The Complete Guide to Fasting

The Complete Guide to Fasting – Jason Fung MD, Jimmy Moore
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

Thousands of books have been written about the latest and greatest diets that will help people lose weight and improve health. But a key element in any successful nutritional health program is a tried-and-true method that most people haven’t thought about—yet it could be revolutionary for taking health to the next level. This ancient secret is fasting.

Fasting is not about starving oneself. When done right, it’s an incredibly effective therapeutic approach that produces amazing results regardless of diet plan. In fact, Toronto-based nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung has used a variety of fasting protocols with more than 1,000 patients, with fantastic success. In The Complete Guide to Fasting, he has teamed up with international bestselling author and veteran health podcaster Jimmy Moore to explain what fasting is really about, why it’s so important, and how to fast in a way that improves health. Together, they make fasting as a therapeutic approach both practical and easy to understand.

The Complete Guide to Fasting explains:

• why fasting is actually good for health
• who can benefit from fasting (and who won’t)
• the history of fasting
• the various ways to fast: intermittent, alternate-day, and extended fasting
• what to expect when starting to fast
• how to track progress while fasting
• the weight loss effects of fasting
• how to ward off potential negative effects from fasting

The book also provides tools to help readers get started and get through their fasts, including a 7-Day Kick-Start Fasting Plan and healing liquid recipes.


Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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WGP 048: Obesity – It’s Your Hormones, Not the Calories

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Obesity:

  • I’ll explain why obesity is a disease and also a major hidden cause of other diseases
  • I’ll talk about the difference between being obese and being overweight
  • I’ll explain how obesity is caused by hormonal imbalances and not by eating too many calories
  • Finally, I’ll give you a few holistic lifestyle strategies to reduce obesity, regain health, and feel awesome in your own skin


It’s no secret. The world today has a lot more fat and sick people than there were 150 years ago. Seeing an obese person way back in the day meant having to visit a carnival or circus that’s how rare obesity was. Unfortunately today you just got to walk outside or turn on the tele and you’ll see excessively large people everywhere.

Since the 1980s obesity rates have doubled. Hmm, I wonder what happened in the 80s? Ah that’s right the low fat recommendation from the American health authorities. Good one guys. Today this misguided unscientific nonsensical low-fat strategy has lead to about 13% of the world’s adult population being categorised as obese and about 50 million kids worldwide under the age of 5 being defined as obese. That’s what gets me the most, seeing overweight and obese infants and children.

Now the World Health Organization has a list of the top 10 leading causes of death and smoking tobacco isn’t even on the list, but we all know that smoking causes many chronic diseases that eventually will lead to death. This is what the World Health Organisation says about smoking:

“Tobacco use is a major cause of many of the world’s top killer diseases – including cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease and lung cancer. In total, tobacco use is responsible for the death of about 1 in 10 adults worldwide. Smoking is often the hidden cause of the disease recorded as responsible for death.”

Interesting right? In fact the World Health Organization label smoking as the number one killer, but they still don’t put it on the list. Instead you’ll see diseases relating to the heart, brain, lungs, and infections.

This is where obesity comes in. Even though it’s not listed, just like smoking as a leading cause of death, obesity is a major hidden cause of many of those on the list. The top 3 by the way are heart disease, stroke, and lung related diseases all of which are due to the obstruction in blood and oxygen flow to the heart, brain, and lungs.

The thing about obesity is that most people think it’s just a weight issue and obese people are eating too much and not exercising enough. While I agree that some of the health problems associated with obesity is due to the large amount of weight on the body causing physical dysfunction, obesity causes more harm through physiological and biochemical damage because of its ability to disrupt the function of other systems in your body.

You see your body isn’t stupid. It has specific feedback loops and safety mechanisms to prevent the excessive loss or accumulation of fat and it has to control the amount of fat on your body because your fat cells are actually another organ. So when your fat levels get out of balance the key functions that they perform will be disrupted.

One of the functions of fat is fat acts as a warehouse for toxins. When your body is unable to fully metabolise, process, and eliminate toxins it stores the toxins in fat cells. Fat also sends signals and hormones that can have a positive or negative effect on your immune system and your metabolism. Your fat cells send out immune signals controlling inflammation and stress in your body. Your fat cells also send out hormones telling you that you’re full and will increase fat metabolism, i.e. fat-burning.

But when you have too much fat this will increase the amount of pro-inflammatory signals called cytokines increasing the amount of inflammation and stress in your body putting it in a catabolic state or a state of breaking down. Too much fat will also cause your satiety hormone leptin to be produced in excessively large amounts and your brain will become leptin resistant because there’s too much to take in. Meaning you will still feel hungry even though your body may already be carrying a lot of fat. Plus leptin resistance reduces fat metabolism and the amount of fat you burn causing you to hold onto more fat.

So just as there is heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, kidney stones, thyroiditis, arthritis, osteoporosis, autoimmune conditions and many other illnesses centred around particular organs and systems there is an illness, a disease of your fat cells and that my friend is called obesity and obesity is a disease that can cause further health issues in the future.

Now I don’t like to use the conventional classification system for defining whether someone is overweight or obese. Currently this is defined by your body mass index or BMI. BMI is supposed to calculate body fat based on your weight and height, but the calculation has a massive flaw. It doesn’t take into account lean muscle mass and bone mass and water weight. So you could have a fit athlete with 10% body fat, but a high BMI and have a very sick person with 30% body fat, but a medium BMI and the athlete would be categorised as obese and the sick person overweight, and this is not a good indicator of a healthy body.

So I define being overweight as holding on to a few extra kilos of fat and looking a bit soft and fluffy and chubby in the mirror, but still having normal healthy metabolic, hormonal, and immune function. This is very different to being obese, which is a person who is also carrying extra fat weight and has a broken metabolism and a weak immune system because their hormones are out of balance.

Okay so what causes obesity?

“Obesity is not caused by consuming too many calories.”

