Be Aware. Be Alive.
I’m not a diet ‘expert’ but I know some things. And you should too. First you need to Be Aware-through learning. Then you can implement that knowledge and Be Alive.
Please see a professional dietician or nutritionist for very specific goals. Below is a way to lose bodyfat. It may not be the way to eat forever for most people, for me it is. Depending on your own personal goals, you should adjust your eating.
People who know more than me: An internet based diet and lifestyle brand: The Whole 9. And check out their resources page, which is amazingly well organized and helpful. Go read anything by Alan Aragon, Mike T Nelson, Yoni Freedoff, and Spencer Nadolsky.
**I’m not a dietician. This is not law, and I didn’t include a bunch of science.
BA Diet & Lifestyle
The BA diet understands 2 things: 1. Calories (quantity) DO count and 2. They aren’t all that count.
1. You can’t eat endless amounts of clean/paleo/magic foods and keep losing weight. Ultimately energy balance trumps all. However, things other than calories play into your energy balance via your hunger and cravings, your feelings and energy levels, and your timing and hormones.
2. Our bodies just aren’t bomb calorimeters.
- Too many variables are inherent for calories to be anything more than a guide; ripeness/doneness of a food, enzymatic production of an individual, food measurement, & caloric cost of a macronutrient to digest and use.
- When a calorie is consumed is also important, for example around workout time we are more sensitive (better able to utilize) carbohydrate based calories, and there is a slight benefit to eating protein around that time as well.
- Eating sweets, salts, fats stimulate reward which can in turn spur cravings later on when those foods are seen/smelled.
- The body is adaptive and becomes accustomed to how you treat it, if you eat constantly like a herbivore, then you’ll feel like you need to…until you adapt to not eating like you were. This is probably mental more than physical.
- Your individual level of leanness/muscle mass and activity plays a HUGE roll in what you can eat and still thrive; in other words, you can’t eat how professional athletes eat.
- Higher quality, more nutritionally dense, foods tend to be more filling and therefore you eat less calories without having to count (some will use this as the trump card to ‘prove’ calories are all that count, and in the short term that may be true, but long term is different, and if you can handle quantity just by focusing on quality, which is really giving you more reward for your efforts of focus?).
- Some people have screwed up hormones and may have to do something different, or may not be able to mentally handle trying to change how they eat because they are comfortable how they eat and it “works” for them.
So I ask that you spend your initial 6 weeks tracking your calories so that you learn about them, how much you’re actually eating, and how many cals the common foods you’ll be eating have. Awareness is not the same as obsessing, so settle down calorie ‘myth’ people. For the haters/skeptics of going wheat free, just try it. It’s 6 weeks without breads etc-you’ll still have rice and ice cream and even gummi bears, so settle down!!
Below is a conglomeration of info from lots of reading, and experience.
PROTEIN, CARBS, VEGGIES, AND FATS
Protein foods=Animals and foods that were gonna be animals aka eggs. Dairy. Protein powders (including vegetable powders, but please no soy). **To hippies: grains, lentils, nuts, and potatoes are NOT good protein sources. If it had a soul you should consume that soul and let it make you stronger** Protein fills you up faster and longer than other macronutrients. It keeps you full longer. It costs more energy to breakdown and utilize by your body. It is ‘harder’ to store as fat. It is safe in high quantities, it will NOT damage your kidneys unless you are already afflicted with a kidney disease. Protein is more important for getting lean than it is for bulking. Plus it tastes GOOD, and you need it to build muscle, and muscle is what burns your fuel (carbs and fat), so the more muscle you have the better you burn fat, helping to keep you lean.
