Likewise - some people, when they start to eat carbs, see their BMR ramp up, are full of energy, and end up running 5-10 miles a day to burn that energy off, and are pumped the rest of the day.
Also, focussing on weight to the exclusion of everything else is really horrible. It's pretty easy to lose 40-50 pounds and end up being much less healthier than you were before if you aren't careful. Having some sense of your V02 max, your strength, endurance, flexibility, etc.. are sometimes as important, if not more important, than what your weight is to +/- 20 pounds.
Everybody is somewhat different in how they'll react to various diet and exercise regimes. Understanding that, and taking a bit of time to watch how your body responds, is the important insight here.
Maybe if you amputate your legs or catch AIDS or syphilis in the process. Otherwise, I can't see how losing 50 pounds will leave you less healthier than before.
At the very least, doing regular body-weight resistance training (pushups, situps, pullups, air-squats), helps to reduce the amount of muscle you are losing while you are losing weight.
Can you explain why archaeologists, astronomers and professors have the highest life expectancy and athletes and body builders have that among the lowest?
That's a pretty serious statement hidden as a question. Can you point to your source(s) claiming this to be true? I am sure a huge % of HN population would be interested in this.
For those interested, I found parent's claim very intriguing so I spent a few minutes Googling and the best I came close to answering yes/no was this -
The life-prolonging benefits of a scrupulous life have come to light from a comparison of 20 previous studies which together rated 8900 people for conscientiousness using a standard psychological survey, and also recorded the age they died.
Howard Friedman and Margaret Kern at the University of California at Riverside found that people who were less conscientious were 50 per cent more likely to die at any given age, on average, than those of the same age who scored highly (Health Psychology, DOI: 10.1037/0278-618.104.22.1685). This exceeds the effects of socioeconomic status and intelligence, which are also known to increase longevity.
Do elite athletes live longer?
TLDR; - In most cases, not really
Being underweight is dangerous, just as being overweight is dangerous. Instead of heart disease and joint damage, you end up with osteoporosis, anemia, etc.
Losing weight without paying attention to nutrient intake and balance can have similar effects, even if you'd be at or above healthy weight losing 50lbs.
While I understand that going on a diet can make you feel less energetic, depressed and a variety of other things, the "base" in BMR is there for a reason.
I've seen many people suggest that your BMR could significantly lessen, but I've never seen anything scientific demonstrating that, and all our understanding points to it not being possible, unless you stop breathing and your blood stops pumping.
Maybe a diet could interfere with your exercise regimen and be counter-productive, but for someone who is completely sedentary and who's TDEE is close to his BMR, I don't think it could significantly go down.
Usually people state that the salt keeps the water in the body, so if you want to lose weight you need to lower your salt intake.
But what you say kinda makes sense, I'm interested in hearing more of your ideas.
You could maybe do what you suggest by just slowly sipping a glucose solution over the course of a few hours but it would be very inefficient.
Now, if we replace "eat glucose" with "eat carbohydrates", then the statement is still not quite accurate. Experienced marathon runners (and other endurance athletes) will not consume carbs before the run because doing so would spike insulin and effectively shut down breakdown of fatty acids in the liver. Liver can more or less either convert glucose to glycogen and fat, or break down fat, and is not great at doing both simultaneously. Maintaining fat metabolism is hugely important when going the distance since it's the largest energy reserve available in your body (50,000+ calories vs <2000 calories as glucose).
Marathon runners consume moderate amounts of carbohydrates DURING exercise when insulin response is blunted. The idea here is to maintain glucose levels and avoid going into hypoglycemic state (low blood sugar). Ingesting moderate amounts of simple and complex carbs during exercise spares glycogen without necessarily spiking blood glucose to where liver has to regulate toxicity. This way you can keep on going longer.
Just a quick note, and your explanation is fantastic otherwise: this isn't quite correct. The (human) liver doesn't use fat directly for gluconeogenesis. It's just not efficient for humans: We wouldn't gain enough energy from it. The liver uses fat indirectly through glycerol (which is a product of fatty acid catabolism), but it's important to draw a distinction here because this is why ketosis occurs - if the liver could efficiently break down fat directly, ketosis would never happen at all! Most tissues would much rather use glucose directly if it's an option.
While muscle breakdown occurs in small amounts normally it's mostly a last resort that occurs after an extended period of starvation. Which makes sense: You wouldn't want to break down the thing (skeletal muscle) you need to get more food except as a last resort. The amino acids involved in more typical gluconeogenesis largely come from other sources.
I also believe endurance or extreme endurance activities are more for your enjoyment than fitness. They take their toll on the body's joints, organs and regulatory systems. Moderation is good advice in lots of things.
Energy gels are usually high-energy but low-everything-else, which is probably what the parent is referring to ("eat glucose"). This is to supplement blood-sugar levels without affecting the digestive process too much, or, more to the point, without affecting their marathon performance.
A good heuristic is that if you bought it, or it was bought for you, it's got too much refined carbohydrate in it and the serving size is too large. This is because to consumers value=(volume*taste)/dollar
I'm not familiar with the effort required for mountain climbing, but eating a varied meal beforehand would help. Personally, a peanut butter sandwich, banana, half an avocado (depending on the size of the avocado), tall glass of milk, and celery with hummus will prepare me well for the following few hours. Adjust this for yourself as needed.
A healthy balance between fat, fiber, carbs, and protein is what you're looking for. I can't give any any hard numbers but a good macro-nutrient balance is the first step to a healthy diet, with the second step being fresh food.
I am now around 180 lbs at 14% body fat, and the combination of low body fat, and weight for my 6 ft frame, makes it easier to climb, run, do handstand pushups, whatever, and generally move around more effortlessly with less impact and pain.
