(Here is the version I followed http://fourhourworkweek.com/2007/04/06/how-to-lose-20-lbs-of...)
The diet is basically to eat lean protein sources (scallops, salmon, round or loin steaks, chicken without skin, whey protein shakes (brand dependent), etc.) with broccoli, spinach, or another high fiber low carb green vegetable with every meal (4-6 meals per day). Assuming I haven't had any "cheat meals," the last meal of every 3rd day on this diet is a sweet potato/yam as a kind of carb refeed. I've really enjoyed the diet and I feel much better. I based it off of this source (but I used a somewhat lower calorie calculation than they suggest, since the diet is for bodybuilders): http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/docs/2007/gameover_vol2.pdf
At work I have a Quest Nutrition protein bar as a snack, which satisfies the fiber and protein requirements.
Before this, I followed a "healthy" Mediterranean diet for 2 years and failed to lose any weight even with exercise, but at least I didn't gain any either.
I'm 31, and spent the majority of my early 20s at startups wolfing down Mountain dew. Was up to almost 200 lbs for being 5' 6", and now I'm down to 165, and headed towards 150.
Exercise is critical as well. I run 3-5 miles every other day, with a 10 mile on Saturday or Sunday.
Anecdotes are basically pointless. What we need is cheap individualized nutrition.
I still stand by this, in the sense that I would love to see if there is more "proof" out there, even anecdotal is good if in sufficient quantity.
consist of eggs for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch, and some kind of protein for dinner — like red meat, chicken, fish, pork or tofu — along with vegetables
One thing I dislike about eating low carb, or paleo for that matter, is that it is not possible to measure it (other than weight, of course). It is based on randomly eating food (as long as it is low carb), and hoping you'll lose weight.
There is something you can do, though. It's measurable and it works. Bodybuilders use it, powerlifters use it, athletic fitness competitors use it, etc.
It's called counting calories. I've done it, and it worked great. It's a hassle, though! You basically have to weigh everything you eat, and it's a big disadvantage. However, by using this, you can keep track, count and graph everything you get into your body, and map it up to your weight and fat percentage.
For more information, see the /r/fitness FAQ: http://www.reddit.com/r/Fitness/wiki/faq#wiki_diet_details
So I slashed the carbs and sugar out of my diet, lost about 30 pounds in four months, with some minimal weight lifting thrown in every other day to boost muscle and amplify my body's resting burn rate some. Used a 1500 calorie diet roughly. I give about 90% of the credit to eliminating specifically pizza, pasta, and most sugar (particularly anything sugar heavy, soda, snacks, etc) from my diet. So long as I stayed away from those things, I found I could eat a lot of what I wanted.
My own take, which I've mentioned before, is that the the starting point is so bad (refined carbohydrates) that you can pretty much walk in any direction and get positive results. That is, what people are eating doesn't matter nearly as much as what people aren't. Or, more specifically, any diet will make people pay attention to what they're eating, and that's the real win.
Plenty of vegetarians stay away from pastas, grains, and other refined carbohydrates.
Yes fruits and dairy are also sources of sugars, but linking vegetarianism to high-carb, is like linking low-carb to risk for heart disease.
Vegetarians who do gain wait, are likely substituting high fat animal products for refined carbs like pasta, grains, starches, etc.
I just always assumed a carb heavy vegetarian diet is entirely contradictory to the health benefits a vegetarian is often seeking from their diet.
Sticking to these diets is the hardest thing. I spent a few months on a paleo diet and got a bunch healthier, but it was really hard to find things to eat, and pretty expensive as well. I don't think dietary changes are worth it unless you can reasonably stick to them for the rest of your life, and anything that says "no X ever again" is likely to fall into that category.
And you are also incorrect that both groups had equal results. There was an 8 pound weight loss difference on average. Did you even read the article?
In fact I'd suggest you consider this a clue... you're clearly explaining away, rather than explaining. "Explaining away" is in a way the most fundamentally unscientific operation there is... the fact that you're joined by a number of people who call themselves "scientists" even so doesn't change that.
(No joke. The fundamental breakthrough of science philosophy is that instead of asking the cognitively-natural "How can I prove I am correct?", science teaches us to ask "How can I prove I am wrong?" Everything else is just elaborations on that theme. "Explaining away" is one of the easiest ways to do the first, and is thus one of the easiest unscientific things to do. The fact that we've managed to train a great number of people who fancy themselves scientists but think their job is more about the first than the second is an indictment of our society, not an excuse to follow those people.)
Curious if you could name one food that was particularly difficult to cut out.
I've tried many times to cut out chocolate, and managed for up to 6 months at a time before coming crashing down. A few months ago I switched to "mindful eating", which says I can eat chocolate whenever I want, and life has been better.
I agree that a good vegetarian diet's probably much healthier than a standard American one.
Your study shows 1) no difference for everything except ischemic heart disease, 2) that fish eaters fare best and 3) fails to account for the lousier other food likely eaten by meat eaters.
Autophagy may be an important cellular cleanup process that never happens with three square meals a day.
The idea is plausible and there is some early research on this, but there's definitely not a consensus. I personally try to fill this void with intermittent protein fasting on a diet that is otherwise composed of meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Except for a fruitarian diet, which is usually very high in fructose. Look at what that diet did to Steve Jobs. While he was still alive, way before it was revealed he had pancreatic cancer, I heard a story where he turned orange, which can only be jaundice, a sign of a failing pancreas. The pancreas metabolizes fructose and it can't be good to abuse it by overloading your body with high fructose.
You turn yellow from jaundice.
Anyway, any apparent epidemiological advantages to avoiding animal products in the industrialized world come down to two things. 1) The meat is mostly garbage; you have to consider only grass fed. 2) People are eating large amounts of muscle meat to the exclusion of the organ meats and connective tissue. This results in a chronic excess of tryptophan and a major deficiency of glycine. Iron overload is also a problem with eating too much muscle meat. A diet of steaks and chicken breasts without eating the rest of the animals is totally unnatural.
Dairy doesn't have these problems of low quality meat and too much muscle meat. Vegetarian with high dairy intake is an excellent nutritional choice.
