The Force is Against You

Read time: 90 seconds

Eat, eat, eat!

The food and beverage industry spends over $11B per year to get us to eat more. The message is about eating.

The diet industry — an industry that claims to help us lose weight — spends almost $40B a year to get us to eat a certain way. The message is still about eating.

Social and cultural practices encourage us to celebrate everything around eating. The message is all about eating.

Our local health guru warns that we need to eat 6 small meals a day to stoke our metabolism. The message again is about eating.

For profit, for celebration, or for weight loss… we’re conditioned to have eating on the brain 24/7.

I’m not so disillusioned that I think anyone can stop these forces from making the act of eating such a central focus. I can only say that, to get lean, the message should be to just stop eating.

Obviously I’m not saying we should stop eating forever. I’m saying we should just stop eating so damn much.

Forget the complicated dietary hypothesizing. A termination of excessive energy intake is a major step in reversing overweight and obesity, and repair much of the metabolic derangement we suffer.

Forget special diets. Just stop eating.

Forget low carbs. Just stop eating.

Forget eating grain-free. Just stop eating.

Forget eating whole food. Just stop eating.

Forget eating clean. Just stop eating.

Forget eating grass-fed. Just stop eating.

Forget eating vegetables. Just stop eating.

Forget eating organic. Just stop eating.

Forget eating your blood type. Just stop eating.

But when we do eat, eat well and enjoy. We’ll be healthier and leaner, merely by taking a break from eating all the time. Find a way to remove much of the act of eating from our life.

Then if we still want to discuss the dysregulation of energy metabolism caused by eating cheap commodity grains, processed carbs, and refined sugar, then we can check out Gary Taubes’ book, Good Calories Bad Calories.

But merely eating less is likely to resolve most of the metabolic ailment associated with overweight and modern degenerative diseases.

Hey, here’s a weight loss diet:  Go out and play.

This entry was posted in Dietary Habit, weight Loss and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The Force is Against You

  1. mommy1.618 says:

    It is simple, but difficult. Thank you, Johnny.

    • Johnny says:

      You’re absolutely right, m1.618.

      I often wonder why so many people won’t keep the strategy (weight-loss plan) itself simple, when the tactic (practice) is already difficult.

      But the fact that the tactic is difficult makes intermittent fasting so valuable for so many people. I find that intermittent fasting has made the tactic much less difficult. In fact, I find that it’s easy, liberating, and useful.

      There’s something about making the conscious decision to turn off the valve for a short period of time.


  2. Whatever happened to Ogg, lol? Did Brad Pilon kidnap him? 🙂

    • Johnny says:

      LOL, that’s awesome you remember Ogg! Let me run through the relatively young history of The Lean Saloon:

      I’ve been eating Paleo for over 3 years (still do, though with a more relaxed style). When I started The Lean Saloon, I’d been experimenting with intermittent fasting for only about 4 or 5 months. I also read about it on other blogs, and then started reading the available studies, which were mostly on alternate-day calorie restriction, or 24h, 48h, and 72h fasts.

      Meanwhile, I noticed that IF had made me much more lean than just eating Paleo, but the eating style was far easier than strict Paleo because now I enjoy wholesome and nutritious food PLUS occasionally sweet potatoes, sprouted grains, and my friend’s crazy homemade croissants.

      (Anti-nutrients? Inflammation? I believe the key lies in the dose and the overall context of all foods eaten. I’m not too worried about the fears shared among many purists in the Paleo community.)

      Anyway, early in my blogging experiment, I dropped the Ogg moniker, and decided that my blog would be about:

      * Paleo-ish food selection, referred here simply as real, whole food. But also the freedom to partake in life’s wonderful offerings.
      * Simple exercise strategies based on known exercising principles.
      * Intermittent Fasting, which has become the tone of this blog. Because I’ve found it to be the easiest and most sustainable way to get lean.


