“Obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not overeating, and not sedentary behavior.” Gary Taubes, “Good Calories, Bad Calories.”
Gary Taubes blew my mind. His argument is that carbohydrates make us fat by stimulating insulin secretion. Insulin drives fat storage. The modern civilized diet keeps insulin levels elevated. This leads to obesity.
Overeating and sedentary behavior are symptoms, not causes, of a body that is laying down fat. This is exactly the opposite of what most of us think. I love it when someone challenges my preconceived notions. If you have a curious and open mind, read this book.
Gary writes about Vilhjalmur Stefansson, the early 1900′s Harvard anthropologist-turned-Arctic-explorer. Stefansson lived with the Inuits of northern Canada and Alaska for the better part of a decade. The Inuits live on an almost complete meat diet. Stefansson ate the same while he lived with them.
Stefansson was amazed at the health of the Inuits and his own well-being on such an “unbalanced” diet. Stefansson published his observations and was met with extreme skepticism.
So, Stefansson and another explorer, Karsten Anderson, began a highly supervised dietary experiment at Bellevue Hospital in New York in the winter of 1928. Their diet consisted of nothing but meat for one year. Despite dire predictions by many experts, the end of the year found both men in good health and spirits.
I am repeating this experiment for six weeks or more. I will eat nothing but meat and eggs. I will take no supplements. I will drink nothing but water, coffee, and tea. Sorry, I won’t give up carbs and caffeine at the same time.
Super Bowl Sunday was the last day on my typical varied American diet. I fasted overnight and gave a blood sample Monday morning, February 2, 2009. These will be my baseline measurements. If you are brave enough, make a prediction how my baseline measurements will change.
I will maintain my normal routine. I won’t exercise other than what I do on the farm. I usually walk about two miles in the course of a day.
I’m 5’10″. I have an athletic build. My weight Sunday night was 168.5 lbs. That makes my BMI: 24.2. That is at the upper end of the normal range. I don’t anticipate fast weight loss or gain. I would like to lose 10-20 lbs. and won’t be concerned if I do.
My blood pressure is consistently low/normal. Baseline blood pressure was 116/78.
I will document my diet and weight daily in my diet journal. Here are my baseline measurements along with my ending values after 6 weeks on an all meat diet.
|Test||Normal||My value, start||Ending value|
|Total Cholesterol||Under 200||225||433|
|HDL, good chol.||Over 50||76||106|
|LDL, bad chol.||Over 30||140||318|
|Uric acid||4-8,gout = 10||3.9||4.7|