las

Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”
~ Charles Darwin (it's evolutionary baybeee!)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Best Diet & Fitness Regime for Health, Weight Loss

There's a nice conversation going on in the comments of my last post about the state of the nutrition and fitness communities.   One comment exchange just summed it all up and struck me as a "Nail ... Head" moment.  Before I highlight it, let's all think for a moment why we're in this in the first place.  For me?  I achieved significant but not complete weight loss and vastly improved health eating a pretty clean (no frankenfoods) VLC-based diet with planned cheats on those "normal" foods I enjoyed eating from time to time.  When the weight plateaued out, I wanted mostly to assure myself that the way I was eating was going to be healthy for me in the long haul.  And I've shared many of those concerns here before.  Regardless of how I felt, there was always this nagging concern over the shift of the distribution of where I carried the fat that remained, as well as racing heart issues I had experienced a prior stint eating this way.


And so I started reading, and reading, and reading .... aaaaaand reading.  I wanted to assure myself that my chosen diet/lifestyle was the healthiest for me, or at least the healthiest one I could follow with reasonable enjoyment of life.  I've found a few answers.  I'm still seeking others, and I hope to never stop doing that.  I try to blog and share what I find in the hopes it helps some others as well.  I get asked from time to time how I'm eating now, what diet I suggest, etc.  I'm reticent to give out advice in that area, because what worked for me worked only to a point, and it may not work for you.  For example, I don't believe in a biochemical/physiological food addiction so I think a planned "cheat" style approach is pretty much *the* answer to recovering from yo-yo dieting and making those lasting lifestyle changes necessary to succeed regardless of the "diet" one chooses.   Some will say "oh I can never eat just one whatever" ...  Maybe it's just my pipe dream to believe that we all can if we change our conscious thinking.  With all the focus on autonomic hypotheses of obesity, the reality gets obscured.  Whether it's carbs, or NAD's, or high-reward foods, or sweet, or salty, or chocolate, or whatever ... the bottom line is that eventually we have the power to control our CHOICE of foods to put in our mouths.  If I'm ravenously hungry, I can still choose a real food over junk foods.  

OK, back to the point.  Here's the exchange:
bentleyj74:  I get the impression that overeating is the single known universal equalizer. Bad no matter what you eat or how you eat it.  A person could walk away from that information pretty confident that the right diet for them is the one that they eat a calorie deficit on rather than having what they eat become their identity.
Muata:  Like Lerner I laughed too when I read this, but then I stopped because this is exactly what's wrong with the online "diet" community.

It's no longer about finding a "style of eating" that causes you to consume less (without starving yourself), yet provide your body with a variety of nutrients ... no, it's about whose latest and greatest diet (or research) is now THE way, THE truth, and THE light!
The problem with this myopic approach is that how we eat (and train) changes as we get older. Which means that we are going to have to consistently experiment and get to know our bodies and what works best on an individual basis.
Unfortunately, when, as bentleyj74 notes, a person places their "self-worth/identity" into following a particular diet plan, then there is no room for mistakes, and no room for growth.
Rock on Muata!  Yes, yes, yes!!!  Although the likes of Jimmy Moore and Co. constantly chant that we should "find what works for you", the message coming from that wing doesn't reflect that sentiment.  When your dogma has devolved into thinking that a VLC diet is the only one acceptable for all diabetics, heck, everyone should be eating VLC, and implying not too subtly that the Jaminets are irresponsible for attaching the word "safe" to starches, you don't get to fall back on that out.  

I have said for a while that what works best for weight loss may not be what is the best prescription for what keeps us from gaining weight in the first place.  I've expanded my view on this too, that what worked once for weight loss, and even maintenance of those losses, may not be what is best for our health as we age and change.  I think that last pill is a bitter one to swallow for someone who has "found a way".   The minor changes I've implemented in the past year or so were difficult, and somewhat scary at first, and I came from a position where (a) before I even embarked on this effort in 2007 I had disabused myself of Atkins keto-magic myths, and (b) had only been doing this for 3-4 years.  Still, my new habits -- that lifestyle change that is the elusive key to lasting weight loss -- were hard to reconsider.  It is my personal belief, that in weight maintenance, extreme carbohydrate restriction is not optimal for overall health.  The evidence, be it epidemiological, from the peer-review research, or even the verifiable anecdotes, just doesn't point in that direction ... not even close.  To the extent that whatever I write here is to be construed as advice, that's where I stand.

Be it vegetarian, vegan, Ornish, Oz, Pritikin, Atkins, Zone, Optimal, some variation of VLC, paleo, primal, etc. etc., the problem, as Muata states, is the promotion of *ONE WAY* being the "best".   Sorry Mark Sisson, but your quote to Jimmy a while back about it being "all about the buy in" is so very wrong.  It's exactly the opposite of what we should strive for.  Promote your plans as a way for individuals to achieve health and well being, but please, can you take down that ridiculous graphic from your blog that claims >150g/day carb will lead to insidious weight gain?  C'mon!!  

I focus less on exercise here at the Asylum, but the same occurs in that realm.  Whether it be this nonsense of Taubes that exercise is useless for weight loss because it just makes you hungry, or this notion that 15 min/week of slow lifting can replace taking a walk every day, or that HIIT is "the" best exercise, etc.etc.  It serves (a) to confuse, and (b) to keep people from just moving more at all.  Everyone seems to agree that exercise of some sort is essential for health -- why are so many, then, discouraging people from exercising in a manner that suits them?  Overtraining is real, but when I see folks exercising 3 hrs/week being told that they might be overtraining and cortisol is stalling their weight loss, I just wanna scream!

What is the *best* diet and fitness regime for you?  WHATEVER WORKS!    At this point I have pretty much no patience for what people tell me I shouldn't eat or do because it will do XYZ to me.  Find what works for you to normalize your appetite so life doesn't revolve around food, and maximizes your energy levels and other feelings of well-being.  You can be your own revolutionary rebel by just doing what works for you.  Shout it from the rooftops when it does, but don't fall into the trap of advocating it as *the* answer for everyone else.   I hope you'll use blogs such as this one as sources of information to help figure out your own individual methods.

Lastly, we change as we age.  There's no getting around that.  The best advice I can give is never, never, pigeon-hole yourself into advocacy of an inflexible lifestyle.  I don't need to name names here of the various and several who have done just that.   For a rare few, perhaps, as LynMarie Daye blogged, Maybe For Some People, Dieting Has To Be Like A Religion.  For a rare few ....  For the rest of us, it's a trap.  Try not to fall into it.

Eat Less (however you do that), Move More (however you do that)
Live long and prosper.  ~Spock

81 comments:

Newell Wright said...

