Weight Loss – How I Went From 340 to 199 Pounds, Part 1

I spent two years losing over 140 pounds the old fashioned way: proper diet and exercise. No fads. No pills. No surgery. No crazy machines. I was 30 years old and 340 pounds. With a history of heart disease and obesity in my family, I decided it was time to shed the pounds.

Almost every day I get people I haven’t seen in years coming up to me saying “Wow! You look great!” and then the next question… “What have you been doing?” That’s why I wrote this article.

Disclaimer

Now, of course, as a general disclaimer, I have to say that the tips I’m sharing with you here are just from my own personal experience. I’m not a professional health expert – although over the past couple of years I’ve read dozens of books, and hundreds of articles on nutrition, exercise, and weight lifting. I’m not a doctor. You should, of course, seek your own doctor’s advice before starting any kind of a weight-loss or exercise plan. I firmly believe that with the right diet and proper exercise, almost anyone should be able to lose weight and get fit safely.

Tip 1. It’s All About Calories

First, the bad news. Weight gain and loss is directly tied to the amount of calories you eat versus the calories you expend through exercise. What’s a calorie?

A calorie is a unit of heat energy. Specifically, it’s the amount of heat energy required to raise 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. How this relates to your body is that when you eat food, the food molecules are broken down chemically and that energy is either used by your body to perform work (like building muscle, or constructing new cells) or is stored (as fat). If you take in more calories than you burn, you will start to get fat.

Now, in the world of calories, it takes 3500 calories to equal one pound of body weight. So, if you take in an extra 3500 calories in your diet this week without exercising, congratulations… you’ve just gained one pound (probably all body fat). The good news is that you can lose one pound of fat by either removing 3500 calories from your diet, or adding 3500 calories of exercise to your weekly schedule, or a combination of the two.

What’s 3500 calories? It’s actually not much if you’re eating the wrong kinds of food. You can consume 3500 calories in one meal if you eat two Double Whoppers (1010 calories each), a King Size order of french fries (590), a King Size onion rings (600), and a chocolate shake (440). Don’t laugh… this is what I used to eat for dinner if my family went to Burger King… or something similarly outrageous.

So the bottom line here is that if you want to lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit. That means you have to burn off more calories than you eat. You had to eat more calories than you burned to get fat… now you have to reduce the calories to get lean. It’s that simple. In order to know how many calories you’re taking in and burning off, you need to write them down.

Tip 2. Eat Frequently Throughout the Day

Think of your body as a furnace. You want your furnace to burn fuel as efficiently as possible. In order for that to happen, you need to let it burn hot and steady throughout the day.

You need to stoke your fire often to keep it burning. Keep your metabolism running all day long by eating every 3 to 4 hours. My personal tip: I eat on hours evenly divisible by 3. That means breakfast at 9am (if I’m up that early), lunch at noon, a snack at 3pm, dinner at 6pm, a snack at 9pm, and if I’m still up another snack at midnight.

Now, I personally work late (I usually get most of my “real work” done between the hours of 10pm and 2am) but if you need to eat at different hours, that’s fine… Just take the total number of calories you’re going to eat throughout the day and divvy them up into 3-hour intervals. Keep that fire stoked! If you can’t take a break at work to eat every 3 hours, bring a protein bar with you.

If you skip breakfast, then you’re extremely hungry by the time lunch comes around. Skip lunch, and you’re more likely to gorge yourself at dinner. Why? Your body is saying, “Hey! I need food badly!” If you feed yourself often, throughout the day, your body doesn’t go into shock, and you won’t get those wild cravings and hunger pangs when it’s time to eat.

Tip 3. Start a Food & Exercise Journal

Don’t just dismiss this section. I did! The first couple of times I read about doing this in fitness and weight-loss books, I said to myself, “I don’t have the time to do this.” But you know what – it really works!

I cannot stress how important it is to write everything down that you eat. All you need is a little notebook. Make four columns: what you ate, how much of it you ate, how many calories were in it, and what time of the day you ate it. It’s that simple. Also write down any exercise or other activities that are more strenuous than just sitting around.

Taking the time to recognize what you’re eating is the first step to losing weight. A lot of people truly don’t realize how much crap they’re eating. When I first started doing this – and writing down everything I was eating – it really opened my eyes to the volumes of junk food I was eating before. I was a slave to cookies, chocolate, chicken wings, and pizza. When I first took the time to look up the fact that a chicken wing has 150 calories in it (yes, one wing), I was astounded. I used to eat 20 wings and 2 or 3 slices of pizza for dinner.

