Thursday, March 27, 2008

How We've Become Over-Fat

My friend and fellow CHEK Practitioner, Vreni Gurd, wrote a very interesting piece on how we, as a society, have become over-fat. It makes good sense to me and I hope it will with you. And of course, if you have any questions please ask.


How we become over-fat

There is evidence to show that over-fatness and obesity is a problem involving both sugar and fat metabolism, resulting fat deposition and an inability to mobilize fat from the fat tissue.

In the two previous tips here and here I have been trying to suggest that there is a fair bit of evidence showing that low calorie, low fat diets don't work, and that historically speaking, we have eaten meat and saturated fat for millennia, whereas grains are relatively new to our diet. Once farming began, some traditional cultures did eat grains, but they were fermented first, reducing the amount of sugar in them and increasing their digestibility. Only in the last 150-200 years or so have our diets included growing amounts of processed sugar and such huge and growing quantities of baked goods, pasta, and other foods that contain unfermented flour. To me, just knowing that information alone is enough to make me suspect that perhaps it is the sugar and flour products that are the cause of the rise of modern diseases of civilization (obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, etc.), as opposed to saturated fat and cholesterol, as we have been told by medical/nutritional pundits.

As I said previously, much of the research on the metabolism of obesity occurred prior to World War 2 in Germany, and for the most part, has not been considered much since. In the 1920s, biochemists such as Rudolf Schoenheimer realized that our fat tissue is very metabolically active, and not simply a place to store fat like a safety deposit box, that only gets looked at once in a blue moon. Instead Hilda Bruch suggested that fat metabolism works more like a coin purse, where free fatty acids are continually being deposited into our adipose (fat) tissue and turned into triglycerides for storage, and also are continually being broken back down into fatty acids, and sent into the bloodstream to be burned as fuel depending on the requirements of the moment. Fat provides the ready coin for the momentary energy needs of the body.

Triglycerides are a combination of 3 fatty acids held together with glycerol, and they come from the fat in the diet and they are made in the liver and fat tissue from the carbohydrate in the diet. Triglycerides are the form in which fats are stored, and free fatty acids are the form in which fats are burned as fuel. So, people become over-fat when their body is very good at storing triglycerides, and not good at breaking down the triglycerides into free fatty acids to be sent into the bloodstream to be burned. It is not so much about the quantity of food being consumed, but rather about whether the environment in the body is forcing deposition or mobilization of the triglycerides in the fat tissue. Ernst Wertheimer said in 1948 in a review of the science of fat metabolism at that time, that "The 'classic theory' that fat is deposited in the adipose tissue only when given in excess of the caloric requirement has been finally disproved".

In 1956, it became possible to measure free fatty acids in the bloodstream, and it was discovered that after a meal, blood sugar levels tend to be high, and fatty acid levels are low, but fatty acid levels rise in the hours after the meal. If sugar or insulin is injected into the bloodstream, fatty acid levels plummet. This is the key. When sugar is available for fuel, fats get stored as triglycerides. When no sugar is available, fats get mobilized into free fatty acids to be used as fuel. Robert Gordon of the NIH published this information in 1956. Why have we forgotten it today??? The more carbohydrate consumed, the more triglycerides get made and stored. The more glucose/insulin in the bloodstream, the more "stuck" the fat is in the fat cells. When blood glucose/insulin is low, free fatty acids can escape from the fat cells into the bloodstream to be burned. Therefore, how many free fatty acids can be burned depends entirely on the amount of glucose and insulin in the bloodstream.

Furthermore, in order for triglycerides to be manufactured, the molecule glycerol phosphate is required, and that molecule is supplied only by carbohydrates. So, if there is little or no carbohydrates in the diet, little or no glycerol phosphate is available to make triglycerides and store fat, so little or no fat deposition can occur.

So a diet high in starchy carbohydrates (baked goods, pasta, other flour products, sugar and fruit) leads to fat accumulation in two ways. First, it sharply increases blood sugar which increases insulin, our storage hormone, which in turn controls the production of glycerol phosphate and therefore the conversion of sugar into triglycerides and the storage of fat in the fat cells, causing fat deposition. Secondly, when blood sugar and blood insulin levels are high, fat is stuck in the fat cells and cannot be mobilized, resulting in an inability to use fat as a fuel. A combination of fat deposition and an inability to mobilize our fat for fuel leads to fat accumulation, over-fatness and obesity. Some of us can tolerate more carbohydrate in our diet than others without suffering negative consequences (biochemical individuality), and those that can't tend to develop problems like over-fatness, type 2 diabetes, heart disease etc.

