A little while ago I posted a fat loss exercise programme and I was asked to outline a basic diet protocol that will make the best match for the training, you can read the article here
Well, I wish it was so simple! Let me explain but it wont be short and easy read!
When it comes to diet I use a protocol that addresses all possible issues encompassing our modern lifestyle.
The name of the game is HIGH TESTOSTERONE in Men and balanced sex hormones (progesterone and estrogen) in Women with highest possible testosterone. I say “possible” because if all other hormones (insulin, cortisol, thyroid, progesterone and estrogen) are in balance women produce 10 times less testosterone than men which is a bitch but it is not men to be blamed for that, just remember that,women. (:
Just want to open a bracket here because some of the female audience may suffer/have suffered from very high testosterone but this usually is due to other hormones being imbalanced. High testosterone in women is mainly caused by high insulin and cortisol resistance which takes me to the next point.
To optimise your sex hormones and start burning that stubborn fat around your waist and hips you will need to put youeself under a healing proccess. I say healing because now days we have lost sense of optimal health. Doctors know very well how to keep us moving and existing but they fail miserably when it comes to showing us how to live a life at full potential.
This is only achievable if you accept the fact that we ourselves are the only people responsible for our own health, not the doctors or anybody else!
I am a strong believer that there is an intimate and positive correlation ship between OPTIMAL HEALTH, possessing WELL DEFINED, MUSCULAR PHYSIQUE and our HORMONAL STATUS.
One of the best (probably the best) anti aging doctors in world Dr. Thierry Hertoghe explains it better than anybody else.
Dr. Theiry Hertoghe talks about real hormonal/testosterone replacement therapy (HRT/TRT) but it goes to show that these powerful anabolic hormones can do wonders for you health and physique. If you have watched the video you would have understood that there is also a lot that we can do to optimise our own production of those anabolic and health promoting hormones.
So if you are feeling a little flabby and experiencing post Christmas syndrome it is time to restart the system.
Here a few steps that you can implement into your lifestyle so you start the healing process hence optimising your sex hormones hence burning the fat.
The main objectives when it comes to optimising our sex hormones is to do anything possible to manage our insulin and cortisol. Because when you have a good insulin and cortisol management, sex hormones automatically shoot up to optimal levels. Easy said than done though! Most of the time (I say “most” because some time we need high insulin and cortisol) our objective should be to dump or eliminate the production of those two catabolic hormones (I know, I know… They both can actually be anabolic but not for the regular gym goer with more than 20% body fat) Bellow I have outlined the most important culprits in our busy centralised society that constantly put us into parasympathetic mode or aka fight or flight mode or aka “STRESS MODE“. if you tackle all these problems at the same time (please note that the key is “AT THE SAME TIME“) results are guaranteed. It takes a lot of discipline and determination but let’s be honest- if it was easy, everybody will be in great shape. And after all, we all want to be special, right?Just kidding! (:
Modern toxins are the worst endocrine disruptors and not in our favour hence disrupting our sex hormones, turning men into women and women into men.
Toxicity is a big problem- our bodies have to deal with more than 3000 non biological chemicals on daily basis. Practically speaking, it is virtually impossible to avoid toxins today but there is a lot we can do to minimise the toxic load to our system and to support better liver function to help the excretion of toxins.
It is ironic that the substance that we need most than anything else to detoxify our bodies is heavily contaminated– WATER!
Ditch the tap water! Especially if you live in big cities anywhere in the world. UK is the worst, especially London. Tap water is full of fluoride, antibiotics and birth control pills. Fluoride is bad! Do you know that Hitler deliberately used fluoride to contaminate the water supply in the concentration camps so the prisoners stay compliant and dumb. But don’t just take my word for it, read the article here.
All these chemicals will slow down your thyroid and disrupt your hormonal matrix. Brita Filter won’t do the job, you will need more sophisticated system than this. I ask clients to start with bottled water from various supermarkets. I like Ashbeck from Tesco, Mountain Water from M&S and Fidji. I know some of you can argue against the plastics as phthalates are also endocrine disrupters but at the end of the day you can only do what is best at a given moment and if I have to chose water from the tap and good quality well stored bottled water, I would go for the bottled water. If you want really good quality water to the purest possible form. Buy a water distiller apparatus from here.
Make some distilled water then ionise and further filtrate it again with the pimag water filter. I have done a lot of research to find the most cost effective water purification system and this is the best I could come up with. You can get a pimag water filter from the link here.
Deodorants and personal care products. I am not going to go in details for this. Just read the article bellow and decide what you could possibly change in order to minimise the toxic load. Anything will be great investment for your heath hence optimised sex hormones, hence better fat loss. For more information read this article.
