Sunday, July 30, 2006

Top 5 Reasons To Stop Eating All Carbohydrates

Top 5 Reasons To Stop Eating All Carbohydrates

1. No essential nutrients.

There is nothing, absolutely NOTHING that you need from veggies and fruit that you can't get from meat and eggs. Don't tell me, "what about the antioxidants!". The reason you take all these antioxidants is because of your body oxidizing polyunsaturated fats from vegetable and plant sources. When they're oxidized, because of their shape and the way they bond to other atoms, they give off more these "free radicals". Stick to saturated fats, which the body burns cleanly, then you'll be OK.

2. Insulin

Adiposity 101:

INSULIN has been called "the fattening hormone". Insulin promotes differentiation of white fat cells, fat deposition, lipoprotein lipase (LPL), inhibits growth hormone release, and inhibits the fat releasing action of catecholamines. Insulin inhibits the hormone-sensitive lipase that releases stored fat from adipose tissue. In normal individuals, insulin primarily increases glucose uptake by muscle tissue and lowers glucose production by the liver. In Syndrome X, the liver and muscles are resistant to insulin, forcing the production of more insulin to control blood glucose.

3. Optimization of Fat Burning is compromised

See above.

4. Toxins

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with toxins and anti-nutrients, natural defense against predators. Plus they taste like garbage! How can you people eat this stuff?

5. Fiber

I've blogged about this before, and it's a chapter in the zero carb path.

Now, given all that, why would you want to expose yourself to carbs, even for the smallest of amounts? Variety? Acculturation? Self-sabatoge?

I didn't believe this when I first went low-carb in 1998. I mentally justified myself eating carbs for just those reasons as listed above. But as someone who has been morbidly obese for 2/3d's of their life I guess you can say I have a particular problem with carbs. I have never known a moment of normality in my entire life concerning weight. I'm 5'7" and I've been between 320 and 345 since the age of 13.

Zero carb eating is the only way I've seen that controls my carb addiction and eating problems. I never have a problem with "variety". The more I eat beef the more I love it. You'll probably say that can't be true, but it is. I also get very few, if any, cravings for sweets or starches. There were times when I was doing regular low carb (the kind of lots of "fresh" and "wholesome" veggies and the usual "low-carb" processed products) that I would still get cravings, and I mean INTENSE cravings. I kid you not. I would literally be pacing the kitchen floor mentally justifing myself for the next glucose fix. Even as little as 20g of carbs per day would set these cravings off. The more liberal with the carbs the worse the cravings would hit. I was consistently trapped in this paradox of mainstream low-carb dieting.

If you're obese and it's been a life long problem you really may want to consider a zero carb path. There is a certain caveat however. You must either love or get to learn to love lots and lots of meat. That really is the bottom line. Once you get into the cycle of beef and eggs and creams/cheeses the mental "chatter" about variety and cravings gets more diminished over time, at least that's the way I would describe it.

The Best of the Bear-Dietary Fat

I went through Bear's "Words of Wisdom" thread at the active NO-carber and pulled a few more thoughts on dietary fat.

Lipolysis is stimulated by dietary fat when, and only when- you are carrying more body fat than your body 'wants' or needs, a level I have called your 'fatostat'. Your metabolism prefers to use dietary-sourced fat, remember bodyfat comes from glucose conversion only so your body will conserve it if it can, and will replace it if it goes 'too low'- this is the one stimulus for glucose-from-protein- i.e., recovery from severely low levels of body fat from fasting or starvation, on an all meat regime with adequate fat and protein intake, but no carbs.

Thus, a person whose bodyfat level is above their 'fat-o-stat' set-point will lose/burn body fat no matter how many calories they eat- i.e., it is not necessary to restrict your food, eat as much as feels good.

And what happens to dietary fat that can't be used?

The body has a limit to the amount of fat you can eat and digest at one sitting, determined by the bile, and once you have eaten that amount, you will stop, but can still eat the lean. Forcing things will work like drinking like castor or mineral oil- it is purging. Dietary fat either is not absorbed due top exceeding the supply of emulsifying bile, causing loose stools, or if absorbed- will circulate until used.

Storing dietary fat would mean that you could NOT eat lots of fat without gaining weight. This misunderstanding of the true nature of fat-metabolism is the prime SOURCE of the notorious 'low fat' diet, the most fattening dietary regime ever proposed. This is not the case, fortunately.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dietary Fat DOES NOT Make You Fat

Oh folks, here's one that you need to pay attention to because the debate over counting vs not counting calories is never ending.

