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Archive for the ‘Diet/Nutrition’ Category

Red Meat and Your Health (Not What You Think)

Posted by Joel Marion on May 2, 2011

On Friday I got a package in the mail.

It was a BIG package.

It was also an unexpected package.

Don’t you just love it when that happens?

Well, turns out that a friend of mine decided to send me about 20 lbs of organic grass fed beef as a thank you for some consulting I helped him with the other week.

Pretty freakin’ sweet, eh? (He’s from Canada, so he’ll appreciate that)

Of course, I made a point to defrost them immediately while planning to fire up the grill several times over the weekend for a 2-day feast of fresh burgers and NY strip steaks (and broccoli, and grilled asparagus, and a few huge salads :-)

Who says low carb meals can’t be fun?

Click here to continue reading

Big Breakfasts Win Again

Posted by Joel Marion on April 15, 2011

A few weeks ago I exposed the benefits of eating breakfast, particularly a BIG, protein-rich breakfast, and wouldn’t ya know, researchers from The University of Kansas Medical Center and another team from Virginia Commonwealth University decided to give us even more proof and reason to be following those exact recommendations for the most rapid weight loss.

Study #1 – University of Kansas Medical Center

This study analyzed the effect of a protein-rich breakfast on appetite and overall daily calorie consumption among teens who typically skip breakfast.

In the study, teens either consumed a protein-rich breakfast of solid foods, a protein-rich breakfast beverage (i.e. meal replacement shake), or a breakfast meal containing minimal protein.  All meals were 500 calories each.

The result?

Click here to continue reading

The TRUTH About Salt

Posted by Joel Marion on February 3, 2011

You may have heard that a high salt/sodium intake causes high blood pressure and should be avoided.  Well, that’s…not true. 

You see, a high sodium intake does not cause hypertension (high blood pressure).  The hormone aldosterone acts on the kidneys to conserve sodium for bodily functions; however, when sodium is consumed in high amounts, aldosterone release is blunted and any excess sodium will simply be excreted.  As a result, sodium balance remains normal over a large intake. 

Eat less of it and your body retains more; eat more and your body gets rid of what it doesn’t need.  This is the case with all apparently healthy individuals who do not already have a blood pressure condition. 

The only circumstance in which individuals may benefit by monitoring their sodium intake is if they have already been clinically diagnosed as suffering from hypertension and are also salt sensitive.  I stress “and” because only 20% of the population is salt sensitive; so for 4 out of every 5 people suffering from hypertension, lowering sodium intake isn’t going to do much, if anything at all. 

And even for those that are salt sensitive, the actual magnitude of the decrease in blood pressure as a result of the lowered intake may not even be substantial enough to warrant decreasing sodium consumption as a method to treat high blood pressure.

Now, I normally wouldn’t kick a myth when it’s down, but a high sodium intake can actually benefit athletes and fitness enthusiasts for the following reasons:

  • A higher sodium intake yields a greater overall blood volume and blood flow to the working muscles.  With increased blood flow, the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to the working muscles is maximized.  This is particularly important when an amino acid containing beverage is consumed prior to the workout, as more aminos will be delivered to the working muscles, resulting in greater rates of protein synthesis and recovery.  Also, increased blood flow will actually increase performance in that removal of various fatigue toxins (lactic acid, CO2, etc) will occur at a faster rate.
  • It is the responsibility of sodium to deliver potassium into the cell membrane of muscle tissue.  If not enough sodium is present, the body is forced to deliver the potassium via “active transport” across the membrane.  In this case, active transport is not the preferred method of transportation and as a result less potassium will be transported across the membrane less often. 

And yet another myth about sodium is that a high intake causes tons of water retention and a bloated appearance.  While, yes, increased sodium intake will cause some initial water retention, the retention is only temporary.  As soon as the body becomes accustomed to the higher intake, aldosterone release will be blunted and the excess water will be excreted.

So no, consuming high amounts of sodium does not cause hypertension (and is rarely effective by itself in treating the condition) and may actually a good idea if you want to optimize your workout performance.

My friend Isabel expands on the “salt myth” in this video and also shares 3 of her favorite fat burning foods:

3 Fat Burning Foods and more on sodium <——- watch here

Question or comment on today’s post?  Drop your reply in the comments section below!

Talk to you in the comments section!


