Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The diet is still working. I lost 44 pounds.

The diet is still working. [latest diet entry here -- I'd lost fifty pounds when I wrote that] I'm amazed at how differently I think and feel about food. The weight loss is a nice side effect, but what has been very interesting are the mental changes. I just don't think about food the same way and I'm healthier (and 44 pounds lighter [at the time of this entry, I've lost more weight since]) for it. Seth's book at explains it, but unlike most diets, all it took was five dollars of extra-light olive oil from Costco. No expensive food plans, no hard to find items, no real disruption of my routine. His on-line forums are at

If you want just the food plan version (where you eat only prepared foods, every meal different), then try Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats--A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners (A 30-Minute Meal Cookbook).

For more information, see:
  • Calorie Lab

    • A long discussion with a lot of comments following afterwards.
[If you want specifics I lost sixteen pounds the first thirty days, then ten pounds the second thirty, and it turns out seven and a half pounds the third thirty days. I'm now losing about a pound a week, which fits with the total calories that I'm eating. I no longer feel like I'm on a diet, what I eat is just the food I eat normally and I'm happy with it. I'm also in an OA group, which has really helped me deal with the emotions that eating was submerging. It got me through the holidays and the memories of my three dead children.]

BTW, for the facts on the "standard" diets, see this post at Alas, A Blog.

An excerpt:

From a review of empirical tests of weight-loss plans by Wayne Miller, an exercise science specialist at George Washington University:

No commercial program, clinical program, or research model has been able to demonstrate significant long-term weight loss for more than a small fraction of the participants. Given the potential dangers of weight cycling and repeated failure, it is unscientific and unethical to support the continued use of dieting as an intervention for obesity.

Let's closely examine a study cited as proof that weight loss diets work (I examined this study in a previous post): "Behavioural correlates of successful weight reduction over 3y," from The International Journal of Obesity (2004, volume 28, pages 334-335).

Normal diets are unscientific and unethical impositions that have, as their only result, reduced health and increased fat to muscle ratios after the cycle has run.

Other posts and important links on this topic:

Seth's book at

Dallas Judo -- where I work out when I'm not at Bali Fitness with the weights. The program there is better than I had hoped for (which reminds me, I need to do a post on expectations).


N.F. said...

I've heard about this somewhere else, I can't recall. If I wanted to learn more, would you suggest I buy the book from amazon?

Stephen said...

The links cover a lot about it -- you can get all you need from the links.

If those don't provide you with enough information, then order the book, but I have to confess to a bias towards "free."

Stephen said...

Seth has a forum where he answers questions now at:

Anonymous said...

It sounds like this program is really working for you. I think the main thing that helps is that you do not feel restricted in eating what you like. It sounds like you use a lot of olive oil. I like olive oil myself. There are Italian restaurants that make diced tomatoes that I think are with olive oil and garlic. There is another recipee that I think combines Oranges(I think they are called blood oranges) and olive oil. I have read a book called Udo Erasmus "Fats that Heal and Fats that Kill." Personally, I eat a lot of flax seed oil that we grind right be eating it. I also take fish oil supplements.

Anonymous said...

Is an interesting article.

Anonymous said...

One thing I've learned from all the years fo reading about diet, obesity, losing weight, etc. is that us silly humans have this need for *MAGIC* solutions to our problems. This "diet" is just one more magic solution. "But it works! It works!" the believers proclaim. Well, duh.

The boring, non-magic, truth: reduce calories, increase exercise.

The vast amount of flawed and erroneous information in this field places most of it firmly in the junk science category. Very shoddy.

Stephen said...


To quote a leading researcher:

it is unscientific and unethical to support the continued use of dieting as an intervention for obesity.

Appreciate your ability to parrot patent lies and untruths, but the bottom line is that clinical trials and my own experience support the set point alteration method that Seth propounds, your method has an incredible history of complete and utter failure for about 97% of the people who try it, leaving them worse off in the end than when they started.

Take some time to read the links, including the material at Alas, A Blog before you jump in and preach like a broken record.

Anonymous said...


Would it not be possible to reply to my post without adding the sarcasm and insults?

I am not "parroting" anything, and I resent that implication. Also, I was not "preaching". I was epxressing my opinion. Try learning how to tolerate other people's opinions. It might serve you well.

