to your goal weight, you will need to start easing into the lifestyle that you will continue for the rest of your life. You will need to remember to keep cutting out the biggest sources of blood sugar spikes, including sugar, white flour, white rice, and potatoes. You will need to continue consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy seafood, and other lean proteins. And you will need to continue getting some exercise.
Always remember that if you don’t continue the lifestyle, you are doomed to repeat everything you’ve just been through. You’ll have to deal with the pain of being overweight, the embarrassment you feel when you go out in public, the difficulty losing the weight, the aches, pains, and discomfort of being overweight, and all of those other issues.
That’s something you don’t ever want to have to go through again, right?
Never let go of the things you’re feeling right now. Never forget the struggle. Never forget the pain. Never, ever forget.
Once you let go, once you get past it and you move on, you cannot forget. If you allow yourself to forget what it was like, you’ll be back on that road to obesity before you know it.
It’s a good idea to keep a lot of photos of yourself before you lost the weight. Keep a journal of how difficult your dieting is. Write notes in it about how horrible you feel, how embarrassed you are, how your life is miserable. Keep all of this together and look at it regularly.
Yes, it will be painful to dredge up those memories of when you were so unhealthy, but it will help you stay healthy. The emotional pain you feel will be nothing compared to what your friends and family would feel if they lost you because you had a heart attack or stroke due to obesity, or the pain you would feel if you gained all of the weight back.
Keep eating healthily. Keep exercising. Keep living the healthiest life possible.
Never, ever forget.
The main thing is to keep your fridge and cabinets stocked with plenty of foods you can eat in unlimited or substantial quantities. First, let’s talk about some things you can eat in unlimited quantities. These are foods that, if you eat them until you feel like you’re going to puke, you still shouldn’t fear gaining any weight! These are also foods that contain vitamins, minerals, and other essential elements. They are foods you can feel good about eating, and you don’t have to feel guilty, even if you overeat them. They are also rich in antioxidants and perhaps other important elements that scientists haven’t even discovered, yet! Foods to eat in unlimited quantities:
Dill Pickles (Kosher or Hamburger Dill)
Fresh Herbs or Dried
Greens (All Types)
Lemons and Limes
Peppers (All Kinds)
You can combine these ingredients into delicious recipes that taste great, too. This will help keep you motivated. The better tasting the food is that you’re eating, the more likely it is you will stick to the system.
These ingredients can work very well together. For example, you could take some of the vegetables like tomatoes, cabbage, onions, carrots, zucchini, celery, and green beans and make a very nice soup. You could also use unlimited fresh herbs or dried herbs to flavor it.
You could make a nice fruit salad using various fruits, flavorings, and herbs. Mint and cilantro both go very well with many different types of fruits, and lemon or lime juice with a touch of salt can make a sweet fruit salad a bit more savory.
Lemon juice can also be used on its own, with herbs, or blended with fruit to make a dressing for salads. A salad of spinach and sliced mushrooms tastes amazing with a vinaigrette of raspberries, cranberries, or strawberries with lemon juice, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Experiment with using these ingredients to make various recipes. You can also add small amounts of foods that aren’t on the list, comprising a recipe mostly of these items and using other foods as flavorings.
For example, you could make a soup using these vegetables and using a small amount of boneless, skinless chicken breast to flavor it and add protein. Or you could make a delicious salsa with tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, and lime juice, and then serve it over lettuce with a ½ cup of black beans.
The combinations are practically endless, especially when you start using foods that you can’t have in unlimited quantities to bring flavors together.
Now you need to know some flavorings you can use in unlimited quantities. Some condiments are high in sugar or fat, and you should avoid these for the most part. You can enjoy small quantities of them, but it’s best to limit them.
Flavorings to enjoy in unlimited quantities:
Vinegar (All Types)
Spices (No Sugar, No or Low Sodium)
Make sure the flavorings you buy do not contain MSG. There are many seasonings on the market that do. The salt replacement Accent, in fact, IS monosodium glutamate, so avoid this one at all costs! Look for flavorings that contain as little sodium as possible, but you don’t have to avoid it completely.
Next, let’s look at some various types of proteins you can add to the unlimited foods to bring a meal together and make it more filling. You should limit these foods to smaller servings, but you should make sure to use some of these every day.
Proteins to enjoy in smaller quantities:
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
Most Types of Fish
Beans (All Types)
Other Lean Meats
Lean meats, beans, nuts, and tofu are filling. They also provide nutrients like iron that are essential for a healthy body. They should be used more as a flavoring for other foods than a major part of the meal, especially when trying to lose weight.
Vegetarians can obviously leave meat out entirely, opting for vegetable-based protein sources. There is a lot of controversy about whether soy-based products like tofu are good for you or not, but I personally use it in small quantities.
Flavorings to enjoy in smaller quantities:
Ketchup (Preferably Sugar-Free)
Olive Oil (Limit Carefully)
Agave Nectar (Liquid Sweetener, Natural, Won’t Spike Blood Sugar)
Soy Sauce (High In Sodium, So Limit)
You shouldn’t eliminate salt from your diet completely, as your body does need a bit of salt to run properly. But these should be limited as much as possible.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can use. Studies have shown that people who consume around two tablespoons of olive oil daily for one week show less oxidation of LDL cholesterol, as well as higher levels of antioxidants in their blood.
Olive oil can help protect against ulcers and gastritis. It may help prevent colon cancer. It contains vitamin # and phenols. In short, it is probably the best fat you can possibly consume.
As with nearly anything, it should be consumed in limited quantities. It is still very high in calories, and of course, is pure fat. Eating enough of it will cause you to gain weight, but it should still be used in small amounts because of its protective benefits.
Agave nectar is a natural sweetener that comes from a type of cactus. It tastes very sweet, but it won’t spike your blood sugar like process sugar, honey, syrup, and other sweeteners. It’s also considered much safer than aspartame and other chemical sweeteners.
