Diet and Exercise


Lots of people have been asking about my diet and exercise plan. Well here it is…

In 2008, I found www.JonBenson.com  The detail is online at  www.EODD.com,  www.7mm.com, – you pay for the ebook, but it contains the research & recipes etc. (He’s a good guy, used to be a youth minister, is 40-something – we’d be mates in other circumstances.) 

Diet every other day, and exercise for just 7 minutes. Don’t laugh –

Nov 2008: Age – 42. Cholesterol too high (6.4), too much gut fat. So I researched (didn’t want to waste my time.) Dec 2008: Start diet and exercise – lost 10kg. Jan 2009: lost another 5kg. Feb 2009: weight stable, but continue to lose fat and gain muscle. Feel fitter. Visible difference. [update: March 2009: cholesterol 5.7 – My Doc says, “Keep doing what you’re doing.”

Of course you have to do it the right way...

Every Other Day Diet

Jon calls them Feed days and Burn days.
Feed days – Eat normally – yes pizza, burgers, whatever. (But don’t binge!) Keeps your metabolic rate high!
Burn days – every other day, rabbit food (see SNAPP below). Because your metabolism is still up at the rate for handling Feed Days, you will burn fat on the Burn days.

NB: If you only have rabbit food all the time, your metabolism will eventually adjust down to preserve fat reserves. No further fat is burned. Then when you get sick of the diet, you Feed, and because of the low metabolic rate, you will regain lots of fat quickly.

So the key is:
On “Feed” days: keeping your metabolism up:  – high level of calories – coffee & exercise in the morning (I often go without breaky to keep burning fat till I eat at lunch) – eat what you want
On “Burn” dayshigh metabolism + low intake = fat burning – low level of calories: the SNAPP food…

SNAPP
S – Shake: (I eat just an egg & coffee) start the day with protein & exercise to rev up the metabolism
N – Nuts: first snack (eg. peanuts). Nut oils are healthy. Pumpkin seeds are esp good for men’s health. (BTW, a good intake of omega 3 oils means you need much less animal fats, which are bad for cholesterol.)
A – Apples: Jon says, Pectin slows the digestion of sugar and also creates a feeling of fullness. Obviously apples are healthy. Everyone knows the old saying about keeping the doctor away. The pectin in apples, along with the wonderful phytonutrients, both go a long way to keeping the doctors at bay.”Use as a lunch replacement, altho some days I have lettuce mix, with can of salmon, olive oil, olives, pepper, etc = tastey rabbit food.
P – Protein: at dinner time. A little lean meat – lots of green veg – not starch or carbs.
P – Produce: – also any non-carb veges, esp. raw green veges. And if you snack before bed, only raw green veg, or nothing (better to go to bed slightly hungry: It’s the time the body is either told by the brain to store fat or to burn it during your sleep.”

So on Burn days – no fat, carbs, sugar (including sweet fruits – except Apples).
And Drink water – half the time you feel like a snack, you’re actually just thirsty. Keep water handy. It also helps organ and cell function.

7MM – 7 Minute Muscle

To make the most of the diet, add 7 minutes exercise a day! Exercising (the right way) will release fat-burning hormones, keep metabolic rate up, and add muscle which also burns fat. (And yes this is key for women too – adding muscle does not mean bulk, but rather it reduces and shapes in all the right places.)

The trick here is to work the muscles close to fatigue, as soon as you can, yet still being able to maintain exercise for 7 minutes — for long enough for the hormones to be released. Sure you can exercise for longer, but by getting the reaction going, you’ve already achieved the goal. (It’s the 80:20 rule – the first 80% of benefit takes 20% of the effort, the last 20% takes the next 80% of effort. The extra 20% benefit is necessary for elite or competitive athletes to get ‘the edge,’ but not for those of us who just want to be generally healthy.) 

Working larger muscle groups that affect most of the body is a great idea, as it ‘wakes up’ more muscle that need the chemical reactions. Vince Delmonte says, “I focused on compound exercises that positioned me to lift the heaviest weights possible and maximize the most muscle in the shortest period of time.  The list for this is short – bench presses, bent over rows, over head presses, deadlifts, squats, dips, chin ups and hanging leg raises.  Those were the core 8 exercises and each workout I would do a slight variation on those movements for variety.” 

I recently bought a “Total Gym 1000″ from the Quokka – for $25. A sneakily painful machine!

 In the first 5 minutes, you want to lift as much total weight as possible – mix up the weight, repetitions, and rest period, to find the way to lift the most in the time available.

Clue: start with 80% of your maximum single lift. do reps of 5, with a 15 second gap between reps. Record it. You should start to really feel it in your third minute. If it’s too much, next time reduce the weight or reps, or increase the rest between reps. If its too easy, increase the weight or reps, or decrease the rest. Your muscles should just about be worn out by end of 5 mins.

In the 2 minutes remaining, reduce the weight, and keep doing the exercise. You’re prolonging the benefit of the exercise by keeping the muscle close to fatigue for longer. And now you’re releasing a different fat-burning hormone. The last few lifts should be really hard for you – the money lifts! And adjust next time as you need to , to keep the exercise near redline.

Keep a record of your lifting, so you can accurately compare how you’re going, and make the necessary adjustments. Also you’ll see how you gain over the weeks.

And that’s it!
Really! It’s called “interval resistence training.” You should be puffing a bit by the end. Your heart rate should be up. This could be all you need cardio-vascularwise (although this has not been fully proven yet). If you don’t think you’ve had enough cardio, do another 7 minutes on another muscle group, and you will certainly have had enough for your heart. Or you can do a 30 minute walk. Or a high-rate burst of skipping or jogging or boxing. But just the 7MM worked for me.

Note: if after a while you feel flat / burned out, just take 2 days off, and let your nervous system recover. Then do the next day or 2 at 50% to ease back in. Then after that you’ll see your numbers increase again. 

Remember: For fat-burning Diet is King!  Exercise is second  – especially interval resistance /anabolic exercise (achieves some cardio any way.) Cardio is last (but still of benefit)

This is a sustainable lifestyle for me. I started this because my cholesterol was high, and I had too much gut-fat around my internal organs. I’m visibly better now. There’s no real reason I can’t just keep on doing it. I intend to, so next time you see me, ask me if I am.

Cheers,
Geoff

PS – in 2010 I had heart surgery, so quit everything. Now I’m fine, and just need to get back into this. I’m just lazy. Please feel free to hassle me.

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