Train to Win, Eat to Lose

A Health and Fitness Blog

Big Fat Lies

Over the past 30 years, the general population has come to believe that saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for us. However, as I tell my clients, friends, family members, and acquaintances on a pretty regular basis, this is nothing more than a myth; a well told lie.  The truth is that grains, starches, and sugar are responsible for obesity and the diseases of civilization.

So where did this lie about saturated fat and cholesterol come from?  This video from Tom Naughton’s fantastic movie Fat Head, explains it perfectly.  Enjoy!  And if you haven’t seen the movie yet, I highly recommend you add it to your Net Flix queue right now!

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October 10, 2010 Posted by | Fat Loss, Nutrition, Personal Observations/Reflections | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eat Like a Caveman

When advising clients and friends on proper eating and following a low carbohydrate diet,  I am often asked what I eat on a day to day basis.  With that in mind, I thought I would share with you what I eat on a typical day.

“Pre”- Breakfast

When I first get out of bed in the morning, I don’t like to eat a “real” breakfast.  My stomach isn’t quite ready for it and since I have been sleeping (and consequently not eating for many hours) I like to get something easily digestible right into my body.  So, I start off with a whey protein shake (I use Vital Whey) and I throw in either a raw egg or a tablespoon of coconut butter to add some essential fats.

Breakfast

Eggs.  Due to the nature of my schedule those eggs are typically hard boiled.  It normally takes 5 eggs to satisfy me.

Lunch

Two cans of boneless and skinless sardines in olive oil, along with a salad of various greens and avocado.

Dinner

Roughly 10 ounces of grass fed red meat (in the form of hamburgers) with a side of green veggies in butter (such as broccoli or string beans), or avocado, or spinach sautéed with garlic and olive oil.

Snack

I usually do not have snack between breakfast and lunch.  Between having a protein shake when I wake up and then having breakfast, I find myself pretty satisfied.  I usually have a snack between lunch and dinner.  I may have a snack after dinner depending on whether or not I have dinner at a reasonable time.

Snacks may include real food such as: sardines, eggs, almond butter or almonds, coconut butter, etc.  If I have a dairy craving I may eat whole fat Greek yogurt or whole fat cottage cheese.  On the occasions where I desire fruit as a snack, it will generally be dark berries such as blueberries or strawberries.

Again, this is what I eat on typical day.  Many of these items are interchangeable.  I may have eggs for dinner or lunch. I may have red meat, poultry, or fish for breakfast.  However, the dietary guidelines never change.

Some key factors you may have noticed:

  • I consume a very low carbohydrate diet (a typical day for me would be between 10-20 grams of carbohydrate).
  • I avoid all grains and starches.
  • I consume a diet high in fat and adequate in protein.  On average, this constitutes a 60/40 or 70/30 split.
  • I eat a minimal amount of fruit (generally only when I have a “craving”).
  • I eat a minimal amount of dairy (again, generally only when I have a “craving”.  Although I am a sucker for cheese!).

Bottom line?  I try to eat like a caveman!

September 14, 2010 Posted by | Nutrition, Personal Observations/Reflections | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Vegetarian Myth

I recently finished reading The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith.  I was absolutely blown away by this book.  There were literally moments where what I was reading sent shivers down my spine.  Ms. Keith has quite a way with words.  Her writing is gripping, to say the least.

Dr. Mike Eades said it best: “Everyone should read this book, vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike.  If you’re a radical feminist, you should read this book; if you’re a male chauvinist, you should read this book; if you have children, especially female children, you should read this book; if you are a young woman (or man) you should read this book; if you love animals, you should read this book; if you hate vegetarians, you should read this book; if you are contemplating the vegetarian way of life, you should definitely read this book; if you have a vegetarian friend or family member, you should this book and so should your friend.  As MD (Dr. Mary Dan Eades) said after she read it, ‘everyone who eats should read this book.'”

In my humble opinion you should go buy this book right now.  It’s one of the most important books you will ever read.

September 7, 2010 Posted by | Nutrition, Personal Observations/Reflections | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Grainy Situation Becomes Clearer

Now that Spring is here (actually it has felt more like summer lately!) I have been reflecting on how I held up over the Fall/Winter of 2009/2010.  Being that I am always on the go and average only 5-6 hours of sleep a night, my Fall and Winter usually consists of several colds and at least one that lingers for a couple of weeks.   Outside of the fact that I run around like crazy and do not get much sleep, I take exceptional care of myself.  I strength train 2-3 times a week, I eat a low carbohydrate/high protein & fat diet, and I supplement myself with whole food vitamins.

As I just mentioned, I eat a low carbohydrate diet. (less than 60 grams of carbohydrates per day).  Up until the Fall of 2009 I was still eating some grains, albeit not a great deal of them. As I have mentioned in previous posts, grains contain antinutrients.  Simply put, they interfere with our body’s ability to absorb nutrients and they are linked to a myriad of other health problems (this is a must read: Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double-Edged Sword, by Loren Cordain).  However, I still ate them because 1) I ate a minimal amount and 2) I liked eating them.

