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Bob

Many times I am asked, "is it possible to turn fat into muscle?". The answer is, no, it's not possible to turn fat into muscle. They are completely different types of body tissues. Muscle is muscle and fat is fat. 

This myth has been around far longer than I have, and I am not sure if it will every go away, but the answer is, with 100% certainty, no! You cannot turn fat into muscle. 

Bob

If you want to know how to lose underarm fat, my easy to follow advice will give you the short cut you're looking for. I will teach you how to quickly lose unsightly underarm fat and replace it with a nice, defined muscle. 

If you suffer from underarm fat, you will need to take the same approach to fat loss as everyone else. The fact is, your body stores fat in your underarm area, and you will need to follow a fat loss program in order to lose the fat. I will tell you how to do that in a minute.

Sometimes it's loose skin and not underarm fat that is the problem. If you have loose skin under your arm, your approach will be different. Losing fat will not help with loose skin, but lucky for you, building muscle will, so all hope is not lost. 

So let's start with the first problem. 

How To Lose Underarm Fat

The fastest way to lose any type of fat is to incorporate a low carb diet and a high intensity exercise program. If you take this approach, your body will change dramatically in a short period of time. This is the fastest way to lose fat! 

The intensity of your workout program needs to be tailored specifically for you and your fitness level. It might be worth hiring a personal trainer who can help you get on the right track. Don't over do it!

Now you will also want to follow the advice for loose skin as you may find that your skin has stretched due to the fat under your arms. 

The Cure For Loose Underarm Skin

If you don't want to have surgery to fix the loose skin, you will need to build up some muscle in your arms. You will want to build up your biceps and your triceps. Think about it, if you build up the muscle on your biceps, it will increase the size of your arms and pull your skin tighter around the front. Increase the size of both your biceps and triceps and you will replace the loose area with muscle, which will give your arms a nice and defined appearance. Don't worry, you won't look manly or muscle bound!

That's it, if you want to know how to lose underarm fat, follow the advice and you will finally get rid of your underarm fat. 

 

Bob

Does sweating burn fat? This is a question I have been asked quite a few times, and the answer is ... NO. 

The act of sweating is your bodies way of cooling down. In other words, sweating alone means nothing in regards to burning fat. 

It's the exertion of energy that burns fat, and this may or may not include sweating! 

During long endurance type of exercising, you may sweat profusely. On the other hand, short sprinting or high intensity type of weight training will usually produce little or no sweating. In both situations you will be burning calories and "burning fat".

Therefore, let's get to the core of this question. You should NOT use the amount of sweating to determine how much fat you are burning. You may lose a lot of water weight when you sweat profusely, but this weight loss is very temporary and NOT the best way to determine if your workout is good or not. 

If you want to really burn the fat, you need to focus on the intensity of your training. Train hard and you will burn the fat. 

So does sweating burn fat? Again, the answer is no.

Bob

I confess,

I was once a proponent of the calories in vs. calories out myth. I repeated the mantra like every other personal trainer I know. The sad part is, this myth places the blame of being overweight directly on the person who is overweight.

The fact is, it's NOT YOUR FAULT!

If you have been beating yourself up over being overweight and eating too much, STOP!  You have been lied too. You have been told to eat things that make you fatter!

Let me back up for a second and clarify my position. Of course we are all responsible for the food we put into our bodies, but what if our government, doctors, health professionals have all been telling us to eat foods that actually make us fat? Sounds crazy right? But what if it were true? 

Before I continue on, let me briefly explain the calorie in vs calorie out concept. The myth goes like this. The more calories you eat, the more calories your body will store. The more you expend (through exercise or other means), the more weight you will lose. In other words, the more you eat, the fatter you get, and vice versa. In addition, the more you exercise, the thinner you will get, and vice versa. Sounds plausible, but what if it didn't work that way after all? I am going to show you why this is indeed a myth. 

Fact, most doctors do not take a single course on nutrition! This is a known fact, and it's 100% true. So when a doctor tries to advise regarding nutrition, please remember this little fact. Perhaps you can ask if he or she has taken any nutrition courses in their training. 

So we are told to eat foods that make us fat. We have all heard the so called professionals telling us to eat more carbohydrates and less fat. We have all heard it!

But there is one little fact you should be aware of ...

Eating Carbohydrates Causes Your Body To Store Fat
And Prevents Your Body From Releasing Fat For Fuel!

If you have never heard this, you may think this is a controversial statement, but in fact, it's well known.

When you eat carbohydrates, your body releases insulin. Insulin causes your body to store fat. If that weren't bad enough, it also prevents your body from releasing fat to be used as energy!

So when you consume the popular high carbohydrate, low fat diet, you are causing your body to store fat. It's making you fatter!

 In addition, your body is not able to release fatty acids to be used as fuel. 

So what about the calories in vs calories out myth? 

Calories In != Calories Out

In order for the calories in vs. calories out theory to hold true, every calorie you eat would need to be stored when you eat it. But we know this is not always the case. Without the presence of carbohydrates, your body will not release a rush of insulin. This means your body will not start storing calories as energy. It will also not hold your current fat hostage. 

On the other hand, when you do eat carbohydrates in large amounts, your body will release a rush of insulin and cause your body to store fat and hold your current fat stores hostage. This is a known fact, not controversial. 

In a study in diet and macro-nutrient content, one of the study authors states "“What you eat makes quite a difference. Just counting calories won’t matter much unless you look at the kinds of calories you’re eating.” Source

Therefore, without the presence of insulin, your body is not storing the calories you consume. 

An interesting fact you may not know is that your body can live without carbohydrates! You cannot survive without protein and fat! 

So please stop beating yourself up if you are overweight. Learn how to eat properly, the foods that will not make you fat, and you will finally reach your weight loss goals. 

 

 

 

Bob

There are many ebooks for sale on how to get six pack abs. The fact is, it's very easy to do with a little discipline and time. Unless you like to read useless information, I will give you everything you need right here to get your 6 pack abs. 

Did you know you already have six pack abs? Everyone does, but they are covered by a layer of fat! 

Let's get to the point, if you want six pack abs you have to do two things:

1. Lose the layer of fat covering your 6 pack abs! You already have 6 pack abs, you just have to remove the layer of fat covering them. Amazing right? 

2. Build your ab muscle. Build up your ab muscles with some type of resistance training, crunches, etc. 

Seriously, that is all there is to it. Sure, you can buy an expensive ebook that will tell you this in 5,000 words, but I am not the type to waste time with nonsense. So if you want six pack abs, do three things:

1. Cut back calories with either a low carb diet or a low fat diet. The choice diet is yours.

2. Increase your calorie expenditure with exercise. HIIT training has been shown to melt fat off your body in minimal time. 

3. Target your abdominal muscles with resistance training in order to increase the size of your abdominal muscles.

That's it!

So if you want to read an ebook that will take you 3 days to tell you the same thing, feel free to do so. If you just want to facts without the fluff, now you have them. Need more info?

Feel free to join the site and post your questions and I will do what I can to help you out.

Bob

With this year shaping up to be a bad flu season, you don't have to be a victim of the flu virus. The fact is, there is an herb that can protect you from the flu.

My family of six have been using this remedy for over 6 years now and not a single family member has contracted the flu since we started using it. It's backed up by sound research, but of course the pharmaceuticals are not able to profit from it since it's a natural herb.

The herb I speak of is Elderberry, and it's available in many different forms. You can buy a syrup for children, pills for adults, but what I prefer is to make my own syrup. It's easy, and you can buy bulk organic elderberries from nearly any health food store. This way you know you are using top of the line elderberries that have been grown organically.

It's also much cheaper to make than pre-made syrups.

What you are going to start with is some organic elderberries.

  • You take a half cup of elderberries to three or four cups of water.
  • You want to boil them and allow the water to reduce into a syrup.
  • Now you will want to add some flavor, and you can pretty much add any flavors you desire, but I usually add maple syrup or honey. If your child is under 1, you DO NOT want to use honey, so stick with syrup or organic sugar.
  • Once you get a flavor and consistency and taste you like, you can turn off the heat and allow the syrup to cool.
  • Once cooled, take some cheese cloth with a funnel and filter out the syrup.

That's it. you will have enough syrup to last you nearly all winter! Take about two or three teaspoons a day and you should remain flu free all winter!

Remember to take it before you get sick, so take it every morning before starting your day. It seems to mainly work on the flu, so if another type of bug is going around, you may still get a cold.

I was skeptical at first when we first starting using elderberry instead of the "flu shot". After over five years of being flu free, we are sold on elderberry as our flu remedy. It works, and it's cheap to make, so why haven't you tried it yet?

