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- What’s New?
By Phil Kaplan
Hmm. What’s new.
Let’s see . . .
A 53-year old man named Jody Goran
is suing the estate of Dr. Atkins. Goran believes the Atkins
diet caused his cholesterol to skyrocket to dangerous levels. If
anything, maybe Goran should sue whoever named him Jody, but
that's a different matter entirely.
I’ve already received over 250
forwarded articles from clients, customers, and radio show
listeners informing me of the lawsuit. The truth is, it’s
not really news. Nothing’s changing. People are still going
to battle over two extremes and fail to see the middle ground.
articles I’ve read relevant to this story all mention that
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is
backing Goran’s case. That sounds like a strong reliable
alliance, after all, it has the word “physicians” in it.
Interestingly, the President of the PCRM is Dr. Neal Barnard,
the author of several books, and a firm advocate of vegetarianism.
This isn’t a new battle. It’s simply a repackaged one. We’re
faced with yet another battle of extremes. Atkins embraced
human consumption of animal fat, Barnard abhors the idea.
We live in the real world with
real world temptations, real innovations in nutrition, and
real manufacturers manufacturing all sorts of foods. We have
jobs, families, obligations, and hopefully a bit of leisure
time. While the diet gurus can write books that lead to various
eating obsessions, the truth is, America needs education,
not another extreme diet, and certainly not a new lawsuit
opening the flood gates for unsatisfied dieters to become
fodder for case-chasing attorneys.
To suggest that “Avoiding Carbs”
is the road for America to find fitness is unrealistic, yet
to expect that America will abandon animal meats and “go veggie”
is also far fetched. The true answer has to lie in balance,
in helping people understand some fundamental realities of
exercise and eating, and empowering them to make better choices.
Will some people find virtue in Dr. Barnard’s approach? Absolutely,
and others will find “Atkins works for them.” The primary
issue is, we’re dealing with a population made up of individuals
and we can’t provide a diet that works across the board.
Now the good news.
don’t need a diet. In fact, they’d be better of burying their
heads in the sand anytime a diet book found its way into their
line of sight. I’m not here to provide a diet. I’m here
to help you get fit lean and healthy just as I’ve helped hundreds
of thousands over the last 20 years. I’ll do it by coaching
you, advising you, and guiding you through a ridiculously
insane maze of fitness and weight loss alternatives. I’ll
also recognize that you are an individual with individual
food preferences, your very own lifestyle, and habits that
have developed and evolved for years. I won’t steer you in
the direction of deprivation, but rather in the direction
of education. While we are all individuals, we are also made
of the same material. Without attempting to prescribe individual
meal plans, I’ve learned to introduce and clarify some concepts
that do apply across the board. In order to open up to these
concepts, we first have to address the mush that’s in your
brain as a residual effect of all of the supplement, diet,
and infomercial advertising you’ve been exposed to.
Let’s start with a simple concept.
Have you ever failed to achieve
a fitness or weight loss result? If so, here’s my promise.
You're confused. Don’t be offended. Most people are confused
by the overwhelming assault of fitness and weight loss misinformation,
and the repetition of the line, “I know what I should do but
I don’t do it” in those who visit with me in my office is
clear evidence that many who are confused don’t even know
You, in all likelihood, blame yourself
for your previous failures, and because in the realm of fitness
and weight loss, misinformation has replaced common sense,
you, as most Americans, are led to believe that supplements
are solutions, that the last diet you were on “worked” but
you couldn’t stick to it because you didn’t have willpower,
and that you should start looking at an extreme makeover where
they cut you open, suck the fat out of your belly, enhance
whatever needs enhancing, and fix your teeth in the process.
overwhelm combined with a society closer to pure narcissism
than ever before has our entire population victimized by a
seemingly endless flurry of vague and conflicting messages.
Eat carbs, don’t eat carbs . . . cut fat, eat fat to burn
fat . . . relax to reduce cortisol, force yourself to exercise
. . . . the contradictions in the messages out there are astounding.
Look at the landscape and I defy
you to tell me it makes sense at any level.
The Newest Diets
Atkins might have been the first
to hit the best seller list, but new low carb diets keep coming
out of the woodwork. All of the “new diets” are simply twists
on Atkins. The South Beach Diet does discuss the important
distinction between good fats and bad fats, but the first
two weeks, just as the induction phase of the Atkins Diet,
result in deceptive water loss leading people down a potentially
hazardous and frustrating road.
Next entry into the marketplace,
the Hamptons Diet. I’ve spent many summers in the Hamptons.
