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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Leptin: How to Make This Fat-Burning Hormone Work for You

by Leo Galland, M.D.

The holidays came and went, and now we are here again:
The mid-winter bulges and blahs. From the holiday treats that you want to burn off, to the frosty weather that keeps you indoors, chances are everything has conspired lately to make you feel heavier and sluggish at times.
Now it's time to turn the tables and make things work in your favor, to help you improve your mood, gain energy and lose weight.
As I will explain, it's about the remarkable weight-loss hormone called leptin. And so you can get started right away, I have included plenty of links for free recipes, resources and more information.
If you have tried restrictive diets but failed to make the scale budge, you know there is more to the weight-loss equation than calories taken in minus calories used.
Chances are your weight problem is not a matter of will or discipline, but a hormonal imbalance. While many still think that losing weight is simply about willpower, eating less and exercising more, the latest research on obesity indicates the problem is far more complex, involving many factors.
One key area of obesity research focuses on how the hormone leptin influences the body's ability to shed excess pounds. What could a hormone have to do with weight loss?
According to the latest research, leptin plays an important role in appetite control, metabolism and weight loss. It is your body's natural weight control mechanism. And the great thing about leptin is that it is produced naturally in the body.
Leptin Regulates Metabolism And Appetite
  • It lets your brain know how much fat is in your body. As leptin levels rise, your appetite diminishes. As leptin levels fall, your appetite increases.
  • It regulates the rate of fat breakdown. As leptin levels rise, your metabolic rate increases. As leptin levels fall, your metabolism slows.
The number of calories you burn is regulated by thermogenesis, a process in which the body makes heat, mainly in the muscles. According to recent research from Monash University in Australia, the hormone leptin can substantially increase thermogenesis, helping to burn fat.
Leptin Resistance
The body doesn't always listen to the leptin message and leptin resistance occurs. The leptin signal isn't being heard, so it cannot stimulate your metabolism or suppress your appetite. Leptin resistance can make losing weight very difficult if not impossible.
What causes leptin resistance? The typical modern lifestyle contributes to leptin resistance; fast food, little or no exercise, too much stress and not enough sleep. Read my article The Standard American Diet (SAD) to learn more about the alternative to the typical lifestyle.
For example of what can impact leptin, research done at the Laval University in Quebec found that 7-8 hours of sleep each night, on average, was associated with relatively higher levels of leptin. In contrast, getting less sleep meant lower levels of leptin and higher body mass index in the study.
Making Leptin Work So You Can Lose Weight
Unfortunately most doctors aren't yet fully aware of leptin resistance, or the way to combat it with nutrition and lifestyle.
But my experience practicing nutritional medicine and my exploration of the scientific research provided me with unique insights into how to make leptin work and help people lose weight.
The goal of my program is to make leptin work properly and help you lose weight. It includes changes such as switching to a healthy eating plan with recipes that feature a combination of inflammation-fighting foods, getting enough sleep and reducing stress.
Using the nutritional guidelines I provided, my son Jonathan Galland created meal plans and recipes with flavors inspired by his time living in Italy and Japan. We have been very gratified by the enthusiastic response from our readers about the food. 
Once you make this change -- adding the right fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and protein sources, and cutting back on sugar and unhealthy fats -- you'll notice a remarkable change. Not only will you feel better and look better and find the pounds dropping almost effortlessly, but you'll also stop craving unhealthy foods.
Increase Your Resting Metabolic Rate
It's well known that exercise burns calories. In addition, regular exercise stimulates the activity of fat-burning enzymes. The exciting news is that the hormone leptin also stimulates these enzymes, which can increase your metabolic rate even when you're not exercising. This is important because for most people, the resting metabolic rate accounts for two-thirds of the total number of calories they burn each day.
Five Steps To Increasing Metabolism:
1. Maximize flavor and nutrition. Choose food that give you the most flavor and nutritional value for the calories you consume. These foods are rich in one or more of the dietary elements that help your metabolism such as vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Foods with appetite-satisfying flavor and lots of nutrition top our list, such as blueberries, tomatoes, ginger, onions and fresh herbs.
Get a selection of my favorites here List of Healthy Food Choices.
2. Benefit from Omega-3 Oils. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are essential to the healthy functioning of the body and brain. Omega-3s help heal inflammation as well as promoting a wide range of cellular activities, and improving or preventing depression, Alzheimer's disease and other disorders. Plant sources of Omega-3s include: ground flax seed, walnuts, and beans -- especially navy, kidney and soy. Animal sources include fish, especially oily cold-water fish such as salmon or tuna.
3. Up Your Fruit and Veg Servings to 9 or 10 a Day. Find delicious ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal. Choose those fruits and vegetables with deep colors and intense flavors that reflect their high content of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, like carotenoids and flavonoids. The deepest red and blue flavonoids belong to a subgroup called anthocyanins, found in the jewel-like colors of blueberries, cherries and pomegranates.
4. Skip the Artificial Sweeteners. The use of artificial flavors and sweeteners deprives you of the potent anti-inflammatory phytonutrients found in herbs, spices and naturally sweet fruits. Studies show that artificial sweeteners interfere with weight loss. So steer clear of these sugar substitutes and enjoy fruit, fruit juice and fruit concentrates for their flavor and nutrition. A recent editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) also raised concerns about the use of artificial sweeteners. See more in my article "Artificial Sweeteners, Not So Sweet."
5. Enjoy Healthy Snacks and Desserts. Snacks satisfy hunger, and desserts add fun and satisfaction to a meal. Indulge, but in healthy choices only. Enjoy delicious snacks such as crunchy walnuts or almonds, and dessert treats made from fruit and yogurt that will excite your palate while keeping you satisfied.
In addition to weight loss, the important role that the leptin hormone plays in maintaining health is still being discovered. For a look at leptin and the brain, read my article: "Leptin Fights Alzheimer's Disease."

