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The Paleo diet and our modifications

A lot of readers have been asking about this new craze with the Paleo diet (also known as primal or caveman).  In the interests of science, we decided to objectively analyse it ourselves, and to analyse our experiences based on our professional opinions. 

From the beginning it was imperative that we keep objective, so we set up some rules:

 

  • Get to a point of slobbery first.  This required 8 weeks of eating junk foods and NO exercise.  Nobody cares if we went from healthy to healthy.  Let’s be realistic – if your nutrition is good, you’re not reading this anyway.  We wanted to experience an accurate account of what a real person would go through when implementing this diet.
  • Once we started the diet, we needed to continue with an exercise program.  This accounted for no more than 30 minutes of exercise a day at a high intensity.  At least one of these days was a strength training session.  One day a week, we took a complete rest.

 

Paleo/Primal eating

 

Paleo  or primal eating can be summarised as eating only what a caveman would eat.  If you could eat it 3000 years ago, you can eat it now.  This diet has been made popular again by elite athletes and in particular the crossfit community.  It can be compared very closely to the Real Food Diet, except that Paleo assumes that modern agriculture was inaccessible to hunter/gatherers, therefore wheat products, potatoes, soy, rice and dairy are a no-go.  Fruit is eaten seasonally and sparingly.

 

Cavemen are hairy, will I have to grow my …?

 

Good question.  We’re big believers in bucking the trend.  The caveperson with the shaved legs, chest and arms is going to get a lot more lady cave loving than his carpet chested brother.  So in the modern age, if all the water logged muscle Mary’s at your gym have skin like a barbie doll, grow a freakin’ beard and look like a real man.  Unless you are a woman.  You won’t get much cave lovin’ if you grow yourself a full body fur forest, m’lady.

 

Things we like:

 

  • You can gorge on meals.  In fact you can eat as much as you want!
  • The simplicity of the diet.
  • No cheat days.  If you know us well enough you will know that we don’t believe in cheat days.  Smokers and alcoholics don’t get cheat days; so why should we.
  • This diet does not rely on a particular company, we’re always very nervous about the underlying motivation (and therefore integrity) of a diet that promotes the use of one particular brand or product.  Paleo/primal is all about eating veggies, meat, seeds and fruit which are accessible everywhere.
  • The results.  Search for “does paleo work” on the web and you’ll see some pretty amazing results.  When combined with the right kind of athletic training, paleo people carve themselves very athletic, ripped looking bodies (women and men).  Our results were the best we’ve had considering the hurt:reward ratio.

 The hurt:reward ratio is what we created to analyse the benefits of any diet or exercise related theory. For example, heavy arm curls hurt like hell, but only work your biceps, so for the amount of pain (hurt), you get very little reward when compared to a chin up, which for the same amount of hurt produces exponentially more reward in terms of physiological (muscular, neural and structural) integrity.

Things we don’t like:

 

  • No chocolate!
  • Limited options in restaurants, and stone clubs have to be left at the door
  • Can get quite boring (you need to be creative to provide yourself with the continued stimulation required of a modern appetite for variation in flavour)

 

Our experience

 

As with all diets, we first ate a lot of fast food first, so that we could have implementation issues that are more realistic.  Therefore, with the Paleo, we found implementation to be the most difficult part.  It has been said that you would feel as though you have the flu for about 10 days.  This is pretty accurate.  We found that the hardest thing is to stop the sugars.  For the first few days it feels as though your body is seriously fatigued.  This is because of the reliance and addiction to sugar, which is said to be far more addictive than hard drugs such as cocaine – (we haven’t tried cocaine, so have no basis for comparison).

Once the initial shock is over, the results are quite remarkable.  Initially, the bloat from wheat seems to go, it is assumed that most of the population is allergic in some way to wheat products, resulting in inflammation.

Interestingly, for the below 20% bodyfat testers, our weight stayed the same, while looking leaner and ticking off lower and lower body fat scores.  This can only mean we built muscle, whilst burning fat.  Those of us with a fair bit of fat lost weight, but gradually and very nearly the same amount every week.

Remember that we combine every diet we try with strength training and cardio training.  We never felt hungry during the diet ever.  Unlike a calorie restriction diet, you can eat as much as you want.  We ate disgusting amounts initially, and still lost fat and bloat.  After about 3 weeks, we didn’t feel the need to eat as much (this may have something to do with the insulin response reduction).

One thing that we really enjoy is the feeling of even energy throughout the day.  As we now know, sugars create a kind of energy wave pattern throughout the day; high energy, low energy, high energy, low energy.  The low GI nature of the paleo diet mitigates this, creating an even energy level throughout the day.

 

What can I do to make it easier?

