Friday, October 14, 2011

Plateau verses Rebound; a Dieter's Choice

The inevitable flat lining of a dieter's weight-loss is a test. If we allow frustration and boredom to overcome our enthusiasm for our diet, we will rebound. We know this from past experience. I have documented several cycles of weight loss and my inevitable rebound, the pattern is always the same. 

When my weight loss is dynamic and steady, I am inspired and diligent. But when life gets in the way, when dieting conflicts with work and social activities, I face a choice. Buckle down and stick to my current dieting methodology, or slip into the dark side.

My pattern may be familiar to you. Quietly I seek solice in comfort foods, temporarily escaping the tedium into old soothing addictions, sweet creamy tummy stuffers. I forget to pay attention. Lost in the oblivion of oral orgies, my weight line rises, defeating months of success... confirming again my own self-contempt. This is crazy, yet this has happened too many times to ignore.

My advice to myself? Play with the variables, eliminate obvious leaks in the system, persevere. Plateaus are inevitable, even unavoidable as our bodies adjust to our current metabolical state. Let the plateaus happen. Don't panic. Don't run away into an old abusive relationship with food. Reconfirm diet fundamentals, the rules that have carried you this far, and stick to your guns. If only to preserve the new you, that was so reassuring, when the pounds were melting away. 

"This too will pass."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

133.4kg>115.8kg What's in a number...

I started a modest goal of descending from a crest of 134 kg (over 21 stones/near 300 pounds) to a weight of 115 kg (18 stones or about 250 pounds) and now, after 6 months, my goal is in reach. Of course, this present weight has me moved from Clinically Obese into merely Obese. Breaking the next goal of being under 100 kg (less than 16 stones and under 215 pounds) may well be another 6 months away... and still have me, squarely, within the Obese category... a wide trough of despair where most Americans live.

Considering some of the sacrifices, death by a thousand lost habitual oral gestures, one may question whether the journey is worthy of this extended footnote. Yet there has been so many small yet memorable moments, a small necklace of successes and learned lessons. In a life where progress is hard to detect, it is fun to feel progress... to learn more of the subtleties of cuisine, the addictive powers of common foods, the actual limits of my will power, and the humor of our human condition. Dieting is fun when it isn't outright miserable.

The Low-Carb experiment survived an American Southern States road trip, and now the next journey is more of the same, augmented by more actual exercise, in the Isles of the Philippines.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Texan BBQ Low-carb benefits

The fast food chains are just too tough to find a good option for the low-carb dieter. Fortunately, when traveling through Texas, and some of the neighboring States, there are fantastic barbecue restaurants. Texans know how to prepare meats to be tender and savory. The trick is to remember to put the sauce on the side for moderate dipping. The sauces are strong so you won't need much for seasoning. Sides (side dishes an option of two or three in most restaurants) have vegetable options to replace the ubiquitous breads and potatoes.

In the fast food chains, almost all the fish and meats are breaded and deep fried, and accompanied by massive buns and hills of potatoes. This makes any home-style BBQ truck stop, or family friendly diner, a blessing of delicious low carbohydrate options. Usually the staff are also more enthusiastic, and helpful, in these family owned and operated establishments. I love eating in Texas as long as I can find a good family owned BBQ and can avoid the more common chain eateries.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dieting on the road

Traditionally, when my Japanese friends visit the USA, they add on a few kilo. This is understandable, as most of us love to try the local cuisine when on the road. For a returning expat like myself, the temptation is more nostalgic, wanting to eat the favorite foods of my childhood.

Curiously, I've discovered these sentimental treats taste better as a memory, than in actuality. Very little of what I gobbled down as a child was all that special. What was special was being young and hungry and active, the perfect storm of delectability! Now at 60, I am mostly sedimentary, and I really do not need, nor even enjoy, the sugary carbohydrates of my youth. I deserve, and can afford, better.

I have discovered eating primarily a choice protein, a great well prepared steak, for example, or fresh un-breaded seafood, matched to a choice selection of well prepared vegetables, or a creative salad, beats the traditional poor boy grub of massive piles of breads, potatoes, grits and assorted greasy goop, designated to most of the American plate.

