Friday Free-Writes are back!
Yesterday, I heard a nightmare of a story, a women had lost 50 pounds by eating protein pancakes and diet cokes. I hear these stories a lot from clients. They are out there living their lives of organic vegetables, lean meats, and quality fats. Fighting the good fight and being fantastic little examples to the world. This disgruntled lunch lady proceeded to argue with my client about cauliflower (keep in mind she is still 200+ pounds and is starting to gain weight back…no shit). How this nice member of the brassica family is the devil of carbohydrates and that she knows how her body loses weight – she can only eat protein. Her trainer also tells her that cauliflower has too many carbs for her.
Holy F$ck, where do these people congregate, because I want to fence them in so that the stupid doesn’t spread. Commonsense just isn’t that common anymore. Oh no your body doesn’t need vitamins and minerals to run all the enzymes in the human body, or fat to make most of our hormones and cell membranes and brains. She is stupid…but maybe that different kind of stupid is because she thinks cauliflowers have too many carbohydrates and her mom thought broccoli was for poor people.
1 cup of cauliflower has 25 calories, and 5.3 grams of carbohydrates BUT 2.5 grams of dietary fiber. Yea. I have no words.
Now if your diet doesn’t allow you to have 5 grams of carbohydrate we have a problem that I am not going to address.
Second, if you’re not getting fiber because you are this petrified of carbohydrates you probably aren’t pooping, which is going to leads to dysbiosis in the gut, which is going to be perpetuated by the amount of artificial sweetener and shitty lifestyle habits that this said stupid person above takes part in.
I love the Chris Kresserism where we don’t even count vegetable carb sources. It makes life so much easier and it WORKS. You count, tubers, fruits, and other bean or grain based carbohydrates (if you eat them). Now, if you are going to start counting macros, understand that this will always be fuzzy math and to get it perfect is in my mind very very unhealthy, especially long term for the general public (professional body builders are different, I don’t want to piss them off). So accept that heaping cups happen and get really good at estimating and practicing non-attachment to whether your sweet potato is medium or extra medium.
The keys to long term success with food – “Simple things done savagely well.” Mark Verstegen
You need 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (mostly vegetables, maybe 1 or 2 servings of fruit, maybe). A serving is the size of your fist. This is a Rakowski-ism. Once you have eaten all the vegetables we can talk about carbohydrates. If you are an athlete you will need likely need much more than this and if you carb cycle you are going to have to get a little dirty, sorry. But you do want to keep that dirtiness individualized to food you thrive on. This takes a lot of quality long term self-experimentation. Not I like donuts.
If you are a lifter get your body weight in lbs in grams of high quality protein not an unmarked jug of WalMart Whey (some may need more protein than this on paper or in research studies but I would look at digestion instead of pounding these folks with more steak and powders).
You need fat. I will say it again, you need quality fat. The biggest public health disaster of our time was the all-out nuclear war on fat. I have found that even people who say they are not afraid of fat rarely eat enough from quality sources as they still have a little voice in their head that says, “You don’t need all that guacamole.” Or people flip the switch the other way and pound bacon every morning, which no matter how much we want it to be is not a health food (pigs are the tilapia of mammals, so why would we over consume their bio concentrated toxic fat). Most people will be somewhere in the range of 0.4 to 0.7 grams per pound. As carbs goes down – fat goes up. Pick whole foods as much as possible: organic salmon, avocados, and coconuts etc.
Get between 40-100 grams of fiber a day, if you are eating the above smorgasbord of vegetables this will not be a problem. Also, don’t be that guy who goes from 5 grams of fiber to 100 and complains that his GI system got hit by a bus of noisy middle schoolers. Taper up and you will likely not have a problem and if we do it likely means we have something else going on in the GI tract that needs to be addressed. While you are tapering crush some really solid greens supplements to get in the above 13 servings (I like Nourishing Greens from Apex, but there are plenty of other all organic formulas out there)
Finally, keep the end in mind. Remember that long term adherence is the most betterest. So if you are stressed out of your mind and absolutely love breakfast and eating it with your family, intermittent fasting may not be the best thing for you, even if it means you will be a little less hipster. This is where generalizations move to individualization but you have to get the fundamentals down first.
That’s it. Have a fantastic Friday and keep fighting the good fight against the stupid.
*I am currently locked in the garage most of the day writing boring nerdiness with hundreds of references, so you won’t get this in my free writes. All the dietary numbers are from experience, textbooks, ISSN, and/or Alan Aragon.
By: Ben House