Lower your blood pressure quickly, cheaply and safely

Feet on grassAs a consequence of the low carbohydrate / high fat diet I have been eating since July this year my blood pressure has been slowly declining, and I have been monitoring it closely so that I can get my doctor to adjust my hypertension medications as necessary, as you can see from the chart on the left for October.

But check out what comes after the dotted line!

Please follow this link to my new website, Fully Grounded, to discover what I did to quickly and dramatically further reduce my blood pressure after that point.

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Is grounding the cure for the modern malaise?

Feet on grassI’ve been looking into a strange phenomenon recently that promises to become a health revolution. Actually, it’s not so much of a cure, as a correction for a problem caused by modern living, in that over the last hundred or so years we have insulated ourselves from the planet we live on with tarmac roads, rubber-soled shoes, carpeted houses and so on.

But is that a problem? Well, the answer is that it seems to be, because there is very strong evidence that biological beings benefit from being grounded to the planet, and suffer when disconnected. I have performed experiments myself to test this, as witnessed in the photograph below, which was taken seven days after planting two identical pansies, giving each 60ml of water each day. The only difference was that using a copper wire I connected the soil in the flowerpot on the left to the earth pin on a mains plug (via a 1 mega-ohm resistor for additional safety BTW).

Note: In the UK the electricity companies provide a good earth to every house, so this is a safe and reliable thing to do. However, this is not the case in all countries, so the best alternative when unsure is to simply run a wire out of the window, attach it to an iron, steel or copper rod and bury it in the earth. The end result is the same.

 Left: A grounded plant; Right: This plant is ungrounded

In modern life there are all sorts of  electromagnetic radiation vibrating through our bodies, from mains hum, to computer chip interference, light bulbs, television, to cordless and mobile phones. And it seems that these can interfere with biological life just enough to slow it down.

Serious athletes are getting grounded

In people, this can result in mysterious aches and pains, slow healing of wounds, difficulty sleeping and more. Don’t believe me? Even Tour de France cycling teams earth themselves to gain extra energy and heal their muscles (and minor injuries) over night. If international athletes take grounding seriously, maybe we all should.

Anyway, I have discovered that the health benefits are so far-reaching that I want to do my part in spreading the message. For example, long-time readers will know that I have had weight-issues for some years, which I am finally overcoming. As part of this I have also had hypertension. Fortunately my low carb diet has brought this down, but not enough for my liking. So imagine my amazement when I started to ground myself using an electronic technician’s grounding mat under my keyboard and mouse at work, and found that my daily blood pressure readings had dropped from an average 135/85 down to 115/75. That’s a huge drop for both systolic and diastolic pressures.

Why does this happen? Well, nobody is sure yet, because not much research has been made. However, when the blood of someone who has been ungrounded for a while is taken, and then compared under a microscope with another sample from after about an hour of being grounded, you can see a serious difference. The grounded blood cells are unclumped and disperse, making them freer flowing. Speculation is that the negatively charged earth supplies free electrons to our bodies which we can then make use of.

Left: Blood from ungrounded volunteers; Right: After grounding for an hour.

Reconnecting with the planet

But there may be more to it than that, because the earth has a magnetic field that changes minute to minute, hour to hour, season to season, year to year, and even over the time-span of centuries and more. When things are grounded to the planet they become in sync (or perhaps in tune) with it, which may lead to a greater harmony with all other living things. Yes, it sounds a bit ‘hippy’ but the concept of grounding is so new a lot is still speculation right now. The scientific studies are beginning to get underway, and more theories will emerge as we grow our understanding.

I am so intrigued by this phenomena, that I have also invested in a cotton sheet embedded with fine silver strands so that I can stay grounded overnight. Guess what, by the way? Instead of waking up at around 7am, I’m now finding myself fully awake and refreshed anytime after 4am. I can’t even make myself go back to sleep as I’m not tired anymore, so I get up and have a few extra productive hours in my day. What’s more I’m no-longer confused and grumpy until I’ve had my first coffee ;)

In light of this I plan to invest a lot of time in further researching grounding, and conducting double-blind scientific experiments (much more rigorous than my simple indicative windowsill plant tests), on both plants and any willing humans I can get to volunteer too. And I’ll be writing about everything I unearth (so to speak) at a new website I have created at the link below:

If you find this concept intriguing I hope you’ll join me there, and even try some experiments for yourself, which I’d love to hear about, or maybe you can even guest blog with me.

See you there!

