Are All Diets, High Fat Diets?

January 28, 2010

I want to start this post off and say that I love free thinkers and people who question things.

I don’t even care if I agree with 100% of what the person is talking about. Rebels make the world more exciting. I have spent the past hour over on Free the Animal and have been sucked in to Richard Nikoley’s fantastic writing style.

He has several great articles talking about a similar subject: That all successful diets are high fat diets. You will see exactly what he means by this in a second.

High Fat Diet Article

[I tried to find an appropriate photo for the topic of “high fat diets”, but those were all brutally boring. A ghost lady wearing a bikini instead? Someone needs to make a B movie with this theme!]

How Can a Low Fat Diet be Considered High in Fat?

Well…that is what sucked me in to one of Richard’s articles. I was interested to hear what he had to say. I had a suspicion of what the article would talk about (and I was right), but it was very well written.

What he is saying is that all diets are high fat diets, because your body releases its own body fat into the bloodstream as you lose weight.

This Article on His Site Has Changed My Outlook a Bit

Losing Weight is Pretty Much Like Eating Lard

Losing 2 Pounds of Body Fat Per Week?

A common suggested weight loss goal for many people is to lose 2 pounds of fat per week. Well, that is the equivalent of 7,000 calories per week of fat…and much of that fat is saturated fat (270 grams in this case). Kind of crazy to think about.

I honestly never looked at it this way before. Makes you question people who attack eating fats in the diet.

Are You Confused About What Fats to Eat?

This whole thing is confusing as heck at times. You hear so many different pieces of advice.

As far as fats go, my friend Scott Kustes of Fitness Spotlight did an excellent guest post on the subject on this site: The Four Types Of Fat – Sorting Out the Confusion of Dietary Fats.

This is a great article to tell you what to look for in the grocery store. I have been a big fan of coconut oil since Scott wrote this guest article. Great stuff for stir fry!

What I’ve Learned Over the Past Two Years

One thing I have learned is that hardcore processed foods are the thing to minimize. More than anything else it is these processed “altered” foods that are causing much of the health problems in modern society.

If 75% of what you eat are whole foods, then you can be pretty certain that you are eating in a way that promotes good health. It isn’t so much about how much fat or how many carbs, but what the fat and carb sources are.

Like I said in “Visual Impact”…your grandma is right when it comes to healthy eating. Just make sure you know when to stop and you will be good.

Check Out Your Local Farmer’s Market

These past few Sundays, me and my girlfriend have made a point to walk down to our local farmer’s market and buy fresh food. It is about a 2-3 mile walk round-trip, so it is a good way to get healthy exercise as well. The one we go to is in a hip and artsy part of our city so we get live music, entertainment, etc.

It simply feels good to get food close to the source. Most cities have several of these farmers markets and my hope is that they grow in number. It is fun to interact with people who live in your community…we have become so disconnected with technology that this feels good.

A Quick Video Explaining the Paleo Diet

When you guys head over to Richard’s site, Free the Animal, you will hear him talk about the Paleo way of eating. People who are new to this could be slightly confused.

Here is the best video on the subject. Created by Methuselah at Pay Now Live Later.

Watch this…it is actually pretty darn entertaining!

[I don’t follow these principles all the way, because I like a bit more carbs than what this diet recommends…but I do love the idea to limit processed foods. Instead of going all the way paleo, I find that I will mix in paleo meals many times per week.

This works well and gives me more flexibility than eating paleo all the time.]

Note: Free the Animal is a great site, because Richard talks about his experience with the Paleo diet and even discusses challenges with that way of eating.

This post created a major buzz and massive discussion a few weeks ago —> Paleo Diet Problems

----> (New) Facebook Comments..."Cause all the cool kids are doin' it!"

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

andy barge January 28, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Rusty, I have a BIG belly but skinny everywhere else. I have always thought I had insulin issues. Do you recommend very low carb for a while or anything else? Have you ever trained anyone who looks like e (a toad with skinny legs!)

Ben Terem January 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Hey Rusty,

I haven’t read this yet and this post has nothing to do with this, but I wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog and how much I have learned. I stumbled unto this site after I was looking up Taylor Lautner workout plan, and I found this blog and the vacation blueprint. Ever since I have been appointed to resources such as: Power to the People, BOVA’s Spartan Diet, and your newest e-books Visual Impact, which have all been extremely helpful. Thank you so much for dedicating your time to fitness advice, especially advice about how to get lean, strong, and healthy, when the rest of the sites are all body building, which I don’t think is anything bad just not my goal. So again thank you, you’re blog is awesome, and I look forward to read new stuff to prolong my health and knowledge.

