Diets are awful. The problem is that they aren’t sustainable and they do more damage then good. Yet, people continue to eat them up, because they are convinced they can outsmart their body.
Diet pills, juice cleanses, ‘weird tips’, and anything else that seems like a quick fix are the first option for most people and yet none of those over-hyped fads work. I repeat, none.
If you do these, you run a big risk of screwing your body up, maybe even permanently. Do you really want to risk thyroid problems, increased insulin sensitivity, or an eating disorder? All are potential risks of trying to take a shortcut – and you may negatively impact your health without even realizing it. Avoid fad diets. Don’t fall for shortcuts.
A shortcut in this case is anything other than a natural, sustainable lifestyle change.
There are no shortcuts.
‘Well, if I was a rich celebrity and my only job was to be in shape, I would hire the best personal trainers and I would have people telling me what to eat all day and preparing every meal for me’.
How many times have you thought/said/heard that one?
Please don’t make that excuse. Don’t.
The people who consistently maintain a high level of fitness aren’t being coddled by personal trainers and dieticians all day. These are people who are living a lifestyle that begets a lean, muscular body.
These are people who have the knowledge of what to eat, and when to eat it – as well as when / how to work out. These are people who habitually put the right foods into their bodies.
And let me state my honest opinion on personal trainers: 90% of personal trainers don’t know dick. That is a fact. That doesn’t mean there aren’t great trainers, but the barrier to entry to become a personal trainer is only slightly above that of bartender, and they are a great solution for cute little old ladies who want to get in the gym and don’t know where to start.
Right now, you are probably thinking ‘thanks for telling me everything I already feared was true – so basically, you’re saying that diets don’t work, personal trainers suck, and I have to do this the old-fashioned way and it’s going to take forever’.
Yes, and no. Yes, there are no shortcuts – but the old-fashioned way is part of the problem.
People don’t have the time to workout, they don’t want to workout, and they sure as hell don’t want to have to starve themselves.
But guess what? It doesn’t have to take forever, because: Science.
I’m going to tell you something that you may have heard from one of those douche trainers at the gym, but it’s true.
It is 90% diet. The way you look is 90% diet. Losing body fat is 90% diet. Building and maintaining lean mass is 90% diet.
What the douche trainer at the gym didn’t tell you is what diet, or that you don’t have to starve yourself or obsessively count calories.
But wait, don’t I just sound like another diet guru selling a book?
Sure, except I’m not selling anything. I’m writing this for my friends and friends of friends, and girlfriend’s friends – because the people who know me, know that I don’t pontificate ideas that aren’t pragmatic and I’m not a
I’m someone who has always had a natural compulsion to learn everything about a subject once my interest has been captivated. Since I was 16 years old, I have been continuously learning, applying, and evolving my knowledge of the human diet.
I am 28 today. That’s 12 years of continued learning and real life application. I’m not a doctor and I don’t pretend to be a guru, I’m just an internet guy and a writer who believes in living well and I’ve invested in my dietary and lifestyle knowledge along the path. Not because I had to, or because it was going to make me money ever, but simply because I had to know that I had the best diet out there to the end of looking my best and feeling my best.
And I’ve done some pretty cool things with it along the way. I’ve added 55 pounds of mass naturally in 18 months (180lbs to 235lbs) and I have dropped 30 pounds naturally in 2 months (200 lbs, to 170lbs). And the best part is, none of this was done in an unhealthy manner.
It’s also extremely important to note that I’ve also fallen off the wagon and used this same ‘diet’ to quickly bounce back. Because, the truth is, when it comes to eating: no one is perfect. Most of us have gone through times where we ate for the emotional comfort, or the short term pleasure of eating. Trust me, when shit hits the fan, I’m the first guy to go to Wendy’s at 12am. You won’t find me sulking over a kale salad.
At present I am 185 pounds and very content with my physique. My lifestyle today isn’t about looking like a male model, or being the most jacked guy in the gym. My lifestyle today is about balance.
I work out for sanity and I eat for vanity and well-being – but I don’t advocate or suggest giving up the things you love completely. I eat way too much cheese and I don’t shy from the occasional bag of gummy bears. And you can bet your ass that I’ll be doing my duty as an American to eat way too much next week as the 4th of July arrives.
Because here is the truth: if you eat 1000% clean, and you live with total discipline, never missing a workout – you may not live to be 100, but you sure as hell will feel like it.
