Aug 09

Change how you eat before you change what you eat!

Its funny people often talk about nutrition and the food we eat as the most important thing when it comes to being healthy and looking good and in general I agree, what we eat is extremely important, however over the last 12 months i’ve finally come to realise for most of us, what we eat is only part of the picture and when changing what we at, we should also look at changing how we eat.

You see although eating healthy food is important, how you eat it is very important. Lets look at two hypothetical people, Person A eats the best organic fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, seeds etc.. focusing on eating only the freshest most local and best food and never let processed foods touch there lips and only drink bottled water, they are like extreme food conscious and healthy, then we have person B, they eat somewhat healthy, not amazing, but have plenty of fruits and vegetables, not as good as person A, they still eat some processed food and a bit of ‘bad’ stuff, drink tap water occasionally and often enjoy a coffee or two with milk, so who looks better do we think, at the moment i’m sure you think person A right, well hold that thought.

Although person A tries really hard eating a great diet, they have always been a little overweight and still are, they assume its just because they are not following the correct diet yet and maybe they need more protein and less carbohydrates or the other way around, they are still tweaking that, but when its perfect, they will look amazing, however something they have never realised is they are always scoffing food down and take less that 5 minutes to eat a meal, the eat on the go and in the car and have a mentality that you should always clean your plate and if you don’t feel stuffed, you haven’t eaten enough and the amount of food doesn’t really matter if its healthy, and it looks impressive and manly to eat all your food anyway.

Person B on the other hand likes to eat healthy, but doesn’t get as uptight as person A and is actually in better shape than person B, which at first doesn’t make sense, especially not to Person A, who is friends with person B and thinks its totally unfair.

However what person A doesn’t see is the subtle difference between the way person B eats from them. Person B never eats on the go, he really enjoys his food and always makes time for it and will relax and often take a full 20 minutes or more to eat his food from start to finish, he also never likes the heavy stuffed feeling he gets from eating to much and prefers to stop eating when he is no longer hungry, not completely stuffed and actually believes gluttony is a terrible thing and makes you fat and sick.

This is actually the reason person B looks good and person A only looks okay and its why person A will never look amazing, although they eat very healthy, they always consume just a little bit more food than they need, if only they knew that its the first few bits of everything that are the best and that it slowly decreases following the law of diminishing returns and therefore just leaving a little food at each meal would not make the food they eat any less tasty and could finally have them looking better than ever as leaving just 33 calories at each meal or the equivalent of less than a teaspoon of olive oil would equate to 1lb of fat lost a month and 12lb’s of fat a year, which would take them to roughly the same body-fat as person B in 6 months.

This story is actually only a streched version of the truth and the two hypothetical people are both different versions of a me at different points in my life. I can say it really is much more important to learn to eat properly, before you start focusing on what you eat.

Because if you learn to eat slower, only eat when you are relaxed and in a quiet place enjoying each bite and stopping when you are no longer hungry, even if you don’t eat the perfect foods, you are still more likely to maintain a great body as its much less likely you will overeat and consume to many calories, which is the most important thing when it comes to maintaing or losing weight.

Think about it, you can’t always control what you eat and sometimes you will naturally want to eat some ‘bad’ foods, however you can always control how you eat and if you overeat once its a habit.

If you truly want to gain control of your weight, teach yourself how to eat, then decide what to eat, otherwise its like putting the perfect fuel in a crappy car, sort the car first, then put the perfect fuel in.

It might not be possible for you to eat a perfect diet everyday, but it is possible to eat slower and stop eating when you are no longer hungry or 80% full.

Remember although what you eat is vitally important, how you eat is just as important.

Aug 03

80/20 Results Rule!

80/20 Rule

 

The 80/20 rule of life says 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts, when I first heard this I kinda of thought noway, I thought negatively and instead of thinking I could get rid of 80% of the stuff I was doing, I thought, you are telling me 80% of the stuff I do is a waste of time.

 

However after starting to analyse a lot of what I do, the 80/20 philosophy started to make sense, and now its something I live by most of the time.

 

You might be thinking yeh maybe for you the 80/20 rule will work, your self employed and can work whenever you want…

 

However this is not just about work, the 80/20 rule applies to everything for example lets take your workouts.

 

Quite a bit of research shows you can get muscle growth doing one set to failure on an exercise instead of 3-5 sets of a arbitrary number and it could well be that a lot of your muscle and strength gains in the gym are actually from either your first set or your last depending on which one is the most intense.

 

Over the last 14 weeks i’ve only been doing one set to failure on each exercise and i’ve got consistently stronger, leaner and built muscle, I even competed in my first strongman competition on Sunday for the first time and although I’ve only been training for 20 minutes at a time since doing one set takes me a lot less time, I came second in the log clean and press at 12 repetitions with 60kg’s in 75seconds, first in the farmers walks managing over 120 meters with two 60kg farmers and managed to deadlift a car.