Here is the product I have been using for the past few years.

Bob

I may be a little late one this fad, but better late then never! It appears we have a new fitness fad sweeping the country, the P90X workout system. Basically, the P90X workout system is a high intensity circuit training program, which have been around for many years. Nothing really new here, except it's been created as a DVD set. Before the P90Xer's get upset regarding the fact that I have called their system a fad, let me clearly state that I do not use the term "fad" in a negative way. I like any "fad" that helps people get moving! Fads keep the industry interesting and moving forward. Variety is thy spice of life, and that goes for variety of training and training systems!

I know the P90X system is made for already health individuals, but if you are unhealthy and want to give the system a try, simply tone down the intensity to a level you can tolerate and slowly increase the intensity as you become more healthy and fit! Never push through pain and always listen to what your body is telling you. Nothing will slow your progress more than an injury. So enjoy the new P90X fitness fad and keep moving!

Bob

Many times I get questions about the proper way to approach getting into an exercise routine for the long term. It seems many people start training only to quick in a very short time. In this short article, I am going to tell you how you can easily get into a routine and stick with it for the rest of your life. If you don't believe you can ever stick with an exercise routine, then I suggest you follow the advice in this article and learn the secret of long term routines.

It doesn't matter what type of exercise you do, this article will teach you how to stick with a routine! I will go so far as to say this will help you with any type of routine! It's actually very simple, but you have to make sure you follow this information so that it becomes ingrained into your daily life. At that point, you will feel weird when you do not participate in the activity you have become to accustomed too!

Just Get There!

You are probably thinking that's rather simple, but it really is. Listen, it doesn't even matter if you exercise or not, just show up! So you don't feel like exercising because you're tired, no problem, just show up at the gym, walk in and walk out! No, I am not joking, don't even bother living a weight. You can sit on the bike for 2 minutes so you don't feel like a weirdo if you want, but just freaking show up! Simple! There is no reason you can't show up, and it's not very hard.

Just make sure you do this every day you are supposed to train, and you can even do it on days you are not supposed to train. This will make stopping at the gym, track, or whatever routine you want to get into a part of your daily life! Seriously try it. If you can do this, you can and will make whatever you want to do a part of your life.

When a client calls me and says they don't feel like coming into the gym (usually new clients), I tell them to just show up and then they can leave. 9 times out of 10, they show up. Even more, after they show up, they actually feel like just riding the bike for maybe 2 minutes or so. If they get that far, I would say 10 out of 10 actually want to train!

You can also use this technique for anything. Works great for training at home! Have a bike in the other room and don't feel like riding today? No problem, just go sit on it for 10 seconds and walk away. Do this every single day. I am betting you might even peddle a few minutes when you do this, but that is not important at this stage just showing up is!

I have been training at home for over 6 years straight, and rarely miss a workout. I do this by just showing up. Some days I don't feel like working out, so I plan to just go in the room and sit on the bench for a minute and leave, but I always end up training!

Do this for three weeks straight and see if it helps you. I am betting it will or I wouldn't have wasted my time writing this article for you!

Bob

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television. The information contained in this article is not to be construed as medical advice. This article is written for informational purposes only. If you have any pain in your elbow, be sure to see a licensed physician.

I am writing this article in hopes it will help others in their quest heal their golfers elbow. The goal is to not only heal your elbow, but to strengthen the muscles and tendons to prevent future problems.

I first noticed a pain on the inside of my elbow when I was lowering the barbell from the squat position in a cage. I usually didn't remove all the weight from the barbell when I lower it, and this time I felt a sharp pain one the inside (medial) part of my elbow. I didn't think too much of it as minor pains are usually common when training heavy, so I ignored it and continued to train with the slight discomfort. After a few weeks I noticed the pain progressed and was now present during normal daily activities and especially when playing the guitar and drums. It was at this point I decided I needed to take the time to rehabilitate my golfers elbow.

Golfers elbow is caused be repetitive or excessive stress, and it's my opinion that one should approach it as they do any other injury. My approach is straight forward without any type of special treatments.

REMEMBER: You do not have to progress at the same speed. You may need to spend an extra week or two in each step depending on your situation. Only progress when you notice the pain as subsided.

Step One, Week 1: Complete Rest and Ice

During the first week of my rehabilitation, I let my elbow rest while I used ice every 15 minutes, a couple times each day to reduce inflammation. I also purchased a band-it forearm band. The bandIt seemed to relieve the pain, but I am not sure it did much else. It's cheap if you want to try it, and you can't really go wrong trying it. Just make sure you do not over tighten it, it's supposed to be fairly loose.

Step Two, Weeks 2 and 3: Ice and Stretching

Here is where you get to start taking an active role in your rehab. I started performing stretches like the ones you see here: http://pinnaclechandler.com/pptblog/simply-stretches-to-help-prevent-golfers-elbow/ . In addition to these, I also started performing the following stretches:

http://youtu.be/Q98C0HLJHtQ

I performed these stretches about 4 to 5 times every day.

Step Three, Week 4: Ice, Stretching, and Target Specific Exercises:

Here is where I started to focus on conditioning the muscles and tenons of the wrist. I started with a few simple exercises, and I only suggest you perform the ones which cause no discomfort and you can use as little or no weight if needed. The important thing is to be able to perform the exercises without any discomfort in your elbow!

The first wrist exercise is to take a dumbbell or barbell and hold it in your hands with your palms facing up. Perform as many reps as you can without discomfort as follows:

Perform 1 set and then reverse your grip (palms facing down) and repeat. Next, grab two light dumbbells, rest them on your legs like you did in the last exercise and simply rotate your hands as if you are turning a door knob. Again, perform as many reps as you can without discomfort. You can even use a hammer and perform exercises as if you are hammering a nail, with your arms on your knees as shown in the photo above.

Step Four, Weeks 5, 6, and Beyond: Occasional Ice, Stretching, Target Specific Exercises, and Strength Training:

If you are not someone who exercises regularly, you can probably continue the prior step until you are healed, which should take much longer at this point, at least it didn't for me. If you are a strength trainer, then you can now start training again. It's very, very important to train extremely light and to avoid any and all exercises that aggravate your elbow. For me, I had to avoid bicep curls for a few weeks before I could go back to training them, but now I am back to full health and no pain! Remember, start light with high repetitions to strengthen your tendons as well as your muscles. Only use ice if you get that occasional pain, and make sure to continue your stretching.

I would go so far as to continue your stretches and make them a part of your daily training program. I hope you found this article helpful and I hope it allows you to get back to training at 100% again. If you have anything to add, please feel free to join and leave a comment in the box below.

Bob

I am going to share with you what I have learned over the years and how I have recently, at the age of 38, gained more muscle mass, strength, and am in better health then when I was 20 years old.

I want to start this article out by making a few things very clear. First. I have NOTHING at all to sell you. You will not get to the end of this article and then have to purchase something in order to get the rest of the information.

Trust me, I hate those types of sites. Second, I want you to understand that I am getting nothing for writing this article. With that out of the way, I want you to share with you how I obtained the best results of my life. I am nearing 40, yet I feel better, I am stronger, and I have more muscle mass then I have ever had my entire life. I do not use any type of anabolic steroids or drugs.

A quick bio - Feel free to skip

First, I want to tell you a little about myself. I share this information in order to give you some background about who I am, my experiences, and my education.

  • I have been training for over 25 years, and a personal trainer for over 20 years.
  • I have coached athletes, world class powerlifters, and MMA fighters.
  • I have been certified by the ISSA
  • I have been certified by the AFPA
  • I am 41 years old. A time in my life when I should be declining in strength, muscle mass, and general health. Yet I am stronger, have more muscle mass, and feel better then when I was 20.
  • I will share my current lifestyle and daily routine.

As for my body, I have been in shape for as long as I can remember.

  • When growing up I was thin and lacked muscle mass.
  • I always had a hard time putting on muscle mass and strength, even though I could produce world class powerlifters.

Don't get me wrong, I was able to bulk up, but my muscles were always flat and lacked definition. I wrote it off as being genetic in nature and therefore didn't really worry about it as I focused on training. This last year I

  • Changed my diet drastically.
  • Included nutrient logic into my training.
  • Tweaked my training to naturally increase my Human Growth Hormone secretion.

The results have been phenomenal.

It started with the compliments from my immediate family and then from those I haven't seen in a while. You know the comments, wow, you look great, are you dieting? Are you using steroids? No, I don't look like a professional bodybuilder, but my muscles are growing rapidly.

