Tag: weight loss
There are some crazy crash diets out there. You’ve got the cabbage diet, where people live (or try to live) off of cabbage soup for weeks at a time. You’ve got the gelatin diet of the 70s, where people would try to lose weight by eating only gelatin (it didn’t work and some people got really, really sick). There are dozens of variations of crash diets, and most of them are unsustainable, unhealthy, and ineffective.
There’s one that’s a little different: the protein sparing modified fast. No less extreme but far more reasonable and effective than the others, the protein sparing modified fast, or PSMF, is an ultra high protein, low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie diet. It’s intended to accelerate fat loss and minimize muscle loss. It is not intended to be a long term way of eating, but rather a short term intervention that can springboard a person into greater sustained weight loss and healthy living.
Apple cider vinegar is purported to have a number of impressive benefits. Chief among these is that apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight—allegedly. As I wrote previously, much of the hype around apple cider vinegar benefits is unsubstantiated by the available science. It has some provocative effects on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity that are not to be discounted, but otherwise, apple cider vinegar is not the miracle tonic some would have you believe.
I didn’t cover the question of whether apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight, though, so I’ll dig into that question today. I wouldn’t blame you for being skeptical. You should be. Losing weight is a notorious struggle, especially if one follows conventional diet advice. If a cheap, readily available product could prompt dramatic weight loss, everyone would know about it. Apple cider vinegar would no longer be cheap and readily available because it would be the hottest commodity around.
So I think we all know that it’s not going to “melt the fat away” or any such nonsense. I’m more interested in whether it’s something you could add on top of an otherwise healthy diet and lifestyle to give you a small leg up. And before you roll your eyes and accuse me of buying into some supermarket tabloid headline—One Secret Trick for Losing Weight without Even Trying!—there are some potentially interesting metabolic reasons to think that apple cider vinegar might do something here.
Hey folks, Board-Certified Health Coach Chloe Maleski is here to answer your questions about healthy weight loss. Want to feel lighter and more at home in your body? We’re here with guidance and support! Have a question you’d like to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group. Jordan asked: “How do I lose 10 pounds FAST! I have a friend’s wedding coming up, need to fit in my bridesmaid’s dress, and put off losing my Covid weight because…Summer. I know this isn’t the best way to do it, but help!” Hi, Jordan! First, take a deep breath and know that you’re not alone in feeling like health, fitness, and wellness goals fell by the wayside this Summer. Similarly, many folks put on extra, unwanted weight over the past few years. A lot has happened! A lot is still happening! Not feeling our best or most comfortable in our body can be particularly stressful when we have special occasions ahead. This is doubly true when there’s pressure (internally or from others) to fit into a particular outfit, look a certain way, or be “on display.” Just to say: I get it. And…you’re spot on: The “lose weight fast” approach is never the optimal path towards healthy, sustainable change. That said, there are steps you can do in the immediate term…and steps to set you up for success long after the wedding. Let’s break it down. How to Fit into That Dress To start with the obvious: Is there any way to alter or change up the dress? I know, I know…a wedding’s a big day and often requires advance planning and great expense. Still, if there’s an option to tailor your dress or choose a new one, please know there’s zero shame in that. You want to enjoy your friend’s special day. Doing so will be way easier if you’re wearing something that fits! I recognize this might entail having an honest, vulnerable conversation with your friend or others involved in the planning process. While that may be difficult, folks sometimes respond better than expected. In fact, they may be experiencing similar places of insecurity. Try to keep all of this in perspective. However special the occasion, it’s one day. It’s also about way more than a dress. This time next year, what you wore will be the last thing anyone remembers. As a Primal Health Coach (and not a stylist or tailor), I do have more to suggest. You didn’t mention how far away the big day is, but I get the sense it’s coming soon. That’s fine. Even if you followed the guidance I’m about to offer for just one week, you’d still feel lighter and more at home in your dress and your skin. Our bodies truly are on our side and are remarkably responsive when we give them what they need to thrive. Even better news? What they need isn’t complicated and doesn’t have to … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: How Do I Lose 10 Pounds Fast?”