Yes you heard right. Obesity is not caused by consuming too many calories. It is true that you can become overweight by eating a huge amount of calories even those calories come from whole real food sources, but you would never become obese. Your hormonal system regulating hunger and appetite would kick in and prevent you from eating more then you need. Once you do become obese this is when you will be unable to control the amount of calories you take in and will begin to eat well beyond your body’s requirements.

What pushes you over the edge from being overweight to becoming obese isn’t the calories. It is an underlying hidden malfunction in your body’s hormonal system. When your sex hormones, growth hormones, hormones regulating metabolism and stress, when these are no longer playing the same song and in sync with each other a lot of things go wrong in your body including broken detox pathways, lowered immunity, decrease in muscle mass, increase in fat mass, and an increase in appetite for nutrient-poor foods.

So in this respect obesity turns out to be a symptom of other health issues that are already going on in your body.

The leading cause for your hormones going out of balance and for obesity in my book is eating a nutrient deficient diet. Your body is not a finite object, but an infinite process in constant flux and change. It’s constantly breaking itself down and building itself up. If you don’t consume enough nutrient dense foods then your body is left hanging without the right building blocks to build hormones, neurotransmitters, immune cells, bone, muscle, cartilage, ligaments, organs, blood, etc. Also after a meal your body will search for the nutrients it needs in that meal and if it doesn’t find it guess what happens? You get hungry again a lot sooner than you should and you eat more food. And while your body is craving nutrition you begin to crave less nutritious food.

So if all you eat is junk nutrient deficient fake pretend food-like products like commercial bread, biscuits, corn chips, French fries, candy, vegetable oils, soy milk, etc then you are setting your body up for hormonal havoc and mayhem and chronic hunger as it won’t have the necessary parts to make hormones and this will increase your chances of becoming obese. As you can see here it’s not how much you eat, but what you eat that matters most.

“You can be overfed, but so undernourished”

Which is the sad state for a third of westernised populations today.

Another cause for hormonal dysfunction deals with insulin sensitivity. When your cells are insulin sensitive nutrients are taken out of your bloodstream and absorbed. However, just as you can become leptin resistant due to excessive leptin production, excessive insulin production will cause your cells to become insulin resistant. This means that when there are nutrients in your blood, like glucose it will not be absorbed by your cells and this will cause damage to your tissues. So in order to prevent further damage from happening sugar in your blood will be turned into fat and stored away in your fat cells. Eating too many carbohydrates especially processed and refined sugar and fructose and not getting enough quality restorative sleep will cause high insulin production and insulin resistance.

Another cause for obesity is an underactive or hypoactive thyroid gland. Your thyroid produces thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism and temperature and if your thyroid is hypoactive your metabolism slows right down making it very difficult for your body to burn stored fat as fuel. Here’s a list of things that can disrupt thyroid function:

  • Gluten
  • Stress
  • Too much exercise
  • Chemicals in tap water
  • Chemical compounds found in plastics and
  • Certain medications

Another underlying cause for hormonal mayhem and obesity is stress.
Whether it be physical, emotional, or mental any perceived stress if left to linger long enough becoming chronic will cause chronic inflammation upsetting your normal hormonal rhythm moving you from an anabolic and growing state to a catabolic and breakdown state and unfortunately in this catabolic state the one thing that does keep growing are your fat cells.

The health of your gut and gut microbiota will also determine the health of your hormonal system and your fat levels. If your gut is leaky, meaning it’s damaged, and if you have dysbiosis, meaning you have more harmful pathogens than beneficial probiotics living in your gut this will cause a rise in inflammatory signals, stress hormones and depending on your genetics and epigenetic expression this may lead to obesity. Plus a damaged gut will mean you won’t be digesting and absorbing the full amount of nutrients from your foods leaving your body in a nutrient deficient state, which I talked about earlier.

Probably the least known root cause for obesity are obesogens. Which is ironic because these obesogens are Persistent Organic Pollutants or POPs and they are actually out in the open in plain sight for all to see. Obesogens are chemical compounds found in the environment that act as endocrine disrupters, meaning they screw up your hormonal system. They hijack it and create chemical chaos throughout your entire body. This hormonal havoc causes a whole wealth of health issues from cancer to autoimmune conditions and it also increases fat cell number and fat cell size. Obesogens can be found in:

  • Plastics
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Flame retardant materials (such as in clothing and furniture)
  • Treated wood and textiles (such as in building materials)
  • Additives used in paints
  • Non-stick cookware and even in certain
  • Pharmaceutical drugs

Let me put all these obesogens together into a pretty terrifying yet common scenario we see today. Let’s say you have a new born baby. You bring him home to your brand new house with building materials, furniture, paint, and new carpets all chemically treated, some of them containing flame retardant chemicals and all of this is off-gassing or releasing chemicals into the air, also known as that beautiful new house smell. You dress your beautiful boy in flame retardant pyjamas. You use a plastic bottle to feed him non-organic formula, which contains sprayed ingredients. And finally you put him to bed in a brand new non-organic chemically treated cot. This is just a chemical toxic soup that this poor kid is living in and he doesn’t stand a chance against growing up without becoming obese or at least experiencing other health issues.

Now along with obesogens I have to mention environmental toxins and toxic chemicals. Remember fat cells are used by your body as a storage unit for toxins. So if you’re chronically exposed to heavy metals, air pollution, and eating a lot of pesticide and herbicide sprayed foods and eating meat from sick toxic animals your liver, kidneys, your entire detoxification system will become overloaded and will be unable to process, breakdown, and eliminate the excessive amount of toxins. As a last resort, so your body doesn’t shut down and die due to toxic poisoning, all those toxins that are not eliminated will be shoved into your fat cells.

“Fat cells don’t just store energy they also store poison.”

This is also why a rapid and dramatic reduction in fat isn’t a good idea without proper supervision and guidance. A lot of obese people their health actually gets worse when burning a lot fat too quickly. Just keep in mind the saying slow and steady wins the race. If you lose fat too fast those toxins are going to be flooding your system and you do not want that.

So those are a few examples and there are more of how a person can become obese without eating a lot of calories. Obesity like every other disease is not caused by one thing, but many things related to your environment, your food, and how you perceive life.

