The Lose Weight Diet Blog

Milk: The Weight Loss Miracle Drink

April 9, 2007
Filed under: Diet & Fitness Junk — TheLoseWeightDiet @ 10:42 am

Ah yes, milk. A good source of calcium, a good source of certain vitamins, and it’s even a good source of protein. But apparently, that’s not all. Milk also happens to be THE miracle weight loss drink.


I’ve been seeing this commercial lately for milk, or more specifically, the web site Maybe you’ve seen it? The “2424” stands for “24 ounces of low fat or fat free milk every 24 hours.”

Every commercial states pretty much the same thing their web site states. And, that is that drinking milk, as part of a reduced calorie diet, will make you lose weight.

Hold on. Let me repeat that.

If you reduce the number of calories in your diet… and THEN drink 24 ounces of low fat/fat free milk per day… it will lead to weight loss.

I don’t know who is behind this whole ad campaign, but I’d put my money on it being the same geniuses who brought us Special K Cereal: The Miracle Diet Food. Their whole thing was that eating Special K cereal, as part of a reduced calorie diet, helps your weight loss.

Well, guess what? Eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger, as part of a reduced calorie diet, will make you lose weight.

Banging your head against a wall, as part of a reduced calorie diet, will make you lose weight.

It’s not the milk, it’s not the Special K, it’s not the cheeseburger, and it’s not the head banging… it’s the “reduced calorie diet” part. That’s it. Consume less calories than your body needs and you lose weight.

Every food and drink on the planet could make the exact same claim that milk is making here. Really, McDonald’s would be just plain crazy not to register

And just to clarify, I’m not anti-milk. Milk is far from bad, and if it’s something you enjoy drinking as part of your healthy reduced calorie diet, go for it! But just keep in mind that the reason you are losing fat is because you’re eating less calories (and/or burning more calories), not because you happen to be drinking milk.

So, long story short, a reduced calorie diet is what causes weight loss, not milk. Whether or not you drink milk as part of that diet is completely up to you.

Lose weight AND build muscle?

March 5, 2007
Filed under: Exercise,Weight Loss — TheLoseWeightDiet @ 4:27 pm

Ok, I’m going to answer a series of questions with either “yes” or “no.” After all the questions have been answered, I will explain.

1. Should I lose weight first and then build muscle?

2. If I want to lose weight and build muscle, should I wait until all of the weight is lost and then work on building muscle?

3. I have some fat that I want to lose and then I want to work on building muscle. But, my friend told me I should just work on turning my fat into muscle. Is that possible?
Hell no.

There is a noticeable theme to these questions… the goal of wanting to both lose weight AND build muscle. I’ve noticed this to be the cause of a lot of confusion, so let’s get it all straightened out. Question #1 and #2 are basically the same question with a different wording. Either way, the answer is still no. Here’s why…

If you want to both lose weight and build muscle, there are absolutely no reasons to first ONLY lose weight, and then, when the weight is finally gone, first begin to build muscle.

On the other hand, there ARE many reasons to work on building muscle at the same time you are trying to lose weight. Some include:

  • Weight loss happens when you put your body into a calorie deficit either by eating less of them, burning more of them, or a combination of both. And, huge surprise, weight training burns calories. It might not be equal to jogging on a treadmill, but it still burns a significant amount of calories.
  • Not only does the actual act of weight training burn calories, but the results you get from weight training (increased muscle) ALSO burns calories. Yes, muscle literally burns calories. You know that whole calorie maintenance level thing? Well, that is the number of calories that your body naturally burns each day just functioning. The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories your body will naturally burn. You don’t even have to do anything. You just build muscle, and it takes care of the rest. Adding muscle to your body really is the closest thing to a weight loss miracle.
  • HELLO… you start building muscle sooner! If you just sit around waiting until you lose weight before you finally try to build muscle, you will have wasted precious muscle building time. Both could have been getting done at the same time. (More on that later.)

So, to sum up, if you want to both lose weight and build muscle… you’d be pretty silly to not start off doing both at the same time.

On to question #3. The infamous “turn fat into muscle” idea. This, of course, is not possible. As mentioned above, you should start to both lose fat and build muscle at the same time, but you should also keep in mind that these are two separate things being lost and gained separately.

