Where Are All The Fat Vampires?

Ever wonder why you never see fat vampires at the movies?

courtesy of common creative

Not in the teenage vampire love stories.  Heck no. That would ruin the ratings for certain.

Not in the classic vampire movies.  Those people were pretty lean back in the 1800’s.  Even the science fiction or modern vampires stayed pretty lean. (OK, maybe that really big one in the first Blade movie with Wesley Snipes.)

Even the real crazy, ugly ones are often gaunt, stringy or ripped with sinewy muscle.  The exception being, the beautiful, but fictional, Vampirella.  But, she is from another planet, so she can live in the sunlight and avoid that scrawny, sinewy look.

When you think about the vampire’s metabolism and lifestyle, it makes perfect sense. They usually wake up famished.  So, they are fully motivated to skulk around the shadows and pounce on unsuspecting victims. Sometimes they might use the hypnotic eyes trick to subdue some weak-willed human.  Then they sink their fangs.

Otherwise, there is a whole lot of creeping around, chasing after humans, climbing up buildings, breaking into places and dodging angry vampire-killers. And human-hunting goes on in any weather. Rain, snow, sleet, fog (fog is actually good), thunder showers and hot, humid nights. They don’t take any breaks.  No sitting by the fireplace, watching television or hanging out at the bar (though that is a good place to find humans). And vampires cannot just pop into the convenience store for some junk food. They have to get their blood ration, go hungry or stay in hibernation.  Fat vampires were non-existent.

And they got their sleep.  There are no fat vampires or 24 hour vampires. Being hyper-sensitive to sunlight, they had to strictly work the night shift and sleep all day. So, even after the longest night of stalking and chasing prey, not to mention fighting and eluding revenge-seeking humans, the vampire still got plenty of nap time. Often more than 12 hours at a time. Exercise, eat, sleep. Three ingredients of a long life were there in the vampire lifestyle.

And you never heard of one of them eating junk food, candies, pastries or high-sugar breakfast cereals.  Or smoking cigarettes.  Or drinking pop or alcohol did you?(Well, the vampire played by Colin Farrell in the 2011 remake of Fright Night did have a beer.) Nope, it was a strict diet of iron-rich blood, lots of exercise scrambling around in the dark and deep sleep. It is probably why the undead beings never had to visit the dentist or doctor.  Not unless the vampires were going for a snack.

Now I am not advocating that kind of lifestyle, especially the late nights and blood drinking. Unless you have a photophobia or condition like XP (xeroderma pigmentosum), you are going to miss out on the benefits of sunlight. Blood drinking is dangerous as the blood can carry pathogens, is difficult to digest.  It also contains too much iron for humans (causing haemochromatosis) which can damage the internal organs. And all of that skulking around in the dark and attacking people will make you unpopular and maybe land you in jail.

But, I fully support the natural,  functional fitness exercises, deep breathing, body alignment and several other factors that the vampire lifestyle can replicate in my book: Flat Gut After 50.

Take the Metabolic Test

Are you eating right for your metabolic type?  Take the Metabolic Test and find out.

