9 Ways You Might Be Inadvertently Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts
Mark’s Daily Apple
by Mark Sisson: Is
It Primal? – Spirulina, Chlorella, Amaranth, and Other Foods Scrutinized
co-workers, or loved ones complain about not being able to lose
weight and turn to us for answers or advice, we can all generally
rattle off a few suggestions that, if followed, usually set them
on the right track. For the soda-swilling cubicle mate who keeps
a recycling bin just for cans beneath his desk who asks, ”Why
can’t I lose weight?,” you suggest stopping soda. For
the fast food addict who wonders why she can’t hit her high
school weight, you suggest avoiding fries, getting water, and ditching
the buns. To the vegetarian best friend who eats “healthy”
but is growing increasingly skinny-fat, you send a link to MDA.
Those are simple solutions. What about your stalled weight
loss? You’re Primal, you’ve lost a bunch of weight already,
you’re feeling good, you don’t have many complaints,
you know all about nutrition, and you’re sticking with the
lifestyle – but you’re not losing as much weight as
you’d like. Well, it could very well be that you’ve
inadvertently throw a wrench into weight loss efforts.
What do I mean?
Let’s take a look:
overly obsessed with dietary purity.
Now, if you’re
celiac or gluten sensitive, it’s natural to be concerned about
even minimal amounts of gluten in soy sauce. If you’re allergic
you should be that guy who pesters the waiter about the powdered
milk in the gravy. If you’re pregnant,
I wouldn’t blame you for worrying over the source of the fish
you’re being served. But if you’re generally healthy
– or on your way there – and you’re not acutely
intolerant or allergic to any particular food, I’d argue that
worrying over a single component of a single meal to the point of
physical manifestations of stress
(racing heart, sweaty palms, nervous tick, scattered thoughts) is
not conducive to weight loss. You’re trying to be so perfect
that it becomes the enemy
of the good.
ignored the other aspects of the PB lifestyle.
When I put
together the ten Primal
Blueprint laws, I tried not to emphasize any single one over
the rest. They are all important for health and vitality. “Eat
lots of plants and animals” may trump “Move around a
lot at a slow pace,” “Get lots of sleep,” and
“Play” in the body
composition arena, but you cannot overlook or underestimate
the others. The more people I encounter, the more I see that every
aspect is vital for real
success with this lifestyle – and that includes weight
loss. I didn’t make it ten laws just to hit a nice even number,
wedded to an ideology rather than what actually works for you.
At last year’s
I fielded an interesting question during the keynote. An attendee
asked whether it was okay that his kid ate lots of fruit and other
Primal carbs along with meat, eggs, and veggies. I asked how the
kid was doing, and he said, “Great.” I said to keep
it up as long as it was working. You don’t mess with success.
Now, if he had just assumed that his kid was getting too many carbs
and decided to replace the fruit and potatoes with spoonfuls of
coconut oil, he would have been doing his child a disservice. The
kid probably wouldn’t understand why some of his favorite
foods were now off limits; the kid would get stressed out and unhappy
and his sense of metabolic homeostasis could have been disrupted
as a result. Since the guy was attending PrimalCon, he was obviously
a fan of the Primal
Blueprint – but he wasn’t an ideologue. He recognized
that his kid did well on a diet somewhat different than his own,
and that this was okay.
not tailoring your macronutrient levels to your lifestyle.
going five days a week, doing the WODs as RX’d, and finding
yourself growing a bit pudgier despite your best efforts, you may
need to eat some sweet potatoes. Conversely, if you work a sedentary
job and do some gardening
and some dog walking
for exercise, you probably don’t need to modify your low carb
consumption. I see carbs as elective macronutrients, in general.
I don’t elect to eat all that many of them, personally, but
that’s because I’ve tailored my lifestyle such that
this is the healthiest way for me to eat. Eat more if you’re
going to be burning glycogen. Eat fewer if you’re not. Eating
too few carbs while working out with high intensity and high volume
will ruin your adrenals, depress your thyroid, and stall weight
loss. Eating too many carbs without putting them to good use or
enjoying exercise-induced insulin sensitivity will promote hyperinsulinemia
and weight gain. Make sure it all matches up.
taken the “exercise doesn’t cause weight loss”
claim a bit too literally.
true that “eat less, move more” is an overly simplified,
ineffective piece of weight loss “advice,” akin to a
psychiatrist telling a depressed patient to simply “feel better.”
However, that doesn’t make it a downright falsity. Exercise
is an essential part of losing weight – particularly
unwanted adipose tissue – and you can’t ignore it forever
and hope to lose the weight you want to lose. I don’t think
it’s helpful to look at exercise as a mechanistic obliterator
of calories, because that can enable the “I’ll eat this
cupcake and then run for twenty minutes on the treadmill”
mentality that just doesn’t work. But exercise is a potent
enhancer of hormonal function. It can raise testosterone,
growth hormone, and improve insulin sensitivity (all of which improve
fat loss). It can divert the calories you do eat toward lean muscle
and away from body fat. It can divert the carbs you eat toward refilling
muscle glycogen. All in all, as long as you don’t overdo things,
exercise is an important ally in fat burning and lean mass accumulation.
the rest of the article
to Lew's recent podcast with Mark Sisson
November 1, 2012
© 2012 Mark's Daily Apple
Best of Mark Sisson