2

votes

Co-worker's junk food vs. Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 12, 2011 at 4:35 PM

I have a co-worker who everyday eats a Big Mac, large fries, Soda and lots of processed refined sugars throughout the day (vending machine junk). The guy is only 25 years old and is in very good looking physical shape. Complete with six pack and ripped arms. He claims to run about 15-20 miles and week and therefore he says he can eat whatever he wants. He's always criticizing me about eating Paleo and says it's stupid. My question is, what can I say as a rebuttal to his annoying smug comments?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 29, 2013
at 03:55 PM

A ripped smart ass isn't going to be influenced much by a critique by a paleo, especially a paleo fat ass.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 29, 2013
at 03:15 PM

He's at the invincible age when the digestive tract can push through an astounding amount of trash and produce ripped muscles. I look at Jack Lalanne as an example of how to prolong physique, and at some point (the earlier the better) you have to ditch the trash. But a young ripped guy wouldn't get that looking at an old muscled pruny guy.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 29, 2013
at 03:11 PM

Oh gad. Lustig's Sugar Rag.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 29, 2013
at 03:08 PM

If you want to convert someone to paleo you have to respond with positivism. Paleo would move a person who's healthy to an even better state.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 29, 2013
at 03:07 PM

Nothing. With all that running he's a living paleo, despite what he eats. The lifestyle counts as much or more for health than the diet.

Dc8ec73989c7b37c006f2031dd648a61

on July 15, 2011
at 06:15 PM

to be honest, whilst I agree with many here that he may become fat in the long run... eating those foods are doing detrimental things to his health regardless of fat-gain or lack thereof. People seem to equate being thin/muscular as being healthy when there is so many aspects of health to consider, in the long run some of those problems (obesity or no obesity) will become an obstacle to even live a normal life and these kinds of people will usually still not put 2 and 2 together to realise its the years of horrible diet/lifestyle.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on June 14, 2011
at 03:26 PM

I've also noticed that age 27-28, especially among (non-rock star) men, is a time they either start to get their lives together or give up. I never put that into the context of nutrition and metabolism, but that's probably a big part of it.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 13, 2011
at 01:49 PM

"...he or his doctor can detect." That is the key. I've been to the doctor a couple times and while I appear in perfect health, backed up by perfect lab numbers, I still have great fatigue and constant headaches. Yet the labs are fine, so the doctor says I'm healthy and I am left to self-diagnose with the internet (b/c I don't buy the "it's normal" quips).

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 13, 2011
at 01:16 AM

+1 for a great answer and for using "proselytization." Impressive.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on June 13, 2011
at 12:34 AM

good lord I couldn't agree more. On both sides, whatEVER your food choices are, unless a debate or conversation is consensual and appropriate...it's almost like religion or politics...just don't!

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 12, 2011
at 09:11 PM

I'm not suggesting that a crap American diet is good for people in their 20s--simply that he may have no illness that he or his doctor can detect. Of course, it is likely to catch up with him sooner or later.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Okay, but as you said, "not apparent." Those "not apparent" problems stay silent enough until BAM, one day you're very sick, and find out you have diabities, depression, cancer, arthritis, Crohns disease. I'm not meaning to scare people, just saying how sickness happens. It happens very fast. I bet this person has health problems, but they are silent enough for him not to have to share.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 12, 2011
at 07:56 PM

I would not be surprised at all. Lots of people in their 20s can tolerate SAD with no apparent health problems.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 12, 2011
at 07:32 PM

I agree. Don't engage in debate with him.

C23ec4b85f3cbeb9ddf6bf78317d56e3

(300)

on June 12, 2011
at 06:24 PM

tell him to enjoy it while it lasts... one day he's going to get fat.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 12, 2011
at 05:39 PM

Why don't you just tell him to mind his business? He's got his food you've got yours.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on June 12, 2011
at 05:26 PM

That is unfortunate, I hope that she recovers her health.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 05:21 PM

I'd say wait till he's 30 ...that magic age when metabolism slows down. I was that dude and now I regret every damn taco bell supreme. People who criticize others choices are lame...even paleos who pass judgement on vegetarians. Ignore him.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 12, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Wait until he is 50 years old and his body starts showing the effects of a long term SAD diet, he is fat, T2 diabetic, high BP and has had a heat attack. Most people when they are young can handle crap food but it's the long term effects that are hazardous.

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11 Answers

best answer

4
254ea62982c287995e11bc3cfd629407

(822)

on June 12, 2011
at 08:18 PM

You probably don't have a lot of footing to actually convince him until he at least tries an experiment for 6-8 weeks to "prove" you wrong. Each of you can throw study after study at each other and go point for point, but until someone decides to try something to see how it affects them personally, arguing is all you'll accomplish.

