Off Topic – more success with low carb

My boss just won Biggest Loser!

Ok that is a slight exaggeration – ok that is a huge exaggeration. My boss won this week of our company’s Biggest Loser challenge. The point is that he lost 14 pounds since Jan 9th. What is his secret you say? Well, he is eating low carb! And since I sit right next to him at work, I can guarantee that I haven’t heard any of the following statements from him:

went to the gym today

skipped a meal today

I better go to the potty before my weigh in

I am so hungry

I ate all my calories already for today

dinner consisted of rabbit food and/or microwave meals

I miss carbs

how many points do you think that is?

mmm, gotta love apple cider vinegar

If I hear any of these phrases, I will eat some humble pie. I doubt that will be the case. What is more likely though, he will continue to lose weight, not be hungry, not complain, and not spend hours in the gym.

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What do I actually eat in a day?

I am taking a day off from funny weight loss statements to write about what I eat. I don’t advertise being a low carber but when it comes up in conversation, I always get the question, “If you don’t eat carbs, what do you eat instead?”

Here is my all my food from yesterday – please note, I did work out yesterday in the evening, and I was coming off back to back cardio days from the weekend. Saturday I did a 4.2 mile trail run, and Sunday I rode the road bike about 15 miles. My carb intake goes up slightly depending on my exercising.

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs (in butter) with shredded cheese and about half of an orange pepper. Large black coffee

Snack: a few ounces of cashews / peanuts and a string cheese (thanks to my kids)

Lunch (brownbag 90% of the time): premade chicken salad although I didn’t eat the corn – the other half of the orange pepper with a few extra ounces of broccoli/chicken from the day before

Snack (before lifting weights): 3 slices of cheese, scoop peanut butter and half a banana

Dinner: Large iceberg lettuce salad with avocado and oil/vinegar dressing

Snack: cashews /peanuts and a few ounces of grilled chicken (from day before)

Today is more of the same, eggs, grilled chicken, avocado, cheese, nuts. If I find myself at a restaurant for any reason, I just get some type of salad. Even Wendy’s and Subway have good salads. Please keep in mind that my house is filled with candy, treats and sugar. My kids are normal kids and eat normal stuff, I just don’t share it with them!!

If it is in the house, I will eat it

cute-candy

Countless times I’ve heard people say things like “if it is in the house, I will eat it”, referring to junk food or treats.

This always makes me think about addiction on a sliding scale of social acceptability. On one end of the scale, we have hard core drugs like heroin and on the other end we have cute little M&M’s.

My sliding scale of social acceptability and addiction: Hard Core drugs / recreational drugs / cigarettes / alcohol / gambling / unhealthy food.

When people are struggling with their weight, they look at ‘unhealthy’ food like heroin. They think that they must eliminate it from their reach, out of sight, out of mind. You can’t expect a heroin addict to get clean if their house is stocked with it, right? When people start off their weight loss journey the first thing that they often do is to clean out the kitchen, and rid their house of all the unhealthy food. They then load up on low fat ‘healthy’ food instead. Microwaveable meals and rabbit food, as I like to call it.

The challenge is that, the more socially acceptable the addiction, the harder it is to avoid it. It is just not possible to avoid all the food that makes us gain weight. Just because we avoid it in the home, doesn’t mean that we are not exposed to it at work, on the go, during holidays, etc.

The key is to break the addiction, not attempt to avoid it. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but after avoiding sugar and carbs for a while, the attraction fades away. It gets to the point where you won’t have to avoid carbs; you just won’t want to consume them!

There is another blog post in my brain percolating in the background about how when people purge their houses of the ‘bad’ food, they are really just surrounding themselves with ‘worse’ food. I will cover that one soon!

 

Those BMI numbers are a waste of time

We’ve all heard this one. People griping about how BMI charts and weight ranges based on height are inaccurate, unattainable, and a waste of time.

I certainly agree that different people have different body types, and targeting a weight solely based off someone’s height isn’t a perfect solution. However, if you are overweight, please don’t look at a BMI calculator or weight chart and decide the given range is ridiculous, therefore excusing yourself from doing anything at all.

Some people think that they would look ‘sick’ or ‘unhealthy’ at the weight listed on a BMI chart. If that is the case, then target 5 or 10 pounds over that range. At least you will be going in the right direction.

And yes, muscle is heavier than fat. But most people that claim this fact don’t have anything to worry about!

An example of a Height/Weight chart:

healthy_weight_range_chart

‘You gotta try this low carb dog food’

Ok I admit it, I’ve got a fat dog. It’s a long story and I will spare you the details but the bottom line is that my 120 pound dog should be about 100 pounds. In my office, it is pretty commonly known that my dog is overweight –  ‘I refer to her as my big fat dumb dog’ – so I had to chuckle recently when a coworker suggested that I use a low carb dog food. My coworker mentioned that their dog easily lost 40 pounds. The weight just fell off they said – no additional exercise needed!

