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June 2006 - Bodybuilding & Fitness Secrets Newsletter

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FITNESS SECRETS E-ZINE. Brought to you by Tom Venuto.Com
www.tomvenuto.com: "The honest fitness site"

Your Reliable Source For The Truth about Health, Fitness &
Weight Loss - The Natural Way...
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Issue #51: June 2006
In This Issue:

  • Editorial:The Courage And Inspiration To Discover Your Calling And Pursue Your Dream, By Tom Venuto
  • 3 Steps 3 Minutes To Total Success
  • Ask Tom Q & A of The Month: Does Eating At Night Make You Fat?
  • Article of the month: A Unified Theory Of Nutrition By Will Brink
  • A Matter Of Chatter By John Harricharan

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EDITORIAL
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THE COURAGE AND INSPIRATION TO DISCOVER YOUR CALLING AND PURSUE YOUR DREAM

An Editorial By Tom Venuto
www.Tomvenuto.com

“Why do you do it, Tom?”

Why do you eat every three hours, weighing and measuring all your food, nitpicking every ounce and gram and calorie?

Why do you "deprive" yourself for months on end of delicious pleasures like ice cream, pizza and pastries?

Why do you get up out of a warm, cozy bed at 6 in the morning to do cardio and then later in the day you’re back in the gym again lifting weights?

Why do you put your social life and other activities on hold and do nothing but eat, sleep, breathe and live bodybuilding for 3 months before the big competitions?

Why do you train into “the burn,” beyond fatigue, pushing yourself to the outer limits of your strength and endurance, intentionally putting yourself into the pain zone?

Why do you make all the sacrifices?

What motivates you to keep doing it?

I am asked these and similar questions more often than you can imagine, both in formal interviews as well as in casual conversations with friends, clients, business colleagues, even total strangers.

My answer is simple:

“This is what I was put here to do... and I love it!”

Why do Olympians train full time for 4 or 8 or even 12 years to put it all on the line for one competition?

Why does a priest take up his ministry?

Why do writers write?

Why do singers sing?

Why does anyone follow any path in life?

Here is the only way I can possibly describe it:

It’s their calling…. It’s what they were put here to do.

I didn’t pursue my path because I excelled at it first and then decided to continue pursuing it. I knew bodybuilding and fitness was “it” before I even began. It was a feeling from within.

From the very first time I saw a photograph of Arnold Schwarzenneger, when I was 14, I just knew… because it fascinated me, it interested me, excited me, intrigued me, inspired me.

As Dr Wayne Dyer writes in his new book, “Inspiration, Your Ultimate Calling:”

“Anything that excites us is a clue that we have the ability to pursue it. Anything that truly intrigues us is evidence of a divine (albeit latent) talent that’s signaling our awareness. Having an interest in something is the clue to a thought that’s connected to our calling. Anything that is causing excitement within us is evidence of a spiritual message that’s saying, ‘You can do this, yes you can.’”

But let’s suppose you do “hear the call,” … why put yourself through the pain and sacrifices necessary to pursue a difficult and disciplined path?

The answer is simple…

The rewards of the disciplined path are greater than the sacrifices you make to pursue it. The more difficult and disciplined the path, the greater the rewards.

And perhaps even more significant, the pain of not pursuing the path you were destined to pursue is far greater than the pain of the sacrifices you make to pursue it.

If is nothing is ventured, nothing can be gained... No rewards. No satisfaction. You merely exist… and you exist with a feeling of emptiness and unfulfillment as your constant companion.

We are not here to merely exist. We are here to live, to grow and to express our potential.

Surely you’ve heard the maxim that we use only 10% of our potential or less. Well, doesn’t the idea of discovering and realizing at least some of your ultimate potential get you inspired and excited?

Bodybuilding to me is so much more than just training, competing, enjoying a highly developed body, and winning titles and awards. That’s only the most superficial aspect of it.

Bodybuilding to me is goes much deeper: It is a chosen and enjoyed life-style as well as a career. It’s a path to follow not a destination to be reached. It is a road to total self development, not just physical self development. It is an opportunity to explore potential, express talents, utilize abilities, and work towards a state Abraham Maslow called self-actualization.

It’s all about the type of person you become in pursuit of your goal, not the achievement of the goal itself. As such, you could say a path like this is both mental and spiritual in nature, even though it appears that nothing could possibly be more physical.