My Stages of Low Carb Disenchantment:

1) Weight Watchers works. Oh, wait, I regained!
2) Read Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes.
3) Oh my goodness!!! I lost 11 pounds this week! Taubes is sooooo right! This book changed my life.
4) It is not my fault I am fat; I have a broken metabolism! I don't need to count calories or exercise, and all carbs are bad! Cut carbs and get the insulin out of my system!
5) Did I mention that all carbs are fattening?
6) VLC is a MAGIC BULLET. It cures diabetes, helps me sleep better, causes weight loss, helps epileptics, can cure cancer, helps with fertility, and EVERYONE should live this way.
7) What's this? I've stalled! Taubes, what do I do? What, no answer? I've lost 60 pounds, but you're telling me I have to stay 45 pounds above my goal weight?
8) Maybe VLC is NOT a magic bullet. Time to re-examine my beliefs. Weight Watchers took me all the way to goal, but VLC stalls.
8) Uh oh, it appears I was snookered. Taubes is a theorist, not an empiricist and he misrepresents the literature.
9) Just because cutting carbs helps overturn obesity doesn't mean that carbs CAUSE obesity.
10) There are good carbs (e.g., "safe" starches; note the scare quotes) and bad carbs (e.g., HFCS); good proteins (e.g., meat) and bad proteins (e.g., gluten); good fats (e.g. coconut oil, lard) and bad fats (e.g., hyper-processed seed oils). It's not about the macronutrients, it's about the quality of food you eat.
11) Calories DO count and exercise is important.
12) Wow, Paul Jaminet is A LOT smarter than Taubes. And who is this Carbsane person to whom Jaminet links on his blog?
13) Time to follow some sane advice and eat rice, potatoes, and bananas again. What's this? My blood sugars didn't shoot through the roof?
14) Wow, Carbsane takes down my one-time heroes: Moore, Eades, Taubes, Carpender, Bernstein, Rosedale, Mercola, and others. Entertaining, but fact based.
15) Time to join the asylum.
16) Now slowly losing the rest of my weight by cutting excess fat (big epiphany: PHD is already high fat, without having to add in any additional fat), counting calories, and exercising.
17) There is no ONE diet that is right for everyone.
18) Gary Taubes and others have a lot of wrong-headed and even dangerous ideas about weight loss that are messing up a generation of people struggling with weight.

That's my current thinking. It was hard for me to eat that first portion of rice, that first banana. But I am glad I did. Still below 150 grams of carbs per day, but I am glad I only did VLC for about seven months before seeing the light.

Quarrel said...

Thank Ev,

I appreciate your sanity on these issues. I lost weight (23kg or ~50 pounds) on VLC this year - not from a horribly high weight, but weight I could stand losing. I'm now a relatively lean 72kg (~160 pounds) @ 6'1". I'd never tried any sort of diet before, was always a lean person until my recent years of too much travel & stress for work and too much crap food + alcohol. I found losing the weight very easy. I now realise that this is because I never got obese, and never suffered any particular (or at least obvious yet) damage.

I read GCBC and was like, wow - it all makes sense. I can see the light! (I think my wife rolled her eyes far too many times at me in the week or so I was reading Taubes stuff)

Luckily I'm a bit of a geek, and tend to keep searching for answers (I have a Phd in Science, even if it isn't in a Bio/Med field). I pretty quickly realised that Taubes had heaps of references in his works, but very few of them modern and mostly railing against the establishment. While I'm not in these fields, I have a pretty high regard for academics, so kinda figured that modern biochemists/neurobiologists probably had SOME CLUE. I quickly found Stephan at WHS, dropping what were then just cryptic hints as to the problems with Taubes, but later became explicit rebuttals!

(and I think from the comments there found you!)

I now eat a very PHD-like diet (I'm more relaxed about legumes as I've found the arguments against them to be unpersuasive to-date, but other than that pretty compliant except for still drinking too much Scotch at times :).

Anyway, all this is somewhat to say, thanks - you've helped expand my ever growing knowledge of the area. It is exactly your sort of rational investigation that is needed, and a realistic approach that can allow most people to find a real answer that works for them.

I would just raise one point you mention:

> I don't believe in a biochemical/physiological food addiction

I don't believe in these either, but I do worry that many people (not me, so this is pure speculation based on the writings of the blogosphere) suffer from psychological food addictions. However, most of the paleosphere is mired in a biochem/physiological viewpoint and I think that quite a few people would be better off being treated with Cognitive Behavioural Theraphy or similar psych treatments for their issues. Many people, however successful on the outside, suffer real issues and choose often bizarre outlets to seek to deal with these issues. Jimmy et al may actually be better dealing with their issues in psych therapy than finding an AMAZING physiologic breakthrough. I suspect they wouldn't be very open to such advice however ... Jimmy will probably never find exactly the diagnostic test he seeks, telling him he's broken & this is the fix ... He probably needs a sit down with an Emily Deans more than a random MD.


--Q

Mzlittlekitten said...

Too true.

Quarrel said...

Newell,

Wow @ your steps! Amazing how many of them I went on!

However, I'd particularly agree with #12. The Jaminet's are sponges sucking up the currently knowledge and not appearing to bring too big an agenda to the table and then disseminating it to us in a clear and coherent fashion.

I *HATE* the snide attacks on Paul as just a Physicist- attack the argument, not the man. *AND* it smacks of chauvinism, as the book/approach is written by two people, and Shou-Ching's credentials as a molecular biologist @ Harvard seem pretty damn legit and above reproach in a bio* sense.

Finding the PHD site was a great awakening for me. That said, like you, I still *mostly* eat relatively low carbs (by SAD standards) day-in day-out. I find myself having to really try to add in rice/potato/sweet potato etc to a meal.


--Q

Mzlittlekitten said...

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Tonus said...

I think that Newell and Quarrel touched on two of the factors that I think are at play; confirmation bias and our desire for simple solutions to vexing problems.

The person who clings to an idea fanatically will use a double-standard that is glaringly obvious, even to himself. The fact that this doesn't bother him is what makes him a fanatic. So when Person A makes a claim that he agrees with, he implores us to look beyond the lack of qualifications and focus on the message. When Person B makes a claim that he does not agree with, then Person B is "just a physicist, not a nutritionist." Or Person B just a scientist, and they're all liars.

The desire for simple, easy-to-implement solutions to difficult problems is, IMO, a deeply-ingrained human trait. We see it all the time in response to crime, when there is a call for the banning of video games, or porn magazines, or violent song lyrics. The idea is that if we simply remove this one factor, we can solve a very serious problem. The suggestion that there may be other alternatives which require more effort and thought on their part is unwelcome-- they've got better things to do!

LC is one of what are probably dozens of dietary magic bullets. How many times have we seen a diet pitched as "eat as much as you want of the foods you love and still lose weight and look and feel terrific!?" The pitch works, because we want so badly for it to work that we'll skew everything in its favor and make excuses for it when it fails.

Thomas said...

I posted a while back about my thoughts on over eating being the primary NAD. I think it was Kurt Harris (whom I respect a lot) who refuted my idea, but I still think it is at least one of the biggest problems when it comes to increasing health (and still a primary NAD). I've asked in the past, is it better to over-consume a very healthy diet or under-consume the SAD? I'm not sure the former is the sure bet correct answer, at least in the short term. Both the guy who went on the "twinkie" diet and Tom Naughton at Fathead are evidence that the latter may be correct.

Many diet and exercise gurus operate purely on a philosophical basis-their ideas look good on paper and possibly in the lab. This makes for very interesting papers and blog posts that offer "the answer" that should apply to everyone. Reality often pains a different picture, however, since we aren't all robots: without emotions, without need for variety and without personal experiences and a physiology that shape our individuality.

ejazz1 said...