10 Things Dietitians Say About Low-Carb Diets That Don’t Make Sense

by Kris Gunnars

When arguing with nutrition professionals about diet, it can be hard to get your point across.
They often seem biased against ideas that don’t fit with their philosophy.
They say we should eat a “balanced” diet (that includes sugar!!) and enjoy everything in moderation.
When the topic of low-carb turns up, they tend to dismiss it, call it a “fad” diet and say that it is either harmful or impossible to stick to.
Here are 10 things dietitians say about low-carb diets that just don’t make sense.

1. Low Carb Diets Are Hard to Stick to

I often see the claim that excluding entire food groups can be hard and that it is impossible to sustain such an “extreme” change in the way you eat.
This point kind of makes sense. Not allowing yourself certain types of foods could lead to feelings of deprivation.
But the thing is, all diets restrict something. They either restrict food groups or restrict calories. For some people, the calorie restriction approach may be more feasible. But it is NOT the only way.
Many people don’t seem to understand how low-carb diets work and what their main advantage is when it comes to weight loss.
This is the fact that eating low-carb leads to automatic reduction in appetite andeffortless calorie restriction (1). Compare that to the low-fat, “balanced” diet – which requires you to count calories and be hungry!
This is a graph from one of the studies that compared low-carb and low-fat diets. The low-carb dieters are eating until fullness, while the low-fat dieters are calorie restricted (2).
Weight Loss Graph, Low Carb vs Low Fat
I don’t know about you, but I hate being hungry. It is a very uncomfortable feeling.
If I get hungry, I eat!
If there is a diet plan out there that allows me to eat until fullness and still lose weight, then that sure is hell is the one I will choose.
In most studies comparing low-carb and low-fat diets, more people in the low-carb groups make it to the end. If anything, they are easier to stick to.
Bottom Line: Low-carb diets are not harder to stick to. These diets reduce hunger and more people in the low-carb groups make it to the end of the studies.

2. Low Carb Diets Exclude Food Groups That Are Essential

It is true that if you want to reap the full benefits of low-carb, then you must remove certain food items from your diet.
These are primarily sugars and starches and include grains, legumes, candies, sugary soft drinks and other high carb foods.
If you want to go very low on the carbs and get into ketosis, you must also cut back on fruits.
Despite the hype about these foods, there is no actual need for them in the diet.
Humans didn’t have access to most of these foods throughout evolutionary history. We didn’t start eating grains until about 10.000 years ago and we certainly didn’t start eating processed junk foods until very recently.
There simply is NO nutrient in starchy or sugary foods that we can’t get in greater amounts from animal foods or vegetables.
And remember that low-carb diets are NOT no-carb. There’s room for plenty of vegetables, more than enough to satisfy your need for all the nutrients.
Bottom Line: There is no actual need for foods like grains in the diet. We can get all the nutrients from other foods in greater amounts.

3. Low Carb Diets Lead to a State Known as Ketosis, Which Causes Harm

Diabetic Shooting Insulin
Nutrition professionals often say that low-carb diets cause ketoacidosis, a medical emergency that can kill you.
Anyone with basic knowledge of biochemistry knows that this is completely false.
They’re confusing the words “ketosis” and “ketoacidosis” – which are vastly different.
Ketosis does happen on low-carb diets, especially when you eat under 50 grams of carbs per day.
When the body isn’t getting any carbs, it releases a lot of fats from the fat tissues, which go to the liver and are turned into so-called ketone bodies.
Ketone bodies are molecules that can cross the blood-brain barrier and provide energy for the brain when it isn’t receiving enough glucose.
This is the body’s natural response to a very low carb intake and also happens during starvation.
This is NOT to be confused with ketoacidosis, which is something that only happens in uncontrolled diabetes (mainly type I) and involves the bloodstream being flooded with glucose and ketone bodies in extremely large amounts.
Ketoacidosis is dangerous, that’s true. But that simply has NOTHING to do with low-carb diets.
The metabolic state of ketosis has been proven to be therapeutic in many ways. It can help with epilepsy, brain cancer and type II diabetes, to name a few (345).
Ketosis is a good thing, NOT something to be feared!
Bottom Line: Ketosis is a completely natural phenomenon that has nothing but positive effects and it is NOT to be confused with ketoacidosis, which only happens in uncontrolled diabetes.

