8 Tips to Be Lean, Strong and Happy.

Mike Mandel and I (Chris Thompson writing) have been long-time advocates of a healthy lifestyle. But as hypnosis trainers we’ve focused most of our energy teaching people how to run their own brains more effectively, and how to communicate with others.

The stuff we teach helps people change their lives, but when it comes to making change in any aspect of your life you need to have the right resources available. When it comes to physical wellness, specifically, you can do everything right in terms of peak mental states and still screw things up if you don’t eat the right food or move your body on a regular basis. In other words, you can do everything right with your brain, but if you lack the necessary education, you won’t know what to do with your body and your results will be poor, leaving you assume it must be your poor metabolism, or poor genetics, or whatever.

This blog post marks a significant change for us. Together, Mike and I have decided to start getting more involved in giving you the resources you need – in the form of education – to build on the mental aspects that we already teach.

We’re choosing to use the word “wellness” to encapsulate every aspect of physical and mental health.

Wellness as a D-A-M

Hoover Dam That’s right. D-A-M. Like the famous Hoover dam bordering Arizona and Nevada. We’re using this metaphorically because dams are structures that hold back enormous quantities of water. It speaks to the idea of what’s holding you back.  It also speaks to potential, because a dam can be a resource where water is collected and drops (through gravity) to generate energy. Finally, I like the dam metaphor because it’s a beautifully simple Acronym:
DAM ver1

DAM = Diet, Activity, Mental Game.

Mike and I already cover the mental game quite thoroughly in our free Brain Software podcast series, along with our incredible training courses such as The Architecture of Hypnosis and the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy.

So I’d like to leave you with a few tips around the other two components: Diet and activity. Keep in mind that Mike and I are not medical doctors, so these tips represent what we do. We’ve invested thousands of hours (and a good chunk of cash) in our own education on these subjects and much of what we do flies in the face of traditional nutritional recommendations. Now why is that?

Because traditional advice is making people fat and sick. What follows is no doubt a controversial topic, but rest assured it’s easy to find huge numbers of legitimate medical doctors who recommend this to their patients all day long. Follow along if you wish.
DAM - Food ver1

Diet:

Your diet is what you eat, so let’s talk about it.

1. Wellness isn’t about food restriction.

Too many people hear the word “diet” and equate it to what is technically known as “semi-starvation”, i.e. purposefully eating fewer calories so you can lose weight. When we say “diet” we mean the fuel you use to power your body on a daily basis. Our diet is a part of our lifestyle. It’s just how we eat. It’s not some temporary plan.

2. You can STOP counting calories.

Traditional advice still says that you must eat fewer calories than your body burns in order to lose weight. This is scientifically true but absolutely useless information. It’s like explaining that a classroom is full because there are no empty seats. We know the room is full but the explanation isn’t really an explanation. It doesn’t add any information because we don’t know what caused the seats to fill up.

One hundred years ago nobody knew what a calorie was. They could not be counted. Surprisingly, obesity was dramatically lower than it is today.

The truth is that our fat storage is controlled by hormones. Our bodies are constantly seeking balance, and will either store or burn fat to achieve that balance.  Hormones will make you feel full or hungry as your body’s way of telling you what to do. This process of staying in balance is called homeostasis.

We don’t count how long it’s been since we last urinated. Nobody sits with an internal voice saying “Hey, it’s been 2 hours since I last peed. I better go find a toilet.”  Of course not! What about jogging? We don’t consciously count how many breaths we take and worry about whether it’s enough to keep us from passing out due to lack of oxygen. We just … breathe!

And yet … somehow in the last hundred years since the calorie was invented we are supposed to count them to stay lean? Every other process in our body works fine on its own without conscious intervention but we better count those calories or else we’ll wind up obese?  It’s NONSENSE.

The solution is to just eat when you’re hungry and stop eating when you aren’t hungry anymore.  BUT – you have to focus on high quality foods that don’t screw up your body’s hormone levels (among other things). This is discussed more below.

