The Most Amazing Diet, You've Never Heard of..
Well, where do I begin? I guess this all started when one day I was struggling to get my pants on a few years back. When I was younger I had a 32 inch waist, and now here I was struggling to get 36's on.. I was faced with the prospect of needing to go up 38's. It's at this point I looked in the mirror and realized I was no longer that athletic skinny kid from school. I came to the realization I was fat5.
If you know me, you know I am thrifty. That's my way of saying I am a bit of a cheapskate. I didn't want to buy a new wardrobe. Not only that, it could take a few evenings of my time to buy it all. Working a full-time job, and being active with several groups in the evening, I didn't have time for this either.
The Exercise Fad
So, instead, I did what a lot of people do when they want to lose weight, I decided I would work out. Specifically, I tried to do some sort of excercise 2-3 times a week. It's not going to make me a pro- athlete, but surely that's enough to go back down a pant size right?
This operation to lose weight started in about 2009. I weighed in at 200+, possibly as high as 210lbs.. 50+ lbs more than I did in high school. So, I played some sports, invested in an elliptical machine and worked on burning the fat! Granted I found it difficult to work out 3 times a week, it was more like 2 times, if I was lucky. But, I was putting a modest effort into it. Surely I would be rewarded, right? Well, I was, sorta. After about a year of this, my weight was getting closer to the 190lb mark. Not bad!
Now in 2010, being proud that my 36's were comfortable again, I had a crazy notion. Could I actually get washboard abs? How hard would that be? I lost 10 or so lbs already, I bet if I did enough crunches, I could get the washboard abs, right? So now, I was mixing up my workouts to do a little less cardio, and squeeze in some ab work outs. Sit-ups, crunches, you name it, I was doing it at least once a week at this point.
Fast forward to 2011, I look in the mirror, and no washboard abs to be seen. I was a little dismayed, I was working hard and nothing to show for it. My weight was down to about 185lbs, which was a bit of a positive, but for the amount of effort I had put into it, I was expecting more.
It was around this time I asked my doctor a question about this.. "Why haven't I lost weight?". He paused, thought about how to phrase it nicely, and told me I simply wasn't doing it right. Weight loss, has little to do with exercise, but mainly to do with diet, he explained. Excercise is still important for your health, it circulates blood, builds lung and muscle strength, and prevents sickness. But, it does not help you lose weight. Or, at least it contributes minimally to that cause. If I had done the math, reading the 'calories burnt' on my elliptical, I probably could have figured this out. 300 calories burns off 2 pops.. that's it!?
I know a few people out there probably already know this and think I'm a bit of a moron, but I honestly didn't realize it's 80% diet. There could be a few more out there like me, so this is something pretty key to share.
The First Diet Failure
So at this point, I am searching around for best diet tips on the web. Please realize that I programmed computers, I knew almost nothing about healthy eating, at the time. Unfortunately, when I searched for help on diets, so so much of it was misleading or false advertising. It took a lot of sifting to get information that was helpful, very little had much scientific proof to it, compared to what I discovered in the end.
Even if you look on the web today, so many places still tell you buying some sort of exercise device, a workout video or a gym membership will get you the washboard abs. What a crock! I've not only confirmed exercise doesn't make much difference, my doctor was saying the same thing! Yours will too. Don't get me wrong, exercise is still a good thing to do for health, but they mislead you into thinking they will give you washboard abs too. Abs must be uncovered by melting the fat, so diet is the key!
One interesting diet I saw a few friends do, with limited success, was the Atkins diet. The premise is simple, avoid certain foods that metabolize slowly. Namely, carbs. Carbs are the enemy! And guess what? This worked! But, there was a catch.. I found I was miserable doing it. Over the course of the next year, I lost 5 more lbs, down to 180lbs by 2013! This wasn't too bad, but I really liked certain foods, and found it hard to avoid them. Beer, for example, is a major offender.. and I enjoyed my beer!
Monitoring my carbs became too much effort to do on a consistent basis. By 2013, my weight began creeping up to 190lbs. It seemed no matter how much I controlled my calorie intake, I could never go below the 180lb barrier. I simply would have to eat nothing to lose any further. The fact was, the lower my body fat got, the harder it got to lose further. Exercise truly only can take a person so far, and dieting was even harder for me.