DIETARY FAT WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT. Let me repeat that, DIETARY FAT WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT. There is no mechanism to move dietary fat into adipose tissue. As The Bear noted on his thread:

Fat in the diet does NOT enter the adipose tissue- a very tiny amount of osmotic exchange in short chain fatty acids MAY occur, however studies with radioactively tagged dietary fat and glucose show NO radio-tagged fat winds up in the tissues from fat and ALL the radiotagged glucose is found in fat in the adipose tissues. I might remind all readers that bogus claims and false data is VERY common in the scientific literature. We do not question that fatty acids enter somatic muscle cells only that it is not stored in adipose cells

For those who maintain that you need to restrict calories on a low-carb diet are flat out wrong. This is not one of those "if it works for you, fine" moments. You do not need to restrict calories at all as long as there are no carbs in your diet. It's that simple really. The only time you need to restrict calories is when you've hit your true weight, ususally it's 11%-15% for men and 18%-23% for women. If you don't accept that dietary fat doesn't make you fat then you've bought the low-fat bull hook, line and sinker and you must truly not believe in how low-carb and ketogenic diets work.

What I believe happens is that people go on "maintenance" (usually above their true normal BMI weight) eating 30g-100g of carbs per day. The joke on them is that eating that many carbs a day stalls their weight loss prematurly so they are left to reducing calories needlessly or just learn to live being slightly overweight. If they reduce carbs to zero they will hit lose naturally to their normal weight. The other joke is that their still invoking the insulin response. Insulin exposure over the course of time is very unhealty, so while they're able to lose and maintain weight loss they're still putting themselved in jeopardy.

As Bear noted again in his thread:

Insulin is THE major cause of arterial sclerosis- by its ability to stimulate muscle-cell proliferation. This effect is especially bad for smooth muscle like is found in the intestines and arteries. The proliferative cells become scar tissue and that is what causes a loss of flexibility, and blockage of the lumen.

In a study titled 'Atherosclerosis: An insulin-dependent disease?' some interesting facts about the somatic effects of insulin were exposed. Surgically produced 'diabetic' dogs with no ability to produce insulin do not have any problem so long as no carbs are ingested. The study was done on such dogs, wherein they were catheterised in both femoral arteries and a solution of saline was applied by drip to both. A measured amount of insulin to balance their dietary carb intake was added to the saline only in one artery. After only six months the dogs were sacrificed and the arteries excised and studied. There was considerable pre-sclerotic growth found in the one supplied with the insulin solution, and none in the control artery. Hard to deny. The damage to skin collagen by glucose/insulin (stretch marks and wrinkles) is well known. Cataracts and joint damage are likewise long recognised as induced by insulin. The professional diabetes (medical) groups always refer to such damage as being caused by diabetes, which is not true. As noted, diabetes in NOT a disease. Remove dietary carbs and it literally disappears. This historic truth has been suppressed by the drug and medical professions
Here is what that study's abstract had to say:

Evidence is reviewed that dietary habits in industrially developed countries, especially an increased frequency of ingestion of foods of high energy density, may contribute to excessive hepatic cholesterol synthesis and to a preponderance of lipogenic versus lipolytic effects on the arterial intima, thereby favoring the formation and progression of atheroma. These effects are mediated by the rise and fall of circulating insulin levels. The evidence is suggestive of the possibility that frequent and prolonged exposure of the arterial wall to high circulating levels of insulin may favor the development of atherosclerotic lesions. Research on diet-atherosclerosis relationships should take into account not only overall diet composition but individual meal composition and size and their effects on serum insulin levels, as well as meal spacing and the relative durations of absorptive and postabsorptive periods during the 24-hour daily cycle.
Why constantly provoke insulin when zero carb will do just fine? You're only fooling yourself if you think a carb level of 20-100g per day is healthy. It's not. Sure, you'll probably say to me, "well Rob, that may work for you but not for me, everybody's differnt."

"You're in denial" is my response.

The zero carb/all meat diet will work for everybody, unless you have some serious medical condition or something. Other than that, you, me, whoever, wants to do zero carb it will work. That is an undiputable fact about zero carb, and it's purely based on human physiology. The only reason that zero carb won't work is because of mental reasons like acculturation.