 

Bread and sugars can be some of the hardest foods to give up.  Overproduced foods and chemicals are stored in the fat of the body, so once you start losing the fat, these toxins enter the blood stream, giving you the feeling of being seriously ill (migraines, sinus, stomach bloating, weakness, dizziness).  As such, we would eat a lot of fruit in the first few weeks (2 or 3) to reduce the feeling of being seriously ill (which you are – your body is poisoned).  Eating fruit will sustain the sugar cravings whilst providing a lot of water and fibre to flush out the toxins.  Fruit is a great antioxidant, and we believe it to be a great buffer for the start of any diet that requires a complete change in your eating habits, which invariably releases toxins into the blood.

Once you feel as though the headaches and poisoning is cleared, reduce your fruit to before 3pm, then before lunch, then just a bit for breakfast.  What you will notice is that fruit (which has sugar in the form of fructose) spikes insulin, which will make you hungry again.  This is why we say that sugar is the curse of modern man, not fat.

 

How do I implement it?

There are two methods we would take when implementing this life changing eating system. Method one, is the “go all out” method. Change everything immediately and don’t look back. Method two is the step by step progressive method.

How do you choose which one to implement?

 

This is a really personalised question, and fortunately we have a simple answer.  Both methods work really well, just remember that this is a lifestyle change, think long term – every diet you try will fail if you are seeking instant results.  It’s like life – you either have a poverty mindset or an abundance mindset.  Let’s break that down quickly by use of an example.

You know those stories of the dole bludger who wins lotto, only to be broke the next year?  Poverty mindset.  Now what about the billionaire who through unfortunate events loses everything and is forced into bankruptcy, a year or two later as if by magic is back in his wealth, flush with cash?  Abundance mindset.

Dieting is the same thing.  If you think to yourself “I’d love to be super fit and still be able to eat as much junk food as I like” then you have a slob mindset when it comes to your health and you will fail time and time again until your emotional bank account is completely drained and you check out of this world as a disgrace to yourself.  If alternatively you think to yourself “I am an athlete who has just gotten fat, better clean my life permanently” then you have a healthy mindset when it comes to your body – you understand the longevity of healthy lifestyle and you can only win.

Once you have analysed yourself and your mindset with brutal honesty – choose your method of implementation based on your tendencies.  If you tend toward the slob mindset (and it could be family pressure that does this to you) then start with the step by step.  If you tend toward the athletes mindset, then by all means go the whole hog.  Just remember that if you fall off the wagon, get back on as fast as you can.  Kicking the sugar habit is a b*tch, but well worth it.  Like cutting the invisible chains holding your angel wings down.  First, you have to see them, then you have to cut them, then you have to fly away from that place and never come back.

 

Method 1:  Step by step.

 

Step one:

Cut out alcohol.  You will probably never drink again, so get used to this.  You’re an idiot when you drink anyway.  The only person who thinks you’re cool when you drink is that other drunk eyeballing you in the pub.

 

Step two:

Cut out added sugars from your diet. This includes lollies, sweets, sugar in your coffee, soft drinks etc.  You know that part of your brain that is at this very moment filing through your catalogues trying to see what is still included?  Shut him up, he’s a weak piece of ____.  Don’t let him dictate your life.  You’re an immensely powerful person – tell him to go count past victories.

 

Step three:

Cut out refined sugar completely.  This is a potential stumbling block, refined sugars are in nearly everything.  Look at the packet and list of ingredients on everything you eat from now on.  If it has any of the following, eliminate it from your life and future:

  • Sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Glucose
  • Saccharides (mono or poly)

You will have a lot of fun looking at the back of packets and seeing how much of our lives are fuelled with sugars.  It’s sickening actually.  Hint: eat seasonal fruit – it will help with the sugar cravings and flushing out the toxins.

 

Step four:

Cut out agricultural sugars.  This will eliminate the bulk of your previous diet.  This means anything made with wheat, corn, soy, rice or potato.  These five bad boys were introduced into our diets to provide manual field workers with enough energy to sustain a full day’s heavy labour from one meal (historically).  Don’t be fooled into thinking that they are natural, they are not.

 

Get your filling from veggies and sweet potato.  Corn is OK, if eaten from a cob sparingly – the problem is that big food manufacturers basically grind up the cob, pump some hard to pronounce chemicals into this mess and fatten out your food with it.  You will find cornstarch in the strangest places: burgers, Christmas ham, breakfast cereals.

General rule – if it has an ingredients list, look for an interesting sounding ingredient followed by one of the following

  • (from corn)
  • (from wheat)
  • (from rice)
  • (from soy)

Remember, you can still eat fruit, so eat as much as you need, we’ll be reducing this later.

 

Step five:

Cut out dairy.  We are the only animal on earth that still drinks from the breast after weening; and the sick thing is that we are drinking from another animal’s breast.  You wouldn’t still be breastfeeding from your mum right now would you?  So stop breastfeeding from a cow.  Or a goat if that’s what you’re into, that’s just plain weird.

