I’ve put my entire eBook in this post because keeping and maintaining a healthy weight is extremely important. If you’ve found any value in it, feel free to go pick up the eBook or Paperback.
This book is intended as a reference volume only, not as a medical manual. The information given here is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor. If you suspect that you may have a medical problem, we urge you to seek competent medical help.
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The Valhalla Diet Plan
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Program 1; Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Chapter 3: Program 2; Ultra Low Carb
Chapter 4: Program 3; Glycemic Index (GI)
Chapter 5: Exercise (Optional)
Chapter 6: Conclusion
Chapter 1: Introduction
You probably noticed this eBook is a little light on pages (pun intended). That’s because it’s not stuffed full (pun intended) with useless suggested breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. If you are currently obese, these three programs are not for you. However, if like me, you’ve been struggling to lose those last ten to fifteen pounds, read on. I’ll show you the way.
You probably find this improbable, if not impossible. Each worked for me with similar results, so the three programs offered here work well independently, or in combination.
Before going into each program and my experience with them, I thought it might be good to give you some background on my own struggle. I’m six-foot-tall and
in my mid-forties. Per the National Institutes of Health guidelines, I should weigh between 140 and 184 pounds. Yes, I agree; the 44 pound “range” is ridiculous. That’s something like a 30% range, give or take.
Personally, I feel my best around the 175-pound mark. My fattest self in the late 90’s was 211 pounds. I was once lovingly referred to by my sister as a “butterball”. Then came 9/11. By January of 2002 I was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan. The work was intense. Meals were MREs supplemented by local stuff like nan (bread) rice and lamb. The weight slowly slid off and I came home at around 175 pounds. Perfect.
I was determined to never balloon up past 200 pounds ever again. In 2006 I started playing soccer again with a local adult league. This undoubtedly helped keep the weight down. I seemed to be permanently planted in the 180 to 190-pound range though.
In 2010, I went back to Afghanistan and managed to slim down once again. This time I came back at 170 pounds. To be fair, I had worked out quite a bit on this deployment. In 2012 I deployed to Africa, and once again in 2014, I was back in Afghanistan.
2015 saw some significant life changes. Work and family responsibilities put soccer on the back burner. I also started an ecommerce side business. And the weight yo-yo seeped back in to my life. My weight crept back up to the 195 range. I began to fight back with Intermittent Fasting (IF) in late 2016. I still ate pretty much whatever I wanted, turning to Intermittent Fasting as a way to control it. I started out with the basic 16/8 fast; moving to the 18/6. I drifted back down to the 184–5 range.
With work, two toddlers (both still under 4) and a side business, the gym really wasn’t an option. I’d do pushups and pull ups here and there along with the Intermittent Fast. Then earlier in 2019 I came across a bodyweight exercise guy on Twitter. He had a before and after picture he’d tweeted. Somebody needed to call a medic because this guy was all cut up!!! It was all bodyweight.
No gym. No drugs. In the before picture he was clearly in amazing shape, but in the after he was completely ripped. He claimed he was able to shred because he was on the carnivore diet.
I told my wife I wanted to go on the carnivore diet. She said, “Hell no! You can’t just eat meat; that’s crazy!” a few seconds later she asked, “What about the Keto diet?” I ended up doing some preliminary research on Keto and decided it really wasn’t for me. But the idea of restricting carbohydrates had a certain appeal and led me to the low carb genre. A lot of the literature seems to settle around restricting carbs to about 100 to 150 to lose weight. A light bulb went off in my head and I began to experiment with intermittent fasting, low carbs, and eventually the glycemic index.
In my experience, you can maintain or lose weight on any of the three programs by themselves. However, I discovered combining any two of them will give you the best bang for your buck. All three of them in concert is weight maintenance/loss nirvana. Try any or all of them for the next 30 days and discover the power for yourself.
The next three chapters lay out the programs: Intermittent Fasting, Ultra Low Carb, and Glycemic Index.
Chapter 2: Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Intermittent Fasting was the first program I used to lose and maintain my weight. It’s been very popular over the last several years.
While there are many versions, I stuck to the 16/8 and 18/6 cycle. Restricting the timing of your meals just seemed to make sense to me.
When starting out I began the 16/8. I wouldn’t eat after 8pm or before noon. This gives you sixteen hours of fasting and an eight-hour eating window. During the window, I ate whatever I wanted to. I gradually decreased the eating window to 18/6. This meant I ate between noon and 6pm with the fast period going from 6pm to noon.
During “fasting” periods, I drank black coffee, unsweetened iced tea, and water.
This is by far the easiest of the three programs. The only thing you need to track is the time of day.