APPENDIX A : METABOLIC TYPE TEST

Based on The Balance by Oz Garcia

  1. Do you tend to get angry?

    1. Easily

    2. Almost never

    3. Occasionally

  1. Do you tend to get anxious?

    1. Easily

    2. Almost never

    3. Occasionally

  1. Your appetite is:

    1. Above normal

    2. Below normal

    3. Normal

  1. You find it easy to:

    1. Lose weight

    2. Gain weight

    3. Maintain weight

  1. Your hair is usually:

    1. Dry

    2. Oily

    3. Normal

  1. Your skin is usually:

    1. Dry

    2. Oily

    3. Normal

  1. Bedtime eating makes you:

    1. Toss and turn all night

    2. Feel good

    3. Indifferent

  1. During the day, you:

    1. Sometimes forget to eat

    2. Get hungry often

    3. Eat only 3 times per day

  1. Emotionally, you tend towards:

    1. A hot temper

    2. Calm, cool and collected

    3. Occasional emotional upsets

  2. You exercise:

    1. Frequently and enjoy it

    2. Seldom, and dislike it

    3. Sometimes and enjoy it

  1. You fall asleep:

    1. Easily

    2. With difficulty

    3. Within half an hour

  1. You feel fatigue:

    1. Seldom

    2. Often

    3. Occasionally

  1. If exercising, you like to choose:

    1. Intense aerobic exercise

    2. Weights and machines

    3. Either or

  1. Your blood sugar is usually

    1. Low

    2. High

    3. Normal

  1. Your breakfast is usually:

    1. Skipped

    2. Large

    3. Average

  1. You like raw salad and vegetables:

    1. Quite a bit

    2. Indifferent

    3. Sometimes

  1. You tend to feel too warm:

    1. Very rarely

    2. Frequently

    3. Rarely

  1. You are most alert:

    1. Bright and early

    2. Around noon

    3. Whenever you get up

  1. Around evening, you tend to:

    1. Go to bed early

    2. Come alive

    3. Gradually slow down

  1. Regardless of what you eat, you:

    1. Have trouble gaining weight

    2. Gain weight easily

    3. Have stable weight

  1. Your stamina is:

    1. Above normal

    2. Low

    3. Normal

Total the letters. A’s = Fast Burners, B’s = Slow Burners, C’s = Mixed Burners.

METABOLIC TYPE

Just as there are several different blood types among human populations, so too are there different metabolic types. Determining your basic metabolic type can help you to better understand your body’s basic needs in terms of nutrition, exercise and rest. Fast and slow metabolisms, also known as fast and slow oxidizers or burners, have been written about for decades.i In the book, The Balance, Oz Garciaii describes three basic types of metabolisms. You can take the test in Appendix A to determine if you are a Fast, Slow or Mixed Burner.

FAST BURNERS

Fast burning metabolisms are usually found in hyperactive people who often thrive on anxiety and irritability. They are often impatient Type A personalities who seem to have their adrenal glands stuck on high. They tend to have bursts of energy and have difficulty relaxing. The fast burner often has an addictive type of personality and displays obsessive traits or develops an abuse of drugs or even food. Fast Burners may not all be lean and active, but they are constantly looking for quick boosts of energy, usually through quick carbohydrate fixes.

If you are a Fast Burner, you probably skipped the metabolic test and are in a hurry to find answers. Fast Burners, like yours truly, burn out their mineral supplies like there is no tomorrow and have difficulty building muscle. This is why I disagree with diet pills that are mild stimulants that contain substances such as theobromide, caffeine and ephedrine. These “quick-fixes” will only tire you out in the long run.

A Fast Burner must maintain a steady flow of energy from their food. Take a typical eating pattern:

Breakfast: Coffee, toast, fruit

Snack: Coffee or pop and a donut

Snack: Coffee, muffin or donut

Lunch: Juice, yogurt, salad with dressing, bagel

Snack: Diet Coke

Supper: Chicken breast, boiled potato and pre-frozen mixed vegetables

Snack: Apple

It is painfully obvious that this eating pattern is packed with sugar at regular intervals. While it might fit the low-calorie, low-fat format, it is going to give the eater more ups and downs than a runaway roller coaster.

An effective fast-burner eating plan would be more like this:

Breakfast: Water, oatmeal, three egg whites

Snack: Peanut butter on whole grain crackers or chicken fingers

Lunch: Chicken or salmon salad

Snack: Protein shake

Dinner: Water, lean beef, stir-fried or steamed vegetables

Snack: Water, slice of turkey breast

The Fast Burner can tolerate higher amounts of fat and oil as they need the gradual release of their concentrated energy. Most fruits and fruit juices are high in fruit sugar (fructose) and should be avoided. However, vitamin-rich fruits such as apples, pears, apricots and all types of berries are okay.

When I find six small meals a day a nuisance, I try to have at least two good sit- down meals per day. I often did this while I was in the military, while working around the base. I found that I could actually make faster muscle gains by eating fewer meals, but eating those meals slowly.

Those high-speed, Type A people who are too busy to eat must discipline themselves to either prepare their meals in advance (and use plastic containers) or arrange to have two relaxing, uninterrupted meals per day. Many Europeans, like the Germans, eat like this. They have tea and some heavy bread in the morning, a huge (often two hour) lunch and then a moderate supper in the evening. If you have been to Germany, you might have been amazed as I was to see stores close, restaurants fill up and so many people just relaxing during one of North America’s most frantic times of the day. Some might argue that this is a slack attitude. However, from my experience there, I would have to challenge anyone who questioned the productivity or good health of Germany’s people.