Next week we'll explore why the medical / scientific community has not endorsed low starchy-carb diets as being a healthy way to eat, do a cost / benefit analysis, and see what conclusions we come to.

I HIGHLY recommend the recent book by Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories if you are interested in the topics of diets, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Or watch this webcast of a lecture given by Gary Taubes at Berkley last November on this topic. I look forward to your comments on my blog.

Related tips
Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease - what does history tell us?
Obesity - a behavioural or a metabolic problem?
Insulin, our storage hormone
Sugar, the disease generator
Another "healthy heart guide" that got it wrong
Saturated fat, the misunderstood nutrient
Cortisol, our stress hormone

Taubes, Gary Good Calories, Bad Calories, Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2007.

Chek, Paul; You Are What You Eat CD Series Chek Institute, San Diego, CA, 2002.

McGarry, JD. What if Minkowski had been ageusic? An alternative angle on diabetes. Science. Oct 30;258(5083):766-70, 1992.

Greenwood MR et al. Normal and abnormal growth and maintenance of adipose tissue In Hirsch and Van Itallie, eds. 1985, 20-25.

Greenwood MR et al. Adipose tissue metabolism and genetic obesity In Bjorntorp, Cairella, and Howard, eds., 1981, 75-79.

Bruch, H. Eating disorders, obesity, anorexia nervosa, and the person within New York, Basic Books, 1973.

Gordon E. The metabolic importance of obesity In Symposium on Foods: Carbohydrates and their roles ed. HW Schutz. Westport, Conn.: Avi Publishing, 322-46, 1969.

Reynold A. and Cahill G, eds. Handbook of Physiology. Section 5. Adipose Tissue. Washington DC; American Physiological Society, 1965.

Randle P.J. et al. The Glucose Fatty Acid Cycle: It's role in Insulin Sensitivity and the Metabolic Disturbances of Diabetes Mellitus Lancet Apr. 13; 281(7285):787-89, 1963.

Schoenheimer, R. The Dynamic State of Body Constituents Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press, 1961.

Yalow RS and Bernson SA. Immunoassay of endogenous plasma insulin in man J Clin Investigation July; 39:1157-75, 1960.

Krebs, H. The cause of the specific dynamic action of food-stuffs Arzneimittelforschung May; 10:369-73, 1960.

Wertheimer, E and Shafrir R. Influence of Hormones on Adipose Tissue as a Center of Fat Metabolism Recent Progress in Hormone Research 16:467-95., 1960.

Yudkin J. The causes and cure of obesity Lancet Dec. 19; 274(7112):1135-38, 1959.

Yudkin J. Diet and Coronary Thrombosis: Hypothesis and Fact Lancet July 27; 270(6987):155-62, 1957.

Bruch, H. The importance of overweight New York, WW Norton, 1957.

Dole VP A relation between unesterified fatty acids in plasma and the metabolism of glucose J. Clin Investigation Feb. 35(2):150-4, 1956.

Gordon R et al. Unesterified fatty acid in Human Blood Plasma J Clin Investigation Feb.; 35(2);206-212, 1956.

Laurell S. Plasma free fatty acids in diabetic acidosis and starvation Scandinavian J of Clin and Lab Investigation 8(1):81-82, 1956.

Wertheimer, E and Shapiro R. The Physiology of Adipose Tissue Physiology Reviews Oct.; 22:451-64, 1948.

Bruch, H. Dietary Treatment of Obesity in Childhood J Am Dietetic Ass 20:361-364, 1944.

Copyright 2008 Vreni Gurd

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Quick Recipes To Get You Started

To follow up with what I said yesterday about choosing high quality
meal alternatives such as IsaLean Shakes and IsaLean Bars by
Isagenix and adding them to your nutrition plan, I want to mention another resource
that may be of benefit to you. Visit for
more information on Isagenix supplements (for wholesale prices
please contact me).

I've had clients ask me on different occasions when we're either
talking nutrition or going over a plan for them, what recipes I

Not being a chef and considering my cooking is pretty bland, you
know a mix of steamed veggies with half a cup of ground turkey and
hald a cup of adzuki beans, its great for me but doesn't
necessarily appeal to the masses so an
alternative was in need (side note: if you haven't tried adzuki
beans I HIGHLY recommend them however do follow the proper way to
prepare them at this link

The resource is called Gourmet Nutrition. Its a 288 page full
colour, softcover cookbook that comes with:

1. Over a 100 recipes
2. Colour photos of each recipe
3. Full nutrition data for each recipe
4. Large and small serving sizes
5. Post-workout and anytime meal classifications (this one is key
as it helps you know which types of foods you should eat post
workout to optimize your training efforts and to lessen or markedly
reduce fat storage).
6. Meal plan templates
7. Cooking strategies and tips
8. Tools and equipment list
9. Grocery list
10. Food preparation instructions

I heard the author, Dr. John Berardi, touch on it at a lecture he
was presenting at a few months ago. Everyone doesn't necessarily
want to eat like me (even though I think its the best...hehe jj) so
to help people get the results they want I need to provide them
with the food THEY want and I believe this resource can do just that.