Carbohydrates=Starches, Breads, Cookies, Crackers, Fruits, Sweets, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Juices, Rice, Quinoa, Squashes (squashes are lower carb than the others, and are therefore perfect to eat on the lower carb days) Carbs. People fight over carbs. They are frustrating bastards for sure. They’re good. They’re bad. They’re both. Holy hell, what are they? It Depends on how you personally handle them…Your body can use carbs as energy, or it can store carbs in liver or muscle glycogen stores, or fat cells. It will only store in liver or muscle glycogen stores if there is room, which means you will of had to previously burned carbohydrate for this to happen, otherwise consumed carbs will be stored as fat. For our purposes there aren’t really good or bad carbs, there are just carbs…except for two bad sources: wheat and corn syrup. If you eat more carbs, eat less fat. If you eat less carbs, eat more fat. Eat more carbs on workout days.
Vegetables=lettuces, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, dark cooked greens, brussell sprouts, and any other vegetable that isn’t a root or tuber. Also ok is fresh vegetable juice. Veggies: raw form veg is basically draino- You can’t digest it super well and may not absorb all that many vitamins. But raw veggies are useful because they fill you up, move shit along, and do still provide positive nutrients. Cooked veggies are better utilized because cooking breaks down plant cell walls liberating vitamins/nutrients that can be more readily used by your body. Additionally, cooking can increase flavor, especially when you add butter, which will increase absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Of probably smaller note, cooking also stops ‘anti-nutrients’ from blocking nutrient absorption to varying degrees (example, raw spinach has oxalic acid which blocks iron absorption. Cooking the spinach minimizes the interference of the oxalic acid. The same may be true of other veggies/grains in regards to phytates and other Paleo enemies-though I’m not sure it is really that big a deal).
Fats=Coconut oil, kerrygold butter, olive oil, avocado, macadamia nut oil, nuts, nut butter. Don’t always go apeshit on these, they are for taste and flavoring, not for mainlining. I think good fats (monounsaturated fats and omega 3s primarily, and saturated fat from coconuts and well raised animals) are UNDER eaten by MOST. Until they go paleo or low carb/high fat, at which point after a while (different each person ) they eat too much fat. I’ll elaborate: initially that person was likely deficient in fat soluble vitamins, and helpful healthy cholesterol…and as they switched to eating more of the good fats above the fats were utilized throughout the body in phospholipid bilayers, brain building, nutrient delivering, fueling, replacing stored O6 (really I dont know about this), and other magical things, until the body gets to a place where it doesn’t need huge amounts of these good fats anymore. When does this happen? I dunno. How can you tell? You start gaining weight without changing anything and/or what was working isn’t working anymore. At this point one stick of butter each week MAY be more than is needed, and it’s time to reduce fat intake.
RULES, LISTS, GUIDELINES
BA diet RULES
- No Wheat. Zero. aka pasta, cookies, bread, cereal, tortillas, whole grain bread. If the ingredient list says “flour or whole wheat flour” you do not eat it.
- No Vegetable oils. If ingredient list says “sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil” you do not eat it.
- No corn syrup. If the ingredient list says “corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup” you do not eat it.
- No soy. That shit is bad for you, don’t eat it. Check the ingredient list, if it says “soy” anywhere, throw it out.
- Protein EVERY time you eat. Aim for your current bodyweight in grams of protein each day. If you eat 3x divide your weight by three and eat that at each meal.
- Less than 100g of carbs on non workout days, and more than your bodyweight in grams on workout days. Double on especially taxing workout days.
- Don’t drink any calories. This includes alcohol, but does not include cream in your coffee/tea, or your protein shake if that’s your thing and you’re trying to cultivate mass.
- Considering dairy: it is nature’s food to grow – it helps grow things. If you want to grow, eat dairy. If you are a vegetarian, eat dairy (because i want you getting enough protein). Please make it grassfed and raw if possible. I like dairy, and I eat dairy. Yogurts, not with a bunch of extra sugar, are awesome.
- Cook your own meals and eat your veggies.
BA foods (eat a lot of these foods)
- Sardines, salmon, oysters, and other seafood that isn’t farm raised.
- Full fatty cuts of grassfed beef. Or leaner cuts of regular beef cooked.
- Bone Broth. This is GREAT, make a stew. It’s easy to digest and delicious.