All mentioned, except probably potatoes, have very low nutrient density (also called "empty calories"). That alone makes them horrible food choices, even not considering the effects on metabolism.
Potatoes are ok though, I was surprised to find out that they contain complete protein. There were also some studies that recorded benefits from "potato diet".
Nutritiondata.self.com has a "completeness score" of 57/100 for potatoes, but only 27/100 for white rice (long grain), and a 0/100 for sugar (which is nothing but empty calories). FWIW, wheat flour is listed as 33/100 so potatoes are the top of the whole list.
Edit: for comparison, Kale (raw) has a "completeness score" of 85/100 and Spinach (cooked) has a 93/100.
Yes, sorry - I singled out potatoes as a decent food, while the others are truly horrible.
As for the empty calories counter argument, sometimes you just need energy/heat and simple sugars are a wonderful source. The average healthy person is eating between 2500 and 3000 calories a day. So even if you're eating half of them as junk you're still leaving enough room for nutrient dense foods.
I have a question: if I cook chicken, meat etc. with "bone-in", do I get the benefits of bone-broth, glycine, etc.?
The same arguments about dietary composition have been going on for at least 150 years. There may be many opinions but for my part, I'd rather listen to the scientific evidence.
I was medical director of an obesity treatment clinic for many years. The low carbohydrate (CHO), optimal protein intake diet was often effective for weight loss and was not associated with bad effects. We felt compelled to closely track indicators of potential adverse effects but none were apparent.
There were good effects, e.g., type 2 diabetics had reduced insulin requirements, in some it was decreased to none. Other metabolic conditions, hypertension, dyslipidemias, etc., improved as well.
The science surrounding diet, metabolic disease, obesity and related things is indeed very complex. However as I see it, research into human evolution sheds light on what the optimum diet would be.
There's evidence that human hunter-gatherers were taller, stronger, healthier than their agricultural descendants. The idea is consuming a diet closer to that of pre-agricultural humans would better meet our physiological requirements.
Pre-agriculture diet had more high-quality protein (animal sources), less fat, with an omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids ratio approximating 1:1, and low in saturated fat. Importantly, the intake of simple sugars was much lower that it is today.
On average, in the ancient human diet it's estimated that protein intake accounted for about 35% of calories, fat ~20%, and the rest ~45% from CHO. Of course, diets varied widely. These averages suggest a direction to take to improve health rather than absolute prescriptions to be followed rigidly.
So I guess everyone is partly right. Ideally, get more protein, less saturated fat, more omega-3, less omega-6 (seed oils), and moderate the CHO intake, especially sugar in all forms.
Sorry to say this, but our remote ancestors were conspicuous meat eaters, never natural vegetarians, though vegetables (leaves, stems, roots) were an important part of the human diet.
And BTW exercise was a constant component of primordial human lifestyle; we might do well to emulate that as well.
The archaeological record shows that hunter-gatherers had an abysmally short lifespan, and were far from healthy... Pretty much every positive development in human health history happened after the advent of agriculture. Hunter gatherers were lucky to live past 30...
I'd guess your 'low carb' diet still had more vegetables and grains than most hunter gatherers had access to...
Most of the statistics about our ancestors having a 35ish life expectancy are skewed by high infant mortality, and high risk of death due to injury or other external ailments (a broken leg on the savannah can easily be a death sentence). A hunter-gatherer who surived those things would tend to live into their sixties or beyond.
Sure, a large proportion of them die at early childhood - "life expectancy" measures takes that into account by definition, as it measures the total average life expectancy; and if you get a 100 kids who live to 70 and 100 kids who die as infants, then the average life expectancy is 35.
It's not about the ancient societies but is relevant because for this discussion the point is not history, but the effects of a hunter-gatherer diet.
However there is evidence of populations in pre-agricultural times which had favorable environments and consequently better health.
In fact there was just published by the Smithsonian an interesting article describing findings in the 9000 year old Kennewick Man specimen. Of particular interest was a comment about the condition of the teeth: all intact, no cavities attributed to low CHO diet. Age at time of death was estimated to be 40 years old. Not bad for 9000 years ago.
BTW I'd appreciate references you have to the differences in pre- and early post-agricultural health in human populations. Isolating dietary effects on health is difficult to be sure and a subject I'm always eager to learn more about.
As far as my diet is concerned, vegetables are emphasized, especially the green, leafy kind. (Foods that are relatively high in protein, low in CHO.) I recommend, and practice myself, reducing grains to a minimum.
As you no doubt know, protein, certain fats, a bunch of minerals and vitamins are essential to humans because we can't synthesize certain molecules--we must get them in our diet. Curiously, there is no essential carbohydrate. Our bodies can produce all the CHO it needs from non-CHO sources.
That's not to say CHO intake is not useful, and it is useful as a source of calories. In the past when calories were expensive, less costly CHO sources of calories were valuable, in essence to prevent starvation. In the current era when calories are extremely cheap, high CHO intake is positively dangerous--it's easy to consume a surplus of calories.
Interestingly, the data shows over the last 30 years there has been very little change in dietary fat intake in the USA, but sugars have increased dramatically. The rise in obesity has been attributed to inclusion of sugars in manufactured foods. The idea of decreasing dietary CHO intake, especially sugars, is logical.
Gluten and corn intolerance is common according to reports. Wheat, corn and many other grain products are grass seeds. Grass and its seeds are frequently allergenic to humans, which supports the idea humans are not native grass eaters, hence the advice to minimize it.
*Aristocrats and other people that had high protein intake, security etc.
Do you know as fact that humans when they died did so from malnourishment? It's very possibly more likely due to some kind of famine which tended to happen from natural causes.
Yes, humans could endure longer with vegetation because it's easier to maintain it for longer periods of time in raw form, but were they in better physical health from eating the same thing over and over again? I'd imagine they had horrible vitamin deficiencies during famines.
(I am on a low carb diet with plenty of veg.)
Hunter gatherers were lucky to live past 30...
Not true. If you made it past 5-10 years, you were likely to live a fairly full adult life. Infant mortality was very high, but it wasn't like most people dropped dead before 30 if they survived early childhood.
In the Upper Paleolithic, life expectancy at birth was 33 years, and by 15 years of age the total expectancy went up to 54 years.