It isn’t just a physical weight problem, but more a physiological, biochemical, and really a hormonal problem. Obesity is a symptom of an underlying hormonal issue in your body and is not caused by eating too many calories, but it will cause you to overeat.

Obesity is also a disease that gives rise to the top leading causes of death.

Alright let’s get into how to heal from and prevent obesity and how to get your hormones humming to a happy and healthy tune.

First up, watch what you eat. Watch it. Get off the inflammatory foods, the chemically sprayed foods, and the highly refined and processed junk fake pretend food-like products. No gluten, no sugars, no pasteurised dairy, no industrial seed oils, no junk. Watch out for the carbs especially as eating too many carbs will cause a lot of insulin to be produced and you want insulin and blood sugar to be in the Goldilocks zone, just right. Real food from Mother Nature communicates with your hormones on an informational level where they speak the same language. By just eating real food you’ll keep your hormones in balance and in harmony and this hormonal bliss will keep your body composition balanced and in check.

Next up, reduce your perceived stress. Practise relaxation techniques. Get a massage, meditate, breathe mindfully, and watch the amount of physical stress you’re under. If you don’t have a formal exercise routine get moving and start working out. If you do exercise regularly and religiously maybe you’re overdoing it and need to do less working out and more working in. If you’re obese then your body is already under enough physical stress as it is, so working out would just add to that stress so look at working in. Working in is where instead of expending energy with a workout you’re cultivating energy, building up your energy stores. Movement practises like:

  • Tai-chi
  • Qi-gong
  • Restorative yoga
  • Hatha yoga
  • Iyengar yoga

Are the perfect work in exercises.

Biggest thing you can do to prevent and heal from obesity is to clean up your environment. Remove the obesogens and toxic chemicals and clean up your habitat. Use glass and stainless steel drink bottles instead of plastic. Wear organic chemical-free clothing and buy organic chemical-free furniture and use chemical-free building materials. Cook with ceramic and stainless steel cookware. Actually there’s a lot more to this topic and you can find an entire podcast I did on this quite a while back about how to purify and clean up your environment and support your detoxification system. Look for episode 12.

Along with clean eating, clean thinking, and clean living there are other holistic lifestyle principles to consider in order to fully heal and to keep your bodymind in a happy and healthy state. Listen to episode 30 about the 7 Holistic Lifestyle Principles you can follow in order to live happy, healthy, whole, and complete.

An awesome book that covers everything from diet and exercise to cleaning up your environment and your thinking is How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! by holistic health practitioner Paul Chek. This book is my bible and really is a one-stop shop for holistic living.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

“Obesity isn’t about energy in and energy out.”

It’s about so much more.

If you’re fat or overweight, sure you may be eating more than you should.

But if you’re obese then it’s not about how much you eat, but what you eat and the environment you’re eating in. If you’re obese you are probably eating nutrient-poor and sugar-rich foods and you’re living in a very stressful and very toxic environment.

Remember your health is 100% your responsibility so make the choice to own your lifestyle and eat, drink, move, breathe, live, sleep better, and think and feel like you deserve a happy and healthy life. The only person who can save you is you. So don’t play the victim. Be the hero. Because you are awesome and very much worth it.

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WGP 023: The Calorie Myth and Hormonal Harmony – The Truth to Reducing Body Fat

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Calories and Hormones:

  • I’ll explain what calories are and how counting calories won’t do much for your health
  • I’ll talk about hormones and how they affect your health a lot more than calories
  • Finally I’ll give a few tips on how to balance your hormones naturally to turn you into a fat-burning machine


Calories are all people talk about when it comes to dieting and changing body composition. Funny thing is most people have no clue what a calorie actually is.

Well a calorie is a unit of heat energy where 1 calorie equals the amount of energy needed to heat 1 gram of water 1 degree Centigrade.

The way calories are measured is to burn the dry weight of the object you want to find the calorie value of and then measure how much heat is given off. So if you wanted to find out the number of calories in a banana, for example, you would first dehydrate it and then burn it and by measuring the amount of heat it gives off you will be able to work out the amount of calories it contained.

Now this is all fine and dandy when measuring calories using a calorimeter in a stale, stable, stagnant setting like a scientific laboratory, but when you’re talking about measuring the burning of foods in the human body or the metabolic-effect of how food calories are utilised by human physiology then Houston… we have a problem.

You see if you were to ask an aboriginal tribe in a South American jungle or African bushland or Australian outback who are excellent specimens of optimal human health whether they weighed, measured, and counted the amount of calories or energy or foods they ate on a regular basis, they would just look at you sideways, show off their bright-white teeth with a wide grin, and then they’d start laughing their bottoms off. They have a lot more important things to be concerned with than calories like maintaining shelters, hunting and gathering food, and getting back to telling stories and playing around all day. Sounds like the life right?

Your ancestors as far back as 100 years ago were not concerned with counting calories and obesity wasn’t even an issue back then. Today, however, it seems like the more calories we count as a society the more obese we seem to be getting. What’s up with that?

The reason is human beings are not calorimeters. You are not a simple input and output device. Your body is one of the most complex biological machines in the universe. Your body is an interconnected system of trillions of inputs and outputs.

For someone to say that they know exactly what happens to the hundred calories they eat from food or say that they know exactly how much calories they burned during exercise is human hubris at it again, meaning we think we know better than Mother Nature. It is impossible to know the exact amount of fuel energy you get from food and how much energy you burn from movement.

Another thing is that not all calories are created equal. 2000 calories of sugar water, for example, if you were to compare this to 2000 calories of coloured vegetables, yes they are the same amount of energy, exactly the same amount of energy, but when your body begins to digest, absorb, assimilate and metabolise and make use of the macro and micronutrients you will see a totally different effect in how your body looks, in how you think and feel, and how you act in life. A human body made up of sugar water compared to one made up of vegetables would be the same as comparing a house made up of straw and one made up of brick and mortar. One is weak and full of holes (tumours) whereas the other is strong and solid (healthy).

Ask yourself are the calories that you’re currently consuming on a regular basis turning you into a person of straw or into a solid piece of human awesomeness?