3. Dramatically reduce wheat and sugar in your diet.

Sugar seems obvious to most people, but wheat? Allow me to explain.  Wheat is a complex carbohydrate that breaks down into sugar (specifically glucose) when eaten. All complex carbs break into glucose during digestion but wheat happens to be BY FAR the single biggest source of carbs in the modern diet.  Other examples are rice, oats, rye, quinoa, corn and potatoes.  But if you read the ingredients of most packaged foods you’ll discover that wheat is in almost everything.  Why? Because it’s really cheap.  Corn is quite common too. Note that corn is not a vegetable.  It’s a grain.

When complex carbs are broken down into sugar, your body is FORCED to react by releasing large amounts of a hormone called insulin.  When insulin levels are high your body goes into fat storage mode.

That, in a nutshell is why so many people put on excess body fat.  The modern diet is packed with processed carbohydrates which results in huge insulin spikes in the body.  This makes people fat.

Most people are already well aware that candy, soda, chocolate bars and gummy bears are bad for them. But all those “healthy whole grain” breads, muffins and bagels are even worse!  Why?  Because they break down into sugar super fast in your body and most people don’t realize the harm that does. These foods are health disasters.

Consider this experiment: Get rid of the wheat, and reduce major sources of carbohydrates. What if you try that for 4 weeks?  Worst case scenario?  Nothing happens (doubtful) and you go back to whatever you were eating before.  Our bet?  You’ll love the results and stick with it.

Mike and I typically eat no more than 100 grams of carbs in a day (that’s 400 calories worth, if you care). We do not advocate eliminating carbohydrates. We get some carbs in whole fruit, vegetables and other natural foods. We also don’t count carbohydrates (just as we don’t count calories).  Counting is useful in the beginning until you have a good sense of what’s in the foods you choose.

Omlette with berries

4. We eat much more high quality fat.

Yes, we eat a lot of fat and we do not shy away from saturated fats! Mike and I eat plenty of eggs, butter, fatty meats, full-fat cheese and heavy cream for our coffee. We drink full-fat coconut milk (smoothies) and eat full-fat plain yogurt. We eat avocados and even bacon. We appreciate the immense flavour that fat brings to food.

Why so much fat? Simple – we are not on a starvation diet. If you are going to reduce wheat and other grains while not attempting to cut back on calories (i.e. just eat when hungry), then what’s left? Fat and protein. We don’t worry about protein quantity because we get plenty from the fatty foods we eat.

Isn’t all that saturated fat going to give us high cholesterol and heart disease? The science seems to point to one very clear answer. No.

I don’t have space to get into the discussion in this (already lengthy) post, but suffice to say that people who eat like this seem to surprise their traditional doctors with blood cholesterol profiles that are shockingly good.

Triglycerides will typically drop, and HDL (what most doctors typically call “good cholesterol” ) will usually go up. Both of these outcomes are considered positive. Because fat does not require the body to release insulin (the fat storing hormone), a high fat diet actually encourages weight loss. This is counter-intuitive, but once you realize how satiated (i.e. satisfied but not stuffed) you feel on a diet like this you’ll understand how it leads to appropriate eating not OVER eating.

Mike and I both firmly agree with the writings of experts such as Gary Taubes, Dr. Peter Attia, Dr. David Perlmutter, Dr. William Davis, Nina Teicholz and many others. Fat is (mostly) good for us. It’s what the body was designed to burn for fuel.

Why did I put “mostly” in parentheses? Because some fats are flat out dangerous. Mike and I stay away from vegetable oils such as soybean, canola and corn oil. They were not part of the human diet for most of history. We are not meant to eat these oils. They are health destroyers. It SHOULD scare you that the technical name for these oils is “solvent extracted oils”.  They do not exist on their own in nature.  We have to chemically extract them (and the food industry does it because it’s very cheap, NOT because it benefits your health).

5. Build your meals around vegetables.

We love making salads like the kind The Primal Blueprint author Mark Sisson referrs to as the “Big Ass Salad”. But we also toss raw or cooked veggies to of all sorts on our plates to supplement meat, fish, eggs, or whatever else is our major source of energy for a meal. We do not discriminate! We eat all colours of the rainbow and benefit from all of the micronutrients found in nature.

