Life had been generous to me lately. Therefore I decided to publish the entire content of my first ever eBook for free. I spent two months solid writing this book and therefore I reckon it deserves to be shared by the masses.
It was a labor of love. I felt compelled to write it because I believe in helping others that are desperate for a solution. Making money was the least of my concern. I just want to give back to the society.
I hope you will benefit from this reading. Please write a favorable review at this link below should you find the content valuable:
Lose Fat Stay Fit
Proven Methods in Achieving the
Desired Body within a Year
Published by 1st Ever Publishing
Copyright © Sharudin Jamal Rights Reserve 2017
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, whatsoever for distribution purposes without prior written permission from the publisher.
First Edition August 2017
This book has been prepared for general information only and does not contain and is not to be taken as containing any medical, clinical or psychological recommendations.
The recommendations outlined in this book may not be suitable for every individual, and do not warrant success if not practiced thoroughly.
No warranty is made with the respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information contain herein, and the author as well as the publisher specifically disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from the use and application of any contents of this book.
A NOTE TO THE READER
Please consult your doctor before beginning this or any new health recommendation. Not all health recommendations are suitable for everyone, and this recommendation may be risky for those who are on medication or in various stages of physical fitness. The instruction and advice presented though this book are not in any way intended as a substitute for medical counselling. Keep in mind that the nutritional needs vary from person to person, depending on age, sex, health status and total diet.
The author is not a doctor of a medical professional, and he, on his own as well as on behalf of his family disclaims any liability or loss sustained in connection with the recommendations and advice included herein. This is with the exception of the weight loss achieved through his stated recommendations.
This book is dedicated with ever loving affection to
my wife Liz and two daughters, Puteri Balqis and Puteri Sarah
The best thing that ever happened in my life.
I am very sure many of you had encountered many life transforming challenges in your life. They could have been the challenges of bettering yourself in education, moving up the corporate ladder, raising a family, quitting smoking, dealing with illicit drugs, coping with alcoholism, living with life threatening illnesses, overcoming financial disasters, grieving for the loss of love ones or merely getting by with day to day stress.
We are no different you and I. As long as we are living on planet earth, there bound to be challenges. I too had my fair share of ups and downs. I had went to hell and back. In the process I didn’t stop and I keep on learning. During the good times we tend to party. It was during the bad times we sat down and pondered on our mishaps and vouched to get above the situations and get on with our one and only precious life.
Many times when we were down and out with our luck, we were left alone. The crowd love good company but when comes to dealing with tragedies only a handful are willing to give a helping hand. Have you ever wondered what happened to your so called good buddies when disaster struck? Where were the “what’s up bros” that joined you during the happy hours on the Fridays? Better still, where were the so called emphatic co-workers and acquaintances who are privy of what’s in and out with your progress when you were on the roll? All vanished the minute they smell desperation.
Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty who are willing to give moral support. As long as it doesn’t cost anything, there are plenty of sympathizers. Talk is cheap. It is effort that many don’t want to spare and commit.
I remember when I want to quit smoking, the nurse in the quit smoking clinic gave me a gentle reminder why I should quit. She said, “When you are sick lying in the hospital bed, initially there will be many visitors. They are there to show concern. However, as the days pass the number get lesser as the illness prolongs. Only the closest to you will endure”.
This is natural. People get on with their lives. They too had to deal with their own little monsters. In the end, we are responsible for our very own lifeline. Being fit and healthy is a personal responsibility. Eventually we are in charge of our own well-being. We got to fight our own dragons.
Think of losing weight as a mean, not an end. With weight loss comes myriad of opportunities. You will realize that when you lose the excess fat, you are actually transformed into a different person physically, mentally and emotionally. Imagine the kinds of possibilities you can do. You look better, you dress better, you are more athletic and of course your libido is much improved. Mentally you are more alert, you are focused, you think clearly and your sense of purpose restored. Nothing can be more satisfying than being fit and healthy at the emotional level. Food is no longer a crutch. You no longer eat because you are deprived. You eat because you require nutrition, not because you are depress or lonely. This new you will have a higher self-esteem and thus you will attract the right kind of people like magnet. This is the Law of Attraction; you get what you put in.
For those who are looking for a loving (or several) relationship(s), being fit and healthy are your tickets to a fulfilling social life. I use the term fit and healthy instead of being thin because there are many people who are thin but not at the pinnacle of their well-being. Think of it as expanding your selection pool. When you are in your top form you are more confident to get any partner of your choice. Not that being overweight means you are being discriminated but rather you can have the home court advantage of being liked a lot more when you are fit and healthy. People who are like each other, like each other. I bet you too have the desire for the hunks and hotties out there. It is basic human instinct even when we all agree that beauty may only be skin deep.
In the animal kingdom the fittest survive. More likely, the fittest will mate and able to pass their genes. Fit and healthy means they are more likely to produce a healthy offspring. This is the instinct of nature. The harsh reality of the wild is that the less fortunate among them will may never get a chance to even select a partner. So forget about procreation. They may not even get a chance to have sex!
Another point to consider is, as an unwritten rule of climbing the corporate ladder, you must be able to perform, deliver and yes, look good. It is not good enough for you to be an achiever, you must be presentable. It is of little wonder that the corporate climbers invested heavily on the power suits, the branded accessories and the fancy wheels to project success. However, have you ever consider that the best investment is in you as a person? In addition to the knowledge and skills, you can go leaps and bounds in your career by being fit and healthy. The first perk is less sick leaves. Being sickly is a disadvantage. That is because the higher the climb the more the organization require your presence. When you are unhealthy your judgments will get effected as well. You will make pudgy decision-makings. You are prone to stress and perhaps this condition will also lead to occupational hazards and termination.
It is a tough world out there. Humans no matter how open-minded they may be cannot escape from being prejudice. The truth of the matter is, fat people often side-lined for important posts. We all want to have strong leaders; mentally, physically and emotionally. When you are fit and healthy you will have all these. It reflects the ability to control your decisions; those that matters in your daily pursuits. The axiom is very simple. If we cannot get a grip with our personal lives, how do we reckon to be in charge with higher responsibilities? Being fit and healthy is the first step we take to be in control of our lives. We are what we think about all day long. It’s a journey towards personal mastery. If you want excellence, pursue excellence. Know yourself and the knowledge will set you free, said Socrates.
Hey, when was the last time you went and enjoy sweating out? Sweat is bliss. When you exercise your body produces a plethora of neurochemicals that makes you feel good. It’s a double barrel shot gun. You feel ecstatic after exercise and at the same time you lose weight by burning more calories. Now, if you are the sedentary type, you will miss this golden opportunity. Exercising is a Catch-22. Do you exercise first or do you lose weight first? Well, to exercise you need to create momentum to offset the inertia. Believe it or not; eighty percent of weight loss is due to food while twenty percent is exercise. So start with managing your food intake. You can take the initial steps by walking around the neighborhood but ultimately, you are what you eat.
Have you ever encounter fatigue, severe migraine or depression? How about diabetes, high blood pressure or coronary heart disease? Though most of the Metabolic Syndrome illnesses are due to genetics, they can be slowly rectified by a change of diet and lifestyle. No unhealthy situation is dire beyond concerted effort. Even as bad as cancer, there are hopes for recovery if you combine proper medical care with the right nutrition and change of daily routines. We are creatures of habit. If we cultivate a good hygiene for what, when and how to eat, we will stand a fighting chance overcoming any form of fatality within reasonable means. This is because the modern degenerative diseases are no longer due to germs. Food and lifestyle are the main offenders.
The worst we can do is doing nothing to change these two key markers. We know we are heading for disaster and yet we keep on doing the same things out of convenience. That is madness!
Do you know that there are two ways we age? The first one is called chronological aging. This is very straight forward. Every year we celebrate our birthday we add one more year to our lives. This goes on a linear track. We cannot reverse time like the movie Back to the Future. We however can do so by changing our diet and lifestyle. Yes, that’s right. Depending on how rigorous you are in pursuing quality life you can REVERSE your metabolic aging by ten to fifteen years. I am not kidding when I say this. At the age of forty I took up running and kickboxing. My level of health improved so drastically that within a year I managed to run a marathon and competed in a martial art competition alongside contestants a generation younger than me. I was in a better form then when I was a highly strung businessman in my thirties.
This is what I can offer you. The content of this book is based on my experiences in pursuing fitness and health within my means as a practitioner. I too had challenges in managing my weight in the past. Hence, I read many books and tried many methods to lose weight and most importantly to keep it down. Therefore I am acting on the capacity as a person who had been there done that in losing weight. The examples given are what works in my own experimentation.
I guarantee that you too can achieve your desired body within a year, provided you follow the recommendations and eat sensibly. Which means you stop eating when you are satiated not gorging on food as if there is no tomorrow. This is to say you establish new lifestyle habits and stop sabotaging your own success. Consider this… If you lose five hundred grams a week, you lose approximately twenty five kg a year (multiply 2.2 to get the measurement in pounds). That is the kind of result I am talking about. How do I know? Because I did it. That is a modest achievement. The best I had known is a person who lost thirty kg in four months using these methods.
Let’s not get over excited shall we. Be in the modest range and inspire to go for the highest. That way you will not get discouraged. Think of how different life will be by losing two or three large sacks of rice or flour that you had been lugging around. Imagine fitting into your old clothes. Most importantly try to envision how good you feel when you are metabolically younger. It will nice isn’t it?
My advice is keep on experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. We call this in the industry jargon as self-hacking. You don’t have to take my word for it. If you wish, you can bore through the countless books out there to gain an in-depth understanding of what others had discovered in what seems to be the endless battle of self-defeat and self-actualization. Below are the books I read and reread in order to make the content of Lose Fat Stay Fit simple enough to be understood and profound enough to be applied.
I do not intend to make Lose Fat Stay Fit a hefty reading. Therefore I distil the salient points from my research and make it into an inspiring yet practical handbook for those who are eager to achieve the end result. If you need further references to validate my points, you are free to checkout my sources. Here are the list of the landmark books I refer to in order to make Lose Fat Stay Fit simple, easy and yet effective:
- Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution
- Protein Power
- The Primal Blueprint
- The New Atkins for a New You
- The 8-Hour Diet
- The Warrior Diet
- Eat Stop Eat
- Eat Fat Get Thin
- Pure, White and Deadly
- Good Calories, Bad Calories
- Keto Clarity
- The Ketogenic Diet
- Low Carbs, High Fat Food Revolution
- Eat Fat, Love Fat
- Perfect Health Diet
- The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living
- The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance
- The Big Fat Surprise - Why Butter Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet
- The Diet Cure
- The Every Other Day Diet – The Only Fasting Diet Proven by Science
- The Paleo Solution
- The Paleo Diet
- The Paleo Diet for Athletes
- The Perfect 10 Diet
- The Bulletproof Diet
- The No-Grain Diet
- Nutrition and Mental Health
- The 4-Hour Body
- The Mood Cure
- Burn Fat, Feed the Muscle
- Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It
- Fitness for Geeks
- The Athlete’s Way
- The Complete Guide to Fasting
“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way,
and the only way, It does not exist”.
“You are an attitude away from success!”
