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Weight Watchers and The Atkins Diet

By adamba in Culture
Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 03:18:24 PM EST
Tags: Focus On... (all tags)
Focus On...

The debate over how to lose weight has intensified recently. The official position of the US government for the last 30 years has been that a low calorie diet, heavy in carbohydrates and low in fat, is the healthiest diet. However, during that time many people have lost weight with the opposite diet, low in carbohydrates and high in fat.

A July cover story in the New York Times Magazine, titled "What If It's All Been a Big Lie?," followed by a September cover story in Time, titled "What Really Makes You Fat?", both discussed the fact that the low calorie diets don't have any more scientific evidence going for them than the low carbohydrate ones, and that low carbohydrate diets may be reasonable and safe for many people.

We'll compare one low calorie diet, Weight Watchers, with one low carbohydrate diet, the Atkins Diet.

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There is no real mystery to losing weight. The body needs energy, which it obtains from the calories in food. The caloric parts of food consist of three types: fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Fat is a more efficient energy store than the other two: it has 9 calories per gram, while carbohydrates and proteins have 4 calories per gram. Most energy that the body uses comes from adipose tissue. A pound (454 grams) of adipose tissue, which is approximately 85% fat, has 3500 calories. Thus, if you eat 3500 calories less than your body needs, it will get the energy by burning off a pound of adipose tissue, and you will weigh one pound less.

That's the theory, and it's more or less correct, although 3500 calories is not a precise amount for everyone at all times. The key point is that to lose weight, you need to use more calories than you eat. It doesn't really matter where the calories come from: the body converts unused protein and carbohydrate calories to fat for storage, so eating no fat won't stop your body from producing extra fat. It also doesn't matter how you go about using more calories: you can consume fewer calories, or expend more calories, or a combination of both.

An average woman burns 11 calories per pound of body weight per day; the average man burns 12 calories per day. Thus a 167-pound man will burn approximately 2000 calories per day. Those are averages that can vary widely for different people, based on their metabolic rate. This is where exercise can help. Besides burning extra calories while actually exercising, it can increase your metabolic rate while at rest, and also may build muscle, which consumes more calories at rest than adipose tissue does.


The Weight Watchers plan is simple: all foods are assigned a "point" value. To compute points, start with the calorie count; add a bit for every gram of fat, and subtract a bit for every gram of fiber, to get what I will call "adjusted calories". Fifty adjusted calories equals one point. (The point calculation is not presented as such, but rather as a mystical black box which takes three inputs--calories, fat grams, and fiber grams--and then runs them through a slide-rule-like gizmo, or a Weight Watchers calculator, to produce the point value.) Weight Watchers publishes books listing the point values for many common foods, as well as for common dishes at well-known restaurants. (Weight Watchers used to use a more complicated formula in which foods were classified in a manner similar to the American Diabetes Association's Dietary Exchange Lists. This system was more precise, but also harder to follow; the result was more like being on the Zone Diet, which advocates a 40-30-30 percent balance between carbohydrates, protein, and fat.)

Following the Weight Watchers plan involves determining the proper number of points that you should consume each day (actually a range of values, based on your current weight), and then tracking all the food you consume to ensure that you keep to that number. The exact number of calories you are allowed to consume will depend on how much fat and fiber you include in your diet, but it will very likely be less than you burn simply keeping your body running (the 167-pound man who burns 2000 calories at rest will likely eat fewer than 1500 calories on Weight Watchers).

To encourage exercise, Weight Watchers plan gives you credit, in the form of extra points that are earned based on the duration and intensity of the exercise. This lets you eat a bit more, while avoiding the problem of overcompensating ("I ran for 15 minutes, so here goes a banana cream pie").

By contrast, the Atkins Diet does not worry about all calories, but instead only about carbohydrates. It's simpler to calculate, since carbohydrate information is generally known, and there is no need to do any conversion to points.

Initially, participants are restricted to 20 grams of carbohydrates a day. That is a very low amount: 1/4 cup of flour, or a single slice of typical bread. Eventually, this amount can be raised to 40 to 60 grams a day, depending on how much an individual can eat and still lose weight. Since many carbohydrate-rich foods (especially starchy vegetables) have important vitamins, participants in the Atkins Diet also take a multivitamin every day.


The theory behind the low carbohydrate diets is that excessive carbohydrate intake causes a rapid rise in the glucose levels in the blood (also known as blood sugar level), which causes large amounts of insulin to be released by the pancreas. This is followed by a sudden drop in blood glucose levels, which quickly makes you hungry again. Limiting carbohydrate intake prevents this effect.

The low carbohydrate diet literature diverges a bit on why this helps you lose weight. Some claim that too much insulin speeds the conversion of carbohydrates to stored fat; some state that the absence of carbohydrates cause the body to enter a (possibly dangerous, although this is disputed) state called ketosis, in which the body excretes fat; others explain that fats just fill you up more, or that the spike-and-crash cycle makes you eat more because you feel hungry again sooner. Whether the claims are made with scientific or empirical evidence, the conclusion is the same: eat fewer carbohydrates, lose weight.

Weight Watchers and the Atkins Diet have one important thing in common, the most important thing there is for losing weight and keeping it off: they make you pay attention to what you eat. You have to read the Nutrition Facts label on foods you buy, and if there isn't one, such as with produce or restaurant food, you need to be aware of what you are eating. Shoppers on either diet will spend a lot of time scanning the labels, although what they are looking for is different.

In fact neither wants to be thought of strictly as a diet. They are ways of watching how much you eat; how much you want to eat depends on your goals. With Weight Watchers, you first set your daily points total low enough to lose weight, then you move it higher until you find a level that lets you maintain your weight. The same is true with Atkins and carbohydrates: first find out a daily amount that lets you lose weight, then raise it to a maintenance level.


The United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Information Center publishes the Food Guide Pyramid, which advocates a carbohydrate-rich diet with few fats. (For those who are interested, the USDA web site has a document showing how US dietary recommendations have changed over the years, and another comparing government food guidelines around the world. The USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion also has some good documents and links.) The Food Guide Pyramid matches up with the Recommended Dietary Allowances that are shown on the Nutrition Facts label. The RDA for a 2000-calorie diet is 300 grams of carbohydrates and 65 grams of fat. That is 1200 calories from carbohydrates and almost 600 calories from fat, leaving room for only 200 calories from protein.

That seems like a lot of carbohydrates to many people, although carbohydrates should not all be lumped together. Carbohydrates can be grouped into sugars, starches, and fiber. Sugars are what are known as "simple carbohydrates", and starches and fiber are "complex carbohydrates". Fiber, which is mostly indigestible to humans, is more-or-less acknowledged by everyone to be a good thing. For a while it was thought that simple carbohydrates caused blood glucose levels to rise and complex carbohydrates did not, but now that has been shown to be too simplistic. Instead, a new term has arisen, glycemic index, which directly measures the effect of food on blood glucose levels. Glycemic index is not obvious: different beans, grains, and rices can have wildly varying glycemic indices. It can even depend on how the food is prepared. The few carbohydrates consumed on the Atkins diet should be ones with a low glycemic index, although this is often generalized to simply avoid white flour, white rice, potatoes, and sugar.

Avoiding sugar isn't new. In fact there are diets, such as Sugar Busters, built around avoiding sugar. I once offered one of the thinnest women I knew a single Jelly Belly jelly bean, which has one gram of sugar (that's basically all it is: one gram of sugar, four calories). "No Sugar!" she exclaimed in horror, her eyes wide, backing away from me as if I were proffering a vial of bubonic plague. My parents claimed that as a child I got too agitated if I had too much sugar. Next to fat, sugar is probably the most vilified food out there, and the realization that many fat free and low fat foods have simply replaced fat with sugar is causing some people to return to the full fat products.


The Weight Watchers point system provides an easy way to figure out tradeoffs between different foods. Should you eat a large apple or 3 ounces of tuna fish? An egg or an Oreo cookie? A can of corn or 8 ounces of milk? (Answer: they are all the same in the eyes of Weight Watchers). To help you stick with the program, Weight Watchers also encourages you to attend weekly meetings (although you can do it online without those), at which you weigh in and get encouragement and advice from other participants. If you meet your weight-loss goal, you can come to the meetings for free as long as you maintain your weight--which ideally is for the rest of your life.

When you start Weight Watchers, you spend time counting up all your points, and searching for the elusive "zero-point snack," a little pick-me-up that doesn't count any points at all. After a period of eating such delicacies as spinach 'n' salsa and hearts of palm in mustard, you will probably get a feel for what constitutes a proper-sized serving of various kinds of foods, and what appropriate snacks are, without actually counting all your points. You contemplate a piece of Chocolate Motherlode Cake at Claim Jumper and you cannot bring yourself to eat it. Is it that you physically feel full? Or that you mentally don't want to have to eat less for so long to make up for it? Or do you fear the opprobrium of your fellow meeting attendees if you 'fess up? Who knows, but likely you go home and have a Skinny Cow ice-cream sandwich instead.

Weight Watchers, unlike the low carbohydrate diets, does not limit what type of food you can eat; anything is fine as long as it is within the points allowed (and you can balance out points over a week, if you splurge on one meal). Sugar and protein are viewed as equal: you may be told, anecdotally, that protein makes you less likely to feel hungry sooner, but this is presented as accumulated wisdom, not something based in science.


The big draw of the Atkins diet is what you can eat: protein/fat combinations like steak, butter, eggs, cheese, and nuts. Those are the poster children for low carbohydrate diets and they may conjure up the impression of gorging yourself on whatever you want, but this is misleading. The true treats in our modern diet are the carbohydrate/fat combinations like muffins, cookies, candy bars, ice cream, and French fries. With the Atkins diet, you have to permanently excise these items. I personally love bread; contemplating a life without butter on toast, it's not clear that I miss the butter more than the toast.

On the positive side, being able to eat as much steak and eggs as you want can make it easier to stick with a diet, which is one of the main claims that the Atkins diet makes. And eating out is easier with Atkins. With Weight Watchers, ordering in a restaurant is difficult because the fats that foods are often cooked in--butter, oil, cream--are extremely high in points. Was the food cooked in one tablespoon of olive oil, or three? The difference between those is equivalent to half a cup of Haagen-Dazs ice cream, or a McDonald's hamburger. Meanwhile, it is much harder for you to eat carbohydrates without being aware of it: the odd gram of sugar might sneak through, but fundamentally a food either has flour, rice, or potatoes in it, or it doesn't. Since the daily carbohydrate limits are so low, you might as well just skip any food that has carbohydrates in it. You have to be careful with vegetables, which can vary in how starchy they are, but at least you will usually know what vegetables appear in a dish in quantities significant enough to be an issue. The Atkins restaurant game plan is easy: avoid all non-fiber carbohydrates. With Weight Watchers you can't avoid all foods that have non-zero point values, so you are left trying figure out the number of points in a meal whose ingredients, let alone amounts, you are unaware of.

It's also possible to combine the diets in some ways. Simply knocking most of the carbohydrates off the USDA Recommended Dietary Allowance would give you a diet that would make both Weight Watchers and Atkins happy, as long as the carbohydrates you did eat had a low glycemic index (those tend to have a bit more fiber, although often not enough to actually lower the all-important Weight Watchers point count for a single serving). On the other hand, you could eat nothing but Atkins contraband like bread and Kool-Aid and still keep within your Weight Watchers limit, while dousing all your food in butter and oil would annihilate your points limit, but elicit nary a peep from Atkins.


Can Atkins really work with all that fat? Consider those pre-cooked beef sausages you can get from places like Swiss Colony. Some of these have a gram or so of sugar per serving, but some don't - they are pure protein and fat, especially fat. A 10 ounce one would blow past your entire daily allowance for Weight Watchers, and would make a low-fat diet advocate faint. Yet with the Atkins diet, you could eat those all day. But would you? Sure they taste good, but they are kind of filling. Would I want to eat for a while after putting one of those babies away? Atkins is saying that the old saw, about how after eating a rice-heavy Asian meal you feel hungry an hour later, may have some truth to it.

When I first heard about low carbohydrate diets, I figured that nutritionists, in response to pressure from fat-starved dieters, had finally come up with a way to separate two previously linked concepts: eating healthy and losing weight. But now it appears that having that fat in your diet does not automatically make it an unhealthy diet. And furthermore, the benefits of losing weight, however it is done, may be more than the negative effects of eating fat (although there are limits to this: tobacco is an appetite suppressant, but no serious nutritionist would recommend taking up smoking to lose weight).

There are indications that the food industry is waking up to people's desire for low carbohydrate foods. You can now find low carbohydrate content emphasized on the labels of tortillas and bread (one bread, from Food for Life, has only 4 grams of carbohydrates per slice). At In-N-Out Burger you can order your burgers "protein style", wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun.

A redesign of the Nutrition Facts label redesign is further away. The label is slow to change, so it sometimes reflects the food concerns of a previous decade. The current one shows cholesterol, from back when it was thought that cholesterol intake was the main factor in blood cholesterol levels (it isn't for most people), and also sodium, from when salt was a big bugaboo (it is now considered benign for most people without high blood pressure, as long as you drink enough water - and both Weight Watchers and Atkins want you to drink a lot of water, even though there may not be any benefit to doing so). In the future the label may include such details as splitting fat into saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated; counting trans-fats (which are bad for your cholesterol level); splitting fiber into soluble and insoluble (both are considered beneficial, although they have different effects); and possibly even listing the glycemic index. Then there is caffeine. Although it is generally acknowledged that caffeine is not a great thing to eat, and consumers are worried enough about it that drinks like ginger ale are now prominently labeled "caffeine free," diets usually allow it within reason (Atkins says that it stimulates insulin production, but allows it as long as you are not "addicted," dependent on it for energy). This is either because it does have zero calories, or out of fear that any diet that outlawed caffeine would not gain many adherents in a coffee-addicted society. Still, we may see caffeine on nutritional labels someday.

Public opinion might come around also, but it will be slower. The US government still officially supports the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet that is laid out in the Food Guide Pyramid, although that is due for a redesign next year. It is almost obligatory, when writing about a greasy Atkins-compliant meal, to include a phrase like "I could feel my arteries clogging." In the future, will writers addressing themselves to a loaf of sourdough bread state, "I could feel my blood sugar rising"? It remains to be seen.


So what is the best way to lose weight? The short answer is, whatever works for you. For someone who has had trouble staying on a diet, I would recommend starting with the Atkins Diet. It should give you some quick results, allow you to eat some comfort foods without feeling guilty, while still getting you in the habit of keeping track of what you eat. However, I would suggest switching over to Weight Watchers within a few months, while sticking to foods that have a lower glycemic index where possible (such as whole wheat flour instead of white flour). There are concerns about possibly long-term health issues with low carbohydrate diets, and I think that if you are contemplating keeping track of your food for the rest of your life (which you should be), it is easier to imagine simply eating less of all foods than it is permanently giving up some foods. In addition, with Weight Watchers, the occasional high-calorie slip-up is just a physical thing: you've consumed extra points, you'll eventually work them off, and all will be well. With a low carbohydrate diet, going overboard with carbohydrates is more like emotional cheating: you may have messed up your body's chemistry for a while, and who knows how long those sugar-induced hunger pangs will continue.

