Friday, November 26, 2010

The day after Thanksgiving is not just a good day to shop.

As much as I love the food on my Spike Day's, there is another benefit of "spiking" that to me is almost just as satisfying.  I'm going to let you in on a little secret of mine.
On Sale now at Amazon

The day after we Spike, like after Thanksgiving, is by far the best day to workout in the entire week. Simply because all of those extra calories we just had, has our metabolism roaring, and we stored extra energy in our muscle glycogen, because of our Spike.
One more!

When I first started Spiking I thought that the day of the Spike would be out best workout because that's when we had plenty of calories before for energy and after for recovery.  It's not the case, I was honestly too "full" to workout and I never had that extra energy.

I'm kind of a nerd and always reading research studies, and after reading a very interesting one on glycogen depletion, loading, and exercise I realized that the day after Spike Day would be the ideal day to workout.  Much like athletes, they "carb-load" the day before their event and not the day of, because glycogen is a better energy source than the glucose from food in our stomach. Glycogen is ready to go energy, just waiting for the signal, whereas food just eaten has to be processed and converted to glucose, and then is ready to be used as energy.
Marathon runners "carb-load" the day before they run.

The first week I tried this I noticed an increase in every set of my workout, and my energy level was amazing. Every since my first "after-spike" workout, Sunday's have been my day to kick butt in the gym.




So now it's Black Friday, and I highly recommend making good use of the extra calories from Thanksgiving and having a kick ass "after-spike" workout.  It will also help destroy the stress of hectic shopping and any annoying family members from the day before.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What are you going to eat this Thanksgiving?

The answer could be, whatever you want!



Thanksgiving Dinner for Low-Carb Dieters

Thanksgiving Dinner for you extreme dieters!

Your Thanksgiving on the Spike Diet





Thanksgiving is a time for fun, family, football, and food, but when you're on a diet and trying to watch your weight, Thanksgiving can also be frustrating.

The Spike Diet brings the food and the fun back to Thanksgiving for those trying to lose weight and stay fit.

With a weekly day to indulge the Spike Diet gives you the freedom to enjoy this holiday season without the guilt that sends millions to the gym to start their annual New Year's Resolution. With the Spike Diet you have the best of both worlds-you can eat like a king or queen and still lose weight. The Spike Day isn't a "cheat day" nor is it just a day to simply use saved up "points", it is a calculated and important day of calorie surplus to spike metabolism and keep dieters out of starvation mode.

Enjoy your pie and your turkey guilt free on the Spike Diet!
After your 3rd plate of food your family will be shocked that your are actually "dieting"



Even if you are not on the Spike Diet and following your own plan, I still recommended you taking the "day-off" and eating what you want. Lets face it, food is not just energy, it is also something to be enjoyed and celebrated. I have lost over 100lbs by taking a "day-off" so trust me one bad day will not hurt you. I would even argue that it helps you lose more weight over time.


Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!




And don't forget the pie!



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spike84 - A New You in just 84 Days.


Spike84 is coming soon, but what is it?

It's my new 12 week program designed to turn you into a "fat-burning machine" 
It takes the principles of the Spike Diet and amplifies them with every trick and tool I have learned over the past 20 years. The sole purpose of Spike84 is to maximizing metabolism and burn fat. 

I've lost 20lbs since I started Spike84

Spike84 will include:
  • 3 Phase Total Fitness Plan
  • Spike84 Diet Plan
  • 10 minute Failure-Burn Home Workouts Charts (no equipment needed)
  • Failure-Burn Gym Workouts
  • Recipes
  • Spike84 Phase Calendars
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Resistance Band
  • Jump Rope
  • Pedometer
  • Grocery Essentials Shopping List
  • 3 Phase Food Log and Journal
 I have now burned off 128lbs of fat from my heaviest weight.