Now you can get yourself one of those little calorie counter booklets from your favorite book store. Sometimes you’ll even see them in the grocery store. They’re invaluable. Once you get to know the foods you eat on a regular basis, keeping track of what you eat is really quite simple. You will gain a better appreciation for what you’re putting in your body.

So please, please, please, take my advice and journal everything you eat. You do NOT have to do this for the rest of your life… just until you hit your goal weight. By that time, you’ll be able to keep a good mental track of what you’re eating, and you’ll be more aware of what you should eat, and how much exercise you should be getting every week.

Also, you do not have to obsess over every little calorie! Counting your calories can be as detailed as you like. If you want to track every last celery stick, by all means do so. However, you can just round your calories off to the nearest 10, or 20. Don’t worry whether or not something contains 24 or 26 calories. In the end, it doesn’t make that much of a difference… but whether something has 100 or 200 calories does.

The important thing… and I cannot stress this enough… is write everything down!

Tip 4. Eat The Right Amount of Calories

We’re not going to starve ourselves! In fact, proper weight loss is best accomplished by eating more frequently than you’re probably used to! Let me say that again: you’re going to eat more food than you are right now. You’re going to eat better food, more often, but at a lower calorie intake. If you’re like I used to be, you’re probably skipping breakfast. This means that when lunchtime comes around, you’re starving, so you probably overeat the wrong kinds of food (like pizza, wings, Chinese, etc.) for lunch – and I’ll bet it’s fast food or takeout. Then, you don’t eat anything again for six to eight hours, and pack in a monster dinner.

Now here’s what happens: your body isn’t getting any food first thing in the morning, so your metabolism isn’t getting started. Your “calorie-burning fire” doesn’t get started in the morning, so you’re not really burning as many calories as you should be. Also, your body is saying, “uh, oh – I’m not getting any food. I better hold on to whatever body fat I can because we’re starving!” This is bad. If you don’t eat enough food, often enough, your body will basically go into starvation mode and hang on to whatever body fat it can.

The key to unlocking your stored fat is to feed yourself enough good food so that your body doesn’t need to store any additional fat, while at the same time getting plenty of exercise and strength training to burn whatever fat you currently have and build muscle.

There are a bunch of factors that go into calculating metabolic rates and all that jazz, but you can use this chart as a basic measurement of how many calories you should be eating as part of your weight-loss diet. Notice it’s based on your current weight and your gender. Women need fewer calories then do men. Also, if you’re a smaller person, you need less energy than a larger person. Use this chart to determine how many calories you should be eating on a daily basis.

WOMEN

Under 130: 1000 Calories

130-150: 1200 Calories

151-200: 1400 Calories

201-250: 1600 Calories

251-300: 1800 Calories

301-350: 2000 Calories

351-400: 2200 Calories

MEN

Under 130: 1200 Calories

130-150: 1400 Calories

151-200: 1600 Calories

201-250: 1800 Calories

251-300: 2000 Calories

301-350: 2200 Calories

351-400: 2400 Calories

Now here’s something that’s vitally important… you want to make sure you get enough calories every day, otherwise your body will go into “starvation” mode. You want to make sure that you eat your meals at least four times a day to keep your metabolism running. If you don’t eat, your body will go into starvation mode. It will realize that it’s not getting enough food, and will hold on to body fat. It’s important to get enough calories spaced throughout the day to keep your fire stoked. Don’t think that by starving yourself you’re going to lose weight. It will be the wrong kind of weight. Remember, your body will eat it’s own muscle tissue first before burning fat if it doesn’t have enough protein.

Tip 5. Send Yourself to Boot Camp

Now, if you want to jump start your body on its way to fast weight loss, here’s what you’re going to do. Ignore the charts above, and drop yourself right down to a 1000-calorie-per-day diet immediately. In addition, make sure you get at least 15 minutes of walking (or some other easy, basic, extra exercise) in every day as well.

You will do this for exactly two weeks… no more… no less. Then, you will go back to eating the normal amount of calories as indicated on the chart above.

