Monday, January 30, 2006
This has got to be one of the craziest things I have heard so far. I know I am not the only one up in arms about the stupidity of this. Tom Venuto did an excellent review of this in his newsletter.
It is an obvious case of drug company greed going American's need for a quick fix to their fat loss problems. Something that a sensible diet and workout plan can fix safely while increasing the peoples health.
If you have any comments please leave them here for me.
Controversial Weight-Loss Drug May Go Over-the-Counter
By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter
(HealthDay News) -- Although the prescription weight-loss medication known as Xenical may soon be available over the counter, some doctors are questioning the drug's value.
Those experts include some officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration who say there is insufficient evidence that Xenical (orlistat) actually works in the long term. And one critic believes the drug could be unsafe in an over-the-counter setting.
Late Monday, an FDA advisory panel voted 11-to-3 in favor of making Xenical available without a prescription under the trade name Alli. The application for over-the-counter use of the drug was made by GlaxoSmithKline, although Roche actually makes the prescription version of the medication. The FDA typically follows the recommendation of its advisory panels.
"We are excited about the potential opportunity to provide consumers with an FDA-approved over-the-counter option that promotes gradual yet meaningful weight loss," said George Quesnelle, president of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare North America, the Associated Press reported.
Xenical acts by keeping about 25 percent of the fat a person consumes from being absorbed; this fat is passed from the body in stools that can be loose or oily. Other side effects include the inability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as D, E, K and beta carotene.
"This drug doesn't work," said Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, director of Public Citizen Health Research Group. "There is no evidence that, in the long term, this drug improves morbidity or mortality related to obesity."
Wolfe noted in his testimony before the panel on Monday that the drug can also have serious side effects, especially for people taking the blood thinner Coumadin or the drug cyclosporine, used to prevent organ-transplant rejection. While the prescription version of the drug makes it necessary for doctors to monitor patients who take Xenical, that safeguard wouldn't exist in an over-the-counter setting.
The bottom line, Wolfe said, is that the drug companies are more concerned with profit and saving a struggling drug than with patient safety. The sales of the Xenical have dropped 60 percent, Wolfe said. "They obviously don't like that, so Roche, the maker of the drug, has gotten together with GlaxoSmithKline to push this stuff over the counter."
But Deborah Fisher, a nurse from the Baltimore area, told the FDA panel: "We need this new solution to losing weight and keeping it off."
"Eat less, move more: It sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? Well, as my kids say, not!" said Fisher, adding that she's dieted for 45 of her 52 years, the AP reported.
Another expert thinks that, on balance, the FDA panel made the wrong decision.
"Orlistat is not a particularly dangerous drug, in part because the main side effects relate to bowel control, and that limits the dose anyone is willing to use," said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine.
But there are other concerns, Katz noted. "Any weight-loss product offers the public an opportunity to pursue a goal that generally should be about lifestyle, by taking a pill instead. When that pill is available over the counter, a potentially useful dialogue with a health-care provider is avoided. I am concerned that some people, who would benefit from professional guidance toward sensible and sustainable weight control, will now just opt for a pill."
"I do not see grave danger in making orlistat available over the counter," Katz said. "But I do see cause for concern, and little reason to expect significant benefit. If the decision were based on the ratio of likely benefit to potential risk, I would be inclined to part company with the FDA, and vote no."
If the FDA follows the lead of its advisory panel and allows Xenical to be sold over the counter, GlaxoSmithKline has said it will recommend patients take multivitamins when using the medication. Whether that would happen is unclear since at least 47 percent of the people involved in trials of the drug did not take multivitamins as recommended, according to the FDA.
In those trials, obese people who took Xenical for six months lost an average 5.3 pounds to 6.2 pounds more than those who were given a placebo, according to the FDA. However, they gained the weight back once they stopped taking the drug.
Even though the proposed over-the-counter dose of 60 milligrams three times a day shows statistically significant weight loss, "there is no evidence presented that a modest, transient weight loss due to orlistat will afford any long-term clinical benefit through either a change in behavior or a reduced risk of serious clinical diseases manifested by being overweight," the FDA found.
GlaxoSmithKline plans to limit sales of Alli to adults; it expects women to account for 80 percent of its market. Alli will cost $12 to $25 a week, according to the AP.
GlaxoSmithKline told the wire service it plans to package Alli as part of an overall diet-and-fitness program. The program would emphasize eating a lower-fat diet, both to cut calories and lessen the drug's effect on patients' stools.
More information To learn more about Xenical, visit Drug Digest.
For the latest health news & Health-Life Services like tools, calculators, & a physician locator, go to www.healthday.com.
Copyright Â© 2006 ScoutNews LLC. All rights reserved
Sunday, January 29, 2006
'Their overall satisfaction with their lives appears to be greater if they're more physically active,' UI kinesiology professor Edward McAuley said recently.
McAuley, kinesiology colleague Robert Motl and UI psychology Professor Ed Diener examined seniors five years after they started an exercise program, believed to be the longest study of its type. UI researchers also surveyed the participants at six months and a year.
The people in the study, 65 or older, were sedentary to start, meaning they engaged in very little physical activity in their daily lives � and certainly not enough to accrue any health benefit, McAuley said.
Their fitness levels, body composition and the like were tested prior to starting an organized walking program or a stretching and toning exercise class, which met three times a week for six months.
But the researchers didn't just assess the participants' physical health. They also surveyed the folks in the study about quality of life; self-esteem; 'self-efficacy,' their belief or confidence in their abilities; and 'affect,' their levels of happiness or contentment."
Saturday, January 28, 2006
(Ivanhoe Broadcast News) -- Researchers found an unlikely motivator for smokers to quit the habit -- don't plan on it.
Researchers from University College in London interviewed more than 1,900 smokers and ex-smokers, asking questions about smokers' attempts at quitting and whether their most recent attempt was planned in advance.
Successful smoking cessation is believed to involve several stages, starting with thinking about quitting to planning an attempt, to actually making the attempt. Researchers have long believed planning was important for success, however, this latest study offers some new insight.
Results show nearly half of the smokers' attempts to quit involved no previous planning. What's more -- those who didn't plan it were more likely to succeed. That held true even after adjusting for age, sex and socioeconomic status.
Investigators say these findings do not necessarily mean planning is counterproductive. They say behavioral support and nicotine replacement therapy are already proven to improve the chances of successful cessation (even though they generally require planning).
Instead, the theory researchers propose is smokers' state of mind at the time is important for whether they will succeed at a quit attempt -- planned or not. They believe motivational tension to stop and triggers in the environment could lead to a sudden desire to quit smoking.
To take advantage of this, researchers say public health campaigns should focus their efforts on what could be called the "3 T's:" Create motivational "tension," which "triggers" action in smokers to make an attempt at quitting, and provide immediate availability of "treatment" to support that attempt.
SOURCE: British Medical Journal, published online Jan. 26, 2006
This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.
Friday, January 27, 2006
A huge chapter on supplements, in which Will reviews all the latest muscle building supplements, then a chapter on how to construct and apply his scientifically proven muscle building diet then a final chapter written by renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin.
As if that was not enough, when you purchase MBN, you receive free access to an amazing members area, this is NOT like the normal junk bonuses you receive with some products.
This members area was a real eye opener, you get 24/7 support on diet, training and supplements from a human, not to mention one on one access to Will himself who is on the forum in the members area every day.
You get access to a huge array of tools designed to help you pack on some serious mass, like for example a diet planner to keep track of your progress, a nutrition database, members only articles, online exercise videos, a meal and calorie planner and a incredibly well organized forum packed with information on gaining mass. It has over 300 brand name supplement reviews on it and that's just to start with.
I highly recommend it - Check it more details here.....