You’ve got your muscle, and you’ve got your fat. These are the only forms they come in. They can’t magically transform into the other. You can only gain and lose muscle, or gain and lose fat. That’s it. Those are the only tricks they do. Of course, you can lose 5lbs of fat and then gain 5lbs of muscle. But, one did not turn into the other. Case closed.

And now, one more related question:

  1. I’ve heard that it’s not possible to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. Is this true?

As someone whose goal was always to both lose fat and gain muscle, I know exactly how confusing that “sometimes” answer may appear. But, it’s really not. Let me explain.

In order to lose a significant amount of fat, you have to consume less calories than your body needs each day. In order to build a significant amount of muscle, you have to consume more calories than your body needs each day. As you can see, they are counterproductive opposites. If I currently tried to do both at the same time, I would fail at both.

However, don’t give up hope. There are two groups of people that could actually succeed at doing both at the same time, and I’m not one of them. These two groups of people are:

  1. People with “assistance.” Specifically, a word that starts with “ste” and ends with “roids.”
  2. Beginners. It truly is an amazing thing, and you’d be just plain stupid to not try to take advantage of it. See, when you are first starting to build muscle (aka, a beginner), very little is required for it to work. Don’t get me wrong, it will still take tons of effort and the correct information, but all of the other aspects that would cause a non-beginner to fail to build muscle does not apply to the person who is a beginner. Their body will, for the most part, build muscle either way. I’ve heard this borderline miracle described as “newbie gains,” “beginner’s gains” and the “honeymoon period.” None of these are scientific terms, by the way.

You remember that whole thing I said before about having to eat more calories than your body needs in order to gain a significant amount of muscle? And that the reason most people can’t do both at the same time is because losing fat requires consuming less calories (the opposite)? Well, this doesn’t really apply to the beginner. Yes, they will need to be in some kind of calorie deficit in order to lose weight. But, because they are a beginner, this won’t stop them from building muscle as it would a non-beginner.

And it is because of this reason that a beginner is able to both lose weight and build muscle at the same time. Amazing, isn’t it?

Obviously at some point you won’t be a beginner anymore and successfully doing both at the same time will become much harder (or near impossible). But until then, you might as well pretend you have temporary super powers and just enjoy it. In my opinion, the last thing you’d want to do is have this ability and not use it. That’s why the idea of waiting until you first lose weight before trying to build muscle is… well… dumb. It would be like Superman taking the bus to Lex Luther’s hideout.

You have the ability… use it while you can. As for how exactly to do this, it’s pretty simple. Follow The Lose Weight Diet (takes care of the weight loss part of the goal) and combine it with a proper weight training routine (takes care of the muscle building part of the goal). That’s it.

For more details on what weight training routine will work best, and the complete diet/workout program that is most ideal for both losing fat and building muscle at the same time, check out The Lose Weight Diet’s Ultimate Fat Loss Program. There’s an entire bonus section specifically for people looking to gain muscle and lose weight simultaneously.

(Oh, and just to clarify something… any mention of the word “beginner” in this post refers to a weight training beginner, not a weight loss beginner. You could have been trying to lose weight for 10 years and have done all kinds of cardio and been on all kinds of diets, but unless you have been weight training consistently for the last 6-12 months, you are still considered a muscle building beginner who will most likely be able to take advantage of these “beginner gains.” Even if you worked out all the time when you were in college 5 years ago, unless you were doing it over the course of the last year, you too are still considered a beginner.)

100% whole wheat bread is good about 10% of the time.

February 19, 2007
Filed under: Diet & Nutrition — TheLoseWeightDiet @ 5:01 pm

Back when I first started learning about diet and nutrition, I heard a lot about “good” carbs and “bad” carbs. Good means complex, bad means simple. The difference between the two lies mostly in how they are digested. Good carbs (such as vegetables) digest slowly, bad carbs (such as sugar) digest quickly.

In the war between good and bad carbs, something I came across over and over again were lists of which carbs were good, and which were bad. Back when the low carb diet was even more popular than it is today, everyone and their grandma wrote their own good carb/bad carb list.