It’s not going to be easy. You won’t be able to eat any junk food for these first two weeks. You can, however, eat plenty of good foods – chicken, salads, whole grain breads, etc. It won’t be easy, but once you get through it, you’ll be able to add lots of calories back in to your diet, and feel more normal again… in fact, after eating only 1000 calories for two weeks, you’ll probably have a hard time bringing yourself back up to 2000 calories (or whatever you should be at).

Here’s why this works: dropping your calorie intake down to 1000 calories will shock your body into new eating habits. You will cleanse your body of toxins (like those monster grease burgers you’ve been eating) and get some good, healthy food in you. You will notice weight loss after the first couple of days, but you’ll be keeping your energy up by eating good foods at regular intervals. You can stop any cravings you’re having with water, or add some extra veggies in there – you can eat just about as much green vegetables as you want.

Tip 6. Don’t Think “Fat Free” Means “Calorie Free”

Everywhere you look, it seems that “low fat” foods abound. While there are certain low-fat or no-fat foods that we are going to eat, you don’t want to restrict yourself to a totally no-fat diet. There are certain fats that are good fats, and other that are bad fats. We’re going to want to eat good fats because they are necessary for proper health. Bad fats, however, will make you fat.

There are tons of fad “no-fat” diets out there that have promoted the whole “low-fat” mentality. What’s happened? People are still continuing to get fat eating “fat-free” foods. They eat fat-free cookies, fat-free chips, and fat-free dairy products, yet they keep getting fatter. Why? Many fat-free foods have nearly as many calories as their full-fat versions.

Now, you start eating “fat free” potato chips thinking to yourself that you can splurge… hey, why not? They’re “fat free.” Well, you still load on the calories with fat-free potato chips. It’s the calories that make you fat. In fact, when food manufacturers remove fat from their products, often times they replace the fat with sugar to improve the taste. Guess what… by adding sugar, they’re bringing the calorie count almost back up to where the full-fat product was.

We need fat. Fat forms lining of the cell membranes in almost every cell of our bodies. Your brain is composed primarily of fat. If you don’t eat enough of the right kinds of fat, your brain will not get the proper nutrition to function. Eating too little fat can also reduce your testosterone levels (equally important for women as for men).

Tip 7. Know Your Fats

Saturated Fats are bad for you. They are found mostly in beef, milk, cheese, deli meats, butter, and some tropical oils. Saturated fats increase your risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes, and obesity. Avoid or minimize saturated fat intake. Try to eat low-fat meats like chicken and turkey without the skin, and reduced-fat dairy products. If you’re eating red mean, get the lowest-fat, leanest meat you can.

Trans Fats are saturated fats that are extremely bad for you. You should completely eliminate all foods with trans fats in them from your diet. These types of unnatural fats are created during food manufacturing processes such as the hydrogenation of vegetable oil. They are usually found in pastries, buns, chips, doughnuts, shortening, and other such foods. If the label says “trans fat” put that product back on the shelf. If the ingredients of any product say “partially hydrogenated” anywhere on it – put it back. One example: margarine! It’s evil. It’s loaded with trans-fatty acids. Avoid it at all costs. Also avoid vegetable shortening, commercial pasties, deep-fried food, and most prepared snacks, mixes, and convenience foods.

Studies have shown that saturated and trans fats are actually addictive and make you want to eat more. They have also been linked to all kinds of health problems from cancer and heart disease to diabetes.

Unsaturated Fats, on the other hand, are generally good for you. These types of fats are usually found in nuts, seeds, fish, and grains. Mono-unsaturated fats, such as the types found in olive and canola oil, will actually protect your cardiovascular system from disease. These are the types of fats we’re going to load into our diet.

– Good fats: almonds, avocado, cashews, flax oil, olive oil, olives, peanut butter, peanuts, fresh fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna)

– Bad fats: butter, coconut, corn oil, cream cheese, half-and-half, lard, mayonnaise, shortening, sour cream

Keep in mind that you need fats in your diet, but even the good fats listed above have a good amount of calories in them – so take it easy! A tablespoon of olive oil, for example, as 100 calories. Almonds (which I love to snack on) have 6 calories a piece. Nuts are a great, healthy-fat snack – but just make sure to take a small handful not the whole bag!

Tip 8. Add Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Your Diet

Omega fats are unsaturated fats that are not only good for you, but they’re essential for your health. Your body cannot create these fats, so you must get them totally from your diet. Omega fats are helpful for many reasons, plus they are necessary for normal cell growth and development.