John C. Maxwell
I believe there is a blessing in every calamity. In the Eastern Culture the universe is govern by two opposing forces. The ubiquitous yin-yang symbol holds its roots in Taoism/Daoism, a Chinese religion and philosophy. The yin, the dark swirl, is associated with shadows, femininity, and the trough of a wave; the yang, the light swirl, represents brightness, passion and growth. Life is like that. We have the ups and downs, night and day, pain and pleasure, and gains and losses. Nothing is permanent. The only constant in life is change.
From sea to shining sea
My life too had its ups and down. However, nothing prepared me for the turn of the worst when I was diagnosed with a peculiar illness known as Bipolar Affected Disorder in 1999. The illness costed me my career, business and my social life. Before that I was running a successful consulting firm serving the corporate clients within a small country named Malaysia. When the illness hit me, I lost my credibility and the customers’ confidence in my services. I had to shut down my company because all the employees and associates pack their bags since they thought I was beyond redemption. And so for the next seventeen years I had to struggle with making ends meet while juggling with my ailing condition.
Illness is not something we fathom when we are high and mighty riding the wave of success. I didn’t expect to be ill. As a fact, I was so confident with my business upward trend that I even renovated my office complete with new furniture and new computers for each employee and associate. Who would have expected that within a year I made a U-turn from a hero to a zero?
My illness was due to the extreme pressure of trying to manage an organization in the turbulence time of the late nineties Asian Financial Meltdown. All was not lost. I managed to secure an employment with a local consulting firm that dealt with large government projects. So for a while I got a breathing space to put my life together before I decided to venture out on my own again.
During this time I did not take the consumption of medication seriously. I thought I can forgo the meds when the symptom subside. I didn’t know that Bipolar Affected Disorder is a lifetime condition. So, in 2006 I had a relapse. It costed me my job. I had to leave because I was not fit to work. Yet, I need to put bread on the table. Financial concern was the top priority. Alas, I marched on to the beat of the drum. By this time I revisited my psychiatrist for a more resounding solution.
The psychiatrist gave me a very potent prescription. Unfortunately the medication was not like popping a few pills. It had side effects. Within two years on medication, I gained thirty kg. I became somnambulistic and my life was really a drag. The feeling was like being a castrated cat. I lose my sense of purpose and I became very docile. Of course I eat a lot. Somehow the meds made me hungry all the time. No matter how much I ate, I didn’t feel satiated. There were other repercussions as well. My libido dropped and I cannot perform like a normal person. The illness and the medication grips me like an anaconda coiling a caiman. It was during the lowest ebb of my life that I decided to take charge of the situation. I made up my mind to find out how best to tackle both conditions with zest.
I started reading as much as I could about nutrition and mental health. I was on the roll. Every day I spend at least four hours researching about these topics. Then I came across a website about a guy who lose thirty kg in four months and joined his Facebook group. I followed his recommendation and within a month I started seeing positive results. I followed the plan diligently and in nine months I lost nineteen kg.
For a while things were going fine. I kept following the stringent guideline until the weight loss slowed down. Then I started slacking. I became complacent. Soon old eating habits crept in and surely enough the weight started to escalate. It was this time I changed to another form of medication. This was a more expensive monthly jab with lesser side effect. I had been using this meds since then. It put the illness under control ever since. That did not rectify my weight situation. I was still obese. I started to experiment with various types of diets. Some I try for a week and others I tested for a couple of months. In my experience, all diets work in the first weeks or month. However, some produce fast results while others were unsustainable due to the unsound scientific principles behind them. There was no consistency. Therefore I keep on searching for the holy grail of weight loss.
Here’s what works
I’m going to give it to you up front. If you don’t want to go through reading the whole book, here is the gist of it all – all recommendations written about dieting work. You can try any method ever written and if you implement it to the hilt, they will produce result in the short term. Try a diet for a week and you will see a drop of two to three kg in the first week. The heavier you are the more drastic the reduction. This is due to water loss. That is why crash diets are very popular. However if you want to keep the fat away, you need a plan that is sustainable for at least a year. There is no single method to slim down, yet all agree the one that works most is by reducing calorie intake and at the same time increasing expenditure. The key to achieve a lasting result is that it has to be a lifestyle that you can endure.
There are many ways you can lose weight. However to lose fat you got to utilize your fat storage as energy. There are several ways you can combine your food intake. You can go with the ever popular Low Carbs High Fat (LCHF) Diet which is commonly known as the Ketogenic Diet. Perhaps you may want to go for the slight variation of it like the Atkins Diet. Others may vouch for the Protein Diet. I even read about a guy who consumed dabs of butter with his meals and the weight still went down. Of course the Calorie Restriction Diet works equally fine. The two questions you need to ask yourself are, “Can I sustain this way of eating for the rest of my life?” and “Will the downward trend continue?”
Here are the three basic principles of weight loss:
- The only proven nutritional method of losing weight is through prolonged calorie restriction
- In any given situation, we are either eating or fasting
- When we eat we add calories, when we fast we burn calories
That’s right. As long as you consume high calories of food, you will add the energy to be burned. When you stop eating, your body will utilize the stored fat. If you consume too much of either carbs, protein or fat, you will get fat eventually. Food intake is a quid pro quo game, input equals output. No doubt if you take too much carbs you will spike the insulin surge in your body. This in turn ended by the carbs being stored in the liver and the muscles. All the excess eventually go to the fat cells. Same goes with protein. Too much and it will be converted into carbs through the process known as gluconeogenesis and will be stored as fat if it prolongs. What happen when you consume too much fat? Well, it will prohibit the burning of the body fat and thus you will still stay fat.
What I actually did
The good news is you can eat anything in moderation and still lose weight. There is a caveat though. You must allow your body to burn the extra energy. If you are eating all the time, you are not allowing the body the opportunity to use the reserve tank. Hence, your weight will remain stagnant. I however take it one step further and restrict my carbs intake to ensure none of the sugar coming from food influence the surge of insulin, the hormone responsible for moving sugar into the blood stream and eventually to the fat cells. As for the protein and fat, I consume moderately so that I feel satiated a long time, sufficient to last until the next meal.
Would you believe that I only eat one meal a day (OMAD) and still can function at my peak albeit at work and play? Yes, eating this way actually is very satisfying and liberating to the mind and body. That is because my body is not hungry ever since I start conditioning it to be fat adapted. That is, I train my body to use the stored fat as fuel. All it takes is a proper strategy in managing food. The challenge is not about eating frequently to feel full but rather eating so that the nutrition is properly channeled for maximum utilization. I will elaborate this further in PART TWO of this book.
It is important that you finish reading this book for you to have a better understanding of how to proceed with the long term effect of this new lifestyle. That is why I intended this book to be compact. It is meant to help you quickly grasp the ideas and immediately put the principles into action.
For those who is eager to start seeing immediate result within a week, here are some quick hits:
- Eat maximum two meals a day – dinner and breakfast, skip lunch or lunch and dinner, skip breakfast or breakfast and lunch, skip dinner. This called 16/8 intermittent fasting
- Practice eating one meal a day – I go with a lavish dinner
- Drink at least 2 liters of water a day excluding other beverages. Ideally drink 4 liters of fluid including tea and coffee
- Eat a lot of leafy vegetables with meals – a fistful per meal
- Eat moderate amount of protein – a palm size per meal
- Take a spoonful of coconut oil and a slice of butter to feel satiated longer
- Always keep in mind carbs is the culprit in losing weight
- Stay away from processed sugar and starches
- Take a pinch of Himalayan salt with coffee in the morning to balance the electrolytes
- Sweat at least an hour a day – exercise only constitute twenty percent of weight loss
- Know what and when to eat – eighty percent of weight loss is due to food management
- Go easy on dried fruits – I only eat one date a day if I feel like having something sweet
- Eggs are you best friend – go ahead, eat them any way you like as much as you need to make you satisfied
Eat well, live well
If you are a seasoned dieter and you had been reading a lot of materials with regards to nutrition and health, you will realize that what I had outlined is a profound knowledge also available elsewhere. You probably had tried several methods and some might actually work for a short while. Then after some time you either get bored or complacent with the method. Pretty soon you started slacking. Lo and behold, before long you will realize that you were back where you started. The key to success is to find a method that is sustainable. By that I mean it should be economical and convenient. Let’s admit it. Diets consist of carbs are the cheapest and the easiest to come by. This is true when you eat out. The fast food restaurants are full of choices that will somehow incorporate some forms of carbohydrate in the ingredient. I am not demonizing carbs. I am just saying eating too much of it is a harmful practice in the long run.
Other diets may suggest that we eat plenty of protein. This is equally bad. Although you can never eat too much protein, there are side effects you might be wary. If not fully utilized the protein will put high demand on your kidney. You may later encounter kidney stone problems. I had this experience and ended with me having to get the stones surgically removed. Protein also increases uric acid. Those who have gout can testify how painful it is when the uric acid crystals accumulate at the vital joints. If it gets to the feet you will be limping. Only a powerful pain killer can alleviate the excruciating pain.
Besides eggs, chicken and beef don’t come cheap. They also require longer time to prepare. So we tend to opt for a quick fix by eating out, which then limit our choices of food. My favorite when eating out will be the fried chicken, not really a healthy option by and large but it is among the few selections of low carbs food available out there.
For whatever reasons we tend to lose the edge that made the diet worked in the first place. That is because we see a diet program as an interim solution. When we achieved our target, we let loose a few notches. Before long, things get out of control and the cycle repeats. Are you tired of this recurring patterns? Do you ever feel that you might lose hope in your quest for a slim tummy? Well I hope I can be of help. You see, just like you, I too was in the same position before. Therefore I share the same concern as you in this journey.
Most importantly, you must realize that losing fat is not rocket science. With enough knowledge and practice you can master this technique and well set for life. Let me take you through the journey. I wish you all the best in your quest for a better you. At this point I want you to know that success is within grasp. All you got to do is follow the guideline given and you will be on your way to greater heights with your newfound body. So sit back and enjoy. After all, life is a journey.
While you climb the footpath towards the greater you, enjoy the scenery and stop worrying about the end result. If you focus on getting the steps right, slowly but surely you will get the desired outcome. Remember though, we can only control the effort we put in, we cannot control the result. What we can control we do our best, what we cannot control we let go. That way we will not be stressed out over nothing. Allow me to be your guide in this journey.
I had twenty-five years of experience as a consultant, trainer and coach. That makes me a grey hair on matters pertaining to peak performance. Speaking from the elderly side, I can say you are prime for change. The initiative you took in purchasing and reading this book indicates that you are not going to remain where you are. You are already making a positive move toward the right direction.
“All our dreams can come through – if we have the courage to pursue them”.
Do you know that the best time to create the desire to act is during the time of fight or flight? This doesn’t happen too often but if the decision to act means you survive or perish, you bet people will do whatever it takes to stay alive. This is the gift of nature to all creatures on planet earth. That is why if you put a frog in a boiling water it will straight away jump for safety. Alternatively, if you put the same frog in a lukewarm water and slowly heat it up, the frog will idly swims in it until it is too late for it to act upon when the water temperature becomes unbearable. Thus, this is the nature of all creatures.
