Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Time flies when you're busy. Last summer my son Ben was born and I've had very little time to dedicate to blogging-3 boys keeps you busy, let me tell you. Over the past year I've been doing mostly maintenance running at around 30 miles a week, but I've radically changed my diet to high fat/low carb with a resulting loss of around 15 pounds. This has made me much lighter on my feet but I am constantly tweaking my micronutrient ratios to ensure that I'm getting enough carbs. This is a fairly delicate balancing act and I'm still working on it. My weight loss has stalled at 175 but my body composition is incrementally changing. I'm going to redouble my efforts in the hope of getting down to a much leaner 165 by the end of the year. I have also been doing push-ups, pull-ups and squats to develop more muscle.

The impetus for all these changes was two books I read about six months ago that totally changed the way I look at nutrition and exercise. The first is Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It. Taubes essentially debunks the idea that weight control is a matter of burning more calories than one consumes, and offers an alternative viewpoint: carbs are the principal driver of fat storage and weight gain. He presents compelling evidence that limiting carbohydrates in the diet is a healthier way of eating and regulating weight.

Taubes led me, perhaps inexorably, to the Primal/Paleo movement and their emphasis on adopting a diet that eschews processed food, grains and sugar, in favor of a diet rich in lean grass-fed meats, healthy fats and vegetables. Mark Sisson is one of the so-called "gurus" of the paleo movement and his book The Primal Blueprint really changed the way I look at the concept of fitness.

I recommend both books, although I have to disagree with Taubes and Sisson's view of how exercise fits into a healthy lifestyle. More on that later.