First, Omega fats are an excellent appetite suppressant. Part of the reason why people binge on “fat-free” foods is because fat is what makes your stomach “feel full.” If you aren’t eating any fat in your meal, your stomach never tells your brain that you’re full. Add a little good fat to your meal, and you’ll feel full with less food.

Eating Omega fats helps your body to unlock stored fat so that you can use it for energy. Omega fat balances your body’s ratio of insulin to glucagon. When you eat sugary foods, your body releases insulin to remove the excess sugar from your system. If you do this too often, the insulin will block the hormone glucagon – which is another hormone that functions to help your body burn fat. Too much sugar = too much insulin = not enough glucagon = little fat burning. Plus, you are at risk for diabetes. Omega fats help to balance this ratio.

Omega fats help to boost your body’s metabolic rate. This also helps you to burn more calories. Omega fats are the building blocks of your cells. Your cell membranes consist of Omega fats. Since they cannot be created by the body, you must get them from your diet.

A specific fat, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, is obtained from flax seeds or flax seed oil. This will be the primary fat that we’ll add to our meals. You can use it on salads and in breads, add it to soups and yogurt. Don’t cook with it, however, as the heat will change it’s chemical properties. You will also find good doses of Omega 3 in most seafood, green leavy vegetables, fatty fish (salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel), walnuts, olive, and canola oil.

Have fish for dinner at least twice a week – and I don’t mean your beer-battered, fried haddock that the local pub serves on Fridays. Pick a fish like salmon, tuna, or mackerel. Bake or grill them – don’t fry them. They have very high concentrations of Omega 3 fatty acids in them. Add flax oil to your salads instead of fatty dressings. Snack on walnuts or almonds instead of cookies and chocolate. You will feel full sooner, and you’ll be adding essential fatty acids to your diet to help burn calories!

Tip 9. Get Plenty of Protein

Proteins are the building blocks for your body. You need to eat lots of protein for your body to build, repair, and maintain your muscle and other lean tissues. If you don’t eat enough protein, your body will break down muscle tissue, which is bad, to maintain itself. As a result, your metabolism will slow, and you won’t burn body fat. Unlike fat or glucose, there’s nowhere in our bodies to store protein (aside from building muscle tissue) so you have to get a lot from your diet.

How much protein should you eat? Most people should eat about 0.4 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Therefore, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be eating between 80 and 160 grams of protein per day. This isn’t hard to do. Eat two eggs for breakfast, and an 8-ounce serving of chicken for dinner, and you’re at 60 grams of protein right there.

What kinds of protein should you eat? I like fish, chicken (white meat), turkey (white meat), soy products, beans, legumes, and eggs (whites only – yokes have a lot of fat). Soy products are a great source of protein… once you get used to the taste. I have totally switched from regular milk to soy milk. It has all the calcium, much less of the saturated fat, and none of the cholesterol of normal milk (even skim milk!)

Eat fish twice a week, chicken twice a week, turkey once a week, a vegetarian meal once a week, and then on that seventh day, go ahead and splurge with the pork or beef… just take it easy. Just make sure you choose lean sirloin cuts. Trim off any fat. Beef has a lot of saturated fat in it (it’s marbled throughout the meat so you can’t just cut it off). Beef is the worst meat for you – as compared to the other popular meats.

– Good protein: beans (any kind), eggs (preferably whites – yolks have a lot of fat), chicken (white meat, no skin), turkey (white meat, no skin), salmon (preferably not farmed), tuna (packed in water, not oil), mahi mahi, any shellfish, any soy products.

– Bad protein: bacon, ham, hot dogs, beef, pork, lamb, veal.

In part 2 of this article, you’ll read about nine more tips to lose weight.

Polynesian Diet Strategies – 7 Tips to Help You Lose Weight Permanently

I am constantly amazed when I hear stories of Polynesians who suddenly passed away from heart attack, diabetes, and even colon cancer, at such a young age. My grandfather was very young when he died from colon cancer. My mother who is now 62 has suffered from a long history of chronic illnesses, arthritis, stroke, and now has diabetes. Outside of my immediate family, I see other Polynesians suffering from diet induced diseases, and I fear they will not live to see their grandchildren. So what is happening to our people, and what can we do to stop it?

I am going to give you seven of the best tips you can implement to lose weight, and get back your health starting right now, but first I want to tell you a little about myself.

