PHASE 1 / WEEK 2

HAPPY MONDAY!!

Congratulations on making it to the 2nd week of your system re-set. By now, you should be getting used to the new landscape and forming new habits pertaining to when you eat, how you exercise, and the importance of getting a good night’s rest.

During the course of this coming week, I would like to help you to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. When I know WHY I’m getting after something, it becomes easier not to cut corners.

CONTINUE RE-SETTING YOUR INSULIN

REMEMBER that we’re still in the Insulin re-set phase of the program. The aim of this phase is to allow your body to re-set how your body responds to Carbs. If you have weight to lose, chances are you’ve allowed your body to crave sugars.

A high carb/sugar diet relies on energy spikes caused by the availability of sugar from your food. The problem with this is the drop in energy after the carbs. Most of us know that tired feeling after a lunch sandwich. Some delicious carb meals (pizza etc) will knock you down faster than a Tyson uppercut. Anyone who’s ever been on a low-carb diet can tell you that eating carbs crashes your insulin and makes you tired. Once in a while is not much of an issue, but the frequency with which you do this can be dangerous. If your insulin is spiking and crashing all over the place every single day, you’ve got a problem.

You’re going to cause something called insulin resistance, which is the opposite of what we want – insulin sensitivity. With insulin resistance, your insulin is chronically high, which means your body is primed for fat storage. You might not think this is your issue, but the standard diet includes about 300 grams of carbs per day. And if you enjoy cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner, and some crackers and fruit as snacks throughout the day, then you’re already near the danger zone. And that doesn’t even account for sweetened drinks.

Insulin resistance isn’t just inconvenient; it’s downright dangerous. Obviously, we’re worried about fat loss and muscle. But there’s also a direct relationship between insulin and failing health – including obesity and diabetes.

Once your body gets used to accessing its energy from your stored and consumed fat, you’re officially in a state of ketosis. It’s quite difficult to stay in a state of ketosis. A drink can throw you out. We want to live a little too, so I am going to recommend that you subscribe to a low-carb version. This means that whenever possible, you remove the carbs from your meal. Make sure that you’re having protein and greens with every meal. It’s really that simple. Don’t only eat protein. Greens are the transport system for your proteins and other micronutrients. – so eat that salad or those veggies. 

Here are the carbs that you need to avoid:

  1. Bread
  2. Pasta
  3. Rice
  4. Potatoe’s
  5. Soft Drinks (sugar)
  6. Fruit Juices
  7. Fruit – keep it to 1 max 2 per day 
A WORD ABOUT TRACKING YOUR FOOD

 We will only really start tracking calories in earnest next week, but please access the caloric density of the foods you eat by checking in the App. ie – if you’re looking to munch on a potato, have a look at the carb content by entering this in your app. You need not weigh it just yet. 

This week, we are looking at avoiding the carbs, whilst practicing IF. (Intermittent Fasting) 

This is a bit of a pain and you may be wondering why I am not serving a neatly printed menu plan. During this part of the course, when you’re entering the foods you eat, and trying to avoid carbs, you will find that there are carbs lurking in many foods. I’d like you to experiment with salad and veg, keeping the carbs below 35grms. Also know that it will become intuitive once you have been tracking for a few days. Ascertaining the amount of “fuel” that goes into the system will give you a feel for your energy expenditure if you wish to be in a caloric deficit. In the whole course, this part is the one that people become the most frustrated with, but I will ask you to persevere. This is your key to melting fat. 

FEASTING – THE DIET

I understand that the struggle with food and calories can be REAL. I learn about this every day. If some of you have not yet adopted the CALORIES IN VS CALORIES OUT approach, I urge you to get a grip on this. If you’re simply too busy, then perhaps you’re simply not all that committed, or it seems too complicated.

One thing you need to remember is Calories IN vs Calories OUT. If you’ve had a super busy day, and have trained your ass off, gone for a walk, swam in the ocean, and taken the dog out, you have burnt more calories than if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day. Simply put, you may have burnt up far more calories than you normally do, so this needs to be balanced off against the calories you consume. Be sure to enter your activities in the app as well. You will notice that if you’ve been very active, you’re allowed to eat more calories. Just make sure that you’re around 300 to 500 calories below your MAINTENANCE CALORIC ALLOWANCE. This deficit will ensure that you keep melting the fat away, whilst ensuring that you don’t hit a brick wall from simply not eating enough.