Spike84 is in beta stage right now, and Spike84 testers are averaging 3+ pounds lost per week!
For more information including release checkout our website www.spike84.com


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Fat Loss and Fitness Tips



These are my practical and practiced fat-loss tips!
It didn't happen overnight

  1. Chew Mint: Overeating is a habit; if you feel the need, chew gum to get your mouth moving and the mint will ruin the flavor of anything you would eat and help avoid cravings.
  2. If you are going somewhere with unhealthy food like a party, never go hungry.  Eat a healthy meal before so that you are less likely to give in and eat what you shouldn't
  3. Start each day with a tall glass of Ice Water, water helps curve hunger pangs and also gets your metabolism going.
  4. Add pure and natural fiber powder to water throughout the day to keep away hunger.
  5. Studies show that getting enough sleep is essential for your fitness. Getting 7-8 hours of solid sleep at night will help your recovery and aid your body in its ability to burn fat for energy.
  6. 3500 calories of a surplus or a deficit equals one pound of body-fat gained or lost.
  7. 1800 calories of surplus or deficit is equal to one pound of water gained or lost.
  8. Log your calories! If you don't log then you don't know.
  9. Workout tip, training to failure is when you push your body to a point it can not do anymore, and that tells your brain it needs to adapt and become stronger
  10. Workout tip, lactic acid is the burn you feel in your muscles as you fatigue them, while it is generally not liked, it is essential.  The lactic acid is a key to producing growth hormone release and recovery.
  11. Buy a pedometer and get moving; walking and moving every hour of everyday will give your metabolism an extra boost to help you burn body fat for energy. Set a goal for 10,000 steps everyday.
  12. Take it one day at a time, and continually educate yourself on your body, and what works best for you.
  13. Do NOT punish yourself for slipping up, guilt is horrible for fat-loss. It's so much better to forgive yourself and just get back on the diet horse. One day will not make or break your goals!
  14. Be patient, Rome wasn't built in a day and your new body won't be either. This is a new lifestyle change that must be started now and followed the rest of your life. Otherwise you will fall into the yo-yo trap of most dieters. 
It takes time to build something you will be proud of.


We live very sedentary lives, 100 years ago the average person ate 1,000 more calories, didn't exercise, and being overweight was extremely rare. So we just need to be more active, get up and move every hour of every day. Every little bit helps! 

Crispy Turkey & Bacon Snack Wrap

All right I just posted about my love of bacon, and now here is my favorite bacon snack. This works great for a meal or in between meals, and late night snacks. It is very filling and satisfying. 

  • First I cook 2 slices of Oscar Mayer Center Cut bacon in the microwave, 2 slices on a paper towel take about 1.5 minutes, but the time varies by microwaves.
  • Then I spread one wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss on a White Mission Carb Balance Tortilla.
  • Next I take 3 baked chips, either plain Lays, or sour cream and cheddar, or baked Doritos. This is the fun part where you can try different flavors to see what you like. I crunch them on top of the swiss spread.
  • Lastly take 3-4 slices of deli turkey, and lay on top of the chips and then add your cooked bacon. 
  • Roll it up and enjoy. 

Honestly I can't believe how good this is when I see the nutrition count. It's about as balanced as you can get, with low net carbs and high protein, and tastes amazing.

Nutrition Info:


Calories  280
Fat         9grams
Carbs    25 grams
Fiber     11 grams
Protein  25 grams


Only 14 net carbs!



Monday, September 27, 2010

Bacon, Bacon, and Bacon

I love bacon, I always have. Bacon has the rap of being a very unhealhy food, and that it should be avoided when you are trying to lose weight. Sure it's not great for you, but I eat bacon almost every single day!

It is true that regular bacon is very high in fat, but now we have much better options. While you don't want to go crazy eating a plate full of bacon, it's also won't hurt your diet to have it in moderation.
I always add 2-3 slices to my daily sandwich or burger, in my opinion bacon just makes everything taste better.

Here's a question for you, which is lower in fat; Turkey Bacon, Veggie bacon, or Center Cut Pork Bacon???

The answer is not turkey

It's also not Veggie Bacon.

Would you believe that center cut pork bacon is the lowest in fat? Not only that it's by far the best tasting.

Morning Star Bacon has: 
2 slices and 16g serving

60 calories
4.5 grams of fat
2 grams of carbs
2 grams of protein
68% of the calories are from fat.



Louis Rich Turkey Bacon has:
14 gram servings
35 calories
2.8 grams of fat
zero carbs
2 grams of protein
72% of the calories are from fat!


Oscar Mayer Center Cut Bacon has: 
15 gram servings
70 Calories
4.5 grams of fat
zero carbs
7 grams of protein
Only 57% of the calories are from fat






So if you love bacon like I do, make the right choice and go with the center cut, this way you get some extra protein, less fat, and all of the great bacon taste!

Tomorrow I will share my favorite bacon recipe! I have it as a nightly snack 4-5 days a week.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Can You Really Indulge Without Guilt???