There was this parable about a great hunter explorer. He went around the world to collect exotic animals. Once he came into a remote area. Legend stated that in a hidden valley away from the privy of humans lived a group of animals that grazed the land but never been seen by anybody. The natives only saw the droppings and the hoofs prints scattered in this vast region. The hunter explorer was excited. He wanted to be the first person ever to catch these fine creatures. “I will spend the next one month to capture these elusive beasts”, he announced to the natives.
He began by studying the droppings and where the hoof marks commonly found. Next he collected the vegetation similarly found in the droppings and put it at the center of an open space. He then waited. The next day he went and check the spot. The food was left untouched. He removed the food and replaced it with a fresh batch and waited for another day. At the crack of dawn the next day he went again to check. Still nothing happened. He kept doing this for seven consecutive days and it remained the same. Then on the eighth day he noticed there were some changes. The food was eaten. Thus he kept doing the same thing the following day. More food were eaten.
The next day, he started planting one pole in the ground. Every day when he came to refresh the food, he added another pole, encircling the open space. Once he had done that, he started to put a wire around the poles. Each day that he came to refresh the food supply he added another layer of wire on top of the previous line. Finally on the last day he built a gate door and left it open. On the eve of the last day he sneaked in quietly and while the creatures were busily eating the food, he closed the door. He managed to capture the whole pack without much resistance from the animals.
Have the right mindset
These two stories illustrate the significance of our mindset in dealing with being fat. You see, we don’t become fat overnight. If you realize, the fat on our belly accumulates throughout a lifetime. When we were in our teens, we were very active. Our metabolic rate was higher. We play sports and we were in the process of growing up. Most likely then, we ate plenty of unhealthy stuffs and yet our body weight maintained. We thought it is OK to carry on living like this. The food of choice may be high in sugar and calories yet it doesn’t bother us. Little do we realize, the choice of food we made in our younger days becomes the comfort food when we get older. Food like ice cream, burger, pizza, and chocolate become delightful treats when we want to indulge ourselves in sweet and high caloric consumption.
When we were young, these foods may be consumed on occasional basis. Perhaps once a month or during special occasions. However, as time passed we began to enjoy a more affluent lifestyle. Instead of monthly or yearly treats they become a must have grocery list of the week. Every time we eat out we will go to the fast food joints. This is prevalent when we had improved our financial standing or when we lack the time to prepare our food at home. Worst, we have children and because the kids taste buds are incline toward high carbs high caloric food, we too succumb to their whims and fancies by eating what they eat. It could be out of convenience more than anything else.
By the time you have a family of your own, you may experience a different lifestyle. Work is more demanding and thus you spend less time exercising. Many times you want to have something quick while on the go just for satisfying your hunger. If you are in this category, you don’t really care about what you eat as long as it makes you full. Eating is just another routine for you to get on with your day. There are many out there that eat out of necessity without thinking much about what actually goes through their mouth. As long as it tastes good, cheap and fulfilling that qualifies as nutrition to them.
At home, you or your spouse may prepare food that is traditional. Depending on your culture, the dishes may consist of plenty of carbs, little green leafy vegetables, moderate protein and oily in nature. There is nothing wrong in eating rice or potatoes but combine with greasy cooking, it spells disaster. Either you eat high carbs low fat or low carb high fat to stay lean but never high carbs high fat.
I experimented eating our Malaysian delicacy called Nasi Lemak, a high carbs high fat breakfast for a month while doing a 16/8 intermittent fasting. Usually in the morning you will find street vendors selling them with assortments of ingredients. The normal Nasi Lemak consists of rice, anchovies, peanuts, a quarter boiled egg and some chili paste. My own super combo concoction comprises of the usual rice, a scoop of beef rendang cooked with coconut oil, clams in red chili, peanuts, one boiled egg and a spoonful of chili paste. The taste is heavenly but the side effect is I gained three kg in one month!
A typical serving of Nasi Lemak
In order to keep you weight at an ideal level you may have to reassess the choices of food you take consciously during the initial stage. Chances are you had been eating these foods out of habit for so long that you consume them mindlessly. It becomes auto pilot to have those ice cream or chocolate after dinner. Perhaps you may have your favorite weekend or any particular day food; spaghetti and meatballs on Fridays for example. Or you have this regular joint you visit during lunch hour, day in day out. This automatic decision-making is helpful to help you reduce the time thinking on what to eat. Alas, it may be inappropriate if the choices that you make then is no longer beneficial to you at present from the nutrition point of view. Therefore you need to calibrate your routine again for upcoming weeks or months based on the new information that you receive.
It is awkward initially, I’m sure. You already used to the routine. In the first few weeks you will crave for the familiar food. Food that is high in sugar and fat can be addictive. Not to worry. Within two weeks your body will adjust. Before long you will see the unhealthy food for what it is.
It is important that during the first two weeks of your new routine that you stay away from those foods that you crave. If you give in, it will trigger the memory and there might be a possibility that you will binge. Losing your favorite food is a trade-off. Some will miss the food because they miss the feeling that the food gives them. It’s the same feeling of quitting cigarettes. The brain had developed the pleasure pathways that link a particular food with certain delightful experience. Your challenge is to break the connection so that you can establish a new eating pattern.
This is very true if you are an emotional eater. Food then becomes a friend when you are lonely and depressed. Some use food as a reward while others eat to fill up their time. Whatever it may be, remember that you are in charge not the food.
Attitude is everything
Do you ever consider why some people are successful and why some fail miserably in their undertakings? If you ask the crowd out there many don’t know what is the root cause. Many will point out that the successful person has an advantage over the other. They are well-off, born in the right family or much luckier. Definitely those with more resources has the advantage to head start but that does not guarantee success.
The most dangerous of all is believing that since you are at the disadvantage point, you are doom to fail for the rest of your life. This is known as learned helplessness. People with this mental condition sets themselves to fail from the beginning. Imagine you have two temperature regulators. When it gets too cold the heater sets in, when the room gets too hot the air conditioner kicks in. Now, we normally will react to various life situations differently as well. When thing starting to go south, we will normally start to feel the pressure to act. Soon after we start producing the desired result, we will cruise for a while and just when things are getting to move to the right direction, we will sabotage our own success. This is known as the Success Syndrome.
The cycle repeats until we learn to manage the two variables and maintain a state of homeostasis. A person with learned helplessness on the other hand does not bother to do anything. He or she will see a critical situation as irreversible and let circumstance sets its own course.
Having a bad attitude is your entitlement. That doesn’t mean you will live with it for the rest of your life. There are three basic inhibitors you need to be aware:
- Let it be attitude – This is the “I don’t care” type of attitude. “Whatever happens just let it happens”. “It doesn’t matter to me”. “It was intended for me to be this way”. “I am fated to be in this way”. This is the defeatist attitude. The person already surrender before even putting up a fight.
- It’s OK attitude – This is “I am happy the way I am” attitude. “So what if I’m fat?”. “This is me”. This attitude is a combination of being a conformist as well as being in denial. Deep down inside the person knows he or she needs to do something but maybe fearful or lazy to take action.
- I’ll start tomorrow – This is “just a few minutes more” attitude. “It can wait”. “I am not in the mood”. “Let me think about it”. “One more day”. The person in this category is a champion procrastinator. Perhaps he or she is in a comfort zone and taking action means more stress.
Let me set the record straight. Positive attitude means you will rise above the circumstances. Forget about the past setbacks. Tomorrow is a new day and you can keep on having a fresh start every day of your life. What if you tried and you failed before? It doesn’t matter. Start fresh. What if even that you fail? Same o same o, start again. Well how long do you have to keep trying until you call it quit? Never, you will keep on doing until you produce the desired result. All the time while you trying to figure out what works, your keep on tweaking your approaches until you make it!
Have you ever come across a person who bought so many books on dieting but is still fat? These type of people may enjoy buying books and may not read them. They are actually get the satisfaction from buying instead of reading. There are others who read but don’t take action from their reading. There is no magic formula to be fit and healthy. You need to participate in the process. It is not an armchair effort. You got to use your knowledge in the playing field, in this case your body.
We are granted two powers as human beings. The first is the power to choose. There is no such thing as a human being without a choice. Even while in prison the Dalai Lama said though his body is imprisoned his mind is still free to soar. If you accept your condition as permanent that means you made the choice to forfeit your privilege to be free. You can always choose the state of emotion to be in at the very least. Then, we are given the power to act. In doing so, we must do it immediately, excessively and without excuse. If we apply this three principles to act, we then will be granted the third power, which is the power of momentum. When that happens, we will overcome the bumps on the road ahead and proceed with certainty.
Having the right attitude warrants us to be positive and faithful in the result of our effort. It will propel us toward the desired outcome DISPITE the challenges we are facing in our course of action. Don’t be dishearten when initially you find it difficult to adapt. Everything is difficult before it becomes easy. Just like mentioned by Cher some time ago, “If good body comes in a bottle, everybody will have one”.
Empty your cup
Once upon a time, a young apprentice went to learn from an old sage. It was a far and distant journey. When he reached the place where the sage resided, he got so excited about his journey that he cannot stop talking.
“Let’s have some tea,” said the sage. He then started pouring the hot tea into a cup. The young man continued talking about his trip.
The sage said nothing but continued pouring the tea. He kept on pouring until it overflowed. The young man was puzzled.
“Master,” he said. “The tea is overflowing. You should stop pouring.”
The sage replied, “Yes the tea overflows because the cup is full. Just like you. As long as you don’t stop talking, you will never learn anything new.”
The young apprentice was silent, dumbfounded by the simple wisdom of the old sage.
Precisely, when you want to learn something new, you got to unlearn what you had learned. Otherwise you will form prejudgment. You already have your own idea on what to expect based on your past experience. Therefore you have preset expectations based not on actual experience but based on inferences. You become prejudice of the input. Do not discriminate knowledge. There is no taboo in learning. Knowledge is like a two-edge sword. It cuts both ways. It all depends on the user. It can cut to the left or to the right.
So use knowledge towards your advantage. Read everything and only then you decide. It is important that while you are learning for you to suspend judgment. Otherwise you will have doubt even before taking action. This is not good. A clouded mind creates fear and uncertainty. You will be paralyzed even before you even take the first step.
As I mentioned, losing weight is not a great mystery. The fastest way is not to eat. I watched a You Tube video about a guy who water fasted for twenty-eight days and lose twenty kg in the process. Anybody can achieve this with the right determination and technique. There was even a person who refrained from consuming other than water and vitamins for a year and arrived at a spectacular result. This twenty-seven years old from Scotland fasted for three hundred and eighty two days and lost one hundred twenty five kg.
There are many ways to lose weight or rather fat. I am showing you one of the many methods. Most importantly my method works for me and many others. It’s not about shedding the pounds alone. It’s about having a peace of mind and the elated feeling of being able to take a firm grip of our relationship with food.
So don’t listen to the naysayers including that little voice inside you that say this method doesn’t work. Dive in and drink from the fountain of knowledge like a dessert traveler stopping by an oasis. Satisfy your quest for the knowledge to be fit and healthy.
If you are ready, let’s begin with the first prerequisite…
You must be excited with this newfound knowledge. After all, you had saved tremendous amount of time researching various sources by reading this one book. All the digging and planting of the tree had been done by those who had went through this path before you. You just come for the picking.
