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The Right Way to Approach Weight Loss

We live in a society that places a great deal of emphasis on the way we look, which is why people often end up taking drastic measures to lose weight. A whole industry has cropped up around the concept of losing weight, and this industry has ended up spreading all the wrong information about how you can get thin.

Fad diets have arisen that are supposed to help you get thin within a week or some other improbable amount of time, and since so many people desperately want to lose weight quickly they often end up falling for all of these falsehoods.

Right off the bat, what you need to realize is that losing weight is a long term goal. There is no shortcut to it, nor is there some way that you can go about getting thinner without putting some effort into it.

Hence, you definitely need to avoid some of the fad diets that people might convince you to try out. One example of a diet that you should definitely avoid is one that makes you eat far less food than you eat every day.

A lot of people think that starving yourself will help you lose weight, mostly because of the fact that food is what fattens you up in the first place. This logic is inherently false, though. Food is necessary for survival, it is the kind of food you eat and how much of it you consume that can make you gain weight.

Still, not eating at all will inevitably help you lose weight, right? After all, you aren’t eating so your body will have to start using up fat in order to keep itself going which is going to reduce your overall weight.

Once again, this is entirely untrue. If you don’t eat for an extended period of time, your body is going to think that there is a shortage of food and is going to go into starvation mode. This is going to lead to it reducing your metabolic functions. Your metabolism is a key component of your overall weight loss, you need to keep it as high as possible so that you can genuinely lose weight.

A drop in metabolism will mean that you are not going to lose much weight at all initially, and you will simply feel terrible since your body will be diverting nutrients to essential processes like your cardiovascular functions.

Even if you do lose some weight, you are going to gain it all back and probably end up getting even fatter once you inevitably start eating normally again. This is because of the fact that your body is going to snap out of starvation mode and quickly accumulate fat so that if such a thing happens again it has enough energy stored up to survive for as long as possible.

It is fair to say that not eating enough is the worst possible way to lose weight.

You should definitely count calories to some extent, but don’t go overboard with it. The best way to lose weight is to switch unhealthy foods that you are eating to things that are not going to flood your body with sugar and unhealthy cholesterol and fats. If you check out Activeats, you will see that healthy food that will allow you to lose weight in the long run is far more delicious and wholesome than you might have thought, and the important thing is that they are all full meals that are going to leave you satisfied rather than truly hungry.

If you stay at it, set practical and achievable goals and aren’t too hard on yourself, losing weight won’t take that long. After a year you are going to look and feel like a completely new person.

A year might sound like a long time, but in the grand scheme of things it’s actually quite a short period of time, especially if you consider the fact that you have decades to live afterwards in which you would be able to rest more comfortably in your own skin since you will be at an overall weight that will leave you looking quite slim.

Is Orange Juice Slowly Killing You? (Yes/No)

Orange juice….  Isn’t that just… you know… as bad as pop?

Is your Orange Juice slowly killing you?

It does contain fructose, and fructose has been shown to act differently in the body than glucose… but does that make it bad? Especially when found in fruit and fruit juice? AND especially when fruit sugars ARE NOT 100% Fructose! (A Large orange may contain 17 grams of sugar, but only 4.5 grams of that is fructose)

Yes, in isolation and in high amounts of fructose is ‘bad’,  however what about fruit juice?

A 2000 study published in ‘The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’ found that men and women with high LDL, or ‘bad’, cholesterol levels could significantly increase their HDL, or ‘good’, cholesterol levels by drinking 750 millilitres of orange juice daily. This seems like a good thing.

Fruit and Fruit juices also contains antioxidants that can protect your body against oxidant damage.

Here’s an interested study…

When four groups of normal-weight people were given a 300-cal drink of either

* 75 grams of glucose,

* 75 grams of fructose,

* orange juice, or

* water

There was a significant increase in measurements of Reactive Oxygen Species (Free radicals) in the people who drank the glucose drink, but not the fructose, orange juice, or water groups.

The glucose increased oxidant stress, the fructose and orange juice did not… another small win for Orange juice.

So far, this seems promising…

However, there are MANY studies linking sugar-sweetened beverages to obesity…  We can’t ignore this fact.

People in studies who gained weight or who were already overweight tended to drink more sugar-sweetened beverages than those who did not gain weight or who were ‘not overweight’ by scientific standards. This seems like a major black mark on orange juice, however, ‘sugar-sweetened beverages’ includes EVERYTHING that is a beverage and sweetened. This includes Pop, Iced-tea, orange juice, Kool-aid… A good old fashioned, everything.