In Classical Rome, life expectancy at birth was 20-30 years, and by 10 years of age the total expectancy went up to 45-47 years.
In Medieval Britain, life expectancy at birth was 30 years, and by 15 years of age the total expectancy went up to 64 years.
This looks kind of mixed to me. Certainly, as you point out, people weren't "dropping dead at 30". But dying around 45 or 55 is not what people nowadays would call a "fairly full adult life" either.
Certainly in a sociological sense, most people consider the years 60+ to be twilight years where you're not living life to the fullest - whether it's true or not, that's the perception.
"some of the healthiest people on earth eat vegetable heavy diets..."
That doesn't mean anything. That barely even makes any sense.
It's a fascinating read, all the more impressive when you consider when it was written.
The idea of knowing the optimum diet for humans is exciting. I used to spend a lot of time reading these studies, then I realized that like many other people I know, we read and pontificate these points to everyone else we know without actually putting them into practice to a level that makes spending so much time reading about them worthwhile. This is why I rarely look at diet and nutrition articles.
I'm sure some of you do follow them, but is being obsessive over everything you put into your mouth going to make your life significantly healthier and longer than just following the general principles we've established? I mean, I go shopping and buy fruit, vegetables, meat and some grains. I get my macronutrients and exercise frequently. Will I gain a decade of good health if I start doing paleo? I doubt it. Do I reduce my risk of preventable death if I follow religiously the latest diets (there's at least one every six months that everyone at works will tell me about)? Not likely.
Sorry if it sounds like I'm dismissing nutrition research, I know it's important, but if you're spending hours talking about whether a 30:30:40 ratio is better than a 20:20:60 ratio, then you eat dessert after every meal and get drunk every weekend, I think you'll find better things to spend your time on.
There's currently a group of anti-carbs lobbyists. The pro-carbs is not as vocal, but they have equally strong evidence that eliminating carbs isn't as important as you may think.
There can't be, and there are not, absolute rules. The research I'm talking about has nothing to do with arm wresting over dogmatic rules shouted out by people insisting they're right and the other guy wrong.
Nonetheless, when nutrition drifts far enough out of range of optimum to the point it is clearly associated with harmful health effects, and it's alarming when an ever greater segment of the population is affected.
That is exactly what's arousing so much concern. The rates of obesity, metabolic disease and diabetes have risen sharply in recent decades. Diabetes alone burdens the US economy (total costs) to the tune of $170 billion a year. The ever-growing burden of disability has been linked (in part) to dietary factors.
The problem is not going to be solved by medical science primarily, but rather the commitment of individuals to save themselves by altering dietary patterns, increasing exercise, and being an active participant, a real-time partner in their own health care.
Where science can help is teasing out the factors that contribute to the problems. The medical community must get behind the educational and political challenges that have a chance to reduce the unfavorable food industry practices that contribute to the problem, and increase individual change.
It would help to substantially reduce excessive sugars and trans-fatty acid content in manufactured and fast foods. Efforts at education of the public aimed at choosing one thing that's better than another must be attempted. These can work, but not quickly. Think of tobacco--it's taken 5 decades, but headway is finally being made reducing tobacco use.
Obsession over arbitrary dietary rules is not the idea. In severe form, it's tantamount to an eating disorder. That's not at all what we mean in any way. Fanaticism has no place in my world.
> “To my knowledge, this is one of the first long-term trials that’s given these diets without calorie restrictions,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, who was not involved in the new study. “It shows that in a free-living setting, cutting your carbs helps you lose weight without focusing on calories. And that’s really important because someone can change what they eat more easily than trying to cut down on their calories.”
It doesn't actually control for calories so basically the study shows us that a diet that's low in carbs can help people eat fewer calories while still feeling full. That's important, but nothing we don't already know.
The health benefits are completely confounded by the lack of caloric control and control for weight loss: losing weight simply makes people less disease prone no matter the contents of the diet.
Another big part of this - an apparently non-biased researcher (presumably they don't run a food supplement business) - has suggested that eating fats of all things does not necessarily lead towards heart disease.
I think that's going to be a wake up call.
It also, in my mind, emphasizes that the bulk of "Nutritionists" for the last 50 years have been a bunch of cargo-cult practicing members of the mob - and it makes you wonder what other so-called-scientific disciplines are behaving in a like manner.
Sure, I guess to me whether or not high fat diets have higher satiety is just not interesting - it's a settled issue and it's obvious to me.
> Another big part of this - an apparently non-biased researcher (presumably they don't run a food supplement business) - has suggested that eating fats of all things does not necessarily lead towards heart disease.
Right, but with similar weight it suggested eating less calories helps prevent heart disease. This study doesn't answer the question of whether or not diet composition affected heart disease.
> It also, in my mind, emphasizes that the bulk of "Nutritionists" for the last 50 years have been a bunch of cargo-cult practicing members of the mob - and it makes you wonder what other so-called-scientific disciplines are behaving in a like manner.
Let's not get dramatic. Don't forget that people are significantly less active than they were 50 years ago, and that just because low carb diets happen to be in fashion right now doesn't mean they are right for everyone. That being said, I agree, the diet/nutrition industry is a joke, and most people could do a lot worse than cut carbs out of their diet.
Seriously - how difficult would it have been to do a couple-hundred person trial for a year or so to get some confirmation? And yet, billions of dollars (10s of billions?) of policy and dietary guidance were based on this poorly supported theory.
The certainty you dislike is the same certainty I react against with the low carb movement.
We are only certain of two things:
1) Having less fat on your body is healthier (to an extent) and will help prevent things like heart disease, diabetes etc.
2) If you have too much fat lowering caloric consumption will make you burn it.
Anything else is speculation.
> Seriously - how difficult would it have been to do a couple-hundred person trial for a year or so to get some confirmation? And yet, billions of dollars (10s of billions?) of policy and dietary guidance were based on this poorly supported theory.
Really difficult, actually. And doing it without pissing off a major industry is impossible.
Global warming, climate change, or whatever name is being used this week to try and match reality.
There is a lot of people who debate this point, having a study back it up is useful.
