Tag Archives: eating

Flat Six Pack Abdominals, Lean Stomach

My friend Mike Geary told me about an interview he did with a fitness professional from NYC, non other than certified personal trainer, Geovanni Derice. In it he reveals some of the hardest hitting strategies for getting rid of stubborn stomach fat to uncover those flat six pack abdominals that everyone wants.

“GD: Welcome Mike to our 4-ever-Toned Fitness Journal. For those people who do not know you, please tell us a few things about yourself, and how you can help our readers with their fitness, health and fat loss.

MG: Thanks for having me on, Geo. Well, to go back a little, I have been heavily involved in fitness and sports for about 17 years now, ever since I was a teenager. I got involved in sports in high school which got me interested in strength training and conditioning.

At that point, once I started feeling more energetic, then getting stronger, and looking better, I was instantly hooked for life. I’m now 33 years old and I’m still addicted to the way living a healthy and fit lifestyle, makes me feel energetic, confident, and youthful on a daily basis.

I decided earlier in my 20’s that I wanted to make the commitment to help other people experience the excitement of being fit, and getting themselves in the best shape that they can. Since we’ve reached a tragic epidemic of obesity, heart disease, fatigue, diabetes, cancer, depression, etc. That’s why I decided to became a fitness professional. It just gives me such a buzz to help others, who have been struggling for years to get into shape, and to show them that it can be done, and how it can be a fun process.

I’ve expanded over the years from just reaching local individuals with personal training, into being able to help people all over the globe achieve their fitness goals thanks to the internet. I hope that my passion for fitness, helps to inspire people to take action, and improve how they look at life.

GD: Mike, one question is: there are so many things out there as to what works and what does not work… if you had to pick the 3 things that work time and time again to get flat lean abs, what else would they be?

MG: The first and most important thing to get under control, in order to lose your abdominal obesity and get flat six pack abdominals is cleaning up your diet. Exercise is important, but your diet is more important when it comes to losing body fat so that you can see your abs.

There’s so much confusion these days about what a healthy diet that promotes fat loss really is. After all, we are constantly bombarded by conflicting messages in the media about what is healthy, and you have all of these gimmicky diet books about various diets too many to mention. There’s so much conflicting info, that the average consumer doesn’t even know where to start when it comes to eating for fat loss.

The second thing that works, is to focus on the intensity of your workouts and focus on working the body as a whole in order to get the best metabolic response to lose that stubborn stomach fat.

For you to get lean, the workouts should have a high intensity, with short rest periods, working the largest muscle groups of the body, instead of trying to isolate specific small muscles like the biceps, triceps, or calves.

For the third thing, let’s talk about actually training the abs specifically. When it comes to training the abs. I always recommend forgetting about the crunches and situps for the most part. They are OK for someone who is really unfit, but most people that already have some training under their belt need a much better stimulus for their abs than doing crunches. Although crunches are one of the abs exercises that actually provide the least amount of resistance. Just remember that resistance is what develops and tones the muscles.

I provide a wealth of great abs exercises in my book, but one of the highest resistance exercises for the abs, is hanging leg raises (but NOT the way you see most people at the gym doing them). The key to doing these and actually working the hell out of your abs is to curl your pelvis up as you raise your legs. Most people don’t ever do it the right way. To be truthfully honest with you, the majority of people cannot do this to begin with, but I provide some strategies in my book how to progress to doing these correctly.

GD: Where are most people going wrong when it comes to developing the coveted “6 pack abs”?

MG: Well Geo, I know this sounds funny to most people, but the MAIN thing that people are doing wrong to get those flat six pack abs is… are you ready for this?

They spend entirely too much time focusing on training their abs! WAY too much time spent on abs exercises. Crazy, but that’s the truth.

Remember, having a flat and visible six pack of abs is all about getting down to a low body fat percentage.For you to do that, your workouts must focus on stimulating a fat burning hormonal environment in your body, and thus increasing your metabolic rate. That is not going to happen when you focus too much time training a small muscle group like the abs.

Instead, you must use the majority of your time focusing on training the largest muscle groups of the body like the legs, back, and chest. That’s what stimulates your metabolism and the fat burning hormones that will get you truly lean and sporting a flat six pack!

GD: Which exercises do you rate as the top exercises that people need to do if they are to get maximum definition with their midsection?

MG: When it comes to developing the abs themselves, I again refer to any kinds of hanging abs exercises, as well as some good floor abs exercises like lying leg thrusts. All these routines are described as well as illustrated in my book mentioned below.

However, maximum definition in the abs and midsection comes from losing body fat, the most effective exercises featured in my program for that one goal. Various forms of swings and snatches (unique dumbbell or kettle bell exercises that almost nobody ever does), squats, dead lifts, lunges, step-ups, clean & presses, mountain climbers, sprinting, and other full body exercises and calisthenics. If you desire great looking flat abs, focus on the above methods instead of focusing so much on training the abs directly!