I noticed my weight was either maintained, or I lost a few pounds over a few weeks. Remember, I was eating whatever I wanted. Pizza, ice cream, beer, mashed potatoes, rice, burgers, hot dogs, donuts — you name it.
You’re probably thinking that’s crazy and unhealthy. I agree. The quality of the food you eat does matter in the long run. I would argue being obese has a lot more adverse effects on your health though. And the point is Intermittent Fasting works regardless of what you eat.
I suspect the reason Intermittent Fasting is effective no matter what you eat is because when you restrict the time you eat, you naturally end up reducing the number of calories you consume.
Some of the literature points to side effects like fatigue, weakness, and headaches. I experienced none of these.[i][ii]
Chapter 3: Ultra Low Carb
As I mentioned in chapter one, I’d looked into the Keto diet initially. The restrictions of 50 carbohydrates or less seemed a bit daunting to me. Plus, I wasn’t really looking to go into ketosis. I came across an article titled 100 Gram Carb Cure that set me on the right path.
The strategy was so simple. Eat less than one hundred carbohydrates a day and that’s it. That’s when the Last Mile of five to ten pounds started to melt away. Forever.
In the first nine days of eating 100 carbs or less I went from 189 pounds down to 183. After 11 days, I was down to 179. All without exercise or restricting the types of food I ate.
I knew I was on to something. It’s so simple it almost seems too good to be true. I assure you it isn’t. According to the article, a low carb strategy is effective because the average person will experience autoregulatory effectseven without monitoring your macronutrients.
Over time you’ll probably end up being more selective with the types of carbohydrates you consume as well.
There are basically simple or complex carbohydrates. For example, simple refined would be table sugar and simple natural would be lactose in milk or fructose in fruits. Complex refined would be your white processed flours and Complex natural would be your whole grains or beans. The type of carbohydrates you consume comes into play if you decide to try the Glycemic Index program.
Based on the three programs in this eBook, I’d say if you could only choose one, choose this one. Ultra-Low Carb is the closest thing to diet magic I’ve ever tried.
Research suggests 25 to 150 grams is considered “low carb”. Even if you bumped up to the 150 mark, the program will probably still work because the average 2,000 calorie diet typically has between 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates.[iii][iv][v]
“What gets measured gets managed.” Peter Drucker.
For monitoring your carb intake there are quite few apps out there. I’m using the free version of Stupid Simple Keto. The paid version would probably make your life easier because you can scan the bar codes from what you’re eating and the app will track the carbs almost automatically.
Chapter 4: Glycemic Index (GI)
Your final program is based on the Glycemic Index. I first became aware of using the Glycemic Index as a way to lose and/or maintain weight from a keynote address given by Scott Adams, creator of the popular comic strip Dilbert.
Scott’s take on incorporating GI into your diet stems from his idea of replacing willpower with knowledge. In several keynotes floating around YouTube, Scott asks his audience if they had to choose between pasta and a potato from a salad bar, which would it be? Essentially, which one would do the least harm to your waistline?
Most people choose the potato. And why not? It’s a vegetably sort of thingy right? It must be healthier than pasta, right?
Well, it turns out the pasta, with its lower Glycemic Index would be a healthier option. Scott says once you’ve replaced your willpower (dieting) with knowledge, you can then, over time, make combinations of the low Glycemic Index foods that taste pretty good. Slowly change the choices of what you eat to lower Glycemic Index foods and the weight will come off. Trial and error.
Here’s the good news. Incorporating low Glycemic Index foods into your diet is now easier than ever! What’s that you say? Is there an app for that? Of course there is! Using the app significantly cuts down the time it takes to exchange willpower for knowledge in Scott’s scenario.
The Glycemic Index was initially developed to guide food choices for diabetics. In addition, clinical studies have shown a low Glycemic Index diet may help people with cholesterol.
When using the Glycemic Index the smaller the number the better. International standards put 55 or less as low (good), 56 to 69 as medium, and 70 or above as high (bad). One surprising fact is the Glycemic Index of certain fruits actually goes up as they ripen.
My own anecdotal observation is there seems to be a correlation between a lower Glycemic Index and “better carbs.” If you choose low Glycemic Index foods and stick with eating under 100 carbohydrates a day, you’ll be miles ahead in the battle of the bulge. And have a healthier lifestyle that quite frankly doesn’t really feel like dieting.[vi][vii][viii]
For tracking the Glycemic Index of the food I choose to eat, I’m using the Glycemic Index app. It’s free. The beauty of it is you can switch the app to rank from low to high Glycemic Index. It’s searchable too.
