December 30, 2009

Hey Leon, whatcha reading? (GCBC)

I finished this book

at the start of December, and it deserves any hype you may have heard about it (you probably haven't, but you should have). Taubes provides an incredibly detailed exploration of the history of nutritional science, starting in the early part of the 20th century. Ultimately, it ends up being a very well-researched critique of US Government-backed nutritional policies and health recommendations, starting with weight management and proceeding to exercise and a strong takedown of the lipid hypothesis for heart disease. While this isn't a diet book at all, it's not hard to follow Taubes' research to the logical conclusions that Ancel Keys and his cohort of advisers to the senate panel led by George McGovern either missed or deliberately obfuscated.  Study after study of diets with varying macro-nutrient distributions consistently found that diets lowest in carbohydrate produced the most consistent results in lowering the the weights of obese and overweight patients, further that such diets could serve as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, did not result in increases of arterial plaque, and may even prevent cancer and alzheimer's.

Reading the book, I was repeatedly struck by the parallels to CAGW.  We had a tight-knit group of scientists relying strongly on theory and very little on research data, all citing each other, and deliberately locking out and denying funding to competing theories.  It's uncanny.

I definitely recommend the book, even if some chapters are a bit of slog.  Taubes' writing is pretty consistently engaging even when discussing some rather dry elements of the relevant science, and the content is amazing.

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Weight up, waist down

202 lb this morning, so it looks like Christmas indulgence set me back a week and cost me a week's progress, meaning to hit 10 more lb for month 3 I'd need to lose 12 lb by January 21.  That may be unrealistic as it's 3 lb per week, and I've been averaging about 2 lb per week.  On the other hand, my waist is down to 38", a 2" loss since this same time in November.  I'm having a lot less trouble staying consistent lately (other than Christmas), but I've got 3 more holiday get-togethers to contend with between now and next Wednesday.  I'm not sure I'd bet on me making my interim monthly goal right now.

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December 23, 2009

2 months, 20 pounds

200 lb this morning, so I'm keeping up with my planned 10 lb/month, but only just.  I had dipped to 199 during the week between, but I had a couple of slightly-higher-carb days that seem to have pushed me back up a bit, along with some seriously low-activity days.  Cold temps provoke the latter for me, I get an instinctive urge to hunker down inside and wait it out.  I'll have to fight that urge after Christmas.

Also, in case I don't post again before then, Merry Christmas to all, Happy Christmas to the UK, Ireland, and Australia, and Joyeux Noel to France.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 11:41 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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December 16, 2009

Oddities of the scale

203 lb this morning, something of a shock since I was 201 yesterday, didn't eat any more than usual in between.  I may have eaten less than usual.  What I did not do was get a good night's sleep.  I stayed up far too late and got barely 5 hours.  Whatever the reason, I'm slightly up today.

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December 09, 2009

Plateau broken, but not by much

202 lb this morning, weigh-in for week 7. I managed to break the plateau at 205, but it wasn't without some trickery. I did a modified fat fast on 3 of the 7 days since my last weigh-in, meaning 800 calories of 90% fat, spread into 4 snack-sized meals between 8am and 4pm, followed by a normal low-carbohydrate dinner.  I am yet to try a full-on fat fast, which would mean going to 1000 calories at 90% fat and removing the dinner.  I'm saving that for a more difficult plateau sure to come later on.

Sadly, I've also become fairly certain that aspartame is a no-no for me, which isn't a huge shock, but it's disappointing.  It's not uncommon for an insulin response to accompany a sugarless sweetener, even if no actual carbohydrates are eaten.  Supposedly, saccharine doesn't do this to most people, but it's still saccharine.  No thanks.  I'm not sure I want to bother seriously experimenting with sucralose/Splenda.  I might try stevia extract, but it seems easier to just avoid sweet things altogether, since they mess with my palate and cause me to crave starches.

In any event, this puts me down 18 lb in 7 weeks.  If I can lose another 2 lb by next weigh-in, I'll be slightly ahead of my goal of 10 lb per month, since 2 months proper will be Dec 21.

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December 08, 2009

A Fourth Republic?

I very much like the thesis in this article from April, but I'm not optimistic. A fracturing of the modern special interest state seems very likely to lead to balkanization, and whatever emerged from that would be much less than America is today for decades to come.  That's a bad thing.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 10:55 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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December 03, 2009

Well, at least we didn't go ahead with that "seeding the upper atmosphere with sulfur dioxide" plan

Anyone that still buys into this crap is belligerently uninformed. Can we put that money and effort toward real pollution now, like mercury in groundwater, plastic in the ocean, or whateverthehell is feminizing male fish and amphibians?

H/T to Don Surber

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 04:30 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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December 02, 2009

Still stalled in week 6

205 lb again today.  I have been stuck at this weight before, and it might well be that this is a rigid plateau for me.  Since it's persisted for 3 weeks now, I suspect that's the case.  To keep pace with my goal, I basically have to break the plateau and lose 5 lb in the next two weeks.  This will not be easy.

It's also possible that I've just done this too many times now (lost weight and then regained it), and my metabolism has become particularly resistant to changes in weight (up or down; I've never managed to go above 220 either, no matter how bad my diet has been, and I usually stop at 205 on the way down and get frustrated).  The only cure for that is patience and consistency.

There are some other tricks I might employ, but I'm waiting to be sure those are absolutely necessary before using them to break the plateau.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 10:34 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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