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.

My Gym Program to Shed Fat – Fast!!!

Welcome Back!!

Last time I listed 30 something reasons to get in shape if you are over 30 and this time I want to look at the use of exercise as a major component of getting into shape  – or staying there once you’re happy with how you look.

The first type of program uses barbells & dumbbells and pretty much needs a gym so you can access enough weight to really challenge yourself. If you are already set up at home so much the better….

But what if I don’t go to the gym I hear you ask? Don’t worry – I have info on how to use body weight workouts in the next blog post.

Not many of us can afford to set up a home gym with this much equipment

We all know that diet is 80 – 90% of fat loss and that you cannot out-train a poor one.

So let’s assume that you’ve reduced your calories and are eating nutrient dense but calorie sparse foods. That you are eating clean – lots of protein and low GI carbs, few processed foods, no transfats and you’ve come as close to eliminating High Fructose Corn Syrup from your diet as humanly possible. You’ve also added spices like cinnamon & capsicum to your diet, drink green tea and use protein shakes as a means to keep your body feeling full and also staying in positive nitrogen balance. In other words you’ve got your fat loss diet sorted.

Now we need to get the exercise part firing, this is one of my preferred routines.

Now as we have discussed in previous posts – once our bodies sense a cut in calories it immediately begins to preserve (and if possible) add to fat stores. It also begins to burn muscle for fuel once glycogen stores are depleted – result; a slower metabolism and more body fat.

You can combat this though – by convincing your body that it needs to maintain if not add to your muscle if it is to survive. And we do that by lifting heavy weights and then following this up with a Metabolic conditioning / HIIT style workout.

No more than hour is needed to get great results

The total workout should take no more than an hour with 30 minutes spent on the strength / muscle preservation side and the final 30 spent on reconditioning & firing up your metabolism with some HIIT circuits.

Your goal has to be to maintain lean muscle and to max strength when you are reducing calories. The best exercises to use for this are compound (ie multijoint) ones like Squats, Deadlifts, Overhead Presses and weighted Chin Ups. (You’ll note the absence of the bench press – this is deliberate as I & many others believe that it is not as effective as overhead presses, creates strength imbalances in the shoulder girdle and often causes shoulder injuries)

So in order to preserve your muscles and build strength you use this program:

  1. 1. Deadlifts paired with Overhead presses on Day 1
  2. 2. Squats paired with Pull ups (weighted if possible) on Day 2

The reason that pullups and deadlifts aren’t paired together is that they’re both challenging to your grip and will weaken it. A weak grip means that you can do fewer reps or use less weight so by splitting them apart your grip only gets ‘hit’ with 1 exercise each session. (Note – if you can’t do weighted chin ups don’t worry – do as many as you can in each set. Once you get strong enough to do 10 from ‘dead hang’ with good form then add some weight and drop your reps back to 3 or 4 and work back up)

On each day you do the following metabolic condition workout:

You WON'T be using any of these - they don't work!!

  1. 1. Dumbbell Squat and Presses
  2. 2. Jumping Jacks
  3. 3. Dumbbell Bench Step-ups with Bicep Curl (do reps for each side)
  4. 4. Squat Thrusts
  5. 5. Dumbbell Walking Lunges (do reps for each side)

Go through 10 – 15 reps of each exercise pausing only long enough to swap weights until you’ve completed one circuit. Rest long enough to get your breathing down ( 2-3 minutes) and repeat 3-5 times.

The goal of this style of training for the second 30 minutes of each workout is to get your metabolism really ramped up so that you create a strong EPOC and continue to burn fat as fuel for hours after the workout is done.


Firstly warm up with some Jumping Jacks followed by walking lunges, then shoulder swings, some push ups and some body weight squats. Not a lot, just enough to get the blood flowing and the joints lubricated.

Then set up your barbells for the deadlift and the overhead press. Put enough weight on each bar so that you can only do 5 -6 fast reps of each exercise with good form.

Don't forget to warmup first

Speed is important as it engages more muscle fibres, fires up more mitochondria ( the fat burning furnaces in each cell) and builds more strength. Good form matters as injury will slow if not halt your progress. Always err on the side of caution.

