I should start by saying that this post is not about being healthy per se. You can even accomplish your goal of losing weight by eating fast food everyday, which is probably the worst thing you can do to yourself. That being said, however, I believe that if you're going to do it anyways there are ways that you can ameliorate the effects it has on you and not become completely obese. I'm not talking about starving yourself or exercising, but rather selectively eating certain menu items and avoiding others. Before I get into the meat of it, though, I should rewind to 2009.
It all started when my wife was pregnant with our first child. She put on a little bit of weight like all pregnant women do, and I decided to put on some sympathy pounds. I started eating like crazy, all kinds of crap. Lots of sweets like doughnuts, soda, whatever I felt like. And I succeeded in gaining weight. A lot. As I've come to find out getting fat is exceedingly easy. Just look at these pictures.
When I saw that last picture from around christmas 2009 I was absolutely horrified. I had no idea I had gotten so fat. I was well on my way to becoming Jabba the Hutt by next summer, and to make things worse my wife was breastfeeding and it was like my son just sucked whatever weight she put on during the pregnancy and then some. My wife was hot as always and I was a fat slob. In a very short period of time my weight ballooned from 160 lbs to 210 lbs. I had to do something!
The first thing I did was stopped eating so much, but that really had a minimal effect on my weight. I tried different things, like drinking diet soda, but that just wasn't enough. And I was just too lazy and busy with work (my favorite excuse) to exercise.
The answer came to me when I was watching a documentary on Netflix called "Fatheat" by Tom Naughton. It was basically a reply to "Supersize me" and it suggested that it was carbs and sugar that makes you fat, not the fat by itself. The documentary was no hollywood blockbuster. It was done by a computer programmer, not a filmmaker, and it showed. But what it lacked in production value it more than made up for in presenting sound research and logical arguments.
As it turn out, we evolved as a species eating animal fats and meats, and in an evolutionary blink of an eye we all suddenly started eating grains and sugars. By grains I mean anything made out of flour, like bread and breakfast cereal which immediately get converted into sugar by your body. This is not what we evolved to eat.
When you eat sugars your body immediately releases insulin. This insulin has the effect of lowering your blood sugar level by converting the sugar to energy and fat. The issue is that insulin also signals your fat cells to absorb all the fat they come in contact with. What's worse, overtime, repeatedly high levels of insulin reprogram your fat cells. You see, fat cells are meant to work like little car batteries. They absorb some energy when there is an oversupply and release it when there is a deficit. When you are exposed to chronically high levels of insulin, your fat cells are reprogrammed to become greedy and hang on to fat, even when you need the energy back.
This is why, as everyone knows, eating cake makes you fat. It is that great combo of immense amounts of sugars and fat. It's signalling your cells to grab all the fat they see, and they are seeing a lot of it floating around at that time. You just don't stand a chance.
In fact, even what many would consider a healthy breakfast of cereal and a glass of orange juice is actually pretty bad for your since it's nothing more than a concentrated sugar shot. Cereals already have a lot of sugar to begin with, and the processed carbohydrates in them also get transformed into sugar in no time. The orange juice is basically orange-flavored sugar water. By itself this breakfast is bad enough, but combine that sugar with some fat, like bacon, and you have a recipe for making yourself fat and staying that way.
On the other hand, if you eat fat by itself, or combined with meats and vegetables it will actually make you lose weight. Your body will go into fat burning mode and start using the fat you've stored for energy. Not only will you lose weight, but when I had my cholesterol checked, it went down quite a bit. My triglycerides were only 45, so they couldn't even measure my LDL because it was so low. In fact the lady that did the test kept asking me if I ran marathons, because I had the best numbers she had seen in quite some time.
The only downside to eating this way is that the first two weeks of doing this you will feel like a hibernating bear as your body adjusts to the new food source. Once your new metabolism kicks in, though, you will have energy again, although it will be a smoother, more baseline energy. You won't have those peaks and crashes that come with a carb and sugar-based diet, and you really won't be hungry all that much. You will still get hungry when you need to eat, but it won't be that debilitating, gotta-eat-right-now hunger you're used to.
You will experience rapid weight loss in the first 3 months or so, to the point where people won't recognize you if they haven't seen you in a while. The weight loss will continue until you get to a steady-state condition. I've actually lost about 60 pounds eating like this.
