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Archive for the ‘Diet/Nutrition’ Category

Simple Metabolism Boosting Advice

Posted by Joel Marion on June 30, 2011

The other day I was talking with my friend Mike.

Mike is a good guy, but frankly, his diet sucks.

Now, it’s not that Mike eats junk all day; in fact, the foods that make up Mike’s daily diet aren’t half bad.

Mike’s problem is something different: his timing is WAY out of whack, and unfortunately, it’s a problem that 99% of Americans share.

Take a look at the typical American diet and here’s what you get:

  • Breakfast is the smallest meal of the day, if consumed at all.
  • Lunch is a decent, moderate sized meal.
  • Dinner is by far the largest meal of the day, often times consumed late at night.

The problem with this set up? It has you eating your largest meal of the day in the evening hours when metabolism is at its lowest point.

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What REALLY causes fat loss plateaus

Posted by Joel Marion on June 15, 2011

Understanding Fat Loss Plateaus (From the introduction of Ninja Nutrition Tactics)

So, what REALLY causes fat loss plateaus to happen and why is getting exceptionally lean incredibly difficult?

Well, that’s two questions, so let’s address them one at a time :)

A general fat loss plateau or stall in weight loss can happen for many reasons, but they all basically come down to metabolism and hormones.

If you’ve read some of my previous writing, then you’re probably pretty familiar with leptin, so while I’ll save you the long science, I do believe a brief explanation is in order.

Leptin, AKA the anti-starvation hormone, is basic the “control” hormone when it comes to weight loss, particularly fat loss.  Other important hormones with regards to metabolism and weight loss, such as the appetite regulating hormones neuropeptide-Y and ghrelin, and the metabolic thyroid hormones are all more or less dependent on leptin.

As an analogy, Leptin is the “Sergeant” hormone from which all other hormones take commands.  Either that or leptin is just REALLY cool and the other guys simply base everything they do around what leptin’s doing.

Bunch of lame-ass follower hormones.

I digress.

The point is, if you hope to have any success when it comes to weight loss, then you need to understand and learn to manipulate leptin.

To make things extremely simplistic:

High leptin levels = Heightened fat burning and metabolism

Low leptin levels = Decreased fat burning and metabolism

Unless of course you suffer from leptin resistance, which we’ll talk about momentarily.

So how is leptin mediated?  Two ways:

1.  Leptin is mediated by body fat levels.

Because leptin is secreted by fat cells, it makes sense that there is a direct, linear relationship between the amount of body fat you are carrying and the amount of leptin you have floating around.  That is to say, the more fat you have, the more leptin you have, and vice versa.

This is THE major reason why losing those last few pounds is exceptionally difficult.

Oops, looks like we are answering the second question before we fully answer the first.  I tend to do that.

But yes, low body fat levels unquestionably mean low baseline levels of leptin.  Essentially, with every pound of fat you lose, the lower baseline leptin levels fall, making it even more difficult to lose the next pound.

Fun stuff, I know.

To recap:

Low body fat levels = low leptin

High body fat levels = high leptin

Uh oh.  Now I have to explain why “fat” people, if they indeed have the highest leptin levels because of their large amount of body fat, aren’t the leanest people in the world if leptin is so metabolic.

Good question, my smart fellow, but there is indeed an explanation, and that explanation is called “leptin resistance”.

Similar to insulin resistance, if leptin receptors are constantly being bombarded by high levels of leptin, they start to become less sensitive to the hormone.

This is what happens with insulin in Type II diabetics.  People eat crap food and loads of highly processed carbohydrates for years, flood their bloodstream with insulin every hour of the day, and gradually over time insulin receptors become so desensitized to the hormone to the point that insulin no longer “works”.

The same occurs with leptin.  Overweight people, who have been overweight for years, become resistant to the hormone due to massive amounts of leptin (caused by high body fat levels and high calorie intakes, which we’ll talk about in a minute) slamming receptors for extended periods of time.

I won’t go into too much further detail about leptin resistance and sensitivity here, but for the sake of the conversation, we’ll just say that leptin is “broke” in these individuals.

