By the time you read this you’ll need it…

Welcome Back!!

I hope that you all had a great Christmas day and that Santa brought you what you wanted!!

I hope that you spent good times with family and friends. That the food was good & plentiful, the company enjoyable and the weather good…

Well Christmas lunch has come & gone and dinner is over, done and dusted. And you’re feeling….well stuffed, over fed, pants too tight, got a good case of belly bloat going on and that furry tongue feeling that comes from either too much alcohol. too many sweet carbs or a mixture of both. (in my case Lynne – as she always does – cooked up a superb all day feast that began with Christmas Brunch and continued all day…)

Ahh.. post Christmas Dinner bloat...

You know you should have followed the last post and eaten your Protein first but the honeyed veges looked too good, the egg nog was too plentiful, the christmas cake too inviting and well you just let go and enjoyed yourself. You let go of all of that hard won disciplne, that laser like focus on only eating to stay healthy & lean… Another Christmas day come & gone and you feel a bit guilty, like you blew it and find part of your mind saying (again) never again..

Okay time to move past this, time to get back on track, time to recognise that this was a temporary diversion and most of all time to repair some of the damage done.

So how to do this?

Firstly realise that letting go of your diet control once & a while is okay, just make sure that you climb back on the wagon. It’s really not something to beat yourself up about unless ‘once & a while’ turns into every week or….

Here’s how to get back in harness– your metabolism has been given a hiding, and your digestive system has been stressed far beyond normal limits… You need to hit the ‘reset button’.

This little trick will do what’s needed:

Once Christmas day and the following one (Boxing Day here in Australia) are done then make a decision to stay away from all highly processed, high GI foods and focus on lean Protein, fresh fruit and fibrous vegetables. Add some healthy fats via nuts & avocado and you are well on the way to getting back on track.

This means waking up and having an omelette with some Spanish onion and mushrooms in it and avoiding cereal & milk. It means grabbing an apple or a peach and some almonds for a snack, having big salads with

Drink lots of this...

olive oil dressing and chicken or turkey breast, it means avoiding breads, crackers or that the left over Christmas pudding, Pavlova or pie.

It means drinking a lot of water. A lot of water.

Eating like this will reduce the bloat, ease the stress on your digestive system and beat back those sugary carb cravings.

This works by allowing a number of things to happen – fewer carbs means your body has a chance to normalise & stabilise blood sugar levels after the havoc of the days just gone.

Your pancreas gets a break and you insulin levels will drop also. Your body will release excess fluids (high sugary carbs creates water retention – and drinking extra water when eating lower carbs actually forces a situation where excess retained water is ‘let go’).

High sugary carbs also unleash the cravings monster and eating as described above will blunt these.

So December 27th or 28th get stuck into water and left over protein, veges and fruit. Pass on the potatoes, the bread and sweets, pie & cakes. Not only will you lose the bloat but you’ll feel better quicker and be back on track for a fit & lean 2011.

Oh yeah add some gentle exercise – go for a walk, toss a Frisbee, ride a bike do some tai chi or or some swimming. The key here is to eas back into exercise not jump back in like a demon! There are some

May your dreams come true in 2012

psychological considerations for this time of year to take into account as well. Our mind tells us we should be taking it easy, we should be on holidays so our bodies are going this way as well. Don’t stop exercising just ease back into instead…

My best wishes for a Safe & Happy New Year – may 2012 be the year all your dreams come true!!

6 Simple Diet Rules to Lose 15 Kg in 12 weeks

Welcome back…

Regular readers know that I am a proponent of  reconditioning your metabolism through a strategic mix of challenging, high intensity (but brief duration!) exercise, tactical food intake to manipulate hormones and to harness the thermic effect of eating.

I also believe that over 80% of our body’s composition is down to diet, and if your diet is wrong then you’ll stay fat.

Diet did this

There are two real culprits in the obesity crisis. One is the fast-acting carbs and sugars in breads, cereals, pastas, desserts, cakes, rolls, crackers and fast foods that we all tend to eat. The other is that we tend to eat overlarge portions of just about everything.

With this in mind here are six simple but effect rules to introduce into your eating habits that will enable you to drop 30 lbs or 15 kilos over about 12 weeks.

Give them a try and let me know what you think.


To the remaining horror of many an ill-informed Dietician if you want to lose body fat you have to immediately go on a “controlled-carbohydrate diet “.

Now unlike what the Newspapers will tell you (or those pesky Dieticians) this doesn’t mean cutting out carbs altogether, but it does mean eating strategically and with a degree of awareness so that you restrict the carb types that significantly raise your blood sugar and thus your insulin levels. For example, the carbs found in soft drinks, sweets, baked goods like cakes & cookies, bread & pasta.

Cut down or out completely for the first few weeks

I even recommend that you cut out multigrain breads and cereals for the first few weeks. Why? Well multi-grain foods still raise insulin levels. Avoid as many grains as possible – including rice & pastas, no matter what their colour. Because milk has a significant number of carbohydrates, it is off-limits for at least the first 6 weeks – so are other dairy products except cheeses.

The upshot is that this plan limits your carbs to those found in vegetables and fruit.

Now on this plan you should also:

1)      Eat only when you’re hungry

2)      Eat only to the point of feeling full.

