Category Archives: nutrition

A Construction Workers Weight Loss Plan

That’s not me by the way!


I recently received a request from my friend Dave who asked for a simple diet for losing weight and I think he meant for me to write out which particular foods/meals to eat (I’ve given an example of a meal plan that would suit active people like Dave at the end of this article). Thing is, it’s not that simple because peoples tastes are different and their minimum calorific needs can vary hugely. In my friends case he is a hard working man in the labour intensive construction industry. Regardless of what some websites may try to tell you you can’t decide on you calorific needs just based on your activity levels as those levels will invariably change from day to day. I have however included (near the end of this article) a rough guide for working out your daily needs. With some changes in your eating habits and exercising habits you may be surprised at the amount of weight that you can lose over a month’s time period. You can average losing about 2 pounds each week safely so it won’t take long to lose the weight.

The UK Food Standards Agency recently commissioned a report into the diets of construction workers and among its key findings were the terrible lack of adequate catering for construction workers and the misconception amongst construction workers that a high fat diet is better for giving them the sustainable energy levels their jobs demand.

You can make some adjustments in the foods you are eating but don’t try too hard to diet. Just try to make different food choices.

Don’t skip meals. Eat three meals a day and even allow yourself to have snacks. Just choose your foods wisely. Eat plenty of fruit and veg. Don’t try to eliminate all fat. Your body needs some fat, or it will start to make more.

Be sure you get enough calcium by drinking skimmed milk or calcium-fortified orange juice. Drink at least 2 litres of water each day. This helps to decrease your appetite and is good for your skin and hair.

Also, be careful not to lose weight too quickly. Don’t lose more than one maybe two pounds per week, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results quickly.

1. Stretch your meals to, at least, 20 minutes or longer. Your stomach, mouth and brain are all connected and it takes 20 minutes of chewing before your stomach signals your brain that you are full. To successfully lose weight, you need to eat slowly for 20 minutes or longer.

2. Drinking 2 litres of water a day is important to your health, your normal diet and to help lose weight. Water is necessary for the metabolism of your stored fat.

3. Make good food choices such as roasted chicken, turkey, fish, tuna fish, lean ham, steak, lean beef or lean hamburger, vegetables prepared without butter, brown rice, white rice, fruits–fresh or canned without extra sugar, low calorie fruit jelly, fat free yogurts, salads with low calorie and low fat dressings, air-popped popcorn, fat free twiglets, fruit smoothies made with yogurt and pasta in 2 oz servings.

4. Use snack foods wisely. Here are some suggestions for low calorie snacks. Fat free pretzels, fat free yogurt, air popped popcorn, low calorie jelly with fat free squirty cream, fruit smoothies made with fresh fruit and frozen yogurt, sugar free ice lollies and ice cream.

5. When you go fat free or low fat, you also cut out much of the taste of the foods you eat. Add the flavour back with herbs and spices, but not salt.

6. Increase your metabolism by including some of the fat burning foods and breaking your meals into 4 or 5 smaller meals during the day. Include as many single ingredient foods as you can.

7. Negative emotions will also interfere with your weight loss program. It’s difficult to stay motivated to lose weight when you feel bad, and believe me processed foods will make you feel bad.

8. To lose weight faster, reduce your intake of caffeine. Caffeine leads to an increase of insulin in your body that retards the burning of your stored fat. This is a simple chemical reaction in your body that you can change. Reduce your caffeine intake by 50% and see what happens. Here is a rough guide to use when looking at the amount of caffeine you currently take in: Brewed coffee  – 100mg; Instant coffee  – 70mg; Tea  – 50mg; Soft drink cans – (Coke, Dr. Pepper,) – 50mg; Dark chocolate (1 oz.) – 20mg and Milk chocolate (1 oz.) – 6mg.

9. Increase your intake of fibre rich foods. They will help fill you up faster and will help all the food you eat pass through your digestive system more easily.

10. Exercise is probably the most important key to increasing your metabolism and burning off excess fat.

11. To lose weight quickly, never skip a meal. Your first meal after waking starts your metabolism. Your metabolism then speeds up for about eight hours and then starts slowing down until you go to sleep when it goes to low until you wake and eat and start the cycle again. Skip breakfast and your metabolism won’t get started until lunch time. You’ve just missed three or four hours of fat burning time. When you skip meals during the day, your metabolism also slows down.

