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Hi, GI Chow is a resource to inspire and help those looking to lose weight for health or aesthetic reasons. It is based on my own experience of losing over 26kg (4 stone) in 7 months in 2012.

Transformation picture of author: 30th May 2012 (profile)

Transformation picture of author: 30th May 2012 (profile)

Transformation picture of author: 15th October 2012 (profile)

Transformation picture of author: 15th October 2012 (profile)

Transformation picture of author: 25th October 2015 (profile) ..3 years on and a healthy, happy 72kg!

Transformation picture of author: 25th October 2015 (profile) ..3 years on and a healthy, happy 72kg!

Transformation picture of author: 21st December 2018 (profile) ..6 years on and a healthy, happy 75kg!

Transformation picture of author: 21st December 2018 (profile) ..6 years on and a healthy, happy 75kg!

My motivation was to reduce my risk of developing diabetes and to feel physically healthier and more attractive. I wanted to find a reliable, consistent and cheap way to do this without having to endure hunger, take on unsustainable diet or exercise regimes or take unnatural drugs.

Through research and experiment on myself I was amazed to find a very simple and well understood biochemical principle (the insulin response) which when applied to diet (specifically the glycaemic index and glycaemic load of what we eat) has a profound effect on how fat we are and stay. Part of what I found so incredible is that despite the wealth of information in the media and huge array of nominally healthy foods we find in supermarkets this simple piece of information and its overwhelming significance over and above all the other healthy eating messages out there had not gotten through. In fact there are quite contradictory messages and virtually all the convenience food choices (even the ostensibly healthy ones) available to us keep us fat.

To what extent do we trust received wisdom and the truths offered or perhaps even ‘sold’ – literally as well as metaphorically – to us? Just as history is said to be written by the victors, perhaps our perception of the present is equally manipulated by those with their own agendas to push. After all, every piece of information takes time, effort and hence money to be propagated.

Several family members, friends and acquaintances noticed my weight loss and asked how I’d achieved this so I set up this site as
(i) somewhere to refer them to – so they had somewhere to go after they’d forgotten what I told them!
(ii) a record of my findings in the hope that it might benefit the wider community
(iii) an experimental business to educate people on a few basic facts about nutrition and biochemistry whose application to one’s diet alone can have a profound impact on obesity – possibly the most significant epidemic in the ‘developed’ world.
(iv) an investigation into how what we consider to be the ‘truth’ comes to be recognised as such.

I went from over 92.9kg (205 pounds, 34.7% i.e. 32.2kg fat) to under 66.6kg (147 pounds, 18% i.e. 12kg fat) in 7 months i.e. of the 26.3kg I lost most (20kg) of the weight loss was fat. My muscle reduced a little from 30.1% (28kg) to 39.1% (26kg) however that is a healthy level of loss given I no longer have to haul so much superfluous weight around (which was also putting damaging levels of strain on my joints and tendons and causing other health/quality of life problems).

Of course I should probably include the usual disclaimer that I’m not medically qualified or a nutritionist and that you should see your doctor if you have any concerns that you may have a medical condition affecting your weight or diet before starting to lose weight.

The fact is though that you can forget about worrying that you have a fat gene or low metabolism or are too lazy to spend hours each week exercising. Your body’s designed to gain and lose weight easily to deal with periods of excess and paucity in nature’s bounty of available food and, with a little understanding of how your body works, the very same natural drives you instinctively followed to get to your current weight will get you to any weight you choose to be. In fact you’ll lose weight scarily fast and have to consciously decide not to drop below the weight that’s healthy for you.

Good luck – though you really don’t need it if you read and then follow the handful of tips we have. There’s a shedload of stuff on losing weight – on the net, TV, books and magazines – and a host of companies who’ll claim to help you but I’ve tried to distil the information that helped me into a handful of tips you can read in a few minutes so just start in that section!

All the best,

Nik

© GI Chow and N Ilukkumbure, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of content without express and written permission from the author is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to GI Chow with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All trademarks are the property of their owners and no endorsement should be presumed unless otherwise stated.