An interesting reason you may not be progressing…

Posted by Joel Marion on January 31, 2011

The #1 Roadblock to Your Success
By Bill Phillips

After 20 years of helping over one million people transform their bodies and lives I know one thing for certain: As odd as it may sound to you right now, you can’t enjoy lasting weight loss, along with long-term health and happiness, without FIRST transforming what’s going on ‘beneath the surface.’  (I call this an ‘inside out approach’ and it’s making a world of difference for those who experience it.) 

Sure supersized portions, addictive ‘nutrient dead’ foods, and inactivity are literally killing millions of Americans and robbing children of their healthy futures. But the truth is, unless you address excess body fat with a holistic approach—meaning you consider the mind, body, heart and soul—you’re not going to get lasting results.

Period… end of story.

That statement is so important I’d like to say it again in a more direct way…

Statistics Show That 95% of Dieters Are Never
Going To Lose Weight And Keep It Off If
They Only Focus On Food And Exercise Alone

Their old patterns, unresolved emotional blocks, addictive habits and limiting beliefs will, sooner or later, cause them to rebound and spiral out of control… again and again.

Has this ever happened to you: One day you’re following a diet, losing weight and feeling hopeful but the next thing you know you’re overweight and unhappy again?   

If you’re like most people, this hasn’t happened to you just once… it’s happened many times over the years. In fact, I’m sure you know people who have been trapped on the weight loss rollercoaster for decades and the darn thing just won’t stop.

This brings me to a very important point that I want to really emphasize: Until you get to the root of what causes weight problems, you’re going to be stuck living the rest of your life in a body you’re ashamed of… along with the mental, physical and emotional health consequences that come along with it. 

The reality is simple:  Dieting is like clipping a weed at the ground surface—as long as the root is intact, it will come back. But I’m sure you don’t need to hear this from me—when you think about it, your past experiences have proven this to you over and over again.

You see, as long as you’re still the same inside–at the level of your thoughts, beliefs, patterns, and emotions–you simply haven’t undergone a true transformation. And any temporary weight loss results you do get will soon rebound and ‘snap back’ just like when you release a stretched rubber band.

What’s more, as you’ve probably experienced yourself, each time you try and fail to stick to a diet, it lowers your calorie-burning metabolism as well as your emotional well-being. As a result, you tend to gain even more weight until you want to give up completely.

And to make matters worse, science has shown that all of this negative emotional ‘baggage’ we carry around such as anger, frustration, stress, grief, shame, anxiety, depression, negative thinking and loneliness contribute to an imbalance in the brain which triggers cravings to eat, even when you’re not hungry. What’s more, these same emotions can negatively impact our health by lowering our immune system and increasing our risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

That’s the BIG roadblock with traditional diets—they completely ignore the root of the problem that’s driving you to overeat and feel bad. Fortunately there’s a new breakthrough…

The Bio-Balance Solution: How
to Lose Weight By Feeling Good

A leading Neurologist named Ronald Ruden, M.D., Ph.D., has done groundbreaking work in how emotions and thoughts impact something he calls ‘bio-balance.’ The simple explanation of ‘bio-balance’ is when you’re free from toxic emotions, negative thoughts, and you feel connected to other people in the world, your brain becomes much healthier and happier. This in turn allows you to feel good, enjoy a healthy state of mind, control your weight and experience more energy!

Bio-balance is a natural state of being that Mother Nature intended you to be in.

On the other hand, when your brain is out of bio-balance, it’s constantly working against you by causing cravings and stress, which of course lead to over eating, weight gain, poor health, low energy, and depression. 

Here’s a question… Do you ever eat when you feel angry, stressed, anxious or lonely? If so, the cause may be coming from a lack of bio-balance.

The Serotonin Connection

To be more specific, a brain neurotransmitter called serotonin plays a big role in bio-balance. You see, when our bio-balance is off, serotonin levels become low, and not only are we not happy (actually, we’re depressed), but another one of our natural brain chemicals, called dopamine, can become overactive.

Do­pamine is the ‘gotta-have-it’ neurotransmitter. It’s what makes us crave and strive for everything from certain foods, to alcohol, to nicotine, to unhealthy, compulsive behaviors.

When we ‘score’ one of those things, our brains release serotonin and for a short period of time we’re satisfied, we’re fulfilled. But then serotonin levels dip again and dopamine drives us into another cycle of craving, seeking, getting… and this addictive pattern continues, over and over again, unless our bio-balance is corrected.

The good news is that there’s a scientific, safe and natural way to restore healthy bio-balance so we can lose weight, feel better, and enjoy life more than ever.

