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Low Carbohydrate Diets: Revolution or Quackery?

By McBain in Science
Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:27:11 AM EST
Tags: Food (all tags)
Food

Low carbohydrate diets, in particular the Atkins diet, have recently become widely publicized in the media. An article by Gary Taubes in the New York Times Magazine started this trend in the media, which continues to give these diets a very high profile. Celebrity adherents have added to the glamour and appeal of low carbohydrate diets.

Thousands of dieters have adopted low carbohydrate diets even though the diets challenge conventional  nutritional and medical advice. Dieting is a controversial issue - people invest time and effort into their diet of choice and do not like to see it portrayed as unhealthy or based upon crackpot science. In spite of this, low-carb diets must be held up to rigorous scientific scrutiny to determine whether they actually improve health and help people manage their weight or if they are just a tool of an industry that profits from telling people what they want to hear.


Obesity

Obesity is a public health problem that has reached epidemic proportions, both in the US and globally. 127 million Americans are overweight, 60 million are obese and 9 million are severely obese. This places an unnecessary burden on an already strained health system, as obesity is known to be a primary factor in a number of serious medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Childhood obesity can lead to a lifetime of health problems. In light of this growing epidemic, it is important that people are not misled on matters of nutrition and health.

The Atkins diet

Robert C. Atkins' (1 2) book, Dr Atkins' Diet Revolution, first published in 1972, is one of the 50 bestselling books of all time. It was later reissued as Dr Atkins' New Diet Revolution and in this form has been on the New York Times bestseller list since 1997. The Atkins diet was the first low-carb diet to capture the public imagination and is still the most well-known of all low-carb diets. Atkins died earlier this year. Atkins made his breakthrough in 1963, when he learned of a process known as ketosis from medical journal articles. He decided to try to induce ketosis in himself by refraining from carbohydrates. Within 6 weeks he had not only lost 25 pounds, but felt more energetic and needed less sleep. He began trialling his diet on patients and developing his theories. In 1972 his seminal book was published.

The Atkins diet is designed to control the levels of insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar. Atkins believed that hyperinsulinism, an excess of insulin, was responsible for most weight problems as it causes increased fat storage and appetite. He also theorized that hyperinsulinism is caused by eating too many carbohydrates, particularly processed sugars. As the American diet contains growing amount of sugar, sugar can be seen as a causative factor in the spiralling rates of obesity.

When someone begins the Atkins diet they must start with an two-week "induction" phase in which their carbohydrate intake is drastically reduced. After this, carbohydrate intake may be increased, very slowly, until the dieter reaches the highest amount they can eat without putting on weight, which begins the "maintenance" phase. According to Atkins, this is usually between 20 and 90 grams, whilst an average Americans eat 300 grams of carbohydrate a day. Vegetables, and whole grains may be reintroduced into the diet.

So, does it work?

Nobody really knows. There is good evidence that low carbohydrate diets produce weight loss in the short term. But there's no scientific evidence that it works in the long term. This is suspicious for a diet that has been around for 30 years and is championed by proponents as the diet to end all diets.

Recent mainstream studies of low carb diets (1, 2), while having results slightly in favour of the Atkins diet, have suffered from high drop-out rates and have had statistically insignificant results. Their conclusions can hardly be taken as proof of the Atkins diet. The media were divided in how to interpret the results - some took them as being evidence for the Atkins diet whereas some took the studies as showing the Atkins diet had no benefit.

Here is another inconclusive study that doesn't find either for or against the Atkins diet. Studies have shown that the diet isn't unhealthy; however the fact that the Atkins diet doesn't cause serious disease is hardly a selling point.

Some studies have shown that people who eat high carbohydrate meals may actually carry less fat on their bodies than those who eat fewer carbs in proportion to fat and protein.

Until scientific long term studies of low carbohydrate diets are completed, any benefit of the Atkin diets remains purely speculative. One of the reasons that no such studies have been completed may be because of high drop-out rates.

A low calorie diet by any other name

If the Atkins diet simply restricts dietary choices so much that dieters must reduce their calorie intake, then it is simply acting as a low calorie diet. In this case it wouldn't matter if you reduced your carbohydrate, fat or protein intake as long as you reduced your total calorie intake. The carbohydrate food groups that are eliminated make up large percentages of the average diet: fruits, vegetables, cereals, breads, grains, dairy foods, sweets. Having to form a diet without foods from those groups may be so difficult that less food is necessarily consumed in total.

Indeed, studies have shown that the main weight loss effect of low-carb diets is simply through calorie reduction. In general, it has been found that "energy restriction is the key variable associated with weight reduction", not diet composition.

Osteoporosis and Kidney stones

An excessive intake of animal protein, which is necessary in low carbohydrate diets, will result in more acidic blood as the animal proteins break down into ketones. Alkaline foods such as fruits and vegetables are limited in low-carbohydrate diets and so can't balance the net acidity of the blood. This results in a leeching of minerals from bones by the acid in the blood, including calcium. The transferral of calcium from the bones and into the bloodstream increases the risk of both osteoporosis and kidney stones. This is a good explanation.

Studies have borne this out - low-carb dieters may be faced with increased risks of kidney stones and osteoporosis.

The National Weight Control Registry

With so many conflicting scientific studies being produced, it appears difficult to find any useful information on the best diets to lose weight and to keep that weight off.  Short-term studies, no matter how well conducted, can only show short-term weight loss.  To see long term weight loss, long term studies such as the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) must be used. The NWCR has tracked 3000 individuals for a decade that have lost, on average, 60 pounds for 5 years. Interestingly, their studies show that low-fat low-calories diets are the most successful for long term weight loss.

Ketosis

Ketosis occurs when fat breaks down and produces ketone bodies in the blood stream. Atkins believed that this process was essential to losing weight; in fact he recommended dieters test their urine to ensure that ketosis is taking place.

Once somebody starts a low carb diet, they will be using up their glycogen stored in their liver. But soon (in a few days) this glycogen will run out and because no carbohydrates are being ingested. Ketosis results as the body starts to break down fat and muscle. Ketone bodies are produced in the bloodstream, hence the name.

Cancer

A recent study of 90,000 women has found that a correlation between diets high in animal fat and dairy products and the incidence of of breast cancer.

The Atkins Industry

Atkins has developed an ingenious way to profit from his diet. Because so many food groups are not allowed in strict Atkins regimens, nutritional supplements are required by dieters to meet the Recommended Daily Allowances of nutrients. Fortunately for dieters following, Atkins conveniently has a line of expensive supplements specifically designed to solve this problem.

Additionally, hundreds of low-carb products, such as protein shakes, are being sold on the Internet. Traditional carb-rich food sources such as bread are being passed over by consumers, which has industries worrying. Other industries couldn't be happier with the Atkins effect.

Fruits, vegetables and grains

However, even these expensive supplements will not make up for eating fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. Thousands of phytochemicals are present in such foods and heal a multitude of illnesses. Removing phytochemicals from your diet will negate any such benefits, even if you take nutritional supplements.

There is also evidence that whole grains can improve insulin sensitivity.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute funded a Harvard 12-year study of 74,000 women to determine whether fruits and vegetables had a positive effect on health and weight. The results were conclusive: those women that ate more fruits and vegetable were 26 percent less likely to obese than other women.

However, it is worth noting that not all low carb diets rule out fruits and vegetables.

Cholesterol and Cardiac Disease

Computer analysis of low carbohydrate diets have shown that the increased fat intake leads to greater blood cholesterol and risks of artherosclerosis. The American Heart Association has cautioned against high fat diets. This led to this response from Atkins. Ironically, Atkins himself suffered a heart attack last year. Some studies have actually found that the Atkins diet can reduce heart disease risk factors in dieters.

Conclusion

Whether or not low carbohydrate diets work, diet is still only one half of the puzzle of weight loss. If you use more energy than you eat then you will lose weight - it's a simple physical fact.

Stephen Barrett M.D. sums it up:

There are about 3,500 calories in a pound of body weight. To lose one pound a week, you must consume about 500 fewer calories per day than you metabolize. Most fad diets, if followed closely, will result in weight loss -- as a result of caloric restriction. But they are invariably too monotonous and are sometimes too dangerous for long-term use. Moreover, dieters who fail to adopt better exercise and eating habits will regain the lost weight -- and possibly more.

From the American Obesity Association: Today's youth are considered the most inactive generation in history caused in part by reductions in school physical education programs and unavailable or unsafe community recreational facilities.

If there are no real initiatives by governments, parents, schools and individuals to increase physical exercise, then everyone may pay the price in the future as hospital beds are occupied by the obese.

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Low Carbohydrate Diets: Revolution or Quackery? | 354 comments (326 topical, 28 editorial, 0 hidden)
It's the only way I've been able to lose weight (4.33 / 12) (#6)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 01:51:36 PM EST

Back in 1994, I put on fifty pounds in the space of about three months when I started taking depakote (valproic acid) for my schizoaffective disorder. Weight gain is a common complaint with depakote (and many other psychiatric medications), but I kept taking it because it works so well to control my symptoms.

Over the last nine years, I have tried everything to lose weight. Heavy exercise - lifting weights and doing aerobic exercise in a gym, low fat and low calorie diets, and also taking topamax, which treats the same symptoms as depakote does but sometimes helps one to lose weight. Nothing worked. It's disheartening to work out in a gym every day for six months and not lose a pound. It's also disheartening to have to avoid eating fat, as fat is a large part of what makes food taste good and makes you feel full.

Finally, about a year ago I tried the protein power diet. It's a low-carb diet, not as strict as Atkins though. It took some getting used to, as I really missed bread, pasta and coca cola, but it is a sustainable diet. In particular there is never a need to feel hungry. One thing that you forgot to mention is that consumption of carbohydrates leads to feeling even hungrier in a short period of time, while consumption of fat and protein gives one a satisfying feeling of being full.

One thing I noticed right away is that I stopped having hypoglycemia, which used to cripple me every few afternoons.

It took about six months to lose forty pounds. I went off the diet at that point, but never returned to my old level of consumption of carbs. I stayed at the same weight for several months.

I was 250 pounds on my wedding day in 2000. I'm 5'11" tall. Six months on protein power brought me down to 210 pounds without sufferring. The only problem is that I cannot wear my wedding ring anymore as it slips off my finger - I'm afraid I might lose it if I wear it. It was tight and hard to pull of my finger when I was wed.

After maintaining my 210 pound weight for several months, I decided I wanted to lose the rest. This time I tried Atkins. I have stayed on induction for over a month. I've lost ten pounds and am dropping steadily.

It's a common misconception that low-carb diets are low-calorie diets. Nothing can be further from the truth. In Atkins there is a focus on eating well, and eating substantial quantities of high fat and high protein food. I have bacon for breakfast all the time, and steak for supper several times a week. I don't watch the quantity that I eat at all - I eat as much as I want, I just don't eat any carbs. Just for a snack yesterday I ate about 500 calories worth of macadamia nuts.

One more thing. A couple years ago I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. This is a condition where you stop breathing during the night because you are choking. It is a common condition in overweight people, although there are other things that can cause it. No amount of sleep is restful for someone who suffers from apnea. My wife forced me to see a sleep specialist because she had to fight with me for several hours each day to get me out of bed, because I was so desperately tired despite having slept all night.

The diagnosis of this involved two "sleep studies" where I spent a couple nights in the hospital hooked up to all manner of medical measurement devices, being tape recorded and videotaped, at a cost of $3000.00.

The treatment for apnea is to wear a sort of respirator called a Continuous Positive Air Pressure machine (CPAP) over your nose while you sleep. The pressure forces your airway to stay open. A plastic hose leads to the precisely regulated air pump by the bed. I bought mine used for $600. It's hard to get a mask that fits right and they're never really comfortable. I was able to get more restful sleep that way but I really hated to put the damn mask on every night.

The only other option for treatment suggested to my doctor was surgery, which would be expensive, painful, and not guaranteed to work - there is only a fifty percent success rate with apnea surgery.

But damn me if losing those forty pound with the protein power diet didn't cure my apnea. I sleep just fine now, and don't have to sleep nearly as much, and I don't have to use the damn mask anymore.

My doctor could tell just to look at me that I was overweight. He also had his nurse weigh me each time I visited. But he never once suggested that I try to lose weight.

Nine years of trying to lose weight while taking a medication that causes significant weight gain produced no results, until I tried a low carb diet. I've lost fifty pounds so far. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


It's the only way I've been able to lose weight (4.25 / 4) (#11)
by omegadan on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 02:30:56 PM EST

I wrote my own treatise on the atkins diet, but I wanted to confirm your observation about people who seem to be resistant to loosing weight. I've only been able to loose weight on these "diets":

Way 1: Starvation diet, stop eating. (you loose weight, but alot of it is muscle as well)
Way 2: 300 - 500 calorie diet, and extreme excercise. (After a couple of months your body acclimates and you simply can't excercise anymore)
Way 3:Atkins Diet.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

ack, redux (3.25 / 4) (#13)
by collideiscope on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 02:39:51 PM EST

It's a common misconception that low-carb diets are low-calorie diets.

If you want to loose weight, they should be.


Nothing can be further from the truth. In Atkins there is a focus on eating well, and eating substantial quantities of high fat and high protein food. I have bacon for breakfast all the time, and steak for supper several times a week. I don't watch the quantity that I eat at all - I eat as much as I want, I just don't eat any carbs. Just for a snack yesterday I ate about 500 calories worth of macadamia nuts.

You are eating as much as you want, but the amount you want to eat is reduced, due to the fact that you are eating more protein + fat. If you are reducing bodyfat over a long period of time (and you don't specify that you are actually reducing bodyfat, not just total body weight) you are hypocaloric, whether you believe it or not.

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

Pshaw. Buy an ad, Crawford! (nt) (3.75 / 4) (#17)
by Russell Dovey on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 03:26:08 PM EST


"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Yay, anecdotal "evidence!" (3.00 / 6) (#63)
by grouse on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:22:59 AM EST

With no controls! Trumps comprehensive randomized studies every time!

Hey, I can play at this game too! I know at least two people for whom the Atkins diet hasn't worked. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

whatever (3.33 / 3) (#87)
by tzanger on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 08:49:57 AM EST

every person I know who has not been able to lose weight on Atkins simply has not been doing it right.  Out of about two dozen people, about 1/3 of them claimed they were doing it right but were't.  It was those same people who didn't lose weight, or lost it so slowly that it discouraged them.

When I was on it I lost weight but I was so unhappy on it that it wasn't worth it.  Eating tons of meat is great but I love bread and cheese and pastry too.  My wife did very excellent on it and did everything to try and help me, including funky flours and deserts but in the end I just wanted my real flour and real sugar.

I try to keep weight down now by keeping caloric intake down -- I simply don't like restricting the types of food I eat.

[ Parent ]

Wow, science education in our schools today... (none / 0) (#348)
by debillitatus on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 05:30:21 PM EST

every person I know who has not been able to lose weight on Atkins simply has not been doing it right.

And, lemme guess... you know they weren't doing it because they failed to lose the weight?

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

comprehensive randomized studies (3.50 / 4) (#92)
by speek on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:07:46 AM EST

Where? Which ones are being trumped? When personal and anecdotal is all there is, you'd be a fool to ignore it.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Anecdotal evidence (4.50 / 2) (#113)
by grouse on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:20:18 AM EST

There are two randomized studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May referenced by this article. Although I would be hard-pressed to call them comprehensive.

When personal and anecdotal is all there is, you'd be a fool to ignore it.

No, when personal and anecdotal is all there is, you'd be a fool to draw significant conclusions from it.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

so, we should stop thinking? (3.00 / 3) (#116)
by speek on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:44:31 AM EST

The studies are short term and mostly back atkin's claims (ie, you lose more weight and your blood lipid profile improves). I wouldn't conclude much from them though.

When personal and anecdotal evidence is all there is, might as well go random, huh? Gosh, if science doesn't have the answer, we might as well stop thinking and roll some dice to make decisions. I'll just stop eating till the scientists can agree on the answer to this one.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

anecdotes = data (1.66 / 3) (#203)
by SocratesGhost on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 07:05:46 PM EST

every anecdote is a data point. When you take all the data together, you get conclusion. Don't be so hostile and dismissive of anecdotes.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Lost 40 lbs & kept it off (4.00 / 1) (#305)
by JimNYC on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 12:50:01 AM EST

I tried Atkins, lost 50lbs in 3 months and returning to my old eating habits put 40lbs back on. I then tried the Zone Diet, lost the 40lbs, lowered my blood pressure and chloresteral, started working out and it has been 2 years now. Overall my health is better than it has been in years. With Atkins I was doing a diet. I apporached the Zone as learning how to eat and that did the trick. There is plenty of scientific evidence but the big corporations will overload and confuse the issue as much as possible. A palmfull of protein (turkey, fish, chicken, or 2 eggs), a handfull complex carbs, and fat in the dressing. No simple carbs (bread, pasta, etc) or sugars. Lot's of water. Do it with organic foods and exercise and you're all set. Read a book if you need to.
Jim NYC
[ Parent ]
some comments (4.50 / 4) (#8)
by omegadan on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 02:19:14 PM EST

So, does it work? Nobody really knows.

This really isn't an accurate statement. People who adhere to the Atkins diet will loose weight at about twice the "normal" rate. However, most people seem to plateu around 3 months or 40 pounds lost.

If the Atkins diet simply restricts dietary choices so much that dieters must reduce the calorie intake

This is also, misleading at best. How can you claim that Ketosis is part of the process of breaking down fat, then claim that inducing ketosis is no different then a regular diet?

Now it *is* true that "Atkins Industry" is profiteering. Food designed for atkins dieters is outrageously expensive

As for the cancer/heart disease argument, you can't go hog wild on the atkins diet and eat whatever the crap you want, Dr. Atkins makes that claim on teh cover of the book, and then slowly retracts it throughout the book, VERY irresponsible. You still have to watch your cholesterol/fats/etc, and you can't eat meat all day. I seem to be eating mostly, Salad's, Soy Meat, Nuts, Zuchini, Eggplant, Eggs, and meats like pastrami, baccon, sausage, and beef (I try to stay away from them, but wow it's hard when you're starving).

So now on to my own experience with the Atkins diet. I have tried it twice, the first time I lost 40lbs, gave up, and gained it all back and then some. Which was my own fault, I wasn't prepared to accept a "normal" diet, and saw the atkins diet as a quick fix. Fast forward 4 years, I've become a Type 2 diabetic after deciding in college that "sugar was the perfect food." After being forced into different eating habits by diabetes, I am prepared to accept a new lifestyle and am loosing about .4 pounds A DAY with a combination of a strenous excercise plan and the atkins diet. This figure does not include muscle mass gain or water weight gain from excercising.

The atkins diet is also the ideal diet for diabetics. I don't require *any* medication on the atkins diet, and I'm loosing the weight which is making me diabetic in the first place.

The atkins diet is a tool, and its not right for everyone, but, it is right for some people. Of course there is risk to it, but I think the fact remains that it is far LESS risky than being seriously overweight. Anyways, just some thoughts on the article.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley

ack (3.33 / 3) (#12)
by collideiscope on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 02:35:10 PM EST


This really isn't an accurate statement. People who adhere to the Atkins diet will loose weight at about twice the "normal" rate. However, most people seem to plateu around 3 months or 40 pounds lost.

This is because weight lost on Atkins is typically water + muscle weight, not true fat loss.

The atkins diet is also the ideal diet for diabetics. I don't require any medication on the atkins diet, and I'm loosing the weight which is making me diabetic in the first place.

You mean a ketogenic diet which restricts or carefully manages carbs, and therefore improves insulin sensitivity and resistance, is an ideal diet for diabetics. The Atkins diet is not the only ketogenic diet out there, and it is far from the best.

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

given the topic (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by speek on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 03:44:34 PM EST

People ought to be more careful about their assertions. Show me proof of your assertion that atkins weight loss is water and muscle. Insulin promotes the storage of carbs into fat in your body, Atkin's diet reduces your insulin, so intuitively, your assertion seems off base.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

well.... (4.00 / 1) (#25)
by collideiscope on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 03:51:36 PM EST

There are about 3-4 grams of water for every gram of glycogen stored in the body. Cut out the carbs for a while and you'll deplete your glycogen stores -- and the attendant water.

The initial "whoosh" of weight loss that accompanies the Atkins induction period is primarily water. It's just not possible to loose actual body mass (fat or LBM) as fast as some folks loose "weight" on Atkins.

As for proof: I'm planning to write an article about ketogenic diets, and I'll cite some studies there. For right now, I can just offer my own experience: after a month of cyclic ketogenic dieting (carbs < 50 / day) I step on the scale in the morning and weigh 140. The next day I eat an enormous amount of carbohydrates and no fat. The next morning I get on the scale and I weigh 150. OMG, did I just gain 10 lbs of fat in one day? Nope, I just gained 10 lbs of water. The same thing works the other way.

Try it yourself, it works. It's a great party trick.

Additionally, most of the studies which support the Atkins diet are crap studies that only measured body weight changes in the short term (i.e. 1-3 weeks) without even looking at body composition (a far more important measure of diet success). They more or less saw that initial "whoosh" of water and cried "Eurka!". Prematurely.

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

muscle (none / 0) (#31)
by speek on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 05:33:12 PM EST

I was mostly challenging your assertion about muscle. I already know about the water part of things.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

not muscle specifically (none / 0) (#54)
by collideiscope on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 11:12:01 PM EST

I wasn't trying to zero in on muscle weight specifically as what is usually lost on Atkins. I was using the LBM / water example primarily to point out that the studies that support Atkins did not take body composition into account.

I guess my problem is just that you could put someone on 200g fat, 20g protein and 20g carbs and call it an Atkins diet and they would be catabolic as hell.


-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

oh (none / 0) (#90)
by speek on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:05:59 AM EST

so you just threw in the muscle thing for effect then. And your reductio absurdum diet is not particularly interesting for this debate either. I could eat 1200 calories of sugar, and I doubt I'd lose any fat on my body. Does that disprove your notion that "it's all about the calories"?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

nope (none / 0) (#132)
by collideiscope on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:38:56 PM EST

It doesn't.

<cite>could eat 1200 calories of sugar, and I doubt I'd lose any fat on my body. Does that disprove your notion that "it's all about the calories"?<cite>

You could eat 1200 calories of Snickers every day and, (assuming your daily maintenance calorie requirement is above 1200 calories) and you would loose weight.

Depending on how your body comp. is when you started this Snickers diet, you may or may not loose primarily muscle weight for the first few weeks. Or you may loose primarily fat weight (if you didn't have much muscle to start with).

The truth is just that yes, you would eventually achieve that "Stickboy" look that is was so chic with all the heroin models a while back.

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

ack ack (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by omegadan on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 03:47:49 PM EST

This is because weight lost on Atkins is typically water + muscle weight, not true fat loss.

This is simply false. One of the factors controling water retention is the ammount of glycogen stored in your liver, and it is not uncommon to loose 3 - 5 pounds of water a day for the first 2 or 3 days. When that glycogen store is depleted, the rapid weight loss also stops, and the atkins diet settles into a "normal" weight loss in the range of 1 - 4 pounds per week. This weight loss is *mostly* fat. Over the course of a year my aunt has lots 70 pounds on the atkins diet under the supervision of the weight-loss profiteers at a local glendora clinic. Quackery aside, this woman didn't have 70 pounds of muscle, or water, or anything else. The *point* of eating protien is to prevent your body from metabolizing muscle. Ketosis is your bodies response to starvation. During starvation, your body metabolizes fat for the energy it needs, and muscle for the protein it needs. Eat protein and minimize (but not halt) your bodies need to metabolize muscle. I seem to remember a study found that something like 15% of the weight loss on an atkins diet was muscle mass.

You mean a ketogenic diet which restricts or carefully manages carbs, and therefore improves insulin sensitivity and resistance, is an ideal diet for diabetics. The Atkins diet is not the only ketogenic diet out there, and it is far from the best.

I can't argue with this :) Note I am not a diehard atkins defender, but, it simply does work.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

the real question: *does it work* (none / 0) (#66)
by collideiscope on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:54:55 AM EST

Well of course it works. It works, in the same way cutting your lawn with a pair of scissors works. It's not magic, and it's not what he said it was, and it's not even remotely based on sound science, but it does work.

The question then becomes whether or not anyone cares to get rid of the scissors and buy that riding mower.

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

hehe ok (none / 0) (#71)
by omegadan on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 04:54:35 AM EST

what diet plan is the mower then?

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

there's an article about it (none / 0) (#131)
by collideiscope on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:34:17 PM EST

in the works <nt>

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]
The mower is (4.66 / 3) (#135)
by Gorgonzola on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:51:32 PM EST

  1. regular body exercise. Don't take that bloody car for a drive two blocks further, walk that distance. Same thing applies for taking an elevator to move up two floors;
  2. Have a big breakfast, a medium sized lunch and a small diner;
  3. Variety in food;
  4. Try to keep down on the processed sugars and carbs, they are way too easy to absorb for your body;
  5. Did I mention excercise?

--
A page a day keeps ignorance of our cultural past away, or you can do your bit for collaborative media even if you haven't anything new or insightful to say.

[ Parent ]
Have a big breakfast? (5.00 / 1) (#168)
by Yekrats on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 03:48:33 PM EST

2.  Have a big breakfast, a medium sized lunch and a small diner;
That is simply foolish.

Why not a medium-sized healthy breakfast, a medium-sized healthy lunch, and a medium-sized healthy dinner? Then if you're hungry, a couple of small healthy snacks.

If you have a small dinner at dinner time (6:30pm?) you will be starving yourself for about 12 hours until breakfast. Your body will revolt: "I'm being starved. I've gotta hold onto this fat!" And so you will. Starving yourself and then pigging out in the morning will send your insulin on a roller-coaster ride.

Also, if you eat too much in your morning meal, it will stretch your stomach out, making you miss the food later when you have your medium lunch and small dinner. I think the body expects moderate-sized meals. Eating like you suggest, you will be hungry.

I've lost about 50 pounds over the past year, down to a nice 160#. My wife has lost the same or more, down to 135#. We almost always have a snack right before bed to tide us over until our medium-sized breakfast in the morning. We also generally have an afternoon snack between lunch and dinner.

[ Parent ]

No roller coaster (1.00 / 1) (#219)
by TheSleeper on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:46:35 PM EST

If you have a small dinner at dinner time (6:30pm?) you will be starving yourself for about 12 hours until breakfast. Your body will revolt: "I'm being starved. I've gotta hold onto this fat!" And so you will. Starving yourself and then pigging out in the morning will send your insulin on a roller-coaster ride.

There won't be any insulin roller-coaster if your big breakfast contains sufficient fat, protein, and fiber to slow the digestion of the starches and sugars.

A couple of years ago, I took a vacation and visited an old friend that I hadn't seen since college. When I came back and looked at the photos, I realized that I'd become somewhat... puffy. Not seriously obese, but clearly headed in that direction.

I adopted an eating program that involved restricting calories somewhat (mostly by cutting out refined carbohydrates), and eating most of my calories early in the day -- I'd eat a big breakfast (bacon, 3 eggs, can of sardines, some fruit) and a moderate lunch (content varied -- usually salad, meat, and fruit), and a tiny dinner that consisted of a salad, or maybe some spinach with a bit of olive oil and parmesan cheese.

This worked spectacularly for me -- I lost the weight I wanted (about 15 lbs) in 2-3 months, without once feeling that my willpower was being tested.

[ Parent ]

Peer-reviewed study that refute your thesis (4.14 / 7) (#9)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 02:26:23 PM EST

Here's an article from the New England Journal of Medicine that says you're wrong:

Only the abstracts are available online. To get the full article text you have to pay. But you might be able to find the dead-tree edition in a university library.

Note that the group that practiced the low-carb diet had significant improvements in both insulin sensitivity and triglyceride levels. Letting either one get out of control can be deadly.

It is commonly reported that people who use low-fat diets have improvements in their cholesterol levels. You wouldn't expect this because of all the meat that most Atkins dieters eat. This is explained by the fact that most of the cholesterol in your body is produced by your own body. In particular, people with a genetic predisposition for high cholesterol will have it - and the danger of stroke and heart attack - no matter how small a quantity of cholesterol they consume. It is only by making your body produce less of it that cholesterol can be reduced.

Also understand that cholesterol medication is expensive and can have serious side effects. It's much better to use the Atkins diet than to have to depend on cholesterol medication.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Oopsy, I meant low-carb, not low-fat (4.33 / 3) (#10)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 02:28:50 PM EST

It is commonly reported that people who use low-fat diets

I meant low-carb. Sorry for the confusion.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Selective quotation of the literature (4.75 / 4) (#62)
by grouse on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:14:29 AM EST

What Mr. Crawford failed to mention was that there is another study on the very next page of the same issue of that journal. The paper Mr. Crawford references describes a six-month study, while the other study lasted for twelve months. The twelve-month study found comparable results at six months, but by the time a whole year had run around there was no statistically significant difference between those on low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets.

Both of these studies warn that more studies are needed before anyone can make conclusive statements such as "this study refutes such-and-such thesis." And as far as McBain's thesis ("If you use more energy than you eat then you will lose weight") goes, it is hard to deny the veracity of it. He admitted that short-term studies have shown short-term results and even referenced the same paper Mr. Crawford discusses here, so it is hard to see anything new out of this.

Even the study Mr. Crawford quotes shows that the amount of weight lost is a better predictor of improvement in triglyceride and insulin levels than being on the low-carbohydrate diet.

Also, I am still waiting to see the comprehensive peer-reviewed studies that support Mr. Crawford's assertion that a low-carbohydrate diet is as effective as cholesterol medication. I will probably be waiting for a while, since there aren't any.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

It seems sensible (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by DrH0ffm4n on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:06:01 AM EST

If you use more energy than you eat then you will lose weight

This seems fairly sensible, but is a gross implification of how energy from food is metabolised by the body. Not all energy present in food is absorbed by digestion or easily stored by the body if not used. The simplification completely ignores any energy content is waste products passed from the body.

Energy in the food eaten minus energy in the waste passed out is the net amount of energy consumed. Also, the net energy consumed goes to all sorts of purposes, including physical exertion, repair, general 'ticking over' functionality of the body, etc.

---
The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.