His focus on moving to America may be a statistical correlation, but I have lived in SE Asia for over 7 years, the last year in the rice fields of East Java, and I can tell you that there are plenty of poor diets and obesity over here. Also, I noticed that even among the average thin-looking person over here, muscle tone is poor. Skinny people with flappy arms and other body masses. Of course this does not apply to the fitness practioner or to the rice farmers who work all day and are active. They do like a lot of fried foods, and think I am a goat for eating raw veggies or even cooked veggies ;)
The rice served here is almost always white rice, which is the same rice as the healthier brown rice, but Asians just prefer white rice. It's all about how much you 'polish' or remove the outer layers of the rice grain that gives you a brown, fibrous shell of brown rice, or a soft white cooked rice. Again, here is where weight is not a good indicator, but muscle tone, and muscle mass/fat mass ratio. Skinny shouldn't be your goal, but fit should, since muscle weighs more than fat, you can weigh the same and look thinner and more defined.
I also went vegetarian almost 3 years ago, and I have never been in better shape than I am now. I get my healthy fats from walnuts, flax seeds and flax oil mainly. A plant-based diet, and regular exercise. That and I have not drank alcohol for about 7 years (good money saver too!). Although, it has been proven, diet is the biggest contributing factor, even over intense exercise. Exercise polishes off the remaining percentage aside from any enjoyment factor you might gain from it.
Life is also about your goals. Some people want to bodybuild for size, rock climb, run, do yoga, fight MMA, swim, golf, what have you, and each has a trade-off. It is about achieving your goals and happiness, so different strokes for different folks; there is no one right way.
At my age, I am shooting for maintaining flexibility, dexterity, moderate strength, and aesthetics comes in last (52 now, so not in the courting game ;) ). Functional fitness, and body movement per the work of Ido Portal . Trying new activities to ward off becoming too efficient at the ones I have practiced for many years keeps me honest and burning more calories. I swim too efficiently to burn calories. A new swimmer thrashing about is an inefficient swimmer, but will burn more calories in 5 minutes than me in 20!
The biggest revelation to me was that most people tend to be tight up front, and loose in back. In other words, we focus on the front muscles due to common daily activities in the office-bound Western world: carrying kids, groceries, leaning forward at a desk, to the detriment of our posterior. I gained this from a marvelous book by Judy Alter 'Stretch and Strengthen'.
The single most valuable piece of advice I have every taken up. Our backs are weak in general. It's amazing what a few weeks of squats without weights, superman poses on the floor to strengthen the lower back, and some pull-ups or hanging exercises can do for back flexibility and warding off pain. Stretching the front chest, arms, and thighs while strengthening the back muscles and back leg muscles is a good counter strategy.
I did yoga too, which is good, but I agree with some physiologists that the hyperextension of knees or other joints stretches the ligaments, which when you're older and your muscles are not as toned or strong, your joints are floppy due to stretched out ligaments. Think old leather belt stretched over the years, never regaining it's original length.
This exactly. I did the same thing to lose a bit of extra weight, except the machine learning part was just using my noodle. I found it interesting that the author didn't notice sleep reducing weight right away. He only measures morning weight. If he measured morning and at night before bed, he would have noticed right away. Some other things the author seems to have overlooked in his analysis.
1) While sleep is good for weight loss, eating before sleep is not. I give at least a 2 hour window before bed where no food is allowed.
2) Track how often you poop. When I'm not pooping, I'm putting on weight. I don't mean poop is heavy. The stuff floats. Weigh before and after a big poop and be prepared to be surprised. People will commonly say that weight loss is just energy in < energy used. Well, it's more like energy in < (energy used + energy out). Poop has calories. It burns. Eating foods that keep you regular will keep you leaner.
3) Weigh before bed too. I noticed some foods were "soft" weight and some are "hard" weight. Soft weight goes on fast but drops quickly. I found some things shoot my night weight way up, but it's mostly gone by the next morning. Other foods, hard weight, put on fewer pounds, but take days to lose again. For me, fried potatoes are the absolute worst hard weight. Anyway, if you only weigh in the morning, you may see you gained a pound from the day before. If it's soft weight, no worries. That will be gone before lunch. If it's hard weight, it will still be there tomorrow, and the next day too.
4) Be on the lookout for magic combos. Some foods individually are weight gain, but combined are weight loss. Take coconut rice as an example. Rice by itself is a soft weight gain for me. It's not hard to lose, but it puts on pounds. Coconut rice on the other hand is weight loss for me. My spouse made it with some spicy thai chicken and I fully expected to gain, but I didn't. Now I can eat it without reservations. Apparently, I'm not alone, and there's some science behind this one
If someone were to put together a little app to make this sort of data collection trivial and upload it to a central (preferably cheap) repository, would people be interested in contributing their data in exchange for analysis?
Also, since this is HN, is anyone interested in building something like this? I've got an hour or two a week of spare time to chip in.
Unrelated question, mostly for OP: do you know of any publicly available databases of GI/GL info? It's really important for people with type 1 diabetes (a subject rather dear to my heart), and could also be useful for OpenAPS stuff (https://github.com/openaps).
I am not overweight but I would certainly not mind doing this if it helps others.
To my utter surprise, something as stupidly simple as coffee blended with butter with coconut oil (or MCT) first thing in the morning did unbelievable things for mental productivity. After much googling I learned that this is not a fluke, and that there is real science behind it - beta-oxidation, etc, all that good stuff.
What's most incredible to me is that (1) I didn't know about it, I always thought glucose is the only fuel (and I consider myself fairly knowledgeable as far as basic physiology is concerned) and (2) that sugar, especially the industrially produced kind, is about as close to being the root of all evil as it gets and there is nothing wrong with fat at all.
The ketosis and positive effects on the brain thereof is backed by a lot of solid science.
No offense, but after learning you were dead wrong about a pretty fundamental concept, have you reevaluated this belief?
Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. If that doesn't work for you, talk to a doctor.
The trick is that
a) it takes quite a while for your body to get adjusted to ketosis. 6 months to fully adjust, but the primary adjustment will take at 2-4 weeks for most people
b) during this adjustment period, you'll usually feel like shit. since you're running empty on the fuel your body is used to. but many people cheat, or accidentally ingest too many carbohydrates, persistently keeping their body out of ketosis and ensuring they feel terrible endlessly and blame keto for it.
The research that I've read says that the ideal training regime is to work-out in a carb-exhausted state, so as to encourage your body to develop the low-carb metabolic pathway, but for actual endurance events, definitely carb load as your primary fuel.
