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Old 07-30-2001, 02:07 PM   #1
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Post 50 grams of carbs???

This is a question that I hope someone can answer. I have been on a low cal, low fat diet for a couple of weeks. It has been going okay and I lost 3 pounds, but it just isn't producing the effects I was getting on the Atkins diet (lost 21 pounds in 2 months) I got to the point that I was getting bored with Atkins so I switched to the low fat, low cal. My question is, if I would try limiting my carbs to approx 50 grams per day, but not limiting calories and fat, could I lose weight? I know that limiting carbs to 20 per day worked wonderfully, but I can't get the motivation to go back down that far. Would 50 grams maximum per day do anything for me? Please anyone, advice please!!!!!

 
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Old 07-30-2001, 05:20 PM   #2
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Losing 3 lb in a couple of weeks is a healthy weight loss, in terms of losing fat weight. The low carb diets cause you to lose weight faster because you lose lots of water in addition to fat loss.

If you reduce your carb intake to 50 grams (200 calories) but maintain your calories and your fat intake, the only way you can accomplish this is by increasing protein intake in order to replace the lost carb calories. This is extreme.

To lose fat weight, your total expenditure must be greater than your total calorie intake, whether a low carb and/or low fat diet helps you do this. A low fat diet may provide you a greater variety of choices compared to the low carb diets and therefore, may be easier to stick with.

One more thing, if you are exercising to any regular extent, 50 g of carbs may negatively affect your ability to perform exercise at the level you desire. And if you think you were bored on Atkins, 50 g of carbs in a diet may be worse.

 
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Old 07-30-2001, 10:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Connie:
The low carb diets cause you to lose weight faster because you lose lots of water in addition to fat loss.
The average size human will lose at most 5-6 pounds of water weight on a low carb diet (that is about 1 gallon or 128 ounces). So initially yes, you will likely lose faster on a low carb diet due to the water loss. But after the initial water loss, the loss in weight is either fat or muscle. If you are eating adequate protein, then studies have clearly shown that a low carb diet will result in faster fat loss and less muscle loss than a low-fat low-calorie diet.

Quote:

If you reduce your carb intake to 50 grams (200 calories) but maintain your calories and your fat intake, the only way you can accomplish this is by increasing protein intake in order to replace the lost carb calories. This is extreme.
If you cut back on the carbs to this level, then you need to increase both fat and protein intake. Don't try to do low fat and low carb at the same time because that ain't healthy. Fat is necessary for proper digestion of protein and should be relied on as your primary energy source, not protein. On a 50 gram per day low carb diet (which many people are successful with if they are not too insulin resistant) and taking in about 1600 calories per day, this equates to 13% of energy intake from carbs. The rest of your intake should be about 35% protein and 52% fat based on energy levels. Since fat has over twice as much energy per gram as protein (9 calories per gram vs. 4), what you would end up with is about 2/3 protein and 1/3 fat by weight to get that ratio. Eating only 6-7 ounces of protein from animal sources (meat, eggs, cheese) per meal with 1 serving of non-starchy vegetables and/or low sugar fruit with a snack of high fat nuts or avacado or cheese would get you the above carb/protein/fat ratio. This is only extreme by today's food pyramid standard which recommends an unhealthy 60% of calories from carbohydrates. There is no scientific basis to support this high of a carbohydrate intake. Note that in the example above at 1600 calories per day, this results in about a 500 calorie per day deficit (depends on activity levels and current lean body mass) which would result in approximately 1 pound per week of fat loss. Quite reasonable.

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And if you think you were bored on Atkins, 50 g of carbs in a diet may be worse.
How so? Atkins recommends <20 grams of carbs per day during the 2 week induction period and then allows you to increase carbs to 30, 40, 50, or so grams per day as long as you are able to maintain your weight loss. Granted, Dr. Atkins stresses those carbs should mainly come from boring low starch green leafy type vegetables and low sugar fruit instead of simple sugars and high starch grains, potatoes, legumes, etc. While low carb diets may not be exciting, they do make sense from a biochemistry standpoint and just plain old common sense.

Alan


[This message has been edited by arkie6 (edited 07-31-2001).]
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Old 07-31-2001, 10:29 AM   #4
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Arkie says: The average size human will lose at most 5-6 pounds of water weight on a low carb diet (that is about 1 gallon or 128 ounces). So initially yes, you will likely lose faster on a low carb diet due to the water loss. But after the initial water loss, the loss in weight is either fat or muscle. If you are eating adequate protein, then studies have clearly shown that a low carb diet will result in faster fat loss and less muscle loss than a low-fat low-calorie diet.


Where are these studies, can you provide references to back up your claims?