Then do 3 – 4 sets in circuit fashion (3 reps of Deadlifts, rest long enough to get your breath back, then 3 reps of Overhead Press, rest long enough to get your breath back then back to Deadlifts again and repeat for 3-4 times)

That is the first part of the workout on day 1, next you move to part 2 which is the metabolic circuits.

For these you need to set up several sets of different dumbbells. You need different weights as you will be able to handle different ones depending upon the exercise. For example you can hold a larger weight for the walking lunges than you can curl on the step ups. Again aim for speed with good form.

Put your equipment back and go home and eat a meal high in protein, moderate carbs and low fat. Because you are trying to drop bodyfat you should NOT go the high carb route. That works when you are already lean and certainly enhances muscle growth, but if you are carrying body fat your metabolism is still primed to store carbs as fat…

Then you come back on day 2 and do the squats & Chin Ups followed by the same metabolic workout.

For best results, and if you are up to it you should workout 6 days a week, alternating Workout 1 with Workout 2.

Over a week it would look like this:

Day 1- Deadlifts & Overhead Presses + Metabolic Conditioning Exercises

Day 2- Squats & Chin Ups + Metabolic Conditioning Exercises

Day 3- Deadlifts & Overhead Presses + Metabolic Conditioning Exercises

Day 4- Squats & Chin Ups + Metabolic Conditioning Exercises

Day 5- Deadlifts & Overhead Presses + Metabolic Conditioning Exercises

Day 6- Squats & Chin Ups + Metabolic Conditioning Exercises

Day 7 – Rest

Follow this program for 6 weeks with a clean metabolism boosting diet and you’ll see great results. Make no mistake though – this is hard work and should be challenging!!

Results come to those who work at it!!

If however you are just starting out you should aim for working out 3 days a week with a 2 week program that looks like this:

Day 1- Deadlifts & Overhead Presses + Metabolic Conditioning Exercises

Day 2- Rest

Day 3- Squats & Chin Ups + Metabolic Conditioning Exercises

Day 4- Rest

Day 5- Deadlifts & Overhead Presses + Metabolic Conditioning Exercises

Day 6- Rest

Day 7 – Rest

Day 8- Squats & Chin Ups + Metabolic Conditioning Exercises

Day 9- Rest

Day 10- Deadlifts & Overhead Presses + Metabolic Conditioning Exercises

Day 11- Rest

Day 12- Squats & Chin Ups + Metabolic Conditioning Exercises

Day 13- Rest

Day 14- Rest

If you use the 14 day cycle aim to do it for at least 8 weeks then switch to the 6-days a week one foe another 4.

Well there you have it – follow this program with a clean diet and the fat will certainly disappear.

See next time when we’ll look at why bodyweight workouts can deliver excellent results – even without gym equipments.

Be well.

Why you should eat more Saturated Fat in your Diet….

Some Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat

Welcome Back – no you haven’t come to the wrong blog, nor have I made a mistake in the headline – this blog is about why we need to eat fat – specifically saturated fat.

Remember it was not in the not-so-distant past (about 1971), that the medical establishment looked a couple of poorly done experiments and then decided that all fats equal, and are equally life threatening and ‘EVIL.

The fat in these is evil - transfat...

The prognosis was that all fats are bad for you and are the root cause of all heart disease, obesity and other ailments. This is utter crap! Things have changed in the last couple of years (although with dieticians & the Governments it is still slow going).

Current medical thinking on fats is that some are good, if not downright essential to your well being & health – fats like olive oil and canola oil*—but others are bad for you—trans fats and all saturated fats. It is an improvement but it is still far from the truth.

There is in-built resistance to the latest research from the ‘Fats are evil camp’ just that now they are still offering advice to the tune of: “You should limit your intake of saturated fats & avoid them wherever possible.”  This is usually followed by these ‘educated’ pundits saying: which have been proven to raise cholesterol and cause heart disease.” Their over-arching belief is that saturated fat is bad, if not deadly for you.

