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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

    Writer and social media professional sharing productivity tips on Lifehack.

    The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It? The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity? How to Diagnose the “Phantom Cursor” Issue on Your Mac Extreme Minimalism: Andrew Hyde and the 15-Item Lifestyle 6 Easy Tips for Living with 100 Items or Less

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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