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If Your Primary Goal Is Weight Loss, Carbing Up Before Your Workout Is Not A Good Idea

By | Diet, Exercise, Fat Burning, Insulin Resistance, Insulin Sensitivity, Intermittent Fasting, Metabolism, Weight Loss | No Comments


Its not uncommon to hear people talk about carbing up before a workout.  This is at typical practice with distance runners or cyclists and weight lifters and it certainly helps with performance.  However, if your primary reason for working out is weight loss then carbing up probably isn’t going to help you.  You will certainly have a stronger workout but your carbs can get in the way of tapping into those fat stores you want to release for fuel.

When you eat food that contains sugar and starch, your blood sugar goes up and insulin is released.  At this moment, your body is trying to remove that sugar from your blood stream as quickly as possible because you aren’t moving fast enough to burn it all up sitting at the table.  Your body slows or stops the release of fat for fuel because you already have too much floating around and insulin is transporting what you’ve just eaten to muscle and fat cells.  There is no reason to release more fuel.

As I mentioned, the readily available sugar you’ve just eaten will top off your muscles fuel supply and will certainly help your performance during your workout, but is that your goal. Are you there to run farther, cycle faster or lift more OR are you there to tap into your fat stores, put stress on your fat burning metabolism and burn more stored fat during your workout?

While fasted cardio, boot camps and weight training is more physically challenging and may not give you the best performance results, the stress you are putting on your fat burning metabolism is actually training it to be more efficient, making it easier to rely on fat stores at a less strenuous pace like when you’re at work or running errands.  Fasted training has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, something we all lose to some degree with age.

Fasted workouts are easiest to accomplish in the mornings when we can get out the door right away with just a cup of coffee or tea to get us moving.  If you workout later in the day, you can still limit carb intake before your workout and eat primarily protein, fat and non starchy veggies.  Also try to put at least 2 hours between your last meal and your workout to allow blood sugars to come back to normal levels.

Intermittent fasting is another way to approach this.  You can skip breakfast, having just coffee or tea, (maybe with a little butter or coconut oil in it) and workout just before your lunch, with your first meal coming right after your midday workout.  This may be tough the first few times you do it but as you become more adapted to burning fat, it will get a bit easier.

If you find you need some guidance with planning a low carb diet, check out my Food Comes First Diet Plan which includes a food list and a week’s worth of meal suggestions.  You can find it here: Food Comes First Diet.

Coconut Oil Called Unhealthy By The AHA? My Opposing View.

By | Cholesterol, Diet, Fat Burning, Insulin Resistance, Probiotic, Weight Loss | No Comments


Did you see the recent article with a statement from the AHA (American Heart Association) saying that coconut oil isn’t healthy for us because its a saturated fat?  Apparently they’re still recommending the low fat, high carb diet that sent obesity and diabetes to epidemic levels.    Like when the ADA recommended our diet be 60-70% carbohydrate in 1994 and from 1997 to 2007, the number of people with type 2 diabetes doubled.  Hmm.

Personally, coconut oil is one of my favorite fats, and since I eat a high fat, low carb diet, that make it pretty important to me.  Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride so its easily converted to energy, as a replacement for carbs, without increasing blood sugar.  It also kills a strain of Candida bacteria which is one of the bacteria strains we don’t want a lot of in our gut.

As a saturated fat, its my “go to” for cooking eggs and veggies.  Saturated fats are stable fats and withstand high heat without smoking, or oxidizing, like unsaturated fats do.  The oxidized, unsaturated fats become free radicals causing inflammation in our bodies.  Inflammation is the beginning of all disease in our bodies so we don’t need to add anymore of that.  Yet, that’s exactly what cooking with the “recommended” unsaturated oils, like canola and corn oil, does.

Those grain based unsaturated oils, polyunsaturated, also contain a lot of omega 6 fatty acids, which are also inflammatory.  Our ratios of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids should be 1:1, but in the Western diet is generally 10:1 or 20:1, so why would we add more to our diets.  We struggle as it is to get enough omega 3’s with fish oil and flax supplements.

Dr. Perlmutter, who wrote “Grain Brain”, actually calls coconut oil “brain food” and highly recommends cooking with it.  If your concern is the effects of cholesterol and saturated fat on heart disease, allow me to recommend two books that will clear this up for you.  The first is “The Cure For Heart Disease” by Dwight Lundell M.D. and Todd R. Nordstrom and the second is “The Great Cholesterol Myth” by Jonny Bowden PhD and Stephen Sinatra, M.D.

