Jack's Ruminations

Fattenin’ Up on Summer Fruit

Posted on: August 17, 2014

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After four political and sports posts, it’s time to go back to navel-gazing. No, I really mean my navel. Toward the end of July, it started expanding.

Above is a chart of my weight over the past year. For the first 3 1/2 months of this period (up until December), my weight hovered around 170 lb.

At the start of December, I started eating the Grain Brain way. For my already quite restricted diet, this change meant only that I swapped out copious fruit and rice crackers for cheese and more nuts.

Eating that way seems to have dropped my weight set point by about 3 pounds, taking my weight down around 167 lb.

Then in mid-March of this year, I quit distance running. Up until that point, for the previous 2+ years, I had been running three times per week, including a long (for me) run of 1.5+ hours on Saturdays.

My set point responded to me quitting running by rising steadily over the Spring. But by early Summer, my weight had fallen back to where it had been the previous Fall — i.e. 170 lb.

And there my weight stayed for weeks on end in the early part of Summer. At the time, it seemed that this was now going to be my set point for the foreseeable future.

But in late July, my weight started creeping up again. And this morning, for the first time since Spring, I saw 175+ lb on the scale.

What was going on? I wasn’t eating wheat or refined sugar. Wasn’t drinking too much alcohol. I was exercising the same or more. My sleep has been good.

After running through the possible culprits, this morning it hit me: I’ve been gorging on summer fruit. California is the orchard of America. There is so much ripe and delicious fruit everywhere you turn these days — including hanging on our own trees.

Starting in late July, I had gotten into the habit of snacking on fruit since there was so much of it around the house.

This morning, however, I announced to my wife and mother-in-law that I am going back off of fruit. Well, I mean, I’ll go back to eating berries and the odd banana, apple or pear — just like I had been doing since December.

So no more eating bags of cherries, peaches, melons, plums, apricots, etc. etc. for me.

Pretty amazing to me that anything over a small amount of fruit costs me a few pounds of elevated set point (and an expanded navel).

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me given that my wife almost gave herself gestational diabetes eating bags of apricots when she was pregnant with our daughter. At the time, I just chalked that up to her being of Northern European descent. My heritage, on the other, being Mediterranean, made me immune from this effect — or so I thought.

Turns out the truth seems to be that while I’m not as sensitive to fruit as is my wife, I’m still sensitive.

I wonder if darker skinned people (e.g. African blacks, Southern Indians, etc.) can eat bags of fruit and not muck with their set point or blood glucose?

Oh well. Back to eating coconut for dessert.

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