Interview about Weight Loss from An Expert: Mark Kaiser

I did my first internet interview with my friend Maureen’s brother, Mark Kaiser. He recently graduated from a masters program in Sports Administration and is a national level amateur bodybuilder. I wanted to interview him about his nutritional philosophy because he is very adept at gaining and losing weight for competition. How does he do it? What advice would he have for my readers?

Mark’s Eating Habits
"As far as personal diet and ability to gain and lose weight it is not as easy as it sounds. I have a very slow metabolism naturally and I have learned some foods burn quicker than others. I eat 7 meals a day and I aim get around 7,000 calories of ‘clean’ food in a day. My caloric break down currently is around 500-550 grams of protein a day with around 400 grams of carbs a day."

I sent him the "11 Critical Conclusions of Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubs to get his comments on them. He has not read the book, but felt comfortable commenting. I post his edited responses after each conclusion from the book below.

1. Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, does not cause heart disease.

I agree here fat is not the sole cause of heart disease but it does play a role. Studies have shown that if you consume a ton of good fats you will actually be healthier and have stronger joints. However the key word in that sentence is GOOD fats, not crap. Examples of good fats are those high in Omega 3 fatty acids, one can find these in salmon, almonds, natural peanut butter in extra virgin olive oil.

2. Carbohydrates do, because of their effect on the hormone insulin. The more easily-digestible and refined the carbohydrates and the more fructose they contain, the greater the effect on our health, weight, and well-being.

I don't agree with this at all. When consuming carbs one needs to focus on quality, long digesting carbs to fill their carb needs throughout the day. Examples would be oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. Simple carbs will spike your insulin levels and if you spike them too high one will create fat in their bodies because their body can't float out the spike in insulin as quick as they need to avoid fat gain.

(Note from Nicole: This seems a little contradictory. I am not sure he really does not believe this.)

3. Sugars—sucrose (table sugar) and high fructose corn syrup specifically—are particularly harmful. The glucose in these sugars raises insulin levels; the fructose they contain overloads the liver.

I agree on this point here. High fructose corn syrup will be the death of anyone trying to start a diet if they aren't careful. Just because it is fat free/sugar free doesn't mean it won't get you fat. The FDA approves labels as marketing tools without really looking all the junk that is in a lot of these diet items. High fructose corn syrup is a unrefined sugar that wil raise your insulin levels to record levels and add fat to your frame as mentioned in the previous note (2). Pretty crazy how that much junk can be in a "diet" food huh?

4. Refined carbohydrates, starches, and sugars are also the most likely dietary causes of cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and the other common chronic diseases of modern times.

I haven't researched the effect of particular foods that lead to Alzehimers disease. Personally, I am always a little bit sketchy on any food that “leads” to any terminal disease such as this-but then again I haven't read any health reports to clear my understanding on this topic.

5. Obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not overeating and not sedentary behavior.

There are a ton of things that lead to obesity. I feel that excess fat (I am not sure if he means excess fat on your frame leads to obesity or excess fat in your food?) and lack of mobility are the keys that lead to this. I feel that it is a mixture of your diet and what you do or decide to not do that leads to a huge weight gain.

6. Consuming excess calories does not cause us to grow fatter any more than it causes a child to grow taller.

I agree that excess calories don’t necessarily lead to people getting fatter. However, as I am sure you have learned so far in this interview I believe it is not only about what you eat or how you workout but it is a combination of the two in order to lose or gain weight. An average American guy consumes 2,500 calories a day. I haven't consumed LESS than 6,500 in a day in the past year with exception to dieting for my show-when I am trying to get my joints to heal faster I will bump it up to 8,000. All this food and I still have visible abs so yes I agree here.

(Note from Nicole: THIS IS CRAZY. Can you imagine eating 6500 calories? WOW.)

7. Exercise does not make us lose excess fat; it makes us hungry.
Exercise itself doesn't do a whole hell of a lot-it starts the process of gaining/losing weight.

How one gains or loses weight depends on what they do after they workout: their nutritional intake. Same idea for losing weight-when doing cardio it helps speed up your metabolism and makes you more hungry-this a good thing so eat!
(Note from Nicole: I think this is Gary’s exact point: exercise makes you eat.)

8. We get fat because of an imbalance—a disequilibrium—in the hormonal regulation of fat tissue and fat metabolism. More fat is stored in the fat tissue than is mobilized and used for fuel. We become leaner when the hormonal regulation of the fat tissue reverses this imbalance.

I can't comment on hormonal regulation when it comes to fat imbalances, as this is not a topic that I have medical proof to stand behind.

9. Insulin is the primary regulator of fat storage. When insulin levels are elevated, we stockpile calories as fat. When insulin levels fall, we release fat from our fat tissue and burn it for fuel.

I agree here. As I noted, spiking insulin levels will lead to excess fat gain-thus one needs to focus on complex carbs that are slow digesting or they run the risk of spiking their insulin too high.

10. By stimulating insulin secretion, carbohydrates make us fat and ultimately cause obesity. By driving fat accumulation, carbohydrates also increase hunger and decrease the amount of energy we expend in metabolism and physical activity.

The first statement here is a repeat of number 9 and 2. The second part I agree with to a degree, simple carbs (fruit, chips, general crap) won't fill one up that's why they can eat an entire bag of chips "without realizing it".

11. The fewer carbohydrates we eat, the leaner we will be.

Agreed. If one is not educated on this point they make think “well if it is the fewer I eat the leaner I will be, then I will just not eat a single carb.” There are successful very low carb diets that some bodybuilders follow. One is the ketomorphic diet that I have heard works wonders with particular body types. Atkins is crap as it is not realistic to follow in my opinion. If one is concerned with their carb intake, many times these people are eating out or eating dessert too often.

* To get leaner, focus on diet. Remember look at the entire label and look for the diet killers, high fructose corn syrup being the main one.

* Focus on GOOD carbs, those that are slow digesting in nature that will make you feel full for longer.

* When doing cardio focus on interval training on the treadmill or whatever piece you are using-it will be a much tougher workout but it will burn at least twice the amount of calories you will burn if you go at a steady pace.

* Keep cardo sessions under 45 mins.

* Eat often-ideally every 3 hours without missing a feeding. You don’t need a sit down meal but something that will “keep the furnace burning.” Think a small protein shake or some quality bread with peanut butter. The goal is to keep the metabolism in anabolic (burning) not catabolic (starving) mode.

* Question trainers. If your trainer is stringing you along to keep the cash flow coming in consider hiring another trainer or, if necessary, hire me! I have done a ton of personal training online for people
in the past!

* Stay positive! Remember that there is not magic pill to a six pack stomach, it will take lots of hard work and determination to make it there but if your goal is set then stick to it no matter what the naysayers say-because they don't have the guts to do it themselves!

Thanks so much Mark. I really appreciate your taking time to do the interview. If anyone wants to get in contact with Mark, he can be reached at: kaisermarkd (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Interview was edited for content, clarity, and length.)


Doreen Hall said...

It actually becomes kind of easy once you have the right knowledge. So I think the body's different hormonal response to different foods is the key.

Maureen Richmond said...

It's so nice to know a celebrity!!!

It seems to me that the overall message is to eat real foods and move your body. Avoiding processed foods, high fructose corn suryp when possible, and other foods that are just empty calories will benefit you in the long run.

From working with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, I have seen firsthand how food and lifestyle choices affect one's overall health. Type 1 diabetes can strike anyone without warning, but type 2 diabetes can be preventable. It's important to take steps to manage weight and increase activity to avoid an increased propensity to disease.