I too have believed in " What is the *best* diet and fitness regime for you? WHATEVER WORKS!" ever since I lost weight when I was diagnosed with type 2. When I started to check out the diabetes forums a few months ago I was surprised by the following low carb has. I understand their frustration being diabetic and having trouble controlling this disease and their frustration towards the medical establishment for recommending only one nutritional plan that does not work for some. But then members of the low carb community become guilty of the very same behavior by advocating low carb is the only way to eat if you want to control diabetes and in the process may be giving out bad advice to a newly diagnosed person who is struggling with diabetes. I've followed the dash diet plan along with moderate exercise. I considered Atkins, South Beach and other low carb plans at the time but the whole idea of eliminating most or all carbs did not appeal to me. I don't have a science background but the idea behind dash is eating a low sodium diet, whole foods, fruits vegetables, whole grains, lean meats & fish and no processed packaged foods, eliminating refined white flour products and sugar made sense to someone with the health problems I had. I recently read Stephan Guyenet's blog on Implementing a Simple Food Diet, many of the points he mentioned in the blog I did when I started the dash diet. The major differences is that I restricted calories while I lost weight and in the dash diet there is a more emphasis on whole grains.

Galina L. said...

Many people who went on LC were long-time dieters, and experienced straddle of choosing between being hungry and slim (often temporally) or enjoying their food and gaining weight gradually. At list now I can not regain weight without feeling deprived. I feel gratitude toward the people who raised my awareness toward carbo-components of my diet.It doesn't look like a magic bullet now, but still like a corner-stone. I honestly can't hold it against Dr. Eades that he can't tell me about each step I suppose to take in order to stay at healthy weight. He pushed me in a right direction without giving answers on all questions. It is my job to sort all information out. Probably by now at our mature age we all should stop looking for magic solution of complex problems anywhere in life. There is no magic solutions for economy, for curing cancer, for creating perfect medical system.

Chris said...

Newell.....ditto on most of those points.

Kurt G. Harris MD said...

@Thomas

"I posted a while back about my thoughts on over eating being the primary NAD. I think it was Kurt Harris (whom I respect a lot) who refuted my idea, but I still think it is at least one of the biggest problems when it comes to increasing health (and still a primary NAD). I've asked in the past, is it better to over-consume a very healthy diet or under-consume the SAD? "

If I recall correctly, my only disagreement was in thinking it more appropriate to label excess food reward a NAD than labeling energy excess itself the NAD.

I do think energy excess is the final common pathway to obesity and metabolic syndrome, even if there may be other DOCs that occur without energy excess or obesity.

But we would be in complete agreement that as far as obesity and met syn that it IS better to eat the SAD and be normal weight than to be morbidly obese and by inference in massive energy excess.

Rationalizing lack of fat loss by crowing about labs, or food quality or even exercise is a big mistake. If you can't lose fat and you know you need to. you must suck it up and do what it takes, even if it involves bland goo through a straw or a protein sparing fast. It WILL be harder for the long time obese than for the never fat. It WILL require will power and suffering of some kind for some people.

This is the message no one want to hear, and why Stephan Guyenet is a pariah in low carb land and even parts of the paleosphere. Both the church of LC and paleo believe in magic when it comes to fat loss - LC believes in low carb and paleo believes in food quality. J Stanton and even Paul Jaminet think that if your nutrient needs are met that your brain is unlikely to seek succor in excess tasty food.

But this argument makes no more sense to me than saying the well nourished should not be susceptible to gambling, cigarettes or cocaine. Some people eat for stimulation or entertainment. It really is that simple.

And clinically, the failures I see on Archevore are almost universally food obsessed and prone to create tasty treats from allowed paleo ingredients.

The chief insanity that has evolved in LC land like Jimmy Moore's blog - is the idea that LC is healthy per se - that eating low carb and having "good labs" is healthier than high carb EVEN IF YOU DO NOT LOSE FAT.

As far as Jimmy's calcium score? He was only in his mid-30's when he had it measured! You can be destined for a massive MI and have a zero score when you are that young, because only a small fraction of the plaque is calcified and it takes time for the calcium to accumulate enough to be detectable. If he tests it again when he is my age (50) and it is still zero, then I may be more impressed.

The belief in food quality* in the paleo realm makes some sense to me, but believing food quality is nothing but the absence of "carbs"and that you are healthy weighing 300 lbs and eating paleo lemon bars because you are low carb is just nuts.

* I adhere to such beliefs myself as I think obesity is only one several DOCS and there is more to health than how fat you are - My butter is all pastured and I avoid vegetable fats regardless of their lack of obesigenicity. But I think eating junk food and being thin IS healthier than eating clean paleo in energy excess.

Sanjeev said...

I read a couple of parts of the much ballyhooed Stanton series and could not stomach it.

He makes great hay in the comments section out of the 'JUST ONE BLOGGER" who's pushing the reward idea, as if no scientists (JUST ONE BLOGGER) actually produced the mountain of work Stephan's quoting.

The cited supportive studies I looked up are the one-day-usually-much-shorter type that prime subjects then test how much they eat over the next few hours. The same type of study that more readily supports and resulted in the volumetrics plan, yet he HATES that.

And what appears to be his key point appears supported by ONE study. ONE.

So ... why doesn't everyone with any kind of deficiency eat to excess and get obese? Why haven't they historically?

Paul Jaminet claims to have had scurvy on low carb. Why was he not obese? He had SCURVY ... wounds don't heal properly, teeth fall out ... SCURVY (!!!!!!!) how do I emphasize it enough? why was he not MASSIVELY obese?

All the women who are iron deficiency anemic - why are they not ALL obese?

All the vegetarians who are B12 deficient (every single one according to some anti-vegetarian sources) - why are they not ALL obese?

The widespread pellagra in the southern US in the 1800s - why were they not all obese?

Why does iodine deficiency result in goiter instead of obesity? Iodine deficiency used to be widespread, yet how many were obese?

All those who are allegedly Vitamin D deficient - apparently EVERYONE outside the tropics - why are we not ALL obese? In the US, many of the states/cities with the highest obesity (ever visit Houston?) have the most sunshine (population least likely to be vitamin D deficient).

All those Brit sailors who got scurvy - they had enough calories usually to become obese - why didn't they?

Trawl your history books to discover your own cases. There's probably thousands more of the above statements, historical cases of widespread deficiency in some nutrient (but sufficient calories for obesity to result), and no reported widespread obesity.

One study to counter the massive available information that deficiencies generally do NOT lead to obesity.

If someone with a proven track record of skepticism in this area (Evelyn, Lyle, Colpo, Krieger ...) tells me my cursory look at Stanton's wrong I'll look deeper, but until then ... the proposal/suggestion/guess (can't even call it a theory) Doesn't even pass a simple reality check.

Sanjeev said...

yes, there are dietary sources of vitamin D, as Petro D. pointed out in his post on the vegetarian Arabs in Scotland.

oh, yeah ... if anyone has a source showing that population was notably obese, please link to it or cite the dead tree version.

