Author: me

3 Secrets About Fat Loss I Wish I’d Discovered Sooner

If you could go back in time 25 years and visit your younger self, what advice would you give?Processed with VSCO with x6 preset

1)      Eat More Food. I suffered for many years before I finally unlocked this secret. I wish I’d known it years ago. When you go on a diet that’s too restrictive, you’re setting yourself up for binge eating down the road. It’s like charging your metabolic “credit card” debt to the max: a debt you will have to pay later with compounded interest. I know, because I have paid this debt many times over the years.

Worse, the restrictive diet causes you to burn muscle. If you’re over 40, you’re likely burning more muscle than fat; I’ve tested this with DEXA scans. So your diet actually is making you fatter. In other words, you become “skinny fat.” This causes many problems. For example, it lowers your basal metabolic rate. So that when you do start to overeat (which you will, because you have starved yourself), you will gain fat back even faster. You’ve also blown your insulin sensitivity, which means you are in the metabolic latrine. Yes, the truth is that your crash diets are making you fatter.

2)      Exercise Less.  Simply put, most people I see exercise too much. I even see people over 40 doing many hours of hard exercise per week. They are exercising like a pro athlete, even though it is not their occupation. Some even have personal trainers that push them too hard, in a sort of co-dependent exercise relationship.

It’s time to stop the madness. Here again, all that extra exercise is charging up your metabolic credit card. The stress on your body causes your adrenal glands to produce cortisol, which makes you burn muscle and retain fat. I was guilty of this for many years. I couldn’t understand why I exercised so much, and ate so little, but still got fatter every year!

Now, I’ve learned that the secret lies in a minimalistic approach. Laziness is the key. My patients do no more than 3 relaxed sessions of resistance exercise per week, plus some slow walking during the day. And you’ve seen their results.

3)      Value yourself. Your body is your tool. It is the vehicle you use to serve yourself, your family, and your community. Treat your body like the temple it is, and spare no expense to make it as perfect as humanly possible. An investment in yourself is always a good investment.

There is no virtue in settling for less than you are worth, less than you deserve, less than your great destiny demands.


How to lose weight while traveling

Traveling can be stressful, which may raise cortisol and lead to fat retention; not to mention the extra calories you can eat while being out of your element. In this short video, I give a few quick tips on how to keep the weight gain down while traveling.

If there are other topics of interest to you, please let me know in the comments!

Seven Tips to Get Beach Ready Fast

Seven Tips to Get Beach Ready Fast

by Cyrus Peikari, M.D.

Warning:  I don’t like using tricks like these to lose weight fast. I’d much rather have you stay lean and “beach ready” year round. Why? Because when you look good on the outside, you are healthy on the inside.

Think logically: when you have a lean, strong, sexy body, you are less likely to get diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Often, you can “cure” those diseases by losing just 10 pounds of belly fat.

The following tips won’t reverse years of bad habits. However, they can give you a quick “tune up” and give you confidence at the beach. I want you to take that confidence and nurture it: let it inspire you to make positive, long lasting changes to your diet and health routine.

Tip 1: Cut salt

Excess sodium causes fluid retention. This fluid retention makes you look big and bloated. Try to cut salt at least 3 to 5 days before hitting the beach. Be careful, because salt sneaks into most foods these days. Examples of salty foods include: cold cuts and cured meats, chips, pizza, processed chicken, soups, cheese, sauces, and most junk food.

Tip 2: Skip one cheat day

If you are following my version of the slow carb diet (see my free slow carb diet articles or videos), you use Saturday as your “dieters gone wild” day. Unfortunately, the fast carbs (like bread, pasta, and chips) cause fluid retention for several days. I recommend skipping one weekly cheat day before your trip to the beach. You’ll be amazed at how much tighter you look in the mirror. However, don’t skip your cheat day for too many weeks in a row; it’s a mistake I’ve made many times. Regular cheat days are essential for maintaining your hormone levels, particularly thyroid, leptin and testosterone.

