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Everything You Know About Weight Loss is Wrong

Everything You Know About Weight Loss is Wrong

    Over the weekend, I watched “Fathead”, a documentary produced in reaction to Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me”. This documentary completely challenged everything I knew about weight loss and heart disease, and was also incredibly informative and entertaining.

    Tom Naughton, a stand-up comedian and computer programmer, set out to prove Morgan Spurlock wrong. Fast food can be part of a healthy diet. Tom decided that he’d eat fast food three times a day for a month, just like Spurlock…but he’d LOSE weight, not gain it.

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    According to the “Fathead” official site, the creators describe the film as a “delicious parody of Super Size Me…Naughton serves up plenty of no-bologna facts that will stun most viewers, such as: The obesity “epidemic” has been wildly exaggerated by the CDC. People the government classifies as “overweight” have longer lifespans than people classified as “normal weight.” Having low cholesterol is unhealthy. Lowfat diets can lead to depression and type II diabetes. Saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease — but sugars, starches and processed vegetable oils do.”

    Naughton’s plan was simple: maintain a caloric intake of 2000 calories per day while eating only fast food (and a couple of “Carb Options” snack bars.) But you can’t just cut calories to lose weight. You need to be eating the correct types of food, and in the correct ratio. And you also need to take into account your hormones, particularly insulin. When insulin levels are up, you are more likely to store calories from food as fat, rather than burning them. And what increases insulin levels? The consumption of sugars and carbohydrates. So Naughton decided that he’d limit both calories and carbs, ingesting 100 grams of carbohydrates per day.

    While Morgan Spurlock gained 25 pounds in his 30 day fast food diet, Tom Naughton lost 12 pounds in just 28 days. His BMI dropped from 31.2 to 28.2, and cholesterol also improved. And that number is even more impressive when you hear what percentage of his calories came from saturated fats: a whopping 54%.

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    But saturated fats aren’t as bad as we’ve been conditioned to believe. Mother nature isn’t stupid. We prefer fatty foods because our bodies crave these foods, because we evolved to eat animal fats over millions of years. The diets of our ancestors were mostly meat-based, with a few fruits and veggies, and very few carbs…and they didn’t have a lot of heart disease. It wasn’t until the advent of agriculture that wheat and grains became a big part of our diet, and it wasn’t until several decades ago (when we started eating processed vegetable oils) that heart disease rates increased.

    According to the lipid hypothesis, “Saturated fat raises cholesterol, and cholesterol causes heart disease.” But this hypothesis was based on skewed, outdated research. According to the doctors interviewed for “Fathead”, the lipid hypothesis is “bogus”. No medical studies have proved that a high-fat diet causes heart disease. In fact, several major medical studies have proved that high-fat diets have no link to heart attack rates.

    Eating a diet rich in saturated fats has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in your blood. And it isn’t cholesterol that causes clogs in your heart valves. Inflammation does. Cholesterol can build up on these inflamed parts of the heart as part of the healing process, but the root of heart disease is inflammation. And if you want to increase your HDL (good cholesterol), you need to eat more saturated fats. Bad cholesterol (small LDL) levels are increased by eating sugars and carbs.

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    Stress, elevated insulin levels, and smoking all cause heart disease. They also cause elevated levels of cholesterol, which is why people thought for so long that cholesterol caused heart disease, when really it is just a SYMPTOM of heart disease.

    Processed vegetable oils and transfats are rich in Omega-6 fatty acids. And while your body needs a little of these fatty acids, too many cause stiffening of cell membranes and inflammation. You’re better off eating fries cooked in beef tallow or duck fat than fries cooked in vegetable oils.

    So, in summation, here are Tom’s tips for losing weight and making your heart healthier:

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    1. Limit your calories to what is appropriate for your size and activity level.
    2. Only eat natural fats, not transfats or processed vegetable oils (cook food in butter or coconut oil)
    3. Limit your carb intake to 100 grams per day (not the 300 grams per day suggested by the FDA)
    4. Get about 50% of your calories from saturated fats
    5. Avoid foods with a high glycemic index (note that most unsweetened cereals still have a glycemic index rating that is higher than granulated sugar)

    Follow these tips, and you’ll likely see the same success as Tom did.

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    Tucker Cummings

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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