This is the third installment of my three-part review of Kevin Trudeau’s book The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About. I decided to write this review while–as I was on vacation–I saw an infomercial with Kevin Trudeau promoting his “Debt Cures” scam while alluding to his “natural cures” and “weight loss cure” scams. At that point, my thoughts were, “What the [Dick Cheney expletive deleted]???” I have a friend who died–breast cancer–following Trudeau’s “natural cures” crap, and decided that enough was enough! Because I know a thing or two about weight loss, I decided I would rip the hell out of his book.
Hell yeah, this is personal!
In part 1, I confronted the methodology that he uses to promote his weigjht loss scam, which is the same methodology that he uses to promote his “natural cures” scam and his “debt cures” scam. He mixes anti-government/anti-business paranoia with enough truth to make himself look credible, then markets himself like no other con man before him. I debunked his rationale by presenting the dynamics of the laws of economics, which–as the Soviets found out–are not up for repeal. The economy is global and no amount of government-business collusion will stop the wheels of the global market. In addition, for Trudeau to be correct, every high-ranking medical professional and researcher must be a lying crook who wants people to always be sick and fat.
In part 2, I confronted the major elements of his “weight loss cure” by presenting some general principles that apply to any weight loss strategy:
- Rapid weight loss–more than two pounds per week–is highly risky. It can lead to gall stones, cause ketoacidosis due to excessive fat and muscle breakdown, and even lead to multiple organ system failure. Ergo, his “30 pounds in 30 days” mantra is complete BS.
- Any medical therapy to alter your metabolism–especially hormones–carries substantial risks. This is why certain drugs–phen phen, ephedra, amphetamines–are illegal while others–anabolic steroids–are highly-regulated. Metabolism-altering therapies can impact the heart, the brain and/or central nervous system. Trudeau promotes the use of hCG hormone therapy, which–according to the most reliable peer-reviewed study available–has been shown to be ineffective in promoting weight loss. Furthermore, hCG is a hormone the long-term effects of the use of which have not been established. Given that other hormone therapies–such as postmenopausal hormone therapy and steroid treatments for asthma–have been shown to have some risks, it would serve you to beware of the potential downside to hCG therapy: the upside has not been proven, and there is a major unknown in the downside.
- Ultra low-calorie diets–such as the 500 calorie-per-day diet that Trudeau promotes–are counterproductive and potentially harmful.
- Colon cleanse therapies are utter scams. All you’ll get is a waste of your money, toilet paper, and water for unnecessary toilet use. The only muscle you’ll be exercising is your sphincter. Only a pervert could possibly find that experience rewarding.
This review has focused on general principles while addressing some specifics. This time, I want to leave with some general principles with respect to health and dieting. (NOTE: Please consult with your physician if you wish to radically alter your fitness regimen..)
Principle #1: Think in terms of a lifestyle of fitness, and not about losing weight. I’d suggest that most attempts at weight loss are successful. The problem is, the dieter has focused on losing the weight. Once the weight is lost, he or she goes right back to his or her former routine. Trouble is, that former routine is what caused the weight gain in the first place. Ergo, the weight comes back.
Rather than think in terms of getting the weight off, think in terms of a lifestyle of fitness.
Principle #2: a Lifestyle of Fitness requires selecting a dietary regimen that is conducive to good health. Find out what your ideal weight ought to be, and select the calorie target for the maintenance of that ideal weight. (Work with your doctor on this.)
As for specific diets, there is no one absolute “you must do this” regimen; in fact, there is plenty of room for flexibility. As long as it’s balanced, go with whatever floats your boat. I’m not a big fan of Atkins, but others swear by it. I’ve never done South Beach, but I’ve known folks who got in shape with it and have used to to keep the weight off. I’m not a vegetarian, but I know others who have been for years and have found lots of success with it.
There is lots of room for variety here; pick one, get your doctor to approve it, and then stick with it.
