An Obnoxiously Caps-Ridden Rant and Updated Fitness Photo of Yours Truly
I just visited yet another so-called “health and fitness” website, and it made me flaming mad.
“To lose weight, eat-low-fat and jog more. Burn more calories than you consume.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Has nobody noticed yet that THIS DOESN’T WORK? The short-term, fickle weight loss that results from that kind of program is not bodyfat loss! It is unsustainable, detrimental, uncomfortable loss of water and muscle. Not only that, but it actually increases bodyfat and degrades health over time.
Why doesn’t it work?
Because the calories-in/calories-out theory ignores the critically important HORMONAL effects of macronutrients and sleep, which are what drive the body’s storage or burning of bodyfat.
I offer as one, tiny, “n=1” scrap of evidence a fitness-photo update I took yesterday. Sorry about the poor quality — photos and smudged mirrors don’t mix, but you get the point.
Now, for crimney’s sake, don’t start with that crap about how “You’re lean because work out so much.”
Let me be clear: My muscle size and strength is courtesy of heavy lifting and bodyweight work. BUT, the leanness that lets you see the muscles is not. I could be strong as a horse and still fat.
My leanness isn’t from miles of jogging, either. I haven’t run so much as a mile in recent memory. Furthermore, I’m only 6 weeks back into strength training after taking a couple months off over the summer.
Exercise is not the key to leanness. (To be more technically accurate: Burning calories via exercise is not the key to leanness. Strength work and sprints — but not constant cardio — do have beneficial hormonal effects that encourage bodyfat loss.)
I am lean primarily because I eat what my body needs: Fat. (Omigod!) Protein. And a limited quantity of well-chosen, nutrient-dense carbohydrate.
How much fat? 60-70% of my caloric intake. You read that right.
How much protein? 25-30% of my caloric intake. To satiety. Easy.
How much carbohydrate? 5-15% of my caloric intake. Mostly vegetables. Occasional fruit.
This diet provides plenty of the ESSENTIAL fats and proteins I need to survive. The NON-ESSENTIAL carbohydrate (none is necessary for survival) contributes the micronutrients I need to thrive. In fact, the amount of vegetable matter I consume provides enough fiber and micronutrients to make my daily nutritional intake look like the label on a high-quality multivitamin pill.
I make no effort whatsoever to limit calorie consumption via diet or burn calories via exercise. None. Zero. I eat as much as I want, whenever I want, and it tastes fantastic. And I am lean.
And before you ask, my bloodwork is fantastic: https://inthenightlife.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/bloody-marvelous/ (Sorry, WP is having issues with hyperlinks today.)
And I’m far from the only one: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-book/success-stories/
So. Why don’t the healthy-whole-grain-low-fat-cardio-bunnies look like this? Why do they still have high bodyfat, blood pressure, and triglycerides?
Because it’s about the hormones — not the calories.
Look. I’m not asking you to agree with me. But I AM asking you to do your homework. Ask the hard questions, examine the hard evidence (remember to check who paid for the “research”)…and THEN decide what to believe.
Don’t know where to begin? I have resources plastered all over this blog, and if you want more references on specific topics, just ask in the comments and I’ll get you some.
Okay, rant over. For now. Class dismissed.