Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 6 and Part I: Does Eating Fat Make You Fat and Other Eternal Life Questions

You guys all know that I am not a medical doctor, nor even a nutritionist. What I am is a pretty intense and enthusiastic person who has struggled with her weight for her entire life and is still trying to figure out how to safely and effectively maintain her healthy weight.

That said, I've made some pretty huge inroads lately into figuring out the weight mystery for myself. Does that make me an expert in weight loss? No. But I've got some pretty strong opinions! Does this mean that how I eat now to maintain my weight is the way that all people who want to lose weight should eat? Probably not. Different strokes for different folks, right? It's all about finding what works for you.

If I can help anyone by sharing my experience, strength and wisdom, that's what I'm here for. So I want to share with you all something that I have been thinking about, and it relates to a part of a comment (thank you Holly!) that I received yesterday about the concept that "eating fat does not make you fat" and that "gluten is the enemy":

Holly said, "Ironically, another friend, who abused his body in his early years and suffered a stroke in his early 50s, discovered Dr. Asa Andrew and his book, Empowering Your Health. He, too, made a huge point about fat not making you fat. He said that he takes cod liver oil every day, eats nuts and avocados. He was fat all his life, but now his muscles are rock-hard. Since turning 60, he's suddenly got a muscular, slim, healthy body. Both he and my sister told me that gluten is the enemy, among other things."

Don't believe everything you read. I know, I know, it's an old adage, but seriously, take it to heart. Apply it even to what I write. Find out for yourself. Just because it is published on paper and bound into a book doesn't mean it is the truth. Do you remember Susan Powter from the early 90s? "Eat no fat" she would scream to the world, "it's fat that makes you fat, not carbohydrates or protein! As long as there is no fat in your diet, you cannot possibly be overweight!" Everyone was listening and, well, boy was she wrong! We took her advice to heart and we Americans just got fatter and fatter and fatter. (FYI She's still skinny and selling weight loss, but it appears now that she is promoting a low fat vegetarian, if not vegan, diet! I did not know this prior to writing this post.)

And then came Dr. Atkins, who's advice is still scarily popular. "It's not fat that makes you fat, it's carbohydrates that make you fat! Eat as much bacon and hot dog as you want, but don't eat a banana or a sweet potato because it is those foods that will make you fat!" Come on, seriously? Do the math, the Atkin's Diet is still a reduced calorie diet. Any you might just die of a heart attack while you are on it. Bonus!

Can we all now agree that it is extra calories, in whatever form (be it carbs, protein or fat) that make us fat? I don't know about y'all, but that's where my head is at.  So the big question becomes how do I eat fewer calories than I need to fuel my body every day, over and over, so that I will use the extra energy that is stored up as fat on my body? Difficult, but certainly not rocket science. Any lengthy bout with the Weight Watchers diet, followed carefully, should get you to where you want to go. Okay, maybe not to where you WANT to go, but certainly a healthy weight for you!

But is that the final answer? Are we done yet? Is the ultimate prize being thin? Because if it is, please sign-up today at your local Weight Watchers. Get thin and hold onto your pants--and see if you can stay there for more than five seconds.

And tune in tomorrow for Part II.

Pre-workout Breakfast:
coffee with soy creamer
1 banana

Post-workout breakfast:
Manna bread
Smoothie with frozen banana, frozen spinach, chia seeds, dates, unsweetened almond milk and ice

Green salad with leftover stuff from yesterday's dinner (brown rice, chopped tomatoes, scallions, roasted corn) and Trader Joe's Pineapple Salsa used as a dressing
1/2 cup leftover Rip's Pad Thai

1 Apple

Ak-mok crackers with curried cashew dip
Donato's Pizza-thin crust with no cheese--tomato sauce, green peppers, tomatoes, spinach, green olives, mushrooms. Not an E2 approved meal because of the white flour crust, but at the end of a long Ice Show, I needed a break.

small slice of raw vegan chocolate mint cake

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Wendy - always a pleasure to read your posts! Day 6 - yesterday - was almost a fall off the wagon day - or maybe it WAS - but I am not going to get too crazy. I had a sprouted tortilla with 1/2 C refried beans and 1/2 C corn, and coffee. For lunch I had whole wheat pita stuffed with hummus, shredded carrots and arugula from the farmers market (!). I had an apple with peanut butter early eveing before we went to a 70th birthday dessert party. Luckily there was A LOT of fruit (berries and melons) and those Rocky Mountain Chocolate apples - but also carrot cake and chocolate cakes. So I ate a ton of fruit and 1 small piece of each cake. I had one drink - vodka and diet tonic with lime, and then decaf coffee later. I would say there were some very unecessary calories - but it was fun. Today I am back on the wagon (and will report later) with a smoothie for breakfast and a big salad for lunch. We'll see what happens at dinner!

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