For the most part, these lists were fine and good. People learned that brown rice is better than white rice. Sweet potatoes are better than white potatoes. And whole wheat bread is better than white bread.

Wait… hold it right there.

Upon learning that whole wheat bread was the better bread, I was first in line at my grocery store the next day to pick up some whole wheat bread. No more “bad” bread for me. So, I walked down the bread aisle… white bread, more white bread, more white bread, wait, here we go… whole wheat bread!

I bought it. I ate it. I bought more. I ate more. Every single piece of bread I ate from that point on was whole wheat. I felt good knowing I was eating the “better” food.

Cut to a little while later. Whole wheat bread wasn’t on the “good” carb lists anymore. See, it had now been replaced by “100%” whole wheat bread. Oh no, it seems as if the lists I’ve been reading weren’t specific enough. Apparently, the whole wheat bread I was currently eating may not have been 100%. Who knew there was anything less than 100%?

So, I went back to the store. White bread, white bread, whole wheat bread, ah, here we go… 100% whole wheat bread. NOW I got the right one. Screw you white bread, and screw you too ordinary whole wheat bread, you’ve both been replaced by the much more healthy 100% whole wheat bread.

Cut to a little while later. This was when I learned the point of this post. Just like there are “good” and “bad” carbs, there also happens to be “good” and “bad” whole wheat bread… and the “100%” has nothing to do with it.

In order to understand the difference, the first thing you need to do is ignore that “100%” part. Just ignore it completely. It means nothing to you. Think of it more like a marketing slogan than a nutritional fact. You know what, just ignore the entire front side of the package of bread altogether. There’s nothing important there anyway.

What you need to do is turn all of your attention to the back. Specifically, the ingredients. This is where you will find out if you really have selected the “good” whole wheat bread.

To help show the difference between “good” and “bad,” here is the list of ingredients on a package of one brand’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread:

“Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Gluten, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Yeast, Cracked Wheat, Salt, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Molasses, Raisin Juice Concentrate, Ethoxylated Mono-And Diglycerides Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Honey, Soy Lecithin.”

Here is the list of ingredients on the back of a package of another bread from the same brand, this time called Natural 100% Whole Wheat Bread:

Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour [Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Reduced Iron, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Folic Acid], Water, Cracked Wheat, Whole Wheat Flour, Yeast, Barley, Honey, Fructose, Wheat Gluten, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Salt, Wheat Bran, Malt, Ethoxylated Mono-And Diglycerides, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Caramel Color, Whey, Soy Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Soy Lecithin, Nonfat Milk.”

And now, here are the ingredients on the back of the package of whole wheat pita bread I ate today:

Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Yeast, Salt, Calcium Propionate

Catch any differences? I bet you did. Some of the ingredients that stand out the most in the first two are High Fructose Corn Syrup and Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil. Both are junk. The second bread also lists Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour, which is almost like saying “Borderline Fake Whole Wheat Bread.”

These are things you do NOT want to see anywhere near the list of ingredients of the whole wheat bread you buy. This of course will eliminate about 90% of the whole wheat breads on the market for you, because 90% of them contain one or more of these ingredients. And, as you can see from the first two breads, the fact that it says “100% whole wheat bread” or “natural” on the package means very little.

In fact, I was in my grocery store yesterday, and knowing I was going to blog about this today, I took a minute in the bread aisle to check ingredients. Literally every single 100% whole wheat bread in the store contained High Fructose Corn Syrup.

So, now that you know all about the “bad” whole wheat breads, you may be wondering what brands make up the 10% of the “good” breads. Interestingly enough, I don’t have any brands to list for you off the top of my head. The brand I eat is just some small local brand that you won’t find anywhere else except for a few small stores in my neighborhood.

Now, while it’s possible that you may be able to find your own “good” small local whole wheat bread brand near you, there is one place where you’re almost guaranteed to find one… a health food store.

Most (if not all) of the breads you find in your grocery store will contain one or more of the “bad” ingredients mentioned before. The breads in a health food store are made specifically to be the complete opposite of those junky breads.

You’ll still want to double check the ingredients of the whole wheat bread before you buy it, but your chances of finding a “good” bread in a health food store are MUCH higher than finding one in a grocery store.

