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January 26

Does Water Really Help You Lose Weight??

Posted by admin . Filed under Diet, Health Benefits, Lose Weight | 5 Comments

does-water-help-you-lose-weightDoes water help you lose weight?  To be short: yes, there is a relation between drinking water and weight loss.

How does it work?

Water Increases Your Metabolism

That’s right, water increases your metabolism.

What exactly is this “metabolism” you might wonder (in relation to weight loss)…

Your “fat” metabolism is the amount of calories your burn while being in rest.

This is also called the metabolic rate.  Obviously, the more calories you burn, the more weight you will lose.  It’s your liver’s job to burn fat and turn it into energy.  Drinking water helps your liver (and kidneys) do their job more efficiently and thus speeds up your metabolism.

Water Helps You Feel “Full”

2 ways water helps in this regard:

  • It lessens your feeling of hunger.  Every time you feel like getting a snack, try to drink a glass of water first.
  • It lessens your thirst and keeps you from drinking juices and soda (which make you fat)

How Much Water Should You Drink To Lose Weight?

8 to 12 glasses/day is safe, 8 is recommended.  I say safe because you can get an overdose of water and die as a result of it.  Don’t overdo it!!  The optimal amount of water intake depends on your level of physical activity and the climate you live in.  You’ll need to drink more if you’re a marathon runner in the Sahara dessert, less if you have a desk job on the North Pole…

The key is to make drinking enough water a part of your lifestyle.  Drinking water won’t help you lose weight if you only do it for 2 weeks, you need to keep drinking water the rest of your life, only then it will make a difference.

Note: coffee is not water!  Coffee is diuretic, it drives the water out of your body…

Some people don’t like the taste of water…  I’d say: grow up or add a slice of lemon :-)

A “Green” Note

Please don’t buy water in plastic bottles, they are a menace to our environment.  Buy a water filter, it’s easy and much cheaper!

January 20

How To Get Rid Of A Double Chin

Posted by admin . Filed under Diet, Exercise, Lose Weight | 9 Comments

If you want to skip reading and go straight to the action, here’s a good program:  Get Rid Of Your Double Chin

double-chinI’ve never really worried about getting fat, I’m a healthy eater and I do a lot of sports, but I’m not getting any younger and while watching the pictures of our latest holiday trip (to India, which was amazing btw) I noticed I’m developing a double chin. It’s not a floppy double chin yet, but let me tell you that I’m not very pleased with that observation, so time to do something about it…

How to get rid of a double chin? I’m not going to give those that are in the same boat as me false hope: although double chins can be reduced by loosing weight and doing facial exercises, complete removal of your double chin requires surgery. Although this cosmetic surgery procedure is moderately priced and not very painful, I don’t think it’s the way to go, I’m not a fan of cosmetic surgery (maybe I’ll be talking different when I get older). Liposuction is not sexy. 

That being said, there are other ways to reduce your double chin.

Let’s first have a look at the reasons your double chin exists:

  • Genetic tendency.  There’s not much we can do about that unfortunately…
  • Fat and fluid build-up.  There’s something we can do about that…
  • Lack of exercise.  Idem.
  • Another thing that promotes double chins: excessive tanning: tanning is bad for the elasticity of your skin.

The first thing you should ask yourself: are there other places on your body with excess fat (the belly is the first thing that comes to mind).  If you have to answer yes to this question, the solution is relatively simple: you need to loose weight.  You will tighten your double chin if you loose fat, weight loss helps tremendously. 

You more or less know loosing fat  involves:

  • Healthy food
  • Regular meals
  • Go easy on alcohol, sugar and fats
  • Lots of exercise
  • Enough sleep (7-8 hours a night)
  • If you need more help in this area, I can recommend Fat Loss 4 Idiots

Besides that, there are a couple of hacks you can try:

  • Don’t have long hair that finished at the level of your chin, it will draw attention to it.  Have a look at some hairstyles that don’t emphasize your chin (short hair mostly).
  • Don’t wear tight dog collars, it also draws attention to your chin area.  The same goes for earrings and necklaces.
  • Wear an open neckline.  Ladies have the advantage that they have something not far below the double chin they can emphasize to distract the attention.
  • The ladies can also use makeup to cover up the double chin.  Ask a makeup artist for tips.

That being said, these are all just cover ups and not solutions, the diet and exercise will be a lot more help, also for other areas of your body.

Besides getting the usual aerobic exercise (running, biking etc.) and anaerobic exercise (weight lifting), there are also some double chin exercises you can do.  They don’t do wonders, but they sure help.

  • Keep your jaws busy: chew some sugar-free chewing gum will keep your jaw muscles working.
  • Exercise the platysma muscle (the muscle that’s responsible for the downward movement of your jaw): pull your bottom lip over your bottom teeth and move your jaw up and down.
  • Another double chin exercise: slap your chin with the back of your hand in a steady rhythm for a couple of minutes.
  • Press your palm on your forehead while resisiting with your head for 10 counts.  Repeat with your hand on the back of your head and on the sides.
  • This is also a good exercise for a double chin: lie down on your back and tilt your head of the floor.  Move your head up and down as if you were saying YES, without touching the floor.  Repeat this a couple of times.  Then move your head to the sides as if you were saying NO, also without touching the ground.
  • Hold your head in a natural position.  Open your mouth as far as you can and stick out your tongue as far as you can.  Repeat.
  • Stretch your jaw muscles by tilting back your head (gently) while keeping your mouth shut. Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth.
  • Tilt back your head and turn it to the left.  Then move your lower jaw forward.  Repeat on the right side

The last two double chin exercises are explained in this video (the women are slightly annoying, but it’s a good explanation):

 

Besides weight loss, surgery and exercises there are of course a lot of commercial products that claim to eliminate your double chin.  Most of them come in the form of gel or cream.  Velform chin wrap is an example of such a product.  I never tried any of those and I’m not planning to either, I don’t believe in short-term remedies.

