I just spent the last chapter bashing calorie counting, so why would I devote a chapter to it with food? Because it was an important step for me in losing weight. I cannot underestimate how important this step was. I lost 70 pounds with this, and you can too!
10,000 years ago, no one had calories to count. They ate food where it was. Berries, deer, lots of bugs and worms I presume. Today, when you look at a food, you don’t know if it’s 200 calories or 2,000 calories. Food companies spend a LOT of money making things taste better so you will eat more of it. They want it to taste so good that you are hooked on it.
Below, take a look at the 10 major companies that more or less control the processed food supply.
These companies are not evil. Or they might be. But what they do is make products that you, the consumer, demands – and buys.
Dr. Robert Lustig has been on this for many years, and he does a speech where he talks about how processed food is essentially type 3 diabetes.
Keto is all the craze now – and I’m a staunch keto advocate, which you will find out later. But I’m going to tell you a hard truth. Unless you’ve done this chapter in real life for quite some time, you have zero chance of being very successful with keto. Why?
Keto essentially drops you to less than 50g of carbs per day. For those of you trapped in the bubble with the 10 companies above, you have little chance of doing keto right. It’s not that keto isn’t sustainable, it’s that you’re all drug addicts and don’t even know it.
They say, “keto isn’t sustainable. Don’t bother. It’s too hard. You need to do a diet that is sustainable for life”. I can tell you, keto is very, very satisfying and sustainable. The problem is, no one wants you off of their drug supply. Let me explain something.
They did experiments with mice, where they got mice hooked on cocaine and sugar. When presented options of one of the two, the mice always preferred the sugar. They have shown that sugar lights up the reward system in the brain just like cocaine.
So each and every day you have your mocha latte with 70g of sugar, your “energy drinks”, your cookies, breads, packages of snacks – you are a drug addict. It might seem harsh, but it’s the reality. Of the 600,000 products in the supermarket, 85% of them have “added sugar”. The biggest thing was that about 40 years ago, the food pyramid people came out and said, “fat is bad for you!”. So the evil empires above, did what consumers demanded. They took the fat out of everything. Then, they realized that when you take fat out of things, it tastes like dog shit, so they added sugar. In fact, they found, that adding more sugars makes everything taste yummy!!
The only problem is the findings that fat causes heart disease. They sort of screwed that one up. So our food supply the past 40 years or so has added sugars to everything.
“It’s ok. Fat makes me fat. Sugar is what our body needs for fuel”.
Ummm…not so fast.
Your body has a tight control of the blood sugar. This is blood glucose levels. If it gets too high, your body will secrete insulin to shuttle it away from the blood. If it gets too low, your body secretes glucagon to then pull it from your fat cells. If you eat ZERO carbs the rest of your life, you will be just fine.
What? But I thought our bodies ran on GLUCOSE! Your brain needs glucose, yes, but it’s also happy running with ketones. Your body can manufacture glucose from fat or protein as needed, in a process called gluconeogenesis – new sugar. So, you do not need to feed your body sugar, it can produce all it needs from fats/proteins. And, especially, stored fat. That’s for much later.
What I wanted to get to is that all of the products you are buying in the store all have added sugars in some way, shape, or form to make them taste better.
IIFYM is meant for me to give you a starting point to lose massive amounts of weight. We aren’t going up against Darth Vader today. Today, we will focus on some jedi training. You need to understand the world around you in order to exist in it. Most of us have spent our entire lives under the evil empire and this is all we knew.
If this is all you know, and you are skeptical of keto – GOOD! I can work with that. I can take what you know, now, and help you lose weight.
What we’re going to do first is try and understand what your BMR is. For me, when I started at 350 pounds, my BMR was 2800. For a very rough estimate, if you’re 100+ pounds overweight:
- Take your body weight and times it by 10. For me, that gave me 3500
- Take this number and times it by .8. Let’s call this your “multiplier” for now.
So what happens is when you improve your body composition, your multiplier will increase. For me, it started at .8. At the time of this writing (as this will be written over several months), I’m 220 pounds and my BMR on the fancy scale is listed at 2044. This took my multiplier to .93. What happens is fat burns a LOT less calories than muscle. The more muscle and the lower the fat, the higher the multiplier.
As of this writing, the last 18 months my FFM (fat free mass to include bones, organs, muscle, water, etc – but not fat) is around 160 pounds. When I had started, it was around 140 pounds. Over 2.5 years, I had put on and sustained 20 pounds of muscle gain.
Down the road, I suspect when I hit 186, that my BMR might list me somewhere around 1900 calories. That may be the magic 1800-2000 calories I saw growing up. But, if I’m a highly active guy at 186 and run and bike all the time, my TDEE will be closer to 3,000 calories per day. Eventually, I may add 5-10 pounds of muscle after my fat loss, and I may have a BMR of 2100 and a TDEE of 3,100.