Broccoli sprouts and any cruciferous vegetables are great detoxifiers. This include cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, and turnip. It is mainly due to the high content of two very potent biochemicals – sulforaphane and Di-Indoly Methane (DIM). You can take both of these nutrients as supplements but I would rather have you eating real food first and use your hard earned money for some other more important supplements which I will present to you in the second part of this article.
As you help your system to detoxify at same time you optimise your sex hormones hence achieving optimal health hence fat loss happens naturally with less effort.
2. Sort out your sleep. Sleep is the key to achieving a lean and attractive physique.
Most of the natural human growth hormone (HGH) is produced in the first 4 hours of sleep. HGH is responsible for many functions in the body but when it comes to burning fat it is the king.
Take this study from Penev et al. for example. Where the researchers gathered up a group of healthy men to test their testosterone levels first thing in the morning when they had just woken up. They also gave these men a wrist band that showed how long each guy had slept.
The results showed that the guys who had slept for 4 hours, had testosterone levels hovering around 200-300 ng/dl.
Compare that to the guys who slept for 8 hours, they had their levels at around 500-700 ng/dl.
There are other negative health implication with poor sleep. Just read the article here as this could be a long topic.
Bottom line- put yourself in sleep!
One of our modern society problem is the pollution of light and all electronics that surround our domestic environment. Good investment would be a pair of blue light filter glasses, like these
Wear these once you get home from work so you start the process of calming down and the stimulation of melatonin . More on pollution of light.
For some people cyrchediam rythm will be so out of balance so they will need additional help with natural remedies to help them fall a deep sleep. I like these two products Sweet Dreams 1.0, and Ubermag Plus PX both together work synergistically.
Sleep so you start restoring your health, your hormones and lean your way sleeping! Again, it is not losing weight, it is achieving optimal health.
3. Intestinal Premability (or Leaky Gut), gut bacteria and food sensitivity. It is too long to explain but here is some relevant read on the subject.
You can read about Leaky Gut, here.
All you need to know that if you eat foods that you are even mildly intolerant to, this will cause chronic inflammation hence hormonal disruption hence low testosterone and chronically elevated cortisol. NOT GOOD FOR FAT LOSS!
A lot of people will disregard this since because it doesn’t fit into their believe system and doctors are just about now starting to get familiar with the this concept but many of them are still behind the contemporary science in functional medicine. The truth of the matter is that it is true and it is real. When you understand this science then the calorie counting philosophy goes out of the window because when you try to stay away from the most common food allergens your calorie intake naturally drops and you can not naturally consume more calories than you need even if you try. I never heard anybody complaining that the night before they overate on broccoli or brussels sprouts!
THIS IS WHY I HAVE NEVER COUNTED CALORIES FOR ANY OF MY TRANSFORMATIONS.
You can do some basic and cheap or sophisticated and expensive tests but the reality is that if you are after fat loss you most likely have some mild intolerances to dairy, gluten and other common foods.
Here is a list of the allergens that come up on almost all food sensitivity tests that I have come across over the years.
- Gluten. By the way gluten free options are not an option as 50% of them actually contain gluten. Besides, most of them will spike your sugar levels too high- gluten rice pasta,gluten free rice cakes, ground almonds truffles , etc. They are all full of sugar and no guarantee that they are gluten free. Your best bet is to stick to vegetables.
- Wheat , barley, grains
May I just open a bracket here because this is a response from new clients that I get all the time.
“But this is unrealistic and I can not imagine my life without pizza”. Well, then you need a therapist not a nutritionist or a personal trainer. There are a lot more worst things that can happen to us than not being able to eat a particular food group for the rest of our life. You might get killed in a terrorist attack or in car accident, or lose a relative or die from hanger (people are dieing from hunger as we speak) or may be living in Syria at the moment. I would definitely chose not to eat some of my favourite shitty foods for the rest of my life rather than something of aforementioned happens to me! So I am lucky!
But never the less I am not asking you even that, all of the above food groups can be reintroduce in your diet again once you gut gets healed except gluten. If you are sensitive to gluten, it is for life, sorry!
The best guy to listen to about the harmful impact of gluten to our physiology is Dr. Tom O’Bryan
Also , scientists have already understood that the gut microbiome is associated with metabolic markers and type II diabetes. And again, you may not be obese or that overweight but if you are looking for optimal health then your gut bacteria and gut function need to be just as good as healthy 5 years old kid. More on the subject click on the link here.
Sometimes it takes up to 3 months to restore gut health but for most people anything between 3-6 weeks will do the job.
Adding some fermented food to all your meals may help the process. I would love to start my day with a glass of cabbage juice and spoonful of organic turmeric and weed grass.
