Is A Low Carb/ High Fat Diet For You?

About a month and half ago I started a keto diet.  The first week was hell.  The second week was a lot better.  By the third week I felt fat adapted.

After three weeks of keto I had lost a lot of weight, nearly 15 lbs.  My sleep was improved, and I no longer felt intense hunger pains throughout the day.  That was the good.

The bad – I didn’t have the same energy during my workouts, I lost muscle mass, and I had intense heart palpations.

The last few weeks I’ve been upping my carbs.  My carb intake comes from vegetables, fruits, quinoa, and sweet potatoes.  I have stayed away from all “white” carbs completely.  I will continue upping carbs especially on workout days.

I’m glad I experimented with keto, but keeping a strict keto diet just isn’t for me.  I feel that my lifestyle is too active to limit myself to under 50 carbs a day.  It may be the same for you.

Is a low carb/high fat diet for you?

It depends.  I know, it’s the not the answer you want to hear, but it’s impossible to answer without knowing a little bit more about you. There is no one size fits all diet.  The right diet depends on many factors like lifestyle, age, genetics, and goals.  I wouldn’t tell a 16 year old to go low carb if he’s trying out for the football team.  Just like I wouldn’t tell a 40 year old office worker to eat six meals a day.

With that said,  I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that there are some foods that should never be a part of any diet. 

– Grains: Refined or whole, breads, pasta, cereal, baked goods.  Basically anything with flour.

– Sugar: candy, caked, cookies, high fructose corn syrup, soda, pastries.  This should be obvious.

– Vegetable Oils: Corn, Soybean, Canola, Margarin are like eating poison.

– Processed Foods: Energy bars, frozen dinners, chips

– Fast Foods – Just say no

– Booze – Enjoy in moderation.  Some booze is better than others.

If you eliminate all of the above you will lose weight, have more energy, and be less likely to die of heart attack at 50.  This goes for everybody.  When it comes to specific diets like keto, paleo, and slow carb there is more of a grey area.  These diets are all leaps in and bounds better than the Standard American Diet (SAD), but one of them might suit you better than the other.

The War On Carbs

Not all carbs are bad.  If you live an active lifestyle or trying to put on muscle it may not be that beneficial to drastically reduce carb intake.  It’s not necessarily bad to eat a lot of carbs, but it is important that you eat the right carbs.

Most of your carbs should come from vegetables.  This will be a tough task.  Most vegetables are low in carbs and they will make you full before you can eat a lot of them.  In general, starchy vegetables like onions have a lot more carbs than leafy greens like spinach.

Next you should get carbs from fruits.  Fruits are a good source of carbs and other vitamins, but some have high levels of sugar so they should be eaten in moderation.  Bananas are high in carbs.  Eating one banana on a keto diet would put you out of ketosis, but it’s not a bad choice for a person with an active lifestyle.

Other supplemental carbs can come from nuts, legumes, and sweet potatoes.  Like fruits these foods should be eaten in moderation. Also these foods would never be eaten on a strict keto diet.

Conclusion

A successful diet comes down to eliminating certain foods from one’s diet.  One won’t have to count calories when they get rid themselves of things like grains, sugars, processed foods etc.  This is the most important thing to understand.  You don’t have to be a carb nazi to get results.  Test things for yourself and see what your body responds to.  Here is my suggestion:

If your trying to cut weight fast and you don’t mind a little pain than go keto.  Once you reach your goal you can slowly reintroduce some more carbs.  *I don’t think a strict keto diet is sustainable long term.

Trying to simply lose weight at gradually pace than go low carb or primal.  Aim to eat between 100-150 carbs a day.

If you live an active lifestyle you shouldn’t have to follow strict guidelines when it comes to carbs, just make sure you’er  eating the right carbs.

