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Top Nutrition FAQ's

Q. Does coffee, tea, soda or juice contribute to my daily water intake?
Q. How many calories a day should I eat if I want to lose weight?
Q. How much fat should I be eating if I want to lose weight?
Q. What combination of proteins/carbs/fats should I be eating for optimum fat loss?
Q. Even though sugar is "fat free", does it contribute to weight gain?
Q. I get really tired in the afternoon after lunch. How can I stop this?
Q. Is it necessary to take vitamin/mineral supplements or can I get all the nutrients I need from food alone?
Q. Does the traditional food pyramid work for weight loss?
Q. Are artificial sweeteners of any kind acceptable to use in place of sugar?
Q. Is a high protein diet bad for your kidneys?
Q. Can I eat too much protein?
Q. How can a high-protein diet (e.g. Atkins diet) lower cholesterol but still be a diet that is unhealthy?
Q. Do I have to avoid sodium?
Q. Do genetics play a significant part in weight/fat loss?
Q. I'm vegetarian and I don't eat eggs. Do you have any special advice for vegetarians?

1. Does coffee, tea, soda or juice contribute to my daily water intake?

No, coffee, tea, soda and juice all act negatively on your water intake. All of these liquids are considered dehydrators, which means that they pull the water out of your cells and make your body crave water more. The only exceptions are decaffeinated coffee and tea. Herbal tea is especially good for you, and does count towards your water intake if it is made from pure water. Even though decaffeinated coffee does count towards your water intake, it still contains tannic acid which is detrimental to your health in large amounts. Any drinks that contain high amounts of caffeine in them are considered to be dehydrators. Juices and sodas also contain high quantities of sugar, which is another dehydrator. In order to digest sugar properly, your body must draw water from your tissues to dilute the sugar so that it can be absorbed into your bloodstream. When you eat or drink sugar you also cause your blood sugar to spike, leading to an excessive release of the hormone insulin. This hormone makes you fat, tired and even sluggish. Therefore sugar should be avoided at all costs. Note also that your entire water intake should really be from pure water, meaning distilled, spring, filtered or bottled water. Tap water should only be consumed as a last resort. It contains many toxins including chlorine, herbicides and pesticides. Drink a minimum of 8-10, 8-ounce glasses of pure water on a daily basis.


2. How many calories a day should I eat if I want to lose weight?

Counting calories, height and weight and even the concept of weight loss based on scales only are all misleading paradigms that encourage dieting - one of the most destructive human behaviors.

  • When you begin to cut calories from your diet you are essentially starving your body. Your body will respond to this cut in a negative way and begin to react as if you were truly starving. A series of survival responses will be triggered inside of your body, and you will begin to store as much fat as possible. First, your metabolism will slow to almost turtle speed. When you come off of your diet and begin to eat a normal amount of food again you will gain back most, if not all, of the fat that you might have lost, and your body will become more resistant to your next diet. The key to losing weight permanently is to not restrict your calories. Rather, the key is keeping your blood sugar stable so that you eliminate any cravings and hunger. This will result in a lower calorie intake, because you simply won't eat as much if you keep your blood sugar in check.

3. How much fat should I be eating if I want to lose weight?

You shouldn't be counting fat grams if you want to lose weight, instead, pay attention to the type of fat that you are consuming. Not all fat is bad, in fact some fats are absolutely essential to your health and to lose fat. Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are both essential fats. Your body is unable to produce either of these fats so they must come directly from the foods you eat. Sources of these fats are raw, meaning they are uncooked and unprocessed. They include flax seed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed and sesame seed, extra virgin olive oil, avocado and raw nuts. These fats are high in calories, but they won't make you fat. Instead, they help boost your metabolism and help you achieve optimum brain function and energy. The correct serving size for these fatty acids is around one tablespoon of oil or � cup of raw seeds/nuts per meal. These fats can also be eaten as a snack in order to keep your blood sugar in check. Raw oils/seeds are great additions to your EnergyFirst Protein Shakes.

  • The best sources are (beginning with the best) oil and seeds from flax, sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seed; extra virgin olive oil, avocado, and raw nuts including almonds, cashews etc. The best is a raw organic oil blend like EnergyFirst OmegaEnergy Oil Blend or the EnergyFirst Omega Mix Blend.

