Dot to Trot

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Archive for the tag “low carb diet”

Yes, Coconut Oil Is Healthy

big fat surprise cover

Before believing the American Heart Association’s view on coconut oil, I suggest you read The Big, Fat Surprise.

The American Heart Association can go suck it! As Nina Teicholz and Dr. Eric Thorn point out point out in their article, for too long the AHA has ignored a multitude of new research, clinical trials and meta-analyses that show dietary saturated fats DO NOT cause heart disease.

Heck, even the federal food guidelines finally joined Western nations in dropping its misguided limits on dietary fats.

Yet the AHA is doubling down on stupid.

Dietary saturated fats (butter, coconut oil, meat, eggs, cheese, bacon, etc.) are healthy for you provided you are not stuffing your face with processed carbs (breads, grains, pasta) or sugar (including the food industry’s 50+ names for sugar). A diet high in fat AND carbs leads to serious metabolic damage. Read more…

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Still Healthy!

HEALTH

The results are in for my 5th annual physical. Pretty much what I expected. Image courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net and Kromkrathog.

I got the results back from my annual physical. I’m still healthy. The news from my physical came about two weeks after my oncologist’s office let me know my test came back negative for cancer. So while I was happy with the results, my oncology report stole my physical’s thunder.

Other than my menopausal weight gain, I expected results similar to last year’s physical. Read more…

A Calorie Is Just A Calorie, Right?

No, it isn’t true: A calorie isn’t just a calorie. The quality of the calories is far more important. Need proof?  Here’s your tweet of the day courtesy of Dr. Ted Naiman (if you don’t follow Dr. Ted’s tweets you really should).

tweet-of-the-day

 

 

January Reading: The Case Against Sugar

sugar

My first read of the new year, The Case Against Sugar by the man whose done more to influenced the nutrition debate over the last 10+ years than anyone else, Gary Taubes.

I try avoiding sugar as much as possible. It jacks up my blood sugar and insulin levels too much. It’s why I don’t eat fruit (with the exception of the occasional berry).

The only way to really avoid it is to not eat any processed foods — it’s loaded with sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup or the more than 50+ names sugar goes by.  But is sugar really the new tobacco?

Today I start Gary Taubes’ new book, The Case Against Sugar. As readers know, I’m a huge fan of Taubes. His Why We Get Fat is the book that saved my life and set me down my ketogenic path.

Taubes did a great job taking down the bad science behind the idea that dietary fat (saturated fat in particular) was causing heart attacks, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and recent growth of cancers. Looks like he’s putting the spotlight on the real culprit.

Why Women Are Getting Fatter

tape measure fork

Four in 10 women are obese in America and that number is climbing. Yet they are more focused on diet and nutrition than men. So why are women getting fatter? Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and Mister GC.

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reveals that while the obesity rates of men (35%) have hit a plateau, women’s obesity rates (40%) continue to climb. Yet women pay more attention to calories, food labels, and are far greater consumers of health and nutrition information.

Studies show when schools roll out an anti-obesity program, girls are far more likely to change their eating behavior than boys.

Not only that, women do the “lion’s share” of grocery shopping. And Women’s Marketing, a marketing agency focused on women consumers and their buying power, indicates that the next trillion dollar business is “Health & Wellness.”

With that kind of buying and decision-making power, is it any wonder that the food, nutrition, health and fitness industries heavily cater to women? It’s clear that women are more tuned in to the current nutrition advice from the US government than men.

If that’s the case, why are they getting fatter? Read more…

Weekly Weigh-In: Inching Closer to 170s

weekly weigh in june 5

I’m down a few ounces. A loss is a loss. But I’m tweaking my food this week to fight the cold. My body temperature is off and changing my macros should do the trick. Perhaps this will eventually kick my insulin resistance to the curb and jump start my weight loss.

I’m down a couple of ounces this week. I’ll take it. That puts my total weight loss at 140.8 pounds. As frustrated as I am that I’m still hovering in the mid 180s after a year, a little perspective makes that frustration go away.

I’ve shed nearly 50% of my weight in 4 years and kept it off. That’s awesome.

But I am doing some tweaking to my diet and it has noting to do with the scale.

I’m always cold. Too cold. And it has nothing to do with my air conditioning.

It’s been going on for nearly a year. Regardless of temperature, I’m always wearing a sweater because I feel chilly. How cold I feel goes off the charts during fasts. So no more intermittent fasting this week. My metabolism is off and the course corrections I’m making this week are already bearing fruit.

Funny, I’m wearing the sweater right now and I’m sweating up a storm. Clearly I reached for it this morning out of habit. That tells me my resting metabolism was out of wack for far too long.

If all goes well this week I plan to try a 36 hour fast this weekend. I’ll eat regular on Friday and not eat again until Sunday morning. Keep in mind the fast isn’t about the scale. It’s about lowering an artificially high body weight set point caused by decades of insulin resistance. And the best way to do that is by fasting.

Optimal health really is one big science experiment. And I’m enjoying being the scientist and the lab rat.

Fruits & The 5 A Day Myth

I always wondered how the US Food Guidelines came up with the recommendation of eating 5 servings of fruit and vegetables everyday. In the video below Dr. Zoe Harcombe (PhD in public health nutrition) explains how this idea of eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily has no science to back it up.

