Category Archives: Weight Loss

The sad truth about most protein powders

If you’ve ever been near a health food store, or even a supermarket, you should know first-hand that there is no shortage of protein powders available today. In an effort to easily increase your daily protein intake, you’ve probably been tempted to buy one, or more of these (or maybe you already have) and made them a part of your fat burning diet plan.

But there’s a problem…

Until now, there has not been a protein powder that I felt confident about recommending, to you or even taking myself (there may be 1 or 2 on the market. But they’re either ridiculously expensive or taste downright awful).

1) – Most protein powders are sweetened with artificial sweeteners. If your protein powder lists aspartame or sucralose as the sweetener…throw it out. These sweeteners are downright dangerous and toxic to your body. They seriously hinder your fat burning efforts. Instead of helping you burn fat by increasing your protein intake, these artificially sweetened protein powders prevent you from losing fat by overwhelming your body with harmful toxins. Throw it away now, – in the bin!

2) – Most protein powders use a low quality source of whey, they are processing it at high temperatures. This method of manufacture completely denatures the protein and decreases the protein value (making it kind of pointless and a waste to take at that point). For commercial reasons it is extremely difficult to find out exactly how your protein powder has been processed.

Well Prograde Nutrition have finally done it. They have finally formulated a Protein Powder that is not only delicious, but one that is sweetened with Stevia (a completely natural sweetener), and that they have only used the highest quality, cold processed whey.

The best thing about the people at Prograde is that they listen! Myself and many other fitness authors that I truly respect were downright honest with them and told them frankly we would not recommend any protein powder with artificial sweeteners in it! Guess what happened? They actually listened and spent months formulating this new product.

This is as much great news for me as it is for you. If I have a protein option that’s going to be easier than scrambling eggs for breakfast or making a full post workout meal, Then I’ll take it! With this new protein powder, I’m going to be able to maintain my current protein intake in a much easier way.

Here are a few of my favorite Prograde Protein Powder Recipes. I will be making regularly with my new batch of Protein powder:

Pina Colada Protein Shake

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. water
  • 4 oz coconut milk
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 3 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1/3 cup Pineapple chunks

Mix all ingredients in the blender.

The ideas and recipes for protein shakes are endless. I use either water or coconut milk but you can also use almond milk or rice milk if you’d like. It’s time to get creative, and add a variety of fruits, raw nuts and nut butters for a delicious breakfast, or meal replacement any time of the day.

Easy Protein Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup oatmeal (dry)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 scoop protein powder

Cook 1/3 cup dry oatmeal in 1 cup of water. Next mix 1 scoop of protein powder with a little amount of water, in a separate bowl, until it becomes thick. Add the powder and water mixture to the oatmeal. (oats contain beta glucan which are crucial compounds to help the body stay healthy)1 Top it with fresh fruit or raw nuts and enjoy!

To save time, I make several servings of oatmeal at once and keep it in the refrigerator for the next few days. In the morning, I scoop out 1 serving (1 heaping cup full) and heat it up on the stove top. This saves me a few minutes in the morning (every second counts, especially if you add them all up)

Protein Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup Cottage Cheese (if you can tolerant dairy foods)
  • 4-5 egg whites (I don’t like to throw away quality yokes, its wasting good nutrition. So I save them for other recipes, or to add to my next meal. I tried to make this recipe with whole eggs and it doesn’t work as well.)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (vanilla)

Blend all ingredients until the mixture has a batter consistency. Then pour into a frying pan like normal pancakes. I use butter to cook these.

You can add your own items for flavoring… for example

Mix in 1/2 cup blueberries after blending (Blueberry pancakes). Or try adding half a banana before blending for banana flavored pancakes. I also like to add apple sauce, cinnamon and a dab of honey.

These are really easy to make ahead of time, so you can have a nice protein heavy breakfast without a lot of morning preparation.

You can read more on this subject in Mike Geary’s ebook, the Truth about Six Pack Abs.

Ref: [1] Super foods: Beta Glucans..

The realities of fat burning foods

It’s time for a quick trick that will help you safely lose 10 pounds in a short space of time. But first let’s talk about a serious health problem – weight gain with aging. Here is some truths about fat burning foods.
Did you know that runners between the ages of 18 and 50 gain weight at the same rate regardless of the number of miles run per week. The average is 3.3 pounds every 10 years…for a runner. Weight gain as you age is inevitable.