Admittedly, not all fruit juices are equal, some have added sugar, some may have many of their polyphenols ruined in processing (I’m looking into this now), but to compare fruit juice directly to fructose sweetened water is inaccurate, especially since there seems to be some health benefits associated with drinking fruit juice.

But the real benefit, the reason I have chosen to include fruit juice and more fruits in general into my diet is because of the powerful affect they have on endotoxins.

In fact, my latest book, available to you as a pre-release is all about Endotoxins, their role in heath and obesity, and how fruit and fruit juices can help.

You can check out the whole story here —> Good Belly Bad Belly

The Biggest Loser Study

Let’s talk about that ‘Biggest Loser Study’ everyone is talking about…

But we’re going to save some time and cut right to the chase.

All this study showed me was that you can’t out metabolism a bad diet.

Why?

Let’s start at the beginning, when these people had a measured resting metabolic of over 2,600!!!

That is an enormous amount of calories being expended at rest.

As an example, my resting metabolic rate is around 1,700. My good friend John Barban, who is 2 inches taller than me and carries around 15-20 pounds of more lean muscle then me has a resting metabolic rate of 1,850.

These people had a resting metabolic rate of 2,600…. almost 1,000 calories higher than mine!!

They also had almost 50% body fat at a weight of well over 300 pounds.

This was their supposed baseline… but I just don’t see how any sane scientist could call these numbers ‘baseline’ or ‘normal’

To me, they are obviously elevated. A state of hypermetabolism – I don’t know how else to say it, but these people were not well and it showed in their resting metabolic rate measurements.

At the end of 30 weeks of competition, they had lost more than 100 pounds (averaging more than 4 pounds per week of loss!!!)

They also lost almost 25 pounds of Lean body mass!

And their metabolic rate was measured at right around 2,000 calories (still much, much higher than mine)

THEN 6 years later these people had gained back over 12 pounds of lean body mass and (unfortunately) almost 80 pounds of fat.

Their resting metabolic rate was STILL around 1,900.

Still higher than most people.

The bottom line is In 6 years they gained back much of their weight, in spite of having a high metabolism.

YES the researchers in this study did use equations to guess at a predicted metabolic rate that was almost 500 calories higher… That’s what all the hoopla is about

These people’s high metabolisms weren’t as high as the scientists think they should have been based on they predictions?!?!.

That’s what the media is latching on to.

But I see something much different… they gained a lot of weight despite having a metabolism that is MUCH HIGHER than the average person.

So yes, there is a relationship between your metabolic rate and your ability to lose weight and your ability to keep the weight off… but don’t let the media fool you, these people weren’t suffering from a metabolic rate of zero… they just had a metabolic rate lower than this particular group of scientists expected (mind you it was higher than other equations would have predicted).

…There was much more going on with their physiology then just their metabolic rates.

In fact the most interesting part of the study was the wild fluctuations in Leptin that occurred in these groups while they were losing weight, which gels really well with what my friend John says in his program called The Venus Factor. Just another piece of the puzzle… a puzzle that obviously includes many unmeasured lifestyle factors.

In the end I want you to know that you can lose weight despite what your metabolism is or isn’t, and maintaining that weight loss takes significant adaptations to your lifestyle… In my opinion Eat Stop Eat is one of those adaptations – something many people have used successfully to maintain weight loss for years.

What Causes Sudden and Rapid Weight Gain

On my desk I have a printed document that is over 400 pages long.

It’s a list of emails from Eat Stop Eat customers addressing their experiences with their weight, and specifically asking what does being ‘weight stable’ mean to them.

That was back in 2011.

I kept this document to remind me of one thing: For many people weight gain was related to an event.

Now I’m not talking about slowly gaining 10 to 20 pounds over decades – I’m talking about the phenomena of people who were weight stable (keeping their weight within a 10 pound range for decades) suddenly gaining 20-50 pounds and more over a couple of months, and how this seems to always have to do with a period of high stress.

Bad job, bad relationship, poor health of family member etc.

And before you go thinking that this is just an example of people trying to pass the responsibility of their weight on to something other than themselves, let me tell you that what we know about the science of physiology and hunger supports what they are saying.

Yes, they all knew they were eating too much, but at that point in their lives, they didn’t care – food made them feel better… at least momentarily.

Stress and anxiety can do horrible things to your body, thingst that manifest differenly in different people…

…And for some people it manifests in eating and weight gain.

A big problem arises when these same people try to lose weight while the stress is still present.

