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Stupid diet tricks
Old 09-29-2012, 10:53 AM   #1
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Stupid diet tricks

So as I outlined in my ten year update thread, after hurting my back I packed on about 45-50 pounds and needed to get rid of it.

After looking at diet advice and what the experts had to say, there were so many contradictions, backtracks and funny science that I started reading the actual studies. Of course, if you do that, you realize that they're all a bunch of crap.

The "lipid study" done half a century ago that showed correlation between fat consumption and health? Bullshit. They took 20-something countries worth of data and threw out all but 5 to come to the conclusion that there was correlation. If you include all 20-something, there is actually negative correlation. You get funny stuff like Masai tribesmen who eat 60-70% saturated fat for their regular diet, mostly red meat and cows blood, and they have low cancer and heart disease rates. Take one to england or the US and feed them our diet of highly processed foods sprayed with sugar and loaded with high calorie starches, and they get fat and develop illnesses.

Take-away: Its not the fat, its the cheap highly processed, high caloric, low nutrition foods. Fat tastes good. Its satiating. It takes a long time to digest. Eat it.

The "salt studies" done for a century showed no connection between salt and high blood pressure, except that it temporarily does raise your BP until your kidneys flush it out. I learned this when I saw Alton Browns "Eat this rock" episode of Good Eats. "If you don't have a genetic predisposition to salt induced hypertension, you're getting plenty of fluids, and your kidneys work properly, you can eat all the salt you want. Science says so!". In fact, he's correct. The major intersalt studies were done because some doctors and researchers felt that salt DID raise blood pressure and cause hypertension, except the data didn't say that. So they threw almost half the data away, all of it where someone said they ate a lot of salt and were healthy, because "Obviously, they must be lying because if they ate that much salt, they'd be sick".

Eh, studies don't work that way folks. As we've seen recently in less tilted studies, salt is not only not bad for you, its good for you and the RDA is probably half to one third what you SHOULD consume.

Take-away: salt makes food taste better, including a wide range of bland and annoyingly nutritious foods. Eat it.

So whats killing us? Sugar and highly processed, highly caloric foods that are low in nutrition. It kills me when someone looks at a fast food meal and wants to crucify the meat and salt. Its the french fries that are 6x bigger than they were 50 years ago, the sugar laden drink that you can start an outboard motor in , the white flour bun and the mayo made from useless oils like canola or safflower.

So to make a change, I started reading product labels to find more sugar in some beef jerky than there is in a soda, that juice is just pepsi without the caramel coloring and caffeine, etc.

So my diet went thus: eating tasty fatty meats laden with salt, whole fruits and vegetables that grow above ground, whole wheat when I ate bread or pasta (which is infrequently) and stocking a load of tasty snacks that are good for me. If it has calories and no significant redeeming nutritional value, it stays on the shelf.

Eat plenty of probiotics. 70% of your immune system comes from your gut, and most of that depends on the type of probiotics you consume, and bad stuff comes from inflammations caused by bad gut bacteria. I went a little bit out there with this. I took an antibiotic to kill everything that was in there, and began eating yogurt (not the stuff with 35 grams of sugar in it) with berries, drinking stuff like Good Belly which has almost no calories, and eating fermented cabbages like sauerkraut and kim chi. Turns out that good old fermented foods are the best source of the best probiotics, and they taste good too! In the past year since starting this regime, I haven't gotten sick one single time, and I was good for 2-3 colds/flu's a year having a 7 year old in the house that contacts 500 kids a week.

I'm also not really bought into a lot of the edge food 'science'. I think antioxidants are useless, we just discovered that omega-3 supplements are worthless in improving health (but eating oily fish like sardines and salmon is on the list), and I don't take or eat anything without clear and non fuzzy science wrapped around it. Given that a range of prescription drugs that I used to take are in the news for causing strokes, kidney cancer and all sorts of other funny stuff, I've also tossed all of my prescription meds. My blood pressure medication is what really almost killed me. These work primarily by slowing your metabolism and heart rate down. Not really what a fat person needs.

