The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Before Reading: I am not a doctor, results may vary. You take my advice at your own risk. If you consult a doctor, a physician, a nutritionist, or a dietitian, they will probably tell you all the same thing: You need to eat healthy, you need to exercise more, you need to eat this and that, and then you will lose weight.
Of course, they will tell you that and they certainly are not wrong. But I took their advice, and the only thing I was ever able to do: maintain my weight. Awesome! So I am not gaining weight, but I am not losing it, either. Not the results I want! Aside from that, they will probably tell you I am wrong. But hey, the truth lies in the facts and the evidence, not the information and advice from “experts” who have probably never done it themselves.
This diet plan is more likely to work on people who are overweight, very overweight, or obese. If you could stand to lose about 5 pounds or less or are of a healthy weight, you will have a harder time losing weight, as your body does not have much fat to burn.
There are too many diet plans out there and way too many diet pills that do not work. Too many people on diet fads that seem to disappear out of the mind as fast as they arrived. There are so many “experts” telling people what to eat and what not to eat, how to eat, and when to eat, and an insane amount of infomercials advertising workout equipment that seems to be the magic cure and can have you looking like the supermodel or body builder — who had that body long before that piece of equipment had ever been made.
In fact, what you are seeing when you watch an infomercial is probably their first time sitting on that piece of equipment, yet it seems to be the piece of equipment that will somehow be magical and let you develop the body you want. None of it is true and all of it is, how do the British say? Complete Rubbish.
I have studied this, taken that, spent more than I would like to admit on diet pills that I thought were helping, but really it was probably me and my body just working out and making it happen. I have taken pills that have made me feel sick, turned my stool an awkward gray color, sped up my heart beat and raised my blood pressure, made me feel jittery, restless, etc. I came across a website that was my influential factor for trying it my own way and listening to no one else but what this website had to say which was: Starvation Mode is a Myth. While I have also read the comments on that page — both good and bad, I figured I would try it.
The article makes complete sense to me but may be completely illogical to others. Logically, your body is a fat burning machine and cannot go into starvation mode. Why would we, people of “richer countries”, be any different from people of “poorer countries”? If we do not eat, we will die. Our bodies run on energy and energy comes from the sun and from the food we eat. If we do not eat, our bodies do not just develop this idea of, “Hey, we are starving and there is nothing left to eat, so lets shut down to keep the brain alive.”
No — it does not work this way. The body will attempt to get its energy from somewhere in order to keep functioning – even if it has to start taking fat from the organs and the brain, which may ultimately lead to death. The body is its own evolutionary machine that will do all it can to survive. The first place it will start taking is from the fat of the foods you eat, and afterwards, it will start taking from the fat cells that your body stores, which is where and when you begin to lose weight.
If you plan to continue with a path to a healthier lifestyle and are serious about losing weight and getting healthier – and before we continue with this article – you need to understand that what you are eating is all a lie. Everyone has been fooled. Some people can eat that garbage and stay skinny. For the rest of us, our body knows that stuff is garbage and we got fat because we ate it.
Whenever I walk through a grocery store, all I see is bullshit, bullshit, and more bullshit. Some bullshit has pretty pictures, other bullshit says its healthy for you. It is all just bullshit that costs $2, $3, $4, or more dollars. Plenty of bullshit that companies sell to grocery stores and everyone makes a profit. The reason that bullshit continues to exist is because people keep buying it. If there was no demand for it, it would not be on the shelves.
Walk through the cereal section and that is also all bullshit. Corn flakes, honey combs, cheerios. It is all made with some type of high corn fructose crap. Stay away from it. There are few things in a grocery store are actually healthy for you. Most products in a grocery store, despite being labeled all different, are typically made with the same exact ingredients – usually high fructose corn syrup, corn, and many other chemicals that your body does not need to have, these products are usually the exact same things they feed to pigs and cows to make them fat quickly so they can kill them and feed them right back to you, which in turn, just keeps making you fat.
Hate to be so blunt about it, but if you were comfortable with your weight, you would not even be reading this article and finding the “secret” to anything. Have you ever gone to the grocery store for nothing? Go ahead and walk through those aisle one day for research. Learn how to read the nutrition menu, learn how to read ingredients. Learn what those ingredients mean.