As you can see, the largest group is the base of the pyramid. This group contains breads, grains, and other starches (like corn and potatoes). This is the group the USDA believes you should eat the most of. These grains and starches help give you energy, but they can be loaded with carbohydrates that can raise your blood sugar. It’s best to stick with whole grains, and go easy on the really starchy foods like potatoes. The USDA recommends that adults consume around 6 to 11 servings of grains and starches per day. Be careful to monitor your portion sizes carefully! A single slice of bread is one serving, but a slice of thick-sliced bread is TWO servings, and a standard 6-inch sub sandwich roll is THREE servings!
The next level of the pyramid contains fruits and vegetables. Originally fruits and vegetables were in the same food group when it came to the “four food groups”, but a distinction needed to be made. You need to eat both fruits AND vegetables in order to have the healthiest possible diet, so the USDA decided to draw a separation between the two.
Ideally, you want to have at least 3-5 servings of vegetables and 204 servings of fruit each day. A typical serving of vegetables is 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked. A typical fruit serving is 1 small fresh fruit or ½ cup canned fruit.
The next level of the pyramid shows dairy and protein. The dairy section is smaller than the meat section, because you don’t need as much milk per day as you do protein.
You should be getting at least 2-3 servings of dairy per day, preferably low-fat or non-fat. This could include things like milk, yogurt, or even low-fat ice cream.
Proteins include meats and seafood, dried beans, eggs, cheese, and peanut butter. Yes, cheese is included in protein rather than dairy.
You want to get 4-6 ounces of protein daily, ideally from low-fat varieties such as most seafoods, egg whites, low-fat cottage cheese, and skinless poultry. Tofu is also a good choice if you like it.
The final group includes fats, sweets, and alcohol. You should keep these to a minimum. Remember, you do need some fat in your diet, but excessive fat can lead to obesity, especially when consumed with excessive amounts of carbohydrates.
You should have a maximum of 1-2 servings from this group per day, especially when trying to lose weight.
It’s not easy keeping track of all of these things, so I don’t actually worry too much about counting each and every serving and adding it all up during the day.
What I do is I develop menus for the week, and I plan each meal in a specific way. That way I don’t have to worry about adding things up, because it all happens quite naturally.
Here’s an example of how I do things:
3 servings grains
1 serving fruit
1 serving protein
1 serving dairy
4 servings grains
1 serving fruit
2 servings vegetables
1 serving protein
1 serving dairy
1 serving fat (if not at dinner)
2 servings grains
1 serving vegetables
2 servings protein
1 serving fat (if not at lunch)
1 serving fruit
1 serving vegetables
That’s 3 meals and two snacks per day, which might seem like a lot of food when you’re dieting, but it’s not. You MUST keep eating regularly to keep your metabolism high. If you don’t, your weight loss is going to be much slower than you’d like.
As you can see, this gives me each day:
9 servings grains
3 servings fruit
5 servings vegetables
4 servings protein
2 servings dairy
1 serving of fat
This is a good balance. It’s right in the middle of the grains, on the low end of protein and dairy, and on the high end of fruits and vegetables. That’s what really got me the best weight loss, because fruits and vegetables are obviously lower in fat and calories than meat and dairy, and I stayed right in the middle for grains to give me enough energy without overeating.
This is what a typical menu would look like:
3 servings oatmeal (small bowl)
1 serving applesauce (in the oatmeal)
1 ounce bacon or ham
1 cup non-fat milk (half over the oatmeal)
2 sandwiches with:
2 slices whole grain bread each
lettuce and tomato
½ ounce low-fat turkey on each
1 tbsp. mayonnaise (half on each)
1 cup non-fat milk
Noodle Stir-Fry with:
2 servings whole wheat pasta
½ cup steamed broccoli
2 ounces grilled chicken
Herbs and 0 calorie seasonings to taste
SNACK (between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner)
1 cup cantaloupe cubes
SNACK (between lunch and dinner or after dinner)
1 cup salad with fat-free dressing
As you can see, this keeps you eating all day long, and you get a considerable amount of food each time. If you’re hungry, eat! Just be sure you’re really hungry.
It can be quite difficult to tell if you’re actually hungry or if you are just bored or depressed and want to eat. Before you eat anything, try to listen to your stomach, not your head. If your stomach is growling or pinching, you’re really hungry. If it isn’t, then you just want to eat
Remember, you can indulge sometimes, too. If you’re craving corn chips, go for it! But grab out a handful and put it into a bowl, do NOT eat straight from the bag!
It’s very important to learn portion control. You can’t eat unlimited amounts of almost any food without gaining weight. Yes, you can eat to your heart’s content on cucumbers or lettuce, but most foods need to be limited.
In the next chapter, I’m going to make a list of foods you can eat whenever you’re hungry, including foods that you can have in practically unlimited quantities.
We’ll also look at some food substitutions you can use to satisfy cravings for higher-fat foods. While this won’t always work, sometimes it does. Whenever you can cut calories with substitutions, it’s a great thing!
If you're craving pizza, it's probably the tomato sauce your body is asking for. In this case, you could try having some healthy tomato soup, some tomato juice, or a nice, fresh tomato salad. If you are craving something healthy like watermelon or broccoli, by all means indulge! But of course most people tend to crave things that they really love to eat. Maybe watermelon is your favorite food, and if so, that's great. But most people have less healthy favorites like pizza and French fries as their favorites.
Remember, MSG can cause you to crave foods that your body doesn't need. You have to break away from the addictive cycle, so you should at least cut down on MSG if you don't eliminate it entirely.
I find I crave cheesecake a lot. For a long time I thought maybe I was craving the calcium, but then I realized I don't just crave cheesecake, I crave strawberry cheesecake!
Once I started eating fresh strawberries once a cheesecake craving hit, I rarely craved it anymore. Sometimes I would still want cheesecake after I ate strawberries, which signaled that I just wanted the flavor of cheesecake. I knew that wasn't a real craving, so I had to make the decision to either ignore the craving, or give in and indulge.
The thing is, you CAN give in and indulge from time to time. You just can’t go overboard if you want to lose weight. I would have a very small slice of cheesecake, eating slowly and savoring each bite for the longest time possible.
If I was still craving it after that slice, I would wait at least two hours before giving in again, for another very small slice. And each time I had to decide whether to indulge or not. The strength of the craving was the major deciding factor in whether I would indulge.
