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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!)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Superhuman Efforts for Weight Loss/Maintenance

Well, Gary's publicity stunt has created quite a bit of internet buzz over Tara Parker-Pope's Fat Trap article.  I've read a veritable cornucopia of reactions to the piece, including some of the over 1000 comments on her Well blog.  Some of the responses made me wonder if others had even read the same article I did.  

You may be interested to learn that the Eades are on a diet again!  For some reason they're not going on their own 6WC diet, but they overdid it a bit on the holidays.  I think I might have some things to say about some other parts of the post another day.  But in a cheerleading post on resolving to diet, Eades had this to say:
I want to forewarn you, though, that you’ve got to get your head right if you seriously plan to succeed. Don’t be a Tara Parker-Pope.
I’ve had a number of people send me the link to her long piece in last week’s New York Times Magazine (Parker-Pope is a health columnist for the New York Times) about her struggles to lose weight and to maintain her weight loss once she is finally able to shed a little. In the article she describes her despair as she tried first this program then that to lose weight. She fits perfectly the description of so many patients I’ve dealt with over the years.
Once your metabolism is broken, it’s difficult to lose weight (other than the first time or two you try it) and even more difficult to keep it off. In order to be successful, you’ve got to make a real commitment and stick to it. You can’t drift here and there as Parker-Pope has done looking for some magic regimen that is going to ‘melt the fat away.’ It ain’t going to happen. It takes a lot of hard work and resolve to see it through. Even with a low-carb diet.
As you can see from the vintage ad above, Tara Parker-Pope is not the first to look for a miracle cure for excess ‘flesh.’ ... 
Well, it's nice to see Eades acknowledge that low carb is not some magic regime that's going to melt the fat away effortlessly, but did he read the same article I did?  I didn't get that Tara was looking for some magic regime at all.  Did you?   And as to this broken metabolism thing ... wasn't that exactly what she devoted a substantial portion of her article to?    She cites several studies.  The first one showed how the hormonal shifts of dieting linger somewhat even a year after a rather short, period.  She cited Leibel in the discussion of overfeeding and whether weight gain remains permanent.  She discussed the very real fact that most "reduced" people will have to make due on fewer calories or diligently expend more through exercise (or both) than they otherwise would have had they never been overweight to begin with.  She discussed the characteristics shared by the successes of the NWCR.  In other words, Tara pretty much did everything but cast about looking for magic metabolic cures.  Eades really really has some nerve writing what he did above after the Six Week Cure.  What a shameful display of hypocrisy.  But I digress ...  Eades continues:
But she is at a bit of a disadvantage in that by virtue of her position she can pick up the phone and call the head of nutrition at Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins or any big institution and ask for advice for a column she’s writing. Unfortunately, the advice she will get from most of these people is totally the mainstream academic party line and more than likely incorrect. And, if she’s like many patients I’ve dealt with, as soon as she discovers that whatever she is doing entails real work, she will start looking for the next magic fix, only to be disappointed in that.
Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm not aware of the weight loss programs put out by these various institutions being quick fix cures for obesity.  If anything, part of the problem with generic conventional wisdom type of "responsible" weight loss plan, is that they are too responsible.  In other words, most greatly overestimate the caloric needs of women in particular and set the calorie levels too high to achieve any sort of reasonably motivating weight loss.  They aren't peddling magic fixes ... that's YOUR schtick Dr. Mike!
She will, as she describes, roller-coaster around weight-wise, quickly regaining whatever she loses, and end up fat, sad and miserable. The only difference between Tara Parker-Pope and the millions of other people out there in her shoes is that she has a powerful platform to express the despair and hopelessness she feels to a large readership. (I noticed that for a few days her piece was the most emailed of all the articles in the New York Times, which speaks to just how many people are struggling.)
And you have a seemingly large readership of your drivel too so you can tell all those teary eyed women to wallow in lard and have butter drip down their arms.  Sheesh!  After chastising Tara for some imagined desire to find a quick and effortless fix, this pathetic Metabasol shill even links to that disgustingly creepy blog post.  Creepiness aside, the whole post is a tribute to the magical "cure" that is getting keto-adapted.  H.Y.P.O.C.R.I.T.  
Wallow in Mangalitsa lardo. And whatever you do, for God’s sake, don’t listen to your body during this adaptation period or you’ll never cross the chasm between fat and miserable on your high-carb diet and slim, happy, energetic and low-carb adapted on the other side.
Nothing about effort there ...
The underlying message of her piece is that she has tried everything, and it has all been for naught. Her obesity is a condition beyond her control because she has worked with all the greatest minds in the academic world of obesity treatment and has ended up fatter than when she started.
Is Eades blind?  Really.  He must be.   First, that's not at all what Tara wrote.  But second, and more important in my opinion, surely he's seen and read where low carbers gain all their weight back and then some, just like everybody else.   Did everyone ever treated by he and Mary Dan become skinny and keep their weight off?  All those people on his Protein Power forum perhaps?  Or any of several others and blogs, etc.??  Has he not met Amy Dungan?  Because she's gotten the "good advice" from you and others and at least as of this summer, she's heavier now than she was back in 2001 before she ever tried low carb.  A decade of healthy low carb living has Amy significantly heavier than she was before and yet she writes about health and weight, albeit to a significantly smaller audience.  
My contention is that if she would undertake a low-carb diet composed of whole foods (with maybe a shake or two thrown in here or there) and stick with it judiciously she would ultimately achieve success. At least considerably more success than she has achieved thus far. But if she followed the best low-carb diet known to man and lost to her ideal weight and body fat percentage, she would still have to continue to watch what she eats for the rest of her life if she were to want to maintain her new slim self. MD and I just proved that over the past couple of weeks.
Give him the Nobel Prize right now folks!  Wow that is insightful.  If Tara did complain a bit, it was that she wasn't sure she could do what is required for the Bridge couple, as an example, to maintain a lower weight.  She was pretty straight forward and honest about that.  Would that we got the same dose of realism from the purveyors of low carb diets on a regular basis.  Someone asked about Mark Sisson's carb curve over on PaleoHacks today, which reminded me of his promises of "effortless weight loss" in the 50-100g/day carb range.  LC is billed as effortless, eat all you want, eat a ton of calories, drenched in butter fat loss.  And not just any fat loss but quick fat loss at that.  Fast, fast, fast!   And then?  The dirty little secret of LC, and one that at least The New Atkins addressed, is that those who are successful rarely proceed far up those rungs.  They start out eating induction and end up eating induction and are trapped eating induction for the rest of their lives.  He continues:
I have never been able to understand the mindset of people who think that once they lose to their ideal weight and body fat percentage they can then go back to their old way of eating without regaining all the weight they originally put on by their old way of eating. It baffles me even more that people can lose considerable amounts of weight on a given diet, then go back to their old way of eating, regain all their weight, and view it as a failure of their weight loss diet. But they do.
Again, I don't see where Tara had the mindset that she wouldn't have to change her eating habits in some sort of permanent fashion to lose and maintain a lower weight.    The above paragraph was in a post that began with trying to disguise a purposeful food free for all as an experiment for the docs.  Why did you eat as you did on your vacation Mike?  I'll never understand that ... right?    Most people realize they can't go back to their old way of eating.  But the maintenance plans almost always involve being able to eat more at some point and it is the great downfall of ad libitum low carb diets.  Because you cannot eat more you will regain.  I don't know of any successful maintainer who started eating more except for one person I know who did lose on a 600 cal/day Medifast style diet that obviously needed to increase cals at some point.  But they didn't increase to maintenance overnight either.  I don't know of any calorie counter who stuck with it and regained anyway.  But I do know of many low carbers who have.  