The trick to healthy eating while on the road is diligent scrutiny of grocery store labels, and restaurant options. Fail safe old habits, or following the suggestions of advertisements or fast food marketeers, is a formula for disappointment. There are great treasures in the American horn of plenty, it just takes scrutiny. Feeling satisfied beats being stuffed by bad choices. Too bad it took me so long to learn this lesson.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Staying Low Carb while holidaying in the USA

The very first challenge in my summer quest to keep my low-carb diet was high above the Pacific. Airplane food is laden with delicious but inappropriate goodies. The Chinese family seated nearby had the right idea. Take what you love to eat with you, when you fly. I immediately was forced to end my self-regulating restrictions, if I wanted to eat enough during the full day of multiple flights, from Osaka Japan to Albany New York.

The next blockade to Paleo perfection was the free continental breakfast at the Howard Johnson Motel, absolutely 100% CARBOHYDRATES, with stacks of bagels, loaves of bread, plates of donuts, bowls of cereal, and a splash of dairy or jugs of sweetened juice. In another time, on another diet, I would have been in pig heaven... but as a potential caveman in quest of bacon and eggs, I was plane out of luck.

The third obstacle to continued weight loss was lunch, having made breakfast with no 'break' but simply an unintential 'fast'. Lunch in an all American Shopping Mall FOOD COURT... every food stall was something potentially good wrapped in, covered in, stacked with gluten manifestations, soaked in sugary sauces. Only the pseudo-Japanese booths, owned and operated by competing Chinese chefs, allowed quasi-low-carb variables of meat and vegetables, laden with the obligatory MSG and sinister sauces.

Soon we will take to the road, after a family barbecue, and a day at the country fair. Doing America on a low-carb diet should prove a crash course in improvisational shopping. Thank God my medical statistics confirm why I prefer this style of eating.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Can't beat Success

My low-carb adventure, which I now more often refer to as Paleo, primarily because the sound is a bit more snazzy, has been a real plus in my life. I jokingly refer to it as age regression, as I started at 134 kg, quicky moved into the 20's (platforming for a while at 122), and most recently been in my teens (dancing betwen 118 and 119). I am striving for infancy, achieving a long held dietary goal of breaking below a 100 kg after too many years overweight.

No matter what variant, Low-Carb, Atkins, Paleo, et al. the basic formular works for my particular dietary needs and preferences. I imagine a great deal more of us unhappily oversized could benefit by experimenting with this 'eliminating carbohydrates' aesthetic.  Becoming aware of the sugar factor in our habitual over-eating, aware of the starch/sugar relationship to our body weight, reading food labels, and simply remaking old patterns... all play out well for apple body-shape types like me.

This direct assault, on my metabolic syndrome wasted waist line, has improved my medical statistics in under six months. This is the actual goal, to be further away from the threat of diabetes, heart disease, and all the many nasties of obesity. And though I am not yet in the green zone, I feel good getting out of the red hot danger zone. Perseverance furthers.

This summer I have scheduled a three week road trip with my dad and my son through the wilds of the USA, where delectable carbs wait in ambush at every diner dinner, fast-food courner, and family feast. I would love to continue to lose, but maintaining my present weight may be accomplishment enough.

My digestion of Paleo/low-carb literature, along with the ample informative podcasts available on the low-carb lifestyle, helps both to articulate my understanding and to keep me focused. There are many celebrates in this minority world of exotic nutritionists and fitness gurus, many are quite entertaining. It will take me months to work through my ever expanding book collection on this subject. But first... the challenge of traveling America and applying the lessons I have already learned, about avoiding those foods that make me fat, while enjoying the fats that satiate and satisfy... living the life... is key.

And... as an added bonus, playing with T'ai Chi & QiGong as my summer fascination, an exercise experiment as beautiful as it is enjoyable i.e. keeping cool by being cool!
Wish me luck.

A snapshot of Tai Chi instructor Roberto Paredes.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Liberation Diet

If you are looking for a grand overview of the low-carbohydrate dieting world, with specifics on the history of conflicting opinions, said in a straight-talk tone, this book may suit you. The Liberation Diet explains in layman terms the historical reasons why high carbohydrate, low-fat thinking has dominated our current dietary culture, while, simultaneously, obesity is epidemic.

 For current devotee of the low-carb life-style, this book will provide you with a way to debate your friends, as well as, providing a slew of pragmatic tips for your Low-Carb/High Fat lifestyle. This is an overall good choice reader if you want a full understanding without getting lost in scientific jargon. I am thankful I have plowed through the other more famous authors on this topic, but for a simple yet thorough understanding, and a practical manual for your own diet, consider this book.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Coming to grips with obesity...