As I am about to begin another weekend of Spike Days, I can’t help but be delighted with where I am now with my weight, my body and food.  

One of the big misconceptions of being overweight and then losing weight is that you have to give up junk food-things like pizza, ice cream and donuts, and that you have to give them up for good. I don’t know about you, but I feel like we only live once and the thought of never eating those foods again is almost as bad as living life overweight.

Even though I have now lost 126lbs, I still love those foods just the same as I did when I was 330lbs. In fact, I think I love them even more now.  You see, I used to have a love/hate relationship with food.  I loved to eat it, but then hated myself afterwards.


To lose weight, some people do cut out junk food completely and more power to them!  I have tried doing just that in the past, but unfortunately, it didn’t work for me.  Maybe I am a slave to those foods but I can’t go through life without having pizza or ice cream every now and then. The more I avoid them, the more I want them. I think it comes down to the fact they just taste good...no they taste amazing I would tell myself over and over again that food is just energy and I can be happy without them but, for me, it just wasn’t true. Sure, food is energy but it is also something to be enjoyed.  I, unfortunately, don’t enjoy asparagus as much as I enjoy a cream cheese donut.
So part of my journey was understanding that I couldn’t, and didn't want to, live without pizza, ice cream or donuts.

When I was overweight, I was embarrassed to eat high calorie foods in front of people.  I felt like I was constantly being judged. Sadly, I would often eat without enjoyment, because eating delicious but high calorie food just felt wrong or bad.  

Another part of my journey was accepting the fact that I wanted the best of both worlds. I wanted to be fit and still eat what I love.  But was this possible???

I am very proud to tell you that, yes it is! I am walking proof. I can happily say that this weekend I will eat donuts, I will have ice cream, I will probably eat a whole large pizza, and I most definitely will do it without guilt or embarrassment!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Childhood obesity skyrocketing



My interview with the Star News ended up being their lead story in last weekends paper!
The reporter Liz Nelson did a wonderful job conveying the message that I, COAK (collation of angry kids), and Anytime Fitness is trying to get out to parents.

Here's the link to the full article, if you are in the Elk River area it was the front page story.
http://erstarnews.com/content/view/13781/26/

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Time for a Giveaway!

I'm having my very first giveaway and it's your chance to win an autographed copy of The Spike Diet book AND a free personalized diet and fitness plan!  There are 5 ways to enter and you can do just one or all five!  

1.  Share the contest, with a link to the blog, on your Facebook page.
2.  Post about the contest, with a link to the blog, on your personal blog.
3.  Become a follower of the blog.
4.  Subscribe to the blog.
5.  "Like" the Spike Diet Facebook page.

To enter, simply do one, or all, of the above and post in the comment section about which you did.  Make sure you do a separate comment for each entry so all will be counted.  You have until Monday, Sept. 20th to enter.  Then I will use a random number generator from random.org to draw a winner.  That's it!

Good luck!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This is what I DIDN'T do to lose 125lbs

I've told everyone how I've been able to lose all this weight and keep it off but I want to emphasize how I didn't lose 125lbs because I feel like there are many desperate people doing the wrong things because they believe that the only way to lose weight.



1. I did NOT do P90X or the Insanity workout to lose 125lbs.

  • These are extremely intense workouts that even in the shape I am in today I don't know if I could complete them.
  • P90X for example is an hour a day 6 days a week. My workouts are approximately 30 minutes and 3-4 times a week. Diet is far more important to losing weight than exercise. 
  • So the idea that you need to nearly kill yourself working to lose weight is FALSE. Yes we should all workout, but remember even a little bit helps. You should start with less and progressively add more intensity to your workouts. 
  • If you are not already in great shape then you need to avoid P90X or Insanity style workouts.  

