ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Working Out With French Fries

Weston Ochse (pronounced 'oaks') is the author of ten novels, is currently stationed in Afghanistan, and has lost 55 pounds in the last five months by working out six days a week and eating healthy six days a week. He has cheat days. He's not perfect. But these are some of his secrets.
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I lost two pounds in the last 24 hours. One pound was lost after my workout. When I woke up this morning after eating two grilled chicken breasts, a mixed salad, and a double-helping of French Fries for dinner, I'd lost another pound. How can that happen? And the funny thing is, this happens to me all the time. It's not magic. It's chemistry. I'm sure there's some professor out there who can explain it with an equation. But I'm an author. I use words. So here's my reasoning.

Sometimes my body craves French Fries. I'm sure you have no idea what I'm talking about. Not the craving you get when it's ten at night and you drive by a fast food restaurant and smell the air being pumped out from their artificial French Fry Pump-n-Spray machines, but the hint of a smell, that incites memories of laughter and joking with friends and that French Fry goodness associated with a slight crunch on the outside, soft heat on the inside, dipped in a glob of glorious ketchup, and the joy that leaps from your mouth as it anticipates the...

Sorry about the food porn. I couldn't help myself.

But you get the idea. We've all been there. If you've kept reading so far then you at least have a passing fancy towards French Fries. I've met a few people who don't like them. They are either so damn healthy and fit that they lose calories just by breathing, or they just haven't figured what to drench the fries in. If you're the latter, might I recommend the Canadian delicacy poutine, a gelatinous yet tasty accoutrement to French Fries which can covers your tasty potato bits in everything from duck confit to the traditional cheese curd gravy. Please note however that the American Lung, Heart, Kidney, Liver and Spleen Foundations have a picture of this delicacy in the mail rooms of their headquarters, designating it as Body Enemy #1. Personally, I think that's a little harsh, but my guess is they did it because it's from Canada.

Nuff said on that.

Back to regular French Fries and how they can become an integral part of your workout diet. That's right. Go back and read it again. Read it three times if you want. I know. It's a wondrous sentence. Some of you are probably going to get the words '...integral part of your workout diet' tattooed on your bodies. I don't blame you. But it's a true statement.

Back to cravings. When you're eating between a 1200 and 1800 calorie diet and burning about 500 calories a day, do you get the craving for French Fries or possibly even potato chips? I do. Sometimes I'll burp slightly and it will taste like a potato chip. Now, not having had one in weeks, this is an interesting phenomenon, so I'm left with the idea that I have potato chip phantoms lurking in my
large intestines, or my body is trying to tell me something.

While I am a writer of horror and dark fiction by trade, and I think it would be very cool to have ethereal parts of anthropomorphized processed foods speaking to me, I defer to the idea that my body is trying to tell me something instead.

And this is it. Too often in our attempts to become healthy we completely remove fat from our meals. This makes us crave. This makes us cheat. This makes us fail. The bottom line is that you cannot remove fat from your diet. I know, right, another great tattoo idea. But wait, there's more.

The glycemic index for potatoes is exceptionally high, which means your body burns it up quickly and what it doesn't use as energy, it stores as fat. But your caloric burn continues after your workout for up to 48 hours. I eat fries once a week and it's not even my cheat day. My cheat day is a small pizza with blue cheese and mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. Now that's a cheat!

I'm not a scientist, but as an author I'm a researcher. This is what I've discovered and this is what I use.

1 - Glycemic Foods. I'm very careful about high glycemic foods and only eat them rarely, which includes the potatoes used in French Fries.

2 -Afterburn. I eat them within three hours of exercise, capitalizing on the continual burn. A NY Times article reporting on a study conducted by Dr. Knapp in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise that test subjects burned an extra 37% calories over the next 14 hours. This is commonly known as the afterburn, created by Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). When I cheat, I make sure I cheat during this period so it's like I'm exercising and eating at the same time.

3 - Water. I drink 6-8 8oz glasses of water every day. This is in addition to coffee, tea, etc. You need it for your body. There has been tons of research on the subject. Here's a sampling from Reuters.

4 - Fried Foods Are Bad. Let's face it, everything is bad in too many quantities. Fried Foods are even worse. I'm not for a second kidding myself into believing that I can exercise and sit back and eat fries and lose weight. The body doesn't roll that way. But, so I can have that one glorious plate of fries, I eat absolutely no fried foods at all except for this French Fries cheat.

5 - Fat Is Good. I always eat a little fat with each meal. I've read in a hundred places that your body needs a little fat to balance it out. I usually stick with a little cheese, but will also add fish, both fresh and canned. Here are a few random facts I've been told from google-
  • The brain is 70% fat. Insufficient fats can cause lower IQs, mental illnesses, depression, etc.
  • The right fats help to lower blood pressure, thin blood, and prevent clots.
  • Fats help the body to absorb essential vitamins including A,D,E, and K.
  • Without fats hair and skin can become flaky.
  • Lack of Omega-3's can cause eye problems such as Macular degeneration.
  • Lack of Omega-6's can lead to Diabetes.

  • 6 - Fat vs Carbs. I do reduce my complex carbohydrate intake. The folks over at Mercola have a take on it I tend to believe, going back and following historical trends. If it's processed, I limit it. Then again, I do have a pizza every week and guess what. I don't gain weight after that either. So, I replace the easy to grab cookie, cracker, bread, etc, with fresh fruit, veggies, or a piece of mouth candy, and I save my carbs for the good stuff (another great tattoo idea).

    7 - Probiotics. Have a healthy tummy. There should be millions of little beasts in there cleaning and brushing. You should have a bowel movement at least once a day. I take probiotic pills once a day (Dr. Ohirra) and two sets of two fiber capsules a day to help the body out. I can tell the difference when my stomach is not perfect.

    So, enough science and fact.

    Let's go straight to my supposition.

    Here's what I think happens to my body. I've read a bunch of places that agree with me and almost as many which don't. Everyone's an expert on their own bodies. This is my belief and I've been living and breathing it through 55 pounds of weight loss. So what's happening? I think our bodies have been evolutionary conditioned to process a certain amount of fat. We're omnivores. It has to be the case. When we exercise and limit our caloric intake, we also teeter on the edge of starving our bodies, putting them into starvation mode, and eating enough for our bodies to use. I'm as much a victim\culprit as the next person. I often don't eat enough, I think, and my body begins storing energy fearful that I'm killing it. Moments like when I eat a plate of French Fries convince my body it isn't starving and it uses what I give it to rebuild and replace. It's such a funny thing. I usually lose the most weight after a week of maintaining the same weight eating healthy, then in one swoop after eating French Fries, it's gone.

    This is what happens to my body.

    This is what's working for me.

    I'd love to hear about your experiences.

    What's working for you?

    Do you work out with fries like me?

    Isn't it glorious?

    (Major warning - Here is the reason: when a starchy food such as a potato is cooked to a temperature above 248 degrees, it produces a cancer-causing chemical called acrylamide.)

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    Weston Ochse has spent 29 years in the military in one shape or fashion. He's a world traveler and an internationally best-selling author of high action fiction. Please Note: This article is copyrighted by Weston Ochse. Any reproduction in whole or in part without the author’s permission is prosecutable by public law. If you'd like to borrow part of this or see it reprinted, contact me here. I'll probably say yes. You can link to this article. Thank you. © 2013


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