NY Times Promotes High Fat Diet and Intermittent Fasting!… Almost

by Paleo Rob on 16/12/2010

A new article from the New York Times website almost advocates a high-fat diet with intermittent fasting before training. I say almost, because even though all the evidence pointed to that conclusion, the author, Gretchen Reynolds, of the article couldn’t fathom the concept. Conventional Wisdom is a hard bitch to get rid of.

Lets rip apart the bullshit article, piece by piece:

The holiday season brings many joys and, unfortunately, many countervailing dietary pitfalls. Even the fittest and most disciplined of us can succumb, indulging in more fat and calories than at any other time of the year. The health consequences, if the behavior is unchecked, can be swift and worrying. A recent study by scientists in Australia found that after only three days, an extremely high-fat, high-calorie diet can lead to increased blood sugar and insulin resistance, potentially increasing the risk for Type 2 diabetes. Waistlines also can expand at this time of year, prompting self-recrimination and unrealistic New Year’s resolutions.

So let’s start with ingraining into peoples’ minds from another study (not linked to in this article) that a high fat, high calorie diet is evil, so by now the author has lost all credibility because they are clearly biased, and anything else from this point on can be considered crap but let’s read on.  I HATE YOU GRETCHEN.

But a new study published in The Journal of Physiology suggests a more reliable and far simpler response. Run or bicycle before breakfast. Exercising in the morning, before eating, the study results show, seems to significantly lessen the ill effects of holiday Bacchanalias.

Dear god, she links to the study. I LOVE YOU GRETCHEN.

For the study, researchers in Belgium recruited 28 healthy, active young men and began stuffing them with a truly lousy diet, composed of 50 percent fat and 30 percent more calories, overall, than the men had been consuming. Some of the men agreed not to exercise during the experiment. The rest were assigned to one of two exercise groups. The groups’ regimens were identical and exhausting. The men worked out four times a week in the mornings, running and cycling at a strenuous intensity. Two of the sessions lasted 90 minutes, the others, an hour. All of the workouts were supervised, so the energy expenditure of the two groups was identical.

Gee Gretchen, tell us how you really feel. Biased much? I HATE YOU GRETCHEN.

The study itself actually looks pretty good. I can’t get a hold of the full paper and I would love to see what they would classify as fat in their diet, other than that, the study looks pretty good.

The experiment lasted for six weeks. At the end, the nonexercising group was, to no one’s surprise, super-sized, having packed on an average of more than six pounds. They had also developed insulin resistance — their muscles were no longer responding well to insulin and weren’t pulling sugar (or, more technically, glucose) out of the bloodstream efficiently — and they had begun storing extra fat within and between their muscle cells. Both insulin resistance and fat-marbled muscles are metabolically unhealthy conditions that can be precursors of diabetes.

Obviously if you eat 30% over your BMR and don’t exercise you are going to put on weight. So yes I agree Gretchen, it didn’t surprise anyone. But lets look at the next paragraph.

The men who ate breakfast before exercising gained weight, too, although only about half as much as the control group. Like those sedentary big eaters, however, they had become more insulin-resistant and were storing a greater amount of fat in their muscles.

So the men who ate breakfast before exercising gained weight, well that’s interesting. Why is that interesting.  Because if you go up a few paragraphs what were that group eating?

One of the groups ate a hefty, carbohydrate-rich breakfast before exercising and continued to ingest carbohydrates, in the form of something like a sports drink, throughout their workouts.

So it was the men who ate a hefty carbohydrate-rich breakfast (not a fatty one?). Oh well obviously the conclusion is that a carbohydrate rich breakfast full of sugars is the problem. Isn’t that right Gretchen?…. Gretchen?… You there?

A few paragraphs down:

In other words, working out before breakfast directly combated the two most detrimental effects of eating a high-fat, high-calorie diet. It also helped the men avoid gaining weight.

Gretchen I hate you more than I hate having my leg humped by a horny pitbull.

The rest of the article is just all blah blah, read it for yourself, if you have the patience, although there is another great quote there towards the end:

Exercising on an empty stomach is unlikely to improve your performance during that workout.

Oh really? Wheres the study that says that? Oh that’s right, you just pulled it out of your ass! How about you go ask Richard from freetheanimal.com or Marty from leangains.com how unlikely it is that training fasted will improve your performance.

I know I should expect this bullshit by now, but seriously, it is still very disappointing when authors just blatantly write biased articles. A great study is conducted, and this idiot tries to bend and twist the results to suit her ideas on what a healthy diet should consist of. Grrr.

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