Forum Replies Created
March 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm in reply to: anyone here take salt tablets? #15942
no, i’ve never tried salt tablets beyond hydration (electrolyte replenishment) while doing hard manual labour in very hot conditions.
but how are you not getting enough salt from your regular foods? how much salt are you trying to take in? i was once on a sodium-restricted diet, and it was incredibly difficult; i could basically not eat anything processed at all, or eat out at restaurants, because everything had way too much salt in it.March 17, 2014 at 4:37 pm in reply to: Testimonial #15941
@codys182 i agree that it’s contextual and varies from person to person. thanks for the long post! don’t apologize; more data is good. i’m glad you’re getting a handle on it for yourself!
i disagree maybe on one point:
according to my reading the majority of people classified as obese in america are failed dieters who were not initially anywhere as fat as they end up being after several cycles of fad diets. 95% of diets fail (after people initially lose weight, they soon stall and then promptly start putting it back on and then some; rinse, lather, repeat). so its not quite as simple as “overeating is real”, and i think we need to get off the train that shames people for eating — it just leads to more disordered eating.
still, i agree that somebody on the “extra fat gained” point of their diet cycle needs a somewhat different approach to refeeding than somebody who’s been, for example, anorectic. which is why i’m not eating pizza until it comes out my ears. ;) i am not restricting that, however — if i really, really want it, i can definitely have it. having ornery psychology means that therefore it’s actually been 6 months since i last had pizza, and i even stopped at 2 slices. we all need to learn to listen more closely to our bodies.March 17, 2014 at 3:48 pm in reply to: When did you see improvements? #15937
@Blossom — i have at times serious sleep disturbances, and it’s pretty clear to me that that stresses me, and that a lot of my issues are connected to it. restrictive dieting was also a stressor, and without it i am doing much better (no quickie weight loss either, but eh, i’m just not built for speed). not stressing about weight matters as well. i know this is always easier said than done, and i used to be too impatient, but there’s been no other way; no pill, no diet, no fad anything that has helped in the long term..
improving sleep is where i’d be looking to focus in your place — difficult to do with a new baby, yeah, but definitely try that. also, 2 months is not very long. fixing your metabolism is not a short-term proposition. we’re not just talking weeks here; this is a program for the patient. i’ve been slowly improving all-around for the last 3 years. no quick fix, alas.March 17, 2014 at 3:18 pm in reply to: Has Matt himself gotten results? #15934
@Linda, thank you. that’s too bad; i have lots of questions about things where what he writes isn’t clear to me.
@Leighton, i thought you were very clear; thanks for sharing that. i can totally see how those first few weeks were a memorable experience in the positive sense, regardless of where you took it later. sometimes we just need to opt out of it all for a while, and it’s not always easy to find the right path for getting back into it.March 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm in reply to: The problem of avoidance… #15925
it’s an “old school” message (i grew up with it), but you didn’t sound like you were bragging; it just seems to be your experience. if that works for you, more power to you — and it does sound like it is working well, congrats! you work hard and you’ve improved your life, and i think that’s awesome. some people get buoyed by triumphing over clear adversity, and pain makes adversity very clear — that sort of works for me in the intellectual realm, where i like hard challenges, so i understand.
but it’s never worked for me physically where painful challenges demoralise me, and it kept me from exercising when i really should have (which i never knew to be anything but painful). “no pain no gain” is a message that scares off a lot of people and can lead to dysfunctional relationships with exercise, and i want to tell those people that it isn’t actually true. not all gain requires pain and not all pain leads to gain.
i could have tried to force my shoulders with the barbell, and squat with horrible form. there was no shortage of people who tried to be encouraging by saying stuff like “if it hurts you know you’re really working it” and “no excuses!”. but i know that when i feel pain, it is a signal that i have pushed too far, and that i need to do something smarter than push through it. so when i did my shoulder rehab i was most definitely not going for pain. it wasn’t easy, my shoulders were aching, and i could feel that i had worked them, but it also was never actively painful. my weightlifting in general has not been painful. and i love it, in part for being pain-free. and it’s working; the best thing about lifting is that progress is so easily measurable.
which probably explains why i’m still doing it months later instead of looking for something else, or falling off the wagon entirely. i’ve even started running (today i ran for 8 out of 30 minutes, a personal best for at least 2 decades), primarily to assess whether my lifting improves cardiovascular fitness (yup!). and for the first time since i can remember i didn’t hate it. my leg muscles have gotten strong enough so my ankles and knees no longer hurt (more proof that so much weight loss talk directed at me was so much bullshit). that made running FUN. i was huffing and puffing like a steam locomotive, but i was not in pain. that was totally amazing. and of course i want to do more of it.
