Archive for the Category Weight Loss Tips

 
 

My Favorite Diet Hack

Here is one of my favorite “diet hacks.”

Scotch. Scottish Whiskey.

You’re probably wondering how this is a diet hack.

Simple.

It’s because it will save you lots of calories.

An ounce of scotch contains about 70 calories. That’s less than a glass of wine (about 120 calories) or a bottle of beer (about 140 calories) – but that’s not the real “hack.”

Let’s say you go out for drinks with your friends. The guys order beer, the girls order wine, and you order a scotch.

Most people assume that an ounce of scotch has a lot more alcohol content than a glass of wine or a bottle of beer, but that isn’t the case.

This is where the “hack” comes in.

You can nurse your glass of scotch for an hour, and no one will ask you if you’re on a diet – and no one will push you to keep up with their drinking.

Your friends could down three beers or half a bottle of wine, and you’ll still be nursing your first ounce of alcohol.

If you’ve had two ounces of scotch while your friend has had six beers, you’ve saved yourself more than 500 calories – as well as a lot of bloating and a bad hangover.

Of course you could just have water, but with this “diet hack,” you get to enjoy a scotch slowly, the way it should be enjoyed, and you drink only about 70 calories while your friends drink hundreds. And you’re still able to be “social” and drink with your friends.

Again, the obvious ultimate “hack” is to drink water. But if you’re going to drink socially, you may as well drink the good stuff.

Who NOT to Trust When it Comes to Weight Loss Advice

There are some people you shouldn’t trust to give you good weight loss and muscle building advice.

Your friends, family members, and even trusted fitness personalities might mean well, but the advice they offer could lead you astray.

These people can be called the “Early Adopters.” Does this conversation sound familiar to you?

“How’s that new workout you’re trying?”

“It’s great! The pounds are just disappearing!”

If you’ve heard that conversation before, you’ve been in the presence of an Early Adopter.

Early Adopters get excited about a new diet or a new workout routine – simply because it’s new.

They will give you great advice about the program, but only because they are still new to it.

A month from now, they may completely change their tune about their great new program, so you shouldn’t take their advice too seriously.

If your friend just started CrossFit and he thinks it’s the greatest thing ever, ask him about it again in six months. If your mother just started the Eat Stop Eat program and is really excited about it, ask her about it again in six months. If your brother says he’s gaining muscle because he’s getting more protein, see how he looks in six months.

Early Adopters will try to sell you on their new program any chance they get, but they’re not the best people to give you advice.

If you hear or read about something that seems too good to be true, you may want to ask yourself if you’re hearing from an Early Adopter.

Give them a little time. Let the newness of the program wear off. Then ask them for their thoughts again.

You may get a more honest response.

An Essential Diet Hack

Here’s a trick to not eating more than you need to eat.

Throw it out.

Yes, you paid money for it. Yes, there are hungry people in the world. Right now, that’s not important.

If you can master this one trick, you’ll see tremendously better weight loss results.

Is your house full of candy on the day after Halloween?

Throw it out. You don’t need it.

Keep enough for the kids, and throw the rest away.

Is it the day after a birthday party, a retirement party, or a holiday gathering?

If you have leftover sweets, you’ll be tempted. Why do that to yourself?

I know it causes you guilt to throw food away, but you need to learn to win this battle.

If you keep the food, you’re paying to have more body fat than you want.

If you keep it, you’ll eat it.

Use this trick for leftovers too.

It’s OK to keep some healthy leftovers, but you don’t need to hang on to half of a two-day-old pizza.

This is one of the hardest Diet Hacks to learn, but it pays off.

“Treats” are for celebrations. Treats that are saved only lead to body fat.

Learn to throw it out.

Ladies’ Guide to Losing Weight

Many women simply try to eat less and exercise more until they are “small,” but I prefer taking a tactical approach that defines a woman’s goals.

For an example, let’s use a woman who is 31 years old, is 5’6” tall, and weighs 160 pounds. She has about 35% body fat. She isn’t sedentary, but she also isn’t a fitness freak.

Let’s use the Venus Factor principles to map out a weight loss guide for this woman.

The average Lean Body Mass for a woman who is 5’6” is 104 pounds. A little less than 50% of that is skeletal muscle, so that means about 50 pounds is true muscle.

We also know that Lean Body Mass can be as high as 112 pounds for a woman who is 5’6”, but realistically, adding 4-5 pounds of muscle would be impressive since this would mean a 10% increase in skeletal muscle.

