The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Personal Health]
2017-05-25 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Personal Health , 223 references
[Comments enabled]  

These people need to be held accountable for everyone who dies as a consequence of this garbage.

We can start with prison and go from there.

Age doesn’t just pack on the pounds — it changes where those pounds go. The culprit? Sex hormones. As these decrease over time, men and women’s weights tend to shift in predictable ways.

Meh.

The culprit is accumulated metabolic damage from eating high carbohydrate diets.

Of course nobody does this sort of study, because if you do you'll get the truth in irrefutable scientific form.  What sort of study?  It's not difficult but it does take a lot of time since you need to follow people for decades.

Start pulling insulin and glucose levels (A1c is an inexpensive marker to test) and you will find that most people over time have slowly rising insulin levels even though their A1c and fasting blood glucose is normal. There's an even better surrogate for it that requires no testing -- it's called a scale.  Most men and women start to gain weight in their 20s although it's relatively slow and the huge majority of doctors and others won't raise any alarms on it.

2-3 pounds a year is 20-30lbs over a decade.  I remind you that you cannot possibly "manually" count calories at a sufficient resolution to prevent this consciously; 2lbs is 6,500 calories, more or less, which means you'd have to be accurate to within 20 calories a day on your food intake every single day in order to avoid it.  That's impossible; 20 calories is quite-literally about one teaspoon of sugar or a fraction of an ounce (one small bite!) of meat.  Nobody can count that accurately through manual, intentional means.

Your body, however, has the metabolic mechanisms to regulate food intake to that degree of accuracy all on its own just as it has metabolic mechanisms to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, pH, oxygen saturation and dozens of other critical metabolic parameters -- any of which will kill you if they go out of range.

The reason you get fat is that you have damaged that metabolic control mechanism.

The "advice" is just flat-out wrong:

“The biggest thing is to be consistent with our healthy eating and exercise,” she said, adding that weight training is especially essential to prevent the loss of lean muscle mass, a process that can make our bodies less metabolically active. And opting for a high-fiber diet full of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help stave off the weight gain that would turn into excess pounds.

Total nonsense.

Fruits have a high caloric density.  They also absorb quickly, especially if juiced or otherwise concentrated (e.g. dried fruits, etc.)  In a natural world you can also only get them for a short period of time because they only occur in an edible form for a few days or weeks in a given area out of the year.  Eating blackberries on a hand-picked basis where you can find them wild during the time you can find them wild won't hurt you, simply because there aren't many of them you can eat in a given year in a given place!

Our "modern world" changes all that; now you can have strawberries, grapes, oranges and other fruits all the time which is flatly impossible on a natural basis.  It is insanely irrational to believe that our bodies can adapt to such a change in our pattern of food intake on a rapid basis; adaptation of a species to environmental changes takes millennia, not years or decades.

"High-fiber" is often touted as some sort of panacea.  It is not, for the simple reason that "high fiber" foods are inherently low in calories.  That which you cannot digest just takes up space; that's the definition of "fiber" in a food.  It means nothing in terms of caloric intake because the fibrous foods you eat are an immaterial part of your total calorie requirement.

There are only three foods when you get down to it -- carbohydrates, proteins and fats.  Of them fiber is only present in carbohydrates to any material degree and in general fiber is only present in material amounts in low-calorie density carbohydrate foods.  This doesn't stop a manufacturer from adding fiber to a food (and many do) but that's usually a reason to not eat whatever it is because added fiber usually tastes terrible and as a result the manufacturer is forced to add sugars in some form to make it palatable, which is exact opposite of what you want to eat.

For fiber in your diet you want to eat green vegetables.  For example one cup of broccoli (which isn't much!) has 135% of your daily Vitamin C requirement -- one of the few substances we cannot synthesize due to a genetic error in our DNA.  It also contains roughly 10% of your daily fiber recommended amount.  However, it also has just 31 calories -- an insignificant component of your caloric intake requirement.

Brussels Sprouts are similar; they have just 38 calories, 124% of your Vitamin C requirement and 13% of your fiber needs -- again, in one cup.

In short yes you should eat fibrous foods but you should eat them in the form of green vegetables which tend to be low in caloric content and high in those things your body cannot synthesize and thus must get from consumed food, specifically Vitamin C.

The problem with the cited recommendation is that it says nothing about where the bulk of your caloric intake should come from!  The 2% from the cup of sprouts or broccoli are immaterial to the total.  The question is what do you do with the 98%.

The answer is that it should contain almost zero carbohydrate.  This means the claim of "lean protein" is false; it has to be for the simple reason that you can't reasonably consume enough lean protein mass to make up the bulk of your intake either on a mass basis or a money basis.

And that brings you back to either fats or carbohydrates.

One spikes your insulin levels and then makes you ravenously hungry.  The other absorbs far more slowly and has nearly zero impact on insulin, and thus you don't get hungry.

In short one makes you fat, both directly by stimulating you to eat more and indirectly by damaging the metabolic response system that would otherwise prevent it from being stored on your body as fat.  The other does exactly the opposite; it not only absorbs more-slowly it has essentially zero insulin response and does not stimulate you to eat more in a couple of hours.

Among fats there are two types -- unsaturated (mostly plant-based) and saturated (mostly animal-based.)  One occurs naturally and both human and beast have been eating it in quantity since said species has walked on the planet or swam in its oceans.  The other does not occur naturally in any material quantity.  Yes, there is oil in corn (from which we get corn oil of course) but to consume even a tiny amount of it through natural sources you'd have to eat a bushel of corn.  Cottonseed oil is of course in cotton seeds but nobody eats cotton seeds in their natural form.  In short no vegetable oil is "naturally occurring" in any material amount in a diet comprised of actual plants.