If you are a very active fast burner, such as a competitive athlete, you can add more complex carbohydrates, like rice, yams or potatoes, to your diet. As for exercise, fast burners often benefit from anaerobic exercise, such as weight lifting, sprinting, team sports or even yoga. The short duration exercises help build muscle tissue and can have a more calming effect than aerobic exercise.

SLOW BURNERS

On the other metabolic extreme, slow burners tend to be easy-going, have low blood pressure and good digestion and often dislike exercise.

A typical slow burner eating pattern is as follows:

Breakfast: Two waffles with butter and maple syrup, two cups of coffee.

Snack: Apple.

Lunch: Baked potato, egg salad, roll with butter, fruit cup, coffee.

Dinner: Salad with dressing, rice, brownie with vanilla ice cream.

By now you can see the low-food value and high sugar content of most of these foods. This slow burner’s energy is going to drop about an hour after every meal. Unfortunately, many of us have grown to accept that afternoon “dinner drunk” syndrome as being normal. When you eat properly, you can often go back to work feeling satisfied and alert. An effective slow burner eating plan would be more like this:

Breakfast: Two eggs, poached or over-easy, steamed vegetables, one cup of herbal tea.

Snack: Protein shake.

Lunch: Salmon salad with greens, tomatoes, olive oil and lemon juice, one pear.

Snack: Low-fat yogurt or cheese (if you can tolerate dairy) or almond butter and rice crackers.

Dinner: Chicken breast and stir-fried vegetables.

Slow Burners should minimize their fats and oils and stick to whole fruits such as apples, bananas and citrus fruits. Bananas and citrus fruits are high in potassium, which is a mineral that tends to be low in most Slow Burners. Grapefruits have been used for decades for weight loss as they tend to help kick-start a slow metabolism. Be aware that some people are allergic to citrus fruits and might react adversely to them.

MIXED BURNERS

Only about ten percent or less of the population is estimated to be Mixed Burners.iii If you are one of these, you will have a fairly even flow of energy unless you “fall off of the wagon” from a steady intake of processed foods, coffee and reckless living. However, a Mixed Burner metabolism is not a free ride.

You can take food choices from the other types of burners and determine what works best for you. Sometimes you might perform more like a fast burner and others you might perform like a slow burner. You have to find out for yourself.

As for exercise, use anaerobic exercise, like weight-lifting to slow yourself down and aerobics, like running, to speed up your metabolism.

i Fredericks, Carlton, Ph.D. (1988) Psycho-Nutrition. Berkley Books: New York.

ii Garcia, Oz w/Kolberg, Sharyn (1998) The Balance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Regan Books: New York. P.19.

iii Ibid.

Sunlight, Winter Blues and Alcohol

 

Does the lack of sunlight and the “winter blues” force people to drink more alcohol? The holiday spending frenzy, lack of sleep, family strife, working overtime and fatigue seem reason enough to have a few more drinks of alcohol than usual. It is also thought that the winter time isolation causes people to drink out of depression which goes hand-in-hand with the boredom of living in the northern regions.

Maybe it is not just the cold, stress or loneliness. Natural light and fresh air can also be a factor in health and alcohol cravings. Though it might sound strictly psychological, there is also a physical side to darkness and drinking alcohol.

Here is an interesting rat study. In 1973, Dr. Irving Geller, Chairman of the Department of Experimental Pharmacology at the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education conducted an experiment on stress and the drinking habits of rats. It was noted that rats preferred plain water during the week, but went on alcoholic drinking binges on the weekends. At first the behavior seemed typically human, but the rats did not follow any kind of work and play schedule. This puzzled the scientist until it was noted that the automatic switch on the lights was out-of-order and the rats had been in constant darkness over the weekends. Just by leaving the rats in darkness triggered alcohol cravings within them. Dr. Irving Geller referred to this as “darkness-induced drinking phenomenon.” He relates it to the work reported in 1963 by Nobel Prize winner Dr. Julius Axelrod, who found that the rat pineal gland produced more melatonin during the dark nighttime period than when it was light.

Dr. Geller later went on to experiment with injections of pineal melatonin to rats kept on a regular light-dark cycles and not subjected to any anxiety. The injections alone turned these rats into alcoholics. Dr. Geller stated that “it is only through such animal studies that one can hope to attain a clearer understanding and perhaps an ultimate treatment or cure, or both, for alcoholism in humans.”