 
Old 07-31-2001, 07:06 PM   #5
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I decided to not wait and did a little investigating myself. I truly am interested in this topic and do not wish to judge your passion and knowledge for the "low carb diet". So if you have some references that are missing from my list below, I would appreciate it if you gave me the information, so I too can make an informed opinion of this topic.

From my MEDLINE search using “low carbohydrate diet” and “weight loss” as key words. I found only two (out of seven studies found (through 1995-2001) that reported a significantly greater body weight loss. The first, (Baba et al, Internatl J Obesity, 23:1202, 1999) gave participants a caloric intake equivalent to 80% of resting metabolic rate. Groups were given either a 45/25/30 PCF or 12/58/30 PCF diet. Those on the high protein diet decreased body weight significantly more than the high carb diet (8.3 vs 6.0 kg), BUT there was no difference in body fat loss. Resting metabolic rate however was decreased more on the high carb diet, suggesting that the high protein diet may help in longer term weight loss (this was only 4 weeks).

The second study showing a greater weight loss with a high protein-low carb diet (Skov et al, IJO 23:528, 1999) using a diet of 30% ad libitum fat, and either a 12%/58% PC or 25%/45% PC combination diet. Those on the high protein diet lost more body weight (8.9 vs 5.1 kg) and more body fat (7.6 vs 4.3 kg) over a 6 month period. BUT, from the abstract, I could not determine if the diets were isocaloric or not, this would make a difference in the interpretation of the results.

The other studies I found did not find a significant difference in body weight loss between diets. And in fact, one study (Golay et al, IJO, 20:1067, 1996) found a greater loss of lean body mass on the high pro/low carb diet. The diets were 1200 kcal/d, either 25% carb or 45% carb. Protein intake was the same for both at 1.4 g/kg ideal body weight. The low carb group lost 2.2 kg lean body mass vs 1.4 kg in the other group. This is over a 12-week period.

The other studies not finding significant differences in body weight are summarized here:
Golay etal, IJO 24:492, 2000. 25/47/25 PCF vs 25/42/31 PCF, 1100 kcal/d (I wouldn’t expect changes from this since the diets are very similar.)
Lean et al, European J Clinical Nutrition, 51:243, 1997. 58% vs 35% CHO
Golay et al IJO 63:174, 1996. 32/15/53 PCF vs 29/45/26, 1000 kcal/d, no difference in body fat as well.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 63:254, 1996 (I forgot the author’s name). Compared a fiber-rich, high carb low fat diet with a modified fat (high MUFA).

Given all this, I found no study that clearly showed what you indicate, and I quote: “…studies have clearly shown that a low carb diet will result in faster fat loss and less muscle loss than a low-fat low-calorie diet.” I found no study that measured muscle (indirectly or directly by creatinine excretion or MRI, respectively). I found only one study that showed a faster loss of fat, but I am not sure of the caloric intakes for that study.

Having said all that, the low carb diets vs the high carb diets lower insulin moreso in diabetics and obese, which is a very good thing. However there was no real indication that lipoproteins were improved more on the low carb diet than the high carb diet, and in fact, the high carb diet seemed to show more overall improvements (in TC and lipoproteins).

 
Old 08-24-2001, 10:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Connie:
Arkie says: ...If you are eating adequate protein, then studies have clearly shown that a low carb diet will result in faster fat loss and less muscle loss than a low-fat low-calorie diet.

Where are these studies, can you provide references to back up your claims?
Connie, sorry to take so long to reply to your question. I overlooked it initially then I had to do some digging to find those references.

Well, I’ll start with research done in Briton by Professor Alan Kekwick (Director of the Institute of Clinical Research and Experimental Medicine at London’s Middlesex Hospital) and Gaston Pawan (Senior Research Biochemist at Middlesex Hospital). One of their first published studies involved obese subjects and found that those on a 90% protein diet or a 90% fat diet lost weight, but when they were given a diet of the same number of calories but consisting of 90% carbohydrates, the subjects did not lose measurable weight; Kekwick, A. and Pawan, G. L. S., “Calorie intake in relation to body weight changes in the obese,” Lancet 2:155 (1956).

Excited with that finding, they followed up with a similar study and concluded that a low-carbohydrate diet of 1000 calories worked well for weight loss and a high-carbohydrate diet of 1000 calories took off very little weight. They then showed that their subjects lost little weight at all on a balanced 2000 calorie diet, but when their diet was mainly fat, these same obese subjects could lose weight even when as much as 2600 calories was given; Kekwick, A. and Pawan, G. L. S., “Metabolic study in human obesity with isocaloric diets high in fat, protein, or carbohydrate,” Metabolism 6 (1957), pp. 447-460.