Unfortunately essentially all plant-based oils have a terrible balance between Omega 3 and 6, and we know that Omega 6 materially increases inflammation in the body.  Inflammation is ultimately what causes all sorts of health problems; the body reacts to inflammation by attempting to cover up and heal it.  This is a good reaction when you (for example) stick yourself with a thorn.  It's a very bad reaction when it occurs in your cardiac arteries!

The point here is that it was impossible when eating a "natural" diet of plants to get any material amount of Omega 6 from these oils.  Today it's trivial since everyone and their damned brother "recommends" substituting plant-based oils for animal-based ones, yet those plant-based oils are all highly-concentrated to a degree (by a factor of 100x or more) that is impossible to achieve by natural consumption of the plant involved.

What's even worse is that being unsaturated these oils tend to oxidize rapidly at room temperature and it only gets worse when they're heated.  This in turn has led manufacturers to hydrogenate them -- that is, to add hydrogen through a chemical process to stabilize them so the foods don't require refrigeration and are stable on a shelf in a store.  These are what are called "trans-fats" and while very small amounts do occur in nature it is again impossible to get any material quantity of them without eating machine-processed oils.  There is decent evidence that the "safe" amount of such fats in your diet is in fact zero.

The bottom line is this -- if you eat green vegetables you will get both the fiber and necessary vitamins your body cannot synthesize.  If you eat the balance of your caloric intake from proteins and saturated fats you will both provide a decent Omega 3:6 balance (which reduces inflammation), not spike your insulin levels, not be hungry all the time and thus allow your natural metabolic system that regulates your appetite to function normally.

You won't get fat, if you are fat you'll lose the fat and at the same time you are likely to improve your health.

More detail?  Find out how to evaluate where you personally are from a metabolic perspective here and what to eat (and not) here.

Finally, I remind you that Type II diabetes is not just about taking pills.  It inevitably leads to severe and irreversible consequences including amputations, blindness and, quite-frequently, kidney failure which always results in dialysis.  The latter usually kills you after some period of time on it unless you get a transplant.  All of these consequences are both extremely expensive and permanently debilitating.  If you have not yet suffered these consequences there's a good chance you can avoid them entirely if you get the carbs out of your diet.

Oh, and for the jackwads who recommend eating all those carbs -- and plant-based oils along with cereals, like this one -- and who is himself fat, probably from taking his own advice?  Perhaps we should contemplate eating them; most of them, if not nearly-all, are definitely high fat and moderate (or even low) protein in composition.  Finally, when do we start asking the obvious question: Why should anyone take advice on what to eat and how to remain healthy on a metabolic basis from someone who obviously has damaged their own natural metabolic mass control pathways and further demonstrates by mere observation that they're unable to control their own mass by either natural or "intellectual" means?  Further, exactly why do we not deem such a person who claims some sort of "medical credential" and dispenses said advice professionally bogus and why isn't said person immediately laughed at whenever and wherever he or she appears?

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

2017-04-29 21:20 by Karl Denninger
in Personal Health , 390 references
[Comments enabled]  

This is got me literally rolling on the floor in laughter.

A lot of the Silicon Valley elite are doing extreme experiments on their bodies in hopes of prolonging their lives and improving their health. The latest fad among this set is sticking to a so-called 'ketogenic' diet that's exceptionally high in fat and low in carbs and is considered an experimental treatment for diabetes. Think Atkins, but way more extreme.

smiley

Oh, and here come the people saying but you must do this under "professional" supervision..... of course.

"If you only try it for a month, you aren't reaping the benefits," says Sarah Hallberg, Virta's medical director. "And if you're not feeling well, it's probably an indication that you're not doing it right." For Virta, she said, the nutritional regimen is only one part of an overall treatment plan.

It's called carb withdrawals.

Yes, carbs are an addictive substance. Yes, your body will go through withdrawals when you stop consuming them.  Yes, it will suck, for a little while.  And yes, it goes away assuming you're doing it right.

What's "right"?

First, no excessive protein.  I bet a huge percentage of those who are having trouble, especially in silly-valley land, are eating a metric ton of protein.  That doesn't work because the body converts excess protein into glucose.

It also is hard on the kidneys which means you need to******a lot.  Guess what -- that's one of the things they are complaining about.

And finally, no PUFAs.  In other words no extracted or processed vegetable fats.

Yes, this means you eat saturated (animal) fat.  It's virtually impossible to eat this way, incidentally, if you're vegetarian, especially if you don't eat dairy (cheese has a near-perfect fat:protein balance and the fat is essentially all saturated.)

For Scholnick, ketosis is a more extreme version of a broader trend, in which those in his network are waking up to the dangers of sugar consumption. "Almost every investor I know in Silicon Valley is on some form of low-carb diet," he said.

You don't need some "company" or some "biohacking" joint to tell you how to do this.

It's simple. Read here.  And if you want to know how to quantify your results on your own, individually, then read here.

Written over a year ago, it puts in perspective what Silly Valley is now trying to monetize -- which, incidentally, is a fraud.  There's nothing to monetize -- it's simply common sense, especially if you are metabolically compromised.

If you're overweight you are metabolically compromised.  Your body knows how to regulate your food intake so as to maintain a proper body mass.  You poisoned that mechanism -- unwittingly, quite probably, but intent doesn't matter as to outcome.

Why would you eat something that then has to be "chased" with a drug unless you had no choice?

I remind you that the essential amount of dietary carbohydrate in one's diet is zero.

That's right: Your body requires exactly zero carbohydrate intake to function normally.

The "fad" is what all the ass-clowns have been shoving in your face for decades -- that if you're diabetic or metabolically compromised (but not yet diabetic) you should eat the very thing you're having trouble processing and is causing the compromise and then "chase it" with drugs.