On the other hand, if you would like to be lean and have a lot of energy then you will want to limit the amount of bad fats that you consume. Bad fats include saturated, processed, hydrogenated and fried fats. These fats will make you fat, plain and simple. They'll wreack havoc on your body by disrupting your hormone balance and increasing your risk of disease.


4. What combination of proteins/carbs/fats should I be eating for optimum fat loss?

Your own body will have an optimum level of these 3 macronutrients that suit your body. When you are starting out you can follow the rule of "a fist, a thumb, and a fist."

  • You should include at least a fist size portion of lean protein in each of your meals. Next, add a fist size of unprocessed carbohydrates, and finally add in a thumb sized portion of good fats. This balance is a great starting point and can be adjusted later to fit your body's needs. Listen to your body after each meal to determine if you should change any of your portion sizes. If you are sluggish after a meal and still hungry then you are most liking "over-carbing" and eating too many carbohydrates for your body. In this case, increase the amount of lean protein in each meal, add in some good raw fats/oils, and decrease the amount or change the type (to higher fiber, non-white) of carbohydrates. Also, it is a general rule that the more muscle you have, the larger and more physically active you are, and the more stressed you are, the more protein you will need.


5. Even though sugar is "fat free", does it contribute to weight gain?

Yes, absolutely. Research in dietetics throughout the last couple of years have made us believe that just fat is what makes people fat, and therefore eating a diet in high carbohydrates and low fats are the best way to lose weight. Over and over again we have seen people not lose weight or improve their risk of cardiovascular disease on these types of diets, and have seen that sugar is the major contributing factor to weight gain.

The best way to lose weight and improve your overall health is to keep your blood sugar stable. All carbohydrates are comprised of sugar and eventually will break down into glucose inside your body. White sugar breaks down the quickest inside of your body and raises your blood sugar almost instantly after eating it. Raw vegetables and some fruits contain a higher fiber content and break down slower. Your brain can only burn glucose so it is very important that your brain has sufficient supplies of sugar, however if it receives too much sugar, too quickly then your blood sugar will spike. Insulin will be released from your pancreas to help combat your blood sugar spike, and in turn will make you feel sluggish and store fat in your body. So, if you want to lose weight you need to avoid sugar, especially white and processed sugar. These types of sugar cause blood sugar spikes, which signals insulin to be produced and cause you to gain weight.


6. I get really tired in the afternoon after lunch. How can I stop this?

If you are getting tired in the afternoon, then your body is trying to tell you something. Think back to what you ate for lunch that could have caused you to feel tired. Was your lunch high in complex carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta rice, or sweets? Was your lunch high in saturated animal fats, processed fats or even fried fats? The cause of your mid-afternoon crash is likely eating far too many carbs and saturated fats. A meal that is high in carbohydrates breaks down very quickly into glucose. This causes your blood sugar to spike which will give you a quick burst of energy. After your body has processed some of the glucose, your pancreas will be signaled to create extra insulin and send it through your bloodstream. Insulin will bring your blood sugar back down. If your body produces too much insulin, then your blood sugar will drop and cause you to become sluggish. Eating bad fats also interferes with the amount of oxygen that can get to your brain, which could also cause sluggishness.

  • The solution to your afternoon crash is to change what you eat for lunch! Eliminate bad fats and processed carbohydrates. You should also never eat any type of carbohydrate by itself. Eat at least a fist-sized portion of lean protein or whey protein and at least a thumb size serving of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids (e.g. raw oil/seed blend, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, raw almonds, and any raw nut or seed) and not more than 1 serving of unprocessed carbohydrates (2 cups non-starchy vegetables, or 1 cup of fruit, or 1 cup of whole grains). then monitor how you feel afterwards to see if your afternoon sluggishness disappears.


7. Is it necessary to take vitamin/mineral supplements or can I get all the nutrients I need from food alone?

A common misconception in the health food world is that if you eat a well balanced diet then there is no need to take any supplements. This may have been true thousands of years ago when the water was pure and the air was void of any pollutants, but today our food supply has been degraded by multiple types of pollutants. The result: it is scientifically nearly impossible to get all of the nutrients that your body needs just from food alone. A daily supplement is essential to your overall health. At a minimum, your body needs a high quality, multi-vitamin every day that contains extra anti-oxidants, beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E with gamma E tochopherol.


