Do I Suck?I realized today when I sat down with a patient and reviewed her chart that I had began using the slow carb diet with my patients over 7 months ago.
This was a revelation to me, and unfortunately to my patient as well. Who over the last 7 months, despite her best efforts at carbohydrate restriction, has actually experienced a weight gain of about 5 lbs.
A curious phenomenon of the slow carb diet that I am about to touch upon.
I was fortunate yesterday to also have the opposite occur. A 42 year old female who on our last visit had a fasting blood sugar of 118, a triglyceride level of 246, and a resting blood pressure of 150/92.
With her strong family history of type 2 diabetes, a history of gestational diabetes 9 years prior, and a 30 lb. weight gain over the last 5 years (a side effect of 3 pregnancies), I would have normally recommended we initiate a treatment protocol that focused on Metformin (a medication to lower blood sugars), a calorically restrictive diet and “more exercise”.
Instead after my 7 years of primary care medicine and extremely poor results in curbing the obesity epidemic using “conventional” medical wisdom, I decided to focus on the real solution: A return to the belief in people to make positive long lasting changes in their own lives.
She was given the option of lifestyle redesign (using the principles of the slow carb diet) or begin the medication for life routine.
She chose the first option.
She was given a single copy of Tim’s slow carb diet protocol, a prescription for vitamin D3, Liquid Cod Liver Oil, Alpha Lipoic Acid three times a day, a call back by my medical assistant 2 weeks in, and told “DO NOT WEIGH YOURSELF” for 30 days.
Results just 30 days later:
12 lb. weight loss, a new shirt, and the biggest smile on her face to date.
This was actually the same process I used in our first patient. The one who had the 5 lb. weight gain. A women of roughly the same body type and demographics but with 30 lbs. more to loose. Except with different lab values.
She had a normal fasting blood glucose, normal triglycerides, slightly elevated blood pressures and what appeared to be an equal dedication towards lifestyle modifications.
What differentiates these two patient outcomes?
This is a repeatable result, time and time again. Not just with this diet but with all diets. Why do some people succeed and others fail miserably?
They all say the same thing “Steve as God is my witness I followed this diet to the tee. How come I did not loose weight?”
Or possibly: “My husband is dropping pounds and is doing nothing, this isn’t fair!” (a topic for another blog post).
Our initial response is to perceive this person as “fat and lazy”, addicted to food, someone who lacks willpower, or is either lying to themselves or to others.
Or even worse, through the use of powerful convincing statements you may begin to believe this about yourself:
“If the founding fathers could sum up our government in a six-page constitution, the above (referring to the five rules) is all we need to summarize rapid fat-loss for 99.99% of the population. Followed to the letter, I’ve never seen it fail. Never.”
Ferriss, Timothy (2010). The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (Kindle Locations 1739-1741). Crown Archetype. Kindle Edition.
Are you that 0.01%?
Nutritional genomics or nutrigenomics, is the study of how foods affect the expression of genetic information in an individual and how an individual’s genetic makeup metabolizes and responds to nutrients and bioactives.
Not all individuals respond similarly to food.
This is a key concept that was crystalized by Galen about 1800 years ago:
“No cause can be efficient without an aptitude of the body”
In post-genome terminology:
“Individuals inherit unique responses to food and , since food influences health, unique susceptibilities to chronic diseases.”
Differences in susceptibilities are caused by the same genetic variations that drive evolution. That food alters expression of genetic information and that genotypic differences result in different metabolic profiles are concepts central to the idea of nutritional genomics.
This indeed is what provides the critical link between diet and health.
The reciprocal interaction between genes and environments has been obvious for at least 2,400 years. Hippocrates’ maxim that:
“food be your medicine and medicine be your food”
all but foretold the increased incidence in obesity, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, and indeed, almost every chronic disease caused by overconsumption of calories and certain nutrients.
Hence the impact of nutritional genomics on society-from science to medicine to agricultural and dietary practices to social and public policies- is likely one day in the future to exceed that of even the human genome project.
Chronic diseases may be preventable, or at least delayed, by balanced, sensible diets, and knowledge gained from comparative nutrigenomic studies in different populations may provide information needed to address the larger problem of global malnutrition and disease.
You Don’t Suck
Reject the one diet fits all theory.
You don’t suck, neither does your diet, but the diet you are using may not be the right one for you! Click to Tweet
If you have made it this far you may foresee this:
A future where a visit to your medical provider will include genotyping. A process that will not only predict your risks for various common illnesses including cancer, heart disease or Alzheimer’s disease. But one which will also include an analysis of your genes and the relationship between your genes and your diet.
The concept of genetic uniqueness was solidified by sequencing the human genome. That achievement formed the foundation for one of science’s most significant contributions to humankind-an evidence based understanding that while humans are genetically similar, each individual retains a unique genetic identity that explains the wide array of biochemical, physiological, and morphological phenotypes observed in human populations.
Since dietary recommendations and recommended daily allowances (RDA’s) are developed through epidemiological analyses of populations, RDAs may not be optimal for any one individual.
To put this in lay terms we can all understand: The Tim Ferriss Slow Carbohydrate diet may be a God send for one person. But suck for another.
I no longer believe that the slow carb diet cheat day method will work for 99.99% of the population, nor should you.
I do strongly believe that it is a valid and wonderful solution for many, and is a great way to induce rapid fat loss that needs work and due diligence by the user to be maintained.
I believe that generalized statements about a certain diet and it’s efficacy in the general population without large population long term studies is not good and can be a source of significant frustration for many people.
Frustration that can cause people to throw in the towel prematurely. People who have good intentions to loose weight and change their lives.
Conclusion: Nobody Sucks
Obesity results from the interplay between genes and environment; their contributions vary with each person. It is therefore reasonable to suspect that different types of diets (e.g., low-carbohydrate, slow carbohydrate, low-fat, very low-fat) may be of varying benefit in different persons. Part of the solution is to avoid generalized statements, and pair the most appropriate diet based on eating habits, patterns, and desires.
Food For Thought:
Did you know that Jenny Craig has been ranked the best diet by consumer reports. Is it because it is better than the slow carb diet? I would love to hear your opinion.
How about metabolic typing? What is your type find out here. Fact Fun or Fiction?
Could someday we see a chart like this? Could diet be personalize and results predicted based on lab values and a detailed medical/personal history?
|4 Hour Body diet|