What’s especially interesting is that when you are on the right path, you don’t need to “get motivated,” you simply feel inspired from within.

Some people may not have recognized their calling yet, but it’s already inside of each and every one of us, it’s simply a matter of connecting or tuning in to it. It’s like the station has been continuously broadcasting a message inside you all your life, and you simply have to turn the tuner to the right position on the dial and then listen.

When you listen to that inner voice, you feel contentment, satisfaction, alignment, and congruency, a feeling of being “on purpose” and “on the right track.”

If you’ve tuned in and you hear that voice speaking to you, but you ignore it, there are consequences.

Over the years, many people have “volunteered their opinion” about my choice of career path and pursuit of bodybuilding.

They told me there was no future in bodybuilding.

They said there was no money in bodybuilding.

They said I should focus on my business and my career rather than waste time chasing after dreams of trophies and titles

They said life is too short to spend all your time in the gym.

They said bodybuilding was superficial and narcissistic.

They said bodybuilding was full of druggies, weirdos, egomaniacs and worse.

They told me I couldn’t make it without steroids.

They said I didn’t have the genetics.

They said it wasn’t even a real sport!

They laughed, they ridiculed, they disapproved. (Some of them still do).

Thankfully, for most of my life, I ignored “them.”

But on the rare occasions I let “them” influence me, I was always miserable - there were very intense feelings of discomfort, disappointment and discontentment. I knew I was off the track.

Rollo May, in his book, The Courage To Create, said that the opposite of courage is not cowardice. The opposite of courage is conformity.

When you have the courage to resist the pressure to conform to what other people want for you in order to pursue your own calling, don’t be surprised to see the disapproval of others eventually turn into respect.

As strategic coach Dan Sullivan says, it's better to be exceptional than to be acceptable... better to stand out than to fit in... better to be productive than to be popular.

We are all faced with these questions:

Do we pursue what we came here to do, or do we ignore our calling and listen to what others want for us?

The answer we must arrive at eventually is that even though we may disappoint others because we choose to pursue our own dreams, we MUST have the courage to pursue them anyway, or we will be sentenced to uninspired lives of quiet desperation.

Dr. Wayne Dyer gives some great advice about this. He says,

“Don’t die wondering. This is extremely important in working towards an inspired life because it motivates us to act – after all, we don’t want to be full of regrets because we failed to heed our ultimate calling. We don’t tend to regret what we do, we regret what we didn’t do.”

The idea of “dying with my music still in me” does it for me every time. Picturing myself in the last days of my life, looking back and wondering what I could have become, if only I had made the attempt, is simply too painful to bear…. And the mere thought of it keeps me going and growing.

So many people today are filled with a feeling of emptiness, a feeling that there must be something more. I believe that this is our calling, speaking to us, longing to be heard, acted upon and expressed.

Listen to it, and have the courage to pursue it.

Train hard and expect success
Your friend and coach,

Tom Venuto

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QUESTION OF THE MONTH
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Dear Tom,

Tom, thanks for the valuable info you provide through your BURN THE FAT e-book and through all your websites and newsletters. I have one important question about burning fat: I come home from work at 7:00 pm, work out from 7:30 to 8:30 and have my last meal (veggies and protein) at about 9:00. I go to sleep two hours later at 11:00 pm. Is there any problem with eating just two hours before going to bed? Is it probable that eating at night causes more fat to be stored for any reason?

Sincerely,

Eleni

"Does eating at night make you fat?"

That is definitely one of the most common questions asked about fat loss, but what's frustrating is that you hear so many conflicting answers. Some fat loss experts and bodybuilders swear by not eating late at night, while others say it's just a myth that eating at night makes you fat (or slows down fat loss).

Let me share the facts with you, as well as my opinions, personal experience and then some practical suggestions.

The fact is, eating at night does not necessarily make you fat. There are too many other variables involved to make such a big assumption and generalization.

The primary factor in whether you gain or lose fat is not when you eat but rather how much; i.e., the total calorie intake and energy balance for the day (surplus or deficit).

However, that doesn't mean meal timing doesn't matter at all, it simply means that it's entirely possible to eat one of your meals late at night right before bed and still lose body fat, as long as you're in a caloric deficit and other necessary factors for fat loss are in place.

It would be more accurate to say, "Eating large meals late at night before bed, especially calorie dense high carbohydrate meals, increases the probability that you will store some of those calories as fat."