Remember that potatoes and corn are NOT vegetables. The former is a tuber, and the latter is a grain. Both are carbohydrate-rich foods, and for that reason we just don’t build meals around. And we’re not saying “never eat potatoes”.  That’s silly.  Potato or sweet potato, for example, is a nice side dish to enjoy in moderation.
DAM - Exercise ver1

Activity

Activity is how you move your body. Today most people sit in cars to drive to work, then they sit at a computer all day long, and sit on the couch to watch TV. No wonder so many people feel weak, tired, and sad.

6. Move around a lot.

Our bodies have evolved to move, not sit around all day. Even if you just add more walking to your daily routine, you’ll probably start too feel better. Park farther away from the entrance. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for walks during daily breaks. Pick a coffee shop that is a couple of blocks away instead of the one right in your office building.

7. Do body weight exercises.

Use your body as a weight, and lift that sucker several times per week. Mike and I do a wide variety of exercises that require almost no space and no equipment. I workout at a local gym (it gets me out of the house more) and Mike works out at home. We do pushups, squats, kettlebell swings, pull-ups, and plenty of other movements that build core strength and flexibility.

Most people think it takes a lot of time and dedication to work out. It does take dedication but it does NOT require much time. If you are just starting out it will probably take you 5 minutes to do some pushups, squats, and perhaps a couple of other exercises. I’ve been working out since I was 16, and I’m in my 40s now. Guess how long I spend in the gym. One hour? Less than that? More? My average gym visit is about 20 minutes. That’s it. When I stay longer it’s because I’m having fun, trying new exercises, or talking to other members of the club. But you don’t need a gym membership. You already own your own gym. It’s your own body and the floor beneath your feet. No excuses.

8. Turn off the TV.

This is a big one. TV is a huge time waster along with mindless YouTube and Facebook surfing. Limit the amount of time you waste and you’ll be amazed how much extra time you have for walking, working out, cooking, great conversation and yes … SLEEP. So many people are sleep deprived, so unplug the TV and get more sleep. Think of sleep as a nutrient.

Wrapping it All Up into SIMPLE Advice:

This stuff isn’t complicated. Your personal wellness is a combination of diet, activity and your mental game. If you’re struggling with body fat you can probably get amazing results simply by eating REAL foods, eliminate bread, muffins, crackers, and other junk. Eat more nuts, seeds, vegetables, fish, meat and some reasonable amount of whole fruit (instead of drinking juice).

Move regularly and use your own body as a source of resistance by doing workouts a few times per week for no more than 5-10 minutes at the start.  That’s really all you need!  And finally make sure to implement all of the wonderful mental game strategies that we teach.  Check out the Brain Software podcast if you’re not already a listener.

Need Our Help?

This is stuff that is absolutely possible to implement on your own. But if you’re looking to join us and a group of like-minded participants in a 4-week coaching program, we’re running the Wellness Academy very soon.  Start by checking out this simple video we made to explain everything.

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36 Responses to 8 Tips to Be Lean, Strong and Happy.

  1. Dan August 18, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

    Great post, look forward to reading more about your perspective on “wellness”. I have been experimenting with the keto diet recently and pleased with the results, although at first it was a challenge to wrap my brain around the idea that fat can be healthy for you!

    • Chris Thompson August 19, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

      Hi Dan – awesome to hear that you’re getting results with a ketogenic diet. For those unaware, this generally refers to cutting carb intake so low that your body is primarily feeding itself with ketone bodies, which is just a chemistry / biology term to reference the molecule we create when we metabolize fat (burn fat for energy). We would die if our brain could only run on glucose (sugar) because our body can’t store much, so after 24 hours you’d be dead if your brain could not run on fat or certain amino acids (from protein) that the liver can turn into ketones.

      Anyway, this is a big analog spectrum. Eat more fat and you’ll have more ketones in your blood for fuel. Eat more carbs, which turn into sugar, and your body is going to do its best to make use of that sugar by pushing it to muscle cells or fat cells. We go for low carb high fat, but not drastically low carb because it’s too hard to maintain.

  2. Gail August 19, 2015 at 1:19 am #

    Make sense. Great article. I am making changes starting of now.