Kevin Newman IAPC
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Ivanhoe's Medical Breakthroughs - Fish oil Helps Asthma: "Fish oil Helps Asthma
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Adding fish oil to the diet may help reduce the symptoms of exercise-induced asthma (EIA).
A new study from Indiana University in Bloomington reveals fish oil helps reduce narrowing of the patients' airways, allowing them to use less asthma medication. According to researchers, by reducing medication consumption patients can lower side effects.
'There have been remarkable advances in asthma therapy over the last 10 years. However, these medications are not without real and potential side effects,' says Timothy Mickleborough, an exercise physiologist and assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at IU Bloomington. 'Alternative therapies for EIA, or therapies that reduce the dose requirement of traditional medications, would be of benefit to the asthmatic and potentially reduce the public health burden of the disease.'
Researchers examined 16 adults with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma who were considered recreationally active. They found their post-exercise lung function improved 64 percent and their use of emergency inhalers decreased 31 percent when they added fish oil to their diet for three weeks. The study also revealed cells and markers responsible for airway inflammation were reduced in the sputum of EIA patients taking the fish oil.
Eighty-percent of asthma patients have EIA. The condition is also found in about 10 percent of elite athletes and up to 10 percent of the general population without asthma.
This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/."
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
I can quote you endless studies that prove that regular exercise (the more intense the better) stimulates and keeps hormone levels naturally elevated. Exercise also delays the process of menopause in many women � and, without a doubt, lessens the symptoms. Growth hormone is practically dependent upon a proper nutrition plan and exercise routine.
Follow the routine you feel best suited for, like the myriad of routines covered in Fit Over 40, and you�re well on the way to taking back your life.
Let me say that again � taking back your life."
Monday, January 23, 2006
'Very few behaviors change because someone saw an ad. You need social norms in place, environmental supports, the products, the placement, all the things that make the right decisions easy,' says Carol Schechter, director of health communications for the Academy for Educational Development, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization.
Thus far, campaigns aimed at selling healthy behavior have persuaded Americans, in large part, to wear seat belts, quit smoking and refrain from drinking alcohol and driving.
But consider the 22.5 percent of Americans who smoke, the 18 percent who never wear seat belts and the 17,000 killed each year by drunk drivers, and one understands the limits of health campaigns. Listen to Americans including Schwartz-Getzug talk about the crush of demands upon them and the temptations they face daily, and one perceives a sobering truth: Marketing campaigns aimed at changing behavior face long odds.
A full-time community-relations specialist with the U.S. Jewish Federation and mother of three kids ages 5 to 13, Schwartz-Getzug can't fathom how she could find time to get to the park, much less play with her kids there. Besides, she says, 'I'm not convi"
Sunday, January 22, 2006
ROME (Jan. 10) - Most Italians feel more guilty about over-eating than they do about cheating on their partners, a survey has found, suggesting that people in Casanova's native land care more about staying slim than staying faithful.
The survey, by psychology magazine Riza Psicosomatica, found that excessive eating and spending topped the list of what people considered the most guilt-inducing vices.
Sexual infidelity came bottom of the list of the magazine's 'seven deadly sins', behind neglecting friends and family, failing at work and not looking after one's physique.
The survey of some 1,000 Italians aged 25-55 found that religion played little part in determining what made people feel guilty, despite Italy's Roman Catholic traditions.
Only 7 percent of those questioned said religious rules induced guilt. The most powerful drivers of guilty feelings were the judgment of loved ones or the disapproval of society as a whole.
Friday, January 20, 2006
by Christine Leishman
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Preheat oven: 375F
4 cups Turkish dried apricots
1 cup water
1 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
1 tablespoon butter
8 sheets phyllo dough
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 tablespoons bread crumbs, toasted
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey, warmed
Simmer the apricots with the water, orange juice, sweetener, seasonings and butter. When they are tender, remove from the heat and cool slightly before chopping into small pieces. Set aside while you prepare the phyllo.
Lay the phyllo flat and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Mix together the nuts, crumbs, sugar and spices. Cut the phyllo the size of the pan you are cooking in (I use an 11x7x 1-1/2 Pyrex dish) and spray the bottom of the pan with nonstick spray. Lay one sheet of phyllo, spray, lay another sheet and sprinkle with half the nut mixture, lay another sheet of phyllo, spray and lay a final sheet of phyllo. Gently spread the apricot mixture evenly across the top being careful to not rip the layer below. Top with a sheet of phyllo, spray, lay another sheet, sprinkle with the remaining nut mixture, lay a sheet of phyllo, spray and lay another sheet of phyllo. Cut three long strips and then cut four strips across. Cut these rectangles in half on the diagonal to form triangles. Spray the top with nonstick spray and bake for 25-30 minutes. Drizzle the warmed honey on top and bake another 5-10 minutes.
Yield: 12 servings
Per serving (3.5 oz.): Calories 225; Fat 3.4 g; Saturated Fat <1 g; Cholesterol 2.7 mg; Sodium 80 mg; Carbohydrate 49 g; Dietary fiber <1 g; Sugar 24 g Protein 3.6 g; Vitamin A 520 RE; Vitamin C 14 mg; Calcium 40 mg; Iron 3.2 mg. This recipe is 14% fat.
Exchanges: 1 Vegetable; 3 Other Carbohydrate
Carbohydrate Points: 3
Carbohydrate (g): 49
Hoodia is a plant that grows in the Kalaharia Desert and has been used by the !Kung people to suppress appettite for centuries when hunting and foraging. If taken in the morning it can suppres the appetite all day and in the evening you are ready to heat.
Sounds great so far right? But lets continue and look at possible reasons why the !Kung would do this. They are, afterall, not worried about obesity. So why would they wish to suppress their appetite all day long.
1. Eating increases the metabolic rate. The very act of eating influences your body to generate a caloric burn through the very act of digestion. Think about it. If you are in the desert the last thign you want to do is increase your body temprature during the day.
2. By not worrying about eating you can be more focused on the task at hand of hunting and foraging for food to eat that evening when it is cooler. Something that most people in the "civilized" world don't need to worry about. Unless you count opening the freezer door to get that tv dinner as hunting and foraging.
3. Eating in the evening when it is cooler allows your body temprature to increase at a time when the desert itself is cooling off rapidly. Therefore you are able to be more comfortable and better digest the food you have available.
In my experience these are not factors in the normal Americans life. So why would Americans want to suppress their appetites during the day? This is based on the mindset of low calorie and starvation diets to lose weight. America has done that since the 1950's or so and look at where we are now. The fattest nation in the world. So everyone is looking for the quick fix that the ads for Hoodia hold out.
But how true are these ads? Do the products live up to the hype?
Not really. There have been few scientific studies done on the effeciency of Hoodia at true sustained weght loss. The studies that were done were able to use actual Hoodia extracts from teh plant itself. They didn't use the patches, pills, powders that are touted to contain Hoodia. Surprisingly no one has actually tested these products in an independent lab yet to see if they truely contain enough Hoodia to work.
Slick advertising anyone?
So the end result is that Hoodia can make you lighter...lighter in the wallet or purse that is. No magic pill, potion, powder, patch, or lotion is going to help your health and help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.
If you are truely interested in achieving your weight loss, fat loss, fitness and health goals I dare you to check out the information contained in the links section here.
Kevin Newman IAPC
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Kevin Newman IAPC
Exercise Reduces Cancer Risk
By National Cancer Research Foundation
(HealthNewsDigest.com).. Most New Year's resolutions begin with, "Exercise more, lose weight and get in shape." Did you know that these resolutions may mean more than just a better figure? These three annual resolutions are also directly linked to the #1 cancer prevention method. Not only does exercise help control your weight and prevent heart disease, but more importantly, it can also help reduce your risk of developing breast, prostate, and lung cancers.