Based on my personal experience as a competitive bodybuilder with 28 contests under my belt, as well as my work with thousands of clients, I've found that tapering your calories and carbs so you eat more early in the day, and slightly fewer calories and carbohydrates at night, will accelerate fat loss or make it easier to lose fat. (but that's not the same as saying "eating at night makes you fat.")


Although some scientists and dieticians reject the "eat less at night to burn more fat" theory and believe that 24 hour calorie balance is the only thing that matters, there are some logical and scientific reasons why fat loss is accelerated if you eat less at night and keep the last meal at least two hours from bedtime:

  • 1. You are less active at night and are burning fewer calories
  • 2. Your metabolism is slowest while you are sleeping
  • 3. You will release more insulin at night compared to in the morning
  • 4. Your glycogen stores are fuller after a day of eating so you are more likely to store/partition excess carbohydrate as fat instead of storing it as muscle glycogen

Whether you decide to restrict your calories (and/or carbs) depends on variables such as:
  • Your goal (is your goal fat loss or muscle gain)
  • Your body type (are you an ecto, endo, or meso morph somatotype)
  • Your schedule (do you work out in the a.m. or p.m.)
  • Your results (are you losing fat or stuck at a plateau?)

First, be sure to adjust your nutrition according to your goals. For thin people ("ectomorph body type") who are having difficulty gaining lean body mass, eating right before bed could actually be quite beneficial.

If you're on a strict fat loss program, or if you want to accelerate fat loss, ideally you would want to eat your last meal 2-3 hours before bed, if that's practical. You would also want to eat fewer concentrated carbs at night, keeping the evening meals small and mostly consisting of lean protein and fibrous carbs/green veggies (small amounts of healthy fats are ok too).

Also consider what time of day you're training. If you usually train in the evening, I would definitely recommend eating a protein + carbs meal after your workout (even at night) because post workout nutrition is so important for the recovery process.

The food you eat right after training is very unlikely to be converted to fat because it's needed to restore depleted energy substrates (muscle glycogen) and to begin the muscle repair and growth process.

Most importantly, and I repeat this advice often because it's SO vitally important, but so often ignored:

Make your decisions about your nutrition based on your results:

If you're successfully losing fat while eating at night, even right before bed, even large meals, even with a lot of carbs, then there's no need to need to change a thing, is there?

If you're trying to lose fat, but aren't successful yet, THEN consider making your diet stricter, and one way to make your diet stricter is to move back the last meal of the day and / or make it smaller by dropping out the starchy and concentrated carbs.

The idea that "eating at night makes you fat" is not literally correct, but there are situations when you may want to eat less at night and eat your last meal earlier... that is, if you want to really want to kick your fat loss into high gear!

For more fat burning tips, tricks and tactics, visit www.BurnTheFat.com

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ARTICLE OF THE MONTH
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Will Brink’s Unified Theory Of Nutrition
By Will Brink,
Author of Diet Supplements Revealed, and Muscle Building Nutrition


When people hear the term Unified Theory, some times called the Grand Unified Theory, or even "Theory of Everything," they probably think of it in terms of physics, where a Unified Theory, or single theory capable of defining the nature of the interrelationships among nuclear, electromagnetic, and gravitational forces, would reconcile seemingly incompatible aspects of various field theories to create a single comprehensive set of equations.

Such a theory could potentially unlock all the secrets of nature and the universe itself, or as theoretical physicist Michio Katu, puts it "an equation an inch long that would allow us to read the mind of God." That's how important unified theories can be. However, unified theories don't have to deal with such heady topics as physics or the nature of the universe itself, but can be applied to far more mundane topics, in this case nutrition.

Regardless of the topic, a unified theory, as stated above, seeks to explain seemingly incompatible aspects of various theories. In this article I attempt to unify seemingly incompatible or opposing views regarding nutrition, namely, what is probably the longest running debate in the nutritional sciences: calories vs. macro nutrients.

One school, I would say the 'old school' of nutrition, maintains weight loss or weight gain is all about calories, and "a calorie is a calorie," no matter the source (e.g., carbs, fats, or proteins). They base their position on various lines of evidence to come to that conclusion.

The other school, I would call more the 'new school' of thought on the issue, would state that gaining or losing weight is really about where the calories come from (e.g., carbs, fats, and proteins), and that dictates weight loss or weight gain. Meaning, they feel, the "calorie is a calorie" mantra of the old school is wrong. They too come to this conclusion using various lines of evidence.