-Ben

Mike January 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Richard does a fantastic job over at “free the animal”.

For anyone who enjoys kick-ass receipes with tantalizing pictures to boot I suggest you include it into your regular reading rotation.

Dave

Alexis segura January 28, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Hey Rusty what do you think of replacing milk by soybean milk in my diet? by the way thanks for the tips of the planks and hip bridges.

FitJerks Fitness Blog January 28, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Rusty, I like that you’re also “partial” Paleo and not sucked into eating like it’s exactly 10,000 B.C.

As for that dude’s article… can’t wait to check it out. In a way he’s kinda right it seems, I mean shit, the KETO diet is old, tried and true and it’s got a bunch of fat as a requirement. Also, have you tried Palm oil? Another good fat.

Craig Avera January 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Farmers Markets are great for meat, seafood, and fresh produce! I just walked to the Fairfax farmer’s market here in Hollywood. It’s about 3 miles from my apartment, so a 6 mile round trip. When I walk there, it’s usually just to browse around and eat at the ethnic food stands there. I learned today that Brazilian Churassaco (spelling?) is AMAZING!

But next time I’m going to drive there and stock up on some of the best food I’ve ever seen 🙂

Real, whole foods are the only way to fly. I also had some fresh Ahi tuna sashimi today with a side of seaweed salad. UNREAL 🙂

Keith January 28, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Awesome post as always Rusty,
I also had a random question. What are your views on creatine? Do you use it, and does it really work to produce noticeable physique changes? THanks

Jason Hend. January 28, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Hey Rusty, good post. I have kind of a strange question that I can’t find much good advice for on the web. Is it counter-productive or maybe considered completely unhealthy to drink 2-3 beers (light beer) a night, 5-6 nights a week if I’m trying to take off a few percentages of body fat? I’m at about 10% now and my goal is to get to 7% at some point. I also go to the gym 5 times a week and am doing HIIT (alternating bike and treadmill) all of those days as well. Plus I add in eat-stop-eat twice a week on top of that.
Thanks,
J

Bobby January 29, 2010 at 6:28 am

Hey rusty
Great post!
I have a query, I read your post on water retention and my abs look more defined,but every time I eat certain foods I get bloated as heck! I found in particular it is carbs and dairy, but cutting these out would mean I will not have energy for basketball, which I play quite abit.
Any help please?
Thanks

Dave Porter January 29, 2010 at 7:32 am

I’ve spent the last few days reading all or your posts back to 2007 and have to admit everything I’ve ever wanted to know about getting lean and living a healthy lifestyle is listed here. You provide quality info from all sides of the spectrum. You keep you’re own opinion to a minimum and let the facts speak for themselves. I agree and live by 90% of the things you have discussed but always found conflicting or confusing info elsewhere. It’s nice to see all of my beliefs coming together from one source for once. It is obvious you know what you’re talking about and aren’t pretending to know like many others. I may have missed it but I didn’t see an article that talked about why it’s bad not to eat before HIIT cardio and okay for regular cardio. I have to admit, I’m still a little confused about when and why to eat before lifting, HIIT cardio and regular low intensity cardio. Also, for a site dedicated to a lean physique, no articles about swimming? Swimming is great because it tones and burns fat. In my opinion it IS the best form of excercise and there are plenty of studies to prove it. Swimmers retain more muscle and live healthier lives in their old age. It is also a low impact sport and great for people with joint problems. You can swim HIIT or low intensity distance. Maybe something to think about for the future, but make sure you don’t bash swimming. I’ve read a lot of articles that say swimming is bad for weight loss and it’s a bunch of crock. Overall, great info though, I will definately be coming back.

Dave Porter January 29, 2010 at 7:49 am

And so you know where I’m coming from, I’m 6 feet tall 178. Just graduated from college where I let myself get up to 196 and didn’t work out once in 4 years, ate whatever I wanted and drank alcohol like crazy. I was captain of my swim team in high school and used to be extremely skinny. I’m down to 10.5% bodyfat now and still dropping. I spend 3 days in the pool and 2 days in the weight room. It has taken me 5 months to get here and my entire view on life has changed dramatically in that time. Nutrition and fitness have become my new hobby, scratch that, my new lifestyle. I eat 80% the way our ancestors ate and drink almost a gallon of water a day. I love the way I feel and look now. I believe fitness and nutrition can solve all your problems. This site has motivated me even further so be looking for me because I’ll be commenting regularly. You’re an inspiration Rusty. Thanks.