There are a number of ways the foods you eat and the movements you perform affect your biology way beyond calories and energy expenditure. You need to stop focusing on calories when it comes to happiness and health because there’s more to your wellbeing than just energy in and energy out.

The foods you eat and the movements you perform will absolutely determine the physical structure and functionality of your organs, they will determine your mood, and food and movement have a huge impact on your hormones.

Speaking of hormones these are molecules that your body uses to communicate between the many different organs, glands, and tissues. Hormones affect your body’s metabolism, immune function, growth and repair, your mood, your stress levels, and your body composition.

The major hormones you need to know about are:

  • Insulin
  • Cortisol
  • Melatonin
  • Leptin
  • Ghrelin
  • Oestrogen and testosterone and
  • Thyroid hormones

Insulin is an anabolic or growth hormone
released by your pancreas and helps transport nutrients from your bloodstream into your cells. Excessive amounts of glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream leads to the transformation of most of this glucose into fatty acids and high levels of nutrients in your blood causes your pancreas to release large amounts of insulin. Once insulin gets into your bloodstream it then does its job of storing all those nutrients into your cells as well as putting any leftover fatty acids into your fat cells, so insulin plays a major role in fat accumulation.

Cortisol known as the stress hormone is catabolic meaning it breaks things down and it is released by your adrenal glands in response to physical or perceived stress, low blood sugar levels, or low leptin levels. When your blood sugar levels get too low this will cause a cortisol spike. This sudden increase in cortisol then raises your blood sugar levels and when blood glucose gets too high insulin will need to be released to bring it back to a healthy low level and if your blood glucose drops too far then cortisol comes out to play again and this sugar and hormonal rollercoaster continues on and on making for a fatter and heavier you.

Melatonin is your antioxidant, anti-tumour, circadian clock time for bed hormone. Melatonin needs to be low in the morning and high in the evening for the best sleep and recovery as well as for the most growth hormone release during sleep, which helps you burn fat as you dream. This is the opposite rhythm to cortisol. Cortisol needs to be high in the morning and low in the evening. So if you don’t get enough daylight exposure during the day, you’re exposed to too much blue and bright lights after sundown, and if your cortisol rhythm is not normal, this will cause your melatonin levels to be low making it difficult for you to fall asleep and to get a full nights rest.

Leptin is a satiety hormone meaning it signals to your brain when you have enough energy in your body and is released by your fat cells. The more fat you have the more leptin your fat cells release signalling to your brain that you have plenty of energy on board and you don’t need to eat. The less fat you have the less leptin gets released signalling to your brain that you don’t have enough energy on board and that it’s time to eat. The problem for obese individuals is something called leptin resistance where you have so many fat cells releasing a lot of leptin that your brain just can’t take the excessive amounts of communication anymore and just stops listening. So even though your fat cells are signalling non-stop to your brain that your body has more than enough energy on board and that you don’t need to eat, your brain ignores these signals and still thinks you’re low on leptin and therefore low on energy and fat stores. Chronically low leptin levels as perceived by your brain will cause an increased release of the stress hormone cortisol and high cortisol levels keep your leptin levels low.

Ghrelin is a hunger hormone and works opposite to leptin. Low levels of leptin usually mean you are low on energy reserves and this causes a release of ghrelin which then increases your appetite. Once your appetite is satisfied and enough leptin hormone reaches your brain telling it you have enough energy on board then ghrelin hormone reduces which also lowers your appetite. Now if you have high levels of cortisol in your body this will cause leptin levels to be low meaning ghrelin will increase giving you an appetite. So the more stress you have the hungrier you get.

Oestrogen and testosterone are sex hormones used for growth and for reproduction. Women have slightly higher levels of oestrogen hormones compared to men and men have a lot more testosterone than women. Chronically high levels of insulin in your bloodstream (due to a high sugar diet for example) leads to an increase of testosterone in women and a decrease of testosterone in men as well as an increase of oestrogen in men. When cortisol is low testosterone and insulin are high, but when cortisol is high testosterone and insulin are low making cortisol a muscle wasting hormone. Chronically high levels of cortisol interferes with the normal production of your sex hormones, so too much stress overtime leads to low libido or sex drive, infertility, and the end of sexy times in the bedroom.

Last group of major hormones you really need to know about are your thyroid hormones. Your thyroid hormones are responsible for your body’s overall metabolism, meaning your cells ability to process energy. The two main thyroid hormones are T4 and T3. T4 is the inactive thyroid hormone and this is produced by your thyroid gland. The conversion of T4 to the active form T3 takes place primarily in your liver and in your gut. If your thyroid, liver, or gut are unhealthy and unable to do the work that they should then the production of T4 and T3 hormones will be dramatically impacted. Your body will either produce too much thyroid hormones leading to hyperthyroidism or having a very fast metabolic rate where you feel nervous or anxious a lot of the time, have irregular heartbeats, trouble sleeping, dry skin, excessive weight reduction, and excessive bowel movements. Or your body won’t produce enough thyroid hormones leading to hypothyroidism or having a very slow rate of metabolism where you feel depressed and irritable, experience hair loss and memory loss, feel tired and weak a lot of the time, find it difficult to reduce weight or have a dramatic increase in weight, have muscle cramps, feel cold a lot, have brittle nails, and constipation. High levels of perceived stress interferes with the production of T4 and high levels of the stress hormone cortisol interferes with the conversion of T4 to T3 causing abnormal metabolic function throughout your entire body.

Okay so that was a lot of information to take in about your major hormones. Now I’m not sure if you noticed, but there was one constant between them all. There was one hormone that popped up time and again and it has an impact on all the other hormones. Do you know the hormone I’m talking about? Yes, the stress hormone cortisol. That’s the hormone I’m talking about.

High cortisol leads to the increase of glucose in your bloodstream eventually causing a spike in insulin and this high insulin release causes fat storage and an increase in fat cell number and fat cell size.

High cortisol at night prevents melatonin from rising leading to trouble with sleep, less growth hormone release, less fat burning, a weakened immune system, and an increased risk of cancer.