12. There are certain things that should be avoided when trying to lose weight such as–all fried foods–have them baked, broiled, grilled or pan fried using a non fat spray. Avoid rich gravies, sauces, rich desserts and pop because of the sodium content.

13. Try including some fibre in the diet as it is very healthy for you and also expands in your stomach and gives you a full feeling.

14. Make sure that you have your caloric needs figured out and also keep the fat grams down to only 20 percent of the daily food total.

15. Daily calorie intake. We all need a minimum number of calories simply to survive, but we can also set a calorie limit to maintain a healthy weight. You can calculate the total numbers of calories you need for your type of lifestyle, then use this figure to decide on a range of calories to consume each day – it’s not an absolute figure.

1. Calculate the minimum number of calories you need by multiplying your current or desired weight in pounds by 10 if you’re a woman, 11 if you’re a man. This number represents your basic calorie needs.

2. Calculate the number of calories required for your activity level (see tips, below) by multiplying your basic calorie needs (the calculation from step 1) by your activity level – 20 percent or 0.2, 30 percent or 0.3, 40 percent or 0.4, or 50 percent or 0.5. The resulting number represents your activity-based calorie needs.

3. Calculate the number of calories your body needs for food digestion and absorption by adding your basic calorie needs and your activity-based calorie needs (the answers from steps 1 and 2) and multiplying this sum by 0.10. These are the calories you need for digestion.

4. Add the three calculations from steps 1, 2 and 3: This is your total daily calorie need to maintain your desired weight.

Use the following as a guideline for determining your activity level:
20 percent if you sit or lie still for most of the day, with little or no exercise;
30 percent if you walk less than two miles per day;
40 percent if you are somewhat active, doing activities such as dancing, doing a lot of work in the house or garden, or taking exercise classes;
50 percent if you’re actively involved in a sport or you have job that requires a great deal of physical labour, such as construction work.

There are 3,500 calories in a pound, so to lose one pound per week, you need to decrease your calorie intake by 3,500 calories a week, or 500 calories a day.

* This is an example of an American football player’s daily meal plan to lose weight, courtesy of Leslie Bonci, R.D., Pittsburgh Steelers’ team nutrition consultant. (I’ve translated as best I can)

A sandwich on;
Whole grain bread or muffin
A scrambled egg
2 thin slices Ham or thin smoked bacon
Very thin spread of mayonnaise (light mayo)
A yogurt (150-200 calorie type) with muesli added
A cereal bowl of fruit salad
And a slice of whole grain toast with a thin spread of peanut butter
2 Scrambled egg savoury pancake
4 eggs, scrambled with cheddar cheese
spread into 2 corn tortillas with salsa
and a banana

Turkey and Mayo sub:
6-inch torpedo roll
mustard, ketchup, thin spread of mayo ( light)
one-quarter pound of turkey and 2 slices of cheese
A cup of low fat coleslaw ( can buy the coleslaw mix from the super market)
Dish of cut up fruit
Grilled chicken sandwich:
Grilled chicken breast
BBQ sauce
On a whole grain bun
Bowl of vegetable soup
Tuna salad sandwich:
175g can of tuna ( water-packed) with light mayo, relish
spread on 2 muffin halves,
top with 2 slices of cheese
grill until cheese melts
sliced tomatoes
Pasta- 3 cups with sauce
A salad with a grilled chicken breast and go light on the dressing, 2-3 tablespoons at the most

An 250g  yogurt with muesli
A small bowl of cereal
A smoothie with
250g yogurt
250g skimmed milk
one cup of frozen or fresh berries or a small banana
Blend together

Meat of some kind:
Steak, Pork, Venison, Fish, Chicken; 12 ounces ( three quarters of a pound) raw weight
Grilled, Boiled or Baked
2 portions of pasta or rice or potatoes- about one-third of the plate
and 2 portions of vegetables, rest of the plate- steamed, grilled.
If you have seconds, vegetables only!

One of the following:
Popcorn- microwave snack sized bag
Yogurt with muesli.
Small bowl of cereal, like Raisin Bran, or Nutri Grain type

This would suit rugby or real football player or indeed my mate Dave who works in construction and has already lost two stone, well done Dave!




