Author Archive

Why Diet Soda Will Actually Make You Fatter

Fat Man Eating Burgers Diet SodaIf your plan to lose weight is by drinking diet soda, you better think again. Although you may believe that diet soda is your answer to reverse fat gain, you really should  know the truth. Diet soda, although the apparent panacea to losing weight, turns out to actually cause you to gain weight!

According to a study done under the direction of Sharon P. Fowler, MPH  with the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio,  the chances of becoming overweight or obese when drinking diet soda  are huge. According to this study, there is a 41% increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumes each day. Here are 3 possible explanation as to why weight gain happens when you drink diet soda :

  1. Diet Mentality – if drinking  diet soda is your secret weight loss plan, you know what I am referring to. It is believed that when people start gaining weight, they switch to diet drinks. Your diet drink is not a diet. If it is, you need to immediately look at what you are eating, not only what you are drinking. Think about the paradox of showing up at the drive-up window, ordering a Big Mac, large order of fries and a DIET COKE.
  2. Taste Behavior – we have pampered ourselves into the inclination towards sweetness in your food and drink. You might say, “OK so what.” The thing is that when you give taste and no calories to your body, it is very possible that your body is not so easily fooled and will retaliate by craving the calories promised. Some diet soda studies have concluded that diet soda actually stimulates hunger.
  3. Body Chemistry - from the excellent video below, when you drink diet soda, your body becomes acidic and removes iodine that you body needs to lose weight.  Further, according to this additionally excellent article, your thyroid gland needs iodine to aid in metabolism of stored fat (aka belly fat, love handles and chin meat).

What To Do

  1. Drink Water – although you may dislike drinking water, water is the essential fluid for proper body functioning and in your particular case….to burn body fat. Find out here why you won’t lose weight without sufficient water in your body.
  2. Drink Herbal Tea – If you hate water, try drinking unsweetened herbal teas.

By choosing not to drink diet soda, you will be giving your body more favorable conditions for losing weight. You will also save a lot of money.For example,  if you buy a single 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke  per day  at $1.95 per bottle, you will $ 711.75 for that habit.



Why You Need Strength Training To Lose Weight

male lionI don’t know about you, but I was born lazy. I don’t like to work any more than I need to. That includes exercise. So if you think this article is about working out or exercising hard, you’re in the wrong place ! BUT, if you want to lose weight without working out hard, you need to read this article completely.

I think we need to be more like animals in nature. I like watching those nature programs. The BBC created a documentary called “Planet Earth” that I recently watched in its entirety.  I particularly appreciate those male lions lying out there on the Savannah. That is the way we need to be. This is purely natural for these powerful animals. It’s also natural for us.

In order to lose weight, exercise is necessary only as much, as your body naturally loses its own weight. If you look at ads for weight loss, you see a lot of glissening bodies of muscular male and female models working out.  I can tell you that I look great too, but I only spend 35 minutes in the gym 4 times per week.

Here are the scientific facts of how your body really loses weight on your behalf:

1. Resting Metabolism Rate - this is the number of calories your body burns per day while you are doing absolutely nothing…watching TV, sleeping,  arranging your little animals in Farmville. It is roughly approximated by the Harris-Benedict equation. This formula is the result of scientific studies and estimates your calorie burn rate (calories per day) based on age, gender, weight and height. If you are already eating less than this amount, you are already losing weight and  would most likely not even be reading this article. If not, read on…

2. Basal Metabolism Rate – Depending on your activity level, you can actually find out how many calories you will burn per day. This applies a factor to the calorie amount in Step #1 above based on your activity level. To lose weight, you need to eat less calories than this resulting number. This activity level elevates your metabolism both during activity and for a few hours after your activity. The problem is that for guys that need to lose a lot of weight, getting the cardio ramped up to a level where it really starts to burn significant calories is just not going to happen early on in the program. That is why the big burn comes from strength training.

