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Old 03-02-2004, 02:42 PM   #1
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Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

Hello all,

I have been on the Atkins diet for three months - Going off/cheating sporadicly on four seperate occasions. Mind you, 'each cheat' were weeks apart from one another and one meal/dinner occasion. So overall, I'd say I was very successful. Longest period of time without going over 20 gram/carb per day mark was 32 days straight.

I lost a bit over 30lbs in this timeframe. Went from 209lbs to 177lbs. Nevertheless, to celebrate my new profound diet and weight loss just recently - I decided to cheat, hell, not once. But two days straight. My regretful mistake was to weight myself soon after while in the supermarket - I am now 191lbs.

Water weight? Haven't gone to the bathroom? All that goes out the window. Nothing in my mind can justify such a weight gain in two days. Thus - I have had enough. Needless to say - I am completely outraged of the inconsistencies this "atkins fad" has created in my weight and would like to take the harder route. The route everyone wants to avoid because our society is too lazy to commit to. I apologize to the current users on atkins, perhaps you cannot accommodate a strict workout plan. However, at my weight, and my age - This diet was completely unnecessary. It's time I exercise, and eat right.


So my main question is - How should I go about this transition? If I eat a high carb, low calorie, low fat (lean cuisine for example). Will my body gain or loss weight from this approach? For instance with atkins you need two weeks of induction before your body realizes it needs to use fat as as a source of energy. Well, will my body need two weeks of low-fat dieting and exercise before I get "atkins" out of my system? Will I continue to gain all my weight back, before this low fat/low cal diet works?

Any advice is appreciated.
Thank you all for reading this very long long post.

Last edited by Charlie_Murphy; 03-02-2004 at 02:44 PM.

 
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:17 PM   #2
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

The unfortunate fact is that when you go off Atkins, you'll probably gain quite a bit of weight, perhaps beyond your initial starting point. That's how the body reacts to prevent future starvation. It's worth it to switch to a real plan, though, even if you have some problems at first. In the long run, a moderate carb approach with protein and good fats is a much healthier approach, and combined with a caloric deficit and an exercise program, it can do wonders.

 
Old 03-02-2004, 04:24 PM   #3
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie_Murphy
Hello all,

I have been on the Atkins diet for three months - Going off/cheating sporadicly on four seperate occasions. Mind you, 'each cheat' were weeks apart from one another and one meal/dinner occasion. So overall, I'd say I was very successful. Longest period of time without going over 20 gram/carb per day mark was 32 days straight.

I lost a bit over 30lbs in this timeframe. Went from 209lbs to 177lbs. Nevertheless, to celebrate my new profound diet and weight loss just recently - I decided to cheat, hell, not once. But two days straight. My regretful mistake was to weight myself soon after while in the supermarket - I am now 191lbs.

Water weight? Haven't gone to the bathroom? All that goes out the window. Nothing in my mind can justify such a weight gain in two days. Thus - I have had enough. Needless to say - I am completely outraged of the inconsistencies this "atkins fad" has created in my weight and would like to take the harder route. The route everyone wants to avoid because our society is too lazy to commit to. I apologize to the current users on atkins, perhaps you cannot accommodate a strict workout plan. However, at my weight, and my age - This diet was completely unnecessary. It's time I exercise, and eat right.


So my main question is - How should I go about this transition? If I eat a high carb, low calorie, low fat (lean cuisine for example). Will my body gain or loss weight from this approach? For instance with atkins you need two weeks of induction before your body realizes it needs to use fat as as a source of energy. Well, will my body need two weeks of low-fat dieting and exercise before I get "atkins" out of my system? Will I continue to gain all my weight back, before this low fat/low cal diet works?

Any advice is appreciated.
Thank you all for reading this very long long post.

Well, as you can imagine, no body can manufactue this much tissue (the 14 lbs regained) in a day or two. When you stay on such a very low carb diet for that long(Atkins does not call for 32 days of such low carbing), or on any diet applied that extremely for that long, you will have eliminated your body's entire glycogen stores. The plasma, liver and muscle stores of glycogen will be completely depleted. Since each gram of glycogen is stored with four grams of water, yes indeed, probably at least ten pound of this weight is just the glycogen going back into muscle and liver, accompanied by four times its weight in water.

As to your other questions, I assume going back on any diet that will include a calorie deficit will begin again to deplete the glycogen, and what most people call "water weight loss" will recur. So should some actual weight loss.

