Friday, December 19, 2008

Planning Your New Years Diet

So. You, like many other folks this time of year, are beginning to feel the indulgences of the holidays and are contemplating losing weight as part of a new years resolution. As such you may be rushing around trying to over indulge as much as possible prior to doing your penance of dieting. Well, let me tell you a little something. Now is the time to begin easing into your New Years plan. I'm not saying to forgo the Christmas pudding and pie. But not every day between now and the turn of the calendar needs to be an exercise in gastronomic debauchery.

Buy the book. Read the book. Get the book and read it from cover to cover prior to starting your plan. If you are new to the plan read it twice. If you need to buy a book, I'd recommend either "The 30-Day Low-Carb Diet Solution" by the Eades' or "The South Beach Diet" By Agatston. The Eades book is probably the easiest to follow for a complete beginner, or those just wishing for a tell me what to eat jumpstart. Neither book requires you to count calories or carb grams. Just follow the food lists and meal templates, and off you go.

Practice your plan. Take a day or two along the way, and practice eating LC. That's right, practice LC. You haven't done this for a while, and you need to get in the groove. This will also help to ensure that you start accumulating the grocery's needed.. One of the worst things you can do is to jump right from the sugar plum fairy dreams of the holidays directly into very low carb dieting. Ease up on the refined carbs as you work your way to the end of the year, and starting adding protein. These steps will help ease the transition, and reduce the shock of going cold turkey.

If you don't have one, get a cookbook appropriate for your plan. If you
don't want to spend any money, search the web for recipes appropriate for your plan and have a collection of them ready before you start. The Forums on and are both full of recipes. Of course for SB eaters, Kalyns Kitchen is a wonderful resource and one of the top ten reasons to eat SB. These resources will add needed variety to your food choices. Eggs with bacon, Baked chicken and salad, meat and vegetables , will get old. Having new ways to add flavors and textures will keep your food interesting and keep you on plan.

If all the above seems like a lot of work, then you aren't really serious about changing the way you eat. It would be better for you to start your plan a week or two later and have all your ducks in a row, than go off half cocked on Jan 1, and be done by Jan 10.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mainstream Media vs The Mediterranean Type Diet (MTD)

People in the Low Carb community often vent their anger at the portrayal of Low Carb Diets in the media. Low carb is not all bacon, burgers and brie, as Dr Dean Ornish would have us believe. Yet these same folks who ooze vitriol at the inaccurate picture of Low Carbing are more than willing to accept the media's description of the much vaunted MTD. The typical description of the MTD consisting of mostly whole grains and low fat this that and the other is no more accurate than the media's popular picture of low carbing.

If one were to actually look at the diets of the people the MTD is based upon, you find that there is little evidence to support the low fat myth. Low fat or fat free cheese and yogurt just did not exist. The people ate real cheese, generally an ounce or two a day. The yogurt would have been the full fat custard kind like Fage, not the runny stuff available in most supermarkets today. The single biggest item to contribute to tier daily calories was olive oil. These folks got 20 - 25% of the daily calories from olive oil alone.

While it is true that bread, beans, and grains are a part of the MTD, when one looks at the portion sizes of said items, it becomes clear that Modern America, and circa 1960 Crete and Sicily bear little resemblance in understanding what constitutes a portion. To put it in contemporary serving sizes, They would have eaten about 2 slices of bread, 1/2 -2/3 thirds cup each of beans and cous cous or pasta. About what you expect in a typical phase 2 of South Beach or while in The Zone. A far cry from what we are currently presented with as ideal.

What they really constituted the bulk of tier diet was a variety of vegetables. On average 6 cups cooked plus 4 cups raw. To this add 2 or three pieces of fruit, 3 oz of fish/seafood, an egg or two, and some nuts. Coffee wine, beer and sprits of local origin would have rounded out the day. Red meat was very expensive at the time, and lack of access to it was a chief complaint among those interviewed. So it was generally reserved for the meal at weekend family dinners.