You can see with just a glance at my suggested meal plan that I’ve included saturated fats. In fact I fully advocate fatty cuts of meat, chicken with the skin, bacon, eggs, butter, coconut oil, organic lard, and heavy cream in the Lose 20 in 30 Fuel Program.  Aren’t I worried that these foods will increase your risk of heart disease and raise your cholesterol? Nope, not at all. In fact, I encourage you to make these important fats a regular part of your healthy diet. Why? Because humans need them and here are just a few reasons why.

1) Improved cardiovascular risk factors

Olive Oil - one of the good fats!!

Though you may not have heard of it on the front pages of the newspapers, online news source, or local television or radio news program, saturated fat plays several key roles in your cardiovascular health. The addition of saturated fat to your diet reduces the levels of a substance called lipoprotein (a)—pronounced “lipoprotein little a” and abbreviated Lp(a)—the presence of which correlates strongly with an increased risk for heart disease.

Currently there are no medications to lower this substance and the only dietary means of lowering Lp(a) is eating saturated fat. I know that you didn’t hear that on the nightly news, or read it in the papers. Also, believe it or not – eating saturated (and other) fats also raises the level of HDL, the so-called good cholesterol.

Lastly, research has shown that when women diet, those who eat the greatest percentage of the total fat in their diets as saturated fat lose the most body fat.

2) Stronger bones

Our bone mass declines as we get older. It seems to accelerate once we pass 40, especially for women. It is impossible to watch TV without being told that you need calcium for your bones. But, and this is a big but, can you remember ever being told that saturated fat is necessary for calcium to be most effectively incorporated into your bones?

According to one of the foremost research experts in dietary fats and human health, Mary Enig, Ph.D., there’s a case to be made for having as much as 50 percent of the fats in your diet as saturated fats for this reason.

Red Meat - a great source of fatty goodness - you can trim off the excess if you have lingering concerns...

That’s far below the 7 to 10 percent suggested by the mainstream Doctors, Dieticians and Nutritionists.

Her research suggests that by following the advice to avoid saturated fats and use vegetable oils instead, most women lose bone mass, develop osteoporosis, and need to be put on prescription medications plus calcium to try to recover the bone loss they suffer in middle age.

Food for thought. Google her and make up your own mind.

3) Improved liver health

Strangely enough adding saturated fat to your diet has been shown to make your liver reduce its own fat stores. A less fatty liver is a more efficient liver and given it is the filter for our entire body the more efficient the better!!

More importantly clearing fat from the liver is a critical first step in reducing belly fat storage. Then there is the fact that saturated fat has been shown to protect the liver from the toxic insults of alcohol and medications, including acetaminophen and other drugs commonly used for pain and arthritis, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs.

Even this needs some of the right saturated fats to function at its best...

In fact in some research the inclusion of saturated fats has enabled the liver to reverse the damage once it has occurred. Since the liver is the lynchpin of a healthy metabolism, anything that is good for the liver is good for getting rid of fat in the middle. Polyunsaturated vegetable fats do not offer this protection.

4) Healthier lungs

For our lungs to work properly their airspaces need to be coated with what is called ‘lung surfactant’. Sounds horrible, but without this layer our lungs do not work as well. Guess what this layer is made up of – yep – the fat content of lung surfactant is 100 percent saturated fatty acids.

Replacement of these critical fats by other types of fat makes the surfactant less efficient, almost faulty and potentially causes breathing difficulties.

Absence of the correct amount and composition of these saturated fatty acids can lead to a collapse of your lung’s airspaces and create respiratory distress. Infant respiratory distress syndrome is a direct result of this missing surfactant.

Without Saturated Fats these work a lot less well...

Some researchers feel that the wholesale substitution of partially hydrogenated (Trans) fats for naturally saturated fats in commercially prepared foods may be playing a role in the rise of asthma among children. Fortunately, the heyday of Trans fats is ending and their use is on the decline.

Unfortunately, however, the continued unreasoning fear of saturated fat that leads to the replacement of natural saturated fats with unhealthy Trans fats continues. We use an overabundance of polyunsaturated vegetable oils, which may prove just as unhealthy.

5) Healthy brain

Your brain is mainly made up of two substances that we have been taught to fear: fat and cholesterol. Though the importance of Omega # fatty acids (EPA & DHA) is now widely recognised, the majority of the fats that our brains require are of the saturated type. A diet low in saturated fats actually robs your brain of the raw materials it needs to function optimally.