It’s part diet, part exercise, and part gravity. If runners can’t keep weight off by running, what are the rest of us supposed to do? Since we can’t turn off gravity, we going to have to work on the other two.
I have a simple solution that will help you start losing weight safely and naturally. I use it every day. Something to do with healthy eating.

We have a common enemy, everyone that is. That common enemy is processed foods and their condiments. The amount of junk in the form of added sugar in today’s factory-made food, adds to our waistlines, and our western world obesity problem. Life could be so different if we dieted with healthy foods.

It’s one of the reasons I am so passionate about healthy eating.

Let me ask you 3 simple questions:

1. Do you struggle to add green vegetables to your diet?, add some Broccoli, it goes with just about any meal.

2. Do you add unhealthy condiments to veggies? Ketchup, yuk read the ingredients

3. Do you want to lose weight eating healthy food that tastes great?, add a side salad with a little Olive oil

Did you answer “Yes” to any of these questions?

If so, I have a simple solution for you.

And, it’s the exact same solution I use.

Find out exactly what I’m talking about here.

Imagine what it would feel like to lose 5 pounds, 10, 20 pounds.

I remember when I started eating healthy, and lost my first 10 pounds… what an amazing feeling.

– It felt amazing to put on my jeans without struggling.

– The people around me started making comments about how fantastic I looked.

– I was ever so excited about heading to the beach with the family.

Its alright, it’s not your fault. The processed foods that we have been force-fed with for so many years have made it virtually impossible to keep the weight off.
You can read more ideas and tips like the ones above in Mike Geary’s ebook the Fat Burning Kitchen which is packed full of nutrition advice, and healthy lifestyle.

Importance of muscle building nutrition

It’s been said many many times that nutrition is responsible for at least 75% of your muscle building effort. I think that is dramatically overstating the obvious, but nutrition is critically important to your muscle building efforts. Without the proper muscle building nutrition you will never build the physique you desire. Below are listed a few easy to follow muscle building nutrition rules that will help you get bigger and leaner. Follow these rules and you will see results, ignore them and you could be in for years of frustration.

• Eat small meals every 2-3 hours. Eating this way helps keeps your body in an anabolic state, and keeps your metabolism running along at high speeds so that you don’t get fat. If you need 3,000 calories per day to build muscle. Then it is much more effective to have five 600 calorie meals, or six five hundred calorie meals than it is to have three larger 1,000 calorie meals. Doing that will lead to fat accumulation and also has you going too long without eating which only leads to muscle loss.

• Build your meals around lean protein. Proteins (Amino acids) are what builds muscle, so every time you sit down to eat should eat certain types of proteins. This should be the primary goal of every meal. Once you have covered that, then you can add starch, vegetables and healthy fats. As the daily protein needs, you should take one gram per kilogram of body weight per day. The only time you need more than that is when you are dieting and carbohydrates are very low.

• Eat vegetables at every meal except breakfast. There are incredibly healthy because they provide lots of nutrients and fiber, they also slow down the absorption of your meals leading to less body fat accumulation.

• Eat organic foods whenever possible. There is so much artificial junk in the food we eat these days that it is really a very wise decision to eat organic as often as you can. This includes meats, fruits, veggies and grains.

• Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners and saturated fats as much as possible (with the exception of coconut oil). Consumption of saturated fat and sugar is what leads to a wide range of health problems and diseases. Too much saturated fat and sugar also leads to inflammation in the body and can actually aggravate the nagging injuries and lead to further pain. Many people actually feel a reduction in pain in back when they cut saturated fat and sugar diet.

• Some saturated fat in meat is fine from time to time, but you should really try to cut sugar and artificial sweeteners. Although they do not talk much in this country USA, there is much evidence that artificial sweeteners are not the least bit healthy – quite the opposite!.

• Eat most of your carbs at breakfast and immediately before and after your workout. These are the times when your insulin sensitivity is at it’s highest, and when you will use carbs most efficiently with the least risk for body fat gain. Don’t be scared to eat some carbohydrates at this time because most of them will be used for building muscle and will not usually add to body fat accumulation.

• Drink at least a half gallon of water per day preferably bottled water. Doing this keeps you well hydrated which keeps your performance levels high. Even a slight decrease in hydration will cause a drop in performance. About half a gallon is a good start but anything upto a gallon is usually better, especially in the summer.

