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Carbohydrate Back-loading – Another diet based on pseudo-science!!

POSTED ON September 22nd, 2014  - POSTED IN Nutrition Facts
LEAN Man System, Dr Gary Mendoza. diet, nutrition, mens health

Carbohydrate Back-loading Diet

As with any diet that is promoted by so called “Nutrition Guru’s” they are reliant on the public’s lack of understanding of how to apply and utilise peer reviewed scientific evidence. By quoting lots of research and throwing in some scientific terminology a lot of diets can start to look like they are based on sound physiological, biochemical and metabolic principles. Carbohydrate (CHO) back-loading is a good example of this misrepresentation of the scientific literature.

Using carbohydrate back-loading as a diet regime.

To look at the science associated with this diet it would be helpful to know what it is. First off you try to eat lightly in morning (this could include skipping breakfast) and early afternoon hours. You can then feast at night on pretty much any type of CHO you fancy. You will have to avoid CHO until after your workout, which (ideally) should be later in the afternoon. For a lot of people training in the evening may not be practical. Ironically given the whole premise of the diet its main author (John Keifer) then explains how to train at different times so already contradicting the main hypothesis? Your main CHO intake begins with your post-workout meal and then continues throughout the evening. The major advocate of this diet is John Keifer and he has no peer reviewed publications based on CHO or CHO back-loading; this may be because one of his degrees is in mathematics? His book mis-quotes scientific literature in places and over-simplifies complex physiological and metabolic processes. This diet is supposed to take advantage of the natural daily fluctuations in insulin sensitivity in muscle and fat cells, as well as the exercise-induced increase in insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. These fluctuations occur as part of your circadian rhythm. The study quoted to support this1 does show that hormones shift with circadian rhythm but doesn’t discuss fat storage and utilisation. The principle hypothesis with CHO back-loading is that you use the fluctuations to your advantage by not eating CHO when your body is most able to store them as fat (early in the day). Instead, you eat CHO when your body is most likely to store them as glycogen in the muscles (later in the day, after working out).

Does this diet work?

Well the first thing to highlight here is that there have been NO Randomised Controlled Trials (RCT’s) showing that CHO back-loading is effective. This is very relevant as RCT’s are considered the gold standard when it comes to establishing scientific fact in human populations. Within the CHO back-loading literature itself numerous studies have been quoted to support the theory. However the two most quoted and used extensively are really not that strong in terms of scientific evidence. The first study2 quoted regularly included only ten female subjects in total (split into groups of 6 and 4). In terms of scientific evidence this is at best a pilot study and you could only apply finding to females and that would be streching the validity somewhat. In this study the participants who ate larger morning meals produced more weight loss. However,  with larger afternoon meals fat free mass was protected (but not increased). An interesting aside here is that in his book Keifer suggests lean tissue increased and quotes this particular study, it did not increase? The second study that forms a cornerstone of evidence for CHO back-loading was published in Obesity3, in this study 78 obese men were studied (BMI >30), so again the findings from this could only be applied to obese males. Given that this diet is often promoted as the way for people training regularly to reduce their body fat the two populations studied don’t really fit that demographic? In this second study the dietary intake was self-reported (this is inherently inaccurate). After six months the weight loss was only 5lbs greater in the group eating more CHO in the evening; this is not significant weight loss. Subjects reported consuming 0.66 to 0.76g protein/kg BW, just about enough to sustain lean tissue but not with a kcal deficit so the protein intake was too low and as this was self-reported it is debatable how accurate this data is. As subjects were on a low kcal intake you would expect fat loss. Finally the main premise of CHO back-loading is to eat CHO post workout; these subjects were not exercising. Again this is at best evidence for some effect in obese males who don’t exercise. Not exactly the average personal training client or gym attendee?

Numerous reviews of dietary meal timing and macronutrient manipulation have failed to support the overall hypothesis of CHO back-loading4, 5, 6 these are a few examples. In a recent scientific review of nutrient timing by Aragon and Schoenfeld (2013)7 came to the following conclusion:

“For the goal of maximizing rates of muscle gain, these findings support the broader objective of meeting total daily carbohydrate need instead of specifically timing its constituent doses. Collectively, these data indicate an increased potential for dietary flexibility while maintaining the pursuit of optimal timing”.

