Elizabeth Found Her Perfect Fit With Venus

This picture says it all.

Elizabeth had struggled with her weight for so long that she wondered if it was even possible to be happy in her own skin.  Determined to be a positive role model for her daughter she had tried other diets and fitness programs, but didn’t find her perfect fit until she stumbled on a Venus ad.  Within weeks her clothes were looser and she was on her way.



“I am 38 years old and I never thought I could ever be slim. I have struggled with my weight all my life. One of my childhood memories is of a boy saying that I looked like I was pregnant. In the last 2 years my weight seemed to balloon up and I could no longer fit into 90% of my clothes. I was very discouraged but also not hopeful since I had tried SO many diets and fitness programs. Some of these helped somewhat, but they were so restrictive they did not fit into my lifestyle. Others were very structured but even though I put in so much effort, I did not see any significant results. I had my thyroid issues corrected, but my weight problem still did not change, as I expected it would. My 6 year old daughter made the comment that, “Mommy is a little bit chubby”. That really upset me, because I want to be a positive role model for her. I wanted to overcome this issue in my life so that hopefully she will not struggle with negative body image and weight issues. But I did not know how to lose the weight unless I starved myself. It was only a few weeks later that I came across a Venus Factor advertisement online. I felt like it was an answer to prayer! I immediately started to lose weight with Venus in April 2014. In less than a week my clothes started to feel looser. I found many tools for losing weight that I can use according my needs and my social calendar. This is what I love most about Venus: it is 100% flexible. I live in Asia, where the constant social events are all about food, and to not eat is culturally offensive. In the past I did not know how to navigate this. Now I participate in eating with everyone and I am still losing weight. The concept of budgeting my calories makes a lot of sense to me. I budget my money – why wouldn’t I count and budget my calories as well? When I started the VT12 Contest, I had a pair of size 12 grey jeans that were way too tight for me. I could not even do up the button. Now, just 12 weeks later, those jeans are too big for me and I need to replace them with a smaller size. I am so happy. For the first time in YEARS I feel comfortable and confident in my own skin. I am so, so thankful for the Venus program and what it has done for me.”


You can listen to Elizabeth’s story here:




DEXA Results Part 2…Season 1 Finale

About 5 weeks ago Brad and I did a DEXA scan to see what our body composition was. We reviewed the results on a previous podcast. After that measurement we decided to use the reverse taper diet protocol to accomplish two things:

1. Reduce fat mass

2. Maintain or gain lean body mass

I managed to reduce my body fat by a full albs and drop me body fat % from 10.6 to 9.6 over that 5 week period. My lean body mass stayed exactly the same so I essentially dropped into single digit body fat without losing any lean mass.

Brad managed to drop about 1 lbs of fat and went from 12.3% body fat to 11.6% body fat and even more impressively he gained 3lbs of lean body mass and 2lbs of overall bodyweight…BUT even more impressively Brad set a goal of gaining that lean body mass specifically in his back muscles and the DEXA scan confirms this is exactly what happened. In fact every single pound of lean mass gain was shown to be from back muscle development.

Brads Comparions Pix

Brad’s 5 week comparison going from 12.3% to 11.6% Bodyfat and gaining 3lbs of lean mass

Johns Comparison Pix

I went from 10.6% to 9.6% body fat, lost 2lbs of fat, lean mass stayed the same

This podcast marks the end of season 1 of the uncensored podcasts. We are taking a month break between season 1 and season 2.

Season 2 will follow a new format that will see the podcasts change to a bi-weekly format (2 per month) that follow a monthly theme. Each month will be a different theme (ie: fat burning, muscle building, supplements etc). Podcast 1 will start the discussion and there will be interactive material for you to follow along and implement what you’ve heard in the podcast. Podcast 2 will continue the theme and build from the material. The goal is for you to learn and master a new skill each month. By the end of season two if you choose to go through each month you will have learned and mastered 12 new techniques to add to your diet/fitness/exercise tool belt. Stay tuned for more information.


Special thanks to Salima and Sarah and the Bone Wellness Centre for helping us with our scans and interpreting our data. If you’re in the southern Ontario area and want to get a DEXA scan done they are the only gig in town. They’re top notch service providers, super nice, and will give any of our customers a discount on their DEXA scan if you just mention our names when you make your appointment.