The simple truth is that reducing calories and increasing exercise DOES work for EVERYONE. Period. There is NOBODY I know that hasnt' reduced calories and increased exercise, for even a short period like 1 month, who has not lost weight.

Now, what YOU are referring to is a completely different thing thatn what I stated. And I happen to agree with you, btw, so maybe you shouldn't have been so fast to be mean and critical?

Given the fact that most people are NOT able to modify their behavior for an extended period of time, it does seem rather futile - and perhaps dangerous - to keep going down that same INEFFECTIVE road.

I also find that there is so much junk science in this area, that it's difficult (impossible?) to be certain of most things. These "stuides" do not stand up to the usual scientific standards. They are deeply flawed.

And while it is true that only a small number of people are successful in modifying their behavior for the long-term, they DO exist. If 3 out of 100 are long-term successful, is it not better than 0 out of 100 (if nobody tried?). Or does the risk to the 97 outweigh the success of the 3? It raises interesting philospohical questions.

You know, each year many thousands of people try to quit smoking. Most fail. A few don't. If we found that the cycle of trying to quit and starting again was dangerous - or that people who resumed smoking after falling off the wagon actually increased their usage - would that make it wrong for the medical community and society to be trying to get smokers to stop smoking?

Feel free to agree or disagree with anything I've said. But please refrain from the insults. We're better than that - aren't we? ;)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stephen said...

Given the fact that most people are NOT able to modify their behavior for an extended period of time, it does seem rather futile - and perhaps dangerous

Which is what I was noting. The "reduce calories, increase exercise" method is futile and dangerous for most people, resulting in reduced muscle mass and increased fat, reduced health and increased risk.

In comparison, the method I've blogged about, and that you attacked, works and effectively modifies the set point for the people who use it.

I appreciate that you are more than willing to hide behind being Anonymous and that you now claim to have read all the linked to material, considered the studies and the research, and have reached the conclusions you were stating on your own without mindlessly repeating a mantra that is both faulty and dangerous.

I consider posts and statements like yours actively hostile, immoral and harmful to others.

I'm sorry I wasn't clear enough in my earlier post, but I had assumed there that you had not read and understood everything.

I will take you at your word that you are being intentionally insulting and wilful.

I'll repeat the conclusion I cited in my origional post and which I restated in comments:

it is unscientific and unethical to support the continued use of dieting as an intervention for obesity.

"eat less" is the use of dieting as an intervention for obesity.

My comments and responses to your posts and comments are exactly as I would respond to anyone who was intentionally insulting and immoral, attempting to knowingly harm others.

I've a lot of patience for other kinds of behavior, but, at times, not much for that sort.

May you experience all the blessings I have.

Stephen said...

BTW "If 3 out of 100 are long-term successful" in the studies referred to minimal weight loss, maintained for a few years. By that standard, bariatric surgery is successful, even though the average person who undertakes it regains all of the lost weight inside of seven years.

Anonymous said...

Okay I must have totally missed something here. So you think "dieting" is totally ineffective; so you have hit upon an effective solution that includes consuming massive amounts of sugar water and pure oil? Are you sure the oil isn't snake oil?

How the hell is this not a diet? "Eating healthy and exercising DOESN'T WORK, so guzzle sugar water and oil! THIS TIME, it's NOT a scam! This time is for real! It REALLY WORKS!" Yeah, so does Atkins, South Beach, etc. You missed the entire point of the post at Alas. It just flew right over your head.

Anonymous said...

I can't recall ever having said something like this...

"Congratulations on your loss!"

Stephen said...

Edje, since I usually blog about the loss of my three children (euphemistically the way people refer to a child who has died), it is rare for someone to congratulate me on my loss -- but I know you mean the weight loss.

Appreciate the comments, but it did not require willpower or effort like a diet usually does.

And yes, Elle, it works and isn't snake oil -- and I'm not guzzling sugar and oil -- two tablespoons of oil is less than you will get on a typical chicken ceasar salad with honey mustard or ceaser dressing.

Sorry I've offended you. It just took me a while before I could find a way to respond to your comments without saying something irritating.

Stephen said...

btw, closer to 50 pounds now.

Anonymous said...


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of seeing you and your beautiful family again after many months. I was shocked at the amount of weight you had lost within that time. I was inspired enough to ask you how you did it. I appreciate the time you took to send me the links. You really look fantastic and healthy.


Anonymous said...

I have a Turkish diet blog...And collecting the experiences of people..If you let I want to write your experiments too