3)      Eat as much protein as you like

4)      Eat as many non-starchy vegetables as you like.

5)      Eat no more than 80 – 150 grams of cheese daily and no other dairy for at least 6 weeks.

6)      Restrict your fruit to no more than 3 daily servings of low glycemic fruits like berries, melon, apples, plums, citrus like oranges, apricots, kiwifruit or peaches or nectarines

7)      Drink at least 2 litres (2 quarts) of water every day

Follow these guidelines and you’ll also lose 15 kilos in three months.

Here are the Six Simple rules:

1. Cut out quickly digested carbs.

Fast carbs to avoid - sugar to sugar!!

Use the Glycemic Index as a rough guide, use the Glycemic Load of a food as an even better one. Foods that have a high glycaemic index (GI) tend to raise blood sugars quickly – it’s not the whole story but it is a good rule of thumb to follow. (more on this in Rule #2)

You’re an adult – eliminate junk food from your diet at least until you have lost the desired amount of body fat.

No soft drinks / soda pop, no sugary sweets, desserts or baked goods, no bread or biscuits etc. If it is a processed carb avoid it!

Eating these foods signals your body to release a flood of insulin – eliminate them and your insulin levels stay where you want them to be: low. This in turn improves both your health & fat loss. Need proof?

A University of Connecticut research study analysed why low-carb dieters were so successful and they calculated that at least 70 per cent of the fat loss stemmed from low-insulin levels.

2. Eat more vegetables.

Yep – your Mum was right – eat more vegetables, cliché or not there is no denying that for overall health and fat loss this works.

You need to aim for 4 or more servings of non-starchy vegetables every day. Why non-starchy?

There’s a lot of confusion about certain starchy vegetables that have a “high glycemic index”, vegetables that people following lower-carb eating plans have been told to avoid.

The glycemic load is a far  more meaningful measure of the effect of foods on your  blood sugar and insulin levels.

  • Peas and Carrots are good examples – they have a GI of above 60 (80 for peas) but a GL of only 3. In other words a serving of carrots and / or peas will have a negligible effect on your blood sugar.
  • Potatoes however have both a high a glycemic load and index – as does corn so you have to avoid these.

Take home message is that you can eat  virtually any vegie of your choice other than potatoes (white, sweet or fried), and corn.

Cheeses - especially hard cheeses is okay!!

3. Have protein at every meal.

By having protein at every meal you not only promote your body’s TEF (Thermic effect of food), support muscle preservation (vital to fat loss) but you also help trip the satiety signals. Eating protein at every meal helps you feel fuller quicker and for longer.

This is particularly true for breakfast when you body is essentially coming off an 8 hour+ fast.

The best sources are beef, chicken, fish, whey protein powder and eggs.

4. Don’t be afraid of natural fat.

Fat does not get stored as fat – all foods are broken down into their components and largely turned into blood sugar(a simplistic view) and it is an excess of blood sugars that get stored as fat.

The natural (ie non-transfats, non-manipulated by man) fats like those found in unprocessed meats, avocadoes, olives or olive-oil-based dressings do not raise your insulin levels, and have little to do with making you fat.

It is when high amounts of carbs are coupled with high levels of fat(regardless of source) that insulin release is stimulated causing your body to store fat instead of burning it.

God what about cholesterol and the health of my heart??

The Journal of Nutrition reviewed 13 studies of low carb diets and found that this type of diet – even with 50% of calories typically coming from fats – were more effective at reducing heart-disease risk than traditional

NOT the protein that you want to be eating...

low-fat diets.

5. Forget about processed foods.

This includes luncheon meats, cereals, snacks, baked goods etc etc.

If you follow only one rule, make it this: if it comes in a box or a bag, skip it. I guarantee you’ll have success.

6. Make Calorie Density work for you.

Calorie dense food...

In addition to adding protein to every meal another way to eat well and to feel full is to utilise calorie density. Caloric density is the amount of calories present in a given amount or volume of food.

This means that a food that contains a large amount of calories in a small volume of food has a high caloric density.  Sometimes very high. At the other end of the scale are thiose foods which are large in volume but low in calories – these foods are considered to have low calorie density.

NB The carbs with the highest caloric density tend to be those that are nutrient sparse and low calorie density carbs are nutrient dense. Fruits and vegetables have very low caloric densities, especially green and leafy vegetables. So do lean proteins.

Foods with low caloric density therefore allow you to eat more volume of food for fewer calories. You can eat more and ingest fewer calories.

Think of it this way – what is easier to eat – 1000 calories of cheesecake or 1000 calories of spinach?

So part of fat loss is to be able to eat well, eat healthily and in a way that leaves you feeling full and less likely to develop cravings. So it is important that you combine lots of fruits, veggies, beans, and lean proteins for meals that leave you full with a lower calorie price to be paid.

Nothing Tastes as Good as Being Lean Feels...

Here are the Six Simple rules:

1. Cut out quickly digested carbs.

2. Eat more vegetables.

3. Have protein at every meal.

4. Don’t be afraid of natural fat.

5. Forget about processed foods.

6. Make Calorie Density work for you.

Eating by following these 6 rules will enable you to shave hundreds of calories off your daily total while being completely content with the amount of food you’re eating. Not to mention how much healthier overall you’ll feel.

See you next week – Be well.