In Eades' mind, and so many LC advocates, Tara's problem is that she never tried Atkins ... errr ... Protein Power.  So I guess the question is, if  Atkins and PP were the answers, why do we have this obesity problem anymore?   But Eades is right about one thing here, if I lose 50 lbs and regain it because I return to my former eating habits, it is not the failure of the diet.  So be consistent Dr.  That mainstream weight loss advice doesn't fix the problem for so many, because they stop following it and regain, doesn't nullify that advice.  If I've said it once, I've said it 1000 times, ELMM does work every time it's tried.  Don't give me your fairy tales of eating 1000 cal/day for months and gaining weight unless you're Mini Me.  If Eades doesn't get clients blaming the diets with other approaches, how can he claim it would be any different for Tara or anyone else if the diet was PP vs.WW.                                      

Enough of Eades.  He makes me kinda nauseated after a while.  Other comments about Tara and her article deal with some impressions they got from her -- that significant lasting weight loss was next to impossible without some superhuman effort.   This from low carbers touting how easy their weight loss/maintenance is with low carbing.  But is it really?  Anyone reading low carb forums and blogs who comes away with the conclusion that long term low carbing is easily sustained, effective in keeping pounds off and/or some sort of effortless is delusional.  Yes, there are those few outliers -- most of whom are anonymous in all aspects so there's no real way to know if what they say they are doing is really as they say.  Those who would say that the NWCR roster is a group of outliers should realize that, while that may be true, so too are the magical low carbing metabolic wonderkin.   But I'm actually pointing out something else.  One cannot peruse an active low carb forum for more than a day or so without encountering those who employ one of the following strategies:

  • Intermittent fasting of the daily "eating window" variety
  • Other fasting strategies, from one day a week or such
  • Deliberate calorie counting in addition to carb restriction
  • Daily food logging to a place like FitDay
  • Severe perpetual carb restriction -- e.g. virtually ZC diets
  • Other extreme restrictions --  e.g. strict paleo and similar
  • Fad quick fix diets -- e.g. meat and egg days, Jimmy's egg fast, the fat fast, elimination, detox
  • HCG -- gasp! 
  • Other weight loss supplements
That is not an all inclusive list there, but just an example of strategies employed in the name of healthy "effective" diets for obesity that would be roundly criticized were they employed by the ELMMo's.    I've highlighted here before the case of Dana Carpender.  She used to have the phrase "fighting the low fat lie" on her blog and tells us she had no success with weight loss on any of the more mainstream approaches.  She lost 40 lbs with low carb, wrote a book about it, and the rest was history.  Only this isn't really the case, and the Eades' of the world certainly know this.  You don't have to read her blog regularly, only a few posts will do, to realize that this woman is very carefully tracking what she eats each and every day of her life.  And she's regained significant amounts over the past 15 years despite, apparently, remaining pretty significantly low carb.  For the past couple of years she's tried all sorts of approaches from downing shots of olive oil a la Seth Roberts, to HCG to 1000 cal/day fat fasts, and who knows what else.  And she's certainly not "fat", but she's not thin either.   I think her efforts at weight maintenance certainly rival those of the Bridges from Parker-Pope's article.  

Perhaps folks find it easy to fast intermittently, or use severe carb restriction as an "easy" means of controlling appetite and intake.  But these approaches are some degree of extreme.  If you don't agree with that statement then think back to all your failed attempts at weight loss before finding the holy grail of low carb.  If a diet book suggested you fast one day a week, or ate only one meal per day, or had a cup of milk and some cream in your coffee as your only food until dinnertime a couple of days per week, how would you have viewed that?   I continue to be amazed by the die hard low carbers.  Not the few it works for ... more power to you guys and gals (and interestingly for the long term this is more guys than gals it seems).  You found what works/worked for you and that's great.  No, the ones who amaze me ... befuddle me really ... are the myriad of advocates I've pointed out in my LC Morphing to HAES series of posts.  You routinely mock and ridicule those stupid calorie counters and low fat advocates who don't get it.  And yet LC is either not working for you or bringing diminishing returns.  Or you are one of those who repeatedly return to LC forums or your blogs with "I'm back" posts outlining your renewed dedication to an even stricter version of the diet.  Sounds like that sort of depressing superhuman effort Tara was talking about that supposedly turned you off so.  

Here's how Tara ended her article:  
And even though all the evidence suggests that it’s going to be very, very difficult for me to reduce my weight permanently, I’m surprisingly optimistic. I may not be ready to fight this battle this month or even this year. But at least I know what I’m up against.
Doesn't sound like Dr. Eades is saying much differently.  Except that despite his warnings that it all takes effort and a lot of it, he still presents going low carb as that face-palmingly simple solution for all the Taras of the world.  A lot of people have been taking Dr. Eades supposedly superior advice to reverse their obesity with no greater success than conventional wisdom.   That advice has been available at weight loss clinics and such since before obesity became epidemic.  Tara made an excellent point that went somewhat unnoticed what with Taubes whining about how nobody listens to hiim.  That point being that given how difficult it is to reverse obesity, expending scarce resources towards preventing it in the first place is probably a better approach.  Which leaves us with weight to lose with two options:  1.  Throw up our hands and grab the Little Debbies, or 2.  Work within a reality-based framework, sometimes accept less than some perceived optimum and put in the effort to be the best we can be.  Gosh that sounds so Pollyanna, but the problem I see these days is with expectations.

And that was the lasting message from Parker-Pope's piece.  It may be difficult.  It almost certainly will.  But it is possible, and it may be that it's something that waits until there's room a top the priority list.  She has a young daughter and is apparently a single parent.  She's also by all indications healthy despite her excess weight (there are a lot of people that are, just as there are lots of unhealthy thin people).  So I don't see her article as some excuse for how she can be overweight and writing on health for a major internationally read publication.  The "superhuman" vigilance she discussed was no more superhuman than all the fasting and other tactics employed by low carbers when the carb restriction in and of itself fails to produced the promised result.









And if her personal weight struggles disqualify her or minimize her credibility in any way to speak on such topics, the line for hypocrits starts right here.  