Sitting on the DEXA chatting with the girls at the Bone Wellness Centre

A special note about getting a scan done with Salima and Sarah. If you go to the Bone Wellness Centre for a DEXA scan they will give you a discount and we ask that you share your data with Brad and I for our ongoing development of diet and workout programs. I’m going to the clinic tomorrow to teach Salima and Sarah how to collect the Adonis Index measurements. This way we can correlate a picture, with AI measurements as well as the DEXA results to get a true indication of what makes up the AI shape. This is a win win as you get a discount on your DEXA and your information will help us make better programs for you.

If you’re interested in getting a scan go to their website at: Bone Wellness Centre


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Cardio: Yay or Nay?

“Cardio” You’ve heard the word a thousand times but do you really know what it even means? It’s likely that you have your own definition for what it means.

Cardio is a fitness industry derived short form for “Cardiovascular Exercise”

Just about any activity you do that increases your heart rate beyond resting can be considered cardiovascular exercise.

From a scientific standpoint cardiovascular exercise is characterized by various adaptations that take place in your body such as:

Increase stroke volume (the amount of blood the heart can push with each pump)

How much ‘cardio’ will you do?

Decreased resting blood pressure

Decreased resting heart rate (heart needs to beat less often because it can push more blood per beat as per increased stroke volume)

Increase capillary density (more of the tiny blood vessels that feed various target tissues)

Increase efficiency at delivering oxygen to target issues via increased capillary density

Increased exercise endurance (as per all above effects)

Increase red blood cell count

Helps many people reduce systemic stress

Lowers bad cholesterol

Increases good cholesterol

Increased insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake

And there are likely others that have slipped my mind…but you get the idea. Cardiovascular exercise is definitely beneficial for your overall health. You may have noticed that “fat burning” isn’t on this list…and that is because cardiovascular exercise alone cannot cause fat burning unless it’s combined with caloric control.

Yes it’s true that all forms of exercise burn more calories compared to sitting around doing nothing…but the amount of calories they burn is typically much less than most people think. And this is the bigger issue that most people are concerned with when it comes to ‘cardio’. Most people don’t give a s#!t about all the above mentioned health benefits of cardio…what they really want is to get lean.

In todays podcast we’ll discuss how important cardio really is for getting lean and how to approach it and incorporate it into your workout.



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RMR Testing Results

Burning fat requires a caloric deficit. In simple terms this means you must consume less total calories that you expend/burn in a given period of time. Most diet/fitness commentators will speak in terms of calories per day, but this seems even too short of time frame for most people to keep on top of. I like to teach people to view their calorie needs on a weekly basis and try to create a deficit as measured from the stand point of their weekly calories instead of their daily calories.

This means you can have a day or two of being even or even slightly above your daily calorie total as long as you have more days below your calorie total need. This way you can bank on having a few days per week where you get to eat a little more than other days. You can more easily accommodate a social eating schedule in this pattern of higher calorie days and lower calories days vs a specific strict calorie total that is the same every day.

So, if you accept that a caloric deficit is what is required in order to reduce the amount of body fat you are carrying the first step is to get some sort of idea of how many calories your body needs to maintain your current weight. In most cases this number will be slightly above your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).

You can find many RMR calculators online with wildly different results, this is because these calculators are based on equations that have various assumptions built into them. They are good for producing an approximate average for ‘most’ people, but they are never 100% accurate for any one person. Add an even more erroneous ‘activity’ factor calculation and these calculators can have you believing that you need to eat hundreds of calories more than you really do.

Question: How do you find out what your RMR likely is?

Answer: Have it clinically tested!

RMR Test Via Indirect Calorimetry

This is me getting my RMR tested…We have to breathe into this machine for 10 mins

Brad and I went to get our RMR’s clinically tested and in todays podcast we’ll talk about the procedure, the results, and the inherent biases, and margin of error that are associated with even a clinical RMR test. It’s not perfect but it’s the closet estimate you’re going to get to your real RMR and depending where you live it’s not that expensive either.


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Body Composition Testing Results

Understanding what makes up the look and shape of your body can help you determine what your focus should be with your diet and training program. There are multiple tools you can use to learn about your body including simple items like a scale, camera, mirror, measuring tape, and fat callipers. These tools are cheap and give you some quick metrics to help guide you towards your fitness goals. I’m biased towards the measuring tape and mirror as I believe the Venus Index measurements and the look you have in the mirror the most useful metrics you can possibly get. The combination of your VI measurements and your visual look should be the final say however there are other more sophisticated measurements that can also be of benefit if you want to learn more about your body. The two we will be talking about today are called DEXA and BodPod.


