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A Secret to Weight Loss as Presented by a Nutritional Expert

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in July of 2017. 

 For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6fcMML8-6Q&t=659s

Bob: We’ve got a guest here today. 


Craig: Yep, hi Craig again and I’m here today to talk about calorie density. 


Bob: So, we’re going to talk about how this is a good way to diet basically and lose weight. I think we are going to have some great visual demonstrations here of how to eat and why to eat certain foods.


Brad: And doing it in a healthy way. 


Bob: Alright, let’s talk about Craig, Craig why don’t you give us your introduction. Let us know who you are. 


Craig: My name is Craig Martin. I’m currently a graduate student at UW La Crosse, mastering in community health education with an emphasis on diet, nutrition, and disease reversal through a whole foods plant-based diet.


Bob: And Craig, can you tell us just a little bit about your personal story because you’ve said you had some weight loss and the asthma story, I think is interesting too. 


Craig: Yeah, so it’s interesting, I live in Wisconsin. I was lactose intolerant and I worked at a cheese factory.


Bob: It’s a requirement when you live in Wisconsin.


Craig: Haha, yeah actually that’s what got me interested in diet. I was already interested in diet when I became lactose intolerant. But what I found more interesting is when I started working in the cheese industry, we would shut down the cheese production for lunch, and we would start up again and then we’d shut down at the end of the day. This goes along with heart disease too, what I found was inside the pipes were coated with cheese. When we would take those pipes apart at the end of the day, we would have to scrape out hard cheese. Sometimes these cheese pipes would be so occluded you could barely get anything through there. That made me realize what I was eating had an impact, not only on my weight but also on my health. I stopped eating cheese after I started working at a cheese factory because I just thought, “Oh my gosh, what was it doing.” Well not only that but cheese is very calorically dense. A one-ounce cube of cheese, which is about the size of two dice has 100 calories in it. When you think about that, that’s a small amount of cheese, that’s about the size of that one apple there probably has 100 calories. But if that was cheese that would probably be about 600 calories. So, when you look at food that way and you start to realize where your calories are coming from, it really can help to visualize how much food you can eat and still lose weight.


Bob: Craig, how much weight have you lost? 


Craig: Well, I started following a whole foods plant-based diet after I saw the devastating effects of cheese and I lost about 40 pounds. So, at my heaviest I was about 166, now I’m about 128-130. 


Bob: When I look at you, you look like a naturally thin person, I mean, you do, you don’t look like someone that was ever overweight. Interestingly enough, I thought you were one of those lucky people.


Brad: Eat anything you want and never gain weight.


Craig: Well, now I eat everything I want, and I never gain weight. But before I used to eat everything I wanted, and I gained weight. 


Bob: Tell them your age too because I think that you look younger than you are.


Craig: I’m 36 years old. I get a lot of people telling me that I look like I’m in my early 20’s. 


Bob: Right, and you do. 


Brad: Yeah.


Bob: So, you are a walking testimony to plant-based diet. 


Craig: Correct. 


Brad: Didn’t you say your asthma had a change with this diet. 


Craig: Yes, when I cut the dairy out of my diet. I had asthma for 30 years and as soon as I cut the dairy out, it was funny. I would run a half-marathon in Green Bay because I always wanted to run a half-marathon. I’d done that and my parents were like, “Craig, where’s your inhaler? Where are your asthma symptoms, like what’s going on here?” I was like, oh yeah, I don’t have asthma anymore. It had been a gradual transition, the longer I went without the animal products in my diet, the greater the benefits were and from that point on I ran the half marathon, and I said I can run a marathon. And then I did, and I was 14 minutes’ shy of qualifying for Boston, my first marathon ever. I had never run before because I couldn’t.


Bob: So, we have some visualization.


Brad: So, what’s all this about? 


Craig: So, what I have here, this is very interesting. This right here is five pounds of lettuce. This is also 500 calories. If you feel this, this is pretty heavy. I don’t want to knock you out of your chair. And here, this is 500 calories of cauliflower, broccoli and carrots look like.

Bob: So, still quite large, not as big as the lettuce. 


Craig: We eat about 2000 calories a day so you could eat four bowls of lettuce or salad and you get 2000 calories. So there you go, you’d probably fill up before you’d ever finish this. If you had to eat that all day, you’d lose weight because you wouldn’t be able to eat enough calories in a given day. So that there in itself is a testament as to what 500 calories looks like. How it will fill your stomach because honestly this small bowl right here, is about the size of our stomachs.


Brad: And what do we have here? 