At least she's not touting her weight loss success as a qualification or encouraging people to adopt her lifestyle to achieve lasting weight loss.  If you seriously want to succeed, you could do worse than being a realistic, informed, and not hopelessly mired in pseudoscience Tara Parker-Pope.

42 comments:

Swede said...

Well, thanks for directing me to the latest Eades post. I don't follow his blog anymore because his posts are so sporadic, but I'm so glad I read it! Let's do a little political trickery here and post a quote taken from his blog but not in context:

"One day of solid low-carb, and no more GERD, thank God. And already after just a few days our clothing is starting to fit again."

Great start to the new year with your excellent blogging Evelyn!

Sounds like low carb is the bees knees. It cures everything!

bentleyj74 said...

I read her article. If I seriously wanted to succeed at ANYTHING I would avoid TPP like the plague.

There's no mystery why she fights with her weight and it ain't a broken metabolism, it's a broken perception. She reminds me of a person who wants to acrue wealth so she spends all her expendable income on lottery tickets at the gas station then bemoans the perpetual uphill "fight". Won 40 bucks...spent 35 to do it...reinvested winnings...no dice...net gain zero. Depressed. Better luck next time.

It's not superhuman effort to move an hour or so daily...it's called having a life. An hour isn't enough time for me to do the things I like to do.

It isn't superhuman to eat "less" when you are also smaller. No one said she needed to maintain the same size on less food...THAT would be superhuman. Smaller vessels need less intake to remain so.

It doesn't matter what diet she employs...until she gets her head in the game she'll always be hoofing at the door of how much she "gets" to eat and how much she "has" to do no different than someone whose always broke but envies how much wealthier people "get" to spend and dreads how much they "have" to work. Same perception problem different manifest.

Steph said...

Evelyn, excellent, thank you.

I had taken my moist, dreamy eyes over to his blog and came here to ask whether I'm understanding him correctly. He drank a lot of eggnog and ate fudge, and then decided that his tight pants prove his metabolism is broken?

Craig in CT said...

If you are 100 lbs overweight, and have developed type 2 diabetes, then maybe you have a good reason to suspect that your metabolism is broken. But to blame a 5 lb weight gain after a period of willful overindulgence on the same thing seems a bit of a stretch.

When I saw that comment, I remembered reading this article about how orangutans in Borneo survive the feast/famine cycles of their natural habitat:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45684683/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/how-borneo-orangutans-avoid-starvation-lean-times/#.Twx8UW8V3pU

"Orangutans in Borneo can survive potential starvation by using their body fat and muscles as energy until a bounty of food is available, researchers find, adding that the results may someday shed light on the eating habits of our earliest ancestors.

The findings may also speak to various low-carb, high-protein diets, because essentially weight comes down to caloric intake for these orangutans as it does us, the researchers say.

In Borneo, an island in Southeast Asia, forests go through periods of high fruit yield, where around 80 percent or more of the plants will produce fruit all at once. Following these "masting" periods, the forests endure stretches of sparse fruit availability that can last anywhere from two to eight years. To survive in this unpredictable environment, orangutans put on fat by gorging on fruits when they're available, and then live off of these reserves until the next masting year."


For these orangutans, having a 'broken' metabolism, one which allows them to gain weight during times of plentiful food, is actually essential to survival. Makes you sort of wonder if our 'paleo' ancestors didn't rely on similar mechanisms to get through lean times. And why did this useful survival trait suddenly disappear among modern 'paleo' eaters? (Because maybe it didn't!)

eulerandothers said...

'you’ll never cross the chasm between fat and miserable on your high-carb diet and slim, happy, energetic and low-carb adapted on the other side.'

This sounds like something said on the Home Shopping Network. In contrast, Parker-Pope sounds like the voice of reason.

I read the comments on the article, too, until the 200th comment, when I just couldn't take it any more. The low-carbers complaining that Taubes was not in the article did me in.

A 'broken metabolism' can be broken other ways, no? I met a woman I know - a Christian missionary who was back in town from her work in Africa, where there are areas of AIDS-striken villages. I complimented her new figure; it looked like she had lost 35-50 lbs. I said that the diet there had to be quite a bit different from what we are used to here (it is far from low-carb). She said, yes, but not having a car and walking from village to village probably had a lot to do with her weight loss. If anyone asks her in the future how she got so slim (and healthy looking!), I suggest two words: broken metabolism.

Tonus said...

@Steph: "He drank a lot of eggnog and ate fudge, and then decided that his tight pants prove his metabolism is broken?"

I get the impression that he wanted to imply (strongly) that he and his wife did not eat appreciably more than they normally do, yet they gained several pounds and a few inches around the midsection. But he also made sure to tell us that, shucks, the idea struck in mid-trip and so he had to eyeball the numbers. But hey! He's a doctor, he's pretty good about these things.

In any case, the reader is supposed to read his blog post and assume that since they gained several pounds without really eating any more, the weight gain can only have been a result of the metabolic DISadvantage inherent in those nasty carbs (you will pardon me as I wash my fingertips for a moment). After all, you can either be:

fat and miserable on your high-carb diet

Or:

slim, happy, energetic and low-carb adapted on the other side.

It does make you wonder why a doctor who has discovered the metabolic wonder of the low-carb lifestyle would recommend weight-loss diets to anyone, much less go on such diets himself. If he enjoyed his holidays and packed on a few pounds/inches as a result, then I would presume that all he needs to do is return to his normal diet and before long he'll be slim, energetic and happily re-adapted!

Isn't that the whole promise of LC? That by eating the stuff we evolved to eat (like butter!), our bodies will gradually wind up in the best shape possible (or at least, the best shape that our tragically busted metabolisms will allow)? Why would we need a six-week cure for something that the LC diet should take care of on its own? Perhaps if we allowed some of the protein shake to drip down our forearms...

bentleyj74 said...

Great, on reread I see Mike Eades and I agree she's psyched herself out. As long as that's all we agree on I'm not going to sweat it :)

I wonder if she'd be willing to post her daily schedual. Probably not after this firestorm but I'd like to see it.

Sanjeev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sanjeev said...

one foot on a banana peel, the other in his mouth, the other kicking himself on the tuckus (he lost control of it while trying to kick Tara)

the last one trying to tap-dance around why he spent 10 years in metabolic advantage land and his metabolism didn't get the benefit of even a cheap tee shirt.

And his arms busy tightening up the girdle.

Never knew Mike Eades was a mutant contortionist

Ah, well, in the end, all is forgiven IFF his moobs are perky

Sanjeev said...

@Steph: "He drank a lot of eggnog and ate fudge, and then decided that his tight pants prove his metabolism is broken?"

