Diet, Uncategorized

“Fat Free” Diets Are For Fat People.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking after reading a title like that, are you crazy?

In the scheme of things, “Fat Free” dieting has been useful for people with sensitive health conditions like Diabetes and for body builders who tend to utilize carbs/protein for bulking.

The idea with diabetics is that since their bodies have great difficulty producing insulin, a ketogenic or insulin reducing diet can be dangerous. This is why medical professionals often recommend high fiber/low fat diets to those with diabetes.

Fat Free is not totally without merit and evidence has shown it to be effective in some configuration. However, counting Fat and avoiding Saturated Fat both have major shortcomings. Saturated Fat may increase cholesterol but can also be metabolized by muscle growth. Eating the alternative without exercise appears to spur weight gain faster than Saturated Fat.

Effectiveness of this diet for losing major weight is limited. Most Fat Free diets cannot promise much. Many of us have tried them and still are left unsatisfied while looking for the perfect alternative. Worst of all, the portions leave us hungry and mischievous.

The oversimplified premise “eat fat to get fat” is dangerous. Empiricism sets simple logic straight when people who live the fat free diet enter obesity from eating bread and pasta. The liver has its own process for converting sugar into fat and it’s storage is often long-term. We’ve had more than 50 years of the high carb regime….and we live in it’s aftermath.

There are healthy fats which your body craves. Omega 3s are incredible at antagonizing glycogen while Boosting metabolism (and therefore energy levels) for those in Ketosis. To the contrary, Omega 6s (Unsaturated Fats) found in seed oils and nuts are being proven harmful over the long term.

This diet can be ignorant of macros, nutrients, and metabolism. While hyperfocused on Fat as the enemy (which it isnt) we forget that an effective diet is an orchestra with supportive roles for many of our other macros. Eliminating fat often limits our protein intake while leading to increased carb consumption to fill the void.

The exercise required to burn off a carb rich diet can be undoable for most people. To burn the excess glycogen of the Western Pattern Diet, it may take the activity of a dedicated athlete. While not impossible, it’s out of the question for most of us–especially if we have joint problems. Ancient athletes who relied on high carb diets would not be considered fit according to modern beauty standards–in fact, they were fairly “flabby”.

A reliance on fruit or vegitables can be either the gateway to carbs or a boring monotonous routine which feels like work. When we’re not satisfied or dangling a sample prize in our own faces every day, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to carry on. A part of why this diet is for the unsuccessful is that our own will-power is existant…a thing….and something (all too often) we underestimate the power of: Positively and Negatively.

Measuring everything can be a pain in the ass. Not to say that other diets won’t have you measuring…to be a hound for the details is taxing. I have to do it with keto though I will say this, the diet’s success does not make it the least bit in vain.

What I have found fat free useful for:

I’ve found fat free useful in emergencies where I unknowingly consumed carbs after a cheat day. Segregating fats from carbs can be time intensive–it takes X time for insulin levels to drop again after eating carbs.

Lately, I added Fat Free dressing to a salad which had carb-laden ingredients as a measure to avoid it being stored as fat.

Conclusion: while a Fat Free can be useful in certain circumstances, it’s most common result is leaving diet-goers unsatisfied, frustrated, and unchanged.

-M

Uncategorized

Flooring it: -22lbs in 4 weeks, Motivation, & Living in Ketosis.

Earlier this year, I started having trouble walking—more specifically bearing weight on my knees.

It reached a point where it became excruciating and I needed a battery of tests plus injections.

Results showed that I have arthritis in both of my knees, new routines and PT: Imperative.

4 months into this I’ve gone into some of the deepest depression of my life. Not being able to do the activities that I love and [having restrictions in-place which limit me as of I’m 75 year old] is enough to drive me crazy.

Worse, it’s summer time.

Early June, I was well done with the first trial of PT and decided to make necessary the changes. Doctors warned me about my weight (inspite of losing alot), weak muscles, and potential for more injuries.

Since early 2021, I had gained 30lbs back from my -95lbs weightloss success–akin to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

My response has been extreme, diligent, focused, and burning with passion.

I put all sugar, carb-laden foods, and non-nutritional foods out of sight and mind. They do not exist.

22hr fasts are my standard and along with taking electrolyte capsules, now integrate more MCT oil in my diet.

In the first week I lost 16lbs. My ketosis strips were damn-near black and the Keto Flu has been real. 3 weeks later, I was down 21lbs. I went to some added PT appointments for my back to find everyone shocks at how fast someone could lose 20lbs.