Craig: There’s a bunch of little W’s on these, ha-ha, peanut M&M’s. Yeah and this is 500 calories of peanut M&M’s. When you compare that to the lettuce's 500 caleries, you want to lift that up? 

Bob: This is my weakness right here, peanut M&M’s.


Craig: I mean; this is amazing. Which one do you think would fill your stomach, which one would fill you up? That’s why we snack on M&M's all day and we never get full. If we were to eat the lettuce, we would get full. Now, granted I would never just eat this alone. I would probably use a balsamic vinegar on that, something to replace the olive oil because this olive oil if that were used to coat this, that would make the lettuce, 1000 calories. 


Bob: So, the olive oil is 500 calories on its own. 


Craig: Yeah, this is 500 calories in this little jar. When you look at it, that’s what 500 calories looks like next to each other. 


Brad: And I’m thinking, it’s okay because olive oil is healthy and that’s all like good calories.


Craig: Right, well, it’s all extra calories. You can use balsamic vinegar; you could use other types of vinegars they have some very good flavored vinegars. You could go online to the olivetap.com and you can look at some of the flavored vinegars that they have and you can use that in place because that’s a very low calorie option that still gets your lettuce moist because that’s what you’re looking for, and it has really good flavors. Or you could use this, (olive oil) and dump 500 calories on your salad. 


Bob: 500 calories out of a 2000 calorie diet which is a lot, to just get flavor on your salad.


Craig: Exactly, yeah. So, other examples here: this is 500 calories of sweet potato. I had to cut the sweet potato so there’s some air in here, but if you boil sweet potatoes or any potato, studies have shown that potatoes are one of the most filling foods that people can eat. It’s what we put on that potato that becomes problematic. So, if you’re putting butter on your potato, you are increasing the calorie density of the food. Kind of like olive oil, because butter is 100% fat, just like olive oil. 

Bob: What would you recommend putting on potatoes? 


Craig: For potatoes, I either put salsa or some stew or something else because when you eat a baked potato, it’s dry, so really all you’re trying to do is moisten it up to get it to a flavor that you can like. Otherwise you can mash the potato, pour in some vegetable broth, some low sodium vegetable broth.


Bob: Well that’s usually high in sodium though.


Craig: Yes, so you’d want low sodium vegetable broth, no salt added, or you can make your own if you’re feeling adventurous. 


Brad: What do we have in front of that?


Craig: In front of that, we have some oatmeal. Now this is dried oatmeal and actually dried oatmeal is calorically dense. However, when you add water to it and you rehydrate it, this would swell in your stomach so I mean it would probably fill about half of this bowl. The nice thing about calorie density is whether this be oatmeal or rice, when you mix these foods with it, you’re going to fill up your stomach more. So, every morning when I have oatmeal, I add berries to it. 


Bob: The berries are not as calorie dense. 


Craig: Calorie density is based on a few things; the amount of water in a product, the amount of fiber, the amount of fat in that product and the amount of sugar, or carbohydrates or however you want to use for the term sugar. Calorically dense items contain usually more fat, or they are lacking water or fiber. That’s why this is pure fat, this 1 gram of fat is 9 calories per gram, 1 gram of sugar is 4 calories per gram, so it doubles the density already based on how we view fats and sugars.


Bob: So, with fruit and stuff, you’re saying there’s more water obviously in fruit? 


Craig: Yes


Bob: So, I get into trouble with dehydration sometimes and I’ve been eating less carbs. Is that possible that I’m eating less carbs, I’m getting less water from food and I need to drink more? 


Craig: That could be. If you were to have a steamed sweet potato, there would be a lot of water in there, if you were to have steamed potatoes, you would have a lot more water. Where, if you’re having something like M&M’s, these are pretty dry.


Bob: I always thought when I ate peanuts which I eat roasted peanuts now, before I’d get dehydrated because of the salt, but now it seems like I am still getting dehydrated because I’m not taking any water in through the food itself.


Craig: Exactly, yes, it’s one interesting thing. When you’re eating more fruits and vegetables, you’re actually getting more water which means you don’t have to drink as much water because you’re getting it through another source. 


Brad: So, if I understand you, you can eat peanut M&M’s if we drink water with it. 


Craig & Bob: HAHAHA


Craig: Well, that’s one way of understanding it. 


Brad: I like you. This is fun now. 


Craig: I would say, drink a lot of water so they float on top otherwise that water will filter through and you’ll just be left with this left in your stomach and that’s not going to fill you. 


Bob: What’s the one on the end, we didn’t talk about that yet?


Craig: Oh, yes, this is 500 calories of nuts. I would never tell anyone not to eat them. But the thing is, when you’re eating food you have to realize that this is still 500 calories. So, whether or not you think it’s fine, it is fine, it is healthy. But not a lot goes a very far way.


