Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Successful Junk Food Diet Shakes Up The 2% Club

My friend, Jon Pearlstone, from I.U. put this plan together over the last year and has had success with it so I asked him to write about it for us.

Jon is a self taught fitness expert who, among other things, took up the Javelin at age 41 and made the State Finals of the California Community college Track meet as a by age 43. Now 46, he has used his experience, his sons' UCLA track and football experience and a lot of research to devise this plan. The version of EET he writes about here is for people who want to get lean and stay lean.

Personally, I'm getting involved with Jon's other version of EET. It's a Body Building Program to bulk up, get more muscular and fit I am hoping it helps with the upcoming triathlon season. I will keep you updated and let you know how it goes. In any case, his plan is different and interesting and worth reading about.

Successful Junk Food Diet Shakes Up The 2% Club
by Jon Pearlstone

It’s nearly impossible to get in, and has nearly 50 million applicants every year. Only the 2% of dieters who maintain their goal weight for over a year are admitted: It’s the exclusive “2% Club”.
For 20 years I stood outside the Club’s velvet rope with the masses only to get shot down again and again. Meanwhile, the spare tire around my waist kept growing.

But, my years of struggling ended this year thanks to my new approach to dieting. I lost 20 pounds and kept it off while eating junk food everyday. You read that correctly, EVERY DAY. Here’s my before and after pics and my story: May 2008 200 Pounds

September 2009 176 Pounds


Through the years, I paid $1000’s to the 2% Club’s membership agents, including Weight Watchers, Atkins, Protein Power, and endless health club fees. Each effort had the same sad story line. Lots of hype and some success for a short time, followed by the “rebound” right back to where I started. Then, the painful torture of tacking on even more weight.

Then, last year at age 45, tipping the scale at 200 pounds for the first time, I was sneaking into the fridge to enjoy my 3rd Dairy Queen Dilly Bar of the day, and it hit me.


At that moment, I knew the challenge I had to accept. To join the 2% Club by finding a diet plan that let me eat junk food and still lose weight.


I have zero willpower when it comes to eating, but I was prepared to increase my exercise if it meant I could eat my beloved Dilly Bars, BK Whoppers, and other fun foods. Just need to exercise more to pay for my weakness, right?

Uh, no. Multiple reputable sources made clear that nutrition is the key to weight loss, PERIOD. The evidence suggests that exercise is about 25% of the formula for losing weight, and too much exercise can even cause weight GAIN due to muscle fatigue, stress, and other reasons.

Great. Now I had to lose weight while eating whatever I want and exercising LESS. Cue the laughter from the folks at the 2% Club’s juice bar.


Amazingly, the very next day, fate intervened. My teenage sons walked into the house with a bag full of McDonald’s Cheeseburgers. AND DINNER WAS ONLY AN HOUR AWAY!

I remembered eating like that back in the day, and I never gained weight. It’s that insanely high teenage METABOLISM. Bingo! All I needed to do was to reset my metabolism to act like a 17 year old and that 2% Club membership was mine. Good Luck with that.


I saw no way to reverse the aging process and have a teenager’s metabolism. But, while studying other ways to reset and accelerate metabolism, I found a question that completely changed how I approach fitness. (I am paraphrasing):

Would you gain more weight if you ate 10,000 calories of chocolate for breakfast or right before bedtime?

Most agree that eating 10,000 calories of chocolate for breakfast will result in less weight gain than eating it right before bed as you have more “active” time in the day to metabolize it. The same concept made sense to me for exercise as well. Could eating and exercise timing be just as effective at less extreme examples? I was sure it could and was determined to prove it.


There’s months of research and lots of details behind my EET Fitness Plan, but, here are some key points and an outline of how EET works:

After exercise, when you have completed breaking down your muscles your body goes into “recovery mode” and ramps up it’s efforts to recover and rebuild. This creates a “metabolic window” if performed and timed correctly.

In addition, Dr. John Ivy of the University of Texas is his groundbreaking book Nutrient Timing, The Future of Sports Nutrition (2004) found that when a metabolic window is created, muscle recovery was most successful when HIGH GLYCEMIC CARBOHYDRATES were eaten along with protein (p.61).

To Dr. Ivy, high carbs meant something like a supplemented protein shake. To me it meant DILLY BARS and the wonderful world of junk food. (Let me be clear, my EET plan is very different from many of the suggestions in Dr. Ivy’s book and Dr. Ivy should not be considered affiliated with the EET plan in any way.)