The transition, from 20 to 60 years old, brings with it added Adipose tissue... unsightly fat. The possibility of metabolic syndrome, extra weight around your waist, places a strain on our liver and heart, and a real possibility of developing type 2 diabetes. It ain't pretty, no matter how you look at it. Yet to ignore the issue of excess tissue is a death wish.

Fundamentally, there are three options. 
  1. Do nothing and face the symptom menagerie: sleep apnea, sluggish energy, high blood pressure, diabetes, sexual impotence, poor self-esteeme... the list of consequences for middle-age obesity seems endless. But there is an end, earlier death.
  2. Do the conventional solution, try and restrict calories: This can be a logistical nightmare as participants are perpetually hungry, as they laboriously calculate all they eat. Appetite suppressants can help but leave you edgy. Exercise will burn a few calories, in most cases, too few to mention. The premise is 'calories in' must be much less than 'calories burnt'. Considerably less, than what most people are use to, and much less than satiation, thus an endless nagging hunger. 
  3.  Do the popular, yet controversial, alternative, a low carbohydrate diet. 
My choice has been to Low-Carb the challenge. 
I have averaged a kilo per week lost, from an initial weight of 134 kilo to my present 120 in 14 weeks. The advantage is: both protein and fat create a feeling of being full and satisfied. 
The disadvantage is: adjusting to a life-style different form before, and different from the popular culture. No sugar and starches, like potato, spaghetti, bread, and rice requires a keen awareness of what you are eating. A useful skill, yet one that requires vigilance. 

Fortunately, Option 3 works for me. And nothing beats success!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Addictive Coke, Addictive Diet Coke, perpetuating Obesity

People always tell you Coke isn't good for you. That is... everyone except the people who earn their living selling Coke. They spend billions advertising how very wonderful Coke is. But, as any addict will tell you, once you are addicted, no one needs to tell you the advantages of Coke. Your body screams the good points. Quick energy rush from a high sugar flush of your system, unregulated stimulation coupled with caffeine, an ingenious blend that can only be matched by more of the same. 

But inevitably, Coke becomes fat on your hips and around your belly, even for those gorgeous models in the Coke ads. So the conscientious model, wishing to stay slim, switches to Diet Coke. In fact, soon the weight conscious Coke consumer begins to prefer Diet Coke. Diet Coke is an even better high, squelching the anxiety of fat gain by an illusion of justifiable consumption. 

But now, try and stop. Oops... It isn't easy. Coke machines, Coke ads, Coke coolers, Coke blends are everywhere. But even more important is that thirst, that craving, that inexpensive temporary solution to our nagging addictive urge for a quick 'Pick Me Up'.

And then people explain, that sugar substitutes do not eliminate our sugar dependency. Non-caloric sweeteners exacerbate the problem, they trick our system into needing more. Great for the soft drink industry, but havoc for our bodies. There is no nutrition... just an inadequate solution to our natural urge for water and nourishment. Just the cyclical mania of malnutrition in the innocent practice of a well establish piece of Americana, drinking Coke and being obese.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Paleo Diet for the 21st Century

Here is a quick read ebook by Douglas Robb. A great addition to your library, for anyone curious about Paleo. Douglas writes straight, no fluff, clear and honest... Good Caveman-like style. 

Here is his message to readers:
"...Click here to download the ebook. 
Any feedback would be appreciated. 
And if you do like it, feel free to spread the link around (hint hint) 
If you're interested in more info about the Paleo Diet, click here to check out the Health Habits paleo archives. 
Best Regards, 
Douglas Robb Health Habits"

Made me hungry for mammoth!!

Why We Get Fat... best book for a deeper understanding

There are books I am glad I have read, to help me get a handle on the complex issues of low-carb science, but only one I'd recommend without hesitation. Gary Taubes "Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It" is designed specifically to make the science of dieting accessible to the lay-person and as suggested reading for your doctor. Doctors are, more often than not, ill-educated in nutrition. As my doctor said to me here in Japan, "Just tell me the drug you need for your diet and I will prescribe it" suggesting a willingness to find a solution, as long as I do the research... and so I have. 