What sort of ****ing stupidity is that and how brain-dead do you have to be to listen to people who spout that garbage?

About as dumb as you will be if you listen to these clowns.

PS: Here it is again, from 2011.  The only difference today, in 2017, is that I'm both faster (I just set PRs for both a 5k and 10k in the last month) and my hair is more-gray.

Beep-beep!

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

2016-06-18 05:00 by Karl Denninger
in Personal Health , 1195 references
[Comments enabled]  

The often-heard comments when someone says they're eating HFLC include "your kidneys will explode", "Atkins was really bad for him (Mr. Atkins)", "You'll have a heart attack", "You can't be athletic doing that; you need carbs" and more.

I would like to put some perspective on this.  Yes, this is anecdote; it's a sample size of one with no double-blind, of course -- that is, my personal experience.

Some background: Somewhat over five years ago I essentially went hard-core Atkins-induction coupled with "Couch-to-5k."  At the time I was unable to run one half mile without stopping, climbing a few sets of stairs was work, even summer lawn mowing was a strenuous exercise -- while the heat was certainly not helpful, neither was exercise tolerance.  I was "nominally healthy" in that I was not diabetic, but my body mass had risen from about 155 in High School to right around 210, plus or minus a couple.  I had several times undertaken fairly severe exercise regimes, including hour-long daily stints on a stationary recumbent bike I purchased, in an attempt to lose weight, along with a low-fat, "eat plants" diet -- without success.  I could drop 10lbs without much trouble, but no more, I was ravenously hungry all the time, and as soon as I cut back on the exercise the weight came right back on and stayed.

I'm absolutely certain that I was insulin resistant even though my blood glucose was normal -- I'd get the "hangries" if I attempted to not eat in the morning immediately on waking, and was often hungry for something by mid-afternoon after eating a carb-laden (and low-fat) lunch.  If there was a bag full of M&Ms in front of me and I had one, the entire bag would be gone within a couple of hours.  The same for a tin full of cookies.  A loaf of home-made bread (I have a bread-maker) would be lucky to make two days; the first big, thick slice would get consumed and I'd want two more an hour later.

In short despite my outward metabolic signs being ok, but being overweight (not obese) I know exactly where I was headed -- for both obesity and diabetes.  I'm sure of it.

So in early 2011 I decided I'd had enough -- that the conventional wisdom was either wrong or I was simply going to be consigned due to bad genetics to get older, fatter, and sicker.  The latter is what we have all been sold and I was determined to not simply give up.

Since that was the consensus, I saw no harm in trying something else -- after all, the odds were that I would not make it worse, at least not quickly, and when it comes to things like heart attacks and strokes they take years to develop, weeks or months.

So I went full-on, zero-carb Atkins induction, bought a pair of Nike running shoes and a Garmin 305 with a heart rate strap to track my exercise.

I'm not going to tell you that this was an easy path, at least at first.  I modified the Couch-to-5k thing (you can look it up online) in only one way -- the very last segment of each work-out I ran as hard and fast I could.  At the start this was maybe an eighth to a quarter of a mile, but it would grow to a half-mile later.  Other than that I pretty-much followed the program.

I could not run a half-mile when I started.  Not even close.

I felt like I'd been hit by a bus every.... single... day.

But I kept with it, both on the food and running.  After the first two weeks I added back green vegetables, but otherwise ate zero carbohydrate -- and that included alcohol.  Instead of three times a week I tried for five, and got up at 0500 every day to do it because living in Florida it's hot, even in May.

In the first week, five pounds disappeared.  I knew this would happen and probably be (mostly) water.  The next week and pretty-much every week thereafter, however, another one or two came off.

About two months later I ran a full 3.1 miles for the first time, without slowing to a walk or stopping.  It was not easy, but I did it, and by now it was the middle of June.

Eight months later, roughly that Thanksgiving, I was down to about 160.

I looked at the Garmin stats.  I had lost 50 lbs, which is about 175,000 calories. Running is about 120 calories a mile, according to a heart-rate adjusted GPS machine, and I had run roughly 500 miles at that point, or 60,000 calories worth.

Only one third of the body mass I lost was due to exercise.  That's a numerical fact; the rest was lost due to changing what I ate.

I slowly lost about another 5 lbs; my body weight now fluctuates around 155, +/- 5, assuming I'm reasonably good.

And there it has stayed for the last five years -- whether I'm training for a half-marathon, the Wicked Triple (three races in two days of close to a marathon distance in total), hiking part of the AT, sitting on my ass enjoying a vacation or whatever else I might be doing.  My exertion levels have literally been all over the map, yet my body mass has not.

What has remained constant, more or less, is my adherence to the consumption of food things (and not consuming others!) that I have laid out many times -- you can read that list right here.

Now here's what's changed long-term when it comes to my person and my health that I haven't talked about much:

  • Since I was a child I have had horrid problems with seasonal allergies to the point of being nearly useless twice a year for a month or so.  No amount of medication, OTC or prescription, has ever successfully controlled this completely.  Benedryl works fine but knocks me flat on my ass, and anything containing pseudoephedrine makes me feel extremely uncomfortable -- I'm one of the people who just can't use any decongestant containing that substance.  I was basically forced to remain indoors, in an air-conditioned space, for two months out of the year and maintain a high-quality pollen filter in my car's airhandler -- or else.  I also avoided travel to woodsy and other flowery areas during the times they were in bloom for obvious reasons.  Slowly, over the last couple of years, my seasonal allergies irrespective of where I am in the country have completely disappeared.  Last spring I hiked a piece of the AT through the spring bloom, complete with thousands of bees pollinating the flowers, and had exactly zero trouble.  Five years ago that would have been unthinkable.  This appears to be correlated with....