Breast Cancer -- Endogenous sex hormones are strongly linked to the development of breast cancer. Physical activity may better regulate the production, metabolism, and excretion of these hormones which reduces the risk of cancer tumor development.
Prostate Cancer -- Testosterone influences the development of prostate cancer. Exercise is known to moderate testosterone levels protecting men against prostate cancer.
Lung Cancer -- Physical activity opens your lungs to more air which may reduce both the concentration of cancer agents in the airways and the duration of agent-airway interaction.
In addition, exercise can help an individual suffering from cancer to fight the disease more effectively. Physical activity may reduce the likelihood of recurrence and enhance survival by improving bodily movement, reducing fatigue, and enhancing immune function.
Keep your New Years resolution, take these everyday steps towards a more active lifestyle:
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. When you can, walk to short destinations. Squeeze in a 15-20 minute aerobics class or cardio session on your lunch break.
Â© Health News Digest.com 2004 All Rights Reserved.
New Study Confirms That Exercise, Not Cholesterol, Is The Most Important Factor In Heart Health And Lifespan
Last week the Boston Herald ran an article that referenced some powerful statements from Dr. John Abramson. Dr. Abramson, a Robert Woods Johnson Fellow who teaches primary care at the Harvard Medical School, noted that “senior citizens following four simple health habits had only one-third the death rate of people not maintaining these habits.”
Read that again: one-third the death rate. There’s not a drug on earth that can state the same, with the exception of drugs needed to keep people alive!
Dr. Abramson was commenting on a recent article in JAMA that indicated that people maintaining the four habits experience a 69% lower death rate from cancer and a 73% lower death rate from heart disease.
“The most important habit,” the report indicated, “is regular exercise.” Well, what do you know? All that stuff in Fit Over 40 about exercising may just be more valuable than vain. (Actually I know it is, but some people still think of exercise as an “exercise in vanity.” Odd, as you never hear the same argument for “sloth”.)
Here’s the highlights of the study that appeared in last month’s Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The findings are nothing new to me, as I’ve been a cholesterol skeptic for 10 years, but they may be news to you — and to your primary care physician. Please pass this by him or her prior to making any changes to your current medication or dietary lifestyle.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Diet and exercise, not low cholesterol, keeps the heart happy
— by Dr. John Abramson
Finally some good medical news for the elderly: A study in last month’s Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shows that once you hit 65, you can stop worrying about your cholesterol level.
In fact, the results of the study - which measured cholesterol levels and longevity in two northern Italian towns over the past 11 years - should send shivers up the spines of drug companies that make Lipitor and other cholesterol-lowering statins.
The Italian study showed the higher the total or the bad cholesterol level, the longer people lived. (You read that right.) The study did have one caveat: Men whose LDL cholesterol levels were above 160 mg/dL would have benefited from a slightly but not dramatically lower level.
Of course, that research jibes with the results of our own Framingham Heart Study, the granddaddy of them all. It shows that after people reach middle age, their cholesterol level no longer has a significant impact on how long they will live. And once people reach 80, it’s the same in Framingham as it is in northern Italy: The higher the cholesterol, the longer people live. (Editor’s emphasis.)
So, seniors, when you see the TV ads with the animated cholesterol particles clogging up arteries, just click to another station. Or better yet, go get a piece of fruit, or take a walk.
To be fair, the drug companies have done their own studies - and they’ve come to similar conclusions. Bristol-Myers Squibb tested the effectiveness of its cholesterol-lowering drug Pravachol in people ages 70- 82, about half of whom already had heart disease and half of whom were at increased risk of developing it.
The conclusions, published in the Lancet in 2002: Taking Pravachol did not reduce the overall death rate any more than a sugar pill. The seniors taking it who didn’t yet have heart disease didn’t have a lower risk of developing it than those taking sugar pills.
Does this mean you can cast caution to the wind and eat all the roast beef, custard, ice cream and butter that you want? Absolutely not. On the contrary, most of your health is the result of the choices you make and not what your cholesterol blood test shows.
An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that senior citizens following four simple health habits had only one-third the death rate of people not maintaining these habits. Death from cancer was 69 percent lower, while death from heart attacks was slashed by an astonishing 73 percent.
The most important habit, this study showed, is regular exercise. (Editor’s emphasis) Another key to a long, healthy life: not smoking, or having quit for at least 15 years. (Note to young smokers: It’s not too late to quit.) The JAMA study also showed that those who take a nip of alcohol on most days are also likelier to live longer.
The fourth healthy habit recommended in the JAMA study: a Mediterranean-style diet. In other words, eat like those northern Italians. A simple version of this diet includes more fruits, vegetables, unprocessed grains, olive oil and fish (but watch out for salmon farmed in the North Atlantic - those waters are collecting too many toxic chemicals). (Editor’s Note: This dietary profile and samples of people who use it is to stay healthy and get lean are found throughout Fit Over 40. In fact I feel our role models represent an even superior approach.)
Of course, you should discuss all this with your own doctor. Meantime, ask not what your cholesterol level is. Ask instead how you can best decrease your risk of heart disease and improve your chances of staying healthy. These questions will lead to much better health than simply getting your cholesterol level checked and starting on drugs.
— Special thanks to Lee Wennerberg, Fit Over 40 European Contributing Writer
Creator/Co-Author of Fit Over 40: Role Models For Excellence At Any Age
Order Fit Over 40
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Recipe Brought to you by
This recipe serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 4 to 6 ounces each
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice concentrate
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup non-fat yogurt or sour cream
1. In a mixing bowl, combine the cucumber, tomato, red onion, mint, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
2. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken on one side for 6 minutes, turn, brush with pomegranate juice concentrate and continue grilling until the chicken is cooked through.
4. In a small dish, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Brush the cooked chicken with more pomegranate juice and sprinkle it with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
5. Serve the chicken with a large spoonful of cucumber relish and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.
Serving size: 1 chicken breast with relish
Total Fat 8 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Protein 32 g
Total Carbohydrate 16 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sodium 96 mg
Percent Calories from Fat 27%
Percent Calories from Protein 48%
Percent Calories from Carbohydrate 24%
Monday, January 16, 2006
Glycemic Index". This means that the particular food, due
to fiber, water content and digestion, impacts the system
with less insulin more than a high glycemic food.
An example of a low glycemic food is an apple or most
green vegetables. Protein foods are also low glycemic.
Medium glycemic foods would be your whole grains,
some fruits and tubers. High glycemic foods are sweets,
raisins, carrots, etc.
There's two problems with this theory: first, it's been
proven to be a poor way to govern overall eating.
Researchers found that people who ate a combination
of high and low glycemic foods faired just about as
well as those who ate only low glycemic foods, and
they stayed on their diets much longer due to the taste
Second, this does not account for the "glycemic load".
Glycemic load is the measure of the density and digestion
speed of carbohydrate. So, a food like a carrot, while
very high on the glycemic index (higher than sugar!) is
very low on the glycemic load index due to the water
and fiber content.
So, carrots are good. That's kinda common sense if
you ask me.
However, I'm going to give you a tip that will help you
shed more fat and not even feel it. The trick? Well,
first you HAVE to train your abs and your core, other-
wise you just end up losing "weight" and not building
that midsection you want to see. You can do that with
my Chisel Your Abs System better than anything I
know of -- and I know a LOT about abs. It's my job.
Now, the tip: consume 3 apples per day, one each
about 15 minutes prior to whatever meal you're
about to eat. This was originally discovered by
Dr. Barbara Rolls and the actual system tried and
proven by personal trainer/nutritionist Tammi Flynn.
I highly recommend Tammy's book, "The Three
Apple A Day Plan."
I modify this a bit more for those wanting to really
get ripped: consume 1/2 an apple, 1/2 a stalk
of celery and 1/2 a raw carrot prior to each meal.