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Early Retirement And Purposelessness

Through high school and college I had a summer job at a golf course.  I worked maintenance.  Half of the staff were college kids the other half were older guys that had already retired.  The older guys only worked a few hours a day.  I could never understand why they kept showing up to work when they didn’t have to.  If you asked them why you usually got the same answer, “to get away from the wife.”

There was one guy who worked there till he was 80.  He got so senile that management finally had to let him go.  He died two years later.

I now understand why these guys kept showing up to work when they didn’t have to.  It wasn’t because of their wives.  Well, maybe a little bit. But I think the real reason they kept showing up is because they wanted to feel like they had a purpose.

I’ve been semi retired for a little over a year.  A lot of that time was spent building an internet business.  My main motivation, passive income.  It’s doing alright and still growing.  The money I make from this business isn’t going to buy me a seaside mansion, it’s barely enough to get buy on,  but it’s decent for being almost completely passive.  At this point, I’ve delegated most of the tasks and work the four hour workweek that most would dream about.

But it’s not a dream.  I have free time.  I can wake up without an alarm.  I can move at my own pace.  This was good for a while, don’t get me wrong.  However, too much of good thing can be a bad thing.  I’m bored.  I feel purposeless.  Everyday is groundhog day.

I’m writing this because lately a lot of my posts have revolved around FIER (Financial Independence Early Retirement).  Now I’m starting to reconsider if this is goal worth striving for.  Do you really want FIER ?  Do you think you will ease into retirement at a young age?

Financial Independence is definitely worth striving for.  Not being dependent on a job you hate is worth striving for.  However, you better find a productive way to fill your time when you have reached FIER or else you will be completely miserable.

I’m trying to play devil’s advocate here.  I still think FIER is worthwhile goal and not just because it means sleeping in as late you want to.  I think FIER should be more about the means than the end.  The means is ripping yourself away from being a mindless consumer.  The end, is of course, Fuck You Money.  Both good. But one shouldn’t focus on the Fuck You Money like it’s some pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Instead, one should focus on the habits they must instill to reach FIER.

What FIER really means:

  • It doesn’t mean no work.  It means you don’t have to work for money.  You do work that interests you without worrying about paying the bills.  Maybe this is volunteer work, maybe gardening, maybe it’s writing a blog.         
  • You stop being a mindless consumer.  You don’t buy new furniture you reuse old furniture instead.  You learn to cook your own food instead of eating out every night at expensive and unhealthy restaurants.  You learn how to fix things.  
  • You learn how to make your money work for you. 

In the end, the goal is to become less and less dependent on the financial system.

Does this solve the problem of feeling purposeless?  Not working shouldn’t be the goal but then again, what’s the point of working for working sake?  Do you need to be given money to feel like your living with purpose?

 

 

 

 

 

Libraries?

Early retiree wannabes need to take a long hard look at their bank statements.  That’s what I’ve been doing lately.  I look at my biggest expense as well as recurring expenses and see if I can minimize them, or better, eliminate them.

Something I spend a lot of money on is books.  I may buy 5-6 books a month.  Rarely these books will be read more than once.  Sometimes these books will never be finished.

I thought how can I minimize my book buying habit?  And then I vaguely remembered that most cities and towns have these building that store books called libraries.  On top that, these libraries let you borrow books for free. Who would of thought?

I went down to my local library and signed up for a library card.  This took all of 2 minutes.  After that I was free to borrow any book in the building and even download their books onto my kindle!

Then again your library might not have the most up to date collection.  If you just have to read a certain book go and buy it.  But if you’re already in the middle of another book just wait.  Place the book you want on your Amazon wish list.  If three weeks pass and you still want it then buy it.  Until then, show some goddamn restraint.   

I notice that I sometimes buy books impulsively.  A blogger will recommend a list of books and I’ll run to Amazon to get them all.  I may read one, but the rest just sit in my kindle or shelf never to be opened.

Libraries will allow you to borrow a book for three weeks.  Which adds some urgency that you should read this book while you have it.  A wish list will kill impulse buys and remind you to buy books you’re actually going to read.