3.Strength Training – This is the BIG BURN. When you build muscle mass, you are increasing the calorie burn all day long. You heard that right…..When you have increased your lean body mass with strength training,  you’re burning calories all day, not only while you exercise like aerobic activity. This is because when you do strength training, you are tearing down your muscles. When you tear muscles, the body repairs them with calories, nutrients and vitamins that you eat.  When muscles are torn, they repair WAY stronger than before. So your body is using up calories to build your muscles.

Here’s What To Do

From an interesting article on Strength Training and Weight Loss, it’s necessary to do about 30 minutes of strength training 2 to 3 times per week in order for your body to lose its own weight. Strength training for weight loss is the use of external resistance of exercise motion, against your normal muscular contraction to build muscle.

If you look at my strength training program, you’ll see that I utilize two separate workouts so that I don’t do the same workout, 2 days in a row. This is because muscles need some time to repair and I don’t want to work these muscles in two consecutive days.

1. Create a list of strength training exercises that you will do today. You need to work all the major muscle groups – chest, back, shoulder, triceps, biceps, abdomen, calfs, quadriceps, hamstrings. For today, choose only four of these – maybe work on chest, biceps, shoulders and quads.

2. Create a second list of strength training exercises that you will do tomorrow. Remember to include work on the abdomen muscles. Note that you cannot “spot remove” belly fat or love handles (or anywhere else either) by doing any type of strength training. Weight loss can only happen by reducing body fat evenly over the body.

3. Perform #1 and #2 alternatively throughout the week. At least two times per week. It is not necessary to do a total of more than 5 total workouts per week.

So, now you have 2 lists of exercises that you need to do to accomplish your weight loss goals. The best thing is to start right now. Notice, I didn’t say that you have to do these in a gym. For instance for chest, you can just do push-ups on your living room floor. So start now, with 15 push-ups.

Stay tuned. Due to the fact that strength training has such a profound impact on male weight loss, I will be writing in much more detail for your benefit.  Let me know what kinds of questions that you have by writing in the comments area. Thanks for stopping by.


Weekend Warrior Challenge May 2010 – 4 Aces!

4_aces4 Aces – Plus! I wish I had blue face paint. Because if I did, I would have put it on and a kilt to boot. I screamed results this last week. As you remember, I had a  pre-challenge goal of first breaking the 200 pound glass floor. I broke through On Friday, achieving 199 pounds. I had a private male smirk going on, as I strutted in slow motion from the gym scale.

On to the rest of my weight loss goals:

1. Win #1 – Kept the average calorie intake below the 2,000 calorie level. Specifically 1,787 calories was the average from Sunday April 25 through Saturday May 1, 2010.

2. Win #2 – The goal was to walk 25 miles last week. I actually walked 35 miles and loved it.

3. Win #3 – The goal was to do strength training 5 times. Right on the money.

Something I also did last week that I would never have considered…….I fasted for the first time in my life. I actually did not bravehearteat for a whole day on Thursday, because I pigged out on Wednesday. I really screwed the pooch with a 3,838 calorie day on Wednesday via 2 business networking meetings, cocktails, hors d’oeuvre’s, filet o’ fish sandwich meal on the way home and intercourse with 3 chocolate  Zingers after ripping off the plastic wrap, immediately upon entering my home.

So you see, I have got this thing dialed now. I am taking the weekend warrior challenge creating longer range commitments through the week. So the weekend goals will now be incorporated into the week view, early in the week.

I visited my 92 year old dad today and I just enjoyed being with him, holding his hand and rubbing his back. He is not feeling well, but I think I did him well today, because I was feeling great and I could really make my dad laugh and remember the old days.

Thanks to all of us around the world doing the Weekend Warrior Challenge this past weekend.

Here’s a list of everyone who’s signed up for the challenge. These are great people that I have bumped into on the net. Please visit their sites as well:


Why Belly Fat Is Killing Your Sex Life

Couple eating a appleSex is the single most avoided subject between male and female. If you have experienced a decrease in your sexual appetite, you already know why you do not want to talk about it. When you are overweight, the subject is even usually a bit more dicey…….because you are not the only one involved.

