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Old 08-01-2004, 02:03 PM   #1
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The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

in my never-ending quest to find the "perfect" diet and nutrition for health and weight loss, i have read countless books, researched numerous medical studies'....and as such, am just as confused as everyone else is, especially in regards to low carb, low fat, insulin resistance, etc.

Quoting from the book: Syndrome X by Dr. Gerald Reaven, MD, whom pioneered the study into insulin resistance......he says, on page 88: "A calorie is a calorie is a calorie, whether it comes from a banana, a chocolate bar, a carrot, or a glass of beer. Unglamorous as it sounds, all weight loss is the result of a simple equation: more calories must be expended than ingested. "

Further, on page 91, he goes on to say that books like Protein Power and The Zone have badly mangled and hijacked his research and their interpretation is more fiction than fact, especially where it comes to their assertion that eating more protein and less carbs will cause you to secrete less insulin. He says as far as insulin production is concerned, swapping carbs for protein is an even trade-off.
So, my conclusion is that its a matter of calories in Vs. calories out! Any comments? Jerry

 
Old 08-01-2004, 02:17 PM   #2
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

if the body was a dumb machine then caloire in vs caloire out would work, teh trouble is this has been touted as the cure for excess fat for over 100 years. the body turns out not to be a dumb machine but one that regulates itself with or without our understanding, you seem to be a person who likes research, (so do I) check out many of the websites and research informatin on the net and in the library,

such as the fat instinct I found this book in the library,

also adipose 101

tech central station their obesity series,

also river centre clinic on obesity you could look up starvation studies, I remember one study they did to try and create eating disorders in people during the study they concluded that undereating, or dieting causes eating disorders. (these were men in the study no women)

another study determined that concentration camps survivors were all fat, no muscles at all despite being bony. I would think they would have no fat at all.

and as for people eating more caloires then they need for maintenance or energy for that day is the body doing it making them do it as fat is needed due to past undereating if the body didn't need fat it would not make any, it doesn't automatically take extra caloires you consume and turn it into fat, that is if you could eat more than your appetite would allow,

what it does to this extra caloires, if you able to eat beyond appetite and cravings, which would make me sick yuck!, the body burns up the extra caloires as heat. the more caloires one consumes, especially if real foods with minimal junky foods like doritos, the less fat the body needs, the less fatty foods appeal, since these foods only appeal to those who need fat to be made or to maintain fat stores they have already,

the body is a very complicated organism, this scienctists are starting to realize. they more they study it the more complicated it is. so dumb it is not.

caloirie in vs caloire out only works on calculators.

RR

 
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Old 08-01-2004, 02:43 PM   #3
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

Hi. I must respectfully disagree on some of the "studies" you are quoting:
(1) you mention that calories in Vs. calories out does not compute in terms of the human body. I ask you, then, to look at the very devastating disorders of anorexia and bulimia. These victims ingest very little in calories, and the end result is they lose weight to the point of danger.
(2) You talk about a study that said concentration camp survivors were "fat?".................Just take a look at the many archived photos of concentration camps, and you will see just how these victims' looked.

Your last 3 paragraphs I just could not undersatand at all.

 
Old 08-01-2004, 03:09 PM   #4
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

That weight loss occurs when one burns more calories than one consumes is a no brainer . . . as far as it goes. The calorie content of food was calculated in the laboratory, and the human body does not treat food in the same way. So to begin with there are flaws in the calorie table (yeah, they are a basic framework that is still helpful but don't give a complete picture). Then, the calorie in-calorie out model does not consider the reaction the body has to the different foods. IMHO, it is possible for someone to consume 1,800 calories of health and metabolic boosting foods and as a result expend 1,900 calories and thus lose weight. It is possible for the same person to consume 1,800 calories of food that slows the metabolism and expends only 1,700 calories and thus gain weight (and I'm not talking about junk food).

Learning about the connection between carbs and insulin production (and increasing protein and fat intake) has been crucial for me regaining health. Anybody can write whatever they like, but that is NOT my experience. If the calorie in-calorie out model works for you (it works for many), then go for it! Hopefully everyone can be open minded enough to realize that just because something works for them does not mean it will work for everyone.

