Today’s manufactured food is a joke. It’s processed, it’s laden with GMO’s, filled with hidden salt and sugar, lacks nutrition, and is drizzled with flavor-enhancing ingredients that have you longing for more. Just look around and you can see the results. We are a culture with an expanding waistline and increasing heath risks. Face it—the vast majority of us carry around extra, unwanted pounds. And I know you want to slim down, especially during these warm months when our bodies get more exposure.
Guy’s Guys like to stay in shape. Of course we also enjoy fun times along and the food and drinks that usually accompany them. So we need a few surefire ways to combat those excess pounds and win the battle of the bulge. As I age, I’ve made it a mission to find the best methods for losing weight fast, effectively, and most importantly naturally in a healthy environment. I’m not going to get into the science on all these methods I’ll suggest. There's oodles of information online, so pick out the one that feels right for you and see how it goes. You’ll need to stick with any of these programs for at least two to three weeks to get results that last. The last thing you want to do is yo-yo back to your prior habits and gain back all the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose. Use these diets as gateways to adapting your relationship with food and the subsequent choices you make throughout the day. Every decision counts. Sugar is the enemy, so if you are going to diet you’ll have to eliminate the booze, ice cream, and sugary stuff. This will make a huge difference in your results.
So, in no particular order, here are your Guys’ Guy’s five favorite diets, fasts and cleanses. I’ve tried each of them more than once, so although this is not based on detailed empirical research, your Guy’s Guy has put them all to the test with positive results across the board.
1. ORGANIC JUICE CLEANSE – I’ve dedicated an earlier blog to this one, so you know this is something I believe in. You’ll need a juicer that separates the fiber from the fruit or vegetable. I use the Solo Star II. You can buy it online. It extracts the pure juice for consumption while eliminating the fiber. You’ll want to juice with organic fruits and vegetables. It also helps if you keep the inherent sugar content low, so monitor the intake of sugar-laden fruits and veggies like apples, carrots and beets. In fact, I suggest avoiding all fruits besides green apples and go strictly veggie for maximum results. Prior to this program you may want to clean yourself out by drinking a half-gallon of salt water and then…well you know what happens after that.
There are lots of veggies to choose from including kale, spinach, chard, cilantro, dandelion (does not taste good), ginger, lemon, and celery— basically anything green and organic. You will get results after a week. I did this a few times for two weeks and lost more than ten pounds both times. If you use this cleanse to begin a healthier way of eating, you’ll be pleased with this new lifestyle.
2. MASTER CLEANSE – You also start this one with the prerequisite salt-water ritual. After that you consume only pure, filtered water with a scoop of Master Cleanse powder mixed in. I used the Vibrant Cleanse brand which can be purchased online or at any health store. The powder is a combination of lemon juice, grade B maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. It tastes better than it sounds and I assure you, the weight will peel off your body within a few days if you can adapt to not eating solid foods. You can consume as much of the solution as you like, but that’s all you’ll consume during this fast/cleanse. That could be anywhere from one day to a month based on your preference and goals. It really works. I’ve tried it three cleanses now and lost about 13 pounds in 8-10 days each time.
3. SMASH FAT DIET – This diet was made famous by Dr. Ian K. Smith M.D.’s book from nine years ago. It’s a ninety-day program broken into four phases with an objective of re-wiring your body and its relationship with food to one of moderation and balance. That said, for the first nine days, you focus your diet on predominately fruits and veggies with the exception of white potatoes and avocados. You can eat 4-5 meals a day, but the choices are in my opinion, limited. No peanut butter, meat, fish, cheese, bread, alcohol and most of the sugary stuff that tastes so good. After the initial phase, the subsequent phases allow more items into your choices in small portions. With each phase, the foods and portion sizes increase. The key is getting through the first nine days. I completed the program and it worked—I lost over ten pounds and felt great after completing all four phases, which lasted about six weeks, and I kept the weight off. The book is available everywhere and it includes a lot of tasty recipes. It’s worth a try.
4. INTERMEDIATE FASTING – This is a relatively new concept and it’s easy. The concept is to limit your food intake to an eight-hour period every day. Then you fast for the remaining 16 hours. If you have fasted in the past, it’s not that challenging. But you need to make sure you don’t gorge yourself during those eight hours allotted to eating. Many athletes are doing various versions of this so there is a lot of information available online concerning the different ways of attacking this fast and eat paradigm.
At the very least you will eliminate a meal each day, which can be a good thing given the state of our food supply. I’ve tried intermittent fasting a few times and it worked to a point. I had trouble not pigging out during my noon to 8pm feeding time. I’m more of an all or nothing dieter, so this was easy to execute, but I found disciplining myself without pigging out difficult. The good news is you can set your eating times as you wish, provided you limit it to eight hours. You can also do this by fasting one day and eating the next day. It’s all under the umbrella of what is referred to as “mini-fasting”.
5. SUGAR AND GLUTEN FREE DIET – I’ve just completed this one and it was a bitch. However, it yielded the best results by far. The concept is to eliminate all the bad stuff from your diet while detoxing your body from potential hidden parasites and funguses, sugar-related candida overgrowth and gluten intolerance from the western diet. Sounds gross, but the fact is many people have candida overgrowth, and microtoxins lurking in their bodies in the form of funguses and parasites. To counter this you eliminate sugar (that includes foods with hidden sugar, which includes almost everything), gluten, breads, pasta, potatoes, cereal, grain, peanuts, mushrooms, pizza, cheese, rice, oats, meat, booze, soda, cake, candy, pies, cookies, fruits except green apples, sugary veggies (beets and carrots), etc. I can go on and on, but anything with simple carbs that can turn into sugar and also condiments like ketchup. For the past month I’ve existed on water, organic plain yogurt, salads with organic olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing, eggs, broiled fish, pumpkin seeds, pecans, almonds, and herbal tea. Eeek! But, it works and I feel great.
My waistline is down at least three inches, I lost thirteen pounds during the first two weeks and have remained stable at my new weight. And, I’m lean. I lost some muscle and bulk, but my clothes fit better and my mental clarity is razor-sharp. I do indoor cardio, but without the carbs I don't have the strength for my nine-mile runs or free weights. Besides the obvious benefits of weight loss and eliminating microtoxins and candida, I am also reprogramming my lifestyle and relationship with food. And that’s really the key to losing and maintaining the proper weight. I’m pretty happy with how this has gone and I doubt I will go back to my former overindulgent ways. I’m not going to exist on pumpkin seeds and yogurt all the time, but I will be mindful of what I eat and I will monitor my sugar intake very carefully.
So, there is some food for thought for all of you guys and gal looking for efficient ways of losing weight and improving your health. As mentioned, you get lots more info on all of these methods online. The most important thing is to find something that works for you and incorporate its foundation into your lifestyle. And, most of all, cut out the sugar.
This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Plotinus, who back in the early 200’s A.D. suggested to one of his students with gout to eat every other day for better health. The student followed this direction and regained his health so I guess we could argue that Plotinus was the father of intermittent fasting.