These days I can wake up from a 12-18 hour fast and run a marathon at an easy pace while ingesting zero carbs in the process.
I ingest some carbs during actual races when glucose utilization is higher due to higher intensity. You will always need some glucose and the ratio of fat/glucose metabolism depends on intensity. Basically if you push the pedal to the metal your body will utilize what it has got. With that said, I feel like keto adaptation definitely broadened my options for how to pace myself and how to use my energy reserves during training and races.
In keeping with this thread - I guess I could vary different dozens of variables, one or more at a time, apply the same Ketosis machine learning algorithm, and see what really makes the difference.
I typically take ZMA and potassium then drink something like Propel while at the gym. Then I have chicken broth when I get home to get some salt back.
1. Its available online
This talk digs into it a little bit:
Your symptoms is very common during the ketosis adaptation phase which shouldn't last more than two weeks at most.
If they persist any longer than that you are probably not in ketosis.
The best way to measure ketone levels are through blood ketones (beta-hydroxybutyrate) with a blood tester such as the precision extra or similar.
There are some breath analyzers such as the ketonix that measures acetone levels in your breath - and they are alos pretty good.
Urine sticks don't generally don't work very well after the first month.
But even weirder is that it really doesn't taste bad, and it did didn't do terrible things to my innards.
The sound of it is really counter-intuitive:
oily coffee, black.
It floats on the top, in beads, like a soup broth.
Can you expand? Like, you thought that cells only metabolize glucose, and dietary fats & proteins are converted to glucose? Or...?
Pretty much. I don't know where that may have come from, but I suspect I'm not the only one who naively thinks that this is the case. Somehow "ketone bodies" aren't mentioned in dietary conversations nearly as frequently as glucose.
From the abstract:
During very low carbohydrate intake, the regulated and controlled production of ketone bodies causes a harmless physiological state known as dietary ketosis. Ketone bodies flow from the liver to extra-hepatic tissues (e.g., brain) for use as a fuel; this spares glucose metabolism via a mechanism similar to the sparing of glucose by oxidation of fatty acids as an alternative fuel. In comparison with glucose, the ketone bodies are actually a very good respiratory fuel. Indeed, there is no clear requirement for dietary carbohydrates for human adults. [...] Contrary to popular belief, insulin is not needed for glucose uptake and utilization in man.
It's easy to be ignorant about a situation you never experience. Every single person they deal with is going to be in a carb-adapted state and never miss a meal, so their body will run entirely off of glucose.
Three things I'm really curious about:
- How significant are the estimates of lifestyle factors? Do you have p-values? If you bootstrap resample, how much do the rankings change at the extremes?
- How much cognitive overhead did it impose to collect the data for this? Did you put a lot of effort into designing the tags beforehand or making sure you weighed yourself at a consistent time?
- It looks like the predicted delta from going from a "nosleep" day to a "sleep" days is about 1.4 pounds (sleep coef minus nosleep coef). That seems fishy, or at least like it will stop working fairly soon because you can't actually lose 1.4 pounds/day sustainably. Is it possible there's something weird going on with the data or those variables don't have the obvious meanings?
His VW script does do bootstrapping ('--bootstrap 16') but he doesn't report it anywhere I see. https://github.com/JohnLangford/vowpal_wabbit/wiki/using-vw-... seems to not report any sort of p-value or confidence interval which might be derived from the bootstrapping. (The 'relevance' is 'the relative distance of each variable from the best constant prediction', not sure what that means.)
So if you want to know, it looks like you'll have to run it yourself and visualize the output. I would guess that the uncertainties are huge and none of them reach even p<0.05 - it simply should not be possible to get mean loss of like 0.2 and reliable estimates of hundreds of variables like 'melon' out of less than 4 months of data when the random measurement error of the scale itself is on the order of half a pound (I have an Omron body fat scale, and even taking 2-3 measurements daily, there's a lot of error) unless his VW regression is grossly overfitting.
Basically I'd love to see some actual diagnostics I guess :)
PS I believe the "relevance" is just the coefficient divided by the biggest coefficient (the `RelScore` column in the printout in the README file).
I tried to run the makefile, but apparently the version of Vowpal Rabbit that ships on my Ubuntu (7.3) is so outdated that it doesn't support the bootstrap option.
No more. I've updated the Makefile to run only one pass, changed the options so it runs with older-version vw, Fixed misspellings of 'gioza', removed 'mayo' which found itself on the wrong side because it appeared only twice and always alongside the bun and regenerated the chart.
All the main conclusions remain intact.
In the end, I urge everyone to use their own data, that was the main purpose of sharing this code. My data-set is small, awfully noisy and insufficient. There are no p-values and no rigorous statistics, so please don't read too much into the minute details. It is the discovery journey into the top factors that is the important part, in my view. The ML was just one aid in this discovery process. The proof for me was my actual, and sustainable, weight loss that came after (very slowly) realizing the top factors that eventually worked for me. Thanks again.
I realized early on that the data is hopelessly noisy, due to the small daily changes and the scales resolution so rather than trying to build a perfect model to gauge the variable importance of each and every kind of food, I focused on the few days when weight change was more significant hoping I could detect some signal in those, and extrapolate and further explore from that. That's why I sorted the data-set by abs(delta) and that's what consistently pointed me towards sleep/fasting as the #1 factor. I do agree that the full list/model is garbage in the sense that probably 80% or so of it is woefully inaccurate/flipped, noisy, overfitted etc. The main point was to lead me in the right direction by looking at the big picture and what stood out.
And what stood out were 2 things 1) sleep (fasting duration), and 2) fat vs carbs. I think everything else should be ignored. I think we're in total agreement on this point.
Does this sound more sensible to you?
That weight loss doesn't add up in the long term. You lose a lot of weight during your sleep both due to evaporation of water and by burning glucose/fat which you exhale. Obviously longer sleep translates into more water lost and more glucose/fat burned, but it will quickly be compensated by the body taking that water back up again and a larger appetite. You can't consistently lose water weight.
After a night of drinking, I can lose up to 3 kilos due to dehydration. But of course, I've probably gained weight due to the calories in the booze.
