<![CDATA[GET FIT, LEAN & KEEP YOUR DAY JOB - Fitness and Nutrition Blogs]]>Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:23:24 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Eat Fat - Lose Fat]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 19:41:39 GMThttp://getfitlean.com/fitness-and-nutrition-blogs/eat-fat-lose-fat
Would you like to know the secret to losing fat? If you are like most people, you’d probably like to lose some fat. Note that I did not say, “Lose weight.” Why? Because when people say they want to “lose weight,” what they really mean is that they want to lose fat. Why sugar coat it? 
 
Fitness and nutrition are my passions. I’ve conducted a lifelong experiment on myself in order to find the easiest way to lose fat and develop lean muscle, and as a result, I’m now a fat loss expert. Fat loss results in far more benefits than just improving your body composition. You’ll also feel better, have more energy, and improve your long term health. But if you’re being honest, your short-term goal is probably to lose some fat so you look better. So what’s the secret to losing fat? It’s much simpler than you ever imagined.
 
The secret to losing fat is to eat more fat and eat less carbohydrates.
 
Before getting into why you should eat more fat and less carbs, you’ve got to get your head around two big ideas.
 
First, carbohydrates are not essential. Second, saturated fats and cholesterol are good for you. 
 
That’s right, we do not need to eat carbohydrates. Fats and proteins are essential nutrients but carbs are not. Most of our energy needs can be met with ketones, which are an alternative cellular fuel to carbohydrates, or glucose. Our bodies are well adapted to convert fats into ketones. We do require a small amount of blood glucose, but proteins can provide that. Our bodies can convert both carbohydrates and proteins to blood glucose, but not fats. Through a process called gluconeogenesis, we are able to maintain normal blood glucose levels without dietary carbohydrates*.
 
Second, the myth that saturated fat and cholesterol are “bad for you” has been shattered. The false narrative was born in the 1950’s out of bad science, corrupt politics, and shady business interests. We now know that saturated fat and cholesterol are anti-inflammatory. There is overwhelming evidence that inflammation is not caused by eating fat and cholesterol but rather by eating too many carbohydrates, which quickly convert to blood sugar. Elevated blood sugar causes insulin spikes and leads to insulin resistance, which causes inflammation. The problem is carbs, not fats.
 
Most of the foods that we’ve been misled for decades to believe are “good” carbohydrates are in fact not so good after all – I discuss this at length in my book, “Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job.”  USDA recommendations rest on bad science. Unfortunately, most modern medicine practitioners also endorse the same false dogma. Even most nutritionists continue to advocate
eating a “balanced diet” consisting of whole grains, rice, and root vegetables. If not consumed in very small portions, all of these carb sources will raise your blood sugar, spike your insulin, and lead to inflammation - the root cause of most non-communicable diseases and metabolic disorders including obesity, heart disease, Type II diabetes, and cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Dementia.
 
In the simplest of terms, there are only two kinds of “good carbs”; green vegetables and fruit. It’s nearly impossible to over eat “greens”. Both are great sources of essential micronutrients however fruits should be limited because most pack a lot of, albeit bound in fiber, sugar.
 
The good news is that once you embrace a high fat, low carbohydrate lifestyle, shedding fat is easier than ever. You’ll also feel better, have more energy, and improve your health and wellness.
 
Please allow me to share my experience with you. Just over a year ago, I planned a photo shoot for my 51st birthday. Like I had approached Men’s Physique competitions in past years, I began cutting calories and increasing my cardio about 8 weeks out. I thought I was on a low carb nutrition plan. I wasn’t. I was still fueling my body with carbs - eating grains, brown rice and root vegetables. Although I was hungry and irritable all the while, it worked. I got leaned out for the photos as planned. I held it for 1 day then binged on decadent meals and put 10 pounds back on in a couple of days.
 
Just as I was thinking there’s got to be a better way, serendipity struck. It started when a friend posted a CNBC article on Facebook. The piece featured Virta Health, a tech startup whose mission is to reverse Type II Diabetes by putting people on a low-carb, high-fat “ketogenic diet”. Like Sami Inkinen, Virta’s founder, I believe food is medicine. I also believe we’re perfectly evolved to thrive on a high fat, low carb diet. I took a deep dive into understanding ketosis.
 
The seed had been planted three years ago when my dad was diagnosed with Dementia. I decided then that I should lead by example. I began following what I thought was a ketogenic nutrition plan. But I now realize that I didn’t go far enough. I was still eating too many carbs and protein while not eating enough fat. I eventually convinced my dad to drastically reduce his carb intake and eat more fats. Since leaning heavily towards a keto plan, my Dad has reduced the meds, feels much better, and has lost a lot of weight.
 
This year, I got more serious about keto. I leaned out on my new keto plan but unlike previous years, when I got ripped for a day, I’ve easily held it for months. Last year, like every time before, the fat loss was a struggle. This year, it was easy and I’m finding it nearly effortless to maintain. In addition, I no longer struggle through my cardio workouts. In fact, I feel like I’ve got more energy than ever before. What’s the difference?
 
I’m now in a state of nutritional ketosis. The only carbs I eat are green, mostly leafy, veggies and limited low glycemic fruits like blueberries and strawberries. I’ve reduced my carbs to less than 50 grams a day and increased my fat to two-thirds of my total calories. I’m also eating less protein. Despite the popular Bro Science in bodybuilding circles, you don’t need to eat tons of protein to build and maintain lean muscle. You need to be aware that our bodies are able to convert protein to blood glucose which results in the same inflammatory insulin spike we get from over eating carbs.
 
Most people think that following a keto plan means depriving yourself of good food. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I love to eat well. I’m not hungry all the time but rather pleasantly satiated. Nearly 70% of my calories come from fat, mostly saturated fats. I eat whole eggs, butter, red meat, cold water fish, avocados, nuts, whole-fat Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and cheese. Less than 10% of my calories come from carbohydrates. The remainder of my calories (20%) comes from protein. I recommend using a calorie counting app so you can track your macro nutrient percentages as well as total calories.
 
My message is perfectly in line with Mother Nature’s plan. Look at human evolution. For millions of years as hunter gathers we thrived on animal fat and protein. We only began eating grains and root vegetables very recently with the domestication of agriculture. We are perfectly designed to thrive on a diet of mostly fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrates. Want to feel great, improve your health, and shed some fat? Enjoy your butter, egg yolks, red meat and cold water fish.
 
