Saturday, 26 February 2011

Friday, 25 February 2011

Bad Nutrition Advice FromThe Biggest Loser

Bad nutrition advice from the Biggest Loser

I have to admit... up until this season, I have never watched that much of the "Biggest Loser" tv show.

And although I hear a lot of people criticize the show for many reasons, one thing I like about it is that I feel it gives people hope... people that have long given up on getting the body they want and falsely think that they are "cursed with a bad metabolism" or other garbage that goes through their minds. I think there's definitely a great motivating aspect to the show that can really help a lot of people to finally lose weight.

Although one criticism I have is that I think it makes people think that losing 10-15 lbs a week is normal, when it most certainly is NOT.

Obviously the people on the show are basically in a camp where calories are controlled and they work out for ridiculous numbers of hours per day. So then when average Joe or Jane goes to try to lose weight, and he or she only loses 2 lbs per week, they think they are "failing", when in reality, that's a perfectly healthy weight loss pace.

And now comes my nutritional criticism of the show...

I couldn't help but cringe about some of the nutrition advice on several of the recent episodes.

The first example...

On one of the recent shows, they had one of those "trainer tips" 30-second spots on the show, and the recommendation was to eat MORE cereal if you want to lose weight.

Are you kidding me?

The ONLY time I would recommend more cereal is if somebody's goal involved wanting to GAIN weight.

Seriously, I've had clients in the past that had difficulties gaining weight, and one of the techniques we use in those cases is to have them eat more grains like cereal, because it tends to stimulate weight gain nicely. But it's few and far between where people actually want to GAIN weight, so this recommendation to eat more cereal to aid weight loss is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.

Of course, this little 30-second "trainer tip" was sponsored by a cereal company... big surprise.

I could go on and on as to why we DON'T need any more grains in our diets... but I think this previous article of mine explains it well:

3 foods we should STOP eating

The second example...

The next nutrition criticism I had wasn't a bad trainer recommendation, but it shows some misunderstanding of nutrition by the contestants. One of the contestants chose a breakfast sandwich of egg whites on whole wheat bread.

This shows 2 things that they misunderstand about nutrition... for one, they falsely think that they need to avoid egg yolks, when those yolks are vitally important to controlling their appetite and balancing their fat burning hormones.  As you know from one of my previous articles, egg yolks are actually the MOST important part of the egg!

And the second misunderstanding they have is that "whole wheat" is good for you and a good thing for fat loss. Again, I would only recommend bread (even so-called "whole wheat" bread) for somebody that is trying to GAIN weight... not for somebody who is desperately trying to lose weight.  Read this article to see more details about the problems of eating lots of wheat.

If I was to recommend one of the best breakfasts for fat loss, I'd recommend several WHOLE eggs with lots of veggies.  I personally LOVE a 3 or 4-egg omelet with onions, mushrooms, zucchini, red peppers, spinach, and topped with salsa and sliced avocado! 

The third example...

This is another example of a misunderstanding of nutrition by the contestants. In one of the shows, several of the contestants scolded another one of the contestants because he was thinking of making a steak for dinner. They told him that he MUST have fish instead of steak.  They seem to have this false assumption that steak is somehow horrible for you.... which in the case of a corn-fed steak, may be the case.

However, this ignores the fact that a grass-fed steak can be equally as good of a fat loss meal as a piece of fish. Actually a steak, vegetables, and a salad is a perfect meal plan, especially if it's a grass-fed steak, which contains that oh-so important healthy fat called CLA, which can help you to burn fat and build muscle.  And CLA is something that fish doesn't have.

I would be more concerned about his choice of side dish rather than the steak or fish question. The more important thing is to avoid the starchy carbs and focus on the meat and vegetables if fat loss is the goal.

I could go on with more examples of nutritional misunderstandings on the Biggest Loser show, but I think this gives some good ideas for now.

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

1 Day of My Fat Burning Meal Plans (and my hot dog bender confession)

by Mike Geary - Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author - The Truth about Six-Pack Abs

eating hot dogsAlthough I always try to do my best with nutrition (probably 95% compliance), I've admitted before that I'm not perfect. Heck, nobody's perfect.

And last week was an example...

I went on vacation with about 10 of my buddies last week... a nice little tropical party vacation!  So obviously, there was a good deal of drinking and eating just about anything and everything going on during the entire vacation.

I gained 8 lbs in 1 week!  Yes, us fitness pros are not always "fitness robots"... we are human.
I honestly don't think I've eaten a single hot dog in about 5 or 6 years... but one night after a long night out with the guys, we came back and I threw down 3 hot dogs in one sitting.  In retrospect, that was nasty... but at 3am, with nothing else in our vacation house for food, I gave in, and found myself stuffing my face with something I usually view as disgusting food.