  3. Stephon says:


    What more can I say,but excellent post once again.I personally can say that IF works being that I practice it with regularity and because of it I am lighter and quicker,its almost like turning back the hands of time in a sense.Eating less makes it all that much easier with it’s simplicity.I work at a gym and I avoided an beheading(lol) when I mentioned IF to some of the trainers and the concept of eating less,they all attacked me at once,it was like telling a wall to move,all the while they were at that moment stuffing their face with protein bars/shakes, fast food etc.I guess some will never get it.
    On another subject just wanted your input on my workout schedule .I currently do a strength based routine consisting of Deadlifts,Shoulder press,Chinups,and Dips for 3×5 each, (not big on the Bench Press anymore),and then one workout with more isolation work,for each muscle group.Is it best to do my strength based workout when I am fresh in the beginning of the week M,W,F,or at the end of the week?Johnny I would also appreciate some ideas on a good bodyweight workout to do midweek,of course something challenging I am in pretty good shape.Thanks again,and know that you have someone here who is working hard and trying to get more people to see just how simple getting lean is if they just would stop eating soo much period.

    • Johnny says:

      Hi Stephon,

      Outside of this blog, I rarely talk about intermittent fasting, for the same reaction from clowns that you experience.

      I like your workout routine because it involves lifting heavy with compound exercises. For aesthetics you’ve added some isolation work (detail work).

      You can get some ideas for body weight exercises from Coach Adam Steer over at Better’s Better. I use his stuff all the time.

      As far as scheduling your strength day: don’t worry too much about adapting the workouts to how your body might feel during the week. I recommend that you adapt to your strength training no matter how your body might feel. This will make your body more adaptive at any physiological state. Play around.


  4. Trinity Selle says:

    Excellent post, Johnny. I guess the “eat less food” diet is way too simple for people to take seriously. A weight-loss diet has to be packaged in a PhD format and tied together with a little bit of mysticism, if it’s going to sell.

    You and mommy1 are right, weight loss is simple but difficult. Yet people seem to prefer to make it both difficult AND compicated!

    I love your message. I’m still losing weight and always refer to your blog for motivation. IF has made the whole thing pretty darn easy, too.

    Thank you,

  5. Johnny,

    If you don’t mind, email me off the blog. I’d like to talk about something off-topic but blogging related.


  6. Lee says:

    Great post! Always spot on.

  7. Bangkok Jay says:

    Love it. “It’s NOT the food, stupid.”

    Thank you for the inspiring reminder!

  8. Casey Adams says:

    I’ve been following this blog and now I’m a devoted fan. What you say really speaks to me. I’m in my late twenties and I’ve been through as many diets — vegan, low fat, low carbs, high fat, high protein, etc etc. It’s funny how we never really give much credit to the concept of finding a method to eat less. So we search for the magic bullet and read big volumes of books that talk about avoiding this and avoiding that while eating this and eating that… but no book ever says to just stop eating so much.

    Good stuff. I hope you keep this up!

  9. Stephon says:


    Thanks for the reply,glad that you think my workout is good.I usually don’t talk about IF either,but on that particular day these guys asked my personal opininon and I partially mentioned that concept of it and then I was bombarded with the whole 6 meals a day,muscle catabolism protein/carb ratio jibberish.

    IF is as easy as you make it,and I initially had a few struggles,but the results from it and the way it makes me feel,makes it a mainstay in my lifestyle.Not spending all my time in the gym feels great leaving me with more time for my family,friends and to just enjoy life’s treasures.

    The workout that I noted previously on the strength day is not a true 5 rep max strength training day as I don’t like to lift really heavy,but Chin ups and Dip’s have additional weight maybe 35-45lbs attached(just careful with the joints)and they are done sometimes in circuit fashion with about 45 secs to 1 min between exercises,sometimes less,or in straight set fashion.I am a minimalist and don’t enjoy long drawn out workouts.Hope this sounds okay,feel free to give input,thanks for the Adam Steer info.I definetly will give him a look.

  10. Greg Linster says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you more Johnny. I skip breakfast almost every day and find that 2 meals later in the day works best for me. I almost always drink a glass of wine or a beer at happy hour time as well. I love this food lifestyle! Thanks!

  11. Pingback: Falling off the wagon « Primal Girl in a Modern World

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