At this point I take tri-flex glucosamine/chondroitin/msm and aspirin, and everything I eat is probably close to how we ate a hundred years ago.

My fats are lard, beef tallow, coconut and palm oils, and butter...preferably the expensive tasty irish stuff. Meat of all types is on the menu, the more exotic the better. The key is keeping the calories count down and getting 30-60 minutes of exercise a day, at least 20 minutes of which is high activity stuff.

What are my activities? I wanted a 2 for 1 benefit. So I don't run around in circles by myself, I dont go to the gym, and I don't stand around lifting heavy stuff to no purpose. I started cleaning and fixing my house and yard, take all 3 dogs on separate walks around the neighborhood, walk my son to school and back (1.5 miles round trip) and if it was within a mile or so, I walk instead of taking the car.

I also screwed my head on backwards for most of these tasks. If I did them with a motorized device, I shelved that and did it the manual way. I bought a push/reel mower (a realllly nice one) and parked my rider. Instead of a gas hedge trimmer, I put on elbow length gloves and dove into my hedges with a hand lopper. Washing and waxing your car is a great workout.

My objective here was at the end of a 'workout' to be able to say "I worked hard, my body is tired, and I have a nice/cleaner/improved something-or-other. Two pieces of gratification to help support the efforts!

It was a little hard at first. But my tummy shrank and now if I eat more than a cup of food I feel queasy and can't even swallow any more. If I put something sweet into my mouth, its cloying and I want to spit it out.

Snacks? Stuffed 'africa peppers' from costco @25 calories each, little sweet, little spicy, stuffed with goat and mizithra cheese and drizzled with sunflower seed oil. Popchips and terra chips when I want salty/crunchy, @100 calories a bag and I share them with Gabe and/or my wife. Sunflower seeds, pepitas, almonds, cashews, pistachios, those "bistro" premade salads that are 180-290 calories a pop, cut up or whole fruits, and lots of quick vegetables like cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. Hard boiled eggs or a piece of bacon is also fair game.

Otherwise primarily meats and seafoods and a salad or veggies that grow above ground. I occasionally eat a sweet potato or carrot. I shoot for 1500-1600 calories a day, and frankly I think 2000 is too much for almost everyone unless you work hard with your hands and legs all day. Some days I do a mini-fast, when I discover that its 2 in the afternoon and I've only eaten a few hundred calories, I skip until I'm really hungry and then eat something little. Maybe once a week I do this. Usually I eat 2000 calories a day before or after a fast. If you aren't hungry, don't eat. Use smaller plates. Take less and make yourself go back for more. If you're eating and find you're not hungry, put the food back. All the stupid small stuff you've heard for years...works!

Drinks? Water. Water, water, water. I think most people would lose a ton of weight if they made water their primary beverage and took a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood, preferably with a purpose. I splash a little cranberry juice or red grape from time to time to give it some flavor, bought one of those bottles with the built in carbon filter, and got some large thermal mugs and those all get refilled daily.

With fat and salt on the menu, fun mexican, asian and indian foods are all fair game, preferably if they're made with animal fats or coconut fats.

Results? I lost 81 pounds so far, and I got my blood results 2 weeks ago. A year ago EVERYTHING from my cholesterol to my blood sugar to my liver enzymes was in the red. This year, everything is in the green. I feel and look great. I was taking 17 prescription pills a day last year, now I take none.

I think people are very confused about what to eat and what not to eat. Big food conglomerates would love us to eat lots of vegetable/starch/sugar based products because they're cheap, they're easy to make and sell, and they're profitable. When you read about how crisco came to be because candle makers needed a replacement for expensive animal fats, and one of the scientists mentioned "If we added more of this, you could actually cook food in this instead of make candles out of it!". Then we were told alternatively that eggs were good, bad, good, bad, good, bad...hey, they're good for you if you don't eat six a day. They're fat and protein and vitamins. Then we heard that animal fats are bad and margarine and trans fats and polyunsaturated fats were the way to go. How'd that work out?

