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Posts tagged ‘Fat’

Is it all your own fault or not?

It’s frustrating, but often I find myself writing about the great hotly-debated topics of the health and weight loss industry…

  • ‘Calories matter’ versus ‘calories don’t matter’!
  • ‘We should all go low-carb’ versus ‘carbs are not the whole story’!
  • ‘Exercise is crucial as a weight loss tool’ versus ‘you can’t outrun a bad diet’!

Oh how these arguments go round and round and get turned inside out and upside down daily; every opinion being ‘proved’ every way by some credentialed expert quoting a study here and a study there! It’s no wonder the general public are fed up with it all and utterly confused!

And so often, arguments come down to playing ‘the blame game’ – that is, who is to blame for rising obesity? In crude terms – is it all your own damned fault, or not, that you’re fat?

Two sides to blame

I recall the clever and well-respected Dr Mark Hyman tweeted about his new book release.
But what more stirred my thoughts on this topic was equally clever and well-respected author Nina Teicholz’s retweet, and the comments it generated.

We see one side of this story, the likes of Dr Hyman, Nina Teicholz (both of whom I like, follow and respect) and many others saying that in broad terms, governments have given the public poor dietary advice over the last 40 years. They have been telling us to place carbs at the bottom/base of our food pyramid, to get 30% to 50% of our calories from grains and starches, and they have largely ignored mounting evidence, until very recently, about the dangers of added sugars. These guys argue that food companies and the sugar industry have lobbied governments and paid off scientists to distort and hide the truth…dietary fat has been painted as the bad guy, and after 40 years, we have obesity and type-2 diabetes epidemics as a result.

They conclude “It’s not the fault of Americans that they are fat and sick!”

But interestingly, plenty of people see the other side of the argument – that in fact people still have free will to decide what they put in their mouths. People still have free choice whether they watch TV, or go to the gym. During these years that the obesity epidemic has grown, people have had free choice whether they buy fresh meat and vegetables in the supermarket and cook a meal, or whether they order a pizza or Chinese take away.

So, who is right? Have governments failed their people? Have food companies piled it high, sold it cheap, and spent a fortune on advertising? Have we lived through times where far more money has been spent on designing hyper-palatable foods, and on advertising those foods, than has been spent on research into effective weight loss protocols and helping educate the public about healthy living?

Or, have people failed themselves, failing to exercise personal responsibility for their health outcomes? Have people failed to buy the foods they know are healthier? Have people failed to exercise regularly? Have people passed off the blame for their own apathy?

I see this battle rage daily in the media, on the health blogs and groups I follow and I see everyone looking for the answer. Personally, I think the problem is that everyone is trying to prove they have the answer. I don’t think we are going to come up with the answer. I think both sides of the argument have an answer. Perhaps both are right. But perhaps neither are right all the time, for all the people.

Despite the facts that all these scientists and authors, doctors and experts should not need to be reminded, the truth is that as they publish their books and blogs, they constantly seem to forget that one size does not fit all.

Over the years as I have learned about health, fitness and nutrition, this has pretty much become my number one guiding principle. There just is not one answer for all people. It’s not possible, there is no one single solution for any problem in health, weight loss and nutrition.

Seriously.

  • We all know someone who smoked for 20, or 30, or 40 years yet didn’t develop lung cancer.
  • We all know someone who is overweight, stressed, doesn’t exercise, and drinks too much, yet they haven’t had a heart attack.
  • We all know someone who eats loads of sweet foods yet they are not overweight and don’t have type-2 diabetes.
  • We all know someone who does no exercise yet they remain slim and lean. (Yeah I know, we all hate that person!!)

The point is, even the things we think are “a certain sure thing” are still proven wrong time and again by people who don’t fit the norm. There is no ‘one size fits all’ in any aspect of health, weight loss and nutrition.

Reality time

I believe, that the observed and worrying reality in obesity trends is caused by many factors. I can certainly tell you that for myself, for my own 101-pound weight loss (46 kilos of unwanted fat, 7 stone 3 in old-English language) I just needed to eat less, and move more. I ate and drank too much, and I ate and drank the wrong things, and I did too little exercise. I can tell you that I have been driving around the country delivering my health seminar for the last six years and people come up to me all the time during those talks and say “You are the kick-up-the-butt that I need! I eat too much and don’t workout, it’s all my own silly fault! Thanks for being honest with me!”

This is no judgmental fat-shaming, this is just what people say to me of their own free will.

But that is only some people. Not all people.

On the flip side, other people eat pretty well and make efforts to be active, yet they can’t seem to win the weight loss battle.

For many people, government guidelines that were created over 40 years ago, have failed to change with the times. The reality is that today, car ownership is up and people are far less active than they used to be when dietary guidelines were established. I think that for many people, they are consuming far too much starchy carbohydrate and just not leading active enough lives to burn up all those calories.

Food manufacturers have done nothing to help, they have positively made things worse. Far too many processed foods are now promoted in big-size servings, they have too much added sugar, convenience packaging and high-spend advertising promotes over-consumption.