 

Step six:

Cut out all additives.  That means colours, flavours, preservatives.  Jeez, this is seriously limiting my diet!  Answer: in a way – just think that to get the equivalent calorie intake you used to with all the high density calorie foods you used to eat, would now take you 3 or four hours of gorging for each meal.  The only way you could do it would be to eat pure fat.  So portion size is just not an issue here.

 

Step seven:

No fruit after 3pm.  Corn from the cob is a fruit.  Tomato is a fruit.

 

Step 8:

No fruit after midday.

 

Step 9:

Reduce the amount of fruit in the morning.

 

Step 10:

Cut out caffeine.

 

Step 11:

Buy everything organic – you may think this is just for the hardcore cashed up peeps, but once you get to this point, you will be able to taste and feel the energy from grass fed animals.  You will also eat so much less volume, so will save money there.

There you have it, an 11 step process to eating like a caveman and getting shredded.  This can take anywhere from 10 days to 20 weeks.  Just get each step dialled right in before moving on, and never fall back more than one step.

 

Method 2: the whole hog (like a boss)

 

Throw out anything in your pantry or fridge that has more than one ingredient.  Now throw out all the sugar, wheat, potato, soy, coffee, dairy and rice.  All that should be left is meat, veggies, fruit, seeds and nuts.  Eat fruit only in the morning.  Enjoy your new lifestyle.

 

Final helpful hint.

 

Get used to the taste of green tea and chamomile tea.  Green tea will help to alkalise your body (think about the pH in your pool – acidic to neutral to alkaline) your body needs to be alkaline.  Not just for success in the paleo diet, but ask any naturopath and they will tell you that an acidic body is a one way ticket to major health problems (think cancer, heart attacks and strokes).

 

Green tea is a fantastic antioxidant, and will rid you of the nasties you’ve stored in your body for later, while at the same time buffering your pH and getting you alkaline.  Chamomile will help you to relax in the first few weeks.  Drink it before bed to reduce the stress and headaches from detoxing, and allow you to enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures… a good night’s sleep.

 

And the final word on mindset.

 

Don’t obsess over your weight loss.  Your health is a part of your life and will be for your whole life.  You can never “fix it so that you can get on with living”.  It’s a journey and should be enjoyed as one… For the rest of your life.

Focus on the pursuit of excellence leading to mastery.  This should be the purpose of your life, or you could cop out and just choose to be a passenger.   Start on the journey for health mastery and the seeds of excellence will invariably creep into the rest of your life, showing up in unexpected, but remarkable ways.

Keep an eye out for our next post which will give you some fantastic meal ideas for your new cave existence.  Once you see this, you will come to realise how delicious a paleo diet actually is.  In fact soon, you will be eating naked, ‘cause it would be a crime to hide your delicious body.

Julius Kieser(with help from my obliging cave brothers and sisters at sharnyandjulius HQ, home of FITlosophy 1 and Never Diet Again.)

And if you liked this no bull writing style, you’re going to love FITlosophy 1, which you can get by clicking here
 

Meal Replacement Shakes – Are they Good or Bad?

Question:

I have a meal replacement shake (Isowhey) that I take, is that OK?

 

Short answer:

For a healthy person who makes generally good food decisions for themselves and their families, this product is unnecessary, and more than likely detrimental to your health and weight loss goals.  These products are made for obese, lazy people who lack the willpower to give up their junk food addiction.  They have this instead of a milkshake, or a packet of chips.  This product does not suit any of you girls.

Long, fun answer:

Here’s how to logically work it out for yourselves:

Marketing tells you that it will help you lose weight by eating it.

Most people who buy it, will be having it for one of three reasons?

•    to promote weight loss

•    curb your hunger

•    convenience (too busy)

Let’s look at it logically – we’ll eliminate the clever marketing (rip off the colourful label) – so we can uncover one of the greatest scams on earth.

 

Promote weight loss

We all know that the major contributing factor to weight loss is burning more fuel than you eat.  There are other factors, but they are all accelerators or decelerators.  Any nutrition expert will agree that calories in less than calories out is the best place to start.  So to lose weight, look at everything you eat in one day (imagine putting it all on the table in a pile), now take some away and just eat what’s left. Logical, right?

Well, these supplement guys have some how got us convinced that the best way to burn fat, is to add something to our diet.  That’s like telling you that the best way to get rid of the bath water is to turn on a second tap.

When it comes to any athletic problem, the first thing we look at is the athlete’s nutrition.  The athlete’s question is always “what should I take.”  A far more important question is “what should I take away“.

And when I say athlete, I mean anybody who is doing something physical with a goal in mind.  A mum who’s goal is fat loss is exactly the same as a professional sports person who’s goal is more speed.

Find out what’s holding you back first, otherwise you just accelerate the problem.

To put it bluntly, it’s what we have been eating that’s caused us to get fat, not what we haven’t been eating.