The epitomy of "holy ****" came to me when I watched a tv commercial full of people saying what I just said "The expert advice is confusing...first this is bad, then it isnt'. But I know good nutrition when I see it!". Good nutrition turned out to be a steamed rolled grain cooked in useless oil and then sprayed with sugar. Pretty much the worst thing on earth you can eat. A big bowl of useless high caloric, low nutrition food. Even when we rebel, we still get it wrong.

First thing you need to do is get rid of your excuses. Everyone has a couple of reasons why they're fat. Nobody cares, and neither does the health sucking wad of stuff hanging around your waist. I suffered excrutiating pain in my back and feet to the extent where standing for half and hour meant taking 6 prescription pills and lying in bed for the rest of the day. I got past it, took care of it, and then all the other excuses and pains that cropped up. Once I lost the weight and strengthened my core muscles, the pain became more manageable.

Next thing you need to realize is if you say "But I gotta have my...", that you're going to be fat and your ... is why. You're in charge of what you do and don't put in your mouth. If the food is in charge, you already lost. I had to have my Gatorade that I swilled by the quart while working in 100-110 degree weather. I haven't had a sip in a year now.

Good starting point is to watch Alton Browns "Live and Let Diet". We disagree about fats and red meat, but both of us lost 50+ pounds on similar diets. Looking at the Paleo diet is also useful, as is looking into coconut products. My wife makes a hell of a truffle out of whole ground coconut, almond butter, whole ground raw cocoa powder, a little honey, hemp seeds, chia seeds and a few other things. Low in sugar/carbs, they're a delicious snack for those with a sweet tooth, and they're loaded with protein and healthy fats.



Any questions?
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:33 AM   #2
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Frankly I didn't read the entire post word for word but skimmed it. In the end, losing weight is "simple." Eat less calories than you burn in a day. One does that by diet and exercise. Which specific approaches one takes towards that goal is individual decision.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:27 PM   #3
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We have had a number of low carb threads here over the last year or so with others expressing similar results. I slowly added 30 pounds over thirty years and was on the statin regimen. I read the same stuff you mention and started a similar diet last spring. I dropped about 33 pounds and am back at my college weight, dropped statins and have am very healthy. Unlike you I do some weights a couple of times a week and ride a bike for 30 miles a few times a week.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:32 PM   #4
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Frankly I didn't read the entire post word for word but skimmed it. In the end, losing weight is "simple." Eat less calories than you burn in a day. One does that by diet and exercise. Which specific approaches one takes towards that goal is individual decision.
Yup, its that simple. With the only complication being that almost everything we're told was wrong and had no science behind it, and the decisions most people make on that bad data are similarly wrong.

I think the big mistake is most diets get rid of fat and sugar, and I just demonstrated that getting rid of the fat is unnecessary. Its also not particularly satiating to eat plain celery and carrot sticks, and if the diet isnt satiating you wont stay on it. Witness millions of fat people who've failed diets dozens of times because they ate what the food science people told them.

I'm not on a diet. I have routines I'm going to do and foods I'm going to eat for the rest of my life.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:42 PM   #5
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We have had a number of low carb threads here over the last year or so with others expressing similar results. I slowly added 30 pounds over thirty years and was on the statin regimen. I read the same stuff you mention and started a similar diet last spring. I dropped about 33 pounds and am back at my college weight, dropped statins and have am very healthy. Unlike you I do some weights a couple of times a week and ride a bike for 30 miles a few times a week.
So did you see the study that showed that statins don't do anything other than mess up your liver? The study determined that statins didn't change the rate of heart attacks or help you live longer.

I lift stuff too. About once a month I take on a project that uses all my muscles, to go with my daily walking/cleaning/yard work routine. I bought 3 tons of bark mulch at home depot a couple of months ago. I could have pulled a tag, bought the mulch and then parked my trailer next to the pile of bags and loaded, but I loaded one of their crappy flatbeds with a moshed tire and bearings that have never been lubricated (broken and unmaintained stuff at a hardware store amuses me), pushed it to the other end of the store where the garden checkout was, stood in line with it, then pushed it all the way back to where I started and across the parking lot (uphill) to where I parked as far as humanly possible away. Then when I got home I loaded it 8 bags at a time onto my yard cart and hauled it uphill into my back yard, then spread it.