I know from observation that several co-workers in the military needed a few beer to help them induce sleep. One guy admitted that he tried various other treatments and vitamin supplements, but nothing else seemed to help. So, maybe there is something to the body’s natural sleep cycles and alcohol cravings.

Aside from alcohol consumption, darkness can also trigger depression in some people. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a condition that occurs in some depressed people, takes place during the Fall and Winter months. Fortunately, it can be controlled with regular exposures of natural light and even sun-tanning beds. Part of the reason that our university “Study Week” was in the middle of February was because of the high-stress and depression overcoming several students during these winter months. Anyone who studied at a prairie university or college can relate to this.

The type of work that people do can also trigger this depression and alcohol craving behavior. Shift workers and indoor workers (eg. Factories and offices) often socialize in bars and drinking establishments. In reality, outdoor and well-lit environments would be healthier for them.

Children are also more subject to this darkness, depression and possible alcohol addiction. With the skin cancer scare, they told to avoid the sunlight. They spend more time behind computers and indoors. Over-protective parents drive them to schools with minimum physical education programs. It makes me wonder if this lack of natural light is going to make them more prone to depression and alcoholism?

When I was first in the Canadian military, I found a big difference in health, outlook and drinking habits by switching my job as a shift-working Morse code operator to a field unit radio operator. Maybe the new work was more interesting, but there was considerably more out door and sunlight time involved as well. While myself and other soldiers might have griped about adverse climatic conditions, the outdoor living was still a healthier option than working indoors, hunched behind a desk…in a dimly lit office.

How much sunlight is needed? According to a university text book, something like 10 minutes of facial exposure is the bare minimum. This seems a bit low to say the least. I would bank on at least an hour a day, with some activity. Of course, if someone has been living like a mole for months at a time, they have to gradually expose themselves to sunlight. Too much sunlight, too soon runs the risk of burning and possibility of pre-mature wrinkles and skin cancer. This explains why our parents insisted that we wear hats and sunscreen.

So, if you are feeling a bit of the winter blues or craving a drink, it might be an idea to try out a tanning booth, go for a walk or hit the ski slopes.

Learn more in Simple Secrets to Handle Your Alcohol Better: Student’s Edition.

How Dangerous Was The Phantom of the Opera?

The Strength and Cunning of the Phantom of the Opera

What made the Phantom of the Opera such a scary dude? His disfigurement was creepy enough. But, nothing like his speed, strength and murderous intent. Created in 1910, by crime reporter, Gaston Leroux, the phantom was inspired when he reported on a dead body found under an opera house.

Lon Chaney as the Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom was not just another creepy guy with a bad disposition. He was strong and agile and knew how to use weapons, ropes, poisons and explosives. He could scamper up the rafters of the opera house, like a monkey and ellude capture as well. In hand-to-hand combat, he was equally dangerous. At one point, while playing his violin for his protege, Christine, her young suitor, Rauol, appears and tried to make some demands. At which point, with a single blow, the Phantom knocks out the younger man, but spares his life. (Note: Don’t ever interrupt the Phantom him while he is playing his violin.)

The phantom, whose real name was Erik, had been the disfigured son of a construction worker. Young Erik fled from his home in Normandy and joined several carnivals, where he learned skills of agility, performance in music and even weapons. He became very good with weapons, including the rope. He could throw a loop, known as a “Punjab Lasso,” around an opponent’s neck with amazing speed. Sometimes he was ordered to entertain a wealthy sultana (wife of a sultan) by being locked in a room with a condemned prisoner welding a pike and sword. Eirk with his lasso, would always win. (The sultana, later learned the same skill, which she would dispatched both servants and friends with her lasso.)

The Phantom was also hired by wealthy men to construct mysterious buildings with secret passage ways in Turkey and Persia. (But he had to flee when his employers attempted to keep the secret passages secret by murdering Erik.) When he took this skill to France, the Phantom built the opera house where he designed his own hideouts and passage ways. This opera house covered several acres, including a large horse stables. So, he had plenty of room to move around, watch the world, practice his music and carry out his mischief.

He then tutored and fell in love with a young singer, Christine Daae and that is where the story begins.

