So is the whole world, not just America.
No matter where in the world you look—no matter which gender, which race, which culture, which geographical area, which standard diet—there is only one thing of which you may be absolutely certain:
Not one of any list list you can contrive, on average, is getting leaner, fitter, more healthy.
Obesity in itself used to be the realm of the outlier. Increasingly, it’s the lean and fit who are the outliers and some measure of obesity and associated morbidities are the norm.
Here’s an overview by the CDC. Among the charts presented, this offers an interesting insight.
So, Asians have some catching up to do. But, they aren’t getting leaner. I used to frequent Thailand (and Philippines, and other Asian countries and I lived in Japan) from about 1986 to 1991. I’m sure obesity existed back then, but seeing fat people was a rare thing. Now, living here? It’s certainly not as in the West—and morbid obesity is still quite rare (I’ve seen maybe 2 or 3 in the last year)—but it’s common enough.
Lay’s, every bit their thin and crispy delightfulness here in Thailand, seemingly has more flavors than you can count. Even regional ones. That, above, is specific to Esan, the northeast. Esan Hot Pot, and it’s crack! A little bit BBQ, little bit spicy, little bit fishy. It’s amazing.
Well, of course, the whole point of the junk, fast, and crap in bags—it’s baked in the cake—is that not only would you never engineer a food to be satiating, doing quite the opposite is the path to higher profits.
As you might recall from many blog posts in the way back on satiation, plain boiled potatoes are the most iso-satiating food ever tested in controlled conditions—and by outlier scale—while potato chips (crisps) and French (Belgian, actually) fries are amongst the least satiating. That’s why they don’t package plain boiled potatoes, but they do pack the shelves with chips, crisps, and fries.
It gets worse.
Or, look at it this way.
I could probably find a correlating, juxtaposing chart where I show the trend line for diet, heath, fitness, and weight loss industry revenue over any number of years since they began back in the 50s and 60s; then, generally known as the slimming industry.
Slimming has been off the table as any sort of apt description for the weight-loss industry for decades, now. LOL.
But without showing you a chart you already know, you know what it looks like. More and more revenues every year, enhanced projections in most sectors of mouth-watering 7%+ growth, and just in the U.S., one figure I saw pegs the whole industry put together at about $75 Billion-with-a-B per year. That’s enough billions to be talking real money.
So what’s making me seriously consider getting back into it? A confluence of things.
- I’m quite good at it and well-recognized as such by people who matter when they speak—unlike anonymous, gaslighting trolls.
- I have gained new insights over the last year living in Thailand, mostly eating my 2x the protein, 1/2x the rice version of Thai; second, observing how the lean people eat, and don’t eat.
- The world is depressed, poorer, and likely fatter after The Year From Whatever It Is That Exists Below Hell.
- My own financial planning has taken a hit because of #3. Long story short, my tally of lost revenue since January a year ago is over $100k. I rent my vacation condos in Cabo, to Americans. Almost nobody is vacationing, and certainly not internationally.
- Nobody can quite do what I do, the way I do it. Nobody could even fake it and some have tried. They make even me, wince.
- The following of eyes and ears I have retained is deep, and they grok me.
- This time around will be radically different in terms of information from the Hazy Dazy Dayz of Paleo and all the other offshoots and rabbit holes into which I ventured to find helpful hacks, mods, variety, fun, and last but not least: disruption.
Let me give you an example of #6.
That garnered a comment:
jp_atc_gyy I could write several long paragraphs on how I found you. I’ll try to keep it short. It started with Rob and Sisson. I have to pass a class 2 flight physical for ATC. I got a BG test by my doc, 12 hours fasted, it was 175. A1C 6.8. I went full low carb. Saw your posts over the years and stuff on potato starch/resistant starch really hooked me.. I actually tried the tiger nuts! Ha! I still struggle with rice and stay away from wheat, but I can eat beans with no issues. So thanks. Full keto was not helping after about 6 months. Then you switched lanes to more man/woman stuff the politics with Trump. Then dumb stuff happens last year with a virus and I was skeptical. Then you publicly called it. I backed you all the way. Thanks sir
That was nice, so I put that itself in a separate Instagram post, and got this comment.
annehornung Similar story here from a long time fan girl. Found you via Sisson and I’ve followed your health journey ever since. Tiger nuts, potato starch, potato hacks, vitamin k and cod liver oil, and now not religious about anything other than prioritizing protein while swapping out the carbs and fat depending on the day and what I feel like. Never felt better. Still love a good week long potato diet here and there for a quick reset. For years I’ve checked your Facebook daily due to my sheer fascination with your evolving life, personal stories, obvious intelligence, and political rants with which I am aligned. Your current life in Thailand with your sweet girls is heartwarming. Thank you for enriching my life with your unique perspective and knowledge, you’ve played one of the most critical roles in my journey to health (mental and dietary) over the years.
Sending you a DM shortly about a few things I thought you might find of interest.
Then, this comment on my last blog post, just this morning.
