Why Can't I Lose Weight?????

Posted by Ed 2 yrs ago
So you are pounding away on the treadmill...  and you think you are following a reasonable diet eating complex carbs including lots of whole grains, drinking pure fruit juice, substituting honey for sugar etc....  
Yet the pounds are not coming off. 
If so, I highly recommend the book Go Wild

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bananaq 2 yrs ago
start doing IF and keto diet

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Ed 2 yrs ago
Here's a quick summary of 'Go Wild' 
Up until humans transitioned to farming (from hunting and gathering lifestyles), we did not consume large amounts of carbohydrates.   
No bread... no pasta...  certainly no fast or processed foods...  next to no sugar (only what you get from fruits)....
Fast forward to modern times ---  most people take huge 'hits' of carbs throughout the day --- a couple of toast for breakfast, pancakes .. a large glass of juice...  perhaps a bowl of pasta or a heaping helping of rice with lunch....  2 maybe 3 soft drinks ....  a pizza for dinner....   maybe a burger... 
All these carbs are not needed by our bodies so they get converted into fat...  the author also argues that the body can react badly to these inputs --- there is a case study detailing how one very sick person recovered after cutting most carbs out of her diet (you can get all the carbs your body needs without  consuming foods that are high carb...
As the saying goes - you cannot outwork a bad diet --- if you are taking in loads of carbs, unless you are training at the level of a performance athlete, you will not burn them off - so you will not lose weight. 
The book is well worth reading as it can inspire you to lead a more health life...  but the author does a quick summary of recommendations:
- avoid sugar of any kind including honey - it is all equally bad
- avoid all processed foods 
- avoid bread, rice and pasta (including whole grain stuff)
- avoid all soft drinks and fruit juice 
- limit your alcohol intake 
- eat a wide variety of foods to obtain a wide range of nutrients
- vegetables, nuts, limited amounts of meat, dairy (if you are not intolerant) and fruit are recommended
- exercise regularly (group classes are recommended - check out the Les Mills options such as Body Pump and Grit)  
Our gym has regular 21 day nutrition challenge seminars.    The challenge is to go cold turkey --- absolutely no rubbish for 3 weeks.   You are not even meant to have milk or sugar with your coffee...
What this does is break your addiction to unhealthy foods (people with really poor diets often get physically sick for the first week) --- once you have done that you start to feel better with more energy and a positive outlook -- you will also lose weight....  (motivating!)
The other take away is that you then understand which foods are the villains... and you know to avoid them.  For instance - some people believe drinking juice is healthy --- even fresh squeezed is full of sugar....
Essentially the goal is not to 'go on a diet' ... it's to change your eating habits permanently... once you have done that then a cheat here and there is not a big issue...  you can have a pizza once in awhile without worrying about gaining all the weight back. 

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Ed 2 yrs ago
James Wilks travels the world on a quest for the truth about meat, protein, and strength.
Showcasing elite athletes, special ops soldiers, and visionary scientists to change the way people eat and live.

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Ed 2 yrs ago
'Can we resolve the saturated fat question...?' 
Dr Simon Thornley is an epidemiologist, lecturer, researcher and Public Health Physician working at the University of Auckland in the section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
After training in medicine, Simon worked as a junior doctor in all three large hospitals in the Auckland region, as well as in the Hunter Valley region in New South Wales, Australia.

Since then, Dr. Thornley retrained in public health medicine and has been working in academia and the health sector in epidemiological and public health roles. His research interests include tobacco dependence, food addiction and obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, psychiatric disease, injury and environmental epidemiology.
He has an interest in the health effects of sugar and low carb lifestyles.

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Ed 7 mths ago
fat to skinny with healthy diet weight lossHow to lose weight rapidly
Over the last year I’ve written several articles about how to lose weight, what the studies show works and what they show doesn’t work. I figured it was time to put all that content together in to a single article that makes clear actionable recommendations. First, let’s just get one thing straight – the most commonly offered advice, to eat less and exercise more, doesn’t work. At least not for the vast majority of people.

