Debunking Some Diet Myths

There are countless myths about diet foods telling you how to lose weight and shed dozens of pounds is just a matter of weeks. However, when something sounds too good to be true, it typically is. Being able to recognize these common myths is important as you research your weight-loss strategy.

  • Eating at Night Makes You Fat – Many diets tell you not to eat after a certain time in the evening. They say the body will store more fat because it is not burned off with any activity. A study at the Dunn Nutrition Centre in Cambridge suggests otherwise. Volunteers were placed in a whole body calorimeter, which measures calories burned and stored. They were fed with a large lunch and small evening meal for one test period, then a small lunch and large evening meal during a second test period. The results revealed the large meal eaten late at night did not make the body store more fat. It’s not when you eat that’s important, but the total amount you consume in a 24-hour period. There is no difference in the quality of calories based on the time you eat them. The only important thing is the total number your body consumes each day. As a trainer to elite athletes and models, I do suggest that they avoid starchy carbs in the latter part of the day, and focus on eating fibrous carbs after midday.
  • Rice and Beans Must Be Eaten Together – There is no digestive partnership between rice and beans; the nutrients of these two can be absorbed both together and separately.
  • Gaining Weight due to Poor Digestion – If your body is unable to process something, it will actually lead to weight gain and nutrient deficiency, rather than losing weight.
  • Microwaving Eliminates Nutrients – The temperature at which you cook food can affect nutrient integrity, but not the tool you use. In fact, microwaves cook things so quickly that many of the nutrients are retained.
  • Gluten-free Diets for All – Gluten intolerance and sensitivity are real medical conditions, but for people without those issues, gluten is perfectly healthy, and has never been directly linked to any negative health issues.
  • Fasting is Good for You – Juice cleanses and physical fasting can be a good way to re-set your appetite, but its ability to detoxify the body is no better than normal food, considering that the body has very powerful organs that can detoxify the body without any help from your dietary choices.
  • Low-fat or no-fat diets are good for you – Leading dietician Lyndel Costain says: ‘People tend to think they need a low-fat diet to lose weight, but you should still have a third of your calories coming from fat.’ The body needs fat for energy, tissue repair and to transport vitamins A, D, E and K around the body.
  • Crash dieting or fasting makes you lose weight – This may be true in the short term, but ultimately it can hinder weight loss. The loss of lean muscle causes a fall in your basal metabolic rate – the amount of calories your body needs on a daily basis. This means your body will need fewer calories than it did previously, making weight gain more likely once you stop dieting. It’s also why exercise is recommended in any weight-loss plan to build muscle and maintain your metabolic rate.
  • A slow metabolism prevents weight loss – This is a common myth among dieters who are struggling to lose weight. Studies have shown that resting metabolism – the number of calories used by the body at rest – increases as people become fatter. In other words, the larger you are, the more calories you need to keep your body going and the higher your metabolism. Clare Grace, research dietitian at the Queen Mary University of London, says: ‘Weight gain occurs when the number of calories eaten is greater than the number used up by the body. ‘Unfortunately, people are becoming increasingly sedentary, burning off less and less calories, and it seems likely this is a crucial factor in the increasing numbers struggling to control their weight.’
  • Fattening foods equal rapid weight gain – Believe it or not, true weight gain is a slow process. You need to eat an extra 3500 calories to gain one pound of body fat (and vice versa for losing it). Lyndel Costain explains: ‘If the scales say you’ve gained a few pounds after a meal out, it’s largely due to fluid, which will resolve itself – as long as you don’t get fed up, and keep overeating!

‘A lot of people feel guilty and think they’ve blown their diet if they eat rich foods. But, how can a 50g chocolate bar make you instantly put on pounds?

‘For long-term weight control, balance high-fat foods with healthy food and activity.’

  • Low-fat foods help you lose weight – ‘Low-fat’ or ‘fat-free’ doesn’t necessarily mean low calorie or calorie-free, warns Lyndel Costain. Check the calorie content of foods, especially cakes, biscuits, crisps, ice creams and ready meals. Extra sugars and thickeners are often added to boost flavour and texture, so calorie content may be only a bit less, or similar to standard products. Foods labelled low-fat should contain no more than 3g fat per 100g. ‘Watching the quantity is important,’ adds nutritionist Alison Sullivan. ‘People tend to have half-fat spread but then use twice as much. ‘And things like fruit pastilles may be low in fat, but are high in sugar which turns to fat. ‘With low fat foods, look to see where else the calories might come from.’
  • Cholesterol is bad for you – Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is made mostly by the liver. It can be bad for us, because it forms deposits that line and clog our arteries. Clogged arteries contribute to heart disease. But we all need some blood cholesterol because it’s used to build cells and make vital hormones – and there’s good and bad cholesterol. Lyndel Costain explains: ‘Saturated fats found in food like meat, cheese, cream, butter and processed pastries tend to raise low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, known as ‘bad’ cholesterol, which delivers cholesterol to the arteries. ‘High density lipoprotein (HDL), or ‘good’ cholesterol, transports cholesterol away from the arteries, back to the liver.’ So choose unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.
  • Banana myth – Many people believe bananas are fattening. Bananas are low in fat and are packed with potassium. There is only 0.5g fat and 95 calories in a banana.
  • Vegetarians can’t build muscle -Vegetarians can be as muscular as meat eaters by getting their protein from vegetable sources such as cheese, nuts, pulses and grains. Claire MacEvilly says: ‘You need protein to build muscle, but too much can lead to long-term side effects.
  • You always gain weight when you stop smoking – Some people gain weight when they stop smoking, some lose weight and some stay the same. While nicotine does increase the body’s metabolism, its effect is small. It’s far healthier to be an overweight non-smoker than not bother giving up because you think you’ll put on weight. Alison Sullivan says: ‘Where people tend to fall down is when they replace a cigarette with comfort food. ‘Chewing sugar-free gum or snacking on vegetable strips kept in the fridge is a good idea because you can have these instead of reaching for the cookie tin.

