Metabolic Health and Weight Loss Science

Metabolic Health_ Is Weight Loss Rocket Science_

As originally posted at: https://www.arespectfullife.com/2019/03/17/metabolic-health-and-weight-loss-science/


So let’s talk about metabolic health, diet, weight loss, and arterial function. Let’s start with a joke….. How many Keto/low-carb proponents does it take to change a light bulb??? NONE – because they prefer to stay in the dark! Joke number two: How many plant-based doctors and dieticians are getting paid big speaking fees from the broccoli lobby? 🙄 So let’s move on to diet and weight loss.

(Read more about the Ketogenic Diet here.)

Is Weight Loss Rocket Science?

Weight loss is not rocket science. One can lose weight on Subway (Jared), and McDonald’s (John Cisna 56 lbs.). Restricting calories and expending more energy WILL cause weight loss. I would contend though – that burning the wrong fuel can advance metabolic disorders, increase oxidative stress, DESTROY arterial function, and make ones health issues worse long term.

There is so much science and sound medical literature on the WHOLE of human nutrition. It behooves me that diet book gurus will ignore the whole and focus on non-scientifically sound PORTIONS of the medical literature, in order to sell you another book, push an agenda, advance an industry, and keep people in the dark. Western societies have seen so many advances in modern medicine, yet we are so confused about nutrition. WHY?

What We Know About Nutrition

What we do know is that we, as humans, should be eating mostly plants. For the environment and sustainability of the planet at our current rate of destruction, and for our inability to moderate, and for the well being of all earthlings, I would contend that ALL plants is a much better option.

For our health as humans, eating meat 3x daily and stuffing copious amounts of bovine secretions (full of IGF-1) down our throats is extremely ridiculous. HOW DID WE GET HERE? Another fine topic.

If you want the inner lining of your arteries – called endothelial cells – and heart to function properly (you know the #1 killer in the Western World is heart disease right?), dump the saturated fat (meat, dairy, coconut, avocado) and increase your intake of nitric oxide rich foods (fruits and veggies)! Read more about Endothelial Dysfunction here.

Quit being afraid of carbs – you know that ALL plants have carbs including lettuce and broccoli right? Did you know that whole grains are protective for cardiovascular health? Did you know that many plant foods contain ALL of the essential ‘protein’ (amino acids) for human health?

Did you know that there is a sugar molecule in meat (Neu5Gc)? Did you know that lactose in dairy is a sugar molecule?

Most of these things we have known for many years, yet there is so much confusion about nutrition.

Nutrition Confusion

Nutrition confusion has been perpetuated by industry.

  • The food industry wants to sell you cheap, and cheaply produced prepackaged and fast food. They understand that humans are pre-dispositioned to go after and crave EASY CALORIES. The meat, dairy and egg producers know that these high calorie items and saturated fats are also easy calories that humans will crave. In fact they have funded hundreds of erroneous studies to continue the nutrition confusion.
  • Similarly, pharmaceutical companies also know that a high fat diet leads to an increase in statin drug sales and viagra drug sales (along with many other drugs). Western diseases are because of the western diet! (Read more about Erectile Dysfunction, Cardiovascular Disease, and Diet here.)
  • The supplement industry is happy to keep you nutritionally deficient in order to sell more supplements.
  • The diet book authors are also happy to keep you confused and have you keep buying their books! In fact, I have seen some of these gurus spend millions of dollars trying to prove their theories, only to have them dis-proven by the scientists they hired, and debunked by experts in the nutrition science field. (Follow me on Twitter for more nutrition science @respectfullivin)
  • The insurance industry is happy to give you extremely high premiums.
  • The petroleum industry that creates PLASTIC, is happy to keep you buying prepackaged foods wrapped in their products.
  • And I hate to say it, but there are no profits to the medical industry with healthy non-patients.

