So day before yesterday, March 3, I decided that I would only eat meat, eggs and cheese for the rest of the month. Today is the beginning of day two on this ‘unbalanced’ diet. I weighed myself this morning and noted that my weight is 140.2 pounds. I will try and remember to weigh myself at least one time per week, so that we can keep track of any changes there, in case there are any.
I posted about this on Facebook and friends wanted to know what it was all about. I am reading a very good book on the science of obesity, insulin, and biochemistry associated with weight gain and diabetes. The book is Gary Taubes’ very informative “Good Calories, Bad Calories”. There is a chapter that describes the various studies and experiments performed over the year concerning carbohydrate restricted diets. In one report, explorers lived for extended periods with the Inuit indians up in the great white north…
The Inuit paid little attention to the plants in their environment “because they added nothing to their food supply,” noted the Canadian anthropologist Diamond Jenness, who spent the years 1914– 16 living in the Coronation Gulf region of Canada’s Arctic coast. Jenness described their typical diet during one three-month stretch as “no fruit, no vegetables; morning and night nothing but seal meat washed down with ice-cold water or hot broth.” (The ability to thrive on such a vegetable-and fruit-free diet was also noted by the lawyer and abolitionist Richard Henry Dana, Jr., in his 1840 memoirs of life on a sailing ship, Two Years Before the Mast. For sixteen months, Dana wrote, “we lived upon almost nothing but fresh beef; fried beefsteaks, three times a day…[ in] perfect health, and without ailings and failings.”
Taubes, Gary (2007-09-25). Good Calories, Bad Calories (Kindle Locations 6510-6516). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Interesting, I thought. Of course the Eskimos eat no vegetables, where would they get them? After reading further, and paying attention to what is known about diseases of vitamin deficiency, it is known that eating meats provide all of the necessary elements that our bodies and constitutions require. This makes sense, if our meats are fed the diet that their nature requires, then they pass those nutrients up the food chain to us.
What the nutritionists of the 1920s and 1930s didn’t then know is that animal foods contain all of the essential amino acids (the basic structural building blocks of proteins), and they do so in the ratios that maximize their utility to humans. They also contain twelve of the thirteen essential vitamins in large quantities. Meat is a particularly concentrated source of vitamins A, E, and the entire complex of B vitamins. Vitamins D and B12 are found only in animal products (although we can usually get sufficient vitamin D from the effect of sunlight on our skin).
Taubes, Gary (2007-09-25). Good Calories, Bad Calories (Kindle Locations 6545-6549). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Apparently, it has always been known that eating carbohydrate leads to hunger. People can eat thousands of calories worth of food per day and if it includes carbohydrate they will experience hunger, even if they are eating way more calories than they need. Carbohydrate causes blood sugar and insulin levels to rise. When they drop again there is hunger, as we all know if we eat a lot of rice at an oriental restaurant. This happens no matter how much you eat, or how often. The studies of low carbohydrate diets have discovered that even if you eat a low number of calories, say 1500 instead of your normal 2000, you will not experience the torture of constant hunger that you would if you lower your normal diet, that includes carbohydrate, by the same percentage. A feature of the normal low-calorie dieting that we Americans subject ourselves to is constant nagging hunger. Nobody should expect a person who easily puts on weight while eating their normal diet to go through their entire life semi-starved on a low-calorie diet. This is especially true if they can lose weight by not eating carbohydrate, not experience constant hunger or be in danger of vitamin-deficiency because of it.
After reading all of these facts I determined that I need to try the all-meat route to see if you actually can do it without experiencing hunger or any other adverse symptoms. I am going to do this and relate daily my actual experiences, starting with yesterday.
I had my normal breakfast of ham slice and two eggs, fried in bacon grease. As normal, I experienced no hunger all the way until my lunch break at work, which I took at 11:30 (5 hours). I wasn’t hungry when I heated up my lunch of two cups of ham chunks. I washed the ham down with bottled water. I ate a dinner of meatloaf, about two or three cups worth, at 6:30 PM, seven hours later. I did experience some hunger pangs before I ate the meatloaf, but seven hours between small meals seems like a long time. I was not surprised that I experienced hunger after such a long spell of fasting.
This morning, after 12 hours since I had eaten, I did not wake up famished. I did wake up thirsty, but I was extremely well rested, after a very good night’s sleep. This morning I ate my normal breakfast of ham and eggs. I am full of vigor this morning, and feel like hitting it hard today. Watch out, world!