Life is short. It’s too short to deny yourself entirely. Once I realized that, it was easier for me to lose weight. You see, sticking with a diet is really tough when you never get to eat anything you enjoy!
But when you allow yourself treats and indulgences from time to time, it’s a lot easier to keep going. You have more of a reason to keep it up.
You remember the four food groups, right? Unless you’re relatively young, you were probably taught about the four food groups in school. Supposedly those were the foods we needed to make up a healthy diet.
These days, it’s all about the “food pyramid”. The USDA has devised a new way of teaching people about the right foods to eat, dividing foods up even further. It contains 6 groups of foods instead of four.
Well, this food pyramid is actually a lot smarter than the original four food groups, because it actually distinguishes fats, oils, and sweets from healthier foods. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are in two different groups.
There’s an old adage in sports that says, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” What this adage is all about is reminding us that we need to set goals and attempt to reach them if we want to see success. No goals will more likely mean any successes. Now, some might argue that having goals could mean no success… and that’s true, too. But here’s the difference:
An archer can fire randomly into a field and his arrows will hit wherever they
land… completely ineffective. Another archer can fire at a bull’s eye. They may
not hit the bulls eye each time, but at least they try and they will hit the bulls eye
some of the time.
What does that mean for your health? Consider this comparison between
someone named Jim and someone named Mary:
Jim wants to get healthy but doesn’t
bother to set goals for himself. Each
day he goes about his daily routine and
as he lies down in bed at night he
realizes that he forgot to do anything
about his health today.
Mary wants to get healthy but she
decides to set goals. She commits to
eating 5-6 balanced healthy meals a
day. Sometimes she does, sometimes
The result? Jim’s lack of goals means
that he has no direction.
The result? Mary may not always hit
her goal all the time, but at least she
hits her goals from time to time.
Visualize Clearly and Often - Design your new body in your mind first. You
cannot achieve your idea of the perfect body if you don't have an idea of what the
perfect body means to you. Take 10 minutes when you are sure not to be
disturbed by people or phone calls, get comfortable, fully relax, and then begin to
dream about what you will look like when you have achieved your goal. Be
specific, what will your calves look like, your legs, your butt, your lower back,
your stomach, your chest, your upper back, your shoulders, your neck and your
face. Then review this image as often throughout each day as possible (never
less than 3x/day).
Fit & Healthy living doesn’t just come from one thing. Forget the magic pill or the
diet potion or the surgery or the mantra or the crash diet or the intense workout
once a month. These are common things we turn to when we need a solution for
our lives. But they won’t help us enjoy healthy living.
Healthy living is like a puzzle and each
piece fits together with the other pieces
and it isn’t until you have all of the pieces
that you have a complete picture. If one
piece is missing, your puzzle isn’t
complete and you don’t have the full
healthy lifestyle that you need to enjoy.
What are these puzzle piece
cornerstones that need to fit together to
make a complete picture of health?
Personal Goal Setting – Knowing What you want to specifically accomplish & when
1 Between the Ears – Understanding how Behavior modification is Crucial for Success
2 Adequate Sleep – Rest and Recovery from Daily Fitness & Health Activities
3 Stress Management – Keeping a clear mind through Work & Personal Life
4 Healthy Eating – Complete & Balanced Nutritionally Sound Meal Planning
5 Get Moving Daily – Weight & Cardio Fitness Training in Balance
Starting an exercise program can be scary. You're eager to melt off ugly fat and
develop a physique that won't quit.
You want to find a fitness program you can stick with, and you don't want to
waste valuable time doing boring routines that get you nowhere, and leave you
tired and back to your lazy, stay-in-your-comfort-zone ways. Plus, you want to
get the most efficient workout for the time involved and money spent.
But most people don't know where to begin. Here's how you can start out smart.
1. Get a thorough check-up before beginning a fitness program. This is
especially important if you're over 35, have been sedentary for a long time,
have high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, are a smoker, or have chest
pains or shortness of breath. Hopefully, your doctor will be thrilled you're
making this lifestyle change, and will tell you if you have any limitations.
2. Ask yourself these questions when planning an exercise program:
Do I want to work out alone or with a partner?
Do I like endurance activities, or activities that require greater mental
alertness and quick bursts of energy?
Do I enjoy competition, or do I want exercise to "relax" me, so to speak?
Does my previous exercise history lead me to believe that I'm going to
like or dislike the activity I'm considering?
3. Start your days smart by working out before breakfast. Give yourself a
mental boost and a metabolic surge for the day by getting going as soon as
you wake up. If you have difficulty doing this, remember that those who
exercise in the morning are most likely to stick with an exercise program.
4. Another good reason to work out in the morning is because a night workout
could leave you too revved up at bedtime! It takes about 2 hours for your
body to "cool down" enough for you to get some Z's.
5. Have a specific objective in mind when starting a new routine.
Everybody wants to "lose weight and get in shape." But everybody means
something different when they say that. The important thing here is to be
clear on precisely what you want to achieve from your fitness program.
Focus on the next 90 days - what would you most like to accomplish?
6. This fitness program must fit YOU. Your new lifestyle in NOT your
spouse's, your children's, or your best friend's. IT'S YOURS AND YOURS
ALONE. If you can't get to a gym, get some exercise videos for a good
workout. If you are lazy about working out at home, get your butt over to a
gym and invest in a membership.
7. Challenge your bod EVERY TIME YOU WORK OUT! Insanity is defined as
doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. If you're
doing the same old routine every darn day, you're body is just going to quit
on you. No results, but more frustration, irritation, and anger. While your
workouts must be challenging, you must also feel invigorated after the
workout. If you're completely trashed, then you went just a wee bit too hard.
8. If you want a workout partner, find someone who motivates you, who has a
routine already in place and is getting results from it, and will let you tag
along. Have thick skin, though. This person might want his/her solitude so
s/he can focus better on the workout. Keep asking around until you can find
someone who can show you the ropes, who'll pick you up when you're down,
and you do the same. Or, hire a competent personal trainer.
9. If you've got a few pounds that are stubborn as a mule, tack on 5-10 minutes
per workout. The extra time adds up fast, and with a sound, balanced
nutrition plan, you'll see the desired difference in your clothes, how you
look, and on the scale.