This has been an ongoing debate between people in the field of nutrition, biology, physiology, and many other disciplines, for decades. The result of which has led to conflicting advice and a great deal of confusion by the general public, not to mention many medical professionals and other groups.

Before I go any further, two key points that are essential to understand about any unified theory:

A good unified theory is simple, concise, and understandable even to lay people. However, underneath, or behind that theory, is often a great deal of information that can take up many volumes of books. So, for me to outline all the information I have used to come to these conclusions, would take a large book, if not several and is far beyond the scope of this article.

A unified theory is often proposed by some theorist before it can even be proven or fully supported by physical evidence. Over time, different lines of evidence, whether it be mathematical, physical, etc., supports the theory and thus solidifies that theory as being correct, or continued lines of evidence shows the theory needs to be revised or is simply incorrect. I feel there is now more than enough evidence at this point to give a unified theory of nutrition and continuing lines of evidence will continue (with some possible revisions) to solidify the theory as fact. "A calorie is a calorie"

The old school of nutrition, which often includes most nutritionists, is a calorie is a calorie when it comes to gaining or losing weight. That weight loss or weight gain is strictly a matter of "calories in, calories out." Translated, if you "burn" more calories than you take in, you will lose weight regardless of the calorie source and if you eat more calories than you burn off each day, you will gain weight, regardless of the calorie source.

This long held and accepted view of nutrition is based on the fact that protein and carbs contain approx 4 calories per gram and fat approximately 9 calories per gram and the source of those calories matters not. They base this on the many studies that finds if one reduces calories by X number each day, weight loss is the result and so it goes if you add X number of calories above what you use each day for gaining weight.

However, the "calories in calories out" mantra fails to take into account modern research that finds that fats, carbs, and proteins have very different effects on the metabolism via countless pathways, such as their effects on hormones (e.g., insulin, leptin, glucagon, etc), effects on hunger and appetite, thermic effects (heat production), effects on uncoupling proteins (UCPs), and 1000 other effects that could be mentioned.

Even worse, this school of thought fails to take into account the fact that even within a macro nutrient, they too can have different effects on metabolism. This school of thought ignores the ever mounting volume of studies that have found diets with different macro nutrient ratios with identical calorie intakes have different effects on body composition, cholesterol levels, oxidative stress, etc.

Translated, not only is the mantra "a calorie us a calorie" proven to be false, "all fats are created equal" or "protein is protein" is also incorrect. For example, we no know different fats (e.g. fish oils vs. saturated fats) have vastly different effects on metabolism and health in general, as we now know different carbohydrates have their own effects (e.g. high GI vs. low GI), as we know different proteins can have unique effects.

The "calories don't matter" school of thought

This school of thought will typically tell you that if you eat large amounts of some particular macro nutrient in their magic ratios, calories don't matter. For example, followers of ketogenic style diets that consist of high fat intakes and very low carbohydrate intakes (i.e., Atkins, etc.) often maintain calories don't matter in such a diet.

Others maintain if you eat very high protein intakes with very low fat and carbohydrate intakes, calories don't matter. Like the old school, this school fails to take into account the effects such diets have on various pathways and ignore the simple realities of human physiology, not to mention the laws of thermodynamics!

The reality is, although it's clear different macro nutrients in different amounts and ratios have different effects on weight loss, fat loss, and other metabolic effects, calories do matter. They always have and they always will. The data, and real world experience of millions of dieters, is quite clear on that reality.

The truth behind such diets is that they are often quite good at suppressing appetite and thus the person simply ends up eating fewer calories and losing weight. Also, the weight loss from such diets is often from water vs. fat, at least in the first few weeks. That's not to say people can't experience meaningful weight loss with some of these diets, but the effect comes from a reduction in calories vs. any magical effects often claimed by proponents of such diets.

Weight loss vs. fat loss!

This is where we get into the crux of the true debate and why the two schools of thought are not actually as far apart from one another as they appear to the untrained eye. What has become abundantly clear from the studies performed and real world evidence is that to lose weight we need to use more calories than we take in (via reducing calorie intake and or increasing exercise), but we know different diets have different effects on the metabolism, appetite, body composition, and other physiological variables...