4. Low Carb Diets Are High in Saturated Fat and Therefore Dangerous

On a low-carb diet, you’re encouraged to eat foods like meat and eggs, which happen to be rich in saturated fat and cholesterol.
This is claimed to cause all sorts of problems, raise your LDL cholesterol and risk of heart disease and whatnot.
But the thing is, saturated fats and cholesterol aren’t bad for you. This is a myth that has never been proven.
A massive study that came out in 2010 looked at 21 prospective studies that included a total of 347.747 subjects. Their results: there is absolutely no association between saturated fat and heart disease (6).
Despite being high in saturated fat, low-carb diets lead to a reduction in blood levels of saturated fat, because they become the body’s preferred fuel source (7).
Saturated fats in the diet raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change LDL from small, dense (very, very bad) to Large LDL – which is harmless (89).
We can say the same for foods that are high in cholesterol.
For example, eggs have been demonized by nutrition professionals and the media. Despite the fear mongering, consuming eggs does NOT raise your bad LDL or your risk of heart disease (1011).
If anything, eggs are among the healthiest foods on the planet and eating them can provide various health benefits.
Bottom Line: Eating saturated fats or cholesterol is not harmful in any way. This is a myth that has been proven to be completely false.

5. Low Carb Diets Are Not Proven to be Safe in The Long Term

I often hear claims that low-carb diets are not proven to be safe in the long term.
This is not true. We do have randomized studies that went on for as long as 2 years, with no adverse effects and nothing but positive effects on health (12).
There is absolutely no reason to believe that these diets should cause problems down the line.
There are several populations around the world that have eaten almost no carbohydrates for very long periods of times (their whole lives).
These include the Inuit, which ate almost no plant foods, and the Masai in Africa which ate mostly meat and drank raw milk and blood.
Both of these populations ate lots of meat and fat, were in excellent health, with no evidence of many of the chronic diseases that are killing Western populations by the millions.
But what we DO have are long-term studies on low-fat diets. In the Women’s Health Initiative, the largest randomized controlled trial ever on diet, low-fat diets were proven to be completely ineffective.
After 7.5 years, the low-fat dieters weighed only 0.4 kg (1 pound) less than women eating the standard western junk food diet. There was also no reduction in heart disease (1314).
Bottom Line: Studies showing health benefits of low-carb have gone for as long as 2 years. Populations that have eaten low-carb, high-fat diets for long periods of time are in excellent health.

6. Most of The Weight Loss on Low Carb Diets is Water Weight

Woman Standing On The Scale Frustrated
It is true that in the first week or so, people on low-carb diets lose a lot of water weight.
The glycogen stores in the muscles and liver go down and along with them the water they tend to hold on to.
Additionally, low-carb diets reduce insulin levels, which cause the kidneys to release some of the sodium and water they are holding on to (1516).
But after you’ve lost that initial amount of water weight then you will continue to lose weight, but this time it’s coming from your body fat stores.
A study that used DEXA scanners, which can measure body composition with supreme accuracy, revealed that low-carb caused 3.4 kg (7.5 pounds) of fat loss and 1.1 kg (2.4 pounds) of muscle gain in only 6 weeks (17).
Another study that compared low-carb and low-fat diets showed that the low-carb group lost significantly more body fat, especially from the abdominal area where the “unhealthiest” fat in the body is (18).
Bottom Line: In the first week of low-carb eating, a lot of excess water is shed from the body. After that, the weight is coming from body fat stores.

7. Low Carb Diets Lead to Deficiencies in Vital Nutrients

Woman Confused About Salad And HamburgerCertain foods in the western diet actually lead to areduction in nutrient absorption.
Grains, for example, are very high in a substance called phytic acid, which hinders absorption of iron, zinc and calcium from the diet (19).
Additionally, avoiding wheat (including whole wheat) should lead to improvements in Vitamin D levels, because wheat fiber has been shown to reduce blood levels of this very important vitamin (20).
Low-carb diets don’t contain wheat, are low in phytic acid and therefore don’t contain substances that “steal” nutrients from the body.
Most natural, unprocessed foods that are high in fat like eggs, meat, fish and nuts areincredibly nutritious and especially rich in fat soluble vitamins, which low-fat diets lack.
Low-carb diets tend to be high in vegetables. Personally I had never eaten as many vegetables as I did when I started eating low-carb. Now I eat vegetables with every meal.
Not a single one of the studies on low-carb diets in adults has demonstrated any signs of a nutrient deficiency!
Bottom Line: Low-carb diets allow for plenty of nutritious animal foods and vegetables, which provide all the nutrients necessary for humans.

