Thursday, July 10, 2008

5 Facts You MUST Understand if You Are Ever Going to Lose Your Belly Fat & Get Six Pack Abs

by Mike Geary - Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)

1. Many so-called "health foods" are actually cleverly disguised junk foods that can actually stimulate you to gain more belly fat... yet the diet food marketing industry continues to lie to you so they can maximize their profits.

2. Ab exercises such as crunches, sit-ups, and ab machines are actually the LEAST effective method of getting flat six pack abs. We'll explore what types of exercises REALLY work in a minute.

3. Boring repetitive cardio exercise routines are NOT the best way to lose body fat and uncover those six pack abs. I'll tell you the exact types of unique workouts that produce 10x better results below.

4. You DON'T need to waste your money on expensive "extreme fat burner" pills or other bogus supplements. I'll show you how to use the power of natural foods in more detail below.

5. Ab belts, ab-rockers, ab-loungers, and other infomercial ab-gimmicks... they're all a complete waste of your time and money. Despite the misleading infomercials, the perfectly chiseled fitness models in the commercials did NOT get their perfect body by using that "ab contraption"... they got their perfect body through REAL workouts and REAL nutrition strategies. Again, you'll learn some of their secrets and what really works below.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss

Vinegar has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The Babylonians first converted wine into vinegar in 5000 BCE using date palms, grapes, and figs, and believed vinegar had exceptional healing properties. Hippocrates is said to have used vinegar as an antibiotic. Samurai warriors supposedly used a vinegar tonic for strength and power. During the U.S. Civil War, soldiers used vinegar to prevent gastric upset and as a treatment for various ailments including pneumonia and scurvy. It was also used to sterilize wounds during World War I.

Apple Cider Vinegar's Health Benefits

Apple cider vinegar is a powerful detoxifying and purifying agent. It breaks down mucous within the body and in so doing, it improves the health and function of the vital organs of the body, such as the kidneys, bladder and liver. It also prevents excessively alkaline urine. It oxidizes and thins the blood, which is important in preventing high blood pressure. It also promotes digestion, assimilation and elimination, all the while neutralizing any toxic substances that enter the body. Cider vinegar has been found to neutralize any harmful bacteria that may be found in certain foods. When a mixture of cider vinegar and water is taken before a meal it has been known to prevent digestive upsets.

Vinegar as a Cleanser

Vinegar's acetic acid content has recently been put to the test as a cleanser of bacteria in foods. One study shows that 35% white vinegar (1.9% acetic acid) kills E. coli bacteria better than other food cleansers including chlorine added to water.

The Apple Cider Diet

The apple cider diet has been around since the 1970s. Back then proponents claimed that somehow a combination of apple cider, kelp, vitamin B-6, and lecithin promoted the body's metabolism to burning fat faster than it would normally. These days advocates claim that all you need to do to lose weight is to take one, two, or three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar before every meal, starting with one teaspoon and then working up to two or three. As well as helping you metabolize fat, the vinegar is said to reduce your hunger and cravings. But does is actually help you lose weight? Though many people are quick to dismiss apple cider vinegar as just another fad diet, a report in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that not only does vinegar help to control blood sugar and insulin levels following a carbohydrate-rich meal, but it helps to create a feeling of fullness (called satiation). After ingestion of 2 tablespoons of vinegar followed by a carbohydrate-rich meal, the sense of fullness was more than doubled. The beneficial effect is produced by the acetic acid content of the vinegar. Most vinegar sold in retail stores is 5% acetic acid. According to the Journal of American Diabetes Association and additional benefit is that a more acidic stomach may also increase the absorption of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin C. However, an acid substance may irritate existing gastric ulcers as well as cases of heartburn (acid reflux).