My body is too sensitive to glucose. Even on a calorie restriced low-fat diet I gain weight or lose nothing. Let me clarify one thing so you can see where I'm going with this. It's true that individuals bodies deal with glucose in different way. My body is extremely proficient in turning glucose to stored fat. That's true of all obese people. That some people can lose weight on 30g, 40, 50g or 100g diet is a subjective reality. Person A doing South Beach may lose weight while Person B, who may be more glucose intollerant, will not lose weight on South Beach and may have to try another diet. You may also have Person C who can eat sugar non-stop and never gain a pound.

When one restricts carbs to virtually zero it's an objective reality that you will lose weight because everybody's body works on the same physiology. In other words, our bodies work the same even though individually may work at a different rate. For example, everyone has 2 lungs and 4 ventricles and we all breath oxygen. Some people don't breath carbon dioxide or have 3 lungs. It's the same with how our bodies use food and convert it to energy.

Brent Mydland 10/21/52 - 7/26/90

Ok, getting off topic again but today marks the 16th anniversary of the passing of Brent Mydland, the 4th Grateful Dead keyboardist and the 3rd to meet an untimely passing. While never overcoming the "new guy" monicker in the band after 11 years, he probably was the most complete keyboardist the Dead had. I never got to see him live since I didn't see the band until February 1991 but was very familiar with him having listed to the Dead since the age of 12 in 1981. In fact, I tried to convince my parents to see them at some point in 1982 but my parents wouldn't let me go.

The early Brent period, especially the first couple tours after the dismissal of Keith and Donna are very strong. The Dead were still using the Keith and Donna arrangements and Brent's keyboard choices provided the most color since 1974 when Keith was using the piano and the rhodes. In some way the Grateful Dead never really recovered from the loss of Brent, and with the downward spiril of Jerry it only seemed like a matter of time.

10/3/87 is considered a great Brent show, and certainly his last year with the Dead was some of his best work ever (and one of the strongest years for the Dead too). I wish I would have went to see shows sooner so I could have caught Brent live in action.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Meat Porn

Here was tonight's steak, a luscious rib eye, cooked to perfection, seared quickly on the outside to sterilize the surface while leaving the middle section warm and raw. I bet it's making your mouth water! A perfect 102 degrees to boot! The nutrients in meat are optimal up to 104 degrees F. After that they start to get compromised.

Now that I've gotten to really love raw and bleu meat I can't eat it any other way. The first few times I was really nervous, but you just have to get used to it I suppose. The first time I ever ate a purely raw inside/seared outside steak I was so nervous, I couldn't look at the meat, but then I peaked, lol, freaked out and threw it back in the pan for like 20 seconds before I just told myself to deal with it. The texture is very similiar to pasta actually. It's slightly rubbery, but breaks up easily in the mouth and practically starts dissolving on your tongue and no nasty, stringy strands of meat getting caught in your teeth to. Any cut of beef is an option now because raw meat is so tender. Boneless short ribs are a perfect example of how good a meat can be raw.

Here's a previous dinner from the past. I think this was a cross rib steak, which is not to bad really.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Low Carb Dave and the BMI

Jimmy Moore has a terrific feature on Low-Carb Dave, one of the nicest folk in the online low carb community that I've met. I've always got a special spot for Dave because for the longest time I thought he was this nice old man on the ALC Forum. Turns out that was Atkins in his signature! I guess I didn't recognize the good doctor without his coat on :)

Congrats Dave! One year is no easy feat.

Then Jimmy noted this:

Before low-carb, our friend Dave was a ticking time bomb on his way to an early
grave -- 473 pounds, an off-the-charts BMI of 60(!), insulin resistant, always
hungry, severe sleep apnea, edema in his legs, and even asthma. To say his
health was declining last year is an understatement. I can certainly relate as a
former 410-pound man with a BMI of 52, borderline diabetic, always hungry, on
medications for breathing, cholesterol and high blood pressure, and living a
miserable life. Being morbidly obese really sucks, doesn't it Dave?!