It’s a horrible feeling when life is hard, eating makes you happy and depriving yourself makes you miserable again, but thinking of yourself as ‘fat’ also makes you miserable too!

(Interestingly when the stress levels get high enough, the opposite actually occurs and people experience uncontrollable weight loss)

Here’s what this means to you —> Sometimes you have to remove the stress in your life before you can remove the weight. This isn’t true for everyone, but if you’re silently nodding your head right now, it may be you.

Losing weight isn’t easy, it can be stressful, and adding stress on top of already existing stress rarely gives the results you want.

If you’ve struggled with weight loss, and feel like your constantly fighting against gaining weight (as opposed to simply not losing), then take some time and look at your life and see if there is an underlying stress that is sabotaging your effort, then see what dealing with that stress can do for you.

Sometimes, adding MORE stress in the form of dieting and exercising actually is NOT the answer.

Alcohol and Fat Loss

I’m picky when it comes to my alcohol. I’m not a big drinker, but I have my favorites.

If I’m drinking beer I’m drinking Guinness, unless it’s crazy hot out, and then I’m drinking Banks.

If I’m not drinking beer I’m drinking Scotch or Rum.

(I’m a fun combination of Scottish-Irish-Canadian roots and Bajan roots)

I appreciate these drinks, but I’m not going to kid myself – I know that they don’t help with my fat loss goals.

Here is the simple truth – Your body has a priority system when dealing with fuel sources, and at the top of the list is alcohol.

If you have alcohol in your body, it will be burned first*.

(*Technically it gets transformed to acetate and then burned, but for simplicity’s sake we’ll call this burning alcohol)

Also, if you have a big night of drinking and then you go to sleep, your nighttime Growth Hormone levels will be significantly lower than if you had not been drinking.

Why? Because GH is primarily responsible for releasing fat from your body fat stores. Which is a big part of how you lose fat at night.

Typically, when you go to sleep, your GH increases, you release fat, then you burn fat, it’s a beautiful system. You truly are burning fat while doing nothing.

But when you go to sleep drunk, your body has other priorities. It needs to oxidize (burn) the alcohol in your body… So it doesn’t release GH, because it doesn’t need fat to be released (It already has a fuel source).

The bottom line is you sober up while you sleep by burning alcohol as a fuel source, instead of fat.

You can drink while trying to lose weight, just remember that the alcohol you take in (about 10-15 grams per drink) must be dealt with, and it will get dealt with as a priority.

Keep it moderate while trying to lose weight, and sadly – no drinking booze while you are fasting.

BCAAs during your fast

Today, I want clear up some confusion about protein, branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) and fasting.

First, my opinion on protein is that frequency trumps amount…

So I’d rather see you eat between 15-30 grams (depending on your size) of protein every 4-8 hours, than see you have 100 grams of protein once per day. When it comes to protein I believe that consistency is key.

However, I also want you to take a break from this protein-dosing schedule at least once a week… which is why for MOST people I don’t think you need BCAAs during your fast.

When you fast, you DO break down some protein. HOWEVER this is not all muscle AND it is a very important part of the health benefits of fasting.

When fasting, it is the ‘bad’ proteins – the damaged, or weak ones, that are broken down first and then recycled into new proteins. So the small amount of protein breakdown that occurs during a fast is part of how your body improves the proteins in your body – it gets rid of the weak and broken ones first.

This is why for people who are overweight and have typically been in a constant state of protein surplus, I think that a true 24 hour fast is ideal.

However, once your start to become noticeably lean I think it is OK to experiment with taking some BCAAs during your fast.

So that’s the more complete version of my view on BCAAs and protein during a fast.

How to hack Eat Stop Eat

Today I want to start a series of posts covering some of my more personalized approaches to Eat Stop Eat.

Hopefully this will clear up some questions you may have.

Today, lets talk about Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) during a fast.

People ask me about this a lot – can they, or should they take BCAAs during their fasts as a way to prevent muscle loss or even accelerate muscle growth.

And my answer is (as always)…. it depends.

Muscle loss is NOT a major issue with a 24 hour fast. However, those at most risk would be people with very low body fat who are active.

So my solution is this:

Look in the mirror – are you ‘lean’ by your standards, and would you say you have ‘lower than average body fat’. If yes, measure your waist.

Guys: If your waist circumference at your navel is under 46.5% of your height then you can consider taking BCAAs during your fast. I wouldn’t do more than 8 grams unless you are over 200 pounds (and lean), and I would only take them once every 6-8 hours.

