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A Meditation on Diet

Dieting is other people.

by
Charlie Martin

Bio

July 27, 2013 - 3:00 pm
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Guy-and-his-Dog

I’m convinced the inventor of the “food pill” bit in SF was a middle-aged single man who was hungry, but didn’t know what to eat.

It’s actually getting close to nine months since I had that first epiphany — that I wasn’t that much younger, really, than my parents had been when they died, and that I didn’t want to die young. Hell, I don’t want to die at all, and as the old joke goes, I’ll either be immortal or die trying.

Of course, if you’ve been following this column and my 13 Weeks Facebook page, you already know that what I’ve done has been to structure things in 13 week experiments; over time, I’ve begun to see it as:

  1. Observe something that I want to change, like weight or blood sugar.
  2. Propose a treatment — diet, exercise, drugs, or whatever — to change that thing, and define how I’ll measure my progress.
  3. Perform the treatment for a fixed length of time. For a variety of reasons, I settled on 13 weeks.
  4. At the end of that time, evaluate the results, and either pivot to a new treatment, or persevere in the old one.

Low-carb diet worked for a while; now I’m on a slightly higher-carb “slow-carb” diet that has turned out to be reasonably effective, in that I’ve resumed losing about a pound a week. It’s also done a lot toward controlling my blood sugar and type-2 diabetes, and I’ve now lost something close to 40 lbs since October, as well as improving my already-good cholesterol.

All in all, it hasn’t been spectacular — I’m not going to get an informercial out of it — but it’s been pretty good.

I’ve also been writing essentially a diary on the Facebook page and in these columns, looking back, I’ve learned something from them.

Dieting is hard.

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All Comments   (38)
All Comments   (38)
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But, biochemistry isn't Opening my office next week. Let's do this.
Colin
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Adam. you think George`s posting is exceptional... yesterday I got Alfa Romeo after having earned $5059 recently and in excess of 10 grand this past munth. it's actualy the most comfortable job I've had. I began this seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a cool more than $86... per-hour. I use the details on this web-site,, http://www.wep6.com
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was reading Peter Attia's Eating Academy blog this weekend and thought of you. He said when skinny people give advice to people who struggle with their weight he thinks of the comment "he was born on the finish line and he thinks he won the race". It was in this blog post: http://eatingacademy.com/weight-loss/how-to-make-a-fat-cell-less-not-thin-the-lessons-of-fat-flux

You are doing great and helping lots of people in the process!
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Charlie, while you are successful, you are doing it alone, the hard way. Since joining WeightWatchers 18 months ago, I've lost 54 lbs, and am only 6 lbs away from my Lifetime Goal weight of 179 lbs (down from 230 lbs). From your pictures there are ALOT of changes in the choices and dressings you could make that would pay off. WeightWatchers especially addresses how to deal with the "hard" issues you raise, expectations/comments by others, getting derailed by parties, the office, relatives, food pushers, etc. The meetings are key - that is where you get the support you need. The hints and tips from the meetings are invaluable for a "lifetime goal". I am not paid or work for WW but there is no way I could maintain my weightloss as I expect myself to do without the support it gives. You are spot on about exercise as only an aide not a solutioun. Weight loss to be permanent must be a change in lifestyle...diets don't work for the long term. Best of luck and good job!!!!!
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Have you considered fasting? Alternate day for 2 or 3 days a week?
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hi Charlie, glad to see you are back to losing. For me, it looks like you aren't eating enough veggies. But if you are ok with that, then ok. The key is to not look at it like a diet, but a lifestyle change. For instance, the pasta. I too can't tolerate gluten so pasta is out for me. I'm Italian and I can't have pasta, tomato sauce or garlic. Life is NOT fair. But for me (and you) going through those issues is just not worth the nice bowl of pasta. It's both sad and happy. I was sick for a long time, almost my whole life and now I am healthier. That makes me more happy than any bowl of pasta could.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Charlie look into D'Adamo's work. Nothing is better supported these days. The messages boards are a great place for support. You already partially follow a lot of the recommendations for one of the pheno-archetypal that is thrifty. It can't hurt you (the recommendations are 100% following current food pyramid allowance whether you want to follow it or not). I don't know if my contact is available to you but I'd be more than happy to freely provide any information you want (including discussion about legitimacy of the work since you'll find a confused mutle of bad journalism and people that don't understand science).

The entire premise is that we are all different, and need different diets. You know this, el polacko wants to know why your method that is working (slowly, but you eat stuff like potatoes) isn't for el polacko (probably easily explainable based on difference in phenotype, a measure beyond blood type).

Best of luck, I know the struggle myself.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
holy crap ! you eat WAY more than i do and i just keep gaining...what am i doing wrong ??
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
More seriously, what are you eating? Also, I'm 6'3" and 267 lbs -- that takes more energy on its own. But I average around 2200 kcals a day.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's not just one day!
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I propose we take exercise out of the diet cycle altogether. Consider these as two separate things - diet: which brings in the nutrients to fuel your body and exercise: keeping the organism (you) moving through life.

Bodies need to move. The statement "move it or lose it" should be something taped to everyone's wall. How you move it is open to whatever movement can be done on a regular basis. This involves liking what you are doing and then being consistent. From walking, to dancing, to martial arts, to cross-fit and everything in-between, it is the movement that counts.

The problem comes in when people try to equate how much they move with how much they eat and how much they weigh. As it currently stands we can't do this with any degree of true validity. Thus you have the person who eats like a horse, never does more than walk across a room, yet they are skinny as a rail. Or the person who runs marathons, yet can't lose the 50 pounds of excess weight. Then there are others (considered "normal") who gain weight as soon as they stop exercising. There is nothing consistent with any of these people, yet one type is taken as the norm with the data/results applied to everyone. Of course this never works - one size fits almost no one.

So we need to stop thinking of exercise in terms of weight. Think of it in terms of keeping your body parts moving correctly, which in turn helps you live a longer better life. This will be far less stressful all around not to mention better for your overall health, if not your weight. ;)
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
If obesity is a disease, then it is a cultural disease, since over two-thirds of the population is overweight. This was not true fifty years ago. Since genetics cannot change this fast, something in the environment must have. The most likely culprit: agribusiness and food marketing.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
HFCS?
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I seriously think it may be the "Food pyramid". I wrote about this a while ago: http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/04/20/13-weeks-why-obesity/ But there is some reason to think it might be an actual *disease* too, maybe having to do with a virus.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
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