I am taking a short break and stepping off my telomere / fish oil soap box to revisit a topic that in the past was a big favorite: diet and obesity.
As I mentioned in my last blog my descent and resurrection from obesity is graphically detailed on when I revisit the best kind of exercise.
My own journey to getting fat is actually pretty typical at least in terms of reasons why.
Those reasons are: significant and sudden decrease in activity, complete abandonment of any dietary restrictions in terms of my food choices, and finally lack of concern over how many calories I took in. Briefly this was supposed to be an experiment to prove that Ultra Strength Fat Furnace worked and sped up weight loss. I was going to gain 15 pounds and then hit the brakes and reverse it in a few weeks by reinstating my life style and adding the supplement I had created. I stopped all of my supplements during this time and man was it easy to pack on the pounds. The unplanned part happened when I developed and acute appendicitis and added 6 more weeks of inactivity and another 35 pounds to the weight loss tally.
A few months and 50 pounds less later I learned a couple of very important things I want to share with you about why we get fat and the world’s best diet to lose that fat.
The specific reasons I gave you above are the reason most people get fat. Once again they are:
- Too many calories in.
- Too few calories out.
- Not enough physical activity.
- The wrong choices of food.
The first 3 are undeniable and pretty much everybody knows this. But the last one is really a sticking point.
Our diets are loaded with inflammatory food choices. By that I mean foods that tilt the balance of our immune system towards inflammation and cause havoc over time with our health. But they also set up a kind of chain reaction where inflammation begets more inflammation and now you have a cycle that reinforces itself. That is much harder to do once that cycle is established than it is to nip it in the bud.
At the same time our diets are loaded with carbs and sugar. Notice I am not distinguishing between simple and complex carbs anymore. I am saying ALL carbs. Now I can hear the dieticians in the audience grumbling about my obvious “mistake” and oversight but I am very deliberate.
I think the best diet for rapid weight loss and overall health is a diet (e.g. reduced calories!) that leads to ketosis in your body. You can call it a ketogenic diet if you like. I think the biggest benefits are seen by the combination of ketosis and dietary energy reduction (DER). Some people would call that “calorie restriction” but I do not want to invoke all the baggage that comes with that term. My recent sojourn to Wiaken Ranch in Joseph Oregon with OMD Dr Laurel Sander has reinforced that. Seven days of juice (again some people would call that a “juice fast” and a daily calorie intake of about 50% my usual was easy to maintain and resulted in rapid weight loss of about 7 pounds. And it has stayed off because my appetite has stayed under control.
So if you like Carbs are the enemy. Simple carbs much more so than complex and fruits much more so than vegetables and sugared fruits and juices (ever wonder how they get cranberries to taste sweet?!). In a month or so I will tackle a seven day water fast and let you know how that goes.
Anything that rapidly cranks up your insulin levels is a bad thing for your weight and your health. Be particularly wary of the “whole grain” agenda. There are a ton of reasons why I am not a grain fan but for our purposes today it’s because they tend to be loaded with calories even in small portions.
The things I really want to stress here are the following: Sugar is indeed addictive and sugary food choices including sweet fruits can sabotage your appetite control. You will get hungry by eating carbs in excess of 20 or so grams a day and this will make dieting miserable, exhausting and most likely, a failure.
I have always found that by day 3 or so of a really low carb ketogenic diet I have a lot of energy even with DER.
So is this the best diet in the world? Just like my last blog the answer is “It depends”.
I think it is the best one to induce fairly rapid weight loss and long term recognition of your eating “habits”. Eating by routine instead of hunger fuels most of our “waist lines”. It will also teach you how sneaky and pervasive sugar and carbs that easily go to sugar are at getting you to lose control of food choices, portion control and your will power. Carbs and insulin are the enemy and sugars are far more addictive for some of us than we realize.
Finally it will teach you a huge lesson: most of us eat too much! Plain and simple.*
With those lessons you will gain insight into your body and how it works that will help you in ways you never dreamed of and give you a new sense of control over your life.
But as a long term diet I think its too easy to get into vitamin deficiencies if you are not careful. If you decide to do this make sure you take your supplements .
Either way its time to take control of your weight and your life. Let’s make this year the year!
*I am referring to middle aged adults here because that is the “most of us” that is interested in staying younger. On a side note 10 years ago I carried 235 lbs of mostly muscle around. Nowadays its more like 195 with a similar body composition. I think being leaner as you age is just much healthier. And it will keep you from being “one of the many”. When I walk around in the company of guys my age with the huge guts, crappy posture and fat faces I feel like one of us is not human!