The 12 Rules of Safe and Effective Weight Loss

by Konstantin Monastyrsky Fitness, weight lossComments: 79


Provided the opportunity, most adults will overeat, however unconsciously, to store energy as fat. Also, given a chance, most adults will stay put to preserve energy (stored as fat) rather than move around to waste it. In practical terms, these two intrinsic biological traits – storage and preservation of energy – mean that weight loss is alien to the nature’s normal order, and that weight gain is a norm, not an exception.

With that in mind – that most of us are genetically preprogrammed to be work-lazy and food-greedy, maintaining normal weight is a huge challenge for anyone, while losing weight can be a lifelong fight against human nature itself.

No wonder, then, why it is so hard to crack the code of the obesity enigma. Still, it can be done by following a set of the following common sense rules:

Rule #1: Above all, a no-fail weight loss diet must contain less energy than you expend throughout the day, otherwise you aren’t going to lose any body fat, and may gain even more. Any time you encounter a plateau or begin gaining again a few weeks into your weight loss diet, it simply means that you are consuming more calories than your body can expend on energy and structural metabolism. I will elaborate on this rule in much greater detail in the next post.

Rule #2: A no-fail weight loss diet must be balanced. It’s actually quite difficult for many people to lose weight by eating unlimited fats as the late Dr. Atkins once suggested. A single gram of fat contains almost two-and-a-half times more energy than a single gram of carbohydrates, assimilates into the blood at a rate close to 98%, and contributes to weight gain just like carbs, only two-and-half times faster.

A high-carbohydrate diet, such as the Ornish diet, is just as fattening – many times more so – than the high-fat Atkins Diet. It is also a big no-no for health reasons because it shoots blood sugar, insulin, and triglycerides levels sky-high. Adding insult to injury, it may cause wasting of the bones and muscles because it lacks primary proteins by design. Even more damage results from its lack of the fats essential for assimilating fat-soluble micronutrients.

High-protein diets, such as the Paleo diet, are contra-indicated for most people past middle age (40+) because dietary proteins consumed in excess may cause gastric disorders, such as indigestion, heartburn, ulcers, gastroparesis, and other similar conditions.

Unlike these three extremes – high fat, high carb, or high protein, the most effective approach for weight loss contains all three nutrient groups in balanced physiological proportions, just as much as your body needs for its normal function, while, at the same time, allowing for sustained weight loss.

Rule #3: A no-fail diet must be simple to prepare, so you spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. If you really want to lose weight without failure, salivating over foods and recipes while cooking is not helpful. Neither is a lot of Food TV watching.

This is particularly true for people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes – upwards of 80% of persons with adiposity – because even seeing pictures of food stimulates the release of first-phase insulin, which, in turn, incites hunger, appetite, and sugar cravings.

That is why any weight loss diet that comes with an accompanying cookbook or TV show is double jeopardy. First, it tricks you into believing that it works, and second – it sabotages itself. So don’t fall for this commonplace mistake assuming that you can pave your way out of obesity with gourmet meals and exciting menu.

Rule #4: A no-fail diet must reduce your appetite and hunger; otherwise you will not be able to stick with it much longer than a few weeks. Since both appetite and hunger are governed in part by primal instincts and unconditional reflexes, reducing them requires foods that are quick and simple to digest and assimilate, and that do not adversely affect the endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. And this brings us to…

Rule #5: A no-fail diet must not stimulate cravings for sweets and comfort food, otherwise you will compromise your weight loss even before starting it. To reduce cravings for sweets, which are a symptom of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, your diet should not contain anything that tastes sweet, even artificial sweeteners, because even the taste of sweetness stimulates the release of insulin – a sugar-craving hormone.

Artificial sweeteners while losing weight?  Definitely not as they are totally counterproductive!

Rule #6: To reduce hunger pains you must prevent and eliminate gastric disorders. If you experience intense hunger pains, it may indicate that you are affected by an inflammation of your stomach mucosa, a condition known as gastritis. The pain goes away after eating because foods and fluids dilute the gastric acid and proteolytic enzymes, so the related pain is lessened. That is why hunger pains stimulate frequent eating and overeating – the exact opposite of what must to be done to lose weight.

Rule #7: To speed up satiety and prevent overeating you must consume low-density foods – a medical term for a reduced fiber diet. You must also avoid excess fluids, particularly after meals, because fiber and excess fluids distend the stomach, making it more difficult to fill it to the point of satiety the next time around.

Rule #8: To maintain a high rate of energy metabolism, you must normalize your thyroid function and prevent anemia. Early stage hypothyroidism deprives your body of energy, and slows down or interrupts weight loss. Elimination and prevention of anemia is an equally important condition for sustained weight loss. If your blood cannot transport oxygen efficiently, your energy levels drop, stimulating weight gain.