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I am proof that LCHF makes you thin and cures diabetes

Taking blood for a testWell, it’s almost exactly four months that I’ve been on a low carbohydrate, high fat diet and, after visiting the doctor today to get my latest blood test results, I want to share them and a few other statistics with you.

If you have ever tried a low carb / high fat diet you’ll guess what I’m likely to report. But if not (and especially if you also have a weight issue) please read on, because I am just one of many hundreds of thousands of people who are proof that Dr Atkins was right, and that the current surge in interest in LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) diets is justified.

Let’s talk about weight and size first. On June 30th this year I weighed 106 kilograms (about 234 pounds, or 16 stone 10 pounds). Today my weight is 92 kilos (about 203 pounds, or 14 stone 7 pounds). In this time I have also gone from a 46in (117cm) to a 38in (97cm) waist.

Now for the chemistry. At my last blood test a year ago my fasting blood sugar was 7.6 mmol/L, which (at over a value of 7) is past pre-diabetes and would normally be recognised as indicating actual type 2 diabetes. For some reason my doctor didn’t diagnose me as such, though, but just advised me to try and lose weight. Well, that’s what I’ve done, and today my level was 5.1 mmol/L, which is now well down into the normal, non-diabetic range. Also, my cholesterol levels had been 6.5 mmol/L (anything above 6.2 is considered high), but are now down to 5.7 mmol/L (borderline high). 5.2 mmol/L and below is considered healthy – I’ll be interested to see where I’m at next year.

So, by eating a diet of approximately 70% fat and 30% protein, with under 30 grams of carbohydrates daily from cheese, nuts, and leafy and salad vegetables, I have gone from being diabetic to non-diabetic, my weight is falling fast, and my cholesterol is almost back to a healthy level. And all of this is contrary to the advice given by organisations such as Diabetes UK or the UK Heart Foundation, which recommend a low fat diet, telling us that saturated fats especially cause raised cholesterol and heart disease, and to eat more ‘heart healthy’ carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and cereal. But I have been eating as much saturated and monounsaturated fat as I can, and try to avoid virtually all carbs and so-called ‘healthy’ polyunsaturated fat like the plague – and my blood levels show that this works.

So. As I said, I am yet more proof that this low fat, high carb eating advice is not just outdated, it’s downright harmful. Those organisations that continue to spout the same old mantra, far from being helpful, are a downright disgrace. They are part of the problem, and not the solution. If you give money to any charities that still insist we must eat that way, please donate it elsewhere until they correct their advice so that it will actually help people get healthier, rather than more unwell. Maybe that will make them sit up and listen.

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How the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Will Eventually Look

In the 1980s I was lucky enough to visit the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, Spain, which I found absolutely stunning. It is truly one of the most unusual buildings in the world, and at the time it had already been under construction for about 100 years, and was still far from completion – as remains the case today!

Originally designed by architect Antoni Gaudí, who was sadly killed by a train in 1926, a finishing date of 2026 has finally been set by the tenth and current architect, Jordi Faulí. Interestingly, in 1936 a fire in the crypt of the building destroyed all the plans, sketches, and models Gaudí had created, leaving later architects to design their interpretation of what Gaudí intended, so the church will probably be somewhat different from originally planned.

This video shows all the new elements to be added over the next 13 years, and how the Sagrada Familia will look upon completion. I’m sure you’ll agree it’ll be a stunning accomplishment. And in under 150 years, it will have taken only a quarter of the 600 years it took to build Cologne Cathedral.

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Projection Mapping Has Now Been Taken to a Whole New Level

You’ve probably seen projection mapping before, in which a projector is used to display different images on objects, or even huge buildings. But you probably haven’t seen anything like this.

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Don’t Believe The Net Carbs Fallacy

Net Carbs LabelIf you are on a low-carb diet and have been tempted by those brand name snack bars that state they are suitable for consumption on all phases of a low-carb diet, hold your resolve and think again, because it’s very likely they will either impede or stall your weight loss, or even cause the pounds to start creeping back on. And that goes for any low-carb alternative sweet tasting snacks and drinks, whether they contain a sugar alcohol (polyol: polyhydric alcohol) such as maltitol or xylitol, sweeteners such as aspartame or saccharine, and so on.

Some low-carb professionals, including good old Dr Atkins, have stated that non-sugar sweeteners can be safe for low carb dieters. In the 2002 edition of his New Diet Revolution book, he says that, “When doing Atkins” you should not count “non-blood sugar impacting carbs, including polydextrose, glycerine, and sugar alcohol, as well as fibre”.

