For our bodies, Michael Pollen says it beautifully - "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants plus moderate exercise to enjoy the 5 sense experience!" Easier said than done! So, where does one go for sensible help?

Dr. Phil Maffetone's philosophy on nutrition and exercise has changed people’s lives including those of performance athletes and hundreds of patients. He brings an unconventional yet logical voice to solving health and fitness dysfunction in his book “In Fitness and In Health” which has become an invaluable guide to many.

There are two key distinctions that Dr. Maffetone conveys that effectively summarize his unique approach to restoring fundamental health and vitality.

To burn fat, one needs to train the body’s fat burning system so....

1) The Required Fuel

...are healthy fats! And of course complex carbs found in the rainbow of vegetables and low glycemic fruits plus high quality proteins such as wild salmon and grass fed beef for their healthy fat profiles rich in CLA and balance of the Omega 3 and 6 fats. Skip sugar, corn syrup, any flour based products and all of the ugly fats (artificial and chemically processed like hydrogenated and polyunsaturated). Olive oil is the all around oil.

To quote Dr. Maffetone, "Your aerobic system burns fat for energy and prevents excessive dependency on sugar, especially blood sugar. Your body is capable of obtaining as much as 80 to 90 percent of its energy from fat if you program your fat-burning mechanism."

2) Work aerobic (fat burning) - not anaerobic (sugar burning)! So, how does one program the fat-burning mechanism? According to Dr. Maffetone, the optimal heart rate for aerobic training is determined by the 180-Formula - subtracting age from 180 (180-age); adjusting that by subtracting a further 5 or 10 beats per minute for recent illness or use of medications (further individualized for those over 65) or adding back 5 for active competitive athletes with no problems; then working within the 10 beat range below that number.

The final key is to monitor heart rate with a heart rate monitor – always! Staying within that range after a 20 minute warm up will retrain the aerobic system. Initially, the workload will seem very easy and eventually with consistency, the effort will have to increase substantially to stay within the range. Dr. Maffetone’s top performance athletes were eventually able to surpass their previous accomplishments in time and speed adding in the staying power from the fuel-efficient fats that carried many to new records!

Quick Tip: Eating smaller meals every two or three hours instead of three big meals evens out blood sugar levels and supports metabolism.

Author's Bio: 

Andrea Saab is an author and life coach. Her upcoming new book “From The Titanic To The Ark – Handbook to Survive and Thrive in Epic Times” is a practical guide of distinctions for clearer communications, more authentic presence, empowering relationships and putting your creative intelligence to productive use developed through her 30 years of life coaching experience with hundreds of employees, family and friends. Please visit her at