10.No matter what activity you choose, always warm up and cool down.
Warming up promotes blood flow and gets your muscles and joints primed
to handle a fat-burning workout. The cool down gets rid of metabolic
wastes, like lactic acid (the chemical that is associated with muscle soreness,
keeps blood from pooling in specific areas (which could lead to dizziness or
fainting), and, along with light stretching, keeps your muscles limber
Strength Training Muscles are important for energy because it's our muscles that do any kind of physical work. Stronger, more exercised muscles do the job with less effort and don't poop out so fast. That means you are less likely to fatigue when you're doing things around the house or at work. Get some lift tips from a trainer at a club to make sure you're doing things safely and effectively. Start your workouts with "The Big 3" - chest, back, and legs - then continue with your smaller muscle groups, shoulders, calves, biceps, and triceps. Don't forget abs!
By learning how to breathe correctly, you can increase your energy, says Dr. Larry
Feldman, author of "Feeling Good Again." "When you're tense, your brain increases its
demand for oxygen," he says. "But your shallow breaths decrease the intake of
oxygen." You're suffocating your cells.
In fact, the first step to countering your energy-sapping reaction to stress is to take a
deep breath. Experts suggest this technique for deep breathing:
When you breathe in, your abdominal area should expand first, and then your chest
should rise. Breathe in through your nose 'till you're full, but not too full. When you
exhale, pull the lower abs in first, then the upper abs. Hold it for a half-second before
you breathe in again. Practice this as often as you can remember during the day so you
get the hang of it.
Do you carry a grudge? This rates right up there with carrying the weight of the world
on your shoulders. It can exhaust anyone.
Drop it. Let it go. It's very unproductive, wasting your valuable time and energy.
Forgiveness is something you do for YOURSELF, not for the other person or
circumstance. But that doesn't mean you forget what hurt or angered you.
Forgiving actually puts you in the driver's seat, taking you out of the role of victim,
protecting you and helping you be more assertive. Being a victim only upsets you, and
that's an expensive energy-waster.
Never give the other side the satisfaction. Release them from the grips of your
animosity, and move on. You come out on top.
Believe it or not, laughter can help you increase your energy. When you have a hearty
laugh, you feel better about yourself. When you feel better about yourself, obviously
you'll have more energy.
Your heart rate and blood pressure increases, so blood is more efficiently distributed
throughout the body. More blood flow, more energy.
Read "Laughter, The Best Medicine" from Readers Digest. Y. Just be sure
the funny newsletter has CLEAN humor. You get a daily dose of 4-5 jokes that can set
the tone for the day: happy and energetic.
No matter what shape or form it comes in, meditation relaxes you, releases stress, and
increases energy. Here are a few easy techniques you can do:
Focus on deep breathing. Concentrate on nothing else but the breathing.
Count your breaths. Helps you stay focused on the breathing.
It's easy to lose your focus once you've started the breathing. "What do I have to do
tomorrow?" "What bills need to be paid?" "Where did I leave the keys?" Dr.
Feldman suggests to just let those thoughts happen. The more you resist, the
more you'll think of them. He says to be an idea traffic cop, waving the ideas on
Return your focus to your breathing. Start counting over again.
Some smiling pointers:
Don't let your eyes lie. A sincere, deeply felt smile is displayed by a mile-wide grin
and "crow's feet" around the eyes.
Do something that makes you smile. We are constantly doing things to get
something. It's easy to get caught up in doing something for somebody/thing else
without really enjoying it. Take the time, even if for a few minutes, to do something
you genuinely enjoy, and makes you flash your pearly whites.
Project what you want to get. Smile at others, you get a smile back. Who isn't
energized by giving and receiving smiles? C'mon now, ear-to-ear!
Escape from reality and revitalize with... toys! Just make sure they're recreational and
fun. If they're competition-based, where the emphasis is on winning, then that only
adds to stress and fatigue.
Are you a problem-solver? Try puzzles, for example. Impulsive? Try wind-up
Decorate your desk with stuff you like to play with. You should see my dad's desk!
No wonder he says he doesn't have time - he's busy playing with his toys!
Think back to your earlier days - what made you happy and full of energy? Cars?
Collecting sports cards?
An unfit life will result in… - Poor health - Poor self esteem - Reduction in ability to think clearly - Reduction in ability to act or react adequately - Increase in stress - Early death A healthy lifestyle will result in… - Fewer visits to the doctor - Feeling better about ourselves - Ability to think clearly - Ability to act or react adequately in all situations - Reduced stress - Increased happiness - Better rest - A long, fruitful, and prosperous life
The funny thing about living a life that is not properly balanced is that it acts as a
When we’re stressed and not eating properly and not resting properly, our
healthy lifestyle is reduced and we feel more stress, we eat poorly, and we can’t
get proper rest! This will continue to spiral out of control until your body puts a
halt to it any way it can.
If balance is the key, a life that is unbalanced is not JUST
unbalanced, It will leave you dazed and confused
Two people who experience the same amounts of stress will feel that stress
different if one is living a healthy life and one is living an unhealthy life. The one
living the healthy life will experience the stress and be able to think clearly and
act and manage it, even if the stress is troubling. A person who lives an
unhealthy life will feel the stress more acutely. The same goes for any of the
other aspects of healthy living: The person who lives a healthy life will enjoy a
better sleep and actually require less than the person who leads an unhealthy
life. The person who leads an unhealthy life will need more sleep but will actually
get less and the sleep they have will not be as good.
What are the results? Plain and simple: An unhealthy lifestyle will make life
more difficult until one day it just crashes. A health lifestyle, on the other hand,
will be an enjoyable and long lasting experience.
Movies like Super size Me and television shows like Honey, We’re Killing The Kids point to our awareness that something is not right with our health. Each year, billions of dollars are spent on health equipment, diet books, health food, diet supplements, weight loss pills & potions and fitness center memberships. So if we’re so aware of our current health situation, and apparently spending tons of money to do something about it, how come we lead such unhealthy lives? How come obesity is considered such a national epidemic?
We don’t need statistics to tell us that 21st century life can be unhealthy. There
seems to be a fast food outlet on every corner (and between corners, too). We
lead sedentary lives at work, sitting at a computer all day and then after work in
front of the television. On top of that, we’re stressed and busy so we don’t even
get the rest we need to re-energize your bodies.