Maybe Andrew can do an encore of his "rocket science" dialog with Jimmy.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Cheap tee shirt ... LOL ... I spent ten years eating low carb and all I got was this lousy t-shirt! ;)

@bentley: Maybe I'm cutting Tara too much slack, but I just didn't read her that way. I have only this article to go by ... I do not read mainstream diet/health type stuff and have not since I swore off women's mags in my late 20's. She also mentioned spending a lot of time training for a marathon, so it doesn't sound like she's above moving more for a concerted period of time. I wish there was more acknowledgment of those times when weight loss is not an imperative. For me, I know it will require a lot of mental resources ... homeostasis is not going to fix the rest of me. And yet you know I'm not a believer in the hopelessly damaged metabolism and such. It's just if my heart is not in it I know it's not going to work ... at those times I'm content to tread water, especially absent any pressing health issue that might mandate otherwise. At the very least Tara seems to be saying what a lot of LC'ers do ... at least part of the problem is not her fault or somewhat out of her control at this point based on past actions that cannot be undone.

The superhuman term was quoted not her own. I agree with you that moving more and eating less need not be considered superhuman, just human, actually. But major life changes can sure be daunting and seem to require far more effort than we think, we're willing to make, etc.

Sanjeev said...

That article is probably slanted at making maintenance look hard, but ...

She refuses the tests to find out if she's genetically predisposed, foregoing that excuse ...

but Dr. Eades grabs at something so flimsy, amorphous and ambiguous as a (IMHO) blame-shifting tactic.

Sarah Barracuda said...

@bentley - Whoa, your and Evelyn's very different takes on TPP's article makes me think I should go back and read it. But I just couldn't the first time because it induced extreme eyesglazeoveritis--looked to be 10 pages of ~sighhhhhh~, so I just sighed and closed the tab. Hmm.

@Sanjeev - Well, didn't you know that Protein Power is not only muscle-sparing, but new limb-growing? I mean, duh....

Sarah Barracuda said...

@Evelyn - Ah, I see the dialogue has begun! I think the 'concerted period of time' is important here. Think back to high school sports and how no one really wants to practice unless there's a game/meet coming up soon. Similarly, probably most people do some sort of diet/extra gym sessions for an upcoming social event--but often, these things don't end up working their way into long-term lifestyle choices.

Galina L. said...

@ Evelin, do you think there is no advantage in limiting carbs and if you count calories, it is all you have to do, or do you think that there is an advantage, but LCarbers blow it out of proportion and mislead people with unrealistic claims?
As a LCarber, I can testify that a weight loss and maintenance are not easy, LC is not a magic bullet, but I clearly see positive points that the calories counting is lacking (like being less hungry). I do IF, eating window, try to eat less in general and it requires discipline, but it is not a heroic effort because I am not being driven crazy with a hunger. What I am lucking now is the pleasure to eat without thinking tasty things consumed mostly for entertainment or out of boredom or just for pleasure. And fruits, of course.

If there is an advantage (or advantages), it should be mentioned in the article devoted to a weight loss.

Tonus said...

I'm not convinced that there is a metabolic advantage to certain foods or nutrients. There are certainly differences in some foods and nutrients that can affect intake (by affecting satiety, for example). If that is what is meant by a metabolic advantage, I can see where they are going, but that is not what I infer from LC proponents.

IMO, LC works at least in part because I think you can eat a lot more carbs (particularly refined carbs, especially sugar) than we can fat or protein before we feel satisfied. Sweets and snacks often deliver a lot of sugar and starch and very little nutrition, and so we can consume lots of it and be hungry sooner and more often.

Most diet plans will emphasize a reduction or elimination of sugary sweets and drinks, along with restriction of starches with most carbs coming from vegetables and fruits, which are richer in nutrients and fiber than candy and chips. By itself, reducing or eliminating those items can result in noticeable weight loss without a corresponding loss of nutrition nor a corresponding increase in hunger.

From there, I think we have a lot of freedom to determine what works for us, but in the long term I believe that we have to either limit our daily calories, increase our daily activity, or some amount of both in order to lose the last few (or few dozen) pounds.

Galina L. said...

@ Tonus,
I never mentioned a metabolic advantage in my comment, I am discussing only an advantage of a diet. For example, I couldn't fast before I got used to the LC because I was not able tolerate hunger before.
I also noticed from my experience that changing of strategies works sometimes better than doing the same thing over and over again. May be it is an avantage to follow some algorithm for a person who has a lot of lb to loose. For example, step one - eliminate all sugars (hfcs,sugar,agave nectar, honey, fruit juices...) and wheat; step two - minimize artificial flavors,...,step 6 - limit calories to X, step seven (for example) - limit all carbohydrates to 50 grams. I don't know what is next or in between. Last 15 - 20 lb to loose may require different diet than first 20. I have been on and off calories restrictive diets most of my adult life, now I am restrict carbs. I don't know what would happen if I started with Atkins 30 years ago. Would it keep me in a 20 years old weight range till 50, or I would just spent my only shot to get max benefits from Atkins at the age when just ELEM works? Some people claim that carb restriction works much more effective first time.

Sonnenschein said...

There is one really big problem for a lot of low-carb dieters, especially those who follow a more "sexy" approach à la Sisson: It is the attempt to create "regular" meals with low carb ingredients: Coconut milk and nuts for breakfast instead of milk and cereal, baked goods with lots of butter and nut flour and lots and lots of added fats. Maybe some of those options are healthier but they add lots and lots of extra calories if eaten in quantities equal to what was eaten before and if you live under the delusion that you cannot gain unless your carbs exceed 150 g/day...Another problem is that Paleo dieters are happy to cut one food after another from their diet: dairy, nuts, fruits, because it is easier to consider one food as "fattening" per se than just not to eat that much!

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

@Galina: "Some people claim that carb restriction works much more effective first time."

The "golden shot" theory. My personal experience has been that LC worked about the same each of the three times I did it, but each was separated by several years. When it doesn't seem to work the same way I think it's because either (a) they jump right in eating all of those foods they added in later in their LC journey off the bat or (b) expect too much and forget that they didn't lose 20 lbs in a week the last time either. Probably a bit of both.

Sonnenschein you're right there. The most successful folks seem to eat very clean. A post of Dana Carpender's that sticks in my mind was when she mentioned eating cake for breakfast sometimes b/c LC cakes are "real food". Almond meal has a LOT of calories. I also think things like those oopsie rolls will get you in trouble. Cream cheese and eggs and one roll will have like 3X the calories of the bun they replace.

That's the kicker. There's a study even Mary Vernon cites that showed that LC'ers lost weight because they spontaneously cut like 1000 cal/day from their intake (obese men), but their protein and fat were even lowered ever so slightly (a few grams)

If carbs are fattening it's in large part because they make great vehicles for fat calories.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Oops ... forgot to finish that thought. They cut out 1000 cal, mostly carbs, they didn't REPLACE the carbs with fat as we hear so often these days.