In a way, diets are like disciplining a small child. Different parents have different areas they focus on: some want respect, others want clean rooms, others want good behavior at meals. But the main thing is to be consistent, in order to get the children used to listening to you and suppressing their desire to misbehave, in at least some aspect of their life. A diet is like disciplining your unruly appetite. You may want to limit calories, or you may care about carbohydrates, but the main thing is to be consistent, and get your body used to listening to your brain and suppressing its desire to overeat.


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Related Links
o What If It's All Been a Big Lie?
o Weight Watchers
o Atkins Diet
o adipose tissue
o 3500 calories
o American Diabetes Association's Dietary Exchange Lists
o Zone Diet
o ketosis
o excretes fat
o Nutrition Facts
o United States Department of Agriculture
o Food and Nutrition Information Center
o Food Guide Pyramid
o how US dietary recommendations have changed over the years
o comparing government food guidelines around the world
o Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
o glycemic index
o Sugar Busters
o Chocolate Motherlode Cake
o Claim Jumper
o Skinny Cow
o Swiss Colony
o Food for Life
o In-N-Out Burger
o protein style
o there may not be any benefit to doing so
o concerns about possibly long-term health issues
o Also by adamba

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Weight Watchers and The Atkins Diet | 182 comments (175 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
Atkins (3.66 / 3) (#3)
by PullNoPunches on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 02:00:21 AM EST

I've toyed with it a bit, and I've noticed that all the immediate physical effects predicted by the theory seem to be correct. Fatigue in particular seems to be directly related to my carb intake. Without them, I am more chipper then I've ever been in my life. Immediately afterward, I get very fatigued. The craving for carbs is stronger than I could have imagined, which is why I have not yet gone full bore with Atkins.

I've noticed that my craving for fat and for food in general goes down when I limit carbs. One danger, however, is letting the carbs slip and continuing as if the fat doesn't matter. The two together are far more deadly than an excess of either by themselves.

I suspect that which method, Atkins or low-fat, works for you depends on your type of metabolism. I think it is very clear that I have a metabolism that doesn't handle carbs well, but others probably are more susceptible to fat.

I am so sick of people calling Atkins a high-fat diet. As soon as I hear that, I know that whoever is saying it has no clue and won't say anything useful. High fat is not part of the diet, it only says that you don't need to watch the fat. There's an argument that you'll make up the caalories you miss from carbs with calories from extra fat. This argument is suspicious if only because if you are fat, you are taking in too many calories - the carb metabolism is just an additional problem. You shouldn't have to make up the calories you lose from the carbs.

Eating out is very hard with Atkins. Carbs are in everything. And the low-carb versions of things like bread (made from egg whites) that are out there really taste like shit. It's not an easy diet, regardless of the claims that you can pig out on eggs and cheese. Those things end up terribly unsatisfying without bread or pasta.


Although generally safe, turmeric in large doses may cause gastrointestinal problems or even ulcers. -- Reader's Digest (UK)

high fat and eating outq (3.50 / 2) (#7)
by adamba on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 02:34:22 AM EST

Atkins is not by design high fat, nor is Weight Watchers low fat (the current points-based one that is, the old way was very anti-fat)...but in practice you eat a lot of fat (compared to other diets) on Atkins, and you don't eat a lot on Weight Watchers.

Eating out may be hard on Atkins because the menu is full of carbohydrates, they bring you free bread to the table, they ask if you want alcohol, etc. That is, it is mentally difficult because the typical diet is so carb-heavy, and unsatisfying because you crave them. BUT you can do it...meaning I bet I could go into almost any restaurant and find something on the menu that had no carbs. Of course it would probably be one of a list of a few things: cheeseburger without the bun, eggs, green beans (or some other fiber-heavy veggie) in butter, strawberries for desert. Sure you would get bored eating that, but you can go out to eat with friends and not step off the wagon. Meanwhile with Weight Watchers you are basically hosed when you go out to eat, unless you just nibble on a salad with no dressing. You have no idea of what portion to eat to make X points you have allocated.

- adam

[ Parent ]

Atkins and me (4.33 / 3) (#46)
by tzanger on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 05:20:14 PM EST

My wife and I are currently on Atkins (and have been for about 6 weeks). Well, my wife has been on it for 6 weeks and I did about 10 days strictly and then started to stretch the rules.

My wife's lost 17lbs and is visibly thinner in the face, arms, hips, legs and belly. I lost 7 lbs in the first 10 days, and then plateau'd until last week, when I was out on sales training (read: restaurants, booze and no desire whatsoever to watch what I'm eating). I went back up to my starting weight of 210 lbs.

Vanessa's got no problems whatsoever. She craves no carbs and says she feels great. My German/Russian background has gotten the better of me: I love food. I love breads and the odd sweet treat. I seem to have found a balance though, since I am now losing weight again (down to 200 in the last 5 days) without being so completely anal about watching my food.

I've taken to having my toast with butter in the morning (or cereal) instead of eggs and bacon -- I got so thoroughly sick of eggs during the first two weeks that I don't want to so much as look at one before noon. I am conscious of what I eat but I will have pizza or a donut on occassion. The only things I've really stayed away from are potatoes, rice and pasta.

<shrug> I dunno. I'm not in ketosis (we picked up a bottle of ketone reagent strips from the drugstore) but the weight is coming off. My wife's almost always in ketosis, although she's normally at the mild side of it on the reagent strip. Personally I can't be bothered to be one of those fussy fibertigibbets who watches everything they eat and worries that someday the'll ooze cholesterol and die in a nasty pile of fat and sugar. The only thing I've reserved myself to do is excercise more to stave off heart disease (it runs in my family).

The only real bad thing I've read about Atkins is that it isn't a complete source of nutrients (that's why he suggests a multivitamin) and that women need to be especially careful about not going under a certain amount of daily carb intake.

[ Parent ]
What about fibre? (none / 0) (#51)
by PrettyBoyTim on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 05:55:51 PM EST

If you're hardly eating any carbs, where are you going to get your fibre from? Surely a largely carb-free diet is going to put you at huge risk of bowel cancer and other similar intenstinal problems?

[ Parent ]
The sad truth is (none / 0) (#59)
by PullNoPunches on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 07:24:33 PM EST

that I hardly get any now. I'm not doing Atkins, but I may in the future. I would hope that if I can break the bread/carbs/rice carb habit, when I raise the level of carbs after the initial phase, that I would do it with more veggies.

It's a slim hope, but Atkins won't leave me any worse off.


Although generally safe, turmeric in large doses may cause gastrointestinal problems or even ulcers. -- Reader's Digest (UK)
[ Parent ]

This is a real problem (none / 0) (#62)
by acronos on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 07:33:59 PM EST

Constipation is a serious issue if you are on a true Atkins diet.  If you eat enough salads you can do a little to stem it.  Personally, I cheat and take cascara segrada which is a high fiber pill and a kind of herbal laxative.  It is probably addictive in that your body adjusts to it and when you stop taking it you get constipated.  Every time I have stopped though I have also simultaneously stopped the Atkins diet.  I have never had any trouble with the transition.

I agree, this is a real problem with Atkins.  It can't be healthy to take cascara segrada forever.  Still, cascara segrada is probably better for you than being overweight or constantly constipated.  You might say, just reduce your calories and fat and eat complex carbs and you won't have to worry about it.  That has never worked for me, and I have really tried.  The Atkins diet works for me.

[ Parent ]

More are allowed than you think. (none / 0) (#153)
by wbd on Tue Sep 24, 2002 at 04:52:49 AM EST

3 loosely packed cups of salad greens a day, Or 2 of salad greens & one of slightly higher carb veggies.

Atkins on veggies

[ Parent ]
Something I missed (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by PullNoPunches on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 02:11:51 AM EST

You mention caffeine as being OK, but Atkins says caffeine will kill a low-carb diet. I'm not sure of the exact reason, but it has something to do with caffeine changing the way your body metabolizes carbs. I think it accelerates it, which is where the energy boost comes from.

Alcohol is a big no-no too, since it turns to sugar.


Although generally safe, turmeric in large doses may cause gastrointestinal problems or even ulcers. -- Reader's Digest (UK)

caffeine in Atkins (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by adamba on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 02:23:29 AM EST

I added a clarification about caffeine, which is a parenthetical comment: "Atkins says that it stimulates insulin production, but allows it as long as you are not "addicted," dependent on it for energy".

He wants you off it for 2 weeks to start, to show you are not addicted.

- adam

[ Parent ]

I'm not addicted to the caffeine for energy... (none / 0) (#134)
by Karmakaze on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 10:03:11 AM EST

...but I sure am addicted.

I drink coffee now, because without my caffeine fix I get body and head aches, among other withdrawal symptoms. I wake up just fine without it, really.

What happened is that work is over air-conditioned, and I do not smoke.  Therefore, when I need a break, I go over and get a cup of hot coffee, which helps solve the needing to get up and walk problem and the gosh its chilly in here problem.  I should probably start bringing in my favorite herbal teas again (ginger tea is excellent, and does not need sweetening).  It's just that... the coffee is free.
[ Parent ]

A couple of Google links (1.60 / 5) (#8)
by sticky on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 03:14:27 AM EST

Compare Atkins+diet+danger with Weight+watchers+diet+danger.
Interesting, no?

Don't eat the shrimp.---God
No (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by e on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 07:28:02 AM EST

Not interesting at all. What was your point? I don't get it.

If you were trying to measure the possible danger with the diets themselves, I think you should follow your own links and read the text under the hits, hardly any of them are about the danger of the diets...

-- E
"You're not paranoid if they're really out to get you..."
[ Parent ]

Not in the WW ones anyway. (1.00 / 1) (#30)
by sticky on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 12:54:26 PM EST

The Atkins link has numerous references to its dangers in the first 10 hits. That was my point. The Atkins Diet was discredited as a dangerous fad diet many years ago. WW hasn't, mainly because it is a reasonable and sensible diet.

Don't eat the shrimp.---God
[ Parent ]
Discredited? (none / 0) (#68)
by imadork on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 08:32:33 PM EST

I remember the story in the Times from last July, and it seems to me that the Atkins diet wasn't really discredited, it was just ignored by the people doing the research into dieting.

It's as if when the government made up the RDA rules twenty years ago, emphasizing a low-fat and high-carb diet, nobody who came to contrary conclusions ever got funding for reseatch.

Now I'm no expert, but if the whole low-carb concept was really so dangerous as to be discredited a long time ago, then why are we revisiting it all of a sudden?

Approximately 50% of us are below average..
[ Parent ]

I really couldn't tell you that (1.00 / 1) (#74)
by sticky on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 09:38:46 PM EST

Though this is a more extreme example (perhaps a bit fallacious), why does astrology have serious adherents? Just because something is discredited, it doesn't mean that many people won't still fall for it.

Don't eat the shrimp.---God
[ Parent ]
Eat less, exercise more. (3.58 / 12) (#10)
by Noam Chompsky on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 04:12:25 AM EST

If only theorizing about weight loss burned calories, eh fatties?

Faster, liberalists, kill kill kill!

Eh no. (1.00 / 1) (#102)
by tkatchev on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 11:32:08 AM EST

Actually, don't eat meat with growth hormones in it and stop eating genetically-modified produce; that alone should be enough.

(Ever wonder why the U.S. is the only nation on earth with a "weight problem"? It's because you eat crap that other people would be adverse to even touch.)

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

It's worse than that, even. (5.00 / 3) (#108)
by Noam Chompsky on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 01:25:20 PM EST

Americans, like everyone else in the modern, liberalist West, have no connection to the food they eat. In most parts of the world, preparing food is a workout: if you want a hamburger, you have to grind the flour, knead the dough, hunt the snark and crush the tomatoes into a vinegary paste. In the West, you drive to MacDonald's and order a Big Mac, 900 calories more than you needed. What you needed was a cashew. But wait, it gets worse. In most parts of the world, people think of survival--today I have to farm the buns, hunt the snark and crush the tomatoes. In America, people think of food: I have to read Atkins, update my spreadsheet of calories, weight myself, and ask Charlene how she gets away with eating double chocolate cheesecake. Thinking of food interferes with your appestat, and makes you rationally fat instead of instinctually thin and fit.

My advice to people who want to lose weight is this: look at an athlete. Then, do what athletes do--exercise--and stop thinking about food. A healthy body knows how much food it needs. A healthy body does not become fat.

But no one wants to hear that. They want to diet, lose muscle, regain fat, diet, lose muscle, regain even more fat, think positively and cheer for each other in virtual group-hugs compliments of the Collectivist Media Foundation.

A life spent counting calories isn't.

Faster, liberalists, kill kill kill!
[ Parent ]

Diets dont work! (2.33 / 6) (#11)
by StephenThompson on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 05:08:53 AM EST

What is the point in discussing the vagaries of different dieting techniques when none of them work? DIETS DONT WORK! Is it not commonly known that no self imposed diet has even passed the test of scientific rigor? That it to say not diet takes the wieght off and keeps it off on a significant portion of the population?

You forget. (5.00 / 3) (#12)
by qpt on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 06:01:42 AM EST

Most people do not want a significant portion of the population to lose weight. No, they want to lose weight themselves.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Wrong (4.50 / 2) (#16)
by e on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 07:48:01 AM EST

Diets do work, only the most important thing is motivation and determination. Most people don't have that, and that's why diets don't work for them, and we don't see an improvement on a significant portion of the population. Diets only work if you follow them.

Once you have that motivation, a diet scheme (whether is's WW or Atkins or something else) will help you determine what you can and cannot eat. Usually, you'll gain some knowledge about nutrition while you're at it. That will definitely help you keep weight your down.

And you threw in that sentence on scientific rigor just to look smarter, didn't you?

-- E
"You're not paranoid if they're really out to get you..."
[ Parent ]

Right... (none / 0) (#48)
by StephenThompson on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 05:45:58 PM EST

What you are saying is true: you have to follow the diet, but no diet has ever shown to work without external force, such as a fat farm where you are watched 24x7 and the food is locked away. Motivation and determination DONT WORK. Its human nature. What I mean by scientific rigor is that no diet plan has ever been proven to work. That is why when you read the fine print on jenny craig or weight watchers they have fine print that essentially says "these results are not typical". I challenge you to find a peer reviewed diet (which is not enforced externally in some way and is safe) that has been proven and accepted to work by a significant body of researchers. You won't find one because its never been done.

[ Parent ]
Diets do work (none / 0) (#92)
by e on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 03:38:45 AM EST

Motivation and determination DONT WORK. Its human nature.
Sure it does!

To clarify, I mean that the fat person himself/herself has to have the motivation and determination to loose weight - I think you're still talking about ways of imposing a diet on someone who really isn't prepared to follow it.

What I'm saying is that a person who is motivated and determined can and will loose weight with a diet. It's worked for me and many people I know.

What I mean by scientific rigor is that no diet plan has ever been proven to work
Again, depends on what you mean. Basically every diet plan in existence will work for a person that follows it, which is exactly what they claim.

If you want a scientific study you have to first define what it is to measure. Does the diet work for people who follow it? Does it work for people initially motivated (did they give up? why?) For people who were not motivated? How do you measure the level of motivation? Do they have external help to follow the plan or not? Does the person usually follow through or does he give up easily?