How would you structure a study on human test subjects that would keep their weight constant over long periods without it being illegal?
On my normal omnivorous diet I snack when I feel hungry, usually opting for trail mix, toast (from bread I bake), or a piece of fruit (sometimes chips, but not often). Since none of my available snacks were acceptable on the diet I just opted for drinking coffee and a big glass of water when I felt a little hungry between meals. As a result, I ended up losing a few pounds over a few weeks.
I'm curious if the same thing happened with the participants on the low carb diet. Did they lose weight and become healthier because none of their snacks fit the diet, so they ended up not snacking?
Jerky: a standby but actually it often has more carbs than you'd think -- one 3oz package usually has 12-15g of carbs, which is around 3/4ths of my ideal consumption for a day.
Nuts: almonds are the best, but others work too.
Cheese: cheese sticks make a great on-the-go snack, you can find them in a lot of gas stations. I also will do cured meats + cheese when I want an easy dinner, though it's a tad expensive.
Pork Rinds: good for when you're craving something like chips. I sometimes dip them in salsa.
Veggies: some low-carb folks have success snacking on celery and carrots, but I have difficulty at times.
But, to be honest, a lot of my problems with eating in the past involved snacking. I eat when I feel like eating, rather than when I'm actually hungry, and so my eating habits become tied to emotions rather than biological needs. And once I start eating sweets, I don't stop until I feel sick. Having fewer options makes it easier to abstain, as you said. However, did you actually feel hungry/need to snack often when you were eating low carb? I rarely feel hunger between meals like I did when I was eating carbs regularly.
My goal with low carb is to get my habits back to the point where I no longer eat because I'm bored or because it's in front of me. I'm also cutting out artificial sweeteners this time around to try and reduce my sweet tooth (last time I drank tons and tons of diet soda, but I'm finding that seltzer/club soda is an acceptable substitute) (I also heard that sweet tastes produce an insulin response regardless of actual sugar content).
I have had a huge sweet tooth my whole life but I find the thing that I crave the most is fruit (I know fruit is sweet but not like ice-cream and candy). I've always ate a ton of apples and now that I can't I am craving them like crazy. Also, no bread is really hard, especially since good whole wheat bread seems so healthy and is so satisfying, and it limits your options for most meals like pizza and sandwiches.
I hear a lot of knee-jerk reactions about the diet saying how it must be awesome to just eat steak, chicken, etc. all the time, but it gets real old real fast. Without bread/buns, bbq source, and common high carb toppings, it become really repetitive. Cheeseburgers are amazing but they are a hell of a lot less appealing with no bun, onions, tomato, or ketchup.
All this being said I do not see keto or whatever you want to call it as a long term diet/lifestyle for me. I have been convinced that I used to eat way too many carbs, but I think I just need to balance my meals more and do some portion control. Eating no more than like 20 carbs a day is really hard and for me it affects the quality of my life too much. But, I totally understand that there are people out there where this diet is basically the only thing that works for them, so I think it's awesome that more people are at least trying it.
One thing to consider is that while your old diet is obviously bad when you look at it through the low-carb lens, it is also subtly bad as well, because your entire cuisine was bent around carbs replacing fats, and baking, sugars, bread, dough, sugars, potatos, sugars, etc etc etc. If you're going to successfully do low-carb over the long term it's important to also make sure that one does not simply try to eat "old diet - carbs" every day, but that one explores the culinary options that are available to you when you no longer fear fat. Go down your oils aisle and start trying them out. If you haven't been using your spice rack, start trying them out. (Well, first throw away your several-years-old spices and buy new ones, then start trying them out.) Start cooking ethnic foods from ethnicities that didn't go low-fat. Start making your own salad dressings.
(Basic recipe: Spoon a dollop of mayonnaise into a bowl. Pour in some vinegar and mix thoroughly. Pour in an oil and mix thoroughly. Insert ingredients to taste. There's ways around that first step, but this makes experimentation fast (my grandparent's generation call mayo "salad dressing" for a reason), and you can use this to bootstrap up to your own opinions. Your first couple may suck, and I'm leaving the recipe underspecified sort of on purpose, but you'll dial in fast.)
When eating out you may often end up eating "old diet - carbs", such as a bun-free hamburger, but for what you cook yourself it's important to go discover the really quite wide world of cooking options that America just sort of silently turned away from in the past 50 years. There's a lot of flavor and variety in the fats, but it takes some time to explore them, because you're darned near starting from scratch.
And to be honest, there are simply some things in the carb world for which there is no replacement. For instance, I'm well aware of the pains of missing gluten since I've got (proper) Celiac, and there's really no substitute for such a metaphorically and literally flexible protein, for instance. But fats have their own thing to offer that carbs don't.
This is true, but honestly the only one of those you really need to cut out is the bun. The onions and tomato add up to 2-3g of carbs, and the ketchup is another 4g, so the whole burger in a lettuce wrap would be 6-7g of carbs, not at all bad for a meal! For reference, I use myfitnesspal to keep track of my food consumption and to research carb/calorie counts.
> Eating no more than like 20 carbs a day is really hard and for me it affects the quality of my life too much
Would 50g be more sustainable? Or 100g? From what I've seen, the 20g limit is mostly an introductory phase. 50g is still a huge reduction from what most people consume on a daily basis.
Playing with carb intake can be very educational: while low-carb diets benefit a lot of people, different folks have different needs. Your athletic pursuits, sex, pregnancy status, thyroid health, etc, are all really important to consider.
Protein means they wrap it in lettuce instead of a bun.
You can also go the double double but I'm not a big fan of the cheese...
That seems excessive, and somewhat unbalanced.
There's an old book called "Life without bread" that was a pre-Atkins low carb diet written by a German Doctor named Wolfgang Lutz. He claimed that, after much trial and error, 72 grams (about 6 slices of bread) was the cutoff, and further restriction didn't particularly help patients in any measurable way.
Leben Ohne Brot (Life Without Bread)
They have an acceptable amount of carbs in them and make you feel full enough to make it to the next meal.
The biggest issue is the expense, I spend about $20-30 a fortnight on nuts alone.
Fat bombs are just a general term for hight-fat snacks, which are completely acceptable on a keto diet. The high fat content also increases satiety.