I will never look like someone who is on steroids, but the again the results have been wonderful. I am 41 years old. You see, it really hit me when other really noticed the changes in my muscle mass, and then I started really paying attention myself. It was at this time that I realized that I have finally found an approach that worked great for me!

Of course whether or not this information will work for you really depends, but what do you have to lose by giving it a try?

It costs you nothing and you will know within a few months whether or not this is working for you. I simply invite you to give it a try, and if it works or doesn't work for you, all I ask is that you let me know. I am very interested in seeing how it works for everyone else.

I am sharing this information because I want to help others reach goals they never thought possible. It's really that simple.

The approach I have taken has been a holistic approach, which means I use a specific diet, nutrient logic, and exercise to ensure my body has the nutrients and exercise it needs for optimal health. Of course what works for me doesn't mean it's going to work for you, but it might be worth a try. Nothing I am sharing is new or original information, it's information I have learned from various sources and put it all together for my self. I have rambled enough and this is starting to sound like an infomercial, so let's get to it shall we?

Your New Dietary Plan!

Let's start with your new dietary plan.

To start out, you will need to eat a low carb diet. Wait, if you were like me a year ago, you are probably almost done reading the article. You see, I took many college courses on nutrition, studied nutrition, and was an advocate of the low fat, low calorie diet for many years. Don't get me wrong, I had great results with a low fat, low calorie diet for clients. But I have far better results with the low carb diet.

Just like smoking and lung cancer, not everyone gains weight when eating carbohydrates. But there is one fact that is indisputable, and that fact is insulin causes your body to store fat and prevents it from being released. Your body holds onto fat when insulin is present! Of course I don't want to get bogged down on the benefits of a low carb diet, so let's get back to how I have gotten wonderful results and how it might help you get wonderful results too.

  • You can eat as much and as often as you want and still lose weight.
  • You don't skimp on fats, and you eat as much fat and low carb food as you wish.
  • You never have to be hungry
  • You don't count calories.
  • You can eat carbs, in moderation, but usually keep them as low as possible.
  • You eat less than 50 grams of carbs every day, but the carbs usually come from fruits and vegetables, with plenty of fiber.
  • You can take holidays from your diet during holidays, and about once a month you can eat any carbohydrate you wish. I feel this is very important to staying on the diet as you are not deprived of the foods you enjoy.

That's it, that is my dietary plan, and the results were immediate fat loss. I eat so much food that it amazes those around me that I am not a total fat ass. It amazes me!

Still not convinced? Alright, here are some suggested reading you should take a look at. Don't close your mind to a low carb diet if you are stuck in the same rut I was. Check out these books (no, I don't sell them, I already told you I don't have anything to sell!).

Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health (I found this book kinda dry reading, but it has a wealth of information)

Why We Get Fat (This is written by the same author above, but in a much easier format)

Protein Power (Another great low carb book)

If you have an open mind, give at least "Why We Get Fat" and "Protein Power" a read. There is a lot valuable information in these two books.

Nutrient Logic

The idea behind nutrient logic is that your body needs certain nutrients in order to function at it's maximum potential. In addition, without certain nutrients, your body not only cannot function properly, but the nutrient deficiencies lead to disease. Sounds like a bunch of hippie garbage, but think about it. If your body is missing any key nutrient, you can develop any number of diseases, it's a fact of life.

The good news is, if you are eating a low carb diet, you are already getting many of the nutrients your body needs. Instead of writing another boring paragraph on the details, let me list the supplements I take and why.

Daily Supplements:

Garlic: Supports general health, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral.

Alpha Lipoic Acid: Excellent antioxidant, great for wrinkles!

Acetyl L-Carnitine HCI: Converts fat into energy (ATP).

Hawthorn Berries: Great for liver health.

Turmeric: Excellent for general health and cancer prevention.

L-Lysine: Building block of protein (amino acid).

Probiotics: Keeps your gut healthy, prevents illness.

These nutrients in addition to a low carb diet have produced great results for myself. Of course you may not need to take all of these supplements, and it's entirely up to you.

Training:

Strength training is of course very important, as you cannot build muscle without it.

Of course there is something that I believe is very important, and it's the timing of your training. I have found that exercising on an empty stomach is very important for me specifically.

  • Exercising on a empty stomach will increase your Human Growth Hormone,
  • Make sure your training is of high intensity. It will increase your HGH secretion even more!
  • Do not eat for at least one hour after training
  • Eat a high protein, low carb meal when you do eat your first meal after exercising.

Again, I believe this is probably the biggest key to my own personal results. It has worked for me, and more then I ever thought possible. It has worked form my clients. It can WORK FOR YOU!

As for a specific training program, I can't really tell you a specific training program to use because I use every program I can and constantly keep changing my training.

So that's about all there is! I only wish I had this information when I was younger and that is why I am sharing it with you. I hope you find it useful and it helps you reach your goals.

I told you I didn't have anything to sell ya, and I know you are probably thinking that it can't be this easy, and all I can do is tell you to give it a shot and see if it works for you.

Bob

One of the most often overlooked training variables which can have a profound affect on your training is the speed at which you train. I am not taking about how fast you get your workout completed (training density), but rather, how fast you perform each rep when performing a set of a specific exercise. Each muscle is comprised of a whole spectrum of muscle fibers, each being stimulated to some degree depending on the number of reps, intensity, and speed of movement. Everyone seems aware of the fact that intensity and the number of reps (which are directly related) is important, but many overlook the speed of movement when it comes to training the wide spectrum of muscle fibers that make up your muscles.

How many times have you entered the gym with the intention of changing your rep speed? How many times have you decided to drop the weight by 30% in order to increase the speed of each rep you perform? I am betting you have always used the same speed for your reps while performing different exercises and different number of reps to add variety to your training. But there is another way you can add that variety by heading to the gym with the intention of speeding up the speed each rep is performed.

If you are like 99% of the population, you just want to know how to incorporate this variable into your training program, so let me get to the how, and maybe later I will write another article on the why, if anyone is interested.

If you made it this far, you are obviously interested in adding this training variable to your bag of training tricks, but I must preface this with one following caveat. This information is not intended for beginners. You must use excellent form (even if cheating in order to increase the speed), and you must be as careful as you can since you have to make sure you are fluid with your movements. With that out of the way, let's get to the meat of this article.

Let me sum up this article with a quick example of how I use speed of movement in my training and with my own clients. Again, this is used with clients who have been training for at least a year or more and only with exercises they are very proficient with. You can also incorporate bands with this type of training, but for now I will stick with non-band training.

On training days when we plan to change our rep speed, we lower the weight by 30% of more depending on how the client is feeling, and increase the speed of the reps being performed. This doesn't mean bouncing the weight on the bench press. So for example, if we are training the bench press for 8 reps, we will cut the weight and have the client perform each concentric rep as fast as he can while lowering the weight as a controlled but fast speed (unless we are training pliometrics (plyometrics)). The client is told to think about throwing the weight as high as he can but of course he has to also slow the weight down before he gets all the way to the top of the bench press (which is where bands are a major help). You can use this same technique for any exercise with great results. I have noticed that many of my clients gain a nice amount of muscle mass and strength during these training cycles.

I hope this gives you an additional way to add variety to your training, and I hope it helps you reach your training goals.

Bob

Have you ever seen the guy who spends 6 hours in the gym, 7 days a week? Or how about the low carb girl who eats zero carbs on a low carb diet? Or how about the low fat guy who eats no fat at all on his low fat diet? Far too often people take everything they do in life to the extreme. They start a low carb diet and refuse to eat any carbs at all. They hear that performing two sets is good, so they believe 15 sets must be better! I have actually seen some people who spend nearly their entire day at the gym working out. Far too often many people fall for the "is some is good, more must be better" trap. On the flip side, there are those who believe if "less is better, than zero must be the best" too. This type of reasoning may seem logical on it's face, but it may actually end up hurting you in the long run.

I have been eating low carb for a few months now. During this time I have had the opportunity to speak and read what other low carb dieters think, and time and time again they are more no carb than low carb. What I also notice about those who try to eat low carb, is their constant cravings for carbs and their constant complaining about how they wish they could eat or that carb. Well, for those of us who eat low carb, and not no carb, the truth is you can eat some of your favorite carb foods, but you just have to use moderation and take planned holidays off the diet. I have had great success with this method on myself and so have many others. You simply make sure you eat a very low amount of the food you are craving, or you take a planned one day holiday and eat as much as you want. It will cure you of your cravings. Of course you don't want to do this too often, so remember, moderation is the key. But this isn't limited to low carb as it's the exact same thing with low fat.

