3 Healthy foods to AVOID

I've got a new 'fitness quickie' article for you today about 3 so-called "healthy" foods that you should AVOID. 

But first, I wanted to make sure you saw the announcement last night about Joel Marion's new 25-Day Xtreme Fat Loss Challenge Program that's discounted for the next 3 days... but more importantly, if you grab your copy today, you get the day 1 fast-action bonus (worth $397 retail) at no extra cost!

You can see all the details about the 25-Day Xtreme Fat Loss Challenge here... don't procrastinate -- this is your chance to get RAPID results and make a significant change in your body in only 25 days!  This is NOT for everyone... it's NOT for wimps!  It's ONLY for people with the discipline to stick with a program for 25 days before going back to a maintenance routine.  But it works.

Today's Fitness Quickie:

3 "Healthy" foods that you should AVOID

1.  The first food that I'd like to mention that's promoted as "healthier" than the original food is "reduced-fat" peanut butter.  I've compared labels on some of these brands, and many of them aren't even lower in calories due to the extra SUGAR that they contain.  And other brands, you might only save 10 or 20 calories per serving.

BUT, there's a problem with this... even if you do save a tiny amount of calories with some brands of reduced-fat peanut butter, you end up getting almost double the amount of carbohydrates and sugar, which is going to have more of an effect on your blood sugar compared to regular peanut butter.

My advice:  just stick to regular peanut butter instead of "reduced-fat" varieties... it's more natural, with less additives, and will have less negative effects on your blood sugar.  Plus, the extra healthy fats that you get help to curb cravings later in the day.  Just make sure to choose a natural brand of peanut butter that doesn't have added trans fats (hydrogenated oils).  If possible, choose organic too, to help protect yourself from estrogenic pesticide residues.

One more thing... I actually prefer to use a variety of nut butters instead of only peanut butter, so I sometimes mix almond butter with cashew butter, or almond butter with pecan butter to make a more nutrient-diverse nut butter mix.  These types of mixtures have more diversity of vitamins and minerals than just peanut butter.

2.  The next so-called "healthy" food to avoid is orange juice.  Sorry, although it does contain a decent amount of vitamins, orange juice just simply contains too much sugar and not enough fiber to count as a healthy food.  Orange juice is a big culprit for some people in throwing their blood sugar out of whack and reducing insulin sensitivity.

Remember that whole fruits are great, but juices are NOT!  When you drink a juice, you're getting a big dose of sugar, but leaving out a lot of the fiber and other beneficial nutrients that are left behind in the fruit pulp/fiber.  A glass of orange juice may have 35 grams of sugar and only 1 gram of fiber, whereas eating a whole orange may have 20 grams of sugar and 4-5 grams of fiber.... big difference!

3.  The third so-called "healthy" food to avoid that I'd like to mention today is canola oil -- yes, that's right...  Despite the clever marketing propaganda, there is NOTHING healthy about canola oil.  Instead of going into details in this email, I have a full article for you here which describes why canola oil is NOT healthy and how you've been deceived!

Have a healthy day, and I'll be back soon with more Lean-Body Secrets!

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
TruthAboutAbs.com | BusyManFitness.com | AvalancheSkiTraining.com


New Study: cell phone use can damage your bones?

If you read a lot of health news, I'm sure you've read plenty of articles about some of the emerging health risks that are being found with excessive use of cell phones.  Well, I just read about YET another study that is showing health concerns with cell phone use...

According to a study conducted by Dr. Fernando Saravi at the National University of Cuyo in Argentina, they studied bone mineral density of 48 healthy men who carried cell phones on their right hip for a year.  It was found that the men who carried cell phones on their right hip had lower mineral content and bone density in the upper thigh bones near where the cell phone was carried, compared to their left hip.

The researchers believe that the low level EM radiation given off by cell phones leads to bone degradation over time in the area that the cell phone is carried most.  This means that it could potentially raise the risk for osteoporosis or other bone diseases the longer that someone carries a cell phone in the same place on their body.

This shocking study doesn't surprise me...  In fact, make sure to read this article below which ALSO shows some actual tests that were performed that showed reduced testosterone levels, reduced sperm counts, and other health risks associated with carrying a cell phone in your pocket:

Shocking study about dangers of carrying a cell phone in your pocket

This information shouldn't be taken lightly.  I know that cell phones are a major part of most people's lives now, and they are here to stay, but there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce your risks of getting long term health consequences, and those protective steps are described in the article here.

Please help to protect the health of your friends and family and fwd this email to everyone you care about.  The article above also has easy sharing buttons to share with your friends on facebook and twitter.

Helping to protect your health,

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
TruthAboutAbs.com | BusyManFitness.com | AvalancheSkiTraining.com


Do you have a damaged metabolism?

I've got 2 new and important articles for you today about your metabolism.

In the first article today, my colleague Tom Venuto (I highly respect Tom's fitness and nutrition expertise) explores the very REAL science behind what's been termed "metabolic damage". 

