21 December 2013

Something different

I believe that life is a process of learning. In my view, if you aren't learning you're standing still and stagnating. Learning is growing and changing. Learning can occur in many ways, not just through school. You can learn a craft by doing it. You can learn history by reading about it. You can learn from doing just about anything. I have spent the last few years learning a lot about food. It started with cutting calories via weight watchers. Eventually that led to eating clean, and the natural progression of paleo. All of them worked for a while but then they stopped working. Paleo was good, but once I stopped I have had the hardest time getting back on it. I was determined that over this break I would get back on it, but then I stumbled across I book I had that tweaks paleo just a little. It focuses on eating fat and burning fat. I won't go into great detail here, but you can read about it here: http://www.artandscienceoflowcarb.com/, it makes a lot of sense. You body has enough fat to last you for days or weeks, why on earth does it use carbs for fuel? Well, that's the way we have trained it with the standard american diet (SAD). They don't propose eliminating carbs completely, though wheat should be out, but they do suggest that carbs should be kept below 50g a day. Makes sense to me. Also, unlike paleo, they don't propose you eat tons and tons of protein. They recommend you keep it to 71-149 g a day. The majority of your calories should come from fat. This makes sense to me and let me explain why.

In my adventures with marathons and triathlons, nutrition has always been in the forefront. You have to fuel your body right in order to be able to perform and to go the distance - literally. What I have noticed is some patterns with the human bodies involved in these kind of things. First, if you drink plenty of water, your body does not retain water. Everyone knows that. If you don't drink enough water, you start to get puffy looking. So if you provide your body water, it will not hold on to it. Hmmmm...Now with the marathoners and triathletes I know I have noticed a similar situation with salt. Those that use a lot of salt usually end a race covered in salt from their sweat. Those that don't use a lot of salt generally don't end up covered in sweat. So it would seem that if you eat a lot of salt your body doesn't hold on to it, but if you don't eat a lot your body does. Hmmmm.... Now understand, none of this is scientific, just some anecdotal things I have noticed that seems to always hold true. So it would seem that if your body is provided the elements it needs to function, it does not need to store those items but it can release them knowing it will get more. Could that be the same situation with fat? Your body needs fat to function, but if you restrict your fat intake, your body goes into storage mode and you end up getting fatter. Hmmm..... It makes sense to me. That also explains why some people lose weight and get their body fat % down but as soon as they stop working out for a short time, the body fat % begins to creep up. The body has been storing fat this whole time, there has just been a balance between what is being used and what is being stored. Stop using as much and the scale tips a bit. This just makes so much sense to me as a scientist. The human body is an amazing machine and we do not consider how complex and awesome it truly is.

Back to me. For the next few weeks I am going to try eating more fat. I'm going to use butter and homemade mayonnaise and homemade dressings. I'm going to eat lots of avocados and fatty meats. It is very much like eating paleo, just tweaking it a bit. I'm willing to give it a try. And, as always, no wheat, no sugar, and no processed food. I will keep you posted.

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