Of course, as we’ve talked about at length over the last six months, there was accumulating evidence that maybe high-carb diets weren’t the answer.  Very low-carb diets were repeatedly discovered to produce weight loss, and when studied, it didn’t appear that they actually caused high cholesterol.  Not that there were a lot of studies. Seeing that these studies kept being published in Science magazine, where he worked, got Gary Taubes interested; his investigation led to his New York Times article and then his book Good Calories, Bad Calories.

Then, in 2010, the USDA published their new food guide on a plate:

Work it out, and the new food guidelines still suggest getting about 65 percent of your daily calories from carbs, with a whole lot of those carbs coming from grains.

Now, for the last six months, I’ve been eating a diet that is just about the opposite of the “my plate” plan: it works out to be about 65 percent calories from fat, and less than 5 percent calories from all carbs, with almost none of the calories coming from grains. And of course as I’ve reported, my weight is down 10 percent, my blood sugar is down by a third (taking me from diabetic to “pre”-diabetic and as I described last week, needing to worry about hypoglycemia, not hyperglycemia), and my cholesterol is in the “very good” range in all measures but one.

I’m not alone on this, of course. It’s reported anecdotally over and over again, and there are plenty of scientific publications to back them up.  Why is the “my plate” program still pushing carbs?

I think it’s politics. Not in the sense of “right-wing, left-wing,” but politics in the sense of the way large groups of people behave. (Although, as so-called “paleo” diets have become more popular among people who just don’t trust the government anyway, famous dietary expert Matt Yglesias had no problem connecting paleo to the supposed anti-science attitude of conservatives.) Basically, once a government program gets started, there is a constituency for that program; if a program doesn’t solve the problem, even if the problem is actually getting worse, the answer is always:

YouTube Preview Image

… more cowbell.


So here’s the weekly tabular results. Some good, some bad, and, frustratingly, some good results that happened on Friday and Saturday, so I’m going to hasten to point out that I’m actually down to 268 again today. I just didn’t put in a percent body fat this time — I’ve now had measurements that range from 26 percent to 42 percent and I’ve begun to wonder if that measure is worth anything at all.

I also looked at the chart and noticed that my weight seems to hit a periodic high about every five weeks.

Maybe I can ascribe the last week’s weight gain to it just being my time of the month.

Date 7 day Weight 7 day Glucose 7 day Bodyfat Sum Fitocracy Points Weekly Fitocracy Points
2013-02-01 272.50 116.43 33.1 447 447
2013-02-07 272.63 114.57 30.79% 1881 1881
2013-02-14 271.91 110.43 30.36% 2606 725
2013-02-21 273.79 115.29 29.16% 3775 1169
2013-02-28 274.44 104.00 30.00% 4929 1154
2013-03-07 273.11 115.86 30.24% 6022 1093
2013-03-14 269.86 101.86 30.10% 7233 1211
2013-03-21 272.08 112.25 30.64% 7681 448
2013-03-28 270.57 113.86 30.26% (??) 8180 499
2013-04-04 271.31 103.86 29.95% (??) 8404 224
2013-04-11 275.20 109.57 29.80% (??) 9185 781
2013-04-18 273.97 111.86 (??) 9185 0
Δ since 2-1 -1.47 -5.14 -3.30% (??) N/A N/A