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  • "Do what works for you"

    We hear and say that around here pretty often.

    I was just thinking though that although there are many ways to do something, is it safe to say that some ways are better/healthier than others? I think so.

    For instance;

    Talking in terms of total health and a little bit also on body composition.

    - Some folks do well with some grain in their diets, by "do well" I mean they maintain body fat levels they're happy with, they have energy, and don't appear to have any health complications at least on the surface, but knowing what we know about grains (and legumes) is it safe to say that even people that do well, could do better or rather BE better off without grains/legumes in their diet? Is this something that can be argued or does it really truly come down to each individual?

    - I don't think there's any arguing against a slower more methodical approach to losing body fat, rather than a quick and dirty way, but maybe there is? I would argue the first being healthier to both body and mind, the second one looks like it can put more stress on you psychologically and make you a slave to your body composition. The only acceptable time for quick fixes IMO would be for the seriously obese, just to get the ball rolling so to speak.

    - Some fitness protocols appear to be better than others, but it's obviously still up to the individual to decide and I think in this particular area personal preference and what you actually LIKE/WANT to do is more important since you'll actually do it.

    I've always wanted to do what is best for myself, and makes the most sense, and doesn't feel as though I'm taking two steps forward and one step back, but I'm met with a lot of resistance sometimes when I try to put forth similar principles to others. They always want to say "that works for you, but not for me" mostly when it comes to diet, but is that accurate? I mean sure, if you don't WANT to give up grains then including them "works for you" but does it really work for you, or is it holding you back?

    I have always placed things in a "good, better, best" type of scheme. A salad from McDonald's is good (it's not), a salad from a restaurant is better, but a salad you make at home with your own ingredients and home made dressing is the best possible choice. Sometimes I feel folks want to argue against this, as is their right, but... I still feel I'm right. In that same token, the south beach diet may be good, the mediterranean diet might be better, but primal is best...

    Maybe I'm just a little full of myself? I'd like not to think so, but maybe?

    Thanks for your input, MDA.
    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

  • #2
    I think one's motive for eating has a lot to do with what "works for" them. Since I don't have weight loss as my goal, I won't know if primal eating is actually working for me in the way I intend it to for another few decades, when I will hopefully be the last one standing, free of the afflictions that will inevitably plague my peers. I don't think weight loss is a measure of "working", unless that is the only objective. Weight Watchers is "working" for my sister, but she eats only mac and cheese, chicken tenders, and green beans to use up those WW points. So is it really working for her, even though she is seeing weightlosss? I think not.
    For lots of tasty recipes, check out my blog -http://lifeasadreger.wordpress.com/

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    • #3
      Originally posted by supersellen View Post
      So is it really working for her, even though she is seeing weightlosss? I think not.
      That's kind of my point. I think in terms of being healthy (not skinny, low bf%, buffed, lean etc etc), you can't do much better than paleo/primal <--- but is this just a biased point of view?
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

      Comment


      • #4
        To me, the "do what works for you" that I say quite often doesn't mean "Do anything, and you'll be guaranteed to be healthy and reach your goals". I just mean that for some people, one method like Primal doesn't resonate in a way that makes it effortless (one of the key words on the front of the PB book!) so they STRUGGLE. If it's a struggle, they won't stick with it anyway.

        As the extreme example, think of our resident Shrinking Violet. Primal is a daily-hourly-minute-by-minute struggle in misery for her. It's not because primal doesn't work, it's because primal is not the right solution at this point in her life for the problems that she individually is facing.

        Also, no way-of-life is guaranteed to give you abundant health for 100 years. People manage to live a life of very poor health habits, and live long. Others live as perfectly as possible, and die young. That's why it's not worth struggling beyond reason or suffering beyond reason if a particular plan--including primal--isn't working for you.
        Liz.

        Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
        Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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        • #5
          Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
          They always want to say "that works for you, but not for me" mostly when it comes to diet, but is that accurate? I mean sure, if you don't WANT to give up grains then including them "works for you" but does it really work for you, or is it holding you back?
          My response is : How do YOU know? I hear the "works for you but not for me" on a daily basis from someone riddled with health issues that DO invade my life and do make my own life harder but has NEVER tried to change the dietary ways.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
            Some folks do well with some grain in their diets, by "do well" I mean they maintain body fat levels they're happy with, they have energy, and don't appear to have any health complications at least on the surface, but knowing what we know about grains (and legumes) is it safe to say that even people that do well, could do better or rather BE better off without grains/legumes in their diet? Is this something that can be argued or does it really truly come down to each individual?
            In some cases, I do think it comes down to the individual. That being said, I think that everyone tends to make some tradeoffs when it comes to food and health; personally I choose not to fixate on grains/legumes, at least as far as other people are concerned. For example, I know someone who lives on a farm, grows her own vegetables, raises her own livestock, collects milk and eggs from her own animals, and yes -- eats grains. She grows biodynamically-farmed spelt, hand-grinds the grains, and bakes her own bread. I eschew grains, but then I also live in a city and end up eating some things that aren't so great, like pasteurized milk and cheese or mass-produced chickens. I guess I am saying, while I don't think that it's a great idea to regularly subject yourself to insulin surges and blood sugar crashes, my choices aren't 100% healthy, either, and I can't really see myself judging others.

            And as lizch said, it only works if you can stick to it.

            I don't think there's any arguing against a slower more methodical approach to losing body fat, rather than a quick and dirty way, but maybe there is? I would argue the first being healthier to both body and mind, the second one looks like it can put more stress on you psychologically and make you a slave to your body composition. The only acceptable time for quick fixes IMO would be for the seriously obese, just to get the ball rolling so to speak.
            This is a good article about that: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...t-for-you.html

            That being said, when I was actually overweight, it was easy to shed pounds just by counting calories. I ate lots of rice cakes with apple butter, reduced fat Wheat Thins with Laughing Cow lite cheese, baked corn chips with salsa, and the like; those were my go-to snacks. For me personally, it's when I'm aiming to go from average to lean that I need to take more drastic measures. As far as "quick fixes" I think those are only appropriate if you need to make a weight class or do a bodybuilding competition or something -- basically, a reason why the weight loss could be temporary.

            Some fitness protocols appear to be better than others, but it's obviously still up to the individual to decide and I think in this particular area personal preference and what you actually LIKE/WANT to do is more important since you'll actually do it.
            Completely agreed.

            I believe that PB fitness is the absolute best protocol for general health and wellness. That being said it is not for me. First, I would love to play, move often, be physical in my everyday life, etc, but life just doesn't permit. I have a desk job and I'm a student. I'm sedentary when I'm not working out, and scheduled gym time is the only way I get exercise. Also I strongly prefer training where there is some sort of competition to motivate me, like running races or competing in boxing. Otherwise I'm not motivated at all. Is it better than being sedentary? I don't know. I say yes, though. And I'm frankly happier being lean, muscular, and physically capable.

            I've always wanted to do what is best for myself, and makes the most sense, and doesn't feel as though I'm taking two steps forward and one step back, but I'm met with a lot of resistance sometimes when I try to put forth similar principles to others. They always want to say "that works for you, but not for me" mostly when it comes to diet, but is that accurate? I mean sure, if you don't WANT to give up grains then including them "works for you" but does it really work for you, or is it holding you back?
            I think part of the problem is that people don't want to make a lifestyle change. They want a discrete diet that you go on and then off. I've noticed on conventional fitness forums that extreme measures (i.e. HCG diet, replacing meals with shakes, PSMF) seem to appeal to people more than slow, moderate ones. Losing weight is easy. Weight maintenance is hard. People who keep the weight off in the long-term are considered statistical anomalies. Maintenance means that you are essentially working with no reward, change, or results. You're turning down birthday cake and breakfast donuts but the scale isn't going down, it stays the same. So I guess I am saying...when people say that PB doesn't "work" for them, is it really specific issues like grains? Or is it that they don't want to make a lifestyle change, period?

