Losing Weight – A lot of Weight. Part 3 of 3

by admin on November 3, 2011

Part II – What to Do

Eating the Right Way

This section will be much more of a recommendation of authors.  The first is Michael Pollan, and his books The Omnivores Dilemma and In Defense of Food are must-reads.  He also has a much smaller book called Food Rules, which lays out some simple rules for eating proper food.  Essentially, his idea is that anything you eat should generally be something that was available to our grandparents and great grandparents.  Eat real food, not packaged crap.  He also talks about food policy in this country and the politics surrounding that.  The documentary Food Inc., also does a great job with it.

If you have a serious amount of weight to lose, I will say the best way to do it is some form of the Atkins Diet; that is to nearly eliminate carbs from your diet.  Also, it helps to take away from what Pollan wrote and to nearly eliminate carbs by turning to meat and vegetables high in fiber.  If you turn to too much pre-packaged low carb food, you will not have nearly the success.  A great author to read about this is Gary Taubes and his books Good Calorie, Bad Calorie and Why We Get Fat.  Taubes states that the research shows that Dr. Atkins was most likely correct, that animal fat does not make us fat, and that much of it is probably pretty good for us.  He also believes, and I join him, that the low fat craze doesn’t have much real science behind it and that low fat diets are killing this country.

            Finally and this is a passion of mine, CUT HIGH FRUTOSE CORN SYRUP OUT OF YOUR DIET ENTIRELY.  Now this can be hard to do because the crap is everywhere.   Here is what happens when you eat HFCS.  Sometimes your cells need a little sugar, and its best to give them some; even Dr. Atkins said have a little Ice Cream now and again.  But when your body tastes sweet, your cells expect sugar; only they don’t recognize HFCS as sugar, so they essentially make you crave more sugar and you give them more HFCS.  This drives your insulin crazy and soon, you’re getting super fat.  Eliminate the crap.

Finally We Come To Exercise

As for how we’re telling people in this country to exercise, I have only one thing to say: we’re doing it wrong.  Cardio is total nonsense.  It makes us feel good because we breathe hard and sweat, but it in general doesn’t have much use. Now if you’re thing is running or biking and you love doing it, I’m not telling you to stop.  But all this time we spend bouncing on treadmills, stair-stepping, and stripper aerobics is a waste, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.  Also asking an obese person to hop up and down on their joints is just not smart.

We need to redefine healthy from some number on a scale to body fat percentage,  because that is the true measure of health, the amount of lean body mass we have related to our total weight.  Cardio doesn’t help, and may in fact hinder the building of muscle.  The key is weight lifting, but not this 4 sets of 8 reps of 60% of max crap.  Short, but intense, weight lifting.

My workout schedule is this: I lift weights for 15 minutes twice a week, and other than that I chase my 19 month old son around the yard.  The key is that during those 15 minutes you work your muscles to exhaustion.  There are several books on this, Body by Science, The Power of Ten etc..  I know people will doubt this when they read it, but just pick up Body By Science and do the workout for a month, or better yet, find a trainer who is a slow-burn/zero momentum strength training specialist.

I hope my story and ideas on fitness have been quite helpful.  If you have question or want to debate something, please comment and I’m happy to talk about any part of this in greater depth.  Thank you.



Losing Weight – A lot of Weight. Part 2 of 3

by admin on October 26, 2011

Part II – What is in the way

So what are the lessons learned?  I would say there are four pillars and one universal thread to losing weight and achieving health.

  1. Find out why you are fat.
  2. Find out if anything medical is preventing you from losing weight. 
  3. Begin to eat the right kinds of foods.
  4. And finally (this part will be the most controversial) exercise in the right ways.

Find Out Why you’re Fat

Nobody gets to be 100, 200, or 300 pounds overweight unless there is something more going on.  For me, my parents’ death, and the depression that came with it, threw me into a spiral.  For a long time I was ashamed to ask for help, believing in that stupid idea that asking for mental health help made me weak.  I was the biggest kind of an idiot to believe that, and essentially lost a decade of my life being super obese because of it.  Talk to somebody supportive.  Honestly, I think if we could tackle super-obesity more in the manner that we look at drug and alcohol addiction, we’d do a better job.