It seemed the only people who had washboard abs out there were defending a secret of a diet they wouldn't share.. or they were working out way more than I had the time or the energy for! I was actually convinced at one point I was genetically dispossessed to be chunky, and I had to just live with it. Or, it was just part of getting old. I needed to do some homework.. lots of homework, and I did..
I was still working out and doing a half-hearted Atkins diet, but my weight ping-ponged from 180 to 190. I then came up with an ingenious idea. I asked myself, 'Who are the people in the best shape in the world?' Bodybuilders!
By now, I knew if I paid for a video, book or on-line membership, it was more than likely that it would be some stupid exercise or some calorie dream diet that I would never have the time for anyway. I would have wasted that money. Instead, I began scouring bodybuilder forums!
Now, in these forums, they do have a lot of nonsense there too.. but, most of the guys there aren't sales people or fools. They know what works, and they don't stand to benefit financially from you. In fact, they would probably get chewed out by a peer if they were to say something that wasn't true. I ended up scouring 100's of posts on body building forums. These guys are competitors, I reasoned, and even if they won't tell all their secrets, they did end up giving some away.
This was the first time I had heard of the EC Stack, or the ECA Stack4 . The idea is to mix Ephedrine and Caffeine to accelerate metabolism and suppress appetite. At first I wasn't sure if this was real or not. But, I eventually dug up some studies, such as one done by the International Journal of Obesity29, and Life Extensions Magazine30, to name a few. There were dozens. I started reading more and more about this concept. Why can't your body burn calories sitting around? It already does this, but why can't it be even more than normal?
I was a little concerned of the health risks of this, of course. Some of these guys, while they probably wouldn't admit it, have possibly done steroids, or taken supplements that I would probably not want to go near. Was I being lead down a dangerous road here? I had to cross-reference their claims that the EC Stack was in fact the ultimate diet for burning fat.
Then it all Came Together
I began studying Ephedrine, Caffeine, thermogenesis and it's effect on the body. I crawled dozens of articles and user reviews. Most people seemed utterly clueless on the concept. I mean, literally half the people seemed to think it was some sort of major health risk, like taking steroids, but with no evidence they'd even researched it! It wasn't until I came across a large scale study done in Denmark on 200,000 people that confirmed2 there were no health risks of note, that I realized this was safe. However, if it's so effective, why haven't your heard about it? Well, I made a link explaining that, it's a story unto itself.
So I am feeling confident, I ordered some Ephedrine on-line. In Canada, this is a straightforward process, it's actually cheaper on-line than in the stores. I compared 3 different retailers and pretty much every on-line supplement store was either the same price or much cheaper, even after shipping.
However, I didn't order the caffeine pills I was supposed to. I figured, hey, I love coffee, so why not stick with that instead? It has Caffeine in it, which I am drinking anyway, out of enjoyment. It was at this point I did a bit more research if this was a wise move or not.. maybe I needed to get the Caffeine pills after all. I then began reading the concepts of a 'Hydration Diet14'. The idea of the Hydration Diet is that it makes you feel bloated, less hungry, and of course water has no calories. What a perfect combination.. I get my Caffeine, and I don't have to do anything different than I already do, truly this is going to be the best diet known to man!
The Secret Ingredient
Coffee is merely tasty water that has the Caffeine component for the diet. You can do it with certain teas too, you just need to have the correct dosage of Caffeine for it to work, 10:128. Pop unfortunately has too much sugar in its ratio. You need to drink 2-3 cans of pop to match a cup of coffee, and that simply will result in too much sugar intake to get your Caffeine dosage.
This was not verified in a clinical study, but in my situation, I was 190lbs in November 2013, and was 165lbs by January 2014, following the diet regimen I have posted. It's not to say you will also lose 25lbs in 2 months, you could lose less, you could lose more! Today, my weight hovers between 160-165lbs and I feel great!
So many people noticed how much thinner I was, and kept asking how I did it, that I thought it might be worth sharing this diet in a blog. Maybe it'll catch on?
Note that this diet does have some risks if you have certain medical conditions, please read this section for more details.