So I went to the wiki to see how the BMI is derived and when I did it, at my fattest in February 2006 at 345 I was at 52.75! Holy crap! It sure the hell felt like a 52.75. I felt terrible all the time. Just tying my shoes and taking off my socks were a pain in the ass. I took a sleep apnea test that came out "inconclusive". Apparently something was restricting my breathing but they said it wasn't classic apnea or something. High blood pressure, my cholestorol was ok oddly enough, my blood work was terrible, my blood glucose was ok but I figure it's only a matter of time before that started going up too.

Right now I'm at 43.58, just on the verge of NOT being morbidly obese and just being regular plain old obese (or as I like to think of it, I kinda look like I may have been somebody who once was thin but just let myself go :) ) What I thought was interesting was that at my lowest weight, 195 in 1998, I was still just under 30, still considered overweight even though to me I seemed skinny (er). According to the chart I should be around 140-145.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

"Low-Carb" Myths

Steve at the Against the Grain blog made a post about this article by Laura Dolson.

1. Low Carb=No CarbThis misconception is the idea that a low carb diet
must be really really low in carbohydrates. You will read that low carb diets
attempt to eliminate carbohydrates, for example.

Fact: Not one low carb diet author advocates this.

Uh-oh. Somebody needs to turn her on to the Zero Carb Path. I'm not sure Stefansson counts but he lived quite well on a zero carb diet too.

But this one is my favorite:

2. Low Carb Diets Discourage Eating Vegetables and Fruits. Because
vegetables and fruits are mainly carbohydrate, people believe that they are not
allowed on low carb diets.

Fact: The opposite is true non-starchy vegetables are usually at the
bottom of the low carb pyramids meaning they are the staff of life of the
diet (replacing grains in that role) and people who follow a low carb way of
eating almost always eat more vegetables than the general population. For the
most part, vegetables and fruits ARE the carbs eaten when following a low carb
way of eating.

3. Low Carb Diets Have Inadequate Fiber. The reasoning goes that since
fiber IS carbohydrate, a low carb diet MUST be low in fiber.

Not for me! Every veggie I have ever tried without butter and cheese sauces sucked. How people can eat this stuff is beyond me, but it's the holiest of holies when it comes to food. Guess what folks? You don't have to eat them and there are no benefits to eating them. The phytonutrient/phytochemicals thing is boguscourseOf coures substituting veggies in an otherwise poor diet is going to be beneficial, but I don't think you can claim that they reduce cancer. I just think we're heading into the realm of Kevin Trudeau.

As for fiber we already know about the "Fiber is healthy myth". You can also refer to my previous Vegetation is Toxic post.

Over at the Active Low-Carber Forum many meat only or nearly meat only people used to catch a lot of crap from people worried about myths like the one above. A typical response from an actual ALC poster is below:

For many years people dissed the low carb lifestyle by saying it was a mainly
meat diet. Low carbers spent a lot of time defending their WOE by saying it was
definitely NOT just a meat or meat and cheese or meat and egg WOE. Now there
seems to be a great interest in a "meat only" or more accurately "animal product
only" WOE. Nothing wrong with that, but I can understand why some people after
having to defend low carbing see the "animal only" WOE as undermining what they
had been saying to friends, family, the press, etc.

The thing I don't understand is the idea that were "undermining" all this hard work? Undermining what? If you're eating a particular way and you're friends and family can't accept what you're doing, that's their hang up-but if they love you or are good friends, they'll come to accept what you're doing in time. I would think that the progress you make would compensate for whatever concerns they might have.

The press? Who cares? Are you trying to sell a book or push a website/TV show? Sure, people with a monetary stake would love to see more mainstream acceptance just because it would make them more money but that has nothing to do with the diet itself. Does it really matter who is the low carb market leaders?

People just have to get over the fact that the diet they're on is socially unacceptable for the most part and even offensive to many people in the general public. That's just the way it goes.

Get To Know Your Meat

Get to know your meats :)

Since I eat beef as my choice of meat 90% of the time I tried various types for a little variety. Since I eat so much beef I can't eat ribeye's and porterhouses everyday. Some of my favorites are boneless short ribs. They're nice and fatty and have a real nice flavor raw. Blade steaks are nice and fatty and tasty, and they have some gristley parts which have lots of good protein, but you have to chew on it for awhile. Lots of times I'll be hunks of bottom round roasts and just slice steaks right off of that. I also find that if I hit the store first thing in the morning I can get good deals on close out meats.