If you’re looking for THAT answer – the real secret to end yo-yo dieting and the “falling off the wagon” phenomenon once and for all – then please make sure to watch your email closely tomorrow.  I’ve got a really big surprise for you, and you’re not going to want to miss it.

All the best,

Bill Phillips
#1 NY Times Bestselling Author – Body-for-Life®


Got a question or comment on today’s article?  Drop it below and we’ll be here to interact with you personally!

Why Your Morning Coffee is Making You FAT

Posted by Joel Marion on January 25, 2011

If you’ve been following my advice of including a good portion of your daily carbohydrate intake at breakfast, you might want to skip your morning coffee, unless it’s decaf, that is.


Well, the recommendation to consume ample carbohydrates at breakfast is due to the fact that glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity are at their peak in the morning – basically, your body is primed to “deal” with carbohydrates quite well during the first few hours of the day, and that ability continues to wane as the day goes on.

So where does coffee come in?

Well, quite a few studies have shown that caffeine intake acutely decreases glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, sabbotaging your generally “good” ability to process carbohydrates in the morning.

Here’s just one of many studies:

Caffeinated coffee consumption impairs blood glucose homeostasis in response to high and low glycemic index meals in healthy men.
Moisey LL, Kacker S, Bickerton AC, Robinson LE, Graham TE. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1254-61.

Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

DESIGN: Ten healthy men underwent 4 trials in a randomized order. They ingested caffeinated (5 mg/kg) coffee (CC) or the same volume of decaffeinated coffee (DC) followed by either a high or low glycemic index (GI) cereal (providing 75 g of carbohydrate) mixed meal tolerance test.

CONCLUSION: The ingestion of caffeinated coffee with either a high or low GI meal significantly impairs acute blood glucose management and insulin sensitivity compared with ingestion of decaffeinated coffee.

In the end, decreased insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance = more insulin, less fat burning, and more fat storage; three things you DON’T want if you’re looking to shed those unwanted pounds.

Suggestions:  If you’re going to consume coffee or caffeine in general, it’s best consumed at times in which you are not consuming substantial carbohydrate.  This means ditching caffeinated coffee with breakfast in favor of decaf, and also avoiding energy drinks and other caffeine boosters during workouts in which a carbohydrate recovery beverage is being consumed.

Speaking of workout nutrition, my buddy Jayson Hunter just wrote a killer report about what you should NEVER eat after a workout – and you can download it for free here:

What to NEVER eat after a workout <——- Free Download

Question/Comment?  Drop it below!

Talk to you in the comments section!


Five DIRT CHEAP Protein Sources

Posted by Joel Marion on January 20, 2011

If you’re looking to transform your body, then protein is perhaps the most important macronutrient you could ever have on your side.  It’s the macro with the highest thermic effect of feeding (i.e. you burn calories by eating it), it helps you regulate insulin by causing the secretion of insulin’s antagonist, glucagon, and it provides the vital building blocks for building muscle and recovery.

BUT, it’s also typically the most expensive macronutrient, and THAT’S the problem I’m here to solve today with the below 5 DIRT CHEAP protein sources:

#1 – Eggs.  A dozen eggs provides 72 grams of protein for about $1.69.  At that rate you can even go Organic and have an extremely inexpensive meal.

#2 – Whey.  At anywhere from 50 cents to $1 for 20 grams you just can’t go wrong.  One of the purest, most bioavailable protein sources available.

#3 – Beans and Lentils.  A can of beans or lentils packs about 45 grams of protein (and fiber!) for about a buck!

#4 – Cottage Cheese.  48 grams of protein ready to eat out of the container for $1.69 – not too bad!

#5 – Tuna.  Perhaps the cheapest of all lean protein sources, a can of tuna yields approximately 42 grams of protein for just under $1.

Getting your daily protein requirements (I recommend about 1 gram per pound of lean body mass daily) doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive by any means; in fact, it can be DIRT CHEAP by getting a good portion of your daily protein from the above sources.

Feel like I saved you at least 5 bucks on your next daily grocery run?  If so, we’ve got something really cool going on today – yep, in fact you can try my entire Xtreme Fat Loss Diet program where you can lose up to 25 lbs in just 25 days for just 5 measly bucks until the end of today:

==> Try the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet for just 5 mealy bucks

Don’t believe you can really lose up to 25 pounds in 25 days?  Plenty of before and after pictures on that page to PROVE it:

==> Xtreme Fat Loss Diet is $5 to try until the end of today

Keep rockin’!