Tip 3: Do some light resistance exercise

Just a few minutes of resistance exercise gives you that muscle “pump” that looks so good in photos. You don’t need a gym: pushups, squats, and planks are my favorite. You can even add a few calf raises to make those calves really pop!

Tip 4: Choose your supplements

I don’t use many supplements, but a few are helpful. I take a multivitamin a few times a week to help with skin clarity. Nearly every day I’ll have a protein shake: this helps to preserve muscle when losing weight. And when I’m trying to drop weight a bit faster, I’ll take a Slim Cut Pro® tablet at breakfast and lunch to help with metabolism and hunger.

Tip 5: Tan

Tanning is a massive lever for looking good in a hurry. I feel that a mild amount of natural sunlight is good for most people. However, if you don’t want the extra radiation, consider a spray tan instead. It’s worth it.

Tip 6: Modulate your diet

Ok, this is an advanced technique. I really don’t recommend it unless you are very experienced. With this technique, you temporarily INCREASE calories to drop weight. That’s right, if you’ve been dieting hard for a long time, eating more may cause weight to drop temporarily.

For example, one of my athletic patients was stuck at 205 pounds, and he could not get his weight down to his goal of 199 pounds, despite months of hard exercise and severe calorie restriction. I told him to DOUBLE his daily calories. He was convinced that I had lost my mind! But when the patient came back the following week, his weight had dropped to 199 pounds. What happened? By increasing his calories to maintenance level, he took the stress of his body, and his cortisol levels dropped. So the weight he lost was water weight. (As I describe in my YouTube videos, high cortisol from stress causes water and belly fat retention).

Tip 7: Be confident

You don’t need any of the above tricks…you’re already hot! Have confidence in yourself. Stand straight and project your positive energy to others.


These are some tricks to get you looking good for the beach fast. But don’t stop here. Keep getting lean, strong and sexy: it’s the best way to prevent chronic diseases. Don’t you want to be healthy, so that you can better serve humanity?

There’s no magic bullet for achieving a lean body year round. But luckily, it’s not as hard as you think. I eat French fries and chocolate every day, and my only cardio is walking.  I’m doing it, and you can, too! Your first step is to spread the positive energy. Please take a moment to share this article with someone you love.


A doctor’s experience with the Slow Carb Diet

A doctor’s experience with the Slow Carb Diet

A doctor’s experience with the Slow Carb Diet

by Cyrus Peikari, M.D.

I love recommending this variation of a slow carb diet to my intermediate-level patients. It is an “easy mode” diet that keeps you full and satisfied, allows unlimited desserts one day per week, and works for nearly everyone. “Slow” carbs are those that are absorbed slowly as sugar into your bloodstream.  For example, white hamburger buns will spike your blood sugar very high and very quickly, whereas beans won’t. Both are carbs, but the white bread provokes a stronger “insulin response” from your body.
Popularized and refined by author Tim Ferris, this variation of the slow carb diet has simple tenets:
Rule #1: Avoid “white” carbohydrates
We will get into specifics below, but for now, this is the general rule: ry to avoid any carbohydrate that can be considered “white” carbs. That includes rice, potatoes, cereal, bread, pasta, or any breaded fried foods.
There are two exceptions to this rule. First you can have white carbs within 30 minutes of finishing a resistance based workout of at least 20 minutes in length; this includes weight lifting, yoga, etc. Second, you can have fast carbs on your “cheat day”, described below.
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again
The most successful dieters try to eat roughly the same foods every day, especially at the beginning of the diet. Numerous studies show that the more choices you have to make, the more likely you are to overeat. At the very least, try to keep breakfast the same, so that your mind is not clouded with superfluous decisions early in the day.
Rule #3: Never drink calories
Liquid calories (with the exception of certain kinds of protein shakes) are among the fastest absorbed, and they can give the most severe sugar spikes. Drink as much water as you like, but stay away from sugared beverages. Milk and fruit juice both have a lot of sugar, so strictly avoid them. You can have unsweetened iced tea, tea, coffee (without cream, or other no-calorie beverages).
Rule #4: Take one day off per week