Recent Posts

Covid vaccine statistics – is taking the vaccine worth the risk?

To inform the personal decision of whether to get the vaccine here are some statistics from authoritative sources. Should you have a more accurate source for any of these statistics please leave it in a comment.

The risk of death from Covid infection overall is 500000 / 10000000 so 5%

Source: “this virus has infected over 10 million individuals and resulted in at least 500,000 deaths world-wide”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-82850-9

John Hopkins University shows currently 4 million deaths from 200 million Covid cases worldwide indicating a 2% risk of death from Covid infection overall.

Source: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

Non authoritative sources show a worst case death rate of 0.5% for those over 80 years old and 0.15% overall though these figures may be population fatality rates i.e. your risk of catching the infection and then dying from it rather than your risk of dying after having certainly been infected. Of course catching Covid is not a certainty so the risk of catching the infection and then dying from it is the risk it makes most sense to compare against the certain risk from deciding to have the vaccine and then going to get vaccinated.

Source: https://twitter.com/FatEmperor/status/1413547607398432771

A personal risk calculator from Oxford University is here

https://www.qcovid.org/Calculation

The current known risk of death following shortly after Covid vaccination is 0.002%

Source: “VAERS received 6,490 reports of death (0.0019%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.”

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html

So short term overall taking the vaccine is between 250 and 2,500 times safer than not taking it according to the headline statistics, as far as risk of death goes. Taking the vaccine does not guarantee elimination of the risk of dying from Covid so it is more complicated than this, and the reduced risk of death from Covid having taken the vaccine should strictly be added to the risk of death from the vaccine itself, but we are dealing with ballpark figures so let us suppose for now that it does.

From the personal risk calculator, which excludes previous recovery from Covid infection as a risk (mitigating) factor, my own personal risk of dying during a 90 day period (based on data from the first pandemic peak) is 0.008% so taking the vaccine is 4x safer than not taking it, but only assuming I could catch Covid from the general population. Taking the risk of actually catching Covid into account, together with a previous positive test for Covid antibodies from previous Covid infection, the benefits of vaccination for me are more debatable. Furthermore, arguably morally, it would be better that the vaccine dose available to me in the UK be used to vaccinate someone in the world more vulnerable to succumb to death from Covid or spread Covid to others.

Of course, this figure will vary for individuals and the personal risk calculator can help one calculate an individual figure – though no provision is made for those who have already contracted and recovered from Covid.

The risk of long-term negative impact from Covid infection is at least 5% given that 5% of adults have “long Covid” from Covid infection.

Source: “A study of over half a million adults in England found that one in 20 had persistent COVID-19 symptoms.”

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/224853/over-million-adults-england-have-long/

The risk of long-term negative impact from the vaccine is currently unknown. There are various reassurances about the mechanism the vaccine uses being well established and its elimination from the body.

Source: “mRNA doesn’t affect your genes in any way because it never enters the nucleus of cells, where your DNA is kept. After the mRNA does its job, it breaks down and is flushed out of your system within hours. It’s also important to know that although mRNA technology for vaccines is new, the mRNA technology itself isn’t. Therapies using mRNA have been around for years and are currently being used to treat cancer and viral diseases.”

https://www.muhealth.org/our-stories/what-you-need-know-about-mrna-covid-19-vaccines

Of course, the long term risks only come into play if you survive the short term risks.

These statistics and the reasoning above just consider one’s individual risk of death rather than the risk of ‘causing’ death to others by inadvertently infecting them while one is infected or the risks to public health from Covid infection treatment stretching the health service. While there is evidence (sources TBC) that vaccination reduces the risk of spreading Covid to others the question of whether one has any moral obligation to reduce the risk of Covid in others, and if so how best to do that through one’s actions, is more complicated.

There are arguments both ways and further questions. What level of risk and inconvenience should we expose ourselves to in order reduce risk to others e.g. should we all shield/isolate to minimise the risk to others? Should we be allowed to give our vaccine allocation to others who are more likely to die or spread Covid? Could it be advantageous to the species that some proportion of the population never develops Covid antibodies?

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