So who watched Horizon on BBC in UK last night? Fat vs Sugar! Two twins tried opposite diets for a month, 1 high sugar the other high fat (without even fruit sugar - even the guy on the programme was like "what is this?") Both lost weight, but both lost muscle mass as well as actual fat. The guy on the fat diet notched up his diabetic warning levels so much they took him off the diet. But the real interesting bit was an experiment they did on some rats, group 1 were fed sugar, group 2 fat, group 3 cheese-cake. Groups 1 and 2 ate 'normal' amounts of the food they were given and kept to a normal size. Group 3 the cheese-cake group just ate and ate - and were twice the normal size at end of experiment. Cheese-cake is 50% fat and 50% sugar give or take and so is ice-cream and so are glazed donughts - the theory is this 50 / 50 mix does something to our sense of being full - and we keep on shovelling it in (like the rats did). Guess what - no natural food has a 50 / 50 fat / sugar mix - ONLY manufactured food has that mix - and we wonder why people are getting obese. Conclusion at end was obvious (IMO) avoid 'fad' diets, eat a balanced diet of non-manufactured foods and exercise!

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Bingo Rich.  Thanks for sharing this.  Is there a link to post here of the video?

Was the fat diet good fats as well, or more of a junk food/fast food fat diet?

We get ourselves into trouble when we start to use labels and categories when it comes to things like diet and even shoes.  My hope is that some day we can all have great awareness to how certain foods make us feel and let this lead us to good choices.  This is how our paleo ancestors ate.  If something made them feel sick, they didn't eat it again.  If they felt good, they ate more.  But just like run form, we stop doing this or have never learned to eat this way.

As I mention in my book, initially, I believe the mind follows a good body, and eventually, this leads to the body following a good mind.  People will not eat right until they feel good about themselves, therefore, if we can get more people running and exercising, this leads to a GOOD body and helps the person feel good about themselves - this consciously and subconsciously leads to better food/eating habits.  We can't expect the masses to change eating habits without first changing how they feel about themselves. 

Paleo is getting labeled into a corner, and eventually will be treated just like all the other "diets"  - just becoming another flavor of the month for the media, where we lose sight of real benefits and see it as an all or nothing approach, and people are starting to treat it like an identity and brand for themselves.  I laugh every time I see a post for a paleo cake recipe or a vegan cookie - REALLY?  Are you selling good eating or a BRAND?

For example: paleo/high fat ways of eating have been around a LONG time, see 40/30/30, The Zone.  People have been saying this stuff for years.  

Assigning categories and labels does not allow us to continue to learn and gain knowledge.

Thanks for posting this Rich.

I'll have a look for a link for you. the guy on the fat diet had eggs non processed meats and cheese and other dairy. So he was getting saturated and non saturated, poly and mono. But he avoided trans fat in processed burgers etc


Hi Eric, totally agree with what you say, in particular this section….


“As I mention in my book, initially, I believe the mind follows a good body, and eventually, this leads to the body following a good mind. People will not eat right until they feel good about themselves, therefore, if we can get more people running and exercising, this leads to a GOOD body and helps the person feel good about themselves - this consciously and subconsciously leads to better food/eating habits. We can't expect the masses to change eating habits without first changing how they feel about themselves.”


Got a great example of this. I’m nearly 50 and have only been running seriously for about 4 years (apart from a short spell in the Army reserves in the early 90s). For most of my life I’ve suffered from Asthma, nothing serious, but it’s come and gone over time. At school I wasn’t good at athletics so in turn the other kids laughed at me, and with one notable exception was ignored by the PE teachers and confined to the ‘hopeless’ group. I’ve since discovered that my major trigger for asthma is a cat allergy, and as I was growing up guess which pet my parents always had, and I mean always, yeah a cat! Now about 4 years ago two of the other Dads at my kids school dropped dead, one with cancer the other with a heart attack – and my wife said “I don’t want to lose you like that” – so I decided to give running a go


Now here’s the rub, since I’ve started running my peak flow readings have improved and they are now in the ‘normal range’ – and the nurse at the surgery  has said it’s the running that’s doing the improvements, and incidentally the running is giving me a very steady pulse and low blood pressure readings (and swapping to porridge and chia for breakfast has lowered cholesterol levels!)