 

You Know What You Should Be Doing

What is right action?

Right action is what you know you should be doing.  It’s intuitive.  It’s also causes resistance. Often you can tell the importance of an action by the amount of resistance you feel.

You see a cute girl across the bar.  You know you should go talk to her, but something stops you.  You sit there telling yourself it wasn’t the right time.  Resistance.

You have been thinking about writing a screenplay for the last two months.  You know you should sit down and start writing it, but you binge watch Netflix instead. Resistance.

We all experience it.  We all know the right action to take, but we fuck off.

How do you overcome resistance?

There is no easy solution.  Life is an ongoing battle against resistance.  Being able to identify it is key.  If you can identify the actions in your life where you feel the most resistance you will know what actions take priority.  You can now put your energy towards towards those actions and let the other stuff fade away.

In what situations do you feel the most resistance?

Ask yourself this question on a daily basis.  It’s a good chance that these right actions that you know you should be doing have dominated your train of thought for the last few months or so.

How Much Is Too Much Information?

One of my goals is to blog consistently for a year.  So far I’ve been blogging for a little over a month.  The blog has been mostly focused on dieting and financial independence.  I write about these topics because it’s what’s I’m interested in at the moment.

I’ve enjoyed blogging, but I wonder how far I can take it.  Will I have enough material to keep it going for a year?  Everything about dieting and financial independence has already been said a million times over.  There are already thousands of blogs and books on dieting and finance.  The information is out there.  How can I keep coming up with material without rehashing someone else’s words?

Then I think, why is there so much information out there about dieting and finance in the first place?  Most of it boils down to simple truths.  If you want to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume.  If you want to become financially independent you must save more money than you spend.  The techniques you apply to reach these goals may differ slightly from person to person, but generally, you already know what has to be done.

How much information is enough?  If you have already read five books on financial independent is reading a sixth just mental masturbation?  Sometimes getting the spark from consuming good ideas is enough of a high to prevent you from actually applying them in real life.  But I guess this why so many people are terrible with money and dieting.

It’s one thing to understand the philosophy but it’s whole different game to live it.  Execution.  It’s all that matters.  If your trying to stick to a diet you already know what you should be doing.  You know you shouldn’t eat that muffin.  You know that you should drag your ass to the gym.  But will you?

I’m where I want to be when it comes to dieting.  I’m nowhere near where I want to be with my finances.  I hope that this blogs helps me stay accountable to my goal of financial independence.  I hope that it gives you some inspiration, but at the same time doesn’t lead to inaction and mental masturbation.

 

Financial Mistakes I’ve Made

Vanity Purchases:  When I was sixteen I used most of the money I saved up from my summer job to buy a system for my car.  Part of my motivation was to impress my peers.  It was cool for about 3 weeks.  Looking back it was a complete waste of money.  Buying things to impress other people (keeping up with Joneses) is never a good investment.

Going To College:  I don’t think college is a bad thing.  I just don’t think it’s for everyone.  It wasn’t for me.  The only reason I went to college is because I thought it was just the thing to do.  I had no direction. Like most eighteen year olds I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  If I wasn’t entrenched in group think I probably would have dropped out.  After four expensive years all I had was a piece of paper and some good stories.  Just remember college isn’t the only option, more often than not it ends up being a money pit that leaves naive twenty somethings crippled with debt.

Useless Majors:  Once I was in college I jumped from major to major.  First, it was business (the standard major for kids who don’t know what they want to do with their lives, almost as bad as communications).  Second semester it was exercise science.  Lastly, it was geography and regional planning which I majored in.  As you can imagine I didn’t have many job opportunities once I graduated.  It didn’t help that it was 2010 and our country was still reeling from the financial crisis of 2008 either.  Looking back I wouldn’t have gone to college.  I would have continued working or taken a gap year to figure out what I really wanted to.  A part of me wishes I had just went into the trades.  If your a young adult about to graduate or freshly graduated I suggest reading Worthless by Aaron Clarey.  It’s a book I wish I stumbled upon when I was eighteen.