- Monounsaturated fats: avocados, nuts (just don’t eat too many) macadamia nut oil, & olive oil. **butter does not count as dairy in the BA diet**
- Eggs. The darker yolk awesome eggs. Golden Hill at trader joes-egg yolks raw in smoothies is a good idea, save the whites and cook those.
- Cooked kale and spinach, and raw fancy lettuces.
- Blueberries and Raspberries especially, but also other fruit
- Super Dark Chocolate.
- Saurkraut, kimchi, pickles.
“Don’t Be An Asshole…”
People will tell you “everything in moderation”. Nope, that’s both bullshit and so overused that it doesn’t mean anything at all. So I’ve updated the idea, and it is as follows: “Don’t be an asshole about it”. Yes, bacon won’t kill you like was once thought, and you can eat it and be healthy and ripped and shredded and #BA-but please just don’t be an asshole about it. This is the idea behind this section. Some foods in any quantity being consumed results in you being an asshole, some a moderate amount, and some foods when timed correctly never reach asshole level.
- Bacon in excess: aka more than 5 slices in a sitting or more than 4x a week.
- More than a two handfuls of nuts. Or more than three times a day. More than that and you are being an asshole about it.
- More than 2tbsp of nut butters. More than that and you are being an asshole about it.
- More than 1 night a week of drinking booze. More than that and you are being an asshole about it.
- Soda & Diet soda. Please see the BA diet rules #3 & #8. If you are trying to lean out, don’t drink your calories, otherwise you sir, are being an asshole.
- Wheat, soy, & vegetable oils. Just incase you weren’t paying attention in the rules.
- Pizza. Sorry, but picture an obese person and what they eat, invariably it is a pizza. I know it’s delicious, sorry.
- Chips. It’s bathed vegetable oils, and you eat too many once you start.
- Wheat. Yeah, I think it’s that bad that I listed it 2 extra times in this section. Stop being sick and fat, stop being an asshole.
- If you sleep well, you can fast in the mornings. But it’s not always magic for everyone. Keeping your insulin levels low by not eating highly insulugenic proteins and carbs will see many of the same benefits as full fledged fasting: higher fat burning (maybe), better focus, increased autophage. If fasting fits your life and it’s “easy” for you to do, go for it. Otherwise, have a protein/fat combo.
- Doing one longer fast per week is another option, and you may find this to get ‘easy’ once you have been on the diet for a while.
- Fasting is super trendy, and it works amazing for some…but don’t feel pressured into doing it. Worth a shot for some, but makes it harder to hit protein goals for many, and in the BA diet, I want that higher protein level reached.
- Fasting MAY not work well for women, in fact it seems to not work that well quite often. It CAN be really effective for men. Just saying.
- I think this should probably be done short term. Like 4-8 weeks. Then take it away for a month or so. Fasting is simply a stressor, which can be good for some and bad for others.
- Fasting isn’t good for muscle gain. It’s good for leaning out.
PRE BA DIET – Carbohydrate storage depletion (ooh that sounds fancy)
- For 10-14 days eat zero carbohydrates (see the carbohydrate list).
- Vegetables are ok.
- Eat zero dairy. To help you with this, please remember that dairy is nature’s food to grow a 2-ton animal. So if that sounds good to you, then ignore this rule. (this is purposefully overstated)
- Drink zero alcohol.
- Take 2 servings a day of the adrenal support supplement
- **If you feel like you need to snack, you can. Just follow the #BA diet rules and pre BA diet rules
Pre BA diet warnings and tips
- Removal of all carbohydrates can leave you feeling like shit. Simple as that. Remember that it is ONLY ten days. Think back ten days, see how close that was? You can do this, and it will help with benefits.
- You may be more tired on account of feeling like crap. Go to bed earlier. Drink more green tea and Tulsi tea, like A LOT. Take a nap.
- Workouts will be hard(er). But it’s ONLY ten days. You’ll live. Again, go to sleep.
- Get a massage or two, make your significant other earn that title.