Even after your recent disaster, you are 18 pounds lighter than when you began. That would be six pounds a month of true weight loss (you've brough back all the water) for three months--an amount any dieter would respect.

I have no idea of your BMI or your "normal" weight, but it is very common for the body, after a period of deprivation (what we call "dieting" the body thinks is moderate starvation), to rebound sharply, even explosively if given sufficient chance.

That is why good "dieting" books or theorists talk about changing our lifestyle, not just going on a diet. Atkins certainly says this. And, by the way, the Atkins diet is certainly compatible with, certainly works better with, a good exercise program

You may have lost too much too quickly (30 pounds in 90days is steep--unless you were very obese at the start)--this would usually only happen with total glycogen depletion. So, your body, thinking it is saving your life from famine, grabbed every calorie and carb it could once you went off diet.

You will find the same result from low calorie diets. In fact, these are the way this rebound phenomenon was first discovered and documented.
That is why the usual recommendations are NOT to cut too much too fast for too long. And, of course NOT to go off diet and then be shocked when weight returns. Whether calories or carbs, common sense should not be abandoned.

Study up a bit before diving in again. Yo-yo weight patterns appear from the research to be at least as bad for your health as is being overweight.

Good luck

sean

Last edited by sean; 03-03-2004 at 05:54 AM.

 
Old 03-03-2004, 06:10 AM   #4
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

If carbohydrates contributed to your excess weight, I'm not clear why you want to switch to high carb. And if carbs were not contributing to your excess weight, why did you do Atkins?

As has already been said, monitoring carbohydrates is a lifestyle change. If they were not your problem, then you will just have a little water weight gain when you switch. If they were your problem, you will just end up where you started.

 
Old 03-03-2004, 06:47 AM   #5
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

Charlie, I understand your wanting to be on a sensible, balanced diet. Here is a simple plan that will help you accomplish your goals, stay healthy, and make logical choices that fit your lifestyle. Its not a fad diet and it won't cause any weird reactions. It also won't cause you to gain a ton of weight as soon as you "cheat" or go off it.

STEP ONE: Determine your Basal Metobolic Rate (BMR). I can't post the link but you can do a google search on "Basal Metobolic Rate" and find it
The number you come up with is typically for maintaining your current weight. To lose weight, reduce the calories by about 20%.

STEP TWO: Once you determine what your calorie intake should be, follow this formula:
Daily Carb intake = 50% of total calorie intake
Daily Protein intake = 25% of total calorie intake
Daily Fat intake = 25% of total calorie intake
Dietary fiber should = 25-30grams daily

Now that you have the formula you need to do some math. You need to convert each group from calories to grams so you can read labels and know how much is in each food you eat. Here is that formula:
1 carb gram = 4 calories
1 protein gram = 4 calories
1 fat gram = 9 calories

Example: Say your BMR formula allows you to consume 2000 calories per day. 1000 of those calories should be carbs. That converts to 250 carb grams daily. Spread that out over how many meals you have per day - I recommend 5 which would allow you 50 carb grams per meal. Also remember that meeting the 25-30 grams daily of dietary fiber will steer you towards healthy carbs and omit the bad ones.

STEP THREE: Go to the Calorie King website and use their calculator to determine what foods and how much of them fit into your menu. This site is excellent - it has generic info, brands, and retaurants. And you can adjust the portion sizes to help you determine how much of a food you can have.

On a plan like this you will lose weight at a normal, healthy rate (1 - 2 lbs per week) and you will find that its easy to stick to.

Last edited by modert; 03-05-2004 at 07:24 PM. Reason: Commercial websites are not permitted at HealthBoards. Please review the Board Guidelines on allowed URL's at the FAQ button above.

 
Old 03-03-2004, 01:00 PM   #6
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

I've read some of the Atkins book, and he does offer a transitional plan for adding carbs back into the diet. In short, you add 5 grams per week until you reach a weight plateau. I assume this counteracts the huge water weight gain you would get from switching immediately.

Let me say that I'm not an Atkins fan. I think it is a lop-sided way of looking at food. However, many people swear by the program so... whatever works.

You ultimately have to choose something you can stick with for the long haul. If you *know* in your heart that you can't go the rest of your life avoiding bread and pasta, then you should not start Atkins or any other low carb diet. Find a plan that is balanced and contains healthy foods you enjoy and can eat forever.