Going Back To School:   After graduation I decided that I wanted to follow my true passion, art (mistake 1).  I enrolled in a diploma mill of school (mistake 2).  It didn’t take long before I realized the school was a scam.  I dropped out after a semester.  Luckily, I hadn’t acquired too much debt by that point.  I think it goes without saying, you shouldn’t go to a college that isn’t accredited.  You also shouldn’t major in Art.  If you’re really passionate about art there is nothing that should stop you from making it.  You don’t need to go to an expensive four year school to be an artist.  Don’t believe me?  Go ask any barista how their art career is doing?

Online Courses:  Most online courses are a money grab.  They’re marketed well, but don’t give you anything more than stuff you could find on Youtube.  I signed up for designlab to learn some web design.  I mine as well have flushed $400 down the toilet.  It didn’t provide me with anything I couldn’t have found myself.  This isn’t to say that all online courses are bad.  I learned a ton on lynda.com.  Just be weary of online courses.  Most of them are targeted at people who want easy solutions.  Guilty.

Buying A Vehicle On Loan:  When I was in my early twenties I bought a truck on loan.  I ended up selling it for a good price before I left for Australia.  This allowed me to pay off my loan.  It worked out, but still doesn’t mean it wasn’t stupid.  You should never buy something on loan.  I repeat,  YOU SHOULD NEVER BUY SOMETHING ON LOAN.  If you can’t pay for it straight up than don’t buy it.  It’s that simple.

Sneak More Fat Into Your Diet

A high fat low carb can prove to be difficult.  It’s hard to eat lots of fats while keeping protein moderate and carbohydrates low.  Since I started a high fat low carb diet I find myself sneaking fat into my meals as much as I can.  One of the best ways to sneak fat into your diet is by fattening up your morning coffee.

Every morning I add two tablespoons of coconut oil and four tablespoons of heavy cream to my coffee.  That’s around 550 calories and 50 grams of fat before you even start your day.  This is the perfect breakfast for me since I’m usually never hungry in the morning, but still want to make sure I keep up my calories up.

Unlike a lot of people who start high fat low carb diets my goal isn’t to lose weight. I enjoy the other positive aspects of a high fat low carb diet.

I want to get at least between 2,000-2,500 calories a day to maintain regular bodyweight.  This is another challenge when eating high fat and low carb.  A high fat and low carb diet is so effective that it’s not always beneficial for people with no desire to lose weight.  This is why I have abandoned a strict keto diet and added more carbs.  I was wasting away without them.

Even after upping my carbs my diet is still mostly fats.  I still won’t touch white carbs or legumes.  But this leads to calorie deficits.  Without the high calorie meals like a bowl of white rice or pasta your body may not be getting sufficient calories.  This is why it’s important to go heavy handed with high calorie fats.  Coconut oil, olive oil, and heavy cream should become your best friends.  Sneak them into as many meals as you can.  They’re high in calories and fat, and low in protein and carbs.  The perfect combination.

They’re also relatively cheap if you buy in bulk.  You can buy a 5 Liter Container of EVOO for $12.  This may last you an entire year.

In conclusion, if you’re want to keep eating a high fat low carb diet but maintain body weight make sure to sneak in fats.  Drink a fat coffee every morning.  Put a little more olive oil on your salad.  Cook with lots of coconut oil and then pour the remaining oil from the pan on top of your meal.   

Lifestyle Hucksters

“Lifestyle design.”  You have probably heard this term by now.  It has become a popular topic in the last decade because of Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Workweek.

In the 4 Hour Workweek Ferriss talks about creating a “muse” business that generates passive income.  You find a product to sell, outsource business operations, and then travel the World while your bank account swells.  The perfect life.