 

Curb your hunger

Once you’re full, you’re no longer hungry.  Full is therefore the opposite of hunger.  So to curb your hunger, you need to feel full.  We’re all pretty good at feeling full, but our problem is that we can’t stay full for long enough.  The problem is therefore time.

So we need to find something that makes us feel full for longer.  This means we need to find something that takes a long time to digest.  Something solid would therefore take longer to digest than a liquid?

How on earth then have these guys managed to convince us that drinking something can keep us full for longer than eating something.

 

Convenience

the only other reason to be having a meal replacement shake is convenience.  If the options are McDonalds, or this, well – this would be a better option.  Unless there isn’t a supermarket close by.

I don’t even need to get into the ingredients list, and how you’re paying way too much for a cheaply broken down version of cottage cheese, pumped full of enough heavy metals to be visibly separated with a magnet.  The sugar content is high enough to cause an insulin spike (which is felt as hunger), and the ingredient they use to make you feel full looks very much like a trans fat.*  

 

Solution:

eat real, unprocessed foods not chemicals.  Meat, veggies, fruit nuts and seeds.  The beauty of this is you can eat as much as you want with no guilt.

 

*Trans fats (very bad fats) and unsaturated fats (good fats) can both be triglycerides.  It’s just that one (trans fat) is made artificially and is very sinister.  In this product, triglycerides are listed separately in the ingredients list to fat.  If it were unsaturated fat (a good fat), the company would be telling you, proudly.  But they’ve called them triglycerides.

8 ways to stop binge eating on the weekend.

I was just checking through our emails and Facebook messages and found this one from the lovely Jodie, who says:

“I know you guys love food too, so how do you avoid those things you love? I eat really well during the week then come the weekend when there's no routine to the day. I find myself bingeing on chocolate!! Others in the house refuse to give it up so it's always around.

I binge and then hate myself for it afterwards. I just wish I had the strength to never go there.”

What a great question and a great indication of how similar we all are!

So I replied to Jodie, but I think this problem (and our solution) are best shared.

So here goes, in dot point format.

Point 1

Don’t hate yourself.  The only cure for hating yourself on the weekend is more chocolate.  More chocolate = more hate.  Take out the hate and you don’t need the chocolate.

Point 2

Make the Healthy Junk chocolate.  It tastes like the chemical crapola, but if you binge on the Healthy Junk chocolate, you’ll poo it all out.  And it’s not a sore guts poo at all.  Because it’s based on coconut. it just slides on through the digestive system.

Point 3

Instead of thinking about what you can’t have, think about what you can have.  Or what you can’t do if you eat the junk.

This may seem like a cliche point, but it’s helped us many times when we’re out at a cafe on a Sunday - just list the things you would want to do after you eat (run, swim, surf, ride a bike, gardening, etc.)  Eating junk makes you lazy. Eating clean, delicious nutritious salads and juices and smoothies make you energetic!

Point 4

If you have people in your house who refuse to give up the junk, it’s OK. Just watch them eat it for a little while. Watching someone eat junk food is like watching someone masturbate in public. It’s disturbing and disgusting. I’ve never seen anyone eat junk well. Observe them for a bit, you’ll see that creepy distant look on their face and they’re not eating, they’re rubbing that stuff on their mouths. Lips greasy and slippery, jaw going as fast as possible. More, more, more - shovel that shit in you disgusting pig.

LOL. I went a little far with the description there and I’m sorry if you take offense, but save your hate comments until you’ve actually watched someone eat junk food without participating in it yourself. You’ll be shocked. Like the first time you’re sober amongst a bunch of drunks. I did that nearly 10 years ago and haven’t been able to touch a drink since then!

Point 5

Have a current goal or purpose (losing weight is not a goal, it is a result). We do our athletic stuff on the weekend. It’s really really hard to justify a block of chocolate when you know you’ve got to don the lycra the next weekend. Book into some events, pay the cash - just parting with $80 for a run has an instant effect on your eating habits. Instant.  Try it.

Point 6

Have a routine for the weekend. As teenagers we just wanted to bludge around on the weekend proving to the world that we lived by our own rules! But one day we grew up and realised that doing that didn’t serve us too well anymore. So we began to plan our weekends, have a routine. Don’t be fooled into thinking that fun happens when you have nothing to do. Nothing happens when you have nothing to do. Plan your fun.  Plan your activities, even for the simple result that you’ll get them done, and that you’re not a pimply faced attitude ridden teenager anymore.

Point 7

Keep busy. Eating is the simplest cure for boredom - so do something else. We clean our house on a Sunday. It sounds boring, but it keeps us from mindless eating and come Monday, we’ve got a clean house to start the week (very exciting with all these kids!).

Point 8

Finally, it’s OK to be hungry. Whoever told us that being hungry was bad for us was probably selling food. Hungry people achieve more. Look at animals. A hungry dog is a busy animal. A dog that has been fed just sleeps. Don’t be the sleepy dog. Be the hungry dog. Don’t eat till your gut stretches. Eat enough that you don’t starve and that’s it. People ask us how we managed to write 7 books in just over a year with 4 kids and 3 businesses? You too will amaze yourself with how efficient you are when you are hungry.