Dave Porter January 29, 2010 at 7:59 am

Yes it is bad to drink that often, even a beer a night is not great if you’re drinking 5 nights a week. I reccomend taking a month off from alcohol if you want to jump start weight loss and get to 7%. Beer is bad because it creates acetate in your body which signals you’re body to stop burning fat, similar to insulin. It also can lower your testosterone levels for up to 24 hours! There are articles about it on the Internet, I’d post a link if I wasn’t typing from my iPhone. I’ll try to post one later. Good luck.

Dave Porter January 29, 2010 at 8:04 am

A few other things I’m curious about. Alcohol and acetate, more behind why alcohol is bad for fat loss. Supplements that are good for you like fish oil, vitamin d and taking amulti, because sometimes it’s hard to get it all from what you eat.

Dave Porter January 29, 2010 at 8:11 am

Creatine won’t help you look lean and is unnatural in that form. You already get it in much smaller doses from red meat. It basically just adds a bunch of water weight. I advise against it. It increases mass and strength but goes away as soon a you stop using it.

Clement January 29, 2010 at 9:17 am

Oh rusty, I thought you were quite the paleo eater! I was under the impression that you eat salads for lunch (paleo right?) and a protein shake for breakfast (ok, not so paleo, but more or less so). So do you eat rice or something?

Personally, I find that eating paleo does make me full in some conditions. For example, I can’t eat brown rice after exercise or I’ll have some sort of stomach discomfort. It’s not so much of hunger as acid-like (hunger?) pangs in the stomach, though I feel that I’ve obviously just eaten… I dunno if you know what I mean! But I find that eating salads of veggies with healthy fats (nuts) and raisins and with just a wee bit of fish but with no dressing (not as tasty, right?) helps me stay full and satiated. But I have a soft spot for grains during dinner though. And I try to eat a whole-food breakfast too. A sweet potato, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and an apple and orange. Oh horror, the carbs! But it’s just as you said. It doesn’t really matter as long as you’re eating whole, natural foods. They’re nutrient-rich and will keep you healthy!

Sorry about the long post, rusty, but sometimes I just don’t understand why people make it do difficult. Carb-cycling, low carb, high protein, low fat… The lean, toned look can be easily achieved with good, wholesome foods!

Gavin Macfie January 29, 2010 at 10:01 am

What an interesting point.

I come into contact with blood samples from time to time through my work. Sometimes they have an incredible – almost nauseating – amount of fat in them. You can see huge globules of fat in the sample tube.

It’s tempting to think that fat people would have the fattiest blood, but sometimes healthy looking people who work out a lot have fatty blood too.

You may have provided the explanation. I’ll certainly be putting that theory to my colleagues when I get back to work on Monday.

Martin Berkhan January 29, 2010 at 10:59 am

Nothing wrong with the paleo diet. Just the people that tend to cling to it like a religion.

Sherah January 29, 2010 at 11:29 am

“One thing I have learned is that hardcore processed foods are the thing to minimize. More than anything else it is these processed “altered” foods that are causing much of the health problems in modern society. If 75% of what you eat are whole foods, then you can be pretty certain that you are eating in a way that promotes good health. It isn’t so much about how much fat or how many carbs, but what the fat and carb sources are. Like I said in “Visual Impact”…your grandma is right when it comes to healthy eating. Just make sure you know when to stop and you will be good. ”

I LOVED this paragraph! That’s basically how I eat as well, except it’s more like 95% whole foods – I am also vegan. So simple – not complicated, and delicious at the same time. Add in Eat Stop Eat twice a week and I am dropping pounds at a regular rate.

Farmer’s Markets are the way to go for sure – I live in a rainy winter area so ours doesn’t open until May, but I can’t wait to go. I just need to work on funds so that our budget can reflect our need to purchase produce.

Your site has changed my life when it comes to getting in shape, thank you for all the time and effort you put into it!

By the way, do you think you’ll ever add forums to your site? Or do you know any site that includes forums where people think like you do regarding fitness? I love the community aspect of forums and encouraging each other but most forums just confuse me with all the bodybuilding stuff. I love how your way of losing fat/gaining muscle is simple, straight forward, and easy to understand.

Ryan January 29, 2010 at 11:53 am

I gotta say, you find the best pictures.

Chris January 29, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Good article. I enjoyed the video very much, I shall be including that in my site when I get around to the food and exercise section.

