of "Cheat Your Way Thin"
eBook By Joel Marion
The very title of
this book I'm sure sends shivers down every dietician's
After all, don't you
need to keep a strict diet to successfully drop
The REAL answer to
that question might just surprise you.
Because, in fact (and
this backed by VOLUMES of scientific research),
a strict diet can actually STOP your progress if
you stick to it too long!
And that's where Joel Marion's
fat-loss program "Cheat Your Way Thin" comes
Now, cheating on your diet
is not a new concept. Heck, I can think of MANY people
off the top of my head who've mastered the concept and
the practice of randomly cheating on their diet...with
limited success for fat loss, as you can imagine!
Joel's take on that is
a bit different...you actually USE cheating strategically
as a TOOL to prevent your metabolism from slowing down.
So Cheating...Science or Gimmick?
Joel's approach is more
of a nutrient-manipulation type of program where he has
you eating specific types of foods, e.g. low-carb for
a certain period of time, then lower glycemic foods, then
higher-glycemic foods along with cheat meals strategically
placed to keep the metabolism moving.
This is definitely a valid
approach, backed by science. Joel has a HUGE list of references
to back up this plan of attack as well (I think I saw
308 on his reference page!).
Now this doesn't mean Joel's
program itself has been scientifically tested...it simply
means the concepts he's putting forward in his program
have been well-studied and certainly bear out the conclusions
he comes to.
The Leptin Factor...
A big part of Joel's program
is his focus on the hormone "leptin" - to put
it very simply, the better your body is at producing it
and the more you have available, the easier your fat loss
When you go on a strict
diet and begin to lose fat, your body responds by slowing
down the metabolism in attempt to preserve itself ("starvation
mode" as it's often referred to). The body also reduces
production of leptin in response, which works to preserve
calories in the body.
So as you lose fat, your
body makes it harder to lose more fat. It's an elegant
survival mechanism that helped our ancestors make it through
long winters with little food. The individuals who could
best store fat and slow their metabolisms generally lasted
the longest to pass on their genes.
Now, our caveman ancestors
didn't just truck over to the Pizza Hut when they noticed
their metabolisms slowing down. When they brought down
a mammoth, they had a feast (think of it as a cheat day)
and their metabolisms kicked right back up .
Their bodies responded very
nicely to conditions on the ground to help ensure survival.
Skip ahead thousands of
years to now when you don't have to actually MOVE in order
to get food and you can see where the problems start.
We go on a diet (which the
body sees as starvation) so your metabolism slows down
in order to ensure survival.
So we CHEAT (i.e. big influx
of calories) and the body says "no need to worry
- we've got food" and the fat loss continues.
Cheating is basically a
way to fool the body into thinking it's getting enough
food and it doesn't need to hold onto fat. This increase
in calories causes an increase in Leptin and you're back
on the way to fat loss.
No program is going to be
perfect for everybody but Joel's done a nice job putting
this all together and including enough variation to cover
a lot of bases.
The nutrition part of the
program makes up the majority of the action...the training
portion contains sound advice but is more targeted for
those towards the beginner to intermediate end of the
spectrum, so if you're advanced, the training section
is going to be old hat to you.
There's definitely nothing
wrong with following the nutritional principles in this
program and working with your own training program.
Also, if you're not a big
fan of low-carb eating, you may have some trouble with
those parts of the program. Should be easy enough to work
If you're looking for a
nutritional program that tells you exactly what to do
in order to achieve fat loss relatively painlessly, allowing
you to still eat the foods you love, look no further.
This is good choice in that department.
As I mentioned above, the
concept of cheating on your diet isn't new - Joel's strategic
incorporation and basically building a fat loss program
AROUND cheating is a great take on it, though.
Definitely worth checking
out to see if it's a program you can roll with.
Learn more about "Cheat
Your Way Thin"
Most Important Hormone You Never Heard Of
By Joel Marion, CISSN, NSCA-CPT
Its name is Leptin
(derived from the Greek word leptos, meaning thin),
and its without a doubt the most important hormone
you probably never heard of.
You see, leptin was only
first discovered just over 10 years ago, and as far as
weight loss is concerned, thats extremely recent.
To communicate your nutritional status to your body and
Leptin levels are mediated by two things. One is your
level of body fat. All else being equal, people with higher
levels of body fat will have higher leptin levels than
those with lower levels of body fat and vice versa.
Because leptin is secreted
by fat cells, it makes sense that under normal conditions
there is a direct correlation between leptin levels and
the amount of fat you are carrying.
Unfortunately, when youre
attempting to lose fat and begin to restrict calories,
conditions are anything but normal and the
body responds accordingly by lowering leptin levels.
This is because the second
mediator of blood leptin levels is your calorie intake.
Lower your calorie intake and leptin will fall, independent
of body fat.
So, yes, you can be overweight
and still suffer from low leptin levels just go
on a diet.
So what happens when leptin
levels fall and why the heck does it matter?
Again, under normal conditions
leptin levels are normal and the brain gets the signal
loud and clear that nutrition intake is adequate. Metabolism
is high and the internal environment of the body is one
very conducive to fat burning.
Until you start dieting.
Go on a diet and leptin
levels quickly plummet (by 50% or more after only one
week), sending a signal to the body that youre semi-starved
and not consuming enough calories.
This puts the breaks on
metabolism and creates a hormonal environment extremely
conducive to fat storage. Thyroid hormones (hormones extremely
important to metabolism) respond by taking a dive and
the abdominal fat-storing stress hormone cortisol skyrockets
HELLO belly fat.
