For those of you new to this series, here is the quick rundown…This series is focused on FAT LOSS rather than WEIGHT LOSS.

On our last episode…I lost 175 pounds previously in a 3 year period – ending 11/2019. First year was 40/30/30 for about 70 pounds and the last 105 pounds was keto/low carb. Towards the end of my weight loss, I really screwed up with running too much, fasting too much, and I weighed 197, but could not bench 95 pounds once. At 225, however, I was able to bench 225 three times. Since late 2019, I experienced the loss of my mother, a new baby boy, and the stresses of managing a large org during COVID. Exercise disappeared. I had remained low carb until 2/2022, when the inflation trade had me buy a lot of beans/grains/rice and switch back to 40/30/30. In the 3 years since I took off the weight, I had put back on over half. This series is about “best practices” I had and focusing on FAT LOSS rather than WEIGHT LOSS.

Initial goal

My initial target was about 12 pounds for 2/10 in my first 3 weeks. Mission accomplished. This isn’t “cutting” or starving. When you start low carb diets, your body dumps a lot of water, and with that, a store of a lot of things like salts. This can create “the keto flu” which I had completely forgotten about. Yeah. Not fun for a day or two when ketosis hits. Each pound is about 3500 calories – so no, I did not create a 42,000 calorie deficit in 3 weeks. I did create a calorie deficit, but it was probably about 500-1000 per day. So my FAT loss in 21 days was probably somewhere about 3-6 pounds. Give or take.

I wanted to explain this because when I do keto/low carb, I was usually doing a “cheat meal”, “cheat day”, or “cheat weekend” once every 3-4 weeks. This is how I sustained a low carb diet for about 4 years pretty easily. I made mistakes on low carb with calories, but that’s for another post. So the weekend of the 12th it was the Eagles Super Bowl, eating out with the wife for her birthday, and valentine’s day. So I pre-planned this whole weekend. What you TRY to do on cheat days is – you can have carbs, but you make ALL EFFORTS to stay reasonable within your calorie range. I say this because on my worst days, I could probably put down 6,000-8,000 calories when you account for massive amounts of alcohol and pizza, etc. THESE cheat days are more like having 2 slices of pizza, some fries, and 2-3 beers. This allows you to keep your sanity for a LONG DURATION but you then focus the other 3-4 weeks on the target.

What I eat

When I first did this in the “atkins” variety 25+ years ago, it was a lot of lunches with burgers without buns. Many like to smear keto as nothing but bacon and burgers, but the reality of it is that most of my meals have a lot of salads and veggies with them. I work with local farmers to get a quarter cow and half pig, so my stand up freezer can literally feed me for months easily. I’d go to the grocery store once a week to maybe get more frozen veggies, lettuce, tomatoes.

Most people start off with this with great apprehension. They want to know what they are going to eat for breakfast, lunch, morning snack, afternoon snack, dinner, dessert. That mentality is what got you here to begin with. If you go back to ancient man, our bodies were designed to go long periods of time without eating. Pretty much every major religion has a fasting protocol. When you start off keto, the correct way, about a week in you start to realize you aren’t that hungry anymore. The major problems with the American diet is that what they tell you to eat….makes you hungry. You are fat not because you are a weak minded person, but because what they TELL you to eat makes you eat more. This is the food you eat triggering hormones like ghrelin, insulin, leptin, etc. You are, how you are, do to hormones.

A proper “keto” diet is mostly fats, “moderate protein”, and low carb (probably more low carb than you understand). This puts your body into a state of ketosis. That is, your body starts switching to burning fat as your primary source of calories rather than carbs. Going back to ancient man, I want you to point to me where they got carbs. Bananas? Berries? They did not have refined pastas and breads. Different foods do different things to you. You will find that fats and proteins have higher satiety. You will find a high carb diet spikes your insulin, then a few hours later you are tired, starving, and lethargic.

Going with the high fat, “moderate protein”, and low carb, I’m usually having about 60% of my calories as fat, 30% as protein, and 10% as carbs. This may shock you, but eating fat, doesn’t make you “fat”. Fat is an essential macronutrient to live. Protein is an essential macronutrient to live. You could go the rest of your life without ever eating a carb again and thrive.

That being said, each of us have different tolerances for carbs. When you ingest carbs, they need insulin to get the sugars out of your bloodstream and into your cells. Many of us who lived a life of high carb diets tended to gain weight. The more carbs you ate, the more and more insulin required over time to then take the same about of glucose out of your blood. Over time, you can become “insulin resistant” which then leads to obesity. This is more or less the ROOT CAUSE of type 2 diabetes. This tends to start to raise your HBA1C over time. Dr. Berry talks a lot about how doctors want you to “keep an eye on it” and “lose weight”. Many aren’t realizing the reason for your extra padding and high HBA1C is insulin resistance. Too many damn carbs.

