Lou Schuler

Author, Journalist, Presenter

Posted 10/12/2011

Nutrition and weight loss

Over the past few years I’ve written much more about nutrition, mostly in the context of weight loss, than any other topic.

The Life-Extending Power of Protein” (Men’s Health, June 2015) uses the story of John Nagy, a 97-year-old fitness enthusiast, to look at how nutrition and exercise affect longevity.

Should You Go Paleo?” (Men’s Health, October 2012), which was nominated for a 2013 James Beard Award, is one of the most interesting assignments I’ve tackled. Instead of getting in the middle of a food fight, I spent time with archaeologists and artifact collectors to talk about what people in the paleolithic would’ve made of their own diet.

I revisited that idea two more times with archaeologist John Williams: “The REAL Paleo Diet” (menshealth.com, November 1, 2013) and in this blog post a few days later.

The Truth About Diet Books” (menshealth.com, December 31, 2014) was originally published in the October-November 2014 issue of Alan Aragon’s Research Review. A better title might be “The Origin of the Specious,” in that it begins with quotes from a 1998 New Yorker article by Malcolm Gladwell that broke the code of fad diets, showing how “they all seem to be making things up in precisely the same way.”

Five Reasons Any Diet Can Work” (menshealth.com, December 17, 2014) explains that all diets do essentially the same things. Even the ones that tell you “calories don’t matter” give you a mechanism for eating less food.

Smash Fat Faster” (Men’s Health, November 2013) pushes back against the idea that “abs are made in the kitchen.” The article shows why exercise may actually be underrated in the quest for a leaner, healthier physique.

Flatten Your Belly with a Side of Fries” (Men’s Health, April 2013) started off as an assignment about cheat days — following a strict diet six days a week, and then unleashing nutritional hell on the seventh. But it’s really about being compliant with 90 percent of your daily calories. The remaining 10 percent can include anything you like, especially if it’s something you’ll start to crave if you avoid it altogether.

Reprogram Your Metabolism” (Men’s Health, March 2012) looks at metabolic flexibility and other reasons why it’s difficult to lose weight in our current food-rich environment.

The New Science of Weight Loss” (Men’s Health, January-February 2004) was among my first attempts to explain why almost everything we think we know about weight control is probably wrong.

The All-Star Diet” (Men’s Health, October 2010) is a much more straightforward look at sports nutrition, focusing on the things we know that are pretty clearly correct.

13 Ways to Maintain Your Weight Loss” (Men’s Health, May 2011) is one of my all-time-favorite short magazine articles. It focuses on the issue of weight-loss maintenance, which involves a different approach from whatever you did to lose the weight originally.

These blog posts were popular with readers and got some interesting responses:

What You Can Learn by Eating with Fitness Pros

Ancestral Nutrition: Which Ancestors Matter?

Obesity: The Final Answer?

Running for Weight Loss: Does It Ever Work?

Weight Loss in the Age of Magic

Nutrition: What Do We Know, and How Do We Know It?

Weight Loss, Part 1: Flab Management Made Easy

Weight Loss, Part 2: When the Weight Is There for a Reason

Weight Loss, Part 3: You Can’t Always Be Closing