Thursday, August 03, 2006

Its not Paleo

this is from Dr Devany's blog. This makes so much sense to me. I am the archetypal lab rat/athlete, having grown up in the gym and totally concentrated over done endevours. As far as possible from a wild animal, except when I was doing a lot of ultra trail runner when I lived in Santa Fe. then it was much more by feel and in depths of serious nature but I was still as regulated as a bank and a serious numbers counters. I'm trying to do better now but it's not working training wise. Hopefully the diet is helping a bit, and I cant overtrain much anymore, even if I want to.

Its Not Paleo
August 1, 2006 10:43 AM
Many people describe the Evolutionary Fitness diet as a paleo diet (meaning paleolithic or old stone age). There is an element of truth to this, but it is far from a correct description of EF eating. Beginning with a paleo conception of diet is a good model, but many take a too-literal view of the model and try to eat like what they imagine or what some author describes as a diet of, say, 100,000 years ago. They may even eat only raw meat which I think is far from safe in our world of infected cattle and not-so-clean food handling. Even wild animals carry an infectious load of parasites and pathogens.
Others find a contradiction when they see how I eat and compare it to what they imagine a paleo diet to be. That I drink wine and beer and take some supplements looks to be a contradiction to the paleo model that they somehow ascribe to me. It is not a contradiction to the EF way of eating, even though it may appear to be contrary to a narrow model of paleo eating.
I have sometimes described the EF way of eating as PaleoMed, meaning a blending of paleo and mediterranean foods and cooking styles. I clearly eat far more fruits and vegetables than an ancestor of 100,000 years ago, though that would depend also on where you take the ancestral location to be. Wine and beer are also outside the paleo range, but well within the med range.
Then one has to consider modern foods. They are far from the paleo stuff of life and even not very close to med foods. Fruits are too sweet now and lack flavor and texture. Vegetables may not have sufficient mineral content and also be lacking in color, flavor, and texture. On the other hand, they are available in great variety and often year round. Moreover, one can get olive oil and wonderful spices, fresh or in a container, all the time.
Why not take advantage of the benefits of this variety and freshness? I do.
As you have seen from the many meals I have put up on the site, I go for color, texture, and freshness in all I cook. This implies a high antioxidant content and diversification in toxins and minerals. My carbs come from water-containing plants, almost exclusively. This means fresh vegetables and fruits. I do not juice vegetables or fruits (sorry Jack La Laine) because 1. it is better to chew, and 2. juicing breaks the cell walls and significantly increases the glycemic index because it increases surface area relative to mass, permitting better access of the enzymes that convert plant starch to sugar. (This is a major problem with white flour because milling creates a small particle of almost pure starch.)
The other Mediterranean aspect of my eating is the pleasure and simple enjoyment of preparing flavorful, colorful meals. And eating them without haste or TV. I cook to music and eat to music or to enjoy company when I have it. Dinner was always a special time for my wife and I.
Finally, there is the temporal pattern...Read More »
of EF eating. Never three squares a day all the time. Skipping meals is just fine. Even alternating days of little food with days a good deal of food is healthful. But, never gorging, just eating to a comfortable level. A huge meal followed by a big desert (just this one time) is an enormous shock to your metabolism. You will get such a big rush of insulin that you will turn off insulin receptors. It is like sun exposure: one big shock from a real, all-day burn is far worse for your skin (and your whole system) than more frequent moderate exposure.
Eating 5 or 6 or more times a day (to stay in positive nitrogen balance) is plain dumb (read my post on gene expression). You will build less, not more muscle, because you turn down gene expression and you sabotage your insulin sensitivity.


Franz Snideman said...

Hmmmm. Interesting, very interesting. It sounds good on paper, does it really work in the real world? According to people who follow it, like you Rif, it does work. Here's my challenge. If you are an elite level athlete might this type of diet work for you because you body is so efficient and utilizing energy from fat stores? Would a sedentary person who starts eating like this get the same results? Does the fitness level of the person make the diet more or less effective?

I have seen so many clients over the year that eat once, and at best, 2 meals per day and they looked and funtioned like sacks of sh%t. I got them eating 5 smaller meals during the day and WHAMO, they lost fat, had increased energy, looked years younger and became healthier.

I do agree that periodic fasting is important, as it resets insulin sensitivity, and allows the digestive system to rest. More important than any ONE way of eating IMO is 1) the Quality of Food someone is eating 2) the mental and emotional state they are in when they eat 3)listening to their body and examining how they feel, look at function.

Franz Snideman said...

on another note...

as I have gotten older I do feel better with less food. Not less meals, just less quantity at each meal. Overeating sounds and feels rather revolting at this stage. At a ligher bodyweight (5'11 @ 167 pounds), tough to eat alot at one meal. Although I do get quite hungry if I haven't eaten for some time.

some clients don't respond as well to increased meal frequency, but the ones that go from eating once or twice a day seem to respond the best. And as no surprise, the people who are allready eating frequent meals when they come to see me do not responds as well. Perhaps because there body has adapted to it already. Maybe those people are the ones who need to a lower frequency, partial fasting type of diet?

Mark Reifkind said...

franz, everything changes imo with elite level athletes as their needs are SO specific and work loads so high.
again,devany talks about very short workouts not training for the multiple hours per day an elite athlete does.
given the posts on the apparent danges of being an elite endurnance athlete I would guess this approach is not the best for them.

as far as clients however, they seem to eat like they are on death row and havent met a carb and fat combo they didnt like.
also, just eating once per day is not the essence of the warrior or paleo diet( devany eats two-three times/day)and even with these approaches what you eat is critical.

there'sno doubt eating small frequent meals increases the metabolism and will allow one to decrease fat. hell I did it for years as a bodybuilder- but it is the best approach,especially long term, and for the average person?

devany talks about introducing variability into the diet and I think this is important as well.

I also agree the quality and freshness of the food eaten is paramount as well as their mental state.

Oh and the overeating stage is not binging, just eating till you are comfortably full( as indicated by more thirst than hunger)

and as you said its hard to eat a lot at one meal,even if you are trying to.

the main problem I see with frequent meals( grazing) is the elevated insulin levels.