The month before that I hand pruned my 8 million trees with a manual pole saw and lopper and a ladder instead of my 20' chain saw on a stick, then I piled everything in one corner of my yard and put my chipper in the other corner and dragged everything one limb at a time to the chipper...probably a 65-70' elevation change between the pile and the chipper.

The month before that I bought a 350lb leather power recliner, hauled it out of costco and dragged it onto my trailer, then when I got home I unhooked the trailer and dragged the whole ~700 pounds on two wheels uphill to the back of my house, pushed the trailer up to the back of the house and slid the recliner into my living room.

This last month on a hot day, I took the 8' fiberglass fishing boat I bought so I could row and fish with Gabe, tethered it to a 10'x10' intex floating island, then wrapped another cord from the boat to my ankle and swam in a steady headwind to a private beach on the lake about 3/4 mile away, fished and played in the water with my family all day and then swam the whole mess back. My wife sitting in a lounge chair propped up in the boat and telling all the boaters we passed by that I was eccentric and it was my workout for the day.

Washing and waxing a car is a good upper body workout. So was lifting up my 350 pound trailer and wiping spider webs off the bottom with one hand while tilting it with the other. Wiping all your cabinets down with pledge is hard work and quite productive.

Get something done, and get a workout at the same time. All you have to do is stop thinking about how to do things efficiently and focus on how you can do the most work with your muscles as possible while performing ordinary tasks.

This is a problem for working people and we all worked hard to simplify our lives and tasks. For an early retiree with a good supply of time and money...not so much!
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:48 PM   #6
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Here I am on our 'boat trip'. Where I came from is in the background, but off to the left and out of the photo frame...somewhat further away.

I was pushing an air mattress with me as I went, just in case I got a cramp or something popped...
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:32 PM   #7
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At this point I take tri-flex glucosamine/chondroitin/msm and aspirin, and everything I eat is probably close to how we ate a hundred years ago.
You might want to peruse this: Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Arthritis: Benefit is Unlikely (or ignore it if the stuff actually does make you feel better - I'm on the fence.)

I agree with much of what's being said in this thread. IMO, apart from consuming fewer calories than we utilize, a healthy diet is largely a matter of genetics, and therefore individual as fingerprints. A good starting point is our ethnicity, and while the "hundred years ago" may work for some, it depends on when our ancestors began migrating, blending gene pools, and changing from their traditional diets, whoever they are. (In my own case, it's closer to 200 years that my ancestors came from Europe to North America, began intermarrying with people from other countries, and adopted regional "American" diets.) Beyond that, some of us are now so mixed, some trial & error is in order to figure out what we individually metabolize well, and what we don't. (Needless to say I'm fairly mongrelized, so I've had to try various things to figure myself out, and there have been some surprises).

I don't personally buy into the Paleo Diet theory; some of the assumptions with it are as arguable as other diet fads - namely our common ancestor (Mitochondrial Eve - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) is much younger and agriculture (Earliest Evidence Of Modern Humans Using Wild Grains And Tubers For Food) much older. If we've had time enough to evolve into all the different races & peoples in the world, IMO we've had time for our digestive systems to evolve as well.

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Old 09-29-2012, 02:28 PM   #8
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Hard to go wrong with "eat real food, not too much"...
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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It took me a while to see that while controlling weight is really about limiting calorie intake, it is easier to do that with eating meat and fat vs. carb. Of the latter, particularly bad is the high glycemic index stuff that seemingly goes straight through your guts into your bloodstream and can cause diabetes. Many Americans get fat simply from knocking down gallons of soda loaded with corn syrup. No other nation drinks so much sugared liquid.

Still, are there not health hazards associated with a diet high in protein and fat, such as gout, kidney stress, colon cancer, etc...?