High cortisol levels equal low leptin and high ghrelin levels meaning even if you’re obese or if you’ve eaten a big enough meal that normally would have satisfied you in the past, you will still have an appetite and feel hungry and will want to keep eating and you may never feel satiated.

High production of cortisol equals low production of your growth and sex hormones. More cortisol means less growth and more stress means less sex.

Finally high stress and rich cortisol production equals poor thyroid hormone production causing an abnormal rate of metabolism, either too high or too low. The majority of thyroid issues deal with a very slow rate of metabolism leading to difficulty reducing fat cell number and fat cell size.

So the big takeaway from all this hormone talk is that if you can control your cortisol you can control the rest of your hormones and you can determine the overall health of your body.

Not only that, but by taking control of your cortisol levels and the levels of all your other major hormones you can determine the amount of muscle and fat that your body synthesises and burns… without the need for counting calories.

Imagine that your hormones are an orchestra and that when they play in perfect harmony you get to hear wonderful music a beautiful symphony being played. However, when you have disharmony in the orchestra, when there’s a group or single instrument out of tune, out of sync, out of beat and rhythm then you’re left listening to something that would probably even make the walking dead turn and run in the other direction.

Homeostasis is a term that means a system is in balance and functioning as it should. When your many hormones are in harmony and playing sweet beautiful music together then you can consider your body to be in a homeostatic state. When your body is in homeostasis, where you’ve achieved hormonal harmony, then your body’s ability to burn fat and maintain or build health and muscle will be easy peasy lemon squeezy.

However, if your hormones are not in harmony with each other well then your ability to reduce fat and maintain or build health and muscle go right out the window. It doesn’t matter how many calories you count or restrict and no matter how hard you push yourself in the gym because if your cortisol and other hormone levels are not in healthy ranges then your body has bigger issues to deal with than worrying about energy in and energy out.

What I’m ultimately saying is that when your hormones are in balance with each other you’re a lean, mean, and very keen playful, happy, and healthy human being. But when your hormones are ‘out of whack’ (yes that’s a scientific term where I’m from) when your hormones are out of balance then oops-a-daisy you become flabby, fat, and lazy.

So what causes hormone imbalances?

High levels of stress and inflammation and stress and inflammation are caused by unhealthy relationships, disconnection from Mother Nature, exposure to toxic compounds, improper sleep, too much not enough exercise, eating inflammatory foods, not drinking enough quality water, and incorrect breathing patterns.

To get your hormones in a happy and healthy harmonious state you need to reduce your stress levels and lower the amount of inflammation in your body and you can do this by living a holistic healthy lifestyle. If you listen to episodes 2-15 of the Whole Guidance Podcast I go into detail about how to do this, but I will share a few quick and easy tips here on how to keep cortisol your stress hormone in check which will reduce the amount of stress and inflammation in your body.

First tip is to remove sugars and grains from your diet. Pasteurised dairy too if you’re really serious about keeping your cortisol levels balanced. Sugars and grains and highly treated dairy products are pro-inflammatory causing a lot of fire in your belly and in your body and also cause a lot of insulin to be secreted by your pancreas. By removing these foods from your diet for 21 days you can then try reintroducing them again to see how you feel and I bet you’ll notice a difference. With less insulin in your bloodstream your body’s metabolism will gradually shift from burning sugar and storing fat to not needing sugar and burning fat. Replace the sugars, grains, and dairy with more animal and fruit fats and oils.

Second tip is to get quality sleep. Now I said quality, not quantity and this means consistently going to bed before 11p and getting up around 6 or 7a for at least 21 days. This will reset your circadian clock and help restore your melatonin to its correct levels, low in the morning and high in the evening.

Third tip is to breathe deep diaphragmatic belly breaths through your nose. This helps keep your body in a rest, digest, calm, and connect state and so reduces your cortisol and increases your fat burning potential as well as your growth and sex hormone levels. Listen to episode 4 on how to practise proper breathing technique.

Fourth tip is to sprint more and cardio less. What I mean is that instead of doing 30 minute, 60 minute, or 2 hour long duration cardio sessions, why not try 4 minutes of high intensity interval training. H I I T or HIIT is where you go all out at 80-100% effort for 30 seconds and then rest for 90 seconds and repeat this seven more times. Timing isn’t set in concrete so you can go hard for 60 seconds and rest for 60-240 seconds if you wanted to. There’s no set rules. Find what works for you. You can do HIIT on a spin bike, sprinting up hills, or by performing exercises like burpees. Sprint training burns fewer calories during the exercise than long duration cardio does, but it produces a healthier hormonal profile after the exercise is completed meaning cortisol levels don’t stay elevated for long periods after a sprint session and your metabolism remains higher for longer periods after HIIT as well.

Fifth tip is to support your liver and gut health to ensure optimal conversion of your inactive T4 hormone into the more active T3 hormone making you a metabolism beast. Easiest way to support your liver is to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals in your environment. You can do this by swapping out commercial home and personal care products for organic plant-based ones. Easiest way to support your digestive system is to eat real food. Real food is from Mother Nature. Anything from Father Industry I consider fake pretend food-like products and these will only create inflammation in your gut.

As Michael Pollan an author who writes about real food says:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Sixth tip is to manage your self when it comes to stress. I did a whole podcast on how stress affects your health and how to identify and reframe your perspective on the stressors in your life so listen to that for more details. Also meditation and practising mindfulness and awareness is another way to move away from past regrets and future failures and to just be in the present moment. The more you can be ‘in the now man’ then the less you will be stressing about stuff in your head.

My seventh and final tip for reducing stress and inflammation and on how to best balance cortisol and all your other hormones is to get some smart sun exposure. Vitamin D is a powerful hormone that regulates over 1000 genes in your body and today about 70% of people living in western society are deficient in vitamin D and do not have enough of this health building hormone. You need to be exposing your skin to the sun on a regular basis to get the right amount of vitamin D, but of course you don’t want to get too much sun as too much of a good thing will burn you on the outside and cause fire and inflammation on the inside. I’ll talk more about smart sun exposure and vitamin D in the next podcast.

I’ll leave you with this final thought.