For my snacks I eat pepperoni, beef sticks, almonds(so many different flavored versions. smokehouse jalapeno is my favorite), cheeses, pork rinds, sugar free jello(cut with HWC), and this chocolate pudding/mousse I make.
Then just whip it until it gets the texture you want. Barely whip for pudding, whip alot for a more mousse like texture. Sometime I'll freeze it in cubes and they taste like fudge pops.
I'm about 2 months into round 2 now, a few years later, and snacking hasn't been much of an issue at all. The difference: The first time, I was also working out for about 90 minutes a day while this time I'm doing no exercise beyond a good bit of walking around town each day.
When I do need a snack, my go-tos are cold cuts (turkey or ham) and dill pickles, which I find I can eat by the jarful without much impact on my diet.
Guacamole is better on chips, but if I have chips around I'll eat too many of them. On the other hand if I try to eat the guacamole by itself, without any sort of crispy substrate, it's just unappetizing.
When you take the carbs out, your body starts using body fat for energy. It's great, really.
What about a low-junk food diet? No cqlorie restrictions but no refined carbs? I don't think we need ti discourage people from eating whole grains and beans.
As a prepper and a homesteader (amateur/beginner), I realize that low carb and high fat/meat isn't really feasible when SHTF, and I mostly stock lentils, pintos, rice, wheat, quinoa, and a few other standard staples. They stay good, when properly sealed for like 25 years (quinoa only 8 years or so though...). No meat known to man (or at least myself) does that. Also, even doing basic homesteading, you tend to eat more veggies and much less meat.
In the meantime, I admit that I eat plenty of meat, and could probably raise a cow or some pigs, or at the very least do the rabbit thing, but it's a lot of work and planning, and it's just easier to get your meat from a can in an emergency situation.
Edit: I prep for emergencies, FWIW, not health. Calories and nutrition are the major requirements.
But they don't, and the industry is massive.
Sustainability only makes sense relative to a particular population size, and so something is only unsustainable in the absolute sense if the population needed to produce it exceeds the population which can survive upon it. This is not the case with the food types you refer to, and the producer/consumer ratio is precisely the thing that we develop new technologies to reduce.
If anything, I see it is better for us to engage in inefficient land use, because it provides spare capacity which can be used to mitigate prolonged disasters; a view strongly influenced by the book "The Collapse of Complex Societies", by Joseph Tainter.
start eating animal organs - liver, kidney, tongue, brain, throat, face meat, bone marrow - see how much food is actually in an animal.
Paleo is pretty affordable at the lower-middle class, if you're willing to put the effort in and cook. My biggest hurdle is how easy unhealthy stuff is.
for other people it's not an issue at all. they can simply just eat 1500 calories a day with a bunch of carbs and also lose weight. I CAN'T. i need to ingest 2500-3000 calories a day or else i will just be constantly hungry and unable to function without thinking about food. i'm in my 30s now - i know this about myself. i've counted the calories for months on end, using MFP.
the hardest part is not talking about it, because if you tell people you 'eat more fat' when they ask you what your new diet is, they'll think you're being sarcastic and rude.
i've only told my closest friends, people who i respect intellectually and who can handle an actual discussion about how things like the endocrine system works and
and i've told a bunch of strangers on the internet of course.
- fellow Keto guy
It was hard to concentrate on pre-exam days because I was so hungry.
What I did and still successfully do is calorie restriction (that made me feel crappy for about a month or so, but now I don’t feel crappy most of the time) combined with lots of experimenting around and cooking of different foods to see what makes me feel happy and full.
(Non deep-fried) potatoes, salad, white meat (turkey, chicken) and (garlic) butter do it for me personally. Meals with those ingredients will make me feel full. Sometimes I still go for pasta and pizza (my favourite foods), but my desire to feel full automatically seems to override that by now. Maybe pasta and pizza is something I will go for once a week or, but no more.
Maybe it’s different for you. Just try different things. Also, it takes some time to get used to a new diet, especially if you eat less calories. It took a month or so for me. Maybe also try being active? I found that being active – going on a long walk, driving the bike – gets completely rid of my hunger for some weird reason.
In the end I’m just guessing – but dieting is all about how you feel. That’s the most important thing. You have to stay motivated, otherwise it just doesn’t work. So keep that in mind.
Thanks for the advice, though. I've gone and gained a lot of weight post-university and it'll help. All that activity disappeared and I kept eating the same. That's got to change.
I would cook two chicken breasts for dinner (400x calories, 80x g protein) and it felt like I didn't want to eat for a week afterward.
Not trying to be snarky, but I suspect this is where your problem was.
One of the most commonly reported side effects of typical low-carb diets is appetite suppression. Better focus after the first couple of weeks is pretty common as well.
I will note that while I think low carb diets work, I'm also firmly of the belief that, in terms of weight loss, they're still caloric deficit diets at the core. It's just there are a few other things going on metabolically -- including the appetite suppression -- that tend to make them easier for a lot of people.
Also double.. triple your vegetables.
Excess protein you eat is effectively broken down into carbohydrates as well—so everything was working against you.
> With little research
Try it again—/r/keto have an excellent FAQ.
I'm a bodybuilder and spend a good deal of time reading about the subject every week. It is common knowledge among bodybuilders that an increase in muscle and loss of fat at the same time is possible only with steroids. So what does "improvements in lean muscle mass" mean here?
> what foods are best to eat for weight loss and overall health.
Bodybuilders avoid weight loss like fire, and instead only focus on fat loss. What's the sense in losing muscle? This article needs to be read very carefully.
> "It shows that in a free-living setting, cutting your carbs helps you lose weight without focusing on calories. And that's really important because someone can change what they eat more easily than trying to cut down on their calories."
Again "weight loss". Every piece of bodybuilding knowledge states that you cannot lose fat without a calorie deficit. Here we read that the people in the experiment did not limit their calories, but "lost weight". This couldn't have been fat. If you want to lose fat, then just eat less - it works for all bodybuilders, why would it not work for the rest of the population. I don't see how there can be some more "easy" method than just eating less.