December 13

Setting SMART Goals…Stupid!

Posted by admin . Filed under Motivation | 6 Comments

Many of the reasons we fail to achieve our health goals can be traced back to the very goal itself. There is a fairly common practice of goal setting to enhance your chances of success and this can be done by following the SMART acronym.

Smart Goal SettingS – Specific

Make sure your goal is specific. No more "getting in shape for summer" it should read "want to lose 20 pounds by May 1 and reduce my bodyfat to 15%".

M – Measurable

Using the example above how do you measure "getting in shape". You need to define criteria that can be measured and compared otherwise hopw will you know if you achieve the goal?

A – Achievable

Common sense really. Dont make the goal so unachievable that it depresses you. Make it difficult to attain but possible.

R – Realistic

Similar to achievable but this aspect takes in other areas of your life. Sure you can lose 20 pounds in a month but if you are unable to visit the gym more than twice a month because of other commitments then you are not being realistic.

T – Time

When do you plan to achieve this goal? If you do not have a time frame then essentially you never fail to reach a goal you just havent reached it yet. Make sure you put in a date of whn you want to achieve your goal.

If you follow this principle you are on the right foot to achieving your goal. Now all you need to do is put in the hard work.

November 27

Diet for a Better Body

Posted by admin . Filed under Diet, Health Benefits, Lose Weight | 14 Comments

There are a lot of different diets on the market today. There are so many – in fact – that it’s very smart to read up on diet reviews before you start any weight loss plan or diet. This way, you do not pick the wrong diet to suit your lifestyle and way of living. What’s nearly worse than being overweight and unhealthy is trying hard at dieting and failing miserably.

Luckily, there are several diets out there that offer a lot of great information on dieting and health tips for weight loss. It’s best to choose a diet that is natural since it’s best to only put natural ingredients into your system so that you do not fall a victim to side effects or further health complications that artificial ingredients and preservatives may cause you.

Having a perfect body or achieving a perfect body is not always an easy thing to do. If you want a good body, you’ll have to work hard at it. You will need to be working hard at changing your eating habits and living routine so that you can transform your body into what you love. If you already have a great body – maintaining it may also be of a challenge that requires a whole lot of work. But with proper dieting and exercise, you’ll be able to change your life, sculpt your body – and achieve weight loss success much easier than ever.

November 23

Why Procrastination is the Source of Inevitable Failure!

Posted by admin . Filed under Avoid, Motivation, Personal Development | 2 Comments

I am sure we have all said this at some point about our fitness goals or even our life goals, something along the lines of "I will go on my diet next week" or "I will start exercising after I sort out my work issues". The question I pose to you is: why wait?Procrastination

I unfortunately made the same mistakes with my goals when one day I said I was going to write up a new diet next week. My partner said why not do it now and I had absolutely no reply. Then as I thought about it, it begin to make more and more sense.

Everybody has a dose of procrastination in various sorts of degrees, but there are some people that have it in such a large dose that it actually becomes a serious problem and an obstacle for success.

"Procrastination has nothing to do with laziness"

The causes of procrastination:

  • Anxiety (solution: deal with the issues that cause anxiety, seek professional help if you can’t find these issues yourself)
  • Low sense of self-worth (solution: deal with the underlying motives of your low self-worth, try going into therapy)
  • Some tasks are so small that your worry-radar fails to see them (solution: get organized, write down tasks, use a system like David Allen’s Getting Things Done)
  • Some tasks are so big that they cause anxiety (solution: break up the big task in smaller tasks.  Again, have a look at David Allen’s "Getting Things Done").  Make sure you set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Procrastination can also be a result of a lack of self control (solution: pick up the habit of meditation to improve your self control).
  • Perfectionism: if you are a perfectionist, you might postpone a task because you make it bigger and more time-consuming than it actually is (solution: don’t be a perfectionist, learn to make a distinction between important tasks that need perfection and less important tasks)
  • In some cases, an illness like depression or ADHD can be the cause of procrastination (solution: if you suspect this is the case, seek professional help)

I often made the mistake of waiting until other issues in my life were sorted out until I realized life will always have its issues and there is no perfect time to get started. What’s important is how you work around these issues and getting started right away is a good first step.

Overcoming procrastination is an important step on your way to success, here’s a summary of the solutions again:

  • Deal with anxiety, low self-worth or other psychological issues you might have.  Speed up the process by using tools like NLP and other forms of counseling.
  • Systemize your goal setting
  • Read David Allen’s book Getting Things Done
  • Break up larger tasks into smaller ones.
  • Meditate to improve your self control.
  • Don’t be a perfectionist.

November 19

Why Weight Loss Pills, Supplements and Diets Won’t Help You

Posted by admin . Filed under Avoid, Diet, Lose Weight | 14 Comments

Weight Loss Pills I have touched on this subject before but I have seen it appear in recent times and I really want my readers to understand that products like weight loss pills won’t work for you and I will tell you why.

It makes me really upset when I see personal trainers, health experts and the like promoting some exercise machine or speciality diet to get people to lose weight. To me they are traitors to there profession and should have a good long look at themselves.

