Yesterday for lunch, I sat at my desk at work eating a Quarter Pounder with cheese and a ten piece Chicken McNugget from Mcdonalds. Several people in the office commented with amazement that I was consuming such an atrocious meal, since I’m known for being knowledgeable and conscientious about food and exercise. I even made a rule for my Soldiers that everytime I see them drinking a soda at work, they have to do one burpee for every gram of sugar in the bottle. The burpee tax began when one Soldier had a 12 oz. bottle of Coca Cola on his desk. I picked it up and read the label: 65 grams of sugar.
As I sat munching my delicious burger, one of the officers asked me how many burpees I was incurring from the McDonalds meal. I told him, none, that sugar is the killer, especially liquid sugar. An NCO chimed in with his negative comments, too. I reminded them to look at my Physical Fitness test scores, and they conceded they couldn’t argue with my results.
I didn’t bother going in to any more detailed explanation of why it was ok for me to eat the meal, but I’ll touch on a few things here. First, calories are the big thing. Calories in, calories out matter, and they matter a lot. There’s are other important issues, but mostly it comes down to energy balance. To give you an idea of my energy expenditure energy yesterday, First, our section did an hour of physical training which entailed the following: 20 minutes of continuous exercise, 5 pullups, 10 parallel bar dips and 20 lunges, rotating through as many sets as possible in those 20 minututes. At the end, we all did a minute of situps. For me that ended up being 47 situps. I lost count of how many sets I did, but I’ll estimate around 20. So that’s 100 pullups, 200 dips, 400 lunges. Next, after lunch I went for a two mile walk. This in addition to walking quite a bit during my normal daily duties. We also spent about 2 hours moving big rolls of razor wire and moving some moderately heavy boxes around. So as you can see, I’m fairly active.
My food intake for the day, my energy intake, comprised the following:
Breakfast: 3 egg cheese omelet; two pieces whole wheat toast with butter
Lunch: Quarterpounder with cheese; 10 piece Chicken McNugget
Supper: One 6oz filet mignon wrapped in bacon; one ear of corn on the cob; 2 16oz cans of beer; and handful of mixed nuts
Some quick online research on calorie content, and using Fitness Magazine’s calorie requirement calculator (male, 41 years old, heavy exercise, 173 pounds), tells me that my calorie intake yesterday was 2859 and my daily average calorie requirement to sustain my current body weight is 2960 calories. Almost exactly on, but just a little under. My appetite yesterday tells me that this is correct: I felt very slight hunger pangs before going to bed, but nothing serious. The net result is no weight gain. Period.
Many people are familiar with Super Size Me, a documentary directed by film maker Morgan Spurlock. In the film, Spurlock ate only meals from McDonalds for 30 continuous days and “Super Sized” his meals whenever the cashier asked him if he wanted it so. The result was a measurable deterioration in Spurlock’s health and well being. He gained over 23 pounds. Many people attributed this to the evils of fast food. Ignored was the fact that Spurlock consumed over 5000 calories per day, and did no regular exercise during this period. Well, at least his nutritionist in the movie tells him he’s eating that many calories per day, though it’s been pointed out that in order to reach that many calories per day, Spurlock had to have broken his own eating rules, that is, he simply ate more than he stated. And, he has never released a food log showing what he actually ate, only stating that he Super Sized 9 times total in 30 days. The following video explains:
The following video shows Spurlock for what he really is: A Vegan zealot, out to prove to the world the evils of meat, and the healthfulness of celery:
So Spurlock did what every bad scientist does: Set out to prove what he already knew. If Spurlock ate 5000 calories of bananas he would have gained weight and felt awful. If he’d eaten 2500 calories a day of McDonalds and cut out the soda and fries, he would have been fine.
And… this man.
Tim Naughton did an experiment and showed he could lose weight over the same period that Spurlock gained weight, eating only fast food.
Eating fewer calories makes people healthier in almost all measurable ways. Haughton’s blood lipids all improved while eating only at fast food restaurants.
The nutrition professor below ate about 1800 calories a day for 10 weeks, consuming twinkies and snack cakes. He lost 27 pounds and his colesterol went down by 20 points. This is real science. And frankly it drives people nuts. Many people who say they “trust in science, not religion” are lying: They simply believe what they want to believe.
Here’s the Twinkie Diet:
So, my diet strongly focuses on these factors: calories, effects on blood sugar, intermittent fasting. My calories remain reasonable, I stay away from foods that spike blood sugar–especially chronic use of sugary drinks and sugary foods low in fiber, and finally, skipping about two meals a weak leading to a 16-18 hour fast. Pretty simple. I don’t count calories, except when I’m making a point to unbelievers.
Think about it. A Quarter Pounder with cheese has about 510 calories. If someone ate only 3 Quarter Pounders a day, they’d take in only 1530 calories a day. But many Americans are taking in 4000-5000 a day–and that’s why they’re fat and sick.