6) Proper nerve signalling

The saturated fats found in substances like butter, lard, coconut oil, and palm oil, all function directly as signalling messengers that influence our metabolism through the mechanism of hormones. Such

Your Brain & nervouse system are dependant upon Saturated Fats to function properly...

critical jobs as signalling the appropriate release of insulin, or cortisol or Leptin are all dependent upon the fatty acids found in saturated fats.

Our nerves are sheathed in substances made from saturated fats. Saturated fats are vital to the proper functioning of our nervous & hormonal system.

7) Stronger immune system

Lastly the Saturated fats found in butter and coconut oil (in particular fatty acids called myristic acid and lauric acid) play key roles in the health of our immune system.

Without these saturated fatty acids being present in sufficient quantities in white blood cells thes ‘hunter Killers’ suffer an impaired  ability to recognize and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.  By the by human breast milk is quite rich in myristic and lauric acid, which have potent germ-killing ability and is touted as vital for the development of a fully functioning immune system in infants.

However the importance of these fats remains after infancy; we need dietary replenishment of them throughout adulthood, middle age, and into seniority to keep the immune system operating efficiently not only against infections but also against the development of cancerous cells.

I’ll be back next time with the rules for including fat healthily in your diet…Till then pass this on to your friends, Tweet or Face Book us…

Be well!!

Some Long Lasting Fatloss Exercise Myths – Taken Apart!!

Hi & Welcome back!

A few of you have been in touch with some questions about exercise & conditioning and where the truth lies so I though that I’d work our way through a few of the more common ones…

Myth #1 – Lifting weights will make Women look like a male Body Builder You’ll get big, bulky & ugly…

I wish that I had a $ for everytime that I have heard this one! It is a common concern of everywoman who joins a gym or reads about the importance of muscle in keeping fat levels down and metabolism high. Many believe that lifting challenging weights ( the best & only way to get quick & lasting results) will see them looking like a male bodybuilder in a few workouts time…

Not without 'Roids you won't...

Even worse it is a myth constantly reinforced and perpetrated by Aerobics, Spin, Tai Chi,Yoga, Zumba & Pilates instructors who should know better. A lot better.

Ladies – you DON’T have to worry about ending up looking like the Hulk! Seriously you don’t.

She doesn't look like Arnold... Nor would you


Well the truth is not only have female bodybuilders been training at elite levels for years but they have also ingested a large amount of anabolic steroids in order to increase their muscle mass. Non-steroid using women simply don’t have enough natural testerone to develop huge masses of muscle. You DO have sufficient naturally occurring testerone so that if you train intelligently you will develop strength, and curves.

Similarly for men – if you are not using steroids and you are past your teen years (the only time in a male’s life when his body has the perfect anabolic environment)  then you will have to train for years to build a lot of muscle mass – even with a man’s naturally higher levels of testerone. (although men’s T-levels are dropping in the Western world – but that’s a topic for another blog…)

Men & Women who are not drug assisted have to work damn hard for every ounce, every gram of additional muscle they gain through exercise. You don’t get leaner, curvier and stronger without working for it.

The benefits of anyone using a strategically sound workout regime are many, here are a few for women to consider:

  • Weight training increases bone density and is still the best way to avoid osteoarthritis
  • You become & stay leaner because your metabolism becomes  reconditioned and functions at a higher rate.
  • You get stronger and this carries over in everyday life and benefits everything from carrying groceries, hugging your kids, wresting your loved ones, lugging a TV to another room or just doing the necessary household chores. Research has also shown that becoming stronger reduces the incidence of falls in older women…
  • If you are a female athlete strength training reduces the incidence of injuries.
  • Your posture improves because the ‘anchoring’ muscles & tendons get stronger. You look more confident & alive, not stoped and old…

    Lift weights and you won't need to use one of these...

