I was watching "The Biggest Loser" tonight, and something that one of them said...
by, 05-17-2010 at 00:54 (1291 Views)
...really struck me. A former contestant was visiting the current losers, and was helping to guide them through what life would be like once they were off the 'ranch' and back in the real world of jobs, family, and fast food temptations.
The contestant was almost in tears at the thought of having to maintain her weightloss without being able to work out all day long like they do in the artificial environment of the ranch--either due to real life intruding or because one simply can't get up the energy to spend all day there.
The wisdom offered to her was that she would be fine as long as she "ate right and only worked out an hour or two every day".
You really don't need up to two hours of exercise every day to maintain weightloss, especially if you concentrate on foods which don't naturally lend themselves to deposition as fat. Foods which don't raise insulin levels. Foods which are nutrient-dense, not energy-dense.
It really only takes about 45 minutes with heavy weights, two-three times a week. If you feel you must do cardio, especially those who might need to have higher endurance than the rest of us, do some HIIT for 15 minutes a couple of times a week. Skip the sugars and starches. Avoid vegetable oils except for olive and coconut. You won't gain fat and you will have all the energy you need.
The show irritates the crap out of me sometimes. They are blatant shills for various products, most of which are not only talked up on segments during the show but also advertised directly during commercial breaks. All of them espousing the low-fat mantra, and lots of them replacing that fat with sugar or corn syrup. It is ridiculous.
A big part of it ties in with another thing I have been thinking about lately. Commerce in general is a big part of why we are tipping the scales. Supermarkets are full of processed goods because they are a value-added product. They take cheap raw materials which don't necessarily tempt the palate, add sweeteners, transfats (because they are shelf-stable and saturated fats have been unfairly demonized), preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors, and they sell them for a substantial markup & profit.
The worst part is that they are allowed to advertise themselves as being "heart-healthy", approved for diabetics (such as crystallized fructose), whole-grain, low-fat, lite, whatever, and the consumer buys it (pun intended).
As I put in my mammoth thread last year, the government is to blame for this. They subsidize soy, corn, wheat, rice, and sugar and call them healthy. They demand that school lunches are carb-heavy and saturated-fat light, which means more soy products and less meats. They continue to define a food pyramid for the country which stands upon a massive base of grains and starchy vegetables with a little meat and a drop of oil at the top, when meat should be a big part of every day's caloric intake for maximum health.
When I railed against this in my thread, I was lambasted for daring to postulate that rational, thinking people would use the government's suggestions on what is healthy to eat as a literal guide.
Well, you know what? I know a whole hell of a lot of smart, fat people. Smart ain't enough. When I tell them to drop the sugar and starch, and they do, they lose a ton of weight and their health comes back without hunger or feelings of deprivation. Why is that MY job? The Government has taken upon itself to preach against obesity, then they tell people to exercise more and cut fat out of their diet; the very same crap that they have been telling people since the '70's. It hasn't been working so far.
So I continue to make an pest of myself. I spread the word anywhere I can to whomever will listen. I get them to watch Fat Head and their life goes from crap to great in a few short months. I give them recipes and lists of healthy foods.
Maybe it will be enough. Maybe they will each tell two friends, people who might be suffering from obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid/autoinflammatory disorders, gout, IBS/GERD, or other related problems. Could be there is a saturation point, past which enough people will know that we can get some changes made in policy.
I tell them "You were never meant to be this fat, this tired, this weak, this suffering. Your genes have another program in mind for you, but you keep fooling the safeguards by eating foods you never would have encountered in nature."
Some of them, a few, tell me "I know, I'm trying, but I can't do without my carbs". I ask them what is their weakness and try to help them find solutions to get around the problems. Dreamfields pasta. High-fiber breads. Truvia instead of sugar. Butter instead of margarine. Not as desirable as cutting out the starch entirely, but better than nothing.
For some it works. Others just can't break the cycle. I can see strong comparisons to drug users who can't break the habit because they simply haven't hit bottom yet. Smokers with lung cancer grabbing a smoke outside the hospital during chemo sessions.
I have been sitting on this one for a while, but since nobody is really reading this anyway there's no harm in spilling the beans on it. I have a friend from the Air Force with advanced metastatic cancer. It is likely a result of agent orange exposure in the 80's. It started as prostate cancer and has since spread to his lungs and his bones, including the outside of his skull. Doctors have given him 2 or so years to live.
I found out about his cancer last month. He has been hospitalized a number of times for exhaustion and other related problems. He was in tears when I spoke to him because he was giving away his parrots, which meant more to him than just about anything else in his life, because they would likely be able to live for another 30-40 years and he didn't want them to live without someone who cared for them.
It turns out that cancer cells make a trade-off when they switch to being tumors. Ordinary cells can use glucose, fatty acids or ketone bodies for fuel, among other things. Cancer cells switch off their mitochondria and can only burn glucose in their cytoplasm in a tremendously inefficient fashion.
There has been some very promising work in treating cancer patients with an extremely low-carb, high-fat diet. The cancer cells cannot get the sugar that they need to survive and they either stop growing or they die off altogether. The results would be more drastic, but so far they have only allowed patients into the program who are near death already.
I immediately placed my friend on a nearly zero-carb diet; let's say <20g per day. Lots of butter, lard, coconut oil, meat, cheese, eggs, and fresh low-starch veggies (broccoli, spinach, avocado, green beans, etc). Supplements include calcium, Vitamin D3, and extra electrolytes.
It's been about a month now, and his energy levels are above what they were before he contracted the cancer. He has an appointment with a new cancer clinic in a week and I am very hopeful for what we will learn about his condition.
The information is out there. Who wants to help me save the world? Some votes of encouragement wouldn't hurt my feelings.