I do not cut out carb altogether, but do try to to satisfy my appetite more with meats and fats than bread, rice, or pasta. And I eat tons of veggie.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:26 PM   #10
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You might want to peruse this: Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Arthritis: Benefit is Unlikely (or ignore it if the stuff actually does make you feel better - I'm on the fence.)

I agree with much of what's being said in this thread. IMO, apart from consuming fewer calories than we utilize, a healthy diet is largely a matter of genetics, and therefore individual as fingerprints. A good starting point is our ethnicity, and while the "hundred years ago" may work for some, it depends on when our ancestors began migrating, blending gene pools, and changing from their traditional diets, whoever they are. (In my own case, it's closer to 200 years that my ancestors came from Europe to North America, began intermarrying with people from other countries, and adopted regional "American" diets.) Beyond that, some of us are now so mixed, some trial & error is in order to figure out what we individually metabolize well, and what we don't. (Needless to say I'm fairly mongrelized, so I've had to try various things to figure myself out, and there have been some surprises).

I don't personally buy into the Paleo Diet theory; some of the assumptions with it are as arguable as other diet fads - namely our common ancestor (Mitochondrial Eve - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) is much younger and agriculture (Earliest Evidence Of Modern Humans Using Wild Grains And Tubers For Food) much older. If we've had time enough to evolve into all the different races & peoples in the world, IMO we've had time for our digestive systems to evolve as well.

Tyro
We really didnt shove sugar and highly processed foods into our faces 1000 calories at a time until about 50 years ago, and I doubt anyone has a digestive system adapted to a lot of empty calories. While the paleo diet has lots of warts, if you eat it you'll avoid all of that and its novel enough to be amusing for a few weeks or months. I've changed "diets" a bunch of times, but they all have the same things in common.

Now go and look at the chart showing the incidence of diabetes and obesity worldwide, and it pretty well coincides with the introduction of lots and lots of cheap processed food stuffed with sugar and starches. Its also when the usda's food pyramid hit the ground, giving people the green light to guzzle juices and gobble high caloric foods because they're allegedly "good for us".

Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-carb. I just want a lot of quality nutrition to go with the calories. My diet for the last year has been almost 50% fat, most of it saturated animal fats and coconut fat, about 20-25% protein and the rest carbs.

My weight and blood work suggests that fat doesn't make you fat, raise your cholesterol, or give you any other health issues. I think that 90% of everything you'll experience healthwise is genetic and as long as you stay in a decent weight range and live a relatively healthy and active life, you'll live as long as most of your ancestors did. We've come up with a lot of pills that change our blood work numbers, but every time we take a long look back at the results, people didn't live longer or healthier as a result. But they sure do have lots of hilarious side effects. My 'pre-diabetes' and 'pre-hypertension' meds darn near killed me. From now on, unless I have a life threatening illness or injury, I'll stick with the aspirin and the joint supplements.

Speaking of which, I was doubtful as well. Then after the 300th time my vet insisted on giving glucosamine, chondroitin and msm I got some and put them on the regime. Before, my dogs could hardly get around the house and steps were a one at a time thing. Now they walk a mile or more with me every morning and sometimes I have to run to keep up. Encouraged and tired of sore knees, hips and everything else for that matter, I tried it. After a couple of months of 'setting in', everything more or less stopped hurting all the time. I then quit taking it for a week, and the soreness crept back. Got back on it and I slowly started feeling better again.

Considering I doubted the results both with dogs and people, I don't think there's much of a placebo affect. But from what I've heard, it simply doesn't work for some people, but works well in others. I suggest trying it if you have joint issues. Its about $12 for a 3 month supply at walmart.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:39 PM   #11
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It took me a while to see that while controlling weight is really about limiting calorie intake, it is easier to do that with eating meat and fat vs. carb. Of the latter, particularly bad is the high glycemic index stuff that seemingly goes straight through your guts into your bloodstream and can cause diabetes. Many Americans get fat simply from knocking down gallons of soda loaded with corn syrup. No other nation drinks so much sugared liquid.
Its funny because I was watching a show about the history of hawaii, and thats where I found out that sugar is the #1 legal cash crop in the world, and hawaii used to be 99% owned by sugar companies.

