11

votes

Paleo hacking vs Paleo effort? (aka comments on Kurt Harris's latest post)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 10, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Dr. Harris recently posted on paleo-obsessing in order to right the wrongs of life, versus just enjoying life and letting a good diet help you along the way. Paleohacks has recently (ironically?) been a place to discuss/analyze his posts.

What have you over-hacked about, rather than just living life and using good ol' fashioned effort to avoid problems?

I personally obsess a bit over fat oxidation (oh no, is cooking eggs going to backfire on me?), but don't expend enough effort to maintain a natural posture.

2422dcf52da053d610d816fe90d93098

(177)

on April 01, 2011
at 08:46 AM

Thanks for the response.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on March 31, 2011
at 02:04 PM

Body comp, I wanted to see my abs. I had health goals as well tho. My health goals evolved.

2422dcf52da053d610d816fe90d93098

(177)

on March 31, 2011
at 01:53 PM

Stephen, did you have a clear view at the 'start' of the process of the body composition you sought or did it evolve?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 15, 2011
at 08:10 AM

Another super-delayed response from me. @Your comment to Mike below, Kamal: on the one hand it seems like Dr. Harris was attacking the attempt to get results without effort, but on the other hand it seems he was also attacking those who expend way too *much* effort on managing their own health. But I think the common thread is that we should try to have a healthier view of ourselves, rather than assume we are sick (as Dr. H put it elsewhere).

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on February 11, 2011
at 07:59 PM

True, sherpamelissa, I'm 5'10" and 188 right now. :-) I wreaked some havoc on my metabolism too from years of eating way too much junk and being overweight. The numbers from the doctor are looking better and better, though I know he'll harp on the LDL. I'm going to demand a test next time that shows what type of particles they are. At one point, I had the classic syndrome X stats: low HDL, high trigs, elevated BP. Thankfully, though, no diabetes, though I imagine that would have been next if I had continued on that path.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 11, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Well, I'm also much smaller than you, I'm guessing. ;) At 5'2" and 135lbs with a damaged metabolism from years of bad eating, my body is pretty sensitive and gains quickly. It's common in the previously obese.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 11, 2011
at 06:14 PM

Thanks henry! He doesn't notice the ground beef switch so much, it's the steaks he didn't enjoy. Which wasn't fun after spending extra $$ on it! I agree though $6 for a pound of ground beef is crazy!

1ac8e976f84cb2566ecfbbcce1817351

(211)

on February 11, 2011
at 07:52 AM

I usually get the Trader's ground beef. It's really good and tender. The only other source I've tried has been Henry's (in S. Cali--smaller version of Whole Foods), where I had a Chuck Roast for 10 dollars a pound. It was really tough! I'm content sticking with the ground beef, but wish I didn't have to pay 6 dollars a pound... I can really taste and feel the difference when I eat conventional beef now. In some respects, going Paleo has ruined/complicated things... I do a lot of intermittent fasting just because I'm out and about and can't enjoy conventional meat like before. Such a differenc!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 11, 2011
at 05:08 AM

Very good point! Some might assume I obsessing, but really mostly I am just really curious about a lot of this stuff. Obsessing causes stress but curiousity does not.

034c678bff434ab3781e3f1771018af9

(279)

on February 11, 2011
at 03:42 AM

Art posted about posture today. It's all about the abdominal brace and gazing down over one's cheekbones apparently.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on February 11, 2011
at 02:59 AM

Wow! Tweaking is indeed a bit of a different experience for us all.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on February 11, 2011
at 02:46 AM

"But there's a difference between getting obsessed about something because it interests you and being obsessive about something because you're punishing yourself." Very well said. +1

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 11, 2011
at 01:52 AM

If time is flexible on the island, peanut butter and ranch could exist at any timepoint, even paleolithic times.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 11, 2011
at 01:33 AM

...except for that massive store of peanut butter and ranch dressing found in the Dharma hatch? ;-)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 11, 2011
at 01:08 AM

I noticed that you cleverly snuck in "Lost", in which everybody eats paleo...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 11, 2011
at 12:57 AM

And massive pecs are over-rated for everything, I think.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 11, 2011
at 12:56 AM

Yeah, I read KGH to be noting the error in paleohacking in absence of elbow grease. Not like its a pandemic in the paleo community, but there is always the occasional "I need to lose 100 pounds...how do I do this without putting forth any effort?" [Not that there's anything terrible about that--sometimes hacking can be a great shortcut]

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 11, 2011
at 12:50 AM

I take my post to be in agreement with yours.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 11, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Now that's ironic!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 11, 2011
at 12:35 AM

Glutes are super underrated for great posture.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 10, 2011
at 11:49 PM

note that the irony is already noted in the original question!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 10, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Unfortunately, I used to strength train too heavily (formerly an aspiring bodybuilder/powerlifter), and permanently wrecked my joints. So correct posture is a little more difficult with a faulty structure, but it's coming slowly...