8. Low Carb Diets Don’t Supply Carbs That The Brain Needs to Function

Woman Eating Meat
According to certain health authorities, the recommended daily minimum for carbohydrate is 130 grams.
The reason is that the brain is assumed to be dependent on glucose for fuel.
This is half true. There are certain neurons in the brain that can’t burn anything but glucose, but other parts of the brain can do just fine with ketone bodies.
When we eat very little carbs, our requirement for glucose goes down. Some parts of the brain start burning ketone bodies instead of glucose.
Even when we eat zero carbohydrates (which I don’t recommend btw), the body can produce ALL the glucose it needs out of proteins and fats via a process known as gluconeogenesis (21).
Low-carb diets don’t starve the brain, they don’t make you feel slow (unless perhaps in the first few days while you’re adapting) and they give the brain a stable source of energy throughout the day.
When your brain is burning ketones for fuel, you won’t experience the same blood sugar crashes and afternoon dips in energy. Personally my energy never feels as stable as when I’ve been eating little carbs for many days in a row.
Bottom Line: The body can produce all the glucose it needs from proteins and fats if it isn’t getting any from the diet.

9. Low Carb Diets Raise Your Risk of Heart Disease

It used to be “common knowledge” that a low-carb, high-fat diet would raise your risk of all sorts of diseases, most notably heart disease.
This hypothesis has been tested and proven to be false.
Since the year 2002, over 20 randomized controlled trials have been performed that compare low-carb and low-fat diets. They all lead to a similar conclusion.
Doctor With Thumbs Up
Low-carb diets:
  1. Reduce body fat much more than low-fat diets, even though the low-carb groups are allowed to eat until fullness (222).
  2. Cause a greater reduction in blood pressure (23,24).
  3. Lower blood sugar and improve symptoms of diabetes (2526).
  4. Lower blood triglycerides much more (2728).
  5. Change the pattern of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol from small, dense LDL (very bad) to Large LDL (2930).
  6. Increase HDL (the good) cholesterol much more than low-fat diets (31).
They improve ALL biomarkers of health MORE than the low-fat diet still recommended by the authorities.
Still, many nutrition professionals have the audacity to claim that low-carb diets aredangerous and continue to peddle their failed low-fat dogma that is literally hurting more people than it helps.
Bottom Line: Low-carb diets actually improve all biomarkers of health much more than the low-fat diet still peddled by the mainstream.

10. Low Carb Diets Are Not Proven to Work

Fortunately, despite the low-carb diet nowhere to be found in mainstream guidelines, health professionals are taking notice.
Many doctors and quite a few dietitians have seen these studies and acknowledged low-carb, real-food based diets and started using them in their practice.
At the end of the day, there are few things as well proven in nutrition as the superiority of low-carb diets compared to the standard of care, a calorie restricted, low-fat diet (323334).
Low-carb diets are the easiest, healthiest AND most effective way to lose weight and reverse metabolic disease like diabetes. It is a scientific fact.

Unpolished Rice Vs Polished Rice


Rice is a staple food for over half of the world's population. Today people are going for whole food,to the days our forefather had been eating. You hardly heard of cancer, heart attack and diabetics and so on. All these degenerative diseases in our present society are caused by the pollutants from within and without.
Brown Rice versus White Rice:

Milling is the primary difference between brown and white rice. The varieties may be identical, but it is in the milling process where brown rice becomes white rice. Milling, often called "whitening", removes the outer bran layer of the rice grain. Milling affects the nutritional quality of the rice Milling strips off the bran layer, leaving a core comprised of mostly carbohydrates. In this bran layer resides nutrients of vital importance in the diet, making white rice a poor competitor in the nutrition game The following chart shows the nutritional differences between brown and white rices. Fiber is dramatically lower in white rice, as are the oils, most of the B vitamins and important minerals. Unknown to many, the bran layer contains very important nutrient such as thiamine, an important component in mother’s milk.

Health Benefits of Brown Rice

The health benefits of brown rice are immeasurable. Brown rice is a whole grain meaning it contains a large amount of fiber. This is due to the fact that the whole grain contains all three components: bran, germ and endosperm. Conversely, when grain is processed, all that is left is the endosperm. When the endosperm is left intact, it generates all of the proteins; the bran contains approximately 80% of the minerals; and the germ contains vitamin E, minerals, unsaturated fats, antioxidants and phytochemicals which are chemicals found in fruits, vegetables, beans and other types of plant food. In addition, it has been ascertained that the antioxidant levels in whole grains are higher than in white rice. The health benefits of brown rice are not only significant, but have proven to be effective in warding off disease and other conditions which can become chronic and, in some cases, life threatening. Now doctors are encouraging patients to consume more whole grain foods than ever before. 