  3. Kelli August 19, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    Hi Chris
    I’ve been a fan of yours for years. I love the post and agree with everything. One question, I am a forty plus female with 4 kids. I eat plenty of carbs and feed them to my kids. I don’t put on lot of weight ( must be to do with something heredity, my family are known for being thin)
    Am I ok to keep eating carbs? Or is there another reason I shouldn’t?

    • Chris Thompson August 27, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

      Hi Kelli – this is a super question. Thanks for posting it here. Quick answer is that nearly everyone is going to show more and more signs of insulin resistance as they age and experience the long term effects of carb consumption. In addition, the low fat levels most people eat these days affect cell membrane function (every cell of your body) and hormone production. Think higher risk for cancer, dementia, auto-immune problems, etc. There are an abundance of reasons to get them out of the diet, in my own personal opinion, which is why I’ve done so.

      Also – most high-carb eaters are not going to notice a ton of weight gain in a short period of time. It’s a chronic problem that creeps up over time. Even in my case – I was certainly not overweight when I made the shift. But if I look at my weight from when I graduated university to one decade later, I definitely put on fat. Slowly. Why? Because my body gradually adapted to what I was doing. My father (almost 70 today) was also not anywhere near “fat” when he made the shift. But he had slowly accumulated more bodyfat than he needed and he has probably shed 15 pounds because on a high fat diet the body tends to have less blood insulin and therefore hangs onto less stored fat.

      Anyway, it is not just about fat (that’s just what most people are concerned with). It’s about wellness. It’s about feeling good and having good health. In my opinion a high carb diet is a health disaster (long term).

  4. Dr. Dave August 23, 2015 at 12:04 am #

    All good advice, Chris. I agree that we need fat in our diet and it is great source of energy. I agree with building your meal around vegetables particularly high protein/high fibre vegetables. But…..(And??) humans are not all machines and not everyone will do well on the diet you describe, particularly if they do not exercise consistently, as both you and Mike seem to do. The ‘Atkins’-type diet that you are describing is not sustainable for a lot of individuals. Eating a high fat diet without counting calories or at least being aware of how much food you really need to put in your mouth to support your personal energy requirements, can lead to obesity and problems with cholesterol. Not everyone can eat a high dairy diet – cheese, full fat cream, milk, butter. Some individuals are unable to tolerate that much lactose and will develop flatulence, abdominal cramps, bloating and diarrhea.
    Again, great advice, Chris but, as always when it comes to humans, it is important to avoid generalizing.

    • Chris Thompson August 27, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

      Dave – I appreciate the comment. When it comes to saying a high fat diet can lead to obesity or cholesterol problems this is an entirely untrue statement except in very rare situations. Unfortunately I don’t know how much work you’ve done in this area so I don’t know where to begin the debate. It sounds like you might not realize how large a role insulin plays, and might not realize that science has very clearly proven that exogenous cholesterol is simply not a significant factor in blood cholesterol. There are still far too many people who do not understand how important cholesterol is. It’s a crucial molecule in the formation of the cell membranes of every cell in your body, every sex hormone, and a large fraction of the mass of the human brain. It’s not something to be feared unless you’re one of the rare people suffering from hypercholesterolemia. Aside from that I agree with the dairy comments. Some people are sensitive to lactose. However, did you know that high fat yogurt and cheese has practically no sugar in it at all? Lactose is a sugar, and when these foods are being made from cream the sugar is consumed by bacteria. On the flip-side, we avoid milk. In addition, dairy fats are only one option. Tons of good fat options from meat, nuts, avocado, coconut, etc.

      • John Anthony September 5, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

        Good reply. Just what I would have written.