Brink's Unified Theory of Nutrition

...Thus, this reality has led me to Brink's Unified Theory of Nutrition which states:

"Total calories dictates how much weight a person gains or loses; macro nutrient ratios dictates what a person gains or loses"

This seemingly simple statement allows people to understand the differences between the two schools of thought. For example, studies often find that two groups of people put on the same calorie intakes but very different ratios of carbs, fats, and proteins will lose different amounts of bodyfat and or lean body mass (i.e., muscle, bone, etc.).

Some studies find for example people on a higher protein lower carb diet lose approximately the same amount of weight as another group on a high carb lower protein diet, but the group on the higher protein diet lost more actual fat and less lean body mass (muscle). Or, some studies using the same calorie intakes but different macro nutrient intakes often find the higher protein diet may lose less actual weight than the higher carb lower protein diets, but the actual fat loss is higher in the higher protein low carb diets. This effect has also been seen in some studies that compared high fat/low carb vs. high carb/low fat diets. The effect is usually amplified if exercise is involved as one might expect.

Of course these effects are not found universally in all studies that examine the issue, but the bulk of the data is clear: diets containing different macro nutrient ratios do have different effects on human physiology even when calorie intakes are identical (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11).

Or, as the authors of one recent study that looked at the issue concluded:

"Diets with identical energy contents can have different effects on leptin concentrations, energy expenditure, voluntary food intake, and nitrogen balance, suggesting that the physiologic adaptations to energy restriction can be modified by dietary composition."(12)

The point being, there are many studies confirming that the actual ratio of carbs, fats, and proteins in a given diet can effect what is actually lost (i.e., fat, muscle, bone, and water) and that total calories has the greatest effect on how much total weight is lost. Are you starting to see how my unified theory of nutrition combines the "calorie is a calorie" school with the "calories don't matter" school to help people make decisions about nutrition?

Knowing this, it becomes much easier for people to understand the seemingly conflicting diet and nutrition advice out there (of course this does not account for the down right unscientific and dangerous nutrition advice people are subjected to via bad books, TV, the 'net, and well meaning friends, but that's another article altogether).

Knowing the above information and keeping the Unified Theory of Nutrition in mind, leads us to some important and potentially useful conclusions:

An optimal diet designed to make a person lose fat and retain as much LBM as possible is not the same as a diet simply designed to lose weight.

A nutrition program designed to create fat loss is not simply a reduced calorie version of a nutrition program designed to gain weight, and visa versa.

Diets need to be designed with fat loss, NOT just weight loss, as the goal, but total calories can't be ignored.

This is why the diets I design for people-or write about-for gaining or losing weight are not simply higher or lower calorie versions of the same diet. In short: diets plans I design for gaining LBM start with total calories and build macro nutrient ratios into the number of calories required. However, diets designed for fat loss (vs. weight loss!) start with the correct macro nutrient ratios that depend on variables such as amount of LBM the person carries vs. bodyfat percent , activity levels, etc., and figure out calories based on the proper macro nutrient ratios to achieve fat loss with a minimum loss of LBM. The actual ratio of macro nutrients can be quite different for both diets and even for individuals.

Diets that give the same macro nutrient ratio to all people (e.g., 40/30/30, or 70,30,10, etc.) regardless of total calories, goals, activity levels, etc., will always be less than optimal. Optimal macro nutrient ratios can change with total calories and other variables.

Perhaps most important, the unified theory explains why the focus on weight loss vs. fat loss by the vast majority of people, including most medical professionals, and the media, will always fail in the long run to deliver the results people want.

Finally, the Universal Theory makes it clear that the optimal diet for losing fat, or gaining muscle, or what ever the goal, must account not only for total calories, but macro nutrient ratios that optimize metabolic effects and answer the questions: what effects will this diet have on appetite? What effects will this diet have on metabolic rate? What effects will this diet have on my lean body mass (LBM)? What effects will this diet have on hormones; both hormones that may improve or impede my goals? What effects will this diet have on (fill in the blank)?

Simply asking, "how much weight will I lose?" is the wrong question which will lead to the wrong answer. To get the optimal effects from your next diet, whether looking to gain weight or lose it, you must ask the right questions to get meaningful answers.

Asking the right questions will also help you avoid the pitfalls of unscientific poorly thought out diets which make promises they can't keep and go against what we know about human physiology and the very laws of physics! People that want to know my thoughts on the correct way to lose fat should read my ebook Diet Supplements Revealed, see this website: www.aboutsupplements.com

If you want to know my thoughts on the best way to set up a diet to gain weight in the form of muscle while minimizing bodyfat, consider reading my ebook Muscle Building Nutrition (AKA Brink's Bodybuilding Bible) at this web site: www.musclebuildingnutrition.com

BTW, both ebooks also cover supplements for their respective goals along with exercise advice.

