Why dairy’s like mother’s milk to us

Wait…it is mother’s milk.

That’s one reason folks are so defensive about dairy without realizing it.

(Another is the prevailing belief that it’s a health food.)

See, most people know sugar is bad for them.  That’s why, when I recommend avoiding it, it’s not such a shock to the system.

But God forbid I go against the dairy…

Now it’s personal.

Milk and other dairy products contain a protein called casein that’s known to have a morphine-like effect on the brain.  Indeed casomorphins, which your body derives from casein, are thought to reinforce the mother-infant bond when nursing.

No small wonder we feel such a connection with our three-cheese pizzas.

Here’s the deal-e-o…

The earliest instance of consumption of dairy by humans is about 6,000 years ago.

That might seem like a long time, but it’s not – at least not by evolutionary standards.  Our bodies haven’t adapted.  If you want proof, consider that about 25% of the population is lactose intolerant, including me.  The rest of us are likely sensitive to it, even if we don’t have obvious symptoms with the first sip of a latte.  That’s because dairy is so reactive, regular consumption puts your immune system on alert.  The resulting inflammation makes you gain weight.

Still attached?

Let’s use logic to cut the cord instead…

What’s mother milk’s for?

To help little Bessie Jr. grow into a 1-ton animal.  What’s it doing to you, then?  Its growth factors are running around, turning on biochemical switches.  I’ll give you a hint, fat loss is not one of them.

But it’s good for bones, right?

Guess again.  Milk and yoghurt are low pH, which creates an acid environment in your body that leeches minerals from your bones.  Net result = less calcium, not more.  Cultures that are big consumers of milk have higher osteoporosis rates.

Of course, I’ve never told anyone flat out to stop eating dairy.  I’m slicker than that.  I always say, “if it were me, and I had your goals, I wouldn’t eat it,” which is moot since I can’t eat it, as per my comment above.

Anyway, that’ll do for today.

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

For more of my own special brand of tough love, call (416) 826-4844 to request your personal training consultation.

Cue angry replies…now.

Happy Weening,

Conor Kelly
conorkelly.com


The #1 supplement I ‘ken lee’ without

From my country-in-law of Bulgaria comes a truly cringe-worthy fail…

The video of a woman auditioning for Bulgarian Idol goes viral after she mystifies the show’s judges by attempting to sing Mariah Carey’s ‘Without You’, without even the foggiest knowledge of its English lyric.

The result, ‘ken lee’ (which is how she sounded out the words can’t live) has millions of hits on YouTube, and inspired my subject line today.

Check it out here.

*So jokes*, as the kiddies say.

One question I’m often asked (well, I was asked once), is “Con, if you were stranded on a deserted island and could bring a lifetime supply of ONE supplement, what would it be?”

Now there’s a tasty slice of mind pie.

And without question (or with question, since the question was indeed asked) my answer is the omega 3 fatty acids I consume, either in the form of organic flax seed oil, or fish oil.

Why, you ask?

Here’s a brief breakdown:

*They combat inflammation, an effect I appreciated during my 13WK transformation challenge when I rid myself of chronic bicep and elbow tendinitis

*They encourage fat release, something I always appreciate

*They boost immunity, so you get sick less often, or hardly ever.  Need I say it?  Ok, I appreciate that too

*Because over half of our brain consists of lipids that make up cell membranes, consuming good fats means higher quality nerve cell action.  Me likey more smartey

*And that’s just the short list

Granted, on an island I’d probably find lots of nuts and seeds, and would eventually learn to fish so that sources of my darling nutrient would be abundant.

But you get my drift.

Scientists estimate we consumed about 7,000mg of omega 3’s per day in our ancient diet, yet today the average is less than a fifth of that.  Simply eating lots of fish is an imperfect solution due to its metal content (and not the good kind, like Iron Maiden).  I don’t recommend more than 4-5 servings per week.

Anyway, that’s enough for now.

Get more of my humble yet accurate opinions on what works for your health by calling (416) 826-4844 or emailing info@conorkelly.com to request your personal training consultation.

And if you ain’t already, start supplementing omega 3’s for a difference you ‘ken belee’.

Happy Fishing,

Conor Kelly

The Biggest Loser Rule

For years, America’s ‘heavyweights’ have duked it out in reality TV’s equivalent of a science experiment gone drastically wrong.