Whether you’re male or female, young or old, if you’ve tried and failed to lose weight with cheap diet pills, pre-packaged diet meals, starvation diets, exercise DVDS, ab gadgets, or even “dieting” in general, there are other ways of going about things.

Here I’m going to outline 3 rapid fat loss insider secrets, including how you can strategically begin using foods like pizza and ice cream to accelerate your fat loss results. It’s all about fat burning hormones and metabolites like leptin (derived from the Greek word leptos, meaning thin), these hormones determine your bodies ability to burn fat as a whole.

The problem is just about everyone is unknowingly fighting a losing battle with their own metabolism each and every time they attempt to lose weight. You see, one of the underlying reasons why people fail to lose weight isn’t for want of trying, they don’t have bad genetics, and there’s nothing physically wrong with them, it’s just that they don’t know all the tips and tricks and leptin sensitivity is just one of them. In order to burn fat, your body depends on many factors of which diet is just one.

First a bit of bad news, anytime you go on a diet and reduce your calorie intake, the rate of metabolism plummets and fat burning is dramatically reduced to a snail’s pace. Why? Well, the body will always protect itself against starvation by reducing all the hormones and actions that will burn fat as energy, and in the midst of decreased food intake (i.e. dieting), your body unfortunately views your stored body fat as a huge asset to survival. The result, reduced metabolite levels and dramatically decreased fat burning. In fact, research has shown that fat burning hormone levels drop by as much as 50% after just 7 days of dieting and it only gets worse with each passing day. The scenario I just explained is actually only part of the problem. The other unfortunate reality is that the vast majority of people are ALSO suffering from resistance to weight loss due to years of high body fat levels and a diet full of processed foods.

As I mentioned earlier, there are 4 somewhat odd, but extremely effective strategies you can begin using today that will help get your fat burning back on track.

The first trick is to use a technique known as periodic overfeeding, or more simply put, strategically “cheating” on your diet with all your favourite foods like pizza and ice cream, because fat burning hormones are closely related to your calorific intake, research also shows that periodically going OFF your diet and indulging in your favourite high calorie foods can give your slowing metabolic rate a much needed bump in the right direction. For this reason, I recommend to all my clients that they incorporate a weekly “cheat day” into their nutrition programs—adding an additional 1000 calories or more in one day—and it’s something you should definitely consider adding to yours.

Some of the “Cheat” foods can include; New York Style Pizza, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Homemade Cherry/Apple Pie, Fresh Baked Lasagne, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Haagen Dazs Ice Cream, Pancakes, French Toast, Philadelphia cheese and minute steak sandwiches, BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger to name a few.

The second trick is something I refer to as “Reverse Carbohydrate Tapering”. Countless research papers have concluded that of any nutrient, carbohydrates are capable of having the greatest net effect on fat loss levels. Here’s how to use it; after a cheat day when metabolic levels start to decline, add a small amount of additional carbohydrates—like 10 to 20 grams—to your diet each day until your next cheat day. This “reverse carbohydrate tapering” technique will assist with preventing the metabolic rate from falling off too rapidly, the only limitation lies in the amount of carbohydrates we’re able to use without negatively affecting fat loss. While eating even more carbohydrates daily would have an even greater impact on fat burning hormone levels, the extra carbs and calories would also negatively impact your waistline. Something of a catch-22, I know. Now, while the above two tricks will certainly have a positive effect on the speed of your body’s metabolic rate as you attempt to lose weight, the extra leptin won’t be very beneficial unless you also take steps to improve your body’s sensitivity to using your fat reserves as fuel.

The third trick I promised you is about how consuming more of one specific type of food can actually increase weight loss. Knowing that a large consumption of processed foods is one of the main contributors to fat retention, you can immediately begin redressing this imbalance as soon your next meal by eating only one-ingredient foods. What do I mean by one-ingredient foods? Simple. A one-ingredient food is a food whose only ingredient is that food.

Examples of some One-Ingredient foods include.
Tomatoes, Chicken, Beef, Fish, Green Beans, Broccoli, Apples, Pears, Cashews, Walnuts, Almonds, Olives, Avocado, Kidney Beans, Eggs, Yogurt, Cherries, Raspberries, Blueberries etc. Other foods that fall in to this category include pretty much any meat, vegetable, nut, seed, oil, bean, or fruit.

