Authors: Mike Sheridan
Eat Meat And Stop Jogging
‘Common’ Advice On How To Get Fit I
s Keeping You Fat And Making You Sick
Copyright © 2014
Lean Living INC
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, email the address below with the subject line “Copyright Permission.”
Eat Meat And Stop Jogging/Mike Sheridan
The ideas, concepts and opinions expressed in this book are i
ntended to be used for educational purposes only. This book is sold with the understanding that author and publisher are not rendering medical advice of any kind, nor is this book intended to replace medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, condition, illness or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any diet or exercise program, including any aspect of the training, nutrition, or lifestyle recommendations made in this book, you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician. The author and publisher claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application or interpretation of the material in this book.
This book is dedicated to my parents’ generation – the baby boomers. You will continue to struggle if you refuse to abandon the conventional wisdom that has failed you. If you keep an open mind, you can get better!
“A lot of the public is completely unaware that the strength of the message is not matched by the strength of the evidence.”
The majority of us
only ask ‘why’ when it's abnormal, or challenges our opinion. Generally, this opinion is based on what we've learned in childhood from coaches, teachers, and parents, and further developed by medical professionals, the government, and even the media. This combination of opinions has formed what we believe is fact, whether the information or source is reliable or not. These so-called ‘fundamentals’ determine our daily decisions, helping us make choices based on what we feel is right or wrong and good or bad.
What some psychologists have dubbed the ‘illusion of truth,’ there’s a human tendency to believe something is true, the more we hear it. When it comes to nutrition and exercise, we follow the same advice today as 50 years ago. Despite clear evidence that the original message is seriously flawed, and has contributed to the highest obesity and degenerative disease rates in history. Not only have these false recommendations dominated our day-to-day eating and training habits, but they’ve determined what we think is necessary to effectively shed the pounds and improve our health. It usually goes something like this:
“I just need to eat less and exercise more. It comes down to di
scipline, you know.”
“I eat too many fats. I’ll cut down on my red meat intake, and start usin
g margarine instead of butter.”
“I have this friend, and all she did was drink this meal replac
ement shake for breakfast and she lost 20lbs. I’m going to try that.”
“I heard that men my age should eat more fiber to lower chole
sterol. I’ll add an extra serving of whole grains at dinner, and start eating high fiber cereal for breakfast like the Heart Association says I should.”
“I’m eating too many calories. I’ll switch to those 100 calorie snacks between breakfast and dinner, and start incorporating t
ofu and other plant source proteins instead of meat.”
As you’ll lear
n shortly, there is a reason we believe and follow certain recommendations on nutrition and exercise, like the ones above.
Cognitive fluency is another psychology term that mean’s “we’re more likely to believe what’s familiar and easy,” and conversely, less likely to believe something that’s difficult, and unfamiliar. Although it's quite obvious that the result of conventional wisdom is making obesity and degenerative disease all too 'common,' many will still have trouble embracing the 'uncommon' advice found in this book. Common doesn’t mean correct, healthy, or sustainable; and obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer don’t have to be ‘part of the natural aging process.’
In the pages that follow, I'll tell you exactly WHY everyone else eats, everyone else says, and everyone else believes certain nutrition and training advice that has unfortunately become common knowledge. What’s driven me to write this book is that over the years I've watched conventional wisdom negatively affect the results of at least 50% of my clients, and ruin the health and body composition of the majority of those around me. I’ve determined that all I can do to make a difference is communicate what’s wrong with the common approach, using over a decade of personal study and experience with clients from all walks of life. I came up with this list of 10 mistakes based on the questions and comments I get most frequently from friends and family, and unfortunately continue to hear from supposed ‘experts’ online, in magazines and books, and on television. The misunderstanding of topics like calories, saturated fat, cardio, fiber, and cholesterol is negatively affecting daily decision making and leading to an increased likelihood of obesity and disease.