I don't know if any such studies have been done, nor do I care to look, but I do know it would be very hard to measure the efficiency of a diet plan since there are so many qualities which are hard to quantify involved.

-- E
"You're not paranoid if they're really out to get you..."
[ Parent ]

What? (2.50 / 2) (#119)
by Joe Tie on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 12:43:13 AM EST

Motivation and determination DONT WORK. Its human nature.

Change that to nature of the general human and I'll agree. I've been on caloric restriction for about four years now, and don't think it's likely I'll ever be going off unless any of the primate studies take a turn for the worse. Just because the majority of people don't have much willpower doesn't mean the entirety of the species exists in that state.

[ Parent ]
Here are a couple sustainable diets to check out (4.00 / 1) (#96)
by sowellfan on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 04:47:08 AM EST

'The Hackers Diet' is 'diet' plan that really appeals to the geek in me. It doesn't try to tell you what you can and cannot eat, it just pretty much has you solve a problem. The approach generally centers around entering weight data into a spreadsheet and getting a moving average so that daily fluctuations don't break your spirit. You don't have to count calories, you just have to get a feel for how much you're eating. If you're the weight vs. time line is straight, turn it down a notch. If it's declining at the rate you want, keep doing what you're doing. And, since this isn't some weird diet that is miles away from what a person would normally eat, it is sustainable. Maybe after you've reached your goal weight, you just weigh every month or so to see if you've gotten off track. The guy who wrote it was one of the founders of Autodesk. Here is a link to his online version of the book


If that's doesn't work, there is always this.


[ Parent ]

counting calories...wtf (none / 0) (#174)
by christfokkar on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 05:30:27 AM EST

You don't have to count calories

EXACTLY.  When you've had too many calories, you start to feel FAT.  STOP EATING.  

Do you think cavemen had spreadsheets?  God, if we could turn everything into a videogame, you'd be set.

[ Parent ]

-1 tos nyt (nt) (1.10 / 10) (#14)
by dreancha on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 07:17:00 AM EST

You can't be serious... (1.00 / 1) (#19)
by notcarlos on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 09:34:18 AM EST

The RDA for a 2000-calorie diet is 300 grams of carbohydrates and 65 grams of fat. That is 1200 calories from carbohydrates and almost 600 calories from fat, leaving room for only 200 calories from protein.

Now, I know fat is quick energy, and I know it's partly what got us the big brains we have today, but it seriously can't be higher up on the scale than protein, which -- as I understand it -- is, along with sugar/carbohydrate, one of the basic requirements for cells? Which is more important, the continued existance of your cells, or having a big brain? Oooh, philosophic moment coming on, getting all fa-khlempt! Discuss!

He will destroy you like an academic ninja.
-- Rating on Rate My Professors.com
those are the numbers... (none / 0) (#21)
by adamba on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 11:00:30 AM EST

If you don't like 'em, complain to the gummint. Although the 65 grams of fat is a maximum. 200 calories from protein is 50 grams, which is actually a fair bit these days, I bet many people don't reach that in a day. Some of the low carbohydrate diets also have minimum protein amounts you need to eat (to try to prevent you from getting hungry), and I don't think they are much above 50 grams.

- adam

[ Parent ]

Protein (3.50 / 2) (#23)
by ucblockhead on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 11:20:50 AM EST

The deal with protein is simple. Most structures in the body are made up of protein The body uses whatever protein to ingest to build whatever structures it thinks it needs to build. When it runs out of things it needs to build, it converts the remainer to carbihydrates and urea, a waste product. The body can store fat, and it can convert carbohydrates to fat for storage but it cannot store protein.

The upshot of this is that there is no need for protein beyond what the body needs to build whatever structures it needs. This is typically a fairly low level. Exercise, obviously, increases it, though. The average person's diet contains enough protein to support that. In other words, unless you are a hard=core weightlifter, there is absolutely no reason to worry about protein intact.
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

True, sort of (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by Salted on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 12:25:18 PM EST

In other words, unless you are a hard=core weightlifter, there is absolutely no reason to worry about protein intact.

I'll agree, with two quibbles:

a) This is only true for a very loose definition of "hard-core."  Anyone who trains with weights and is trying to add muscle and/or strength needs significantly more protien than the average person.  I don't know of any studies about this offhand, but it's very well accepted among strength athletes.

b) certain groups, such as children (particularly infants) and vegetarians, do need to worry about protien.  I remember seeing a story about a dumbass vegan couple feeding their infant nothing but plant foods, causing him all kinds of problems.  Vegetarians, obviously, are not on the average American diet, so they do need to be a little bit careful.  Being one of those teenage fad-vegetarians who eats nothing but white rice and french fries will cause problems, but a well-balanced diet is fine.

[ Parent ]

Okay, new question (5.00 / 1) (#32)
by notcarlos on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 01:09:54 PM EST

When does a diet cross over into a fad? I have a fair distrust of any kind of diet with a name, like "Zone" or "Happy Camper" or the aforementioned "Weight Watchers" etc. Meanwhile, I'm just toolin' along, eatin' my simple carbos and my lean fats (brown rice, seaweed, and a dirty hot-dog, as The Poet said), and wonderin' why in goddes nam people eat fast food Every Damn Day.

He will destroy you like an academic ninja.
-- Rating on Rate My Professors.com
[ Parent ]
protein (none / 0) (#34)
by ucblockhead on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 02:30:18 PM EST

Someone who trains with weights and trying to add muscle needs more protein than the average person needs. However, the average person ingests much more protein than he needs. For someone doing moderate weightraining and eating a normal American diet, those "protein supplements" are a waste. Just eat right, as you say, for anyone but a truly hard-core weightlifter.

The trouble is that "strength athletes" see that they themselves need extra protein and misapply the lesson to people who only lift for a half hour a few times a week.

Those supplements won't hurt you...but you are just peeing out the extra.

Ovo-lacto vegetarians do take in slightly less, but only slightly as most tend to add dairy. Vegans do have to be careful, however, because while they can typically easily meet the RDA, they are indeed eating less protein than the average American.
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Essential Nutrients (none / 0) (#164)
by TheSleeper on Wed Sep 25, 2002 at 07:26:16 PM EST

Now, I know fat is quick energy, and I know it's partly what got us the big brains we have today, but it seriously can't be higher up on the scale than protein, which -- as I understand it -- is, along with sugar/carbohydrate, one of the basic requirements for cells?

Two points:

Fat is slow to digest, and is not by any stretch 'quick energy'.

Carbohydrate is not one of the 'basic requirements' for cells. There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. Eliminate protein or fat completely from your diet, and you will likely die relatively quickly of a deficiency disease. At the very least, you'll be in extremely poor health. But you can eliminate carbohydrate entirely from your diet without suffering any acute health problems, other than possibly constipation.

[ Parent ]

-1, not vegan (1.44 / 9) (#20)
by greenrd on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 10:20:23 AM EST

I think the point someone made that large amounts of carbs (esp. processed carbs) sap your energy is valid, from personal experience, but as a vegan I can't endorse this diet (no way, man!). I'd have to recommend a more raw-food diet as an alternative, which is meant to give you more energy, although I haven't personally tried it. Watch out for the kooks though if you read up on that.

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes

Totally Agree (4.00 / 4) (#29)
by CleverNickname on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 12:47:31 PM EST

In fact, why stop there, be a fruit, go fruitarian!.

Choice Quotes:

The proper application of fruitarian dietary and lifestyle is calculated to allow the human to produce healthy offspring, live more than 100 years of age, be free of all disease and only "mature" while not aging as most people think of it and peacefully die a natural death in their sleep. Man cannot eat of everything and maintain his good health. Man was created to eat of the fruits of the trees"

Improvement on the capacity to understand what is convenient for the human being (interior wisdom) with the power and courage to choose... More freedom on the feelings which cause deep suffering as: jealousy, cowardice, shyness, solitude, violence, etc.

More freedom from different fears; nature, inoffensive animals, darkness, future, accidents, uncertainties; with the correspondent increase of trust and feeling good.

Development of a total new form of conscience and attitude towards life.

[ Parent ]
Any fruitarians here ? (none / 0) (#110)
by IriseLenoir on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 02:36:34 PM EST

Are you fruitarian? Are there any fruitarians here? I'm very interested in this and would like to hear your experiences. I've been vegetarian for 2 and a half years, vegan for one and a half, and the next step naturally seems to me to be fruitarianism. I really can relate to the idea that man was created to eat fruit and that fruits are the only thing which can be considered as being purely food, a gift of nature. Fruits, nuts and beans already compose the vast majority of my diet. A fruitarian guide I'm currently reading says to do it gradually and give it a year, but I realize that's really what I've been doing more or less unconsciously for the past year. I still have some doubts about the heartiness of giving up on spinaches, broccoli and so on, though, so I'd like to hear from fruitarians about it...

"liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
[ Parent ]
Fucking vegans (1.72 / 11) (#40)
by Trollaxor on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 04:04:34 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Why hello (1.33 / 3) (#101)
by greenrd on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 09:39:31 AM EST

"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]
fat vegans? (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by adamba on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 05:54:01 PM EST

Although it's true you can't do Atkins as a vegan (as he points out), you can certainly do Weight Watchers. You can be vegan and get fat on pasta...although people don't tend to, I think. Is this because veganness implies you are taking care of the world, thus more likely to take care of your own body? Because I certainly don't think it is true that eating vegan automatically means you can eat as much as you want and not gain weight.

- adam

[ Parent ]

Maybe (none / 0) (#81)
by dipierro on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 12:08:31 AM EST

You can be vegan and get fat on pasta...although people don't tend to, I think. Is this because veganness implies you are taking care of the world, thus more likely to take care of your own body?

Maybe it's just cause jobless hippies don't have enough money to buy food :).

[ Parent ]
Why is that? (4.37 / 8) (#22)
by mami on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 11:09:08 AM EST

Everytime I visit Germany for more than two weeks I loose weight immediately. Why? Same is true for all my family members and friends who  leave US and go overseas. Of course it's true vice versa as well. All gain weight when they come to the US for the first time for more than two weeks.


1. I CAN walk by foot almost everywhere and use public transportation, which forces me at least to walk to and from public transportation to home/work/shops. I have to carry the food I buy.

2. Food less sugary, less salty, less fat and differently processed with less finely refined flour and less chemicals that prevent food from perishing. Meals in restaurants are smaller.

3. I am happy and not depressed. I don't watch the news and read more. My mother chases me around to pull the weeds out her garden, cut the lawn and iron my clothes AND the bed linen (can you believe that?)...

4. Bottom line I gain weight in the US, because I can't walk, I don't iron the bed linen, and I get depressed when watching the news and reading K5 ...


Stop reading K5 and watching the news and you will loose at least 5 pounds for every week you do that. Then visit your mother and do what she says ...

Ok, I am planning a trip home soon and can't wait... I already loose weight just thinking about it :-)

Actually (3.66 / 3) (#39)
by Rogerborg on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 03:11:49 PM EST

You'll find that you lose weight instead of loosing it.  Perhaps your extra reading should include a dictionary.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Well as long as I (5.00 / 4) (#53)
by mami on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 06:05:34 PM EST

I have that loose a mouth as you do, I won't lose any more time to worry me losing weight or just suffer under loosening fat. In any case you lost, because I have more fun with my loose usage of what I thought is good old English spelling (my bad it wasn't) than you do with your loss of generosity.

Ok, Sir, I wouldn't loose ;-) my temper over it any further, if I were you. My mother always thought I am a lost case anyway.

Is K5 loose, losing or lost?

[ Parent ]

Best. Reply. Ever. Mami [NT] (none / 0) (#67)
by yankeehack on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 08:30:20 PM EST

I'm waging my own war against terror. I'm nuking all articles about terrorism, why the US shouldn't go into Iraq, why Bush/Ashcroft/Wolfowitz/etc.
[ Parent ]

Hory shit. (5.00 / 4) (#139)
by beergut on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 02:12:03 PM EST

Engrish from a German. Wot next?

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Learn to speak the Queen's English, damn you (none / 0) (#156)
by Rogerborg on Tue Sep 24, 2002 at 12:23:06 PM EST

If it was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for you.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

I live in Germany... (none / 0) (#97)
by Cohen on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 04:48:49 AM EST

...and last year I went to Florida for two weeks and gained 15 pounds :-)

[ Parent ]
then you need to visit France (none / 0) (#100)
by mami on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 09:21:14 AM EST

for four weeks, just enjoy eating all you can eat over there and lose weight twice as fast as you would returning to Germany. :-)

[ Parent ]
Move to a real city (none / 0) (#107)
by jordanb on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 01:02:55 PM EST

I live in Chicago and do not have a car. The CTA is more than adequate to get me wherever I need to go. My el stop is four blocks from my apartment, I've gotten so I can walk that in about five minutes every morning when I go to work.

I do seem to think that people in the city are thiner and more fit than the suburbanites, but I have no real evidence to back it up. I know that whenever my suburbanite friends and family come to visit me, they're usually huffing and puffing after just a few miles of walking, and insisting that we take a bus or the el even though it's just a few stops.

Anyhow, Chicago isn't the only US city with a decent transit system. New York, DC, Boston, and San Francisco all have good systems, FWIU. You should move to one of those cities.

Jordan Bettis
[ Parent ]

Try Houston or McAllen in Texas... (1.00 / 1) (#109)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 02:11:05 PM EST

No way you can walk there, you actually may be arrested for doing it ;-) (specially if you look hispanic and are not gardening in a rich neighbourhood. How do I know? I will not tell you ;-) ).
0wr F4th3R, wh0 0wnz h34\/3n, j00 r0x0rs! M4y 4|| 0wr b4s3 s0m3d4y Bl0ng t0 j00! M4y j00 0wn 34rth juss |1|3 j00 0wn h34\/3n. G1v3 us th1s d4y 0wr w4r3z
[ Parent ]
So... (none / 0) (#24)
by xriso on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 12:05:25 PM EST

Is this about "get-less-fat" diets, or "be healthy" diets?
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
To a large extent (4.50 / 2) (#35)
by leviramsey on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 02:39:05 PM EST

They are one and the same.

For some bizarre reason (encouraged by the agricultural industry), Americans seem to have this idiotic idea that thin isn't healthier than fat.

Filtering out extreme anorexia, in general, the less you weigh (relative to your height), the healthier you are. So reducing weight in and of itself will be apt to make you healthier.

[Disclaimer: I've been accused of being a beanpole at various points. At this point, I am 6'5" and 175 lbs]

I can think of one reason the government and the media seem reluctant to publicize this: the largest special interest in the US is not oil. It's not the unions. It's not media companies. It's not telcos. It's not electric companies. It's the agriculural and related food industries. Look at who advertises heavily on the Sunday morning political chat shows (and nowhere else): agribusiness conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland. Other members of the food/agricultural industries compose the largest advertising block in the US (think about how many ads for various foodstuffs appear on TV (especially during the daytime hours)). It's plainly obvious that there's an element of heresy in claiming that eating a lot (with the average American's food intake being a lot) will lead to health problems.

Arguments can be made as to which means of reducing food intake are healthier, but the fact remains that the Atkins diet is healthier than the average American's diet.

[ Parent ]
True, but (5.00 / 2) (#54)
by Verminator on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 06:20:59 PM EST

the fact remains that the Atkins diet is healthier than the average American's diet.