Yours in Fitness and Nutrition,
 
JD Griffin, CNC, Author, Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job
 
*Jeff S. Volek and Stephen D. Phinney, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living
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<![CDATA[My Dad, Dementia, and Get Fit Lean 2.0]]>Sun, 27 Nov 2016 16:50:13 GMThttp://getfitlean.com/fitness-and-nutrition-blogs/my-dad-dementia-and-get-fit-lean-20
Dear Friends,

My 79-year-old father has Dementia.
 
He was diagnosed with this terrible brain disease in 2014, soon after I published my transformation guide for any body. I asked my mother to ask his “doctor” if his Dementia had anything to do with his diet. She asked and the answer was no, his cognitive degenerative had nothing to do with what he’d eaten his entire life. Dismissing his diet? I was suspect to say the least.
 
I strongly believe that food either helps us or hurts us; food is either medicine or poison. I suspected my father’s “doctor”, like many health practitioners, clung to outdated notions. I was right. I began reading everything I could get my hands on related to explaining cognitive degeneration. I would learn that like our body’s muscle and fat composition, our brain health, is also largely determined by what we eat and don’t eat.
 
My dad never met a cookie he didn’t love. He’s always had an insatiable sweet tooth. In addition to his love for sweets, left unchecked, he can easily finish an entire basket of bread before the main course arrives. Any and all form of pasta is also a favorite. Over the course of my dad’s life, most of his calories have come from refined carbohydrates, mainly sugar and flour.
 
It’s impossible to identify all the environmental factors responsible for any non-communicable disease. But I am convinced that a lifetime of eating refined carbs and manufactured fats was a significant contributor to my dad’s cognitive decline. (Please read this entire article for the good news)
 
It’s well understood that eating refined carbohydrates and manufactured fats is inflammatory. It’s widely accepted that inflammation leads to metabolic disorders such as type II diabetes and heart disease. Many forms of cancer are also linked to inflammation. Recent *science has shown that our brain health and lack there of is a direct result of inflammation caused by eating refined carbs and manufactured fats.
 
The focus of my Get Fit Lean program is losing fat and developing lean muscle. It’s a highly effective proven guide for reshaping your body composition. Follow my macronutrient percent of total calories recommendations published in September 2014, and you will get results.
 
However, as a means of preventing, combating, even reversing metabolic disorders including cognitive degeneration such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, I have updated my macro percent of total calories recommendation. You can lose fat, develop lean muscle AND maintain your health and wellness.
 
(Previous) September 2014
Macro % recommendation
Fat/Protein/Carb – 35/45/20
 
(Updated) November 2016
Macro % recommendation
Fat/Protein/Carb – 60/25/15
 
“Eating Healthy” is not nearly as complicated as it’s often perceived to be. Follow the above macros and the simple guidelines below and you can’t go to terribly wrong:
 
DO NOT EAT REFINED CARBOHYDRATES
            Sugar (particularly added sugar) is poison
Naturally occurring sugar in fruits and root vegetables is bound in fiber therefore in limited amounts not inflammatory (doesn’t spike your insulin).
            Flour (enriched white flour) is poison
                        Don’t eat bread unless it’s 100% whole grain and gluten free
                        Don’t eat pasta unless made from 100% whole grain
DO NOT EAT MANUFACTURED FATS
            Vegetable oils, high in Omega-6 fatty acid is inflammatory. 
            Do eat olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil; all high in Omega-3 fatty acid
 
DO EAT Animal fats and proteins
Saturated fats are not bad for you. In fact, we’re perfectly evolved to thrive on animal fats and proteins. Eat red meat, cold-water fish, and whole eggs.
Don’t buy low fat anything, Eat whole fat dairy like butter, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese.
 
I’m not a fan of labels, as they often deceptively imply an original idea. But what I’m recommending is effectively a “keto” nutrition plan. We advanced apes are perfectly adapted to deriving energy from fat (ketosis), not carbohydrates. Additionally, eating fat doesn’t make you fat. Eating refined carbohydrates makes you fat.
 
As always, the experiment is on me, “I walk the walk.” For the last two years I’ve followed the above macros. 60% of my calories come from fat (mostly saturated fat) and 15% from carbohydrates (mostly green veggies and low glycemic fruits). From a pure aesthetics point of view, I’ve had no trouble staying lean; in fact, it’s easier on a high fat nutrition plan.  The lead photo for this article is of me at 51 years old after following the high fat - low carb plan outlined above for two years. Most importantly, I feel better than ever and I’m confident that I’m following the optimal nutrition plan for long-term health.
 
For those of you wondering, yes, I get blood work done regularly. In all cholesterol measures - HDL, LDL, lipids, etc., my levels are out of the range on the good side.
 
The good news - My dad’s current condition:
 
As expected and far too often the case, the “doctor’s” initial fix was to prescribe a brew of chemicals complete with nasty side effects. The first year, my dad’s cognitive tests declined with each successive quarterly check-up while his “doctor” continued to up the meds. Only after this viscous cycle became apparent did my parents agree to try my plan – take control of his diet - Food as Medicine.
 
My kids and I flew to my Midwest hometown with a mission – Save Grandpa. We sat down with my parents and they agreed to give it a try. We identified all the high fat foods dad likes. Fortunately, he likes red meat, whole eggs, butter, and cheese as well as avocado and nuts. He also agreed to cut out all forms of refined carbohydrates and manufactured fats.
 
In less than three months his cognitive tests scores improved. He also lost fifteen pounds and increased his physical activities. Today, after nearly a year of following a high fat – low carb plan, his condition continues to improve. He tells me he feels better than he’s felt in years. I recently asked him what he attributes his improvement to. He replied simply, “ I stopped eating sugar.”
 
*Don’t take my word for it, do your own research. I suggest you start with publications by the leading experts in the field:
 
David Perlmutter MD, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan
 
Perlmutter, Brain Maker
 
Denise Minger, Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science Sketchy Politics and
Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health
 
Nina Teicholz, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a
Healthy Diet
 
Daniel Lieberman, The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease
 
Robert H. Lustig MD, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed
Food, Obesity, and Disease
 
Weston A. Price DDS, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
 
 
Please, don’t be afraid to eat fats.  Limit the carbs. Your future self will thank you.
 