But I knew this all would happen... as a matter of fact, I don't stress about going on vacations like that and knowing that I'm going to gain weight, because I know that I have 100% control over my body and can lose it again in a snap.

And true to form, in just 7 days since returning from vacation, I've already lost the 8 lbs that I gained on vacation.  But I've done this for years now, and have learned how to fully be in control of my weight at any time.  I know that once I return home and return to my extremely healthy nutrition and hardcore training program, I'll be back in top shape within a week or two.

That's a great example of how if you eat 95% of the time like we teach in our Fat Burning Kitchen program -- that you end up getting total control over your cravings, appetite, and ability to stay as lean as you want at any given time.

So now that I'm back to my normal healthy nutrition ways, I'm going to show you some of my typical meals below.

Being in the position I'm in as a nutrition author and fitness professional, almost everywhere I go I get questions about nutrition, and most of the time, people want to hear ACTUAL examples of what I eat on a daily basis to stay super lean.

So instead of talking about more theory, here's an example of exactly what I ate yesterday (keep in mind this is not a prescription, because everyone has different food intolerances and allergies, but it's just my personal example of how I keep it healthy).

As you look at my typical daily meals, take notice that I do eat some carbs, but I don't eat any breads or pasta at all (except maybe on cheat days). Essentially, I get almost all of my carbs from fruits, lots of veggies, and the little bit of raw honey that I use in my daily teas.

Breakfast today - 9am:
3 whole eggs (yes, including the super-healthy egg yolks) scrambled with TONS of veggies (onions, mushrooms, peppers, diced squash, and chopped spinach)
1 large chicken sausage (organic free range chicken with NO nitrates, nitrites, or preservatives... only chicken and spices)
Half of a red grapefruit
1 large cup of yerba mate/green/mint tea (this is my new favorite tea I found at Whole Foods... it's a mix of yerba mate, green tea, and mint tea, and it's freakin amazing!)

Lunch - noon:
1 cup greek yogurt (the Fage brand is the highest protein yogurt I've ever seen) mixed with 1/2 cup cottage cheese combined with pecans, almonds, hemp seeds, frozen goji berries, and frozen blueberries. A little bit of stevia and cinnamon for sweetness and extra flavor.

Mid afternoon snack - 3pm:
1 large organic apple sliced up with almond butter on each slice.

Super high intensity weight training workout from 5-6pm

Post workout shake/meal - 6:15pm:
my typical blender mix of raw grass-fed milk, a chopped up frozen banana, some frozen pitted cherries, a tablespoon or so of real maple syrup, and 2 heaping tablespoons of organic cocoa powder. Plus I throw a scoop of raw grass-fed whey protein (the highest quality whey that I've found) into the blender too.

Dinner - 9pm:
My "Italian blend" recipe -- This is basically a spaghetti and meatsauce meal but without the spaghetti, and tons of veggies instead.

I use grass-fed bison sausages (again, no nitrates, nitrites, or preservatives of any kind...just grass-fed bison and spices) -- fyi - you can find good quality grass-fed meats and sausages at this site
...and then I use a huge cooking dish on the stove to mix in any and every type of vegetable I can find in my fridge (zucchini, onions, garlic, mushrooms, snow peas, peppers, asparagus...and whatever else I have laying around).

I mix the grass-fed bison sausage and sauteed veggies with a tomato sauce and some extra virgin olive oil.  Sometimes I also mix in a container of organic ricotta cheese (grass fed if possible) into the whole mix, which makes the whole dish taste more like lasagna...delicious!

Top the whole thing with some fresh grated parmesan cheese and you've got a super-nutritious dinner with high nutrient density and no pasta (which would just pack on the pounds).
I also had a delicious side-salad of arugula, diced yellow peppers, and half of a small avocado.

Late night snack - midnight:
A handful of pistachio nuts and a cup of chamomile tea

So that is just 1 example of how a typical day might look for me. I mix it up and eat a variety of other things as well, but these are some pretty frequent meals that I use to stay super lean, but maintain muscle.

Til next newsletter,
Don't be lazy... be lean.
Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Author - The Truth about Six Pack Abs

Saturday, 19 February 2011

7 Tips to NEVER Get Sick Again

Understand the REAL cause of sickness, and increase your immune system with these tips
by Mike Geary - Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author -
The Truth about Six Pack Abs 

Note: The tips in this article can work anytime of the year to keep you healthy and stop you from getting sick...not just in the winter!

First of all, let's clear up a BIG misconception about why more people get sick in the winter compared to warmer times of the year.  I can't help but bite my lip when I hear well intentioned mothers and grandmothers tell their kids to "bundle up" before going outside so that they don't "catch a cold".  So many people still have this huge misconception that cold temperatures can make you sick...