Yeah, I know -- sounds like a meal unto itself! You
can eat a bit less of each food, but this is superior
to the apples due to the added fiber, the thermo-
genic rate that celery produces, and the enzymes
in raw carrots.
Give this simple trick a shot and watch out -- when
you do the right ab work, you'll be seeing "6"...as
in 6-pack. Ab city.
Author, "Fit Over 40"
Saturday, January 14, 2006
by Tom Venuto
These days, the carbohydrate issue seems to be the burning question on the minds of nearly everyone who is interested in getting leaner. Not a single week goes by that I don’t receive an e-mail with a question about the low carb/high protein diet. Last week I got this one:
It’s no wonder why there's such a buzz about these diets: everywhere you look lately there are low carb bars, low carb drinks, low carb meal replacements, low carb frozen dinners and so on. In the bookstores, The Atkins diet, Protein Power and Sugar-Busters have all been best sellers.
Even though there has been a huge resurgence in the interest in low carb/high protein diets, the low carb vs. high carb issue is still the subject of much controversy. For every "low carb guru" who says that low carbs are the ultimate diet, there is a "high carb guru" with the opposite opinion. This has caused a lot of people a lot of confusion.
So what’s the deal? Is the low carb/high protein diet the best way for bodybuilders to get ripped or just another fad? From a bodybuilding standpoint, the answer is an unequivocal yes; reducing carbohydrates really works! Most bodybuilders can't get that "ripped" look without some degree of carb restriction. Almost every bodybuilder or fitness competitor I’ve ever met uses some version of the low carb diet when getting ready for competition. The problem is, most people fail to take into account their goals and their unique body type, so they follow the advice of the latest "low-carb guru" and take the carb restriction too far. Zero carb or close to zero carb diets are in my opinion, TOTAL INSANITY!
The other extreme; the high carb, very low fat diet, isn’t the best approach for bodybuilders either. These diets (60-70% carb, 20-30% protein and 10% or less fat) were trendy with bodybuilders for a while, especially back in the 80’s and early 90’s (Remember Nathan Pritkin, Dean Ornish and Robert Haas?), but their popularity quickly faded. Those who tried it discovered that it wasn’t nearly as effective as the low to moderate carb, high protein diet.
Why does dropping your carbs help you lose more fat? There are several reasons, but to avoid getting into a complicated discussion of nutritional biochemistry, let’s just say that eating less carbs forces your body to burn fat for fuel instead of sugar. Reducing carbs and increasing protein accelerates fat loss by controlling your insulin and blood sugar more effectively. The high protein in these diets also speeds up your metabolism because of the "thermic effect" of protein food. It also helps eliminate water retention, giving you the "hard" and "dry" look you need onstage to win contests.
In my opinion, a moderate carb diet, with slight carb restriction (especially at night) is the most effective (and most "sane") way for bodybuilders to get ripped. For example, my contest diet is about 175 -200 grams of carbs with most of the carbs eaten early in the day. Every 4th day, I have a high carb day (350 grams) to replenish my depleted glycogen stores. By contrast, my off-season diet is 350 - 450 grams of carbs. With 175 - 200 grams of carbs, that is just enough fuel to provide the energy I needed to train hard and to prevent me from losing muscle.
Would dropping carbs even further to 30 or 50 grams a day (like many fad diets recommend) get you more ripped or get you ripped faster? Maybe. But the problem is, without carbs, you’ll have no energy to train hard. Sure, tuna fish and water will get you ripped alright, but if your workouts suffer because your diet is "killing you," you aren’t going to look or feel your best.
Another big problem caused by very low carb diets is loss of lean body mass. The lower you drop your carbs, the more likely you are to lose muscle along with the fat.
A third problem with very low carb diets is the rebound effect. The lower you drop your carbs, the faster you will rebound and gain the fat back when you add the carbs back in. I swear I’ve seen guys blow up 30-40 lbs in a matter of DAYS after their contest because they went on a carbohydrate and fat binge after a four-month zero carb diet. It wasn’t a pretty sight!
When I experimented with a very low carb diet, (about 40-70 grams a day), I lost huge amounts of lean body mass and looked very "flat" and "stringy." I was also one irritable, grouchy SOB. My friends nicknamed me "fog boy" because (sez them) I stumbled around in a fog-like daze. One friend who hadn't seen me since the previous year when I was a "bulked up" and carbed up 208 lbs, saw me 48 lbs lighter after the low carb diet (yes, 160 scrawny pounds) and he said, "holy sh** Tom, what happened to you? You're HALF the man you were last year!" That was the last time I ever tried an extremely low carb diet.
Nutrition is a highly individual issue. Some people can’t seem to lose weight unless they reduce their carbohydrate intake. Other people can eat bagels and pasta all day long and they have six pack abs. How many carbs you eat therefore, depends on your body type. Are you an endormorph or an ectomorph? Do you have a fast metabolism or a slow metabolism? Are you naturally lean or naturally heavy? Depending on your genetics, you might thrive on high carbs or you might need a high protein, low carb diet to get results. But beware: even if you think you are the carb sensitive, slow-metabolism type, the middle path (moderate carb restiction) is the most sensible way to go.
The only way to determine how many grams of carbs is right for YOU is to experiment until you find your "critical level." If you start dropping body fat rapidly at 200 grams a day, then why on earth would you subject yourself to the torture of going even lower and doing one of those 30-40 grams a day "ketogenic" diets? Why kill yourself?
Remember, there is no single diet that works for everyone. There are certain universal nutritional laws that apply to everyone, but be very careful of "gurus" who use the words "always" and "never" or who make sweeping statements like "carbohydrates make you fat."
If you want to get ripped, you should also pick the type of carbs you eat carefully - it’s not just the quantity, it’s the quality. In addition to moderating total daily carb intake, I also recommend getting off ALL processed carbs including bread, crackers, pretzels, pasta, bagels and switching only to natural, unprocessed carbs like vegetables, oatmeal, yams, rice, potatoes, etc. That single change will go a long way in helping you get leaner (and healthier too!)
The bottom line is that it’s not correct to say, "carbs are fattening," but there IS some truth to the assertion that a low carb diet will get you leaner compared to a high carb diet – you just have to approach it in a sensible and individualized way. As in most areas of your life, going to the extreme with your diet will usually do you more harm than good.
by Tom Venuto
Friday, January 13, 2006
Abdominal Training Secrets
With Tom Venuto
TV: Hi David, thanks for taking the time for this interview because I know how busy you are and that, among other projects, you run a training studio in Tacoma and you keep a full client load. I've known you for a couple years now through the Internet and the emails we've sent to each other and you're very well known within the fitness industry - especially in the sports training field. But on the off chance that some of the people listening to this interview don't know who you are, would you give us a quick introduction and tell us little bit about your background, how you got started in this field and how you spend your time now?
DG: Well I was always a sports enthusiast my entire life. I can remember I was the only 9-year-old watching Monday night football and taking stats. I did all the usual sports - football, soccer, wrestling, swimming, baseball and tennis. Never did much with basketball. Being a genetically "blessed" Italian, I didn't think the height requirement was going to be on my side. I excelled at wrestling. That sport alone taught me about nutrition, supplements, work ethic etc. I really have to thank wrestling for getting me into this field. I now coach high school wrestling, baseball and youth football. I keep really busy with my 3 children, Addision (13) Garrison (10) and my little man Carson (7). I taught school for a couple of years and then decided to go into personal training.
TV: You have quite a few certifications, one of them is certified personal trainer, one is certified golf trainer - or "golf "biomechanic" to be exact -, but what is a "Corrective High Performance Exercise Kinesiologist?