Though it is a tragic story, the phantom of the opera shows how formidable a functionally fit “monster” can be. To be able to lift, run, climb, kidnap maidens, elude and fight police takes a sustained type of strength that most 21st century people cannot even hope to attain.

But, I saved you the guess work with my book: Strength-Endurance Secrets: Build an Unstoppable 2nd Wind.

Order now and get the FREE Special Report: Setter’s Seven Simple (Herbal) Supplements and learn about inexpensive and free plants that can reduce inflammation and kick-start your energy, concentration and libido.

How to Sculpt a Tear Drop Shaped Butt

SCULPTING THE TEAR DROP SHAPED BUTT
By Doug Setter (and modelled by Helena Van Der Zon)

The butt muscles are essential in almost all movement, from dancing to sports to modelling. When the butt muscles aka gluteus maximus aka “glutes” are neglected or trained improperly, a (literally) wide variety of undesirable butts are produced. While not all women born with Barbie Doll derrières, the right training can get you the backside that nature neglected and you still want.

The fast-twitch leg muscles, like those found in dancers, figure skaters and sprinters tend to be more developed and muscular than those of slow-twitch muscle athletes, like a marathon runners. (Some exceptions apply.) So, even if you enjoy regular cardio exercise, you need the strength training to build a strong, rounded butt.

Squats and leg press machines are good to a point. Along with strength training, you need to be working the external rotator muscles to sculpt the female butt into that tear-drop shape. These means a figure skater, (who uses the pushing outward movement of her legs) usually has a more shapely butt than that of, say, a long distance cyclist.

If you doubt this, look through the sports magazines and pick out which women have the most attractive butts. The cyclists, runners, kayakers and team sport players usually have nicely developed butts. But, the prize-winning butts generally belong to the ballerinas, figure skaters, sprinters and kicking-style martial artists. All of these latter mentioned activities rely on the external hip rotator muscles (eg. Periformis).
So, without further ado, here are the exercises:

1. Reverse lunge.

(Special thanks to Helena Van Der Zon for posing for the photographs)
a. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart (with or without a weight in each hand.

b. Step back, with one leg, about 2 ½ feet to a meter to the rear.

c. Squat down so that your front knee is above your front ankle and front thigh is parallel to the ground. Look straight ahead and keep your back straight.
d. Return to the starting position with your feet shoulder width apart and step back with your alternate foot.
e. Repeat 5 to 10 times each leg. Work up to 3 sets of 10 each leg before increasing held weight.

2. Wide Dumb bell Squat

a. Stand with your feet double shoulder width apart and pointing outwards at 45 degree angles. Hold a weight, such as a dumb bell, straight in front of you, between your legs. (Hold the dumb bell, with both hands, by the plate, like you would holding a small wooden stool so that the dumb bell is vertical.)

b. Keeping your knees pointing outwards, aligned with your feet, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

c. Then, straighten your legs and (most important) squeeze your butt muscles together. d. This last flexing, motion gives you greater definition than just performing numerous squats. Remember it is this external rotating motion of the legs that forms that tear drop shape.
e. 10 to 20 repetitions.

3. The Double Kick

a. This is like the Pilates movement. You lie on your stomach with your head down, legs slightly apart and arms by your sides.
b. Raise your torso and legs off of the mat, while keeping your head looking forward about one foot ahead of you on the floor.
c. As you raise your legs, force them straight and rotate them outwards. Hold that position for two seconds and flex your back and butt muscles.
d. Repeat the exercise 4 to 8 times.

Follow up with a cool down, like cycling, running or walking, to avoid muscle tightness. Doing these movements in an honest effort three times per week and eating well will make your backside will feel and look strong, solid and shapely.

Doug Setter, BSc.(Nutrition) is a personal trainer and author of Stomach Flattening, Reduce Your Alcohol Craving, How to Handle Your Alcohol Craving: Student’s Edition, One Less Victim and Strength-Endurance Secrets: Build an Unstoppable 2nd Wind. He has trained in kick-boxing and competed in Hong Kong and Canada. Doug has served with the U.N. Peacekeeping Forces in former Yugoslavia, parachuted with the Cdn Airborne Regiment, climbed Mt. Ranier and ran five complete marathons. He has trained over 400 in military skills, Pilates, weight-loss and kick-boxing. He can be contacted at: dougsetter@gmail.com
His website is: www.2ndwindbodyscience.com

Your Metabolic Type

The Metabolic Diet

By Doug Setter (with special thanks to Oz Garcia and Carlton Fredericks)

Should a Type A personality eat the same as a Type B? Why does a low carbohydrate diet energize some people and make others lethargic? Why do certain people naturally crave fats, sour-tasting foods or sweets?

