My Diet Regimen
I have tried many many many diets over the years. I am also genetically prone to diabetes and high blood pressure (both my parents have both) … well that and bad vision (entire family has glasses) but that isn’t really relevant here =)
This is to say I’m prone to some health issues and this is the way of eating that has worked for me.
There are a LOT of diets out there: Low carb, high carb, raw, vegan, Paleo, gluten free, Mediterranean, protein shake only… the list goes on
I’ve tried a good portion of them and here is what has worked for me. After years of trials and tribulations the only real, long lasting fat loss results came from 2 principals:
- Eat Less
- Cut out starches
That’s pretty much it.
I tried the counting calorie method and I was miserable. I couldn’t keep it up.
I eventually stumbled across the concept of intermittent fasting, which I didn’t know was called that at the time. My wife (who has been thin her entire life, she even bounced back to her normal weight after pregnancy, in 8 months…) never eats breakfast and hates exercise. I on the other hand have to diet and exercise year round or else I get large… one of the core exercise plans I follow called F4X: here.
So I tried skipping breakfast along with my wife and eventually I found that I lost weight and didn’t crave breakfast… So I decided to research it (I am a nerd…) and found the fancy name skipping meals is called: intermittent fasting
While researching Intermittent fasting (IF from now on) two names kept coming up as having the best knowledge about it and its effects. One is Martin Berkhan who is a Swedish nutrition consultant and personal trainer. The other is Brad Pilon author of “Eat, Stop, Eat”. Both have great information on their respective blogs (leangains.com and bradpilon.com) and you can get a lot of useful information investigating their blogs.
After my research I decided to skip breakfast every day and ALSO skip lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Brad Pilon’s book as well as a BBC Horizon’s documentary on diet and aging convinced me of IF’s safety.
So that was the eat less part squared away. But I found I plateau’d after about 10 lbs.
This is where the change in what I ate happened.
Cut Out Starches
I had done Atkins before and found that it did work. I also found that cravings for carbs eventually got to me (specifically bread and french fries) So based on that, I looked for something low carb that I could do for much longer than Atkins lasted for me.
I eventually came across two books by Dr. Barry Groves’ “Eat Fat Get Thin” and “Trick and Treat: how healthy eating is making us ill” where he advocates a different version of low carb than Dr. Atkins.
Dr. Groves’ version is instead of just removing carbs, you should replace them with fat! So a high fat, medium protein, low carbohydrate diet. He goes into how science backs this method exhaustively in his “Trick and Treat” book.
His “Eat Fat Get Thin” book is more about detailing the diet without so much science. Dr. Groves credits his own weight-loss and the diet described in his book to William Banting who published a booklet on it back in 1863!
I find Dr. Groves’ version of low carb to be MUCH easier to stick with than Dr. Atkins’, more fruits and veggies as well as just occasionally eating a plate of fries, if I really really need to (and sometimes I really really do!)
The diet advocated in BBC Horizon’s “Eat, Fast and Live Longer” is essentially intermittent fasting, so IF seems to have even more health benefits than losing weight, it has anti-aging properties as well! Brad Pilon also explores this concept more in-depth in his e-book.