Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Best Weight Loss Advice I Ever Got

Last year, at the Turbulence Training Summit in San Diego, I had the extraordinary opportunity to take a walk with world famous fitness expert Alwyn Cosgrove. As the owner with his wife Rachel of Results Fitness,and the co-author of "The New rules of Lifting for Women," he has had an extraordinary influence on the world of fat loss and figure transformation. He and Rachel have a program that takes advanced trainees to very low body fat levels, and I asked Alwyn what his best advice was for losing the last five pounds. "Have fun." He answered. "Have fun?" I replied.  I thought the last 5 or 10 pounds were supposed to be the hardest to lose. Then he explained the secret.  "You have to make it fun, because if you don't, your cortisol level will rise, and you'll gain fat instead of losing it." Now, I warn my members at Gordon Studio regularly about the trouble with elevated cortisol, and how excess cardio can make cortisol levels rise at the worst time.  Lately, I've been studying how to manage cortisol levels through subtle changes to my exercise and nutrition program. You see, I have a photo shoot coming up in 2 weeks, and I'm always looking for ways to help my clients and readers get great results. My latest experiment has been to take Alwyn's advice and have fun in the pursuit of lower body fat. Here is what I've been doing.  Every week night, after I teach my last TT class of the day, I pick up my son and we head for the pool. We spent the last hour of the day as the sun gets lower throwing the nerf football and swimming slow laps or quick fun sprints. We both wear fins for the laps because it makes them feel almost effortless and completely enjoyable. It's working! As of this morning, my body fat percentage was down to exactly 19%, I'm in my ideal weight range, and I still have 2 weeks to go before picture day.  Why don't you try adding some fun, playful movement to the end of your day?  You could stroll, dance, garden, go for an easy bike ride, or a fun swim. Technically, I believe it's working because it normalizes cortisol and and insulin levels so I can release fat. What's more it helps me sleep.  Finally, it brings Summer happiness to the end of the day. So I want to to find your Summer happiness, and maybe you'll get a fat loss bonus to boot.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The 800 Calorie Diet That Didn't Work. (And a sample menu from the one that does.)

Years ago, when I was a “starving” actor in Hollywood, I was a member of a paid diet program that had me come in and get weighed every weekday. The program used some effective strategies for weight loss. For example, we all had a “Before” pictures taken, we were measured at the start, and usually every four weeks after that. Alcohol was strictly forbidden, and there were weekly group meetings where we could talk about our struggles and successes. I did my best to work the program 4 different times. Here’s how it always went: I lost weight rapidly at the start, sometimes significant amounts, but my appetite inevitably got stronger while my motivation and energy for daily living got weaker. I would fall of the wagon, eat like crazy, and regain the weight, plus more. Yes, it was the classic yo-yo dieting pattern I had been following since childhood. I had been meaning to go back, write down, and closely examine what was on that diet for years. I wanted to examine why it worked in the short term, and why it ultimately failed. Note that I wrote, “It Failed.” If there is one thing I have learned from my diet history, and from experience coaching fat loss clients, it's that we don’t fail diets the way we fail tests. I believe that carrying excess body fat is an individual issue, and that when a diet doesn’t work it simply isn’t the right solution for whatever is causing us to store excess fat at that point in our lives. When I posted this meal plan on the secret Facebook group that is part of the 6 week Sugar Freedom Challenges I have offered, I got some very interesting feedback. Many of the members had followed similar plans with the same results: Early weight loss followed by extreme hunger, weakness, and re-gain of the weight lost. So here it is: Breakfast: 2 Eggs cooked in 1 teaspoon butter1 Apple1 Wasa Crisp bread Lunch: Large green salad with 1 teaspoon olive oil and vinegar for dressing 3 oz chicken breast 1 cup cucumber Dinner: 3 oz sirloin steak 1 cup green beans with 1 teaspoon butter 1 wasa crisp bread Snack: 1 orange When I look at this plan, what jumps out at me is the lesson that, no matter how much you want to be thin, hunger always wins when you try to cut your energy intake to the bone. This is such a small amount of food, but I’ll bet you’ve tried diets that look just like this! So what does work? With every successful client I coach the answer becomes more clear. We must find the individual eating plan that provides satisfaction and abundant energy, while allowing for a moderate and consistent release of weight through fat burning. To put it more clearly, we must train the body to use fat for energy. So today I will leave you with a daily menu that works for me and for my clients. Breakfast: 2 Deviled Eggs Sliced tomato drizzled with olive oil and raspberry vinegar 2-3 slices Canadian Bacon Lunch: 4 oz. Turkey with red bell pepper and zesty sauce (I mix salsa with mustard.) Cabbage Leaf wraps Mixed Vegetables cooked in coconut oil or grass-fed butter Dinner: Shrimp with Zucchini “Pasta” and parmesan cheese Heat 1T butter in a large pan. Grate zucchini into the pan and stir until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and top with grated parmesan cheese. Thaw 3-4 oz large frozen shrimp. Stir fry them in butter and one large diced garlic clove until warm- don’t over cook. Serve over zucchini. Sliced Tomato and mozzarella salad with olive oil and a 1t balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar contains sugar, so use sparingly. Note: I make simple deviled eggs like this: Slice 2 hard boiled eggs in half. Scoop out yolks and mix with 1-2 teaspoons flavored olive oil: meyer lemon is my favorite. Add 1/2 teaspoon prepared organic mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Re-fill eggs and sprinkle with paprika. ===>Click Here<=== to try the eating plan that helped me finally lose the weight I struggled with for all those years.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Great Solution for "Low Carb Flu"