Dylan Duthie

Background & Personal Information:

Dylan 20180121_195459.jpg
Before and After
Name Dylan Duthie
Date or Birth 1 February 1991
Home Town Port Elizabeth
High School Westering High School
Gym At Edge Fitness
Contest Weight 88kg
Years Training 7 years
Favourite Body Part Shoulders
Favourite Exercise Shoulder Press
Training History:
How did you get started?  As a kid I was very small (59kg). When I finished school and started working, I joined the gym and took it from there. John Cena was my inspiration back then to get big.

What Workout Routine Worked Best for you? Every day focusing on 1 muscle group and steadily increase the volume and weight as I get stronger and stamina increases, I also do cardio 3 times a week to stay leaner.

What Nutrition/Eating Plan Worked Best for you? Lots of eggs, chicken and oats, occasional red meats and rice as well as Whey Protein Shakes.IMG-20180127-WA0003.jpg

What tip would you give other aspiring Bodybuilders?  Never give up. Don’t let life get you down


What Supplements have given you the greatest gains?  Whey Protein

Why do you like, and what motivates you to stick to the bodybuilding lifestyle?  I like it because hard work and dedication will reap rewards and good results physically. It keeps me mentally strong as well, having goals and something to work towards.

What are your future plans in bodybuilding? In 2018 I am planning on competing in at least 3 Bodybuilding Competitions in the Eastern Cape and go on tho the SA Champs.

Who are your favourite Bodybuilding heroes? Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jay Cutler and Lee Priest  

I Bet You Would Not have Guessed:

About Me: I enjoy cars and drag racing

My ride:  BMW M3 and Opel Astra

My most painful injury: broken tibia, fibula, patella and forearm in a motorcycle/motorcar accident in 2013

Favourite Food: MC Donald’s

Favourite Movie: Saw saga

At a karaoke bar, I’ll most likely be singing: Superhero – Bain ft Chris

Catch me shopping: Wherever my girlfriend wants to shop

My TV is always on (what channel): YouTube – RX Muscle

That I’d secretly like to be: Chicken Farmer (eggs)

When I’m not training, I’m eating and chilling at home, watching YouTube

What do you look for in a woman? Good personality and good traits

Playing on my iPod is: I don’t have an iPod


Training Plan

Monday : Chest

Tuesday: Legs

Wednesday: Shoulders

Thursday: Arms

Saturday: Legs

Eating Plan

Meal 1: Eggs and Oats

Meal 2: Whey Protein Shake

Meal 3: Chicken and Rice

Meal 4: Eggs and Rice

Meal 5: Whey Protein Shake

Meal 6: Whatever my girlfriend makes for supper (mince, chicken, omelette, ostrich, veg etc.)

Meal 7: Whey Protein Shake before bedtime

Cuppa Joe

If you love your coffee as much as I do, then you would be happy to know that coffee in moderation does have health benefits. The most impressive health benefits of coffee include its ability to improve cognitive health, aid in weight loss efforts, boost energy levels, reduce the chances of developing diabetes, maximize fitness efforts, and increase liver protection. It also helps to optimize the metabolism, prevent certain types of cancer, and protect the cardiovascular system against damage.

What Is Coffee?

Coffee is a beverage prepared from the beans of its plant. Coffea arabica is the most commonly used bean, but there are many different varieties depending on the region of the world you are drinking coffee in, or in the region, you are importing the beans from.

Known around the world for its wide variety, taste, and stimulating nature, coffee is one of the most popular beverages on the planet, with 100 million daily drinkers in the United States alone. Billions of cups are drunk every day around the world; estimates put the total at 500 billion cups every year.

Coffee represents the top agricultural export for 12 countries of the world, and despite its slightly acidic and addictive nature, it continues to be in demand from Japan to New Jersey in massive quantities. Historically, it was first recorded as a drink just over 500 years ago, beginning on the Arabian peninsula, but there is a speculation that its use as a stimulating beverage stretches back more than 1,000 years in various ancient and indigenous cultures. Now, it is drunk in nearly every country of the world, and almost daily, even 5-6 times a day. While offices have larger machines, at home people often have single serve coffee makers which work best for the small requirements.

Coffee Nutrition Facts

Coffee beans have important organic compounds and nutrients, including a range of B-family vitamins, including riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin, as well as potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Perhaps most importantly, they contain caffeine, which has a wide range of health benefits when consumed in moderation and at right times during the day.


Health Benefits Of Coffee

Coffee has some surprising benefits, many of which are due to its chemical composition and nutrients. Let’s discuss the commonly known benefits in detail.

Improves Cognitive Function

It is widely known that coffee helps to sharpen your mental focus and increase attention by stimulating the brain with caffeine. While this can sometimes result in a mental crash if too much is consumed, the regular process of drinking coffee has been shown to protect the cognitive health and prevent mental degradation as we age. In fact, studies have shown that elderly people who consume it on a regular, moderate basis are 60% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia. Keeping those synapses firing with some caffeine isn’t a bad idea!

Weight Loss

An overlooked benefit of coffee is that it energizes people to move around, get active, and burn calories faster. The actual stimulant nature of caffeine speeds up the body’s metabolism briefly and increases calorie burning when coffee is drunk. Furthermore, it acts as an appetite suppressant, so you can calm cravings and remain firm in your dieting goals with a cup of Joe on your side!

Maximizes Fitness Goals

Many people who regularly work out or train in a gym use coffee as a final burst of energy so they can get the most of their workout. The burst of caffeine in it acts as an instant energy boost, allowing people to push themselves a bit longer and a bit harder to really begin seeing results from their exercise regimen.