Furthermore the article does not state how the amount of fat in the body was measured - most methods are said to be highly inaccurate. I believe this article is a misleading piece of bullshit.
> It is common knowledge among bodybuilders that an increase in muscle and loss of fat at the same time is possible only with steroids.
For bodybuilders. If you're a 166-pound 5'1" 45-year-old woman who can't manage a 45-lb deadlift because of a combination of inflexibility and weakness, an increase in muscle mass and loss of fat at the same time is totally possible :)
> Here we read that the people in the experiment did not limit their calories, but "lost weight". This couldn't have been fat.
Why in the world not?
You sound like you think all people are bodybuilders, paying attention to their nutrition, hitting the gym regularly, deciding between chicken breasts and oatmeal for breakfast, focusing on fat loss instead of weight loss. Wrong audience.
Pdf such has http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/the-rapid-fat-loss-handbook have helped me structure great nutrition programs.
The MOST difficult part of the diet is just how much every "healthy" food is set up for low-fat rather than low-carb - if you want to stay under 40g carbs per day about 90% of the grocery store is off limits, they fill EVERYTHING with sugar or corn, especially the "healthy low-fat" foods which usually trade fat for more carbs. I'm very glad that this study came out, hopefully we will start to see more foods with low carbs in stores and restaurants.
At some point, things like fasting and reduced calorie intake combined with something low carb is probably closest to "primal" diets. Making pancakes with almond flour isn't.
If more people went without food somewhat regularly, they would probably be better off than they are eating 2000+ calories a day like people do now.
Macronutrients do matter, but volume matters as well. In my experience, higher fat diets keep you from eating as much, so you naturally get fewer calories and thus you lose weight.
If you could eat a high fat diet with 8000 calories a day, you'd still get fat, but my guess is that when people consciously eat a high fat diet, they are going to end up eating say 300-500 calories a day less over time, and that gives a significant advantage over a period of months or years.
Low-fat, high-carb flat-out kills people.
A huge part of identity for some people is based on the knowledge that they're living on a healthy plant-based diet. It turns out that said diet is less healthy than subsisting on bacon grease.
This causes cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance causes knee-jerk downvotes.
Citations? How about the study spelled out in the article?
There are animals that eat plants rather than other animals: they are called herbivores. Herbivores somehow develop muscles.
We can't eat exactly like herbivores. Herbivores eat grass and leaves in huge quantities and have the digestive system for it: they can get enough protein and overall calories that way.
Still, we can achieve a given number of calories and a desired fraction of them from protein and fat, using vegetable sources.
The vegetarian thing does not folow. Just because keto/atkins/paleo works, doesn't mean anything else works. Nothing is better than the low calorie diet.
I offer up the reddit link for anyone interested in the mechanics of HFLC.
Here's a citation against your assertion.
The other thing I've noticed is how different my moods are when I'm "sugar-free". Routine tasks that typically bore me to tears become much more manageable and I'm able to just sit and think for longer. YMMV
Regardless of the specific diet, my energy levels and moods are so much more consistent with reduced carbs, I continue to restrict carbs regardless of other hypothetical benefits.
Carb intake needs to match activity level. And of course, a varied diet is key (including fats).
Eat carbs in the morning, protein later in the day, eat a varied diet with a good amount of vegetables, eat high quality fats (olive and other seed oils, nut oils, and even moderate amounts of butter), and exercise a decent amount (even just being active, not going to the gym, though that's good too), and you'll be fine.
Although this is true, can't you say the same for fats/proteins? 'If it's not burned off, it gets stored as fat'. Sugar that is not burned off first is used (or together) to replenish glycogen stores iirc.
>Eat carbs in the morning, protein later in the day
Some people eat carbs in the morning (cereal, bread, fruits). If you're looking to try something new you could look into Intermittent Fasting. This basically is eating only in a 4-8~ hour window every day.
Why I love this approach is because it makes my diet really flexible. I just fast until I get back home (usually around 5 pm) and make diner. This gives me a caloric buffer during daytime which helps me a lot when there is unexpected cake/muffins/lunch which I would otherwise have to decline.
Since off carbs I'm on a high and yes a I do a lot of caffeine, the latter doesn't lead to depressive moods and also no weight gain!
Carbs are still useful for high intensity athletes and before a high endurance workout (I'm talking fruits here and not the junk food).
However, I think it might have been interesting to read more about the risks of a low-carb diet. For instance, some studies have shown that low-carb diets can reduce testosterone levels in men and I've also read that it could hurt short-term cognitive skills.
It is also unclear if the study involved (mostly) refined carbohydrates or complex carbohydrates. Obviously, the effect of complex carbohydrates is very different.
There are a number of studies regarding low-carb diets but most of them tend to focus on a subset of the results that one might see from a low-carb diet. So a smart strategy would be to read many of these reports and then decide what makes sense (though it isn't going to be easy for a layperson to read a wide range of different reports and draw the best conclusion on what is good for them)
This one seems a good place to start:
I must recall that the low-carb diet from Tim is focused on food with low glycemic index. The idea is to avoid the conversion of the carbs you eat into fat stored in your body.
I follow a diet similar to low-carb, moderate fat and protein, and I'm still concerned about not getting enough plants, and fiber. While the low-carb diet encourages consumption of veggies, I find it tough to make sure I get enough veggies (not fruit), in a day.
When most people think veggies they think "lettuce", which makes it hard to eat a lot. Try these recipes:
Broccoli (steam cooked, with olive oil and fried garlic), avocado (salad or with honey + lemon), eggplant (roasted in slices) and Chinese cabbage (it's crunchy and great to eat raw as salad).
Learning a few facts about caloric content of different types of food is much easier than changing your lifestyle.
Switch to a lower-carb diet -- eggs & veggies for breakfast -- and now I'm serene and start feeling gradually hungry at some point, without the rage. Better digestion, too. And lost 10 lbs so fast I checked with a doctor to make sure I don't have cancer, as I have not changed my routine other than diet.
Apart from the usual caveats about each person being different, do you really think that weighing/measuring your food is easier than remembering not to eat a certain class of foods?
While the low-fat group did lose weight, they appeared to lose more muscle than fat.