Saying that “it’s different this time” is a dangerous cliche yet aptly describes the situation;

Pain is an amazing motivator. Being surpassed, heartbroken, or physically hurting is life changing. However, the uncertainty of what this could become if I do nothing….It stops hear.

A person needs to affirm this if they want to change their life.

I’m now strengthening muscles in my abs, back, and legs–weekly workout plans (for exercise almost every day) + recovery and self-administered PT.

Pushing through the pain is now a lifestyle; The weakness, soreness and cotton mouth of Keto + Fasting…the pain of pushing onself to failure during a workout.

Setup correctly, temporary pain endured pays off.

From a the dietary side, a new way to bust through downside resistance has dawned upon me; I’ve never dedicated myself to it seriously until now and so far, it’s working.

More later.

With love,

-M

Diet, Uncategorized

Counting Calories vs Carbs–my experience

Dieting is almost synonymous with counting calories. Almost every dieting recommendation that I’ve ever heard required it–so much is the case that children know to talk about calories before even learning the definition.

…Asking someone for the definition used to be a smart-ass way to provoke a conversation.

Counting Calories is effective…Dogma.

But how useful is the whole calorie counting complex for people like me?

I needed to lose almost 150lbs….fast.

My health conditions, time, pain…all closing in on me and every single calorie focused diet was unsuccessful.

What did I find? What is my relationship with Calories now that I’ve lost 95lbs in 2 years with Keto and Fasting?

Calorie counting is like a fine tuning adjustment when you need more acceleration.

It’s simple but there is a darkside when the emotion of wanting to lose weight catches up with the limited knowledge of calorie restriction.

Calorie counters will sometimes get aggressive by only focusing on what they can cut rather than what their bodies need.

To put this into the engine analogy, if counting calories is a fine-tuning mechanism, these counters will starve the engine of fuel or air until it overheats and shuts down.

Meanwhile, all that was needed for acceleration was to open the throttle.

But the human body isn’t an engine; it’s a complex organism–made of other complex organisms.

Our bodies are closer to gardens than motorcycles.

Counting carbs was immediately effective for losing large amounts of weight and even they authorities who do not approve of Keto and Intermittent Fasting still recommend low carb diets—which require counting carbs.

Calories are important and even after losing the weight, I now have to optimize my intake in order to fine tune my diet to its best.

There are points of too few or too much;

I once limited my caloric intake to aproximately 500 calories–while working out;

That was the month that I couldn’t lose a pound–after months of explosive weightloss.

Apparently too few calories in a diet can put the body into starvation mode where it retains as much as possible–while tying up energy expenditure.

The old idea of simply taking in less and expending more needs a reworking and serious clarification.

For people of normal health, more harm has come from this misconception than Keto or Fasting.

-A person needs to learn more about their metabolism and their resting and operating rates.

-Having to measure everything can be a serious pain in the ass.

-A diet which has a low probability of success when eyeballed is fragile;

If it cannot be eyeballed and work, it’s too complicated.

This post is not to bastardize calorie counting or worse tracking our diets.

I’ve even found a way to make my daily Keto totally compliant with calorie restrictions—and implementing that is my next step going forward.

In the end, a diet should be tracked using easy metrics which are readily available on packaging, fair enough.

That said, the lack of focus on nutrition and establishing that perfect (albeit temporary) balance of macros to consume is a sad killer of any diet.

I give my body the fuel which works best, disregarding my palate, and that’s why it rewards me—funny enough, none of that fuel has been “diet food”.

The hungrier I’m left after eating, the more likely I’ll be munching with total disregard.

The feeling of hunger is only one strong dimension of insatiety which eventually gives your diet a cold shower.

Low calorie diets left me feeling hungry and weak.

Overall, I respect Calorie Counting, not as a panacea, but a tool to optomize my diet.

-M

Uncategorized

Beyond the diet–a story of mindset.

Losing 90 pounds the second time was a breeze. In fact, it was too easy. I soon learned that there was more to dieting—its a lifestyle, mindset, and a dedicated relationship.

After adopting my new diet, It didn’t take long for my lifestyle to turn around, but there were so many times where I failed to be consistent, and actually do it. I was a relapse waiting to happen, on what was already a slippery slope — all I needed was the right trigger. So many times, I let myself get complacent, and I gained back what I had worked so hard to lose.

In order to look past the diet I needed to make sure I have something else that keeps my body nourished—mindset and consistency. Sounds strange?