She “may also” not be very happy about the weight you need to lose.When she has stopped being “grabby” in the bedroom, you know that you need to get “saddled up” and do something about this problem.  But first, here are the straight facts as to why your belly fat is costing you good lovin’.

The good news is, that is not your fault. There is some medical science behind why you just do not have it in you. The culprit is the belly fat. Not you. Have you ever  noticed that Viagra is one of the top rated drugs on the market?  Well, while Viagra is topping the charts, it is no coincidence that obesity, as a disease, has never been so prevalent in all of human history.  From an article by Truestar Health there are  a number of factors working against your mojo:

  1. Higher estrogen level – belly fat actually increases the conversion of testosterone into estrogen.  That means that you are actually getting more of the female hormone estrogen than the testosterone that you need to drive your prowess in the bedroom. And the more estrogen, the more abdominal fat will accumulate…the snow ball effect ensues.
  2. Lower testosterone level – leads to increases of the pot belly and other body fat, such as love handles. Of course, the lower the testosterone, the lower the love drive.
  3. Stress - causes high cortisol levels which in turn causes loss of muscle mass, decreases bone density and drives libido way down.

What To Do About Your Sex

OK, so at least now you know now, why Mr. D has not been showing up lately. Like I said, it isn’t your fault. But now, though, it’s simply a matter of caring better for yourself. Let me tell you what to do about this.

Start a strength training program. Pec’s, triceps, biceps, shoulders, abdomen, and back. The beauty of strength training is that it is the engine that drives weight loss. Why? When you work major muscle groups in weight training, your body is burning calories for you while you sleep.

Remember that when you lift, you are tearing down muscles. The calories in your body are in turn used to repair these muscles. Thus more calories are being burned continuously on your behalf. This repair work goes on around the clock.  The immediate benefit though is that strength training reduces stress and thus cortisol. This helps build libido straight away.

Once the cortisol level is managed you are on the path to reducing belly fat and correcting your hormones. The whole process starts immediately when you start your strength training. If you do not have the cash or time to go to a gymn, start doing push-ups, sit-ups leg lifts right now. If you want your sex back enough, you will get very creative. So start today.


Weekend Warrior Challenge – May 2010

braveheartI am going to make this short and sweet, because I have work to get done. I am again going to accept the weight loss Weekend Warrior Challenge from Brandon up there in sunny Alaska. Brandon has accepted my proposal for this month’s theme of “Bravehart.” This is a monthly challenge to achieve certain weight loss and fitness goals by stating specific accomplishments.

I am posting this early in the week, because I am actually one of the few WWC  participants that needs to get prepared for the challenge. Because my challenge, before the challenge, is to get to my weight to a level of exactly 2 years ago – 200 pounds - by the end of this week: Friday specifically. I am currently at 202 pounds. It may not sound like much, but for every level of weight loss attained, the game to lose more is slightly, well…. different.

Once I have achieved the 200 pound mark  (which I will),  I will further achieve the following goals this weekend:weekend warrior challenge

  1. 5 Strength Training workouts this week (Sunday to Saturday) – currently at 1 workout as of Tuesday morning
  2. Walk a total of 24 miles (Sunday to Saturday) – currently have completed 8 miles as of Tuesday morning
  3. Hold average calorie intake below daily calorie budget of 2,000 calories.

That ought to keep the belly fat and love handles at bay. I know that the word “average” in #3 above sounds weasel-like, but in fact, it is going to be my long term play to remain forever manly-looking and eat what the hell I like. Any questions?


The Secret To Safely Losing Weight

fat male on weight loss scale I have heard it so many times now. Guys usually tell me one of the following three things. They say, “Frank, I need to lose weight quickly because”:

1. “I am standing up in a wedding”

2. “I want to take my shirt off at the beach this summer”

3.”I am going to  a reunion with old friend”

The BIG question that they always want an answer for is “how much weight can I lose in 2 months?” Weight loss takes time, but can be done quickly if and when you you really want to get results. Usually, we male of the gender want results fast.

