A great fighter once told me a story of an aspiring martial artist. He was quick as lightning and struck with such power that few men could endure a single blow. When asked what his secret was he replied, “In both victory and defeat, I ask myself what is my weakness? Then I ask many others. Once I identify the weakness then I celebrate for now I know where to concentrate my energies.”
“Seek out what has prevented your success in the past then conquer it.”
-Billy Beck III
The following 7 sins are the most common deterrents to dieting success. As you read through them identify which have sidetracked you in the past. Once you are aware of your “enemy” then you can stop it before it hinders you.
SIN #1. Information Overload:
This is the information age and as a result there is more information than any of us could ever absorb much less apply. With such an abundance of information, there is more and more confusion. It is not uncommon for me to receive over a hundred e-mails per day asking about which diet “works “. The most effective methodology for “cutting through the crap” is THE QUIZ. I developed the QUIZ to filter information so that I could get to the core quickly. These simple questions are the foundation of scientific analysis and will empower you to become your own best “expert”.
1. Is this plan live-able?
- Can I incorporate into my life as a habit?
- Can I go out to eat?
- Can I stick to it with a busy schedule?
No matter how effective a plan may be, it is worthless if it is not sustainable.
2. Does it restrict any nutrients?
There are six basic essential nutrients:
Since the above nutrients are essential to life, any diet or eating plan that eliminates or greatly restricts the intake of any one of these is extremely unhealthy and will produce temporary, if any, results. As the body begins to sense deprivation it will counterattack the effort. The body will always fight to survive. Nutrient elimination leads to termination.
3. Who is providing the information/research?
- Is the research biased or unbiased?
- Who is funding the research?
Hmmmm… Maybe the company whose product or theory is being tested. This is often the case.
4. Does the provider of the information benefit monetarily?
You will be amazed what people will do or say to make money at the expense of others. Always determine the source of the information.
5. Does the provider have a proven track record for delivering positive results with this methodology?
Many times in the fitness arena, the so-called “fitness experts” are simply a spokesperson for a company or are self-proclaimed personal trainers who do not have a single client.
The Quiz is a quick and effective technique to eliminate most of the garbage that is put out there by savvy marketers who are only looking to make a buck.
SIN #2. Over Eating:
Overeating is the most common and most obvious mistake. At one time or another we are all guilty of this sin and it is perfectly o.k. The problem lies in when it controls you rather than you controlling it. Eating more food than the body needs at one sitting leads to a roller coaster ride of craving and binging. Let me explain.
Every morsel of food that is eaten is used in one of the following ways:
- It is used for energy and dissipated off the body as heat.
- It is used to rebuild bodily tissue (healing and growth)
- It is stored as fat.
The body only needs a certain amount of food at one time. Note that I said “NEEDS”. Once the body receives the proper amount of nutrients for energy and repair then the rest is stored as fat unless, of course, you have a freakishly fast metabolism then the extra calories are dissipated off the body as heat.
Eating too much food at one time or throughout the day leads to fat storage and continuous cravings.
SIN #3. Under Eating:
The body’s main objective is SURVIVAL. It could care less what you look like. When most people attempt to rid their body of fat, they do not eat enough. As I will explain in the next chapter, this leads to intense cravings, eventual binging and makes the body more efficient at storing unsightly body fat.
SIN #4. Eating “Low Octane” Foods
Not all food is created equal. Some foods assist in the fat burning process while others pack it on. In order for you to achieve a lean, chiseled body, it is imperative to understand what foods are your fat burning friends and which are your foes. Allow me to introduce you to your foes.
Low Octane Foods
What types of foods should you avoid most of the time?
- Sugars and heavily processed carbohydrates.
- Foods high in Saturated Fat and Trans-Fatty Acids
Sugars and Heavily Processed Carbohydrates
America is the fattest nation on the face of the earth. Americans also consume more sugar than any other nation on the planet – a whopping 168 pounds of sugar per person per year. On a food label, sugar can be disguised behind many different identities.
Pure cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, honey, molasses, sucrose, fructose, dextrose, maltose, lactose, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, etc.
When a simple sugar is ingested, it is absorbed rapidly. This causes an immediate increase in blood sugar levels. The body responds by releasing the hormone, insulin, into the bloodstream. Insulin’s job is to remove the excess sugar. It will push a small amount into muscle tissue and the rest will be stored as fat unless the person has a fast metabolism. In that case, the excess is dissipated off the body as heat. However, whether you have a fast or slow metabolism there is a downside. When insulin rises the antagonistic hormone, glucagon, is suppressed. Glucagon is the hormone that liberates stored body fat. It allows you to burn body fat.
