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  • Spartan Health Regime

    Hello everyone, long time lurker first time poster here. I actually came to PB from something called the Spartan Health Regime (SHR)

    SHR in the simplest terms I can put it is a diet as follows.

    All Fruit till dinner, then for dinner have a huge piece of protein topped with fat. Exercise was short session of Heavy weight lifting, and lots of roadwork (hiking or "power walking" with a weighted backpack)

    I actually lost alot of weight, put on muscle, and got alot healthier. So I was surprised reading PB when it said to lower my carb (and therefor fruit) intake to 100g a day. I was eat more carbs from fruit by mid morning on the SHR.

    So my question is, how bad was SHR really? I know its 2 different schools of thought, and I really want to try out PB. Are they just 2 different paths to the same goal, or is SHR flawed for long term success.

    Also Im really interested in the Primal Leap package coming out, since it focuses on more on the weight loss.

  • #2
    SHR sounds like a short route to diabetes and heart disease from all that fructose and insulin spiking.
    Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

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    • #3
      Fasting (at least partially) until dinner: good.

      Lots of fruit: Not fantastic, but it could be worse. Over a long time, it might have damaged your liver.

      Huge piece of meat with fat: very good!

      Short, intense weight lifting: very good!

      Roadwork: as long as it was hiking and carrying, it's pretty much in the good category, although excessive exertion under load could be bad.

      I'm not surprised you leaned out and felt good. It sounds like a pretty solid plan. It wasn't necessarily optimal because of the amount of fruit, but it's actually pretty close to what many recommend. I would mostly adjust the fasting, personally. Dinner to dinner complete fasts 2x/wk and 2 meals a day otherwise would be my recommendation, but it's a bit nitpicky to make a big deal out of something like that.
      Give me liberty. Exploration of other options will be vigorously discouraged.

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      • #4
        The Fruit till dinner was kind of a grazing mentality.

        Wake up and have a mango and a banana, then ever 1.5-2 hours you would eat a single piece of fruit.

        So it ends up being alot. Around 180g of carbs a day just from the fruit. But maybe thats why they suggested alot of roadwork each night.

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        • #5
          Would still love to hear some more thoughts on this if possible.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Griff View Post
            SHR sounds like a short route to diabetes and heart disease from all that fructose and insulin spiking.

            Oh please.

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            • #7
              One of the few things I disagree with Mark on is his emphasis on low carb. It needlessly demonizes roots, tubers, gourds, squashes, fruits, etc., all of which our ancestors would have consumed, if only in small quantities.

              Fructose in particular is high in the running for the Nutrient of Death 2010 award. Unfortunately, it looks as though nutritionism has hoodwinked us again into making faulty dietary choices based primarily on macronutrient content. While processed foods high in fructose appear to lead to metabolic syndrome, fruits which naturally contain fructose don't seem to do the same. When it comes to fructose (as with all nutrients), context and amount are crucial.

              Personally, I don't eat a whole lot of fruit (usually have some for dessert, and sometimes breakfast as well). But my understanding of the "average" ancestral human diet is that is contained lots of meat and vegetables, with some fruit, nuts, seeds, and eggs when they were available. But the "standard deviation" varied wildly, so it wouldn't surprise me if some of our ancestors ate a lot of fruit (if only during their brief season). So SHR looks A-OK in my eyes!
              Lean, Mean, Virile Machine
              The Modern Man's Guide to Health, Fitness, and Wellness

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              • #8
                That sounds really interesting... I've always wondered what diet spartans ate, they were known to be the toughest most disciplined warriors of any culture. I wonder if their diet has anything to do with that?

                Also I've been thinking...if animal fat and meat tastes amazing and is also healthy then maybe fruit which tastes great too is also healthy. It certainly would have been attainable for Grok and I doubt he would skimp out on some fruit because he's watching his carb intake.

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                • #9
                  Im not sure the spartan name is derived from actual historic foods spartans ate, so much a name to sound cool and ride of the 300 glory.

                  However almost all the creators research is from Weston Price Foundation.


                  I tend to agree about the fruit consumption. Atleast in my case I can definitely tell the difference from the natural fructose in an apple, compared to the same amount in kool-aid for example.

                  Is there any research to back up the sugar in fruit creating the same type of insulin spikes that PB teaches you to avoid like the devil?

                  Regardless SHR worked really well for me in the past, Ive implemented alot of PB into it as well. Im just got worried by all these talks about im going to give myself diabetes and destroy my liver.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Freedish View Post
                    I've always wondered what diet spartans ate, they were known to be the toughest most disciplined warriors of any culture. I wonder if their diet has anything to do with that?.
                    It was their "training". Actually, to call it training is a kind of understatement. It's was matter of their upbringing. If you were put in a kind of military camp since the age of seven and systematically trained to be a killer, you'd be fairly tough and disciplined, too. (Note the, probably conscious, parallel in the 19th century English prep school/public school system, with its boarding and cold baths. That'll give you a class to administer an Empire - although it also produced a surprisingly incorruptible and fair one, the difference, I suppose, being the Christian influence.)