However, in this article I explain why sweeteners and sugar alcohols are unhelpful and even counter-productive for low-carb dieters. But before moving on, feast your eyes (but not your stomach) on this list of ingredients found in a selection of the best-selling low-carb snack bars:

  • Acesulfame Potassium
  • Almonds
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Cellulose
  • Chocolate Liquor (Processed with Alkali)
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali)
  • Coconut
  • Dicalcium Phosphate
  • Glycerin
  • Hydrolyzed Gelatin
  • maltitol
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • Oat Fiber
  • Oat Flour
  • Palm Kernel And Palm Oil
  • Polydextrose
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Soy Protein Isolate
  • Soybeans
  • Sucralose
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Whole Grain Rolled Oats
  • Whole Milk Powder

Although many of these items, such as almonds, cocoa butter, coconut and so forth, are fine, if you are trying to eat natural, wholesome, low-carb foods, do you really want to be putting many of those other things into your body (and what about the warnings on these packs that often say “Contains wheat”)?

If it tastes sweet then you’re going to regret it

SweetsHuman beings evolved through millions of years to develop a highly sophisticated and fine-tuned body, with a remarkably efficient and powerful means of obtaining and using energy: namely processing what we eat and drink. As part of this evolution, our taste buds developed to the point that just a few molecules of many substances can trigger them, so that things likely to be poisonous would instantly taste disgusting and we would spit them out.

At the same time we developed the well-known taste sensations of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. More recently the Japanese term umami has been added to this list to indicate our ability to taste savoury items, and I would further add that we have the ability to taste fat too. Just take a teaspoon of double (or heavy) cream and let it flow over your tongue to feel the sensation and taste of it. Then try a few other fatty foods like cheese or olive oil and I’m sure you’ll soon agree.

Anyway, this meant that when we needed salt we would crave and seek it out, and by combining the types of taste sensations together we could recognise all manner of foods and seek them out when our bodies told us we needed them. And one of the most powerful signals turned out to be sweetness. You see, it’s possible to fix almost any imperfection in a food by adding sugar to it, because sweetness overrides all the other taste sensations – it’s that important.

But why? Well, because sweet things almost always contain fructose and glucose, which are extremely powerful energy sources, but ones that used to be highly scarce in nature. Yes there was honey if you were prepared to fight the bees for it, and then there were fruits in the autumn. As it happens, by some amazing coincidence (or more likely evolutionary adaptation), high-energy fruits ripen and become sweet not long before the winter begins to set in.

So what did our cave dwelling ancestors do, then? Well, they were hunters and gatherers and didn’t do any farming to speak of, so when the fruit ripened they would eat it – as much as they could. And this would make them put on weight due to the sugars being stored as fat. Which was exactly what their bodies were designed to do, because the winter was coming and they were going to need that fat to subside through a scarcity of food until the spring returned.

So, by making these foods taste enticingly sweet, our bodies ensured we would use them to build up our fat reserves. But the trouble is that we no-longer have a long winters of limited food rations. Even the poorest of us in the western world can find something to eat, somehow. And generally the cheapest foods are the ones packed with carbohydrates, and enhanced with sugar to make them taste good (and sell well).

The evolutionary development of the sweetness sensation that served us so well for millions of years is now a danger to us, because we have access to nearly all the foods we could want, nearly all the time. And our bodies continue to tell us to eat sweet things whenever we can find them – that’s what they’ve evolved to do.

OK, I’ll give you that sugar is bad, but sweeteners?

SweetenersWhat happens when you take a bite of any food, is that enzymes in your saliva start breaking it down, your taste buds react to what they find and signals are sent to your brain informing it about what it has detected you are about to swallow. This advance warning mechanism then sends signals to the stomach to produce acid, and the liver to produce bile if fat is being eaten, and the pancreas to produce insulin if the food is sweet.

If you have, indeed, eaten something sugary, the insulin will then work to lower the glucose levels that start entering your blood back to a safe level, by the process of converting the glucose into fat and then storing it into your fat cells. But what if you haven’t eaten any sugar, or even any carbohydrates for that matter (since carbs comprise pairs of glucose molecules attached to each other)?

Well, the insulin has to be used up and any and all available carbs found in your body will be processed into fat, not just excess ones above your energy requirements. At the same time your body becomes desperate for some carbohydrates for the insulin to be used up on, and you become ravenously hungry. This is why ‘diet’ soda drinks actually lead to greater hunger and have been shown to also lead to greater increase in weight than full sugar (or high fructose corn syrup) sodas.