DG: That's an intense certification program where you learn from one of the foremost experts in the conditioning field, Paul Chek, who personally developed and cultivated the program. The certification revolves around the dynamics of kinesiology, physiology, functional anatomy and mind - body - spirit relationships. The program has four levels and I'm currently a level II, where we learn physical assessment, posture analysis, gait analysis, primal movement patterns, length-tension testing and range of motion testing. My Golf biomechanic certification is also from the CHEK institute. This is where we learn how the relationship between muscles and muscle groups affect the golf swing and how to improve it.
In the winter of 2002 I also became one of the first Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaches from the CHEK institute. This program was developed to help practitioners deal with nutritional and lifestyle needs of their clients. The certification teaches how symptoms of disease and stress can be prevented through diet, exercise and stress management. I'm currently a level II Nutrition and lifestyle coach.
I can't say enough about how Paul has helped me become a better trainer and person. There is more to this then just exercise.
TV: And I understand that there's only a small handful of people who have those credentials, is that right?
DG: Yes, I think, at last count about 1000 have done received a CHEK certification but there are only about 35 in the world with all three certifications including the level two's. So it all costs time, energy and brain work Tom, but for someone who wants something different and out of the box thinking, it's great. Not to take away from any other certification programs; heck, I love the ISSA, Ian King, Charles Poliquin and many others…
TV: That's impressive, congratulations. So if I understand your philosophy correctly, the big difference between you and other trainers and especially trainers who only do bodybuilding and nothing else, is that you help your clients not only look good, but also with functionality, performance and correcting existing injuries or potential problem areas or imbalances that could lead to injuries in the future. Did I miss anything or would you say that's a pretty good description?
DG: That's right…you have to evaluate your client thoroughly for strengths and weaknesses to get the best results. Sometimes without a good evaluation you can miss something that could help prevent or fix an injury or cause someone not to excel.
TV: I think it's really important what you're teaching because as a bodybuilder myself, when I first started many years ago, the ONLY thing I cared about was looking good and having muscles and abs and low body fat, but true fitness is a lot more than just looking good. For one thing it's health above all else. In addition to that, if you don't have strong, flexible and balanced development, then sooner or later, you're going to get injured or you're going to find that you can't enjoy the sports or recreation activities you want to, and ultimately you might even find yourself restricted from normal daily activities like squatting, bending and lifting things around the house, which is exactly what happens to most people when then get older. But still, the fact is, everyone wants to look good, they want the six pack; they want muscle definition. So how do you balance the form aspect - the looking good part - with the function aspect - which is the strength, flexibility, balance and performance part?
DG: I believe we develop from the inside out. If you have good insides, you will have a good outside. What I mean is that diet, nutrition and water intake have a great deal to do with how good you look on the outside. So to look good - the "form" part - I start with overseeing my client's dietary intake. I don't go as far as telling them exactly what to eat but I give a lot of suggestions.
As for the "function", I always think of the body as a whole, not as parts. Yes, if you're a bodybuilder and that is your gig, then heck yes, think in parts. This really depends on the client and their goals, but you always need proper flexibility, strength and balance in the whole body as a unit.
TV: You train regular people and you also train professional athletes, especially boxers and golfers. Is there a big difference in how athletes and regular people should train?
DG:Each of them has distinct differences. So to plop down a "canned program" for everyone would lead to failure and would reflect poorly on me. I take each client one at a time. In my Flatten Your Abs e-book, I provide many different levels so each individual can pick the level that fits them best when they start out. Everyone is not equal. The boxers in general, are more athletic, so one big difference is that I change their program more often to keep them fresh. Let's say I have 6 weeks before a tough fight, I may change the workout 3 - 4 times. Their nervous systems are highly adaptable and need the change. Someone who just wants to start a basic weight-training program could stay on the same program for the entire 6 weeks and get results. This is because their nervous systems are not as highly developed.
TV: Lets talk about six pack abs and flat stomachs, because that's another one of your specialty areas and that's what I really wanted to focus on in this interview the most. You wrote a course on abdominal training- it's called FIRM AND FLATTEN YOUR ABS and you're now offering it as an e-book download on the Internet and it's starting to get really popular. What made you decide to write a book about abdominal training when there's already so much information out there?
DG: Hmmm.…to be honest it was my friend Don Lemmon. He invited me to write a chapter about core conditioning in his book, and I said "sure". One thing lead to another and that one chapter developed into an entire e-book of my own. I had never done an entire book before with editing, pictures and so on, but I just took a lot of the information I had learned from experience and from all my mentors, put my head down, went to work and wrote the Firm and Flatten Your Abs e Book. It took me about 3 months. I guess one of my main motivations for writing it was because there is so much bad information and so many bad abdominal machines and devices out there…
TV: I noticed you don't recommend ANY sit ups in your course. Why is that?
DG:That's correct. After studying many greats like Vladimir Janda, Diane Lee, Paul Chek, Richardson and Jull, I discovered that the hip flexors (illiopsoas) are frequently overworked and that can lead to muscle imbalances and low back pain. So I said, why continue aggravating the problem with sit ups? In my e book this is a topic I cover in detail.
TV: So why are sit ups still so popular and why are they still used as a standard exercise in fitness testing and for sports or military conditioning? Is there ever any reason that anyone would want to do sit ups or in your opinion is that an exercise you should NEVER do?
DG: People are hard to change, Tom. Once you learn what can happen from overusing exercises like sit ups, you'd be doing yourself (and trainers their clients) a disservice by continuing this practice. Many studies have also shown the hip flexors are recruited to do most of the work, so sit ups are not only ineffective but they can also strain your back.
Now to be fair, there are correct ways to do a sit up…one is to take the Law of Reciprocal Inhibition into account. That means if one muscle is working, the other must relax. So if you're doing sit ups, your contract your hamstrings and glutes by pushing your lower legs against someone's hands, small dumbbells or over a heavy weighted barbell. This will shut off the illiopsoas and your abs will feel it in the morning because they are now doing more of the work.
If I prescribe sit ups, I simply have my clients do Janda sit ups. For the e book, I left out sit ups completely because of the overuse and injury potential situation.
TV: Are there any other ab exercises that are really common in the gym but you wouldn't recommend to your clients?
DG:Unfortunately, many of the abdominal exercise gadgets on the market are ineffective and sometimes even unsafe. I would stay away from the "Ab Roller" or "Torso Track because these machines can create muscle imbalances. I'm also not a fan of machine crunches because these machines - like all machines - stabilize your body and isolate the rectus abdominis, which doesn't allow for true functional movement.
Let's see, what else… Russian twists on a roman chair with a plate sound like a good way to ruin your lumbar spine. Torso twists on a machine fall in that category too.
TV: Yeah, those rotary torso machines are always being used in every gym I've ever been in. What about the ab machines you see on TV - ANY of them any good?
The infomercial ads on TV try to make the machines and devices seem new, fun and easy. Everyone wants nice abs fast and easy. But nice abs do not come in a machine! The first step is a not a machine, it's a proper diet based on the individual. I would say your E book Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle is one of the best on the shelves these days.
TV: So what's probably on everyone's mind now is that if sit ups and most machines are out, that must leave crunches as the exercise of choice right?
DG: Yes and No…crunches have become more popular because of the popularity of crunches with ab rollers and machines. But like sit ups, crunches are also overused and misused - frequently! Floor crunches also limit your range of motion compared to using a Swiss ball.
TV: A lot of people wonder about those giant exercise balls - You call them Swiss balls, some people call them stability balls - I noticed you included quite a few ball exercises in your course. What's so great about those things?