Don’t act as if you already know enough so this is nothing. If you are so well-informed why are you not taking action? If you are so smart, why are you still fat?
Be like Einstein, look at what being tabled to you with curiosity and wonder as if as stated by him, a kid entering a library for the first time; full of awe and wonder.
Don’t let new ideas that are unfamiliar or unorthodox offend you. After all the purpose of you reading this book is to help yourself. Let me help you help yourself. We should be striving for the greater good. Don’t fight it. Move with certainty and zest. Feel that power within you awakens. You had enough of this fat body of yours and now you want to permanently change for the better.
I know, when you are fat and sluggish, you feel there is no hope for victory. Restore back the faith you had on yourself and you will see that Providence will come to aid you. You must be patience. God’s delay is not God’s denial.
Not a drag
Hey, this is your life we are talking here. Do you value yourself? Don’t you want to uncover that magnificent you underneath that blobs of fat? Do you know that there is an Armani suit underneath every parka? That beneath every lump of marble is the statue of David?
It takes effort mind you. You cannot sit back and expect things to work miraculously. You got to work the magic. You got to have the self-control, the determination and the willpower to endure the initial inertia.
At most, the feeling of hunger and discomfort will last for a week. After that you will enjoy your stomach being empty. It’s a good feeling. No wonder those who are used to fasting look forward to not eating for the entire day. I am referring to the Muslims who practice not eating for the whole month of Ramadhan. These people welcome the fasting month with joy and sadden when the month passes.
The true practitioners even fast every Mondays and Thursdays. Some strict followers fast one month ahead of Ramadhan and added six more days in Syawal, the month after Ramadhan, to complete the inclusion of the merit count of a year’s deed.
For the devoted, there is no complaint at all of not eating for thirteen hours at a stretch. The key here is the body adapts. Look at your tummy, people. You have enough storage to last you for two months without eating. Surely you can stand not eating for twenty-four hours? All you need to do is train your body to tap into this unlimited reserve. To do that you have to refrain from sugar and starch for two weeks. Your source of carbohydrate will be from leafy vegetables. Don’t worry, you won’t die of starvation. Starvation only happens if your body fat is below four percent. In the first two to three days you may experience some lightheaded, dizziness, or sleeplessness. These are known as the Ketone Flu or the Atkins Flu. It will pass I assure you.
The only thing that may differ about from your normal routine is that your bowel movement will spread from the daily morning routine to three to four days intervals. Nothing to worry about.
Never give up
There are initially false starts for some people. Your schedule may not be appropriate, you may have sugar cravings, you cannot withstand hunger or you may feel a bit edgy doing something new. Rest assure these things are normal. Don’t get dishearten. There is no failure except if you give up.
Consider this, if you start today, within a year you will look back and feel totally satisfied with your achievement. The only regret is you don’t start sooner. Some are fast trackers, some are slow starters. This is not the hare and tortoise race, this is a race within yourself. How long have you been fat? Ten, fifteen years? A lifetime maybe? Well, this effort I’m talking about only require one year of dedication. Here are some proofs.
All these people took one year or less to lose more than thirty percent of their body fat:
You too can achieve the same result if you persist.
This too shall pass
The biggest challenge in doing something new is not about actually doing it but rather having the initiative to start the process. Let’s admit it. We are creatures of comfort. Normally we are used to doing routine stuffs. If we are used to eating three meals a day, changing that routine to one meal a day (OMAD) is very distressing. Not because it is not scientifically sound but rather our past limiting beliefs make it so.
We tend to worry that we will get out of our routine and thus that will derail our day. This is natural for us humans. Change means uncertainty and uncertainty will lead to discomfort. It is very important that we see things for what it is; we are doing things to improve our well-being. Therefore we are making progress. Hence there is nothing to fear. After all, skipping one or two meals will not kill you. Your body is full of reserves. You won’t die of hunger and if you do it right, it can be an enjoyable experience.
I started my new way of eating by skipping breakfast. I eat normal meals for lunch and dinner. After a while I tweaked a bit and started eating low carbs, moderate protein and high fat diet. Since eating this way is so satisfying, I then started to skip lunch and have dinner only. After a couple of months eating OMAD LCHF, I decided to do extended fasting for twenty-one days. That is, I only drink water, coffee with a pinch of salt and tea throughout the duration of the fast. I feel great physically and I have such a mental clarity that I don’t miss food at all. That is because on the third day the body started utilizing the fat in the body and ketones (the byproduct of body fat metabolism), a very potent source of energy.
Of course like anybody else, I was apprehensive initially. I however did not allow my fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) to control my rational thinking in trying something new. There are plenty of resources to refer to if you need further clarification. The best information you can check is form The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung. He runs a clinic that prescribe intermittent and extended fasting for obese and type-2 diabetes patients.
I hope that up to this point you had concluded that the only way that you will lose that extra few pounds is for you to take a firm action to do something about it. Knowledge is just a potential. The real power is in the action. You may not get it right the first time but at least you are moving towards the right direction.
Here is what I like you to do. List all the reasons why you should lose weight. This is call the green lighting process. Don’t think too much about whether the answer is right. Just list down all the reasons that pop in your mind. They could be social, emotional or physical reasons. As you write, think of all the pleasures you will derive from losing that weight of yours. Is there a time limit you want to aim for? Write down the target dates. Do you want to achieve a certain size of dress? Write that down too.
This list should be an exciting one. Something that propels you towards this new behavior.
Next, list the reasons that you might fail. This is the red lighting process. It could be something that occurred in the past that hindered your progress. It could be a pattern of self-sabotaging. It could be a self-defeating script that you follow over and over again. Perhaps it is a fear within you. You can also list down anticipated events that may derail you of your plan to lose weight. Don’t stop at the first few, keep on going until you exhaust the possibilities.
Once you are done these exercises you will have a clearer perspective of who you are with regards to your experience in dealing with weight loss. You will see a trend or a pattern of what makes you successful and why you failed before. It is very powerful. Give it a try.
“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose
but no power to escape the necessity of choice”.
Is there a right way to lose weight?
The answer is absolutely not. There are people who do calorie control and lose weight. There are people who restrict carbs and lose weight. There are also people who restrict fat and lose weight. Definitely there are people who don’t eat and lose weight!
The question is not about losing weight but rather which of the ways is more expedient and easy to follow. We don’t want to follow a certain plan which will later on backfire on us. For example, we don’t want to lose weight for a month only to regain the weight back again two months down the road. Certainly we don’t want whatever plan we follow only works for a short term.
A diet plan should not be a plan at all. It should be a lifestyle that we can comfortably follow for years to come. The only way to do it is to have something that allow you to restrict your calorie consumption and allow you to eat anything in moderation.
Below are the various options that I had tried and the experience I had with each of them. I will not discuss in detail what are the various protocols involved but rather share with you my personal journey with each one of them.
Atkins Diet Phase I
I started my diet regimen with Atkins Diet Phase I. Of all the four phases with Atkins, Phase I is the most significant in losing a lot of weight. Atkins Diet Phase I require for you to limit your carbs consumption to twenty grams per day. Which means you only limit your carbs to a fistful of leafy greens per meal. Atkins also encourages the consumption of moderate protein and fat.
I lasted nine months with Atkins. During the duration I lost nineteen kg. After the nine months my weight stalled to only losing one kg per month. I stayed in Phase I all the while because I was still far away from my ideal weight.
When I was on Atkins I ate a lot of protein but moderate amount of fat. After a while the diet became a bit boring because I feel that I was missing some of the carbohydrate based food. Once I am off the diet (meaning I started eating carbs) my weight steadily increased.
I then switched to the Ketogenic Diet. It is quite similar to Atkins Phase I with the carbs restriction between fifteen and twenty grams per day. The significant difference with Ketogenic Diet is the high amount of healthy fat. Depending on you source, the fat consumption is between forty to fifty-five percent. It was during this time I started eating coconut oil and butter on daily basis. My intake of protein was reduced as compared to Atkins (in Atkins I eat as much as I can stomach).
The introduction of the healthy fat is a big boost in my general well-being. I fell more alert and I have laser-sharp clarity. I feel less hungry too. Nevertheless, my weight loss is not that fast. About one kg a month.
Soon after, I read about the Warrior Diet. This diet was made popular by Ori Hofmekler, an ex-Israeli army personnel, a martial artist and a body builder. Ori suggested in his book for us to eat lightly during the day but feast in the evening. This according to him follows the circadian rhythm of our body. It also coincide with the way the ancient Spartans and Romans army practiced in the olden days.
I tried this method for a month but the result was pretty disappointing. It was difficult to control the portion of fruits that I ate during the day. So I end up overeating most of the time. I guess if I follow this routine to the hilt, I might gain the benefits from this method. Nevertheless I like the concept of the circadian rhythm of eating. So I incorporate the concept for much later implementation.
16/8 Intermittent Fasting
Also known as the 8-Hour Diet, this protocol requires you to eat within an eight hour window and fast for sixteen hours. The simple way to look at it is; either you eat lunch and dinner but skip breakfast or eat breakfast and lunch but skip dinner or eat dinner and breakfast but skip lunch. According the author of The 8 –Hour Diet, David Zinczenko, you can eat anything within the eight-hour window and still lose weight. At the same time he did recommend certain food to take for overall health.
I tried eating anything within the eight-hour window while fasting for sixteen hours. It didn’t work. I gained three kg in a month. So I ditched the protocol right after that.
One Meal a Day (OMAD)
Immediately after that I switched to OMAD while combining it with Atkins Phase I. This is a very simple protocol, I only eat dinner. I find this is very practical because dinner is the time my family and I get together. They will eat the normal course with rice, vegetable and protein. I however will skip the rice and only eat the main dishes.
Of all the protocols I experience, this is the most successful one. I lost ten kg in two months. During the day I will drink at least two liters of water, coffee with a pinch of salt and some tea. That kept the hunger at bay. During dinner, I will eat a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and two slices of grass fed New Zealand Anchor Butter.
My mood and mental clarity improved much. There is a feeling of emptiness in the stomach but it comes in waves. Nothing much to worry really.
One thing worth noting though. On the sixth week I started introducing rice into my diet. Immediately my weight jumped extra two kg. This is due to water retention resulting from the carbs intake. It took me two weeks to lose this sudden gain. My lesson learnt was carbs can make our body retain water even if we eat once a day.
21 Days Extended Fast
After two months on OMAD Atkins, I noticed that my weight stalled. That was just about the time I started reading The Complete Guide to Fasting. The book dispels many if the myths we had about prolonged abstinence from food. The gist of it is our body can sustain without eating as long as we have fat storage.
Honestly speaking, it was not as bad as I imagined it to be. Since I am already fat adapted from the OMAD, I ease into it without much hassle. If you want to try this protocol, it is important for you to have your daily salt intake in order for you not to dehydrate. It also helps to maintain the essential mineral and electrolytes from depleting.
The weight loss with this method is pretty dramatic. On the first week I lose one kg a day without any loss of vigor. By day three I was completely alert probably due to the ketones in the bloodstream. The feeling of hunger disappeared too. Extended fasting didn’t feel any harder than the OMAD. That is because the hunger doesn’t accumulate as the days go by. Furthermore the hunger comes in waves. Anytime I’m hungry, I drink a few gulps of water.