The Biggest Loser pits obese men and women against each other in a battle of who can lose most absurd amount of weight.

Aside from airing some oversized dirty laundry, contestants are subjected to an intense regime.

First, they’re whisked away from their families and made to share a house with a bunch of strangers.  Then they’re put on an extremely strict, calorie-controlled diet.  Finally, they’re abused in all sorts of ways by well-meaning trainers with a penchant for theatrics.  All the while, the carrot of a 250K grand prize is dangled in front of their pale, mouth-breathing faces.

This ritual continues for weeks, with routine weigh-ins and the obligatory emotional breakdowns.

The only thing about the process that’s not extreme is the rate at which the losers regain the weight after the final episode wraps.  In fact, it mirrors exactly what happens to most people who attempt to lose weight in the privacy of their own homes.

Why do participants fight so hard to stay on the show?

Partly because they know what happens after they go home.

Between the stresses of daily living and the familiarity of their surroundings – with all its long-standing triggers and relationships – there’s room for their addictions and bad habits to take root all over again.

Almost nobody survives this test.

Thus is the power of ENVIRONMENT, and why it precedes behavior.

Think of it this way…

If you’ve got fifty pounds to lose in the first place, it’s because you live in a fifty-pounds-to-lose house or apartment, and are conditioned by fifty-pounds-to-lose patterns.

How would your surroundings look if you’d already lost the weight?

A shilling says, if you merely opened your fridge, you could cherry pick the obvious differences.

When you change…your environment changes.

Alcoholics who are serious about their recovery don’t hang out in bars.  Nor do they keep bottles of vodka in their cupboards – at least not at first.  They purge their surroundings of alcohol until their recovery has had the chance cement itself.  They form new, supportive relationships (e.g. go to AA meetings), and shun those connected with their substance abuse.  And while their sobriety can be fragile at times, their commitment is measured by the kind of external changes they implement.

Similarly, when it comes to weight loss, how you organize yourself is more important than how much willpower you have.

The Biggest Loser proves that.

The reason such stratospheric weight loss is possible, is the same reason it doesn’t last.

Of course, the show’s kinda like the Siberia of weight loss programs.

The good news is you can borrow its trademark success secret without turning your life into a prison camp.

I’ll show you how at my Lean For Life talk on May 17th in Liberty Village:

=>Click here to register & save your spot.

Auto-pilot is a strong word…but you too can achieve your goals with greater certainty – and staying power – when you embrace this simple rule of human behavior.

Happy Losing,

Conor Kelly


Possibly the greatest thing ever

Have you heard of Shmoop.com?

The website bills itself as a Shakespearean Translator capable of turning your speak – or modern English – into eternal Shakespeare-isms.

For instance, typing *whoa, dude, pass that pizza over here, I’m going to starve* into the translator begets *Heigh-ho, broth’r, passeth that ‘zza ov’r hither, lest I waste away.*

Trolling the internet has never sounded so classy.

‘Twas heard most wondrous comments…

“Thy conclusions art unfounded and maketh no sense, thou knowest not wherefore thou writeth, knave.”

“Where’d thee receiveth thy science sir, or better hath said quack speaketh!”

“I’ve done mine research on thee, thou art a snakeoil salesman and filthy canker-blossom!!”

And my personal fave…

“A plague upon this howling, thee venomous fustilarian!”

That last bit was Shakesperean for “Give it up, you venomous douchebag.”

My life is now complete.

What does this have to do with your fitness program?

Research shows that laughter reverses the chemical effects of stress and releases anti-inflammatory compounds in the body.

And persistent inflammation is an impediment to losing fat.

In one study, watching an hour of humorous videos reduced the size of allergic reactions on the subjects’ skin by 50%!

So just by reading this post you’ve probably jettisoned a few fat grams.

(That’s assuming you think the Shmoop thing is as funny as I do.)

But there are only so many slimming blog posts I can write.

For any inflammation or fat I’ve missed, there’s my Lean For Life talk in Liberty Village on May 17th:

=>Click here for details & to register.

And let this be a reminder to not take yourself too seriously today.

Find opportunities to laugh.

Your health (and your waistline) will thank you for it.

Here’s to thy health mine cousin,

Conor Kelly

 

 

 

The ravages of low testosterone

Today, a topic that’s near and dear to my heart…

El Testosteron-e.

