I recently read an article of a guy who made a series of life changes that resulted in him losing 220lb.
He attributed much of his weight loss to ‘flushing your body with lots of alkaline liquids, like water with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar’. That’s fun to believe, but as you may know if you read our site: the acid-alkali alarmism is baseless. Meta analyses do not support the claims that acidic foods limit fat burning or cause osteoporosis.
Now first of all – hats off to this guy. Losing this amount of weight is no joke.
He underwent a fundamental shift in mindset, worked through some emotional blocks around his weight, and eliminated the underlying cause of compulsive eating: using it as a safety blanket.
These were his changes
- “I stopped dieting and started nourishing my body.”
- “I healed my digestion.”
- “I got a CPAP machine for my sleep apnea.”
- “I started using mind-body practices to reduce stress.”
- “I created a much more sustainable life.”
- “I worked through some important emotional issues.”
- “I detoxified my body.”
The big but(t)
220lb weight loss was a side effect of an entire life overhaul. An overhaul that so HAPPENED to result in him eating a calorie deficit, by shifting his attitude, schedule, activity and range of available food choices. The outcome was that he was more satiated from his food, less stressed, slept better, and built a routine —> all resulting in him being able to sustain a prolonged calorie deficit.
Unfortunately, he got bogged down somewhere along the way, and (quite genuinely) misattributed his weight loss to some of the more weirdy-beardy habits he adopted in good faith.
Now before we go on:
I’m not hating. This guy did a bloody great job. Our problem is that somewhere along the way, somebody told him that he needed to sit and worry about his enzymes, hormones and chemical massagers[sic].
‘I spent 12 hours a day researching everything I could about the hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters and chemical massagers that cause weight gain.
I learned that losing weight sustainably isn’t about counting calories, but about creating the proper hormonal environment in your body that’s conducive to weight loss.’
“I spent 12 hours a day researching…”.
Right.. so there’s your problem.
We’re dealing with a guy who recognises he’s fat, and his FIRST RESPONSE is to spend 12 hours a day researching why he’s fat.
Jonny and I have been there: give two over-analysers access to the internet, and they’ll both contract a severe case of bogdown.
When you spend that long reading into something, it’s easy to fall into the trap of missing the wood for the trees.
What this guy had was sheer force of willpower, evidenced by him diving right into this as a project. And the results came about from his fervour and shotgun approach.
However – a shotgun approach doesn’t provide much indication of how the results came about. You did a bunch of stuff, and something happened. Results are then attributed to the cider vinegar, the hormonal environment, and alkalising the body. That isn’t to say the 7 life changes were useless, but we need to be clear: his weight loss came about almost by accident – as a happy side effect of throwing everything at it.
True Determinant Variables
The danger then lies in when he tries to pass on the ‘lessons’ learned. Everybody constantly wants weight loss to be about something DIFFERENT than a sustained calorie deficit. Those 7 changes, ultimately, allowed him to do just that. They served as a distraction while he consolidated the meaningful, habit-based lifestyle changes of simply eating less.
It’s too easy to look for a quick fix, leading to a delusion that someone looking to lose weight has a vested interest to believe:
– That it’s not all about calories.
– That there’s some secret enzyme buried deep in the textbooks that’s responsible for making people weigh 400lb.
– It’s the GM foods
– It’s the fluoride in the water
– You just need to alkalise your body.
– You just need to heal your digestion to get out of ‘fat-storing-mode’.
It’s easier to blame it on something out of your control, and place it in the hands of something a little more abstract.
And that helps keep people fat, and keep the money in the pockets of the quick-fix ‘experts’ and celebrity endorsements. God forbid they let slip that it’s simple, or people would stop buying their Bootea.
When we dig into what the TRUE determinant variables are, the power is back in your hands. You’re no longer at the mercy of your environment, your gut health, your chakras, aspartame, or charlatans.
If we are to reverse engineer all of this, we see that the goal is to eat less for a long period. OK – what’s the biggest factor in eating fewer calories? Hunger. So what impacts hunger? Stress, sleep, food volume, habits, attitudes. Fine. Let’s develop some simple rules to hack all of those factors so they are all aligned with our goal. Sound familiar?
Shortcut the process: Simple rules, dramatic results.