DG: Simple…it places more demand on the neurological system and that makes the abdominal workout more effective. According to some studies, the recruitment of the abdominals was almost double when the subjects used the Swiss ball. The oblique's contribution was increased by over 4 times due to the Swiss ball. You also get an extra 15 degrees range of motion doing crunches on a Swiss ball compared to floor crunches. Plus, have you ever done an advanced exercise on a Swiss ball? You sweat more and breathe more heavily. Why, because your nervous system and entire body are working harder to do all the stabilizing work. For example, the Prone Bridge exercise forces the rest of your body to stabilize you so you don't fall off the ball. Think of it as a light switch turning on.
TV: So using a Swiss ball "flips the switch on your nervous system," I've never heard anyone put it that way before… Interesting. So what are a few of your personal favorite exercises for developing a good-looking and strong set of six pack abs?
DG:Well, my system starts with good neurological programming of the core muscles. Build the base and then add layers. Some of the exercises I personally like are:
Prone Ball Roll
Lateral Ball Roll
Forward Ball Roll
It's easier to see them than to try and describe them, so if you want a visual, I have pictures on my Fit-Zone web page, the URL is:
There's also a total of 42 exercises including about a dozen ball exercises in my e-book, Flatten Your abs, and that includes multiple photos of each movement showing start and finish positions.
TV: Alright, next subject: what's the deal on training abs every day - you hear different opinions on this all the time - are you supposed to work them daily or not? And why?
DG: There are different opinions on this. Personally, I think they should NOT be trained each day. There are situations where you could train muscle groups on consecutive days, like when you work different sections of the abs. I stand by the philosophy of lower abs first, obliques and then the rectus abdominus. Why? Each takes a different degree of neurological programming.
But in general, I follow a "less is more" philosophy for abs. I don't want people getting over trained and injured. A good diet combined with an effective exercise program designed for the individual is the key for fat loss. Add in a good core exercise program such as Firm and Flatten Your Abs and you have the recipe for success.
TV: Okay, here's another burning question that's on everyone's mind: A lot of people do abdominal exercises every day because they think that will burn the fat of the stomach. You and I know that doesn't work. For the record, would you explain exactly why ab exercises don't burn fat off your abs?
DG:For one thing, fat is stored all over your body and the distribution of fat stores is mainly genetic. Men tend to store body fat in their mid section first. Women have a hard time losing the hip and leg weight because of child-bearing genetic code.
Second, and most important, abdominals come from low body fat and low body fat comes from good nutrition, not specific exercises. I really believe that you are what you eat. If you are dirty on the inside you will be "dirty" on the outside.
TV: Ok, let's talk about core training now. A lot of people have heard of core training because it has now filtered into the mainstream, with best selling books, videos and exercise classes at health clubs and so on, but for the people who still don't know what core training is could you give a simple explanation?
DG:Training the core is a very important issue for all people of all ages. The main point I'd like to make is that most people do not get a good evaluation before starting a core training program. People just jump right into a core conditioning class or advanced movements they see in a magazine and this leads to many orthopedic injuries. I'm not saying they need a PhD in functional anatomy, but they should know what type, how much and how long they should do each and every exercise.
There are two different muscular systems at work when dealing with core conditioning. They are referred to as the inner unit, which consists of the transverse abdominis, diaphragm, multifidus and pelvic floor these are deep abdominal muscles and are important to core stability and function. Then there are the outer unit muscles, which are all the prime movers of our skeleton system. You must get the inner unit working well before you embark on a hard core conditioning program.
When conditioning your core, think of yourself as a big top spinning with everything emanating from the middle (core) out. If you wobble in the middle, you will, in theory, become off balance and fall over faster. This sets yourself up for decreased performance and increased injury potential. Show me a weak core and I will show you many orthopedic injuries. Remember, getting injured should never be part of an exercise program.
To prevent injury, develop a base and concentrate on building a functional inner unit.
Protecting the spine is high on the hierarchy of survival. To protect the spine and its important function, we must understand what makes the inner and outer unit muscles work. Working the inner unit muscles simply leads to better core control
Your ability to respond to situations in everyday life from bending down to get your keys you dropped on the ground to putting your baby in his or her crib will be greatly enhanced when you have trained this system correctly.
TV: You talk about functional training and functional movement in your program - what's that all about?
DG:Functional training is popular today as it well should be. It really revolves around integrated, multi-dimensional movements that sometimes change speed in all planes of motion. I don't want to get into a deep discussion about exercise kinesiology or biomechanics, so just think of everyday life: How many leg extensions or leg curls do you perform in everyday life as compared to squats? Squatting down is a natural, "everyday" movement. In other words, it's "functional."
I strongly suggest avoiding the overuse of machines and starting to design your training in a functional manner. I help people do this in person at my training studio and on line at my personal training web site and the web address is
TV: You also mention the word "integration" frequently through out your book, what do you mean by that?
DG:This is connected to the functional training I was just talking about. Like I said before, it means we do not condition or train by isolating muscles. We "bring together" all the muscles of the body to work as a unit - that's integration.
Try to do a bicep curl on a machine, then do a curl with a single heavy dumbbell. You will notice right away that your entire body must stabilize and work together for you to curl that dumbbell.
There are times you have to break this law, such as after knee surgery when you will not squat until you've done some leg extensions with the physical therapist, or in the case of bodybuilders who intentionally isolate, but those are the exceptions not the rule.
TV: On your www.flattenyourabs.net web page, you say that your program will help prevent and even eliminate back pain. Why do you think so many people have back pain, what does ab training have to do with it and how does your course help eliminate back pain or help avoid getting it in the first place?
DG:Great questions. Most back pain comes from the inability to stabilize the spine. We are designed to sit upright and move, not sit all day long. Did you know that sitting acutely raises pressure between each spinal segment? Each segment has stabilizer muscles (the multifidus). When we perform our desk job or sit at computers your stabilizer muscles do not have to work as hard, so they become weaker. Why would they work when that 300 dollar chair does it for them? Then we think we can go out and play 18 holes of golf and POW the back goes out!
Do this experiment: Sit on a Swiss ball fitted for your height and you will notice a big difference in the way you sit at your desk. You excite those spinal muscles to do their jobs. There are plenty of exercises to help with this with in the e book. To get relief from minor back pain or to prevent back pain in general you must work the entire inner unit and core muscles.
TV: You were talking earlier about developing a base and adding layers. I know that a lot of people start a strength training program to look and feel better but their workouts actually cause injuries and back problems because they use bad form or they pick exercises that are too advanced for their level of fitness. In your program, I noticed you have the routines set up in levels of difficulty - 7 levels actually - and you talk about the importance of developing the right foundation with simple conditioning exercises for the first few weeks, then gradually moving into the more challenging movements. How do you know where to start and which exercises to choose and which to avoid so that you don't hurt yourself by doing something over your head? I mean, I know you wouldn't train one of your overweight clients on their first workout the same way you train your pro boxers, right?
DG:There are some simple abdominal tests in the eBook that will give every person a baseline to start. For as long as I've been doing this I have found very few people - even good athletes - that pass the tests the first time. Each person should start at the beginning. The question is how long do you stay at each level. An athlete will advance faster due to a better integrated nervous system. But everyone should start off slow!
TV: David, if there's so much misleading and false information on abdominal machines and fat reduction on TV and in the magazines these days, how do they keep getting away with it and why don't more people know about the techniques you teach?
DG: Some people do know about the types of training I use, just not the mainstream yet. Also many of the ads for ab training call for minimum work…Flat abs in 3 minutes a day is quite appealing to most couch potatoes, so they keep buying it.
TV: I agree totally. I saw that they have "six second abs" now and people are actually buying this crap. Ok, one last question. I know your eBook has dozens of ab training and fat loss tips, and you'll probably say, "Just buy the book," but would you indulge us and tell us three of your most important secrets for getting firm and flat abdominals?