Just about anything is healthier than the average American's diet.

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to misery, misery links to Satanosphere.
[ Parent ]

Important facutal error in intro (5.00 / 2) (#25)
by Salted on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 12:11:26 PM EST

...both discussed the fact that the low calorie diets don't have any more scientific evidence going for them than the low carbohydrate ones, and that low carbohydrate diets may be reasonable and safe for many people.

You need to replace "low calorie" with "low fat".  The only way to lose weight is to take in less calories than you burn, and both schools of thought recognize this.  Where they differ is in the types of calories that they advocate - lots of carbohydrates, or lots of protein and fat.  

What I should have written... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by adamba on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 02:57:27 PM EST

was that calorie-counting diets don't have more evidence for them than carbohydrate-counting diets. And as you point out, that's not really scientific evidence we are talking about at that point. The scientific debate is about the health of low-carb diets.

- adam

[ Parent ]

Yo - Yo people (2.80 / 5) (#26)
by rayab on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 12:13:23 PM EST

The true idea of feeling healthier and looking better is not some crazy ass diet but developing a healthy way of life. Americans tend to look at things only in the near future without thinking far ahead. The Atkins diet might work for a few months but you cant keep it up for the rest of your life.
If I told you that by removing the gas tank out of the car your car would run better would you believe me?
In fact the car will not run at all. You cannot remove a vital part of your system and expect it to function normally. What the Atkins diet doesnt tell you is that your body is put into shock called ketosis.
In fact last week I asked my trainer what he thinks about the Atkins diet and he was the one to bring up the car analogy. He also said that he's had patient who've tried the diet but as soon as they got off of it they gained it all back.

Instead of following the next trend I have been educating myself to eat healthy. I try to get my nutrients from fruits and vegetables (basically following the food pyramid), and exercise regularly. The idea being is that I will train myself to the point where being healthy is natural and I do it even without thinking. This way I have changed my future and not just the near few months.

Y popa bila sobaka on yeyo lyubil, ona syela kusok myasa on yeyo ubil, v zemlyu zakopal, i na mogile napisal...
okay. (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 02:15:58 PM EST

Americans tend to look at things only in the near future without thinking far ahead.

Which people don't do this?

Greetings, new user. Please replace this text with a witty or insightful saying before using this software.

[ Parent ]

no need to yo-yo (5.00 / 2) (#37)
by adamba on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 02:52:57 PM EST

You state that you can't keep the Atkins diet up for the rest of your life. Maybe you will get bored, but Atkins intends for people to keep it up forever. And if they did, don't you think the weight would stay off? And you can certainly keep Weight Watchers up for the rest of your life.

That's why it's wrong to think of both of these as diets that you do short-term and then go back to your old ways. When you start tracking food, on Weight Watchers or Atkins or whatever, you realize how many opportunities there are to eat. If you eat three big meals or six small ones, if you eat at home or in a restaurant, if you stand in front of the fridge or sit down to a candlelit dinner, if you eat your own food or polish off someone else's leftovers, IT ALL COUNTS.

The statement "What the Atkins diet doesnt tell you is that your body is put into shock called ketosis" is completely false. Atkins states right up front that the goal is to put your body in ketosis.

Finally, if you get all your nutrients from fruits and vegetables, YOU ARE NOT FOLLOWING THE FOOD PYRAMID. The food pyramid has grains at the base. WHat you are closer to following is a low fat diet like Ornish or Pritikin.

- adam

[ Parent ]

causality challenged (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by QDerf on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 04:57:15 PM EST

He also said that he's had patient who've tried the diet but as soon as they got off of it they gained it all back.
Let me give you a hint: he didn't gain the weight back because he used Atkins' diet, he gained the weight back because when he stopped the diet he switched to an obviously unbalanced diet, which you failed to describe apparently. coke pizza bigmacs & doritos I presume?

[ Parent ]
Attention: Clue stick warning. (4.66 / 3) (#58)
by ghjm on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 07:05:09 PM EST

I am not going to attempt a complete defense of the Atkins diet, because it has its weak points - but your arguments against it are clueless.

The true idea of feeling healthier and looking better is not some crazy ass diet but developing a healthy way of life.

From Chapter 1 of Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution: What I'm going to show you is not just a way to lose weight, but a way to eat for the rest of your life so you can be slim and healthy and stay that way. Not quite the same words, but almost identical to your statement.

In short, you can easily state that any diet is either a "crazy ass diet" or a "healthy way of life." How do you decide which is which? Why, you decide based on which one you happen to like, of course.

The Atkins diet might work for a few months but you cant keep it up for the rest of your life.

I personally know people who have been on the Atkins diet for 5+ years. I know one person who just announced his 10-year mark. These people appear to be ready, willing and able to keep it up for the rest of their lives. The long-term health consequences are unknown (as are those of most diets), but so far these people seem to be in the best of health.

What the Atkins diet doesnt tell you is that your body is put into shock called ketosis.

Chapter 6 of New Diet Revolution is pretty much dedicated to this topic. It goes into detail on the processes and meanings of the terms ketosis, lipolysis and glucosis. Whatever you may think about putting your body into ketosis, you certainly can't say that Atkins didn't tell you about it.

Also, ketosis is in no way caused by or a cause of shock; they are totally unrelated concepts. Ketosis means that you are producing ketones, which are chemicals that result from the breakdown of fat. If you are in ketosis, body fat is being broken down and excreted. This is the basic goal of the Atkins diet. You can argue that this is a bad thing, but you have to provide some better reason than just "ketosis! waaugh!"

He also said that he's had patient who've tried the diet but as soon as they got off of it they gained it all back.

Your trainer refers to his customers as patients??? Run in fear, unless he has an MD and board certification. But that aside, you are once again quoting from the Atkins book. Atkins is quite clear that in order to maintain your weight loss, you have to stay on the plan (the not-as-strict Lifetime Maintenance phase) for the rest of your life.

But how is this an indictment of the diet itself? Can you blame the diet for results that occurred after you stopped using it? What would be an acceptable outcome - you want the diet to somehow insulate you from the possibility of weight gain, even in the future, no matter what you eat? If you want to use this as a criticism of Atkins, you'll have to show that some other diet exists where you don't gain the weight back if you revert to a diet of Doritos and Mountain Dew. No such diet exists because the Doritos and Mountain Dew will always cause weight gain, unless you're in the last stages of AIDS or something.

The idea being is that I will train myself to the point where being healthy is natural and I do it even without thinking. This way I have changed my future and not just the near few months.

Just like someone who trains themselves to the point where Atkins is natural and they do it without even thinking. That way they have changed their future and not just the near few months.


[ Parent ]

Mistake (none / 0) (#121)
by awgsilyari on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 01:18:16 AM EST

Your trainer refers to his customers as patients??? Run in fear, unless he has an MD and board certification.

She's not a native English speaker. She just chose the wrong word, that's all.

Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

Here's an idea! (2.36 / 11) (#28)
by ShadeS on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 12:30:49 PM EST

"The debate over how to lose weight has intensified recently" DEBATE!? There is no debate! Stop flooding your fucking face with McDonalds and other fast foods. Bitching about being fat while sitting down is the only 'exercise' these people get. Nobody is holding a gun to their head to eat unnutritious food. If they want to loose weight put down the fucking cheeseburger, get off their ass, and stop bitching about being a fat fuck! "Oh, I don't have time to exercise!" If they have enough time to fucking sit on your ass watch tv and stuff yourself with garbage you have enough time to exercize. The only thing worse than these people is those people that pass their car in front of you just to slow down!

-- ShadeS

debate (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by adamba on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 02:45:58 PM EST

There is indeed a big debate, which it appears you have not been paying attention to. The Atkins diet, in fact, would say that you don't need to put down the cheeseburger -- just don't eat the bun.

You betray a standard prejudice, which is that overweight people are lazy and spend all day eating junk food and watching television. Of course some people are like that...and some thin people are like that too.

Exercise can be good. But you still need to use more calories than you consume. If you exercise, then chug a big bottle of Gatorade and go home and eat a plate of nachos and cheese, you probably won't lose weight.

- adam

[ Parent ]

The problem with weight loss... (4.57 / 7) (#31)
by Korimyr the Rat on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 01:01:57 PM EST

... is that the most sensible way to reduce fat is combining diet with exercise.

 People who look at this in terms of their body weight will be disappointed to find that quite often, depending on the type of exercise, they will either lose weight slowly or gain weight, and they will stop. A friend of mine was recently complaining that, while taking Tae Kwon Do and controlling her diet, she was gaining weight faster than she had been before starting.

 I told her to take a tape measure and wrap it around her waist.

 Exercise builds muscle. Muscle, by volume, weighs more than fat. All this exercise you're doing to burn fat can very well cause you to gain weight and this is a good thing.

 If you're trying to get healthy, buy yourself a pair of calipers and measure your body fat index every time you weight yourself. It's a much more reliable measure of fitness, and you'll find out that you're probably making better progress than your bathroom scale would lead you to think.

"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'

Ah, the multiple measures (none / 0) (#133)
by Karmakaze on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 09:40:56 AM EST

I've started going to a little exercise chain called Curves for Women.  It's been an interesting experience.

The once-a-month weigh-in involves weight, "inches" and "% body fat".  Weight is measures with a scale, of course, "inches" with a tape measure, and "% body fat" with a hand-held thingy that allegedly runs a current through your body (since it also needs to know height and body weight, I am ever so slightly skeptical of the device).

One of the things I've found interesting is that members who are proud of their progress can post little tags, which list pounds lost on one side and inches lost on the other.  The two numbers appear to have very little to do with one another.  I'm really not quite sure what that means...
[ Parent ]

Pure gibberish (2.14 / 7) (#41)
by Quick Star on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 04:16:03 PM EST

How much did Weight Watchers pay you to write this FUD?

FACT:  Atkin's does NOT make you give up carbs forever.  In fact, even in the first two weeks of the diet plan, you are allowed 20G or less of carbs a day, increasing that thereafter.

FACT:  High levels of sugar in the blood are STORED AS FAT.  FAT, on the other hand, is either metabolized, or passes right on out the colon.

Please actually READ Dr. Atkin's book before you go off talking out of the side of your neck like this.

"absolutely no one can sex a lobster without cutting it open" -- rusty

a quote from my article (4.50 / 2) (#43)
by adamba on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 04:53:57 PM EST

[Talking about Atkins] "Initially, participants are restricted to 20 grams of carbohydrates a day".

So I'm not sure what your first FACT related to, since I never said you had to give up carbs entirely, and I mentioned the same 20 g limit you did.

As for your second FACT...could you point out the page in Atkins book where it says that?

- adam

[ Parent ]

What You Don't Mention... (none / 0) (#72)
by thelizman on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 09:26:59 PM EST

...is that the "diet" doesn't end when the weight comes off. The Atkins diet reintroduces carbs in the form of natural healthy whole foods (vegetables and some fruits) after you've lost the weight. Essentially, after it's all said and done with Atkins and Weight Watchers you wind up on the same diet.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
didn't I mention it? (none / 0) (#82)
by adamba on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 02:00:51 AM EST

What is this then: "In fact neither wants to be thought of strictly as a diet. They are ways of watching how much you eat; how much you want to eat depends on your goals. With Weight Watchers, you first set your daily points total low enough to lose weight, then you move it higher until you find a level that lets you maintain your weight. The same is true with Atkins and carbohydrates: first find out a daily amount that lets you lose weight, then raise it to a maintenance level."

Anyway you most certainly DO NOT end up on the same diet in maintenance mode of WW and Atkins. In Atkins you can eat maybe 60 grams of low-glycemic carbs, and no sugar. In WW you can eat any kind of carbs, including sugar, as long as you stay within your points. Meanwhile with WW you try to avoid fat, with Atkins you eat it if you want. Have you been on either diet? Actually you can simulate being on them by simply going through a store looking at nutrition labels, pretending to be shopping for one or the other. You will see it is a quite different experience and the choices you make in what you buy are different.

- adam

[ Parent ]

No, (1.80 / 5) (#76)
by Quick Star on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 10:19:37 PM EST

But if you'd like to go to the same schools I did when studing medicine, and read the same books, I'm sure you'll also find it.

The thing about giving up things forever is what I'm talking about.  You don't have to give up bread.  Don't think that I'm necessarily singling you out either - there are lots of ignorant comments in this story.

"absolutely no one can sex a lobster without cutting it open" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

where were those studies done... (2.50 / 4) (#104)
by adamba on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 12:06:26 PM EST

the University of Fen-Phen?

As to not having to give up bread, what the Atkins diet recommends is that even when you add carbs, you don't eat white flour or sugar. Now does that mean you have to give those things up forever? It's true Atkins is not going to come to your house and pistol-whip you with his penis if you eat a piece of birthday cake. So I guess you can eat whatever you want...but you won't be following the Atkins diet, which says that during lifetime maintenance you should avoid those foods "like the plague". It sure sounds to me like he wants you to give them up forever.

- adam

[ Parent ]

So then, (1.75 / 4) (#105)
by Quick Star on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 12:13:41 PM EST

You think all bread is made with white sugar and white flour?


"absolutely no one can sex a lobster without cutting it open" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

Not all, but most have sugar. (5.00 / 1) (#140)
by Yekrats on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 02:51:14 PM EST

Google, "white bread recipe" sugar 423 hits

Google, "white bread recipe" -sugar 186 hits

[ Parent ]

Yes, (2.33 / 3) (#150)
by Quick Star on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 11:51:05 PM EST

but it doesn't have to be white sugar, or flour.  He's missing the point.

"absolutely no one can sex a lobster without cutting it open" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

good conclusion (4.40 / 5) (#42)
by millman on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 04:37:04 PM EST

Whatever works for you is exactly right. Human bodies vary. Duh.

I lost about 50 lbs by eating less, and exercising more. I went from 200 to 165 (I estimate I've picked up 15 lbs of muscle in that time...I used to be a pasty computer geek so it wasn't that hard). I cut back my fat intake and protein a bit. Nowdays the breakdown is probably 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat (and sometimes less on the fat). That's what allowed me to shed weight. What works for others is often different. Oh yeah, and the extra muscle might have had something to do with it.

I've debated this topic before, and it's amazing how, umm, religious people get about it. It's like endless discussions on how to save money: it all boils down to spending less than you earn. It's the same with dieting: burn more calories than you consume day to day. There are two ways to do it: increase your metabolism, or decrease the amount of food you eat. There is your book on dieting :)

In a world full of thieves, the only crime is getting caught.

Fact: (3.62 / 8) (#45)
by psicE on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 05:02:29 PM EST

They're all bullshit.

The body needs carbohydrates. Especially fiber, which is a health necessity, but also complex carbohydrates are the body's best source of energy.

The body needs fat. Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats are necessary; many people, including myself, share the view that omega-3 oils obtained from eating fish, among other things, are what made humans capable of abstract thought. And monounsaturated fats are quite good too.

The body needs calories. Without them you'd die, period. If you eat below a certain amount of calories, going essentially on a starvation diet, you'll bloat - accomplishing the exact opposite of why most people go on a diet.