Ferris also talks about his own “muse” business (BrainQUICKEN).  A business that generates enough money for him to travel the World while only working 4 hours a week.

What Ferris fails to mention is the amount of hours it took to build his “muse” business.  Yes, he builds a business that  eventually makes him passive income, but what was his initial time investment? How much work did he put into the business in order for it to be successful?

There’s no doubt that Ferriss is a marketing genius.  The idea of the “muse” business is just another one of his marketing gimmicks.  Ferriss is great at making things seem easier than they are, but then again this is what all the great marketeers do.  Remember six minute abs?

Before I go any further, I’m not here to bash on Ferriss.  I’ve read the 4 Hour Workweek & 4 Hour Body.  I enjoyed both books.  You could even say that a lot of my ideas towards “FIRE” were inspired by Ferriss.  However, with every book you need to cherry pick the ideas that you can use while disregarding the rest.    

I guess what I’m trying to say is to be weary of the person selling easy solutions.  The lifestyle design hucksters.   They’re a dime a dozen these day.

They prey on the nagging feeling that something in your life is missing.  You have a problem and they have a solution in the form of an ebook, course, or modest consultation fee.

Famous American conman P.T.Barnum once said “there’s a sucker born every minute.” 

Don’t be that sucker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tunnel Vision Towards FIRE

I’m coming at FIRE from a different perspective than most.  I’m already in a mini retirement, and have been for the last year or so.  I have some savings, and a internet business that brings in a decent amount each month.  This business is mostly passive.  I usually work at said business for 4-5 hours a week.  Of course, it wasn’t always this way.

I’m not going to lie, that last year or so has been nice.  It’s good to have control over your time.  I now realize, without a shadow of a doubt that TIME is your most valuable commodity.  I’ve had a little taste of what retirement can be, but I also know it’s not going to last.  This has been my main motivation towards FIRE.

  My pot of gold is quickly turning into pot of bronze.  My internet business is barely enough to live off, certainly not enough to amass a decent savings rate.  I will once again have to join the work force.

In the next the 10 years I will burn the candle at both ends.  I’m going to work hard while I still have the energy.  I’m 29 right now.  I keep myself in great shape, but I know that my energy levels will wane as near my mid thirties.  There is no sense in slacking off in a mini retirement when I still have the drive.  The plan is to retire young so I can work on my own terms.

I will also be extremely frugal.  No house.  No car payments.  No cable subscription.  No cell plan.  No designer clothes.  I’m going straight hermit.  I may even live in a van down by the river.

I will resist what people consider the “finer things in life,” and keep my eye on the prize – fuck you money.

Make Your Own Phone

I cancelled my cellular plan today.  I had a plan with Ting.  My average monthly bill was around $23. Sometimes it was as low as $14.  That’s cheap compared to most monthly rates.

Even though my cellular plan is cheap I decided if I’m going to shoot towards financial independence it’s best to cut out the fat.

I realized that I rarely ever turn the data on.  I mostly do browsing and texting when I have WiFi.  I also rarely spend time talking on the phone.  It seems like a no brainer.  I will keep the phone, drop the service, and make my own plan.

My plan will consist of iMessage, Skype, WhatsApp, and TextNow.  TextNow is something I stumbled upon recently.  I like it because it allows you to CALL and text as long as you have WiFi.  There you go, a makeshift cell plan for $0 a month.

The added benefit of this plan is that I won’t be checking my phone constantly.  This may be even more important than eliminating my monthly bill.    

The level of phone addiction in our culture is getting to the point of insanity.  People can’t cross the street without getting lost in their phone.  I’m not above this either.  Sometimes I’m embarrassed by how addicted I am to my iCrack.  Maybe the option of not being “connected” 24/7 will free up sometime to actually experience life.

I’m going to give this thing a shot for the next month.  If I can’t live without it I’ll rejoin Ting.  They offered me $25 off for signing back up.  I hope I don’t have to take them up on that offer.  Only time will tell…