Hey folks. Board-Certified Health Coach — and Primal Health Coach Institute’s Coaching Director — Erin Power is here to answer your questions about weight loss, diet culture, and health at different sizes. If you’re wondering how these fit into a Primal approach to eating and lifestyle, read on! Have a question you’d like to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group. Tamara asked: “Can you settle a debate between my sister and me? I am so sick of diet culture and fat shaming. Yes, I’m a large-sized woman by some standards, but I feel fine and am otherwise healthy. My sister insists that can’t be the case and keeps telling me to lose weight or go to the doctor. This infuriates me and makes me feel like crap about myself. Please weigh in: Can you be overweight and still be healthy?” I have immense empathy for anyone struggling with fat shaming or the painful, harmful effects of mainstream diet culture. I’m so sorry you’ve experiencing this, Tamara. Shaming, stigmatizing, or stereotyping someone about their body size or other aspects of physical appearance is never okay. It’s also the exact opposite of what usually encourages a meaningful and productive approach to achieving health and wellness. Having this come from a sister or other family member is especially rough. Family dynamics tend to be long practiced, deeply triggering, and difficult to shift. Plus, it’s just not as easy to walk away from a relationship when it’s with a family member. It’s never comfortable to be in relationship with someone who oversteps boundaries and comments on or criticizes your body or weight. Many people unfortunately experience such treatment from family members, partners, friends, colleagues, or even strangers on the Internet. Again, this is never okay. Good for you for recognizing that and seeking backup. Before we get to your question, I do want to encourage you to let your sister know how her words are affecting you. Rather than point out what she’s “doing wrong,” you might calmly and honestly explain that while she may mean well, her commentary is painful, leaves you feeling bad about yourself… or whatever wording rings most true to you. Approach this as setting a boundary, rather than as lodging a complaint, which could cause her to become defensive and shut down. It’s incredibly important for you to speak what it was that bothered you, why, and how you wish to communicate about this topic moving forward (if at all). Let her know that if you want her advice in the future, you will specifically ask. Otherwise, request that she kindly refrain from bringing up your body weight. Now onto your question… Health at Any Size? It’s really important for me to disclose that while there are many experts on this topic (and while the anti-diet approach is one that is growing increasingly interesting to me as a coach), I am not a leading expert in … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: Can You Be Overweight and Healthy?”
Today I’m sharing Amber’s story of making her way from vegan to pescatarian to keto—and, ultimately, to health! Have you improved your health, tackled a fitness goal, or overcome obstacles with the help of the Primal Blueprint? Inspire others by sharing your success story with the MDA community. Contact me here. Hi, Mark! I wanted to share how putting the steps provided in your book into practice has changed my life. Thanks for reading. I was already 20 pounds overweight when I gave birth to my son in 2016. During pregnancy I put on another 40 pounds, which put me in the obese category. I let myself indulge in every craving (mainly strawberry shortcake) and paid no attention to the scale. I was overly confident the weight would fall off after delivery, but when it didn’t, I started to think this was just my new normal. Six months later I joined a gym. On day one I stepped on the scale, and when the number was displayed I was completely mortified. I had zero muscles in my abdomen, and they often had to create different exercises specifically for me as I could not participate in their regular classes. I was embarrassed but determined, and after 11 months I was down 30 pounds and feeling proud. However, I was hungry most of the day. In an effort to drop the weight, I had “tinkered” with diets. At the time, I was on a vegan diet that quickly turned into a pescatarian diet. One day, my gym announced they were moving locations and could no longer provide daycare for my son. Just like that, my gym days were over. I tried to “will” myself to the gym at 5 a.m. but it NEVER went well. I could barely keep my eyes open let alone do a proper workout. I let the membership expire and quickly noticed the weight coming back. I could not understand how this was happening. I thought I was making healthy meals. A normal day went like this: One piece of sourdough toast with avocado and some juice. For lunch I would make vegan nachos comprised of a starch-like substance to substitute for cheese along with black beans, rice, lettuce, and tomato served over chips. For dinner I would make yet another dish with beans or fish with gnocchi. It went on like this for the next two years, and abruptly white wine enters the picture. Wine became a constant in my life and—surprise!—I started gaining even more weight. I was tired all the time; I went to bed at 8 and yet woke up exhausted. At age 32 I thought for the first time that this was not any way to live life. I decided to address this extreme exhaustion with my doctor. She ordered labs, and when the results came back (sparing you the details) everything was elevated to “red” in EVERY category. I was shocked and ashamed. My doctor explained a “new” diet she heard remarkable … Continue reading “Amber’s Keto Success Story”
The ability of the human population to produce unending reams of utterly nonsensical health and wellness trends is unparalleled. Never content to rest on our laurels, humankind feels compelled to come up with some wellness trend or another. Some of the motivation is financial—it’s hard to sell the old tried-and-true methods that really do work. Some of the motivation is curiosity—people love trying new things, no matter how silly they sound. And most of the motivation is probably sheer frustration—most people get health and wellness wrong, and very little of it actually works, so there’s always plenty of consumers ready to consume wellness content.