The Truth About Weight Loss

Weight loss is not rocket science. ANY type of caloric restriction will work for weight loss. Many studies have been conducted that show that in 1 year, 2 years, and beyond, that a low carb vs. a low fat diet makes almost NO DIFFERENCE in the amount of weight lost (within 1-2 lbs!).

The problem with most diets is that they are difficult to adhere to, and they are not sustainable long term. A better solution is to address the underlying issues that caused the weight gain – which is usually too much saturated fat, too many refined foods, a food culture that allows us to obtain easy calories (fast food and pre-packaged foods), along with too many fried foods cooked in high calorie oils. Finding a lifestyle that you can adhere to and sustain long term is the best bet. I would contend that a diet without high calorie animal products like meat and dairy is best for human health. If you just cut ‘carbs’ (usually meaning refined carbohydrates), as soon as you add them back into your diet, you will regain weight.

MOST diets will create the yo-yo effect which is VERY bad for your health!


This extremely balanced BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal) Commissioned paper was just published 13 June 2018, and was written by unbiased authors from 3 Continents. The authors make it clear about diet and the role of CALORIES in obesity. In short, it’s not one food that is the culprit for obesity.

Here is what the paper states:

“The energy equation – that calories consumed=calories expended +/- calories stored (as body fat or glycogen)—is always true.”

Key Points From The Paper:

  • The balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure determines body weight and body fat changes
  • Different foods influence total energy consumption by modifying appetite, or by affecting energy expenditure, through diet induced thermogenesis
  • Overweight people generally consume more food energy (calories) than thinner people to maintain their higher body weight weight
  • Any diet plan that an individual is able to adhere to will cause weight loss, but different dietary patterns may influence adherence to different degrees in different subgroups
  • Weight loss maintenance is a greater challenge than weight loss for many people because it requires adapting to permanently eating less energy despite living with in the same physical, social, cultural, and educational environments in which they developed obesity

Source: Making progress on the global crisis of obesity and weight management https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k2538

Simple Solutions

Let me be simple here: Eat whole plant foods people, avoid the massive saturated fats, unnecessary oils, and refined crap. These are the keys to healthy endothelial function (your arteries), will minimize oxidative stress (and inflammation), will help you become metabolically healthy, and avoid many years of pills and procedures.

I have personally met HUNDREDS or more people that have lost a tremendous amount of weight and reversed their chronic conditions on a plant-based diet. You can read more about those transformations here: ‘Transformations On A Plant Based Diet‘ #PlantsHealHumans

Choose health. If you don’t believe me, ask the experts like Yale’s Dr. David Katz. Read ‘Can We Say What Diet Is Best for Health?‘.

I also have a post ‘Easy Weight Loss On A Plant-Based Diet‘.

As always, if you have any questions about my content, please feel free to reach out to me directly ctiexec @ gmail . com



Remedy Insomnia With Nutrition

Remedy Insomnia With Nutrition

Insomnia is almost always nutritional deficiency related. Often times stress can contribute, and most of the time insomnia can be remedied through proper nutrition.  I used to suffer from horrible insomnia, so I was determined to fix it with proper nutrition.  After much research, these are my findings, and the studies are referenced at the bottom of this article.

Most people suffering from insomnia are Magnesium, B Vitamin, and Zinc deficient and often are not getting enough Dietary Tryptophan. Tryptophan is the precursor to Serotonin production, and Serotonin is the precursor Melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone what regulates both sleep and wakefulness.

Vitamin deficiency can be a multi-fold issue. Often it is a combination of not getting the right nutrients from your diet, along with malabsorption of nutrients / vitamins in your intestinal tract.

One way to help absorption is by eating a diversified diet in order to improve your overall gut microbiome. One can also slow down digestion by eating the right foods. ‘Slow-Foods’, or slowly digesting foods that are especially helpful in order to give your digestive tract more time to absorb nutrients are whole grains like Quinoa and Oats. Both are also good sources of Tryptophan, Magnesium, and Zinc (which are all necessary for the production of Melatonin).