This type of scientific review takes all the latest evidence and then statistically analyses it to see if there are any particular trends or inferences that can be drawn. This current review supports the view that macronutrient timing overall is not as critical as meeting your daily requirements. There will be the odd person for whom eating CHO later in the day may be beneficial much as eating CHO early in the day will be beneficial for someone else. Diet is very individual and to claim that one system fits all fly’s in the face of the current scientific evidence. CHO back-loading meets all the criteria for being classified as a FAD diet and is certainly not based on sound scientific evidence as I have demonstrated here, I hope.

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References:

  1. Molecular & Cellular Endocrinology. 2012 Feb 5;349(1):91-104
  2. Journal Nutrition. 1997 Jan;127(1):75-82.
  3. Obesity, 2011 Oct;19(10):2006-14.
  4. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. (2013), 10:5.
  5. American J Clinical Nutrition. 1992 Mar;55(3):645-51
  6. Chronobiology Int. 1987;4(2):251-61
  7. Nutrition. 2007 May;23(5):385-91.

Nutrition Education – Why Bother?

POSTED ON May 12th, 2014  - POSTED IN Nutrition Facts
diet, nutrition, mens health, DR Gary Mendoza, LEAN Man System, nutrition education, nutrition courses

Nutrition Education - Why Bother?

Very often when I teach nutrition to prospective personal trainers they are a bit baffled as to why they have three days training. After all it’s just a case of knowing about how much protein, fat and carbohydrate (CHO) we need – Right? Well the truth of the matter couldn’t be further from this misguided belief. I have spent the last fifteen years studying and researching nutrition and I still don’t feel like I know it all. In fact when it comes to nutrition you are always learning and the minute you think you know it all I would suggest you need to retire.

How can nutrition be that complicated?

To fully understand nutrition you have to have some very fundamental underpinning knowledge without this you will never be able to fully appreciate what happens to nutrients in the body. You first off have to understand the physiology and biochemistry of the digestive system. The gastrointestinal (GI) system is complex as is the way the body utilises and stores nutrients. A degree qualified nutritionist or dietitian will do similar physiology and biochemistry to a trainee doctor in the first two years at university. Having got this foundation in place you now need to understand the complexity of the molecules that make up foods, after all this is what is now going to interact with the body’s GI system. Having got the molecules into the body how do they interact at a cellular level? So this is your starting point as far as understanding.

You now need to appreciate the effect that these nutrients have at different life stages from the new born right through to the elderly. At each life stage the requirements will be different and there can be any number of confounding variables you have to account for within each group. Finally over the top of this you can layer sport and exercise requirements. This adds a whole different set of factors to the nutritional equation. The very fact that the English Institute for Sport insists their nutritionists hold a masters in sports nutrition should be an indicator that this is not a straightforward science. So the next time you think you know enough about nutrition perhaps you should have a bit of rethink.

There are many courses available on nutrition but you do need to ask yourself what information will I be given and how useful is it. The bottom line is that if you want to deliver nutritional advice to all segments of a population in all circumstances then you need a degree in nutrition. This will give you the foundational knowledge that will form the basis to your ongoing education. You can then specialise in a specific field of nutrition should you want to. If you just want to be able to help people improve their dietary intake then short-courses are OK. Providing the individual doesn’t have any underlying medical condition (this is the field of a dietitian) then you can offer advice. However this advice should be evidence based on peer reviewed scientific studies; “I know someone who or they say” does not count as scientific evidence. Any course you study should be thoroughly referenced and the tutor should be well qualified to deliver the material. You wouldn’t want to be taught physiotherapy by someone who has completed a two week sports injury course or taught to drive by someone holding a provisional license, well the same should be true for nutrition education. Ask if the tutor is a registered nutritionist (RNutr) or a certified dietitian. If the tutor does not possess this depth of knowledge to underpin their teaching you are going to get a poorly delivered product with a lack of clear explanation. The choice is obviously yours but if you are spending good money then you should make sure you are getting value for that money. After all you are now going to pass on this knowledge to others and the last thing you want to be doing is passing on advice that is not accurate and has the potential to cause injury.