And if that wasnt
bad enough, the appetite stimulating hormones ghrelin,
neuropeptide-Y, and anandamide all hop on board to make
your life even more miserable.
You dont have to remember
any of those names, just remember that when leptin drops,
you get seriously hungry.
Despite having a pretty
good reason for its reaction, its pretty ironic
that our bodies are primed for fat loss at every other
time except when we are trying to burn fat.
Wouldnt it be great
if we could maintain high leptin levels and a body primed
for fat burning while dieting? It would seemingly solve
all of our problems.
But in order to do this,
wed have to somehow keep leptin levels high as we
attempt to lose those extra pounds.
HOW ABOUT SUPPLEMENTING
A couple of problems here:
First, leptin is a protein based hormone, which means
that it can not be taken orally (otherwise, it would simply
be digested). So that rules out a leptin pill.
This leaves the method of
supplemental leptin administration to injection.
And leptin injections DO indeed work, reversing the metabolic
adaptations to dieting and starvation even
while continuing to restrict calories.
In 1996, Ahima et al. used
leptin injections to reverse starvation-induced neuroendrocrine
adaptations in mice.
nice and all, but Im human. Point taken; research
with rodents doesnt always correlate to similar
findings in humans, however
In 1999, Heymsfield et al.
performed a double-blind placebo controlled study analyzing
weight loss over a 24-week period in 73 obese humans.
Subjects either injected daily with leptin or a placebo
(i.e. bogus alternative). At the end of the 24-week period,
the leptin group lost significantly more weight than the
placebo and a higher percentage of fat vs. muscle.
In 2002, Rosenbaum et al.
administered low-dose leptin to subjects (male and female)
who had dieted to a 10% decrease in body weight. During
the diet period, thyroid hormone levels, 24-hr energy
expenditure, and other metabolic markers substantially
decreased. The result of the leptin replacement therapy?
All of these endocrine
changes were reversed
Thyroid output and daily
calorie burn increased back to pre-diet levels.
In 2003, Fogteloo et al.
showed that leptin injections tended to reduce the
decline of energy expenditure associated with energy restriction,
whereas the tendency of energy intake to increase back
to baseline levels in placebo-treated subjects was largely
prevented in subjects treated with leptin.
Yeah, thats a mouthful.
Let me put in simple terms: not only did the leptin group
experience less of a decline in metabolism, but they were
also less hungry, allowing them to more easily stick to
the prescribed diet.
In 2004, Welt et al. reported
that leptin given to a group of women with thyroid disorder
immediately raised circulating concentrations of the thyroid
hormones T3 and T4.
In 2005, Rosenbaum and company
were at it again, again showing that energy expenditure
and circulating concentrations of T3 and T4 all returned
to pre-weight-loss levels with regular leptin injections.
So, as theorized, keeping
leptin levels high during a diet does indeed solve our
dilemma by avoiding the negative metabolic (and perhaps
behavioral) adaptations that calorie restriction perpetuates.
Daily leptin injections
are far too expensive, costing thousands and thousands
of dollars per week. So, we can pretty much forget about
supplemental leptin as a solution (which is probably moot
anyway considering that not too many people are going
to voluntarily plunge a needle into their skin daily).
A REAL Solution
Now that we know that leptin
injections arent going to save us, lets talk
about the possibility of manipulating your bodys
natural leptin production.
And Ive got good news
this can indeed be done, and without involving
needles or thousands of dollars. In fact, well swap
the injections and mounds of cash out for two things I
can guarantee youre absolutely going to love: more
calories and more carbs.
We know that leptin levels
decrease by about 50% after only one week of dieting,
but fortunately, it doesnt take nearly that long
for leptin to bump back up with a substantial increase
in caloric intake.
In fact, research has shown
that it only takes about 12-24 hours.
So, the answer to the fat
loss catch-22? Strategic high-calorie, high-carb CHEATING.
By strategically cheating
with high calorie foods (and yes, even stuff like pizza,
ice cream, wings, cookies, burgers, fries, etc), you can
give leptin and metabolism a major boost mid-diet which
sets you up for plenty of subsequent fat loss when you
resume your reduced calorie eating regimen.
This means greater net fat
loss week after week, and ultimately, a much more realistic,
maintainable way to bring you to the body you truly want
So whats so special
Well, leptin, carbohydrate
and insulin have been shown to have very strong ties.
Calories alone dont
get the job done, as research shows that overfeeding on
protein and fat has little effect on leptin.
In order to get a strong
leptin response from overfeeding, there needs to be plenty
of carbs in the mix. In fact, the relationship is SO strong
that research conducted by Boden et al. at the Temple
University School of Medicine shows that leptin levels
will not fall even in response to all-out fasting so long
as insulin and blood sugar are maintained via IV drip.
Because of this carbohydrate/insulin-leptin
relationship, it makes sense that foods combining both
carbs and fat (like pizza, burgers, cookies, ice cream,
etc) work best for reversing the negative adaptations
caused by dieting because of the BIG-TIME insulin response
THIS is why strategic cheating
with your favorite foods is so powerful. THIS is why you
truly can use your favorite foods to lose fat faster than
you ever could with restrictive dieting. THIS is freedom.
everything typical dieting isnt.
With regular dieting, come
week two, youre screwed.
With strategic cheating,
you can literally use ANY food you want to *ensure* that
you never go a single day without a body primed for fat
The cheat or not to cheat?
I think the choice is clear.
Learn more about "Cheat Your Way Thin"