(Article reading time for an average adult: approximately 8 minutes. Else you can read only the bold)
The Nutrition Today
The discussion about weight loss has been taking place for decades now in humanity, especially nowadays in the western world. The previous days I read an interesting comment that these days the most important problems for people are the overabundance of food and emails! We live in a world where the vast majority doesn’t even have to eat and the vast minority is struggling not to eat. Obviously, many authorities and several companies exist that help people become slimmer. Likewise a lot of people have tried to enter a diet. Apparently only a few of them succeeded in their goal and many that succeeded, regained the lost weight so afterwards they had to try again to succeed. In my opinion two where the main reasons that lead to the above two results. The first was that the individual was entering a physically and psychologically difficult process leading him/her to either quit the diet or to restart eating unhealthy foods after the completion of the diet and regain weight. The second reason was ignorance or sciolism.
At the same time, if someone distances oneself from the subject he is going to think that what happens doesn’t seem logical… In order a person to be thin he has to be pressed so much? Why were the obesity and type 2 diabetes rates extremely lower before the industrial revolution and the elation of capitalism? Does anyone know about his grandfathers to be following the advice of nutritionists to manage to not become fat?
One argument against the above statement would be that in the past times they were moving more. And it is as reliable as it seems to be. However, it tells only one small percentage of the whole truth because exercise doesn’t seem to be so effective in fat burn. For example in a marathon a runner of 75kg body weight will lose approximately 2800 kcal and a runner of 95kg of bodyweight is going to lose approximately 3500. In simple words, you can make your calculations bearing in mind that 1kg of fat assigns to 7700 kcal… When I was younger I used to go a lot for sports and be outside the house. The ones that know me since I was very young can understand the irony. Of course exercise is very useful for several other reasons but it doesn’t look like it plays a significant role in weight loss except in situations such as in the “slow carb diet” where it can help getting out of a plateau. One second argument against would be the situations that the people were living. I mean the fresher air, less stress etc. This is totally understandable however, in the case we cannot change our environment we have to accept it and focus on that we are able to affect. At least up to a point. One of them is nutrition. Sometimes we do this but most of the times ineffectively.
After all these the truth would probably be in front of our eyes – it seems impossible that there exists no way to lose weight painlessly – but we keep looking at other directions and choose hassles without seeing results most of the times. And the irrationality was increasing by taking into account that usually a diet doesn’t imply healthy nutrition. Does it seem rational? And if yes do we accept it for ourselves? Of course what healthy nutrition really is in my opinion is severely distorted today even from the scientists themselves. How else could the dairy companies or companies such as Kellog’s or Nestle promote their products? They wouldn’t be in the place they are otherwise.
Perhaps the answer will not come from how much you eat but from what you eat.
First of all we have to forget every discussion about calories. Calories are a very simple way to count the energy that the food supposingly provides to the body and consequently the weight we are going to gain if we do not burn it all or the weight we are going to lose if we burn more. Metabolism varies from person to person and thus the burning of the calories in the body. It differs from time to time, such as if someone has been treated with antibiotics the previous days. Also, the calories on the labels aren’t calculated in detail and as a result they differ from reality, especially if we are talking about a large consumption of food. Still, in the thermodynamics of the body temperature plays a huge role. It isn’t only how many calories you burn and how many you intake but also to what temperatures the body is exposed. If the temperature is lower than 36.6 degrees of Celsius the body has to burn fat to reach its normal point. This is a huge separate issue that helped me a lot in slimming and in other areas too however this is not the topic of this particular article. Just keep in mind that is the only explanation that Michael Phelps consumes these proverbial 12,000 calories/day without fattening. His every day caloric burn itself is not even reaching this number. Only by a 4hour swim in a pool where the temperature is lower than the body’s and water is more isothermal than air his caloric intake is realistic. Mr Ray Cronise dealt with this, who is a former instructor at NASA for such issues.
Something very important is that the elements that add energy to the body are 3. Carbohydrates, proteins and fat. The food calories are calculated depending on the amount of each of these 3 elements. The 1g of protein and 1g of carbohydrate correspond to 4 calories while 1g fat to 9. These 3 elements with their subcategories operate differently in the human body and should not for any reason anyone believe that two foods with the same amount of calories but the one being full of protein and fat while the other being full of carbs “fatten” the same.
Like most people I had so many times tried diets. They were always improvised and based on the little knowledge I had accumulated through my dealing with sports. Usually I couldn’t manage enough things and even when I managed I was tiring myself a lot. I used to reach a plateau, something that was creating enormous frustration to me. Fortunately, from a certain point I had no particular problem with my weight because I really can’t imagine how I would be right now. I remember always being terribly scared that if I gained kilos I would definitely have to over pressurise myself so as to lose them. I had this feeling because I had experienced the situation before and not because I was pessimistic. Of course at that moment I did not know that (blessed be the Internet) you’ve got the chance to learn anything you need in terms of information in any area you’d like to improve. What is important and distinguishes you from the others is if you do it.
