In which I share some of my research about diet and overweight. It turns out dietary fat is fine; it’s the refined carbohydrates – white flour, white sugar – and the HFCS that are fucking killing you and making all those children fat and sedentary.
On January 5th, I started a weight-loss contest with a group of online friends. I weighed 160 pounds. I’m 5’4″ tall, so my ideal weight range is 122 – 150 lbs. I was officially overweight. My gut stuck out farther than my boobs, I was shaped like an old person, and I was tired and lazy.
I tracked my caloric intake, and pretended to be enthusiastic about exercise even though I’ve never particularly liked it. I hit the dietary target of 20% protein, 30% fat, and 50% carbohydrates pretty regularly, although if you’re a vegetarian on a calorie-restricted, low-fat diet it’s really hard to get enough protein.
I limited my fat intake brutally. I drank fat-free milk, bought low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt, cooked with spray oil, ate lots of beans and legumes, and had huge salads just like they tell us to. After all, “everybody knows” that to lose weight, one must restrict calories and exercise more. And that’s what I did.
The only problem is that, as logical as they seem, both of those medical theories have been disproven in study after study. Low-fat diets do not lower disease risk or help in weight loss. Exercise does not help with weight loss because it universally increases hunger, in study after study, making semi-starvation diets impossible to stick to and any weight loss achieved temporary and useless.
And you don’t know that these low-fat/exercise theories of health have been overturned because 1.) the AMA just, you know, hasn’t gotten around to admitting that they accidentally backed the wrong theories for seventy years; 2.) giant corporations who sell tons of low-fat foods don’t want you to know about it; and 3.) the media tends to be conservative about diet recommendations that don’t make their advertisers money.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I learned all that, I successfully followed my semi-starvation diet for eight weeks before I totally fucking lost control of it and found myself eating an entire bag of potato chips without conscious thought and arriving at Mexican restaurants before I even knew I’d decided to go out to eat. I’d lost 14 pounds, but found myself hungry all the time and obsessed with food. (more…)