I have been so delighted about the success of our latest 6 Week Sugar Freedom Challenge at Gordon Studio.

The challenge group was small, but the results were big, with four challengers losing the Maximum Recommended Amount of Weight in six weeks.  Cherie and Whitley each lost more than 11 pounds, and Candy lost 13.

As an ACE certified Personal Trainer, I've learned that 2 pounds a week is the maximum amount of fat loss that one can expect on a diet and exercise program.  If we see higher weight loss numbers, chances are that the extra weight loss is coming for lean tissue: in other words, precious muscle.

What's more, I have been coaching a number of other clients in the art of getting off of sugar, grains, and processed vegetable oils, and I enjoy learning more about the challenges of getting off of sugar and starch from each of them.

Here is a common problem they are reporting to me, and a solution to that problem.

According to Dr. Eric Westman, one of the co-authors along with Jimmy Moore of "Keto Clarity,"  a low carb high fat diet can have a diuretic effect which drastically lowers sodium levels along with bloat and inflammation.

Now, nobody wants the bloat, but a drop in sodium levels can leave my clients feeing tired, cranky, and all around low energy.

Enter bullion in warm water as a fast pick me up.  My clients Jill, Whitley, Candy, and more have reported that the bullion drink is astonishingly effective.

There's just one problem.

Most bullions contain sugar!  Yes, you read that right.  One "organic" bullion even goes so far as to call it "Glucose Syrup" instead of sugar on the label.  Can you imagine why?  Companies must be getting wise to the fact that so many of us are discovering the benefits of getting sugar out of our diets

Luckily, my search on Amazon.com turned up this solution:




Finally, a sugar bullion that proudly declares its sugar free status right on the label.  I'm heading over there to order some now.

Let me know if it works for you: catherine@sugarfreedom.com

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Sugar Freedom Food Pyramid

I am so grateful to my in-person clients who keep me on my toes when it comes to the information they need.

The number one request is a way to understand exactly what they can and can't eat.  I am currently creating a master list of Yes/No foods on the Sugar Freedom program.  

In the meantime, Dr. Mercola's food pyramid is great place to start.  I would add beans, legumes, and soy to the top of the pyramid (meaning minimal to no consumption).
Thanks Mercola.com for this excellent info-graphic!
Right now, I am starting a new 14 Day Fat Loss Super Challenge.

This was inspired by the fact that I have returned to my work as an actor, singer, dancer in the live Theatre.  My fellow performers and I need a fast effective plan we can follow for real results.  For example, auditions and photo shoots can come up unexpectedly, and we need strategies to look our best in a hurry.

The best thing about my 14 Day plan is that you can see improvement from just 24 hours on the program.  How?  It is specifically intended to get rid of bloat right away, and burn fat like crazy for the next 2 weeks.

Other elements that my clients demand are  simplicity and ease of use.  Translation: they don't have much time to cook.