Did you know testosterone is the primary hormone responsible not only for libido (in both men and women) but is also essential to normal emotions of self-confidence, friendliness, affection, and joy?

You got it, Esse…if your Test languishes, it can make you straight loco.

And we’re in the midst of a testosterone crisis.

In the U.S. alone it’s estimated that 1 in 4 men are completely impotent.  That’s a twofold increase in the last half-century!  And it’s a doomsday for our *swimmers*.  If sperm counts continue to dry up at the current rate, within three generations we’ll no longer be able to reproduce as a species.

In women, the effects are just as tangible.  Clinics in both Europe and North America report that roughly half of all women suffer from low libido.

But the decline in sexy time, and the desert of infertility are only the start of our problems.

This testosterone shortage is slowly turning us into a society of wimps, barely capable of courage, leadership – even love.

We’re being chemically neutered.

Driven to depression and lethargy.

What’s causing it?

A nasty cocktail of unnecessary surgeries, prescription medications, pollutants, and industrially manufactured food that’s not much more than a distant echo of the nutritious fare we evolved on.

But uno momentito, here’s the good news…

We can sober up from this dreary, sexless haze with a few smart lifestyle changes.

One of them happens to be my specialty.

Losing bodyfat.

Yes my friend, adipose tissue (as I like to call it when I’m being fancy) houses an enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen – causing your t-levels to tank.  With less bodyfat, you’re more likely to have a healthy balance of both, and live a happier, more confident, and let’s not forget sexier life.

Mm hm…SiEs muy bueno.

I teach how to permanently get rid of said fat at my Lean For Life workshop in Liberty Village on May 17th:

=>Click here for details & to register.

Come prepared for a testosterone-boosting and life-enhancing experience.

Don’t let modern living take your balls…metaphorically speaking.

You can fight back against the scourge of low testosterone.

And you can WIN.

To A Testosterone-Fueled Life,

Conor Kelly

We talkin’ bout practice, not the game

Yes sports fans, Allen Iverson’s famous rant (benched for missing practice, he repeated the phrase *we talkin’ bout practice* 22 times in a press conference) shall serve as fodder for the lesson today, which is:

You don’t get to be a champion unless you love to train.

Practice?

That’s right.

I’m talkin’ bout practice.

Even the great A.I. – despite his apparent disdain for practicing – loved to play basketball.

Roger Federer loves to play tennis.

Wayne Gretszky loved to play hockey.

They all loved to win too, but winning – be it awards, championships, or praise – wasn’t their primary motivation for playing, despite what you may think.  It drove them to greatness, but wasn’t what summoned them to invest a disproportionate amount of their lives participating in, and preparing for their respective sports.

Pleasure did.

They all felt great just doing what they were doing.

I became a strongman because I wanted to flip tires, pick up stones, and do other cool stuff like that.  Sure I cared about my results in competition.  But I always looked forward to training.  In fact, I didn’t really excel until I stopped caring as much about my competitive performance and threw my focus into my prep.  As long as I was happy with how my training went, and had fun on contest day, the outcome would take care of itself.

Too often we want things – achievable things – but throw up veritable hailstorms of resistance to avoid getting there.

Take losing weight for instance.

Many people obsess over the number on the scale but bury their heads in the sand when it comes to changing their lifestyle.  They proclaim that working out is torture, and cringe at the prospect of healthy food, which they consider bland.  They’ll try shortcuts like crash diets, supplements, and juice cleanses – really anything to ensure not a single bead of sweat traverses their pores.

But that’s backwards, you see.

The best bodies belong to people who enjoy whatever mode of exercise they prefer, and possess a sense of satisfaction about nourishing themselves well.

In short, they like the ins and outs of acquiring their desired body.  The activity itself is its own reward, without needing the additional payoff of being thin (or ‘thin right now‘) to feel good while doing it.

Surprise, surprise…they’re leaner.

People who love making money, and managing their money…are richer.

Whatever the achievement, it’s the ones who love the process of success that have it.

They don’t blow off practice.

(Well, most of the time.)

That’s why many humans approach to getting what they want is seriously effed up.

They just want the trophy.

But ya don’t get the trophy without practice…

…And you’ll never practice enough without passion.

What you’ll find, that I’ve discovered, is that there’s something else for us to gain through all this that goes way beyond winning or losing.  And that’s what you really miss out on, unless you spend those days, weeks, or years covering the terrain in search of something wanted.  Answer the call of your desire.  Let what’s ahead entice you.  Just don’t let it blind you to the beautiful vistas along the way.