Friday, July 21, 2006

I've Reached a New Low

Tipped the scale at 285 today. That's a total of 60 pounds since 2/23/06. And I can really feel a whoosh coming on right now. I'm just able to button the pants of the 42" Dockers I bought back in 1998. I noticed I had an old paycheck in the pocket too. The last time I put those pants on was in September 1999.

This day in Dead history

On this date the Grateful Dead played the Hollywood Bowl in 1974. Rob Bertrando recorded the show and is one of the better audience tapes of the period. Of course, when you've got the Wall of Sound in front of you it's easier to make great tapes. Some of the best Grateful Dead audience recordings are from 1974.

This is not one to be taken lightly.

Set One
Promised Land
Tennessee Jed
Me And My Uncle
Jack Straw
Mississippi Half Step Uptown Toodeloo >
It Must Have Been The Roses
El Paso
Scarlet Begonias
Around And Around

Set Two-A
Phil and Ned (Seastones)

Set Two-B
China Cat Sunflower >
Know You Rider
Big River
Row Jimmy
Playin' In The Band >
Wharf Rat >
Truckin' >
Nobody's Jam >
Playin' In The Band
Ship Of Fools
Sugar Magnolia

U.S. Blues

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Focus and Discipline

I believe that the majority of the battle to lose weight is primarily mental more than physical.

How many times have we heard about people trying to re-start their diets after falling off the wagon? I know I tried to redo the diet several times after 1998. Even in 1998 I wasn't very focused and disciplined, eating candy, sneaking junk food here and there. Despite all that I still managed to lose weight, probably eating roughly 30-40g of carbs per day. That I could lose weight eating that many carbs shows to me how extremely sensitive I am to glucose. This time it just all seemed to click, and with Bear showing up at the ALC, it gave me more info on the real human diet (which is a totally carnivorous one BTW).

This time I have not cheated once. Sure, I may have eaten more cream and soft cheeses than I should have on occasion, but I can honestly say that I probably never ate more than 10-15g of carbs on anyday, and that's mostly from eggs and cheese. No cheats, no low-carb products, no veggies, no fake-o starches, sugar alcohols or any of that crap. This is the once exception to my "mental" theory of zero carb. Since restricting all carbs I have very few, if any, cravings. None, zip, nada. I can remember eating a bowl of low-carb ice cream and physically feeling the intense cravings that the sugar alcohols would bring on. Even broccoli with cheese would leave me with that nagging carb jones. It didn't take long to go from low-carb ice cream to real ice cream to 8 tacos and 2 burgers at the local Jack In The Box.

Without the cravings the mental part just seems to fall in line. Some of the mental barriers include:

-Needing to eat 3 meals a day plus snacks. Now I can tell when I'm hungry and when I'm just eating to eat. Sometimes I eat only once a day.

-Needing variety! None is needed, and I rarely get frustrated eating a diet that's around 90% beef and eggs.

-Focus and discipline (will power). Without the physical cravings it's easier to remain committed and in control.

I was recently told that I was in danger of thinking too much about what I eat. That may be true. This time though I really wanted to put myself on the line, since it's so easy to lose interest and track. Jimmy Moore touched on this subject today. This is the beauty of the internet. In real life I'm far less inclined to get into it with people I know and work with as far as telling them the nitty gritty details on how I'm losing weight. Ignorance and the mainstream low-fat dogma complicates the issue and sometimes I think it's best to avoid confrontation. Just do what you do and if people want to accept what I'm doing, it's up to them.

As Bear succintly explained:
You are fighting a cultural battle, and your actions are very threatening on an
unconscious level to many of your associates. Hang in there, after a while your
friends will accept your diet, but it will take a while, and even when they do,
they will say things like: "Everyone is different, maybe this works for you,
but..." This attitude is properly termed "denial", and you will see a lot of it
around you, especially as your body slowly starts to look multi-years younger
than your contemporaries.

In the end I think I'm just really luckier than most. Unlike many others out there I do have some positive acculturation in my favor. I was raised eating lots of meat. Lot and lots of red rare meat too. My father was a driver for Golden State Meat Company in San Francisco for 35 years. We got boxes and boxes of fresh hamburger, hot dogs, steaks, you name it. We had meat 7 days a week, Italian sausages on Fridays, rare roasts every Sunday, it was great. Luckily my mom never made me eat my veggies, so I never ate them, outside of a little broccoli here and there. I didn't volitionally eat a salad until I was 21. I'm not kidding. Starches, cereals, milk and fast food have always been my downfall.