Rule #9: A no-fail diet must prevent undernutrition of critical nutrients, such as essential amino and fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and microelements. A deficiency of these nutrients slows down energy and structural metabolism, and reduces or halts weight loss. In addition, chronic undernutrition stimulates intense cravings for foods that may contain missing nutrients, and this leads to overeating.

Ironically, a badly conceived and incorrectly executed weight loss diet may also ruin your appearance and accentuate your age by causing muscle wasting, skin sagging and pigmentation, hair loss, periodontal disease and ensuing tooth loss, height reduction, decreasing eyesight, and other telltale signs of weight loss-related undernutrition – the complete opposite of what you want to accomplish (i.e. to improve your appearance) by losing weight in the first place. And it goes without saying, that diet-related undernutrition is behind most of the nastiest health complications related to weight loss, particularly the “yo-yo” effect.

Rule #10: A no-fail diet must assure good sleep, because the more you sleep, the more weight you are going to lose. There are three reasons behind this paradox: First, the longer you sleep, the less you eat; second, the rate of energy metabolism during sleep is quite high, so it contributes to the loss of fat; third, cellular renewal takes place mostly while you are asleep, so the longer you sleep, the more resources, including body fat, are used for structural metabolism.

Rule #11: A no-fail diet must demonstrate ongoing weight loss constantly, otherwise you are not likely to continue your diet long enough to reach your desired weight. Since eating less intentionally is one of life‘s most difficult sacrifices, tangible weight loss is the best incentive to keep you going.

Constantly does not mean daily – the weight changes from day to day aren’t significant enough to register on consumer-grade scales. So, please, don‘t make a habit of checking your weight more than once a week to avoid discouragement and bathroom scale anxiety.

Finally, Rule #12: A no-fail diet must avoid and eliminate spoilers. These are not just foods and food additives that trigger hunger, stimulate appetite, diminish metabolism, or interfere with digestion, but also events, habits, and behaviours that result in overeating, and stop weight loss and diabetes reversal dead in their tracks.

This completes my top twelve list. Sharing with you these rules in advance should make it absolutely clear that a successful weight loss diet requires more understanding, skills, and support than simply switching from one menu to another. It goes without saying, that my weight loss program observes all twelve of these rules with a vengeance, and then some. That is what makes it so effective not only for weight loss, but also for protecting your appearance, preempting premature aging, and improving your health, energy, and vitality.


In the next twelve posts I will expand on each of these rules, so you can start your own journey toward normal weight without a fear of damaging your health, spirit, and appearance!

Next post >>


Previous posts from  the “Why Diets Fail” series:

1. The Real Reason Diets Fail and What You Can Do About It

2. How Long Will It Take Me to Lose the Weight?

3. Why One Calorie For Her Is Half a Calorie For Him

4. The Top Four Misconceptions Behind Weight Loss Failure

5. Energy Metabolism: The Good, The Bad, and In-Between

Please subscribe to FREE UPDATES at the top of the page, so you won’t miss the next post.

 About the Author

konstantinKonstantin Monastyrsky graduated from medical university in 1977 with a degree in pharmacy. He is an expert in forensic nutrition, a new field of science that investigates the connection between supposedly healthy foods and nutrition-related disorders, such as diabetes and obesity.

In 1978 Konstantin’s family emigrated from the former Soviet Union to the United States, where he decided to pursue a career in the high-technology field, taught himself advanced programming languages, and his eventual work has had a major influence on the development of the modern user interface that has become ubiquitous with the introduction of iPhone- and iPad-like devices.

In 1996, Konstantin began to suffer from type 2 diabetes and a host of related ailments, including the debilitating carpal tunnel syndrome. Unable to use the keyboard, he turned his attention back to his roots in medicine and nutrition to find solutions for his rapidly deteriorating health.

Since then, he has written four books about health and nutrition, including the acclaimed Fiber Menace, and is a past speaker at the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Wise Traditions Conference.  He is the principal writer of – the web’s leading resource for people affected by colorectal disorders, such as constipation, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and colorectal cancers.

Photography credits:

Cover illustration: © 2013 iStockPhoto LLP;

Comments (79)

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  • Michele

    Dear Dr. Monastyrsky,
    Have you encountered/treated people with fructose malabsorption? It is a challenge to eat a variety of vegetables when the naturally occurring fructose in many of them causes digestive problems. I’m not sure if this question is appropriate for this post, but was hoping you may address this topic in the future. Thank you for your time.

    April 24th, 2013 7:20 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      I don’t work directly with patients, so my exposure to obscure conditions is rather limited. Because of my former travails with late stage diabetes, severe IBS, and upper respiratory disorders, I don’t eat fruits at all, and only occasional fermented vegetables. It took me some time to get used to this lifestyle, but after a while I don’t miss any of them. To compensate for missing water soluble vitamins, such as B-group and vitamin C, I do take professional-grade multivitamin.

