Happy 2016, friends! Someone just let me know that I've not updated my blog since 2014, and I feel like I need to hang my head in shame a little! I just wanted to let everyone know I will do my best to work on adding much more content this year, including client transformations, as well as fitness and nutrition articles. Stay tuned!
A general assumption is that fructose means fruit and most of us don’t worry about getting too much sugar from our fruits because we just don’t eat them very often. We may be getting an overload of fructose without even being aware of it, though. And what’s even worse is that a researcher from the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas has just discovered that fructose in the diet converts to fat faster than any other sweeteners available today.
Dr. Elizabeth Parks, an associate professor of clinical nutrition, says the kinds of foods we eat, especially the carbohydrates, influence fat synthesis and may have as big an effect in a weight-loss diet as counting calories. Traces of sugar occur naturally in many proteins (it’s the reason meats and pastries turn brown when cooked) but fruits and vegetables have the highest concentration of naturally occurring fructose. To test her theory, Parks and her colleagues recruited six healthy people for a three-part study using glucose- and fructose-sweetened breakfast drinks.
So I shared this picture of a girl who is in the middle of a weight loss program, and was accused of fat shaming her. On top of that, the person said this won't make me more credible in the fitness industry.
I want to make it abundantly clear that I would NEVER fat shame this girl or anyone else by posting their pictures. I found the picture very inspirational, and nothing more. To fat shame someone else would be to fat shame myself, because I've BEEN morbidly obese, and to this day I struggle with food addictions. I'm not too proud to admit that I have my own issues, nine years removed from the beginning of my initial weight loss journey. I've never smoked, done drugs, or drank much, but food is always going to be my mortal enemy.
If I ever post a picture of an overweight person, it's only because I found it inspirational or motivational. Obesity is a plague in this country, I'm a survivor, and I only want to help people get motivated to make their own changes; whether they train with me, buy my book, or go some completely different route. Accusing me of fat shaming is not only hurtful, it's just plain false. That is all.
A Former Fat Guy
I use cinnamon every day to flavor my IKP Coffee (the recipe is in my new eBook), smoothies, and various other dishes. Not only does it taste great, but a slew of scientific research on cinnamon is showing that it can and should be a great addition to your low-carb or ketogenic diet.
Studies are verifying that cinnamon has an effect of 3-5% on resting blood sugar, which is equal to the amount of reduction of older forms of diabetes drugs. High resting blood sugar is what is referred to as "pre-diabetes," and is something anyone who has it should be aiming to alleviate, as the next step in the process if full blown type 2 diabetes. Another benefit of cinnamon is a statistically significant decrease in LDL (the so called "bad" cholesterol) and triglycerides, although studies have shown that how much improvement is dependent on each individual person.
Clearly you don't want to replace your diabetes drugs with cinnamon, but as part of your diet, cinnamon is a cheap, flavorful, and potentially beneficial addition to your overall regimen. Experts recommend using Ceylon cinnamon or even daily cinnamon capsules to help reduce resting blood sugar and improve your blood profile. You can purchase Ceylon cinnamon in most quality grocery stores and online. Go for the organic kind if money isn't an issue.
Tomorrow, I'll be sharing my power-food smoothie recipe that just happens to use cinnamon as a flavorful and beneficial ingredient, so be sure to check back them. Until then, keep your fat high, your protein moderate, and your carbs low. And start using some cinnamon!
Citation: Allen RW, Schwartzman E, Baker WL, Coleman CI, Phung OJ. Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Fam Med. 2013;11(5):452-9.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN DIET
As an American born in the latter half of the 20th century, we hold these truths to be self-evident. All men are created equal, they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Oh, and if they eat a high fat diet, they will inevitably get heart disease and die.
Okay, so that first part is the Declaration of Independence. The high fat diet part is what’s been passed down to us by our United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Their new MyPlate system is supposed to be a replacement for the old food pyramid. The food pyramid, and MyPlate in a somewhat more confusing manner, recommend every American’s diet look like this on a daily basis:
· 5-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta
· 3-5 servings of vegetables
· 2-4 servings of fruit
· 2-3 servings of dairy
· 2-3 servings of meat and eggs
· Sparing use of oils and sugars
In theory, eating this prescribed amount of food each day along with the proper amount of calories will make you thin, healthy, and live to be 100 years old. In the mid 1980’s, the president of the American Heart Association told Time Magazine that if everyone adopted this style of eating, “we will have [heart disease] conquered by the year 2000.” There’s just one problem with this, and I’m sure you can guess what it is. Ever since the adoption of this diet as the standard for which all other diets will be measured, obesity, heart disease and cancer rates have skyrocketed.