If you are still not convinced, try this. “Dinner is ready, but you can’t eat it until you’ve cleaned the kitchen”.  A 30 minute job becomes a 5 minute job like magic.  Boom!

Please use the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts or suggestions!

-Julius

How to cure Morning Sickness

In the first 4 pregnancies, I was a basket case - I’d dread going to bed because I knew I was going to be sooooo sick in the morning.

 

This time, when I felt it coming on, I decided to see if I could in fact stop it altogether.  I did... and so can you!

To cure my morning sickness, I first had to look at what made the morning sickness worse.

Problem 1: Not eating right.

If I had one of those days where I didn’t eat right, meals were badly timed or skipped, I’d guarantee a horrible morning the next day, which would in turn cause me to roll into another day of not eating right.


Solution:
 control your meals as a matter of priority.  Look at all the things that are getting in the way of you eating, then fast forward to tomorrow and you’ll see that all those things will be so much easier without morning sickness.

Problem 2: Going to bed full

I actually discovered this after birth number 4, eating a big meal before bed feels comfortable and normal (or is that expected).  But Every time I do it, I feel tired and heavy in the morning.  I can only assume that it is because the body needs movement to move food down the pipes, so a big meal sitting in the stomach just stays there overnight.  Morning sickness kind of feels like you’ve eaten something that has gone off.  Combine this with a meal that has been sitting undigested in your gut for 8 hours and you’ve got a recipe for a hard morning.

Solution: Eat an early dinner.  Our kids eat at 5, so we do too.  By the time we go to bed the meal has moved past the stomach to where it is needed.

 

Problem 3: Low blood sugar in the morning.

Growing a baby inside you requires quite a lot of energy, and blood sugar levels drop steeply in the night, giving the same sick feeling a diabetic has.

Solution: If you wake up for a toilet stop early in the morning (after 1pm), have a shot of my morning sickness smoothie before going back to bed.  After a while you’ll get used to waking up 30 minutes before you actually have to wake up, just so you can take the shot (and it works miracles).

Sharny's Morning Sickness Smoothie

Morning sickness smoothie: blend half a green apple, handful kale/spinach leaves, half a cup ice and a small piece of ginger
leave in the fridge overnight.  30 minutes before you're meant to wake up, have a shot and go back to bed.

Problem 4: Staying in bed sick

I used to lay in bed and spend most of the morning sick.  But laying in bed seems to just make it last longer.

Solution: The body needs to know that it’s woken up, so immediately upon waking, do some relatively intense exercise (like 50 quick squats, or run around the block).  Morning sickness generally tend to be in the first trimester, when you’re not even showing, so you don’t need to exercise like you’re 9 months pregnant.  Get up and crush a quick workout.  Even if you’re feeling a little woozy, kicking your heart rate up does wonders for your morning sickness, and is the best start to the day!

 

After your workout, finish the rest of the smoothie and enjoy being pregnant, without the sickness!

Summary

So, to recap, here’s your 5 step process to curing morning sickness:

  1. 1
    Prioritise your eating for the day.  Whatever your ideal eating plan is, stick to it religiously.  Don’t miss meals.
  2. 2
    Have an early, light dinner. (DON’T go to bed on a full stomach.)
  3. 3
    Half an hour before waking up, knock back a quick shot of morning sickness smoothie (see recipe above).
  4. 4
    Immediately upon waking, get out of bed and exercise.
  5. 5
    After your workout, replenish your body with the rest of your smoothie.

Eat too much food?

Do you ever get halfway through a meal and feel like you are full, but you continue to eat just so that you can clear your plate? Somewhere in the back of your head you have your grandmother’s voice saying things like: "If you don’t finish what’s on your plate, you can’t go out and play” or “Think about all the starving children in Africa.”

Granny has a good point – why waste food? So instead of letting it go to waste, we let it go to waist... or hips, or butt, or thighs – maybe that flabby bit under the arms. After all, if the starving kids in Africa can’t eat much, how better to empathise with them than to get fat by eating way past when we are full!

Having portion sized meals on a dinner plate makes them look small and unappealing. However, if you take the same portion and put it on a side plate, it instantly looks bigger and more satisfying. Eating off a small plate will allow you to control your portion size and not overeat. Overeating causes tiredness and bloating, as you overwhelm the body into lethargy. We are trying to get to a point where you are only eating what you need, and you are able to know exactly what your body actually needs. This week, your task is simple. Eat all your meals off a side plate, or out of a small bowl. That way, you won’t be forced to eat more than you have to. Start by packing all your dinner plates away. Granny Maths says you’ll be saving hundreds of African kids, and Grandpa will be happy that you are saving hundreds of dollars a month in food bills.

