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Old 11-06-2008, 12:42 PM   #31
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This is an interesting thought: I used to work with a guy who had lost a considerable amount of weight (over 100 pounds) and had maintained the loss for at least 5 years. His diet, 90% of the time, consisted of steamed vegetables and dry whole wheat toast. He said he had that for lunch and dinner unless he had something special planned (like our weekly pizza night at work). His steamed vegetables were a mixture of Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, etc. He'd eat about 2 cups of that for dinner and at least 4 slices of dry (no butter, etc.) toast. At that time (over 20 years ago) he said it was a diet recommended by the American Heart Association. I don't know if their recommendations have changed, and I'm sure they have to some extent. What do you think of this?
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:06 PM   #32
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Well, I don't want to downplay anyone's successful weight loss and maintenance, but that just sounds awful to me. Which is hypocritical of me, since I eat a lot of the same foods everyday. But damn, steamed veggies and toast, twice a day, for life?
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:15 PM   #33
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Well, I don't want to downplay anyone's successful weight loss and maintenance, but that just sounds awful to me. Which is hypocritical of me, since I eat a lot of the same foods everyday. But damn, steamed veggies and toast, twice a day, for life?
At the time I thought it was rather strange, too. But he did have at least one or two nights a week where he and a friend would create a gourmet meal. And then there was pizza night at work. He never turned down a treat. I think this was his way of managing his weight. I guess it's a matter of "whatever works for you."
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:11 PM   #34
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On the IBS side, I have a staff member who manages hers by eaing about 95% grain free - she does eat oats. She uses nut/rice flours, and eats a ton of veggies, and very little meat. (She is also skinny, and always has been)

I'm with Glory - veggies and dry toast, ick. I know it's "whatever works for you" but boy, that wouldn't work for me. But I've also seen bodybuilders in their preparing-for-competition stage and I couldn't eat like that either.

I know that if I plan a meal/snack that is someting I really don't like, though it fits into my desired plan, I'll either skip it, or worse eat some of it and then go get something I'm trying to avoid. I'm much better off planning foods that I like in proper amounts.
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:20 PM   #35
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Barbara, we seem to be on the same page about eating grains and weight loss/maintenance.

But I know there are plenty of folks who do just fine with them. Many of them right here at 3FC. For me, sadly, I don't think I will ever be able to include them in my everyday menu. But I'm okay with it and accept it. Afterall doing without some grains is better then being morbidly obese. And I really do love all the veggies and proteins that I eat.

We all do what we have to do. Of course now that the weight if off of me and I know what I need to do, that's "easy" for me to say. Not so sure I could "do" steamed veggies and toast day in, day out. In fact, I'm pretty certain that I couldn't . Luckily, there IS more then one way to do this "right".

Edited to add: Wait come to think of it, I do eat a bit of grains. Not much, mind you, but a bit. I eat 1/4 of a cup to 1/2 cup of Fiber One cereal with my yogurt. Hmmm......

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Old 11-06-2008, 07:17 PM   #36
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I think that too often in research and in popular weight loss books, all weight issues are treated with a one-size-fits-all approach. In a sense, it's like treating all headaches the same, whether they're caused by stress, lack of sleep, migraines, viral infection, high blood pressure, sinus infection, allergies, head injury or brain tumor. I think it's partially a human natural tendency to want a simple explanation/solution. Also, of course publishers want books that will appeal to as many people as possible, so anything that implies "this may not apply to some of you," is seen as a defect rather than a strength.

I think eventually, if the many factors are identified and studied, we will be able to customize treatment and do it earlier with greater success. For now, most of us end up having to be our own scientist and lab rat (not the ideal research model).


I don't know if carbs/grains are a problem for all people or even most people, and I don't think they're equally problematic for all people, but I do know they are a very serious problem for me. If I hadn't found the hormone and carb connection, I have no doubt that I would have continued, despite dieting (or maybe because of it) to gain weight rather than lose it. However, if the hormonal and carbohydrate (or perhaps grain) connection would have been discovered before or shortly after puberty instead of at 41, I may never have hit the 200 lb mark, let alone the nearly 400 one. (I had severe and extreme PMS/PMDD symptoms from my first menses at age 9 or 10, so the hormonal issues may have been there from the start also).