so if “no pain no gain” scares anyone, don’t listen to it. go for painless, slow, steady progress instead. it’ll also get you there; tortoise-style instead of hare. ;)March 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm in reply to: The problem of avoidance… #15917
i’m not much for the “enduring” anymore; that’s what most of my life has been, and while it’s probably built character, i’ve had enough of it.
and interestingly enough, slow and steady also leads to gains. it’s the progressive challenge that does it, and the progress does not have to be huge. i’ve got a lot of mobility issues due to illness, giving up on exercise, and becoming more and more sedentary, and i watched some very interesting lectures by dr kelly starrett on how we should rebuild our bodies. he’s a physio therapist who works with a lot of pro athletes. when i started out i could not do a barbell backsquat because i could not get my arms back far enough without excruciating pain. i started working my shoulders with a series of light to heavy resistance rubberbands, then a PVC pipe, then a broomstick, and gradually my shoulders became mobile enough to no longer scream in pain. i hadn’t even noticed how my mobility had decreased over the years; if you had asked me, i would have said my shoulders are perfectly fine. you really do lose it if you don’t use it.
quite often pro athletes are not actually all that healthy because they push themselves constantly. it’s interesting to see how the body adapts not only in old men who don’t move for fear of back pain, but also in young athletes who push themselves with bad form — they can end up with serious damage in parts of the body that didn’t evolve to do the things they unconsciously force it to do.
i am definitely a convert of the “get back on the horse” school. it turns out that DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) which one can easily get from strenuous or unused-to exercise actually improves if instead of resting you give the same muscles a very slight workout the next day (just walking will do it). i was surprised to learn that this isn’t all in my mind, but there is an actual physiological effect happening in the muscles themselves.March 16, 2014 at 8:42 pm in reply to: The power of routine #15915
well, i certainly wish i had stuck with boosting my metabolism when i was young; i doubt it would have ever come back to bite me as hard as yo-yo dieting has. but i was also not sedentary then, and i definitely didn’t eat just boxed foods. i am eating more like i ate back then now, only healthier (we used to cook the life out of green vegetables, which i don’t do anymore).
i don’t count calories. but i am a geek. and after a lifetime of too damn much dieting, and wanting to shift my way of eating away from highly processed things, i needed a handle on what exactly i was eating beyond macro nutrients — whether i was getting all required minerals and vitamins from my food. so i tracked that for most of a year while i built my new recipe repertoire. it wasn’t all that annoying — i didn’t use a spreadsheet but a software program that contained the USDA food database, and which let me add my own foods and recipes, and then would spit out nice reports with graphs. i did the data entry during or right after i made the meal, so i wouldn’t forget. it became a habit pretty quickly. i can see how this might be very destructive for people with certain types of eating disorders, but for me it was freeing because i had already decided that i was never going to go on another diet, and i wasn’t going to undercut myself by counting calories either.
that was very instructive. i don’t need it anymore now, but it helped me gauge what sorts of things i needed to be eating, and in what amounts. and yeah, to be sure — lots of leafy green vegetables (slightly cooked, just to take the raw edge off) is the big ticket for me. i don’t even bother with a multi-vitamin anymore. i also eat several types of grains, and different starches.
habit-wise i am kinda between @David and “a wide variety of foods” — i definitely believe that the latter is the way to go. but i am busy, not a very inspired cook, and i don’t mind eating the same things over and over again, so i have built a number of meals that i rotate (i cook in large batches and freeze, and then only add fresh veggies at mealtime). fortunately for the “wide variety is good” idea i am always curious about new foods, especially fruits and veggies, and can add those easily — they go in a salad, or in the “curried tofu with random vegetables” meal, and if i like something i’ll find a good recipe featuring that item and it goes in the rotation.
from everything i’ve seen watching people doing serious lifting, deadlifts and squats are all you need to build useful abs. to actually look like the guys on fitness magazine covers, you have to have the right genetics, a diet that keeps your bodyfat very low, work out as your primary job, and good lighting. fitness magazines have a lot to answer for.March 16, 2014 at 7:50 pm in reply to: High Carb but struggling to get calories up. #15914
hi, @Sparrow24. glad that you’re feeling good
90% carb 10% fat makes no sense, you do need protein. ;) where in “eat for heat” does it talk about that? a quick search for 90% didn’t bring it up. can you quote a sentence?