He talks about what causes "metabolic damage".  And he also shows 7 strategies to essentially "repair" that metabolic damage.

Do you have "metabolic damage"? <-- great article + 7 strategies to fix your damaged metabolism

Metabolism Article #2:

This article explores whether our metabolisms actually "slow down" as we get older.  As you'll see, it doesn't have to happen!  And what foods can we eat that actually ramp-up your metabolism?  Read on and see...

A "slow metabolism" and foods that ramp-up your metabolic rate

Have fun revving up your metabolism! 

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
TruthAboutAbs.com | BusyManFitness.com | AvalancheSkiTraining.com


Is empty stomach exercise effective?

With my new blog post yesterday, I realized that I need to clarify my opinion on morning "empty-stomach" exercise.

If you don't know, the theory on morning empty stomach cardio is that since you're in a fasted state and don't have immediate carbs in your system, your body will rely more heavily on bodyfat for fuel during the workout, and you'll burn more bodyfat.  Nice in theory (and to be honest, does work for some people), but as you'll see below, it didn't work for me, and others I know too that have tried it.

As you probably know if you've read my Truth about Six Pack Abs ebook, one of the main problems I've had with morning "empty stomach" exercise, is that in a lot of people, it tends to make you lose lean muscle, which can lower your metabolic rate.

In fact, when I tested morning exercise on an empty stomach in the past, I ended up losing strength and a little bit of muscle after a couple weeks (despite the fact I was still weight training on separate workouts).  I subsequently gained fat quicker due to a reduction in my metabolic rate after that muscle loss.

I found a fix to that problem when I re-tested morning empty stomach exercise a few months ago.  What I did this time was use BCAA's immediately upon waking and before the exercise, which has been proven to help prevent the muscle catabolism that would occur otherwise.

However, there was still a problem... I still would have ZERO energy to do anything intense in this type of empty stomach workout.  Walking maybe...but that's about it.  I prefer high intensity exercise and believe more strongly in the benefits of really challenging your body with intense exercise.  That's why I love to do wind sprints!

For me, I just don't have the energy to anything intense on an empty stomach in the morning, so that's why I tested the little drink concoction that I talked about in yesterday's post

That little drink concoction has totally changed the game, and I've been having TONS of energy and feeling great during my morning wind sprints... plus, as I mentioned, I've actually noticed more definition in the lower abs just doing these morning wind sprints every day for a week straight!

Side note:  For the last couple of months, I've been using those fancy new Vibram 5-Fingers "barefoot" shoes (they look more like socks than shoes) for all of my gym workouts and also my wind sprints.  My physical therapist friends swear by these, and tell me that they are more natural for your feet for squats, deadlifts and other gym exercises, and help reduce risk for injuries.

My squats and deadlifts have felt awesome since I started using these 5-Finger shoes!  My numbers have been going up like crazy.  I even worked my max deadlift from 355 to 405 lbs in the last 3 months!

Also, the 5 Fingers feel perfect for sprints... I've always thought that barefoot sprinting felt more natural compared to running shoes, but I never wanted to sprint barefoot on a field for fear of cutting my feet on a rock or something.  But with these 5-Fingers shoes, you get the feel of barefoot sprinting, but with a layer of rubber protection between your feet and the ground.

Overall, they felt super powerful for the wind sprints and I'm never going back to running shoes again!

Important article you may have missed:

Are these carcinogens in your bread and cereal?

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
TruthAboutAbs.com | BusyManFitness.com | AvalancheSkiTraining.com


My new morning ritual to get ripped abs and single-digit body fat

Today I wanted to share with you a few fitness and nutrition techniques I've been using myself lately, and my new "morning ritual" which has been getting killer results! 

In fact, just doing this morning ritual for the last 7 mornings in a row, I can already see that my lower abs are getting more defined by the day (indicating that this is lowering my body fat % a bit more).

This involves both exercise AND nutrition tricks, so read this whole post, even if you can't do the exact same type of exercise.

Here's the method I've been using that is getting crazy results...

The weather here in the Rockies lately has been amazing, and I decided to get back on a sprinting cycle again... so the last 7 mornings in a row, I've been riding my bike about 10 minutes over to the local soccer field and then do about 20 minutes or so of all-out wind sprints (50-100 yard wind sprints with full out intensity), and then I do the 10 minute bike ride back home.  When I get home, I do about 5 minutes of floor abs exercises to finish off.

All in all, it's only a 45-minute morning workout, but makes me feel amazing for the day!  And I do this morning workout in a "semi-fasted" state, which I'll explain below.

Even if you can't do wind sprints, keep in mind that you can still do something similar that is a higher intensity for you personally (perhaps hill walking instead of wind sprints, for example). 

By the way, outdoor sprints are where the action is... sprints on a treadmill don't have the same effect as there's more force production involved in accelerating a sprint outdoors compared to on a treadmill.  Plus, the max speed on a treadmill is not high enough usually for an "all-out" sprint.  In my mind, it's a world of difference.  Personally I never step foot on a treadmill.

