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The Real Reason You’re Fat

I remember as a fat person asking myself, time and time again, “Why am I fat?” Of curse, there is not just one answer to this question. It is not a reason, but several. I don’t have the time or the desire to go every possible reason, but I want to cover two basic reasons that I think are fundamental to why many people cannot reach or maintain a healthy weight.

Bad Information

The first of these two reasons is bad information. The worst information out there is that weight loss is a mater of calories in verses calories out.

It is surprising to me that so many people still believe this and try to implement it no matter how many times it has failed them in the past. I guess I cannot be too surprised since I was one of them for many years. That is to say that I believed that if I just reduced my calories and exercised more I would lose weight. But this never worked.

Of course I would often lose weight when I first started a diet, but eventually I would gain it all back and then some. Why did these diets not work? Because I was hungry. And while I could reduce my intake of food for a while, my hunger would eventually catch up to me and I would overeat.

Also, the types of foods I was suppose to eat did nothing to curb my cravings. When I finally did break down and eat, I would eat all the wrong foods.

This all stopped, for the most part, when I learned that weight loss was primarily controlled by hormones. When I started eating toward hormonal balance, I lost weight and I had a major reduction of cravings.


The second reason comes down to what we really want out of life. Please do not misunderstand me on this point. I am not saying that overweight people like being overweight. I know I didn’t. And I wished every day for a new body. But what it took to get a new body was not as motivating as what it takes to get and remain fat.

Let’s face it. It’s pretty easy to do the things that make us overweight. And, for the most part, people like doing those things too.

But the reason why I changed is that the pain of being overweight started to outweigh (no pun intended) the pleasure of what it takes to be overweight. As a result of this shift, I found the discipline it took to lose weight.

And the truth is that it comes down to discipline and not necessarily “motivation.” I was not always motivated to workout. I was not always motivated to restrain my sweet tooth. I did it when I did not want to. That’s discipline and that is what it takes to lose and maintain a healthy weight.

Final Question 

So what do you think might be holding you back? And what will it take for you to make the change? Leave a comment and let me know!

Best Books On Weight Loss (Audio)

A new episode of the podcast is now up. In this episode, I talk about the best books on diet, exercise, and mental fortitude when it comes to reaching your goal weight. Enjoy!

This is Why You Are Over Eating Part 1 (Written)

First off, I want to say that this is not a blog vindicating the calorie myth. That said, the truth is we in western culture simply consume too much food. This over consumption is resulting in weight gain. It is awesome to be on a low-carb diet and not have to starve in order to lose weight. However, this does not mean that every meal should be a carb-free version of thanks giving.

What I want to talk about over the next two blog posts is why we overeat. In this blog, I will talk about one of the major reasons. What is that reason? Simply put, we let other things other than our stomach regulate when we are done eating.

So if we are not letting our stomach regulate our consumption of food, then what do we let regulate it?

What’s Left on The Plate 

Often we let the plate tell us whether or not we are finished eating. Or to put it another way, when our plate is empty, we are done eating.

Paul McKenna has done experiments where he takes people out to breakfast. At breakfast he lets them order what ever they want and eat as much as they want. Most of the time the participants finish their plates. Then he takes the same subjects out on a different day and has them repeat the experience with one major edition–he blindfolds them.

The result is that most of the subjects only finish half of their food. Why? They are forced to listen to their stomach instead of their eyes in order to determine if they are full. The lesson here is to consciously check in with your stomach to see if you are actually full. If you are, stop eating.

Eating Too Fast 

Another way we do not listen to our stomach is that we eat too fast. To my shame, I have gone to an all you can eat buffet and finished two plates in under 10 min. While I was working on my third plate, I discovered that I was not only that I was full but stuffed.

It takes a while for satiety signal from our food to set it. If we eat too fast we can over ride this signal.

Eating At Meal Times 

There is also eating because it is meal time. That is to say we do not eat because we are hungry but we eat because it is “time” to eat. Most often this happens in the morning or at lunch.

In the morning, we are told that we should eat because we are suppose to eat breakfast even if we are not hungry. And personally speaking,  I am not that hungry in the morning.

Then there is lunch. We are at work and the lunch break begins and we are suppose to eat even if we are not hungry. I cannot tell you how many times I have eaten lunch because it was “lunch time” even though I really did not want to eat.