Some things, however, are objectively bad. Saturated fat is bad for you, and trans-fats (partially hydrogenated veg. oil) are even worse. Cholesterol is also bad, as 99% of people's bodies produce all the cholesterol they need to live; and while removing cholesterol from your diet won't directly affect your weight, it will make you healthier, which might indirectly help you lose weight. Simple carbohydrates, aka sugars, are good for short-term energy boosts but not much else - keeping them out of your diet as much as possible can never hurt. And though polyunsaturated fats aren't bad for you, they're not the healthiest food either - eating a bit less of them can't hurt, either.

The Atkins and Weight Watchers diets work on different people. Everybody's body is different, but another reason behind this phenomenon should be obvious: everyone's diet is different to begin with. Someone who eats a lot of high-calorie, high-saturated-fat foods is going to notice a big improvement when they go on the WW diet; someone who eats a lot of simple carbs is going to lose weight with the Atkins diet. Someone who already eats predominately unsaturated fats isn't going to notice much difference going on the WW diet, and someone who already eats predominately complex carbs isn't going to benefit from the Atkins diet.

A proper diet would combine these two. Lay off the fast food, a major source of trans fats; replace meat with fish a few nights per week; have a whole-wheat instead of a plain bagel; and have plain fruit instead of pie for dessert. And most importantly, practise moderation. If you eat excessive amounts of the healthiest foods, you'll gain weight; control the scale of your eating, exercise, avoid a few completely-bad foods, and you can eat most anything else.

OT: Omega-3 = Thought? (none / 0) (#47)
by thecabinet on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 05:28:00 PM EST

Could you expand on this a little. I don't know anything about what you're talking about so use small words...

[ Parent ]
Omega-3 and similar (none / 0) (#60)
by thrig on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 07:32:18 PM EST

Omega-3, hydrogenated oils, and similar are covered in Eating Well for Optimum Health by Dr. Andrew Weil.

[ Parent ]
I disagree with this part: (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by adamba on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 05:50:06 PM EST

Someone who already eats predominately unsaturated fats isn't going to notice much difference going on the WW diet, and someone who already eats predominately complex carbs isn't going to benefit from the Atkins diet.

That's not correct. You can eat predominately unsaturated fats and still be eating too many calories. Since most people don't naturally stay in a weight-losing state, and going on WW will pretty much guarantee you lose weight if you stick with it, the predominately-unsaturated-fat-eating person will see a change.

Your understanding of Atkins is more wrong. It's not just to eat complex carbs. The main thing is to eat very few carbs...those you do eat should be complex, but that's not the main point. So if you are snarfing down 300 grams of complex carbs each day and you go on Atkins, you should see a change also. Certainly your diet will be changing significantly, even if your waistline doesn't.

- adam

[ Parent ]

You misunderstand me (none / 0) (#56)
by psicE on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 06:55:34 PM EST

When I say "someone who eats predominately unsaturated fats", I'm just giving an example, as saturated fats happen to be the highest source of calories by gram... therefore, probability dictates that the high-saturated-fat eater is the most likely to have a high-calorie diet. But you can fairly generalize.

You call me completely wrong re: the Atkins diet, though. I realize that the Atkins diet says to drop all carbohydrates, or as many as possible. That's exactly my point. Someone who eats all complex carbohydrates can readily go on the Atkins diet. They'll have to completely change their eating patterns; maybe they'll sub in high-fat foods for those complex carbs that they get rid of, because otherwise they'd starve. And they'll end up not losing weight, or possibly gaining weight, because the diet isn't fairly addressing their current behavior! The Atkins diet works for people who live off simple carbs and sugars now, not for people who already keep those elements to a minimum in their diet.

[ Parent ]

a complex subject (none / 0) (#61)
by adamba on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 07:33:34 PM EST

I didn't say you were completely wrong, I said "more wrong"...meaning you were somewhat wrong on the WW comment, and more-than-somewhat wrong on the Atkins one (in my opinion).

It still seems you are saying that Atkins won't work for people who are eating a lot of complex carbs, it will only work for people who are eating a lot of simple carbs. That's not what Atkins says, he claims it is for people who eat too many carbs of any type. I'm not going to sit and swear he is correct on that, but that is what his claim is.

Also the term "complex carbohydrates" is confusing. Do you actually mean starches and fibers (as opposed to sugars), or do you mean low glycemic index carbohydrates (which is how many people seem to use it).

- adam

[ Parent ]

for complex people (none / 0) (#66)
by psicE on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 08:14:58 PM EST

I am saying that, whatever Atkins may claim about his diet, in practice the Atkins diet will not work for someone who eats starches and fibres as opposed to sugars. Cutting starches and fibres out of one's diet, and especially replacing them with polyunsaturated or saturated fats, will adversely affect one's health. Therefore, though Atkins claims his diet will work for anyone, I don't actually think it will.

[ Parent ]
Omega 3 - amusing side effect (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by spectecjr on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 08:57:27 PM EST

As an amusing side effect, a diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids reduces snoring and sleep apnea too. I've been trying to get doctors to listen to me about this for a while now, but no-one is interested. Still, 5 out of 6 people I've tried it with have all seen their snoring *stop*. Si

[ Parent ]
More fish, less snore? (3.00 / 1) (#79)
by tzanger on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 11:55:09 PM EST

Still, 5 out of 6 people I've tried it with have all seen their snoring *stop*.

My wife would love this. I'll give it a shot. Either reply or email with some more details on how to conduct the experiment, please.

[ Parent ]
Fiber=Cow's food (none / 0) (#170)
by benzapp on Thu Sep 26, 2002 at 10:53:41 PM EST

The body needs DOES NOT NEED fiber.  Constipation is caused by opiates in wheat and dairy products.  Administer naltrexone, an opiod antagonist to anyone constipated and they will no longer have a problem. Fiber is an IRRITANT, it cannot be digested by your body, and your body tries to expel it from your intestines as quickly as possible.  Animals that consume fiber have evolved many different charateristics in order to properly digest the shit.  Why do you think cows and horses have multiple stomachs, and stomachs that are such huge portions of their volume?

Fiber is useless to the body, but through bacterial composition glucose can result.  However, gasses are a biproduct of this decomposition.  If you honestly sat down and decided to live on grass like a cow does, you would explode from the pressure in your intestines.

Fruit is what we evolved to eat, and fruit is ALWAYS low in fiber.  

Also, fiber has nothing to do with any other claimed health benefits.  Low density lipoproteins are low density because they are oxidised by heat. If you eat no cooked cholesterol you will have no LDL in your blood. Its that simple.  

[ Parent ]

Protein Power Diet and the Zone diet (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by blixco on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 05:58:33 PM EST

Noticed you mentioned the Zone diet, which is more geared toward atheletes (that was the intent, anyhow), and is all about finding your particular balance, but is protein heavy.

In the "middle" of the lowered carbohydrate diet spectrum is the Protein Power diet, which, despite the silly name, is a pretty good plan for those considering a low carb diet.

The diet itself was put together by a couple of doctors, and has solid science behind it. The books are very thorough in explaining the thinking behind the diet. The diet allows for fiber, which is not counted in the carb total. Certain vegetables and fruits are encouraged, and the diet proposes something called an Effective Carbohydrate Content, which is essentially carbohydrates minus fiber, but depends on glycemic index as well.

For the first 6 weeks, you're limited to 30g of carbs a day. With the ECC formula, this ends up being quite a lot. Spinach, broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, cabbage, etc. are all encouraged.

After 6 weeks, you start phase 2, which allows 55g of carbs a day until you hit your target bodyfat ratio. Then, you start maintenance, which is 88g of carbs, and you can "borrow" against the next day's allowances. They encourage exercise (weight lifting, specifically), and encourage varience in diet, with a concentration on low saturated fat protein sources (fish, chicken breast, tofu, etc). All in all, they seem to be a lot less self-aggrandizing than Atkins, and the results are pretty stunning: I've lost as much as 2 percent body fat in a week(!!!) while gaining muscle. My wife has lost 7 pounds in a week. We still exercise, but unlike our previous (vegetarian, fully balanced) diet, this one seems to be giving us more energy, better "frame of mind" (we're happier), and we're putting on a lot of muscle.

Like everyone's saying, you have to find what works for you. For me, it's been shocking: all I had learned about my diet and fat content has proven to be false.

And for those who say that all you need to do use use more energy than you take in: I've found that when I took in less calories and increased my activity, my metabolism stopped working properly, and chose to store fat quickly. It's not just about "eat less, exercise more," it's "eat what you need, exercise." I eat five times a day, which works quite well to keep me from being hungry and keeps my energy up.

If your diet is frustyrating, try "breaking the rules" for a while with a low-carb approach. You'll be surprised.
The root of the problem has been isolated.

I have heard of it... (none / 0) (#85)
by adamba on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 02:12:04 AM EST

Mostly because it's hyped on the cover of the low fat tortillas I buy (you have to scroll that page down to see them -- and they have a new cover now. The cover actually mention the Drs. Eades by name). They have only 3g ECC each, and they taste okay. Don't know much about the diet but it sounds reasonable from your description.

- adam

[ Parent ]

Excellent lead... (none / 0) (#112)
by blixco on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 03:49:25 PM EST

...on the tortillas, thanks!

It's an easy enough diet. I find that I really, really want a pizza. Other than the crust, I can have a pizza...so of course, I desperately want the crust alone.

The forst 5 days are rough (headaches, low energy). After that, things pick up quite well.
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]

The Verminator's Two Step Weight Loss Regime (2.00 / 1) (#55)
by Verminator on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 06:24:49 PM EST

Step 1) Cultivate a methamphetamine habit.

Step 2) Watch the pounds disappear.

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to misery, misery links to Satanosphere.

We Drink Ritalin! (none / 0) (#64)
by pin0cchio on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 07:54:36 PM EST

Cultivate a methamphetamine habit.

Similar to speed, but more likely to be overprescribed available from your doctor, is methylphenidate. From age 7 to age 18, I drank Ritalin. When I kicked the habit, I gained 40 to 50 pounds over the next 15 months. But I also switched from a high school meal plan to a college meal plan at that time; did that have anything to do with it?

[ Parent ]
Yep (none / 0) (#75)
by Verminator on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 09:43:19 PM EST

Prescription drugs are so much more convenient. My ex used to have a dexadrine prescription and stopped doing (illegal) speed because it was no longer neccessary. Fortunately for her she's off both now (and went from a size 2 to an 8, unfortunately).

See folks, the Verminator's Two Step Weight Loss Regime can work for you too. But you have to stay on the program, no quitters allowed!

Great video by the way.

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to misery, misery links to Satanosphere.
[ Parent ]

Unfortunately? What the fuck's wrong with size 8? (none / 0) (#84)
by la princesa on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 02:05:07 AM EST

It'd be diff if you'd said she became an 18, but an 8 is generally considered a quite perfect figure for a lass. Most clothes are cut for women sized 6-9, damn them. Even the high-end couture stuff. Anyhow.

<qpt> Disprove people? <qpt> What happens when you disprove them? Do they disappear in a flash of logic?
[ Parent ]
Nothing's wrong with an 8 (none / 0) (#88)
by Verminator on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 02:23:14 AM EST

When I met her she was an eight, well a "10" in my book, and she looked good. But she did happen to be a very petite girl and an eight was as large as she had ever been. She's quit smoking as well these days and is up to about a ten I believe (haven't seen her in two months) and wants to get back down to a four, which I figure is about her ideal. Two really was too thin from the pictures I saw.

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to misery, misery links to Satanosphere.
[ Parent ]

Ah, well, sometimes I daydream about being an 8. (none / 0) (#89)
by la princesa on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 02:45:27 AM EST

Four's the largest I could ever attain, and that was just in jeans, which I dislike wearing. Other stuff is Too Fucking Large. I was shopping yesterday evening and even the XS/0/1 stuff was too big, so your comment just reminded me how much stuff on the racks was for sizes 6 and up and how maddening that is for the ultra-petite. Possibly the shops are less biased towards fat girls (there is a surfeit of plus-sizes at most shops for some reason round here) in Cali; I've yet to buy clothes there. But I will stop before I go off any further on a clothes-buying-difficulty rant.

<qpt> Disprove people? <qpt> What happens when you disprove them? Do they disappear in a flash of logic?
[ Parent ]
The Valley vs. Santa Monica (none / 0) (#116)
by Verminator on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 09:56:07 PM EST

When I used to live down in Southern California I was amused to find that out in the valley it's very hard to find mens 32x34 (which I've always considered an ideal size) pants anywhere. Almost none of the stores out there stock them. It's actually kind of hard to find pants at all with a waist smaller than the inseam over there. But go over to Santa Monica and 32x34s are all over the place. I figure the stores are just catering to the demographics but I still didn't like it much (I HATE driving in Santa Monica).

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to misery, misery links to Satanosphere.
[ Parent ]

I'm a 30x34... (none / 0) (#125)
by florin on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 02:47:38 AM EST

...and that means, of course, i'm way too skinny, and i always have a very hard time finding pants that are both nice and fitting. :-(

[ Parent ]
Heroin (none / 0) (#169)
by benzapp on Thu Sep 26, 2002 at 10:48:15 PM EST

Heroin is so much better. With heroin, you don't eat because you just don't give a shit about eating, fucking, or any other bodily desire, except maybe when the constipation really starts to bother you. No anxiety, just pure bliss all the time, until you have a hard time getting more narcotics. Meth works, but freaks you out, causes paranoia, and ultimately stops working for weight loss over time. A nice solid heroin addiction will lead to a lifetime of anorexia.

[ Parent ]
You can do both! (none / 0) (#172)
by Verminator on Thu Sep 26, 2002 at 11:49:44 PM EST

That's the beauty of the Verminator's Two Step Weight Loss Regime, it give you options! Can't find any heroin? Do some meth. Can't find meth? Sniff glue.

You're never hungry because you're never straight, it's great! <---New slogan.

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to misery, misery links to Satanosphere.
[ Parent ]

easier ways to lose weight! (1.50 / 4) (#57)
by ebatsky on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 06:57:55 PM EST

1. Don't eat or drink anything for 2-3 weeks other than pure water. Weight goes away.

2. If you don't have enough willpower to stop eating for 2 weeks, get a liposuction.

After that start weighing yourself and if you notice you're gaining weight start eating less. Once its balanced, that should be your normal diet.

Gotta remember the fundamental concept: keep it simple stupid.

One way to not eat anything for a couple weeks: (none / 0) (#63)
by Edgy Loner on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 07:38:10 PM EST

Get seasick. You want be eating much. Of course you'll pretty much want to die during the time.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
I hope you are sarcastic (none / 0) (#91)
by kholmes on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 03:05:40 AM EST

or that no one intends on following your advice.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]
how so (none / 0) (#113)
by ebatsky on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 04:04:50 PM EST

What's wrong with my advice? It's easier than going on a stupid diet and reading ingridients labels for the rest of your life. You don't really get any muscle atrophies especially if you use them occasionally, so I don't see where the problem is.

Liposuction is probably the easiest way to lose weight really fast, it only costs you maybe a few hundred dollars (if you go to a place you know won't screw up and acciedenly suction your intestines out or something). I don't know why more obese people don't take advantage of that opportunity instead of taking up two seats in the movie theater while hopelessly going between about 10 diets per month and hoping some miracle would happen ;(

[ Parent ]

Because if you don't eat for three weeks (none / 0) (#117)
by kholmes on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 11:36:08 PM EST

you will die.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]
actually (none / 0) (#122)
by ebatsky on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 01:21:57 AM EST

No, you won't. If you don't DRINK for several days, you'll die, but to die of hunger you'd have to stop eating for more than a month. Please research your 'facts' before you spew them.

