Disclaimer: So this post is going to be way off topic and probably sound like some infomercial or like I'm trying to sell you something with affiliate marketing but I assure you I'm not and there will be no popups or "click this link" stuff involved. I simply want to share this stuff with the readers here at Legacy Dad. First my story...
Over the past 10 years, I've consistently put on weight each year as well as going up in pants sizes. This was happening while I was trying diets, following all the health magazines advice and hitting the gym 3-4 times per week while running and doing cardio.
No matter how much I dieted or worked out, it seemed I could only lose a pound or two which would inevitable come back. In 2013, I went over the 200 pound mark for the first time in my life and realized my energy levels were way down. I was taking 5 hour energies, energy drinks and drinking coffee all day long just to keep up. On top of this, my knees and joints started hurting too. All the health mags talked about calorie deficits which meant dieting and doing long cardio session. But this did not work for me either and killed my knees and joints.
During this time period, I did a weekend conference where a photographer got some shots of me speaking. When I looked at the shots, I was appalled. I was fat, plain and simple. I then started watching some documentaries on nutrition and had a long conversation with a friend at work who was in remission from cancer. Through this research and my friend's advice, I learned some "secrets" - Men over 35 need to diet and work out differently to lose weight and the low-fat diets and long distance cardio can actually counter our fat loss goals.
Okay, let me break it down simple and I'm going to tell you exactly what I did to lose 15 pounds in the past 1.5 months even after trying for years with no progress. In the next month, I might even have a six-pack again!!!
1. Certain foods make you fat and lower your testosterone.
The two biggest substances that made me fat were wheat and sugar. For years friends tried to tell me to stop eating wheat and sugar and I always laughed and thought they were fanatical, health nuts. Gluten-Free is just a fad. Actually, in my case, its not. I quickly learned that every time I ate highly, refined wheat - my stomach would bulge and protrude shortly afterwards. Look at the picture to the top right, this is after eating wheat and drinking a soy coffee. You can see my belly sticking out through my shirt. After years of ignoring friends, I finally stopped eating wheat 1.5 months ago (which is not easy because it's in almost everything, even ketchup.) and went on a Paleo diet. A Paelo diet is what anthropologists believe humans ate for thousands of years before the Industrial Revolution, it's the hunter-gatherer methodology. Regardless of what blogs say, they have not found any strict vegan or vegetarian cave men. Basically, I can eat meat, fish, lots of fruits and vegges, nuts and I throw in rice and gluten-free pasta on occasion. I cut out wheat, most dairy and sugar but I do have a cheat meal once per week. I stopped drinking beer and went to wine or scotch! This is not much of a diet to me as I'm still eating steak and most of the foods I like.
Note: This might sound hard for some people, I thought I would go crazy craving bread. However, my cravings went away after a week and now I'm fine with no bread, wheat and minimal sugar.
2. Certain foods are Estrogenic and actually lower men's testosterone.
This is bad because after 30, our testosterone is naturally decreasing so the last thing we want to do is add fuel to the fire. I won't go too in-depth but I drank and ate a lot of soy because I thought is was healthier than regular dairy products. Turns out soy is one of the worst foods for men. I also stop drinking out of plastic water bottles as they contain bits of plastic which also reduces testosterone and I now simply fill up a nalgene bottle with ice water each day at home from the purifier or before I go to the gym. Some other bad stuff is oxybezones, large amounts of green tea, and DEET. To counter all the years of crap I put into my body, I took a natural testosterone booster from a vitamin store - see the end of the post for specifics.
3. Long Distance Running is not the best way to burn fat and lose weight.
This is always highly contested, especially from those guys that like running long distances for hours (Dante!) I generally hate running and have never had the "runners high" even though I use to run 20 or more miles per week and sometimes half marathons in my younger days. For me, the shorter amount of time, the better. Luckily, science is on my side. There are a lot of studies out there all saying the same thing - High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) burns fat faster and longer than long, sustained cardio sessions. Which means I'll burn more fat in 20 minutes than those people who spend an hour moderately jogging on a treadmill. Don't hate me, it's science! Here are three of those studies for all you fact checkers (Laval University Study, Metabolism Study, Tabata Study) Basically, doing High Intensity Interval Cardio (like sprints) tricks your body's metabolism and causes you to burn larger amounts of fat for longer periods of time. Studies have shown that HIIT workouts can burn fat for up to 24 hours after the workout. In fact, for decades most of the elite forces in our military were running 20-30 miles per week but after 15 years most soldiers knees were shot and needed knee replacement surgery. Finally, the military looked at modern medicine and science and said enough is enough. Most elite forces have now gone to a HIIT or functional fitness model versus the long distance running model.
My HIIT workouts were quick and went like this:
Sprints - 30 seconds with 60 second rest period x 8 times - 3 days per week.
Battle Ropes (Google it) - 30 seconds with 60 second rest period x 8 times.
Swimming - 30 seconds with 60 second rest period x 8 times.
Elliptical - 30 seconds with 60 second rest period x 8 times.
Rowing Machine - 30 seconds with 60 second rest period x 8 times.
Jump Rope - 30 seconds with 60 second rest period x 8 times.
You get the idea.
And that's basically it. In the past month and half, I've lost 15 pounds doing this and I'm still losing pounds everyday. My joints no longer hurt, my energy levels are way up and I feel great. I'm eating less and I'm no longer tempted to even touch breads (sugar is still an issue though) I'm not saying this will work for everyone but after years of trying all sorts of things - this is what is working for me.
Here's exactly everything I take, eat and do.
Morning - Start with a large glass of cold, purified ice water, then Protein Shake (Hydrolyzed Whey Isolate) or Fresh Juice from a Juicing machine and black coffee
Vitamins as directed - Opti-Men Multivitamin (the best for men, I've tried them all), 1000 mg Vitamin C, 5000 iu Vitamin D3 twice per day, BioAstin Astaxanthin Antioxidant, Spirulina twice per day, MegaRed Omega 3 Krill Oil
Weight Loss and Testosterone Booster - Cellucor Super HD (2 in the morning, 1 after lunch) and Cellucor P6 Extreme Black (3 tablets - 30 minutes before workouts)
Snacks - Salted Almonds, Fruits, 2 Degrees Bars
Lunch - Steak or Chicken Breast, Fruit, Vegges, Salad
Dinner with Family - I only eat the meats, fruits and vegges of whatever my wife makes.
Workouts - Cardio as listed above x 3 days per week (20-30 minutes max) Gym x 3 days per week for weight training.
Another Protein Shake immediately after the workout
Again, I'm not selling anything. After years of trying different diets, fads and workouts, this one really works and works fast. I wish I would have found this sooner.
Esse Quam Videri