You might not live longer   2 comments

But at least it will seem longer.

Wednesday the 1st of February. Back to the calorie counting.

The plan is a bit different to the last times: the target shall be set at 2,500kCal to start with, but no longer eat-what-I-like. The things to be excluded are sugar and grains, and starchy vegetables (eg. spuds) should be minimised. Other fruit and veg, and everything else; knock yourself out.

Clearly bread, breakfast cereal and biscuits are out of the window. Which is a bit awkward for breakfasts and lunches, but not intractable.

So why on earth would I pick a biscuit-free diet, when it seems such a blatantly stupid idea? Well, curiosity. As you might expect. Somebody whom I would not usually consider an idiot has been espousing such a diet vehemently (so much so that I’m beginning to wonder if this isn’t the exception to prove the rule). It’s claimed that it would mean losing weight, and being healthier. The rationale being that without any easily-digestible carbohydrates, your body doesn’t need to produce as much insulin. One thing insulin does is tell your body to store energy as fat, so you see how that works. There’s also some stuff about it being carbohydrates, rather than fats, that do things like clog arteries (and some recent studies have, by my reading, not endorsed the conventional “saturated fat -> heart disease” wisdom. Athough not being a biologist, and not being familiar with various sources’ biases and zealotry – and there certainly is plenty of zealotry – makes it hard to know where to apply the salt).

Obviously I didn’t jump into this without reading up on it first, but studies seem to be divided between low-carbohydrate diets helping with weight loss, being bad for weight loss, and not making the blindest bit of difference. They’re also divided between being healthy, unhealthy and indifferent. So that’s encouraging. At least, unlike proteins and fats, your body doesn’t actually require any carbohydrates to function, so it’s not going to kill me in the short term.

But I’ll give it a shot, ideally for a month to start with, but we’ll see how it goes. February’s pretty convenient because I don’t think I’m going to have any notable social engagements that could muck up the numbers (how sad is that? “I’m unlikely to do anything or see anyone this month”, hah).

My personal feeling? It’s bollocks, and any weight loss is simply down to more exercise or fewer calories overall, which never seems to be counted for the low-carbohydrate diet. The idea just seems to be ringing the “too good to be true” warning bell far too hard. But we’ll see. Obviously I can’t show anything about it being healthy or not, but after my other diets I should be able to tell if any weight loss is significantly greater or lesser than you’d expect based on calorie intake.

Although even if it turns out to be super-efficient for weight loss and mega-healthy, I doubt I’d want to stick to it for long. Deliberately prolonging time spent without eating biscuits? Lunacy.

Anyway, in the evening I finally got around to titling and publishing some posts (I know the titles haven’t been up to much recently, but then I’m not sure the posts have, so at least they match). And I was planning to have a haircut, but that was postponed indefinitely until the weather stops being so damn cold. I’m not going to go out of my way to be chilly, just so I can pretend that I’m presentable. I’d rather be honestly scruffy and warm.

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2 responses to “You might not live longer

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  1. Weight gain will be proportional to the difference between calorie-intake and calories burned. However calorie-intake != calories-eaten. For instance there is a protein in milk that reduces your body’s propensity to absorb fat from foods, so more fats go straight through: good news for all fans of scientists sorting through shit to prove things.

    So 2500 kcal of fat will be less fattening if you wash it down with a pint of skimmed milk. Will 2500 kcal with no carbs be less fattening? Perhaps. I would have thought that delivering sudden shocks to your insulin-regulation mechanism was a good way to get diabetes, so for your sake I hope that it doesn’t work the way it’s claimed; probably a plan to ‘fade’ the bikkies back in gradually at the end just in case.

    • Don’t worry, I faded in – bread and cereal ran out at different times, and I started out including some potato – and plan to do the same on the way out for just the reason you mention, and not go straight for an entire tube of Fairy Princess biscuits.

      I would quite like an entire tube of Fairy Princess biscuits, though.

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