John B January 27, 2021 at 06:08
I’ve been reading your blog for over a decade and have never commented. I was an early #paleofollower and lost 85 pounds and love/share your views on politics to any and everyone with a fucking halfway brain. Regardless, for some reason this article touched me. I am the father of three kids (5, 3, 1.5) and am trying to break my wife’s genetic soup of living in fear. She was raised by parents that have never left their ethnically homogenous Polish/Italian neighborhood of Cleveland. When she was offered softball scholarships her parents feared it was a scam and encouraged her to ignore them, nonetheless I’m still paying off her fucking student loans. Her parents wont travel, you could die. Wont try any food outside of their own, it taste bad and they could die. Worked the same miserable job for 40 years and complained about it for all 40. And never gave their three kids the confidence to take any chances. My wife broke the mold when she married me and moved across the country with me (she couldn’t resist my High T!). In many ways, my family is the antithesis of hers. A family is of risk takers from the small, trying any and every food, to the big, starting businesses, taking promotions across the country, and failing A LOT. Regardless, I am noticing that as our kids get older and are reluctant to try anything out of their comfort zone she is starting to reset to what she knew for 20 plus years living in a house of fear. As an aside, my son is the youngest and may have avoided these genetics as he is fucking crazy, that High T again! So… long story short what are your suggestions in pushing my wife outside of her comfort zone as well? It is clearly obvious when the girls are with me, they are more willing to take risks, but when with Mom they cower behind her shell of nervousness. We are heading to Key Largo in two weeks and I’d love for them to swim in the ocean, snorkel, and try some of the best sea food on the eastern seaboard, but they won’t if Mommy won’t try it! Also, I’d LOVE to get your views on the diversity, inclusion bullshit that is running rampant in the public schools like the one I’m an administrator in! keep it up!
Another thing I could have added as Item #8 to the list above is that unlike many influencers out there, I actually take the time to engage and I do so thoughtfully, often thoroughly, and as helpful as I can.
In reply to John B.
Well, it’s very difficult to get anyone to overcome fears by exposing them to what they’re afraid of. With my ex-wife friend, to this days she’ll talk about how over the course of 20 years she gradually got accustomed to all sorts of stuff she was conditioned to be afraid of. Her mom is a notorious scaredy cat. But that was a slow, natural process, not something I set out to do purposely. I essentially just did what I do, some of it rubbed off.
This is particularly hard with women, I suspect. Partly, because of the buck-stops-here burden of children, they are naturally hyped up sensory wise and very risk averse. Wish I had a dollar for every time Beatrice said “better safe than sorry” over 20 years.
I would guess that to make a purposeful project of it, you have to look beyond the fear itself and find those things she’s interested in, curious about, or would love to do BUT for the fear. For example, I had fear of flying hang gliders, but wanted to do it so much that I overcame it by engaging in a long, thoughtful, intense training program that took well over a year before I was a free bird. Conversely, I have a visceral fear of snakes, but I care nothing about curing that. I’m fine looking at them behind glass.
….You know my views on the whole inclusion, diversity, SJW, virtue signalling crap I’m sure. Given with what has happened with Covid, proving that people will submit to anything so that abject voter fraud in the open and in your face was a cinch, I’d say the only way forward is to give them everything they want. At this point, nobody is going to modify their fear-based advocacy because they don’t want to be called a name, so they virtue signal all the time, etc. … is to stop fighting them and leave them to it. Let them get what they wished for, never being careful about it.
You cannot change them, any more than you can stop a parasite from acting in accordance with its nature. But, if the incentives go away, there’s nothing to parasitize, anymore.
As to #7, This time around will be radically different in terms of information from the Hazy Dazy Dayz of Paleo and all the other offshoots and rabbit holes into which I ventured to find helpful hacks, mods, variety, fun, and last but not least: disruption.
Initially, back in 2008 when I shifted this blog from HonestyLog—where I wrote about anything that suited my fancy in the moment—to FreeTheAnimal, focussing on Low-Carb Paleo and Conditioning with weights—along with various caveman reenactments—blogs were the thing. At its high, FTA was getting 200K+ visitors monthly and just by Amazon Associates alone, I was generating $2-4K monthly by the sheer grace of readers clicking my affiliate link to shop. I didn’t really have to try to sell anything. I just talked honestly about various things I like.
But everything morphed. A confluence. Everyone began writing and publishing books by the billions. I reviewed a few of the hundreds sent to me automatically. Then there were conferences and I spoke at a few. Podcasts, social media, and everything else that drew attention away from dot-connecting synthesizers, in favor of brands and distinctions amongst BRANDS!!! And of course, what follows is what always leads: protection and defense of one’s sponsors, no matter how nefarious they become.
So as with everything else, some measure of corruption eventually rules. Organic, in the metaphorical sense, takes a lot of work, and it’s not the path to remarkable balance sheets. I don’t blame anyone, incidentally. Not envious. No regrets, but not envious. I do things my way. Others prefer their way.
Everyone became a turf-protecting advocate of the good (their diet), chastisers and exposers of the evil (every other diet). Originally, Paleo was more about lifestyle, or, as Art DeVany elegantly put it, life way. There was a high degree of unity in terms of who the bad guys were: the anti-fat doc-book-sellers, the drug pushers, and the profit-kings: processed crap-in-bags and boxes.
