Rev-Up Your Metabolism!
Fat Is Not Fat!
Set Goals (The Placebo Effect)!
Remove Refined Sugar!
The Power of Protein!
Food Restriction & Appetite Suppressants!
The Nitty-Gritty (Sacrifice, Shave, Sun, Sex and Semen)!
Any way you slice it, trying to lose weight is not fun, and most often times just down right sucks. Simply put, this book is written in an effort to make it suck less! In other words, if you follow the advice contained herein, the weight will come off easier, and therefore, more often than not, you will not have to try so hard to lose the weight you desire. Basically, I’m going to show you how to make your body work for you and not against you. This book was also written with three things in mind: comprehension, readability, and weight loss success! It is not a lengthy novel, so you will remember what you read. It is not written like a college textbook, so you will understand what you read. And it is definitely not your average “diet book”, so it will work for you; for today, for tomorrow, and for the future!
When blindly following the advice of another (doctors, contractors, etc), for me it’s very important to truly believe in this person; to trust that he or she is a top professional in their given field of expertise. If you were to go to the doctor for a nagging chronic ailment, I bet you’d feel much more at ease in the hands of a skilled practitioner versus that of a layman, or each time you purchase Advil (a brand name) instead of a generic brand. Why, aside from the price they are both exactly the same? Is it because you like spending more money? Doubtful! It’s because you prefer to whole-heartedly believe in the product (or person) you are entrusting your body and health to (or home, or car, or etc). This is why I am now going to brag a little; only so you, the reader, can fully trust that I am a top professional in my chosen field of expertise (weight management!).
Some people are just naturally really lean (ripped as they say). I am not one of those people. I feel much more comfortable carrying around an extra fifteen to twenty pounds or so. Although for both bodybuilding and hundreds of various modeling jobs, I have had to lose weight (get ripped) more times than I’d like to remember. After which, each time, I would allow my body return to its preferred comfortable weight. So aside from the fact that I was a personal trainer, EMT, self proclaimed nutritionist, etc, what I’m saying is, you can trust that I’ve done this enough times to have it down to an exact science. And just for good measure, here are a few of my modeling photos; my “proof in the pudding”.
Hello, my name is Eric Watson, and I am going to teach you how to lose weight and keep it off. I have no phD or doctorate, no college degree, and I am not a famous speaker or trainer to the stars. However, in the past, I was someone who had a stroke at age 13 (completely paralyzing the right side of my body from my head to my toes) and fully recovered by learning how the body works and what it responds to, I was a licensed personal trainer, I was a licensed EMT, and I was a competitive bodybuilder. I was and currently am, a runway, print, and fitness model, 100% completely self educated in the ways of the body as it pertains to weight loss, someone who practices what they preach, and one of those guys you see in the gym and wonder how they do it. Well, this is how, and I’m going to tell you!
Stop stepping on that scale, with your fingers crossed, and simply hoping it reveals good news! In fact, throw your scale away (metaphorically)! Stop depending on a “diet” to bring you closer to your goals! By laying some basic and simple groundwork, we’re going to be using our knowledge and the mirror to gage your success from here on out! We’re going to stay in the real world and talk about things that work, work for the long haul, and work with your busy schedule! I’m not going to lie to you. Dieting, losing weight, burning fat, whatever you want to call it, is not easy. In fact, it can be quite hard. It’s hard to show self control (at all times) and not eat what and when you want. Although, as hard as it may feel at times (no one’s arguing that!), my goal is to empower you with knowledge, in an effort to make it feel that much easier!
Do you want to really be in control of your body, or is simply following the advice of some new “fad-diet” and hoping that it comes true enough for you? This is why many continue to gain the weight back once the fad-diet is over, because they don’t completely understand how their body (and mind!) works in relation to its fat and muscle! This is the barrier I hope to cross with this book. We’re going to start with the most sensible, easiest and most basic principles first (I’ll call them Levels), and as we continue, we’ll move on to the more difficult, but often necessary means to lose the weight you desire (AKA – burn body fat!).
Level 1: Rev-Up Your Metabolism!
Without a strong heart you die young, without strong muscles you’re weak, without a strong immune system you get sick, and without a strong (not slow) metabolism you get FAT! Every piece of advice given in this book will be of little help to you if you do not first rev-up your metabolism. Your metabolism is everything!
Increase Muscle Mass: The most important factor of metabolism is lean body mass. Muscle burns up to 90% more calories than fat. Muscle is an active tissue, meaning it needs energy (calories) to stay alive! The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn in a day. Each pound of muscle burns approximately 50 calories per day. So, an extra 10 pounds of muscle will burn an extra 500 calories a day, or in other words, roughly a pound of fat (3500 calories) every 7 days, without making any other changes. Now, you’re obviously going to have to workout in some form or fashion to build this new found muscle.
