Diet, Uncategorized

Counting Calories vs Carbs–my experience

Dieting is almost synonymous with counting calories. Almost every dieting recommendation that I’ve ever heard required it–so much is the case that children know to talk about calories before even learning the definition.

…Asking someone for the definition used to be a smart-ass way to provoke a conversation.

Counting Calories is effective…Dogma.

But how useful is the whole calorie counting complex for people like me?

I needed to lose almost 150lbs….fast.

My health conditions, time, pain…all closing in on me and every single calorie focused diet was unsuccessful.

What did I find? What is my relationship with Calories now that I’ve lost 95lbs in 2 years with Keto and Fasting?

Calorie counting is like a fine tuning adjustment when you need more acceleration.

It’s simple but there is a darkside when the emotion of wanting to lose weight catches up with the limited knowledge of calorie restriction.

Calorie counters will sometimes get aggressive by only focusing on what they can cut rather than what their bodies need.

To put this into the engine analogy, if counting calories is a fine-tuning mechanism, these counters will starve the engine of fuel or air until it overheats and shuts down.

Meanwhile, all that was needed for acceleration was to open the throttle.

But the human body isn’t an engine; it’s a complex organism–made of other complex organisms.

Our bodies are closer to gardens than motorcycles.

Counting carbs was immediately effective for losing large amounts of weight and even they authorities who do not approve of Keto and Intermittent Fasting still recommend low carb diets—which require counting carbs.

Calories are important and even after losing the weight, I now have to optimize my intake in order to fine tune my diet to its best.

There are points of too few or too much;

I once limited my caloric intake to aproximately 500 calories–while working out;

That was the month that I couldn’t lose a pound–after months of explosive weightloss.

Apparently too few calories in a diet can put the body into starvation mode where it retains as much as possible–while tying up energy expenditure.

The old idea of simply taking in less and expending more needs a reworking and serious clarification.

For people of normal health, more harm has come from this misconception than Keto or Fasting.

-A person needs to learn more about their metabolism and their resting and operating rates.

-Having to measure everything can be a serious pain in the ass.

-A diet which has a low probability of success when eyeballed is fragile;

If it cannot be eyeballed and work, it’s too complicated.

This post is not to bastardize calorie counting or worse tracking our diets.

I’ve even found a way to make my daily Keto totally compliant with calorie restrictions—and implementing that is my next step going forward.

In the end, a diet should be tracked using easy metrics which are readily available on packaging, fair enough.

That said, the lack of focus on nutrition and establishing that perfect (albeit temporary) balance of macros to consume is a sad killer of any diet.

I give my body the fuel which works best, disregarding my palate, and that’s why it rewards me—funny enough, none of that fuel has been “diet food”.

The hungrier I’m left after eating, the more likely I’ll be munching with total disregard.

The feeling of hunger is only one strong dimension of insatiety which eventually gives your diet a cold shower.

Low calorie diets left me feeling hungry and weak.

Overall, I respect Calorie Counting, not as a panacea, but a tool to optomize my diet.



Why Should I Lose Weight? (The after effects.)

“I now had momentum. My perspective carried weight; It was like suddenly being anointed. I jumped the line—-this alone is a blessing and a curse.”

I have a process of thought where I ask what the central solution is—what change can I enact that will affect multiple problems in possibly multiple systems?

I always ask myself this question in the pursuit of making changes in an efficient manner…and it pays.

During my “weight bearing” days, I often wondered if there was a legitimate reason why I had to lose weight. It can be comfortable to continue on; I can make myself feel better on command (hedonism); “attitudes toward being overweight are changing, and I can be myself!”

I actually asked the question: why I should lose weight? I know that I wasn’t alone in this and in my case, all this questioning worked out.

The motivation however came from physical pain from medical issues…but why did I take to it with such dedication? Health alone usually is not enough to catalyze such a vast life changes that require extreme measures and dedication.