And, just so you know, your bread’s ingredients do not have to identically match my bread’s ingredients in order to be “good.” For example, some organic whole wheat breads will have a huge list of stuff in it that mine doesn’t have and it will still be perfectly fine.

You’re mainly checking to make sure certain things are NOT in it. Specifically, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, and any mention of the words “Unbleached” and/or “Enriched.” If you do spot something on there that looks a little funny, feel free to come home and look that ingredient up before you buy it or eat it. Or, leave a comment here with the ingredients and I’ll take a peek at it.

In conclusion (it took me 5 minutes to come up with a phrase to start this sentence with, by the way), whenever you see 100% whole wheat bread on some kind of healthy food list, just keep in mind that this is the additional explanation that is meant to go with it.

The “other” weight loss food log.

January 11, 2007
Filed under: Weight Loss — TheLoseWeightDiet @ 4:17 pm

Stop me if you’ve heard this one… if weight loss is your goal, one of the most important things you can possibly do is keep track of everything you eat each day.

Nothing new there, right?

The reason you’d do this is because, as you know by now, the key to a successful weight loss diet is eating the right number of calories (and getting those calories from good sources) and keeping some kind of log, list, or journal of what you eat every day is the only real way of doing this.

While I fully agree with everything above, I feel there is actually a completely different weight loss food log that should also be kept.

Like I’ve mentioned other times in this blog, most people fail to lose weight because of the mental aspect of weight loss. Knowing what to do and deciding to start doing it is easy. It’s the motivation, dedication, and will power to keep doing it, and doing it correctly, that causes most of the problems.

Keeping the type of food log I mentioned above and knowing exactly what you’re eating every day is really one of the keys for making the physical aspect of weight loss happen.

But, it does absolutely nothing for the mental aspect.

That’s why I’m proposing that everyone who’s ever had a diet setback due to a lack of will power or motivation should start keeping a SECOND log…

A log of everything you didn’t eat.

Everything you wanted to eat that day, but didn’t. Every bag of potato chips, every candy bar, every french fry, every cookie, every fast food hamburger, every can of soda, every food you wanted to eat but didn’t because you know you shouldn’t.

Each food in that log is one victory for your will power. Looking at a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly log of every piece of junk food you were mentally strong enough to keep out of your body would be nothing but motivating.

The next time your favorite junk food is just sitting there calling your name, instead of eating it, write it down. Write them all down. If you’re up to it, you can even take the time to figure out the nutritional information of it (calories, grams of fat, etc.) just to get an even better idea of the junk you just avoided eating.

As motivating as that would be, it will be even more motivating when you watch this log become smaller and smaller over time as your desire and interest in eating these types of foods gradually fade away.

Not to mention, the actual act of writing/typing the food down rather than eating it could act as enough of a distraction to make the desire to eat it just pass.

So, while adopting this idea won’t actually cause you to lose any weight, it will serve as a way of improving your will power and keeping you motivated. And, without that, you probably won’t be losing any weight anyway.

The #1 way to make your weight loss New Year’s Resolution a success.

January 2, 2007
Filed under: The Gym,Weight Loss — TheLoseWeightDiet @ 1:08 pm

So, you finally decided you want to lose some weight. Hey, maybe it’s a lot of weight. Either way, you decided it’s time for it to go. And this time, this time you’re serious. You mean business. And to show just how much you want to lose weight, you’ve gone and made weight loss your 2007 New Year’s Resolution.


Now, I want to help you succeed with this goal as much as possible, but I’m not going to waste your time and mine by writing up the type of top 10 list of “tips” that is going to literally be in every magazine and newspaper and on every diet and fitness website over the next few weeks.

“10 ways to lose weight in 2007!” “The 10 easiest ways to slim down in the new year” “10 tips for saying goodbye to 2006… and 50lbs!!”

And you know what comes next… those super useful tips like “set goals,” “take the stairs instead of the elevator,” “eat more fruits and vegetables,” blah blah blah.

I’m not going to bore you with that nonsense.

If you want to know what you need to do to make weight loss happen, then just take 20 minutes and read through the 3 phases of The Lose Weight Diet. It will tell you every single thing you need to know, for free.