In my opinion, the information gap lies in diets being observed containing high fat.  In a typical Western diet, full of starch, sugar, fast food, etc. then you have fat combined with high blood sugar and insulin which certainly causes fat storage and other health issues.  You have similar issues with a high carb, low fat diet.  But a low carb, high fat diet in which the carb source is primarily non starchy vegetables  and blood sugar and insulin are kept at low levels, fat is the primary fuel source.  In this case, less fat is stored and more fat is burned. There is also much less inflammation created with a low carb diet than a high carb diet.  The variable causing the problems isn’t fat.  The problems are a result of an excess of sugar and starch.

If you’re looking for a diet to help you reduce sugar and starch and include more vegetables for controlling weight and balancing your biome, please consider my Food Comes First Diet.  It includes a food list and a week’s worth of meal suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon snacks.  You can find it here: Food Comes First Diet Plan.

The Ratios Of Bacteria In Our Gut Determines How Many Calories We Store Or Burn

By | Diet, Fat Burning, Probiotic, Weight Loss | No Comments

90% of the bacteria in our gut is made up of two major types: Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes.  The populations of these two types of bacteria make up our F/B ratio.

The Firmicutes bacteria absorb more calories from our food than Bacteroidetes, AND trigger the storage of calories as fat.  Bacteroidetes don’t absorb as many calories and allow more of the calories we do absorb to be burned for energy.  The F/B ratio is actually considered to be a bio market for obesity.

In 2015, a Harvard study compared the stool samples of children from western Europe to those in rural Africa, where obesity is almost non existent.  The children in western Europe had a much higher population of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes, a higher F/B ratio, as is common with our western diet.  The  children in rural Africa, whose diet includes a lot of vegetable fiber, had a much higher population of Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes, a lower F/B ratio.

The food that we eat has a direct influence on the type and strains of bacteria living in our gut.  Generally, the Firmicutes flourish when the  diet includes large amounts of sugar and starch.  Bacteroidetes thrive when there is more vegetable fiber in the diet.

A low population of Bacteroidetes is also associated with gut permeability,or leaky gut, which leads to inflammatory compounds escaping the colon and being released into our bodies.  These inflammatory compounds can cause disease and auto immune responses.

A diet loaded with non starchy vegetables feeds the bacteria we want living in our gut for the greatest health benefits, weight control and the avoidance of disease.

You can get my Food Comes First Diet, which includes a food list and a weeks worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks at this link:  Food Comes First Diet.

Why Is My Dietary Advice So Different From That Of The Mainstream Health Authorities?

By | Cholesterol, Diet, Fat Burning, Insulin Resistance, Insulin Sensitivity, Weight Loss | No Comments

Why is my dietary advice so different from the mainstream health authorities?  That’s a great question.  Why aren’t they paying attention to what the more progressive MD’s and PhD’s are saying and showing in their research?

In 1994, the American Diabetes Association ( I called them the American Dietetics Association in the video, Whoops) recommended a diet of 60-70% carbohydrates, a classic low fat diet.  From 1997 to 2007 the number of diabetics in the US doubled!!  Great advice.  Lets tell people to eat more of what elevates blood sugar and creates insulin resistance.

Obviously I coach a low carb, high fat diet to keep blood sugar low and maintain or improve insulin sensitivity.  The fear of saturated fat and cholesterol for obesity, diabetes and heart disease is based on bad science from 50 years ago.  Dietary fat in the presence of high amounts of  sugar and starch in the diet is harmful but when you lower sugar and starch, and eat primarily vegetables for carbs, fat becomes your fuel source and doesn’t get locked up in fat stores by insulin resistance.

Since their research on fat was done with people eating a typical western diet full of bread, pasta, sugar, fast food, etc then, yes, fat was not  allowed to be burned because of elevated insulin levels.  The presence of sugar and starches also causes glycation of proteins and fats, creating AGE’s which cause inflammation in our bodies.  The AGE’s and the inflammation they cause are responsible for the increased occurrence of our lifestyle diseases like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, auto immune disorders, etc.

When we lower the carb intake and replace sugars and starches with vegetables and fat for fuel, inflammation is reduced, as well as the risk and occurrence of obesity and the other lifestyle diseases.

For more detailed information about what is really causing our epidemic of lifestyle diseases, I recommend the books “The Great Cholesterol Myth” by Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra, “The Cure For Heart Disease” by Dwight Lundell and Todd R. Nordstrom and “Grain Brain” by David Perlmutter.

If you’re looking for a healthy, low carb eating plan, my Food Comes First Diet comes with a detailed food list and a weeks worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.  You can find it at this link: Food Comes First Diet Plan.

Don’t Let Your Weekend Eating Set Back Your Weight Loss Progress From The Week

By | Diet, Fat Burning, Intermittent Fasting, Weight Loss | No Comments

For many people, the weekend indulgences can undo their weight loss progress and success from the week.  Two steps forward and one step back.  This becomes very discouraging on Monday morning.  The lack of routine and the added social aspect of the weekend is a big temptation to indulge and go WAY off of our eating plan making it very difficult to get any real progress.