Throughout human history calories were never counted or measured in order to be healthy. Building muscle, reducing fat, achieving a happy mindset, all of these were and still are easily accessible to anyone living with balanced hormones without the need for calorie counting.

When you focus on the quantity of calories this will cause an imbalance in the quantity and quality of your hormones. So at the end of the day if you want quality hormones you must focus on quality calories.

To learn more about how calories really don’t matter read The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor. This book lays out the science on how hormones beat out calories time and again for achieving the best health ever.

“Health is not a math equation.”

When your body is healthy, whole, and complete you’ll never have to think about calories ever again because health has always and will always be instinctively and innately and naturally easy.

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WGP 013: Inflammation – Can You Feel the Heat?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Inflammation:

  • I’ll explain how inflammation can be both beneficial and harmful to your health and wellbeing
  • I’ll talk about some of the different causes of chronic low-level inflammation
  • Finally, I’ll review the best ways to reduce inflammation in your body


Inflammation is your immune system in action and what a beautiful natural act of Mother Nature it is. Your body has the innate intelligence to heal itself and works best when you feed it real food, water, sleep, movement, breath, and healthy relationships.

You have seen inflammation in action when you’ve had a cut or a bruise or had an infection. That part of your body gets red, it swells up, heats up, and sometimes there’s pain. If you can support your body’s innate healing process with natural healing therapies and then get out of its way and not interfere too much then overtime the injured area gets better and heals.

Inflammation is key to healing. Without it your immune system would never be called into action and you would never heal. However, there is a dark side to inflammation.

Acute inflammation is obvious to spot and simple to manage. With acute inflammation the inflammatory reaction is massive like a Hollywood movie explosion. Chronic ongoing inflammation on the other hand is hidden and difficult to deal with. With chronic inflammation the inflammatory response is more like a small match lighting up. No big ‘hey look at me!’ as with acute inflammation, but still a calling card for your immune system to wake up and to get into action. So your immune system reacts the exact same way whether you have acute or chronic inflammation.

Now there’s nothing wrong with your immune system doing it’s job, but there is an issue with the amount of work your immune system has to do. Acute inflammation comes and goes — job done. Chronic inflammation comes over like an unwanted family member who overstays their welcome and your immune system does everything it can to heal and so reduce and remove the inflammation, but that stubborn chronic guy just won’t leave. The more your immune system is active the more energy and nutrition it will use leaving you tired and without the proper building blocks to support other areas of your body.

Now as a result of your immune system being overworked and frustrated another more serious problem arises. The quality of the work that your immune system does starts to go down. Meaning your immune system that includes white blood cells, T cells, and B cells starts to confuse your own body tissue with foreign and infectious objects. So now your immune system begins to attack you causing damage to whatever part of the body is being mistakenly attacked. This is what an autoimmune disease is. The body reacting to and attacking itself. Examples of autoimmune diseases include:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Vasculitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Coeliac disease

By the way if you are dealing with an autoimmune condition I highly recommend the book The Wahls Protocol by Dr Terry Wahls. Dr Wahls has MS multiple sclerosis, but by following an ancestral evolutionary diet and lifestyle was able to get herself out of a wheelchair and onto a bicycle. A truly inspiring story and individual.

Anyhoo… Not only does chronic inflammation send inflammatory signals throughout your body causing the breakdown of bone, nervous tissue, and organs, but it also sends out fat-storing signals and interferes with normal hormone communication.

It is this chronic low-level inflammation that is barely detectable by you and your health practitioner that is at the root of almost every single disease not just autoimmunity.

Another thing with chronic inflammation is because it acts on such a low level throughout your entire body and remember that inflammation causes redness, swelling, hotness, and pain so if you are dealing with skin issues, are holding onto extra weight that just won’t leave, have areas of your body that are hotter than they should be or you’re dealing with pain realise that all of these are huge symptoms of being inflamed.

Okay so what causes chronic inflammation?

Well a pro-inflammatory diet made up of fake pretend food-like products would be number one on the list. Remember 80% of your immune system lives in your gut because it has to deal to all the foreign stuff that comes through your gastrointestinal tract. So if you’re eating highly inflammatory foods your immune system will go into overdrive. Hello inflammation and hello disease.

The biggest fake food culprit of them all is industrial seed oils aka vegetable oils. These oils are full of trans fats as well as oxidised rancid damaged fats. When your fat-burning enzymes attach to a trans fat to metabolise it they can’t. It’s not a real fat. But now they’re stuck to this trans fat molecule stopping them from burning other fats. This can lead to an increase in your waistline.

Your cell membranes are made up of fat. If these trans fats get integrated into your cell walls then their integrity and stability begins to weaken leading to a damaged dysfunctional cell. Also, the cell receptors on the surface of the cell will be morphed into unnatural shapes preventing them from receiving nutrition and eliminating waste in and out of the cell. Trans fats are deadly to the cell and deadly to your body.

These seed oils are mostly made up of fragile omega-6 fats that get easily damaged when exposed to heat, light, and will go rancid after very short periods of time. When eaten these fats create damaging free radicals in your body and without enough antioxidants these free radicals will cause a whole host of diseases.

Second biggest baddie when it comes to chronic inflammation and food is processed and refined sugar and grains like flour and products made with them. When you eat any processed grain like bread, doughnuts, cooked corn even these metabolise in the body and turn in an instant into sugar. So there’s literally no difference between eating a piece of wholemeal bread or a cookie and eating a few teaspoons of sugar. Same goes with fizzy drinks and fruit juices. These are all sugar when they hit your mouth, your gut, and your liver.

A diet high in sugar leads to too much sugar being left in the blood causing the sugar molecules to stick to cells in the bloodstream. This process is called glycation and the new molecule that forms is called an Advanced Glycation Endproduct or AGE. AGEs block immune cells from getting into damaged tissues in need of repair stopping the reduction of inflammation.

Excess sugar consumption also raises insulin levels. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone and when this is high fat-burning is switched off. Insulin also triggers the release of interleukin-6 or IL-6 which is an inflammatory and anti-inflammatory molecule, but tends to create more inflammation in your body.