However... This is blatantly false!

In fact, did you know that there are multiple studies that actually show that cold exposure increases your immunity?  It's true!  One study I read recently even showed that cold therapy such as ice water baths or other cold water exposure stimulates an improvement in your immune system.

So are there really more germs and cold & flu viruses floating around in the winter?  No, of course not!  In fact, some studies I've read have indicated that there might actually be a slightly larger amount of cold and flu viruses all around us in the summer due to more favorable conditions for their survival on surfaces.

So then why do more people get sick in the winter?  Well, I'll give you a hint... in winter in the northern hemisphere (Canada, US, Europe, etc) sicknesses spike, but at the same time, it's summer in the southern hemisphere (South America, Australia, New Zealand, etc), and while sicknesses are spiking in the northern hemisphere, sicknesses are at their lowest point in the southern hemisphere since it's their summer.

And then when we're in summer in the northern hemisphere and most sicknesses go away, it's winter in the southern hemisphere, so colds, flu, and other sicknesses spike in the southern hemisphere.

So is it the warm temperatures that decreases sickness?  Nope... It's actually all about the strength of the suns rays, and how much vitamin D your body produces!

There are 2 theories that many people pass around as to why more colds, flu, and sickness occur in the winter depending on which part of the world you're in...

Theory 1.  It may have to do with people generally spending more time indoors in the winter and thereby being exposed to more germs in enclosed buildings.  It's a nice theory, but people are generally still in offices from 9-5 all week long whether it's summer or winter.  As you'll see, theory 2 is the REAL culprit!

Theory 2.   The reason people get sick more in the winter is mostly due to a drastic reduction in their body's production of Vitamin D, which is directly responsible for how strong their immune system is.

We don't get much sunlight in the winter generally, and therefore, Vitamin D levels in the body drop significantly, which reduces immunity. Most people don't realize how important sunlight and Vitamin D levels really are towards so many functions inside their body, including immune system and hormone production and balance.

Even for people that get outdoors in the winter often, if you live in the northern hemisphere to the North of an imaginary line from approximately Atlanta to Los Angeles, the suns rays are not strong enough in the winter months (approximately November through end of February) to stimulate any significant Vitamin D production inside your body.

This aspect of lack of Vitamin D production and lowered immune strength in the winter months is what is actually the REAL reason why more sickness goes around in the winter.  So you can silently chuckle to yourself the next time someone tells you to "bundle up" so you don't catch a cold.

So how can we bolster your immune system so that your body can fight off sickness before it gets a hold of you?

So here is my little ritual that I've been using for a few years now and really seems to keep me from getting any colds, flu, or any sickness at all.

As a matter of fact, I can't remember the last time I was legitimately sick. I think it's been 6 or 7 years since I've actually been sick.

Every time I feel a cold or something starting to come on, I do this ritual, strengthen my immune system, and my body always fights it off before I actually get full-blown sick.

1. Focus on Vitamin D (but NOT in pill form or "fortified" foods)

You need to be careful about artificial forms of vitamin D in many vitamin pills, as artificial vitamin forms are almost always either ineffective or possibly even detrimental compared to natural forms.

For this reason, you need to get your vitamin D naturally. The sun is the best source, and leads to a powerful strengthening of your immune system when your body can naturally produce Vitamin D from moderate sun exposure. Here is a previous article I did on how to get sun exposure in a healthy way without damaging your skin

I know not everybody can take a tropical vacation every winter, but if you can, it's best to try to take it right smack dab in the middle of the winter (when your vitamin D levels have dropped to their lowest)... getting even a few days of good sun closer to the equator in the middle of winter can really help increase your vitamin D and strengthen your immune system.

But, I understand that's not possible for everybody's schedule based on either work or finances, so...
Since you may not be going on a tropical vacation this winter, how can you still keep Vitamin D levels from falling dangerously low in your body?

Well, the best food sources of natural Vitamin D are egg yolks, fatty fish, organ meats, and some mushrooms (some portobella mushrooms and maitake mushroom are fairly good sources of vitamin D).

But what I do to make sure I'm at least getting a decent amount of the best absorbed vitamin D is to take a SMALL dose of cod liver oil daily in the deepest months of winter to make sure my vitamin D levels don't fall too low.  Make sure to take only small doses of cod liver oil (enough for 50% to 100% DV of vitamin D), as large doses can give you an overdose of Vitamin A.   I take about half to 2/3rds of the recommended dose on the bottle.

