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Brian.

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On 10/03/2021 at 11:31 AM, Brian. said:

The Plant-Based Diet Revolution by Dr Alan Desmond (4/5)

This book has been a game changer for me and made the attempt both successful and easy. Over the course of February when I followed the meal plans I lost 5 kilos and it completely changed my old belief than I need to eat a form of animal based protein with almost every meal. I always feared that I would be hungry and feel tired on a plant based diet but these fears were wrong. At the start of March I decided to stick with eating mainly plant based foods and only consume eggs, meat, fish, or dairy 2-3 times a week. I've done this and the weight is still coming off so all in all for me it has been a great experience. I don't believe that certain diets work for everyone. I think we should all experiment and see what works best for each of us personally and this just happens to be mine.

 

That's really interesting because, if anything, I've gone the opposite way.  Having been a vegetarian in the past, and even more recently strongly plant centred with my diet, I found I was pre-diabetic.  In an effort to lose and keep weight off and keep my blood sugar levels low, I've gone over to a low carb, high fat diet, although not full on keto diet. Like you, weight sloughed off, losing 20kg in around 4 months, and keeping it off for the past 2 years. I've pretty much abandoned bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, cereals and other higher carb foods (including some pulses, fruit, root veg etc), which obviously included anything with added sugar, and eat a lot more fat and protein. In addition to weight loss, blood pressure down, cholesterol levels down, long term blood sugar levels down to normal levels. I'm very careful where i source meat from- but it (including fish) is a fair proportion of my diet, and I eat a fair whack of dairy and eggs (the latter particularly so!).

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12 hours ago, willoyd said:

 

That's really interesting because, if anything, I've gone the opposite way.  Having been a vegetarian in the past, and even more recently strongly plant centred with my diet, I found I was pre-diabetic.  In an effort to lose and keep weight off and keep my blood sugar levels low, I've gone over to a low carb, high fat diet, although not full on keto diet. Like you, weight sloughed off, losing 20kg in around 4 months, and keeping it off for the past 2 years. I've pretty much abandoned bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, cereals and other higher carb foods (including some pulses, fruit, root veg etc), which obviously included anything with added sugar, and eat a lot more fat and protein. In addition to weight loss, blood pressure down, cholesterol levels down, long term blood sugar levels down to normal levels. I'm very careful where i source meat from- but it (including fish) is a fair proportion of my diet, and I eat a fair whack of dairy and eggs (the latter particularly so!).

 

When I was a lot heavier than I am now, I tried Paleo which is fairly close to Keto and found that worked well for me to shift a decent chunk of weight. I wouldn't say that it stopped working its just that I slipped back into my old habits slowly over the course of a few years. There is a lot of research to suggest that Keto type diets work wonders for those who are diabetic and more and more doctors are suggesting the approach to patients. The one major thing in common for me with the various things I've done over the years is that I have the best success with diets which require adherence to unprocessed foods. It is fairly obvious when you think about it, but take a walk through a supermarket paying attention to what is actually unprocessed and you soon find that onlw a few of the aisles are available to you. I do a lot of cycling, especially in the summer months, and although I can do it using fat as the main source of fuel I definitely perform better when consuming carbs. Its all just a matter of finding out what works for you and I'm glad you have found what yours is.

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18 hours ago, willoyd said:

 

  In an effort to lose and keep weight off and keep my blood sugar levels low, I've gone over to a low carb, high fat diet, although not full on keto diet. Like you, weight sloughed off, losing 20kg in around 4 months, and keeping it off for the past 2 years. I've pretty much abandoned bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, cereals and other higher carb foods (including some pulses, fruit, root veg etc), which obviously included anything with added sugar, and eat a lot more fat and protein. In addition to weight loss, blood pressure down, cholesterol levels down, long term blood sugar levels down to normal levels. I'm very careful where i source meat from- but it (including fish) is a fair proportion of my diet, and I eat a fair whack of dairy and eggs (the latter particularly so!).

Sounds very like the low GI diet which was aimed purely at weight loss but was based on the basic diet recommendations for diabetics and pre-diabetics. I lost 12kg in about 2 1/2 months (I wasn't overweight to start with but with my height and broad shoulders I go from slim to looking heavy rapidly without pausng at medium) and have never put most of it back on again in 16 years.

 

I think we get to know what suits our body type, I can't tolerate those high protein, minimal carb diets that mean paractically no fruit, they make me feel sick, so I loosely follow the GI diet, have masses of fruit and if I need to get rid of a couple of kilos cut out bread entirely. Funnily enough cutting out wine makes no difference to my weight at all though it does have other health benefits!