[ Parent ]

Weight Lost (none / 0) (#320)
by pauliephonic on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 09:26:14 AM EST

True bill, but the truth is it is much easier to lose weight with an Atkins type approach because the approach itself requires less willpower. It doesn't feel like a diet. You just swap some foods for others AND you eat as much as you want, as often as you want and the food is much tastier. I used to eat loads of bread, potatoes and freedom fries, and I sometimes miss how easy it is to stock up on simple energy this way but I can honestly say (and this from the number one food lover in de world) I dont REALLY miss them. True some of the weight may be lost due to the fact it is hard to snack at work without resort to carbs (most tea trolleys have sandwiches, potatoe chips, buns, biscuits etc) but I don't feel hungry and therefore its easier to not snack on carbs. Barring definite evidence that Atkins is harmful (and all my personal experience points to the reverse) I can't see myself stopping it. It is actually enjoyable to be able to pig out guilt free. Wowaweewa! P
- - Nice, you guys did seperation of church and state, now hurry up and do seperation of business and state will ya!!
[ Parent ]
hmmm (4.60 / 5) (#18)
by speek on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 03:27:20 PM EST

If you take out the following things from your article:
  1. Epidemiology studies which can be interpreted in multiple false ways. I could play the epidemiology game and ask when obesity really took off in America, and when low-fat eating became prevalent.
  2. Incorrect statements regarding Atkin's diet and the "dangers" of ketosis. There is no connection between ketosis from low-carb dieting and ketoacidosis from going into diabetic coma. Actually, they result from rather different causes and processes. Also, Atkins diet does not restrict veggies much at all. You are encouraged to eat up everything green and leafy, and most everything else too, carrots being a notable exception - but even then, it's only limited, not denied. It's also entirely dependent on the individual. A person who's never been fat and never increased their insulin sensitivity could probably do Atkins and find their daily tolerable carb intake reached 100 grams or more. The fact that it's usually fat people who try this, who have great sensitivity due to pre-diabetic problems, means that most atkins dieters are restricted to awful-sounding maximums of carbs. But, it's entirely individual, the way diets should be.
  3. studies that demonstrate something by showing that action "A" results in condition "B" which is "believed" to lead to "C", and therefore concluding action "A" causes "C". Since the whole atkins diet suggests, with a good amount of evidence, that many of our associative beliefs that "B" leads to "C" are based on questionable or no evidence, such studies have to show more. For instance, it's assumed that high cholesterol intake leads to high cholesterol blood levels. Show me the proof. Likewise, assumptions about what leads to kidney stones and osteoporosis are based on a "well, that makes sense, don't it" kind of evidence rather than on hard-core studies. If it were true, they could demonstrate direct correlations between action "A" and result "C". I notice the studies you linked to do not show such direct results.
There's not much left. The lack of studies of low-carb diets is a horrible state of affairs, hardly blamable on Atkins (those his foundation does fund are attacked because of their funding source...). The AMA always wanted to shut Atkins down, but didn't want to do it scientifically, preferring congressional hearing instead. It frankly pisses me off that certain powers-that-be would rather leave us to our intuitional senses of dietary truth rather than find solid answers to our questions.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

Prevalence of low-fat eating? (3.75 / 4) (#65)
by stormie on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:51:36 AM EST

I could play the epidemiology game and ask when obesity really took off in America, and when low-fat eating became prevalent.

Just out of curiosity, do you really believe low-fat eating is prevalent in America?

I ask because Atkins' book makes constant reference to the establishment telling people more and more stridently to eat less fat, while people get fatter and fatter - but I honestly have never seen any evidence that any of those fatter and fatter people are actually doing what the establishment recommends!

I'm not saying that the Atkins diet doesn't work - I tried it for a while, and it seemed effective. But it was just unbearable. I really don't have that much desire to eat all the lardy goodness that he revels in so much in his book. Being able to eat all the meat and butter I wanted just isn't that "luxurious" to me. I also lost a bunch of weight on a low-fat diet and it was much less onerous. I did put some of it back on, but I think that was purely due to living in the UK for a while and spending too many months of the year drinking beer and never going outside. :-)



[ Parent ]
I do (3.00 / 2) (#95)
by speek on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:18:45 AM EST

I think if you compare a 50's family diet with a 90's family diet, the 90's family is eating less fat - almost certainly less saturated fat. But they are more than making up for it in sugar.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Yes, it's a conspiracy! (1.00 / 2) (#68)
by grouse on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:59:24 AM EST

It frankly pisses me off that certain powers-that-be would rather leave us to our intuitional senses of dietary truth rather than find solid answers to our questions.

And they refuse to acknowledge the benefits of tinfoil hats too!

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

More Propaganda (none / 0) (#331)
by numark on Sat Aug 09, 2003 at 06:36:51 AM EST

Intutional senses of dietary truth? Face it, you're getting your dietary recommendations out of a book! I find nothing regarding intuition in that. And frankly, I'm getting sick of hearing this conspiracy theory crap that Atkins apologists are always bringing up whenever someone opposes them.

I haven't seen Atkins come up with anything better than the medical community has. You say in one sentence that it's not alright for studies to show simply a probable link between events, yet you're willing to go faithfully with the word of any random guy who comes up with a diet that makes you feel good?

In response to your request for proof that high cholesterol intake leads to high cholesterol levels, I point you to an AHA study linked here. It states, "High cholesterol intake increased LDL cholesterol levels in all genetic categories except in the apo E2 phenotype..." It will be noted that according to this Duke University page, people with apo E2 are relatively rare and that the vast majority of people react to higher cholesterol intake with higher LDL levels in their blood.

Convinced yet?

[ Parent ]
eat using common sense (3.00 / 4) (#21)
by zephc on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 03:42:58 PM EST

eat all kinds of foods in moderation, and don't Super Size your portions, it's that simple... just not necessarily easy.

If it were that simple (4.50 / 2) (#24)
by speek on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 03:47:58 PM EST

What's changed in the past 30 years to make our problems with obesity explode? If it doesn't matter what you eat, only how much, why are people eating more these days than they used to, and why can't they stop?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

physicality (5.00 / 6) (#27)
by Work on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 04:04:48 PM EST

here's how to lose weight (and it works, very simple): Eat less calories. Calories unused are turned into fat. And then, use more calories through physical work and labor. Or exercise.

Obesity has exploded with the rise of television. Prior to 30 years ago, TV programming was still rare and crude, with only a handful of shows on during the day. Since then we've seen the rise of network TV and above all, cable TV with 24 hours a day entertainment.

So we watch way too much TV and sit on our asses. But TV isn't the only thing to blame. The economy has moved from a labor economy to a service. You're much more likely to find a worker sitting at a desk behind a computer screen than one sweating it out in a steel mill.

Further, food portions have exploded. Food is much easier to come by now, there are more choices than ever and production is simply astounding.

Next, working mothers. More women work now than ever, therefore children are usually sat in front of the TV to keep them out of trouble. Coupled with high sugared foods, kids these days are amazingly overweight. Go to any elementary school today and compare the photos of kids from when you or I were there. The kids are fat.

These eating and tv habits continue on well into adulthood. Though TV is now being replaced with the internet, the effect is going to be no less worse.

[ Parent ]

but how? (4.25 / 4) (#30)
by speek on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 05:32:27 PM EST

The factors you cite, and I mostly agree, don't tell me how to do that one thing (eat less calories) that will help me lose weight. Since my job doesn't provide exercise, since there's no one who stays home and cooks good food for me, since my most fiscally responsible choices food-wise are big-portion, low-nutrient choices, and given that when I was an 8-year-old kid I got fat without much choice as a result of all this, and that once fat, I've become more prone to problems like diabeties and insulin sensitivity and other problems that work to keep me fat, how do I go and eat less calories?

Counting calories doesn't work (how much proof of this do we need?). I get hungry, then tired, then depressed, and then either I say fuck it eat, or I stay depressed and lose my job, my family, my life, etc. In any case, people do poorly just counting calories.

Anyway, the above scenario doesn't describe me, but I think it does describe a lot of people, and certainly a lot of future adults. I don't think telling them "eat fewer calories" is going to work - do you? From personal experience, however, I have found that eating lots of fat and protein do two things for me: it stabilizes my mood - I no longer get sleepy mid-afternoon and I no longer get hunger headaches and spells of serious irritability and inability to make decisions; and it keeps me from being hungry - I no longer am ravenously hungry at 11AM every day. Dinner I can take it or leave it. The majority of my eating now, frankly, is based on pleasure rather than hunger, and if I had a serious weight problem, that fact would help me to eat less.

So, I conclude that when one person says: "eat less, you'll weight less", and another says, "avoid carbs, you'll be less hungry, more happy, and will find it easier to eat less, and therefore weigh less", I find that second voice far more useful and likely to lead to results.

The main argument, IMO, is not whether eating less calories leads to weight loss, the argument is whether avoiding carbs makes it easier to lose weight, yes, primarily by helping you eat less calories, secondarily by other means that are admittedly more controversial.

The other part of the argument has to do with whether the diet is safe, and no studies have shown any danger to it. Circumstantial evidence and assumptions point to danger, but the studies that have been done don't bear out those assumptions.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

You must exercise. (5.00 / 5) (#36)
by Work on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 08:18:35 PM EST

If you're willing to do the exercise required to burn off the excess, you can eat however you like. Typical food wasn't much healthier in the past than it is today (though, it was less processed so this may not actually be true), but people were much more active.

Obesity more often than not is a question of lifestyle. Beyond changing the calories you eat, you must change your eating habits. Do you eat only when hungry, or do you eat at a specific time each day? How far before going to bed is your last meal? If someone only eats when they are hungry, and then only eats a small amount required to eliminate the hunger, they have taken a first step. You don't have to go hungry. But you only eat when you ARE hungry, and eat enough to remove that hunger. And of course, the food you eat at that time is preferably balanced nutrient wise.

Your body readily adapts to situations. Give it a week or two to adjust. Weakness is generally a sign of poor nutrition - not enough iron and what not. Buy vitamin supplements. Or if you simply must snack on something now and then, make it a fruit. The fresher the better. One can't exagerrate how much better real fresh fruit tastes...

In my opinion, food is perhaps 25% of the weight question. Thats a number im pulling out of my ass, but I really think that if people stopped sitting around and simply were more active, their weight problems would be far more manageable, and require much less sacrifice. Doing something as benign as walking a couple of miles each day, and sticking to the regime for a few weeks would likely lead to results.

[ Parent ]

Spot on, brother (4.00 / 1) (#39)
by smallstepforman on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 08:57:25 PM EST

Yep, food is (number out of thin air) 25% the problem with obesity, while the other 75% is due to lack of exercise. Check to see how much active people eat (and by active, I mean people who dont sit on their butts all day), thats all the evidence you need that diet isn't a critical factor when it comes to body shape. The problem is indeed psychological, and lets face it, obese people are that way because they are lazy, and they are willing to try any minimum effort diet to lose weight. Here's a clue - you're fat because your lazy, not because of too much carbohydrates/protein/fat/whatever. Move more, eat less, thats the road to hapiness.

Disclaimer - I'm not a doctor, and I do understand that some people have a medical problem, hence their obesity, but for 99.9% of the population this disclaimer doesn't apply.

[ Parent ]

Wrong Song - Excercise Not An Answer (4.66 / 3) (#46)
by thelizman on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 10:12:17 PM EST

If you're willing to do the exercise required to burn off the excess, you can eat however you like.
This is absolutely untrue, and epitomizes part of the public misconception about the obesity epidemic.

For startes, excercse typically accounts for less that 20% of caloric expenditure. The lions share - some 50% - is consumed by the body just doing it's thing. This is known as "Resting Metabolic Rate". I've said that much before, but I'll even give you the math to show it ('cause you're special).

Take your weight in kilograms. (If in pounds, divide by 2.2 to convert to kilos). If you are between 18 and 30, multiply your weight in kilos by 15.3 and add 679. If you are over 30, multiply your weight in kilos by 11.6 and add 879. Either way, the number you get is the number of calories your body consumes in 12 hours of sleep. For me, that's 1993 calories / day (yes, I'm back up to 280, but I'm not going to cry about it cause I'm still 55 lbs below my maximum weight). Compare that to your energy expenditure while running or jogging. Multiply your weight, times the amount of time you run in minutes, times .060 for moderate running, and .104 for vigorous running. For me, its 468 calories in 30 minutes of moderate jogging.

So, do I run for 2 and a half hours, or do I sleep for twelve? Well neither, really. The average person needs about 8 hours of sleep, though that varies. It's very important that you get as much sleep as you need, and don't short yourself. Sleep is when your body repairs itself, and your mind rests. But I also need to excercise. Excercise increases cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and overall mental health. Anyone here who has gone to a fat tired slob to a fit individual (like I did) can attest to the tremendous ego boost you get. But, more importantly, excercise increases your RMR, so that even as you lose weight, your RMR will decrease more gradually than if you simply got liposuction one day and were skinny.

Trivia note: A pound of muscle will burn 3 calories an hour just maintaing muscle tone. So increasing muscle mass is a quick way to jump start fat burning, especially if you can't maintain cardio level excercises.

So in short, excercise is a key componant to fitness and weight loss, but you have to control what is coming in, both in terms of quantity AND quality.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Dude (2.00 / 3) (#50)
by A Proud American on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 10:55:53 PM EST

You keep spending a half-hour on comment after comment trying to prove to us that physical activity has nothing to do with physical appearance.

I call bullshit.

Start a no-nonsense, no-bullshit, no-excuses exercise program in which you workout every other day.  Stop eating crappy food and start thinking of food as what it is -- energy, or fuel for your body.  Would you dump maple syrup into your car's tank?  Of course not.  So stop purposefully damaging your own body and then thinking of reasons not to fix the mistakes.

Take control of your life and responsibilities for your actions.  Don't blame the big bad calorie monster for your worries.  Genetics?  That excuse is a cop-out.  If you want to lose weight and you want to become a healthy human being, you will have to be physically fit.

____________________________
The weak are killed and eaten...


[ Parent ]

No, DUDE (4.66 / 3) (#97)
by thelizman on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:31:16 AM EST

You keep spending a half-hour on comment after comment trying to prove to us that physical activity has nothing to do with physical appearance.

I call bullshit.
That's because you're ignorant. This is a scientific fact - excercise alone cannot effect body change, which was the point of the previous post. It's part of an overall lifestyle change>

I've lost more than you'll ever weigh. So before you call bullshit, you might want to check your facts.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
er... (none / 0) (#58)
by Work on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:02:09 AM EST

Excercise Not An Answer

excercise is a key componant to fitness and weight loss, but you have to control what is coming in, both in terms of quantity AND quality.

Is that not exactly what i've been arguing? Food is a part of it, obviously, and so is exercise. Christ, you'd think you only read the last paragraph, and even then missed the from-assed '25%' part.

[ Parent ]

nitpick (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by collideiscope on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:49:20 AM EST

Multiply your weight, times the amount of time you run in minutes, times .060 for moderate running, and .104 for vigorous running.

Please define "vigorous" and "moderate".

I'm not trying to troll, I'm just pointing out that you can only get so far with fancy calculations of how much energy your body is buring at X time. Every equation you're going to run into anywhere is an estimate based on another estimate based on yet another estimate. Stack up enough estimates and you start getting relatively crap numbers.

They're a starting point, for sure. But they're not much more than that.

Now, you could try to refine these formulae, but in my experience most folks would rather just try something, see if it works, and if it doesn't - change it.

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

Not So Simple (4.50 / 2) (#44)
by thelizman on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 09:52:32 PM EST

The calorie as a unit of food energy has long been known to be nothing more than a "good idea". However, you have to contend with the notion of digestion. Not all of the caloric content of a given food is human-useable.

Fats contain 9 calories per gram. Proteins and carbs both contain 4 calories per gram. But, fats and proteins are harder to break down than carbs. People on the Atkins diet will lose weight on 3000 calore per day diets, because there is little net gain in actual caloric intake by the digestive system. There is, in fact, an entire class of foods which require more energy to digest then they yield. These are known as Catabolic foods.

Meanwhile, excercise only accounts for at most 20% of the caloric expenditure of the human body. My fat ass, running on a treadmill, burns some 700 calories in 30 minutes of running. My Resting Metabolic Rate is such that I burn 1249 calories in 12 hours of sleep. RMR accounts for up to 55% of the calories you burn. Excercise raises your RMR, and that is what it is good for. People should excercise for good muscle tone, and for overall fitness.

Getting back to the calorie, the way scientists resolve the conflict between caloric value of foods and the calorie yield of that same food from digestion is by calculating the number of calories consumed in digestion. That comes to 15% and 25% of total caloric expenditure.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Exercise (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by pmc on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:06:17 PM EST

Meanwhile, excercise only accounts for at most 20% of the caloric expenditure of the human body.

Depends on the human to dergree, but 20% is not even close to maximum. According to your estimate above my base metabolic rate is about 3050 calories, which seems about right. But my daily exercise during a "hard week" is daily 1.5 hrs hard cycling (1400 calories) and 60 minutes hard rowing (about 1200 calories), which gives about 2600 exercise calories. Although elevated metabolic rate claws some of this back its still more than 20%. I know people - not even professional athletes - who have much, much higher exercise schedules than me, and will easily get more than 50% of daily calories consumed in exercise.

[ Parent ]

Caloric expenditure as a function of metabolism (none / 0) (#186)
by thelizman on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 05:41:39 PM EST

Depends on the human to dergree, but 20% is not even close to maximum.
For an average individual, 20% is the extreme maximum. Why do you think phsyically fit people have such a hard time gaining any extra performance? Athletes may push the 30% mark, but they are an exception. From what you described, your "hard week" places you in a higher league than the average person trying to just drop a dozen or so pounds.

I'd like to know how you derived your caloric expenditures, as well. According to my calculations, you'd have to weigh at least 219 lbs to see 1400 calories from cycling 90 minutes vigorously, and 317 lbs for moderate cycling. I hope you're not trusting that gauge on the dash of a stationary bike...those are hella inaccurate.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Exercise (none / 0) (#229)
by pmc on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 05:43:54 AM EST

The rowing machine (which is also called an ergometer) measures it accurately, and has a calories per hour display on it (as well as total calories). It's calculated for a 80kg person, so with me being 102kg it underestimates.

Cycling is pessimistic estimate too - I have a road bike which I cycle to and from work. 30 miles total in 90 minutes. This beats the "cycling vigourously" thing on the wall of the gym (which gives 1400 calories for 90 minutes at 21 km/h - I average more like 30km/h). The route contains some short but nasty (15% gradient) hills. The total seems about right - my HR sits more or less at the top of the anaerobic zone (except on the hills - both up and down) and I know that I can produce comfortably 1000 cal/hr sitting here.

Just to reiterate I am do nowhere near the quantity of exercise that other people I know do, or even what I have done in the past - average of 100 miles per day cycling which gives about 8000 calories per day according to the calculation above (this almost certianly is an overestimate - 5000 would be nearer the mark). This would be about 60% of my daily calorie requirement at the time.

[ Parent ]

Personal data point (none / 0) (#304)
by Arkaein on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 12:14:26 AM EST

A few years back in college I was using one of those elliptic walking machines (where your feet move forward or backward in an ellipse and your arms push vertical bars back and forth).

I only weighed about 160 lbs, but according to the digital readout on the machine the best I ever did was 1200 calories in one hour. So unless you have some reason to believe this could be incorrect (and it was consistent across several machines), the numbers given for cycling and rowing seem quite reasonable to me.

----
The ultimate plays for Madden NFL 2003
[ Parent ]

Right on there... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
by Psycho Dave on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 07:27:07 PM EST

I just got a health club membership barely a month ago. Been going at least three times a week. Despite the fear the first couple of times you go, eventually you always come out of good workout with a spring in your step.

Started eating better too. Not that I was addicted to crap...I hardly ever drink soda, almost always skip dessert, try not to eat too much fast food...but I've found ways to cut back further. No more mayonnaise or cheese on sandwich at Subway. Go for the salad when the reuben used to do. The only thing I still have an unhealthy weakness for is Mexican food.

The result, in the past three weeks, I've lost four pounds. May not sound that much, especially if you believe these diet pill ads that say you'll drop 30lbs by September. Really, if you're losing more than 2lbs a week, you're not eating enough.

Eat less, excercise more. Looking for a shortcut is a waste of time.

[ Parent ]

Ketoacidosis (4.28 / 7) (#28)
by Mick Strider on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 04:57:26 PM EST

Just a note on Ketoacidosis.

When I was in the military I spent several months at a time on a far more carbohydrate restricted diet than Atkins recommended. (Read Body Opus by Dan Duchaine). I cycled through the diet for about 8 months, went off for 3 or so, than went back on for another 8 months.

Doctors did regular blood work and I never showed any signs or felt any effects of ketoacidosis despite not doing anything in particular to avoid it. It is my understanding that a few northern cultures go through long periods of carbohydrate restricton without suffering.

I suspect that ketoacidosis is something that doctors have hyped a bit to discourage people from trying to restrict their carbohydrates. Doctors are generally very poor nutritionists, particularly if you are interested in doing something out of the ordinary with your body. Go to your local GP and ask him what you should eat if you are training to lie motionless in 120F heat for several days, then jump up and run like a madman. He'll probably tell you the same thing he told the obese housewife who wanted to lose 100 lbs.

correction (5.00 / 2) (#38)
by speek on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 08:43:55 PM EST

Ketosis is not ketoacidosis. I doubt you experienced ketoacidosis, which is essentially what happens to diabetics in a coma.

However, replace "ketoacidosis" with "ketosis" in your post, and it is essentially accurate - that is, doctors seem to fear it, for no good reason.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Editing (none / 0) (#77)
by Mick Strider on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 07:31:35 AM EST

References to ketoacidosis were edited out of the original story after I posted. I am well aware that my body spent long periods of time in a ketogenic state. Ketosticks confirmed it, although once I had been through the transition a time or two I was aware of exactly when things happened. Increased acidity in the blood is caused by ketosis. Doctors tend to fear acidosis for the reason you described above, as that is one of the few causes given for it in med school. In reality the condition isn't harmful at the levels a person experiences it on even the most radical of ketogenic diets, although the medical industry has criticized virtually every one of them since Pennington for it. My original post only sought to refute the story's light mention of ketoacidosis as a reason the medical industry frowning on low carbohydrate diets. It should not be a concern. Particularly on an diet as lax as Atkins recommended.

[ Parent ]
fair enough (nt) (none / 0) (#94)
by speek on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:11:38 AM EST


--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Contradictions? (3.00 / 1) (#29)
by levesque on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 05:11:41 PM EST

This study seems to support low carb diets.

This study seems to contradict the first one's conclusions.

This article might help clear things up a bit.

Biased Source (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by thelizman on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 09:41:23 PM EST

Atkins has withstood peer review. Nutricise is trying to sell you something. I'm not sure this is the best you could have done, especially when most dieticions would readily reject the notion of a diet that is 60% carbs as an across the board solution for everyone.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
I don't disagree (none / 0) (#47)
by levesque on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 10:18:09 PM EST

I only linked to Nutricise because I found it gave a good explanation of the various kinds of carbs.

I feel that as a general rule more emphasis should be put on fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains and poly/monosaturated oils and less emphasis put on saturated fats, trans fats, refined sugars and refined grains.

[ Parent ]

Nutricise is trying to sell you something (5.00 / 4) (#67)
by grouse on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:55:49 AM EST

What, and Atkins isn't trying to sell you something?

Saying "Atkins has withstood peer review" does not accurately reflect what predominates in the medical literature, which is a lot of uncertainty about the efficacy of his plan.

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

Misrepresenting the Atkins Diet (4.40 / 5) (#32)
by thelizman on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 05:41:40 PM EST

The low-carb aspect of the Atkins diet has been way overplayed, and your paper shows that you have not adequately researched the Atkins diet. Notably, the Atkins diet comes in three phases.
  1. Induction - This is the carnivore phase. Daily intage of carbohydrates is typically less than 11 grams, but you are encouraged to have some carbohydtrates. You can still eat small salads of leafy greens like kale.
  2. Transition - After you have achieved weight loss, you increase the level of carbohydrates slowly, and by introducing leafy greens, vegentables, and whole grains.
  3. Maintenance Diet - After some experimentation, the Atkins diet will know what foods they can eat and not trigger insulin resistance.
Additionally, you fail to address other fundamentals of the Atkins diet. Atkins theorized that rampant obesity was not being caused by overeating, but by the American diet - a diet high in sugary, starchy foods, and processed incredients. He points out that Americans consume 100 times the sugar we consumed 80 years ago. He also points out that low-fat foods often use carbohydrates for fillers where the fat used to be.

The basis of Atkins link is that a high intake of sugar leads to high levels of insulin in the blood. Insulin is a hormone which regulates sugar transport, but it also acts as a signal of hungar - when sugar drops, the excess insulin makes you feel hungry. Sugary foods and simple carbs spike the blood sugar, then die off quickly as they are digested, leading to a constant high insulin level which the body learns to tolerate. This insulin resistance causes people to have to eat more to feel satisfied.

Please don't get me wrong - your paper is a well balanced approach and does at least discuss Atkins responsibly. But without these critical elements, Atkins still has the appearance of a fad diet where you eat nothing but mean. The truth is, the majority of the Atkins diet is just responsible, balanced eating - what "diet" is supposed to mean.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Thanks for the info (3.00 / 1) (#52)
by McBain on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 11:07:53 PM EST

I added a bit about insulin.

---
Sorry. I can't seem to find that sig.
[ Parent ]

responsible and balanced ?? (3.16 / 6) (#59)
by zzzeek on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:12:27 AM EST

i had a coworker supposedly on atkins, and she basically ate the greasiest breakfast ive ever seen of fried eggs and bacon every morning.  just no toast, therefore low carb.  it was really gross.  now assuming what she was eating is genuinely within acceptable atkins guidelines (perhaps it wasnt?) , you call that "responsible and balanced" ?

[ Parent ]
That is not Atkins. (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 08:05:29 AM EST

No vegetables at all.

Deep frying is discouraged but not "forbbiden".

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

atkins breakfast (3.00 / 1) (#89)
by speek on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:02:03 AM EST

Is typically like that. But, that's not the whole diet (you've heard of lunch and dinner, right?).

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Can You Not Read?! (3.33 / 3) (#98)
by thelizman on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:33:18 AM EST

The meat eating phase is only the first part of the diet - the part where you lose the weight. I don't think I stuttered when I said this, which leads me to believe you're a moron incapable of reading comprehension.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
um, yea (1.00 / 1) (#117)
by dh003i on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:48:58 AM EST

Ok, genius, so, eating a shitload of grease -- pure fat, which is what bacon is -- is somehow supposed to help you lose weight? Sorry, that's bullshit. Replacing carbohydrates with pure fat is not going to make you lose weight.

Several simple procedures will help you lose weight, and be healthy. The healthiest diet is most certainly the lowest-calorie diet that is healthy for individuals. As I noted in an article on dietary restriction, reducing calorie intake by as much as is possible in good health will increase both life-span and health-span.

So, the simple things you can do to lose weight:

  1. Eat less. Wait until you are hungry to eat, and then eat enough to quench your hunger.
  2. Do not have snacks and other "between-meal" foods lying around. Don't have them at all. People will often eat chocolate or whatever just because they have nothing else to do.
  3. Do not eat junk-food, chocolate, ice-cream, cake.
  4. Reduce calorie intake as much as is possible in good health.
  5. Have a glass of red wine, or better beer, a night. The anti-oxidants in these drinks are good for you, and can lower the probability of heart-disease.
  6. Walk whenever possible.
  7. Swim whenever possible. Swimming is a very healthy, low stress, good cardiovascular exercise. It does not place any stress on the bones, as does jogging.
  8. Work out. Lift weights near the limits of your capabilities. This builds up muscle mass. Muscle burns calories just sitting there, even if it isn't doing anything. To avoid the dangers and stresses of free-weights, you may want to use something like the Bowflex (or a cheap alternative, the Bandflex).

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

sources???? (none / 0) (#139)
by mpalczew on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:09:41 PM EST

I don't know about you but eating that would make me loose weight.  All that grease, I would never get of the shitter.  Not to mention that I wouldn't be able to stomach very much.   Alot better than eating Cherios with a quarter cup of sugar and thinking it's healthy.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
no-one's saying that cherios + sugar is healthy (none / 0) (#147)
by dh003i on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:36:16 PM EST

all we're saying is that a plate of bacon and sausage for breakfash isn't healthy either.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

back up (none / 0) (#177)
by mpalczew on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 04:50:00 PM EST

but you don't say why.  
would you say that bacon and eggs is unhealthy?

I have always heald the belief that no food is terribly unhealthy.  What is unhealthy is the same food all the time.  Proceessed food is generally unhealthy.  Way too many people don't take the time to prepare a meal.  

I'd have a hard time believing that bacon and sausage for breakfast is bad, that's what people ate  during the 60's and they weren't fat or as unhealthy as people today.  The difference is that people used to cook.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]

Studies on Meat Diets (none / 0) (#188)
by thelizman on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 05:49:46 PM EST

There are villages in Africa where the diet is almost entirely meat, fats, dairy, and blood (actually, they mix the blood with the milk, the blood coagulates making a thick soupy I think I'm going to puke concoction). Eskimos eat a diet purely of meat and fats. Neither obesity nor hear disease are common in those two cultures. Likewise, the instance of heart disease in Americans is so low that it was hardly noted prior to the early 20th century. The rise in heart disease coincides with an increase in sugar and refined grains in the American diet.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
um, have you ever SEEN an eskimo ?!?! [nt] (2.50 / 2) (#265)
by zzzeek on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 02:25:47 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Yes...a real one too... (none / 0) (#281)
by thelizman on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 06:04:40 PM EST

...I know you've seen the eskimo on TV, but in real life most of these dudes are trim and fit. Hell, the body burns more calories in winter trying to keep warm - that's why the military has different MRE's for Winter that are 3,000 calories per meal.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Depends.. (none / 0) (#309)
by ajduk on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 04:10:09 AM EST

Those that have gone on westernised diets - less meat and a lot less fat, but more carbohydrates and sugar - just happen to become fat and develop high rates of Type II diabeties. Just like most Hunter gatherer populations when westernised.

[ Parent ]

bacon... (3.50 / 2) (#264)
by zzzeek on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 02:25:11 PM EST

...has nitrates added as a preservative, not to mention that pigs and chickens are shot up with a ton of antibiotics and sometimes steroids to improve the productivity of farms.  guess where all the residue of those artifical medications goes...?

[ Parent ]
i see the meat and dairy lobby is moderating k5... (none / 0) (#298)
by zzzeek on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 09:50:20 PM EST

dont worry, im not a wacky vegan or anything.  its just when i have the big breakfast of eggs and bacon once in awhile, i dont for a minute kid myself into thinking its a reasonable thing to eat every day....

[ Parent ]
The secret of Atkins (none / 0) (#211)
by stormie on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:35:08 PM EST

Not to mention that I wouldn't be able to stomach very much.

imho, that's the main reason for the success of the Atkins diet. You really can't stomach that much meat & lard, so when you leave the carbs out of your diet, you really don't want to eat nearly as much.



[ Parent ]
The Author Typifies the Ignorance of the Public (3.00 / 2) (#172)
by thelizman on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 04:07:06 PM EST

Ok, genius, so, eating a shitload of grease -- pure fat, which is what bacon is -- is somehow supposed to help you lose weight? Sorry, that's bullshit.
No, it's documented scientific fact. There are 7 calories in a gram of fat. It takes 3 calories to digest that fat - net loss results in 4 calories. It also takes longer to digest fat, so most of it leaves out the tail pipe before it gets broken down and absorbed. Meanwhile, sugar is 4 calories per gram, but it digests nearly instantly in the mouth at a cost of .027 calories, and it spends the rest of its journey being absorbed. Even if you are active when you consume the sugar, it is not utilized because it still has to be processed into glycogen (add .6 calories for that) for utilization. But every cell in the body already has a supply of glycogen on hand, so in most cases new sugars aren't consumed unless you're in an aerobic target zone. They're instead turned into fat.

You're a classic example of a victim of the diet industries misinformation campaign. Like a good little robot, you've swallowed the "fat is bad" mantra, when the fact of the matter is fat is an essential nutrient. You will never find a single degree-holding dietician that will argue with the notion that people on low carb/high protein & fat diets lose weight. What they will instead argue is that it is dangerous to ones health. Anyone that says you will not lose weight on a diet like Atkins is either simply lying, or is ignorant.

And about your enumerated suggestions:

  1. Eat less. Wait until you are hungry to eat, and then eat enough to quench your hunger.

    "Eat less" is the dumbest advice on the planet - it only makes sense to the uninitiated. If you fail to eat the proper amount of nutrients, your metabolism will slow down dramatically. Your advice should be "excercise portion control".