The Slow-carb Diet
The slow carb diet is the only one that even though I’ve run 4 marathons in 4 consecutive years reaching up to 130 kilometres per week and being the same weight as now, was able to make my abs visible. The truth is that in this has helped the choice of two suitable abdominal exercises while the status quo of “crunches” was smashed in front of my eyes when I came across several experts’ articles and publications. If it is possible do not ever do “crunches” again. Too much waste of time for nothing.
At the same time I lost 8 kilogramms over 2.5 months without the slightest more discomfort than to keep the diet while I was on trips which again was not particularly difficult as far as you are motivated for your goal and you have made it part of your lifestyle. I don’t know if it’s the fastest possible rate, but I don’t care. I’m always full, I follow a simple diet and observe the pounds just to decrease in the scale. And miraculously one day a week I have not only the right but is imposed to eat whatever I like in any quantity. I can eat what I’ve written down and craved during the week. Yes, I eat so much and so unacceptably that I reach a point when I look forward to re-start the diet! It has also been observed that a large rate of those who follow the diet do not return to their pre-diet weight possibly because weight loss has been gradual and is psychologically painless. Metabolism, however, has time to adapt to new conditions. To be clear the diet is addressed to both men and women across all ages. The only difference is that women may fall into plateaus more easily after menopause or the weight loss rate may vary during the cycle.
Indeed there is no requirement for any special knowledge of cooking. Most dishes are made simply and can be learned by everyone. Personally I knew how to cook but not much more than the basics. Well, I did not have to learn something new.
The inventor of the “Slow Carb Diet” is Mr. Timothy Ferriss. It is analytically presented in his second of his three #1 NYTimes best seller “The 4-Hour Body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman: The Secrets and Science of Rapid Body Transformation”. When I first saw the title I thought it would be another American self-help but two years later and despite the initial misgivings I gave it a chance. Fortunately.
Tim by using the slow carb diet in the 6th of April 2007 he had decreased his body weight from 82 to 75 kg when at the same time he gained 4.5 kg of muscle. He lost approximately 12kg of fat!
It can be called a diet but personally I could call it nutrition. I intend to keep it even when I achieve my goals with perhaps a greater comfort during the week.
Tim sets 5 key principles. They are valid for the 6 days of the week and not the binge day:
1. Avoid white carbs except for the first half hour after vigorous dynamic exercise. Do not eat bread, sugar, cereals, grains, oats, pasta, rice (black, too), potatoes, tortillas, noodles and fried breading crust at all costs.
2. Eat the same specific meals (Meals are going to be discussed in the second part).
3. Do not drink calories. Drink large amounts of water. It is important and you may hit a plateau if you do not. In this diet there is not an abundance of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates bind and retain water so the lack of them leads to loss of water and electrolytes while drifting. That’s why are proposed, without being necessary, of course, supplements of potassium, magnesium and calcium. Also drink unlimited tea without sugar. Coffee without sugar is fine in any amount in terms of diet but it is not the healthiest thing so it can be limited to a maximum of 2 per day. (You can use cinnamon in your coffee (a very powerful fat burner that deserves to take a place in your everyday life, but no more than a teaspoon at a time), cream (no more than two tablespoons) or vanilla extract). Do not drink fruit juices and soft drinks. Also do not drink more than a half of a litre of non-sugar soft drinks. Aspartame can mobilize weight gain, as well. Stevia is the healthiest sweetener but still I am very careful with its use. Do not drink any milk and generally avoid any dairy outside cottage cheese, butter and a tablespoon of cream in the coffee. Tim simply prohibits it because it costs in the diet. However, the issue with milk is of outmost importance so I plan to publish a separate article with data I have collected on its toxicity and general unhealthfulness. It seems to be a really bad thing, unfortunately. Moreover, do not drink any beverage other than red wine. Two glasses of red wine a day not just influence but perhaps stimulate fat burn.
As an example of the above principle. A teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams. If you haven’t done already, check the label and calculate how many teaspoons of sugar which means carbs the natural fruit juice has. Also bear in mind that in a healthy adult male of 75 kg with a blood volume of 5 liters, a blood glucose level of 5.5 mmol/L (100 mg/dL) amounts to 5 grams, slightly less than two typical American restaurant sugar packets for coffee or tea.
4. Do not eat fruits. People do not need to eat fruits 7 days a week. For thousands of years our ancestors survived in cold climates where for most of the year they did not have access to fruits. How did the people in Latvia survive in Winter before the modern transportations be able to send them fruit? Also, you can make your own research and see if there are any elements that come from fruits and cannot be found in this particular diet.
The only exceptions from fruits are tomatoes and avocados but the latter no more than one cup or one meal a day. The fruits can contain many vitamins, antioxidants et c but have a lot of fructose, which in sum is very efficiently converted into fat. Although there are some exceptions to this process fruits should be avoided for total safety.
5. One day a week let yourself free. It’s mandatory. The reason is that the excessive caloric intake that day prevents the metabolism (thyroid function and conversion of T3, T4, et c.) to decrease due to reduced caloric intake by then.
This was the reason I was hitting plateaus. I was keeping going in a continued much reduced calorie intake, thinking that weight loss is just a caloric equation. (to be continued with a detailed analysis of my application in everyday life)
(Part 2 can be found here)