2.  I did NOT starve myself to lose 125lbs.
  • With my Spike Days every week, I never felt deprived, and I honestly feel like I eat more now than I did when I was obese. 
  • On non-Spike Day's I eat high protein and high fiber foods to help me feel full and keep my metabolism burning.  Drinking water between meals also helps to avoid feeling hungry.
  • Diets that require to eat less than 1,200 calories a day, or even worse 500 calories a day like HCG are not safe and will cause your metabolism to slow and your body to slip into "starvation mode"
3. I did NOT eliminate carbohydrates from my diet to lose 125lbs.
I'm definitely a "carb-guy".
  • Through my research I now know why low-carb dieters lose more weight at the beginning of their diet than people simply following calorie restriction. The reason is glycogen. Atkins and South Beach are so popular because while most regular diets you may lose 1-3 pounds the first week, low-carb dieters may lose 3-5 pounds the first week. It's NOT because Atkins is more effective at fat-burning, they are just losing more water weight. When we cut out carbs or body is forced to burn up even more glycogen which has a large connection to water weight. (see my post about glycogen) This water weight will come back as soon as carbs are returned to your diet, and while it looks great on the scale, water weight is not fat and does not really effect your appearance. In fact most of the water weight is in your muscles, when we are dehydrated our muscles can look flat and weak.
  • Did you know? That Atkins and other low-carb diets bring on ketosis, in fact Atkins dieters long for ketosis. Ketosis refers to elevated levels of ketone bodies in your blood. When glycogen is completely depleted our liver will turn fat into ketone bodies to be burned instead of glycogen. it sounds great "burning fat" but it messes with our entire bodily process, our brain which requires 100 grams of glucose a day drops that requirement to about 30 grams a day.  So people in "ketosis" are only giving their brain 30% of what it needs..
  • I tell people all the time if you want to lose weight with a low-carb diet then you need to plan on going low-carb the rest of your life otherwise as soon as you bring the carbs back, the weight will come back too.
  • Instead I eat a balanced diet of 40% of my calories from protein, 40% from carbs, and 20% from fat. That way my body gets everything it needs.
4. I did NOT take unnecessary diet drugs to lose 125lbs. 
  • I was prescribed weight-loss from my a doctor a few times before along with anti-depressants, neither medication did anything for my weight problem.
  • I had to change my lifestyle and there is NOT and will never be a magic pill. 
  • With a pill you rely to much on that pill to make you lose weight when all we don't go through the necessary journey of weight-loss.  Where we learn about ourselves and gain valuable knowledge that will help keep the weight off for good. “give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” 
5. I did NOT have risky surgery to lose 125lbs.
  • No matter what they say, every surgery has risks.
  • I know many people who regret having weight-loss surgery done; whether because they can't keep food down, or they've had to have multiple post-surgery operations, or they feel like their loose skin is worse than the fat. 
  • Many people including myself have lost 100+ pounds without surgery, I would exhaust ALL options before going this route and personally I would never recommend having weight-loss surgery done.

In 2003 when I weighed 330lbs
From September 10th at 205lbs

If I can do it without the above you can too.  You just need patience, knowledge, and consistency. Find out your real reasons you want to lose weight and remind yourself daily to stay motivated. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Obese Children! It all starts at home.

It's time to stop playing the blame game, and put the responsibility back on us parents.

Anytime Fitness is teaming up with COAK, the Coalition of Angry Children, in an attempt to make a real difference with our drastically rising childhood obesity rates.

Finally, someone is having the guts to put the responsibility on the people who can actually make an impact, the parents.

 Everyone has a theory on why kids are so overweight; it's school lunches, it's video games,  it's fast-food. NO! NO! NO! Who has the power to control all of those excuses?  The parents!

I have never been more proud to be part of the Anytime Fitness team.  I am a manager and personal trainer at an Anytime Fitness so sure, I am a bit biased, but this COAK is the real deal. It can make a difference. You see children do not respond well to the "do as I say and not as I do" mentality.  The fact is, if you want your kids to eat healthier and you want your kids to be more active, then guess what? You need to eat healthier and you need to be more active. Parents need to quit putting the responsibility of their children's health in the hands of strangers. I mean, who loves your kids more than you? I hope you said no one, and if you really love your kids then you want them to live a healthy happy life, right? Well then you need to make fitness a part of your new lifestyle, and if you make the change your kids will follow.

I feel my tone is rather harsh, and chances are if you are reading this, you have already started living a healthier lifestyle.  This message isn't meant to be attacking.  Childhood obesity is something very close to my heart. Growing up overweight was extremely painful and put me into episodes of depression several times. I know my parents loved me, but they were terrible role models when it came to health. They were very supportive, but I had to make the change as a 14 year-old after I decided I had had enough of living that way.

Now, as a parent with three young boys, I am so proud that they are not overweight like I was. They see how important fitness and exercise is to me and they exercise with me and on their own. We eat healthy as a family, though as children they are not on a strict diet like I am.  Once in a while they have treats during the week, but it's not everyday. After all, we don't have to totally deprive our kids, but we also don't have to let them have junk food every single day.