This experience is very liberating. I thought I will be thinking about food all the time. Turned out it was the opposite. I can free myself to do other things like reading and writing. There was no loss of energy or lack of concentration. I can even exercise regularly without losing the normal vigor.
The thought that kept me together during the extended fast was I actually utilizing my fat storage to the optimum. There was no guess work whether I am burning energy from the food or from my belly. Surely the burning of the Basal Metabolic Rate was from the stored fat because I am still functioning well without eating for three weeks.
Putting it together
It is obvious to me from this self-hacking that there are certain principles involve in losing weight. Here are some takeaway points:
- Eating carbs will increase insulin and retain water. By eating carbs excessively (over one hundred grams a day), we will invoke the pancreas to produce high amount of insulin. This in turn will force the body to store the extra glucose into fat cells. In this case eating large amount of carbs makes us fat.
- Contrary to popular belief, dietary fat doesn’t make us fat because eating fat doesn’t trigger the secretion of insulin, the hormone that clears sugar from the bloodstream and converting it into fat.
- Eating clean is important; which means we should eat wholesome food. Sugar and process food will spike insulin and thus will eventually make us fat.
- Coconut oil contains Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) which means it will not be converted into body fat. It is broken down in the liver and be utilized as energy.
- Butter is highly demonized. We need fat for the creation of new cells and hormones regulation. It is highly nutritional and very safe. What we should avoid are the trans-fats and margarine.
- Skipping a meal or two is actually very normal for our body once we are adapted to do so. It is a liberating experience. No longer do we eat out of rote but out of necessity. If you trace back the history of the human civilization, it was very recent that we have three square meals. Our body was built for feast and famine. Therefore we can recondition our body to eat stop eat, not necessarily eating every three to four hours interval.
- Eating low carbs, moderate protein and high fat work! Couple that with eating OMAD and on evenings proved that you can lose considerable amount of body fat.
- For those who are willing to go the extra mile, I encourage extended fasting. It is not only good for the body, it is also mentally and spiritually sound. Don’t worry about starving. The body will start utilizing the stored fat and converts it into ketones, the preferred form of energy for the brain.
- Allow two weeks of gestation period for your body to be fat adapted and you will experience a new source of energy. The feeling is euphoric initially and for those experiencing depression, you mood will improve dramatically.
- Drink at least two liters of plain water and add a pinch of salt to your beverages, in my case, coffee. You will be surprise how invigorating the feeling is. I recommend the Himalayan pink salt which is rich in minerals and iodine.
- A word of caution: if you are on medication please consult your physician before you decide to start a new diet regimentation. The weight reduction might offset the dosage of medication you are taking.
There is no hard and fast rule in dieting. Nothing is carved in stone. That is why for every diet plan there is a success story. What is more important is what works for you. Some people are happy losing one kg a week. Others want to lose weight faster, while others are pretty contented in taking the slow train to China. It all depends on the goal you set at the beginning of the journey.
There are people who swear by a certain method and they become adamant with the diet protocol. I remember this one person from a Facebook diet group that I joined insisted I wash the soy sauce I eat from the chicken teriyaki before I eat. All because soy sauce was prohibited in the diet. I wanted to comply with the regulation but I’m not going to wash away the remnant of soy sauce from my chicken teriyaki. Where is the joy in doing that?
Even when I first started eating OMAD Atkins, I still craved for sweet things. I therefore eat one or two dates after dinner to satisfy my cravings. After one week the craving naturally disappeared and I never have a need to abstain myself forcefully. By the way, if you have cravings, eat a few dabs of butter. The cravings will disappear instinctively.
Always be mindful, the key to success is flexibility. If you crave something sweet, it is better you take some dried fruits just to get the sweet taste than to later on gorge loads of chocolate chip cookies because the craving is surmounting. If you fall out of the wagon, quickly re-calibrate and get back on track. You don’t want to compound the slip-up and go off tangent for long. Be mindful, this is a one year journey at the very least. Therefore one or two derailments are understandable especially when you just starting.
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future.
It is something you design for the present”.
Every time you want to do something significant like losing thirty kg of fat means you got to be mentally ready to tackle the task at hand. It is a daunting task if you consider losing thirty to fifty percent of your body weight. It requires concerted effort on your part to stay on track. This is because change will happen gradually and at times, if you don’t keep track of your progress, you might get disheartened along the way.
Allow me to share with you some basic tools that I use on daily basis to monitor my progress:
Digital Weighing Scale
This is the first form of feedback mechanism that you have. Of course there are other forms of feedback that you can use, like the mirror, the waist line or the one size smaller jeans you keep on trying. However nothing beats the scale. There are many who said not to rely on the scale on daily basis because our weight fluctuates with the water that we retain. I however weigh every day so that I can tweak what went right and what went wrong the day before. I then take the weekly difference in weight as the indication of progress. Normally I do this on Saturdays.
The daily weight might fluctuates but the weekly difference is more realistic. I weight myself every morning before I consume anything. Do not let the scale dictates your mood. It is just a form of feedback. When I was consuming carbs the night before, I gained two kg the next day. This is not fat mind you, just water. This is because carbs binds with water thus the term carbo and hydrate.
Monitor Your Weight Apps
You can get this application in Google Play Store. This is a very encouraging application. It charts your daily progress and it will tell you the estimated target date for you to achieve your goal. It also gives you the indication of your Body Mass Index. In addition, it will automatically calculate the total weight you lose so far.
As a routine, I will weigh myself and immediately I will key in the result in my tablet. The application then plot a graph that shows the current, monthly and overall progress. Pretty neat huh?
This is another cool application. You can have two devices accessing the same application if you are a nonpaying user. So you can have one residing on you PC and the other one on your hand phone.
The way I use Evernote is I turned it into a monthly calendar. You can create a table using the feature in it and create a seven columns (days) times five rows (weeks). Next I put dates in the boxes. It’s good if you have a desk calendar and calibrate the days with the date. Normally the week starts with a Sunday.
After the date I put in what protocol I am doing for the day. It could be any of the following:
- 16/8 – If I only skip breakfast and eat normal
- 16/8 LCHF – If I skip breakfast and eat ala Atkins for the day
- OMAD – If I eat one meal with carbs
- OMAD LCHF – If I eat one meal ala Atkins for the day
- Normal Feed – If I eat normal three square meals
- Extended Fast – If I am fasting more than twenty-four hours
Then I enter my weight followed by the time I wake up.
Next I put the list of food and drink I take including the time.
I also entered the time I sleep
Finally I record the amount of water I consumed for the day.
Throughout the years I had added a few additions including when I had bowel movement and how much money I spend for the day.
You don’t need all these if you don’t believe in keeping a personal journal. I however had been doing this since 2013 and I find it quite informative in monitoring my progress. It gives me a monthly snapshot of where I was a month or a year ago. Just like a calendar, I also keep track of my appointments and exercise activities using this system. The advantage of this calendar over any other is that it is very flexible. The columns can extend limitlessly so you can record almost anything.
The best part in my opinion is I have a bird’s eye view of what’s happening in the week and the month. If you going to track just the food intake, MyFitnessPal is just fine. It however won’t give you the flexibility of your own self-created calendar.
Since Evernote resides in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about losing the data. It also allows you to use different colors for different purposes. For example, I use red to indicate the high carb food. So at a glance I can tell if within the week I eat too much carbs.
For monitoring other things like mood, progresses and setbacks, I use Blogspot.com. This allows me to have a narration of my experience while on this journey. I also use the blog for linking articles from You Tube that are relevant for future references. I am heavily influence by the songs that I hear. Therefore I also save copious amount of songs in my blog to fit the mood of the day.
The nice thing about Blogspot.com is you can set the setting to private. That way only you can see your entry. Since it is a cloud repository, you won’t have to worry in losing your data. It also means you can access your entries from your hand phone and tablet.
I also use Evernote for journaling purposes but between the two, Blogspot.com is more relevant because information can be organized hierarchically base on the date of entry. In short the blog is to capture your journey – to look back as a reference. The entries need not be daily. It is sufficient that you record your observations once a week.
Putting Scientific Method into action
This is very much like a scientist doing an experiment. In this case you are experimenting with the food and its effect on your weight loss. A term commonly used in the scientific world is the Scientific Method. This is outlined in the diagram below:
In the Scientific Method you start with a pivotal question such as, “How do I lose thirty kg of weight within one year without having to depend on medication or food supplement?” You then do the necessary research to find the various alternatives.
Next, you construct a hypothesis or in a layman’s term, an assumption. This could be eating in a certain manner. It could also be eating a certain food. It could also be eating in a certain window of feeding. After that you test the validity of your assumption by taking action. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You then draw a conclusion. If the result is positive, you carry on with the successful method. If it doesn’t then keep tweaking until you get the right outcome.
That is why it is impossible to fail. As long as you keep on getting new information to improve your experiment, then you will always be making a positive advancement towards the desired result. The key is you need data that can be analyzed on periodic basis. Without the data you will not have the vital information to act. For example, without my daily weighing I would not have discovered carbs intake can increase my weight by two kg overnight. Having the information alone is not good enough. You will need wisdom to decipher and make meaningful conclusion out of it.
Back to my example, I would have thought that the two kg increase of weight is due to fat. Fortunately I didn’t take the information at face value and dig deeper. Turned out it is just water retention. How do I know? Because the minute I stopped taking carbs the weight dropped again, steadily.
P A R T T W O
“A little starvation can really do more for the average sick man
than can the best medicines and the best doctors”.
“A people without the knowledge of their past history,
origin and culture is like a tree without roots”.
Time will flow and I will follow
It was not long ago that we as a species undergone a series of changes in the way we eat. As far as human history goes we started as hominids scavenging the Savannah for leftover carcass abandoned by the predators. Our ancestors were also foragers and gatherers of fruits and tubers when the seasons were aplenty. Once humans developed better thinking skills, they developed stone tools for hunting. Living the life of hunter gatherers had been the bedrock of human evolution for millions of years.
Then somewhat ten thousand years ago, humans started agriculture. This was the shift from being Paleolithic to Neolithic. Humans started incorporation grains in their diet and slowly the way of the hunter gatherer gave way to farming and craftsmanship. Life was very much dependent on the success of the crops. Humans took up rearing of domesticated animals and so the birth of the agricultural society.
It is interesting to note that if we take the existence of humans as the face of a wall clock, agriculture way of living only appeared at the last one minute to twelve o’clock. For the longest time humans obtained their food supply either through scavenging, foraging, gathering or hunting. Eating grains was not natural for the Paleolithic society.
A typical day in a life of the Paleolithic men will be rising before sunrise to embark into a journey to hunt wild animals as far as five km radius. That means they walk at least ten km a day to put food on the table. Not all hunting expedition were successful. At times they came back empty handed. During spring and summer there were plenty of fruits and berries for the picking. Come winter, food were scarce and they have to undergo a process of calorie restriction. Therefore they were subject to feast and famine cycles. Imagine, this kind of lifestyle lasted for at least 2.6 million years.