The answer is in two parts. The first answer is it depends on how bad you want to lose weight. Weight loss does not happen because you hate being fat, or because it is annoying. It happens because you are committed to losing weight. When you decide that you will do anything to get your health, energy and manhood back, only then will you lose weight.

The second part of the answer is how much fat can you safely lose? Using the Fat Loss Formula you can lose as much weight as you want. But be careful. Sustainable weight loss is healthy weight loss. Using the Fat Loss Formula and the information from WebMD , you can safely lose 3 pounds per week. The good news is that the fatter you are, the faster the weight comes off. You may be very happy to see the weight coming off you immediately when you put the Fat Loss Formula to work for you.

To lose weight you need to:

1. Keep a daily food journal and assess accurately the calories for each item. Take a look at an example of my weight loss  journal for ideas. My clients use the very same version.

2. Eat less calories than your body needs. Check out this BMR calculator to help you figure out how many calories your body needs. Also check out this excellent Wiki How article on calculating your body calorie needs.

3. Drink 3 liters of water everyday. I drink 2 – 12 ounce glasses prior to every meal and 1 – 12 ounce glass before eating anything else.

4. Get some type of exercise everyday. At least do a 20 minute walk.

Do not use diet pills. They are either ineffective or have dangerous sides effects. Even if you did lose weight using pills, it is very likely that you will gain it back since your habits will sneak back into your lifestyle.


Can I Lose Weight Without Eating Vegetables?

Woman Holding Fruit and Vegetable - Do not Need to eat for weight lossI have a big family. Both my parents grew up on dairy farms in northern Wisconsin. And as you may know, farming families tend to be big, because they need a lot of people to work the farm.  And yet, you may find it very strange that there is a large segment of my family that hates eating vegetables.

Then I realized, how many men I talk to that really do not like the taste of vegetables. I often hear questions like, “to lose weight, do I have to eat vegetables?” Everyone does not like vegetables. When the typical weight loss guru talks to people that desperately want to lose weight, nearly the first thing that these “experts” are going to say, is “eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.” That is poor advice to someone who considers vegetables about as tasty as castor oil.

The good news is that you can lose weight without eating vegetables. Remember the Fat Loss Formula?  The Fat Loss Formula guarantees that if you eat less calories than your body needs, you will enjoy weight loss. You will burn belly fat. The Fat Loss Formula does not say anything about what type of food. It is all about the number of calories you eat.

Let me explain to you why they keep telling you to eat fruits and vegetables. In an article called “Can eating fruits and vegetables help people to manage their weight?” by the CDC,  the explanation is very simple. (By the way, you don’t have to read this report since I already have).  Here is why fruits and vegetables help with weight loss. Fruits and vegetables have a very low calorie density. That means that for a given volume of food, as measured in cups, milliliters, or tablespoons (not weight), there are relatively fewer calories in fruits and vegetables.

Your body feels satisfied when you are full, right? Your desire for food gets shut down when your stomach signals that it has reached its volume limit. That means, when you eat and give your stomach a big volume of food, your brain tells you that you are not hungry anymore. And further, if this food contains less calories in volume (than the meals you have been eating), you win. You will lose weight.  It is that simple.

There are a few types of food that will typically give you less calories for a given volume of food. In an article entitled “How to Lose Weight If You Dislike Vegetables? ” by Katarina Fitzpatrick, she gives a lot of suggestions for what you can do, if you dislike vegetables.

  • Substitute vegetables high in potassium with fruits that are also high in potassium. Many people feel better taking potassium during weight-loss programs to help with fatigue or weakness. Instead of eating broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes and potatoes, substitute oranges, bananas, apples and dried apricots.
  • Increase water consumption to help you feel full longer, boost your energy levels and increase your metabolism by eating fruits that are also high in water content. Instead of eating vegetables such as cucumbers, celery, lettuce and tomatoes, try eating cherries, melon, grapes, pineapple, mango and papaya.
  • Add more legumes (meaning beans) into your diet. Legumes contain high amounts of fiber, as well as protein, to help you feel full longer. These include lima, kidney, garbanzo and pinto beans, as well as lentils and edamame.