Try to make your workouts enjoyable, or at least as enjoyable as possible! If something, and in this case working out and staying in shape, does not bring you some kind of pleasure, it’s doubtful that you will continue for any real length of time. Understandably, “enjoy” may be a little too optimistic. So, try and find an exercise related activity that you can continue doing. Longevity is the key here! Don’t go all “Rocky Balboa” style and fizzle out like all the “New Years Resolution People” do in the gym each year. The point is, don’t make it too hard, or subconsciously (or consciously) you will find a way to cease the activity.
Don’t Cut Your Calories Just Yet: This is the point at which most dieters fail and start to drastically cut calories – well don’t! Mark my words, it is extremely difficult to diet (cut calories) and gain muscle mass simultaneously. I’ve done it a few times before, with a diet of very high protein, while working out like mad, but it was not easy, and I would suggest not attempting it at this stage. If you were to drastically cut your caloric intake at this stage, all you would end up doing is, slowing your metabolism, gaining no muscle, and halt any forward progress before you had even begun. Your attention, and effort, should be focused on just increasing your metabolism at this point, and the rest (AKA – your FAT!) will begin to take care of itself!
Morning Workouts: After you workout, your metabolism stays elevated for the rest of the day until you go to sleep. So, by working out in the morning, your metabolism stays elevated longer, and you burn more calories throughout the day. Note: The harder you push yourself during your workout, the higher you raise the rate of your metabolism!
Also, don’t buy into the “your anaerobic (i.e. cardio based) workout has to be at least twenty minutes in duration to start burning fat and/or be effective.” While, it’s a good rule-of-thumb to try and follow, it’s not entirely true. Yes, you most likely start burning more fat after twenty minutes, but that’s not when all the magic happens. Let’s imagine for a moment… based on points I just mentioned, which person do you think is going to ultimately (by days end) burn more fat and calories? Bob takes a leisurely 45 minute run. Let’s say Bob burns 500 calories. Now Tim has a different workout in mind. Tim pushes himself hard and runs stairs for 20 minutes. Because of Tim’s limited duration, Tim probably only burns around 300 calories. Now, Tim clearly burned fewer calories than Bob during his workout, but because Tim pushed himself much harder, his metabolism raised (and stayed raised) much higher than Bob’s for the remainder of the day. And I guarantee that Tim is ultimately going to surpass (x2) Bob’s 200 calorie advantage by the day’s end. Not to mention, because of Tim’s intense training, he is primed to gain more muscle mass as a result. Become the master of your metabolism, and you WILL be the master of your body’s fate!
Drink Lots of Water: Your metabolism needs it to function properly, and being hydrated will keep you energized. Water hydrates your cells, cleans your liver, helps eliminate fat from your body, and enables your metabolism to run full force. Very first thing in the morning (before anything else), go drink a large glass of water. That, effectively, tells your metabolism to fire up, the day has begun! There after, try and drink a gallon more throughout the day. For an extra burst of calorie burn, drink your water cold! In doing so, your body is forced to reheat it, and that takes energy (AKA calories).
Eat More and Smaller Meals: While trying to maintain your normal calorie intake, simply split-up your normal 3 meals a day, into 5 or 6 smaller ones. Doing so, will keep your metabolism fired up, keep you blood sugar at a more constant level, and help prevent any fat storage.
Level 2: Stop Overeating!
This is another key factor in your quest to loose weight. This skill (and I call it a skill!) will come with experience and time. It’s hard to stop over eating! It’s hard to show self control! This control over ones body and mind is something you must learn if you want to be the master of your physique. See how I’m moving away from the simple idea of merely losing weight? Weight loss, diets, they’re all temporary; the weight eventually comes back! Reason being, you’re depending on the diet (points system, pure protein, etc) to lose the weight for you. But usually, as with most diets, they’re difficult, if not impossible, to maintain for any real length of time. The dieter, eventually loses focus, and the weight, slowly but surely, comes back on. My goal is to empower you with the ability to have complete control over your body’s appearance. I’m handing you the fishing pole (knowledge); throw that fish (every other diet) away! Pumped? I am!
Don’t Count Calories! It’s a stupid waste of time and will prevent you from realizing your full potential. Instead, listen to your stomach. It will tell you when you’re hungry, just as it will tell you when you’re full. Most importantly, do what it’s telling you! Your body comes stocked with all the necessary tools to regulate itself; just start utilizing them!
