Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Weight-Loss Journey: The secret techniques (part 2)

The Diet (Part 2)

Let's start with the most basic concept:

"If you eat less calories then what you use on a daily basis, you will lose weight because fats (stored energy reserves within your body) will be utilized."

This is known as a caloric-deficit diet. The most obvious deduction therefore is to: exercise like crazy (burn energy) and starve myself.

However, this won't work. Because your body is never designed this way. Your body needs a lot of nutrients for healthy living. Yes, you will lose weight but you won't look good, your brain slows down, your muscles weaken and your body looks gaunt.

I am going to say this straight: Any diet plan that suggests deprivation of nutrients (i.e. starvation) in just bullsh*t.

(New Notes: Your natural body will tell your brain to eat when it's being deprived of nutrients. You must then feed the body with good nutritious food. When you feed it with trash food with little nutritional content, you will feel hungry again very soon - this vicious cycle will simply make you eat more useless calories!)

The next concept is very key: Not all calories are created equal. An example: a plate of 10 donuts may have the same number of calories as a plate consisting of a steak, potatoes and fresh veggies, but the amount of nutrients you are getting from that plate of donuts is negligible as compared to that balanced steak set meal.

Your body is not a rubbish bin; stop putting rubbish into it.

I'll have to talk about "Satiety" now:


In short, it's the reverse of hunger. If we eat less and exercise/move more, we will lose weight. Therefore, it makes sense to eat nutritious foods that makes us feel full.

I'll get straight to the point. For the weight-loss phrase, I eat a high protein, few carbs and few fats diet. I eat from real and natural sources and not processed/manufactured foods. It's important to take note of that because 99.9% of processed foods are inferior to their original sources.

(New Notes: I am now in the maintenance phrase, which means that I am trying to keep my weight stable now that I am satisfied with the weight. I still ensure I eat a lot of protein but I also eat GOOD carbs now so that I have energy for heavy-duty exercise at the gym. If you do not need so much energy, i.e. you don't exercise a lot, you don't need so much carbs)

I eat anytime I want. I never allow myself to go hungry. Sounds good, yes? :)

A high protein diet creates satiety. Protein repairs muscles too. That sounds like a win-win plan for guys who are going to use weights training as the exercise vehicle. Likewise for guys/ladies who do crossfit/body weight exercises, you'll need the protein to repair the broken-down muscle tissues every time you exercise.

Before I go on, a reminder: some of my ideas will be controversial, but they are not new. Some of you might have heard that a high protein diet ruins kidneys, but there is no conclusive proof. Neither is there conclusive proof that a vegan or organic diet will 100% give you a better/longer lifespan. 

Check out the online vids/articles on Atkins, Paleo diet. I am not a huge fan of a ketogenic diet (using fats as fuel instead of carbs) - because I am using weights training as a vehicle and I need carbs - but a ketogenic diet could be great for weight loss. Always educate yourself and be opened to new knowledge. 

Processed Sugars: I try to cut that out completely. You can do your own research on it. The processed foods at our supermarkets contain far too much of it. Yes, I still do take sugar with my coffee and soy milk - I am not that crazy to drink black coffee and sugarless soy. America's obesity epidemic is caused by sugar, not fats. If you simply cut as much sugar as you can from your diet, I assure you: you will see significant weight-loss. That includes cutting off consumption of all forms of processed liquids. (Just drink Water!)

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/mar/20/sugar-deadly-obesity-epidemic

At this point, you might realize that the journey does not look easy and it's going to get harder. :)

Related to carbs/sugar, I also try to cut off any wheat/processed flour from my diet. In short, anything made from wheat/flour gets digested very fast, creates a sugar-high spike and but that crashes as soon as the sugar gets depleted, causing you to eat more! That obviously adds more calories to your daily intake. What you'll want to eat are complex carbs: rhizomes of different colors, brown rice, beans, etc. These take a lot of energy to burn (that's good!) and they burn slowly, preventing sugar spikes, allowing a desirable sustained and slow release of energy that creates satiety at the same time. 
Yes, that means a lot of commercially available foods must be eliminated from your diet if you are serious about losing weight. I'll just list some of the obvious ones: bread, noodles, cake and pastries.

There are a lot of YouTube documentaries about insulin resistance, the obesity epidemic and the causes of it. Watch with an open mind because most/all media has an agenda.

What I eat/do to my food:

1. A large variety of foods. My theory on why the Japanese people are slimmer as compared to the rest of the world is because their (traditional) meals consist of many many many SMALL portions of different type of food/TASTES and color. All these different aspects combine to create satiety and a nutritious diet. They also do not over-cook their food. It's a common fact that over-cooking depletes food of nutrients.

2. A lot of protein: salmon, beef, eggs, nuts, milk, soy, beans, chicken, etc

3. If you intensely want to lose the weight fast, cut down on the oil/fats during the cooking/eating process. The fats that you'll need for a healthy life; there's plenty of it that already exist in the food: eggs, meat, milk, nuts, soy, etc. Did I mention cooking process? Yes, try to cook your own food as much as possible. Invest in a quality non-stick pan and you virtually do not have to add oil to your food. I cook my salmon first; some of oil comes out, use that oil for mushrooms/vegetables/chicken/eggs. Any oil that you use in your food goes straight into fat storage in your body. But do note that the body NEEDS good fats/oils (like omega-3, etc).

Important: Steer clear of almost all sauces/gravy in your food. They usually contain a high amount of fats and sugar.

4. A lot of water (+ soup), vegetables and fruits. Some crazy people will tell you to reduce the intake of fruits because they contain a lot of sugar. Meh. I'll say eat as much fruit as you want because they are nutritious, fill you up and they give you fiber and water. HOWEVER, just as not all calories are equal, not all fruits are equal. Fruits like apples, kiwi, bananas >  durian and jack fruit, which are comparatively high in sugar.

5. Read labels. Not all processed foods are not good. Regular milk, soy milk, canned tuna in water, oats are extremely nutritious food that are canned/bottled.

6. Eliminate processed food from the diet. If I want to eat potatoes, I eat potatoes, I don't buy potato chips or french fries. If I want to eat fish, I buy fish, I don't buy fish balls or fish cakes. I eat real chicken; not chicken nuggets. You get the idea.

The Sad Reality:

It's very hard to find healthy food when you are out of the house. Most of the supermarket/food court/cheap/street food are not healthy or help with weight-loss. That's a very scary fact. There are known nutritionists who advocate that we should eat what our grandparents ate when they were young. A LOT of foods that we eat today on a daily basis were NOT invented then (including sliced bread!)

Read more: http://www.trueactivist.com/what-can-we-learn-from-how-grandma-and-grandpa-used-to-eat/

I live in Singapore and I was watching a documentary about Singapore with footage of the 70s and 80s and it's very evident that the peoples' waistlines has increased significantly. Singapore's example is not unique. As nations become more affluent, with the influx of fast food and 'tastier' supermarket processed foods, the population gets fatter and fatter.


Changing your diet will have to be a life-long commitment. Unfortunately, commercialism will always try to steer people off the healthy food course. It will have to be a decision you'll have to make for yourself. There are delicious food out there; you'll have to find it or cook it yourself. There are a lot of helpful chefs/home cooks/nutritionists out there who publishes healthy recipes online and in print.

I wish you the best! I'll try to help out too! Ask me your questions; I am still learning too, but I like to help. Next topic: The Exercise (Part 3)!

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