Once you have really gone through all you research and figured out what all that stuff actually is, you will wonder how you are still alive after all these years of eating that bullshit. Worst yet — you have probably been feeding your kids all that bullshit too, especially if you look at how much sugar is in the cereal.
So lets begin: you need to go through your cabinets, your refrigerator, your pantry, your closets, and anywhere else you may hiding food — and anything that contains more than 200 calories per serving, you need to throw out (exception is Peanut Butter and Almond Butter). Anything that is fatty, you need to throw out.
Anything that has too many carbohydrates or fats, you need to throw out. Anything that contains more than 350mg of sodium, you need to throw out. This includes frozen foods (with the exception of frozen veggies). Ramen noodles – throw them away. Chicken noodle soup from Campbell or any other soup company – throw it away. Cereal – throw it out. Replace the cereal with oatmeal or rolled oats — stuff you have to actually cook in a pot. Soda. Candy.
Unfortunately, my favorite — ice cream, throw it out. 100% Juice? Throw it out. Orange Juice. Throw it out. Any sweet evil temptations need to be thrown away. Okay, this all sounds harsh and you may be about ready to ditch this article right now, but hey, if you are unhappy with yourself, just know that you are developing a healthier lifestyle. As I said earlier: moderation.
If you want to go out and one week out of the month, you want to have a sweet tooth day where you want to eat that gallon of ice cream, be my guest. Love Apple Juice? Once week out of the month is probably not going to affect your plans too much. This can either be a temporary or long-term lifestyle. It is up to you to find alternative healthier replacements for everything you threw away.
Remember: Life is about experiences and pleasures, including oral pleasure in the form of food. You should go out to restaurants and experience foods. The issue is at this time is: You overindulged in such things and now you need to lose the weight, so consider this as a time where you are temporarily going on a food vacation and learning about a lifestyle that will help you lose weight and get healthy.
Now about me so you have some background… I have always suffered a weight problem, ever since I was younger. I was the chubby or the husky kid. There was also the term “big boned” tossed around. My mom had enforced the idea in me that I should eat everything off my plate. It also did not help — and I don’t hold this against her, but she new nothing about healthy eating habits herself, feeding me chicken nuggets and more microwave food than I could ever know.
At the time, it tasted great. Nowadays, I will not touch food that is or can be heated in a microwave. Don’t get me wrong, if I cook something on the stove and it needs to be heated, I will gladly heat it in the microwave, but the majority of frozen food that needs to be heated up in a microwave is unhealthy. As you get healthier, you begin to taste what healthy food is and what it is not.
I have to lose the excess weight. I have a family history of cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure. I am a ticking time bomb of my great grandparents, my grandparents, and my parents. I am very happy to say that both my father and mother are alive, but each of them has suffered one of the factors I mentioned above. I am young enough to still do something about it and I cannot let anything stand in my way. Pure motivation to not suffer as my family has suffered. Of course, I have also heard the opposite end: Excess exercise has led to stroke, heart attack, and even death. Everything must be done in moderation.
Too much of the extreme — whether it is overeating, underrating, overexercising, or not exercising enough — is all unhealthy. Everyone must find the balance of eating just enough and exercising just enough, but not overdoing it to the point where it puts too much stress and strain on the body. If you listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs. Most of us lose touch and only listen to our minds when it comes to the body.
The body is a living organ with individual living parts that tell you what to do, tell you what you need to do. Choosing to ignore what your body tells you could lead to dire unhealthy consequences. So regardless of any advice I tell you — first and foremost: Listen to what your body needs you to do in order to find a healthy balance.
Anyways, I think I weighed 160 pounds in 6th grade and by 8th grade, I was 200 pounds. It affected me to the point where it consumed my life until I started to take control of it and work out myself. Once I hit college, I was nearing 245 pounds, and even at one time, I was close to 260 pounds. To me, this was insane. I felt like a skinny man in a fat man’s body. For a while, in college, I was able to get my weight under control and feel confident and comfortable doing it. But still, I had never been where at the weight I wanted to be at.