Even though this happens mostly at breakfast and lunch, dinner can play into this too. If you have had a late or a substantial lunch, you may not be hungry at dinner time. But we eat anyway because it’s dinner time.

But why do we do this? There is no law that says you have to eat at meal times. You should eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.

Other Distractions 

Finally, there are other distractions. People can be distracted by conversation, TV, Internet, children…. Before you know it you are eating more than you should.

There is nothing inherently wrong with doing these things while you eat. However, check in with yourself to find out whether or not you are full. You may be surprised to find out that you are no longer hungry sooner than you think.

Final Thoughts

In closing, the only thing that should really dictate whether or not you should eat is your stomach. If truly listen to your stomach and eat only when you are hungry and stop when you full you will find that you will eat much less.

Seven Things to Expect When Carb-Cycling With Dirty Carbs (Written)

Carb-cycling is generally thought of as a healthy part of your low-carb lifestyle. This means that as part of your eating protocol it is OK and even beneficial to eat a large amount carbs once every week or two. However, this brings us to an important question: What kind of carbs should you eat on your heavy carb-days? For example, should one carb up with a bunch of bananas or a pizza? Does it matter?

The truth is different experts have different opinions on this topic. Some recommend a cheat meal where no food is prohibited. Some (a very few) recommend that you should only carb-up with things like pizza and ice. Others recommend that you should only use fruit and starchy vegetables on your high-carb day.

This article is not intended to sift though all this information and tell you what is the right protocol for you. Nor am I your moral judge who is going to think less of you if you eat a pizza on your carb-day instead of a sweet potato. The truth is, I have had carbed up using both. However, if you do chose to eat “dirty” carbs for your high-carb meals, here is what you can expect:


What I have noticed is that if I carb-up on “clean” carbs, I do not have strong cravings for bad food the next day. However, if I eat, for example, Chinese food, I really want more high-carb food the next day. In fact, I have noticed that it takes a day or two for my cravings to go away.

Over Eating

Another problem is overeating. Many dirty carbs have MSG and other excito-toxins that stimulate appetite. This is why, personally speaking, I can open up a bag of Doritos and eat the whole thing, but if I open a bag of organic, non-GMO corn chips, I cannot eat the whole bag. I’m sure many of the readers could identify.

Weight Gain

Weight gain happens any time you carbo-load. This is mostly water and has to do with glycogyn and processes I’m not going to go into here. But, in my own personal experience, I gain much more when I carb up with dirty carbs.

In addition, I have noticed that it takes much longer to lose this weight. For example, if I carb up with clean carbs I’m normally back down to my regular weight by the end of the next day. But with dirty carbs, it takes at least two and sometimes three days to lose those extra pounds.


Headache is another phenomenon. This has to do with inflammation. Carbs in general can cause inflammation on their own. However, inflammation is heightened with dirty carbs because of all the added toxins found in these carb sources.

Brain Fog

Brain fog happens for the same reason as headache. Toxins in your food will have an affect on your ability to think clearly.


It’s not only your brain that suffers. Your body suffers too. Toxins just make you feel lazy like every movement takes extra effort.


Finally there is disaster pants. This happens because the body is just trying its best to get those dirty carbs out of your system. Why? because if you eat low-carb and clean all week long, you body gets use to those types of foods. It is not use to not high-carb, refined food. When it hits your system your body just wants to get rid of it.

Should You Cheat With Dirty Carbs

Given all the above data, some might wonder if they should eat dirty carbs or not. Like I said above, I am not your moral judge. If you decide to carb-cycle with pizza instead of bananas, that is up to you. In fact, I have chosen the dirty carb over the clean one more often than I would like to admit. In fact, what I have noticed for myself is that when I first started to carb-cycle, I pretty much used all dirty carbs. This was due to the fact that those were the foods I was craving. So when I would have my free meal, I would go nuts. But the longer I have been healthy, the less I want those foods even on a free day/meal. So if you want to eat a dirty carb, that is your decision. You just need to be aware of the results and take them into consideration when you make that choice.

Getting Past Your Plateau (Podcast)

A new episode of A Mind For Fitness Podcast is now available. In this episode, Ean talks about why we hit plateaus. And what we should and should not do about it. Enjoy!

