The Occasional Junk

IMG_2813I’m in maintenance mode now, happy with my weight, and willing to eat the occasional off-plan junk. So the other night, I picked up these treats at a local Mexican-style bakery on 25th and B in Golden Hill. I wasn’t too afraid of the carrot cake or the scone, but that flaky pastry on top was dangerous garbage. I felt the butter seep into my adipose tissue, and had to ride about 100km to get it out of my system.

It’s easy when your hobby is riding 300 km/week, often going as fast as possible. Still, it probably helps more by avoiding greasy food, and instead loading up on low-fat starches, vegetables, and fruits. It’s all pretty obvious stuff, and is how we ate and moved before the age of convenience.

Rip Esselstyn @ Whole Foods

IMG_2762Rip Esselsytn, and other advocates and ambassadors of the whole foods plant based diet, helped me regain my life 18 months ago. I went from obesity and depression to health and fun, because I learned how we’re supposed to eat as humans. So, when I found out Rip Esselstyn was giving a talk at my local Whole Foods Market tonight, I rode my bike out to meet him.

Rip looks just like he does in all his videos and promotional materials. He’s very kind and helpful, and spent a lot of time speaking individually with people after his presentation. I had a lot of questions for him, but I didn’t want to monopolize his time. I asked in the Q&A what he thought about fruit smoothies. He thought that juicing was a fad, and hoped that people would eat their foods whole, instead of pre-processing them with blenders.

I asked him if he knew about Durianrider, and of course he did. I didn’t go any further than that, seeing how he’s not a fan of juicing.

I recorded about 10 minutes of his talk, before my memory filled up on my old phone. You can watch it on my YouTube channel.

(90 km + 1300 m) / 1 Litre Coke

IMG_2726_2I rode out to Viejas Casino from again this morning. From downtown San Diego, it’s a 90 km trip with 1300 m of climbing, on a fixie, wearing jeans. All the parking lot and valet guys looked pretty surprised to see me arrive on a bike. Tribal land in California is always way out in the middle of nowhere, and a city bike is the last thing you’ll see out there.

Strava says I burned 2650 calories. But it doesn’t know that I rode 48×16 fixed up those hills. It assumes you’ll do something reasonable like use gears. I made good time today, getting out to the casino in 2.5 hours. By car, it takes about 40 minutes each way, and at least 10 litres of gas. My body made the trip using only 1 litre of Coca Cola, two oranges, an energy bar, and a (comp’ed) burrito. It’s amazing how efficient the body is.

Can’t Blow This Diet

IMG_2699You probably shouldn’t eat a whole 500g box of Raisin Bran on the couch while watching television, but that’s pretty much what I do when I buy a box of cereal. To me, the box is just a 2000 calorie pack. I start off eating about 3 or 4 bowls with almond milk. Then I just reach into the box, and eat the rest like popcorn. No, it’s not ideal. But I do it all the time, and I don’t worry about it much.

Sometimes I’m genuinely hungry, other times I just finish off the box because I can’t stop. I should probably stop buying cereal, or cook something more substantial (i.e., with water and fibre) if I’m really hungry. But, I’ve been eating massive amounts of carbs at night, before going to sleep, and I’ve still lost 28 kg.

Since excess carbs aren’t easily turned into fat (de novo lipogenesis in humans is minor), this occasional overeating isn’t an issue when you eat low-fat (< 10% of calories). Still, it's always best to aim for approximate energy balance, and not to continually overeat. But on the Starch Solution, eating a whole box of cereal isn't "blowing the diet". It barely registers in the scheme of things.

(Yes, I'm watching ArchieLuxury.)

Moderate Fat Experiment

IMG_2620My low fat (10%) diet experiment over the last two months was successful, and I lost about 2-3 kilos. I ate massive amounts of bread, bagels, noodles, tortillas, and cereal, and avoided fat as much as possible. I counted on de novo lipogenesis to be minor, and pounded the carbs with impunity. I rode my usual 250 km/week, but never with the mindset (obsession) of trying to burn off the calories I’d eaten.

I started eating higher fat last week, to see if I can still lose weight through exercise and a generally whole-foods diet. So the focus is still on vegetables and starches, but I won’t be paranoid about fat. I’m not going to eat junk like donuts, candy bars, or crisps and chips. I’ll closely watch my weight to make sure things don’t get out of control.

I probably won’t buy a 1 lb (450g) bag of almonds again, because I’ll eat them all in a day. There’s about 2800 calories in the bag, mostly from fat (240g). And I don’t find the almonds that filling, so I’ll end up eating another 1500 – 2000 calories from cereal, noodles, tortillas, etc. I figure I can use about a quarter stick of butter a day (25g) on my bread and tortillas, since it doesn’t add that many calories for the day.

Hopefully, I’ll end up eating 3000 – 3500 calories per day, which is probably what I need for my 250 km/week of riding. I don’t like really fatty foods, so I’ll probably end up eating between 10% and 30% of calories from fat. It’ll vary a lot day to day, but I won’t avoid it like during the 10% low fat experiment.

Moment Cycle Sport Shop Ride

I rode a fun 50km ride with the Moment Cycle Sport club this morning. A few of us took the easy way out, and returned to downtown on the ferry. I have trouble keeping up with the road bikes when they pace line @ 40 km/hr. I end up riding at my own pace on my fixie (in jeans and t-shirt). So I don’t mind making it a fun Sunday, and I take the picturesque ferry ride across the Coronado bay. It’s a nice little reward at the end of the ride.

I recently learned that two of the guys on the Moment racing team are vegans (Gianpanna and Hans Lieber). I follow these guys on Strava and Instagram, which motivates me to eat as healthy as possible.

Most bicycle stores have a regular group ride (called a “shop ride”) that meets once, or a few times each week. The participants are usually very experienced riders, and are often racers. The rides are pretty fast, but there’s usually an option for a slower/shorter route.

Most cities have more causal group rides, without all the bike racers. Google or check for regular fun rides in your area. Group rides really make biking fun. It’s a unique, wonderful experience, and you’ll make a lot of new friends.

Fixed Force Four

IMG_2583Rode the SDBC B group ride this morning with Sergio and some of the SD Crows, all four of us on fixies. We kept up with the roadies, with just a little trouble on the downhills 🙂 These guys are really young, and I’m older than AJ’s (on the right) father. Feeling fit @ 50 on the Starch Solution!

Sergio (center) is really strong, and beat all my Strava PRs today. He didn’t even try very hard. I’m not worried, he’s exceptionally fast. And modest too. I personally need to tone it down a bit up those early hills. Sergio made his point without showing off today.

Can De Novo Lipogenesis Make You Fat?

I ran across Don Matesz’ video where he cites the O. Lammert et al paper, Effects of isoenergetic overfeeding of either carbohydrate or fat in young men, to suggest that DNL can make you fat. More specifically, Matesz says the study refutes the claims of HCLF advocates (Durianrider, Dr. John McDougall) that you can’t get fat from all-the-carbs-you-can-eat.

In the study, normal weight males ate about +1200 extra calories per day above their habitual diet (@ 78/11/11 low-fat macros) for 21 days. In the end, the analysis estimates that the average subject produced only 10g fat per day via hepatic DNL, or 16g/day from total body DNL (adipose + hepatic + muscular sources, etc.).

But these numbers are in line with the HCLF diet claims, which say even if you continually overeat a massive amount of carbs, DNL will only produce “in the low 10’s” of fat grams per day. In fact, one of the paper’s authors is professor Marc Hellerstein, who’s UC Berkeley lab has studied DNL for decades. These results don’t change the picture of DNL as a minor contributor to fat accumulation in the scheme of things.

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