Love the game…you can have your championship.

Love the process…you can have your result.

Yours In Great Health,

Conor Kelly

P.S. For help with de-mystifying the process of getting and staying LEAN, check out my latest Lean For Life talk in Liberty Village, May 17th:

Click here for details.


Why diets don’t work

It’s hard to believe that in this day and age the human machine would require anything such as a famine response.

At least not in first-world countries, where the existence of 24HR drive-thrus and grocery stores ensures ’round the clock access to food for anyone with a method of payment.

But there wasn’t always an oasis of perfectly preserved foods, neatly organized into categories, and placed on refrigerated shelves within easy reach.

When we first evolved…times were tough.

Food was scarce.  Tools were primitive.

Finding sustenance for our mortal coil presented its own unique challenges.

Hence, our bodies developed a mechanism to cope with starvation, by slowing down our metabolism to conserve energy.

Presto – famine response.

This protective device enabled our organism to stockpile energy and fat calories at higher rate, so we’d survive shortages.

Even today, your body can’t tell the difference between intentional deprivation (i.e. diets) and genuine starvation.

Beyond the universal imperative of hunger, it adopted other ways of motivating us.  For example, when blood glucose falls below the desirable threshold, signals communicated through dendrites, transported along axons, and transferred between nerve cells by neurotransmitters – send information to your brain about this sad state of affairs.  The result surfaces in your mind as a craving.

Not only can cravings be powerful, but when brain glucose drops, our resistance to hunger crumbles.

Willpower goes out the window.

Genetically speaking, all the rules are dead set against us ever being successful at dieting.

And the stats bear it out too.

1 in every 3 Canadians report being actively engaged in some sort of diet program.  Yet, more than 50% of our population is considered unhealthily overweight.   In fact, any person that tries to lose weight through dieting is statistically more likely to GAIN weight in the long run.

Never.  Diet.  Again.

‘Tis the lesson for today.

As of this moment, I relieve you of this harmful habit.

Instead, eat according to what science tells us your body needs (your palate will adjust – trust me), work out with weights to preserve lean muscle, train your heart and nervous system with the right combination of high and medium intensity cardio, and focus on flexibility to forge fluid movement mechanics that enhance every activity you love.

Do that – and the fat takes care of itself.

Sound simple?

It’s not.

That’s why I created my Lean For Life talk, which I’m presenting at Physiomed on April 25th:

Click here for details & to save your seat.

I’ll help you exorcise the demons of information overload and time scarcity, and cut to heart of what really works to get you feeling great again.

Until then…

Happy Eating,

Conor Kelly


Should you lift heavy weights if you’re older?

A few weeks ago I celebrated Easter in the traditional way – by drinking Tequila, and smoking Cuban cigars with my Irish Dad.

As the aromatic tendrils of cigar smoke swirled about us, he let fly a bombshell of epic proportions.

It turns out my Grandmother’s paternal Grandfather was English.

After some not-so-quick math I realized this makes me one sixteenth English.

Blimey.

(As one client, also of Irish descent put it, “I’m sorry to hear that.”)

All those years of obsessively watching The Black Adder and Fawlty Towers suddenly make sense!

The upshot is I can now legitimately add British insults to my already formidable arsenal of putdowns.  And according to Anglotopia.net, it’s scientifically proven that any insult is 100x better when spoken with a British accent.  The website lists classics like twit, wanker, and lazy sod, as well as lesser known beauts such as trollop (a lady of questionable morals), and my personal favorite, Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys (The French).

While the kettle boils for me tea and crumpets, let’s dig into today’s content, shall we?

A client reports:

“I’ve had two people this week tell me ‘you shouldn’t use heavy weights if you’re older.’”

First, let me point out that the client in question is strong, lean and fit-looking, and you’d have to be daft as a bush – crazy – or a complete tosser to criticize his health habits.

Second, older is broad.  What does that mean?  For our purposes I’m gonna say *over 50*.   (I’ve gotta draw the line somewhere.  Don’t get your knickers in a bunch.)

Third, heavy compared to what?

I’d never suggest anyone, regardless of age, lift beyond what they can achieve with good form.