On a side note, I reached a similar conclusion on the role of "carbs at night", sleeping, and fats, and I read this interesting article https://aeon.co/essays/hunger-is-psychological-and-dieting-o... on the importance, for effective weight loss, of feeling satisfied (I believe there is also a reference to the relationship between eating fats and feeling satisfied).
I've eaten LCHF for 10 years and regularly exercise with CrossFit (arguably the highest intensity workout most people will do) and yoga intermixed with athletic activities like hiking, skiing, and surfing.
My suggestion is to properly keto-adapt over 3 to 6 weeks before concluding that you can't exercise without eating carbs.
If you only do crossfit every 2-3 days, and rotate the exercises you do somewhat (as is typical at most boxes) you might not notice a big difference between a low carb and higher carb diet. If you train daily and you're doing similar movements every day, you will definitely notice a difference. Since that is pretty much the modus operandi of serious athletes, that is where the whole "athletes don't do well on keto" idea comes from; it definitely doesn't apply to your garden variety recreational athlete though.
To fix this, you more or less have to keep intensity lower. I think that's why it works well for bicyclists who can change gears.
Good news is that, after endurance exercise, you can replenish glycogen stores - meaning you can have more sugar than normal without leaving ketosis.
Last year I was introduced to books like Finding Ultra, Whole and Proteinaholic, and went on a high carb diet.
Today my diet is based on beans, lentils, potatoes and fruits and I'm performing 15-20% better than my previous peak from 15 years ago (I'm 37 now). As a bonus, with the amount of fibber I consume, I never had digestive issues again.
I would say most of the benefit from Ketosis while training is the recovery. I had plenty of energy for my long rides, but the lower inflammation was making recovery quicker.
My race was cancelled (Tahoe) and I went to Spain two weeks later and did Barcelona instead.. 10h and 3 minutes. Pretty happy with sub-5h for the bike leg!
Dal Bhat is one of my favorites after living in Colorado.
TL;DR A ketogenic diet is net-positive for aerobic exercise activities.
As a result, high level athletes tend to spend the majority of their time consuming a carb-rich diet, then switch to a ketogenic diet for 2-3 weeks prior to competition. During this low carb period, they just focus on a very high volume of low/moderate intensity work. Finally, 2-3 days before competition, they will carb-load to glycogen super-compensate, getting the best of both worlds.
If anything, I would question how healthy ketosis is, long term... But I'm pretty sure it's way healthier than any processed-food diet typical in the west...
About 3 years ago I began experiments with paleo, I am 5'6-5'7 started over 190lbs and in about 4 months was down to 152lbs. Weekends I would have cheat meals usually a pizza day and burger/fry day.
Around then I began running for the first time in my life. I started out the first 3 months at 1 mile everyday, which I thought was a lot until a high school buddy laughed when I told him.
I stopped eating paleo and increased to 3 miles about 5 times a week. This went on for about a month, when I decided to register for a half marathon and started a basic 12 week training. I tried to restart paleo, but about a month in my legs began to hurt which I attributed to lack of carbs so I again got off. During Summer in Miami I decreased the mileage due to the heat and would get back on paleo still weekend cheat days.
During any of that time I didn't know about Ketosis or I never experienced anything I would call Ketosis.
Fast forward to this year, I completed the Disney Goofy (half day1, full day2), then another 2 halfs during the spring. I was back to about 170, and despite running more mileage than I ever had, I was not pleased with my physique, feeling I looked better even at the same weight while on paleo. So I decided after my last half of the season, I would try to go full paleo without any cheat meals on the weekend with the goal of 5 mile runs 4-5 times per week. I just completed a half the weekend before and Tuesday I did my 5 mile on paleo and felt fine/normal.
Wednesday/Thursday during my runs I got light head and basically though I might blackout, never experienced that before, but I stuck with it. Then by the 3rd week, I honestly felt I was tapping into a different energy source, not that I was running faster but it was just a different feeling and it was amazing.
Despite having combined paleo and running before, my body had never responded like this before. Having read up on high endurance athletes who do paleo after the fact, I believe what was happening is my body was tapping into and burning fat as its main source of energy and I also learned about Ketosis at that time (I believe/understand these to be one in the same, but they may not be). I will note, even my mind seemed different as I began to really think/feel that sugars were a poison and I was disgusted by the thought of breads/sugars, meaning I didn't even want cheat days on the weekend. This lasted for about 2 months without a cheat day and eventually there was a craving for carbs and I had no hesitation about giving in, so I am back off the paleo, and basically the very next run my body was not performing the same as it was. I look forward to implementing a strict paleo diet again without cheat days when the weather cools and I will try to build my mileage up in that state for the next running season.
You can argue about what is paleo and what not, but carbs are considered totaly fine as long as they come from a good source.
So if you did paleo and ended up in ketosis you probably did something wrong in regards to the paleo idea.
This last time around, where I experienced the change (I believe ketosis) I can basically say my diet consisted of: eggs, chicken (mostly dark meat), red meat, green leafy vegetables, and sometimes pork. Honestly before this thread I thought of ketosis as a state, and not a diet, so I will look into it a little more and see if this last diet I was on was more consistent with ketosis than paleo.
What I also wanted to say is that you can find sources for carbs in the paleo diet... especially if you do sports (and you did it actually as you mentioned)
Biolent has a keto variant: http://biolent.ca/
Keto Chow: https://www.thebairs.net/product-category/ketochow/
Keto Fuel: http://superbodyfuel.com/shop/keto-fuel/
PrimalKind is "paleo": http://primalkind.com/
Edit: added Keto Chow, which I forgot on first pass!
For someone who eats lots of carbs already, a plum/orange isn't going to cause an increase in weight. It is primarily just calories. It is of course easier to eat more calories in carbs than in protein, but overall, carbs aren't "bad".
Moreover, such Atkins diets tend to work only temporarily, until atkins-diet homeostasis is achieved, unless calorie restriction is practiced as well [1,2].
 Many studies show that long-term weight rebounds if you forgo carbs and overall weight loss depends only on calories. One article: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/90/1/23.long
Weight loss is simple: calorie deficit. However, switching from carbs to fats and taking advantage of some of the metabolic processes your body has to offer makes the process easier for many people. Calorie deficit with less hunger and decent energy. It helps a lot.