Improves Heart Health

Although too much caffeine can put a strain on your cardiovascular system, research has revealed that regular coffee drinkers can reduce their risk of having a stroke. In women, coffee seems to lower the risk of heart diseases. It may increase your blood pressure temporarily, but that does not mean a stroke or heart disease is inevitable. It can often work to clear out the system and keep your heart functioning at an optimal level.

Prevents Diabetes

This is a newly discovered benefit learned about coffee, but in recent years, studies have shown that people who regularly consume the drink have a 23-50% lower chance of developing diabetes. The study covered nearly half a million people and returned some very interesting results. This could be due to the appetite suppressing effects of coffee, or the fact that it simply makes you more energized and active, helping to reduce your risk factors for diabetes. It however will have no effect if you load up on the sugar!

Increases your Metabolism

One of the essential roles of B vitamins in our body is to regulate and guide our metabolic activity. The significant levels of niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin mean that coffee helps us optimize our metabolic efficiency, maintain balanced hormone levels, and generally keep your body running smoothly.

Protects Liver

Although this is still an area that is being heavily researched on, coffee consumption has been linked to an improved liver health, particularly in the prevention of cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver disease. One study showed that regular consumption resulted in an 80% reduced chance of developing cirrhosis of the liver.

Prevents Cancer

It seems that everyone is always looking for the magical anti-cancer cure, as the disease is one of the most deadly and widespread on the planet. Coffee is not traditionally thought of as anti-carcinogenic, but it has been linked specifically to the prevention of two types of cancer – liver and colo-rectal cancer, which are the 3rd and 4th deadliest forms of cancer, respectively.

Reduces Depression 

The natural effects of coffee are to energize and activate the mind and body. This can do wonders for someone suffering from depression and has even been connected to a reduced occurrence of suicidal tendencies. However, it has been connected to anxiety and mood swings if consumed in excess, because the classic caffeine crash can be quite severe as the chemical’s effect runs out. Remember – everything in moderation!

The Myth Of The Flat Tummy


How your stomach appears when you look down, in the mirror, or from the side is based on many more factors than your body fat or body type.

Your tummy’s appearance can be affected by things like: anterior pelvic tilt, certain foods, fluid retention, and the way your body responds to exercise.

That being the case, it can be very beneficial and empowering to learn how to make the most of these factors in order to achieve your goal physique.

Spot Reduction Myth:

Unfortunately, spot reduction is not real, it is all a myth perpetuated by ‘Fitness Gurus’ and marketing companies wanting to sell the ‘Real Ab Thing”.

While the idea sounds legitimate enough, you will not get a flat stomach by performing thousands of crunches. You would definitely have worked hard and you would probably built some strength, but you won’t wake up with 6 pack abs.

Much of it comes down to nutrition. Abs are made in the kitchen.  You may never have a perfectly flat stomach, but if you avoid foods that induce bloating or fluid retention, decide to keep your calorie count at or below maintenance for your body type, and consistently stay hydrated throughout the day, you are well on your way to your goal physique.

Anterior Pelvic Tilt:

Anterior pelvic tilt is when your pelvis is tilted forward towards your toes, rather than straight up and down.

This causes both your butt and stomach to stick out, enlarging the appearance of each. This often occurs because of tightness in the hip flexors, quadriceps, and spinal erectors.

That being the case, your goal should then be to stretch your hip flexors, quadriceps, and spinal erectors.

Another factor contributing to this phenomenon is weak glutes and hamstrings. Because of this, you should also work to strengthen these muscles.


Anterior Pelvic Tilt Correction Routine

Perform this routine when your body is already warmed up in order to keep from getting injured.


Foods That Add To The Bulge:

Ever finished a meal and feel pregnant afterwards? (Ignore this question if you are, indeed, pregnant.) This happens because of the way your body reacts to certain foods. Certain foods can cause bloating and water retention, which makes your stomach appear larger than it actually is.

In order to remedy this, avoid the following groups of food when you’re heading out for a day at the beach or planning on being in a situation where you want to look your best.

  • Gluten: This includes wheat, rye, barley, and anything else that contains these grains. Some examples are: flour, pasta, bread, tortillas, beer, cereal, cookies, muffins, etc. Foods containing gluten can cause bloating in individuals who are either allergic or sensitive to it.
  • Dairy: Many individuals are lactose-intolerant without fully realizing it. The lactose in milk can cause your stomach to bloat, making it appear larger than it is.
  • Soda: The gases from the carbonation in these drinks can build up in your stomach, leading to bloating.
  • Sugar-free foods: These foods often contain sugar alcohols, which can lead to bloating.
  • High-sodium foods: Sodium enables your body to hold onto water. This fluid retention can make your muscles look less defined and cause your stomach to appear bigger than it really is.

Exercise Bulge:

Having your stomach bigger from exercise seems counterintuitive doesn’t it? Most people exercise to be free of a bloated-looking stomach. However, exercise can sometimes be the culprit of a bulging tummy.

When you first begin exercising, this is somewhat inevitable. Exercise breaks down muscle fibers through hypertrophy and then builds them back up to be stronger, and often, bigger.

Get a personal trainer to help you with your form in the beginning, as more often than not, your core control during training is incorrect and this may cause your tummy to bulge.  You can also benefit from keeping your calories at or below maintenance level, and beyond the initial burst of growth; your abs will not swell up any larger.

If you are still eating more calories than you burn once you begin exercising, you may have trouble losing fat. Generally, fat can sit on top of the abdominal muscles. Pair this with the fact that the size of your abs is increasing and you are likely going to have a larger-looking stomach than you initially expected.

The remedy for this is simple. Consider dropping your calories slightly below maintenance level, eat the right foods and that fat will begin to disappear.

6 Foods That Cause Inflammation

Inflammation can be good or bad, depending on the situation. On one hand, it’s your body’s natural way of protecting itself when you are injured or sick. It can help your body defend itself from foreign invaders, and can stimulate healing.