I understand the mentality. People looking their best at
all costs, so it’s only appropriate that a place as trendy,
as affluent, and as enviable as the Hamptons should have its
own diet, but is this a unique new dietary approach? Not
The Hamptons Diet is written by
Dr. Fred Pascatore. In case you don’t know the name, he was
the medical director of the Atkins Center. Of course, in
order to sell a book there must be something new and miraculous,
or at least something identified as miraculous. Pescatore
did precisely that. He holds Macadamia Nut oil up as the
great salvation. The Hamptons Diet is the Atkins Diet drenched
in Macadamia Nut oil.
It’s pretty simple to sum up.
The “diet trend” today revolves around recognizing the impact
of refined, bleached, and processed foods and then, in order
to facilitate pounds lost as measured by the scale, find a
twist on minimizing carb intake. Ultimately, carb depletion
leads to water loss and extended carb depletion leads to muscle
loss and metabolic slowdown . . . even though the scale in
the short term says, "it's working!"
If you’re at all caught up in or
intrigued by the new diets, there are five points that can
help you get “the A-ha.” Allow me to share these points in
hope of providing some much needed clarity.
The Thermic Effect of Food
– any time our bodies do work heat is produced, thus calories
are expended. When we eat supportive combinations of lean
proteins and natural unrefined carbohydrates we can experience
up to a 20% metabolic boost just in the act of digestion.
Fat is the least thermic of the nutrients. While we do need
essential fats, meals relatively low in fat and adequate in
proteins and natural unrefined complex carbs work to boost
The Definition of Metabolism
– recognizing the thermic effect of food should help you
better understand how eating ties directly into metabolism.
The definition of metabolism reduced to its simplest terms
would be, “how quickly the body burns through food.” Depriving
the body of nutrients can only lead to a metabolic slowdown.
Most who pursue “carb restriction” actually wind up consuming
fewer calories than they did prior to the diet. A metabolic
boost comes from making the body more efficient at burning
through and utilizing nutrients and frequent nutrient complete
meals can do precisely that.
The Pancreatic Hormones
– the pancreas produces two hormones that directly relate
to energy production and body composition. Glucagon is the
“release” hormone, and allows for fatty acids to be released
from adipose cells. If you can’t release fat, you can’t burn
it, thus a glucagon dominant environment is optimal for fat
burning. The other hormone produced by the pancreas is insulin
which is the “storage” hormone as it transports and shuttles
glucose into the muscles and liver. When a blood sugar spike,
brought on by the consumption of simple sugar, causes blood
sugar levels to increase, the pancreas begins kicking up insulin
production, minimizing glucagon production which in essence
locks in stored fat. Complex starches and fibers, when ingested
as components of complete meals, slowly release glucose into
the bloodstream allowing the pancreas to maintain a supportive
balance between insulin and glucagon. Simple sugars, bleached,
processed, and refined carbohydrates can very well contribute
to fat accumulation, but throwing complex natural carbs out
with the refined products can lead to the body becoming more
carbohydrate sensitive and insulin resistant. Eat frequently,
provide a slow release stream of glucose in the presence of
protein and essential fat, and avoid simple sugars, and pancreatic
hormones allow the body to stay in a state ideal for fat liberation.
Two other “A-ha statements” that
require little explanation but can serve as wonderful filters
to separate potentially legitimate information from cleverly
disguised marketing are:
A Supplement will not be a Solution
(supplement by definition means “the extra” and if a capsule
or pill is offered as the fat loss solution, it’s obviously
being marketed deceptively).
Any single nutrient is simply
a piece of the puzzle. The body is complex and all nutrients
interact and interplay. To suggest that a single nutrient
. . . even macadamia nut oil . . .is going to be the radically
transformational ingredient is to show an ignorance for the
The Ignorance Driven Goldmine
Because only a negligible segment
of our population maintains an awareness of the five points
I just shared, the floodgates are open. Everyone’s cashing
in . . . except the consumer! Even Dr. Phil’s on the bandwagon!
coming out with a low carb version, Pepsi is as well. Is
a new low carb cola going to help people? Are carbs really
the enemy, and if they are, don’t Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi
already exist? How about Pepsi One? Only one calorie! Why
do we need another. We don’t. Pepsi’s just capitalizing
on the new awareness of America. America thinks it wants
McDonalds is now selling an adult
happy meal with a pedometer to count your steps. Is that
who we should look to to help us resolve weight issues? McDonalds?