You can not burn fat when you eat sugar or highly processed carbs!
The mechanisms that promote fat utilization are impaired during that time.
Highly processed carbohydrates can be anything that comes in a package. These act much like sugars in the body. When a food is bleached or processed it loses a large degree of its nutrients. Foods that lack nutrients are often labeled as “empty calories” and are either used for energy or stored as fat. In order to avoid these types of foods, choose foods that are closer to its natural source. For example, a baked potato is a potato pulled from the ground and baked. This is an outstanding choice compared to instant mashed potatoes, which come in a flake form. Some examples include white bread, white pastas, bakery items, and just about anything you find in the aisles of a grocery store. The foods you are looking for are found on the perimeter of the store.
By now, I am sure you know that saturated fats are not healthy. There have been numerous studies linking a diet high in saturated fats to cardiovascular disease. There are many types of fats but we will divide them into saturated and unsaturated in order to keep it simple. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and are derived from animal sources. Some examples of foods high in saturated fats include butter, margarine, sausage, bacon, cheeseburgers, donuts, and almost anything you buy while you are still sitting in your car. When ingested saturated fats are used for one of two purposes:
- Used for energy
- Stored as fat
Unsaturated fats are the healthy fats. They are derived from plant sources and are liquid at room temperature. These fats are used for a host of functions such as transporters of fat-soluble vitamins, cushioning for internal organs, and precursors to hormones. Since they serve such a wide array of actions in the body, they are less likely to be stored as fat. Some excellent sources of unsaturated fats are flaxseed oil, natural peanut butter, unsalted raw nuts, avocados and cold water fish like salmon.
Hydrogenated or Trans-Fatty Acids
The newest threat to our health and bodies is hydrogenation. Hydrogenation is a process that turns a “good” fat into a “bad” fat! Why would anyone want to do that? $$$ The purpose of hydrogenation is to solidify an oil so that it can be made to resemble real foods such as butter.
The hydrogenation process is important in the marketing and selling of foods because it improves spreadability, texture, “mouth feel,” and increases shelf life.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “In the hydrogenation process, vegetable oil is reacted under pressure with hydrogen gas at 250 – 400oF for several hours in the presence of a catalyst such as nickel or platinum.” This leads to a chemically altered, man-made substance known as Trans fatty acids (or “trans fat”). Trans fats are found in foods such as vegetable shortening, some margarines, crackers, candies, baked goods, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, salad dressings, and processed foods including many “nutrition bars”. It is important to realize that Trans fats are man made and besides posing as a health threat they are easily stored as fat.
If you want to lose body fat, then you must abstain from alcohol as much as possible. I recommend limiting alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per week. Keep in mind, that this is a normal sized drink, not a bucket-o-beer.
Alcohol is the simplest of sugars. After spending some time in the stomach, simple sugars pass through the pyloric sphincter into the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum. As you may recall, simple sugars are absorbed rapidly causing a dramatic increase in blood sugar levels. The pancreas attempts to remedy the situation by releasing insulin. Insulin is responsible for removing excess sugar in the bloodstream. The excess sugar may be stored as fat or burned off the body as heat. However, glucagon, the antagonist hormone to insulin, is suppressed. Glucagon is the hormone responsible for releasing fat. In essence, the fast absorption rate of simple sugars is the culprit. Alcohol is absorbed through the lining of the stomach; therefore, insulin levels skyrocket greater than that of simple sugars. This is evident when someone downs a shot of alcohol and can feel it instantly.
SIN #5. Skipping Meals
Skipping meals is one of the keys to packing on fat. It creates an internal environment where the body will readily store the next meal that enters right where you don’t want it. As you will later learn, the right combination and timing of foods trigger metabolic explosions that speed metabolism and create the perfect hormonal environment for continuous fat burning.
SIN #6 Lack of Planning and Preparation
After studying the habits of my most successful clients, I can state with the utmost confidence that those who neglect to look ahead will only achieve success by luck. The odds of success greatly increase with preparation and planning. Without proper planning and preparation, your ability to develop the nutritional habits needed to create physical change will certainly elude you. The nineteenth century French poet, Victor Hugo said it best,
“He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.”
SIN #7. Relying on Diet Alone:
If you follow every detail and every lesson in this course, you will see a small change. If you had certain activities that stimulate the body to greater change then you can maximize your genetic potential and attain your all-time physical best. The key stimulator is a systematic and progressively challenging physical training plan. Diet alone will not create a lean chiseled physique. In most cases, it will lead to a loss of muscle and a soft flabby appearance. To give it to you straight – you won’t like what you look like naked.