Instead of being a freak about it, I eat and I live in a manner that allows me to age with a pretty decent looking body – but more importantly, with a sound mind and very healthy hormone levels. I lift approx 3 times a week, and I stay active, doing plenty of walking (despite working in front of a computer 12+ hours a day), but most importantly, my daily diet is founded on the principles that I know to be beneficial to my body.
If you don’t happen to know me, I don’t suggest you take a stranger’s advice when it comes to your diet and your health. Taking advice from someone off the internet who doesn’t have a strong reputation as a well respected expert, is generally a stupid thing to do.
And even if you do know me, do your own research – it can’t hurt. I like Mark’s Daily Apple, and The Bulletproof Diet for sound, well laid-out information that’s rooted in an evolutionary approach to eating, or in what many refer to as a primal diet, which is part of my approach to eating.
I don’t admit to having invented the wheel; however, I did figure most of this out before mainstream,
cults movements like Crossfit and Paleo took off.
Much of my philosophy is shared with those groups – but a lot of it, when you look at the biological mechanisms behind things like insulin response, and muscle hypertrophy, they are pragmatic systems; they work.
For me, this is the last ‘diet’ I’ll ever go on because it’s the diet my body was designed to eat in order for me to maintain lean mass, manage my body fat, and feel great. And if you want to lose weight quickly – I’ll lay out how to do that too in a separate section. Based on my learning and experience, the principles behind this diet are as smart as it gets.
In fact, this isn’t even a diet – for the very reason that it’s based on principles and not rules. This is a framework for eating intelligently and not haphazardly. It’s a basis for building good eating habits that are founded on your body’s natural usage of food as energy, nutrition, and replenishment.
The key word there is intelligently. Because I posses a growing understanding of the mechanisms behind my diet, there is no way for me to intelligently justify ever turning my back on it. It would be like never drinking water again. I could never do that because as an adult, I know that no amount of any beverage will provide me with the same hydration and cellular homeostasis that water can.
I am not someone who like to be overly critical or hard on myself, but if I’m not practicing my dietary guidelines in my eating, then I’m screwing myself. I’m screwing my energy, I’m screwing my skin, I’m screwing my hormones, I’m screwing my sleep, I’m screwing my lean mass, and I’m screwing myself out of the vitality and the physique that I deserve.
Remember, ignorance is bliss. Once you read this, you cannot unread it. But once you understand the way that the foods you consume effect your body, you’re likely to build some very well-founded habits and you’ll have a difficult time ever returning to your ‘old ways’. Sure, vacations and breakups happen, and you won’t eat perfectly, but if ‘pretty damn good’ is your goal, then you have a great shot at it.
I’m going to separate this into 2 additional sections. One is for whipping your ass into shape and losing fat, and the other section is for sustaining it. Because nothing happens overnight, and if you want to improve your body and your well-being for good, then your eating habits have to be sustainable.
I am going to be starting with the sustainable part, because it’s critical that you understand the principles of this ‘diet’. Once you understand them, you’ll be compelled to want to follow these principles so that you can maximize the potential and the performance of your body and mind in the coming months, years, and decades.
This diet is about a paradigm shift. Change the way you see the foods you eat, and the foods you eat begin to change.
One of the difficult things about making a sustainable lifestyle change is that many people embark on a ‘diet’ that requires them to follow guidelines that they don’t actually understand. They just do them because others are following them and it seems to be working. How many people have tried to follow the Zone, Atkins, or South Beach Diet – and now for many people Paleo, without actually understanding how the diet is designed to impact their body.
In principle that seems like a more simple approach (‘this is what you can eat and this is what you can’t eat’), but in practice, it makes following a diet that you don’t understand seem burdensome and restrictive.
Of course, the principles of avoidance and incorporation are going to be the focus of any sound diet, but this diet is more about the why then the how. Understand the why, and the how will become clear to you.
So, we’re going to be using the principles of avoidance and incorporation as a learning tool, and in practice, you are going to take an ‘eat this, not that’ approach, but we’re going to take it deeper for a stronger, more lasting foundation that explores the logic behind your potential food choices.
At this point, I haven’t even delved into the framework behind this ‘diet’ yet. But just before I do, I want to make it clear that my goal is to give you the minimum amount of information needed to change and grow your understanding of how the foods you eat impact your body.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
Part II: The Framework – Will be Published by 6/27/2013