Archive for March, 2011

Shedding Belly Fat with Exercise

Admit it – you too have spent countless hours at the gym doing “low intensity” cardio to burn more body fat.  

C’mon, it’s OK, we’ve all wasted hours walking on a treadmill at some point.  Isn’t that what all the magazines have told us for years "long, slow cardio is the MOST effective way to lose weight"?

And while I’m picking on treadmills, all the cardio equipment is the same –you peddle on a bike or "run" on an elliptical at a low intensity to have a minimal fat loss effect. 

Is that really worth it?  Is it better than sitting?  No doubt. 

Is it AS effective as ramping up the intensity?  Not a chance!

Several research studies support the fact that high intensity exercise is a more efficient way to burn fat and calories.

Check out this one small study that was presented at the Experimental Biology Annual Conference (and others support the results too).

22 subjects (11 men and 11 women) cycled at a high, medium, or low intensity.  The researchers measured their "fat burning" to see which was most effective.

The researchers learned that the max fat burning was the highest intensity exercise — near maximum effort — essentially the state you’re in when sprinting.

Moral of the story: stop wasting endless hours doing some low intensity cardio—kick it up a notch to really see the results!

Keep in mind when we say "near maximum effort" it means different things for different people.

For some, that means walking a little faster for short "bursts" (every 30 seconds, with a 60-90 second "recovery")

For others, it’s an all out sprint.  Or you can use a bike, airodyne bike, rowing ergometer, etc. Just go back and forth with "as hard as possible" to "active recovery."

Regardless of where you’re starting, adding those short "all out" efforts will get you where you want to be more quickly.

We also encourage general movement — a minimum of 5 hours/week — in addition to these short bursts.

Give it a whirl — your results will skyrocket!


Does Your Omega 3 Burn a Hole in Styrofoam?

Nearly 100,000 deaths per year are attributed to omega 3 insufficiency! 

fish oil, a styrofoam cup, and alcohol -- weird little trickOmega 3 fats come from fish and fish oil. 

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DEATHS can be prevented from simply eating more fish and taking a quality fish oil product.

But here’s the question — with 100′s of products on the market — what does "quality" mean?

And that’s where a Styrofoam cup comes in.  That’s not a typo — we’re going to reveal today and insider secret — how a Styrofoam cup can determine the quality of your omega 3 supplement!   

You see, with 100′s of brands around the world available, you want to take the best one, right?  Outside of the loads of benefits of fish oil, we know you’re like us and want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your fish oil buck, so to speak.

So here’s the deal with omega 3′s — comparing two different brands of omega 3′s is like comparing apples and oranges.  You can’t do it simply by looking at the bottle. 

There are different ‘forms’ of fish oil and 2 of them just went head to head in a recent study to confirm which is the best — best meaning the most usable form for your body.  And if you’re spending the money, of course you’re like us and want a form you’ll get the most from. 

The forms we’re talking about are ethyl esters vs. re esterified triglycerides. Remember those 2 terms as you read on –ethyl ester and re esterified triglyceride.  Got it? 

A molecule of fat has something called a glycerol backbone with 3 fatty acids off the structure (hence the term "tri" glyceride).  Picture the letter "E" — the backbone is the glycerol and the 3 shorter pieces coming off are the fatty acids.

Now we’re not going to get "all biochemistry" on you.  Don’t get nervous.  Stick with us.  Omega 3, like all fat, is in the natural triglyceride form when found in fish.  And of the different omega-3′s, the two we’re focusing on today are the ever important, research supported, EPA and DHA — those are key factors with a quality omega-3 product.

Well, lo and behold, scientists discovered that if you remove the glycerol backbone and replace it with a ethanol (e.g., alcohol) you can create a product with higher concentrations of EPA and DHA.  Again, these are the 2 most important components of an omega-3 product. Seems like a win win, right?  High concentrations of EPA and DHA should mean you don’t have to take as much to get the benefits. 

BUT…more and more research is continuing to mount that this ethyl ester, created somewhere in a lab, may not be all it’s cracked up to be.  Just because there are higher concentrations of EPA and DHA may not be so great after all.

Here’s the Deal

New research reveals a significant absorption advantage to re esterified triglyceride form fish oil concentrates.  In a recent blinded, placebo-controlled study involving 72 people between the ages of 21 and 56 the re esterified triglyceride fish oil was 70% better absorbed in subjects vs the ethyl ester form. 

Higher rates of absorption means your fish oil is more effective

The Problem
The vast majority of all fish oil concentrates on the market are in 
the ethyl ester form.  Eeeeekkk.