Although I didn’t win the competition, it seems the 80/20 rule still helped me do pretty well even as i’ve been training a lot less, would doing more of got me a better result, maybe but how much better?

 

This is my question to you, could you start doing less and still get the same results you are now?

 

For example, maybe at the moment you train 5 days a week focusing on 12 exercises per body-part, would getting rid of 2 sets and working harder doing one set be as effective, when you are working on a project or task, do you often get in the zone and do more in 2 hours than you had in the last 4 days? If so could you work less but better.

 

Do you take supplements, if so are all the benefits you feel coming from just 1-2 supplements even though you take 6, if so bin half of them, or maybe all of them and see if you notice any change.

 

Nutrition is similar, some people only eat the best organic foods, never eat processed foods, focus on grass fed meat, intermittent fast for 16 hours a day, blah, blah, blah and often they look great.

 

However do they look great from being perfect or because they simply don’t overeat, maintain a calorie deficient which keeps them at a low body-fat, eat moderate amounts of protein and do weight training which gives them good muscle definition?

 

A lot of the time we simply create busyness and hard-work for ourselves, not business and efficiency or focus on more assuming its better, when often less done better is better!

 

I strongly believe in quality of quantity in everything I do, the best thing about applying the rule of 80/20 to your life is as you realise some of the things you do are pointless, which you can then bin off and fill that time with more enjoyable things and squeeze more out of your life.

 

Jul 25

Why exercise is not enough

If I had a penny for every time someone said, “can’t I just exercise more so I can and eat what I like”, I wouldn’t be rich, but i’d have fair amount of pennies.

 

However for most people who want to lose weight, I can assure you exercise is not enough, not by a long shot. Lets take running as an example, firstly I want to make it clear i’m not against running, I think its great form of exercise and can be very beneficial, however if you want to lose weight and not change your diet, your going to be doing a lot of running!

 

You see, a pound of fat is about 3500 calories worth of energy, so to lose a pound of fat requires us to burn approximately 3500 extra calories than we normally would if we are maintaining our weight.

 

This is where you soon realise exercise is not enough, you see a 60 minute run could have you burning anywhere from 300-700 calories, depending on the speed you are running at, but for most of us, we would be burning a maximum of 500 calories and thats easy maths, I hope you can guess where i’m going next.

 

1lb of fat = 3500 calories

60 minutes running = 500 calories burned

 

To burn 1lb of fat from requires up-to 7 hours of running!

 

As you can see, if you plan on just doing some running or similar low intensity exercise such as cycling or swimming to burn off excess fat, although it will help, exercise on its own really is not enough.

 

However if you added in 1-2 runs a week to your lifestyle, made them into a habit, 1-2 30 minute weight training sessions a week to maintain lean muscle. Then cut out a processed snack such as a muffin, chocolate bar or even healthy handful of nuts per day containing around 200 calories, this could easily help you create a 3000 calorie deficit almost 1lb of fat per week which is very maintainable and equates to 40-50lbs of fat-loss a year.

 

Suddenly after 12 months you would be looking incredible and you’ve done it without having to do 7 hours of running a week, because you were smart and realised exercise on its own is simply not enough!

 

This is also how you start to become lean for life as you were didn’t rush things, you created an easy to maintain exercise and diet change, if you want to know more about this sort of fat-loss plan and get personal coaching from me, check out my latest lean for life plan, which starts next week.

 

For more information, check out:

 

>>>> Lean For Life Fat-loss Coaching<<<<<

Jul 18

How to be Lean for Life – Developing Habits

Being in shape for summer is great, but being in great shape for life is a lot better!

Why do you brush your teeth everyday or check your mirrors before you indicate while driving? Because like many things you do everyday without thinking about it, you’ve created an ingrained subconscious habit, meaning overtime it has become so autonomic or natural you don’t even think about it anymore, you just do it, whether its a good thing such as brushing your teeth or a bad thing like always being 5 minutes late for work.

 

The truth is, all the habits we have are learned, although they are totally natural and done without thought now, at one point in time, took effort and practise, like when learning to drive a car, clutch control was hard, but after a few months of driving its effortless.

 

These daily habits are a great example of the power of our unconscious mind to learn and ingrain things so we don’t have to think about everything we do, every minute of everyday, we just do it. Creating these habits is also the key to long-term weight-loss and weight management.

 

Because if you can create healthy habits around the way you live just like brushing your teeth, and make them easily enough to sustain, then eventually these habits will become just like brushing your teeth and so natural you do them everyday without thinking about them.

 

For long-term fat-loss this is the only solution as if you need to think about and force yourself to take certain supplements, force yourself to follow a diet and exercise plan every week it will never last, where as if these are unconscious habits you just do, it will of course last indefinitely.

