Dr. Harris recently posted on paleo-obsessing in order to right the wrongs of life, versus just enjoying life and letting a good diet help you along the way. Paleohacks has recently (ironically?) been a place to discuss/analyze his posts.
What have you over-hacked about, rather than just living life and using good ol' fashioned effort to avoid problems?
I personally obsess a bit over fat oxidation (oh no, is cooking eggs going to backfire on me?), but don't expend enough effort to maintain a natural posture.
I hacked till I got the body comp I wanted. Now I'm on a very stress free cruise control.
If I had it to do over I'd push even harder to get here so I could cruise sooner, and enjoy it sooner, rather than take years to slowly coast in.
For many of us with weight or health issues. Fixing those problems is important to do quickly, health for your health, weight for your personal stress, comfort levels.
I can't stress enough how great it feels to coast with no goals other than maintain. No tunnel to look for a light, just Bright daytime!
If we're worrying about the irony in our discussing a post that criticizes those who discuss so much, then Dr. Harris should be worrying about it too. How is he spending a lot of his time? Reading about and discussing nutrition. And presumably he'll be doing it more and more, now that he's transitioning into an early retirement or part retirement.
Am I trying to put down Dr. Harris? No, because I don't think there's anything wrong with anyone spending time reading about and talking about nutrition. I do it when I can, because I think it's fun and rewarding.
But there's a difference between getting obsessed about something because it interests you and being obsessive about something because you're punishing yourself. I don't punish myself about nutrition; I don't get upset at myself for doing something "wrong" every once in a while. But I do think about nutrition obsessively. I don't think there's anything wrong with that; I was pretty obsessed with Lost for a while also, but there was no self-punishment involved. (Well, I guess it depends on your feelings about Lost.)
If you think that thinking about paleo is fun, then you should think about paleo. Just don't think that if you beat yourself up about it it's going to make you immortal.
i think what was being gotten at is overthinking past the basic knowledge of what you need to stop hurting and start repairing yourself is at best a situation of diminishing returns and at worst a time-wasting exercise. once you've cut out culprits of what he calls the "neolithic agents of disease" and gotten all your nutritional ducks in a row, you've greatly reduced the chance that you'll get hit with a debilitating autoimmune disease or some diet-related cancer. at that point, you should fill your time with things that make life full and enjoyable knowing that you've given your well-being a leg up.
I over hack the numbers for calories/fat/protein/fiber/sodium. You name it, I probably count it... But I got here watching all that very closely and I intend to stay here at this healthy weight, with a body composition I am extremely happy with.
I know that with Paleo eating, I should be able to "eat to satiety", but unfortunately for me I broke my inner satiety meter with disordered eating habits. So, I watch my numbers to keep myself in line.
I don't worry about supplements. I don't take fish oil, I don't take magnesium or Vitamin D. I am so much healthier than I was before and I don't want to replace the old pills with new ones.
I don't worry so much about organic and pastured foods. I understand the reasoning behind and when I can find them and they fit into my budget, I get them. I also still eat a decent amount of conventional meat. (Yes, I know this means I should probably take the fish oil!)
Depends where you draw the line. Any auto-pilot in modern America will naturally result in an early death. I'd agree that magic pill syndrome is self-defeating, but having, for example, the knowledge that oxalic acids deactivate alpha-amylase and interfere with starch metabolism might lead one to certain food pairings that would not have occurred otherwise. Similarly, drinking with a meal might dilute one's stomach acid and make digestion less effective or increase the risk of infection.
Do we disregard all acquired knowledge regarding eating simply because it doesn't mesh with our natural inclinations?
It takes me slightly more time to slow-cook my meat, but it tastes better to me and has fewer carcinogens. If it didn't taste better but was less carcinogenic, should I not do it because I could have spent that time playing tiddly-winks?
There are certainly a lot of hopelessly neurotic things that people do for longevity's sake that are either completely worthless or have strongly diminishing returns. There are a lot of things that are obvious though.
Eating doesn't get in the way of living; eating is living.
KGH's post wasn't really saying that 'you shouldn't talk about nutrition' or 'you shouldn't be obsessed with nutrition ever.' It fit in more with the idea that health is the absence of disease, and that the best way to avoid disease is simply to not injure ourselves with food. He disavowed using lots of supplements extra to try to have a status of 'superhealthy' (my term) or that diet will prevent all future ailments.
This post by KGH fits in with some writings from the body by science author, Dr. McGuff, and KGH has praised McGuff and vice versa. It is probably a very natural view for a physician. (my reference to McGuff does not mean I endorse HIT weight training methods).
Thus, one can accept KGH's critique but still talk about nutrition and be concerned about it, especially if you are in the processing of figuring out a reasonable paleo-like diet. When you are trying to figure out and implement such a diet, it requires a degree of obsession. KGH was not saying 'you shouldn't give a $%^& about nutrition.'
I currently over analyze grams of carbohydrates per day. My n=1 experimenting seems to show me that keeping my intake at about 120 grams or less per day is a big factor in changing my body composition. I used to eat almost 3 times that much on some days when on SAD. The tracking doesn't consume my every waking hour, but I am very vigilant about keeping up with it. Right now it's important to me to have data to prove my point to doctors.
I also track grams of fat and protein, but I don't worry so much about those, as long as I'm eating plenty of animal fats.
I completely agree with Kurt's post. Good health and nutrition is neither a fine line (8400IU Vit D & 1.8g O3 fish oil & 400mg Mag & ... per day) nor black and white (fat, good; carb, bad).
There's some general principles to be aware of and live by, but by and large the diminishing marginal returns for otherwise healthy people set in pretty quickly. It seems to me he's basically saying don't be this guy.
And FWIW, that relaxed attitude is why I've always preferred about the WAPF over the Paleo. Though I fully realize from the perspective of where-to-blow-off-my-time-on-the-internet, the zeal of the zealot makes for more interesting reading.
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