There are of course many additional questions that can be asked and points that can be raised as it applies to the above, but those are some of the key issues that come to mind. Bottom line here is, if the diet you are following to either gain or loss weight does not address those issues and or questions, then you can count on being among the millions of disappointed people who don't receive the optimal results they had hoped for and have made yet another nutrition "guru" laugh all the way to the bank at your expense.

Any diet that claims calories don't matter, forget it. Any diet that tells you they have a magic ratio of foods, ignore it. Any diet that tells you any one food source is evil, it's a scam. Any diet that tells you it will work for all people all the time no matter the circumstances, throw it out or give it to someone you don't like!

About the Author - William D. Brink

Will Brink is a columnist, contributing consultant, and writer for various health/fitness, medical, and bodybuilding publications. His articles relating to nutrition, supplements, weight loss, exercise and medicine can be found in such publications as Lets Live, Muscle Media 2000, MuscleMag International, The Life Extension Magazine, Muscle n Fitness, Inside Karate, Exercise For Men Only, Body International, Power, Oxygen, Women's World and The Townsend Letter For Doctors. He is also the author of Priming The Anabolic Environment and Weight Loss Nutrients Revealed. He is the Consulting Sports Nutrition Editor and a monthly columnist for Physical magazine and an Editor at Large for Power magazine. Will graduated from Harvard University with a concentration in the natural sciences, and is a consultant to major supplement, dairy, and pharmaceutical companies.

See Will's ebooks online here:

Muscle Building Nutrition
www.musclebuildingnutrition.com
A complete guide bodybuilding supplements and eating to gain lean muscle

Diet Supplements Revealed
www.aboutsupplements.com
A review of diet supplements and guide to eating for maximum fat loss

References:

(1) Farnsworth E, Luscombe ND, Noakes M, Wittert G, Argyiou E, Clifton PM. Effect of a high-protein, energy-restricted diet on body composition, glycemic control, and lipid concentrations in overweight and obese hyperinsulinemic men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jul;78(1):31-9.

(2) Baba NH, Sawaya S, Torbay N, Habbal Z, Azar S, Hashim SA. High protein vs high carbohydrate hypoenergetic diet for the treatment of obese hyperinsulinemic subjects. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 Nov;23(11):1202-6.

(3) Parker B, Noakes M, Luscombe N, Clifton P. Effect of a high-protein, high-monounsaturated fat weight loss diet on glycemic control and lipid levels in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2002 Mar;25(3):425-30.

(4) Skov AR, Toubro S, Ronn B, Holm L, Astrup A.Randomized trial on protein vs carbohydrate in ad libitum fat reduced diet for the treatment of obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 May;23(5):528-36.

(5) Piatti PM, Monti F, Fermo I, Baruffaldi L, Nasser R, Santambrogio G, Librenti MC, Galli-Kienle M, Pontiroli AE, Pozza G. Hypocaloric high-protein diet improves glucose oxidation and spares lean body mass: comparison to hypocaloric high-carbohydrate diet. Metabolism. 1994 Dec;43(12):1481-7.

(6) Layman DK, Boileau RA, Erickson DJ, Painter JE, Shiue H, Sather C, Christou DD. A reduced ratio of dietary carbohydrate to protein improves body composition and blood lipid profiles during weight loss in adult women. J Nutr. 2003 Feb;133(2):411-7.

(7) Golay A, Eigenheer C, Morel Y, Kujawski P, Lehmann T, de Tonnac N. Weight-loss with low or high carbohydrate diet? Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1996 Dec;20(12):1067-72.

(8) Meckling KA, Gauthier M, Grubb R, Sanford J. Effects of a hypocaloric, low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss, blood lipids, blood pressure, glucose tolerance, and body composition in free-living overweight women. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2002 Nov;80(11):1095-105.

(9) Borkman M, Campbell LV, Chisholm DJ, Storlien LH. Comparison of the effects on insulin sensitivity of high carbohydrate and high fat diets in normal subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1991 Feb;72(2):432-7.

(10) Brehm BJ, Seeley RJ, Daniels SR, D'Alessio DA. A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Apr;88(4):1617-23.