 

The problem however for most of us when it comes to losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle, is we try and do to much, to fast. This is a huge problem, because I explained in my last article, we only have a limited amount of willpower, and eventually we will burn out, quite a few studies have shown self control is an exhaustible resource and trying to force yourself to do things will only work for so long. This is why when we try either a new diet or exercise routine, we often fail, its not because we don’t want to succeed, its because our willpower gets exhausted from a constant battle with our mind.(2)

 

A great book, The Power of Less is based on the philosophy of accomplishing more by doing less(3). The, author Leo Babauta shares with us interesting data:

Adopting one new habit at a time = 85% chance of success

Adopting two new habits at once = 35% chance of success

Adopting three or more new habits at once = less than 10% chance of success

 

This along with the fact we only have a limited level of willpower explains why we often fail when trying to change our diet and lifestyle habits. It is also why during my new program, and any long-term fat-loss solution its best to only try and makeone change or new habitat a time. This might seem like a slow process, but it means eventually you will have new healthy habits which will stick with you for life, instead of fast weight-loss and a painful rebound where you gain all the weight you lost back like most diets.

 

So the key question is, how do you make a habit? Well one of the key strategies to making a new habit is consistency, this means doing it often and at the same time each day can make a real difference, but remember its still better to do it anytime than not at all.

 

One of the best solutions to developing a new habit beyond almost anything else is having a trigger associated with the new habit you want to create. A trigger is using something else as an association to help you follow through with your new habit. For example a habit where you are following the taking supplements, instead of hiding the supplements away in your cupboard, put them in plain site by your food, this will help you remember to take them, or even have an alarm on your phone as a daily reminder to take your supplements.

 

Another example of a trigger, is putting any exercise plans you have in your diary as an appointment like going to the dentist, which you can’t miss. Now when you look in the diary, you are reminded you need to exercise at said time.

 

Another very simple but effective way to make sure you follow through with your new habit is to get some accountability with friends, family, work colleges, with a coach, or even through social networks like facebook, you can do this by telling people what you are doing or making a bet with one of your friends that you will follow through with things, its like social blackmail to get the job done.

 

Also make your habits as easy as possible to follow, don’t create an elaborate system, the less time it takes to do and the more convenient, the better, as you will be likely to stick with it.

 

The idea with creating any of the habits is to not leave it to chance, learn to create a strong unconscious bond with your new habit, so eventually it happen without any thought at all.

 

In conclusion to increase the chances of making your habit permanent try and do at least one of the following:

  • Create a trigger, link your habit to something, such as supplements with breakfast or a phone reminder
  • Be consistent, try not to miss a day, but if you do, relax and just start again the next day
  • Get accountability, tell a spouse, family member, work college, friend or social network it
  • Make it easy for yourself and if you can, make it fun


If you are fed up with quick fix fad fat-loss programs and this resinates with you, then sign up for me FREE 5 day nutrition course to the right!

 

As over the last 9 months i’ve been working on a long-term fat-loss program using exactly this philosophy, where i’ll take you step by step through highly effective habits to stay lean and fat free for life and its coming in the next 10 days, but if you are not on my email list, you’ll probably miss out!

Jul 13

Why using willpower while dieting is making you fat!

Its not unusual to hear people who are lean and healthy say things like people are just fat because they don’t have any willpower. Its also not unusual for someone to go on a diet, lose a lot of weight, then rebound and put it all back on.

 

Even when people know they desperately need to lose weight and have all the motivation in the world, they still find it extremely hard sticking to a diet, are these people just doomed to fail?

 

If you’ve tried diets before and failed again and again, maybe just the other day you ate something ‘bad’ does it mean you should just give up as you always find avoiding bad food extremely hard, should you just except the inevitable?

 

NO you shouldn’t because you know what, contrary to what people tell you, its not your fault! Thats right, the reason you are struggling to lose weight is not because have poor willpower, its because you are exhausted and burned out!

 

You see popular belief is that the more you use willpower, the better you get at doing something, so if you go on a really hardcore diet and lose a lot of weight, you will then have more motivation to stay on it and you’ll find it easy because your willpower is even stronger.

 

Well thats an interesting theory, but does it actually work? Not really, i’ve never met anyone who is still lean and love handle free and healthy because of a crash diet! The truth is, you’ve been lied to, willpower does not get stronger, it gets debilitated and exhausted!

 

In an experiment put together to study if willpower gets stronger or exhausted the more we use it, participants were put into two groups and told they were given a cover story as to what the experiment was for, so they had no idea it was to test willpower.

 

In the first part of the experiment, participants were put in a room where chocolate chip cookies had been freshly baked and left out, so quite a temptation. Then they also put red and white radishes in the room. The participants were told to skip a meal and not eat for at least 3 hours and come to the experiment hungry then they were left in the room for 5 minutes unattended, but were being watched through a two way mirror.

 

One group was allowed to eat the cookies and the other had to leave them and instead use willpower to avoid them and eat the radishes instead.