 
Old 08-01-2004, 04:36 PM   #5
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

I have not read all the responses here yet, but I will comment anyway. Calories in vs calories out is a theoretical formula only, which cannot realistically be applied to the human body. If the body were a simple machine, this theory would work, but the body is not a simple machine - it is quite complex. In regard to this theory I an referring to claims that if you reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories per day you will lose 1 pound in 7 days (for a 3500 calorie defecit)... this is simply NOT TRUE - the body does not work like this.

While it is true that the body must burn more calories than it consumes to realize a weight reduction, you must factor in all the ways that the body burns calories and all of the things that effect the burn rate.

Things that effect the metabolisim and burn rate include:
quality of food
ratio of carbs, protein, and fat
meal frequency
hydration
toxic load (effecting liver and kidney function)
general health or presence of disease
age, height, and weight

Considering all these factors, it is possible that 2 people could eat the exact same diet and one would lose weight while the other would gain weight. In the same light, one person could eat the exact same number of calories, but a menu designed to strengthen the metabolism will result in weight loss, while a menu that weakens the metabolism will cause weight gain.

 
Old 08-01-2004, 05:28 PM   #6
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

The bottom line, really, is simply finding a balance for yourself and using what works.

I've tried lots of 'diets' (a word I don't even use anymore) including soup diets, no carb diets, all vegetable diets, all meat diets, diet pills, diet books, spending loads of money on a bunch of products and advice that I didn't even need. Furthermore, none of it worked. I yo-yo'd myself nearly to death until I finally topped the scale at 220 (I'm a 5'4-1/2 female). I'm now 203 and still counting down, for the first time in many years. And it's not because of any special diet or pill or from depriving my body of carbs and other nutrients - it's from cutting fat wherever possible and cutting portions. I watch WHAT I eat and HOW MUCh. I record everything I put into my mouth, I count calories. I allow myself no more than 1500 calories a day. And I drink lots of water.

That's all I'm doing. I don't know if I'm creating any 'calorie deficit' because I have no idea how many calories I burn throughout the day, nor do I have a clue as to how optimized my metabolism is. Nor do I care. I do what I can with what I've got and I've finally found something that works for ME. Cutting fat wherever I can (my diet is very low in saturated fat) and controlling my portions is how I'm doing it.

I don't know the science behind calories in vs calories out or subtracting 500 calories from a maintenance total to lose a pound a week - but it's working for me.

 
Old 08-01-2004, 06:00 PM   #7
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

Whoa...I am having an information overload! In my screwed up rationalization, my first impulse is to use all of the disagreement as just another reason why I shouldn't even try. For any eating philosophy, it is obvious that I can find someone to say they can prove that it is wrong, so there must not be an answer...I'll just keep eating myself to death. I think I will try to "keep it simple"...one of the biggest food problems I have is that I love processed food. I live for white bread and pasta and cream sauces and cheddar cheese and deep fried everything. And unless I find some way to change that, I am not going to get healthy. It is just so overwhelming to think about how to change EVERYTHING about how I eat at once, and too discouraging to think about just taking baby steps. Oh how I wish there WAS a magic pill.

 
Old 08-01-2004, 07:29 PM   #8
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

It's really not that difficult. When you get information overload like this, then yes, it all seems so overwhelming. But it's really not.

Forget about the 'science' of calories and metabolism. Do what works for YOU, not what works for everybody else.

And I'll tell ya right now, if you keep eating the way you're eating, you're going to end up having a heart attack or a stroke. Eating healthy isn't just about weight loss and trying to look better, it's also about health... period. YOUR health. That food you're putting into your body (I about fell off my chair reading the things you eat on a regular basis) is clogging your arteries and eventually it will stop blood flow to your heart or brain or both. You CAN'T overload your body with that kind of stuff, it's not only unhealthy but it's dangerous. You said you'll just continue to "eat yourself to death." Well that's exactly what you're doing.

Maybe do like I did, turn the whole thing around and start eating healthier for your heart (not to mention your other organs) rather than wanting to lose weight. Forget about weight loss altogether. Just start eating healthier foods and I'll bet you that weight loss will be an added benefit. That's what I did. I used to eat like you do. And then my doctor told me that my cholesterol was high and my blood pressure was high (processed foods are outlandishly full of sodium) and, in so many words, if I kept eating like I was eating and gaining more weight, I wouldn't live long enough to watch my son grow up. That was my kick in the "A" that I needed. So I started changing my eating habits. I gave up junk food, fried food, fast food, white breads, rice and pasta (except on rare occasions), butter and margarine (I use only the fat free butter spreads and sprays), and all that stuff that was literally killing me. I used to be awakened in the middle of the night with chest pains. Since I started eating healthier, my chest pains are gone, my cholesterol is slowly dropping back to a healthier range, and my blood pressure is normal.