Women: If your waist circumference at its narrowest point just below your rib cage is under 41.5% of your height then you can consider taking BCAAs during your fast. I wouldn’t do more than 5 grams unless you are over 150 pounds (and lean) and I would only take them once every 6-8 hours.

I’m still not sure how much of a difference they would make, but this would be the ideal time to try them out.

Now, if you are NOT lean, then I would NOT recommend BCAAs… ESPECIALLY if you have a large amount of weight to lose.

Here’s why – When you fast you activate a compound in your body called FGF-21 and FGF-21 has recently been found to improve Leptin sensivitiy.

People who are very overweight often have reduced leptin sensitivity which seems to hurt their ability to lose weight… so it makes sense that improving leptin sensitivity is just one of the ways that fasting can help people lose weight.

However, FGF-21 is highly sensitive to protein – it is fasting from protein (including BCAAs) that is needed for a rise in FGF-21.

So the BCAAs might interfere with the way a fast can improve Leptin Sensitivity… NOT COOL if you are overweight and really struggling with weight loss.

Also, even low doses of BCAAs can cause a spike in insulin levels, this is probably not an issue for someone who is lean with good insulin sensitivity (your insulin would go back down quickly), but for someone who is even slightly insulin resistant, your insulin levels could stay elevated long enough to affect your GH levels, which would affect your ability to burn body fat.

So there you have it. A quick Eat Stop Eat ‘hack’ – if you are really lean and active and fasting, you could try BCAAs and see if they help, but if you have a lot of weight t lose (waist circumference is over 55% of your height) then I would avoid trying BCAAs until you have lost some more weight.

Insulin is only HALF the story

Insulin has a bad reputation in the weight loss industry.

Basically, to most people high insulin means fat storage and low insulin means fat loss.

Unfortunately it’s not exactly this easy.

Low insulin doesn’t mean fat loss. High Growth Hormone means fat loss.

Actually, for the full fat burning effect, you need BOTH low insulin and high Growth Hormone, which is exactly what happens during a fast.

…but you absolutely, positively cannot talk about fat loss without talking about Growth Hormone (GH for short). In fact, I’d go as far as to say that any book that explores the science of fat loss without mentioning Growth Hormone is incomplete.

Just how important is GH to your fat loss goals?

Consider this:

When you fast, it is the increase in GH that is responsible for forcing you to burn fat for a fuel instead of sugar or protein. When your GH release is chemically blocked, your fat burning drops and your muscle breakdown increases by almost 50% – And that’s WITH your insulin still being rock bottom low.

So you need high GH for effective fat burning and effective muscle sparing. Which is what makes fasting so unique. – it’s why you lose fat when you fast and why you don’t lose muscle.

It’s also why your metabolism doesn’t slow down while you fast.

The bottom line is that high GH is needed for effective fat loss, and fasting for as little as 24 hours is one of the most potent signals for high GH available without a prescription

Venus Factor: Ideal Body Measurements for Women

Сontents: Venus Formula | Example of Calculation | Venus Waist Ratios |Guide to Getting Your Venus Body

 

Women often wonder what their “healthy weight” or their “ideal weight” is, and those are hard questions to answer. Suggesting “ideal measurements” can be very touchy for females.

In order to determine what your ideal body measurements should be, we first must determine the amount of lean body mass (LBM) your body frame can support.

Lean body mass is “good weight,” and includes things like muscles, bones, and organs. Anything inside your body that isn’t fat counts as lean body mass. Lean body mass can be calculated pretty accurately using some equations. (If you’re familiar with the Venus Factor, this equation is similar to the “rule of sevens.”)

The Venus Factor Equation for women is as follows:

 

C x H3

“H” is your height, measured in meters.

“C” is a coefficient that is adjusted for age.

 

For women age 35-54, the range associated with the highest degree of lean body mass, C = 10.

Women are very different from men in this area. Men reach their potential for maximum muscle between ages 18 and 25, however, women don’t reach this phase until about age 45.

Here are the age ranges for the coefficient C in our equation:

18-24 = 9.6

25-34 = 9.8

35-54 = 10

55+ = 9.8

(Standard deviation is 0.5)

Example of calculation

For a 5’6” woman who is 36 years old, the equation would work out as follows:

LBM = 10 x 1.67643

LBM = 10 x 4.711

LBM = 47.11 KG

LBM = ~104 POUNDS

 

The average lean body mass goal for a 36-year-old woman who is 5’6” tall would be approximately 104 pounds.