The lifestyle they led and the food they ate shaped the body condition that lasted until today. We are all descendants of these prehistoric people. Our body had been conditioned to adapt to the eating style of our ancestor through the genetic coding.
Alternately, the Neolithic lifestyle was too recent to be coded in our genes. That is why once we incorporate grains in our lives the problems like obesity and type-2 diabetes started to appear. Early records of these illness already appeared in the scrolls of the Egyptians as early as 5,000 BC.
The world of instant gratification
Fast forward to the Industrial Revolution which was only two hundred years ago. Humans started to mass produce process food from sugar and flour. Prior to sugar the next sweetest thing humans can find in the wild was honey. There is a big difference between sugar and honey. Sugar had been processed until there is nothing left except empty calories. In contrast, honey contains enzymes and minerals that the body can benefit from, Besides making food and beverages sweet and giving instant energy, sugar is as John Yudkin described in his book is Pure, White and Deadly.
I highly recommend you read this book to understand the damage sugar can do to your body. The effect of sugar is like heroin. It is addictive and it messes up with our neurotransmitter, dopamine. It also accelerates the aging process. Once you quit sugar for two weeks, you will realize that your taste bud can pick up the natural sweetness from the food that you eat. At one point I even taste the sweetness of the mineral water though it is quite subtle.
Flour is another culprit. Never in our entire existence as humans actually prepares us to consume flour. It is highly processed and quite alien to our digestive system. The nutritious part of the wheat which is the wheat germ is removed during the sieving process to ensure the flour’s texture is even. What’s left is the part of the wheat that is high in starch. Eating flour or its byproduct albeit cakes or breads is not natural for the body. It will skyrocket the secretion of insulin because all processed food are high in Glycemic Index.
What is Glycemic Index? You may ask. It is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect glucose levels. Carbohydrate with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolized and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and therefore usually secretes lower insulin levels.
This is why process food in general is bad. Our body is not programed to handle the sudden influx of glucose in our blood. To be fair, insulin as a hormone is not bad. It helps to clear our bloodstream from access sugar. Otherwise it will become toxic. However, overflowing of insulin means the sugar will be stored as fat eventually.
“That which nourishes me destroys me”.
Have you ever experience this? You are already about to end the day and you are ravenously hungry. Therefore you look forward for dinner and celebrate the closure of the day with a nice meal at your favorite restaurant. While waiting for the main dish, you drink some beer or perhaps some ice lemon tea. The restaurant provides you with some buns as a starter. Later your salad with Thousand Island dressing arrives. You chow it down in a hurry. Finally your main dish is served. It is Chicken Enchiladas with strained rice and generous serving of cheese. You eat wholeheartedly.
Within half an hour you finish the whole plate. By right you should feel energized. You just put some extra energy in your body. Instead, you go into a food coma. Your stomach bulges and you can hardly sit without protruding your belly. On the way back home you feel stupor. The food that you eat makes you drowsy. By the time you reach home you can hardly open your eyes. Straight away you go to bed feeling tired and miserable.
This scenario can be a bit disturbing if it happens on a daily or weekly basis. Food doesn’t supposed to make you feel bad. It should replenish your mind, body and spirit. However because we seldom make a decision to eat food based on its nutritional value, we fall into the trap of eating “See Food”; we eat food that is pleasant to the eyes. Next we choose food that is pleasant to the tongue and lastly the selection in based on what is pleasant to the stomach.
To eat smart require some conscious effort initially. You need to be mindful of what is good and what is bad. What is healthy and what is not. Unfortunately our eyes can deceive us. The food marketer understand this very well. That is why when you see a burger advertisement, the picture is more appetizing than the real thing. If you are to depend on your eyes to make that smart decision, you will realize that the decision is seldom rational.
The decision based on the tongue can be deceiving as well. There are places where you can go just to excite your taste buds. This field of culinary is known as the molecular gastronomy. People who subscribe to this concept are looking for fresh perspective in eating. Not so much for nutritional purposes. If taste buds is the prime criteria for selecting your food, then sugary and fried food certainly will be at the top of the list.
Of course there are people who eat because they just want a full stomach. In order to do so many will not consider the percentage of the macronutrients they eat. Chances are these people will end up eating high carbs high fat food.
The first thing that should come to your mind when eating is whether the food is healthy. It may look unappetizing but it has to be nutritional. It is really simple to make a bland protein dish looks palatable. Just add lots of greens and lace it with tomato, carrot, pepper and mushroom.
When you eat out, opt for food with generous portion of protein in the serving and incorporate salad in the side dish. Instead of having the protein to go with French fries opt for grilled vegetables instead.
Eating fast food can be tricky. So instead of having the usual Big Mac, opt for the chicken or the fish. Always order ala carte unless you plan to share the fries and soda with your family members. A good thing to do is drink water instead of fizzy drinks. Those drinks will not satisfy your thirst anyway and are loaded with sugar.
Eat to live, not live to eat
It is worth noting that throughout our lives, human civilization centered their lives on food. When we have festivals or special occasions there are normally food to be served. We also tend to plan our activities around our meal intervals. Food becomes more than nutrition. It is a symbol of prosperity in some culture. There is a common belief that when a person is overweight, he or she is doing well financially. This could be due to the situation in the early part of history where poor people sometime starved to death.
As time goes by we slowly shift our priority towards food. Instead of eating to live, we live to eat. This is very common in Malaysia where following the fasting month of Ramadhan, the Muslims will attend open houses for the duration of one month! Already there are countless breaking of fast buffets during Ramadhan, the feeding frenzy continues for a duration of two months with the coming of Syawal. No wonder Malaysia is the fattest country in South East Asia. Comparatively Vietnam has no issue of being overweight because on the average, Vietnamese eat one meal a day.
Some people use food as a crutch. When they are stressed or depressed they eat particularly high carbs high fat food like chocolate and ice cream. This unhealthy relationship with food will only temporarily alleviate the problem. It will give you a short rush but soon it will be followed by guilt and a feeling of blah.
Why not take food for what it is? A source of energy and nutrition. If you look past the smoke screen then you will see that most of the time you don’t need to eat unhealthily. You will be mindful of what goes in your mouth and not gorge comfort food and festival food as they will impact your digestive system. You know that high caloric food is bad for the long term. This should then prevent you from overeating. Remember, what nourishes you will destroy you in the long run, if left unmonitored.
Cancer feeds on sugar
Cancer cells love sugar! That is why refined carbohydrates like white sugar, white flour, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and soft drinks are extremely dangerous for anyone trying to prevent or reverse cancer. Sugar essentially feeds tumors and encourages cancer growth.
Dr. Thomas Seyfried and Dr. Dominic D’agostino, two experts on cancer treatment indicated that for anti-cancer benefits, fasting should be done roughly quarterly (four times a year). In particular, blood ketone levels should reach a certain therapeutic level (somewhere around six or seven on a ketone meter). This is done on a seven-day interval, distil water only fast.
Part of the anti-cancer has to do with autophagy (the cell eats itself up), but the other part is the metabolism of the cancer cells. Many types of cancer cells ferment glucose as their source of energy. While healthy cells can survive without glucose by burning ketones instead. Many cancer cells cannot use ketones, so they starve to death.
Caveat being that some cancer cells thrive on ketones – so it depends on what kind of cancer you have as to whether fasting will help you or not.
Another way to fight cancer is to go on a Ketogenic Diet. That means very low carbs intake and high in healthy fats.
Fat people always hungry
It is an irony, you probably think that because someone is fat, he is more satiated with his meal. Furthermore he has so much energy stored in his body that he will never need to eat for a month! This is however is not true. It’s like having a tanker with gallons of fuel that it carries in its trailer. The tanker cannot access the trailer compartment. Instead the trailer has to depend on the small gas tank that has a direct access to the engine.
Same goes with the fat guy. He may eat a lot but the food got transported to the fat cells instead of where it matters. In another word, the fat cells hijack the food. He ends up lacking of nutrients where he needed most which is his body. In addition because he eats a high carbs diet, his body is sugar adapted instead of fat adapted. There is so much sugar that the body can tap from where else the fat stored in the fat cells is virtually limitless.
The remedy is pretty straightforward. Switch to low carb high fat diet (LCHF) or do intermittent fasting. Within two weeks the body will switch to being fat adapted and start using the excess fat.
“To safeguard one’s health at the cost of too strict of
a diet is a tiresome illness indeed”.
Let’s keep it simple. You got your macronutrients and your micros which are the vitamins and minerals. If you eat sensibly, you will derive your micros from your food source. You don’t need supplements. For example of you take butter, then your A, D, E and K vitamins are taken care of automatically. In addition you will also benefit from the lauric acid which is the medium length long-chain fatty acid also found in coconut oil as well as Omega 3 fatty acid which normally found in cold water fishes.
Another good example is eggs. If you eat eggs then you will get access to choline which helps in liver function and selenium which plays a role in preventing cell damage. Eggs are also a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, phosphorus and riboflavin. In addition, eggs are rich in the essential amino acid leucine, which plays a unique role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
In this sense food is panacea to the body. Eat right and the body will heal itself. We however put too much emphasis on what to eat. The truth is we should be focusing on abstinence. In the case of food, less is more. In a study where the researchers reduce the caloric intake of mice by thirty percent, they discovered the mice live thirty percent longer. By eating less we live longer. That is why you don’t fine obese people over seventy years old. They will be dead before their time is up.
In dealing with the macros, there are very little that we need to know. Namely what to eat and by how much.
We start with carbs
Carbs is the type of macros with the highest varieties. If you look up for types of carbohydrate in Google, you find it can get quite complex. For simplification purposes I will divide carbs into three categories:
- Simple Sugar
Simple sugar are the carbs that taste sweet. This include table sugar, sweets, maple syrup, honey and tropical fruits. This type of carbs need to be taken in moderation. The reason being, these types of carbs is high in GI and will spike insulin production.
While artificial sweeteners are not really sugar, they too will spike insulin and may result you being hungry more if you are on Ketogenic Diet or is doing intermittent fasting. As much as possible avoid artificial sweeteners and just allow your taste buds to adjust to the natural sweetness of the food itself.
There are people like the Weight Watchers that use fruits and vegetables interchangeably. Unfortunately they are not the same. Fruits contain fructose, another form of simple sugar. When you eat fruits you will still spike insulin although some argue that fructose get processed in the liver. Sugar in any form is still sugar. Having it in excess will lead to the storage in the fat cells eventually. So if possible stay clear from simple sugar.
Starches are things like rice, potatoes, oats, wheat and cereal. They are also known as complex carbohydrate. Here is the deal. All forms of complex carbohydrate will be broken down to simple sugar eventually. The only difference is these types of carbs have low GI. So it takes longer to be broken down and it will moderately release insulin in the blood stream.
If you want to eat starches, a good guideline will be to eat a hand scoop a meal. If you are active then two scoops will be fine. In comparison, this should give you about twenty grams of carbs per hand scoop.
Fiber is what you get from the vegetables. The cellulose in vegetables is made of carbohydrate. The good news is our body cannot process fiber. Hence it will pass through our intestine as bulk roughage. Fiber effect insulin the least.
