Gary 'Smiler' Turner's Blog

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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Need to lose weight ASAP

I've just had a Facebook message asking me for help, looking for a gym, as they "need to lose weight ASAP"

Here is my response:

"Here's some free advice that most people pay for, so I'll keep it simple and brief.

Good move getting in shape. Don't think though that exercise (in isolation) is any good for weight loss. The systematic reviews and meta-analysis show that you won't actually lose weight long term just using exercise on its own. In particular, weight training is particularly useless at burning fat.

Oh, and just about everyone who diets, in fact around 95% of people who diet (according to the research into the research) end up fatter at the end of a year.

Shocking isn't it?


Exercise is the KEY component in the success stories. Weight training maintains and even increases muscle mass even when dieting keeping and increasing your health. Moving has massive health benefits - and the ONLY common component in successful long term weight maintenance is exercise.

So, exercise is key in weight loss - just not in isolation.

You need to look at your nutrition too. You need to 'undo' potential metabolic damage to your system.

- Cut out ALL processed food.
- Cut out grains and sugar.
- Don't cut out food groups but only eat low GI and low GL carbs.
- Cut out grains and any potential allergens
- Eat simple foods from whole food sources.
- Have animal protein with every meal.
- Eat only when hungry, stop when no longer hungry.
- Drink only when thirsty

This will help you not only set yourself up for fat burning rather than fat storing but will also help you adjust your 'set point' allowing you to lose weight and keep it off in accordance with your biology.

If you want to maximise fat burning during exercise then do your weights before your cardio - sets the maximal hormonal conditions for fat burning.

Oh, and train on an empty stomach too, to help mobilise the fat from your cells.

Hope this helps!"

I regularly go through the entire process of fat loss and exactly what is needed to be done in my workshops. There are so many myths in respect to the diet and weight loss industries - it is important to get people the right information. This blog just gives a tiny heads up on the masses of information I present to help people find the right approach for them as an individual.

Let me know what you think.


  1. Had a few shares on this blog, and a few PM's and comments, one where someone nicely looked for further direction which is in respect to water:

    In respect to drinking only when thirsty, the body is designed to operate in a dehydrated state and not an overhydrated state.

    Most of the symptoms associated with being dehydrated are actually caused by being over-hydrated - if the symptom is there but no thirst then the symptom isn't from dehydration. The only 'pure' symptom of dehydration is thirst.

    The body therefore is designed to perform in a dehydrated state until such time as fluid can be taken on board, and thirst tells us when the body needs some.

    The body is always looking to maintain homeostasis - balance, a set point, within variable tolerances. The tolerances are up to 10-12% dehydrated in some endurance athletes (where the winners tend to be the most dehydrated) but there is very little or no variable tolerance in respect to being over-hydrated.

    This is why we are already dehydrated before we get thirsty - the body tells us when we actually need it.

  2. The other comment was "Totally lost me with the suggestion of animal protein at every meal."

    I love it when belief-sets get challenged.

    I responded with "why?" followed by "If you're a veggie adjust to get the complete proteins - yet, you have to get clever, and animal protein will give the best sources of nutrients in the context that they are needed here."

    1. Hi Gary, could you give more info on what you mean by "adjust to get the complete proteins" please.

    2. It is very hard to get complete proteins from vegetable sources. Animal sources make it far easier. I am not a vetarian expert, so I called on some advice from the very knowledgeable Tom Barbieri. He very helpfully writes:

      "There are many sources of complete proteins out there that are not animal-based, like seitan and tempeh. Quinoa, buckwheat, and hummus also come to mind. Lentils, spirulina, hemp, and chia are also valuable, complete sources of protein. I've had many clients be successful in their objectives on a vegetarian and/or vegan diet by assorting their eating with other high protein(...not necessarily complete) plant-based foods - some of which are kale, broccoli, some nuts, and beans.

      One thing to keep in mind too is that the body is very good and creating complete proteins on its own and more effectively from plant-based sources of proteins that are not complete. Typically, this cannot happen from incomplete protein sources from animals. This is due to the wide variety of amino acid profiles find in a huge variety of plant-based foods."

  3. So hopefully that will help people to understand a couple of points better. If one person is asking, others are too.

  4. Amazing how everything that was once thought of as 'the right way' is now questioned. Drink lots of water being just one. Gary, I think you help a great many people and you're not always aware of it. I know three colleagues at my old work who bought your book on my recomendation and they swear its changed their lives. Diet and nutrition is such a murky area, an area that isn't really regulated despite what the FDA and all the other people will tell you.....its full of people telling you whats best for you to eat that'll put money in their pockets: see juice plus and your old favourite herbal life. My own weight has been like a rollercoaster based on whether I'm training for anything and whether I'm in a good mental state at the time. A poor mental state may well see me reach for a Mars bar and some crisps. Am listening to Wheatbelly at the moment which definitely has made me stay away from grains and I'm trying to avoid Gluten.....interestingly I have alopecia: in case you hadn't noticed :-) which has stopped any hair growth for 16 year, since cutting grains and gluten I'm experiencing hair growth. Thanks for all your posts and wisdom you do help a lot. My best, Martin

  5. Martin thank you so much for your feedback!

    That's really cool about the grains and gluten - I hadn't heard that one!

    Interestingly stress physiologically is a great fat burner, yet at the same time drives the psychology to comfort through eating...which is why some people get thinner when stressed and others put it on...

    Thanks for the book feedback too!