I used coconut sugar, honey and blue agave for sweeteners, but except for a glass of milk or the coconut sugar in my one cup of coffee in the morning (with heavy cream!) I don't eat much of it. And my body shows it!

Quote:
Still, are there not health hazards associated with a diet high in protein and fat, such as gout, kidney stress, colon cancer, etc...?
My kidneys were showing some problems last year, but the numbers are perfectly normal this year. Indicators of gout are also negative. I'm not really eating an enormous amount of protein, just 20 and some days as much as 25%. Its freaking hard to eat more than 20% protein in a day, I've tried. Unless I avoided most foods in favor of ostrich sticks or some other silly endeavor.

Couple of tv watching things that interested me...a show called "The supersizers go" where a couple of english folks spend a week or so living and eating in a specific period. Every show is about the same from a diet perspective, they eat as the wealthy did 100 or 500 years ago. The diet is always high in fats and proteins, with the poor folks left to eat bread and potatoes. They get medical checkups before and after the experiment. The doctors always tell them that such a diet willl screw them up. Most of the time, their blood work is better after than before. I think the only time it wasnt was when they were downing 5000 calories a day.

I've also eaten on the "survivorman diet". He drinks water, traps a few rodents or small fish, eats berries and little green shoots and leaves he finds. Everything eaten raw or quickly and simply cooked. While I substituted beef, duck and rabbit for the rodents, thats not far from most of what I eat on most days. I'll bet its also pretty close to what we spent 20,000 years eating.

This is an interesting article by a cardiac surgeon

Enjoy Saturated Fats, They’re Good for You! by Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:50 PM   #12
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CFB, I'm about 90% with ya. I lost 30 lbs over the last 2 years using what is basically a "South Beach" approach. SB is an unfortunate name since it sounds so trendy, but there's more to it.

Funny thing: I did the "Airforce/Drinking Man's" diet 40 years ago. Not much different. This time, I added a lot of Mediterranean fats, along with a lot of non-fast carbs, such as black beans, lentils, olives, whole grains, whole raw fruits, etc. Bake my own whole grain bread with a machine. Tastes great, and does wonders.

All that said... what it *really* comes down to is eating non-processed foods. Foods that are not pre-digested. I think I'm reading an echo of that in your post. When push comes to shove, we don't eat the food out of a box. Instead, we're cooking whole meat and vegetables. Whole raw fruits are OK too, carbs be damned because some of them are OK, as long as they don't come from some pre-digested sugar over rice mixture.

When I walk into the store, I see all this pre-digested crap in a wrapper. The stuff is poison. This crap was an exception when I was a kid, today it is the norm. You know, grab a "power bar" and wash it down with an "energy drink". You kidding me? That's mainlining caffeine with sugar.

Yeah, I like both of those things too, but let me get the caffeine with my coffee, and the sugar with my apple or yogurt. Otherwise, I'm eating stuff like eggs, cheese and chicken.

My doctor is happy with my hugely improved numbers, but he still freaks out over my egg consumption (about 5 a week). I smile and say "yes doc", and continue eating my whole foods, including eggs, with a damn healthy sprinkling of salt on top.

I'm looking forward to the day I stop w*rking mostly for the diet. W*rk can really wreak havoc on this idea. It's too damn easy to get the bear-claw-in-a-wrapper instead of a decent real breakfast or lunch.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:50 PM   #13
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Very impressive, congrats!

I feel all confused now though, because of the animal fats are good bad good bad good thing. How can we know? And is the answer the same for everyone?

Anyway, way to go man.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:41 PM   #14
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All that said... what it *really* comes down to is eating non-processed foods. Foods that are not pre-digested. I think I'm reading an echo of that in your post. When push comes to shove, we don't eat the food out of a box. Instead, we're cooking whole meat and vegetables. Whole raw fruits are OK too, carbs be damned because some of them are OK, as long as they don't come from some pre-digested sugar over rice mixture.
Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

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My doctor is happy with my hugely improved numbers, but he still freaks out over my egg consumption (about 5 a week). I smile and say "yes doc", and continue eating my whole foods, including eggs, with a damn healthy sprinkling of salt on top.
Tell your doctor to suck eggs. We go through four dozen every couple of weeks between the 3 of us. With salt on them. Melted butter too. My cholesterol is 154 and my hdl went up and ldl down with this diet. My A1C test was 8.5 last year while on medication, and its 5.8% without this year.