This time I think things are changing for the permanent.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Vegetation is Toxic

Nothing would twirl more panties at the ALC than the proclaimation that veggies are toxic. Veggies are sancrosanct, and very few people really have the cajones to flat out admit that they suck.

First, plants are loaded with toxins as natural defenses. That many of these toxins had to be bred out to make it edible food seems to be lost on the pro-veggie crowd. Here's an interesting article that Carolyn brought up on the Active No-Carber Forum on why kids don't eat their greens. According to

A supertaster can taste two chemicals, phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) and 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP). About 25% of people taste these chemicals as a very bitter taste. Another 50% can taste them mildly, and the last 25% can't taste them at all. Supertasters can taste a bitter substance in the following foods.

Green tea and to a lesser extent black tea
Black Coffee
Undercooked or raw cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
Peppers and chilli peppers
Some salad greens (especially rocket)
Strong cheeses
Dark chocolate
Dry wines and beer
Tonic water
Soy products

Outside of black coffee (which I'll drink if I have to) and just barely broccoli, everything on this list I hate. This might explain why every veggie I have ever tasted tastes like real nasty stuff. If the veggie wasn't doused in butter, dressing or cheese sauces I couldn't eat it. I'm allergic to soy, so that's an obvioius one. I've also allergic to wheat and, especially, peanuts. Which brings me to another blog that is being run by the same person I believe. It's called "Plant Poisons and Rotten Stuff". Very interesting information on general vegetation intollerance.

Now, before you write me off as a some crank, break out the 1972 Atkins book. As Terra posted also at the ALC, here's several choice Atkins quotes from the book:

"We're the victim of carbohydrate poisoning" pg 5

"Many of today's diseases have one predisposing factor in common: Carbohydrate Intolerance. Over the years a large number of doctors and researchers have observed that the overweight person, the diabetic, the hypoglycemic... the heart attack prone all have one thing in common: something is very wrong with the way their bodies handle sugar and other carbohydrates." pg 4

"So this is an anticarbohydrate diet" pg 7

"...Duncan's Diseases of Metabolism, the testbook that is virtually a bible for doctors in the field, writes: "... no carbohydrate is required in the diet.... it has been shown experimentally that human beings can survive in good heath for months on a diet of meat and fats." pg 6

"You see, by cutting your carbohydrates down to zero, you have summoned a powerful genie to your aid- a substance put out by the pituitary gland called the Fat Metaboling Hormone (FMH)... " pg 15

"... once you understand what carbohydrates do to you, they become in your own mind, the enemy. You not only don't want them, you feel downright hostility for them." pg 46

"The Diet Revoution No-Nos (this is by no means a complete list)
[a list of vegetation] For you they're poison-- dont forget it! pg 140

Clearly he was on the right path but ended up being a "diet wuss" by adding more and more carbs and veggies to the plan to garner a wider audience. Too bad. The point is though that carbs ARE your enemy, in any shape, way or form, because in the end it's all glucose and that glucose has to be metabolized with insulin. It's best to avoid this garbage all together, because you see, vegetation IS toxic.

The Kool Aid Man?

Ay caramba! Or would that be a D'oh!

Fellow low carber Jimmy Moore gives me a mention on new blogs on the scene, mine being one of them. I like Jimmy and admire his attitude. I wish him lots of success on "livin' la vida low-carb".

But the Kool Aid man? As I explained in the comments:

I AM NOT the kool-aid man :)

That's a joke from the Active Low-Carber Forum where a member was booted for saying that the very heavy-handed moderators at ALC we're drinking the Bear Kool Aid. That's why the Active NO-carber forum was created by exiles from the Bear thread. So the Team icon at the no-carber forum is the Kool Aid man.

Either way, thanks for the referance.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Low Carb Roundtable Discussion

Here's an interesting post from Tidal Pool over at the VERY excellent Active NO-Carber Forum (The Active No-Carber Forum was spun off by a group of exiles from the Bear thread at the Active Low-Carber Forum). Nice two part discussion of various ketogenic/low-carb diets pertaining to athletes and training at Testesterone Nation. I really liked what Dan John had to say starting out:

Personally, I like to start with a simple proposition to most athletes: zero carbs. If we have to make body comp changes quickly, well, there are no carbs allowed. We know that there are also no "essential" carbs, so the first hurdle we have to deal with when it comes to the athlete is this: fat phobia.