my long dieting experience has shown me that most rapid, drastic changes in diet make me feel uncomfortable for a while — my body doesn’t like quick changes.
also, eating less than the calories you estimate you require on a single day is not a problem; sometimes you just don’t feel like eating as much. the general idea is to listen to your body when it comes to hunger signals. “not enjoying it” is a pretty good warning signal.
i’d recommend a more gradual shift.March 16, 2014 at 11:55 am in reply to: Has Matt himself gotten results? #15905
@mmmfood i am glad to hear you’re doing much better than you were 3 years ago! you must be generally on the right track then. so are you basically just struggling with the weight gain? did you have any blood work done before you started refeeding?
we don’t actually know exactly what brings about metabolic syndrome — it’s a set of conditions that seem to present higher risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolic_syndrome under “etiology”; it’s complicated. look up “fatty liver” too — it always helps to be informed about what one’s doctor diagnoses, because you are the best person to be the steward over your own health.
i am not gonna defend any part of matt’s writing — i’m new here myself, and am not actually doing anything according to matt other than measuring my temperature and checking my urine so i get a baseline on those. i came here to see how other people are doing with putting his ideas into practice, and whether they’ve had success in dealing with issues other than weight loss (that’s what i am interested in).
i agree that matt’s writing is very open to interpretation. i think that’s largely because matt is writing as he goes along researching. i view it as more of a guy sharing “hey, look, i’ve found this really interesting thing” than a prescription. i think he’s mostly trying to impress on people that eating what they like, eating more than the meagre portions of most diets, is not the boogaboo they’ve been told by thousands of messages everywhere, and that to fix their metabolism it helps to throw those messages out the door and just eat whatever they feel like for a while. i’d pretty much arrived at the same conclusion before reading matt’s work. i never did go through refeeding the way he recommends, and i am not gonna do that now either because i am past those messages already.
just like matt knows people who can shovel in tremendous amounts of calories without gaining weight, i do too. i also know people who go constantly hungry and don’t lose any weight. i know people of every weight whose diets are what is seen widely as pretty darn healthy. many of those people are healthy overall, some are not. i know people of all weights whose diets are junk. again, some of those are healthy, some are not. i think it’s therefore largely irrelevant what some random other person tells you about their weight and the calories they take in and their health, because it’s likely not going to work the same way for you.
FWIW, my blood pressure was sky high when my BMI was far from obese (after dieting; i was under constant stress then), and it’s at the upper range of “acceptable” now that i am again categorized as obese — and without meds. i’ve gone from “pre-diabetic” to the “normal” range in blood sugar as well — yup, still obese. nothing majorly wrong with my blood work either. my previous GP (who’d done a whole lot less reading on nutrition and obesity than i) just couldn’t wrap his head around it. it’s actually pretty simple: obesity does not per se cause health issues, but it is instead a symptom of a whole slew of factors that all together also create risk factors for disease. we’re starting to see more studies now that dig deeper than the obvious OMG fat. just because you can see fat does not mean it’s the cause of anything underneath it.
i think that’s where matt’s work is useful — to let go of all the inane messages about food that come from people who are not actually even experts at it, or who have a vested interest in pushing their specific message. i do wish he participated here. does he ever? did he use to?March 14, 2014 at 4:59 am in reply to: Has Matt himself gotten results? #15863
@Linda — yeah, you got it already! do the exercise that seems fun to you. if you feel like running, why not start? do it slowly, like with one of the couch-to-5k programs, which start you out walking with very short intervals of running, and slowly increase those intervals until you can actually run 5km (which seems unimaginable at the start, but the intervals sneak it up on you). and sure, bellydancing, why not? don’t worry about how well you do it, just do it cause it’s fun (and in the privacy of your own home, nobody can judge). i love watching video of people on youtube who have the courage to share acquiring a new skill; that is very instructive as to how long it actually takes to become good at something, and it shows that none of us are ever good at something we’ve just started doing. consistency and practice make you good, and fun so you stick it out through the rough patches.
and primarily: be good to yourself. replace the old scripts that tell you you’re slow and not very good with positive affirmations. that sounds like new-agey baloney at the start, but there is a lot of proven psychology behind treating yourself well, and thinking positively about your own capabilities.