GD: When it comes to diet Mike, people really have tried millions of ways to get one thing and that is fat loss. What do you recommend to your clients, to lose body fat and keep it off?

MG: I have included a fully comprehensive discussion of this topic in my book, which makes up almost half of the book. The most important thing to achieve is that your diet is as natural, and as unprocessed as is possible. It almost always comes back to the over processing of food that makes it unhealthy, and it will wreck your metabolism and hormone balance in your body.

For example, why would you want to eat refined grains, if you can eat whole grains (even better are sprouted grains, as I usually recommend limiting grain foods overall for best results).

Why eat all that disgusting refined sugar that causes weight gain, when you can get natural sources of sugar from a high nutrient whole food like fruit. Why do we eat highly processed, refined, and hydrogenated vegetable oils (these are THE worst thing in the modern diet), when we can eat natural sources of healthy fats like nuts, avocados, fish, eggs, coconut milk, even organically raised meat.

The point here is to not fall for some quick gimmick like extremely low carbs (although I do believe in a fairly reduced carb intake as that is a big problem for most people), low fat, super high protein, or any other combination that has you focusing on one macro nutrient compared to another.

Your body needs all macro nutrients to thrive and obtain a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. Cutting out an entire food group out just works against what your body needs. I go into more detail on this vitally important topic towards losing body fat (especially that stubborn stomach fat) for life in my book.

GD: Thank you very much Mike for taking the time to share with us all of this great information.

I hope you enjoyed reading this interview and got several useful bits of info to get you motivated and started on showing off your flat abs shortly. If you have not already got a copy, be sure to pick up a copy of Mikes Truth about Six Pack Abs Ebook, and discover for yourself the entire system he developed for ridding yourself of that extra abdominal fat for good!

Six Pack Abs

Exercise after eating

Exercising after eating a meal can help promote weight loss by boosting hormones that suppress appetite, say UK scientists.

These hormones can help active people feel less hungry immediately after exercise. This carries through to their next meal, experiments have suggested.

Even when they had bigger meals, sporty people gained fewer calories, overall because they burned off more.

The University of Surrey and Imperial College London research paper is published in the Journal of Endocrinology.

Exercise may affect people’s appetite, helping them to lose weight.

According to researcher Dr Denise Robertson:

Twelve volunteers were fed the exact same breakfast.

An hour later, six of them worked out for an hour, on an exercise bike while the other six volunteers sat quietly.

Both groups were left for another hour, and then allowed to eat as much as they liked.

Not surprisingly, the people who exercised burned more calories than those who sat quietly, 492 kcal compared to 197 kcal.

When they were given the chance to eat afterwards, the people who had exercised had a tendency to eat more, 913 kcal versus to 762 kcal.

However, when the amount of energy the volunteers burned during exercise was taken into account, the sporty people took in fewer calories overall – 421 kcal compared to 565 kcal for the inactive group.

Levels of hormones called PYY, GLP-1 and PP, which tell the brain when the stomach is full, increased during and immediately after exercise. So is this saying that exercise after eating is the way to go.

Volunteers also commented on how they felt less hungry during this time.

Researcher Dr Denise Robertson said: “In the past we have been concerned that, although exercise burns energy, people subsequently ate more after working out. This would cancel out any possible weight reduction effects of exercise”.

“But our research shows that exercise may alter people’s appetite to help them lose weight and prevent further weight gain as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.”

Experts recommend people do at least 30 minutes of physical activity, at least five or more days a week.

‘Significant contribution’

Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of the charity Weight Concern, said: “This is an interesting study. Patients often report that they feel increased hunger and eat more after exercise.

“What this study shows is that, although total calorific intake is greater, the net result, because of the exercise taken, is a reduction in the net energy balance.

“Dieting is never easy. Increased physical activity is an essential part of any weight management programme, not just to expend more calories but also, as we see here, to help control our appetite too.”

Dr John McAvoy, a GP with a special interest in obesity, said the study was a “significant contribution to understanding the complex mechanisms of energy balance”.

“It will be of greater interest to the pharmaceutical industry, than to the general public at this stage, for the simple reason that most people view exercising so soon after eating as akin to putting your fingers down your throat,” he added.

“For exercise to contribute to weight control it should be sustainable over the long term and enjoyment remains a critical factor to this end.”


Effects of exercise on gut peptides, energy intake and appetite
Catia Martins, Linda M Morgan, Stephen R Bloom1 and M Denise Robertson

Journal of Endocrinology (2007) 193, 251-258 DOI: 10.1677/JOE-06-0030

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.


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!


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.


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.