      April 25th, 2013 12:31 am
  • Deb

    Konstantin Monastyrsky, I very interested in your work I too have struggled with my weight off and on a lot of me life… but since I have found that I am a MCADD carrier as well as symptomatic with Hypoglycemia…I struggle with needing food so often… Hungry in not a nice feeling for sure but I don’t feel this often as I eat often… ugh to keep my brain in tact!

    April 24th, 2013 12:42 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      Thank you for your interest in my work. I found a very simple method of dealing with acute hypoglycemia related to my late stage type 2 diabetes back in 1996: nothing sweet by mouth, not even artificial sweeteners (they are even more offensive), and, for the first two years, zero carbs diet. This technique “unconditioned” my pancreas from secreting stored insulin in response to sweetness and blood sugars, normalized my insulin secretion, and eliminated hypoglycemia. Obviously, it “cured” me from diabetes as well, and normalized my weight. Alcohol of any kind is also taboo since it drives blood sugar down profoundly.

      I don’t know much about the interaction of this kind of diet with MCADD, so you need to figure this out on your own. As far as the hunger goes, I’ll address this subject in depth in future post because managing appetite and hunger is fundamental to successful weight loss.

      April 25th, 2013 12:47 am
      • Corinne

        Carbs are VERY important to a person with a fatty acid oxidation disorder, which MCADD is. My grandson died from MCADD. It is nothing to fool around with. FODs are fat disorders – the body does not have the ability to break down certain fats, so when in crisis mode (sickness, stress, etc.), carbs are needed for immediate energy. Please be careful, Deb.

        April 25th, 2013 9:00 pm
  • Mary

    Hi Konstantin and All,

    This was such a fascinating blog post. I am in my mid-50s and I have tried to lose weight with Atkins, but did find it a bit challenging. I soon realized that I was simply eating too much – regardless of following the Atkins food recommendations. I also found that Atkins did not help at all at addressing binge eating or compulsive eating issues.

    When I tried to cut back on the portion size, I did lose weight but found that I was not able to maintain the weight loss – – – plus I missed being able to eat a more varied diet. And, since my emotional issues tied to food had not been addressed with Atkins, it was almost impossible to sustain the proper portion size.

    Howerver, I eventually discovered a program called “The Light Weigh”. which I was able to combine with the WAPF way of eating.

    The Light Weigh program helped me tremendously to overcome some of the emotional aspects tied to over eating as one of the previous posters discussed. If you have emotional issues tied to food, these really do need to be addressed before trying to lose weight. If food is how you comfort yourself through binge eating or compulsive eating, you need to find other ways to sooth yourself if you are ever going to be successful in losing weight. The Light Weigh helped me considerably with this.

    Next, The Light Weigh really helped me get my portion sizes into the normal range. About a coffee cup full per meal. And it also taught me to watch for that breath that you take toward the end of a meal indicating that you’re getting full. When that breath came, I knew to only eat another two bites or so and that would be enough to fill my stomach.

    Finally, what was great about The Light Weigh was that there are no recommendations on what to eat. So, I ate a WAPF based diet – just in a controlled portion amount. And this combination – The Light Weigh and WAPF have finally helped me to begin to lose weight and overcome my cravings and binge eating.

    So looking forward to the rest of the blog posts!


    April 23rd, 2013 12:51 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      Thank you for letting us know. I am glad that someone has already addressed this subject. Writing about emotional support is outside of my area of expertise (which is digestive and endocrine disorders). This a fairly specialized aspect of any nutritional treatment, not just weight loss.

      April 23rd, 2013 4:03 pm
    • Teresa

      Mary, This sounds like something I need to check into. I am also into my 50s and just need to lose about 10 lbs. I don’t want to “diet” but eat healthy which I am but apparently overeating because I can’t get to my normal weigh. I have a lot of belly fat. Thanks!

      April 24th, 2013 8:01 am
  • Patricia

    Thank you, Sir! I am 59 and in some real battles! I remember reading your take on fiber several years ago and it made total sense to me. I have tried to stay up to date on nutrition through the years and when I kept getting fatter and fatter, I came across Weston Price and it made so much sense to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand about unlimited fats and have gotten nowhere in that battle over the years except when I added a moringa product first thing in the morning. The influx of nutrients has truly helped me, but after menopause at 54, I am getting worse in weight all the time. As an organic grower, raw milk drinker, pastured meat only consumer, and one terrified of restaurants and processed foods, I am at a loss. My heartburn and stomach pain is gone now that I rarely eat starches of any kind. (Rice is one of the worst, for me) This is all to say, someone may be able to help me understand why I am failing badly in this. Now if you could help me with my 4 month sinus infection, I will be on top of the world!

    April 23rd, 2013 11:08 am
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      Thank you for sharing your travails. Visit this site, and implement their recommendations into your current lifestyle. It should help you to normalize your sinusitis: High protein diet, unfortunately, tends to raise histamine level considerably, and this leads to the kind of problems you are experiencing.


