The 5 best foods to eat before bed (for a flat belly)

You may have heard some trainers or gurus telling you that eating before bed is a big-time "no no" if you're looking to lose weight. In fact, you've probably even heard that eating late at night will undoubtedly cause you to GAIN weight...even worse!

Well, there's good news... not every food that you eat past 7PM will be automatically deposited to your belly fat, thighs, and love handles.

In fact, there are certain foods that you can eat as a late-night snack that can actually INCREASE your fat loss results through hormonal improvements! The key is knowing which foods to eat, and which to avoid, as the evening progresses.

Here's a good rule of thumb: Avoid carbs before bed in favor of slow-digesting high-quality protein and healthy fats. Fiber is ok too as long as it's low in starch or sugars.

Carbohydrate consumption causes significant rise in the storage hormone insulin, which also puts the breaks on fat-burning. That's a recipe for disaster in the late evening hours as your metabolism is winding down, but fortunately, slow-digesting protein isn't.

Instead, slow digesting proteins provide your body with a steady flow of amino acids throughout the night to help you recover from exercise and maintain your calorie-burning lean muscle as you lose fat.

Here are some of my top pre-bedtime food choices:

1. White Meat Protein  - White meat animal protein sources such as chicken and turkey are great pre-bed meal choices because they digest slowly and have a very low insulin release. These sources also promote the release of another hormone, glucagon, that assists the body with breaking down stored carbs and fat within your body to be burned for energy...a double win! 

Having some cooked ground turkey or chicken handy in tupperware in your fridge makes for a quick late night snack whenever you need it... my favorite way is to warm it up and add to a quick lettuce wrap with a little avocado and hot sauce whenever I need a night time snack.  A delicious way to aid your metabolism and fat loss efforts!

2. Cottage Cheese - Cottage cheese is very slow digesting and coats the stomach to be assimilated by the body over many hours. As a protein, it also stimulates glucagon release, which as I just mentioned is great for fat loss, making this a good pre-bedtime choice. Just make sure you're using plain cottage cheese, not the flavored varieties with added sugars.  Add some stevia and cinnamon if you need to flavor it up a little!

3. Green Vegetables - While these aren't considered a protein, they contain virtually no calories (insignificant), are high in fiber, and they're very filling. Often times when I get a late night craving I eat a big bowl of green veggies and it completely kills my craving...a diet savior to prevent you from giving in to junk foods late night!

4. Almonds, pecans, walnuts, or pistachios - These nuts are not only great sources of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, but provide the fiber and healthy fats necessary to control your cravings late at night and make sure you don't give in to junk.

5. A Slow-digesting, Low-carb Protein Shake - I use a slow-digesting protein shake before bed a lot of times. It's a great dessert alternative that's much lower in sugar and better for your body. The vast majority of my clients have grown to love the habit as well...who doesn't love dessert before bed? :) I normally blend the shake with almond butter to get some healthy fats in there, and oh man, it tastes good with the right protein powder.

WARNING: Avoid taking a simple whey protein powder before bed...research has shown that it causes more of an insulin release than white bread! Instead, try this time-released blend that includes a blend of slow-digesting, high-quality proteins.

Want more nutrition tips for a flatter belly?  

My good friend and nutritionist Joel Marion shares some more tips with you at the page below (some of these will REALLY surprise you!)

==> Surprising Foods that Flatten Your Belly



The worst workout of the year?

What is the #1 worst workout if you want fat loss results?


That's right, long boring cardio is officially the WORST workout of the year.


Well first, it's boring. I mean, who actually enjoys sitting on an exercise bike or running on a treadmill for 45 minutes? Not many people.

But much more important than that, it fails to produce fat loss RESULTS. Are there health benefits? Sure. But you can get those same health benefits (and more) with much shorter, much more exciting, and invigorating workouts. More on that in a minute...

But first, here's what research has to say about cardio:

Utter AC, et al. Influence of diet and/or exercise on body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness in obese women. Int J Sport Nutr. 1998 Sep;8(3):213-22.

-In this 3 month study, women did 45 minutes of cardio a day, 5 days a week, and lost no more weight than those who dieted alone! Seems like a royal waste of time to me!

But perhaps this one study was a fluke? Nope!

Redman et al. Effect of calorie restriction with or without exercise on body composition and fat distribution. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jan 2.

-In this study, subjects did 50 minutes of cardio, 5 days a week, and once again lost no more weight than those who dieted alone!

Well, maybe if they increase it to a full HOUR of cardio a day, SIX days a week, then cardio will actual product substantial results? No again!

McTiernan et al. Exercise Effect on Weight and Body Fat in Men and Women. Obesity 2007 June - 15:1496-1512.