Kurt G. Harris MD said...

@Sanjeev

Your points are all excellent. Not only has obesity usually NOT been seen in most deficiency states, but as I said I've seen plenty of people who eat high quality nutritious food and pile on the junk in addition. We are supposed to believe they are all deficient in something?

That has the virtue of being totally unfalsifiable, I suppose, as one can always postulate a shortage of something, even something we don't know exists yet.....

It is as if the idea that there is an adipostat is "unproven", yet there is no problem believing there is a "stat" for every conceivable micronutrient and vitamin. We will blindly eat in an attempt to remedy the deficiency as long as we are deficient.

I am willing to believe we seek calories, protein and maybe salt, but beyond that I need to see more proof.

Food quality (lack of deficiencies) is important for health independent of obesity and metsyn, but not likely to be determinant in the case of obesity, unless FR is considered to be the main element of quality...

Sarah Barracuda said...

Thanks so much for this post, Evelyn. Not just for being a first-rate scientist, but GETTING it.

I eat diet low-ish in reward because it saves me from thinking about when or how much or what to eat. I have a few go-to foods/meals that I enjoy, but which I'll hardly want to eat out of boredom. And interestingly enough, mindless food planning leads to more mindfulness in the eating itself; one really does become a lot more aware of tastes when it's not overstimulating.

Same with exercise. I DON'T CARE precisely what muscles my pullups or squats work, or for some gawd-awesome periodization scheme that will triple my strength in 6 weeks. It suffices that I choose non-fuckarounditisy exercises and do my reps honestly.

And while I'm at it, I never understood the whole concept behind Paleohacks. I mean, isn't the very concept of 'paleo' supposed to be a LIFE hack? Shouldn't it make your life easier, rather than impel you to go on this forum where everyone's obsessing how to do things the 'paleo way'? I admire people like Evelyn who have the stomach to wade through the morass and set the zillion bad apples straight.

@ Kurt - I think part of 'believing in the magic of ___' is a victimization mentality. It's the carbs [fault], or it's the (classic) NAD's, implies that it is not the eater. Because palatability inherently has a degree of subjectivity (I sincerely hate bacon), it's intuitively harder to say that it's the food's fault for being too rewarding--even though that's actually what Stephan says in his editorializing! And that's why we have people like an obese LCer on Paleohacks who literally said, "Guyenet is just calling us obese people gluttons." ...Did I mention how much I cannot stomach that site? P.S. Do that many of your problem cases make paleo lemon bars? 'cause that seems like your go-to example ;)

@Sanjeev - Word on your characterization of J Stanton and his series. Not only does it smack of superciliousness towards Stephan, but it's the most monumental hand-waving I've ever encountered in quite a large blogospheric radius. And he calls Stephan's definitions, etc. shaky? Go spend another 2 weeks combing through Stephan's series and then get back to me, buddy.

Sarah Barracuda said...

@ Kurt - "We are supposed to believe they are all deficient in something?"

I take that to have been a rhetorical question, but I'll answer it. Yes--but probably not in anything physiological. I think some people really need to google 'can you stay for dinner' and read the sidebar post 'what I miss from 135lbs ago' and notice the main content of the blog (not linking because I don't want to send trolls over there).

A snippet: "I miss that feeling I had when every fiber of my anatomy believed food to be the kindest, most loving spirit a girl could know."

Steph said...

As for deficiencies and overeating, just my experience:

I've had OCD since I was a girl, and obsessive binging and dieting seemed to go hand in hand with that. Within a week or so of starting the PHD supplement recommendations, my OCD symptoms were greatly reduced, and my urge to binge as well. (I think it may be the selenium in particular that is helping so much.)

Also re: food addictions, Evelyn, I would have sworn to you that I had a sugar addiction, until one day you wrote something like, "If you really have a sugar addiction, why aren't you reaching into that bag of plain sugar?" Which I wasn't, it was the sugar/fat combination that called to me. So it wasn't an addiction, but something else... Again, going PHD really helped, and in particular, eating potatoes really kicked the sugar cravings to the curb. (Last week I made a batch of brown rice syrup butter toffee - so good, it pulled out a filling and was still worth it - but it doesn't call to me, and the bag is still full and I've not wanted to touch it for three days. This is new for me.)

Anyway, this is just my experience. At the end of the day, to be healthy I need to eat as many or few calories than I burn, and for me in the past that's meant restraint and will power, but these days I require much less of those. And pretty much all that's changed is adding starches and supplements.

Steph said...

Oh! In in the spirit of your post, if and when spuds and supplements stop working, I'll find what does, even if it's saltines and hot dogs. Thank you as always for your good common sense.

Kurt G. Harris MD said...

@Sarah

"I take that to have been a rhetorical question, but I'll answer it. Yes--but probably not in anything physiological."

I was going to say something like "love and attention", but held back..

Sue said...

Couldn't certain nutritional deficiencies influence satiety?

Mzlittlekitten said...

steph i had the same experience when eat even a small amount of potatoes my sugar/starch cravings dissapear.

Josh said...

Nutritional deficiencies may not have any direct influence on satiety but could possibly influence homeostasis in the brain through other mechanisms e.g. magnesium's influence on neurotransmitters and blood-brain barrier permeability.

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi Sanjeev,

Glad you picked up on that. J. Stanton has been waging a cold war on Whole Health Source, haha. He likes to make passive aggressive comments about "certain bloggers" who are too attached to a "career building hypothesis" to be unbiased, or who drop too many references... This stuff is totally absurd, particularly since I don't study food reward professionally; I write about it in my spare time on my free blog with no ads.

It's amazing how much negativity I've received over the food reward ideas, compared to other things I've written about. Interestingly, I've gradually noticed that it's almost all coming from dyed in the wool low-carbers (although there are also many low-carbers who find the idea compelling). I see people coming up with total nonsense just to find some way to disagree (e.g., "it's circular", "he's calling us gluttons", etc.). It's not exactly rocket science to think that people might eat more of food that tastes better... it's just common sense that has been backed up by science. I think it's much easier to believe for people who have not already been strongly steeped in a particular dietary philosophy... when I explained it to my girlfriend, she basically said "duh". It was much easier for her to accept than it was for me initially.

I think one of the reasons why most of the resistance is coming from the LC community is because I exposed Taubes. Unfortunately, that little spat coincided with my writing on food reward. Not that Evelyn and others hadn't exposed Taubes already, but I'm more of an "insider" so it was different.

I agree with you and Kurt that there is not much compelling evidence that people eat to fulfill nutritional needs, outside of a few basic things like energy and protein. Essentially the only human study I know of that supports that idea is the micronutrient supplementation study in Chinese participants where they lost some weight. Ironically, I was the first blogger I'm aware of of to report that study, but J. Stanton cites it often. The more I think about that study, the less sense it makes. There are probably hundreds of studies where participants were given multi-micronutrient supplements, and I'm pretty sure fat loss is not generally observed. We would have figured this out a long time ago. The Chinese study is a puzzling isolated finding.