Ever wonder why you are 50 pounds overweight and starving 4 hours after your last meal, given you have perhaps 175,000 calories stored on you? It’s WHAT you eat.

About a week in of eating a lot of eggs, some sausage, and bacon, with lots of ham, I began to hit the wall with eating. Dinner time would come, and……”not really interested”. The HABIT in you says DINNER TIME, but your body literally tells you, “I’m good”.

Typical day early on…

Breakfast – 2 16oz cups of coffee. 1 packet of splenda in each, a little bit of hershey’s cocao (pretty low carb), some half and half

Lunch – 4.5 oz of roast beef, 1 string cheese

Dinner – BIG SALAD with 1.5 cups of chicken. This salad below has two stalks of romaine lettuce, extra virgin olive oil, italian dressing, cherry tomatoes (1 cup), 2 oz taco cheese, bacon bits, avocado, and parmesan cheese with salt and red pepper flakes topping it.

Drinks – I’m typically at about 3-5 quarts of water a day. Some days it’s a struggle to hit 3. I do drink “zero sugar” drinks, but you have to be CAREFUL with these. You drink one of these and an hour or so later you can be STARVING. I believe your body THINKS it is sugar and has some sort of response to it. It’s probably best to just stick with water here and maybe have a “treat” with a zero sugar 7up, sunkist orange, coke, or root beer. These things now taste amazing and so much better than “diet” drinks.

Food prep

If you try and cook every meal for keto/low carb, you are doomed. It’s pretty easy for me with this as I’ve done it for years..

Chicken – I normally get 10 pounds of breasts at a time. It used to be $1.99 a pound when I had bought 50 pounds and stored. Now at 2.99 a pound. What I’d do with these is cut off any excesses to the chicken (like fats, etc) and then slice legth-wise through the chicken to either butterfly or make thin. I put them on baking sheets with aluminum foil. Pre-heat to 400 while you are doing it. I cover it with salt, garlic, paprika, cayenne, dark chili powder, italian seasoning. Bake for about 25 mins, or until 165 degrees. I then let sit for 5 mins, then chop into cubes. 10 pounds might get me about 16 bags of 1.5 cups of chicken. Freeze in freezer bags. This is easy enough to then heat up in the microwave in the bag for 1 min, flip for 1 min, flip again for 45 seconds. Done.

Pot roast – I get 1-2 chuck roasts out, brown, and put in the instapot with beef broth and a can of diced tomatoes for 45 mins. I then put these into containers, maybe about 6 oz servings. Remember, the beef I eat is GRASS FED/GRASS FINISHED. This makes a MASSIVE difference in the omega 6:3 ratios. All of those people telling you saturated fat = bad are pretty misinformed. Bad food science everywhere.

Roast Beef – I never ate roast beef before maybe a year ago. Now I love it. These are the eye round, top round, bottom rounds – I saw these with my initial quarter cow and didn’t know what the hell to do with these. These are a tough meat, but I take these out an hour before. Cut off all of the excess stuff and “grey” stuff. Right before cooking, I cover it in a seasoning – like a montreal steak seasoning or the like. Cover tightly in aluminum foil – lots of juices will come out of this, so give it some room for liquid and expect this. Pre-heat oven to 450, stick in there for 15 minutes, then drop the temp to 325 and stick a thermometer into the deepest part of it. I pull it out at 125 for a medium rare. I open them a little, drain the juice, then wrap them back up and stick it in the fridge overnight. The juices will go back into the meat a bit as well. I used to let these sit for a bit, then cut, but letting them sit in the fridge overnight then has all of the fats solidifying and it’s much easier to cut thin slices and not lose any juice at all. I measure out maybe 6oz for a tupperware, add some of the juice from the fridge, and stick in the freezer.

Steak – when you get the quarter cow, you get a lot of steaks. The favorite to eat on keto is a ribeye – from the grass fed/finished. There’s more fat in these and with this, taste amazing. These are great to stand on their own. Same with the filet, but you find the filet has a great texture, but not nearly the flavor of the ribeye. I cook these on a cast iron to about 125, then let rest for about 20 mins. The same for the giant sirloin you get – these are better for me with some A1. I also use leftover sirloin for “steak and eggs”.

Chopped steak – I love cheesesteaks, so further down the road I may introduce some of the low carb wraps. On a “cheat weekend” I may have 75-100 carbs on a day with some of these wraps with cheesesteaks. These may have the steak, fried onions, sauce, and either provolone or I use Land O Lakes New Yorker White American Cheese.