The only caveat I will provide: this is for getting and staying fit, and not for losing weight. If you want a “weight loss” diet, then prepare to gain it all back.
For the sake of discussion, I’ll disclose my regimen, while qualifying that it is not a one-size-fits-all…
For breakfast: I inhale oatmeal. I typically add Cape Cod cranberries, Splenda, and cinnamon. Sometimes, I’ll throw in a banana or apples. I could write 101 recipes for oatmeal.
For lunch: my middle name is rice. I prefer different flavors: chicken-broccoli, sesame chicken, cheddar-broccoli, and Spanish rice. Three times a week I mix salmon with it; three times a week I mix chicken with it. Sometimes, I’ll even add raisins to it.
For dinner: I’ll have some mixed vegetables, or some oatmeal. (I’m a lazy bachelor and don’t like to cook.)
Before a workout: I’ll have a Powerbar.
After a workout: I’ll have a 200-calorie protein shake.
If I eat out, I’ll pick Panera Bread, Wendy’s (for baked potato and small chili), or Subway (a grilled chicken or veggie sub)
Why the Powerbar and shake? I usually spend between 10 and 12 hours per week on an elliptical jogger. Right now, my biggest challenge is keeping my weight up, not down.
Remember: this is flexible; there are any number of routines that will work. Find one that you like, get with your doctor, work out a plan, and stick with it.
Principle #3: a Lifestyle of Fitness requires selecting an activity regimen that is conducive to good health. Most experts will stress the importance of regular cardiovascular exercise–30 minutes a day. How you do that is up to you. If you prefer brisk walking; jogging; cycling (regular or stationary), traditional aerobics, or even a Navy SEAL workout, just pick one and do it. Just make sure your doc gives you the okie-dokie before you embark on it. If you aren’t sure what you ought to do, ask your doctor. Go to a health club and solicit the advice of a trainer. This is not like Christianity: with fitness, there are many ways to get where you want to go. Personally, I prefer low-impact methods (stationary bike and/or elliptical jogger) for cardio, as it’s better on the joints than the treadmill.
In addition to cardio, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND strength training. Again, how you do that is up to you. Some folks prefer free weights; others prefer circuit machines. Personally, I prefer managing my own body weight (pull-ups, push-ups, dips, and hanging knee-lifts) because my exercises provide decompressive relief for my lower back. I haven’t done free weights since my college days. I’ve found that pull-ups and pushups are excellent confidence-builders.
(Trust me: when you get to where you can knock out enough pull-ups, push-ups, and dips to qualify for a military Special Operations training program, you’ll feel like King Kong.)
Strength training is important because it builds muscle mass, which increases your metabolism (without hormone therapy) and therefore your fat-burn efficiency. That allows you to more quickly reduce your body fat percentage by cutting your body fat while simultaneously increasing your muscle mass. (Lately, I have found it possible to GAIN WEIGHT while LOSING BODY FAT. There is nothing wrong with that.)
(If you do weights, go for lots of low weight/high-repetition sets rather than high weight/low-repetition. You’re getting in shape, not qualifying for the Olympic weightlifting team!)
What I am suggesting will not result in dramatic weight loss overnight. You might lose a half a pound one week, a pound another week, a quarter-pound another week. You will lose it so slowly you will not notice it for several weeks. Then, as weeks become months, you’ll notice. Eventually, everyone else will, too. Your journey will not be made-for-television, but yours will work.
In ten years, you’ll be in shape; Everyone else will still be zig-zagging.
If you want to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, then prepare for an extended hospital stay. If you survive, it’ll be without your gall bladder.
If you want to get in shape, then embrace a lifestyle of fitness and eventually–we’re talking months, a year, or, in my case, 18 months–everyone will be asking you what you did to get in shape. The bonus: because it’s not a weight-loss routine, your weight will be good AND stable. You won’t have a crash diet to ditch because you will not have been on one to begin with.