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9 Tips from Cassandra Forsythe

Written on January 16, 2008 at 11:04 am, by Eric Cressey

Sentimental Mumbo-Jumbo…

Last night, my girlfriend and I had our Christmas, and tomorrow, I’ll be doing an early Christmas with my brother’s family and my grandparents. Then, it’s up to Maine (or, what we call “God’s Country”) for a few days to see my folks and the girlfriend’s family. December 24-27 will be the first consecutive four-day period I’ve had off since 2003.

With all these events in the planner and a facility to run, time is at a premium – but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to wish all my newsletter subscribers Happy Holidays. Also, thank you very much for all your support in 2008.

Seminar Updates

Spaces are filling up fast for the January 5th Fort Lauderdale seminar, so don’t delay on signing u; email jonboyle@mac.com for details. Additionally, I’ve confirmed multiple dates for 2008; you can find information on those events on my SCHEDULE page.

Nine Tips from Cassandra Forsythe

It seems only fitting that I feature Cassandra Forsythe’s expertise in the holiday installment of my newsletter, as Cass has been like a sister to me for many years – even spending one Christmas with my family in Maine. Cass is absolutely brilliant – and I’m thrilled that this holiday season, she’ll stop flying below the radar in the lay population and get to display her knowledge with the introduction of two books in two days.

On December 26th, Cass’ solo project, the Women’s Health Perfect Body Diet, will be released.

Then, on December 27th, will be the release of The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift like a Man, Look like a Goddess, a collaboration with Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove.

I was fortunate to get advanced copies of both, and they’re absolutely fantastic – both as gifts to the women in your life and to those who train female clients and athletes. Both are affordably-priced (you can get both for $33.60 with free shipping) and well worth the investment. You can pre-order them now.

Without further ado, here is a little sample of what Cass has to offer.

1. Women always underestimate their strength. I’ve never once walked into a gym or weight room and seen a woman lifting to her full potential. If I do, however, her body composition reflects the hard work: she’s lean, attractively muscular, and still very feminine.

2. Most women avoid lifting weights because they don’t know how. You don’t need anyone to show you how to use a cross-trainer or a treadmill, but it’s a good idea to learn how to properly lift. Men usually learn from their buddies or their favorite magazine, but a woman has to learn either by following her boyfriend around the gym or reading a non-female magazine (because most female magazines are worthless). The better way is to seek a good personal trainer: one who won’t just promote bicep curls and only lifting weights less than 10 lbs dumbbells. Women have to stop using the excuse that they don’t know how to weight train because weight training is the best way to achieve the body that they’ve always desired.

3. Women do not need to train differently than men. Period.

4. Protein is still the most misrepresented macronutrient in the diets of most women. Women still think that low-fat, low-protein diets will make them lose more weight, when in fact, an equal balance of high-quality protein, fat and plant-source carbohydrates is the best way to positively influence body composition. Have fish, poultry, eggs, beef, pork, cottage cheese, ricotta, or whey protein every time you eat a meal.

5. Arachidonic acid, the n-6 polyunsaturated fat, in plasma membranes is good. Free arachidonic acid in the circulation is bad. There’s a difference. True, arachidonic acid may lead to pro-inflammatory eicosanoids if released from the membrane, but if you eat a diet that reduces oxidative stress (i.e. with antioxidant foods, no trans fats, low sugar) arachidonic acid will stay in the membrane and serve its positive role as a polyunsaturated fat.

6. It’s harder for women to lose weight than men with exercise and diet. Mostly this occurs because women gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously while training which causes their body weight to stay the same. Also, psychologically, women tend to believe that they need to severely under-eat in order to lose weight. This often leads to failure with any diet plan because it’s not providing enough calories to allow her to workout or to function normally throughout the day. Therefore, women first need to not judge themselves by a number on the scale to determine if they’re body composition is changing and secondly, they need eat enough food to give them energy to exercise effectively and to not force them to abandon the food protocol to which they’ve committed.

7. If you hold your body fat in your abdominal region then you should reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your diet and increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids (from fish, walnuts, and flax). A large waist circumference is positively correlated with insulin resistance, which means your ability to process carbohydrates is limited. Several lines of recent research have showed that low carbohydrate diets containing less than 30% calories as carbohydrate are most effective for battling belly fat. They also increase insulin sensitivity. Omega-3 fatty acids (especially the fats in fish oil) are also well-researched for their ability to promote increased fat burning and improve carbohydrate processing.

8. If a woman loses her menstrual period and is actually eating enough calories to sustain her metabolic demands, then it’s likely an overactive stress response that is inhibiting her reproductive hormones. In this situation, she should evaluate her stressors and look for ways to promote relaxation. Sometimes this may mean time off from working out, time away from work on the weekends, and spending more time with people who make you happy. Losing your period not only has negative consequences for long-term bone health, but also depresses the immune system and makes it harder to reach a desired body fat level.

9. Women use fat for fuel better than men and need more protein to promote muscle protein synthesis. This means that fat and protein are definitely macronutrients that should not be limited in any woman’s diet.

About Cassandra

Cassandra Forsythe is a PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut studying exercise science and nutrition. She received her MS in Human Nutrition and Metabolism and her BSc in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Alberta. At UCONN, Cassandra’s research is focused on the effects of low carbohydrate ketogenic diets and resistance exercise on risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and weight loss. She’s responsible for leading the ketogenic research projects, analyzing data and interpreting the results. Cassandra also works as a nutritional educator and weight loss coach and assists with exercise training and testing. She can be reached through her website, www.CassandraForsythe.com.

That wraps it up.  We’ll be back next week with our last newsletter of 2007.  Until then, hafe a safe and happy holiday season.

All the Best,


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