The most important part of the MTD, that we seldom hear of in the news is the lifestyle portion. Anyone who has ever traveled can tell you, they live a different life "over there". Even though it is starting to westernize, Strong family, community, and cultural ties are part of what defines life on the Mediterranean. To this add mandatory vacation, shorter work weeks, unlimited unemployment benefits and guaranteed access to health care. Unlike most of the U.S., walking and riding a bicycle is a reasonable choice of transportation for many of life's daily activities. At the time of the early surveys gas was in shortage and rationed, and cars were prohibitively expensive for most. Even now, the price of a gallon of gasoline is $8-10 on average thru out the region, so walking to and from public transportation is still common.

These Areas were still recovering from the horror and ravages of World War 2 when the survey was taken. The diet reflected the economic realities of post war Europe, and was not necessarily one of choice. The biggest mistake we see when the mainstream media portray the MTD as a panacea, is the separation of diet from lifestyle. As a Healthy Eating and Activity Pattern, (HEAP), the MTD is an exemplar of one possible solution, but it is by no means the only solution. The diet in and of itself is certainly an improvement over the Standard American Diet, but without the lifestyle portion of the equation, it falls short.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ancient Amish Secret Ingredient

Well friends and neighbors I have just come back from a week of vacation, err, intensive research that is, in Lancaster County PA. And I am here to tell you the real secret of the Amish. Now lets not kid ourselves, the Amish do live with out many of the modern conveniences most folks consider necessities, like electricity and cars. And yes, the do travel about on bicycles, scooters, foot, and horse and buggy. The Amish also eat, a lot. I personally witnessed a petit young woman eat a rather large sausage, potatoes, cabbage, a couple of large rolls with butter and jam, a large whoopee pie and a quart of home-made root beer. She didn't even burp. After which she promptly went back to work. Had I eaten that much I would have needed a nap. Rather than approach the young woman I asked an Amish Matron, who was not so petit, what made Amish cooking so good. At first she looked at me with the kind of look a woman gives a man when he has said the wrong thing, then she softened, a little. "Young English", she said with a bit of accent, "Care we, for them that our cooking eat". After which she turned her attention to things far more pressing then my questions. (PA Dutch Grammar can be exemplified by the following sentence. Johnny run the stairs up, looked the window out, and saw the street coming down with the soldiers.) Like most things Amish there were no frills, or fancy explanations, just the simple truth. The people who are providing the food, care about what it is they are feeding the people who eat it. A quick glance at the ingredient list of Amish goods is a lesson too. I am a big fan of the potato chips, Ingredients; Potatoes, lard, salt. Pretzels, Ingredients - flour, water, salt. The bread - flour, milk, butter, salt. All made daily. You won't find any polysorbate, red dye number 6 or any other unpronounceable ingredient. Just real food, made by people who care.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Saturated Fat, Tempest in a teapot.

4oz 85/15 ground beef broiled 11.9 4.5
2 oz scrapple 8 2
eggs whole x2 10.6 3.2
2 chicken thighs skin on 19.2 5.4
olive oil 2.5 tbsp 33.75 4.75
almonds 1 oz 14.4 1.1
Plain Whole Yogurt 1cup 7 5
Totals 104.85 25.95

According to conventional wisdom, and popular advice, we should get no more than 10% of our calories from saturated fat, based on our projected caloric needs. My projected caloric requirements are about 2400 Cal. per day which gives me a daily allotment of 26 grams of saturated fat, out of a total of 106 grams total fat based on the recommendations of Willet and Skerrit (EAT, DRINK, AND BE HEALTHY). Now 26 grams of saturated fat doesn't seem like much, but when you look at what I ate above, 26 grams of Saturated fat goes quite a ways. The above values come from

Now to be honest I didn't measure and weigh my fruits, vegetables, or beans, I'm just not that concerned about counting calories right now. But for completeness I also ate cantaloupe, grapes, a nectarine, a peach, blueberries, chic peas, a big salad, broccoli, spinach, and a couple of scoops of whey protein powder.

