Archive for April, 2017

Concerta for Adult ADD

concertaLast month I knew nothing about Concerta. I was at the doctors office a few weeks ago talking to him about some tendon issues in my arm when my wife and I talked to him about how scattered and how funny it is that I bounce from thing to thing all the time. The doctor started asking some questions and thought I may have adult ADD. Here are the types of questions that the doctor asked:

  • Do I have trouble finishing larger tasks?
  • Do I lose concentration easily?
  • Am I forgetful?
  • Do my moods bounce around a lot

Well I seemed to qualify on all the points and on the way home my wife and I talked a bit and as much as I like being clueless, distracted, and happy go lucky I really could do a lot better things in life if I could just complete a lot more tasks efficiently instead of having a lot of open loops of unfinished stuff (you should see all the unfinished posts I could publish on this blog).

Anyway last week I went back to the doctor and started with Concerta, which is an adult ADD drug that is taken once a day in the morning. The way I started was with an 18 mg tablet in the morning and then after a week (three days ago) went up to two tablets. The change has been striking to say the least.

What is Concerta?

Concerta is just one of a whole bunch of ADD medications that include methylphenidate such as Ritalin. The advantage with Concerta is that is is time released so there is no ups and downs and the morning dose really helps me starting about 30 minutes after I take it and goes for about 12 hours. Many of these types of drugs get confused in peoples minds as antidepressants but it will take several weeks for an antidepressant to really help where with the Concerta I found that it helped me right away on the first day with what it was supposed to do.

First of all I want to dispel one myth. There is an attitude out there that ADD drugs make  people lethargic and quiet and kinda dopey but I have found that this has not been the case at all. I guess if I had ADHD (the hyperactive version) this may be the case but I am always very creative and very talkative and live a life where I tend to be very excited and this has not changed.

My Concerta for ADD Experience

So what has Concerta done for me? Well I get up and go to work. I will surf around a bit catching up with news and tech and fitness stuff and then will dive into one of ten projects on the go. I now can keep my concentration on one subject for hours if needed where before I would just lose interest and move onto something else pretty quickly, this is classic ADD behavior apparently.

Also as far as posting to blogs is concerned I have a few blogs with this Fitness blog being my main one and have probably 100 or so ideas in various states of completion. What I have been able to do is start to knock off a few posts a day and not have much trouble completing things.

My wife is really happy as well with the effect of the concerta on me. I have things that I always talk about wanting to get done and on the weekend I am just running through them and still have lots of time to hang out with the kids.

Downsides of Concerta?

So far no downsides. This newly diagnosed ADD and the Concerta that I have been taking for it have been fine with no side effects. Some people report having trouble sleeping but I find that I sleep great although I should probably be going to bed earlier with the damn dog getting me up so early in the morning for his walk. If you do have any of those symptoms above or can relate to what I have been writing about here in this post let me know. Also talk to your doctor. I find that this for me has been a bit of a lucky break from an offhand comment at the doctors office and a prescription for Concerta and has really turned my life around so if the story helps anyone else I would be glad to hear it.

How to Avoid Metabolic Slowdown

Here is a Tom Venuto Q and A on how to avoid metabolic slowdown. As you probably know, if you diet to hard or do not exercise while dieting your metabolism will slow down and make it much more difficult to lose weight.

Here is Tom from Burn the Fat Feed the Muscles response to this problem of metabolic slowdown that many dieters have.

QUESTION: Tom, Is it possible to not lose body fat because you’re eating too little?

ANSWER: Yes and no. This gets a little complicated so let me explain both sides.

Part one of my answer: I say NO, because if you are in a calorie deficit you WILL lose weight.

Most people have heard anecdotes of the dieter who claims to be eating 800 calories a day or some starvation diet level of intake that is clearly in a deficit and yet is not losing fat. Like the mythical unicorn, such an animal does not exist.

Fat-loss-before-and-afterEvery time you take a person like that and put them in a hospital research center or metabolic ward where their food can be counted, weighed, measured and almost literally “spoon fed” to them, a calorie deficit always producesweight loss.