I have spend many years eating low fat. The only different between eating low fat (besides the nutrient differences), is that I was always hungry when I was on my low fat diet. I couldn't wait to be able to increase my fat intake again as fat makes you feel full for a long time. As with the low carb diets, those on a low fat diet also suffer from the "if a less is good, none must be better" trap. Many times my clients would tell me how they ate zero fat, but how they were constantly hungry on the low fat diet. I would advise them to add in a little fat in order to help them feel full for longer. Of course, it seems once again many equate low with no, which is really a shame and probably one of the main reasons many fail in the end. Moderation is key, but this doesn't just apply to dieting.

I have been a personal fitness trainer for a very long time, and many clients come to me after they spend months in the gym with little to no progress after the first six weeks of training. They all have one thing in common, they have all fallen for the "if some is good, more must be better" trap. You see, they read a fitness or bodybuilding magazine with their favorite bodybuilder and see them spending 8 + hours in the gym. They decide that they are going to follow the same routine, and without any foundation, they start training like a professional bodybuilder on steroids. This works for the first 4 to 6 weeks, but once the their bodies adapt, they see all progress halt and many times reverse (if they make it this far before getting injured). This is not a joke, over-training is a serious issue that can lead to serious injuries. Once this happens, they come looking for someone like me, a personal trainer.

Did you know that someone new to training can make progress from just about any training routine, no matter how poor the program is. This is due to the fact that many of your gains will come from improved coordination, and the fact that any overload will overload your system and cause adaption, but too much causes over training and injury. So they come to me, many times complaining about the fact that not only are they not making further progress, but they have actually began to go backwards in their training. I usually ask them how many hours they spend in the gym, and one time a client actually told me they spend 5 hours in the gym each day, 7 days a week! Job? Yeah, they had a job, but they visited the gym several times a day! They were of course following their favorite bodybuilders routine. I actually feel sorry for people who read these articles because they never mention the fact that these athletes are on a massive amount of steroids. I find such magazines who push such garbage as immoral and completely irresponsible.

But I digress, what I usually tell my new client is that they need to take at least a few weeks off and let their body recover from the over training, and then I set them up with a proper workout routine for their level of fitness. This usually gets them right back on track and back to making great progress once again, but this time without the over-training. The bottom line is, more is not always better, and in fact, many times more is worse! It's hard to get new to the world of fitness to understand that, but they will either listen or learn on their own.

One thing that drives the more is better or none is better is the fact that many people are not patient. They want instant results and they are not willing to put in the time to get long term results. Of course the fact that many will make progress on any type of diet or workout program when they first start doesn't help the cause, after all, how can you argue with success. Of course the success is short lived, but as a trainer, it's nearly impossible to get a client to change what is immediately working for a more long term approach. How do you deal with this?

Bob

It's that time of year again and colds, the flu, and other illnesses are starting to go around. The good news is, you don't have to sit back and wait to get sick. There are many things you can do to fight off or drastically reduce your chances of getting sick when those around you start getting sick. Whether it's the common cold, flu, strep, or any of the other myriad of other virus or bacterial illnesses, here are my top 10 immune system boosting supplements, herbs, etc.

The order is not important, it's not based on order of importance. I actually take all of these when an illness is going around.

1. Garlic - Whole fresh garlic is best, but you can also use a good garlic supplement. Look for supplements which use minimal processing. Garlic has both antibacterial and antiviral properties.

2. Elderberry - Elderberry extract is a great herbal remedy to fight of the flu and a great antioxidant. I have already written an entire article on Elderberry and the flu, you can find it in this section of my blog.

3. Probiotics - There are many, many benefits to taking a good probiotic supplement. It helps increase your bodies good bacteria levels, which compete with the bacteria that can cause illness. The book "The Probiotics Revolution" is a great book on the topic if you are interested in learning more.

4. Andrographis - Andrographis has been shown in studies to help reduce the symptoms and time of the common cold, and if taken before, might even prevent you from getting sick int he first place. Taken with Echinacea may enhance it's cold fighting abilities.

5. Echinacea - There are plenty of studies which have shown the benefits of Echinacea in fighting colds and other sicknesses.

6. Astralagus - Astragalus has been studied with mixed results, but I believe it's a good addition to helping you fight off illness.

7. Ginger Root - Ginger root is great at soothing a sour stomach. Ginger Ale is not a good source of ginger root, sorry.

8. Cinnamon - Cinnamon is a great cure for diarrhea. I have used this for my kids with excellent results.

9. Licorice - Natural licorice is a great way to cure a sore throat or to help with acid reflux.

Bonus:

10. Butter Bur - Excellent anti-allergy remedy. Give it a try and see for yourself.

Although not a remedy, you should reduce your intake of sugar as sugar has been shown to reduce your immunity for up to 4 hours after consumption.

Whenever people are getting sick around me, I will take the first 6 in the list above. I rarely get ill, and my teenage daughter who also uses the list above has not been ill in many years even while all her friends at school get ill. She is allergic to many of the antibiotics on the market, so we searched and researched alternatives in depth, so thus far has been able to refrain from the use of antibiotics since using Probiotics and Garlic. I hope this will help you and your family beat illness and sickness and help you get better faster if you are sick.

Bob

I love to read anything and everything related to health, fitness, strength training, etc, and with my new Kindle Fire, it’s easier than ever. From time to time I come across something that just screams out for a rebuttal, and this just happened to me this morning while reading "Advances in Functional Training" by Michael Boyle. In the first chapter, under the section regarding technique and decreasing injuries, he makes the following statement, “If you bench press, no bounce, no arch. Never compromise. As soon as you allow one athlete to cheat or not adhere to the program, others will follow”. Is bouncing and arching really cheating?

Michael goes on to state “They cheat to lift more weight. Lifting more weight feeds their egos. Once you allow it to happen, cheating is very difficult to stop”. The first problem I have with this statement is the fact that Michael Boyle does not define cheating and makes a sweeping generalization regarding arching, bouncing, and cheating. But the fact is, it really depends on what’s the goal of the athlete. For example, if your goal is to compete in Powerlifting, arching is not cheating in any shape or form. It conforms to the rules of the game and is actually used in order to decrease incident of injury and increase the amount of weight lifted, which is interesting because this was written under the subject of decreasing the incidence of injury.

Let’s first cover the reason why many Powerlifters and athletes may arch while bench pressing. First, it shortens the stroke, which means you can lift more weight. More importantly though, it decreases the stress placed on the shoulder joint, which is a very weak joint compared to the elbow joint. Arching the back reduces the range of motion placed on the shoulder, avoiding the most dangerous portion of a “traditional” bench press when the elbows are far out to the sides and the joint is put under tremendous stress. One would think that Michael Boyle would recommend a good arch if his goal is to decrease the incidence of injurty, but he somehow tries to suggest its cheating and may lead to more injuries. Arching your back while bench pressing is just good technique and allows the athlete to train safer, and with more weight. That is a win/win in my book! But what about bouncing?

In regards to bouncing, this also depends on the training goals. Again, we lack the definition of what determines bouncing, but a slight bounce may be needed when you are training the stretch reflex or incorporating pliometrics into your training routine. I would agree that bouncing the weight off your chest for no other reason than to lift more weight is probably a bad idea, but performing a very quick muscle reversal during your training can be beneficial when applied appropriately. Pliometrics is based on very rapid changes in direction when exercising and is used by many athletes to improve their skills. What about pausing at the bottom before lifting the bar?

Michael Boyle goes on to mention how he has his athletes pause at the bottom of a lift, and how it will somehow humble the athlete. This sounds plausible, but once again I believe the logic is faulty, and may even increase the incidence of injury rather than decrease it. First, pausing at the bottom of a lift eliminates the stretch reflex, therefore losing any kinetic energy in the tendons and ligaments. In addition, pausing at the bottom of an arch-less bench press puts tremendous stress on the shoulder joint while at its weakest position during the bench press. It also allows the muscle time to relax before you start the lift! If injury prevention is the goal, I would think you would want to spend as little time in the weakest position as possible, unless you were intentionally attempting to strengthen the joint at that angle. But what about the humbling affect?

I have to disagree again with this assertion of a humbling affect and would label it as building a psychological barrier. A psychological barrier can be very hard for an athlete to overcome, and why anyone would want to voluntarily build one is beyond me. This would be similar to having an athlete facing their greatest opponent and having to face them with an intentional handicap. Anyone who has been in a situation where you lose to an opponent and had to face them again knows how hard it can be to overcome such a defeat. The same happens when you are lifting weights. This is why I specifically avoid pushing any athlete on a day where they may not feel 110%.

