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Eat More, Weigh Less?

February 7, 2011

Guess what IIIII did after work….

I kept my promise! While watching Glee on my DVR (so good!) I did 3 sets of 5 different arm exercises. It didn’t take me long at all and I felt really good about getting in some light weights. I’ll definitely try to do this more often.

Backing up, lunch today was a new one for me. I intended to make a wrap, but my dad at the last one so I used regular bread. I put hummus, spinach, and some roasted sweet potato in between the slices and heated it briefly in the microwave. Nothing special, honestly…needed something extra.

On the side I had sugar snap peas and a Pink Lady. And my snack was plain Oikos 0% with some sliced strawberries and blueberries.
Once Glee was over I started on a simple dinner I’ve started to crave ever since reading The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. She raves about “warm grain bowls” so I made my own version of one. I prepared a mixture of brown rice and barley (my favorite chewy combo), and when it was almost finished cooking I mixed in some frozen edamame, frozen peas, and leftover white beans.

I also mixed in some Braggs liquid aminos and black pepper, and topped it with some Siracha. This dish is truly comforting in a simplistic, wholesome way. MMM!

The China Study Update

I’m chugging along with The China Study and am now reading about Dr. Campbell’s findings in sixty-five counties across China. As expected, many of the results found in the rat studies are also true for humans. We learn that animal based foods are correlated with increasing blood cholesterol. With almost no exceptions, nutrients from plant-based foods were associated with decreasing levels of blood cholesterol” (80). The studies also show that “breast cancer was associated with animal fat intake, but not with plant fat” (85).

The most interesting hypothesis, however, was about how those on a low-fat, low-protein diet can take in more calories but still maintain their weight. Dr. Campbell claims that our bodies have the ability to choose how our calories are consumed and that “when we treat our bodies well by eating the right foods, [our bodies] know how to partition the calories away from body fat and into the more desirable functions like keeping the body warm, running the body metabolism, supporting and encouraging physical activity, or just disposing of any excess”(101).

Dr. Campbell rationalizes this claim with his studies showing that the Chinese consume more calories than Americans, yet weigh less. Although he recognizes that the Chinese are more physically active, Dr. Campbell says their low-protein and low-fat diet shifts the conversion of these calories away from body fat and into body feet, even for the last active Chinese people.

[edited to add: I believe Dr. Campbell is referring to ANY protein, not just animal protein. He has, however, proven that animal protein causes harmful effects in the body that plant protein does not].

There is more explanation than what I’ve shared, but I’m interested in what you think. I’d like to think this is true –I do feel like I can go through some “bad” eating spells without serious repercussion and perhaps it is because my normal diet is free of animal fat and protein. I hope this topic is explored more as the book continues.

  • If you eat a low-fat and low-protein diet, do you feel that you can intake more calories without weight gain?
30 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2011 8:01 pm

    I havent read much about low-protein diets. Do you mean animal proteins or others included, such as beans?
    I love your nail polish!!

  2. February 7, 2011 8:17 pm

    it’s been two or three years since i read it, so i can’t remember exactly if he said a diet low in animal protein or protein period (i think he said protein period)…but i totally have found that to be true. i find as i’m eating more fruits/vegetables, i eat more because they don’t keep me full as long as protein does, but i don’t really gain weight. love that!

  3. February 7, 2011 8:39 pm

    I love working out while watching my favorite shows! 🙂

    • February 8, 2011 9:49 am

      Me too! I’d love to be able to run during them, but running at 7 or 8pm doesn’t work for me!

  4. February 7, 2011 8:42 pm

    oh!!! that grain bowl is so simple yet looks SO tasty! what proportions of rice to grain did you use? now you’re making me want a huge bowl of bulgur!!

    • February 8, 2011 9:50 am

      I used a half cup total and I think it was about 1/2 barley 1/2 brown rice…didn’t measure though!

  5. anon permalink
    February 7, 2011 8:50 pm

    The China Study’s conclusions were poorly done science.

    Read some of WAPF or or for some real health education.

    Links about the China Study:

    • February 8, 2011 9:39 am

      Thanks for the links. I’ll definitely look into those as I like to get all sides of a story before I come to my conclusions.
      I’d love for you to let me know who you are, however, so we can talk about it. If you’re truly posting this to be helpful, you shouldn’t need to be anonymous!

  6. Paige permalink
    February 7, 2011 10:00 pm

    I have never tasted Siracha. Does it taste like American hot sauce? And what do you usually put it on?

    • February 8, 2011 9:50 am

      Umm I’m not sure how to describe it. It is thicker than a tobasco and doesn’t taste the same…I think it’s delicious on rice, eggs…anything you want a little kick to!