Well, think about what is choosing the food I ate; me operating on a random set of beliefs or misconceptions? Feeding Impulses? Maybe I’m on the right path but being undermined? The mindset in any environment is key to making the plan work.

This is the healthy food habit when there aren’t many healthy options around.

Eating healthy is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Too many people are looking at the diet part of eating healthy and missing the big picture. In this post I will tell you how to focus on four key parts of eating healthy that being focused on diet won’t get you.

There is a certain mindset people have when they start a diet. There is a common belief that the diet itself produces significant results and that once you’ve completed the diet, all your problems will be solved. Unfortunately, this is not the truth – and that’s where this article comes in. I want to show a closer look at how having a set of simple rules for eating healthy can lead to long-term results.

There is a common pattern among the people who fall into a hole of poor nutrition. They typically lose interest in finding healthy alternatives or focus more on the foods they want to fit in the diet, versus the foods they should be eating to be healthy.

I remember many discussions with Facebook groups where I shared with others the dietary changes I made to fight inflammation.

Even people with obvious lactose intolerance were intolerant to the idea of giving up dairy for their own good—even with there being many authentic substitutes.

They would concoct bs excuses like “where would I get my Calcium and Vitamin D from?”.

People are even worse basket cases when eating out. Pizza and cigarettes easily qualify as vegetables and the diet can always wait another day.

However, it’s not easy dieting and going out–especially for the people who apply themselves.

Contending with the modern food selection is rather difficult considering we live in a world which considers sugar a breakfast staple and sugar mixed with fat a dinner staple.

How are we supposed to choose?

What helps me is to not choose the food that cheers me up but the food that gives my body the nutrients that it craves.

Having a plan for what is permissible and what isn’t has payed off and when I do go out to eat–even at a fast food establishment, I stay away from a certain set of ingredients. That said, I tend to steer toward the healthier of the establishments inorder to skew my options toward a healthier selection.

Mood is one hell of a thing to make decisions with…

I once was an obese kid. I was teased a lot about my weight. Kids were relentless with it and it has stuck with me for a long time. It’s something that still triggers me even to this day. I eventually learned to cope with the teasing and anger by picking on myself worse than they did. I also used food as a coping mechanism at times. It’s not uncommon or unusual in any way, it is just my story of how I got here and where I am now–sabotaging my impeccable diet by stress eating….yes it still happens but it’s how much I can limit the damage and how I recover that makes the difference.

I’ve suffered from depression, anxiety, social phobia and low self esteem for as long as I could remember. I’d always turn to food for comfort, because it was the only thing I had control over.

However, I learned much later that I have control over much more; and my habits can be compounded in my favor just as easy as they’re compounded against me.

What it took was to develop an edge over myself…and some other things.

One of the last steps was getting control over my environment; this is the final step to disrupt the vicious triangle between mindset, choices and environment working against me.

I don’t visit the Dollar Store so much for an outing–and that’s good because I’m not tempted to buy as much candy.

When I want to get out for a bit, I go to a park or go for a bike ride–nothing that involves a quick bit considering I make sure to avoid all the food spots.

I think about my savings goals and what need the future may bring–having a poor diet means poor health, less money, less friends, less goals met, less trajectory and so on. Health is a serious matter.

My policy with junk will always be as follows: “Out of sight, out of mind.”

The HealthyFoodHabit lies in the mindset;

-M

Uncategorized

Even good diets fail? How I move forward from here…

In the beginning, it was simple

I had become accustomed to fasting. I was narrowing my window of eating down to the preliminary starting point of 12pm for breakfast while eating many smaller meals until 8pm.

This was the priming; I had to acclimate myself to growing hungry, operating hungry, and even sleeping hungry.

However tough it seemed, this made the reward all that much sweeter; When the fast was finally broken, food tasted amazing, it was satisfying, and I was full….for a while.

This was when I realized that my diet still lacked structure.

The content of what I was eating had improved but I was filling up on the first few meals and would quit because I felt hungry until later when I would have that notable reoccurring hunger that is famous for ruining diets;

It was then I realized that for this diet to work, it wasn’t just the fasted moments which had to be a sacrifice but there were plenty of sacrificed within the eating window.

First, I had to start eating when my body needed it, not because I was hungry—that was difficult.

We grow up with the idea that we eat when were hungry and drink when were thirsty and in spite of this level of impulse, we still use words like “Breakfast” which literally imply a fast–but does the body reach a fasted state in just the small hours that were sleeping, consensus is no.