Can it be fixed?  Yes.  And I actually cover exactly how to do this in the Ninja Nutrition Tactics manual.

2.  Leptin is mediated by calorie intake.

In addition to leptin’s relationship with body fat, leptin is also pretty chummy with the amount of food you’re taking in on a daily basis.  That is, your calorie intake.

High calorie intakes = high leptin levels

Low calorie intakes = low leptin levels

That said, that darned “common sense” does come into play here as well (i.e. you can’t eat 5,000 calories a day and expect your high leptin levels to cancel out the rules of mathematics).

The important thing to recognize is that typical dieting, in which you are restricting calories on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, derails leptin “fo’ sheezy” (as the kids say), and there’s no getting around that.

This means that with chronic dieting, you WILL screw with leptin and you WILL hit a fat loss plateau, period.  It WILL happen-so whatcha gonna do about it?

That’s where Ninja Nutrition Tactics come in, and in the NNT manual, I reveal not one, not two, but ELEVEN of my absolute BEST methods for dealing with and overcoming any fat loss plateau.

Oh yeah, and I also talk quite a bit about the whole “getting really lean” thing, too, so let’s go back to that real quick.

As mentioned, the number one reason losing those last few pounds of fat is such a curse word is low leptin and the fact that your body does not WANT you to be single digit body fat-at all.

It’s all like “Noooooooooo, stay fat and keep me warmmmmm.  I’m colddddd.  And what are we going to do if we end up like Tom Hanks in that one movie-you know, the one with the volley ball.  That could happen.”

And theoretically, your body is correct.  But, being lean is way cooler than Tom Hanks (sorry, it’s true, I took a poll), so if you’re going to ever get exceptionally lean, you’re going to have to learn the ways of the Ninja.

And in addition to hormonal and leptin manipulation, there are quite a few other things that come into play which I openly share in the NNT manual.

Bottom line, it AINT easy to figure out, but the good news is that you don’t have to since I already did it for you.

Are you ready to embrace the Ninja code?  Are you ready for Ninja Nutrition Tactics?

Next week, I’ll be releasing the entire 63 page manual, detailing ALL 11 ninja strategies, for a few short days.  BUT, as I promised yesterday, I’ll be back tomorrow with a sample tactic straight from the manual just to give you a little “taste” of what you can expect.

Stay tuned!  In the meantime, want to learn 5 specific foods that have been shown to FIGHT abdominal fat?  Check out the below link:

==> These 5 foods actually FIGHT abdominal fat

*Ninja vanish*

Shogun Marion

Avoid this on your Cheat Day (at all costs)

Posted by Joel Marion on June 13, 2011

This post is short, but you’ll be glad you read it.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently regarding Cheat Days, particularly about the use of alcohol.

Seems that a lot of folks are using Cheat Days as their weekly excuse to indulge not only in their favorite foods, but also a considerable amount of alcohol.

Bad idea (unfortunately, I know).

The entire purpose of the Cheat Day is to upregulate leptin levels, resetting metabolism and creating a hormonal environment conducive to fat burning.

Alcohol consumption pretty much cancels out ALL of those positive benefits.  In fact, alcohol consumption has been shown to acutely LOWER plasma leptin levels which is in direct opposition to everything you are trying to accomplish with a Cheat Day.

In the end, Cheat Days + Alcohol = Fat GAIN.  That ain’t pretty.

Now, does that mean that you can’t have a drink on your Cheat Day?  No, but anything more than 2 drinks will begin to have a negative effect.

Basically, if you’re feeling the effects of the alchohol you consumed, you drank too much.  I know, bummer.

But, you have goals, and in order to reach them it will require some level of sacrifice.  Know that, embrace it, and move forward toward your goals.

Besides, I’ve already revealed to you how you can use full blown eat-whatever-you-want Cheat Days as frequently as every 5th day to lose fat at record speed, so it really isn’t that bad ;)

That being said, if alcohol is more important that your fat loss goals that is certainly a decision you’ll need to make.  Just giving you the facts so you can make an educated decision.

