Friday, January 27, 2012

The F7 Diet

It's good to be back! Between getting sick, prepping to move, and training like a madman for the IL State Arm Wrestling Championships I didn't have much time to blog.  I ended up winning my classes at IL States which confirmed that I want to go 187#/85kg for the AAA National Championships this summer. I figured if I got waxed in 98's at IL it would be most of the same guys in 87's at Nats because nobody wants any of Bill Logsdon or Brent Rackers in 98s and they'll all head down  to 87s.  Well if I'd lost to all of them then there would really be no reason to cut to lose to all the same guys.  However, since I won, I'm starting the journey to 85kg.  I walk around at 11-12% body fat and am well into single digits at 198# so it's going to take some doing to make 187#. The plan is to get to a walk-around weight of 190-192# and just do some last minute fluid restriction on the drive over to Indy. I would also like to avoid living on the recumbent bike and I'm sure my domestic manager would actually like to have me home to help parent as well, so a good dietary strategy will be a must and this brings me to the title of this post: Fifty grams of Fiber First, Forget Fasting and Facilitate Fat loss or The F7 Diet.  Sound scammy? Well it is but I've sucked you in at this point so you might as well keep reading.

Why Fifty Grams of Fiber?

The American Dietetic Association (that's right I'm refusing) has an Evidence Analysis Library where they weigh out all the evidence on various disease states, topics, etc... and then grade it and give a position. This is one of the valuable benefits of being a member because instead of you having to put your epidemiologist pants on and wading through the evidence, you can simply find your topic and see what the experts think of the evidence that is available. Now there are limitations to this of course but that is the topic for another post. One of the entries that seems to be invisible to many is the question "What is the relationship between fiber and metabolic outcomes in person with type 1 and type 2 diabetes?". If you don't understand the invisible reference then rest assured that ignorance is bliss. The opening statement in ADA's response to that question is "there is inconclusive evidence that increasing dietary fiber will influence glycemic outcome in people with diabetes". More importantly this is Grade I which is the strongest rating. The lay person might interpret Grade I as something like "FACT: shut yo mouth and don't argue because you don't have a leg to stand on!". Now the interesting part about this is that those who were compliant with a 50 grams of fiber per day diet DID show a 2% reduction in A1C. Now I know what you're thinking; "Didn't TPD just say that fiber doesn't influence glycemic outcomes"?.  Yes but how many people can really follow a 50 gram fiber diet-hence the limitation and the reason for the statement. I LIKE a challenge though and feel like following that diet would force caloric deficit without hunger.

Fiber Doesnt' Trump Physics

Let me be perfectly clear; if one chose to follow a 50 grams of fiber per day and lost actual body mass it would be because they had created a caloric deficit. Fiber does not have any magical properties that allow it to supersede the first law of thermodynamics. The F7 diet is just the classic bait and switch that most of your fad diet books employ.  You see, people don't want to hear "it's the calories", "calories in vs. calories out", or "eat less and move more". Nope...they need a gimmick after all we in the medical community are lying to them to keep them sick so we still have jobs and that's why they get all of this brilliant advice from trainers, celebrities, and my personal favorite, "sports nutrition specialists" aka supplement sales people.  Here's how it works...

The Model

Goal: weight loss

Reality: caloric deficit

Gimmick: promote a behavior that creates a caloric deficit without ever mentioning caloric deficit

Why it works: people usually lose weight and do so quickly which gets them excited and plays into their affinity for instant gratification (likely a key trait/reason their overweight to begin with), they don't count calories, they're going against the grain and losing weight "without dieting and exercise" and now have the last laugh on those silly dietitians and doctors.

Why it fails:  The diets always have some type of extreme behavior involved that is not sustainable (eg carb restriction) and so the user gives up and gains it all back.

The F7 Diet

Goal: weight loss

Reality: caloric deficit

Gimmick: by eating 50 grams of fiber per day the user is going to have to eat a lot of nonstarchy vegetables and/or legumes. Both of those categories are going to provide them with a large volume of food for not many calories and will leave them very full, possibly even uncomfortably full. For example, an entire can of garbanzo beans is only 350 calories and about 18 grams of fiber. That's a pound worth of gas causing, belly filling, food for only 350 calories. Nonstarchy vegetables are about 25 cals per 1/2 cup. An entire can of green beans is 7 grams of fiber and 65 calories.

Why it works: Well I don't know if it will work or not but I'm going to experiment with it and see if I can create a caloric deficit and drop some weight in my quest for 187#/85kg. I'm going to make weight either way but if I can do it without counting calories and wearing a butt groove in the recumbent bike, all the better.

Why it will fail: Just so we're all on the same page; I have no intention of eating 50 grams of fiber per day forever nor do I want to stay 187# but assuming I did; I'm sure the gas, bloating, and day-to-day grind of fitting in 50 grams of fiber would just get old and eventually not pass the ol' cost/benefit analysis that TPD is so fond of.

Sample Menu

Breakfast: 2 cups of oatmeal (dry) or 4 cups cooked = ~16 grams of fiber
2 T Pb = 4 grams of fiber
1 Liter of water
cals: 800

Lunch:  1 can of garbanzo beans = 18 grams of fiber
2 T of light ranch dressing
600 ml of water (1 shaker)
cals: ~490

Dinner: 3 eggs omelet (no cheese) = 0 grams of fiber
1 can of spinach cooked into omelet = 14 grams of fiber
2 slices of whole wheat toast = ~4 grams of fiber
2 T of Pb = 4 grams of fiber
1 Liter of water
cals: 727.5

Totals: 
Cals: 2017.5 
Fiber: 60 grams
Cals/kg: 23.74-this is on the low end of what most people need to maintain weight but especially for somebody that's active

Thoughts:  I'm ten over on my fiber and could cut the Pb by 50% and lose another 200 calories. 

Well it's definitely something to think about! I hope you've enjoyed delving into my 5 minute attempt at a fad diet and I'll be posting updates on it should I choose to go down this path.

Thanks for reading,

Josh