I should have known it was just a marketing gimmick by the companies that what you to eat more fruits and veggies.

Is this really a big deal? I mean fruits and vegetables are really healthy and we should eat more, right?

If you are healthy, go for it. If you have insulin resistance, fruit isn’t your friend.

In the video, Harcombe explains that fruit isn’t as nutritious as we’ve been told. What fruits lack in vitamins and minerals they make up with an abundance of sugar and fructose. People, especially women, tend to over eat fruit (because of that sweetness) and limit or skip the more nutritious vegetables.

For me, I made the decision to severely restrict fruit when I started eating low carb, high fat (LCHF). Thanks to insulin resistance, my metabolism was broken. The only way to start reclaiming my health was to go strict LCHF (no more than 20g of net carbs a day). Given my level of insulin resistance, fruit wasn’t going to help me do that.

Not all fruit is horrible.  Berries provide enough of a benefit that outweigh the rising insulin.  However I follow 2 rules strictly when eating berries:

  1. I always eat fruit with a fat, like cream, to minimize the insulin response.
  2. I rarely eat berries, because fruit is nature’s candy.

Do I miss fruit? Sometimes. Bananas were my favorite, but not anymore. They are pure sugar. Cherries, peaches, kiwi and apples are missed. At some point I’d love to enjoy them again, but I also understand that I’m dealing with decades of damage to my metabolic system.

I may never “cure” my insulin resistance. The best I may hope for is increasing my sensitivity to carbs.  Which means I’ll never eat the 2-4 servings a day recommended by our government as part of a “healthy” diet.

I’ll enjoy those missed fruits again, but only on my terms — as rare, special treats … and always with fat.

Weekly Weigh-In: Less Wine Means -1.5 Lbs!

weekly weigh in May 28

Make smarter decisions — less wine, make my own food — and the weight loss pick back up…amazing how that works!

It really is amazing what happens when you make better food choices. I’m down 1.5 pounds this week thanks to eating out less and cutting back on wine. Funny how that works.

This was also the week where I could consistently go outside and enjoy walks. The weather finally turned the corner and we said good-bye to lots of cold, wet rain. Since I’m no longer with a gym, my primary exercise right now is walking and interval running.

My eating habits and activity level are closely linked. On days where I can do a morning walk or jog, I’m much more mindful of what I shove in my mouth. So I’m grateful for the sunshine.

Grilling Season Is Here
More sunshine is in our extended forecast. When presented with the option of going out to eat or staying home and grilling, we normally opt to grill. So I’m creating a menu for the upcoming week that focuses heavily on grilling – Shrimp and Scallop Kabobs, pork and beef ribs, burgers and dogs.

And if we’re lucky on our excursion tomorrow, fresh fish. Yep, we’re going fishing in the morning. Depending on which spot the husband picks we might land a bass, trout or catfish. Read more…

Plateau From Hell: Battling My Body’s Set Weight Point

weekly weigh in april 30

Not the progress I was expecting this week. I’m up a pound. Time to rethink my tactics.

Bleh! I was expecting a loss this week and instead I’m up a pound. What’s really frustrating is I’ve been bouncing between 182-185 pounds for a year. One. Freaking. Year.

Rethinking Tactics
I recently finished reading The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. Regular readers know I love Dr. Fung’s blog and his online lectures. A review of his book is coming soon (hint, you should read it!), but right now I’m looking at shaking up my intermittent fasting tactics for one simple reason — changing my body’s set weight point.

It’s believed that our bodies have a set weight point. When a healthy person’s weight goes above or below that set weight, the body compensates — slowing or raising metabolism, increasing hunger or satiety hormones — and works to get back to that person’s set weight point. Read more…

Weekly Weigh-In: Down 3; Lowest Weight In 25 Years!

weekly weight april 16

After losing 3 pounds this week I’m officially at my lowest weight in more than 25 years. Woohoo! 170s here I come!

I’m down 3.1 lbs. this week, weighing in at 181.4. That’s the lowest number I’ve seen on the scale for more than 25 years!  I finally feel back on track and have my sights set on saying hello to the 170s very soon.

So what worked this week? How about putting a stop on nibbling on cheese, seeds or nuts between meals. Anytime I walked into the kitchen I asked myself, “Am I hungry?” Presto! No more snacking. Don’t get me wrong, it took practice to get me into the habit of asking myself that question.

Instead I kept my focus on drinking water. The last couple of weeks I made a big effort in drinking my daily 90 ounces. Since I only use 24-ounce Tervis Tumblers, it’s pretty easy to track. As long as I fill those tumblers up 4 times a day I’m all set. This week I was hitting the mark.  Sweet!

Plus I’m finding I’m not that hungry. One of my consistent problems is not recognizing my hunger and satiety signals. I know that decades of bad eating really does mess with those hormones. But ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and leptin (the satiety hormone) do correct themselves over time with eating healthy, real foods. My hunger signal is working just fine. But it feels like my satiety signal is finally kicking in.

I’m noticing two things that might signal my leptin levels are normal again: Read more…

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