I am a Polynesian male in my late thirties. I was born and raised in New Zealand to loving parents of six children. I came to the United States in the late nineties to attend school. After the first year of College, I had gained some extra weight, about 15lbs. No big deal right, wrong. As each year passed I was gaining more and more unsightly body fat.

This was extremely abnormal for me, since I was fairly active and played a great deal of competitive sports, such as rugby, basketball, tennis and volleyball. I have always had a good sense about being in shape and was growing frustrated at the elusive body fat accumulating day to day. I ignored it for a long time until one day I was flipping through some photos I just developed. I saw a shot of myself where my back was facing the camera. For a brief moment I was confused as to who that was. I didn’t even recognize myself. I was embarrassed and ashamed to realize that the way I thought I looked, and how I actually looked were completely different. Is this what people were seeing?

At this point I bought a pair of scales to assess the damage. After three years of denial I weighed a hefty 246lbs. I was stunned. This wasn’t the worst part. I was beginning to have bad chest pains, and experienced dizziness and shortness of breath. I felt tired all the time. I was also becoming more and more depressed. So what was going on? Well, in a nutshell, I was eating the wrong foods, at the wrong times, and way too much of it.

I decided I was going to embark on a mission, to lose 30lbs, after all how hard can that be right. I mean I am a hard worker, should be a snap. So I did what most people do, head out to the local gym, sign up for a membership and personal trainer, bought all the protein bars, shakes and supplements they recommended. I even subscribed to a fitness magazine and purchased products they recommended. All in all I had spent a small fortune in order to get started, but this was fine because I was really committing myself.

I spent the next 3 months working out with my trainer twice a week, and on my own four times a week, with only Sunday off. My workouts consisted of 35-45mins of cardio six days a week and weight training for 60 Min’s 5 days a week. At first I started to lose weight by 4-5lbs a week. I was really excited, then slowly but surely, it started to drop to 2lbs a week, then not even one. My trainer told me ‘we need to tweak your diet a little, and work a little harder’. Believe me when I tell you I was busting my butt to get in shape. There were days when I was the only one in the gym at 1.30am doing cardio. The cleaners would joke around saying I needed to pay rent I was there so much.

And then it happened, at my next weigh in day I had actually gained 2lbs. My trainer assured me this was muscle gain, and not to worry as the scales don’t distinguish between muscle gain, and fat gain, or muscle loss and fat loss for that matter. I was skeptical because I felt so much weaker. I couldn’t bench or leg press what I could 3 months earlier, and if I was really gaining muscle, shouldn’t I be stronger. It didn’t make sense to me. Nevertheless I continued on to the end of our scheduled training program. When all was said and done I weighed 227lbs. I had lost 19lbs, not bad, but a far cry from my goal of 30lbs.

The worst thing about it, was that I didn’t look much different, just smaller. It was discouraging to me to think I had worked so hard for 3 months and was still not happy with the way I looked. I was still flabby, still undefined, and still felt tired all the time, some days even more tired than when I was heavier. Then it dawned on me, the trainers at the gym had taken specific courses and certifications to help their clients get into better shape. Perhaps they were not specific enough for me. I started to pay a lot more attention to the things I ate, the types of foods, as well as how they affected me, even the foods recommended by my trainer which I had taken as gospel. Here is what I found.

1. Many of the carbohydrates I was eating, even the healthy fibrous carbs, had an adverse affect on me.

2. I could stuff myself with veges and fruits all day long and still be hungry.

3. I would eat less then 36g of fat a day for weeks and still be flabby

4. Eating the forbidden red meat made me feel strong and induced powerful workouts

5. Eating coconut, a food rich in saturated fats curbed my hunger, and accelerated my fat loss

6. Eating larger meals less often, gave me unbelievable energy, despite the accepted idea of eating smaller frequent meals.

7. Healthy grains, such as oatmeal, and wheat bread slowed my weight loss.

8. Cardio sessions left me feeling weak and depleted, and you guessed it, still smooth, not cut

9. Weight training energized me

10. All the protein shakes I was using were making me fat

11. White rice surprisingly did not

12. Although yams were sweeter than potatoes, they helped my progress, where potatoes hindered

13. I could eat a lot, and I mean a lot of fish, and still get lean

I realize now that there is a uniqueness to the Polynesian body and how many of the accepted laws and practices of the fitness industry do not apply to us.