If you need some help or just want a few tips and pointers with your
meals visit the link below to read more about it and to pick up your
own copy. Visit

Another tool to help you in your search to resurrect the body you
were created to have.

Tyron Tweet This

Monday, March 24, 2008

What To Do When Meals Are Hard To Come By

I hope you had a wonderful Easter and were able to celebrate the
true meaning of the holiday, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus


Ever had trouble following a nutrition plan whether it be for
fat loss, weight gain, or just overall health and wellness?

Following a good nutrition plan can sometimes be tough if you don't
have the right resources to make it a success, specifically quick high
quality meal alternatives.

With the schedule you keep you probably don't have time to eat
every 2-3 hours let alone sit down and have a real meal.

You may have asked yourself at some time, "What can I eat that's
quick, but isn't completely junk?"

The thing that I tell clients is it doesn't matter if you have the
best nutrition plan in the world that's going to get you looking
EXACTLY the way you want, have the body shape you want, be able to
fit into the dress or pants you've always wanted to, and have the
percent body fat of your dreams if you are not able to follow it.

Am I right?

Really that can go for anything in life. If you are not able to
follow whatever is put before you, you will most definitely fail.
So in regards to the correct nutrition I mentioned above, you need
meal alternatives to keep you on track so you get the results YOU

When it comes to alternatives, what you want to look for are high
quality sources that have a high amount of quality protein,
carbohydrates, fat and fibre. Also its good to stear clear of
products that have a number of fillers, preservatives, artificial
sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucrolose, etc),
stabilizers, trans fat, etc in them.

Two that I recommend are the IsaLean Shake and the IsaLean Bars by
Isagenix. Both are excellent sources of high quality protein and a
blend of essential vitamins and minerals, enzymes, that can definitely hit
the spot when whole food is not around or isn't convenient to have,
say in a business meeting.

Remember though your whole food choices should be the staple of
your diet to have optimal results, but high quality meal
alternatives will definitely help you along the way.

IsaLean Shakes

IsaLean Bars

Remember the best plan in the world is useless unless it can be

Tyron Tweet This

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Burn Calories While You Sleep?

Is there really something that can burn calories while you sleep?...I mean legitimately.

Back in the 90s dietary companies would make claims that if you took such and such supplement right before you went to bed you'd lose X amount of fat. Not knowing every supplement that made this claim, I can't generalize, but as a large majority of them this wouldn't be the case.

The great thing is is there is in fact something that can help you burn body fat even while you sleep.

What's the secret? Well if you've been to one of my seminars you'll know there are no secrets so maybe I should say, "What's the key?"

Resistance Training!

I know you were probably wanting something that didn't require work but really anything that is worth getting (and is long lasting) is hard to get.

Mom was right!

Fat loss is simple, but requires hard work and a long term approach...but you can do it!

The research shows that resistance training works, not just for building muscle, correcting injuries, building bone, strengthen the heart, lowering LDL cholesterol, raising HDL cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, etc, etc, but for BURNING BODY FAT WHILE YOU SLEEP!

One study I particularly like is:
Schuenke MD, Mikat RP, McBride JM. Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC): implications for body fat management. Eur J Appl Physiol 2002 Mar;86(5):411-7.

This study looked at the effects of circuit weight training on how long it took subjects to recover their metabolism to pre-exercise levels after finishing the session.

The exercise routine consisted of three exercises (the bench press, the power clean, and the squat), performed with 10 RM (rep max.) loads as a circuit (moving from one exercise to the next with little rest).

The circuit was performed 4 times per week for 12 totals sets and took 31 minutes each time.

Now for the good stuff. The study showed that their metabolic rates were elevated for 38 hours post workout (possibly longer as this was when the researchers stopped measuring).

The length and magnitude of the elevated metabolic rate observed strongly points towards high intensity resistance training for fat loss.

So in fact you can burn body fat while you are sleeping for
as I'm assuming that in that 38 hour time period you'd be sleeping at some point unless you're like my brother who pulls all nighters on occasion. So get your metabolism revved up over this Easter long weekend to burn off some of that yummy food. Remember, summer's just around the corner!