FYI - The synthetic version of Vitamin D is ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), while the natural form is cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). By the way, fortified milk has added D2, not D3... so that's NOT a good source.  In fact, I don't trust any "fortified" foods at all, including crappy breakfast cereals which claim to be good sources of vitamin D... not so!

2. Garlic to strengthen your immune system!

Garlic is one of the most potent of all superfoods!  Not only does high dose garlic go back thousands of years for treatment of sickness, but recent studies back up the legendary claims.

What's best though -- "aged" garlic pills, whole garlic in foods, capsules, etc?  I can't seem to find a consensus on this one, so what I simply try to do is use a variety of sources, including garlic powder on a lot of my foods, fresh chopped garlic in meals, and also a garlic capsule or two each day.

3. Kombucha tea strengthens immune system

Kombucha tea is a fermented tea (naturally effervescent) that contains billions of friendly gut organisms (probiotics) that help to strengthen your immune system by bolstering your levels of good organisms in your gut.

Remember that 70% of your immune system lies in your gut and the health of the friendly organisms in there to protect you against pathogens and sickness.

You can find bottles of Kombucha tea at health food stores such as Whole Foods.
When I feel any sickness coming on, I start loading up on Kombucha tea, drinking it throughout the day. It has a strong taste, so I mix it with my normal iced teas at 1/3 Kombucha and 2/3 regular iced tea.

4. Green tea, Chamomile Tea, and other teas

There is evidence that green tea and chamomile tea can help aid in strengthening the immune system.
Even if the effect is small, you can't go wrong because both are loaded with powerful antioxidants unique to each tea.

For that reason, I try to drink a couple cups of green tea with a small bit of raw honey early in the day, and then at night, I have a couple cups of chamomile tea.

This isn't a bad idea even for a regular habit, but it's even more important when I feel a sickness possibly coming on.  I also drink a lot of other teas too such as Rooibos tea, which is thought to be even higher in antioxidants than green tea.

5. Loading up on antioxidants

We already know how important antioxidants are to overall health as well as immune system support.
For this reason, I make sure to really load up on antioxidant-rich fruits, berries, and veggies to help prevent sickness.

I also make sure to take my daily Longevity Antioxidant blend from my friends at Prograde, which is a powerful synergistic antioxidant mixture of green tea, wolfberry, acai berry, Biovin grape, coffeeberry, and pomegranate.

I get that here:  Prograde Longevity Synergistic Antioxidant blend

6. Light exercise (yes - light exercise, not hard)

When you feel a sickness coming on, a super-high intensity workout is not a good idea, as hard training forces the body to do a lot of recovery, this at a time when your body needs all of it's efforts on trying to fight off the oncoming sickness.

Although I usually recommend high intensity training, when sickness might be coming on, it's just a good idea to get some light exercise instead.

Personally, I like to get outside for some fresh air and go for a hike or go snowshoeing. These aren't very strenuous for me, so they won't cause my body to be forced to do a lot of recovery... but just getting out in the fresh air and getting the circulation going I feel is good to help the body fight off the sickness.

7. Avoid ALL processed foods and sweetened soft drinks

If you're serious about your health and getting lean for life, this should be an everyday rule for you anyway (except maybe for cheat meals)...

However, when you might have a sickness coming on, this is no time to bombard your body with processed foods, inflammatory omega-6 oils (soybean oil, corn oil, etc), fried foods, high fructose corn syrup, refined sugars, and chemical additives.

All of these force your body to do extra work to deal with all of this junk and the internal inflammation that they cause in your body.

Instead, this is a time that you need to give your body only wholesome unprocessed foods that are only 1 ingredient...fruits, berries, veggies, eggs, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meats, etc.

These 7 tips will go a LONG way to helping to ward off that sickness that is trying to get a hold of you... Here's to a healthy strong body!

Note: I'm not a doctor, and none of these tips are prescriptions for any individual person... they are simply the steps I've personally used over the years to successfully fight off sickness pretty much every single time.  Again, I haven't been legitimately sick in at LEAST 6 or 7 years now that I use these steps!

Please feel free to share this page with your friends and family to keep them healthy and strong!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Health Warning: Can a Cell Phone Carried Regularly in Your Pocket Damage Your _____?

A correlation between cell phone use and testicular cancer, reduced Testosterone levels, lowered seminal volume and sperm count?  Read on to see...

by Mike Geary - Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer
Author of best-selling program:  The Truth about 6-Pack Abs

cell phone health hazardsYou've probably started hearing in the media about emerging studies showing possible correlations between heavy cell phone use and brain tumors.  But what not many people are talking about is the risk of carrying cell phones in our pockets for hours each day.  This is where it gets even more interesting and a little scary too!