A good guideline in eating vegetable is to have one fist size per meal. It will keep you full longer. It is important when you are on Ketogenic or Atkins Diet to eat plenty of leafy veges. This allow satiety and balance off the lack of carbs in your meal. Often times, the mistake people make in these diet protocols is to have too much meat. Although Dr. Atkins didn’t go against this practice, the latter proponent of Atkins diet like Dr. Eric Westman highly recommends the consumption of leafy green in his book, The New Atkins for a New You.
Interestingly our body can do away with consuming carbs. There is no such thing as essential carbohydrate. This is not true in the case of protein where we have the essential amino acids and with fat, the essential fatty acids. Without carbs the body can compensate using protein to be converted to glucose and for fat being converted to ketones. Therefore we only need small amount of carbs to metabolize our food. That is why fifteen to twenty grams per day is sufficient because this amount will stimulate the production of ketones, the preferred fuel of the brain.
Eat protein in moderation
Protein is the building block of muscles. Even though we can get protein from plant based food, it won’t be complete. We still need to get our essential amino acid from animals. Of the twenty amino acids in our body’s protein, nine are essential in our diet because our cells cannot manufacture them. These are histidine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
The common source of protein are eggs, chicken, beef and seafood. Most of the animal sources such as meat, eggs and milk are considered to be “complete protein sources”. Meaning that these contain all the essential amino acids that your body needs. Vegetables are also good amino acid foods sources (especially soy, nuts and beans) but most of them do not usually contain all of the nine.
Amino acids provides the cells the building material to maintain their basic structure, helps them to produce the energy body needs and are essential for every metabolic functioning.
The best form of protein source according to Dr. Eric Westman are eggs. Eggs are complete food. Think about it, from one egg nature produces a whole chicken. You can have any amount of egg in a day. When I eat eggs, I normally have three at a go. It is worth mentioning that you eat the yolk as well. That is the nutritious part. Don’t worry about the amount of cholesterol in eggs. It does not effects the LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body. It actually helps with the production of HDL (the good cholesterol).
As a general guideline, eat a palm size of protein during meal. Too much protein will be converted into glucose which in turn spike the production of insulin. Another way is to eat protein until satiety. Not to worry, you can never eat too much protein. This is because the body has a shut off mechanism to make protein less appetizing when eaten too much.
Fat is your friend
It all started in in the 1950’s when a biochemist by the name of Ansel Keys produced a report called the Lipid Hypothesis. In the report he stated that eating saturated fat made people fat. It was a manipulated finding by Keys that indicated certain countries that consumed high amount of saturated fat had high number of heart disease cases. What he didn’t do is to include countries that consumed high amount of saturated fat and didn’t have high cases of the same illness. He also excluded countries that consumed low saturated fat and yet still had high cases of heart disease.
And so the crusade to demonize saturated fat began. It went through the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Butter was replaced by margarine. Lard and tallow were replaced by hydrogenated corn oil. Yet the cases of obesity, coronary heart disease and type-2 diabetes were on the rise. So much fear on saturated fat was ingrained in our belief system that we still have an unsettling feeling of guilt when we consume saturated fat; even after numerous recent reports had stated saturated fat is healthy.
Let me give it to you straight. There are no evidence or study done that prove saturated fat causes heart disease. As a fact saturated fat is really necessary. It helps with the development of new cells and the production of various hormones. Butter as a fact helps with the production of leptin, the hormone that reduce the hunger appetite thus making you feel full longer.
Many studies were done in the past to link excessive consumption of fat to illness. In the end there is none. Here is one such study:
Putting His Life on the Line: Stefansson’s Inuit Diet Experiment
In 1907, a Harvard-Trained Canadian anthropologist went into the Canadian Artic to study the Inuit culture. Whether by chance or design, he spent his first Artic Winter living among the native people of the region without any external food supply. Eight months later, he emerged speaking their language and empowered by the fact that he should live well off the available food of the region.
A decade later, Vilhjalmur Stefansson left the Artic, having traveled where no person of European origin had gone before, sometimes for two years without resupply. Upon his return to ‘civilization’, he wrote copiously about his experience among ‘The People’ (which is what “Inuit” means in their language).
Unfortunately for Stefansson, the decade between 1915 and 1925 was the era of vitamin discovery – the period in which scientific nutrition hit its stride. Suddenly, we had scientists to tell us what was good for us, replacing grandmothers and cultural wisdom. And scientist now said that all humans needed fruit and vegetables to prevent deficiency diseases like scurvy and beriberi.
To the newly-minted nutritionists of the 1920s, Stefansson became the proverbial buck wearing a bulls-eye. To salvage his reputation, he consented (along with an Artic explorer colleague) to reproduce his Inuit diet under continuous observation in Bellevue Hospital in New York City. After a year, he and his colleague emerged hale and hearty, much to the disappointment of the scientists in charge.
The published results if this experiment tell us that Stefansson ate 15% of his daily energy as protein, over 80% as fat, and a few percent as carbohydrate (from glycogen naturally found in meat.
What Stefansson’s experience (and many other subsequent studies) demonstrated was that dietary carbohydrate is nutritionally superfluous in the context of a well-formulated low carbohydrate diet.
Excerpt from: The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living
There is a general guideline to eating fat. Take about a thumb size with every meal. Not because eating too much is dangerous but rather it will stall weight loss. Reason being, the body will have to burn the incoming dietary fat first before tapping into the fat reserve.
I take a tablespoon of coconut oil and two slices of butter with every meal. They helped me feel satiated for twenty four hours without much hassle. I also take three capsules of 1000 mg of Wild Alaskan salmon as an Omega 3 supplement. These three sources of fat is just nice to stabilize my mood and to deter me from carbs craving.
“There is nothing new, except what has been forgotten”.
There is nothing more liberating than fasting without being hungry and thinking about eating all the time. Although I had been fasting since I was small, the newfound knowledge that I have about fasting from The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung is truly an eye opener. Previously as a Muslim I fast from sunrise to sunset for one month in a year. It is approximately thirteen hours of nothing including water.
This method of fasting cannot prolong indefinitely because you will be dehydrated at the end of the day. So one month is the most I can sustain on no food no liquid diet. Do not try to extend beyond one day with this form of diet. Water is essential for the bodily function. Extended abstinence from water may damage your kidney.
Then I discovered the 16/8 method where I fast for sixteen hours and eat for eight hours. Compared to the fasting I used to do, this is a breeze. I simply skip breakfast. Then I discovered the OMAD method. I find this very exhilarating. I look forward to the meal during dinner time after a whole day of abstinence. Finally I decided to try the extended twenty-one days fast. This went beyond my wildest expectation. I don’t miss food at all and I feel great.
The takeaway point here is to be successful in fasting you need to be well-hydrated. You need at least two liters of water and a pinch or two of salt a day. Otherwise you will feel fatigue or you might suffer from severe migraine. On my third day and beyond of my extended fasting I felt completely normal. There was no hunger pang beyond ravenous. Every day after that is a normal day for me.
Human beings had been fasting for thousands of years. It was either done out of necessity or because of religious obligations. All great religions of the world impose fasting to their followers. The Muslims fast during certain days of the week and certain months of the year. The Buddhist practice water fast and the Christians has the twenty-one days Daniel fast. Certainly fasting creates a sense of affinity to the Creator. The Muslims even practice additional prayers at nights in Ramadhan to enhance their spiritual well-being with their Maker.
Fasting can be done for a number of reasons. You can fast to lose weight. What is more assuring than not to eat in order to lose the extra pounds? You can also fast to heal your body like the cancer patients do. Also you can fast to gain mental clarity. There are people who fast for spiritual reason too.
All the other diet programs are about what to eat. With fasting the emphasis is not to eat. It’s a subtraction, not addition. The beauty with fasting is that you can incorporate it to any form of diet plan. Whether you are on Ketogenic, Calorie Restriction or Atkins diet, it doesn’t hurt for you to subtract one or two meals a day.
Fasting is also very simple. It takes away the trouble of preparing a meal. It frees your time to be more productive. It eliminates the gestation period required by the body to process food. Of course it frees your mind from being occupied with what to eat next.
For those who never fasted before the task may look quite daunting. However, fasting is like jumping into the swimming pool. Sooner or later you just decide to take the leap of faith. It’s OK if at first you don’t succeed, you can always try again the next day. I believe fasting, if done properly is not as bad as it sounds.
Start with a few weeks of the 16/8 fasting. As long as you are well hydrated this is a very easy task to accomplish. Then slowly graduate to the OMAD. I lasted for two months on OMAD before going for the extended fast.
It is important that you don’t gorge yourself when you break your fast. Eat like normal with perhaps twenty percent more food intake.
If you feel fatigue during fasting, that is because you lose too much minerals and electrolytes. It is a simple problem to solve:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Take small amount of Himalayan salt
I know I am repeating myself here but honestly speaking I survived extended fasting based in these two principles. Oh yeah… DO NOT EAT.
That’s about it. Give it a try and I assure you the feeling is invigorating. Not to mention that the weight loss and all the key markers like cholesterol level, blood pressure and sugar level dropped at a promising level.
Initially you will feel the hunger pangs. This is not real hunger like those who are starving. It will go away in five minutes per interval. Drink coffee or tea to avoid being hungry.
This is how a twenty-four hours of fasting looks like:
Dr. Ted Naiman whose website is Burn Fat Not Sugar suggested that “the sweet spot for intermittent fasting” occurs between eighteen and twenty-four hours of fasting, since this is the time period that sees the greatest drop in insulin and increase in lipolysis – the breakdown of fat.
“Fear less, hope more;
Eat less, chew more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Hate less, love more;
And all good things are yours”.
Eating is very much a natural thing for every one of us. After all we start eating (having food in our mouth that is) right after we leave our mother’s womb. Since it is a common occurrence for all of us, we normally take eating for granted. The simplest way to practice this habit like babies do, is to eat when we are hungry and to stop when we are full. If you practice this as a lifestyle, rest assure you won’t get fat.
The problem occurs when we start eating mindlessly. We allow our emotion takes control of our eating habit. No longer do we eat out of necessity, we use food as a mean for other purposes such as to kill boredom, to fill our time or to calm us when we are stressed. This is not a good way to establish a relationship with food. Because of the uncanny associations that we have with it, we tend to over consume beyond what is necessary.
Some of us thankfully realize it soon enough and therefore are willing to take the steps toward the right direction. It is not an easy path to take. The biggest challenge is the ability to stay on course. I am fully supportive of this initiative. Just like the band AC/DC song title, “For those about to rock, we salute you”. In this case, for those about to diet, I salute you J.
Below are some suggestions to ensure you stay on course with your diet plan:
Don’t be too restrictive
When you are just starting your diet plan, you are still in the learning mode. There are plenty of information that you need to gather. Things like what food can you eat and what can’t be eaten. Have the flexibility to adjust your meals according to the information that you receive. Although there are guidelines you can go for, these are merely guidelines. If you are too strict in your plan, you will feel the pressure of having to comply with a new means of eating that maybe alien to you. This creates unnecessary pressure.
