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Off-Topic Jason Fung Did Nothing Wrong

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Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
When I was a kid, we thought Tang and margarine were good for you and bacon was bad. Good to know what we don't know. My instinct tells me that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie just can't possibly be correct - must a piece of the puzzle but not the whole thing. I'm also convinced that being thin enough to have six-pack abs, for me at least, isn't healthy.

I think the book, "Warrior Diet," was a wonderful read, inspiring, and no one has mentioned it in this thread.

Being hungry by choice is very much a First World problem. Remember that a lot of the world goes to bed hungry every night and eating more than you need will feel hugely self-indulgent. Food choices - that's a wonderful thing to have, a real gift, a blessing.

Just my opinion and your mileage may vary.

-S-
Yeah, Hofmekler got the jump on most ( except for the millennia of ancient cultures ) on the IF front. Max Muscle and Unlock Your Muscle Gene are also good.
 

LukeV

Level 6 Valued Member
We need to get away from diets and get to WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE.

For the record, food was bad in the 1970's too. Swanson Frozen Dinners? Or a nutritious breakfast for kids: Cereal/Milk/Juice and Toast. How was that for an insulin spike? Adults were slimmer because.....THEY SMOKED. Nicotine is an appetite suppressant.
I’m not sure why that point isn’t made more often. Whether you subscribe to the lipid or carbohydrate hypothesis, my grandparents diet was designed to kill them. Yes they ate vegetables but in between the processed grains, fatty meats, seed oils and full cream dairy products they shovelled into themselves every morning, noon and night. They didn’t eat much pre-prepared food other than breakfast cereal and canned fruit in syrup but they salted everything, drank cordial and routinely used pouring cream instead of milk. They always had dessert after dinner and scones and cream (or biscuits) were common for morning or afternoon tea. And there was nothing particularly exceptional about them, neither rich nor poor, they ate the diet of their generation for that period in Australia which despite some contemporary sentimentalising was almost universally awful
 

Dydo

Level 4 Valued Member
I don't know about most people here, but I keep reading on the internet that protein makes the body feel full for quite a long time. Not so for me though. Even if I eat 0.5 pounds of meat with vegetables my stomach may be full, but very soon after I feel hungry. I get full when I eat something carbohydrate and it doesn't have to be from flour. Beans, potatoes or lentils fill me up normally and especially beans. But I can not eat all day, even though I feel hungry. Today, for example, I haven't eaten yet, and it's almost 4:00 PM for me. I was just busy going out of the office, in a hurry to finish work and didn't want to eat junk food.
 

Adachi

Level 6 Valued Member
I’m not sure why that point isn’t made more often. Whether you subscribe to the lipid or carbohydrate hypothesis, my grandparents diet was designed to kill them. Yes they ate vegetables but in between the processed grains, fatty meats, seed oils and full cream dairy products they shovelled into themselves every morning, noon and night. They didn’t eat much pre-prepared food other than breakfast cereal and canned fruit in syrup but they salted everything, drank cordial and routinely used pouring cream instead of milk. They always had dessert after dinner and scones and cream (or biscuits) were common for morning or afternoon tea. And there was nothing particularly exceptional about them, neither rich nor poor, they ate the diet of their generation for that period in Australia which despite some contemporary sentimentalising was almost universally awful
I'll always puzzle over my grandfather who lived in Northern California.
He smoked 3 packs a day and didn't kick the bucket, till he was well into his 90s.
And at the end, his job was as a staff member at an old folks home.
helping the clients get into and out of wheel chairs, and the like.
Maybe he was made of sterner stuff, one way or the other.
 

Adachi

Level 6 Valued Member
I’m sorry but this reads like Healthy At Every Size/Fat Activism propaganda. Metabolically privileged?!
I'll take this hit. what do I know about someone else that I'll call "metabolically privileged"? probably less than nothing.

I'll explain, I've been pearshaped most of my life. and, I've been subject to peers who would readily use this to impugn me, in various capacities. it would seem that there's at least some residual resentment.
Also typing out these diatribes while still being firmly within the obese camp, seems strange to me.
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this is me when I graduated boot camp - I was about 185. I never cracked the 180 screening weight. Not once. so I always had to get taped for body fat percentage calculations.