Skeptics at this point would be asking what was lost in these diets? fat, or lean body mass (muscle and/or water)? And how could a person lose fat on a 2600 calorie high-fat diet? Well, Kekwick and Pawan continued on with their studies. This time they studied mice in a metabolic chamber. By measuring the loss of carbon in the feces and urine, they were able to show that mice on the high-fat diet excreted considerable unused calories. At the end of the study period, they analyzed the fat content of the animal’s bodies and found significantly less fat on the carcasses of the high-fat diet mice. Keckwick, A. and Pawan, G. L. S., “The effect of high fat and high carbohydrate diets on rates of weight loss in mice,” Metabolism 13:1 (1964), pp. 87-97.

Enough of Kekwick and Pawan. A study done by Frederick Benoit at the Oakland Naval Hospital compared a 1000 calorie, low (10 gram) carbohydrate, high-fat diet with fasting in seven men weighing between 230 and 290 pounds. On the 10 day fast, they lost 21 pounds on average, but most of that was lean body weight; only 7.5 pounds was body fat. But on the low-carbohydrate, high-fat, moderate-protein, 1000-calorie diet, 14 of 14.5 pounds lost was body fat. Benoit, F., et al. “Changes in body composition during weight reduction in obesity,” Archives of Internal Medicine 63:4 (1965), pp. 604-612.

A study by Charlotte Young, Professor of Clinical Nutrition at Cornell University, involved overweight young men on three different diets, all containing 1800 calories, and all with some degrees of carbohydrate restriction. The diets contained 30, 60, and 104 grams of carbohydrate and were followed for nine weeks. Young and her colleagues calculated body fat through a widely accepted technique involving immersion under water. Those on 104 grams of carbohydrate lost slightly better than 2 pounds of fat per week out of 2.73 pounds of total weight lost per week. Those on 60 grams of carbohydrate lost about 2.5 pounds of fat out of 3 pounds total weight loss per week. Those on the 30 gram carbohydrate diet lost 3.73 pounds of fat per week, nearly 100% of the total weight they were losing each week. Young, C. M. et al., “Effect on body composition and other parameters in young men of carbohydrate level of reduction diet,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 24 (1971), pp. 290-296.

A study was done at the University of Wurzburg in Germany on 45 patients who were in the hospital for 5 weeks. Subjects lost on average 9.24 pounds more on the low-carbohydrate 1000 calorie diet than on the higher carbohydrate 1000 calorie diet. Careful water-balance studies showed that the proportion of those extra pounds lost that could be attributed to water loss was not significant. Rabast, U. et al. “Comparative studies in obese subjects fed carbohydrate-restricted and high carbohydrate 1000 calorie formula diets” Nutritional Metabolism 22 (1978), pp. 269-277.

Five other similar German studies came to the same conclusion: low carbohydrate diets are more effective than high carbohydrate diets for body fat loss. Kasper, H. et al. “Response of body weight to a low carbohydrate, high fat diet in normal and obese subjects,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 26 (1973), pp. 197-204. Rabast, U. et al. “Therapy of adiposity using reduced carbohydrate and high-carbohydrate isocaloric formula diets (comparative studies),” Verhanlungen Der Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Innere Medizin 81 (1975), pp. 1400-2. Rabast, U. et al. “Dietic treatment of obesity with low and high carbohydrate diets,” International Journal of Obesity 3(3) (1979), pp. 201-211. Reigler, E. “Weight reduction by a high protein, low carbohydrate diet,” Medizinische Klinik 71(24) 1976, pp. 1051-6. Rabast, U. et al. “Loss of weight, sodium, and water in obese persons consuming a high or low carbohydrate diet,” Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 26(6) 1981, pp. 341-9.

Here are some links to the more recent studies (abstracts from Medline):
[url="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_u ids=7332312&dopt=Abstract"]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_u ids=7332312&dopt=Abstract[/url]
[url="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_u ids=662209&dopt=Abstract"]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_u ids=662209&dopt=Abstract[/url]

That is a sampling of the published studies in peer reviewed journals that support my statement that diets lower in carbohydrate (therefore higher in fat and/or protein) have been shown to be more effective for fat loss than diets higher in carbohydrate (typical of low-fat diets).

Alan


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Old 08-25-2001, 10:10 AM   #7
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Alan,
I have two questions for you. If you know the answers, or can point me in the right direction to find them I would much appreciate it.

One: How does loseing a gallon of water wieght affect your body? Wouldn't that be hard on your kidneys or digestive system?

Two: I gained way to much extra fat on my body durring my last pregnancy and now (eight months later) have lost very little of it. I was curious as to how many carbs I might be consumeing after reading all of these posts and when I added them up it came to about 175 per day. I was wondering if switching some of those carb calories to protien/fat calories would help cut some of my fat stores without affecting my breast milk as I am still nursing.

If you can help I'd appreciate it.

Thanks,
Laura


 
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