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Weight Loss and Scientific Research

POSTED ON April 8th, 2014  - POSTED IN Nutrition Facts
weight loss, diet, Dr Gary Mendoza, LEAN Man System, mens health, nutrition

Weight loss and research findings.

An article in the Daily Mail recently reported on factors associated with weight loss. As is the norm with the media it was grossly over-simplified and not as accurate as you might think.

Weight loss factors

The first thing reported was a study revealing morning sunshine can help you slim. Claiming that morning sunshine impacts your body clock and people who go out in the morning have a lower BMI than those that go out in the afternoon. Without reading the study it is hard to comment but my guess is that people who are out and about in the morning are more likely to be active and perhaps more health conscious. There could also be numerous other confounding variables at work here, so you can’t attribute weight loss to this alone.

The next one is eating wrong handed and talks about something that breaks the habit of eating when distracted. Much as this will make a difference if you are eating wrong handed i.e. using your left hand when you are right handed you will eat slower. We know that if you eat slower your body has a better chance to process appetite cues and therefore you are aware of feeling full. Following on from this was eating in quieter restaurants. They state that

“Restaurants, with all their clanging noises, make us want to eat sweeter and saltier foods, according to research in the journal Food Quality and Preference. Our nervous systems are wired to respond to loud noise with a faster heartbeat and higher blood pressure, so that we are ready to flee from danger.”

The other factor at play here is that in a quieter environment you are again more aware of what you are eating. In other words you are eating mindfully and so this will allow the body to regulate your satiety cues (hunger cues). If you are eating mindfully you will tend to eat less and this will lead to weight loss.

As with all these types of articles you get reports that don’t give you the full picture. They note that eating an apple peel a day can boost the rate at which you burn calories. This is based on the fact that apple peel contains ursolic acid and that this increases muscle and brown fat. I doubt very much that apple peel alone is going to increase brown adipose tissue and it certainly won’t increase muscle if eaten in isolation. It is true that increasing your lean tissue (muscle) is beneficial for weight loss.

These snippets go to show the way the media reports scientific research. You often get a small proportion of what is found and very often this is out of context. The sexy or eye-grabbing headline is what it is all about. You need a far greater understanding of overall weight loss issues before you can make these very simplified statements. Unfortunately the general public read this type of thing and then assume this is scientific fact; when often this is a long way from the truth. If you want some nutritional tips and weight loss facts then subscribe to the FREE seven video series by completing the simple form below.

Being Overweight is normal??

POSTED ON March 27th, 2014  - POSTED IN Nutrition Facts
weight loss

Current UK weight Statistics

Seventy Five percent (75%) of UK population are either overweight or obese. These statistics, reported by Dame Sally Davies, (England's Chief Medical Officer (CMO)) in her annual report on the state of health are a major cause for concern. The CMO pointed out that many people did not recognise they had a problem. This is particularly true amongst men with 52% of overweight men thinking they are about the right weight.
The other problem with this situation is that it is now normal to be overweight in UK society so this situation is not perceived as being exceptional. Decades ago there was a degree of social stigma attached to being overweight or obese. Whether you agree or not this meant that people felt a degree of pressure to lose weight. Professor Boyd Swinburn coined a term "the runaway weight gain train" and one of the brakes on the train was social pressure. With the current situation this has been removed and so the weight gain train can accelerate quicker and is harder to stop. The cost of Overweight and obesity to the NHS is over £5bn each year and is entirely preventable.
The question has to be "how much longer can we allow this to accelerate before it brings the NHS to a grinding halt"?

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Carnitine and Caffeine for Weight Loss?

POSTED ON February 21st, 2014  - POSTED IN Nutrition Facts
weight loss, diet, Dr Gary Mendoza, LEAN Man System, nutrition, mens health

Caffeine and carnitine, do they have a role in weight loss.

Of the products that are readily available claiming to increase fat burning and improve weight loss both caffeine and carnitine are probably the most touted. You also find these two in the ingredients list of most fat burners. The question really is “do they work and where is the evidence”?

