What I’ve Learned About Diet and Fat Loss

After I read 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss early last year, I tried a whole bunch of things: deadlifting, ASR Speed, and…his fat loss diet slightly modified.
4 Hour Body’s diet was actually quite involved. But I didn’t do it all. I only did 2 things: I took the supplements and I removed all sugars and white carbohydrates from my diet.
When I started, it was about a month from the LA Marathon 2011. Normally I drop weight pretty significantly about 1-1.5 months before a big race. After a long period of training, and the build up of distance towards the end as I peak, my body sheds weight like crazy. I usually get down to about 147 lbs. right before a marathon or Ironman. After the race, I gain it back within 2 weeks and I’m back to about 150 lbs.
I discovered something significant with this diet. I dropped weight to the marathon, but then I kept dropping weight through the race and plateaued underneath my typical race day weight!
Since then, I have not trained for Ironman; nor have I kept up significant endurance training either. BUT my weight has still stayed down around 142-146 lbs WITHOUT any kind of long distance training.
What have I learned from this? Something pretty significant.
When I eliminated all sugars and white carbs, I removed all things like soft drinks, candy, ice cream, pies, white rice, bread, pasta – everything processed like potato chips and cookies. I only ate things that were natural and I had to cook in order to eat, or I ate it raw.
I learned that the body can lose the ability to burn fat simply because of the presence of more easily accessible sources of energy. Remember that sugars are most easily metabolized into energy; next comes complex carbohydrates, and then last are fats. If my blood stream were constantly filled with sugars and carbs, then why would my body ever want to burn fat? IT DOESN’T HAVE TO. So it stores fat and it just sits there. However, if I eliminate the sugars and carbs, my body has no choice but to relearn how to metabolize fat more effectively. Thus my weight and my body fat percentage has come down to an all time low.
Think about what is typically filled with sugars and carbs: stuff that is made by big companies with huge marketing machines. Big factories who take stuff and load it up with stuff that only tastes good. You love eating it. In fact, you may be mildly or wildly addicted to it to the point where you can’t even let go of it.
But filing your body with all these easily burn-able energy sources just means that we store fat more and more and then we become overweight and then obese.
A while ago, I had thought that it was all about calories in versus calories out. So yes that is true to a degree. I took my calories out level to the level of Ironman training in order to drop my weight significantly. But now I know that is not accurate – it isn’t quite necessary to burn calories at the level of what you take in, or the other way which is to limit calories in. These can work but can also be very difficult to sustain.
It is much simpler in concept to remove sugars and white carbs, thus depriving your blood stream of all this easily burn-able energy source and thus force your body to find its energy source elsewhere, or relearn how to metabolize fat more effectively.
This is also much harder in practice.
I’ve found that most people just don’t have willpower to enact such a change. They’ve been duped by the marketing machines since childhood and that eating this crap is so natural that they can’t stop.
I read recently that 75% of the US population is now considered obese. This is insane. All I can say is, stop being duped by the marketing machines of big food companies. Build your willpower and eat better by eliminating the crap they are selling you – you’ll be thinner and healthier as a result.