"BUT EXERCISE DOESN’T WORK
The week before I wrote this I
was performing dumbbell curls in the gym when I overheard
two women chatting away as one of them stood and performed
endless repetitions of curls with ridiculously light weights
and the other sat and listened. The curler's arms were moving,
but her mouth was moving faster, and she was obviously upset
about a man who dumped her for a woman with “a better body.”
The seated woman offered her two cents trying to put a positive
spin on things, “well, now you’ll show him. You’ll get into
great shape and he’ll be sorry!” The response got to me.
“Nah, exercise doesn’t work for me. I’ve been doing this
for months and I haven’t seen my arms change at all.”
Time out. Swinging light weights
around as if you’re playing with toys is not considered resistance
training. You have to challenge muscle, and if the chat takes
more of your attention than the exercise, it’s not likely
you’re going to see a change, but let’s not mistake that for
meaning “exercise doesn’t work.” Exercise has to be strategically
introduced in a manner that provides a stimulus for change.
If exercise doesn’t work for you, you’re in one of two categories:
- You’re an alien and are not
made up of the same biochemical material as Earth humans
- You’re not exercising at an
intensity or with a frequency sufficient to stimulate improvement
you’re an alien, I really can’t help. Check for personal
trainers on your own planet. If you are an earth being, than
exercise works! You just need the Synergy in place!
“Exercise doesn’t work for me,”
is what I’ve learned to recognize as a False Belief. There
are many false beliefs that destroy the very first prerequisite
to getting in shape, the belief that it’s possible.
Here are just a few of the other false belief that plague
- Believing a walking program
is enough to get you lean – too many people with this
belief walk, walk, and walk some more and lose muscle tissue
in the process by failing to recognize the importance of
supportive eating and resistance training
- Dieting and believing it’s
going to resolve your weight problem – diets lead to
temporary reduction of pounds, but are inefficient at actually
boosting metabolism and preserving lean body mass. Follow
a diet along with the expectation that the diet will “work”
and its only a matter of time until belief starts to fade.
Unfortunately, for most the loss of belief turns into “no
matter what I do I can’t lose weight.”
OK, lets grab some common sense
back. Let’s understand the bigger picture.
I’m sure you’ll agree that today
there are more so-called fitness and weight loss solutions
than ever in history. If you view a problem globally, you’d
typically find that when a solution is introduced, or for
even greater impact, a number of solutions are introduced,
the problem begins to decline among a population.
As an example, in 1900, staggering
numbers of children died from infectious pneumonia. In 1927
penicillin was discovered. There was a problem, and a solution
was found. With the introduction of penicillin, there was
a 93% decline in child mortality due to infectious pneumonia.
As a matter of fact, today we only have 1/20th
of the number of deaths from bacterial diseases than we had
prior to the invention of antibiotics.
If a drug, a supplement, or a diet
were truly a solution to obesity, shouldn’t we see an epidemiological
decline in the “disease?” Of course, but with 2/3 of our
population overweight, and half of the overweight population
considered dangerously obese, the obesity “disease” is at
an all time high! Is there evidence of a reversal in the
“growth” trend? Nope. Today 25% of teens sit on the danger
side of the obesity threshold which means our next generation
is on the way to greater obesity statistics than we face today.
There was actually another time
in history when obesity started to escalate significantly.
If we go back to the turn of the 20th century we’d find that
obesity among white-collar workers in the U.S. went from about
2% of the population to near 5% in a the ten-year time span
from 1895 - 1905. That’s staggering. It more than doubled.
The turn of the century was also the time that railroad tracks
found their way across the country, cars were produced by
the millions, and innovation led to automation reducing the
need for physical labor. The word “sedentary” was beginning
to find its place.
While the beginning of the 20th
century showed a spike in obesity, from 1905 to the 1970’s,
obesity statistics remained relatively stable. In the late
70’s they again started to climb, and since 1980, every year
the numbers have gone up. As we crossed the line into the
new century, the 21st Century, the increase ran
out of control. The reason for the spike in 1900 is clear,
but the current obesity climb seems to summon up frustration
and confusion among those who are called upon for solutions.
Let’s start to understand what
major changes have taken place in the last 30 years.
- Increases in airline travel.
- Reduction in physical education
- Fast foods. Hydrogenated fats.
Refined foods overtaking the supermarkets.
- Increased restaurant dining
(in 1970 less than 20% outside of the home, today near 35%)
- Average increase in food consumption
by 500 calories per day from 1984 to 2000
- A survey revealed that a significant
number of teens drink more than 6 sodas a day, 240 grams
of sugar, and the average American consumes 168 pounds of
sugar per year
- Inactive hours spend in chat
rooms and in front of the television. A study with adolescent
girls surprisingly showed that their metabolisms were lower
during the post-school hours that they sat and watched television
than they were upon waking in the morning.