    Also, you fail to understand that the mechanism which spawns hunger is only correlary to the bodies actual need for food. In a healthy person, your advice is accurate. But for a society of over eaters who have been binging on high-sugar foods with simple carbs for nearly four decades, insulin resistence has created an epidemic of hunger in people who are already eating more then their body needs.

  2. Do not have snacks and other "between-meal" foods lying around. Don't have them at all. People will often eat chocolate or whatever just because they have nothing else to do.

    Again, this advice is wrong. All dieticians recommend snacking to level out blood sugar cycles. It is the corner stone of every major diet plan. Also, most dieticians recommend you eat a series of small meals throughout the day instead of trying to pack it all into two or three meals.

  3. Do not eat junk-food, chocolate, ice-cream, cake.

    WRONG! Eat whatever you want. Just be mindful of the content of the food, and how they fit into your daily diet. Hershey's Chocolate Kisses only have 25 calories. Chocolate is also high in certain phyto-proteins which are beneficial to womens health (which explains the female fixation with chocolate). Likewise, cakes and ice cream are fine so long as you observe the label.

  4. Reduce calorie intake as much as is possible in good health.

    I cannot emphasize what a tremendously stupid idea simply reducing calories is. You cannot just tell someone to reduce caloreis without knowing how many calories their body needs for basic functions. Please, stop giving advice as if you know what you're talking about.

  5. Have a glass of red wine, or better beer, a night. The anti-oxidants in these drinks are good for you, and can lower the probability of heart-disease.

    Any form of alcohol will provide a health benefit. While red wine does have antioxidants, beer doesn't. On the other hand, beer has been found to contain a protein which aids in repairing cardiac muscle tissue. In general, though, you should'nt go telling people to drink these beverages - wine and alcohol do not contain ingredients that are not found elsewhere in the diet. Moreover, alcohol contains 11 calories per gram (g/cm3). A glass of wine can have as much calorie content as a glass of cola.

  6. Walk whenever possible.

    It takes 44 minutes of walking to equal 15 minutes of moderate jogging. Unless a person is going to walk 2 or more miles a day, this advice is useless and even misleading.

  7. Swim whenever possible. Swimming is a very healthy, low stress, good cardiovascular exercise. It does not place any stress on the bones, as does jogging.

    Swimming will not provide an aerobic excercise, which means it is not beneficial for weight loss. Why do you think swimmers do much of their muscle training outside of the pool? Swimming is anaerobic. The only time a person should excercise in a pool is when they are morbidly obese.

  8. Work out. Lift weights near the limits of your capabilities. This builds up muscle mass. Muscle burns calories just sitting there, even if it isn't doing anything. To avoid the dangers and stresses of free-weights, you may want to use something like the Bowflex (or a cheap alternative, the Bandflex).

    Are you trying to sell a Bowflex or soemthing? All a person needs to weight train is a weight. They can even use their own body weight through systems like isometric and pliametric excercise. More importantly, your advice is wrong - Overload is not the only way to build muscle mass, and it builds more volume than actual useable mass.

    There are three goals to weight training, and they are increasing Size, Strength, and Tone. Most people who are trying to lose weight will want to work on tone, because it is the mass of muscle at a given tone which determines the amount of passive calorie burning. Just having the bulk alone won't do it.


In short, your advice is based on misconception and erroneous evaulations. We are talking about people - human metabolism. Dont' make sweeping generalizations. Attitudes based in ignorance such as yours is why fat people in this country have such a hard time losing their weight.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Swimming (none / 0) (#195)
by spring on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:30:09 PM EST

Swimming will not provide an aerobic excercise, which means it is not beneficial for weight loss. Why do you think swimmers do much of their muscle training outside of the pool? Swimming is anaerobic. The only time a person should excercise in a pool is when they are morbidly obese.
You should try swimming 1,500 yards nice and slow sometime. Any stroke you like; it won't matter for the purposes of this experiment.

All done? Please note that you couldn't swim for 100 yards in a row without clinging to the side of the pool like a barnacle, gasping for breath. (Don't worry, you're just out of shape. It passes.) Test your heart rate. Notice how your pulse is racing and you can't catch your breath? Your arms feel fine. Your legs feel fine. Hmm....

New experiment: go to the playground, find a horizontal bar, and start doing chin-ups until you can't do any more. Note that your arms feel like hell, but you're aren't puffing and blowing like you were in the pool, even though you felt like your eyes were going to pop out of your head from the amount of work you were doing.

Congratulations! You have just felt the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

Moral: if you train for swimming long distances, you will get all the aerobic exercise you will ever need. I encourage you to get into the pool and actually test your interesting theories about swimming not being an aerobic exercise. You may learn something.

[ Parent ]

Gasping for breath (none / 0) (#199)
by thelizman on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:52:30 PM EST

All done? Please note that you couldn't swim for 100 yards in a row without clinging to the side of the pool like a barnacle, gasping for breath. (Don't worry, you're just out of shape. It passes.)
This is a good indication that swimming is not aerobic. If you are excercising aerobically, you will be able to talk in complete, albeit, short sentences.

Swimming can be done aerobically, but generally speaking, it's not. If you want to lose weight, your excercises need to be aerobic in nature.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Beginner's Guide to Training Zones (none / 0) (#232)
by pmc on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 06:09:50 AM EST

Concept 2 Training Guide: Chapter 3

This explains the difference between anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Swimming, or any exercise, for anything more than about 4 minutes is aerobic.

[ Parent ]

Beginner? (none / 0) (#280)
by thelizman on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 06:01:49 PM EST

There is nothing "beginner" about that. It covers somewhat complex issues that the "beginner" doesn't need or want to know. All they need to know is this:
"The aerobic system is the slowest of the three systems to work but has the advantage of lasting indefinitely. This is the system that produces the energy required for the BMR and any non-sprinting movement that takes place throughout the day. Like the lactic acid system the aerobic system can use glucose or glycogen as its fuel but can also use fat, which produces much more ATP."


Dude...you're gonna scare fat people away! It's a good link though, I'll be adding that to my eLibrary.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
True (none / 0) (#283)
by pmc on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 06:36:57 PM EST

I used the first edition quite a lot, and this had a much more gentle introduction to the topic, and it was this I had in mind when I put the title in, forgetting that the second edition was considerably more advanced.

You should read chapter 7 too - scary stuff.

[ Parent ]

I just did... (none / 0) (#292)
by thelizman on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 07:33:05 PM EST

...and my head hurts now...
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
4 Minutes? (none / 0) (#341)
by MKalus on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 10:30:46 AM EST

It is not only time it is also effort.

I know some guys you can go anerboic for extended periods of time, of course those are the guys who finish an Ironman in 8 hours....
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0) (#340)
by MKalus on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 10:29:28 AM EST

... swimming must be one of the best ways to expand your aerobic base than anything else. You work the entire body, you have to overcome lots of resistance etc.

And best of all: Even if you're tubby you can do it because the impact on your joints is neglectable.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

a little example (none / 0) (#208)
by dh003i on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 07:59:30 PM EST

Let me give you a little example, using myself and my cousins. I am relatively thin, at about 150lbs to 160lbs, 6ft tall. Two of my cousins, on the other hand, being about 5'4 or less weigh around 200 or more pounds, and are, quite frankly, fat (I'm not going to water it down with euphemisms about horizontally challenged, overweight, etc).

Let's look at what I had for dinner last week (I plan my meals a week in advance, so I always know what I'm having). In all cases where meat/fish, carbohydrates, and vegetables are mentioned, they are approximately the same quantity.

Sat: Salmon, parsely potatoes, peas.

Sun: Beef in the bag, carrots, potatoes, onions.

Mon: Linsen soup, with hot dogs in it. Linsin soup is the German name for it, uses Lintels. They are flat little brown things. The soup also contains celery, carrots, potatoes, and several other vegetable in addition to hot-dog slices.

Tues: Sauerbraten, potatoe pancakes, green beans. Sauerbraten is a low-fat beef marinated in vinegar, to give it a pleasant sour taste (in Germany, the original purpose was, of course, to preserve the meat).

Wed: lean hamburger, french fries in crisco, bean salad. Bean salad consists of both italian green beans and kidney beans.

Thurs: Leftover beef, saurbraten, noodles, carrots.

Fri: Hamburgers and macaroni with tomatoe sauce on top. Bean salad.

I made no special effort to avoid carbohydrates. However, meats, vegetables, and carbohydrates were balanced.

Note: Every day, for lunch, I had a ham or salami sandwich with cheese. Breakfast is always a bagel with butter. Occasionally, the bread was rye bread without the processed white grain, which usually included large kernels. However, it was often sour-dough bread, made from white grain. Ooh...bad carbohydrates. Also, every day, I had some form of fruit along with my lunch, usually a lot of it (e.g., a large peach, grapes, cherries, and so-on and so-forth)...oooh, bad sugar.

Now, let's look at the diet of my cousins. I don't know their diet as well as I know mine, obviously, but I do know what they generally eat, and it goes something like this:

McDonalds, greasy french-fries, potatoe chips, doritos, hot-dogs, kentucky fried chicken, other pre-processed and packaged foods, soda-drinks, and so-on and so-forth.

I think the conclusions that can be drawn from this little anecdotal story are pretty self-explanatory. Needless to say, if them and I switched places and diets, our weights would start to switch places as well.

Now, to some of your other points:

"Eat less" is the dumbest advice on the planet - it only makes sense to the uninitiated. If you fail to eat the proper amount of nutrients, your metabolism will slow down dramatically.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't eat the proper amount of nutrients (btw, the jury's out on whether slowing down your metabolism is bad for you, since free-radicals are produced more in higher metabolism situations). I'm saying that you should eat less. The average american eats far more than s/he needs to meet his or her minimum nutritional requirements.

Again, this advice is wrong. All dieticians recommend snacking to level out blood sugar cycles. It is the corner stone of every major diet plan. Also, most dieticians recommend you eat a series of small meals throughout the day instead of trying to pack it all into two or three meals.

That does not mean that you should be eating doritos, twix-bars, and other crap throughout the day. Dispersing out what would otherwise be a healthy meal may indeed be fine, but justifying eating boxes of chocolate balls to "level out blood sugar levels" is absurd.

...But every cell in the body already has a supply of glycogen on hand, so in most cases new sugars aren't consumed unless you're in an aerobic target zone. They're instead turned into fat.

Again, I'm not saying that eating tons of sugars is good for you. Did I say that instead of eating a plate of bacon for breakfast, people should sprinkle brown and white sugar on french toast dipped in maple syrup? No, I did not say that.

Eat whatever you want. Just be mindful of the content of the food, and how they fit into your daily diet. Hershey's Chocolate Kisses only have 25 calories. Chocolate is also high in certain phyto-proteins which are beneficial to womens health (which explains the female fixation with chocolate). Likewise, cakes and ice cream are fine so long as you observe the label.

Eating a moderate amount of chocolate is not the same thing as gobbling it down all day every time you're bored. Part of problem with many overweight people is they eat when they have nothing else to do.

I cannot emphasize what a tremendously stupid idea simply reducing calories is. You cannot just tell someone to reduce caloreis without knowing how many calories their body needs for basic functions. Please, stop giving advice as if you know what you're talking about.

Since the vast majority of Americans are eating way way way more calories than they need for their body needs, yes I can. Also, I specifically said, "as much as is possible in good health". Namely, that means eating enough for your body's needs. Your inability to understand written English does not meaan that I don't know what I'm talking about. It means that you can't understand written English, or choose to selectively ignore qualifying parts of sentences so that you can jump up and down like a harpy.

you should'nt go telling people to drink these beverages - wine and alcohol do not contain ingredients that are not found elsewhere in the diet

Any specific examples? Drinking a glass of alcohol a night isn't going to make one fat. Drinking a six-pack or an entire bottle of wine...probably.

It takes 44 minutes of walking to equal 15 minutes of moderate jogging. Unless a person is going to walk 2 or more miles a day, this advice is useless and even misleading.

Walking is a perfectly leisurely activity that can be done without placing any significant stress on an individual. Jogging, on the other hand, imposes extreme stress on the bones and joints, as well as contorting posture. This is why I later recommeneded swimming.

Swimming will not provide an aerobic excercise, which means it is not beneficial for weight loss. Why do you think swimmers do much of their muscle training outside of the pool? Swimming is anaerobic. The only time a person should excercise in a pool is when they are morbidly obese.

As someone else noted, swimming can indeed be aerobic. Done at a slow pace, it is a continuous, but not particularly strenuous, activity, the will tax the heart over a period of time. You obviously do not understand the difference between aneorobic and aerobic exercises. Anaerobic -- does not use oxygen. Aerobic -- does use oxygen. When you swim for a hundreds yards or so, you will use enormous amounts of oxygen, and your heart will beat extremely fast. On the other hand, if you lift up 300 pounds, that is anaerobic -- you won't be out of breath, though you may feel like you're eyes will bulge out of your head.

Are you trying to sell a Bowflex or soemthing? All a person needs to weight train is a weight. They can even use their own body weight through systems like isometric and pliametric excercise.

No, actually, I think Bowflex' are too expensive (that's why I recommended the cheaper alternative). You can use regular weights. However, that can be dangerous. You can also simply use your own weight, though that gets extremely boring very quick, and limits how much resistance you get.

Your right on tone, however.

In short, all of your responses originate from your own misconceptions or your complete inability to understand the English language.

In any case, fat people in this country have a hard time losing weight because of their own poor habits, not anything I or anyone else says or does.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Bring on the ad-hominems (none / 0) (#290)
by thelizman on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 07:29:48 PM EST

Let me give you a little example, using myself and my cousins.

(snip)

I think the conclusions that can be drawn from this little anecdotal story are pretty self-explanatory. Needless to say, if them and I switched places and diets, our weights would start to switch places as well.
The first observation of the difference in diet I would make is the carb heavy aspect of the fast food diet. In fact, McDonalds french fries when supersized have more calories (660) than a Quarter Pounder with Cheese (530), yet their soaked in "heart-healthy" low calorie vegetable oil.

The next observation I would make is that you are eating precisely the kind of balanced diet that is recommended by the Atkins diet (with a few minor exceptions). Once again, you are fixating on one singular short term aspect of the Atkins diet - the induction phase. If your cousins just ordered the meat (and the pickles are okay, no carbs there believe it or not) in place of the volume of the other foods, they would in fact lose weight.

Again, you cannot argue with medical fact - a high protein, low carbohydrate diet will result in significant, even rapid, weight loss. No doctor worth his degree has ever argued with this. The only thing the medical community disputes is the mechanism and its safety in terms of other health conditions.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't eat the proper amount of nutrients (btw, the jury's out on whether slowing down your metabolism is bad for you, since free-radicals are produced more in higher metabolism situations). I'm saying that you should eat less. The average american eats far more than s/he needs to meet his or her minimum nutritional requirements.
But you have to ask yourself why...why do American's over eat? You and some others maintain it is because they are weak willed, spineless, and gluttonous. The truth of the matter - and having been obese I know this better than you - that there is an epidemic of insulin-resistance induced hunger in this country caused by the junk-food diet America lives on. People constantly complain that they are still hungry after eating a meal, and thats why they eat more. They are doing precisely what their bodies are telling them to - provide nutrients. But by providing the wrong balance of nutrients, they are moving down a slippery slope.

When you sit there and tell people that they have to eat less, you are not telling them what they need to hear, which is not "eat less" but "eat responsibly".
That does not mean that you should be eating doritos, twix-bars, and other crap throughout the day. Dispersing out what would otherwise be a healthy meal may indeed be fine, but justifying eating boxes of chocolate balls to "level out blood sugar levels" is absurd.
It seems your vocabulary has handicapped you. A "snack" does not mean junk food. It means eating a small quantity of food.
Again, I'm not saying that eating tons of sugars is good for you. Did I say that instead of eating a plate of bacon for breakfast, people should sprinkle brown and white sugar on french toast dipped in maple syrup? No, I did not say that.
Actually, you did, because if it's not a fat or a protein (or a vitamin, a mineral, or water) then it's a carb, and carbs are essentially sugars in varying degrees of complexity. Simple sugars combine to form simple and complex carbohydrates (the latter of which are recommended), and chains of carbohydrates form starches. Of further not in the direction of anti-manufactured foods, 90% of the time you find something that is "low fat", it is because they have replaced the fats (which were used as stabilizers in many foodstuffs) with simple carbohydrates. So when you tell someone to simply cut the fat out of their diet, without giving them a proper education, you've just damned them to consuming near sugars.
Eating a moderate amount of chocolate is not the same thing as gobbling it down all day every time you're bored. Part of problem with many overweight people is they eat when they have nothing else to do.
That's not many. That's not even a good portion of the cause of obesity. I wonder if you can make up your mind. You just got finished blaming your cousins' obesity on fast food, but then you are blaming America's obesity epidemic on "people stuffing their face because they are bored". Your ignorant viewpoint is endemic of the problem with society in terms of manageing their weight.
Any specific examples? Drinking a glass of alcohol a night isn't going to make one fat.
Oh no? There are 11 calories in a gram of alcohol (g/cm3). You do some simple math - it's really easy to have a "moderate glass" of liqour and add 400 calories to your daily diet. Again, this is a supreme example of how unfit you are to give advice. A person can have alcohol, but it's not going to make them healthier. Also, I know quite a few people for whom beer is a staple of their diet, and they remain skinny. So there seems to be a hole in this theory of yours somewhere.
As someone else noted, swimming can indeed be aerobic. Done at a slow pace, it is a continuous, but not particularly strenuous, activity, the will tax the heart over a period of time. You obviously do not understand the difference between aneorobic and aerobic exercises. Anaerobic -- does not use oxygen. Aerobic -- does use oxygen. When you swim for a hundreds yards or so, you will use enormous amounts of oxygen, and your heart will beat extremely fast. On the other hand, if you lift up 300 pounds, that is anaerobic -- you won't be out of breath, though you may feel like you're eyes will bulge out of your head.
I'm afraid you've just proven how misguided you are. Aerobic and Anaerobic refer to paths for the production of energy. Aerobic excercise only occurs in a narrow heartrate zone when you have plenty of oxygen. If you start "gasping for breath", as you specifically said, or when you exceed the aerobic range with your heartrate, your body has to produce energy from anaerobic energy paths. The vast majority of excercise takes place in an anaerobic zone, which is any activity below as well as above the aerobic heart rate range. I wrote more in response to the aforementioned other posters reply, I suggest you go read it. I don't have all day to teach biochemistry 101.
In any case, fat people in this country have a hard time losing weight because of their own poor habits, not anything I or anyone else says or does.
When you dispense advice that is half-measured, incorrect, or simply wrong, you are generally propagating memes and misinformation, which means somewhere someone trying to lose weight might be doing it the wrong way, and for all their effort, they will fail.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
step by step (none / 0) (#296)
by dh003i on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 08:54:46 PM EST

As someone else noted, swimming can indeed be aerobic. Done at a slow pace, it is a continuous, but not particularly strenuous, activity, the will tax the heart over a period of time. You obviously do not understand the difference between aneorobic and aerobic exercises. Anaerobic -- does not use oxygen. Aerobic -- does use oxygen. When you swim for a hundreds yards or so, you will use enormous amounts of oxygen, and your heart will beat extremely fast. On the other hand, if you lift up 300 pounds, that is anaerobic -- you won't be out of breath, though you may feel like you're eyes will bulge out of your head.

I'm afraid you've just proven how misguided you are. Aerobic and Anaerobic refer to paths for the production of energy. Aerobic excercise only occurs in a narrow heartrate zone when you have plenty of oxygen. If you start "gasping for breath", as you specifically said, or when you exceed the aerobic range with your heartrate, your body has to produce energy from anaerobic energy paths. The vast majority of excercise takes place in an anaerobic zone, which is any activity below as well as above the aerobic heart rate range. I wrote more in response to the aforementioned other posters reply, I suggest you go read it. I don't have all day to teach biochemistry 101.

You seem to be confusing my post with that of someone else. I merely said that swimming can be aerobic, if done at a proper pace. This is a fact. Swimming at a relatively leisurely pace (like jogging), will be aerobic. If you go too fast, the aerobic path will not be sufficient to keep up, and your body will have to switch partially to anaerobic. The reason you will have to start breathing so hard is because all of the oxygen is rapidly used up by your muscles, and you need oxygen for other things (like you're brain, which may explain why after anaerobic [fast] swimming, you may be light-headed).

When you do an exercise like moderate swimming, which will accelerate your heart-rate and use oxygen, that means that your body is trying to take in as much oxygen as it can.

In the lungs, this oxygen is taken up by red-blood cells, which deliver it to the various muscles. Each hemoglobin "molecule" in the red blood cell binds to oxygen. Hemoglobin is actually a heterodimer of two alpha and two beta hemoglobin subunits). Each subunit is capable of binding oxygen. Once one subunit binds oxygen, a conformational change occurs, such that all the rest are more recipient to binding oxygen.

The blood is pumped by your heart (which also operate aerobically) throughout the body, thus necessarily to the muscles in use.

If your exercise is either too sudden and too exertful, or at too rapid of a pace, then the aerobic system's throughput will not be sufficient. Your body will have to use the anaerobic system. In the case of swimming fast, however, your body is operating aerobically to the maximum extent (until the aerobic system is exhausted), and beyond that, the energy requirements are met anaerobically.

Whenever your heart rate has significantly risen for a significant period of time, you have done some degree of aerobic exercise. You may also have done anaerobic exercise, but that is secondary to the point.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Various comments (4.00 / 1) (#216)
by dn on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:00:28 PM EST

Unless a person is going to walk 2 or more miles a day, this advice is useless and even misleading.
Walking a few extra feet whenever convenient is easy, free, and fits right in to almost any lifestyle. Five calories of exercise a day for 65 years is equivalent to 34 pounds of body fat; 25 calories, to 169 pounds. Metabolic deficits and surpluses add up relentlessly over time.
In general, though, you should'nt go telling people to drink these beverages - wine and alcohol do not contain ingredients that are not found elsewhere in the diet.
The evidence is very suggestive that the alcohol itself improves cardiovascular health.
I cannot emphasize what a tremendously stupid idea simply reducing calories is.
A plethora of research shows that calorie restriction produces a dramatic increase in longevity across a wide range of species, from bugs to primates. As long as you are getting enough of the essential nutrients, even dramatic calorie reduction is not dangerous. (Unacceptable levels of hunger and energy tend to be self-limiting.)
Why do you think swimmers do much of their muscle training outside of the pool?
For the same reason that all serious athletes hit the weights: the implements of nearly all sports have limited momentum. If you push your muscles hard enough to make them really develop, your limbs move extremely fast and get injured. Water can only "push back" so much. Big chunks of iron in a contrived setting are not thus limited. Weight training also helps develop supporting structures that are not stressed much by the sport itself, which reduces the chance of injury during all-out effort.
Swimming is anaerobic.
If it can make you gasp for breath, it is aerobic. By definition.
The only time a person should excercise in a pool is when they are morbidly obese.
Anybody can benefit from water exercise. Arthritis, and disease processes that reduce muscle strength or coordination, are also particularly amenable to water exercise.

Oh, and the other poster says "Eat less. Wait until you are hungry to eat, and then eat enough to quench your hunger." and then you say "All dieticians recommend snacking to level out blood sugar cycles." So which is it? ;-)

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

Counterpoints (Which I'm Tired of Having To Do) (none / 0) (#284)
by thelizman on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 06:37:53 PM EST

Walking a few extra feet whenever convenient is easy, free, and fits right in to almost any lifestyle. Five calories of exercise a day for 65 years is equivalent to 34 pounds of body fat; 25 calories, to 169 pounds. Metabolic deficits and surpluses add up relentlessly over time.
Uhm, no. Your explanation is far too simplistic, and I'll explain during the course of this reply
The evidence is very suggestive that the alcohol itself improves cardiovascular health.
That is not in dispute. However, the point is that there is no greater benefit to drinking alcohol than having an overall balanced diet. It's liqour and beer - not magic heart elixer.
A plethora of research shows that calorie restriction
Again, missing the point. Simply reducing calories is not an effective means to weight loss. All the research in the world will not negate this. What you fail to understand is that calories are units of measure, but they are not related in any way to overall nutrition, and if you simply cut calories without maintaining an balance of essential nutrients, they metabolism will come to a screeching halt, and you will discover precisely how efficient the body is at turning molecules into fat stores.
If it can make you gasp for breath, it is aerobic. By definition.
This is so incredibly wrong, I'm not sure where to start. I guess we can start with the word "aerobic", which means (basically) "with oxygen". Now when you add the prefix "an", which means "without", you get "anaerobic", which means "without oxygen".

If a person is gasping for breath, it is because they are not getting enough oxygen in their body to facilitate aerobic production of ATP. The cells of the body - being efficient and adaptable little buggers - switch to anaerobic production of ATP using amino acids like phosphocreatine. It is the aerobic excercises which convert fat molecules into ATP, not anaerobic. Swimming is typically anaerobic, and that is why it is not a good excercise for people trying to lose weight.
The only time a person should excercise in a pool is when they are morbidly obese.
Anybody can benefit from water exercise. Arthritis, and disease processes that reduce muscle strength or coordination, are also particularly amenable to water exercise.
Again, this is not in dispute, nor is it relevant to the topic of fatbodies losing weight.
Oh, and the other poster says "Eat less. Wait until you are hungry to eat, and then eat enough to quench your hunger." and then you say "All dieticians recommend snacking to level out blood sugar cycles." So which is it? ;-)
I'm sorry, but you're going to have to explain how these two statements are in conflict. Save yourself some trouble - they aren't, and they were pulled apart from their respective comments - which is a disengenuous thing to do.

Getting back to your very first comment, walking short distances is not a good excercise if you are trying to lose weight. That is because when a muscle is producing energy, it does not have sufficient oxygen during it's initial movement, so it produces energy anaerobically. Aerobic excercise doesn't begin for most folks until they have been in or near their aerobic zone for 3 to 5 minutes. The calories burned in those short distances are sugars, then amino acids, and if you keep it up long enough, then you hit fat stores.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
stop spreading misinformation (none / 0) (#295)
by dh003i on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 08:30:55 PM EST

If it can make you gasp for breath, it is aerobic. By definition.
This is so incredibly wrong, I'm not sure where to start. I guess we can start with the word "aerobic", which means (basically) "with oxygen". Now when you add the prefix "an", which means "without", you get "anaerobic", which means "without oxygen".

If a person is gasping for breath, it is because they are not getting enough oxygen in their body to facilitate aerobic production of ATP. The cells of the body - being efficient and adaptable little buggers - switch to anaerobic production of ATP using amino acids like phosphocreatine. It is the aerobic excercises which convert fat molecules into ATP, not anaerobic. Swimming is typically anaerobic, and that is why it is not a good excercise for people trying to lose weight.

So, in other words, you've taken pleasure from telling him how wrong he is, and then said essentially the same thing he said, except in a more pedantic way, to boost your ego. Congratulations for all of the intelligence it took you to refer to a college text-book on biology.

Then, you stated the swimming is typically anaerobic". I'm curious as to where you get this statistic. Swimming can be anaerobic. However, in many cases, it is aerobic (relatively slowly swimming several hundred yards is just as aerobic as jogging). Essentially, the way to do aerobic things is to do something at a moderate pace (e.g., jogging, swimming) for an extended period of time.

Simply reducing calories is not an effective means to weight loss. All the research in the world will not negate this. What you fail to understand is that calories are units of measure, but they are not related in any way to overall nutrition, and if you simply cut calories without maintaining an balance of essential nutrients, they metabolism will come to a screeching halt, and you will discover precisely how efficient the body is at turning molecules into fat stores.

Cutting calories is indeed an effective way to lose weight, provided you maintain the same activity level (alternatively, you can raise your activity level and keep your calorie intake the same). Of course, you have to maintain a balanced diet, and meet minimum daily needs for calories, vitamins, minerals, and whatnot. However, most people consume far far far more than what they need (hence, obvioiusly, the current epidemic of fat people). Also, if you had bothered to read what the original poster was saying (whom you responded to), and what I said, you would know that there are other likely benefits of calorie restriction, such as longer healthspan and longer lifespan.

That is not in dispute. However, the point is that there is no greater benefit to drinking alcohol than having an overall balanced diet. It's liqour and beer - not magic heart elixer.

Mis-representing the opponent's argument does not win you a debate. No-one said that alcohol was a silver bullet. No-one here said that a balanced diet does not provide great benefit to its practitioner. I said, and other said, that drinking moderate amounts produces health benefits.

Again, this [that anybody can benefit from water exercise] is not in dispute, nor is it relevant to the topic of fatbodies losing weight.

Of course it's relevant to losing weight. Aerobic exercise burns calories and helps one lose weight (at least ~15min in, when your body usually starts burning fat instead of immediate reserves).

walking short distances is not a good excercise if you are trying to lose weight

All the little short walks you do in your day (e.g., to get something) won't help. However, a "walk" will. "A walk" means 45min to an hour.

The alternative to swimming and walking is jogging or running. Both of these place extreme amounts of stress on your bones, and are bad for posture.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Change for your Two Cents (none / 0) (#312)
by thelizman on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 08:38:33 AM EST

So, in other words, you've taken pleasure from telling him how wrong he is, and then said essentially the same thing he said
I can't help if you can't follow the conversation nor can you understand the subtle differences in what is being asserted. As for this little comment, see below...
Then, you stated the swimming is typically anaerobic". I'm curious as to where you get this statistic. Swimming can be anaerobic. However, in many cases, it is aerobic (relatively slowly swimming several hundred yards is just as aerobic as jogging). Essentially, the way to do aerobic things is to do something at a moderate pace (e.g., jogging, swimming) for an extended period of time.
The key to any "aerobic" excercise is to continually breath. The poster is talking about 'that eyeball bulging out feeling' and 'rapid heart rate', which is NOT a moderate condition, and certainly not an aerobic one. Nobody is stating that swimming cannot be aerobic, it is merely typically done in the anaerobic zone. Athletes and swimming enthusiasts who want to excel at swimming have developed a larger aerobic base, and are less likely to need the anaerobic phase of their excercise, but the scope of this discussion doesn't include them, it includes people who are starting a weight loss program.
Cutting calories is indeed an effective way to lose weight, provided you maintain the same activity level (alternatively, you can raise your activity level and keep your calorie intake the same).
'So, in other words, you've taken pleasure from telling me how wrong I am', then you simply restated everything I've been saying from the begginning. Why don't you just address the salient points on which we disagree, instead of sucking up bandwidth and diskspace.
Mis-representing the opponent's argument does not win you a debate. No-one said that alcohol was a silver bullet.
On the contrary, the implication was that anti-oxidants in wine and beer - to the exclusion of every other food or drink on the planet - are beneficial to the body in a way not previously considered. I simply pointed out that recommending alcohol is wreckless because the nutrients that make alcohol beneficial are more commonly found elsewhere in a diet. Alcohol should be consumed for fun, not for some false sense of healthfulness.
Again, this [that anybody can benefit from water exercise] is not in dispute, nor is it relevant to the topic of fatbodies losing weight.