Not that simple. People touting this are usually genetically endowed with great metabolism. I've tried this many times and reach a plateau pretty quickly and have to keep decreasing calories until it's not practical anymore.
On the other hand, watching the glycemic index/load does the magic for me.
Metabolic rate does not vary that much: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15534426
And to be clear, you can't not lose weight with a calorie deficit.
That's true, but in a useless way.
You can't die of cancer if you get rid of all the cancer cells in your body -- that doesn't help us treat cancer.
The problem isn't whether caloric deficit works. The problem is why some people are unable to maintain caloric deficit.
This appears to be complex, and includes stuff like gut flora, medication, strong cognitive biases, among others.
* Stopped drinking juice, coke etc. completely
* Ate sweets strictly only once a week (like one cake every sunday)
* Ate carbs mainly at lunch when doing sport afterwards. In the evening I ate carbs too, but much less.
There's one thing that all these fasting-guides and tips fail to mention:
The fastest way to loose weight is to heighten your resting-energy-consumption, and the fastest way to do this is to gain muscle mass by training.
Another thing to keep in mind -- muscle weighs more than fat. When participating in a workout regimen, some may be discouraged by their lack of weight loss and mistake it for stalling. This should be overcome.
Frankly I think the greatest innovation in this would be a bathroom scale that shows both body-fat percentage and weight.
New stupid weight-loss product: antipsychotics, to induce muscle dystonia! (Which, sadly, wouldn't even work; antipsychotics, despite causing massive amounts of NEAT, cause weight gain—by the opposite mechanism by which stimulants make you not hungry, antipsychotics make you very hungry.)
That does not change the conclusion - gaining muscle is sure thing for weight loss. It is just we do not know why.
I think that training puts your body in a constant circle of growing and adapting tissue, which should be relatively exhausting.
I switched to a strict-but-not-religious "no food between 7 pm and 11 am" system (with exceptions for weekends and social occasions).
Within a few months I was down 15 pounds (~182 to around ~167) and had shed 4 inches off my waist (~34 to ~30). I'm about 5'10" and 41 years old.
It's definitely helped with physical activity (mostly parkour/free running) and I look better. It's also more convenient than what I was doing before, since I don't have to cook breakfast.
The only negative side effect (possibly unrelated) has been that I need a much cooler sleeping environment to be comfortable.
The only thing I would add is that I'm starting to (upside-down) plateau at around 165 and (what my scale says is) 20% body fat. I would love to lose another 5-10 pounds but it'll probably be a slow process.
Ironically, in that scenario, it might be worth occasional days of increased caloric input, to attempt to trigger your body into believing that it isn't starving, and really can continue to run a high BMR.
At the very least, having the data in hand is pretty cool - and it only takes about 40 minutes, inclusive of the time they need to set up the gear (just an face mask) and get you into a calm/resting state.
Your BMR drops as you lose weight, it might simply be that this hasn't been taken into account.
Or they're not tracking their calories.
Here's a really good article discussing caloric-reduction, impact on Leptin (key hormone involved in regulating the body metabolism): http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/calorie-partiti...
Though, careful reading suggests that the author believes that a day of refeeding (ala 4-hour body), is unlikely sufficient to trigger Leptin such that the body's BMR kicks back into high gear.
they just have to measure how much oxygen you use and how much co2 is exhaled.
> When a triglyceride is oxidized (or "burned up"), the process consumes many molecules of oxygen while producing carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) as waste products 
Should that be warmer instead of cooler? I find that my body temperature goes down when I'm fasting, so I need the room to be warmer to compensate.
The data in this post was cool. I found Dr. Peter Addia's analysis to be one of my favorite resources. He's a medical doctor who was an overweight endurance athlete, then began doing ketosis. I appreciated an honest scientific analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of ketosis.
As an aside, I think that our attitude toward insulin from a public health perspective is going to change a lot in the next few years.
Whereas if you look at the old FDA food pyramid and the new food plate, carbs/sugars/fruits take up a significant percentage of the recommended daily diet. Take fruit for example, prevailing norm would be fruit is healthy (especially in its natural state where it is accompanied by fiber), fruit aside most people would believe carbs (especially in whole grain form) are perfectly fine in moderation. My big guess is that an M.D. recognizes any amount of carb (fruit or whole grain being no different that high fructose corn syrup) triggers the bodies production of insulin. More and more, I think M.D.'s will have negative perspective on any/all insulin production if it can be avoided. I have more thoughts on the impacts of insulin on the body, but I hope OP will chime in with a response to see if my instincts are on point.
Trying to figure out how the consumption of certain foods correlates with weight gain/loss is a waste of time because it's simply the caloric content, not the macronutritional content (eg protein vs carbs vs fats). There are dozens of studies showing that only calories matter for weight loss, including vs low-carb, low-fat, and more.
The author is acting like each food has arbitrary properties that make them food or bad for weight loss. It's a good reason to play with ML, but it's easier to just count calories. I hate seeing people go down the "good food/bad food" path of thinking because they end up overanalyzing the shit out of everything they eat and for no good reason.
The glycemic index doesn't realistically matter either for a ton of reasons. It hasn't been taken seriously as a useful marker when chosing foods for quite some time now. It's not a reliable indicator of anything. I posted a summary a few years back that debunks all the insulin/GI spike voodoo.
Low carb diets work, but they only work because they're a trick to get you to reduce calories. Look at what you're eating and remove all the carb foods. Notice how much your calorie intake dropped. It's a simple way of losing weight without counting calories, but that's it. The weight loss on keto, atkins, etc have nothing to do with carbs, and everything to do with calorie restriction.
It's worth noting that low carb diets have great health benefits, however .
I'm not gonna eat my daily allowance in spoonfuls of sugar am I?
