Posted 2/7/2014 7:21 AM (GMT -7)
I guess I'll be a dissenting voice here. I don't think it's as easy as dropping caloric intake and exercising more, at least for a large number of people. Yeah, in the short run, that will work. And eventually, it's likely to stop. In his book "Why We Get Fat and What to Do about It", Gary Taubes talks about the CICO (calories in, calories out) theory of weight loss as a tautology that's absolutely worthless to us. Yes, the laws of thermodynamics are inviolable. The problem is that the body reacts to the calories in and the stresses it is put through, and adjusts calories out based on what it views as a threat to homeostasis. So, this may work for a while, but the body will down-regulate metabolism over time, forcing calories to decrease further or exercise to increase more.
I've been an ardent exerciser for almost 30 years - much more exercise than almost anyone I know. I've run over 600 running races, including marathon distance or longer about 200 times. I've started 11 different 100 mile trail races (but not finished all of them). I think I've done 50 triathlons. I ski 50 days every winter. Lift, hike, cycle, etc. And, I have fought my weight every step of the way. It's a never ending battle for me and I know that's true for many others.
The other thing that I think is true about what we eat is that it has to be sustainable - a lifestyle rather than a diet. Something that you can't live with long term may succeed initially, but will ultimately fail when you can't maintain it.
So, over time, it's become clear (for me) that certain food types do matter. I know lots of athletes who can thrive on diets of 80% carbs, but when I do that, I get fat. When I eat fat at 50%-60%, protein at around 25%, and limit carbs (mostly) to those found in veggies, with some occasional fruit, I can eat all the food I feel like eating and lose weight. Some people call this a Primal or Paleo diet. But, the term Paleo is often thought of as being a meat-heavy diet, and that is not my goal. I find that fat keeps me full, protein gives me the nutrition I need to recover from my current training, and lots and lots of veggies give me nutrients that I need. I don't follow it perfectly (pizza is required on occasion to sustain life, IMO, along with adult beverages), but I try.
A side effect of eating this way has to do with some re-emerging theories on cancer, and the belief some hold that many cancers are partially metabolic diseases (PCA included) rather than purely genetic diseases.
I think the writings of Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Chris Kresser, and Gary Taubes are all helpful in this area. Here is a link to Robb Wolf's web site where he discusses cancer as a metabolic disease. There is a specific anecdote (and that's all it is - one person telling his story) about PCA in the article:
In the end, I think all of us need to find the combination of foods that works best for us. For some, basic calorie restriction works both short and long term. For others, this is simply not sustainable, and if it was, given that it's our current "conventional wisdom", I can't imagine we'd be in the obesity epidemic that we see on a daily basis. I have found over the years that despite all of my training, I simply cannot out-train a poor diet. I need to train effectively and eat in a way that doesn't make me fat.
My primary focus has been to greatly reduce sugars of all types and grains as much as possible. I also try to reduce grain-based fats (grain oils like canola, safflower, corn, etc.). Most of my fat comes from butter from grass-fed cows, grass-fed meat, olive oil, coconut oil, and eggs and dairy products (heavy cream!).
But, I've never found that counting calories, putting a limit in place and increasing exercise works for me at all. It leaves me hungry and miserable within a week or two of starting.
Best of luck.
Age 51 at Dx, 52 now
8/13 PSA of 5.0
9/13 PSA of 5.3 after DRE
10/13 PSA of 4.9
10/13 - Biopsy - Gleason 3+4, 4 samples of 12 positive
1/6/2014 - RALP at Dartmouth
Post-surgical pathology: pT2cNx Gleason 3+4=7 disease, neg margins
1/14/2014 - Catheter removed, fairly good urinary control - max of 1 pad/day
Also, history of hypogonadism, previous testosterone user, hoping to return to use