I have already worked your allowed calories out for you and your App will reflect this. Please track  your meals.

– Side note… If you have a fitness tracker, like FITBIT, or use MyFitnessPal – use that to accurately track your activity and thus your caloric expenditure.

FIGHTING / TRAINING

During this early part of the program, while you’re getting used to tracking your calories, please persevere with training on 4 days of the week, namely Mon, Tues, Thurs and Friday. I will become more prescriptive as we head into next week. For now, I will start to sell you on the importance of a resistance-based training regime…

Some of you are not comfortable with lifting weights or going to the gym, saying that you don’t want to “get big”. That’s fine. Use bodyweight exercises. 

Long-duration cardio may help in weight reduction, but it will not help you to achieve a great-looking body. Yes, exercise burns calories, but not all exercises are created equal. The low-intensity long-duration cardio will help you to lose weight, but a significant percentage of that will be in the form of muscle. Weight training or high-intensity work will ensure that you are burning fat and not muscle. More importantly, your body continues to work long after your training session has ended. The process of muscle repair and subsequent growth will continue for 24 to 48 hours. Your metabolism remains cranked up, and your insulin levels are leading you to metabolize what you eat into muscle. This does not happen when you’re doing only cardio.

If you need your running fix, who am I to tell you not to get it, then I would recommend that you work some interval training into your routine. If you’re into having an attractive physique, then the body needs some sculpting. Your chisel and mallet are PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD. Place your muscles under duress, break them down, and they will repair themselves and be stronger for the next time you train. Girls, don’t worry about “looking like Arnold” – It’s just not going to happen in 3 months. 

LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP

 

All the well-intentioned dieting and training doesn’t mean shit if you’re not getting a good night’s rest. (If you’ll excuse my French)  A sleep-deprived body produces Cortisol, which is the hormone that your body releases when stressed out. In the presence of Cortisol, you don’t lean up, because your body is in “fight or flight mode”. It’s going to store fat for the impending hard times, and all the good work will be undone.

As we get older and the worries of the world keep piling up on us, sleep becomes more elusive. I too have been on the receiving end of long sleepless nights, where the brain will just not shut down. I wake up feeling like a zombie and go into my day with only half the capacity to cope.

The good news is that just like training in the gym, you can train yourself to regain the type of sleep hereto only reserved for teenagers. (My daughter can clock 12 hours straight if I don’t wake her up before lunchtime) While we’re adults and need to get things done in the day, we don’t want to sleep our lives away, but we should not be doing less than 6 hours minimum.

Some facts about sleep Ariana Huffington just wrote a book, “The Sleep Revolution” citing that we are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis, with profound consequences to our health, our job performance, our relationships, and our happiness. What we need is nothing short of a sleep revolution: only by renewing our relationship with sleep can we take back control of our lives.
 

Phrases such as “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” and “you snooze, you lose” have permeated into our society. If you are getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night, then you will literally have a shorter life span. When we sleep, the body attends to the dishes. – This means, that general maintenance tasks are attended to by the body. Your brain is able to process the experiences of the day into the correct categories and place it on the right shelves. – so to speak. It’s important to know that brain activity does not slow down when you’re asleep. It’s simply busy with the all-important task of closing the loops while your eyes are closed. When you wake up and feel rested, it’s an indication that housekeeping has been there and that you’re ready to pile a whole new lot of dishes into your consciousness.