      April 23rd, 2013 4:12 pm
      • Patricia

        Sorry. That was merely a joke at the end!

        April 23rd, 2013 6:28 pm
        • Konstantin Monastyrsky

          Patricia, well, my answer was “deadly” serious. A low-histamine diet is the best thing one can have for overcoming upper respiratory infections, allergies, and autoimmune conditions such as asthma.

          April 23rd, 2013 8:33 pm
  • Deb

    I am very interested… and want to follow on this site. So hoping with my comment I’ll be able to follow the thread!

    April 22nd, 2013 6:40 pm
  • Jennifer

    I’m on the Dash Diet for weight loss, based of the book by Marla Heller. It’s the closest to these rules I have heard of a diet be. The only main exception is that the dash diet supports using artificial sweeteners . I try not to use them much as I have also tried to be a clean eater. I am having good success with this diet. 14 lbs lost and 1.5 inches off my belly in 5 weeks. And all the people I know who are following it are having great success and feeling great and having their blood pressure improve. So I’d be curious to see what Sarah would say about the DASH diet and how I’m avoiding artificial anything .

    April 22nd, 2013 3:38 pm
  • Prudence

    So, then, what do we eat??

    April 22nd, 2013 2:21 pm
    • Stella Ilyayev

      white rice and some fish like wild salmon and grassfed meats and organ meats- from my understanding. check out fiber menace.

      April 22nd, 2013 2:45 pm
      • Stella Ilyayev

        you can also check the western price foundation – they have a good site.

        April 22nd, 2013 2:46 pm
  • Rebecca

    This is the most sensible approach I’ve run across so far….waiting with interest for the next installment!

    April 22nd, 2013 12:29 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      Thank you for your feedback. I am so glad over you choice of words: “the most sensible approach,” rather than “the most sensible diet.” That is exactly what I would like readers to take away from this: the diet part is simple, but getting though one for as long as it takes requires “approach!”

      Thank you again!

      April 23rd, 2013 12:18 am
  • susan

    konstanin, thanks for your work! when you say, fats, but not unlimited fats, for those over weight, what about coconut oil? i’ve heard that we should take 4 tablespoons of coconut oil per day; what are your thoughts on this? thanks!

    April 22nd, 2013 8:45 am
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      You are very welcome, and thank you for reading! Coconut oil is perfectly OK for weight loss plan, except that you need to scale it down into overall proportion of fats (and calories).

      Unfortunately, all fats regardless of their health benefits are “fattening” when consumed in excess of what can be used for energy and structural metabolism. That just how the body works, and there isn’t anything else we can do about it.

      The most important takeaway from this is: because reduced calorie diet has to limit the amount of fats by design, you MUST chose the healthiest possible fats during that period, so that your body gets all of the essential fatty acids in their natural, non-rancid form.

      April 23rd, 2013 12:29 am
  • MicheleO

    Wow, if you have a plan that overcomes all 12 of these rules, then I will be in heaven! These 12 rules are the exact things that have made other diets so challenging for me. Reducing calories is hard enough but then when you start experiencing side effects like the ones listed in the rules above, it doesn’t seem worth it anymore. I love that you are teaching us the principles so that we can be our own health coach. Thank you so much for offering us this free information, it is very generous of you! I would be even more excited if you decided to start posting twice a week!

    April 21st, 2013 9:52 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      You are very welcome, and thank you for your comments. Yes, I’ll decipher each one of these twelve rules. After that we’ll deal with a multi-step process of getting yourself into a diet “zen,” and, after that, I’ll go over the dominant side effects of weight loss. With all that information you’ll be perfectly able to coach yourself and others as well.

      Two posts a week? Sorry, can’t do that. It takes about three days to write a new post, a day or two of back-and-forth with my editor, and another day to get it prepped for release. When the post is out, that’s my day off, and the process repeats.

      April 21st, 2013 11:43 pm
      • Tim

        Konstantin – Do me (and yourself) a big favor. If you think any of these 12 steps, or any other factors, are more important than the others–please tell us those first!

        So many of these series roll out and people start following only to find out they were missing very important pieces of the puzzle.

        For instance, a prolific blogger was leading people along on a “Leptin reset” last year, six months into it, nobody was getting any better–then the blogger started saying, ‘Oh, wait–you need to get your Vit D level above 70 for this to work” and “You need to get your adrenals working for that to work”.

        It really p-sses people off when respected advisors withhold info!

        April 22nd, 2013 1:42 pm
        • Konstantin Monastyrsky


          All of these priorities are equally important. Their relative importance may differ from person to person depending on age, gender, health, initial weight, current diet, and some other factors. Skipping anyone will can easily compromise weight loss, but, again it depends not on the rule, but on the person. I will write them all up over the next 12 weeks, and will do so to the best of my abilities.

          April 23rd, 2013 12:14 am
  • John Shafer via Facebook

    As a parent of two children, I want my entire family to be healthy and I hope this promotes good health for my wife and I and for my little boy and little girl.

