We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, July 21. 2015
Reposted by popular request. If the reader is strong, fit for most physical challenges in life, and in good shape, then this is all irrelevant and should be ignored.
- Weight loss is mostly a separate subject from physical fitness training. Adipose tissue (fat, the revolting yellow lard that burdens your body and heart especially, and drives surgeons nuts by makes their scalpels greasy and slippery) is very easy to accumulate and difficult to burn off. It's like the opposite of money.
- Your energy storage consists mainly of carbs stored as sugar (glycogen - the petty cash drawer of energy) and carbs converted into sugar and then into fat if the sugar isn't burned right away (the long-term investment which is more difficult to access and burn). It's been calculated that the average Western citizen has enough stored energy to walk 600-1000 miles. A gift of evolution.
- To burn fat as fuel, you have to restrict sugar (ie, carbs). The resulting condition is known as ketosis, and can make your breath smell funny. It is thought that your body can speed up its ability to mobilize fat as an energy source, when carb-limited.
- There is a myth about good carbs and bad carbs. This really only applies to diabetics. All dietary carbs are converted to sugar, even potatoes. That's why all the talk about dietary sugar itself is nonsense. We've all seen people have a Splenda in their coffee with their whole wheat bagel. Are you kidding me? A little sugar is 10 calories and the bagel is 300 calories. Many people do not understand that all carbs become sugar during digestion. Yes, even brown rice and whole wheat bread. If you need the microscopic amount of protein in them you are in real trouble.
-To attain a target weight, you have to restrict but not totally eliminate carbs from the diet. One or two slices of bread and one apple is plenty of daily carbs for a weight loss program, along with the relatively small amount of carbs in vegetables.
- As I have posted in the past, exercise, especially intense exertion, has numerous health and life benefits but is an ineffective way to try lose fat without the primary dietary component. The reason is that the body burns carbs preferentially. It's easier for it to do. The body is set up to protect its long-term investment in case of starvation conditions and it is happy to store as much as you will offer it. It's a sponge.
- In middle age, metabolism slows for both men and women. Menopause, especially. Caloric needs drop substantially regardless of activity level. Accumulating fat becomes easier, and getting rid of it becomes more difficult. Best just not to accumulate it.
- It is true that, the minute your feeling of hunger goes away, you have probably had enough to eat. Also true that, in the prosperous Western world, feeding has become a recreation, an event, or a self-soothing therapy or a cure for boredom, and a clockwork routine, and both hunger and satiety signals are thrown to the winds. For example, many sedentary people will eat a lunch simply "because it's lunchtime."
- It is also true that intense daily exercise reduces appetite in most people. It has to be intense, though.
- The less you eat, the more your stomach shrinks and thus the quicker you are satisfied. If you pay attention to it, that is.
Now to fitness, not weight loss
- As for physical conditioning (but not for weight loss), it is true that anything beyond full-day sedentary is good. Maintaining mobility and ordinary functionality is a good thing. Use it or lose it. The more activity demands you put on yourself during the day, of any sort, the better off you will be.
- To maintain good conditioning in middle age and later age requires either day-long physical labor or a more compact, more intense, daily or every other day effort and commitment for those whose lives are basically sedentary. That is most of us in our luxurious, decadent era. (Walking around counts as sedentary as does weekend sports or yard work.) Otherwise, there will be more physical deterioration than we want.
- I agree with all who say that serious weight training is the best way to do that. I agree that intense weight training and high-intensity aerobics are the most efficient ways to improve or maintain physical conditioning at any age.
- a physically-stressful weight training program requires some protein for muscle repair and construction. It doesn't require very much, but it requires some small amounts during the day. A whole steak or fish filet is not necessary, but an egg or one slice of meat 3 or 4 times daily is plenty sufficient protein for a demanding program. Adult humans do not need much protein - except for pleasure.
- It is true that light, high-rep workouts and non-intense aerobics (meaning if you can breathe relatively comfortably) have minimal benefits, but they do make people feel good, reduce anxiety, and help with sleep. That counts for something. Better than nothing.