Yours in Fitness and Nutrition,
 
JD
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<![CDATA[Eat ANY FOOD – Get Fit Lean]]>Sat, 15 Oct 2016 22:13:41 GMThttp://getfitlean.com/fitness-and-nutrition-blogs/eat-any-food-get-fit-lean
The above picture was taken Monday morning following an ordinary weekend preceded by many weeks of “normal” eating. By contrast, prior to a promotional photo shoot, I’d have followed a super strict meal plan for several weeks, shaved, and spray tanned. The above ab shot however, was taken with no out of the ordinary prep.
When not preparing for a special event, the fight community and bodybuilding community, refer to their everyday condition as their “walking around” weight. It’s your “normal” weight when not “dieting” to make weight for a fight or unusual calorie restriction in order to “lean out” for a show. It’s how you look when you’re not too concerned about your weight and you’re eating “normal” food. In the above pic I’m at my “walking around” weight. Yes, I’m five pounds heavier than after having prepped for a photo shoot but that measure is scale weight. What’s most important to me and most everyone else is how you look and feel.  My abs look pretty good and I feel great. You too can achieve the same look and feel.
From fifty something year old mothers to twenty something year old bodybuilders, I’m often asked, how do you stay lean all the time? What do you eat? The answer shocks them. I eat all foods.
Sure, I do thirty minutes of cardio every morning but the real secret is what I eat - and – what I don’t eat. I really do eat all foods. I don’t eat non-foods or food-like products. Just because you can buy something in a grocery store, consume it, and it doesn’t kill you (at least not right away) doesn’t make it food.
What are non-foods? Refined carbohydrates and manufactured fats are non-foods. Refined carbohydrates like white sugar and white flour have no nutritional value, they only have an energy content value. Refined carbs spike your insulin which leads to short term fat storage and causes inflammation. This is turn leads to long term metabolic disorders like type II diabetes, heart disease, and dementia, to name just a few. Manufactured fats, high in Omega 6 fatty acids and low in Omega 3 fatty acids (we’ve evolved to thrive on a ratio of 1:1 not 20:1) also cause inflammation. Manufactured fats, primarily vegetable oils, raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol, and produces cell mutation resulting in a variety of chronic health problems including insulin resistance. Don’t eat non-foods.
What are real foods? Real foods are sold intact with as little processing as possible. Real foods don’t come in a box, a can, or vacuum packed in a shrink wrapped container. Real foods are perishable, they have a limited shelf life, and are fresh. Real foods don’t have a long list of non-pronounceable ingredients that read like a bad science experiment (non-foods are in fact a bad science experiment and those who consume them are the Guinee pigs). Real foods recently lived and breathed or required sunlight as they grew from the earth. Grass fed beef, free range poultry, organic eggs, and wild caught fish are all real foods. Green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, nuts, butter, and cheese are real foods. Shop the peripheral of the grocery store and buy nothing with a shelf life and you can’t go to terribly wrong.
True, there are a few other variables involved when it comes to getting and staying lean. Your macronutrient ratios are important. Most of your calories should come from fat, then protein, with a minimal amount coming from carbohydrates. There’s nothing wrong with animal (saturated) fat and animal protein is nature’s only complete protein source. Vegetarianism doesn’t work. There is no record of a single successful group of vegetarians in human history. Total calories consumed also matter. If you’re in calorie surplus, you will gain weight in the form of fat. There is no arguing with the laws of physics. For everything you need to know about building a complete nutrition and workout plan please refer to my book: Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job.
Whether your goal is washboard abs or simply to eat healthy for long term wellness, the most important variable is the same. It’s about what you eat and what you don’t eat. Yes, you can eat any food.
Yours in Health & Fitness,
JD Griffin

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<![CDATA[Get Fit Lean at 51]]>Sat, 02 Jul 2016 12:49:39 GMThttp://getfitlean.com/fitness-and-nutrition-blogs/get-fit-lean-at-51
Happy Birthday to me, I turn 51 this weekend. Is age just a number? I think so.

As we age, the path we take is our own choice. The first and most traveled road is one that follows the herd. Unfortunately, most people choose the path that conforms to the “norm.” It’s easy to resign yourself to a slow deterioration as you age. Most likely, you’ll ultimately concede life to one of the many all too common metabolic disorders like type II diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or dementia. But you don’t have to follow this path. You have another option, there’s a different road you can travel. You can break from the herd and be extraordinary.

The first option is far more convenient to follow, the path of least resistance usually is. You can take the easy road and live a near effortless life that modern civilization affords us. Why expend any extra energy or extra thought when you don’t have to, right? Let’s take a look at just how easy this easy path can be.

Wake up every day and have a big bowl of delicious sugar coated cereal, maybe a jelly doughnut or a bagel thick with cream cheese and a big glass of your favorite juice. Drive to work and park in the garage below your office. Take the elevator to your floor and sit in a chair all day. Fill up on a big deli sandwich, a bag of chips, and a soft drink for lunch. Treat yourself to a candy bar and a frappe’ in the afternoon. Go home after work and plant yourself on that big comfortable couch, order a pizza, kick your feet up and relax. Maybe have a few beers or share a bottle of wine with someone special. When you grocery shop and cook for yourself, make it easy. Buy prepared meals that come in a box, can, or shrink wrapped with simple reheating instructions. Maybe treat yourself and get drive through fast food on the way home or meet some friends for dinner at a chain restaurant with inexpensive king sized portions. Come home and pass out in a peaceful food coma. Get up the next day and do it all over again. All effortless and convenient. Now that’s living!

The second path may not be so easy to follow. It requires some extra thought, planning, and effort. Our modern society of convenience has not set this up for you.

Wake up every day and cook real food for breakfast. This means taking the time to prepare things like eggs, oatmeal, and fresh fruit. Dedicate at least one hour of your day to either going to a gym or getting in an outdoor cardio workout like running or biking. You’ll also have to take the time to grocery shop at least a few times a week. You’ll trade convenience for quality. This means the foods you buy don’t come in a box, a can, or pre-cooked in shrink-wrapped containers. Instead, you buy whole intact foods like grass fed red meat, antibiotic free poultry, organic eggs, fresh fish, hormone free dairy, organic green vegetables, root vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruit, and nuts.

You also move your body often. We humans are extremely good at adapting to environmental stresses or lack thereof. If you follow the more convenient sedentary road your body will adapt to the lack of exercise and movement by steadily losing muscle mass and bone density. Exercise like weight training and running are stresses on our body that we adapt to by building lean muscle and bone density.

The "food like" products we don’t eat are as important as the real foods we do eat. The inflammation caused by a lifetime of eating cheap and easy refined carbohydrates and manufactured fats will result in increased fat stores and the onset of a whole host of metabolic and cognitive disorders. Choose these non-foods (refined carbohydrates - sugar and white flour are not food) and you’ll effectively speed up the aging process. You’ll also increase the probability of dying from one of the above-mentioned metabolic disorders. There is an alternative path you can take and it’s open to all of us.