I started eating healthier for my heart and my blood pressure. The weight loss is my added bonus. And the more weight I lose, the better I feel.

Please, try this. Don't do this to yourself. Cuz you're the only you that you've got.

 
Old 08-01-2004, 07:41 PM   #9
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christin
I think I will try to "keep it simple"...one of the biggest food problems I have is that I love processed food. I live for white bread and pasta and cream sauces and cheddar cheese and deep fried everything. And unless I find some way to change that, I am not going to get healthy. It is just so overwhelming to think about how to change EVERYTHING about how I eat at once, and too discouraging to think about just taking baby steps. Oh how I wish there WAS a magic pill.
Christin, believe it or not, much of how you feel about food might likely be a physiological response to food. Most people who crave these types of foods are actually experiencing a mild case of hypoglycemia combined with glucose intolerance. Your glucose levels are on a roller-coaster, spiking after meals, and then dropping so low that you have dire cravings for more junk carbs. I don't know how much you weigh, but I assume it is somewhere between 250 and 300 lbs. I would venture to guess that you are already at least a borderline diabetic, and if not, you will be soon.

What you are likely experiencing is a metabolic disorder. I believe that in order to acheive success with weight loss and to regain your health, you MUST heal your metabolism. There are very specific strategies in healing and strengthening the metabolism, and once you break through you will be amazed at your lack of hunger and cravings, and how healthy you can feel. When your metabolism is optimized you will lose weight very easily and it will seem effortless. I promise you, it is possible. But as I mentioned in the other thread, you must first tackle the motivation factor.

 
Old 08-02-2004, 02:22 PM   #10
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

one trait seperates normal dieters with anorexics, anorexics bodies are not as famine sensitive as the average, and their bodies don't go into restore fat reserves through taking over the controls I happen to know one person who fits that. their survival instincts are flawed otherwise their bodies would override their willpower thorugh powerful obesity chemicals,

these individuals are rare,

thank goodness low famine sensitivity is not common, also anorexics refuse to see themselves as thin or even thinner than is healthy, to admit they are too thin would give them an excuse to let up on their strigient eating controls, which to them to let up even a little means weight gain (which is true)

so they keep up the controls, and either get fat again, because their bodies took over or they die, and it really is sad, anorexia was probably unheard of (being so rare) in the past before people became obessed with appearances and fat hatred.

it really is sad for a myth (caloire in and out) to be so ingrained that people listen to the experts before they listen to their bodies who for the most part care more about what happens to them then so called "experts." our bodies have the answers if we would relearn to trust them, (maybe many as children had that trust until some "expert" told them they were all wrong and blew their trust in their own bodies appetites and weight regulation).

and some mothers prevented that too, I don't know about others but my grandma was over 300 pounds her whole life and lived to be in her 80's my other grandma lived till her 70's and was 400 pounds. the first grandma did not die from a heart attack but from alzheimers, if I spelled it right.

I am overweight and I was scared of having a heart attack because my pressure was super high continuously I tried meds and couldn't stand the side effects so now I only take 3 herbs once a day and now my pressure is down near normal. tho I am very overweight still despite having lost 20 pounds in the past before I had problems with my pressure.

my pressure was high despite all the walking I did, and the fact I eat very little junk compared to real foods. many people are thin and have heart attacks too, it is not strictly a weight related thing, but rather a sedetary and junky food diet that contributes to it, and not everyone who eats junky gets fat, they have low famine sensitivities and can eat lower quality diets without giving the body the message to save up and store for winter message.

I know people like that too.

most of the people I know who have died from heart attacks were thin, I know one who is very overweight and old and had a heart attack and survived because the attack was mild. all the women I know who got breast cancer (some survived some did not) were thin, everyone who devoloped all kinds of auto immune disorders such as lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, (except one) and similar conditions were thin, (I am not advocating being obese, what I am saying is many of these people may be artificially thin, dieting and strictly controling food intake to maintain their weights thus being mildly malnourished, which could be a triggor for such conditions if they are prone to it anyway.)

of course this is only my theory, and a theory has to be tested to be proved for or against. but it does give us something to think about.