The Pharmaceutical industries are a serious problem, you can’t even trust the FDA as most of them, if not all, have a share-hold in the Pharmaceutical companies – how do you think they get mercury in Corn Syrup? How do you think Aspartame is considered safe to drink…and do you know who was behind that?! MSG is in EVERYTHING, and has at least 9 different names to disguise itself from the public…this is no joke.

Ingesting Sodium Fluoride is good for your teeth they say – well, if you believe that (and think that adding it to your water like medicine without you having a choice in the matter is OK) then Im afraid you’ll believe anything.

As the video goes, keep it simple, keep it as natural as possible. The main argument I get back from people about this is that its expensive. Well my answer is, what price do you put on your physical AND mental health?

Cheers Rusty, keep up the good work.

shailja January 29, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Hi Rusty,
Love your site. I’ve been a long time reader
I just switched to using butter and coconut oil and stopped eating all processed foods. I have a questions about carbs though, I am vegetarian- since birth so can’t start eating meat now:-)
How much carbs in the form of bread/rice is ideal if I’m trying to lose weight?
Thanks

Deanna January 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I love Richard’s site. He’s very passionate, and his recipes leave me drooling.

I actually started eating Paleo almost a year ago when I stumbled across the article on your site, and I love it. I follow it pretty strictly, but not like a religion. Sometimes you just have to have pizza. Or beer. Or both!

Organic Gabe January 29, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Paleo diet is a good diet, it lowers blood pressure and a great way to lower blood sugar to avoid type 2 diabetes, if you are predisposed.
It never hurts to eat real food!

Mandy January 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Rusty,

I’ve been meaning to write for a few weeks. I researched best fitness blogs about 3.5 weeks ago. I stumbled upon yours. Must admit, I fell in love with you at first sight. Just kidding – but almost instantly after reading a few posts regarding planks vs. abs (SO burned out on ab exercises). Since then, I have incorported planks, HITT and jump roping into my weekly workouts. I really love all three. Set personal record with 2 minute plank on Tuesday. I’ve passed your blog along to all of my friends as well as my old trainer (just yesterday). Thanks for the good work and as a new follower I look forward to being in the mix here.

Cheers from Austin, TX!

Kat January 29, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I’ve been eating this way for about a year now (low grains, no process or fast foods, plenty of healthy fats) and have had much success– low body fat levels, tons of energy, clear skin, a happy positive mood.
I recently was curious of my daily fat intake so I used an app. that logged my daily calories etc. and was surprised yet not surprised to see that most days half my calories came from fat. Fat is great– tasty and satisfying! You just need to learn what types of fat to eat– this is key. BTW, coconut rules!

LD January 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Wouldn’t this mean that when you eat saturated fats in a calorie surplus less “artery clogging” fats would be burned? (since they would be stored instead)

All that saturated fats you burn when you are in a calorie deficit were things you ate months or years ago. I guess you can’t escape from your past.

gus January 29, 2010 at 8:09 pm

haha cool/funny video. The paleo diet is about eathing like a caveman and not like most of us do today wich includes alott of proccessed foods.

but does he determine that all processed foods are bad? and that it is something we should avoid completely?

everybody is telling me that milk and oats really are some of the most healthy things than i can eat but in this video it shows all of these diseases i could get, so im cind of confused XD

bec January 29, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Hey Rusty,
Kudos on the site, seriously lead the way in changing how I thought abuot fitness/fat loss etc.
I’m trying to lose fat, I recently started following a 1000 kcal diet, fasting 16 hours per day, with a carb refeed once per week..slowly integrating HIIT and weight training. I read alot of Lyle McDonald’s stuff aswell, who really cuts through the crap when it comes to fat loss.
This article confuses me, I understand what the guy from Free The Animal is saying… but I don’t understand the point. Is he saying we should be adding more fat to our diets when we’re on a ‘diet’? Because wouldn’t that only amplify the problem of having too much fat hanging around in our bloodstream?

Tim D January 29, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Hey Rusty,

When trying to consume somewhere in the range of 100 grams of protein a day can we look at protein consumption as we do with calorie consumption? Looking at it as weekly and not daily protein intake?

Thanks, keep up the great work,
Tim D

Rahim January 30, 2010 at 1:21 am

I pretty much cut out processed foods all together unless cereal counts for something. I don’t mess with anything that’s on “franchise” lane. I also avoid the frozen food section like the plague.

