How I Eat for Weight Loss

Posted on: October 24, 2012 by
2 Comments

The basic principles I follow for weight loss leave a great deal of room for flexibility for choosing whatever foods you like to eat. In fact, it’s so flexible that I couldn’t even tell you what any of our successful AGDer’s are eating to lose weight. All I know is that it’ll work no matter what you eat.

In order to get a bit more insight to this question about ‘what do you eat’ I sent an email out and got a bunch of great responses from successful AGDer’s and they’ve all allowed me to post them here on the blog.

I’ll be posting these responses regularly on the blog so you can get a look into a day or a week into the life of a successful AGDer!

I’ll start for today.

My normal weekly routine (mon-fri) starts with a coffee in the morning (2 sugar 1 cream). I don’t typically have any food with this first coffee, so you could say that I never actually eat breakfast.

Then around mid-day I’ll have another coffee (same deal, 2 sugar 1 cream). Sometimes I’ll have a snack with the second coffee. This snack could consist of a granola bar, a bagel, a donut, a salad, a sandwich, it’s never set in stone and it largely depends on who I’m with and where I am…sometimes there is no snack and it’s just another coffee.

Late afternoon (4-5pm) I may or may not have a snack. At this point of the day I can’t really handle another coffee, seems like 2 is my limit with cream and sugar. If I’m feeling sluggish I might have some other form of caffeinated beverage that doesn’t have the cream or the sugar, or on particularly tough workout days I might take a pre-workout supplement powder that has caffeine as one of it’s ingredients. If not, then I’ll just head to the gym sans pre-workout powder.

After the workout I’ll have the big meal of the day. This meal could be any number of things and since I have no rules about what I eat I guess I’ll just give you a sampling of what I might typically eat over the past couple months.

Dinner could be a thai food stir fry with either chicken, shrimp, or beef, sometimes I’ll just go the veggie route with tofu.

Other nights it’s turkey or chicken in the slow cooker with a medley of veggies.

I often will do steamed asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, or broccolini with fresh squeezed lemon on it as a side dish to compliment some sort of chicken, fish, beef or pork.

As far as a salad type item I would rather do a tomato and cucumber salad with a low calorie balsamic dressing. Sometimes there will be leafy greens, sometimes not.

I’ll also do some sort of dessert that is based with fruit, berries and yogurt. Sometimes I’ll get an ice cream cone for dessert.

I’ll typically shift what I’m eating based on the seasons. When certain local fruits and veggies are in season I’ll definitely start to include them in my dinner and dessert choices. When they’re out of season I’m back to hunting around for the best options I can find that are coming from far off lands.

This doesn’t describe every day, but it’s a decent snap shot of what more of my weekdays look like.

The weekends are looser with a bit less structure, calories will be higher overall on the weekends, and it’s likely that I’ll have more day time snacks on the weekend.

No matter what day of the week it is I rarely have what you would call a ‘breakfast’. Mornings are almost always exclusively coffee.

It’s not exactly a pattern or anything you can template per se, but it’s the general pattern I follow. I pay attention to weekly total calories in order to keep bodyweight in check or to lose weight.

So thats how I AGD.

John

Macronutrient Ratios Not Important for Weight Loss…Just Calories.

Posted on: October 10, 2012 by
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Here is an interesting but not surprising result from a recent and relatively large weight loss study known as the “Pounds Lost” study (De Souza et al. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:614–25)

The following 4 diets were tested in this study:

1) a low-fat, average-protein diet (20% fat, 15% protein, and 65% carbohydrate)

2) a low-fat, high-protein diet (20% fat, 25% protein, and 55% carbohydrate)

3) a high-fat, average-protein diet (40% fat, 15% protein, and 45% carbohydrate)

4) a high-fat, high protein diet (40% fat, 25% protein, and 35% carbohydrate)

These are % of total calories coming from each macronutrient and each participant’s caloric target represented a 750-kcal/d deficit from estimated energy requirements.

By the end of the study the researchers concluded that:

“In this study, reduction in total energy intake, rather than a particular macronutrient content of the diet, was the most important determinant of fat loss.”

