Low Activity to
In the past fifteen years, I have played around with all sorts of lifehacking and seriously scientific games with my body, including (and especially) my body weight and proportions. I’ve played with massively gaining and losing weight using both healthy and unhealthy methods.
Why do I do this? I do it to learn and improve my ability to control my health overall. To do is to learn, but to feel is to understand. With plenty of proven experiences, I understand even more about my physical and mental state…and am still learning.
In these processes, I often find myself breaking the many myths about health, fitness, and dieting.
Recently at the age of 50, I again refined and processed a purposeful weight gain then weight loss scenario. The weight gain stayed for 2 months to keep it a standard for true testing. I then focused on my 10 favorite rules for myself to lose 32 pounds (15 kilograms) in 8 weeks with these 3 general points along the way:
- Almost no cardio and strength training.
- Consistent high energy every day with no artificial stimulants (definitely no or little caffeine).
- All aspects of my mind and body are healthier naturally, including but not limited to PH balance, healthier cells, focus, and memory-retention.
With the continued cycle of health lockdowns by the government where I currently live, I advanced my indoor training process. But more importantly, I enhanced by diet routines in order to stay healthier when activity is very limited during extreme government lockdowns.
Every challenge provides an opportunity to learn more and take more effective action. While I prefer to be and am normally very active, I used this opportunity of limited physical activity to improve myself and my understanding my health and diet.
(Please note what I share publicly is not a recommendation for others to follow without guidance from a medical professional. This information is only for the purpose of sharing what works for me in order to help others do look into their own solutions, do research, and the work required.)
The top 10 rules I use for myself in order to lose 32 pounds (15 kilograms) in 8 weeks while having limited physical activity are provided here in descending order of priority and effectiveness:
- 10 – Limit or Pause Fitness Activities – Overall, 80% of health is determined by diet; not fitness. Due to government lockdowns, this was easy to apply.
For cardio workouts, movement of the body helps in staying healthy. During this process, I limited my cardio to almost nothing; I basically walked daily outside (when lockdowns allowed it). I have done other lifehack diets before with more cardio successfully. But, the key for this diet is not to be excessive with activity. If I were allowed to exercise outside more, I would run every few days on flat land for 3-8 miles (5-13 km) using a more relaxed pace that does not make me sore or too exhausted. This or daily walking can be used as a status quo to maintain and keep the body moving and fit while intentionally losing weight.
Strength training helps with fitness overall but creates acidic elements in my body that require more consumption or redirection of body assets to compensate. Recovery from strength training prevents the goal of weight loss in a short-term process in general.
- 9 – No or Little Caffeine – Caffeine can be used as a cheat to help lose weight for many people. I used it myself when I was younger, but I have not consumed caffeine on a normal basis for many years which makes this one also easy for me.
Except for vegan-based direct pills, there is no healthy way to consume caffeine. Caffeine itself is acidic to the body which lowers the PH below a healthy standard. It is delivered in forms that are even unhealthier such as coffee, so-called energy drinks, and tea (yes, tea is generally unhealthy – to be discussed in another future posting).
With healthy habits including a good diet, I have no energy issues without caffeine. In fact, those close to me will attest to the fact that I have non-stop energy consistently throughout the day.
- 8 – Detox Through Meditation and Hot Baths – In practicing The Art of Ki, I use simple meditation techniques to help train my mind. My meditations occur in any moment, anywhere, and in any environment. It is not dependent on structures, mantras, or anything external of myself. It is important in de-stressing and experiencing the moment in its perfection.
Also when possible, I take hot baths twice a week to help pull out and detox elements from the 20% ‘Zag’ part of my diet (to be explained later below) and other toxins naturally consumed and also produced by the body during weight loss.
- 7 – Supplements for Nutrition – Vegan-based supplements are essential to daily healthy living. No one can consume enough food daily to get the necessary natural elements our bodies need for a healthy state. In a future post, I will share more about this. Often, it is more about what is NOT consumed compared to what is. Key minerals will be lower for me with a protein-focused diet. So, I increased my daily intake of supplements such as potassium and magnesium.
- 6 – No Consumption Except Water and Protein for 4 Hours or Less Before Sleep – I avoid eating dinner and having drinks (of the 20% ‘Zag’ of my diet – more to be shared in the future) within 4 hours of going to bed. How the body processes food and drink soon after consumption can disturb the 4 stages of a good night’s sleep. However, protein closer to bedtime for me is acceptable as along as it is less than 20 grams of protein.
- 5 – 75% of My Non-Protein Food is Water-Based and No/Low Sugar – 75% of my 80% ‘Zig’ food (to be explained more in a future post) is water-based, including vegetables (not fruits), all-natural healthy water mixes, etc. where the majority of the content of the food is…well…water. I drink plenty of water to keep my body nourished during a protein-focused diet (and for natural energy).