-Over the course of this one year study, subjects performed aerobic exercise for 60 minutes a day, 6 whopping days a week (who even has TIME for that?) and lost only 3.5 pounds on average in an entire YEAR!

3.5 pounds of fatloss after an HOUR of exercise, nearly every day, for an ENTIRE year. Man, oh man, cardio really is the worst workout ever!

But as mentioned, there is a much better alternative, and that alternative lies in short, intense bouts of exercise.

In fact, a recent study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that 15 minutes of a circuit-style resistance training workout elevated metabolism for a full THREE days! And that's only from 15 minutes!

Other studies have found similar results with interval style workouts as short as 4 minutes producing dramatically more fat loss than long, extended bouts of cardio.

Here's an example bodyweight, short-burst exercise routine that you can try today to boost your metabolism and your fat loss results:

30 seconds of bodyweight squats
30 seconds of push ups
30 seconds jumping jacks

Repeat 4 times.

That workout right there only takes SIX minutes and you'll burn way more fat than you will with those long, drawn out, boring cardio sessions.

But here's the real secret...

NO workout will ever help you lose fat unless you get your nutrition in order. Unfortunately, nutrition is an area where most people really struggle, and sticking to a "diet" long term can be near impossible.

But, have no fear... our good friend and Nutritionist Josh Bezoni is here!  At the link below, Josh is going to take all the guess work out of your nutrition and give you a step-by-step diet to follow that's not only easy to understand, but even EASIER to follow.

Just follow the 3 simple steps he gives you here. After all, he shows you exactly what foods to eat, meal by meal...it couldn't be easier:

==> Step-by-Step What to Eat for Fat Loss (SO Tasty and Easy!)



The type of bean to AVOID eating

While beans are actually one of the healthiest carbs sources out there, loaded with fiber and protein, there's actually one variety of beans you should be AVOIDING at all costs:

Baked Beans.

Fact is, manufacturers of commercial "baked beans" are completely RUINING this health food by piling in sugars galore along with a slew of artificial ingredients.

Many brands are now even including high fructose corn syrup and numerous other corn ingredients, such as corn starch, in their products...bad news!

For example, a 1-cup serving of canned "baked beans" contains more than 20 grams of ADDED sugar on average while the same 1-cup serving of regular kidney beans, pinto beans, red beans, etc, contains only a gram or two of naturally occurring sugar. BIG difference!

That said, when buying beans and adding them to your diet (which is actually a great choice), make sure to avoid commercial "baked beans" products and instead go with bean products that don't add all the extra junk.

Some great varieties of beans and legumes are:

Pinto Beans
Red Beans
Navy Beans
Lima Beans
Black Beans
Black-eyed Peas
Marrowfat Peas
Butter Beans

And there are even some natural packaged versions of the above listed beans and legumes that add a number of healthy and natural seasonings to spice them up a bit. The lesson here is to avoid "baked beans" in favor of the plain stuff (which you can then spice up at home) and when buying anything packaged, take a good, hard look at the ingredients and nutrition facts.

If it's got added sugar and artificial ingredients, skip it!

But what if you didn't have to worry if you were making the right food choices with every food you buy?  What if it was all laid out for you, plain as day, in step by step, meal by meal fashion?  No guesswork, no confusion!

Well, that's exactly what my good friend and top nutritionist Josh Bezoni is doing for you today, and he's giving away his ONE Day Diet 100% free!

==> The ONE Day Diet (exactly what to eat for a flat belly, meal-by-meal)



Foods that help you burn fat (5-step test)

Today's article is contributed by our friend Dr Kareem...

Eat fat, lose weight. (The 5-step test)

Nutrient density is remarkably more important than counting calories.

Take a moment to think about this thoroughly -- your body requires
 energy to survive, and certain foods are made up of macronutrient 
classes that provide you with sustained energy -- when you eat the 
‘right’ foods with the right micronutrients and macronutrient profile, hormones balance and your body stops telling you that you’re hungry.  

Foods that are high in fat and easily digested, when paired with a 
relatively high-protein diet, are my newest and best discovery in 
fat loss.  I love to eat foods that taste delicious (and fatty foods 
generally taste great, since fat carries the flavor,) keep me energetic, 
and help me look great.  I recommend you do the following:
  1. List out all of your favorite foods that are high in fat.
  Mike's note: Here's a few ideas....avocados, aged cheeses, egg yolks, grass-fed butter, nuts, cream, olive oil, olives, dark chocolate, coconut cream/milk, etc.

