Evil Genius Woman, Thrifty Mom's Diet progress slider

Friday, February 20, 2009

The exercise myth?

Great article on whether exercise is nessessary for weight loss.

Do we HAVE to exercise in order to lose wight?  Well, of course, right? That's what all the 'experts' (and my Dad) have told us over and over and over.

But is it true?

" ... The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine published joint guidelines for physical activity and health. They suggested that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week is necessary to “promote and maintain health.” What they didn’t say, though, was that more physical activity will lead us to lose weight. Indeed, the best they could say about the relationship between fat and exercise was this: “It is reasonable to assume that persons with relatively high daily energy expenditures would be less likely to gain weight over time, compared with those who have low energy expenditures. So far, data to support this hypothesis are not particularly compelling.” In other words, despite half a century of efforts to prove otherwise, scientists still can’t say that exercise will help keep off the pounds."
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dieting and Consumerism Brain?

Super good article by my new fave blogger, Dr Michael R Eades, author of Protein Power
and The 30-Day Low-Carb Diet Solution about our brains, dieting, and, interestingly consumerism.

On being exposed to carbs:

"...It is clear that we low-carbers are operating in a high-carb world. We are the low-carb equivalent of the non-smoker in the 1950s. We are considered unusual.

Everywhere we look we are bombarded with carbohydrate temptations. No place is safe. Just like the cigarette ads that were ubiquitous in days gone by, so now are the carbohydrate ads. You can’t pick up a magazine, turn on the TV or even look in a newspaper without your eye falling on an advertisement for carbohydrates. Nutritionists recommend them; dietitians recommend them; doctors recommend them; even the government recommends them."

On falling off the low-carb (or any diet, really) wagon:

"Hey, you only live once. Go for it. You head home after consuming about three day’s worth of carbohydrates. You resolve to do better the next day, but you’ve derailed the smooth running of all the metabolic processes that your low-carb diet had set in motion, and the next day it will be a little harder to get back on track."

And my favourite quote, one that should be put in front of every college student before he/she ruins his/her health:

"Alcohol is the gateway drug for carbs - as a general rule, the more you drink, the more carbs you eat."
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

And don't forget to supersize that ...

Interesting and startling article on how recipes in cookbooks have increased their portion sizes.

"The study identified the trend in numerous cookbooks, but it focused on American kitchen icon "Joy of Cooking," first published during the '30s and regularly updated with new editions since then, most recently in 2006.

Of the 18 recipes published in all seven editions, 17 increased in calories per serving. That can be attributed partly to a jump in total calories per recipe (about 567 calories), but also to larger portion sizes.

Only the chili con carne recipe remained unchanged through the years. The chicken gumbo, however, went from making 14 servings at 228 calories each in the 1936 edition, to making 10 servings at 576 calories each in the 2006 version.

Most excess calories in the American diet still come from food eaten outside the home, says Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University. But she says the study is yet another illustration of how accustomed people are to eating ever increasing quantities of food.

And changes in "Joy of Cooking" have been going on for a while. Increases in overall calories per recipe have been gradual, but portion sizes tended to jump, first during the '40s, again during the '60s, and with the largest jump in the 2006 edition.

The first significant signs of restaurant portion inflation didn't show up until the late '70s, says Wansink.

Lisa Young, an adjunct nutrition professor at New York University, had similar findings in a 2002 study that compared the book's brownie recipe from the '60s and '70s editions to the recipe from the 1997 edition.

"Same recipe. Same pan. But in the '60s and '70s it yielded 30 brownies," she says. "In the 1997 edition it yielded 15."

What is up with America?  Why do we eat so much?  What started us conditioning our children to eat huge portions?  Do you now that many candy bars, soft drinks, bagged crisps, etc are actually 2 or more servings?  So you read that comforting calorie number but then proceed to down the entire multiple serving item.

Is it America's love of HUGE in general taking over?  Bigger is better?  Ginormous SUVs, Elaborate, enormous, space-wasting houses for families of four who don't even spend much time there?  "Lather rinse repeat" when you only need to wash your hair once, and inch-long globs of toothpaste when you only need a pea-sized dab?


*Blog title is a line from Weird Al Yankovic's Grapefruit Diet from his Running with Scissors
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 1 Comments

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Small clinical study on the Paleo diet

Fascinating results from a small clinical trial of the Paleolithic / neanderthin diet.