[ Parent ]
Not easy & not permanent (none / 0) (#142)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 03:52:58 PM EST

I once was sick for several weeks, with very little appetite. I certainly lost weight during that period, but as soon as I recovered, I went through the fridge like a buzzsaw and ended up fatter than I was before I got sick.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
My wife is on Atkins (2.75 / 4) (#65)
by xtremex on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 08:12:03 PM EST

She was on anti-depressants for a while and blew up like a balloon...from her svelt 125 to 180 pounds.
She went on the atkins and lost all that wait in 2 months...Atkins is how she eats now..she doesnt even have to think about it. I feel healthier too since she is the one who cooks :). I never believed that low-fat diets worked....I didnt know what DID work, but I knew low-fat wasnt it...it became more of a money-making thing if you ask me. People always ask why the US is the "fat nation"...because americans are obsessed with low-fat food.

When... (none / 0) (#94)
by nustajeb on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 03:43:02 AM EST

I'm packing away a cheesecake, I'll keep in mind how obsessed with low-fat foods I am. ;)

[ Parent ]
not healthy. (none / 0) (#182)
by bolthole on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:37:39 PM EST

She lost 55 pounds in 2 months??

That is NOT healthy.

Your/her problem was more likely that you are not properly identifying foods that you were eating, that were high fat/calorie

[ Parent ]

Fat vs. Sugar (1.00 / 1) (#70)
by der on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 09:22:49 PM EST

At least as far as my personal experience goes, fat doesn't make you fat, sugar does.

Even when I'm in a cutting phase (bodybuilding lingo for 'trying to lose fat'), I don't worry about fat at all, and it doesn't affect my results (I've tried other strategies of course).

Now, if I start getting lazy and eating candy and sugar, the fat starts coming.

Keep in mind I'm an active weight lifting young male, so maybe that has alot to do with it. Eating fat is certainly more anabolic than eating sugar.

Perhaps it's not the same for more sedentary people, but as far as I'm concerned, fat is fair game (in moderation, like everything else of course).

One (or Three) Thing(s) (3.00 / 2) (#71)
by thelizman on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 09:23:04 PM EST

I'm sorry I did'nt get to see this in the edit queue, but this looks to be the best and most timely treatment of the Atkins diet I have seen. However, I think you glossed over one aspect of the Atkins diet - and diets in general, and it relates to the myth of calories being relevant. For starters, you have to know that processing the food takes energy. The energy value of a food is only as good as the amount of energy left over after digestion. Sugars readily break down, and hardly require digestion. Fats on the other hand, take lots of chemical effort.

The calorie as unit is entirely unrelated to how the body's metabolism operates. It is about as relevant as the color of a car to its speed.

The reason diets like Atkins and Weight Watchers point system work so well is that you are forced to eat healthy whole foods. What you fail to point out is that the "Atkins Diet" isn't just about losing weight, and the meat & fat only diet is merely one part of the overall Atkins plan. It is called induction, and it could last as little as two weeks. After that, you are supposed to introduce carbs back into your diet in the form of vegetables. Ultimately, with Atkins and Weight Watcher, you wind up eating the same stuff. However, Atkins works to correct metabolic disorders caused by our bodies becoming accustomed to junk foods, while Weight Watchers simply expect the metabolism to fall in line (and worse, teases it with some of the same culprits).

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
details? (none / 0) (#87)
by adamba on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 02:22:12 AM EST

OK, so what is the effective energy value from a calorie of fat vs. a calorie of sugar. Meaning, does it take 3/4 of a calorie just to digest a calorie of fat, or does it take 0.04 of a calorie or something. Saying calories are unrelated is silly. If you eat twice as many calories, you get twice as much energy. If you paint your car twice as bright, you don't go twice as fast.

I disagree that you eventually eat the same food on Atkins and Weight Watchers. In Atkins you eat 20 g of carbs during induction, 40-60 g during ongoing weight loss, then you can raise it...but how high does it get? 100 g? Meanwhile on a typical Weight Watchers 1500 calorie day, you probably have at least 200 g of carbs. Plus WW treats protein, sugar, and starch all the same. WW does *not* force you to eat healthy whole foods (if anything it encourages you to eat "Lean Cuisine"-type frozen entrees carefully engineered to be 6 or 7 points per dinner).

- adam

[ Parent ]

Diets. Pheh. (3.85 / 7) (#73)
by aonifer on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 09:33:32 PM EST

Eat less.  Fuck more.  That is the path to weight loss.

That's like (none / 0) (#86)
by Sesquipundalian on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 02:13:18 AM EST

those con' men who tell you you have to spend money to make money. ; )

Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Eat the foods you were meant to! (3.50 / 2) (#77)
by torokun on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 10:27:42 PM EST

Here's my take: Your body was built by evolution to eat things that are naturally available around you. What are those? Meat, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. I think that the problem comes mostly from eating high-carb and refined foods such as pasta, rice, potatos, and breads. These things just have way too many carbs for us to easily handle without getting fat... My wife follows a pretty strictly low-carb diet, and it's the only one that's ever allowed her to keep weight off easily. She was always just up and down before (never "fat" though...) But I just try to stay away from bread and high-carb foods, eating mostly meat, vegetables, and some fruits or fruit juices... Yeah, I get carbs from the fruit, and a few from the vegetables, but it's a far cry from french fries or chips. ;)

Evolution? (2.50 / 2) (#80)
by dipierro on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 11:55:31 PM EST

Your body was built by evolution to eat things that are naturally available around you.

It was also built to be doing manual labor 80 hours a week.

[ Parent ]
Not really (4.33 / 3) (#103)
by ucblockhead on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 12:02:33 PM EST

Anthrological studies of groups of people living in a hunter/gatherer state, close to that of which the human race started in, show that they put in between twenty-five and thirty hours of labor in a week. Studies of the other greater apes show much the same.

Civilization has many huge advantages in life expectency, happiness, the number of people that can be supported per acre, etc., but short work days is not one of them.
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

The key part of my point... (3.00 / 1) (#114)
by dipierro on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 04:37:32 PM EST

...was that out bodies were built to be doing regular physical labor, not so much the number of hours.  For those of us who have jobs which don't involve much physical labor, it can't exactly be expected that we work out for 25-30 hours a week, can it?

I guess I'm just saying that we obviously don't have the same food requirements as when we evolved if we aren't spending the same energy we were expending when we evolved.

[ Parent ]

Yeah (none / 0) (#135)
by ucblockhead on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 11:09:42 AM EST

No, you are right about that...I just hate the "primitive humans worked all the time" myth. It was actually the agricultural revolution that caused long working hours.
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
I see (none / 0) (#146)
by dipierro on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 06:50:33 PM EST

It was actually the agricultural revolution that caused long working hours.

For the proletariat, anyway. :)

Nowadays it's perfectly possible to live on a 25-30 hour work week though.  The problem is that most jobs have minimum work weeks, and that lots of money is wasted on paying for intellectual property.

Anyway, thanks for the correction.  I actually wrote 40 instead of 80 at first, paused for a second, and then changed it to 80, just assuming we used to work more than we did.

[ Parent ]
YES! (none / 0) (#132)
by CrazyJub on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 09:05:36 AM EST

I second this comment! No processed foods, any process.

[ Parent ]
Vegetarian... (none / 0) (#78)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sat Sep 21, 2002 at 11:31:10 PM EST

Now this is just my personal experience and maybe it won't work for you.

For many years I have been mostly vegetarian, not because I care about eating animals but because generally I dislike the taste of meat, and have for as long as I can remember. So I just don't eat meat.

Instead I eat all sorts of other shit. Tons of pizza, pasta, butter, chips, fries, disgustingly huge amounts of fat. And to top it off I hardly ever exercise besides some necessary walking (usually about a mile, sometimes 3 or 4) most days.

Yet somehow I have a healthy body weight for my height. I have a little bit of a gut, but not enough to be really noticeable, and it goes away during the summertime when I become more active...

Is it because I don't eat meat, or is it because I'm just one of those people with a great metabolism who can eat anything? I don't know...

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."

a new kind of diet! (none / 0) (#83)
by adamba on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 02:04:38 AM EST

It's the "high-fat" diet...forget counting carbs or protein, just make sure you get your 200 grams of fat each day. And throw in at least 3000 mg of sodium for good measure.

Methinks you are blessed with good genes and a fast metabolism. Although walking 1-4 miles a day is not too shabby. Is your cholesterol level okay?

- adam

[ Parent ]

Cholesterol (none / 0) (#90)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 02:45:29 AM EST

Few months back I had a blood test, and one of my cholesterols was low and the other was average. I can't remember whether the "good" cholesterol was low or the "bad" one was....

It is really amazing to me how people consider it crazy when I take a two mile walk on a whim when I have the extra time. It can't really be that much... Some day I would like to take a half year or a year off from everything, gather a few friends, and take a big walk across the entire continent.

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Eh... (none / 0) (#93)
by nustajeb on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 03:38:56 AM EST

I eat like a glutton, myself. I eat meat, too. I am underweight for my height (135lbs@6'), and always have been. You get more exercise than I do, and I have no noticeable fat stores. It's all genetics for me, and I would assume the same for you. The content of both of our diets would otherwise be considered unhealthy, regardless of your lack of consumption of meat.

[ Parent ]
bad sig (none / 0) (#181)
by bolthole on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:35:32 PM EST

your sig is tasteless AND thoughtless.

Some men are giving their lives, to give the iraqi people freedom from a regime that probably has tortured and killed the amount of civilian casulties in this war, every year, under its own government structure.

This is far from "nothing".

If there was no threat of terrorism... if there was no "weapons of mass destruction".. if there was no "oil interests" at stake... if NONE of those issues were true (even though any one of them would be sufficient reason) then just the benefit to the iraqi people when it is all over, will have made it worth while. The soldiers will have given their lives for "Freedom", and that is one of the highest things a volunteer soldier can plan for, for a reason to put their lives on the line for.

[ Parent ]

Simple thing, really... (3.00 / 4) (#95)
by ponos on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 04:41:06 AM EST

It is a fundamental fact that you only lose
weight if you eat LESS than what you burn.

The main sources of energy in the human
metabolism are circulating glucose and
ketones (from fat).

The important thing to understand is that
a) the organism always burns glucose first
b) the glucose level MUST be above 50 mg/dl
c) glucose -> fat is easy, glucose -> glycogen
   (storage form of glucose) is easier and

Therefore, if you totally restrict carbohydrates
you'll start burning glycogen (it won't last long)
and then start generating glucose from amino
acids which propably means loss of protein from
tissue (muscle mass, mostly). This is not very
good. Also amino-acid metabolism
generates a lot of side-products such as urea
because of the nitrogen that it contains.

At the same time, ketosis (production of ketones
from fatty acids) is a "second" choice for
the organism because many tissues cannot
metabolize ketones as well. Ketosis also
produces a mild
acidosis but should not otherwise cause major
problem for a normal organism.

My personal experience in losing weight (I'm
180 cm, 76 Kgr) suggests that the easiest diet
to follow and propably the healthier is to eat
what a normal person >should< eat, only in
smaller quantities. I do not mean 60% of normal,
but something like 90% of the required calories
for your height/weight/activity level over
a long term (loss of 1 pound or less per week).

The composition of the diet should contain
approximately 40% fat, 40% carbohydrates, 20%
protein (of 100% calories, not grams) and,
most importantly:
a) fat should not be saturated (eggs and bacon!)
b) carbohydrates should be starch+fiber (black
   bread, black rice etc) for a lower glycemic
c) foods should not be heavily processed
   (avoid heavy cooking, eat only what you cook)
d) lot of fruit/vegetables

All the above is not hard to maintain but it does
require a change in eating behaviour that should
last a lifetime.

In my opinion, all diets that cut on glucose/
carbohydrate/fat/whatever suck royally. They
won't kill you (propably) but they are not
healthy. Attempting to blame a single nutrient
is mostly a marketing trick to convince you
that it is different.

The fact is that losing weight is simple and
everyone knows how to do it (stop eating
a lot) BUT it is hard to do. You do not need the
atkins diet or any diet, but you do need

-- Sum of Intelligence constant. Population increasing.

posting tip: (none / 0) (#180)
by bolthole on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:29:36 PM EST

If you're going to use "plain text" as your formatitng method, then STOP pressing return, unless you want a paragraph. Then press return twice.

Seeing your post limited to

[this much]

of my browser width, when my browser is

[.....  T H I S      W I D E ......................]

is very irritating.

Note: This message was posted in Plain Text format, just for you.

[ Parent ]

Weight Watchers isn't really a diet (4.00 / 1) (#98)
by rcade on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 08:10:18 AM EST

I've been a Weight Watchers member for around four months, losing around 35 pounds. This article is a good summary. It isn't really a diet; it's a gimmick to get you to do three things:

1) Pay attention to what you eat, no matter what it is.

2) Show up weekly to meetings where you weigh in and hear food and lifestyle advice.

3) Make money for Weight Watchers. You have to pay around $8 to $11 per week just to stay in it; every time you miss a meeting, you must pay for that meeting at the next one you attend.

I think that anyone who wrote down the calorie, fat, and fiber intake of their diet at every single meal would lose weight, because they would be thinking about what they eat all the time. That's really the whole Weight Watchers shtick -- pay attention to the stuff you're shoveling in your mouth. It's harder to snarf down a Big Mac and a bunch of soft drinks all day when you have to think about it.

The meetings are pretty girly -- I'm one of a handful of guys who attend in my area -- and the cost is somewhat expensive. However, I'm starting to enjoy healthy food a lot more now that I'm not gorging myself on high-fat junk all the time.


A benefit to paying for it ... (none / 0) (#144)
by Hobbes2100 on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 05:16:03 PM EST

For some people paying 15 dollars a week to lose weight can be the secondary motivation (beside *mere* health) that gets them to stick to the diet.

This is also the case with exercise programs. Pay a personal trainer $20 an hour and you'll be busting your ass (unless you need to be paying $200 an hour to bust your ass).

Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? --Iuvenalis
But who will guard the guardians themselves? -- Juvenal
[ Parent ]

I am on a moderately low fat diet... (none / 0) (#99)
by l3nz on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 08:52:56 AM EST

...that I have come up with after quite a lot of unsuccessful tries. I have lost 48lbs in 5 months, and I don't feel like I am on a diet. I have written a K5 diary entry on it, so maybe it can be interesting for you....

Popk ToDo lists - yet another web-based ToDo list manager. 100% AJAX free :-)

Fat Loss (3.00 / 1) (#106)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 12:29:39 PM EST

I'm kind of shocked by the comments made here by folks that have never lost any substantial amount of weight and kept it off for any period of time.

Personally, I'm extremely dubious of low calorie regimins like Weight watchers/Jenny Craig/Diet Center. The reason is that these organizations/diets have zip evidence to support claims for long term fat loss.

The basic problem with low calorie diets is that they tend to cause loss of muscle along with fat. Weight loss isn't the big trick here: the trick is loosing fat without loosing muscle.