Net carbs are not net carbs

Assorted carbohydratesSo, now you know why things that taste like sugar but aren’t can have the same (or worse) effect on your body than things that are sugar. And that really summarises the whole problem with artificial sweeteners, and is all you really need to know if you are having trouble on a low-carb diet due to sweeteners. Just don’t use them. But the story is bigger than that because it’s not just sugars that the body turns into fat. As I just mentioned, it can perform this trick with virtually all carbohydrates (except fibre).

However, some food producers tell us that there is such a thing as Net Carbs, wherein they deduct all carbohydrates that they say the body cannot process, and simply report those that remain. Clearly, I have no beef with discounting fibre from the carb count of a food, and most countries show the fibre percentage as a sub-section of the carbohydrates on the food packet. In fact, as Dr Robert Lustig explains, wherever there is sugar in nature, it is almost always packed with fibre, which mitigates its negative impact. He calls fibre “half the solution” to the obesity pandemic.

But I most certainly have a problem with companies claiming that they can discount 100% of all polyols (sugar alcohols) from the carb count of a product. A polyol is a carbohydrate that chemically is similar to both alcohol and sugar, but they don’t get you drunk and have a lower calorific value than sugar. But that’s the point, they have fewer calories – not none

Polyols vs Sugar

Maltitol syrupSugar has 4.0 calories per gram of weight. The list below details the calorific values for the main polyols for you to compare with sugar, as detailed here. These sweeteners clearly have up to ¾ the calories of normal sugar, so how can anyone claim they can be excluded from the carb count of a product?

Well, maybe you could get away with Erythritol, which has very few calories and which, if less than 1%, can usually be called 0 calories in the USA. But it still tastes sweet – don’t forget that – and you now know what the problem with sweet tasting food is.

  • 4.0 Sugar
  • 3.0 Maltitol syrup (intermediate)
  • 3.0 Maltitol syrup (regular)
  • 3.0 Maltitol syrup (high)
  • 3.0 Maltitol syrup (high-polymer)
  • 3.0 Xylitol
  • 2.8 Polyglycitol (hydrogenated starch hydrolysate)
  • 2.7 Maltitol
  • 2.5 Sorbitol
  • 2.1 Isomalt
  • 2.0 Lactitol
  • 1.5 Mannitol
  • 0.2 Erythritol

These sweeteners clearly have up to ¾ the calories of normal sugar, so how can anyone claim they can be excluded from the carb count of a product? Well, maybe you could get away with Erythritol, which has very few calories and which, if less than 1%, can usually be called 0 calories in the USA. But it still tastes sweet – don’t forget that – and you now know what the problem with sweet tasting food is.

Polyols are listed separately as a sub-section of carbohydrates on food packaging labels in most countries, and this helps to lead people to think the same way as these companies, so that low carbers may be tempted to do the maths and subtract polyols from the carb total. Actually the information about polyols is useful on these product labels, but not so that you can discount them. Oh no. You need to know when they are present, because if you consume above 10-20 grams of a polyol such as maltitol, don’t make any plans to go out anywhere before tomorrow, or you may well find yourself caught short for a toilet break (or many), due to the intense laxative effect of these substances.

Also, proponents of polyols will often argue that their glycemic index (GI) is much lower than sugar, and because it causes your blood sugar and insulin to spike less it causes less fat creation. That may be so, but while sugar has a GI of 100, maltitol has a GI of between 36 and 53 depending on type and polyglycitol has a GI of 39. So, at the very least, these sweeteners are at least 40% as bad for you as sugar. And while the other polyols have a GI of 13 or less (and a couple have 0), they still taste sweet (and you know why… etc).

My own experience

A typical pharmacyAbout 30 pounds into my own low-carb weight loss plan I was perusing a local pharmacy and encountered the dietary section, where there were a range of snack bars from different well-known diet organizations, and my attention was drawn to the low-carb offerings by the market brand leader. I was pleasantly surprised to see that these bars were applicable to all phases of their diet plan, and generally had only one or two “Net Carbs” per bar.

Although I wasn’t hungry I was curious, and was sure it couldn’t hurt, so I bought a couple and munched one on the way home. OK, it wasn’t as nice as a regular snack bar, but it seemed passable. Then in the evening I decided to eat the other bar. A couple of days later I was in another store and saw some more of them, so I thought I might as well buy a box of 5 bars and get a discount (you know where this is heading, right?).

