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August 06, 2021

GAINZZZ: How Did We Manage to Even Survive Being Fed All This Bullsh*t as Kids?

The Daily Telegraph claims that the most unhealthy generation is... Generation X.

I guess they might be speaking about British Gen Xers, but there's probably enough cultural overlap that this all applies to Americans as well.

The academic papers have steadily accrued in recent years, like glasses piling up on a sticky pub table. The most recent is a hefty one, a lifetime study of nearly 8,000 people born in 1970, from University College London. It's found that one in three people born that year are living with multimorbidities -- two or more chronic health conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Prof George Ploubidis, one of the authors of the study, and head of Centre for Longitudinal Studies, reports the news was a shock. His team had expected the figure to be about one in five, or one in four at the most. More concerning were the figures for working class X-ers. For them, more than half were living with comorbidities by age 50.

I have heard from my older Gen X friends that Gen X was one of the last generations to smoke a lot -- not as much as their parents, and smoking was declining, but smoking was still a thing in the 80s and 90s.

A friend of mine quit smoking, but still, to this day, says she misses smoking and gets excited just talking about smoking.

I think that's too bad. Allen Carr's book, the Easy Way to Stop Smoking, got me to de-romanticize smoking, and to stop thinking of it as a pleasurable, or even necessary, thing.

I've never really thought about it since. Well, in the two or three weeks after quitting I thought about smoking. But never since.

I remember when I first quit, my smoking friends would always ask, as they smoked, "This doesn't bother you, does it?" They didn't want to tempt me.

But I wasn't tempted. At all. I actually quickly went back to my former, pre-smoker stance on smoking, which is that it smelled bad and didn't seem particularly enjoyable.

I've recommended the book before. It really does cure the psychological addiction to smoking. He just repeats the same basic points over and over again, in slightly different words. It's almost hypnotherapy in print form.

The physical addiction actually ends in three days. It's the psychological addiction that keeps people coming back. If you break that, you quit forever.

But enough about that, back to Gen X's relative unhealthiness.

This generation was hit by the full power of the government's obscenely-wrong nutritional information -- eat 6-11 servings of carbs per day! Drink lots of fruit juice! Have 1-2 servings of highly sugared desserts!

But don't eat eggs or red meat -- those are bad for you!

Gen X had to go through the red meat panic, and got told by the government to stop eating so much red meat and eat chicken instead. Chicken, with its poor Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio.

Not that I don't love chicken, but red meat (and fish) should be eaten more than chicken.

Remember when McDonald's blitzed the airwaves with commercials about adding in chicken sandwiches and chicken McNuggets as menu items? That was all spurred by the government's war on red meat and their fiat that Big Food start offering "healthier" alternatives to meat.

So many of the decisions of Big Food are actually dictated by the government.

So when they tell Big Food "Cut Fat," they cut fat, and add, as they must, sugar to make up for the lost taste. Thus all those low-fat and supposedly "healthy" treats like Snackwells -- which had far more sugar than the desserts they were replacing.

And remember... Olestra? The fake fat, undigestible by the body because it was created in a lab, could not be absorbed through the walls of the intestines.

This made it healthy. It was good for you! A regular health-food!

Because it wasn't absorbed by the body, it went straight through to the colon. So it had the side-effect of, as the euphemism went, "anal leakage."

That's not much of a euphemism, but it sound better than "you will unexpectedly soil yourself with a loose bowel movement that is an unnatural shade of orange."

I also remember -- well, I don't remember; my older Gen X friends remember -- being told that sugar wasn't bad for you, because "you just burn it right up." They mostly said that about "fruit sugar" but, you know, all commonly eaten sugars, whether from sugar cane, beets, or fruits, are disaccharides consisting of one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule. Fructose is "fruit sugar," but table sugar and sugar from fruits are chemically indentical. One glucose molecule, one fructose/fruit sugar molecule.

So the same logic that said that you could eat as much "fruit sugar" as you liked because you'd "just burn it all up" would also say that you can drink Big Gulps all day and also "just burn it all up."

That was not true. Actually if you have a lot of sugar, of any kind, you will only "just burn it all up" if you're actually engaging in moderate-to-heavy physical exercise.

If you're not doing that, you'll just spike your insulin and your insulin will send all of that sugar to your liver to be turned into fat.

Do you remember terrible health advice from the 80s and 90s? And terrible "healthy" food alternatives?


My own GAINZZZ report: consistent GAINZZZ. I'm in the homestretch and will be ending this weight-reduction phase in the next week or two. I'm already at my main goal, near a stretch goal, and within striking distance of my final goal. (That is, a goal I didn't think I could manage but which I entertained as a mere possibility.)

Then I think I'll start the very popular "100 push-ups a day for 30 days" regimen. (Note that in this regimen, you can do five, eight, ten push-ups per set, and space them out over the full 16 hour day.)

Some people do 200 push-ups a day, but I'm pretty weak right now so I don't think I can manage that.

Hopefully some GAINZZZers will do that with me.

I'll do that to recover some of the muscle I've lost before I start weight-training. Which is, unfortunately, a fair amount, more than I lost under my 28 days of strict, water-only fasting. It is true, as Jason Fung and others say, that a strict, water-only fast is more muscle-sparing than a calorie-restriction plan. It may seem backwards, but eating a small amount of protein rather than eating nothing at all winds up burning more of the protein in your muscle.

I'm so weak now I couldn't even lift one of Jonah Goldberg's sad moobs.

My plan, post this weight-loss phase, will be to do three days a week of compound lifts, and long walks on my days off. Actually I just heard on Andrew Huberman's podcast that engaging in light cardio-style exercise after a more intense workout is very good for forcing bodyfat to burn, so maybe I'll walk for an hour on lifting days, too.

What about yo' GAINZZ? Hard GAINZZZ, easy GAINZZZ -- any GAINZZZ! All KINDZZZ of GAINZZZ!


Also any NEWZZZ you feel like discussing. It's an open thread, after all.

The agenda is obvious, isn't it?

Imma listen to this guy. I like his directness:

Paul Simon's Kodachrome -- "When I look back at all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all."

digg this
posted by Ace at 05:25 PM

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