How wind sprints raise your fat burning hormones:

One of the reasons that wind sprints are so effective at chiseling your body and reducing body fat to "ripped" levels (have you ever seen the bodies of some competitive sprinters? yes, ripped!) is that sprints are one of the specific exercises that are known to have a great effect on increasing Growth Hormone (GH) naturally in your body...

...and we all know that GH production in your body is one of the key secrets to getting lean, strong, and also staying youthful!

For the wind sprints, what I've been doing is increasing distance on each sprint from 50 meters to 60 meters, 70, 80, 90, and finally 100 meters.  Then I repeat the cycle.  Usually just 2 cycles of this is enough to get me fully whooped (about 12 all-out sprints)!  But as time goes on this summer, I will try to increase distance, the number of sprints, or the intensity to keep progressing.

Important note on sprints:   If you're going to try all-out sprints, make sure to ease into them for the first couple workouts if you haven't done them in a while to minimize injury risk.  You should slowly increase the intensity (70%, 80%, 90% intensity) for the first couple of workouts before doing 100% all-out sprints.

Also, try hill sprints for variety if you have a hill nearby.  I like to do 30 yard uphill sprints, followed by walking back downhill and repeating.  These are great variety that can be mixed in with your flat field sprints, and have great benefits for growth hormone production as well.

Now for the morning nutrition trick I've been using...

I've tried "morning empty stomach exercise" in the past, and here's the deal... I usually don't have the energy to do anything intense first thing in the morning on a fully empty stomach, so for these sprints, I've found a nice little concoction I came up with that gives me the energy to do these high intensity sprints without weighing me down, and without many calories.  It's just enough to do the trick!

At the same time, this concoction I drink has almost no carbohydrates, so should have very little effect on blood sugar, which means the sprints will be more effective at stimulating Growth Hormone release as well as triggering fat loss.

What I've been doing is mixing this Superfoods Cocktail (which is lightly sweetened with stevia, nothing artificial, and with only 40 calories per serving, but 76 superfoods mixed in) with unsweetened iced tea (green, white, oolong, and yerba mate mixture) first thing in the morning.  I usually have a big batch of unsweetened iced tea in a gallon container in the fridge that has at least these 4 teas mixed for taste and diversity of antioxidants.

I also mix in about a half scoop (12 grams) of raw grass-fed whey protein, and I have about 2-3 grams of BCAA's (to help minimize muscle catabolism), and a few caps of krill oil.

This entire concoction is only about 110 calories total (with only 3 grams of carbs from the Athletic Greens), so it's just enough to give me energy to do the high intensity sprints, but not too much to weigh me down, or affect blood sugar levels (and elevating blood sugar would halt fat loss and minimize GH production during the sprints, which is why I kept carbs very low in this morning concoction).

Take note that one of the key parts of the supplements I take for this pre-workout mixture is the BCAA's, as studies show that BCAA's can prevent muscle catabolism during exercise on an empty stomach, and I do these sprint workouts in a semi-fasted state.  Some research also indicates that BCAA's used during fasted exercise can help reduce abdominal fat more than a placebo.

I try to get about 15-20 minutes to digest this mixture a bit (the bike ride to the soccer field takes about 10 minutes) and then I start to rock out the 20-25 minutes of all-out wind sprints.  The 10 minute bike ride back home is a nice cool down, and then I hit up about 5 minutes of floor abs exercises (such as abs bicycles, mountain climbers, lying leg thrusts, etc) as a good finisher once I'm home.
This morning workout feels amazing, and I end up getting an amazing workout with plenty of energy, as opposed to the no energy feeling I have if I try to do totally "empty stomach" exercise first thing in the morning.  This also makes me feel really energetic for the rest of the day too, and I'm sure boosts my metabolism!

When I come back from the sprinting, I wait about a half hour (to let the body keep burning fat for fuel) and then make my full breakfast, which lately has been my fairly low-carb healthy breakfast of 3-4 whole eggs (free range, pasture-raised eggs from a local farmers market), grass-fed bison or beef sausage, lots of veggies mixed in to the eggs (mushrooms, onions, spinach, kale, and red peppers), and a half of an avocado on the side.  And I have a cup of green tea or yerba mate with about a 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey.

The fat loss results so far:

Keep in mind, I've only been doing this morning ritual for about 7 days so far... but even with only a week of this method, I've already had noticeably more definition in the lower abs doing this every morning for the last 7 days or so!  I need to start building in some rest days, so I'll probably try to do this 4-5 mornings per week from this point fwd, until I feel the need for a change and variety in the routine.

So if you're up for a challenge and a great training and nutrition combo method, this seems to be working wonders for me so far!  Let's get ripped and ready for summer!  Perhaps you can find a way to do something similar in your routine, even if you can't do full-out wind sprints.

I hope this post has given you some good ideas to use.  Have fun!

By the way, I have a related article here on how you can use specific workout techniques to increase your growth hormone and testosterone levels naturally.

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
TruthAboutAbs.com | BusyManFitness.com | AvalancheSkiTraining.com