From the point of biochemistry that claim doesn't make much sense either, as calories measured in the food (which is done by measuring the heat when you burn it) are not the same calories that you end up having as ATPs in your blood stream. No digestion is 100% efficient and it's much more complex process than just the simple oxidation. Different foods and food combinations and different gut bacterias in each human create hundreds of variables in how efficient the conversion process is. We have variable food quality, variable food combinations interacting chemically, variable gut bacteria and digestion chemistry, variable metabolism for each person. Our body is a chemistry lab and making stuff repeatable and simple in the lab is usually very hard. Digestion itself also uses energy itself and how much depends on the type of the food. It also matters how often do you eat, eating all your calories all at once and than starving for the rest of the week is definitely not the same as having a balanced calorie intake. Presuming that it's all simple "just sum it all up from standardized tables" is overly simplistic look on a highly complicated chemical process that has many bio-feedbacks involved and is far from being a constant. Which of course doesn't mean that it's not a good enough simplification for the purpose of keeping the dieting simple enough for people who are not interested in the biochemistry, but that is just the same kind of approximation that all other technics do: "Follow these rules and you'll probably lose some weight".
The first study says "[the low carb diet] involves limiting carbohydrate intake without restricting consumption of fat and protein", which means calories aren't controlled for at all. Only carbs are counted.
The second study has the same problem, read the methodology section.
Please, link me to "dozens of studies" that refute the link I provided above that: 1) have calories controlled in both groups 2) account for the non-permanent water weight in low carb diets and 3) find statistically significant differences in weight loss vs a regular calorie-restricted diet. You won't find a significant amount, if any.
Your second argument is a really common one and I have never understood it. Agreeing that calorie management is all that is needed for weightloss DOES NOT imply that calories are equal. Calories being equal is not a requirement for counting calories. I understand the concept of TEF and that there are several other factors that can impact what the "effective" calorie amount of foods are. I understand that the human body is incredibly complex and there is no formula for accurately determining an individual's calories.'
But none of these things realistically matter for counting calories as a tool of weight loss. You estimate your calorie intake using one of several googlable methods, then you adjust your intake over time to hit your desired weight loss rate. Any personal variances your body has or any dietary habits you have just get accounted for in the amount as you adjust it.
One of the ones he linked limited to 20g per day, which is OK, but then increased the amount gradually to be "manageable." Uh, that's not true keto, that's Atkins half-assed keto, which is the exact book they used.
The other one limited to 30g a day, which people over at /r/keto would consider too high, as would most low-carb dieters.
Additionally, they both encourage (or, at best, don't prohibit) consumption of things which can be eaten in small amounts but still have a high GI, such as fruits and other things. It's not just about keeping the carb count below a certain number, it's about avoiding sources of glucose spikes as much as possible, too. They ignored that, and even flew in its face, which, in my opinion, invalidates the testing methodology.
They're not measured like this any more, the macros are measured and an average figure for each is applied. It's called the Atwater method.
But they might for him. The point is that he's analyzing what he feels like eating without worrying about caloric content in order to achieve a steady state where he's losing weight.
If he can eat eggs until he's sated and lose weight, or he can eat cereal until he's sated and gain weight, the caloric difference is irrelevant to the question of what foods he should be eating to not have to think about counting calories while feeling sated. This is a personal question about what foods count as good or bad, not a general conclusion, and the author says as much.
This kind of personalized analysis via machine learning is probably going to be a big thing in the coming years.
Another big point was that fasting, particularly during sleep, was very effective. Is there any studies on if this is true or a real effect? Or perhaps it also just has a indirect effect by reducing calories consumed, but he argued it was more than that.
Fasting is a very effective tool for losing weight. By itself it doesn't really cause any magic (meaning, it doesn't increase the rate of fat loss on its own or anything like that). It's a great tool for diet adherence because your body eventually gets used to its eating hours. If you only eat in an 8 hour window each day, you're fuller during that 8 hour window and generally less hungry in the 16 hour foodless window. You can read more here - http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top-ten-fasting-myths-debun....
The whole site is dedicating to intermittent fasting and is a good resource.
1. Watch your protein. Most people when first going keto will eat too much protein and not enough fat. Protein has an insulinogenic effect when eaten in quantity. Keep protein below 8 oz per meal. Don't be afraid to eat more fat.
2. Avoid cheese. Yes, it's technically low carb, but it repeatedly throws me and my girlfriend off (also a low carber).
3. Avoid nuts. Yes, like cheese, nuts are delicious. But they're a slippery slope. Life will be easier if you avoid them.
I hear your points about protein, cheese, and nuts, but then what do you eat? Can you list out a few complete days of your meals?
Lunch: salad and leftover protein (with oil, vinegar, and mustard dressing)
Dinner: meat, fish, or poultry (simply prepared) with roasted vegetables and salad
Snacks: coffee with butter and coconut oil, raw veggies, leftover meat
I wonder if the "this tastes awful" response will change as I move away from carbs?
The avocado makes it really creamy and rich.
Wat? Your protein intake depends strictly on your body's requirements.
I've never been really overweight, but still, even the slight problem I had is gone with the change of some eating habits. Mostly, a lot less carbs - I really don't need a bakery and I have to tell the Thai or Chinese waiter that I need only 10% of that huge load of rice (they always pack more rice than the rest - which already is a large amount).
Next to zero extra sugar (outside food items like fruit), no cake, no cookies. I don't need to, zero appetite for any of it. I don't even touch that honey jar in the corner any more. This is great for my teeth! (also according to the dentist, no sugar - no cavities, general rule). Always had trouble, now non, zero, with much less brushing.
I eat very high amounts of nut cream, which is just nuts but crushed to cream, expensive stuff but soooo tasty. A slice of toast, than add almost 1/3 jar of nut cream (mixed and/or cashew and/or almond white/brown and/or hazelnut) - so, really a lot - add quark (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark_%28dairy_product%29) and some (not too much) fresh fruit and some non-crushed nuts from varieties that I don't have as cream, like walnuts.
No problem at all with my weight, unlike years ago when I really had to watch myself and did a lot of sports and running, so it's not like I can eat anything I want.
Same with cheese, but it's very little hard cheese, and all of it is high quality. A lot of my cheese is from sheep and goats.
Lots of veggies - but always with some meat. Can't eat as much as I used to any more though, my body has settled on wanting only a little bit of it.