DEXA – Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry

This is Brad getting instructions prepping him for his DEXA scan (at the Bone Wellness Centre, Toronto On)

Me in the DEXA scanner (at the Bone Wellness Centre, Toronto On)

[Special thanks to Salima and Sarah at the Bone Wellness Centre for their service and expertise with the DEXA procedure…if you live in the Southern Ontario area and are interested in getting a DEXA done I encourage you to go to the Bone Wellness Centre)

Both of the measurements techniques require an appointment at a clinicians office as well as a small fee for use. Both devices provide very accurate measurements of fat mass vs lean body mass and will give results within 1-2% of each other. The DEXA specifically gives very detailed data on where your body holds it’s fat mass as well as showing your bone density and if you have any imbalances from one side of your body to the other in lean mass.


BODPOD – Air Displacement

Brad in the "bodpod"

If you’ve got the time and cash I recommend getting a DEXA scan to find out what your true body fat % is and where that fat is stored on your body. No other device can give you this level of detailed information. If you really want to know how your body is built, the DEXA is the new gold standard for finding out.

Combining the information from the DEXA with your mirror look and your Venus Index measurements will be the most informative set of data you can possibly get about your body composition.

Here are some pictures of Brad and I after we got our DEXA scans done.

I’m 10.6% bodyfat in these pictures (as measured by DEXA).


March 1st 2012 approx 10.6% bodyfat

Another shot from the same photoshoot on March 1st

Brad is 12.3% bodyfat in his pictures (as measured by DEXA).


Brads front double bicep shot

Brads side triceps shot, awesome pic


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Body Image Is Relative

The modern industrialized western civilizations that most of live in share a common characteristic..and that is the label of being an ‘obesogenic environments’. It seems that as our societies become wealthier the people that live in them eventually become heavier.

Food abundance, variety, accessibility and low cost make it almost impossible to avoid overeating without some degree of self restraint and attention.

As an analogy you could imagine that you’re a fish in a fast flowing stream. If you go with the stream you will gain weight. If you swim hard enough to stay in the same spot you’ll maintain your weight…and if you swim even harder you can actually start moving up stream and lose weight.

This is generally how you must view the environment you are living it. It’s a constant flow or push towards weight gain. If you don’t actively put energy into fighting this you can easily be washed away into the flow and start gaining weight just like the rest of the population.

Until we find a way to overhaul the entire society that you live in, it will always take some amount of effort on your part to either lose weight or maintain your weight without gaining unwanted fat. This is a fact of life and of the current societies we live in so you might as well accept it and get used to it.

In todays uncensored podcast we’ll discuss how this unrelenting force towards weight gain seeps into almost every social interaction and how you can learn to deal with it.

You’ll learn how feelings of envy, guilt, pride, shame, and suffering all play a role in the way people will react and interact with you.

Its All Relative!

It’s All Relative

The look and shape of your body will be viewed from a relative standpoint compared to everyone else. You can be the most ‘in shape’ person in one room, but then be the most ‘out of shape’ person in another room depending on the company you are keeping.

The type of social reactions and interactions you experience are also dependent to some degree on where your body and fitness level is compared to everyone you’re surrounded by.

With the Venus Index we remove this fitness relativity competition between individuals and give you a metric to only compete and compare yourself to yourself. This is a key factor to learning to be proud of your own body and not worry about what other people think.

If you allow the judgement of other people to affect the way you view your own body you will quickly become just like them. It’s your job to take your health and fitness into your own hands and also be proud of your accomplishment.

You’ve got to be satisfied with your body and building a great physique has to be a positive and motivating experience. It’s the only body you’ve got and the effect it can have on your life is too important to leave your satisfaction up to the subjective feedback of other people.

Your body, your success.


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Pounds Gained, Pounds Lost: Do Macros Matter?

Dieting for both fat loss or muscle gaining can be as simple or as complex as you make it. You can choose to eat one meal per day or six. You can cut out entire food groups and specific items such as sugar, grains, anything ‘processed’ (whatever that means) and on and on. You can choose to have a pre workout supplement and specific post workout shake/supplement/ritual. You can choose to go low carb, low fat, high fat, high protein, balanced macro nutrients etc. Any and all of these strategies can work if you take care of your total calories and your workout program.