Even at 5, I knew that I wasn't like anyone I knew (not even any overweight person I knew). I didn't know why food was always on my mind, or why I felt like I needed to eat, even when my stomache hurt from eating too much. My grandmother and mother were significantly overweight, but their food choices and quantities weren't really abnormal. They ate too much and exercised too little, but they still had a hunger "off" switch, which I never seemed to have.

Maybe there is a genetic component (I was adopted as an infant). Without meeting my bio-family, I can't know for sure, but I do suspect. No one in the family I was raised in had childhood weight issues (or the strange drive to constantly eat), whereas I was overweight since age 5 and morbidly obese by 5th grade. None of the women in my family had the hormonal or significant PMS issues either, so I felt like a freak all the way 'round.

I do feel I'm starting to get myself figured out, it just does sometimes seem a bit sad that it took me four decades to do so.

I'm not denying personal responsibility, but because my experience has not been a normal or typical one (though as I would discover, not particularly rare either) - I became fascinated by all of the different factors that affect the development and course of obesity (not just my own). In graduate school (developmental psychology), I badly wanted to focus on the treatment and psychology of obesity, particularly childhood obesity, but I was too ashamed to write even a single paper on the subject, because of my weight. So while I did do quite a bit of study, I mostly kept it to myself out of embarassment. I just felt that my credibility would suffer if I pursued it as career or a field of study while still being fat (not to mention, the professional and personal ridicule I would receive).
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:57 PM   #37
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I find that the vast majority of people fall off the wagon as soon as crackers, bagels, cookies, bread, etc...make a re-appearance.
Yes, this is 95% accurate for me.

I cannot say I am a maintainer. I will say I am someone who has gotten to goal and is struggling to stay here.

As mentioned, currently I am struggling with the above. In my way of eating I try to avoid most grains and do best while following the Primarian diet you have described. This has been accepted. Except for when I "give it another try." Then I stumble.

I seem to fit your prototype. Or could it simply be that I am so new to maintenance?
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:38 PM   #38
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Just another two cents. I'm not to goal yet, but getting close .

I never gave up grains in the first place, and here I am almost 50 pounds lost later. I *did* reduce quite a bit. I don't have 3 bowls of cereal for breakfast, or 4 pieces of bread with dinner. I'm definitely someone who likes her carbs the best of all the macros. But I have a good-sized serving of oatmeal most every morning, and pancakes on Sunday. Lately I've had yogurt with granola every morning for a snack (small serving). I have some serving of grains with most every meal. Rice, pasta (not so much, just because it's not my favorite), toast, pita or tortilla. I may have only 1/2 to 1 cup, instead of 2 or 3 cups worth, but it's a very far cry from low carb. 3-4 fruits per day. Probably 150 net carbs on an especially *low* day. I do have very little sugar, and only whole grains (when I can control it, which is usually).

So I'm pretty sure I'll maintain with pretty liberal grains, since I'm losing on it . Many cultures have or had low obesity rates with liberal grain intake. Clearly they also have other differences to culture in the U. S. But clearly grains alone aren't the problem.

I do really appreciate any inroads made in getting maintenance help out there in print.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:07 PM   #39
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A recovering scientist, eh? Why do you need to recover?
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Ah, well, long story short. I fell in love with astronomy and astrophysics, but the hours were long, the pay was short, and the jobs scarce, and when all was said and done, I wanted to live on the same continent as my husband. So after the PhD was in the bag, I took a job as an engineer, which gives me a lot more personal flexibility, if perhaps not the same level of job satisfaction. Unfortunately old habits die hard, and my first instincts are always to hit the library (now electronic) and dig out the original literature. My friend has a similar story in neurobiology, so we trade physical and biological science papers as needed. My training has also made me incredibly skeptical of everything, since I've seen firsthand the garbage that can make it through peer review, and that's only (theoretically) the good stuff.