  • My general inflammation level has, I believe, dropped quite a bit.  I had always had "on and off" acne problems, even as an adult.  As a teen it was bad, but it never went completely away -- until I got rid of the carbs.  The same is true of skin issues; I always had them on and off, especially in the winter when the air is dry.  Again, completely gone the first winter and they have stayed gone since.  Gee, I wonder what's going on in my coronary arteries?  Betcha it's not bad things but no, I'm not paying a couple of grand to get CT+contrast scanned to find out for sure.  (The one exception: perfumes in laundry detergents will still "get" me, so I have to watch out for that.)
     
  • I have no adverse blood glucose reaction to sugar intake.  I have, a couple of times in the last year, "challenged" my body with heavy sugar intake just to see what happens; typically with a large dose of milk chocolate or heavily sugar-laden confections like donuts.  I've not been able to drive my blood glucose over 110 with such a challenge despite intentionally trying.  I don't know if I could actually drive my blood sugar to anywhere near 140 today (the upper boundary of what they call the "normal" reaction to such a test) if I literally sat and ate a bag of sugar.  Note that while I was never diabetic I'm very sure my metabolism was compromised.  For those who wonder if your metabolic systems can heal over time if you stop insulting them, the answer appears to be "Yes."

  • I don't like sugar any more.  Things with a lot of sugar in them taste like crap.  Raw white sugar now has a smell to it that I associate with being "medicinal" and is not at all pleasant.  It sort of smells like poison, in fact -- hmmmm.... maybe it is?

  • I have no "hangries" -- ever -- or carb-cravings.  I often have no desire to eat anything before roughly lunchtime; I'll get up in the morning and am simply not hungry.  This means that if I eat something around lunch, and then around dinner, I'm effectively fasting 18 hours out of every day.  It's not because I'm trying, it's because I'm not hungry.

  • If I do work out a lot my appetite goes up.  If I don't it goes down.  I don't have to think about it, count calories, make efforts to restrict my consumption of food or anything like that.  It's simply this: If I'm hungry I eat.  If I'm not I don't.  Oh, and since I'm not gorging myself on hangries my capacity for food has shrunk.  Yes, it appears my stomach is smaller, in that I get full faster -- and it empties slower too.  An interesting observation that I cannot correlate with fact, but I sure can with how I feel if I try to stuff myself for some reason.

  • My exercise tolerance has gone up massively.  The other day I worked on wrecking out part of my gazebo floor (it needs replaced) which involved using a Wonder Bar, saw and moving sand (via shovel and yard cart) that had accumulated under them and then mowed most of the back yard -- in 90ish degree weather with 85%+ humidity.  It was hotter than Hell, but other than needing to stop and get a drink a couple of times it wasn't all that bad.  I would have heat-stroked out trying this a few years ago -- literally.  Likewise I might go run a 5k tonight, and while the sun will be down it won't be any cooler.  Yes, it will be hotter than hell, but I'm not concerned about not being able to do it.  This I attribute to the exercise, not the diet.  But, with an extra 50lbs I suspect I wouldn't be able to move my additional mass irrespective of my cardio condition anywhere near as well as I can today.

  • I am far faster running now than I ever was -- including in High School!  I was never able to break the 9 minute mile barrier on a 3 mile run, with my "typical" time being around 30 minutes.  My PR now is 7:00 flat on a timed 5k race and 7:49 on a half-marathon.  This isn't a singular result either; my kid, who ran one season with the HS cross-country team, has half-way adopted my way of eating over the last six months -- and not only has her appearance improved she has also taken more than two minutes a mile from her time, breaking the 10 minute/mile threshold for the first time in the last couple of weeks.  Don't tell me you can't perform athletically on a low-carb diet -- that's a damned lie.

I'm not going to tell you this was all easy, because it wasn't up front.  Yes, carb-cravings are real.  A week or so back while in a group having a conversation that turned to food I remarked that I do not, as a rule, eat carbs -- my carb intake is for the most part beer, and only a couple a day maximum.  A nurse who was there proceeded to say that "Atkins causes kidney disease" and further that she "has cravings for carbs and thus needs them."  Both are false; first, Atkins is high fat, not high protein.  It is true that high protein diets can cause kidney problems but that's not Atkins; that's doing it wrong!  Second, meth causes cravings too, but that doesn't mean you need meth -- it means you're addicted to it!  Carbs are the same deal; when challenged as to the specific nutrients that you need that are in carbs, of course, she had no answer.  That would be because there aren't any; the amount of carbohydrate you actually require in your diet is zero.  I gave up; oh, she was complaining about having big snoring problems too (gee, I wondered, if you lost some weight what might happen to that........) This, however, is illustrative of the attitude of many in the so-called "health business"; their 4 hours of class at some point was not only insufficient most of what was in there is flat out wrong and even when taking this path might help alleviate a person problem they're experiencing they won't try it!

Here's my view, more than five years into this: I've seen exactly zero bad effects from adopting this lifestyle, and multiple good ones.  My indicators of metabolic health have improved, my exercise tolerance is up massively, I am more able to perform athletically today than I was when I was 17 despite being three times as old, I have zero glucose tolerance trouble evident when challenged, I am never "hangry", I do not crave carbs and in fact find things with sugar in them "too" sweet yet I count no calories or make other conscious attempt to control my food intake and my body mass is approximately what it was 35 years ago and hasn't moved more than a few pounds in either direction for the last five years.  The only exception was when I was in a relationship, eating far too many carbs (and knew it) and five more pounds went on -- literally as soon as I cut that crap out they disappeared within a couple of weeks.