The Solution


Find out if your fish oil is the *evil* ethyl ester with a simple Styrofoam cup!fish oil, a styrofoam cup, and alcohol--weird little trick

Here’s the secret to find out because the label won’t always tell you!

Place a bit of your fish oil in a Styrofoam cup. Place the cup on a plate to avoid any mess. Take a look at the cup after a few minutes. If the fish oil has leaked significantly through the cup it contains ethyl ester–ethyl ester fish oil eats through the cup!  You’ll see it after just a few minutes, but give it 10 or so to truly determine. Natural triglyceride fish oils placed in a Styrofoam cup will not do the same.
Interesting, right? 

Other key factors with buying a high quality fish oil (the Styrofoam cup test is just the first step in making sure you have a decent omega 3 product).  Here are 3 others:

  1. High concentration of EPA and DHA which you can see on the label (aim for at least 500 mg per serving)
  2. Molecularly distilled to remove any and all impurities
  3. Fresh, clean tasting to ensure the fish oil isn’t rancid.
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The Dukan Diet – J Lo’s Fat Loss Secret Revealed!

The Dukan Diet is the hottest fat loss diet in the world right now.



J Lo and supermodel Giselle say The Dukan Diet helped them lose their baby weight.  Kate Middleton is reportedly following this fat loss diet as she gets ready for her Royal Wedding.  Not everyone is a fan, though, as the British Dietetic Association called The Dukan Diet "one of the top 5 most dangerous diets in 2011."

Dukan Diet - J Lo's Fat Loss Secret Revealed!One thing that can be agreed on — The Dukan Diet is sweeping the world and is starting to make waves on this side of the ocean as well.  So what is this fat loss secret that ‘all’ the celebrities seem to be following?  Let’s take at look a little deeper into what The Dukan Diet is all about.

Created by French physician, Pierre Dukan about 10 years ago, the diet is broken up into 4 ‘phases.’  The length of phases depends on the amount of weight you want to lose.  Phase 1 is short, but Phase 2 can last weeks or months if there is a lot of weight lose.  Phase 3 is the "in between" of weight loss and maintenance, then Phase 4 is supposed to be the lifelong part of this.

All phases are heavy on protein and light on carbs, similar to another famous ‘diet doc’ in the States, Dr. Atkins.  And all phases are low in calories (because of this strict rules), though you’re not asked to count calories and can eat as much as you want, whenever you want.

Phase 1 — eat as absolutely much lean protein as you want, take 1.5 TBS of oat bran daily, and drink 1.5 L of water (about 6ish cups).  That’s it.  No veggies.  No fruits.

Phase 2 — stick with the unlimited lean protein, but this time every other day you can add in unlimited non-starchy veggies (like green leafy veggies and celery are examples).  And, up your oat bran to 2 TBS per day.

Phase 3 — you know the drill — unlimited lean protein, veggies are now allowed daily, 1 piece of fruit, 2 slices whole grain bread and 1 or 2 "cheat" days where you eat whatever you want.

Phase 4 — this is where you’re supposed to maintain.  There are no "rules" per se, outside of 1 day per week going back to one of the all protein days in Phase I and continue with the oat bran, 3 TBS/day at this point. 

Oh yeah, and exercise.  According to the book, 20 minutes/day of walking is all it takes. 

Fat loss made easy with The Dukan Diet.

Not so fast.  Will you lose weight?  Absolutely.  It’s an insanely restrictive diet.  Any time you restrict that much, you’ll lose.  But what will the composition of that weight loss be?  Muscle?  Fat?  When it’s too rapid and without the right exercise, it will be a lot of important muscle. 

Is it in the least bit healthy, smart, or effective in the long term?

Nope.  None of the above.

We’ve said it before but it bears repeating — there is not a worldwide epidemic of obesity because everyone started eating SO many vegetables and fruits, they gained weight.  Quite the opposite.

Any time a diet suggests eliminating veggies and fruit and other good for you nutrients, even if in the short term, it’s junk and not based on one bit of science.  You can take all the pills, supplements and potions in the world.  None will ever replace a variety of colorful veggies and fruits, healthy fats, and other smart foods we need daily.

The Dukan Diet — Fat Loss Miracle or Dangerous Diet?

This is not a fat loss diet we’d recommend.  At all.  It’s too restrictive.  Not building long term habits.  And not a smart strategy for permanent fat loss success.

But one thing we always try to do is find the parallels — where do we agree vs. where don’t we.

So here you go.

