My pet peeves

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Everyone has their pet peeves. There is nothing more guaranteed to set me off on a rant than to read or hear one of the following pet peeves of mine. In no particular order:

Everything in moderation

What is moderation? Is it expecting people to stop eating when they are still hungry? Is it eating smaller portions? Is it eating fewer calories?

People who say "Everything in moderation" want us to believe that we can eat anything if it is just in moderation. We do not have to cut any foods when we just moderate them.

What "everything in moderation" really does. It gives us an excuse to indulge in the very foods that made us sick ... in moderation. Try that with a drug addict or an alcoholic. Try telling them a little bit of heroin or alcohol is OK if it is in moderation. Does that work? Can an addict moderate what they are addicted to? Of course not.

It is similar for carb addicts. Once the addiction is established, one small bite can break even the most strong-willed person. The addicted brain deceives us and makes us think we would die without carbs. Cue in the "everything in moderation" excuse, and all willpower dissolves.

We must see addiction for what it is. It is a brain disease. The treatment is to abstain from the addictive substance. Cutting out sugar entirely is much easier to manage than allowing some in moderation. Most addicts have to abstain, not moderate.

CICO - Calories in, calories out

It is make-believe that we need to be in a perfect equilibrium of calories in and calories out to maintain a healthy weight. It follows that when people overeat and move too little, they will inevitably gain weight. But is that true? I didn't gain weight because I overate, and I couldn't lose the weight by eating less and moving more.

Most doctors and dieticians will tell obese people to eat less and move more. The very same advice is given to people to work up an appetite. This advice is not helpful. It does not tell the obese person what to eat. "Just eat less and move more". How is that helpful to anyone?

There are those with iron willpower. They manage to eat less, be hungry and stick to the routine for life. Most of us can't do that. Most of us, like nature intended, cannot ignore hunger signals for long. Energy is too vital to survival.

So, what are our options? To lose weight, we have to change what to eat and when to eat, not how much we eat. The key to sustaining a diet and weight loss is not being hungry but being satiated. We can achieve that by consuming fat and protein until comfortably stuffed, not by eating smaller portions.

Big food (exactly 10 huge corporations) controls our food supply. They want us to believe that only calories matter, not what we eat. They say that eating in a calorie deficit will lead to weight loss. But it is not that simple for a person with insulin resistance. They cannot lose weight by just reducing calories. If it were that easy, we would not have an obesity crisis plaguing our society.

We cannot outrun a bad diet

If we would just move more, could we eat whatever we want? No, we cannot outrun a bad diet. At a young age, we get away with a lot. The body can still handle the carb abuse. Most people notice weight gain as they age and erroneously think it is normal or "just" a sign of aging. It isn't, however. Weight gain happens when the body can no longer compensate for junk food and the constant carb overload. At that point, a simple calorie deficit does not work long term.

Everyone is different

True, there is no one-size-fits-all. But this "everyone is different" argument cannot be used in every instance. E.g., carbs. Carbs are not essential. That means we do not have to consume any carbs to survive. We certainly don't need to ingest them every few hours to stabilize glucose levels.

Contrary to common belief, our blood sugar does not drop when we stop eating for a few hours (except when on certain medications). One of the liver's jobs is to provide all the glucose we need. That's how our glucose levels stay stable overnight. In T2 diabetics, fasting glucose is often elevated … without any food consumed while they sleep.

What is different is our ability to handle carbs. Depending on the severity of T2 diabetes and insulin resistance, we can tolerate a certain amount of carbs. That's the personal carb threshold. T2 diabetics have a very low carb threshold.

Liver detox

There are oodles of commercial liver detox or liver flush options. But do we need to detox our liver? The short answer is no. The liver does not store toxins that can be effectively flushed out by adding supplements or potions.

The one and proven detox is fasting, not eating anything. Followed by not ingesting any toxins. This sounds simple. And it actually is that simple. Given the right conditions, the liver will do its job of detoxing the body by breaking down the toxins so that the body can eliminate them. No fancy/expensive products are needed. Save the money and invest it in good quality food instead.

1 gallon of water per day

I cringe when I read how people are force-drinking water because they think it's healthy. There is no meaningful research on how much water we need. Before the recommendations of eight glasses a day first emerged, we weren't all dropping dead from dehydration. Like hunger, thirst is a strong driver of how much we drink. Too little, and we will be increasingly thirsty until we drink. Too much, and the thought of drinking more will make us feel nauseous. It's like a built-in gauge.

Drinking too much water is actually detrimental to health. It flushes out minerals and can cause a dangerous electrolyte imbalance. People have died from drinking too much water. It's called water intoxication.

Magical carbs

In the standard American diet, carbs provide most of the energy. But like I said before, carbs are not essential. We don't have to ingest them. I frequently come across posts on Facebook that say otherwise.

They say they need carbs for adrenal fatigue. Whether you believe in adrenal fatigue or not, carbs won't fix it. Carbs don't have any function in the body. All they do is provide fast-burning energy. Fat and protein, on the other hand, are vital. Certain fatty and amino acids must be ingested for survival, making them essential. They are needed for maintenance and body processes. Fat is also an excellent source of energy.

Since the body does not require us to consume any carbs, we don't need to dial in the perfect amount. There is a threshold for when carbs make us sick. That is different for every individual. Mine happens to be very low to keep me off insulin shots. For T2 diabetics, that threshold, in general, is low.

Even for exercise, carbs are not needed. The body does better using ketones for energy because there is an endless supply. Carb stores empty, causing marathon runners to hit a wall. Even resistance training does not require carbs, but it takes some time to get used to. I do 90 minutes of gruelling TKD training on close to zero carbs.

UPFs and bliss point

Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) now make up most of our food supply. Food products are no longer about healthy nutrition. It is about profits. How do they increase their profit? Making their food addictive. Straight out of the playbook. Big food spends good money on finding the bliss point. It is frustrating that UPFs are designed to be as addictive as possible. It is hard to escape for those who fall into this trap, especially with messages like "everything in moderation." No, we don't need to eat doughnuts in moderation.

Keto is too restrictive and not sustainable

Letting go of bread, pasta, and rice isn't easy. We think that these sides will help fill us up and keep us full longer. The official message is that grains are healthy. Win, win ... right? However, bread and sides do not taste great without toppings or sauces.

On keto, certain foods are off-limits. This is what is perceived as restriction.

But to be honest, the rewards and health benefits of keto far outweigh the restrictions. Keto is full of great options. All the meats, eggs, seafood, healthy fats, nuts, veggies, and berries. Personally, I feel empowered, not restricted. My power is to improve my metabolic health with what I decide to eat.

My doctor said it's my genes

This is devistating advice. It gives T2 diabetics the excuse that they cannot change the outcome of their disease. It squashes all ambition to make better food choices. They fail to see that dietary habits that lead to disease usually run in the family.

Genes do not determine our fate for metabolic disease. The genes influence our susceptibility. That's epigenetics. The genes are the gun, the environment/diet pulls the trigger. Changing what we eat and when we eat will change our fate.

To learn more, join our Facebook group (link).

Final thought:

As much as these pet peeves bug me, I love helping people. The low-carb community is the best tribe.

Written by Roxana Soetebeer
Published: May 28th, 2022

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