Why would I change what I'm doing now, when for the last five years it has worked -- effortlessly -- to not only halt what was an obvious and visible (albeit slow) decrease my personal vitality and health that many would simply attribute to old age, but almost-completely reversed it -- and in many cases my health and physical abilities now exceed those of my teen years!

Yes, I'm a data set of one.

Now tell me why would you not run your own experiment.

I'm all ears.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

How does this sort of tripe wind up in print?

Aamodt is a neuroscientist, book author and former editor of a leading brain research journal. She also has become a prominent evangelist of the message that traditional diets just don't work and often leave the dieter worse off than before. And she's an enthusiastic proponent of mindful eating.

"I define it as eating with attention and joy, without judgment," Aamodt said in an interview. "That includes attention to hunger and fullness, to the experience of eating and to its effects on our bodies."

Riiiight.

Look folks, there are people who have a mental disorder when it comes to food.  I accept this, because it is trivially shown to be true.  But the vast majority of people who are overweight are not sick in the head or suffering from some psychosis -- they've been actively misled as to what's going on and the media spurs this with its crap "reporting" such as this article.

Likewise, the "energy balance" folks (all of whom like to wag their finger and scold) are correct but intentionally misleading.  That is, it is absolutely true that since a pound of body mass is roughly 3000-3500 calories (there is some debate on exactly what the number is but this is close enough; within 20%) if you wish to lose weight you must consume fewer calories than your body burns.

There's no escaping that; it's math.  Isn't it funny, however, that these people never bother to continue their mathematical exercise?  We'll get to why not in a minute, so hold that thought.

There is, unfortunately, also no escaping the fact that running, one of the highest calorie-consuming exercises, only burns about 100-120 calories a mile -- more if you're very heavy (it takes more energy to move your fat ass) and less if you're not, but again, we're talking about a 20% tolerance here and for the most part the figure is about the same irrespective of other factors.

This, by the way, means that you must run approximately a marathon to lose a pound!

No Mildred, you cannot outrun your fork and anyone who tells you otherwise is completely full of crap.

Yes, we have an obesity epidemic; fully 40% of US women are obese along with 35% of men -- and even worse, one in five adolescents!  This is a ridiculous percentage and what's really awful is that those who are in this position are setting themselves up for utterly horrible, slow and painful ways to die -- first through amputations, then blindness and kidney disease, and finally heart attack and stroke, all after decades of avoidable suffering and restricted physical capability.

It seems that every couple of years someone else comes along with yet another crackpot theory on why it is that people get and stay fat -- and then both get sick and die as a result.  They all keep trying to make the case that it's not your fault in some form or fashion, using words like "easy" to describe their particular prescriptive answer, knowing full well that this sells books.

After all, if you told people it was their fault or would be hard how many of them would pay you for the book -- the speech -- or the "counseling"?

But all these theories are just that -- theories, and IMHO they're all full of crap when it comes to long-term success.

Here are some facts for you and they are trivially proved through nothing more than casual observation of the world around you and arithmetic you learned in the first and second grades:

  • Every organism in the animal kingdom has a regulatory mechanism in its body that is autonomous for controlling how much food said organism takes in.  Absent that since "food" generally tastes good to said organism all animals would continually fill their stomachs to their maximum capacity as often as possible, eschewing virtually anything else other than sex, until they all died of obesity-related disease.  Clearly this does not happen "in the wild" but it sure does when a creature's "natural" diet is disrupted.  Witness all the "fat cats" that eat packaged kibble, then compare the nutrients in said kibble with that in a mouse or bird. The prosecution rests, your (dis)Honor.

  • Since it requires 3,300 calories to gain or lose a pound as a human and there are 365 days in a year in order to regulate your body size within one pound per year over time you must manage to control your caloric intake and expenditure within 10 calories per day.  For some perspective that is less than 1/10th of an ounce of potato chips!  If you wish to count them accurately use Pringles (all chips the same size and mass) and you will find that to control your body mass that accurately through voluntary action would require that you keep your consumption accurate to within one potato chip daily.  Certainly you cannot do this irrespective of the form and type of food you consume through "mindful", that is, volitional conduct.  The accuracy required simply cannot be met.

  • Remember, however, that there are a lot of things that go on in your body that require maintenance at this sort of accuracy and none of them are voluntary.  Your blood pressure, glucose level, blood pH, uric acid, water content, potassium level, dissolved CO2 and oxygen saturation are just a few examples of literally hundreds.  Any of these parameters that go materially out of "normal" range will cause serious disease and in many cases instant death.  Yet your body knows how to regulate all of them, as does every other animal's body on the planet, and all of that regulation in every organism that is alive happens without a scintilla of conscious thought.

So what's actually going on?

Don't ask NBC news; they claim nobody knows:

"Numerous foundations, industries, professional societies, and governmental agencies have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to support basic science research in obesity, clinical trials and observational studies, development of new drugs and devices, and hospital and community programs to help stem the tide of the obesity epidemic," the journal's editors, Dr. Jody Zylke and Dr. Howard Bauchner, wrote in a commentary.

"The obesity epidemic in the United States is now 3 decades old, and huge investments have been made in research, clinical care, and development of various programs to counteract obesity. However, few data suggest the epidemic is diminishing," they added.

Did you all flunk basic organic chem, then biochem and simply ignore the monstrous body of evidence that has been accumulated on this problem?

There is one basic fact that has to be dealt with by anyone propounding on our obesity epidemic: 

Your body knows how to regulate its caloric intake in light of highly-variable energy expenditure and do so within 10 calories a day.  If it did not the species Homo Sapiens would have gone extinct centuries ago just as would any other species that could not regulate its caloric intake.

Therefore the question must be this and only this:

Why is that regulatory system not working, can a fat person restore it to normal function, and if so how?

