Thursday, April 29, 2010

How To Get Fat and How To Lose Weight

Sometimes it is incredibly frustrating to see people on the internet and on fitness boards constantly try to defy the law of thermodynamics.  'Calories don't count' is a term I often read 'You'll go into starvation mode' is a phrase I'll often hear when suggesting to cut calories to lose weight or when I suggest one to embark on a IF regimen.

Some are so blinded and myopic that they believe that low-fat is the ONLY way to lose weight or that low-carb is the ONLY way to lose weight.  I'm here to tell you it is all about calories.

People who eat a diet low in fat to lose weight (a fad that has thankfully been reduced to a few) are eating less calories because they've cut the macronutrient with the most calories (more than double that of carbs and protein), but they usually 'starve'.  Those who embark on a low-carb or low-carb & high-fat diet lose weight because they are EATING FEWER calories.  Studies have shown that protein is highly satiating and protein and fat together are even more so.

Now I'm not hear to bash a low-carb lifestyle, because that is generally how I live.  In fact, I'm a big supporter of Mark Sisson and The Primal Blueprint.  I believe eating primally is the healthiest way to eat.  A diet that is full of protein, fat, veggies, and fruit is the healthiest option.  It's devoid of overindulgence in processed fats and processed carbohydrates that have lead to the obesity, diabetes, and CV disease epidemic in our country.  Eating whole foods is how we were meant to eat.

However, when believing in a way of life becomes so myopic (take notice internet board groupies) that you start to deny that calories don't've gone too far and you lose credibility.  People on the internet suggesting that calories don't matter are WRONG.  Do not listen to them or you will stay fat.  You'll also never achieve low body fat levels if that is your goal.

Listen to experts like Tom Venuto, Lyle McDonald, and Martin Berkhan.  These guys are considered experts in the fitness and fat loss world.  Each will tell you that a low-carb diet works beautifully to help rid fat and achieve lower body fat levels.  BUT each will tell you that in the end, it's about calories.  Listen to a guy like Mark Sisson who will tell you to eat a diet rich in protein, fat, veggies, and fruits and he'll also tell you that if you eat too many calories -- you will not lose weight.  Oh and not to mention, ALL of these guys will tell you that you need to get off the couch and exercise.

With all that said, I'm linking below some great articles for you to sink your teeth into.  Folks, if you want to lose weight -- you've got to eat few calories.  Eat McDonald's for all I care, but you've got to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight.  Eat lots of protein, moderate amounts of fat, lots of veggies, and moderate amounts of fruit.  Limit processed carbohydrates and completely avoid processed trans fats and oils rich in omega-6's.



Comparing Diets: Part 1
Comparing Diets: Part 2
Comparing Diets: Part 3
Comparing Diets: Part 4

Until next time...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Meal Idea: Egg Casserole

Here's a quick meal idea for your weekend.  It's high in protein and fat with limited carbs coming from fresh veggies.

Egg Casserole:
6 Eggs
Chopped squash & zucchini (about 200 grams)
2 TBSP heavy whipping cream
Chopped mushrooms (about 100 grams)
Chopped onions (1 small onion/about 200 grams)
1/4 cup of your favorite cheese
4-6 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of butter
Seasonings of your choice

  • Preheat oven to 325-350
  • Butter a small baking or casserole dish
  • Chop all veggies and set aside
  • Beat eggs and cream together
  • Mix eggs with chopped veggies
  • Add cheese and mix
  • Add seasonings and mix
  • Pour into pre-buttered dish
  • Bake @ 325-350 for about 40 minutes or until the middle is firm

Until next time...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Direction, Not Intention, Determines Destination

I ran across this article today and it's well worth reading.  If your goal is one thing, yet your decisions lead towards a different goal?  Are you serious about your goal?

Take a look at the article.

Ask Yourself 4 Questions

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Satiety Effect: Macronutrients and Meal Frequency

Most people know that a diet that is low in carbohydrates is the most efficient and effective way to lose weight, specifically body fat.  Some chalk it up solely to a stabilization and decrease in glucose and insulin levels.  Others say it's only because you eat less on a low-carb diet, therefore it's a simple matter of calories or the resulting calorie deficit.  I believe it's a combination of both and a little more...

The advice I give to frequent email inquiries and clients is keep protein relatively high -- for a variety of reasons.  1) Protein keeps you fuller, longer; 2) protein 'preserves' lean muscle in a calorie deficit; 3) protein has the greatest thermic effect, i.e. it takes more energy for your body to process protein.

With that said, there was a great article published recently in Obesity Journal regarding the effect of higher protein and meal frequency on satiety, appetite, and hormonal responses.  It supports what I believe to be true.  a) keeping protein high is essential in controlling appetite and b) fewer meals is better (which is 'automatic' when using daily IF).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

There's nothing like Spring!

There is nothing like Spring!  For those of us who don't live in places like Southern California where spring-like weather is an everyday occurrence, spring is thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated.  Mild temperatures, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and bountiful amounts of blooming flowers and trees just scream "COME OUTSIDE, ENJOY ME"!

Since Spring has arrived in Baton Rouge, I've not missed one day to get outside and bike, run, walk, eat, drink coffee, drink beer, cook, or just relax and listen to the birds chirp as the sun rises or sets.

The picture you see above is a sunset at the LSU Lakes in Baton Rouge.  This is where my wife and I love to spend time (with and without the kids) walking, jogging, or just enjoying the sites and sounds (we saw a small alligator last week).

Spring is the PERFECT time to make a decision to get in shape, lose body fat, get your body ready for summer and the beach, and just enjoy God's beautiful creations.  Spring provides you with no excuses!  It's not too cold; it's not too hot.  

Just last night, my wife and I took our 4 kids on a beautiful bike ride to our local market.  We grabbed some water and a variety of meal choices and headed for a pretty area to park our bikes, enjoy our meals, and enjoy each other.  What a great way to get exercise, enjoy a meal, and spend time together!

So what's the point of this post?  GO OUTSIDE!  Enjoy Spring!  There are no excuses.  This is the time to eat right, eat less, move more, get outside and get in shape.

Until next time...

Friday, April 9, 2010

The 'Buy-In' Factor

First of all, I apologize for my recent, unplanned hiatus from the blog. Life has been very busy. Family life has been crazy -- with 4 children (soon-to-be 5 or 6), life has a way of happening like that. Work has been very busy as well. I like to post one or two times per week, but sometimes life gets in the way. If that happens, always feel free to email me with questions. Want me to cover a specific topic? Just let me know.

Now onto the topic of the day...

Much of what we talk about on Sterling Advice is about choices. And when one makes a choice, many dynamics play into that decision (or series of decisions) -- family, friends, health, attitude, social norms, social pressures, mental state, etc.

So what nudges one to make a specific choice related to health or fitness?
  • Family death directly related to unwise health choices.
  • Family history of obesity or diabetes and you want to reprogram your genes and break the 'cycle' of slavery to unwise life choices.
  • Desire to feel better.
  • Desire to eliminate 'needed' prescription drugs.
  • Just want to 'get healthy'.
  • Want to change your body composition.
  • Want to lose weight and/or body fat.
  • Want to get ripped.
  • Upcoming family reunion or class reunion.
  • Upcoming meeting where you want to look better and feel better.

All of these reasons could lead you to make an immediate choice to change your health and fitness for the better. But what makes you stick with that decision? What causes that paradigm shift that truly changes your life?