Twinkie Diet EXPOSED (A Calorie STILL is NOT a calorie)

Posted by Joel Marion on January 18, 2011

In response to my Calorie is NOT a Calorie post the other day, several readers posed questions about the “Twinkie Diet”, a dietary experiment whose results seemed to suggest otherwise (that indeed all calories were equal for fat loss).  Here’s one such question:

But what about the Twinkie Diet? A guy lost something like 40 pounds [Note: the actual amount was 27 lbs] eating only Twinkies (and a few multivitamins)… If they were only Twinkie calories, shouldn’t he have gained weight? He set out to prove that a calorie is a calorie, even if it is not unprosessed or proteinful food. Why didn’t he get fat?

I responded in the comments sectoin of that post, but let me go in to a bit more detail here:

First, just to clarify, the actual amount of weight lost was 27 lbs, or an average of 2.7 lbs a week over a 10 week period.

Having said that, the test subject only reduced his calorie intake by 800 calories daily, which equates to a deficit of 56,000 calories.  A pound of fat is 3,500 calories, so even if the entire caloric deficit resulted in pure fat loss (which it never does) this would only equate to 16 lb loss of body fat.

In reality, of the 27 pounds lost, the dieter would be lucky if 50% of it was actually fat — absolutely terrible if you enjoy your muscle and give a rip about your metabolism.

The important distinction here is that between “weight loss” and “fat loss”.  

If this particular dieter made much more appropriate food choices and his calories were derived from different (i.e. better) foods, he would have lost much, much less lean body mass.

And let me ask you this:  Which do you think LOOKS better in the end?  27 pounds of “weight loss” in which half is lean body mass?  Or a lesser amount of pure fat loss?  Here’s the truth:  no one truly cares about the numbers on the scale…they care about how they look.  If they lose 40 lbs and are still ashamed to take their shirt off, it’s likely not the outcome they were looking for.

And you be the judge on if you’d like to look like Mark Haub, the infamous Twinkie dieter.

The other point to consider is what type of deficit needs to be achieved in order to lose fat in a situation in which calories are being derived from crappy sources (such as snack cakes).

Of course if you eat 1800 calories of twinkies (when you maintain at 2600 cals) you’ll lose fat, but you could lose just as much fat (and much less lean body mass) eating a higher calorie level of wholesome, natural foods.

To sum it up, if someone has all 5 of the factors that I shared in my previous article working against them vs. someone having all 5 factors above working for them — and calories are equal — the person having all factors working for them will lose more fat, less muscle, and at a higher calorie intake.  All in all a much more desireable situation.

To recap, the 5 factors are:

1.  Eating foods with a high thermic effect of feeding (i.e. protein)

2.  Eating higher fiber foods with indigestible calories

3.  Choosing low glycemic index foods to control insulin

4.  Avoiding the combination of carbs and fats in the same meal

5.  Eating small, appropriately timed meals

And of course, there are a million other inherent problems with the Twinkie Diet, including ridiculously small portion sizes, etc, but today I just wanted to tackle it from calorie perspective.

If you missed the first part of this series, click here for full details on each of the above.

For Five Foods that Fight Abdominal Fat, Click HERE.

Questions/Comments?  Post ’em below and I’ll talk to you in the comments section!

Keep rockin’,


How I’m burning an extra 406 Calories a day

Posted by Joel Marion on January 9, 2011

This month my brother in crime and one of my absolute best friends Vince Del Monte (and his kick-butt wife Flavia) are staying with my wife Lisa and I here in warm, sunny Tampa.  You know, I can’t imagine why the heck someone would want to get out of the 19 degree weather in Canada during the winter, but whatever the reason, we’re all currently on a mission to get in some serious shape.

Vinny is set to take the stage and compete in the Canadian Fitness Model Championships come April, and I’ve got a little contest of my own going on.  So how are we getting ready?

Well I’ll tell you one thing we’re NOT doing — going out to eat.  In fact, every evening this week Lisa, Flav, Vinny, and myself sat down to an AMAZING dinner at home, and they’ve honestly been some of the best meals I’ve eaten in a long time:

Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast
Canjun Style Catfish
Organic Grass Fed Bunless Cheeseburgers
Organic Grass Fed NY Strip Steaks
Organic Omega-3 Egg Omelets with Roasted Red Peppers and Artichokes

All served with a huge mound of veggies, like grilled eggplant, roasted squash, zuchinni, and onion, grilled asparagus, sugar snap peas, and steamed brocolli.  A little olive oil, garlic, and/or organic butter…man, we’ve been eating good.  And oh yeah, some killer salads…roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, artichoke hearts.  DE-LI-CIOUS.