The advice in this book may seem controversial, as it’s the opposing view on almost everything we’ve been told to believe. Although lets not forget the result of the current approach (which still remains unchanged today):
In the year 2000, 65% of U.S. adults were overweight and 30% o
33% of t
he U.S. population born after the year 2000 will be diabetic.
You're here because common advice
is not working for you. I know this, because it's not working for anyone. The good news is, once you’ve read through the 10 mistakes in
Eat Meat And Stop Jogging
, and recognize what's wrong with the current guidelines, I'll show you exactly what's right, while delivering it in a simple and sustainable plan. Experience has taught me that your success with my eating strategy,
Live It, NOT Diet!
, will depend on your full understanding of why these bogus recommendations continue and how they're preventing you from optimal health and performance. Not only is flawed information making and keeping you fat, but it's shortening your life span and increasing your risk of degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and heart disease.
We’re in a serious health crisis in North America, yet decisions continue to be made according to the almighty dollar. As you review the mistakes, you’ll quickly notice that nearly every piece of misleading information has an ulterior motive. The ones with all the money run the ads and shout from the rooftops, which leaves us with tainted day-to-day advice. Unfortunately, the increased profits have come at an individual cost. As our health continues to diminish, the negative consequences of a debilitated population will outweigh any financial gain. Psychology has also shown us that repetition has less effect on human beings when the argument is weak. I assure you that the most recent marketing strategies from food manufacturers and corporately funded government projects selling unhealthy products are laughable once you’re armed with the right information to make a conscious choice.
It’s critical that you continue reading with an open mind as my book opposes many traditional beliefs and several government and medical recommendations. Likely half of you reading this are runners, cyclists, or vegetarians, and you picked up my book because of the title. All I ask is that you take an honest look at the potential future health consequences of your choice to live without animal protein, or rely on endurance exercise to stay fit.
“There are three things in life that induce powerful visceral r
esponses – religion, politics, and nutrition. Each is based on assumptions, and the adherents of each want to believe in their hearts that they are right; and of course they refuse to be confused by the facts.” Barry Sears, Author of The Zone
your eyes to the mistakes you’re making, by laying out the facts, showing you the science, and drawing reasonable conclusions on why certain strategies are flawed, I hope you will continue your journey and start travelling down the correct path with
Live It, NOT Diet!
“I have never seen a person who died of old age. In fact, I do not think that anyone has ever died of old age yet. We invariably die because one vital part has worn out too early in proportion to the rest of the body.”
― Dr. Hans Selye (1907-1982)
Restricting Calories To Lose Weight
still universally accepted that someone trying to get in shape is seeking ‘weight loss.’ However, most are not trying to lose weight, and those that are, need to understand the damage and ineffective nature of such an approach. Fat loss is the prevalent goal. By seeking weight loss, we lose less fat and keeping it off becomes more challenging. Tracking scale weight is irrelevant to your health and performance, and our focus should be solely on body composition. For instance, all the women in the picture below weigh 154lbs:
A woman that weighs 140lbs could be 120lbs of lean mass (bone, tissue, and muscle) and only 20lbs of fat.
Another woman could be the same weight (140lbs), but 90lbs of lean mass, and 50lbs of fat. Scale weight supplies no information with respect to muscle and fat, and definitely provides no feedback with respect to how we look and feel. Weight loss usually means muscle loss.
Research suggests that with a generic weight loss program, muscle loss could be as high as 40% of total weight lost.
As I’ll demonstrate in the next section, muscle loss lowers our fat burning rate, increases our fat storage rate, and makes fat loss more difficult over time. Furthermore, it produces a less attractive physique, increases the likelihood of future injury and accelerates the aging process. When you speak to most people about their fitness aspirations, it’s clear that ‘fat loss’ is the prevalent goal. Most are looking to lose excess fat, yet they continue to follow strategies that produce drastic amounts of weight loss in a short period of time. By seeking weight loss, we look worse, feel worse, lose less fat and make staying fit more difficult in the future than it has to be.