First of all, to both guys and gals... read this article carefully, as it contains some potentially scary health issues related to cell phone use.  And although the examples are geared towards men's issues, I wouldn't trust that it's only men that can experience health issues from heavy cell phone use.

You're also going to want to pass this page on to your friends and family to help them protect their health, and the health of their "crotch"... sounds funny, I know...but this is serious business.

To start, I realize that some people simply don't believe that something as small as a cell phone can give off any radiation levels that could harm your health over time. But we're not talking about immediate harm... we're talking about long term harm from chronic use, which most of us in this day and age use cell phones or have them in our pockets daily.

According to a recent article published on Yahoo Health, and a large health study conducted, the 2010 Interphone study...  "People who chatted via cell for just 30 minutes a day for 10 years saw their risk of glioma (the type of brain tumor that killed Ted Kennedy) rise 40 percent".

I feel like we are all currently in an inadvertent giant human guinea pig study right now with cell phone use.  Not purposely, but simply because cell phones (and another dangerous new phenomenon, our constant exposure to radiation from "wifi" and other wireless technologies) moved onto the scene so fast and infiltrated the entire population over the last 10 years.

Think about it... most of the population has only been using cell phones and wifi heavily for less than 10 years now... that's not a long enough time to know long term consequences (such as 15-30 year cancer risks) and most studies that supposedly "prove" the safety of cell phones have been funded by the telecom industry and have ridiculously low usage levels that they study.

We're definitely finding that the average person has a cell phone either strapped to their ear or carried in a pocket for more hours per day than any studies have any definitive long-term safety data on.

As Tim Ferriss points out in his fascinating new book, The 4-Hour Body ... "Most of the studies performed in the US that conclude no negative effect are funded either directly or indirectly (as with many IEEE studies) by cell phone manufacturers and carriers.  Does this prove malfeasance?  No, but it should raise a red flag."

One of the things that scares me about the possible harmful long term effects of carrying a cell phone in my pockets is potential testicular cancer.  I honestly feel that as the years go on, and we get to a level of chronic cell phone use where people have been carrying these things in their pockets for 10 or 15 years or more, we're going to see testicular cancer rates skyrocket.

But cancer risks are long term, and we may not have enough data from studies yet to prove definitive cancer risks such as testicular cancer.  So let's look at more current measurements that can prove health problems associated with cell phone use...

According to Tim Ferriss in his book, The 4-Hour Body ... "Lo and behold, jumping from article to article on Medline, there were more than a handful of studies that showed significant decreases in serum testosterone in rats following even moderate exposure (30 minutes per day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks) to 900 megahertz radio frequency electro-magnetic fields (EMF), which is what most GSM cell phones produce."

Beyond lowering testosterone, can cell phones hurt your "swimmers"?

Tim did some more digging, but this time switched gears from just cell phone effects on lowering testosterone levels, and he began researching cell phone effects on sperm count and function.

Tim continues, "Of the dozens of studies that I found, most done in Europe, more than 70% concluded the same thing: cell phone radiation impairs sperm function."

In The 4-Hour Body, Tim also presents the results of a study he read about male Wistar rats that were exposed to a mobile phone for 1 hour continuously per day for 28 days... the end result of the study was that the mobile phone exposure to the rats significantly reduced the % of motile sperm.  The conclusion was that mobile phones negatively affect semen quality and may impair male fertility.

Think about this... they were only exposed to the mobile phone radiation for 1 hour per day for 28 days, and showed negative effects on sperm count and function.... how many of us out there carry a cell phone in our pocket for like 8-10 hours every day!!!!

Doesn't look good for our "boys", does it?

Now it gets even more interesting... It turns out that Tim first started researching the correlation between low sperm count and cell phone use because he went and got a sperm count test, and found out that his numbers were surprisingly low.

In Tim's words... "the lab results, which were available the afternoon after my session, put my sperm count on the low range of normal, borderline problematic. I couldn't believe it.  Assuming it was a lab mistake, I repeated the drill 3 weeks later and came back with an even lower count. The more tests I did over the next 12 months, the lower the results."

After Tim started researching the effects of cell phone use on sperm count, he realized that for years, he'd been carrying a cell phone in his pocket for about 12 hours per day, most days of the week.
So he decided to do a test...

For 11 weeks, Tim decided that he would no longer carry his cell phone in his pocket... or as he puts it "my phone was no longer allowed to cuddle with my testicles".

Instead, instead he kept the phone on the other side of the room if working at home, or if he had to go somewhere, he kept his phone either strapped to his arm with an ipod armband, or in a backpack pocket.  If he had to carry it in his pocket, he turned it off, and only turned it back on occasionally to check messages.
He actually performed this test for 11 weeks for a specific reason... sperm production takes an estimated 64 days in humans... so he wanted to wait that long, plus an extra 2 weeks for buffer.