And we’ve been saving an average of 406 calories EVERY day simply by eating at home, as a recent study discovered that eating out just one meal adds approximiately 406 calories to one’s daily calorie total as compared to days in which those same individuals didn’t eat out.

And there’s more:

**Restaurant dining, on average, costs FIVE times more than groceries bought for a home-cooked meal.

**People who eat out often eat 25% less fruits and veggies compared to those who eat in.

Skip out on 406 calories daily, save a bundle of CA$H, and eat a much more balanced, nutrient-rich diet – sounds like a winning combo to me, all achieved by enjoying delicious, home-cooked meals instead of those prepared at a restaurant.

My challenge to you:  Skip restaurant dining for the next two weeks, and instead make it a point to dine in.  I guarantee your results will thank you for it (as will your wallet).

Want another EASY way to burn 8 lbs of fat without doing ANYTHING?  My buddy Jon Benson just posted a really cool tip here:

==> How to burn 8 lbs of fat without doing ANYTHING (30 second tip)

Keep rockin!


P.S. Are you up to take the 2-week challenge with me?  Questions?  Comments?  Post your replies below in the comments section!

9 MORE easy X-mas fat-loss strategies

Posted by Joel Marion on December 24, 2010

As promised and in continuation of yesterday’s article, here are 9 MORE x-mas week fat loss strategies to help you stave off unwanted weight this week!

Strategy #9: Go Non-Alcoholic

Don’t get me wrong, I like to have a few beers or a glass of wine from time to time, so I’m not going to tell you to completely give up alcohol throughout the holidays.

But, what I will suggest is that the majority of your beverages at holiday get-togethers be of the non-alcoholic variety.

Simply put, alcoholic beverages are perhaps the easiest way to add unnecessary calories to your daily total, and unfortunately, it doesn’t end with just the calorie total.

Excessive alcohol intake also creates a hormonal environment in the body very conducive to fat storage, making those calories much more likely to negatively impact the number that shows next time you step on the scale.

So, what’s “excessive” or “how much is too much”. Well, I think we all know that. If you’re regularly getting “tipsy” or drinking to the point of intoxication, then you’re physique is going to take a hit for it.

Enjoy a (non-sugary) drink or two when appropriate, but stick with non-calorie beverages otherwise.

Strategy #10: Modify Your Plate

Sometimes you just want to enjoy what’s there without having to be picky, choosey, or limit your selections.

If that’s the case, here’s a tip that will absolutely keep you from overdoing it while keeping your calorie intake in check:

Use dessert sized plates.

Yep, just go ahead and grab a plate from the dessert line and then head over to the “dinner” line.

Controlling portion size just happens to be one of the best ways you can regulate calorie intake without necessarily giving up your favorite foods.

Smaller plate = smaller portions, and with smaller portions come fewer calories across the board.

As an added benefit, research has shown that people tend to overeat and eat beyond the point of “fullness” when large portions are in front of them. With the smaller plate option, you’ll likely be very content when you finish without “mindlessly” continuing to stuff yourself just because the food is there in front of you.

Strategy #11: If You Don’t Love It, Don’t Eat It

Learning to be selective will prove to be a highly-helpful skill when approaching holiday meals, parties, and buffet lines.

Simply put, you don’t need to eat everything that’s there. If we’re being completely honest, we probably don’t even really like everything that we toss on our plate and instead just include it because it’s available.

So, here’s another valuable suggestion: If you don’t absolutely love it, don’t eat it. As you go through the line or as foods are passed along the table, only dish out your absolute favorites while skipping over the selections that you can probably do without.

Stock Up on the “Good Stuff”

In addition to choosing your favorites, whatever veggies are available, piling them on your plate. They’re filling, will compliment the other items on your plate, and will easily help you adhere to the next rule.

Strategy #12: One and Done

Here’s a realistic insight:

Most of the weight we put on during the holiday season comes from the second (and sometimes third) helping, not the first.

And while it’s easy to go back in for more, a great way to cut out half the calories you’d normally eat at a holiday function is to limit yourself to only one helping.