Gaining and maintaining muscle should be prioritized in your quest for improved body composition, health, and longevity. If one of your goals is living a long life it’s imperative that you make muscle maintenance and growth top priority. The statistics for muscle loss are scary:
By the age of 80, you will have lost nearly 50% of your
Women seem to battle
the muscle maintenance recommendation the most, even though they’re the ones most at risk for osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density). Perhaps if they were aware that bone loss is a result of a lack of strength and muscle, they would reevaluate their mindset. Other than an obsession with the scale, this usually stems from the misconception that focusing on activities that build muscle will make women look like a man, or a bodybuilder.
Trust me, female bodybuilder
s that make me look like Ronald Weesly (the skinny red headed kid from Harry Potter) are not going at it naturally
you have female friends and acquaintances that lift weights and look bulky, it’s because they don’t eat right. Compared to a female, males have as much as 8 times the blood concentration of testosterone, and 20 times the daily production. More importantly, if it were easy to naturally bulk up like a bodybuilder, why do most men that lift weights look slim and trim, despite extremely intense lifting schedules and supplementation?
People that work on muscle building and maintenance always look better than those that worry about cutting weight. Not only because a toned muscular build and shape is more aesthetically pleasing, but because muscle increases the rate at which we burn fat.
The Unlikely Hypothesis
Seeking weight loss usually means restricting calories. Other than muscle loss, this produces an elevation in the hormones that store fat, while decreasing those that burn fat. A calorie restriction diet is counterproductive to the whole reason we’re trying to lose weight in the first place. Unfortunately, this is still the customary advice from fitness and nutrition ‘experts,’ despite extensive scientific support suggesting otherwise. For instance, here’s a recent quote from the president-elect of the International Association for the Study of Obesity:
"Thinking that a specific diet should eliminate people's weight problems is totally unrealistic, there is no getting around the laws of therm
is is saying that losing weight is a battle of Calories-In vs. Calories-Out, and has nothing to do with what ‘type’ of food we consume. In other words, individuals are obese because they eat too much and don’t exercise enough. As my personal results demonstrate and the following research proves, this guidance is severely flawed.
In 1890, a chemist named Wilbur Atwater decided that the amount of ‘energy’ in food could be determined by burning food to ash (in a device called the calorimeter) and measuring the heat produced. According to Atwater, one calorie equals the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree. Surprisingly, this is still the measurement used today to determine the calorie content in different foods. The question is, does it seem reasonable to say that our body operates just like Wilbur’s oven? The human body is complex, with it’s intricate networks consistently adjusting and readjusting based on a variety of internal and external factors. Does it make sense to think that nothing else determines if we store or lose?
If that were the case, one would expect 3 unique diets with the same total calories to produce identical results in weight-loss, right? Fortunately, researchers in 1957 did just that, by putting participants on 1 of 3 1000-calorie diets, varying the percentages of each macronutrient with either 90% fat, 90% carbs, or 90% protein.
The 90% protein and 90% fat groups lost between 0.6 and 0.9 lbs per day, while the 90% carb group actually gained!
Calorie Restriction = Muscle Mass Loss
What the misguided calorie restriction
experts believe and promote is that you lose weight by either:
Will this make you lose weight? Yes.
Will you lose weight fast? Yes.
Is all of this weight fat? No.
Is it healthy? No.
Is it sustainable? No.
Weight loss is un
favorable if a good portion of it is muscle. Generally, this is the case with calorie restriction strategies as there’s no stipulation other than ‘eat less.’ To illustrate this point, lets look at an interesting study from 2010 that compared 3 diets with varying amounts of protein:
The great thing about this study is that its initial premise was to show that eating too many calories causes fat gain regardless of food choice. Initially it would appear that the calories-in/calories-out hypothesis holds true as all partic
ipants gained 8lbs of fat. However, when we take a more thorough look at the data it’s clear that the composition of the weight gain is quite different:
The low protein group gained least total body weight, but along with the 8lb fat gain,
they lost 1.5lbs in muscle mass.