I believe we know the answer to that question but admitting it means admitting that the medical and "nutrition" folks have been lying to overweight people for decades and, in fact, they know damn well they've been lying which means they should all be in prison for the outrageous harms they have inflicted on millions of Americans.

Let's start with history.  Homo Sapiens (that is, our specific species) has been on this planet for about 200,000 years.  Our direct lineage in that regard is the matter of some dispute, but what is not in dispute is that until about 12,000 years ago we had no industrial mode of food production whatsoever.  That is, for better than 90% of the species' time on this planet we ate only that which we could obtain without processing, other than perhaps rudimentary cooking.

The epidemic of heart disease, obesity and diabetes is a 20th century+ phenomena.  It therefore must be traced to something (or a group of somethings) that happened in that time frame.  Ancel Keys claimed it was dietary saturated fat that led to heart attacks and strokes.  He cherry-picked his data, however, which made his advocacy not a mistake but a lie, and a fairly easy one to prove too.

So would anyone care to guess where it began?

I'll help you. It began right here with a dramatic increase in use of a very dangerous substance.

About 20-30 years following that ramp in cigarette consumption, guess what happened?  Lots of heart attacks and strokes.  Do you think this was a function of "fat in the diet" or do you think this had something to do with per-capita cigarette consumption going from ~200 in 1912 to twenty times that rate by 1959?  When you go from an average of less than one cigarette a day per-person to close to a full pack a day what do you think is going to happen to heart disease and stroke rates, with about a 20 year lag?

That's exactly what did happen.  Duh.

Then there's Crisco and other related trans-fats.  They came on the market in the early 1900s too and were in fact sold as healthier than animal fats.  But we now know that transfats greatly increase the risk of heart disease, while the association with saturated animal fats in fact runs the other way -- among European diets the highest in saturated fat (the Mediterranean nations) have the lowest cardiovascular disease rates. 

Between smoking and transfats is the causal chain clear yet or do I need a bigger clue-by-4?

Now let's look at obesity, which began to spike in the 1980s.

Again, what changed?

Simple: The US Government played hell with its "war on fat" predicated on the lie told by Keys (among others) and told people to cut it out of their diets.  But there are only three foods at a macro level -- fats, carbohydrates and proteins.  If you remove fat from the diet you must increase one or both of the others.

What got increased?  Carbohydrates -- specifically, cheap, fast and highly-processed carbohydrates.

And what do we know about carbohydrates, especially fast, processed carbohydrates such as grains (e.g. breads, pastas, etc), sugars and similar?  They all produce a large insulin response in the body.

Oh, and if that's not enough carbohydrate consumption also increases systemic inflammation and "bad" cholesterol, which prompts cholesterol in the body, a necessary component of our metabolic system, to perform the job it is present to do -- that is, to encapsulate and attempt to repair said inflammation.  Blaming cholesterol for heart attacks (and trying to reduce it through chemicals) is like blaming it for the inflamed finger you have after sticking yourself with a thorn -- rather than removing the thorn!

Finally, with few exceptions these "foods" have only existed in our diet for the last few hundred to few thousand years -- an inconsequential period of time on the evolutionary time scale.

In other words there is no evidence that our bodies know how to process these carbohydrates without harm because we did not evolve in their presence and thus our genetic coding was not selected through evolution to favor said energy sources.  The same is true for vegetable-based oils (PUFAs), none of which have been ingested in material quantity by humans for more than 100 years.

You would have to eat a full bushel of corn to get a tablespoon of corn oil and utterly nobody would (ever) eat a bowl of cotton seeds!

Now let's look at what we know to be fact in the context of body mass regulation.

Hunger (the desire to eat) is largely mediated by leptin and the hypothalamus, a small structure in the brain.  This structure is responsible for regulating not only hunger but also body temperature, sleep, and thirst.  In short some of the most-essential regulatory functions are directly controlled by this part of the brain and still more are via other structures that it interacts with, mostly via and through hormones.  This has been known since modern medicine has existed.

Now here's the nasty piece of the puzzle nobody wants to talk about, but which I believe is key to the entire obesity issue:

Insulin is a leptin antagonist.

That is, quite simply:

The higher your insulin level the less active leptin is in signaling satiety.

Therefore insulin resistance, even at a level that is sub-clinical and does not result in an increased blood glucose level as long the body is able to produce enough insulin, and your cells are still able to respond, to hold blood glucose within normal limits.

But irrespective of your ability to maintain a normal blood sugar that elevated insulin level will still result, in every case, in a desire to eat more food.

The condition of an elevated insulin level tips the balance of the body's signalling and thus makes unconscious control of caloric intake within the required tolerance, given access to food in excess of metabolic requirements, virtually impossible.

This then leaves you with only voluntary caloric restriction (e.g. "dieting") as an option which we know you cannot maintain over the long term as the precision required cannot be met through conscious control.

Worse, the divergence between needs and desires is all in one direction -- overeating and if your "diet" is a low-fat one where the substitution is made with carbohydrates you make your desire to overeat worse.

This is why when you cease dieting you almost-invariably gain all the weight back plus more -- your "dieting" has in fact done more damage to the metabolic systems that control your desire to eat!

Again, that insulin is a leptin antagonist is not a theory it is a biochemical fact.

The only means by which one can resolve the problem at a biochemical level is to remove the leptin antagonist.

Achieving that requires lowering insulin levels, and that can only be safely done (without skyrocketing your blood glucose) by restricting carbohydrate intake, especially rapid-acting carbs such as sugars, grains and starches.

It is not a coincidence that this is a corrective action in that it coincides with removing "foods" from your diet that your body was never designed to process and in fact at no time in our evolutionary history did such "foods" exist.  Those who make claims to the contrary that the intake of such "foods" in any quantity whatsoever are "safe" have the burden of proof to show how the body can handle such intake without any of the normal biochemical processes going out of the normal range.