 
Old 03-03-2004, 03:17 PM   #7
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

Atkins is compatible with mild exercise, not a good exercise program. That's one reason why so many people like Atkins. Carbs are compatible with a good exercise program. I'm going to be upping my post workout dextrose to 60g this week.

Quote:
And if carbs were not contributing to your excess weight, why did you do Atkins?
Most people seem to do it because everyone else is. Carbs aren't really a problem, unless they're mixed with fat.

 
Old 03-04-2004, 09:45 AM   #8
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane S
Atkins is compatible with mild exercise, not a good exercise program. That's one reason why so many people like Atkins. Carbs are compatible with a good exercise program. I'm going to be upping my post workout dextrose to 60g this week.



Most people seem to do it because everyone else is. Carbs aren't really a problem, unless they're mixed with fat.

Just to argue for the sake of intellectual stimulation (and our perennial search for truth), I lift weights intensely three days a week, sometimes four, bicycle a few hours per week depending on weather--I commute this way and it's not all flat-- and practice Karate usually three hours per week. I have been on atkins or a modified version of it for years. Atkins is absolutely compatible with a vigorous exercise program.

Now, for weight lifting you DO have to add a few grams of carbs before and immediately after with a protein source, or you'll not build strength nearly as fast. But I've been able to do this by arranging some of my carbs per day at those times. Not sixty grams at a time, but 10 or 20, and it seems fine.
Remember that Atkins does not equal Induction (20 grams per day of carb total)--that's only for two weeks. I'm at about 80 or 100 grams of carbs per day, and I just try to remember to always have some of these carbs around exercise periods--weight or aerobic.

Maybe I'd be bigger or stronger if I added even more carbs, but for my body, fatter seems to be the most common result of adding even more carbs. I've tried it.

Each of us is different, of course.


Again, just to advance the discussion, I'd argue that at least SOME carbs are "a problem" period. Simple sugars and starches--the french fries, soda, white bread and other empty calories that form such an immense share of our common diet--are not good for us, period. Yes, we all can have a bit of bread or ice cream sometimes without being sick or fat, but in general, these empty calories add nothing to health, and create many health problems either directly as with tooth decay or fatness, or indirectly as with diabetes.

And, since we canNOT live without fats, to say carbs are bad "only" when eaten with fats is weird. How in the world does any healthful diet avoid having lots of omega 3, 6, and 9 fats? And yes, some saturated fats are healthful, too. So, when are the carbs harmless? Eaten in a meal of nothing but carbs???

Meanwhile, back to poor Charlie--are you getting any information to help you with your decision on what to do next?


sean

Last edited by sean; 03-04-2004 at 07:40 PM.

 
Old 03-04-2004, 11:32 AM   #9
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

Oh, as long as we're at it . . . something a little more concrete. I've asked before an never gotten an answer.

For those who say low carb plans won't provide enough carbs for our brains to function, or whatever, how many carbs are you saying your average, moderately active person would need?

Thanks!

 
Old 03-04-2004, 04:34 PM   #10
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

Any stage of Atkins = insufficient pre- and post-workout fuel. Some might argue that 60 grams at a time is too much, but certainly there should be at least 25 on each end, which is 50 in a couple hours. Anyone who thinks carbs are the plague is going to have trouble justifying that, even if switched something low GI like oatmeal. Granted, I do realize that many people are interested in weight loss, any kind of weight loss, including lean mass.

If it turns to fat, you need to do more to burn it.

Dextrose is as simple as it gets, and it's not bad, though I wouldn't suggest eating it all day long.

Carbs combined with fats have a greater risk of being stored as fat, as does something that's mostly fat. I didn't suggest not eating fat. (Perhaps someone else did and I missed it. Personally I'm a big believer in eating fish and flax oil.) Yes, carbs on their own are fine.

I'm thinking 200+, but define average and moderately active.

 
Old 03-04-2004, 08:06 PM   #11
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane S
Any stage of Atkins = insufficient pre- and post-workout fuel. Some might argue that 60 grams at a time is too much, but certainly there should be at least 25 on each end, which is 50 in a couple hours. Anyone who thinks carbs are the plague is going to have trouble justifying that, even if switched something low GI like oatmeal. Granted, I do realize that many people are interested in weight loss, any kind of weight loss, including lean mass.

If it turns to fat, you need to do more to burn it.

