In the final installment of this series (I guess), I want to talk about dieting. I think it was the great and wise Richard Simmons that said, "The first three letters spell die... you don't wanna die, do you?"
One of the greatest minds of our time? Or a closet serial killer... one or the other.
The US weightloss market grossed $68.7 billion dollars in 2010. This includes weightloss drugs, diet plans, fad diet book sales, trips to the vomitorium, those vibrating belt things that I hope to God no one reading this actually bought, and, of course, p90X. The average weight lost in the first 6 months of venturing out on one of these weightloss excursions is 5%-10% of your total bodyweight. Those are pretty good results and 10% reduction in weight would greatly improve body composition (i.e. get ripped, brah) for most of the population. The problem is that 66% of people that diet gain the weight back in a year or less... and 97% gain it all back in 5 years or less.
This is a lot like every time I get a new cellphone. It works for a little while, something breaks, then I either spend money to get it fixed or have to get a new cellphone entirely. This is how diets work. They draw you in with fast results, sell you on the idea that you will keep making progress, then you are hopelessly hooked. Now they have a customer for life. Imagine how much of your own money you have contributed to that $68.7 billion dollars.
In short, most diets do not work.
The key to losing weight, gaining weight, or basically being successful on any journey to accomplish any goal you may ever have is changing your life style to maximize the possibility of achieving that goal. You know you are almost 2x more likely to be obese if you hang out with obese people? I am not saying ditch all of your fat friends but maybe stop partaking in the daily pizza roll eating challenges with them:
Did you make it through the whole video? Because I sure as hell didn't.
Ok so, the purpose of this post is to share with you some diets (like I said before, most diets don't work) that include an eating plan and also changes in life style to get you to where you want to be. The first one I have personal experience with:
Carb Cycling Diet
I partook in a powerlifting competition last year that did not have any specific weight classes. So, the winner was completely determined by amount of weight lifted compared to the lifters bodyweight. I was 15 weeks out from my competition and decided to see how much weight I could lose, while hopefully maintaining or gaining some strength, in that period of time. After discussing my goal with several of my meathead cohorts, I decided Carb Cycling was the way to go. I knew very little about this diet so I decided to hire Shelby Starnes to help me out. He can be reached at www.TroponinNutrition.com or www.elitefts.com. Hiring him was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. From July to October, I lost 51 pounds and did not lose any strength. Which for any one who participates in strength sports can understand, this is a pretty incredible feat. I dropped from 280lbs to 229lbs and ended up finishing 5th place overall.
I would like to re-iterate, if you are serious about your goals, spend the money and hire Shelby. He knows his stuff.
Anyway, the diet itself is very simple to understand. It involves only keeping track of your macronutrients (fats, carbs, and protein) and the carbs are cycled from day to day in order to keep complete control over your blood sugar and insulin levels. Carbs are cycled in three dosages, high, medium, and low. Protein intake stays about the same everyday. Fats are increased on low carb days in order to fill the caloric gap that is created by the lack of the other macronutrient. Also, high fat diets a lot of fat... I'll explain this one in a future post.
So how does it work? Here is how it works:
Carbs: 2-3 grams per pound of bodyweight (0.9-1 gram for women)
Protein: 1-1.25 grams per pound of bodyweight (0.75 grams for women)
Fats: No added fats
Carbs: 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight (0.5 grams for women)
Protein: 1.25-1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight (1.0 grams for women)
Fats: .15 grams per pound of bodyweight (0.1 grams for women)
Low Day: I like to call this day "Cranky, Yell at Everyone Day." Try it, you'll see what I mean.
Carbs: 0.5 grams per pound of bodyweight (0.2 grams for women)
Protein: 1.25-1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight(1.0 grams for women)
Fats: 0.35 grams per pound of bodyweight (0.2 grams for women)
Some carb choices: Brown rice, sweet potato's, oats, gluten free bread, basically anything with low (or no) sugar or gluten.
Some protein choices: any lean meat and protein shakes
Some fat choices: all natural peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil, and walnuts
Split the numbers up and eat 5-7 meals a day. Try to eat all of the carbs in the first three meals of the day. Drink a ton of water.
The big reason I like this diet is because there are cardio recommendations that go along with it. No, not cardio like jogging. Cardio like low intensity (50-60% Max HR for 30mins) which can be done dragging sled, doing smaller workouts, or walking on an inclined treadmill 3-4 days a week. Also it is recommended to do high intensity interval cardio 2-3 days a week (an example would be getting on an exercise bike for 15 minutes with an interval of, 15 second all out sprint, 45 seconds at 50%). All cardio is done either first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to take advantage of the ideal fat burning environment you are in after fasting all night (i.e. sleeping... unless you sleep walk to the fridge and sleep eat an entire honey baked ham... yes, I have done this before).
Like a mentioned before, go hire Shelby Starnes at www.troponinnutrition.com if you are interested. At the very least check out some of the books he has written on dieting here: http://troponinnutrition.com/store.htm#book.
The Slow Carb Diet
I don't want to give too much away about this one because all of the information can be found in Tim Ferris's book "The 4-Hour Body." Everyone who even cares a little bit about their health and well-being needs to go get and read this book.
Anyway, the general outline of this diet:
6 days a week:
No carbs other than vegetables (minus starchy ones like baked potato's and corn) Except for after you workout. You want faster, crappier carbs ASAP after a workout. Protein should come from lean meats and high quality protein shakes. Fats should come from high quality oils. Eat as much as you want and shoot for as many meals a day as you can. That's about it... until...
1 day a week:
Go nuts. Eat everything in site, drink a keg of beer, fill a kiddie pool with butter and try to eat your way out of it, do whatever you want! The goal of this day is to drastically increase calories for one day and then take advantage of the rebounding effect the rest of the week. You may notice a few pounds gained the day after but it quickly drops back off and then some.
There are many tips, tricks, and supplements that Tim Ferris recommends in his book to help accelerate the weightloss processes and mechanisms but, again, I don't want to give too much away. Just go get the damn book:
I plan on trying this diet out November through March to get ready for a competition. I am already excited for my first "cheat" day.
If All Else Fails, Go On The Don Fyre Diet
Who is Don Fyre? This guy:
Whatever he was looking at is dead now.
Don "The Predator" Fyre was one of the first big American MMA fighters. He was very good and kicked a lot of ass. He was always known for being a pretty big guy, 6'1'' weighing around 230lbs when he fought, while being very lean for his size. In one interveiw when asked how he was able to have so much muscle and so little fat when he fought, he replied: "I ate 5 steaks a day and all my carbs came from beer." So, there you go. The Don Fyre diet. It seemed to work out ok for him.
I wonder if it was the beer or the steak that kept his mustache so thick. I heard he won three fights because of that thing alone.
That's it for this one. I will try to update more frequently. I have been very busy chasing animals down, beating them to death with my bare hands, and eating them on site.
Sprint. Kill. Eat like a maniac.