So to recap, you should be having a glass of water before every meal, and your meals should be served on a side plate. Every morning, you should be having a multivitamin with a glass of water, and during the day, you will drink enough water to have long clear wee and to never feel thirsty. Simple really!

This article comes from the bestselling book Never Diet Again.

Do you really drink enough water?

We all know that water is good for us, but often the reasons are a little fuzzy. And even if we know why we should drink water, it’s not a habit that many people form. But there are some very powerful reasons to drink lots of water every day, and forming the habit isn’t hard, with a little focus.

Weight loss

Water is one of the most powerful weight loss tools, because it can replace high-calorie drinks like soft drinks, often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. Water has no fat, no calories, no carbohydrates, and no sugar.

Heart healthy

Drinking a good amount of water could lower your risks of a heart attack. A six-year study published in the Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drink more than 5 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses.

Cancer risk

Drinking a healthy amount of water has been found to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45% and bladder cancer by 50% and potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Energy

Being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired – even mild dehydration of as little as 1 or 2 percent of your body weight. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated – and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and even fainting.

Headache cure

Another symptom of dehydration is headaches. In fact, most headaches can simply be a matter of not drinking enough water.

Healthy skin

Drinking water can clear up your skin and people often report a healthy glow after drinking water. It won’t happen overnight, but just a week of drinking a healthy amount of water can have noticeable effects on your skin.

Cleansing

Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products.

Digestive problems

Our digestive systems need a good amount of water to digest food properly. Often water can help cure stomach acid problems, and water along with fibre can cure constipation (often a result of dehydration).

Better Exercise

Being dehydrated can severely hamper your athletic activities, slowing you down and making it harder to perform at your peak. Exercise requires additional water, so be sure to hydrate before, during and after exercise. 

How to form the water habit

- How much water? 

It is not good to just drink when your thirsty - you're already dehydrated by then. Form a routine by drinking a glass when you wake up, a glass before each meal, a glass between meals, and be sure to drink before, during and after exercise. Try to keep yourself from feeling thirsty, and ensure that you have long clear wee. (This means drink a minimum of 2 litres per day).

 - Carry a bottle

A lot of people find it useful to keep a bottle of water at their desk, and drink from it throughout the day. When it's empty, fill it up again, and keep drinking.

- Set a reminder

Set your watch to beep at the top of each hour, or set a periodic computer reminder, so that you don't forget to drink water.

- Substitute water

If you would normally get a soft drink, or an alcoholic beverage, get a glass of water instead. Try sparkling water instead of alcohol at social functions.

- Filter

Instead of spending a fortune on bottled water, invest in a filter for your home. It'll make tap water taste like bottled, at a fraction of the price.

- Exercise

Exercise can help make you want to drink water more. It's not necessary to drink sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade when you exercise, unless you are doing it for more than an hour. Just drink water. If you're going to exercise, be sure to drink water a couple of hours ahead of time, so that it will get through your system in time, and again, drink during and after exercise as well.

- Track it

It often helps, when forming a new habit, to keep track of it - it increases awareness and helps you ensure that you're staying on track.

This article comes from the bestselling book Never Diet Again.

Why I won’t take steroids

Having done so many meal plans recently, we have come to understand people a lot more, and while you may think you are living your own unique version of body composition hell, the similarities are so striking and so many.

We wrote about Paleo and Crossfit a few days ago. Today, we (well, Julius) would like to touch on a subject that is a little taboo, but something we think needs to be looked at differently.

Steroids.

Before I begin I will point out a couple of things:

  1. I’ve never taken any steroids, so can’t really speak from both sides of the argument. But I do know a lot of people that do or have, and they’ve always been very generous and patient in sharing their experiences with me.
  2. I’m not making a judgement on anyone’s choices, I’m just going to offer a different perspective, mostly because the anti-steroid pitchforks are usually held by DYEL’s (people who’ve never lifted weights) or mothers and wives who think that being very vocal about their stance will prevent their son/husband from dipping the toe.

So here’s the problem…

For men, the bigger you are, the more manly you appear. Being manly is the number one subconscious priority of nearly every man. There are other ways to do it, like make more money, make more noise, grow a beard, get tattoos, wear dark glasses, have lots of women, ride a loud motorbike. All of these things together though, can’t seem to overcome the feeling of inferiority when having to look up to meet a bigger man’s eyes.

So what can we do? We get bigger.

Some guys do this by getting massively fat. I admit, an enormous man can be very intimidating. It takes logic to break the instinct. “how long would the fight last?” needs to be repeated to oneself to be believed. Obesity may make a man more intimidating, but it won’t make him more attractive, so…

The other way is to get bigger muscles. Hit the gym and get bigger. After some time, we realise that being bigger than we were last week or last month becomes more important than being bigger than “that guy”. The challenge turns inside, and this is where it can go one of two ways.

Number one, we want to get results faster. So we chemically enhance.