Dextrose is as simple as it gets, and it's not bad, though I wouldn't suggest eating it all day long.

Carbs combined with fats have a greater risk of being stored as fat, as does something that's mostly fat. I didn't suggest not eating fat. (Perhaps someone else did and I missed it. Personally I'm a big believer in eating fish and flax oil.) Yes, carbs on their own are fine.

I'm thinking 200+, but define average and moderately active.
Hi again,

It's just not so. You simply don't need, or I haven't needed, all those carbs to gain strength and muscle, and not only avoid lean tissue loss, but add to it while losing fat.

I'll agree that this is a hell of a way to go if you are trying for championship weight lifting or marathon racing performance. I'd concede that more carbs might make such peak performance more achievable, but that's not the same as declaring the opposite to be impossible.

I think the body adapts to having few dietary carbs and learns to perform pretty well running on ketones and free fatty acids, and then appreciates a modest carb boost, too.

That is, for the average American who is not looking to be champion of anything but who just exercises too little, he or she can go from there to a very active life indeed, get stronger, more fit, increase aerobic capacity, add muscle, lower blood pressure and blood fats, and etc. all while on a low-carb regime. I'm one example. Maybe I'll never deadlift 500 pounds, but I've more than doubled my lifting weights in about a year and a half. And I am sure bigger in the arms and legs and have less belly. I also bike noticeably further, faster, with less windedness, and less soreness. So, I think this is pretty okay.

Some of the sports conditioning advice, like carb loading, that was developed for competitive athletics needs to be modified, or even in some cases ignored, when applied to our normal, non-competitive activities. Even as a low-carb person, I'd probably load up some if I were about to run competitively for several miles. But who's competing? We're just trying to get healthy and look good!

So, on days when you are not running half marathons, or not lifting weights for longer than the 45 minutes or so usually recommended, maybe you don't really need all that much carb loading. Who knows? As I said, we are each different.

[And re-read your previous post. You did indeed say that carbs were okay as long as not eaten with fats. My point was that any reasonable meal includes fats and oils, so how often can lots of carbs work out to be okay? I'd say not very often.]


Anyway, good debate. Appreciate it.


sean

 
Old 03-05-2004, 04:55 PM   #12
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

HEY YOU GUYS ARE CONFUSEING MEEEEE!
I did the atkins for a while and I did lose weight, but confused now about the carbs? or a low cal diet and clories counting??.

Please excuse my Grammar and Spelling!!!!


Atkins carb-gram counting!!!

Sure for some very active people they do need more carbs....common sense will tell you that!! but for some one trying to lose weight/why not follow atkins? most of the people I've talk to don't like atkins because they say they don't won't there artries all clogged up down the road with all that fat intake......I asume that fat that is stored will be like a fuel for your body to use as its energy, and by helping it move out of your system thats why a low carb diet works the best?

I been on atkins but I dont go by the book...By that I mean I don't follow it to T!!!/I have a cheat (day) once a month to keep me from starving myself of the foods that I enjoy to eat! now of corse on atkins thats a NO NO, maybe a piece of cake/pie a bisscut or two /Ice Cream...but after I get my fill then I go right back on atkins for another month.
I been doing this now for 4 months and it seems to be working......I know if I didn't cheat I would lose faster, but I also think that by cheating that puts my body in a metabolic shock and kinda cleans out the old fat? if thats possible?

I do admit that I don't understand all this dieting/water gains/weight flex/ Low carbs/ Fat grams ect,ect all I figure is that when you eat low carb foods that metablolizes and turns into fat and use as engery to burn so the fat intake is never really stored only what your body needs to function/putting your body in a keytosa state and your actually pee the fat out!...what I don't understand is what do you take in for your body to get the minerels and such it needs to? if veggies is not allowed?

If eatting nothing but low carb foods(protein) such as beacon eggs unbreaded meats fish/ pork rinds/(without veggies) looks to me like you would clogged up your artires? some people can't do exercsise...so what is a person to do? I'm the type of person that can just look at them carbs and gain....lol
I have been on many diets but the atkins has work the best for me/but sinse he died of heartfailure I'm getting my douts? as far as "down the road?"

Last edited by chevyman; 03-05-2004 at 05:20 PM.