When people begin the “eat less, exercise more” diet they quickly start to feel like they’re starving to death. At the same time, their metabolism slows to a crawl, which results in much less weight loss than would be predicted based on how much less they’re eating. It’s only a matter of time before they break down, and when they do, they’re likely to end up weighing even more than they did to begin with.

A successful weight loss diet isn’t one where you’re consciously counting calories and just eating less of the things you were eating before. It’s one where you completely overhaul what you’re eating. There are two different ways in which this can be done, both of which work. The first is to significantly increase protein intake. The second is to significantly increase fibre intake. Both work. If I wanted to lose weight rapidly, I’d do both simultaneously.

Earlier this year I decided to do a personal experiment with switching from the paleo-ish diet that I normally follow to the pure animal product carnivore diet, just to see what would happen. What this meant in practice was cutting down dietary fibre from around 50 grams per day to less than 10 grams per day (by getting rid of all the berries, nuts, and vegetables I was eating), while increasing protein from around 17% of total calories to 30% (by eating more meat). What happened?

Actually, I rapidly gained weight, from 73 kilograms to start to 80 kg around a month later, which is more than I’ve ever weighed (although still within the limits of what would be considered “normal weight”). Considering that I’m normally stable at 73 kilograms with little variation up or down, this was a pretty profound change and could only be explained by the change in diet. The weight remained stable at 80 kg for a few months, until I reintroduced fibre, at which point it dropped down again.

That is of course entirely anecdotal evidence from my self-experimentation, so the findings should be taken with a grain of salt, but it showed me how much of an impact fibre has on body weight, which would explain why people in cultures with traditionally very low intakes of protein, such as the people of Okinawa and the Kitavans, can still be slim. It suggested to me that fibre might actually be the more powerful of the two levers to pull on. That would be an interesting topic for future research.

That being said, there is no reason to do just one or the other when you can do both at the same time (unless you have some gastrointestinal issue and aren’t able to tolerate high fibre foods, or you’re vegan, say, and therefore can’t access the densest sources of protein – in that case it should be perfectly possible to achieve success by just doing one or the other, it might just take a little longer to get where you’re going).

So anyway, there are two levers you can pull on if you’re overweight and your goal is to lose weight. Most people in the western world have a low protein intake, at around 12 to 14% of total calories. They simultaneously have a low fibre intake, at around 15 to 20 grams per day. If you’re currently normal weight and you want to avoid gaining weight over time then you can probably get away with going low on one, but you can’t go low on both.

People with functioning kidneys can safely get as much as 30-40% of total calories from protein, which if you’re overweight will result in rapid weight loss. The average person can also easily increase fibre intake to 50 grams per day without negative consequences, although the fibre intake should be increased gradually, over the course of a few weeks, or there is likely to be some stomach pain and diarrhoea while the body adjusts to the increased fibre.

There is one class of food that is particularly detrimental to body weight, and that is refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates are low in both protein and fibre, and they are therefore optimally designed to make you gain weight. Pure fats, such as butter and oils, are also low in both protein and fibre, and intake of them should therefore also be kept to a minimum.

Note that I’m not saying you should necessarily eat a low fat diet. What I’m saying is that you should limit intake of pure fats if your goal is to lose weight rapidly. A little butter in the frying pan is fine, but eating a stick of butter isn’t.

In light of all of this, an optimal weight loss plan has three pillars.

  1. Increase protein intake to 30-40% of total calories.
  2. Increase dietary fibre to at least 50 grams per day.
  3. Avoid refined carbohydrates and pure fats.

If you’re overweight and you do all these three things, then the excess weight will rapidly come off. You don’t have to feel like you’re starving. And you don’t have to count calories. You just have to make sure you’re getting sufficient protein and fibre.

