Monday, 14 November 2016

Post 32: Cowlean's Kickstart Advice

Hi Guys,

This is a quick one coming at you. It touches on the same theme as last week’s post: getting started, because the first step is always the hardest. While that may sound woolly and self-helpy, just doing something rather than nothing allows you to surmount the psychological barriers to entry. The enduring message of this post is “take action”.

Having read post 31 you’ve identified and mentally conquered the three top excuses/myths which hold people back. At this point you want to take action, but you need to know what exactly to do. Like I said last week, forget intermittent fasting, ketosis, exercise, sodium manipulation, and supplementation. Get the foundation down. Enjoy the 80/20 rule. What we’re going to discuss today will account for 80% of your results.


In post 31 I strongly agreed with Mark Sisson’s statement that the best way to start out is cut out (or at least reduce) grains, gluten, and industrial oils. These are accounting for the majority of your health and weight problems.

Gluten is a contentious issue, but the truth is it’s best not to eat a lot of it. Perversely, it gets a bad wrap for being associated with health conscious individuals, leading a lot of people to “protest eat” gluten. The truth is that it is a gut irritant and raises your risk of suffering from autoimmune diseases. It is a toxin to the body, and the real issue is that it can take up to six months to entirely eliminate its effects. I’m not expecting the beginner to stop eating it entirely, the aim is just to reduce it. I personally don’t go out of my way to not eat it, it is more of a byproduct of my paleo/keto lifestyle.

The next item to reduce or remove is grains, and in doing so you drastically reduce your gluten exposure. Grains contain a high carb content and therefore are bad for fat burning and weaning your body off of carb reliance. They’re also low in nutritional content. This is probably the most impactful change that you might make. Congruent with what I said earlier, cutting out grains probably has accounted for 50-80% of all of my weight loss, ever. The added benefit, is that I suddenly realised the difference between feeling bloated and feeling full. Prior to cutting grains, I thought they were one and the same. How wrong I was…

The third change is to stop using industrial/vegetable oils such as rapeseed, sunflower and safflower oil. Instead, use animal fats such as goose fat and lard, or dairy fats such as butter and ghee. To produce industrial oils requires such a high level of pressure and heat, the oil is almost certainly rancid before it reaches your mouth. This heat oxidises the fat, which will mean that your body will contain a higher number of free radicals which accelerates aging and correlates with higher risk of cancer. This point is a key directive in cleaning up and expanding your fat intake, but is usually the easiest change for a person to make. I don’t know many people who would turn down the option to eat less butter.

By getting these three aspects of your food in place, you will lose weight near instantly. I’ve seen many people lose up to half a stone (over three kg) in a week using this advice. While there will be a solid chunk of water weight in there, the psychological impact is huge.


“If it can be measured, it can be managed”

Pick the metric that you want to follow and track it. For most people this is their weight, but it can be more specialised such as blood sugar readings, bodyfat % and waist circumference.

Here we touch again on woolly, self-help issues. I want to say that the idea of “the mirror being your judge” is wrong. When you’re starting out you need to be measuring something quantifiable because the best way to form a habit is to do something which contains quick and effective feedback.

If weight is your chosen metric, weigh yourself every day, and follow the underlying trend of your numbers. Pick out a specific day of the week and map them out to visualise them, once you have some data. Pay attention to the daily figures as well, though, because there is valuable information there which shows how you respond to certain foods, and on which days of the week you tend to weigh more.

The latter comment is a little hack which you can take advantage of; place your big weekly weigh-in on a day where you tend to weigh less. Commonly this will be midweek as you’ve shrugged off any extra water weight from the weekend and have committed to your diet. It just feels good to succeed at these “big” weigh-ins. Do yourself a favour and let them help you out.


I’ve touched on this before, but in order for a good behaviour to continue you need to reward yourself in a way which makes the good behaviour more enjoyable. So frankly, you’re out of your mind if you think that eating a huge pizza in return for diet compliance is a good idea!

Instead, you should treat yourself to a lavish, but still compliant, meal. Go overboard with the portions and be a true glutton. Alternatively, buy yourself something for your kitchen which is going to make cooking easier or more fun.

But out of all the alternative rewards, clothes are the best, for both men and women. Buying new clothes is the ultimate visual reward for your weight loss, because that’s when the mirror comes into play. You’ll truly be able to appreciate your new figure and not just be the same clothes hanging off of a new body.

I went from a 44” waist all the way down to a 34” waist, and every time I happily replaced my jeans when they were getting too baggy. Replacing your old clothes with new ones gives you the chance to enjoy the full actualisation of your actions.  


Here’s this week’s takeaways, followed by a little (literal) call to action:
  1. Reduce, or better yet eliminate, gluten, grains and industrial oils
  2. Pick the metric you want to measure and track it often
  3. Reward good behaviour with things which further encourage that behaviour

What I really, really, like, is when people approach me and tell me they’ve already started cleaning up their diet. When I hear that, I immediately think that this person is going to succeed.

So ask yourself, when was the last time you ate the three foods described above? If it was three hours ago, well then you’ve been healthy for three hours. You’ve already started. You’ve already taken action!

All the planning in the world is insignificant when compared to a modicum of action. All of the excuses in the world are bullshit, which you realise by taking the first step.

Please leave a like or share this post if you enjoyed it. Leave a comment below if you want to discuss anything written here, and please feel free to contact me on social media. I’d love to get more people started.

Until next time,

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