Paleo, Keto, Low Carb, What’s The Difference?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the Low-carb, Ketogenic, and Paleo diets. Sometimes it is difficult to tell. In fact, when explaining the the various aspects of these diets, these three diets in particular overlap significantly.

This overlap hit home for me when on one occasion a friend of mine was explaining his diet. He was telling me all the foods he could and could not eat. He mentioned that he could meet, fish, veggies, and some fruit. He said he needed to stay away from grains, sugar, and a few other foods.

Upon his explanation, I thought this was simply a low-carb diet. He was trying to control insulin in an attempt to shred some unwanted weight. However, this was not simply a low-carb diet. Later when we were having lunch, I ordered a salad with Ranch dressing. On the salad was some cheese. My friend said that you cannot have ranch dressing or cheese on this diet.

This shocked me. The serving of ranch on my salad had no more than about four carbs. The cheese was probably about a two carb serving. This was not going to effect my blood sugar! This was not going to rise my insulin! So what was the problem?

The problem was that my friend was not simply on a low-carb diet. Nor was he was recommending a low-carb diet per-se. In fact, his diet was more-or-less incidentally low-carb. He was on a Paleo diet. That was when I realized that there was a difference between low-carb and Paleo. Later, I realized that there is also a difference between a Ketogenic diet and these other diets as well.

Another complication in distinguishing between these three diets is the fact that celebrity proponents of these diets run in the same circles. For example Jimmy Moore, Able James, Dave Asprey, Robb Wolf, and others will often speak at the same conferences as well as appear on each other’s podcasts.

So what is the difference and is that difference significant?

What’s the Focus, What’s Incidental?

The difference comes down to two things The first is what is the main focus of these diets. Or to put it another way, what is the driving theory behind their dietary protocol.

Second has to do with what is incidental. In other words, what are the results of the theory and how do those results workout in the dietary protocol.

Before I break this down in each diet, let me say that low-carb and Ketogenic have much more in common in their focus than Paleo. Because of that, I will start with Paleo.


The driving force behind Paleo is the idea that the diet of original man is optimal for health. Therefore, there is a strong emphasis on meat, fat, and organic, non- processed food. Original man did not get their food from a factory. They got it from hunting and gathering. Fruit and vegetables could only be eaten in season and therefore sparingly.

According to this view, original men were not farmers so grains and other farming byproducts are not part of this diet.

So, is this diet low-carb and/or ketogenic? Yes, but only incidentally so. In other words, lo- carb and ketoses is not focus but the byproduct. For example, in the winter, original man (in many regions) would not have access to fruit and vegetables. Therefore, they would have eaten meat and fat which would have lowered their insulin and put them in ketoses for a large segment of the year. The focus is eat like original man and as a result you will (at least at times) be in a state of ketoses and have steady blood sugar.

Keto and Low-Carb 

Again these two are more closely related because their focus and driving theory are almost identical. Also, their byproducts have much in common. However, that said, they are not completely the same.

The main focus of a Ketogenic diet is to achieve ketoses pure and simple. But in order to achieve ketoses you must eat very, very few carbs which will keep your insulin at bay. Insulin (with exception of carb re-feedings) is the enemy because it will keep you out of ketoses.

In a low-carb diet, insulin is also the enemy not necessarily because it will keep you out of ketoses but because insulin is a hormone that stores fat. You keep this hormone at bay by avoiding high-carbohydrate food.

As a result of this, these diets are both high in fat and moderate in protein and low in sugar and foods that turn to sugar in the body. However, for the most part a Ketogenic diet will slightly put more emphasis on fat than a Low-carb diet. But there is so much similarity that where you find the emphasis really depends on the author you are reading.

Things Get Tricky and Lines Get Blured

Having a diet high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in sugar is where these diets overlap with Paleo. However, it overlaps with Paleo it is not yet incidentally Paleo. These kinds of foods are essential to both the Paleo and Keto communities. Where then do these become incidentally Paleo?

This is where things get a bit complex. Paleo will always overlap with low-carb food and be incidentally ketogenic at times. But Ketogeinic and low-carb diets do not have to be incidentally Paleo. This is due to the fact that being ketogenic and low-carb does not necessitate the belief that “original man’s diet” is optimal. Nor does it necessitate that food must come from an organic source.

