Now we are ready to go into the diet itself, which is, of course, the piece de resistance of our whole reducing plan. Because this diet has almost 90 per cent catabolic efficiency, the three pounds of food it permits you to eat each day should make moderate overweights lose about a pound of fat per day. This is taking all ages, groups, and degrees of obesity as a great general average. Persons considerably overweight will lose more.
That fatty OIL under your skin is going to disappear. Those who fail to take off weight at the expected rate are usually those who fail to carry out the diet to the letter. Sometimes they are people who cheat a bit. Lack of success is often due to a lack of comprehension of the whole principle involved.
For example, a lady went on the diet with her daughter. The daughter, weighing 171 pounds, lost ten pounds in seven days; the mother, who weighed 214, lost only two pounds. Bewildered, the mother wrote us and said that she had followed the diet exactly except that she had been a heavy starch eater and was afraid to go without bread.
So she ate three pieces of bread a meal, just as had been her usual custom!
Once in a while a dieter does not lose weight the first day. There is a reason. It has to do with the water bal ance in the body. When fat is oxidized or burned in the body, water is formed. Ordinarily this is eliminated through the skin, the breath, the kidneys, or the intestines. Sometimes it is temporarily held by the tissues. Thus, while the dieter really has burned fat, his loss does not show on the scales. However, it will in a day or two when the water metabolism adjusts itself.
It is even possible apparently to gain weight in this situation. However, such a gain is most temporary. Our body tissues do not get water just from the fluids we drink; they get a considerable amount from the foods we eat. If a person were not eating or drinking, he would make some of the body tissues into water.
Here is a most peculiar chemical fact. A hundred ounces of body fat will yield 107.1 ounces of water. That is because the element of hydrogen in body fat picks oxygen out of the blood to form water. Also, out of 100 ounces of alcohol, the body will get 117.4 ounces of water. That is why people who drink too much alcohol may become waterlogged and flabby. In this strange water metabolism, starches and proteins act differently. A hundred ounces of starch will yield only S 5.1 ounces of water while a hundred grams of protein will yield but 41.3 ounces of water.
The ability of the body to make water out of body tissues is a very important physiological fact. Perhaps we can best emphasize it by considering the camel. A camel’s hump is composed of fat. Nature has provided it to give him an excellent source of water in case he cannot find any in the desert. One hundred pounds of fat in a camel’s hump will give him 107 pounds of water, So Nature, in a sense, concentrates the water for him.
Furthermore, in this involved and intricate process of water metabolism, the deposit of certain tissues in the body adds water to the body content. If you add an ounce of muscle tissue to the body, it requires three ounces of water to bind that protein in the tissues. If you add an ounce of sugar to the body for storage, it will require three ounces of water to complete the transaction. .
This is important in problems of weight control. It means that the fellow who exercises and adds muscle to his frame will add four ounces of body weight for every ounce of muscle tissue he builds. The person who eats candy and adds to the sugar stores of the body will add four ounces of weight for every ounce of sugar actually stored.
One point about adding fat to the body is that it results in only a very little change in the water storage as a result. Some very dangerous reducing diets have been formulated because of this fact. For example, when a person begins to eat a considerable amount of fatty foods in place of starchy foods, he loses water from the tissues (dehydrates). Judging by the scales, this appears as a weight loss, but there is a world of difference between dehydration and weight loss, as you will presently see.
Conversely, when a person eats too high a percentage of starches, he becomes waterlogged. That is why people who eat too much starch are apt to have catarrh, swollen nasal membranes, or a flabby condition of the skin. Most important of all, however, is the relation of table salt to water retention.
Of those who fail to lose weight rapidly, some disregard the admonitions about salt and about water drinking at meal time. Their weight loss is diminished considerably because their body water balance cannot adjust properly. Each particle of table salt requires extra water retention in the tissues.
Activities of the digestive system play a great part in maintaining the water balance of the body tissues. Water passes rapidly from the digestive system into the circulatory system and to the body cells, and vice versa.
Many people forget that air and water are essential foods to the body. We could live for thirty days or more without ordinary foods, but we would die within fifteen minutes without air and within a few days without water. Because every tissue in the body is composed of water to a certain extent, our very life hinges upon the body’s water balance.
Body fluids are 99 or more per cent water. The bones, which are the hardest of the tissues, are 40 per cent water. The degree of body hydration (proportion of water in the various body tissues) is very important, especially in fluids like the blood. People can have a normal hydration or an abnormal hydration. Thus if some diets or methods of reducing drive water from the body and cause dehydration, the result is a definite disease state.
