Noraneko's Journal, 22 January 2013

For the past 3 I have been scientifically exploring diets and options (I'm studying for the FE exam, so I am a little overly linear, and a giant nerd...so bear with me).

I've tried to do it with shakes of nutrients (when I wanted to see if I could live on the kind of nutritious sludge I imagine our colonists to Mars and beyond may one day drink) and calorie counting, but the only thing that has budged my bulge more than 10 pounds, is the Primal idea.

I dropped 70lbs on the first trial. I then quit that approach and followed that of my peers (calorie counting) ...and it all came back over the course of a year. This lends evidence that it isn't the number of blocks (or calories), it is material (brick, lego, styrofoam etc, versus fat, protein, carb) that matters.

In physics, we learn that the caloric theory isn't an accurate model for dietary needs. why? Because when they introduced the concept to food in the 70s, calories were determined by having an isolated system, with a torch burning at a known heat/energy, for a known amount of time...and then burning the food in question of a known mass until completely consumed, and measuring the difference of the energy before in the system, and the energy after. Seems logical.

And it is - however it is important to note that that exchange involves a complete transfer of chemical energy in an isolated system.

Our bodies do not work the same way the isolate torch system does; we can not make use of the energy the same way.

Our bio-chemical processes are more nuanced and complex: sugars will sit dormant until enzymes come to facilitate (greatly speed up) the process, our bodies can't digest plant cell walls effectively (if at all) so it becomes "fiber" (indigestible mass passing through the long intestinal tubes), etc, etc...hence not every Calorie is equal to another Calorie.

"Calorie" = 1000 calories, or 1kcal...no advertiser in their right mind would put "697,000 calories!" on the side of their snacks...so it is 697 Calories (or kcals) instead. It is a system we have all come to understand.

It took my adviser (whom I respect as a very balanced, reasonable, systematic and healthy woman) looking me dead in the eye, and telling me "Calorie theory is not a good method to use approaching the human diet. It is not just inaccurate, it is using leeches to treat ill humors in the blood" for it to start to sink in enough for me to feel allowed to ignore it completely.

It feels really weird that I felt I was "allowed"...it is hard to break a norm.

It is hard to stop counting calories. I'm in my mid thirties, and have been raised in a culture that has fully invested in this idea of calories being restricted to lose weight...and if it doesn't work for you, then you have no willpower, are lazy or somehow otherwise deserving of the punishment of being obese.

If calorie theory is wrong (which I am purporting it to be), then that entire line of thinking is wrong. My experiences back that up in my peer circle as well as in my own life. I have soooo many friends and acquaintances who struggle daily, painfully with strict diets and brutal exercise and do not see improvements in their health, stress levels or physique. And when criticized, these friends accept accusations of laziness, lack of willpower, lack self respect or effort, etc as though they know they have committed some wrong...like it is their fault for not having tried hard enough...

While other friends don't have to think about it at all, and never have to face those demons, the judgement of others or self condemnation, and maintain a healthy diet effortlessly.


I am vegetarian (so the primal blueprint doesn't really fit like a glove to me...but I find all the tenants reasonable, testable and effective and it is the closest thing to what I am doing), and have 3 years of daily research into the focused quest to lose weight.

Now I am moving from research and theory to experiment. I have seen a physician. I have selected the method that has worked the best in the trials, and I am putting it into practice, to see if I can prove that calorie theory is wrong.

I will try hard not to be scared if I see that my calorie count is too high or (worse) too low, - SO LONG AS - I feel full, have energy, my complexion is good, my intestinal health in tact, my mood is positive and I have no unexplained aches or pains (I track all these in a notebook, because that is the kind of nerd I am. Lol).

My sister has told me that she will be amenable to start the conversation about diet and weight with me if I can demonstrate over a month that I am healthy (as determined by a check up with a blood test) and successful.

Now that I have spent 10 days curbing my carb addiction...let the experiment begin.

Yay! =D

Diet Calendar Entry for 22 January 2013:
1305 kcal Fat: 90.68g | Prot: 82.13g | Carb: 39.33g.   Breakfast: egg, cheddar. Lunch: milk, lettuce, coffee, roma tomato. Dinner: mexican vegetables, sour cream, cheddar. more...
on diet The Primal Blueprint  

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