Those that suffer from Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) may also have a difficult time with sugars, as well as fruits that are high in fructose. Fructose will ferment in the small intestine and cause foods and nutrients to pass more quickly through the digestive tract.  Lowering your intake of sugars and fructose will help you absorb nutrients.

Dietary Sources of Nutrients to Aid in Sleep

Sources of Dietary Tryptophan: Soy, Walnuts, Cucumber, Sesame Seeds, Mushrooms, Leafy Greens, Tomato, Potato, Quinoa, Oats, Banana.

Foods High In Folate: Beans, Greens, Asparagus, Beets, Citrus Fruit, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Banana, Avocado, Nuts & Seeds.

Foods High in Magnesium: Pumpkin Seeds, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Soy, Sesame Seeds, Black Beans, Quinoa, Cashews, Sunflower Seeds, Tempe, Oats, Flaxseed, Broccoli, Tomato, Lime.

Foods High in Vitamin B6: Banana, Sweet Potato, Sunflower Seeds, Spinach, Potatoes, Carrots, Tomatoes.

Foods High In Zinc: Nuts (especially Cashews), Legumes, Oats, Nutritional Yeast, Garbanzo Beans, Quinoa, Sesame Seeds.

Foods High in B3 / Niacin: Peanuts, Mushrooms, Green Peas, Brown Rice, Avocado, Sweet Potato, Asparagus.

Vitamin B12: Best to take a supplement on a plant-based diet. Some foods are fortified, and some nutritional yeast is fortified (but not all).

Food Highest in Natural Melatonin: PISTACHIOS! Pistachios may help a little, but studies on Melatonin supplements show that they don’t really work. It may be the placebo affect. Pistachios are higher in Melatonin than the supplement, and higher than any other foods including tart cherries.

As you can see from the lists here, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds have many essential nutrients to aid in sleep. Nuts and seeds in general need to be an integral part of the human diet. Whole grains (particularly Oats and Quinoa) also have many essential nutrients to aid in sleep. In fact, centenarians in ALL of the ‘Blue Zones’ snack on nuts and seeds and eat whole grains. They also all consume greens and beans! Banana is also a good source for many of the nutrients needed for Melatonin production.

More info on Blue Zones Longevity Foods:

Top Longevity Foods

More info on Blue Zones Lifestyle:

Blue Zones Live to 100 years Lessone from centenarians


If you have difficulty with a diverse diet or need to kick-start a better sleep pattern, supplementing is not a bad idea. A Vitamin B complex that includes B3, B6 and B12, along with a Magnesium and Zinc supplement will help.  Long term, it is best to have an appropriate diet and a healthy gut microbiome.

Blue Light

In addition to nutrient deficiency, blue light (ALL devices and TV’s) inhibit the production of Melatonin.  It is best to turn off all devices at least an hour before bed and perhaps grab a book or listen to music instead.

Per Harvard: Blue light has a dark side https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side


For a more detailed scientific analysis of nutrient deficiency and insomnia, my original sources for this article:

Dietary factors and fluctuating levels of melatonin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3402070/

how mealtonin production works



Neurobiology, Pathophysiology, and Treatment of Melatonin Deficiency and Dysfunction https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3354573/

As always, if you have any questions about my content, please feel free to reach out to me directly at ctixec @ gmail.  I also do personal coaching via phone or Skype.  ~ JT

personal plant based coaching


Can We Say What Diet Is Best for Health?

Dr David Katz Eat Mostly Plants

Dr. David Katz MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM and Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center did a VERY comprehensive review of diets which was published in the Annual Review of Public Health.

Can We Say What Diet Is Best for Health? https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032013-182351#_i12

He references 167 pieces of scientific literature and reviewed various dietary patterns including: low carbohydrate diets, low fat vegetarian diets, low glycemic diets, Mediterranean diets, paleolithic diets, vegan diets, and other dietary patterns.  I’ll save you having to review a 25 page piece of medical literature and sum it up.