Lets call the case against saturated fat what it really is, a thinly veiled political war on eating meat.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

South Beach vs Atkins

No, this is not going to be one those my diet is better than your diet posts, accompanied by flaming comments from the true believers of either plan. Sorry to disappoint. Rather this is about why a person would choose one plan over another, and be successful. Each plan has its success who are die hard adherents and turn it from a way of eating into a religion. Each plan has had converts from the other plan, and each plan has its failures. In a short one word answer, its about compliance. Which eating plan are you most likely too stick to over a long period of time, and why?

I am going to admit up front that my own personal preference is for the South Beach plan. This is based on my attempts at very low carb dieting, which I hated. With in a couple of days of starting phase one of SB, I always start to feel "better". Even after several days of induction, I can't shake the feeling of death warmed over. I never seem to get to that happy ketosis place. Even accounting for the people like me who don't do well with induction, there seem to be other components which make one successful on one plan versus the other.

While in each eating plan, both red meat and seafood are allowed, even encouraged, the Atkins plan seems to draw the meat eaters, while the seafood folks gravitate to SB. I am sure there are exceptions to this observation, but based on my observations both on and off line this seems to be a general distinction between the groups. Using myself as an example, if I had to eat Fish or beef every day for a month for dinner, I would choose the fish. I like beef, but if I eat it once a week that's enough. I cannot, however, say I have met (in real or cyber space) a practitioner of Atkins who would make the same choice, or that has the same preferences. Maybe they exist, but I haven't met one.

A second area where preferences seem to differ is the choice between olive oil and butter. I'll admit that I think real butter from grass fed cows has a place in every kitchen. I also think that the fear of saturated fat is unwarranted. Most SBer's I know use a bit of real butter now and again. Many Atkinser's use olive oil as well. Perhaps because the SB book encourages olive oil, and the Atkins book doesn't discourage butter that this is a side effect of the plan, but I also think that personal preference plays into this as well. Given the amount of veggies both plans encourage you to eat, a preference for olive oil or butter may be a factor in deciding which plan is best for you. While its true that you can use olive oil on Atkins and one the butter type spreads on SB, if you start looking at the recipes and menus associated with the plans, the trend becomes clear.

There are certainly other points of distinction between the diets, that may be make or break issues for some. Some will prefer to count carbs, while other will prefer to follow the rules and food lists of SB. Some people won't like either diet. With all of the noise lately about low carb vs low fat vs the Mediterranean diet, I find that the South Beach plan provides a livable mix of the best parts of a reduced carb and Mediterranean type diet. Success on any plan is about the commitment to change the way you eat permanently, whether you ultimately end up choosing South Beach, Atkins, or even the Ornish plan,

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Most Sugar-Packed Foods in America

From the "Eat This Not that" blog by David Zinczenko from Mens Health.

Most sugar packed Foods

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mistakes were made, Including by Me.

As part of a routine physical back in February my Dr ordered various lab tests. This particular time he ordered a few extra due to my insistence that I was eating a reasonable diet and exercising regularly. Despite my efforts and protestations, I somehow seemed to avoid losing weight. Even though by his own admission My body fat levels were not morbid, they were higher than he considered healthy, and I steadfastly maintained a 39 inch waist. So after some chatter of him trying to convince me that he was right and I was just being difficult, he agreed to test "everything". The first round of test came back and he said that some things were not normal and we should do the tests again. Given my history of issues with cholesterol and glucose metabolism, a second round of labs was not anything that raised a red flag. Second set of labs come back and Dr calls and said I should see an endocrinologist, a number of my hormone levels were not normal. So, I made an appointment, and saw the endocrinologist. More lab tests. Then an MRI, an appt with an optometrist, then a neurosurgeon. I felt like I was on the health care merry-go-round as nobody would really tell me what is wrong with me other than some abnormal lab work, but they all got paid, both by me and my insurance. After all of these visits I end up back at the endocrinologists office. The bottom line is that at some point my pituitary gland stopped behaving normally, and no one really knows why. He gave me a couple of prescriptions, a sheet for some more lab work and sent me on my way.