Keep rockin’,


P.S.  I’m now doing virtually ALL my cooking with coconut oil – if you want to know why, click HERE

==> Why I no longer cook with other oils

Two Dining Out Weight Loss Strategies (Unconventional)

Posted by Joel Marion on June 6, 2011

Last night while out to dinner I was reminded of two research studies (yeah, I know, I’m a geek).

Allow me to set the stage.

We pull up to El Vez—a hip, Mexican-American restaurant in center city Philadelphia serving up some of the best guacamole (next to Eva’s of course) that I’ve ever had the pleasure of sampling.  A truly euphoric experience for my mouth and buds of taste.

And naturally, when you have what is a somewhat euphoric encounter when visiting a restaurant, you make other visits to said restaurant…and I do…often.

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3 Scenarios – Who Burns More Fat?

Posted by Joel Marion on June 2, 2011

In yesterday’s post, we discussed several different ways to create a 300 calorie deficit:

  • Skip the morning bagel (-300 calories)
  • Walk on the treadmill for an hour and half (-300 calories)
  • Perform a very high intensity interval session (-300 calories)

In all 3 instances, the net calorie burn is -300 cals; however, as mentioned in the previous post, scenario 1 sucks, scenario 2 really sucks, and scenario 3 trumps them all–by far.

And today I want to share 3 other “scenarios” with you, with yet another lesson to be learned.

Out of the below 3 individuals, who will burn more fat and achieve better, faster results?

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How Will YOU Burn 300 Calories?

Posted by Joel Marion on June 1, 2011

If you’re looking to shed body fat, there’s simply no getting around the fact that you absolutely must create some sort of caloric deficit.

Any way you look at it, you MUST burn more calories than you consume.

Now, it can get quite a bit more complicated than simple math would have us believe, but the fact remains–a deficit must be in place for fat loss to occur.

But, there are many different ways to create a deficit, some more effective than others.

For example, if you’d like to create an additional 300 calorie deficit per day, you could simply skip your morning bagel (approx 300 calories).  Fairly simple to do, unless you have some weird affinity toward bagels like I do.

OR, you could walk for an HOUR on the treadmill and create the same 300 calorie deficit.

OR, you could do a 10 minute high intensity interval training workout and create the same 300 calorie deficit.

And here’s where things get a little more complicated than the numbers suggest.

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Two Ways to Use Fasting to Boost Results

Posted by Joel Marion on May 31, 2011

I’m just getting back from a fun-filled Memorial Day weekend in San Diego with a bunch of my fitness buddies like Braig Callantynez, Vinny D, The Truth, and Dr. K.

We had a blast exploring the famous San Diego Zoo, catching some rays on Mission Beach, and of course eating our share of delicious holiday weekend food.

And today I’m fasting.

No, not to “make up” for my weekend indulgence, but rather because I know that strategically placed fasting can lead to faster fat loss when done correctly.

Here are my two favorite strategic methods:

1.  The Post-cheat Fast:  This is my favorite version of strategic fasting and the version I’m currently employing today.  Why?  Because when you use it you can lose up 2 lbs of pure fat in ONE day.

Tony-the-Tiger awesome (I know he says GRRRRREAT, but awesome is better).

You see, after a Cheat Day your body is in an optimal fat burning state with important body fat regulating hormones like leptin and T3/T4 at their peak.  In other words, there is no other day in which your body is primed to burn MORE fat than on this day.

And that’s why the Post-cheat Fast works so well – it creates a massive calorie deficit on a day in which your body WANTS to release fat.

To perform it, consume only non-calorie liquids from when you wake up until you wake up the next morning.  Essentially, it’s 36 hour fast.  For example, if fasting on Monday you only consume non-calorie liquids until breakfast on Tuesday.

Want to lose even more fat on a Post-cheat Fast Day?  Throw in lots of activity and strategically timed exercise.

This is exactly what we do in my Xtreme Fat Loss Diet program and one of the reasons the program yields such rapid results.

2.  The 24-hour fast:  The 24-hour fast, as it’s name suggests, is when you fast for a 24 hour period.  It is more or less the equivalent of eating only one meal.

For example, after dinner on Tuesday you fast until dinner on Wedneday (24 hour period).  Your dinner on Wednesday would then be approximately the same size (or slightly larger) than your “normal” dinner.