On the other hand, chronic, sustained inflammation in the body can be harmful. It is linked to an increased risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and many others (123).

Interestingly, the foods you eat can have a major effect on inflammation in your body.

Here are 6 foods that can cause inflammation.

1. Sugar and High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are the two main types of added sugar in the diet.

Sugar (sucrose) is 50% glucose and 50% fructose, while high-fructose corn syrup is about 55% fructose and 45% glucose.

One of the reasons that added sugars are harmful is increased inflammation that can lead to disease (45678).

In one study, when mice were fed high-sucrose diets, they developed breast cancer that spread to their lungs, in part due to the inflammatory response to sugar (6).

In another, the anti-inflammatory action of omega-3 fatty acids was impaired in mice that were fed a high-sugar diet (7).

And in a randomized clinical trial where people were assigned to drink regular soda, diet soda, milk or water, only those in the regular soda group had increased levels of uric acid, which drives inflammation and insulin resistance (8).

Sugars can also cause harm because they supply excess amounts of fructose. While the small amounts of fructose in fruits and vegetables are fine, getting large amounts from added sugars is a bad idea.

Eating a lot of fructose has been linked to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, fatty liver disease, cancer and chronic kidney disease (9101112131415).

Researchers have also found that fructose causes inflammation within the endothelial cells that line your blood vessels (16).

High fructose intake has also been shown to increase several inflammatory markers in mice and humans (101718131920).

MAIN POINT: Consuming a diet high in sugar and high-fructose corn syrup drives inflammation that can lead to disease. It may also counteract the anti-inflammatory effect of omega-3 fatty acids.

2. Artificial Trans Fats

Just about everyone agrees that artificial trans-fats are the unhealthiest fats you can eat.

They’re created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats, which are liquid, in order to give them the stability of a more solid fat.

Trans-fats are often listed as “partially hydrogenated” oils on the ingredients lists on food labels.

Most margarine contains trans-fats, and they are often added to processed foods in order to extend shelf life.

Unlike the naturally occurring trans fats found in dairy and meat, artificial trans fats have been shown to cause inflammation and increase disease risk (212223242526272829).

In addition to lowering beneficial HDL cholesterol, trans-fats have been shown to impair the function of the endothelial cells lining the arteries (26).

Ingestion of artificial trans-fats has been linked with high levels of inflammatory markers such as interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor (TNF), and C-reactive protein (CRP).

In fact, CRP levels were 78% higher in women who reported the highest trans-fat intake in the Nurses’ Health Study (26).

In a randomized controlled trial of overweight older women, hydrogenated soybean oil increased inflammation significantly more than palm and sunflower oil (27).

Studies on healthy men and men with elevated cholesterol have shown similar increases in inflammatory markers in response to trans-fats (2829).

MAIN POINT: Consuming artificial trans-fats may increase inflammation and raise the risk of several diseases, including heart disease.

3. Vegetable and Seed Oils

Despite what we’ve heard for years, consuming vegetable oils isn’t healthy.

Unlike virgin olive oil and coconut oil, vegetable and seed oils are often extracted from foods using solvents like hexane, a component of gasoline.

The vegetable oils made this way include corn, safflower, sunflower, canola (also known as rapeseed), peanut, sesame and soybean oils.

During the 20th century, the consumption of vegetable oils increased by 130% in the US.

Due to the structure of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in these oils, they are very prone to damage by oxidation.

In addition to being highly processed, these oils promote inflammation as a result of their very high omega-6 fatty acid content (30313233).

Although some dietary omega-6 fats are necessary, the typical Western diet provides may more than people need.

In fact, we should be eating more omega-3-rich foods, such as fatty fish, in order to improve our omega-6 to omega-3 ratio and reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3s.

In one study, rats who consumed an omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of 20:1 responded with much higher levels of inflammatory markers than those who consumed a ratio of 1:1 or 5:1 (33).

MAIN POINT: Because of their high omega-6 fatty acid content, vegetable and seed oils may promote inflammation when consumed in high amounts.

4. Refined Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap.

However, the truth is that not all carbs are problematic.

Our ancestors consumed high-fibre, unprocessed carbohydrates for millions of years in the form of grasses, roots and fruits (34).

However, eating refined carbohydrates can drive inflammation, which in turn may lead to disease (3435363738).

Refined carbohydrates have had most of their fibre removed. Fibre promotes fullness, improves blood sugar control and feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Researchers report that the refined carbohydrates in our modern diet may encourage the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria that can increase risk of obesity and inflammatory bowel disease (3436).

Refined carbohydrates have a higher glycaemic index (GI) than unprocessed carbohydrates. High-GI foods raise blood sugar more rapidly than low-GI foods do.

In one study, older adults who reported consuming the highest amount of high-GI foods were 2.9 times more likely to die of an inflammatory disease like COPD (37).

In a controlled study, young, healthy men that were fed 50 grams of refined carbohydrate in the form of white bread responded with higher blood sugar levels and an increase in the inflammatory marker Nf-kB (38).

MAIN POINT: High-fibre, unprocessed carbohydrates are healthy, but refined carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels and promote inflammatory changes that may lead to disease.

5. Excessive Alcohol

Moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to provide some health benefits.

However, higher amounts can lead to severe problems.

In one study, the inflammatory marker CRP increased in people who consumed alcohol. The more alcohol they consumed, the more their CRP increased (39).

People who drink heavily often develop problems with bacteria moving out of the colon and into the body. This condition, often called “leaky gut,” can drive widespread inflammation that leads to organ damage (4041).

To avoid alcohol-related health problems, intake should be limited to two standard drinks a day for men and one standard drink a day for women.

Here is an image showing what is considered a “standard drink” for several types of alcoholic beverages:


Photo Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

MAIN POINT: Heavy alcohol consumption can increase inflammation and potentially lead to a “leaky gut” that drives inflammation throughout the body.

