Don’t Dare Judge Me or my Lifestyle

8a7a9bd7-38d8-4dc4-a104-720fd19d8fc1This gets my goat more than anything: people who pontificate about the evils of Paleo, Whole30, Keto, and other low-carb diets because they are, “Too restrictive.” Their reasoning is that they are able to eat pizza, pasta, donuts, bagels, bread, and all kinds of other carb-rich foods and they don’t gain any weight or suffer ill effects. Their experience with eating these carb-rich foods coupled with a lack of negative side-effects apparently negates the experience others have had with eating carb-rich foods.

I was morbidly obese. It is defined as:

Morbid obesity is a serious health condition that can interfere with basic physical functions such as breathing or walking. Those who are morbidly obese are at greater risk for illnesses including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gallstones, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

How did I get there? Eating bread, pizza, pasta, donuts, bagels, and other carb-rich foods without concern for my health. As I gained weight, I ate more, which caused me to eat more which further caused me to gain more weight. The cycle repeated until August 2015 when my wife and I decided that enough was enough, and we began our healthy lifestyle with our first Whole30.

Some people can eat unhealthy foods and stay thin. What they don’t realize, however, is that many of these people suffer from TOFI, or Thin-Outside Fat-Inside.

TOFI is used to describe lean individuals with a disproportionate amount of fat (adipose tissue) stored in their abdomen. For example, two men, both 35 years old and with a BMI of 25 kg/m2 appear similar in body composition from outward appearances. Despite their similar size, the male with TOFI had 5.86 litres of internal fat, whilst the healthy control had only 1.65 litres.

People with TOFI have a higher risk of Type II diabetes, reduced insulin sensitivity, higher abdominal adiposity, and a more atherogenic lipid profile. Another dangerous effect of TOFI is increased liver fat. I, myself, suffered from fatty liver disease, and its effects didn’t go away until I had lost over 80 lbs. It is shown that overconsumption of fructose can lead to TOFI by inducing inflammation associated cortisol release.

Eat what you want. Eat as much as you want. But don’t tell me or others like me that what I’m doing is dangerous. Eating whole foods like meat, vegetables, and fruits are NOT restrictive, and these foods are not unhealthy. The myth of the balanced diet is just that: a myth. There is nothing in science that says we need to eat grains, sugars, legumes, soy, or dairy. What we need is nutrition, and meat, vegetables, and fruits provide all the nutrition a human needs.

Further, stop telling people who are obviously unhealthy that eating foods rich in sugar, carbs, or alcohol is okay for them. Moderation is a myth. If overweight people were capable of moderation, they wouldn’t be overweight. I know this first-hand as a formerly morbidly obese person who couldn’t eat less than an entire large pizza at a sitting.

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