Paper Summary

He states: “Diet of foods mostly direct from nature and predominantly plants is supportive of health across the life span. We need less debate about what diet is good for health, and much more attention directed at how best to move our cultures/societies in the direction of the well-established theme of optimal eating, for we remain mired a long way from it.” A good summary is:

“The case that we should, indeed, eat true food, mostly plants,

is all but incontrovertible.”


Blue Zones

I have written about the Blue Zones and the diet of centenarians. Read the Blue Zones Lessons From Centenarians post here.

In general, here are their top longevity foods (More info here):

Top Longevity Foods_(1)

Foods To Avoid

DAIRY HAS NO PLACE IN HUMAN HEALTH! https://www.arespectfullife.com/2017/05/25/giving-cheese-going-vegan/

PROCESSED MEAT IS CARCINOGENIC. https://www.arespectfullife.com/processed-meat-group-1-carcinogenic/

EATING ANIMAL PRODUCTS CAN CAUSE AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE. https://www.arespectfullife.com/2018/04/22/molecular-mimicry-how-eating-animal-based-products-causes-autoimmune-disease/

KETOGENIC DIETS ARE DANGEROUS.  https://www.arespectfullife.com/2018/06/25/why-i-hate-the-ketogenic-diet-craze/

And a final note, the oceans are toxic, chicken bacteria is deadly, and it was just reported that antibiotic resistant super bugs are now in 75% of US meat.  Lots of resources on this blog to help you go plant based.  Check out my blog, resources list, and recipes.

As always, feel free to reach out to me directly if you cant questions.  ctiexec at gmail



Impactful Eating – Health, Climate Change, World Hunger, Environment

Impactful Eating

The nutrients you chose to consume at every hour and every meal have a massive impact on your own health, as well as the world around you.  The primary purpose of my blog is to help others make good choices about their future, as well as the future of this planet.

Impactful Eating For Health

I can cite study, after study of the benefits of eating more (or all) plants.  For the purpose of keeping this article brief, if you would like to read more, I have written about this extensively in the following blog posts:

Can We Say What Diet Is Best For Health?

Diet BEst For Health

Why I Hate The Ketogenic Diet Craze (With reference to over 1200 studies on diet and health, as well as plant-based diets).

Why I Hate the Ketogenic Diet Craze

Top 12 Longevity Foods

Top Longevity Foods

Impactful Eating For World Hunger

It amazes me that the 7 billion humans on the planet produce enough crops to feed 14 billion humans, but OVER HALF of those crops are fed to farmed (human bred, artificially inseminated) animals, while 852 million humans go hungry, and 3.1 million children die every year due to starvation / malnutrition.

Feed Vs. Food

In addition to not feeding the hungry with crops we already produce (mainly grain, corn, and soy), farmed animals consume more than they produce. This is determined by Feed Conversion Ratios which measure the amount of feed crops needed to produce a unit of meat and thus a unit of energy.  In other words, what portion of plant energy dedicated to raising animals becomes edible calories in the form of meat, dairy, and eggs.  For every 100 calories fed to farmed animals, we receive only 17-30 calories in the form of meat or milk.

Source: Compassion In World Farming https://www.ciwf.org.uk/media/7425974/industrial-livestock-production-the-twin-myths-of-efficiency-and-necessity.pdf

Here are the output ratios:

Percent/Units of Edible Output per 100 Units of Feed

  • Poultry – Calories – 11% – Protein 20%
  • Pigs – Calories – 10% – Protein 15%
  • Cows/Beef – Calories – 1% – Protein – 4%

Source: World Resources Institute (w/UN & WB): Creating a Sustainable Food Future, p.37

Producing crops (soy, corn, wheat, etc.) for animal feed is many times more resource-intensive than using crops for direct human consumption.  With 75% of all agricultural land used for animal production—and more than a third of global calories and half of global protein inefficiently used as animal feed, animal production for consumption is inefficient.

