Everyday Systems: nosdiet: message 281 of 3212

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Subject: Re: [nosdiet] Re: New Member
From: Dan McVicker
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 15:27:31 -0800 (PST)

> Dan, thank you for the warm greeting. I want to
> understand this diet 
> a little bit better...basically, I can eat whatever
> I want as long as 
> I cut the snacking, sweets and soda out. Is this
> correct? For 
> example, I nibbled on about ten crackers today which
> was about 6 
> grams of sugar. Should I eliminate crackers too or
> should I just 
> steer away from the bad sugars..candy bars, pop
> tarts and etc.? What 
> type of thing have you been doing to help you? Have
> you lost weight?

You're thinking about the diet waaay too hard. All
carbohydrates turn into sugars in the body (except
fiber. Oh, and sugar alcohols--which have been
mislabeled by the FDA). But Reinhard isn't talking
about crackers when he says "No Sugar". Just like you
can put a little sugar in your coffee, a little sugar
in your crackers isn't a big deal. The basics are that
you should DEFINITELY eliminate candy, pop-tarts,
cookies, cake, pie, sugary breakfast cereals (I would
check the box for "stealth" sugars--even grown up
cereals can have a LOT of sugar) and other stuff
that's commonly thought to be sugary. If you look at
something and think "sugary" than its definitely out.

If you want to take it up a notch, you could think
about eliminating "processed" foods like white bread
and... actually, just about anything that comes in a
box (except whole, rolled oats). These would be your
crackers, along with fast food, pasta, "instant"
anything, and other garbage. Note that this is NOT
part of the No-S diet. Reinhard eats bread, but he
eats good bread, not the wonder-mush that so many
Americans eat. But if you like white bread, fear not.
It is not an official S. Start with the basics of
"No-S" and if you want to try some of the more
advanced tenets, search through the archives. From
memory (which means possible inaccuracies), these are:

1. No-Supersizing
2. Exercise: (Stretch, Strengthen, Stamina)
3. Watch for your personal "S"es. (Peanut butter,

And I just added "watch the processed foods". 

You can, indeed, eat whatever you feel like. But no
seconds! Fill one plate, eat that, drink some water.
That's it. You'll find that you naturally gravitate to
the most nutritional and filling things (fruits,
veggies, and protein) as garbage starts losing its
appeal--it just doesn't fill you up very well. If
you're still hungry, try some green tea or coffee. If
you're still hungry, go take a walk or do some other
exercise. If you're hungry, don't watch TV. You WILL
break your snacking "S". 

On the "S" days, don't lose your head too badly, but
have a dessert, a salty snack or anything else that
you've been craving. Reinhard likes to have a really
nice dessert. I like to go to the movies and get some
popcorn or candy and a soda. (I drink diet soda, but
it's just a habit now, the regular stuff tastes
weird.) If you DO lose your head badly and have some
Cap'n Crunch for breakfast, a supersized Big Mac combo
for lunch and a large pizza for dinner (with a bag of
candy for snacks in between, and about a GALLON of
cola to wash it all down) don't panic. One day will
not make or break your diet. Just go back to eating
No-S on Monday. The habits *will* carry over. 

You asked me a bit about myself, so here it is:

I have lost a considerable amount of fat since about
September of 2000. I've been steadily replacing some
of that fat with muscle, though, so my weight isn't
that much different now (I'm 20 lbs lighter) than it
was then. I am getting ready to diet down to about 10%
bodyfat this spring, because I just hit some of my
strength goals (powerlifters tend to like the
all-you-can eat buffet, and it really does have
wonderful effects on your strength levels--just not so
much on your aesthetic levels.) I'm kind of an
iconoclast here. I'm a personal trainer and I don't
follow No-S at all (except for "no seconds"--both of
the other rules have certain exceptions in my
diet--which is well thought out, but fairly
complicated to explain). But No-S is a GREAT solution
for most people's goals. I think that about 80% of the
solution to any problem can be summed up in about 20%
of the space, and Reinhard has done that--the rest is
minor details and tweaks that only account for a small
margin of success. Unfortunately, this land of "minor
details and tweaks" is where many diet books/gurus
lose their way--the audience thinks: "Low carbs or Low
fats? Running or weightlifting? Splenda or
Nutrasweet?" and they're already way off the path.
Someone was commenting about the "running out of whole
wheat tortillas or splenda" and having to "go off
their diet"... and that's just ridiculous, though I've
definitely been down that road before. 

If people follow No-S, they will (and do) lose weight.
I reccomend it to clients, and they like it because
it's easy to remember and it works. It may not be the
"fastest" or "best" way to lose weight, but it
certainly is one of the most sensible and well-thought

It reminds me of a Buddhist proverb:

"Before I studied Zen, a mountain was just a
mountain...after I began to study Zen, a mountain was
no longer just a mountain, then, when I completed my
studies, the mountain became a mountain again."

All that means is, if you look at the problem of
weight loss in very short terms, No-S looks like a
great solution. If you start studying it, things get
confusing and it may look like No-S isn't the best
solution any more. After you've spent a few years on
the problem, you realize that No-S is a great
solution, and that there are a bunch of fairly
complicated things you can do to make it marginally
better. But is it worth years to figure out how to
make a great solution marginally better? Maybe. Maybe
not. It depends on your goals and personal
disposition. This is my hobby, so I'm willing to put
in the extra time.

I make suggestions from time to time on this group and
they are all (hopefully) well thought out and useful,
but we have to keep it all in perspective. Anything I
add is just a marginal improvement to an already great
solution. If you do No-S, really DO it, you're going
to see improvement. And that's simple and doesn't
require much thought. No Sweets, No Snacks, No
Seconds. It doesn't get much simpler than that. The
great part is that it doesn't get much more effective
than that, either.

So my advice is, relax. You can do this. It doesn't
take any special effort of willpower beyond what you
already have, and anyway, habit beats willpower every
day of the week. Just get in the No-S habit, and the
willpower problem will go away. If you mess up,
forgive yourself and get back to reinforcing your No-S
habit RIGHT AWAY. 

You can do this.


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