Comparison of Nutrient Contents of Brown Rice and White Rice

Bran contains several things of major importance - two major ones are fiber and essential oils. Fiber is not only filling, but is implicated in prevention of major diseases in this country such as certain gastrointestinal diseases and heart disease. The National Cancer Institute recommends 25 grams of fiber a day, a cup of brown rice adds nearly 3.5 g, while an equal amount of white rice not even 1 g. Also, components of the oils present in rice bran have been shown in numerous studies to decrease serum cholesterol, a major risk factor in heart disease.


10 ways to stop comfort eating when you're angry, bored or stressed

When we’re feeling depressed, angry, bored or stressed, many of us turn to food to give us comfort.

When we’re feeling depressed, angry, bored or stressed, many of us turn to food to give us comfort. But if you’re developing a serious chocolate habit, here’s our WM guide to help you put a brake on eating bad mood-food
YOU’RE at home after a bad day at the office and grab a chocolate biscuit. You’re bored, there’s nothing on the TV, so you eat a packet of crisps. You’re lonely, fed up or a relationship is on the rocks, but you never reach for the bag of salad sitting in the fridge, you have a burger and chips instead.
Most people turn to food to bolster their emotions; it’s a great way to dull the ache of a broken heart and often provides a security blanket if you are stressed or worried. But, unfortunately, what we call comfort food is usually loaded with saturated fats and sugary carbohydrates.
Welsh model Imogen Thomas recently revealed how she binged on comfort food after tabloid revelations and it’s not uncommon for women to manage their moods by feasting on a packet of biscuits.
David Brookes, who compiled DVD Stop Comfort Eating Now, says: “We all comfort eat from time to time. Often when we feel stressed, bored or lonely or we just want to cheer ourselves up. Most of us do it without even being aware of it.
“That extra biscuit with a cup of coffee. That naughty bar of chocolate at the supermarket checkout. That temptation to have that extra helping because we’ve enjoyed the first one so much. Most of the time we comfort eat when we’re not really hungry at all.
“Comfort eating is something that is instilled in us from birth. When we were babies we cried and our mothers comforted us with their milk. As we grew older we were given treats for comfort or when we hurt ourselves. We were rewarded with sweets or the occasional ice cream when we were good.
“We were learning the lessons that food could make us feel better. And the early lessons in life always stay with us. But, unfortunately for many of us, these comfort eating lessons often come back later in life and cause weight loss havoc. When we feel under pressure or when we get upset or worried, those old comfort eating buttons get pressed and no food is safe.”
But, although these foods taste good, they are often hugely calorific.
Dietician Priya Tew says: “Although emotional eating can make you feel better, it’s a temporary fix and leads to eating too many high-calorie foods. The good news is you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits.”
Here are WM’s top 10 tips on how to stop dialling out for pizza after a hard day at work.
1. ANALYSE YOUR DIET: Keep a food and mood diary. Try writing down everything you eat for a week and jot down what you were feeling before you ate it. Try to pinpoint what it is you need and aren’t getting. It may be approval, security, love, or even just a hug.
2. TRY MOOD-BOOSTING FOODS: It’s important to remember that not only doughnuts can make us feel good. There are other foods that work much better. There is growing evidence that a Mediterranean diet, with its emphasis on fruits, vegetables and olive oil, is associated with less depression. Also, try eating more omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in tuna, salmon, herring and walnuts, as they are supposed to help the mind as well as the body.
3. THINK ABOUT YOUR FOOD: Eat mindfully and take time to relax and enjoy food. In our fast-paced society, multitasking often results in eating quickly to manage stress. Try making every meal a special occasion. It only takes a few more minutes to eat in a relaxed way. Turn off the TV, switch off the laptop and pay attention to all the wonderful aromas and textures of a healthy meal.
4. PLAN AHEAD: It’s easy to opt for a packet of crisps if it seems there is nothing else to munch on. Don’t order so many “naughty” foods when you shop online, and pick tasty fruit and vegetables that you can slice to provide healthier snacks. If the chocolate isn’t in the cupboard, you’ll look for something else. And you are more likely to eat some celery, peppers or carrots if they are nicely chopped and sitting at the front of the fridge.
5. FIND A NEW COMFORT: If you are eating because you are bored, find another way to amuse yourself so you don’t always reach for the biscuit tin. Try going for a swim, or even a walk. Exercise is a natural mood-enhancer. If you’re feeling sad or anxious, try short bursts of any type of activity. Climb the stairs to burn some calories and it might even release some tension too.
Music is also a powerful mood-changer. Put something upbeat on if you are feeling a bit stressed, dance around the house and create some playlists that make you feel good. If you have just broken up with someone, the last thing you want to be listening to is a sad love song. It’ll only lead you to the biscuit tin.
6. DISTRACT YOURSELF: Keep yourself occupied – de-clutter that room you’ve been meaning to sort. Make a list of all the jobs you need to do in the house or garden and put it somewhere you can keep going back to and revisiting. If you feel peckish, but suspect it might be because you are bored, read a book, put a CD on or watch your favourite film – and plain popcorn is not too naughty so you can even have a bowl if you feel like munching on something. Many of us feel peckish late at night, but try having a long soak in the bath, rather than eating another packet of crisps.
7. DON’T DEPRIVE YOURSELF: Don’t cut out comfort food altogether as this kind of deprivation can led to binge-eating, which will only make you feel more guilty. It’s perfectly healthy to eat the foods you crave but try to eat slightly less. Go for a two-finger KitKat instead of four, or one doughnut instead of two.
8. KEEP TALKING TO YOURSELF: Find a mantra that you want to stick to. Keep telling yourself that you won’t fit in those jeans or eating that second biscuit will only make you feel guilty. Or make a list and put them on the fridge or biscuit tin. Having the willpower to avoid the cravings will ultimately lift your mood.
9. TRY THE WAITING GAME: If you are really craving some comfort food, try waiting 15 minutes before you reach for the burger and chips. It will give you time to evaluate whether you really do want it and the craving may subside.
10. EXPECT AND ACCEPT THE INEVITABLE: We’re only human. Sometimes it’s just too difficult not to give into temptation. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you do reach for that comfort food just a little too often. Know that you can start afresh tomorrow. Try to work out what is bothering you. If it’s a work problem, see if you can sort it out. If it’s boredom, take up a new hobby.