Those of you bold enough to follow the alternative, the not so easy path, won’t stop the aging process but you’ll significantly slow it down. Your bodies will adapt to the stress of daily exercise and movement by maintaining, even rebuilding; bone density and muscle mass. Maintaining a healthy lean figure or physique will help you look and feel your best. It will improve your self-esteem. Your nutrition plan made up primarily of whole intact foods as opposed to refined carbohydrates and manufactured fats also has consequences. You won’t continuously build fat stores. The lack of insulin spikes won’t subject your body to continuous inflammation. The probability that you develop one of the above mentioned metabolic disorders will be greatly reduced. You’ll continue to look and feel great well into old age. Doesn’t this path sound like a better option?

Either of these paths is available to us all. I choose to follow the less traveled road, the healthy lifestyle. You can too. Diets don’t work because they are temporary and rely on restrictions. Following a healthy lifestyle means you can eat any foods - whole intact foods. Yes, living the healthy lifestyle is often at odds with the convenient society we live in and what is considered the “norm” but with a little extra effort you can be extraordinary.

I had my eureka moment at age 43. I entered a body transformation contest and lost 35 pounds in twelve weeks. Over the course of the next 5 years I wrote Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job: a transformation guide for any body. I’ve stayed on the healthy path and 8 years later, at age 51, I look and feel better than ever. Maybe you’re many years from 51 or maybe you’re well past. In either case it’s never too early or too late to start following the healthy path.

Yours in Health and Fitness,

JD

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<![CDATA[9 Foods That Boost Health & Wellness]]>Fri, 24 Jun 2016 13:57:43 GMThttp://getfitlean.com/fitness-and-nutrition-blogs/9-foods-that-boost-health-wellness
Living a healthy lifestyle is not a sometimes thing, it’s an all the time thing.  A good nutrition plan doesn’t mean that baked chicken breast and steamed broccoli are the only foods on the menu.  My goal isn’t just staying lean, I also want to maintain my health as well as feel good physically, mentally and emotionally. As a former Men’s Physique competitor, who maintains his contest physique, I choose my foods carefully.
            The following foods are staples in my nutrition plan. These nine foods will boost your health and wellness year round whether or not you’re a physique competitor or most concerned with living a healthy lifestyle.        
 
Spinach
 
            Remember how well spinach worked for Popeye The Sailor? It will work for you too. 1 cup of spinach has only 40 calories yet more than 20 different measurable nutrients. These nutrients include, vitamin K and A, magnesium, folate, dietary fiber, calcium and protein. Spinach also contains more than a dozen individual flavonoid compounds, which work together as cancer fighting antioxidants. Spinach even contains a carotenoid that makes prostate cancers destroy themselves, reports The Journal of Nutrition. Spinach just might be the most nutrient dense food on earth.
           
Avocado
 
            This delicious fruit is loaded with healthy fats as well as essential B vitamins.   According to Dr. James F. Balch, author of “Prescription for Nutritional Healing”, vitamin B6 is one of the most important nutrients for overall physical health. This vitamin supports the nervous system, helps the body manufacture red blood cells and aids in the synthesis of proteins and fats.

Caffeine
 
            Caffeine is a known stimulant, it helps to boost your metabolic rate as well as increase mental alertness. However, NPC Figure competitor Nadine Manfredi says, “caffeine’s major benefit may lie in the reduction of lactic acid build up as muscle glycogen is depleted.” A University of Illinois study found that 300 mg of caffeine taken prior to a workout reduced the amount of burning felt by subjects in the study.
 
Almonds
 
            Filled with healthy fats, almonds provide many health benefits. They’re a good source of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which help strengthen bones and teeth. The monounsaturated fat promotes healthy cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health.  Harvard Medical School states that cholesterol benefits are even greater when you combine nuts with other healthy foods.
 
Asparagus
 
            Loaded with nutrients, asparagus is a great source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.  Asparagus is also a good source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals.
 
Berries
 
Low in sugar, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants. Eating just under a cup of mixed berries daily for eight weeks was associated with increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure, two positives when it comes to heart health, according to a study of 72 middle-age people published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Included in the mix were strawberries, red raspberries and bilberries.
 
Tomatoes
 
            Not only are tomatoes loaded with vitamin C as well as other vitamins and minerals but they also have the highest levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that studies have shown help reduce the risk of cancer. University of Montreal researchers found that lycopene, provided mainly by tomatoes, was linked to a 31 percent reduction in pancreatic cancer. Additionally, lycopene, unlike nutrients in most fresh fruits and vegetables, has even greater bioavailability after cooking and processing.
 
Green Tea
 
            Of the three main tea variations; green, black and oolong, green tea, composed of unfermented tea leaves, has the highest level of antioxidants. It also contains caffeine as well as other alkaloids such as theobromine and theophylline, which contribute to its use as both a mental and a metabolic stimulant. In addition, green tea’s antioxidant properties have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
 
Whole Grain Oatmeal
           
            Nothing starts my day off better than a bowl of warm oatmeal. Rich in fiber, just ½ a cup provides 27 grams of complex carbohydrates, 0 fat and 0 sugar, the perfect energy source.  In addition, The American Heart Association concludes “dietary fiber from whole grains, as part of a healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease.”
 
For a comprehensive fitness guide including a complete nutrition plan please check out my book: Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job.
 
Yours in Fitness,
 
JD

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<![CDATA[Should We Tax Sugar ?]]>Wed, 22 Jun 2016 04:39:42 GMThttp://getfitlean.com/fitness-and-nutrition-blogs/should-we-tax-sugar
Why do we tax cigarettes? Because cigarettes are a known public health hazard. Why is the Surgeon General’s health warning required on cigarette boxes? Because they are a public health hazard. It’s a well-established fact that cigarette smoke is carcinogenic. It’s known that smoking cigarettes leads to emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer as well as other horrific disease.

It’s also well known that sugar, particularly added sugar, leads to multiple metabolic disorders. These are modern humans’ most common killers. They include heart disease, type II diabetes, cancer, obesity, and dementia. Added sugar in “food like” products represents a known health hazard and should be treated no differently than cigarettes. We should tax added sugar and require health warning labels on all consumer products that contain added sugar.

