Feb 5, 2005

Carbs vs. Nicotine (or why life isn't fair)

After a discussion on the pros and cons of an early death (and saving our children on nursing home care) vs. sticking it out to the bitter end, my husband and I chose long life. So we agreed last week that he would quit smoking and I would quit carbs. After convincing him that a "weigh in" wasn't necessary (because then I would have to kill him) we began our quests.

Now I realize that nicotine is more addictive than a Playstation addict on crack, but come on. How great would it be if I could just give up ONE thing? It's a no-brainer. Everytime you have it in your hand you'd think "ooops, I'm not supposed to have that."

Instead I have to give up an entire food group. And it's a pretty big one too! Those sneaky little carbs are EVERYWHERE!!! I've been reduced to the most basic ingredients and lots of things that I've been told were good for me all my life are now no-nos. Let's take that innocent bowl of cereal my mom insisted I eat all those early years. (I would kill for a Cheerio...) And something as simple as a sandwich is obsolete, which tends to make lunch something more like a dinner.

Now that my husband's appetite isn't stamped out by nicotine anymore, all he wants to do is snack on Little Debbies and Cheetos (another thing I would kill for--I love their cab-yellow, crunchy goodness!) However, I can't exactly take up his smoking to replace my carb habit, now can I?

Did I mention we're both really bitchy now?

Anyway, I just wanted to discuss how unfair it is. Do they have a 2 week course for being overweight (with a couple of 2-day follow ups.) No. Did they quit advertising carbs on TV? No. Do they have a carb patch? No. Or how about french fry gum?

Wonder if Sonic is still open. Back later.

6 comments:

Finelytouched said...

Hi Karyn,

Just randomly came across your blog and read the post about the carbs. I'm a biochemistry student, and just want to say "don't do it, it's pointless!". Presumably you're not diabetic or have similar problems I don't know about - and your main reason for giving up carbohydrate is weight loss and fitness. It is a totally false myth that the composition of your calorific intake has any effect upon weight loss or gain! The only factor is the balance between the amount you take in (and a pretty fixed proportion of that is absorbed by the body. You can't change that without making yourself very ill) and the amount you expend. If you manage to take in less calories without eating carbs than with, then yes you will lose weight. However, bear in mind that the brain's fuel of choice is carbohydrate; if carbohydrate stress occurs brain function deteriorates, affecting your memory and concentration; that taking in less carbs will force your body to produce more from protein, stressing your nitrogen clearance system; that foods that contain few carbs also are the fatiest, and the risks associated with taking in fats of all sorts are much greater than even those of consuming refined carbohydrates; and that any claims by marketers of diets (I'm guessing this is the infamous atkins) that this kind of diet is effective because it reduces the levels of circulating carbohydrates in the body is inaccurate, as the intake of protein will allow the body to generate carbs from scratch (which is fortunate, as they are absolutely required by brain, blood and retina!). Giving up carbohydrates is damned hard as they naturally should constitute the majority of our calorific intake! If you consider that once fat cells are gained they never are removed, but change in size; that fat tissue itself is far from inert, but releases hormones that increase apetite and slow fat burning; that the health risks of a diet where most of the calories are derived from fat are very well defined, with no risks whatsoever for a diet where most originate in carbohydrate; and that fat contains little associated water, and is a much more energy-dense food (you get the same calorific intake by eating a much smaller amount); you are much better off giving that up instead! I admire your efforts to look after your body - I just can't stand to see a popular myth perpectuated! Best of luck,

Jon

Karyn Lyndon said...

Thanks John! I appreciate your taking the time to write...wherever you are. I realize more exercise and less calorie intake makes chemical sense. But either way, french fries must go...lol.

katydanzer said...

Hey! Why do I have to read a blog to find out that my dad quit smoking and my mom is on a diet? There is a lot more wong with this world than just obesity. I personally prefer fries with ranch dressing. Does that make me a bad person?

Karyn Lyndon said...

Just never stop dancing...

Dorothy said...

Ouch! I have to give up cigs and go on a diet, so I know where BOTH of you are coming from. Good luck to the both of you...now where did he hide my cigs...

pam said...

Karyn,
Love your blog, and the pool pics, but this post really resonated. I love it, a carb patch, ha! Wouldn't that be nice? But, I am also with John, it's not good for you to give up carbs. Plus, they're soooo good.

The only diet that has ever really worked for me, and I've tried them ALL, is weight watchers. You can do it online too. It works because it addresses they key problem that most of us have, portion control! I love food, and I like to eat a lot of it, but once you scale back and do it for a few weeks, actually not even that long, your body adjusts, and you don't need as much. And it's really about making smart choices, more veggies, salads, lean proteins, less bad fats, and more good complex carbs.

Life is too short not to eat good food. As the French women supposedly do, they eat anything, but just have a few bites...

Pam