February 2009

Im on a Diet, but I Cant Seem to Lose Weight!

“I’m on a Diet, But I Can’t Seem to Lose any Weight!”


I read an article Thursday from the L.A. Times:

Study of diets shows what truly counts: calories

Researchers took 811 overweight people and put them on one of four diets: low-fat, average-protein; low-fat, high-protein; high-fat, average-protein; and high-fat, high-protein.  After 2 years they determined that all the diets performed the same, about 9 pounds lost.  Let’s roll up our sleeves and dig into this pile of manure!

Closer scrutiny of the study itself –

Diets That Reduce Calories Lead to Weight Loss, Regardless of Carbohydrate, Protein or Fat Content

-Shows that NONE of the diets were low in carbohydrates, in fact, the lowest percentage of calories from carbs was 35%!  Not only that, but the ones who were only supposed to eat 35% averaged an actual intake of  43%!  That’s a far cry from the 10% or less consumed by real low-carbers, yet the researchers had the audacity to give the following quote:

“There isn’t any one way. That is the nice thing about none of these diets in particular winning,” said Christopher Gardner, a nutrition researcher at Stanford University’s Prevention Research Center. “We don’t have any right to push low-fat or low-carb or high-protein. If one of these approaches is more satiating, where you will not be hungry and have cravings, that is the one that will work for you.”

Seriously?  Worst of all, they admitted that the participants had a very low rate of compliance – “It’s just too hard” – and most ended up eating very similar diets, yet this article still got published.

Here’s a better title:

Study Shows That if you Aren’t Going to Stick to Your Diet,  it Doesn’t Matter Which one you Quit.



So yesterday started dark & early for me, as I had to be at work by 4:00 AM.  I can’t even entertain the thought of food at that time, so despite my “hunger of habit” the night before I had no appetite for several hours (save for some much needed coffee).  I am lucky to have some weights at work, so I took a break around 8:00 and squeezed in Workout A from Phase 1 of the Muscle Building Workout at Gym Junkies.  I was done (& done!) in about 15 minutes.  After the workout, I ate 2 cans of tuna with about 10 Spanish olives, salt, and pepper.  I got a little hungry again around 1:00 PM, and had 10 more olives with some EVOO and pepper, and a couple cups of green tea.

After a long 12-hour workday I arrived home to the heavenly aroma of Roast Beast simmering in the Crock-Pot.  I could have wept for joy!  And when it was ready I piled my plate high, savored every bite, and went back for more.  I was so full and satisfied that I didn’t miss the cheese at all later, nor did I eat anything else that evening.

I went to bed before 10:00 PM and woke up this morning already 12 hours into today’s fast.  I had some coffee and hit Workout B this morning, pretty well killing my appetite.  I’m not sure what’s on the menu tonight, but since my wife is allergic to fish it will probably be egg salad again.  That is totally fine by me – in 12 years of marriage I have yet to taste a meal she made that wasn’t delicious!

Well, today was the first day. Being Ash Wednesday it was a day of fasting and no meat, so I just had a cup of coffee in the morning.  I didn’t eat anything until around 6:30 P.M.  when I had some egg salad and a small green salad with EVOO & balsamic vinegar.  Easily under 1,000 Kcal for the day.

Now I should say that as I don’t regularly eat grains or sweets and do an 18-20 hour fast most weeks, the real “challenge” for me is giving up cheat days, wine, and cheese.  And right now I am really missing my glass of burgundy and plate of cheese while I unwind before bed.  I’m not so much hungry as I am craving that comfortable little routine.

As promised, here are some starting numbers:

Height – 5′ 10.5″

Weight – 193 lbs

Waist – 36.5″ (measured at navel)

Neck – 16.5″ (measured below the larynx)

Biceps – 14.5″

Estimated BF% – 19.1%

We’ll see how a month+ of fasting, weight lifting, and a dairy, alcohol, sugar, and cheat free diet affect my body composition!  I have a hunch……

Well Fat Tuesday has passed, and so begins another season of Lent.  For folks who aren’t familiar with this Catholic tradition, there is a some good info at Aggie Catholics.  Last year I did a straight week of fasting, consuming only one small meal in the evening.  This year I decided to expand and adjust a little, throwing some paleo principles in as well.  So from today until April 9th I will abide by the following rules I’ve set for myself:

  • No Alcohol – not even my evening wine
  • No Sugar
  • No Grains or grain products
  • No Dairy – going to be very tough!
  • Fast every Friday (1 small meal, no meat)
  • Fast at least one additional day a week, no less than 24 hours

Additionally, I’m going to commit to Vic Magary’s muscle building workout to preserve as much mass as possible during this period.  I also plan to try some alternate day fasts (eat one day, only tea and water one day, eat..) during March, as I will be out at sea for my job and my wife won’t freak out about me not eating.  Fasting during Lent gives me a profound appreciation for the fact that unless I want to, I never have to go to bed hungry – a luxury many others do not have. It also gives a feeling of connection to countless generations who fasted to become closer to their gods, to express remorse, or demonstrate their faith so that they might be worthy of future blessings.  Many people who don’t consider themselves “religious” still find a kind of spiritual experience in the clarity and calm one experiences during an extended fast, a sense of power and control in an otherwise chaotic existence.

But enough rambling.  I’ll have before and after body measurements (Not promising pics, not sure if I’m comfortable putting shirtless pics of myself online, lol), and talk about how I’m feeling during my personal challenge.  Wish me luck!

I’m really sorry for not posting for so long, but between the 12+ hour workdays (not counting commute) and the precious little time I have for my wife and kids the blog has taken a back seat. Thank you all for continuing to visit.  Please subscribe to my RSS feed so you know when I have  new content.

Despite my busy schedule I manage to grab some quick eats. Here’s my quickfast from the other day:

Quickfast, it's a breakfast! It's a fast, fast, quick breakfast!

Quickfast, it's a breakfast! It's a fast, fast, quick breakfast!

Yes, it’s blurry – just like my vision these days…  But it is simply Spanish olives and Roma tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a little black pepper, with some swiss and cheddar on the side. Fast, easy, delicious.



I just wanted to take a moment to say MAHALO (thank you in Hawaiian) to all of you who take a moment of your day to visit my little blog.  If there is anything you think I could improve, please let me know!

I’d also like to send some love to the blogs below.  Your referrals are the reason people know about me:

At Darwin’s Table – Special Thanks for being the first, and mentioning me on your blog

The Son of Grok – Special thanks as well for a mention on your blog

Beastie Girl –  Thanks for the feedback!

Mark’s Daily Apple

The Life Spotlight

Thank you all so much.  Hope everyone had a safe and healthy weekend!


Researchers at UC San Francisco have determined that:

Even short-term consumption of a paleolithic type diet improves BP and glucose tolerance, decreases insulin secretion, increases insulin sensitivity and improves lipid profiles without weight loss in healthy sedentary humans.

As is so often the case, Mark Sisson was all over this immediately, so I won’t rehash his post.  Please go check out his take on the research at  Mark’s Daily Apple.

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