                    And, of course, there were no competing notions of how you should behave in any particular situation in that society

                    Another [Spartan mother], as she handed her son his shield, exhorted him, saying, "Either this or upon this."
                    http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...an_Women*.html

                    IOW, bring it back from the war, having triumphed, or be brought back dead on it. Compare that with a more individualistic society where there's a tendency for young men to get pulled in different directions. As Plato has it in the Republic:

                    "Then," I said, "he also lives along day by day, gratifying the desire that occurs to him, at one time drinking and listening to the flute, at another downing water and reducing; now practicing gymnastic, and again idling and neglecting everything; and sometimes spending his time as though he were occupied with philosophy.
                    As for food, the boys deliberately weren't given enough to eat. They were meant, from necessity, to learn how to steal food.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lewis View Post
                      It was their "training". Actually, to call it training is a kind of understatement. It's was matter of their upbringing. If you were put in a kind of military camp since the age of seven and systematically trained to be a killer, you'd be fairly tough and disciplined, too.
                      Haha good point...I guess the movie 300 depicted somewhat accurately the type of training they went through. The part where they would cast into a pit any babies born of defects (did they really use selective breeding?) ...reminds me of the Nazis WWII experimentations with genetic breeding in an attempt to create a 'super race'...no point or correlation intended between the two, I just find it interesting how even 1700 years ago humans were attempting to create the 'perfect specimen'.

                      Also this raises a good question, since Spartans were known for their great health and physique (unless I am mistaken) was it the selective breeding that played a bigger role in this, or their diet? Or was it equal?
                      Last edited by Freedish; 07-29-2010, 12:04 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rendar View Post



                        Is there any research to back up the sugar in fruit creating the same type of insulin spikes that PB teaches you to avoid like the devil?
                        If you look at the glycemic index (which measures the impact that a food has on blood glucose levels over a certain period of time) chart on this website http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_...#axzz0v34BZG00 it shows most fruits to be low on the glycemic index. For instance oranges receive a score of 43 which is 'low'. However some fruits like mango have a score of 55 which can be considered 'medium'. I don't know how accurate these measurements are or if this method even works but it seems pretty reliable to me if diabetic people use it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Freedish View Post
                          Also this raises a good question, since Spartans were known for their great health and physique (unless I am mistaken) was it the selective breeding that played a bigger role in this, or their diet? Or was it both?
                          Their health and physique I don't know about. I can't recall much that any historians I've read have written on it. Possibly it's not something that's been looked into much. About all I know is that you would have to be physically strong to fight in a phalanx. As I understand it, more primitive forms of warfare tend to be more desultory, because while people may want to earn credit for bravery they're basically reluctant to hazard their safety. People might face off, shout a few insults, launch a few missile weapons, and then push off again. There's possibly even a kind of tacit agreement not to push things too far. Many irregular forces in more modern times really only attack when it's safe to do so (but then you can often expect no mercy). But fighting in a phalanx is a much more military, organized affair: it demands an aggressive commitment to a clash. And you'd have to be strong to bear the armour and carry the pike.

                          I think there's a certain similarity with increasing violence between Iron Age groups in South Africa in the 18th century. Eventually you get a move from the throwing assegai to a short, heavy broad-bladed assegai, which is meant for getting in there at close quarters and decisively sorting your opponent out. And along with that you get a more militarized society.

                          I guess archaeologists could try to establish how tall warriors were, and through isotopic analysis of the bones could also determine what sorts of foods they were eating.

                          Yes, the Spartans did expose babies considered unfit. I'm not sure how far they can be said to have practised selective breeding. I'd be a little sceptical about the utility of that anyway. Weston Price was mentioned earlier. I'd have thought that one thing that his studies suggest is that many of what we take to be common human deficiencies are actually a result of poor diets. There's possibly little innate need for orthodontists, opticians, and so on. Natural Selection sorted this all out long ago, and many of our problems are "diseases of civilization". Take eyesight. Price Says:

                          The marvelous vision of these primitive people is illustrated by the fact that they can see many stars that our race cannot see. In this connection it is authoritatively recorded regarding the Maori of New Zealand that they can see the satellites of Jupiter which are only visible to the white man's eye with the aid of telescopes. These people prove that they can see the satellites by telling the man at the telescope when the eclipse of one of the stars occurs. It is said of these primitive Aborigines of Australia that they can see animals moving at a distance of a mile which ordinary white people can not see at all.
                          http://journeytoforever.org/farm_lib...e/price10.html

                          I daresay some people might dismiss that, saying something like Price was "just a dentist", and how can you believe stuff like that? But Charles Darwin says that the Tierra del Fuegians aboard the Beagle could see approaching ships long before the lookouts could, even though the sailors were very practised at spotting distant sails, and who's going to question Darwin's competence and integrity?

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                          • #14
                            Spartans did practice selective breeding in the form of eugenics, by removing the babies they deemed "unfit" from their gene pool. It was done to prevent any "abnormalites" from propagating more than to try and manipulate the gene pool to elicit a desired result. It was primative, yes, but selective breeding none the less.

                            Most of the discarded babies were not killed. It's true that they would leave undesirable babies out on a hillside to die from exposure, but a lot were taken in by the Helots(slaves) to be raised as one of them.

                            As for the SHR. If you want the info for free, then read the Weston A. Price website for the nutritional info and Ross Enamait's site for the exercise info. That pretty much, sums it up!

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                            • #15
                              eating so much fruit is pretty unnatural, back in the day we could only get fruit certain times of the year, eating a tonn every day is a lot of fructose
                              Starting Weight : 338lbs 6/11/2010
                              Current Weight: 266lbs
                              High-school Weight: 235lbs
                              Goal: ????

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