Cheesesteak salad – take the cheesesteak and put it over iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and add ranch dressing. I do the “bread and butter” pickles with my cheesteaks, so I add some of these.

Cheesburgers – I don’t do these often but with the GF/GF beef, these burgers are also much healthier. I would use the wraps for these or make up a few with cheese and then heat up leftovers.

Cheeseburger salad – same as cheesesteak salad, but cut up the burgers for this.

Ham – my grocery store gives away free hams with rewards points near the holidays. My motto “always take the free ham (or turkey). They give you a spiral ham with some basting stuff, but you are essentially heating it up to 145 and cutting it. I end up getting about 16 servings from one of these. Great to eat alone, with eggs, in an omelette, etc. There are “cheese wraps” I just bought and want to add some ham, lettuce, bacon, and tomatoes into it.

Turkey – same as ham – free! I have one now in the deep freezer and this will make about 16 servings. I make up gravy with it, and when I store it in freezer bags, add some gravy in. When I make these up, I usually have one bag that goes on two wraps. Each wrap has provolone, hot bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo (I prefer the mayo made with avocado oil over the ones made with vegetable oil (note, it’s not veggies its made from).

Sausage – the farm fresh stuff is awesome. I put a roll of it on a cookie sheet, 350 for 35 mins. Flip and broil for 5 mins. 165 degrees or more.

Bacon – I’m not a huge bacon guy, but every now and then you want the bacon and eggs for dinner. I might make up a whole pack and use it for a few days or crumble a bunch for using in a salad. Bacon is probably the least healthy of everything I eat on this, but it’s part of the 1/2 pig, so I eat it.

Pork Roast – I usually make pulled pork with these. There’s some good low carb BBQ sauce now. Good with low carb wraps.

Meat balls – love my meat balls! I’ll usually use 2 pounds of the ground beef along with 1 pound of ground pork. I’ll use SOME breadcrumbs for flavor, but not much. There’s alternatives to breadcrumbs you can use like panko or the like. I may also use 2 pounds of ground beef to 1 pound of ground pork for my vat of meat sauce

Taco salads– I would make up the 2/3 ground beef 1/3 ground pork, add taco seasoning, and store extras. Taco salads have lots of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, meat, hot sauce, sour cream, cheese. Having this in Taco Tuesday!!

Lunch meats – I typically avoid these as they give me headaches, but ham and the like is a good thing with wraps, lettuce, mustard, etc.

All of the above items you can make up in very large quantities and freeze. I have a freezer in my kitchen with the fridge, a chest freezer in the garage, and a stand up freezer in the basement. The one in the basement is primarily the meat storage, where the other two store the veggies and my ready to eat meals.

Veggies – going to quickly list the ones I do with keto/low carb

  1. Broccoli. All the time. I even created some cheese sauce from velveeta to pour over it with the chicken
  2. Cauliflower. I’m not a straight up cauliflower person, but you can buy some good “frozen bakes” and make cauliflower mashed potatoes. One of my favorite things to make with ribeye is “loaded cauliflower” which is a roasted cauliflower with cheese, then topped with bacon pieces and sour cream
  3. Zucchini – I make up “zoodles” a ton during summer as I get the zucchini from my garden
  4. Cabbage – this is something I could not stand my whole life, now I CRAVE chicken thighs and cabbage with carrots. I also do pot roast and cabbage with carrots.
  5. Carrots
  6. Tomatoes
  7. Lettuce, and tons of it in all forms
  8. Avocado (is this a fruit?? My wife eats these with some salt and olive oil)


I typically don’t “snack”, but the below I have actually eaten in lieu of a meal and not being hungry

  1. String cheese
  2. macadamia nuts
  3. Cashews
  4. Peanuts
  5. lunch meats
  6. hard boiled eggs (my wife does this, I don’t)
  7. Protein shakes (I use milk and cocoa powder with a vanilla or base flavor. I can also use the vanilla in a smoothie in spring when I dial up the carbs a little).


  1. Raspberries (I grow these in my garden too)
  2. Strawberries
  3. Blueberries

When I did my long runs and bikes, I was fueling up with a smoothie first with about 1-2 cups of fruit. When I stopped exercising due to the bad back, I didn’t stop the smoothies. BIG mistake. ONLY do these things maybe 2 hours before a vigorous workout.