There are no exceptions, except possibly in rare diseases or mutations. Even then metabolic or hormonal defects or diseases merely lead to energy imbalance via increases in appetite, decreases in energy expenditure or changes in energy partitioning. So at the end of the day it’s STILL calories in versus calories out.

In other words, NO – it’s NOT your thyroid (unless you’ve got a confirmed diagnosis as such…and then guess what… it’s STILL calories in vs calories out, you’re just not burning as many as someone should at your height and ).

One famous study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine years ago proved this point rather dramatically. After studying obese people – selected specifically because they swore they were eating less than 1200 calories but could not lose – Steven Lichtman and his colleages at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York came to the following conclusion:

“The failure of some obese subjects to lose while eating a diet they report as low in calories is due to an energy intake substantially higher than reported and an overestimation of physical activity, not to an abnormality in thermogenesis.”

That’s right – the so-called “diet-resistant” subjects were eating more than they thought and moving less than they thought. This was probably the single best study ever published that debunks the “I’m in a calorie deficit but I can’t lose ” myth:

Part two of my answer, YES, because:

1) Energy intake increases.

Eating too little causes major increases in appetite. With hunger raging out of control, you lose your deficit by overeating. This happens in many ways, such as giving in to cravings, binge eating, eating more on weekends or simply being inconsistent, so some days you’re on your prescribed 1600 calories a day or whatever is your target amount, but on others you’re taking in 2200, 2500, 3000 etc and you don’t realize it or remember it. The overeating days wipe out the deficit days.

2) Metabolism decreases due to smaller body mass.

Any time at all when you’re losing weight, your metabolism is slowly decreasing due to your reduced body mass. The smaller and lighter you get, especially if there’s a large drop in skeletal muscle mass, the fewer calories you need. So your calorie deficit slowly shrinks over time as your diet progresses. As a result, your progress slows down even though you haven’t changed how much you eat.

With starvation, you always lose weight, but eventually you lose so much /body mass that you can reach energy balance at the same caloric intake you used to lose on. You might translate that as “I went into starvation mode” which wouldn’t be incorrect, but it would be more accurate to say that your calorie needs decreased.

3) Metabolism decreases due to adaptive thermogenesis.

Eating too little also causes a starvation response (adaptive thermogenesis) where metabolic rate can decrease above and beyond what can be accounted for from the change in body mass (#2 above). This is “starvation response” in the truest sense. It does exist and it is well documented. However, the latest research says that the vast majority of the decrease in metabolism comes from reduced body mass. The adaptive component of the reduced metabolic rate is fairly small, perhaps 10% (ie, 220 calories for an average female with a 2200 TDEE). The result is when you don’t eat enough, your actual loss is less than predicted on paper, but loss doesn’t stop completely.

There is a BIG myth about starvation mode (adaptive thermogenesis) that implies that if you don’t eat enough, your metabolism will slow down so much that you stop losing weight. That can’t happen, it only appears that way because loss stops for other reasons. What happens is the math equation changes!

Energy balance is dynamic, so your loss slows down and eventually stops over time if you fail to adjust your calories and activity levels in real time each week.

I teach a system for how to adjust calories and activity weekly using a feedback loop method in my Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle program (more info from

So what can be done to stop this metabolic slowdown caused by low calorie dieting and the dreaded fat loss plateau that follows? I recommend the following 5 tips:

1) Lose the pounds slowly.

Slow and steady wins in long term fat loss and maintenance every time. Rapid loss correlates strongly with relapse and loss of lean body mass. Aim for one to two pounds per week, or no more than 1% of total body (ie, 3 lbs per week if you weigh 300 lbs).

2) Use a higher energy flux program.

If you are physically capable of exercise, then use training AND cardio to increase your calorie expenditure, so you can still have a calorie deficit, but at a higher food intake (also known as a “high energy flux” program, or as we like to say in Burn The Fat, “eat more, burn more.”)

3) Use a conservative calorie deficit.

