As a Public Speaker and Lifestyle Coach I often am approached with the following question:  “Griff, what should I NOT eat?”  Although I could write a 10-page blog on this subject I figure I will spare you the torture! 🙂  Today I just want to give you 5 of the worst possible ingredients of all time.  Drum roll please….

 High Fructose Corn Syrup

 You have most likely heard mixed messages concerning this little devil of a sweetener!  You may have heard one so-called expert tell you that it was terrible for your health and then you turn around and see those cute little T.V. commercials telling you that HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) are just fine because it is natural and it comes from corn!  How could something so natural and so good be so bad?

The answer lies in the way that your body metabolizes this sugar.  Normal sugar or glucose is the fuel that your body is designed to run on.  For example if you were to eat a couple of slices of a sweet potato and the total calories consumed was around 120 you would actually only store one of those calories as fat  BECAUSE 80% of those calories are metabolized by your muscles, cells and organs.  Alternatively, if you were to consume the same amount of calories from HFCS your would end up storing around 30 of those 120 calories as FAT.

The reason behind this is because your liver metabolizes 100% of all of the fructose sugar and it ends up overloading the liver and the liver then packages up the excess fructose and converts it to fat globules that are then transported to your muscles!  Hooray, now you have weight gain and insulin resistance to get excited about!

The bottom line is that you should avoid HFCS at all costs.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that this SOB of a substance is in just about every processed food known to mankind.  You have a choice to make now…keep eating highly processed food and get fat, high blood pressure and triglycerides, OR you can start to eat more natural foods and avoid the “tire forming phenomenon” all together.  It is your call.

2- Aspartame

Ok, you are changing your habits, exercising more and cutting down on your sugar.  You now might be saying to yourself, “I am doing so good, I am going to reward myself with a diet soda!”  Seems innocent enough right?  Upon first glance I can empathize with your rationale but the truth of the matter is that you could not be more wrong.  In my opinion (based on the many studies that I have read) this is the worse legal food additive in our food supply today.  Avoid it like the plague.

First off, you should know that Aspartame does NOT help you lose weight; in fact the vast majority of studies have shown just the opposite.  When your body is given something sweet with no calories to go along with it shifts your hormones way out of balance.  Two of the primary components of aspartame (aspartic acid and phenylalanine) stimulate insulin and leptin which causes you’re body to store fat.  In essence your body is tricked into being more hungry leading you to eat more calories even if you don’t need them.

Secondly, aspartame has so many side effects associated with it that I would have to take up 25 pages to explain it all to you.  It causes anything from migraine headaches, to nerve cell death and Parkinson’s Disease.

3- Hydrogenated Soy Bean Oil

It is nearly impossible to find packaged or processed foods that do not have “hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated” fats in them.  The problem with these little bad boys is that your body has a hell of a time trying to break them down and to make a long story short they contribute to weight gain and obesity because they are responsible for the increase of your bad cholesterol, particularly the VLDL (very low density lipoprotein).

The best remedy here is to stay away from this crap.  You are going to have to commit to a more natural food selection than you might be used to.  It can be hard at first but unless you are striving to increase your unsightly spare tire I would recommend going with more natural food selections.  So instead of the TV dinner, get off of your butt and prepare something more natural such as whole grain pasta, a salad, or a hamburger made with extra lean ground beef and a whole wheat bun.  Yes it takes a little more time but that is what you are going to have to commit to if you hope to change your lifestyle long-term.

4- Sugar

Of course you knew you would see this one.  Before I get into this one, realize that this common substance is actually less harmful that high fructose corn syrup…you heard me right.  See #1 for details.  Twenty five years ago the average man consumed 190 calories LESS of sugar per day than we do now.  This single substance has a huge role in the obesity epidemic that we face today.  This single substance is largely responsible for making us men look like an unsightly Michelin Man.  Why?

To put it simply sugar raises your blood sugar and once your blood sugar is raised you then have an insulin response that is charged with the responsibility of taking that sugar and putting right around your waist.  Researchers have found that taking in more than 30 grams of sugar for the average man is linked to weight gain and a host of other health problems that will cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills.  Be sure to limit your sugar intake to less than 30 grams.  It is ok to indulge every once in a while, but we American men have taken “moderation” to a different extreme.  For example the average American man thinks that it is ok to limit soda pop consumption to one a day…clearly this is completely flawed logic and justification.  Ideally, you want to completely eliminate sugar from your diet with the exception of your post workout meal.


5- Refined Flour

If you want to lose weight, this has to go…period!  I know, I know, you want to “have a life” and have a pizza every once in a while.  Again, every once in a while is one thing.  Having white pasta, bread or anything else with refined flour is asking for weight gain.  It makes it really hard to lose weight, let alone gain muscle when you are pounding this weight gaining wonder.

Refined flour is any flour that is not 100% whole grain, so please look at the ingredients list if you choose to consume breads, grains, or anything else with flour, make sure that it 100% whole grain.


So there you have it my friends…5 simple ways you can put your weight loss efforts on a fast track.  I hope you find it interesting as you search the ingredients of your favorite foods.  You might be fascinated to find how much of this crap is in your diet.  Your body will thank you and pay you off with increased weight loss.   PLEASE let me know if you have any questions!  I was like a kid in a candy shope today as I am finally getting feedback and interaction…YEAH!  Life is good!


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