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Pencil-necked geeks

Posted Sep 15 2012 11:34am
I taught secondary-school English for quite a few years, and I'm usually pretty good at determining meaning when it comes to the written word, but I'm having difficulty with the latest piece of medical research to hit my inbox. 

Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem concluded that: 

"Recent research suggests a planned high-fat diet can reduce body weight and spark a unique metabolism where ingested fats are stored and used for energy when food is not available."

Okay, I'll bite. "Planned?" They go on to use the words "organized" and "scheduled." The researchers reported that those mice weighed less than mice following a low-fat diet with the same caloric intake. Well la-ti-da, as a former friend used to say. 

What have we low-carbers been saying for years? What did Dr. Atkins write about in 1971? 

High carb intake triggers insulin, which is a fat-storing hormone. On that kind of diet, when we exercise, what is being burnt in the muscles is sugar (glycogen). The liver gets fatty because of stored sugar (glycogen). When the sugar runs out, the body hits a wall, trying to scramble to find another energy source. It's usually MUSCLE, including cardiac (heart) muscle in extreme circumstances. Have you ever really looked at the bodies of world-class distance runners? They have very little upper-body muscle, because they utilize it for energy.

Low-carb, high-fat dieters already burn fat for energy. To load the muscles with quick-burning glycogen, the body uses fat to produce that sugar. It's called  gluconeogenesis,  The liver does it as it needs it, and that keeps the liver lean and mean. The runner's body doesn't have to try to switch from burning sugar, then muscle, and try to find another source of energy. It is already burning fat, which all of us have. There's no "hit the wall." We are always tapped into our energy source. 

Instead of accepting the results of the research, the folks from Hebrew University try to say that, if you're going to eat a high-fat diet, make sure that it is "planned" and "scheduled." According to them, it's the interruption of the normal feeding times that results in obesity.That's confusing.

In the past 9 months, I have lost 66.5 pounds and a total of 31.25 inches. I use half and half in my morning coffee, sometimes up to 2 cups of it a day. I have cheese with that. Lunch is meat and cheese. Dinner is meat and veg. Snack? Nuts. I eat bacon, butter, lard, coconut oil (when I have it in the house), and cheeses. What I don't eat is sugar. What I seldom eat is carb. And yes, Virginia, you can survive quite nicely without bread, rice, crackers, tortillas, and grains.

I plan what I'm going to eat, but not when. Sometimes I eat lunch at the usual time, but if it's a busy day, I eat lunch on the way home from work. I eat when I'm hungry. Period.

People try to make the switch from a high-carb to a high-fat diet, and experience what is referred to as the "Low-carb flu." It's about 2 - 3 days of having zero energy. The folks think that it's because they're not eating any carb (You know, the "energy" food), and go back to a high-carb diet. What they don't realize is what they are experiencing is the body's shift from burning short-term energy stores like sugar and muscle to long-term sources, fat. The body has to completely re-tool, producing a whole new set of hormones and enzymes. Once that is accomplished, we drop the water weight that carb keeps on us, we start burning fat, losing weight while sparing muscle, and we feel great. There's nothing "scheduled" or "organized" about it.

The Bionic Broad out.

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