@mmmfood — it sounds like you’ve made a very good first step, which was important at the time. i don’t really agree that matt promotes junk food. what matt does IMO is tell us that restricting foods is detrimental, and eating junk food for a while is meant to get you over the restrictive mindset, and to get your body used to being fed reliably all the time, so it stops feeling starvation is just around the corner. it sounds to me like you did get over that, but that maybe your metabolism needs more help getting into equilibrium — matt’s latest newsletter acknowledged that this might be a multi-year process for some people. i am not really surprised because you were dieting already while you were still a child. but maybe it’s time to change it up a bit — without falling back into the restrictive mindset. so your doctor gave you a diagnosis of “fatty liver disease”, which is associated with metabolic syndrome (and that right there could explain much of your weight gain, whether or not you actually chowed down on way too many calories and moved way too little). there are a lot of risk factors that go into that, and frankly, medicine doesn’t understand it all that well because our metabolism is a very complex system. did your doctor also tell you what they think your treatment should be? it sounds to me like you’re under massive amounts of stress (anxiety, PTSD, now worries about your weight gain). and here comes the really stupid-sounding advice: try and get that stress down. i know, i know. that is so much easier said than done. but i strongly believe that stress is quite possibly the major factor in all sorts of disorders. my own problems have let up considerably since i started managing stress better.
do you have support for what you’re dealing with? are you in treatment for the anxiety and PTSD? is it helping?
don’t let the weight gain get to you too much — you put it on, you can take it off. really. i’ve put nearly that much on and taken it off again. several times, *wry grin*. what i’m saying is that it’s not the end of the world; it’s just a symptom that something is a bit out of whack with you. i’d say continue with what you’ve been doing lately because it’s making you feel better.
incidentally that’s also what’s working for me — no diet, no restrictions, no calorie counting, no obsessing about sugar or fat or salt or gluten or carbs, but more wholesome foods in decent portions, and moving my body more — because my body is kind of amazing and it feels good, not to “work off calories”. if i feel like eating ice cream because i’ve been miserable (i eat for comfort), i eat that ice cream and do NOT rush out to “work it off” right away. but most of the time i eat pretty decent food now, and i walk, and work out with weights (to get stronger). and while weight loss is not a goal anymore (i decided i’d rather be fat and happy than yoyoing and feeling like shit), somewhat ironically i’ve now been very slowly but steadily losing it for ~3 years. maybe look into “intuitive” eating? that got me started on dealing with food in a more sensible way. matt definitely has it right when he encourages us to not obsess about eating and weight.March 2, 2014 at 10:49 pm in reply to: Has Matt himself gotten results? #15639
hey, linda — i hear ya. your story is similar to that of many people i know, who’ve gone through that cycle over and over again. i think it’s important that you learn to appreciate yourself and your body, even in its fat state. that’s difficult in a society that disdains fat, but now that i am there, i am finding it much easier than what i did before, trying to fit myself to people’s expectations. life is short, and there are so many more important things than what we look like. and if you learn to love your body no matter what, you will remove so much stress from your life; it’ll make fixing your metabolism easier, and for all you know, the weight will come off. but even if it doesn’t, you’ll have broken the cycle that makes you miserable, and you’ll be miles ahead of where you are now.
the good news is that appreciating your body regardless of its size (and other issues you might have with it) is a skill, and all skills can be learned and practiced and improved. and these days there is actually a lot of help out there through the growing size acceptance network. i really enjoy ragen chastain’s blog “dances with fat” (https://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/) which has a lot of practical advice about appreciating yourself, as well as dealing with other people trying to shame you, and the nonsense they tell you about weight loss. in regard to exercise, i hang out on the “fit fatties” forum (http://fitfatties.ning.com/) because i find it is a more positive experience to talk with like-minded people instead of battling the crappy attitude most of the fitness industry has towards us. the forum is run by a fat dancer and a fat fitness instructor, and they’re both amazing. i used to have a very acrimonious relationship with exercise, but after we broke up for good, i’ve found some very different ways to move my body — there are so many ways, i feel certain you’ll be able to find something too; just go slow at the start because your body needs to get used to it. even simply walking around the block every day, breathing the fresh air and enjoying spring (soon!) can be a good start.
i myself am likely to be arrested by the fashion police, but there are more and more options for fat people now, and they’re no longer dowdy tents. try the http://www.plussizeyellowpages.com/ which has tons of links, neatly sorted.
as to the word “fat”: tina is right, you don’t have to use it (“prosperous” is cute ;). but other people still will, because too many are mean and cruel, and that can be disheartening. i use it because i believe in reclaiming insults; it takes the sting out of them over time. i am fat like i am short, brunet (ok, salt-and-peppery), queer, middle-aged, strong, intelligent, impatient, handy… it’s just a descriptive term; it does not define me, and i won’t let it insult me anymore.