Chapter 5: Exercise (Optional)
While you don’t have to exercise to lose weight on any of these programs, I recommend doing something. Get up and walk around. Skip the elevator and take the stairs. Do some pushups or pull ups throughout the day.
You don’t need to go to the gym. Bodyweight can be quite effective. Have you ever tried a pistol squat? Try it some time. Do whatever floats your boat, but move.
Take your kids to the playground and knock out some pull ups on the monkey bars. Go on a hike. Find some exercise wherever you can that fits with your lifestyle or you won’t stick to it.
If you do want to exercise, I’ll share what I’ve done in the past, and what I do now.
I’ve had the ability to work out with some really fit folks on my deployments to Afghanistan. One of the keys was the routines were varied and changed from day to day. I once mentioned these routines seemed like crossfit to a Green Beret. His response? “This is circuit training. Don’t ever call it crossfit!”
I showed him a workout routine I’d picked up from a Navy SEAL. Not one to mince words he said, “Throw that beach body crap out.”
Once back home though, most of these workouts crapped the bed. Like most of us, there isn’t enough time with work and family responsibilities once we’re back home.
This led me to full body workouts. If you can darken the door of a gym twice a week, this seemed to be the way to go.
Isolate those triceps? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
What I discovered when researching for the best full body workout was that you can work the “Big Four”; chest, legs, back and abs, for maximum time efficiency.[ix]
This led me to the StrongLifts 5x5 protocol. It’s a simple enough plan:
Plan A: Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row.
Plan B: Squat, Overhead Press, Deadlift.
You’re working your full body. Each exercise is working several muscles together in what’s called compound exercises.
You begin the program with 50 percent of your 5-rep max. It seems super light in the beginning, but you keep adding weight each new workout. It’s recommended to add 5 pounds each subsequent workout. And that ends up getting heavy pretty quick.[x]
Bodybuilding.com weighed in with a pro’s and con’s review of the program.
The pros came in noting a number of positive attributes for beginning lifters.
First is the simplicity. You know exactly how many days and the exact exercises you’ll be doing.
It is simplicity emphasizing gaining strength. And as the article notes, it’s void of fancy machines or contraptions.
The cons aren’t what you might think. They mostly revolved around what’s needed for intermediate or advanced lifters. Those folks usually need greater complexity to make gains.
While some new to lifting will have the a-ha moment and think this is the most revolutionary thing they’ve ever heard, it should be noted that this style program has been around for a while. Bart Starr popularized the protocol in his book, “The Strongest Shall Survive: Strength Training for Football,” and bodybuilder Reg Park first started writing about the protocol back in the 1960s.[xi]
If even StrongLifts 5x5 is a tad too much to work into your schedule, I’ve got one last trick up my sleeve:
How would you like to become World Class at something? And it won’t require a large chunk of your day.
There’s a quote attributed to Warren Buffet that runs along the lines of “How do you beat Bobby Fischer? You play him in any game but Chess … I try to stay in games where I have an edge.”
So, you’re probably wondering what I’m World Class in? Chess? Tennis? Auto Racing? Investing? Well, let me tell you a little story before the big ‘reveal’…
I came across a video with entrepreneur Caspar Craven on Impact Theory. Caspar mentioned a book called Psycho Cybernetics in passing. I picked the book up and have already read it twice.
I highly recommend it. The book mentioned the practice of celebrating small victories. Caspar spoke about celebrating small victories as well. He emphasized the importance of celebrating
small victories, as they often lead to bigger ones. At his company, he’d walk around rewarding “small victories” by giving his employees chocolates.
By now you’re probably wondering what the hell this has to do with becoming World Class at something?
Bear with me a little longer as we go back to Warren Buffett. We’d all like to be World Class at something, right? Well, I’m not going to be World Class at soccer or tennis or auto racing; or probably even investing, so I decided to pick something to be World Class at where I have an edge.
I’m a World Class Pullup performer. Yes, that’s right. Pullups. I recently read a post stating only 1% of people on earth can do five pull-ups or more. And I can do more than five. There you have it. An edge, and a small victory. Let’s see if it leads to bigger ones.[xii]
Chapter 6: Conclusion
There you have it. Three programs that work from the World’s shortest diet Book.
A blueprint for melting away those last ten to fifteen stubborn pounds that until now seemed impossible to lose.
Try it for 30 days. You’ve really got nothing to lose, except a couple of pounds. As we get older it gets harder to stay in shape. The fact you purchased this book shows you understand a certain level of fitness and health is important. You’ll feel better, you’ll look a little bit better too.
As you’ve read, there’s nothing too complicated about it. Sometimes things really are this simple.
If you have additional questions or want to share your experience, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org