I have personal experience with Atkins, the Zone diet and the Diet Center low-calorie diet. I had the worse experience with the Diet Center diet-I lost weight-but it came back with a vengence. I was able to loose weight on the Zone diet only if I combined that diet with very substantial exercise. The Atkins diet worked at first-I lost 10 lbs rather effortlessly-and it really did stay off--but after that the diet quick working. Just FYI I am overweight, but I have lost over 40 lbs from my peak--most of which has been off for over two years--which means I've substantially beaten the odds here.

The best book I've seen that explains my experience is Natural Hormonal Enhancement by Rob Faigin. Faigin advocates a diet similar to atkins but puts more emphasis on meal frequency, has a specific exercise regimin he suggests and prescibes regular "carb loading"(something atkins talks about but hasn't formalized).

A link (5.00 / 1) (#111)
by nevertheless on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 03:19:22 PM EST

One of the most useful web resources I've found:
USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

This whole "being at work" thing just isn't doing it for me. -- Phil the Canuck

Bullshit (none / 0) (#171)
by benzapp on Thu Sep 26, 2002 at 10:57:13 PM EST

the USRDA is not some list created by scientists over a period of time, it is a mixture of special interests like the dairy lobby, and surveys of the american dietary habits. There is absolutely nothing scientific about it.

[ Parent ]
Healthy food (1.00 / 1) (#115)
by AWhiteStar on Sun Sep 22, 2002 at 06:12:16 PM EST

I'm really quite astonished about the load of postings dealing with strange diets and their advantages and disadvantages. I can't understand that the two main points are quite obvious, but rarely explicitly stated: - You lose weight when you are physically active. - You lose weight when you eat healthy, e. g. non-refined food. 90% per cent of the people in America would lose a lot of weight if they would go at least for a walk three times a week and stopped eating McDonalds and pre-cooked food and drinking Coke. If you look at the statistics, you will find that a lot more Americans than Europeans are overweight. And I am pretty sure that's directly related to the amount of unhealthy food which is eaten in the USA.

obvious? (none / 0) (#118)
by adamba on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 12:39:23 AM EST

Although nobody is disputing the benefits of being physically active, I take issue with your second point about eating "healthy, e.g. non-refined food" after calling much of the postings here "strange diets."

You are setting up healthy and refined as opposites. So what about the Atkins staples: steak, eggs, cheese, butter, etc. Do you think those are healthy or refined? Now it's not a coincidence that I listed those foods: Atkins (and the other protein diets mentioned) are saying they are in fact healthy, and he does also generally advocate non-refinedness. So why are you calling them "strange diets" when you are basically saying the same thing?

There are essentially two kinds of diets. One says to not eat too much of anything (like Weight Watchers), the other says you can eat whatever you want as long as you only eat certain foods. You are evidently advocating the second type. Great, so are almost all the diets mentioned here.

And you give McDonald's as an example of bad food, thus presumably non-healthy and "refined". So what is refined about a cheeseburger? Ground beef, cheese, pickles, bun -- do you think bread is unhealthy? I think you are really getting into more of a moral issue that eating fast food is "wrong" and people who don't cook their own meals deserve to be fat. What if someone grills up a burger at home, does it suddenly get healthy (according to Fast Food Nation, the beef served at fast food restaurants is much safer than that sold in grocery stores. Or are grocery stores evil also and we're all supposed to go to a neighborhood butcher?).

- adam

[ Parent ]

Dead on (none / 0) (#141)
by mmealman on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 03:00:33 PM EST

I think you're pretty much dead on.

Fast food: I can get awesome salads at Wendys. Subway makes great subs, etc.

I think the best diet focuses on moderation. Every decade we learn about something in our food that's "bad" for us. Don't eat X, eat Y and you'll live forever. Whatever.

If you want to live forever worry less about what you're eating, just eat in moderation, and exercise. I absolutely hate exercise, and yet when I am working out routinely I feel less bloated, have more energy and am mentally more sound.

[ Parent ]
you've watched too many mcdonalds ads (none / 0) (#159)
by mta on Tue Sep 24, 2002 at 07:30:42 PM EST

its not ground beef, it's reconstituted mince held together with fat. It's not egg on that burger, it's reconstituted albumen with yellow coloured albumen in the centre. The bread isn't bread - its a flour based substance with so much sugar a diabetic can't eat it. The fries are reconstituted potato poured into a mold - that's why they are hollow (makes em cook faster).

The point is it is FAKE food - refined if you like.

"What if someone grills up a burger at home, does it suddenly get healthy" - a lot healthier yes!!

Compare a real hamburger.. using a real bread roll, real steak, real egg - tastes a lot different doesn't it - has about 100 grams of fat less too, that's partly why.

[ Parent ]
do you have any actual facts to back that up? (5.00 / 1) (#161)
by adamba on Wed Sep 25, 2002 at 12:35:39 AM EST

McDonald's posts their nutrition facts on their web site. Now you may think they are lying...but according to the site, the patty is just ground beef. What's the fat content? Probably 23% or more, but so are those burgers you buy at the grocery. They don't put eggs on their burgers, but the egg on the breakfast sandwiches is just that, an egg. The first four ingredients in the bun are flour, water, corn syrup, and yeast. Those are the same first four ingredients in a standard bun I bought from the grocery store. And I don't know where you get that fantasy about the fries being molded, but they are just potatoes, shot through knives with an air gun (quite fascinating process actually) and then coated (actually I never claimed the fries were healthy).

I'm not sure how a home-cooked burger could have 100 gram less of fat, since a McDonald's hamburger only has 10 grams of fat (21 grams in a quarter pounder).

- adam

[ Parent ]

Re: (none / 0) (#162)
by mta on Wed Sep 25, 2002 at 10:33:46 AM EST

I didn't express myself well and pulled the 100 grams figure out my arse :D

This is not what I was trying to get across in support of the original poster, the argument is that food is more processed now than in the past - he used the word refined which is maybe a bit misleading in the context, processed is more like it.

I suspect McDonalds in the US is different to elsewhere, similar standards but different suppliers - I have had molded fries from there and also disbelieved it until a friend who worked there convinced me. This may not be the case now, I haven't been there for some time, and in all honesty it could have been Burger King but they do exist! :) Made like that to cook fast, unfortunately they absorb more oil. Likewise the egg - reconstituted white part with a fake yellow part.

The change in McDonald's menu over the last couple of years is interesting, meals like the quarter pounder and other 'old' meals are much less prominently advertised and outweighed in selection on the menu by the 'new' products.

I didnt mean to make McDonald's food sound like the product of evil - it's probably one of the better fast food options if you dont get fries heh. The point is though that a McChicken Value Meal is in no way as good as a home cooked chicken meal in any respect - phew that's the argument sorry if i rambled :D

[ Parent ]
certainly is some unhealthy food at McDonald's (none / 0) (#165)
by adamba on Wed Sep 25, 2002 at 07:42:04 PM EST

The chicken sandwiches, the ones that are processed chicken parts, breaded and fried, are not too healthy. Although the one that is just a piece of chicken breast isn't bad, except it is usually slathered in mayonnaise. For example, the Crispy Chicken in the US is 500 calories, 26 g of fat. The Chicken McGrill (which is a real chicken breast) is 400 calories, 17 g fat. Without mayo it is 300 calories, 6 g of fat.

But as it happens the canonical hamburger isn't very processed/refined.

I'm still not convinced on the molded fries! It just seems too time-consuming vs. just using a real potato...plus don't those things come pre-packaged ready to toss in the deep fryer (so someone who just worked at the restaurant would not know how they were made). Could be a fast food urban legend...or maybe it's true, who knows.

- adam

[ Parent ]

Catch-22 of Diets (4.50 / 2) (#120)
by Stickerboy on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 01:18:03 AM EST

From common sense and what everyone else has posted, diets work (for a select number of individuals), but the key ingredients for them to work is motivation and determination to stick with the diet on the dieters part.

The Catch-22: if a person has the motivation and determination to stay in shape that is required by a diet, said person is probably eating less calories and exercising enough, which means they don't need a diet in the first place.

I mean, how hard is it, really, to take 45 minutes a day when you're normally sitting on your butt and use it for some medium to high intensity exercise, and eating smaller meal portions (just enough so you're not hungry as opposed to being full)?  As opposed to, say, strictly adhering to some arcane diet of not eating non-fiber carbohydrates or converting all your food mentally into points to be added up beforehand?

Stickerboy's Diet (patent pending):


Stop super-sizing! Stop ordering double-meat, double-everything! Stop drinking 32 ounces (approximately 1 L) of sugar water and get a glass of pure H2O!

I've followed this high-tech, incredibly complex diet for years, and along with running and calisthenics (2 to 3 times a week), I've been 5'9" and 150 pounds for about the last 15 years.

oh (2.00 / 1) (#123)
by auraslip on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 01:56:42 AM EST

I stopped eating meat and lost quite a bit of weight. I don't think it was the not eating meat part but rather the actaully thinking of what I eat that made me do that.

The ultimate diet (1.25 / 4) (#124)
by florin on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 02:38:53 AM EST

Eat less, dammit!
All these diets are a piece of crap. Ultimately, they are a way for greedy fat people to allow themselves excuses to continue to eat a lot while dreaming of getting thinner. This is bullshit.
You get fatter because you eat too much, period. You get thinner when you eat less, period again. It's that simple.
And BTW, i question seriously the Atkins diet; eating a lot of proteins and very few carbohydrates does not sound too healthy to me.

Whatever happened to the good old "eat less" method?

depends - does not work (none / 0) (#137)
by gray on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 11:26:40 AM EST

Nutrition is rather complex issue with lots physiological, psychologial and enviromental factors involved. Watch your eating habits: when, what, how, why. Look at what you eat: what and do you like it? Is McDonald your restaurant of choice? will anybody help, encourage, motivate you? Things as simple as sunlight, water and fresh air might help you, than again maybe not.

Eating less might work for you but that does not mean it will work for me.

in a crude oversimplification if you deprive you body of the things it needs (calories, satisfaction, carbs) it will get better in using it, otherwise it will adjust your motiviation accordingly. That means if you stop doing a (eat less or atkins) diet you'll gain weight faster than before. And the Atkins diet does not sound healthy to begin with.

[ Parent ]

Eating Less (4.00 / 1) (#149)
by Korimyr the Rat on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 07:47:55 PM EST

 Diets based around deprivation don't work for two main reasons.

 First, they depend on your willpower to maintain them-- you have to sit quietly while you're hungry without acting on you inherent, primal desire to eat the first semi-edible thing you find. Since one of the strongest ways of lowering someone's willpower (for purposes of conditioning) is starvation, it's not exactly practical.

 Second, your body can tell when it's getting less food than it's used to, nd it reacts to defend itself by slowing your metabolism down to keep you from losing weight-- in our evoultionary history, obesity was uncommon, and any body fat we has was a survival asset for lean times. The body will defend these stores as best it can.

 If you want to effectively control and/or reduce the amount of body fat you have, you need to raise your metabolism and use methods that psychologically reinforce your resolve. In most cases, that means eating more food, of healthier content, and exercising more, to build muscle and improve cardiovascular health-- both of which improve your metabolism.

 By eating more, but focusing on more nutritious food, you're not only replacing nutrients that a more vapid diet may be lacking, but also maintaining the psychological benefits of a full stomach-- and, often, those nutrients you're suddenly receiving properly will help to improve psychological functioning as well.

 Exercise has the benefit of showing more immediate results, which bolster willpower, as well as improving self-image and confidence because of increased strength, stamina, and energy. Also, when approached deliberately, pain has a much smaller negative effect on willpower than hunger, and can even serve as a reinforcing agent.

"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

Some bits of anecdotal evidence (3.00 / 1) (#126)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 03:28:28 AM EST

Two groups of people that rely heavily in high carbohydrate diets: European Mediterranean (loads of pasta and bread) and East Asia (China, Japan, loads of noodles and rice, little fat). These groups of people have a lower incidence of people overweight (I know of others like Mexicans relying on corn as well as South Africans...).

In Europe, the people with more heart disease are the Scottish. They fry absolutely everything they eat (loads of fat).

Reach your own conclussions about which lifestyle (not diet, all diets are bunk) is better in the long term. Anecdotal evidence seems to point out that the "food pyramid" is in general correct.

0wr F4th3R, wh0 0wnz h34\/3n, j00 r0x0rs!
M4y 4|| 0wr b4s3 s0m3d4y Bl0ng t0 j00!
M4y j00 0wn 34rth juss |1|3 j00 0wn h34\/3n.
G1v3 us th1s

american sized eating (none / 0) (#179)
by bolthole on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:21:57 PM EST

Two groups of people that rely heavily in high carbohydrate diets: European Mediterranean and East Asia . These groups of people have a lower incidence of people overweight

That is because people over there dont tend to have an overabundance of food. And those who do, would consider it vulgar/gluttenous to eat the amount of food served at a common American restaurant.

[compare the size of vending machine soda cans in Japan, to ones in the US, for example. Americans just plain eat too MUCH, in addition to eating junk]

[ Parent ]

novice questions about health issues (none / 0) (#127)
by pavlidis on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 03:54:42 AM EST

I don't know about the success and I cannot comment about the results of any kind of diet. But in my knowledge (if it is correct because I am not a MD), excessive fat in diet can produce high levels of cholesterol in blood, which in time can cause problems in arteries (arteriosclerosis) and several heart diseases. Plus, do not forget that a diet rich in fats is the main reason for cancer in the rectum (according to physicians).

These facts are known to me by personal facts as we had relatives with these illnesses described aboved and their diet (very rich in fat, low on carbs and fiber) was accused as the main cause for their problems.

One of the better diet related sites on the web.. (none / 0) (#128)
by ajduk on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 05:03:06 AM EST


Or 'How diet evolved with the human body'.

Montignac (4.00 / 1) (#129)
by levsen on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 05:26:35 AM EST

Although I don't feel like going all over it again because this discussion has just been on Slashdot, here in France a guy named Montignac is pretty popular. His book and his diet are based on the same principles as Atkins, but it is a lot more detailed and allows for more carbs.

I.e. he explains how the absorption of fructose into the blood differs if you eat fruit with a meal and outside meals, and that fruit are therefore perfectly admissible when eaten i.e. 20 min before breakfast. Alcohol on the other hand, has a lower effect when drunken WITH a meal.

There are lots of examples like this, he also gives a long list of the how good or bad various carbs are, i.e. sugar is by far not the worst carb, the maltose that is in beer is the worst, i.e. it causes your blood sugar to rise more than actual sugar (saccharose).

I am just starting out on this, so I wonder if anyone has had any actual experience. Especially considering diets are for life, I'd welcome every bit of carb that is on the 'permissible' list.

This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.

One more thing ... (4.33 / 3) (#130)
by levsen on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 06:01:28 AM EST

... those anecdotal evidences a la "I am doing this and that and stayed thin all my life" are not worth much. Although it's great if you managed to avoid obesity, we'll never know if you would have gotten fat if you stopped jogging or whatever your secret is. There are people (lots!) that can watch TV and eat crap all their life and stay perfectly thin. What's interesting from a scientific point of view only is if you've tried different life styles and had different results. I.e. you got fat first doing this and eating that and then you got thin doing that and eating this.