  5. Dr. Dave August 24, 2015 at 2:41 am #

    Dear Chris and Mike,
    I would like to post an explanatory addendum to my last post. I did not intend to be argumentative or judgmental of Chris’s post and I apologize if my post came across that way.
    When I was doing my basic NLP training with Mike, I was complimented by one of our trainers Chris Dunkley for my ability to see differences. That ability often comes across as argumentative, contrary and confrontational and has got me in a lot of trouble.
    In my post, I definitely wanted to challenge Chris’s point of view on health but I do not want to be confrontational or disagreeable. I am hoping that an alternative point of view will stimulate discussion and debate.
    We all have different metaprogams but no one metaprogram is the ‘truth’. That was the intent of my post. We can take advice but, ultimately, it is up to us to decide if that advice works for us personally.
    I would like to challenge your metaprogram, Chris, that you and Mike are not ‘elite’ athletes. Perhaps that may be true but, in my opinion and based on your own descriptions, you are both ‘exceptional; athletes and your descriptions of what works for you both in your diets and lifestyle should be evaluated in that context.
    I hope that is helpful.
    As always, i enjoy your feedback and information – otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered to send this post – lol !!
    David M.

    • Chris Thompson August 27, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

      Sure … I didn’t take it as argumentative, no worries. That said, this is about science and evidence and not about metaprograms at all. Let’s focus on the science. And regardless of whether people think my interpretation is correct or not, everyone should look for ways to test this stuff on themselves. Within 3 weeks any subject will know quite clearly if the effect of this change is positive or negative. I think it sounds like you agree with that concept based on your comment above. Hint: I’ve never once seen a negative outcome from making these shifts.

  6. Chris August 28, 2015 at 4:14 am #

    An interesting read containing a lot of common sense. However, as a trained Horticulturist I tend to get a little upset when people give certain plants a ‘bad wrap’.
    Potatoes are one of those plants.

    Originating in Peru, I am certain they were not responsible for ill health or obesity by the people that consumed them.
    You also mention that potatoes are a tuber – which they are, as is Taro, Cassava, Yam, Sweet potato, Jerusalem artichoke etc. Shall we put them on a hit-list of food to avoid because they are a tuber?

    Carbohydrates are needed by the human body for proper functioning of the immune system. I think it would be unwise to eliminate them from our diet completely.

    A few figures for readers who may be interested :-
    Sweet potato and Taro are 21% carbohydrate,
    Legumes 27%,
    Many fruits 23%,
    Gravy 68%,
    Nuts & seeds 78% (shall we eliminate these as well?)

    Carbohydrate composition of Honey 3.3g/teaspoon (sugar 4g/teaspoon)
    Dried apples 56.1g/60g cup (94% carbohydrate)
    Dried prunes 117.6g/60g cup (Holey Moley)
    Potato microwaved 49g/serving
    Baked 36.6g/serving
    Frozen French fries 21.2g/serving

    My personal view on healthy eating is to eat whatever you want as long as it is organically grown and has not been processed. (I believe additives can cause issues), keep portion size small, stay active physically and mentally, minimise consumption of refined carbohydrates and be in a happy state of mind while eating.

    I continue to be a healthy, happy sixty-something year old.
    Be Well

    • Chris Thompson August 29, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

      Hi Chris – I generally agree with you about your comments on potatoes and other tubers. We definitely do not advocate eliminating carbs. We reduce them substantially. Eliminating them wouldn’t be useful and it would be VERY difficult anyway. Regarding tubers, we eat them in reasonable quantities. They are not problematic when they aren’t deep fried in vegetable oil, for example. Sweet potato is awesome as a nice small side dish. But if people were fooled into thinking their “oven baked” potato chips are healthy, we would want to slap some sense into them. BTW same goes for frozen french fries because they are almost always sprayed with canola, soy or some other PUFA-rich oil. Not good.

      Nuts are certainly not 78% carbs. Where are you getting this data? Here’s a link to the USDA database on cashews, for example. Not knowing where you are pulling this data from (and seeing the nuts number is clearly way out of whack), I don’t think it’s worth getting into a debate on this here. Bottom line is we clearly do agree on the major aspects of eating higher levels of healthy fat and reducing reliance on carbs. That’s good.

  7. Jim Einert, ND, CH August 28, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

    This article is so right on. I have studied nutrition for over 20 years, and I have lost weight on a high protein, high good fat diet, without counting calories. The fat and high cholesterol myth has been going on for almost 50 years. They have told us the bad fats were the saturated fats, which is the direct opposite of what the truth is. I am so glad to see that people are beginning to learn the real truth about fats, proteins, starches and sugars!! If this trend continues, along with the mindbody understanding that is beginning to be scientifically proven, we will see in the near future, a shift in the fields of medicine and psychology, and a world that becomes less obese and more healthy!!!
    Keep up the good work of reporting the truth about wellness, and how we may all have better health through mindbody modalities!!!