Also, don’t be afraid of anti-depressants.  I take one and if you’re on them for the right reasons, they are miracle drugs.  I will honestly say the makers of Wellbutrin contributed to saving my life.  When you get caught in the sort of weight gain depression spiral, you need something to reset your system and give you some clarity, and Wellbutrin did that for me.

Finally, find out what your triggers are.  I want to eat badly when I’m stressed or depressed.  Being aware of that helps me deal with those feelings and not go on a month-long pizza and cookie bender.

As a side note, if you’re dealing with depression and someone tells you to buck up and get over it, know that person is a big of a moron as there could be on the earth.  Please stop talking to them immediately and ask for help from someone who will actually help you.

Find out if You Have any Medical Issues.

As it turns out, I have a thyroid problem.  It’s part of the reason why the only diets that help me lose weight are ones that essentially eliminates carbs, like Atkins.  I can stay stable if I eat some fruit and whole grains, but if I start getting too much stuff like white flour or High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), I explode.

Make sure you get a full blood workup before you start this journey, and if you’ve struggled with weight your whole life, try to see an endocrinologist and get a full thyroid and hormone workup.


Losing Weight – A lot of Weight. Part 1 of 3

October 19, 2011

I have a friend, Dave, who has had a lifelong struggle with his weight.  He has talked about his ups and downs over the years, and has gained and lost massive amounts of weight during his lifetime.  He is a fanatical researcher and, let’s say, not a dull person.  At all. I found his story […]

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Scams, Scams, Everywhere You Look.

August 25, 2011

I received an email this morning from, allegedly, NACHA, The Electronic Payments Association. It had an official looking logo at the top and the following message: The ACH transfer (ID: 15569073283202), recently sent from your checking account (by you or any other person), was rejected by the Electronic Payments Association. Rejected transfer Transaction ID: 15569073283202 […]

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How to Make the Best Coffee at Home

July 27, 2011

I watched a lot of TV when I was young, and with the old network television came the seemingly endless procession of commercials.  I can still picture the all-knowing Mrs. Olsen, with her Scandinavian accent, lecturing the poor housewife neighbor who could not make a decent cup of coffee to save her life.  She was […]

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Why You Should Brew Your Own Coffee

July 6, 2011

Who likes coffee?  The answer:  a lot of people.  Starbucks reported $10.7 billion in revenue last year, and according to their annual report, roughly 75% of that came from beverage sales.  In the United States we drink 400 million cups of coffee each day.  And why not?  Coffee is enjoyable, it gives you a nice […]

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Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

June 6, 2011

Summertime is prime time for garage sales.  Having a garage sale is not only about making some extra money, it’s about de-cluttering, getting rid of things you don’t need and creating space in your life, both literally and figuratively.  I promise that you will feel a lot better after clearing out all that stuff from […]

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Your 401(k) – Are You Taking Advantage?

June 2, 2011

Most employees have some sort of retirement savings plan set up at their place of employment.  If you have one, I hope you are taking advantage of it.  If you aren’t, there are some compelling reasons why you should. Tax Advantages First of all, you will save on your tax bill since 401(k) contributions are […]

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The Best Way to Save on Your Food Bill

May 18, 2011

The average North American wastes 650 pounds of food per year.  This staggering figure is according to an article from Business Insider, in which they examined a study recently published by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This is not the first study to confirm this level of waste.  The New […]

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How To Make Any Hotel Seem Like The Four Seasons

May 5, 2011

Have you ever stayed at a Four Seasons Hotel?  Neither have I, but it’s on my list.  I hear they are spectacular and the service is out of this world.  Until then, however, I have a little trick that has served me well in making your average hotel seem like a world class resort.  Stay […]

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