A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Friday, March 12, 2010

As Spock Would Say:


Yesterday I consumed a total of 20 grams of fat. According to the Daily Plate that’s 31% of the fat grams I could have eaten and still attain my weight loss goal of 2 – 3 lbs. lost per week. My calorie total for the day was 1,382.

Now keep in mind, I wasn’t even bothering to check the calories all day – and that is way, WAY low for me. I can have up to 1,951 per day – and on a good day I’d usually come in at around 1,800 or so (and that’s a GOOD day). I’d also normally consume roughly 50 to 60 grams of fat on an average day. Believe it or not, for a typical American that’s really not bad – it’s just way too much for an average homosapien.

We were built to be hunter / gatherers who consume little fat and sugar (because presumably in the wild we’d have a hard time getting our hands on those things). Now we live in a society when those foods are not only readily available, but they’re also the inexpensive (read: easy) prey.

According to Dr. Ornish’s book – this has changed for us so quickly (only in the last few hundred years) that we haven’t been able to evolve quickly enough to keep up with the switch. Our bodies are still expecting to starve for fat and sugar so they store them like crazy.

It makes a heck of a lot of sense to me.

Yesterday I hit 1,382 and was quite stuffed after dinner. I had half a baked potato, two helpings of corn and a garden burger on pita. A lot of food. Just not a lot of fat.

And yet I was really low (for me) on my calorie count and that’s just from policing my fat content all day and keeping it under 25 grams.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m kind of excited… The American diet is so fat-rich that when you deliberately pull that content down – you’re saving calories big time.

LOTS of calories!

I’m not saying it’s easy; I did spend a good deal of time squinting at labels. At first I pulled out the tortilla wraps, noticed that just one of these thin bread products contains SIX grams of fat, put it back – and instead reached for the kinder, gentler, two gram pocket-less pita.

However I’d imagine that will become easier as I get more used to it and learn what products I can rely on.


  1. What book are you reading? It sounds interesting. Fat is one of those tastes I love - I guess all humans do really. But it's the most calorie dense of all foods: a gram of carbs or protein has only 4 calories, but a gram of fat has 9 (alcohol is in second place with 7 calories per gram).

    I recently got a total blood count and my HDL (good) cholesterol is low; luckily my LDL (bad) is also low. But my doctor recommended that I increase plant fats in my diet to get the good cholesterol up. Go figure.

  2. The book is called "Eat More, Weigh Less" by Dr. Dean Ornish.

    Teddi got it for me this past Christmas and it's been a constant companion in my kitchen since then (fully half of it is recipes).

    My HDL and LDL scores are always both good, so far being fat hasn't made my bad cholesterol high for some reason (probably the good genes I inherited from my mom). And I used to eat a ton of avocado so that's probably why the good stuff always stayed within range. I think HDL is in shrimp and shellfish too, but I'm not sure.