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Diet works or it doesn't work, what does that mean?

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  • Diet works or it doesn't work, what does that mean?

    How is one determining whether a diet works or it doesn't work? I hear many times people say "I tired this diet and it didn't work for me". How does one determine that? Don't you have to wait 30 years or so to see if you haven't developed some disease that you would normally expect to develop? There is no miracle after a month or a year. So why so many claim this or that diet is not working for them after trying to eat different for 2 months or half a year or two? What's the timeframe criteria?

  • #2
    People want Instant gratification! I have 2 friend who decided to try Primal. Both, after only 2 or 3 days, said " Oh, your diet (My diet!) is making me feel sick, it's obviously not for me".
    They never even got past the "Carb flu", which I had warned them about.
    The people who stick with this are in it for the health benefits and are in for the long haul. Yes, we may tweak things here and there from time to time, but we're "core" Primal.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Crofter View Post
      The people who stick with this are in it for the health benefits and are in for the long haul. Yes, we may tweak things here and there from time to time, but we're "core" Primal.
      How do you figure that in a long haul this is the proper diet for health benefits? What are the measures and what is the evidence?

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      • #4
        When people say a diet does not work for them they often mean they didn't loose enough weight fast enough and were hungry all the time.

        As for what diet is optimal that is more difficult to say. If you look around the Government's recommended diet where 1000 Cal comes from grains clearly is not working. By replacing a grain portion with veg or some extra protein means I replace empty calories with nutrient rich food....makes sense to me.
        Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
        PS
        Don't forget to play!

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        • #5
          That's going to depend on the individual.

          For me, a diet "doesn't work for me" if I either can't follow it without losing my mind or I don't notice any improvement in how I feel after a couple of months.
          Durp.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dirlot View Post
            When people say a diet does not work for them they often mean they didn't loose enough weight fast enough and were hungry all the time.

            As for what diet is optimal that is more difficult to say. If you look around the Government's recommended diet where 1000 Cal comes from grains clearly is not working. By replacing a grain portion with veg or some extra protein means I replace empty calories with nutrient rich food....makes sense to me.
            I am not sure what government you have in mind. Are you assuming that all governmets have identical guidelines? Isn't a diet really more cultural than governmental? I am not defending any government here, I never really gave it a though what a given government recommends. Isn't the cultural consumption of food predating governments anyway? If one is not following some governmental guidelines what criteria of improving ones health can one employ to be sure that a certain diet is beneficial to ones health in a long haul?
            Last edited by KathyH; 11-12-2012, 07:54 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RitaRose View Post
              That's going to depend on the individual.

              For me, a diet "doesn't work for me" if I either can't follow it without losing my mind or I don't notice any improvement in how I feel after a couple of months.
              So, does that mean that one has to feel bad to start with in order to decide whether the diet is good or bad for them? Or if one feels good to start with and then switches his/her diet and starts feeling bad, does that mean it's a bad diet? What does that mean in a long run (30 years or so)? Could I feel good after 2 months but actually be causing harm to my health in a long run?

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              • #8
                Western governments US, UK, France, Canada is not has high on grains etc but all recommend in the area of 8-12 portions of grains a day.
                http://turamavision.com/bodymind/201...ality-problem/

                Answered the second part eat nutritious food you can' really do much more can you. Most people feel short term improvements, then you just start to follow the long term yourself.

                I thought I felt great before but now....wow!
                Last edited by Dirlot; 11-12-2012, 08:08 AM.
                Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
                PS
                Don't forget to play!

                Comment


                • #9
                  What works of Diets and what not is relative to where you are coming from. Going from the typical SAD way of eating, and almost every change will work for the better. For a while at least...
                  "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                  - Schopenhauer

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                  • #10
                    I think most people when they say a diet doesn't work they mean they did not lose weight and/or they could not stay on the diet due to either being too hungry or not feeling well on it (for example, low carb flu or whatever) or possibly because the ingredients in the diet are too difficult to prepare or obtain.
                    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KathyH View Post
                      So, does that mean that one has to feel bad to start with in order to decide whether the diet is good or bad for them? Or if one feels good to start with and then switches his/her diet and starts feeling bad, does that mean it's a bad diet? What does that mean in a long run (30 years or so)? Could I feel good after 2 months but actually be causing harm to my health in a long run?
                      Health is kind of like a bank account. Some people are pretty much overdrawn, so adding a few bucks is going to seriously improve their situation. For someone with a lot in savings, it's going to take more of a deposit to make an impact. But all in all, ANY increase in their bank account is going to be a good thing.

                      Same thing with health. If I'm very unhealthy, just getting back to a CW level of normal will make me happy. If I'm very fit, then I'm going to want something pretty great to get all excited. But either way, an increase in my (perceived) health is always going to be a good thing, no matter my starting point or the amount of improvement.