Sure enough they were all gone in a couple of days, and then in a health food store I saw some sugar free chocolates. Some were sweetened with maltitol and some with stevia – so I bought both types, naturally. As it turns out the stevia ones left a slight after taste and I wasn’t too impressed, but the maltitol hazelnut bar tasted great, so I ate all 112 grams. Big mistake. Because starting a couple of hours later I then spent the following few hours back and forth to the bathroom.

Wow, that stuff is powerful. I even moved a spare bar I had to the medicine cabinet, having decided that was a better place for it than the larder. So I paused my attempts at snack eating for a couple of days until I stumbled across chocolates for diabetics and, upon reading the ingredients, realized they were exactly the same things, just much cheaper than buying branded low-carb products. Oh dear. The lower price convinced the part of me that always looks for bargains to buy half a dozen of these bars.

But hard as I tried to eat only one or two pieces, I would end up scoffing down a whole bar. Cravings had returned, and without any sugar in sight. So I stopped eating the chocolate bars altogether and went back to the branded low-carb bars only, but I still found that I was craving them most of the day.

So, three weeks from my first dabbling with low-carb sweet snacks, and having stalled my weight loss to practically zero, I conducted a lot more research into low-carb diets and sweeteners, and as a result of what I learned (which is passed on here) I cut them out entirely. My weight loss then kicked right back into gear and all cravings vanished.

I had learned that as a low carber I also had to educate myself to not eat anything sweet, whether sweetened with sugar, or artificially. There is one exception, though. Because I can’t do without it in this one instance, I also learned to reduce the sweetener I use in my coffee (stevia), to the minimum amount that makes the drink not taste bitter, but also not taste sweet either, so that I don’t trigger the insulin response when I drink it. Maybe one day I’ll learn to like bitter, who knows.

If it seems too good to be true…

Of course you can trust him!… it probably is. I know that. You know that. But many of us fall for the marketing blurb on diet products and convince ourselves that they wouldn’t say it worked if it didn’t. Well, there’s different types of “worked”, which all depends on the laboratory conditions, types of studies made, parameters used, methods of evaluation and so forth. If you know anything about statistics, then you know how easy it is to make any case given a large enough quantity of data. And that’s what marketers do all day long.

It’s sweet stuff that got up to ⅔ of the western world to become overweight (and half of them obese), and those of us affected know in our heart of hearts that sweet stuff is therefore unlikely to be part of the solution. As I should have told myself before biting into that first low-carb snack bar, “This seems too good…” . . . Well, you know the rest.

Long story short: If you are already using any of these products and are still achieving the weight loss you desire, then you can probably ignore most of the advice in this article as you are lucky enough not to be overly sensitive. But do bear these things in mind if you do encounter a stall in the future. If you aren’t already using them, though, my advice is simply not to start.

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Finally Achieving My Greatest Unattained Goal

This is the year I will attain it!I’m sorry I haven’t posted much recently, but I’ve been very busy working on a new project. As long-time readers may know, as well as having written a couple of dozen books on computing and web development I also write about psychology and motivation, and more specifically Creative Visualization, in which I teach techniques for priming yourself to become more creative, have greater motivation and to set and achieve your goals in life (among many other things).

I’ve written two books on the subject so far, Creative Visualization For Dummies, and Yes I Can!. The former is a comprehensive tutorial starting from first principles, while the latter takes a selection of 20 different aspects of life and provides techniques for working on each (it also made the UK WH Smiths Top 20 in 2012).

Topics covered in both books include coping with fears and phobias, gaining self-confidence, getting other people on your side, becoming happy and fulfilled, quitting bad habits such as smoking, and much more. In all these areas I have succeeded in making vast improvements in my own life, having stopped smoking and drinking, becoming more confident, losing a fear of dentists I had since childhood, and so on. All, that is, with one exception.

And this exception has stubbornly bugged me for years, and steadfastly refused to budge even after the deepest and most highly imagined visualizations and affirmations. What could this thing be you may ask (or you may already have an inkling). Well, the answer is my weight.

My Toughest Goal To Date

A tough goal

Having been a thin and spritely teenager, and reasonably slim and healthy in my 20s, once I hit my 30s I started to put on a few pounds until by my 40s I had become overweight enough that I was now on two types of blood pressure medication, and also suffered from acid reflux (fairly common with overweight people).

Then, as I continued onto my 50s, despite trying to follow healthy advice about eating low fat and high carb (10% fat, 30% protein and 60% carbs), and keeping my calorie intake to under 2,000 per day, I was continuing to gain weight, and in addition to being put on statins I became clinically obese in my early 50s (by having a BMI in excess of 30).