I came out of 6 months of initial training thinner, what I now consider gaunt. I could see my hip bones rather clearly hugged by the skin, and my waistband was about 29 inches. a pair of 30-inch shorts actually wouldn't stay up without a belt.

was I overweight at 5' 10"? as the BMI of 26.5 would imply? looking back, I don't think so. I think I was underweight. And I think a lot of metabolic damage accompanied all the muscle that was lost in spending the time to prep uniforms write letters and shower, I spent most of that time 200 yards away at the track running because I was never that fast. and I never got faster in about 6 months. My time was flat all 4 times I was tested. within a few seconds of each other. even though I came into training a little chubbier at over 200 lbs. but making tape, by the slimmest of margins, at initial entry. I lost a bunch of weight, and by the shape of my limbs and seeing bone under the skin, at 185 some of that was definitely muscle.

at my worst, my waistline sailed past 45 inches on its way to 50 while I was running daily - mostly out of desperation trying to convince the army not to kick me out.
it was during this time that I was helping my brother move out of the house, I was helping him carry a reel-to-reel tape recorder down the stairway. near the bottom, I missed a step and my ankle was sprained severely.
In light of this - A Full Bird Colonel was convinced by Retention to sign off on a 6-month extension, predicated on the injury and the promise that I'd be able to stay in, because, it was his signature, if I didn't make it, it'd come back to bite him.
it was in the midst of recovering from injury, getting MRI scans, which I paid dearly for - cash - out of pocket, and preparing a packet for a permanent profile to be submitted to the surgeon general that the retention NCO mentioned in the book.
And, it was while I was without the ability to exercise with any potency, that is when protein power saved my career.
I passed tape with flying colors. and the Colonel was relieved. eventually, the packet was processed and the permanent profile was granted, and I became a walker on the APFT walking very quickly, 2.5 Mi. in ~ 30 min.
Why can you speak on nutrition when you have yet to be within a healthy BMI and have no formal education on it?
There were a couple of people I knew, who I had access to, who was some kind of medical professional, who was willing to try to help me.
Notably, my sister-in-law was an RN in charge of a floor, at kaiser.
She was very assertive about her knowledge of nutrition as a part of her education.
her recommendations were more or less to limit meat to 3.5 oz per meal, and 1300 calories or less per meal.
I was starving. and I hate her advice. love her, she meant well. but, it's painful to feel hungry 24/7. and I did.
Like other experiences within this paradigm, I was more lost and hopeless after giving it a try, failing, and being told it was my fault.
I view nutrition (and fitness) as a meritocracy, if you have no success within it you shouldn’t speak until you do.
I have limited success with it, with myself. very narrowly defined progress from a time when I was getting rounder out of control, to the slowest re-comp the world has ever seen, a decade or so in the making.

This is me the other day, in control of what and when I eat. Working with weights 3x a week. Eating meat. Training explosively.

Screenshot_20221118-200342__02.jpg
My waistline is floating around 36 -38 inches . I weigh 245 lbs . Am I obese ? Sure. According to a BMI calculator I'm absolutely obese.
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
I'll take this hit. what do I know about someone else that I'll call "metabolically privileged"? probably less than nothing.

I'll explain, I've been pearshaped most of my life. and, I've been subject to peers who would readily use this to impugn me, in various capacities. it would seem that there's at least some residual resentment.

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this is me when I graduated boot camp - I was about 185. I never cracked the 180 screening weight. Not once. so I always had to get taped for body fat percentage calculations.

I came out of 6 months of initial training thinner, what I now consider gaunt. I could see my hip bones rather clearly hugged by the skin, and my waistband was about 29 inches. a pair of 30-inch shorts actually wouldn't stay up without a belt.

I think you look pretty good in that 185 lb pic.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
This data is from a few years back. It is from a selection of Strong First Forum members. Many of the folks in the database stated that they followed multiple strategies simultaneously. (e.g. Intermittent Fasting and Paleo) What is shown in the graph however is comprised of their first response.
0903A07B-0EB2-4A8B-A28E-5C03BA6B79C6.jpeg
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
@Adachi - I am very glad you found something that worked and that you were able to manage your weight so that you will be able to retire. That is fantastic! I am not sure how this relates to the thread title (Fung did nothing wrong) or how it validates his positions. I would be cautious overextending what works for one person as validating or invalidating anything.

