Out the gate I’m going to tell you to buy this book. I own it on audible and will be purchasing a physical loaner copy to give to my friends. I was a fat kid from the start. I have been trying to lose weight since I was twelve. That being said, this book had the answer I needed. Instead of trying to go over every single thing in this book, which you should read even if you don’t have a weight problem, I will go over key takeaways that I felt were important and I applied to my daily life. The short of this is, if you read this book you will have a better understanding of how to regulate by avoiding the actions that cause weight gain and cause hormonal damage.

Lets begin by saying something I thought initially was absolutely bonkers, calories didn’t matter as much as I thought. I was taught wrong for quite some time. Caloric reduction is not sustainable because a calorie is not just a calorie. The composition of the calorie is what will dictate how it is used for energy. I know you want me to cut to the chase on this and tell you what I ate and how I lost forty pounds in a snap while maintaining muscle mass, so here we go. Weight gain is a hormonal problem, not a caloric one. Seriously, buy this book.

Sugars and grains are macros that are a daily part of S.A.D. standard american diet. We’ve been encouraged to consume whole grains because we need carbs to survive, since our brains run on glucose. The thing is, added sugars (including things like agave nectar and corn syrup especially) are hyper palatable because sugars used to be rare, our bodies can’t keep processing something that we were supposed to get on rare occasions. When we consume sugars and grains our body responds by squirting insulin into our blood stream to utilize it for energy. But insulin is a storage hormone, and excessive amounts(which like I said, is not much) will cause an unwanted spike in insulin. When this happens on a consistent basis, you get insulin resistance which means more insulin pumps through your veins consistently causing more storage and more resistance, so its a self feeding negative cycle. I was told that snacking throughout the day would speed up my metabolism, but it only did it when I ate and also caused insulin to rise which in turn caused more resistance.

Sugar and processed grains are a drug. Consider it like beer if you will. If you consistently drink beer on a regular basis you build a tolerance, which gives you the bragging rights to show how much beer you can drink. But who wants to brag about having a less efficient system? No one calls it a beer belly because it looks like a six pack, that bulbous stomach that people develop is hormonally driven just like all fat storage because INSULIN IS A STORAGE HORMONE(all caps for dramatic effect). All of the techniques and diet structures I’ve ever used until the last couple of years have miserably failed because I was paying attention to calories, not my hormones.

So how did I build up the insulin sensitivity and lose the weight so rapidly? Two super techniques and a couple other helpful ones that you can talk to your doctor about and I’m sure they’ve been made well aware of. Make them buy this book too.

Intermittent fasting:

The reason why intermittent fasting worked for me is because I was losing my tolerance to insulin. I wasn’t snacking all day, so insulin wasn’t consistently pumping through my body. I drank lots of water to make sure I stayed satiated. But there are many liquids that I drank that had a minimal effect on my insulin secretion such as coffee, tea and other things with zero carbohydrates. So we know it was effective in moderating my hormones, but how did it help me lose weight? The human body is very efficient and wants to preserve lean mass over fat mass and will secrete human growth hormone to stop the muscles from being catabolized. When I wasn’t eating my body was mobilizing the fat stores for energy, converting them using gluconeogenesis. This had an amazing effect on my brain and it felt like I was high in a good way. So that is how fasting worked for me in a nutshell. On to the next!

Low Sugar/Low Carb/Keto/Atkins/Whatever You Want to Call it

I will call it the queso diet because I ate a bunch of it. What I was eating was foods that had low impact on insulin secretion and either had high fat or high protein. That isn’t to say I had no carbohydrates. Carbohydrates aren’t the enemy, just sugars and grains since they had the most impact on insulin. I’ve gotten to love cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, almonds, macadamia nuts and all sorts of things my body craves its carbohydrates from. I stopped going to the big name place that sells americanized tacos, burritos, tacoritos, cheesoritos and whatever. I still had my vices however and needed to indulge. I found that I could eat hotwings whenever I felt like I had a terrible food craving. They had minimal impact on insulin and still gave me my fix. The technique here was replacing the really bad food with something that may have been more caloricly dense but far less impactful on insulin production. Someone is going to chime in with gluconeogenesis where the body can also convert proteins into sugar, don’t worry I already thought of you. Gluconeogenesis happens as needed only, so chicken wings won’t turn into a piece of cake in your blood stream. What I can tell you is that eating wings was a piece of cake for me.

Stress Management:

This is important as we as humans are living in one of the most stressful times of our existence. I managed myself by keeping cortisol production low. When cortisol enters the blood stream it is dealt with insulin which in turn causes weight gain, causing stress which causes insulin and that self feeding negative cycle, so stress weight is definitely a thing. I started meditating and continuing to keep the sugars and grains out of my diet because they cause systemic inflammation, which causes stress which causes cortisol which causes insulin, see how that vicious cycle just got a lot bigger? I also supplemented with natural calming remedies like l-theanine. Working out helped as well. I specifically worked to keep my cortisol low because I have been having panic attacks since I was eighteen when I worked at a theater, where we were allowed to have free soda and popcorn all day long…

Working Out:

Working out helps because it helps to lower cortisol levels like I said earlier. But also, I did low intensity steady state to get my fat mobilization kickstarted. I also work out while listening to books which creates an almost meditative state for me. Some people do music, I do books. To name a few, some of my gym partners have been written by; John Scalzi, Kevin Hearne, Delilah Dawson, Cherie Priest, Patrick Rothfuss, Diana Gabaldon, Chuck Wendig, Myke Cole and this one guy Sam Sykes, you should buy his book.

There is a lot of information this book has that I didn’t go over in this review thingy, and its for a good reason. You need to buy this book if you want to stabilize your life and manage the hormones flapping around your body like spooked chickens. If you are planning to go on a weight loss plan talk to your doctor about the role that hormones play, read this book, ask them to read this book, it was written by a doctor who has over twenty years of experience and all of the evidence was derived from human studies only.

Thanks for Playing

-KG(Schwartz)