ONE, Get a proper evaluation. There are many things that can help you with rock hard abs. I would suggest looking up a CHEK practitioner in your area. Without knowing your metabolic type, stress levels, food intolerance, eating proper organic foods to avoid pesticides, chemicals and so on, you could go round and round and never get those abs. In other words, fix your insides so you outsides look great!
TWO, do not stop learning…continue educating yourself. Most plans are doomed from the start because people tend to want the quick fix so they fall for gimmicks that with a little education they would know better.
THREE, follow the exercises with proper form. Do not just go through the motions to get the reps done.
TV: This has been great David, definitely very enlightening and again, I really appreciate your time, thank you. If someone wants to contact you or if someone wants to order a copy of your e-book where can they find it?
DG: Well Tom, thank you and your great web sites and fitness information. You're a great person to work with and I salute your commitment to natural fitness and health. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
You can also visit
TV: Thanks again David, It's been a pleasure.
Chicken Alla Parmigiana
(Yield: 8 servings)
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets, pounded
1/8 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounces) Muir Glen Organic Ground Peeled Tomatoes
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Salt and Pepper
Cover each chicken breast fillet with prosciutto slices; sprinkle
with 1 tablespoon grated cheese. Roll up; secure with
toothpicks. Place in lightly greased 12 x 8-inch casserole dish;
cover with aluminum foil (may be refrigerated up to 12 hours
at this point) and bake at 150F., 30 to 40 minutes, or until
chicken is cooked through (cut into one with sharp knife to
check). Heat oil in medium saucepan over low heat. Add
garlic; cook until golden. Stir in Organic Grown Pealed
Tomatoes, Marsala and parsley. Season with salt and pepper;
simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken and serve
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Terrorists are aptly named because their tactics are designed to strike fear into the hearts of the people. This fear is often irrational. Many people bide their time suffering anxiety over the next unlikely attack while falling prey to a monster that kills more people every week than those murdered on September 11th. This killer has no hidden agenda and destroys without prejudice. Those who are unfortunate enough to meet this nemesis often suffer prolonged pain before eventually succumbing and "giving up the breath" as death was described in ancient Egypt.
What could possibly be so terrible? In the year 2000, the leading preventable cause of death was tobacco. Only a few decades ago, doctors and priests would smoke during commercials and share their favorite brand of cigarette. Today, there is a stigma associated with smoking because we understand the link between tobacco and death. Unfortunately, there is a new competitor who is rapidly gaining ground. This competitor claimed thousands lives in the year 2000, and was the second leading preventable cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Who is this deadly threat to society?
Poor diet and lack of exercise.
Surprised? Thousands of people die every day due to poor eating habits and lack of regular exercise. The death certificate wont mention their favorite fast food combo meal or the fact that they would rather watch the latest golf tournament than take a stroll through the park. Instead, one of the many degenerative diseases that have been conclusively linked to nutrition and exercise will stake its claim over another life.
Society spends more time and energy worrying about violent threats than dealing with this leading cause of death. While the popularity of products and services designed to address the situation is growing - in fact, the health and wellness industry is en route to become the next trillion-dollar industry according to economist Paul Zane Pilzer - the rate of obesity, overweight, and conditions related to poor diet and lack of exercise such as type II "adult onset" diabetes is increasing. In fact, adult onset diabetes is now being diagnosed in enough children that most medical professionals simply refer to it as "type II."
Perhaps one reason why this epidemic is so hard to combat is that people are focused on the solution as a product or service, rather than a process. To quit smoking, many people receive counseling, join groups or follow systems because its not as simple as tossing the last pack (the author is one of the fortunate few who was able to stop smoking "cold turkey" but found it far more difficult to overcome his poor eating habits). Overweight and obesity is a condition related to behavior and patterns that have taken years to create, so the notion that some magic product will suddenly undo the thousands of days of programming is absurd. Successful, permanent weight loss is a process, not an event.
During a recent seminar that I conduct, participants explored the concept of just how powerful the mind is and how this relates to losing fat. After a serious of powerful exercises, they were asked to create an action plan based on what they learned in order to successfully lose fat and keep it off. The result of this workshop was seven keys that addressed what most diet programs or weight loss systems do not: the fact that fitness starts inside.
Here, then, are seven keys to permanent weight loss success that start on the inside.
Key #1: Be Positive
Youve probably heard this one before. Its a popular cliché. In order for it to work, however, you have to move beyond a catchy statement and integrate this as part of your life. In order to truly "be positive" you must start with an understanding of the mind. Your reality is perception, and perception is influenced by your thoughts. Thoughts create reality. What you think about expands.
A good friend and client of mine was a pilot for many years. After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, he was out of work. He went through a period of extreme grief, pain, and anger. His health suffered. It wasnt the money that struck such a powerful blow. It was something else, a mistake many people made.
You see, my friends reality could be summed up with this statement: "I am a pilot."
Can you see the danger in this? He defined himself by what he did, not who he was. By losing his job, he lost his identity. In reality, he was there all along, but his ego kept getting in the way of finding his true self. He had to learn how to let go and be himself, and define who he was on his own merits, not by his actions, level of success, or how others perceive him.
Many people who are overweight create the same situation. Most will create the statement, "I am fat." Of course, the desire to lose weight might exist, but if your definition of self-worth is based on the amount of fat you carry, what happens when its gone? If youve lived with "I am fat" for months or years, who do you expect to become when the fat is gone? This subconscious fear of losing your identity can sabotage your process.
What we think about expands. If you focus on the fat you carrying, or the difficulty you have losing weight, then expect more of it. Expect more fat, and expect a difficult time losing the fact. On the other hand, if you focus on releasing the fat, on your success and the process, then this is what you will receive more of. The fat wont go away overnight. However, if you spend just one day eating healthy foods and exercising - even if its just taking a short walk - would you consider that to be an improvement? Could you call that a "healthy day" compared to your previous habits? What if you decided to be, "I am healthy," and give the fat some time to let go?
Be positive means be realistic, and focus on the positive progress. Focus on abundance - get more of what you wish to receive, instead of thinking about what you dont want.
Part: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Jeremy Likness is an author, motivational speaker, international health coach, Certified Fitness Trainer and Specialist in Performance Nutrition. He wrote the internationally selling book, Lose Fat, Not Faith (ISBN 0976907925) after losing 65 pounds of fat. He was a Top Finisher in a 2000 Physique Transformation competition.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
I have been busy here getting some study in and taking the physique coach test. In the porcess I have been researching colonics as well. It seems that many fitness "experts" recommend doing a colon cleanse at least once a year. In part this is due to the fact that as time goes on a form of plaque builds up on the colon and reduces the ability of our bodies to absorb the nutrients that are in our foods. Unfortunately it seems that part of the problem could be that many of our foods don't have the nutrient values they did before due to depleted soils, being picked early, and mishandling.
To further excerbiate the problem it seems that this plaque builds up because of the amount of refined carbs that we are eating in our diets. Too much white bread, doughnuts, toxins, etc has led to problems with irregularity as well. Another underlying factor is the amount of drugs we are exposed to which kill off the beneficial flora.
Based on research that I have done so far it seems that a colon cleanse is in order and could very well be the best way to start off a diet. Therefore I am going to complete one...or at least a short two day one. Seems to eb a good way to start the new year off and begin a bulking cycle then do another one when I begin contest cutting in July.
Do some research on doing a colon and liver cleanse. Seems to be something that can't hurt and could definitely help a lot with overall health as well.
Talk to everyone later.
Friday, January 06, 2006
"There is a ton of
By Doug Chandler MS.
Will Brink has been a well known fixture in a wide range of publications and the media, ranging from his columns in MuscleMag International to his articles in The Townsend Letter For Doctors and many in between.
He has done many interviews in news papers, radio, and TV, and is often invited to speak at conventions and various health and fitness related symposiums around the country and abroad.