But, other things being equal,  I’ll sing the sweet praises of  progressive resistance training (done correctly) until the cows come home.  That’s because there’s a whole lotta legit science certifying the benefits of heavy-for-you lifting as we get older.

It maintains hormone levels, bone density – even cognition and memory.  It lowers bodyfat, and prevents most forms of degenerative disease.  It combats inflammation responsible for achy joints, chronic fatigue and depression.  And strength holds everything together, allowing you to move the way you want to and minimize injuries.

One of the world’s leading anti-aging experts, Dr. Michael Colgan, regularly trains with near max weights.  He’s 77, 10% bodyfat, and does one-arm pushups on stage at speaking engagements!  Jack Lalanne was known to pump iron on the daily until he died at 96.

Even big Hollywood stars are in on the action.  Clint Eastwood could chest press 100 pound dumbbells for 12 reps at age 75!

In fact, research indicates that you can’t get the same results with cardio or light weights.

That’s because they’re less effective in building muscle, which you MUST do in order to accomplish all of the above.  We lose on average a quarter of our lean muscle between the ages of 20 and 80.  It’s a BIG factor in the waning vitality that comes with age – if we accept it.

So don’t accept it.

Hit the weight room with enthusiasm.

And the next time some twit suggests you take it easy, you have my permission to tell him to *bugger off*, that he’s *mad as a bag of ferrets*, or *not batting on a full wicket*.

Then go back to the squat rack and bang out your next heavy set – for the Queen’s sake – and don’t be a lazy sod like those cheese eating surrender monkeys.

Anybody who disagrees with me has lost the bloody plot.

If you’d like to maintain vibrant health with advice based on the latest findings – instead of confining yourself to a rocking chair – check out my Lean For Life talk at Physiomed on April 25th:

http://bit.ly/1qKqFTm

Discover how to cheat aging and defy the odds by staying lean for life.

It should be a jolly good chin wag…

Anyway, hope to see you there.

Cheerio,

Conor Kelly

The *Fitpocalypse* and why most programs fail

Every January determined resolution-ers line up for machines in the cardio section of most health clubs.

By February, the same row of treadmills looks more barren than a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Even in the best of times, obesity research confirms that less than 5% of men and women succeed in losing weight.

Say whaaaaat?

Why do so many fitness programs lie in this graveyard of failed promises?

As any good shrink knows…it’s complicated.

It’s a multi-factorial, non-linear, multi-disciplinary, counter-intuitive…well, let’s just say there’s lots of reasons.

But one of the biggest reasons – as far as I can tell – that we continually fall in and out of love with our *gottalooza daweighta* project, is the same reason useless gizmos, workout videos, fad diets, and fat-burning pills make BILLIONS each year…

We’re looking for a simple fix.

The one shot wonder cure that’ll eliminate all of our fat loss woes.

Trouble is, the body don’t work that way.

It’s a complex organism.  With many moving parts.

Think of a rectangular table.

Four legs.  Each leg supports one corner, and shares the load of whatever’s placed on the table, indeed the table itself, with the other three legs.  What happens if you remove one?  Gets pretty unstable, don’t it?  Two?  You’d be lucky keep that sucker standing.

You see, most people are trying to get fit using one leg when, as I see it, lasting fitness has FOUR.

Focus on one to the detriment of the others and, well, prepare for your table to come crashing down.

What are the four legs?

1. Nutrition, 2. Resistance training, 3. Cardiovascular training, and 4. Mobility training (otherwise known as flexibility).

If you ain’t got all four, you’re doomed – like other casualties of the new year’s Fitpocalypse – to exclusion from Healthtopia (the new world order of the fit) when the nukes fly on February 1st.

Some enlightened programs serve two, maybe even three of the above.

But I’ve never seen ANYTHING that adequately addresses ALL FOUR LEGS needed for a rock solid foundation, and lifelong success with your fitness program.

That’s why I created my 16WK program.

Think of it as a firm but fair immigration policy that eventually wins you permanent residency in Healthtopia.

(Politicians, take note.)

And you don’t even need to scale a fence, dig a tunnel, or bribe a border guard to get in.

Just call me today at (416) 826-4844 for your complimentary personal training consultation.   I’ll see what I can do about speeding up your paper work.

When the Fitpocalypse comes, don’t get caught unprepared, flailing around on just one leg…

Get your table in order, and be one of the lucky 5% that survives.

See you on the other side,

Conor Kelly
(416) 826-4844