February 16th, 2013

This is how a diet works

Those who have never been on a diet will wonder what this crazy woman is talking about. Those who have—well, you know who you are:

13 Responses to “This is how a diet works”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    Jenna Marbles is one of the most ruthless sources of truth about women in the history of the world. Plus her very irritating voice makes it all even more miserably funny.

  2. rickl Says:

    I thought she was going to eat the dog near the end.

    Anyway, this is kind of like how I gave up giving up smoking.

  3. Don Carlos Says:

    Reminds me of alcholics and drug addicts who try to get sober or get clean on their own. Doesn’t work, does it. Neo?

  4. renminbi Says:

    Cut back on the carbs and cut out white carbs (flour,sugar) and liquid carbs (juices,soda pop) entirely and you will likely lose weight.

    The best science journalist on this subject is Gary Taubes. “Fat Chance” by Robert Lustig is also very good.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    renminbi: please excuse me for being blunt (in fact, though, I’m showing forbearance; I could be even blunter), but—give me a friggin break.

    I’ve dealt with that issue over and over and over, most notably here and here, and in many comments.

    I’m happy for you if Taubes works for you, but that’s not a universal experience.

    And if I seem annoyed, it’s because most advocates of Taubes, or other diet programs such as Atkins (to take only one example) seem to think the solution is simple if only everyone did what they say. The solution is not the least bit simple, and human variation on this score is quite vast.

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    renminbi: oh, and by the way, I don’t drink any carbohydrates, and haven’t for decades, and I almost never eat either flour or sugar except as special treats on rare occasions. So cutting them out further would be an interesting (not to say nearly impossible) proposition, since they’re already pretty well cut out, and have been for years.

    And I’m not thin—although, as I said in another post, I’d like to lose about ten to fifteen pounds.

  7. Ymarsakar Says:

    This isn’t really the solution because I don’t think the problem is fat or even weight. “This” being whatever program and diet.

    Since that’s not the issue, the solution is thus not getting rid of it. That’s only a side effect.

    When Atkins and what not does cause people to lose weight and keep the fat off, I am paying much more attention to how their metabolism changes and how their body is using or not using food. Fat is neither good nor evil, contrary to what Hollywood culture would have us think. It is merely a tool the body uses to store energy, purified energy, often times in case of hunger or famine.

    One might as well hate the fact that your eyes tear up, by trying to get rid of your eyes to solve the problem.

    Most of the body’s autonomic functions are handled by brain parts that don’t particularly pay attention to the Rule of Emotion or social engineering. It pays attention to life and death instincts, primal lizard like thinking more. If the logical parts of the brain says to diet and get rid of fat and the survival parts of the brain says that is crazy, the survival parts will win in the end. The fact that this swaying about does fatal damage to the body’s support mechanisms over the years, is whose fault?

    Something military leadership often advised was to never give an order you know won’t be followed. As it just depletes your authority and kills morale.

    Western science hasn’t done much of any job in getting people to know themselves. It’s all externalized, even science. It’s exported to other people, not yourself, to do. They know, and all the rest just needs to call up an expert for it because people don’t know how to fix their own problems. So while people have different body chemistries and metabolisms, they don’t know how they function and neither does the experts. What results is a bunch of people using experimental methods, which is a science of a sort, to produce results, and then tying the results to the dieting cause.

    But that’s neither the cause, the problem, nor the solution in the end. That’s just a side effect. Losing weight isn’t the solution, gaining weight isn’t the problem, and dieting isn’t the cause of either.

    It’s internal knowledge and control that is missing. When people have a problem, they are trained to go hire an expert to solve it. Non working toilet? Call the plumber. Microwave creating sparks and generating time portals backwards? Call someone to fix it. People don’t even know the theory of it, let alone what to do about em. That’s a worse habit than whatever it is they are eating or not eating.

    Whether the theory you hold is true or not, isn’t the issue in my view. If a theory looks right, test it yourself and accept those results more than other people’s results. Feelings, internal ones, are more reliable than the words of strangers. If experts can experiment and get results, so can regular people. They don’t have to take a policy based upon somebody else’s interpretation. Copying the conclusions of the experts guarantees nothing, certainly not success.

