Category Archives: fat loss

Speed of eating ‘key to obesity’

This is the headline in the following article from the BBC:

It gets said that it takes around 20 minutes for the brain to realise that the stomach is full. So if you wolf down your grub, your brain doesn’t tell you to stop until around 20 minutes after you’ve reached your max.
Eventually you’ll associate that volume of food as normal because the body is amazing at adapting. Your muscles grow if subjected to progressively heavier weights, your heart and lungs become more efficient if you increase you’re cardio duration and speed.
And your gut expands to accommodate progressively larger amounts of food.

We are a wonderful piece of engineering. However we have limits.

As stated in the article, chewing everything 20 times before swallowing could help. What it doesn’t say is that chewing is the first stage in digestion. Cutting and crushing the food as well as absorbing several key nutrients there and then. A properly chewed morsel of food is then more easily and more completely digested by the gut. Good news for your health.

Another thing is something I borrowed from the Okinawan Diet. The Okinawans reputedly have one of the longest lifespans of any populace, often reaching 100 years. Apart from what they eat, it’s how they eat it that matters.
They recommend only eating until you feel around 80% full.
This one simple tactic could make a huge difference to your waistline and over all health.
If it takes 20 mins for the brain to realise that your full, then you probably are already there when it only thinks your 80% full.

Simplicity itself.

Eat more slowly
Chew longer
Stop sooner

Cut out sugar
Reduce carb intake
Eat more protein
Eat more, lots more veg
Cut out processed food and anything that has unpronounceable ingredients

Eating and avoiding the obesity trap isn’t really difficult. Just engage in some common sense.

Oh, and exercise. Intelligently.

Wild Geese / /
every cause but our own

Wht is the “Afterburn” effect?

This post was nicked from top trainer Alwyn Cosgrove’s blog, read it, enjoy it and learn something. Over to Alwyn…….

Here’s a study I looked at recently and mentioned on the Real World Fat Loss DVD:

====Schuenke MD, Mikat RP, McBride JM.Effect of an acute period of resistance exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC): implications for body fat management.Eur J Appl Physiol 2002 Mar;86(5):411-7This group looked at the effects of circuit weight training on EPOC.The exercise routine consisted of three exercises (the bench press, the power clean and the squat), performed with 10RM loads as a circuit. The circuit was performed four times (i.e. twelve total sets) and took 31 mins.EPOC was elevated for 38 hours post workout. The duration and magnitude of the EPOC observed in this study indicates the importance of the role of high intensity resistance training in a fat loss program.====

This type of information should go a long way in helping fitness professionals design and implement effective fat loss programs. It’s not the workout – it’s the effect of that workout on EPOC.

EPOC stands for Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption and is defined scientifically as the “recovery of metabolic rate back to pre-exercise levels”. It can require several minutes for light exercise and several hours for hard intervals.

In layman’s terms it means you keep burning calories at an increased rate after a workout.
If you can imagine a big forest fire, you understand that it doesn’t just burn for an hour and then burn out – it gradually burns out so that over time there is no fire anymore. The “peak” of the fire may have been hours ago, but there is still flames being produced for a long time afterwards.

We call this Afterburn – metabolic disturbance – elevating EPOC to maximize caloric burn for the other 23+ hours per day. Is there much of a real world effect of burning 300 calories per workout (e.g. aerobic work) if I don’t elevate EPOC?

If we could elevate EPOC even an apparently insignificant 1/4 of a calorie per minute for the 38 hours that the study showed, then that 31 minute resistance training workout would burn maybe 300 calories during the session plus an extra 570 calories over the next 38 hours. That becomes very significant.

In the past – fitness professionals and researchers have looked at how much fat is burned during the exercise session itself. This is extremely short-sighted.

As my colleague Alan Aragon said:
“Caring how much fat is burned during training makes as much sense as caring how much muscle is built during training.”Think about that. If we looked at a weight training session that started at 9am and finished at 10am – how much muscle would we see built if we stopped looking at 10am? None.In fact – we’d see muscle damage. We could make the conclusion that weight training does not increase muscle – in fact it decreases muscle right? It’s only when we look at the big picture – and look at the recovery from the session – that we find the reverse is true – weight training builds muscle.

Fat loss training is the same way. Someone talking about the benefits of the “fat burning zones” or “fasted cardio” is a sure sign that the individual has stopped looking at the end of the exercise session. They have come to the conclusion that fasted, lower intensity steady state exercise burns the most fat and made a massive leap of faith to suggest it is best for real world fat loss.

Using that same logic these same people would suggest avoiding weight training if you want to grow muscle.

Take home message – focus on the Afterburn effect not just what happens during the exercise session.


PS – My question is – could we get ANOTHER EPOC boost if we train less than 38 hours later? Could we raise an already elevated metabolism further? These are the questions that keep me up at night….
PPS – well that, and what the hell is that black smoke monster on ‘Lost’…..
posted by Alwyn Cosgrove at 5:42 AM

Get on to Mr Cosgroces homepage for more top class info from one of the leaders in the field of training, exercise and fat burning.