Take me: I WAS that guy, more or less. I was always very active and thought body fat percentage as a good indicator of health, all the while ignoring other aspects of how crummy I felt (energy, sleepless, digestive problems). I didn't follow an eating plan because I wasn't fat and thus, didn't need to (was the reasoning).

It wasn't until my late thirties that I started to take notice: borderline hypertension, high cholesterol, higher sugar levels, etc. I've been investigating paleo really only from the standpoint of eschewing processed foods, sugar and salt (still use dairy) and will experiment with what works for me. I certainly wish I had the foreknowledge to understand the ramifications of a long-term frankenfood diet.

Unfortunately, you're going to be up against the brashness of youth, which might easily overturn any well-reasoned argument.

13
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 12, 2011
at 07:28 PM

If you want someone to be courteous about your choices then it is best to model that politeness and not answer a rude intrusive question with rude intrusions upon his personal life.

I would suggest you say something like "I am glad you enjoy what you eat! I eat this way because I enjoy the food and I enjoy the way I feel when I accept this pattern, but I understand it isn't for everyone. Please understand that it is the choice I have made for myself right now and I appreciate you supporting me choosing what works for me. I will support you making the choices that work for you."

Uninvited proselytization is, to my mind, always rude. And it feels terrible. I am sorry you had to experience it, but it does seem to a lesson that more people in the paleo community could stand to learn.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 13, 2011
at 01:16 AM

+1 for a great answer and for using "proselytization." Impressive.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 12, 2011
at 07:32 PM

I agree. Don't engage in debate with him.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on June 13, 2011
at 12:34 AM

good lord I couldn't agree more. On both sides, whatEVER your food choices are, unless a debate or conversation is consensual and appropriate...it's almost like religion or politics...just don't!

7
48e51a7af3adc13503c37f4385ac19f2

(105)

on June 12, 2011
at 05:00 PM

I hate to say this, but my sister-in-law used to brag all the time about eating candy bars and Diet Cokes for meals, talking about how lucky she was that she never got fat. Truthfully, for many years she was a beautiful, shapely redhead who appeared pretty fit. Now, about 30 pounds, ten years, the loss of her gorgeous long red hair and four chemotherapy treatments later, she is starting to listen to my advice regarding Paleo nutrition. It is nice to be 25 and think the basic rules of biology don't apply to you. But the earlier you can educate yourself and implement what you have learned, the longer and happier your life will be. Just one person's opinion...

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on June 12, 2011
at 05:26 PM

That is unfortunate, I hope that she recovers her health.

3
4bf5827bfb7df85c5b4b485db0945e64

(1386)

on June 12, 2011
at 05:59 PM

As far as running 15-20 miles per week, that's only 2-3 per day. That's far less physical work than what a professional athlete does or something like that.

If you look into some of the research from guys like Dr. Lustig with fructose, you'll understand he's doing damage to himself whether he knows it or not. Check out his video, "Sugar: The Bitter Truth," on YouTube to understand more about sugar.

Also, sometimes obesity is a warning signal for folks to know that what they're doing is harming them. Sometimes I feel bad for people who don't get this warning signal and then they become diseased much earlier in life from their poor lifestyle choices.

As far as consuming a lot of fried food, look up some of the stuff on the dangers of PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids). You can find good information on a lot of blogs (e.g. Daily Lipid, Archevore, Mark's Daily Apple, etc).

As far as grain consumption, I'm under the impression that many younger adults can tolerate them to a point. He's probably still within that limit. I also believe that eventually most will begin to show negative signs of grain consumption. This is a big more complicated though since it involves an evolutionary perspective.

Anyway, I'd watch that video and read up on the PUFAs. That should give you some good information if you want to talk to him about it although it sounds like your words might fall on a pair of deaf ears.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 29, 2013
at 03:11 PM

Oh gad. Lustig's Sugar Rag.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 05:13 PM

Trust me, the effects will show long before 50. However, there is nothing you can really say. "Youth is wasted on the young". I just turned 42 and my teenage sons still can't catch me! Recently and arbitrarily, I ran into quite a few old friends in my age range. Two of which, were quite accomplished athletes. I am saddened to say that 3 out of 3 are 60 lbs overweight on average, Type 2 diabetic, one has glaucoma and high blood pressure, and all are arthritic. One to the point, that it takes him a considerable amount of time to navigate stairs. Whats scarier is that you can see these negative health effects creeping in at much younger ages.

2
6967518836bd7e2331601a71e937ae0d

(170)

on March 29, 2013
at 03:02 PM

What you eat is not his concern and has no effect on him whatsoever. He sounds very immature, hopefully one day he'll wise up before it's too late.