To this day, I am still not satisfied with my weight. In college, I began working out hardcore, joined Judo, and during the summer, I took classes – and walked the 3 and a half miles to my college and then I would return home, in the sweltering heat, even refusing rides from people who knew it was insanely hot. I always carried a bottle of ice which would melt and allow me to drink it as I walked, and I knew once I got home, I could have a shower.
After a year, my college weight dropped down to about 230 pounds. Then as I entered my junior year in a new university. I quickly learned my room mate, who shared a bedroom with me, was a body builder. After telling him my plans, he made sure I stuck to them — told me what to eat, constantly making sure I was motivated to work — he called me a few names, but purely for motivation.
Every morning, I would wake up at 7 AM, go to the gym, workout for an hour, return home, and eat a egg white and bean breakfast. I did this everyday for nine months, and by the end of the time, I ended up weighing 210 to 215 pounds. I still felt like I was not where I wanted to be and it did affect my confidence level, but looking back at college pictures, I was not as fat as I thought I was.
After college, I was off to Israel, where the food was plenty and the Israelis are not shy to eat plenty of hummus, tahini, and lots of pita. The Israeli diet is definitely rich in carbs, but there are skinny Israelis and there are plenty of larger Israelis. Unfortunately for me, the carbs got the best of me, and before I knew it, I was gaining weight — and after my year in Israel was up and I returned to the United States, I had gained about 20 pounds.
This 20 pounds remained with me for another 2 years. During those 2 years, I met a wonderful amazing woman whom I fell in love with and she was a great cook. Unfortunately, her cooking was so good I could never turn it down, and while I never gained weight, losing it was always problematic. We both decided to join a gym, but my weight only fluctuated. I never really lost or gained any weight. It just seemed to stay the same.
While I had always known what I could do to lose weight, it is not easy when you have influencing factors surrounding you that make it almost impossible to lose it. For example, my mother might make something and guilt me into eating it because she made it. My girlfriend may have made something and also been upset if I did not eat what she made. There were plenty of times where the office had food — and well, why not?
Anyways, to make a long story shorter, and skipping all the details to end up where I am now, I have my own place — away from any and all influential factors. My fridge is nearly empty with just some coconut water and regular water. In the cabinets?
Only peanut butter, bananas, and canned salmon. I also have the occasional snack that I keep at work only – some mixed peanuts, almonds, and a few chocolate macaroons in one of my desk drawers — which I count out to 15 or 20 pieces when I go to eat them. Yes, you could say this is not the life I wanted to live — counting food, counting calories, but it is working. But unfortunately, I was not born with a skinny body and certainly not a beach body that makes all the women swoon over me.
I moved to a new location for work and I am in control of what I eat. I have avoided meat, fish, chicken, greasy foods, and anything containing oil — with the exception being the peanut butter. What type of exercise am I doing? I swim for a half hour each night, than spend about 10 minutes in the jacuzzi, followed by another 10 minutes in the sauna.
If I have to go to the store, I ride my bike everywhere. I also keep 10 pound weights by my bed side and spend about 5 minutes using the dumbbells and doing curls. Occasionally doing P90x — those workouts that I can do. I push myself just enough, but if I cannot do it, I will not. So how much weight have I lost since I have moved to my new location?
1 week, 5 pounds.
250 pounds down to 245 pounds.
2 weeks, 5 pounds.
245 pounds down to 240 pounds.
3 weeks, 5 pounds.
240 pounds down to 235 pounds.
4 weeks, 5 pounds.
235 pounds to 230 pounds.
5 weeks, 5 pounds.
230 pounds to 225 pounds.
6 weeks, 5 pounds.
225 pounds to 220 pounds.
7 weeks, 5 pounds.
220 pounds to 215 pounds.
8 weeks, 5 pounds.
215 pounds to 210 pounds.
9 weeks, 5 pounds.
210 pounds to 205 pounds.
10 weeks, 5 pounds.
205 pounds to 200 pounds.
My goal was 180 pounds — it was a weight I have never known or seen myself as an adult.
And eventually, although it took a few more months, I accomplished it.