We use the standard deviation figure of 0.5 to determine an appropriate range. Two standard deviations to the right or left of the average will calculate the range that 95% of the population is likely to fall into.

In this case the range would be between:

9 x 4.711 and 11 x 4.711

or

94 to 114 pounds

 

So a 5’6” woman who is 36 years old should have a lean body mass that would fall somewhere in this range.

 

***REMEMBER: This equation is for LEAN body mass, not TOTAL body mass.***

 

The idea of the Venus Factor program is to create an ideal look with a well-proportioned body. The numbers above are important in developing this.

For men, a high amount of muscle mass usually indicates “youth,” because men around age 25 usually have the highest amounts of lean body mass.

A high amount of muscle mass can cause a woman to look older, since the highest amounts of lean body mass are usually found in women who are age 45 and older. The Venus Factor seeks to find the “ideal” muscle mass for females, not the “maximum” muscle mass.

The ideal amount is usually somewhere in the range mentioned above. While it is possible for a woman to build more muscle than the equation suggests, it may not be desirable for a woman to do that.

So how does a woman determine what is ideal for her body? In the Venus Factor, we calculate this based on your body circumference – your waist and shoulder measurements.

 

***Don’t Miss this Important Information****

 

Please note that we do not measure a woman’s waist at her navel. Many females think this is where they should measure, but this is not correct. In females, the natural waist line is the smallest point on the torso above the navel. For most women, this falls right under the rib cage.

Most women appear to be at their “ideal” weight and measurements when their waist circumference is approximately 38% of their height. If a female drops to 35% of her height, she tends to look too skinny. If she goes much higher than 43% of her height, her body fat will begin to mask her natural shape.

For both men and women, when the waist circumference is more than 50% of height, the extra body fat can become hazardous to your health

38% = Our Ideal

35 – 43% = Good range

Under 35% = May be lacking lean body mass. Slightly increase calories/decrease activity level.

Over 43% = May be carrying more fat than you need. Assess eating and exercise habits.

Over 50% = More body fat than you need. Long term health risks.

 

We have learned that the Venus Factor provides an attainable ideal for anyone. The idea of fitness and health should not be to get lean at all costs.

 

Some ideals set by society are unrealistic and unattainable. Barbie’s waist circumference, for example, is 25% of her height, which, as we have calculated, is not ideal.

Aside from obtaining your waist measurement, it is also important to get your shoulder measurement. If you measure around your shoulders at armpit level, you should be able to get a good indication of your overall muscle mass without allowing your breast size to interfere with the calculation.

A shoulder measurement that is about 62% of your height indicates a good “toned” look for a female. This percentage should prevent a female from looking too masculine or from looking older – or, in the opposite case, from looking too thin. Following the shoulder circumference percentage recommendation allows for a healthy look.

Note: When a female has less than 25% body fat, a decrease of more than an inch in shoulder circumference should be seen as a sign to slightly increase your calorie intake.

 

Guide to Getting Your Venus Body

If you can get past the technical terms in what I have written, you will see that I am offering an excellent set of guidelines for women who are trying to lose weight. The equations give you a definite goal.

For example, a body fat percentage of around 20% of the weight of the 5’6” woman we discussed earlier will fall around 120 to 140 pounds, with possible deviations of 4 to 5 pounds in either direction.(It should be noted that 20% body fat is considered “very lean,” and that might be leaner than you need to be. I am only using that as an example.)

A target goal weight of 120-140 pounds is a pretty large range, but this allows us to more easily set a goal for ourselves, rather than picking a specific number based on the weight of this co-worker or that celebrity.

Our calculations will tell us that a 5’6” woman will weigh between 120 and 140 pounds if she has a waist that measures around 25 inches and a shoulder circumference of around 41 inches. We also know, based on our calculations, that she will probably have between 95 and 105 pounds of lean body mass and 25-35 pounds of fat mass.

When you have determined a good baseline weight range, you can use calculations to determine how much we should be training and eating.

 

If your weight, waist, and shoulders are below the guidelines, you should eat a little more and focus on weight training. You might think you still need to lose fat, but you won’t have an accurate view of yourself until you build some muscle on to your frame. Your muscle structure is what determines your shape.

If you don’t have muscles, you have no shape. You should only eat a little bit more, with the goal of bringing up your weight and shoulder measurements while slowly increasing your waist circumference.

Remember to go slowly, and remember that this is not a good time to diet, fast, or do excessive cardio. If you are fasting, fast over one 24-hour period per week at the most. “Bulking,” for women, can cause an increase in testosterone and leptin, so be sure to go slowly.