I won’t make this a huge history lesson, as that’s not what this book about. However, I want to go over a couple of key historical facts everyone should find highly curious.
Around the year 1958, a fellow by the name of Ancel Keys started to conduct what he called the “Seven Countries Study,” in which he would try to examine the association of diet and cardiovascular disease. What he found was that countries that ate the most amount of dietary fat had the highest instances of heart disease. Without much further experimentation or observation, he hypothesized that high fat equals heart disease. End of story, right? Not so fast. He left out a few big details so as to spin his theory in a positive light.
He left out the evidence that Holland and Norway ingested copious amount of fat, but had very little heart disease. He also neglected to mention Chile ingesting low fat, but having very high rates of heart disease. In other words, he only used data from countries that supported his theory, and left those key statistics from Holland, Norway, Chile and several other countries out. For his efforts, or lack thereof, Keys was put on the cover of Time Magazine and was a large influence on the American Heart Association’s effort to introduce America to a low-fat diet for the next few decades.
Twenty years later, in 1977, a U.S. Senate committee published the first dietary guidelines for reduction of heart disease in America. Those guidelines recommended a decrease in fat, cholesterol and processed sugars, but an increase in complex carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables and grains. The guidelines were mandated by a group of Keys-like scientists who used more theory than fact in making up the rules. However, the USDA, which “coincidentally” is in charge of selling grains, stamped their seal of approval on this kind of eating very quickly. Controlled studies of these guidelines yielded no evidence of beneficial effects, and this also happens to be the time period where the obesity epidemic in America started to surface followed shortly after by a huge influx of type 2 diabetes.
Three decades worth of unproven ideas and brilliant marketing later, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office set out to write a report that would prove without a doubt dietary fat was incredibly dangerous to us as a people. The task seemed relatively simple for the project manager assigned to the task. They were to gather the evidence proving the dangers of fat, put it into one volume, and have it approved for publication. But a funny thing happened. Four project managers and ten years went by, and they weren’t able to publish that single volume. Then in 1999, the report was killed altogether. In a sentence, the subject matter “was too complicated.” It was also found that the preconceived opinions were there, but the science simply wouldn’t back up those opinions.
We are now approaching 60 years since the Seven Countries Study, and only a few facts can be positively identified. Saturated fats have the potential to raise cholesterol levels, which can clog arteries. However, a Harvard Medical School study could only prove that cutting saturated fats to a minimum may increase your chances of living longer by a few weeks. Not years. Weeks. We’ll discuss cholesterol more in later chapters, but know this. 100% proof that cholesterol from food has anything to do with heart disease has never been verified. Not once.
Another fact that came out of our adoption of a low-fat lifestyle is that since the 1970’s, the obesity rates in adults and children have more than doubled. More than two-thirds of U.S. adults are now considered overweight. About a quarter of 2-5 year olds and one-third of school age children are overweight. And while some would argue that deaths from heart disease have dramatically decreased in the past several decades, the real truth is we are just learning better ways to treat the sick. Between 1979 and 1996, medical procedures for treatment of heart disease went from 1.2 million to 5.4 million a year.
This is not the improvement in American health Ancel Keys said it would be. This is a national tragedy; one that’s costing America an estimated $190 billion (with a b) dollars a year to treat, and climbing every year. Maybe it’s time we start listening to what the scientific community aka the skeptics have to say, and stop listening to the people with the biggest mouths.
While I’m not a scientist, I’ve extensively researched what they have to say and adopted their practices, which I have put into this book. My hope is that you can use this a one-stop source for all your nutritional needs from here on out.
What do you say we get started?
Buy The Intermittent Keto Protocol eBook now for the introductory price of just
Digital Download Only! All materials are DIGITAL and sent to you INSTANTLY in both PRINTABLE PDF AND E-READER formats. Nothing will be physically mailed to you. Download to any computer or iPad, just NOT a phone. Instant download means you can START TODAY! PLEASE FOLLOW EMAILED DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS TO ASSURE YOU CAN READ YOUR PURCHASES WITHOUT ISSUE!
Note: This e-Book is available to you immediately upon receipt of payment. Due to the nature of a virtual product, no refunds will be issued.Once your e-Book has been downloaded, it is your responsibility to save it or save and print it. Please do this immediately because the link for the e-Book will expire in 7 days. It is recommended to keep a back up copy. Should you lose your e-Book after the link has expired, you will have to purchase another copy, just as you would with paper books bought at any bookstore. If you do not receive the link upon purchase, please email us immediately. Note that no password is required to download or print the e-Book. Remember: Do NOT download it to a mobile phone, or you will lose the link.