Beating Free Radicals With Apples and Oranges

Free radicals are single atoms or atom clusters with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons. This means they are volatile; their unpaired electron causes free radicals to collide with other molecules, hijacking them and snatching an electron. The victim's structure is now altered and it becomes the free radical. This can have a domino effect so vast that it can alter the structure of millions of molecules in a matter of nanoseconds. When free radicals steal electrons from such important components as DNA, protein molecules and enzymes, their proper functioning is affected. Free radical damage can lead to degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Many scientists also believe that they are also the basis of the aging process.

Can Free Radicals be Stopped?

But what causes free radicals and can they be stopped? Free radicals are normally present in your body in small numbers. To be fair to them, they do have beneficial uses like the promotion of beneficial oxidation that produces energy and the destruction of certain types of bacterial invaders. Free radicals are normally kept in check by the action of your body's naturally occurring free radical scavengers. These scavengers neutralize free radicals, rendering them harmless. Problems arise when your body has an excessive number of stalking free radicals. Dangerous amounts can alter the way in which cells code genetic material. Changes in protein structure may occur and your body's immune system may see this altered protein as a foreign substance and destroy it. In addition, free radicals can also destroy cell membranes, upsetting your body fluid and also levels of calcium. Air pollution, overexposure to the sun's rays and cigarette smoking can all lead to an increase in free radicals. The good news is you can win the war on free radicals by recruiting a defence system of antioxidants.


Antioxidants consist of a group of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that capture free radicals and neutralize them by binding to their free electrons. Your body makes its own free radical busting enzymes. Two of the main ones are super-oxide-dismutase, (SOD) and catalase. These are generally dependent on the availability of trace minerals like selenium, zinc, copper and manganese. Your diet supplies the rest of the antioxidants you need.

Apples and Oranges

Apples contain naturally-occurring chemical compounds known as phytochemicals, polyphenols, or flavonoids, H- and some of which have been proven to have antioxidant activity that inhibits, or scavenges, the activity of free radicals in the body. The major antioxidant components in apples are polyphenols contained mainly in the skin known as quercetin glycoside, phloretin glycoside, chlorogenic acid, and epicatechin. Quercetin has been reported to reduce carcinogenic activity, inhibit enzymatic activities associated with several types of tumour cells, enhance the antiproliferative activity of anticancer agents, and inhibit the growth of transformed tumorigenic cells.

Oranges contain an array of phytochemicals, which help fight age-related diseases. They are ranked number 1 among five popular fruits (apples, bananas, grapes and pears); oranges are among the healthiest items in the produce section that provide valuable health benefits. Oranges, as well as other fruits, contain a water-soluble fibre called pectin. Studies show that pectin helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. This may explain why individuals who eat several servings daily of fruits, such as oranges, and vegetables have a lower risk for heart disease.

Studies show that pectin suppresses hunger levels up to four hours after eating.

Eggceptionally Healthy Breakfasts
Eggs Diet Healthy Breakfast Energy Food Image

Eggs are quick to cook and as they are full of protein and vitamins; they'll fill you with energy and keep you going until lunchtime, and they're low in fat and calories.

Energy Value of Eggs

A medium egg has an energy value of 76 kilocalories (318 kilojoules) and the consumption of one egg daily would contribute only around 3% of the average energy requirement of an adult man; 4% for an adult woman. With their significant protein, vitamin and mineral content and relatively low saturated fat content, eggs are a valuable component in a healthy diet.


Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Egg protein is of high biological value as it contains all the essential amino acids needed by the human body. Eggs therefore complement other food proteins of lower biological value by providing the amino acids that are in short supply in those foods. 12.5% of the weight of the egg is protein and it is found in both the yolk and the albumen. Although protein is more concentrated around the yolk, there is in fact more protein in the albumen.

On the evaluation scale most commonly used for assessing protein, egg is at the highest point, 100, and is used as the reference standard against which all other foods are assessed.


Eggs contain most of the recognised vitamins with the exception of vitamin C. The egg is a good source of all the B vitamins, plus the fat-soluble vitamin A. It also provides useful amounts of vitamin D, as well as some vitamin E.