To give an example, when I had my salad with ranch and cheese I was being low-carb, and given my overall low-carb count of the day, I was also being ketogenic. However, I was not being Paleo because I was eating that which original man would not have eaten.  My friend, on the other hand, who also had a salad but without cheese and cream based dressing was being Paleo as well and low-carb.

So when do Low-carb and Ketogenic diets become incidentally Paleo? The answer comes in what a particular dieter believes about original man and from where he decides to get his food. When a low-carber and/or a ketoer believes that original man had the best diet they have also become Paleo. If a low carber, ketoer decides that they will only eat organic food (for the most part) they have become incidentally Paleo.

Can Someone Be All Three? 

The answer to the above question is yes with qualifications. There are many who believe that original man’s diet is the best option for health, who eat only organic food, and also actively try to achieve a state of ketoses. These people often consider themselves both Paleo and Keto (incidently low-carb).  And they are correct in a sense. However, one view will often override the other.

For example, there has been much conversation about tubers in the Paleo community. Some believe they are OK to eat and some do not. But let’s say one believes that original man did eat tubers. If this person believes this, but is trying to get into ketoses, he will avoid them. His desire to gain ketoses has dictated his diet.

Concluding Thoughts

As anyone can see, where these diets overlap and where these diets differ from each other is a complex issue. There are many who are Keto friendly, but Paleo in their overall outlook on health and vice-versa. This complexity gives rise to the fact that most people in these communities will share information and speak at each others events and podcasts.

I hope this helped. If it did please share this on your favorite social media as well as leave a comment.

Fit for Christmas Challenge!

So it’s 67 days until Christmas; what are your plans? For many years, what I use to do (back when I was overweight), is say something like this, “It’s the holidays! We have Oct. 31, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve, and New Years Day. There is no point in getting in shape now, I’ll just weight for the new year.”

But guess what? Year after year new year would come and I would make some progress, but eventually I fall back into old habits. The next holiday season would come around once again and I was just as fat and miserable as I was before.  In some cases I was more unhappy.

Does this sound familiar? If it does, then the Fit For Christmas Challenge is for you! This challenge starts now! It is designed to break old habits and old programs you’ve been running in your head your whole life. How are we doing this? Step one is by starting at the beginning of the holiday season rather than the end. You’ve seen what happens when you wait. Don’t repeat the same process–try something new!

The Plan 

This plan is based on two basic concepts that everyone knows–Diet and Exercise.


Christmas 2014 001

Here is the plan. First you must limit your carb intake to between 25 and 35 a day. It is not important right now where those carbs come form, just as long as you do not exceed 35 a day. This starts now!

Oct. 31 will be your first cheat day. You will not start this cheat day until after 1:00 PM, and it can last until you go to sleep.

The first week of November you will need to back to limiting your carbs to 25-35 a day. However, after the fist week, you can bump your carbs to 50. But you must never go beyond 50!

Your next cheat day will be Thanksgiving! And if you have been good, go a head and take that Friday as well.

After Thanksgiving, go back to 25-35 carbs a day for one one week. After that week, you can have up to 50 grams once more.

Your final cheat will be Christmas Eve and Christmas. Start on Christmas Eve as late as you possibly can, then cheat for 24 hours.

After Christmas, you will have to re-evaluate and see what’s next and what is right for you.

BTW, you do not have to count any carbs that come from green vegetables.

Exercise Plan

This is where there is some flexibility. In other words, it is up to you to choose a plan. However, you must choose a plan not make one up from day to day. For example, I’ve just started Insanity.

insanity 013

Other plans may include P90X, or most anything from Beach Body is good.

P90x 00121day 001

If however, you cannot afford these or you don’t have them and need to start now, you can go down to wal-mart, target…. and pick up something like this:


workout2 003

I cannot remember how much it was, but It was under $30.

Whatever you choose, you must workout 6 days a week.

A Few Things To Keep In Mind

First is that on your cheat days it is important to work out the day of and the day after. No exceptions!

It’s fine if you choose to work out twice a day to get better results; however, you do not need to do this.

And if you decide to go to the gym, create a plan and go at least 6 days a week.

Finally, monitor your body. If you are working out too much and need some extra carbs that’s OK. However, get them from fruit and vegetables. And make sure this is a need and not a craving.


I would love to hear about the workout plan you chose. Also, make sure to take some before pictures so you can monitor your progress. Best wishes and stay strong!