I apologize I've been missing in action for so long on the blog, but it's been for a good reason! For the past 3-plus months, I've been putting all my fat-loss knowledge into a single 75-page manual called The Intermittent Keto Protocol! In it, you're going to learn about some amazing things!
EFFORTLESS FAT LOSS WITH THE CYCLICAL KETOGENIC DIET
The heart of the Intermittent Keto Protocol is centered around harnessing the power of the low-carb cyclical ketogenic diet. You will learn how eating things like bacon and butter on a daily basis turn your body into a fat burning machine whileLOWERING your risk of things such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Forget everything you think you know about low-carb dieting. If you do it correctly, it is almost safe to call it a "cure-all" for nearly everything plaguing society today. Not only will I teach you how to become fat-adpated, I have also included numerous tools to help you on your journey:
DISEASE PREVENTION AND FAT LOSS THROUGH INTERMITTENT FASTING
What if I told you that by skipping a few meals a week, you could dramatically improve your chances of preventing things such as cancer, Alzheimer's, and several autoimmune diseases? Well, it's not science-fiction, it's intermittent fasting. The Intermittent Keto Protocol will teach you how to easily perform a few short fasts per week to not only lose fat, but to ward off disease and enact anti-aging processes through the natural process of autophagy. There is no such thing as a detox diet, but the power of intermittent fasting delivers on what those diet systems promise to do... IT ACTUALLY DETOXES YOU!
OCCASIONALLY EATING JUNK FOOD OFFERS SUPERCHARGED FAT LOSS!
Every week or two, depending on your goals, you will be allowed a strategic window where you can indulge in all the delicious foods you've been missing such as pizza, pasta, and donuts, while ENHANCING your fat burning potential, making for better workouts during the week, and just generally making you a happier person. That's right. You don't need to feel guilty about eating the foods you were missing. In fact, eating them occasionally is fully encouraged on The Intermittent Keto Protocol!
BUT WAIT.. THERE'S MORE!
I know losing fat, preventing disease, and still getting to eat your favorite foods on occasion may sound too good to be true, but it isn't. Everything provided to you in The Intermittent Keto Protocol is backed by scientific research, and on top of the already amazing benefits provided, IKP will teach you:
A nutritional program like this would easily cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars, assuming you were able to find a dietitian willing to prescribe you something that works this well. But I'm not going to charge you thousands of dollars. For the first few months of release, The Intermittent Keto Protocol will be available for the ridiculously low price of $25.00! This deal won't last forever, so be sure to jump at the opportunity to learn how to blast fat, prevent disease, and still eat donuts. I look forward to helping you on your journey to better health!
CLICK BELOW TO SECURELY DOWNLOAD AN INSTANTLY DELIVERABLE PDF. YOU CAN VIEW THIS PDF ON ANY COMPUTER OR TABLET!
SECURE Digital Download Only! All materials are DIGITAL and sent to you INSTANTLY in PDF format so you can START TODAY! Nothing will be physically mailed to you. Download to any computer or iPad, just NOT a phone.
Note: This e-Book is available to you immediately upon receipt of payment. Due to the nature of a virtual product, no refunds will be issued.Once your eBook has been downloaded, it is your responsibility to save it and/or print it. Please do this immediately because the link for the e-Book will expire in 7 days. It is recommended to keep a back up copy. Should you lose your e-Book after the link has expired, you will have to purchase another copy, just as you would with paper books bought at any bookstore. If you do not receive the link upon purchase, please email us immediately. Note that no password is required to download or print the e-Book. Remember: Do NOT download it to a mobile phone, or you will lose the link. Tip: Download a free Adobe PDF reader to your tablet or computer.
Losing a large amount of weight is a truly life altering experience. Better health, new clothes, new relationship opportunities. The list of positives that come from it are plentiful. But for many, it's incredibly hard to shake the long standing mental image of oneself. I was overweight for so long, I lost 100 pounds and still looked in the mirror and saw my 350 pound self for YEARS. Why, though? It might have something to do with 'phantom fat.'
For people who have lost 60, 80, 100 pounds and up, the mental baggage associated with weight loss can be long term for several reasons. From a physical standpoint, losing a large amount of fat can result in some less than desirable alterations to your physique. You've replaced a highly overweight body with a more fit body that has cellulite, loose skin, and stretch marks. These "side effects" of weight loss can give a person a whole new level of self consciousness, often times leaving them with little choice but to have painful skin removal surgery and incur months of healing time.