But still, you can’t write it off. You have to bust the wellness myths, and not just to steer people away from the stuff that doesn’t work, but also to sift through the garbage to find the nuggets of truth that occasionally emerge.
So today I’m going to cover a few of them. If it works out, if you people like it, I’ll do some more in the future.
Before we get into details about the two best exercises ever known to mankind to shed excess body fat (sprinting and jumping), I want to put in a little plug for the trending healthy living topic of gratitude. The concept is easy to pay lip service to, especially when you’re struggling and not in the best mood to feel it naturally. I’m recently recovered from a minor knee injury lasting six months that prevented me from doing my beloved sprinting and high jumping workouts. While athletics no longer dominates my life as it did when I was a pro triathlete, there was a lingering frustration deep down from being deprived of my favorite fitness endeavors, being unsure of the diagnosis of my injury, testing out the knee and experiencing setbacks, and being forced to be massively patient.
Today, we have another success story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community, please contact me here. Thank you for reading! This may sound odd but I often say gaining weight actually changed my life – for the better! No, not because I was too thin, but because the changes that I made to lose that weight gave me my life back. Several years ago I had lost over 50 pounds by doing the typical eat less, move more thing (what I now call the “old fashioned” way). It was a ton of work but I lost the weight and even maintained it for a few years. I thought I was good to go. But then, despite the fact that I was still doing the same things I had done to lose the weight originally—micromanaging everything I ate and exercising 6 days a week—I started gaining weight again, and quite quickly. I was frustrated, scared and at a loss. This is what I’ve always been told to do to lose weight, but now it was no longer working. What do I do now?? Eat even less? Exercise even more? A friend introduced me to Primal and I started reading everything I could. The success stories were so inspiring! After several months — yes months — I was hesitant because grains and beans made up a huge part of my diet. And, I was a picky eater so I thought I’d starve if I had to get rid of those. But I had gotten to the point that I knew I had to give it a try, I didn’t know of any other option. And you know what? It wasn’t that hard and I certainly didn’t starve! I actually loved the food that I was eating and didn’t miss that other stuff near as much as I thought I would! I found that the main thing I missed was the convenience of things like bread and tortillas rather than actually missing eating them. But there are great Primal and keto-friendly ways to get around that convenience piece. It didn’t take long before I started noticing the difference. The weight was coming off (without ever being hungry which was HUGE!) but that wasn’t even the best part. I FELT so much better. My digestive issues went away. The bone and joint pain that I blamed on getting older was gone. Allergies dramatically improved. I had more energy, I was sleeping better and I was no longer riding the blood sugar rollercoaster. And over time (this definitely wasn’t overnight) I was actually able to get off all meds for anxiety and depression – something I never thought was even possible for me. I now feel better and stronger than I ever have—even through the craziness of 2020. I never would have experienced these changes had I not started to gain weight again. … Continue reading “Gaining Weight Changed My Life? Kris’ Success Story”
Hi folks! PHCI Curriculum Director, Erin Power is here for another round of Ask a Health Coach. Today, she’ll be answering your questions about popular weight-loss apps, navigating your doctor’s advice, and what to do when your friends and family chime in on your goals. We love getting your questions, so keep them coming over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group or in the comments below.
“I’m considering signing up for one of those weight-loss apps like Weight Watchers or Noom. I’ve got about 45 pounds to lose and I could really use a structured plan to help me get on track this year. What’s your take on programs like that?”
I’ll admit, the first time I heard about blood flow restriction (BFR) training, it sounded like a hack to me. BFR training promises that you can do relatively easy workouts and get the same results as if you crushed a hard workout at the gym. Too good to be true, right?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about less is more: Spend 30 minutes in the gym instead of an hour and a half. Go for a long walk instead of a long, grueling run in the black hole. Simplify your diet. However, I’ve seen fitness trends come and go, so I’m inherently skeptical until I see the evidence for myself.
Once I started to dig into the research, though, it became clear that BFR isn’t just a “get swole quick” gimmick. It’s a well-researched, validated training method used by physical therapists, rehabilitation specialists, and personal trainers to help patients and clients gain strength with minimal musculoskeletal stress. In some situations, it might be the best—or only—option to help someone maintain or gain muscle safely.
BFR was formalized as a training method in the 1970s and 80s by scientist Yoshiaki Sato, who called his technique KAATSU (“ka”=additional, “atsu”=pressure). Research interest has really picked up in the past decade, with a significant spike in the number of publications in the past three years.
I’m pretty sold on the potential benefits, but since you are restricting blood flow, you obviously want to be smart about trying it for yourself.