So, go ahead and fill up your plate (remember, we’re using smaller plates), but once you’re done, you’re done.

Adhere to this one rule alone and you’ll automatically cut in half your calorie intake this holiday season.

Strategy #13: Make the “Announcement”

Here’s perhaps the easiest way to avoid going back for seconds.

My good friend Vince DelMonte hooked me this tip as while back, and as simple as it is, it works unbelievably well.

In fact, I actually did this at the dinner table the other night when out with friends, and it was easily the most comfortable social situation I’ve ever been in while sticking to my diet and moving forward to my goals.

When you arrive at a party or sit down to the table, let people know what you’ve committed to.

Something as simple as “Hey, just want to let everyone know, I’m on a mission to drop some pounds. This food looks amazing, and I plan to enjoy a full plate, but if you see me back in the buffet line, kick my butt into gear.”

People respect that and they’ll back you up.

From then on out, you never have to worry about people who “don’t know” your goals constantly offering you food, and beyond that, it’s a huge source of accountability for you.

I can guarantee that when you put this simple strategy into practice, you won’t even think of going in for seconds. It’s extremely easy to resist once you give people “expectations” for you to live up to.

Strategy #14: Chew, Chew, Chew

Now, I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but let me ask you this.

Do you ever really make a conscious effort to take your time between mouthfuls? Probably not.

A good rule of thumb is to chew your food at least 20 times before swallowing while giving yourself a bit of a breather between bites.

Trust me, the food will still be there.

Eating slowly and with a high chew-count gives your body time to realize it’s getting full—in the end you’ll be just as content while consuming far fewer calories.

Consciously give it a try, and I guarantee it will make a difference.

Strategy #15: Compensate

Fact is, you’re going to consume more calories from November through January than you normally would at other times of year, even if its just moderately more—that’s reality.

A natural combatant would then be to increase your physical activity to burn more calories. Walk more, run more, throw in an extra gym session or stay a bit longer than usual—whatever you can do to be more active and burn more calories during this time will go a long way.

Strategy #16: Write It Down

In addition to the “announcement” tip above, another great way to establish accountability is to keep a food journal and daily exercise log.

While you may or may not be used to doing this, during times where it’s easy to go off track, keeping a journal of some sort is exceptionally helpful to keep you in check.

There’s just something about having something in writing and tracking your progress simply throughout the day that makes you that much more apt to “stick to it”.

Strategy #17: Serve Yourself “Half” First

Here’s an idea that can make the small plate method even more effective:

Serve yourself only “half” first, filling up the plate half-way and then taking time to sit, eat slowly, chew, and enjoy what’s there.

Then, you have the added bonus of being able to go back for the other half!

It’s funny how simple psychology works, but even though it’s the same amount, you just feel like you’re eating more when you’re able to “go back” for more.

Enjoy today’s post?  Which was your favorite strategy?  And  what strategies do YOU personally use to help avoid weight gain at special holiday events and parties?  Drop your comments below!

Talk to you in the comments section,


8 EASY X-Mas Fat Loss Strategies

Posted by Joel Marion on December 23, 2010

With Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day all happening this week, I’ve put together a list of EIGHT different strategies that you can use to curb the “typical” weight gain.  Enjoy!

Strategy #1: Feast On Protein

So you’re scoping out the buffet set-up at a holiday party and you’re contemplating what to eat. I’m betting there’s a turkey there. Or a ham. Or some shrimp cocktail.

Eat it, and only that, until you’re full.

Protein is, by nature, very filling. And by filling up on lean protein, you’ll avoid other, potentially more destructive food items at the buffet.

And best yet, you still leave satisfied.

Another benefit of protein is that it also helps your body process carbohydrates more effectively by stimulating the release of the hormone glucagon—a hormone which helps to control blood sugar and curb the fat-storage properties of insulin.

So if you do indeed add some carbs, they’ll become much less of a threat to your waistline.

Strategy #2: Do NOT Drink Calories

Calories in beverages are wasted calories. They do nothing to increase satiety or fullness, and can very easily tack on a serious amount of caloric damage to any evening.

If it has calories, don’t drink it, plain and simple.

If you’d like some variety beyond plain water, go with a flavored water or other diet beverage.

Just please, do NOT fall victim to 500 calories of fat-storing high fructose corn syrup. Simple avoidance, great benefit.

Strategy #3: Know Your First Move

While we’re on the topic of beverages, here’s a great tip to go into any holiday party with.

