My weight loss and health journey has been a winding one. Like so many other dieters, I found my scale weight bouncing up and down over the years, never able to stick to a successful regimen. Low carb, slow carb, restrictive, natural… the list of failed efforts goes on. Such off-the-wall advice I used to follow: ‘make sure you only eat fruit in the morning!’, ‘always have 3 egg whites per yolk’, ‘only eat tilapia.’ I kept spinning until finally finding enlightenment in the oddest of places – a college math class.
I’m definitely not a hardcore mathematician, but my favorite course from college by far was Business Statistics. My professor’s methodology for teaching was to find an article making a bold claim and then debunk the headline by digging into the data (the stats) that were cited by the author. More often than not the articles he blew up were about health and were featured in prominent newspapers or magazines. In this way my, time and time again, the teacher pulled the rug out from underneath the traditional guidance I was gifted from wives’ tails and “bro scientists.” I decided to take a stats approach.
So what did the data say?
It turns out that there is resounding data on a broad scale that backs a core theory: overall calorie balance determines weight loss or gain, and the macronutrient composition (protein/carbs/fat) of those calories impacts how likely you are to eat too many calories. Foods that are relatively higher in protein, fiber, and water and lower in simple carbohydrates are more filling and therefore harder to overeat. These, by the way, are positions maintained by prominent health bodies such as the ADA, CDC, and others.
So I began counting and tracking calories and macronutrients. Aiming for numerical targets instead of any ‘magic’ (or ‘evil’) food was incredibly liberating. I found an entire new world of flexibility in my eating habits and started the journey that led me to the happy and healthy state I’m in today. I think I’ll go into my transformation in detail at another time.
My new lens for looking at nutrition came with new realizations. A lot of these were negative. I began to notice that the vast majority of foods on grocery aisles have terrible Stats. They’re typically high in sugar and fat while being low in protein and fiber – a recipe for overconsumption. The big Natural movement that has lit up the country seems like a step in the right direction, but these foods often are just as bad from a Stat perspective. They may be using organic agave nectar instead of cane sugar, but the percentage of sugar in food remains the same.
Meanwhile, I started messing around in the kitchen. What started as just an annoying hobby to my roommates – an obsession with cooking up all sorts of “Great Stat Foods” in our kitchen – has morphed into the website you’re reading today. I realized it was possible to “have your treat and eat it too” or, in other words, make filling food with great Stats that tastes incredible.
I’m starting Statfoods because I deeply believe that we can leverage the power of food science and human ingenuity to create delicious foods that are filling while maintaining an unparalleled nutritional profile and cost effectiveness. I hope you get to try the product soon.