 

Then all participants were asked to partake in a separate experiment, where they were given 30 minutes to solve a puzzle and if they could not do it within this time they could ring a bell upon giving up, however unbeknown to them, this puzzle was unsolvable.

 

Shockingly even though this had nothing to do with food, the group who had already used willpower to stop themselves eating the cookies all ended up giving up on solving the puzzles sooner, because they had already used willpower to avoid eating the cookies, they had less left to keep persisting with the puzzles. (1)

 

These results show then that, willpower is not endless, but exhaustible and when we try ‘harder’ and go on stricter diets, although we may lose more weight, we’ll just burn out faster as we are using more willpower.

 

This also explains why dieting is so hard and gets harder, the more you do it, the more exhausted and drained you are! At first when I learned this, I wasn’t sure what to do, but over the last 6 months i’ve been working on a program to help people lose weight without needing to restrict themselves and use willpower, so you never binge, burnout or fail, its not a rapid process, but it works as I can show from my own results.

 

In the next article I will explain how to lose weight and with at least 85% chance of success and long-term results and i’ll post my pictures of what happened after I lost the weight on my ‘quick fix plan’ and how I look far better now since i’ve taken it slowly.

 

If you want to learn more about this program, just sign up to the right of the this page for my free nutrition course as i’ll be emailing the information out in the next week.

Jul 13

Why you always fail on your diet!

Its not unusual to hear people who are lean and healthy say things like people are just fat because they don’t have any willpower. Its also not unusual for someone to go on a diet, lose a lot of weight, then rebound and put it all back on.

 

Even when people know they desperately need to lose weight and have all the motivation in the world, they still find it extremely hard sticking to a diet, are these people just doomed to fail?

 

If you’ve tried diets before and failed again and again, maybe just the other day you ate something ‘bad’ does it mean you should just give up as you always find avoiding bad food extremely hard, should you just except the inevitable?

 

NO you shouldn’t because you know what, contrary to what people tell you, its not your fault! Thats right, the reason you are struggling to lose weight is not because have poor willpower, its because you are exhausted and burned out!

 

You see popular belief is that the more you use willpower, the better you get at doing something, so if you go on a really hardcore diet and lose a lot of weight, you will then have more motivation to stay on it and you’ll find it easy because your willpower is even stronger.

 

Well thats an interesting theory, but does it actually work? Not really, i’ve never met anyone who is still lean and love handle free and healthy because of a crash diet! The truth is, you’ve been lied to, willpower does not get stronger, it gets debilitated and exhausted!

 

In an experiment put together to study if willpower gets stronger or exhausted the more we use it, participants were put into two groups and told they were given a cover story as to what the experiment was for, so they had no idea it was to test willpower.

 

In the first part of the experiment, participants were put in a room where chocolate chip cookies had been freshly baked and left out, so quite a temptation. Then they also put red and white radishes in the room. The participants were told to skip a meal and not eat for at least 3 hours and come to the experiment hungry then they were left in the room for 5 minutes unattended, but were being watched through a two way mirror.

 

One group was allowed to eat the cookies and the other had to leave them and instead use willpower to avoid them and eat the radishes instead.

 

Then all participants were asked to partake in a separate experiment, where they were given 30 minutes to solve a puzzle and if they could not do it within this time they could ring a bell upon giving up, however unbeknown to them, this puzzle was unsolvable.

 

Shockingly even though this had nothing to do with food, the group who had already used willpower to stop themselves eating the cookies all ended up giving up on solving the puzzles sooner, because they had already used willpower to avoid eating the cookies, they had less left to keep persisting with the puzzles.

 

These results show then that, willpower is not endless, but exhaustible and when we try ‘harder’ and go on stricter diets, although we may lose more weight, we’ll just burn out faster as we are using more willpower.

 

This also explains why dieting is so hard and gets harder, the more you do it, the more exhausted and drained you are! At first when I learned this, I wasn’t sure what to do, but over the last 6 months i’ve been working on a program to help people lose weight without needing to restrict themselves and use willpower, so you never binge, burnout or fail, its not a rapid process, but it works as I can show from my own results.

 

In the next article I will explain how to lose weight and with at least 85% chance of success and long-term results and i’ll post my pictures of what happened after I lost the weight on my ‘quick fix plan’ and how I look far better now since i’ve taken it slowly.

Jul 10

How to Lose Fat Permanently?

Losing body fat and losing it permanently are two very different things, it doesn’t take much to follow a crash diet for two weeks and lose upwards of 7-10lb’s. Even though this seems great, a lot of the initial weight will be from excess water and only a small amount from fat.

 

Losing fat fast for a short period of time is not difficult, however there is almost nothing worse than losing weight and then feeling totally out of control, binging and gaining all the weight back and then some more.

 

A much better approach to fat-loss for the majority of people is to focus on permanent fat-loss solutions because losing fat fast and losing fat for good are not one and the same, losing fat permanently is like learning to drive a car, at first it can feel hard, but once you’ve been doing it for long enough, it should feel unconscious, you no longer need to think about what gear you should be in, feeling the clutch, checking your mirrors, you just do it without any thought.

