Saturday, October 5, 2013

Synergy Fitness Boot Camp: Does Coke Really Make You Fat?

Synergy Fitness Boot Camp: Does Coke Really Make You Fat?

Does Coke Really Make You Fat?

How Does “Coke” Make You Fat? You can tell that someone is from Texas if they refer to ALL soft drinks as “Coke”. For me, being a true born and raised Austin boy, well guilty as charged.So, grab your “Coke”, now pour it out. Your “Coke” is literally making you fat with every sip.

Intuitively, you probably already know this as truth. But we’re really good at playing mental gymnastics with ourselves…Especially when it comes to giving up on our favorite vices.

That fizzy, bubbly, cold, refreshing, carbonated wonderment of romanticized “drink and BE awesome” isnt doing you any favors at all. Contrary to what advertising suggests, it doesn’t make you faster, better looking, wittier, able to “enjoy summer more”, or more radical...

It just makes you fatter. But why, and how does a liquid make you fat anyways? 

Following up on my #1 Fat Loss Tip from Saturday, we know that eating or drinking anything that elevates blood sugar and therefore elevates insulin for a sustained period causes your body to store those foods as fat. Even worse, elevated insulin over time will also cause the creation of new fat cells. Fatter, more abundant fat cells. No thanks.

Soft drinks and blood sugar spikes….

Soft drinks and energy drinks are especially and uniquely problematic when it comes to elevating blood sugar and insulin.

Here’s why: High Fructose Corn Syrup

Coke, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, ANY DRINK OR FOOD PRODUCT that contains HFCS makes you fatter. Its simple physiology and I’ll explain why.

First things first though…if you want less body fat, simply avoid ALL food and drinks made with HFCS. That means avoiding all sodas and staying out of ALL Fast Food joints for starters. Even the “healthy” ones like Subway use HFCS in some of their breads, meats, dressings etc.

The sweet basics:

Sucrose is table sugar. Fructose is the sugar found in fruit. Glucose is a simple sugar found in plants that your body utilizes for its basic energy needs.

In sucrose (aka granular table sugar) a chemically bonded ratio of 50/50 fructose to glucose exists. Because of this natural chemical bond your body has to work a little digestive magic before allowing the component parts of  sucrose: fructose and glucose into the blood stream.

After sucrose is eaten and digested the glucose goes right to work providing your energy needs first. The fructose (fruit sugar) is slowed down and sent to the liver (the only place the body can break it down) to be converted to glycogen to fuel the detoxification processes of the liver or into glucose for the bodies energy needs.

In either case, insulin response stays relatively low, and your body is able to use the fructose and glucose from natural sugar for energy as nature intended…without storing it as body fat.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a different animal all together.

You grab your favorite type of regular Coke, sweetened with HFCS. High Fructose Corn Syrup is a man made sweetener derived from corn that contains concentrated fructose and glucose in a ratio of 55 fructose to 42 glucose. This unnatural 55/42 ratio of fructose to glucose is precisely why  HFCS makes us fat.

Its the where and the how our bodies process HFCS.

Unlike table sugar, the fructose and glucose are not bonded in HFCS. So, no real digestion is needed. That means the two sugars have instant VIP access to your blood stream and to your liver.

If you recall from my #1 Fat Loss Tip, eating foods that digest slowly like lean proteins and low glycemic carbs from veggies, limit insulin response. Limited insulin response means that those calories can be used for energy and muscle tissue repair rather than stored as body fat.

Drinking (or eating) HFCS does the exact opposite of that.

No natural bond exists between the fructose and glucose in HFCS. Therefore no real digestion needed, so the glucose and concentrated fructose are off to the races as soon as you take your first sip of Coke. The glucose dumps into the bloodstream which immediately signals your pancreas to release insulin.

Instant fat storing mode has begun.

Insulin signals your fat cells to stop releasing fatty acids. It tells your muscle cells to stop burning fatty acids and to burn glucose instead. It also signals for your fat cells to re-uptake fatty acids and pull in glucose to be converted and stored as fat (triglycerides) in your fat cells. You get fatter.
So far that’s bad enough if we stop there. But, we still have the concentrated fructose in the liver to deal with, which is what makes this such a unique problem for the body, and the reason why we get extra fat from HFCS.

Our body is unable to process fructose very efficiently. The only place fructose can be broken down is in the liver. Glucose, on the other hand can be converted just about anywhere in the body to be used for energy.

