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.