6. Processed Meat

Consuming processed meat is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stomach cancer and colon cancer (424344).

Common types of processed meat include sausage, bacon, ham, smoked meat and beef jerky.

Processed meat contains more advanced glycation end products (AGEs) than most other meats.

AGEs are formed by cooking meats and some other foods at high temperatures. They are known to cause inflammatory changes that can lead to disease (4546).

Of all the diseases linked to processed meat consumption, colon cancer’s association is the strongest.

Although many factors contribute to colon cancer development, one mechanism is believed to be an inflammatory response to processed meat by colon cells (47).

MAIN POINT: Processed meat is high in inflammatory compounds like advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and its strong association with colon cancer may be due in part to an inflammatory response.

 In Summary

Inflammation can occur in response to many triggers.

Some of these you can’t do much about, such as pollution, injury or sickness.

However, you have much more control over the foods and beverages you choose to eat and drink.

To stay as healthy as possible, keep inflammation down by minimizing your consumption of foods that trigger it.


Also Read: Ways to Drop Water Fast & Safely

25 Evidence-Based Weight Loss Tips

The weight loss “industry” is full of myths.

Over the years, however, scientists have found a number of strategies that seem to be effective.


Here are 25 weight loss tips that are actually evidence-based.

  1. Drink Water, Especially Before Meals

It is often claimed that drinking water can help with weight loss, and this is true.

Drinking water can boost metabolism by 24-30% over a period of 1-1.5 hours, helping you burn off a few more calories (12).

One study showed that drinking a 500ml of water about a half an hour before meals helped dieters eat fewer calories and lose 44% more weight (3).

  1. Eat Eggs For Breakfast

Eating whole eggs can have all sorts of benefits, including helping you lose weight.

Studies show that replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs can help you eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours, and lose more weight and more body fat (45).

If you can’t eat eggs for some reason, then that’s fine. Any source of quality protein for breakfast should do the trick.

  1. Drink Coffee (Preferably Black)

Coffee has been unfairly demonized. Quality coffee is loaded with antioxidants, and can have numerous health benefits.

Studies show that the caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism by 3-11%, and increase fat burning by up to 10-29% (678).

Just make sure NOT to add a bunch of sugar or other high-calorie ingredients to it. That will completely negate any benefit you get from the coffee.

  1. Drink Green Tea

Like coffee, green tea also has many benefits, one of them being weight loss.

Green tea contains small amounts of caffeine, but it is also loaded with powerful antioxidants called catechins, which are also believed to work synergistically with the caffeine to enhance fat burning (910).

Although the evidence is mixed, there are many studies showing that green tea (either as a beverage or a green tea extract supplement) can help you lose weight (1112).

measuring visceral fat

  1. Cook With Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is very healthy. It is high in special fats called medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently than other fats.

These fats have been shown to boost metabolism by 120 calories per day, and also reduce your appetite so that you eat up to 256 fewer calories per day (1314).

Keep in mind that this is not about adding coconut oil on top of what you’re already eating, it is about replacing some of your current cooking fats with coconut oil.

  1. Take a Glucomannan Supplement

A fibre called glucomannan has been shown to cause weight loss in several studies.

This is a type of fibre that absorbs water and “sits” in your gut for a while, making you feel more full and helping you eat fewer calories (15).

Studies have shown that people who supplement with glucomannan lose a bit more weight than those who don’t (16).

  1. Cut Back on Added Sugar

Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet, and most people are eating way too much of it.

Studies show that sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) consumption is strongly associated with the risk of obesity, as well as diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and others ( 171819).

If you want to lose weight, you should be cutting back on added sugars. Just make sure to read labels, because even so-called health foods can be loaded with sugar.

  1. Eat Less Refined Carbs

Refined carbohydrates are usually sugar, or grains that have been stripped of their fibrous, nutritious parts (includes white bread and pasta).

Studies show that refined carbs can spike blood sugar rapidly, leading to hunger, cravings and increased food intake a few hours later. Eating refined carbs is strongly linked to obesity (202122).

If you’re going to eat carbs, make sure to eat them with their natural fibre.

  1. Go on a Low Carb Diet

If you want to get all the benefits of carb restriction, then consider taking this all the way and going on a low carb diet.

Numerous studies show that such a diet (or “way of eating”) can help you lose 2-3 times as much weight as a standard low-fat diet, while improving your health at the same time (232425).

  1. Use Smaller Plates

Using smaller plates has been shown to help people automatically eat fewer calories in some studies. Weird trick, but it seems to work (26).

  1. Exercise Portion Control or Count Calories

Portion control (eating less) or counting calories can be very useful, for obvious reasons (27).

There are also studies showing that keeping a food diary and writing down what you eat, or taking pictures of all your meals, can help you lose weight (2829).

Anything that increases your awareness of what you are eating is likely to be useful.

  1. Keep Healthy Food Around in Case You Get Hungry

Keeping healthy food close by can help prevent you from eating something unhealthy if you become excessively hungry.

A few snacks that are easily portable and simple to prepare include whole fruits, a handful of nuts, baby carrots, yogurt and a hardboiled egg (or two).

  1. Eat Spicy Foods

Spicy foods like Cayenne pepper contain Capsaicin, a compound that can boost metabolism and reduce your appetite slightly (3031).

  1. Do Aerobic Exercise

Doing aerobic exercise (cardio) is an excellent way to burn calories and improve your physical and mental health.

It appears to be particularly effective to lose belly fat, the unhealthy fat that tends to build up around your organs and cause metabolic disease (3233).

  1. Lift Weights

One of the worst side effects of dieting, is that it tends to cause muscle loss and metabolic slowdown, often referred to as starvation mode (3435).

