Saturday, August 15, 2009

Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin… Without A Proper Diet!

TIME Magazine recently published a very controversial article on the effects of exercise on weight loss.

The article was called “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin” (to read the article in full:,8599,1914857-1,00.html)

A colleague of mine, BJ Gaddour, fat loss expert and co-creator of Workout Muse, the world renowned interval audio trainer, recently wrote an article in response to some very important issues the article above presents.

Read his interesting article below and please leave a comment below.

Not exactly a sweeping promotion for fitness!

Though there were a lot of things within the article that I found misleading or flat out incorrect, the article does bring to light some very important concepts that are critical for the general population to understand:

1.) Exercise WILL make you hungrier

There is no question here. Exercise, especially intensive exercise, ramps up metabolism and our body’s natural response to energy expenditure (calories burnt from activity) is to increase energy consumption (food intake).

However, being hungrier from exercise is not the culprit- choosing the wrong type of food following exercise is!

In other words, if our diets focus on lots of lean protein, healthy fats, and high-fiber fruits and veggies every 2-4 hours, then we will be able to squash our exercise-induced hunger and build muscle and burn fat from exercise like we intend to. These foods are proven to promote optimal health, performance, and body composition.

However, if you are a carb addict (think lots of refined grains and sugars), exercise will only make you crave more carbs leading to intense feelings of insatiability throughout the day due to unstable blood sugar levels. Make no mistake about it- in this case, exercise will not only cause you to NOT lose weight, but most likely will cause weight gain.

Here’s the line I tell most people who come to me to lose weight for them to understand the key to the success they crave:

“If you want to bulk up, add size, and gain weight, be sure to eat plenty of starches and sugars. But if you want to be lean and muscular, swap the starches and sugars for high fiber fruits and vegetables, with a special emphasis on green veggies.”

It’s really that simple, which brings me to point #2…

2.) Exercise without proper nutrition WILL NOT cause significant weight loss

Nutrition is without a doubt 80-90+% of the equation when it comes to weight management. Hormones govern fat loss and both exercise and nutrition impact your body’s hormone levels- positively or negatively depending on what type of exercise and diet plan you follow.

However, you can never wipe out poor nutritional habits with exercise- NEVER! In terms of diet, the hormone we must be most concerned about is insulin, a storage hormone that’s released in large amounts when consuming refined starches and sugars.

No matter how hard you workout, if you are releasing insulin through the day with a high carb diet, you will be helpless to its fat-storing effects.

On the other hand, lean proteins, healthy fats, and high-fiber fruits and veggies do not significantly impact your insulin levels thus allowing you to preferentially burn fat and build muscle in conjunction with the right exercise plan, which brings me to point #3…

3.) Not all exercise is created equal

The aforementioned article failed to distinguish between different forms of exercise. It misleadingly uses the word “exercise” to refer to aerobic activity or any form of exercise of low to moderate intensity.

Well, we already know that aerobic training has zero effect on fat loss over dieting alone- many studies support this.

So this article should not be using aerobics as the marker for “exercise” and it’s impact on weight loss… it’s like taking a dull knife to a gun fight!

Furthermore, we know that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns 9x more fat than ordinary exercise (aerobic training) and actually builds lean muscle and elevates metabolism for up to 24-48 post-workout (please reference my (Tyron's) most recent blog posts for a ton of interval workouts that fit the bill here)

In conclusion, study after study proves that when it comes to exercise for fat loss:


So this TIME magazine article missed the ball on the big picture here: When it comes to being lean, muscular, and healthy, the key is an integrated and research based diet AND exercise regimen- exercise alone simply doesn’t cut it!

Crank it!


PS- What are your thoughts about this article? Does this hurt or help the weight loss cause? Please share your mind by making a comment to this blog post below, thanks!

BJ's internationally renowned Get Sexy Boot Camps are Milwaukee's premier fitness boot camps for men and women. He is also the co-creator of Workout Muse: The World's FIRST and #1 Source for Fitness Music and Media Production.