Eat The Same – Just Eat Less! We’re only on the second level, so no need to start getting crazy just yet. As you move forward, and begin to feel more in control, naturally you will probably want to start eating healthier. That’s good, and good for you, but not necessary at this stage. Simply eat less! Leave some food on your plate, dish-up slightly smaller portions, and eat slower! The trick is, to just eat enough to feel satisfied and no more. Simply put (I go into great detail in the section about Fiber), when you constantly overeat, you gain fat. Sounds like a no-brainer right? But it’s obviously not, or you wouldn’t be reading this book to begin with! I hear you say, “Not everyone is blessed with a fast metabolism!”. Well, after reading, and implementing, the suggestions in this book, you shouldn’t be able to say that anymore! And as already mentioned, split-up your normal 3 meals a day, into 5 or 6 smaller ones; doing so, will keep your metabolism and energy levels fired up.
The Dreaded Binger! Just last night I had one! My wife and I wanted to spoil our son for the night. So, we went and bought a couple different ice creams and an obscene amount of different toppings; peanut butter, Oreos, peanut butter cookies, nuts, chocolate topping, candy sprinkles, caramel, whipped cream, and a cherry on top! Needless to say, we made ourselves sick. And that was a premeditated binger. What about the spontaneous ones? You know the ones, where you’re eating standing up, hunched over the counter with your spoon, shoveling it in, making not a sound, while simultaneously trying to bury your immense guilt just long enough to get in a few more bites. These types of scenarios are bound to happen now and again; we’re only human, right?
What happens next is the pivotal part! What ends up happening with a lot of dieters is that one harmless binger sets off a downward spiral that spoils some, if not all, of their hard earned gains (or in this case losses). He/she feels guilty, like they failed, which sets the stage for a diminished will-power, which inevitably makes it easier to overeat at the next sitting. This cycle gets exponentially worse, until, before you know it, you’re right back where you began. But it doesn’t need to be that way at all – let me explain!
When you under-eat, which is a pretty normal occurrence when one is trying to lose weight, your metabolism will eventually slow to match your current food consumption; this is our body’s survival mechanism. Therefore, in order to lose more weight, most cut calories even more, and then even more, so that they can continue to see losses. Before you know it, your daily food intake is consisting of an apple and some cheese. This is a very bad cycle, and one in which you should avoid at all costs! For this reason, and this reason only, this is why an occasional binger is not so bad, and can actually be helpful to your diet (AKA metabolism). That one binger just rapidly sped-up your metabolism! Therefore, tomorrow, when you’ve regained control and begin your diet again, you’re destined to lose more weight than you would have otherwise. That is what you tell yourself after your inevitable event. This is what gives you the strength to continue again, and this is why an isolated and occasional binger is completely harmless, if not beneficial!
Level 3: Fat Is Not Fat!
Just as the common cold shares the same word as the temperature outside, the food named fat shares its word with the fat wrapped around your mid section. This, in part, creates a common misconception with both. The cold temperature outside does NOT make one develop a common cold, and the fat found in many of the foods we eat does NOT make one fat (good/healthy fat that is – not trans-fat)! Yes, fat does have more calories (9 calories per gram) than carbohydrates and protein (4 calories per gram), but calories are only that, calories, and in the end (literally) they’re all the same. In the simplest terms, bottom line is, your daily total calorie intake must be less than your daily calorie expenditure in order for you to lose weight! Let me explain! Generally speaking, you could eat 400 calories all in the form of fat (44 grams), or you could eat 400 calories all in the form of carbohydrates (100 grams), and neither will make you gain weight (FAT) more than the other. Now, there are some exceptions to this concept, which I will go into when I explain about the benefits of Fiber and Protein. But, nothing you need to concern yourself with at this point. What I want you to take away from this, is that (depending on the type) fat is essential, healthy, and definitely something you should not shy away from just because you’re trying to lose weight. In fact, it’s quite the opposite actually!
Eating fat creates the feeling of satiety, in other words, the feeling of fullness. When one eats a type of food with a significant amount of fat in it, a hormone is released that tells your stomach that you are full. Subsequently, therefore you end up eating less, and stay full longer; yet another reason why fat is extremely helpful to a person trying to lose weight. Fat is the only food that enables our body to release this hormone – protein and carbohydrates do not! Side Note: In fact, carbohydrates have somewhat of the opposite effect. They create a vicious circle of hunger. You eat carbohydrates >;;;;;;;>;;;;;;; your blood sugar rises >;;;;;;;>;;;;;;; insulin releases into your blood stream to bring the blood sugar level back down >;;;;;;;>;;;;;;; the now low blood sugar triggers your brain, which triggers your stomach >;;;;;;;>;;;;;;; you’re now hungry again! Simply put, if you eat a diet low in fat (like many dieters!), you never get that feeling of contentment (fullness) after a meal, and therefore, inevitably, it’s near impossible to maintain for any real length of time, and you eventually binge, or loose the necessary strength to continue, hence, your diet and weight loss attempts fail! Losing weight does not need to be a painful experience. If done correctly, it can be quite easy (relatively speaking)!
Level 4: Increase Fiber!