As I said, all this time I was able to change numerous parts of my life through constant visualization, affirmations and motivational techniques, but nomatter how hard I tried, I couldn’t lower my weight (in fact it continued creeping upwards). But I was determined not to give up trying, undertaking various different dieting attempts, in the course of which I finally kicked alcohol to the point that I could go without it for weeks or months, then drink for one night, and go without it again for several more weeks without getting ‘hooked’ again. And with all those beer calories not entering my body I still wasn’t losing any weight.

I purchased and frequently used a treadmill and vibration machine. I changed from a sit-down desk to a standing one. I went on long walks and undertook exhausting DIY or gardening projects, and sometimes I lost a few pounds, only to see it all come back. ‘Healthy’ eating, exercise and no smoking or drinking simply wasn’t working for me, and I am a highly determined individual.

Having decided that this was one area that was not simply going to bend to my will in the way that so many others had in my life, I went back to the drawing board and decided I had to undertake some research. So I started with biology primers and learned as much as I could about nutrition and the digestive system, about how fat storage (and release) works, the effect exercise has on weight, what different foods do to the body, how various popular diets work and so on. And I now have half a small bookcase full of books on the subject from all the best-known authors.

Many of these books, sadly, led me up the garden path – mainly those that continued to preach the standard 10/30/60 dietary split between fat, protein and carbohydrates, and spouted off about the ‘healthiness’ of grains and pasta, while at the same time demonizing eggs, meat and saturated fats.

What I discovered was that we have all been lied to by the huge food organizations and drug companies, who do so much lobbying that they have governments in their pockets, which also repeat the big food lie of the last 60 years, which is that fatty foods cause body fat. I mean, it sounds so logical and obvious doesn’t it? You eat fat so you get fat. Except that it’s completely wrong.

Fatty Foods Do Not Make You Fat

Cheese is full of fat

What I discovered over and over again in my research is one simple and very fundamental fact (something that nature perfected over a very long time to ensure our survival), which is that carbohydrates (not fatty foods) are turned into body fat. You see, people have only been farming for about 10,000 years. Before that we were hunter gatherers and most of the food we ate was meat and vegetables, along with nuts, seeds and berries.

Our diet was pretty much the inverse of what the ‘experts’ currently recommend, in that we probably ate about 60% fat, 30% protein and 10% carbohydrates. And that 60% fat was burned as fuel by our bodies by turning it into chemicals called ketones, which are superior to glucose for powering muscles and our brains.

At the end of summer each year there would be fruits, berries and nuts on the trees and an abundance of carbohydrates would become available. People love sweet foods so all this fruit would be eaten and the carbohydrates in them would be turned into fat and stored in our bodies to help us live through what could be bitterly cold winters, often with restricted access to food. By the time spring came all the excess fat would be burned off at around the time food became more plentiful again.

This was the great mechanism invented by nature – the internal equivalent of squirrels storing nuts for the winter. And the process by which this works is very simple indeed. In fact it’s so simple that all nutritionists fully understand it (even while still insisting that somehow it’s the fat that makes you fat).

How You Get Fat

The obesity epidemic

What happens is that as soon as carbohydrates enter your body they are broken down into glucose. Whether these carbs are from wheat, bread, pasta, potatoes, sugar or high fructose corn syrup, they all are easily broken down into glucose, which then quickly enters your bloodstream. Your pancreas then notices this and immediately realizes that your glucose levels are far too high and starts to deal with them, by either converting the glucose into glycogen (a watery energy storage medium) or, if you already have enough glycogen already, the glucose is swept away into your fat cells.

Now, you were born with your fat cells because you need them to survive, and they play an important role. So the insulin does the smart thing and utilizes them to store the energy-dense meal you have just eaten, because on an evolutionary scale, with all these carbs being consumed it must currently be the autumn, and winter is therefore coming, and so you’re going to need that fat to survive. The trouble begins, though, when you eat lots of carbohydrates every day, because the winter never comes, and your bodily fat supplies grow and grow.

So when nutrition ‘experts’ insist that your diet must comprise of 60% carbohydrates, they are actually advising you to store as much fat as possible. Like I said, they all learned about insulin and fat storage when they studied for their qualifications. But somehow the big myth that fat makes body fat overrides this knowledge in most of them. And sadly this includes the majority of physicians and doctors too, who simply rely on what governments, health advisory bodies and drug companies tell them.