Brad: So, I don’t know if we mentioned it, but the small bowl is approximately the size of a stomach.


Craig: Yes, a human stomach. Stomachs do stretch. My stomach stretches a lot. I eat a lot of food because I eat more of the vegetables and salad. My stomach has to be adaptable because otherwise I would starve. I mean, not starve, I just mean I just eat a lot more.


Bob: So, what about the saturation factor? I mean, I eat nuts and I seem to fill up on them quicker. Do you know what I mean? Like a lot of times I can eat some of the other foods and obviously I could have eaten a lot more, I didn’t realize but you know I was still hungry after. Where I eat the almonds and it seems like I’m held over longer.


Craig: Yeah, so some things to remember, there is fiber in nuts, so the fiber is what fills you up. There’s no fiber in say olive oil. You could drink this; I wouldn’t recommend it but there’s no fiber in there to keep you fuller longer.


Bob: Fiber is the secret on saturation quite often?


Craig: Yeah, actually it’s the amount of fiber and the amount of water in a product of food that actually keeps you feeling fuller longer. So you’re more satisfied and that’s the one thing they found with potatoes is when you boil potatoes, there’s so much water in there that they just keep you full so much longer. Then not to mention all the fiber that’s in there as well.


Bob: What about, I know we are over time but one more thing I want to go over, what about spaghetti itself, what are your thoughts on spaghetti? 


Craig: I eat spaghetti almost daily.  


Bob: You do? 


Craig: I do.


Brad: What do you eat with it? 


Craig: I usually will have some toast with it. 


Bob: What do you put on it? Do you put anything on it? 


Craig: On my spaghetti? I have spaghetti sauce. I have a fat-free spaghetti sauce that I purchased, I sprinkle on parsley, Italian seasoning. I like nutritional yeast; I don’t know if you’ve ever had nutritional yeast. It kind of has a cheesy flavor. I didn’t like it at first but I kind of adapted my taste buds and then just a little bit of cracked pepper on it. That’s what I use.


Bob: Sounds good. I miss spaghetti. 


Craig: Yeah! I was going to say one more thing, this is 500 calories of fruit, the only thing is this is blackberries and raspberries I couldn’t get blueberries in here, so this is about 2.5 pounds of food, so these should be in here too.

Bob: So, they’re pretty good too. 


Craig: Oh yeah, they’re very good. Remember, all these foods here: the vegetables, fruits, potatoes all contain carbohydrates. Now, the olive oil has no carbohydrate but it’s 500 calories. The lettuce or salad is 5 pounds of carbohydrate essentially so carbohydrates aren’t necessarily the villain, it’s the medium or the food that brings in the carbohydrates that contain fat and everything else because like the M&M's are carbohydrates as well, but there’s also a lot of fat in here. That’s what drives up the caloric density of this food.


Brad: So, I’m assuming there’s sugar.


Craig: There is sugar in there as well. But when you’re looking at everyone says carbohydrates are the villain, well, it’s really these high-fat foods that we eat that are more villainous than the carbohydrates because the vegetables all contain carbohydrates too, but look at how much you can eat and look at how little you can eat of the fats, and M&M's and such.


Bob: And then there’s those dyes in there. 


Craig: We have all of those other things we want to avoid and stay away from too.


Brad: Well one way or another, yes. 


Bob: We want to thank Craig very much for taking the time. Very interesting, kind of screwed up my whole diet, but that’s alright. I’ll make some changes, but we’ll look and see what we’re going to do here. 


Brad: I’m going to be drinking water with my M&M’s now. 


Craig: Haha, that’s good, at least you’re drinking some water. 


Bob: Thanks again Craig.


Craig: Your welcome. Thank you, guys.


Bob: Thanks for joining us. 



Links supplied by Craig:

How Not to Die from Heart Disease https://www.youtube.com/watch?


Making Heart Attacks History: Caldwell Esselstyn at TEDxCambridge 2011 v=LXigm...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqKNf...


Dr. Esselstyn's Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease Program www.dresselstyn.com


Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD www.dresselstyn.com


Dr. McDougall's Health & Medical Center www.drmcdougall.com

https://www.drmcdougall.com/


Why Do Plant-Based Diets Help Rheumatoid Arthritis? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bvDPtL0fns


Why Do Plant-Based Diets Help Rheumatoid Arthritis? Subscribe to Dr. Greger’s free nutrition newsletter at http://www.nutritionfacts.org/subscribe


and get a free excerpt from his latest NYT Bestseller HOW NOT TO DIE ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldsME...




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