There are many factors behind the obesity epidemic in the US, the UK and across Europe and elsewhere. We could talk about psychological and societal factors, economics, obesogenic environments, hyper-palatable foods, carbohydrate tolerance and sensitivity, and many more factors besides (all covered in my books if you want to learn more) but one reality stands over them all – one size does not fit all.

All factors are ‘the’ cause for one person, but no single factor is ‘the’ cause for everyone.

So the point of this post is to say to you – if you are overweight, and struggling to win the battle, which factor is ‘the’ answer for you?

And if you need some help figuring that out, let me know.

To your good health!

Karl

It’s going to take longer than you think…

Weight loss.

Or more specifically, fat loss.

I hate to keep beating the same drum, but the truth is, this is a topic that is a top priority for so many people.

Personally, I lost 101 pounds of fat, that’s 46 kilos to my European friends, or 7 stone 3 in old English language.

I know a few things about fat loss.

I wrestled with my weight my entire life, from age 14 onward, and yo-yo diets (year up, year down, repeat) were part of my life right through my 20s and most of my 30s.

In this post, I am going to share with you a few simple truths that I wish someone had told me back at the start of my own personal weight loss journey.

  1. It’s going to take longer than you think. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. At first, you will make rapid progress…but please know that the first ten pounds come off way quicker and easier than the last ten pounds. Those last ten pounds take freakin’ for-ever and they’ll drive you nuts.
  2. There is no absolute 100% right or wrong one way, there is no perfect one diet, there is just the way that works for you. Some folks will count calories, some folks will cut carbs, some folks will take up yoga, or running, or lift weights. They are all variants of ‘eat less, eat better, move more’ and the right one, is the one that you stick to, the one that works for you. If you need a hand getting started, I believe that the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet are a great place to start and will get positive results for pretty much everyone.
  3. It took years to put that excess weight on, years of making small mistakes every day, that extra beer, that missed workout, that sugary dessert. Accept that it’s also going to take a fair bit of time to put all that in to reverse and turn it all around. I’m saying ‘get real, if you have been obese for 20 years, it’s going to take more than 90 days to get that 6-pack’ – know that now, so you have realistic expectations down the line. As a PT and health-coach-for-hire, I have seen this so many times. Folks hire help, and they have utterly unrealistic expectations, like turning around 35 years of obesity to “beach body fabulous” in just six months. It’s like setting yourself up for failure and disappointment from the get-go.
  4. If you do things to try to make it happen faster, like starvation diets, crash weight loss, exercise six hours daily like a maniac…that is unsustainable behaviour, and it will likely create unsustainable results. Starving crashes weight off, but not in a sustained and healthy way. You’ll probably feel like crap, look like crap and pick up every cough, cold and bug going. When they’ve had enough of that crap, most folks end up putting the weight back on. Exercising like a maniac sure burns a few calories, but you’ll end up exhausted and picking up frustrating injuries, which stop you from training, and stalls your progress.
  5. You can’t outrun a bad diet. That phrase is popular these days, to the point of becoming a cliche, but it’s pretty much true. If you are aged 18, or 24, you can probably out-train a poor diet. If you are 40 or 45, or in your 50’s, no way, you can’t do it. Truth is, you have to get your diet right, that’s 80% of the game, then build an active lifestyle and exercise at least five or six days per week, that’s 20% of the game.
  6. You’ve got to take the long view. Just get it in to your head that you need to commit to a healthy lifestyle, for good, for life, for ever, and that’s all there is to it. Fad diets are all about temporary behaviour changes that deliver temporary results. Some folks become exercise addicts…but if they still eat a bad diet, as they age, eventually that plan runs dry. The only way to ditch the unwanted fat weight and get and stay healthy for life, is to live a permanent healthy lifestyle. Trust me. I know. I did it.
  7. If you want to know how to do the same, it’s all here, just waiting for you to commit and get started.

So, go on then, get cracking.

To your good health!

Karl

MND stance on alcohol

Alcohol is another topic I am asked about literally all the time, like pretty much every single day. Alcohol can be an emotive topic for a lot of people, and it is something many people find hard to give up. Or perhaps more pertinent…it’s something that I find, with a lot of people, they are very resistant to the thought of completely giving it up.

Personally, I am teetotal now, just over 3 years at time of writing, and I can honestly say it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made. Certain friends gently encouraged me in this direction using wisdom not pressure, and I am eternally grateful to them for that little ‘gentle push’. Now I am clear and free from having alcohol in my life, I look at the world of alcohol and what it does to people, with a very clear external view of the effect this psychotropic drug has on people’s lives.

You can read about how, when and why I personally quit (I used to drink quite a lot) here:
https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/07/01/alcohol-are-you-in-control-of-your-relationship-with-alcohol/

Now, to address the MND official position on alcohol, and the question I am most commonly asked, which is usually something like “I understand that heavy boozing is bad for you and it will make you fat, but don’t they say moderate alcohol consumption is good for you? Isn’t it supposed to be healthier to drink a glass of red wine every day, than to abstain completely?”