The results of the 11 week "no-cell-phone-in-the-pocket" test:

The numbers are shocking...
  • Ejaculate volume:  44% increase
  • Motile sperm per milliliter:  100% increase
  • Motile sperm per ejaculate:  185% increase
Now Tim admits that his study wasn't perfect, as there may have been other influences that weren't accounted for, such as his diet not being exactly the same during each time period.  However, he feels confident enough that these results speak for themselves.... after all, the results are pretty significant!

Personally, cell phone health issues is also a topic I've been reading a good deal about in the last couple of years.  Whether there's any conclusive evidence of cancer risk from cell phones, perhaps that's still to be determined... but I think we have significant evidence that cell phone use (and particularly carrying it in the pocket) can reduce both Testosterone levels (not good!) and also reduce sperm count and function (also scary!).

And please guys... don't start carrying around 2 cell phones in each pocket as a form of birth control!  All jokes aside, remember that there are possible bigger implications to this than just reduced sperm count... we're talking lower testosterone levels, possible increased cancer risk, etc.

What about women?  Please ladies, I wouldn't trust that health issues are only happening to men... I'm sure there are complications that can happen to women beware ladies!

In fact, on the recent Yahoo Health article, according to David Carpenter, M.D., director of the Institute for Health and Environment at the University at Albany (regarding carrying cell phones near the pelvis, or using laptops on the lap), "For women, the studies aren't quite there yet, but I think we can say that anything that might cause cancer almost always causes birth defects, so pregnant women—or those wanting to become pregnant soon—should take extra precautions."

What I've done to help protect myself from these risks is this:

1. When I'm at home, I keep my cell phone on the other side of my home office, or in another room.  I try not to keep it anywhere near me most of the day.  If I get a call, I simply get up and answer it, the same way that we used to have to walk across the room to answer a phone before the days of mobile phones!
2. In my car, I keep my phone off of my body and put it in the front console or the passenger seat if I don't have a passenger.  The farther away from your body, the better.

3. When I go to the gym, go hiking, biking, etc... I leave that sucker in the car!  I don't want it on my body any longer than it has to be.  After all, I think a LOT of us need to learn how to not be a slave to our cell phones.  The texts and voicemails will be waiting when you're done your hike or your gym workout...don't be a slave to your phone!

4. If I absolutely must carry my cell phone on me, such as if I'm meeting friends out and need to be able to contact them... well, in that case, I simply try to keep the phone out of my pocket as much as possible... if we're at a restaurant, I put the phone on the edge of the table instead of in my pocket, or I just turn it off if I no longer need to get in touch with friends.

5.  Remember that EMF dangers aren't only with cell also occurs with Wifi, and other wireless devices.  So I also try to never use my laptop on my lap... If I'm at an airport, I usually try to find a table to sit at, so the laptop isn't actually sitting on my "junk".  Also, if possible, I try to use a wired internet connection (ethernet) instead of Wifi or mobile broadband.  In my house, I've also switched to a wired internet connection and gotten rid of the wireless router altogether.

With all of this said, will I ever give up my cell phone?

Well, let's be realistic...the cell phone has become an important part of our lives, and most of us aren't willing to give it up.  However, I plan to take the 5 steps that I listed above to minimize my risk.

I hope you take this issue as seriously as it should be taken.  It's time most of us wake up and realize that we are all inadvertently involving ourselves in a giant human guinea pig study on the risks of chronic cell phone and wifi use.

Thanks to Tim Ferriss and his new 4-Hour Body book for providing some of the tests and info in this article! 

Please help protect your friends and family and share this article with them.  Facebook buttons and other sharing buttons are below to make it easier to share this.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

1 Reason For Slow Female Fat Loss... And 5 Tips To Fix It

You may have heard (or realized first hand!), that it’s more difficult for women to lose fat than men.

Differences in male and female hormones are certainly involved - both in the fat loss process as well as in the patterns of fat storage on the body. But the biggest obstacle is NOT hormonal issues, it’s one little fat loss relativity factor that almost all women overlook…

That factor is the simple fact that women are usually smaller and lighter than men, yet they err by setting their goals and designing their nutrition plans like men or larger women.

This especially applies to short and petite women who still have body fat to lose.

Case in point: Last week I received an email from a female reader who told me she was doing 3 weight training and 6 cardio sessions per week and the cardio was 45 minutes at a clip.

She said she weighed 111 lbs at 4 feet 11 inches tall, but even though she was petite, she had “several pounds of flab” she wanted to lose and just felt kind of “mushy.”