- Being fit will likely not extend your life, but could make it more pleasant, energetic, and functional. It will make you more attractive too.
- It has become clear to me that fitness and fatness is a class- and culture-related topic. In the US, poor people tend to be fatter and less active. I don't know why that is. For what's it is worth, Pres. Obama does a tough workout for an hour each morning with a trainer before he does anything else. So did Bush. Good examples for those of us who sit on our behinds most of the day to earn a living.
- Gluttony is a sin, deadly spiritually and literally like lust. Prosperous Romans ate until over-full, puked in the vomitorium, then went at it again. For fun. Their slaves were healthier than the patricians. Adult people do not need much food to be healthy and strong. On the other hand, fitness is a secular, esthetic, and practical virtue. I have never been able to think of my body as a temple but it sure comes in handy.
- Why are Americans overweight? Cheap food, habit, hedonism, TV, internet, prosperity, machines, minimal hard work to be done. It's no mystery.
A fairly good piece on the physiology: Fat Metabolism During Exercise: New Concepts
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Just wanted to thank you for your posts on diet and exercise. As an older dude going through something of the same thing I really enjoy reading them.
It has become clear to me that fitness and fatness is a class- and culture-related topic.
Yet many proponents of the poor Western diet and its faddish animal agriculture absolutely insist to the point of obsession that weight is forever genetic but, by extension, genetics may somehow never be cultural! (Would they insist that poverty absolutely must be immediately social - and somehow unavoidable - but may never be due to the broader cultural conditions in a Welfare State?)
Meanwhile hard scientific evidence shows that culture has everything to do with health, disease, build, and length of life. In other words, weight and health really is cultural, meaning it's dietary. Remove any healthy ethnicity from its homeland, subject it for two generations to the Western diet, and watch cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes skyrocket.
Part of that scientific evidence shows that the unhealthy Western diet of animal agriculture is worst for obesity and veganism is best - the latter is without question the best and fastest way to weight loss. Therein exercise isn't even needed. Conventional carbohydrate theory in Bliss's formulation doesn't even factor. It's a pernicious myth deployed by lifestyle-seekers who won't try live, whole, exclusively plant-based diets.
Health is just as affected, as virtually all the manifestations of poor health here in the Lipotor West are reversed by a return to whole live plant-based diets. Entire nations have studied the effect, the largest being China decades ago.
Health and weight are indeed cultural first and genetic second, insofar that you can call recoverable poor health and an impaired but repairable metabolism genetic. Those problems are indeed cultural, which means dietary and thus controllable.
Just an FYI, the "vomitorium" of antiquity that you've described likely never existed.
Taken from Wikipedia (yeah, I know):
"A vomitorium is a passage situated below or behind a tier of seats in an amphitheatre or a stadium, through which big crowds can exit rapidly at the end of a performance. They can also be pathways for actors to enter and leave stage. The Latin word vomitorium, plural vomitoria, derives from the verb vomō, vomere, "to spew forth."
"There is a common misconception that ancient Romans designated spaces called vomitoria for the purpose of actual vomiting, as part of a binge and purge cycle."
In March I weighed 210. By eating healthy and daily walking I have lost 30 lbs. I was taking 5 medications for blood pressure and cholesterol and both measurements were still were bad. I now take no pills and both my blood pressure and cholesterol are perfect.
I write only to point out that non-intense exercise (and of course improved diet) will do far more than make a sedentary person "feel better". Sure intense workouts might be better, but at my age I would have blown out a knee or ankle by week 2.
In the US, poor people tend to be fatter and more lazy.
Now see, it is intriguing why pretty much no one can discuss weight and exercise without using "lazy" which has judgement built right into it. How about a more a more observational form for that sentence
In the US, poor people tend to be fatter and less active.
See, that relates observable traits, but implies nothing regarding willingness to work or expend energy. Oh and it's more scientific since "lazy" is not objectively measurable.
We can even make cause and effect with the new form, e.g., Being less active while consuming the same amount of carbs causes many, perhaps most, people to become fatter. As an individual becomes fatter, many, perhaps most, become less active thus creating a spiraling feedback that can accelerate both increases in fat accumulation and decline in activity.