In the spirit of full disclosure i will admit that during this time I had also been taking some supplements. I know that my diet is not the best (because I just don't like to eat vegetables) and therefore it was important to supplement with vitamins, minerals and other things. Take a look at the "Supplements" section for a complete description of what I take.
And now, the idiot's guide to eating all you want and still losing weight. This is similar to the Ketogenic diet, the Paleo diet, and the Atkins diet; the central theme being avoiding carbs, starches, and sugars. What I'm advocating here is more of a general guideline than a diet, however, without having to worry about portion sizes, proportions, and calorie counting.
What to Eat
Protein, animal fats and vegetables. Things like:
- Meat (Cow, Chicken, Fish, Pork, Ham whatever you like)
- Animal Fats
- Coconut Oil (great for cooking or just by itself and very healthy)
- Butter (real butter)
- High fructose corn syrup
- Grains and grain derivatives (wheat and anything made from flour)
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fats (this is poison and gives you heart disease)
- MSG and other poisons
1. Say you go to KFC. Using this guide, the healthiest thing on the menu is the double down, one of my personal favorites. Cheese and bacon sandwiched between two chicken breasts. Delicious. DO NOT get the potato wedges. If you must have a side get some popcorn chicken, or chicken nuggets. For a drink get diet. It may have some neurological effects, but at least it won't make you fat. Water is obviously the best.
2. If you go to a burger joint, get some sort of chicken (chicken strips, or chicken nuggets). Instead of fries get onion rings or fried cheese if you must have a side. Again, your drink should be water, milk, or diet soda. You can also order a burger, but be prepared to eat inside and ask for some utensils. You will extract the meaty goodness from the burger and discard the bun. A knife and fork will be necessary.
3. For breakfast at McDonalds, ask for a side of sausage, eggs with cheese, and bacon on a platter. No biscuit. I always ask for this but every now and then they still throw a biscuit in there, which I promptly discard. I like their sugar-free vanilla iced coffees.
4. Just about anywhere you go (even fast food) will offer salads. Some are actually pretty good. Get something with lots of meat and bacon, and use a high-fat (not high-sugar) dressing, like ranch. Don't eat the croutons.
5. Breakfast at home: Start by throwing all your cereal away, or better yet, donate it to your local soup kitchen. Stock up on eggs, milk, and bacon. I normally eat 4 eggs with melted shredded cheddar cheese when I make breakfast, with three or four slices of bacon, whatever I feel like eating at the time. Fry the eggs in a spoonful or so of coconut oil (unrefined). Eggs and bacon are in my opinion the healthiest breakfast you can have.
6. Going out to a restaurant: Get meat and vegetables. Chicken, pork, beef, or fish of some sort by itself, rather than wrapped in a tortilla or in a bun. Instead of potatoes get vegetables. You can also get a soup or salad, just make sure the soup does not contain noodles, rice or lots of flour. If you get a salad, get a high-fat, low-sugar dressing, and no croutons.
Use this simple guide every time you decide what to eat and you will lose weight. It's that simple and that powerful. Eat as much as you'd like. In fact, you'll find that you will be fuller and stay full longer eating foods rich in animal fats and will actually wind up eating less just because you will feel satiated.
Don't lose sleep if you can't completely eliminate all sugar intake. This crap is in everything. Even the ketchup that comes on your burger is mostly sugar. Don't stress over the condiments. The trick is in trying to reduce it as much as possible. If you get breaded chicken there will be some flour and carbs in the breading, but it's a small enough amount in my opinion that it will probably be alright. Just get rid of the bread, french fries, and sugary soda, substitute them with an extra serving or two of bacon, and you're mostly there.
Keep in mind this is a lifetime commitment, but that's not as bad as it sounds. After eating like this for some time you will naturally avoid carbs, and eating something with a lot of carbs will actually make you feel sick. I accidentally ate a broccoli cheese soup some time ago that was cut with a lot of flour and felt like I was going to die. It's not a big deal, but something you should watch out for.
Something else I should mention is that if your insulin system is already broken and you have full blown diabetes, I have no idea how this diet could affect you. You should consult your doctor if that's the case. If you have diabetes and start messing with your sugar levels it could kill you, so please use extreme caution if this is the case.