• Pay close attention to your sodium intake. When I say that I mean in the opposite direction that most people and doctors will think I mean it. I think you must be sure that your sodium intake is adequate. This is especially true for athletes who play in the summer when it’s hot and you sweat a lot. Without adequate sodium intake, your performance suffers greatly. Sodium levels also help maintain adequate strength levels during a diet.

This article was written by Jason Ferruggia who is a world famous fitness expert, well known and admired for his ability to help people build muscle as fast as possible. He is also the head training adviser for Men’s Fitness Magazine, where he also has his own monthly column dedicated to muscle building. To get more muscle building nutrition tips, and to access his training program, check out. Renegade Diet Program.

Jason Ferruggia's Renegade Diet

Does juicing provide nutrition when dieting

Juicing works – of course it does:

Apart from the fact that juiced fruits and vegetables have very low calories and no fat (just make sure you make them yourselves), they are loaded with a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes that help your body to perform at its best. Our bodies spend a lot of time trying to detoxify, repair and protect cells. When we are undernourished our bodies go into protection mode and store fat for survival. But, when your body is functioning at its peak condition and getting all the nourishment it needs, it can focus energy on fat loss. Juicing delivers a concentrated healthy cocktail straight into your body. No extra effort is needed to break down the juice and so it is absorbed quickly and starts working magic immediately.

Keys to weight-loss success while juicing:

Juicing vegetables and herbs while reducing fruit. Yes, of course fruit makes it taste so delicious. Yes, fruit sugar is healthier than refined table sugar… but it’s still sugar and will still cause spikes in your insulin and if your body cannot clear those sugars out, they will convert to fat stores. Also, watch how many carrots you use, believe it or not they have a lot of sugar as well.

Save juicing fruits for before and after your workouts. For the same reason as above, when you work out your body becomes primed for using glucose.

Skip snacking and start juicing. It seems that people always get hungry between meals. The solution to avoid binging on things you probably shouldn’t be eating before dinner, is to juice up a big green glass of nutritional goodness. Hopefully the liquid will tide you over until your next meal, or at least it will get your brain thinking about health-conscious snacks.

Snack while juicing. Not on cheese and crackers or anything man-made but on the vegetables you are getting ready to juice. Sometimes our brains like chewing and feeling food in our mouths and stomach’s, so give it that satisfaction while nurturing you.

Healthy habits don’t end with juicing. Whether you are having 1 juice a day or 5, remember that beyond your glass jar, you need to be eating healthy all day long. It defeats the purpose of juicing for weight loss when you eat a big bowl of sugary cereal for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and burgers for dinner.
Fill up on fresh juice before meals or going out. Even though juice is digested quickly, you will soon feel hungry again. Your hunger may be quenched by the nutrients more than the feeling of full.

Alternate your veggetables. Two ways that this works: you don’t get bored and you get a variety of nutrients.

Add some barley grass powder, spirulina, chia seeds, avocado, or olive oil. Healthy fats and fibers are not only good for you, but will keep you fuller longer. Have you seen my article on Coconut oil. Try some.
No one wants to diet, or spend their time with someone who is dieting, who has a big hungry monster in their stomach.

Create lasting habits:

Remember juicing for weight loss is not a diet. It is the basis for a much healthy lifestyle. If you are taking the time to clean, chop and juice fresh fruits and vegetables then you should be making time to prepare and cook healthy homemade meals.

Some people like to test the water with one glass of juice slowly adding more as they feel necessary. If you prefer to start the day with a balanced, nutrition-rich eating regime, you will find that having at least one glass of vegetable juice per day will make it easier to reach your weight loss goals in the long run. Have you thought of replacing your morning, afternoon, snacks with a juice, then you are well on your way!

Why not see what advice, Mike Geary has to offer on such foods whilst dieting in his fat loss program.

In the mean time why not try.

Morning-time: 1 beet, 1 pink lady apple, 1 small slice of ginger

Before dinner: 4 tomatoes, 2 green onions, ½ green pepper, 2 carrots, 2 celery ribs, Handful of parsley, 1 peeled lemon

Before bed: 2 cucumbers, 4 romaine lettuce leaves, Handful of mint

Glycemic Index, and White Foods

In this article I would like to start a little discussion today about carbohydrates, in particular “white foods” as well as potatoes. One of the reasons I wanted to mention this is because so many health and fitness professionals dismiss potatoes as being a bad carbohydrate choice because of the so called high glycemic index. Believe it or not potatoes have a medium index. Some people say such ridiculous things as “avoid any and all white carbohydrates”.