Important tips:


  1. School lunches can be unhealthy and until that changes, do what I did in school, bring a bag lunch. A bag lunch does not have to include a treat. A sandwich, yogurt, fruit, and a milk is enough to curb your children's hunger.
  2. Go on family walks, or try the new craze geocaching.  It's a fun way to get some family exercise.
  3. Save fast food for no more than one day a week, besides being good for your health, when it happens on rare occasions it's more special.  And teach your kids about making the proper choices when you do eat out at fast food places.  Choose mandarin oranges or apples instead of fries and milk instead of pop.
  4. Allow your kids 30 minutes of video games a day and if they want more time, set up a system where they have to earn it.  At our house, my kids earn a ticket for 10 minutes of playing time for every 10 minutes they exercise.
  5. Limit drinks to water, low fat milk and 100% juice and give your kids no more than 8 ounces of juice a day.  Don't buy drinks with high fructose corn syrup, which is in many sports drinks and juice not labeled 100% juice.  Limit pop to special occasions. 
  6. Busy life?  Then instead of going out to eat every night, prepare several meals ahead of time, freeze them and quickly re-heat them before you go out to your children's many activities.  Have pre-cut fruit and veggies in the fridge to grab as a quick snack when you're on the go.
  7. If you are still too busy, then cut back on the activities. When it comes to obesity it is FAR more important to eat a healthy dinner then to be playing a sport and eating fast food. The kids really do not burn that many calories playing baseball and the amount of calories in fast-food are far greater then the amount lost in such activities. 
  8. Most important, and the point of COAK, as a parent you need to exercise and you need to eat healthy. Join a gym and show your kids that this type lifestyle is important.  Kids want to be like their parents.  You have the greatest ability to impact their lives.  Choose to impact them in a positive way.
 I am hoping by taking responsibility for our children's health as parents we can make a difference. If parents make the change then we can attack childhood obesity one family at a time.

Kudos to COAK, and Anytime Fitness. 
In an effort to get parents into the gym, Anytime Fitness is giving adults free 30 day memberships. For more information you can visit the COAK website on Anytime Fitness.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One bad day will not make you gain fat!

Don't Worry!
So you had a bad day, and you step on the scale and you gained a pound. Don't worry, it happens to all of us. I intentionally have a bad day every week, and guess what the bad day NEVER results in fat gain.  The pound you or I gained was simply water weight. In fact for most of us on a diet when we quickly lose or gain a pound is is normally just water weight. For a pound of fat to be lost or gained we need a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories, and to lose a pound of water we only need a deficit of 1,800 calories. I think more people quit their diet because of water weight than anything else. I know how frustrating it is to see the scale not move or move in the wrong direction, but I now know if i am following my diet plan the scale short-term does NOT matter. If I am in a calorie deficit, fat is being burned up. 


Don't stop drinking this
The reason why water weight fluctuates so much on a diet is because of glycogen. 
Glycogen is our body's premium source of energy during workouts and is used up when we are in a calorie deficit. It is also important to note that when we have excess calories (over-eat) the extra calories are stored as glycogen first and when our glycogen stores are full the remaining is stored as fat. Glycogen is used as short-term energy storage and fat is long-term. 

How big our glycogen storage is varies person to person and it depends on our body and muscle size, but it is something that we can also train our body into becoming more efficient at and actually increase our storage capabilities. 


http://www.sagewoodwellness.com/Doc0006.htm 

http://www.marathontraining.com/articles/art_39th.htm 
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/casi3.htm 

So for the average person they can store 100grams of glycogen in their liver and 280 grams in their muscles. Glycogen is directly tied to water weight or water retention. For every gram of glycogen our body holds 3 grams of water. When we use a gram of glycogen our body releases 3 grams of water. 
When we don't eat enough carbohydrates (energy calories) our body becomes more reliant on our glycogen stores for everyday energy. Hence the main reason we drop more pounds the first week of our diet, and the main reason low-carb dieters lose more weight week one on their diet than people on a balanced calorie diet. To be clear if someone on Atkins loses 5 pounds the first week of their diet, I would conclude half of that is water weight. 

