Here’s a look in general terms at just what we’re up against, folks — particularly for our friends & loved ones who tend to take stock in the advice offered by "experts" and "authorities." For many of you it’s and upside-down world. You logically come to reasonable hypotheses based on evolutionary principles, do your research, self-experiment, achieve amazing results and learn that most others who roughly follow a similar path do too; and all the while, the rest of the world gets fatter and sicker — while listening to the "experts" — and yet you are the one to be taken unseriously, perhaps even scorned & ridiculed. What gives?
Well, how about that YOU could not possibly know or understand more than the "experts?" After all, they’re the ones with the degrees, the affiliations, the published papers & books, the recognition & accolades. Ah, but is it possible that you see and are willing to acknowledge things they close their eyes to and refuse to acknowledge precisely because of the foregoing laundry list? Perhaps maintaining such prestige comes at the price of towing some party or "tribal" line and to go against it is to literally risk compromising one’s very livelihood or future plans of wealth & fame? While it would surely be foolhardy to suggest that just because someone gains prestige, they’re automatically not to be trusted, why should the converse situation hold — that simply because you lack such a formal background, what you see and reason is automatically to be dismissed when contrary to what has been handed down from on high?
See, I don’t think the truth depends upon personalities, abilities, recognition. The truth is the truth. While education, achievement and recognition are in theory a great place to start — to shortcut a process of having to necessarily verify everything yourself — it’s no guarantee. And, I submit, there’s a great danger that such appearance of authority is actually being exploited by increasingly many, to the extent of great harm on virtually all of society.
Via Keith Norris at Theory to Practice, I got wind of this article by registered dietician Tatyana Kour in The Jordan Times: Why weight loss fails. But this post isn’t about Ms. Kour, so much as it’s about the general nature of the problem and how it’s so entrenched. Keep that in mind.
Before we delve into Ms. Kour’s advice as a registered dietitian, let’s note that her website lists her top professional affiliation as The American Dietetic Association. So let’s then look at just a few of their sponsors (thanks Dr. A).
Got that? Does this begin to give you a clue that "experts" and "authorities" might — just maybe — not have your personal best interests at heart as much as their own? Normally, that should be fine — so long as your respective interests aren’t in conflict. That is, you’re both self-interested and are dealing with each other as traders towards a win-win goal. And so here we have The American Dietetic Association that supposedly exists to guide the public, by means of its registered dietitians, towards a better and more proper nutrition — presumably leading to lean, attractive, and healthy bodies: in the pay of the world’s leading companies promoting and profiting from obesity and ill-health via cheap sugar and highly efficient processing of "food." Do you think these companies are paying the ADA to dis sugar-water drinks and other sources of carbohydrate overload? Or for SOYJOY, how about early puberty for girls and undersized genitals for boys?
And if not, how kindly is the ADA going to take to having its affiliated dietitians and nutritionists contradicting ADA guidelines and policy? How could ADA guidelines and policy possibly be contradictory to the interests of the ones paying the bills? So does it not follow that if those same companies paying the bills have interests in conflict with your interests of lean attractive health, that it’s an antagonism between you and the ADA and their dietitians; and who do you think’s going to win out on that one? This is why the whole world of conventional "wisdom" nutrition and dietetics is like the McDonald’s chain, because the advice is exactly the same worldwide, even coming out of Amman, Jordan.
I’m really sorry to have to pick on Ms. Kour personally, and by all means, she’s only one of how many thousands? I have no idea. The point and the reason I picked her is because the article just came upon my radar and I noted that it’s the same advice, even from the Middle East, that we get here in America, Europe and the Southern Hemisphere. Let’s take a look.
Yet, at this time, it may be worth considering personal assessment of certain dieting behaviours that make one’s weight loss experience a failing one, including eating one meal a day and following a low carbohydrate meal plan.
Right off the bat, we see the failure to even examine nature and extrapolate a likely diet in light of humans as animals who evolved over millions of years. It’s as though we just suddenly showed up, profoundly different from every other animal, ill adapted to even the slightest amount of hunger ("it’ll slow your metabolism"). You don’t have to believe in evolution, of course, so if you find that a natural dietary lifestyle based on evolutionary principles works better than "breaking bread and drinking of milk & honey," it’s for you to sort out that potential contradiction. You’re welcome here either way.
In short, periods of hunger and small eating windows — to include one large meal per day — are all very well documented in the literature examining the practices of hunter-gatherers for hundreds of years.
I’ll blog this more extensively later because there are critically important observations to call attention to, but just take a look at this recent amazing National Geographic article examining the life & times of the Hadza in Africa.
They grow no food, raise no livestock, and live without rules or calendars. They are living a hunter-gatherer existence that is little changed from 10,000 years ago. What do they know that we’ve forgotten?