Here are some examples of foods that are high in protein:

Tuna (85% of calories)
Chicken breast (75% of calories)
Cottage cheese (70% of calories)
Low-fat Greek yogurt (70% of calories)
Beef steak (50% of calories)
Soybean (50% of calories)
Pork chop (45% of calories)

And here are some examples of foods that are high in fibre:

Cauliflower (16 grams per 100 calories)
Raspberries (13 grams per 100 calories)
Broccoli (12 grams per 100 calories)
Spinach (10 grams per 100 calories)
Asparagus (9 grams per 100 calories)
Cabbage (8 grams per 100 calories)
Strawberries (6 grams per 100 calories)
Chickpeas (5 grams per 100 calories)
Kiwi (5 grams per 100 calories)
Avocado (5 grams per 100 calories)
Blueberries (4 grams per 100 calories)
Sweet potato (4 grams per 100 calories)

And here’s a list of foods that should be avoided like the plague if your goal is to lose weight rapidly:

Soft drinks
Alcoholic drinks
Ice cream
Corn (maize)
Anything with added sugar

There are many different ways you can eat that will accomplish the dietary goals of getting at least 30% of calories from protein and at least 50 grams of fibre. If you, for example, get 50% of calories from high protein foods and 50% of calories from high fibre foods, then both goals should be fulfilled without too much difficulty. Here’s just one example of what a daily meal plan might look like:

Breakfast: Low fat Greek yogurt with blueberries and raspberries

Snack: Kiwi

Lunch: Chicken breast, sweet potato, and broccoli

Snack: Cottage cheese

Dinner: Steak, sweet potato, and asparagus

(I hope you like sweet potato!)

Don’t attempt to limit overall portion size. Eat as much as you need to in order to feel satisfied at each meal.

Just as a final clarification, if you’re already at your ideal weight, then you don’t need to go up as high as 30% of total calories from protein or 50 grams of fibre. You can get away with less of both without gaining weight. This is for people who are overweight and want to lose weight rapidly.

That’s it. No need to read anything further on the topic of weight loss. Just follow this advice. I hope this is helpful to people. If you decide to try part or all of this, then let me know how it goes!

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Ed 4 mths ago
The low carb cure, with Dr. David Unwin

David Unwin is a primary care physician in the UK. For the last eight years he’s been running a long term cohort study in his clinic, in which he treats his diabetic patients with a low carb diet. The study has generated massive amounts of useful data on what happens when patients with type 2 diabetes switch to a low carb diet.

And the results have been pretty astounding, with patients going in to complete remission from their diabetes (something which was previously thought to be virtually impossible), lowering their blood pressure, improving their cholesterol levels, losing weight, improving their liver and kidney function, and being able to go off drugs that they would otherwise likely have had to stay on for the rest of their lives.

In this podcast, I talk to David about how the study came about and what the low carb intervention that he gives his patients consists of more specifically. We then discuss some of the common criticisms of the low carb diet and why they really aren’t supported by the scientific evidence, and end with a discussion of what doctors and other clinicians who are interested in implementing a low carb diet with their patients can do to make it happen.

I enjoyed this conversation a lot and I hope you will too.

You can watch the interview here.


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Ed 3 mths ago
Why we get fat, with David Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson

David Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson are biologists who have dedicated their careers to trying to understand how animals decide how much to eat and what to eat. They started with insects, and then moved on to small mammals, and ended up looking at humans, and they’ve chronicled their research in their book “Eat like the animals”.

What they’ve discovered is that most animals, including humans, have five different appetites – for protein, carbohydrate, fat, sodium, and calcium. One of these five, the appetite for protein, is however dominant, and is the prime determinant of how much we eat.

What that means is that when we’re in a dietary environment where the foods we’re eating are low in protein, then we’ll overeat and consequently gain weight. That is why modern humans, living in a food environment rich in processed foods that are particularly low in protein, are so prone to becoming obese.

In this interview, I talk to David and Stephen about their research findings, and get their opinion on what people should do if they want to lose weight, and also on what societies should do in order to create healthier populations.

In the extended version of the interview that’s only available to patrons, we also discuss some experiments that David and Stephen have done that suggest that a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates, while optimal as a treatment for obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, isn’t optimal from the perspective of maximising longevity in people who aren’t metabolically unhealthy.

This creates a difficult balancing act, especially from the perspective of public health policy, where one recommendation appears to be optimal for the metabolically unhealthy, while a different recommendation is optimal for those who are already healthy and want to maximize their longevity.

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