The best way to prevent this from happening is to do some sort of resistance exercise, like lifting weights. Studies show that weight lifting can help keep your metabolism high, and prevent you from losing precious muscle mass (3637).

Of course, it’s not just important to lose fat. You also want to make sure that what is beneath looks good. Doing some sort of resistance exercise is critical for that.

  1. Eat More Fibre

Fibre is often recommended for the purpose of weight loss. Although the evidence is mixed, some studies show that fibre (especially viscous fibre) can increase satiety and help you control your weight over the long term (3839).

  1. Eat More Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and fruits have several properties that make them effective for weight loss.

They contain few calories, but a lot of fibre. They are also rich in water, which gives them a low energy density. They also take a while to chew, and are very filling.

Studies show that people who eat vegetables and fruits tend to weigh less (40). These foods are also super healthy and nutritious, so eating them is important for all sorts of reasons.

  1. Chew More Slowly

It can take a while for the brain to “register” that you’ve had enough to eat. Some studies show that chewing more slowly can help you eat fewer calories and increase the production of hormones linked to weight loss (4142).

  1. Get Good Sleep

Sleep is highly underrated, but it may be just as important as eating healthy and exercising.

Studies show that poor sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity, being linked to an 89% increased risk of obesity in children, and 55% in adults (43).

  1. Beat Your Food Addiction

A recent 2014 study of 196,211 individuals found that 19.9% of people fulfil the criteria for food addiction (44).

If you suffer from overpowering cravings and can’t seem to get your eating under control no matter how hard you try, then you may be a food addict.

In this case, get help. Trying to lose weight without dealing with this problem first is next to impossible.

  1. Eat More Protein

Protein is the single most important nutrient when it comes to losing weight.

Eating a high protein diet has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day, while helping you feel so satiated that you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day (454647).

One study also showed that protein at 25% of calories reduced obsessive thoughts about food by 60%, while cutting the desire for late night snacking in half (48).

This is the single most important tip in the article.

Simply adding protein to your diet (without restricting anything) is one of the easiest, most effective and most delicious ways to lose weight.

  1. Supplement With Whey Protein

If you struggle to get enough protein in your diet, taking a supplement can help.

One study showed that replacing part of your calories with whey protein can cause weight loss of about 4kg, while increasing lean muscle mass (49).

  1. Don’t Drink Calories, Including Sugary Soda and Fruit Juices

Sugar is bad, but sugar in liquid form is even worse (50). Studies show that liquid sugar calories may be the single most fattening aspect of the modern diet.

For example, one study showed that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children, for each daily serving (51).

Keep in mind that this applies to fruit juice as well, which contains a similar amount of sugar as a soft drink like coke (52).

Eat whole fruit, but use fruit juice with caution (or avoid it altogether).

  1. Eat Whole, Single Ingredient Foods (Real Food)

If you want to be a leaner, healthier person, then one of the best things you can do for yourself is to eat whole, single ingredient foods.

These foods are naturally filling, and it’s very difficult to gain weight if the majority of your diet is based around them.

Keep in mind that real food doesn’t need a long list of ingredients, because real food IS the ingredient.

  1. Don’t “Diet,” Eat Healthy Instead

One of the biggest problems with “diets,” is that they almost never work in the long term.

If anything, people who “diet” tend to gain more weight over time, and studies show that dieting is a consistent predictor of future weight gain (53).

Instead of going on a diet, make it your goal to become a healthier, happier and fitter person. Focus on nourishing your body, instead of depriving it.


If you follow these tips weight loss should follow as a natural side effect.

The Unsung Hero Of Fat Loss!


As you begin scrambling for the latest and most scientific information relating to stripping off those last few layers of body fat that seem to cling to you for dear life, you’re likely coming across a wide range of content concerning the best foods for belly-fat loss.

Maybe you’re also finding the best exercises to help boost the metabolism, the best workout designs that promise to add more muscle definition, and the best times to be eating if you hope to maximize the amount of fat you burn throughout the day.

There’s no question about it, what you eat and how you exercise are two significant contributors to the overall success rate you see. But after that, it’s important to not overlook some of the other contributing factors that can sway the type of progress you experience.

Make no mistake, achieving maximum fat loss and getting that “ripped” look that you see on the cover of your favourite health and fitness magazine is a 24/7 endeavour. If you aren’t on top of the game at all times, there is a large chance you’ll falter.

One specific component that very often gets overlooked is that of sleep. No one ever thinks of sleep being a factor in success since, after all, you are barely conscious while you sleep. How much damage could you really do to your progress while you are sleeping?

The answer is that it’s not what you do while you’re sleeping per se, it’s the quality and quantity of sleep you get. Let’s dig a bit further so you can see the profound connection sleep has with your weight loss.


One of the first major problems that are associated with a lack of sleep is an increased daytime cortisol level. As you may have already known, cortisol is a hormone that is released within the body that works to break down body tissues. In times of stress, you will find cortisol levels very high since the body is getting ready for the fight or flight response mechanism.

Dieting itself puts the body in a stressed state since it is taking in fewer calories than it would ideally like to function; therefore you’re already at risk for such problems as muscle mass loss (which occurs when high cortisol levels begin breaking down the body’s tissues).

In one study put on by the Laboratory of Physiology in Belgium, researchers noted that those who were shorting themselves of sleep noticed higher afternoon and early evening cortisol levels than those who were not.


Have you ever found that after a late night out or a night of simply tossing and turning where sleep was hard to come by, the next day you were craving carbohydrates like a pregnant woman a few days before delivery?

One study conducted in Chicago noted that on-going sleep deprivation is responsible for a number of changes in the hormonal release and metabolism of humans, especially increased hunger and appetite.

Often in very fatigued states the body senses this fatigue and perceives a low supply of energy as a result, kick-starting internal drives to eat (hunger).

In addition to this, the researchers also pointed out that sleep restriction can decrease glucose and insulin sensitivity, two of the most critical factors that are involved in the development or prevention of diabetes as well as regulating the satiety you feel after a meal is eaten.