A little over a century ago, while North America was still being settled, people
worked long hours and life was hard, but they ate balanced meals, got plenty of
rest, and lead relatively stress free lives.
The medical industry may have advanced in its ability to save our lives but we
are making its job harder by becoming unhealthier every single day.
So what are Your Long Term Solutions
For Improving Your Fitness & Health?
It all comes down to just a few important factors
My Personal Fitness & Health Balance
Right now, we’re not balanced. There is too much going on in our daily lives.
From the moment we wake up we’re unbalanced.
Consider this typical daily lifestyle scenario:
6:00 AM – Alarm goes off, again. You jump out of bed and start your morning.
7:00 AM – The kids are at the table and you’re eating your Super-sized toasted
bagel (400 Calories of High Glycemic - Blood Sugar Spiking Refined
White Flour Bread) lathered with saturated full fat cream cheese,
while you quickly dress for work. What did you do with the report you
worked on late last night? Do the kids have their homework? Did you sign
the note to allow one of them to go on a field trip?
7:15 AM – There’s no time to finish your bagel, so you drink your High Octane
Caffeine Loaded 20oz Travel Mug of Coffee loaded with Tons of
Sugar & Full Fat cream, as you buckle the kids into the car and wave
goodbye to your spouse, who’s tearing off to work in the other car…
7:45 AM – You’ve just dropped off your youngest to daycare and now you’re
headed to school but traffic is getting heavy and you’re starting to get
stressed out. Someone cuts you off, which upsets you even more as road
rage starts to kick in.
8:00 AM – You drop off your oldest child at school then rush to work. If traffic
doesn’t lighten up, you may be late.
8:30 AM – You slide into your desk – you just made it! Now you begin your day.
As usual, there’s a lot of work to do and you see that you’ll have to bring
some home tonight in order to finish.
10:15 AM – Coffee break - No Time for a Healthy Snack – Just Grab a Candy
Bar from the Vending Machine Down the hall and some more High
Octane Coffee loaded with sugar and high saturated fat dry creamer.
Just the Perfect Choice for making your Blood Sugar Sky Rocket Again
12:00 PM – Lunch. You didn’t have time to pack a lunch so you slip across the
street to one of those Fast Food Hamburger Drive Thru and grab a
Burger with Cheese and you Super-Size your order with an Extra
Large Order of Grease Laden French Fries, but you make an
awesome decision and only order a Diet Soda to offset your 1,000
plus calorie lunch.
1:00 PM – You’re back to work and your manager is heard yelling on some kind
of rampage about work not getting done. You heard there could be cuts at
the end of the month so you find yourself pushing to work harder.
3:30 PM – Coffee break. – No Time to Snack – Feeling a Bit Sluggish
5:30 PM – You rush out of work and fight traffic because you have to pick up
your oldest child from the after school program, then you have to rush to
the daycare before 6PM to pick up your youngest child.
6:00 PM – You don’t feel like cooking tonight so you call your spouse on the cell
phone and ask them to pick something up on the way home.
7:00 PM – You all sit down to a dinner of two slices of pepperoni pizza and a
beer that you so desperately need after your stressful day of work.
At least you don’t have any dishes to do!
8:00 PM – You fight with your oldest child to do their homework while you get
your youngest child to bed.
9:00 PM – You fight with your oldest child to start getting ready for bed.
10:00 PM – Your oldest is now in bed, a half hour late and you can sit down for a
few minutes before you have to start on your report.
10:15 PM – You begin your report and realize that it’s going to be a late night
2:45 AM – As you crawl into bed you realize today was just like every other day
and tomorrow doesn’t look any different.
This is how many households function! Is yours like this? Some
are worse! Consider how much harder it is for a single parent, or
a parent who has to work longer than 8:30 to 5:30
A quick diagnosis of the example above shows that…
Ø You are only getting half of the sleep you should be getting.
Ø You ate large portions of Fat Laden, High Calorie Convenience
Meals that made your Blood Sugar spike up and down all day.
Ø No Time to Work Out
Ø There is a lot of stress in your life.
This is unhealthy living and the sad reality is that many of us are living it because
we feel trapped and unable to get out. We want to live healthier lives but because
we’re unbalanced, it feels like we don’t have a lot of choice.
A balanced life is one where our physical activity is moderate, our resting activity
is moderate, our food intake is moderate, and our stress is moderate. Each of
these fitness factors works together to determine our overall level of health. A
few minutes on the treadmill each week won’t make up for a lack of sleep, poor
eating habits, and the high stress we feel.
. To lose weight, you need to increase your activity to burn more and/or eat fewer calories each day . If you're eating less calories than you're burning, you'll lose weight . Now if you don't think you're going to like our method, feel free to check out other experts' advice on How to Lose Weight . energy balance and fat oxidation information to help lose weight naturally.
One final caution: the research shows how calcium helps people who are dieting lose weight faster and may help keep the weight off. You may also need my weight loss pills, it can definitely help you lose weight. People who lose weight rapidly are less likely to maintain the loss for life. There are as many different recommendations for supposedly successful diets as there are people trying to lose weight.
Diets attempt to reduce weight by restricting the amounts of some types of foods, typically replacing them with other foods. . Cooking is a great way to put calcium-rich dairy into your diet plan. When choosing a plan, please review the overall diet plan carefully. By providing you with a clear head and by working as a metabolism aid, Ginger Root is the perfect compliment to any diet plan. Then decide your diet plan. No diet plan would work properly without good nutrition, therefore it is a major factor in the SixPackNow Program. Diet pills provide a supposed "zero-effort" option for weight loss.
, stimulant-based diet pills should be used in moderation and never on a long-term basis. Adding supplemental diet pills to the mix will help speed up the process and return positive results. You can also turn to weight loss products like diet pills that will facilitate your weight loss program. But remember diet pills should be combined with two steps, that is, a balanced diet and exercise. Also try losing weight with diet pills, vitamin pill, exercise equipment, natural metabolism gain and more cellulite pound busting diet methods.