The body of evidence found in the form of rampant obesity and insulin resistance, all of which exactly correlates with the "war on fat" by medical "authorities" and substitution of fast-acting carbohydrates in its place, strongly suggests that these foods are not safe and cannot be made safe; they can only be avoided or the consequences of consuming them accepted exactly as the correlation with smoking and transfasts correlated exactly with the rise in heart disease with the expected 20-30 year lag!

"Mindful eating" will not change your insulin levels nor improve your body's leptin signalling.

Getting the pasta, potatoes, rice, sugars and grains out of your diet, on the other hand, will. If you want the full list read this article.

As a "side effect" of following same, if you actually do it, I predict that your pants will fall off.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

There is excuse-making and then there is an entire damned industry that works its level best to asset-strip you to your underwear so your fat ass (and the rest) hangs out.

“The key point is that you can be on TV, you can lose enormous amounts of weight, you can go on for six years, but you can’t get away from a basic biological reality,” said Dr. Schwartz, who was not involved in the study. “As long as you are below your initial weight, your body is going to try to get you back.”

Well sure, if your "path" to weight loss is to eat damn near nothing (e.g. starve) and run your metabolic demand through the ceiling by engaging in extremely intense exercise.

Look at the quotes: "It's hard.  The cravings are there."

But the kernel of truth is right here:

“There is a lot of basic research we still need to do,” said Dr. Margaret Jackson, who is directing a project at Pfizer. Her group is testing a drug that, in animals at least, acts like leptin, a hormone that controls hunger. With weight loss, leptin levels fall and people become hungry. The idea is to trick the brains of people who have lost weight so they do not become ravenous for lack of leptin.

Pfizer wants to sell you a drug, of course.

But what if you learned that hunger is largely regulated by leptin, leptin response is largely mediated by insulin levels, and it is what you eat, not how much, that is almost-entirely responsible for insulin levels?

Guess what: That all happens to be true.

What is being discussed here is that the contestants on the show The Biggest Loser basically poisoned their metabolism through the path they engaged in -- that is, extreme caloric restriction coupled with intense exercise.

But the "big lie" is right here:

“What was surprising was what a coordinated effect it is,” Dr. Proietto said. “The body puts multiple mechanisms in place to get you back to your weight. The only way to maintain weight loss is to be hungry all the time. We desperately need agents that will suppress hunger and that are safe with long-term use.”

Agents, of course, means drugs.  Yeah that's a great idea -- hand over $10,000 a year forever to someone for a pill that will probably have side effects that destroy your life (eventually.)

Look at what they had these people eat:

His routine went like this: Wake up at 5 a.m. and run on a treadmill for 45 minutes. Have breakfast — typically one egg and two egg whites, half a grapefruit and a piece of sprouted grain toast. Run on the treadmill for another 45 minutes. Rest for 40 minutes; bike ride nine miles to a gym. Work out for two and a half hours. Shower, ride home, eat lunch — typically a grilled skinless chicken breast, a cup of broccoli and 10 spears of asparagus. Rest for an hour. Drive to the gym for another round of exercise.

Mother of God will you stop killing yourself?

Look folks, fat in the diet is not fat on the body.  This sort of "diet" is nothing other than starvation and it's stupid.

What's the problem?  Right here:

His slow metabolism is part of the problem, and so are his food cravings. He opens a bag of chips, thinking he will have just a few. “I’d eat five bites. Then I’d black out and eat the whole bag of chips and say, ‘What did I do?’”

Get the damned chips out the house!

Oh, and the rest of the carbs.

You're not sick because you're fat (and cut the "shaming" crap, facts just are) you're fat because you're sick and you're sick because you refuse to stop eating things that make you that way.

Look folks, I know you don't want to hear it because you're all looking for a drug and an excuse.

That's why you lose 10, 20 or 30lbs, then put it all back on with interest.

You can't stop eating pasta, potato chips and bread.... Really?  You're willing to trade being fat and ultimately developing diabetes causing you to have your toes chopped off one by one as they turn gangrenous, along with losing your eyesight and ultimately your life, rather than getting the damned potato chips out of your house?  REALLY?

You do understand that your body's metabolic system is capable of handling quite the level of insult before it breaks, right?  That you "pass" the common glucose test (OGTT) or have a normal (or marginal) A1c today does not mean you have not accumulated decades of such damage and that while there is a test to determine this (OGTT+insulin assay) it's expensive and insurance will not pay for it since it doesn't diagnose a disease that is occurring now.

You do understand that the majority of adults in America and damn near everyone over the age of 60 are metabolically compromised by decades of eating fast carbohydrates and vegetable oils, even if you do not today show evidence of diabetes and related diseases, and that if you are overweight, even only somewhat, or obese it is a virtual certainty you're one of them irrespective of age, right?

I've been there and done this over the space of a couple of decades.  I too poisoned myself because I was ignorant and believed that if I ate fewer animal fats, more vegetable oils and more carbohydrates while simply exercising more and eating less I'd lose weight and keep it off -- along with avoiding said disease.

Everyone who told you this either didn't know what the hell they were talking about or was lying.  The results were the same as they are for most of you -- slowly but inexorably increasing body weight.

Then I changed what, not how much, I ate and my body's regulatory system healed over time.  Is it completely healed?  I'm sure it's not, and if I was to go back to eating how I used to eat all the weight I lost and probably more would come right back on -- and quite quickly too.

But guess what?  You can do it too.  I don't care how fat you are now or how long you've been fat.  I don't care if you've yo-yo dieted before, or engaged in some sort of extreme attempt to lose weight.

