Tuesday, November 13, 2012

better losing through chemistry -- not physics

This post is for my daughter.  She's getting to the age when it's becoming more difficult to lose weight.  She, too, isn't far from her goal, and of course losing the LAST five or ten pounds is trickier than the FIRST ones.

So, baby, it's time to dump the CICO (calories in, calories out) meme!

Because of the fact that it's possible to starve off weight, it's gotten stuck in people's heads that all you have to do is reach that golden imbalance of calories and the weight HAS to come off.  It's only logical -- IF you approach biology from the perspective of physics.  Big mistake.  Weight, or should i say, FAT loss is much better approached from the perspective of chemistry -- BIOCHEMISTRY to be exact.  Because a mammalian body does not work like a calorimeter in a laboratory.

Different macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates) set off different enzymatic and hormonal responses as they're digested.  In fact, a lot of disagreement exists about macronutrients ... to the point that some people don't like to use that concept at all.  Corn oil and coconut oil perform VERY differently in the body -- the former encourages weight gain and ill health while the latter does just the opposite.  The two major proteins in dairy products, whey and casein, have individual affects which are practical mirror-images of each other, but work well in tandem (if they're not screwed up by pasteurization).  "Cellular" and "acellular" carbohydrates can basically be described as good and problematic, respectively ... especially for people who have our genetic heritage (easily fattened).

I can't begin to describe all the biochemical cascades that happen when we eat different types of foods, but the short version is, it's best to minimize blood-sugar spikes both in number and intensity, for the sake of fat loss and for general health.  To accomplish this, fewer meals/snacks per day with a low glycemic load in each is desirable.  It's also a good idea to take fewer carbs early in the day, and the lion's share of your daily ration in the evening, for various reasons.

Although the simplest form of CICO is "dead," that doesn't mean you can completely pig out so long as your carb count is low -- this is the secret of successful low-carbing that an awful lot of people don't seem to realize.  If you're eating the right kinds of foods (not low-carb junk food), they'll fill you up and satisfy you at a surprisingly low calorie count, and your appetite won't drive you crazy, as it will on a low-fat-low-cal diet.

So eat to appetite, from a menu list of whole real foods:  meat, eggs, cheese, avocados, olives, butter, coconut oil, and colorful vegetables, and properly-prepared pickles are your friends.  Eat things like nuts mindfully, because they can add up fast.  Ditto for low-carb baked goods, nut butters, and the denser starchy/sugary vegetables like carrots and beets.  Use fruits with caution, as you would any source of sugar.  Discrimination in your condiments is a MUST.

...I think that's enough for today!  :-)


  1. I think I need to lay off the cheese. I've been using that for low carb snack and I'm very bloated this morning. I'll try to do better, but having a Thanksgiving feast at work today...wish me luck!