Below is what I believe is a very insightful comment from Kurt Harris (http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=4802#comment-32901).
Will nutrition or nutrition advice ever be capable of “saving the world” from obesity? (And do you see the same elephant in the room or not?)
“Seeing as there is no equivalent easily conductable test for FR”
But actually that is the easiest thing of all to test.
1) What do you eat that you can’t stop eating?
2) On your new diet plan (whatever it is), what food do you really look forward to eating when you first wake up in the morning (Credit my wife Victoria Berry DDS for that one) Eliminate it.
These tricks actually work really well to re-start fat loss.
They also make people really, really angry when you propose them. I actually have had people respond by saying they would rather be dead than live life this way. They would rather be fat or have diabetes. Literally. We can’t get people with metastatic cancer to stay on ketogenic diets, so this should be no surprise.
The elephant in the room for fat loss is that for many if not most people they will never achieve healthy fat levels until they stop using food for stimulation and entertainment beyond their nutritional needs.
“I have to admit to not looking forward to the brave new world of unbuttered potatoes and unadorned eggs.”
You are not alone. I think this would be required in principle (not everyone needs to go this far) to actually reverse the obesity epidemic. Most people can get away with buttered eggs and potatoes if they just can the caloric drinks and limit restaurant fare. But the resistance to even these steps is monumental.
For that reason, I predict there will be no progress made at large. There will be victorious skirmishes for a subset of the population that read PHD or maybe my blog and others, but we will not save the world from obesity any more than we will eliminate late industrial corporate capitalism or stop using petroleum.
I did not always see it this way, but 4 years of seeing how people fail eating even the highest quality foods has me fairly convinced this may be true. I do not think obesity can be cured with food quality and macro ratios anymore, even if NAD removal may be of benefit for cancer or inflammation independently of obesity.
Unless you have favorable D2 alleles, EFFORT may be required. But people are too busy playing fantasy football and watching Idol.
The premise that no one can lose weight unless they get nothing from food but nutrition is faulty. I believe and advise people who are looking to lose weight coming off of SAD to work towards creating a new life where dinner isn't' the most exciting thing you did all day long. However you can still hold great interest in food and still use food as a vehicle to express creativity, sociability, nurturing, and yes as an emotional outlet while focused on a whole foods, healthy diet. It doesn't have to be either/or. If "food as fuel" resonates with you then great go live a life devoid of any pleasure from food. I don't happen to think we are wired this way and surely we aren't socialized this way so why the insistence that this way is the only way to lose weight and keep it off? I for one, spend more time, energy, money and other resources on food now than I did at 300lbs+ I have no desire nor plans to change that either. I say this is a lot of barking up the wrong tree.
I do believe that proper nutrition is an important part of losing weight and gaining health and one would have to be a complete moron not to but it is only one piece of the puzzle. What I react strongly to is the implication in KH's words that fat (and sick) people are just stupid and lazy. Food IS a part of our lives far beyond nutrition and to imply that anyone who can't just shut that off is some sort of idiot or worse is to deny the strong part that culture, socialization and pleasure among other things play in our humanity. Unfortunately not everyone is as strong as our distinguished Dr. Rice Crispy but that's just the way it is. To offer up his plan of abstinence as the only solution and if you can't hack that you're a big fat loser just shows me how little he understands about the human condition.
Interesting timing ... just published a blog post on this very subject a couple of minutes ago (using the very same comment). As long as nutrition advice is all over the place as it is now (eat carbs, don't eat carbs, eat meat, eat plants, eat less, move more, exercise doesn't help etc), the average person is going to just say I've got enough stress in my life, please pass the Doritos. I also think that there is going to be real tension over the next couple of decades because corporations make money selling us the stuff that makes us fat and sick, and make even more selling us the stuff that temporarily makes us thinner and healthier.
So I totally get what I called Kurt's pessimistic prediction. But I believe it's still well worth it to try and get the word out. I posted an ad from the 50s or 60s that showed how many doctors smoked Camels. We haven't gotten rid of cigarette smoking in a half century, but it's still been worth the effort to help folks stop smoking. I think the same is true with nutrition, and I think the ancestral perspective has a lot to offer.
I've been investing a lot of time lately into actually adding flab to myself (which I do by eating tons of fat by the way), testing a fat loss hypothesis and repeating. I keep thinking that I'm going to stumble onto something that magically makes fat disappear without any effort and then I can just spread the word. Every single protocol I've tested that has been strikingly effective has involved a ton of activity and very low reward eating. I didn't really buy into the food reward theory at first and kind of dismissed it as being so far on the list below fructose etc., but sure enough, every time I put together a cutting diet that actually works, it happens to be very low reward.
I think one problem with paleo is that somehow the word got out that there's this diet where you eat as much bacon as you want and sit around and your fat vanishes. This may be true for a select few people (probably males with considerable muscle mass) but to actually get down to the bodyfat % you truly desire and maintain it requires some real discipline.
A lot of people really buck at the idea of reenacting HG lifeways, but an evolutionarily consistent level of activity coupled with much lower dietary fat than an HG eats will take most people down closer to their desired BF%. At that point they can up the fat and eat as much as an HG would who wants to not lose weight while still exercising a lot and maintain the loss.
I don't believe that there exists a healthy diet that can compensate for a sedentary lifestyle. We want to be highly active so that we can eat more and thus have a greater overall nutrient intake while remaining lean. Caloric restriction is nutrient restriction.
He just now realized this? Meh, most doctors with holistic leans think that if only the public knew what we know they would do what we do....its just basically not true. I think about 20% of the population can be saved by learning how to live better (nutrition, exercise, bodywork, mental attitude). The other 80% would rather scarf down some crap with their prescriptions and call it all good (even though they may know better). Why? Can you blame drug ads...the internet..video games...dunno. But, the other fact remains that there is still that 20%....just get the message out to everyone so that those 2/10 hear it.
Did Dr. Harris say this? If so, where? 2 Answers