Caffeine and Weight Loss

Many things are claimed for caffeine and it is certainly one of the most researched drugs available to the public. I say drug because it is a pharmacological agent as it acts as a stimulant. Now at this point I could go into the three molecules that make up caffeine and each of their biochemical actions. For the purpose of this article that would be a waste of your time and you’d be none the wiser. The simple fact of the matter is that because it is a drug your body becomes sensitised to its effects very quickly. If you are regular coffee or tea consumer or drink a few sports drinks there is a fair chance that you are already fairly desensitised to the effects of caffeine. Because of this the chances of caffeine having any major effect on your body and in  particular weight loss are diminished. The actual pharmacological action of caffeine is primarily on the central nervous system and not directly on adipose tissue (fat cells) as was once believed. The other thing to bear in mind is the dosage required to get a physiological response. Current evidence suggests that this is in a range between 3mg to 9mg per Kg bodyweight, and this is most effective if you are caffeine naïve (don’t consume any caffeine in daily life). When you work out how much you need to consume to get an effect it is actually quite a lot and most people don’t respond at the lower end of this dosage. So the bottom line is that caffeine is not an effective aid for fat burning or weight loss, the current scientific evidence does not support these claims.

Carnitine and Weight Loss

Carnitine is found in many forms in many products claiming to enhance fat burning. In terms of biochemistry this is where it works (you can skip this bit if you like): The uptake of fatty acids in to the cell and their subsequent translocation across the mitochondrial membrane is facilitated by carnitine. In the cytoplasm fatty acyl-coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) combines with carnitine and this permits fatty acids to move into the mitochondria. So it is true to state that carnitine is involved with fatty acids. Without going into this in further detail it is pretty easy to discard carnitine as a fat burner as it has been studied extensively. Research has shown that carnitine deficiency is not a problem for athletes or the general public. Red meat and dairy products are good sources of carnitine and we also produce it in the body by synthesising lysine and methionine in the liver and kidneys; so it is not an issue for vegetarians. Most studies that have investigated the effects of carnitine supplementation on carnitine concentrations in the muscle have found no effect either on the muscle concentrations or on fat oxidation/weight loss. The ACSM position stand on nutrition and athletic performance lists carnitine as an ergogenic aid that does not perform as claimed.

These are both very good examples of marketing hype and anecdotal evidence winning out over the cold hard facts. Let’s face it, if either worked then every overweight person would be taking them and we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic. Well just look around you to figure out the truth, we definitely have an obesity epidemic? If you want further nutritional hints and tips why not sign up for my FREE seven video series. Just complete the simple form below to start receiving them straightaway.

Pills and Potions Don’t make Good Nutrition

POSTED ON January 22nd, 2014  - POSTED IN Nutrition Facts
weight loss, diet, mens health, Dr Gary Mendoza, LEAN Man System

Why Pills and Potions are not the answer for healthy nutrition

We have had a week where all types of revelations have appeared about nutrition. The one thing that is constant and consistent about most of these is that pills and potions are not the answer to good nutrition.

Healthy Nutrition Doesn’t Require Vitamin Supplementation

A very well sourced article in Forbes magazine “The top five vitamins you should not take” highlights the most recent studies that clearly show that vitamin supplementation doesn’t work. New studies in the Lancet have reviewed a wide number of studies on vitamin D. This study (The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology,(2014) 2:1, P76 - 89) states that “Inflammatory processes involved in disease occurrence and clinical course would reduce 25(OH)D, which would explain why low vitamin D status is reported in a wide range of disorders. So the disease is not caused by low vitamin D status but rather a symptom of the disease. This being the case supplementing with vitamin D is not likely to be effective. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported a similar situation with vitamin E and selenium. Further large scale clinical reviews have highlighted what a waste of money most vitamin supplementation really is. You need to remember this is a billion pound industry that is promoting these supplements and talking about healthy nutrition doesn't suit their agenda.