Physical scars aside, the real damage from weight loss can come from damage to your mental well being. When you lose a tremendous amount of weight, your mind is forced to "catch up" with your drastically altered body. This is especially true for folks who have lost weight very rapidly. While this will gradually ease over time, the feeling of being a much larger person even though you have a smaller body is one of the most persistent feelings plaguing the newly fit. Just as a person who has lost a limb in an accident feels a phantom limb, the formerly obese may feel (and see) phantom fat.
Overcoming Phantom Fat
I look at the battle with the mirror as an addiction. Just as alcohol and drugs are an addiction, "fat shaming" yourself in the mirror for years can become something of an addiction itself, even after you've lost the weight. A person goes from hating the overall reflection, to picking out small details on themselves to fret over. You've exchanged one vicious cycle for another, and it needs to stop. Here are some personal ideas on how to change your overall perception of yourself:
A picture is worth a thousand words: Forget the mirror. Take pictures. I promise you you're never going to see the difference in yourself if you look in the mirror every day searching for improvements. Take pictures of yourself in as few clothes as you feel comfortable with, or refer to past pictures to get a baseline for where you started. Take them every day, every week, or every month and THEN critique your results. Sometimes you'll be shocked at what comes out of the camera. Example...
Set an attainable precedent, and take your time. This isn't a contest: So you've lost some weight, yet still feel like you could do more? That's great. Self betterment is very healthy, but only if you do it right. I used to save and cut out pictures of ideal physiques, from bodybuilders to celebrities, then I realized something. I am a normal person with a job and a kid and responsibilities. I'm not competing in a physique competition nor am I prepping for a movie. I don't have a team of people whose sole mission in life is to make me look better. I have a team of one. Myself. As long as you're progressing, no matter how slow it is, it's still progress. You can't put a timetable on your overall health, and 99% of us weren't blessed with the genetic makeup to look like our favorite celebrity. And you know what, THAT'S OKAY!
Learn to expect small failures: That's right. You're going to fall off the wagon every once in a while and have a romantic weekend with your old friend the pizza delivery guy and a whole cake. You're human. It can and WILL happen. Don't "make up" for your indiscretions by punishing yourself with a juice cleanse or something stupid. Just right the ship, and get back to the habits that got you where you are. No need to beat yourself up over it.
Never stop loving yourself: This might sound cliche or whatever you want to call it, but you were given this one body, and you need to love it through thick and thin. You're going to gain 10 pounds of your original 50 back, then you're going to lose it again. You may need to get 10 pounds of skin cut off, or you may have some less than desirable stretch marks. Screw what society says. Most people have no idea where you started or what you did to get where you're at. Be proud, keep working hard, and only keep the people around who accept you for who you are, whether that be an overweight you or a newly thin you. Aside from yourself, those are the people who matter.
Have anymore suggestions you'd like to add? Feel free to comment below. I look forward to hearing your personal suggestions for fighting off personal demons.
By the year 2021, the nutritional supplement industry is projected to be a $60 BILLION dollar a year business. People are buying protein powder, fat burners (even though there's no such thing, and something I'll have to touch on later) and sport performance supplements at an ever increasing rate in the grand search for a healthier and more proportioned body. Unfortunately, people are also often wasting massive amount of their hard earned cash on stuff that offers empty promises and no results.
I personally love supplements. I use them daily, and find many of them to offer me an edge I previously wouldn't have had. That being said, I believe supplements should only be used in conjunction with an already proper diet to enhance good habits you're already practicing. So, get your diet and exercise correct first, and if supplements fit in with your routine, then start using them.
That being said, choosing the right supplements in an ever growing market is not always the easiest thing. And once again, there are so many things out there for sale that have no business being on the market, it's disgusting. So today, I want to share with you the 3 most beneficial supplements I believe anyone can buy. These are in no particular order, but I believe all of them can have a permanent place in your overall routine.
In the pantheon of supplements, it's hard to deny whey protein's place as the undisputed king. As muscle mass is the main thing that keeps your metabolism running at an optimal level, protein is the building block most responsible for new muscle growth, as well as muscle retention. While people on exercise programs should include a fairly substantial amount of protein at each meal, it's not always easy to wolf down several chicken breasts and a steak every day. That's where protein powders and drinks come into play. There are many different kinds of protein drinks on the market, but whey is the preferred choice of most due to the fact it's also one of the best absorbed kinds of protein you can buy. Check out my protein powder buyer's guide HERE to find out more on the benefits of using whey in your diet.