The normal and high protein groups gained muscle mass, a
pproximately 6lbs and 7.5lbs respectively.
the weight gain was higher in the normal and high protein groups, nearly half of that was useful, healthy, and metabolically active muscle mass. The composition of the input was different, and so was the composition of the output. When looking at strictly body composition, the high protein group produced the most impressive outcome. They stored only 50% of the excess calories as fat, and stored the other 50% as lean muscle mass.
The low-protein group stored more than
90% as fat and lost muscle!
Calorie Restriction = Slower Metabolism (RMR)
The research above not only showed us that a lack of protein in your diet causes muscle mass loss, but it also supplied this very important piece of information:
The low-protein group had a 2% decrease in Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), while the normal & high-protein grou
ps had an 11% Increase in RMR.
Essentially, this means that:
When sedentary (inactive) the low-protein group will burn less calories per day because of a slower Resting Metabolic Rate.
Nearly 75% of our total energy expenditure is determined by o
ur Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), meaning a low rate can be very detrimental. On a calorie restriction plan, the RMR drops because of lack of energy in, and because of a loss of muscle. Unfortunately, the foods high in protein that facilitate muscle maintenance are usually restricted to meet the caloric constraints. When someone operates in a caloric deficit they continue to decrease the rate at which they burn calories, and lose useful muscle that would otherwise have burned additional calories. Meaning you may be eating less, but you’re also burning less, because of your slower metabolism. The long-term impact of such an approach is devastating:
Prolonged caloric reduction (3100kcal to 1950kcal) decreases metabolic rate by 20% per kg of bodyweight
24 weeks of severe caloric restriction decreases metabolic rate by 40%
once our metabolic rate drops because of an extended period of calorie restriction, it takes a significant amount of time to bring it back to it’s pre-diet level.
“But it was only a 6 week bikini season shred-up. I’ll return to normal and I’ll do it again after Christmas? My body’s rate will go back up and start living normal again, right?”
During the restoration period after a calorie-restricted diet our threshold to gain fat is now lower than when we started. We’re burning less, meaning it will take less intake to gain. A lower metabolic rate also lowers the absorption of muscle building foods, like protein. Implying that if a standard diet is reestablished, the synthesis of essential foods is diminished.
Considering that our body reduces it’s metabolic rate as we age, by approximately 2.3% per decade after the age of 20, the outcome from a lifetime of dieting is extremely unfortunate.
Calorie Restriction = Hormone Disruption
The worst outcome from calorie restriction is that it raises the hormones responsible for hunger and fat storage, and lowers or inhibits the hormones that suppress hunger and promote fat burning.
Calorie restriction increases fat storage hormones, and decreases fat burning hormones.
Equally disturbing is that similar to our metabolic rate, it appears that this disruption in hormones lasts for a substantial time period after the restriction phase. For example, a 2011 study in the New England Journal of Medicine determined that after a 10-week period of restricting calories, not only did hunger and fat storage hormones elevate, but:
eptin (the hormone that prevents fat storage) remained low for a WHOLE YEAR after the restricted time period.
Low leptin not only promotes fat storage, but research has sugges
A 20% decrease in leptin produces a 24% increase in hunger!
Ghrelin is the hunger hormone, and when leptin is down ghrelin is up. Upon completion of a calorie restriction diet, you are burning less (low metabolism), storing more (low leptin), and hungrier (high ghrelin). Furthermore, as was illustrated in the 10-week diet, this altered state may last for a full year. When a calorie-restricted diet is your strategy to lose, it becomes harder and harder to keep the fat off. Although the ‘weight’ may come off in the short-term, the hormonal consequences will produce a lifelong struggle.
Other than leptin, you’re looking at a reduction in thyroid hormone (t3) and the sympathetic nervous system, which are driving forces in lowering your overall metabolic rate. Many think that our thyroid hormone is the major determinant of metabolism, until they learn that leptin controls their thyroid.