Corporate food giants disagree. The big consumer product conglomerates’ argument against is that a sugar tax will increase the consumers’ cost of “food.” Not true simply because sugar is not food. Added sugar is poison. First, let’s be clear about what is actual food. Food is what we eat for nourishment. Real foods include cuts of red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, and milk. Whole intact fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts are also real food. All of these food items have a nutrition profile that benefits us. Added sugar has none.

Added sugar has zero vitamins and zero minerals. Added sugar has zero protein and zero essential fats. Added sugar has only an energy content value. Sugar consumption gives us no nutritional benefit while causing us unmeasurable harm.

When we consume added sugar our body react immediately with a spike in blood glucose. This triggers our pancreas to flood our bloodstream with insulin. The hormone insulin is a messenger that instructs cells to absorb glucose which is stored as fat. In the short term this leads to weight gain and in the long term the chronic inflammation leads to a whole host of metabolic disorders, some of which are mentioned above. No, sugar is not food. Sugar is poison.

It’s important to differentiate between added sugar (sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) and naturally occurring sugar (fructose) found in fruit and root vegetables. Naturally occurring sugar is bound in fiber which means your body breaks it down slowly so it doesn’t spike your blood glucose. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, fruit benefits our health. Although it’s true that you can gain as much weight as you want by over eating fruit, a few pieces of fresh fruit a day is great for your overall health. A healthy balanced nutrition plan should include fruit.

Because added sugar is a public health hazard, we all pay for it in the end. It’s no different from the costs that society shares to treat disease caused from smoking cigarettes. We all pay higher health insurance premiums because of the tremendous costs in treating type II diabetes, heart disease, obesity, dementia, and the other metabolic disorders caused by a lifetime of sugar consumption. Unfortunately, those at the lower end of the socio economic spectrum consume the greatest amount of added sugar. The people who least can afford health care are the biggest sugar abusers or victims, depending on how you choose to frame the problem. Abuser or victim, it doesn’t change the fact that we as a society pay for it in the form of higher insurance premiums and public health care. Emergency room visits and subsidized health care for the poor aren’t cheap.

A sugar tax places the costs squarely on those who choose to poison themselves and develop the inevitable health problems. Just as I’m not willing to pay for the costs of lung cancer treatment for someone who has smoked cigarettes their whole life, I don’t want to be on the hook for paying for type II diabetes treatment for people who choose to poison themselves with sugar.

No one has to consume added sugar. Be a smart consumer and read labels. Buy no food like products that contain added sugar. Instead build your nutrition plan with whole intact fresh foods. For an in depth explanation of how to shed fat and build a healthy nutrition plan for life pick up a copy of my book; Get Fit Lean and Keep Your Day job.

Yours in Health and Fitness,

JD Griffin

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<![CDATA[Mother Nature's Nutrition Plan]]>Sat, 26 Mar 2016 21:34:50 GMThttp://getfitlean.com/fitness-and-nutrition-blogs/mother-natures-nutrition-plan
            People love to cite studies. Self-proclaimed fitness gurus, nutritionists, coaches, authors, and many others often refer to the latest study in order to support their recommendation. This is especially true for people who are pushing a particular diet plan. What’s most confusing is there always seems to be another study supporting the opposite side of the first study and so on. The never-ending stream of conflicting studies leave consumers not knowing what to believe. Don’t worry. When it comes to what we should eat, there’s only one study that really counts. It trumps them all. Mother Nature’s been conducting this ongoing study over the course of the last several million years. It’s called human evolution.
            Pick your starting point. Two, four, or six million years ago, it doesn’t really matter. Eons ago, several groups of advanced apes preceded us modern Homo sapiens. Around fifty thousand years ago one group left Africa and populated the rest of the globe. We are their descendants. Their survival and reproductive success depended on what they ate more than anything else. The groups that chose the wrong foods or couldn’t find the right foods failed to reproduce and died out. The groups that figured out what to eat survived, procreated, and became modern humans. The obvious question is what did they eat?
            Early humans ate a wide variety of foods that included plants and animals from the entire spectrum of life on earth. Depending on what part of the globe they inhabited, the available sources of food were quite different. The foods that enabled our ancestors to survive and prosper were remarkably diverse. Groups living in different regions of the world relied on very different sources of nutrition. The question then becomes, was there a common theme among the successful groups? Yes, there was. A Dentist revealed the common theme in Mother Nature’s human evolution experiment to us in 1939.
            Weston Price spent most of the decade of the 1930’s traveling the globe in search of stone age cultures that had not yet been influenced by modern agriculture and industrial food processes. He was able to find 14 such groups inhabiting parts of the globe ranging from the Pacific Islands, the Arctic Circle, Northern Europe, Central Africa, and remote places in between. He also found an analog for each of the 14 groups. The analogs for each of the groups were of the same genetic linage but had adopted modern diets. For example; a port city a few hundred miles away from the original stone-age group that because of global trade had adopted modern diets. As a dentist, his original intention was to study malformed teeth and tooth decay. However, after witnessing the many degenerative afflictions that besieged the analog groups he began recording all the physical differences. Today, it would be impossible to duplicate what Price was able to observe because there are no more groups living anywhere on earth whose stone-age diets have not been altered.
            His findings were astonishing. Weston Price published his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, in 1939. In the case of all 14 groups that still relied on their stone-age diets, there were no cases of malformed teeth or decay. In addition, there was no heart disease, type II diabetes, or any of the modern non-communicable diseases that afflict modern humans. In sharp contrast, all modern diseases and health ailments besieged the analog groups that had adapted modern diets.
            What was the common theme among all the 14 groups? There are two. First, they all ate animal fat and protein. Vitamins A, D, E and K are most readily available in animal fat and animal proteins are the only source of complete protein. The sources varied wildly. A group living in central Africa ate insect larvae and cow’s blood. Groups living on the islands ate shellfish and other sea creatures. Eskimos ate whale blubber. Northern Europeans ate beef and cheese. It’s notable that there is no record of any vegetarian group ever succeeding.
             The second and equally important common theme was that none of the 14 groups ate refined carbohydrate such as sugar and flour. As we now know, consuming refined carbohydrates cause inflammation, which leads to a whole host of metabolic diseases.
             Price’s observations proved there is no one size fits all diet plan. Most importantly, he revealed the two common elements required of a successful nutrition plan. Consume animal fats and proteins and do not eat any refined carbohydrates. I’m not a big fan of labels but the current popular diet plans that are most in line with our evolutionary success are known as Paleo, Primal, and The Caveman Diet. For a complete nutrition and fitness program please pick up a copy of my book; Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job.
Yours in fitness,
JD

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<![CDATA[The Commotion About Ketones]]>Mon, 28 Dec 2015 13:14:27 GMThttp://getfitlean.com/fitness-and-nutrition-blogs/the-commotion-about-ketones
Guest Blog by Steve Welch
Wow! It’s been almost 20 months since I started this journey. Armed with the Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job program, I dropped nearly 35 pounds and successfully transformed myself from a fat, exhausted, 49-year-old middle-aged guy into a fit, energetic, 51-year-old powerhouse. I feel better than I have ever felt in my life – and so can you! Recently I was introduced to the concept of the ketogenic diet and ketone supplementation. My own experience with it has been amazing – this is a game-changer. Let’s talk a little about the science behind ketones – what they are and how they improve health and physical performance, and how you can utilize a new supplement to achieve ketosis.