While nothing can replace the vitamins and minerals you receive from eating whole foods, the fact is most people simply don't eat enough of the right kinds of foods to get the essential amounts of vitamins their bodies require to run at it's absolute highest levels. Many people need something to fill in the nutritional gaps. That is why including a quality multivitamin in your diet can be highly beneficial. A few words of warning about multivitamins. You get what you pay for. Those "one-a-days" you see on commercials are nearly all synthetically made in a laboratory and contain little to no natural based materials in them. If the budget will allow, buy an organic based multivitamin. They are essentially made from food, and for that reason, are better absorbed and used by the body.
The overall importance of Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet are numerous. They are highly beneficial in the areas of heart, brain, and joint health, as well as providing a base for overall better athletic performance. While there are many non-seafood based sources of Omega-3's, digestive processes required to turn them into the fatty acids EPA and DHA make them an inferior product due to the fact there is no digestion needed when these fatty acids come from fish oil. Out of everything on this list, the thing that I can literally FEEL working is fish oil. For a more in depth analysis of fish oil supplements and their benefits, read HERE.
BONUS: CREATINE MONOHYDRATE
Creatine is not completely necessary to an average person's overall nutritional program, but in the area of athletic performance, there is nothing more scientifically studied and proven to increase athletic performance than creatine monohydrate. While many of you may be under the notion that creatine is an anabolic steroid, that couldn't be further from the truth. Creatine is actually an organic compound produced by the liver that helps supply energy to cells all over the body, most notably muscle cells. Around 95% of the creatine your body produces is stored within the muscle, and while your body produces it naturally, an excess of creatine has been shown to verifiably increase athletic performance and with it, muscle building potential. Studies have found that people taking creatine experience upwards of 15% better athletic performance. This is something no other supplement can claim, and therefore the reason I feel it deserved a place on this list! Read more about creatine HERE.
Overweight people in America are everywhere. This is indisputable truth. You can go virtually anywhere and see multiple overweight people. While the actual percentage of obese people is certainly higher than it should be, the actual number may very well be skewed due to one particular problem. That problem is the BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator. Odds are quite good you've heard someone talk about how high their BMI was at least once in your life. But here's the problem. That person, as well as most others probably has a BMI much much different than a calculator or a doctor told them. Here's why..
BMI was developed in the early 1800's (a very loud alarm should have sounded just knowing that piece of information) by a Belgian mathematician. Somehow this genius calculated that weight (in pounds) divided by height (in inches) squared, multiplied by 703 determined an individual's body fat.
The Centers for Disease Control, for some unknown reason, sees this formula as a viable solution for calculating body fat. There's just one issue. The matter of determining the BMI by using only a person's body weight and not their composition. Meaning what exactly? Well, the cartoon above is a perfect representation of this. Both characters above are the same exact height and weight. The index states that both of these individuals have the same BMI, meaning the bodybuilder with 6% body fat has the same exact BMI as the man who is more than 30% body fat.
Clearly what I've just stated is not only wrong, it's VERY wrong, and should be aborted as a means to determine a person's body fat. A person is much more than just their height and weight. Everyone has muscle, bone, and water as well as fat and these must be taken into account to get a proper idea of their fat percentage.
Want to know what your real body fat percentage is? Have a fitness/health professional weigh, measure, and use skin fold calipers on you or see about getting access to a bioelectrical impedance device. Many gyms or personal trainers have access to one or both of these devices. Whatever you do, don't get upset over your BMI. Odds are it's wrong anyway.
First things first. Your results with a personal trainer are only as good as the personal trainer themselves and your level of commitment. If you have reservations about hiring someone (I include myself in this), don't do it. Plain and simple. However, if you think you've found a trainer who is right for you, you now have a lot more options of how you would like to receive your personal training than you did in the past.
If the option is there, in person training is still a great route to go. However, we live in a fast paced world. We operate on different schedules, have kid's soccer practices, meetings, you name it. It can be pretty hard for some folks to lock down 3 or 4 dedicated times each week with a personal trainer. Also, from a financial standpoint, it can be a very pricey venture for some.
Enter online personal training. Flexible around your time, considerably more affordable than in person training, and the same great results if you put in the effort! Online personal training may indeed be the next step forward in the fitness industry. However, as with hiring any trainer, make sure you do your homework and make sure he or she offer you the services you're looking for. These are a few of the things every quality online trainer should offer:
If you already have a gym membership and a general knowledge of how to get around the weight room, online personal training may be the perfect fit for your lifestyle, and more importantly your budget. Just remember, a quality online training program should include nearly everything an in person one does. Choose your personal trainer wisely, and you will both reap the benefits of a successful trainer/client relationship! Ready to START online training? Fill out my client application for a free online consultation now!