RR

Last edited by dreamer89; 08-02-2004 at 02:36 PM.

 
Old 08-02-2004, 03:11 PM   #11
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

Heart attacks aren't just about being overweight. Or thin. It doesn't matter. What matters is clogging your arteries with fat and cholesterol. Thin people do this too. Thin people have heart attacks because of it. People younger and thinner than me have died from heart attacks because blood flow to the heart was restricted. I don't want to be one of those statistics. Eating healthy for me isn't just about weight loss. It's also about protecting my heart and brain from dying because my arteries are clogged. When overweight people have heart attacks it could be because of this AND because the extra weight is too hard on their heart.

There are lots of reasons why being overweight isn't healthy. The heart is just one of them. That and some of us are just plain tired of being fat. My grandmother was a large woman too and lived to be 84 years old. But that doesn't mean I want to follow in her footsteps. That doesn't mean it's okay for ME to be fat and just pray I'll live as long as she did. I'm not using her or anyone else to justify being overweight because I JUST DON'T WANT TO BE THIS WAY ANYMORE. And sometimes our bodies don't do exactly what we want them to. So we have to train them. And in order to train them, we might just NEED a little advice from the so-called experts now and then. I'm not saying to believe everything they utter, because alot of it is crap, but not everyone is in tune enough with their body to just let it do what it wants to do. And as I said in another post somewhere, if I let my body do what it wanted to do, I'd load up on fried foods and fast foods every day and lay around watching TV. I have to MAKE it do what I want it to do to get rid of this weight.

Most people are on these boards to lose weight and gain advice in doing so. They don't need to hear how all of these fat people lived to be 100 years old (it's discouraging and may give someone the wrong message to go ahead and throw in the towel and 'think' that's it's ok to be fat, even though you may not be implying this) or how anorexics are totally different from you and me. Because they're not. They're people who became obsessed with their weight and their looks and decided to start eating less to lose the pounds. And the more weight they lose, the less they eat. They begin to pick at their food, they become AFRAID to put food in their mouth until one day they no longer can. And even when they TRY to eat, they simply can't. It may be the texture that turns them off. Food in the mouth and in the stomach begins to feel foreign. Like it doesn't belong there. You have to FORCE yourself to eat, and when you do, it makes you feel sick. It gets out of control.

But they're no more or no less able to end up this way than you or me. If you starve yourself, you lose weight. And muscle. And everything else. Anorexia isn't as rare as people would like to believe. And it's becoming more and more common in young kids, even males. I was borderline anorexic AND bulimic myself.

It's not uncommon, it really isn't. In fact it's becoming more and more of a problem. Just like obesity. It's an epidemic. It costs health institutions and insurance companies billions of dollars a year to care for obesity-related illness.

It's a scary world out there. And by doing what we can to take care of ourselves (by NOT starving ourselves or, on the flipside, being overweight) and force our bodies to do what WE know is best (because they DON'T know what's best) then it makes it a little less scary. At least to me it does.

 
Old 08-03-2004, 04:37 AM   #12
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

Couldn't have said it better myself LV40

It makes me sad that its been implied in this thread that the experts and scientists are taking us all for a ride. Im currently studying physiology at uni and im looking into becoming a dietician or doing some research in this field. As a scientist (at least, an undergrad one) I want to find answers to topics like this that can benefit everyone.

Only this year i had a module on exercise and diet and we were still taught the "old fashioned" method of calories in Vs calories out and used the food pyramid as the basis of nutrition. I need to stress that the degree im doing is kept extreamly up to date (no final year is alike because this feild of study changes so fast they alter the course material to keep us all up to date). My point is that the "calories in..." and "6 portions of carbs a day" thories are still highly favoured.

Im not claiming that if everyone followed the same diet we'd all be slim because yes, the body is extreamly complex. However, i do believe we should all follow these basic principles to give us the best chance of healthy living. I understand that other conditions such as diabetes will mean that the diet needs to be tweaked a bit.