    April 21st, 2013 9:32 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      Every child deserves a parent like you. There is a lot of talk about genetics, and their role in familial disorders. My take on that — kids “inherit” the health of their parents not because of genetics, but because they pattern their bad habits into adulthood. There isn’t a more important thing that you can do for your children than teaching them the habits of health.

      April 21st, 2013 11:50 pm
  • JessicaK

    Another thing I find helpful is your mention of the potential pitfalls of dieting like hair loss. I switched to a Paleo style diet a few years ago and although I had sucesses (increased energy, effortless weight loss for several months) I also experienced some nasty side effects including massive hair loss. Everyone I asked said something to the effect of, “that’s just your body’s reaction to the diet change. I can’t help but think there was something (miconutrients?) I was missing. I have also not maintained my weight loss.

    April 21st, 2013 5:58 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      Yes, I will address all of these subjects, about thirty side effects of the weight loss, including hire loss. When people switch to Paleo, this problem is usually connected to the deficiency of vitamins C, K, B-12, and iron, and it is quite common. That you couldn’t maintain your weight loss — that’s probably because you never really lost much fat… For that, please go back to the first and second posts.

      April 21st, 2013 7:50 pm
      • Paula

        Another good article. However, I do not see how you find the Paleo diet to be
        deficient in Vitamins K and B-12″ when eggs, beef, lamb, seafood/shellfish and organ meats are consumed in adequate quantities along with many dark leafy greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and other vegetables? Many Paleo diet advocates do limit fruit and I can possibly see the potential of inadequate Vitamin C intake.

        April 22nd, 2013 5:41 am
        • Konstantin Monastyrsky


          Thank you for your comment. You are absolutely correct that the Paleo style of nutrition by itself isn’t deficient in vitamins B-12, K, or iron, especially when people do consume eggs, red meat, and organ meats in, as you said, “adequate quantities.”

          Unfortunately, these amounts in reduced calorie diet are rarely adequate; most people aren’t accustomed to eating organ meats on regular basis; and few people start their weight loss diet with adequate stores of these micronutrients in their bodies.

          Also, most adults over 45-50 aren’t able to secret the intrinsic factor (enough or at all) required to assimilate vitamin B-12 because of atrophic gastritis — a loss of glandular cells which secret pepsin, intrinsic factor, and hydrochloric acid.

          This may not be an issue for younger people, but it is a serious challenge for most people past 45-50, further exacerbated by several protein-containing meals and snacks throughout that they simply can’t digest.

          April 23rd, 2013 12:56 am
  • Teresa

    I think he KNOWS what he is talking about! I like his posts and can’t wait to read the next one. We don’t want to be told that we need self control but that is exactly what we need. We are an overindulgent people. Thank you for putting all this in prespective.

    April 21st, 2013 4:54 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      Thank you! You are right on the money. I tested exact same approach with my work on colorectal disorders, and it works remarkably well for anyone who takes time to read and understand basic concepts of what needs to be done. I do recognize that some people will need more advanced support and directions, and, as I wrote previously, I plan to train a number of registered dietitians, clinical nutritionists, and medical doctors to provide individualized counseling. But that is way, way in the future, and these professionals will have access to exact same information as everyone else.

      April 21st, 2013 7:59 pm
  • Sofia

    I’m very suprised by the water. I was told to drink a cup of water before a meal and one after….

    April 21st, 2013 4:26 pm
    • Stella

      water is only ok to drink with meals not before or after because it interferes with digestion. this one little tip helped me greatly

      April 21st, 2013 5:20 pm
      • Konstantin Monastyrsky


        These aren’t mine recommendations. I recommend consuming fluids before and with foods (in moderation). This, indeed, improves digestion, and reduces the risk of heartburn, indigestion, and gastritis. Also, these recommendations apply primarily to protein-containing meal, and they aren’t as critical for young people (15-35) with good health because they can do a lot of crazy things that kids under 15 or adults over 35-40 can’t. I’ll deal with this subject in depth in future posts.

        April 21st, 2013 8:08 pm
        • Stella

          well some teenagers like me weren’t so lucky i had bad heartburn since the age of 17 thinking the more u drink the better. my digestion was totally messed up. I would drink a gallon of water a day but ever since i eliminated gluten and stopped drinking so much water everything stopped. like i am so much better, i can exercise do cardio and weight training without getting stomachaches. i feel like i got my life back- well almost –

          have you addressed in past articles if saunas are good or not?

          April 22nd, 2013 8:37 am
          • Konstantin Monastyrsky


            Saunas/hot bath/hot showers are contra-indicated for gastric disorders because of the following factors:

            1. The exposure of skin to high heat releases histamine, a neurotransmitter that triggers a host of physiological functions, including immune response and gastric digestion. H2 receptors stimulates the secretion of gastric acid, and this may cause pain in people with preexisting gastritis or general dyspepsia. That is why all of the drugs that suppress acid secretion are, by design, histamine suppressors. Histamine is a strong inflammatory agent, and will exacerbate any kind of preexisting inflammation in sensitive individuals, not just gastric.