PS- If you live in Vancouver, BC and want to experience some of the best rapid weight loss personal training, please click the link below:

North Vancouver Personal Training

PPS- If you live in Vancouver, BC and want to experience some of the best rapid weight loss fitness boot camp, please click the link below:

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tighten Your Waist at Your Favourite Restaurant With These Top 5 Tips

Guest post by fat loss expert and co-creator of Workout Muse, the world renowned interval audio trainer, BJ Gaddour.

It’s critical to know that with a few small changes, almost anything on the menu can be transformed into a tasty, yet health meal at your favorite restaurant. Here are a few nutrition tips for a leaner you:

1) Hold the Bun to Get Slimmer Buns: When ordering any sandwich on the menu, ask your server to “hold the bun”. Eliminating excess starches in your diet forces your body to burn more unwanted body fat for fuel 24-7. The result- leaner legs, a tighter butt, and a flatter tummy!

2) Upgrade Your Salad to Burn More Calories: Anytime you eat, your metabolism increases as you burn calories from the digestion, absorption, and storing of nutrients from food. This is called the thermic effect of feeding. Furthermore, research shows that the thermic effect of protein is roughly double that of fat or carbohydrates. So, boost your metabolism by adding lean proteins sources such as chicken, steak, salmon, or shrimp to any of your favorite salads.

3) Dip Your Fork to Drop Some Pounds: Dressings can easily contain several hundred hidden calories in the form of refined sugar or excess fat that can go straight to your gut. So the next time you order a salad, simply ask for the “dressing on the side” and dip your fork in it with each bite. You’ll keep the flavor your taste buds crave without any of the guilt!

4) Go Green to Be Lean: To make any entrée a belly fat-burning treat, replace any starch-based sides like fries or bread with sautéed, grilled or steamed vegetables. Better yet, opt for green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, green beans, or asparagus as much as possible since they have the highest amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for optimal health. Furthermore, green veggies are loaded with fiber and thus help fill you up faster and keep you fuller between meals.

5) Make Your Dessert Guilt-Free: You don’t have to be perfect all the time… just most of the time! In other words, if you eat well and exercise regularly 80-90% of the time, you can afford a tasty treat in moderation. Studies show that if you eliminate temptation you can avoid its pitfalls. But studies also show that flexibility is the key to long-term weight loss success. So first get rid of any sweets you may have at home and then limit dessert to once or twice per week when eating out. You can even go one step further by cutting the calories in half by splitting a dessert with a friend or family member.

The tips above will put your diet on track. Now, check out the resources below to put your workouts on track ;)

Crank it!


BJ's internationally renowned Get Sexy Boot Camps are Milwaukee's premier fitness boot camps for men and women. He is also the co-creator of Workout Muse: The World's FIRST and #1 Source for Fitness Music and Media Production.

PS- If you live in Vancouver, BC and want to experience the best rapid weight loss personal training, please click the link below:

North Vancouver's Best Personal Training

PPS- If you live in Vancouver, BC and want to experience the best rapid weight loss fitness boot camp, please click the link below:

North Vancouver's Best Fitness Boot Camp Tweet This

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Government Conspiracy To Make Us Fat

This is a guest post by Dr. Saman Bakhtiar

In Washington, DC and everywhere else it seems as if the government, nutritionists, medical doctors and "established" organizations are hell-bent on making Americans FATTER by spewing utterly ridiculous and completely unsubstantiated advice about how to eat and lose weight.

Here are some of their most popular nutrition-related weight-loss myths:

Myth #1: A calorie is a calorie

First, let me ask you a commonsense weight loss question - if you had two identical twin sisters and you put them both on very different 1,500 calories diets. The first one ate all of her calories from McDonald's and the second one gets all of her calories from lean, healthy meats, fish, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, and a small amount of fresh dairy products. Do YOU think they'd look the same at the end of a year?

