72 Days until the end of the decade, and 72 days to lose the gut challenge — Day 24

Good and happy Thursday to you. I hope that your newfound appreciation for better sleep is reaping dividends…

We’re heading into the 2nd phase of the program on Monday, so I will use the next 3 days (Friday, Sat and Sun) to outline your workouts and food regime so that you can hit the ground running when Monday appears in all its’ lean and fasted glory…

The way this program started, makes it different from a book. I was not able to lay all the groundwork first, telling you what food groups achieve what results. This means that I will take some time out to address Proteins, fats, hormones and other issues as we go along. (We’ll look at fats today)

Let’s look at the next phase for a moment.

By now, you will have gotten used to your four pillars.

You know when to eat.

You know what you should be eating, what to avoid…

Phase 2 serves as the “break-out” from the priming phase. We’ve set you up to be more insulin sensitive (part of the reason why some of you are complaining that you’re just not that hungry)

You should be comfortable in the gym by now. You’ve gotten used to your routine. You know how to tweak your workout intensity, and you understand that there’s no turning back from good form in the gym.

You are becoming confident in the gym and in front of the dinner plate. The results are beginning to show in other areas of your life and you’re ready for more.

The Training Phase II is also when things get more serious in the gym. We’re shifting from understanding intensity, work capacity, and mastering movement to manipulating other variables such as training density and frequency. Density training will be employed to increase work capacity, enhance strength and endurance, and above all, increase your testosterone. Testosterone is the main focus because it’s what will allow you to build more muscle and lose fat, but also because it’s the underlying problem that is restricting most men. Research shows that testosterone levels of the average man have dropped 30 per cent during the past twenty years. It’s time to change that. And using density training that emphasizes certain multi-muscle exercises (think: squats and deadlifts) is exactly the antidote for your lagging T levels. (Gals, please humor the references to T-levels. At the very least, you will be a beneficiary of your man’s improved self conficence)

Sex and Life

As your body changes, you’ll also notice changes to your sex life. The increase in calories and carbs helps, but the hormonal surge of testosterone and GH (which exacerbates the effects of testosterone) will be responsible for your adolescent-like desire and drive. Phase II is also where you’ll experience the greatest increase in confidence. This is partially due to the undeniable and visible improvements in your physique and performance, and also to the more optimized hormonal environment. Not only are testosterone and GH now improved, but insulin will also be working in your favour instead of just being set to baseline levels of effectiveness. As a result, you’ll notice sometime around the middle of Phase II that you’re thinking a bit differently. Brain function will increase, and you will actually get smarter. You probably won’t notice this, but what you will notice is increased concentration and a general sense of focus, which will improve your productivity and effectiveness. You might also be faster to speak up and start to feel better in your relationship. Hell, maybe you’ll just wear a tighter T-shirt. The point is that your entire worldview will begin to shift as a result of the increased confidence, and you’ll have moved one step closer to realizing your potential and creating a happier, more satisfying universe.

Feast

Let’s stop and have a look at Fats for a moment. I can probably attest that the day I made fats my friend, and moved away from the thinking that low fat was the only way to go, is when it all became easier for me.

For a long time, fats were like carbs — blamed for every damn health problem possible. It’s the reason that for nearly twenty years, low fat was synonymous with healthy. And for many people — maybe even several of you reading this — that’s still how you determine whether something is safe to eat. If it’s low fat, it has to be good. Or if it doesn’t have saturated fat, then it’s okay.

Let’s undemonise fats for a second here…

Let’s start by saying that you’re probably NOT consuming enough of it.

Fat is good and it’s your friend. Fat is good for your heart, nerves and muscles.

— Yip, you read that correctly, — it forms a coating over your nerves and serves to speed up conduction of your thought impulses along your nerves. Fat also serves as a substrate for a family of hormones, called eicosanoids.

While I’m now running the risk of sounding too geeky, let’s just say that they’re essential for regulating blood pressure, inflammation and even blood clotting.

Monounsaturated fats are found mostly in high-fat fruits such as avocados as well as nuts like pistachios, almonds, walnuts, and cashews. This type of fat can also be found in olive oil. Monounsaturated fats help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. They’ve also been proven to help fight weight gain and may even help reduce body fat levels.

Polyunsaturated fats like monounsaturated fats, help fight bad cholesterol.

Polyunsaturated fats stay liquid even in the cold because their melting point is lower than that of monounsaturated fats. You can find polyunsaturated fats in foods like salmon, fish oil, sunflower oil, seeds, and soy. Polyunsaturated fats contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which have largely been processed out of our food. Omega-3s and 6s are very important and are often referred to as essential fatty acids, or EFAs. These cannot be manufactured by our bodies, and so it becomes essential to ingest them. And because your body needs these sources to function optimally and remain healthy, it’s your job to make sure your diet has enough of these fats to avoid problems and breakdown.

Saturated Fats

And our conclusions — supported by science — are that your diet should include saturated fats and you shouldn’t stress about the quantity. There are several studies of hunter-gatherer tribes that consumed 50 to 70 per cent of all their calories from saturated fats without any health problems. When you receive the specific calculations for your fat intake, up to half of the fat can derive from saturated fats. Saturated fats also get a bit of a bad rap because they have been shown to elicit and increase cholesterol in the bloodstream. Again, I have to say that this is not as scary as the media makes it

Listen, saturated fat is one of the best sources of energy for your body. It’s why your body naturally stores carbohydrates as saturated fat. Are you going to argue with one of the most basic structures of how your body was intended to work? Not to mention, saturated fats are some of the most satiating foods, meaning they keep you fuller longer. And research shows diets that are higher in saturated fats are often lower in total calories consumed.

That leaves you with one option: assuming you’re not a vegetarian, you should be eating red meat, dairy, and eggs to consume your share of saturated fats. If you’re of vegan convictions, that’s totally cool too. Find your space within this advice and the results will show up.

Transient Fats

These are the worst fats, and you should avoid them. They are found in chips, deep fried foods and french fries. Trans fats are manmade. They are made by a chemical process called hydrogenation. Manufacturers take liquid vegetable oil and pack it with hydrogen atoms which converts into solid fat. The food industry loves this smooth, food preserving creation, but your body can’t cope with this manmade junk. It literally does not know what to do with it, other than store it as a neat deposit on your body.

Of course, I advocate that you take a moderate approach. Have the chocolate from time to time…. but stay vigilant about what kinds of fat you put into your system.

Keep having your cheat day and keep doing your Monday fast. When I started advocating this program, I thought the biggest resistance would come from getting people to do the counter-intuitive binge on a Sunday. Then, the Monday All day fast would present the next big challenge. I was right, but would ad that those who are following this advice, are the one’s who are reaping the greatest rewards, because the overall boost of hormone levels, improved sleep, and general feeling of well-being, will arrive if you are aware that the small notes of this concerto, are what separates this program from conventional programs.

Have a super day, and let’s talk Workouts tomorrow…

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