It takes roughly 12 hours to reach a fasted state and in the “normal” western pattern diet, even less time is allotted to time without food; people will often eat up until the point of going to sleep, maybe wake up for a snack, and after sleep, eat breakfast while they wait for lunch. Not enough does the average person experience prolonged hunger; and that constant stimulation is almost painful to break.

My solution was simple, eat to survive, not for pleasure.

The Plan: I would give myself the appropriate time without food and when time to break the fast, shove a healthy selection of meal into my face at reasonable intervals with a new found bias for larger portions over many meals—continuing to eat when feeling full.

My mentality was simple: Recognizing how food would not be available and that I needed to put it away while it was available and the beauty was, I would have a lot of time to digest–which my IBSD stomach loved.

The first few months of Keto, I was already fasting and my meals were simple;

Poached eggs over spinach with seasoning and sriracha, Venison sandwich on rye with fresh spinach tomato and sriracha mayo, and in the beginning, Keto oatmeal with peanut butter—yes, it exists.

Quickly, I added an egg protein shake with Almond Milk to the mix and I had 4 solid meals to eat within 12pm-8pm.

Somewhere along, food became a tool that I would build with and my diet as a system started to make sense: crap management, crap result.

In the first month, I shed a surprising amount of weight (25lbs) with little exercise. I was still in that glut of minimum motivation that I had been in before the diet. It was exciting and after years of many different diets—some costing a lot of money—I had found something that worked like I had only dreamed. What I didn’t realize was that this was water weight and the benefits were only diminishing from here—it wouldn’t be all sunshine and roses but it was one hell of a start. I would have to readjust course and even begin working out. Also, what I didn’t realize was that in order to call my diet Keto compliant, I would have to reach full Ketosis. 

However, I just was reaching “Semi-Ketosis” but this was surprisingly a good thing because it allowed me many of the benefits without incurring the dreaded “keto flu”.

Official diet: “Semi-Keto” with Intermittent fasting—8hr window to start, 4 meals per day.

At the current moment, I’ve gone from a total of 95lbs lost, down to 70lbs lost—I plan to document the next steps of recovery from my dietary relapse in 2021. At some point, I got complacent and assumed that I had reached maximum weight loss in addition to feeling like I can get rid of any weight that I put on. In 2021, I started to eat the worst garbage imaginable and gained an extra 26lbs that I’ve been just “regulating”.

Also, I plateaued at 95lbs lost and knew there was another 30lbs left to lose which now would require a serious effort to exercise. I actually like exercise but the pain from my back feels like hell and I gave up after at least doing the regimen for some months.

Going forward, my exercises will be more core focused to strengthen my back muscles and less on my upper body which after working hard, now is suitable enough–one goal met.

I’m not proud of myself for destroying a good thing–it may take the whole year to get this together; but the important thing is always getting back up after a failure.

-M

Uncategorized

The Story

I was sick, Morbidly Obese, In pain, and had exhausted every ounce of my being correcting it but to no avail.

My BMI was over 46.

I suffered from Back problems, IBS, endocrine problems, poor cognition, and unknowingly, Sleep Apnea.

Every day was a haze and I would barely get out of bed. For breakfast, I would drink as many Redbulls as I could with a “baconeggandcheese” sandwich and hope it would sustain me…I fell asleep in every class and failed most.

In High School, my first class of the day was gym and I would use any excuse to get out of it. The teacher ran me hard; Activity that was barely formidable for other students would give me chest pains. Though more to the point, it was humiliating.

I walked miles every day. I would elect to run the track, Attempt Ice Skating, and by mid-day, use the Weight Room. After school? workout.

I didn’t mind working out; I rather enjoyed it but it was tough on my body and the work I put in was in vain. I continued to gain fat and by senior year, was put on Nutrisystem by a physician.

At that point I had been well versed in dieting: Weightwatchers, Jenny Craig, 3-day Diets, Cleanses, energy pills, stupid diet tips from TV doctors…I was a trove of information and experience with little results to show. I was unimpressed by the results and always hungry.

Every athletic (or formerly athletic) person that I knew told me it was simple math:

-“Take in Less, and Expend More.”

-“Don’t eat fat and you wont get fat.”

“Cardio is key.”

By the time I was on Nutrisystem, I was blaming myself just like the disappointed people around me–something which continued long after I stopped Nutrisystem and accepted defeat. I was too hungry to diet.

Today, those people ask me how I did it. Many of them who were once slender and complacent didn’t really understand how. This was revealed to me once I cracked the dieting code.

My weight had held me back most of my life and after High School, I was so sick with chronic stomach pain that I wasn’t eating for sometimes a week. I couldn’t sleep and ceased to be functional. I dropped out of college and was in and out of hospitals for the next 10 years.

