Nutrition Perspectives

From my last post on why Carb Back Loading didn’t work well for me, a good conversation ensued on my Facebook page. So I thought I’d share some of those thought from people who have also tried a lot of dietary protocols to find what works:

Gabrielle Hoffman

It’s been my observation that people luurve diets that sound complicated. “Paleo intermittent carb diagonal loading with alternating keto days plus green juice?! SIGN ME UP!” “Eat stuff that you like and that serves your goals but quantify it? Naaaah.”

I like macro tracking and such because it puts me firmly in control of what I eat. I like the freedom to eat whatever I want without having to consult a list of “off limit” foods that are off limits because some person said so - which is what keeps me from getting weird with food.

I love data and numbers and approaching nutrition as a giant data set or statistical problem to be solved was very helpful for me in getting the “guilt” out of food.

Andrea Searby

What fundamentally changed my attitude towards tracking (or, COUNTING CALORIES, as it’s popularly known/denigrated) was when I realized tracking serves, in part, to ensure you get ENOUGH of what you need, especially protein, thereby making you less likely to be hangry/set up for a binge. Mind = blown.

For me, I did learn a lot about myself via CN/CBL. I still employ some of the framework - eg., I learned I prefer to increase my calories and carbs as the day goes on, vs. having a huge breakfast and then eating progressively less. My issue was with the methodology I had to employ to keep me there. I have no insulin resistance problems and my natural food intuition is actually pretty good (despite my best attempts at self sabotage there) and I don’t do bodybuilding so for me, I’d submit that things like meal timing are not that important. Getting hung up on it and losing a sense of prioritization created a progressively worse mental issue around food, which was what I was trying to escape from via CN/CBL in the first place. I also went too low carb for too long which led to some unpleasant issues.

Point being, some people do really well on things like low carb or carb cycling diets, and some people don’t. Some people do well on a heavily structured meal plan, and some get all ADHD, OCD or otherwise insane over it. I just think it’s important to realize why something worked and the difference between where you started and your progress to date. As in, I lost weight on CN because I finally had a framework to control my caloric intake, thereby creating a significant caloric deficit that I maintained over a lengthy period of time, not because I didn’t eat carbs first thing in the morning. The distinction is important.

Kerry Thuett

I have to have a framework. I am a Carb Nite’er, and it is a super duper easy protocol that helped me lose over 60 lb of fat while maintaining the same muscle mass, and keep that fat off for two years now. But I must, absolutely, and continually count my macros! I’ve got some goofed up neurochemistry that does not allow me to “see” volume of food (by the way, I also can’t see what I look like in the mirror; what is reflected back is inaccurate), and neither do I ever get full. There is no self-limiting to my food intake.

If it were not for a digital scale, MyNetDiary macronutrient counter, and a DXA scan machine, I would have no idea how much tood I was eating, or what I looked like. Depending on what I am doing in my life, I will shift the macros in various directions to achieve whatever goal I am after. If I don’t track, I will overeat, undereat, sideways eat, whatever - I will never reach my goals. Tracking my macros and calories is not a neuroses for me, it is as essential to my health as the food that it tracks.