I am not a CICO zealot, but I wish you had gotten better advice than what led to struggling. Precision Nutrition has been an excellent resource for me. One of their analogies - I think it is theirs - is that telling someone struggling with weight to eat less / move more is akin to telling someone in crippling debt to spend less / save more - it might be true, but it doesn't really help someone in that situation. It makes perfect sense to someone who already has a handle on their diet / budget, but that isn't the "target audience" so to speak.

None of this is me attempting to change your lifestyle.

Again, very happy for your success and that you found what worked well for you, and that it has been sustainable and empowering.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
@Adachi I agree with @watchnerd , you look good in your pic. While BMI is used to . . .I guess "esitmate" healthy body weight, it's really fat distribution patterns and body composition (fat-to-lean mass ratio) that are better markers of health. Your pic clearly shows that you don't have an unhealthy fat distribution. Also, it's worth noting that physical activity levels and body comp/BMI have an independent effect on health markers. One can be a lean couch potatoe and have worse health markers than someone carrying extra body fat who exercises regularly.

I would put your health and well-being before numbers.

$0.02
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
Also, if possible, I would go get some kind of body comp scan, DEXA or otherwise. I know that you can lift some pretty heavy bells, so I wouldn't be surprised if you have more muscle than you think.
 

Adachi

Level 6 Valued Member
I am not sure how this relates to the thread title (Fung did nothing wrong) or how it validates his positions. I would be cautious overextending what works for one person as validating or invalidating anything.
sure. I would agree that one should be cautious with overextending what works for some and applying it to all.

this affords me another opportunity to clarify and bound the extent of my views.

Limitation of scope:
to zoom out and call back to @offwidth 's chart above, I believe that this implicit normal distribution exists outside of my useful paradigm.

I believe that I exist in the tail of this normal distribution curve. How Deeply into that tail is a question that I find to be entirely difficult to quantify.

I believe that there is a spectrum where some nutritional compositions have effects on their subject and at some varied rate of sensitivity, or magnitude. I believe we can all be found somewhere on this spectrum.

There are those, for whom, this hormone-driven paradigm, within which Jason Fung's works lives, is most applicable, and least applicable.

As I mentioned above, for my Female friends who were cross-fitters and were using my experience to try fasting and eating more carnivorously - I discouraged them from continuing when they were open with me about some of the complications they were experiencing. And they continue to do just fine for themselves, today, in maintaining their desired fitness levels, without fasting and restricting carbs to some low levels as I do.

I do believe that a slimly held majority of the population should absolutely feel free to disregard my explanations - insofar as a problem isn't a problem until it's a problem. I don't pay any mind to them eating however they like. I don't have any comments to offer someone who's succeeding. Instead, I'd like to listen and learn from them. hence my deference to anyone around me who was thinner and seemed in control of their weight. I asked for their advice, and they gave their answer.

As to the enervating force behind why I would launch such arguments:

In my view of the populace at large, and the amounts of the medical literature I've read though I actually regard this tail, in which I reside to be a rather fat tail. The area under the curve here seems to be a lot taller than a standard curve.

the percentage of the populace, of people who might be similarly situated to be - does not seem to me to be anything resembling an insignificant fraction of the population. One of whom is one of my oldest friends who is roughly a carnivore, and fasts from time to time, purposefully, around his body fat management and his very successful time under the barbell. during one deployment they had little to do other than lift weights, where he achieved > 300-400-500 on his lifts and was happy to have at one point measured his arm circumference to be greater than his head. And, now, he is a sergeant major in the JSOC in special forces and can keep up with the young troops in his unit, and looks better than some of them. he's a bit prideful of his girlish figure and he credits eating like this for helping him stay fit and trim in front of the troops.

And I do my best to limit the form of my arguments to that which I know best. my own evidence that I've seen in my own life and in those close to me, who upon seeing my success gave it a try, and in many cases got what they were looking for out of it.

And so when I see something that has worked for me, that I've seen work for others, in very deep and meaningful ways, which have lifelong positive outlooks, I am inclined to defend it in general; for all the reasons I've posited.