(Read more about US land use for cattle production in my post “41% of US Land Is Used For Livestock Production“)

Shifting From Feed To Food

Shifting the crops used for feed and other uses (bio-fuels) towards direct human food consumption could increase calories in the food system by 70%.   This is enough food calories feed just over 1 billion people a 2700 calories per day diet for a year (which is 985 500 calories per year).

Source: “Redefining agricultural yields: from tonnes to people nourished per hectare” http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034015/meta

Government Policy Vs. Individual Choice

There aren’t many governments helping to make these shifts from feed to food, or creating policy that would limit consumption of animal products.   Most governments and economies are trying to meet supply and demand and they often allow corporations to take over much of that process.

The bottom line is that we each make a choice to either contribute to world hunger and global food insecurity by our greed and our palettes, or to help others by our changing our dietary patterns.  We need to vote with our consumer dollars to create this shift and to be part of helping the rest of humanity.

Impactful Eating For Climate Change

If you have not seen the hundreds of articles on food choices and climate change, I would contend that you have not paid attention.   Animal agriculture is responsible for at least 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations has been saying for MANY YEARS that we need to eat for climate impact.  They wrote an extensive 416 page paper in 2006 entitled “Livestock’s Long Shadow” stating clearly that there is a “very substantial contribution of animal agriculture to climate change and air pollution, to land, soil and water degradation and to the reduction of biodiversity.”  This is not new news.

In the last year, there have been hundreds of articles on the topic:

-Vox produced a viral video with UCLA on the impact of food choices on climate change.

-Forbes wrote “9 Things You Can Do About Climate Change” (#1, become a vegan).

-The Guardian wrote “Why what we eat is crucial to the climate change question“.

-Science Daily wrote “Consumer food choices can help reduce greenhouse emissions contributing to climate change“.

-Mercy For Animals wrote “Eating Meat Is Just as Bad as Denying Climate Change.

-CNN reports on “These Are The Most Climate-Damaging Foods“. (Beef, Lamb, and Butter are at the top of the list).

-Scientific American wrote “A Hard Look in the Climate Mirror“, asking people to consider a plant-based diet.

-There have been many TedX talks on “Eating Our Way Out Of Climate Change“.

Impactful Eating For The Environment

There are many other environmental concerns when it comes to agriculture.  Land use, and water resources are at the top of that list.   I have written about land use previously “41% of US land is used for livestock production“.

I want you to PLEASE CLEARLY UNDERSTAND that our food choices are destroying water resources for millions of people.

Our oceans and water ways have become extremely polluted.

If you are still eating sealife and fish, I would encourage you to read my article ‘Toxic Sea’food’ and Fish‘.

Just last year (Oct. 2017) there was a MASSIVE algae bloom in Lake Erie.  This is the water resource for millions of Americans.  This algae bloom is the result of agricultural run-off (READ: Cow shit from fields) into the rivers and streams and then into Lake Erie. The New York Times did an excellent report on this. Here is the picture of that bloom:

lake erie algae bloom per nyt

The toxic green slime that is killing marine life, lowering property values, and affecting tourism on Florida’s Gulf Coast right now (Aug. 2018) is a direct result of nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural fertilizers (READ: Cow shit).  Bloomberg did an excellent report on this.

florida green slime

In August 2017, Tyson Foods was blamed for the largest ever ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico:

Golf of mexico dead zone

In May of 2018, the Gulf of Oman (The Arabian Sea) had the world’s largest ever dead zone the size of Florida.

Oman Algae

I am going to conclude this article here as this is enough information on impactful eating, but let me say this:

PLEASE Start Eating Like You Give A Fuck!

Make a difference and #GoVegan.  I have resources here if you need them and tons of recipes on this blog. As always, please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions about my content.