Sunday, 27 December 2009

My blueprint for success in 2010

The 80/20 rule means that what I eat produces the greatest effect on my body composition. I can't outtrain a crappy diet.  I am adapting the principles outlined at Mark's Daily Apple. I ordered Mark's book and look forward to reading it.

1. Eat lots of plants and animals

Focus on quality sources of protein (all forms of meat, fowl, fish), lots of colorful vegetables, some select fruits (mostly berries), and healthy fats (nuts, avocados, olive oil). Observe portion control (calorie distribution) week to week more than meal to meal. Eliminate grains, sugars, trans- and hydrogenated fats from my diet.
Start with Protein.  I need nearly one gram per pound of lean body weight. For me, that means between 90 and 110 grams/day.
Add some healthy carbs. My goal is to control insulin and avoid inflammation. I want to use body fat or dietary fat for fuel. To lose body fat, I need to keep carbs under 80 grams per day.
Heavy work out days? eat more.  Add up to 100 grams per hour of heavy exercise. When I reach my ideal body composition, increase to 100-150 grams per day.
The point is to keep good records and analyse the results
Eat lots of colorful vegetables. No sugars or grains. A few starchy veg.
Fats. Fill out the rest of my daily caloric requirement with fats. Keep protein and carbs constant. Fats are the variable.
If I feel like I need more fuel (and I’ve already covered my ases with protein and carbs)? Reach for something with fat. Nuts, avocados, coconut, eggs, butter, olive oil, fish, chicken, lamb, beef, the list is a long one.
100 grams of fats per day would only add 900 calories to my daily average.


Protein: 320-440 calories
Carbs: 400-600 calories
Fats: 900 calories
Total: between 1620 and 1940 calories a day.
Even if the model averages somewhere between 1400 and 2200 calories per day over a few weeks, as long as she pays attention to protein and carbs, her body composition will shift to lower body fat and more desirable lean mass. If she decides to do some walking, a few brief intense weight sessions and a sprint day here and there, that process would accelerate greatly. If she gets to a point where she’s content with her body fat, she can even add in a little more fat to provide energy that she previously got from her stored fat.
2. Move around a lot with pleasure.

Do some form of low level aerobic activity 2-5 hours a week, whether it is walking, hiking, easy bike riding or swimming. Ideally, and when possible, find time to go barefoot or wear as little foot support as possible. Low-level activity is necessary (especially if you find yourself chained to a desk every day). The combined effect will be an increase in capillary perfusion, fat-burning and overall integration of muscle strength and flexibility. Medicine for the mind.
3. Lift heavy things

Go to the gym and lift weights for 30-45 minutes, 2-3 times a week. Focus on movements that involve the entire body and in wider ranges of motion – not just on isolating body parts. Emulate the movements of our ancestors: jumping, squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, twisting, etc. This will stimulate your genes to increase muscle strength and power, increase bone density, improve insulin sensitivity, stimulate growth hormone secretion, and consume stored body fat.

4. Run really fast every a couple times a week
Do some form of intense anaerobic sprint bursts several times a week. This could be as simple as six or eight (or more) short sprints up a hill, on the grass, at the beach… or repeated intense sessions on a bicycle (stationary, road or mountain bike). These short bursts also increase HGH release (HGH is actually released in proportion to the intensity (not the duration) of the exercise).

5. Get Enough Sleep.
6. Play
7. Get some sunlight every day.
8. Avoid trauma.
Eliminate self-destructive behaviours. Solve problems.
9. Avoid poisonous things.
Chemicals, bad foods, sugar, processed food, mercury.
10. Use my mind.
Be inventive, creative, read, write, play a musical instrument.  Be sociable.   Learn something. Work with my hands.   Happy at home. Happy at work.


  1. "I can't outtrain a crappy diet."

    That may be the best quote I've ever heard!

  2. I love that quote too! Not that I train for anything.

    I have a question - I definitely understand cutting down on carbs and I'm curious about why you're eliminating grains, but having some starch? Is it that your body rejects grains?

  3. Hi Maura
    I try to avoid grains for a couple reasons. First, I feel better - When I eat sandwiches with bread, I notice I am more likely to have a hypoglycemic episode in the afternoon. That tells me that bread may be triggering a higher insulin response. Also, when I eat oatmeal for breakfast, I get hungrier mid-morning. This happens even if I've balanced the oatmeal with servings of protein and fat (eggs or canadian-style bacon).

    Second, I've read that grains typically have a higher insulin response. And that humans are genetically intolerant of gluten. Robb Wolf writes a lot about this. So does Loren Cordain (here's a site listing a lot of others:

    There's another essay here:

    And, of course, the fountain of all: Wiki

    The idea is rejected by some. And I'm skeptical. So, that's why I go with my first reason - I feel better when I eat food other than grains. I also don't typically eat potatoes either (hi gly also).

    I have a strong family history of diabetes - plus I've already had diabestes while pregnant. I was dependent on insulin when I was pregnant with my second son. So I want to control my insulin response to foods I eat.


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