you’re not alone — your husband loves you, and many other people understand where you’re coming from. finding them and becoming part of a support network will make any change easier.March 1, 2014 at 11:45 pm in reply to: Has Matt himself gotten results? #15595
hi david and tina, and yes, that’s exactly it, and why i joined here — a recognition that one size does not fit all, and that if guru X’s prescriptions don’t work for us, guru X isn’t necessarily wrong, but we’re also not automatically to blame.
while it is smart to learn from other people’s experience, it is no shortcut when we’re talking about complex systems like metabolism. i just read matt’s latest newsletter, and i guess that answers your original question, christinam — no, EFH hasn’t worked for him in regards to weight loss (yet). he included testimonials from other people for whom it has worked. for some it happens soon, for others it takes years. it must suck to have come upon information one thinks is vital, and then find it doesn’t seem to work for oneself; how long should one carry on? there’s got to be something else in it that matters. my own decision was to make weight loss irrelevant and eat what i enjoy and consider nutritious, without fretting over every detail, because that makes me feel overall healthier and more positive about life. david’s is to work out more and control his calories to some degree. yours needs to be what really matters to you. i privilege health in this case, but i don’t think anyone owes it to society or even to themselves to do the same. i also jump out of perfectly good airplanes, which clearly does not privilege health. ;)
i look at david, and i think back to when i did loads and loads of cardio during the aerobics craze, which everyone assured me would melt the fat right off. it didn’t, and it didn’t even give me an endorphin high — surely i was doing it wrong, so i did it harder, but to no avail. i felt physically miserable and emotionally like a failure. for david, cardio apparently works great. what can you do? the sane thing is to move on from beating your head against the wall and expecting your body to work like anyone else’s.
as to your specific issues, christinam, yes, stress has a huge influence in my experience, and some of my health issues have improved as i have removed sources of stress from my life. you sound high-strung, which means that relaxing isn’t at all easy for you. i find it incredibly hard myself, and just lying down has never yet done anything good for me; my brain keeps whirling around like a dervish hamster. what does work is to pick an activity that distracts my brain sufficiently so it doesn’t dwell on the stress, but which is not taxing enough to use a lot of energy. familiar activities with repetitive motion work well — gardening, yardwork, crafting, sanding and painting, knitting, walking with a focus in mind (i take photographs), lifting weights… maybe something like this? movement also increases blood flow, which should get the temperature up.
i WILL buy a thermometer and refractometer, because i am geeky that way; i like to graph trends and compare how i feel with actual data. but i think it is more important to feel good than to accumulate data that says one should feel good. ;) “should” is a bit of a dirty word for me now.March 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm in reply to: Has Matt himself gotten results? #15528
please don’t put words into my mouth (i do really well putting them there myself ;). no, i didn’t go on all those diets because i actually WANTED it, i did it because i had a distorted view of what i should want. and no, i don’t hope in the back of my mind that any weight i put on these days will come off. i am pretty much done with doing things because i should want them. and i am old now, and no longer care to live up to other people’s expectations.
i don’t blame you for wanting what you want, but … the anti-fat talk makes it feel like you might be in the wrong place. you seem to want guarantees, and nobody here can give them (nobody anywhere can, but in many other places they pretend). did you read the testimonials? there are some by people who lost weight, so apparently for them it worked that way. but from going through the forums, for others it doesn’t seem to work that way, at least not for quite some time, and maybe they gave up. or maybe they didn’t and they just dropped out of sight. even if it worked for many who tried, it might not work for you. even if it didn’t work for many it might still work for you. fortunately nobody is asking you to pay $99.95 in 4 easy installments. ;)
i just read EFH yesterday. i came here because i’ve figured out certain things about my metabolism on my own, and stumbled across matt’s work while doing further research. i’m interested in dealing with my health issues, which have somewhat improved, but i’m looking to do more. i am not interested in weight loss (i came to this thread because it was one of the few active ones). i do have experience with “intuitive/mindful eating”; basically eating what i feel hungry for when i am hungry, without restrictions, by learning to listen to my body. after originally gaining size for a few months, i’ve since been losing size for the last 3 years (i gather this from how my clothes fit, since i threw my scale out) — but slowly; probably ~60 lb. i have no idea whether that’ll continue, and i’ll be fine if it doesn’t; i made my peace with my size when i decided to never go on another diet.