When athletes hear "low-carb" or "zero-carb," they immediately try to figure in "no fat" too. Madness, I tell you. If you read Clarence Bass's original Ripped, he went no carb and no fat. That isn't the idea. One egg white a day and a twice-baked piece of chicken is not my idea of an athletic diet.

The first thing I encourage my athletes to do in the zero-carb approach is to think "feast." Eggs, cream in the coffee, and meat for breakfast followed up with a snack of ribs...Meat, fish, fowl, and eggs, that's the ticket. My athletes are amazed on day three when they get a good night's sleep, their joints are feeling good, and they notice an "ease of passage" in their daily movement.

I don't quite get why he then advocates eating veggies and fruit and the sipping of the olive oil thing after saying there's really no "essential carbs", but that's just me. Nonetheless I thought he makes some great observations.

No matter where you are on the pendulum of low-carb you'll find this an interesting read

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Blueberries? Fruit is not your friend

On Saturday Jimmy Moore at Livin'la Vida Low Carb made a post about Blueberries. I saw this penchant on the Low Carbers Forum as well as an acceptable fruit to eat. Apparently it's even Atkins approved, although that section seems to be missing from my 1972 copy of Atkins. I really like his blog but I think fruit should be one of the last things you should eat on low-carb.

Fruit is the worst and most fattening of carbs to eat. I'll refer you to the Wiki:

Fructose depends on glucose to carry it into the blood stream via GLUT-5 and then GLUT-2 [1]. Absorption of fructose without glucose present is very poor,
and excess fructose is carried into the lower intestine where it provides nutrients for the existing flora, which produce gas. It may also cause water retention in the intestine. These effects may lead to bloating, excessive flatulence, loose stools, and even diarrhea depending on the amounts eaten and other factors.

Fructose has been hypothesized to cause obesity [2], elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, leading to metabolic syndrome. Unlike animal experiments, some human experiments have failed to show a correlation between fructose consumption and obesity. Short term tests, lack of dietary control, and lack of a non-fructose consuming control group are all confounding factors in human experiments. However, there are now a number of reports showing correlation of fructose consumption to obesity, especially central obesity which is generally regarded as the most dangerous type. (Wylie-Rosett, 2004)(Havel, 2005)(Bray, 2004) (Dennison, 1997)

Fructose also chelates minerals in the blood. This effect is especially important with micronutrients such as copper, chromium and zinc. Since these solutes are
normally present in small quantities, chelation of small numbers of ions may
lead to deficiency diseases, immune system impairment and even insulin
resistance, a component of type II diabetes (Higdon).

Fructose is a reducing sugar, as are all monosaccharides. The spontaneous addition of single sugar molecules to proteins, known as glycation, is a significant cause of
damage in diabetics. Fructose appears to be as dangerous as glucose in this
regard and so does not seem to be the answer for diabetes (McPherson et al,
1988) This may be an important contribution to senescence and many age-related
chronic diseases (Levi & Werman 1998).

Yikes! That doesn't sound "heart healthy" to me. I would not advise anyone with serious weight to lose to eat fruit of any kind. Fructose, even in small doses will screw with your fat metabolism. Fructose is an isomer of glucose and is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Yeah yeah yeah, the "literature" says the opposite, but these are the same groups that are convinced "fat makes you fat" as well. The idea that there's certain "phytochemicals" is suspect, as well as the need for "anti-oxidents". You wouldn't need "anti-oxidants" if you you're not eating polyunsaturated fats like those found in fruits and vegetables. In fact, vegetables and fruits are loaded with toxins and anti-nutrients, natural defense against preditors. Many low-carbers also accept and know that the "Fiber is healthy" thing is just a myth and provides no benefits outside of scarring the gut. That's not even considering the chance that eating fruit will induce further carb cravings since fructose can be even sweeter than sugar.

You can say that the quantity in blueberries eaten is low, but fruit has been notorious for causing stalls, why risk all that for a little variety? There are much better "treats" than relying on fruit.

I have a better treat that works as a special treat desert, and though it's carby to a certain degree, it's kosher for the most part.