Of course it's relevant to losing weight. Aerobic exercise burns calories and helps one lose weight (at least ~15min in, when your body usually starts burning fat instead of immediate reserves).
Water aerobics are not aerobic. You are making the same mistake the other poster is in assuming that "aerobics" are an "aerobic excercise", and that isn't necessarily true. You are also showing more of your unfamiliarity with types of excercise. Water aerobics are not for weight loss, they are done for muscluloskeletal conditioning and development. Most of the people who are engaged in water aerobics are doing them because they are unable to perform similar excercises under gravity. That's why you'll find everyone from senior citizens to athletes recovering from injuries.
All the little short walks you do in your day (e.g., to get something) won't help. However, a "walk" will. "A walk" means 45min to an hour.
Again, nobody is disputing that. What is in dispute is the benefit of those short walks, since the original poster advocated those as forms of excercise that would lead to weight loss.
The alternative to swimming and walking is jogging or running. Both of these place extreme amounts of stress on your bones, and are bad for posture.
They do not, and they are not. I'm sure you've read all the sneaker ads and nordic-trak pamphles you can get your hands on, but in this little place we call the real world, running and jogging is pretty benign. They can be high impact - if you are wearing worn out shows, if you have poor running posture, if you run on concrete surfaces, et al. However, even then the impact is overstated, especially when people like you represent it as harmful.

The truth is that the body is evolved for running, from our strong tendons to our arched feet. Injuries received in running are caused by things like running in worn out shoes (typically manifested as knee injuries), pronating (excessive forward leaning, which stresses the knees, hips, and back), short-stepping (causing true shin-splints), improper stretching and poor allowance for recovery (which causes things like ham string soreness, "charlie horses", or shin-splints from myositis). Poor posture is not caused by running, it's caused by poor posture.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
<sigh> (none / 0) (#303)
by dn on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 12:11:52 AM EST

Your explanation is far too simplistic, and I'll explain during the course of this reply
Not unless somebody repealed conservation of energy.
It's liqour and beer - not magic heart elixer.
The effects on blood lipid ratios, hypertension, and in some studies overall mortality would turn a pill into a blockbuster drug.
What you fail to understand is that calories are units of measure, but they are not related in any way to overall nutrition, and if you simply cut calories without maintaining an balance of essential nutrients, they metabolism will come to a screeching halt,...
Astonishingly I was not a complete idiot and said "As long as you are getting enough of the essential nutrients, even dramatic calorie reduction is not dangerous."
If a person is gasping for breath, it is because they are not getting enough oxygen in their body to facilitate aerobic production of ATP.
Wrong. Aerobic metabolism produces carbon dioxide, which turns into carbonic acid in the bloodstream, which causes metabolic acidosis, which is sensed by the brain, and which finally causes the respiration rate to increase. If a form of exercise can make you gasp for breath when performed at high intensity, it is aerobic.
I'm sorry, but you're going to have to explain how these two statements are in conflict.
'Twas sarcasm. You panned the other poster for the first comment, and then made the second comment yourself.
...and they were pulled apart from their respective comments - which is a disengenuous thing to do.
Pardon me for requiring that logical arguments be, you know, logical. (Note: more sarcasm.)
That is because when a muscle is producing energy, it does not have sufficient oxygen during it's initial movement, so it produces energy anaerobically.
True, which is actually good because anaerobic metabolism is horribly inefficient. For a given energy output, it uses up a lot more molecules.
Aerobic excercise doesn't begin for most folks until they have been in or near their aerobic zone for 3 to 5 minutes.
In the narrow sense that's true. To get molecules flowing straight from fat cells to muscles, then out the lungs as CO2, you do have to push hard for several minutes. Push easy for a couple of minutes and the energy mostly comes from stores already inside the muscle.

But in the bigger picture, the molecular supplies for anaerobic metabolism have to be replenished from somewhere. That somewhere is molecules in the bloodstream. If you're already burning fat, you'll burn more fat. If you're storing fat, you'll store less of it.

I am not suggesting that short walks will cause noticeable weight loss in the short term. They will not. What I am saying is that over decades, even tiny expenditures add up to hundreds of pounds being burned away. That is the difference between someone who "lets themselves go" and someone who maintains their weight, and nearly everybody can add short walks without affecting their lifestyle.

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

Confusing Aerobic with Aerobics? (none / 0) (#310)
by thelizman on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 08:01:46 AM EST

Aerobic metabolism produces carbon dioxide, which turns into carbonic acid in the bloodstream, which causes metabolic acidosis, which is sensed by the brain, and which finally causes the respiration rate to increase. If a form of exercise can make you gasp for breath when performed at high intensity, it is aerobic.
This is absolutely wrong..Here, I'll help you out:
"The nonoxidative energy system [aerobic] is used at the start of an excercise session and for high intesnity activites lasting for about 10 seconds to 2 minutes (p 43)..."

"...if you must excercise very intensely, the other systems become more important because the oxidative system is unable to supply ATP fast enough to sustain high-intensity effort. (p 44)"

Fahey, Insel, Roth. "Fit & Well For Life, 4th Ed". Mayfield Publishing, Mountainview CA.
If you are gasping for breath, your excercise is not simply not aerobic. Aerobic exercise is a moderate to high intensity, and though you may respirate rapidly, you should never feel out of breath.

Swimming is typically anaerobic regardless of intensity because you are face down in the water, holding your breath, and creating cycles of oxygen deficiency. The cells of the body take time to switch energy modes. Some forms of watersport are aerobic, even some types of swimming, but there are far more excercises that are aerobic in nature than the back stroke and doggy paddle.

I think the problem is that you've come to associate "aerobic excercise" with "aerobics". Most people do this, and that is why people who are overweight tend to react to the notion of excercise like superman to kyptonite. The fact is that most effective fat burning excercises are some of the easiest to do. Power walking, jogging, weight training with light weights and high reps...hell, mowing the average yard is aerobic if you're using a pushmower.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Once more from the top (none / 0) (#316)
by dn on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 10:59:42 PM EST

If you are gasping for breath, your excercise is not simply not aerobic.
Again, the statement was not that that situation was 100% aerobic, but that a form of exercise that could induce gasping was aerobic. In any event, the energy sources for anaerobic metabolism are exhausted rapidly, after which you will still be gasping for breath and nearly 100% aerobic.
Swimming is typically anaerobic regardless of intensity because you are face down in the water, holding your breath, and creating cycles of oxygen deficiency.
Swimmers generally do not hold their breath for any appreciable amount of time. They get one breath per "stride", which is comparable to jogging.
I think the problem is that you've come to associate "aerobic excercise" with "aerobics". Most people do this, and that is why people who are overweight tend to react to the notion of excercise like superman to kyptonite.
Nah. Awhile back I bought a heart rate monitor and was pleased at how hard you don't have to exercise to get your heart rate way up, which is a good indicator of how much glucose and fatty acids you're really burning. I highly recommend one to anyone trying to improve their health with exercise.

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

hi.... (1.00 / 1) (#263)
by zzzeek on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 02:13:44 PM EST

  1. fat in general is not bad for you, but animal fat certainly is.  theres plenty of evidence showing this.
  2. dh003i's lifestyle mentioned there just happens to be almost exactly the one that I follow personally, and i have very low cholesterol, a great resting heartrate/bloodpressure, i can run four or five miles without any problem, im in great shape at age 34, and girls check me out all the time.  so cling to your instant-gratification atkins diet as much as you like but dont dis those of us who are actually capable of following a responsible lifestyle.


[ Parent ]
Reading Comprehension and Trolls (none / 0) (#282)
by thelizman on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 06:17:25 PM EST

dh003i's lifestyle mentioned there just happens to be almost exactly the one that I follow personally, and i have very low cholesterol,
That's nice, but consuming fats has nothing to do with your cholesterol. Cholesterol is manufactured by the body.
a great resting heartrate/bloodpressure, i can run four or five miles without any problem
Neither of which have anything to do with diet - these are functions of excercise. Hell, I can still run my mile in 9:18, and have a RHR of 58 even though I've gained 60 lbs since February.
so cling to your instant-gratification atkins diet as much as you like but dont dis those of us who are actually capable of following a responsible lifestyle.
I'm not on the atkins diet you blithering fucking moron. I eat low fat - salads, baked chicken and fish, and I have less than a 2000 calorie per day diet. This is my normal diet since I was 25. The only exception had been when I recently started drinking sweetened iced tea (which added 700 calories a day).

Of course, then again, your just an ignorant troll, so why am I wasting my breath on you?
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
no, i cant read... (none / 0) (#260)
by zzzeek on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 02:07:10 PM EST

but i bet i can run faster than you since i dont eat all that crap every day....

[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 0) (#291)
by thelizman on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 07:31:37 PM EST

I currently have a run time of 9:18 for the measured mile. I can also run 10 miles without stopping. And I just gained 60 lbs, so when I shed it (again), I'll be back to my 7:13 mile and 20 mile distance.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
It can work (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by egg troll on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 07:36:04 PM EST

Miss Egg Troll has decided that the Atkins diet is for her, and has been on it faithfully for a few months now. She's definitely lost weight. I suspect this has less to do with cutting out carbs than the fact she's elimintated junk food and empty calories from her diet.

He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

My My, She's Dead Sexy [n/t] (none / 0) (#42)
by thelizman on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 09:39:24 PM EST


--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
how about you usians stop stuffing garbage (1.72 / 18) (#35)
by Dirty Sanchez on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 07:48:31 PM EST

into your mouths, then maybe you wouldn't need all those stupid diets.

The Power of "0" (1.66 / 9) (#41)
by thelizman on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 09:38:30 PM EST

That's right bitches, I have "Trusted User Status", so I can rate your trollness a big fat goose egg, which trumps the power of your alternate user account in issuing a 5.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Yeah, right. (4.00 / 1) (#121)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:58:10 AM EST

Like Europeans aren't waddling along the same curve, ten years behind us...


--
His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


[ Parent ]
not to mention (none / 0) (#129)
by Battle Troll on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:20:27 PM EST

China, Egypt, Turkey...
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
well (1.75 / 4) (#146)
by Dirty Sanchez on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:34:26 PM EST

unlike usia, the majority of people in europia are normal.

[ Parent ]
Not true (none / 0) (#182)
by Eccles on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 05:17:54 PM EST

According to BMI, 58% of Britons are overweight. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1170787.stm

[ Parent ]
maybe (1.00 / 3) (#193)
by Dirty Sanchez on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:15:24 PM EST

you should retake geography 101.

[ Parent ]
Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#215)
by Eccles on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:34:24 PM EST

You should provide counter-proof instead of pointing out incompleteness in mine. "According to the most recent study by Eurostat, the European Commission's statistical branch, more than one man in four and one woman in five in the E.U. is either overweight or severely overweight. Even more alarming is the news that southern Europeans now head the lumpy league, particularly men. The survey gives Greece the dubious record, with 35.4% of its male population overweight, followed by Spanish males, at 32%. They have overtaken tubby British and German males (29.5% and 28.6%), and Greeks are more than double the Dutch figure (17.3%). Southern women have also displaced their northern sisters. Greece and Portugal share the worst figures, each with nearly 31% overweight. For Danish women, it's just over 16%. The consequences of these blowouts are dire: obesity is linked to a slew of problems, among them high blood pressure, heart attacks and digestive and respiratory disorders." http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/2001/0108/diet.html And have you seen Mario and Wario lately?

[ Parent ]
I'm sure the EU would be shocked to learn (2.00 / 1) (#234)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 07:41:01 AM EST

that great britain isn't part of Europe.


--
His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


[ Parent ]
News flash - water is wet!!! News at 11:00pm (2.77 / 9) (#37)
by smallstepforman on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 08:42:57 PM EST

Am I the only person tired of all these 'weight studies' all over the media? The problem is psychological, has been and always will be. Get people to get off their asses and stop eating crap and the weight problem will disappear. Our lifestyles have changed due to technology, now its time for us to acknowledge that and add one more change - more exercise. Every suburb has a gym - go visit it 3-4 times a week. Stop eating chips, biscuits and other crap between meals. Walk to the shop for a change.

It's not rocket science, you know

Disclaimer: I've lost 30 kilograms in 3 months by changing my lifestyle, and kept it off. I haven't been healthier or fitter in my life (I'm 33), and I feel great. I've also got a new women in my life because of my lifestyle change. Life is beautiful.

Newsflash - Excercise Alone is Ineffective (4.66 / 3) (#40)
by thelizman on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 09:37:17 PM EST

Excercise at best can only account for 20% of your caloric expenditure in an average day. Typically, it's closer to 10%. So just saying "get off your ass" won't work. In fact, I spend two months off my ass killing myself, and I didn't lose all that much weight. I was also on a low-fat diet. The problem was that I was excercising too hard - anaerobically, I was burning my glycogen, using up my protein, and not tapping the fat.

Excercise will increase metabolism. You only need to find your maximum heart rate, and excercise between ~65% and ~85% of that for at least 30 minutes a day, and no more than 2 hours, at least 3 times a week. Your Resting Metabolism (the basic processes that keep you alive) will burn 45% to 55% of yoru caloric expenditure. I ran the numbers recently and I actually burn 900 calories in sleeping 8 hours. Compare that to 30 minutes on the treadmill, where I burn ~700 calories. I think I'd rather work out a little and sleep alot.

More importantly, and what Atkins rightfully points out, is that you cannot avoid junk food because it accounts for 75% of what is in stores. To make a long story short, don't eat something that is more than 2 steps removed from it's state as a living item (plant or animal). Since Dorito's don't roam the plains of New Mexico, and Wheat Thins don't wave in the Kansas breeze, they're junk food. Copeesh.

Note: I lost over 115 lbs. Then I gained back 60. Now, over the next 6 months, I will lose 60 lbs. Congratulations on your weight loss, I'll be back after mine, and we can compare notes.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
well technically (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by collideiscope on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 11:03:31 PM EST

More importantly, and what Atkins rightfully points out, is that you cannot avoid junk food because it accounts for 75% of what is in stores.

So don't buy from the stores.

Tongue out of cheek, you can avoid junk food, but it takes a lot of work...more work than most people are willing to put into a diet.

It is also (usually) more expensive.

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

I've found it's cheaper (none / 0) (#161)
by webwench on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 02:53:38 PM EST

If you stay out of the restaurants, that is. You can buy a ton of green vegetables, chicken breasts, and even fish for what just a few frozen dinners would cost. Replacing Cokes with water is also cheap, and high payoff. Just about anything that comes in a box is what I would call 'junk food'.

[ Parent ]
Re: (none / 0) (#55)
by smallstepforman on Sun Aug 03, 2003 at 11:19:35 PM EST

Congratulations on losing 115lbs (50 kilos), but bad bad bad boy for gaining back 60 (28 kilos). Now think back on what you did in both cases, and you'll see the underlying problem - its psychological. You've even confirmed my statements with the following quote: " I think I'd rather work out a little and sleep alot". The first step toward a healthy mental attitude is to stop counting how much energy you consume sleeping, resting and doing nothing, and saying that its alright to eat one more packet of fried chips since you'll burn it off while sleeping. That statement is your worst enemy.

At the end of the day, its simply a matter of thermodynamics and the laws of conservation of energy. If you consume more than you expend, you'll gain weight. It you burn more than what you put in, you'll lose weight. All other dietary talk is bullshit. If you like cakes and biscuits, well then, I hope you like doing laps in a swimming pool or pumping iron, otherwise its time to see the tailor. I go swimming 4 times a week, and still stay away from sweets - the only sweet thing I consume is my girlfriend :-)

[ Parent ]

heh (none / 0) (#60)
by collideiscope on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:39:01 AM EST

You're spot on with the basic thermodynamic equation, but I hope you also realize that swimming isn't that great of an exercise in terms of lipolysis. It works, as you no doubt have noticed, but there's better out there. Eating your girlfriend is probably a pretty good one.


-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]
He he (none / 0) (#73)
by smallstepforman on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 05:41:25 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Why was this in hidden comments? (none / 0) (#86)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 08:45:20 AM EST

Sounds like good advise to me.

Hey Tezcatlipoca, guess what? I'm giving him a 5! Next time you don't like what you read, give them a 1, not a zero.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Sorry but I beg to disagree. (2.50 / 2) (#194)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:24:14 PM EST

To say that the problem is just psychological is completely uninformed and tendentious, tantamount of trolling in  my book regarding topics of this nature.

It is patently obvious that the solution to these problems is not just to "get over it".

At least I have a well thought out reason to give a zero, you may disagree with that, but I really thought like this when I gave the zero.

You in the other hand gave a 5 just to piss off other people, or so it seems to me, with complete disregard to the fallacy that the initial poster spoused.

Your  choice, but as you see I disagree with you.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

He's partly right, though. (5.00 / 1) (#224)
by gordonjcp on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 04:05:23 AM EST

People eat as much as they want, and exercise as little as they can get away with, because they have been conditioned to do so by the culture they grow up in. In the US, and to lesser but growing extent, the UK, you get huge shopping centres with every major fast-food franchise having at least one outlet there, and *no* pedestrian facilities. Frequently there is actually no way to get there on foot.
Basically, people want to stuff their faces with fatty sugary food because "There's nothing quite like a MacDonalds(tm)", and don't want to get their idle arses off their Ikea futon because Friends is on. No amount of faddy eating will fix that, only eating sensibly and exercising sensibly.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
As a matter of fact... (none / 0) (#225)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 04:30:00 AM EST

When I see people zero comments that have some merit (however small) I usually only give them a 1, 2 or 3 (depending on what needs to get the comment visible again). In this case, what smallstepforman was saying is actually very good advise, so I gave him a 5.

If you think I gave him a five simply to piss you off, you are very sadly mistaken. I made my comment to piss you off. Censoring people for comments you don't agree with is very uncool.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

It is not a matter of agreement or disagreement. (none / 0) (#317)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 08:36:59 AM EST

If somebody says a patent falsehood it deserves 0.

Show me one professional person in the nutritional field that claims obesity is only a psychological issue.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

No, if someone says a falsehood... (none / 0) (#322)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 10:10:46 AM EST

... then you give them a 1, not a zero. Hiding comments is to stop crap-flooding and the worst excesses of trolling badness.

May I suggest you go to your "User Info" and read the Trusted User Guidelines?

Please use your "zero" rating with care! It is only for use on comments that are wholly content-free. If you think the poster is clueless, or an idiot, or you just don't agree with them, that is not grounds for a zero rating. Zero is for comments that are offensive, script-generated, or otherwise content-free and intended solely to annoy and/or abuse other readers.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

complex carbs and simple sugars (4.00 / 4) (#70)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 03:59:37 AM EST

people need to understand the difference between complex carbs and simple sugars

drinking soda is way different than eating bread, although both are carbs

drinking a soda is like body slamming your insulin system- sugars spike in the blood and the pancreas struggles to react appropriately. over years of abuse, you are threatened with diabetic and peri-diabetic conditions like atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, etc.

you can't abuse a part of the body over a period of years- loud music in the ears, repetitive wrist movements, without threatening permanent effects- hearing loss, carpal tunnel syndrome. think of drinking a soda as abusing your insulin system like listening to loud music for a long time will make you hard of hearing and you begin to get a feel for what empty sugars are doing to your body.

eating complex carbs like bread means the carbs slowly rise in your blood and your insulin system can slowly rise to meet the challenge... and be a happy, unabused insulin system.

stay away from the sweets, and enjoy your longer more healthy life.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

not true for many carbs (4.00 / 1) (#93)
by speek on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:09:59 AM EST

Many carbs get turned into sugar so fast they are just as bad as sugar - things like white bread, refined pasta (well cooked), and potatoes. And fruits high in sugar can either be a problem or not depending on the person.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Well cooked pasta, potatoes, etc. (5.00 / 1) (#183)
by gjetost on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 05:21:49 PM EST

I heard of a book that mentioned some of the things you mentioned (especially the well-cooked pasta) and how they caused diabetes. The name was something like "better living through optimal health" or something with the word "through" in... would you happen to know what it is?

[ Parent ]
you are correct (nt) (none / 0) (#185)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 05:41:21 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Eating Well For Optimum Health (none / 0) (#192)
by gjetost on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:15:17 PM EST

I found it :)

[ Parent ]
Like everything else, it depends (none / 0) (#201)
by Pihkal on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:55:17 PM EST

The problem with this statement, and a lot of other statements about glycemic index, is that a food's stated GI only applies to eating that food in isolation. For example, mix in a little fat/protein (like butter or sour cream on your potato) and the GI goes way down. GI is a complex variable, not a constant.

"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!"
-- Number 6
[ Parent ]
how does that work? (none / 0) (#206)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 07:43:48 PM EST

that makes no sense. why would the ability of the body to break down the starch in a potato be hampered by Sour cream?

[ Parent ]
Glycemic shenanigans (none / 0) (#217)
by dn on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:14:05 PM EST

...why would the ability of the body to break down the starch in a potato be hampered by Sour cream?
The presence of lots of fat and/or sugar makes the stomach empty more slowly. Since most carbohydrates aren't absorbed until the small intestine, this effect slows down entry into the bloodstream. This is why simple starches can have a higher glycemic index than pure glucose syrup itself.

The glycemic effects of combined foods are very complicated. Calculating the net glycemic index is generally so difficult and inaccurate as to be pointless except for scientific purposes.

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

actualy (none / 0) (#205)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 07:41:35 PM EST

Fructose is harder to break down into Glucose than Starch
;-)

[ Parent ]
roofle. (4.00 / 1) (#72)
by Hide The Hamster on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 05:00:15 AM EST

The thought of 9 million severely obese people washing themselves with rags on the end of broomsticks. +1,SP


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

LOL (none / 0) (#76)
by Big Dogs Cock on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 07:11:34 AM EST

That's 9 million USians.
People say that anal sex is unhealthy. Well it cured my hiccups.
[ Parent ]
What are we meant to eat? (4.70 / 10) (#75)
by ajduk on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 07:10:49 AM EST

This is probably the question which underlies most of the diet debates.

Human diets have undergone two major changes over the past 10,000 years or so - which equates to perhaps 400 generations at most. The first change was the transition from Hunter-Gatherer diets to Subsidence agriculture (Still going on in the more remote regions of the globe), and the second far more recent one is the transition to processed/convienience/refined food.

Prior to any of these, we had typical hunter gatherer diets:

  • Organic, grass fed, highly excercised meat.
  • Poultry, Fish, seafood etc..
  • Eggs
  • Green veg, wild fruits (low sugar)
  • Wild Roots (More fiber/complex carbs)
  • Nuts.

HG diets typically have a high meat content, but low in saturated fat, and a limited carbohydrate content with a very low glycemic index. Actually much closer to an atkins diet than standard western diets. Even after accounting for lower life expectancy in general, heart disease and cancer are almost unknown in such populations.

The transition to the early agricultural diet in the fossil record is often marked by a noticable decline in overall population height, health (i.e. rickets), and brain size:

  • Organic, grass fed, poorly-excercised meat. (More saturated fat), quantities much lower than before.
  • Poultry, Fish, Eggs, and seafood in smaller quantities.
  • Some dairy according to technology.
  • Whole grains forming a staple item.
  • Domesticated fruits (high sugar)
  • Limited vegtables.
  • Domesticated Roots (Less fiber/more simple carbs)
  • Nuts as available.

These diets are much lower in general nutrients and protein and higher in carbohydrates. Deficiency diseases appear in populations; much of the third world lives on a similar diet today. However, typical western diseases are still rare due to short life expectancy and the excercise involved in maintaining this diet.

Now we move onto our modern western world of McWalKing:

  • Hormone treated, grain fed, poorly-excercised meat. (Lot of saturated fat), processed to lower nutritional value and injected with sugar and water to bulk up.
  • Poultry and fish (now higher in fat and coated in breadcrumbs), Processed (powdered, reconstituted) Eggs.
  • Whole grains now refined into white flour, pasta, with none of that inconvienient fiber or nutrients.
  • Domesticated fruits (high sugar), now processed into ultra high sugar soft drinks.
  • Limited/no vegtables; hugely increased time from soil to table. Everything grown for bulk (read: more carbohydrates) over nutritional value.
  • Even-more Domesticated Roots (Less fiber/more simple carbs)
  • Vegatable oils processed into solids (trans fats). High fructose corn syrup.
  • Nuts now condemmed as high fat.
  • And all delivered o your home to avoid the need to excercise by walking up and down the asiles of the supermarket.

Looking at just how different our diet now is compared to that of just 10000 or so years ago or even 200 years ago, it's hardly a surprise that obesity and other diet related problems have gone up.

But in relation to the article, to a 15,000 year old caveman, the Atkins diet would have looked fairly normal; western diets would have looked highly suspect.

It's better not to think about these things... (4.50 / 2) (#108)
by Fon2d2 on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:37:53 AM EST

If you start walking down the aisles of your local supermarket thinking about, nutritionally speaking, the human body is meant to intake and how you could possibly hope to satisfy these needs while still maintaining your regular schedule, you might as well forget it. There's no way you're avoiding processed foods. There's no way you're going to eat all organic fruits and grass fed highly exercised meat all the time. Most of that stuff on the first list, if left unprocessed, would spoil in two days. Do you really have that kind of time to be hanging around at the grocery store? Didn't think so. And are you really gonna go hunting around all the co-ops and organic food outlets to find the best deals on the good food? And are you really going to take the time to cook these things up into some kind of traditional Mediterranean meal every time you get home from work? Oh, you have something going on after work? Better just eat the Swanson's Chicken Dinner then. That only takes five minutes in the microwave.

[ Parent ]
Why not? (5.00 / 1) (#110)
by ajduk on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:54:59 AM EST

As long as you understand the line between thinking and obsession.. Junk food won't kill you stone dead the moment a morsel passes your lips, of course.

But I do try to practice what I preach. Cooking for yourself every night dosen't take as long as you might think after some practice, and the taste difference from frozen ready meals is worth it. Packing a salad for work takes about 5 minutes; ham and eggs for breakfast about the same time.

[ Parent ]

crap (5.00 / 1) (#137)
by mpalczew on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:04:01 PM EST

I cook for myself everyday I come home from work.  It's not hard.  If you choose to eat crap blame it on laziness.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
Faugh (5.00 / 1) (#152)
by scruffyMark on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:51:02 PM EST

We have fridges these days, marvelous inventions. I get about half of my veg from the farmer's market, and it lasts just fine from one Saturday market to the next.

And as for frequent shopping trips - it doesn't take long to buy enough food for the next day or two. You can do that in ten minutes on the way home from work.

[ Parent ]

about what we're "meant" to eat (5.00 / 4) (#150)
by scruffyMark on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:46:40 PM EST

I would have listed the hunter-gatherer diet with the meat items nearer the bottom of the list. My understanding of a typical hunter-gatherer diet is that it should really be considered a gatherer-hunter diet. That is, that the gathering part yields a good 3/4 or more of the calories. The hunting part is just more exciting, and leaves more sexy spear-points and charred animal bones for archaeologists to talk about.

Also, since hunting is irregular and unreliable, many (most?) days people eat no meat at all, or very little indeed. They pretty much spend all day snacking on fruits and veg (hunting trips basically being very long gathering expeditions that involve catching the odd animal). When there is a catch, it will generally be a few small animals, only occasionally a large one, so most of the time if there is meat, it will be a relatively small part of the day's food. Which is fine since you still get plenty of protein that way.

With the switch to farming, a given area of land can of course support far higher numbers of people. However, there is an increasing dependance on a smaller number of crops, so less diverse food, and a higher risk of starvation from one crop's failure.

The big thing that made the difference to health (as shown by height, longevity, etc), though, was the huge increase in the amount of work people had to do, and in the changed nature of that work. No longer was a day's work all about long walks with berry picking breaks, and occasional stints of running, tree-climbing, or root-digging. It now involved back-breaking labour, full days of digging, ploughing, harvesting - by creatures evolutionarily adapted to taking long walks and carrying moderate burdens.

Also, and here I'm not sure if it actually makes much difference or not, the whole 'three meals a day' thing (or two or four, depending on culture probably) only really came into play with the switch to farming, where you aren't grazing all day, but rather working at something that will produce lots of food in a couple months, so you need to schedule in breaks for getting large amounts of food into yourself quickly.

[ Parent ]

Search on "evolutionary diet" (4.00 / 3) (#209)
by Pihkal on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 08:03:58 PM EST

Please google on the evolutionary diet. Meat was most certainly not a large or predominant factor in the gatherer-hunter diet. It is doubtful that even the best hunting tribes were able to eat meat as frequently as every day. Hunting is hard. Evolutionary gatherer-hunter diets did not have high meat content.

Also, your statement "Even after accounting for lower life expectancy in general, heart disease and cancer are almost unknown in such populations" is fascinating. How, pray tell, do you know what the rates of cancer and heart disease were in ancient people? Even assuming you were talking about people in current gatherer-hunter societies, this statement has several problems. First, there are so few of them left, that sample size alone becomes a problematic factor in any statistic. Second, since more of them die younger from non-health-related issues, it further reduces the usefulness of mortality data for health-related diseases.

"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!"
-- Number 6
[ Parent ]

What were the hand axes for? (5.00 / 1) (#228)
by ajduk on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 04:47:28 AM EST

Please google on the evolutionary diet.

Anything in particular? The more scientific sources that I am aware of give between 35-50% meat by calories for hunter-gatherer.

Hunting may be hard, but it yields a lot of calories for the effort. Remember that prior to domestication, the calorie content of a lot of common plant foods would have been sharply lower.

First, there are so few of them left, that sample size alone becomes a problematic factor in any statistic.

A few thousand is enough; to demonstrate a lower rate than westerised populations does not take a huge sample, given the extreme rates of these diseases.

Second, since more of them die younger from non-health-related issues, it further reduces the usefulness of mortality data for health-related diseases.

First, when you cut-and-paste someone's comment, read it first.. this can be easily corrected for. Would you like to present some counter stastics?

[ Parent ]

Eat less. Move. (2.50 / 4) (#79)
by jope on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 07:43:36 AM EST

This whole diet thing is just silly: eat less and walk more and by all means avoid processed and junk food and you wont have an obesidy problem. Most diets just help you to get even less relaxed with your food - causing you to totally loose your natural sense for what you need. The biggest problem really is junk and industrial food, because they use all kinds of addicting flavors and other substances to get you hooked on very unhealthy food.

Spoken like an expert on health and nutrition. (none / 0) (#120)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:52:34 AM EST

After all, people are all the same, right? Therefore they all react to food the same way!


--
His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


[ Parent ]
The Question of Efficiency (4.55 / 9) (#80)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 07:55:34 AM EST

People try to say all the time that Atkins is really just a low calorie diet, and when I tell them that they're wrong, they try to tell me that any diet that causes you to lose weight simply must be a low-calorie diet. They claim it cannot be any other way, usually claiming there is no choice but to obey the physical law of conservation of energy.

However, it is more complicated than that. I understand conservation of energy very well, as I have a Physics degree. What everyone I have discussed this with fails to consider is efficiency.

The Atkins diet is by no means a low-calorie diet. There is an emphasis on eating lots of fat and protein, which are very rich in calories. No attempt is made to restrict the quantity of food you consume, and in fact you're encouraged to eat quite a lot.

It's important to understand how the calories that are printed on the nutrition labeling are measured. The food is placed in a sealed, insulated chamber that's pumped full of pure oxygen. Then it's subjected to a measured quantity of intense heat until it combusts completely. The amount of extra heat that's generated by burning the food is measured, yielding the calorie count. The food is burned completely, to ashes, so nothing more that can generate calories remains.

But that's not how your body uses the calories in the food. Some of the food is not digested at all, or not absorbed, so it is excreted in the feces. Energy is required to digest some of the components so that the net absorption of calories will be different depending on the makeup of the food. Some of the material that's absorbed in the blood stream won't be used by the body at all, but will be excreted in your urine. Some, like protein, may not be either consumed as energy or stored as fat, but will be used to build tissue like muscle, which will later break down and again will be secreted in the urine.

