Daniel Edward Dell’uomo
Masters in Interdisciplinary Biology
HealthyWNY Weight-Loss Coach
NASM-Certified Personal Trainer
Author, Fat Funeral
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Frequently asked questions.
My name is Daniel Edward Dell’uomo. After completing a graduate degree in interdisciplinary biology, conducting genetics research, and working as a personal trainer and weight-loss coach, I spent years researching and synthesizing the science of weight-loss. Based on the results of over 1500 scientific studies (all of which are cited in the book), I developed a clear and comprehensive model for why people gain weight, and a practical, simple, and effective plan for the average person to lose significant weight.
I have a masters degree in interdisciplinary biology from the University of Buffalo, where I did genetics research as part of my degree. I am an NASM-certified personal trainer, and have coached people in weight loss through the HealthyWNY program, where I did both group- and 1-on-1 coaching. I also had a personal profound weight-loss experience that was the origin story of this book.
Around 14 years ago, I was around 40 pounds overweight, and I could feel the extra weight affecting my health and happiness. Then one day, spurred by a couple of close friends, I decided to change. I set my mind to losing weight as quickly as possible. I started doing lots of long sprints and hitting the rowing machine for two hour-long sessions multiple times per week. I consciously ate a lot less, and did several 1-2 day water fasts (consuming nothing but water for 1-2 days). I lost 50 pounds in two months, and never looked back. Some people think it’s not good to lose weight that quickly, but for me, it caused a spiritual change in my health and self-confidence. And after I lost weight, I continued following great habits that I established while I was losing weight—like abstaining from all sugary drinks. This allowed me to keep off the weight that I lost.
I am an NASM-certified personal trainer, and have coached people in weight loss through the HealthyWNY program, where I did both group- and 1-on-1 coaching. Then I spent years researching and synthesizing the science of weight-loss. Based on the results of over 1500 scientific studies (all of which are cited in the book), I developed a clear and comprehensive model for why people gain weight, and a practical, simple, and effective plan for the average person to lose significant weight.
Obesity and overweight are one of the most devastating problems in the world. There are over two billion overweight people in the world, and over 600 million obese people. But when it comes to weight loss, confusion abounds. There’s confusion about why people get fat, nutrition in general, the role of exercise, and which weight-loss strategies really work. There’s so much confusion that many people throw up their hands, giving up on making sense of it.
The people that try to lose weight usually follow a short-term diet plan, which might be successful for a time, but then they tend to revert to their habits, and put the weight back on. So the main insight in my book is: let’s address their habits. So I set out to make a short, focused, practical list of the most effective habits the average person can reasonably develop in order to lose a lot of weight and keep it off—with the habits carefully ranked in order of importance. I call them The Five Golden Weight-Loss Habits.
Since diet is the most important thing in weight loss, most of Fat Funeral (and the first two habits) revolves around nutrition–what foods people should be eating on a regular basis if they want to be healthy and lose weight. The main dividing line is between whole foods and processed foods. These are vague terms, so I carefully define each of them, give many examples of each in the grocery store, and travel through all the major food groups, shedding light on what foods are healthy to eat.
Another main focus of the book is to vindicate healthy foods that have unfairly been condemned. I make convincing arguments that foods like steak, potatoes, eggs, and fruit are all healthy whole foods that can generally be eaten to your heart’s content. This is important, because all these foods are enjoyable, and making changes is difficult. It is easier to replace junk food with steak and potatoes than a plate of greens (which is how diet advice is typically framed). Willpower is limited, and eating steak and potatoes takes less willpower than eating a plate of green vegetables. There are chapters in my book that address these psychological principles, which I call “willpower allocation theory” and “the pleasure vacuum.” These are psychological principles I have never seen anywhere else that have tremendous practical value. (These chapters are The Anatomy of Willpower, The Physiology of Habit, and The Pleasure Vacuum.)
Such a comprehensive approach between nutrition, psychology, and practical habits make Fat Funeral unique. And every paragraph in the book is backed up by rigorous scientific research. There are over 1500 in-text citations in the book–which allows Fat Funeral to maintain a great deal of scientific rigor without having to bore readers with the details of each study (but if they want to read a given study, they can use the reference to look it up!).
After I lost weight, I didn’t think about weight loss for a while. It wasn’t until I was studying physiology and genetics in grad school that I stumbled on an article on the front page of Yahoo! offering weight-loss tips.
I read the article, mostly out of boredom. I was shocked. The tips were a lazy mix of vague platitudes, misconceptions from the ’90s, and a plug for some supplement. The list seemed to have been thrown together in no particular order, with no particular thought. I pictured thousands of struggling people being misled by this drivel.
But after reading forty weight-loss books and countless weight-loss articles and blog posts, I realized that this lousy Yahoo! article was the norm, not the exception. Something serious was missing from the weight-loss industry.
More effort went into marketing and recipes than careful analysis. More focus was placed on arbitrary short-term programs than on building effective habits.
And everything dripped with bias. So I set out to write a better weight-loss book–and ultimately give people the most effective weight-loss tips in the world. I call them The Five Golden Weight-Loss Habits. My book is centered around these five habits. And in response to that Yahoo! article with the lousy list of tips, the last page in Fat Funeral is a much better list: The Five Golden Weight-Loss Habits.