These products are not purely marketing hype and  many of them will actually assist you to lose weight. But the issue remains that these products are targeted at the wrong people and appeal to the wrong wants of the consumer. I am sure you have seen those "quick weight loss diet without exercise" or "exercise machines that works so well you don’t need to diet".

This kind of marketing ensures that no real improvements will be kept long term. Many of these products will lead to positive short term results but all of them fail to address the underlying issue that caused the weight gain in the first place. It is similar to replacing the wood in a house but never exterminating the termites. Short term you have fixed the problem but unless the underlying issue is addressed you will be back at the beginning sooner rather than later.

So if you are looking at using one of these products to lose weight fast, be sure to compliment it with a long term plan that addresses the weight issue to begin with. So if you eat too much junk because of a busy lifestyle ensure that you have adequately planned to create healthy meals during and after the use of a weight loss product. If you do not get enough exercise make sure you join a sporting team or a gym before you begin your weight loss.

Really, here’s the only and best way to lose weight:

  • Eat healthy, fresh and natural food at least 3 times a day.
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week.
  • Have enough sleep (minimum 7 or 8 hours)

If you make no fundamental changes to your lifestyle, after you lose the weight guess where you will be in the next 6 to 12 months? That’s right you will be back where you started or possibly even worse because your body may have adapted to your smaller calorie intake.

November 14

The Truth in Getting Six Pack Abs!

Posted by admin . Filed under Exercise | 40 Comments

Before you understand the quickest way to get a ripped six pack, you must first understand truth. Once you have separated truth from misconception, lies, myths, and rumors you can then get the ripped six pack you are looking for. Let me clear things up for you.

Even fitness experts are out to get you with their "equipment" or "supplements". So lets learn how NOT to get a six pack.

Here are some things to avoid when looking to get that ripped six pack!

1. Special abdominal machines. Your watching a show and that ad comes on about the best abdominal machine in the world. Just 10 minutes a day to ripped abs. Nothing could be further from the truth. The quickest way to get a ripped six pack is dieting!

2. Doing countless crunches and ab work in the gym. Crunches are a decent exercise to build a decent midsection. However, they are not the most affective way of building your abs and can lead to injury if you perform hundreds the wrong way! People often tend to use their hip flexors to often while doing crunches, which has been shown to decrease muscle activity.

3. Starving diets. This is the biggest gimmick out there. Starve yourself? This slows your metabolism down and instead of burning carbohydrates your body looks to your burn your muscle tissues. Yes, you will lose weight but most of it will be muscle. Your body will then start holding on to fat cells because it senses that it is not getting the nutrients it needs. Muscle tissues burn calories, which in turn burns calories and fat. Why would you want to use your muscle for energy? I know I would not want to! Not to mention starving yourself puts you at risk for diabetes.

4. Diet pills. Sorry. THIS is the biggest scam out there. Diet pills are horrible for your health with no results! Usually they are loaded up with dangerous amounts of caffeine. They waste your health and empty your pockets. Diet and nutrition are your best friends to get a ripped six pack. Rely on diet pills and you’ll be further away from your goal then ever!

Here is how you can get that 6 pack abs:

There can sometimes be a misconception that abdominals are not proper muscles (I assume they are mistaken for tendants because of the way they function). So knowing that the same fundamentals apply for building abdominal muscle size as with other parts of your body.

  • You need high intensity (overload), low repetitions and proper recovery time.

So increase the difficulty of your abdominal routine whilst reducing the repetitions and avoid working your abs on consecutive days. Also you should separate your ab workouts to be on different days. So target your lower abs, upper abs and obliques individually on separate days.

Fat loss. Let me repeat for emphasis you need to reduce body fat.

Everyone has 6 pack abs, the problem is the layer of fat covering them up.

Unfortunately for most people the body generally stores fat around the stomach first and loses it around the stomach last. So to have a chance of seeing your abs you will need to drop your body fat percentage below 12% and for that model-esque look you will need to be around 8%. So the question becomes how you drop that body fat? Well in short you will need to:

  • Reduce your saturated fat intake (Deep fried foods, any fat that is solid at room temperature) and eat plenty of healthy food.
  • Stop drinking sodas and drink plenty of water.
  • Increase your cardio routine to burn more calories (as well as other benefits such as boosting metabolism).  Dancing and boxing are two excellent high intensity cardio workouts that will also build strength and flexibility for your abs.
  • Build some muscles, they are a boost for your metabolism.
  • Ensure you are not eating more calories than you need.
  • Have enough sleep.

Now you know the basics of getting a 6 pack. It is time to put it into practice and develop a program that will suit your needs but will successfully lead you to that 6 pack you want.

If you are serious about getting 6 pack abs, get thisThe Truth About Abs

November 9

5 Benefits of Cardio

Posted by admin . Filed under Exercise, Health Benefits | 8 Comments

jogging Cardio. For some it’s a dreaded word and for others it’s a passion they can’t get enough of. Either way you look at it though, cardiovascular exercise is one of the key components that should never be left out of a fitness plan.

Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, is any movement that gets your heart rate up and increases blood circulation throughout the body. There are various forms and methods of performing cardio exercise – all which will have specific benefits and guidelines.

Most individuals performing cardio are using it as a way to burn off excess calories and since you are moving the body, it is going to increase the need for energy. Some forms are slightly better when strictly speaking of fat loss but all cardio, regardless of form, will burn off calories. Since fat loss does depend on calories burned versus calories consumed it is a step in the right direction.