Dehydration can be responsible for violent toxemias, causes tissues to shrivel and the victim to appear gaunt or haggard, and produces a miserable string of symptoms ranging from headaches to exhaustion. So it is important to avoid dehydration. Any method of reducing which includes this evil is dangerous. And there are dehydrating diets. Some of them, like the high protein diets, have been used; not for long, however. Their ill effects were too readily apparent.
The usual method of dehydration is through the use of purgative salts and violent cathartics. Diarrhea is produced and from one to five or six pounds of water are driven from the body. The unwary victim imagines he has lost weight; he hasn’t. He has lost some water and some health, and he soon drinks back the amount of water he has lost.
One of the objections to losing weight by exercise is the fact that exercise is dehydrating, driving sweat through the pores and giving only apparent weight losses-sometimes as high as fifteen pounds in one day. The same objection holds for the steam cabinet, massage, and hot-room methods of weight reduction.
The subject of water balance is almost an endless one. To explain more of the intricate chemistry involved would be burdensome. Suffice to say that our diet does not de hydrate. The three pounds of solid food you eat, with the exception of the proteins, are from 90 to 96 or 97 per cent water. The greedy, exaggerated, distorted fat and sugar metabolism of fat people are sternly disciplined by a high catabolic food intake but, best of all, the water balance of the body is straightened out. Most f atties are waterlogged. Jowls that wibble and wobble, hips that billow and surge, abdomens that undulate soon become firm under the catabolic diet. Watch and see. To a great extent, waterlogging made these portions of the anatomy flabby and floppy. The catabolic diet changes them to solid, natural flesh, not by dehydration but by making the tissue water balance normal.
There is much confusion, even in the minds of dietitians, about calorie values. In the first place, the calorie about which you were taught in your high school physics class is a different unit of measurement from the one used in food chemistry.
The physics calorie is the small calorie. The calorie used in food chemistry is called the large calorie. It is the amount of heat necessary to raise 1000 cubic centimeters ‘(approximately one quart) of water 1 degree Centigrade (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in temperature. That is a lot of heat. Failure to understand the heat significance of a food calorie is why the person who believes exercise the royal road to reduction finds it so difficult to see his error.
Let us look at what this means:
1 large calorie raises 1 quart of water from 0° C. to 1° C.
100 large calories raise 1 quart of water from 0° C. to 100°
C. (boiling point), or from 32° F. to 212° F.
210 large calories raise 1 quart of water from 0° C. to 250° C. or from 32° F. to 482° F. the heat of a hot oven.
And 250 calories can be provided by -such foods or drinks as these:
4 ounces of sweet chocolate
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 1/2 cups lager beer
2 wineglasses of sherry
I should like to have written “big calorie” wherever the word calorie appears in the text but that might have been confusing. I hope, however, that from now on diet books will give the food calorie its proper meaning of kilogramcalorie rather than gram-calorie, which is the proper name for the small or physics calorie.
The powerful food calorie is entitled to respect. It is certainly not the flyspeck some advertising copy writers make it out to be. Only today, I heard a radio announcer laud buttered pancakes with syrup as a food for people trying to stay slim. One helping contains only 375 calories, he said.
The good Baron von Munchausen would have turned green with envy at that one. Even if the statement were true, 375 calories would supply energy enough for a sevenmile walk at three miles an hour.
If you will remember that the calories contained in food are made less formidable by the cost to the body of digesting that food, you can steal a march on Debble Fat. Sugars, syrups, jams, candies, alcohol, and a few other such items have practically no digestive cost. They turn into fat (in us lipophilics) with 100 per cent efficiency. Almost all of them are anabolic.
The qualitative caloric value of certain foods, as far as I can determine, has never been pointed out to laymen, although this is really a more important consideration than sheer number of calories.
Two and three-quarters ounces of potatoes have the same caloric value as one ounce of bread, yet two and three-quarters ounces of potatoes cannot be made into the same amount of fat that one ounce of bread will provide:
The potato calories are harder to get at, or, as we would put it, they have a greater digestive cost. Potatoes are more catabolic than is bread. Hence, bread is more fattening.
Incidentally, potatoes are an excellent food, certainly not deserving of the harsh censure many fat people give them.