Only fat and protein can be stored in the body for any significant time; excess carbohydrates are either converted to fat or secreted within a few days. Stores of protein can only be built up through heavy exercise, so that you gain muscle mass. For most people the net storage of the protein they eat is insignificant.

Efficiency is well understood by the experts who promote other ways to lose weight so I don't understand why it's not considered when discussing low carbohydrate diets.

Practicing a low-calorie diet causes your body to react as if it were undergoing a famine. As a result of millions of years of evolution, your body's natural defenses will work to increase its efficiency so you get more "benefit" out of what little food you eat. That's why you have to restrict your diet quite severely to lose any weight at all from a low-calorie diet. That's why Atkins recommends having a lot to eat, so your bodies famine defenses are never brought to bear.

That's also why the most common reaction to ending a low calorie diet is to gain all the weight right back. Quickly too, an often one gains more weight than one lost on the diet.

The way low-carb diets work is to make your body waste fats.

It is also a common misconception that the way you lose weight through exercise is by actually burning the calories while one is exercising heavily. That's not actually the case except for people who exercise to extremes that are rarely practiced by most people who exercise just for weight control.

Covert Bailey says in his book Fit or Fat that the way exercise helps you to lose weight is that it reduces the overall efficiency of your body. Most of the resulting weight loss actually occurs when you aren't exercising.

That's my experience too, from when I lost a lot of weight by bicycling many years ago - I only bicycled for an hour each day, but I lost quite a lot of weight, became quite lean in fact and started to show some muscle definition.

As I mentioned in my earlier comment though, since I started taking a medication that is well known to cause obesity, I haven't been able to lose weight through exercise. I have exercised vigorously and regularly for months on end while taking depakote without losing any weight at all.

The weight loss through innefficiency that exercise promotes has two components. One of them is just really another form of exercise, but another is a true inefficiency that causes weight loss while resting:

Bailey observes that people who are overweight have a certain economy of motion. They will use a remote control rather than getting up to change the channel on the TV. They will walk slowly up stairs rather then bounding up them, skipping steps, as I had the tendency to do back when I was bicycling regularly. In general, anything they do to move will be done in the most energy efficient way possible. Thus they are not only not vigourously exercising, they are not getting as much of the incidental exercise as a fit person would just by going about their normal day.

In addition, and I think likely more important, is that a fit person's body tissue makes much less efficient use of the available energy than the tissue of someone who is overweight. I think this is likely more important because most people in industrialized societies spend most of their time at sedentary activities - working at desks, watching TV, driving cars and so on. Yet for most people, only an hour a day of vigorous exercise is enough for weight loss, even though the extra calories consumed through aerobic exercise are really not that significant.

I personally feel that vigorous exercise is the best way to lose weight for anyone that has the discipline to practice it. Human evolution is often called into evidence when arguing about any weight loss plan, and it's easy to see that our ancestors, even very recent ones, had to physically struggle very hard just to survive.

Exercise has many other benefits than just weight loss. It strengthens the heart and promotes better mental health - psychiatrists always recommend exercise to their mentally ill patients.

However, not everyone has the discipline to exercise vigourously and regularly, and it can be dangerous for people who are extremely obese or who already have heart trouble.

I spent almost a decade struggling to lose weight before I discovered low-carb diets. In the process I've spent a lot of time both reading the available literature and experiencing it first hand through exercise and practicing various diets. Based on that I have to recommend low-carb diets. I don't think it's that important which low-carb diet one chooses.

Because low-calorie diets cause the famine response in your body, which results in weight gain later, and because the constant pangs of hunger make it so difficult to adhere to low calorie diets, I have to recommend against them.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Exercising (4.00 / 1) (#100)
by bearclaw on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:57:39 AM EST

The way I understand it, the entire idea behind weight lifting is to cause microtears in your muscle, which your body will try to fix during your rest period. When your body fixes the microtears, it expends energy. That is why building muscle mass is a good way to lose weight.

Actually, you are kind of gaining weight since muscles weighs more than fat, but since fat takes up more space than muscle, you begin to slim.

If you go to the gym and walk on a stair climber for an hour, you aren't doing anything.


-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
How I used to work out (4.33 / 3) (#107)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:36:06 AM EST

I used to spend about 45 minutes of aerobic exercise, usually riding an exercise bike. I pedaled vigourously, so both my heart rate and breakting were going fast, and I worked up a good sweat.

Then I lifted weights, mostly free weights. I feel free weights are more effective, that they give a more complete workout because the motion isn't restricted as is the case with machines. Also free weights help one with control and balance.

I also don't feel it's a good idea to exercise only aerobically.

The first time in my life that I did any significant, regular exercise, I was able to lose quite a bit of weight, and I felt great.

Later on, after I began taking depakote, while I found that exercising made me stronger, noticably increased my muscle mass, and made me feel a lot better, I wasn't able to lose any fat.

Just about everyone who takes depakote complains of weight gain, and they all find it extremely frustrating to try to lose any while remaining compliant with their medication. The reason I am so enthusiastic about low-carb diets is not simply that it was the only way I have been able to lose weight while taking depakote, but that I found it actually quite easy to do so.

Even so, I feel that very few Americans get enough exercise. Likely most people in every industrialized nation aren't exercising enough. Most people could lose weight if they exercised vigourously and regularly. Exercise has so many more benefits besides weight loss that if you had to choose just one it would be better to exercise than diet.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

i agree (4.00 / 1) (#112)
by bearclaw on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:08:35 AM EST

Aerobic exercise if slow-twich exercise, if I remember correctly. I enjoy fast twitch more (weight lifting), but I do both.

And I COMPLETELY agree with you re: people not exercising enough. Too much xbox, not enough basketball (or whatever you like).


-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
muscle vs fat (none / 0) (#157)
by webwench on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 02:44:11 PM EST

The other thing about muscle tissue vs fat is that muscle tissue consumes more calories while at rest than fat does. This means you get benefit, calorically-speaking, not only from building more muscle tissue, but even once the muscle is there, even if you stop adding muscle and only maintain the muscle you have.

[ Parent ]
well....... (none / 0) (#130)
by collideiscope on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:30:59 PM EST


But that's not how your body uses the calories in the food. Some of the food is not digested at all, or not absorbed, so it is excreted in the feces. Energy is required to digest some of the components so that the net absorption of calories will be different depending on the makeup of the food. Some of the material that's absorbed in the blood stream won't be used by the body at all, but will be excreted in your urine. Some, like protein, may not be either consumed as energy or stored as fat, but will be used to build tissue like muscle, which will later break down and again will be secreted in the urine.

The calories that are excreted once we've digested a meal are essentially a fraction of the total caloric content of the meal.

I don't know if this is what you're trying to imply or not, but you just can't build a diet around the thermic effect of food, or the idea that "you won't actually get all the calories in that hamburger, because you'll poo some of them out".

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

I like your take on this (4.00 / 1) (#156)
by jettero on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 02:36:57 PM EST

I have a question for you, well or anyone I suppose. In pictures, all asians look skinny as hell. I'm under the impression that all they eat is rice, with some food sprinkled on top...

That seems like a super starch diet. Am I crazy? Why does a high starch rice diet work? Is rice high in carbs? or am I confusing the insuline thing?

Huh, reading this question, it's stupid, but I'd like clarification from people who know about this stuff.

[ Parent ]

Asians and Rice (none / 0) (#162)
by Mephron on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 02:59:50 PM EST

Most Asians eat whole-grain rice in their native settings, not the bleached, processed white rice we're used to in the US as coming with our Chinese food.  That's the difference - the excess carbohydrates that would normally build up fat gets entangled with the fiber and doesn't get absorbed, but excreted.

[ Parent ]
cool (none / 0) (#166)
by jettero on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 03:10:41 PM EST

I tend to eat basmati [sp?] by the 25 bagfull... I wonder if that counts? I don't think it's bleached. Hard for me to tell though. It is in fact white, does that necessarilly mean it's not whole grain? Actually probably.... meh. Oh well, I'm still going to eat my rice by the 25 pound bagfull. I like it.

[ Parent ]
Basmati is bleached.. (5.00 / 1) (#187)
by univgeek on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 05:48:21 PM EST

Almost all the rice available in stores here is bleached. Of Indian rice varieties - par-boiled rice is one which is not bleached. However, the flavoring is a bit unusual, and you need to grow into it. Doctors for diabetic patients, typically prescribe they eat this rice, if they eat any rice at all.
Arguing with an Electrical Engineer is liking wrestling with a pig in mud, after a while you realise the pig is enjoying it!
[ Parent ]
So what you're saying is... (none / 0) (#196)
by lb008d on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:40:40 PM EST

X - Y = Z

X = Calories In
Y = Calories Expended
Z = Net result

X is easy to track, as long as you are honest. Y is almost impossible to accurately pinpoint, due to everyone's different metabolic processes. Z is relatively easy, yet still inaccurate, since 1 lb of fat == about 3500 calories (if you're exercising and keeping your muscle mass, your weight loss will be fat + water).

As long as Y > X, you'll lose weight. Keep track of your weight daily, and you can estimate Z. I lost 15lbs in three months keeping excruciating track of what I ate combined with exercise, and have kept the weight off simply because I'm more aware of the caloric content of food.

You yourself say that your are familiar with the laws of physics, so how could losing fat be due to anything else, unless your body somehow excretes fat?

[ Parent ]

More info for diet n00b, please (3.00 / 1) (#82)
by Viliam Bur on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 08:07:56 AM EST

Please tell me some (the more, the better) examples of food that contain
mostly fat,
mostly protein,
mostly carbohydrates.

Seriously. It you have already spent hundreds of hours meditating upon diets, perhaps you will laugh at my question. But I am not very good at biology/chemistry/whateverFoodScience, and the only examples I know are: butter for fat, and sugar for... well... for sugar. ;-)

Do you have internet access? (1.00 / 1) (#84)
by starsky on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 08:20:57 AM EST

I suggest looking for nutritional information using that, or if you do not have it, try 'books'.

[ Parent ]
A few examples (none / 0) (#85)
by mberteig on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 08:43:39 AM EST

Fat: butter, lard, oils, fried foods.

Protein: beef, chicken, pork, salmon, tofu/bean curd

Carbohydrates: potatos, rice, bread, sugar, apples

It is important to realize that many foods have different proporations of the three categories of calories. For example, grains are a source of all three, although they are primarily (by weight) carbs.

As well, there are many sub-types in each category. For example, saturated fats vs. unsaturated fats. Or animal protein vs. vegetable protein. The different sub-types can have very different health effects.




Agile Advice - How and Why to Work Agile
[ Parent ]
Get your fats from good fats. (5.00 / 1) (#190)
by Yekrats on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:06:55 PM EST

Avacadoes, Olives, nuts, fish oils. Avoid the bad fats, the ones that you mentioned.

[ Parent ]
The ultimate answer (none / 0) (#128)
by ad hoc on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:19:06 PM EST

http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin/nut_search.pl


--

[ Parent ]
sometimes it's just too hard (4.33 / 3) (#91)
by the sixth replicant on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:07:14 AM EST

to determine if diets work well, or even if change of lifestyle is a good idea. Studying a small part of a diet seperately is scientifically valid but not very usefull unless you study a whole group of people for a long time. Hence the only studies I really take note of (though I take note of these article too) are cultural dietry studies (that is, population statistics).

So I know that if I follow the diet of an average italian or southern french person AND their activities (eg quite a bit of physical work), then I could live a long and prosperous life (isn't that what it's all about - I might be a bit chubby but I'll be healthy - long term wise, but won't fit into the ideal world of a Californian tanned, washboard stomach).

Is that enough? Do certain cuisines make you loose weight - probably not. Do we need to loose weight? Yes, if your cuisine isn't one of the ones studied and shown to be "not healthy". Yep, there's a lot of fat italians out there but you have to look at their health statistics and just say "Wow!". It's impressive (and there are other healthy cuisines - most of Asia)

Ciao

Dr. Nick Riviera should sue (4.00 / 5) (#99)
by President Saddam on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:42:25 AM EST


Now there are many options available for dangerously underweighted individuals like yourself. I recommend a slow steady gorging process combined with assal horizontology. You'll want to focus on the neglected food groups such as the whipped group, the congealed group and the chocotastic!

Instead of making sandwiches with bread, use poptarts.  Instead of chewing gum, chew bacon, heh...

And remember, if you're not sure about something, rub it against a piece of paper.  If the paper turns clear, it's your window to weight gain.  Bye bye, everybody!

---
Allah Akbar

I can't believe people are voting this up. (3.11 / 9) (#101)
by Pinkerton Floyd on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 09:59:40 AM EST

There is no restriction on how much you can eat on Atkins, and thus there is no restriction of your caloric intake.

Also, Dr. Atkin's heart attack had NOTHING to do with his diet:

The episode was caused by cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart's ability to pump blood is weakened because of enlargement, thickening or stiffening of the heart muscle.

In Atkins' case, cardiomyopathy was caused by an infection that spread to his heart muscle.

"I have had cardiomyopathy, which is a non-coronary condition and is in no way related to diet," Atkins said in a statement.

You should bother to read his book, first.  The medical and food industry in this country attacks this diet because it wants to keep making money, period.

Remember when you were young? You shone like the sun.

Oooh that dastardly medical industry (3.80 / 5) (#102)
by iwnbap on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:04:45 AM EST

Someone should stop them before they kill someone!

[ Parent ]
heh (3.14 / 7) (#104)
by reklaw on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:13:42 AM EST

The medical and food industry in this country attacks this diet because it wants to keep making money, period.

This is yet another reason why I avoid the Atkins diet -- the ridiculous conspiracy theories put about by his supporters and in the book itself. You can keep your Dead Doctor Diet.
-
[ Parent ]

I don't mind (3.00 / 2) (#105)
by Pinkerton Floyd on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:19:17 AM EST

if you stay fat, and die of a heart attack caused by all the fat in your body.

Remember when you were young? You shone like the sun.
[ Parent ]

I don't mind (3.66 / 3) (#106)
by reklaw on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:25:22 AM EST

if you eat fat for all your life like a loon, and then die from heart disease.
-
[ Parent ]
WTF? (3.00 / 7) (#134)
by Poor Yorick on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:48:28 PM EST

It's not as if you are some kind of shining example of any diet unless it's the all lard diet, you fucking fatass.

[ Parent ]
It's a C O N .. spiracy (none / 0) (#349)
by debillitatus on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 05:44:05 PM EST

You should bother to read his book, first. The medical and food industry in this country attacks this diet because it wants to keep making money, period.

Don't forget the aliens. The ones from Vega who have a clear vested interest in Americans eating more carbohydrates. They're influencing the media.

Also the liberals. It's pretty clear... I mean, if people eat more protein, that will drive up the meat industry's numbers, and that will discourage people from becoming vegetarian! Clearly the liberal media wants this not to happen. Any good conservative should know Atkins is for them. I think Bill O'Reilly should do something about it.

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

One of my side duties at work (4.78 / 14) (#103)
by AtADeadRun on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:07:13 AM EST

is Fitness Enhancement Program -- also known as Fat Boy PT, in the less flattering argot of everyday sailors -- Coordinator for my department. The Navy isn't known for its physical fitness, and engineering is even worse. So, when my sailors get put on FEP, they have to work out, and a significant percentage, especially the females, decide they want to lose weight. Most come to me for advice.

That's sort of weird, 'cause I'm a marathon runner with the metabolism of a weasel on crystal meth; I weigh one-fifty, eat between four and six thousand calories of whatever I feel like every day, and couldn't gain weight if I wanted to. The result is that I've had to look dispassionately at the various diet options out there. I've got no preexisting biases 'cause one worked for me or didn't.

All that being said, I universally steer my FEPpers away from Atkins. While the short-term weight loss is definitely there, I worry what these already overweight people might do to their arteries, kidneys, livers, etc. on Atkins. The only way to lose weight reliably is to output more energy than you input. Since I already know how much they're outputting -- they work out under my supervision, three times a week -- all I have to do is sit down with them and figure out how best to change and reduce their inputs. I've had a number of FEPpers lose significant amounts of weight, and several remake their life habits.

Trying to lose weight without exercising is a losing proposition.



-------
Pain heals. Glory is forever. Keep running.

We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
Pain Heals? (none / 0) (#288)
by andreiko on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 07:24:50 PM EST

"Pain heals. Glory is forever. Keep running."

I get that this is a quote about running/marathon running/endurance.

I can't fit the "Pain Heals" part in my cosmology and was wondering how it fits into yours. Please elaborate on this.

Thanks.
-- Andre

[ Parent ]

If you'd ever hit the Wall, (none / 0) (#306)
by AtADeadRun on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 02:17:02 AM EST

you'd know what it meant. The Wall is what happens, usually around mile 20 or 21, when your body depletes its glycogen stores and you keep pushing anyway. I've never run a marathon without at least stumbling over the Wall.

The thing is, the Wall isn't something that's going to hurt you permanently. It just sucks a very lot in the short term. So, you ignore the pain, run as close to the ragged edge as you can manage until you get over it, and after the race, it heals.



-------
Pain heals. Glory is forever. Keep running.

We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
[ Parent ]
The Wall... (none / 0) (#339)
by MKalus on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 10:24:20 AM EST

.... now here's a question, I have only done up to a Long course (4K swim, 120K, 30K run), but is "The Wall" you're refering to pretty much "bonking"? If so, I am wondering if you take in any calories during the run, like gels?

I know that you can't eat that much on the run as I can on the bike during my even so I most likely will come off a bit better energy wise before I get into the run, but I am really curious. I know I do hit some walls during the race but I never felt like it was a brick wall, more like some speedbumps.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

I've never heard of "bonking" (none / 0) (#343)
by AtADeadRun on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 06:25:13 PM EST

but the Wall is typically a result of glycogen depletion. I have an extremely fast metabolism, even for a runner, and if I'm not very careful, I'll burn off my entire storage capacity. I do ingest gels during the race, typically at miles 8, 15, 20, and 23. It's much more difficult on foot, however, 'cause you're supposed to down eight ounces of water, minimum, with each. It's hard to get that much down without stopping entirely or having a bottle.



-------
Pain heals. Glory is forever. Keep running.

We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
[ Parent ]
Bonig == The Wall (none / 0) (#344)
by MKalus on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 08:00:52 PM EST

Yeah, seems we're talking about the same thing, running out of steam, starting to hurt etc.

In Triathlon it is usually that you try to eat as much as you can on the bike and then try to down the gels during the run with loads of Gatorade etc.

For me that works marginally well, I have hit the wall a couple of times, my usual "eating" habits on the run is one gel every 20 - 30 minutes (that is at my pace around every 4 - 6km) and then grab something to drink at the next aid station.

I guess it works a bit different for Triathletes as (in an Ironman) by the time we start our Marathon we are usually already on the move for 6 hours (the slower ones even longer).

Michael
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Losing weight is very difficult for some people (4.50 / 8) (#109)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:39:35 AM EST

There are lots of people for whom no amount of exercise can help them lose weight.

For people like me who are taking medication that cause obesity, or for people with a genetic predisposition for obesity, Atkins can provide significant relief.

I know someone who had thyroid surgery for cancer. Everybody who has their thyroid out gets fat, because the function of the thyroid hormone is to regulate the rate of your metabolism. If thyroid is decreased you gain weight. People who have total thyroid removal take synthetic hormone, but they rarely take enough to return to their total metabolism level.

People who have only partial removal (like my friend) are usually unable to convince their doctors to prescribe the hormone replacement, because it is widely abused for weight loss purposes, and it can have fatal side effects, such as heart damage. Musician Karen Carpenter, who died of her anorexia, used to abuse thyroid replacement hormone.

This person I know who had her thyroid out has also tried every kind of exercise and diet. She worked out at a gym just like I did, with an hour of aerobic exercise and then weight lifting, kept up faithfully for six months. Her strength increased significantly but she had no weight loss. She was crushed. She was also unable to lose weight after trying both low-calorie and low-fat diets for several years.

She's been on Atkins for a little while and has lost ten pounds. That's the first she's lost any weight since she had her thyroid surgery.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Now there's an interesting thing... (none / 0) (#142)
by gordonjcp on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:22:14 PM EST

My mother nearly died due to a *massively* overactive thyroid - she's 5'10" tall and was about 11 stone, not lightly build but certainly not fat. Anyway, when she was ill, nearly 20 years ago, she went down to around 5 stone (32kg or so, about 70lb for USians). Since an operation then to remove most of her thyroid gland, she has gained weight, but is now up around 14 stone (90kg roughly) but can't get rid of any weight.

Now my theory is that
a) her thyroid is producing a lot less thyroxin than one might expect, especially in the presence of "artificial" thyroxin
b) her body is getting rid of thyroxin at a much higher rate than it normally would, being used to an excessive amount of the hormone
So empirically, I'd say she needs to take about half as much again of her thyroxin.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Live modestly, dammit. (3.50 / 6) (#111)
by megid on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:00:12 AM EST

Really. This whole diet crap is making me sick. Do modest sports. Eat modest. Drink modest. Thats my whole secret in not getting fat. It has ZERO to do with extreme diets, training, and avoiding alcohol and drugs.

To the very few who really have an (inborn or surgeoned) inclination to obesity, this obviously doesnt apply. For the 99,9% rest of FATTIES out there, it does. You can even diet with a meat diet, for gods sake. I friend of mine did and we all declared him crazy, but its been 3 years and he is looking healthier than ever before.

Thanks for your attention span.

--
"think first, write second, speak third."

yea (3.00 / 5) (#114)
by dh003i on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:33:10 AM EST

Eat all those greasy McDonald's hamburgers...but don't give me a bun.

Come on, that's laughable.

To stay in good shape, the answer is simply to *eat less*. In fact, studies have suggested that a calorie-restricted diet actually produces longer lifespan and longer healthspan. This would not mean depriving yourself of meat, fruit, vegetable, or carbohydrates --  but simply eating alot less (maybe half as much as the average American eats).

Social Security is a pyramid scam.

stop laughing (4.50 / 4) (#119)
by speek on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:51:45 AM EST

Come on, that's laughable.

Based on what? Intuition. Does intuition make good science? It is perfectly reasonable for you to laugh - you've been told your hold life it's the grease, the fat that makes you fat (and what could make more sense than that?). But, after 30 years and the diet is still working for people and the smattering of studies that have been done show counter-intuitive results, then it's time to stop laughing and do more studying.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Have a revolution roll on me. (none / 0) (#198)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:51:10 PM EST

If you prefer your hamburgers in a bun, perhaps you would prefer to put your patty between two revolution rolls.

They're made mainly out of eggs. I makes them with five egg whites, beaten to submission, and three egg yolks, plus some sour cream. This recipe, however, uses cottage cheese and some artificial sweetener. I don't use any sweetener.

They taste good and have the texture of bread, and no carbs whatsoever.

They are quite popular with Atkins dieters. Some have been known to bring them to fast food restaurants and ask to have their hamburgers made with them.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Recipe? (none / 0) (#345)
by rhdntd on Mon Aug 11, 2003 at 01:41:31 PM EST

I read the linked recipe, but since you say yours is different I just wonder how it goes together.  Maybe this is obvious for anyone that can cook, but my cooking goes as far as boiling water.  In the microwave.

-- 
"book chicks really seem to like anal"
  — Lady 3Jane
[ Parent ]
How much does an average American eat? (none / 0) (#227)
by blisspix on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 04:42:18 AM EST

In Australia, I hear all these stories about enormous meals that would feed 2 or three people being common in most restaurants.

But how much do americans actually eat? (Not calorie sizes, I have no idea what they mean). I would eat on average per day (I'm mid-20s, female, average weight) -

No breakfast (bad, I know)
Two cups of tea, one litre of water, a small bottle of orange juice
Lunch - Two sandwiches (white bread/cucumber/cheese/tomato/turkey/egg)
Two pieces of fruit
Dinner - A small serving of stir fry (white rice/veggies/chicken or seafood) or a pasta, or soup (I'm not eating red meat at the moment)

Can people really eat much more than this (or am I even eating too much)?

[ Parent ]

CAN they? (none / 0) (#300)
by JonesBoy on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 10:16:04 PM EST

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA....

You betcha!

American Eating:
Breakfast: Coffee, bagel with gobs of cream cheese
Snack: Can of soda
Lunch: 2 slices pizza, large soda
Snack: Candy bar
Dinner: Big Mack, fries, soda.  Supersized of course.
Snack: Couple of beers, bag of potato chips.   Maby some ice cream afterwards.

Its not what I eat, but it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for a typical american teenager living near a city.   I've seen/met people who eat all their meals from fast food joints on a regular basis, drink soda as their only fluid intake, and think candy is there to fill the time between meals.   I've also seen mothers call a box of lunchables, a cup of jello, and a box of fruit punch a "healthy" meal for their 10 year old.

From a nutritional point of view, the US is hurting badly.

Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
[ Parent ]

Ugh, Lunchables.... (none / 0) (#337)
by MKalus on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 10:13:23 AM EST

... i had the "pleasure" of living for a while in the US and saw the lunchables too. I couldn't quite get why any parent would give that to their kids.

But then you look around at what people eat in general and you realize just how bad it is in general. The stuff they sell at 7-11, the Soda fountain where for less than a buck you get 2l of the sweet stuff etc.

I am now living north of the border and the #1 reason why I would choose Canada over the US any day is the general quality of food. Sure you have McDs here as well, but if you go to the supermarket you can get decent food. If you go to a restaurant they usually don't need a fork lift to put the plate on your table etc.

The most ironic part is that from time to time I watch US channels and see US advertising and the difference is just striking. Yes, there is tons of advertising for fastfood here in Canada too, but it is a lot more low key than it is in the US. Alone an ad I saw yesterday for a Yoghurt drink mix called "Nouriche" or something like that, as a "breakfast replacement" because we're all on the run constantly.

I am no longer surprised about the size of people, I am not small, i am close to 6'2" but when I get into the states and sit on an "average chair" I feel a bit lost while at the same time my table neighbour who is shorter easily fills it out and spills over.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

JonesBoy is right... (none / 0) (#338)
by MKalus on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 10:19:56 AM EST

... what he describes there is pretty much true.

I grew up in Europe but lived in the US a couple of years ago and the food size really is staggering. The largest drink you can get (or could I don't know if it has changed now) is .5l at McDonalds. In the US the small one is that size.

The really bad thing is: If you don't look out you fall into the exactly the same trap with your eating as most americans. The most scary thing though are the tons of additives they put into the food, everything I tried had a chemical taste to it, the bread was pure sugar (I kid you not, any bread you eat will break down and taste sweet if you keep it a bit in your mouth but I never had bread start tasting like cake like the one I had in the states).

I must have gained around 15 - 20kg while I lived there (9 months) and I was pretty active, I walked to work or rode my bike, I cooked quite a bit for myself etc. etc. Once I had left the states and was back in Europe within a month I dropped all the weight I had gained.

These days I am even thinner, at the height of my stay in the US I was wearing a 38" waistline (ca. 90cm), these days I am at a 32" (ca. 80cm) while being close to 6'2" (187cm).

The problem with the US food really is that it is cheap, but it is also crap, or maybe my body just hadn't adapted to it.

As for your diet: Put in some breakfast ;)
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Phytochemicals?? (none / 0) (#115)
by ph317 on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:37:03 AM EST


I had never heard this term before so I thought I'd test your link out for some info.  It sure seemed odd to me that the url used an ip address rather than a domain name, were you trying to hide somethign about the source?  The best quote on the page is: "Was Tom Clark's discovery of the Sacred Spring a miracle or a chance encounter?"  Wtf kind of quack-page is this, and is this quack-page the best reference you've got to back up "phytochemicals" as you wish them to be viewed for your article?

Here's a link for you then (none / 0) (#330)
by numark on Sat Aug 09, 2003 at 06:06:53 AM EST

OK, if you're looking for something more reliable, here an in-depth factsheet on phytochemicals from Ohio State University. I hardly think you can call that quackery.

[ Parent ]
The evil side of all this (4.37 / 8) (#118)
by IHCOYC on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:49:40 AM EST

If there are no real initiatives by governments, parents, schools and individuals to increase physical exercise, then everyone may pay the price in the future as hospital beds are occupied by the obese.
Statements like this make me want to pull my hair out and scream. In the U.S., at least, there seems to be a wilful blindness to the repulsive assumptions being made by this and dozens of similar statements.

The slender do not become immortal. Everybody dies, and everybody dies of something. The notion that government needs to take steps to force people to conform to some norm in body size because the "obese" may someday "occupy hospital beds" is inhuman nonsense. Some time or another, we'll all end up in those beds; and a swift and premature death is cheaper than lingering senility. If you're a person for whom questions of public spending are so important, you should want them to hurry up and die.

The argument, apparently, is that the "obese" are likelier than others to become sick. Moreover, since the costs of caring for the sick are shared privately or governmentally by various kinds of insurance, it becomes everyone's business to hector their neighbours to conform to the "healthy" norm. This is socialism of a kind that Americans instinctively reject --- except when it is turned against "fatties" and other people against whom prejudice is acceptable. It also represents a very dangerous precedent; accept this premise, and there is nothing that can ever be "nobody's business but my own."

The typical response to anyone who points out the moral repulsiveness of this line of thinking is a string of ad hominems. I will be accused of insufficient attention to the New Virtue. A country where this kind of thinking becomes routine is not the kind of place I want to live in. It makes me so furious I want to grab people by the collar and shake some sense into them. If the thought that I might be bigger than you makes this prospect more threatening, so be it.
 --
Quod sequitur, sicut serica lucis albissima tingere rogant;
Quod sequitur, totum devorabit.

smoking (4.00 / 1) (#136)
by jettero on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:59:39 PM EST

Really it started with smoking, not fatties. Smoking smells bad and damages your health, so it was attacked. It's too much of a public burden I guess. Well, instead of being smelly, the fat are ugly and they cost more to care for than smokers. Of the vices, I believe drinking is the cheapest on the health care system...

Anyway, having won their war on smoking they now turn their attention to the fatties. I suspect there will be a mcdonalds tax at some point...

[ Parent ]

Smoking (5.00 / 1) (#155)
by IHCOYC on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 02:09:36 PM EST

Though I don't smoke, many days I am tempted to take it up, if only for the sake of solidarity.
 --
Quod sequitur, sicut serica lucis albissima tingere rogant;
Quod sequitur, totum devorabit.

[ Parent ]
Yup. (none / 0) (#165)
by randyk on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 03:06:57 PM EST

I am a take it or leave it on-again off-again smoker. I don't really think much about it until PSAs and billboards nag me about how bad and evil it is, then my first reaction is to run right to the smoke shop and buy a packet of tobacco and rolling papers. I smoke through that for about a month, and then forget about it for anywhere for a week to several months.

If I get to the point where I feel like I "need" a smoke, I stop then and there and that tends to be it for about six months. Then the next "nag you to death" cycle starts up and I do it all over again.

Yeah, it's an immature response, but it really pisses me off to see the government confiscate money from me so it can buy ad campaigns to nag me about my bad habits that only serve to remind me "hey, a cigarette sounds kinda good right now."



[ Parent ]
Public Service Ad From Philip Morris (none / 0) (#189)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 05:57:44 PM EST

Just an hour ago I was quite surprised to hear a very rational, calm and well-produced advertisement in which a woman explained what a threat smoking was to your health. She also pointed out that cigarrettes were addictive, and went into a few specifics as to just how they could cause you to die young.

The ad was brought to you by Philip Morris, America's (and perhaps the world's) largest tobacco company.