Apart from cheat days, aim to eat only single ingredient foods.

Unlike pre-packaged processed foods with a long list of artificial ingredients and food additives that we often can’t even pronounce let alone identify, all of these foods are whole, natural foods that only contain one ingredient. When you begin consuming a diet full of these types of foods, without all the additives, you’ll immediately begin to repair your hormone sensitivity and make them even more effective at signalling fat burning to your body.

The fourth trick is to use supplements containing metabolites related to fat loss. Research and progressive science have recently brought to our attention some pretty powerful ingredients that can actually have a profound impact on metabolite production and hormone sensitivity, however proceed with caution as this can be an expensive route. First, you need to be sure that the product you will buy is the legitimate and not those made by professional online scammers. You must be reminded that the Internet is not only filled of products that can give back the worth of your money, this place is also full of items that will just waste your time and rob your hard-earned cash.

After confirming that the product, and African Mango is a very popular one at the moment, is an authentic one, the next step is to look for its credentials or the set of instructions on how to utilize it. Most companies that manufacture these products are providing complete instructions to their prospective customers in order to attain the best results from their weight loss supplement.

While there are some people who will attest that they have lost weight with these products even without exercising, I still suggest that you accompany such products with regular exercise as well as the right diet. Just always remember that no matter how effective a weight loss product is, you will not be assured of getting the positive result if you will not do the right things such as exercise and following the right diet.

Here I give you a list of four of the more popular ingredients doing the rounds on the internet at the moment.

The first ingredient is called Irvingia Gabonensis, a powerful extract from the African mango seed that has been shown to support leptin sensitivity by inhibiting the production of C-reactive protein (CRP), a chemical in the body that has been linked with the development of leptin resistance, by up to 52%.

The second ingredient is Oleanolic Acid. Oleanolic acid has been reported to have many potential benefits, partly due to anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  These properties might also be responsible, at least in part, for the positive weight and fat loss results seen in studies on mice.  Since oleanolic acid is commonly found in many fruits and vegetables, we have yet another reason to make sure we eat our recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.  These studies suggest that not only do fruits and vegetables help us meet our nutritional needs; they also contain naturally occurring compounds that might help in weight management.

The third ingredient, Modifilan, Modifilan is essentially a form of brown seaweed extract. This dietary drug is marketed toward both women and men who desire to lose weight. Overall, Modifilan endeavours to assist the user’s immune system, remove toxins from the body, lower cholesterol levels, aid with weight reduction and lower blood sugar. The key active ingredients incorporated into Modifilan are Organic Iodine (helps the thyroid gland and aids the metabolism), Fucoxanthin (assists with abdominal weight reduction), Alginate (absorbs radioactive elements), Fucoidan (battles cancer cells) and Laminarin (benefits the heart).

The fourth ingredient South American yerba mate the tea-like beverage yerba mate, long used in South America for its medicinal properties, has become more popular in the United States over recent years. The purported benefits of yerba mate include helping with depression, issues relating to attention and focus and hypertension. A study conducted in Denmark and published in the “Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics” in 2001 suggests that yerba mate may also be helpful for weight loss. This function is due in part to yerba mate causing delayed gastric emptying, better digestion and being rich in minerals. One of the ways that yerba mate promotes weight loss is through a process called delayed gastric emptying. In “Turn Off the Hunger Switch Naturally,” authors Paul Rivas and E.A. Tremblay define this condition as one in which the stomach remains full for a longer period of time, sending this message to the brain. Rivas and Tremblay also note that ultrasonic testing of patients confirmed this process.
Those agitated by caffeine products should not consume yerba mate.

Remember increased levels of exercise regardless of your current fitness levels are absolutely key to losing weight in an effective and lasting fashion.

Always consult your Doctor before taking any supplements marketed as being medicinally reactive.

Why Processed Foods Are Deadly to your Health


This is more about what not to do than it is a health tip.
If you want to eat healthy, you want to stay away from processed foods.  But what are processed foods?  Processed foods are foods that have been altered from their natural state. They are foods that have been compromised by the addition of hormones, additives, preservatives, unnatural genetic material or other chemical or heat treatments that alter or destroy the natural healthy enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, all for the sake of convenience. But convenience isn’t the only thing you get when you eat processed foods. There’s a whole list of ingredients that manufacturers add:

Colour – It gives your orange pop that neon glow

Stabilizers – So your gravy isn’t watery

Emulsifiers – Who says oil and water can’t mix?

