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Moms Need Steak and Yet Another Fasting Study

First on the docket for this round of Monday Musings: steak. Steak is an objectively good thing. It can heal wounds and improve your squat. There’s really no conceivable reason not to eat steak, and plenty of reasons to cram it down one’s gullet on a regular basis. O sacred slab, thou finest fuel for metabolic processes. Gift of cud and hoof…¬†Okay, let me get to the point, before I get off track and turn this post into a terrible 2,000 word ode to steak.

Steak is a rich source of B-vitamins, especially B-12 (fish [1] and dairy [2] are also good for it), which is crucial for infant neurological development. A new study [3] suggests prenatal B-12 levels might even influence a baby’s propensity to cry. Researchers tested the B-12 levels of 3,000 pregnant women three months into their pregnancy; after their children were born, they measured the infants’ crying patterns. Kids born to mothers with the lowest B-12 levels were more likely to cry louder and longer – up to eight times more likely than kids born to mothers with the highest levels. I don’t blame the kids. I become a weepy mess if, say, my ribeye isn’t thawed in time for dinner. Hmm, so what’s the solution? Eat some steak [4]… right?

Wrong. The resident nutritionist warns that meat “comes with saturated fats which can hinder the body’s use of essential fats needed for the baby’s brain and nervous system development.” I guess nothing’s safe, eh? (That’s sarcasm, in case it isn’t clear.)

Next up, there’s a new review study [5] out that’s pretty favorable to intermittent fasting. Only here they call it “intermittent calorie restriction,” which involves 24 hours of ad libitum [6] food intake alternated with 24 hours of “complete or partial” calorie restriction, and they compare it to regular calorie restriction [7]. Both methods seem to work well for weight loss, but intermittent fasting – er, sorry, I meant intermittent calorie restriction – preserves more lean mass [8], which is the stuff we want to preserve, especially as we lose weight. Otherwise you’re on your way to being skinny fat [9]. You see that a lot on folks who consciously and painfully restrict calories, whereas the people I know who IF [10] tend to run leaner and denser. Weight is such a vague figure [11] when it comes to human health, anyway. I prefer to know how much three dimensional space my body’s mass is occupying [12], or how much water it’s displacing. The denser you get, the less space you occupy. You can have a tight, muscular body and weigh as much as or more than the classically overweight guy.

So, to sum up, this is yet another review suggesting that IF is the best way to lose fat mass and preserve lean mass [13]. They didn’t get into which mode of calorie restriction was easier and more sustainable, but I’d wager that intermittent calorie restriction takes that title as well. It really does seem to be racking up the wins [14] as of late, yeah?

That’s it for today. Feel free to chime in with tales of steak and IF success!