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13 hours ago, Brian. said:

 

 I wouldn't say that it stopped working its just that I slipped back into my old habits slowly over the course of a few years. There is a lot of research to suggest that Keto type diets work wonders for those who are diabetic and more and more doctors are suggesting the approach to patients. The one major thing in common for me with the various things I've done over the years is that I have the best success with diets which require adherence to unprocessed foods. It is fairly obvious when you think about it, but take a walk through a supermarket paying attention to what is actually unprocessed and you soon find that onlw a few of the aisles are available to you. I do a lot of cycling, especially in the summer months, and although I can do it using fat as the main source of fuel I definitely perform better when consuming carbs. Its all just a matter of finding out what works for you and I'm glad you have found what yours is.

 

I think you hit the nail pretty much on the head with that point about unprocessed food. I recently read Tim Spector's Spoon Fed, (I think you would enjoy it), where he takes aim at a whole load of dietary 'myths'. At the end he reckons that the only rule really is that - eat food as unprocessed as you can. He classifies different degrees of processed food, and what I find interesting is how much of our western carb based diet comes under the more highly processed categories (including bread, pasta, pizza). And if you're going to eat carbs, make sure it's minimally processed carbs.... 

I also agree about slipping back into older habits - but I've not found myself doing that this time round, it's been very much a lifestyle change (much to OH's surprise!).  TBH, I find myself preferring this diet to my old one for all sorts of reasons. It's also easier to stick to because I know I need to - I can't afford to let blood sugar levels kick in, although I do, very occasionally, transgress - almost always for something home made!

On the cycling front: I do a lot too.  However, most of mine is audax orientated, ie low intensity endurance. I find a low carb diet perfect for that - I just don't get anything like as hungry as I used to. Nuts tend to be my main on the go fuel. I think if you up the intensity, it becomes a bit of a different game. My high intensity sport is orienteering, but as I don't race for more than 50-55 mins, a low carb diet is fine.  However, I do know of some high level athlets who still swear by low carb diets.

 

6 hours ago, France said:

Sounds very like the low GI diet which was aimed purely at weight loss but was based on the basic diet recommendations for diabetics and pre-diabetics.

It is, and it isn't.  Low carb food by its nature is low GI, but there's a lot of low GI food I don't eat. A lot of peole I know on low GI diets also cut back on their fats - I've done rather the opposite!

 

Quote

I think we get to know what suits our body type, I can't tolerate those high protein, minimal carb diets that mean paractically no fruit, they make me feel sick, so I loosely follow the GI diet, have masses of fruit and if I need to get rid of a couple of kilos cut out bread entirely. Funnily enough cutting out wine makes no difference to my weight at all though it does have other health benefits!

Agree with you about body type!  However, what you describe is a keto diet, and I've avoided going on that (some diabetics I know swear by it). Because I was pre-diabetic (last time, my blood sugar average had dropped below this) I could afford to be slighly less ferocious, so for instance I always allowed myself berries (every day) and worked to keep below 50g per day (keto is below 20g). Nowadays, I occasionally have lower carb pulses, and am less rigorous on some fruit (although haven't eaten a banana or mango for 2 years). I was a bread addict, but find that I now just enjoy the occasional slice of a special bread (usually as toast!), and haven't eaten potato, pasta, rice or pizza for the same 2 years (I actually prefer cauliflower rice and mash!). My taste buds have completely changed: sweet foods are generally horribly oversweet tasting now - I just don't like cakes etc now - too sickly sweet; I used to love 'ordinary' milk or dark chocolate, and disliked 70%+ cocoa - now I only eat 90%, and vastly prefer it. 

Sorry if post is overlong - I find this a fascinating subject - but I think as you both suggest, it's finding what works for you - andit appars the science is starting to support that individualisation.

Edited by willoyd

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On 31/03/2021 at 10:23 PM, willoyd said:

On the cycling front: I do a lot too.  However, most of mine is audax orientated, ie low intensity endurance. I find a low carb diet perfect for that - I just don't get anything like as hungry as I used to. Nuts tend to be my main on the go fuel. I think if you up the intensity, it becomes a bit of a different game. My high intensity sport is orienteering, but as I don't race for more than 50-55 mins, a low carb diet is fine.  However, I do know of some high level athlets who still swear by low carb diets.

 

Agree with you about body type!  However, what you describe is a keto diet, and I've avoided going on that (some diabetics I know swear by it). Because I was pre-diabetic (last time, my blood sugar average had dropped below this) I could afford to be slighly less ferocious, so for instance I always allowed myself berries (every day) and worked to keep below 50g per day (keto is below 20g). Nowadays, I occasionally have lower carb pulses, and am less rigorous on some fruit (although haven't eaten a banana or mango for 2 years). I was a bread addict, but find that I now just enjoy the occasional slice of a special bread (usually as toast!), and haven't eaten potato, pasta, rice or pizza for the same 2 years (I actually prefer cauliflower rice and mash!). My taste buds have completely changed: sweet foods are generally horribly oversweet tasting now - I just don't like cakes etc now - too sickly sweet; I used to love 'ordinary' milk or dark chocolate, and disliked 70%+ cocoa - now I only eat 90%, and vastly prefer it. 