I have probably burdened you almost to the breaking point with technical details. I am sorry, but for best re= sults you must understand body fat. And the availability of calories is the pivot upon which a war on fat turns. Remember that just as some foods are more or less catabolic, so others are more or less anabolic. A pint is a pint, but a pint of whisky is more potent than a pint of beer. We might add a word about the energy value of food calories-with this reservation. As long as our concepts of energy are determined by our knowledge of mechanical engines, we shall never be able to comprehend the miracle of body energy production.
For instance, that little fist-sized organ which you call your heart pumps a gallon of blood per minute through the body while you are sleeping. It pumps five or six gallons per minute when you’re running for the 5:15.
Over 500 voluntary and involuntary muscles, a11 exquisitely turned engines in themselves, work at their special tasks. More messages are sent over your millions of nerve fibers each day than all our telegraph companies handle in a year. Your kidneys receive 600 quarts of blood every twenty-four hours.
Thousands of other functions are performed by the human body daily. The perfection of its conversion of heat into energy defies expression in words.
However, we can give you some basis for an understanding of human energy requirements.
We can reckon that the average human being on a 3000 kilogram-calorie (food calorie) diet possesses one fifth of a potential horsepower per minute, twelve horsepower per hour, 288 horsepower per twenty-four hours (one day).
A fairly good car can be propelled fifteen miles on one gallon of gasoline, which represents 26,505 large calories. That means such a car needs 1767 large calories to run one mile. Yet an average-sized man of 154 pounds obtains enough energy -from fifty-one large (or food) calories to walk a mile, and take care of all regular body processes at the same time.
The food calorie is really something!
Perhaps you will find that the calorie values of certain foods as given in vur lists will vary f rom those given in other lists. Especially in the Meat Substitution Lists (15, 16, 17) you will find calorie values quoted lower than the average. This is because these calorie estimates are for lean meat with all extraneous fat removed.
Generally speaking, variation is unavoidable, as calorie values often vary slightly with the food itself. Foods grown in one section of the country or in certain types of soil may have a little more fat or sugar, vitamins, or minerals, than those grown in other sections or other soils. It should not be forgotten that foods differ in their minutae just as individuals do. Every apple is different from the next; every cabbage is as individual in its own little way as you and I.
But although calorie values, like foods, must vary, they are accurate approximations and invaluable guides. Cooking reduces the calorie value of vegetables sharply, partly because water replaces the solid matter of the food, and partly because the starch and sugar of vegetables and fruits are soluble. (Note especially that the calorie value of cooked foods such as spaghetti and macaroni is astonishingly lower than that of the raw pastes.)
Practically all the calorie value of vegetables could be destroyed by repeated cooking and washing. This would be a vicious procedure, however, because the health-giving vitamins and minerals would also be destroyed.
As is explained in the chapter which deals with foods, vegetables must be quick-cooked, and their valuable pot liquors saved and used. These practices not only preserve important food values but improve the flavor of vegetables.
Each individual food, when metabolized in the body, leaves either an acid-forming or an alkaline residue. And the question of body acidity or alkalinity touches a fundamental basis of existence. The acid-base equilibrium of body fluids, tissues, and structures is of primary signifi cance. It is measured in terms of hydrogen-ion concentration, and the ion is the smallest unit of measurement that can be applied to physical matter. Yet a variance of a few ions in the alkaline state of any tissue in the body is infinitely important to health.
The term acidosis, which is employed so often, should not be used in speaking of body tissue acid-base equilibriums. Acidosis covers very special situations in which the alkaline reserve of the body has been completely diminished, such as in the last stages of diabetes. By proper nutrition, a body can be kept on the alkaline side of the hydrogen-ion concentration. When this fails, we call the resulting state an acidemia-not acidosis.
This is all important in a consideration of reducing, for body tissues, being mostly protein and fat, leave an acid ash when broken down. Therefore, during the reducing or catabolic process, as in starvation, an acidemia may develop. That is the harm of a great many reducing diets. They produce not only acidemia but a virtual fat acidosis. The person on such a diet may develop distressing symptoms-and not only feel like the deuce, as the saying goes, but look it as well.
Our seven-day diet is carefully calculated to provide such an excess of alkaline or base ash that it will neutralize roughly two pounds of tissue breakdown a day-a guarantee that you cannot suffer from an acidemia on the diet.
Our diet is not “weakening.” In the first place, you get approximately three pounds of solid food a day, and each one of the foods (except those of the protein group) is literally a mine of minerals and vitamins. This is a far cry from “starvation” regimens. Our diet starves only fat.