She said that you could get more information on the dangers of tobacco by visiting Philip Morris' website, or by calling their toll-free number.

In other news, I understand it snowed in Hell today.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Not at all (4.00 / 1) (#151)
by PigleT on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:50:33 PM EST

"The notion that government needs to take steps to force people to conform to some norm in body size because the "obese" may someday "occupy hospital beds" is inhuman nonsense."

Not so. If you smoke now, you already know the consequences are an increased risk of cancer and decreased life-expectancy, that you're consciously harming yourself and the hospitals will have to pick up the bills.

If you know that eating too much, or badly, now, is going to lead to obesity and related problems in the future and persist in going ahead, how is that different from imposing your short-sighted masochistic greed on the hospitals any other way?

Your point would only be valid if obesity had no other consequences. It doesn't. Wakie wakies...

~Tim -- We stood in the moonlight and the river flowed
[ Parent ]

Honestly, I don't care if people injure themselves (none / 0) (#241)
by Karmakaze on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 09:42:38 AM EST

My objection to smoking in public places has nothing to do with the possibility they'll be in the hospital in thirty years.  If they're willing to be ill, that's their call.

My objection to smoking in public places is that one smoker provides a cloud of toxic smoke that can envelop ten people who have not consented to self-poison, and who will continue to smell like smoke until they change clothes and shower.

An obese person, at worst, inconveniences one person (a seat mate) and that only in extreme crowding situations.  The inconvenience also stops the second the obese person leaves.

It's the difference between harming your own future health (nobody's business but your own) and harming the future health of everyone in contact with you.
--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]

Still affects others (none / 0) (#347)
by PigleT on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 01:03:36 PM EST

There are folks who dispute the seriousness of passive smoking. (I'm not one of them, but I gather they exist.)

Besides which, obesity does affect others - if you cause yourself ailments, that requires health-service resources to be fixed, whether it's obesity or smoking or attempted suicide. Those are resources that could be better spent on folks who aren't going to go out and waste them.

The real problem here is how to apply the gradient of moral obligation fairly to people; there is a spectrum of relative obligation to help someone, without doubt - it's finding a suitable set of terms  that's the hard part. For example, you *could* say "place smokers who develop lung-cancer a week's wait further down the priority list than non-smokers, a fortnight extra if they come back for a second innings", or similar. I'm not saying that's a perfect one-size-fits-all solution, but it's the sort of thing to be considering.
~Tim -- We stood in the moonlight and the river flowed
[ Parent ]

aha! indeed (none / 0) (#226)
by blisspix on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 04:35:13 AM EST

If we all live our lives in perfect health, the system is hoping that we will all just drop dead of a simple heart attack while out jogging, or peacefully at home in our sleep. Both options are cheap on the public purse.

It's quite depressing that a good message (live healthy) is being corrupted by bottom line sensibilities.

[ Parent ]

Paleolithic Diets (2.00 / 1) (#122)
by Baldrson on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:58:34 AM EST

There is good evidence that low carbohydrate diets produce weight loss in the short term. But there's no scientific evidence that it works in the long term. This is suspicious for a diet that has been around for 30 years

You're ignoring paleolithic diets.

Its as simple as reducing intake of foods that became cheaper and dominant calorie sources with agriculture -- and that is essentially starch -- not fruits and vegetables.

For 3/4 of the United States population, who are genetically ill-adapted to post-neolithic-revolution dietary patterns, starch (the cheapest source of calories) is at dangerously high levels in their diet ("The Zone", by Barry Sears, p. 31) Of course, about 25% of the population is well adpated to starch -- primarily urban ethines such as Italians, Jews, etc. For the rest of us it is less likely we have so much ancestry that coevolved with cities where virtually all the food calories were agricultural.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


Paleolithic (none / 0) (#148)
by czolgosz on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:39:00 PM EST

I started on a paleolithic diet about 25 years ago. I had been reading some of the precursors to the "deep ecology" movement and it was an obvious question to ask, so I independently worked it out. I stayed on it for about five years and experienced no negative health consequences. For most of those five years I was running six miles a day, working half-time and was in college fulltime, so my energy level was definitely good. It had further advantages-- it was cheap (essential for me as an impecunious student), it didn't interfere too badly with social dining, and it made me aware of the constant tradeoffs you make between dietary value and convenience. I also learned to cook.

One warning, though, about getting TOO literal: food cooked over a fire contains a number of carcinogenic substances. The key points of the diet are to stay low on the food chain (with infrequent exceptions) and to avoid manufactured foods. Avoiding burnt stuff isn't all that paleolithic, but I'd emphasize that point too.

About six months ago, I returned to the paleo-diet after a long period on the road doing consulting jobs and eating indiscriminately in restaurants. This had caused my weight, cholesterol count and other "bad numbers" to get out of hand, so I realized it was time to get it under control again. Since then, my weight has dropped by 25 pounds with no starvation and little inconvenience on my part, and the LDL cholesterol numbers are now back within normal range. So it definitely works, at least for me.

My friends who have done Atkins usually show signs of physiological stress: complexion gets bad, they look run-down, they catch colds easily. It seems to me that the dietary imbabalnce induced by Atkins triggers an "eat-your-own-muscles" starvation response, and that's what causes the weight loss. It's also what makes it unsustainable. The key to healthy eating is in making sustainable changes to your diet and way of living.


Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
[ Parent ]
I eat junk all the time and I'm fit. (2.00 / 1) (#123)
by xutopia on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:59:59 AM EST

I think all diets are quack. People have to learn to : 1. walk instead of using a car. That corner store 300 feet away is not too far for your feet to bring you there. 2. going to the gym to play badminton or some sport that you can actually like. Going to the gym to suffer on a treadmill won't be a lasting sport in your life if you hate it. Badminton, volleyball, heck even Tae Bo with a group of amateurs might prove so much fun that you'll look forward to those tuesday and thursday nights. 3. if you want to snack eat carrots, brocoli, bananas, pineapple, or a salted tomatoe or cucumber. Do not reduce your metabolism by starving yourself to death. Not eating when you are hungry reduces your metabolism and this means that at rest your body will put more fat in your body. 4. don't watch TV for a month. Get the paper for news as it makes you think. It was proved that you spend less calories with a TV turned on than in an empty room with no noise. TV's are evil and they make people dumb.

I eat junk all the time and I'm fit. (3.50 / 6) (#124)
by xutopia on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:00:51 PM EST

I think all diets are quack.  

People have to learn to :

1. walk instead of using a car.  That corner store 300 feet away is not too far for your feet to bring you there.

2. going to the gym to play badminton or some sport that you can actually like.  Going to the gym to suffer on a treadmill won't be a lasting sport in your life if you hate it.  Badminton, volleyball, heck even Tae Bo with a group of amateurs might prove so much fun that you'll look forward to those tuesday and thursday nights.

3. if you want to snack eat carrots, brocoli, bananas, pineapple, or a salted tomatoe or cucumber.  Do not reduce your metabolism by starving yourself to death.  Not eating when you are hungry reduces your metabolism and this means that at rest your body will put more fat in your body.

4. don't watch TV for a month.  Get the paper for news as it makes you think.  It was proved that you spend less calories with a TV turned on than in an empty room with no noise.  TV's are evil and they make people dumb.

People are different (none / 0) (#191)
by TheModerate on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:14:41 PM EST

Seriously, just because you say you're fit doesn't mean that you're eating healthy. There are a huge number of factors going on besides what you eat and how active you are. I mean, for example, a lot of teenagers eat a lot of crappy foods and never seem to gain weight. This is usually because they are going through a growth spurt and therefore their metabolism goes up sky high. I know this happened to me, up until I was about 17 years old. Then, when my metabolism returned to normal, my diet didn't adjust, and I spent my junior and senior years in high school about 50 lbs overweight. I'm now 21, and because of a number of circumstances, I have been able manage my weight somewhat better.

The main thing is that I didn't eat unhealthy either. I just ate too much of a good thing.

Anyway, for anyone reading this who is in your teens, this is your warning.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

No mention of "The Zone" ? (5.00 / 7) (#126)
by JustAnotherReader on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:08:46 PM EST

The Zone Diet has a bizzare premise: "Eat better and excercise". Amazing isn't it?

I just think it's odd how we seem to need to fine a "Trick" to losing weight like the Atkins diet. The "trick" is right there in front of us. Eat right and excercise.

The Zone also has you eating less processed carbs, but here's the difference, it makes sure that the carbs you eat are high quality fruits and vegatables that don't boost your blood sugar level too quickly. In that way both Atkins and The Zone realize the importance of insulin and blood sugar in their relationship to weight gain. But one attempts to solve it by putting your body into an abnormal hormonal state whereas the other does it by trying to balance the hormones in your body.

So regardless of what you want to call it: The Zone, or just "Eating right", a diet with enough protien to maintain muscle mass and the rest of the calories made up of good quality carbs of fruits and vegatables combined with consistent aerobic excercise seems to be the only "secret" you need.

Funny, but isn't that exactly what everyone from our mothers to our gym teachers told us back when we were kids?

I'd agree with this (none / 0) (#133)
by speek on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:47:30 PM EST

I think there are individuals who have been so damaged by eating sugar that they do have to go to the extreme of keeping themselves just on the edge of ketosis (once they've lost the weight initially), because their bodies can no longer handle "normal" amounts of carbs. And, as more and more people become obese, more and more people need these extreme solutions.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Bingo, this is right on the mark. (5.00 / 2) (#167)
by Yekrats on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 03:26:51 PM EST

You're absolutely right. The Zone Diet is basically just a framework for eating right. Shun the high carb foods the spike your insulin. Eat your veggies and a moderate amount of lean meat. Also, eat smaller meals with snacks throughout the day, so you don't go hungry.

The Zone Diet has done wonders for me and my family. It started when my father-in-law had a heart attack, and as a precaution, my wife had her cholesterol checked. It came back at about infinity minus one, and the doctor prescribed immediate medication.

Well, we decided that we didn't want to spend $50/month on Lipitor for the rest of our lives, so we decided to change our eating habits. We picked up a Zone diet book from the library, because I think my wife saw the Zone guy on Oprah a while back, and it sounded like it made sense.

That was about a year ago, and the doctor couldn't believe the difference the diet made. She had lost significant weight, and her cholesterol was down to "normal." The doctor thought that it was due to the medication she prescribed, and when we told her it was all diet, her jaw about hit the floor.

My father-in-law tried the Zone diet, and lost 50+ pounds, and his cholesterol is now normal. My mother-in-law (a former diabetic) has normal blood sugar, and no longer needs to take insulin medication. My sister-in-law just started it a couple months ago, and although I don't know the specifics, she seems noticably more healthy.

My wife dropped 50 pounds, going from a tight size 18 to a size 6/8, down to her size when I met her in high school. I've also dropped some weight, about 45 pounds, down to my high school weight. All of us feel better than ever.

It's not rocket science, but people look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I lost weight with the Zone diet. I hate when the Zone Diet gets lumped in with the Atkins. The Atkins diet sounds crazy to me. Mild, occasional exercise and good food will do wonders, I'm convinced.

[ Parent ]

Like Mick Jagger said... (4.00 / 5) (#127)
by SPYvSPY on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 12:10:17 PM EST

...when they asked him how he stays so slim: "Don't eat, baby."
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.

Eat less, eat right, get off your ass. (4.20 / 5) (#138)
by McMasters on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:05:14 PM EST

For 99% of the folk out there, this will work - it worked for me, too. Sure, I'm such an idiot I had to use that Weight Watchers Points-To-Success program, but it worked like a charm.

You are very hungry the first week as you go through the not-eating-twenty-freaking-cheeseburgers time, but your body adjusts quickly, you have more energy, you are less greasy, and you get more. ^_^

Eat left? (3.50 / 2) (#149)
by PigleT on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:42:16 PM EST

Well, yeah. Your subject, `eat less, eat right, get off yer ass' is exactly right. The salient facts are these, to my mind:

a) you need to keep an eye on the total calorie intake and weigh that against the amount of exercise performed;

b) you ALSO need to consider what forms those calories take - be it fats, carbs or whatever. I can see the point in saying that carbs are absorbed by the body and become fat later, or something, in which case cutting down on them is likely to be more beneficial than either any other food-group or all food-groups overall;

c) this is not some fad diet. Far from only being around 31years, it's been around in various forms since 1870. Google for `Banting diet', or something similar.

d) there are more cases of failed conventional dieting systems around than there are worries about the consequences of Atkins' diet.

With the last point and a half in mind, I think it's more likely that the purveyors of "conventional" diet non-recipes are getting uppity about something that can be more effective than their profit-margins would allow. Small wonder that an awful lot of FUD concerning the low-carb diets has emerged the past couple of years.

If your doctor says you can't hack it, don't. Otherwise, don't rule it out either, let alone generally.

~Tim -- We stood in the moonlight and the river flowed
[ Parent ]

atkins + ww (none / 0) (#222)
by Hatamoto on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 02:34:08 AM EST

Sure, I'm such an idiot I had to use that Weight Watchers Points-To-Success program, but it worked like a charm.

My wife and I both tried atkins at one point... it worked okay for her, but I constantly felt like utter crap, and I always had this sensation in my mouth like I'd been sucking on a stick of butter. When I went to do a blood test, I passed out... the nurse gave me a cookie and OJ, and when I realized that I was feeling good for the first time in a month I promptly went down to the 7-11, grabbed a slurpee and a big bag of M&Ms. ;) After that orgiastic sugar rush I swore I'd never subject my body to anything as inherently unbalanced as that ever again.

Anyways, later on she decided to give WW a try... she went on it and shed 60lbs in less than a year. After she dropped her first 20 I thought "Well hell, I'm getting flabby round the middle too, maybe I should give it a shot" and dropped 50 myself. We both now each have maybe 20 to go, but it worked great. Best part is after pulling apart the points thing and figuring out how they did it, we basically came up with our own way to count our calories, fat intake and so on without paying an arm and a leg and are still getting closer to our target weight. Aerobic and weight training figures large in this, of course.

The point system itself may be a massive simplification for people who just don't have the time/energy/brain power to figure out the greater complexities of nutrition, but it's a helluva lot better than passing over a bag of cookies for TWO bags of "lite" cookies (which have to be better for you cuz they're "lite", right? ;)

--
"Innocence is no defense." - Federal District Judge William H. Yohn (People v. Mumia Abu-Jamal)
[ Parent ]

Poll - Write-in (4.50 / 4) (#140)
by miker2 on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:12:02 PM EST

I'm on a high carbohydrate diet. I'm an endurance athlete (triathlon, cycling, running). For my size/weight (6'3"/158lbs.) and high activity level (10hrs of exercise/week), I need to eat 500-550g carbs/day and 125g protein/day. The thing is, I don't eat this much. I question everything I eat before I eat it and treat food as fuel.

Eating the right carbs helps too. Eat only whole grains (whole wheat bread and pasta, long grain rice) and stay away from high glycemic foods (anything processed).

There's a very good article in this month's (August) Triathlete magazine about carbs and how they affect the body. It explains glycemic load and how the body processes carbs. It was a real eye opener as I need to eat more carbs to sustain my training regemin.

no diet (none / 0) (#256)
by juju2112 on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 12:40:40 PM EST

Personally, I find the first poll option a little strange. How can someone be on no diet? Wouldn't they be dead of starvation in a few days?

[ Parent ]
Ketosis & Ketoacidosis (4.50 / 4) (#141)
by Kenoubi on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:17:00 PM EST

As a type I diabetic, I have experienced ketoacidosis, and it's extremely unpleasant. It makes it hard to breathe, I get very dehydrated, my muscles ache, I often get a headache, and I become very irritable. Drinking a lot of water and taking enough insulin to get my blood sugar back to normal (ketones generally get in the blood when I haven't had enough insulin) make things get better.

Since there have also been periods of a day or more when I ate extremely little, I have to say that even if ketosis is supposed to be medically different from ketoacidosis, it feels extremely similar to me - terrible, that is. I honestly cannot see how deliberately inducing that state could possibly be healthy.

Disclaimer: I'm biased against the Atkins diet or any low-carb diet because, having been a vegetarian my whole life, meat seems gross to me. If I had to cut carbohydrates out of my diet, I'd starve. That's not my only reason for disliking it, but if you want to discount my opinion, it gives you a reason to do so.



how ketosis feels (none / 0) (#143)
by collideiscope on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:25:45 PM EST

It's not bad. What you've described doesn't sound anything at all like how it feels to me, but different strokes and all that.

The main thing is you just feel absolutely wasted. Also irritable and short-tempered. But that's just for the few weeks that your body is adapting....once you've actually been in ketosis for about a month, things smooth out and you sleep better (and have freaky dreams), have more energy, and generally feel very calm.

YMMV.


-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

Well, it is somewhat different (none / 0) (#153)
by Kenoubi on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:57:54 PM EST

The main thing is you just feel absolutely wasted. Also irritable and short-tempered. But that's just for the few weeks that your body is adapting....once you've actually been in ketosis for about a month, things smooth out and you sleep better (and have freaky dreams), have more energy, and generally feel very calm.

The "wasted" and "irritable" parts do definitely sound familiar from my experience with ketosis, assuming that that's what a day or so with almost zero food intake would induce. Did you not experience the dehydration, though? That's one of the worst parts as far as I'm concerned (and no matter how much water I drank, my mouth still felt dry). The other effects (aching muscles, shortness of breath) are definitely less severe than they were with ketoacidosis, although I think they were still present. This hasn't happened to me for a while, though, since I've been trying to be more careful about my diet.

But that's just for the few weeks that your body is adapting....once you've actually been in ketosis for about a month, things smooth out and you sleep better (and have freaky dreams), have more energy, and generally feel very calm.

I found it so unpleasant that I doubt I could put up with a few weeks of it. Even if I could, though, the vegetarianism thing kind of rules it out. I'm 5'11" and my weight fluctuates around 145-150 lbs, so it's not like I have any need to slim down.

Having more energy and simultaneously being more calm sounds almost like a contradiction in terms to me, but you must be using the words differently than I do.



[ Parent ]
well.... (none / 0) (#181)
by collideiscope on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 05:17:45 PM EST

we're talking about two very different metabolic states: ketosis lipolysis (dietary ketosis) and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is essentially blood acidification and not a cool state to be in at all.

I didn't experience dehydration while in ketosis, no. That is probably because I drink ~ 2 quarts of water per day and am not diabetic.

I guess what I mean by "having more energy" is really "having a more constant supply of energy" rather than the insuline spike whiplash that I usually get when I'm straight carbing.

As a diabetic, naturally I hope you've found a way, through medication/diet/exercise or a combination, to control insulin levels, and I would recommend moderate low-carb if you hadn't already tried it. In any case, good luck in the future...

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

But because I'm a diabetic... (none / 0) (#212)
by Kenoubi on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:09:54 PM EST

I guess what I mean by "having more energy" is really "having a more constant supply of energy" rather than the insuline spike whiplash that I usually get when I'm straight carbing.

This is probably just because I'm a diabetic, but large amounts of carbs make me very tired, with no noticeable energy boost at all. This is worst if I don't take enough insulin when I eat, but happens even if I take the right amount and my blood sugar stays at near-normal levels throughout.

As a diabetic, naturally I hope you've found a way, through medication/diet/exercise or a combination, to control insulin levels, and I would recommend moderate low-carb if you hadn't already tried it. In any case, good luck in the future...

Well, I'm a type I diabetic, which means I'm insulin-dependent, so I take insulin shots. If my blood sugar is getting too high, I just take more insulin. So I'm pretty sure my insulin levels are right where they need to be.

As far as low-carb, I really doubt I'll ever try it; being a vegetarian and doing low-carb and being diabetic is just one dietary restriction too many for me to deal with. Thing is, I don't eat that much - probably 1500-2000 calories on a typical day, and some days barely over 1000. So weight maintenance hasn't really been a problem so far, although as I get older and my metabolism slows down, it might.



[ Parent ]
As a fellow T1 (none / 0) (#261)
by FriedEgg on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 02:07:50 PM EST

This is probably just because I'm a diabetic, but large amounts of carbs make me very tired, with no noticeable energy boost at all. This is worst if I don't take enough insulin when I eat, but happens even if I take the right amount and my blood sugar stays at near-normal levels throughout.
That's because of the blood glucose spike. Even when using Humalog, which is rapid acting, external insulin still cannot completely mimic the body's natural insulin response. It does lessen the impact, though, which is why you get the slugishness less when you take enough insulin.
As far as low-carb, I really doubt I'll ever try it; being a vegetarian and doing low-carb and being diabetic is just one dietary restriction too many for me to deal with. Thing is, I don't eat that much - probably 1500-2000 calories on a typical day, and some days barely over 1000. So weight maintenance hasn't really been a problem so far, although as I get older and my metabolism slows down, it might.
I'm a type 1 myself, and I've done low carb, and there's actually a type 1 doctor with his own low-carb plan designed especially for diabetics (although since type 2's are a much bigger market, he spends a lot of time dealing with their needs). It's Dr. Bernstein's Diabetic Solution, and the goal of his low carb plan is to keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible all the time, making you feel better and reducing long-term complications. The low-carb approach is the key because it prevents the short term glucose spikes mentioned earlier. There's even some evidence now that short term spikes may be the worst for us. His book does a really good job of explaining a lot of what goes on in a diabetic, even if you're not interested in his plan.

And, let me just add that I've been in ketoacidosis and ketosis, and I can easily tell the difference between the two. One makes me nauseous and vomit, while the other just makes me a little achey for a little while. I've been in ketosis for months at a time without any lasting negative effect. As long as you're getting insulin while in ketosis, you won't enter ketoacidosis.

[ Parent ]
Blood sugar & ketoacidosis (none / 0) (#270)
by Kenoubi on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 03:27:18 PM EST

That's because of the blood glucose spike. Even when using Humalog, which is rapid acting, external insulin still cannot completely mimic the body's natural insulin response. It does lessen the impact, though, which is why you get the slugishness less when you take enough insulin.

I do take Humalog. Also, this only happens if I have a pretty large amount of carbs at once - like, if I accidentally eat half a bag of potato chips (you wouldn't believe how much carbohydrate is in them; actually, you probably would since you're diabetic and probably already know, but a lot of people wouldn't) at the same time that I'm drinking a soda. Pizza and tortilla chips unfortunately often seem to trigger this as well. Pizza in particular is a pain - I really like it, but no matter what amount of insulin I take it doesn't work right, since it seems to cause a second spike several hours later. If I took enough insulin so that at the end of the process my blood sugar was normal, my blood sugar would immediately drop to unacceptable levels, forcing me to take something full of sugar to treat it, before the pizza fully kicked in.

I'm a type 1 myself, and I've done low carb, and there's actually a type 1 doctor with his own low-carb plan designed especially for diabetics (although since type 2's are a much bigger market, he spends a lot of time dealing with their needs). It's Dr. Bernstein's Diabetic Solution, and the goal of his low carb plan is to keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible all the time, making you feel better and reducing long-term complications.

I thought that even non-diabetics had a pretty significant blood sugar spike just after eating a lot of carbs, which is why the standard test for diabetes is fasting blood sugar? Not arguing that keeping your blood sugar levels down is a good idea.

The low-carb approach is the key because it prevents the short term glucose spikes mentioned earlier. There's even some evidence now that short term spikes may be the worst for us.

Well, long-term high blood sugar pretty much kills you as far as I know, so I don't see how short-term spikes could be worse than that.

His book does a really good job of explaining a lot of what goes on in a diabetic, even if you're not interested in his plan.

I'll take a look at the website. I remember reading some book about a low-carb diet some time ago (I think it was targeted to type II diabetics) and thinking it was total quackery, but I might be biased by the fact that I'd never consider such a diet myself.

And, let me just add that I've been in ketoacidosis and ketosis, and I can easily tell the difference between the two. One makes me nauseous and vomit, while the other just makes me a little achey for a little while. I've been in ketosis for months at a time without any lasting negative effect. As long as you're getting insulin while in ketosis, you won't enter ketoacidosis.

I'm pretty sure I've never vomited for reasons related to diabetes. Is it possible I've never been in ketoacidosis at all? I was never hospitalized for diabetes (not even when it was first diagnosed). The symptoms that I do get when my blood sugar is high, which I assumed were mild ketoacidosis (mild because it doesn't generally get that high or stay that way that long before I start to feel like crap, notice, do a blood test, and take enough insulin to get my blood sugar back to normal) are shortness of breath, dehydration, lack of appetite, and sometimes headaches and cramps (though these may themselves just be results of dehydration).



[ Parent ]
Mmm, pizza (none / 0) (#274)
by FriedEgg on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 04:32:07 PM EST

Pizza in particular is a pain - I really like it, but no matter what amount of insulin I take it doesn't work right, since it seems to cause a second spike several hours later. If I took enough insulin so that at the end of the process my blood sugar was normal, my blood sugar would immediately drop to unacceptable levels, forcing me to take something full of sugar to treat it, before the pizza fully kicked in.
Pizza does have a second spike with almost everyone. It seems to be a combination of the high levels of fat/protein, and for insulin pumpers, it's a constant topic of discussion. Most people work out a double injection plan for it, some when you first eat, some a few hours later. Popcorn also seems to do this to some.
I thought that even non-diabetics had a pretty significant blood sugar spike just after eating a lot of carbs, which is why the standard test for diabetes is fasting blood sugar? Not arguing that keeping your blood sugar levels down is a good idea.
A non-diabetic has a "Phase 1" insulin response to eating, which in the non-diabetic should keep the blood glucose level under 140 mg/dl even after consuming a lot of carbs. Usually, this will stay under 120. The "Phase 1" insulin is what's already stored in the pancreas, and is faster than even Humalog. It's more similar to a direct injection of insulin into the bloodstream, rather than the fat we use. Basically, fast carbs (like bread) are faster than even our best insulin, and can still spike us to 200+ mg/dl quickly before the insulin can kick in.
Well, long-term high blood sugar pretty much kills you as far as I know, so I don't see how short-term spikes could be worse than that.
True, but in a "well controlled" diabetic, postprandial (after meal) glucose spikes can go unnoticed, as most people don't test after eating. Also, because of their short duration, they may not noticeably impact an a1c test, resulting in a false sense of security. Some studies have linked the postprandial spikes with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Of course, as with a lot of diabetes topics, it's still a controversial subject. If there is a link, and there are a lot of "near" type 2 diabetics (people that just spike shortly after meals), you can see the danger.
I'm pretty sure I've never vomited for reasons related to diabetes. Is it possible I've never been in ketoacidosis at all? I was never hospitalized for diabetes (not even when it was first diagnosed). The symptoms that I do get when my blood sugar is high, which I assumed were mild ketoacidosis (mild because it doesn't generally get that high or stay that way that long before I start to feel like crap, notice, do a blood test, and take enough insulin to get my blood sugar back to normal) are shortness of breath, dehydration, lack of appetite, and sometimes headaches and cramps (though these may themselves just be results of dehydration).
I wasn't hospitalized when diagnosed either (stupid high school physical), but after a few years, being a rebellious teen, I just stopped taking insulin. Bad idea. About 2 days later, it felt like a really really bad flu, and by the 3rd day, I was in the hospital. It sounds like you've seen the early symptoms, and developing full blow ketoacidosis can depend on a few factors. The length of time you've had diabetes, the better controlled you've been in the past, the types of insulin you're on, etc. Dehydration is, of course, a big part of it, too. If you haven't been hospitalized with it, keep it that way.

[ Parent ]
I don't feel anything from ketosis (none / 0) (#184)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 05:32:35 PM EST

I've been in ketosis for a few weeks and haven't been able to tell from feeling anything. The only way I know is to pee on the test strips. I do that from time to time to make sure I'm sticking to the diet properly.

Possibly the reason I don't notice is that I habitually drink a lot of water. However, the other person I know who does Atkins doesn't like to drink water and also couldn't tell she was on Atkins if it weren't for the test strips.

I have heard that ketosis can make your breath smell like acetone but I imagine that only happens when it is much more extreme than what I have experienced.

It's important to understand that ketosis and ketoacidosis are two different things, with two different causes. They just happen to share the same effect of putting ketones into your blood that are excreted in urine. Only one of them is threatening to your health.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Difference between the two (5.00 / 1) (#213)
by Kenoubi on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:16:58 PM EST

Possibly the reason I don't notice is that I habitually drink a lot of water. However, the other person I know who does Atkins doesn't like to drink water and also couldn't tell she was on Atkins if it weren't for the test strips.

Whenever I'm in (generally pretty mild) ketoacidosis, water makes me feel a lot better. Even having taken enough insulin to bring my blood sugar back down, if I don't drink some water I'll get very dehydrated. Unfortunately, the water tastes absolutely terrible, almost hard to swallow, when I'm in that state. I don't know why.

It's important to understand that ketosis and ketoacidosis are two different things, with two different causes. They just happen to share the same effect of putting ketones into your blood that are excreted in urine. Only one of them is threatening to your health.

If you're an expert on the subject, I'd be willing to cede this point, but as it was explained to me, they are more or less the same thing - they both involve your body burning its own tissues when it can't get enough energy from food (either because there's no insulin to get it into the cells, or because the energy just isn't there) and producing ketones, which I was told are a poison, as a byproduct. I looked it up, though, and it seems that the levels of ketones used in ketogenic diets, like Atkins, are much lower than those found in diabetic ketoacidosis, though.

Just to be sure, ketosis is the state that would probably be induced by not eating much of anything for a day, right? I'm assuming that you don't have to eat a lot of fat / protein to get it, just not eat very many carbohydrates. If that's the state we're talking about, then yes, it definitely felt similar to (although not as bad as) ketoacidosis, for which I'm inclined to blame the ketones.



[ Parent ]
That's because you're not exercising (none / 0) (#321)
by dorquemada on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 09:39:59 AM EST

What marathoners call 'the wall' is the ketosis barrier. I've hit that one several times, and I'm here to tell you it's not fun. That's a little extreme, considering you've already got more than 20 miles behind you when you hit it. Guys that go to Ranger school tend to undergo long-term ketosis, too. You take a guy who scored a 300 on the APFT prior and test him again after and he'd be doing well to break 16 minutes on the 2 mile run. Trying to do any form of aerobic activity when you're burning protein is hell on wheels.

[ Parent ]
In Tri-circles it is known as... (none / 0) (#336)
by MKalus on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 10:07:18 AM EST

... bonking....

Feels like you somehow lost all the energy you had, not nice, if it gets really really bad you are in real physical pain, never got that far but the. "WTF, why does it take so much willpower to crank the freaking pedal." I had a couple of times.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Quackery... (1.00 / 1) (#145)
by gordonjcp on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 01:28:23 PM EST

With a low-carb diet, you don't eat any bread. Now, bread yeast contains stuff needed for the body to get vitamin B16, which is important in regulating the synthesis of hormones. No B16, hormones all to pot. What this does to men I don't know, but it can cause really bad PMS in women. Really, really bad. Can be sorted out with a large supply of chocolate chip croissants.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


Why not just eat yeast? Or drink beer? (none / 0) (#164)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 03:04:38 PM EST

I have found yeast capsules in health food stores. Lots of yeast is also found in beer, which can be drunk in moderation on a low carb diet.

Also some people sprinkle yeast on their food to flavor it.

Finally, all the low-carb diets I have read about recommend specific levels of dietary supplements. I take a half dozen tablets and capsules.