With an 8-10% increase in muscle mass, we have a Lean Body Mass of about 108 pounds.

When body fat is reduced to around 20%, we see a very large decrease in body fat – from 56 pounds to 27 pounds. Not all the weight loss would be body fat, but, over the long run, a lot of the weight loss would end up being from fat.

What we would end up with is a woman who is 5’6” and weighs about 135 pounds with about 20% body fat.

Keeping in mind that this woman would be roughly one standard deviation more muscular than the average 5’6” woman, we should expect to see a 25 inch waist and shoulders that are between 40 and 41 inches in circumference.

The above description is this woman’s “body road map” – something to strive for while visiting the gym to gain or maintain strength.

Strength brings muscle mass. Unless you’re a beginner athlete, you can’t get stronger at a lift without your muscle getting a little larger. If you want to build a more attractive body, you need to have some muscle that allows you to have a “shape” underneath your skin and fat.

The woman in our example should take her measurements, test some basic lifts in the gym, and then track her weight loss progression.

This is what it means to be tactical with weight loss.

This gives you a map, and you have some measurements to use as guidelines. With these guidelines, you should be able to eat less, lose weight, and track your progression to make sure the inches lost from your waist and hips is greater than the inches lost from your shoulders.

This isn’t a perfect road map. You could genetically have very wide shoulders, or you may not be capable of having a 25 inch waist. You should be able to get very close to your goals, though, and having a rough map is better than having no direction at all.

Tactical body shaping is what the Venus Factor is all about. The Venus Factor is a road map that makes your weight loss process easier.

Your body is malleable. You can shape it into whatever form you want to as long as you’re tactical and realistic.

How to Lose Weight for Vacation

For a lot of people booking a vacation can actually be a little stressful. It usually sets a hard fast date where you will be on a beach and in a bathingsuit. Use these five simple steps to lose weight for vacation.

Everyone Who is Trying to Lose Weight Should Read This Message

Attention, those who are trying to lose weight:

Picture a model on the cover of a fitness magazine. That model diets for months to prepare for the photo shoot. Additionally, the model may even dehydrate in preparation for the shoot, making him or her look nice and lean for only a couple hours on the day of the shoot.

During the photo shoot, oil and makeup are applied so the model will look perfect. The oils help make muscles appear more defined, and the makeup covers flaws.

Next, a professional photographer will use lighting tricks and creative camera angles to make the model look even better.

The model may also do a pump-up style workout to help make his or her arms, chest or shoulders look bigger than normal.

Sometimes, duct tape is used – perhaps across the lower back, to help hide love handles – to disguise any extra fat.

Clothing is specially chosen and uniquely altered to help make the model look his or her best.

After two or three hours of shooting and maybe a dozen rolls of film, the photo session is over, and the exhausted model leaves to get something to eat.

But the magic continues. From the hundreds of photographs taken, the best two or three are chosen. Those photos are sent to an artist, who performs more touch-up work with a program such as Photoshop. The artist can remove moles and birthmarks, broaden shoulders, tighten waists, smooth out skin tones, whiten smiles, trim hair, add definition, and remove background distractions.

Finally, the photo is ready for publication.

The finished product isn’t a true representation of the model’s appearance. The photo on the cover of the magazine is an ideal image. Everything has been manipulated to perfection.

This shouldn’t be your inspiration when you’re searching for an ideal image for your body. Create your own realistic expectations based on your own body’s shape and size. Don’t trust pictures on the covers of magazines.

How to Lose a Pound of Fat

I finally got around to shooting some new video.

This one is on the myth of losing a pound of fat by eating 500 fewer calories every day.

Or, more correctly…

How to Lose a Pound of Fat:

Less Weight, More Money

Weight loss has turned into an industry, but it is really nothing new.

The weight loss industry has been profitable since the 1800s – or maybe even earlier.

If you need proof that the weight loss industry isn’t new, consider the story of Bernarr Macfadden as told in “Mr. America.”

Most weight loss plans have been recycled over the years. The benefits of an all-milk diet and the miracle of a high protein diet aren’t new.

At some point, we decided that eating less is not the answer to losing weight. Instead, we’ve decided that, in order to lose weight, we need to find the foods which cause us to lose weight.