FAD diets don’t work

Surprise, surprise the Blood Group diet doesn’t work. A study published in the online journal Plos One on January 15, 2014 found that there is no evidence to support the blood group diet. The senior author of the study states ““Based on the data of 1,455 study participants, we found no evidence to support the ‘blood-type’ diet theory,” says Ahmed El-Sohemy, an associate professor and chair in nutrigenomics at the University of Toronto. So yet another FAD diet bites the dust, but again you will get people that swear it works despite good scientific evidence that it doesn’t. Never underestimate the placebo effect.

Balloons and Weight Loss

So if you think the world is going mad you may well be right. We are now resorting to swallowing inflatable balloons as a weight loss treatment. I seem to remember this was more of a party trick but obviously no longer. A new gastric weight loss balloon that can be swallowed in a pill is now available across the UK. This doesn’t require surgery so is nowhere near as invasive as some obesity treatments. You swallow the Obalon capsule which is approximately the size of a large vitamin pill. Once in the stomach the deflated balloon in the capsule is inflated thus reducing the capacity of the stomach. This treatment will not initially be available on the NHS but is available privately at some Spire Hospitals and a number of clinics in London. The cost of the treatment is at least £2,995 for a two-balloon treatment. The problem with this is that people are likely to see this as a quick fix for their obesity and it doesn’t address all the underlying causes of their obesity. Therefore the problem will still exist once this treatment has run its course.

So there you have it, pills are not the answer, FAD diets don’t work and our latest answer to the obesity epidemic is to swallow a balloon. I do believe the world has finally gone mad and we all seem to riding along for the journey. Whatever happened to eating healthy, unprocessed foods for good health?

Weight Loss and supplements equals’ confusion

POSTED ON January 16th, 2014  - POSTED IN Nutrition Facts
weight loss, Diet, LEAN Man System, Dr Gary Mendoza, nutrition, mens health

Weight Loss Supplements Don't Work

There is so much written and claimed about supplements and weight loss that all this appears to have achieved is abject confusion. It doesn’t help that most people who write on these topics are either grossly underqualified to comment or have a vested interest (they’re trying to sell the product to you). If that is the case then what is the truth?

Fat Burners and weight loss

Claims made for fat burners are normally so far wide of the truth that it is hard to understand why people can’t see what is staring them in the face. If one of these fat burners worked then every GP would be prescribing them to patients and we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic. Clearly we have got an obesity epidemic so therefore these pills and potions don’t work. If you are not willing to accept that then consider the science as there is no published research showing these things are effective. A lot of supplements claiming to burn fat that are available in health food shops and gymnasiums (is that ethically acceptable?) contain carnitine. Carnitine is used biochemically to move fatty acids into the mitochondria (the body’s energy producer). This in turn allows the fatty acids to be broken down by beta-oxidation. That is the science bit out of the way now for some more interesting facts. When you first read this it sounds like carnitine would be useful for fat metabolism; however the research evidence is very different. Although supplementing with carnitine can increase plasma concentrations there is no evidence that an increased plasma concentration increases fat metabolism. This is not really a surprise as a lot of supplements claim to enhance metabolic pathways when the reality is that increasing concentrations in the body has no effect. The body is very well regulated and we call this ability to maintain internal stability – homeostasis. It is quite difficult to upset this mechanism for obvious reasons as stability in a chemical environment (such as the body) relates to good health. Any upset in the homeostatic controls is usually related to a disease state.

Other supplements can’t even make claims for their fat burning ability based on a metabolic pathway. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) claims to aid fat burning and yet there is no recognised biochemical pathway as to how this could even be brought about. The two studies that showed an ability to reduce body fat were undertaken in rats that have a very different physiology to those of humans. The human trials that have been undertaken were very poorly designed and showed no significant reduction in body fat.

The other category of weight loss aid which is popular is supplements that bind fat and stop it being absorbed in the body. Although some of these work to some degree or another, you have to consider overall health. Fat is not the bad guy in the obesity epidemic and getting paranoid about fat intake won’t necessarily help with weight loss. We need fat in our diet and one of the healthiest diets we know (the Mediterranean diet) has forty percent fat. Admittedly these are predominately monounsaturated fats but it highlights that the issue is not fat intake alone. Fat soluble vitamins are important for health and anything that stops fat being absorbed also reduces the uptake of these important micronutrients. What is more some of these type of diet aids have slightly unpleasant side effects, one of which is “Anal leakage”; I don’t think that requires further description somehow.