This comment is printed on 100% recycled electrons.

Diet: eat as much as you can (3.66 / 3) (#131)
by Rainy on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 07:45:10 AM EST

Here's my theory (untested, since I'm skinny and always has been):

Let's say you're fat and you want to lose weight. You go on a diet and stomack it for a few weeks and then your will power/disgust with mirror's take on you run out and you go back to whatever crap you like to eat.

Solution: don't diet. Throw all the unnatural foods out of your fridge and into your garbage bin and go and buy shit like green leafy vegies, mueslix, kashas, rice, etc. and when you're even the least bit hungry, eat some of that stuff. Oh fruits too, don't forget.

The idea is that hunger kills your will power. If your plan is to hunger yourself into shape, you'll lose.

Okay, nm, this is all bullshit, but the next paragraph will be the essence of my idea.

Foods that make you fat are the most available. They are what you grab when you're hungry. It can be a twinky or a pizza, or hamburger. Diets that work through hunger will only work until you have will power left, which means that at some point they just stop working. BUT if you eat *ALOT*, you go and make some healthy food that takes some time and effort to prepare, and you prepare it *before* you're even hungry, so as not to be lured by easier and fattier foods.

That's why tons of people try and fail, and spend tons of money and effort - they're working in the exact opposite direction. They starve, give in, get fat, get upset, starve, and so forth, the cycle goes. Exercise is another thing in the cycle.. it makes things worse when you're hungry. It makes you even hungrier and therefore makes it harder to resist eating fat foods.

Nice theory eh?
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

corollary: (none / 0) (#178)
by bolthole on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:00:48 PM EST

"If you want to quit smoking, the first thing you should do, is stop buying more packs of cigarettes".

-- me

[ Parent ]

One word for y'all (1.00 / 4) (#136)
by krek on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 11:13:40 AM EST


I have a better word for you. (none / 0) (#155)
by Mr Incorrigible on Tue Sep 24, 2002 at 11:26:00 AM EST

It's called moderation. Perhaps you've heard the proverb, "All things in moderation," before? It works in practice: enjoy what you like, but just don't have as much, and spend as much time walking as you can get away with.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to find a screwdriver so I can punch another hole in my belt.

I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.

[ Parent ]
The Revolutionary Beer Diet (5.00 / 1) (#138)
by icastel on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 02:03:02 PM EST

During the Christmas celebrations of last year, I gained many pounds (I don't know exactly because I don't weigh myself regularly). Normally, shedding the extra pounds didn't require an effort on my part. The fact that I'm getting older is probably not helping; metabolism slowing down, food consumption speed going up, or something.

In any event, I carefully examined my eating habits to see if I could spot any areas to improve. I noticed the following pattern in a regular day:

  • No breakfast (hadn't eaten breakfast in many, many years)
  • Big lunch
  • Bigger dinner

Doing away with dinner, I thought, would reduce my food intake by about 55% - 60%. Not bad. But giving up dinner was too difficult. I had to reward myself with something else. The answer came to me in the form of a dark amber bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (one of my favorites).

After one sip, I was sold. I switched from solid to liquid dinner, just like that. I've been having a bowl of cereal in the morning (usually oatmeal and milk w/ no sugar) and 1, 2, or 3 beers at night (depending on how hungry I am).

It sounds harsh, but it's working. I've gone down two sizes. I'm planning on going down one more size and then stop. The first month I lost about 10 pounds. The last two months, I've lost about a pound a week. Oh, yes, I've resumed my excercise regime, too (jogging about two miles twice a week and mild weight lifting once or twice a week for 20 - 30 minutes).

-- I like my land flat --
Your old diet (none / 0) (#163)
by steveftoth on Wed Sep 25, 2002 at 01:11:09 PM EST

was my diet and still is, though I don't want it to be.  I think that breakfast is so hard to get, and if you get it then you are much better off for the day.  The inverse eating that society seems to be all about, where people eat all the food at the END of the day instead of at the beginning doesn't seem like a good idea, as you really need your enegry at the start of the day and it should last throughout the day.  Instead of waiting until the end of the day to 'stock up' for tommorow.  

My experience in losing weight was that I lost over a hundred pounds (300->190, 6'0" male ) over 2 years by just reducing my food intake and increasing my exercise.  Walking at first, now I run.  And also by eating out, just not 3 meals a day of eating out, at most 2, and even then most of the time I was slightly hungry.  I think that the biggest problem with people is that they expect to lose weight without ever being hungry.  The whole point is that you are starving your body, and that it needs to be so hungry that it eats itself instead of the burger.  (Slowly eats itself though)

[ Parent ]

Coke (none / 0) (#143)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 04:20:50 PM EST

is my biggest problem. I don't really eat that much these days, and I do take walks, but I'm still overweight. But it's not that easy to cut out the Coke. At home, I can do it, but when I'm sitting at my computer at work, I badly need a drink!
Information wants to be beer.
Coke (none / 0) (#148)
by Korimyr the Rat on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 07:18:15 PM EST

 If you're thirsty, try artificial lemonade powder. It's got less sugar than the same amount of Coke, but still enough to keep your blood sugar decent and keep your mouth wet.

 If it's caffeine you're after, coffee is your best friend.

"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0) (#158)
by Commodore Sloat on Tue Sep 24, 2002 at 06:52:41 PM EST

Actually I find coke is great for weight loss.  It diminishes your appetite, raises your heart rate (decreasing the need for cardio exercise), and it gives you more energy in general.  The problem is just keeping it down to a couple lines a day.

oh, wait... nevermind.

[ Parent ]

My plan (5.00 / 2) (#145)
by finkployd on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 05:21:11 PM EST

I'm doing pretty well losing weight (I started 5'8" 200lbs and am now around 170).

I have not changed my eating habits AT ALL. I still eat junk food occationally (candy bars rock). My diet generally consists of pizza, subs, cereal, bagles, fast food, etc. When I'm hungry at work I have some chips, or crackers, or whatever else.

How am I losing wieght then? It's called excercise, and I have found it is easier to keep with a program of jogging every day for an hour or so than going hungry all the time. See if you can figure out which takes less will power. Plus, even though excercising hurts (if done properly) and leaves you exausted and sore, I find I sleep better at night, have more energy, and generally just feel better all the time.

If you are capable of intense excercise (running, tie bo, swimming, etc), and I understand that many people are not (injury, too out of shape, etc) and you are looking at some kind of food deprevation plan to lose wieght while sitting on your ass all day, there is an easier way.

And yes, I am aware of how much more weight I could be losing if I was excercising AND on a diet, but then it wouldn't be fun or easy to stick with and like so many others, I would likely end up quitting both. I'd rather take it slow and enjoy myself than lost a ton of weight quickly, only to find I am leading a lifestyle I cannot maintain and end up gaining all the weight back.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
Good exercise (none / 0) (#147)
by Korimyr the Rat on Mon Sep 23, 2002 at 07:16:58 PM EST

 Jogging tends to burn a lot of fat while not adding too much muscle-- but it's great for your heart and lungs.

 If you don't mind high impact, though, about the best exercise I can think of is working the heavy bag. Get a decent pair of gloves and hammer away at the bag. If you can keep a rate between one and two punches per second while still keeping the power on, you'll get your heart rate going nicely and develop some pretty solid upper body strength.

 And, the conditioning is always good if you ever need to use your fists. Even with the gloves, it'll toughen the flesh and bones around your striking knuckles.

"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

I got lots of lower body muscle running (none / 0) (#152)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Sep 24, 2002 at 01:59:22 AM EST

I don't know how it compares to heavy bag, but you burn tons of calories running.

At one point a put on approximately 20 pounds of muscle running. Of course, it doesn't give you nice arms and pecs, though.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Exercise takes months to work, but it works well. (none / 0) (#151)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Sep 24, 2002 at 01:55:01 AM EST

Aerobics is the most effective way to lose weight, in my opinion. However you have to spend a couple months building up intesity if you're not used to it. Also, it takes a while to lose actual pounds because because you put on muscle. You have to have a lot of motivation to get through the first few months. But, once it starts working, you lose lots of weight damn quick. It feels good, too.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Insecurity sells. (4.00 / 1) (#154)
by IHCOYC on Tue Sep 24, 2002 at 10:16:17 AM EST

Why can't we learn to like ourselves just as we are? Why is weight loss even an issue? It seems to me because the media harp endlessly on this theme.

Back in the 1970's, we used to laugh at the "disease of the week" that the TV brought us. I was in a situation recently where I ended up watching the U.S. network broadcast news each evening for a week straight, and there was a medical story every night! Americans are literally awash in medical talk. You may think I exaggerate; I suggest a test. Watch one of the American big 3 broadcast network evening news shows for a typical news week, and see if there isn't a medical story every single day.

Most of these, moreover, were premised on selling personal insecurity. At least a couple of them were focused on those universal panaceas, diet and exercise. Others urged various sorts of hypochondria under the guise of "awareness," making people wonder if they had various illnesses or not, urging them to self-examinations or tests.

As I've said before, I am really, really, really, really, REALLY tired of hearing this. I am convinced, moreover, that Americans are led by the media to worry about their weight and the state of their physical health far more than they ought to be. They are led this way by the national mass media. They are led this way because the endless harping on these topics really helps to move the product. It serves the interests of those who buy the advertising at the cost of your peace of mind.

Turn the TV off. Throw away the damn scales. Let out your belt a couple notches. Don't you feel better already?

GraySkull is home to the anima, the all-knowing woman who gives power to the otherwise ineffectual man. -- Jeff Coleman

it may not be profitable but (3.00 / 1) (#157)
by animal on Tue Sep 24, 2002 at 12:59:17 PM EST

the only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. simple isn't it.
 so get out and exercise more. You will feel a lot better and the weight you lose will be fat so you will look better. it takes hard work so most people don't want to do it, they would rather pay some company for the latest diet then complain when it doesn't work.
 When you starve yourself ( ie go on a diet) you body reacts by stopping the metabolisum of fat, to protect the fat layers for winter the traditional time of low food consumtion, and instead you end up losing weight from muscle tissue.

Yes, but not so simple (none / 0) (#160)
by Timwit on Tue Sep 24, 2002 at 09:39:35 PM EST

While it is true that one must burn more calories than one consumes to lose weight, there is the tricky issue of metabolism and appetite as a control system. Not only can the body adjust its burn rate up or down in response to dietary changes, but appetite changes as well, and willpower is only good for short-term tolerance of discomfort. Simple calorie counting schemes rarely work.

A friend of mine lost 100 pounds over the past year on the "zone diet"--similar to Atkins, but with more  of an emphasis on avoiding fast-acting carbs. I was amazed, I never thought he would be able to do it! And he reports that his hunger went way down too--presumably because slow acting carbs and fats don't cause the insulin rush that can drop blood sugar levels and increase appetite shortly after eating. He notices that if he eats fast acting carbs now, he reverts back to being hungry right away again, like he used to feel all the time.

[ Parent ]

Bread and Milk = Addictive Opiates (2.50 / 2) (#166)
by benzapp on Wed Sep 25, 2002 at 08:19:26 PM EST

For those who truly want to live a healthier lifestyle, lose weight, and be free of many bothersome chronic diseases, I highly suggest reading www.waisays.com Many diet sites are faddish in nature and are rather pointless, but this one is well documented, with virtually every statement referenced to a reputable journal available from the National Institute of Health. Most people are overweight because food today contains much higher levels of addictive foods than in the past. I won't waste your time here, but pretty much anything added to junk food is psychoactive in nature. The biggest culprit is wheat. Wheat contains gluten, of which many people are familiar. Gluten is metabolized into glutomorphine molecules that function just like morphine from the opium poppy. Not only do they cause respiratory suppression, constipation, drowsiness, and withdrawal like morphine does some are 100x as powerful gram for gram. Casein in milk has a similar effect, its purpose is to calm to infant and create an addictive bond. The government wants you to eat lots of bread and milk because it makes you apathetic and easier to control. The roman emperors were not stupid when the only free food they gave out was bread. More than any other tool of the system, narcotics are the most potent because they rob humans of our desire to live and fight, especially those who rule over us. There is much, much more. The site is mostly about acne. Heat damaged protein is the culprit with acne. Since I gave up any cooked proteinious foods, my skin is smoother than you could believe. Acne is essentially an inflammatory autoimmune disorder, your body thinks the cooked meat you ate is an invading organism. It is secreted through your sweat glands, just like when you smell after eating onions. If you suffer from arthritis, acne, constipation, depression.. I highly suggest you read this website. You will be amazed at the information it contains, what I have said here is but a tiny bit with no citations.

Horribly Fallacious (none / 0) (#173)
by knave on Fri Oct 04, 2002 at 04:19:31 PM EST

The link you posted...talk about misinformation. Loose theories based from coincidental relations of food and acne/sex/whatever. The clitoris is a natural reset button? Marijuana is a hallucinagen that can lead to psychosis? The site was more fallacious then a transvestite in Eddy Murphy's car. (weak pun intended)
...but I could be wrong
[ Parent ]
Show me one quotation (none / 0) (#177)
by benzapp on Tue Jan 14, 2003 at 05:48:18 PM EST

Since every sentence on that site is documented to a major medical journal article, you show me which citation is fallacious. As far as Marijuana, its not even discussed. I don't know what site you are discussing, but its not the one I linked to. A quick google of the site indicates "marijuana" is not even a term used. So, get a grip on reality there champ.

[ Parent ]
Don't Rule Out Thyroid Problems... (none / 0) (#167)
by modgoddess on Wed Sep 25, 2002 at 10:54:29 PM EST

Keep in mind that some people who can't lose weight despite dieting and exercise may have a thyroid problem (Hyperthyroidism). There are many uncomfortable symptoms with this disease but it can be diagnosed with a simple blood test (called a TSH Test) and regulated with daily medicine. People who suffer from this often have slow-extremely slow metabolisms, lack energy, and may be frequently hungry.

Atkins (3.00 / 1) (#168)
by enterfornone on Thu Sep 26, 2002 at 10:00:39 AM EST

Unless you eat nothing but meat, Atkins is so unlike anything you would normally be used to eating. That makes it very difficult to stick to.

Here is some interesting info on high protien diets (written by an avocate of very low fat diets, so perhaps a little biased).

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.

count calories (4.00 / 1) (#175)
by tuj on Thu Oct 24, 2002 at 07:33:49 PM EST

I know this is comment 174+, but that doesn't stop me from relating my own anecdotal evidence.

I was 6'2", 215 lbs in July this year. By September 1st I was 185 lbs. Not extraordinary, but still a signifigant change.

I did 2 things:
-the 5Bx each morning, 5 days a week.

-ate the number of calories recommened by the Hackers Diet.

I should mention both of those came from info I read on k5. Its simple: adjust what you eat to fit the number of calories per day. Eat whatever you want. Exercise at least 5 days a week for 11 minutes (no longer, keep the speed up) each day.

damn you people (none / 0) (#176)
by aschafer on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 05:11:21 PM EST

all of you people on diets are messing up evolution. i bet if everyone hogged down on sugarlard all day evolution would figure out a way to burn more calories. why worry about it now when it will all be fixed in a couple million years? of course that doesn't solve any problems for you stupid fat creationists. damn creationists.

Weight Watchers and The Atkins Diet | 182 comments (175 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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