las

Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”
~ Charles Darwin (it's evolutionary baybeee!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another Quote to live by?

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,
it is time to pause and reflect"                            -Mark Twain

At the time of publication of this blog post, this Mark Twain quote comes from Larry Istrain's blog.  As much as I admire Twain, some of his "isms" are not, in my opinion, good advice ... or at least not in the way many people take them to heart.  The implication, to me, of the above quote is that there is something inherently wrong with being on the side of the majority, and something inherently noble about dissent ... part of some rebellion ... dare I say a would-be paradigm changer.  

While I believe Twain is more likely cautioning against falling into the trap of group-think.  Unfortunately, many voices in the greater low carb community are oblivious to the fact that they represent the "majority" in their own circles, and have fallen prey to just the sort of group-think they decry.  Worse yet, the few that will challenge their beliefs are either shouted down routinely (and often viciously) or simply outright censored.  If you think the comments on most blogs are representative of the opinions of all who have employed a VLC approach in some manner (past or present, chronic or intermittent) or who employ more moderate carbohydrate restriction, you are sadly mistaken.

Even if they are not shouted down, try this experiment.  Go onto any low carb discussion board and present the scenario that you are eating VLC <20g/day, high fat diet for 6 months and have lost 40 lbs (crediting Gary Taubes for your success will get you in good from the get go) but are still 30 lbs from any reasonable goal, more like 40 or 50 lbs overweight.  Also state that you fall off the wagon periodically and have difficulty getting back on and will gain 10 pounds in a few days of this, and it takes you like 6 weeks of VLC to lose the weight again.  Ask for suggestions.  Then sign up for another ID and suggest any sort of more moderate approach -- e.g. a cheat day, more moderate carb consumption like ~75g/day vs. <20g -- or you can suggest, counting calories or choosing leaner proteins.    Watch the pile on.   It's one of the reasons I had seriously cut down on participation at Jimmy's long before he kicked my butt off his forum.   Someone would plateau out and you would get the "eat more fat" advice, etc.  It got to where folks would get pissed at me for even suggesting that someone was eating too many calories, etc.  "because Gary Taubes tells us ...".  

The same would happen with folks who were desperate to make LC their lifestyle but repeatedly fell off the wagon and regained etc. ... and especially those who experienced adverse side effects.  Gawd forbid suggesting a more moderate approach -- like one cheat meal per week, or more moderate carb consumption.   Heck, correcting the most innocuous of errors would get nasty replies.  For example folks often claim that low fat dairy has more sugar in it or added sugars.  I would correct that by saying it doesn't, it just may have a slight bit more by weight if we're talking cheese, but it's not added sugar.  The nasty responses about how folks wouldn't even consider bringing a reduced fat item into their house were mind boggling at times.  I could understand it perhaps in 2009 when the KimKins scandal was fresh ... but now it is just absurd.  There are many at Jimmy's coming up on three years since I "met" them who are still weighing about the same (those still around) as they did back in 2009.  The community and friendships are compelling, but at some point you gotta try something else if it's not working!


In any case, one person's minority view is another's majority view.  Sure, we should always take stock and make sure we haven't fallen prey to group think and *popular* opinion.  But we shouldn't be contrarian for contrarian's sake.  Sometimes the majority ... especially an overwhelming one ... is right after all, and no matter how vocal your minority group is, it will remain a fringe group.  I see this as a critical tactical error of the Insurgency.  There is no way that extreme low carb is going to sell as *the* healthiest human diet or that the human population on earth could be sustained by such a diet were it ever to be accepted as such.  Rather than work within the system to get the no-brainer basics accepted -- like it won't piss your bones down the loo or clog your arteries or rot your kidneys -- various people have chosen to construct elaborate hypotheses and seek to bring down the establishment and not caring how many good people and ideas the bring down with it.  I can only think these people have convinced themselves thoroughly that they are right beyond question.  But their actions -- censorship and not addressing the criticisms (as opposed to the source) -- would seem to indicate otherwise. 