            2. Extended exposure to high heat in sauna may cause a rapid loss of water and sodium chloride (salt) with sweat. The loss of salt without its adequate dietary intake affects the quality of protein digestion in the stomach because it can’t produce enough hydrochloric acid. General dehydration and salt deficiency also affects overall well-being (low blood pressure, depression, fatigue, etc.).

            April 23rd, 2013 12:45 am
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      My recommendations are to drink a cup of water 30 or so minutes before meal to get hydrated, and at least a cup of fluids (water, soup, etc.) with a meal, or withing 15-20 minutes after the meal, but not later. These fluids will assist digestion and acidification of the stomach’s content, so no fluids need to be taken from the blood to facilitate digestion. You shouldn’t consume fluids in 4-5 hours after eating protein-rich food to avoid diluting gastric acid and enzymes.

      April 21st, 2013 8:03 pm
  • Helen

    Just to speak up from the silent majority, keep it coming ! It’s informative and useful. Of course Sarah has a way with words, but don’t be put off, I’m sure one picks it up !
    For your information I’m really interested in decreasing calories without having to count them and finding a natural balance between different components without getting my scales out so any rules of thumb would be appreciated.
    Thanks again

    April 21st, 2013 4:05 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      Thank you for your feedback. My approach to decreasing calories without having to count them is surprisingly simple and practical: no snaking, no alcohol, very simple diet, and two-three daily meals, depending on your lifestyle and occupation. It will all come out in future posts.

      April 21st, 2013 4:15 pm
      • sam

        I echo Helen, JessicaK and Marie’s comments above. I don’t do well following someone else’s idea of what a daily weight loss diet should be and I don’t think the majority of people do (hence the shelves full of weight loss diet books). I think most people would do well to read and re-read these posts (and the future ones) and devise a diet for themselves. Ultimately, we have to be responsible for ourselves!

        April 21st, 2013 5:24 pm
        • Konstantin Monastyrsky


          You are correct, something along these lines. It outright impossible (and irresponsible) to “devise” a single diet that fits all people of all ages, all genders, all ethnicities, all occupations, all means, all cooking skills, all family environment, and on, and on, and on. The framework is a key. The second most important issue is dealing with exceptions — what do you do when something goes wrong, and dealing with objectives — what do you need to do, so everything goes right. That’s what this book is all about.

          April 21st, 2013 7:54 pm
    • Marie

      I agree with you. Calorie counting is scary to me, I really don’t want to go there :)

      April 21st, 2013 5:39 pm
  • JessicaK

    Konstantin, thank you for these posts. I enjoy the scientific explanations. Some of Sarah’s readers have been a little rude to you. I think they are used to Sarah’s style which trends to be more narrative and much less scientific. Also weight loss tends to be a touchy subject for most and I actually find your no nonsense style refreshing.
    Also remember, he is trying to give us a book’s worth of information in small increments, not an easy task.

    April 21st, 2013 2:31 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      You are very welcome, and thank you for commenting. If you look at the ratio of shares to negative comments, the silent majority enjoys the materials, and shares it with their friends, so the audience here is quite sophisticated.

      I am consistently amazed at the depth and breadth of Sarah’s writing. And that she can turn these sophisticated and complicated subjects into an intelligent narrative so consistently and for so long — it amazes me even more. Just reading Sarah’s blog convinced me not to do my own because I simply wouldn’t be able able to do a job of similar caliber.

      April 21st, 2013 3:29 pm
    • Sofia

      Your right JessicaK people are very rude and only because they want someone to pat them on the head and tell them the “magic” formula to losing weight.

      April 21st, 2013 4:25 pm
  • Roseleanor Ward via Facebook

    I wondered that too, as my understanding of the word “forensic” was that is was to do with using science/technology to prove something in a court of law… however, according to Webster’s dictionary, it is not just for law courts, but also public debate or formal argumentation. So, I imagine he uses the phrase forensic weight loss expert, to infer the use of science in his argumentation of weight loss principles.

    April 21st, 2013 2:01 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      I don’t use the term “forensic weight loss expert.” Here is what my brief bio section (right under the post) says:

      “He is an expert in forensic nutrition, a new field of science that investigates the connection between supposedly healthy foods and nutrition-related disorders, such as diabetes and obesity.” You can learn more about this approach here: What Is Forensic Nutrition?

      April 21st, 2013 4:05 pm
  • Jacqui Rao via Facebook

    What does this guy think of the gaps diet for older people?