8. Does the traditional food pyramid work for weight loss?

No. The food pyramid is outdated and very misleading, just as the "weight loss and scale" approach and "calories-in, calories-out" have led to poor results across the board.

  • The so-called "Eating Right Pyramid" published by the USDA dictates that breads, cereals, rice and pasta should comprise 30-40% of your diet, vegetables should make up around 15-25%, fruits 10-15%, meats, fish, dairy, nuts and beans should make up less than 10% of the pyramid and fats, oils and sweets should account for less than 5%.
  • Basically what the food pyramid tells us is to load up on sugar (fruits), processed carbohydrates and minimize all protein and fat sources (good and bad fats). It never once mentions anything about the quality of each of the food sources. This pyramid is a recipe for disaster and will make you fatter if you follow it. Recent research confirms that eating directly from the food pyramid does not reduce your risk of heart disease and does not encourage fat loss. Sugar makes you fat, and this food pyramid is high in sugar.

To lose weight, or fat, you need to eliminate sugar and all processed carbohydrates from your diet. You also need to eliminate saturated fats, processed fats and anything fried. These are labeled as bad fats. They all will make you sluggish and cause a spike in your blood sugar. For optimal fat loss, each meal focus on at least one fist sized-portion of lean protein (chicken breast, turkey, wild game, salmon, whey protein, etc.), at least a thumb-sized portion of raw fats and oils (e.g. EnergyFirst OmegaEnergy Oil or seed blend, raw nuts, etc.), and no more than one serving of unprocessed carbohydrates (2-3 cups of non-starchy vegetables, 1 cup of whole grains/legumes or 1 cup of fruit).

For ultimate fat loss, each meal, focus on at least a fist-sized portion (4-6 oz) of lean protein (e.g., chicken breast, turkey, wild game, shellfish, salmon, white fish, whey protein, cottage cheese), at least a thumb-sized portion (1-2 tablespoons) of raw fats and oils (e.g., EnergyFirst OmegaEnergy Oil or seed blend, raw nuts, raw seeds, and avocado) and no more than one serving of unprocessed carbohydrates (e.g., 2-3 cups of non-starchy vegetables, or 1 cup of whole grains/legumes or 1 cup of fruit).

We recommend that you start every day with an EnergyFirst Shake which is a balanced blend of the three highest quality macronutrients. This will get you started on the fast track to energy, immunity, and the best life you could imagine.


9. Are artificial sweeteners of any kind acceptable to use in place of sugar?

No. Artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, are believed to be neurotoxins, meaning they accelerate brain aging. All sweeteners, including artificial sweeteners, promote the release of insulin from the pancreas, encouraging fat storage.

  • Some artificial sweeteners are worse than others. Aspartame and saccharin are the worst and have received significant negative press as being carcinogenic substances.
  • Ace-sulphame-K is the newest one on the market and has also received negative press, as has sucralose. Although these new sweeteners are touted as natural, because they are manufactured from the sugar molecule, they have been chemically produced, and are no longer natural, and therefore have side effects in our bodies.
  • Sucralose, the most popular "natural" sweetener on the market has the same chemical profile as a pesticide, and is causing immune system issues because of its effect on suppressing thymus function, as well as causing calcification of kidneys, and suppressing liver function. High fructose corn syrup used commonly in place of sucrose in processed foods can block the absorption of iron and copper in your body, causing severe nutrient deficiencies with excess usage.
  • Maltitol, sorbitol, xylitol, and glycerin are sugar alcohols used commonly in protein bars. They have less of an impact on blood sugar compared with sucrose and other simple sugars, and are a better option than artificial sweeteners (in small amounts), but excess use of them is not recommended.

The best sweeteners, those that have little impact on blood sugar include the natural herbal sweetener called Stevia (100-300 times sweeter than table sugar without the toxic effects), agave, and lo han.


10. Is a high protein diet bad for your kidneys?

A typical high protein diet, which is usually very high in saturated fats as well, causes you to lose weight by forcing your body into ketosis. When your body is in this state you lose a lot of water (causing dehydration) and you lose lean body mass (it breaks down your muscles, bones and organs). This is a highly toxic state that is very bad for your kidneys and overall health. The main problem when it comes to kidney-related disorders is dehydration. A diet high in protein and saturated fats is very dehydrating, and may eventually lead to disease.