However, eating the same amount of carb while being more lazy causes many, perhaps most, to become fatter. But becoming fatter does not necessarily increase a person's unwillingness to work or expend energy. Their willingness may remain the same, but their activity may still decline.
I pretty much agree with everything you said in this post. I would clearify one point. You comment "All dietary carbs are converted to sugar" would seem to imply that fats and protein are not converted to sugar. If you only eat fats and proteins then your body will convert them to sugar (glucose).
Poor people are fatter because the cheapest foods are carbs. Potatoes, rice, beans. Such diets cause insulin resistance in which the body stores carbs as fat rather than allow their use to power the body. With no fuel to power movement, the poor are more sedentary.
Hog wash. Poor people are fat cause they are on food stamps and eat gluttonously. Our ancestors ate "Potatoes, rice and beans" and were far skinnier. Buy a fricking clue.
Like the man said, hogwash. (Likewise Bliss is biologically incomplete, above.)
Update your science, folks. There are fundamental differences between fats and storage, just as there are between types of carbs. In the presence of fats, especially animal fats, carbs are associated with weight gain. On the other hand, you cannot get heavy on a strict diet of plant-based carbs.
Not sure how many times this needs to be pointed out to the meat-eating lifestylers and unhealthy Atkins food faddists, but it seems to be quite a few...
I'd like to see evidence for that. There are no fat carb eaters?
Did I say that? There are no fat carb eaters who exist solely on plant-based diets. That's because fat makes you fat - it alters your metabolism and it's the energy storage medium in the first place, to put it in the simplest terms.
You'd like to see evidence for that about as much as I'd like to see evidence in favor of Bliss's endless bad medical advice.
A whole body of scientific knowledge has a bone to pick with you. Unfortunately most of its pre-WWII German and Austrian.
Unhealthy Adkins faddists? Who are they?
Oh yeah, the ones who don't/won't suffer from Alzheimers because they ate enough saturated fatty foods to keep their brains healthy, unlike those scrawny Third World-wannabees known as "vegans" and "strict vegetarians"!
Peddle your crackpot all-veggie-all-the-time stuff elsewhere, Bunky (or is it Ashram?).
Joy, here is a just out, most interesting independent corroboration from an independently respected source on some of your MD critical commentary and knowledge, including psychiatric and pharma and psychiatrists being in "bed with same". Note too, that the strong minded and high principled and very highly regarded, technically at least, cardiologist, Eric Topol MD, had his cardiology position affected early on, in principled arguments with pharma, etc.
As you well know, there is more out there now, as well, regarding the use of psychotropics, as well.
Think you'll like this update, Joy, readers too--http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/847714
IMO, the internet has indeed become the Ziggurat, well illustrated with this post and comments . We'll see what transpires.
Joy, and fellow commenters and readers, to thoroughly enlighten, educate and confuse all upon the subject of nutrition, this somewhat erudite and scholarly screed, also from MD's to further tantalize your neurons, or is it to entangle them further?:
And remember, eat those oysters with the full knowledge that they might be your last if infected, just as so with unwashed vegetables, fruits etc. Life is difficult, and I know too well, as I lived through a family member who had the jack in the box syndrome from unwashed vegetables. She is fine now. That is a deep story that is too long for this forum.
And blow your mind with this, on psychiatry, which I think Joy would agree with likely wholeheartedly, although I suppose much, only seeing her shadow........https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esPRsT-lmw8
Those who take the time to watch and learn, will indeed learn much, and it will be a mind sticker..........
And yes, I have some directly relevant experience, having seen a disturbed and periodically epileptic adult patient, with a congenital lesion in the left temporal lobe, about 6 cm diameter, AV malformation, 80% resected. Mild improvement, only, with lingering personality disorder, and medically difficultly controlled epilepsy. Childhood issues were also a factor.
I would love to see what if anything this MD in the video could do....
Also excellent video on diet
Thanks for the info about valentus slimroast it was very useful to me. My brother told me about this site.