Wild Geese
every cause but our own

The Road to No Where

Weight Loss, fat burning and better body composition – Wild Geese Style!

Talking heads said it best when they sang “I’m on the road to nowhere”, endless miles pounded out on the treadmill/bike/crosstrainer/[insert machine of choice here], and the results………

Now be honest……

Yeah, I guessed it, pretty minimal. I’m a personal trainer in a city centre gym and I see the same faces coming in and doing the same thing day in day out, how do they look? same as they did last week and the week before that!

Don’t believe the hype:
· Fat burning zone – Really? So why have you still got that spare tyre?
· Weights make you big/bulky/slow – Go home and watch some sport on TV, every professional athlete will have trained with some form of resistance training, are they big/bulky/slow?

Have you ever heard of EPOC? Probably not, I hadn’t untill a few years ago.

Here it is:

It’s the amount of Oxygen your body uses AFTER your workout. Simply put, more is consumed because your body is burning more calories, more calories burned equals greater fat loss. World renowned fat loos expert and author Craig Ballantyne calls this “turbulence”, read about it on

Aerobic training and the “fat loss zone” do burn fat, but do not induce the EPOC effect. Pretty much as soon as you’ve cooled down, your metabolism returns to normal and you are in a resting state. However, high intensity training, for shorter durations will induce EPOC, you cool down after an intense interval and your metabolism will remain jacked for up to 30 or 40 hours after. In other words, you’re still burning calories when your at home on the sofa watching Eastenders!
Proof? Well seeing is believing, get a picture of a sprinter and a picture of a marathon runner, I know who I’d rather look like.

If you want to boost your metabolism even further, lift weights, and I’m talking Bodyweight, Kettlebells, Bar or Dumbbells. Just, please, forget body part splits, get your whole body done and dusted in a single workout, 2-3 times a week. Resistance training will shape and tone the body, making more aesthetically pleasing, further boost the metabolism and burn calories, improve bone density and release mood enhancing endorphins (so does sex & chocolate, but that’s another story!)

Wild Geese
any cause but our own

Why Cardio Doesn’t Work for Fat Loss

Here’s an article I picked up from my favorite fat loss specialist. Craig Ballantyne uses what he call “Turbulence” ie the post exercise calorie burn to strip fat off his victims. This is done with the use of intense interval training as opposed to the regular long slow cardio sessions.
Wild Geese also use intense interval training, not for fat loss, but because it delivers the fastest results for increasing endurance and improving recovery time, essential for any martial artist or fighter.
Either way ou look at it, intervals work, the following article is an explanation of

Why Cardio Doesn’t Work For Fat Loss By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Cardio exercise is such a strange thing. In theory, it should work
so perfectly well for all men and women, but as anyone who has
tried it knows, the practicality of it just doesn’t add up.

After all, some men and women do cardio 6 hours, 9 hours, or more per week, and still have belly fat to burn. On the other hand, it works just fine for others.

British researchers wanted to get more insight into this paradox, and studied 35 overweight men and women, who weren’t previously exercising.

(Reference: International Journal of Obesity 32: 177-184, 2008).

Subjects exercised 5 times per week for 12 weeks. That’s a lot of
exercise, but it helped the subjects lose an average of 8.2 pounds, which is great – I was positively surprised by the results.

So cardio will work for some people, however, in my experience, it works best in young men, who need the help the least!

Back to the study, the variance in fat loss between individuals was huge. Check this out…

The best subject lost a staggering 32.3 pounds in 12 weeks, while the worst subject actually GAINED 3.74 pounds.

The scientists think they know where things went sour. They
classified the subjects into 2 groups, called the “Compensators”
and the “Non-compensators”.

The Compensators were hungrier, and as a result consumed an extra 268 calories per day, all but wiping out their cardio efforts.

Therefore, the Compensators lost the least amount of weight, and scientists believe that was due to the huge “compensatory” increase in appetite experienced by this group.

Does your appetite increase when you do slow cardio? If it does,
research shows it will ruin your cardio efforts.

So if your cardio program is not working for you, check your
appetite and calorie intake to see if you are “compensating” for
your efforts. If you are, you might be better off using a program
of high-intensity resistance and interval training (i.e. Turbulence Training) for your weight loss efforts.

As Australian Professor Steve Boucher has shown in research,
interval training increases hormones called catecholamines. And
increased catecholamines can reduce appetite, among other fat-
burning benefits.

In the real world, few people lose 33 pounds after 12 weeks of
cardio. Heck, few even achieve an average weight loss of 8 pounds with aerobic exercise.

So again, check your appetite, and consider giving high-intensity
exercise a go for your next workout program.

Beat the curse of cardio with high-intensity Turbulence Training.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

About the Author

Learn about the “Dark Side of Cardio” in the free report from Craig Ballantyne at Craig is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

Wild Geese
any cause but our own