    April 21st, 2013 1:46 pm
  • Jessica Hendel-Calland via Facebook

    I’m not a big fan of his posts, (but then I’m an advocate for healthy bodies at any size). I think all of the guidelines and rules for losing weight is really distressing to a lot of people. I think following the Weston A. Price type of diet and getting regular exercise and sleep will give people the bodies they were meant to have (which is probably NOT skinny!). Just eat healthy ya’ll. I don’t think we need rules, we need whole foods.

    April 21st, 2013 1:28 pm
    • Anthony

      While I agree with your post, many people may be walking into a WAP world AFTER living on a processed foods diet, or other unhealthy lifestyle. Somebody who is too heavy to be healthy and doesn’t feel good could most certainly benefit from understanding rules like these. At the end of the day, these rules are just in support with how a person’s body functions, the nature of foods, and social/behavioral health.

      April 22nd, 2013 10:17 am
      • Konstantin Monastyrsky


        You are correct. What I described is a framework for weight loss diet, not a diet itself. It applies with equal effectiveness to WAP diet, GAPS, Atkins, Paleo, South Beach, etc. or any other low carbs diet. It isn’t my goal to dictate what diet people prefer. That said, closer to the end I will describe my own version of what I believe a weight loss diet (not “health” diet) should be, though it may not appeal to many people because it may not mesh well into their lifestyle.

        April 23rd, 2013 12:24 am
  • Marie

    I loved this post! And the last one as well. I can’t wait for you to dig in all those rules one by one. I’m the type of person who does not like diet books with a diet plan and recipes to follow. I think it’s too demanding and I easily give up when I have a new recipe to learn everyday. I prefer learning and understanding principles that I can apply to my life and eating choices. I still wonder how your advice and principles tie in with the WAP way of eating. We’ve been eating WAP for the past year and half and we are still struggling with our health (for me it’s weight gain and for my son it’s failure to thrive, 17 and a little too skinny)

    April 21st, 2013 1:20 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      Thank you very much! You are right on the money — my approach is to teach principles, so people can apply them to their on lifestyle, circumstances, personal preferences, biases, ethnic and religious believes, and so on. Yes, it may not appeal to all, but I am not really trying to save the world, but to help people like you who (a) are willing to think for themselves; (b) take full responsibility for their own actions (or lack of ones); and (c) don’t expect miracles.

      In regard to the WAP way of eating: my work meshes with the WAP’s guidlines beautifully for as long as people understand that “weight loss” diet for overweight people and “traditional diet” for normal weight people isn’t the same, and that “traditional diet.”

      If you go over my rules one-by-one, and will start to analyze them in the context of the WAP’s lifestyle, you’ll soon see that the principles are identical, except that weight loss requires a sustained reduction in calories. But that’s just as axiomatic as day and night.

      April 21st, 2013 3:38 pm
      • Marie

        Thanks for your reply. Looking forward to learn more.

        April 21st, 2013 5:29 pm
  • Sarah

    I am confused with the whole fat statement. First, I would swear Sarah always is saying to eat animal fat to loose fat. Secondly, to reinforce that point I have always used the Atkins diet to drop my weight. It always worked and I ate nothing but animal fat. It seems a bit weird that eating fat makes you fat…?

    April 21st, 2013 12:49 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      Here is what my post says:

      “It’s actually quite difficult for many people to lose weight by eating unlimited fats as the late Dr. Atkins once suggested.”

      The accent here isn’t on “eating fats,” but on “eating unlimited fats.” That is what most people took away from the Atkins Diet — that you can lose weight while eating unlimited fats. It isn’t just my opinion, but the editorial and scientific team behind “The New Atkins Diet,” has made similar revisions, and no longer recommends consuming unlimited fats. Even more offensive was the fact that Dr. Atkins didn’t make any distinction between unhealthy vegetable fats and healthy animal fats the way it is so eloquently made in Sarah’s new book:

      To summarize, eating fat doesn’t make you fat, but eating too much fat may. But, again, arguing this point seriously is like arguing that you can squeeze 2 gallons of water into 1 gallon rubber container because “rubber can expand.”

      April 21st, 2013 3:47 pm
  • Tim

    Are you familiar with the term “Resistant Starch”? It has been studied since he early 80’s and has been shown to increase glucose control and lipid metabolism by feeding crucial colonic microflora.

    I see dieters adding approx 40g per day of raw potato starch to drinks and cold food and seeing immediate improvement in gut function, blood sugar, and hunger control, all leading to weight loss.

    Any words of advice on this?

    April 21st, 2013 12:03 pm
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      The “resistant” in resistant starch means that this particular carbohydrates can’t be broken by enzymes in the small intestine, and gets down into the colon undigested, where it will act as a “prebiotic,” meaning it will provide the flora in the gut with “digestible” nutrients. The truth is, our innate flora is primarily anaerobic, and obtains all of its nutrients from the mucosal membrane. It doesn’t “live” of outside of mucosal layer, and doesn’t need “resistant” starch to function. To learn more about this subject, read my book about fiber.