For the most part, I’ll assume you already know what fiber is. In short, it’s the stuff that does not get digested by the body and passes through relatively unchanged. Now, let’s imagine you eat something with NO fiber in it (e.g. white bread, Coke, candy bar, etc) – here is what happens! Because it’s completely void of any fiber, your body digests (breaks down) the food very quickly, and literally dumps the sugar (now glucose) into your blood stream. Basically, glucose is what gives our body its energy it needs to run. This, in turn, rapidly elevates ones blood sugar level. That does not make your body happy! It prefers (and tries hard!) to keep your blood sugar at a more constant level (i.e. neither high nor low, but level). The way our body deals with this newly created high blood sugar, is by injecting insulin into the blood stream to transport the glucose out (where it can be safely stored for later), in order to bring the blood sugar level back down to normal levels. Where does it all go you ask? Well, depending on what you’re currently doing at the time (running, sleeping, or sitting on the couch), some of that glucose gets immediately used for energy (or not!), some glucose (now in the form of glycogen) gets stored in the muscles and liver, and any remaining glycogen gets stored as, yep you guessed it, FAT!
An interesting side note: once digested and broken down by the body, all carbohydrates, be it pasta or a Snickers bar, are turned into the same exact thing – glucose, otherwise known as sugar. The only difference being that complex carbohydrates (e.g. pasta and potatoes) supply more energy per molecule than simple sugars (e.g. candy and soda pop). Also important to note, complex carbohydrates usually contain much more fiber than simple sugars.
Now, let’s imagine you eat something LOADED with fiber (e.g. whole wheat bread, beans, vegetables, etc) – here is what happens! Fiber slows down the rate of digestion of any food, be it carbohydrates, protein, or fat. So the digested sugars (now glucose) slowly trickle into the blood stream, rather than dumping in all at once and rapidly elevating your blood sugar. By glucose entering your blood stream slowly, you get a slow, steady, and more level, rise in blood sugar. By doing so, you will help to eliminate your body’s dependency on insulin to maintain your blood sugar levels. Therefore, you halt the “constant insulin driven storage of sugar”, and you stop, or at the very least lessen, the amount of sugar (now glycogen) that gets stored as fat! Slowly, but surely, you WILL lose weight! Just like with most things, it’s not a magic bullet, but rather a lifestyle change – an easy one at that! And let’s not forget, fiber is good for you to boot!
When possible, fiber should come from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, etc, but that’s not always possible, or a reality! So, I would suggest, going to your local store and picking up some Metamucil (or other brand). Store brand is fine also – for the most part they’re all the same – made with psyllium husk. Or, as a healthier alternative, you can grind up Flax Seeds and use that as your fiber supplementation. I buy them at the local health food store and grind them up in my coffee grinder. A word of caution though… when adding fiber in to your diet, do it slowly. Your colon needs a little bit of time to acclimate to the new bulk in your diet. Too much too soon, won’t do any harm, you’ll just maybe feel bloated, and/or have some diarrhea. Add it slowly and you will suffer neither. Although, you may always have a little more gas than you’re used to; small price to pay for glory! A good rule of thumb: start with only one teaspoon a day for the first week, and over the next few weeks, gradually progress to two table spoons a day. Mix the fiber into a large glass of water about a half hour before lunch and dinner. Why lunch and dinner? These are usually your two largest meals of the day, and I find that doing it this way keeps me on a nice morning poop schedule. Otherwise, if you take too much too soon in the day, you may find yourself having to make a trip to the bathroom before the day is done.
This brings us to another beneficial benefit of fiber; it fills you up, and keeps you full for longer! Therefore, without feeling like you’re giving anything up, you end up eating less, and eating less often. I believe, fiber is hands down the easiest, and best way to manage ones weight! Theoretically, you could not change one single thing in your diet (or exercise routine), only start adding fiber to it, and slowly but surely, you’d start seeing the weight fall off. Doesn’t get any easier than that!
Level 5: Set Goals (The Placebo Effect)!
Ever notice how the majority of famous Hollywood stars seem to get better looking and in better shape as they grow older? That’s a direct effect of continually setting new goals! Think about, when you have a big event coming up (e.g. class reunion, big date, etc), you probably shed a couple pounds, hit the gym a few more times than average, go get your hair done (or cut), all in preparation for the big day. Did it work – did you look good on that big day – I’m sure you did! But, once the special day is over, so goes your temporary goal, and your new found focus and motivation! With the stars this works much the same, however, with one difference. They’re constantly in the public’s eye, and continuously prepping for the next movie, or next big event (Golden Globes, MTV Awards, etc, etc…). You see! They always have a new goal ahead of them, and therefore, they always have a renewed sense of strength and motivation. This is how they do it! No secret special diets, nothing but a simple goal. Goals are very, very powerful tools! So powerful in fact, without one, and even with all this so-called knowledge, I have not a leg to stand on!…