Wait for it, wait for it….. wouldn’t you guess that the same co-worker has tried every fad diet out there. This person (who only has the best intentions) signs up for every Diet Bet, Biggest Loser, and other fitness challenge. One time this coworker printed an article and left it on everyone’s desk about these magic new Chia seeds that we have to add to our diets. For some reason this same person resists going low carb. I can’t explain why??

Anyway, I am going to look into the low carb dog food. If it doesn’t work, no big deal, but at least I will try.

Your body needs carbs…

‘Your body needs carbs to survive’ says the overweight person who is currently on a low fat diet to the skinny person who is enjoys a low carb lifestyle. Pause for irony.

While I generally agree that your body needs carbs to survive, I have an issue with people who use that argument to somehow justify their unsuccessful weight loss. This relates back to a previous post where I commented how sometimes people speak in themes or slogans. They latch onto a phrase or statement that they can use to protect them from having to try something different then they have tried before.

I am aware of ketosis and ketones and all the science that says humans can survive without carbs just fine. In my experience, going low carb is extremely successful and most people do not have to go ‘no’ carb. Everyone is different and everyone has varying levels of tolerance to sugar/carbs/insulin. For me, I can eat carbs that come from veggies, nuts, and cheese with no weight gain. I avoid grains, pastas, and sugar. But I am not telling your what to eat, I am just telling you that if you are struggling to lose weight, cutting the carbs is a great option!

Off Topic – Weight Watchers

This is less of a post about a funny weight lose statements, but more of a comparison of going low carb to Weight Watchers.

In 2011 I started a new less stressful role within my company. It was a great time to focus on my health and at a bit over 200 pounds, I knew just where to start. Side note, 200lbs might not sound like a lot, but at 5’9″ it’s way too much for me. I decided to give the online version of Weight Watchers a try after knowing many people who had success.

I jumped in with both feet and the weight came off, I lost about 30 pounds after about 6 months. I felt like I’d learned a lot about portion control so I was comfortable going off the program to attempt to maintain my new weight all by myself. As I am sure you can guess, within a few months, the weight was back. I was frustrated and I felt cheated. I suffered through snacks made up of carrots/celery, rice puffs, and microwave rubber chicken lunches…. I was always hungry and obsessed with points and counting the minutes until my next meal or snack. When the weight was dropping, I was willing to overlook my misery, but once the honeymoon was over, not so much! The worst part? I was PAYING for this privilege!!

Fast forward until the present time. Low carb just works better for me. I lost more weight, lost it quicker, have not been obsessed with food/hunger, kept the weight off easily…. and the best part, no monthly fees!

What’s your secret?

‘What’s your secret? How do you make it look so easy?’

While there are no secrets to loosing weight, there is one trick. We might be splitting hair (hairs?) here, but I think it is an important distinction. At the risk of sounding like a tin foil hat conspiracy theorist, the weight loss industry is a multi billion dollar per year business. Think about the money spent on: gyms, diets, medications, groups, supplements, at-home equipment… it is staggering. Everyone is in search of the next secret. The easy button… the little thing that will transform them into a smaller person.

You heard it here first, there is no secret. To me, secret means something that few people know about and are reluctant to share. However, there is a trick. A very simple trick to loosing weight, easily, quickly and CHEAPLY. Cut the sugar, cut the carbs. That’s it. Everyone has heard of low carb, it is certainly not a secret. It works, no question about it. There is science to back it up, there are countless stories to back it up, and if you try it for yourself, I am confident that you will soon be wishing that you had started sooner.

 

but, but…., but your cholesterol!

In general, I am not an arguer or an antagonist (antagonizer?). I am ok with people having different views and I don’t try to impose my views on others. If someone says something that I believe or know to be incorrect, I don’t feel the need to point it out.

One thing that does rub me the wrong way however is when people make blanket statements without bothering to do the tiniest amount of learning first. Nearly every human is walking around with a powerful computer in their pocket which is capable if accessing information instantly, yet people prefer to speak in themes or slogans!!

When people are shocked that my diet mainly consists of meat, butter, cheese and other rich foods, they immediately express concern for my cholesterol. My blood tests and lots of research confirm that going low carb and only eating meat and fatty foods does not increase the artery clogging cholesterol. I explain it this way; in the absence of sugar /insulin, the fat in foods does not accumulate and plug up arteries…. don’t believe it? ask Google.

Run to loose weight

Many people assume that I lost 50 pounds by running. It makes sense right? People look at me and see a skinny guy who runs all the time – of course they assume that running helped me to loose the weight or helps me to maintain my size. That can’t be further from the truth. I lost weight by removing carbs and sugar, then I got serious about running. When I was in my 20’s I ran a lot and life was good but as I got older the running (and cycling) were not as effective at keeping the weight off. As I approached 200 lbs, the injuries started…. that is another whole story, the point here is that I gave up the carbs, the weight fell off, and that allowed me to run further and faster than I’ve ever run before!