Since we’re so inefficient at metabolizing fructose in smal doses, a large, highly concentrated dose from a soft drink is a recipe for metabolic disaster.

Fructose in moderate amounts from whole fruit, is okay. During digestion the water and fiber present in fruit slow down fructose delivery to the blood stream which then transports it to the liver. The liver can handle small amounts of fructose and convert it to glycogen for its own energy needs, or glucose to be used by the body.

But when slammed with a direct ultra highly concentrated dose, the liver can only do one thing to protect itself, and thats lipogenesis, or conversion of fructose to body fat. We get soda, we get fatter.
A side note on fruit and fructose…

Anthropologically, a high volume of fruit (and its component sugar, fructose) is not meant to be a consistent, sustaining staple in our diet. This is the likely reason we are so inefficient at processing fructose to begin with. This is bolstered by the fact that fructose is found in fruit vs. glucose which is abundantly found in all dietary plant sources. So fruit should be a very small part (i.e. one small to medium apple per day) of our diet and eaten seasonally. I frequently tell our campers who want to lose body fat, to cut out the fruit, which is usually returned with a blank stare followed by a version of “but fruit is healthy and its a ‘natural’ sugar”. Yes fructose is ‘natural’, but its still a sugar. A sugar which takes extra energy to metabolize, and can only be metabolized in the liver. More so if its not able to be converted into glycogen for immediate use by the liver it will just be converted to body fat for storage (usually on the belly). So, fruit is okay in moderation if your body fat percentage is where you want it. But, if your immediate goal is fat loss, fast…its best to hold off on the fruit. 

A quick review of the 3 steps to getting fat, when you drink a soda containing HFCS….

The un-bonded, 55/42 concentrated fructose to glucose ratio in HFCS requires no digestion and enters our blood stream instantly. This spikes insulin. That insulin signals our fat cells to re-uptake fatty acids and store glucose as fat (1. We get fatter). It signals for our muscle cells to stop burning fatty acids and to burn only glucose as fuel (2. We get fatter).

Finally, fructose is unique because it can only be processed by the liver. The liver can only handle small amounts of fructose which it converts to glycogen for fuel or into glucose. When slammed with the high dose fructose from HFCS the liver is forced to initate lipogenesis and converts fructose to fat (3. We get even fatter), and if that wasnt enough….

Theres more!

The kicker to HFCS and its convestion to fat by the liver, is that the fat from that conversion is then is almost exclusively deposited on the belly area. “Have a Coke and a…Spare Tire”

By the way, in case you’re thinking “diet” soda is the solution, its not. The artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharine) in diet drinks/foods are toxic and also contribute to body fat gain. That’s a post for another time.

For now…in stead of soda, hows cold, clean, clear, metabolism boosting water sound? Grab a glass, toss in some frozen strawberries and a couple packets of stevia , for perfect summer refreshment. Aim for 1/2 your weight in ounces of water per day. If you weigh 150 pounds drink at least 75 ounces of water. It speeds up metabolism, flushes toxins, mitigates hunger, keeps energy levels high, and having to pee has been proven to increase concentration levels. Do with that what you will :-)

Finally, remember this:
“If God Make It  Eat It. If Man Made It Leave It” -Jack LaLane
Read labels. Avoid HFCS. Your waistline and  your liver will thank you.

Got questions? Ready to get started looking and feeling your best…on a permanent basis? I can help with a plan based on your specific needs. Email or text/call and tell me what your struggling with 512-773-9451

Take Time To Take Care of You,


Learn more at and 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Meet Joe Cooper (this choked me up)

If you've spent more than 5 minutes with me you
know that I like to have fun, laugh and joke -  A LOT.

But, just the other day I got an (incredible) email that stopped me in my tracks,
brought me back to serious and put a little lump in my throat…

Meet Joe Cooper.

Joe started boot camp back in May of this year. And over the past 6 months he's
gone through a pretty amazing transformation, mentally, emotionally and physically.

In fact where Joe was might be a lot like where you are right now.

Maybe you aren't taking care of yourself the way you know you should.
Maybe you're taking medication that you'd like to stop taking.
Maybe you don’t like how you look.
Maybe you just aren't happy.

Joe gave me permission to share his story. I think you'll find it as inspiring as I did:

Hi Tim,

Courtney, my wife, keeps telling me to send you my story so here goes:

"You have changed my life".  I don't know what those words mean to you but to me...they are profound.  (It's what I wrote on coach Ty's birthday card yesterday.)