"Participants, on average, saw large improvements in nearly every meaningful measure of health in just 10 days on the "paleolithic" diet. Remember, these people were supposedly healthy to begin with. Total cholesterol and LDL dropped, if you care about that. Triglycerides decreased by 35%. Fasting insulin plummeted by 68%. HOMA-IR, a measure of insulin resistance, decreased by 72%. Blood pressure decreased and blood vessel distensibility (a measure of vessel elasticity) increased. It's interesting to note that measures of glucose metabolism improved dramatically despite no change in carbohydrate intake."
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Paleo Diet ... The Movie!

If you are on a low carb diet or going paleolithic / neanderthin, you will get a kick out of this, Paleo Diet, the movie!:

I especially loved the part where he had the box (was it crackers or pasta?) and is saying "The food pyramid! It was created by the USDA ... it's MYTHOLOGY!"


Here's a great t-shirt for those of us on low carbohydrate diets like Atkins, Protein Power or Paleo:

LOL, us low carbers love our meat and we know it's good-for-you food.  Yes, even bacon!
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 1 Comments

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Faking out my fake sugar addiction

I've been trying to cut down my caffeine and my artificial sweetener use lately. 

To that end I have halved the amount of aspertame (fake Equal) that I put in my coffee (which I'm making weaker). I've also vowed to intersperse water with my diet Cokes or iced tea (which I sweeten with fake Splenda) during the day.

Yesterday went well and I noticed that I slept really well last night.  I suffer from insomnia - waking almost every night between 12:30 and 2 and being unable to go back to sleep until it's time for me to get up at 4:00 - but I didn't wake at ALL last night.

Is it the lowered caffeine?  Or was all the 'sugar substitue' to blame?  Or was it just a fluke?

I'll keep you posted!
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 0 Comments

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eggs vindicated

For those of you out there who still think that eggs are bad for you, forget it. That information is old and just plain wrong.

This study showed once and for all that you can eat as many eggs as you want and it will NOT harm your health.

Eggs are good food. Professor Bruce griffin, one of the reseachers says:

"The ingrained misconception linking egg consumption to high blood cholesterol and heart disease must be corrected. The amount of saturated fat in our diet exerts an effect on blood cholesterol that is several times greater than the relatively small amounts of dietary cholesterol.  The [public does] not need to be limiting the number of eggs they eat - indeed they can be encouraged to include them in a healthy diet as they are one of nature's most nutritionally dense foods."

(emphasis mine)

Let's compare a quickie running-out-the-door breakfast of 1 egg (my choice) to 1 slice of white toast with margarine (typical person's choice).

Nutrition     1 egg          1 slice toast w/ margerine
calories       78               101
fat               5.3g            4.3g
sodium        62mg          180mg
carbs           0.6g           13g
protein         6.3g           2.1g

The sodium alone would give me pause!  But of course the big difference in these two breakfasts is that, unlike the egg, the carbs in the toast would shoot your bloodsugar sky high, then it'd crash and you'd be starving 2 hours later.

So have an egg.  Have two or three!
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 1 Comments

Friday, February 6, 2009

Continuing to adjust

Some faithfuls on the Paleo forums have suggested that my diet might be too LOW in fat. Low cals plus low fat tells one's body to hoard every calorie as fat.

To that end - and in keeping with a fortnight-long experiment (hey, I can last that long, right?) - I have made these changes:

1) Allowing myself more calories (1500/day)
2) Up my fat (NO problem as I lurves me some meat, LOL)
3) Lower my carbs down as much as I can - going for 0-10g/day
4) Dump Nightshades

In my quest to lower carbs I began to inspect my diet to find where I could slash some of those suckers.  Well, fark me, but I made some discoveries!

One of my few stupid indulgences was my fake creamer in my morning coffee.  I was diligently recording the cals and carbs and got to thinking perhaps I would live (*gasp*) with less or none (notice I make no mention of dropping my actual coffee or beloved neurotoxin Aspertame. Yeah. That's gonna happen in my lifetime. NOT!)

(ANYway) Hah!  I read the ingredient list and was floored. FIRST INGREDIENT: Corn Syrup Solids!

I don't eat corn!  High Fructose Corn Syrup is the tool of the devilllllll!


So guess who got out of bed this morning and with a disgruntled glance at the TWO almost FULL huge Sam's containers of fake-creamer-devil-corn-syrup and much grumbling made her coffee with none?

Me.  So proud.

I also took a shufti at my beloved BBQ flavoured pork rinds and discovered wheat flour and soy flour.  Yep. They went bye-bye as well. (Can still eat regular ones, just don't like nearly as much. Good. Perhaps I won't eat as bloody many. Addicted ...)