Eggs contain most of the minerals that the human body requires for health. In particular eggs are an excellent source of iodine, required to make the thyroid hormone, and phosphorus, required for bone health. The egg provides significant amounts of zinc, important for wound healing, growth and fighting infection; selenium, an important antioxidant; and calcium, needed for bone and growth structure and nervous function. Eggs also contain significant amounts of iron, the vital ingredient of red blood cells, but the availability of this iron to the body is uncertain.

Carbohydrate and Dietary Fibre

Eggs contain only traces of carbohydrate and no dietary fibre.


10.8% of the egg content is fat. The fat of an egg is found almost entirely in the yolk; there is less than 0.05% in the albumen. Approximately 11% of an egg's fatty acids are polyunsaturated, 44% monounsaturated and only 29% saturated.


Cholesterol and Lecithin are fat-like substances and are essential to the structure and function of all cells in the body. Cholesterol helps to maintain the flexibility and permeability of cell membranes and is also a raw material for the fatty lubricants that help to keep the skin supple. Cholesterol is essential for the production of sex hormones, cortisol, vitamin D and bile salts.

Here's a simple, nutritious recipe to get you going in the morning.

Egg and Asparagus Frittata


* ¼ kilo asparagus spears
* 2 whole eggs and four egg whites
* ¼ litre non-fat milk
* 45 grams reduced fat shredded cheese


* Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
* Steam or boil asparagus spears for 2-3 minutes, then plunge in cold water and drain. Cut asparagus into small pieces and set aside.
* Combine eggs and egg whites, with milk.
* Coat a medium size oven-proof dish with cooking spray. Add asparagus and egg mixture. Cook frittata gently for five minutes, until edges begin to set. Sprinkle cheese on top.
* Cook under grill for 2-3 minutes until top o s golden in colour.
* Cut frittata into slices and serve immediate

Garlic is Good For You

Garlic's Rich History

Garlic (Allium sativum) was introduced from Europe with the settlers. It has been naturalised from New York to Indiana south to Tennessee and Missouri. It is native to roadsides, pastures and open woods. Garlic has been a good friend to humankind for centuries. An Egyptian papyrus from 1,500 B.C. recommends garlic for 22 ailments. It is said that the Egyptians fed it to slaves building the pyramids, to increase their stamina. In ancient Greece and Rome, it was claimed to have even more uses, such as repelling scorpions, treating dog bites and bladder infections, curing leprosy and asthma. In the Middle Ages it was commonly thought to prevent the plague. Research in 1858, by Louis Pasteur, documented that garlic kills bacteria. During World War II, when penicillin and sulphur drugs were scarce, garlic was used as an antiseptic to disinfect open wounds and prevent gangrene.

How Garlic Protects Itself

Garlic cloves are odour-free until crushed or processed when garlic supplements are manufactured and cross-section studies have indicated that the substrate alliin and the enzyme allinase are located in different compartments. This unique organisation suggests that it is designed as a potential defence mechanism against microbial pathogens in the soil. Invasion of the cloves by fungi and other soil pathogens causes the interaction between alliin and allinase that rapidly produces allicin and which in turn inactivates the invader.

How Garlic Protects You

Antibacterial Properties
The antibacterial properties of crushed garlic have been known for a long time. Different garlic preparations have been shown to perform a range of antibacterial activity against types of bacteria including Escherichia, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Klebsiella, Proteus, Bacillus, and Clostridium. Garlic extracts are also effective against Helicobacter pylori the cause of gastric ulcers. Interestingly, various bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus as well as other multidrug-resistant enterotoxicogenic strains of Escherichia coli, Enterococcus, Shigella dysenteriae, S. flexneni, and S. sonnei cells were all found to be sensitive to allicin in garlic.

