Five Reasons Not to Write Down Everything You Eat for a Week

I came across this blog article the other day, and it instantly reminded me of all the crash-and-burn diet horrors I’ve heard of and/or read about over the years, or personally been a witness to.  And just let me say, their numbers are legion.  Remember Oprah, anybody?


From J. Winter’s, Slanderful

Now, my intent here is not to bash on Ali Hale, or on her above mentioned blog article.   She means well, no doubt.  She’s a good writer.  And I’m sure she’s a fantastic, otherwise intelligent person.  In my humble opinion, though, she is ill-informed and, unfortunately (and unbeknownst to her), perpetuating the type of wrong-mindedness that has put the “advanced” societies of the world in a fattened state of chronic ill-health.  Now, that’s a mouthful (pardon the pun).

But five reasons not to write down everything you eat for a week?  Couldn’t hurt, right?  Well, let’s give it a look, beginning with:

Keeping a food journal does not address the root problem

The root problem here is a chronic over-indulgence in (especially) simple carbohydrates.  Which fosters an insulin spike.  Which later results in a blood sugar drop.  Which has you feeling hungry again.  Then guess what you want to do?  That’s right — nosh-out — ravenously.  With a Paleo/EF-type diet, however, this rollercoaster is avoided completely.  You eat what you want, when you’re hungry and drop weight in the process.  So save a tree, huh?  Quit this food journaling for Chrissakes.  Just change what you eat and roll-on, brother.  Leave all the note making madness to the GTD freaks like myself.  And I’m not just some kind of anti-list zealot, by the way.  Hell, I’m to list culture what Dewey is to the friggin’ library, just ask my co-workers.  But I don’t keep a single note pertaining to what I eat.  Quite simply, it’s a waste of my time, and I suffer neither fools nor time-wasters gladly.

Cutting Calories is not the Answer, Ergo, Counting Calories is Futile

What, are you going to engage in this calorie-counting madness the rest of your natural-born days?  Go around hungry all the time?  Trash your metabolism and your overall health?  C’mon, let’s be realistic, shall we?  Here’s a hint: your ancestors were a muscular, powerful and svelte lot long before the advent of mathematics.  Hell, they were muscular, powerful and svelte right up until the advent of sustained agriculture (hmmm, methinks there just might be a correlation here smile_wink).   Thermodynamic energy balance (input = output) is not the proper diet model.  To purge this nonsense from your mind, once and for all, is to be set free.  Hormone response and gene triggering is the answer.

And…Well, hell, I don’t even need five reasons.  I’ve covered it in two.

All levity aside, here’s the deal: once the shift has been made to a Paleo/Evolutionary Fitness style diet, everything else will take care of itself.  No need to count calories, no need to time your meals, no weighing of food or any of the other inane gyrations invented to mask the elephant trundling about the living room.  You’re friggin’ hungry, ok? — and guess what — you’re hungry because you’re eating the wrong things to begin with. To lift a riff from Gary Taubes’s book, Good Calories, Bad Calories,

Good Calories, Bad Calories

ISBN: 1400040787
ISBN-13: 9781400040780

you’re not overweight because you eat too much, you eat too much because you’re overweight.  Now, at first glance, this seems counter-intuitive — or at best, a play on words.  The reason for that, though, is because it’s so hard to shake the ingrained thermodynamic energy model of diet that we’ve all had — and, again, pardon the oh-so-weak pun — shoved down our throats.  No one in their right mind would chalk-up a teen’s growth spurt to an insatiable appetite.  The kid didn’t sprout another foot taller over the summer because of his ravenous eating; that ravenous eating is a result of his having, and continuing, to grow — a result of a hormone cascade, gene triggering, et al.  Quite naturally — and rightly — we never question that particular assertion.  Why is the other so hard to (and welcome, my friends, to pun city) swallow?

Really, though, get the book.  It’s the best science-based explanation of why the Paleo-like diets are successful and why other diets inevitably fail.

In Health,


One response to “Five Reasons Not to Write Down Everything You Eat for a Week

  1. Hi Keith – I am a regular visitor to the Diet Blog and I’ve read a few of Ali Hale’s posts. I agree that she and most of the other contributors there offer generally well-intentioned, but ultimately misguided advice. The trouble with the carbohydrate issue is that it creates a polarised debate. People just cannot agree on what is the best advice when they are starting from different premises. If you accept that it’s okay to eat a high carb diet, then the best advice is different from the best advice if someone is not subject to that assumption. Once we get that one out of the way, we may get a fairly rapid convergence of opinion in years to come. But then what would we blog about 😉

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