The reason to do cardio does not end with fat loss though; there are a wide variety of health benefits you receive from a regular cardio program.

Benefits

1. Improved Heart Health:

The first one is an improved condition of your heart. Your heart is a muscle just like any other and in order for it to become strong it must be worked. If you fail to work it, it will weaken over time and this can cause a variety of negative health effects.

By getting the heart pumping at a faster rate on a regular basis you will keep it in shape and healthy. Too many people are getting winded just performing simple exercises such as walking up the stairs and the primary reason for this is because they are neglecting to work their heart muscle.

2. Increased Metabolism:

Another reason to perform cardio is for its effects on the metabolism. Along with speeding up your heart rate, cardiovascular exercise also increases the rate of various other processes in the body, also known as your metabolism.

Generally speaking, the more intense the cardio session, the more noticeable increase you will see with regards to your metabolic rate. Intense interval sprints (also known as HIIT) increase the metabolism; the highest with a process called EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption). An increased metabolism means an easier time maintaining your weight (or losing weight as the case may be).

3. Improved Hormonal Profile:

Performing cardiovascular exercise also changes the hormonal profile in your body considerably. It releases ‘feel good’ hormones that will help ease symptoms of depression and fatigue as well as releasing hormones that decrease the appetite.

Individuals who partake in regular cardio exercise often have a much more positive outlook on life simply because they are getting the stress-relief benefits from these hormones.

4. Improved Recovery Ability:

Certain types of cardio exercise, usually lower, more moderately paced forms, can decrease your recovery time too. If you have just performed a hard session in the gym, hopping on the treadmill for a walk or light jog will help to remove some of the by-products that were created during the lifting session.

This will help to reduce your DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) and help bring more oxygen rich blood to the muscle tissue improving in the repair and rebuilding process. To you, this translates to your being able to get back into the gym quicker and work the muscles again.

Building muscle mass is a combination of an overloading stimulus and sufficient rest to allow the muscle to heal itself. If you skew this balance either direction, either working out too much or providing too much rest in between, you aren’t going to get optimal results.

The more frequently you are able to work a muscle though (assuming full recovery has been achieved) the faster you will add additional new muscle. Cardio helps you do this. Just don’t take this too far as excess cardio or cardio done at such a high intensity that it places additional strain on the muscles is going to actually hinder recovery rather than aid it.

5. Management Of Diabetes:

Lastly, for those who have diabetes, cardiovascular exercise helps them manage this condition. By performing the exercise you will increase your muscle’s ability to utilize glucose. Those who exercise regularly tend to have better control of their blood sugars and do not see as many blood sugar swings as those who don’t. For diabetes this is increasingly important as they are extremely sensitive to changes in blood sugar levels.

Key Components

Those are just a few of the benefits that you will see with regular cardiovascular exercise.

If you are just getting started, first focus on simply finding an activity that gets you moving and gets your heart rate up. Those are the two key components to what cardio is. Any form of exercise will do, whether it is going for a walk, a bike ride or performing in an organized sport.

The important thing is to keep your body moving. Weight lifting, unless done in a circuit style fashion, would not be considered aerobic cardio exercise since you are not moving continuously. It would be anaerobic and would use a different energy system than that of cardio (the ATP-CP system).

As you build up your fitness level, then you can concentrate on performing more advanced forms of cardio such as interval training, tempo training, HIIT sprints and so forth. First get started on building a solid cardio base though and then work from there.

Cardio is one thing you do not want to overdo in the beginning because spending hour upon hour on a machine at a moderate pace is really not going to give you any further benefits than someone doing a more moderate volume.

Once you are able to do 30-45 minutes 3-5 times a week then step it up a notch and look at those advanced principles. It’s usually better to increase the intensity of your cardio, rather than the volume (unless you happen to be training for a long distance even such as a marathon for example).

Conclusion

So now that you know the basics of what cardio is, the benefits of including cardio and how to go about starting it (or progressing from where you currently are). Put this knowledge to good use in your workout program.

November 4

The Benefits of Massage Therapy

Posted by admin . Filed under Health Benefits | 7 Comments

massage Massage therapy is often regarded as an extravagance, a luxury, or an expense awaiting justification. Few actually regard a massage as a viable form of medical treatment. But it is. Massage therapy is actually the simplest and oldest form of medicine. There are references to massage in Chinese medical literature dating back to 2,700 B.C.

Indeed, Hipporcates, the father of Western medicine wrote in the fifth century B.C., that "the physician must be experienced in many things, but most assuredly in rubbing… for rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid." I, for one, think that Hippocrates was on to something there.

Think for one moment, your very first reaction when you stub your toe, hit your funny bone, or bump your head. Instinctively, you place your hand over the injured area. Likewise, what is your first reaction when a cramp in your calf muscle jolts you out of an otherwise sound sleep in the dead of night?

Immediately, you get your hands on the muscle and feverishly rub! These very natural, genetically programmed reactions comprise the very core of massage therapy itself. An appreciation for the simple notion that human touch promotes healing.

The Origin Of The Pain!

It is a little known fact that most pain originates in the soft tissues of the body. For instance, headache pain often originates in the subscapularous (upper region of the back) and in the muscles of the head and neck. Lower back pain and sciatica typically originate in the muscles as opposed to signifying a problem in the vertebral disk.

For some conditions, regular massage therapy can even obviate the need for surgery. Carpal tunnel syndrome, for instance, a condition routinely treated with invasive surgery, is one ailment that regular massage therapy may actually correct.