Last year I travelled to Cambodia. While I was there I couldn’t help but notice how slender and healthy the people of that culture were, despite being a third world country, or perhaps due to it. Obesity was practically non existent, and I thought to myself there must be something to the way they eat. I really doubt the average Cambodian has a membership to Golds Gym, and I didn’t see them out running all the time. Many of them where just sitting around on the streets.

When I flew back to the US my first stop was San Fransisco Airport, and there was no mistaking being back in America. Eight out of ten people I saw were either overweight or obese. I thought more about the Cambodian culture. What did they eat so ordinarily that kept them in shape? Then it came to me. They eat the foods their bodies have evolved to assimilate. It was an epiphany of mass proportion. Once I realised this I could apply it to myself right. Well, I couldn’t have been more right.

I began to research more and more about my heritage. Where did I come from? Who are my parents? Where are they from? What did the people from that region of the world eat before the introduction of commercially processed foods? Now I was getting somewhere. It all led to genetics.

I researched several case studies from the early sixties concerning cultures from the isles of the sea. It was amazing to see the differences in what they ate and how they obtained their food. It was also sad to see how their health has plummeted as they have strayed from that food. It has long been understood that in order to discover truth, you must go to the source. Unchanged and untainted, it is the wellspring from which all knowledge will flow. Cheap imitations may mimic the truth, but from their fruits, they will be revealed.

What I am speaking of are fake foods, fake fats, fake sugars, engineered additives, harmful chemicals, and unnatural preservatives, powders, shakes, and meal replacements to name a few. All in all they eventually reveal themselves through unsightly bodies, crippling health issues, and the loss of quality of life. As soon as I started eliminating all processed foods, refined sugars, and all so called health foods, my fat loss skyrocketed. In just a few weeks, I had lost 14lbs, and the weight continued to come off. My energy levels were very high, and this made me more excited and motivated to exercise. Over the next 3 months I had lost a significant amount of body fat and a total of 38lbs not including the 19lbs I had lost working my butt off. Funny thing was that I was working out half as much as I was to lose those 19lbs, as I did to lose the 38lbs. I was really onto something. All in all I had lost a total of 57lbs.

One day at the gym, a trainer was blown away by how I looked. He had the audacity to ask me ‘what happened?’, as if I had survived a life threatening disease. He then asked ‘what’s your secret’, and I found myself caught in the irony of telling a trainer that my secret was diet and exercise. This was the same advice I had paid over $900 for three months earlier. If only that advice were the right diet, and the right exercise for a Polynesian. Well, back to genetics.

I discovered something very interesting about my heritage. My parents are from the Polynesian islands. My father was born in Lotopa Upolu, and my mother in Suva Fiji. Genetic mapping shows that these cultures have strong links to the indigenous people of Taiwan, and that they are more closely linked to this culture than any other. I thought, hm, seems plausible; Polynesians love chop suey, eat a lot of rice, love their fish, even eat it raw like the Asian cultures. All I did was eat more of the foods they would have eaten on those islands fifty years ago, and why, because these are the foods my body has evolved to assimilate, despite the fact that my diet can contain as much as 60% saturated fats. Yep, you read it right. I can eat a lot more fat and be lean and healthy if they are natural fats, but I cannot eat a small amount of sugar and get away with it.

I went on to discover many important aspects of health that are specific to Polynesians, which cannot be addressed in the scope of this article, but here are some guide lines to help you lose weight safely and permanently.

Tip #1 You must lower your carbohydrates and eliminate processed foods

Before the white man showed up on the islands, organic foods were called ordinary foods. Nothing was processed, and the work effort alone to provide food for your family would be enough to keep anyone lean.

Tip #2 Increase your fiber intake

Tip #3 Drink more water

Get rid of sodas, sports drinks, alcohol, diet beverages, and caffeinated drinks, with the exception of green tea. Polynesians can benefit a great deal from green tea as it has been used by their ancestors (Asians) for medicinal purposes for more than 2000 years. Can’t be wrong.

Tip #4 Eat more protein

Eat whole foods in the form of organic pork, organic beef, and fish. Hey this is the best part. It’s what we love and our bodies are designed for it.