Ketogenic nutrition

An exciting trend in nutrition right now is the ketogenic diet. It’s actually been around for a long time, and maybe you’ve heard of it. If not, here’s a great resource from Joseph Arcita, [http://josepharcita.blogspot.com/2011/03/guide-to-ketosis.html ] and here’s my "Cliff’s Notes" version of what ketones are and what they can do.

What are Ketones and Why Should I Care?

Ketones are a by-product of fat metabolism. Your body can fuel itself on glucose (which comes from eating sugars, fruit, and processed carbs like flour and starches), but when your body buns off all that glucose, it will switch fuel sources and will start to convert fat into fatty acids and then ketones. Ketones are then used as fuel – and they are a potent fuel, providing 38% more energy than glucose does. So think of ketones as a more potent rocket fuel for your body and brain.  Our bodies were designed to do this because back in the days of our caveman ancestors, food supplies were not constant and were often seasonal. In times of spring and summer there’d be plenty of food. Our ancestors would have plenty to eat and would pack on a little extra bodyfat, and then in the winter, when food was scarce, our bodies would live off that extra stored bodyfat. That’s how our bodies evolved to work. But we’re not cavemen anymore, and we have plenty of food year round, and so a huge percentage of the population just keeps packing on the bodyfat year round! So let’s try to tap into that biologic efficiency your body was designed to support: let’s get our body to use fat, and therefore ketones, for fuel!

Your Body’s Fuel Sources: Glucose vs Ketones

Your body is basically like a hybrid car. It uses two sources of fuel: glucose and ketones. Glucose is like gasoline – it burns very quickly and so your body has to keep finding sources of it to turn into fuel.  The thing is, too much glucose in our system also triggers the insulin response which tells our body to store calories as bodyfat. Ketones, on the other hand, burn strong, slow and steady like charcoal in your weber grill and provide a more stable fuel source. Ketones are also preferred by your brain, and there’s a ton of research showing that your brain runs better on ketones than it does on glucose. So ketones help your brain function at peak efficiency and don’t trigger an insulin response and instead help your body use its own bodyfat as fuel. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

So how do you get your body to switch over to ketones as fuel? Well, in order to do that you have to get your body in a state of ketosis, which means it is utilizing ketones for fuel (normally this is achieved by ketogenesis, which is the process by which your body when starved of glucose as a potential fuel, breaks down your own body fat into fatty acids and those are converted to one of three ketones by your liver).  The problem with the typical Western style diet is it’s so high in starches, sugars, and other carbohydrates, which readily convert to blood glucose. That means there is rarely an opportunity to get our bodies into a state of ketosis or ketogenesis. So you have two ways you can get into ketosis: You can starve yourself all winter like our caveman ancestors (mmmm, doesn’t sound like fun) or you can try to follow what’s called a Ketogenic Diet (not easy, but I'll explain it below).

The Ketogenic Diet

A state of ketogenesis and therefore ketosis can be achieved by removing almost all carbohydrates from your diet. When faced with a lack of glucose (which comes from eating processed carbs, simple carbs and sugars) your body will turn to ketones for fuel. Kind of like switching your hybrid car from gasoline to electric. To do this requires extreme carbohydrate restriction – most ketogenic diets consist of 5-10% or less carbs – moderate protein (20-25%) to avoid your body converting excess protein into glucose – and the rest (65-75%) fats. This is NOT an easy nutritional plan to adhere to for most people (which is one of the knocks against the ketogenic diet) but doing so will typically put your body into a state of ketogenesis and ketosis – meaning you are using fat and ketones for fuel, rather than glucose. And of course, some of that fuel comes from your own bodyfat stores. Which, if you’re trying to drop some excess baggage off your body, sounds pretty ideal.

In addition to getting your body to start using its own bodyfat as fuel, being in ketosis also has a host of benefits to the brain and body.

Benefits of Ketosis on the Brain

The ketogenic diet has been used since the early 1900s to help control epileptic seizures in epilepsy patients (http://www.charliefoundation.org) and recent studies have shown it improves memory and cognitive function in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15123336). 
It has also been shown to have a neuroprotective effect in cases of traumatic brain injury and PTSD, and has been shown to improve symptoms and enhance skills and cognition in autistic patients. Studies are being done that suggest these benefits can be extended to ALS, Parkinson’s and other cognitive disorders like ADD and ADHD, and even shows potential in depression, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia.

If you’re still skeptical (I was until I did exhaustive research on ketones and the ketogenic diet), here’s a great article from Psychology Today on the effects of ketones on the brain:
[ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201104/your-brain-ketones ]

Benefits of Ketosis on the Body

The list of physical benefits are impressive. The ketogenic diet causes weight and fat loss, and more importantly, it has been shown to improve diabetic symptoms, and helps improve insulin sensitivity and efficacy in the body. The ketone beta-hydroxybutyrate has also been shown to inhibit inflammasome activity and thus providing an anti-inflammatory effect (anecdotal reports show individuals have gotten relief from rheumatoid arthritis, polycystic ovary disease, migraine headaches, eczema, and other conditions caused by inflammatory processes. Here’s an article that sums up a lot of these concepts:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2238842/Could-elixir-hold-key-weight-loss-Experts-hope-itll-treat-diabetes-epilepsy-Alzheimers.html

Ketones as an Energy Source

Most people who achieve ketosis report feeling super-human like energy levels and a high level of mental cognition and focus.  Ketones actually provide 38% more adenosine triphosphate (ATP – your mitochondria’s energy source) than glucose. So the energy benefit when using ketones for fuel is significant.