This is the same reason why we gain weight after a Spike Day, or because you slipped up and had a "bad day" and over- ate. For example, you've been eating great on your diet for a few weeks but then you go to you grandma's house and she has cooked and baked for you and not wanting to be rude you end up gorging yourself. You go home feeling guilty and step on the scale and you gained 2 pounds. We have all been there, but don't fret my friend. You did not gain 2 pounds of fat, your body simply stored or re-stored the excess calories as glycogen and the 2 pounds you gained was the water stored with it. If you go back to diet, that 2lbs would be gone in 24-48 hours. If you are restricting calories you really never have to worry about fat storage even if you have a weekly spike day, glycogen is always low when in a calorie deficit and glycogen is always stored first before body-fat. Just like by blog post about eating at night. I eat about 75% of my daily calories after 5pm, and my body is a revved up “fat burning machine”! 



Blog post on glycogen and exercise

Blog post on fat burning windows

Marathon runners train to store extra glycogen



Important things to know: 


  • The amount of glycogen you store varies on muscle size and glycogen training.
  • Glycogen is premium energy stored in muscles and our liver
  • Glycogen makes you look leaner and more muscular, and does NOT make look fat.
  • The Average person stores 380 grams of glycogen
  • A well trained athlete can store up to 880 grams of glycogen!
  • Your body stores 3 grams of water for every gram of glycogen.
  • 453 grams equals one pound.
  • Water weight fluctuates because of glycogen depletion and re-storage
  • The average person’s water weight can fluctuate 2-3 pounds every week because of glycogen. 

The main point, don’t worry about the scale or water weight. If you make eating well and exercising part of your new lifestyle you will lose weight and you will get in shape. It just takes time and patience.

Monday, August 30, 2010

HCG Diet is Dangerous

The HCG Diet is all over the web and I am starting to see it in stores now too, but what is it?


  • The HCG Diet is a diet based on extremely low calories, how low? 500 calories!!! Let me start with that; Only 500 calories a day of course you are going to lose weight, the average person will burn over 2,000 calories a day which means by diet alone there is a daily 1,500 calorie deficit which equals 3lb lost per week. The problem is you are starving yourself, and one meal away from flat out fasting. You will slip into "starvation mode" and your metabolism will slow down. Good luck maintaining a 500 calorie a day diet for the rest of your life, because once you go back to "normal" you will indeed gain the weight back too.. In my opinion this is the definition of a crash diet that is impossible to maintain as a lifestyle.
  • HCG is short for human chorionic gonadotropin, it's a hormone produced during pregnancy, and the reason why people thinks this is good for weight loss is because of Dr. A.T.W Simeons HCG Weight Loss Protocol, or the Original 500 Calorie a Day Diet. Apparently this hormone keeps the hunger away but according to numerous studies there is no difference in weight-loss through placebo or HCG and there is no difference in hunger either. Source LA Times
  • HCG is expensive, shots can run hundreds of dollars a month, and since the FDA ruled that is not safe for weight loss you need a prescription for another issue, like what it's really used for, fertility.  
  • Sure you can buy it online from what may be a real source, but without a prescription you are breaking the law, and paying lots of money for nothing that really helps you lose weight.


 I am normally not one to knock another person's diet because there are a lot different plans that work, but this plan is flat out dangerous! I hope by getting the word out, I can stop someone from going down this unsafe path. You need to find a safe plan that works for you and your lifestyle, I have learned that if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you need to find something you can follow the rest of your life.  Otherwise once you go back to "normal" the weight will come back too.

To summarize, stay far away from anything related to HCG for weight-loss, here's why.

  1. Extremely low calories, only 500 a day.
  2. Injecting your body with a non-FDA approved drug for weight-loss
  3. It's expensive
  4. It's illegal without a prescription, which Doctor's are not supposed to prescribe for weight loss.
You do not need to starve yourself to lose weight, nor pump your body full of illegal drugs. 

Please share this with your friends and family, if they are trying to lose weight they will undoubtedly come across HCG. The marketers behind it are very smart and have websites everywhere keeping the real information about the dangers of HCG buried behind hundreds of Pro-HCG websites.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Anytime Radio 33 - 08-24-2010 - Trainer and author Russ Branjord; diets; news and updates.

Check out my interview on Anytime Fitness Radio!




Anytime Radio 33 - 08-24-2010 - Trainer and author Russ Branjord; diets; news and updates.

The Importance of the Spike Day


Why is the Spike Day important for long term results?

1.       The Spike Day gives your brain what it wants, you to feed. You break the downward movement of metabolism by having a surplus of calories, the extra calories you eat spikes your metabolism up. This way you are able to diet long term without slipping into “starvation mode”.