By the time I was 21, I was so sick that I had lost 135lbs and while I looked slim for the first time in my life, Malnutrition was not a solution. Others told me that getting sick was a blessing in disguise but funny enough, once my symptoms went into a remission, I had started gaining back what would eventually be almost every pound.

By 25, I was 100lbs heavier again and without the wherewithal to stop myself from approaching 300lbs.

It was in this time that I began working on a system; piece by piece. The first victory was learning how to regulate my weight. Losing it however, took another 4 years to master.

Exercise was not the key. Eating Less was not the key. Fad diets or going Fat Free is and will always be useless.

I needed to harness the power of my body’s natural processes and by that, I could lose weight without working out and even on a Full Stomach.

It proved sucessful 😉

Failure, Starting, Uncategorized

What should I like about a diet? (and the Mission)

I am a work in progress and when I say that I know what to do know, it’s more that I know what I’m doing now.

I haven’t lost all my weight. In fact, i’m about 40lbs shy of my target. Inspite of learning how to hack my body for weight loss, better cognition, and energy production, I have yet to scale these processes to their fullest instead, opting for a gradual and somewhat unobtrusive plan.

Why do this?

  • Because I’ve spent 28 years doing it the wrong way and that doesn’t simply come to an end with one swift move. This was and is a Lifestyle Change.
  • Because I still want to include fun activities in my life rather than become the diet.

For a diet to be effective, you have to at least like it. My younger self (like many) didn’t believe this could be possible. The results of dieting are what we love and the process so unlikable that many of us would rather live in pain than change it.

What should I like about a diet?

  • It should be Simple enough to carry out everyday.
  • It should be Satiating or satisfy hunger.
  • It should provide superior Nutrition which strengthens you.
  • It should yield Results.

It’s hard to do anything in life which doesn’t meet this criteria, really. If taking a shower wasn’t simple, satisfying, good for oneself, or an efficient method, I don’t think anyone would do it. But more than that, showering doesn’t seem obtrusive and is in fact so innocuous that many of us don’t even have to think about it; We just do it.

Why start this blog? I want to live this with you. I want you to share your experiences. I want to prove that one of the worst health problems of our time can be fixed by a set of habits so small, they’re not even in need of much thinking…and that’s a start.

It’s not just the weight loss that’s important, it’s the mindset and the person which possesses it that must be maintained. A good dish is made from good ingredients…

Uncategorized

The Journey (from sickness and obesity…)

How simple beginnings turned into an adventure, a learning experience, and desired outcomes.

When I went to my Gastroenterologist in 2017 for what is now the latest battery of tests, the results were as inconclusive as they were when my stomach pain began. However, the doctor came to the conclusion that it was time I take the idea of restricting my diet seriously.

He recommended I see a nutritionist and handed me a script with the words “FODMAP” written. This was the diet discussed often by such figures as Heather Von Vorous as being one of the most effective for IBS/IBD.

While on the FODMAP diet, I noticed a pattern: Gluten, Dairy, Cruciferous Vegitables, and even some High Carb meals were discouraged as triggers. Soluble fiber was emphasized over Insoluble Fiber and healthy Proteins/Fats exalted as an important variable. This is where the fundamentals aligned and lightening struck: The FODMAP Diet was a tweak away from being Keto Compliant.

What is Keto?

The Ketogenic Diet or Keto is a diet which harnesses the body’s natural fat burning processes to release Ketones as an alternative source of fuel. In a Ketogenic state, the body is not getting its fuel from outside sources like carbohydrates but instead is burning ketones, fat, and if done correctly, enters the stages of Autophagy.

What are the benefits?

  • Increased Energy and Improved Cognitive Function.
  • Aggressive Weight Loss.
  • Improved Immune System.
  • Feeling like you’ve hacked your body for weight loss when you need it.
  • Being a part of the Community.

Keto wasn’t the only thing on my mind. At that point, I had been experimenting with Intermittent Fasting.

Before even beginning Keto, I had primed myself with a rudimentary Intermittent Fasting routine.

I found from the beginning that even with a terrible diet, weight could be regulated with fasting and with an excellent diet, weight could drop aggressively in people with water retention and insulin resistance.

Fasting has different benefits in different durations and in longer blocks, fasting can induce autophagy.

All in all, this combination has changed my life; not only with their results but with being one of the easiest diets I’ve ever had to follow.

The one big caveat is that a serious change in perspective is required and for me it was well overdue.

M