I have just started reading this book, but what was written in that section hit me so hard that I felt the need to post a rebuttal. Michael Boyle mentions West Side Barbell in the book, but I wonder if Louie Simmons or Dave Tate has responded in any way. Regardless, I hope this might present another way of looking at this subject.

Bob

Have you ever seen someone accidentally step on a treadmill that was left on at full speed? How about an elderly person? Have you ever seen someone get crushed by a barbell full of weights while trying to bench press? Ever seen someone miss a squat and get crushed by the weights? How about someone getting trapped or their body parts getting crushed by an exercise machine? Many people talk about the how and why of strength training, but rarely do people mention the fact that many gym accidents are completely preventable with common sense.

About eight years ago I was working as a personal trainer at the YMCA in San Francisco, CA. During my shift on the floor, I noticed this one individual would leap off their treadmill while it was running a full speed to go to the water fountain. I told the floor manager about this and she told me “don’t worry about it; they do it all the time”. Not wanting to cause any drama since I was the “new guy”, I shrugged it off. As if it were some kind of premonition, a woman about 70 years young, listening to a Walkman (what we call ipods today) approached the machine a few hours later (I wouldn’t believe it myself if I weren’t there). Without any idea it was running at full speed she stepped on the machine and I am sure you can pretty much guess what happened next. This poor woman stepped on the platform, flipped head over heels and smacked her head against the machine and the machine then threw her off onto.

Needless to say, she was pretty banged up, her head cut open and pouring out blood. I ran over to help her immediately and was relieved when I see she was still alive. Not many 70 year old people can take such a blunt force to the head. We immediately rushed to the office with the manager who said it was fine and I explained what had happened and mentioned the fact that it could have been prevented if they had understood safety standards and enforced them. We patched up the lady and filled out an injury report. I gave the lady my contact information in case she needed me in the event of a lawsuit. This woman survived, but it could have been a lot worse, and gyms who demonstrate such negligence set themselves up for a major law suit.

Now if I had a penny for every time I see someone leave a treadmill running full speed while they jump off to do something, I would be a very rich person, and you would be amazed at how many gym owners do nothing about it. It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen, not to mention the fact that people can be hurt by such negligence! But there is more from the safety files.

Years ago I was at a WABDL powerlifting meet and the athletes were currently competing in the bench press. One of our team members was up on the platform and started to perform their bench, and as they approached lock out, the lifter ran out of steam and the bar fell. The bar nearly crushed the lifters skull, and the spotters saved his skull by only a fraction of an inch. Thankfully this lifter had professional spotters who saved this guy face, but what if this happened at your local gym. Do you think your local gym spotter would have pulled off such a save?

Of course not, I was at the gym when these two guys were trying to max out on the bench press. Like many spotters, this guy was completely not paying attention when his friend un-racked the barbell and started to lower it. The weight was far too much for this guy to lift, but his friend didn’t seem to notice because he was too busy staring around at everyone else when this guy dropped the weight onto his throat! Lucky for him a few trainers were paying attention and we ran over and removed the weight from his throat. He wasn’t seriously injured, but if he were alone, he could have been killed. But at least he would have only killed himself!

During another safety demonstration, I was at a Golds Gym with a few friends while we were lifting. The next thing we hear is weights crashing. We look over and some guy who loaded up the curl bar decided he would just forget the collars and I am sure you can guess what happened next. I am not sure if he had too much weight on one side or if the weight just shifted, but he lost the weights, one side the weight slipped off throwing the other weights all over the place. It could have easily slammed anyone standing close by, but luckily the guy was standing there by himself!

I hope you this drives home the point the fact that safety is very important when you are at the gym. If you think these are very rare and isolated occurrences, let me assure you that they happen far more than you realize. The good news is, most of the time you can prevent these accidents and stay safe by following a few guidelines listed below.

Tips for staying safe:

Always make sure any motorized exercise machine you approach is turned off. Do not listen to your ipod or other device until you verify this.

Always shut off any motorized exercise equipment when you are not immediately using it.

Always make sure you use a spotter during any exercise that can trap you under the bar or machine, and always pay attention when you are a spotter. I always keep my hands under the bar when spotting. Always tell your spotter what you want him/her to do and be specific. Do you want them to help you get the bar off the bench? Do you want them to help you get through your sticking point?

Use those collars when you perform exercises that need them. Example, any type of exercise where the weights may shift, such as squats, curls, etc. Those collars are there for a reason!

Never use a machine without first learning how to use it. Machines have many moving parts and it’s not common to get your fingers crushed in the machine. Make sure you put your hands on the handles!

Always un-rack your weights when you are done and make sure you put them back on the weight holders.

Keep your work out area clean and free of messes. Don’t leave your bags, clothes, etc. lying around where others may fall over them and get injured.

Never load of the bar with more weight than you can lift if you are just getting started. Slowly increase weight as you go.

Familiarize yourself with any machines you attempt to use before loading them weight weights.

Many of these items should be basic gym safety standards, but unfortunately most gym owners don’t seem to care about safety, so you have to take some proactive measures. If you have more safety suggestions, feel free to add your own to the comments.

Bob

I want to organize and post all the studies I can find on diet composition and their results in one easy to find place. Here is where I will post them. I will update this entry periodically.

Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A TO Z Weight Loss Study: a randomized trial.

Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, Kim S, Stafford RS, Balise RR, Kraemer HC, King AC.

Source

Stanford Prevention Research Center and the Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical School, Stanford, Calif, USA. cgardner@stanford.edu

Erratum in

  • JAMA. 2007 Jul 11;298(2):178.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Popular diets, particularly those low in carbohydrates, have challenged current recommendations advising a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet for weight loss. Potential benefits and risks have not been tested adequately.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare 4 weight-loss diets representing a spectrum of low to high carbohydrate intake for effects on weight loss and related metabolic variables.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

Twelve-month randomized trial conducted in the United States from February 2003 to October 2005 among 311 free-living, overweight/obese (body mass index, 27-40) nondiabetic, premenopausal women.

INTERVENTION:

Participants were randomly assigned to follow the Atkins (n = 77), Zone (n = 79), LEARN (n = 79), or Ornish (n = 76) diets and received weekly instruction for 2 months, then an additional 10-month follow-up.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Weight loss at 12 months was the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included lipid profile (low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride levels), percentage of body fat, waist-hip ratio, fasting insulin and glucose levels, and blood pressure. Outcomes were assessed at months 0, 2, 6, and 12. The Tukey studentized range test was used to adjust for multiple testing.

RESULTS:

Weight loss was greater for women in the Atkins diet group compared with the other diet groups at 12 months, and mean 12-month weight loss was significantly different between the Atkins and Zone diets (P<.05). Mean 12-month weight loss was as follows: Atkins, -4.7 kg (95% confidence interval [CI], -6.3 to -3.1 kg), Zone, -1.6 kg (95% CI, -2.8 to -0.4 kg), LEARN, -2.6 kg (-3.8 to -1.3 kg), and Ornish, -2.2 kg (-3.6 to -0.8 kg). Weight loss was not statistically different among the Zone, LEARN, and Ornish groups. At 12 months, secondary outcomes for the Atkins group were comparable with or more favorable than the other diet groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this study, premenopausal overweight and obese women assigned to follow the Atkins diet, which had the lowest carbohydrate intake, lost more weight at 12 months than women assigned to follow the Zone diet, and had experienced comparable or more favorable metabolic effects than those assigned to the Zone, Ornish, or LEARN diets [corrected] While questions remain about long-term effects and mechanisms, a low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diet may be considered a feasible alternative recommendation for weight loss.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00079573.

Comparison of high-fat and high-protein diets with a high-carbohydrate diet in insulin-resistant obese women.

McAuley KA, Hopkins CM, Smith KJ, McLay RT, Williams SM, Taylor RW, Mann JI.

Source

Edgar National Centre for Diabetes Research, Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand. kirsten.mcauley@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

Erratum in

  • Diabetologia. 2005 May;48(5):1033.

Abstract

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:

A diet low in saturated fatty acids and rich in wholegrains, vegetables and fruit is recommended in order to reduce the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. However there is widespread interest in high-fat ("Atkins Diet") and high-protein ("Zone Diet") alternatives to the conventional high-carbohydrate, high-fibre approach. We report on a randomised trial that compared these two alternative approaches with a conventional diet in overweight insulin-resistant women.