Try again.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Only 'live' beers... (none / 0) (#171)
by baron samedi on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 04:04:50 PM EST

Not all beer will have active, live yeast. Your mainstream beers have no active yeast. You have to go with smaller breweries in order to get the live beer.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
I hunt my beer on the open plains... (4.50 / 2) (#176)
by loucura on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 04:47:53 PM EST

Just like my ancestors did. And when I catch them, I  club them over the head with a sideboard, and drink their yummy insides. Depending on my boredom level, I might skin them too... but that might be to graphic for the vegans so I won't go into more detail.

[ Parent ]
This is nonsence... (4.00 / 1) (#174)
by ryanbarr on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 04:23:16 PM EST

With a low-carb/controlled-carb diet you avoid processes flours. I am currently on atkins, and have been doing it for quite some time. I eat pleaty of bread and pasta along with tortilla's, muffins, pancakes... You name it. The trick is to go for the whole grains, avoid enriched flour etc... There is a whole line of products for the controlled carb lifestyle, all of which are widely available.


-rb
[ Parent ]
Low-carb Misconceptions (4.71 / 14) (#154)
by gidds on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 02:05:57 PM EST

There's a lot of FUD being spread about low-carb diets in general, and Atkins in particular. As someone who's been there myself, maybe I can counter a few:
  • Low-carbing is a new fad.
Atkins has been around for over 30 years, but low-carb diets are far older. One prominent exponent was the Englishman Harvey Banting, who was recommended one by his doctor and was so successful that he wrote a book about it back in the 1860s. In fact, for a while, 'banting' became a synonym for 'dieting'.
  • All the weight loss is water.
For the first day or two, yes; as your body uses up your glycogen stores in your liver and muscles, you'll lose the water that it's stored with. But those stores only last up to 2 days (or as little as 12 hours, depending who you believe). After that it's all genuine body mass.
  • Well, then all the weight loss after that is muscle.
As in any other circumstance, your body make-up depends on your lifestyle. If you sit on the couch all day, then yes, some of what you lose may well be muscle mass. But studies have shown that if you keep active, then most of the loss will be body fat. Atkins makes a major point of this: regular exercise is a 'non-negotiable' part of his diet.
  • It causes kidney stones and other problems.
Long-term studies have shown no real risks. It's true that if you don't drink enough, you can get kidney stones &c, but again, Atkins and other low-carb diets stress that you must drink enough water and other fluids.
  • It's just another form of calorie-controlled diet.
AFAICT, the jury is still out on this one. It may be that in the absence of insulin, some unused fat gets excreted without being stored. Or not. But even if the weight loss does work through calorie restriction, there's one important factor in its favour: it reduces hunger. One thing I've noticed is that carbs make you hungry (though often several hours later, and it depends on the type); eat less carbs, you get less hungry, so naturally eat less. So even if this is true, losing weight through lowering carb is easier than through lowering fat, because you're not fighting your natural hunger all the time.
  • Low-carbing is something radical.
Maybe these days, it is; the fact that it's seen as an 'extreme' diet shows just how much carb our 'normal' diet contains. But this is only true in modern times, and even half a century ago most people would have been eating less carb. Historically, low-carb is much closer to the diet we evolved to fit, where carbs in quantity were only available (as fruit) at certain times of year. I believe that our bodies were designed to eat lots of fruit in the autumn and lay down fat stores, which were then slowly used up during the rest of the year. If so, these days we're on a permanent 'Autumn Diet', and low-carbing for some or all fo the time simply restores the balance.

Ideally, it wouldn't need to be something radical; if the 'accepted wisdom' was that low-carb was healthy, instead of low-fat, then we wouldn't even be having this discussion...

  • Atkins is a high-fat diet, so it's dangerous.
Wrong on both counts. Atkins is a low-carb diet; you may find that you replace much of that carb with fat, or with protein, or you may find you eat less. Or, more likely, some combination. Atkins has often been portrayed with lots of lard, and indeed some like it that way, but it's far from compulsory, and calling it 'high-fat' is a misrepresentation.

And regardless, high-fat doesn't necessarily lead directly to heart problems &c. There's some evidence linking these problems mainly to 'trans' fats - those which have been hydrogenated or otherwise manipulated, e.g. as found in margarine. (IIRC, something like 75% of the fat found clogging arteries is trans fat.) Natural fats, such as animal fat and olive oil, have little or no trans fat, and are thought to be much safer.

As Atkins puts it, if you're burning fat, then you're not laying it down in your fat cells, arteries, or wherever, so it won't be doing any damage!

  • It forbids all vegetables.
This one's just rubbish! It's true that during the Atkins 'induction' phase, allowed carb levels are low enough to rule out many vegetables, but as the article says, this is only for a fortnight (and many other low-carb diets don't have such a restrictive phase at all). Later on, most vegetables are fine. On my diet, for instance (where I simply cut out anything with more than about 10% carb), I only had to cut out potatoes, peas, and pulses; in fact, on low-carb I've probably had far more fresh veg than I ever did before: cabbage, cauli, broccoli, peppers, carrots, onions, greens, mangetout, asparagus, lettuce, string beans, cucumber...
  • It has a bad effect on blood cholesterol.
Studies have shown that although the total blood cholesterol doesn't generally fall on low-carb diets, the ratio of 'good' (HDL) to 'bad' (LDL) cholesterol tends to improve markedly. And it's this ratio that is now thought to be the best indicator of health.
  • It's hard to stick to.
This depends upon many things, such as lifestyle, motivation, and character, but I know many folks who've stuck to low-carb diets for months or years and are much healthier as a result, so it can't be that hard. (I'm one, and I'm not known for my will-power...) You need a degree of will-power, of course, but this is true of any diet or any change of lifestyle at all.

I find that it's much easier if you cook for yourself; though this just underlines how much carb there is in our diet already. One interesting factor is that many 'snack' foods are largely or wholly carb, whereas traditional main meals are often much less. So it's the snacks and junk foods that are hit the hardest by a low-carb diet; maybe this change in eating habits is also significant in its success. (In fact, much of the food industry as a whole seems to be based on selling carb; I can see why some suspect that the low-fat message gets promoted so heavily because of lobbying by the industry - though I'm loath to put it all down to such conspiracy theories.)

I suspect that another reason it's seen as hard to stick to is that it's seen as such a radical change, so if/when people falter, they give up completely. If it didn't loom as large in people's minds, people might feel happier with the odd lapse and keep going.

  • It's all marketing; it doesn't really work.
Well, without the long-term studies needed, there's not too much solid medical evidence either way. But, as I said, it's worked for me, and it's worked for almost all the people I know who've tried it (which is quite a few). No-one's been able to show any serious medical problems if you're sensible (e.g. enough water and exercise). My energy levels have been better throughout the day, I've been less hungry (to the extent that I've been able to miss the odd meal without even noticing), I've lost a couple of stones, and I'm eating less junk and more fresh food. If it doesn't work, then it's certainly giving me a very good impression of working...

As to marketing, I've seen virtually none over here in the UK. What I have seen is lots of articles in the media biased against it, emphasising the extreme features or even printing downright lies. I've seen lots of misconceptions spread about it (such as those above) - though most of it in good faith, I'm sure. And I've seen the 'low fat = healthy' message promoted to the extent that it's taken as an axiom. In short, low-carb diets seem to be gaining popularity despite marketing, not because of it!

To finish, I encourage people to try it and see for themselves! You don't have to follow a strict regimen like Atkins - there are many other low-carb diet plans. (As I said, I simply cut out anything with more than about 10% carb, which has worked great for me.) There's lots of rubbish talked about it by zealots on both sides; the truth, as always, is somewhere in between. But AFAICT low-carb diets are far from the dangerous fad they're painted, and might just be a good way to live.

Andy/

Well said, reducing HUNGER is the key to Atkins... (5.00 / 2) (#233)
by Metatone on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 07:08:34 AM EST

It's amusing how ignorant supposedly educated doctors and nutritionists are about what makes people eat.

They say "Atkins just restricts the calories, any old diet can do that." The key value of the Atkins diet is it seems to reduce hunger, the craving for food. Thus, it turns reducing calories from a major effort of will, battling your own physiology to a smaller one battling the mental attraction to beer and chocolate.

If people weren't so ridiculously moralistic about weight gain/loss, this would be seen as a triumph. As it is, we prefer to characterise overweight people as people without willpower and/or moral strength. Thus, the idea of a diet that reduces the role of willpower strikes us too deeply in the psyche to recognise it's value.

[ Parent ]

Ahh.. (none / 0) (#259)
by MKalus on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 01:24:19 PM EST

Now I am doing the same thing you do, but how the heck do you get to 158 pounds???

I am 6'2 (well close to anyways) at 190 pounds (as of yesterday) and body fat at around the 10% mark.

So you're either a stick or something else is admiss here.

You're not the only one BTW, I have a friend who is your size and roughly in the same weight range but I can't really figure out where the difference is between him and me.

Of course I am slow, faster than 7:30 minute miles makes me wanna puke (well not really) ;)

M.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Water weight (none / 0) (#240)
by Karmakaze on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 09:24:43 AM EST

* All the weight loss is water.

For the first day or two, yes; as your body uses up your glycogen stores in your liver and muscles, you'll lose the water that it's stored with. But those stores only last up to 2 days (or as little as 12 hours, depending who you believe). After that it's all genuine body mass.

Well, that's kind of a silly attack on Atkins.  (Not saying people don't use it.)  It's also true of pretty much any diet.  You lose water weight first.  I happen to be on a low-calorie (traditional) diet right now myself, and one of the things that they stress is that you can never expect to lose as much as you did the first week, as water weight is a short term thing.  They also insist that you drink a lot of water throughout the day.
--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]

Re: Water weight (none / 0) (#289)
by gidds on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 07:27:34 PM EST

Water loss is particularly connected with low-carb diets, though.

<science bit> Your body prefers to burn sugar if any is available. So if you stop eating carb, it then turns to your short-term sugar stores. These are in the form of glycogen stores in the muscles and liver, and last anything from 12 hours to 2 days, depending who you ask. Only once those are used up will your body 'switch' into fat-burning modes, which is the point of low-carbing. Where water comes in is that glycogen is stored with water; with three parts water, in fact, which can be quite a lot. <science bit>

Of course, any diet which involves eating less calories than you burn will eat into the glycogen stores, too. But low-carb does it even if you eat more calories than you burn. Hence the particular association.

Andy/
[ Parent ]

A Data Point (4.33 / 3) (#158)
by Lagged2Death on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 02:45:43 PM EST

The Atkins diet was the first low-carb diet to capture the public imagination...

It bears mentioning that low-carb diets have been around a lot longer than the Atkins diet - the Banting diet [Warning: uncritical fanboy link] was first published in 1863, and caused quite the sensation in its day, making "banting" a synonym for "dieting" for a while. Given how long low-carb diets have been around, it's astonishing we don't know more about them.



Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!
Darn It (none / 0) (#159)
by Lagged2Death on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 02:47:22 PM EST

I searched the comments to be sure I wasn't repeating the point, but it turns out I was anyway.



Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!
[ Parent ]
Sue Sue Sue! (1.60 / 5) (#163)
by duffbeer703 on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 03:01:39 PM EST

Sue the evil carbohydrate producing industral megaplexes. Sue ignorant farmer growing high-carb grain and cereals.

The only solution to the impending obesity disaster is to cut useless math and science classes in favor of more gym in the schools. If a child can't reach over his gut to reach a table, he can't do math anyway!

Adults must be forced to eat beans and spinach. It's too cruel to eat meat and too unhealthy to eat anything else!

Quackery and non-Quackery (3.81 / 11) (#169)
by Graymalkin on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 03:57:13 PM EST

I've known several people that have adhered to the letter of the Atkin's diet and lost a signifigant amount of weight and were able to keep it off. The primary goal of hypocarb diets is to cut out the crap your body doesn't know how to deal with properly.

Modern humans have hunter/gatherer metabolisms. Our bodies developed eating fruits, nuts, and vegetables with meat rounding out our diet as we learned to efficiently kill things. As such our bodies know how to deal with such food efficiently.

What we never developed with nor learned how to handle metabolically were grains and cereals. Our bodies react badly to the influx of simple starches most cereals provide. Our digestive system goes into overdrive because the food is broken down so quickly. Most of the starch ingested ends up hitting the bloodstream within an hour or so of being eaten. This causes a massive insuliun rush in an effort to process all the sugar in the blood. The pancreas works overtime during this period to keep up with the demand for insulin. This insulin rush tells the body it is no longer hungry but not in a quick enough fashion to keep you from eating too much.

If we eat a lot of cereals our body develops what is known as insulin resistance. It becomes natural for our bodies to overproduce insulin. This becomes a major issue because it stresses the pancreas in a very unhealthy fashion eventually leading to Type 2 diabetes. Also because of the insulin resistance our bodies lose their energy efficiency. We store a major percentage of the energy we get from food instead of actually using it properly.

Our bodies simply cannot deal with te ease of energy extraction of starches. The caloric yield of starches is much higher per unit of mass than it is for fats and proteins. If you need raw energy starchy food is your best bet but these foods need to be eaten is moderation to keep from storing all the energy you get from them.

Therein lies the problem. In 1941 when Roosevelt prompted the National Nutrition Conference the first RDAs (Reccomended Daily Allowances) we introduced. The Basic Seven food groups were introduced to help people figure out what they needed to eat during the food shortages of the war. These were a special modification of the RDAs previously introduced. Later the complexities of the Basic Seven prompted the reduction to the Basic Four. The grain lobby then having the influence in the USDA it had and continues to have prompted the RDAs to allow for humongous quantities of grains to be consumed. Since grain crops have horrible profit margins they told people to eat as many as 11 servings a day of grains.

On top of the USDA's ridiculous reccomendations nearly everything American's enjoy eating is packed to the brim with empty carbohydrate calories. Almost all fast food is contingent of selling grain and potato products, the worst stuff you can put in your body. Potatos are second only to alcohol on the glycine index - the measure of the speed of which a food is converted into energy your body needs to deal with. The processed grains in hamburger buns, meat patty filler, and pastries are adding the pounds to American asses. As are the insane amount of sugar added to foods for sake of flavor.

The Atkin's and other low carb diets are designed to get away from the processed grains we don't need and can't handle properly. Some people advertise these diets as super fast ways to lose weight. It is not a quick path to weight success and shouldn't be treated as such. It should be treated as a new way to treat your body and way to supplement a decent exercise program.

Atkins vs. low-carb (5.00 / 2) (#179)
by collideiscope on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 04:57:18 PM EST

Atkins, as presented, is quackery.

Low-carb (ketogenic) diets (non-Atkins) are not quackery.

Atkins CAN be a ketogenic diet, but it doesn't have to be.

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

Parent comment was quack science (4.66 / 6) (#197)
by slashcart on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:40:42 PM EST

The information found in your post appears to be a re-hash of the kind of quacky "nutrition science" found in mass paperbacks and fad diets that are so common these days. Much or most of it was completely false and definitively refuted by recent research.
Modern humans have hunter/gatherer metabolisms. Our bodies developed eating fruits, nuts, and vegetables with meat rounding out our diet as we learned to efficiently kill things. As such our bodies know how to deal with such food efficiently.
Until the 20th century, most humans had been consuming grains and cereals almost exclusively since the agricultural revolution millenia ago. Even prior to that, tubers (potatoes etc) made up a substantial portion of the diet. Research shows that there has been significant adaptation to grain-based diets.
Our bodies react badly to the influx of simple starches most cereals provide. Our digestive system goes into overdrive because the food is broken down so quickly. Most of the starch ingested ends up hitting the bloodstream within an hour or so of being eaten.
This is totally false. Carbohydrates do not even start entering the bloodstream until 30 mins or so after they've been eaten. In a large-carbohydrate meal it can take more than 4 hours for the sugars to hit the bloodstream ("starch" never hits the bloodstream).
Our bodies simply cannot deal with te ease of energy extraction of starches. The caloric yield of starches is much higher per unit of mass than it is for fats and proteins.
This is false. The caloric density of fats is far higher than starches. Fats have 9 calories per gram, and carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram. Fats are more than twice as calorically dense as starches. Not to mention, carbohydrates are often accompanied by fiber and water which are "satiating" but have no caloric content.
The grain lobby then having the influence in the USDA it had and continues to have prompted the RDAs to allow for humongous quantities of grains to be consumed.
There's a dairy lobby and a meat lobby just as much as a grain lobby. The grain lobby was not the reason the food groups were changed.
nearly everything American's enjoy eating is packed to the brim with empty carbohydrate calories. Almost all fast food is contingent of selling grain and potato products, the worst stuff you can put in your body.
The traditional American diet got almost 50% of its calories from fat. "Fast food" still is made up principally of fat, not grain products. Grains are not "the worst stuff you can put in your body."
If we eat a lot of cereals our body develops what is known as insulin resistance. It becomes natural for our bodies to overproduce insulin. This becomes a major issue because it stresses the pancreas in a very unhealthy fashion eventually leading to Type 2 diabetes.
Cereals (and carbohydrates generally) do not cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is caused by the consumption of saturated fat, which gets incorporated into cells walls and renders them less permeable to insulin. Large well-controlled studies have repeatedly shown that increasing carbohydrate and decreasing saturated fat intake decreases insulin. This works like clockwork. Generally this effect is seen within a week.

This simplistic model of "carbs lead to insulin and eventually your body burns out from it" is ridiculously oversimplified and mostly false. In most studies increasing carb consumption lowers insulin and increases insulin sensitivty. Protein can only be used for energy by being converted into sugar by the body.

Simple observation is sufficient to discredit the "low-carb" craze. In many other countries (like China) people get >90% of their calories from starches, but obesity and diabetes are virtually unknown there, even among the phsyically sedate. On the other hand, in areas of the U.S. where fat consumption is extremely high (like Wisconsin, the "dairy state") obesity is virtually the norm. If the Atkins diet were true then the people in China would all be obese and the people in Wisconsin all skinny. Atkins himself was significantly overweight and had a heart attack, despite being perpetually on an Atkins diet.

Both research and observation completely refute this idea that starches are bad for you and cause obesity and diabetes. The only reason this idea is taken seriously is because a small number of authors barrage the public with books about how they can lose weight while eating cheeseburgers and scrambled eggs. The public does not know very much about nutrition and so believes the "nutrition science" contained in those books.

There is some evidence that extremely low-fat diets are worse for you than moderately low-fat diets (30% calories from fat). The Harvard crowd and the "Harvard Nurse's Health Study" substantially support the view that people should consume 30% of their calories from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, with much of the remainder from low-glycemic carbohydrates. But nobody among them takes seriously this ridiculous notion that "carbs -> insulin -> obesity -> diabetes".

[ Parent ]
Being from Chinese descent... (4.00 / 1) (#326)
by Rectal Prolapse on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 01:42:31 PM EST

There is still the (strong?) possibility that Asians, particularly Chinese in the southern regions, can metabolize starchy foods more quickly without storing fat. When I eat a large plate of pasta or rice, for instance, within an hour or so, my body goes into body-burning mode -- I am literally burning off the calories I just ingested! I suspect that most people will not burn up as much, and thus have a higher likelihood of gaining weight.

There is still room for genetic variation here...

[ Parent ]

Role of fats and obesity (5.00 / 1) (#327)
by jbzone on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 04:02:00 PM EST

From what I have learned in med school, I don't think that it is simply the incorporation of fats into the cell membranes of the cells that leads to insulin and glucose resistance. The effects of obesity, which can (and often does) result from a high fat diet, is related to the downregulation of insulin receptors on the cell membranes of many cells, which results in a diminished response to the insulin that is secreted by the pancreas. Due to this down-regulation, the pancreas has to produce more and more insulin to get the glycemic control that it used to obtain with a smaller amount. Eventually, it doesn't keep up, resulting in DM type 2.

[ Parent ]
Not true!!! (4.00 / 1) (#200)
by mulescent on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:52:54 PM EST

The caloric yield of starches is much higher per unit of mass than it is for fats and proteins.

You need to check your facts... fat supplies about 9 calories per gram while carbohydrates (including starches) supply about 5 calories per gram. Of course, the body is able to metabolize carbohydrates of all kinds much more quickly than fat or protein. In the end, however you get more energy from fat than starch.

Potatos are second only to alcohol on the glycine index - the measure of the speed of which a food is converted into energy your body needs to deal with.

The index you speak of is called the glycemic index, not the glycine index. It acutally measures a given food's ability to increase blood glucose levels, not "energy." What foods with a high glycemic index have been proven to do is cause wild swings in blood sugar levels, which is thought to induce type II diabetes. Eating these foods in moderation won't make you fat, but it could screw up your glucose regulation system (i.e. give you diabetes).

There are two separate issues here - glucose regulation and obesity. While the two can are interdependent, they are not the same. You can be skinny and have type II diabetes, or overweight and never get it. Thats why so many people advocate a balanced diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables. Unprocessed, complex carbohydrates, which generally have low glycemic indices, have been shown to reduce the likelihood of type II diabetes. Coincedentally these foods are also good for maintaining a healthy weight.

You better stop that laser game, or you'll smell my mule
[ Parent ]

Brilliant article let down at the end (2.00 / 1) (#170)
by duncan bayne on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 04:02:17 PM EST

> If there are no real initiatives by governments,
> parents, schools and individuals to increase
> physical exercise

Erm, how the hell did it become the Governments business how much exercise I get?  Parents definitely should encourage their children to exercise, as should schools, but Government?  It's bad enough that there are sporting organisations funded by compulsory taxation.

Other than that, this is the best article I've read on K5 in a while.  Had I been around during voting, +1FP for sure.


Gov't Business (none / 0) (#175)
by catseye on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 04:41:45 PM EST

It becomes the government's business how much exercise people get when tax dollars are going to pay for obesity-related medical conditions.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]
I agree absolutely (none / 0) (#276)
by duncan bayne on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 04:55:37 PM EST

... so stop funding healthcare through compulsory taxation.  End of problem.

[ Parent ]
Most gov'ts pay a lot for healthcare (none / 0) (#178)
by Eccles on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 04:55:17 PM EST

Via Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans' benefits, the gov't pays out a *lot* for healthcare. It may be that health improvement programs may more than pay for themselves by reducing other health expenditures, not to mention allowing people to work longer and thus increasing tax revenues.

[ Parent ]
difference between mandate and suggestion? (none / 0) (#180)
by mikelist on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 04:59:30 PM EST

Although I can understand skepticism, it is plainly in the interest of the government and society at large to make people aware of health hazards and how to avoid them. Given that, it follows that the government has to make at least covert advice to the best of current science. Nutritional issues can cause long term health issues, but government mandated dietary restrictions don't seem very likely.

[ Parent ]
FATMOUSE SPEAKS AND YOU WILL LISTEN (1.70 / 20) (#173)
by f a t m o u s e on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 04:18:07 PM EST

FATMOUSE CANNOT FATHOM THIS IDEAL LEVEL OF "LOW" CARBOHYDRATES. FATMOUSE REQUIRES PRECIOUS CARBOHYDRATES. CARBOHYDRATES ARE RICH IN PRECIOUS CALORIES. DIETS ARE NOT IMPORTANT. ONLY CALORIES ARE IMPORTANT. DIETING DEPRIVES US OF PRECIOUS CALORIES. FATMOUSE WILL NEVER DIET. FATMOUSE MUST FEED. FATMOUSE WILL GROW LARGER. FATMOUSE WILL CONSUME ALL.

---

[FATMOUSE MUST FEED]

First-hand analisys (none / 0) (#202)
by hummassa on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 06:55:32 PM EST

I did the Atkins diet for six months; I counted carb grams every day and calories, too. Eating circa 3000kcal/day (2kg meat, 3 eggs, 100g cheese, nothing else basically), I lost 18kg, 14 of them in the first 4 months. During the diet, I felt very active and energetic all the time. The only problem with the diet (the reason I did not stay forever) is CHOCOLATE. I love chocolate. And it's strictly off-limits. My conclusion? worked for me. No collateral damage.

Heh. For me the problem with Atkins is bread. (none / 0) (#237)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 07:58:17 AM EST

I love bread, I make home made bread constantly. I try to make it healthy, and I've even learned to eat it dry (or I'll make a very stiff whole-grain loaf and eat slices with mustard, like a pretzel) but I still wolf it down...

I'd love to try atkins but I'm terrified I wouldn't be able to stick to it...


--
His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


[ Parent ]
I have same problem (none / 0) (#254)
by speek on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 12:15:31 PM EST

It's hard to eat so much salty foods without some bread to even it out. But, once you're past the induction and into maintainance, where you are finding your level of carb tolerance, you might try sprouted-grain breads. They are nearly flourless (made from sprouted grains), fairly low in carbs overall, high in protein and fiber, and tastes really good (if you like whole wheat bread in general). I think that, carb for carb, sprouted grain bread is less likely to spike your insulin - that's been my experience. I can get away with eating 2 slices a day pretty easily. Find it in the frozen-hippy-food section of your grocery store/hippy-food-co-op.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

From Scientific American... (4.00 / 4) (#207)
by levesque on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 07:49:57 PM EST

The dietary guide introduced a decade ago has led people astray. Some fats are healthy for the heart, and many carbohydrates clearly are not
Rebuilding the Food Pyramid

Well I think the problem here is. (2.66 / 6) (#214)
by Mr Hogan on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 10:32:01 PM EST

People who believe the troll logic says the paleolithic diet is superior because evolution told them so - Jesus! there is so much wrong with that statement - and who believe the ridiculous Atkins diet claim that you can lose weight by merely cutting carbs -- well these people are fatheads is the problem. More importantly in a world where 20,000 people starve to death every day it is firstly embarrassing secondly morally degenerate and lastly disgusting to be a fat useless slug who'd sooner theorize about food than be active. I mean I don't know any fit people who are lardasses so it stands to reason you're not going to be a corpulent worm if you become fit. If you're 50 or fewer lbs overweight YOU DON'T NEED TO DIET - at least not consciously - you need to exercise and let your body not your giant throbbing geek brain regulate its caloric intake. Now a lot of fatties say "but I did exercise and it didn't work" to which I reply "you merely think you exercised fatass but you didn't exercise hard enough obviously." "Yeah but I don't have the time to exercise blah blah blah" or "Yeah but I want to be thin next week not next year blah blah blah." Yeah well that's why youre FAT.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.

you are such an ignorant fuck (1.66 / 3) (#223)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 03:39:45 AM EST

"People who believe the troll logic says the paleolithic diet is superior because evolution told them so - Jesus! there is so much wrong with that statement"

uh huh

care to share?

or care to shut the fuck up?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Here's an idea. (3.00 / 3) (#250)
by Mr Hogan on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 11:50:44 AM EST

Why don't you try living the the rest of your life on the paleolithic medical plan.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

was i supposed to laugh at that? (nt) (none / 0) (#252)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 12:09:07 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I don't care whether you laugh or cry my friend. (3.00 / 3) (#257)
by Mr Hogan on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 12:40:42 PM EST

I'm telling you little behind the counter at the pharmacy grew in the wild or was found under rocks or the intestinal lining of saber-toothed squirrels so - like the bread and yoghurt some people eat for a 100 svelte fit years - well we obviously didn't evolve to ingest shit like that - Jesus who knows what's in them maybe dangerous starches - you pollute your body - your temple - with poison like that then gosh even a witch doctor straining at a lever 100 feet away from the fulcrum won't be able to swing your upholstered carcass off the couch over the TV set into a shallow grave.

Ha-ha I get it - if I were a troll wanted to cast his net over a site toxic with vain pampered geeks get all their exercise above the neckline - well what better way than to write a story about fatties and watch the super-rational debunkers go astrology-like all of a sudden. Ha-ha Atkins has been around forever - the result? Fat American people who read Atkins diet books but who - for the longest month or two - were weak thin halitosis breathing chick magnets. Ha-ha! You're supposed to laugh at that - it's funny because it's true.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

you are an embryonic troll and unaware of it (nt) (none / 0) (#272)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 03:58:14 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I'd rather collect stamps than troll. (5.00 / 1) (#273)
by Mr Hogan on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 04:13:04 PM EST

Same thing prettier pictures.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

well then stop trolling (nt) (4.00 / 1) (#278)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 05:25:27 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Low-carb vegetarian diet? (none / 0) (#218)
by cocofan on Mon Aug 04, 2003 at 11:26:01 PM EST

I was curious as to whether or not there were any way to have a low-carb diet and be a vegetarian? Or, actually, are there any other types of diets for vegetarians at all? I would be interested in losing some pounds (around 10 pounds) but don't like all the 'meat-promoting' diet books that seem to be on the book shelves these days.
cocofan

Low-Carb Veggie Diets (none / 0) (#221)
by talnkyo on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 01:24:16 AM EST

Yes, there are such diets. It is difficult to do, but not impossible. Keep in mind that it is even possible to have a /fruitarian/ diet.

Anyway, if you aren't vegan, you have access to eggs, cheese, fish (depends on your strictness), as well as a host of similar foods.

You can also eat avocados and a ton of other fruits and vegetables.
----- This sig does not exist.
[ Parent ]

American food (none / 0) (#220)
by Hoo00 on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 12:50:05 AM EST

I find food in the U.S. too sweet and too salty, but they are tasty. A cut back on those two can be a good thing. Moderation is important. People should cook normal food that we don't really enjoy, but just to get over our hungriness. Eating too much or too little are both bad. Yes, all those lose-weight quick diets are bad. In fact, unless you are children still growing up, gaining or losing weight just isn't normal. That's just my opinion, though.

Diets (1.50 / 2) (#230)
by HermanMcGuigan on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 05:45:45 AM EST

In general, diets don't work. They might make you healthier, but as for losing weight, your milage may vary. It's no coincidence that noone seems sure of the validity of Atkin's or any other diet schemes.

Some things that I would recommend to people trying to lose weight are:

(a) stop eating meat. Or, if you don't want to stop eating meat, at least eat a lot less of it. Eating meat every day is not natural. It didn't happen even 60 years ago.

(b) don't drink coca-cola or any soda pop. Ever. Stick to water and ice tea.

(c) cut down on dairy products as far as possible. Humans are the only mammals that consume milk as adults, and from different species', to boot! I can't fathom how some people think that this is natural. Again, if you don't want to cut it out, at least cut down on it - considerably.

(d) exercise. A lot. Don't sit down in front of your PC all weekend. Try and do some exercise during the week as well, if possible. Long walks, a bit of running, cycling, etc. Or just find a hobby that requires a bit of exercise and for you to be outdoors.

That's all there is to it. Really. In my family of 5, I am the only one who is not overweight (65kg/143lbs, 5'9") (the rest are slightly overweight (~70kg/154lbs, 5'6") (~70kg/154lbs, 5'8") to moderately overweight (~100kg/220lbs, 6') (80kg/176lbs, 5'8"), and why? Because they don't follow the principles I have outlined above).



Nothing like a steaming plate of pseudo science. (3.00 / 2) (#236)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 07:53:54 AM EST

(a) stop eating meat. Or, if you don't want to stop eating meat, at least eat a lot less of it. Eating meat every day is not natural. It didn't happen even 60 years ago.

That explains why humans don't have incisors and why we constantly grow new molars to replace old ones as they wear out. Oh, wait. We do have incisors, and we don't replace molars, the way herbivores usually do.

(b) don't drink coca-cola or any soda pop. Ever. Stick to water and ice tea.

Right. After all, there's always less sugar in iced tea than soda, even if you bought it in a can from the same machine that pushes the pop.

(c) cut down on dairy products as far as possible. Humans are the only mammals that consume milk as adults, and from different species', to boot! I can't fathom how some people think that this is natural. Again, if you don't want to cut it out, at least cut down on it - considerably.

