Tag Archives: Diet

Wednesday, the balancing act


So: imagining that my weight stays stable when I eat between 1400 and 1800 calories.  Then, if I eat less than 1400 calories (and/or exercise more) I lose weight. And also, if I eat more than 1800 calories (and/or exercise less) I gain weight.

And I do fine for a long time.  I stay within that range.  My average exercise keeps up with my calorie needs. All that.

But then comes the odd time.  Illness maybe.  Or stress-celebration related eating surges (say an extra 200 calories a day).

THEN (I’m just thinking) I learn that I was eating at the 1700-1800 end of my calorie range.  And when my eating surged (it pushed me right over my manageable range.  And for some weeks or months (I’m just THINKING) I’m eating 1800 -2000 calories a day.  For a while.

See how that works?  If I regularly ate at the BOTTOM of my range, 1400 -1500 calories a day then adding a couple hundred calories a day for a while wouldn’t hurt. … I WOULD have to cut back though — or I’d find myself exactly where I am.  Eventually.

The Hacker’s Diet is all about controlling that oscillation. Someone like me (whose instincts seem to be all off) has to monitor calorie use daily.  I HAVE to make those adjustments BEFORE I slide off the right side of this chart:

And that’s what I’m thinking about today. What’s going on with you?

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Hey, Where's the toast & cheese??!!

From Forbes Magazine comes a list of the world’s most healthy foods:

The Healthiest Foods On Earth

What is the best diet for human beings?

Vegetarian? Vegan? High-protein? Low-fat? Dairy-Free?

Hold on to your shopping carts: There is no perfect diet for human beings. At least not one that’s based on how much protein, fat or carbohydrates you eat.

. . .

The only thing these diets have in common is that they’re all based on whole foods with minimum processing. Nuts, berries, beans, raw milk, grass-fed meat. Whole, real, unprocessed food is almost always healthy, regardless of how many grams of carbs, protein or fat it contains.

All these healthy diets have in common the fact that they are absent foods with bar codes. They are also extremely low in sugar. In fact, the number of modern or ancient societies known for health and longevity that have consumed a diet high in sugar would be … let’s see … zero.

Truth be told, what you eat probably matters less than how much processing it’s undergone. Real food–whole food with minimal processing–contains a virtual pharmacy of nutrients, phytochemicals, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and healthful fats, and can easily keep you alive and thriving into your 10th decade.

And exhaustion aside, what’s so bad about being fat?

Obesity health risk cause ‘found’
Scientists believe they may have uncovered a key reason why obese people have a raised risk of health complications such as type 2 diabetes.

They blame a specific protein – pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) – which is secreted by fat cells.

In tests on obese mice, the researchers found that treatments designed to block the action of PEDF lowered the animals’ blood fat level and reversed some of their insulin resistance.

Fat cells are known to play an important role in regulating the body’s metabolism by releasing hormones and other chemicals.

. . .

The researchers took particular interest in PEDF because it was already known that levels of the protein were raised in people with type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome – a collection of risk factors including too much belly fat, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

They found that of all the molecules secreted by fat cells PEDF was among the most abundant.

They also showed that PEDF levels fell in obese mice when they lost weight, either by using diet or drugs.

When lean mice were injected with PEDF they showed signs of developing insulin resistance and inflammation in both muscle and liver.

. . .

But when obese mice were given treatment to neutralise PEDF their sensitivity to insulin improved, reducing their risk of diabetes, and the level of fats in their blood fell.

Researcher Dr Matthew Watt, from Monash University in Australia, said: “In light of our findings, we believe that blocking PEDF will ameliorate several obesity-related complications.”

. . . Still (thinking of my knees and chin), it’s probably better to just lose the weight. :)

I’ve been thinking about Health Care Reform – specifically, What will it cost ME and what will I get? – And from the Washington Post here’s a (possibly) helpful summary of the current state of thought:

What will I get? Click on image to see the details

What will I get? Click on image to see the details

The interesting thing is that ALL the options seem to include out-of-pocket-caps on annual health care expenses. And that’s new to me — I haven’t seen such caps mentioned in any summary (and I’ve looked for ‘em) More information on THAT would be gratefully appreciated!

Posted in Health Care for Everyone | Also tagged , , 4 Comments

Sad but true food facts

pizzaHow many times have you said it, “Yum, it makes me hungry just to look at that?”  Well, it turns out that’s actually true according to this story in the LA Times:

An interesting idea to help us stay (or get) thin

“When you see or smell food, you have an insulin surge, which drops your blood glucose,” she said. “Your stomach relaxes, so it gets bigger and you need more food just to feel full.”

It’s thought (according to this story) that the increase in food advertising is responsible for the fact that Americans eat an average of 500 more calories a day than they did a generation or two ago.  Now the people interviewed here skip over the “need more food just to feel full” bit to talk about how to get restaurants to reduce portion sizes.  And that’s certainly a worthy goal.

But, what about the part where a relaxed stomach makes you want to eat more to feel full?

Maybe we should dig those skinny jeans out of the closet — if only at dinner time.  That’ll tighten up the tummy!

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Monday, Getting a Plan

My plan to become slender and willowy and alluring is not working out and the reason seems to be that though I go for days and days eating only celery and RyKrisp and a soup made from birch twigs and lichen, I black out occasionally and when I regain consciousness I am crouched over the half-eaten carcass of a gazelle and my hands and face are red and sticky and I’m disgusted, of course, and yet very rare gazelle does taste good when you’re hungry, and the exertion of chasing one and bringing it down does make a person ravenous.

– Garrison Keillor, A Puritan’s Path To Weight Loss and Eternal Happiness

I spent the weekend cleaning closets and trying to distract myself from the attractive treats calling me from the kitchen. Aside from the occasional lapse (where I’d duck into the refrigerator for a slice of cheese) the weekend was mostly successful. The closets are clean and the treats are (mostly) still there. Continue reading »

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