  • You become more selfconfident – few people in our comunity take the steps necessary to get in charge of their appearence & health but if you do not only do you feel more in charge of your life but you know that you are capable of things most folk can’t. My (much) better half Lynne is a 5’2″ Blonde who can deadlift 90+ kilos for reps and leg press a 150kg for a 100 reps. Not many men can do that (and you should see the looks on the faces of the males in the gym when she does…priceless) Now I am not suggesting that you want ot or have to move weights like Lynne does (she is competitve by nature), just that by using an intelligent strength training regime you will be able to do things most folk can’t and this will give your confidence a real boost!!
  • You look better and have a better shape. The usual path to fat loss for many women is long slow cardio and starvation diets which destroy muscle and leave you a smaller fat person. Strength training gives you curves and transform the composition of your body
  • You just look better dammit!!

Myth #2:  Long steady cardio in the ‘fat buring zone’ is what you have to do to burn fat

Think about this – everyday 1000’s of folk get in their car & drive to the gym to ride a bike walk a treadmill or climb some stairs…

Driving to the gym for a treadmill session is like this...

The issue here is not with the idea of using your aerobic energy system to stimulate fat loss. Cardio as in moving your body using large numbers of muscles, is a credible way to burn fat. The problem is that if you live in the real world long slow steady cardio takes a lot of time and is not that efficient. Plus its boring. If you have a life to live outside the gym then tradional slow cardio is not the best way to lose fat and get leaner.

The main issues with traditional cardio, often referrred to as ‘Chronic’ cardio by enlightened trainers) are:

  • It is time consuming and offers a poor return in terms of fat loss and health benefits for the time invested.
  • To burn 3500 claories (the amount in a pound of fat) you’d have to run at a 6 minute mile pace for 5 hours. So slow cardio can & does burn claories – but to burn a lot of calories you have to do it for a long time.
  • Then because you have been going steady as soon as you stop your metabolism drops right back to where it was before you hopped on the treadmill and you can forget about there being any significant post-exercise calorie burn.
  • Your body adapts to exercise induced stress. Very quickly. Particularly with long steady exercise. Just like water always travels downhill, your body is always looking for ways to conserve energy and making movement as efficient as possible is one way it does this.
  • Unless you subject your body to exercise which carries a high metabolic cost your body adjusts and becomes more efficient at any exercise  in short order.
  • When we want to lose fat we don’t want efficiency we want chaos and steep learning curves and inefficient body action. The more efficient your body becomes at any exercise the less energy it requirs to perform it. Less energy burned equals more fat retained!
  • Even HIIT training has to be changed around every few weeks as your body will adjust to it. With strength training it takes just 6 weeks for adaption & energy efficiency to occur…
  • So with traditional cardio in order to get the same results from the same exercise, you have to invest more time for longer & longer periods.
  • It just makes sense to use more using challenging cardio like sprints, bodyweight circuits or exercising using the Tabata protocol all work to keep your body off balance and raise the metabolic cost of exercise meaning more fat is burned.

    For Fat Loss this is NOT the best use of your time...

  • High injury rates – especially to the ankles, shins and knees. Any runner can attest to this, but so can any treadmill, stationary bike or stairclimber user. Long slow cardio promotes repetitive strain injuries – particulary on the weight bearing parts of our anatomy.
  • Research has shown that every foot fall when running creates the equivalent of 2.5 to 3 times our bodyweight on thelanding foot, arch, ankle, shin & knee. A slightly deviated gait can result in hip injuries.
  • Our bodies are designed to either move slowly over longdistances (like walking) or move rapidly over short ones (sprinting) – our joints, in our current historical times, seem to not be built to handle long periods of repetive running – especially on roads, pavements or treadmills. If you are carrying too much weight, the potential for injury just increases.
  • Did I mention steadt traditional cardio is boring?

Okay – I have just junked the idea of chronic, long, slow steady cardio – so what works? Metabolic conditioning, more specifically metabolic conditioning using a HIIT protocol.

Try these HIIT style for a real cardio workout...

The HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The metabolic conditioning refers to exercises that combine elements of strength training with cardio. Performed correctly this rsults in short, sharp & very time efficient workouts that burn fat and lots of it. The metabolic cost ( calories burnt)of HIITMC is huge and the ‘afterburn’ – where your body keeps burning calories for hours after exercise ceases –  is significantly high.