A person that suffers from carpel tunnel feels pain and experiences numbness in the hands and fingers. The genesis of the problem, however, may very well be in the muscles of the head and neck!

Whatever the ailment, or condition, massage therapy embodies the elementary concept that the body’s soft tissues, muscle, fascia, tendons and ligaments respond to touch. Hence, the definition of "therapeutic massage" as the manipulation of the soft tissue structures of the body to prevent and alleviate pain, discomfort, muscle spasm, and stress to promote overall health and well being.

The benefits of massage therapy are incalculable considering that massage literally affects every system in one’s body. Aside from feeling good, research indicates that massage reduces stress, lowers heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases circulation, increases lymph flow, aids in elimination of toxins and increases endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers.

What Can Massage Therapy Do For You?

So, what can regular massage therapy do for those of us dedicated to living a fitness lifestyle. In this arena, massage therapy is much more than a mere luxury. It should be regarded as part and parcel of your dedication to living a healthy life. Research establishes that regular massage therapy improves range of motion, reduces recovery time, increases muscle tone, and increases flexibility.

Since massage acts as an "auxiliary heart" by increasing circulation, it thus facilitates the elimination of toxins and other metabolic wastes generated as a byproduct of resistance training. Additionally, massage therapy reduces the time that it takes the body to heal an injury.

An unbelievable case in point is one of my personal training clients. During an incline dumbbell press, she over-extended her shoulder. Not only did the weights come crashing to the ground, worse yet, when she got up off of the bench, she literally could not move her arm. Soreness and pain in her shoulder arrived the very next day putting her training on hold indefinitely.

When she phoned me and explained the injury, I surmised that she probably overextended the connective tissue in her shoulder, causing trauma to that area. I was absolutely right.

During a session of deep tissue massage I could feel the tightness in the shoulder joint itself, which not only caused pain, but also limited the joint’s normal range of motion. By frictioning the connective tissue in that area, I increased circulation, which naturally promotes the healing process.

After only about three sessions over a three-week period, the range of motion at that joint returned to normal and my client returned to the gym and resumed her training without incident. So, I suppose that Hippocrates was right way back in the fifth century B.C. when he said that massage will "loosen a joint that is too tight."

Why You Should Get Regular Messages!

I do not mean to suggest that three weeks will cure any ailment. I am, however, suggesting that an investment in regular massage therapy will ensure that all bodily systems function at an optimal level. And, for those of us dedicated to our training sessions in the gym, regular massage therapy will enhance performance, maximize gains, and reduce your risk for injury.

So, regular massage therapy is much more than a mere luxury or a whimsical extravagance. Rather, it is an investment, an investment in yourself… in your health.

November 1

10 Lies About The Atkins Diet

Posted by admin . Filed under Diet, Lose Weight | 9 Comments

Low carbohydrate diets such as Atkins have always been controversial, but with the recent wave of new research and publicity, the controversy is now raging hotter than ever. One headline in the San Francisco Chronicle said that the battle between the low and high carbers had become so heated since mid 2002 that “Knives had been drawn.”

From my vantage point (as a health and fitness professional down in the trenches), it looks more like tanks, artillery and machine guns have been drawn! Tragically, the people being hurt the most by these “diet wars” are not the experts, but the dieters.

After its original publication in 1972, The Atkins Diet was regurgitated in 1992 as “Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution,” creating a new surge of interest in low carbohydrate dieting.

Then, in July of 2002, the controversy reached an all time high when the New York Times Magazine published an essay by Gary Taubes titled, “What if it’s all been a big fat lie?” The article suggested that new research was now proving the late Dr. Atkins had been right all along.

More research in 2003 seemed to corroborate the Taubes story: Two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine in May of 2003, and another in June 2003 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggested that Atkins was equally, if not more effective for weight loss than conventional diets – at least in the short term.

With the publication of this new information, Atkins supporters boasted, “See, I told you so,” while their opponents fired back in defense of their high carb, low fat positions. Meanwhile, low carb foods and supplements became all the rage, bread and pasta sales took a nosedive and the wheat industry cried the blues.

With differences in opinion as opposite as the North and South Poles, it’s become unbearably confusing and frustrating to know which weight loss method is best and safest. At the date of this writing, in late 2003, obesity has reached an all time high -AGAIN!

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 64% of Americans are overweight and 31% are obese, and it’s still getting worse.

Obviously, the popular weight loss methods today – including the low carb diet – are still missing something? But what?

If you’re confused by the whole high carb, low carb thing and if you’re frustrated with your attempts at trying to lose weight and keep it off, then this may be the most important report you will ever read.

In the next few minutes, you’ll discover the real truth about low carb diets and a real solution to the problem of excess body fat that is beautiful in its simplicity, yet powerful in effectiveness. Read on to learn the 10 Lies about the Atkins diet and the truth that will set you free?

Lie # 1:

[ The Atkins and other low carb diets don't work ]

If your definition of what “works” is quick weight loss, then the Atkins Diet DOES work. Recent studies showed that the Atkins Diet causes greater weight loss than the American Heart Association-recommended high carb, low fat diet.

In fact, for obese people with disorders of carbohydrate metabolism (hyperinsulinemia, hypoglycemia, and insulin resistance), Atkins-style diets have been shown to work especially well.

However, if your definition of what “works” is permanent fat loss, then the Atkins diet doesn’t fare so well… but then again neither do any other diets. It seems that despite some encouraging initial successes, Atkin’s dieters still face the same difficulties in keeping off the weight as everyone else.