My advice is to limit the hours in the weekend when you will be going “off plan” and create a part of the weekend days to allow your body to burn fat and drop some water weight.  Usually, the most tempting time of the weekends is the late afternoon or evening when having dinner or going out so put your mornings and early afternoons to work for you.  

Eat low carb all day starting with eggs for breakfast but skipping the starch and fruit and having some protein with a salad or steamed veggies for lunch.  You could even try some intermittent fasting, skipping breakfast, and not start eating until midday, keeping to the low carb options.  This will better allow your body to burn fat all day and drop some of the water weight you may have picked up from eating carbs and salty food the night before.

This also limits the time you have to indulge in “off plan” eating to just the evenings, providing some damage control.  Of course, the ideal plan would be to stick to your eating plan all weekend except for one cheat meal, not day, but every weekend won’t be perfect.  By the way, alcohol will have less of a fat storage effect if you’re not eating carbs while your drinking.  

Why Whole Grains Aren’t As Healthy As We’ve Been Told

By | Diet | No Comments

We’ve heard for decades now how important “whole grains” are for our health.  We need the fiber and the B vitamins.  A major problem with that is that the wheat we’re eating now isn’t the same wheat that was available 100 years ago. 

The wheat we eat now is a dwarf wheat with less fiber and more gluten.  Through hybridization, in an effort to create a heartier wheat to feed more people, the gluten content was increased by more than 5 times what it used to be.  The wheat we ate 100 years ago had more in common with the wheat in Europe 2000 years ago and the wheat in the Middle East 5000 years ago than the wheat we have now.  The increased gluten and decreased fiber gives bread a doughy-er texture than what our ancestors ate and it appears our bodies don’t like it.

Gluten is a known inflammatory, whether you have celiac disease or not.  It can manifest itself in headaches, skin irritations, brain fog, seizures and of course, digestion issues.  Gluten also has addictive properties.  Our opiate receptors actually react to gluten causing a euphoric effect and, therefore, the addictive response many people feel when they even smell bread.

I highly recommend reading the book “Grain Brain” by Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist who calls wheat “your brain’s silent killers”.  He believes the increased consumption of gluten has contributed to the increase in incidents of Alzheimer’s disease as well as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.  Of course, he recommends a low carb diet for long term health.

When Losing Weight, Beware of Eating Too Much Fruit

By | Diet, Weight Loss | No Comments

 


While fruit is a nutritious food with many needed antioxidants, it is still a source of sugar and can limit weight loss.  Fruit contains both fructose and glucose in varying ratios depending on the fruit.

Glucose is the primary sugar in starches like grains and potatoes and is the main source for glycogen for our muscles.  When muscle glycogen stores are full or the muscles are insulin resistant, excess glycogen is taken by insulin to the fat cells to be stored for later use (body fat).

Fructose replenishes liver glycogen levels but when the liver has enough glycogen, excess fructose is also stored as fat.  Over consumption of fructose is generally the cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are made up of both of these types of sugar and most of us get plenty of both.  So fructose comes into our system even if we haven’t eaten fruit just from common sweeteners and as a hidden ingredient in foods, like many wheat breads and meal replacement shakes.

I generally recommend to my weight loss clients and in my weight loss coaching group to have no more than half a serving, 15g, of net carbohydrates from fruit (carbs minus fiber).  Examples of this would be half a grapefruit, a cup of berries or a small apple.  To determine the sugar content of your fruit serving use a food app or just Google it.

The “Biggest Losers” Gain Their Weight Back But No One Understands Why

By | Metabolism, Weight Loss | No Comments

There was a recent N.Y. Times article about several former “Biggest Loser” contestants who have gained most or all of their weight back.  After some tests, it was found that many of them had a slower metabolic rate than would be expected from a person of their current size.

This has many wondering if the extreme approach taken by the show is the cause of the metabolic slow down.  Is it possible that the their weight set point in the brain hasn’t caught up with the body and their bodies are trying to regain the weight for fear of starving?  This MAY be a factor but for now, even the doctors aren’t sure what has the metabolisms of many of these “Biggest Losers” as much 200 to 500 calories a day slower than they should be.

What’s The Story With Soy And Why Should We Avoid It?

By | Diet, Soy | No Comments


For a few decades now, SOY has been considered a “health food” because of benefits to the heart and as a vegetarian protein source.  However, soy is also known to contain phyto estrogens which can act as endocrine disruptors and create imbalances in the body’s sex hormones.

In my opinion, the health risks of disruption of testosterone and/or estrogen in the body far outweighs any possible health benefits soy could provide.