Bleach – Let’s disinfect and deodorize

Texturisers – Nothing’s worse than soggy cereal…

Softeners – It’s as if the ice cream was churned twice

Preservatives – What if you want to eat the cake six months from now?

Sweeteners – Sugar is sweet but saccharin and aspartame are sweeter

Deodorisers – Do you really want to smell the fish paste in your insta-noodles?

Flavourings – Nothing like having the sweet taste of cherry all year round.

The main goal of food processing is to lengthen the shelf life of foods so that larger amounts can be sold over time.  Other benefits include toxicity reduction, preservation, easing marketing and distribution tasks and increasing food consistency. In addition it increases the out of season availability of many foods and enables transportation of delicate perishable food over long distances. Processed foods are cheaper to mass produce than the individual production of meals from raw ingredients. They are quicker to prepare at home or on the go, fully prepared ready meals can be heated up in a microwave oven within minutes.

Even slight processing of food can have a huge effect on its nutritional composition. The food may be missing necessary vitamins and minerals the body needs for daily function. Food Additives are substances added to food to preserve flavour or enhance its taste and appearance.  Food acids are added to make flavours “sharper”, and also act as preservatives and antioxidants.  Some artificial food additives have been linked with cancer, digestive problems, neurological conditions, ADHD, heart disease or obesity. Natural additives may be similarly harmful or be the cause of allergic reactions in certain individuals. Ever notice that the sources of the ingredients in processed foods are shrouded in mystery? Food manufacturers even patent some of the processing methods they use. For example, the process for making Splenda, an artificial sweetener, is a big secret and patented with the USA.If you have to keep the process for how a food is made a big secret, it probably means that if people knew the process, most of them wouldn’t eat the food.

Here’s a not so short list (but by no means all) of some common processed foods most of which have very long shelf lives.

White wheat flour; especially bleached white flour.
Refined sugars; crystalline fructose, maltodextrin, dextrose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, maple syrup, date sugar, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, corn sugar, beet sugar, agave syrup.
Margarine and other hydrogenated vegetable fats.
Refined vegetable oils.
Artificial sweeteners.
Food additives.
Canned foods.
Boxed foods such as meal mixes, cereal and pasta.
Soft drinks and sugary “fruit” drinks, which are loaded with white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colours, flavours and other food additives.
Fast food, which is a source of trans fats.
Cheese food, packaged cakes and cookies, chips, snack food crackers and other junk food.
Processed meat products (sausage, bologna, bacon, packaged ham, and salami) if they contain artificial colours and soy fillers.
Frozen foods such as TV dinner meals, fish sticks, pizza rolls and similar foods.
Soy products such as soy milk, soy cheese, soy protein isolate, and other processed soy foods. Natural soybeans taste horrible; it’s Nature’s way of warning about the dangers of soy. In order to make soy products edible, soy manufacturers have to add large amounts of sugar, MSG and other flavourings and spices.
Powdered milk and eggs: Commercial milk powders contain oxysterols (oxidized cholesterol) in high amounts. The oxysterol free radicals have been suspected of being initiators of atherosclerotic plaques. Powdered eggs contain even more oxysterols.

Methods used to process food include:
canning, jarring, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration, aseptic processing, boxed and bagged.

To help lift moods and help calm anxiety, keep away from processed foods and eat more natural products. Try and eat healthy, whole foods diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Try and include foods that are rich in B vitamins, such as whole grains, nuts, green vegetables, eggs and fish.

Pretty scary eh? I thought so.

Why Do Processed Foods Make You Fat?


We are always being told if you want to lose weight don’t eat too many processed foods and here is one of the reasons why.

I’ve been talking a lot recently about our body’s fat burning hormones and here I mention leptin and in later posts I’ll tell you how you can actually use certain “cheat” foods to raise leptin levels and accelerate fat burning in your body. What you may NOT know about leptin is that raising your leptin levels may be completely WORTHLESS unless you also take steps to improve your SENSITIVITY to leptin.