One year ago, I weighed 203 lbs.

I was fat.

I also had recently been diagnosed with depression.  Taking care of myself had become something I didn't even think about.  I ate too much (and ate terrible things)...I drank WAY too much...I didn't exercise.  The scariest part of it snuck up on me.  At first I was in denial about how I looked and how I felt.  I made excuses.  I lied to people and told them I felt fine when I didn't.  I lied to myself...telling myself it wasn't that bad...

It was.  In the attached picture you don't have to look very hard to tell just how bad it was.  I look at this picture today and am amazed I didn't see it.  Amazed I didn't see what I had done to myself.  My lifestyle, my depression, my lack of caring was leading down the wrong path.

I started on medication but I knew it wouldn't be enough.  It helped a little...but, only to a point.  My wife and I moved to Austin.  We always felt a connection to this city and I felt it may help me heal.  It a point.  But EVERYTHING changed this May when we ran across Synergy Fitness Boot Camp.

Today I look at myself and see these pictures and one year seems so long ago.  It seems so long because I know I'm never going back there.  Living how I did then IS long is forever ago...because it is forever gone.  Synergy Fitness has changed my life...(coach) Ty Reagan has changed my life!  I often sit and think, "Do they realize it?"

A wise friend once told me:

Never give up...because you never know how your life will affect someone else's!

Here's how you and Ty have affected mine:
  • Gone from 203 lbs to 164lbs - 39 lbs lost
  • Gone from 20% body fat to 9.9% body fat
  • Gone from an 8:00 mile time to 5:38 mile time
  • Gone from a 36 inch waist to a 31 inch waist
  • Most importantly - gone from not caring about looking forward to every day.
Today I only look forward.  I don't see any reason not to when every day brings another exciting milestone of better mental and physical health.  I challenge myself regularly to do things I've never do things I don't think I can do.  I eat well.  And you KNOW I exercise!

I will NOT give up.  This is my life.  I am here to live it!  I am here to affect others'!

Thank you so much for all you've done for me!  -Joe Cooper

That’s amazing and (literally) Life Changing stuff.

I'm humbled that over the past two years Synergy Fitness has had the opportunity
to affect thousands of lives like Joe on a daily basis.

Give yourself 6 months like Joe did, and YOU WILL BE NEXT.

See ya soon,

-Tim and Synergy Fitness Boot Camp Coaches


Start here for $19:

P.S. In 30 days from now you will a little heavier, a little more out of shape, and a little unhappier...OR you can be 2 to 4 dress sizes smaller, up to 10 pounds lighter and feel awesome about yourself. Do the right thing for you.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Today I just want to tell you (and remind you) about something.

I want you to know that I APPRECIATE YOU for reading this.

YOU are IMPORTANT to me.

I totally believe in YOU.

I believe YOU can DO, HAVE, and BE anything that YOU want.

I know that right now YOU have everything you need to have and achieve everything YOU desire.

YOU are changing and will change hundreds if not thousands of lives.

YOU are important.

The world is better because of YOU.

YOU are NOT your past.

YOU are NOT your failures.

YOU are limitless and unstoppable potential.

The fact that YOU are reading this email means that YOU have a burning desire to be extraordinary.
Thank YOU for being YOU.

YOU rock!

I am thankful for YOU

YOU are awesome :o)


Friday, March 9, 2012

Meet The Good Dr.

I love hooking you up with the best our city has to offer
in fitness, weight loss (free workouts, meal plans, body fat testing etc)
and SO much more….

So, I’ll keep this short because you’ll want to jump on this awesome freebie

We all know that being fit, healthy and active makes feel your best,
look your best, and perform your best (no matter what you’re doing).

I mean, your body was meant to move, right? You feel best when you get out
challenge yourself and move, run, jump, dance, lift, swim, cycle, stretch etc.

But, sometimes there’s a little downside to all of that movement: Injury.

I’m not necessarily talking about the full on, “I seriously hurt myself and can’t move or workout”
type of injury….I mean the little nagging aches and pains that we ALL have from working out, running,
cycling, doing boot camp, hitting the gym, doing Yoga etc.

Those nagging shin splints, tight muscles and joints, sore ankles, knees, hips, lower back
and shoulders.