            To me, PB is the easiest way to maintain your weight. You eat non-starchy veggies, meat, eggs, a little bit of berries/nuts/dairy, and you're good, you don't really have to think about it. I don't know how people can eat grains without counting calories. A serving of cereal, pasta, or rice is so tiny once you start measuring that it just isn't satisfying. If nothing else, I have no idea how people can maintain weight intuitively without severely limiting grains. But if they "need" their morning bowl of oatmeal and can eat PB otherwise, I think it's truly fine.
            My food blog ~ http://stuffimakemyhusband.blogspot.com
            My primal success story

            "Boxing seems to contain so complete and so powerful an image of life -- life's beauty, vulnerability, despair, incalculable and often self-destructive courage -- that boxing IS life, and hardly a mere game." --Joyce Carol Oates

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            • #7
              That reminds me of part of an old ST song. (I'm pasting it here, not remembering the whole thign)

              I was sitting in my room when my mom and my dad came in and they pulled up a chair and they sat down.
              They go:
              Mike, we need to talk to you.
              And I go:
              Okay what's the matter?
              They go:
              Me and your mom have been noticing lately that you've been having a lot of problems,
              And you've been going off for no reason and we're afraid you're going to hurt somebody,
              And we're afraid you're going to hurt yourself.
              So we decided that it would be in you're best interest if we put you somewhere
              Where you could get the help that you need.
              And I go:
              Wait, what are you talking about, WE decided!?
              MY best interests?! How do you know what MY best interest is?
              How can you say what MY best interest is? What are you trying to say, I'M crazy?
              When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches,
              I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities?! So how can you say I'M crazy?

              They say they're gonna fix my brain
              Alleviate my suffering and my pain
              But by the time they fix my head
              Mentally I'll be dead

              I'm not crazy - Institutionalized
              You're the one who's crazy - Institutionalized
              You're driving me crazy - Institutionalized
              They stuck me in an institution,
              Said it was the only solution,
              to give me the needed professional help,
              to protect me from the enemy - Myself

              Doesn't matter, I'll probably get hit by a car anyways.
              http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lizch View Post
                To me, the "do what works for you" that I say quite often doesn't mean "Do anything, and you'll be guaranteed to be healthy and reach your goals". I just mean that for some people, one method like Primal doesn't resonate in a way that makes it effortless (one of the key words on the front of the PB book!) so they STRUGGLE. If it's a struggle, they won't stick with it anyway.
                Excellent point -- this verbalizes pretty much what I mean whenever I say "Hey if it works for you." It's easy to forget that the readers here are generally going to be people who feel primal works for them, or at least could work for them. But there's still a giant proportion of people out there who, even if they believe the science and rationale behind this, just won't be able to buy into this enough to succeed -- undercut by force of habit, social pressure, etc. Definitely something to keep in mind when talking to forum newbies vs. more seasoned folks.

                Originally posted by lizch View Post
                Also, no way-of-life is guaranteed to give you abundant health for 100 years.
                Yep. We touched on this in my journal the other day. Sure, this is at least in theory a pay now for food so you don't pay later for medical bills approach. But of course you never know what you've prevented, and not everything will automagically be prevented. Some of us will still fall prey to chronic health issues later in life. But at least we're maximizing the chances of things being good, I think. It's a gamble, sort of like health insurance that actually reduces your risks.
                "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jenny View Post
                  Some of us will still fall prey to chronic health issues later in life. But at least we're maximizing the chances of things being good, I think. It's a gamble, sort of like health insurance that actually reduces your risks.
                  Yes, this is how I feel about breastfeeding too. Doesn't guarantee a 100% healthy baby, but if your baby gets sick, at least you can let go of some guilt. At the trivial end of the scale, one of the benefits of breastfeeding is supposed to be better tooth and palate development, reducing the need for orthodontics. Despite breastfeeding my last two for 2 and 3 years respectively, they still have huge teeth in little jaws. But at least I did everything I could
                  Liz.