9 comments:

Sanjeev said...

the misunderstanding of science is palpable

It's not a vote.

It's an argument, with each self-interested party trying to get their view over. And the argument's result can be tipped over at any time; it just takes GOOD quality findings.

Look at what's happening with the FTL neutrinos. Lots of folks are pounding on the standard model, just in case they turn out to be faster than light.

The researcher who overturns the argument's older (PROVISIONAL) result is well rewarded - there's always an incentive to do it.

What are the incentives? Fame, in many cases some money too ... the real world doesn't care about votes and majorities. The researcher that overturns conservation laws will be famous far longer than Einstein. And if there's practical application he might get extremely rich.

Andrew C said...

Jimmy Moore seems to be adamantly opposed to anyone telling him or others to restrict how much they eat.
"Just slap some fat on that fat and watch the fat disappear!" is his motto, (the JM crowd doesn't tell you the disappearance is just from the plate, not the body)

Found some Jimmy Moore commenty gold from April 2010. Someone bringing up the notion of lowering calories to lose weight. Note that the comments are found in the Google Cache version or page source itself. The comments are not displayed on the regular page!

http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/fun-filled-friday-phinney-food-inc-ivf-volcano-jamie-oliver-jenny-craig-escalator-iphone-4g-star-trek-lin-yu-chin/7776

Bob
April 25th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I think the only reason you have been losing weight since the beginning of the year is because you are on a calorie restricted diet. You can lose weight on candy and french fries also if you restrict your calories. Are you going to go back to 289 lbs when you leave the egg fest diet? How come your low-carb way of eating has led you to gain so much weight since you lost 180 lbs 5-6 years ago? One other point, I think you mislead people when you tell them to ignore excess sodium while wolfing down a KFC double down. Do you have any serious medical studies or books to back it up, because there is a lot of litterature that says the opposite.



Jimmy's response:

Nope, no calorie-restriction for me, Bob! Controlling carbs, eating plenty of fat, and only adequate protein has been the key to making sure I’m hyper-ketogenic and doing the best my body can on my healthy low-carb lifestyle. I ended my eggfest a couple of weeks ago and I’ve continued to lose weight, so no I won’t be gaining. The weight gain happened because I didn’t realize how super-sensitive to carbs my body is compared to most people. Now that I realize my carb tolerance level is pretty low for me, I’m on the downward track again. Not sure what “wolfing” down you are referring to, but yes I did try the new KFC Double Down sandwich and did a fun YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFfu3SL09eQ
about it! Thanks for being such a big fan of my videos. Finally, on the subject of salt, read this which has plenty of references to what I’m talking about. THANK YOU again for reading!

–Jimmy


Yeah, how's that "no calorie-restriction for me" been working since he wrote that in April 2010?

Delusion, delusion...

Andrew C said...

Jimmy Moore seems to be adamantly opposed to anyone telling him or others to restrict how much they eat. "Just slap some fat on that fat and watch the fat disappear!" is his motto, but the JM crowd doesn't tell you the disappearance is just from the plate, not the body.

Found some Jimmy Moore commenty gold from April 2010. Someone bringing up the notion of lowering calories to lose weight. Note that the comments are found in the Google Cache version or page source itself. The comments are not displayed on the regular page!

http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/fun-filled-friday-phinney-food-inc-ivf-volcano-jamie-oliver-jenny-craig-escalator-iphone-4g-star-trek-lin-yu-chin/7776

Bob
April 25th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I think the only reason you have been losing weight since the beginning of the year is because you are on a calorie restricted diet. You can lose weight on candy and french fries also if you restrict your calories. Are you going to go back to 289 lbs when you leave the egg fest diet? How come your low-carb way of eating has led you to gain so much weight since you lost 180 lbs 5-6 years ago? One other point, I think you mislead people when you tell them to ignore excess sodium while wolfing down a KFC double down. Do you have any serious medical studies or books to back it up, because there is a lot of litterature that says the opposite.