Cardiovascular Properties
High cholesterol and high blood pressure help trigger atherosclerosis, or thickening and hardening of the arteries - the leading cause of death in the Western world. By lowering cholesterol and your blood pressure, garlic protects your arteries from potential disaster. Garlic also slows the stiffening of arteries that happens with age. A study of healthy adults ages 50 to 80 found garlic helped keep the aorta, the body's main artery, elastic. Ajoene, along with garlic's other compounds, stops your blood from clumping and clotting. This keeps your blood flowing more smoothly and reduces your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Garlic's natural antioxidant properties can also help protect the heart from damage after surgery.

Immune System Boosting Properties

Recent studies reveal that the phytochemicals in garlic show promise for boosting the immune system. Preliminary studies in humans, using an alliin standardised garlic powder preparation, have demonstrated positive effects on immunoreactions and phagocytosis. Another human study was conducted with an unrefined garlic extract (5-10 g/day) which was given to AIDS patients. For the seven patients who completed the 12-week study, there was a major increase in the percent natural killer cell activity from a seriously low mean value of 5+-4% to a more normal mean value of 36+-15%.

Vegetables of The Sea

Seaweed is the oldest family of plants on earth. It is a multi-cellular form of algae of which there are three main types; red, green and brown. As a staple dietary item, seaweed has been used in Japan and China for over a thousand years. It accounts for some 10% of the Japanese diet. Here in the West, seaweed is largely considered as a health food of which kelp is the most familiar and is often taken as a dietary supplement. However there are a variety of available sea vegetables, which make interesting and tasty additions to meals and are very high in nutrients. Here are some of them:

Dulse (Palmaria palmata)

This very common red seaweed. It can be used like spinach or any other leafy vegetable. It has a nutty flavour, and can be toasted over a low flame and eaten like chips or sautéed in oil and eaten as a condiment. It acts as a thicker in sauces. It can be added it to soups the last 10 minutes of cooking and even baked into bread. It is high in iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins A, B6, B12, E, and C. There is some seasonal variation; in the spring it is higher in beta carotene; in autumn it is a good source of vitamin C. Dulse is twenty-two percent protein that is easily digestible.

Nori (Porphyra tenera)

Its colour ranges from dark green or brown seaweed and it has very tender fibres making it paper-thin. It comes in sheets and can be toasted over a low flame. Typically it is used to make sushi or nori rolls. It can be added to soups, stews, and casseroles or crumpled over salads, put into dressings, spreads or desserts. It contains calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamins E, A and C, B vitamins and has twenty-eight percent protein.

Hijiki (Hizikia fusiforme)

This is a high protein seaweed loaded with well balanced minerals. It needs to be soaked for five to fifteen minutes, during which time it will expand to twice its original volume. Hijiki has a very strong flavour, so only a little should be used. It is suitable for chopping and cooking with grains, soups, breads, stuffing, salads, curries, tofu and vegetable dishes. Can be sautéed in oil to will enhance the digestion of oil-soluble vitamins and cut dilute its fishy taste. It contains calcium, iron, vitamins A, B1 and B12.

Kombu and Kelp (Laminaria species)

Kombu is a member of the kelp family. The kelps are a large brown seaweed and it requires cooking for one to two hours covered with water until it softens, which makes it excellent for soups and stocks. Kombu is used in China and Japan for thyroid conditions and high blood pressure. It contains potassium, iodine, calcium, magnesium, iron, niacin, vitamins A, B2 and C; also it contains alginic acid that absorbs toxic metallic elements out of the body.

Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida)

This is a green seaweed. It needs to be soaked for three to four minutes and then cooked for at least forty-five minutes. There is a tough midrib that can be trimmed out and used in longer cooking. This can be used like a green leafy vegetable in soups, stews, baked vegetable and stir-fry dishes, or in with grains. It can be added to sandwiches or into spreads. It contains calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamins E, A and C, and B vitamins; also it is twenty-eight percent protein.

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