Maybe you don’t feel it all the time, or maybe you’ve fallen into a 2 to 4 Tylenol/Advil per day
habit to cover up those aches and pains...but they’re still there….and what’s worse:
They are keeping you from taking your fitness and fat loss to the next level…

And what’s even worse than that:

Those nagging aches and pains are a SERIOUS INJURY waiting to happen
But only if you keep going without getting them fixed.

We all think that pain and injury are just a part of “working out” and “getting older”.

Not true.

Your body is an AMAZING machine.
But just like the high end exotic luxury/sports car that you were built to be, you have to take care of yourself with regular maintenance.

I do.

Here’s why…

I’ve had 2 shoulder reconstructions, two knee repair surgeries, 4 broken bones and 2 other surgeries
to repair some youthful silliness on a dirt bike...and for at least the past 5 years I’ve coached  2 to 4 boot camps per day and worked out 4 to 7 times per week. That’s A LOT of moving on what should be a pretty jacked up painful body…

But truth is, I feel awesome.

And if you’re reading this, you can too.

Here's my secret:
Meet Dr. Dave Cohodes.

Don’t let his good looks fool ya ;o)

He’s awesome at what he does.

Dave started out as my chiropractor to fix all of my crazy aches and pains and wound up as my friend.

Check this out:
  • Dr. Dave is a qualified, super knowledgeable professional.
  • He takes a “simple is better” hands on approach to rehab and injury PREVENTION (if you wind up in the hospital or Medical office…then you’re too late)
  • Is well known within the Austin fitness community as the “go to guy” for therapy, rehab and prevention.
  • He's all about fast results. His goal for you is to NOT have to see you....and thats pretty cool.
  • Most importantly, he’s passionate about people, and about what he can do to help YOU move better and feel better.
So, here’s your hook up!

Dave is a SUPER busy guy, so don’t ask how he let me talk him into this…

I got him to agree to answer YOUR question(s) about any of your nagging aches/pains...
Yes for free :o)
All you have to do is call/text or email him and he’ll help you out.

You’ll probably be surprised to find out that most of what is bothering you can be fixed with a few simple suggestions through a phone call or email conversation with Dr. D.

But you’ll never know if ya don’t reach out…!

Again, Dr. Dave is a super busy guy, so he wont let me keep this offer open forever, but if you reach to him within the next 10 days, he’s more than happy to help get you fixed with free advice.

Just shoot him a text, email or phone call and let him know whats bothering you and why.

You’ll feel better, perform better, and have better workouts which means that you’ll get better results
at everything you do (a.k.a. fat loss!) :o)

If you're reading this and have any nagging aches and pains, then jump on this one quickly, you'll be happier and feel better because of it!

Here’s how to contact Dr. Dave:
Phone (call or text): 512-650-6931

Live Easy,


P.S. If you're waiting for the perfect time to LOSE 4 POUNDS PER WEEK like our 6 week challenge campers, and feel awesome (because Spring and Summer are HERE) then this is your best opportunity! Over 13 camp locations and we're almost full...dont wait :o) 14 trial days for only $10:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The 4 Worst Breakfast Items

1. Breakfast pastry: Muffins, doughnuts, bear claws and
croissants sure taste good with coffee, but all those refined
carbs are going to cause unwanted weight gain. But you knew
that, right?

2. Granola Bars: Watch out for the breakfast bars that claim
to give you fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Check the number of carbs and sugars on the back of the label -
most contain the same sugar as a pastry. That is probably what
makes them taste so good (and why you should avoid them like the plague)

3. Cereal: Here’s another popular breakfast item that has tons of
sugar lurking beneath its surface…yes even the “healthy ones”
I think the concept of a “healthy” cereal is one of the BIGGEST lies
perpetrated by the health food industry. Carbs upon carbs.

4. Drive Thru Breakfast Sandwich: Oh please. Don’t even think
about heading to the drive thru for a quick breakfast sandwich.
In a pinch have a container of hard boiled eggs in the fridge that are ready to grab and go.

Or even better….
Before rushing out the door this morning, make sure to give
yourself  a good start to the day. Fuel yourself up with a quick healthy breakfast.

 (Just because it’s quick does not mean it has to be unhealthy.)

Want to burn fat throughout the day? – Then don’t start your day
with a boat load of sugar. Use this awesome fat burning breakfast shake recipe instead. It takes 5 minutes to make and is the perfect grab and go healthy way to start your day!

P.S. Sign up now for awesome fat burning boot camp!

Friday, December 16, 2011

30 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself

When you stop chasing the wrong things you give
the right things a chance to catch you.

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.