One of my biggest frustrations during that period was trying to get meaningful answers from doctors who barely spoke English. Not to mention the cultural issues some of these guys have when some one questions their decisions. I'm looking to get a second opinion, but the health insurance I have requires me to go through their process. I've come to the conclusion that managed care equals managed symptoms, not a cure. If nothing else, maybe this'll serve as an example to others. If you aren't getting results, and you are really trying, and following your chosen plan, go see your doctor. Convince him/her to test "everything". Leave no metabolic or hormonal test undone.

On the one hand the meds make me feel better then I have felt in quite some time. Many of the minor ailments I had attributed to aging and normal wear and tear are going away. I no longer have any issues with my cholesterol or glucose metabolism. I still haven't lost any weight, not that I've been trying. In fact my appetite has increased rather markedly. My exercise as of late has consisted of walking, and for the first time in quite a while I have something that resembles aerobic endurance. I'm not yet sure where all this is headed, but it promises to be an interesting ride.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Internet is Not Real Life.

Heresy, I know. But Cyberspace is not a real place and the inhabitants, are disconnected egos floating in electronic mist. To be honest, everything you read on the Internet should be taken with a grain of salt, a very large grain of salt. Much like a couple of generations ago, people had to learn the difference between TV and reality, today people need to learn that the internet is also not reality. I have faith that many folks are accurately representing themselves, their beliefs, and their experiences. Their will always be, however, a certain percentage of folks who, mis-represent who they are and what they do. Some do it out of malice, others just need or want attention or to feel important. Some times they are easy to spot. Often they are quickly labled as trolls. Other times the deception is incredibly subtle and woven with enough truth that it becomes hard to tell. The great thing about the Internet is that it gives everybody a platform to speak with little fear of reprisal. The bad thing about the Internet is that it gives everybody a platform to speak with little fear of reprisal. Surf the web aimlessly, but don't internalize too much from any one place, and don't get sucked in to the dark places where bitterness and hate fester. Keep your contacts in Real life. One night a week out with friends will do much for your psychological well being. Online chat rooms and bulletin boards are a poor substitute for in person contact with other people. This is not to say that internet Bulletin Boards, or Chat Rooms can't be helpful, supportive, informative, or part of your social world. Its just that they shouldn't be your only social world. So, pick up the phone. Call some one. Turn off the computer. Go mingle with real people, in real time, in real life.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beans and Biscuits

My great-grand parents, Henry and Mena Bennett, whom I called Poppy and Mom-mom, observed most of the twentieth century. They survived two world wars, the great depression, Korea, Vietnam, Water-Gate and disco. Even in my earliest recollections of them, they were already old. Intellectually, I know they were once young, I just never knew them that way. Most of my memories of them revolve around Fishing, working in the garden, and making home made ice cream. I did as a matter of course stay with them, particularly in the summer when I was out of school. The garden had all sorts of vegetables, and a bean patch that would have made Thoreau proud. They were not fat, and actually would probably be considered skinny by todays standards. I can still recall what they ate for breakfast every day, Corn flakes with milk and sugar, biscuits with butter and jam, coffee with cream and sugar. Every day. Being a woman of her generation, my great-grand mother used real butter and cream, real sugar, lard and gold medal flour to make her biscuits, and made her own jam. Lunch, especially this time of year as berries and other fruits become available locally, was often a piece of freshly baked pie or short-cake. I can still picture in my mind, Mom-mom standing at the sink in a plain house dress capping and slicing strawberries with the smell of short bread in the oven. How eagerly I waited for the cast iron skillet containing the short bread to be pulled from the oven. And the still warm biscuit to be topped with a generous scoop of sweetened strawberries and topped with clotted cream. Few things can match such childhood memories. The dinner I remember most often was biscuits and beans. Might great grand father loved lima beans. From a big pot with a big piece of fat pork came the beans served in blue agate bowls. My great grand mothers biscuits ( My grand mother has commented that my great-grand mother made biscuits every day for more than 60 years) and stewed tomatoes rounded out the meal. They would cut small pieces of the pork and mix it with my beans, and butter my biscuits. The stewed tomatoes were not my favorite, but I ate what was in front of me and didn't complain. Perhaps it was the love with which she made everything, but nobody could cook like my great-grand mother. The most simple foods had a flavor and a comforting effect that no gourmet meal can touch.

