Phat and Fat: Wrestling with Fat

April 30th, 2012 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

Most of us have been on weight loss diets…numerous times. Again and again, we have heard about the virtues of low-fat nutrition. This of course falls in the spurious commonsense category. The assertion, prima facie, is eat fat and gain fat.

After many thousands of pages of reading, plus my own science experiment of myself, I know that’s crazy, lazy talk. Docs and even nutritionists as groups love the easy and formulaic. Nearly all say just consume more calories than you burn up and you’ll lose weight. Minimize fat intake to lose body fat.

Despite all I’ve learned, part of me clings to the unproven and unprovable claim that fat is bad, bad, bad.

Meanwhile, I’ve been on a low-carb, medium fat diet, keyed off of Atkins. Now I’m at the point of refinement.

My CrossTrainer program estimates protein/fat/carb percentages for low-carb eating. To keep this working long term, I need to settle on percentages that work best for me. As in two posts ago in this series, I add complex carbs slowly (about 5 grams per day per week) and measuring weight and body fat weekly, an iterative and personally scientific system. Thank myself very much.

Now’s the time to own up to that emotional block. I’ve minimized fats for so long that I am habituated. Looking at cheese, oil, butter, cream makes me uneasy.

My cure appears to be in the Volek and Phinney The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. It is geekier than the Atkins books, but less research oriented and intellectually demanding than Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories. Instead, it both narrows ad expands on the others. The authors are researchers as well as a physician/dietitian duo. They have even converted to low carb. After heaping on the body chemistry and internal workings related to food and exercise in their book, they are specific about what to eat.

That is, unlike the typical formulae for fat/weighty control and maintenance, they acknowledge the wide range of metabolisms and body functions. They point readers to the right starting points and augment that with some decent and sensual recipes.

For me, the detailed discussions of how we use fats and which ones to add in what quantity is well worth slogging through the research. I suppose one could skim or skip those parts, but, hell, they’re over half the book. Plus, I need to be totally convinced to snuff out my emotional issue.

I’m going to up my fat intake to keep make this low-carb thingummy integral, but I’m doing it carefully. I’ll report back on what I decide and how that works.

This series includes:

Call it Lifestyle on the intellectual and emotional commitment to low-carb
Watching the Struggle on my grandmothers diet woes
Wrestling with Fat on overcoming fear of dietary fats
Hunger? do you starve on a low-carb diet?
Low-Carb Eats on what’s on the menu in the regimen
How Much of What Food on calories-in/calories-out cliché
Dr. Cadaver on mindless trust in group averages
Who’s Counting on body fast v. weight
Part 1 on pants don’t lie

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