Also, I found it important to NOT cut the (easy) carbs completely! Some white bread or rice etc. is absolutely necessary. It's just not very much, not even a full slice of white bread for the nut breakfast, for example. I think the diet that tries to brute force you into eating nothing at all of that kind of food is too extreme.
I can't eat a lot of whole nuts though, only the cream works. Which is just mechanically different, there are zero add-ons in my (organic) nut cream purchases.
Oh and I get plenty of sleep too, I don't use an alarm clock. Advantage of working from home.
About the link, this is just statistics. These days "machine learning" has replaced the word "statistics", and now everything is called that, it seems.
That sounds reasonable and all, but it isn't actually a scientific justification. If the nutritional theories behind a low carb diet are sound, then it would make no sense to introduce high-carb sources to mix in just to "be less extreme." Science shouldn't care about our superficial perceptions.
Which is sort of what those hormones are for. It's easy to see how ancient humans or proto-humans who had this tendency to store extra calories during times of stress, would've had survival/evolutionary advantages.
Therefore don't mimic times of high stress by shorting yourself on sleep!
My weight loss: http://imgur.com/a/cGb4X
I do not restrict the amount of food I eat. I snack and have big meals.
Carbs do not make you fat. Eating high caloric density foods makes you fat.
Yes, they can, though it is rare.
- Fat loss is ultimately about caloric deficient sustained over time and adjusting for metabolic adaptation.
- Sustaining that deficit over time (diet compliance) is highly variable. For some is easier with carbs than it is with protein or fat. YMMV.
So, yes, your diet works, but the problem is that many people wouldn't be able to physiologically stick with it for longer than a few weeks. This isn't just about mind over matter, this is about body over mind. (Insulin response in particular)
- Protein itself cannot make you fat (the amount of protein you would need to consume relative to other carbs and fats in the diet renders this physiologically highly improbable).
- Carbohydrates can make you fat if that's all you eat (de novo lypogenesis becomes a thing if you injest < 10% daily calories as dietary fat); Carbs also can increase weight a few lbs due to glycogen storage.
- Fat will be stored unless there is insufficient protein or carbs in the diet, then fat will be metabolized.
As a vegan you are probably eating almost no fat and this is most likely the reason you lost weight. If you would start eating higher amounts of vegetable fats... maybe even some sugar (pure carbs) you will gain weight.
For breakfast I have oatmeal with a banana and raisins with cinnamon.
For lunch I'll have brown rice with vegetable stew on top.
Dinner can be vegan whole wheat pizza, bean burritos, spaghetti with marinara sauce, moo shoo vegetable wraps, rice and vegetables.
I thought I might be over-doing it with 2 DXA scans :)
I should dig mine up, I got down to 10% body fat a few weeks before completing my first Ironman. I'm normally around 17-19% from memory.
Would be great if you could put this on github as well, and add some explanations to all the details in README.md.
_No Metabolic Advantage for Ketosis Found_
That's not true of things like rice, noodles, bread, etc.. where for many people eat some, and your body is like, "Awesome. Bring it on" in a never ending cycle.
Put another way - Satiation happens a lot faster, and lasts longer, when you are eating protein/fats, than it does when you are eating refined carbohydrates.
I think that what made it clear to me, is that there are no metabolic chamber studies (where people's activity and diet are perfectly controlled) that have ever demonstrated significant variation from the calories in/calories out model. Carbs, Protein, Fats - doesn't seem to make a difference, your weight is simply a reflection of your metabolic output and caloric-intake.
Stephan Guyenet also has an interesting perspective here:
Possibly the case that when you were eating carbs, you were putting away 3500 calories a day, and that dropped to 3000 calories a day when it was just meat? I know that just a casual stroll through the mall on a refeed day for me, I have zero difficulty putting away 6000+ calories - refined carbs are shockingly calorically dense.
Also - for some time on a Keto Diet, you are going to be dropping a ton of water - so the scale will be dropping like a rock, regardless of what your actual body weight is doing. Getting a DexaScan, or whatever lean/fat body mass assessment you prefer to see what's really going on.
But, I think it's also a good idea, in addition to enjoying that little bit of gamification on your scale numbers, to also have a good sense of what's actually happening in the body mechanics.
That way, you get the best of both worlds.
Precision Xtra test strips will give you a far more precise and accurate measure of ketones in your blood and if you wanted to do anything quantitative like in this case study, you'd want to use those.
Edit - Also, presumably the other factors like hydration and time of day could be tracked as well used to apply learning
I use a glucose monitor with beta-hydroxy-butyrate (ketone body) test strips for accurate measurement.
FeatureName HashVal MinVal MaxVal Weight RelScore
^dreams 24546 0.00 1.00 +0.0705 47.11%
^shower 215555 0.00 1.00 -0.0239 -15.96%
^exercise 190069 0.00 1.00 -0.0350 -23.41%
^vitamins 252959 0.00 1.00 -0.0442 -29.56%
^write 129676 0.00 1.00 -0.0687 -45.90%
^publish 12600 0.00 1.00 -0.1496 -100.00%
Interestingly I was tracking dreams because I made various changes all at once:
-phillips hue bulbs
-new exercise routine (up from nothing)
-started taking vitamins
-stricter on my diet
When I say "dreams" I mean - "did I wake up remembering vivid dreams?". I wonder now if it's related to caloric surplus.
I also have minutised step data, nightly minutised sleep data and hourly mood self-reported data that I might try to throw in to the system and see what it says.
I really like your comment because you're one of the very few that actually tried the idea. Thats the #1 reason I put this on github, to help others conduct their own experiments on whatever they care about. If you ignore all my weight-loss journey story and data and just use some of these ideas to improve your own life, it was all worth it for me.
First, whatever method you use should already take into account that sleep happens together with stayathome. Even basic regressions take into account that.
Second, staying at home means your eating binges are constrained by what's around you. If it is healthy stuff it might mean weight loss, if it is bread and chips the opposite
So let's say you eat low carb and train very hard for a week. Your muscles will be depleted, your liver will be depleted. You see that you lost 10 lbs! Great! But is it? Maybe you lost one pound of fat and 9 pounds of water. Then you eat NOTHING BUT carbs for three days and you gain 20 lbs. Oh no! But actually it's your muscles expanding their capacity to store glycogen (since you trained hard and depleted yourself they will regain even more glycogen than before). You may have not gained ANY FAT AT ALL!
