First of, I want to say that I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, just someone who does a bit of research and applies it through experimentation. If you have any doubts about what I’m saying, consult your physician or don’t try it.
Second Disclaimer – These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
There, with that being said:
Weight loss. Many people are trying to lose weight these days, and as someone trying to get an edge on a survival situation, being in optimum shape can contribute a great deal toward that goal. I tend to take an additive rather than a subtractive approach in most cases. Add in good stuff and you won’t really have to “diet.” The exception is a few food additives (irony…) that I try to get rid of from my diet. Just adding in whole grains, lean organic meats, and more vegetables can significantly improve your health.
Get rid of MSG or monosodium glutamate. MSG is one of the top obesogens (chemicals that increase weight retention) that is missed by even top researchers. Studies have shown that high consumption of MSG nearly triples the risk of obesity. One of the top offenders? Top Ramen. I know a lot of us love to store them in our preps, but they are extremely high in MSG. Other obesogens are the chemicals in plastics and that are in tap water. Additional additives to look out for are nitrites and nitrates, artificial colorings and artificial flavorings. Aspartame and sucralose (not sucrose, which is table sugar) are others to avoid, especially Aspartame which can cause brain tumors.
Get some thermogenics. Thermogenics are foods that increase the thermal production of digestion. Some of the best ones include spicy foods, protein, and controversially, fiber. Some sites report that fiber decreases thermogenesis, however they almost all agree that fiber helps you lose weight. One of the best thermogenics that has worked for me is cayenne pepper. You can get it in capsule form, however it can cause some discomfort if you’re not used to it. A good way to prepare your stomach for it is to put some tabasco sauce on something a few minutes before it. The taste response makes your stomach prepare for it with mucus. Trust me, it makes a huge difference.
Add more beans and legumes. Tim Ferris’s 4 hour diet book describes the slow carb diet, which mostly amounts to eating a lot of beans and reducing grains. I disagree with his assessment of grains, however I believe his diet is effective because of the added fiber. Fiber increases fullness and takes energy to digest. It also has been shown to eliminate toxins. Adding in whole grains (which has more fiber than white bread) is a good compromise.
Substitute raw honey for sugar. Raw honey has a ton of benefits over sugar, including its lower glycemic index. It also has micro nutrients and enzymes. The honey bears in the store don’t count though, they usually contain sugar and corn syrup. Check your local farmers markets or look online for some raw monofloral honey.
Increase the nutritional density of your meals. The more nutrients in your meals, the less cravings you will generally have. Green leafy vegetables, whole grains, lean meats etc. Look for organic whenever possible as to reduce obesogens that may creep in with pesticides as well. Processed foods almost always have additives that are not conducive to weight loss.
Run! Running is the single best way to lose weight, at least for me. It has long been thought that running and walking burn the same amount of calories, about 100 per hour. This however is not taking all of physics (nor intuition) into the equation. Runners world posted a great article explaining that running actually burns about twice the net calories as walking… That intuitively seems correct because I for one am at least twice as tired from running a mile than walking one. Adding in some high intensity sprinting to the mix can increase human growth hormone naturally and that will help boost metabolism and results.
A few other tips for running.
Make sure you… er, clear you sinuses before a run. You’d be surprised how much clogged sinuses can interfere with proper breathing.
This is an amazing post on the proper approach to running.
Keep your shoulders back when running, not only is this better form but it opens up your lungs better allowing more air in.
The modified PAAG Stack
Tim Ferris wrote about the PAAG stack in his book the four hour body. I tried it, and it worked, but I found it more effective when adding Cayenne and Guarana once in the morning. Cayenne is a win more herb. It makes every other supplement work better because it increases bloodflow. Guarana boost mood and has caffeine which can help burn more calories. The caffeine can be a drawback if you are sensitive to it though.
The stack should help with muscle gain and fatigue as it claims to activate GLUT-4 transmitters. Tim recommends a slow carb diet with it, which I agree with to some extent, but not to it’s extreme.