By current standards they did everything wrong. They ate butter and pork fat. They ate sugar and white flour. They ate fried foods, remind me sometime to tell you about her clam fritters. And in spite of all that they lived to ripe old ages with out succumbing to heart disease or diabetes. They lived quietly and with a deliberateness seldom seen today. How much did they know about how to live that we failed to learn?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Eat Food

Michael Pollan summed up his most recent work in seven words; Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. Now I am going to admit that I have just started reading "In Defense of Food", but the admonition to "eat food" has gotten me to thinking. I suppose for a variety of reasons I always thought what most people ate was indeed food. By definition, if you ate it, it was food. Then on a recent trip to the grocery store, I actually started looking at many of the products lining the shelves of the store. Normally I just focus on the list. Being a man, I get the list. I go from item to item dutifully retrieving the items on my list, paying little attention to the various and sundry products not on my list. Generally the only isles I travel are canned goods and frozen foods for beans, fruits and veggies. I hit the produce, deli, dairy, and meats. During the holidays, I might visit the baking isle but thats about it. Even so, many of our groceries are purchased from our co-op where much of the food is in bulk bins, not boxes. On this particular occasion however I wandered aimlessly up and down the isles looking at all the brightly colored packages. All the while thinking, people eat this crap? I guess they must because the store certainly stocks a lot of it. I picked up a couple of boxes that had pictures of what looked like food on the cover and read the ingredients. Most of the stuff in the box wasn't anything I recognized as food. Is sodium benzoate, hydrolyzed starch, or red dye number 5 really food? They are not any where in my cupboards or list of ingredients in any of my cook books (I have a collection of more than 100). One box had a picture that looked like fish. The first Ingredient however was hydrolyzed starch, followed in order by salt, sugar, hydrogenated soybean oil, and then finally fish. It seemed like everything in these brightly colored boxes that I examined was what I would call imitation food. There is no way conceivable in my mind that a steady diet of this stuff could possibly be good for you. One of the things had processed and reformed meat. Why would you need to reform meat? Its already formed when they butcher the animal, and nature got it right the first time, it doesn't need to be reformed. For a while I had an image in my head of sending the bad meat to reform school. It was silly, but so is reformed meat. After passing what was probably an inordinate amount of time gawking at people and what was in their carts I realized that I was the only person I saw that didn't have a cart full of brightly colored boxes of imitation food. I'll bet that I was also the only person I saw that day who could stand up straight, look down and see their toes. Coincidence?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Average Guys Guide #10 plan B

The alternative plan for Spring Training for the Average Guy, cleaning it up to look better nekid, or close to it.

The Definition Diet

Unlike plan A, there is no measuring, weighing or counting of anything. The diet goes like this; eat as much meat, eggs, cheese and green vegetables as you want, just don't stuff yourself in the process. The only exceptions to the green vegetables are red peppers, summer squash, mushrooms, and cauliflower. So if its not on the above list don't eat it, no exceptions. Now you can add butter, oil, avocados and cream to make your food taste better, and for cooking. You can drink water, coffee, tea, wine and hard liquor (Max of 3 drinks total per day for men, 2 for women). Again, no exceptions - Not even diet soda or crystal light. Spices and seasonings of all kinds are fine as long as the don't have any type of sugar or starch in them. Thats it. If you don't see it mentioned, it isn't part of the plan. I may seem to repeat myself here, but people always seem to say but what about ...., If it isn't on the list the answer is no, you can't eat it or drink it. Not for the next 6 weeks. For the first few days, you might feel a little rough, suck it up. In six weeks you can accomplish what the plan A guys are going to take 12 weeks to do. But like most things in life there are trade offs. So you'll just have to console yourself for the next 6 weeks with delmonico steaks, broccoli with cheese sauce and Jack Daniels or Cab Sav for dinner.

The workout requirements for plan b are the same as for plan A. Though I would recommend the Circuit Training option over the strength training and cardio combination. I recently came across a good collection of routines for this program in a book called the "Abs Diet - Get Fit Stay Fit". Its an interesting assortment of workouts using a variety of equipment that can be adapted easily. While the routines are certainly not strength focused, they will meet the bill for fitness and fat loss.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Average Guys Guide #10 plan A

Spring Training for the Average Guy, cleaning it up to look better nekid, or close to it.