Since most catabolic foods are bulky, they help fill the dilated stomach that is characteristic of most fat people. As a result, there can be no hunger pains while the stomach is stretched with food.
To provide a feeling of satiety requires much greater quantities of concentrated foods such as pastries, sweets, and breads than of the catabolic fruits and vegetables. The average person eats about six pounds of assorted solid foods a day. The same filling power could be provided with approximately three pounds of the bulkier fruits and vegetables.
The vitamin values of our diet are illustrated by the breakdown of a typical day. If you will consult vitamin needs as reckoned by standard authorities, you can see at a glance how amazingly ample the reducing diet is. This fact shows emphatically that a restricted calorie diet can supply enough vitamins.
That fascinating, fantastic field of allergy, the understanding of which is increasing every day, promises to be one of the most amazing and important in the healing art. Some of the phenomena of allergy stagger the imagination.
The germ theory of disease, proved by the modest French chemist Pasteur, inaugurated a new era in medicine. The number of diseases now cured and prevented by a knowledge of germs is imposing. Yet the solution of allergy problems gives evidence of becoming equally important and far reaching in the search for health.
Already migraine, eczema, asthma, hay fever, and a considerable number of once-baffling digestive disturbances are being overcome by an understanding of allergy. People who had been plagued with chronic dyspepsia or gas pains for thirty or forty years are now being relieved through the newer knowledge of food sensitivity.
However, space forbids our rambling. Just note this: If you are allergic in any degree whatsoever to any food suggested on our seven-day reducing diet, do not use that food. Substitute another. I will go farther: If you are intolerant of any food, if it does not “sit well,” if you have a logical or illogical aversion to it, omit it from the diet. It has been estimated, by careful studies made at the University of Southern California, that from SO to 60 per cent of the people are allergic in some degree to a particular food or foods. Probably one person in fifteen is allergic in a degree that produces distressing symptoms. So, lack of physical well-being while on the diet may mean that you are allergic to one or another of the foods given. Your good sense and good judgment must avoid the pitfalls of allergy. If you meet up with any special difficulty, avail yourself of a physician’s tests to determine the offending food.
It was once thought; even by nutritionists, that sufficient calories, sufficient energy, were all that mattered in providing food for man or animals. Then when Justus von Liebig, a food scientist of the last century, illustrated the value of proteins, nutritionists began to take them into consideration. Gradually the importance of minerals dawned upon science, and this factor had to be dealt with.
Thus, the knowledge of food science gradually developed until we now have to provide for almost forty different elements and attributes in planning a balanced diet. These include food minerals, various vitamins, essential amino acids, water balance, bulk, and the acid-alkaline ash qualities.
A balanced diet is one which takes a11 these (and several more) modifying factors into consideration. It is just as essential for a reducer to have a balanced diet as it is for anyone else, sick or well. It is no great problem to figure out a combination of foods which will starve or dehydrate a few pounds off the body. Almost anyone can think up a reducing diet. However, it requires a trained nutritionist, plus years of careful study and consideration, to formulate a balanced reducing diet.
An unbalanced reducing diet must result in harm. Time will prove this-that is why the pineapple-lamb chop diet and its ilk had to fall by the wayside. We human beings will do thoughtless and radical things to take off pounds quickly, but wise Dame Nature’s best teachers, Pain and Suffering, soon set us right.
We could devote considerable space to explaining the highly technical considerations involved in creating a safe and efficient reducing diet. Small amounts of starch and sugar are needed to “spare” proteins and to burn fats rapidly.
A certain percentage of starch and sugar is necessary even in a reducing diet to prevent a chemical state called ketosis. We have amply provided for this need with adequate fruit in the diet. Besides, body fat is made into sugar when there is a need for it. The hibernating bear taught science this lesson. We have provided enough of the essential fatty acids (linoleic, etc.). They are found in sufficient quantities in quite a few of the foods we give.
There is an important action between the element sodium in table salt and the starch and sugar chemistry of the body, also the body water balance. Please observe the salt restriction closely.
Certain minerals and vitamins must definitely be provided to carry on rapid fat destruction without harm. Careful protein balance must be maintained to prevent destruction of tissues other than fat. It has all been done for you in our seven-day diet, and the chemistry involved need not be your concern. Those of you who wish to go further into the subject may consult any of the standard texts on physiological chemistry.