Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Was Wrong, All Carbs Are Not Created Equal

Please do not get mad at me for this post.  I am talking about trying to gain weight.  About 4 years ago I made a permanent diet change that allowed me to lose about 35 pounds of fat and gain about 5 pounds of lean mass (presumably muscle).  I have maintained that weight loss ever since.

So I have been on a kick lately to gain weight.  You see, if I gain just a few more pounds, my Body Mass Index total will put me in the "overweight" category.  Well, don't take this as me being braggadocios but I am pretty lean.  For me to be considered overweight at 172 pounds is ridiculous but BMI is the standard the medical community and our government use to judge someones body composition.  In general it is kinda accurate but if you have just a bit of muscle mass on your body you can throw this out the window.  That is why I want to gain weight, I think it would be funny for a doctor to look at my BMI and tell me I was overweight.

Anyways, in my effort to put on a few pounds I have upped my overall food intake.  I used to only eat till I was full but I am now stuffing myself past that point.  I have consciously been eating more carbs.  By more carbs, I mean I have been eating a lot more yams, squash, and fruits.  I tried to add in some white potatoes and let's just say my wife wasn't happy with the post meal results.  I haven't added wheat back into my diet and for good reason.  I personally (and a lot of other people too) feel it doesn't belong in anyone's diet.  The more I read the more issues I find with this supposed health food.

Two posts I have read recently and my personal experience has caused me to come down off my high horse a bit about carbs in general (anyone remember this post: Carbs are Making Us Fat).  Mind you, I was never very low carb (like the Atkins Diet).  I still ate some  fruits and veggies with occasional yams and squashes.  This article talks about a study where a population in China replaced rice consumption with wheat consumption and they got fat.  Then another article cited the same study but at 5 year follow up.  The group with the high wheat consumption was still more obese than the other groups.

How does this pertain to my recent addition of carbs you may ask.  Well in a month of adding more carbs and no wheat, I haven't gained weight.  All this despite being relatively inactive.  I say this because I am now feeling that all carbs are not created equal.  Maybe it's the abundance of wheat in the the Standard American Diet that is causing obesity problems around our country.  I think back to this post talking about an overweight family who ate very little meat, very little fruit, very little veggies, and no squash or yams (at least from what I saw in the video of their typical day).  They did eat a lot of wheat products though.  If you haven't eliminated wheat from your diet, think about the last meal you ate that didn't have wheat in it.  Hard to do huh?  Just about every meal revolves around it.

If your goal is weight loss, I feel low carb will work very well for you.  If you want to maintain, do everything you can to avoid wheat.  It will be easier to keep weight off and you will feel better too.



Amanda said...

Interesting article. I'm in the process of trying to loose a lot of weight (125 lbs is about my goal, I'm down 20 lbs after 2.5 months right now, thanks to finding Weston A. Price.) So I still consider myself a newbie. Anyway... I've been going pretty low-carb, but Dec has been hard because of all the parties and I've been yo-yoing the same 5 lbs. I have eaten wheat products at parties, but also sugar in some cookies. Have you kept sugar out of your diet in your quest to gain? Seems like I can gain weight without blinking (uh... obviously if I got so heavy!) Anyway... I'm interested in your article on wheat. Thanks!

Chuck said...

thank you for not being offended. i am sensitive to the efforts of yourself in others to lose weight. anyways, no i haven't added sugar back in as a carb source. i try to stick to whole foods. sugars and grains are processed like crazy so for that reason and many others i avoid them.
btw, you may be interested in the most recent blog post.