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I'm looking forward to the day I stop w*rking mostly for the diet. W*rk can really wreak havoc on this idea. It's too damn easy to get the bear-claw-in-a-wrapper instead of a decent real breakfast or lunch.
I'm not above letting someone else do the work, or doing it in batches. I cook a dozen hard boiled eggs at a time, or poach them 6-8 at a time, cool and drop either in a ziploc full of cold water. Plain, made into deviled eggs with melted butter and sriracha, mashed up with salsa...whatever. A slice of precooked bacon takes away any miscellaneous hunger pangs. Those little bistro salads are pretty good, but I only use about half the crappy dressing or toss it and squeeze a lime over the whole thing. I do occasionally buy precut melon or pineapple.

Breakfast is easy. An egg I cooked in a batch and a piece of precooked bacon, cup of blueberries and some random yogurt product. I was amused at consumer reports' finding that the yogurts that advertised themselves as high in probiotics or a special probiotic product often had fewer active organisms than a cup of plain yogurt that made no special claims

Lunch is a salad and a piece of fruit. Canned mandarins or cups of grapefruit supremes are okay if you pour off the '100% sugar real fruit juice!' that sounds so great until you realize that its just calories and nothing good for you.

Dinner is a sausage, piece of steak or hunk of duck confit and a few fingerling potatoes or carrots cooked in the duck fat, some greens, etc.

Good meals I've had lately were a nice shrimp and octopus cocktail at a local mexican place...just the protein, lime juice, salsa and chunks of avocado in a big goblet. Pretty easy to make at home with precooked shrimp. My local burgeria makes all sorts of tasty burgers with beef, pork, salmon and turkey, will sub a huge green salad in place of the fries, and gladly brings me some balsamic vinegar or a plate of sliced lemon or lime to squeeze over the salad. I get a whole wheat bun, eat half of the 1/2lb burger and the salad and bring the other half of the burger home for dinner later. Also good is a hunk of supermarket pate, some very thin sliced whole wheat batard, sliced apple and grapes with home made whole grain mustard and apple ketchup.

Tonight we're having lamb based jerk seasoned sausage and a side of shredded broccoli/carrot/red cabbage slaw with a dressing of olive oil, dijon mustard, a little honey, salt and pepper and lemon juice. For lunch I split a cheesesteak on whole wheat with Gabe and he ate most of the fries...at 7.5 he's 46lbs and looks like a bone with some beef jerky stapled to it...he can handle some extra calories. Sorry, but I can't bring myself to call this a 'diet'.

My wife and I have become famous for splitting what most people eat as a lunch or dinner for one in a restaurant, and like the burger example above, cleaning your plate isn't necessary, and makes a free second meal later or the next day. When Gabe and I were eating our cheesesteak lunch, there were a lot of fat people in there eating what we split. In fact, I ended up tossing half the fries.

Hell, you can go to macdonalds in the morning and eat an egg mcmuffin...they're only around 300 calories and there isn't a damn thing wrong with it. Just skip the hash brown and orange juice...have some milk or water. A dollar menu double cheesburger, a salad with non fat dressing (the oil in most dressings sucks anyway) and a glass of water is under 500 calories. Both meals are under $5.

You can eat this kind of food conveniently and you can eat most foods in most restaurants. Just skip the empty calories and keep the good stuff as far under 2000 calories as you can.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:53 PM   #15
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Very impressive, congrats!

I feel all confused now though, because of the animal fats are good bad good bad good thing. How can we know? And is the answer the same for everyone?

Anyway, way to go man.
We're all different and the first thing I tell most people is to experiment with stuff and see what works. With the simple tenet of only eating stuff with a real and measurable nutritional value, its hard to go wrong. A cup of soda isnt it. A glass of juice isnt either. A 'smoothie' with 800 calories, most of them simple sugar also isnt it.

I think the key is to avoid the food science 'studies'. There is way too much money in cheap sugar, cheap oils and processed foods and pills to make the symptoms disappear behind a lot of it, along with a lot of good intentions, I'm sure. But we all know what good intentions paved...
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:03 PM   #16
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Hell, you can go to macdonalds in the morning and eat an egg mcmuffin...they're only around 300 calories and there isn't a damn thing wrong with it. Just skip the hash brown and orange juice...have some milk or water.
Amen. Recall that the EggMcMuffin was the first and only breakfast item that McDonalds had when they started expanding their menu. There was some classic old style thought to it.

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A 'smoothie' with 800 calories, most of them simple sugar also isnt it.
One thing I do to mix it up in the morning is make a smoothie consisting of almonds, flax/chia, milk, yogurt and soy tofu. Never thought I'd do this, but it is tasty. Was surprised the first time I made one. Again, it is all whole foods, I know what's in it.

But yeah, typical smoothie is just a sugar hit.
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:18 PM   #17
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Welcome back. I read your post with great interest. As I've aged, it's become more diffucult to keep weight regulated. I have had some success with low carb but don't think that's the entire answer. Too easy to fall off of that diet.

Look forward to hearing more. BTW, what do you think of coconut water? Yeah, I know it's been touted as a cure all and I don't buy that at all. I just find it delicious, refreshing, and a good alternative to other beverages.

Again, good you hear from you.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:29 PM   #18
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Welcome back. I read your post with great interest. As I've aged, it's become more diffucult to keep weight regulated. I have had some success with low carb but don't think that's the entire answer. Too easy to fall off of that diet.

Look forward to hearing more. BTW, what do you think of coconut water? Yeah, I know it's been touted as a cure all and I don't buy that at all. I just find it delicious, refreshing, and a good alternative to other beverages.

Again, good you hear from you.
The problem with most low carb diets is that they're unsatisfying. Eat some. But just a bite or two.

I love coconut water. I buy it by the case from amazon when its 12 for $12 or so. 60 calories and the potassium of two bananas. I only drink it when I'm working on the house or yard and expending energy, and then just one. Maybe 3-4 a week. Love the taste. It was my gatorade replacement.

I don't think theres much magical the water. The whole ground coconut and coconut oil is supposed to do wonderful things. I just like that it tastes great. A spoonful of Nutiva Coconut Manna is very satiating, and nothing perks me up more than the smell of coconut wafting up from a pan when I'm cooking with the oil. Coconut oil is also as good as lard in baking and crusts.

One of the few little sweet items we still have a little of now and then is homemade coconut ice cream. Just coconut milk (trader joes), coconut manna (nutiva), and coconut sugar (madhava) in a cuisinart ice cream maker. We eat a big tablespoon when we have a sweet tooth. Three ingredients, not a lot of processing, all three from the same source.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:32 PM   #19
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Amen. Recall that the EggMcMuffin was the first and only breakfast item that McDonalds had when they started expanding their menu. There was some classic old style thought to it.
If I remember right, it was invented by a franchisee in southern california as a 'grab and go eggs benedict'. They had no luck with hollandaise, so they slapped a piece of cheese on it. If they had a whole wheat bun option, I'd eat one every day. Mine also has a 2 for $3 special on the sausage mcmuffin with egg. More fat and more calories (closer to 400ish) but delicious and very satisfying. Gabe and I hop in the car in our pajamas some mornings and go through the drive-through and chow down.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:15 AM   #20
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I feel all confused now though, because of the animal fats are good bad good bad good thing. How can we know? And is the answer the same for everyone?
The answer(s) are definitely not the same for everyone; on the contrary, they can be quite different, which is why fad diets don't work for most people.

How can you know? Keep records of your current diet, weight, & medical tests. I'd start by adopting (as close as practicable) to the diet of your primary ancestors, and make adjustments gradually to find out what works and what doesn't for you.
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