Thanks in advance for the refs. I forwarded to my friend a couple from the paleo diet sites your book references, but the ones I found were maybe pushing a decade old. I'm guessing things have progressed a lot in 10 years.

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Old 11-07-2008, 01:00 AM   #40
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Hello Anne,
I have a couple of things for you to look at. Unfortunately, I can't provide a link, because I am too computer illiterate to figure out how to do that on this site.
"Modulation of Immune Function by Dietary Lectins in Rheumatoid Arthritis", British Journal of Nutrition (2000) 83, 207-17.
Also: "Do Dietary Lectins Cause Disease?" British Medical Journal, 4/17/99.

I have also written to Loren Cordain who is one of the major Paleo Diet advocates and who has researched extensively about the original human diet and its medical implications. I have asked him whether he is still on the trail of the lectin connection and whether the potential link to autoimmunity is still a viable hypothesis. I'll get back to you on that one.

In my view, science is vital to medicine. I hate junk science. But unfortunately, science isn't particularly well tailored to shed light on issues of diet and weight. Too many confounders. Too many contradictory studies on just about everything. So observation takes on an enhanced role. it's the Solomon I use to help me decide between the two sides of everything. Sometimes I just have to go with my gut. Not perfect, but....
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Old 11-07-2008, 07:12 PM   #41
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I'm thrilled to have read this thread

The auto immune link possibility really hits home with me. I have Hashimoto's

I eat grains on a very limited basis. I chose my grains wisely. I eat 1/2 cup of Fiber One cereal daily with yogurt. I rarely eat bread or crackers. I will have Ronzoni Pasta 2X a month. The benefit of Ronzoni Pasta is that it's loaded with fiber & calcium. Rarely eat rice.

I also run but I haven't felt the need for grains. My diet is loaded with fruits,veggies, and very lean proteins.

With thyroid disease I notice that eating very low fat really helps me.

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Old 11-08-2008, 10:54 AM   #42
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For those who want to read a more extensive treatment of the potential issues with grain...I recommend the article titled, "Cereal Grains: Humanity's Double Edged Sword", by Loren Cordain. This reply format would not allow me to provide a link, but you can easily google the article and get the whole text (greater than 50 pages). This is a long paper on the positive and negative aspects of grain consumption. This science is still on the outskirts of general thinking, but it's well documented and interesting. I believe it is worth looking at. In general, it's my belief that lowering the load of insulin producing foods in the diet of POWs (previously overweight people) is prudent. That means not only modern sugars and starches, but the load of grain based foods as well. The amount that each individual can tolerate is determined by their ability to maintain weight within a healthy range.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:22 PM   #43
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Finished the book last night. There were a lot of things I really enjoyed about it. I think the fact that Barbara lays it on the line about how vigilant you have to be to maintain is really important.

And I think the action plan is great, with the 12 rules to follow. I am going to make a 3 ring binder with actual plans written in. So if I gain some weight, I have a concrete plan to follow, rather than those vague thoughts of "better be on track tomorrow".
I will make some menus up to put in there, so that I have no excuses.

The recipes sound quite yummy as well.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:35 PM   #44
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Thanks so much to you Lori. I am so gratified that you found something of value in the book. You know, when I set out to write a book, I didn't realize how scary it was going to be to have people actually read it! On the other hand, i fully believe in what I've written and I know there is information about maintenance that is difficult to hear but needs to be said. Once again, I thank you so much. For those of you who read the book and disagree with parts, i just want to reiterate that, for me, the most important message is the diligence,planning and vigilance. The method you use really depends on your personal needs and successes.
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:37 PM   #45
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I haven't received my copy of the book yet, but I think even if I were to disagree with almost everything in the book (which from the discussion here, I'm thinking is pretty unlikely), I still would consider it a "break through" book, because of the topic itself.

It's rather sad and shocking that maintenance isn't a more common topic. While there are thousands of books on the topic of weight loss, very few address even fleetingly, the unique challenges of keeping the weight off.
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