Add in video games and consider
that most children are now driven to school, and it becomes
obvious activity is almost non-existent.
So what's the mystery? The reasons
are clear. The solution should be as well.
The DISEASE leads to DISEASE
Obesity may or may not wind up
being called a disease, but if the word “disease” means “dis-ease”
or discomfort, speak to anyone who struggles with it and they’ll
agree it’s an applicable term. The dis-ease of obesity walks
hand in hand with other diseases, and as obesity escalates
so too do blood sugar irregularities including diabetes.
America’s school children may learn about the 21st
century as a time during which our population was faced with
a diabetes epidemic.
Heart disease, gallbladder disease,
breast, uterine, and colon cancers are all on the rise along
As the quest to define obesity,
in ultimate efforts to treat and “cure” it, continues, medical
science has brought us a new term. The Metabolic Syndrome.
An article in the January 2002 issue of JAMA listed astoundingly
high statistics in terms of the percentage of each age group
displaying Metabolic Syndrome. According the article, after
the age of 50, roughly 40% of our population can be so diagnosed.
Metabolic Syndrome is diagnosed when three out of five factors
are identified in an individual:
- A waist
circumference of greater than thirty-five inches for a woman
or forty inches for a man
serum triglycerides of 150 or above
- A low
HDL or "good" cholesterol of below 50 in women
or below 40 in men
- Blood pressure
of 130/85 or higher
- A fasting blood
sugar level of 110 or higher
with Metabolic Syndrome typically have abdominal adiposity
which is a fancy way of saying “a big belly.” This “apple
shape” has been linked with greater risk of potentially fatal
incident. These people typically are “insulin resistant,”
which means that the pancreas produces adequate insulin, but
the body is not efficient at utilizing it. Insulin resistance
leads to a pancreas trying desperately to produce enough insulin,
and the insulin : glucagon environment being swayed far toward
the likelihood of fat storage. Those diagnosed with Metabolic
Syndrome will probably amplify the problem by trying conventional
(yet unsuccessful) weight loss “cures.”
What are bariatricians (weight
loss medical specialists) doing about Metabolic Syndrome,
which according to some sources afflicts slightly less than
half of our population? “Treating it.” The treatment may
include VLCDs (very low calorie diets – which ultimately backfire
and slow metabolism), extreme diets, medications that act
as stimulants, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and/or appetite
suppressants, and in severe cases gastric bypass surgery.
Here’s the sad part. The increased incidence continues.
The “cures” are impotent.
I can go off into an exploration
of “fat burning supplements,” but I won’t. I’ve done that
plenty of times and the conclusion is consistent in every
case. The products fall short. I can also go off into an
exploration of pharmaceutical releases beginning with Phen-Fen
and leading up through Meridia, Redux, Xenical, and the exploration
of a leptin drug. The bottom line is, with billions of dollars
being generated, scientific exploration in the realm of pharmaceuticals
has done nothing to curb obesity.
Before a “cure” reaches the entirety
of the afflicted population, someone needs to clearly identify
“prevention,” and preventative measures must be instituted
to slow the increase and ultimately bring at least a segment
of our population more appealing statistical reports.
So What's the Solution?
Synergy . . . and education. "Synergy"
is the word I use to describe the ideal strategy for gaining
control of metabolism, body composition, and physical well-being.
There are three synergistic elements that ALL must be in place
to facilitate a positive physical change.
- The Right Nutrition
- Moderate Aerobic Exercise
- A Concern For Muscle
I've written endless articles on
this topic (you can find many at the Site
Menu and the Update Menu),
and I'll continue, as "Synergy" is the solution
. . . oh, along with the second part of the equation. Education.
Our population is confused and needs clarity, and that's precisely
what I strive to provide.
As I’ve said in the past, it’s
not that I have any magic. It’s not even that I’m so smart.
It’s that I have the right approach, and while it may not
sound as sexy as “eat anything you want and lose all the weight
you want,” or as compelling as “The magic pill has arrived,”
I tell people what they need to hear and in that lies empowerment.
If you're not yet on the way to Physical Excellence, look
into my programs and select
the one best suited for you!
which of Phil's Programs is Best For You?
Click here for a review and some
personal assistance from Phil
to get the training and eating strategies down?
Listen to the audio track
the information you need to take control of your body!
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