HIITMC when done properly will make your lungs  feel like they are on fire, your heart is trying to climb up your throat and your body will want to return to its ‘normal’ state ASAP. In order to do this your body has to clear the fatigue products, rebuild affected muscle, replenish glycogen stores and a lot more besides. The only way it can achieve this is by ramping your metabolism up. Way up. In fact studies have shown a significantly elevated metabolisn for up to 38+ hours after this type of exercise session.

This means a couple of things – greater fat loss in less time than traditional cardio with the added benefits of strength training. HIIT style metabolic conditioning results in overall fat loss up to 220% that of traditional cardio.

If HIITMC is so good then why isn’t everyone using it?

There are a number of reasons why more people are not using HIIT MC for their fat loss:

  • Most people still think that ‘Aerobics’ or traditional cardio is the best way to lose fat.
  • Many Gyms & Personal trainers are in the business of keeping you coming back and don’t want to either deliver results too quickly or to scare you off. (Plus once you know how to do it you don’t need them or even their machines any more except for a bit of variety…)
  • HIIT MC is hard work. Real hard work.
  • If you are using a HIIT protocol correctly you won’t be having a chat to your work out buddy, or be able to read a magazine or change the song on your iPod. usually with HIITMC your focus is on getting to the end of the current timed interval and trying to get enough breath into your lungs.

Using HIITMC – your lungs burn, your muscles strain and your will is challenged. You will sweat. A lot. More than a lot. These are all good things as they show that you are getting your body to do what you want not allowing it to take the path of least resistance (which it prefers!)

You don't need a gym for a HIITMC workout...

A HIITMC session can be a simple as:

  • Doing 5 rounds of 3 exercises with 1 minutes break between rounds – push ups followed by pull ups followed by bodyweight squats is the classic combo.
  • Using ‘Ladders’ for exercises like burpees – do 1, stop, do 2, stop, do 3, stop. do 4, stop, do 5 etc until you do 10 then reverse the process and do 9, stop, do 8, stop until you get back to zero.
  • Going to the beach, marking out 50 yards / metres and doing 10 sets of sprints with 1 minute (or less) break between sets.
  • Do 10 sets of hill runs, resting only as long as it takes to walk back down between each set.
  • Doing 200 kettlebell swings with a challenging weight only stopping long enough on the way to catch a few deep breaths.
  • Use a leg press machine with a challenging weight and stay on it until you have completed a 100 reps.
  • Do push presses with light dumb bells to a Tabata protocol (20 secs activity, 10 sec rest for 4 minutes straight – this is 1 set – do 3)
  • Do a barbell complex – a series of exercises with the one weight done  for set reps without putting the weight down or resting until completed. That is one set. Do 3 or 4sets . (eg 6 reps of each with a 20 kiol barbell – deadlift followed by clean followed by overhead press followed by rear squat followed by good morings. Rest 2 minutes repeat)

Stairs are just as good as hills...

All of these are simple to do but not easy to accomplish. You should start off slowy and work up to the times and numbers suggested above. With any running begin by just jogging a few sets as your warm up. Depending upon how fit you are even this can be challenging…Then do some hamstring & quadricep stretches, ankle & knee circle and some hip swings to ensure your legs are ready – then go for it. You’ll hate me for it during the session and the next day or 2 but after 4 or 5 sessions you’ll be seeing strong results.
The real key here is to start slow, get command of the movement(s) and then do what you can, striving to add reps or distance to timed intervals each session depending upon the activity you have chosen. But give each interval, each set, each round your all – go at it 100% once you have mastered the activity and the fat will go.

Because of the metabolic costs involved never use HIITMC for more than 20 to 25 minutes per session or do more than 4 sessions a week (2 is good, 3 ideal) – if you do, you will move into detrimental effects due to the demands that HIITMC puts on your body especially in the first 8 – 10 weeks.

Bottomline – to lose fat, recompose your body, to get lean, to look better naked – YOU’VE GOT TO EARN IT!!

For other myths & ideas – don’t forget to get your free report! It’s waiting at the top right hand side of the page…

I’ll be back next time with a couple of other myths that need a touch up.

Be well.