Eades amazes me what he'll write. I mean, how does that conversation go? Hey honey! Let's pig out for two weeks and see what happens? I note that the plate of food he shows was "doubled down" on which I take to mean two plates. His damaged metabolism nonsense is BS. At some point, most of us will gain easily when we overeat. Period.

@bentley: Perhaps I'm cutting Pope too much slack, but I guess I didn't read excuses in her piece. I note she mentioned training for a marathon and it taking a lot of time away from family. Many years ago when I did a sprint tri there were many hours of training and such ... but I was single and in grad school where my "runs" were 6 hours long. I would go set up the experiment then off to the pool. Perhaps she might do well to get out of the all or nothing mindset. Drop the kid off at volleyball and walk around the facility while she's at practice. Stuff like that.

As I write this I wonder if Eades free for all was the result of them vowing to lose weight in 2012 before leaving on their trip. Knowing that meant strict LC they went overboard. His menus linked at the end are quite interesting as well. They are quite low calorie.

Galina L. said...

@ I personally was surprised to see what Dr. Eades eat on vocations, his cheat meal didn't even look very appealing. It could be very little taste sacrifice to skip beans and grits, on another hand, I didn't grew up in South. I had to consume something out of my diet range regularly but not frequently during my summer visit to Russia(sometimes following your personal diet could be too socially awkward to be reasonable) but fast next day mediated the possible effect, and Dr.Eades's blog was among my sources when I learned about IF, so he knows what to do. He either conducted an experiment or felt "A, whatever...".
I rather see Dana Carpender as a good example about what not to do than a role model. She volunteered to conduct an experiment what would happened if you eat LC cakes for breakfast, so, thank you, Dana, very much. The more data, the better.
On every diet regiment there are different wrong things to do. On the LC - eating too much of appropriate food, on calories counting - eating cookies and other junk because it fits into calories count. Some people manage to get away unharmed with such cheats and use it as a prove that they are right. Sometimes it is the case, there is a room for slack. I would rather be on safer side.
The message I read from the article - there is nothing much you really can do, however some outstanding heroes manage to hold on. Probably it balances out the conventional advice "Just move you fat ass and stop staffing your fat face", but I would rather be interested to read what options people have, what to try next after , for example, not eating fast or prepared food is not enough.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Ya know Galina, re: Dana, I think that's a great way to look at it. How not to eat :-) It's funny, I think Day 7 of Eades' picture diary from 2008 he ate quite a lot of bread. Two slices LC, finger sandwiches, more bread for snack, bread at dinner. He mentioned at AHS eating croissants. It's interesting when he and MD did their IF experiment, they didn't eat low carb. He says he only gets GERD when he strays off LC more than a few days but he has that Protexid ... seems like he does a lot more regular straying than one might expect? Which is fine, but I think for someone promoting the lifestyle in such a "the rest of those dumb docs have it all wrong" kinda way it's rather disingenuous. Or does the LC not really cure GERD so miraculously after all.

Tonus said...

@GalinaL: "I never mentioned a metabolic advantage in my comment, I am discussing only an advantage of a diet."

I figured that any discussion of the advantages of one diet over another would involve the MA theory, so I covered it in my reply. I believe that most other advantages (such as the benefits you are seeing via LC) may be specific to each of us, as our reactions to different foods will vary, both in terms of how our body responds as well as whether or not we enjoy them.

For example, I enjoy foods that contain granola and I love yogurt, but I've found that those foods cause me considerable stomach discomfort. I can say that with some conviction because I will periodically try one or the other and I experience the same problems every time. That doesn't mean that granola and/or yogurt are bad foods; they're simply bad foods for me. In the same way, LC has provided specific benefits for you, meaning that it's a good approach for you.

In that sense, some foods have an advantage over others, but I think that it exists on a case-by-case basis.

bentleyj74 said...

" Well, didn't you know that Protein Power is not only muscle-sparing, but new limb-growing? I mean, duh...."

Say, I could use another set of hands! My luck though I'd just get my third eye openned and start seeing ghosts or something lame like that :)

@Evelyn

We agree actually. She's aimless and disoriented. If I wanted to get somewhere I'd cut her loose.

"I note she mentioned training for a marathon and it taking a lot of time away from family."

Excellent example. Talk about a wild pendulum swing that no doubt contributes to the superhuman perception. Marathon or bust.

Although, I have a friend who has 5 children [preggo with number 6 atm] who runs marathons regularly and isn't away from family more than an hour a few times a week to do her training. She runs because she loves the sport...not for weight loss. She'd be the first to tell anyone wanting to lose weight that performance goals will be in conflict with cal deficit goals.

I'll take her word for it as I'd rather have my tongue nailed to the floor than run 26 miles. I doubt I even have 26 miles worth of self preservation. I'd likely let a pursuant have their way with me waaaay before we hit the upper teens.

If I had TPP daily schedual, preferences, expendable income, and location I could have her set up in probably less than a week. Maybe it'll be my first best seller, eh? :P

Not that it matters, she'll send me a 10 page letter detailing why every single door I have pointed out to her that will take her out of the room she is "trapped" in is nonapplicable.

Galina L. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Galina L. said...

@ Evelyn, I noticed many times you are more vigilant than me about what is going on with famous bloggers, like JM and Dr. Eades. I am more self-centered, I am afraid. More often I am looking around for fresh ideas, try it or not, it works or not. I never payed attention, that Dr. Eades consumed more bread than he advised. After I found how beneficial it was to stay away from wheat, there is no way back. My mom, who is very fond of sourdough rue bread slipped several times, but gastric reflex pushed her back on the no-grain track. I, probably, have an advantage in my disadvantage, that I also use VLC diet for therapeutic purposes. It has to be a ketosis for at least 10 days in every month because migraines are much more possible during a particular phase of my hormonal cycle. Probably Dr. Eades is more resistant to a negative reinforcement.

@ Tonus,
I agree with you that a bold claim that the same food causes the same effect on everyone is not very intelligent, but I dare to say that there is a significant part of population for whom lowering carbs (to different degrees) works much better for a weight loss than trying to measure and subsequently control their energy intakes and outtakes. It was not touched in the article at all. Probably, listing different options would make it less gloomy, and it was not an intent. I thought before that the main culprit in the official dietary advice was the prevalence of naturally thin experts who sincerely thought that just eating "real foods, especially blueberries" and doing daily exercise may straiten up every despised fatty.
I tried different approaches to a weight loss during my life, what I want to say now is not about who is right. Very often I see in arguments against LC that the diet works only because it lowers calories (I can't appropriately discuss calories because I don't count it), so the next logical turn is to conclude that LC belongs to a calories restrictive category of diets, like WW, Genny, whatever, so there is no difference and nothing to discuss except making fan of promise of suddenly growing limbs (I agree - it is funny). Yes, Dr. Eades doesn't look consistent in his diet approach (finished his carrier,relaxed,comfortable - what do you expect?), Dana didn't get different result when she substituted wheat for almonds in her recipes, but what is the take out of it ? That the LC is a complete fraud? Again, it is not about who is right, but I don't want to discourage the part of population who would get the same benefits as me from LC , to try it next after WW or something else fails, because it is (well, may be), different. I am not trying to snick in an insulin theory of obesity, because at that point I don't care anymore, it would push us again into the "who is right?" territory. There is a heated discussion since several months ago - FR versus Carb restriction. Not regaining weight is a higher prioryty for me than who is right, so I practice both. Personally, if I would have to choose, it would be CR.