 

If your weight, waist, and shoulders are within the ideal ranges, then you should focus on making small changes in your diet and exercise routines. There is no need to make major changes. The scale probably won’t tell you much about what’s going on inside your body. You will be better off concentrating on your measurements.

If you’re in the ideal range, you should be eating as much as you want without gaining fat by using the perfect blend of exercise and diet you’ve been using. If you have been fasting, you can continue to do so once or twice a week.

 

If your weight is in the high range, and if your waist is above 43%, or especially above 50%, of your height, then you need to consider changing your diet to get your waist into the proper range. You could probably fast twice a week if you want to, and you probably need to consider reducing your calorie intake on the days you are not fasting.

You may need to drastically reduce your calorie intake initially, but you can increase it as you begin to lose weight. Focus on your waist circumference. Each inch that comes off your waist should reflect approximately a 5 pound loss in body weight.

 

It’s not easy to determine how much you should eat, but it’s much easier to manage your diet when you let your own body measurements guide you rather than aiming for a random calculation. The calculations we use only provide “best guesses.” If you want a very accurate determination of your fat mass and your lean body mass, you could have a DEXA done. But please remember the following:

 

A scale cannot tell a woman how much she should eat or workout.

Knowledge of your weight can give you a good starting point, but it won’t tell you where you should end up or how far you’re coming along. Your measurements, on the other hand, can show you how far you have come. Having a general idea of the ideal weight range for your height, combined with the measurements of your waist and shoulders, should provide you with good guidelines for shaping your body.

A body-first approach will lead to better results than a calories-first approach. Entering numbers on an online calculator, not taking into consideration your height or your body measurements, will not give you an accurate portrayal of how many calories you should be eating, and it won’t give you the results you want to see.

Instead, focus on what is possible for your body, with the goal of improving your overall shape. Compare your current measurements with your ideal ranges. From there, develop your diet and exercise program. Once you become lean, you can use your calculations as a guide to help you stay lean.

What if you are gaining weight, but your waist measurements are staying the same? That probably means you’re gaining muscle weight. But if you gain weight while your waist measurements consistently reach higher and higher, you’re probably adding body fat.

There is no way to determine what is actually going on inside your body, but these simple calculations – which go along with the idea of the Venus Factor – can help guide you through your attempts to either lose fat, gain muscle, or maintain your body shape.

 

If you want to learn more on how to get a well proportioned feminine physique, then check out this video

 

 

 

Muscle Growth at all Costs?

Let me state the obvious: All human bodies look roughly the same.

One can easily tell the difference between, say, a human, a gorilla, and a hippopotamus.

A description of a human male could easily be summed up by saying that they are usually about 5’10” tall, with approximately 148 pounds of lean mass. Their weight can vary greatly due to their ability to store energy in the form of fat mass.

A more detailed summary of a human male would explain that their height has a standard deviation of about three inches, meaning that 95 percent of all men are somewhere between 5’4” and 6’4” tall.

Their lean muscle mass also has a standard deviation of about seven pounds, so an athletic healthy male could have about 14 pounds more lean mass than average, and a sickly man could weigh about 14 pounds less than average before he is considered to be in a disease state.

Only about 2.5 percent of the population is comprised of “anomalies” – rare cases in which a person has much more muscle than everyone else or is much taller than the average.

You and I are fairly limited in how much muscle we can add to our bodies. We are, after all, only human beings, with checks and balances everywhere in our bodies. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The next time you hear about an exercise program which claims to be able to “add 60 pounds of muscle in six weeks,” consider this: Many things which cause your muscles to grow beyond their normal limits are connected to higher than average rates of cancer.

Chronic high testosterone, chronic high insulin, chronic high growth hormone, and chronic high IGF-1 – all are connected to an increase risk of cancer.

Remember, you’re only human. Be happy with the shape of your body. Make it your goal to increase muscle mass and decrease fat mass, but keep your expectations realistic.

I have found that an adult male can expect to gain about 14 pounds of muscle through strength training. Females can expect to gain about six pounds of muscle with the same technique. After that point, muscle growth slows considerably.

You can obtain more muscle with pharmaceutical supplements, but you should be aware of the fact that there could be long-term health side effects as a result of doing so.

You can gain more muscle without supplements, but you should expect progress to be slow and growth to be limited.

Remember to eat less and move more. Try to build muscle while you keep your body fat low, but remember that you’re human. Unless you are about 6’10” tall, you’re probably never going to reach 250 pounds with five percent body fat.