Wheat, pasteurised milk, table salt, instant coffee and any other processed and packaged industrialised fake food-like product are pro-inflammatory to your body. So if you love fast food, cheap food, and don’t know the difference between a spinach leaf and a cabbage leaf you my friend are probably full of inflammation.

Another cause of chronic inflammation is having the omega-6 and omega-3 ratio of fats in your diet out of balance. These two fats are essential to health and essential here literally means your body cannot make these fats therefore you must eat them. Now omega-6 is a pro-inflammatory fat, whereas omega-3 is anti-inflammatory. Our ancestors had the perfect 1:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in their diet. Today western societies have been estimated to be eating a ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s of 20:1 or more!

Going back to the seed oils and grains these are mostly omega-6 fats. Any wonder now why we live in an inflammation nation!

Stress of all types physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual cause the release of stress hormones in the body that can have an anti-inflammatory effect by suppressing your immune system. However, chronic stress with stress hormones left to linger in the body for long periods of time makes for a weakened immune system and creates more inflammation. Stress can cause damage to the mucosal barriers in your body making them more permeable and porous than they should be. So stress can cause your skin as well as your gut to become leaky leading to skin and gut inflammation and disease.

Sleep deprivation can make you as insulin resistant as a diabetic. Insulin resistance means your cells no longer pay attention to insulin leaving a lot of insulin and sugar in your bloodstream. So with insulin resistance comes more inflammation due to high levels of insulin and sugar.

Being overweight and obese is also inflammatory. Fat isn’t just a grouping of cells sitting around waiting for you to burn it as energy. Fat is actually an endocrine organ meaning it produces hormones. Adiponectin is a fat hormone used to control the metabolism of fats and sugars. It also makes you more insulin sensitive.

Another hormone that fat produces is called leptin. Leptin has been called the master hormone because not only does it tell you when you’re full it also looks controls other glands and hormones in your body. Problem with leptin is if you have too much leptin you will have a lot of inflammation to go with it. This is because leptin is also an inflammatory signalling molecule. So the more fat you are holding onto the more leptin you will have and the more inflammation you will get.

One last thing about food. Even if you’re eating organic and naturally raised real food you still may be causing yourself more harm than good if you’re eating foods you are allergic or have a sensitivity to. A food allergy is an immediate reaction to a food that you’ve eaten. A food sensitivity or intolerance could take hours, days or even up to a week before you get a reaction from that particular food. Food allergies and sensitivities are serious business when it comes to causing stress and inflammation in your body. These foods can cause inflammation in the gut making it leaky. If these foods were to get into your bloodstream further inflammation would go on in your body.

Being exposed to toxins industrial or natural makes for more inflammation in your body in more ways than one. The toxins alone cause inflammation and an immune response. Along with this though any toxins that are not metabolised properly by your liver get stored in your fat cells. The more toxins your body cannot eliminate the fatter you get (it’s not just about the calories people, in fact it hardly ever is). Anyhoo, remember with more fat there’s more leptin and more inflammation.

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) cause a buildup of positive electrons in your body that act as free radicals damaging you from the inside out creating more inflammation.

All this fake food, stress, and toxin exposure also creates an imbalance of the microorganisms in your gut. A healthy gut will have a ratio of 85% probiotics (the good guys) to 15% pathogens (the bad guys). People with unhealthy diets and lifestyles have been shown to have a ratio of 15% good to 85% bad microorganisms. This imbalance is called dysbiosis. Dysbiosis causes many issues in your gut including malnutrition, leaky gut syndrome, and inflammation. Pathogens create endotoxins in your gut that will create inflammation and if these endotoxins get through a leaky gut into your bloodstream then inflammation will occur in other areas of your body.

Alrighty then let’s get into how you can reduce the heat in your life and be more cool like a cucumber, i.e. reduce your inflammation.

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.

As an old English proverb says:

“Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.”

By eating foods that are less pro and more anti-inflammatory you will dramatically reduce the immune response in your system. Stick to real foods organically and naturally raised that give more life force than they take. My free e-book describing the top superfoods in the world is a good guide for this. You can get it for free simply by signing up to the Whole Guidance newsletter at

If you have some excess weight you’d like to let go of maybe a lower carbohydrate diet would be a path you can try walking down just for a month or two. By reducing your sugar intake not only will you reduce the inflammation and your risk of disease by reducing your insulin production, you may just find your body composition begin to normalise back into a healthy range reducing your leptin production.

Eat for a better omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. A healthy ratio of these essential fats would be 4:1 omega-6s to omega-3s with 1:1 being the ideal. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean get more omega-3 and drop the omega-6 because you don’t want to go to the opposite extreme as well. Take a good hard look at your diet and try and calculate how much more omega-6 fat foods are you eating compared to omega-3 fat foods. Are you eating a lot of seed oils or foods made and cooked with them?Are you eating too many baked food products made with flours? Cut back on these high omega-6 pro-inflammatory foods. Instead focus on omega-3 sources of food the best being cold water oily fish like wild-caught salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring. Even chia seeds and flax seeds can provide a little omega-3 nutrition and by little I do mean very little, but I tells ya’ I love me some chia cacao vanilla cinnamon pudding way better compared to a gooey glop of porridge.

Eat for gut health. So don’t just eat for you, but also eat for your gut microbiome. Your probiotics need to eat just as much as you do and they love soluble fibre and resistant starch. So basically eat plenty of fibrous vegetables. Grains have too high of a fibre to nutrition ratio so even if you did go with some whole grains you’d want to limit them. If you’re wondering about fruit sure eat plenty of fruit as long as you don’t have any weight and metabolic issues such as diabetes or heart disease.

Taking a probiotic with many different strains of bacteria and with high potency meaning it has a high number of them per serving is also a great way to support your gut health.

Obviously the best way to support your gut health is by eating fermented foods. Sauerkraut and kefir are my favourite. You can learn more about fermented foods in my free e-book.

Drink quality natural spring and artesian water or water that has been filtered. The best solution for pollution is dilution and seeing as inflammation is your body on fire some nice cooling water will be exactly what the holistic doctor ordered.