I have had great success dieting with medium fat medium carb diets. I try to keep between 180lbs and 220lbs (I'm 6'4"). I'm saying that this kind of tracking is oversimplifying the issue of fat loss - you need to see that you're losing fat tissue which involves at least caliper measurements.
Agreed - that the real question isn't weight, per se, but Lean Body Mass. DexaScan is also a good approach to nailing down that number.
But what I've found is that calipers actually do a good job at showing body fat changes. They're horrible for absolute values (if they say 12%, they might be off by 4%), even at multiple measurement sites. But if calipers measure more or less, you can still be fairly sure that you have gained or lost fat mass.
Measuring like that I found that nothing beats lots of caffeine and plain low calorie diet.
Vegans and animal lovers don't like low-carb-high-fat diets because it requires eating a lot of animals, so I find it hard to trust them.
- Breakfast: oatmeal with fruit
- Lunch: rice and beans with vegetables (cooked or raw)
- Dinner: mashed potatoes with carrots and onions or whole wheat pasta with tomatoes and spinach, etc.
Snacks: fruits (usually bananas and tangerines because they are so portable), dried fruits, unsalted/unroasted nuts
Condiments: all herbs, spices, salt (limited), nuts, seeds. No oil.
I'm aware of the risk of an all plant based diet. The main risks is B12 deficiency which is easily solved by taking a little pill one or few times a week.
Excellent explanation of why both approaches (high fat or high carb) may work: https://www.facebook.com/drgarth/posts/1213478802006359
Lecture about high carb vs high fat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFfK27B_qZY
http://www.forksoverknives.com is an excellent resource to get started on this plan, including a documentary and recipes.
I read that 4 years ago, spent another 4 months reading the listed studies, convinced myself it was a good plan, and lost 40 pounds with no exercises. I still do LCHF after all these years, and likely will never go back to a traditional diet, it feels great.
But after trying it and reading a lot of the research, I was pretty amazing. I went from close to 70kg down to 58kg over the course of the next year (although I've come up to around 62 ~ 63kg stable).
I like how this person mentions in the Github readme that it's not for everyone and "listen to your body." Some people have bodies that do well with high carb intakes. Every body type is different. With all that being said though, a huge issue with being overweight is education. The food industry wants you to buy fast food, pizzas and things that are cheap to create with easy base ingredients (sugar, starch, corn, wheat, etc.)
Sadly, the only way for me to realize this was to experiment on myself, as did this person (although with totally insane amounts of metrics). Kudos!
Listening to your body is very underrated skill. You can learn it (helps to have been an athlete at some point in your life) but you also have to do something about it :)
The article was very impressive. I liked the graphs and presentation.
Is it? As far as I know you could sustain yourself in perfect condition (and weight) on nothing but butter & eggs (to satiation) for decades --- which most vegetarian regimens seem to allow.
For me personally this worked quite well for reducing bodyfat:
Intermitted fasting and lifting weights 3 times a week and being on a cutting regime (cutting on the rest days with low carb and loading on the workout days wiht more carbs).
In the beginning IF was quite difficult but after a while the body get used to it and also I tend to have less cravings during the day. On the loading days/workout days I often have a hard time to get enoug calories because I feel full. I am using MyFitnessPal to track what I eat but it's more about the macros and not so much about the exact calories (but it's also good to get a feeling how much calories different kinds of food has)
 http://stronglifts.com/  http://www.lgmacros.com/standard-leangains-macro-calculator/
One thing I found is writing down a plan seems to really help you stick with it.
I finally wrote down my workout routine after decade of on and off training. I always logged my workouts but I never wrote the overall plan down. If you are interested in my routine it is here (it has very little to do with diet as I was going to write a follow up some day): https://gist.github.com/agentgt/f93b78dbe13870a6d0a1
I have never publicly posted the routine so if you feel the need to trash it I suppose you can do so in the comment area of the gist but routines are pretty personal anyway (to the OPs point).
If possible, get heart scans done once a year.
It's easy to slip into a sloppy version of the Ketogenic diet, at which point you're consuming lots of unhealthy fats and carbs, you triglycerides and cholesterol could shoot up and put you in shit street.
This is a strict diet.
Honestly, and with no sarcasm intended, I think your advice would be similarly correct for anyone considering eating bread, or white noodles/rice - get your blood work done on a regular basis, and heart scans done once a year, your triglycerides and cholesterol could shoot up and put you in shit street.
I'm willing to wager that significantly more people have cholesterol problems with rice/bread, than they do with eating meat and fat.
Fat consumed with high levels of sugar.
Not everyone has the capacity to be strict with their diet, habits, or health in general. These people might still attempt the Keto diet.
The Ketogenic diet gets approached by lots of people with mental health issues (bipolar for one), and people who have issues being strict with their diet.
Advising them to get their blood work done, and heart checked is normal, and sensible. Getting your blood and heart checked regularly is a healthy habit, and provides vital feedback to understand exactly how your diet is impacting your health.
I'm wrapping up week 5 tomorrow and I'm down 25lbs (~14% of my body weight)! They promise 2-5lbs of fat loss a week. I generally drop around a pound a day, but I'll get stuck a few days here and there. This method really works for me.
The best part is how fast you lose it. When I did South Beach years ago, it took me months to hit my goal. I have 14lbs left now and I should be able to hit my goal by Labor Day.
Give it a try.
I hit a loss plateau around 180 lbs that I couldn't break through until I began eating on an 8-16 fasting schedule like Ariel mentions in his "Further progress" section.
I gave up on the diet during 2015 and have since regained a significant amount of weight, but I suppose that's just an opportunity to apply some of the tracking techniques in this article to my next foray.
Get a calorie tracker like my fitness pal, set a goal weight loss, stick to it, and 1 lb per week will be a breeze. You don't need a fad diet. For me, meticulously paying attention to what I was putting into my body and putting a number next to it made it a no brainer. It was almost gamified at that point.
Humans are pretty diverse; perhaps certain eating patterns work better for different body chemistries.