However, with how consistently I had been getting sick every Fall and Winter year in and year out, I started thinking about this more.  What if even the small amount of grains I had been eating was enough to interfere with my body’s ability to absorb nutrients and was therefore the main culprit in my getting so sick? What if this was what was truly compromising my immune system, much more than my lack of sleep (I am NOT disregarding the importance of sleep)?

With all this in mind I made a change in the Fall of 2009.  I removed ALL grains from my diet.

As I sit here reflecting on this past Fall and Winter, this is what stands out:  I did not get sick even one time.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  Zilch.  Not even a sniffle.  OK, you get my point.

Some people might say this is nothing more than a coincidence, and I suppose that could be true.  But knowing that grains do in fact interfere with our body’s ability to absorb nutrients, and that since I have cut them completely out of my diet I have not gotten sick AND I feel great, it’s hard for me to say that there is not a relationship.

Now, if I can only find a way to get more sleep…

April 13, 2010 Posted by | Nutrition, Personal Observations/Reflections | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Meat Your New Breakfast

In prescribing a low carbohydrate lifestyle, I am commonly met with skepticism in regard to the topic of breakfast…

“I can’t eat eggs for breakfast every morning!”

Why not?  If I were to tell you that you could eat a bowl of cold cereal every morning, would your response be the same?  How about pancakes?  Some hot oatmeal?  Maybe a bagel with cream cheese?  If you were given the “green light” to eat any of those foods for breakfast on a regular basis would you respond the same way? Probably not. So why is eating eggs for breakfast so shocking?

It’s important to change your thinking in regard to how it’s been ingrained in your head.  Breakfast can be thought of just like any other meal.  Have salmon for breakfast.  Have steak for breakfast.  Breakfast should not be something out of a Frosted Flakes commercial.

“Don’t I need carbohydrates?”

NO.  Human beings can live without carbohydrates.  In fact, it’s the one food macronutrient that we do not need.  The other two macronutrients, protein and fat, we DO need.   We have all heard of essential fatty acids and essential amino acids (protein).  Have you ever heard of essential carbohydrates?  The answer is no, because they do not exist.

“All that saturated fat will raise my cholesterol.”

No, it won’t.  Saturated fat will raise your HDL (also known as “good” cholesterol), which is a good thing.  In actuality, HDL is not cholesterol but a lipoprotein that transports cholesterol to and from tissue.  LDL (also know as “bad” cholesterol) is made up of the harmful  small and dense particles or the harmless big and fluffy particles. Carbohydrates produce more of the small and dense LDL particles.  Here is a very short and insightful video I highly recommend watching:  Exposing The Cholesterol Myth.

January 21, 2010 Posted by | Nutrition, Personal Observations/Reflections | , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Positive To See Positive Results

“Acknowledging the good that is already in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle

This wonderful quote from Eckhart Tolle can be applied to every facet of a person’s life.  After reading this quote yesterday, I started thinking about it application to health and fitness.

When someone begins exercising, they will normally do so with certain goals in mind.  It might be to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle, prepare for an athletic event, or to simply feel better.  Whatever the goal(s) may be, it can be an extremely challenging and uphill battle if you are surrounded by a cloud of negativity that follows you everywhere.  Achieving your goal(s) might be something that not only never get accomplished, or if they do, may never be realized.  Let me give you an example…

I was recently training a client over a 6 month period.  The goals of this individual were to reduce body fat, increase lean body mass, gain strength, and feel better overall.  From the very beginning it was quite obvious that this was an extremely negative person.  That being said, I welcomed the challenge of working through this negativity and helping this person achieve all of their desired goals.

Whether I offered positive reinforcement, advice, insight, or even good news that they were starting to achieve these goals, I was met with more resistance and more negativity every step of the way.  Despite all of this, my client still made the proper nutritional changes and showed up consistently to put forth a strong effort in their workouts. This resulted in some pretty amazing achievements.

At the end of 6 months of training, my client had dropped from 245 pounds to 237 pounds.  They increased their Lean Body Mass from 165 pounds to 186 pounds, decreased Body Fat from 80 pounds to 51 pounds (the drop of only 8 pounds of body weight is explained by the increase in lean muscle), and their Body Fat Percentage went from 33% to to 22%.  Keep in mind that in order to accomplish this, there had to be major changes to their eating habits.  In addition, their strength increased substantially based on the charting.  These are all spectacular results by any standards.

Yet despite all of this, my client felt overwhelmingly negative.  In their mind, they still were not seeing results and were not happy. They did not feel stronger, healthier, leaner, or even better in general.  All they felt was the feeling of negativity.  I could literally feel the negative energy emanating from them.

The inability of this person to acknowledge the good in their life, the abundance they already had, the amazing results they had achieved, shrouded them in a cloud of negativity that they simply could not see through.  When all was said in done, the client decided to take some time off in the hopes of (in their words) gaining some perspective and maybe realizing the results they had achieved.  It is my belief that this client will never return.  The perspective they are looking for is already within them.

You must be positive to see positive results.  Otherwise, you might be missing out on what is already right in front of you.

October 8, 2009 Posted by | Personal Observations/Reflections | , , , , , | 2 Comments