I think the reson some people complain these methods dont work is because so much food is highly processed these days, for instance, pasta. I really do think it is one of the best things you can eat for energy but i myself hardly touch it anymore because its so processed

Anyway, I've blabed long enough now
Jo

 
Old 08-03-2004, 06:28 AM   #13
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

Jo, I think its important to make some distinctions in the "calorie in/out" discussion. There is absolutely no problem with this theory, in fact it is ENTIRELY correct, that the human body will lose weight if it expends more energy than what is consumed. The problem lies when the focus is entirely on the "Calorie In" while the "Calorie Out" factor is ignored, which is all too often the case.

I criticizie the formulas that imply that if you reduce your "Calorie In" by 3500 you will lose 1 pound. This is a ludicrous interpretation of what is otherwise an important theory. It is based on a theoretical formula that assumes the body is a perfect machine (and that all bodies are the same). It also leads people to alter their diets in ways that do not make sense and are quite unhealthy. For example, if a person was consuming 1500 calories, applying that formula implies that if that person ate 1000 calories for 1 week they would lose 1 pound. There is not one expert on the face of this planet that would recommend that course of action!

It is essential that when applying the "Calorie In vs Calorie Out" factor, that the "Calorie Out" be thoroughly explored. How a body expends energy (burns calories) varies from person to person, depending on many factors including age, height, weight, activity, quality of food eaten, general health, metabolic performance, and toxic load. This can be quite complex, which is why so many people prefer to look to calorie consumption for their answer. It is also why typical diets that focus ONLY on calorie consumption often fail.

I write often about the importance of healing and strengthening the metabolism, regulating glucose levels, detoxifying and hydrating the body, and optimizing liver function. These are critical components that effect a person's burn rate. The fact is that knowing how many calories your body needs to function is quite important, but empowering your body to burn those calories efficiently is what will ultimately lead to success with weight loss.

 
Old 08-03-2004, 11:57 AM   #14
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

Thanks, Jo

And jd, I agree with the calories theory. But like you said, it all depends on how many calories work for each individual. For example, I keep a steady but healthy-paced weight loss from eating between 1300-1500 calories a day, no more than that. But John Doe next door who weighs a good 250 pounds, mostly from muscle because he works out and weight-trains on a regular basis, couldn't survive on that. So to tell both me AND John Doe that we have to cut 500 calories a day from our diets to lose weight would be completely unrealistic. You have to find your OWN calorie ratio before you can know how many to safely cut or add. And I'm assuming that many people don't do this.

I did my own research to find out how many calories someone like me needs per day to maintain my current weight, based on my weight, height, age, sex and activity level. From that I subtracted 500 calories. And it's working for me just fine. I'm consistently and gradually losing weight at a healthy pace, usually about 1-2 pounds per week.

Nobody can tell me that the calorie theory doesn't work. Why would they even SAY it doesn't work, it's a no-brainer. If you take in more calories than your body needs, you gain weight. If you take in fewer calories than your body needs, you lose weight. It's as simple as that, it's not rocket science. I'm living proof that when you deprive yourself of food, the weight falls off, at an alarming rate. Friends and family kept telling me I was too skinny. So I started eating again and now I'm FAT!

I'm getting the weight back off again, but I'm doing it in a much healthier way. Healthy food, exercise, and a sufficient amount of calories.

 
Old 08-03-2004, 12:19 PM   #15
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Re: The best advice I have come across regarding low-carb vs. low fat, etc.

It is only safe to subtract 500 calories from your daily calorie intake if your basal metabolic rate is 2500 or more. If your BMR is lower, then subtracting 500 calories is placing your body in starvation mode, and your metabolism will weaken and your burn rate will slow down.

The safest way to diet is to subtract 10% from the BMR, although for those who are seriously obese or who do not make other adjustments that effect the "calorie out" factor, a 15-20% reduction is acceptable. This means that if your BMR is 2000 calories, you should be eating in the range of 1600-1800 calories for safe and effective dieting. Anything lower than that will hinder your results and jeopardize your health.

Remember, that the 500 calorie defecit does NOT need to come only from an intake reduction. If you burn 250 additional calories, then you only need to cut back 250 calories from the diet to realize a 500 calorie deficit.

Many people can lose weight effectively WITHOUT reducing caloric intake at all - by focusing strictly on improving their burn rate. This can be accomplished many ways, exercise being the most obvious, but also by increasing water consumption, reducing toxic exposure (in both food AND environment), and eating a healthier, more balance diet.

LV, I don't know what your BMR is, so this is not directed at you. I am assuming that you have already determined for yourself an appropriate calorie intake level for safe dieting.

 
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