 
Old 03-05-2004, 06:41 PM   #13
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

Lack of carbs is an inefficient way to burn fat, therefore increasing lean mass loss. It is possible to gain some muscle on a low carb diet, but the results will be slower than a normal diet. Granted, it's better than not exercising at all, but I don't see most of the people on low carb diets exercising anyway (of course, by the same token, I don't see most people on any diet exercising).

Weight lifting and intense cardio are dependent upon glycogen stores, which people on low carb diets (aside from CKD) are unlikely to have. Plain old cardio is all well and good, but it's more about burning calories than fat.

Carbing up is about getting healthier and looking better faster. When I go to the gym, I'm not there to go to the Holiday Inn. I'm there to tear **** up. At the very least I'm competing with myself.

You can easily get fats in low carb meals, enough so that you don't need to mix them with high carb meals. Low carbers certainly prove this.

Quote:
but for some one trying to lose weight/why not follow atkins?
Lean mass (water and muscle) will both go along with the fat, though. If that's acceptable because all you want to do is get the number on the scale down, irregardless of health concerns, Atkins is a viable option.

Last edited by Shane S; 03-05-2004 at 06:42 PM.

 
Old 03-05-2004, 07:14 PM   #14
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevyman
I have a cheat (day) once a month to keep me from starving myself of the foods that I enjoy to eat! now of corse on atkins thats a NO NO, maybe a piece of cake/pie a bisscut or two /Ice Cream...but after I get my fill then I go right back on atkins for another month.
I been doing this now for 4 months and it seems to be working......I know if I didn't cheat I would lose faster, but I also think that by cheating that puts my body in a metabolic shock and kinda cleans out the old fat? if thats possible?
Its simply not natural for the human body to be deprived of carbs. Carbs are the body's most efficient fuel source. Being in ketosis may offer rapid weight loss but is not healthy for the long term. When the body has no carbs to burn, it goes for the fats and the proteins, which will eventually break down lean muscle mass. Furthermore, there are significant health risks from consuming more fat and less fiber.

I know there have been studies that have shown people on Atkins will lose a significantly greater amount of weight early on compared to individuals on balanced diets that include carbs. But after a year, both will lose about the same amount of weight and the people on Atkins will have a more difficult time staying on their plan and keeping the weight off.

You mention yourself that you feel the need to cheat and you feel you need to create a "metabolic shock" to kick your weightloss back in gear. I don't think that is exactly what's going on - but there are more scientific ways to figure it out. As I mentioned in an earlier post there are formulas to figure out your Basal Metobolic Rate - "BMR" (I can't post the link here but you can do a google search) which will steer you to the proper caloric intake for your body/lifestyle. If you follow a diet with the proper number of calories that includes carbs/fiber, protein, and fat, and increase your activity (even slightly) you WILL lose and you WILL keep it off - and you know what? You WON'T have the urge to cheat and you won't feel hungry. As you lose weight your BMR may change - sometimes you need fewer calories - recalculating every so often will help you avoid the plateaus.

I do believe that Atkins can be a great diet plan for young healthy people that need to lose a few quick pounds... i don't agree with it for long term or for people with significant amounts to lose, especially if you have a tendancy to have poor eating habits. For many people Atkins becomes an excuse to eat too many double-bacon-cheeseburgers. Anybody that denies that has their head in the sand.

 
Old 03-05-2004, 09:18 PM   #15
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Re: Transition from Atkins to 'normal' low caloric/low fat/ exercise regime?

ChevyMan--!!!! who in the world told you there are no veggies allowed on the atkins diet???? Read the book for heaven's sake!
I am eating more veggies on atkins than i ever did before in my life (i used to think donuts were a vegetable, but....no). True, potatoes and a few other veggies are very high carb, but many can be eaten almost without limit (the leafy veggies, for one prominent example), and many more can be eaten in moderate quantities. Some fruts, which we think of as sugary, are actually not--some berries and melons for example, are pretty low-carb. And so on. Please study up==your health is at stake.
Don't continue on this diet without learning a bit more about it.


and Shane--quote:Lack of carbs is an inefficient way to burn fat, therefore increasing lean mass loss. It is possible to gain some muscle on a low carb diet, but the results will be slower than a normal diet. End Quote.

Yes, progress building muscle while on ANY weight loss diet is slower than on a normal diet. I didn't think I said otherwise, but if I seemed to, excuse my imprecision. My point was that "slower" does not equal "not possible." For those of us who want to get stronger AND lose weight, our choices are a bit different from someone who is just lifting to get big (to gain weight, in fact).