The weight loss program emphasizes safe, healthy weight loss leading to lifelong weight management
They've tried many supplements on the market and failed, and wonder if there really is a weight loss program than can work for them. Consult your physician before starting any weight loss program or taking any dietary supplements. Setting goals that are impossible to reach will only result in frustration and may lead to the abandonment of the weight loss program. So what we need is some sort of weight loss program that tells us exactly which workout routines and which sensible foods to eat that will give us energy and burn fat at the same time.
Developing a solid nutrition plan involves more than just knowing which foods to eat; you also need to consider how much of each to consume, and how often. In other words, you need to know how to prioritize foods when you’re constructing a nutrition plan. For example, both broccoli and brown rice make the “good carb” list, but there’s a clear di erence in their energy density. Broccoli is high in ber and nutrients, but provides relatively few calories. If your goal is to add lean mass, you will not be able to ful ll your calorie requirements if the bulk of your carbs come from broccoli or other brous vegetables. Yet brous vegetables are important too! So we need to set up some basic, common sense guidelines. One of the simplest approaches that dieticians and nutritionists have used for years is the food pyramid, which was developed by the US Dept. of Ag- riculture (USDA).
Most people are aware of the USDA Food Pyramid: you can’t avoid seeing it
in the media, in schools, and so on. The Food Pyramid has been a mainstay
over the years because it’s a good teaching tool. It’s a simple visual rep-
resentation of how we’re supposed to rank di erent types of foods in our
diets for - supposedly - optimal health. You can take it in with a glance and
apply it to your own diet.
There’s only one problem: the nutritional “information” it provides is less
than optimal in many ways. From the USDA’s point of view, potatoes are
in the same group as green vegetables and people are told to eat 6 - 8
servings per day of grains. It’s a pyramid where all fats are created equal,
seemingly all bad, and beans are within both the protein and vegetable
In short, it’s a well intentioned pyramid that has led to a great deal of confu-
sion - especially the newest version, which can be seen at mypyramid.gov.
While the new version is an improvement over the old one in some ways,
it’s far too abstract to in uence people’s food choices.
In other words, the Food Pyramid is a great idea, but awed in execution.
But that’s easy to x!
I would like to brie y suggest a food pyramid for bodybuilders and other
My pyramid, ‘The Brink Pyramid’ (see image at the end of this section) em-
ploys a more in-depth rating system over that of the standard pyramid. The
USDA’s pyramid assumes that
fats are created equal. It makes the incredible blunder of lumping
all fats in the same section (i.e., saturated, trans fats, monounsaturated,
High carbohydrate diets are healthy. In truth, the standard pyramid
invites an increase in body fat and other potential problems from the
overly high carbohydrate intakes, most of which would be based on
heavily processed carbs of the average American diet.
Plant and animal protein sources are equivalent. The USDA pyramid
puts beans, nuts and seeds in with the meats and eggs section. These
are certainly healthy foods, but are only high in protein when compared
to other plant foods. In addition, plant proteins are typically limited in
one or more essential amino acids. How beans, nuts and seeds ended
up with the meats and eggs section is a mystery to me.
Supplements aren’t part of a healthy diet. The standard pyramid ig-
nores nutritional supplements altogether. In my view, that’s an over-
sight and a mistake. No matter what a person’s diet is like, supplements
can and should play a role in optimal health and performance and
therefore should be included. That’s why I have given them their own
position in what I consider a pyramid designed with optimal health and
performance in mind.
No one drinks alcoholic beverages. The standard USDA pyramid ig-
nores alcohol, which is ubiquitous in our society. Although not a “food”
per se in the classic sense, I think a proper pyramid should be set up
to help people lead a healthy life regarding whatever they put in their
mouths on a regular basis. A proper pyramid should be a quick, “at a
glance” reference that people can use as a guide to healthy eating.
Modest alcohol use has even been shown to be bene cial to health,
a point that should be acknowledged by the powers-that-be who are
giving us advice.
In short, a pyramid that ignores booze, supplements and di erences in
carbs, proteins and fats, is an incomplete pyramid in my view, and only
leads to fatter, less healthy and nutritionally confused people.
Another important point to understand regarding the standard USDA
pyramid is that the rankings and groups in that pyramid were not made
exclusively on science, but also on politics. It’s well known that the posi-
tioning of many key foods was altered after those industries lobbied heav-
ily to have them moved to a more favorable location on the pyramid. My
pyramid is an attempt to rectify that situation.
Based on what you have read from the above and looking at the visual
representation of the pyramid, my “new and improved” pyramid should be
Take a look at “The Brink Pyramid.” As in earlier pyramids, the pyramid
should be read from bottom to top. At the base you nd:
• Lean, unprocessed (or minimally processed) proteins from poultry, lean
meat, sh (and other seafood), cottage cheese, eggs/egg whites, etc.
• Healthy fats and EFAs from cold-pressed, unre ned oils and foods such
as nuts, nut butters/spreads, seeds and avocados.
• High ber, low glycemic index carbohydrates from whole grains, 100%
whole grain products, beans, sweet potatoes, etc.
For gaining quality weight, the majority of the calories you eat each day
should come from the foods at the bottom of the pyramid.
The second row from the bottom contains groups that also play vital roles
in your diet, but don’t generally contribute a large number of calories:
• Fresh, brous vegetables and (some) fruits (needs no explanation).
• Supplements such as multivitamins/minerals, antioxidants and perfor-
mance enhancers (e.g. whey protein, creatine, glutamine, etc.).
The third and fourth rows represent groups that are a part of living in “the
real world.” Needless to state, you should reduce/limit - and in some cases
avoid - consumption of these foods:
Saturated fats from high fat cuts of red meat, pork, butter, cheese, sau-
sages, whole milk, cream/sour cream and regular ground beef.
Higher GI and/or low ber foods such as white our pastas, white rice,
white potatoes, breads, bagels, processed breakfast cereals, instant oat-
meal, certain fruits, etc.
Alcohol: red wine appears to be the healthiest choice. Limit intake to
two drinks per day for men and one for women.
Sweets/high GI carbs from cookies/cakes, soft drinks, candy, juices, etc.
(note: there is a speci c application for high GI carbs post workout, but
should be limited in a normal diet).