  7. February 7, 2011 10:10 pm

    I LOVE rice bowls!!! And I die for Siracha 🙂

  8. February 8, 2011 12:50 am

    That’s weird. I have always been one to think “calories are calories”. I just think some last with you longer than others!

    • February 8, 2011 9:53 am

      I had always felt that way too, that’s why I found this hypothesis so interesting!

  9. February 8, 2011 2:06 am

    VERY interesting… i dont know from personal experience although veganism is a high carb, but high fat diet.. hmmm… this is so so weird! did he mean low (saturated fat) diet or just low fats in general.. even the good kind?

    • February 8, 2011 9:55 am

      I believe he was referring to all fats, including any healthy fats, for this particular hypothesis. In other areas of the book he discusses the benefits of healthy fats compared other types of fats. He’s not at all advocating a 0% fat diet, just calling out the fact that the Western Diet includes far too much fat and protein than is healthy or necessary in his opinion.

  10. texastriathlete permalink
    February 8, 2011 2:32 am

    yummmm. what ratio of brown rice to water do you use when you cook the brown rice? i luuurrrvvee brown rice way more than white rice, but haven’t quite figured out the perfect ratio yet

    • February 8, 2011 9:57 am

      Honestly last night I was too lazy to look for correct measurements! I think it was about 1/2 cup of grains and 3/4 cup of water…then I added a little bit more water when I added all the veggies. I didn’t time it or anything either..just a taste test after 10 or so minutes for proper chew factor!

  11. February 8, 2011 6:11 am

    I knew you would keep your promise!! Good for you! 🙂

  12. Natalie permalink
    February 8, 2011 6:24 am

    The rice dish looks so yummy. I can’t wait to dive into Alicia’s book. Interesting tidbits from the China Study. What exactly does he mean by low protein though? Little or no animal protein?

    • February 8, 2011 9:58 am

      I don’t have the book with me and don’t recall the specific amounts of protein he was testing. I believe he is just calling out America’s obession with protein. He writes about how many people (including his former self) think that protein is the key to good health, when I suppose he now thinks that we are eating far more than is healthy for us.

  13. February 8, 2011 8:22 am

    That grain bowl looks really good. Love all the Siracha on top! I’ve been wanting to read Alicia’s book.

    I always hear about how low fat Chinese food is, but then again a lot of my friends are Chinese and insist that real Chinese food has tons of fat and animal protein. I tend to lean towards the all calories are the same camp.

    • February 8, 2011 9:59 am

      Definitely read her book, it’s great!
      In the China Study he is testing mostly rural communities that wouldn’t have as much Westernized fat and protein in their diet and are still subsisting off of a more traditional grain and vegetable based diet. I’m not sure about “real Chinese food” though…not my area of expertise!

  14. February 8, 2011 8:57 am

    I love the idea of warm grain bowls! I think most things taste better when eaten in bowls.

  15. February 8, 2011 9:20 am

    I tend to eat low fat but not low protein. I feel like I’d have to keep eating and eating if I didn’t have a protein base in my diet.

    • February 8, 2011 10:01 am

      Protein is definitely satiating (and healthy fats are too, if you try it!). Dr. Campbell isn’t suggesting no protein in the diet, just less than the protein-crazed Western population currently eats. I’ll get you more exact info when I get to the suggested diet part of the book!

  16. Jen permalink
    February 10, 2011 7:16 am

    Hey Clare,

    You should look into The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson… also his blog

    He basically states the exact opposite of the China Study is best for the human body because it is what has sustained us for 10,000 years since caveman times- a high fat, high protein, plant carb based diet that eliminates all grains, dairy, and sugar… extremely interesting.

    • Jen permalink
      February 10, 2011 7:17 am

      woops, i mean haha sorry

    • February 10, 2011 9:56 am

      I’ll definitely check that out. Considering all of the medical research we have telling us that plant based diets are the best and there are harmful side effects from high fat and animal diets, I’m curious as what this guy has to say!

  17. February 10, 2011 10:28 pm

    I cannot for some reason workout when I am at home, but I LOVE going to the gym and taking fitness classes, so I do get to the gym on days when I dont work. I got tues – thurs and sunday and then I am active on monday, friday, and sunday but I dont “workout”!
    I am in recovery from an eating disorder and I have found that I can eat a whole hell of a lot more than I thought I could and still maintain my weight. Sometimes I get so pissed at myself because I used to starve myself because I was scared of gaining weight! 😦


  1. The China Study Review « Fitting It All In

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