Ketones and Athletic Performance

Let’s talk about the use of ketones by athletes. Several studies on endurance athletes have shown that they are able to perform at a higher level for a longer period of time when in ketosis. Many of last year’s Tour de France riders supplemented with a new ketone-based product and experienced great results.  (http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/ketones-controversial-new-energy-drink-next-big-thing-cycling-151877)

http://www.palmares.co.uk/project/ketones/

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-11/osu-eaw111615.php

In addition, a study on elite rowers showed that ketone supplementation improved performance, and several of the subjects attained personal bests. 

Ketone Supplements

So I just described how good ketones are for you, but also how difficult it is to achieve ketosis through nutritional adjustments. Most people simply cannot adhere to such a strict diet. And ketosis is a delicate state – once your body is in ketosis, it doesn’t take much to knock it out of ketosis. If you slip up and eat something with a bunch of carbs, you can knock yourself out of ketosis and it can take days to get back to it.

So, what if there was something you could just drink, that would put you in ketosis in an hour? Well there is, and they’re called Ketone Supplements (do not confuse them with "raspberry ketones" which is not a viable supplement).  

The Origin of Ketone Supplementation

The Dept of Defense actually commissioned researchers to create a ketone supplement that would minimize seizures that occur in Navy divers who are using high-oxygen rebreathers (breathing oxygen at depth can cause seizures).  [ http://www.seapowermagazine.org/stories/20151208-divers.html ] Interestingly, the side effects reported by the subjects included higher energy levels, mental clarity, and focus.

http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/10/deep-dive-ketosis-navy-seals-extreme-athletes-busy-executives-can-enhance-physical-mental-performance-secret-weapon-ketone-fuel/

The researchers knew they were onto something.  Synthesizing ketones into a supplement that humans can stomach was difficult and expensive. For a long time the only people who had access to ketone supplements were the military, researchers, and elite athletes who had a connection to someone who could provide them. And to be honest, they tasted horrible and a lot of people couldn’t stomach them.

So how does a regular human like you and me get ahold of something like this? Well earlier this year the first publicly available ketone supplement came to market: Keto//OS: The Ketone Operating System. It’s a powdered mix that you add to water and drink – it tastes great and puts you in ketosis in less than an hour. In the interest of full disclosure, I have been involved with PruvIt, the company that created and distributes Keto//OS, since May and I'm a distributor of the product. My own experience has been life-changing. I’m a complete convert to the ketogenic lifestyle as well as ketone supplementation, and I’d encourage people to give it a try. The thing is, following a ketogenic diet can be extremetly challenging. As I said before, most people don’t want or don’t have the discipline to eat 65-75% fats and keep their carbs under 10% of their intake in order to achieve nutritional ketosis. And one misstep can throw you out of ketosis for days or even weeks. That’s where the supplement comes in. You can get your body into a state of ketosis within an hour and stay in a heightened state of ketosis for hours by using the supplement. If you want more info about it, go to http://stevewelch.pruvitnow.com/research and watch some of the videos and read the blogs and research info. It’s worth investigating. I’m not telling you about this because I’m trying to sell you something. I’m telling you about it because it has flat-out worked for me. I love how I feel when my body is running on ketones.  And it’s supercharged my workouts and my life overall. I’ve been crushing it at the gym, at work, and everywhere.

I don’t want to use this blog to plug products – but when something this unique comes along that actually does what it claims it’ll do, I feel obligated to tell people about it. All I can say is, give it a try and see for yourself. Because the truth is, you don’t have to take a supplement to experience ketosis – but it’s a lot easier than trying to adhere to a strict ketogenic diet.  I’m interested in hearing what you think.

Yours in health,
Steve

About the author: Steve Welch is a medical publishing professional who got fit, lean and kept his day job. If a 51-year-old desk jockey like me can do it, so can you. So let's do this!  - and YES the photos below are of me. 

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<![CDATA[What Should I Eat?]]>Fri, 16 Oct 2015 18:27:57 GMThttp://getfitlean.com/fitness-and-nutrition-blogs/what-should-i-eat
             Would you like to lose fat and gain muscle? Would you like to change your body composition and improve your health? Most of us would. I’ve had countless conversations with people looking for answers to these questions. I’ll explain my complete fitness and nutrition plan but in the end, most people will return to the same question. What should I eat?

            It’s not only a great question; it’s the most fundamental question. Whatever your health and fitness goals might be, good nutrition in 80% of the solution. As I say in my book, Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job, you can train like an Olympian but if you eat junk, it will hardly matter. Good nutrition is the foundation of any transformation plan as well as an ongoing healthy lifestyle plan.

            So, what should you eat? The simple answer is that you should eat quality real foods. What does that mean? First, let me explain what I mean by real foods. Whole intact foods that have not been processed or refined are real foods. Real foods can be found on the peripheral of the grocery store because they don’t come in a box, can, or shrink wrapped packaging. Real foods are foods that through millions of years of evolution, us humans are perfectly designed to consume. Whole intact meats, fish, eggs, fruits, and vegetables are real foods.

            Next, let me explain what I mean by quality. Mass-market meats containing antibiotics and hormones are not quality foods. Fruits and vegetables sprayed with pesticides and herbicides are not quality foods. Deep fried items served to you in your car through a drive through window are neither quality nor real foods. Organic, natural, sustainable, and locally grown foods are quality real foods.

Lets talk about other foods that are neither real nor quality foods.  It’s important to point out that just because a grocery store sells it, and you can eat, and a TV commercial calls it food, doesn’t make it real food. What foods are not real foods? Read labels, if it contains any unpronounceable ingredients, it’s not real food. If your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food then it’s probably not real food. If humans haven’t evolved to eat it, then it’s not real food.

            How do you know if we’ve evolved to consume something as food? For the first four to six million years of our existence, give or take a million years, we only ate whole intact foods. Mankind domesticated plants about ten thousand years ago and began farming grains. We began producing and distributing flour and sugar on a mass scale only a few hundred years ago. Recent history.

            Enriched flour is made my stripping off the husk, bran and germ, which leaves only an energy value. Common sugar or sucrose also contains only an energy value. Both of these refined carbohydrates contain no nutritional value, only an energy value better known as calories. We are designed to store excess energy as fat; it’s an evolutionary survival mechanism that served our caveman ancestors well. Eating refined carbohydrates floods your bloodstream with insulin. Your fat cells react by absorbing as much blood sugar as possible as stored fat. Your liver also reacts by storing fat which leads to inflammation which then leads to inflammatory diseases such as type II diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and dementia to name a few. The message here is pretty straightforward. Stop poisoning yourself with refined carbohydrates. Eat quality real foods.