While you may think staying up for that extra hour to catch your favourite TV isn’t really all that detrimental, if the truth is told it could be dramatically increasing the chances that you develop diabetes.

measuring visceral fat
Contact Edge Fitness Clubs to receive your Body Assessment


For most people on a fat loss diet, the visceral fat is the fat that’s most important to lose because it’s the type that will set you up for the greatest overall health threats.

While you may see subcutaneous fat gains easier (as this is the fat directly under the skin), a high level of fat surrounding the organs is really going to be problematic and could eventually be life threatening.

Researchers from the John Carroll University used a continuous dark versus continuous light exposure test to assess the impacts on a group of animals. They wanted to measure melatonin levels, the metabolic parameters, the circadian rhythm activity patterns, as well as any behaviour changes that took place when animals were either placed in a standard condition with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness, 24 hours of darkness, or 24 hours of continuous light.

After the study was completed the researchers noticed that the 24 hour light animals demonstrated a significantly greater visceral adipose tissue than the other two groups who did have darkness hours as well as those who were always exposed to light noted a lower level of overall activity and started to become extremely irritable and easily excited.

The body naturally wants to maintain its normal circadian rhythm with proper light and dark periods for wakefulness and sleep, and when these are altered; negative events take place with regards to body fatness and overall health.

In another study performed in the Czech Republic and published in Physiological Research, researchers found that optimal body weight was strongly associated with test subjects who maintained seven hours of sleep each night, making that the guideline that you should try and shoot for.

While some rare individuals may find they feel fine on much lower levels of sleep (5-6 hours) and others may find they need a great deal more (9+ hours per night), for most adults living a regular lifestyle with added training, 7-8 hours of sleep is optimal.

Generally the more intense and frequent your training sessions are, the more sleep you may require in order to recover properly. In these situations if 8-9 hours is not manageable, short afternoon naps can sometimes do the trick.


Finally, you must not overlook the connection between the amount of sleep you get and your overall exercise performance. When you are short on sleep, it’s quite typical to find yourself struggling to maintain the usual level of exercise that you normally would tolerate quite well.

In addition to this, since sleep is the primary time the body recovers from exercise, it’s also when you will be rebuilding your torn muscle tissues. Without this recovery time, you’re going to go into your next exercise session at a disadvantage.

One of the key recommendations for combating over training syndrome, which will quickly take you away from your workouts and limit further fat loss, is getting quality sleep. Failing to do so could mean you having to take time away from your program, which will without question of a doubt, slow you down.

So make sure you’re getting your 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Not only are you going to feel better, think clearer, and be much stronger when it comes to battling those food cravings that are so common with fat loss diets, but you’ll also really be helping promote better long-term health as well.

  1. Copinschi, G. (2005). Metabolic and endocrine effects of sleep deprivation. Essent Psychopharmacol. 6(6):341-7.
  2. Murphy, HM., & Wideman, CH. (2009). Constant light induced alterations in melatonin levels, food intake, feed efficiency, visceral adiposity, and circadian rhythms in rats. Oct;12(5):233-40.
  3. Leproult, R., & Van Cauter, E. (2010). Role of Sleep and Sleep Loss In Hormonal Release and Metabolism. Endocrine Development. 17:11-21.
  4. Backx, FJ. Et al. (2009). Evaluation and opportunities in overtraining approaches. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. Dec;80(4):756-64.


What Is Overtraining: Learn How To Recognize & Avoid It

Overtraining is an all too popular trend with bodybuilders and other high intensity training athletes such as swimmers, and long distance runners. In the following article we will review what overtraining is, what signs present themselves, and how to spot, and avoid overtraining.


Overtraining is all too present in today’s gyms. Those who live high stress lifestyles and overachievers always seem to find their way into the gym. You’ve seen it yourself. It is the one guy in the corner of the gym doing his high intensity, 4 hour, full body workout for the 13th time this week.

You know him, he was there when you left yesterday, the guy that is always there but never changes. If you don’t know who it is… It may be you! Here are some ways to identify overtraining in yourself:

  • A plateau in performance.
  • A drop in performance.
  • Elevated Resting HR (an easy way to measure this is to take your resting HR when you first awaken and compare it from week to week).
  • Elevated Training HR (if you know at level 6 on the treadmill you normally have a heart rate of 120 bpm, and lately has been measuring 150 bpm, something may be wrong).
  • Feeling of “heaviness.”
  • Ongoing muscle soreness (chronic).
  • A desire to skip workouts (your body is telling you something and you should listen).
  • Lack of enthusiasm when it comes to both the gym and everyday activities.
  • Decreased concentration.
  • Tiredness.
  • Sleep disorder (both too much and not enough).
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Weight loss (when not trying).

Thankfully, if you find you are suffering from one or many of these symptoms, overtraining is relatively easy to cure. Take at least a week off. When I say take a week off however, this doesn’t mean go on a week long sugar binge, or beer drinking streak.

Drinking alcohol and lack of quality sleep will shoot your cortisol levels through the roof and may even advance your overtraining symptoms. What I mean is take a week away from the gym and let your body recover. Eat adequate amounts of food, being sure to include a variety of fruits and vegetables, fiber, quality protein, and whole grain sources of carbohydrates.

If you are an athlete, should you stop taking any of the supplements you’ve been taking? Well, if it is creatine, protein, amino acids, HMB, Glutamine, or other supplements aiding in your recovery, no.

I would continue taking these to help your muscles recover and get you ready for your comeback week. However if its caffeine, Ma Huang, or any other stimulants I would take a break. These supplements can affect your sleep no matter what time they are taken, and sleep has to be a number one priority for you during your recovery phase.