“They actually lost lean muscle mass, which is a bad thing,” Dr. Mozaffarian said. “Your balance of lean mass versus fat mass is much more important than weight. And that’s a very important finding that shows why the low-carb, high-fat group did so metabolically well.”
> learning about caloric content and restricting yourself in calories is much easier than following a diet
Apart from cutting out certain foods, the low carb high fat group was allowed to eat how much they pleased. Sounds way easier than counting calories all the time.
This study also looked at other health markers (including triglycerides and cholesterol) and measured improvements.
"they won't all improve your health in other areas"
Meaning that there are different ways in which to reduce calories. If you were to lower your calorie intake below your expenditure, but do it through a high sugar diet, that may still result in weight loss, but it wouldn't necessarily improve other health markers.
I wouldn't doubt keeping the blood sugar levels from spiking (especially processed carbs) plays a big part. Weight watchers giving you credit for fiber always wondered about that.
My sense is the following would benefit pretty much everyone: eat in moderation, mostly unprocessed food, and be modestly active (ie, walk at least 10 miles per week).
Anyone have access that can upload it to Scribd or similar?
Some noteworthy excerpts:
- Participants assigned to
the low-carbohydrate diet were instructed to maintain an
intake of digestible carbohydrate (total carbohydrate minus
total fiber) of less than 40 g/d.
- The reduction in body weight
was significantly greater in the low-carbohydrate group
(mean difference in change at 12 months, 3.5 kg; P=0.002)
- those on the low-carbohydrate
diet had significantly greater proportional reductions in fat
mass (mean difference in change at 12 months, 1.5%
- those on the low-carbohydrate diet had significantly greater proportional increases in lean mass (mean difference in change at 12 months, 1.7%; P=0.003)
- Compared with a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet resulted in greater improvements in body composition, HDL cholesterol level, ratio of total– HDL cholesterol, triglyceride level, CRP level, and estimated 10-year CHD risk
- Dietitians were not blinded to the study hypothesis(!!). To avoid potential differences in dietary counseling due to this, we used specific and detailed scripts for all counseling sessions and trained staff to deliver the scripts without deviation.
- The proportion of participants with detectable urinary ketone levels was significantly higher in the low-carbohydrate group than in the low-fat group at 3, 6, and 12 months (data not shown)
So carbs essentially become fat.
If you don't eat carbs your body doesn't release insulin so you can't store anything as fat. In fact once you truly go very low carb your body releases whatever hormone is the opposite of Insulin which allows fat to be released from your fat cells and used as energy.
The low carb diet makes sense to me because of the basic biology that I know. (I am not an expert and these are just my thoughts).
No, these are not equal. Carbs covers all carbohydrates, including starches, cellulose etc. Glucose is a simple carbohydrate - what all carbs are broken down to by the digestive system, if they can be broken (cellulose, i.e., can not be digested by humans). So glucose indeed may raise insulin significantly, while more complex carbs by a lesser and slower degree.
If you don't eat carbs your body doesn't release insulin so you can't store anything as fat.
This is completely wrong at least on two counts. First, proteins also raise insulin significantly, just as much as carbohydrates. Second, you certainly can store fat as fat on a low carb diet, and you will, if you keep overeating.
It should be noted that the first time moving to a low-carb, high fat diet, it's mildly traumatic and unpleasant. It takes 1-2 weeks of low energy and constant hunger before the body switches to ketosis mode. (This is sometimes called the "carb flu".)
I eat at 20% fat, 50% carb, 30% protein and I can gain weight, maintain or lose fat simply by adjusting my calories. It really is not rocket science. Self-discipline required, but if you lack that you have bigger problems.
TL;DR Overweight lazy people should eat less carbs and more meat if they can't be bothered to count calories
Counting calories is not as trivial as you make it sound, and I don't think it's warranted that you mock people as lazy for not doing so - especially when the other half of the equation is figuring out how much energy you actually use, which varies wildly with body type and lifestyle.
And no it's completely trivial to track your intake. You need at most a kitchen scale and an app on your phone. It probably takes me in total 5 minutes of my day to track everything. You greatly overestimate the difficulty.
I highly doubt that anyone doing Keto with a good amount of success is doing so without tracking macros.
It is ironic that you'd decry ignorance and oversimplification when in point of fact you are guilty of the same in doing so.
"It included a racially diverse group of 150 men and women — a rarity in clinical nutrition studies — who were assigned to follow diets for one year that limited either the amount of carbs or fat that they could eat, _but not overall calories_." emphasis mine.
This particular study is touting the virtues of not tracking calories. It's basically what the entire article is about. Eating low carb without counting calories.
I couldn't eat anything with fat in it. Nothing. So I flipped to a zero fat diet that consisted of very little protein. It was almost 100% bowls of Grape Nuts and sugar with skim milk. I lost 180lbs in 18 months. I took up exercise along the way and sliced off another 20lbs.
At this point, things improved and I could eat "normally" again. I took up running and worked myself up to 7 miles a day.
Life had other plans though. Work intruded. Family requirements, etc. The running stopped. These are things anyone over 40 would understand.
As a result, I slid around on the scale for a decade or so and decided to experiment with other forms of nutrient deprivation. I tried an all protein diet (result: rapid weight loss but hungry all the time). I tried a heavy fat diet (result: rapid weight loss but sick all the time). I've also tried fasting and extreme calorie restriction (result: rapid weight loss and general rending of the fabric of reality). I was a strict vegetarian for three years (result: never felt more clear-headed in my life, but I also lost significant muscle mass even though I took pains to get the right amino acids through various sources).
So, after a decade of experimentation, I've learned quite a few things.
1. Modern life is full of distractions, in fact it seems designed specifically to introduce new distractions as a way of propagating itself.
2. Any restrictive diet (and you have to be religious about it) will result in temporary weight loss that may in fact be quite dramatic. But it won't last. Eventually your body will get used to the new diet or you will develop some rather unpleasant side effects.
3. Vegetarian diets are superior in many ways, but depending on your body type, can be rather hard on the muscles (I have a large frame and look emaciated when I get to 200lb). This certainly doesn't happen to everyone, but it's what happened to me. Pity. I liked the way my brain worked on that diet.