She had been really inspired by the success stories on the Burn the Fat websites, especially the finalists in our Burn the Fat transformation challenge.

But she said she was starting to get discouraged because she was losing so much slower than everyone else, it seemed.

First I asked her if she knew her body fat percentage. It may seem odd, but it’s possible to be a so-called “ideal” body weight and have high body fat and low lean body mass. That’s called “normal weight obesity” or in the popular vernacular, “skinny fat”). With the prevalence of body image disorders today, (and lets face it, the mirror plays tricks on us all), it’s especially important to understand and objectively measure body composition.

Having confirmed that she did actually have body fat to lose, even though she wasn’t overweight, here’s what I told her:

When you have a smaller body, you have lower calorie needs. When you have lower calorie needs, your relative deficit (20%, 30% etc) gives you a smaller absolute deficit and therefore you lose fat more slowly than someone who is larger and can create a larger deficit more easily.

Here’s an example for a man
Me: I’m male, 5’ 8”, a lean 192 lbs and very active:
  • Daily calorie maintenance level: 3300 calories a day
  • 20% calorie deficit = cut out 660 calories
  • Optimal calorie intake for fat loss: 2640 calories a day
  • On paper predicted fat loss: 1.3 lbs of wt loss per week
At 2640 calories per day, I’d drop fat rather painlessly. If I bumped up my calorie burn or decreased my intake by another 340 a day, that would be enough to give me 2 lbs per week wt loss. Either way, that’s hardly a starvation diet (Ah, the joys of being a man).

For smaller women, the math equation is very different.
At only 4 foot 11 inches tall and 111 lbs, a female’s numbers would look like this:
  • Daily maintenance level 1930 calories (even at a moderately active exercise level).
  • 20% deficit would = 386 calories
  • Optimal intake for fat loss 1544 calories a day
  • On paper predicted fat loss only 8/10th of a lb of fat loss/wk.
If you took a more aggressive calorie deficit of 30%, that’s a 579 calorie deficit which would now drop the calorie intake to 1351 calories/day.

That’s pretty low in calories. However, you would still have a fairly small calorie deficit. In fact, I would get to eat twice as many calories (2600 vs 1300 per day) and I’d still get almost twice the weekly rate of fat loss!
I know, this isn’t “fair,” but it doesn’t mean women can’t get as lean as they want to be. It means that on average, women will drop fat slower than men. It also means women with small bodies will lose fat more slowly than larger women.

What to do about it?


#1 Set a goal that’s realistic relative to your gender, body size and weight. ONE POUND a week of fat loss is much more in line with a realistic goal for a small-framed female. Overweight people can lose it faster. Men can drop it faster.

#2: Weigh and measure all your food any time you feel you’re stuck at a plateau, just to be sure. When your calorie expenditure is on the low side, you don’t have much margin for error. One extra pastry, muffin or handful of cookies and ZAP, your little 20% calorie deficit is GONE!

#3: Remember that body fat and body weight are NOT the same thing. Judge your progress on body composition. (I teach how to measure your body fat and lean body mass in the privacy of your own home as part of my Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle Program).

#4: Keep a weekly progress chart for weight, body fat percentage, pounds of fat and pounds of lean body mass. Water weight and lean body mass gains can mask fat loss so it’s possible to make progress even though the scale isn’t moving. Pay special attention to the progress trend over time.

#5: Burn more calories from the time you already spend in the gym. Suggestions: Make 2 or 3 of your long cardio sessions higher in intensity so you burn more calories in the same or even less time. Set up your weight training with big compound exercise and brief rest intervals so you burn more calories from strength training as well.

When I first shared this information with my readers, some women told me that all this did was get them depressed or prompt them to reply, "it's not fair!" Well, no it's not fair. But "Better the hard truth than a comforting fantasy," as Carl Sagan once said.

Look at it this way: This information should not be depressing - it should be encouraging and empowering to you because this "hard truth" helps shorter/ smaller women understand how to set realistic goals and know exactly what to to do to reach them: You have to stay very active, train hard, BURN a lot of calories instead of just dieting, and you will reach any goal. It just takes a little patience.

Dropping only ONE pound per week (or less) may seem excruciatingly slow, but even if you get a HALF a pound a week fat loss, that’s still progress. Celebrate it. Keep that up over time, and you will reach your goal. Persistence pays.

Your friend and coach,

Tom Venuto
Fat Loss Coach

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

7-Step Detox Diet

It's about that time of year.

This is when folks slowly start dropping off from their workout program, or cheating on their diet. And for a lot of folks, weekend eating - particularly SuperBowl weekend eating - is to blame.

When some folks binge eat, they go looking for a "detox diet", thinking that will reverse all their mistakes.

But I'm not here to recommend way.