Some of the same studies showing rapid weight loss on Atkins in the beginning also showed substantial weight gain as soon as the diets ended.

Truth is, a growing body of evidence is mounting that carbohydrate restriction can accelerate weight loss in the short term, but it has yet to be proven that it keeps the fat off in the long run.

Which approach towards low carb dieting is best is also up for debate: Not all low carb diets are high fat or ketogenic and not all are “ultra-low” in carbs. A low carb diet can be low in carbs and high in fat, it can be low in carbs and high in protein, or it can be somewhere in the middle.

I predict that continued research will discover that moderate carbohydrate restriction (especially in a cyclical fashion) and careful selection of carbohydrates, will in fact assist with fat loss via hormonal control, metabolic efficiency and appetite regulation.

I believe that neither extreme – the severely restricted low carb diet (ketogenic diet) or the very high carb, low fat diet – will emerge the victor.

Lie # 2:

[ There's a ton of new research proving the Atkins diet is effective ]

If you surf around the Internet for a while searching for “Atkins Diet,” you are likely to see a lot of advertisements and news briefs pointing to the new research “proving” that Atkins is effective.

“New England Journal of Medicine Vindicates Atkins diet.”

“Studies suggest Atkins diet is safe.”

“New research challenges 30 years of Nutritional Dogma.”

Truth is, these headlines are not giving you the full picture.

Until and unless you have closely examined these studies and the researcher’s interpretation of the results, don’t be so quick to believe the diet hearsay and gossip.

The general conclusion of nearly all these studies is that Atkins IS equally if not more effective for short term weight loss than conventional diets. However, nearly all the researchers also conclude with remarks such as:

“The results are very preliminary,”

“The take-home message is that this diet deserves further study.”

“More research is needed.”

Furthermore, consider what the Atkin’s diet was being compared to in these studies: The traditional “food pyramid” diet with 60-65% carbs including plenty of pasta, cereals and bread, right?

What if the traditional high carb diet is wrong too?

Don’t write off carb restriction completely, but don’t ditch all your carbs yet either?

Lie # 3:

[ The new studies prove that the Atkins diet is healthy and doesn't raise cholesterol as previously believed ]

In a May of 2003, the results of a 12-month study on the Atkins diet were reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). One group followed the traditional food pyramid with 60% of the calories from carbohydrates while the second group followed the Atkins diet.

After one year, Atkins participants had a greater increase in the good HDL cholesterol and a larger drop in triglyceride than the high carb group.

The leader of the study, Gary Foster said, “Our initial findings suggest that low carb diets may not have the adverse effects we anticipated.”

Conventional wisdom has dictated for years that saturated fat and cholesterol were dangerous and unhealthy, contributing to coronary heart disease. This led most health professionals to condemn low carb diets that allowed large amounts of saturated fat.

This belief is now being questioned. Many authors such as Mary Enig and Uffe Rashnkov have presented compelling cases that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat do not cause heart disease. The latest research seems to confirm this. However, many factors affected the results of these new studies.

In some studies, the subjects did not follow the Atkins Diet to exact specifications and never entered ketosis, so conclusions about saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, ketosis and coronary health cannot be drawn yet.

In other studies, cholesterol-lowering drugs were used. And in still others, some subjects actually showed increases in total cholesterol. Those who did show improvements may have previously been on a high refined sugar, high saturated fat diet and dropping the sugar was one step in the right direction.

Furthermore, some of the drop in blood cholesterol could be attributed to the decrease in body weight.

Clearly, you can’t lump all dietary fats into the same category. Processed and chemically altered trans fats have been condemned by virtually every health and nutrition expert on the planet.

Other fats, like salmon and fatty fish, are among the healthiest and cardio-protective foods you can eat. Much evidence is showing that reasonable amounts of naturally occurring saturated fats such as those found in whole eggs and red meat also need not be feared (especially in the absence of sugars).

Truth is, all the information we have available at this time indicates the “fat phobia” and “fat makes you fat” scare has been unfounded because not all fat is the same. However, claims that diets very high in overall and saturated fat are healthy and safe for long term use are still premature.

Lie # 4:

[ The Atkins diet will help you keep fat off for good ]

Dr. Atkins writes that his diet “Is so perfectly adapted to use as a lifetime diet that, unlike most diets, the weight won’t come back.”

It’s a weight loss axiom that the more extreme a diet and the faster the weight loss, the more difficult it usually is to maintain the results. Slow, steady and balanced seems to win the race when it comes to weight control.

Unfortunately this isn’t what most people want to hear. The four pounds per week and up to 15 pounds in the first two weeks that Atkins promises sounds much more impressive.

There are two things you really need to know about rapid weight loss:

What kind of weight was lost? How much of it was body fat and how much was water, glycogen and lean tissue?

Are you going to keep the weight off for good?

Most low carbers won’t keep the weight off for more than a year, and many will fall off the wagon long before that.

Keith Ayoob, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, said in an official ADA statement about the 2003 NEJM studies: “Twelve months is an equalizer; you hit a wall. Your lifestyle starts to be affected and you get bored. A high dropout rate is a sign that extreme diets can be difficult to maintain.

Truth is, despite Dr. Atkin’s claims and the new research apparently supporting them, we still don’t know what will happen in the long run. Based on the results of the recent three, six, and twelve month studies, researchers have begun to organize longer trials. One of them will be five years in length.

What I believe you will see in long term studies is that Atkins and other low carb diets, while effective for weight loss in the short term, will be found no more effective for long term fat loss than any other restrictive diet (and that’s NOT very effective).