    • Chris Thompson August 29, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

      Thanks so much, Jim! I really hope the world is at the tipping point now. There is definite momentum in the scientific community regarding all of this. I just hope it is unstoppable momentum that has overcome the massive inertia of bad science from the 1950s.

  8. Ken August 29, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

    I’m a big fan of both you guys and Dave Asprey (the bulletproof executive) so I’m already on board with all of the suggestions that you’re making. If I could just add one thing, mornings with butter coffee is a great way to get the day started. Thanks for everything you do!

    • Chris Thompson August 29, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

      Ken – I completely agree! Mike and I both love bulletproof coffee and highly recommend it. It’s a good example of implementing the HFLC (high fat low carb) diet.

  9. Julie September 4, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    Have you heard of the “Metabolic Aftershock”. Doing the excersises for 15 min for 3x weekly will give you results coupled with three square meals! Avoiding sugars and carbs.

    • Chris Thompson September 4, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

      I like the phrase. The key aspect to exercise is that it doesn’t need to take up much time and it really helps make the muscles more sensitive to insulin, so when you do have extra sugar in the blood that needs to be metabolized, the muscles are more likely to take up the sugar instead of having the liver convert it to fat.

  10. dawn September 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Hey what up with webinar?
    Great BLOG POST!!!!

    • Chris Thompson September 21, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

      You had the time zones wrong, but I hope you enjoyed the replay!

  11. Ridgerunner January 5, 2016 at 6:16 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    Regarding the MENTAL ACTIVITY, what do you and Mike use as mental games, such as chess, etc.? k

    • Chris Thompson January 14, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

      Mike plays a lot of chess, but we both simply believe in the idea of building up our personal schema by reading, learning, taking courses, etc. Less TV leaves much more time for this.

      • Mike Mandel January 25, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

        Actually, I hardly ever play chess anymore. I’m a backgammon fanatic now.

  12. Duff January 5, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

    Not a bad list, although restricting carbs isn’t technically necessary if you get sufficient fiber and as part of an overall balanced macronutrient diet. I eat 400-500g carbs daily and it works great for me, and easily remain under 13% BF.

    • Chris Thompson January 14, 2016 at 9:22 pm #

      Many people can tolerate higher carbohydrate intake but it’s still a good idea to reduce sugars and grains, with grains being a problem mostly because the cheap, plentiful grains are poor quality foods. That’s what people eat a lot of, and it causes problems. That said, MOST people will not (as they age) be able to maintain low bodyfat with high carb consumption.

  13. Dima January 21, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

    I have been reading Robert Anton Wilson, and in the book Prometheus Rising, he mentions the Thinker, and the Prover. It reminded me of the idea of the law of attraction (The Secret book). I am wondering that if you not only apply these methods (which you forgot one of the most important drink water and stay hydrated) And you develop the belief that you are going to be a certain weight, and you even use the “as if” frame to buy clothes that you would fit in or something, would your body ulimately have to prove that belief by burning the fat? Just a thought. Great post.

    • Chris Thompson January 28, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

      Definitely! In our Wellness Academy one of the first things we do is teach people to establish realistic goals to move towards and hang up some reminder of the goal. It could be hanging that pair of pants you used to fit into (and will fit into again) at your standing desk. I’m glad you brought up the “as if frame” too. Super important. The blog post doesn’t touch on most of the mental game strategies that we teach, but they’re all in our podcasts, products and of course the Wellness Academy for those interested in working with us.

  14. Renee September 14, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

    Hey Chris,
    Can you guys talk with the people at the USDA and make them get a clue? They keep insisting schools serve low fat milk and allow things with an insane amount of salt. What happened to real food in schools??

    • Chris Thompson December 15, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

      The school systems follow the dietary recommendations of government. The direct approach (feed your own family what you know is healthy) is best.

