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November 28, 2016

Recommitting Oneself to One's GAINZZZZ Thread

So, if you're like me, and science teaches that you're pretty much just like me, unless you're a space alien picking up the ping of this wireless connection fifty million years from now, your GAINZZZ have probably not been all that great lately.

My GAINZZZ actually started dropping off again two weeks before Thanksgiving. My fat loss dropped to maybe a quarter pound a week.

It's not just that -- by the tape measure, this is the first time my belly has failed to get smaller in a long time. Even when the scale said I wasn't losing weight, the measuring tape still told me I was losing millimeters around the middle. Until now.

(On the other hand, not sure why, but the love handles I could never get rid of, even when I was in decent shape in high school, are now just gone. That was completely unexpected. I figured they'd be the last to go, not the first.)

Why the stall?

I don't think it was a plateau this time.

I think I just abandoned the diet. I've been doing what I'd always done before. At some point, I get complacent in a health regime, and then telling myself little lies.

Lies I know are not true. Yet in the moment, I believe them.

Lies like "Eh, these mozzarella sticks only have a smidge of carb-rich batter on them. Why, they're mostly cheese! If I just cut off some (but not all) of the batter, that makes them practically low carb."

Or with sushi: "Eh, this is only a tiny bit of rice. It's mostly fish, and fish is totally healthy."

Or like: "I can have this chicken tika masala, plus some rice, and some nan, because I deserve a cheat day once a month. I mean, come on."

Except I was taking a cheat day like once every other day.

At any rate, this is exactly how all previous get-in-shape regimes degenerated for me. I started out pretty motivated and pretty rigorous, saw some GAINZZZ, then got bored with the limited menu of foods I could eat, and also complacent due to the GAINZZZ I was seeing, and without actually deciding to, decided to go off the regime completely.

It's not a thing one just decides, because one knows it's a bad decision.

Instead, one just pretends for a while until it's been so long since one was actually on the diet one just forgets about it entirely. One just keeps making up bizarre and stupid reasons why these carbs should not count as carbs for this one day.

And maybe for tomorrow too. And hell, the weekend's coming up -- hell, you've convinced me. Let's just eat whatever from Tuesday through Sunday, then have a super-strict Monday.

Well, that's not working. I can't blame body metabolism for the lack of GAINZZZ this time; it's all on me.

Luckily, I knew I'd do this, as I've done it ten times before.

That's why I started this thread -- so that when I got complacent, I would be mindful of slipping up and get back on track again.

I've been kind of in shape before. But I always give up there. I've never seen it through to being actually, really, inarguably in shape.

So here's what I'm going to do, personally.

First, I'm going to revisit the videos I watched and some books I read initially, to put myself back into the frame of mind of losing weight.

If you're new to this, or you just need a kick in the pants like I do, check out this old post recapping the plan I and several others are on, suggested by Dr. Jason Fung in The Obesity Code. (Caution: Don't comment in old threads; the system will automatically ban you.)

BTW, here's a wiki of previous posts.

Second, I'm going to finish reading some other books I never finished.

I didn't mention this before but I didn't mention all the books I'd read because I know there comes a day when you're all out of enthusiasm and you need to rekindle it. So I didn't push some books, knowing at some point down the line, I would push them, for anyone who needs the new push.

You don't want to read all possible sources of inspiration right off the bat-- you start out with inspiration. You gotta leave some out there with for later, when your enthusiasm declines.

Gary Taubes has two books about this, neither of which I've finished, but I intend to fix that.

Why We Get Fat is an argument in favor of the carb theory of weight gain. It's got a fair amount of evidence in it, but it's written for a more lay audience, someone looking for diet advice.

Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories tackles the subject in a great deal more depth, and talks about science (at least in broad terms, metabolic pathways and such) in making his case.

I really have to review that book (which I'm three quarters of the way through; it's pretty dense) some day. It's pretty amazing. But be aware, it's not just a breezy discussion about diet. It's a fairly detailed history-of-medicine account of previous theories of weight gain -- and disease associated with weight gain.