The Neutral Diet

I call this the neutral diet because it is not high or low in anything. There will be some extremists who say that it's too much/little protein, or too many/too few carbs or too much/too little fat or too what ever. To all of them I say b*llsh*t. Now there are a couple of assumptions built in to the neutral diet. The first being that you are willing and able to do hard exercise 3 or 4 days a week. The second is that you are willing and able to plan and track your eating. Lastly, that you are at a body fat level that would be considered "healthy" by the ACSM. This means 15-24% for males, 22-31% for females. If you are fatter than this you can still use the basic template, just don't do the refeeds. If you are leaner then this it may not be enough calories and cause you to stall or lose lean mass.

The set up is simple. Your weight in lbs. equals the number of grams of carbs. Divide your weight in lbs. by 3 to get the number of fat grams, and multiply your weight in lbs. by 0.7 to get your grams of protein. Recalculate your diet with every 10 lbs of lost weight. To move from fat loss to maintenance ,add 200 calories to your day, in weekly increments. in a balanced manner. This set up provides sufficient carbs to fuel your work outs and avoid muscle glycogen depletion, adequate protein for muscle building and repair, and adequate fat to maintain hormonal tonus and provide satiety. While that sounds all sciencey, it means this, your won't "bonk" during your work outs, you shouldn't lose lean muscle, your hormone levels shouldn't get all crazy, and your food can still taste good.

As part of this, include one free meal a week, and one carb refeed every other week. Now, about free meals. These are not an excuse to go face down in a buffet until they call the cops to escort you out. Generally speaking I recommend this meal be eaten out with out worrying about your diet. Have a dessert and fried food if you like. Just don't gorge your self. The refeed is a bit more structured. In these, double the amount of carbs you eat for one day, while keeping the fat and protein level close to normal. Many people use refeeds to indulge in candy, pop-tarts, and pancakes with syrup. All of which are fine, as long as fat and protein levels are maintained.

The associated work out plan I recommend for this is three circuit training sessions a week using alternating routines, or two full body strength training sessions with some type of interval training done on two other days. If you don't know which way to go, try one for a month, then try the other the next month. See which one you prefer, or even continue to alternate on a monthly basis. Fred Fornicola has two excellent examples of circuit training on his blog.

Dumbbell Routine


Interval Training is explained here.

Keep this up for three months and you can drop enough fat to need smaller pants.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Colpo and Eades, they're both wrong.

I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about the recent Internet dust up between Dr M Eades and A Colpo. Two very bright individuals with strong ego's. Each with a vested interest, for very different reasons, in the existence, or lack there of, of a metabolic advantage in very low carb ketogenic diets (VLCKD). The basic problem for each of them is that each of their arguments can be, and have been negated. There are a number of studies that categorically find that any and all weight loss is a matter of caloric balance. There are other studies that find the exact opposite. To assert that there is a universal advantage to VLCKD's, is to invite a "black swan". In other words, all it takes to negate the argument, is a single person for whom the advantage does not exist. The same holds true for the opposite argument, one person who shows a metabolic advantage on a VLCKD, negates the argument that caloric balance is all that matters.

So what are we left with? A paradox? Not quite. 

Each argument assumes that the only independent variable is diet. When dealing with human beings however, things like diet do not exist in a vacuum. One of the big, if not the biggest variable in determining if someone will show a metabolic advantage with a low carb diet or not, is insulin sensitivity. If you are resistant to insulin, and/or have hyperinsulemia, then I have little doubt that carbohydrate restriction will allow you to eat more calories and still loose weight, then would be possible on a standard high carb low fat diet. Hence the existence of a metabolic advantage. If, however, you are insulin sensitive, a low carb diet will not affect your weight loss or gain beyond caloric balance. --No metabolic advantage. (In fact I've seen two studies that show that insulin sensitive people do better on low fat diets) 