This is the “dieters gone wild” part of the week. On Saturdays I’ll load up on as many chocolate croissants as I want. Anything goes on your cheat day, including sugary cereal with milk, cheesecake, and cupcakes. This is when others will think you’ve lost your mind.
However, spiking your insulin one day per week not only helps with compliance, but also prevents the diet from failing. Why? Because on nearly every diet, the body adapts and down-regulates your metabolism over time, putting the body into “starvation” or survival mode.
You have tried diets in the past, which worked for a few weeks or months, but eventually you gained the fat weight back. That is partly because of your lowered thyroid and leptin levels, two of the hormones that help control your level of metabolism. Worse, you now feel deprived, and you may tend to binge eat: which is all the more dangerous now that your metabolism is lower. The cheat day, then, is programmed to prevent this.
Psychologically, it is also far better to plan your cheat day in advance, rather than “slipping up” and then feeling guilty for blowing your diet.
What foods are allowed?
The following list includes foods which you are allowed to eat as much as you like; at the beginner level, there is no need to count calories or portion sizes:
1) Eggs
2) All meat not treated with hormones or antibiotics (fish, poultry, pork and beef)
3) Turkey bacon, organic bacon, organic sausages
4) All fish and seafood
5) All beans (but chickpeas and hummus only in moderation)
6) All vegetables (except yams, potatoes, and sweet potatoes)
7) Hot sauce
8) Salsa (without added sugar)
9) Any oil
10) Butter
11) Spices and herbs
12) Mustard
13) Non-creamy, low-sugar dressings
14) Brown rice protein, hemp protein, pea protein
15) Unflavored whey protein isolate
16) Unsweetened cocoa

What foods are NOT allowed on the diet?

The following foods should only be eaten on a cheat day:
1) Milk
2) Milk products including cheese (except cottage cheese)
3) Refined soy products (soy milk, tofu, tempeh, soy protein shake)
4) Fruit, except for tomatoes and up to one medium avocado per day
5) Potatoes (any starchy vegetable, including sweet potatoes, yams, yucca)
6) Bread, rice, grains, quinoa, oatmeal, tortillas
7) Ketchup
8) Creamy dressings and dressings with sugar
9) Sugar, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, fructose, agave
10) Deep-fried breaded food
11) Corn, popcorn
12) Alcohol, in any amount or frequency (note: I STRONGLY recommend avoiding this completely, even on cheat days)

The following foods may be eaten in moderation:
1) Mayonnaise
2) Peas
3) Tomatoes
4) Avocado (1 medium sized avocado per day)
5) Peanut butter and almond butter (max: 1 or 2 tablespoons per day)
6) Nuts (one small handful per day)
7) Hummus and chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
8) Coffee or tea. You may add up to 2 tablespoons of heavy cream per day.
9) Unsweetened almond milk
Advantages of the Slow Carb Diet
I usually see massive improvement in a patient within days of starting them on this slow carb diet. Over the first few weeks, both high blood sugar and high blood pressure often come down to a normal range. The pasty complexion vanishes from their skin, and a healthy, ruddy glow replaces it. They already look thinner, since water weight is shed first. After several weeks, cholesterol drops as well. Patients who have been on medicines for high cholesterol (statins), diabetes, and high blood pressure may be able to stop their medicines (IMPORTANT: check with your doctor first).
Within a few months, most patients have lost inches from their waist. Note that the scale may not change, but rather your body composition has changed from fat to muscle.