One hell of a lot. Now, I wouldn’t trade their existence for mine any day of the week and this is not meant to romanticize the primitive. At the same time, there is what I call a modern ignorance vs. primitive wisdom dynamic at work that just most absolutely needs — in the strongest possible terms and outrage — to be dealt with. Later. Onward; continuing with Ms. Kour.
The truth is that skipping meals can cause severe calorie restriction which can cause one’s metabolism – rate at which the body burns energy from food – to slow down. This, in turn, makes one’s body require fewer calories to perform the same body processes in an attempt to survive.
Uh, OK??? God forbid you ever need "fewer calories to perform the same body processes." Tell that to the numerous mammalian species who have to kill to eat — there never being a smorgasbord, Pizza Hut or Safeway at arms length — or any length. Tell it to the wild humans who must hunt or gather to survive and have been documented over a couple of hundred years to sport general health that serves to embarrass a modern civilization as ours.
Some people swear by the low carbohydrate diet and its success in achieving rapid weight loss. Yet, restricting carbohydrates, as research has shown, is not what counts for weight loss, but ultimately, it is the total calories eaten throughout the day.
Getting out of one’s self-imposed echo chamber might reveal that millions "swear by it" for long-term, slow, sustainable weight loss. I have no trouble finding these people. Why is it so hard for Ms. Kour? Maybe she’s not looking?
While I don’t believe that low-carb is essential for long-term, sustainable weight loss and health for all, it certainly is for some — and it’s absolutely, unequivocally essential for diabetics. For me personally, I don’t really know. I’ve lost around 60 pounds slowly in the last 2 1/2 years on low to moderate carbs, but almost no sugar, processed foods, or modern vegetable oils. Unless one really digs into natural starches from tubers and roots — or pigs out on fruit — it’s hard to eat high carb on a natural, real foods diet.
And now, unfortunately, we must laugh uproariously.
Carbohydrates (as in bread, pasta, rice and cereals) in the diet help one’s body to hold onto fluid. Therefore, if there is not enough carbohydrates in the body, the body will release water from the cells, referred to in scientific terms as “osmotic dieresis”, which causes initial weight loss. But, when we lose water, we also get to lose important minerals like sodium and potassium. The body can only survive on carbohydrates, and especially our brains need carbohydrates to function.
Yep; bread, rice, pasta, cereal grains and other neolithic foods make you retain water, unnaturally raising blood pressure for many (it’s a volume thing), which is why so many who adopt a low-carb approach see a tremendous drop in BP within days (diuretics, anyone?). I myself was running at 150-160 / 95-105 consistently and saw mine come down very quickly — and now totally normal for two years. Of course, those of us who do our own research understand that stored carbohydrate — glycogen — requires upwards of 1.5 – 2 grams of water per gram of stored sugar, and as you deplete readily available sugar stores (OK: glycogen), courtesy of a modern smorgasbord diet, you have no need of the water.
Do the math.
"Osmotic Dieresis," or "diuresis?" I have to think that Ms. Kour must have learned this to pass a test but doesn’t understand it (and given the foregoing, that’s a very reasonable assumption, in my book). That, or she’s being to clever by half, knowing that the "ketoacidosis" nonsense can be easily dismissed on low-carb diets. Ketoacidosis is primarily a problem for type I diabetics. It’s never a problem for normal, low-carb dieters. Never. And I mean: never. In short, and I’m not going to give references as it’s easy enough to look up — and I’ll admonish Ms. Kour to do so — osmotic diuresis is a condition that, so far as I can tell, applies almost exclusively to a person in ketoacidosis.
Well the claim that "the body can only survive on carbohydrates" would be laughed at even by authorities who don’t like low-carb diets. "It’s more wrong that a very wrong thing." In fact, the body has no firm requirements for any carbohydrate. It certainly gets none during starvation, and carbs — glycogen — are depleted within a day at most — hours under physical exertion. Yet, the human body can exist for upwards of months. Not an optimal state to be sure, but it’s stored fat and protein that’s used. The quintessential "zero carb diet."
Were it not so, we’d have gone extinct long ago.
The brian operates very well on ketones but still needs around 120g of glucose per day, and our red blood cells require a bit of glucose. But the liver produces glucose from protein (gluconeogenesis). It can convert fully 58% of a gram of protein you eat into glucose.
However, the longer you go without carbs, the more efficient your brain gets at using ketones (made from fat metabolism) and can eventually get its glucose requirement down to about 40g per day. Now you get to speculate about just HOW and WHY we’d have such an evolutionary adaptation.
If you want to read about the details, pages 279-282:
Understanding the brain and its development: a chemical approach By Harun K. M. Yusuf.
(Thanks to Jenny for that one — though it’s most disheartening to see her silly, broad stroke crusade against paleo of late. Some people just can’t give up the grains, I guess. But, she’s a tremendous value — particularly to diabetics — nonetheless.)
I suppose it’s time to end this.
…The point being, if you were to take the time to do your research in the interest of you and yours, you could easily know more than the "experts" in a reasonably short amount of time.