And most of all - I struggle with how far out of reach that book Protein Power was for me. how maligned Dr. Atkins' thesis was in the public eye. how not one - NOT ONE - person, until that one sergeant ( to whom I accidentally owe a great deal ) mentioned Protein Power. I feel similarly about the (Now understood to be simple time tested) basic information that StrongFirst purveys. Ultimately, the basic principles of how to actually build muscle and increase my strength (from pedestrian untrained levels) were gate-keep-ed away from me, by those who would intercede, who were louder and more present in the marketplaces for such information vis-a-vis-pop-fitness-publications. I am startled at how unlikely my encounter with these paradigms was, and how they lay beyond a thick fog designed to direct my attention to other things which turned out to be much less helpful.

that's why I launch such arguments. I hope to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind me for those similarly situated. because what I hated most was the hopelessness I faced for so many years fueled by so many defeats and setbacks; which ultimately were sourced from all the well-meaning but incorrect advice that was so thickly prevalent everywhere I looked.
 
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Ryan T

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Speaking of protein, there's a new(-ish) concept called "Protein Leverage" which you may find interesting. Here's more info: Protein leverage and energy intake - PubMed
Dr. Ted Naiman uses this as a foundational concept in managing heath and LBM. Energy toxicity and protein dilution in the food supply is why we’re overly obese as a society. 50+ years ago protein was ~15% of the food supply and now it’s around 12.5%. As a species we tend to crave the same level of protein but end up consuming more energy to get it.

Simplest form is prioritize protein with every meal, lower your carbs. It’s most complex form is:
Protein (in grams)/Net Carbs (in grams) + Fat (in grams) >= 1.0. The higher the ratio the more likely you are to maintain or increase LBM and reducing excess adipose tissue. Doing a bit of math protein ends up being between 35-40% of your macros.

He admits that this formula is not necessary for highly athletic people, and really is more about consuming enough protein. At 50 yrs old he’s ripped and said he eats something like 200 G protein, 100 G net carbs and 100 G of fat (good fats no seed oils I believe).
Yeah, Hofmekler got the jump on most ( except for the millennia of ancient cultures ) on the IF front. Max Muscle and Unlock Your Muscle Gene are also good.
Something interesting about WD is a lot of folks make IF out of it, but the book is more about underfeeding/overfeeding. Some very small, easily absorbed foods in the day with the vast bulk of your calories at night. He also recommends eating your foods in a certain order and gives some additional nutritional parameters around morning workouts.

**************

My own anecdotes:
  • I did an experiment in 2019 where I only ate animal based foods, primarily meat, butter, bone broth and eggs. After the initial adaptation phase, I felt the best ever in my entire life. Strength increased, body fat decreased. I slept well, bounded out of bed in the morning, and felt like I could rip through a wall. Subjective markers of male hormonal health were high. I didn’t stick with it because I wasn’t sure I could keep it up for my whole life going forward. As far as 99% animal based diet, my theory behind why I felt so good was no processed food stuffs, no seed oils, good fats, nutrient rich and highly bioavailable protein, satiety, and fat adaptation. Nothing really magical about it, but man what feeling.
  • In 2021, I went through @Hector G Better Man Blueprint coaching. It was four months long and each month was a specific phase of nutrition and training strategies. Each phase was a combination of building the mental tools, tracking macros and total calories based on certain parameters, nutrient timing, setting up hormonal responses + insulin sensitivity and always prioritizing protein. That, combined with the training strategies, took me from 22% -> 9% BF (measured by 7 site fat calipers same day of the week same time of day same conditions). Even if the BF measurements were inaccurate, I’d never seen abs on my body or been so shredded . My BMI put me in the overweight category, but it was more like I was over fat and under muscled.
My own $0.02… Human beings can thrive on a variety of diets. I’m most convinced that an animal based (>=70% calories from animal products) is the best, however we could probably universally acknowledge eating real food, minimizing seed oils, keeping insulin and leptin sensitive overall through nutrition and training, and not over consuming energy will reap huge benefits, not only for body composition but also for general wellness and longevity. I’ll add in minimizing endocrine disrupters as well.

Cheers.
 

Adachi

Level 6 Valued Member
Ditto.

-S-
my only complaint (now, about such a state) is that my muscles, were all smaller and weaker by orders of magnitude.

for a short while, I looked a certain way, in public, which was impressive to everyone when I flew home. but, I know the truth about how slender my limbs were, and how the skin hugged my bones a bit more than I'm comfortable with.

I would look forward to my skin hugging my larger stronger muscles more tightly, than in my former state.
 
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