My recommendation is to eat more protein – hard boiled eggs, chicken, fish, lean meat. A lean hamburger without the bun is also a reasonable option. There is nothing wrong with eating meat, and makes you feel full with not a large calorie load.

So right now, think about your next meal. Rather than passing up vegetables or fruit and eating a high calorie density meal (like burger, fries and milk shake), decide what alternative to that meal you will eat when that craving for junk food happens. Let me know what you decide to eat in the comments below.


The Secret About Weight Loss and Exercise

Working Too Hard at Male weight lossIn the last 32 years, I’ve worked hard to lose weight, only to learn early this year that weight loss isn’t really about exercise at all. Seriously, I’ve jogged literally thousand of miles and sweated on gleaming exercise equipment on 5 separate continents. I thought all of this time, that exercise was the disposal system for my calorie extravagances. The answer is, I was wrong. The male belief that we need to “burn off” excess calories to drop the belly fat, is absolutely wrong.

Sure, you’re going to burn some calories and some fat while you exercise. No doubt about it. But weight loss (specifically, fat loss) is going to happen for the most part when you aren’t exercising. Your body’s going to do it on its own without your direct involvement.

Yesterday the New York Times published an article that confirms what I know is the real truth about weight loss. A quote from this article states it all, “In general, exercise by itself is pretty useless for weight loss.” There are a lot of reasons for this. Among them are:

  1. You may end up consuming more calories when your exercise. If you feel (either psychologically, physiologically or otherwise)  you need to eat more or drink energy or protein drinks because of your new exercise regime, you are adding weight
  2. Your body wants to maintain its current situation. Its hormones and processes will adjust themselves to keep things as they are. Specifically your appetite may be adjusted by hormones in your system, to keep your appetite at its current level.
  3. Only moderate exercise is needed by the body.

But strength training is a great way to keep weight off once you do lose weight. Your metabolism rate (number of calories your body burns per day) is effected by your lean body mass. Lean body mass is your body weight minus all the fat. The higher your lean body mass, the more likely you will burn more calories simply by doing nothing. So, you always want to do exercises that build your muscle mass. Muscle mass is like a big flywheel that burns calories on your behalf. But just remember, do not expect an immediate calorie burn from strength training. This simply is not going to happen.

Unless your body has less fuel than it needs, your body will maintain “business as usual.” Plain and simple – You need to put your body in a calorie deficit. You need to consume less calories than your body needs every day. It must be a habit.

All these years, the reason I stayed in pretty good shape was because of the eating habits that I adopted many years ago – balance and moderation. It was not about exercise at all. Luckily I know now that the answer is really about eating less calories than I need per day.


My Freaking Bathroom Scale is Broken!

Male Weight Loss Guy on ScaleA lot of guys talk out loud to their bathroom scales. And these are usually some very emotionally-powered words. Actually they’re four-lettered male-preferred words. Apparently there are a lot of broken scales out there. Every day us weight loss candidates have some really practical problems with their bathroom scales:

1.  The bathroom scale only goes up to 300 pounds and they weigh more than that. A lot of men are force to go to the doctor’s office, just to get weighed because they are literally off the scales.

2. They get on the scale and their weight changes by about 5 pounds from the day before. Not necessarily in the good direction. How can a scale possibly give you such wacky information two days in a row? What the hell?

The fact is that every scale is wrong.