By solution is to recommend Bio-Trust Low Carb Protein Powder mixed with water and 2T of organic heavy cream at breakfast time.  You can get the protein powder at the link above, and yes, this is an affiliate link.

Then, I move my typical Sugar Freedom breakfast to lunch, and I shift my typical lunch to dinner time.  Note: the entire Sugar Freedom Program is available ===>By Clicking Here<===.

Please check this blog for updates of the 14 Day Program.

More to come, and don't forget to keep it simple.

Click Here to Subscribe


Monday, June 1, 2015

Yes, Calories Can Count

Hi Everyone, Here is the calorie calculator from Brad Pilon.

Note that the Sugar Freedom program doesn’t ask you to count calories.  The key is to eliminate sugar and grains which then allows the appetite to lessen spontaneously.

Still, when we are pursuing fat loss and figure transformation, there may be stalls and plateaus, and at these times we need to check our energy balance to make sure we aren’t going overboard with, for example, the avocados or the home made mayonnaise.

In addition, there is a tendency among women to go into chronic under-nutrition, and the calculation to follow also has a bottom number that we shouldn’t go below if we want adequate nutrition.

Please note that this is meant to be informational, and it should not take the place of advice from your doctor, or a registered dietitian.

Here’s Brad.

I’m going to try something a little different today. Instead of diet advice or reviewing research, today I’d like to share with you what I’m currently trying on myself, and give you some of the rational behind my personal approach.

As usual, I’m experimenting. It’s still Eat Stop Eat, but I’m also going to tell you what I’m doing on the days I’m not fasting.

Firstly, I still do two fasts per week. My fasts are usually 20-24 hours long, depending on how I feel and time commitments.

At the end of each fast I do my main weight training sessions. So twice a week I weight train for about 1 hour, consisting of about 50-70 reps divided between 2 to 4 exercises per muscle group.

During my first workout I train my legs and my shoulders, then during my second workout I train my chest back and arms.

Once I’m done my workout I view the next 2-3 days as ‘muscle growth support’ so I eat to support the muscle repairing process.

This means eating 20-30 grams of protein every 4-6 hours, while keeping my calorie intake at roughly 14 times my current body weight (roughly 2,500 calories). Since about 500 of those calories come from my protein intake, the other 2,000 come from carbs fat and alcohol. I really don’t track any of these number as I only really care about 'protein in' and 'calories in'.

I continue this process until it’s time to fast again. I view my fasts as a reset, my workout as the ‘start’,  the next 2-3 days as the eating to support that workout, then I repeat.

I also rock climb twice a week, and do some gymnastics training whenever I feel the urge, but my weight training workouts are currently limited to these two times.

The other thing you need to know is how I tweak calories. I’m normally able to maintain my weight by eating about 2,500 calories on the days I’m not fasting, but if I want to bring my weight down a bit, here’s what I do:

I start with my ideal waist (Height x .447 = my ideal waist) <— that number only applies to men, women should use .388.

I measure my waist at my belly button (women would be above belly button at narrowest point of your ’true waist’). For every 1 inch I am over my ideal, I subtract 1 from 14

So if my ideal waist is roughly 31.5 and I have a 33 inch waist then my daily calories are roughly my current weight multiplied by  (14 - 1.5) or current weight x 12.5

**Since I never let my waist circumference reach over half my height (35 inches) this is never more than a 300 or 400 calorie reduction per day.

No matter what happens with calories, protein stays the same, roughly 4-5 protein meals per day, 4-6 hours apart, 20-30 grams with each meal.

And that’s it, that’s my entire approach. Simple, uncomplicated, and hopefully effective. Yes I eat breakfast most days, and no I don’t know how many grams of carbs or fats I eat, but I can tell you I eat them both ;)

Really, other than the eating, this approach takes up two 24 hour periods of my life, not a big deal to me, and fits perfectly with my schedule.

The only real differences between this and what I normally do is the lowered frequency of workouts and their timing.

This new low training frequency is new to me, I’ve trained as much as two times per day, and usually train around 5 times a week, but I want to experiment with doing less...

The timing is based off my work with inflammation and muscle growth, and a guess that in the long run training at or near the end of a fast may help.

Over the next couple months I’ll let you know how it is going, so if you're interested in following along, you can save this email as a reference

Your friend,

Brad

www.EatStopEat.com