Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday, 19 November 2012 - 132.2 lbs

New low!!! Only by two-tenths of a pound, but I don't give a crap. I'll take it!

Today I opened my cake hole wide for:

chocolate flavored coffee with teaspoon of cocoa, coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of full fat cream 

2 eggs with full fat cream cooked in bacon grease, with full fat sour cream and salsa

3 slices of bacon

worked out back, biceps, forearms

post-workout whey protein (Tried drinking this stuff before and my weight loss stalled. But a recent meta-study extolls the virtues of protein supplementation, so I figured I'd give it another try and see what happens.)

baked chicken thigh

bowlful of baby spinach with full fat sour cream ranch dressing

Edited to add: Upon waking up in the middle of the night, I had a case of the munchies and indulged myself. Had a small handful of nuts and a couple pieces of salami and havarti. Yums.

From the Mailbag!
Is mere calorie restriction what's really behind your weight loss?

Good question. Let me tell you this up front, though: I don't really buy into the "calories-in vs calories-out" theory of weight loss. I'm no mathmagician, but I think Gary Taubes makes a pretty convincing case against the idea in Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. The content of the calories and their affect on insulin have more bearing on weight loss than some arbitrary total number of calories consumed in general. 

I don't count calories, so I don't really know how my caloric intake stacks up against what I "should" be eating. I've taken the low calorie approach before, and while I did lose weight, it wasn't very easy for me, and nowhere near as easy as HFLC (high fat, low carb). When eating HFLC I don't count calories, I feel full when I'm done eating, I don't feel weak or starved between meals, and I love the food I eat. For me, the low calorie approach was the opposite in every respect.

It's worth pointing out that although my list of foods every day may not look like much, fat is 9 calories per gram, whereas carbohydrates and protein are only 4. My coffee, for example, usually has about 2 tablespoons of full fat whipping cream in it. That's 90 calories right there (80 of which are fat). The coconut oil I add to my coffee is another 120 calories -- the same as a serving of Special K (all 120 calories of coconut oil are from fat). As someone who has tried the Special K diet, I'm here to tell you my morning coffee keeps me sated much longer than a bowl of cereal! (In fact, sometimes when I come home at lunch time I'm still full from my coffee!) The full fat whipping cream, full fat sour cream, and bacon grease I use for cooking are not low calorie foods, and I use them all generously. But I honestly have no idea what number of calories my meals add up to because it's carbs I watch, not calories. And the most important thing is that the food eaten on HFLC is filling. The only time I ever felt full on a low calorie diet was if I saved my allowed daily caloric intake for a single meal. On HFLC, I'm full when I'm finished eating. Every time. And it's from eating foods that I actually enjoy (as you might be able to tell from the repetition of my daily menu).

But let's say my calories do add up to be roughly equivalent to what we would find in a low calorie diet: it's entirely incidental -- a welcome side affect of eating foods that keep you feeling full by not causing insulin spikes, unlike carbohydrates. In the article I linked to a couple days ago (and linked to again just now, as it happens), Gary Taubes addressed this aspect of low carb dieting: 
[W]hen the American Medical Association released its scathing critique of Atkins's diet in March 1973, it acknowledged that the diet probably worked, but expressed little interest in why. Through the 60's, this had been a subject of considerable research, with the conclusion that Atkins-like diets were low-calorie diets in disguise; that when you cut out pasta, bread and potatoes, you'll have a hard time eating enough meat, vegetables and cheese to replace the calories.
That, however, raised the question of why such a low-calorie regimen would also suppress hunger, which Atkins insisted was the signature characteristic of the diet. One possibility was Endocrinology 101: that fat and protein make you sated and, lacking carbohydrates and the ensuing swings of blood sugar and insulin, you stay sated. The other possibility arose from the fact that Atkins's diet is ''ketogenic.'' This means that insulin falls so low that you enter a state called ketosis, which is what happens during fasting and starvation. Your muscles and tissues burn body fat for energy, as does your brain in the form of fat molecules produced by the liver called ketones. Atkins saw ketosis as the obvious way to kick-start weight loss....
When I interviewed ketosis experts... they universally sided with Atkins[.]
More can be said about this, but good gravy look how long I've already carried on for! More later! Auf Wiedersehen!

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