In the scheme of things, I had been obsessing over many different problems in life: Finances, Social, Health, Family.

Everything equaled posterity, longevity, stamina, performance…..or my lack thereof.

My ability to apply myself is limited by my physical health and no matter how I struck compromise by fitting a job to me, that limitation would hold me back by either consuming my time, limiting my energy and costing me money to manage.

My social life has experienced its ups and downs. I was able to build a network and move forward but my absences were far too often and ad up to damn near insult; I had become “the friend who never shows”—I missed everything and when I showed, the jokes were all inside.

My health was obviously on the decline. I could not simply spring into motion after waking up. I could not simply fall asleep or eat normally. I treated the symptoms and saddled up for a tough time. I knew that this was all a road downhill to a short life and its lack of qualities was depressing—not only to me by anyone who came into my life. I stayed inside, was dizzy, low energy, hunched over, and always in the bathroom.

People saw me suffer and couldn’t get close. I was a walking embarrassment who lowered the social cred of anyone around. People avoided me and when I put in the work to build myself, I hadn’t the stamina to continue, it was exhausting. I was treated with awful reproach upfront—even being damned near disabled does not prevent me from facing the consequences of someone who is intentionally destructive. I knew that the vast majority of people are judgmental, self interested and don’t give anyone that big of a chance.

Worse was that as I was going through it, I craved a family that I never had. I couldn’t be there for those who gave me a chance—which makes family impossible. It would take networking on a level that was physically out of reach to build one. I needed an image make over—not on the surface but within.

I had been through a renaissance sartorially, intellectually, and in attitude but I was rotting from the inside out—walking around like I was wounded—-It was impossible to hide.

I saw the videos of those who had lost weight. I wasn’t jealous but didn’t really buy it…

Growing up, I knew a number of jock types who were far beyond being “in shape” and the type of treatment they received was what people expected from simple weight loss.

I knew that I was jealous. I wanted that. The breakthrough is acknowledging that and taking action appropriately. I know that I won’t feel totally at ease until I meet that goal.

I cannot force those results from simple weight loss—I have to go the whole trip. Anything less is complacence.

I have to say, establishing the correlation of weight to social treatment; acknowledging that people are judgmental and have conditions was groundbreaking. I realized that I have them too. Yes, I have biases and expectations–just like everyone else.

Perhaps, I want to have value? I want to mean something? I want to be great and if the attitude is ‘that I’m good enough’, I still want better?

Losing weight would mean more stamina for work and play. Less pain and health expenses, less time lost….better image and more confidence….more connections…

However, the biggest is emphasizing the quality of those around me—-I want the people I let into my life to root for me and want the best for me…to not fight me.

My weight loss shocked the hell out of my detractors.

Suddenly, I was a force they weren’t prepared for and the positive attitudes I had been cultivating from supporters provoked shame in my haters. They were constantly taunted with the impulse to pick on someone who now didn’t fit their righteous justification. I was no longer the “fat fuck”, they were ad they had to shut up about it. Their stereotype was now dead.

I now had momentum. My perspective carried weight;

It was like suddenly being anointed. I jumped the line—-this alone is a blessing and a curse.

From here, my pursuit is about using personal growth to kill whatever negative stereotypes are currently manifesting. I live by example and compete with my former self.

The energy from my diet has been amazing; so is wearing normal clothes—in sizes I haven’t seen since 5th grade. Being able to stay awake and endure outings enough to become a social regular has changed my outlook on my social future.

This is what I needed and the next steps will make my life extraordinary….at least by my standards.

It’s always important to reflect and remember what your former self would say; After tackling a stint at Amazon during peak season, I knew that my former self would not have lasted even 2 days—I’m back and I’m improved. I feel like I can harness this inner power, outer consequence, and scale it up to accomplish my goals, work them into strategies, and live in a future that would make my much younger ( and UN-corrupted) self proud.

-M, HealthyFoodHabit