If you intend to completely live the MND way, then I recommend Read more

Fabulous Fruit!! How much fruit should we eat? Does fruit make you fat?

Recently, as the world slowly wakes up to the fact that sugar is ‘the enemy’ and not fat, so fruit has come under attack. There is lots of talk out there about fruit – folks saying fruit will make you fat, folks saying fruit is such a source of sugar that the moment you eat it, it all just turns to filing up your fat cells, and all kinds of other rubbish!

So, MND TV Episode 7 is all about fruit – setting the record straight and letting you know the truth about fruit.

http://mothernaturesdiet.tv/2014/09/22/mnd-tv-episode-7/

Grab an apple, get yourself comfortable and enjoy!!

Why do so many people pay for “6-pack abs secrets”?

The other night, I sat up for hours researching a number of topics, as I often do in the evenings.

I found myself side tracked into reading a ‘marketing case study’ about a guy who sells a series of products online (eBooks, home study courses, CDs, etc.) aimed at “Revealing the true secrets to 6-pack abs” – not the real title, I’m hiding the true identity here to keep my opinion ‘not personal’ – as what I have to say could apply to a number of these online schemes and product offerings.

Anyway, so it all starts with eBooks that promise to reveal the truth about 6-pack abs, and they lead people to buy other products, and so on. But the reason this guy and his products were being written up as a ‘marketing case study’ is because this 1 man and his small team of staff, is making over $1 million USD per month in sales of these products!!! Wow! I’ve sold some online product myself over the years, but nothing close to a million Dollars a month, that is AMAZING!

So I read more, genuinely interested in learning about this case study, and the author of the case study was saying “Abs products really sell, people buy this stuff like crazy”, especially in the US market where this man and his team are based. And I got to thinking, there is a real twisted irony there – the nation that is regarded “the fattest nation on Earth” where now fully two thirds of the population are either overweight or obese, and they are buying up home study books and CDs promising 6-pack abs at an incredible rate! It seems the mathematician in me wants to plot a graph to show “the inverse relationship between buying 6-pack abs products and actually achieving 6-pack abs!”

Read more

2013 Popular Posts #4: The MND Guide to Body Composition – free eBook

  • How do we know what is ‘too fat’? We all know that it is unhealthy to be obese, but at what level does body fat start to become ‘too much’?
  • How do we define ‘too thin’ at the other end of the scale? Being grossly underweight can be as harmful as being grossly overweight. Where is the balance point?
  • Should men all aspire to the stereotype ‘6 pack hunk’ and are women unfairly pressured by the media to be ‘rail thin’ like catwalk models?
  • Is it healthier to be ‘a little chubby’ or ‘skinny as a rake’ or somewhere between the two?
  • Is it healthier to be ‘build like a brick outhouse’ or ‘built like a racing whippet’? IS it healthy to build lots of big muscles?
  • In short, what is the optimum amount of fat and the optimum amount of muscle men and women should aim for in order to achieve supreme good health and longevity?

This little book will answer those questions for you.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/08/13/the-mnd-guide-to-body-composition-free-ebook/

chicken salad

2013 Popular Posts #6: Meal Replacement Shakes (rip off!)

2013 Popular Posts #6: the Bad, The Worse and The Plain Ugly

If you have ever considered using Meal Replacement Shakes as a weight loss strategy, then you might find this post interesting.

This is a long post, actually it’s the single longest post I have written all year. If you don’t have time to read it all, then just go to the beginning, where you will find a handy summary of the key details, posted as a series of bullet points for you.

The specific products covered in this post are:
Maxitone Sculptress – Maximuscle Progain Extreme
Herbalife Formula 1
SlimFast
Body By Vi – ViShape
Shakeology by Team Beachbody
Rockin’ Wellness
Soylent
Ambro
https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/12/17/meal-replacement-drinks-the-bad-the-worse-and-the-plain-ugly/

The MND Guide to Body Composition – free eBook

How do we know what is ‘too fat’?

How do we define ‘too thin’ at the other end of the scale?

Should men all aspire to the stereotype ‘6 pack hunk’ and are women unfairly pressured by the media to be ‘rail thin’ like catwalk models?

Is it healthier to be ‘a little chubby’ or ‘skinny as a rake’ or somewhere between the two?

Is it healthier to be ‘build like a brick outhouse’ or ‘built like a racing whippet’?

In short, what is the optimum amount of fat and the optimum amount of muscle men and women should aim for in order to achieve supreme good health and longevity.

This little book will answer those questions for you.

Download your free book here: The MND Guide to Body Composition. 2013.

A few words from the start of this little book… Read more

Britain’s widening waistline

Holiday treats and the changing acceptable standards of Britain’s waistlines.

August 2012: OK, OK, I had an ice cream! Damn, what a confession!! I am on holiday, and I have to make the best of the shops that are available, and I have to treat my kids like normal kids, and that means going to the beach and buying ice creams! Normally, I don’t partake myself, but I did today and it was very yummy!! Oh well...just one sin...

Read more