  1. Mustard (no carbs)
  2. Hot sauce (no carbs – people can use this on eggs)
  3. Salsa (low carb)
  4. Ketchup (there’s low carb ketchup, but if I’m having 75g of carbs in a day, I don’t care about a little regular ketchup on eggs
  5. Mayo (low/no carb, but I prefer avocado mayo)
  6. Olive oil
  7. Salad dressings – I have a problem with “seed oils” and at times I spend the extra for the dressings made with avocado oil


  1. Walk. A lot. This burns a lot of calories and is a lot less stressful than running.
  2. Hiking. The elevation helps you burn a ton!
  3. Biking. I love this when it’s nicer out!! I have to limit myself to about an hour. I can bike 3-4 hours, but that is part of the problem I had.
  4. Weight training. I do this twice a week, full body. About 30 min sessions. I do lifting that fatigues me. If I can get 15 reps, I’m lifting too light, and the next time I do a session, the weight will get heavier for my base set. If I can do 12-8-5 with three sets of successive weight added, I’m happy. As I can hit 15 reps with the first, I then will take the weight that is the second set and move that to the first set the next time. Once a month I’m taking a week off. I’m not training to be a power lifter, and with this, the body needs time to heal.

As Spring hits, it’s nicer out and I’m walking at the park more. I’m more active. I want to bike. I want to play basketball with the oldest. Throw a baseball. Play tennis.

When I get more active, I can dial up the carbs. Today, I’m about 2200 calories with 10% being carbs. That’s 220 calories, and each carb is 4 calories. So about 50g or so. As it is nicer out and I’m walking a few miles a day and playing tennis, I’ll take it to 75g. But when I’m biking for an hour or playing tennis for an hour, I might have 125g that day. Hard runs I’d also dial it up to 125g for the day. This helps with the “top end”. However, I’m a “zone 2” trainer a lot with running and am putting off running this time until I’m down closer to my goal weight. My MAIN issue last time was that – against my trainers advice – I began running a ton. Guess what? Ended up with a lot of back issues after years of running while being too overweight.


Problem is, I probably will wait until I’m back closer to 200 before I run again. I have done a good amount of 5ks and a sprint triathlon that had a 5k at the end of it. LOVE IT. But I want to do this the rest of my life and when I do it again, I want to make sure my body can handle the stress I’m putting on it.

“You cannot outrun a bad diet”!

It’s all about the calories!!

Yes and no. I can tell you this – I can prepare meals for you in a day that are 2200 calories and you are STUFFED. Then, I can prepare meals for you that are 3500 calories and you go to bed starving. What happens a lot is you would have people like me watching calories to 2200 and going to bed hungry – night after night. You take off 20 pounds, but you are hungry, ALL THE TIME. This then projects to others that “fat people are weak minded”. It might be more accurate to say…

  1. The science of food is terrible, at best. Dangerous, at worst. You literally have an incompetency at all levels of this science. Yes, I took off 175 pounds and can probably tell most people why this is, and why I had it to begin with.
  2. Habits when you grow up can be formed, which can lead to dangerous patterns. I grew up pretty poor, which led to a lot of pasta, bread, and cereal in my life. A LOT. It was the cheapest food available for my family. Some habits can be changed, but some are deeply embedded.
  3. Hormones drive everything we do. If you do not feel hungry, you tend to not eat or overeat. If what you eat is making you hungry, that’s a problem at the core level. Understanding how to feel “full” is very important with losing weight.
  4. Psychology can play an important role in weight loss/gain. My trainer acted like a psychologist to me. Literally the day I stopped going I started reversing course. Slowly, but reversed. Trauma can play a role in filling voids and providing short term dopamine hits.
  5. Inflammation is not something 99% of Americans understand with their diet. Our entire construct of food science is based around cheap calories. Most have little understanding how inflammation is probably at the root cause of most things that they go to the doctor for. ROOT cause. It is also possible that this contributes to the body and autoimmune diseases.
  6. Metabolic disorder is most likely the root of more serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other serious diseases. Metabolic disorder ROOT cause can most likely be attributed to systemic abuse of massive amounts of carbohydrates which the body was never designed to handle. It makes sense that if you consume carbohydrates that you be active. It makes more sense that a pre-requisite for having high amounts of carbohydrates is if you are an elite athlete or work extensively with their hands in manual labor.

With this series, I will continue to do FAT loss. As a result, I will lose weight, but I’m more focused on my body fat percent.

Ideally, I want to be pretty muscular at about 185 pounds, but from there is where I will then take the next step. I may do some 5ks from 205 to 185 to help the cut a LITTLE, but I was running 5-7 miles at a time every Sunday and biking 45 miles at a clip the same days. I ate through too much muscle. I believe at 205 I will be able to start 2 mile runs again.

I want to spend the rest of my 40s and my 50s doing olympic triathlons and half ironmans. I am most at peace psychologically on very long runs and bikes. It is quieting to me. It centers me. But the body is a machine you have to fuel properly.