Tip #5 Replace your olive, vegetable and corn oils with coconut oil

Although olive oil is highly recommended and a mainstay of most diets, last time I checked no islanders descended from Italians. Again believe me when I say, our bodies have evolved to assimilate coconut oil better than any other. Various studies show that although there is little nutritional value in coconut oil, many people lose weight by eating it.

In the islands coconut and coconut cream is used in everything. Sixty percent of the normal diet is comprised of saturated fat compared to the typical western diet of thirty five to forty five percent fat, yet the islanders had less heart disease and less blood cholesterol. Diabetes, and colon cancer were completely absent before the introduction of processed foods. Problems arise when you combine these high natural oil diets with refined sugars, and processed foods containing chemicals, additives and preservatives that wreak havoc on the typical Polynesian body type. Things like spam, and canned corned beef that use fake fats are dangerous, and should not be eaten.

Tip #6 Avoid these foods at all cost

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Refined sugar

Fake fats such as trans fats and partially hydrogenated oil

Artificial sweeteners and diet foods

Dairy

Soy products

If you are eliminating all processed foods you will not have a difficulty with most of these. Also avoid processed meats, such as bacon and deli meats as they can contain modified salts, sugars and dangerous nitrates.

Tip #7 Keep a food journal

You may be surprised at how much you eat, or how little. If you keep a journal, you will have an accurate record of how your body is affected by different foods. This is a very useful tool.

Obviously there are so many things you can learn that break down the very specifics of dieting techniques, but trust me, these simple techniques will work for you as they have for me. I have kept the weight off for six years now, and feel terrific. I do recommend that you do more research as I did, to learn everything you can about successful weight loss, and how it relates to you specifically. Don’t be disheartened by all the information that is available out there. A lot of the diet strategies and work out programs won’t work for us, but some of them will. Educate yourself, for knowledge is power. Nothing is more important than investing in your own health, and that of your family.

Get A Beach Body Stomach With These 10 Flat Belly Tips

Sure, a flat belly looks better in a bikini, but that’s not the only reason you should focus on chiseling your core area. Keeping your middle little will also boost your health by reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

5 No-Exercise Tips:

Of course exercise is important because it helps tone abdominal muscles, but there is a growing body of research that says that exercise alone is not enough. In fact, about 80% of your ability to reduce your waist circumference lies in your dietary choices. Here are five good non-exercise recommendations that will help you achieve your beach body shape.

  • Ease up on the alcohol. Alcohol drinkers, especially beer drinkers, have higher hip-to-waist ratios than do wine-only drinkers or people who abstain.
  • Add coconut oil. Brazilian researchers found that obese women who included unrefined, virgin coconut oil in their diets lost more weight around their waist than study counterparts who did not.
  • Eat berries. The University of Michigan studied blueberries, in particular, and found that they not only reduce belly fat, but also lowered cholesterol and improved blood sugar.
  • Reduce stress. Excess stress spikes cortisol – a hormone that contributes to the storage of belly fat.
  • Get adequate sleep. A good night’s sleep is a good way to promote weight loss in general, but belly fat is especially impacted by sleep or the lack thereof. For the best results, make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

5 Exercise Tips:

Along with diet, exercise is an important component to losing belly fat and developing beach body abs. This is not spot reducing. Instead, abdominal exercises work in conjunction with other types of exercise to tone and build the muscles in your mid-section.

  • Bird dog. Kneel on all fours and raise your left arm while extending your right leg. Hold for a few seconds. Repeat with your right arm and left leg.
  • Boat pose. Sit on the floor and recline slightly. Life your thighs until they form a 45-degree angle to the floor. If you a beginner, you can hold the back of the thighs to make the exercise easier. If you are a bit more advanced, hold your arms out straight.
  • Leg drop. Lie flat on the floor and raise both legs toward the ceiling. With hands by your side, lower your legs until they are about 6 inches from the floor. Raise your legs to the starting position and repeat.
  • Hip lift. Lie flat on the floor and raise both legs to the ceiling. Place hands under your hips. Tighten your core and lift your hips straight off the floor.
  • Torso twist. Sit on the floor cross-legged. Slowly rotate your torso to the right. Return to center. Then rotate left. Repeat.

There are many reasons to shrink your middle and go for that beach body look. For one thing, muffin tops and beer bellies are out.

But beyond aesthetics, there are a lot of other reasons to work on your belly fat. The larger your waist-to-hip ratio is, the higher your risk of having heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. So follow these 10 tips to reduce your risk and get fit starting now.