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on February 10, 2011
at 09:19 PM

Kamal, do you strength train? My posture is not great, but it never ever improved until I started lifting heavy.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:42 PM

I see a huge difference if I go over 75 grams!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:40 PM

Sadly, my husband ~hates~ the grassfed stuff, he thinks it's tougher and doesn't taste as good. So for things that we are both eating, I buy conventional. I'm working on it though! I'm hoping stuff from a local farm instead of Trader Joes/Whole Foods might be better to him.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:14 PM

Spend the little bit more on grassfed so you don't need the pills at all.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:14 PM

Don't settle for anything less than YOU will be happy with or YOU will not be happy and will add stress to your life. I made that mistake...

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on February 10, 2011
at 06:52 PM

I can't wait till I get there. I probably could at this point - I'm close enough, dangit. But I'm holding out till I get the body comp I really want, not need.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 10, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Maintenance is WEIRD though after spending years with concrete goals. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying not working as hard. It's just mentally it's a big switch for me.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 10, 2011
at 06:37 PM

I quantify the "hacks" as taking .435gram of fish oil and some biotin with your eggs tp counter possible negatives. That's overdoing it

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 10, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Oxidizing eggs isn't hack, it's a good quality decision. I don't stress over it, I just make small changes to ensure I control it stress free, for me, eggs on low. Takes longer, safer. It's there with eat wild meat. Not a hack, but just a better way day to day.

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12 Answers

10
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on February 10, 2011
at 06:34 PM

I hacked till I got the body comp I wanted. Now I'm on a very stress free cruise control.

If I had it to do over I'd push even harder to get here so I could cruise sooner, and enjoy it sooner, rather than take years to slowly coast in.

For many of us with weight or health issues. Fixing those problems is important to do quickly, health for your health, weight for your personal stress, comfort levels.

I can't stress enough how great it feels to coast with no goals other than maintain. No tunnel to look for a light, just Bright daytime!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 10, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Maintenance is WEIRD though after spending years with concrete goals. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying not working as hard. It's just mentally it's a big switch for me.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:14 PM

Don't settle for anything less than YOU will be happy with or YOU will not be happy and will add stress to your life. I made that mistake...

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on February 10, 2011
at 06:52 PM

I can't wait till I get there. I probably could at this point - I'm close enough, dangit. But I'm holding out till I get the body comp I really want, not need.

2422dcf52da053d610d816fe90d93098

(177)

on April 01, 2011
at 08:46 AM

Thanks for the response.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on March 31, 2011
at 02:04 PM

Body comp, I wanted to see my abs. I had health goals as well tho. My health goals evolved.

2422dcf52da053d610d816fe90d93098

(177)

on March 31, 2011
at 01:53 PM

Stephen, did you have a clear view at the 'start' of the process of the body composition you sought or did it evolve?

8
47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 10, 2011
at 11:59 PM

If we're worrying about the irony in our discussing a post that criticizes those who discuss so much, then Dr. Harris should be worrying about it too. How is he spending a lot of his time? Reading about and discussing nutrition. And presumably he'll be doing it more and more, now that he's transitioning into an early retirement or part retirement.

Am I trying to put down Dr. Harris? No, because I don't think there's anything wrong with anyone spending time reading about and talking about nutrition. I do it when I can, because I think it's fun and rewarding.

But there's a difference between getting obsessed about something because it interests you and being obsessive about something because you're punishing yourself. I don't punish myself about nutrition; I don't get upset at myself for doing something "wrong" every once in a while. But I do think about nutrition obsessively. I don't think there's anything wrong with that; I was pretty obsessed with Lost for a while also, but there was no self-punishment involved. (Well, I guess it depends on your feelings about Lost.)

