Monday, July 3, 2023

Watch your language...

 I've talked before on this blog about the concept of "not denying yourself" on a diet.   When people say "you can't deny yourself", often it is interpreted to mean that a regular cheat meal or cheat day is necessary.  I have talked about how I follow a model closer to an "addiction model", and entirely abstain from processed sugar and starch.  "Not denying yourself" means that I regularly indulge in meals from people who are more expert chefs, and that I don't consciously limit portions -- although they do get limited as a function of the diet's macronutrient composition.  This can mean eating salty or more flavorful food, with spice, salt, and umami replacing sweetness -- something that it's not always easy for a bachelor chef to come up with.

So when I have a conversation with someone about insulin, or satiety in the context of favoring protein and fat over carbohydrates, and their response is "what has always worked for me is portion control", my hackles get raised a bit.  For me, there are two classes of nutrition and exercise advice, one is useful, one is akin to fat shaming:

1) Advice rooted in function, science, and effectiveness.  Advice that works.

Example: Reduce starch and sugar.  You would do well to break your sugar addiction.

Example: Protein drives satiety.

Example: Fat accumulation is a hormonal problem of too much insulin.  Avoiding insulinogenic foods is more effective than cutting calories which inevitably just suppresses metabolism.

Example: Longer duration, low-intensity training (such as MAF training) is a safer way to exercise for a lot of people than joining CrossFit, but you can't out-exercise a bad diet.

2) Advice rooted in puritanism, in effort-ing, and in castigation.  Advice that feels right, but who's underlying ethos is about blame. Advice that doesn't work.

Example: Eat less and move more.

Example: Portion control has always worked for me.

Example: Why can't you just go for a run / join CrossFit.