                  Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                  Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the input guys, valid points all around.

                    I think that to ME when I’m met with resistance this is what it translates to in my mind: “I hear ya, and yeah your way is better, but I’m still going to take this less-than-optimal road and see where it takes me. I’m going to ride this ‘mediocrity’ thing out, see how it goes… thanks though!”

                    Obviously those aren’t their words, but that’s how I interpret them. A friend of mine was sort of primal for about half a second, decided she couldn’t hack it, and went back to a CW “healthy” diet of whole grains, low fat this and that, tread-milling it, etc etc, Jillian fucking Michaels (my friend wants to look like her) and it was just like a bit of a blow to me, or to my ego, who knows.
                    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lizch View Post
                      To me, the "do what works for you" that I say quite often doesn't mean "Do anything, and you'll be guaranteed to be healthy and reach your goals". I just mean that for some people, one method like Primal doesn't resonate in a way that makes it effortless (one of the key words on the front of the PB book!) so they STRUGGLE. If it's a struggle, they won't stick with it anyway.
                      I also say this here, and I typically mean, "within primal ranges, do what works for you." IE, if eating 150 g carbs of fruit/veg (primal carbs) a day works for you, and you're not trying to lose weight, go for it! Or if going VLC feels best for you, stick with it! Eating dairy/not eating dairy, eating nuts/not eating nuts, etc...Whatever! I say this to people *here* b/c the focus here is on primal eating. I wouldn't say this to a CW buddy who is not interested. (I might (MIGHT) share a bit about what I do if they are interested, or share a link to the PB 101 if they seem REALLY interested, but I sure don't dole out dietary advice to folks 'out there', saying 'do what works for you'. I know what 'works for' my mom. Gluten galore w/ sugar on top. I don't expect her to change but I'm also not going to recommend she keeps doing that if she's seeking better health.)

                      I *do* think some choices/options are better, more health-serving than others. That's why I love reading/learning/sharing in places like this. BUT I cannot know what its like to be in someone else's body, to live their lives, to make the choices they make. I cannot know what is really best in this moment for anyone else. I do think most would be healthier and happier eating a real food, more primal style diet (w/ a WIDE range of macros, tailored to each individual's needs), BUT, each of us need to make those choices for ourselves. If someone told me "it is not healthy to eat any chocolate, ever", I would take that info (if backed by research ) into account, and then still go w/ what worked best for me. Sometimes chocolate is just damn worth it, for my mental well being, not to mention the sensuous pleasures it brings, w/ very little negatives for me. (Luckily for me, a little dark choc here and there totally fits into *my* way of primal eating...)

                      Also, there are lots of individual factors to consider. In the past, I've reacted to eggs, so while they may be an awesome source of nutrients esp if they are from pastured hens, they were not good *for me* at one point in time. I don't do well with dairy. It gives me a cold almost instantly. Does this mean dairy is horrible? Lots of folks utilize dairy as an awesome source of healthy fats. My experience doesn't cancel that out. Same can be said for nettles, which are full of minerals and vitamins, and can be a wonderful addition to one's diet--they give me a terrible headache, so don't work *for me*. What it all comes back to, for me, is how it feels in _my_ body. And if my body is so variable (I can handle eating/taking something one month and not the next, or couldn't eat it and now can w/ no ill effects), how can I possibly know what works best for someone else?

                      And, if someone eating grains and lots of sugar has diabetes, and has been exposed to info like that in the PB but continues to eat the diabetes-causing SAD, it must be 'working for her/him' enough that she/he won't change it. I do think what 'works for' someone could be vastly different from what is most physically healthy for them... I guess it depends on how you define 'works for'. To me, what 'works for' someone is what they are doing now, at this point in time. Being vegetarian 'worked for' me for 12 years, until it didn't, and I was sick, fat, and had a baby dealing with food intolerance issues. It suddenly wasn't *worth it* to stick to a high gluten/dairy/soy/corn and no meat diet when my kid had rashes all the time and would wake up in the middle of the night for hours screaming in pain at 14 mo. My values/priorities shifted, and making food from scratch free of gluten/dairy+ became more important to me than the ease of packeged foods. We each make these decisions every day, and they are extremely personal, and based on whatever knowledge and experiences we have been exposed to up to this moment...(I'm so grateful for the introduction to traditional foods and then primal/paleo eating--life changing for me!)