METHODS:

Ninety-six normoglycaemic, insulin-resistant women (BMI >27 kg/m(2)) were randomised to one of three dietary interventions: a high-carbohydrate, high-fibre (HC) diet, the high-fat (HF) Atkins Diet, or the high-protein (HP) Zone Diet. The experimental approach was designed to mimic what might be achieved in clinical practice: the recommendations involved advice concerning food choices and were not prescriptive in terms of total energy. There were supervised weight loss and weight maintenance phases (8 weeks each), but there was no contact between the research team and the participants during the final 8 weeks of the study. Outcome was assessed in terms of body composition and indicators of cardiovascular and diabetes risk.

RESULTS:

Body weight, waist circumference, triglycerides and insulin levels decreased with all three diets but, apart from insulin, the reductions were significantly greater in the HF and HP groups than in the HC group. These observations suggest that the popular diets reduced insulin resistance to a greater extent than the standard dietary advice did. When compared with the HC diet, the HF and HP diets were shown to produce significantly (p<0.01) greater reductions in several parameters, including weight loss (HF -2.8 kg, HP -2.7 kg), waist circumference (HF -3.5 cm, HP -2.7 cm) and triglycerides (HF -0.30 mmol/l, HP [corrected] -0.22 mmol/l). LDL cholesterol decreased in individuals on the HC and HP diets, but tended to fluctuate in those on the HF diet to the extent that overall levels were significantly lower in the HP group than in the HF group (-0.28 mmol/l, 95% CI 0.04-0.52, p=0.02). Of those on the HF diet, 25% showed a >10% increase in LDL cholesterol, whereas this occurred in only 13% of subjects on the HC diet and 3% of those on the HP diet.

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION:

In routine practice a reduced-carbohydrate, higher protein diet may be the most appropriate overall approach to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. To achieve similar benefits on a HC diet, it may be necessary to increase fibre-rich wholegrains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, and to reduce saturated fatty acids to a greater extent than appears to be achieved by implementing current guidelines. The HF approach appears successful for weight loss in the short term, but lipid levels should be monitored. The potential deleterious effects of the diet in the long term remain a concern.

The effect of a low-fat, high-protein or high-carbohydrate ad libitum diet on weight loss maintenance and metabolic risk factors.

Claessens M, van Baak MA, Monsheimer S, Saris WH.

Source

Department of Human Biology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

High-protein (HP) diets are often advocated for weight reduction and weight loss maintenance.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim was to compare the effect of low-fat, high-carbohydrate (HC) and low-fat, HP ad libitum diets on weight maintenance after weight loss induced by a very low-calorie diet, and on metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy obese subjects.

DESIGN:

Forty-eight subjects completed the study that consisted of an energy restriction period of 5-6 weeks followed by a weight maintenance period of 12 weeks. During weight maintenance subjects received maltodextrin (HC group) or protein (HP group) (casein (HPC subgroup) or whey (HPW subgroup)) supplements (2 x 25 g per day), respectively and consumed a low-fat diet.

RESULTS:

Subjects in the HP diet group showed significantly better weight maintenance after weight loss (2.3 kg difference, P=0.04) and fat mass reduction (2.2 kg difference, P=0.02) than subjects in the HC group. Triglyceride (0.6 mM difference, P=0.01) and glucagon (9.6 pg ml(-1) difference, P=0.02) concentrations increased more in the HC diet group, while glucose (0.3 mM difference, P=0.02) concentration increased more in the HP diet group. Changes in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, insulin, HOMAir index, HbA1c, leptin and adiponectin concentrations did not differ between the diets. No differences were found between the casein- or whey-supplemented HP groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results show that low-fat, high-casein or whey protein weight maintenance diets are more effective for weight control than low-fat, HC diets and do not adversely affect metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors in weight-reduced moderately obese subjects without metabolic or cardiovascular complications.

Effect of an energy-restricted, high-protein, low-fat diet relative to a conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet on weight loss, body composition, nutritional status, and markers of cardiovascular health in obese women.

Noakes M, Keogh JB, Foster PR, Clifton PM.

Source

CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition, Adelaide, Australia. manny.noakes@csiro.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Limited evidence suggests that a higher ratio of protein to carbohydrate during weight loss has metabolic advantages.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective was to evaluate the effects of a diet with a high ratio of protein to carbohydrate during weight loss on body composition, cardiovascular disease risk, nutritional status, and markers of bone turnover and renal function in overweight women.

DESIGN:

The subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 isocaloric 5600-kJ dietary interventions for 12 wk according to a parallel design: a high-protein (HP) or a high-carbohydrate (HC) diet.

RESULTS:

One hundred women with a mean (+/-SD) body mass index (in kg/m(2)) of 32 +/- 6 and age of 49 +/- 9 y completed the study. Weight loss was 7.3 +/- 0.3 kg with both diets. Subjects with high serum triacylglycerol (>1.5 mmol/L) lost more fat mass with the HP than with the HC diet (x +/- SEM: 6.4 +/- 0.7 and 3.4 +/- 0.7 kg, respectively; P = 0.035) and had a greater decrease in triacylglycerol concentrations with the HP (-0.59 +/- 0.19 mmol/L) than with the HC (-0.03 +/- 0.04 mmol/L) diet (P = 0.023 for diet x triacylglycerol interaction). Triacylglycerol concentrations decreased more with the HP (0.30 +/- 0.10 mmol/L) than with the HC (0.10 +/- 0.06 mmol/L) diet (P = 0.007). Fasting LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, glucose, insulin, free fatty acid, and C-reactive protein concentrations decreased with weight loss. Serum vitamin B-12 increased 9% with the HP diet and decreased 13% with the HC diet (P < 0.0001 between diets). Folate and vitamin B-6 increased with both diets; homocysteine did not change significantly. Bone turnover markers increased 8-12% and calcium excretion decreased by 0.8 mmol/d (P < 0.01). Creatinine clearance decreased from 82 +/- 3.3 to 75 +/- 3.0 mL/min (P = 0.002).

CONCLUSION:

An energy-restricted, high-protein, low-fat diet provides nutritional and metabolic benefits that are equal to and sometimes greater than those observed with a high-carbohydrate diet.

High protein diets decrease total and abdominal fat and improve CVD risk profile in overweight and obese men and women with elevated triacylglycerol.

Clifton PM, Bastiaans K, Keogh JB.

Source

CSIRO Human Nutrition, Adelaide, Australia. peter.clifton@csiro.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

It is unclear whether high protein weight loss diets have beneficial effects on weight loss, abdominal fat mass, lipids, glucose and insulin compared to conventional low fat diets in subjects at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) because of elevated glucose and triglyceride concentrations. Our objective was to determine the effects of high protein (HP) compared to standard protein (SP) diets on CVD risk in obese adults.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Data from three, 12 week, randomized parallel trials with subjects assigned to either HP or SP diet (5500-6500 kJ/day) were pooled. Weight, body composition (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry), lipids, insulin and glucose were measured before and after weight loss. Data from 215 subjects (49.9+/-9.8 years, BMI 33.5+/-3.7 kg/m(2)), 108 HP, 107 SP were analyzed. Weight loss (HP diet 7.82+/-0.37 kg; SP diet 7.65+/-0.39 kg, NS) and total fat loss were not different (HP 6.8+/-4.3 kg; LP 6.4+/-4.7 kg, NS on intention to treat analysis). The reduction in triacylglycerol (TAG) was greater on HP than SP 0.48+/-0.07 mmol/L vs 0.27+/-0.06 mmol/L, (P<0.001). Subjects with TAG greater than the median (>1.54 mmol/L at baseline) lost more weight (HP 8.5+/-0.6; SP 6.9+/-0.6 kg, P=0.01, diet by TG group), total (HP 6.17+/-0.50 kg; SP 4.52+/-0.52 kg, P=0.007) and abdominal fat (HP 1.92+/-0.17 kg; SP 1.23+/-0.19 kg, P=0.005) on HP. Total cholesterol (12 vs 6%, HP vs SP) and TAG (39 vs 20%, HP vs SP) decreased to a greater extent in these subjects (both P</=0.05) on HP.

CONCLUSION:

Short-term high protein weight loss diets had beneficial effects on total cholesterol and triacylglycerol in overweight and obese subjects and achieved greater weight loss and better lipid results in subjects at increased risk of CVD. These observations provide further information regarding the utility of this dietary approach in effectively managing body weight and composition and reducing CVD risk in overweight and obese individuals.

Long-term effects of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet on weight control and cardiovascular risk markers in obese hyperinsulinemic subjects.

Brinkworth GD, Noakes M, Keogh JB, Luscombe ND, Wittert GA, Clifton PM.

Source

CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Erratum in

  • Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Sep;28(9):1187.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the long-term compliance and effects of two low-fat diets differing in carbohydrate to protein ratio on body composition and biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk in obese subjects with hyperinsulinemia.