As you and Kurt both mentioned, you can come up with many examples of nutrient deficiency where obesity was not observed. The fact is, most Americans have a good micronutrient status compared to many other leaner populations around the world, and this can not always be explained by insufficient food supply in the leaner nations. I'm not saying our micronutrient status is optimal in the US, but you can find a lot of other places where it is much worse, e.g. Africans who eat practically nothing but millet or cassava, and are typically lean.

Thank you Evelyn, for doing what you do here. And thanks to Kurt, Sanjeev and many of the other people who hang out here for being rational intelligent people (whether or not you agree with what I write). This place is definitely a "sane asylum" from all the internet science abuse baloney.

Sue said...

Thanks Josh.

Thomas said...

@Stephen Guynet-You forgot my favorite complaint toward you when you've confidently refuted some of these silly LC claims: That your "tone" is disappointing. Gag!!

Those who say that about your comments (that are almost always very reserved) need to have their head examined. In fact, you could stand to be more like Dr. Harris in your tone as far as I'm concerned. It's far more entertaining-I always loved reading his responses.

Craig in CT said...

Great series of comments. I particularly like Newell's Stages of Discontent.

My path is very similar to his: gained a bunch of weight in my late 30's, then struggled for 15 years to get it off. Finally succeeded by following a low carb/paleo kind of diet, only to plateau about 15 lbs short of my goal. I'm now at his stage 13, adding back some starches and having my A1C get better. I hope I can pull off stage 16, and shed that final 10 lbs.

Stephan Guyenet said...

Hi Thomas,

Thanks. I have tried to stay reserved for the most part. It is ironic that people are complaining about the tone of the writing on my free blog, particularly a post responding to one of the most arrogant people in the diet-health world. I hold my tongue a lot-- if I really spoke my mind, I could do a lot more damage to Taubes than I have so far, but that's not my goal and I'd rather not do it. I don't have any desire to take him down personally, but if he wants to be a masochist I'm happy to whoop him again.

foodteacher said...

Evelyn,
Sanity, thank you.

Dawn said...

I also thought Newell's Stages were excellent and they pretty much echo my own journey, with the exception that my whole exploration of the topic has less to do with weight and more with diabetes management. (I had three gestational diabetic pregnancies and am now stuck in "pre-diabetic" territory. No drugs at this point.) Like Evelyn, body composition is also an issue for me. I only carry roughly 3 kg of extra weight but a lot of it is in my waist, which can't be a good thing.

I went VLC a-la-Bernstein for about a year, with encouraging glucose results. Read GCBC and figured I'd "found the answer." But I also noticed my fasting numbers creeping up despite my very careful eating habits, and was shocked at what my meter told me when I had a small excursion from the eating plan(one home-baked cookie after a meal spiked me to 180?).

So I actually Googled "debunk Taubes" because I wanted to find alternative voices and landed here. Sure glad I did.

At this point I'm continuing to learn about the best approach for my own situation (definitely more exercise and possibly talking to the doctor about trying some metformin while eating a more safe-starch but generally LC diet are my current thoughts).

As an academic editor who reads a lot of research papers (medicine, sociology, education) I have good BS detectors and can recognize the disingenuity and self-serving hype among the more commercialized LC bloggers. What's sad is that most "seekers of the truth" are not equipped to do this, and the falsehoods and misunderstandings just rumble along of their own accord, leaving behind a lot of damage in their wake. The actual science of human metabolism is vast and complicated, so your average Joe/Jill really needs someone to interpret it for them. Let's hope those seekers start finding better guides than they have so far.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

@Newell -- Great! Loved that. If you can cut it down to 12 Steps I think you'll have a book ;)

@Q: I blogged on my personal blog about what a comment Taubes once made in a Q&A of one of his lectures -- it was his fantasy that those treating anorexia would recognize it as a disorder of fat accumulation (or non-accumulation) and basically shoot 'em up with insulin, problem solved. The person he probably does the greatest disservice to in his books, IMO, is Hilde Bruche (sp? being lazy). She wrote a book with Obesity and Eating Disorder in the title, yet we are to believe she would basically buy into Taubes' theories. Long story short, not all, but many obese are that way because somewhere along the line the relationship with food went out of whack. And there's no better way for that to happen than to go on one's first diet -- it's how it happened to me. TWICHOO allows many an out not to deal with what underlies many of our situations. When I've been really hungry, I find I eat fast, perhaps even too much or certainly past the point of normal fullness. But it's NOT even close to what a binge is. Folks can fashion some insulin based theory with reactive hypoglycemia and all that. No doubt this happens to some people, but also no doubt it doesn't happen to near the people who've convinced themselves that must be it!

@Kurt & Sanjeev, re: deficiencies. Spot on! And there are certainly paleo and real-food low carbers who go off on binges as well. Presumably on their "diets" these people have apparently rectified the situation. Heck, Jimmy Moore takes a veritable boatload of supplements in addition to his "healthy high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet". Still, one time he was not satiated until he ate the 25th chicken wing!! Deficiency?

@Stephan: Thanks! I noticed the "dissy" mentions by J in his series and thought it strange at the time. I take a lot of flack for blogging about what other bloggers say at times, but if you're going to address something someone else has written, why not make no bones about who and what you are addressing? His mitochondrial mayhem doesn't hold water. In a perfect world, when folks start gaining weight they could merely change the foods they eat and naturally and likely somewhat slowly return to a lean state. In reality I think too many of us override the homeostasis. Can we get it back? That's the million dollar question.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Welcome Josh! (Hope that's not a repeat) I think you and Sue are correct that deficiencies can contribute to the problem, but in some cases it seems the obesity to a degree comes first leading to deficiency/defect leading to a metabolic milieu that exacerbates the situation. But the deficiency didn't cause it to begin with. I've got a post in the hopper regarding VitD and Mg discussing this.

@Sarah: Thanks :) Yes, that "victim mentality" is pervasive in LC Community. Everyone got fat because the government put forth the low fat food pyramid and they adhered to that to a tee and were fooled! Yeah, right. I don't see Coke and Little Debbies on there!

@Galina: I have another blog post in the works on the romanticizing of LC that will address (I think) some of the issues you raise.

@Steph: That really cuts to it doesn't it. I think it's a self fulfilling prophecy -- be good on diet, totally abstain from evil food, have one bite of evil food, your self-assigned trigger food, binge ensues. Food caused binge. Rinse repeat. Been there, done that more times than I care to admit.

@Dawn & Craig: Thanks for sharing your experiences

@Thomas: I get such a kick out of all the "well meaning" folks who complain about Stephan's tone. LOL. Pretty soon they'll complain about Paul's! I've had my fair share of advice about how I should write here on this blog. If I'd taken it I don't suppose we'd be at this point.

@Dawn: It is disheartening at times that with folks like Kurt and Stephan "going to the dark side", who as Stephan says are "insiders" of sorts, there are still so many who cling to Taubes' theories. I never intended this blog to have so much debunking on it, it just sort of worked out that way. In a way I guess I'm grateful for the junk sci gurus because they have prompted me to research far beyond the point where I otherwise would have and I've learned a great deal that is helpful to me (and hopefully others).

If I've left anyone out in responding, my apologies! Off to have a "day off" with the hubby. :)

Mirrorball said...