            I enjoy cooking and have the time to meal prep a variety of meats and vegetables for the week. Most days I take my lunch to work so I’m able to eat quality real food for every meal. I understand that not everyone is able to do so. Some people don’t have the time, or don’t enjoy cooking, or simply aren’t sure what to eat. There are alternatives to doing your own meal prep. Take my friends at Power Supply for example, they deliver nutrient dense meals made with quality real foods. Currently, they are servicing Los Angeles and Washington D.C. and will be expanding to other cities soon.

            Whether you prepare it yourself or have it delivered, I hope I’ve answered the question, what should I eat.

Yours in Fitness,

JD

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<![CDATA[Breakfast IS The Most Important Meal of the Day]]>Sat, 11 Jul 2015 12:51:22 GMThttp://getfitlean.com/fitness-and-nutrition-blogs/breakfast-is-the-most-important-meal-of-the-day
Guest Blog by Steve Welch

Mom always used to say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And you know what? Mom was right. Who knew Mom was a nutritional researcher?

In today’s fast-paced society, we are often rushed and short on time, especially in the morning when there seems to be so much to do in advance of going to work or starting our day. So a lot of people choose not to take the time to prepare and eat a nutritious breakfast, and instead either skip the meal altogether, or they grab something on the go that’s incredibly sugar-laden and calorically dense: donuts, fast food breakfast sandwiches, an infused coffee drink – you get the picture. What those people don’t realize is that they are sabotaging their body’s ability to run at an optimal level, they are encouraging it to store bodyfat, and they are setting themselves up for a cascade of nutritional failures for the remainder of the day. That may sound harsh, but it’s the truth, and there are plenty of clinical studies in the literature to back it up.

So I’m going to explain (in an oversimplified way) what happens when you eat carb-laden sweet or sugary things to start your day – or when you skip a meal altogether, to reinforce the fact that starting your day with a satisfying high-protein and healthy fat power packed meal will supercharge your metabolic engine and help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

First, let’s talk about what happens when you eat a crap breakfast or skip it altogether. As outlined in JD’s book, Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job, eating foods that are high in simple sugars and starches floods your blood stream with glucose, which in turn signals your body to release a boatload of insulin, which then tells your body to go into fat storage mode. Eating a donut, sweet pastries, breakfast cereals (nearly all breakfast cereals are all carbs and often have some sort of sugar sneakily added to them as sucrose, dextrose, fructose, and the like), fruit juices or other sugar-laden sweetened coffee drinks like a raspberry carmel macchiato) do exactly that. That sugar burns off quickly in your system, and before long you want more. How many times have you decided to have another donut an hour after eating that first one or two, because Bob from Accounting brought in a box of Krispy Kremes and there’s still a couple left. This cycle repeats itself and pretty soon you’ve had more ups and downs than the Rocket Roller Coaster at Great America.  And guess where all those calories are going…. Yup. Fat City.

Some people just skip breakfast altogether, drink some coffee, and eventually the hunger cravings catch up with them and they end up overeating later in the day.  The fact is, not eating stresses your body. Clinical studies have shown that breakfast skippers have inconsistent and elevated cortisol levels (the stress hormone which also causes your body to glom onto bodyfat and not let go like a giant squid on steroids) as well as elevated blood pressure. In addition, people who skip breakfast are more likely to make poorer food choices throughout the rest of the day.

If this sounds familiar, and you want to get off the energy/crash/fat storage roller coaster, then here’s what you need to do:

Eat a high-protein, low carb, moderate fat breakfast. Bacon and eggs. Steak and eggs. A veggie omelette with some cheese and some avocado slices on the side. A breakfast of this type that has 30 g of protein and a balanced level of fats was shown to have the following impact in a landmark clinical study comparing a high protein/fat breakfast group to a high-carb group and a no-breakfast group. The people eating the high-protein, high-fat, no carb breakfast showed:

- Reduced cortisol (stress hormone) levels

- Reduced levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and increased gut hormone peptide YY, which helps us to feel full  (so we don’t eat too much later in the day)

- The high protein breakfast eaters reported feeling more satiated and ate fewer calories at lunch – in addition, they were less likely to snack throughout the day, and made healthier food choices when they did snack

Other studies have shown that eating a high-protein breakfast helps you lose weight in general.

So what does this tell you? It tells you to eat some protein and some fat at breakfast. Skip the sugars (no juices, bread, muffins, pastries or other starchy foods including breakfast potatoes). You’ll feel better, you’ll put yourself in a position of controlling your nutritional environment for the rest of the day, and you’ll reduce your stress hormone levels and positively impact your blood pressure. So skip the donuts and froofy coffee drinks and treat yourself to a REAL breakfast. If you’re pressed for time, hard boil some eggs the night before and throw em in the fridge and have them on the go or at work the next day. Your body will thank you.

A note for my friends who are following the ketogenic diet (eating ~5% carbs, ~75% fats and ~20% protein) and/or taking ketone supplements (which I am doing): there’s a big push for having bulletproof coffee (coffee mixed with coconut oil and grass-fed butter) first thing in the morning and then waiting until 11:00 am or so to have your first “real” meal. Although I could not find any solid research in the literature that compared bulletproof coffee to a high protein/fat breakfast, I can say with certainty that bulletproof coffee is going to be a better choice than a donut or carmel macchiato with raspberry syrup. Especially if you are following a low-carb nutrition plan. To get into a ketogenic state, you have to consume fat and protein and avoid sugars and carbohydrates, or use a cutting-edge ketone supplement. So if bulletproof coffee is working for you, go with it. However, if you’re training hard, doing high intensity weight-lifting and resistance training, make sure you get enough protein in your diet to help your body repair and rebuild that lean muscle. I’m still researching this topic exhaustively and will post more about it in the near future.

I’ve included some links to a few articles commenting on this topic that I think will help reinforce the points made above and give more ammo to the argument for having a delicious protein and fats breakfast. Plus, what more can I say, than “Bacon.”

http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/diet_blog/how_a_high_protein_breakfast_can_help_you_lose_weight

Eating Well: How a High Protein Breakfast Can Help You Lose Weight

http://www.livestrong.com/article/522533-can-eating-30-grams-of-protein-each-morning-help-you-lose-weight/
LiveStrong: Can Eating 30 g of Protein Each Morning Help You Lose Weight?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25545767
Female breakfast skippers display a disrupted cortisol rhythm and elevated blood pressure


About the guest blog author: Steve Welch is a medical publishing professional who Got Fit, Lean and Kept His Day Job at the ripe old age of 50. If he can do it, so can you! So get to it! 
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