                      Our bodies are pretty capable of telling us whether what we're doing is good or bad over the long run, as long as we're wiling to listen. Even with junkies, the drugs may make them feel good, but they need more and more to feel that way, and you can see their bodies deteriorating. Ever see scabs on the faces of addicts? That's a sign that what they're doing is hard on their bodies. Food can do that too with fat deposits, fuzzy thinking, cravings, skin problems and joint pain (among a myriad of other possibilities).

                      The only real time I think you tend to feel worse while eating better is when you go through sugar withdrawal, but going back to the junkie example, that's because you ignored the signs in th first place and you're fixing an addiction to an unhealthy substance.
                      Durp.

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                      • #12
                        It's good to question conventional wisdom, indeed most of us here came here precisely because we did that.

                        The evidence? Well have two primary points:

                        1. It seems common sense, to follow the eating and lifestyle of our ancestors. This is especially pertinent today, when we see so many people overweight, undernourished and generally sick.

                        2. We now have a luxury that many in the beginning didn't have, which is the scads and scads of glowing testimonials and success stories.

                        I've said it before but it's worth repeating, if anything I think it's BECAUSE we don't really have many studies that this appeals to me so much.

                        It's not practical and it's not moral to experiment on humans. There are very few long-term studies that really prove anything one way or another. For almost every study you find saying something is good there's another study saying it's bad. We act as though we've figured out everything about the human body except the brain, yet 'death by doctor' is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world? We've tried the 'food pyramid' for decades, watching our populations get fatter and sicker.

                        No 2 people are the same. Even identical twins will have confounding variables, such as how much sleep, stress or joy in their lives, how much sun exposure, the quality of the multivitamins they might or might not take. Throw in injuries, allergies, environment...

                        Just too many variables and it's not just future job security, it's actually true that "more studies are needed".

                        If you're not getting paid for the full-time job of trying to figure this stuff out, it gets daunting real fast! Information overload, and that's information from the same people killing us at about the same rate as traffic accidents?

                        Or you can just say "To hell with all that" and just follow the 10 basic guidelines of living like what we're generally adapted for as a species. To me that makes sense.

                        Even if, in the meantime, I'm eating nothing but potatoes...


                        AC

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                        • #13
                          I think when folks refer to the diet not working, they are mostly talking about this way of eating. I have just begun to realize myself how important it is to incorporate the other factors of PB that Mark talks about in the book. I started lifting heavy things a few weeks ago and boom, now I'm losing inches and my clothes are just starting to fit a little better, and this was after a 20lb weight gain since May. Granted, I had some other issues going on with my thyroid, etc, but I realized that I'm doing this for my health and because I want to heal my body, my gut and my thyroid, and I want to feel energetic and vibrant. I think once you start to really buy into the principles taught in the book and stop looking at this as just a way of eating, that's when the results start to happen. My next goal is to start working on meditation and bringing down stress levels as I know that will be a huge factor in helping me reach ALL of my goals, weightloss and otherwise.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RitaRose View Post
                            Health is kind of like a bank account. Some people are pretty much overdrawn, so adding a few bucks is going to seriously improve their situation. For someone with a lot in savings, it's going to take more of a deposit to make an impact. But all in all, ANY increase in their bank account is going to be a good thing.
                            What a great analogy!

                            I completely agree with the instant gratification thing; most people want a quick fix, to pop a pill, to drop x number of pounds within a set amount of time and be done with it. And probably many people who are saying that it doesn't work for them didn't get this kind of instant gratification, or aren't willing to accept huge changes (like sourcing good quality foods, cooking, eating out less, moving around more, etc...)

                            But, I think there is another group of people who actually suffered some negative health consequences as a result of a low-carb high-fat primal diet. I would put myself in this group. I adopted this way of eating to improve my health, and I got significantly worse over the course of a year and a half.

                            1) My IBS became debilitating (from the increase in insoluble fiber from all those veggies, among other reasons).

                            2) My hypothyroid symptoms got significantly worse (increased hair loss, feeling really cold all the time, weight gain, chronic low grade depression, mood instability, extreme fatigue, diminishing sleep quality, etc...)

                            My overall health was gradually declining as a result of low-carb primal, not improving. I was unable to gain any strength (for a whole year I could not increase ANY of my weights in the gym), and my personal relationships were seriously suffering. Had I not made some simple dietary changes, I probably would have ended up getting divorced from my husband, which is how unstable I became at times.

                            Now that I'm eating more Perfect Health Diet (similar to primal but includes much more starches/carbs in general) with some Ray Peat tweeks (more sugar, less muscle meat, etc...), my health continues to make steady improvements. I'm a completely different person now, and it happened almost overnight with the changes in my diet.

                            So for me, Primal did not work. I'm glad it has for others.
                            Last edited by BestBetter; 11-12-2012, 10:17 AM.

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                            • #15
                              BestBetter
                              So nice to see someone on here for whom Primal was not the answer, and yet still supports it as a valid lifestyle. Sounds like some extra research on your part has paid dividends!
                              I have a friend of African descent who tried primal eating. It did not work for her as she seems to need more carbs, mostly starches. She sticks to a largely primal diet but replaces some fat with carbs and all is well.

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