Weight loss needs to be about lifestyle change not pills and potions. Stop wasting good money on supplements that don’t work and start fixing your lifestyle. If you want more nutrition and weight loss tips complete the simple form below to receive seven FREE videos.

Supplements and Sports Nutrition

POSTED ON December 12th, 2013  - POSTED IN Nutrition Facts
sports nutrition, Dr Gary Mendoza, LEAN Man System, diet, nutrition, weight, mens health

Supplements and Sports Nutrition

The first question I get asked by any athlete I have ever worked with is “what supplements should I be taking”? This is because the supplement industry has created a perception that anyone involved in sport must need to supplement. Young lads joining a gym will straightaway want to be taking protein supplements. This is partly because media hype has convinced them that this is necessary and sometimes (unfortunately) because a gym employee has recommended it. So what is the truth when it comes to supplementing your diet?

The clue is in the sentence, this should be considered only to supplement what is missing from the diet. The first thing that strikes me about this is: Why are these nutrients missing from the diet? At the elite level of sport this is often because it is nigh on impossible to get sufficient amounts of some nutrients from food alone. Creatine would be a good example as you only get small amounts in meat and certainly not sufficient to load the muscles. An athlete with a large protein requirement would struggle to balance protein and fat intake if trying to consume protein requirements using food alone. Also protein is required in quite specific amounts at specific times whilst training. Again this is not always practical when training. But this is at the elite level of sport and most people don’t fall into this category.

The average person training in the gym perhaps playing club level sport would be better off getting their daily diet spot on first. In fact even at the elite level of sport this advice still applies. You need to ensure your diet is providing the correct levels of all nutrients as well as the correct levels of energy. Only if this proves impractical should you then turn to supplements. The multi-billion supplement industry makes all types of claims for supplements. Most of these are completely unsupported by any current scientific evidence. The list of supplements that don’t work is far longer than the few that do. What is more the supplements that do work tend to work in quite specific circumstances, often with a very specific population.

Lack of knowledge about the use of supplements, and indeed the risks is a real issue, even in elite sport. This has been shown with elite level triathletes who were surveyed at the world championships. Over seventy percent of them believed that caffeine was ergogenic (boosts performance). What is interesting is that most of this 70% could not tell the investigators how much caffeine was in specific foods and beverages. What is more most were not taking sufficient caffeine for it to be an effective ergogenic aid. This complete lack of understanding of how to use supplements to boost performance highlights that there is a real need for education.

If you want advice on how to get the most from your diet and perhaps the use of supplements then you really should seek professional advice. You need to have a consultation with a registered nutritionists (RNutr) who has a sports nutrition qualification or a sports dietitian. I can guarantee the first thing they will want to look at is your current diet and training regime. This is the starting point for any type of sports nutrition intervention. The LEAN Fit System is designed for both club and elite level athletes. This system helps individuals redesign their diets as well as educates them in the more specific aspects of sports nutrition. Click this link if you want to learn more about LEAN Fit.

A Healthy Diet for Weight Loss is Not Expensive

POSTED ON December 10th, 2013  - POSTED IN Nutrition Facts

A healthy diet is the best way to lose weight and a new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ Open 2013;3:e004277) shows that this doesn’t have to cost a fortune. So you can’t use cost as an excuse and the other big plus about healthy eating is all the health benefits that accompany this way of eating.

weight loss, Dr Gary Mendoza, LEAN Man System, diet, nutrition, mens health

The Cost of Healthy Eating

The study found that on average eating a healthy diet will cost you about £1 a day more. The authors comment that “This meta-analysis provides the best evidence until today of price differences of healthier vs less healthy foods/diet patterns. Twenty seven studies from ten countries were included in the analysis so this is one of the first truly comprehensive assessments of the cost of healthy eating. A lot of people will be surprised at the figure of £1/day but you can’t argue with the numbers. If you now want to consider the cost to an individual of long-term illness not only in time off work but general quality of life then this really does pale into insignificance. Plus, how many weight loss plans/books have you tried, just calculate the cost of these?