      Furthermore, “glucose control” is governed by the pancreas, while “lipid metabolism” is governed by the liver. While the gut flora is of paramount importance, it doesn’t have any direct control of either mechanisms, only indirect, through its role in immunity and the synthesis of vitamins essential for energy and structural metabolism.

      April 21st, 2013 12:24 pm
  • Lisa Griffiths via Facebook

    Looks like a whole lotta words followed by, oh wait, BUY THIS PRODUCT OR DIE OF CONSTIPATION! Lots of scientific BS and not much else.

    April 21st, 2013 11:40 am
  • Freda Mooncotch via Facebook

    I couldn’t disagree with this man more. I’d be very careful in following his advice. Sadly, more misinformation.

    April 21st, 2013 11:19 am
    • Anthony

      I’d be interested with why couldn’t disagree more. Please explain.

      April 22nd, 2013 10:04 am
  • Kimberly Garcia via Facebook

    I absolutely love these two: Rule #9: A no-fail diet must prevent undernutrition of critical nutrients, such as essential amino and fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and microelements. A deficiency of these nutrients slows down energy and structural metabolism, and reduces or halts weight loss. In addition, chronic undernutrition stimulates intense cravings for foods that may contain missing nutrients, and this leads to overeating.

    Ironically, a badly conceived and incorrectly executed weight loss diet may also ruin your appearance and accentuate your age by causing muscle wasting, skin sagging and pigmentation, hair loss, periodontal disease and ensuing tooth loss, height reduction, decreasing eyesight, and other telltale signs of weight loss-related undernutrition – the complete opposite of what you want to accomplish (i.e. to improve your appearance) by losing weight in the first place. And it goes without saying, that diet-related undernutrition is behind most of the nastiest health complications related to weight loss, particularly the “yo-yo” effect.

    Rule #10: A no-fail diet must assure good sleep, because the more you sleep, the more weight you are going to lose. There are three reasons behind this paradox: First, the longer you sleep, the less you eat; second, the rate of energy metabolism during sleep is quite high, so it contributes to the loss of fat; third, cellular renewal takes place mostly while you are asleep, so the longer you sleep, the more resources, including body fat, are used for structural metabolism.

    April 21st, 2013 10:57 am
  • Κωστούλα Χριστίνα Δανιηλίδη via Facebook

    What’s a forensic weight loss expert?!?!

    April 21st, 2013 10:50 am
  • Kimberly Garcia via Facebook

    Yes Diane Smerling- too much fiber can actually be a bad thing. Foods that are higher in fiber are difficult to digest and can make you feel bloated. This can also impact you mentally to make poor choices. There is a lot of conflicting info on the fluid piece, but to reduce confusion and keep it simple- if you are eating whole foods and not fiber one bars and drinking water and not soda- chances are you are way ahead of the game and on your way to a healthier, fit body. Just make sure you are not being too restrictive or cutting out any whole food group.

    April 21st, 2013 10:45 am
    • Konstantin Monastyrsky


      Thank you for your comments. I’ll address both subjects (fluids and fiber in relationship to weight loss) in future posts.

      April 21st, 2013 3:49 pm
  • Tiffany

    Loving this series! Thank you so much for it!

    April 21st, 2013 10:45 am
  • Sandy Brillowski-Prahl via Facebook

    He has me so confused I have to stop reading. First of all he says to stop hunger pains you have to stop gastritis. He doesn’t tell how! He says not to drink fluids. I thought we were suppose to drink a lot of water with lemon. I am so confused.

    April 21st, 2013 10:39 am
    • Rick Nielson

      Keep studying it and will stop being confusing.

      April 21st, 2013 1:12 pm
      • Rick Nielson

        Excuse me. Keep studying it and IT will stop being confusing.

        April 21st, 2013 1:14 pm
    • Diana

      Hang in there, it sounds like there’s further clarification coming over the next 12 weeks as he does a full post on each rule :)

      April 22nd, 2013 3:55 am
  • Heather Glasgow Young via Facebook

    I’ve loved all of his posts so far! Thank you! :)

    April 21st, 2013 10:29 am
  • Diane Leigh Smerling via Facebook

    Kimberly Garcia, what’s your take on this: “Rule #7: To speed up satiety and prevent overeating you must consume low-density foods – a medical term for a reduced fiber diet. You must also avoid excess fluids, particularly after meals, because fiber and excess fluids distend the stomach, making it more difficult to fill it to the point of satiety the next time around.”

    April 21st, 2013 10:26 am
  • Lynn Austin via Facebook


    April 21st, 2013 10:12 am
  • Maria Kurylo via Facebook

    I agree with a lot of these points, however, at the root of most overconsumption is a need to be fu’filled’ – emotions and what drives us to eat need to be addressed before any other ‘rules’ – not many people can live within ‘rules’ for long before they bust of the the box and binge. Check out Sarah Jenks at for an approach that addresses the root of overconsumption.

    April 21st, 2013 10:12 am

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