What should your plate look like?

I want to know the simplest answer to get the results I’m after without complicating it any further than it needs to be.

So with that said the question I’m concerned with is the following:

“Are any of these strategies NECESSARY?”

Two new research papers were just recently published that shed some light on this subject and can help answer this question.

Free Living Weight Loss Study – Comparing Macronutrient Ratios

This study was looking at 4 different types of diets for weight loss. The difference in each group was the ratio of protein to carbs to fat for a duration of two years. The interesting part of this study was that the people in it were living freely and only following advice/instruction from the investigators. This is about as real as it would get to what would happen if you or I just picked up a diet book at the local bookstore and tried to apply the system on our own.

This experiment shows us quite accurately what happens when people try to follow a diet on their own without any support from a clinical research setting.

Metabolic Ward Weight Gain Study –  Comparing 3 Different Protein Levels

This study looked at three different protein levels on total weight gain. They were trying to find out that if people overate the same amount of calories but with different ratios of protein, would their weight gain be different? Or to say it another way, would the higher protein group gain more lean body mass instead of fat mass?

This study was very strictly controlled and the people in it were living in a metabolic ward only eating the foods provided and had their metabolic rates tested. Everything was done strictly and everything that could be measured was measured. In short, this study was the complete opposite of the first study we reviewed in every way.

In todays podcast we’ll discuss the findings of these two studies and explain what the relative merits are of these two types of study designs. You’ll learn if manipulating macronutrient ratios in a free living setting can affect weight loss, and you’ll also learn if manipulating protein content can change the type of weight you will gain if you over eat.

You’ll also learn a bit more about how nutrition research is done and how to be a smart consumer of diet and fitness information.


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Restrained Eating vs Calorie Restriction

When you decide to go ‘on a diet’ you must be clear with what you’re doing and where to place your efforts.

This may sound rather simplistic but the concept of ‘dieting’ means something different to each person depending on what their current belief about food and dieting is.

Is this what dieting feels like to you?

This doesn’t mean there are multiple causes for weight loss…there is in fact only one thing that actually causes weight loss, and that is a caloric deficit regardless of the foods you choose to eat…this has been proven across multiple studies and even in pop culture films.

Missing this point could lead to focusing on the wrong ideas such as good vs bad foods, or eating at specific times of day, or specific styles of eating. All of these other techniques have something in common – they are forms of restrained eating.

Restrained Eating vs Calorie Restriction

A distinction needs to be made between Restrained Eating vs Calorie Restriction

Restrained eating is the act of abstaining or avoid certain foods, entire food categories, specific ingredients (like sugar) or eating in specific patterns that eliminate social flexibility.

BUT restrained eating does not address the point of caloric control. In other words, you could be a highly restrained eater with very few food choices you deem as acceptable or healthy but still overeat those foods such that you’re consuming more calories than you need.

Restrained eating also sets you up for major binge and crash episodes when you eat even just one bite of foods that you have arbitrarily labeled as ‘forbidden’. Retrained eating will rarely lead to long term sustainable weight loss success because of the crash and binge scenario is presents when you crack and finally have a bite of forbidden food…and we all eventually crack.

Calorie Restriction

Calorie restriction is simply eating less total calories than you burn in order to create a deficit that must be made up by your bodyfat. This is the only scientifically validated way to actually lose bodyfat. You can choose to eat whatever foods you wish within your calorie ‘limit’ for the day and still lose weight. This is a much different mindset from restrained eating because you are free to eat a variety of foods including ones that other restrained eaters might deem as forbidden.

Recent research has shown that restrained eaters will crack and binge after eating just a few bites of forbidden food, whereas this same event does not happen to unrestrained eaters.

 The Good Food vs Bad Food Trap

This research also indicates that the more foods you designate as bad or forbidden the more likely you are to crack, crash and binge.

Setting up an extensive list of forbidden foods is not a solution to weight loss, weight maintenance and a satisfying relationship with food. It’s a recipe for obsessive compulsive disorder and never being truly in control of your eating.

Instead you should be striving to eliminate your forbidden food list all together and change it to a list of foods you eat more often, less often, and very infrequent.

This way all foods have their place, none are ‘bad’, and you can enjoy them without guilt.