Gee, why would we think it's natural? Because we've been doing it for thousands of years? Golly, doesn't this directly contradict your logic in point (a)?

(d) exercise. A lot. Don't sit down in front of your PC all weekend. Try and do some exercise during the week as well, if possible. Long walks, a bit of running, cycling, etc. Or just find a hobby that requires a bit of exercise and for you to be outdoors.

Reasonable, more or less. But you could put a specific standard on it: Elevate the heart rate at least somewhat for at least an hour a day. You don't have to double it, and it doesn't have to be all at once, a good walk is good enough.

That's all there is to it. Really. In my family of 5, I am the only one who is not overweight (65kg/143lbs, 5'9") (the rest are slightly overweight (~70kg/154lbs, 5'6") (~70kg/154lbs, 5'8") to moderately overweight (~100kg/220lbs, 6') (80kg/176lbs, 5'8"), and why? Because they don't follow the principles I have outlined above).

Well, it's good to know that you've studied such a large sample before reaching your researched conclusions.


--
His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


[ Parent ]
pork man (2.33 / 3) (#238)
by HermanMcGuigan on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 08:06:21 AM EST

That explains why humans don't have incisors and why we constantly grow new molars to replace old ones as they wear out. Oh, wait. We do have incisors, and we don't replace molars, the way herbivores usually do.

How many incisors, and how many molars? See, I don't think that you've ever looked in a real carnivore's mouth. They don't only have 2 sharp teeth. So much for your "real" science.

Gee, why would we think it's natural? Because we've been doing it for thousands of years? Golly, doesn't this directly contradict your logic in point (a)?

How many other species, when they are adults, consume milk? Especially from a different species than their own? This shouldn't even have to be labeled "pseudo" or any "science", it's just plain logic. Name one other species. Or are humans so radically different from any other species in dietary requirements that having just two sharp teeth means that not only should we eat tons and tons of meat, but also drink milk - as adults - from different species'? Pseudo-science indeed.

Well, it's good to know that you've studied such a large sample before reaching your researched conclusions.

The reason I included that "sample" in my post, was to debunk the idiotic notion that fat is somehow heriditary. If you consume large amounts of animal fat and dairy products like a huge idiot, you will end up like the Dead Doctor Atkins himself. Why is it that he was so overweight, and died of a heart attack, when he was continually on the famous Atkins diet, which is perfect for Pork man and all other humans, who, having exactly two inscisors (yes, that's why Pork man thinks that humans are meant to eat so much meat - after all, that's real science, not pseudo-science, those two teeth...), should consume these vast quantities of animal fat... it's perfectly healthy.



[ Parent ]
The rather strange "milk" point (5.00 / 1) (#242)
by davidmb on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 09:59:21 AM EST

The reason we drink milk from other species is because we can. Lots of other animals drink milk if they get the opportunity, but unfortunately for them they don't get it very often.

Anyway, my point is that overall milk is a good thing, and far better than most of the things you find in most peoples' diets.
־‮־
[ Parent ]

davidmb (none / 0) (#244)
by HermanMcGuigan on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 10:36:25 AM EST

Hi David, thanks for the reply.

The reason we drink milk from other species is because we can.

I'll grant you that, but the question is whether milk is good for us or not. We can do a lot of things that other animals can't, but not all of those things are good.

Lots of other animals drink milk if they get the opportunity

Domesticated animals, I assume you're referring to?

Anyway, my point is that overall milk is a good thing, and far better than most of the things you find in most peoples' diets.

Doctor Kradjian disagrees.



[ Parent ]
Dr. Atkin's Demise (none / 0) (#245)
by haydentech on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 10:49:49 AM EST

Dr. Atkins slipped and hit his head, and did not recover. He did not die of a heart attack as HermanMcGuigan falsely claimed to support his point.

[ Parent ]
My mistake (1.00 / 1) (#247)
by HermanMcGuigan on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 10:59:05 AM EST

He didn't die of a heart attack, but given all the heart problems he was having, which are no secret, it's not much of a stretch to think that his heart problems would have worsened to the point of a possible fatal heart problem. I apologize for my mistake, and it wasn't meant to "prove" my point. I don't think anyone other than die-hard fans of Atkins would claim that eating huge amounts of animal fat will not result in many problems, including heart problems.

See here for further details.

[ Parent ]
to everyone (none / 0) (#253)
by speek on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 12:11:40 PM EST

Go read those articles about Atkin's heart problem (assuming you're interested). Draw your own conclusions.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Psuedo-science indeed! (5.00 / 1) (#266)
by derobert on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 02:49:03 PM EST

"How many other species, when they are adults, consume milk? Especially from a different species than their own? This shouldn't even have to be labeled "pseudo" or any "science", it's just plain logic." So, it's just plain logic that if no other species does action A, then neither should humans. That's crap. Name on other species that does much anything humands do. Like medicine, for example. I know of no species that manages to create such a wide variety of disease-fighting chemicals; no species that manages to perform surgery; no species that manages to even take its own blood pressure. Or step on a scale, for that matter.

Your "logic" is a joke. The only way to argue for or against consuming milk is through evidence, which you have conveniently omitted any sign on.



[ Parent ]
You might want to start (none / 0) (#271)
by HermanMcGuigan on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 03:36:03 PM EST

here. Of course this might just be one huge conspiracy by the... Anti-milk industry. Who knows :) How about your counter-evidence?

[ Parent ]
I went ther (none / 0) (#279)
by speek on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 05:56:27 PM EST

I found lots of epidemiology studies, which I consider useless. Even worse, I found anthropological studies - even worse. And the studies were all over the map in terms of conclusions.

The only real studies (studies that tracked individuals over time) that I found,a reference to a Herta Spencer study that concluded that eating animal protein had no effect on bone-density, and another that studied the effects of feeding highly modified proteins (essentially, the phosphorous was taken out, among other things) that had a detrimental effect on bone-density.

Not sure what to conclude, but the lack of real studies with real food that show a detrimental effect means I'm inclined not to pay too much attention to it.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Dairy dairy everywhere? (3.33 / 3) (#258)
by MKalus on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 12:50:45 PM EST

(c) cut down on dairy products as far as possible. Humans are the only mammals that consume milk as adults, and from different species', to boot! I can't fathom how some people think that this is natural. Again, if you don't want to cut it out, at least cut down on it - considerably.

Gee, why would we think it's natural? Because we've been doing it for thousands of years? Golly, doesn't this directly contradict your logic in point (a)?

Thousands of years??? Did the Dairy industry brainwash you? Raw milk spoils very very easily until mass refrigeration was available the idea of having your daily glass of milk would have been absurd, the only ones who could have had their daily glass of milk were farmers.

Dairy products to the extend that they are used these days are maybe around since the 50's if that long.

It is not normal for people to drink milk once they are out of the toddler age, that is why so many people (me included) have problems with lactose.

Milk is not a "drink" it is a "food" and is intended for babies who can't process solid foods yet, the moment the teeth are out we're supposed to chew, not drink our food.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Never heard of pasteurization or ice boxes? (n/t) (none / 0) (#267)
by derobert on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 02:51:55 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Yeah I do... (none / 0) (#268)
by MKalus on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 03:02:42 PM EST

But you are aware that beer had for example the same problem and they weren't really able to ship beer around the US until they managed to pasteurize it without killing all of the taste.

Besides, even if you have homogenized milk it still needs to be kept away from air otherwise bacteria just happily moves back into it, don't believe me? Boil some milk and let the pot for a week afterwards, the milk will turn.

As for ice boxes: Great idea, walk into your supermarket and have a look around at how much milk they stockpile, how big was the icebox to get that thing a thousand years ago (middle ages? Ice boxes? Where was the ice made? Or in Africa / Southamerica?).

The Dairy industry has done a swell job in making people think they need milk to live healthy.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

It depends on where you are from (none / 0) (#299)
by JonesBoy on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 09:52:42 PM EST

Milk consumption, as a liquid, was nowhere near as popular then as it is now.   People made cheese out of the milk because it would last a lot longer.

Have people been eating milk products for thousands of years?   Yes and no.   Eurasians have, and the instance of milk allergies is very low among Eurasians.   Africans did not drink much milk.   The instance of milk allergies and health complications within the African people is actually VERY high.

Just my 0.02.

Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
[ Parent ]

Thanks. (none / 0) (#313)
by MKalus on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 12:17:16 PM EST

That is what I tried to point out, Cows were common in europe and so was cheese, but the amount of this was a lot more restricted than it is today.

The problem is not to eat cheese from time to time, but rather that milk parts are in a lot of things these days: Choclate, icecream just to name a few.

The problem is not to eat a pizza with cheese from time to time (heck, I do love a good pizza at times) but rather the amount of dairy that is consumed on a daily basis.

I never liked milk as a kid and stayed away from it, even these days the amount of dairy I take in is severly limited, usually only when I eat out or when someone else cooks, I don't have milk or chesse nor yoghurt in the fridge and I do feel better since I stopped eating it.

Historically to claim that "milk is what you need" is very wrong, but I guess the milk advertising of the diary industry has brainwashed the masses.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

I agree (5.00 / 1) (#319)
by JonesBoy on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 08:55:05 AM EST

Yeah, the milk people have spent a lot on advertising.   Then again, most of the public nowadays (in the US) does not eat enough leafy greens to obtain enough calcium.   Milk has become the crutch for poor eating habits.   Then again, how can spinach or collard greens compete with chocolate milk?   I personally choose the greens, as they don't spoil so easily, have no fat, hormones, and all the other milk problems.

What really peaves me is the antacid-as-a-calcium-suppliment crap you see so much of.   I have been told by nutritionists that calcium bicarbonate is very difficult for the body to break down, and most of the calcuim leaves the body without absorption.    Not to mention the health problems with the constant use of antacids.

Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
[ Parent ]

How about cheese? (none / 0) (#277)
by gniv on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 05:25:04 PM EST

OK, I'll give you the milk argument, although the proportion of farmers (or farmer's markets) to the general population used to be much higher than it is today.

However, people (in Europe, at least) have been making cheese for thousands of years, indeed. From the point of view of the original poster, cheese should be as bad as milk.

The truth is that humans are truly omnivourous and our bodies are equipped accordingly.

[ Parent ]

Cheesy topic (5.00 / 1) (#285)
by MKalus on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 06:44:32 PM EST

Okay,

Cheese was around, and heck they probably "invented" it because milk spoiled.

BUT: How much cheese did people eat? If you look at the average US diet how much cheese is in there? Way more than there was 50, 100 or 1000 years ago, for one reason there were fewer cows, the other reason: Cows gave a lot less milk.

I think you can eliminate dairy quite easily and without too much of a problem (nutrion wise).

Too much of anything is bad, so even IF we could digest cheese to it's fullest extend that doesn't mean we should eat boat loads of it. Just look at the Pizza as a source of cheese, then you have with your noodles, you go to a restaurant and they most likely will put cheese on it as well etc. etc.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Hi gniv (none / 0) (#308)
by HermanMcGuigan on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 03:23:46 AM EST

Good point. I guess it's all a question of amount. The sheer amount of dairy products that people in modern western nations consume is definitely greater than it was in the recent past, and it's just not healthy. As another poster pointed out earlier in this story, why is it that in the Dairy State, Wisconsin, obesity is quite common, while in China, where very large portions of the staple diets consist of carbs (rice), obesity is somewhat (under-exagerration) less common?

[ Parent ]
ROTFL. (none / 0) (#293)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 08:01:36 PM EST

Exactly how far do you think most humans lived from a farm for the first 9,900 years of civilization?

Even nomads took their herds with them; and the Mongels milked their horses.

Get a grip, dude.


--
His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


[ Parent ]
Ahhh (2.00 / 1) (#294)
by MKalus on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 08:13:22 PM EST

The history expert,

well how about some links? How about some infos?

Cities have been around for quite some time, granted not at the scale of NYC but still big enough to make it not very practical to have a cow in the garage.

Also: who could afford a cow, or cows? How much milk did a cow give in the good old days before they were treated with hormones to produce more milk?

If you spout such nonsense you better have some links to back them up.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Stop it! You're killing me! LoL. (none / 0) (#301)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 10:54:59 PM EST

Yeah, it's all nonsense. City dwellers never actually kept animals in the city. There were no such things as city stables, and cities weren't only 5% the size they grew to during the industrial revolution. Villagers didn't consider themselves lucky to have a cow or two, or if they did, they promptly slaughtered them rather than keeping them alive and milking them.

Yup. You're right. I'm making it all up. I never did pay much attention in history class.


--
His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


[ Parent ]
Interesting (none / 0) (#307)
by HermanMcGuigan on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 03:17:18 AM EST

That you still haven't backed up your claims.

[ Parent ]
Dude, you're the one whose contradicting (3.00 / 1) (#311)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 08:33:41 AM EST

the entire mass of western history. You're the one who needs to prove something, not me. Jesus Christ, crack the cover on a National Geographic sometime and find out how the world actually lives.

--
His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


[ Parent ]
And the west is the world? (2.00 / 1) (#314)
by MKalus on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 03:21:07 PM EST

Majority of people can live without milk, and yes, most people didn't had milk, or eggs only a 100 years ago.

Instead of reading National Geographic try a good history book for a change.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Oh, I haven't had this much fun since AP Biology! (5.00 / 1) (#315)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Aug 06, 2003 at 10:09:40 PM EST

Mongels are "the West"? The guys herding yaks in the furthest reaches of China are "the West"?

Dude, if you're too lazy to google on "mongol diet milk"; you're just sad.


--
His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


[ Parent ]
Talking about biology (3.66 / 3) (#323)
by HermanMcGuigan on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 07:18:12 AM EST

You still haven't given us any examples of other animals that drink milk from other species', or in fact, any milk at all as adults. Again, if you think this is biologically natural, please tell us why.

A relevant quote comes to mind:

Perhaps it seemed to us a fitting antidote to the sickening experience of the War, and a reminder that we should be doing more about the other holocaust that goes on all the time. Or perhaps it was that we were conscious of a remarkable omission in all previous vegetarian literature, namely, that though nature provides us with lots of examples of carnivores and vegetarians, it provides us with no examples of lacto-carnivores or lacto-vegetarians. Such groups are freaks and only made possible by man's capacity to exploit the reproductive functions of other species. This, we thought, could not be right either dietically or ethically. It was certainly wrong aesthetically, and we could conceive of no spectacle more bizarre that that of a grown man attached at his meal-time to the udder of a cow. -- Donald Watson


[ Parent ]
Examples: (none / 0) (#324)
by Rectal Prolapse on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 01:15:47 PM EST

Here's a description of the livelihoods of the Khalka Mongels:
The Khalka Mongol diet consists primarily of fat, meat, milk, and dairy products. Large amounts of fat and mutton are eaten during the winter, and dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and sour cream are eaten during the summer. Their favorite drink is kumiss, which is fermented mare's milk.
Source: http://www.bethany.com/profiles/p_code2/1214.html This site discusses the diet of the Mongols in general: http://www.visit2003.mn/culture/food.html Notice the abundance of milk in their diets -- typical of the nomadic lifestyle (and advanced hunter-gatherers). I suggest reading Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies" for more in-depth information. Agriculture is a very recent invention -- most human populations lived as the Mongols did until around 2000 BC. Or earlier in the once-fertile Middle East regions.

[ Parent ]
Forget about him. (1.00 / 2) (#329)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 11:03:37 PM EST

he thinks he's a troll.


--
His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 0) (#333)
by MKalus on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 09:53:02 AM EST

most human populations lived as the Mongols did until around 2000 BC. Or earlier in the once-fertile Middle East regions.

I would argue that most people were not nomadic for quite some time, in fact I would also argue that most people (in what we consider the west today) never had a lot of cows etc. in the first place.

Western Europe was pretty much covered with tree's, neither the Romans nor the Greek (and much less the egyptians) had a lot of cows or dairy in their diet.

It might very well be that the Mongols over the decades had adapted to the lifestyle with a lot of milk (similar like the Japanese for example have a hard time processing milk / beef protein because it never really existed in their diet).

But if you look at your list of what they ate, in what way does that relate to the modern dairy industry? The yoghurt they had was a lot "simpler" than the one you buy in the supermarket, the cheese they ate was also made different.

But most of all: They were having hard physical labour every day, day in day out so they needed something high caloric, tell me again why someone in the "western world" these days would need to eat this stuff?

Take a food diary and see exactly how much cheese and dairy you get in every day (besides the tons of carbs and fats).

To argue that "It's okay to eat cheese because the Mongols did it" is a bit short sighted, you lineage most likely doesn't descent from the mongols and even if it would: How many generations apart?
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

interesting factoids about mongolia.. (none / 0) (#353)
by KTB on Thu Sep 11, 2003 at 12:07:16 AM EST

My friend just spent 6 months there. Some random interesting facts about meat in mongolia.

1. they have meat in everything. i.e. they put ham in their potato salad. My friend found this out the hard way because he is a vegetarian, and was hard pressed to find food. (Mind you, I say 'everything' with a grain of salt, I'm sure it's not really everything, but that's how he described it).

2. Chicken is not considered meat there. Odd, no? It is very prevalent as well, and was often offered to him when he said he didn't eat meat.

Just some random kind of funny thoughts about Mongolia.

ktb
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives.
-- Charles William Dement
[ Parent ]

Not a history buff, eh? (none / 0) (#351)
by debillitatus on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 06:20:01 PM EST

Cities have been around for quite some time, granted not at the scale of NYC but still big enough to make it not very practical to have a cow in the garage.

WTF? Have you ever been outside the US or Western Europe? Lemme give you a clue, tough guy... spend a week in Bombay sometime. Or, hell, Ljubjana.

Yes, there are no cows running the streets in your comfortable suburb. Please do not extrapolate to anywhere outside of 20th century Western Europe.

Also: who could afford a cow, or cows? How much milk did a cow give in the good old days before they were treated with hormones to produce more milk?

Enough to be a crucial component in the diet of everyone in Europe, northern Africa, and almost all of Asia as far back as recorded history. How many cuisines traditionally have dairy products? Not all, I grant you, but you'll have to think hard to come up with many.

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

yogurt (none / 0) (#332)
by C0vardeAn0nim0 on Sat Aug 09, 2003 at 12:41:55 PM EST

and other fermented/coagulated derivatives of exists since maybe before the first cities formed in mesopotamia thousands of years ago.

there's one form of coagulated milk caled "coalhada" in portuguese (best translation i found was "curd") which is very popular among midle-eastern populations. curd is also the base for cheese. and cheese can last for years without special care.

http://www.comofazer.net
[ Parent ]

Holly fuck (none / 0) (#318)
by Kisama on Thu Aug 07, 2003 at 08:37:29 AM EST

Please explain to me how observing the eating habits of your family qualifies you. How much education do you have on the subject of nutrition. And no, reading lameass websites does not count. Sorry.

[ Parent ]
Species that eat "milk" as adults... (none / 0) (#325)
by Rectal Prolapse on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 01:22:47 PM EST

It is fairly common in the insect world -- I mean, in the social insects. Ants and bees come to kind: Ants herding aphids, and bees and their royal jelly and honey. Their foods emitted from their bodies are passed to adults and larvae and ingested by both. Not as much in the adults of course.

Ants and bees are very social. And so are humans. It is not surprising that humans ingest milk at all, and have been doing so for many thousands of years.

As for milk spoiling...not an issue because you have a goat or cow following you. :)

[ Parent ]

paleo and low carbon diets (none / 0) (#328)
by quasarstrider on Fri Aug 08, 2003 at 05:57:07 PM EST

I would stop eating bread and all cereal/flour based products first. Why? For one bread has more calories than fatty beef. Eating too much bread also increases your body insulin requirements. When I stopped eating bread I lost 12kg in 4 months. I had tried everything before to lose weight: I also stopped eating fatty cheese, etc. Exercising alone made me more muscular but I only lost 0.5kg after several months of hard work... So much for that. By stopping eating cheese I lost 5kg alone. Nice, but not enough. Nothing made as much of a difference as stopping to eat bread. Bread, pasta, rice, etc have so many callories... The funny thing is after I stopped eating bread my blood colesterol levels actually decreased somewhat and my blood pressure is lower as well. The fact that bread has loads of salt in it does not help either I guess. For you people who eat bread with butter or cheese this is even more important. At that time I was eating bread with lowfat cottage cheese. I have attained my natural body weight according to my height 5 months ago and my weight has been stable since. Be warned it is very, very hard to stop eating high carbon food. You need to want to do it. High carbon food is like a drug... If you do not believe me try to stop eating bread for a whole day. After 6 hours or less you will start craving bread like crazy. It helps to be incremental and to use "methadone" so to speak. :-) I reduced my bread intake gradually and ate bananas instead (bananas also have carbon hydrates but less than a third of bread). Eventually I stopped eating bananas altogether. If you feel the cravings when you start you can always eat some banana or sweetpotato like I did. I still eat sweetpotato ocasionally for the vitamins, minerals, etc. I now eat way more fruit now than I used to, about the same meat than I used to, no bread, ocasionally eat potatos or sweetpotatos (cooked in skin). I need to sleep less and feel more calm inside. In fact, when I eat beef now I get very sleepy. It is so nice... I tried just eating fruit and salad some time ago but I couldn't get to sleep and feel famished despite having my belly full. You'll have to pry beef from my cold dead hands. :-D

[ Parent ]
Gotta love crap science... (none / 0) (#350)
by debillitatus on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 05:58:26 PM EST

c) cut down on dairy products as far as possible. Humans are the only mammals that consume milk as adults, and from different species', to boot! I can't fathom how some people think that this is natural.

Humans are also the only mammals who use the extract from mold to combat diseases! A freaking MOLD! I can't fathom how some people think that this is natural.

Also, unlike every other natural mammal which always moves under its own power, humans actually use other unnatural ways to propel themselves, sometimes as far away as the moon! I can't fathom how some people think that this is natural.

What are you, eight years old?

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

Lost 70 pounds in 5-6 months. (none / 0) (#231)
by arcade on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 05:48:57 AM EST

Personally I love the Atkins diet, or some similiar deriviate. Not exactly sure what I'm "on", but I've been low-carbing for about 18 months now. Lost aproximately 70 pounds in the first 5-6 months. Weight been pretty stable since. I'm bouncing up'n down 10pounds depending on what I eat - but that's nothing compared to before. :-)

And, I really like eating my meat-rich dinners. ;)



--
arcade
Excellent. (none / 0) (#235)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 07:42:50 AM EST

Great work; 6 months is a little fast to lose that much weight though, be careful with your health!


--
His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


[ Parent ]
Well, I've consulted a doctor afterwards (none / 0) (#239)
by arcade on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 08:22:59 AM EST

And the doctor congratulated me. :-) Did a thorough health-check, and everything was okay. All tests came back the way they should. So .. well, I'm not worried. :-)



--
arcade
[ Parent ]
Atkins - the New Scientology (3.50 / 4) (#243)
by davidmb on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 10:11:19 AM EST

Anyone else notice the growing resemblance between L. Ron Hubbard/Dianetics/Scientologists and Dr. Atkins/Dr Atkins' Diet Revolution/Atkins Dieters? Adherents can react quite strongly if you voice some friendly concern about the potential health risks.

It's a shame Atkins never took it further, I'd like to see a religion based around low-carb dieting. Perhaps with evil aliens, volcanoes and clams a la Scientology mixed in.
־‮־

Exactly. (3.00 / 2) (#246)
by HermanMcGuigan on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 10:50:37 AM EST

David, this is an excellent point. It seems as if Atkins supporters have been brainwashed to support the Atkins way of thinking, and have convinced themselves that these theories are infallable.

I can't understand the logic that would make someone load themselves with animal fat and think they're making themselves healthier. It would be analogous to a anti-lung cancer campaign that ran something like this:

"Boy, I sure prevented lung cancer with Dr Atkin's Lung Cancer Prevention method. I do miss the smell of grass and sand, but Dr Atkin's all-smoke diet requires that I smoke 120 cigarettes a day and avoid going anywhere where I might smell too much grass. And it has worked! I haven't caught lung cancer yet!"



[ Parent ]
Brainwashed? (none / 0) (#249)
by ajduk on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 11:25:23 AM EST

It seems as if Atkins supporters have been brainwashed to support the Atkins way of thinking

By who? The analogy kind of breaks down at this point. There is a side issue - when it comes to losing weight, Atkins and other low carbohydrate diets work well for a significant number of people, and it's those people who you'll generally hear from.

I can't understand the logic that would make someone load themselves with animal fat and think they're making themselves healthier.

Actually, links between animal fat and bad health are far from clear; especially in situations where, for example, animal fat consumption corresponds with sugar or refined carbohydrate consumption.

[ Parent ]

Works for who? (none / 0) (#346)
by slippytoad on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 07:08:36 PM EST

There is a side issue - when it comes to losing weight, Atkins and other low carbohydrate diets work well for a significant number of people,

You hear a bunch from those people in the first few weeks of their diet. Some even for up to a year. But the minute they fall off the diet they gain weight back in tremendously unusual ways. There is no trick to losing weight, except to find a diet that works for you, and stick to it. The Atkins diet is unsustainable for a large number of people, as the supporting links in this article clearly show. And it works for other reasons, apparently, than the ones claimed.

The closest I've come to seeing a consistent and easy plan is to shift the majority of my eating to breakfast-time, and stop eating after around 6:30 altogether (preferably with a very small, low carbohydrate dinner). Of course, I also supplement that with 8 to 10 hours of exercise a week. I think the exercise is more instrumental than the dieting. However, it's not easy and reading a book about it doesn't make it any easier.
If I were the al Qaeda people right now I would be planning a lot of attacks in the next few days and weeks -- John "Bring 'em On" McCain
[ Parent ]

Cult of Atkins (none / 0) (#248)
by louferd on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 11:02:19 AM EST

I too have seen the fanaticism. I have this one friend who went on the Atkins diet and has turned into a total Atkins evangelist. He has a big stack of books and he hands them out to people all of the time. When we try to confront him with articles talking about health problems with it, he starts twitching and says that they're all misguided and changes the subject. He went on it a year or so ago, and looks like he's aged 10-15 years since then. A gust of wind could probably knock him over.

[ Parent ]
Sooner or later (none / 0) (#251)
by HermanMcGuigan on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 12:03:30 PM EST

Sooner or later, Atkins fans will have to face the terrifying consequences of their own obsessions.

[ Parent ]
Diet doesn't mean what most people think... (4.00 / 1) (#255)
by MKalus on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 12:18:09 PM EST

Most people seem to think by diet on changing their eating habits for a couple of days or weeks to loose some pounds (that alone is a stupid idea, don't go by weight but by body composition) and then they go back to their Big Macs etc.

What diet really means is what you eat, your "style" of eating, not just a temporary one, though this is how most people percieve it no.

So things like Atkins etc. are nice but people should really re-evaluate what they eat on a continious basis, not just temporary.
-- Michael

It is a change. (4.00 / 1) (#262)
by ryanbarr on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 02:08:18 PM EST

What you must not understand about atkins is that, if you do it correctly, you are chaning your style of eating.
It is a life change, not just a fad diet to shed a few pounds. Its a way to eat and live healthier for the rest of your life.


-rb
[ Parent ]
But who... (none / 0) (#269)
by MKalus on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 03:03:48 PM EST

... understands it that way?

Most people when they talk about diet they talk about doing something until they got what they wanted.

If people really want to get onto a real diet they should start by changing their minds.

Just my 2 cents.

M.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

It's not just a matter of fewer calories... (5.00 / 2) (#275)
by skyknight on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 04:53:20 PM EST

Really what your objective is when trying to lose weight is to decrease your net daily caloric intake. You can accomplish this by consuming less calories, burning more calories, or a mixture of both. Just starving yourself, however, will not work.

One thing about starving yourself is that while you are in fact decreasing the number of calories you consume, you might not be decreasing your net intake by as much as you think, because your body may respond by actually burning fewer calories too. This is why you feel crappy when dieting. Your body goes into a mode of reduced functionality. Your brain is not on the top of its game, and physically you are not as capable. There are all kinds of bioregulatory feedback systems in effect within your body making deliberate weight loss a non-trivial task.

Another thing to take into consideration are the glycemic indices of the different foods you are eating. This is basically a measurement of how fast the food dumps sugar into your bloodstream. A high glycemic index is a bad thing because the food will dump sugar into your blood stream really quickly. This will cause you to have a "sugar high", to which your body will respond by dumping a ton of insulin into your bloodstream to cause a rapid uptake of sugar by your liver, which stores it as glycogen. The effect of this is that you will experience a violent "sugar crash", and you'll be storing what will eventually become fat.

If you use more energy than you eat then you will lose weight - it's a simple physical fact.

The author has shrewdly worded this, so in fact he is right, but actually actually accomplishing the feat is not simple.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Sugar Storage in Liver (none / 0) (#286)
by frankwork on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 06:47:38 PM EST

From what I've read (possibly biased), the ability for the liver to store carbohydrates is pretty limited, less than a hundred calories or so.

More significantly, insulin triggers fat cells to convert blood sugar into stored body fat.



[ Parent ]
I googled... (none / 0) (#287)
by skyknight on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 07:01:25 PM EST

and the first link that I got back claims 4000 calories, though that includes glycogen stored in muscles as well.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
I stand corrected... (5.00 / 1) (#297)
by frankwork on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 09:43:19 PM EST

...but what's an order of magnitude between friends?

I've found mostly numbers between 1800 and 2400, depending on what lengths you go to to trick your body into storing more energy as glycogen. And unless you've just run a marathon, those stores are probably largely filled.



[ Parent ]

The sweetspot (none / 0) (#334)
by MKalus on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 09:58:44 AM EST

Seems to be around 500kCal / day before the body decides to go into "starvation mode".

So if you want to loose weight permanently it helps to log your food intake and make sure that you won't undercut for more than 500kCal a day.

Activity of course also help increase the Metabolism.

M.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

That's very interesting... (none / 0) (#335)
by skyknight on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 10:05:13 AM EST

Where did you find this out? Do you have some texts or links? It makes perfect sense that there is some threshold, but I'm wondering how you found out it was 500kCal/day. What is the biochemical reasoning behind this?



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
This information (5.00 / 1) (#342)
by MKalus on Sun Aug 10, 2003 at 10:36:38 AM EST

Is curtesy of my coaches nutrionist. Who of couse things we are all nuts because most of us are just fine the way we are.

You can go to his website and read some of the articles. Most of them are in relationship to endurance (Triatheletes) athletes but are easily transportable to Joe Sixpack as well.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Circumstantial evidence (none / 0) (#302)
by swagr on Tue Aug 05, 2003 at 11:00:14 PM EST

My girlfriend is on the Atkins diet. She has lost weight, feels great, and her complexion has improved immensely. The food she eats is much better for anyone than the crap most of us shove in our faces.

She eats not much more protien than she did before. Her fat indake is around 1.5 times what it was before. She has greatly increased her intake of low-carb vegetables to compensate for a reduction in carb-loaded foods.

Not something I would do... (none / 0) (#352)
by CptPicard on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 04:34:25 PM EST

An otherwise healthy 16 year old kid just died over here of a sudden heart attack while on an Atkins diet... doesn't sound that healthy to me!

the best way to lose weight (none / 0) (#354)
by wakim1618 on Mon Apr 19, 2004 at 06:14:48 PM EST

coke is still the most expensive/profitable and effective diet supplement that I can think of.


If I wanted dumb people to love me, I'd start a cult.

Low Carbohydrate Diets: Revolution or Quackery? | 354 comments (326 topical, 28 editorial, 0 hidden)
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