    If some expert’s theory sounds right, take it and test it. If it works, keep doing it, but the interpretation and the applications can vary from person to person.

    American culture often talks about personal responsibility and independence, but certain things aren’t like mutual contradictions. In this case of food regulation, that mutual contradiction comes from a simple issue: people don’t know what to do to figure out what the heck is going on insides themselves other than talking to external factors.

    Figure yourself out first, then figure out the problem, and at the end, the solution will present itself. People who can regulate their heartbeat using breathing when shooting and when giving birth, yet cannot regulate other internal issues?

    Taubes could be, let’s say hypothetically, 100% right, and 100% wrong. Because even if X is related to Y, that doesn’t mean X causes Y or vice a versa. Correlation and causation. Nor does it mean that now having known the relation between carbs and insulin, can we then say the “application” is that we cut “A” out. Because that presumes one knows all the factors, known and unknown. The human biological system is at times more complex than people give it credit for, but also more simple to understand than people give it credit for.

  8. renminbi Says:

    Thank-you for the links you provided. I think Taubes is worth reading if only for the light it shines on the science behind most of the health advice given. Much of it is rubbish. Certainly saturated fats have been demonized with little sound evidence to back that up. In giving up fatty foods people have substituted sugars which appear to be far more unhealthful.
    Of course people are very different from each other but I thought my suggestions might be helpful to some.
    Taubes and Lustig make it very clear that losing weight by will power doesn’t work.

  9. Don Carlos Says:

    I suspect middle-aged obesity, those 10-15 undesired pounds, is energy stored in anticipation of future great health struggles, which are inevitable in their coming.
    You can’t fight biology, as my Dad was wont to say.

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    Hey, Don Carlos, when last I heard, 10-15 pounds isn’t “obesity” even to the medical world, is it?

  11. suek Says:

    Up until I was 33, I ate anything and everything I wanted and never gained a pound. Starting at age 33, everything I ever ate caught up with me.

    I’ve been on a few diets – did a 600 calorie diet for a couple of months (under doctor’s supervision), did the Atkins diet – lost 30 pounds – but then went back to a normal diet.

    About the best one I think I have seen was “The 200 Calorie Solution” – a book I picked up on a sale table and couldn’t pass up…I’d been on the 600 calorie diet – how could anyone _possibly_ live on 200 calories!!! What the book offered was: 1) keep track of everything you eat for about 1-2 weeks. Determine the calorie count. 2) Keep track of your physical activities for the same period – determine your calorie output for those activities. 3) Reduce your average caloric intake by 100 calories per day – any foods you choose. 4) Increase your average caloric output by 100 calories – any activity you choose. Voila – 20 pounds per year. Not exactly spectacular, but not all that bad either.

    Now…the terrible thing I learned was that those 100 calories you should cut can be as small as 1 pat (tablespoon) of butter. Stated another way, by eating only one tablespoon of butter per day more than you need for your basic maintenance, you’ll gain 10 lbs per year. That – obviously – means 100 lbs over 10 years. Since most of us start this problem in our 30s – 40s, you can see where this can lead!

    Have I followed this good advice myself? No… Lost the book with all its tables and counts for both food and exercise*. I _know_ that my problem isn’t so much that I eat too much – it’s that I don’t exercise enough. I do remember though, that the amount of time required to expend 100 calories on any particular exercise was _way_ more than I thought, and the amount of energy I actually expended in physical activity was _way_ lower than I thought.

    In the end – it isn’t what we eat – it’s the balance between intake and output. You can eat as much as you want and whatever you want – but you have to expend the energy you’re consuming by physical activity. If you don’t, you’re just simply going to gain weight.

    *I know that losing the book is no excuse – but it _did_ remove some of the impetus! You know…the “you can do it” thing!

  12. Tom the Redhunter Says:

    Can’t say I’ve ever been on a diet – I am blessed with skinny genes – but I did fast on Ash Wednesday and last Friday, and will do so again on Good Friday. A Catholic thing as most of you know. Of course it’s not quite the same as a long drawn out diet as you get all of your misery out of the way in one day.

  13. Former Marine's Mom Says:

    That was my life, only without the bad language.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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