Book Review: The Truth About Weight Loss
The #1 mantra of Nate Miyaki’s latest book, The Truth About Weight Loss, is his recommendation to get over the magic pill and miracle solution mentality for weight loss.
Your nutritional habits will have a far greater impact on your weight loss efforts than any other component. You just can’t out-exercise a crappy diet.
Essentially if you don’t have your nutritional house in order, exercising may have little to no impact at all on your weight-loss efforts.
Nate’s book is targeted to the beginner who wants a sustainable weight-loss solution. It’s important to make this distinction, because how an athlete eats and trains is radically different from that of the general population.
If you’re an advanced lifter or athlete, you may need very specific nutritional protocols and cycles depending on your goals, if you are competing, have body-weight retirements for sport, etc.
For the person who sits most of the day and does very little exercise, there are foundational truths that will help you to succeed in losing weight.
Cut The Crap, Not the Fat
Nate has a knack for cutting through all the fitness and marketing crap that only aims to take your money and keep you hooked on systems that don’t work and yo-yo diets. Sometimes the truth hurts, and the truth when it comes to weight-loss isn’t found in a pill or guru diet fad.
However, it doesn’t help that fitness gurus and fitness product companies cater to our human weaknesses for easy and quick solutions, and promise “unrealistic” results from doing next to nothing. If it sounds like a pipe-dream it is!
But when you have 20 or more pounds to lose, you want to look great naked and feel comfortable hanging out on the beach, how do you lose all that flab by the weekend?
Information overload doesn’t help either. From the latest update in the news that red meat will give you a heart attack, to the hottest new diet trend, or fitness professional and wellness blogger telling you what you should and shouldn’t eat, how do you decide what’s right?
Improving your health and losing weight is simple. It is not necessarily easy, but it is simple. Get in a moderate calorie deficit necessary for fat loss (but not so much that you are causing muscle loss), improve your food choices for overall health, walk more, and strength train a few days a week if you have higher-level physique goals.
3 Steps to Achieve Simple, Sustainable Weight Loss
Step #1 – “Use Diet for 85% of your weight loss.”
Eat healthier, make better food choices, and get into a caloric deficit to lose weight.
Step #2 – “Increase non-formal activity levels for the final 15%.”
Take more regular walks (like every day), get a dog, hike, take the stairs instead of the escalator (or at least walk up the escalator).
Step #3 – “Strength train for higher-level physique goals.”
You don’t have to lift weights, but strength training will burn even more body fat while building new muscle with the side-benefit of shaping and toning your muscles for that leaner look.
I’ve been following Nate for many years. What I love about him is his unique style. He tells it like it is, makes fun of himself, swears, and says “dude” a lot.
Nate’s use of humour allows him to make bold statements to help his clients and readers choose to make realistic changes. The crux of his philosophy, and what I also consider to be the golden rule of weight loss is,
For a busy professional with limited time, the bottom line is that dietary change is the fastest, most effective, and most efficient way to improve your health and change your physique. It takes no extra time for a busy professional to improve the quality of their food and eat healthy meals ideal for weight loss than it does to garbage disposal down whatever the Y2K lifestyle puts in front of you.
With knowledge and discipline “you can always control what goes into your mouth.”
If you have very little time to exercise you can absolutely control what you eat, even if you eat out at restaurants more than you cook your own meals.
Why Are People Over-Fat?
What are the major causes of the modern rise in obesity and diabetes rates? It boils down to this pound-packing recipe — we eat too much refined crap and sit on our asses too much.
One of the approaches I take with clients is to make slow and sustainable changes. To completely eliminate sugar, processed foods, or other junk foods is a recipe for disaster. The client may resist, cheat, and be generally unhappy. None of us like radical change, but with a will to change we can take smaller, more actionable steps to make weight loss happen.
2 Solutions to Lose Weight
1. “You can focus on eating less of the foods you are already eating.”
In other words, create a caloric deficit to facilitate weight loss.
2. “You can focus on cutting out some of the crap and making better food choices.”
Improving food choices will most likely reduce total daily calories from sugars and saturated fats.
Step 1 is a great way to start if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to give up the foods you’re used to eating.
However, neglecting food quality is inviting a decline in your health and countless number of diseases, diabetes, etc.
If you don’t improve the quality of food that you eat you will become sick in time.
Secondly, when you improve food quality, your total consumption of food goes down. When you eat healthier you consume fewer calories and you are less likely to over eat.
Lastly, eating healthier foods nourishes your body with nutrients you need for optimal health.
…it is much easier to stay in the calorie deficit necessary for fat loss, while still giving your body all the essential nutrients and micronutrients it needs, indefinitely, if you are at least emphasizing real, whole, natural foods.
On Our Modern Diet…
Mass food refining has only been around for a tiny fragment of our existence. We evolved on more natural diets. So what kinds of foods do you really think are better for our weight loss/health enhancement goals — factory food or real food? Apples or Apple Jacks? […] If we want to improve our health profile and find a sustainable approach to losing fat and staying lean year-round, we need to get back to more natural ways of eating.
So what is this natural way of eating?
Real food from nature, e.g. what cavemen ate: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, roots, and fruits. This is the food you buy at the grocery store that you have to cut, chop, mix and cook yourself, not the food in a box, wrapped in plastic with 20 or more ingredients that can sit on the shelf for years without going bad.
While controversial, I think that raw, unprocessed grains belong on this list. Many ancient civilizations ate grains in their rawest form without the addition of chemicals, refining, or added sugars.
What’s not real food? Refined oils (like canola, margarine, etc.), gluten-free cupcakes, breakfast cereals, protein bars, pizza, etc.
Carbs Are Not the Enemy
But eating too many of them is. We need energy from carbohydrates to fuel our brain and nervous system, but we don’t need as much as we consume in our modern diet.
Again, choose natural, real carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa, etc. and keep your intake low to lose weight, especially if you are sedentary. You can use the size of your fist or a baseball for the portion size.
The Island Style Diet Approach
Nate calls his approach the Island Style Diet based on his experience growing up in Hawaii and comparing how other cultures eat. Before the introduction of processed foods into many island-type cultures, there was no prevalence of our modern diseases attributed to high sugar consumption and eating too many processed foods and chemical additives.
But don’t a lot of these cultures eat white rice? Isn’t that bad for you if you want to lose weight? Nope! Get the book to find out why.
The Non-Fitness Fanatic Diet Approach
If you have a family, a full-time job, a long commute to and from work, can you realistically follow long-standing nutritional advice and eat 5-6 meals per day, bringing your meals in Tupperware to work?
The answer for most people is a resounding, “no.” As Nate says, he’s had great success with that approach, and so have I, but we are BOTH fitness professionals who are not only committed to our client’s success, but to our own.
Commercial diet books, popular fitness magazines, and online blogs can all be good sources of information. But more often than not, the advice is not practically applicable for most people working a full-time job.
Ultimately if you follow Nate’s guidance on what to eat, and make more “natural” food choice, you can choose a meal frequency that works best for you and your lifestyle. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the “3-square meals a day” approach, so long as those meals are healthy and balanced.
What About Eating A Big Dinner?
Should you eat your biggest meal at night? What about cheat meals, desserts or a glass of wine? Nate’s answers may surprise you, but I need to leave something out of this review so that you’ll buy his book!
Go get yourself a copy of The Truth About Weight Loss. Even though Nate says this book is geared to beginners I think it’s the perfect addition to anyone’s health and fitness library, including personal trainers and exercise warriors.
The content might not be sexy – heck it’s a basic, honest, foundational, and most of all simple approach that does work (it’s pretty much the way I eat).
But if you still need something sexy then check out the dude’s abs – DAMN!
Click on the book cover below to order on Amazon – available for Kindle and paperback.
Eat well to be well