Determining your basic metabolic type can help you to better understand your body’s basic needs in terms of nutrition, exercise and rest. Fast and slow metabolisms, also known as fast and slow oxidizers or burners, have been written about for decades.i In the book, The Balance, Oz Garciaii describes three basic types of metabolisms: Fast, Slow or Mixed Burner.

By taking the following test, you can better determine what kind of foods best suit your own metabolic rate. Keep in mind that the information in this article is not a substitute for medical advice.

APPENDIX A : METABOLIC TYPE TEST

Based on The Balance by Oz Garcia

  1. Do you tend to get angry?
    1. Easily
    2. Almost never
    3. Occasionally
  1. Do you tend to get anxious?
    1. Easily
    2. Almost never
    3. Occasionally
  1. Your appetite is:
    1. Above normal
    2. Below normal
    3. Normal
  1. You find it easy to:
    1. Lose weight
    2. Gain weight
    3. Maintain weight
  1. Your hair is usually:
    1. Dry
    2. Oily
    3. Normal
  1. Your skin is usually:
    1. Dry
    2. Oily
    3. Normal
  1. Bedtime eating makes you:
    1. Toss and turn all night
    2. Feel good
    3. Indifferent
  1. During the day, you:
    1. Sometimes forget to eat
    2. Get hungry often
    3. Eat only 3 times per day
  1. Emotionally, you tend towards:
    1. A hot temper
    2. Calm, cool and collected
    3. Occasional emotional upsets
  2. You exercise:
    1. Frequently and enjoy it
    2. Seldom, and dislike it
    3. Sometimes and enjoy it
  1. You fall asleep:
    1. Easily
    2. With difficulty
    3. Within half an hour
  1. You feel fatigue:
    1. Seldom
    2. Often
    3. Occasionally
  1. If exercising, you like to choose:
    1. Intense aerobic exercise
    2. Weights and machines
    3. Either or
  1. Your blood sugar is usually
    1. Low
    2. High
    3. Normal
  1. Your breakfast is usually:
    1. Skipped
    2. Large
    3. Average
  1. You like raw salad and vegetables:
    1. Quite a bit
    2. Indifferent
    3. Sometimes
  1. You tend to feel too warm:
    1. Very rarely
    2. Frequently
    3. Rarely
  1. You are most alert:
    1. Bright and early
    2. Around noon
    3. Whenever you get up
  1. Around evening, you tend to:
    1. Go to bed early
    2. Come alive
    3. Gradually slow down
  1. Regardless of what you eat, you:
    1. Have trouble gaining weight
    2. Gain weight easily
    3. Have stable weight
  1. Your stamina is:
    1. Above normal
    2. Low
    3. Normal

Total the letters. A’s = Fast Burners, B’s = Slow Burners, C’s = Mixed Burners.

FAST BURNERS

Fast burning metabolisms are usually found in hyperactive people who often thrive on anxiety and irritability. They are often impatient Type A personalities who seem to have their adrenal glands stuck on high. They tend to have bursts of energy and have difficulty relaxing. The fast burner often has an addictive type of personality and displays obsessive traits or develops an abuse of drugs or even food. Fast Burners may not all be lean and active, but they are constantly looking for quick boosts of energy, usually through quick carbohydrate fixes.

If you are a Fast Burner, you probably skipped the metabolic test and are in a hurry to find answers. Fast Burners, like yours truly, burn out their mineral supplies like there is no tomorrow and have difficulty building muscle. This is why I disagree with diet pills that are mild stimulants that contain substances such as theobromide, caffeine and ephedrine. These “quick-fixes” will only tire you out in the long run.