Also, any foods I consume normally have very little or no sugar in it. ‘Natural’ sugar is still sugar which leads to weight control issues and other non-healthy issues, including cancer. So, foods of any kind with sugar are very essential for me to avoid for weight and health benefits.
- 4 – Diet Journal Everything Daily – In all my diet revisions, testing, etc., I always keep a simple but effective diet journal. Tracking is understanding the data rather than assuming and generalizing, of which is easy to get wrong. I record the data and use the data without prejudice or preconceived beliefs. It is easy to generalize and make missteps without recording the daily intake of the diet.
- 3 – I Strictly Implement My ‘Zig-Zag’ 80/20 Alkaline Diet – This diet keeps my PH balance in or near the optimal area (6.5 to 7.5) during weight loss. I will be sharing more about this an upcoming post. Essentially, consuming alkaline foods 80% of the time (Zig) is ideal. Many protein sources exist from alkaline foods and many do not such as meats. This protein-focused diet is better for me on an alkaline diet. However, I can still achieve significant weight loss with meats and fish as the main source of protein.
20% of the time, I eat basically whatever I want to within reason, including drinking wine. What is key is for me to have this 20% on one day only per week (Zag), not intermixed throughout the week.
- 2 – No White Carbs, Dairy, and Sugar Except on One Cheat Day per Week – Writing this, I currently weigh 140 pounds / 63.5 kilograms after losing the weight I intended to. As mentioned, I prefer to use an alkaline diet approach. But, I lost the 32 pounds / 15 kilograms being a meat-lover to prove to myself the more importance of this rule which is low-carb focused (in a future post, I will share how I lost the same weight in a healthy way with a high-carb diet).
No white carbs means…no bread, rice, cereal, crackers, potatoes, pasta, fried food with breading, etc. No dairy means…no milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. Some people think eggs are dairy. They are not and are safe for me to have on this diet. No sugar means…many things that may or may not be obvious. It is important to lookup or read the label of items to see its sugar content per serving. Many people typically think of candy and deserts. However, much of fruit is very high in sugar – some higher per serving that chocolates, etc. Although fruit has ‘natural’ sugar, it is still sugar, and I avoid it (except during the ‘cheat day’ of the week).
I try for a total of protein level of between 70 and 100 grams daily. This can vary depending on my current size and amount of limited activity. So, this is not exact for me to follow. 20 to 30 grams of that protein should be consumed within 30 minutes of waking up each day. There is a science behind this that I won’t explain in this post. But, it is an important part of when to consume some of the protein for the day. I use a protein shake for convenience, but of course it can be acceptable breakfast food.
Vegetables are great to have during this diet. If my protein level is good but my portions seem a little small, I eat more vegetables. Remember that vegetables are not heavy and take a lot of quantity to fill up with…which is ok.
As referred to in the ‘Zig-Zag’ item, only one day per week I use as a cheat day to eat anything. Typically, it is a weekend day to stay flexible when dining with family and friends. This cheat day is important to do throw off the cycle of the discipline my body gets used to during the 6 days of the week. It is important to note that disciplined 6 days each week consist of meals that lack a large variety. I do this for the results not for food sampling. Minimizing the daily variety of my meals makes it much easier for me to stick to the plan more efficiently and effectively.
As you may notice, I do not mention nor discuss ‘calories’. For the purpose of this post, I will only state that calories as a unit of measure is useless by itself. It only has (small) uses when used with other indicators. I have successfully lost excessive weight in healthy ways multiple times using various dieting methods. In all my experience, calories were not or are a very small part of my processes that led to success each time.
- 1 – Achieving Stage Four Sleep 3-4 Times Each Night – The number one effective rule and attribute to losing weight is getting quality sleep; hands down, it is the most important rule I have. I can do everything else as intended but will not be able to apply the results as well without letting my body do what it naturally does at night with sleep, which includes the chemical detoxification and regeneration of new natural energy the next day that good sleep provides. Plus, proper sleep allows my body for the proper digestion of proteins and limits fat storage based on the daily cycle of my diet.
Out of the four stages of the sleep cycles, stage four sleep, often referred to as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, is the most important. While ‘REM’ is accurate, it is a not a complete definition. I will explain this in more detail in a future post. Essentially, the quality of sleep, including before and after bed, is more important than the number of hours.
I am not sharing great details in this post because it requires longer details that I can share in categories over future posts. I wanted to limit the length of this post to summarize about what I am often asked about and to give others a starting point to research and try things on their own. If only some of this helps you to improve your process and gain a better understanding of the diet options you might be able consider, then I am happy that it served its purpose.
Copyright / Πνευματική Ιδιοκτησία © The Art of Ki™ / Συλλογοε Πολεμικων Τεχνων Κι / Andreas Simatos