 

This is exactly what should happen when you are losing body-fat, however most people think losing body-fat is about a certain type of exercise, diet or fad supplement, but its really not!

 

Losing fat and keeping it off is about creating healthy habits that you do everyday without thinking about it, not following a diet that makes you constantly think about the next meal and what it will contain, that sort of plan will never work long-term.

 

A great long-term fat-loss solution is to slowly make changes that eventually become totally unconscious and a part of your life. However for this to happen you need to make only one small change at a time, although we all like to think more is better when it comes to diet and exercise and the reason you don’t look good is because you don’t have a good enough diet and exercise plan, is that the case?

 

Or is it that you jump from one plan to another with binges in-between and just yoyo between different plans? If this is the reason you don’t manage to keep weight off, then why would doing this again with a different diet solve the problem.

Albert Einstein said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

 

Instead to create permanent fat-loss you need to start focusing on making unconscious habits that you don’t even have to think about after a few weeks and instead you just do them, then work on another positive habit until that one can be done without thinking about it.

 

If you continue to do this and first start exercising a few days a week, then after a few weeks, work on drinking more water, then eating more vegetables and so forth, eventually you will look and feel great and it’ll be easy because being healthy and losing fat will be like driving your car, it won’t even require any thought and that is how you create permanent fat-loss.

 

Just like how Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is a great body, its built overtime with small changes that become lasting habits.

 

If you want to know more about what to eat to melt excess body-fat, please sign up for my free 5 day nutrition course to the right of this page.

Jul 04

The best Fish Oil

The only Fish I would ever use!

 

Fish oil is a big thing, every man and his dog will tell you about why fish oil is amazing, however as with many things in life, its not that simple.

 

Before I even get into what fish oil I think is best, I feel I should explain why if you have a good diet, the need for extra omega 3 fatty acids is exceedingly small. People such as Charles Poliquin recommend upto 30 grams a day, which for the average man is over 10% of his calories and extremely dangerougs, since as I pointed out in my post on polyunsatturated fatty acids the research is clear quite clear that exceeding 4% of your daily energy requirement of polyunsatturated fatty acids, mainly from omega 6 is strongly correlated with increased risk of heart attacks from oxiditive damage and inflammation, god knows what taking such high levels of omega 3 would do.

 

Although such high recommendations are often for a short time, it should be obvoius to any rational person just like when NOS is used in a car, the stress on it is much higher leading to the engine burning out faster, playing around with the human body via such unnaturally high levels of fish oil is not going to be good.

 

Our paleolithic ancerstors has an intake of around 1% of calories from omega 3 fatty acids and showed no signs of cardivasulcar disease, I therfore feel emulating intakes around this level makes perfect sense and I see no reason to risk higher intakes. This then equals around 25 calories or ½ a teaspoon of omega 3 fatty acids per day. (5)

 

However not all fish oils are created equal. This is because fish oil is still a very sensitive polyunsaturated fat that can cause oxidative damage in the body.

 

This is why the only fish I recommend is Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil(FCLO) as its far superior to any other fish oil on the market and has many more health benefits.

 

So why do I recommend FCLO over other fish oils? Well for starters unlike all other fish oils, FCLO is the only fish oil that is not heat treated to extract the oil, instead the cod livers are left to ferment and the oil naturally comes out, this means the oil is never put under high pressure or high temperatures like all other fish oils on the market and because of this, it does not need filtering to get rid of any rancidity, since it won’t have any.

 

Normal fish oils are filtered and deodorised because during extraction the extreme heat turns the oils rancid and causes oxidative stress, to cover this up, all oils are filtered and flavours are added to stop the terrible smell and taste of these oils. If you have any fish oil capsules, as they don’t have any flavourings, when you break them open, you will be able to smell the rancidity. Some fish oils will be better quality than others, however you will find a lot will smell terrible and smell like gone off fish, as thats basically what it is.

 

Which brings us onto the second and probably most valuable aspect of fermented cod liver oil, the high levels of naturally occurring vitamins A, D and K2. You see normal fish oils and cod liver oils as I mentioned above are extracted at high temperatures and to stop the rancid smell they have, they go through a very fine filtration process, but during this process all the naturally occurring vitamins found in the oils are lost, synthetic vitamins are than added back in.

 

However fermented cod liver oil is different because it doesn’t need to go through a filtration system since its not rancid to start with, it retains all the high levels of natural fat soluble vitamins A, D and K2.

 

And although vitamin D has been getting a lot of press about its monumental benefits, most people do not understand that vitamin D works synergistically with the other fat soluble vitamins A and K2.