People need help, and I want it to be the bottom line. Of course, inflated promises rather do damage than help, and Evelyn is right when she rants about false claims. But try to separate the foam from the water not for some higher truth but for your own sake.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Hi Galina, Perhaps the reason for this is that in 2009 when I found the LC web, Eades was huge. And there was this wealth of great blog posts, often with hundreds of comments from 2008 with great ideas and advice. I was also very active on Jimmy's Discussion board and Eades was highly cited there for advice. Jimmy used to swoop in from time to time with advice of his own. I've already explained some of the others -- e.g. Dana who is just a little older than I am for example. I was looking for things to try -- which is why I tried IF and many other things including a Sisson-styled plan, etc. I used to offer a lot of advice on the forum as well. I don't hold all the answers to losing all the weight, but I don't go through the yo-yo hell either. If what I was suggesting was different from what I did, then I would be a hypocrit! And there are times I suggested things to people with "I've never tried this myself, but it seems to have worked for a lot of people". At the time the "up the fat", "you're not eating enough fat" advice was dominating the airwaves. Well, the fact that Jimmy had upped his fat and quit exercising regularly had him sporting a 46" waist when I found him was quite alarming. Here while he was saying just eat meat and veggies and you'll be losing again in no time folks! The same goes for Eades. I consider their 6WC to be a hoax frankly. So whether or not they practice what they preach is huge to me. It's all so easy and effortless in their books, but apparently it's too much of an effort for them to even follow despite their careers depending on it.

I subscribe to various places with feed readers that I skim every now and again, and folks email me various things to give me a heads up. Plus I have a freakish memory which can drive me crazy at times b/c I remember reading something, am a stickler for citations, but can't find it again.

I guess part of the service I provide here is to just share some of this stuff I know so others don't have to waste their time and money needlessly. It seems to get read and my Inbox seems to tell me many appreciate it.

bentleyj74 said...

"I thought before that the main culprit in the official dietary advice was the prevalence of naturally thin experts who sincerely thought that just eating "real foods, especially blueberries" and doing daily exercise may straiten up every despised fatty."

Completely agree with this statement. The thing about the naturally thin experts which I think is underappreciated is that if you overfed them...they'd gain weight. The "naturally" part comes from another part of the total equation. It doesn't really help lighten the load for an already overburdened person to be given a list of what looks and feels like more punishment and chores.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Thank you for highlighting that bentley, I agree somewhat with that. But that should apply equally to Mark Sisson & Co. Still, I don't think that is always the case. Off the top of my head we have Richard Simmons, Jenny Craig, Susan Powter, Curves founder if I'm not mistaken, and countless others who've lost weight by your traditional ELMM methods and kept it off such as Jared. If you go back and read the HAES series this was my point from the get-go. I think this is worthy of a fleshed out blog post. Timely as I have some loose ends vis a vis my experiences with Jimmy that need to be tied up and it fits in well with this topic. But a pre-emptive reader summary for Lerner -- grin: If you're a weight loss success story you better damn well be one, and if you're claiming to follow your own advice, then you better damn be doing just that. Practice what you preach or you have no business preaching it.

bentleyj74 said...

"I can’t remember a time when my mother, whose weight probably fluctuated between 150 and 250 pounds, wasn’t either on a diet or, in her words, cheating on her diet."

Appropriate relationships with food were not modeled in my upbringing.

" Sometimes we ate healthful, balanced meals; on other days dinner consisted of a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken."

I'm pretty far down the "good foods/bad foods" road.

" I’m much more interested in figuring out what I can do about it now. "

This statement stands in stark contrast to the rest of the article and strikes me as either untrue or the result of cognitive dissonance.

"Wing says that she agrees that physiological changes probably do occur that make permanent weight loss difficult, but she says the larger problem is environmental"

I will drop this like it's hot.

“We’ve taught ourselves over the years that one of the ways to reward yourself is with food. It’s hard to change the environment and the behavior.”

Except to say that it's "hard".

"That means a dieter who thinks she is burning 200 calories during a brisk half-hour walk is probably using closer to 150 to 160 calories."

Let's pause to split hairs over 40 calories though.

“I think many people who are anxious to lose weight don’t fully understand what the consequences are going to be"

Punishment

"She has also come to accept that she can never stop being “hypervigilant”

Punishment

"The man I was dating, perhaps trying to help, finished the thought. “You thought she’d be thinner, right?”

I allow people I am intmate with to treat me with little dignity in public.

"it’s all I can do to get dinner on the table between finishing my work and carting my daughter to dance class or volleyball practice."

I am overwhelmed by unremarkable daily living tasks.

"And while I enjoy exercising for 30- or 40-minute stretches, I also learned from six months of marathon training that devoting one to two hours a day to exercise takes an impossible toll on my family life."

I am not able to integrate self care into my day to day environment in a viable sustainable manner.

"It is true that people who are overweight, including myself, get that way because they eat too many calories relative to what their bodies need. But "

The "but" negates the entire previous statement.

"Clearly, weight loss is an intense struggle"

Punishment

"For me, understanding the science of weight loss has helped make sense of my own struggles to lose weight, as well as my mother’s endless cycle of dieting, weight gain and despair."

Were we reading the same quotes? It seemed pretty clear to me that the science of weight loss is poorly understood.

"I wish she were still here so I could persuade her to finally forgive herself for her dieting failures."

I wish she were still alive so that I could rationalize our mutual obesity rather than address my obvious resentment towards her

"While I do, ultimately, blame myself for allowing my weight to get out of control"

I blame my mother

"it has been somewhat liberating to learn that there are factors other than my character at work when it comes to gaining and losing weight"

...but it would be nice to blame her indirectly so I don't have to deal with those bad feelings

"it’s going to be very, very difficult for me to reduce my weight"

I think I don't want to punish myself for the rest of my life

"I’m surprisingly optimistic."

I've found a way to feel comfortable putting this punishment into the safely distant future.

"I may not be ready to fight this battle this month or even this year. But at least I know what I’m up against."

I wouldn't be willing to have the fight she thinks she's up against either but I wouldn't put a dime on her winning it if I was the betting sort.

bentleyj74 said...

Yes, I do realize editorializing her article in that way is potentially incendiary. I do have a purpose in doing it that I'll be following up on later.

Steph said...

"I wouldn't be willing to have the fight she thinks she's up against either but I wouldn't put a dime on her winning it if I was the betting sort."

