Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm

An Obnoxiously Caps-Ridden Rant and Updated Fitness Photo of Yours Truly

I just visited yet another so-called “health and fitness” website, and it made me flaming mad.

“To lose weight, eat-low-fat and jog more.  Burn more calories than you consume.”


Has nobody noticed yet that THIS DOESN’T WORK?  The short-term, fickle weight loss that results from that kind of program is not bodyfat loss!   It is unsustainable, detrimental, uncomfortable loss of water and muscle.  Not only that, but it actually increases bodyfat and degrades health over time.

Why doesn’t it work?

Because the calories-in/calories-out theory ignores the critically important HORMONAL effects of  macronutrients and sleep, which are what drive the body’s storage or burning of bodyfat.

I offer as one, tiny, “n=1” scrap of evidence a fitness-photo update I took yesterday.  Sorry about the poor quality — photos and smudged mirrors don’t mix, but you get the point.

Now, for crimney’s sake, don’t start with that crap about how “You’re lean because work out so much.”

Let me be clear:  My muscle size and strength is courtesy of heavy lifting and bodyweight work.  BUT, the leanness that lets you see the muscles is not.  I could be strong as a horse and still fat.

My leanness isn’t from miles of jogging, either.  I haven’t run so much as a mile in recent memory.  Furthermore, I’m only 6 weeks back into strength training after taking a couple months off over the summer.

Exercise is not the key to leanness.  (To be more technically accurate:  Burning calories via exercise is not the key to leanness.  Strength work and sprints — but not constant cardio — do have beneficial hormonal effects that encourage bodyfat loss.)

I am lean primarily because I eat what my body needs:  Fat.  (Omigod!)  Protein.  And a limited quantity of well-chosen, nutrient-dense carbohydrate.

How much fat?  60-70% of my caloric intake.  You read that right. 

How much protein?  25-30% of my caloric intake.  To satiety.  Easy.

How much carbohydrate?  5-15% of my caloric intake.   Mostly vegetables.  Occasional fruit.

This diet provides plenty of the ESSENTIAL fats and proteins I need to survive.  The NON-ESSENTIAL carbohydrate (none is necessary for survival) contributes the micronutrients I need to thrive.  In fact, the amount of vegetable matter I consume provides enough fiber and micronutrients to make my daily nutritional intake look like the label on a high-quality multivitamin pill.

I make no effort whatsoever to limit calorie consumption via diet or burn calories via exercise.  None.  Zero.  I eat as much as I want, whenever I want, and it tastes fantastic.  And I am lean.

And before you ask, my bloodwork is fantastic:  (Sorry, WP is having issues with hyperlinks today.)

And I’m far from the only one: 

So.  Why don’t the healthy-whole-grain-low-fat-cardio-bunnies look like this?  Why do they still have high bodyfat, blood pressure, and triglycerides?

Because it’s about the hormones — not the calories.

Look.  I’m not asking you to agree with me.  But I AM asking you to do your homework.  Ask the hard questions, examine the hard evidence (remember to check who paid for the “research”)…and THEN decide what to believe.

Don’t know where to begin?  I have resources plastered all over this blog, and if you want more references on specific topics, just ask in the comments and I’ll get you some.

Okay, rant over.  For now.  Class dismissed.


13 responses

  1. Fantastic post, as usual!! Great point…it is sooooo frustrating to watch the chronic cardio-ers trying to jog away the pounds in my area – especially females. I just want to shake them out of their haze and tell them to go pick up something heavy and eat real food. So refreshing to read your blog and find someone that thinks like me.

    December 4, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    • Whew — thanks Amanda! There is sanity somewhere in this world.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm

  2. Theo

    It is so insane how simple minded they are. It is amazing how often I hear that “so and so is far because he/she eats too much.” Ummmm . . . duh. But WHY do they eat too much?

    I completely agree with your conclusions. If only people just weren’t so blind.

    December 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    • Thanks, Theo. It’s so frustrating to see people genuinely try…and try…and TRY to succeed by following the advice of the “experts.” They would be mentally and physically healthier if only they weren’t too brainwashed to consider an alternative explanation. Just consider it, that’s all I ask!

      Truly, it’s like being in the matrix…and taking the red pill. Your world will never be the same.

      December 4, 2010 at 4:02 pm

  3. David

    Great topic. Can’t agree more with your RANT!
    I just had a blood test taken for cholesterol and testosterone. I was concerned about these two tests because I have increased the number of eggs, protein (mainly beef), and good fats consumed each day to work with my new weight lifting program. Also, being older, my testosterone level had been dropping the past 3 years. Good news from the test. The cholesterol level, which was tested to be in the good range last year, has improved. Usually the good range is from 40 to 120 but my level was off the chart at 125 and, the testosterone level improved from 190 to 460! Guess the improvement was a result of increasing the protein and good fat intake along with weight lifting and some crossfit workouts. I try to keep the carb intake around 50g or less each day.
    It’s good to see other people having the same healthy results!

    December 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    • That’s awesome, David! Your testosterone results are fantastic, and thanks for sharing yet another example of cholesterol improving from a high-fat, low-carb diet. People need proof that we’ve been lied to all these years!

      December 5, 2010 at 7:29 am

  4. Karen

    I don’t pay too much attention to what I eat as far as calories go, I just do my heavy lifting (hay bales), burn calories (riding & walking & now trudging through teh snow) and I don’t look to bad for an old lady. Except for that flab on the under part of my arm AGGGHHH I hate that! Tell me how to get rid of that!

    December 5, 2010 at 8:46 am

    • LOL, Karen. Hooray for hay bales and snow and horses that insist we take them on! As for the so-called “bat-wing” effect… It’s true that spot-reducing is impossible. Overall bodyfat loss will eventually impact the problem areas. In the meantime, upper body strength work will help with tone. Pushups are fantastic for targeting triceps, and can be scaled way up or down in intensity as your strength and flexibility change.

      December 5, 2010 at 8:58 am

  5. Pingback: On Intimidation « NightLife

  6. Bacon n’ barbells n’ lean, ripped bloggers.

    Love it.

    December 5, 2010 at 8:58 am

  7. FlorayG

    I love a good rant. It makes you feel so much better to let off steam now and then.

    March 16, 2011 at 7:02 am

    • Yes, it does. Thanks for reading!

      March 16, 2011 at 7:12 am

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