2.       You are able to restore muscle glycogen, the hierarchy of energy storage is glycogen first and then body-fat.  So you do not have to worry about gaining fat with one day of over-eating. Muscle glycogen is our body’s premium fuel for exercise and the glycogen in our liver helps regulate blood sugar.


3.        You give yourself a break mentally from your diet, you feel less deprived during the week and because you spike yourself out of starvation mode the cravings go away. The spike day is meant to be fun and enjoyable.  You eat what you want guilt-free.

      I learned how this worked through experience, I was in a 3 week weigh loss plateau when my cravings were beginning to overwhelm me, so I told myself I would have one day to get all of my cravings out and then get back on my diet so I could literally stop dreaming about food. That day I had donuts, a cookie dough blizzard, and a large pizza.  To my surprise within a week later I lost 3lbs. Of course after that I did it again and again with the same amazing results. I will be spiking the rest of my life, I  never thought losing weight could be this easy. 





Thursday, August 12, 2010

Creating Fat Burning Windows

This is a very important blog post, and it's going to be the opposite of what you have been told in the past. It's the goes against everything I've been told.


So I will just go right ahead and say it. I now think it's best to eat the majority of your calories at night. There I said it, I will wait for the WTF's!!

Here's why;

I will start with the myths.

Myth #1
When you eat too many carbohydrates at night they are stored as body-fat
Wrong, excess carbs are stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles, if your glycogen is full then the remaining will get stored as body-fat.When we diet our glycogen is never full, and if it is we are not dieting.

Myth #2
We need carbohydrates for energy and exercise
Our body needs glucose(blood sugar) for energy, our body prefers to use glycogen for workout energy.

Myth #3
If we eat lower carbs during the day our blood sugar drops.
Yes and no, it can drop but our liver will convert glycogen to glucose to regulate blood sugar.

Myth #4
We get an extra metabolism boost by eating 5-6 small equal meals daily.
This is wrong, we get a Thermic Effect from Food (TEF) for short, in recent studies it has been proven that whether we eat 5-300 calories meals or one 1,500 calories meal the overall effect on metabolism is the same.The bonus of eating 5-6 meals has more to do with not feeling hungry and convenience. Personally I still eat 5-6 times a day but my early meals are mostly protein calories.
If you feel hungry drink 10-20 ounces of water and wait to see if the "hunger" goes away.

 Now the positives of eating more at night.

Bonus #1
We usually prefer to eat more at night after work, when we can relax and enjoy it more.

Bonus #2
When we cheat, it's usually at night and if are already near our calorie goal it will hurt our weight loss, but if we reserve a higher amount of calories for night time, our chances of going over are less.

Bonus #3
It helps us preserve muscle and sleep better while we are about to be "fasting" for 7-8 hours while we sleep.
Some people wake up in the middle of the night because they are hungry and binge eat, typically it's because they stop eating too early and they are forced awake by their brain's need for calories.

Bonus # 4
By eating less during the day and forcing our body to burn up glycogen we actually can train our body to store more glycogen and be more efficient at using it. Much like athletes who routinely deplete and restore glycogen  for training purposes. Trust me after a while your workouts will be significantly stronger.

Bonus #5
You create a larger "fat burning window"

While at rest our body will happily burn body-fat for needed energy, but as soon as we eat energy calories like carbohydrates a switch goes off and we stop burning fat and instead burn what we ate.

By eating less during the day, and adding on the 7-8 hours of fasting from sleep we have a full day of fat-burning.  Then at night we eat more to restore glycogen, satisfy our cravings, and get ready for the next day.

The real key to burning fat and keeping it off is learning how to maximize and work with our metabolism.  If we limit calories we will lose weight, whether it's 5-6 equal meals, or 4 small ones and one large one. The point is you do not have to stick to the 5-6 meal deal, I prefer eating one large meal at night and my progress is proof that it works.

In this series, you could see how many calories you need daily, how much protein you should be getting, and a solution for us night-time eaters that thought we had to give it up to lose weight.

I have been eating the majority of my calories at night for the past 2 months, and I've dropped another 12 pounds. While I have lost weight my strength has increased and my progress pics show that what I've lost is body-fat.

My plan
I eat about 2,000 calories a day according to my BMR, my goal is to get less than 30 carbs before 4-5pm. So daily I snack on beef jerky, cheese sticks, protein shakes, low carb wraps, ect. Then after 4-5pm I eat about 1,500 calories more balanced with about 100-120 carbs. I never go to bed hungry, and everyday I am full of energy.