What was I saying?

Oh, so I'm feeling pretty triumphant, and, despite my having nom'd on pork chops, beef ribs, hamburger patties w/ cheese, and chicken with the skin on since Wednesday, I've not gained an ounce.

Talk to me again next week. Hahahahah!
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 1 Comments

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I have decided to make some adjustments to my diet - I'm losing weight satisfactorily but wanted to see if I could speed things up (yes, I'm an impatient dieter! LOL)

To that end I'm cutting back my carbs to 15 or so a day.  I'm also committed to making some permanent lifestyle changes just for my helath.

I've been browsing bulletin boards and reading discussions by others living the Paleolithic diet lifestyle. It's been fascinating and, of course, there are many variations of Paleo: some eat dairy like I do, many cling to overly processed foods as treats, I noticed a LOT of them ate chocolate.  Some were very strict Paleo and one fellow actually attempted to lose weight by eating 4000 calories and ZERO carbs.  Not sure if he's still alive, lol.

But seriously, it has caused me to evaluate a few things.  I eat too much salt, for example, and plan to cut back.  I also discovered that plants of the Nightshade family (tobacco, nightshade, potatoes, tomatos, peppers, and aubergine) were mostly New World plants (exceptions being nightshade and aubergines [eggplant]) and subsequently not Paleo.  That is, we haven't been eating them for millions of years and so our bodies haven't had time to evolve to be used to them.

I also found several things about how those who gave up the nightshades showed marked improvement in skin conditions and arthritis.  Since I have both, I have decided to do a wee experiment and forgo tomatoes, aubergine, and peppers (don't eat potatoes any more) and see what happens.

I'll keep you updated!
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 1 Comments

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wii-Fit benefits really are wee

Almost everyone I know online has a Nintendo Wii-Fit.

They all waited in breathless anticipation for them, bought them, bought all the accessories, eagerly used them, and raved, raved, raved about them.

But has the Wii-fit actually helped any of my friends lose weight or get in shape?

Probably not, says a new study:  The truth about Wii-Fit and weight loss is that, like most eagerly purchased exercise equipment, they are lying disused after one month in most people's homes.

I can't prove that the Wii-Fit hasn't helped my friends.  I'm not about to ask them if they still use it regularly.  Most of them would probably heatedly insist that they do (whether they do or not. This is the reaction by most people who have started a diet, begun a fitness programme, etc especially if they dropped a wodge of cash on it.)

But honestly, the ones who mention still using it, only do so (mention it) once a week, tops.  If you sloth about all week and eat what you want then go for a brisk walk on Sunday (or work up a sweat with the Wii-Fit), well, you may feel better about yourself, but you've not put any dent at all in your unhealthy lifestyle.  You must do things - everything - consistantly.

Folks might brag that they did Wii-Fit work-outs twice this week.  Would they brag that they brushed their teeth only twice in that same time?

I'm not ragging on the Wii-Fit in particular BTW.  I have no problem with it.  It could be an eliptical or a treadmill or even walking around the block. 

I'll admit that the thought of buying a video game to get fit struck me as silly.  I mean how much entertainment do you need?  You need to be entertained into exercising?  That's a bit much.  The concept of paying a huge amount of money to exercise also rubs me the wrong way.  I can walk, lift weights, do yoga, use my exercise ball, etc, for free.

My thing is that it's a game NOT a fitness programme. You are NOT getting fit no matter how much you tell yourself so. You are enjoying yourself - and there's nothing wrong with that!  But admit that you do it for fun and don't tell me how you are improving your health by playing an hour of Wii-Golf (or whatever) every week-end.
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 2 Comments

Monday, February 2, 2009

Diet tip of the week

Do you keep a diet journal?

I don't mean an angst-ridden missive where you curse lettuce and complain about how much your 'fat underpants' dig into your crack when you exercise, lol!  i mean where you write down everything you eat.

If you don't, you should try it. No lie.

Keeping a food journal or diet diary or whatever you call it has been proven to help weight loss. One study of over 1700 people showed that those who wrote down what they ate lost over TWICE as much weight as those who didn't!

Now that makes me sit up and take notice.

I have always kept a food journal when dieting.  I'm OCD and love lists and order and fiddly stuffs like that so it's always been easy for me. i understand it's a pain in the backside for a lot of folks.

But try it. srsly.

Twice as much weight lost!

Go over to our forums and vote on the poll!
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posted by MrsEvilGenius at 1 Comments