The Only Time I Gained Some Weight Back.
Some time ago I made a conscious effort to eliminate all processed sugars from my everyday diet. When I say “diet,” it is not in the commercial sense of the word; I mean it to be defined as my way of eating on a regular basis. I also decided to stave off large quantities of bread, pasta and those types of carbs in general. I have enough “stored energy” in my body and that is what those foods represent and function as – energy.
Sounds like a no carb diet, doesn’t it? The exact thing I have been preaching against and wrote about in my book, “Starving to be Fat.” Years ago, I took a 16 week “transformation” type challenge on for a few reasons:
1) I wanted to see if I had the discipline to do it.
2) As a trainer, I had clients who were trying it.
3) As a fitness consultant I met with many who had tried that lifestyle and failed. So, over the course of this challenge, I ate nothing but chicken, some red meat and fish, only greens, no fruit, no bread, potatoes or any carbs of that sort. No fat to speak of, other than some portioned cashews 3 times per week, maybe some flaxseed oil and enough eggs and egg whites to support a small supermarket.
I trained in the gym 4-5 days a week and wound up doing upwards of 1 hour and 20 minutes of steady state cardio. Fun, huh?
I dropped weight alright and loved the results. So, why did I gain some weight back after I came off that challenge? Now that I have dealt with refined sugar in my life, I have my answer. I never kicked my system’s addiction to refined sugar and that is why programs and diets like that only work short term and they can be harmful as well.
STILL EATING SUGAR
If you read my article “How Marco Continues to Reshape…” (if not, please click here to read it) you will have a general idea of how I eat now. You will also read there that I eat a lot of sugar and fat and that I am dropping weight steadily. So what is the difference between how I live now and that 16-week program? There are a few differences; the sugar and fat are natural, not refined or artificial. Since I dealt with the refined sugar addiction and replaced the refined sugars with natural ones, in a sense I detoxed (big fad word there) my body’s dependency on sugar. Think my diet is boring? If you tried the raw desserts Susan has been creating, you would be astounded. They all taste better than their refined impostors and though they are calorically dense, they carry massive nutritional density. Because they are natural, the body responds differently and you become satiated with less. The urge to gorge is gone, as a result! Everything in moderation, of course. If you eat 3 cups of nuts, organic or not and you are not training to support that kind of eating, you are going to gain weight.
Among other significant damage the diet industry has inflicted is its insistence on pointing primarily to pasta, potatoes, breads and the like, as carbs. However, all vegetables and fruits are carbs as well. So you could say I am eating more carbs now than I ever have.
This sugar addiction is passive. One may not go around “jonesing” for a hit of sugar; it works in the background and hooks you slowly. I can tell you this 100% though; until you wean your body off refined sugar, you will probable never have long term success in your weight loss goals. In my next article, I will talk about the major differences I have noticed, even in relation to training as a result of eliminating refined sugar from my diet.
Confession: Last night Susan and I had a lovely dinner outdoors and had tiramisu, a decadent Italian desert. Sugar indeed! Once in a while, but not a lifestyle… and that makes all the difference in the world.