Chris January 30, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Here’s an article exposing the British governments stance on the subject…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1247216/The-Big-Fat-Lies-Britains-obesity-epidemic.html

You have incredible timing Rusty. 😉

The Spaniard January 30, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Rusty, one thing about the paleo diet, the primal blue print, etc. According to all I have read, you have to avoid rice, pasta, wine, legumes, beans and more stuff. Ok, so basically we have just killed Spain, Italy, France, the Caribbean, basically South and Central America and all of Asia. I might be wrong, but in none of this places you will find the kind of obesity you find in the USA…now they are also talking about Britain and India (could it also be due to the sweet tooth they have in these places?) Not to make this post long, just one little difference between, for example, italian food in Italy and italian food in the USA. A capuccino in Italy is a espresso with foam and milk, while in the USA a capuccino is a little bit of watered down espresso, foam, milk, whipped cream and cinammon…and supersized.

Yash January 30, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I like the last part of your post. I went paleo/primal for a little bit during my initial phase in omproving my fitness, and it worked wonders for fat loss. I still think it is a great maintenance diet, but I find it doesn’t work as well for me during periods of increased activity, like when I’m playing sports. Carbs do some in handy when you need a little extra kick during longer running activity. Sometimes I even have to resort to [dare i say it?] refined sugars and sports drinks. For the most part I like the eating clean part, even with carbs. In one of the posts on my site, I suggested getting bread from an actual bakery or even just t hat baker at the supermarket instead of relying on Wonder Bread.

Yash January 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Tim D,
I think you have it right. As long as you’re getting a good amount of protein overall, ie. on a weekly basis, it’s ok if you miss your target a day or two during that week. Although if you do have a day with lower protein intake, try to get the protein you do consume around your workout for optimal effect, and to take it even further, it may be good to consume the protein with carbs so that the body doesn’t use the protein as an energy source but rather to rebuild, with the carbs rpovidiing energy.

Yash January 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Dave Porter:
Newer research has shown that the water retention due to creatine is much lower in higher quality forms of creatine, and that the water that is retained equalizes after a relativily short period of time. I know it’s only one example, but I noticed this anecdotally as I stopped taking creatine for 3 weeks, as well as not lifting for those 3 weeks, and only lost 3 pounds. I now take creatine only occasionally, [when i remember to, which is not often] and I’m back to the same weight, perhaps even slightly heavier, without too much fat gain.

It is true that some strength will diminish after you stop taking creatine, but it will happen gradually so that if you get stronger during the phase off, your new strength may catch up to your max on creatine. Also, creatine allows you to lift heavier/more reps, so some benefits of training your CNS to lift heavier and myofibrillar hypertrophy due to lifting heavier remain after you stop taking creatine.

Please Don't Diet January 30, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I like Richard’s blog in general for his in-your-face style, but I’m not a huge fan of the high fat diet hypothesis.

As you can tell from my site, I’m biased against diets because they’re conceptually unsustainable (or a quick fix susceptible to quick failure).

But the idea makes for an interesting paradigm.

Greg January 31, 2010 at 12:27 am

Love the pic.

I like the idea of paleo eating, but I can’t quite demonize the carbs the way many adherents seem to.

Paul January 31, 2010 at 10:42 pm

I love discussing diet and exercise programs. I am as intrigued as the next guy with optimal diets, but I don’t think that optimal diet discussions are as helpful to the beginner as they are to the advanced trainer. As much as I would love to see everyone, everywhere start eating a really healthy, low processed foods diet, full of bodybuilding nutrition, this really isn’t going to happen…..for a lot of reasons, and will power has very little to do with it. (Don’t believe me, check out the great documentary “Food Inc.)

For many people starting out, dropping from 12% bodyfat to 8% bodyfat is not the issue. It is more like dropping from 25-30% to “God HELP ME!! Anything less than that!!” For those individuals, the most important thing is getting habitual eating under control. Eating too much and too often is the cause of the obesity woes, and worrying about nutrient composition will only distract from the real deal problem……bad habits.

For the beginner, we need to clean the slate and not worry about the (admittedly interesting) science of nutrition and instead get off to a good start with a simple, habit changing approach.

Eat-Stop-Eat is a popular example of this kind of habit changing, often referenced on this site. I have a great deal of respect for Brad Pilon, but I would like to throw my vote in for http://www.nosdiet.com. A very, very simple approach for beginners that will lay the solid foundations for real sucess, if you haven’t checked this out yet Rusty, you really should. Once a person gets their eating lifestyle in order with the help of http://www.nosdiet.com, then it is all too easy to take it to the next level with working on improving nutrition.