But more than that, since I started running I’ve discovered a number of things that start to make my asthma feel worse – but the key thing here is that I can now ‘feel’ the change coming on, the most noticeable triggers come from:


  • Eating desserts heavy in cream
  • Drinking more than 2 or 3 lagers
  • Eating KFC!
  • Wispa Gold bars – a UK chocolate bar with a runny caramel filling – I used to sword swallow them – now I f***ing hate them with a passion – give me an instant headache and make me feel sick


And also since running I ‘felt’ the need to actively change my breakfast away from sugar cereal shit to porridge and chia and as I said above that’s contributing to lowering my cholesterol


So through starting running, I’ve developed a ‘feel’ for what’s triggering my asthma and the same feel has switched my breakfast of choice and I’ve dropped other things from my diet, and those switches have enhanced my running and I’m sure this is heightening my sense of ‘feel’ for what’s right ant wrong (believe me I’m no angel and have some way to go!). I’ve also started eating stacks of bananas since taking up running – never really liked them before, but I literally started feeling “drawn” to them.


Then there are these “Naked” bars I’ve started eating I was waiting for a train last year sometime, and was in the station shop trying to avoid chocolate bars, but was looking for a snack when I saw them, basically they are dates, cashews, raisins, no added sugar, cold compressed, dairy free, - and again I “felt” drawn to them – they are lovely, much nicer than the chocolaty stuff I would have bought before


Now flipping back to school days. The cycle was, cat > asthma > can’t run > others assume I’m no good and don’t support > I give up > asthma never gets better > don’t get benefits from running


But what if it went like this?  Cat > asthma > can’t run well > others encourage me to run (your Cool Impossible of a runner in every house!) > I realise that my running is getting better > start to develop a ‘feel’ for my triggers > do something about the bloody cats in my life! > become a better runner > blood pressure and pulse are at healthy levels etc etc


 So one loop pushes you down the other pushes you up.


When I was training for the London Marathon in 2012, so many people – and I mean loads and loads – said to me “oh I don’t run because I only run so far and I get out of breath” – they then give up. But if you think about it if you’ve never run before that’s only natural – but what we need to do is encourage them to continue running, push past that initial barrier and discover what they can really do – ‘cos the more you do the better a ‘feel’ you develop –the better the feel you develop, the healthier your choices become

It was a really interesting film - thanks for flagging it up, Rich. It's a slightly misleading title, though, isn't it? It's not fat vs sugar. The fat diet was actually high protein and fat. The sugar diet allowed unlimited quantities of fruit and veg. The problem, as Eric says, is that either sticking a label on something, or trying to reduce nutrition to a simple good/bad dichotomy, is never going to give you a good answer or to proper understanding of the issues. We need carbohydrate AND protein AND fat. Excess or deficiency in any of them will lead to problems. Better education and understanding, and less simplification and demonising of specific food groups, is surely the way forward.

Hi Paul I agree with everything you have said but I would add that, most people are looking for 2 things. A. a quick fix that can be delivered on a silver platter and B. an excuse, "I can't run because" ................ "I can't excercise because" ................ "I havn't time because" ..................         

And so it goes "A" feeds into "B" and "B" feeds into "A"

I had a conversation with a guy in work last year...

Him - you do a lot of running, I would love to do some

Me - why don't you run?

Him - my knees are bad.. and they hurt when I run

The reason his knees were bad was because he was over-weight - and he was probably over-weight because he made poor food choices, and he made those poor choices becasue he didn't run......

Hi Paul - yes would agree the title was slightly mis-leading - think the programme makers were trying to 'exploit' the "all sugar is toxic" movement

LOVE this post Rich! Great personal reflection and inspiration and dead on! Or at least I completely have the same sense and new found "feel" for what is right and wrong in my diet. It's like adding a 6th sense, soo cool! And the same stuff that makes you feel bad?..makes me feel bad too by the way!

Glad you liked the post Lori - and interesting that we have the same 'feel'

The other 'food' that makes me feel odd are those supermarket Indian and Chinese ready meals - not good :-(




Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will feed himself for a life time.


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