There are two factors important in preventing overtraining:

  • Allow for adequate recovery time in between exercise sessions.
  • Ensure variety in your exercises, and training techniques.
  • Maintain physical health by engaging in regular exercise.
  • Maintain emotional health.
  • Maintain spiritual health.
  • Maintain mental health.
  • Maintain interpersonal health.

Think of each of these factors as pieces making a complete “health wheel”. If one of these factors is missing, or not complete, your wheel will not roll smoothly, or not at all, veering you off the course to success and resulting in overtraining.

Knowing how to spot the signs of overtraining is essential. It is even more important to know how to cure and prevent it.

Thankfully this is one of the only negative results of entering into an exercise program. Keep a close eye on the signals your body sends out, and do something about it. As always feel free to contact me through email with any questions. GSNBody

How to get a summer six-pack

Summer Packs

Trapped under the fatty layer of your belly are three major abdominal muscle groups, eager to get taut and toned. With the right exercises and diet, anyone – young or old – can get a washboard stomach, says biokineticist Pea Blaauw of Cape Town.


If you do our series of exercises every day you’ll see, and feel, a difference within a month. Keep up the hard work for 12 weeks, combine it with a healthy diet and your friends will be impressed with the result.

For a fabulous, flat tummy in 30 days Do two sets of 15 repetitions of four of these abdominal muscle exercises daily. Vary your choice of exercises so you do at least one set of each every week.

The secret is to do each exercise in a controlled manner and to concentrate on using your stomach muscles to move your upper body.

Remember Exercise goes hand in hand with a healthy diet. You can tone your arms, flatten your stomach and tighten your buttocks but if your muscles are covered in a layer of fat, you’ll still look flabby and shapeless.

  1. Abdominal curls

curl - Copy

Curl your upper body up until your shoulder blades are off the ground. It’s a small movement. Keep your feet flat on the floor and try not to lift your head with your hands.

You can start doing the exercise on the floor and after a week or two move on to a big gym ball with your body horizontal and your feet flat on the floor.

  1. Abdominal Crunches

crunch - Copy

Use your abdominal muscles to lift your upper body and shoulders closer to your legs. Don’t arch your back as you lift your upper body.

You can start by doing the exercise on the floor and after a week or two move on to a big gym ball with your body horizontal and your feet flat on the floor.

  1. Boxing exercise


Hold your arms like a boxer and punch the air as you bring your upper body into the crunch. You can punch to the front, to the side or straight up into the air with each crunch.

  1. Oblique crunches


Contract your abdominals and move your elbow towards your opposite knee. Hold for five seconds and lower slowly to the starting position. Keep your lower back pressed against the floor.

Reverse crunch


Lie on the floor and pull your knees to your chest. Hold on to something fixed. Use your abdominal muscles to lift your buttocks and lower back off the floor.

  1. Fingers to toes


Keep your arms straight while you lift your fingers towards your toes. Move your upper body towards your knees and keep your stomach muscles contracted. Keep your chin off your chest.

  1. Russian twist


Hold a small gym ball with both hands. Rest your shoulders and neck on a big ball, with your feet flat and your body horizontal. Turn your arms slowly to the left, back to the middle and then to the right.

Physical activity and exercise

Physical activity and exercise

Physical activity and exercise is a major contributor to a healthy lifestyle; people are made to use their bodies, and disuse leads to unhealthy living. Unhealthy living may manifest itself in obesity, weakness, lack of endurance, and overall poor health that may foster disease development.


  • Regular exercise can prevent and reverse age-related decreases in muscle mass and strength, improve balance, flexibility, and endurance, and decrease the risk of falls in the elderly. Regular exercise can help prevent coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Regular, weight-bearing exercise can also help prevent osteoporosis by building bone strength.
  • Regular exercise can help chronic arthritis sufferers improve their capacity to perform daily activities such as driving, climbing stairs, and opening jars.
  • Regular exercise can help increase self-esteem and self-confidence, decrease stress and anxiety, enhance mood, and improve general mental health.
  • Regular exercise can help control weight gain and in some people cause loss of fat.
  • Thirty minutes of modest exercise (walking is OK) at least three to five days a week is recommended, but the greatest health benefits come from exercising most days of the week.
  • Exercise can be broken up into smaller 10-minute sessions.
  • Start slowly and progress gradually to avoid injury or excessive soreness or fatigue. Over time, build up to 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day.
  • People are never too old to start exercising. Even frail, elderly individuals (70-90 years of age) can improve their strength and balance with exercise.
  • Almost any type of exercise (resistance, water aerobics, walking, swimming, weights, yoga, and many others) is helpful for everybody.
  • Children need exercise; play outside of the home is a good beginning.
  • Sports for children may provide excellent opportunities for exercise, but care must be taken not to overdo certain exercises (for example, throwing too many pitches in baseball may harm a joint like the elbow or shoulder).
  • Exertion during strenuous exercise may make a person tired and sore, but if pain occurs, stop the exercise until the pain source is discovered; the person may need to seek medical help and advice about continuation of such exercise.

Most individuals can begin moderate exercise, such as walking, without a medical examination. The following people, however, should consult a doctor before beginning more vigorous exercise:

  • Men over age 40 or women over age 50
  • Individuals with heart or lung disease, asthma, arthritis, or osteoporosis
  • Individuals who experience chest pressure or pain with exertion, or who develop fatigue or shortness of breath easily
  • Individuals with conditions that increase their risks of developing coronary heart disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cigarette smoking, high blood cholesterol, or having family members who had early onset heart attacks and coronary heart disease
  • Individuals who are morbidly obese

Consequences of physical inactivity and lack of exercise:

  • Physical inactivity and lack of exercise are associated with heart disease and some cancers.
  • Physical inactivity and lack of exercise are associated with type II diabetes mellitus (also known as maturity or adult-onset, non-insulin-dependent diabetes).
  • Physical inactivity and lack of exercise contribute to weight gain.