The oat bran is there as a source of fiber.  That’s great.  Oat based fiber is fantastic and we should all aim to eat more.  Oatmeal and oat bran are both great sources.

Eating more lean protein — another smart move.  In our opinion, most eat too many junk carbs, so replacing them with lean protein sources is smart and has been shown to be effective for fat loss.

And that’s about all we agree with.  Eat more fiber and replace junk carbs with lean protein.

There are certainly smarter, more effective, and safer ways to lose fat.  The Dukan Diet gets a 2 Thumbs down from Team Mohr.

What do you think?  Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts!

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Diet Cheat Sheet

Spring is officially here, meaning nearly 1/4 of the year is over.

Are you 33% closer to the goals you set for 2011? 

Although January is typically thought of as the "weight loss month" with all the fat loss goals everyone sets for the New Year, surveys suggest March is actually a BIGGER month for dieting and weight loss attempts.  Interesting.

Is it that warm weather signals "bathing suit" season is around the corner?

diet cheat sheetRegardless of the reasons of why fat loss is a top priority in March, today we’re sharing what we call the "Diet Cheat Sheet."

These are 7 Super Simple Steps are our "Diet Cheat Sheet" and you should keep these handy when trying to lose weight, use nutrition as medicine, and get healthy.  Print these and keep them visible so you can be sure you’re working on it daily … heck, even if you’re not trying to lose weight for bathing suit season … if you simply want to improve your nutrition, these perfect little nutrition nuggets will keep you on track.

  1. Plan your meals for the week.  We do this by sitting down with a few of our favorite magazines, picking out some recipes, and going from there.  It helps more than you can imagine and that 15 minutes of planning will save you a TON of time during the week. 
  2. Pack your food at night for the following day.  This goes with planning ahead, but doing it the night before saves you from rushing around the morning of work and forgetting everything while trying to get you and the rest of your family out the door on time.
  3. Prep your veggies when you get home from the store.  Sound crazy?  It will take you 22 minutes (don’t believe me?  Watch me prep our veggies for the week here) … and when they’re prepped, you’ll eat them because no one feels like going through the prepping process during the day.  You want quick and easy. 
  4. Don’t buy snack food — keep it out of your house.  If it’s not there, you’re less likely to eat it.  We could expand on that, but it’s pretty straightforward — and don’t tell us "it’s for the kids" because more often than not, you’re eating it.
  5. Have a bowl of fresh fruit visible at all times.  Food that’s visible will be eaten.  And those who eat more fruit weigh less and have less disease. 
  6. Eat breakfast daily.  You’ve certainly heard this one before, but it bears repeating.  Eat breakfast and you’ll lose weight faster, have lower rates of heart disease, and have more energy. 
  7. Include a veggie and/or fruit with every single meal.  The more you eat of both of those, the faster you’ll get results — if that means faster fat loss, fantastic. 

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Drinking and Belly Fat

Maybe this should have come before you were downing green beer for St. Patty’s Day.

Regardless of the timing, though, guilt free drinking is always of interest.

It was funny.  The other day I’m talking to a woman — Theresa — who swears she’s been doing everything to lose belly fat.  She’s cut out added sugars and refined carbs.  She’s replaced her daily soda habit with water and swapped out chips for raw nuts and fruit at snack time.  She’s traded in her normal slow cardio routine for higher intensity training too. 

On the surface, those few things would have seemed to help Theresa lose belly fat.

But she wasn’t losing fat at all.  In fact, she said she’d plateaued for 8 weeks now.

And then I started to dig a little deeper.  The culprit?  The "weekend benders" she said she had, where she would have 3-4 drinks on Friday and Sat, sometimes even starting on Thursday. 

So, first of all, let’s get one thing straight — alcohol is never the best option in the world when looking for fat loss

Of course alcohol itself has calories, but outside of that fact alone, when you drink, you’ll eat more.  In fact one study showed that after just 1 drink at lunch time, people ate 15% more.  And that’s just with 1 drink!

SO add the alcohol calories PLUS the added calories from the additional food…and you’ve got a recipe for fat loss disaster!

Are we saying never drink alcohol again when trying to lose belly fat?

Not NEVER…but certainly the less you can drink, the better your fat loss results.

If you want a simple fat loss solution, start with eliminating alcohol …

For some people, cutting out alcohol is the fastest way to lose belly fat

Think that’s impossible and there’s no way it will work with your lifestyle?

Limit to 1 night during the week, not both … and then limit your drinks to 1 for women, 2 for men.  The fast fat loss results will speak for themselves!

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