Unhealthy, “bad” fats from processed cooking oils, trans fats, fried foods,
rancid fats, etc. These unhealthy fats can be found in fried foods such as
potato chips, French fries, and foods containing the words “partially hy-
drogenated” on the labels. Most margarines, though sold as healthy
alternatives to butter, may, in fact, be even worse for our health due to
their content of trans fats from the partially hydrogenated oils used to
create a semi-solid texture.
Using my pyramid, a person should have a much easier time developing a
healthy eating pattern based on a more in-depth assessment of the foods
and other nutrients we all eat (or should be eating!). It’s a more targeted
and intelligent approach to making proper food choices.
Of course, the amount of each food group will depend on many factors
such as activity levels, exercise choices, age, goals and other variables be-
yond the scope of this section.
For example, a person who is a marathon runner could indeed eat a larger
number servings per day of the starchy carbohydrates recommended in
the USDA pyramid. But for someone who is more sedentary, it would be
best to stick to the low end of the scale and consume a higher proportion
of EFAs and protein. The same would be true for strength athletes, as well.
The bottom line is that the actual ratio of macronutrients (i.e. proteins, fats
and carbs) and total calories necessary is relative, and depends on some of
the variables mentioned above.
Which foods the person should rely on to achieve those goals, can easily
be gured out from “The Athletes and Healthy Persons Pyramid”, a.k.a. “The
Brink Pyramid For Optimal Health and Performance”, if you will
As most people are probably aware, Americans are eating less fat, but are fatter than ever! One likely culprit is the fact that most people have re- placed fat with high GI foods such as “low fat” cookies, cakes, rice cakes and other high GI foods. Some research has even found the GI of food can actually alter the eating behavior all day long. A study in 1999, for example, examined how GI af- fected eating behavior in obese teenage boys. The boys consumed either a high, medium or low GI meal at breakfast and lunch. The researchers then measured how much the boys ate for a 5 hour period after lunch. Each of the meals contained the same number of calo- ries.
Amazingly, the study found food intake was 53 percent greater after the
medium GI meal, and a whopping 81 percent greater after the high GI
meal, when compared to the low GI meal.
As one would expect, insulin levels were dramatically higher after the high
GI meal. The study showed that a single high GI meal could a ect how
many calories a person will eat many hours later. The reason for this is most
likely the e ect of the high GI meal on blood sugar.
As mentioned, the study found the insulin levels of the high GI meal were
much higher than the other meals. When insulin rushes in to lower blood
sugar after a high GI meal, the result is low blood sugar shortly after. The
body senses the low blood sugar and responds by sending out the hunger
Eating low to moderate GI carbs throughout the day keeps steadier blood
sugar levels, so the body senses that adequate food and carbohydrates are
coming in. The feedback pathways controlling hunger and appetite (no
they are not the same thing) are incredibly complex and beyond the scope
of this chapter. Su ce it to say, blood sugar level and its e ect on insulin is
a key feedback mechanism the body uses to sense incoming nutrients, and
divert those nutrients where needed.
Numerous studies have found that the eating of high GI foods is associated
with greater body fat levels. Some animal studies have found that feeding
high GI foods to animals causes them to gain body fat. When you under-
stand the role of insulin in human metabolism, it does not take a Ph.D. in
biochemistry to see why this would happen.
One thing is clear, the GI of the carbs you eat will be a factor in how much
body fat is ultimately produced from the meal and the spike in insulin you
You know those low fat cakes you were so happy about? Throw ‘em out!
One important caveat to remember is that calories also matter and al-
though it may be possible to eat greater amounts of low GI carbs vs. high
GI carbs without problems, it’s far from a free-for-all excuse to stu oneself
The body can only burn or store so much carbohydrate as glycogen. Af-
ter that, increased body fat will be the result. The trick is to eat the cor-
rect amount – and types – of carbs to replenish glycogen levels and to fuel
workouts and daily activities, while making up the other calories in healthy
fats and proteins. How to do this will be covered in the following sections
What are the drawbacks of the GI? For one thing, many people hold it up
as the Holy Grail of dieting, the be-all and end-all of nutrition. It’s not. It is
however another useful tool in the ght against body fat. Many things can
alter the GI of foods.
One drawback is that the GI is gured out in isolation - that is, each food
is tested alone to gure out its GI number. This makes perfect sense from
the research point of view, but rarely re ects how people really eat. Mixing
di erent foods together - the way most people actually eat - can have dra-
matic e ects on the GI of the food in question. Fat, ber, protein, cooking
times, etc. can all a ect the GI of a food or a meal, for that matter.
Want to lower the GI of a rice cake, for example? Smear a tablespoon of
peanut butter on it. The glycemic response to a meal can also be reduced
by vinegar, such as in a oil-and-vinegar salad dressing. Prolonged cooking
that increases starch gelatinization also increases the GI. Pasta cooked “al
dente” has a much lower GI than the same pasta cooked for 15 - 20 min-
In addition, the GI of a food sometimes gives an incomplete picture of its
impact on blood sugar. The GI value tells you how fast the carbohydrate in
a food is broken down into glucose, but it doesn’t tell you how much car-
bohydrate is present in a serving. This is why the concept of Glycemic Load
(GL) was developed. The GL of a food accounts for the amount of carbo-
hydrate present in a food. While the relationship between GI and GL holds
for most foods, there are some exceptions. A few foods can have a high GI,
but because they don’t contain a lot of carbohydrate in a typical serving,
the GL is reduced. Watermelon is a classic example, with a GI of 72 ( GI > 70
is considered high), but a GL of only 4, which is quite low.
GI is also misleading in the case of the simple sugar, fructose. Fructose has
a relatively low GI, but is quite lipogenic. Fructose consumption has been
positively linked to the worldwide epidemic of obesity. Fructose is found
in a wide variety of processed foods, and is also sold as an alternative “natu-
ral” sweetener - but it’s something to be avoided in larger amounts if you
want to limit fat gains, in spite of its low GI.
So, understanding the overall importance of the GI can be a useful tool in
getting the most out of a diet plan for gaining muscle with minimum body
fat, but it is far from the last word in nutrition. It’s important as part of the
“big picture,” but shouldn’t be the sole criterion used for including - or ex-
cluding - certain carb sources in your diet.