You must have a calorie deficit to lose fat, but your best bet is to keep the deficit small. This helps you avoid triggering the starvation response, which includes the increased appetite and potential to binge that comes along with starvation diets. I recommend a 20% deficit below your maintenance calories (TDEE), a 30% deficit at most for those with high body fat.

4) Refeed.

Increase your calories (re-feed) for a full day periodically (once a week or so if you are heavy, twice a week if you are already lean), to restimulate metabolism. On the higher calorie day, take your calories to maintenance or even 10, 15, 20% above maintenance and add the extra calories in the form of carbs (carb cycling). The leaner you get, and the longer you’ve been on reduced calories, the more important the re-feeds will be. (You can learn more about this method in chapter 12 of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle at

5) Take periodic diet breaks.

Take 1 week off your calorie restricted diet approximately every 12 weeks or so. During this period, take your calories back up to maintenance, but continue to eat healthy, “clean” foods. Alternately, go into a muscle building phase if increasing lean mass is one of your goals. This will bring metabolism and regulatory hormones back up to normal and keep lean body mass stable.

There is much confusion about how your metabolism, hormones and appetite mechanisms are affected when you’re dieting, so this was really one of the most important questions anyone could have asked. You need to be concerned about metabolic slowdown if you want to lose especially fat.

If this didn’t REALLY click – then you may want to save this and read it again because misunderstanding this stuff  leads more people to remain frustrated and stuck at plateaus than anything else I can think of.

If you’d like to learn exactly how you should be eating to lose 2 lbs of fat per week, while trying to avoid metabolic slowdown then visit

Related Fitness, health, and Weight Loss posts:

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  2. What is the Zero Calorie Diet You would think that almost every month a new diet or two pops up out of nowhere. However, the zero calorie diet is nothing new; rather, it is just another…
  3. What Calories Really Are and How Understanding Them Will Help You Lose Weight If you’ve been on a diet before, then you’ve probably heard people talk about calories. So what are calories? Why are they so important in loss? Without knowing these crucial…
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Home Gym Equipment: The Multigym

If you hate gyms but want a toned and strong body, then considering an investment in some home gym equipment may be your answer. Also known as multigyms, home gyms let you consistently workout and help you build muscle, tone up and keep a healthy heart.

Home gyms are for those who want to change their body shape and become more toned and fit. Make sure to get a stack of hand heldweights with a range of so you can build up. Using light weights every day leads to athletic toned arms and legs.

Why Would You Want a Home Gym

multigymYour home gym can help you become stronger by toning your core muscles,  the smaller, more internal muscles attached to your bones. You do not need to have massive muscles to be stronger. If however you do want to build muscle and gain an eye catching six pack, then your home gym will do this for you too if you increase your weights gradually each week.

So, what features do you look for in home gym equipment? It largely depends on what you want to gain from your gym. The more areas of your body that you want to focus on, the more features your home gym equipment should have.

To make it clearer, here are some different parts of the gym defined.

  • The lat pulldown or lat bar is a long handlebar above your head with a cable attached to it. It is connected to a stack of weights. You can either stand, kneel or sit and pull it down towards you and ease it back up again to exercise your shoulders and upper arms.
  • The press arms are when you push or pull with your hands to tone your upper body and arms. If you want to broaden your shoulders or chest, this machine will help.
  • A pec deck is two levers below the press arms. This machine will condition the arms and chest in a different way and gives you great pectoral muscle definition.
  • A leg extension is orientated at your feet where you will see a T-shape padded roll. You pull this up and then away from you to exercise your legs. It’s great for training up for running and powering up hills!
  • The stack is the center of your home gym. It is a stack of weights giving resistance during your workout. An adjustable metal pin lets you choose the amount of resistance you want by connecting or disconnecting the weights from your machine. This also saves you physically moving them.
  • The station is where you can stand, lie or sit to exercise. A home gym can have one or more of these as space allows.

So make a note of which particular area of your body you want to focus on: your arms, shoulders, chest, back, legs, or abs to determine which type of home gym equipment you go for. Decide on your fitness goals such as, what kind of exercise routine you want, whether the equipment will fit in your home and what the costs are. With these considerations in mind, you will choose the perfect home gym equipment for you.

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