  2. On your personal list, if you had any "bad" foods, cross out any foods that create inflammation, or modify the ingredients to prevent this from happening (i.e. foods with trans fats, high sugars, preservatives, or gluten)

  3. Figure out a solid protein source you can pair with this food and eat first.

  4. Eliminate any unnecessary carbs from the meal that will make your energy level crash within 15-20 minutes of eating (i.e. simple sugars, large portions of starches, etc.)

  5. Test this as your fist meal of the day, so you can get a real ‘feel’ for how it’s reacting in your body (even if it feels weird to eat this food in the early morning -- the morning is the best time to see how a food really ‘reacts’ in your body, since you haven’t clouded the result with other foods/beverages you consumed earlier in the day.)
Learn how your body reacts to food and fat loss becomes simple -- follow these steps:

Bodyfat -- Foods that help you LOSE FAT. (read more here)


The TRUTH about gluten

There's a LOT of confusion out there these days about whether gluten is a real hazard to your health or not. 

Even many news reporters on popular national TV shows have frequently shown the story from 2 totally opposite sides of the spectrum, highlighting some experts that say gluten only negatively affects a small % of the population that is officially "gluten-sensitive" or people that have Celiac disease, while highlighting other experts that say gluten is affecting a very LARGE portion of the population with various inflammation and auto-immune related health problems that most people don't realize.

So I'm bringing in one of the experts that I've found on this topic, to clarify exactly how gluten could be affecting YOU... did you know that gluten could possibly be causing "tiny holes" to form in your intestines (aka, leaky gut) from the chronic inflammation that gluten can cause... and can also be causing nutrient deficiencies from damage to specialized cells in your intestines that control nutrient absorption.

Read on...

The TRUTH about Gluten
by Kelsey Kale -  Natural Food Chef & Nutritionist

One of the most common objections I get from people when I mention about the benefits of going gluten-free or grain-free is, “Well, yeah, I would cut it out - but I don’t have a problem with gluten.”

While this may be true for a small percentage of the population, more studies are showing that even those of us who think we “don’t have a problem with gluten,” are actually experiencing life-depleting side effects from eating it - but we just don’t know it.

It’s not that these symptoms are hidden necessarily (though sometimes patients with celiac disease have no visible symptoms right after they eat gluten) - more often we blame our symptoms on something else, and we forget to consider gluten as the source of the problem.

The Secret Ways Gluten Is Hurting You

Consider these facts:

>> Responses to the ingestion of wheat can be divided into three types... Let’s start with some basics. There’s a difference between being “allergic” to gluten, having celiac disease, and just being gluten sensitive.

Allergic responses like skin rashes and breathing problems appear to be related to a variety of wheat proteins. Studies done with purified wheat proteins that tracked specific autoimmune antibodies in patients' blood showed that 60% had antibody responses to α-gliadins and β-gliadins, 55% to γ-gliadins, 48% to ω-gliadins.

On the other hand, certain wheat reactions, like WDEIA or “Wheat Dependent Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis” (a tongue twister, I know!) are syndromes that are known to be caused by a specific type of grain protein, ω5-gliadins.

It’s important to note that those with gluten sensitivity don’t experience their reaction in the same way that those with celiac disease do (though it may feel like it) - gluten sensitivity is not the same autoimmune response as celiac. People with gluten sensitivity have more of a reaction such as “set up a barrier to fight this one time irritant”, while those with celiac disease start building an internal army and develop specific antibodies to gluten so they’re constantly prepared.

>> Celiac Disease is 4 times more common today than it was 50 years ago.

Doctors and scientists are seeing that the popularity of gluten free diets isn’t just a fad - the actual number of people with a real autoimmune response to gluten is going up. An autoimmune response is more serious than an intolerance because this response causes your body to begin to attack its own cells. An intolerance or sensitivity to gluten is less severe and is more like your reaction to a cold or parasite, which attacks the “invader” but not your body.

This increase in celiac disease is likely due to a combination of the constant experimenting and hybridization of the wheat plant in an attempt to increase growth rate and the amount of grain each plant grows. There’s also the fact that wheat and flour based products now make up a large majority of the average person's diet (even in countries like China where rice was a staple, wheat-based products are beginning to take over and instances of gluten-related illness are beginning to rise).

Also, because there are no testing measures in place to determine if these newly developed “franken-grains” are safe for human consumption (or if the newly created plants present any side effects when eaten by humans), we’re being served something called “wheat” that’s actually a far cry from the original plant that our grandparents knew and loved.

>> As many as 29% of us may have a gluten allergy or intolerance and do not know about it.

In a study published in 2007, researchers took gut biopsies from celiac patients as well as patients with no gluten-related symptoms. Five out of six of the patients “without symptoms” showed inflammatory autoimmune blood proteins when they were exposed to gliadin (a component of gluten).