4 components for improving nutrition & monitoring to get cut!

Everyone wants to be ripped. I do not care who you are or what you do. Having a lean, cut physique is a goal of everyone... I will teach you how to get ripped. Here are 4 components for improving nutrition & monitoring to get cut!
By: Dr. Warren Willey

Everyone wants to be ripped. I do not care who you are or what you do. Having a lean, cut physique is a goal of everyone I have ever met; some are just better liars than others. That being said, there are a million-and-one "experts" out there telling us all how to get that desirable physique.
There is just enough; "This is how I did it so it should work for you..." it makes me throw my hands in the air with a big caveman ARRRG!?! I cringe going to bodybuilding shows because even at the state level there is plenty of mass, but minimal cuts. The "experts" strike again!
Now, as I step off my soapbox, let me make available the real how-to, guaranteed-not-to-fail-you way to get ripped. Am I just another one of the "experts"? I have been called worse — but for the sake of argument — let me provide you some background.
Helping people lean up is what I do. I practice medicine on the side to pay the bills. The following info applies if you are fifty, fat and have a food fetish, or if you are a lean, mean mid-twenties guy or gal that wants to be tighter.
Tens of thousands of eating plans and clients in the last 25 years have provided me, through trial and error, the real how to. Thomas Edison once said while discussing the filament in the light bulb:

"I do not have the right material yet, but I do
know of about ten thousand materials that won't work."

So, let's get to it. Here's a quick summation of this article before I start: I will teach you how to get ripped - it takes work; it takes monitoring; it takes constant tweaking. However, if you do it (barring appalling genetics), you will be as cut as you want to be. 

    Obtaining a ripped physique requires monitoring weight and body composition changes, strength, and energy, as well as being eager with counting calories, weighing foods, and calculating nutrient ratios, all of which will effect your final outcome.

    I am going to add bullet points throughout the article as a summation point of how to get ripped. You can then look back at the points as a reference guide for future use.

    Bullet Point #1:
    Measure your body composition for a starting point. Plan on following your body composition at least once a week. As you measure, you can properly adjust calories to spare the lean mass and eliminate the fat!

    Anyone who has ever dieted for a bodybuilding show says to himself or herself before they start: "If I could only weigh this much AND be ripped."

    We all know that you sacrifice some scale weight getting cut-up — but why? Simply put, when calories in (what you eat) are greater than calories out (what you burn/exercise off), you gain scale weight. The same is true for scale weight loss: Calories in are less than calories out.

    Maintenance occurs when the two are equivalent. In my experience, one of the first things people do to get cut up is slash their calories and increase their cardio. I have seen very large bodybuilders get down to 500 calories a day to get just a little tighter. That isn't right!

    Our bodies' survivalist instincts go directly to fat preservation and lean mass loss when we cut to many calories. Lean body mass loss must be minimized while you are getting ripped.

    Lean body mass contains only 363 kcal/lb (i.e. muscle is 20% protein, 80% water). For example: Weight loss of greater than 0.3 lbs per day on a 1,000 kcal/day deficit includes loss of muscle. If a 1,000 kcal deficit targets lean body mass, one can lose 2 3/4 lbs per day — and it is all muscle!

    Quality weight loss must be paced and planned! I am absolutely tenacious when it comes to the importance of measuring your body composition while getting cut up. Loosing all of that hard gained muscle to get a little leaner is just about the stupidest thing I can think of.

    There are a number of ways to measure body composition, but the importance of it cannot be overstated when you are leaning up.

    Bullet Point #2:
    Determine your caloric amounts per day based on your lean mass and amount of exercise you are doing.