Researching the complexity of the human body, in a realm that combines psychology, sociology, and a myriad of specific body sciences, requires more reading than most of us have the time for.  Thankfully Gary Taubes combines science know-how, thorough research, and a refined writing skill, to create an ideal starter kit in one single book. To make it even easier on the eyes, I 'read it' as an unabridged audio book. I have a growing library of thick and heavy volumes, but this single text best sums up what the dieter needs to know, about how our body works and why conventional dieting doesn't.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Perfect Health Diet, a demanding but rewarding read

Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet have created a challenging yet fully rewarding book detailing their design for a perfectly healthy diet. This is a plan well within the low-carb, ketogenic, and Paleo perspectives on weight loss, and their research appears consistent with many of the specialists producing nutrition/diet oriented podcasts and books. There is much science to be digested along with their dietary suggestions, so a meticulous attention to detail is necessary, along with a heaping dose of biological vocabulary. Yet, in the end, a truly rewarding read for anyone wishing to better understand their dietary options, with a goal of maximizing their health.

On a lighter note, I was amused to finally discover why Cannibals eat people. I recall as a young boy wondering why island cultures might want to eat their neighbors. My neighbors never seemed very appetizing. Yet the Perfect Health Diet parallels the make up of our own bodies (as it does mother's breast milk) and, in fact, eating people can be beneficial to your health... particularly, when the tribe on the beach won't willingly share the seafood, with their fat and protein starved neighbors, living deep within the island jungle. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Marisa's Kitchen Talk

Marisa's Kitchen Talk has an interesting list of blogs, called BLOGROLL, all specializing on Low Carb cooking... a tempting assortment of personalized solutions for this life style. One amusing discovery was this 'GingerBread Log Cabin' a traditional speciality in many Christian homes during the Christmas holiday season, courtesy of Tracey and Katie of UNBREADED.

Atkins-friendly "gingerbread" log cabin, made from cream cheese, Slim Jims, meat snack sticks, and nuts: (originally posted with construction instructions at GEEKOLOGIE.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Low Carb High Fat – The Swedish LCHF diet

A very popular Swedish diet is Low Carb High Fat – The Swedish LCHF diet.
Eat all you like
  • Meat: Any type. Beef, pork, game meat, chicken. The fat on the meat is good as well as skin on the chicken. Try to choose organic or grass fed meat if you can.
  • Fish and shellfish: All kinds. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring are great. Avoid breading.
  • Eggs: All kinds. Boiled, fried, omelettes. Preferably organic eggs.
  • Natural fat, fat sauces: Using butter and cream when you cook can make your food taste better and make you more satiated. BĂ©arnaise, Hollandaise, read on the packages or make it yourself. Coconut fat, olive oil and canola oil are also good options.
  • Vegetables growing above ground: All kinds of cabbage, such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts. Asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, olives, spinach, mushrooms, cucumber, lettuce, avocado, onions, peppers, tomatoes and more.
  • Dairy products: Always select high fat options. Real butter, cream (40% fat), sour cream, fat cheese. Turkish yogurt. Be careful with regular milk and skim milk as it contains a lot of milk sugar. Avoid flavored, sugary and low fat products.
  • Nuts: Good to eat instead of candy in front of the television (preferably in moderation).
  • Berries: Okay in moderation, if you are not a super strict /-sensitive. Good with whipped cream.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Erwan LeCorre's MovNat (Move Naturally)

About the Zoo...

The “zoo” is a modern, global and growing phenomenon generated by the powerful combination of social conventions, technological environment and commercial pressures. Increasingly disconnected from the natural world and their true nature, zoo humans are suffering physically, mentally and spiritually.
Are you experiencing chronic pains, are you overweight, do you often feel depressed or do you suffer from frequent illnesses and general lack of vitality?
These symptoms indicate that you are experiencing the zoo human syndrome. Modern society conditions us to think that this is normal and unavoidable.
We don’t think so. Our true nature is to be strong, healthy, happy and free.
We have designed a complete program that empowers zoo humans to experience their true nature.
It is called MovNat.

the Pillars 

  1. Natural :Respecting the laws of Nature
  2. Evolutionary :Trusting our primal heritage
  3. Situational :Satisfying real-world demands

Friday, April 22, 2011

Daily Weight Fluctuation

According to Jayson Hunter, creator of the Carb Rotation Diet, our body weight fluctuates between 3 to 4% on a daily basis (woman more than men, due to hormonal variations). Therefore someone like myself, at approximately 125 kilo, may have a daily variable between 3 to 5 kilo (7 to 11 pounds). This is good to keep in mind, when checking your body weight frequently. That said, you can get a feel for your own fluctuation patterns, if you can bare the emotional ups and downs of daily weight checks.