We have actually known that all calories are NOT created equal for at least 50 years, and we keep getting the same results over and over and over again.

Take this study for example. All participants were on hypocaloric diets (less calories than they need). All did the same amount of activity, ate the same number of calories, etc. The ONLY difference was where those calories came from. The results speak for themselves.

Group A: 1000 calories at 90% fat: lost 0.9lbs per day

Group B: 1000 calories at 90% protein: 0.6lbs per day

Group C: 1000 calories at 90% carbs - actually gained some weight (not really significant though).

We keep repeating these types of studies and we keep getting the exact same results

Why do our so-called authorities in Washington, DC keep selling us the same raft of lies? That is probably a book in and of itself, but here's the gist: Official nutrition recommendations are political and financial decisions - who made campaign contributions (it is DC)? Who's lobbying for what recommendations? What industry group does this scientist work for? Who paid for the research? Was it the same company that will make money off of its favorable results?

The list of questions goes on and on and on. Plus, there's also just plain old stubbornness - people like tradition, they like to do what they've always done.

Rarely are official nutrition recommendations the result of years of practical experience about what works and what doesn't, and a thorough and unbiased review of research. The people who make official recommendations do NOT usually work one-on-one with people helping them to get weight loss results. If your mortgage payment doesn't depend on your ability to produce results, then I do not care what you have to say.

Myth #2: High protein, moderate carbohydrate diets are unsafe

There are at least 15 years of peer-reviewed clinical research saying that there is absolutely no risk posed to normal, healthy people from short or long-term exposure to a high-protein diet. In fact, higher protein/moderate carbohydrate diets (I didn't say none or low carbohydrate) have consistently been shown to outperform low-fat/high-carb/low-protein diets for weight (fat)-loss, in the treatment of diabetes, and for heart health.

Myth #3: Juice is healthy

The federal government in Washington, DC and nutritionists would have you believe that drinking a glass of juice is the same as eating a piece of fruit. Well, the fact of the matter is that a glass of juice is about as nutritious as a glass of Pepsi.

A. To make a small 8 oz. glass of OJ, you must extract all of the sugar from FIVE oranges. Ounce for ounce, OJ has the same amount of sugar as Pepsi. Is it better because it's "natural"? NO! Cocaine is a plant extract, is it now a health food? All sugar comes from plants anyway. There is NOTHING more fattening than a bunch of sugar.

B. In the process of extracting the juice virtually ALL of the vitamins are lost due to exposure to the air and from the chemicals used to increase extraction yields from the fruits.

Conclusion: all sugar, no vitamins - not a health food. Instead of OJ, eat an actual orange. It has fiber, tastes good and it will make you feel full (unlike the juice, so it is really empty calories that your body won't register as having eaten them). Bureaucrats in Washington, DC don't necessarily have your best interests in mind when writing policy, sometimes they are trying to help sell more oranges because you can drink far more than you can eat.

Myth #4: Moderate drinking is healthy

Doctors love to say this one. They say it for two reasons, both of which are misleading at best:

Reason #1 is there was a large study of studies (meta analysis) that showed that people who drank moderately lived longer than those who did not drink at all. There's a HUGE problem with this study, former alcoholics and people who were so sick that they could not drink were lumped into the group of people who CHOSE not to drink. They took the average life expectancy of all those different types of people to get their "data."

If you're so sick that you can't drink alcohol, you probably don't have long to live. And being an alcoholic is VERY hard on your body and will probably shorten your lifespan.

Reason #2 is that alcohol thins your blood. Well, so does water and fish oil, and those have ONLY positive side effects. Whereas alcohol IS a toxin, and it does stimulate both fat storage and muscle loss - that is a bad combination for weight (fat)-loss.

Conclusion: Drinking in moderation is something that you do because you like it, not because it has any health benefits whatsoever. "But red wine is healthy" you say. The good stuff in red wine comes from the grapes that it was made out of - grapes. You can just eat the grapes and rid yourself of the alcohol.

Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts or questions.

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