I just want to thank everybody, Evelyn and all the commenters, for this wonderful blog and comments. It's one of the best things I've read recently, lots of insights here that motivate one to focus on what's really important. That's all. :)

Beth@WeightMaven said...

Sanjeev asked "So ... why doesn't everyone with any kind of deficiency eat to excess and get obese? Why haven't they historically?"

Well, historically people didn't have access to the copious amount of crap we have access to today.

I agree with Kurt that a nutrient-dense diet is not completely protective of obesity, but IMO, it's a critical foundation. The way I see it, there are some essential nutrients needed for the brain to do its job and for the liver and/or other gut organs to do its/their job (e.g., the issues Chris Masterjohn has raised re the lack of choline due to low-fat or poor fat diets).

It's not clear that lack of nutrients *cause* obesity, though I suspect that the combination of over-nutrition and lack of minerals and critical fat-soluble vitamins cannot help.

SamAbroad said...

Anecdotally,(everyone loves a good anecdote right? :)) I DO find that supplementation reduces binging, namely selenium, fish oil and K2.

Can anyone posit as to why this is? Or am I totally imagining this?

Also, stephan, I think the reason you might be experiencing such resistance to your theory is that in the main reducing reward is much harder than reducing fat or carbs, at least initially.

Don't forget the reason people become soo evangelical about low carb (recovering evangelist speaking here) is because it makes you 'think' you are getting a high reward diet when you are not. Obviously this effect wears off over time but I think the psychological component of deprivation about eating what people perceive as 'bland' food is going to cause food reward to be met with considerable opposition.

I have explained the idea to several friends trying to lose weight the theory that if they stick to simple food for a few weeks the weight would start falling off without hunger.

They wrinkle their noses in displeasure and continue their yoyo weight watchers diet complete with low cal junk food.

This is why I don't think it's ever really going to make a practical impact, you need some pizazz, people need to feel like they are 'getting away with something' and low carb provides this feeling.

BTW, thanks for all you do, I for one am grateful and still trying to figure out how to make it work for me.

(BTW, magnesium seems to worsen this!)

Sarah Barracuda said...

Just wanted to clarify my comment above re: deficiencies (even though no one's jumped on me because people here truly are nice).

I think a reasonably non-deficient diet is necessary but not sufficient for overcoming compulsive tendencies. When I was anorexic (i.e., deficient in everything), I became truly obsessed with food, fantasizing about all the things that would never pass my lips. If anyone is so inclined, you could check out old blog posts from Mallory ('malpaz') for a painfully accurate look inside an anorexic's head. When I did LC (which did overlap with AN), I would chug so much stevia-laced water that it was a wonder I didn't die of hyponatremia, stevia poisoning, or simply exploding. (Also note palatability vs. reward difference here!) But point is, I couldn't have recovered on good food/supplements alone, without addressing some truly dysfunctional things going on in my life--which required things like faith and reflection and art. (E.g., check out Evelyn's story behind the gorgeous needlepoint background.) I can't stand hardcore biological determinists who think that the 'optimal' diet/supplementation regime is the be-all end-all to fixing everything--physical or otherwise--that ails them.

Incidentally, I'm awaiting with interest Paul J's take on obesity. He has posited infectious causes, which seems like a very, err...magnanimous explanation. My preference is for parsimony. My layperson's guess is that infection (just like genetics; e.g., being a human ob/ob mouse) can in some cases be a sufficient cause, but is hardly necessary. And I'm especially curious to know what he thinks now that he's recently hardened his stance against the FRH....

@Stephan (if you are still poking around here) - At the risk of stating the obvious, I'll observe that your anti-FRH commenters are loving nothing more than seeing you finally (and deservedly) losing your cool.

Tonus said...

I can understand the complaints about Stephan's tone, as he seems a bit pasty in that photo. Get some sun, dude.

On a more serious note, regarding Taubes' contention that anorexia is a disorder of fat accumulation: as I understand it, anorexics often retain a surprising amount of body fat because the body breaks down muscle and organ tissue in the face of a severe nutrient shortage. Thus, even a person who looks dangerously thin can have a body fat percentage of 30% or higher (then again, this is with a total body weight that has been drastically reduced).

malpaz said...

paying attention...but my witty self hasnt come up with a good response yet, sarah thanks for the shout out!! i dunno if im gonna continue blogging...the whole internet thing is about as stimulating as starving was in another life...anyways, when i get my thoughts sorted ill add my 2 cents too

Sanjeev said...

@Stephan - I expected it would happen. It's been standard practice to torture apostates much worse than infidels that never believed.

@Kurt Thanks for your input - I'm only sporadically online these days and had not read similar from qualified people with real experience treating deficiencies.

@Beth,
First and most important, the historical cases are only one line of evidence. There are others which I leave alone - I happily defer to Kurt and other specialists with that expertise to report their experience.

Second, several of those examples are not historical but current populations with access to current industrial food.

Aside from that, the historical examples are just too heterogeneous to dismiss with one simple uniform argument (which I believe mostly doesn't apply well). Remember, there were populations that we think never would have had the resources to become obese, given the technology (production or distribution) or the times or the circumstances but they did become obese. We've discussed several here ad libitum (if not ad nauseum). Seems to me hunger will drive eating and will drive an economy to produce the food to satisfy that. Economies have usually provided enough plus some expensive items for luxury eating. And if a population was not obese they didn't have enough hunger to drive the economics to produce (grow or import) more food. I'm obviously avoiding talking about outright cases of food scarcity. The historical examples must be analyzed one at a time to tease these apart.

I have more thoughts on the historical examples but it may take a while to pin them down on paper.

Tonus wrote: I can understand the complaints
> about Stephan's tone, as he seems a
> bit pasty in that photo.
> Get some sun, dude.

So what you're saying is, that treatment is justified for cave dwelling programmers like me and Brits?

Did you mean his tone or his tonus?

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Caution this comment contains science! LOL. I am beginning to question the critical thinking skills of Stanton after reading this one: http://www.gnolls.org/2052/how-heart-healthy-whole-grains-make-us-fat/
It begins with:"Yes, I admit to a degree of hyperbole—but this study is so well instrumented and controlled, and its results so informative, that I believe it’s important for everyone to read it." So well controlled?? The fact that the low GI breakfast contained nearly twice the protein of the medium and high GI breakfasts does not seem to phase J's scrutiny.

I also just read through the comments on his latest installment. Sounds like he's got a Rosedale complex (I've been saying this for 20 years!).

bentleyj74 said...

Stephan said...

"Thanks. I have tried to stay reserved for the most part. It is ironic that people are complaining about the tone of the writing on my free blog, particularly a post responding to one of the most arrogant people in the diet-health world. I hold my tongue a lot-- if I really spoke my mind, I could do a lot more damage to Taubes than I have so far, but that's not my goal and I'd rather not do it. I don't have any desire to take him down personally, but if he wants to be a masochist I'm happy to whoop him again."


What's your goal there? There's a reason you are getting the reactions that you are about tone etc, and it's not because you are visible from space like a shiny happy star ;-)

Margaret said...