This concept must work so well because it fits with today’s addiction to purchasing and consuming. Unless you embrace the minimalist way of life, taking things away is just not something that fits with our lifestyle. We would rather add to our lives.

We would rather believe that grapefruit juice helps us lose weight better than apple juice does. This may make us good consumers and it may make our taste buds happy, but it doesn’t actually make us any leaner.

In fact, we keep consuming, and, as a population, we keep getting bigger.

My solution is to limit the amount of food you purchase outside of the grocery store. Instead of worrying about which green tea to buy or which type of grapefruit you should eat, instead of deciding whether to use cream or coconut milk in your coffee or which fast food is “healthiest,” just don’t buy anything extra.

If you have a grocery budget, give yourself a non-grocery budget as well. For many of us, it’s the extra, mindless things that add up – on our waistlines and in our bank accounts.

We’ve learned by reading Eat Stop Eat that, just because you’re hungry, that doesn’t mean your metabolism is slowing down or that your muscles are breaking down. If you’re hungry, sometimes that simply means that you really want to eat.

The next time you really want to eat, don’t get a snack or stop at the coffee shop unless you’ve included that in your non-grocery budget.

Don’t get caught up in counting calories or trying to eat the “right foods.” If you want to reach your weight loss goals, you have to gain control over how much you eat. Try measuring how much you eat with your wallet. This is a realistic, effective approach.

If you can avoid buying extra food for an entire month, I’m sure you’ll see a significant reduction in your weight. Eating less is the most effective way to lose weight.

Try this approach with a positive attitude. Realize that, if you don’t buy extra food, you won’t feel sluggish, your workouts will not be effected, and your stress level will not rise.

Purchase only your normal groceries and your budgeted “extras.” You can still eat all the foods you normally eat, but you’ll be letting your budget set a limit on how much you consume.

If you try this, you should get a leaner body and a fatter wallet.

A Calorie is a Calorie

A great question from Chris:

“Brad, I am on the fence about your program. I have been low-carbing it for a while now with some great results. However I am starting to feel a little limited in what I can eat. It would be nice to have the occasional taco or dessert! Are you saying all calories are the same? Meaning if i switch to ESE and add some carbs to my diet, and still lift, my weight and body comp shouldn’t change b/c of the calorie reduction? Thanks”

My Answer:

A calorie is a calorie. It is a unit of measurement, just like an inch. An inch of anything can only ever be one inch, and, in the same way, one calorie from any food is still one calorie.

All macronutrients are not the same, however. Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates have different effects on the body. (Personally, I think we wouldn’t worry so much about calories if we would adopt the Joule as the standard measurement of energy.)

In answer to the question, I’m positive that you can continue to lift weights, switch to the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle, and increase your carb intake (within reason) without seeing a change in your body composition – as long as you don’t increase the amount of energy you consume.

Remember that even if you increase your carbohydrate intake moderately on the days you are eating, your carb intake will be zero on the one or two days you’re fasting, so it should balance out.

Macronutrients play an important role in our health, and most of us could benefit from eating fewer carbohydrates. In the end, though, our ability to eat a wide variety of foods will bring us the best health, and our ability to reduce our caloric intake will bring us the best weight loss. (If you want to make sure the weight that is lost is body fat, be sure to add in resistance training.)

By the way, I have recently heard from a paleo person, a vegetarian, a fruititarian, and a pasta addict – and they all found benefits with Eat Stop Eat.

Eat Stop Eat doesn’t discriminate. The plan can help individuals of all diet beliefs lose weight and feel great.

How to Determine How Much to Eat

I am sometimes asked, “How much should I eat on the days I’m not fasting?”

I don’t like complex equations used to count calories, so I have a simple approach to this dilemma.

Eat normally – that is, don’t fast – for two weeks.

Weigh yourself on the third and fourth days. Calculate the average of those two numbers. Weigh yourself again on days 13 and 14, and calculate the average of those two numbers. (Remember to weigh yourself in the morning before you eat.)

If your weight went up more than three or four pounds from your starting average to your final average, you’ll know you’re eating slightly more than you need to eat.

If your weight stayed approximately the same, you’re eating the right amount.

If your weight went down by three or four pounds, you have room to add more food to your life.

This technique is very accurate for men, but women should allow themselves four pounds from their starting average because of the way their body water levels change throughout the course of a month.

This exercise works well for individuals who have lost considerable amounts of weight through fasting and who need to determine how much food they should be eating based on their new weight.