That’s my two cents anyway. Since this isn’t a post about weight lifting, I really shouldn’t plug anything, but I can’t help myself. My personal fav workout routine to go with a little “nos” diet….once a week Heavy Duty training, a la Mike Mentzer. Put the two together, and I guarantee, especially if you are just a beginner getting started, you won’t go wrong.

Donkey Lips February 1, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Rusty,

Do you have a review on the truth about 6 pack abs product by Mike Geary. He claims chemicals have a lot to do with belly fat. Specifically foods that contain xenoestrogens cause you to store belly fat, and that vegetables like broccoli and cabbage are good for removing those toxins. Do you know if his product is legitimate or is it just another product using bogus science to appear as a high end breakthrough cutting edge product when really it’s just that broccoli and cabbage are low calorie, greasy crap is not so by replacing high calorie food with low calorie food, bam, magically six pack abs appear.

Just wanted to know if you had any insight on this.

Thanks
~Mike

BTW you’re Visual Impact product it awesome, I’m really enjoying doing it, it’s painful and it works. Best of all it’s customized to what I want and the results are already showing up.

Lupe February 1, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Hi Rusty,

I love the photo – I want to be a ghost woman in a bikini some day!! That day is a good 40 – 50 pounds away, but I’m getting there, with 17 pounds lost in three weeks on a paleo-style diet. I am finding that dropping the carbs has leveled my blood sugar issues, and made my mood so much more even. Now I have to figure out the fitness end, so I’m excited to find your blog! What would you suggest for an overweight mom of 45? I don’t have money for a gym – I’m a single momma with three young boys at home – but I can do outdoor things and indoor body weight exercises.

Aaron Curl February 1, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Another great article Rusty,
I have been reading Richards blog about the same length of time I have been reading yours. Add Markdailyapple to the mix and these are the best blogs out there. I don’t go a day without reading and learning from all three. Props my man.

Maria February 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I just stumbled across your blog about a month or so ago and am motivated by the skinny-fat post and simplicity of your advice. I am about 10 pounds overweight and definitely fall in the skinny-fat category.

I would like to be toned all over and want to know if I am going about it the right way. For the past few weeks, I have been strength training about 2-3x’s a week with some results, and then realized maybe I should do HIIT as well, so this week I started doing a HIIT program (again 2-3x’s a week) on the treadmill and stopped doing any strength training. Should I do a combo or one form of training over the other?

I appreciate any advice you have to offer.

The Spaniard February 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Paul, thank you for your post. I read the webpage you mention and it is basically what I have been trying to say here with my posts, specially the one above yours. I hope more people read it because like I said: what would happen with Spain, Italy, France, Asia, the Caribbena, etc…if we get rid of our suppossed to be evil meals?

Jason G February 2, 2010 at 6:53 am

Well its been a while. The biggest thing I think a person can get from this article is that even though your body does not have food in it doesnt mean that your body does not have access to energy. Your body is designed to use stored body fat as energy. That is why periods of fasts make sense. Modern society eats to much and corporate america encourages over consumption(body building magazines are a perfect example). Live on your fat every once in a while and you will become leaner.

Methuselah - Pay Now Live Later February 2, 2010 at 7:00 am

Thanks for the mention Rusty. And good post, as ever.

Tay February 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm

The pictures is great. Just had to drop in to comment on that.

Derrick@traintobefit February 3, 2010 at 6:59 am

I like your philosophy! What a way to enjoy life. Put your time in the gym or on the field and sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Keep up the good work and the positive direction!

Helder February 3, 2010 at 9:24 am

You know the more i learn about nutrition the more i ignore it 🙂 i’ll explain, the more i learn the more i believe there’s nothing new, the human body and metabolism is the same as it always has been.

The more i learn the more i see that the old balanced nutrition that docs taught our parents were just about right. Eat a little bit of everything, all is necessary on the right amounts, eat healthy home food ( no junk, no processed foods ) and you’ll be just fine no matter what your goals are.

The only thing to pay atention to is the number of cals, and eat a lot of fibers for health prevention reasons.

Moderation is the key, in nutrition, in exercise and in Life, just enjoy 🙂

Daniel February 3, 2010 at 9:48 am

Since there are so many different diets people whole population thrive on, I think we should look at the similarities rather than the differences.