 

You see vitamin D uses vitamin A to convert into its active format of a secosteroid hormone, when this happens if inadequate vitamin A is available in the diet, Vitamin A deficiency will soon develop. (1)

 

This is why just taking high levels of vitamin D can be quite dangerous, as although most people don’t know it, vitamin D needs vitamin A to work most efficiently. Although vitamin D is essential for bone health and the activation of oestoblasts the cells which form new bone matrix.

 

Osteoblasts make osteocalcin when they are signalled to do so by the hormonal forms of vitamins A and D. When osteoblast cells are incubated with activated vitamin A or activated vitamin D alone, their expression of osteocalcin increases only minimally; by contrast, when the same cells are incubated with activated vitamins A and D together, osteocalcin expression increases dramatically”- Chris Masterjohn

 

However this process of bone development can not function until it is activated by vitamin K, therefore no one of these nutrients can fully contribute to bone health without the other.

 

This is why fermented cod liver oil is so beneficial, it contains all three of these fat soluble vitamins, where as some fish oils may contain vitamin D, or maybe even D and A, none contain K2 as well, which is the vital activator to make things happen.

 

Vitamin K2 is a serious wonder mineral with massive benefits, in his studies Dr. Western A Price found an inverse correlation between the levels of K2 in butter and mortality from cardiovascular disease and pneumonia in a number of different regions.

 

A recent study examined the relationship between K2 consumption and heart attack risk in 4,600 Dutch men. They found a strong inverse association between K2 consumption and heart attack mortality risk. Men with the highest K2 consumption had a whopping 51% lower risk of heart attack mortality and a 26% lower risk of death from all causes compared to men eating the least K2! Their sources of K2 MK-4 were eggs, meats and dairy. They obtained MK-5 through MK-10 from fermented foods and fish. The investigators found no association with K1, the form found in plants. – Stephan Guyenet

 

When it comes to fish oil, with all the above factors taken into consideration, there is only one choice, fermented cod liver oil! It is the only fish that is processed at low temperatures and still contains its highly beneficial and natural fat soluble vitamins.

 

On top of this, the fermented cod liver oil can also be found with butter oil, which is dairy extract from cows grazing on fresh pastures. The final product is extremely high in vitamin K2 and it also contains a very beneficial fat known as CLA which is found mainly in beef, bison and of course butter oil, with quite a few studies its proven effective at helping people decrease body-fat levels and increase muscle mass, its been shown to improve gut dysposis and is anti-cancerous, but is casein and lactose free. (2,3,4)

 

So when we compare a ‘normal’ fish oil to the fermented cod liver combined with butter oil, from green pastures, its a sort of no contest really.

 

  • One is processed at low temperatures and the other is done at high and rancid, but filtered to solve this.
  • One contains a near perfect balance of vitamins, A,D and K2, which all work synergistically, normal fish oil will depend on the brand, but the vitamins will no doubt be added back in, won’t be natural and certainly won’t contain vitamin K2
  • Green pastures fermented cod liver oil also contains butter oil and the highly beneficial CLA
  • Finally the fermented cod liver oil capsules are made from bees wax and 100% natural

 

So if you want the best fish oil around, I strongly recommend green pastures fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil combination. Although I don’t normally endorse any particular supplement, I feel this one is a no contest and i’m happy to put my reputation on the line for it.

 

Dose wise as I stated earlier in the article is going to be quite low and around 2 capsules a day depending on your size and weight.

Jun 15

The real reason you don’t look good

Your impatient and trying to do to much! In todays society of instant gratification, everything has to be now! No body wants to spend 6-12 months losing weight, even though they’ve spent the last 20,30 or 40 years gaining it.

 

We all want a quick fix, its all got to happen now, you start a diet and step on the scale after a week and want to of lost 5lb’s, the 1lb was not enough, because you’ve been “really good”, hell maybe you’ve been so good you deserve a cake, even though the week before you didn’t care that lasts weeks curry, chips and however many drinks made you gained 2lb’s.

 

Have you ever thought, if you lost 1lb a week, that you’d lose 52lb’s a year and that if you stuck at something for a full year and created healthy habits, you would probably never need to diet again and be in amazing shape for your whole life.

 

Because in all honesty the reason you are not losing fat, is because you are being controlled by your emotions, being impatient and not listening to your head, if you start a degree or your own business, do you decide in 21 or 28 days you’ll be finished and have a Phd or suddenly be a millionaire, I doubt it, so why do you want that when it comes to fat-loss.

 

Let me tell you a little story about a race between a tortoise and a hare, oh you already know it, then you know that the hare who was all cocky that sprinted off and thought he was great, actually lost to the more committed and determined tortoise.

Then why don’t you start doing this, seriously start being more like a tortoise, getting in shape is a marathon and it requires patients and a good game plan, not stupidity and a crazy diet you can’t sustain.

 

Ask yourself do you want to be in much better shape in 3 weeks time, then exactly the same shape in 5 weeks time, or do you want to be in incredible shape in 6 months time and still in incredible shape in 2 years time?