Yes, I found it very hard to believe too, and I took a lot of convincing by the results of numerous books and scientific studies, before I reluctantly admitted that most of the professionals had it all wrong. If you don’t believe it, do the research for yourself – but be honest and open and read all sides of the arguments, especially the ones that are based on solid science and the results of independent studies.

So What’s The Answer?

What's the answer

The answer to obesity is simply to let your body have its winter by restricting your carbohydrate intake until you return to your baseline weight. You do this by reducing carbohydrates to a minimum and then increasing your fat intake to compensate.

Of course, in modern society it’s not quite as easy as this because most foods are highly carbohydrate loaded, so restricting carbs means returning to cooking all your own meals from basic ingredients – but isn’t that going to be so much more healthy for you anyway, particularly as you also cut out all the additives and preservatives too?

Yes, it does mean leaving all those delicious pastries, cakes and desserts on the table, omitting pasta, bread, potatoes and rice from your diet, and foregoing sugary drinks such as sodas and even fruit juices. I know, sounds terrifying, doesn’t it! But all these things would have been non-existent (or very scarce) during the 2 million or so years that comprised the main evolution of the human dietary system.

You see, 10,000 years of evolution since the invention of agriculture is a miniscule amount in comparison, and the human body has been unable to evolve sufficiently fast to keep up with it, especially over the last 50 years, in which major farming strides have been made – hence the current obesity epidemic.

It’s Not Your Fault

My weight loss since July 1st

If you’re overweight you need to remember that it’s not your fault, even though dieticians and doctors may scold you for overeating and not exercising, it’s not the case that you are to blame. You are in the same boat as about half the human race. You’ve been told to eat the wrong things, and most of the food in the supermarkets today will result in you gaining body weight.

Once you have realized that it’s not your fault, and you know why it’s so hard to diet successfully (because most food – even specialist diet food if it contains carbohydrates – will make you put on weight), and you finally make the decision to lose weight and actually keep it off, wouldn’t you hanker for a scientifically proven method you could use to get back to your proper baseline weight, and stay there?

Well thankfully there is a safe and almost foolproof way, and I am just one person of hundreds of thousands who is proof of its efficacy. I also have nothing to sell (unlike many diet proponents). I just have some information to pass on, which is that simply by changing over to eating all natural food, cooked by myself from original ingredients, I am now losing on average 120 grams (¼ pound) almost each and every day, and have been for months. I don’t exercise (other than gardening and some DIY), and I don’t diet. What’s more I eat when I am hungry and never have to starve myself.

So far I have lost 11 kilos (25 pounds) of body fat, several inches of waist size, my acid reflux has almost completely disappeared, my blood pressure has significantly dropped, and even my dandruff has disappeared. What’s more I feel like I have the energy back that I did in my 20s, I fall asleep quickly and wake up early and not drowsy, and everything is going great!

It’s All About The Carbs

Sugar is a carbohydrate

To achieve all these changes in my life I really have made only one change, and that is to try and keep my consumption of carbohydrates down to under about 25 grams a day. I simply made the choice that I was not going to go on a diet, but I was going to change my way of eating – for good!

From all my research, and the numerous incredible stories of others, I knew that a low carb way of eating was what our bodies evolved to need, and are most efficient at using. I also understood that if I were to go back to eating carbohydrates I would pile on the pounds again (as I do if I slip up by having a few too many grams of carbs in a day). No, I was not going to go on a diet to reach my target weight, and then assume I could go back to eating what I liked. That would just be a recipe for disaster.

So I made the plunge and chose to completely change what I eat (even though it’s totally different from what the rest of my family have), and made the decision to stay eating that way from now onwards. And by the way, every meal is delicious!

Initially I thought it was going to be hard, but guess what? I lost 3 kilos (7 pounds) in just the first 7 days and felt excellent. I also, for the first diet ever, felt no hunger pangs whatsoever. Somehow by not consuming carbohydrates, and replacing them with fat, my satiety levels were significantly raised and I found I could only eat about half the amount I used to before feeling full up. And if I feel peckish during the day, that’s fine. I eat a handful of macadamia nuts, or maybe some beef jerky, or have a coffee with plenty of double (heavy) cream.

I Am Never Hungry

Eating low carb is hunger-free

Let me stress again. By eating what is also known as a paleolithic (or LCHF) diet, my biggest dread about dieting is gone for good;I have no hunger other than the normal hunger you feel just before mealtime. And I also have no guilt about snacking because I can eat tasty, fatty snacks that don’t cause weight gain and that quickly stop any hunger twinges. Plus, because I am constantly full, my calorie intake is sufficiently low to maintain a healthy 120 gram daily weight loss most days.