Is Exercise Relevant to Weight Loss?

Listening to Dr. Larry McCleary in an interview on The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show With Jimmy Moore I am reminded of the two correct answers to the question... "Is Exercise Relevant to Weight Loss?" Yes and No.
If we are talking about attempting to burn calories to neutralize caloric intake, then the answer is 'Get real...No way!... It would take every bit of your spare time to counterbalance the body mass of the average over weight person with exercise... Hours on a treadmill to match a single coke and burger. "

Yet conversely, Yes... exercise truly does compliment dieting. Let's face it, dieting can be pretty damn depressing, and it has been clinically proven exercise fights depression. In fact, one such study has exercise as effective, as the major anti-depressant medications. It is no secret some of us over, and under, eat for emotional reasons. Bringing exercise into our daily routine makes sense.

But also, according to Dr. Larry McCleary, exercise brings body awareness. We can sensitize our feeling of fullness, our awareness of how our eating is impacting our body, helping us to intercede in our habitual eating patterns. Exercise wakes our body up. And for some of us, like in the experience of Low-Carb podcaster Jimmy Moore, exercise can re-channel the exhilaration and increased energy that major weight loss can bring. It is true, many of us obese are couch potatoes, or the computer-age equivalent of online junkies, and we need to be coaxed out of our rooms. But in the end (literally)... Yes we need to exercise.

Cultural Patterns verses Scientific Truths

If you join the minority cult of Low-Carb eating, you are obliged to take the minority view against massive cultural assumptions about 'calories as a measurement for weight loss', 'fat in the diet as something bad,' 'the necessities of grain,' 'the innocence of fructose,' et al. It is exhausting to defend against cultural assumptions, like fat makes you fat and high carb is the way to go. Yet for the individual in need of solutions, there isn't an alternative to taking the road less traveled.

This parallels the skeptical intellect's tendency to be atheistic, in a world dominated by fundamentalists. To buck the world preference for theological non-logic, faith in what our tribe believes, what we were taught in our youthful innocence, is also quite exhausting. Answering those who have always assumed the existence of a benevolent force called Jesus/Mohammed/Shakyamuni, with a doubting Thomas persistence, is an energy draining responsibility.

Yet, if you are someone who actually enjoys having their assumptions rocked to the core, read The Vegetarian Myth, food, justice, and sustainability by Lierre Keith. Here is a scientific, philosophical, and experiential blend of volatile notions. An ex-Vegan's journey from hell and back to basics. The kind of book you will either reluctantly embrace or holistically pooh-pooh.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review lesson... Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Worth watching, as a reminder why you should be avoiding sugar (and fructose) in your daily choices.

The Connectivity of Food Research

First I was looking into Low-Carbing, which led me to Paleo and their relationship to meat-eating, which in turn turned me on to Lierre Keith's controversial book The Vegetarian Myth, food, justice, and sustainability... ending me up to my neck in permaculture. What, you ask, is Permaculture? Here is a song that attempts to answer that question.

Scottish Egg Log; a low-carb lunch

In my quest for delicious low-carb meals to take to work, I have just learned of

Scottish Egg Log. The beauty of this snack like food is its portability, and general delectability. 

Scottish Egg Log from the Drunken Gourmet blog

A hard cooked egg peeled, rolled in flour, then covered in pork sausage and deep fried. It's sliced in half and served with a whole grain mustard.
·                    2 pounds plain pork sausage
·                    2 pounds thick cut bacon
·                    4 hard cooked eggs, shells removed
·                    3-4 Tbs whole grain mustard
Sounds like it is worth experimenting with, as pocket food when in a hurry.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Great Opportunity for Me

I have reached a plateau in my diet fluctuating between 121 and 123  (267 lb & 271 lb), ten to twelve kilo less (22 lb/26 lb)...  than when I initiated my low-carb experiment at 133 kilo (293 lb)... two month ago. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce my second phase, a rigorous consistency to a minimum amount of daily exercise.

Spring has sprung, and here in Japan we have the infamous Golden Week holiday (first week in May) when all of Japan takes to the highway. No better time to stay close to home, and get some walking done. With a more consistent schedule, progress should be possible.