Jimmy's response:

Nope, no calorie-restriction for me, Bob! Controlling carbs, eating plenty of fat, and only adequate protein has been the key to making sure I’m hyper-ketogenic and doing the best my body can on my healthy low-carb lifestyle. I ended my eggfest a couple of weeks ago and I’ve continued to lose weight, so no I won’t be gaining. The weight gain happened because I didn’t realize how super-sensitive to carbs my body is compared to most people. Now that I realize my carb tolerance level is pretty low for me, I’m on the downward track again. Not sure what “wolfing” down you are referring to, but yes I did try the new KFC Double Down sandwich and did a fun YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFfu3SL09eQ
about it! Thanks for being such a big fan of my videos. Finally, on the subject of salt, read this which has plenty of references to what I’m talking about. THANK YOU again for reading!

–Jimmy


Yeah, how's that "no calorie-restriction for me" been working since he wrote that in April 2010?

Delusion, delusion...

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Sorry Andrew ... this got hung up in the spam folder -- perhaps b/c of the number of links.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Awww shucks. The best stuff is in his comments! >:) Around that time was when so many well meaning people, including myself, were still trying to get through to Jimmy -- to no avail. So, so many would comment, especially on his menus blog, and they would get "THANKS! I'm going to do whatever the eff I want anyway" type responses.

Tonus said...

That's a good point about what can constitute a majority or minority. Once you surround yourself with like-minded thinkers, a dissenter may very well be the minority even if they're promoting the general consensus. The "us against the world" mentality can lead to the exact same result-- taking for granted that someone is telling you the truth, when it's possible that he's simply telling you what you want to believe.

It's why I think so many different dietary approaches have such fervent and sometimes fanatical support. When you try something different and it works, it can be like an epiphany. My god, I finally found what works! When it stops working, we really don't want to learn that there's a catch. So we'll cling to any shred of hope, and maybe even revile the people who try to reason with us.

I think it's pretty basic psychology or human nature. Or maybe just nature. I've mentioned it before, most creatures seek out the most efficient path, the path of least resistance, since it is what usually gives the best survival odds. So it is natural for us to want the easy fix, and it's just as natural to feel dismayed if it turns out not to be. But as thinking creatures, we have that additional option, of forcing ourselves to accept a path that requires more effort but actually gets us where we want to be. But I guess not all thinking creatures act the part. :)

Andrew C said...

Yeah, it's just too bad they become so hard to find, as the comments are not on the regular page anymore.

I find it interesting where Jimmy Moore tries to merge Paleo and low-carb in his writing. "low-carb/Paleo", "low-carb, Paleo" is throughout his posts. Wonder why he doesn't go back to what made him lose weight in the past.

It's funny to see the inconsistencies though.


http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/is-there-any-such-thing-as-safe-starches-on-a-low-carb-diet#comment-328932097
"LLVLCBlog
I think it goes much deeper than calories, Andrew. I've fluctuated my calories, carbs, fat and everything else to levels where I should be losing. It's not happening. If there was just one easy answer to it all, then metabolic derangement wouldn't exist."

It seems that the only times he has admitted to lowering calories or fat would be the times he's lost weight (i.e. his original Atkins weight loss, his original low fat weight loss, his eggfest, his fasting from all food). But now he's convinced himself that eating less can't be sustainable and it's a hormonal problem that keeps the weight on, not eating as much as he likes.

I wish him luck. I'd write it on his blog, but I was banned the first day I wrote anything.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

If squandering good will were an Olympic sport, Jimmy would have more gold medals than Michael Phelps at this point. He started censoring me when I pointed out that adding sweet potato fries and bread with butter to his menus for a few days was not a good experiment for seeing how carbs affect him. Ah well. Maybe when he turned off all the comments on my podcast it turned all the others off?

bentleyj74 said...

"I'm evil...look at my outfit!"

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