    After measuring your body composition you will need to determine your caloric needs to get you ripped up. Total daily energy expenditure is influenced by a number of factors. The most important for this discussion will be your body composition. The more lean tissue, the higher the metabolic rate. The more fat tissue, the lower the metabolic rate.

    Your total daily energy expenditure is comprised of three components:

    Resting Or Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is the minimum energy requirement to sustain the body's functions in the waking state.

    The Energy (Thermic) Cost Of Exercise (TEE). This includes energy spent during activities of daily living as well as the energy cost of exercise.

    The Thermic Effect Of Food Intake (TEF). This is the energy expended on digestion, absorption, and storage of foods.

    This article is too short to go over detailed calculations, so I am going to use two simple equations to determine the number of calories you need each day. As you measure yourself these numbers will change. This is how you dial in to your maximal leanness. In determining your BMR use the following:

    Male: Lean Mass in lbs. x 12.5 = BMR
    Female: Lean Mass in lbs. x 11 = BMR

    To determine your TEE, assuming you are all weight lifters, take 0.086 and multiply it by the number of minutes you are lifting weights x your scale weight in kilograms (scale weight in kilograms is found by dividing your weight in lbs. by 2.2. For example: 150 lbs. / 2.2 = 68.2 kg). This will give you an approximation of the number of calories you are burning in the gym. As an example:

    A 150 lb. male in the gym training for 60 minutes would burn the following calories:

    150 / 2.2 = 68.2 kg

    (Weight lifting variable) 0.086 x (weight in kg.) 68.2 x (min. in gym) 60 = 352 calories

    Now, add this number to your calculated BMR, and you will have your calories per day measured.


    A 150 lb. male with a percentage body fat of 15% who lifts 60 minutes a day:

    Determine fat mass in lbs.
    150 lbs. x .15 = 22.5 lbs of fat

    Determine Lean mass
    150 lbs. — 22.5 = 127.5 lbs. lean mass

    Determine BMR
    127.5 lbs x 12.5 = 1594 calories/day

    Determine calories spent in the gym
    0.086 x 68.2 x 60 = 352 calories

    Add your BMR to your calories in the gym
    1594 + 352 = 1946 calories/day

    If you do not lift on a particular day, be it planned or not, do not include this portion of the calculation in your total calories. I am NOT going to include the TEF with our calculations as this provides a fudge factor, and brings us to our next important point.

    Bullet Point #3:
    Utilize a high protein diet - protein burns more calories and increases satiety (the feeling of fullness).

    Notice I did not say low carb. I said high protein. Carbs are essential for lean mass maintenance. Short-term low-carb diets are great, but we are focusing on getting ripped and keeping all the lean mass we can. We all have been told of the benefits of a high protein diet. Let me review two reasons you may not be that familiar with. These two reasons will help you lean up.

    Protein causes the greatest amount of satiety of any of the foods. In other words, the first thing we fear when we cut our calories to lean up is that we are going to be hungry. A high protein diet helps curb a lot of that hunger.

    A High Protein Diet Helps Curb A Lot Of That Hunger.

    Protein also has the highest thermic effect of any food. This means that it takes more energy or calories to digest proteins than it does fats or carbohydrates.

    Some studies have shown that up to 30% of the calories in protein are lost as heat in the digestion process. This is why I have chosen not to include it in our calculations above. This provides a fudge factor, and extra calories being burned that you need not account for.

    You WILL be measuring your lean mass throughout your cutting process. This is an area that allows you some leeway and some protection of those hard-earned muscles. Protein sources include all animal products such as meat and dairy, and a variety of vegetable sources.

    Bullet Point #4:
    Adjust your calories at least weekly according to your body composition changes and how you look. Increase cardio if you wish to eat more or get lean a little quicker.

    After removing all the hype, getting cut comes down to a set of scales (no pun intended). You need to balance your cardio and calories. You need to monitor your lean mass and fat mass, and you need to compare pictures of yourself during the whole process.

    Cardio to calories is easy. If you want to eat more, do more cardio and visa versa. If your lean mass is maintaining (a dignified goal while getting cut) and fat is dropping off — you are right on track. Here is where the fine-tuning comes in. People who are successful at getting ripped AND keeping their muscle mass know this to a tee.

    The following is a simple guide to help you with your caloric intake based on what you are seeing/getting with your constant monitoring of your body composition and calorie content.

    After setting your caloric amount, lifting weights like crazy and doing some cardio you check your body composition and this situation arises:

    Problem: You lost lean mass AND some fat mass (everything went down!).
    Solution: Increase your calories by 100 - 200 a day and recheck it in one week.

    Decrease cardio.

    Problem: Your fat increased and muscle stayed the same or increased
    Solution: Decrease your total daily calories by 300 - 500 a day.

    Recheck everything in one week. Increase cardio.

    Problem: Muscle and fat stayed the same — no changes
    Solution: Decrease your total daily calories by 300 a day.

    Recheck everything in one week.
    Consider changing cardio.