DESIGN:

Outpatient, parallel, clinical intervention study of two groups of subjects randomly assigned to either a standard protein (SP; 15% protein, 55% carbohydrate) or high-protein (HP; 30% protein, 40% carbohydrate) diet, during 12 weeks of energy restriction (approximately 6.5 MJ/day) and 4 weeks of energy balance (approximately 8.3 MJ/day). Subsequently, subjects were asked to maintain the same dietary pattern for the succeeding 52 weeks with minimal professional support.

SUBJECTS:

A total of 58 obese, nondietetic subjects with hyperinsulinemia (13 males/45 females, mean age 50.2 y, mean body mass index (BMI) 34.0 kg/m2, mean fasting insulin 17.8 mU/l) participated in the study.

MEASUREMENTS:

: Body composition, blood pressure, blood lipids, fasting glucose, insulin, CRP and sICAM-1 were measured at baseline and at weeks 16 and 68. Urinary urea/creatinine ratio was measured at baseline, week 16 and at 3 monthly intervals thereafter.

RESULTS:

In total, 43 subjects completed the study with similar dropouts in each group (P=0.76). At week 68, there was net weight loss (SP -2.9+/-3.6%, HP -4.1+/-5.8%; P<0.44) due entirely to fat loss (P<0.001) with no diet effect [corrected]. Both diets significantly increased HDL cholesterol concentrations (P<0.001) and decreased fasting insulin, insulin resistance, sICAM-1 and CRP levels (P<0.05). Protein intake was significantly greater in HP during the initial 16 weeks (P<0.001), but decreased in HP and increased in SP during 52-week follow-up, with no difference between groups at week 68, indicating poor long-term dietary adherence behaviour to both dietary patterns.

CONCLUSION:

Without active ongoing dietary advice, adherence to dietary intervention is poor. Nonetheless, both dietary patterns achieved net weight loss and improvements in cardiovascular risk factors.

Bob

Today I wanted to present some natural and free ways you can increase the release of human growth hormone. Human growth hormone or HGH is a power hormone which increases lean muscle mass and decreases fat levels. Bodybuilders have used this powerful growth hormone to help them add even more muscle mass and decrease body fat. The good news is, there are many natural ways in which you can increase the release of Human Growth Hormone. The factors that stimulate the release of human growth hormone are:

  1. Decreased blood glucose levels
  2. High protein and carbo restricted diet.
  3. Decreasing free fatty acids
  4. Exercise
  5. Stage IV sleep (Carbohydrates will )
  6. Increased blood protein levels

So what can you do to enhance the release of Human Growth Hormone? Alright, I will start with the easy ones first. How about sleep? Sure, I bet you are already sleeping, but are you sleeping enough? If you are, are you making sure you do not ingest any carbohydrates (sugar, pasta, fruit, etc) before going to bed? You should make sure you do not eat any carbohydrates for at least 1 hour before hitting the sack.

Next, when you train, make sure you are training with a high intensity strength training program (lifting weights). Strength training has been shown to naturally increase your human growth hormone, and you have to make sure it's high intensity or you will not get the HGH benefits. So high intensity training is a must!

You can even increase your levels of HGH by also including compound exercises like deadlifts, squats, etc. But there is even more you can do to increase the release of HGH from exercise, and that is to exercise on an empty stomach, and not eat for up to an hour after your training is over! When you do eat after training, be sure it's a high protein, low carb meal.

In addition to the methods above, you can also change your eating to a higher protein, lower carb eating plan.

I hope you have found some of these methods useful, and feel free to post any comments, questions, etc before.

Bob

I have been an advocate of High Intensity Interval Training for many years, but I stumbled upon a study performed a few years ago which demonstrates the benefits of HIIT training for those who are untrained, but active individuals. The following study demonstrates what many have known for a very long time, that HIIT works excellent for reducing fat!

High-intensity aerobic interval training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic capacities in human skeletal muscle.

Perry CG, Heigenhauser GJ, Bonen A, Spriet LL.

Source

Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada. perryc@uoguelph.ca

Abstract

High-intensity aerobic interval training (HIIT) is a compromise between time-consuming moderate-intensity training and sprint-interval training requiring all-out efforts. However, there are few data regarding the ability of HIIT to increase the capacities of fat and carbohydrate oxidation in skeletal muscle. Using untrained recreationally active individuals, we investigated skeletal muscle and whole-body metabolic adaptations that occurred following 6 weeks of HIIT (~1 h of 10 x 4 min intervals at ~90% of peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak), separated by 2 min rest, 3 d.week-1). A VO2 peak test, a test to exhaustion (TE) at 90% of pre-training VO2 peak, and a 1 h cycle at 60% of pre-training VO2 peak were performed pre- and post-HIIT. Muscle biopsies were sampled during the TE at rest, after 5 min, and at exhaustion. Training power output increased by 21%, and VO2 peak increased by 9% following HIIT. Muscle adaptations at rest included the following: (i) increased cytochrome c oxidase IV content (18%) and maximal activities of the mitochondrial enzymes citrate synthase (26%), beta-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (29%), aspartate-amino transferase (26%), and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH; 21%); (ii) increased FAT/CD36, FABPpm, GLUT 4, and MCT 1 and 4 transport proteins (14%-30%); and (iii) increased glycogen content (59%). Major adaptations during exercise included the following: (i) reduced glycogenolysis, lactate accumulation, and substrate phosphorylation (0-5 min of TE); (ii) unchanged PDH activation (carbohydrate oxidation; 0-5 min of TE); (iii) ~2-fold greater time during the TE; and (iv) increased fat oxidation at 60% of pre-training VO2 peak. This study demonstrated that 18 h of repeated high-intensity exercise sessions over 6 weeks (3 d.week-1) is a powerful method to increase whole-body and skeletal muscle capacities to oxidize fat and carbohydrate in previously untrained individuals.

Bob

The other day when I was at the gym, I overheard a "trainer" telling another gym patron that he never sees him perform cardio, and he has to do cardio in order to "burn fat". He even went on to say that it's the ONLY way to burn fat! This coming from a personal trainer who seems to have a ton of clients! Where do they learn these myths, and just how easy is it to get a certification today? Anyway, lets talk about cardio, weight loss, and the best method for expending fat.

As a personal trainer myself, although I am not currently working as one, I didn't want to get into a debate with the trainer while he was with his client, nor do I see it as my duty to correct such myths in public, so I figured I would address this myth here for anyone else who may have been told this.

First of all, you CAN lose fat without performing "cardio" (low intensity aerobic training), and not only CAN YOU, but YOU SHOULD! Should? You are probably thinking that I really didn't mean that, but it's true, if you are looking to lose fat and retain your lean muscle mass, you want to avoid the catabolic affects cardio training has on your lean muscle mass and focus on high intensity training in order to catabolize fat for energy while preserving your muscle mass! Muscle mass is metabolically active and you don't want to lose your precious muscle mass by using cardio!

Lets quickly look at some facts regarding fat loss. Did you know that your body is always "burning" fat, even at rest? In fact, you can fat can make up as much as 90% of all energy utilized during rest. Of course it's not going to be a whole lot of energy utilization during rest. In addition, did you know your body continues to expend an elevated amount of energy for up to 24 hours after a high intensity exercise bout? Don't believe me? Care to explain the fact that elite sprinters, lower weight division weight lifters, power lifters, etc, have some of the leanest muscle frames around and perform little to no cardio at all.

Alright, so now you know that you DO NOT have to perform "cardio" in order to "burn" fat. Hopefully someone will read this and know the truth about fat loss, weight loss, and the cardio myth.

Bob

In case you missed it, Denmark has recently introduced a "Fat Tax" on foods which contain more then 2.3% saturated fat in a misguided attempt to curb rising obesity rates in their country. As most low carbohydrate fanatics know, saturated fat is not the cause of obesity. In addition, before a country decides to implement such a tax, perhaps they aught to have the research to back up such a policy. What do you think, should a government be allowed to tax citizens when the jury is still out on whether it's the fats or carbohydrates which makes one obese?

You can read more about the fat tax in Denmark here.

Bob

Written by Mirko, translated by Bob

The prevailing idea is if you invest as much effort into achieving a goal, you will achieve better bodybuilding results. For example, if you want to become good at football, you must practice football as much as possible, as practice makes perfect. If you want to play guitar, the more you practice, the better you will get. When it comes to bodybuilding and building lean muscle mass, things are a little different.

Regarding the acquisition of lean muscle mass, more is better is not always true. You will not gain muscle by spending every day for several hours in the gym. It's a big misconception, and many newbies are usually caught in the more is better trap. The fact is, training to much can have the opposite effect and actually lead to muscle catabolism, or the break down of muscle tissue.

