Dietary Habits Promote Joint Health Whether you have been diagnosed with an inflammatory condition like arthritis or simply experience occasional aches and pains, what you eat plays an important role in your joint health. In fact, a diet that is rich in certain nutrients can help fight inflammation and keep your joints healthy. Antioxidant-rich foods are key to a joint-friendly diet. These inclu...
Rapid but sustained weight loss
- 1 month, 1 stone, 1 concerted effort
Let’s find out what is necessary to achieve this. If we assume 30 days for a month, then we need to lose about 5 pounds every 10 days (about 2 kg, or 15 pounds in 30 days, or 0.5 pounds per day, or more than 3 pounds per week).
I’m going to take an imaginary man and woman and put some numbers on them, showing you how to do it yourself if you’re different from my examples.
Assuming there are about 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, then you need to create a deficit of at least 11,500 calories each week if you want to lose those 3 pounds (3,500 x 14 pounds = 49,000 calories).
If we then break it down into each day, that’s a daily deficit of about 1,600 calories.
Now, let’s find out how much energy it costs to keep living:
I will take 3 men and 3 women.
- 70kg -11° 0.3lb – 154.3lbs
- Energy calories (range) 1,918 – 3,036
- 80kg – 12° 8.4lb – 176.4lbs
- Energy calories (range) 2,038 – 3,226
- 90kg – 14° 2.4lb – 198.4lbs
- Energy calories (range) 2,158 – 3,416
- 60kg – 9th 6.3lbs – 132.3lbs
- Energy calories (range) 1,598 – 2,531
- 70kg -11° 0.3lb – 154.3lbs
- Energy calories (range) – 1,718 – 2,721
- 80kg – 12° 8.4lb – 176.4lbs
- Energy calories (range) – 1,838 – 2,911
Notes: The ranges shown for daily calorie expenditure depend on activity level, from sedentary (think of an office worker who drives to work and gets little or no exercise) to very active (someone who has a job that involves several hours of manual labor per day, or exercises for more than 90 minutes at a high intensity/consistently high heart rate each day).
These imaginary figures are based on someone who is approximately 170cm tall, mid 30s, and are used for illustrative purposes only, the principles behind the practices here are valid, you just need to customize the practices to your situation. These are just estimates and will vary from person to person, to find out more accurately he needs to get his own starting numbers. You can do this using the calculators found at caloriesperhora.com. Use the BMR and RMR calculations for a rough starting point, then use the practices here to tweak the figures based on real-world results.
So you can see that for a 60kg woman, who is inactive or sedentary, this would mean basically not eating anything, for about a month!
For whom is this? The thing though is that a 60 kg woman doesn’t really need to lose 14 pounds (about 6 kg) or more than 10% of her body weight, so we’re not really catering to this person. What we should be looking at is the upper end of the scale. That’s where big weight loss numbers really come in handy.
If we look at the 200-pound man, for example, even a sedentary person could cut more than 1,000 calories from their daily intake, provided they do so with the right foods. I’ll get to that in a moment.
First, let’s take a brief look at the 3 factors that will make this massive calorie reduction possible.
- intermittent fasting
- Eat high protein, low fat, low carb.
- Do only high intensity weights and very low intensity cardio.
Now let’s expand on each of them so you can create your own plan.
1: intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting (the Leangains version) is a simple approach to fueling the body. You divide the day into two phases, an eating phase and a not eating phase. The feeding phase lasts about 8 hours, so the fasting phase lasts about 16 hours. This does not mean that you eat for the entire 8 hour block!
There are two key aspects of IF that make it work in your favor when it comes to massive weight loss.
1: Each day is physiologically divided into two distinct phases, each helping your fat loss goal. These two phases are an anabolic or tissue building phase and a fat burning or energy breakdown phase.
2: Using IF makes it much easier to cut calories than traditional diets.
I don’t need to go into any more detail about the IF lifestyle, because you can read the two posts on my website (address at the bottom, search the intermittent fasting category for ‘Intermittent Fasting Guide and Results’ and ‘Fat Loss Workout’) that tell the full story, suffice to say that if you want to make your weight loss as painless and effective as possible, you should probably be doing some form of IF.
2: Eat high protein, low fat, low carb
In his excellent set of articles on designing a fat loss diet, Lyle MacDonald talks about setting things up from the ground up, rather than from the top. What what? Well, what we’ve done here is start with a weight loss goal, which is the bottom line, and then work backwards to figure out what we need to do. In those articles, Lyle takes a slightly different approach and finds out what he needs physiologically, and then puts those numbers on a diet, to see what comes out in the end. Here, we’re going to use part of that approach (establishing protein intake) to give you a starting point for determining your diet.
How much food do you need?
Or more specifically, how much protein should you be consuming at each meal? Well, we can give two answers to that question, the best answer is the one that makes you feel calmer. The quick answer is ‘many’. The more specific answer is resolved as follows; Start with a level of about 1 g/lb of body weight and divide it over your two to three meals, and then adjust based on lean tissue and strength drops and hunger/satiety levels. So if you find your strength waning and your muscle leaving your body, you need to add more protein, and if you’re hungry between meals or not satisfied with a meal, add more protein!
What foods can I eat?
I have put together a list of foods that will work while you eat for massive fat loss. You can download it from my website, via the link at the bottom. One thing I constantly find is a complete lack of hunger and feelings of deprivation when on this type of diet, and this shouldn’t be surprising given the wide variety of foods on offer here. One thing you will notice is the complete lack of liquid foods/meal replacement powders/protein drinks. This is deliberate; they do not provide satiety or satisfaction, and do not offer much opportunity for long-term dietary compliance. As Martin Berkhan says, ‘don’t drink your calories’.
Why high protein, low fat, low carb?
A couple of reasons; 1, you want to keep calories as low as possible, as easily as possible. 2, Protein plus lots of bulky, low-carb foods provides the easiest way to feel full, satisfied, and happy by cutting calories.
3: Do only high intensity weights and very low intensity cardio
Each of the three components in this weight loss plan is equally important, so you better find a way to include this part! Just ask yourself if it’s worth jeopardizing the entire plan to miss out on a few simple exercises.
Why start with a statement like that?
Because it’s too easy for many people to go back to the old ways of ‘exercising to lose weight’.
What you NEED to do is heavy weights, low reps, and using as large a movement as possible. Remember, heavy weights are totally individual specific, and the actual number/weight is irrelevant, the important thing is that you lift at YOUR capacity and learn to lift fully at your capacity. For those of you who have barely lifted weights before, that means learning what a max effort lift feels like, AND expecting that max to increase rapidly as you learn to get more and more out of yourself.
The best thing about this program is that it is really simple. Take the following exercises and spin them:
- Dumbbell press, bench press, or bodyweight dips
- Dumbbell or barbell shoulder press
- Lat pulldown, pullup, seated or bent over barbell row/dumbbell row
- Dead weight.
Your rotation is simple: do 3 weeks of 5 sets of 4-6 reps (5×5 style routine) and then 3 weeks of 3 sets of 9-12 reps (3×10 style routine). Every time you hit the upper rep range, you increase the weight. Only after 10-14 weeks do you need to rest (but if you’ve already been exercising consistently for more than 12 weeks, you should take a week of total rest at this point, unless your goal is within 12 weeks of the start of your program, in which case, you’ll rest at the end of that!)
If you don’t know how to do these exercises, you can get instructions from a competent trainer (you can find out if they’re good at watching them get you moving and focusing on the exercises you’re learning, if they get you to do their exercises like the ones in the instructional videos, you can be sure they know what they’re doing), or you can watch the myriad of videos on YouTube and figure out your own path.