Husband points, embarrassing office wear, and the obesity epidemic

by Kim on November 15, 2013

Hey guys! Happy Friday!

Thanks for the interesting discussion yesterday on the Paleo diet! I think the key takeaway was our favorite go-to: do what works for you. Of course, in order to find what works best for me, I have to try different things!

I’m not sure if I’ll fully embrace Paleo, down to the bone broth/fermented foods level, but we have been eating a lot of simple, meat-based meals lately, thanks to the fact that I’m so completely reliant on the crockpot for dinners now. Last night, we had shredded chicken tacos (chicken breasts slow-cooked in salsa all day long) and they were soooo dang good…I’m already excited for leftovers tonight.

On deck for tomorrow night: BBQ beef ribs! And Sunday: pot roast! Caveman food FTW!

Before I get into what’s on my mind today, I wanted to publicly issue Brent 600 Husband Points for this:

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He knows tulips are my favorite, and is even willing to track them down IN THE WINTER. What a guy, right?

Instead of cramming them all into one vase, I decided to keep half at home and bring half into work, so I could stare at them all day long.

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I feel like I always have a different assortment of things I want to bring in to work everyday, to the point where my Morning Zombie self is totally overwhelmed by it.

Honestly, I have to write lists for myself every night and leave them on the counter:

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This one is reminding me to:

1) Make coffee. (Like, who needs to be reminded to do that?)

2) Take the crock pot out of the fridge, connect it with its electronic other half, and plug it in.

3) Place the coffee made in Step 1 into a coffee mug for transportation to work.

4) Grab an apple for a snack. (Typically, I’d have to pack lunch too, but this time I still had stuff at work from the previous day, since we’d ended up getting lunch catered in for a meeting.)

5) Bring cans for our work food drive. (Which, by the way, is the most immensely competitive event you can imagine. We’re competing for an extra half day PTO, but you’d think it was the Hunger Games.)

Speaking of food, I’ve been eating like a king at work, thanks to your friend and mine: Trader Joe’s.

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I have legit intentions of making food pile lunches for work like I always did at home, but I’m letting myself ease into the first few weeks of working momhood with grab-and-go’s.

I worry that I’m already a little too comfortable at my job. Like, look what I’ve been wearing around the office all week with my black dress pants:

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Isn’t that horrifying? (No one’s said anything…yet…)

But my feet get so cold in my dumb little flats! And I don’t have any shoes that meet these two basic criteria: A) Professional/somewhat cute. B) Can be worn with socks. Really need to do something about that.

Now for the latest in Daily Commute Fitness Podcast News: I’ve started listening to Underground Wellness and am LOVING it so far. This episode about the obesity epidemic was so compelling and information-saturated that I actually listened to it twice in a row. In it, Sean Croxton of UW interviews obesity researcher/expert Zoe Harcombe.

Here are some of the key takeaways, although I highly recommend listening to the episode and digging into the information on Zoe’s website for more in-depth explanations:

The idea that there are 3500 calories = 1 pound is untrue and misleading. Zoe explains how it’s based on bad math, including lots of estimation and rounding, and that if you do the math carefully, you can actually come up with estimates that cover a huge 700 calorie range.

Even if the 3500 calorie thing was accurate, it’s not something to base your diet on. (As in, a 3500 calorie/week deficit = 1 pound/week lost.) The body is just way too smart for that. Instead of giving up fat in this perfectly methodical, mathematical way, it will simply adjust to what you’re doing. The house always wins, right?

Zoe references herself as an example on this: when she was struggling with anorexia as a teenager and was easily maintaining a 1000 calorie a day deficit, she was not dropping weight at rates anywhere near what the 3500 calorie method would suggest.

According to Zoe, if the calorie theory were correct, every human would lose 104 pounds every year if they maintained a 1,000 calorie a day deficit (no matter their gender, starting weight, genetic variances, etc).

Similarly, morbidly obese people don’t gain weight at the rate the theory suggests they should.

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–The other thing the 3500 calorie deficit diet theory suggests is that our bodies immediately plunge into our fat stores to make up the calorie difference. But really, our bodies don’t give up fat that easily. Instead, they just look at the checklist of things to do that day (cell repair, hormone adjustment, energy production, etc.) and just cross a few things off. Dang smart bodies!

The body doesn’t actually need us to eat carbohydrates. At all. And it definitely doesn’t need us to eat the amounts of it that we do.

–All of the studies that demonized fat were focusing on the wrong bad guy. The real culprit has always been processed foods. It’s not fat’s fault that we’re fat.

–(This is from Zoe’s website, not the podcast, but I liked it and wanted to include it here) If you had to pick 5 foods to eat everyday, the best choices would be meat (ideally liver), fish (ideally sardines), eggs, sunflower seeds, and spinach. (Hello Paleo!)

Here’s the full list of “obesity myths” Zoe attacks on her website, including the ones mentioned here, if you’re interested in reading more:

Energy in does not equal energy out

Eating less will not make us weigh less

Weight gain is about fat stored, not calories<

1lb does not equal 3,500 calories

You will not lose 1lb every time you create a deficit of 3,500 calories

We have got cholesterol completely wrong

Saturated fat does not cause heart disease

Fat does not clog up our arteries

Fruit is fuelling the obesity epidemic

Sedentary behaviour did not cause this obesity epidemic…& exercise will not cure it

What do you think?

Does Zoe have obesity all figured out? And if so, what the heck are we going to do about it?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jade November 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm

The obesity epidemic if I even just bring it down to my own level – I am not obese, just 15-20 pounds overweight, and I remember when I first started my journey on losing weight I had purchased the “Slim in 6” I followed the meal plan, exercise plan to a “T”. I calculated each day what potentially I would lose, did not weigh myself until the end, and was a little shocked how I had only lost like 4 pounds, sure I lost a bit more in inches (I don’t remember the number as back then I was way focused on the weight), but I felt so disheartened! Fast forward to now, it’s the same, I try to watch what I eat, I maintain activity and it’s like my body monitors everything i do. Anyways, little vent ;) but weight loss is very intriguing as no one can do it the same to get the same results.

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Rachelle November 18, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Those are interesting points. Though I think the calorie calculations is not really meant to be solely based upon when losing weight, it’s merely a guide. What works for one might not for another.
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Emily @Sinful Nutrition November 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Thanks for the great post! As a dietitian it is great ( and disheartening at the same time) to hear what we have been taught all these years may not be as accurate as we think. I’d love to read Zoe’s book and will be checking out the podcast as well!
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Alex @ Alex Runs For Food November 16, 2013 at 6:31 am

You should look into some toms or something. I bought a pair that are furry on the inside and I can wear socks with them :)

I don’t know about her obesity myths… I think again it comes down to everybody is different. I can eat as healthy as humanly possible but I won’t lose a single pound unless I’m also working out! But I have a friend who can lose weight simply by eating right :)

Also…. Was that soup from trader joes? It looked amazing!!
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Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome November 15, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Haha! I love that you wear your slippers at work! I used to keep my uggs by my desk at school because my feet would get so cold! Most days I wore them all day even with my work clothes!
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danielle November 15, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Nope. I wear slippers (or go barefoot) in my office. Gets a little mortifying when I find myself wandering down the hall to a meeting with execs and find that I have not put shoes on. Whoops.

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Kim November 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Boots – that is always my solution since they go with pretty much everything and I can wear socks to keep my feet warm.
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