The Problem is that many people are actually quite insensitive to leptin due to years of high body fat levels and diets full of processed foods. This essentially makes your body unresponsive to leptin, even at high levels…like a computer with no processor. Having said that you can get back on the path to heightened leptin sensitivity simply by eating more of one specific type of food.

Knowing that a large consumption of processed foods is one of the main contributors to leptin resistance and fat storage, you can immediately begin repairing your leptin receptors and instigate fat loss within hours by following this one simple rule:

Apart from cheat days, aim to eat only single ingredient foods. What do I mean by single ingredient foods? Simple. A single ingredient food is a food whose only ingredient is the food itself.

Tomatoes, Chicken, Beef, Fish, Green Beans, Broccoli, Apples, Pears, Cashews, Walnuts, Almonds, Olives, Avocado, Kidney Beans, Eggs, Yogurt, Cherries, Raspberries, Blueberries etc. Other foods that fall in to this category include pretty much any meat, vegetable, nut, seed, oil, bean, or fruit.

Unlike pre-packaged processed foods with a long list of artificial ingredients and food additives that we often can’t even pronounce let alone identify, all of these foods are whole, natural foods that only contain one ingredient.

And when you begin consuming a diet full of these types of foods, without all the additives, you’ll immediately begin to repair your leptin sensitivity and make leptin even more effective at signaling fat burning to your body.

This is one of the reasons I thought you’d appreciate knowing why we say processed foods aren’t good for you.

Ever wondered how your body actually burns fat?


Let’s start by working backwards, how do we get fat?

A few years ago a popular health magazine decided to try to answer that same question by reasoning that if we knew all the “tricks” to gaining weight, we could learn what “not” to do if we wanted to stay lean.

So they picked a group whose job requires them to maintain enormous stores of body fat – Sumo wrestlers. If we knew what they did we might learn what not to do so they looked at what Sumo’s did to get fat and this is a simplified description of much how they go about it.

They had a strict daily workout regime with as much rest as possible in between workouts, they took a lot of short naps and then at the end of the day, they ate their one meal, a massive calorie dense amount of food and beer that would make an all you can eat buffet at the local gastro pub seem skimpy. Shortly after this multi-thousand calorie feast they’d go straight to bed for the night.

So what can we learn from this? One reason this technique is so effective for weight gain is that it mobilizes every fat-storing mechanism we have in our body. The point here is that if you want to burn fat instead of store it, you have to learn how to turn off your “fat storing mechanisms,” and instead turn on your “fat burning mechanisms.”

So here’s the simplified biochemistry behind the Sumos’ weight gain…

When you eat a big carbohydrate rich meal, it sends your blood sugar soaring. The body immediately releases a hormone (insulin) whose job it is to control that sugar and get it out of the bloodstream and into the muscle cells. The ting is when the muscle cells don’t need it, like if you’re not moving around much and are inactive, insulin takes that sugar and shuttles it into the fat cells. No wonder insulin is also known as the “fat-storing hormone.” Insulin does its work with the help of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which is kind of like the “fat-storing enzyme.” LPL takes triglycerides (fats) from the bloodstream, breaks them down into smaller parts (fatty acids), and then promptly helps store these fatty acids in your fat cells.

Once insulin is released into the bloodstream, it effectively locks the doors to the fat cells. They won’t open up and release their potential energy stores (that is, you won’t burn fat) until insulin levels come back down. Of course, the more you continue to eat that same high carb diet, the less your insulin levels go down. That’s the biochemistry put very simply, and it works that way whether you’re a couch potato or you’re a professional Sumo wrestler.

So Just How DO You Burn Fat?

You do the exact opposite of everything I just said, and here’s why …
Insulin has a sister hormone, and its name is glucagon. It’s a critical component involved in fat burning biochemistry. When blood sugar is low, and you need more energy, (but food isn’t available), glucagon is secreted into the bloodstream. Its purpose is the exact opposite of insulin’s. Glucagon goes into the cells and causes fat to be released. And it does so with the help of a fat-burning enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL).

Much as glucagon is the “opposite” of insulin, HSL is the “opposite” of LPL, the fat-storing enzyme I spoke of earlier. HSL breaks down triglycerides (a form of fat stored in your cells) into fatty acids and glycerol, so as they travel around the bloodstream they can be burned for energy or excreted.  This glucagon-HSL partnership makes up part of the fat burning process.