Start of my trial
2 Months and 12 pounds later.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Calorie is a Calorie, or is it?

This is a trick question, the answer is yes and no.

What to do? There are low carb diets and low fat diets, and some low everything diets. The Atkins people blame carbs for obesity and many nutritionist blame dietary fat for obesity. So what's going on? Who is right?




The fact is if we overeat on carbohydrates or dietary fat we will gain weight.


This is why I simply use daily calorie goals in the Spike Diet. It works with any type of macro-nutrient split you want to use. The main factor is calories in versus calories out. 



While everything can work if the total calories eaten are less than we burn, I believe the best most efficient way is a good balance of everything.

Personally I aim for 40% of my daily calories from both protein and carbohydrates, and 20% from dietary fat.

People who exercise on a regular basis need more protein than the average person.  Protein is broken down into amino acids which are essential for rebuilding muscle tissue. Another bonus is protein increases metabolism far more than carbohydrates and dietary fat. So the more you eat the more you burn.

Carbohydrates are important for daily energy and are easily converted to glucose(blood sugar/energy) When we have excess carbohydrates they are converted to glycogen for quick energy to be used later on, like exercise. When our glycogen stores are full the remaining is stored as body-fat.

Some dietary fats are essential and they help us feel more "full" which helps keep us from overeating. Unfortunately they are not efficient energy, and excess dietary fat is easily stored as body-fat. Which is why it is the lowest priority among the other macro-nutrients.


By limiting your calories and eating a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat you cover all of your bases.  You give your body what it needs while creating a calorie deficit. Allowing your body to burn body-fat to make up the difference and still give it what it needs to recover from activities and workouts.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to Effectively Create a Calorie Deficit.

In order to lose weight you have to have a calorie deficit, no if, ands, or buts about it. Like I said before it's all energy balance and our body gets energy in three main ways:

  1. Calories from the foods we eat
  2. Stored glycogen in our liver and muscles
  3. body-fat
Our body prefers glycogen while we exercise and a mix of the food we eat and body-fat at other times.  While we rest our body uses the highest percentage of body-fat when we have a calorie deficit. 

This post is about being effective, and I think effective means long term results.  Yes, if you only ate 800 calories and exercised for several hours a day you would lose a lot of weight in the short-term, but it would haunt you in the end when your metabolism shuts down on you. It is best to do it gradually.

The math is very simple, 3,500 calories is equal to one pound of body-fat. So if you want to lose one pound a week you need a daily deficit average of 500, and for two pounds an average deficit of 1,000.

You can get this deficit by simply eating less or just by increasing exercise. The fact is our body just sees the net of our calories in versus our calories out so you can do it anyway you like, but yet again effective long-term results come from a combination of diet and exercise. 

If your goal is to lose two pounds a week, then daily in some sort of combination of diet and exercise you need to have a net of -1,000 calories. 


This again is why it is so important to log your calories.  If you simply guess how much you ate, you are setting yourself up for heartbreak and failure. 

The Sound of Music c'est fini

"Really?  Just in their underwear?"

Wow! What an amazingly great time I had working on this show. I had a blast performing in front of  large audiences and building friendships with my talented fellow cast members that I think will last a lifetime. I had no idea I would be so sad that it's over.



I have so many memorable moments; like when I was too nervous to look at the crowd opening night, until my dance partner told me they were all in their underwear, so of course I took a peak.

Sorry "Fro" I didn't mean the things I said.
Or when I had had to yell and look nasty at Frau Schmidt, who in real life was the kindest and sweetest lady I've ever met. I felt so bad being mean to her, but at the same time it also felt pretty good.
My Favorite scene was getting in the face of the Captain- I knew the Van Trapp's were up to something.  The actor playing Captain Von Trapp and I get a long great, he is a great guy, but for that scene we truly hated each other. We got nose to nose, our faces twitched and I really wanted to punch him. It felt amazing to act so nasty, but I'm not really nasty, or am I?
Just sing the darnn song!














It's safe to say that I caught the "theatre bug". While I deeply miss the Sound of Music I am already getting excited for my next show, and hopefully my next role will be one I can really sink my teeth in to.

Backstage working on my anger issues.
Me and the enchanting Elsa
I miss my tux
"Sister, I need to confess my sins"