I utilized the above information with other well supported findings, such as burning 3 times more fat in the morning that at any other time during the day, and how to best time eating a variety of foods day and night when the metabolic windows are closed. I also found studies with highly effective workouts which could be completed in under 30 minutes while maximizing fat burning throughout the day. By combining of all this and more, the EET Fitness Plan was born.


As I write this, it’s now been 17 months since I have followed my EET plan, and I am now a card carrying member of the 2% club.


But, it’s not just about junk food. EET let’s me live a normal life that includes junk food. I also go out to lunch and dinner a few times a week, more during holidays and vacations. The difference is I have lost weight doing these things!
And for you naysayers from the 2% club that say a fitness plan that includes junk food has to be bad? I say you can’t help what you love. I’m sure I’m not alone loving foods that are considered bad for weight loss when I drive down street after street filled with fast food, bakeries, ice cream parlors, fancy restaurants and a lot more. All of these would kill any conventional diet. For me (and other 98%ers) it’s crazy to have a plan that doesn’t accept this reality.

And who knows if junk food is all that unhealthy? Some studies show junk food reduces stress. Maybe it’s keeping me healthier? Bottom line: I haven’t missed one workout in 17 months due to illness or injury, so you be the judge.

Last but definitely not least, let’s talk money. Here’s the cost to follow EET:

* SUPPLEMENTS $0 I take no supplements of any kind
(vitamins, fat burners, etc.) these can be riskier than junk food IMHO
* FOOD COSTS LOWER No prepackaged plan foods here. I
buy what’s on sale and make it work.

So much for the 2% Club’s mantra that you can’t lose weight without “investing in yourself”. I have now proven that you can actually lose weight and keep it off without spending a ton of money and I’ve cut my exercise time in half!


I’m happy to finally be in the 2% Club, but there’s no lifetime guarantee. I will say my results to date certainly are encouraging for a longer term stay.
And, to help others and keep me motivated, I’m teaching the EET Plan to people who have yet to find a way into the 2% club. If I have my way, people will no longer have to apologize or feel guilty for loving to eat..

Jon Pearlstone is currently continuing to test and improve his EET Fitness Plan. He is offering trials of his EET Fitness Plan at no cost. For more information on EET and any questions or comments, Jon can be reached at EETFIT@gmail.com

Monday, September 7, 2009

Remembering 9-11

Standing on the viewing platform of the World Trade Center site, I was not fully prepared for the deep emotions I experienced nearly six months after the devastation. In March of 2002, I spent a weekend volunteering at the medical clinic located in St.Paul's Chapel, which was spared by the September 11 blast and served as the immediate triage station after the disaster. The chapel continued to serve as a medical clinic and source of refuge for the firefighters, police officers and recovery workers. Before my shift began, I went to the excavation site. Around the perimeter,the heat-seared midsection of a skyscraper served as a painful reminder of the lives lost. Huge banners lined Broadway, honoring the firefighters and police officers for their heroic acts. Shrines set up by the victims' friends and families surrounded the chapel.
Inside the chapel, the clinic coordinator explained that the workers sought relief not only for their feet; they needed someone to talk to. The chapel also served as community where workers could pray, rest on cots, or have a warm meal served by volunteers. The spirit of the police officers there spanned all emotions. Many officers shared jokes. Others, more solemn, sat reading children's letters of encouragement. One officer was stoic until a group of children sang and then hugged each of the civil servants in the chapel. I'll never forget how he let go of some of the pain if only for a few moments as he closed his eyes and smiled in their embraces.
The people I treated appreciated the convenience of having care available at a moment's notice. Most of my patients worked grueling 12-hour shifts. Some workers improvised their own podiatric supports: one construction worker came in limping with a makeshift splint made out of tape slung from behind her heel to the base of her toes, holding them upright.

Near the end of the shift, a protocol officer asked me if a calling had brought me to the clinic. I told him I considered it a privilege to help make his fellow officers more comfortable. While reflecting on the conversation on the drive back to D.C. I thought about my friend Jimmy from college who made it out of one of the towers on the march down the stairs and a doctor from Arlington I knew with a young family on a west bound plane who did not. I thought about my cousins who I stayed with across the river in Brooklyn who were living with the traces of the aftermath in the faces of their friends and neighbors. It occurred to me that the "calling" he was talking about is the reason most of us in healthcare embark on a career in medicine. Sometimes it takes an experience like this to remind us why we started the journey in the first place.