Get quality restorative sleep. Your body runs on a circadian cycle that follows the cycles of the sun and the moon. As a general guideline you want to be in bed by 10p and up around 6a. Listen to episode 5 on sleep for more info.

Manage your ability to handle stress. There are many different ways to improve your stress resiliency including meditation and mindfulness practises. I explained how I personally reduce my perception of stress back in episode 3 so you might want to listen to that.

Finally, reduce your toxic and EMF exposure. You will never ever be able to live a toxic and EMF free life, but you can dramatically reduce how much exposure you get to these pro-inflammatory materials everyday. Check out the previous Whole Guidance podcast episode I did on how to detox your life for more information.

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The Big Fat Surprise

The Big Fat Surprise – Nina Teicholz
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

A New York Times bestseller
Named one of The Economist’s Books of the Year 2014
Named one of The Wall Street Journal’s Top Ten Best Nonfiction Books of 2014
Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Books of 2014
Forbes’s Most Memorable Healthcare Book of 2014
Named a Best Food Book of 2014 by Mother Jones
Named one of Library Journal‘s Best Books of 2014

In The Big Fat Surprise, investigative journalist Nina Teicholz reveals the unthinkable: that everything we thought we knew about dietary fat is wrong. She documents how the low-fat nutrition advice of the past sixty years has amounted to a vast uncontrolled experiment on the entire population, with disastrous consequences for our health.

For decades, we have been told that the best possible diet involves cutting back on fat, especially saturated fat, and that if we are not getting healthier or thinner it must be because we are not trying hard enough. But what if the low-fat diet is itself the problem? What if the very foods we’ve been denying ourselves—the creamy cheeses, the sizzling steaks—are themselves the key to reversing the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease?

In this captivating, vibrant, and convincing narrative, based on a nine-year-long investigation, Teicholz shows how the misinformation about saturated fats took hold in the scientific community and the public imagination, and how recent findings have overturned these beliefs. She explains why the Mediterranean Diet is not the healthiest, and how we might be replacing trans fats with something even worse. This startling history demonstrates how nutrition science has gotten it so wrong: how overzealous researchers, through a combination of ego, bias, and premature institutional consensus, have allowed dangerous misrepresentations to become dietary dogma.

With eye-opening scientific rigor, The Big Fat Surprise upends the conventional wisdom about all fats with the groundbreaking claim that more, not less, dietary fat—including saturated fat—is what leads to better health and wellness. Science shows that we have been needlessly avoiding meat, cheese, whole milk, and eggs for decades and that we can now, guilt-free, welcome these delicious foods back into our lives.


Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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Fitbit Wireless Personal Trainer

Fitbit Wireless Personal Trainer
(view product page)

Fitbit is the simplest way to get more fit during your busy life.

The Fitbit Wireless Personal Trainer tracks your full day’s steps, distance, and calories, allowing you to see how active you are and inspiring you to walk more and do more. And those small changes can add up to big results!

Fitbit can even measure how long and how well you sleep.

With free, easy-to-use online tools at and new mobile apps, Fitbit lets you set goals, track your progress, and log food, weight, and other activities.

So, whether you’re looking to lose weight, continue your fitness program beyond the gym, or just get more active, Fitbit really helps you get the results you’re after.


Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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Wellness, Holistic Living, Mindset, and Performance Podcasts

Podcasts are digital audio programmes similar to a radio show.

You can download a majority of podcasts for free to your computer or smart mobile device using applications such as iTunes, Stitcher, and Pocket Casts.

Below you will find a premium selection of wellness podcasts that will assist you in improving many different areas of your life including health, wealth, love, and happiness.


Picture: digitalart |

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Health, Well-Being, Human Performance, and Whole Foods Recipe Websites

There are over four billion websites online dedicated to health, dieting, and weight loss.

With mainstream advice not working for a lot of people and the fact that most of it often contradicts itself where does one go for consistent practical wellness information that works for 99% of individuals when applied in the real world?

Below you will find 20 websites that are the pick of the wellness bunch that are backed by human history and factual non-political, non-financed science. These websites also have real world evidence as reported by real people who have healed and cured themselves following the lifestyle recommendations and whole food recipes that are detailed within.

Click through to a better, stronger, healthier, and happier you.


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Health Webinars

Have you ever attended a conference, seminar, or workshop and wished to yourself that you had a video or audio recording? What about having a full transcription of the entire event that you can read at your own leisure?

The online seminar or summit scene is very popular at the moment. You get options for video, audio, and transcripts that you can purchase for lifetime access.

The following health summits are the most cost-effective way to educate and upskill yourself in your own time and improve you and your family’s health and well-being along the way.


Picture: Stuart Miles |

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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The Primal Blueprint

The Primal Blueprint – Mark Sisson
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

Being healthy and fit has gone mainstream–millions sweat the calories away on the roads or in health clubs and scrutinize labels and menus trying to do the right thing to control weight, delay aging, and feel healthy, fit, and energetic. And it’s simply not working. Rates of obesity, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer continue to climb, and even the most committed fitness enthusiasts often carry 10 or 20 extra pounds of body fat.In this updated and expanded edition of the 2009 hardcover release from Mark Sisson, publisher and de-facto leader of the burgeoning primal/paleo/evolutionary health movement presents the compelling premise that you can reprogram your genes in the direction of weight loss, health, and longevity by following 10 immutable Primal laws validated by two million years of human evolution. This 2012 paperback release contains extensive, never-before-published bonus material, including an incredible full-color, 16-page insert of seven Primal Blueprint reader success stories and their stunning before/after photos, pictorials, detailed descriptions and workout log pages for the Primal Essential Movements and Primal sprint workouts, hacks for each of the 10 Primal Blueprint lifestyle laws (to promote quick results in body composition, fitness, athletic performance, daily energy levels, and reduce disease risk factors and reliance on medication, solutions to common questions and stumbling blocks)– pulled from Primal Blueprint reader submissions, and commentary on diets and dieting, including compare/contrast of Primal Blueprint with other popular programs.


Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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