So what we really should be asking is how do we tell who is going to derive the most benefit from low carb diets. If you and your doctor are willing, go and have some lab work done. A standard lipid panel, A1C, and fasting glucose, would get the job done. The standard lipid panel is going to provide you with your HDL and triglyceride numbers. Ideally when you divide your triglyceride number by your HDL number it should be less than 2, 3 is ok but not great, 4 is not good, and 6 is really not good. Your fasting glucose should be less than 100, and your A1C less than 6. Depending on where you are in your progression with insulin resistance, the Tg/HDL ratio will be the first place it will show, followed in order by high fasting glucose and then elevated A1C. If your glucose is over 126,and/or your A1C is over 7, you probably have or are well on your way to diabetes, and your doctor has probably already scheduled you for more tests. If any of the following apply to you, you can benefit by cutting down on your carb intake; fasting glucose is over 95; A1C is 6 or more; TG/HDL ratio is above 2. The farther you are from these values, the more you need to cut your carbs. If you are diabetic, or very close, then you may need to down to less than 50g of carbs, if you are just a little off, then somewhere between 100 - 150g will probably do the trick.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

No Time to Workout??

Here is a video of Dr El Darden busting the no time to workout myth.

5 Minute Workout

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Average Guys Giude #9

Right now, there are three types of guys, and perhaps gals, that have done the basic routine I laid out. The first group reached the strength mile stones in ExRx rather quickly, wondered what all the fuss was about, and probably stopped reading this blog as I obviously had no clue. They are now doing WestSide or DC training. The second group, is getting close or can see the possibility of getting there in the not too distant future. They think I have a clue. The third group is wondering how in gods name are they ever gonna lift that much weight. They wonder about me and the the authors of the strength standards, and question our drug free status.

Now lets make sure we are all on the same page here. If for example, you are a 198lb guy, the novice one rep max for dead lifts is 289lbs. This means if you are doing 225 -230 for eight reps, your one rep max should be about 289. If after six months of exercise, and three months of dead lifting, you are nowhere near the weight you would need to get to hit your one rep max, its time to re-evaluate. First, are you really trying? If you are really trying, then, probably less exercise is in order. That's right, less not more. While in many mainstream publications and web sites, they will tell you you need more, I am here to tell you you need less. Even for the guys in the second group, many will get stronger faster buy doing less. The name of this blog is lowcarbhit. Well my friends, its time to up the ante, and try a little new school, old fashioned HIT (High Intensity Training). First thing, drop any and all cardio and conditioning work. (Hold your applause till the end.) Next get a stop watch with a cord. Now lets re-organize your workouts. From this point on you are only going to be doing one set of each exercise. The goal is to reach fatigue in about 55 - 90 seconds, this is why we have the stop watch. I want you to preform the exercises in a deliberately slow manner. I am not worried about a specific time that each rep should take, just move as slowly as you can while still moving . If you need to, reduce the weight you were using by 10 -20% so you can slow down your rep speed. Don't worry about counting the reps, we're going to be tracking time. For example, you are about to due a set of bicep curls. With the stop watch around your neck or otherwise easy to get to, start the watch just prior to grabbing the bar. Do your curls slowly, and keep going until you reach a point where you can't move the bar. Put the bar down and stop the watch. Subtract 10 seconds from the time on the watch. If it is less than 50 seconds, you used to much weight. If its more than 90 seconds, add a little weight next time. This is how all you exercises will be done except for the dead lift. On the dead lift stop at the last full rep you can complete in good form. Your new routine looks like this;

Dead lifts
Overhead Press


Ball Squats/Wall Sits

For those folks who workout in a gym your workout looks like this;

Leg Press
Shoulder Press
Chest Press
Lat Pulldown
Low Back Extension

You are going to also reduce the number of times you work out from twice a week to once every 5 days, or a Mon, Fri, Wed schedule. Meaning you will workout On Monday and Friday one week, Wednesday the next week, and so forth. Don't be fooled, if you work each exercise as hard as you can work it, you will need 5 days between workouts. If in doubt, take 7 days between workouts. Keep this up for a good 4 - 6 weeks, and you'll be surprised at how strong you can get.