My Big Fat Diet to be re-broadcast on CBC News Network January 8th and 9th, 2011.

Happy New Year!

And, yes, it is diet season, again. The CBC is re-broadcasting MBFD this week and they have also premiered their new diet show, “Village on a Diet”, a series depicting the collective weight loss effort of the population of a northern British Columbia village. The CBC has also launched an accompanying six-month initiative, “live right now”, to encourage Canadians in general to eat “healthier” and lose weight.

http://www.cbc.ca/liverightnow/village/index.html

http://www.cbc.ca/liverightnow/blog-entry/live-right-now-launches.html

That is all well and good. I wish them luck. As you may suspect, my expectation is that the overall success rate will be modest, both in the village and in the nation. I am sure there will be lots of success stories to share, though, and everyone will feel really good in the end for having tried to make people healthier.

I am not surprised that our national broadcaster is sticking to the safety of the consensus approach to weight loss, even though it has been demonstrated in countless studies to be sub-optimal, at best, and in most cases far less effective than simple carb restriction. I am sure they consulted with authoritative sources who would have guided them to this approach. The same sources that would have people with carbohydrate intolerance eat half their calories as carbohydrates, who think it is okay to get 25% of your energy from added sugar, who think fructose is harmless and perhaps even preferable to glucose, who think that fat makes you fat and that saturated fat is “artery clogging”, who think that people get fat because they are lazy gluttons, etc etc etc. ┬áThe result is an approach not unlike that of “The Biggest Loser”.

Even though I can understand why the CBC would stick to the safety of the consensus, I have to confess to some feelings of disappointment that they didn’t give us a chance to do a Big Fat Diet series. Or, at least, a competition where we could show the benefits of a low-carb high-fat diet when compared to the consensus approach. Now that would have been fun and entertaining, too.

I will be watching “Village on a Diet” to see how it pans out. Maybe, some day, in an alternative universe, perhaps, we will get the chance to do a “Village on a Low-Carb Diet” series.

Okay, enough wallowing in self-pity. We had a wonderful Christmas break. I know everyone thinks you have to gain weight during the festivities but we don’t. I am not tempted at all by all the cookies and candies, etc. We have lovely meals. I enjoy my food and have no complaints whatsoever. Am I that unique? I don’t think so. So why do so many people use a holiday as an excuse to fall off their diet? One of the mysteries of the universe!

We spent some time at Whistler. My 10 year old son, who is an accomplished skier, decided to learn to snowboard this year. This meant that my 8 year hiatus from riding came to an end as I dusted off my board in order to better teach him. After so long, I had doubts as to whether I could still “shred”, but it came back fairly quickly. It took my son about four days to get comfortable turning both ways and controlling both edges. It took me about that long to get back in form, too. I had to direct some attention to my abs in my daily workout, though, as you are constantly working your core to get up onto the board. That’s a good thing, of course. They have a name for guys like me: “grey on a tray”. At least my son is impressed that I can still do these things at the age of sixty.

Our last day at Whistler was one of those rare high-pressure days where there is not a cloud in the sky, the temperature is just below zero, the snow is crisp and groomed and the crowds are light. We couldn’t resist putting our skis back on for a day of high-speed touring. We raced down the freshly groomed 7-kilometer Peak to Creek run under a brilliant blue sky, surrounded by snowy forests and craggy mountains. That’s my idea of quality time with your kid. We have a family pass which allows my wife and I to swap skiing for babysitting duties, so she got to ski with Alex for the afternoon while I took Isabelle to Starbucks in the village.

Isabelle, our low-carb baby, is growing like a weed. She is all of sixteen months now and is a total delight. She is very active and has a growing vocabulary. Her favourite phrase is “so funny”. She walks around the house laughing and saying it over and over which is, of course, totally contagious. She is fascinated with all our techy gadgets. She demands to play with Alex’s new PSP and insists on exploring the apps on Anne’s new iPhone. She has already figured out how to use the remote for the television where she loves to watch Blue’s Clues. She is also a budding fashion maven. I swear it is hard-wired. She is very conscious of what she is wearing. She loves new clothes. She carries a little purse around the house. She loves wearing her little red Crocs. Anne found a little Burberry bathrobe for her on eBay and she wore it to the hot tub at the hotel last week. She was impossibly cute.

Anyway, all that to say that the low-carb high-fat approach doesn’t seem to have slowed down her development in any way shape or form. The other thing we have noticed is that she hasn’t been ill. She has had the sniffles once but never a fever or even a diaper rash. I do think this is diet-related. She continues to eat every kind of food except carbs. I think the lack of exposure to fructose is important. The more I learn about the metabolic effects of fructose the more I think it may be the smoking gun that explains a lot of the metabolic dysfunction we are seeing today. She has had virtually zero exposure to fructose. It will be interesting to see how this goes. I certainly don’t have any misgivings at this point. And I will keep you posted.