    Problem: Lean mass stayed the same and fat dropped.
    Solution: Continue with what you are doing.

    Recheck it in four or five days.

    The above may seem tedious at first, but once you start doing it, getting into it, and most importantly seeing your results — it becomes very simple and quick to do.


    Everyone I know who takes the time to measure their body composition, track their meals and calories, and spend a few extra minutes each day preparing their food succeeds in getting cut to the bone. It is a matter of discipline and priorities.

    What is more important — getting shredded by spending a few minutes a week measuring body composition, using a food scale, and a calculator? Or always wondering how the h-ll the other guy got so ripped? Your call... or should I say Your Cuts?

    Your Body Type - Ectomorph, Mesomorph or Endomorph?

    When I first got into the muscle building scene I was overwhelmed by the amount of different training programs, bodybuilding supplements, diets, articles and information there was out there. There were so many conflicting diets and training programs available and I had no idea what I “should” be doing. The result of this was about 6 months in the gym with little gains and almost no motivation to workout anymore.
    I was at a complete loss and about to throw in the towel and give up. Then a guy in the gym gave me a magazine and told me to read the article in there about body types. So I did and it opened my eyes up to the reason why I wasn’t making any gains in the gym.
    I am a true ectomorph (classic hardgainer) and my bodyweight was 60.2kg (132.5lbs) when I first walked into a gym. I had no idea about body types back then. I assumed (like most beginners do) that the more I worked out the bigger I would get. Thinking that “more was better” I started following a program designed for an elite bodybuilder. This resulted in gains of about 1.7kg in 6 months.
    After reading the body type article in that magazine I started to understand more about how my body type worked, my metabolism, and gaining weight. Being an ectomorph I need to focus on calorie intake, long rest periods, and minimum cardio. It was only then I started making some real gains and I’ve never looked back.
    So it’s important to be able to identify and understand your body type. Different body types require different training methods and diet plans. So listed below are the 3 male body types: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph, along with their characteristics.


    An ectomorph is a typical skinny guy. Ecto’s have a light build with small joints and lean muscle. Usually ectomorph’s have long thin limbs with stringy muscles. Shoulders tend to be thin with little width.

    Typical traits of an ectomorph:

    • Small “delicate” frame and bone structure
    • Classic “hardgainer”
    • Flat chest
    • Small shoulders
    • Thin
    • Lean muscle mass
    • Finds it hard to gain weight
    • Fast metabolism
    Ectomorphs find it very hard to gain weight. They have a fast metabolism which burns up calories very quickly. Ecto’s need a huge amount of calories in order to gain weight. Workouts should be short and intense focusing on big muscle groups. Supplements are definitely recommended. Ectomorphs should eat before bed to prevent muscle catabolism during the night. Generally, ectomorphs can lose fat very easily which makes cutting back to lean muscle easier for them.


    A mesomorph has a large bone structure, large muscles and a naturally athletic physique. Mesomorphs are the best body type for bodybuilding. They find it quite easy to gain and lose weight. They are naturally strong which is the perfect platform for building muscle.

    Typical traits on a Mesomorph:

    • Athletic
    • Generally hard body
    • Well defined muscles
    • Rectangular shaped body
    • Strong
    • Gains muscle easily
    • Gains fat more easily than ectomorphs
    The mesomorph body type responds the best to weight training. Gains are usually seen very quickly, especially for beginners. The downside to mesomorphs is they gain fat more easily than ectomorphs. This means they must watch their calorie intake. Usually a combination of weight training and cardio works best for mesomorphs.


    The endomorph body type is solid and generally soft. Endomorphs gain fat very easily. Endo’s are usually of a shorter build with thick arms and legs. Muscles are strong, especially the upper legs. Endomorphs find they are naturally strong in leg exercises like the squat.

    Typical traits of an Endomorph:

    • Soft and round body
    • Gains muscle and fat very easily
    • Is generally short
    • "Stocky" build
    • Round physique
    • Finds it hard to lose fat
    • Slow metabolism
    • Muscles not so well defined
    When it comes to training endomorphs find it very easy to gain weight. Unfortunately, a large portion of this weight is fat not muscle. To keep fat gain to a minimum, endomorphs must always train cardio as well as weights. Usually supplements may not be needed as long as the person has a high protein intake in their diet.

    A Combination of Body Types

    These body types aren’t set in stone. In fact, most guys have a combination of two body types. These combinations are either ectomorph/mesomorph or mesomorph/endomorph. It is not uncommon to find a pure mesomorph that gains weight like an endomorph for example.

    So which body type are you?

    Given the information above you should be able to identify your body type. You may also want to optimize your diet and training to suit your body type.
    One final point I want to mention is that no matter what your body type you can build a big, ripped, muscular physique. Even the skinniest of guys can bulk up. Yes, it’s harder but if you’re willing to put in the hard work it can be done. I have about the skinniest natural build possible and at the time of writing this article I have gained about 30kg (66lbs) of lean muscle mass.