What is the secret to this success? Don’t give in to eating everything. Stick to your own plan. Never starve. Listen to your body as it will tell you when it is hungry. No munching on foods in the office — there is always some kind of candy or snacks in the office I work at – just because it is there does not mean I have to take it. No eating 4 hours before bed. Drink plenty of water or coconut water. Get plenty of rest. Avoid stress as much as possible. Eat any and all fruits and vegetables — those are completely acceptable, but like everything else, those too have calories – do not overeat them, especially the fruits. You may have salad or spinach leaves with any kind of light oil, vinegar, or salad dressing. It must be “light” and you may only use 1 tablespoon.
Oatmeal is good too, about a cup or a bowl per day for breakfast or lunch. To give it extra flavor or healthy ingredients, add fruits or chia seeds. Add tea or coffee without sugar to the diet. Calorie intake should be no more than 1200 calories a day. No soda, no sugar, no drinking your calories. No meat, no fish, no steak, no rice, no eggs, no milk (replace milk with Unsweetened Almond Milk [30 calories per cup] or coconut water (I am an advocate of coconut water), no bread, no cereal. No fast food. No greasy food. Whey protein is okay for protein shakes with bananas. It sounds like a harsh diet, but you want to avoid carbs and fats, relying mostly on protein, and keeping the other dietary factors very low.
Please note that I have not been starving myself, I have not felt the slightest bit hungry. I enjoy what I eat — which during this whole low calorie / low fat / low carb / high protein diet has been mostly Whey Protein (Muscle Milk Protein Powder) with coconut water being used as the liquid, ice, and a banana. As far as where I continue to get my energy: Multi-vitamins. Flax Seed. Sun Chlorella. Fish Oil. Fiber pills. You do have to make up for the lack of nutrition that you are not getting, but those can all be received through pill form.
As for drinking water, if you are not a fan of water, or you only drink it after you work out, invest in a Brita Water Filter to ensure you are getting the most clean water possible. And if you must, find your flavor. I will drink water when I work out, but I love to have some flavor in my water. Snapple makes a 5 calorie packet that you can add to your water to make it taste like Snapple — I love any iced tea that tastes like peach, which tricks me into drinking a lot more water.
TrueLemon freezes lemons then slices them into very small pieces that make it look like salt, but the water tastes like real lemons, another favorite of mine — or you can add the real thing and put real lemons in your water. Yes, there is that rumor that the acid from the lemons ruins the enamel of your teeth, but I have been drinking lemon water for years and I have strong teeth that are a natural color — I use whitening tooth paste, but I could probably whiten some more with those white strips.
Anyway, there are plenty of other flavors out there too from Arizona Iced Tea, Dannon, Minute Maid, and many others who are jumping on board with amazing flavors that taste like the real thing, but contain none of the calories or sugar. Whether these are actually healthy for you or not are mixed reviews. Some “experts” say they are not bad for you, while others say they have “cancer-causing agents.”
They may contain aspartame, which is found in Diet Soda and other non-calorie diet drinks that actually taste pretty good. I certainly do not endorse drinking diet cola. I am not here to tell you that these drinks are healthy or unhealthy for you, but I am here to tell you: If you absolutely need some kind of “sweetness” to your drink, these would be probably be acceptable to add to your water, rather than drinking fruit juice or sodas.
Also, it is okay for you to go out and eat a steak, chicken, or fish every so often, and you will still lose weight, but you do not want to make it an everyday habit. The secret in gaining weight lies in eating too much, overeating, and underestimating how much you are actually eating — underestimating how many calories you are consuming.
If you experience any of these issues: sore joints, lethargy, hypothermia, low blood pressure, dizziness, constipation (irrespective of your fibre intake), insomnia, depression, mood swings, delusions, body dysmorphia, etc., irrespective of your weight, your health may be in danger and you need to eat more food.
If you want to lose weight, the real secret is: Eat less. That is all there is to it. You should never starve yourself. Do not become an anorexic or a bulimic, as doing so is very dangerous for your body. Your body needs food in order to keep your metabolism going, so whatever you do, DO NOT STARVE yourself! Just eat, but eat less. That is all you have to do in order to lose weight. And remember: It took a few weeks, months, and years to put on that weight. Your body is the ultimate fat burning machine — burning fat as you sleep, sit, talk, laugh, bathe, poop — your body is always burning fat, so give it some time to naturally burn its own fat! You will lose the weight if you stay committed!
So what were the final results of my weight loss for my body? I had enough confidence to take this!