If you think that thinking about paleo is fun, then you should think about paleo. Just don't think that if you beat yourself up about it it's going to make you immortal.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 11, 2011
at 05:08 AM

Very good point! Some might assume I obsessing, but really mostly I am just really curious about a lot of this stuff. Obsessing causes stress but curiousity does not.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on February 11, 2011
at 02:46 AM

"But there's a difference between getting obsessed about something because it interests you and being obsessive about something because you're punishing yourself." Very well said. +1

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 11, 2011
at 01:33 AM

...except for that massive store of peanut butter and ranch dressing found in the Dharma hatch? ;-)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 11, 2011
at 01:52 AM

If time is flexible on the island, peanut butter and ranch could exist at any timepoint, even paleolithic times.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 11, 2011
at 01:08 AM

I noticed that you cleverly snuck in "Lost", in which everybody eats paleo...

6
5edbf85deaf83e13b176df023abb154d

on February 10, 2011
at 11:04 PM

What are we doing?

Talking about the article that talks about how much we over-talk about all of this stuff?

Just checking. :)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 10, 2011
at 11:49 PM

note that the irony is already noted in the original question!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 11, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Now that's ironic!

6
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on February 10, 2011
at 07:46 PM

i think what was being gotten at is overthinking past the basic knowledge of what you need to stop hurting and start repairing yourself is at best a situation of diminishing returns and at worst a time-wasting exercise. once you've cut out culprits of what he calls the "neolithic agents of disease" and gotten all your nutritional ducks in a row, you've greatly reduced the chance that you'll get hit with a debilitating autoimmune disease or some diet-related cancer. at that point, you should fill your time with things that make life full and enjoyable knowing that you've given your well-being a leg up.

3
9e1dedf12f6ee75b7fe460960971fd21

(624)

on February 11, 2011
at 12:41 AM

KGH's post wasn't really saying that 'you shouldn't talk about nutrition' or 'you shouldn't be obsessed with nutrition ever.' It fit in more with the idea that health is the absence of disease, and that the best way to avoid disease is simply to not injure ourselves with food. He disavowed using lots of supplements extra to try to have a status of 'superhealthy' (my term) or that diet will prevent all future ailments.

This post by KGH fits in with some writings from the body by science author, Dr. McGuff, and KGH has praised McGuff and vice versa. It is probably a very natural view for a physician. (my reference to McGuff does not mean I endorse HIT weight training methods).

Thus, one can accept KGH's critique but still talk about nutrition and be concerned about it, especially if you are in the processing of figuring out a reasonable paleo-like diet. When you are trying to figure out and implement such a diet, it requires a degree of obsession. KGH was not saying 'you shouldn't give a $%^& about nutrition.'

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 11, 2011
at 12:56 AM

Yeah, I read KGH to be noting the error in paleohacking in absence of elbow grease. Not like its a pandemic in the paleo community, but there is always the occasional "I need to lose 100 pounds...how do I do this without putting forth any effort?" [Not that there's anything terrible about that--sometimes hacking can be a great shortcut]

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 11, 2011
at 12:50 AM

I take my post to be in agreement with yours.

3
Medium avatar

on February 10, 2011
at 07:34 PM

Depends where you draw the line. Any auto-pilot in modern America will naturally result in an early death. I'd agree that magic pill syndrome is self-defeating, but having, for example, the knowledge that oxalic acids deactivate alpha-amylase and interfere with starch metabolism might lead one to certain food pairings that would not have occurred otherwise. Similarly, drinking with a meal might dilute one's stomach acid and make digestion less effective or increase the risk of infection.

Do we disregard all acquired knowledge regarding eating simply because it doesn't mesh with our natural inclinations?

It takes me slightly more time to slow-cook my meat, but it tastes better to me and has fewer carcinogens. If it didn't taste better but was less carcinogenic, should I not do it because I could have spent that time playing tiddly-winks?

There are certainly a lot of hopelessly neurotic things that people do for longevity's sake that are either completely worthless or have strongly diminishing returns. There are a lot of things that are obvious though.

Eating doesn't get in the way of living; eating is living.

3
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on February 10, 2011
at 06:55 PM

I over hack the numbers for calories/fat/protein/fiber/sodium. You name it, I probably count it... But I got here watching all that very closely and I intend to stay here at this healthy weight, with a body composition I am extremely happy with.

I know that with Paleo eating, I should be able to "eat to satiety", but unfortunately for me I broke my inner satiety meter with disordered eating habits. So, I watch my numbers to keep myself in line.

