Newsletter Volume 1, Number 1

December 1, 2005

From my Diary

  • Strength training: I do my workouts on an 8-week cycle, based on Bryan Hayock's HST program, (HST articles). Bryan provides for nine days deconditioning at the end of each cycle, but I have modified this to 16 days. Deconditioning at the end of one cycle means smaller weights must be used in the next cycle. These smaller weights have the same impact on muscle development as do greater weights because of deconditioning. But smaller weights reduce the risk of injuring joints (ligaments, tendons and cartilage). During this two-week break, I will still do abdominal exercises, but without added weight.

  • Aerobics and fat loss: This break is an opportunity to lose some more fat around the middle. But since I don't diet, I use these periods at the end of every HST cycle to have a "campaign", when I try to drop at least one pound. Even though this is stubborn belly fat, I will cut back on food only a little, giving up snacks such as dried figs, dates and dried peaches. I will burn the fat by swimming 30 minutes every day, skiing for 30 minutes on the cross-trainer and walking with my wife for an hour in the park, up and down hills.

  • Progress: In the next two newsletters I'll report on how this approach works: increasing light aerobics while cutting food calories only a little, less than 200 calories per day. Already, at the end of one week, I have lost 3 pounds (1.5 kg). The rate of weight loss is greater than intended, so I took Sunday off, skipping the workouts. I am increasing food intake slightly to preserve lean body mass. Subconsciously, I must have cut portion sizes too much. Or perhaps the snacks that I cut out had higher calorie content than I thought. The approach seems to work too well!

Tip of the Week

Question: What do I do when I'm hungry enough to eat cardboard, but it's not mealtime?

Tip #1: Everybody has moments, if not days, battling an unbearable urge to eat between meals and scheduled snacks. If the urge just hits you when you are unprepared, have an unpeeled apple or pear—the whole fruit not juice. However, if you just know that "It's one of those days", get ready early in the day. Peel a carrot, cut it into strips and store it in the fridge for later or take it to work. Do the same with other roots like Japanese radishes. Ditto with celery and sweet peppers. Avoid using salt, but if you must, do so sparingly when you eat the vegetables, not when preparing them. Raw vegetables don't stave off hunger for long—an hour later you are back at the fridge or dipping into your drawer at the office, fishing out bits of raw vegetable. Never mind, the calories in these raw veggies hardly count because we can't digest much raw food and what can be digested needs a lot of calories just for the digestion process. Their job is just to get you through the day without indulging in a high calorie binge. As you munch on these veggies, console yourself with the thought that they are packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and cancer-defying substances.

Note: Unlike raw vegetables, fruit has to be counted in the calorie quota for the day because of the sugar content. So, apart from the recommended six pieces of fruit per day, fruit is less useful for those days when the hunger persists.

Tip #2: Add raw almonds to beat back the hunger. Almonds quench hunger because of their high protein and fat content (22% protein, 22% carbs, and 56% fat, with only 7% of the fat saturated). One raw almond counts as 2.5 calories, so eight raw almonds cost only 20 calories. One way to keep track of the calories is to count out enough almonds for one day into a small container. (I eat 50 almonds every day costing 130 calories.) Do: If you drink a glass of low-fat milk or eat a few tablespoons of low-fat yoghurt at some time during the day, the excess of lysine in the milk/yoghurt will complement the amino acids in the almonds and effectively increase your daily total of complete protein. Alternatively, beans and protein powders can be used to complement almonds. Avoid: salted and sugared almonds.


I found a wonderful story this week:

Special Report

  • Special report: How protein-rich diets stunt the appetite.

  • Comment: The way I get extra protein into my diet without extra fat is by using whey and soy protein isolates. Both whey and soy isolates can be blended into shakes with fruit or added to soups and sauces. I use the isolates because they contain 85% to 95% protein and little or no fat or carbs. Some whey powders contain both isolates and casein, a cheaper milk solid that is also a good source of protein.

Coming Up

  • Soon, I hope to post the story of Mike Jasper, artist, musician, writer and owner of an audio recording studio in Austin, Texas. Mike had a heart attack at age 50 and suffered side-effects from his medication. Knocked down twice, he still got up and took command of his life. (Note: "Jasper", as he is known to his friends, is not the Michael Jasper who writes science fiction.)

    Fred Colbourne It's never too late!
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    This newsletter and special report should not be substituted for the advice of a physician. Please consult with your family doctor before beginning any program of exercise or diet modification.

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