The GI’s importance relates to blood sugar’s e ects on the hormone insulin,
the primary hormonal mediator of fat storage. Among its hundreds of dif-
ferent functions, the body uses the hormone insulin to control the amount
of sugar (glucose) in the blood, help pull amino acids into the cells, turn on
protein synthesis in lean tissues and regulate body fat storage.
Problems with the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose appear if insulin
does not properly bind to its receptors on the membranes of the cells or if
the cells do not readily accept blood sugar.
As already indicated, the general name for the failure of normal amounts
of insulin to maintain blood sugar (i.e., glucose) within acceptable levels
is insulin resistance. When insulin does not bring blood sugar down after
meals, the body secretes higher amounts of insulin until serum glucose
levels eventually fall.
Not surprisingly, diets and nutrients, which reduce the amount of insulin
required by the body, also appear to reduce the tendency toward excessive
weight gain, especially in insulin insensitive people.
Controlling the GI of meals allows a person to keep a steady and predict-
able blood sugar level, which can lead to possible improvements in body
fat levels, energy levels, etc. For the diabetic (the original reason the GI was
invented), it can mean the di erence between life and death.
Since the hormone insulin is well known for its ability to store glucose in
muscle, increase protein synthesis and possibly increase muscle mass, it
has predictably gotten the attention of bodybuilders and other athletes.
In fact, it is sometimes said that insulin is a primary anabolic hormone pro-
duced by the body.
Some researchers feel that insulin is almost as important to lean muscle
tissue as the anabolic hormones testosterone and growth hormone ( GH).
Insulin has direct e ects on IGF-1 binding proteins (IGFBPs) and directly
mediates some of the e ects of IGF-1.
Unfortunately, insulin certainly has its downside. Of course, most people
know that insulin metabolism out of control will make a person rather fat,
since insulin is a primary hormonal mediator of fat storage.
Insulin resistance increases the number of calories stored as fat and in-
creases the amount of fat produced by the liver from carbohydrates. It
gets worse: it turns out that insulin plays a big role in whether we produce
our own fat from carbohydrates. And if we are making even a little fat, we
turn o our ability to burn fat because the body does not make new fat and
burn already stored fat at the same time.
Of course, the concept of “ insulin management” for adding new muscle
to the hard-training athlete’s frame is all the rage with various bodybuild-
ing magazines, supplement companies and nutritional guru types. If you
can manage insulin via the GI correctly, you can add new muscle without
adding a great deal of body fat. This is the goal of proper insulin manage-
It’s obvious that athletes and bodybuilders are far more aware than the
general public of the importance of insulin, hence the popularity of insulin
potentiating compounds such as chromium and vanadyl sulfate.
Some bodybuilders have chosen to go the Kamikaze route by injecting in-
sulin directly, but it does not take a rocket scientist to realize how danger-
ous this practice is.
Can you say “coma?”
Also, many bodybuilders who play with insulin injections end up looking
more like the Michelin Man than a bodybuilder.
One thing should be clear by now: proper insulin management is of para-
mount importance whether for athletes looking to add new muscle with-
out adding body fat, as well as for non-athletes trying to avoid a host of
Athletes want to improve their insulin/blood sugar metabolism because
they know it can lead to increases in lean mass, glycogen storage in mus-
cle, and decreases in body fat. The avoidance of future medical problems
is certainly not a bad motivator, either
Carbohydrates, or sugars, are made primarily of carbon, hydrogen and oxy- gen atoms that cyclize into a ring. Carbohydrates can be “simple” or “complex” depending on the number of rings you hook together and the way in which they hook together. Though the rings can be slightly di erent, their common theme is the ring struc- ture as their nal shape. Similar to amino acids and fats, when you link the simple units (the sug- ars) together you get carbohydrates with di erent properties. You can link glucose units together to get a glucose polymer. In fact, when the body stores units of glucose linked together in the liver and muscle, it is called “ glycogen,” a term with which most people are familiar.
You can also link di erent kinds of sugars to get di erent products. For in-
stance, if you combine glucose with fructose you get sucrose (table sugar).
If you combine glucose with galactose you get lactose (milk sugar), and so
Link a bunch of sugars together and you get polysaccharides. Combine
two sugars together like the previously mentioned lactose and you get a
disaccharide. Of course, by themselves they are called monosaccharides.
Are you starting to see a repeating theme here?
Link a simple unit together with other units and you get a product the body
can do all sorts of things with. Linking units together gives you a product
(fats, carbs, and proteins), and breaking down the products into units (ulti-
mately) gives you energy.
You will notice I have not mentioned the “essential carbohydrates” because
there is no such thing! Though the body runs best on an intake of some
carbs in the diet, the body can make its own carbohydrates from protein
and other non-carbohydrate substrates, as mentioned in the protein sec-
Digestion reverses the process: the body breaks down complex carbohy-
drates into simple carbohydrates and ultimately blood sugar (glucose)
which can then be used for many di erent functions, such as the produc-
tion of ATP (the body’s universal energy molecule). Depending on the car-
bohydrate and other factors, di erent carbohydrates will have di erent ef-
fects on blood sugar; in particular, how fast blood sugar rises and falls.
The ability of a carbohydrate food to raise blood sugar quickly or slowly is
called the glycemic index ( GI). The GI was developed to track how di erent
foods a ect blood sugar.
Interestingly, many carbohydrates that are considered“complex” have been
found to raise blood sugar rapidly while a few “simple” carbohydrates don’t
have a dramatic e ect on blood sugar. The GI rating of a food is based on
how much blood glucose rises after consuming a carbohydrate food over a
2 hour period. This is compared to a reference, glucose, a simple sugar.
Some GI scales now use white bread as the reference, but we will use the
glucose scale in this chapter. For instance, if you consume 50 grams of
glucose (yuk), you will get dramatic elevation in blood sugar. If you eat, say
50 grams of carbs found in the form of oranges, your blood glucose would
probably rise approximately 44 percent when compared to glucose. So,
the GI rating for oranges would be 44 on the glucose scale. Using white
bread as the reference carbohydrate, it would be a di erent number. Capi-