Be mindful that you are still learning. Your body is still adjusting. So if occasionally you feel the urge to eat something sweet, then go ahead and have some. If your practice is to have a latte after a meal, have a few sips on a few occasions. Eventually the craving will subside and before you know it you no longer have the urge to have sweet things after meals. Sweet tooth is a learned behavior. Since sweet treats are a form of conditioning, it takes a while to unlearn the behavior.
Don’t feel guilty that you are not following the diet plan to the hilt. As long as you are losing weight steadily then it’s OK. What we don’t want is a recurring pattern that will eventually hinder progress.
Different people different results
Do not compare your result with others. Each of us is unique in our journey to weight loss. It all depends on our current weight, age, sex, height, metabolic rate and physical activity. A young guy who is physically active is different from a middle age woman who is sedentary. He can lose thirty kg in six months while the woman may take a year to achieve the same result.
Do not get disheartened if the weight loss stalls after two months for example. If the principle of your diet plan is sound it will override the initial setback. Tweak a bit. Maybe you should reduce carbs intake. Perhaps you should skip a meal. For all you know it is just water retention.
You may find certain recommendations by certain people might not work for you. Each of us is unique in our compositions. Have patience in your undertaking. At times we may not be following the exact recommendation and thus producing a different result. For example we might cut corners here and there. Do not ditch your effort if you don’t see result within a few days. It might take weeks for you to see progress. One person that I know even had his weight loss stalled for a month even after doing everything right.
The thing with our body is it has memory of where our previous weight stayed stagnant. When it reaches that point it will stall before moving to the next stagnant level. In the long run your graph of weight loss will look like a staircase with multiple landings. Do expect some increase of weight along the way. It is very dependent on what you eat and the physical activities that you do on daily basis. One of the thing that may influence your weight loss is irregular sleeping pattern. Be mindful of that.
Enjoy occasional cheat days
Cheat days are different from slip-ups. A cheat day is something that you plan based on your progress. For example you may target a certain weight you want to achieve. Once you achieve that target, you have a little celebration that day by eating normal food. Others do their cheats on weekends.
Although there are many experts who encourage weekly cheats, I don’t recommend this as a practice. This is because it takes a while (two weeks) for the body to be fat adapted. When you do it on a weekly basis then your body will switch back to sugar adapted. Perhaps if you want to do it regularly, then opt for biweekly instead. Another prevailing theory with weekly cheats is that you can have a window for forty-eight hours of carbs feeding and still be in ketosis the following week. I leave it up to you to decide. If the weight continue to decline, go ahead with this recommendation.
What is more important for you to consider when cheating on your diet is that cheat days are not an excuse for you to overeat. Leave the cheat days for you to enjoy the little indulgences in your life. A cheat day for me is either three slices of pizza or a scoop of ice cream or two slices of peanut butter sandwiches or a plate of rice followed by my favorite 3-in-1 café latte. It’s not a license to continuously eat for the whole day. If you overindulge in your cheat days, pretty soon the craving for carbs will creep in the next day and before you realize it you will start eating high carbs food again. Remember, carbs is addictive.
Stay within limit – max one hundred grams of carbs
There are people who are very strict in their carbs intake. When I was on the Atkins Phase I and Ketogenic Diet, I watch my carbs intake like a hawk. However this method of eating is not practical especially when I eat out. Twenty grams of carbs a day following these diet is not much. McDonald’s Spicy Chicken McDeluxe is forty seven grams of carbs. One banana consists of twenty seven grams of carbs. A slice of whole wheat bread is thirteen grams. That means I really have to limit my carbs intake to the leafy vegetables when I use these protocols.
Let’s admit it. All the comfort foods are high in carbs. Sometimes we cannot help it especially when we attend special occasions. This is where you need to do your homework. Check with the Nutrition Facts on your regular food carbs total. For example I love eating fresh coconut. While coconut milk and coconut oil are purely fat, I didn’t realize that carbs content of a fresh coconut is sixty grams!
Restricting carbs too much is not healthy. It will lead to carbs craving. Then, because you restrict carbs too much, the moment you get the taste of it, you gorge like there is no tomorrow. We are all guilty of it. Who hasn’t binge on the bag of chocolate chips or that tub of ice cream when we initially try to diet? The key here is moderation. You don’t want to go against basic instinct when you are dieting. Don’t go for the either or mentality.
As stated in the chart below, by limiting your carbs to a maximum of a hundred grams a day you will steadily lose weight on a weekly basis. Bear in mind to use this guideline on your cheat days. If you want to see a drastic result, it is best that you stay below the fifty grams range on the other days while you are on your diet.
Don’t gorge on your food
One of the best thing when you start to practice LCHF and OMAD is you tend to appreciate food more. Part of the reason is eating this way is more satisfying. Food tastes much better especially when you eat clean. By that I mean the food is wholesome like real chicken, real beef, fresh fish and fresh vegetables. Eating clean in general is taking out sugar and process food from your diet.
Eat your food slowly. Do not suck it in like a vacuum cleaner even if you are hungry. When I do the extended fasting I tend to eat more slowly than usual. This is because it takes time for the food to settle in the stomach. If I eat too fast, the enzymes may not have time to register the incoming of food and will cause stomach cramp.
Be mindful that it takes twenty minutes for the stomach to signal the brain that it is full. Therefore it is good to occasionally pause while eating to check your satiety level. Sipping water is fine but don’t gulp glassfuls during meals because it will dilute your stomach enzymes.
Don’t expect to be full on sweet treats
This is the last but very important reminder. When you eat sweet treats like cakes, chocolate and ice cream, don’t expect to get full. That is because the more carbs you eat, the more insulin the body produces. All it does really is clearing the sugar from your bloodstream and liver into your muscles and later the fat cells. Therefore you can literally eat very large amount of carbs and won’t be satiated. You will probably stop because your stomach can’t handle it any more or you feel sickly from too much sugar.
Make sure you eat a proper meal before you have your sweet treat. That way you are not tempted to overeat. It can make a world of difference between a scoop of ice cream and half a liter. You will notice when you are full, you don’t need to eat a lot of the sweet stuff. Sufficient that it stirs your taste bud. Your brain won’t go helter-skelter over some empty calories mindlessly.
Just a short anecdote before we end this section. In Malaysia we have this special and creamy fruit called durian. Duri in Malay means thorn, so durian literally means thorny fruit. Eating durian is an annual affair since the fruit is seasonal in nature. Normally we Malaysians look forward to this occasion. There are many varieties to choose from and the price varies according to the grades.
Due to the richness nature of the fruit, my family and I will eat it only once a year. Normally we will skip a meal on the day we are going for our durian feast. There are two ways to eat durian – all you can eat or by selecting the fruit based on grades. The gullible of the lot will go with the all you can eat. This means regardless of the grade, you just whack what is served to you. These people are interested in quantity, not quality.
It is a big fruit; slightly larger than a rugby ball. So at most an adult male can eat is two. Since it is creamy, eating too much can make your stomach feels queasy. I always go for the quality of the fruit. Since this is a once a year affair, I eat my heart out. Normally I take it as dinner. Once my stomach signaled that I am full, I will stop. This is not the case with the all you can eat durian lovers. They eat until their stomach nearly explode! After all it is durian season…
Durian, king of fruits.
Losing fat to some of us is a lifelong battle. It may not be the first and the last time for us searching for a solution. I hope you keep on going for the winning streak. By that I mean you are always a winner as long as you don’t give up looking for the answer.
The reward is pretty obvious, with weight loss the dimensions of your world will expand. You will become an entirely new person. Bear in mind for every disciplined action there are multiple rewards. You don’t need to settle for less. All it takes is for you to put a conscious effort for a year and you will see amazing results I assure.
The reward is pretty obvious, with weight loss the dimensions of your world will expand. You will become an entirely new person. Bear in mind for every disciplined action there are multiple rewards. You don’t need to settle for less. All it takes is for you to put a conscious effort for a year and you will see amazing results I assure.
No longer will you be invisible among the crowd. You will be getting compliments from all around. You will feel good about yourself and you will look forward to living life to the fullest again. Obesity is not a one way street. You have the power to reverse its course. Keep persisting and eventually you will get there. All it takes is the belief towards yourself.
Once two friends were walking in the park. As they were walking past a tree, a little baby bird fell from its nest. One of the friend quickly caught the bird and hid it behind his back.
“Tell me my friend,” he quipped. “Is this bird dead or alive?”
The other guy pondered for a while and replied, “The bird is neither dead nor alive, if I say it is alive you will squeeze it and it will be dead. If I say the bird is dead, you will open your hand and set it free”.
“The answer lies in your hands”. He answered sincerely.
Same goes with this book. It’s neither dead nor alive. The answer lies in your hands my dear friend.
I hope you make the best of the information and I wish you all the best in your journey. We will be seeing each other again soon.
Thank you for taking time to finish reading this book. I hope it has been a great help to you. If you think the content is of value and it had helped you much, please be kind enough to donate whatever amount to:
· My PayPal account at account name: email@example.com
The proceeds will go to my Bipolar Affected Disorder Support Group. Some of those with the illness have no means of earning a decent living due to this despairing illness. They need your generosity to buy better medications and basic supplements to get better. Your kindness is highly appreciated.
Bipolar Affected Disorder is an insidious ailment. It robs the victims of their self-esteem, sense of worth and personal confidence. Without the support from those who care, this malaise will lead to further seclusion of the patients from the real world. Let us give a helping hand towards a better civil society. There is hope for cure if we are willing to extend our gratitude.
To his friends Sharudin Jamal is an adventurer and a knowledge explorer. A member of the prestigious Alumni Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah,Putrajaya, Malaysia and a University of North Texas graduate, later in his creer he wore many hats within his twenty-five years on becoming an international corporate achiever.
He had vast experience in IT sales collaborating with IBM, Apple, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi Data Systems and Ingenico. He also had consulting, training and coaching background dealing with more than forty clients nationwide. These include the government of Malaysia, banks, insurance companies, manufacturing sectors, public listed companies and nonprofit organizations.
His lifetime accomplishments include on being an IBM/Mesiniaga Hundred Percent Club qualifier for three consecutive years, appearing in Selamat Pagi Malaysia (Good Morning Malaysia) - Radio & TV Malaysia (RTM) for more than half a dozen times, training two thousand Sapura Group of Companies staff on Vision Alignment for the New Millennium and completing his first forty-two km run in Kuala Lumpur International Marathon at the age of forty.
He had vast experience in IT sales collaborating with IBM, Apple, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi Data Systems and Ingenico. He also had consulting, training and coaching background dealing with more than forty clients nationwide. These include the government of Malaysia, banks, insurance companies, manufacturing sectors, public listed companies and nonprofit organizations.
His lifetime accomplishments include on being an IBM/Mesiniaga Hundred Percent Club qualifier for three consecutive years, appearing in Selamat Pagi Malaysia (Good Morning Malaysia) - Radio & TV Malaysia (RTM) for more than half a dozen times, training two thousand Sapura Group of Companies staff on Vision Alignment for the New Millennium and completing his first forty-two km run in Kuala Lumpur International Marathon at the age of forty.
His passion is reading, running and writing. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org on matters pertaining to almost anything. A naturalist at heart, his ultimate joy is his weekend trail runs in Bukit Kiara forest reserve. Sharudin resides in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia with his wife and two daughters.
10th September 2017