  • However, where you have a healthy balance of lean high quality protein, unprocessed carbohydrates and raw fats/oils, and drink plenty of pure water, as with the EnergyFirst Program, your kidney function will be enhanced. Recent research has also proven that with increased intake of high quality lean protein (low in saturated fat), your kidneys adjust very quickly. The EnergyFirst Program recommends a healthy balance of lean protein, raw fats/oils and unprocessed carbohydrates each meal, which has only positive effects on your health.

11. Can I eat too much protein?

If you take a look at your diet, then you probably are not eating enough lean protein. It is very difficult to eat too much lean protein. Many people believe that they get just enough protein from sources such as dairy, eggs and red meat. However, all of these sources of protein are not high quality because they also contain many bad, saturated fats. Some of the healthiest and fittest people in the world are natural body builders because they eat only lean protein for their protein sources. They eat an average of 300-500 grams of lean protein per day. Chicken breast, white fish, tuna, salmon, egg whites, cottage cheese, etc. are all considered to be lean proteins. For comparison, 300-500 grams of lean protein per day is equivalent to eating approximately 20 chicken breasts per day. The average person wouldn't even think about ingesting that amount of food per day. Even when eating this amount of lean protein, along with a sufficient amount of water, there are no known causes of kidney dysfunction in natural body builders who eat a balanced diet. Also, research has shown that traditional Eskimos eat a diet of 95% meat and raw fats, and there are very few reported cases of kidney disease, heart disease or osteoporosis in these people. So, the answer is no. You can eat any amount of lean protein that you want as long as you are getting adequate hydration, and you will see no adverse affects.


12. How can the Atkin's diet lower cholesterol but still be a diet that is unhealthy?

Most Americans today are deficient in lean protein. It is very difficult to eat too much lean protein. Many people think they are getting sufficient protein from dairy, eggs, and red meat. However, these sources of protein are not high quality because they contain a lot of saturated fat as well.

  • Some of the healthiest and fittest people in the world are natural body builders, because they are some of the leanest people in the world. And to give you an idea, they eat on average somewhere between 300 and 500 grams of pure lean protein every day - in the form of whey protein, chicken, white fish, tuna, salmon, egg whites, cottage cheese, etc. That is equivalent to approximately 20 chicken breasts per day. That is pretty difficult to ingest in a day for the average person. Even eating this amount of lean protein, along with sufficient water to avoid dehydration, there are no known cases of kidney dysfunction in natural body builders who eat a balanced diet with sufficient hydration.

13. Do I have to avoid sodium?

Your body will run properly if you consume 3-5 times more potassium than sodium. However, many Americans ingest 3-5 times more sodium than potassium because highly processed foods often contain large amounts of sodium. Sodium causes fluid retention in the body and will increase your blood pressure. You shouldn't add any salt to your food because there is more than enough already occurring naturally. Eliminate processed foods from your diet, and don't salt your food.


14. Do genetics play a significant part in weight/fat loss?

Genetics determine how fast or slow a person's metabolic rate is and how their thyroid functions. Both of these are factors in the body's ability to burn fat efficiently. However, having overweight parents doesn't automatically mean that you are destined to be obese your entire life. All it means is that you must work a little harder and train your body to burn fat more efficiently. This means that you can't cheat very often, and you can't skip exercise no matter how bad you feel. You are going to have to be very disciplined in order to see results. At the end of the day, you will have to make a conscious decision to adopt a totally different lifestyle, and you'll be able to enjoy the benefits.


15. I'm vegetarian and I don't eat eggs. Do you have any special advice for vegetarians?

The best source of protein for vegetarians is 100% whey protein isolate, which is comprised of the purest and most biologically available form of protein on the planet. It is extracted from milk proteins and contains no lactose. You can use whey protein isolate before every meal or as a meal replacement to get your protein intake.


Whey Protein

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EnergyFirst, a leading company in the all-natural protein and supplement industry, was founded in 1997. We, at EnergyFirst, believe that everyone can benefit from drinking a protein shake whether the goal is optimal nutrition in a meal replacement, an easy and healthy breakfast alternative, a weight loss aid, or a protein supplement for athletes. We also believe that your protein shake should be 100% natural and delicious. Nutritionist, educator, athlete, and EnergyFirst's CEO, Gerry Morton is committed to providing customers with all natural, science-based, effective products for optimal nutrition, weight loss, and a healthy lifestyle.

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