In todays uncensored podcast we’ll discuss this research and show how restrained eating leads to a vicious cycle of shame, disappointment and guilt, which leads to more compensatory eating.


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Life isn’t fair…deal with it!

The concept of fairness and equality of human rights seems to get blurred when we think of diet and fitness.

All humans deserve the same treatment, the same freedom, and the same opportunity in life…however not all human actually experience equality in human rights. It’s unfortunate but it’s true, we live in an unfair world.

As human beings I believe that we have an equal right to our lives and freedom.

Life Isn’t Fair…Deal with it!


As biological organisms we’re just not built the same and thus our opportunities and physical challenges will be different based on our biology.

For example, someone who is 7 feet tall has a much better chance of playing professional basketball than someone who is 5’5. This doesn’t mean they’re not equally human, it just means they’re packaged in different bodies.

You may think it is ‘unfair’ that the taller person has a chance to earn millions of dollars playing a sport that the other person has virtually zero chance at…and you would be right…it is unfair…and so is the rest of life…deal with it.

We’re all different from one another and we should never expect our specific path to body transformation to be exactly the same as someone else.

Your specific genetic make up, lifestyle factors, social constraints, geographical location, and even financial situation will shape the path you take to changing and maintaining your body.

You shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone else and assume you will have exactly the same experience as them.

In some situations you will have an advantage over others, and in some situations you will be at a disadvantage.

It may not be fair, but it’s reality…once again…deal with it.

You and I can always look to someone else who seems to have it better than we do. If we focus on our specific shortcomings and on the apparent advantages that others may have we can always find an excuse why it won’t work for us and find a reason to give up.

This is why you should train yourself to focus only on you and forget about everyone else.

When it comes time to change your body it’s ok to be a total narcissist…in fact it’s the only way to make it work and to make it stick. It MUST be about you and nobody else, otherwise you will drown yourself in doubt and excuses.

Your specific set of circumstances set up your unique challenges to achieving and maintaining a body you will be satisfied with over the long term.

It might be harder for some people than you, and it might be easier for some people than you…so what.

It doesn’t matter if it seems like ‘everyone else’ can do it easier than you, or has less distance to travel, or has less issues to overcome than you…when it comes to your body transformation, ‘they’ don’t matter…only ‘you’ matters. This doesn’t mean we’re not all equal as people…it just means we’re different physically and that is perfectly normal to be different but equal.


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Responsibility vs Blame: Do you know the difference?

You and I can choose to change our bodies, or we can choose to stay as we are. Regardless of your circumstances it’s still a choice. And you will always be responsible for that choice and your body.

This is not the attitude to change your bod...I love Despair Inc posters!

There are very few people who simply have no choice when it comes to making a real change in their bodies. For the vast majority of us and that likely includes you, there is simply the choice to make a change and then following through with that choice. There is noobody to ‘blame’ and nobody who will take responsibility for your body besides you.

There will be real effort involved, there will be considerations and attention to detail that will be required on the diet and there will be time and dedication required in the gym. Make no mistake about it, you can change as much as you want once you commit to it.

There is however another type of change that you may not realize has to happen in order for you to get where you want to go. And that is a mental change.

Many of us has self defeating mental mindsets and programs that we are almost completely unaware of.  We can easily fall into a self destructive pattern for one of many reasons. We may me too critical of ourselves, or want perfection when it simply does not exist. Holding yourself to an unrealistic and unattainable standard is a sure fire way to sabootage your success just when you start to make real progress.

In order to make a lasting change in your body you need to also make the associated mentall changes that will make the process possible without defeating yourself. The reason most people eventually give up on a diet or gain the weight back that they have lost is not because they weren’t tough enough, it’s because they never worked on the mental side of the change along with the physical side.

You must make the process a mind AND body transformation.

The process won’t be perfect, there will be ups, and there will be downs. You will doubt yourself along the way…you will stumble, you will fall, you will feel like giving up. This is normal, we all have moments like these. The key is to get back up after you stumble and after you fall forgive yourself for being human, accept that you’re not perfect (nor is anyone else), dust yourself off and get back to work.

In today’s podcast, I speak with Dr. Nicola Bird about the process of change and how we learn to blame external factors for stumbling and falling. We discuss how our inner mental voice can be very critical and what the real difference is between blame and responsibility. It’s a bit of a lesson in tough love but it’s the words that many of us need to hear to stay on track and finally make a body transformation that will stick for good.


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