He also runs the highly popular web site, BrinkZone.com.
We briefly caught up with him to ask him few pertinent questions about diet, nutrition, fitness, his book "
Let's get to it!
DC: How long have you been involved in the bodybuilding, health, and fitness industry?
They felt I had a lot of knowledge I should share with people, so on a whim I sent in an article. After that, companies started contacting me to do consulting work and so on. One thing just seemed to build on the other. The rest as they say, is history.
"There is a ton of information about weight loss
DC: In your experience what has been the most effective nutritional method to losing bodyfat?
The use of certain supplements can also greatly enhance the fat loss process in may ways, such as increasing metabolism or blunting hunger, but most of the products sold for that purpose are over hyped or just plain worthless.
It's about making smart choices as an educated consumer not jumping on the bandwagon for every new supplement that wants people to believe it will change their life over night.
It does not cover sub-Q yohimbine injections of forskolin enemas for example.
My feeling is that the vast majority of people out there, say better than 90%, buying supplements still don't have a clue as to what works and what does not work regarding the diet supplements that already exist.
If they did, there would not be so many bottles of junk sold now would there?
Compared to the general public, bodybuilding types are a particularly well informed group, but the rest of the world is not. The news groups and my email box, are still filled with questions about pyruvate, chitosan, DHEA, and other products, so I know confusion is still rampant.
There is a ton of information about weight loss on the internet, and most of it is wrong.
I do feel even most well informed people will still learn a few tricks they didn't know, but the fact is, it's not a book written for the "hard core" bodybuilding crowd per se. I am not looking for people to buy it and be unhappy, though I think most people will be pleased with the information.
It's also not a diet book per se but it does contain a diet and exercise plans. It's a look at weight loss nutrients combined with an easy to follow "Ten Tip Guide to Fat Loss" and people should realize that also.
So, for well informed bodybuilder types who really know their stuff, this may not be the book for them. For the other 95% plus people in the world who are constantly bombarded with BS about these nutrients, this book will clear it all up for them. Spam off.
DC: You recently updated the book. Do you cover things like andro products and creatine?
What I updated the book with was new chapters, new research on other nutrients where there was any to be had, and new information and charts on topics such as the GI (glycemic index) and its role of losing weight and staying healthy, as well as other new sections.
The vast, and I do mean vast, majority of information and opinions on these things on the net is either wrong, or directly intended to sell you a product.
If they want an unbiased source of easy to read information on weight loss supplements written by someone who knows the industry from the inside and has a decade or so of real world experience with these products, my book will deliver that.
If they just want a basic opinion from God knows who with God knows what motive, a simple Yahoo search will accomplish that.
DC: I know you have worked with some of the worlds top athletes and military groups as well as the general population. Which do you find most satisfying?
I find it far more personally inspirational to get a letter or an email from some one who has lost 100lbs or more following my diet advice or what have you then helping an athlete break some personal goal or record.
I recently got an email from someone who lost a brother in the 911 attacks as a fire fighter. He went and became a fire fighter to follow in his brother's foot steps, and told me the information in the e-book really helped him with getting in shape to be a fire fighter. That really inspired me in a far greater way than say some athlete breaking a record.
DC: I loved your e-book Diet Supplements Revealed, so don't take this question the wrong way. A few people told me they felt the book was on the short side. Can you comment on that?
The e-book is around 200 pages. The assumption-that volume is what dictates quality is sheer folly. My goal with this e-book was not to pad this product and make it as long as possible. In fact, my goal was the reverse. I wanted to put the maximum amount of information possible in the least amount of words.
If people take a good look at some of the most popular weight loss books on the market, they will find the vast majority of them contain very little actual information and literally hundreds of pages of recipes, pictures, and other information you could figure out yourself.
Unlike a hard copy book, every time I have updated the e-book, everyone who purchased the earlier version gets the new version, so they never have to say "I wish I had waited until the new version to buy the book" as they often do with a hard copy book.
So it does not matter of they purchased it last year, last week, or buy it tomorrow, they will have the most recent addition. In my view, that makes the e-book a bargain.
They then have this information issued via certain magazines, web sites and other publications, PR firms, etc., yet most of it is, to be blunt, pure bullshit. False or misleading information designed only to sell the supplements.
For the magazines, supplement companies are a major source of advertising revenue. How do I know this? Because I have been both an editor and writer for most of the top publications in the health/fitness/bodybuilding arena, have done consulting work for many of the top supplement companies.
I can tell you the few supplement companies and supplement company owners that are honest and want to sell a good product are as frustrated as you are over the BS that is so common.
Yours in health,
:: Internet publications
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
1. Go for a walk. That right, go for a walk. Walk around the block, walk to the store, park farther away at work/store, but get out and walk. If the weather is bad and you have access to one use a treadmill while your watching tv or reading a book. It doesn't have to be far but it needs to be according to your present physical condition. If you are in good shape you can walk farther and faster. Each day try to walk farther and/or faster.
2. Eat more often. Now I am not talking about eating five course meals here. But we are talking about eating 5-6 times a day, smaller meals. This sets up your body to become a fat discarding machine. It negates the starvation response and reduces insulin spikes. Determine what your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE),reduce that by 10-20%, and split it up into 5-6 meals a day.
3. Drink plenty of water. A person should drink in the neighborhood of .5 ounces of water per lb of bodyweight. Now this does include any non-caffienated non-carbonated drinks (i.e. water, juice, milk).
4. Reduce the refined carbs in your diet. As they say "Back Away From the Doughnut". The pastries that we all love so well and swwets like candies, cakes, pies should be treated as treats...something we have occasionally in small doses. Use whole grain breads, dried fruits (cranberries are great), raw sugar when you use sugar (try to limit the sugar use).
There you have it. Four steps that can get you started on the road to fitness and health without overstressing your joints, heart, emotions.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Most of the regulars there are looking around trying to figure out how to get on the machines or the weights so we can get our workouts done. But the place is doing bang up business. I talked with the owners wife and she said it was like this every year. It would last three weeks to a month then everything would be back to normal.
Sad really. All those people with the best intentions of getting into shape for what ever reason and they won't stick with it long enough to do it. I saw one woman on a treadmill just going for all she was worth. She was probably a good 50 pounds overweight, red in the face, and breathing hard...too hard. She will be one of those who will be sore tonite and won't make it back tomorrow for her workout.
Why? Because she should be using a sensible plan with sensible achievable goals. There are 20 weeks till summer, more if you go to June 21st and official summer, and in that time frame a person can sensibly lose 40 lbs. It isn't really that hard to do. It just requires takign things in a sensiblke step-wise manner.
By the inch it's a cinch, by the yard it is hard. If you are looking to lose weight set a sensible goal of 1-2 pounds a week. Do this by starting off walking before running, lifting 5 pound weights before pounds, and by cleaning up your diet. Do that for a month then start working a bit harder, adjust your caloric intake, add longer or harder cardio sessions.
Remember that not everyone responds to diets the same way. Not everyone is able to run. Use a sensible approach to diet and exercise. Make it a lifestyle change.
I have. I feel much better for it too.
I can pick up my kids again, I can run and play with them without becoming so winded and tired I had to lay down, I can walk up the stairs to my apartment without feeling like crud when I got up here, and my belly doesn't stick over my belt any more. As the kids tell me..."Daddy isn't squishy any more".
Have I made it? Do I have a contest ready body now? No. But I actually have muscles showing, abs peaking through, and my pants aren't too tight around the waist. Overall I look better and feel better about myself and my appearance.
Let's face it. We're all a little vain about our appearance and want to look nice. People respond better to us when we feel better about ourselves. You can't help but feel better about your appearance when your fit and healthy.
Until next time,
Make it a Great Day