  15. Brian September 14, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

    I’m living proof that these principles work. I’ve dropped 75 pounds of fat and put on a good deal of muscle this past year. I did this by switching to as low carb and high fat diet that I could manage. I was so addicted to sweets and carbs that I had to pretend like I was allergic to them. I quit them cold turkey and after the first two weeks of withdrawal hell, it was a breeze sticking with it. My cravings for sugars and starches dropped to zero. The fat just started melting off my body and I lost 40 pounds as if by magic. I started lifting weights in the gym for one 20 minute High Intensity Training workout per week. That only 20 minutes working out per week! and I started packing on muscle. Plus maybe a light daily daily walk just for stress reduction and some fresh air. I plateaued on my fat loss until I started practicing extended fasting and then I lost the final 35 pounds of fat. I’ve easily maintained my weight ever since. I tried for years and failed to get this accomplished and it wasn’t until I found this magic combination of LCHF, Fasting and HIT that brought me success.

  16. David September 14, 2016 at 9:10 pm #

    Please read Mastering Leptin and add this understanding to your program if you really want people to play with a full deck of cards. Leptin is the master hormone that manages fat in the body…and it is produced by fat cells! Yes, the latest understanding is that fat itself is an organ. Please check this out.

    • Chris Thompson December 15, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

      Yes, it’s an interesting new model to think of fat as an organ. Leptin, ghrelin, insulin and glucagon … they are all important for sure. We chose to keep this blog post simple and focus on the absolute basics. No surprise … people who use this insight to get results don’t need to be advanced in their scientific understanding. Basics are getting people very far. Thanks for contributing.

  17. Martine Burger September 15, 2016 at 1:39 am #

    Hi Mike and Chris

    I’ve tuned into your webinar last year actually during a time that I was banting. What I found was that the Mental Game helped a lot to even shed those extra kilos faster. I’ve got one concern, and would love hear from you on this subject. Banting suggested that if you can’t cut out your sugar completely, to use sweetner, obviously only the “healthy” ones. Some studies showed that the flora in the gut of people using sweetner is the same as over weight people and even still presents the risk of diabetes… What is your take on this?

    Also, I love raw honey and fresh fruits, and rather use honey than sweetner in my bulletproof coffee or tee… but if I incorporate the honey and fruits, I don’t lose weight at all, and that bloated feeling comes back.

    I saw that you do enjoy fruits with your way of eating. Any suggestions on fruits that I shouldn’t eat?

    One last thing, I want to thank you for your great material. I bought the stress relieve package and it works wonders. I’m an full time Professional Electrical Engineer in the Consulting Industry. I specialize in Building Installations for Hospitals, very high risk and stressful job, while trying my best to bring up two toddlers aged 2 and 4(I bought Talking to Toddlers two years ago, and listens and practice it every 6 months). If the going gets tough, I just insert my earphones (either on a plane or at night in bed) and when I wake up, I’ve got the energy and will to carry on.

    Keep up with the good work!

    • Chris Thompson December 15, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

      Hi Martine – Thanks for the wonderful comment. We typically stick to just small amounts of fresh fruit and prefer the less sugary fruits such as berries. With respect to coffee, we’d suggest eliminating the sweetener from it 100%. I (Chris replying) used to pour sugar at Starbucks into my coffee. You know those glass sugar containers with the metal flip lid? SEVEN seconds of pouring. That was around 15 years ago. When I realized how dangerous sugar is to us I managed to cut it down to zero and now can’t stand any sugar in my coffee.

  18. John Stacy Worth September 17, 2016 at 11:47 am #

    I read Perlmutter’s book “Grain Brain” at the recommendation of my Dr. So I was pleased to see your reference to it at the outset of this post. Eliminating wheat and sugars and embracing fats did for me naturally what statins did artificially. I was fortunate to find an open minded physician. In short, I am living proof that you guys are right.

  19. Deedee Lewis February 15, 2017 at 6:03 pm #

    I agree that it makes a difference to our bodies when we move them, even by making little adjustments to our daily routine. My husband and I find that we physically feel better when we work out for a few minutes every day. I will share the rest of these physical health tips with my husband.