 

If you are smart and want the latter, learn to take things slowly, ask yourself, what is one thing I could do today that will help make me healthier and I am confident I can follow through on, then do that for the next 3-4 weeks, once you’ve mastered that, move on to something else, building a great body is like building a perfect wall, you don’t try and build the wall all at once, you try and lay each brick as perfectly as it can be laid, then you move on.

 

Do this with your health and fitness, pick one thing, do it perfectly, conquer it, then move on and then you will look the way you want, maybe not tomorrow or next week, but eventually you’ll get there.

Jun 06

Insulin – The Misunderstood fat-loss hormone

It should be quiet apparent by now, that what makes you fat is excess calories as I stated in the previous blog posts, although I still have one more to write, however this painful myth about carbohydrates and insulin being fattening refuses to die, hopefully after this article, you will be fully aware of how wrong this myth is, and why carbohydrates and insulin do anything but make you fat.

 

So this myth seems to of come from low carbohydrate enthusiasts such as Gary Taubes and Dr.Atkins who believe insulin because it is a fat storage hormone and is raised by carbohydrate stores any carbohydrates you eat as fat, however this hypothesis has many, many fatal flaws, as you shall see.

 

This alternative hypothesis of obesity constitutes three distinct propositions. First, as I’ve said, is the basic proposition that obesity is caused by a regulatory defect in fat metabolism, and so a defect in the distribution of energy rather than an imbalance of energy intake and expenditure. The second is that insulin plays a primary role in this fattening process, and the compensatory behaviours of hunger and lethargy.

 

The third is that carbohydrates, and particularly refined carbohydrates– and perhaps the fructose content as well, and thus perhaps the amount of sugars consumed– are the prime suspects in the chronic elevation of insulin; hence, they are the ultimate cause of common obesity.” – Gary Taubes, good calories bad calories

 

One major problem with this myth, is the blatant disregard for the laws of thermodynamics and that calories do indeed count and excess calories are the cause of weight-gain.

 

However if we disregard that part of the hypothesis for a minute, because I know some people will still be worried that carbohydrates are in some way inherently more fattening that protein or fat and that elevated insulin is extremely bad for you, even though as I shall show you, this could not be further from the truth.

 

I feel since I have already covered in detail the fact calories do count, I won’t dive into why carbohydrates are not fattening, because as you have seen, no macronutrient is fattening unless eaten in excess and as I discuss in my blog posts on white rice and potatoes, these carbohydrate based foods are great for the amazing fat-loss properties they have. What I want to do in this blog post, is break the ridiculous idea that insulin is fattening and that we should all avoid foods that create an insulin spike.

 

During this article I will do my best to destroy this myth once and explain how unfair it is blame all the obesity epidemic on such a vital hormone and why if it were not for this hormone, it would be extremely hard to look good, burn fat and build muscle.

 

You see, insulin is indeed a storage hormone, this means one of its purposes is to help us store the food we eat in our cells, but this is by far from all it does.

 

The first major problem with avoiding foods that create a large insulin spike, is carbohydrates are not the only food which create a substantial insulin spike, many protein based foods also create a substantial insulin spike.

 

In a study comparing 240 calories worth of many different types of foods to see what level of insulin response they would give, fish actually gave a higher insulin response than white pasta and beef a higher insulin response than porridge. Also very interesting, the food which gave the highest insulin spike, in a similar styled experiment, but focusing on satiety of foods, the potato also has the highest in a satiety of any food. (1,2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In another study comparing 4 different types of protein meals, all in liquid format from tuna, whey, egg and turkey  to assess the different insulin spikes because high insulin producing foods could help promote higher levels of fullness for longer.

 

Because although in the world of fitness guru’s insulin makes you fat and this study doesn’t make any sense, obesity researchers know otherwise and make no bones about it, this is the opening extract from the study itself:

 

Insulin is thought to be a satiety hormone, with increased insulin levels in the brain eliciting a net catabolic response influencing food intake regulatory mechanisms. Dietary proteins have been shown to stimulate insulin release and influence glycaemia differentially”(3)

 

So what were the results, well for people who enjoy whey protein, you’ll be glad to know it gave a huge insulin spike and was by far the highest out of all four protein shakes. The glucose response was also much lower with the whey protein that the egg or turkey, but not significantly lower than the fish, this is very important and i’ll get onto it later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The subjects were all significantly fuller on the whey and tuna shakes than the egg or turkey and four hours later after each different shake the participants were allowed to eat as much food as they wanted until comfortably full from a buffet, not surprisingly, the whey shake left people with the lowest appetite as they ate the least from the buffets, with tuna next, then turkey, then egg, perfectly correlating with insulin release.

 

As you can see, foods high in protein can give just as much of a insulin spike as foods high in carbohydrate, yet we all know a tuna steak doesn’t make you fat right!