So – where do you start? My guess is if you have some weight to lose, start at .75 to .8 for a multiplier.
Maybe your number, like mine, tells you to eat 2800 calories a day as your BMR. This means if you do NOTHING but sit around all day, and eat 2800 calories, that you will neither gain, nor lose weight. I remember plenty of days early on when I was 350 pounds and running, that I was hitting 4500 calories burned on my fitness tracker.
But let’s keep the lights on and then burn weight with your above baseline calories. Let’s shoot for 1-1.5 pounds a week. So – I’m looking for 500-750 calories a day you burn. This could be walking a lot. It could be doing lots of laundry. Cleaning. Weight training. Get up and move. If you’re eating 2800 calories a day, you will have PLENTY of energy!!
But what kind of calories do you eat? With IIFYM, I did 40/30/30. Before doing this, I had been tracking my calories and my carbs were around 60%. I’d suggest dropping your carbs and increasing your proteins and fats. This not only helps with getting you macros you need, but it helps with satiety so you are NEVER hungry.
- 1g of protein is about 4 calories
- 1g of carbs is about 4 calories
- 1g of fat is about 9 calories
So the people that told us to eat less fat were focused on the calories, not satiety. In theory, you could eat more food if they were carbs. If you just cut back on the calorically dense fats, you’d lose weight. But this also makes you hungry – which is why you overeat.
So with 2800 and 40/30/30….
2800 = .40(c) * .30(p) * .30(f)
2800 *.4 = 1,120 calories in carbs, or 280g of carbs per day.
2800 * .3 = 840 calories in protein, or 210.
2800 * .3 = 840 calories in fat, or 93g in fat.
I’m going to tell you, it’s kind of hard to eat 210g of protein in a day. Where you have problems eating that much protein, maybe dial up the fat a bit for satiety. One of the great plateaus I hit with IIFYM was I had problems hitting my protein, so I dialed up the carbs instead. Big mistake.
Start with these macros, and adjust – but don’t walk the carbs up past 45% or it may slow weight loss.
Below, you have a few pretty pie charts from MyFitnessPal. What you may not know about this was a lot of these were done the night before in bed. What? Early on, what I used to do was plan the next day’s food prior to the day. Then, all I had to do was execute the plan from the night before.
How many times have you gone into a day without a plan. By 6PM, you are hungry, and on your way home. You have nothing in the fridge – you have meat in the freezer, but you never took it out to thaw. By the time you go to the grocery store, get home, cook – it’s going to be like 8PM.
This one simple concept probably had me blow 30 diets. The lack of planning. What to do about it?
Meal prep the shit out of it.
The pros of IIFYM
I feel this is an IMPORTANT step in your journey to lose weight for the following reasons:
- You learn the macro/micronutrients of tons of foods to get yourself a very good education
- You work with portion sizes more than food avoidance. “Everything in moderation”
- You can literally eat whatever you want.
- You learn about the value of calories and “how much you can get away with”.
- When done right, you do have satiety
- With meal prep, you lose the excuses of lack of time to cook
- It’s an important step to reducing the shit in your diet
The cons of IIFYM
While I feel this is a great step, here are some drawbacks:
- When doing this, it is VERY easy to overeat and you must portion control and weigh everything out relentlessly. When going from nearly 400 pounds to just over 200 pounds, this was a NECESSARY step to get my portions under control
- While I felt satiety, sometimes I was still looking for other things to eat. The types of food allowed my body to mostly feel satisfied, but I was only going 3-5 hours between meals. I stopped going from STARVING between every meal to hungry.
- It’s a slippery slope. When I first started, I was doing 2-3 cheat meals a week out of like 21-28 meals. I had discipline and saved one cheat meal for Saturday night. It could be easy to “blow a weekend” if I wanted. You need to be disciplined on this.
- You need to count every morsel of food in a calorie counter like MyFitnessPal with the correct nutrients. Since you’re trying to hit 40/30/30 (or your custom), having a late night oreo will skew everything. With this, you may need to plan your food jenga puzzle in the night before.
- You need to weigh and measure EVERYTHING. While this sucked at first, I got used to it eventually. For example, 2 TBSP of dressing on my salad. I hated getting a tablespoon dirty and measuring a cup of cherry tomatoes was near impossible. I would put my salad bowl on a scale and weigh out my lettuce, then blank it out and weigh out my dressing, then again for tomatoes. I would then know close to what my macros were for my salad.
- You can eat anything you want. While this is a pro, it’s also a con because yes – you can have cake…or a cupcake….or ice cream. I can tell you that for some people, these are like a gateway drug. I eventually went from IIFYM early than planned to keto because I got a box of chocolate peanut butter pretzels for Christmas 2017. I was supposed to eat one a day. I ate the whole box in one sitting. My control of some carbs was non existent.