One of the most amazing parts of the book is his history of the so-called "Diseases of Civilization." See, people living on traditional diets -- American Indians, Masai bushmen, hunter-gatherer type peoples -- don't get diseases like heart attack, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, or even cancer very much at all. These diseases instead appear in Western civilized areas -- Europe, America, Canada. The fact that they all arise together prompted one disease researcher to name this cluster of possibly-interrelated diseases "Syndrome X." It was later called Metabolic Syndrome, which is what Fung's method (low carb plus intermittent fasting) aims to cure.

The early explanation for Syndrome X -- the cancer that was found in America and Europe, but not in Eskimos or American Indians eating a traditional hunting-heavy diet, all the diabetes, all the high blood pressure, etc. -- was that Westerners ate more meat than their poorer traditional-people kin, and so the culprit must be the saturated fats present in meat. Reduce how much animal fat you eat, and eat more bread.

That was the diet advice given for about 60 years, during which the incidence of heart attack, cancer, obesity, and diabetes all went up.

But the people pushing the Animal Fat theory of heart attack and Syndrome X ignored another important factor -- Westerners weren't just eating more meat, they were eating more highly refined carbs (like rice polished of its fiber-rich outer casing, or wheat having most of its its fiber "refined" out of it to leave behind only the very-white, very-energy-dense carbohydrate core) and eating much, much more sugar. Especially processed sugar, which went from being a luxury in the nineteenth century to something bordering on a dietary stable in the twentieth.

The people pushing the Animal Fat theory of heart attack also overlooked the fact that many traditional peoples who ate almost nothing but animal meat (and actually ate fatty meats preferentially, giving lean meats to their hunting dogs) had very low incidences of the diseases that make up Syndrome X.

Taubles picks over this history of medical science having gone very wrong and makes you shake your head at how the Establishment seized upon a theory with almost no evidence in its favor and then repeatedly rejected every dissenter who attempted to cure them of their delusion. In fact, the entire sordid story reads very much like a history of "Climate Science" -- for example, as there was no real evidence that animal fat caused heart attacks, the proponents of that false theory organized a conference at which they planned to announce a "Consensus" position on the dangers of animal fat, filling the conference with scientists and doctors who already believed that theory and only inviting a few dissenters to try to make it look like it was halfway on the level.

And after having phonied-up fake consensus, they then ridiculed and hounded those holding a dissenting opinion.

They also wound up keeping needed research dollars away from people trying to disprove the animal-fat-leads-to-heart-attack theory. Because this was the "consensus" theory, and which had never been proved, the government spent millions and millions of dollars on studies to prove the theory. (They never succeeded -- all those millions, and no link between animal fat and heart attack was ever demonstrated.)

Then people trying to prove the carbs-lead-to-Syndrome-X theory would ask for some money. Barely any was available -- it was all going towards proving the unprovable (as it was false) "consensus" theory.

The dissenters took what little money they could and did small-scale studies.

Their studies strongly suggested that excess carbs, especially too many highly-refined, high-metabolic-impact carbs, were in fact responsible for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc.

But the Establishment then said: "But this proves nothing. These studies are only of 50 patients -- too few to put any stock into."

The dissenters would point out "But that's all we could do with the small amount of money you gave us. Give us more money, and we'll mount 10,000 subject studies like those people trying in vain to prove the fat-makes-you-fat hypothesis are doing."

And the Establishment would say: "Nah. You can't have that kind of money. That's the kind of money we reserve for those pursuing Consensus Theories."

Anyway, it's completely maddening, and tragic, when you think of the millions of people who lived shorter, sicker lives taking the advice of people who ought to have known better and ought to have been open to doing actual Science before declaring "The Science is Settled."

Great book. I'm three quarters of the way through but stopped in the Alzheimer's chapter. I'll finish it off for inspiration.

I recommend both books to anyone in need of inspiration themselves.

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posted by Ace at 04:51 PM

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