A problem to consider: you may need to go shopping for smaller clothes!
One of the real drawbacks to this diet is psychological: a day or two after your cheat day, the scale temporarily will rise by a few pounds due to water retention from the spike in carbs on the prior cheat day. This water weight will come off over the next few days, but if you don’t have faith in the process, it can be psychologically devastating. Most of us, particularly women, have been brainwashed to be slaves to the scale; even if we are losing inches and looking great, we start to panic if the scale weight doesn’t go down. For example, I helped one of my patients (a high school girl who had struggled with PCOS and weight gain for years) drop from 214 down to an athletic 175 with this diet. Unfortunately, her mom made her stop the diet because she felt it made her daughter “bloated”. In other words, her mother had forgotten about the 39 pounds of fat loss, and was obsessed only by the 2-3 pounds of temporary water weight after a cheat day.
Other issues can occur in women with PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Many women have PCOS, or a partially expressed (“subclinical”) form of PCOS, characterized by various symptoms including irregular periods, excessive weight gain, increased body and facial hair, decreased fertility, and a tendency towards diabetes. To be clear, the slow carb diet is amazing for women with PCOS: it works really well for fat loss. It may even improve insulin resistance (thus staving off diabetes) and can improve fertility. However, with PCOS, ANY diet that causes fat loss can result in a flare of acne. That’s partly because estrogen is produced by fat cells; as you lose body fat, your estrogen dominance is reduced. Less estrogen means a higher relative concentration of male hormones, causing acne. Luckily, there are ways to address the acne if it occurs.
For vegans, this can be a tough diet. Eliminating fast carbs for 6 days per week means that you will have to get creative in your food choices. Without rice, bread, chips, and potatoes, your carbs must come from other sources such as beans.
Expert Tips for the Cheat Day
There are various ways to limit the damage that you do on your cheat day. The most important trick is to break your fast with a large serving of protein, 30 grams or more. If you charge right into breakfast with sugary cereal and donuts, you are likely to get dizzy and stay that way all day. In fact, I prefer to have servings of protein before each meal or large snack throughout the entire cheat day. That way, I end up eating fewer chocolate croissants, and thanks to the protein buffer I don’t feel as bloated or dizzy.
Another method is to start the cheat day later, or end it earlier. For example, you can wait until after lunch to start your cheat day, and then continue it until dinnertime.
After several weeks or months, you actually may start to dread the cheat day, because you’ll miss the mental sharpness that you’ve developed on your slow carb days. In this case, you may want to do the cheat day only ever second or third week.
Do I Need to See a Doctor?
It is standard to always recommend seeing a doctor before starting any new diet. Practically speaking, there are some cases where it is a big advantage to get supervision from a provider familiar with nutrition. These cases include, but are not limited to, the following examples:
If you are over the age of 50, or taking meds for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, then you definitely want to involve your healthcare provider in your plans. Diabetics can get into trouble on this diet, since your blood sugar levels can drop back to the normal range within days of starting it. In this case, diabetes meds can drop the blood sugar too low, causing hypoglycemia. For example, passing out when you are driving can be deadly for you and others.
If you have symptoms of low thyroid, you may need to have that treated; otherwise, weight loss can stall. Symptoms of low thyroid include fatigue, difficulty losing weight, hair loss, constipation, irritability, memory loss, decreased libido, or sensitivity to heat or cold temperatures. There are many well established forms of thyroid replacement, including synthetic thyroid, and the more traditional “dessicated thyroid”.
If you suffer from chronically low testosterone, it can be very difficult to lose body fat without treatment. It would be like trying to swim upstream. Both men and women can have low testosterone, particularly after the age of 50. Symptoms of low testosterone include trouble sleeping, reduced sex drive, fatigue, hot flashes, loss of muscle, depression, mood swings, and a pot belly.
Scared That it Won’t Work?
Of all the diets I’ve used with patients over the years, this slow carb diet seems to have the highest success rate long term. You’ll stay full and satisfied every day. And you still get to eat all the desserts and foods that you love, as much as you want, on your cheat day every week. Please take a second to leave your comment below!
DISCLAIMER: The information provided is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your own healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. The safest and only proven way to lose weight is through regular moderate exercise and appropriate diet, as prescribed by your own healthcare provider. RESULTS NOT TYPICAL.