Bentley, here's why I think she just might.

(Warning, personal anecdote to follow.)

I had a pack a day smoking habit starting when I was 19, for 12 years. For the last five or six of those, I was very, very often trying to quit. I'd decide at night to stop, break up the cigarettes, throw them in the trash, and in the morning I'd be sobbing, picking them out of the trash, cleaning off the baked beans, taping them together and smoking them. (Attractive!) Occasionally I made it a few days first, but rarely.

OK, so when I was 31 for some reason I decided to use an aid for the first time, so I picked up Nicorette Gum. I threw out the cigarettes and went to bed. I woke up, grabbed a piece of gum, broke off a quarter, chewed it, packed it, waited a few minutes...then I got up and went about my day.

Until then I had never actually gotten that I was addicted to nicotine. I thought I just really, really loved smoking. Because I had the nicotine, I didn't have a driving need to smoke taped up cigarettes.

Suddenly, quitting was easy. I maybe used two pieces of gum total and never wanted a cigarette again.

Ms. Parker-Pope has a better understanding of the nature of the regain problem. That might just make the difference. I hope so.

Steph said...

P. S. By "quitting was easy", I don't mean because of the gum - I used very little of it. It was easy because I finally got my head around the nature of the problem.

Galina L. said...

@ Evelin, I sincerely hope nothing in my comment passed as a sarcastic remark. It is great you remember the history of LCarbing, it must provide a lot of material for your thoughts and insides. I have a perfect memory when it comes to culinary recipes - must be saying something. I got interested in LC in 2008, but can't remember when I got into the dieting web, I first encountered Jonny Bowden's book,"Living LC", it was basically the digest of every book on the subject, then I started to take books from the library, only later hit the internet. First time when I heard about Dana Carpenter was when you recently posted about her being on diabetic drags. Probably, I am just survived too many disappointments in public people I trusted related to the history of my country to be able to really trust anyone who I don't know personally again.When it is something like public up-rest, everybody is exited and hopeful, it feels like being high, then next disappointment, rinse, repeat. Population lost all their savings at least twice during my lifetime. It made me more lay-back person in general. I read many Dr. Eades old posts too, after reading his Protein Power, especially about ketosis, got a lot advise from that source. I wouldn't practice a regiment that is not working for for a long time, like JM. I did that mistake once, not for a long, when I tried to limit read meat and sat. fat, now I am more skeptical. Dr. Andrew Weill who inspired me to eat more tofu, is still fat, unlike me. I am afraid I am unable to be fair to vegetarians since then.

Before I resented spending too much time behind computer because my job required a lot of computer drafting, and books seems to be more relaxing. Right now I am out of job because company went bankrupt, since my husband is employed, we are ok, but I have more time than before now.
@bentley,
The difference between overfeeding naturally thin person and somebody who is incline to be fat or just fat is in the easiness of overfeeding, and I dare to say , in the amount of food. I don't know exactly how thin experts eat when they were fat, but I have been living with naturally thin husband for almost 20 years, and I notised the difference between how he eats and my eating. I have been always controlling myself, limited my portions compare to him, eating salads with meat when he was eating huge plates of pasta with his meat, . He is not a tall man, not taller than me, looks like he is made out of wires, just recently(after 51) he developed some hint of a gut and hint of love-handles after I went to Russia for 2 months, and he was eating fast food. He is doing sports 2 - 3 times a week at high intensity, and very sedentary the rest of the time.I was always physically active. In order for him to get noticeably fat you will have deliberately feed him more food than he wants to eat. I will fast regain if I start eating as much as I want and as much as he eats now while weight stable. He suspected for a while long time ago that I secretly got some food because he couldn't understand why I can't eat like him .There is a benefit - because I tryed to stay out of trouble and didn't buy sweets and soft drinks, baked only on holidays, my family is healthier now. Please, don't tell me that all fat people are lying or delusional, that I should be exercising even more. I don't lay to myself. It was me who wanted to be at normal weight(I had been on and off, I am ok now), no man ever said anything critical about my body. That is why I jump into the insulin theory - it made sense out the tortures phenomenon that I couldn't eat like people in my family.

Sounds like a runt, but I will be posting it anyway. It is partially the web is for.

Sarah Barracuda said...

@bentley - 'potentially incendiary' is an understatement; I'm half-expecting your comment to go viral, at least in a certain large corner of the blogosphere! (Why exactly don't you have a blog again?! You'd more than hold your own against any blowback....)

TPP: "The man I was dating, perhaps trying to help, finished the thought. “You thought she’d be thinner, right?”"

bentley's translation: "I allow people I am intmate with to treat me with little dignity in public."

Yeah, I definitely did a double-take there (my skimming did take me that far in the article). How old was she when this happened??? There are certain elementary lessons in self-respect that need to be learned, oh, I don't know--a good number of years before my age (20's). My reading of her account is that she didn't much respond to that. Yes, I do agree it provides insight into strength of character.

While I'm curious as to where you're ultimately going with this, I think it couldn't hurt for all of us to keep in (the forefront of) mind to what extent our own experiences color our POV's. I'll be the first to concede that I don't know what it's like to be obese and try and fail repeatedly in losing weight. I hate potentially (horribly) misusing psych terms, but are we sure we're not reading more 'learned helplessness' into her piece than is merited?

Muata said...

@bentley - I couldn't agree with you more! Honestly, as some who is a "sane" maintainer, I'm a bit offended by the TPP's article because I think certain parts are extreme exaggerations about what needs to be done to maintain the lost weight.

For every maintainer who actually carries a scale with them on vacation (how neurotic), there is one who would scoff at such lunacy. The extreme examples that she uses in her article does make it seem as though you need, as Evie pointed out, Superhuman powers ...

But here's the thing: you don't!

Unfortunately, the take home message from reading TPP's article, for me, was that to maintain the lost weight one needs to become a strict calorie counter and cardio addict "for life".

This is just not true of every maintainer, and I wished that they would spotlight more "sane" folks who have kept the weight off. Not all of us exercise 6 days a week and keep a food log in our hip pocket (or on our smartphones) that we're constantly referring to. And, contrary to the NCWR, some of us don't even ... (gasp) ... weigh ourselves, let alone do it every damn day!

Dawn said...

I reached a high weight of 150+ lb (I didn't like weighing myself then so I'm not sure) around age 30. Since then I've lost weight in roughly 10-lb increments (generally following the birth of a child, when I find it easy to shed weight), using both a low-fat approach and a low-carb approach at different times. I've maintained a healthy 125 lb without much effort since my last child was born two years ago (when I was 41); generally speaking I eat plentiful amounts and never actually count anything. I do eyeball portion sizes and do things like drink a glass of water and wait five minutes before taking a second helping (often finding I'm full enough to skip the seconds), but this is very casual and it's a rule I break sometimes, too. Low-carb helps to some degree but even when I "carb up" for a while I don't regain the weight. I do usually avoid sugar (being pre-diabetic) which helps keep me from consuming excessive calories.

