Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Best Diet

For the first time in perhaps a decade, I'm sick. Oh, I've felt bad in recent years -- snotty, sore throat -- but I always did that to myself. Didn't eat right, didn't get enough sleep, trained too much. This time it's just a bug. Well, I am sore from my last workout, on Saturday. Getting my deadlifts up, closing in on 300 pounds -- squats lagging quite a bit, but it will come. I'm sore from that, and maybe that put me over the edge. Nevertheless, it's a bug. I am brought low. Not very low, it's not much of a sickness, but even so.

My focus has always been on health, with a minor in fitness. The biggest and most controllable element of health is diet. The most healthful diets will include the most plant nutrients. I am biased in this statement, but bias can also be correct. That being said, this:

My, isn't he a mild-mannered fella? Wonder who he voted for. Not gay though. Point is, he's a vegetarian nutritionist who's concluded that Atkins is most effective at fat loss and maintenance. He will of course be right. We mean of course, "Atkins."

First, note that it's about fat loss, not health. Note also that fat loss leads to health benefits -- the numbers get better, triglycerides, LDL to HDL, etc. This happens with any fat loss, but if Atkins does it most reliably, then Atkins has a solid claim to be the best fat loss diet. So if you want fat loss, think about it.

Gardner, the fella, says around min. 42 that with insulin resistance -- which means with obesity, virtually all obesity -- low carb diets are significantly more effective than low fat diets (which would mean high carb). Then he says that with better insulin sensitivity, high carb diets do better. My paraphrase. So here's the point. It's not Atkins, it's not protein or fat, it's controlling insulin by eliminating the industrial carbs, and to a lesser degree the calorie carbs. This has been my emphasis all along. It's that glycemic load thing. Atkins has the lowest glycemic load, of any of the tested diets. With severely insulin resistant people, the single greatest factor is glycemic load. Therefore Atkins is most effective in remediating the specific issue under discussion.

It's a whole different thing than health. Obesity is a pathological condition. Sure, it requires a heroic intervention. What about once health is regained, or when it's never been lost? What then? The power lifters will affirm, from experience and with cause, that meat works best. Who am I to argue. It works best. For them. For their very specific practices and goals. They however are not about health. They're not even about fitness. They are about achieving a very specific result, competitive result. Indeed, there are diets that will give you prize-winning bulls. Not healthy bulls, but really big and strong. Sort of the way there's such a thing as mad-cow disease. Manipulate diet for specific reasons, and you get peculiar results. In any case, if you want your fires to burn hotter, eat meat.

Ah well. There I go again. There are no guarantees. Even if my diet were better than it is, I might get sick. There is no perfection. We do what we can, and take what comes. And you may think that no bad thing can happen. Sometimes I'm that way too.

Now that I'm in my fifties, it's not such a big deal. I've thought it was ever so funny, my pointing my age out in the throes of exertion, but the joke's gone stale. From now on I'll be saying I'm 29. It's not completely implausible, but people will think exactly the opposite of the truth -- that I've taken pretty poor care of myself. No matter. If it will finally get me laid, I'm for it.


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