There are certain “paleo” populations eating lot of meat and fat. But there are also the Kitavans and the african Bushman eating mostly plants and lot of carbs. Yet they’re healthy. There are the Hunza and the Okinawans, very different diets and still healthy people. There are the Zone followers and the Homo Optimus followers, one diet is 30% fat and the other is 80% and both groups are healthy. Weston Price analized several populations and suggested a diet with cereals, milk, cheese, meat and veggies. Maximilian Bircher-Benner analyzed the Alps populations and they were eating cereals, milk, cheese, bread and fruits. And they were healthy. Albert Matesz whote a book about a paleo diet which is high carb with fruits and potatoes, and he is healthy.

If we focus on the differences we just confused and will never get the point that we’re omnivirous animals with a varied habitat and can thrive on whatever is edible and on many different diets.
If we look at what all these diets have in common, then we can understand their secret.

May February 4, 2010 at 11:30 pm

I am new to this site and this is exactly what i am looking for. Thanks rusty for the great work.

Talking about diet, i have started trying my very first fasting yesterday and unfortunately i had a very serious stomachache at night. Is it related to the fasting?? have you ever had similar experience when you started?

Please help as i am really not very sure now if i should go on practicing fasting twice a week. Thanks.

admin February 5, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Hey guys…sorry I have been AWOL lately. Just moving this week and don’t have my own Internet access up yet (borrowing a shared computer)…anyway, I will try to address as many questions as possible in the short time I have available. Here goes…

Andy,

The good news is that this type of fat is pretty easy to lose. Women have it tougher when it comes to losing body fat on their legs. What you are going to want to do is work on increasing HGH and “afterburn effect” from your workout. Honestly…go into your workouts in a fasted state (a proven way to get a better HGH response)…do an abbreviated lifting routine, but then hit intervals hard on a treadmill or exercise bike. Make sure you hit it hard.

Ben,

Thanks a bunch…too much of the fitness info out there is bodybuilding related….I am just trying to balance things out.

Alexis,

I wouldn’t consume too much soy. It tends to increase estrogen to unnatural levels.

Craig,

I bet the walk in Hollywood is very entertaining! That place is full of a mix of different types of people.

Keith,

I haven’t used creatine in a while, but plan to this summer. It works well. I like it for the ability to quickly add some muscle volume. I would only recommend taking it when you are really lean, because then it makes a dramatic impact.

Jason,

You can drink the light beers, but you will have to subtract that from your total daily calories. On your ESE days, don’t drink the light beer at night…make that the low calorie day…this is how I have found that it works best. You can get lean while drinking light beers. A great light beer is Corona Light, without lime. I don’t even like Corona that much, but this stuff is great. That being said…you will lose body fat at a quicker rate without the light beers. If you can go 4 weeks with minimal drinking you will jump start your fat loss.

Bobby,

The water retention is a temporary thing. Maybe eat carbs and dairy on the days you know you will play basketball…and then just sweat out the sodium. Makes sense to me anyway.

Dave,

Thanks for the compliments…I am glad that you are enjoying the site (thanks for reading). My advice about eating before working out? No calories whatsoever 3-4 hours before training. The less “carb energy” in your system the better…this will insure you use body fat for fuel and well as spike HGH (which helps you burn fat while sparing muscle). I should do a post on swimming…good point.

Clement,

I am not a hardcore paleo guy at all. I like a lot of the general principles, but I am more modest in fat and meat consumption. The paleo approach I like to use is more like Bova from Spartan Health…fruits, veggies, etc…with just modest amounts of meat and protein. I also enjoy potatoes, rice, grandma’s cooking, etc. I am with you when it comes to whole food.

Gavin,

Part of the reason I like to stay lean year round is to avoid this effect. It kind of makes me queasy just thinking about it (I’m bad with too much blood talk).

Martin,

Great to hear from you Martin…I have been an admirer of your site for a couple of years now.

Sherah,

I love forums too. I may at some point set one up, but I will have to outsource full-time moderation. Unfortunately a lot of the fitness forums have people who post homo-phobic, sexist, and racist comments…especially the big bodybuilding forums. IF I do launch a forum, I will hire 3-4 moderators to insure that things stay friendly and clean.

Ryan,

I take pride in having good pictures. Thanks for noticing 🙂

Chris,

Yeah…it pays to keep your eyes open and not be too quick to trust. Great points!

shailja,

I am not an expert when it comes to vegetarian eating. Really, just do your best to keep the calories low enough to create a deficit…and you should be good.

Deanna,

Yes, it is important to have beer and pizza! Completely agree and plan on having that magic combo tonight.