When I hear about people like that, I feel grateful for all my allergies and sensitivities. I used to think they were weaknesses, but really, they're forcing me to make better decisions at a relatively young age. It's humbling to realize how fragile your life is. Sure your co-worker feels invincible, but he's not. No one is. All we can do is try to be better than we were yesterday and set an example for others that care.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 29, 2013
at 03:15 PM

He's at the invincible age when the digestive tract can push through an astounding amount of trash and produce ripped muscles. I look at Jack Lalanne as an example of how to prolong physique, and at some point (the earlier the better) you have to ditch the trash. But a young ripped guy wouldn't get that looking at an old muscled pruny guy.

1
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on March 29, 2013
at 03:18 PM

Don't say anything in rebuttal to his comments. It's called the high road, and there's no traffic up here...

Have you ever heard of the book 'How To Win Friendsand Influence People' by Dale Carnegie? It's a pretty great analysis of typical social interaction. A key point of his is that there is minimal positive outcome to showing a person the err of their ways. Think about it. Pretty much he won't believe whatever you tell him. On the off chance that you do can prove you're making better choices than him, guess what that makes you in his eyes? The person who ruined his party or added guilt to his favorite foods.

Basically, why bother? You'll be much more satisfied in the end if you just smile & nod. Maybe join him at making a few jokes about your own food. Self-deprication takes the wind right out of the average smart-ass.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 29, 2013
at 03:55 PM

A ripped smart ass isn't going to be influenced much by a critique by a paleo, especially a paleo fat ass.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on June 13, 2011
at 01:41 PM

When I was in my 20's, I hated it when people ~20 years older than me would give me advice telling me that I was a young'un. But I'm 41 now so I'm afraid I'm going to do the same thing...

When you're in your 20's and healthy you can probably eat virtually anything without feeling any ill effects, and the same can be said about drugs and alcohol... abuse of your body doesn't really start to show up until your 30's and definitely in your 40's.

I don't think it's totally a coincidence that many rock and roll musicians died at the age of 27... right around the time when their abuses start to catch up to them.

Smoking is maybe an even better example, you can smoke for 20-30 years without feeling any ill effects, but then you're very likely to die.

So your co-worker can stuff himself full of junk food and feel fit, but in probably 5 years he'll start to have issues and will go into a dietary crisis. Of course that doesn't do anything for his bragging rights now...

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on June 14, 2011
at 03:26 PM

I've also noticed that age 27-28, especially among (non-rock star) men, is a time they either start to get their lives together or give up. I never put that into the context of nutrition and metabolism, but that's probably a big part of it.

1
3f3236d1f951d4b4c25eff387699a905

(554)

on June 13, 2011
at 06:16 AM

Some people aren't affected so much by carbs. I know several people who can eat it regularly without getting fat, however most of the carb-loaded foods are usually very low in nutrition, so it's easy to get nutrition deficiencies without even being aware that you have them. One only notices the deficiencies upon test, or when recovering from them. For his age, that is probably the biggest risk. The rest might come (hopefully not) when he is older.

I don't know why he would think your food choices as stupid however. McD's meat isn't even the best or yummiest, so I don't know exactly what he likes about it hehe

It might be best to leave him be, however frustrating.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Ask him what his health problem is. He must have one. I'm guessing it's something along the lines of no sex drive, or digestive, or rash, or arthritis. Something that's not obvious and on the outside like fatigue or mental problems, but I'd really be amazed if he truelly has no health problems.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 12, 2011
at 07:56 PM

I would not be surprised at all. Lots of people in their 20s can tolerate SAD with no apparent health problems.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Okay, but as you said, "not apparent." Those "not apparent" problems stay silent enough until BAM, one day you're very sick, and find out you have diabities, depression, cancer, arthritis, Crohns disease. I'm not meaning to scare people, just saying how sickness happens. It happens very fast. I bet this person has health problems, but they are silent enough for him not to have to share.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 12, 2011
at 09:11 PM

I'm not suggesting that a crap American diet is good for people in their 20s--simply that he may have no illness that he or his doctor can detect. Of course, it is likely to catch up with him sooner or later.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 13, 2011
at 01:49 PM

"...he or his doctor can detect." That is the key. I've been to the doctor a couple times and while I appear in perfect health, backed up by perfect lab numbers, I still have great fatigue and constant headaches. Yet the labs are fine, so the doctor says I'm healthy and I am left to self-diagnose with the internet (b/c I don't buy the "it's normal" quips).

-1
2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on March 29, 2013
at 03:51 PM

the only reason i dont eat fast food is cuz of fear of that crazy moo moo disease

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