OK, now while I certainly agree that white bread and refined white sugar are two of the worst things we can be eating when feeding our bodies. I don’t agree with avoiding any and all of these so called “white carbohydrates”. Now I know all the excitement lately has been about colorful foods and the protective antioxidants that they contain. They tell you to focus on colours and stay away from white.

“White Foods” aren’t  always the enemy

It’s true that colourful foods are great, but it is generally a mistake to specifically avoid white foods! There are plenty of white foods that have specific nutrients that are hard to find elsewhere. Let’s look at a few examples…

Onions & Garlic

What about onions and garlic? They are both white and they are full of protective phytonutrients, vitamins, and trace minerals. These aren’t easy to find elsewhere in a normal diet. Such nutrients as chromium, allicin, quercetin (an important flavonoid), and other unique anti-inflammatory nutrients.

In fact, onions are so powerful for our health, that one study of people that live to over 100 years old. Identified that a common thread of these amazingly healthy individuals was, that they ate a lot of onions throughout their lives. We also know that garlic is one of the most powerful substances for a strong immune system.

Cauliflower

Another example of something white that is great for you is cauliflower. Which are surprisingly high in vitamin C, fiber, trace minerals, special compounds such as glucosinolates which are anti cancer in nature, and thiocyanates (a lack of which can damage a persons immune system). These are specifically abundant in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Another little-known fact is that some of the compounds in cruciferous vegetables, help to combat other estrogenic compounds in our food supply and environment and can help prevent excess abdominal fat. So eat up on that cauliflower!

Mushrooms

Not many people realize this, but surprisingly, even white mushrooms have high levels of unique nutrients and antioxidants. White mushrooms are high in a couple types of antioxidants called polyphenols and ergothioneine. Some types of mushrooms, such as portobella mushrooms, are surprisingly good sources of Vitamin D.

Potatoes

Now that also leads us to another example – the humble white potato (which by the way, can also be found in red, yellow, purple varieties, etc). Many health professionals claim that potatoes are a bad carbohydrate because they are thought to have a high glycemic index.  If you’ve read my Truth about Six Pack Abs ebook, then you’ll understand that glycemic index is not necessarily the most important factor in choosing your carbohydrates.

While a generalization can be made that most low glycemic index carbohydrate choices will help you lose body fat more easily than higher index choices. It is not all that it’s cracked up to be. There are many other factors that determine how your body will react-to and process the carbohydrates you ingest. Such as glycemic load and also how you combine the high GI food with other foods.

For example, it is known that watermelon has a high glycemic index. However the rise in blood sugar of a normal serving of watermelon is just  too low for your body to start packing on body fat, just because you ate a high index fruit. You would have to eat such an enormous quantity of watermelon just to get enough grams of carbohydrates to have any negative glycemic effect, that it just does not make any sense.

Not to mention that watermelon is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and lycopene. There’s just no reason to avoid it simply because it has a high Glycemic Index. The point I am making is that, chocolate bars, cupcakes, and donuts make you fat. Because they are full of sugar. NOT watermelons, carrots or potatoes. French fries are excluded of course.

I also should mentioned, food combinations are important in how your body processes the carbohydrates and the associated blood sugar and insulin response you receive. Again, I will talk about this in detail about the entire topic in my Truth about Six Pack Abs book, from a weight loss perspective.

Alright, so back to my point that white potatoes are actually a healthy carbohydrate as long as you eat them in the right form – that’s with the entire skin left on. Please don’t ruin them by deep frying them into french fries either. French fries are one of the most evil things ever invented for your health. Because we ruin them by soaking them in a scorching bath of trans fats in the deep fryer from the hydrogenated oils that are typically used.

Keep in mind that potatoes contain so many vitamins and minerals that the list is way too long to even try. If you eat the skins, you’ll get some fiber too.

Are eating 7-9 potatoes per day going to make you fatter?

There was a study which found that potatoes not being so bad after all. I cant remember where I saw this referenced. But I recently saw a particular study that had participants eat something like 7-9 whole potatoes per day for several weeks. Here’s a good newspaper article on why potatoes are good for you.