Sorry if post is overlong - I find this a fascinating subject - but I think as you both suggest, it's finding what works for you - andit appars the science is starting to support that individualisation.

 

Don't apologise, like you I find it to be a fascinating subject. I've been interested in Audax for a few years but I'm yet to do one. I don't tend to ride for more than 2-3 hours at a time but I like to push for the whole time but as I'm getting older I'm starting to realise that I need to slow down and ride at an easier pace. I've also got a niggly bike fit issue that has cropped up this year which I need to sort out before I can attempt to ride more than 100km at a time. You are right about some elite athletes being 'fat adapted' and I know quite a few ultra runners have made the move in recent years.

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On 02/04/2021 at 9:36 AM, Brian. said:

 

. I've been interested in Audax for a few years but I'm yet to do one.

 

Got back into this a couple of years ago, and done a few populaires of 100-150, and a couple of 200s. Would like to go further, but have been very lazy this winter so need some time this spring/summer to build up again.  I love the relaxed nature - I really enjoying watching cycle sport, but haven't a competitive cycling fibre in my own body (save that for orienteering!) - very much from a touring background which is OH's and my favourite form of holiday. I find even sportives too competitive! The one thing I'm looking forward to beyond lockdown is being able to get back to continent for a good 2-3 weeks touring.

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Update time.

 

Nightmare in Berlin by Hans Fallada (3/5)

For years my favourite book was Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada and although I had a copy of Nightmare on my bookshelf I kept putting it off. I think I did this because I was worried that my expectations for it were too high and it would be a disappointment when I read it. Recently I finally decided that I would put all expectations aside and read it. The book tells us the story of a couple trying to find their way in Germany immediately at the end of World War 2. Dr Doll is immensely annoyed by those citizens he see as changing their allegiances on a whim. He is also very down on what Germany and it's people have become, so much so that he welcomes the Russia soliders that come to liberate their towns and cities. His much younger wife, Alma, has a much more laissez faire outlook on life which is pushed to it's limits by her (and their) addiction to drugs. I knew some of Fallada's history coming into this book and the story is clearly a very autobiographical one tinged throughout with sadness. It's not a patch on Alone in Berlin but it was a decent read nonetheless.

 

Pep Confidential by Martí Perarnau (2/5)

This was an audiobook book 'read'. This book covers Pep Guardiola's first season at Bayern Munich in which the writer was given complete access for the book. This is the kind of sports book which does not transcend it's genre and will only appeal to those already interested in the subject at hand. It's not a bad book but it is largely a puff piece in which Perarnau gushes constantly about Pep, who can do no wrong in his eyes. We get the odd tactical insight but never more than that and although we do learn about Pep are a person it is always framed by his job.

 

Wicked Beyond Belief by Michael Bilton (4/5)

I ordered this book online as I fancied learning about the hunt for Peter Sutcliffe and I was shocked when it arrived to find out that it was over 800 pages long. I expected it to take me a long time to read it but it is so well written that I finished it over the course of the 4 day Easter bank holiday weekend. Bilton has left no stone unturned in his research for this book which looks at all aspects to do with the Yorkshire Ripper. He digs into the investigation, the crime itself, the political and social landscape, and the long lasting effect Sutcliffe has had on the way crimes are investigated in the present day. There is extensive use of interviews and eye-witness testimony which adds real depth to the documentary evidence and gives everything a human touch. I particularly liked the fact that Bilton doesn't just go after the police due to mistakes made during the hunt for the killer. He looks into why these errors were made and then presents the facts without trying to sway the reader's opinion. This is without doubt the book about the Yorkshire Ripper and the only one you need to read on the subject.

 

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang (3/5)

Another audiobook. This book sets out to expel 23 myths about capitalism and goes after 'free market' capitalism in the context of the economic crash of 2008. While I found the book interesting and agreed with may of the 'things' I found it hard to engage with it. Economics of the financial/politcal kind are an inexact science and too often I felt as if the author was leaning too heavily on one side without presenting a counter-point. On one hand I can see why. He wanted to state his beliefs and persuade the reader that a free market economy is not a good economic model for the world. While this arguement is well presented, there have undoubtedly been benefits of the free market model and none of these are looked at in any depth. At the end of the day I would say that this is such a huge subject that its not possible to do it justice in the format Ha-Joon Chang adopted and that's why it just didn't work for me.

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