(11) Garrow JS, Durrant M, Blaza S, Wilkins D, Royston P, Sunkin S. The effect of meal frequency and protein concentration on the composition of the weight lost by obese subjects. Br J Nutr. 1981 Jan;45(1):5-15.

(12) Agus MS, Swain JF, Larson CL, Eckert EA, Ludwig DS. Dietary composition and physiologic adaptations to energy restriction.Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Apr;71(4):901-7.

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MONTHLY MOTIVATOR
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A Matter Of Chatter
John Harricharan

I first met Cindy during my second year of college. It was in the cafeteria where she bumped into me. Yes, she literally bumped into me and her food tray went crashing into everything. I heard her mutter under her breath, "What an idiot!"

"Pardon me," I replied, not knowing what else to say, but definitely feeling that it was not my fault.

"Oh no," she said, "It's always my fault. I am really so clumsy. I am very sorry."

Then I realized that she was referring to herself when she had said, "What an idiot." Over the months I got to know her a little better. Sometimes we'd sit at the same table in the cafeteria and other times I'd be sitting next to her in a class.

It never ceased to amaze me how often she repeated the phrase, "What an idiot", at the smallest thing that happened. It was as if she had been programmed to respond to the slightest misfortune with self-blame.

One day I finally asked her why she kept referring to herself as an idiot. Her eyes opened wide as she said that she was not aware that she did. She confessed that it was probably a habit and that she always felt that when anything bad happened, it was her fault.

She told me that the voice in her head always told her that she was an idiot and pointed out that she was not as good as others. The constant, negative chatter in her mind had prevented her from achieving her greater potential.

Cindy managed to graduate and we eventually lost touch with each other. But I always wondered how she was doing. I always hoped that she was able to still the chatter in her mind and to change the programmed voice to a more positive self-image.

The matter of chatter is a very serious one. If we were to listen carefully to what we are saying to ourselves we would find very interesting conversations going on. If we are happy and fulfilled, these internal conversations would probably be positive. If we are constantly worried and depressed, we would probably have sad and confusing conversations.

We can literally change the outside world by first changing our inner world. Generally, it's our inner conversations that determine what our outer world looks like. If we constantly think sad thoughts, then our self-talk will focus on sad things and the entire world will appear depressing.

If we always think angry thoughts, the world will appear angry. Even a beautiful sunset would appear to be filled with angry shades of red. But if we think peaceful and positive thoughts, the world will seem peaceful and positive to us.

So how do we silence the endless chatter in our heads? Here are a few tips:

  • Try to find some quiet time each day and listen to what you are saying to yourself. Don't be like Cindy who kept calling herself an idiot. Once in a while we all say terrible things about ourselves, but if we do it too often, it becomes a habit and we start believing those things.
  • As you listen to the conversation in your head, do not follow them. Just observe them and let them go. If you start to focus on the thoughts, you'd get caught up in them and then get carried away by them.
  • After observing your thoughts for a while, you'll find that they move on and you are not trapped by them. Remember that your thoughts are not you. You only have them. Don't even worry about replacing them with positive thoughts; that will come later.
  • Simple as the above exercise may seem, it will have the most profound effect on your life. Gradually, at first, and then faster, you'll find that a greater calm comes over you.

Because you've let go of the chatter, the noise diminishes and you are now able to hear the voice of intuition, the voice of the universe seeking to guide and help you.

Yes, it's a matter of chatter and clatter and if we turn the volume down, we will be able to hear the beautiful symphonies of life.

John Harricharan is the award-winning author of the bestseller, "When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat" and "The Power Pause" at www.ThePowerPause.com

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QUOTES OF THE MONTH
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“So what do we do? Anything - something. So long as we just don't sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we've satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late."

- Lee Iacocca, Former Chairman of Chrysler Corporation."

"The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems."

Ghandi

"Let a person rejoice when he is confronted with obstacles, for it means that he has reached the end of some particular line of indifference or folly, and is now called upon to summon up all his energy and intelligence in order to extricate himself, and to find a better way; that the powers within him are crying out for greater freedom, for enlarged exercise and scope."

- James Allen

“going at it strong for a week or a month – and then falling back into old habits is just like working a week or a month on a plot of ground and then abandoning it. Before long, it will be no better than before”

-Earl Nightingale

"If you can’t do great things, do small things in a great way. Don’t wait for great opportunities, seize common, everday ones and make them great”

- Napoleon hill

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