If you are interested in getting started with some thing check out Turbulence Training.


p.s. I'm doing two more fitness seminars next week at a couple businesses in Vancouver so I just wanted to ask you if a company you know of or the company you work at is interest in having someone come in to speak during the lunch hour, please let me know as I'd be happy to contact them. Thanks! Tweet This

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

DON'T Just Run!

Nagging aches and pains are a common occurrence for those who
do endless amounts of aerobic training, i.e. continuous running and
DON'T do any corrective exercise or muscle balancing exercises.

World renowned strength coach Mike Boyle says endurance training
probably isn't good for most people (GASP!). The endurance cycle as
he puts goes like this:

Train...Injury...Rehab/Physical Therapy
Train...Injury...Rehab/Physical Therapy
Train...Injury...Rehab/Physical Therapy

Can you relate?

Good way to help put physiotherapist's kids through college eh?

I know most people won't change just because their training is
leading to them getting injured so what could someone like yourself do to
offset these nagging injuries and keep yourself healthy?

1. Resistance Training: As Eric Cressey, strength coach from
Boston, has noted on several occasions, a University of Alabama meta-analysis of the endurance
training scientific literature** revealed that ten weeks of
resistance training in trained distance runners improves running
economy by 8-10%. That’s about 20-24 minutes off a four-hour marathon – and likely more if you’re not a well-trained endurance athlete in the first place. Not only
will they get stronger and improve force production (improved
times), but they’ll also stay a little healthier due to the fact
that they’re not on the road or on the treadmill as much.

** Jung AP. The impact of resistance training on distance running
performance. Sports Med. 2003;33(7):539-52.

2. Intervals: as strange as it may sound, interval training
develops aerobic capacity BETTER than aerobic training. The fastest
way to increase VO2 max, the standard measure of aerobic fitness,
is through interval training not long duration distances.

Journal of Physiology, “Short term sprint interval versus
traditional endurance training: Similar initial adaptations in
human skeletal muscle and exercise performance.” Sept 2006, Vol 575
Issue 3.

Study specifics - comparison of 20 minutes of interval training (30
sec sprint/ 4 minute rest) with 90-120 minutes of cardio in the
“heart rate zone.” Sixteen active men (21 +/- 1 years, ) were assigned to a SIT
or ET group (n = 8 each) and performed six training sessions over
14 days. Each session consisted of either four to six repeats of 30s
'all out' cycling at approximately 250% with 4 min recovery (SIT)
or 90-120 min continuous cycling at approximately 65% (ET).
Training time commitment over 2 weeks was approximately 2.5 h for
SIT and approximately 10.5 h for ET, and total training volume was
approximately 90% lower for SIT versus ET ( approximately 630
versus approximately 6500 kJ)

Results - same improvement in oxygen utilization. 2.5 hours per week
vs. 10.5 hours per week.

If you are trying to get the fastest results possible in the shortest
amount of time and to improve their aerobic capacity, which do you
think would be the best approach to choose? Intervals right?
Not only will interval training get the job done infinitely faster,
but you won’t have to deal with all the nagging injuries as well (less ground contacts
compared to long distance training).

Don't get me wrong I am NOT against aerobic exercise as its great
for your heart, but when it comes to boosting your metabolism,
burning fat, building muscle, and looking great, it's not the way to go.

I, in fact, go for runs, but NOT to lose body fat, but to compliment
my resistance training, burn additional calories and help further
strengthen my cardiovascular system (NOTE: apart from what most people
think, resistance training is HUGE for strengthen the cardiovascular system).

So keep running, cycling, or doing aerobics but DON'T JUST do them,
incorporate a good resistance training and interval program into your
current program.
You'll feel a lot better and get better results with your aerobic

I wrote an article on this for North Shore Magazine that you are
welcome to read at The article was featured in
December 2007's issue. Click 'past issues' and click on Dec/Jan's issue.
It's pages 18-19. If it doesn't come up check your pop up blocker as it
comes up as a separate page.


p.s. I'm giving a fitness and nutrition seminar at a business in
Vancouver tomorrow and I just wanted to ask if you know of any businesses or
groups where I could speak. I'd be happy to do it for free and contact
them if you'd like. Please let me know either the specific individual to
contact or the business. Thank you!

p.p.s. My next fitness boot camp starts Monday March 17 and runs
for 4 weeks until Friday April 11. The cost for the entire 12 sessions is $180.
There will be three sessions per week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and
Fridays) from 7:15-8:00pm. If you are interested please visit Tweet This