The interruption of sleep and poor sleep will increase your stress hormone, Cortisol, and will literally make you fat. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who rested well lost more fat. – 56% more fat loss than those who slept poorly. Cortisol is one of the power players of the hormone game. – Simply put, – if you mess with Cortisol, it will fuck you up! Cortisol is tied to your fight or flight response, and the occasional surge, while at the gym, can assist in lifting more weight. – but as with most things, the poison lies in the dose. Cortisol levels can rise due to stress. When you’re lying in bed at night, thinking about stressful things and even eating the wrong foods, can raise your cortisol levels, which in the long run, translates to disease and premature aging. Poor sleep will elevate your cortisol levels and the vicious cycle begins because you produce more cortisol during the stress of not sleeping and – you guessed it…you sleep less. Poor quality sleep will also drop your testosterone levels by as much as 20%. Have you ever woken up, feeling moody, less vigorous? Your T levels will be at their lowest from late afternoon to early evening, which is when you are probably looking to get into some “petting’ – Poor sleep can be the culprit for lackluster innings with your partner. So while I’d love for you to get 8 hours of sleep, I would settle for improving the quality of your rest.

Here is a list of tips, which will ensure that you get those ZZZZZ’sDisconnect your devices and gently escort them out of the bedroom.

Take a hot bath with Epsom salts before bed to calm your mind and body. – Treat this as a ritual to make the transition into dreamland.

Change into your favourite PJ’s. – This ritual will announce that it’s time to shut down the systems.

Keep your bedroom dark and cool. – As Natalie Dautovich, an environmental scholar at the National Sleep Foundation, said, a small drop in body temperature can prompt sleep signals to our brains: “We know that a cool bedroom environment is key to getting a good night’s sleep. We also know there are a lot of positive associations between fresh air and relaxation, and when we feel relaxed and comfortable in our environment, we’re more likely to feel sleepy.”

Avoid Coffee or other caffeine after 2pm – Yes, but coffee keeps me awake… – exactly why you want to abstain from the vicious cycle. I love coffee, but I love my sleep more. Your bed is for sleep and sex only – Also worth mentioning: Getting more sleep can lead to getting more sex, at least for women, according to a 2018 study. Researchers measured the duration of women’s sleep and compared it to their level of sexual desire the next day. They found that every additional hour of sleep brought with it a 14% rise in the likelihood of having some kind of sexual activity with her partner.

Lastly – Sleep next to your partner, and make sure you touch. But it doesn’t just matter whether you sleep next to your partner or in separate beds altogether – how close you are matters too. 85% of those who slept less than an inch apart reported to be happy in their relationship. This percentage kept decreasing the further apart people slept. So if you and your partner usually sleep quite far apart, give moving closer a try and see if it makes you happier and sleep better. In the end, the latter is still the most important, so if you just can’t fall asleep while hugging, don’t feel bad for sleeping back to back as usual.

Here’s a pre-bed cocktail that I have been taking, which works like a tranquillizer

Honey and AVC

– Stir a tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a cup of hot water.So, with a world gone crazy out there, you need to take stock of the stress around you.

There are things you can do, to stay healthy and strong, know that great sleep will make you stronger, and put you in a better mood to face what life has to throw at you.

IN CLOSING

This is not an instant fix, so don’t expect to “get it all” in one session.

Repetition is the mother of learning, and you’re going to have to excuse my banging on about similar things all the time, but I want you to let it sink in.

For old bad habits to disappear, you have to replace those with new good habits. If you perform new routines often, they become a habit. If they are good habits, you’re thriving on Auto-pilot, and that should be your goal. Even if a change occurs in increments, know that every time you step out of your comfort zone, you’re paving the way to a new and better YOU, no matter your age or disposition.

KEEP KEEPING ON – EVEN IF IT ALL SEEMS LIKE HARD WORK.

 

Our relationship to food can cause pretty drastic reactions from quarters we never expected. Many have seen food as the go-to comfort and like a smoker who is about to stub out his or her last cigarette, the thought of having to distance yourself from your sugary foods can leave you feeling disorientated and moody. The sugar gremlin is like the tobacco gremlin, – He’ll have you start a fight with someone, just so that you can throw your hands in the air, walk to the fridge, exasperated by the actions of others, and slide something sweet done your throat.

I encourage you to NOT do that. Stick to the instructions…

Before you know it, you’ll be coasting your way to better health, a stronger mind, better relationships.

CALL ME OR TEXT ME… – If you have a question, feel free to contact me.

If you want the brief cliff-notes version of my ramblings, just click the image to get the very basic instructions for the week ahead.