I don't worry about supplements. I don't take fish oil, I don't take magnesium or Vitamin D. I am so much healthier than I was before and I don't want to replace the old pills with new ones.

I don't worry so much about organic and pastured foods. I understand the reasoning behind and when I can find them and they fit into my budget, I get them. I also still eat a decent amount of conventional meat. (Yes, I know this means I should probably take the fish oil!)

1ac8e976f84cb2566ecfbbcce1817351

(211)

on February 11, 2011
at 07:52 AM

I usually get the Trader's ground beef. It's really good and tender. The only other source I've tried has been Henry's (in S. Cali--smaller version of Whole Foods), where I had a Chuck Roast for 10 dollars a pound. It was really tough! I'm content sticking with the ground beef, but wish I didn't have to pay 6 dollars a pound... I can really taste and feel the difference when I eat conventional beef now. In some respects, going Paleo has ruined/complicated things... I do a lot of intermittent fasting just because I'm out and about and can't enjoy conventional meat like before. Such a differenc!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:14 PM

Spend the little bit more on grassfed so you don't need the pills at all.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:40 PM

Sadly, my husband ~hates~ the grassfed stuff, he thinks it's tougher and doesn't taste as good. So for things that we are both eating, I buy conventional. I'm working on it though! I'm hoping stuff from a local farm instead of Trader Joes/Whole Foods might be better to him.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 11, 2011
at 06:14 PM

Thanks henry! He doesn't notice the ground beef switch so much, it's the steaks he didn't enjoy. Which wasn't fun after spending extra $$ on it! I agree though $6 for a pound of ground beef is crazy!

2
39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on February 11, 2011
at 06:04 PM

I love Kurt Harris and his posts - and I learn so much from him - but I think his posts are getting grumpy lately!

2
5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd

on February 11, 2011
at 04:14 AM

I completely agree with Kurt's post. Good health and nutrition is neither a fine line (8400IU Vit D & 1.8g O3 fish oil & 400mg Mag & ... per day) nor black and white (fat, good; carb, bad).

There's some general principles to be aware of and live by, but by and large the diminishing marginal returns for otherwise healthy people set in pretty quickly. It seems to me he's basically saying don't be this guy.

And FWIW, that relaxed attitude is why I've always preferred about the WAPF over the Paleo. Though I fully realize from the perspective of where-to-blow-off-my-time-on-the-internet, the zeal of the zealot makes for more interesting reading.

2
95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on February 10, 2011
at 07:21 PM

I currently over analyze grams of carbohydrates per day. My n=1 experimenting seems to show me that keeping my intake at about 120 grams or less per day is a big factor in changing my body composition. I used to eat almost 3 times that much on some days when on SAD. The tracking doesn't consume my every waking hour, but I am very vigilant about keeping up with it. Right now it's important to me to have data to prove my point to doctors.

I also track grams of fat and protein, but I don't worry so much about those, as long as I'm eating plenty of animal fats.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on February 11, 2011
at 02:59 AM

Wow! Tweaking is indeed a bit of a different experience for us all.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on February 11, 2011
at 07:59 PM

True, sherpamelissa, I'm 5'10" and 188 right now. :-) I wreaked some havoc on my metabolism too from years of eating way too much junk and being overweight. The numbers from the doctor are looking better and better, though I know he'll harp on the LDL. I'm going to demand a test next time that shows what type of particles they are. At one point, I had the classic syndrome X stats: low HDL, high trigs, elevated BP. Thankfully, though, no diabetes, though I imagine that would have been next if I had continued on that path.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 10, 2011
at 07:42 PM

I see a huge difference if I go over 75 grams!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on February 11, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Well, I'm also much smaller than you, I'm guessing. ;) At 5'2" and 135lbs with a damaged metabolism from years of bad eating, my body is pretty sensitive and gains quickly. It's common in the previously obese.

1
1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

on February 10, 2011
at 06:27 PM

I definitely have been guilty of overhacking (or at least thinking about overhacking) pre-/post-workout nutrition as I've begun working out more and harder.

0
21acbd3da1a44efff1e99caf5a021223

on August 15, 2011
at 05:00 AM

Irony is the ultimate food-obsessive blogging about food obsession. And yeah - a grumpy one at that. Let's hope this doesn't get him crawling out of the woodwork calling me his 'stalker' or some such craziness (the good doctor has only one critic on the Internets, dontcha know...).

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