4. A carb-restricted diet left me hungry, as in "I need to go out and hunt something now" hungry. Even after months of focused effort.
5. A balanced diet coupled with significant exercise is pretty much the only thing that consistently works with this body. Your mileage may vary.
6. Modern life is full of expectations that are unnecessary and unhealthy. This couples with point #1. Distractions and expectations tend to go hand in hand. They keep you from doing what is right for your mind and body.
7. Don't look for a fast solution. Rather focus on a resolution, a shift in perspective about what you expect from life. Then, live with awareness of this goal each and every day.
A zero fat diet is very dangerous. You need fat for organs to function properly, and vitamins to dissolve in.
What's interesting is that doctors I spoke with at the time could neither explain my violent reactions to fat nor the obvious results of cutting out fat entirely from my diet (maybe 3-5g total across an entire day, but usually less than 1). They also couldn't explain why I could suddenly eat fat again after about a year and a half.
> 4. A carb-restricted diet left me hungry, as in "I need to go out and hunt something now" hungry. Even after months of focused effort.
Did you try to get your body into a ketogenic state? Because as I understood it, there is a 2 week adaption period you have to go through. Did you experience that? Is it possible that you were still eating too much carb to get into ketogenesis?
I will also say that body odors change dramatically on this diet. Sweat, breath, etc. Ugh. Do not want.
All these experiments ever confirm (over and over) is that plenty of protein is helpful in the context of a reduced calorie diet, and that restricting food choices results in spontaneous calorie reduction. Protein has very high satiety and thermic effect. As for low fat or low carb it doesn't matter much. It's just that carbs and fat go great together and it's very difficult to overeat without the combination. A plain stick of butter and a large bowl of plain white rice are equally difficult to overeat on, whereas ice cream with its combined hit of sugar and fat is easy to gorge on.
Excessive protein ingestion causes kidney failure, hypertension and heart attacks.
Some believe (and allege) that Dr Atkins himself died of his own Atkins Diet. Here are some quotes from news articles and mybuster sites from when he was alive / had just died.
"It is known Robert Atkins did indeed weather a heart attack during his lifetime. In April 2002, the diet guru issued a statement saying he was recovering from cardiac arrest related to a heart infection he had suffered from "for a few years." He said it was "in no way related to diet."
However, revelations in February 2004 from the city medical examiner's report let slip the information that Atkins had suffered a heart attack, congestive heart failure, and hypertension, before his death. "
1) Dr. Robert Atkins, proponent of the low-carbohydrate diet, died of a heart attack. http://www.snopes.com/medical/doctor/atkins.asp
2) Atkins diet author home after cardiac arrest: http://edition.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/diet.fitness/04/25/atkins...
One more note: What about Vegetarians and Lacto-vegetarians?
Our diet typically tends to be little high in carbs mainly white rice.
What kind of protein sources can we substitute lean meat like chicken, for? Tofu and lentils don't cut it, you have to consume vast amounts to get sufficient protein equivalent.
Anyone with useful advice, experience, please share!
Too bad for you that there is absolutely nothing in the current medical literature that supports these ridiculous claims.
If prehistoric humans didn't get their calories from protein, how do you suggest they got them? Certainly not from sugars (found mainly in modern cultivated fruits) or starches (found mainly in modern cultivated grains).
I'm not saying your "too much protein" thesis is wrong (I don't have enough of an understanding of nutritional history and anthropology) but can you give some better supporting documentation?
Probably mostly from plants.
> It is well known that most of the people in the west consume way more proteins that is required by their body, even those that don't exercise.
Atkins isn't high protein. We already know high protein diets kill people.
Just actually read the snopes article you linked to before repeating the same bullshit that people actually believe. Atkins, the guy who saved thousands of lives of his patients, reversing their diabetes and obesity, died of ________ and was a _______ weight when he was admitted to the hospital.
(1) slipping on ice and going into a coma from a head injury
hypertension? what do you think 60 pounds of bloating is going to do to your body, dumbass?
NO MORE FAD DIET BULLSHIT, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!
It's just like we have known since the Ancient Greeks and probably earlier -- eat fewer rich foods, more light foods, a big variety of foods, and get lots of moderate activity.
Want to lose weight? Eat fewer calories than you burn. Want to gain muscle mass and tone? Work out regularly. Etc.
Jesus christ, the next time I hear the words "Gluten Free" I am going to scream, jumping up and down, Remember The South Beach Diet!?? Remember the no-fat diet????!!! Don't you people ever learn!?!?!?!
Sorry. I promise to write more grown up posts in the future.
Being able to eat out with such information readily available is liberating for a coeliac and I think it's a really positive thing that restaurants and manufacturers have become more forward-thinking with their labelling.
This is why research about diet is important. Animals are complex systems, and rarely are "simple" explanations correct (or correct enough). What we know about about food and how we process it is remarkably incomplete considering how important it is to supporting life.
So with that in mind, I'm excited that the prevailing view of diet, nutrition and health in our society for the last century or so is getting challenged, just as science should be challenged and overturned ("disrupted" in SV parlance) in the face of new, better, more sound evidence.
What's coming out of this new research is that, perhaps, the mechanisms concerned with storage of energy (fat) are unconcerned with the rest of what's going on in the body. That perhaps the reservoir of energy available to your muscles and brain to burn, intentionally and with conscious control, are in competition with a sometimes overly-aggressive energy storage system.
It reminds me of how the U.S. does income tax - it comes directly out of your paycheck, before you can even think of spending it. Even if you wanted to go negative, the Govt still gets theirs.
And let's say that the regulator of storage vs. use is controlled by the kinds of food that you eat... that, stretching this metaphor, your income tax bracket was affected by where you worked, or where you got the money from.
Anyway, a more complete picture of how our bodies actually function is a good thing, and the more people try these "fad diets" is actually a boon for the people studying them. ;)
(As an aside - the gluten free craze has helped a lot of people who actually have celiac disease to have more options in eating things that don't taste like crap, or, you know, eat out once in a while.)
It's just a study with interesting data, no fad diets.
Although when you consider how prevalent carbohydrates are in western diets, you could be forgiven for jumping to the conclusion that lower carb diets are a fad.