Went over to the link you posted re: "heart healthy whole grains make us fat" (you're right, Evelyn, it's the protein that makes the difference) and someone in the comments had found this study: http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FBJN%2FBJN104_08%2FS0007114510001911a.pdf&code=682146536a2a2122cc1b3917051f9ad5 (don't know how to post links here so hope it comes through OK). It's a study looking at 4 different types of protein made into a breakfast drink - this study WAS well-controlled, keeping macronutrient composition the same in each group. They found the whey protein drink, which produced the highest insulin AUC (but not the highest insulin spike) produced the greatest satiety afterwards. Which makes sense, since insulin acts in the brain to reduce appetite.

Sarah Barracuda said...

@Thomas and others - The fact remains that Stephan Guyenet is Stephan Guyenet, and Kurt Harris is Kurt Harris. The latter is most in his element when caustically riposting, while the former seems out of his depth when angry. There's absolutely nothing wrong with Stephan's tone, except that I'm certain the LC haters are rubbing their hands with glee in seeing how far they can push him.

@Evelyn - HAHA! You need to appropriate JS's yellow 'caution' traffic sign in a future post. Since I'm from the physical and dismal sciences rather than biosciences, I do give things an honest read before I call BS. Re: his series, I think his most promising attempt was at 'satiety vs. satiation', but even that fell short and ended up quite contrived. I'm neither 'insider' nor anyone's nutrition guru, so I'm free to shoot my mouth off--he should just stick with penning grok fairytales.

@Tonus, re: Taubes on AN - I actually wasn't aware of his view of AN back then, but after learning of it I don't know whether to LMAO or cry. More like there are f*'ed up things going on in life, sanity experiences a SNAFU, and suddenly starvation becomes a stupendously awesome way to solve everything (maybe also with a liberal helping of EtOH). A 'disorder of fat accumulation'? Oh, lordyyyyy!

Duffy Pratt said...

I don't really have that much of a problem with the "whatever works" mentality. People base it on the idea that people are different from each other, and what works for one person may or may not work for another person. And this sounds entirely reasonable. But here's my question: What's the point of doing studies or looking at them? Studies are based on the idea that the mechanisms being studied are basically the same, not different, and that what works on one should work on them all.

bentleyj74 said...

It seems a little more complicated than that from my perspective. Stephan has some unfortunate overlap re his blog and his professional work.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

@Margaret: Your link doesn't work as the code= bit on the end is time-specific.

Try THIS instead.

Sanjeev said...

depends on the study's aims and design - how much control they're going for, what they're looking for specifically - is it an exploratory study or one that's testing a fixed prediction from a theory

> Studies are based on the idea that the
> mechanisms being studied are basically the same

Or studies either

1. look for how people differ, ("do the target mechanisms differ between people?")

or

2. test theories that posit differences

Completely randomized trials selecting from the general population usually are assuming identical mechanisms in all participants.

trials that select from distinct categories (demographic or disease state or geographically segregated) are assuming that class differs from the whole population.

And of course every study looks at the high and low responders (quartiles or deciles or whatever) to find how they differ from each other and from averages in designing the next study.

Margaret said...

Thanks Nigel (for correcting my link) - maybe someone can tell me how to embed a hyperlink in a post? (I do it all the time in Word documents).

Galina L. said...

I really liked the first comment made by Newell Wright, except , I would call it the diets disenchantment, because of the "o, wait!" moment that happens every time - there is a down-side in every diet-approach. Why did Newell limit it to LC diets? My disenchantment started with the "healthy diet and lifestyle prevent all bad things" disillusion.

@ Duffy Pratt ,
I am for "whatever works" approach. There are a lot of studies about the benefits of whole grain, but I know perfectly well from personal experience, any grains , especially wheat, will make me fatter. So, why I should be interested in the studies results? I also know I will never again try to eat more soy burgers in order to cut on a red meat, or to think that diet discrepancies could be compensated by exercise. It is better not to repeat mistakes. We are here, on diet blogs, for a reason. Mostly, because we are looking at what are other people's solutions for the problems, bothering me, you, Evelin, almost everyone here. Not everything will work the same way for everyone, but we are trying and experimenting. I am not experimenting with how overeating LC food affects one's health.

Sometimes I wonder, how close to perfect would be following VLC diet during first 4 - 6 hours of eating window, so the person who eats it, will get most fats and protein, and will not be hungry, then , at the second part of eating window, that person will get his/her carbs and some protein, so physiological IR will be avoided. I see a downside in a consuming larger portion of carbs in one sitting, but it is always some downside. I sure read testimonials that eating plain potatoes is eliminating hunger, still, eggs with butter for a breakfast look like a better food choice from several perspectives. I plan to try it in a future. What do people here think about it?

Scott said...

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Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

[a href="url"]link text[/a] but replace square brackets with < >

Sue said...

This is interesting:
"I was/am Jimmy, hormonally. Like Jimmy I have been stubbornly challenged with regaining and relosing 10-20% of my body weight in the last few years....
"What helped me after multiple episodes of adrenal fatigue ...... was a high carb (150-200 g/day) non-paleo 'adrenal reset'."
http://drbganimalpharm.blogspot.com/2011/12/adrenal-fatigue-and-jimmy-moores-llvlc.html

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Hi Duffy, It is important to keep in mind that most studies are comparing means. Using HDL levels, for instance, this means that if the mean level increased 5 points, the level likely increased more for some, less for others, and perhaps even decreased for some. They can provide us with clues as to what might work. They also provide us with information on HOW things work. Let's take the whacked dietary claims of Judith Mazel who wrote the Beverly Hills Diet. That diet purportedly worked because digestive enzymes "burned fat" -- a claim that was easily debunked by current textbook knowledge of physiology.

Interesting link there Sue. I wonder if Jimmy will consider that his DIET has thrown his hormones out of whack. Are his hormones causing him to eat so much?

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Hi Margaret -- whoops my initial response didn't post (instead just the html one did). Yes, I did find that interesting as well. AND the results, as whey seems to make me hungry. I must have a deranged metabolism ;)

@Galina: At this point I think that VLC diets should be limited to targeted weight loss and other therapeutic (like your migraines) purposes. What I find frustrating about the current conversations is that Paul Jaminet (and others, mind you) are not talking about a ton of carbs. For me, 100g purposeful starch carbs I figure comes along with about 50g more useful carbs. This would work out to roughly 1/3rd of my intake.

@Sarah: Did you see my recent tweet on Jimmy? He's so deluded he can't even get the point that LC won't cure an eating disorder despite the fact that the blogger stated several times that she was talking about diabulimia and not diabetes. Sheesh.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

@ejazz1 (and a shout out to bentley!): It really does seem that at least for a solid proportion, and likely a significant majority, the metabolic diseases really are *caused* by overeating → overweight and the cure is good old fashioned weight loss, however that is achieved.

@Sarah: Maybe I can turn it into a lego mouse. ;) I know I write LONG posts, but that's just how they evolve. I spend a lot of time on them. Could probably cut them down most of the time, but there's only so much time for this blogging stuff so I don't bother. Maybe it's just me, but when someone keeps telling me how long their article is but how important it is (and ground breaking and all that) I just tend to doze off.