You're overweight because you have poisoned the regulatory systems in your body that control your desire to eat.  You almost-certainly poisoned them unintentionally but whether it was intentional or not does not matter; what matters is that it happened and unless you change what you eat the damage will continue to accrue over time and at some point it is very likely it will manifest itself as clinically-diagnosed disease.

To succeed in allowing your body to repair itself to the degree it can, however, you are going to have to do two things: Stop making excuses and stop looking for answers in a damned pill bottle -- or a surgeons office.

The answer is found in what, not how much, is in your pantry and refrigerator.

Read this article.  Bookmark it, print it, whatever.

Go through your house -- pantry, fridge and freezer.  Throw anything on the "don't eat list" in the trash can and never let it come back into your home or pass your lips when you are somewhere other than at home.

Go to the store once you've thrown everything away on the "don't eat list" and re-stock your fridge with things on the DO eat list.  Note that almost none of them will go in the pantry because the pantry is for things that are shelf-stable and processed.  A few will go on the counter that are going to get eaten within a couple of days but the rest go in either the fridge or freezer.

Don't tell me that you can't do it because you can do it.  You can do it when you're home and you can do it when you're eating away from home.  If you absolutely must have a sub sandwich when out go to Jimmy Johns and have them make it as a wrap; they will, in lettuce -- or if want then go to Subway and have it as a salad (same thing but with the lettuce chopped up and thus less-convenient to eat "on the go.")

If you're overweight your pants will shortly try to fall off, but more-importantly your body knows how to regulate its caloric intake if you stop poisoning the mechanisms that control it.  When you reach an appropriate weight - which is not one where you're "large", but rather a body mass that looks like a normal, not-fat person in every case (no, you're not "special" in that regard: You're not "big-boned", you're fatthe weight loss will stop all on its own without you making a conscious decision to do so.

Here's the thing, however: You can't get there from here if you "diet" because as soon as you stop "dieting" you will go back to poisoning your body's metabolic signalling system and the weight will come right back on.  In fact it may come back on faster than ever because some of the damage you've accumulated is probably permanent.

This is not a matter of "blame" it is a matter of fact -- whether you undertook what you did because you were stupid, you got bad advice from so-called "professionals" or any other cause doesn't matter.

You are an adult and thus you are responsible for the outcomes that occur when you listen to various people no matter who they are.

If you take someone's advice and it doesn't work but you keep doing what you were told would work why in the hell would you keep listening to them?

Look folks, do it for 30 days.  That's all.  I'm no doctor but I can tell you what works because it did after a couple of decades of the "conventional advice" not working.  I can also point you to the comments here from others who also had it work with some of them having ridiculously dramatic results when it came not so much as to weight (in that short amount of time) but metabolic markers of serious disease such as their blood sugar.  This isn't something that was a "fad" or an undertaking that I "recently" did and thus can't give you any sort of honest answer on whether the weight I lost will stay off.

You want to know how many people I've run into who have actually done this and not had it work?  Zero.  Every one of the people I've been acquainted with that failed has admitted they just didn't do it.  They ate the pasta.  Or the potatoes.  Or they just "had to have" the pie.  Or sugar in their coffee.  They had the craving, they had a bad day exercising and had to "add back" some carbs (even though they were less than a week into it), and on and on.  Rather than tough it out for a few days, literally, knowing it would go away in a few days to a week (like a cold does) if they just kept at it, they didn't.

It didn't fail -- they simply didn't do it and they admit it.

I changed my lifestyle in this fashion in 2011.  I used no drugs, no doctors and no surgical interventions -- nothing other than what I stuffed in my pie hole and had in my house.  I did it despite having a kid at home at the time who refused to give up her Doritos, M&Ms and similar.

Despite the bad stuff being present I didn't eat them, choosing instead to reach for the broccoli or piece of leftover zero-carb roast.

If you're one of the millions of Americans who have heard that it's all "hormonal", that you need "help", that you have a "damaged" metabolism and "it's not your fault" or that nothing other than invasive surgery or drugs (and perhaps not even then) will make a long-term difference what do you have to lose by trying?

Do you really think that a month or two of changing what you eat is going to do some critical damage that all those years of piling on the pounds hasn't?  Are you really too lazy to go spend under $50 for instrumentation that will (largely) last virtually forever to test a hypothesis on your body and your metabolism and give you objective results by which to measure whether it works or doesn't?  I don't think there's anywhere in this country that's more than a 20 minute drive from a WalMart these days and if there is Amazon covers every US address within a couple of days (even without Prime) so there's simply no excuse other than willful refusal.

You can't argue with objective numbers so if you don't have them because you won't go buy the $20 worth of stuff to obtain them in the privacy of your own home where nobody else can ever see them then the only excuse is that you are consciously refusing to put such a change in eating habits to an objective, personal test.

If you're happy with being overweight or obese, or worse you expect someone else to either fix it or give you a pill then shut your pie hole and deal with the consequences of your choice.  A choice that, I remind you, given our corrupt and extortionate medical system will bankrupt you as well as having a high probability of making you both sick and ultimately dead.

Or, for nearly zero money you can change, what, not how you eat -- not as a "diet" but as a lifestyle and as a side effect it is highly like that your pants will fall off.

Your choice.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

Main Navigation
MUST-READ Selection:
The Bill To Permanently Fix Health Care For All

Full-Text Search & Archives
Archive Access

Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.

NO MATERIAL HERE CONSTITUTES "INVESTMENT ADVICE" NOR IS IT A RECOMMENDATION TO BUY OR SELL ANY FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO STOCKS, OPTIONS, BONDS OR FUTURES.

The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.

Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be sent unmodified to lawmakers via print or electronic means or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media, to republish full articles, or for any commercial use (which includes any site where advertising is displayed.)

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.