Meanwhile... I have focused on finding snack and lunch habits while working, to assure a consistent energy level as I proceed through a day of teaching. Walking was a reliable friend when I was younger, but back pain has stole this solace from my life. Little by little, I need to reclaim our friendship. Loss of weight and a steady reclamation of my physical prowess is my path to a more Paleolithic aesthetic. Anyone care for some Caveman shuffling in the foothills of Kyoto?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

John Durant occupation Caveman

John Durant creator/participant of the New York barefoot run, and a great urban caveman lifestyle, can be seen here discussing insights from the Chilean mine disaster (as an example of Paleo life-style survival skills). There is a fun interview of John Durant by Stephen Colbert here. Visit his site

Be a caveman too... 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Protein Power the audio-book

Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades are both author and readers to their popular 'three-tiered nutrition' Protein Power Life Plan audio-book. As a quick over-view of Paleolithic perspectives this 3 hour recording is a helpful crash course. Uncharacteristically, my audio download from feels flawed, a bit wobbly, as if recorded on out-dated technology. But the material is worth hearing despite the wobble. The reviews in are also worth reading and you may find one of their many other books useful, if you are interested in low carbohydrate eating and Paleo rings true for you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Quickest Read in Low-Carb Dieting

I have talked before about the remarkable life of the author of this dieting classic The Drinking Man's Diet Robert W. Cameron. Cameron became wealthy and lived a long vibrant life as a publisher and photographer, to the age of 98. Much of this prosperity attributable to a copy of an old diet given to him by a friend. But what I find most remarkable about this story is that the book is the cheapest to buy, easiest to read, and yet still provides a solid introduction to low carbohydrate dieting. For $4.95 you can buy this book, which fits into your pocket and can be read in a couple of hours. It is the perfect pass-it-on format for friends who love an occasional (or more) alcoholic beverage yet want to watch their weight. "Also recommended for Teetotalers". If you are looking for the formula to publishing longevity this book is worth studying. You may also lose some weight while maintaining your happy hour life-style.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Grocery Store Wars (2005)

Not long ago in a supermarket not so far away.
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Ketogenic Diet: A Complete Guide for the Dieter & the Practitioner

Some books become the gold standard for certain dietary disciplines, particularly those used in the body-building communities. One such text is The Ketogenic Diet A Complete Guide for the Dieter and Practitioner by Lyle McDonald. This takes the low-carb regime one step further. Here is a link for some clarification. In Japan this book is sold 'used' for $150 but may be found elsewhere for less. Also part of this text can be found on line via Goggle Books. 

Other descriptions of the Ketogenic Diet can be found on line, particularly in the Epilepsy community where, when drug therapy fails, this diet has proven effective.

The Ketogenic Diet: A Complete Guide for the Dieter and Practitioner is the first book to objectively examine the ketogenic diet. This book serves as a reference for the dieter who has questions regarding the physiology, adaptations, and effects of a ketogenic diet. The contents are fully referenced for health professionals such as dietitians, physicians, personal trainers and nutritionists. Anyone interested in the ketogenic diet will find this book a valuable resource. (1998)
Topics include:
Human fuel utilization and changes that occur during a ketogenic diet.
Adaptations during the development of ketosis, including a detailed discussion of protein sparing.
The impact of the ketogenic diet on body composition in terms of weight, water and fat loss.
An examination of the potential metabolic effects of ketosis including in the kidney and liver, brain function, and cholesterol levels.
Guidelines for optimization of a ketogenic diet for various goals such as fat loss, bodybuilding, and endurance athletes.
Basic exercise physiology concepts for aerobic exercise, interval training and weight training. The impact of exercise on fat loss is also addressed.
Two modified ketogenic diets, which integrate carbohydrates while allowing the adaptations to ketosis to occur.
Sample exercise routines for beginning, intermediate and advanced exercisers, as well as guidelines for pre-contest preparation for bodybuilders.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Always a Surprise

Body Scales, the haunting mechanism of bathrooms and club locker rooms, are the bane of the obese.   But, when the stars align and a diet works, the scale can be your friend. Today I weighed in at 123 kg (271 lb), down 10 kg from my original 133 kg (293 lb) less than two months ago. In the great scheme of things to crawl from "terribly obese" to "a little less so" is hardly an achievement. Yet to confirm my life-style choice, to take on a low-carbohydrate challenge and see results, is quite a rush.