Regarding PH, I've actually been pleasantly surprised upon returning there to discover a number of critical thinkers in the mix. I'm finding myself a bit horrified by some of the commentary by Ancestral "leaders" of late, and am frankly rather horrified by that infographic. Yikes! Right now I'm working on reaching 20 downvotes for daring to mention that Atkins actually DID have an admitted heart condition. LOL!

Sarah Barracuda said...

@bentley - From Stephan's description of things, GT/his ideas hardly have any standing among professional obesity researchers, so Stephan would be freer to 'whoop him' than certain other [real] scientists (e.g., Lustig on fructose--not saying Stephan is at loggerheads with him; haven't read enough to determine). ~shrug~

bentleyj74 said...

@Sarah,

GT isn't answering to anyone and in fact the more he goes for the jugular making personal jabs the better his publicity will be.

Stephan on the other hand has an actual career as an obesity researcher and his employer is likely looking over his shoulder to see how he navigates. If they don't like what he says or how he says it while he represents their establishment it's at least a potential liability.

If I were Stephan I'd give some thought to exactly what I wanted out of all this, then pick a direction and go with it. The "sort of tongue holding while obviously irritated but still not quite going there" middle of the road is no way to win a fight regardless of the audience or subject.

It's not fair that GT dropped this can of worms in SGs lap at AHS with the lid off already but there it is all gross and muddy. He's either going to have to drop it and wash his hands or toss it back quick and dirty.

Sue said...

Maybe going too low carb or ketogenic for very long periods of time catches up with you after a while - like above with adrenal fatigue and the like.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Nail on head bentley, GT's "employers" do not care so long as he brings notoriety to them and sells books. I also find it ironic that he supposedly seeks to have scientists change their ways ... hard to do when you start off calling them idiots and imply their life's work is likely but a useless folly.

It's also quite ironic that these LC'ers who are trying to figure out their metabolic mysteries rely on sophisticated tests and interpreting their meaning. Where do they think that came out of?

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

BTW, regarding Stephan, he is constrained by his employment. If he worked in industry it would likely be worse. I think he is handling this well given that and the fact that GT is taking the fight to the food reward thing rather than answering to the problems with his hypothesis. He NEVER really does that in case anyone's noticed.

The hypocrisy of "all doctors bad, have no clue" but Dr. Name your fave LC guru with MD in their name is so right! These folks went to the same schools!!

Galina L. said...

Evelin, I know what you think about VLC. My question was about what do you think about eating part of the day (a breakfast, for example) VLC, and the dinner - 100 - 150 gram of carbs with some protein with little fat, so such pattern will separate carbs and fats, and provide a hunger protection for at least first part of the day. May be there is a way to find some compromise?

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Hi Galina, I'm not sure if there's much wisdom to it, but most who advocate some sort of mixed diet as you describe seem to favor carbs early, fats later. I get the impression you are not a big eater. In that context, I don't really know that it matters one way or the other.

@Sue: Whether it's hormonal or "sliding", I do believe it catches up with you. I wonder if the hormones are the effect of the cause here. Perhaps it takes a few years ... just long enough to where you've settled into your new lifestyle. Worse yet if you've tied your livelihood to that lifestyle, it's darn hard to change course. There's nothing wrong with earning one's living promoting a lifestyle. But in some prominent LC cases, it seems to be working counter to their personal situations anymore these days.

Qw said...

Can the GI of a meal affect how long you're satisfied after eating?

Galina L. said...

Eating LC breakfast makes more sense from my perspective - it will keep me more satiated. Probably, people who advised over-vise had other reasons in mind, like better insulin sensitivity on the morning.A hunger used to be my main problem. I am not a glutton, but I was very prone to grazing. Each of us has own set of issues. I can limit myself to two meals a day on LC food, and I think I can try second meal to be higher in carbs and see what happens. I am less interested in food later in the day.

Lerner said...

"Improving fitness, not reducing fatness, reduces CV deaths"
December 5, 2011

http://www.theheart.org/article/1323895.do

...men who maintained their physical-fitness levels had a 30% and 27% lower risk of death and cardiovascular death, respectively, when compared with men who lost fitness. Those who got into better shape from baseline had a 39% and 42% lower risk of death and cardiovascular mortality, respectively, when compared with those who lost fitness over the years...

BMI changes, on the other hand, were not significantly associated with all-cause mortality, but men who gained weight had a 39% higher risk of cardiovascular disease mortality compared with men who lost weight, although the association was attenuated and no longer statistically significant when adjusted for maximal MET changes...

Lerner said...

...and going hand in hand with the above, I'd suggest that if anyone knows someone who's had a stroke, to get them immediately into weight-loss mode. The time when a person is most likely to have a stroke is after they've just had one.

SamAbroad said...

Evelyn, On the subject of carb-timing, I came across a study a while ago, of course I can't track it down now, that showed eating carbs in the evening caused more fat loss than eating them in the morning, it was a pretty well controlled trial too if I recall correctly.

Ohh, my google-fu paid off, here it is:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21475137

This has been my experience too, protein wakes me up, and eating a low protein carb rich dinner makes me sleep like a baby, try it out, the results are surprisingly quick!

Karen said...

Just was rereading this and a sentence you wrote jumped out like an arrow. "While I'm not in these fields, I have a pretty high regard for academics, so kinda figured that modern biochemists/neurobiologists probably had SOME CLUE." Modern and some clue!! yup! okay! new science. does mean something doesnt it.

Sanjeev said...

Evelyn has not addressed this specific topic, so I'm posting an update here

For those who are still interested, try a bunch of variations on these searches

click through or type in the terms (including the quotes) in google

niacin deficiency symptoms "loss of appetite"

versus variations on this search:
niacin deficiency symptoms hunger


Try whatever you want - iron, copper, magnesium, cyanocobalamin, riboflavin ... the list of symptoms seems to contain one glaring commonality, and "hunger" is absolutely, definitely NOT one.

Sanjeev said...

and if you want something a little better than general internet resources try adding some terms you prefer, something like

cyanocobalamin deficiency symptoms "loss of appetite" merck

Sanjeev said...

(cross posting this from wholehealthsource)
Hi Stephan,
Just wondering if you've had any more thoughts on the theory

"deficiencies force people to remedy the deficiency by eating more"

I did a survey of what I could find on deficiencies and while I found a lot of

"xxx deficiency leads to loss of appetite"

I found not one source claiming "xxx deficiency causes excessive hunger or food-seeking-and-consuming behaviour"

a summary is here or to ensure work safety copy and paste:

http://carbsanity.blogspot.ca/2011/12/best-diet-fitness-regime-for-health.html?showComment=1336338877370#c3370334761307419487

I'm wondering, based on your older post about magnesium deficiency causing insulin resistance, if this insulin resistance is one of the mechanisms (at least for magnesium) that the body uses to make itself lose appetite.

Another small thought occurred to me: if the environment has proven to the organism (via deficiency) that the environment can't provide some nutrient or other, should the organism consume more of what's been proven deficient, or should it take steps to conserve the nutrients that do come in ... reduce energy intake to reduce the need for the nutrients that process energy.

thoughts? Critiques?

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