                      I do think sticking to real foods, w/ limited grains, is best for humans in general. I do think looking at our ancestors to see what they would have relied on for sustenance is a good idea. I think we all need certain nutrients for optimal health, and that there is a wide range of places to get them. I also think there are sooooo many individual differences that there is no one single diet that is best for all. And as for 'what works for' each of us, there are sooooo many factors that I don't think I could ever prescribe exactly for another what will 'work for' them...It's just really complex stuff!
                      My Before/After Pics
                      Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                      "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                        I think that to ME when I’m met with resistance this is what it translates to in my mind: “I hear ya, and yeah your way is better, but I’m still going to take this less-than-optimal road and see where it takes me. I’m going to ride this ‘mediocrity’ thing out, see how it goes… thanks though!”
                        Ah yes. This is why I really try not to talk too much about it unless someone is REALLY interested, and then I still typically send them to MDA (so they can look into it on their own time if they are really wanting to learn more.) The results speak for themselves. NO ONE who knew me 3 years ago (or for most of my life) can deny that what I'm doing works for me. I've NEVER looked or felt better than this. And folks are slowly joining me w/out me evangelizing all that much--my dad and sister both have (in their own ways--dad does Protein Power/Eades LC plan for health, and sister does primal + rice and potatoes), and my husband is gluten free. My mom added pastured/grass fed meat into her diet after being vegetarian for 6 years. I have not tried to debate w/ them about this stuff. It's just happened over time, b/c they wanted to feel better, and saw that I was. Awesome IMO! I really avoid talking w/ others about it though unless I suspect they'll be quite open to it, b/c I don't want to debate, and I think if they are really REALLY interested in making real changes, they will get the info they need.
                        My Before/After Pics
                        Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                        "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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                        • #13
                          I usually eat under 40G of carbs a day. My daily menu usually looks like the one from Atkins induction except without the frankenfoods. This is what works for me as it's the only way I can control my blood sugar. Also, I feel GREAT. If I eat more carbs than this my energy levels drop and I feel sluggish, but I know that some of you wouldn't feel so good eating so few carbs. Today I've eaten two eggs and a few strips of bacon fried in butter, and a few cups of coffee with cream. It's 10pm here and I'm bursting with energy and don't feel hungry at all, it seems like the less I eat, the better I feel. I say do what works for you as long as it stays within the PB.

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                          • #14
                            I try not to be judgemental about anyone else's diet because frankly I don't want them to be judgemental about mine. I was vegetarian for two years and lost thirty pounds. Aside from some fairly obvious digestion problems with grains (LOL) I felt pretty dang good in fact. Since going primal my fasting glucose has actually increased rather than decreased and I haven't lost a single pound, so if this turns out to not be the most optimal way of eating for me, I won't have a problem going back to being a vegetarian. Of course I'm going to give PB the best shot I can, but in the end I will choose to do 'what works for me'.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                              That's kind of my point. I think in terms of being healthy (not skinny, low bf%, buffed, lean etc etc), you can't do much better than paleo/primal <--- but is this just a biased point of view?
                              I'm becoming convinced that there is optimal diet for humans and its very strict paleo and low carb (with possible seasonal variations on food). The more you can deviate from this (i.e, eating higher carb, adding in dairy, legumes, nightshades, sugars, grains [god forbid]), depends on how well you can tolerate those different poisons, which is what I think the true variation among people (diet wise) boils down to. For example, I'm down the end of the spectrum that can't tolerate poisons very well compared to most people, so I feel the effects of eating crap more than most.
                              A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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