Number two, we realise that the capacity for hard work is the only other thing that can produce that instant respect from another man. Now here’s something in which every one of us, no matter our genetic makeup, can compete. The field of hard work is unstacked.

I choose to live life number 2 – in pursuit of hard work, the results being internal – strength of character, patience, willpower. I choose not to live life 1 – in pursuit of shortcuts, the results being external, and often in conflict to the internal result.

I’ll explain this better to you now.

To me, the sole purpose of body composition control (diet and exercise) is as a sort of report card on my life in general. The scope of this goes well beyond steroids, but I’ll cover that in a later blog post. I objectively analyse my actions every day, and the easiest to do that with are exercise and eating, because they are so repetitive and give unbiased feedback.

For example, if I dog a workout without finishing it, or just fade out during the last few sets, I’ll find I’ve done that throughout the day. The next day I’ll correct it, and find that the attitude of finishing things to absolute completion filters through the rest of my day.

If I’m angry in the gym, it’s because I’ve been doing something to cause that. If I’m avoiding the gym, I’m avoiding life in general and have some important (difficult) things or conversations that need to happen.

Now, when it comes to steroids, I find that the reason I want to take them (and I do sometimes want to) is that it would make my body look better. Not only that, it would do it in a shorter time period. But at what cost?

To me, it’s like borrowing money (family money, money meant to feed the kids) to buy an expensive car that makes ME look good. And who do I look good to? People outside of the family. Guys at the gym, other meat heads, other women.

So I’d take food and future from my children (who matter absolute most to me) so that I can maybe impress some truly insignificant people.

Couple that with the fact that if you’re not spending at least 50k a year on it, you’ll look like a roidy. So everyone knows you cheated and are spending money on yourself, not your family.

The third thing that I take into consideration is that I won’t inject, and any one of my professional body builder friends will tell you that orals absolutely destroy your liver. And I mean faster than an alcoholic destroys his, and these guys have doctors looking after them every single week, monitoring bloods and hormones etc.

So this brings up the next point, and that is unless you have a doctor working with you, you’ve got to get your gear from some dude at the gym. So it brings into question what the hell it even is, how it’s been handled, where it’s been etc.

Now, my mates also say that the most expensive and most important thing is the PCT (post cycle therapy). The stuff that you have to take to stop overproduction of oestrogen (think bitch tits, think emotional men, think low sex drive, low sperm count, different fat patterns).

Not only does it stop overproduction of oestrogen, PCT restimulates testosterone. It also needs to rebalance cortisol, because now the anabolism has stopped (and it does) you’re going to have a ferocious appetite and nowhere to put the food, other than fat. On top of this, the appetite is uncontrollable AND small things become big things (depression type symptoms).

Finally, most of the gains actually go away, because the size is from water weight, the strength returns to normal or less. Unless you do another cycle and another one and another one… Back to point one, stealing from your kids.

It’s like taking the rent money to hire a sports car with a “rent me” sticker on it, to impress people I don’t even know.

The final point is that if I do, I no longer have an honest feedback mechanism. I really don’t. And I need it, because it’s the only way for me to know I’m doing well at life or not. I like the idea that what I see in the mirror, or the feeling inside comes from my own hard work, not augmented by chemicals.

But that’s what I value most in life. Hard work. It’s very, very hard to come by in this world plagued by the “I deserve everything right now for free” attitude. It is this exact attitude that crushes potential and holds back real achievement. Chasing easy shit, gets you easy shit. And an empty life not worth sharing with your kids.

That’s just me though!

Jules

Related: IRONDAD: How to get big without steroids
Related: Why (and when) to stop Crossfit and Paleo

How far would you run for your favourite food?

YOU might rethink that chocolate bar or can of softdrink if a new push to display the amount of exercise needed to work off food and drink on labels is successful.

Cancer Council Queensland have voiced their support for the idea which was first suggested in the British Medical Journal and so has fitness experts Sharny and Julius Kieser.

"I like the idea," Julius said.

"It's similar to cigarette packets showing the damage of smoking.

"People often don't realise how much effort it is to burn something off."

Julius said the labels could be particularly helpful in shining a light on foods that are labelled as healthy but aren't really.

"I think it should be on everything because some healthy foods are actually pretend healthy or healthy junk.

"It'd be a good basis for comparison on foods."

Julius was sceptical though on whether it would actually result in people making healthy choices.

"I think people who see that the chocolate bar they want will take 5km they might choose something else but it'd be if they were going to have a Boost Bar that took 5km they might instead choose a Kit Kat that takes 3km. I don't think they'll say I'll go get a cabbage. That'd be ideal but I don't think that'll happen."