- Take a bath that has epsom salts, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 1tbsp of apple cider vinegar in it. And bubbles if you feel fancy.
- Write down what you crave, and you can eat it in the following weeks.
BA supplements; take with each of 3 meals daily for first month. If you don’t eat breakfast, then take with 1-2tbsp of coconut oil. You don’t have to do these of course. Understand these are SUPPLEMENTAL. Not needed. They may help you feel and get better, and really help with the challenges of switching diets. For info on supplements, go to examine.com and get their supplement guide. This list below is meant as part of a 6 week diet focus, with the goal of making you feel better. I do not think you should take this many pills all year around.
- vitamin K take 1 serving at each meal (recommended brand Thorne, by far the best. Then Jarrow MK-7) supports immune, hormones, and overall health.
- Magnesium 1 serving at each meal (recommended brand: Jarrow) supports too many things to list.
- zinc balance by jarrow, 1 serving at each meal. This brand includes copper, which you need when you take zinc. Zinc is good for hormones and stuff.
- krill oil, 1 serving at each meal (recommended brand: jarrow) Nice O3 supplement with added benefits, helpful for PMS which is good for gals and guys.
- vitamin c, 1 serving at each meal (no recommended brand) This is just for the initial 6 weeks to support diet changes and increased workout numbers.
- vitamin B complex, 1 serving each morning (no recommended brand) This is just for the initial 6 weeks to support diet changes and increased workout numbers.
- Adrenal Support by Jarrow (1 serving each morning) This is just for the initial 6 weeks to support diet changes and increased workout numbers.
- Wobenzyme or some other systemic enzyme supplement, take first thing in morning, and between meals as you can remember. Might be Good for inflammation and digestion.
- Liver Pills. (universal brand is good) Liver is soooo good for you, but it tastes like liver, which is a problem.
- Sleep. Seriously, sleep more.
BA lifestyle improvements you should be doing
- Morning movement sessions. This could be a hike, a walk/swim at the beach (extra points for a swim), yoga, or any other type of movement for 5+ minutes.
- Sleep more. Specifically go to bed earlier. The earlier the better. Your body wants to be synced with the light/dark cycles, and the earlier you get to bed the better you will recover and rest for the next day.
- Eat more sardines and oysters. Go to costco, buy in bulk-this plus raw carrots/cauliflower/celery is a perfect snack/lunch/or breakfast (eww, I know). The more the better, just don’t eat in closed spaces.
- Drink less booze. 1 glass of red wine each night is NOT helping you live longer, or live better, or anything.
- Stress less. Think about what is stressing you out each day, and try to be objective and see if it should actually be stressful. Is it just a little thing? Don’t sweat it. Is it something that you have been procrastinating on, and you aren’t really stressing about it but rather you’re mad at yourself for putting it off? Go DO IT. Get a massage. Figure out who is REALLY important to you, and don’t worry about the acquaintances that don’t really matter to you-focus your energy on those who give and mean the most to you instead.
- Learn to let go of what you don’t control. Because, you can’t change that shit. Y’know, lemons and lemonade type shit.
- Watch less TV. Go to sleep instead. Pick a couple of “must see” shows for yourself, and really look forward to those, but don’t tiVo every damn show! That’s what losers do.
- Get a hobby that is active. Hiking, surfing, biking, frisbeeing, walking your neighbor’s dog, start a meet up group for tag, take a dance class, join a go vavi league, just make your hobby something that isn’t TV, video games, facebooking, or getting drunk. Reading is ok….but find something to do that’s active.
- BAng more often. But be safe out there.
- Read the guide to wearing a V-Neck “Going Deep in the V….exploring the depths.” by Clifton Harski.
Two key shakes.
Morning shake: 3 egg yolks, coconut oil, ice, water, protein powder, chia seeds, nut butter, macadamia oil. (protein + fat in the morning will help you stay full longer)
Post workout shake: cherry juice, protein powder, berries, banana, pineapple, mango, etc (cherry juice is great for workout recovery)