To sum it all up and working backwards, we start to see the obvious: Fat burning (and weight loss) won’t take place unless the fat-burning components (glucagon/ HSL) are all in place.

The fat burning switch is in the “off” position as long as insulin levels are high. Insulin levels are high whenever blood sugar is high, and blood sugar is typically high in response to high-carbohydrate meals. Therefore the solution to the problem involved in “how to burn fat” is pretty simple. Keep blood sugar in a safe, moderate range where it won’t trigger an insulin spike. By keeping blood sugar (and insulin) down, you allow glucagon/HSL, the fat-burning switch, to do it’s magic.

If you want to trigger your fat-burning switch, you have to learn to eat in a way that won’t trigger excess insulin. Fortunately, that isn’t that hard to do. I’ll tell you more about how to do this by understanding the dangers posed by high glycaemic indexed carbs, processed foods and bad fats in future posts.

Thanks for reading!

Fourteen day kick start diet to fat loss and better health


Fast & Simple Fat Loss with Clever Eating

It is possible to lose 15 lbs of body fat in 14 days simply by eating right.  Provided you have 15 lbs to lose. I should point out that I always encourage people to exercise but if your nutrition isn’t spot on you will still struggle to shed fat.
When you are in touch with the way your body reacts to diet and exercise manipulating your nutrition can transform your body almost overnight. You don’t have to be an elite athlete to do this; in fact it’s often easier if you’re not.  More likely than not you will have been eating the same way for years and the next 14 days will throw your body into the hyper fat burning zone. This way of eating can shed body fat and put on muscle but to also completely change your blood lipid profile.  High cholesterol and triglycerides are brought back into the normal range in less than 30 days with this nutrition plan.  This way of eating is often called “Nutrition Cycling” and is extremely effective.

So for the next 14 days here’s what you’re going to aim for and the strategies you are going to use.

Strategy # 1: Eat all the protein you want.
You can eat: Beef, Eggs, Lamb, Seafood, Pork and Chicken, Turkey or even Ostrich if you can get it.

Strategy #2: Limit your carbohydrates to 30 grams a day or less.
Although you can have any carbs you want as long as you stay under 30 a day, I’d suggest sourcing your carbohydrates from the following sources or similar.
Spinach, Broccoli, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage. By eating veg you can eat a large volume of food while getting your vitamins and fibre into the bargain.

Strategy # 3: Water
Drink 39 ml of water per kg of bodyweight. You can also drink black coffee, tea and any zero calorie drink but water is the best.  Buy water if you want but water is water, when you mix it with coffee it’s still water. You don’t need to be a snob about it, we pay a fortune in the UK to ensure we get good quality water straight out of the tap.

Strategy #4: Don’t drink your calories.
Stay away from high calorie sugary drinks.  They do nothing but make you fat! And that includes all types of fruit juice, yes it does!

Strategy #5: Have a splurge day.
After 14 days I want you to celebrate by eating anything you want!  This will stimulate your metabolism and also fill your muscles up with glycogen so it won’t turn to fat.

Moving forward – day 15 & beyond
By taking the carbohydrates out of your diet temporarily, it trains your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. When carbohydrates are present you body will not turn to fat stores for energy. Monday to Friday you should eat like you have for the past 14 days, pay attention to how your body responds to certain foods and if something is causing you to gain fat cut it out of your diet.  Bear in mind that the carb limit of 30 grams is a starting point and most people will do brilliantly at 30 grams of carbs a day, others will need a little more carbohydrate so pay attention to how you feel and experiment with things a little.  Most people will feel and look best in the 30 to 50 grams a day range.  Remember this isn’t a static diet like most diet plans; this diet plan should be specific to you and your unique body.

The Victory Weekend.
Every weekend following the first 14 days you can eat whatever you want for 12 to 48 hours.  You can call this the victory weekend or your splurge days.  It lets you feel human and enjoy food without looking like a diet freak!   Your body is in a constant state of physical transformation weekly with this diet, that’s why it’s important to know when to stop at the weekend. If you find that you have an unlimited appetite on weekends, that’s ok within reason but be careful. If you are eating pizza and ice-cream you may want to stop after 12 hours.  On the other hand if you are carbing up with potatoes, fruit and veg and maybe a slice or two of pizza the full 48 hours may be best.  The whole idea is to become aware of the way your body responds and adjust your food intake accordingly.