Lie # 5:
[

Calories don’t count and you can eat as much as you want while on the Atkins diet. ]

Dr. Atkins proposed that calories don’t count and he advised his clients to eat as much as they want while on his program. Atkins wrote, “The so called calorie theory has been a millstone around the necks of dieters and a miserable and malign influence on their efforts to lose.”

Here’s the truth about calories and low carb diets:

When you go on a very low carb (ketogenic) diet with more fat, your appetite is diminished and you feel fuller (because fat is more satiating than carbs).

Appetite control may be a legitimate benefit of the Atkins diet, especially for individuals who struggle with hypoglycemia, hunger and cravings. As Dr. Atkins points out, “Our physical urges are hard to combat.”

However, this does not mean you can eat as much as you want. It means that your hunger may be blunted on Atkin’s plan, causing you to automatically eat less without counting calories or even thinking about calories.

People on the Atkins diet who lose weight are not eating more than they burn and losing fat in spite of it. Whether you count calories and consciously eat fewer than you burn, or you don’t count them and unconsciously eat fewer than you burn, either way, the end result is the same.

While counting calories in the literal sense is clearly not always necessary, you always have to be aware of calories and portions. No diet or special combination of foods can override the law of calorie balance.

Anyone who believes that you can eat as much as you want and still lose weight is living in a dream world.

Lie # 6:

[ A brand new study just proved that the Atkins diet gives you a metabolic advantage so you really can eat as much as you want ]

A 12 week study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and presented in October 2003 to the North American Association for the Study of Obesity found that subjects on a low carb regimen lost just as much weight as those on a standard high carb, low fat diet.

The shocking part was that the group on the Atkins diet could eat 300 more calories than the group eating the conventional high carb food pyramid diet. This left researchers scratching their heads saying:

“It doesn’t make sense? it defies the laws of thermodynamics.”

“A lot of our assumptions about a calorie is a calorie are being challenged,”

Unfortunately, some of the Atkins troops were quick to interpret the results as meaning, “See, I told you calories don’t count.”

Actually, calories do count and the explanation for these results is quite simple.

A calorie is NOT just a calorie. If all calories were created equal then a 2000 calorie diet of Krispy Creme doughnuts would have the same effect as a 2000 calorie diet of chicken breast and salad vegetables. Do you think these two diets will have the same effects on your health and body composition?

Certain foods and certain diets DO give you a metabolic advantage. One advantage is the effect of a diet’s composition on your hormones; namely insulin and glucagon.

A second advantage is called the thermic effect of food. The thermic effect of food means that a certain number of calories are used just to digest and absorb the food, leaving a net calorie value substantially less than the total amount of caloric energy that was contained in the food.

For example, a lean protein food such as chicken breast has a thermic effect of around 20-30%. This means that for every 100 calories of chicken breast consumed, the NET energy utilized by the body is only 70-80 calories. (Some people call this “negative calories.”)

Stated differently, this means you really CAN lose weight on a higher calorie intake if you eat foods with a high thermic effect.

What’s especially interesting -providing confirmation of the metabolic advantage of a high protein diet – is that the foods provided in this study were low carb, but NOT typical Atkins fare. Instead of lots of red meat and saturated fat, the subjects in this particular study ate mostly fish, chicken, salads, vegetables and unsaturated oils.

I think the study’s director, Penelope Green, hit the nail on the head when she said, “Maybe they (the low carb, high protein group) burned up more calories digesting their food.”

Truth is, not one study has ever proven that you can “eat as much as you want” on Atkins or any diet. Even when a diet provides a metabolic advantage, AFTER that advantage is factored in and you look at NET calorie utilization, you are still left with the calories in versus calories out equation.

Lie # 7:

[ The Atkins diet causes faster and greater FAT loss than conventional diets ]

Most health, medical and nutrition organizations recommend that you lose weight (body fat) at a rate of no more than 2 pounds per week. In his book, Dr. Atkins says that the average weight loss in the first two weeks on his plan is 8 to 15 pounds.

Like many diets, Atkins overstresses total weight loss (and quick weight loss), while not stressing enough the difference between body weight, body water, body fat and lean body mass.

Truth is, low carb diets definitely cause greater weight loss, especially in the initial phases. But this is mostly due to a large drop in water weight and glycogen (stored carbohydrate), not necessarily increased fat loss.

Weight loss is the wrong goal! Your goal should be permanent fat loss and you should be measuring and tracking your body fat percentage and lean body mass on a regular basis.

Don’t gloat over large, rapid “weight losses”? it might be mostly water and muscle.

Lie # 8:

[ Carbohydrates make you fat ]

Dr. Atkins wrote, and I quote, “Carbohydrates are the very food that makes you fat.” He also wrote, “Diets high in carbohydrates are precisely what most overweight people don’t need and can’t become slim on.”

These are very misleading statements of half-truth.

The “carbs make you fat” myth is probably the most pervasive and damaging lie about weight control ever told. It’s caused tremendous confusion and frustration to already confused and frustrated dieters.

First, focusing primarily on any macronutrient (protein, carbs or fat) or macronutrient ratio should be secondary to energy balance. What makes you fat is eating too many calories.

Truth is, you can’t blame all “carbohydrates” as a group for why we are getting fatter. What type of carbohydrates are we talking about? There are good carbs and bad carbs. The “bad” carbs are the refined ones; white flour and white sugar products like white bread, white pasta, sugar sweetened cereals, candy and soft drinks.

