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I’m a cautious advocate of the Paleo diet. I’ve been doing it for a year now, and have no complaints. However, many Paleo gurus — as well as opportunistic fat apologists — have taken to claiming that the obesity plague disfiguring America’s women is, if not solely at least partially, the result of a mismanaged or even conspiratorial government-agribusiness alliance that shoves refined grains and sugars down our throats. In other words, fatties are fat because they’ve been eating what the government tells them to eat.
Eh, hold up. I ate a lot of the same crap when I was a kid that fatties eat, but I didn’t bloat up. The sugar-grains-vegetable oil trifecta of triglycerides and the concomitant omega 3 and 6 ratio imbalance isn’t the whole story. I’ve always felt it’s part of the story, but can’t be the sole explanation for the gross tonnage of shoggoths among us. That first law of thermodynamics looms large over everything. Calories in must equal calories out, or energy differentials lead to weight fluctuation. Ever see an overweight Ethiopian famine victim?
Nevertheless, the “fatties aren’t responsible for their grotesque appearance” crowd has been latching onto Paleo dietary theory as some sort of proof that their “condition” is the fault of someone else, like the government food pyramid, or genes, or advertising, or HFCS- and Canola-pushing globoagricorporate fat cats.
I smell a faint whiff of bullshit. And now some brave (or stupid) souls are experimenting on themselves to demonstrate the basic laws of weight gain.
Here’s a guy who went on a Twinkies diet for ten weeks and lost 27 pounds.
Twinkies. Nutty bars. Powdered donuts.
For 10 weeks, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate one of these sugary cakelets every three hours, instead of meals. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too.
His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most — not the nutritional value of the food.
The premise held up: On his “convenience store diet,” he shed 27 pounds in two months.
For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub’s pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily.So he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.
His body mass index went from 28.8, considered overweight, to 24.9, which is normal. He now weighs 174 pounds.
But you might expect other indicators of health would have suffered. Not so.
Newsflash! You eat less, you lose weight, no matter what form the calories come in.
The most interesting result of Haub’s experiment in accelerated tooth decay was this:
Haub’s “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his “good” cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent.
“That’s where the head scratching comes,” Haub said. “What does that mean? Does that mean I’m healthier? Or does it mean how we define health from a biology standpoint, that we’re missing something?”
He did eat some vegetables, which might account for the unexpected lipid profile. Nonetheless, his measured lipid numbers are highly counterintuitive.
Two-thirds of his total intake came from junk food. He also took a multivitamin pill and drank a protein shake daily. And he ate vegetables, typically a can of green beans or three to four celery stalks.
Haub’s results suggest that the QUANTITY of calories ingested is at least as important as, and maybe more important than, the type of calories for maintaining a healthy weight.
Haub’s body fat dropped from 33.4 to 24.9 percent. This posed the question: What matters more for weight loss, the quantity or quality of calories? […]
Blatner, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, said she’s not surprised to hear Haub’s health markers improved even when he loaded up on processed snack cakes.
Being overweight is the central problem that leads to complications like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, she said.
“When you lose weight, regardless of how you’re doing it — even if it’s with packaged foods, generally you will see these markers improve when weight loss has improved,” she said.
Big bottom line: Being fat itself is bad for your health. “Fat and fit” is a myth. The change that counts the most is losing the weight, which can only be done by PUSHING AWAY FROM THE TABLE.
Haub had tried other diets:
Before his Twinkie diet, he tried to eat a healthy diet that included whole grains, dietary fiber, berries and bananas, vegetables and occasional treats like pizza.
“There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy,” Haub said. “It may not be the same. I was eating healthier, but I wasn’t healthy. I was eating too much.”
Being healthy means not overeating. Overeating is the path to the bulbous side. Overeating leads to corpulence. Corpulence leads to self-hate. Self-hate leads to donuts and alone time with the dildo. The very frightened dildo.
Haub plans to add about 300 calories to his daily intake now that he’s done with the diet. But he’s not ditching snack cakes altogether. Despite his weight loss, Haub feels ambivalence.
“I wish I could say the outcomes are unhealthy. I wish I could say it’s healthy. I’m not confident enough in doing that. That frustrates a lot of people. One side says it’s irresponsible. It is unhealthy, but the data doesn’t say that.”
Don’t take this post as a rebuke of the Paleo lifestyle. The science behind Paleo eating, sugars, and lipid profiles is strong, and real world evidence seems to back tenets of the theory. But Paleo is not the whole picture. There is an interplay between types of calories and amount of calories, as well as degree and kind of exercise, that likely synergistically affects weight gain or loss and how hungry we feel. Beyond good calories and bad calories there are simply too many calories.
The calories are too damn high!
And too many calories not offset by increased physical activity leads to obesity. Get out of the car and off your office chair and walk around a mile each day, and you’ve won half the battle toward rebalancing your caloric energy throughputs.
And why are people eating so many more calories? Well, maybe because it’s gotten dirt cheap to stuff your face.
…according to researchers at the University of Washington, a thousand calories of nutritious food cost $18.16, while a thousand calories of junk food cost a mere $1.76. How do they keep junk-food costs so low? Pretty simple, actually: flavor enhancers and other chemical additives…
As always, obesity is a question of character more than an issue of bad foods. Fatties put on low calorie diets whose caloric intake was monitored under controlled conditions showed more weight loss than fatties on experimental diets who self-reported their food intake. Surprise surprise! Fat people lie about how much food they wolf down. Kind of like how sluts lie about their number of past partners.
Maxim #105: Where there’s incentive, there are lies.
Fat fucks lack the self-discipline to stop stuffing their piggy maws. The grotesquely obese should be shamed and tormented for the weak-willed degenerates they are. Making an example of them would serve an excellent purpose. Hurt a few souls now, save a few hundred later.