This method, when used 1 – 3 times a week, allows you to create a greater weekly caloric deficit  by incorporating several very managable low calorie days each week.

I recommend placing higher carboydrate days in between 24 hour fasts to spike important metabolism-regulating hormones.  This will allow you to get the most out of each 24-hour fast.

Again, strategic fast days are one of the pillars of my Xtreme Fat Loss Diet program.  If you’re interested in losing up to 25 lbs in 25 days, check it out here:

==> http://XtremeFatLossDiet.com

Do YOU use fast days?  If so, what has your experience been?  Respond below!  At least 100 comments and I’ll be back w/ ANOTHER killer blog this week.

Talk to you in the comments section!


Win a FREE copy of the Xtreme Fat Loss 2.0 System!

Posted by Joel Marion on May 19, 2011

We’re going to make this post extremely quick and easy.

To enter to win one of the 7 free copies of the entire Xtreme Fat Loss Diet 2.0 system that I’m GIVING AWAY today, simply reply in the comments section below this post (reply form is at the bottom of the page) with the following information:

In 250 words or less, I want you to tell me exactly why this program is the perfect program for you at this point in your life.  Tell me WHY you NEED access to this information.

Again, please keep your reply less than 250 words, and please, leave finances out of your reply.  This program (via our special launch pre-sale) will be affordable for literally anyone who wants access to  it.  Anyone.

So, again, leaving the financial stuff out, I want you to tell me, based on everything you’ve learned about the strategic Xtreme Fat Loss Diet 2.0 system over the last 6 updates, why this program is the perfect fit for you.

I will keep the contest open for a full 24 hours, and then I’ll go through the replies and notify the winners via email sometime late Saturday!

Good luck!


NOTE:  This contest is now closed.

Eva Longoria, Avocado, and One Helluva Recipe

Posted by Joel Marion on May 5, 2011

I don’t know about you, but if I’m flipping channels and come across Eva Longoria, the remote stops there.

At least for a little while.

In fact, Eva’s probably the only reason I started watching Desperate Housewives several years back, and quite unexpectedly, I found that I actually enjoyed the show.

Weird, I know.

Well, just so happens that yesterday I got a little two-for with Eva ‘s guest appearance on the Martha Stewart show.  Sure, it was a re-run, but whatever, she’s hot.

And not only that, but she also makes a pretty mean guacamole.

How do I know?  I watched the show and tried the recipe.  So when I say that this bad-boy is killer, I speak first-hand.

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The BEST Time of Day to Eat Carbs

Posted by Joel Marion on May 5, 2011

There are actually two best times.


But really, there is only one.


Let me explain.

You see, the best time to eat carbs is when your body is best primed to deal with them (that’s the “one” rule), and this happens to occur twice a day:

1.  In the morning

2.  After intense exercise

For one, loads of research has shown that glucose tolerance is highest in the morning, making it a no brainer to consume a large portion of your daily carb intake at breakfast when your body is best equipped to process them.

If you’re someone who consumes frequent meals, mid-morning is a another great option.

Basically, the rule is this:  eat your carbs in the morning, not the afternoon or evening.  Unless…

…you’re performing intense exercise.

Perhaps (well not perhaps, it’s true) an even better time to eat your carbies is after exercise.  During the 1-2 hour window post workout your body is ultra primed to suck up carbs for recovery, energy replenishment, and other anabolic processes (and NOT fat storage).

Here are some sample daily “carb-friendly” schedules for both exercise and non-exercise diets.

Exercise Day:

Breakfast:  protein/carbs
Mid-morning:  protein/fat
Lunch:  protein/fat
Mid-afternoon:  protein/fat
Evening (after exercise): protein/carbs
Pre-bed: protein/fat

Non-exercise Day: 

Breakfast:  protein/carbs
Mid-morning:  protein/carbs
Lunch:  protein/fat
Mid-afternoon:  protein/fat
Evening: protein/fat
Pre-bed: protein/fat

Want to learn some other quick fat-burning strategies that contain FOOD?  Check out my buddy Isabel’s video here:

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