To avoid confusion, I would suggest never using the word “carbohydrate” without putting the adjective “refined” or “natural” in front of it.

Ironically, Dr. Atkins does make this distinction in his book, yet he still chose to recommend removal of almost ALL carbs during the induction and weight loss phases of his diet – even the good carbs that are proven healthy. This creates rapid weight loss and the appearance of a hugely successful diet right from the first week.

Again, the real questions are: What kind of weight was lost and can you keep the weight off for good?

A healthy, maintainable fat burning diet should be centered on natural foods – and for most people, that includes natural carbs in moderation – not the total removal and demonizing of all carbohydrates.

Lie # 9:

[ Ketosis makes you feel better and doesn't affect your performance ]

Your body is a remarkable machine that is fully capable of adapting to whatever fuel is provided in predominance. You can burn protein, fat, or carbs for energy. However, carbohydrates are your body’s preferred – and most efficient – fuel source for vigorous physical activity.

Many low carbers believe that fat is a more efficient energy source than carbohydrates, but this is not true. Fat is not a more efficient energy source, it is only a more concentrated energy source.

Since the fuel for muscular contraction is carbs (glycogen) a high fat, low carb diet is not the best approach to fat loss for athletes, bodybuilders or highly active individuals. These diets simply don’t support high intensity training.

Very low carb diets might be appropriate for the sedentary, severely overweight, or those with orthopedic conditions that prevent any exercise. It seems that ketogenic diets take off weight even with little or no exercise (although the weight won’t be pure fat and you may not keep it off).

Some Atkins dieters even report feeling more energetic after adapting to the low carbs and higher fat. It’s likely, however, that most of them were relatively inactive. Low carbs and high activity don’t go well together.

Truth is, a more balanced diet of natural foods combined with exercise is a much better way to take off pure fat for good.

Anyone who CAN exercise SHOULD exercise! Of the two methods for creating a calorie deficit – burning more, or eating less – the former is the superior method with far fewer downsides.

Any fat loss program that does not make exercise the centerpiece is ultimately destined for failure.

Lie # 10:

[ Ketogenic diets (very low carb) are the secret to fat loss ]

The term “low carb” is used very broadly. To some, a diet like the Zone, which consists of 40% carbs is “low carbs.” To others “low carb” is more extreme. A ketogenic diet is a VERY low carb diet, usually between 40-70 grams of carbs per day or less. The induction phase of the Atkins diet is limited to only 20 grams per day.

Because they allow virtually no carbohydrate, Ketogenic diets, by definition, are extremely strict and nutritionally unbalanced. It’s an irrevocable law that the more “extreme” a nutrition program is, the greater the side effects will be and the more difficult the diet will be to stay on.

Dr. Atkins claimed, “Ketosis is the secret weapon of super effective dieting.”

Truth is, while some recent studies have suggested low carb diets do work, not a single study has proven that it’s necessary to restrict carbs so severely that you go into ketosis.

The benefits of reduced carbs and more protein include a higher thermic effect, appetite regulation and hormonal control. What the low carb folks don’t want you to know is that a moderate reduction in carbohydrates (and/or removal of processed carbs) is often all it takes to get these benefits, while being much easier to maintain for the long haul.

What Is The Best Way To Achieve Permanent Fat Loss?

Dr Atkins made many excellent points about weight control in his book. He spoke out on the evils of processed carbohydrates. He identified carbohydrate sensitivity and hyperinsulinemia as contributing factors in obesity.

He spoke of the metabolic advantage of high protein. He pointed out that there may not be a direct one to one correlation between saturated fat, dietary cholesterol and heart disease.

The fact is, Dr. Atkins – to his credit – had discovered some important facts about weight control, and had the courage to publish and stand by them long before anyone else did. In the end, unfortunately, he drew some questionable conclusions from this information and, like so many other diet gurus, he left out some large and important pieces to the puzzle.

If permanent fat loss were as simple as removing carbohydrates from your diet, then why has obesity surged to an all-new high in 2003 and why are there so many Atkins failures?

Could it be possible that the conventional high carb, low fat food pyramid approach and the Atkins diet approach have BOTH missed the mark, and that the optimum diet for permanent fat loss is somewhere in the middle?

Could it be possible that dieting is the absolute worst way to lose body fat and that the proper type of exercise program combined with a more balanced approach to nutrition is the answer?

One of the biggest errors weight loss seekers make today is to accept one philosophy completely or reject it completely, taking a side and “taking up arms” to defend their position without considering the alternatives.

Most of the weight loss philosophies being promoted today contain valid points, but as a whole, are a total mish mash of truth, half-truths and lies.

That’s why, for over 20 years, I have literally turned myself into a human guinea pig in my search for a sensible and healthy method of permanent fat loss. I studied and then personally tested the ketogenic diet, the high carb diet, low fat diet and nearly every other diet in between.

I found good points and bad points in all of them, many of which I have already revealed to you in this report.

I then compiled all the positive points of each fat loss method into a structured format, while discarding all the negatives. What emerged was nothing short of remarkable: An all-natural system that has allowed me to peak at a body fat level of 3.4% and to maintain my body fat at 9% or less all year round? without drugs, extreme diets, or unnecessary supplements. It’s worked for thousands of other people too.

If you would like to learn exactly what I discovered about permanent, natural fat loss from two decades of study and experimentation… and if you’d like to learn how it can help you escape the diet wars for good, and finally achieve the body you’ve always wanted, I encourage you to visit my fat loss web page at www.burnthefat.com and take a look for yourself.

Tom Venuto