  • One slice of pepperoni pizza - 272 burpees
  • 50g chocolate bar - 27-minute run
  • One M&M - walk the length of a footy field
  • McDonald's cheeseburger - 26-minute run
  • Meat pie - 53-minute run
  • Can of Coke - 20-minute run
  • Glass of white wine - 28-minute swim
  • Pint of beer - 1-hour 4-minute walk

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS IDEA TO DISPLAY THE AMOUNT OF EXERCISE NEEDED TO WORK OFF FOOD AND DRINK ON LABELS?

JOIN OUR DAILY WATERCOOLER BY LEAVING A COMMENT BELOW.

What you're saying on Facebook:

Ash Man Nuske: "In the end, our bodies use a lot of calories merely to function just at rest. This paints the picture that you will need to do this amount of exercise to not get fat if you eat the product. It doesn't take into account the daily intake just to function at rest. It will only breed obsession and an unhealthy relationship with food."

Laura-Lee Stutt:" This made me chuckle. No more pizza for me, 27 burpees kill me

🙈
its a good idea though, would work for me!"

Lewis Beckman: "It'd be so impossibly inaccurate, that you may as well tell people to educate themselves about nutrition."

Overtha Hill: "Clever idea but realistically just like cigarettes, it won't alter all peoples consumption behaviours if they aren't willing to make things better."

Eleah Jude Cregan: "I don't know.... But that Mc Donald's I had today was totally worth it."

Dan Sullivan: "People who have never done a burpee will not equate the effort of a burpee to calories."

Karen Campbell: "Awesome idea!"

Hsat Ttocallev: "Hell yes. Would make me think twice."

All you need is a baking tray and 6 minutes

They're commonly used to bake biscuits, but the humble baking tray can actually help you lose weight.

Personal trainers and husband and wife duo Sharny and Julius Kieser have shared a video of a six-minute full-body workout - using two baking trays in place of gym equipment.

Mrs Kieser told Daily Mail Australia if the workout was done everyday it would only a few weeks to start seeing results.

Ab slider: Persona trainers Sharny and Julius Kieser have released a video that shows you how to do a full-body workout using two baking trays

Mountain climbers: The trays are placed under the hands or feet allowing you to slide across the carpet

Lateral slider: The workout shows a series of six exercises, including hamstring sliders, that are performed for one minute each

'You would start seeing results in a few weeks in terms of fitness,' she said.

'By eight weeks time you would have a major difference in body tone.'

And when it comes to working out at home, baking trays are just the beginning.

Hamstring slider: Mrs Kieser said anyone who did the workout everyday would notice a change in their fitness levels after two weeks

Working up a sweat: After eight weeks of doing the workout daily you would see a change in your body tone

Muscle mass: But Sharny says that when working out at home, baking trays are just the beginning

Bath towels, pillows, tins of spaghetti and drink bottles can all be used as workout equipment, saving you time and money on expensive gym memberships or weights.

The baking tray video showed Mr Kieser perform ab sliders, lateral sliders, knee tucks, mountain climbers, hamstring sliders and sliding lunges by placing his hands and feet in the trays and sliding across the carpet.

Each exercise is performed for one minute each.

Fitness duo: Mr and Mrs Kieser share workout videos and fitness tips online and have a number of books

Home workout: Use pillows or towels for an uneven squat (left), or a mop bucket for a bicep curl (right)

The video of the simple workout has since gone viral, with more than 46,000 views since it was uploaded on Monday.

'We have to try these when we are to broke to afford gym membership,' one person wrote.

Others voiced their concerns that a baking tray would scratch their tiles or wooden floors - but Mrs Kieser had a solution.

'People who don’t have carpet, who have wooden floors and tiles, you can use socks on your hands and feet to do the same sort of movements,' she said.

'You could even use hand mops and clean the floor at the same time.'

A common exercise performed at the gym is tossing a medicine ball from side to side.

Mrs Kieser said you could perform this exercise at home using a pillow.



'It's not about the weight ... but about the way you do the movement,' she said.

Body weight training: You can perform a pull up by hanging underneath the table

Training together: 'You don't need expensive gym equipment, you don't need a gym,' Mrs Kieser said

Towels or pillows piled on the floor can be used to perform an uneven squat that allows you to activate your core and leg muscles.

Another trick is to use tins of spaghetti or bottles of water as hand weights or to lay under the table and perform pull up.

'You don't need expensive gym equipment, you don't need a gym,' Mrs Kieser said.

Multi-tasking: Mrs Kieser is known for her fit approach to pregnancy and was pictured exercising while breastfeeding her two-week-old son

Transformation: The Queensland resident is a mother-of-six who previously gained 30 kilograms during pregnancy (left) before taking a fit approach to pregnancy (right)

Mrs Kieser, who is a 35-year-old mother-of-six, is known for her fit approach to pregnancy.

The Queensland resident has previously gained 30 kilograms during pregnancy, and plagued with severe morning sickness and post natal depression, vowed to make a change.

Through what she calls a 'fit pregnancy' - exercising regulalrly and eating well - Mrs Kieser said she had no morning sickness or post natal depression.