I was saying that it is possible to lose weight, lift weights, gain lean mass (muscle) and lose flab all at once. Definitely does not add muscle as fast as eating a "normal" or even loaded diet, and definitely takes focus and patience, but you can lose weight and add muscle at the same time, especially if your diet is high in protein, even while low in carbs.

There have been a few studies of this kind of regimen, and in fact yes, the low carb weight lifting practitioners gain less muscle than those on NO weight loss diet, but they preserve and even add more muscle than those on (carby) low calorie diets.

Yes, I conceded that for maximum performance, for very intensive workouts such as for competitive sports, you might do better with more carbs. I think I said this two or three different ways. All I was arguing is that this is NOT an absolute. There are various middle ground solutions, and each of us may find one, especially if we are not lifting for competition, nor running a marathon, or like that.

And, for the record, the studies also say that low carb, high protein diets consistently show less lean tissue loss than do so-called "balanced" low calorie dets. And yes, especially so over the long term. Pub med has a few such references.

QUOTE:
Weight lifting and intense cardio are dependent upon glycogen stores, which people on low carb diets (aside from CKD) are unlikely to have.
END QUOTE

I just can't for the life of me figure out how I've been doing all this weight lifting and intense cardio. I do consume a little carbs before and again after intense lifting or cycling, with protein, but only a few grams of carbs--5 to 15 grams at a time . How can I then have progressed???? Perhaps the body is capable of adaptation. Perhaps, without much glycogen stored, it gets better and better at using fatty acids, ketones, and lactic acid and so on. Maybe this takes a while, but maybe it happens over months of patient work. Who knows? Somehow, there it is. (I usually do not prefer personal anecdote in place of science, but my personal history of adding strength, muscle, and fitness, while losing fat percentage over the last two years is consistent with the research evidence, not discordant.)

and jdimassimo, it is very much a subject of active scientific inquiry whether having a diet with lots carbs in it is at all "natural." It is not at all settled, as you write, that low carb diets are "not natural." There is a growing school of thought that a diet with 20 or 30 or 50 percent of its calories from carbohydrates is a late perversion of our "natural" diet following the (anthropologically very recent) introduction of agriculture.

Although you said, more precisely, that it was not natural "for the human body to be DEPRIVED of carbs..." so you may be confusing a low or moderate carb diet with a NO carb diet, a common error.

Ketosis is a "normal" human condition. Some incividuals on long hunts, and some whole cultures, go for months and months on almost no food but the last big kill--an almost ALL protein diet--not my preference, but these folk do very well. (By the way, some of them get pretty muscular, too.)

Pregnant women are by and large in ketosis for most or all of their 40 weeks, and they not only thrive, they reproduce! always the most exacting test of a diet's healthfulness in the lab.

These pregnant women in ketosis, by the way, are manufacturing much added muscle, fat, brain, blood, and bone--their own and the baby's. And they burn a whole bunch of ketones to do it.
.

Ketosis is a boringly common state in the human, in fact. The fear of it seems to have arisen in reaction to Atkins and similar writers. yes, ketosis can be a symptom of some metabolic disturbance when you have it in SPITE of eating lots of carbs. But to be in ketosis just 'cause your body didn't have many carbs lately turns out to be a condition found more and more often in humans, including in whole cultures, the more we study it.

It turns out the body can burn free fatty acids, glycogen, OR ketones, and thrive. Makes sense, when you think of it. How would the species have survived in any non-tropical climate where fruits and veggies were essentially unavailable for much of, maybe more than, half the year? Humans have been in northerh Europe, for one example, for more than 40,000 years, and they were not getting Zone Diet meal deliveries in those caves in February, I guarantee. (By the way, agriculture and its grains and potatoes came even later to Europe than to many other regions, and the species somehow managed to survive the Ice Age, and so on. Believe me, we burned through tons of ketones during those years.)

So you see, still very much an area of active scientific thought and research. Not at all settled.



On another point entirely, in my inexpert opinion, I think that it is not necessarilly somehow "wrong" to have occassional cheat days. There are, in fact, a few low carb regimes that build this into the formula, including the famous Anabolic Diet. Whatever it takes to lose and stay happy, within the bounds of reason. That's what I say.

Much thoughtful discussion on this thread. But I still can't figure out if we helped Charlie.

sean

Last edited by sean; 03-05-2004 at 09:33 PM.

 
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