Mandy,

Thanks for spreading the word. Planks are a great ab exercise for sure. Those 2 minutes go by pretty slowly, don’t they? Austin looks like a great city. I love live music and at some point me and my girlfriend need to go the South By Southwest music festival in Austin.

LD,

As long as you are in deficit you would be fine. I like the way you put this…”All that saturated fats you burn when you are in a calorie deficit were things you ate months or years ago. I guess you can’t escape from your past.”

gus,

I am down-the-middle with food. I like to eat whole foods 2/3 to 3/4 of the time…and mix it with “junkier” foods. The main idea is to create a calorie deficit when you are trying to lose weight. The advantages that paleo offers is steady energy and accessing body fat for energy by keeping insulin levels stable.

bec,

I don’t necessarily think he is recommending adding more fat…Richard just likes to get people to look at things in different ways. Glad you like the site.

Tim,

Yes…to a certain extent you can. I would always have some protein per day, but you can certainly have low days and high days and it works well.

Spanaird,

Good point…and I enjoy foods from all of those countries. You are right about portion sizes in the US…they are out of control.

Greg,

I like carbs as well. I can see the benefits of going low carb at times.

Paul,

The diet plan looks good. I did Mentzer Heavy Duty Workout for 1.5 years back in the early 90’s. I got strong as heck on a few exercises, but didn’t like how sore the workouts made me feel. It is well written book and he makes a strong case for his one-set-to-failure approach.

Donkey Lips,

I don’t have a Truth About 6 Pack Abs Review. I have e-mailed Mike Geary before and I can tell he does really care about the results people get with his product. It is a good course for sure. Maybe I will do a review at some point…I have just been gun-shy about this…since so many others have done a Truth About Abs Review on their blogs already. Glad you like “Visual Impact”…only Phase I and the Bonus Phase will be painful….Phase II and Phase III are more about tension and less about fatigue…so the lifting part won’t hurt or burn like in Phase I.

Lupe,

Download my free report “Vacation Body Blueprint”…it has exactly what you will need. There is a description of a body weight routine you can do at home that works very well.

Aaron,

Those are great blogs. Mark Sisson is also a great guy. I’ve chatted with him a few times on e-mail and he really wants to help as many people as possible with his site. Thanks for the compliment. You have a nice blog growing as well.

Maria,

Yeah…do strength training 3 times per week, followed by 15-20 minutes HIIIT. If you can get in the gym 1-2 more times…then add in some more moderate cardio as well for 30-60 minutes. This will kill skinny fat in its tracks (as long as your diet is dialed in as well).

Jason G,

“Live on your fat every once in a while and you will become leaner.”…exactly! Great quote.

Methuselah,

Awesome video…I bet this video is on tons of sites now. Quality work like this always gets spread around.

Helder,

Yeah…we have kind of come full circle. Grandma was right all along.

May,

Did you eat a big meal at night…or were you fasting through the night?

-Rusty

veronica February 8, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Hi Rusty,
After I gave up carbs, I can’t stop myself eating nuts! I guess I take too little calories during the day (1 fat free greek yogurt, an apple and a salad with no dressing). I run 5 miles in the morning in a fasted state, I walk for 1 mile and do 30 min pilates. But after eating almonds, hazelnuts I practically cancel out my calorie deficit and I go back to square 1. any suggestions?

Is having headaches normal? Is it due to using fat energy or is it simly just fatigue? I dont have headaches when I eat carbs (on the days when i eat chocolate and cookies.. yummy :))

I am 5 6 and 130 I wanna go down to 117 by summer.

Thanks for the great posts!

Miche | Serenity Hacker February 11, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Awesome post! Really some fascinating and informative stuff here. I just discovered your blog from a post on Zen Habits a while back, and I’m glad I did. I just subscribed, and I’m looking forward to more. For now, I’m going to head off and follow some of these links and dig around at what else I’ve been missing!

Cheers,
Miche 🙂

Destiny April 10, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Hi,
Ok now I’m really confused. In the article on “skinny fat”, your advice was to cut back on cardio, even cut it out completely, for 1-2 months, and just hit the weights hard under a calorie deficit. In your reply to Maria about skinny fat in February you said to train w/weights 3x per week, also do HIIT 3x per week and add in 1-2 more sessions of moderate cardio per week. Which is best? I’m basically in the same boat as she is, 5-8 lbs. of bodyfat left to deal with at about 21% BF. For weight training I’ve been doing density training and muscle rounds and I’ve been using the “stubborn fat protocol” when doing cardio.
Thanks,
Destiny

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