The only thing that you can count on for a bathroom scale is that it tells you how much your weight is changing in general over a longer period of time. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you get the most accurate reading on your bathroom sclae though. Do these things every time you get on the scale:

  1. Decide how often you want to weigh yourself. You don’t need to weigh yourself anymore than once per week. Weighing yourself often is pure punishment because of the bad news you get. Then, don’t do it. Once a week is enough. You know you are heavy, you don’t need to “align with reality” any more than you want. Be nice to yourself.
  2. Weigh yourself at the same time of the day, on the days that you have chosen to weigh yourself.
  3. Wear the same thing everyday when you get on the scale. It does not matter what you wear…just make it easy to get on the scale as part of your schedule.  Weighing first thing in the morning is the easiest because you are usually in the bathroom at the same time every day.
  4. Stand on the scale with feet spread slightly so that the outer edges of your feet are at the edge of the scale platform. Do this so that you are well balanced and stable.
  5. Have your toes lined up with the edge of the scale platform closest to the dial or digital readout. You do this so that you have your feet in the same place every time.
  6. Head forward and arms relaxed at your side. Obviously you have to look down at the scale to read it. You do not want to effect the reading by your motion or weight shifting from looking all over the place.

Honestly, your scale is wrong. Every scale is wrong. The belly fat is the target, not your weight. You’re just using the scale like the speedometer on your car. You want to see whether you’re “speeding”  or not.  You want to know how your food program and exercsie program is working for you. Do what you can to get the best reading by controlling yourself.


Lose Weight By Eating Fast Food

Couple eating burgers in convertible. Fast food and losing weight is not a problem for male or female.I love fast food. I like to eat healthy stuff,  but I love fast food. I live in the fast food “cradle of civilization” here in Chicago. We have Chicago-style hot dogs, great pizza, long stretches of suburban avenues dedicated to mom and pop and major franchise fast food drive-up places. On top of that, we have “take-out” of any kind of ethnic and American food you can imagine. It is no wonder that we not only live in the bread basket of the worldwide, but we look like it too.

I really think that is unrealistic to expect to lose weight and never eat the food you love. It is just not going to happen. When someone tells you to start out a “diet” by cutting out everything you love to eat, run in the opposite direction. Because they are telling you to do something that they could not even do. You love to eat fast food and so do they. Be realistic.

One of the foods I crave are shakes. I play music professionally and after closing another club at 1 am, all the gear is packed in the SUV and I am heading home, there is nothing more satisfying than getting an extra huge vanilla malt from Steak and Shake. (Oh, and by the way, I occasionally accompany that with a single steak-burger and those killer fries – lots of them).  It is particularly outstanding when it is summer, the soft summer breezes are blowing in the open car window and it is just me, the shake and the steering wheel on the way home.

So how do you lose weight by eating fast food?  Fast food is nothing but more calories. There is nothing evil in fast food. There are probably a lot of things that you do not need in fast food, but there is nothing but abundance in  fast food. Although fast food typically has more calories per bite than other foods, it is just calories. Here are 3 things to do to lose weight and eat fast food:

  1. Keep track of your daily calories. You need to know how many calories you are getting in total everyday. Take a look at my article on keeping track of calories. You will see how I list all of the food I eat and how to assess calories to that food. It is not really that hard. Although I use a spreadsheet to do it, you can use a piece of paper to do the same thing.
  2. Find out how much food your body needs. This might seem like a stupidly simple thing to say. But it actually is that simple. You need to get your body into “calorie deficit mode.” See the Fat Loss Formula for the basics of what I am referring to. Use a BMR (basal metabolism rate) calculator to figure out how many calories per day your specific type of body needs (based on age, weight, height, gender).
  3. Eat less calories than your body needs. Eat 400 or 500 calories less than your body needs from the BMR calculator in step #2 above, to get your body burning fat for you. When I know I am going to be playing a job at a club, I will eat lower calorie foods or less food, earlier in the day, to allow me to have that shake I will want on the way home.

You have got better things to think about than worrying about burning fat. Get the body to do your dirty work. When you know that you are going to have fast food, budget for it. Seriously.

Give yourself the fast food that you need!  Well maybe you do not need it, but you deserve it. What I have just told you should ease your mind about eating so that you can lose the weight, have what you want, so that you can get on to the things that are important to you – like having fun with your friends and/or your family.  Life is full of too much great stuff to spend thinking about losing weight. I hope you agree.


  • Copyright © 1996-2010 Male Weight Loss Now. All rights reserved.
    iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress