Maximum Weight Loss Rules Review
I need to periodically review the rules that I want to follow to reach my goals. I also find repeatedly watching DVD lectures by the experts helps with motivation too. The following MWL rules come straight from the eponymous book, while the annotations are my own reflections on application.
Eliminate all animal foods
No problem here. Done. But cheese can sneak in if you’re not vigilant. Have to be extra careful with that.
Eliminate all oils
Easy, with two exceptions: I use sesame oil for authentic Asian flavoring in small amounts, but not for now. I will have to use other flavors. Restaurant food is dripping with oil, and must be avoided. The Chinese food I cheated with was a low calorie vegetable dish, but the oil was crazy.
Eliminate all high fat plant foods
I’m pretty good about this, except for tofu. No soy, nuts or seeds for now, except for a little flax on my oatmeal for omega 3 EFAs.
Eliminate all flour products
This is one of the main distinctions between MWL and the regular program. It means no soba noodles, which I adore. I also like bread and tortillas, but none for now. The problem is calorie density and the quicker and bigger impact on insulin.
Eat whole grains and potatoes
Easy. These are my favorite foods. But beans and potatoes have a special place in the MWL plan because of their their effect on satiety and blood sugar. Potatoes have more satiety per calorie than just about anything, and their nutrient density compared to whole grains is favorable. Beans, peas, and lentils have a strong effect on satiety as well by releasing their carbohydrate slowly over a long time, making one feel full longer on fewer calories. Score!
Make low-cal green and yellow veggies 1/3 to 1/2 of the meal
I need to work harder on this. I need to lower my calorie density by including more veggies. I often stop food prep with the main dish starch. Even a simple side of steamed veggies would help greatly.
Eat raw veggies
Salads can make both this rule and the previous one easier as long as a no-oil dressing is used. Now that we are into the warm months, great salad ingredients are available and appetizing. So big salads before the main dish are the order of the day.
Restrict fresh fruit to 2 servings a day
I’m not as much of a fruit eater as a starch eater, but summer means great fresh fruit is tempting. I always put fresh berries with my oatmeal and I’ll continue to do that. I also like a little fruit, especially grapes in my salads, so I may flub this one. I will time it so that I eat fruit after training for the best effect.
Use simple sugars sparingly
Not a problem. I don’t have a sweet tooth. The sweetest thing I like is fresh fruit, with the occasional exception of a coca-cola. Some simple sugars end up in condiments, but I won’t fight that. I don’t think it makes a meaningful difference.
I’m adding another rule with built-in flubs:
No liquid calories
Sport drinks during training sessions over one hour. They do help with recovery.
Tart cherry juice. I’m going to experiment with this for the anti-inflammatory benefits on recovery in between some big races. To minimize negative impact, I’ll only drink them after training.
Alcohol on designated cheat days. All work and no play, right? But my experience with the effects of limiting alcohol this past week suggests it does make an impact. Dr. McDougall writes,
“The process of turning alcohol into fat requires significant amounts of energy. Rather than waste such energy, the body burns off the excess calories as heat; so alcohol does not turn to fat, despite the added calories. By providing these calories, however, alcohol prevents body fat from being burned, leaving fat in the adipose tissue. Thus your attempts to lose weight are foiled by alcohol.” pg. 113
Alcohol also raises insulin, which prevents fat from being burned. Since the main goal of my use of the Maffetone Method is to maximize the energy I can produce aerobically from fat, this makes alcohol a problem. I think avoiding it over the last week helped, since my training time is close to cocktail time. So, until race weight is achieved, summer sippin’ rose only once a week.
And just because “racer” is in the name, Bear Republic’s Racer 5 won’t make me faster. Darn.