Again, heal your gut to restore your health, optimise your sex hormones and finally lose the flab effortless.
4. Insulin Resistance
The medical audience only talks about insulin resistance once you get diagnosed with diabetes or you are considered prediabetic.
Well, but they fail miserably to tell you what is optimal insulin sensitivity. They actually never use this term, may be because it is the opposite to insulin resistance. Your objective with your diet and life style should always be to increase insulin sensitivity.
Without having a blood test one way you would know that someone has got even mild insulin resistance is by measuring their body fat. Very lean people have very good insulin sensitivity and most of the time good blood sugar management. Fat people will be resistant to insulin and always poor blood sugar management. Lean people would be able and should have some starchy carbohydrates in the diet and will be able to tolerate sugar much better than fat people. Fat people should stick with veg and may be 1 fruit a day or none. I know it sounds unfair but this is the reality. This is why people get everything wrong when they follow lean and muscular social media gurus. What people dont realise is that particular diet may work for those fitness models but it wont work for them if they start with a body fat in the range of 20% and above.
Also, do you know that one of the big advantages using HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) makes one more insulin sensitive which changes everything. Why? Because it allows one to have excellent insulin and sugar management thus more carbohydrate daily intake.
What really gets my blood pressure over 160/100 is when I see young online fitness models/gurus or simply personal trainer that have never made any effort to stay lean in their life and testosterone is steaming out of their ears, promoting healthy fruit smoothies, porridge for breakfast and 250g carbs a day from starchy carbs or simple sugars (rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, “healthy” gluten free but high in sugar snacks, shakes, etc.) as healthy food choices. This really gets me out of my skin when I see body builders that are clearly on steroids promoting their way of eating to the general public.
It does work for them (body builders) but it will never work for the average person above 30 years of age with more than 20% body fat.
People perception is that you are meant to start with a very loose diet and as you get leaner you will need to restrict the diet more! Nothing can be further from the truth! For all my transformations on my website I had all my clients on very strict diet (but not calorie restrictive) to begin with and then I gradually added the carbs (which on its own makes the daily calorific intake and other food groups back into their diet once they start getting leaner.
Modern world (and this is literally everywhere now) eats and drinks way too many carbohydrates than it should. End off!
I am not a carb nazi but my philosophy is that you should earn your carbohydrates by getting leaner. A lot of people get this concept wrong, they think they can eat a bit more carbs because of the level of physical activity they do on daily basis. “I have run 5k and now I deserve my chocolate rice cakes dipped in maple syrop” or “I have trained hard for 5 days and now it is the end of the week and sweet potatoes chips and rice are well deserved”. WROOOOOOONG, let alone pint of beer or other high carb alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks and snacks!
The only way you would know that you are deserving those carbs is by getting leaner! Only your body composition can tell you that you are ready for those carbs, nothing else!
For most people above the 20% body fat, having a ball of porridge or a glass of fruit juice or a portion of rice or potatoes will send their blood sugar over the top. And if you are one of those people and you have doubts you can easily check this with a standard glucometer that you can purchase from any pharmacy shop.
Within an hour after a meal, a healthy person with good insulin sensitivity will rarely experience blood sugar exceeding 140 mg/dL. At the second hour you need this value to be down bellow 120 mg/dL. Remember: these values are not the values you will find on the charts at the doctor’s office as what we talk about here is optimal health. The traditional ranges for blood sugar set the bar too low and categorise too many people with early insulin resistance but yet not prediabetic or diabetic. Now you can take all the guess work out of the equation and check every time when you eat how your body is responding to the food that you are eating!
if you are my client I would rather have you on high daily calorie intake (1500-2000) but with exceptional insulin and cortisol management than you having less calories (900-1200) and you spike your insulin 3 times a day with wrong food choices.
You can see two of my many successful transformations- a href=”https://www.trueperformance-fitness.co.uk/results/”>Chris and< Jon
When they first started their transformation programme I have them both on a very strict (but not calorie restricted) elimination diet and then we moved to a paleo diet with some carb cycling every 5th day. By the time they got to their final look ( Jon- 9% body fat and Chris- 6% body fat measured from the callipers) they both had a high carb meal every day and high carb liquid drink after training. Chris even had a whole day every Saturday where he was eating 4000-5000 calories on that particular day from very sugary foods and he would come on Monday and I would measure his body fat and it will be down. Having said that though, you have to know that when he first started his programme he was only allowed to lick 10 times a dry prune once a week!
I will stop here for now and I promise that if you find this content interesting I will post next week my strategy that I have used successfully for more than 8 years and it has been evolving and fine tuning consistently to get to its final form and shape.
Live Your True Potential!