All of that went out the window when Paleo, loosely stated, wasn’t good enough, maybe because dollars were spread too thin? I don’t know. Had to be Low-Carb Paleo. Forget the Hadza, Kitavans, or anyone else eating moderate to high carbohydrate as whole foods with good health and longevity outcomes. Or, it had to be High-Fat Keto. Forget about anyone who did well on moderate to high protein as whole foods.
The vomit-inducing ruination of the pretty-damn-good in pursuit of whatever made more money by any means marched and marches on.
So why bother? Because I think I usually did better. I was always seeking helpful things more so than trashing other diets, probably with the exception of vegan, because it’s as stupidly popular as is wearing masks (except when it’s time to go to a riot).
- Calories count; no matter your diet, it can help some
- Whole carbohydrates like potatoes are nutritious and can help some
- Certain core supplements, not too many, can help some
- Beans and legumes can help some, don’t worry about the ANTI-NUTRIENTS!!!
- Whole grains can help some, especially for minerals and trace minerals
- Whole fruit is a better dessert than your grain-free, faux “Paleo” cookies and brownies
- Fat, per se, is lousy for both satiation and nutrients; it’s just empty calories, over 2x energy dense, in fact
- Gut health is important for the immune system and other important things
- And ETC.
The problem with being an advocate of any diet in particular is that you end up oozing bias that can only be “hidden” from your sycophants.
Your diet is the hammer and every other diet is a nail.
You don’t care about study methods, so long as you like the results and conclusion. If you don’t like the results and conclusion, then the study methods are crap.
I can do far better than any of that because I’m made for it.
Dietary Agnosticism (caveat: except for vegan morons).
- Market research the half dozen or so most popular diets (except vegan…they’re hopeless, unhinged, brain-damaged Shiite radicals).
- Write and publish a book on the unifying Pros of each; i.e., what are the essential things that make them work for lots of people, hence their popularity, hence sales?
- …While, contrasting the Cons and downsides of each (they all have them); so, essentially, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
- Then you decide.
- Then you mix, al-la-carte.
- …Concurrently, I develop an in-depth course for each (the Upsell). Something like 8-12 hours of video, accompanying audio, transcripts, charts, work flows, spreadsheets….typical high-value stuff. Meat and bones only—no pretty fluff, fur, or feathers. The sale is done. Delivery time.
- Offer course bundle deals because, ideally, many might find that there is no one perfect diet, even for them. For example, in the context of whole foods, perhaps L/C Paleo usually, Carnivore sometimes, Crazy High-Protein Low-Fat sometimes. And, the occasional Potato Hack!
So, the purpose of this post is to float the idea, get some feedback, hopefully gain some enthusiasm and re-engagement. Encouragement is always nice.
Toward that end, in no preferential order:
- Subscribe to my “Non-Pestering Newsletter,” maybe about one per week
- Get email notices of blog posts here
- Follow the FTA Facebook Page
- Follow my Personal Facebook
- Read my Tweets
- See fantastic food pics on Instagram
- I sometimes pin on Pinterest
- I sometimes put videos on [Me]Tube
Of course, a highly appreciated way to help and encourage if you want, is to share, retweet, forward, like, love, laugh, and of course, post a comment, especially here.
What do you think of all this?
…So, to wrap it up, and in the spirit of weight management through good whole food with a dash of agnosticism, I started this post as my girl set breakfast down on my desk.
As I was nearing the close of this post, five hours later, in walks mom with another meal.
So there it is. All of it. Except…one last thing:
P.S. What is it that I really want to accomplish? It’s easy, implicit in all of the foregoing. The diet shite is a vicious circle of dysfunction where most people never make a lasting correction. Everyone only “makes progress.” Until they don’t. There are many reasons for this, and that takes a book.
But, in fact, you don’t really need to understand any of it, or even be particularly aware of it.
A better path is to figure out—amongst the morass of way too much information spewed and vomited for never-ending profits at 7% annual growth over decades—is what mixed maximization of Pros amongst dietary styles combined with minimizing of associated Cons is the weird-ass fucking dietary mix of style (or, Life Way, thanks Art DeVany) that actually works to sustain relative leanness, well-being, virility, and health? Discover that, and getting lean with well-being will seem natural: as effortless as can be, with patience.
But there’s a bigger reason. By obsessing over The One Perfect Diet offered on the shelf (you’re actually shopping for ideological belonging), turnkey, even, you’re failing. Over and over. For years and years. For some, it’s decades.
And it’s holding you back from all the other cool stuff you could be doing because you’re paralyzed because you have to be lean and healthy first! …Which, incidentally, is natural and to your credit. You can’t feel right about other endeavors because you don’t feel right in your own skin and you have a hard time faking it because you understand how you’re perceived visually, and that’s especially tough on women.
So, the 30,000 Foot Cruising Altitude View is that solving this problem is a means, not an end. It doesn’t end there. That’s where it begins.
So, the bottom-line, buck-stopping thing is this: you’ve got to move on from your diet crowding out the entirety of your life.
And that’s my aim.