but that doesn’t necessarily speak for EFH because i didn’t do it on the basis of temperature and observing my urine, though my intuition turns out pretty well informed about “warm” vs “cool”, and i figured out that the 8 glasses of water was ridiculously much for me, that seriously lower sodium intake did not lower my BP, that eating fat didn’t make me fat, etc. on the other hand, i diverge pretty strongly on the sugar front, and i don’t know what matt’s aversion to potassium is all about.March 1, 2014 at 10:16 am in reply to: Has Matt himself gotten results? #15522
here’s an even harder lesson to learn: “beautiful” and “slim” are not the same thing, and “healthy” and “slim” are not the same thing. my true “ideal weight” is not the number i got from some government-sponsored BMI table. i ruined my perfectly functional metabolism by buying into all that diet and appearance crap. i was maybe 15 lb over my “ideal weight” then. and with every diet i put a few more pounds on after it failed (and they all failed). guess what? i’d be ecstatic if the never-ending stress of the public fat-shaming would stop. i’d be a whole lot healthier already. and the latest studies show that my slight overweight at the time would have given me a better life expectancy than my “ideal” weight. oh, the irony.
i think in order to achieve the goal of a healthy metabolism we need to let go of a lot of diet behaviour we’ve acquired over the years. we’re looking for rules because that’s what diets have; they all have them, leading to magical thinking — “if i only follow these (often ridiculous) rules to a T, my fat will melt off, and life will be perfect”. and then when the diet fails us, we blame ourselves. yeah, bullshit. i am done with that.
fixing our metabolism isn’t a diet. i’m coming to believe my metabolism is as individual as my personality, and i’d never go to other people to ask for rules to make my personality more mainstream. no, i delight in our differences. we ought to delight in our different body shapes and sizes too. and if it takes 2 years to fix my metabolism, and 60 added lbs, i’m fine with that — it took decades to screw it up, and i gained and lost those several times over. i want off this unmerry-go-round.
it would be nice if matt participated in these discussions, though. i enjoy geeking out.March 1, 2014 at 9:20 am in reply to: "Solving Paleo Equation" Exercise portion #15521
i have reservations about mcguff’s exercise regimen, because the pictures demonstrating various free weight lifts show abominable form which is more likely to lead to injury than to strength — how can i trust someone like that with other information? the entire section on how to perform the exercises in “body by science” is poor. i also reject the notion that nautilus machines are the be-all and end-all of good strength training; if anything, they force your body into a single path with one-path-fits-all determination, and i didn’t like my machine experience anywhere as much as my experience with free weights. it just didn’t seem to work my body as completely as free weights do. i was wondering whether mcguff was BFFs with the guy who owns nautilus. the choice of exercises is largely sensible; they’re big, compound moves, which is good. but the deadlift is missing, which i prefer, the leg press is bogus; i’d squat instead, and i’d add a rotational and a unilateral movement, without which a workout does not work your whole body IMO. FWIW, an upright row movement does work the rotator cuff muscles.
it’s not the only or best way to work out. it’s the minimally effective way, supposedly. as in, the absolute minimum if you don’t want to steadily deteriorate. i don’t know whether it does that; i wasn’t willing to try because i am aiming for more. i don’t think it makes you lean.
and yeah, i’d get bored with those machine exercises, but IF this worked, what’s 12 min of slight boredom a week? with free weights it’s different, but whether you might get bored with them too depends on how geeky you get about lifting. before i ever did any strength training i thought there wasn’t much technique to any of the lifts i saw people do. now that i am doing it myself, i realize how much there is to learn about technique. i’ve been following dan john’s 40-day program for the last 6 weeks, 6 days a week, the same 5 lifts every day (with variations in sets, reps, and weights), and i am not bored. after 8 weeks i’ll switch the exercises out for equivalents working the same muscle groups; dan john actually recommends switching every 4 weeks, but i needed the confidence builder. i now have a bit of a “zen” feeling because i’ve become so familiar with those lifts, and feel like i am in a groove. it’s strangely relaxing even though i am now lifting heavier weights than i did before when i worked a lot harder at it.
6 days a week is rather a lot more than 12 min, but as i said, i am aiming for more than maintenance of relative decrepitude. the 40-day workout is short (30 min), the weights are relatively light (40-70% of max), and it’s got enough flexibility to keep me from being bored, so it works for me (the first exercise program in decades that does).
there are a lot of other options, without working yourself to death. i second pavel tsatsouline as well; he has some innovative stuff that’s not too demanding of one’s time either. there’s also “you are your own gym” which does it all with your own body as resistance (which means you don’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment). lots of variety, scales beautifully, can be done anywhere.