At some point (probably mid 2014) I expect to reach my baseline body weight, at which time I will stop losing weight and should simply maintain the same level quite naturally, as long as I keep off the carbs. And all without recourse to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, or vigorous workouts, or starving myself, or anything other than easting sensibly the way my ancestors used to – that’s it, just as nature intended. No fad diet. No rebound. No cravings. No added expense other than for the cost of buying wholesome food instead of factory-made meals. No hunger. No binging. No shame.

Of course, there are a few things you should know before you make a huge change like this, such as which supplements and minerals you may need to take (perhaps such as increased magnesium and sodium, maybe Co Enzyme Q10, Omega 3, and other supplements such as these, depending on your lifestyle and any medications you take such as statins, and so forth), and what foods are allowed and disallowed, and so on.

Speaking of statins, by the way (which is a whole other area of dietary and health misinformation), thankfully low carbers generally find that their good cholesterol (HDL) raises, while LDL (the bad one) drops, and their ratio of triglycerides (fat) to cholesterol also drops (this is the most important indicator of all), often to the point where statin medication can be discontinued – another bonus of eating better, because statins cost money and can have unpleasant side effects for many people.

If you are interested in switching to this way of eating you won’t regret it, and in the first instance I recommend looking up “Low Carb”, “Paleo”, “LCHF” (Low Carb High Fat), or “Atkins” and getting yourself a good primer on the subject, perhaps along with a low carb recipe book to give you ideas, because you’ll be glad to know that you can make substitutes for most carbohydrate meals, and can make cookies, ice cream and other treats from alternative ingredients. See, it’s not as bad as you might have thought!

Please bookmark this blog if you haven’t already because as I fully digest it all I’ll be posting much more on this subject from the huge mass of books, literature and other information I have amassed, and keep you up-to-date on the continuing progress of my new eating regime. I am truly amazed at just how totally easy it is, and how successful too. If only I had known about all this stuff 20 years ago!

Stumblers: If you like this article please give it a thumbs up – thanks!

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The effects on children of sugar and additives tested in real life

Do kids get hyperactive by eating too much sugar and junk food? Could it even contribute to problems with ADHD? Parents everywhere seem to believe it. But some experts claim that it’s a myth, although a large well-designed study published in 2011 clearly showed that a diet change (including less sugar and processed food) reduces symptoms in most kids with ADHD.

But while the test in the video above may not be highly scientific, it is strongly indicative, and fascinating to watch. One group of children celebrate at a party by eating cakes, candy (sweets), and sugared fizzy drinks, while the other group eats more nutritious real food. Please spend 5 minutes to watch the children and see the results.

Via Diet Doctor
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Yes I Can is a Kindle Daily Deal for June 11th 2013

I’m really excited because my book “Yes I Can!” has been selected as an Amazon UK Kindle Daily Deal, and has already leaped up the charts!

Packed with all the visualization and motivational tips I have learned and proved to myself that they work brilliantly, now you can discover how to turn all the Nos in life into Yeses. You really can achieve anything you set your heart on, and I show you how for 80% off!

Here are just a few of the numerous positive reviews the book has received from its grateful readers:

  • “A favourite book by far”
  • “A great read”
  • “This is truly a wonderful book”
  • “The book is full of enthusiasm”
  • “More than just another book about visualisation”
  • “highly recommended”
  • “I thoroughly enjoyed the text and found it a boost to my life”
  • “Buy the book”
  • “It kept me turning pages long after I intended to read”
  • “It’s as though the author is a friend sitting next to you”
  • “Full of practical suggestions to help you achieve your goals”
  • “A bit like having a friend encouraging you”
  • “Clearly laid-out, well – structured, and each section has a practical exercise”
  • “It stands out from other books”
  • “I’d recommend it to anyone”

Buy your copy now on Kindle for 80% off and start reaping the benefits it reveals right away. Following are a couple of quick links for UK/US readers, in other countries search your local Amazon for “Yes I Can Kindle” and you should see a similar matching offer:

And please feel free to leave your thoughts about the book on Amazon or here on my blog as I love to hear what readers think (whether good or bad :)

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How to Enable the Aero Lite Theme in Windows 8

Even though the Aero theme has been stripped from Windows 8, a subset of the theme (called Aero Lite) remains, but is hidden away. In this video I show you how to easily re-enable it.

If you found this video informative please subscribe to my YouTube channel to ensure you don’t miss any of my hints, tips and tutorials.

Posted in Hints & Tips, Media | 1 Comment