At the conclusion of the study, the potato eaters had actually consistently lost weight! I’d venture a guess that the reason the people lost weight is that they were probably so full from eating all of those potatoes, that they actually consumed less calories than normal. An average sized potato has about 100-120 calories, and I can’t imagine you’d be full constantly from eating 7-9 potatoes each day.

Of course, this does NOT mean that french fries are ok to eat. Those will only make you fat, and the trans fat will lead to an early death. Seriously french fries / potato chips are one of the most deadly foods in our food supply.  Deep fried potatoes accumulate dangerous acrylamides absorbed from the frying oil that reacts with the starch, and these compounds are cancer causing.

Anyway, back to the 7-9 whole potatoes per day. I would never recommend going to those extremes, but my point is that an occasional potato is not going to hurt your efforts to get lean, and lose weight. Especially if you combine it with some other fibrous vegetables, and maybe a healthy fat, and some protein. On that note, here is one of my favorite recipes, using potatoes.

Geary’s Lean-Body Potato Side Dish Recipe

Desired quantity of baby potatoes, preferably a mixture of white, red, yellow, and purple baby potatoes.
1 red pepper.
1 green pepper.
1 yellow pepper.
1 or 2 onions.
a couple cloves of garlic, finely chopped (or mashed garlic from a jar, organic preferably).
1 or 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and / or virgin coconut oil.
a little salt and pepper to taste (I like using a sea salt instead of normal commercial salt).

Cut the baby potatoes into slightly smaller pieces and place in a steamer until soft all the way through. Slice up the peppers and onions into strips and add with the chopped garlic into a pan with the olive oil. Cook the peppers, onions, and garlic until tender, and then add the steamed baby potatoes. Stir it all together and serve. This is a truly delicious, and healthy side dish that goes great with chicken or red meat.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little topic today about potatoes, healthy carbohydrates, glycemic index, and my delicious healthy potato recipe. If you want more recipes like this get a copy of my book Truth about Six Pack Abs, which is full of information on weight loss and how to get lean and fit.

Why is it harder for women to lose weight.

I was reading a magazine article for some reason, called It’s Harder For Women To Lose Weight. I’m not a woman so I’m going to look into this from a man’s point of view. I guess I could be wrong but here goes. I think it’s generally harder for women to lose weight. I’m speaking in general terms, and I realise that there will be exceptions to every rule, but that’s what I think anyway.

Why would I think this? Well they’ve got a couple reasons in that article I read: Women have to do about 20% more exercise to get the same benefits. While exercise alone might be enough for men to lose weight, women also have to look carefully at their carbohydrate intake to get the same results. Experts say body composition such as muscle mass, and hormones are to blame for women not being able to lose weight.

The story goes on to says that research at the University of Missouri by Prof Jill Kanaley put 75 obese men and women, all with type 2 diabetes on the same fitness program, and found men always did better as far as weight loss went. What they are saying is that exercise alone might be good enough for a man, but unfortunately it’s not good enough for a woman who must also worry about her diet to lose weight.
It’s a pretty interesting article. It goes back to basics suggesting that because the male body is more utilitarian then the female body it responds better to exercise and diet. One main reason for this is body composition – men have a higher proportion of of muscle of women – and muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat. This means men can burn more calories then women even when at rest. There was one part where the researcher said a man working 65 per cent effort would require a woman to work at 85 per cent to have the equivalent output or results. I haven’t done any research and am not sure that I want to believe that, to be honest. The article then goes onto say that men naturally have this advantage because they have larger hearts and lungs along with a higher proportion of hemoglobin. (Haemoglobin is the part of the blood that carries oxygen around the body which is very useful when exercising).

So what is going to be the best way for women to achieve weight loss?

I think the best way is to lift weights, do cardio and eat properly. Lifting weights temporarily raises the level of testosterone and growth hormones which in turn, burn more fat. Hormones are a big part of your metabolism. Women naturally have slower metabolisms because they tend to store fat instead of burning it, due to lower testosterone levels. Women should be doing what’s known as compound weight training, that is, using muscles such as the glutes and quads. The bigger muscle groups you use, the more calories you will burn. Lifting weights is not going to make you big and bulky. But that’s another post for another day!