In the interest of keeping it maintainable I'll follow the TFS Pillars of Consistency and Simplicity. My two main goals are, to enjoy my reasonably impressive cache of bourbons with less volume and frequency and to get back on course with my nutrition.
About five years ago, I found my way back to cyclic ketogenic dieting. This decision has served me incredibly well. I know this approach does not appeal to everyone, but there are takeaways from this diet that will benefit almost anyone regardless of their particular approach to nourishment. I say "almost" because I am not qualified to dispense nutritional guidance to individuals on medically supervised diets or who require insulin. I can safely and eagerly share this information, though.
Dr. Ken Berry, Dr. Shawn Baker, and Dr. Paul Mason, just to name a few, have all, with routine and repeated success, ended many of their patients' reliance on insulin utilizing the ketogenic diet. But, What we can do is take components of this diet and apply them to any nutritional approach.
I'll be the first to admit that changing what we eat and how we enjoy food is easier said than done. Food is much more like a drug than it is pure nourishment. We rely on food to socialize, celebrate, mourn, relax, and manage stress and sadness. Getting a handle on a drug like this takes some commitment. Before we try to reinvent the wheel, let's employ some workable strategies that will immediately benefit our wellness, while gifting us a few cosmetic benefits along the way.
Here we go:
1. Reduce and limit alcohol consumption. Notice I did not say eliminate.
If this is going to be sustainable, it has to be realistic.
Set a frequency and amount that you will maintain. Acknowledging the pleasant buzz that accompanies a couple of pours of bourbon, I also have to recognize that alcohol serves zero nutritional benefits and is almost immediately stored as fat, specifically stubborn belly fat on most…especially stubborn on me!
2. As far as possible, reduce the consumption of starchy, sugary, and processed carbohydrates.
These tend to be the highest in calories and have what's known as a high glycemic index, meaning that your body effortlessly converts these carbohydrates and stores them as fat. Additionally, large amounts of simple sugar cause inflammation. This is a huge problem, as many Americans live in a chronic state of inflammation, leading to disease and aggravating symptoms of arthritis. Dr. David Harper, visiting scientist at the BC Cancer Research Center, states that a minimum of 70% of cancers thrive on high sugar intake.
3. Make an honest attempt at intermittent fasting. Compressed eating windows are hugely beneficial for improving health and accelerating fat loss.
In 2016 Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (that's how the category is identified) for his study on autophagy, subjecting the body to prolonged bouts of non-feeding for 12-18 hrs and how it stimulates innumerable beneficial responses. I've found that the easiest approaches to this are to skip breakfast and have your first meal around noontime or to conclude eating around 3 pm if you choose to have an earlier breakfast. I employ this strategy while eating two meals a day. When I am consistent with this approach, weight management is nearly effortless. When I do what I've been doing recently, weight gain is equally as effortless, quite undesirable, and more than a bit uncomfortable, i.e., tight jeans.
Even incorporating this a couple of times a week may make a significant difference.
4. I cannot emphasize this last recommendation enough! Eliminate the use of industrial seed oils. These include soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, and grape seed oil. Alternatively use butter, tallow, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil coconut oil, or walnut oil
There has been a massive and intentional campaign of misinformation regarding these oils, which are touted as being heart-healthy because they are unsaturated. We evolved on saturated fats and in the absence of processed, inflammatory foods. I would argue, and a growing body of evidence indicates that the greater issue with the standard American diet is the amount of inflammation caused by it. But let's get back to the oils. These oils are toxic, oxidative, and inflammatory. In other words, a catalyst for causing disease. The amount of refinement and processing required and the chemicals used to remove the odor from these oils to make them palatable and visually appealing renders the oil rancid and unfit for human consumption. Dr. Chris Knobbe's study of these oils, specifically rancid Omega 6 seed oils, indicates that they are also mutagenic, causing lingering cellular damage, leading to macular degeneration, and destroying mitochondria. Damaged mitochondria render your body unable to burn fat.
I know the last one is harsh and is hard to believe. I saved it for last to emphasize how destructive these oils are. If you abide by only one of these four suggestions, make it the last one.
These four suggestions are enough to effect significant change but minimal enough to be easily employed. Reach out to your trainer to see what might work best for you and your lifestyle.
I wrote this article on the 6th of December, in part to build a little leverage of my own as well. It worked. I had a spot-on day with my nutrition today. The idea is for one good day to lead me to the next. I will overindulge a couple of times in the coming weeks in celebrating the holidays with friends and family. My jeans will be my guide.