Muscles should be given time to recover. The goal of exercising in the gym is to overload your muscles and force them to grow. As muscles adapt to the training stimulus, they will increase in muscle mass. However, this will happen only if you provide your muscles enough rest for recovery and growth.

When you workout in the gym you force the body to increase muscle mass, and the best training is short and intensive training. Many beginners think they need to work out for two hours and do a lot more sets than they actually need. Therefore they are usually disappointed when they see that they have little to no progress and end up quitting. Unaware they make the mistake of working out more than an hour and working more than 4-5 sets with each exercise.

If you want to gain muscle mass, here are some tips.

Do not train more than 4 times a week because you can not, without anabolic steroids, work out like a professional bodybuilder, even twice in one day may cause over-training.

Reduce the duration of your training to a maximum of one hour. Longer than one hour is unnecessary and may cause you to enter into a catabolic state which will prevent you from increasing your muscle mass and your efforts will be futile.

Do 9-12 sets for larger muscle groups (legs, back, chest), and 6-9 sets for smaller muscle groups (arms, shoulders, abs, calves).

When you perform a complex exercise such as a squat, bench press, deadlift, chins and dips, do fewer reps (about 6 reps), and for more complex exercises (biceps curls, triceps extensions, etc.) use a slightly higher number of repetitions (about 10 repetitions).

Work to failure during each set, ie when you are unable to perform even one more repetition. When you can achieve more than a certain number of repetitions with a certain weight, add more weight.

If you follow these tips, are diligent, and you invest a lot of effort into achieving your goals, ie the growth of muscle mass, your success is guaranteed. Of course, this assumes that you have the proper diet for weight (enough protein and calorie surplus) and to sleep at least 8 hours a day.

Bob

One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of strength training is the selection of a good workout partner. Many of us simply work out with our best friends or people who we call our friends, and I personally feel this can cause problems. Selecting a quality workout partner is not only a good idea, but it's actually mandatory if you wish to reach your full potential. You need to select a workout partner like you would select a good employee to run your business. Would you select your best friend to run your business if they had not business experience? Of course not! Of course you can workout with your best friend if you follow the advice in this article.

The power of suggestion is very powerful. Many times I have witnessed two guys or gals getting ready to lift a weight when right before get ready to lift, their training partner tells them they won't be able to do it. Of course the workout partner probably has the best intentions, but the fact is, they have just sabotaged almost any chance their partner will have to actually lift the weight. In other words, they just planted the seeds of failure!

Let's face it, we are all competitive with each other, and nobody is more competitive than two best friends. They usually do not want to be out lifted by their best friend, so they will usually attempt to say things before the other lifts in order to hinder performance. Some may do this without even realizing it, but it happens more often then you probably realize, and once they plant that seed of failure, your chance of being successful has just drastically diminished.

I have seen this time and time again! The training partner tells the other partner that they will fail, and they usually do! On the flip side, I have seen some good partners who actually help their partner succeed! So if you want to succeed and reach your full potential, you need to pick a training partner who also wants to see you succeed.

I am not saying that your best friend cannot be a good training partner, but if your friend is your training partner, make sure they don't plant seeds of failure into your mind. Make sure they plant seeds of success and let them know that you will do the same. If you are unable to find a good training partner, be sure to consider a personal trainer. Personal trainers usually want their clients to succeed because their business can only succeed if you do. Good luck and good lifting.

Bob

There are many times when I see newbs making costly mistakes in the gym. This is a list of things to avoid for anyone new to the world of health and fitness. Do it right the first time and avoid getting injured or over training.

1. No Pain No Gain: It seems many newbs think the sign of a good workouts is related to how sore you are the next day. The fact is, the pain they are feeling is actually muscle micro-trauma, or small tears to the muscle fibers. In fact, if you are sore after you train, you probably are a victim of too much too soon! You should attempt to avoid DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), and a good beginner workout is one in which you are not sore the next day.

2. Workout Like the Pros: It seems the first thing a newb does when they start training is purchase a bodybuilding magazine and start to follow the workout suggested by the so called pros! But those pros aren't telling you a few things. First of all, those pros have been lifting for many years. They started out slow and worked their way up to their current workout. In addition, those pros use a massive amount of steroids! In case you don't know, steroids allows pro bodybuilders to recover extremely fast and provides many other bodybuilding benefits! Never follow a workout found in a bodybuilding magazine!

3. Some is Good, More Must Be Better: It's great you want to get in the gym and work out for 6 hours a day and 7 days a week, but doing so isn't going to give you results any faster. In fact, you will probably end up over trained and injured. The fact is, you need to start out slow and build a solid foundation to build on.

4. 1,000 Situps Will Get Rid of This Gut!: Actually it won't, but it will build up the muscles under the layer of fat! :P Seriously, ease off the sit ups and focus on overall fat loss if you want to lose your belly fat. Spot reducing fat is not possible. Want to lose that belly fat, jump on the bike and perform some HIIT training.

5. Gotta Have A Strong Core: Having a strong core is great, but try performing a set of Bench Presses with one arm! Listen, you need a holistic approach, and your body is only as strong as it's weakest kinetic chain. Do not neglect other muscles at the expense of your so called "core". Work out your entire body and remember, a chain is only a strong as it's weakest link.

I will add to this list, or you can yourself by registering and posting comments. I hope this will help newbs avoid some costly mistakes when it comes to strength training.

Bob

Warming up is an important aspect to many types of sports, and when used correctly can help prepare athletes for the upcoming activity and increase an athletes flexibility (1). On the flip side, when the warm ups are performed incorrectly, they can decrease an athletes performance. It's important to make sure you are warming up your athletes correctly.

When I played football, our coaches would incorporate many warm-ups which would border on a full workout. I would often see my teammates gasping for air while looking warn out before the game even started. Our coaches seemed to think that a warm up was supposed to resemble a workout, but the only goal of a warm up should be to prepare the athlete for the upcoming activity.

Remember, warming up should NOT cause the athlete to become fatigued, it should be enough to get the blood flowing and prepare the athlete for top performance. Anything more is just wasting the athletes energy which would be better suited for use during whatever sport they use. If you are in charge of warming up your team, be sure to have them perform low intensity warm ups designed to get the blood flowing. In addition, warm up your athletes specifically depending on their sport and position in that sport.

  1. The acute effects of a warm-up including static or dynamic stretching on countermovement jump height, reaction time, and flexibility. Perrier ET, Pavol MJ, Hoffman MA.
Bob

We all know that recovery from exercise is just as important as the exercise itself, but how many of you participate in active recovery? Do you simply lay around on your "days off" from training in order to recover? Do you deliberately avoid any exercise or sports due to it being your "day off"? If so, you might want to take a look at active recovery.

There are two types of active recovery, between exercise active recovery and between workout active recovery. When most people think of recovery, they think of the passive recovery. There are many benefits of active recovery including the removal of metabolic waste from the muscles, faster recovery, and more calorie expenditure. One theory is that active recovery causes your blood to continue to flow at an elevated rate, which means more blood flow through the muscle and more removal of metabolic waste. The extra calorie expenditure is really just a byproduct of exercise and doesn't really need to be explained.

I do want to mention that the research does seem mixed in regards to active vs. passive recovery in terms of performance, but I have had excellent results with active recovery. Of course active recovery has to be performed correctly in order to prevent over training or decreased performance.

If you want to perform some active recovery between exercises, all you have to do is perform a very light and easy exercise between your sets while you are resting. The activity should not be so intense to affect your next set, so keep it light. The same goes for active recovery between workouts, be sure to keep the intensity low. That is pretty much all there is to it.

If you are looking to change up your routines, give active recovery a shot and see how it works for you. Don't be afraid to make changes based on results or lack thereof.

Good lifting.

References:

Active recovery effects on local oxygenation level during intensive cycling bouts.

Koizumi K, Fujita Y, Muramatsu S, Manabe M, Ito M, Nomura J.

Effect of combined active recovery from supramaximal exercise on blood lactate disappearance in trained and untrained man.

Gmada N, Bouhlel E, Mrizak I, Debabi H, Ben Jabrallah M, Tabka Z, Feki Y, Amri M.

Effects of active recovery under a decreasing work load following intense muscular exercise on intramuscular energy metabolism.

Sairyo K, Iwanaga K, Yoshida N, Mishiro T, Terai T, Sasa T, Ikata T.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The University of Tokushima, 3-18-15 Kuramoto, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan. sairyo@clin.med.tokushima-u.ac.jp

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