 

The reason foods high in protein raise insulin is because the branched chain amino acids can directly stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin, with leucine having the strongest effect and if you haven’t guessed yet, whey protein is of course extremely high in leucine. This is one of the reasons essential amino acids can be so effective, they give a large insulin spike and all the amino acids are then pushed directly into the muscle for all that muscle building goodness. (4)

 

If you have a strong belief about insulin making you fat, I’m sure you are currently having a bit of a breakdown, I know I did when I first learnt this information, but stay with me. As you can see, if insulin makes you fat, then its not just carbohydrates that are a problem, but also most proteins and the ones high in brained chain amino acids that are great for building muscle raising insulin the most.

In another study looking at the best macronutrient ratio to increase leptin levels, which is you don’t know much about leptin, is a anti-obesity hormone strongly linked to body-fat and hunger levels, with higher levels decreasing hunger and making it easier to lose weight, especially if the person has good  brain leptin sensitivity, only the meal that raised insulin levels high also raised leptin levels, meaning keeping insulin low, is likely to decrease leptin levels and increase long-term hunger a long with body-fat levels. (8)

Okay, so now that your belief about insulin being fattening being on shaky ground and not the root of all evil, let me explain why insulin is actually keeping you thin, but first i’m going to explain to you how diabetes type 1 actually works and what insulin does.

So most people think diabetes type 1 is really bad because the lack of insulin production stops glucose getting into muscle and fat cells and is instead left floating around in the blood stream causing havoc, but thats far from the truth and unfortunately based mainly on current dogma, instead of fact.

 

 

 

You see we don’t need insulin to store the carbohydrates we eat, when type one diabetics are measured for glucose uptake during severe hyperglycaemia, glucose uptake is increased above normal in the absence of insulin. This is because we have glucose transport proteins of which as least 6 isomers are known, these are glut 1-6. These transports can move glucose directly into fat and muscle cells in the absence of glucose and this is exactly what happens with type one diabetics. (5)

 

This is where all your bad words about insulin need to be rapidly retracted, because you are about to find out that without regular releases of this amazing hormone, you would be very hungry, fat and ageing very quickly.

 

Because the major role of insulin is not to store carbohydrates as fat, but actually to turn off excess liver production of glucose and ketones. You see, when type one diabetics don’t have high blood sugar because they can’t store the glucose eaten, they have high blood sugar because the liver over produces glucose and ketones until it is told to stop and insulin is what tells it to stop.

 

If it wasn’t for a big insulin spike when you eat, you would continuously get high blood sugar problems, not because you were not storing the carbohydrates you eat, but because insulin stops the liver over producing more glucose to be used, insulin tells the liver to stop this.

 

Remember earlier when I mentioned that whey protein had lower glucose response than all the other proteins, which would mean more stable blood sugar, this is because the high insulin spike from whey decreases the amount of glucose production from the liver, where as the proteins that spike insulin less didn’t do this as effectively, this means more glucose is produced by the liver creating less stable blood sugar.

 

So contrary to popular belief, a large insulin spike helps keep blood sugar levels low and stops wild blood sugar fluctuations which are created by the livers over production of glucose because when insulin is not around, the liver over produces glucose as is seen in type one diabetics.

 

So far we’ve seen that protein rapidly increases insulin production, especially if the protein is high in branched chain amino acids, the higher the insulin release the fuller we feel after that meal, without insulin the liver over produces ketones and glucose causing blood sugar problems and if untreated would eventually lead to death, but thats not all, insulin also has some other tricks up its sleeve and these are that when insulin is released, it stimulates the release of another appetite suppressing hormone, which slows gastric empting and digestion.

 

And that hormone is Amylin, very simpley, amylin works by increasing the time it takes for food to empty from the stomach, this increases satiety, improves digestion, it also increases the release of a glucagon-like peptite-1, which itself helps decrease appetite and food intake. (6,7)

 

Conclusion

By now I think it should be clear that the idea insulin causes weight-gain is not only completely insane, but also totally unsupported by science, insulin is a vital hormone in the body, which does a lot more than push carbohydrates into fat cells and if it did do that, then the only way to lose weight would be by eating a diet low in carbohydrate, low in protein and extremely high in fat, but I can’t see that happening. Without adequate insulin it would be a real struggle to build muscle, and feel full, since insulin is strongly correlated with feelings of fullness and satiety.

 

If you are wondering what this means, its simple, stop worry about insulin making you fat and trying to control it, focus on eating foods that create long-term feelings of fullness and not overconsuming calories, eating carbohydrates such as potatos, white rice, sweet-potato’s and fruit can and should be part of this, forget about insulin and carbohydrates making you fat!

 

If you found this article helpful, please feel free to share it on facebook and twitter, it would be much appreciated, as a lot of people need to know the truth.

P.S This is just a review, if you want more information on why insulin is not the fat-loss villain you think it is, keep your eyes pealed as the full chapter on this will be out in my book soon.

 

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