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

It Sucks Being Fat

“It sucks being fat, you know.”  That was Drew Carey’s response to why he finally made the lifestyle change necessary to shed a whopping 80 pounds in 7 months.

And how did he lose all this weight?  “No carbs. I have cheated a couple times, but basically no carbs, not even a cracker. No bread at all. No pizza, nothing. No corn, no beans, no starches of any kind. Egg whites in the morning or like, Greek yogurt, cut some fruit.”

My one complaint here would be that he is only eating egg whites.  Eat the whole egg.  Fat is good for you and only exerts a negative health effect in the presence carbohydrates: “The deleterious effects of fat have been measured in the presence of high carbohydrate. A high fat diet in the presence of high carbohydrate is different than a high fat diet in the presence of low carbohydrate.” – Richard Feinman, PhD

And despite what you have come to believe saturated fat does not cause heart disease.

While a low carbohydrate diet certainly does not have to be “no carb” (technically a low carbohydrate diet would be under 60 grams of carbohydrates per day) Drew cut out the main culprits: grains and starches.  He even recognized that he needed to minimize his intake of fruit.  In addition, he stopped drinking soda and now only drinks water.

The greatest news of all: “I’m not diabetic anymore. No medication needed.”  To be clear, there is no cure for diabetes. However, we know that slashing carbohydrate intake can essentially reverse Type-2 diabetes and cut the use of medications.

Drew also credits the enormous amount of cardio he is doing as key to his weight loss:  “Lots of cardio. About 45 minutes of cardio, at least 45 minutes of cardio. I’ve been kind of lazy like lately, so I’m not doing it 6 days a week, but I will be for this next month.”  This is where he is veering off course.  As I have stated in a previous post, exercise will not make you thin.  The loss/retention of body fat is hormonal, which is exactly why carbohydrate restriction works so well. Cardio does not help you lose weight. In fact, doing too much cardio (such as 6 days a week) can often hinder the loss of body fat through harmful hormonal changes and muscle wasting.

My advice to Drew?  Stop doing the cardio and make sure you are doing your strength training.  You need this to build muscle and it will increase your insulin sensitivity.  Not to mention a myriad of other health benefits, such as:  an increased metabolic rate, enhanced flexibility, improved blood pressure, increased bone density, and more!

July 30, 2010 Posted by | Fat Loss, Nutrition, Strength Training | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Study By Researchers Intent On Vilifying Dietary Fat

The Los Angeles Times recently reported on a study done by Australian researchers in which they allege that “high fat foods may trigger airway inflammation”. You can read the article by clicking HERE.

This study is another example of time and money being wasted on junk science.  Once again, dietary fat has been vilified because it is the politically correct thing to do and NOT because science has legitimately implicated it in anyway.

In this study, “Australian researchers did tests on 40 people with asthma who were randomly assigned to eat different meals.  One was a high-fat meal of fast food hamburgers and hash browns that came in at 1,000 calories, with 52% of calories from fat.  The other was a 200-calories low-fat meal of reduced fat yogurt with 13% of calories from fat.  Included in the high-fat test group were 16 obese people; the rest of the study participants were not obese.”

Let’s breakdown the study and see why it wouldn’t hold water in an elementary school science class:

  1. The meals were not iso-caloric.  In other words, they did not contain the same number of calories.  One contained 1,000 calories and the other, 200 calories.  This alone invalidates the study.
  2. The high-fat meal contained a large amount of carbohydrates in the form of wheat and starches.  The low-fat meal did not.  Sugar (carbohydrates) and especially wheat, are known to be highly inflammatory.
  3. Out of the 20 people in the high-fat group, 16 were obese.  Out of the 20 people in the low-fat group, none were obese.  How do we know that obesity was not the underlying factor?

Simply put, there are too many variables in this study to able to say what the underlying cause of the inflammation was.   This study does not tell us a single thing, except that these researchers had no idea what they were doing.

May 30, 2010 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Supports the Immune System? I think not.

ricekrispies

“Even when they’ve stopped popping, they haven’t stopped working.  Now every box of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal has antioxidants and nutrients that help support your child’s immune system”.  This is how Kellogg’s is now touting their Rice Krispies cereal.

As a father myself, I become so unbelievably angry every time I read this.  I hope that for every one else that reads this, parent or not, it elicits the same reaction.

The very idea that Kellogg’s is touting this cereal as something that will “help support your child’s immune system” is laughable at best.  Rice Krispies is a cereal grain.  For those of you who haven’t done so already, I highly recommend reading Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double-Edged Sword, by Loren Cordain.

Grains are linked to a myriad of health problems.  Grains and sugar cause a highly inflammatory reaction in the human body.  Grains contain something called antinutrients.  Simply put, they are called antinutrients because they interfere with your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.  Kellogg’s would have you believe that feeding our children (or adults for that matter) Rice Krispies will give them a stronger immune system, when in fact it will do quite the opposite.

Let’s look a little closer at eating Rice Krispies as part of a “healthy” breakfast.  Looking at that commercial, let’s say for arguments sake that the mother is feeding her child one serving of Rice Krispies with one cup of milk.  It is important to keep in mind that ALL carbohydrates that a person consumes get broken down into glucose (i.e., sugar).  According to the USDA SR-21, one serving of Rice Krispies contains 28 grams of carbohydrates.   One serving of milk contains 13 grams of carbohydrates.  So, in that one bowl of Rice Krispies your child (or you) is consuming 41 grams of carbohydrates all ready to be broken down into sugar…almost 3 tablespoons (2.88 to be exact)! That of course, is assuming you only consume 1 bowl of cereal. According to Dr. Mike Eades, “normal blood sugar represents less than one teaspoon of sugar dissolved in the blood“.  That is far less than the minimum 3 tablespoons of sugar that was just consumed in that one bowl of Rice Krispies with milk.

Kellogg’s Rice Krispies supports the immune system and is part of a healthy breakfast?  I think not.

August 16, 2009 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , | 1 Comment