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Dealing with other dieters?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 05, 2011 at 11:34 PM

One problem I've had in speaking to others about Paleo, or even just low-carb and avoiding grains, starches, and sugars, is that people that have had success on other diets, are more body-building minded, or are firmly in the calories-in-calories-out group don't seem to listen to simple reasoning.

You can cite studies that show how insulin and blood sugar are intricately tied together and are the keys in not only fat loss, but also in most Western health related issues. Studies that show how mice on controlled diets that would normally maintain a lean frame actually become obese when insulin or other hormones that increase LPL activity on fat cells are controlled.

These people may even understand the basics behind the GI chart, and understand that higher GI foods translate to more blood sugar and thus a higher insulin response. But, getting them to relate to the fact that calories-in-calories-out isn't the most important concept, that the more traditional calorie-restriction diets actually show results because of an unconscious reduction in (bad) carbohydrates, is just not working. Body builders, or at the very least people that are more concerned about putting on muscle mass, are the worst, because they seem to be very in to the raw science of things, but make things so complex that they can't focus on the basic concepts. Occam's razor, it seems, is totally lost on them.

I myself have only really started to go back to basics, and recently reading "Why We Get Fat" has really simplified much of concepts behind a low-carb (or rather, just a no-bad-carb) diet. It's not even the Paleo part that gets to people, it's just the simple ideas of getting rid of bad carbs, which doesn't mean low carb, and not being so afraid of good and animal fats. I have only my own experiences to go on - how I'm effortlessly losing body fat, how my mood is uncharacteristically stable, and how various other things have changed positively (acne gone, heightened senses, better sleep), but they write these off as well.

I respect many of them for progress they themselves have made and the lengths they have gone to educate themselves on these concepts, but it is very frustrating to me that so many of them are so stubborn. This isn't so much a question, as it is somewhat of a way for me to vent off frustration, but how do you go about dealing with people like this? Many of them refuse to read things which disagree with years of previous research they might have done, or against progress they have made before. It is just unfortunate, I feel, that when you realize the person you're arguing with won't listen to reason, that ceasing the argument didn't feel like you've lost. I just have to focus on my results, and wish them the best of luck I suppose.

Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

(2854)

on February 06, 2011
at 03:06 PM

I agree. It's such a sensitive subject, so I have a rule not to talk at length about it or debate with conventional dieters unless somebody asks specifically about my lifestyle. It's hard when I feel so passionately about paleo, but my hope is that people will see how healthy, fit, and energetic I am and that will be convincing enough!

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Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on February 06, 2011
at 05:59 AM

I live in Seattle which is thick with not only CW/SAD people, but with veggie/vegans as well. Although I am fairly new to paleo myself, I realized long ago that arguing diet is similar to politics or religion. You spend a bunch of time and energy, and the only thing that changes is your blood pressure.

The reality is, unfortunately, that if we want to compare "accepted" scientific studies and such, we are still deeply in the minority. there is so much information out there that contradicts each other, diet is really about personal experience and what youve found that works for you. So i just say that this is my thing, it works for me, it may or may not work for you. I'm here if you want to know more about it.

Of course, in the back of my mind I'm saying "...and I'll see you at your funeral."

Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

(2854)

on February 06, 2011
at 03:06 PM

I agree. It's such a sensitive subject, so I have a rule not to talk at length about it or debate with conventional dieters unless somebody asks specifically about my lifestyle. It's hard when I feel so passionately about paleo, but my hope is that people will see how healthy, fit, and energetic I am and that will be convincing enough!

1
A78b6ea3f3af17ec514d019a1f9cce25

(145)

on February 06, 2011
at 03:40 AM

Totally can relate to both of you. It seems the media and conventional wisdom all influences who you talk to, especially the gym scene. All you can do is tell them your experiences and try to respect their decision. In the end it's your body.

1
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on February 06, 2011
at 12:52 AM

I hear you, Wil. It's a hard lesson to learn and even harder to explain to people.

I lost over 100lbs eating SAD, but with high protein/moderate carb/high fiber. It's especially hard for me to explain it to people that are aware of how I've been eating for the last 5 years.

What I generally do, is try not to focus on the science, but on the difference it's made for me. I tell them that I don't eat "processed foods". I don't try and explain gluten and insulin and all that initially. What I say is that I feel better than I ever have before, that I have been able to raise the number if calories I eat for maintenance and do less exercise.

The main thing I focus on is that I didn't really believe it either, until I tried it. I really only thought it would be a 30 day thing for me. I would do it and prove to my trainer that I did know how to eat and that his plan was not better than what I was already eating. Well, after that first 30 days, I was hooked!

Your best bet is to try and get your friends to try it!

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