Similar studies done on populations in the UK and Germany showed that when tested, 3 times more people were sensitive to gluten than they originally thought.

These “autoimmune blood proteins” are markers that tell the body to create a system-wide inflammation response (especially in our intestines). This happens for two reasons: One, it helps our body get rid of the offending gluten as quickly as possible; And two,  it sends us a painful message telling us not to eat that food again.

This full-body inflammation creates stress in our digestive tract and can lead to tiny holes in our intestines (known as “leaky gut syndrome”) that allow small particles of undigested food to pass into our bloodstream. This causes even more inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation also kills the specialized cells in your intestines that are designed to absorb nutrients, which can lead to malnourishment and “nutrient starvation” - even if you’re overweight.

It’s even been thought by some researchers that for every 1 person with celiac disease (an estimated 1.8 million Americans) there could be at least six or seven people with “non-celiac gluten sensitivity”. This means that gluten sensitivity may affect upwards of 10-12% of the general population (that’s another 10.8 - 12.6 million people!).

Eating Gluten Can Lead To Other Allergies

>> Gluten sensitivity can also cause dairy intolerance. This is because the enzyme we need to digest the milk sugar lactose (an enzyme called “lactase”) is created by the cells in our small intestine, and these cells can be killed by inflammation caused by eating too much gluten.

>> Lastly, celiac disease is determined by the number of antibody markers found in your stool or blood. The benchmark for beginning to diagnose celiac disease using a blood test is an antibody count of 30+. If you meet this number or higher you are likely to be diagnosed with celiac disease. If you score even 1 point below this number, you technically don’t have celiac - but you will definitely still feel all the painful effects of gluten.

NOTE: Having a high inflammatory blood protein count doesn’t always mean you have Celiac, so it’s best to consult your doctor and participate in a panel of tests before diagnosing yourself.

The Effects Add Up...

Your reaction to gluten may not be strong enough to worry you. A little bit of bloating here, mild swelling in the joints there - no big deal, just a little embarrassing... right?  Wrong.

Over a period of time (let’s say a few years) low levels of inflammation in the body start to add up. Even if you don’t experience any immediate negative effects from eating gluten (or your reactions are “tolerable”), you could be doing long term damage to your body.

For example, remember that this inflammation may be killing off the cells in your small intestine that are designed to absorb nutrients, which can leave you both fat and starving. And chronic inflammation anywhere in the body has full-body effects -- chronic inflammation has even been linked to terminal illnesses like cancer and heart disease. Every bite counts.


Mike's Note:  Beware of many new "gluten-free" packaged and processed foods that are on the market these days... Most times, these gluten-free processed foods just simply contain highly refined flours such as rice flour, tapioca flour, and corn starch which have severe effects on your blood sugar and insulin levels. Many "gluten-free" processed foods also still contain very high sugar levels.

Kelsey shows you her exact method of eating gluten-free, but doing so in a way that HELPS you control blood sugar and lose fat in this video she prepared for you:

Video: Kelsey's EXACT plan to remove gluten but still ENJOY delicious food (plus lose fat)

If you don't have time to watch Kelsey's video, you can also grab her super-awesome new cookbook on how to eat grain-free while enjoying amazingly delicious meals:

Kelsey's cookbook:  Enjoy grain-free amazing meals & get a flat stomach faster

Can you HEAL gluten-damaged intestines?

A couple things on this...

1.  There's a unique ingredient called Actazin in this powerful probiotic supplement that shows strong promise at being able to help HEAL and regenerate gluten-damaged gut-lining cells.  You can read about it at that page.

2.  It's also well known that Kefir (kefir is generally more powerful than yogurt in terms of both probiotic quantity and variety of strains) can have a powerful healing effect on the digestive system when used regularly because of the unique probiotics.  Kefir is also generally 99% lactose-free since the microbes consume most of the lactose in the fermentation process, making kefir one of the easiest to digest dairy products.

3.  If you're like me and you stay gluten-free most days of the week, but still eat wheat based foods when traveling or at restaurants, there's a new and very interesting ingredient called GlutenGone in this enzyme product that I use on the 1 or 2 days a week when I might dine out and eat some foods high in gluten.  I see it as a sort of "protection" against gluten damage for those occasional days when I do eat grains.

Lastly, on this same topic, if you're not yet convinced of some of the potential health detriments to eating wheat and gluten, make sure you've also read this article:

11 Ways that "whole wheat" can damage your body

PS -- if you liked today's article, please fwd this email on to any of your friends, family, or co-workers that would enjoy it.

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer