From KD at market-ticker.org
There are only three types of foods.
1, 2, 3. Count em.
The average adult human requires somewhere around 1,700 to 2,100 Calories (actually kCal if you want to be precise) a day to maintain their body mass, assuming a reasonably-sedentary lifestyle. (Most people have a sedentary lifestyle even if they work out 30 minutes a day three times a week; to be lightly active you need to be on your feet and actively moving three to four hours a day (e.g. you might qualify as a teacher) and work out daily, yes, 7 days a week, for at least a half-hour. To qualify as active you would need to perform daily exercise of about two hours and spend most of your working day performing some sort of physical activity. To qualify as very active you would have to run for an hour a day and perform physical labor for work (e.g. roofing, carpentry, etc.))
If you eat less you will lose weight. If you eat more you will gain weight.
Thats the simple part.
But life isnt that simple.
Lets say you wish to eat mostly vegetables, as is propounded by the fool up above and a whole lot of other people too.
How many vegetables do you have to eat?
This is off a bag of brussels sprouts in my freezer. Its an 18oz bag, which is about two large (cereal size) bowl fulls to the top. It says I get 45 calories per serving and there are six in the bag, or for one bowl full of sprouts, I get an entire 135 calories. Incidentally, I also get several times my daily Vitamin C requirement by eating that bowl.
But I would have to eat more than 12 bowls full of brussels sprouts over a days time to get my 1,700 minimum calories and thats assuming I sit on my ass! God help me if I actually go out and run five or six miles and my bodys demand for fuel is up another thousand calories as a consequence!
Now I happen to like brussels sprouts, but I dont like them that much. This, by the way, is pretty typical for most vegetables in terms of caloric content; spinach, broccoli, you name it they all wind up with about the same caloric content per unit of volume. If you actually try to satiate yourself on these foods youre going to fail hard.
What will you probably wind up eating if you follow the prescribed mantra? Lots of fast carbohydrate vegetables, like potatoes.
Metabolically when it comes to quickly-metabolized carbohydrates you may as well eat table sugar.
Dont believe me. In fact, youd be an idiot to believe me when you can prove whether Im right or wrong for very little money and effort. Go to WalMart and buy a nice cheap glucose meter and some starter test strips (assuming you dont have a diabetic friend who will let you use theirs.) Your investment in this little experiment, with your own body, will be about $20; most of those meters come with a sample set of strips (usually 20 or so) which will be more than enough for what youre going to do. Youll also need a box of lancets (yes, you have to poke your finger and no, you never re-use those) and some soap and water so you dont give yourself an infection.
Sit at your kitchen table having not eaten anything (or drank anything containing sugars; water is safe of course) for at least 4 hours and then gobble up 1 cup of cooked potatoes. Eat nothing else (other than salt and/or pepper to taste for the tater) and drink only water. Wash and then poke your finger, running a test at 0 (just before you eat), at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes and one hour later. If you want to be ambitious do two more at 1:30 and 2:00 but you probably wont need those to see what Im talking about. Write all the data down and take a piece of graph paper and chart it. (While the formal definition of fasting blood sugar is 8 hours with no food 4 hours is enough for most people to get back to near normal; if your pre-chow number is over 110 or if you get a number over 180 at any time on this test get your ass to the Doc for a formal set of tests!)
The next day, again after four hours with no food of any sort or drinks containing sugar of any amount, take two tablespoons of ordinary table sugar. Eat it raw and chase it with a glass of water. Do the same tests.
Day three, same deal except this time take an 8oz package of cheese (e.g. a brick of cheddar, swiss, etc) and slice off 2-3oz of it. Chow that and repeat the test.
Let me know what you find out.
I assure you that youre going to be surprised; a cup of potatoes has about twice the fast carbohydrate content of the two tablespoons of sugar and yet one cup of potatoes is nothing compared to what many of you eat every day! The cheese, on the other hand, has almost zero carbohydrate. And by the way, breads do the same damn thing those potatoes do. Try it if you dont believe me; now you own the tool to check it on your own!
So where do you turn now that you understand whats going on and what you werent told before?
This is where you get in trouble and its why youre fat.
You go into the store and you see Low Fat on labels. Go back up above and read again there are only three foods; protein, carbohydrates and fats. If you have a food that is Low Fat then the fats had to have been replaced with something, and I will clue you in right now its not protein as that (mostly) comes from animals! This means that what replaced the fat is carbohydrates and it is virtually a certainty that they are fast carbohydrates as well, especially if what youre eating is or contains a liquid such as salad dressing, soup, a quick meal or similar.
That is why you fail and it is why youre fat.
Youre eating things that make you fat because you think that a low fat food will help you lose weight.
It will in fact, most of the time, do the exact opposite.
Fats, especially saturated (animal) fats, dont make you fat because they are absorbed in the gut slowly and do not stimulate an insulin response. They therefore leave you satiated for longer; simply put you dont get hungry as quickly. Carbohydrates, specifically fast carbohydrates, make you fat because they stimulate an insulin response and when your blood sugar level crashes on the back side of that response you get hungry. It is very difficult to avoid eating when you are hungry!
So heres what you are going to do:
Youre going to stop worrying about animal fats in particular and instead stop eating all fast carbohydrates.
You eat eggs (or an omelet; yes, cheese is fine) with bacon in the morning not cereals and/or breads. Cook the omelet in either butter or part of the bacon fat. Reserve the excess fat from the bacon; do not throw it out. Drain it into a coffee mug and once it cools off a bit put it in the fridge; it will solidify and is perfectly fine like that for weeks at a time. (That, incidentally, is what saturated fats do; they typically dont go rancid.) Now have your veggies for lunch but take a dollop of bacon fat out of the mug and put it in the bowl when you nuke em in the microwave along with a bit of lemon pepper or seasoned salt. That both adds flavor and calories from said fat. Youll get physically full from the brussels sprouts and satiated from the fat you consumed and since there will be no carb-induced insulin spike you also wont get hungry two hours later and reach for the Doritos.
For dinner eat something that had a face and dont trim the fat; eat it instead; if you want to include more vegetables thats fine, provided theyre not starchy and are colorful (e.g. green, red, etc.) Salad? Sure, but use full fat dressing if you want some (e.g. oil and vinegar, balsamic, full-fat ranch, etc.)
For flavoring purposes use pepper, salt, seasoned salt (e.g. Lowreys or similar) and other spices. Enjoy them they have no calories and produce no insulin response. If you want to freak out about salt go ahead but for nearly everyone its a non-issue; there is a small (very small!) percentage of the population that has a legitimate problem with sodium.
Do this for one week and I will tell you what will happen youll lose 2-3 pounds immediately. Heres the bad news its (mostly) water, as when you stop eating carbs all the time your body needs less water to process your food and you***** the excess out. You need to run a 3,000 calorie deficit, more or less, to lose an actual pound of body mass that is not water. Thats a lot. Losing 1lb a week means running about a 500 calorie deficit a day, every day. The good news is thats very doable if youre not hungry all the time. If you keep this eating pattern up youll start to lose real weight by the third week or so and it will keep coming off until you reach a body mass that is natural for you, at which point the weight loss will stop. You wont notice yourself eating more, but you will be just enough to keep your metabolism in balance.
Your body knows how to do this all on its own just like it knows how to make your heart beat like its supposed to you just have to quit sabotaging the metabolic mechanisms that have been with man for a couple hundred thousand years (and which weve only been trashing for the last 50 or so.)
Note that its nearly impossible to lose more than 2 lbs a week of actual body mass as your body will react if you try to cut your intake below about 1,200-1,500 calories a day by trimming its metabolic rate, thwarting what youre trying to do. So dont; starving yourself is bad news. On the flip side its also almost impossible to gain more than 2 lbs a week; attempting to do so simply results in you crapping out the excess calories and thats usually very unpleasant. Yes, I know there are exceptions (e.g. extreme workout levels, extreme body building, etc) but were talking about ordinary people living ordinary lives here.
Heres the good news: If you do this for a couple of weeks youre going to start waking up and not be hungry, probably as you get somewhere into the second week. If youre not hungry, why are you eating? Listen to your body; if youre not hungry at breakfast wait until lunch; cook the bacon and take it with you, then eat that on or with the broccoli or brussels sprouts.
If you want a check and balance on what youre eating its simple. Take that label up above; subtract the dietary fiber from the carbohydrate count per serving you consume and add it all up. Keep the total carbohydrate count you consume daily under 50.
Its not possible to do this if you eat starchy things or sugars. Its flatly not possible folks. There are four (grams) of carbohydrates in each teaspoon of sugar; if you put two in your coffee in the morning youve had a 20% of your total carbohydrates allowed and you havent eaten anything yet!
You also cant have any sugared sodas or other drinks (including sweet tea.) One can of Coke is 39 grams of carbs, all sugar. That is, for all intents and purposes, all of your daily carbohydrate intake. You also cant be drinking juices for the most part, or smoothies and similar; not only are they full of sugars (natural or not) but a juice is much more quickly absorbed than the raw fruit would be and it contains the sugar content from many of the fruits. As just one example one 8 oz cup of orange juice contains roughly four oranges; eating one orange is vastly preferable to drinking that juice!
Finally, eat no hydrogenated oils of any sort. If you see that word on a label dont buy the product and if you already have it in your house throw it out. Those oils all contain transfats to some degree and they are extremely bad for you. If you like fried foods and eat out pester your restaurant and tell them you want them to fry in lard or tallow; theyll probably look at you like you have three heads but I assure you thats far better for you than the hydrogenated oils they are probably using. McDonalds, as just one example, used to fry in tallow before the idiots started running the asylum.
You know if youre fat folks.
I just explained how not to be any more.
There is a 4th source of calories besides, carbs, protein and fat - Alcohol.
Beer is a carb, whiskey is not
Excellent advice eyeamok.
You explained it in a way that should save thousands of people hours of research for the small investment of time reading your post.
I find it interesting that there is such confusion about the subject, but then I see ads promoting weight loss products for better health. The ‘you get what you pay for’ rule applies but what you get is not what you expect!
Quite true. I’ve been on a low carb diet (10-20 grams a day) for about a year now and have lost about 45 pounds.
Very helpful information. In the first 5 days of keto, I’ve completely lost my appetite for snacks. I have lost the water weight you mentioned with many trips to the restroom.
My doctor told me I was pre-diabetic and I’m sure I’ve developed insulin resistance. In just 5 days, I feel more energetic and do more things. Breaking away from carbohydrates is going to help drop pounds and improve overall health.
Thanks for the insightful post.
“Note that its nearly impossible to lose more than 2 lbs a week of actual body mass “
Your hypothesis is defective: I lost an average of a pound a day eating eggs & toast for breakfast, a hamburger for lunch and a single-serving pizza for dinner. It is absolutely possible to lose body mass (FAT, not muscle) without starving the body of calories.
It’s a lot more complicated than counting calories, but a LOT simpler than your outline; however, my own detailed description makes yours look like a single period in a lake. The problem is that most no one can grasp what it takes.
But I can’t tell you why (secret until published).
“Note that its nearly impossible to lose more than 2 lbs a week of actual body mass as your body will react if you try to cut your intake below about 1,200-1,500 calories a day by trimming its metabolic rate, thwarting what youre trying to do. So dont; starving yourself is bad news.”
Actually many people, myself included, fast a week or more at a time (I sometimes go up to 10 days)...and with me it is total - water, black coffee, and nothing else. A bit sporty for the first few days, but we are designed for feast/fast, as that what life was like before Big Food demanded that we eat ‘3 healthy meals a day’. So, if you’re reasonably healthy, fasting is fine, and it TOTALLY RESETS stuff like insulin resistance, which is a great thing. But if you do try it, build up. Skip breakfast first (and no, as you noted, the world doesn’t end). Then try skipping breakfast and lunch - and finally try to go through a whole day, around 36 hours - then you’re well on your way! And no, you’re not starving yourself, assuming that you have the body fat and keep it to no more than 3 weeks (far more than my longest).
Other than that, excellent write up - very little to disagree with - you nailed it on salt, fat, and especially carbs! One thing to keep in mind is a person by the name of Norman Borlaug - he hybridized wheat which increased its yields by huge amounts, as in multiples - and with that, ended world starvation due to lack of food (people do still starve, but in every case now it is people who don’t have guns being denied available food by people who do have guns). But there was a flip side to Borlaug’s amazing work - he developed strains of wheat that the human body had trouble dealing with...and doesn’t know when to tell the brain enough is enough - hence the obesity outbreak started virtually to the day his hybridized wheat become widely used!
I am using a much easier & simpler method to control my pre-diabetic condition....I consume all my calories between 10am and 6 pm on week days. I eat meat, eggs, bread, potato, dessert and misc vegetables. I use sugar & cream in my coffee.
Has worked absolutely great to control my blood sugar without eliminating sugar, potatoes, bread etc from my diet.