As soon as you arrive, before you do anything else, pour yourself a big glass of water, drink it down, and wait 15 minutes before eating anything. Mingle with the crowd, say hello, etc.

This is a simple, extremely effective way to curb your appetite and give yourself a sense of fullness before heading to the dinner line and is sure to make a difference in the amount of food you end up adding to your plate.

Strategy #4: Be Hospitable

Many times the parties we attend throughout the holidays are “potluck” buffet style where each person is responsible for brining their own dish to contribute to the menu.

If you’ve ever worked in an office, you know what I’m talking about.

This is a great opportunity for you to contribute something healthy to the table, and in turn make it extremely easy for you to make a healthy choice. Simply eat your own meal.

This way you KNOW exactly what’s in it and how it was prepared, a huge plus (i.e. everything that looks healthy isn’t necessarily so).

And even if the party isn’t potluck, bring something to contribute anyway. I haven’t met a host yet that doesn’t appreciate help from others when it comes to feeding the guests.

Strategy #5: Arrive “Full”

I’m sure you’ve heard the recommendation that you never go to the grocery store hungry as you’ll just end up buying everything in sight, spending way too much money, and making a bunch of unhealthy choices because everything looks “so good”.

Well, I’m going to give the same suggestion for holiday parties (again, this is for the one or two that don’t fall into your holiday “cheat” schedule).

Instead of showing up with your stomach growling and mouth salivating, take action to ensure you arrive in the exact opposite position. How? Easy. Eat a BIG, healthy meal just prior to heading to the party.

In fact, I can remember one time when I actually stopped at Salad Works on the way to a party and sat down to a huge bowl of leafy greens, grilled chicken, and veggies. When I arrived at the party full, all of a sudden all those desserts didn’t look nearly as appetizing.

Easy, super effective way to avoid falling into temptation.

Strategy #6: Be “Normal”

This one goes right along with the previous tip. In an effort to avoid the “damage” of a big meal or party, most people don’t eat anything else all day leading up to the big event in order to “save up” the calories.

Big mistake, and for several reasons.

First, when you go into a meal or party incredibly hungry, you will absolutely overeat to a much higher degree than you would otherwise.

Bigger portions of calorie dense, fatty/carb-laden food = WAY more calories than you would have naturally eaten throughout the day.

Secondly, eating nothing only to follow it up with a big, high-fat/high-carb/high-calorie meal leads to a greater percentage of those calories than normal to be stored as fat.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by starving yourself all day. Eat as you normally would and then hit up the party.

Strategy #7: Try An (Effective) Appetite Suppressant

While we’re on the topic of arriving “full”, if you want a little extra “curb” to your appetite, you may want to give a little known supplement a try that has considerable appetite suppressant effects.

It’s called 5-HTP and it’s about the only thing that I’ve found to actually have a noticeable affect on my appetite.

As far as the most “popular” appetite suppressant goes, Hoodia, there’s too much trouble finding a legit hoodia product for me to recommend it. That, and I’ve found 5-HTP to be more effective anyway.

Shoot for 100mg just prior to a meal, if you’d like to give this one a shot.

Strategy #8: Deplete Before A “Big” Day

While the previous tip doesn’t work for “damage control”, this one certainly does.

One of the things I teach my clients to do is “prep” for a big day full of food with a depletion workout the day before.

You may or may not know, but there’s plenty of “food” stored within your muscles in the form of both carbohydrate and fats.

Carbohydrate (when stored in muscle, called “glycogen”) and fats (when stored in muscle, called “intracellular triglycerides”) are actually stored within muscle tissue as an energy source to fuel activity.

Fat is a slower energy source, so something as simple as doing a lot of walking the day before a party is a great way to deplete some of your intracellular triglyceride stores.

As for glycogen depletion, go with something akin to circuit-style weight training. Keep the load light, do a lot of repetitions, and really “go for the burn”.

Going into a big meal with depleted intramuscular energy stores (brought about via energy-depleting exercise) will lead to much of that meal refilling those stores as opposed to being tacked onto your waist, hips, and the ol’ gluteus maximus.

Enjoy today’s post?  Which was your favorite strategy?  And  what strategies do YOU personally use to help avoid weight gain at special holiday events and parties?  Drop your comments below!

At least 50 comments and I’ll be back tomorrow with 9 more EASY X-mas fat loss strategies!

Talk to you in the comments section,


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