Would my relative ease be explained by my not being as "metabolically broken" as others? Or am I actually proof that it may just be possible to adjust one's appetite/consumption/exercise patterns without becoming obsessed with them?

I guess I'm 5 lb short of qualifying to be in the database of successful maintainers, but I wouldn't have much advice anyway, other than "pay attention to what you're actually eating and stop before you're totally stuffed. Also, increase your daily activity levels." That won't grab headlines any time soon, I guess.

Dawn said...

Oh, and Bentley had me LOL with her discussion of marathon training ("rather have my tongue nailed to the floor"). I'm definitely in the same camp. So my "increased activity levels" involve leisurely strolls in the woods and commuting by bicycle rather than car or bus. Nothing very strenuous. Again, this won't grab headlines, but it works. (You really hustle on a bike when you're going to be late for work if you don't!)

Tonus said...

@GalinaL: "but I dare to say that there is a significant part of population for whom lowering carbs (to different degrees) works much better for a weight loss than trying to measure and subsequently control their energy intakes and outtakes."

I agree. To clarify my view: in the same way that Evelyn has no issues with LC or VLC as an effective weight loss mechanism, I believe that lowering carbs can be a very useful method for dropping a fair amount of excess weight. I think that there are a number of reasons for this, some of which I've covered before, but I'm in a typing mood, so...

1- The first thing that most people drop when they start LC is sweets and snacks, which are mostly non-nutritious and highly-palatable filler that provides enormous amounts of calories with very little satiety.

2- The second thing that people drop (or reduce to some degree) on LC is starches, including bread. I don't think we realize how ubiquitous bread is in our homes until we vow to stop eating it.

3- Almost no one who reduces his sugar/starch intake will replace it with an equal amount of protein and/or fat, since the latter are more filling. Thus, you get the benefits of calorie restriction without hunger or cravings.

4- "Paleo" and LC diets are not as high-fat as you might think, since so many foods are provided in low-fat or reduced-fat forms. Even a lot of the meats you can buy these days have had a fair amount of the fat trimmed away, and many modern cooking gadgets are designed to allow fat and grease to drip away from the cooked foods. Sure, your dedicated fat-fanatic will make sure to purchase fatty foods and will make sure that none of that precious fat escapes, but John and Jane Smith will eat relatively lean.

In short, LC will probably make you leaner, but as can be seen from the experiences (and photographs) of many LCers, it may not make you lean. A runner can make progress without actually finishing the race.

Galina L. said...

I have been realistic, I didn't set my goal to be "lean", ripped or with longer limbs. I got leaner, reached socially and personally acceptable clothes size, I look toned due to yoga and variety of cardio activity, but most importantly - I am living my life without excess hunger for last 4 years+. Never before did I manage to stay on any food-limitation regime for so long without feeling deprived. I am no more a permanently hungry female who is miserably trapped into chronic cardio and afraid to eat when I eat. Does it matter if the LC diet is high in fat or not? What is matter for me is the ability to finally relate on hunger when choosing how much to eat. I am an engineer and mostly result-oriented. Why LC works it interesting but not really important for me. Everybody knows we should limit sugar , bread and most starches when we on any weight-loss diet. Probably, LC type of diet addresses it in a more categorical way, and we eat less because we do not compensate the absence of carbs in the diet adequately with fats and proteins. Most "Lean Cuisine" are just miniature regular meals low in fat. Also, often paleo-style diets advise against snacking, which is important in order to eat less. Evelyn brought up enough examples of people who got fat or lost and regain on LC. There is no magic, and some gorging volunteers helped to collect the data that you may neutralize the satisfying effect of LC if you are creative. Probably the therm LC is not informative enough because some people manage to understand it in a dysfunctional for their purpose way .

After reading Evelyn's account of her relationship with LC movement, it crossed my mind, that I probably just got lucky ,missed in time the "eat more fat" message and arrived more close to time when IF became in vogue. If you are inclined to be naturally fat or became prone to carry extra fat after certain age , no diet will make you a naturally lean person at any size , you will have to limit your food intake and also your urge to eat. "Balanced diets" take care of the food limitation, doesn't address hunger limitation much better and require more will-power and more micromanagement, so should not be recommended as a first option.

Just a side note - I am not wasting fat or juice from my grass-fed meats, make broths from bones in a pressure cooker and collect the grass-fed fat for free from the local natural food store (fat is cut from stakes to make it leaner) in order to use it in cooking. I am sure such activity qualifies me as a fanatic, but I don't have much of a peer pressure.

bentleyj74 said...

I had the follow up all typed out and wouldn't you know it....poof. Gone. I took it as a sign from TPTB that I should go have mango margaritas instead :) [Or possibly that I should save things as I go along but shhhh mango margaritas!]

In her fat trap article TPP self identifies that she has a problem. She lays out her grievances and what it has cost her and her family members. She says "I want to know how to resolve this."

Then what does she do next? She presents the various and sundry elements to her solution as though THEY and not her present environment are ridden with pathology even to the point of dire [but vague] warnings about "consequences".

Always and never are the two best headgame words in the english language. You always have to weigh your food/self. You can never enjoy "normal" eating/social patterns and btw...you'll never really get where you're trying to go and if you do, you're just an imposter anyway.

I can't help but notice she interviews only people who have either failed outright or have only partially succeeded. I'd fail too if I tried to accomplish ANYTHING in life as though such a thing as an independent variable existed outside of a lab experiment.

She certainly didn't interview me or any others like me who went from being "naturally" thin to gaining weight and back to "naturally" thin again or give them the opportunity to express what a relief it was. The discomfort physically, socially, psychologically, [sexually but no one goes there do they?], environmentally...the pathology inherent in the minutes of the day adequate to change my body composition was a burden to say the least. She doesn't ask anyone how much EASIER things are since they found ways to better manage stress, prioritize, organize, and consolidate activities for efficiency.

Nope, it's all about being a slave to that scale which...btw...I don't even own. Never have. If I needed one I'd have it. If I needed to keep a rough calorie count in order to keep my perceptions working for me and not against me I'd do that too [I balance my checkbook after all].

All of those options are tools in MY hands not burdens on my back and they serve me, not vice versa.

That's the danger in asking people who have succeeded though, they'll tell you to stop looking for mythical perfection and hit the gas. They'll ask you what you want, what you are doing to get there, and they will ask you personal questions and even challenge you when what you SAY you want lies in the opposite direction to where you are walking.

Galina L. said...

I started to print my responses in my e-mail account in the "Compose" after several my posts disappeared, and then just paste it in "Comments". I feel your frustration. Thank you for following-up.
Some people like Parker-Pope are just live their lives like victims of circumstances, after reading the article it felt like she wants to drag everybody down in order to stay in her hole with more comfort.

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