By the way, I am a Withings diet scale user. These are the scales that links via the internet to a personal body-weight data base. The Withings scale is extremely accurate (in decimal points) and in our kitchen is a second scale (also digital) to reconfirm the statistics. Many dieters avoid scales, as there is fluctuation and some people find this frustrating, but in my case I want to confirm my choices while observing my daily dietary changes as closely as possible. I am attempting to root out self-destructive patterns while highlighting positive daily strategies. Learning more about my personal patterns and finding new ways to live healthy is a worthwhile hobby for my senior years. Seeing success on the scale is certainly reassuring and brings a smile to my face.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Atkins Diet - safe, effective?

If you google "Is Atkins safe" you will arrive at a personalized essay by Kevin Davidson titled The Atkins Diet - safe, effective?  Having worked seriously with the Atkins' low-carbohydrate approach twice, I can verify, experientially, much of what he writes. Read the essay if you are interested in a low-carb approach to dieting and want a simple-to-read, fairly balanced, analysis.

 For a more 'scientific' analysis from Stanford University is the classical presentation by Christopher Gardner available on YouTube (January 17, 2008)

The Battle of the Diets: Is Anyone Winning (At Losing?)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Imagining Head Smashed In

Some useful comments about this book from a Paleo perspective were made on the Panu blog.

About the Book

At the place known as Head-Smashed-In in southwestern Alberta, Aboriginal people practiced a form of group hunting for nearly 6,000 years before European contact. The large communal bison traps of the Plains were the single greatest food-getting method ever developed in human history. Hunters, working with their knowledge of the land and of buffalo behaviour, drove their quarry over a cliff and into wooden corrals. The rest of the group butchered the kill in the camp below.
Author Jack Brink, who devoted 25 years of his career to “The Jump,” has chronicled the cunning, danger, and triumph in the mass buffalo hunts and the culture they supported. He also recounts the excavation of the site and the development of the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre, which has hosted 2 million visitors since it opened in 1987. Brink’s masterful blend of scholarship and public appeal is rare in any discipline, but especially in North American pre-contact archaeology.
Brink attests, “I love the story that lies behind the jump—the events and planning that went into making the whole event work. I continue to learn more about the complex interaction between people, bison and the environment, and I continue to be impressed with how the ancient hunters pulled off these astonishing kills.”

About the Author

Jack W. Brink is Archaeology Curator at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, Canada. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and his M.A. from the University of Alberta. His interests also include the study of rock art images of the northern Plains, and he enjoys working with Aboriginal communities on heritage issues.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Staying on the Paleo Pyramid

There is something very gratifying about maintaining a Paleo-style diet, and, for many men, the point of reference are notches on a belt. The most dismal sign is when the very last hole, self-made often, no longer works. I discover how over sized I have become often just prior to formal events, when I drag out my Sunday best. Obesity is best hid in casual ware.
But, sometimes, when diets are being maintained, there are those surprised moments when the belt easily slips closed.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fitness Insights by Jamie Atlas

jamie atlas

Personal Australian Trainer and Health expert blogger...
Former professional athlete, some fun weight loss comments, and bits of humor.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

“The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.” - Julia Child

“The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.” - Julia Child
The primary advantage, besides losing weight, of a low-carb diet? Ask men who love their meat.

Living with a killer diet

To others, the diet you are attempting is about as tedious a subject one can imagine. 
Low-Carb diets are a curious exemplary of tedium to the uninitiated. 
What... you eat primarily meat and green vegetables? No white stuff like sugar, potato, rice, spaghetti, or bread? Is that suppose to be a balanced diet? 
Well ... yes ... it has actually proven effective, there has been weight loss. 
But mostly water weight and of course you have reduced your calories? 
Yes, all diets lose water weight initially, and, with the removal of the highly sugary mass-marketed junk foods, calories are seriously reduced... but there is more to it than that. It has something to do with insulin, and how we burn fat when on a low carbohydrate regime.
But how long can you maintain such a discipline, and what about the inevitable bounce-back, when you take down your guard?
We shall see. But considering the dangerous collection of physical symptoms we obese suffer, and the obvious self-esteeme issues, what real choices do any of us have? The low-carbohydrate diet allows me to feel satiated, and to enjoy my meals, while simultaneously keeping my weight in check. Raw Veganism, calorie counting, and all the variations between, could never leave me feeling satisfied... none ever fit into my lifestyle, nor complimented my sense of self. Paleo is plausible, and is more me, than the mathematics of weighing foods and counting calories. 
The final ingredient in the dietary mix is being physical. 
Exercise is my last frontier and most elusive nemesis.