A Fast Burner must maintain a steady flow of energy from their food. Take a typical eating pattern:

Breakfast: Coffee, toast, fruit

Snack: Coffee or pop and a donut

Snack: Coffee, muffin or donut

Lunch: Juice, yogurt, salad with dressing, bagel

Snack: Diet Coke

Supper: Chicken breast, boiled potato and pre-frozen mixed vegetables

Snack: Apple

It is painfully obvious that this eating pattern is packed with sugar at regular intervals. While it might fit the low-calorie, low-fat format, it is going to give the eater more ups and downs than a runaway roller coaster.

An effective fast-burner eating plan would be more like this:

Breakfast: Water, oatmeal, three egg whites

Snack: Peanut butter on whole grain crackers or chicken fingers

Lunch: Chicken or salmon salad

Snack: Protein shake

Dinner: Water, lean beef, stir-fried or steamed vegetables

Snack: Water, slice of turkey breast

The Fast Burner can tolerate higher amounts of fat and oil as they need the gradual release of their concentrated energy. Most fruits and fruit juices are high in fruit sugar (fructose) and should be avoided. However, vitamin-rich fruits such as apples, pears, apricots and all types of berries are okay.

When I find six small meals a day a nuisance, I try to have at least two good sit- down meals per day. I often did this while I was in the military, while working around the base. I found that I could actually make faster muscle gains by eating fewer meals, but eating those meals slowly.

Those high-speed, Type A people who are too busy to eat must discipline themselves to either prepare their meals in advance or arrange to have at least one relaxing, uninterrupted meal per day. Many Europeans, like the Germans, eat like this. They have tea and some heavy bread in the morning, a huge (often two hour) lunch and then a moderate supper in the evening. If you have been to Germany, you might have been amazed as I was to see stores close, restaurants fill up and so many people just relaxing during one of North America’s most frantic times of the day.   I would have to challenge anyone who questioned the productivity or good health of Germany’s people.

If you are a very active fast burner, such as a competitive athlete, you can add more complex carbohydrates, like rice, yams or potatoes, to your diet. As for exercise, fast burners often benefit from anaerobic exercise, such as weight lifting, sprinting, team sports or even yoga. The short duration exercises help build muscle tissue and can have a more calming effect than aerobic exercise.

SLOW BURNERS

On the other metabolic extreme, slow burners tend to be easy-going, have low blood pressure and good digestion and often dislike exercise.

A typical slow burner eating pattern is as follows:

Breakfast: Two waffles with butter and maple syrup, two cups of coffee.

Snack: Apple.

Lunch: Baked potato, egg salad, roll with butter, fruit cup, coffee.

Dinner: Salad with dressing, rice, brownie with vanilla ice cream.

By now you can see the low-food value and high sugar content of most of these foods. This slow burner’s energy is going to drop about an hour after every meal. Unfortunately, many of us have grown to accept that afternoon “dinner drunk” syndrome as being normal. When you eat properly, you can often go back to work feeling satisfied and alert. An effective slow burner eating plan would be more like this:

Breakfast: Two eggs, poached or over-easy, steamed vegetables, one cup of herbal tea.

Snack: Protein shake.

Lunch: Salmon salad with greens, tomatoes, olive oil and lemon juice, one pear.

Snack: Low-fat yogurt or cheese (if you can tolerate dairy) or almond butter and rice crackers.

Dinner: Chicken breast and stir-fried vegetables.

Slow Burners should minimize their fats and oils and stick to whole fruits such as apples, bananas and citrus fruits. Bananas and citrus fruits are high in potassium, which is a mineral that tends to be low in most Slow Burners. Grapefruits have been used for decades for weight loss as they tend to help kick-start a slow metabolism. Be aware that some people are allergic to citrus fruits and might react adversely to them.

MIXED BURNERS

Only about ten percent or less of the population is estimated to be Mixed Burners.iii If you are one of these, you will have a fairly even flow of energy unless you “fall off of the wagon” from a steady intake of processed foods, coffee and reckless living. However, a Mixed Burner metabolism is not a free ride.

You can take food choices from the other types of burners and determine what works best for you. Sometimes you might perform more like a fast burner and others you might perform like a slow burner. You have to find out for yourself.

As for exercise, use anaerobic exercise, like weight-lifting to slow yourself down and aerobics, like running, to speed up your metabolism.

i Fredericks, Carlton, Ph.D. (1988) Psycho-Nutrition. Berkley Books: New York.

ii Garcia, Oz w/Kolberg, Sharyn (1998) The Balance. Regan Books: New York. P.19.

iii Ibid.