Archive for the Category Uncategorized


Adjust the Sail

My father was a sailor.

If you needed to find him, he was at the boat.

If you were wondering what that weird new tool was that suddenly appeared in the garage, you didn’t have to ask, you just knew… it was for the boat.

I heard sailing story after sailing story.

And from this, I can tell you with absolute certainty that nutrition and weight loss are a lot like sailing.

Furthermore, I can also say that despite people’s best efforts, weight loss will never be ‘computer programming’.

It’s just not that predictable.

It was boat designer Pete Culler who said “To be successful at sea, we must keep things simple.” and the same could be said of weight loss and health.

The more complicated you make it, the more frustrating it becomes. Sailing, like nutrition and weight loss, thrives on the Keep It Simple system.

What strikes me most about the lessons we can learn about sailing is the need to be flexible and adaptable.

Take these three quotes, the first by William Arthur Ward, the second by Ricky Skaggs and the third by John Rousmaniere:

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”

“I can’t control the wind, but I can adjust the sail.”

“The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself.”

Weight loss is about adjusting the sails, as is health. The winds will change (they always do), your job is to recognize these changes and adjust your sails.

It’s the only choice you have, because you can’t control the wind.

And just like the wind, there is so much you can’t control in life, and to some extent this even includes the food you put in your mouth.

(While it seems like you should have absolute control over such a matter, we all know we don’t; sometimes you just eat, despite your best efforts not to.)

This is why some people barely leave the house when they are trying to lose weight, they are unable to cope with the ever-changing world around them.

I’ve seen many people fail at weight loss because they’ve tried to take absolute control of the situation, plan everything out with meticulous precision, then crumble when their best laid plans go awry.

Anything, from a friend’s wedding to a traffic jam to running out of tomato sauce, can completely derail a diet plan when you’re not being adaptable.

Now don’t get me wrong – diet and health (like sailing) does take tactics, but the best tactician is the one who can adjust plans quickly, while still moving in the right direction.

To be successful you have to learn to adjust the sail, you have to be adaptable.

Do Not ‘Teach’ Your Body How to Burn Fat

The human body operates of itself.

You don’t need to think about how to properly fire your nervous system, or to regulate your blood flow, or to grow your hair in order for these things to happen.  In a sense, you do these things without you.

You lose weight when you do not eat. Your muscles repair and grow while you are resting. As long as you stay out of your own way and let these processes happen, they will happen. They do not need to be forced, persuaded or even optimized.

You do not need to ‘teach’ your body how to do burn fat or build muscle, it already knows how. You just need to get out of its way and let it do what it already knows how to do.  In fact, at the time when your body was building the most muscle and at the fattest, you were still an infant, not even aware you were you.

Learning about how you burn fat does not change how you burn fat. 

Along the same lines, you may also never really know the ‘best diet’ for you. Sure, science will tell you avoid butter, or eat butter, avoid grains or eat grains etc., but there will never be a consensus conclusion, instead it will always be a spinning wheel of opinions. This is why excessively detailed knowledge about a phenomenon can often lead to anxiety and contribute little to peace of mind. There is rarely a 100% ‘right’ answer.

In fact, many of the healthiest people in the world, the leanest and the strongest all share one thing in common – very rarely are they overly concerned with the knowledge behind why they are the way they are. They just are the way they are. And they just do what works for them.

In other words, if a person has a body that you find beautiful, it is very doubtful they attained that body by getting a PhD in how the body works.

This leads me to one of the biggest realizations I’ve had since I started working in the health and fitness industry – Not only can you become lean and muscular without obsessing about the minutia of how it’s all happening (or supposed to happen) but from my experience, the less you concern yourself with excessive knowledge, the easier it is for your body to accomplish what it is you want it to accomplish.

You really do not need to know the Why’s and How’s of something that is effective in order for it to be effective.

There will always be something we don’t know, and every day we will discover something new about health and fitness, but sometimes we focus to closely on the ‘something new’ instead of the totality of what it is…

The point of all of this is to illustrate that how you work can never be broken down to a series of independent systems and pathways, not properly anyways.

We don’t really need to know how we grow our bodies or regulate our metabolisms in order to be healthy. Sure, we can describe it, but the mistake is thinking that learning how to describe it, is the same as being in control of it.

Understanding the downstream regulators of protein synthesis that interact after the phosphorylation of mTOR doesn’t make you better at building muscle, just as understanding how the rods and cones in your eyes work does not make you better at seeing.

A large part of understanding how your body works is to simply understand THAT your body works, and naming the processes involved does not change how or why things happen. It may make you feel better, make you feel more at ease with the process, but it also tricks you into thinking you can somehow control what is happening, forgetting that any one thing you change has multiple affects throughout your body, you and your environment.

The body’s metabolism is an incredibly complex thing, and the ability to anticipate or even understand the exquisite balance that occurs in our body will probably always escape us to some degree. So, while it would be difficult to control our metabolism, it is easy to manage what we eat.

In this sense, sticking to the big picture, what and how much you eat, how and how often you move will always be more important than the minutia.

Finally, one of the hardest parts of all health and nutrition is learning to see and except the following: If something is working it is working, if it’s not, it’s not.



The “Male Diabetes Solution”: A Cutting-Edge Method of Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

Here’s the shocking breakthrough for MEN with Diabetes.

I’m about to reveal an earth-shaking breakthrough in Pre-diabetes and Diabetes treatment for MEN.

This will change everything you know about one of the most deadly killers of men in America.

Shocking research about the REAL reason men get Diabetes has been hidden in plain sight.

Because the drug companies can’t make money from the only real treatment for Male Diabetes, this critical information has not made its way to doctors and medical schools.

However now, thanks to renewed determination after I lost my own dad to Diabetes, the truth is finally at hand for every man with Diabetes or at risk of getting it.

=> The Male Diabetes Solution by Brad Pilon

Make no mistake. Male Diabetes is different and the cure is very different. If your doc has not talked to you about this, make sure you get informed before it’s too late.

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.


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.