Weight Loss

What a lot of people fail to grasp is that the best way to lose weight is to follow a healthy eating regime. You still have to create a kcal deficit, in other words eat less than you are using (burning). Other than this though the rules are the same; you need to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, drink plenty of water. Add to this reducing alcohol and caffeine intake and increasing your levels of activity and you are half-way there. I say half-way there because the fact of the matter is that your busy lifestyle will now come into play. Convenience food and take-away’s seem like a great choice when you’ve had a busy day and are tired. The trick is to plan for these occasions by always having the correct foods available. Batch cooking will help, so there is always something in the freezer or fridge that you can re-heat. Healthy meals do not have to be hours of preparation they do have to include a bit of forward thinking. Slow cookers are a big plus because you can throw everything in and switch them on as you leave the house and when you come back through the door your meal is ready. You just need to do a quick search online to find a wide variety of great recipes for slow cookers.

So the next time you are thinking about losing weight why not switch that around to choosing a healthier lifestyle. This will give you more energy, less illness and you’ll lose weight as an added bonus. This latest research also demonstrates that a healthy diet for weight loss will cost you no more than most slimming clubs or gym memberships. What is more the membership benefits of the healthy eating club are far more attractive and longer lasting.

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Diet and Detox Do Not Work

POSTED ON December 9th, 2013  - POSTED IN Nutrition Facts
weight loss, Dr Gary Mendoza, LEAN Man System, diet, mens health, nutrition

Diet and Detox Don't Work

It’s that time of year again when detox and diets start rearing there ugly heads. This year for the first time a well-respected scientific journal has highlighted just how ineffective dieting is. What is more they have made this statement about all diet regimes regardless of which of the macronutrients (protein, fat or carbohydrate) is manipulated. The other really significant development within this particular article was that it highlighted that lifestyle change was the key and that how to make this type of change was what should be researched in the future. Therefore that would seem to be the end of the diet argument. I don’t believe that for a moment and people will keep trying every diet on offer, especially if they are offering quick fixes and fast weight loss.

Diet to Detox

That then brings me to the topic of detox diets. These are being pushed on the premise that it is toxins in your body that cause you to either put weight on easily or it is these same toxins that mean your body can’t burn fat easily. The first thing to say about either of these theories is that there is no scientific and/or physiological basis for either. Your liver is perfectly designed to deal with toxins and your gastrointestinal system is exposed to these regularly and copes very well. I am sure some people are reading this either thinking ‘well I always lose weight when I go on a detox’ or ‘I always feel better after detoxing’. Well this is not really surprising given what most detox diets recommend. First off you are told to avoid caffeine and alcohol and drink plenty of water. You are then advised to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and avoid processed foods. Some detox diets will recommend that you also limit meat intake. Now last time I looked we called this healthy eating and as a pre-eminent professor of nutrition once pointed out “I don’t know why people do this in January when they should be doing this year round”.

You feel better because you are fuelling your body correctly giving it the right balance of all the required nutrients. It has nothing to do with the removal of toxins. You lose weight because your original diet was full of either calorie dense processed and fast foods. If you add alcohol to the mix not only does this increase the kcal intake dramatically but it has a profoundly negative effect on the health of your gastrointestinal wall. If your diet is now predominately fruit and vegetables with a good intake of water it is very likely you will now have a kcal deficit, hence the weight loss. You are also very well hydrated and this can make you feel a lot better and give you a load more energy. Your body is one big chemistry set and most chemical reactions that take place in your body require an aqueous environment (plenty of water).

So rather than embark on a short term detox or FAD diet why not start a healthy lifestyle eating regime and more importantly ensure you make changes that you are happy to stick with for the rest of your life. If you make this long-term commitment rather than the quick fix approach you will be well on your way to permanent weight loss and better long-term health. The choice is yours what do want –short term temporary gratification or long-term permanent good health?

The LEAN Man System is “Lifestyle Education for Activity and Nutrition” this is based on the long-term good health route. If that is what you want then sign up for the FREE seven videos to find out more. Simply complete the form below and start to receive some helpful nutrition tips.