They also point out that this conclusion is consistent with over half a dozen other studies, a famous one being the A-Z trial compared the Atkins, Zone, Ornish and LEARN diet protocols and found that only total calorie reduction mattered for weight loss.

It might seem boring but this need to repeated constantly.

Total calories are all that matters for weight loss. The sooner you can accept this and get to work on what really matters the sooner you can and will lose weight and keep it off.

 

John

 

What do I WANT to eat?

Posted on: October 1, 2012 by
1 Comment

When we think about eating for weight loss we usually ask ourselves the wrong question and that is: “What SHOULD I eat”…instead of asking ourselves “What do I WANT to eat”

Asking the first question leaves you vulnerable to all forms of weight loss scams and fads. There is certainly no shortage of diet and weight loss advice that will promote all manner of foods that you should and shouldn’t eat.

You’ll hear stories about controlling insulin, cortisol, leptin, blood sugar, toxins, and on and on. The list of items you should eat will get shorter and shorter and the list of items you shouldn’t eat will get longer and longer.

If you do enough diet and fitness ‘reading’ you’ll end up believing that almost all foods are off limits and that weight loss is only possible if you eat a very select few special foods.

This may also lead you to believe that weight loss is utterly miserable and only genetically lucky people can do it. You can really end up paralyzed by information overload at this point. This type of fad diet marketing can also lead you to become fearful of almost all foods…even specific fruits and veggies…seriously, I know people who are now scared to eat fruit.

As far as I’m concerned this is madness and it all starts by asking the wrong question for weight loss, that being the question “what SHOULD I eat”.

…I submit today that you should never ask this question again, and instead as the following question:

“What do I WANT to eat”

No matter what your answer is for this second question I guarantee you can still lose weight. Knowing how to eat the foods you like and still lose weight is the key to lasting weight loss success and it’s the key to the anything goes diet.

I don’t see how it can work any other way.

it’s your life, and your diet, so it’s gotta be done with your foods.

As long as you’re asking the question “What SHOULD I eat” you will always fall victim to some diet or nutrition fad and never truly have control over your food choices and life.

The sooner you understand and accept that you should be asking yourself the question “what do I WANT to eat”, the sooner you can start on a path to sustainable weight loss.

John

 

Sine Wave Theory of Weight Maintenance

Posted on: November 22, 2011 by
2 Comments

Weight loss, weight gain and weight maintenance are talked about like they are completely different states. I tend to disagree with this premise.

I think weight maintenance includes both weight gain and loss, but at a different degree and rate than what we would traditionally think of with a weight loss diet or gaining weight.

In this video I’ll try to explain my theory of weight maintenance vs weight gain and weight loss and hopefully you’ll see how they’re the same thing just to a different degree.

Food Variety is a Luxury

Posted on: April 11, 2011 by
1 Comment

The freedom to pick and choose what foods to eat and when to eat them is a relatively new development in human history and reserved for the new rich nations that have a modernized industrial supply chain.

Food variety

Some of these foods simply do not grow in Canada, yet I still have access to them 12 months per year!

I live in southern Ontario Canada and for half the year we’re buried under snow. If it weren’t for the modern industrial revolution and food supply chain I wouldn’t have access to things like oranges, apples, strawberries and black berries in the middle of February.

If I had to live on local food supplies I would be eating preserves and frozen items all winter long and would have never tasted a grapefruit or an orange or a tangerine ever!

The point is that most of our modern diet recommendations already assume that you have access to foods from all around the world and are not limited to your regional food selection and growth seasons.

As humans evolved it was likely that we had to eat whatever was available at that time, and this means eating meat when meat was around, and then shifting to berries or vegetables or grains when they were available. Over time as we developed agriculture food variety and food selection become more prevalent but make no mistake about this last point. Only the richest countries in the world currently have unlimited access to a wide variety of foods 12 months of the year.

Make use of this food variety to keep your diet varied and benefit from the many foods the modern food supply chain can bring you on a daily basis.

John