Instead, I have an amazing article - perhaps his best article ever -
from fitness expert Craig Ballantyne about a simple 7-Step Detox
Diet that you can easily follow everyday... that you never need to do an extreme 7-day or 2-week cleanse.

Here's Craig to tell it like it is:

I have a pretty strong opinion about detoxing, and I put together a simple 7-step detox diet plan that you can easily follow so that you never have to do a 16-day detox ever.

You see, my biggest "beef" with the entire theory of "detoxing" is this...

It is simply NOT possible to EVER detox your body.


Because it's such a vague statement.

What does "detox" mean?

How do you measure "detoxification"?

What do you even define as toxins?

And when do you officially become "detoxed"?

The answer is, "You don't."

It's impossible.

After all, every single second of every day your body produces carbon dioxide, which is a toxin.

And if you have deep belly fat, research shows that this "visceral fat" is constantly releasing inflammatory toxins into your blood.

Every second. The more fat you have, the more toxic you are.

Plus, every breath you take includes pollutants.

And even the water that you drink may contain "toxins".

So....what's the real deal on detoxing?

Listen, while every "expert" is out there arguing about tiny little details and "gurus" are trying to sell you on detoxing so they can sell supplements, the TRUTH is that you really just need to know a few steps to avoid getting toxic in the first place.

In my opinion, the #1 factor in living a "low toxin life" is simply to keep as much garbage out of your body in the first place, rather than depending on a 3-day, 7-day or even 16-day detox to be healthy.

So what do I do to prevent "toxin build-up" in the first place?

Well, I live the Turbulence Training Lifestyle of course, including my "7 Step Detox Nutrition Plan":

1) Start each day with a blender drink of berries, spinach or other greens, raw nuts (such as walnuts - rich in healthy fats), and other ingredients packed with antioxidants and healthy fats.

2) For lunch, have a large green salad with spinach, beans, broccoli, peppers, avocado, onions, etc.

3) Eat an organic apple a day. Certain fruits (i.e. apples, peaches, cherries, and strawberries) and vegetables have a higher exposure to pesticides, and you should choose organic when possible.

4) Eat RAW snacks only - of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Try using this one simple rule and limit all of your between meal snacks to raw fruit, raw vegetables, and/or raw nuts and I promise you'll drop the pounds because you'll be full on a smaller number of calories.

5) Drink Green Tea (2-3 cups) and filtered water (3 liters) instead of beverages that contain calories or chemicals.

6) Limit animal protein intake to only 2 servings per day. On most days, I'll one of the following: an "after workout" chocolate milk, organic eggs in the morning, or occasionally I'll have high quality
meat at dinner.

You don't need to be a full vegetarian to live a longer life, but you should probably avoid eating meat 5 times per day, like people in Chicago.

(Hey Chicago, don't get mad at me for was a born-and-raised Chicago native who told me 5 servings of meat per day was the average Chicago meat consumption.)

7) Minimize or completely eliminate alcohol intake.

While research does show that for men, up to 2 drinks per day may help cardiovascular health (and for women, up to one drink per day), I'm not about to recommend you start drinking.

After all, if you go above those limits, you start to destroy your health...and you risk addiction. Alcohol killed my father, and I don't want to see the same thing happen to you. Tread cautiously with the booze.

So that's it. A simple 7-Step Detox Diet Plan.

By the way, it goes without saying that you should avoid:

- cigarettes
- trans-fats
- excessive amounts of sugar
- refined grains
- and 7-11 nacho cheese


Of course.

And you should be exercising to lose the belly fat...using proven methods, such as interval training - which is proven to beat long, slow cardio when it comes to burning dangerous belly fat.

Plus, you should be using Turbulence Training resistance supersets to burn more calories and sculpt your body.

If you've never used Turbulence Training, you can try it out today for less than the cost of a Superbowl hot dog.

Click here to get Turbulence Training for less than 5 bucks:

Simply follow those 7 nutrition guidelines and use the short TT workouts to cut out as many toxins from your body - without detoxing.

Stay strong,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

PS - I also believe you should avoid toxic relationships... you need to take a hard look at the people you surround
yourself with in life.

Do you have the right work friends?
Are you in the right relationships?
Do you spend enough time with the right family members?

Or are they toxic too?

Remember - you need social support for success in life and in fat surround yourself with positive people, like the good folks on the TT Member's forum.

If you need to dump the toxic folks and get positive social support, we'd love to see you on the forum and help you out.

You will get a free 3-month TT membership access to the forum when you try out Turbulence Training for only $4.95 today:

Please click that link to get started losing fat & getting rid of the toxic baggage in your life.


Hope that helps.

To your success!

Your friend,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training