But, this isn’t about knowing. This is about doing. New Year’s Resolutions are about doing. Knowing how to lose weight is simple and easy. I pretty much explained it all in 3 easy to understand pages. It’s doing it, and then continuing to do it, that tends to be a bit harder. After all, weight loss is the #1 New Year’s Resolution. It’s what most people want to do in the new year.

So, with this in mind, I was sitting here thinking about what to make my big “weight loss resolution” blog post about. I know this is the biggest time of the year for people to seek out diet and fitness information. How can I help these people, I wondered. What could I leave at the top of this blog so that it’s the very first thing these people see when they end up here in their search for accurate weight loss information.

I thought, and I thought, and I thought some more. What is the one single piece of advice I could offer to the people looking to lose weight this new year aside from the things mentioned in The Lose Weight Diet itself. And then, finally, it came to me.

DON’T make weight loss your New Year’s Resolution.

Did this one take you by surprise? I figured it would. It wasn’t a typo. Go ahead and read it again. And I’m being completely serious too. Let me explain.

I have always felt that turning something like weight loss into a New Year’s Resolution is a really bad idea. It’s the wrong way to start things off. Why? Because it makes failure a possibility. If you fail, you can always try to lose weight again as part of next year’s New Year’s Resolution. There will always be another January 1st to “try again” on. You’re giving yourself a way out, almost like a failure backup plan.

This is the complete opposite of the type of mindset someone should have when they decide they want to lose weight, and weight loss is just as much a mental thing as it is a physical thing (if not more so). The thought that there is even the slightest possible chance that you won’t reach your goal should not even exist in your mind. And, making weight loss your New Year’s Resolution does just that.

What, don’t believe me? Just ask the millions of people who have made weight loss there New Year’s Resolution this year… and last year… and the year before that… and the year before that… and the year before that… and hell, they’ll make it next year just the same… and the year after that… and the year after that.

Still don’t believe me? Ask anyone who has been a member of a gym for longer than a year. I happen to fit into this category, so I might as well be the one to tell you. Every single year, everyone in every gym knows that the first few weeks of January is when everything becomes a little… different. There are less parking spots outside. There are less available lockers in the locker room. There is more equipment in use. The gym as a whole becomes a little more crowded. Why? Because these New Year’s resolution people start showing up.

But… we only have to put up with them for a short period of time. Ever see The Shawshank Redemption? Remember that part when all of the long time inmates take bets on which of the new inmates will be the first to break down and cry? Well, the same type of bets are taking place in gyms around the world… which New Year’s Resolution person will be the first to give up and quit, never to be seen again.

Until maybe next January, of course.

Slowly but surely, it happens every single time. Within 1 full month, maybe even two or three, the gyms are less crowded. There are a lot more parking spots and lockers. Everything is back to normal again. And just like that, 99% of the people who made weight loss their New Year’s Resolution have disappeared. Don’t worry guys, you can borrow my parking spot for the first 3 weeks of next January too.

The reason I’m telling you this is to show you that the odds are against you. If you make weight loss your New Years Resolution, I have see enough proof with my own two eyes to know that the odds are not in your favor. The majority of these people will fail. This is an unfortunate yet proven fact.

So then… if you follow my tip and DON’T make weight loss your New Year’s Resolution… what the hell are you supposed to do? Just forget the whole thing and never lose the weight? Of course not. What you need to do is simple.

Lose weight because that’s what you want to do. Lose weight because that’s what you’re going to do. Lose it because you want to be healthier. Lose it because you want to look better. Lose it because you want to feel better. Lose it for all of these reasons… and more.

Work your ass off to reach your weight loss goal because that is just what you’ve decided you’re going to do, and not because it’s the first week of January, or because it’s 2007, or because it’s written down on a piece of paper titled “New Year’s Resolutions.” Lose weight because that’s just what you are going to do, period.

Like I said before, it’s the mental aspect of weight loss that causes most people to fail. A mental change as small as this one may just be the difference maker.

So, my tip to you… eliminate the term “New Year’s Resolution” from your mind. Ignore any and all mention of it. Instead, just lose weight because you will not accept or allow anything else.

Oh, and Happy New Year.

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