That’s why you have to be aware and notice when you start to feel bloated.  Everyone responds to food differently. I can’t emphasis this enough, keep an eye on yourself and the way your body responds.

A Breakfast that Helps to Burn Fat?

by Steven Milner IIST

Here is one of the best breakfasts for fat burning.
If your reading this you are probably concerned about bodyfat and the shape of your body, after all this is a health site. What I outline here is fantastic 5-minute recipe for a delicious breakfast to speed up your metabolism, charge your energy levels and start you burning belly fat.

If you want to pack on belly fat, here’s a foolproof way to do it:
Just eat any version of the typical English breakfast, including the utterly idiotic “low-fat” breakfast popular in the 80’s of orange juice, whole wheat toast, special K, skimmed milk and a banana that’ll guarantee a surge of the fat storage hormone insulin, and a crash of blood sugar a couple of hours later to boot. (This, by the way, is exactly why you’ll be starving at 11 o’clock and ready to kill for a kitkat.)

So what’s a good alternative? Well here is one of the best breakfasts for fat burning…
One of the best breakfasts for eliminating belly fat is a high-protein shake. Protein revs up the metabolism and doesn’t have nearly the same effect on insulin, the fat storage hormone I mentioned earlier, that carbs do. Use a high-quality whey protein that provides one of the cleanest, most powerful sources of protein on the planet.
For breakfast, mix the protein powder (you might want to get hold of a hand blender) with either water or whole milk (still legal in England). Then choose from a variety of options similar to the “toppings” section at a smoothie counter.

Any of the following, alone or in combination, is terrific:
1) A tablespoon of peanut butter: The fat blunts the impact of the shake on your blood sugar (and insulin levels) and the peanut butter is a delicious addition.
2) A tablespoon of oatmeal: The oatmeal adds some more fibre and some valuable beta-glucans, which help control blood sugar. Don’t do this if you’re sensitive to gluten.
3) A cup of frozen berries: Blueberries are low in sugar and calories and loaded with antioxidants. Plus if you use them frozen, it makes your protein shake taste like a smoothie.

For a super-charged bodybuilders breakfast shake you can also include a raw egg or two Rocky style.
Bodybuilders have been using raw eggs in their protein shakes since the days of Arnold Schwarzenegger, as it’s one of nature’s most perfect foods and one of the highest rated protein sources on the planet.

Add these two secret weapons and voila, you’re done…
After choosing one or more of the “extras” (see above), you can take it a stage further by adding a scoop of a propriety brand of fibre. Fibre not only maintains the health of the digestive tract, but it also reduces the risk of a number of diseases including heart disease and diabetes and even certain forms of cancer. It also keeps you, as old-timers used to say, “Regular.”
And if you want to go the whole hog add one tablespoon of flavoured omega-3 fish oil. It provides a nice dose of omega-3 fatty acids which lower inflammation and benefit your health in a myriad of ways. And the fat will keep you fuller longer, adding to the time that this shake will keep you away from bad snack habits. All this should take less than two minutes to prepare.

Why is this shake perfect for trimming ugly belly fat?
The reason this shake is perfect for trimming belly fat is simple: it won’t cause your fat STORING hormone, insulin, to rise. When your blood sugar goes up quickly and stays there, insulin rises in response. This effectively turns off the hormone glucagon, your fat BURNING hormone that has the exact opposite effect of insulin.
If you want to burn belly fat, you’ll want your fat-burning switch to be turned “on” and your glucagon to be flowing. So you want a breakfast that doesn’t send insulin levels skyrocketing. It’s that simple.

Here’s the recipe in case you were wondering.
Here’s a sample recipe for a “belly-fat eliminating” breakfast shake. Feel free to vary to taste.
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 cup whole milk or water
1 cup frozen blueberries (any berries will do)
1 tablespoon oatmeal
1 raw egg (optional)
3 ice cubes (optional)
1 scoop fibre (optional)
1 tablespoon flavoured fish oil (optional

If you come up with some interesting variations, let me know!
Meanwhile, be ready to be surprised at how good you feel, how much energy you have and how easy it is to start dropping waist sizes.

I get my protein powders from a number of sources such as SK Sports or the shop at the shop in my gym Ultrafit Nutrition