All you need is a hunk of unsweetened bakers chocolate, a can of table cream which I either find in the canned milk area or the mexican foods area, and butter. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl, stir them up with a little splenda or whatever articifial sweetner you prefer, add the table cream and beat until it's nice and creamy and fluffy. You can either put it in the fridge and it's like a thick chocolate mousse, or put it in the freezer where I think it has the consistency of a Carnation chocolate malt that you get at the ballpark.

Of course, you don't have to eat it all at one serving but it works when you want to splurge a little.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Meat and you

The Father of Low-Carb Diets

For all you Atkins-Fanatics out there, no, it isn't the good Dr. Bob.

I came across this article about the father of low-carb diets, William Banting. Banting, like so many of us today, was getting fat before his eyes. He tried several things not that were not much different than what current doctors and dieticians advise ironically. None of it worked for poor Mr. Banting.

That is, until he met one Dr. Harvey. Dr. Harvey had just been in Paris where he heard Dr. Claude Bernard who had a theory about a "-like substance that it made from elements of the blood passing through it". Intrigued by Dr. Bernard and Banting's corpulance, Harvey put Banting on a diet. Harvey advised Banting to avoid the following foods: bread, butter, milk, sugar, beer and potatoes. Banting then was put on the following diet:

up to six ounces of bacon, beef, mutton, venison, kidneys, fish or any form of poultry or game; the 'fruit of any pudding' – he was denied the pastry
any vegetable except potato; and at dinner, two or three glasses of good claret, sherry or Madeira. Banting could drink tea without milk or sugar. Champagne, port and beer were forbidden and he could eat only one ounce of toast
Well, it worked. Banting noted at the time:

“I can conscientiously assert I never lived so well as under the new plan of dietary, which I should have formerly thought a dangerous, extravagant trespass upon health.”

He says that this present dietary table is far superior to what he was eating before:
“more luxurious and liberal, independent of its blessed effect, but when it is proved to be more healthful, the comparisons are simply ridiculous.”

“I am very much better both bodily and mentally and pleased to believe that I hold the reins of health and comfort in my own hands.”

Unfortunately, there were just as many health nazis and naysayers back in 1863 as there are in 2006.

When Banting's booklet, in which he described the diet and its amazing results was published, it was so contrary to the established doctrine that it set up a howl of protest among members of the medical profession. The 'Banting Diet' became the centre of a bitter controversy and Banting's papers and book were ridiculed and distorted. No one could deny that the diet worked, but as a layman had published it, and medical men were anxious that their position in society should not be undermined, they felt bound to attack it. Banting's paper was criticized solely on the grounds that it was 'unscientific'.

How little things change in 143 years. Check out the Father of the Low-Carbohydrate diet!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Fat for life

Well, I better not be.

Frankly I've been fat since day one...ok, maybe not since I was born sickly and underweight (5 lbs 6oz)-I kid you not. Considering my shaky pre-natal history I'm lucky to be here at all. It's no wonder my body is so extremely sensitive to carbs. Outside of a brief period in 1998 when I first went on a psuedo-Atkins low carb diet and lost 100 pounds, I've known nothing but fatness for my whole life.

Back in February I went to the doctors and I weighted close to 350 pounds. I couldn't believe it, but then I could when I realized I was packing myself into size 50 pants. A couple weeks longer and I would have had to try and find 52" pants. After years of fits and starts trying to redo low-carb I was frustrated on why I couldn't stick with the low-carb diet. I believe that subconsciously I knew the answer that I didn't want to accept was screaming out in the back of my mind. It was then that tried to figure out what worked in 1998 that wasn't working since.

First, I delved back into the Kybalion, which is a great text on the basic principles of hermetic philosophy mental transmutation. Second, I got back in touch with Bear and re-read all of his old emails. The second day into the diet it all became perfectly clear. Even though the Bear was a source of inspiration back in 1998 I didn't follow his advice. Sure, I lost weight down the Atkins thing, but in the end I couldn't stay on that type of low-carb diet so I was suspicious about redoing yet another 20-40g low-carb diet. That was February 23rd. Since then I have not eaten any vegetable, starches or sugars. Not long after that Bear started his infamous thread at the ALC, which further helped bring into focus the zero carb path and I've been running with it ever since.

I'm currently around 287-288 after weighing in at 345 back in February 14th.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Well, I've finally done what I've been resisting, and that's come up with a daily blog with a zero carb perspective, of course. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.