Atkins and Low Carb Weight Loss

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High protein, low-fat, low-carb diets cause weakness, nausea & diarrhea...

on 2/3/11 10:41 am - Durango, CO
VSG on 06/08/10 with
Excerpt from 'Why We Get Fat' by Gary Taubes:

It has been suggested from evidence of the dietary practices of hunter-gatherer populations, both present day and historical, that humans avoid diets that contain too much protein. The short term symptoms of these high-protein, low-fat, low-carbohydrate diets are weakness, nausea and diarrhea. These symptoms will disappear when the protein content is reduced to a more moderate 20-25% of calories and fat content is increased to compensate. When physicians and nutritionists tested carbohydrate restriction they did so with fatty meat and diets that were 75-80% fat and only 25% protein. This mixture had no side-effects, was well tolerated and is most consistent with diets eaten by populations like the Inuits, who live almost exclusively on (high-fat) animal products.

I thought this topic was interesting because we've all been told for years that eating fat is so bad for us. He began that discussion by pointing out that high-protein diets that are low in fat can be toxic. I've been trying to adjust my diet to test Taubes theory and have noticed that I do feel so much better when I eat a higher fat diet.

Another thing Taubes points out is that we should not be concerned with calorie intake - eat when we feel hungry and eat until we feel satisfied - not full - just satisfied. 

Amen to that!


Bichon Mom2 Oval Sticker

MSW will not settle
on 2/3/11 11:38 am, edited 2/3/11 11:38 am
I love the idea of eating just to satisfy hunger.  Realistically, not many people whe needed wls can pull that one off. 

Recently I've read research papers that concurred with the points made above.   It discussed experiments done on high protein diets vs real life experiences of europeans forced by cir****tance to adopt the Inuit traditional diet.  Studies claiming high protein diets resulted in weakness were too short in duration for the body to adjust burning fat for energy vs carbohydrates. 

I do ok no matter what I eat.  However, I feel and look best on protein foods.  Carbs result in energy crashes shortly after plus increased hunger.   

                   MSW   Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass: Eat sensibly & enjoy moderation  

 Links:  Are you a compulsive eater?  for help OA meets on-line Keep Coming Back, One Day At a Time  Overeaters Anonymous 


Whacka Doodle
on 2/3/11 12:18 pm
Probably most of you are too young to remember the Stillman diet -- essentially the same thing Taubes is warning us against.  Those people did lose weight, but got sickly.  Fortunately that diet went by the wayside.

But it's an interesting point, isn't it?  How often do we have to remind CARb posters to increase their calories, especially fat?  And when people feel bad eating low-fat high-protein diets, who can blame them for stopping it?

When I consider the Atkins protein charts (sticked at the top of our list of threads) it seems that most protein ranges average about 100-110 grams/day -- roughly 400-450 calories.  And that rightly would add up to about 20-25% of most of our calorie intakesd of about 1400-1800 calories a day, so I guess that in general, we seem to be right on.

Thank you for posting this!
Interested in low-carb nutrition?  Thinking of trying Atkins? Want to try high-fat and/or high-protein eating?  Whether or not you have had (or are thinking about) WLS   

on 2/3/11 8:46 pm - Durango, CO
VSG on 06/08/10 with
I was thinking about this post last night when I went to bed and wished that I had included why Taubes thinks low-calorie diets (aka starvation diets) don't work. There were many reasons he cited but the one that I identify most with is that starvation diets are uncomfortable. We cannot stay on them long because we don't feel good and don't have much energy. It's hard to make a lifestyle change when you feel like crap! I was also thinking about how much better I feel now that I've tweaked my carb intake down to less than 30. I always vow that I'm going to stay in that mode because I feel so much better - but my history shows that little by little carbs creep back in and suddenly I'm struggling again. It takes discipline just like a starvation diet - but in this case it is not uncomfortable once I get past carb withdrawals. Knowing how hard it is to get past carb withdrawals I always wonder why the heck I let carbs creep back in!!! ;-)

Bichon Mom2 Oval Sticker

MSW will not settle
on 2/4/11 9:20 am

I must disagree on the stillman diet.  It fell by the wayside because stillman died of heart disease.  He was already old and recovering from a massive heart attack when he came up wiht the diet. 

The negative reports about the stillman diet are grossly exagerated as with other low carb plans.  As with any diet, some people may well become sickly.  It was not the standard for those on the stillman diet.  I did stillman as a teen as did many people I know.  It was then the only way I could loose weight.  I still revert back to it when I can't get into ketosis even at induction level carbs. 

Like with atkins, if you maintain sufficient calories, take vitamins, get enough calcium, you do not become sickly.   I kept the weight off until I started eating carbs.  Then came the food pyramid and the rest of the nghtmare is history.  I wish I had never stoped returning to stillman whenever my weight increased by five pounds. 

on 2/3/11 10:51 pm - Farmington, NM
Because they are sneaky Delicious little *******s!
on 2/4/11 12:55 am - Durango, CO
VSG on 06/08/10 with
LOLOLOL!!! Ain't that the truth!!!

I just saw your post about gaining on your trip! Don't feel too bad about it - at least you enjoyed yourself! I gained 3 lbs after Christmas and didn't even do anything fun! ;-)

You guys freezing down there? We're going to be down there tomorrow - do I need my parka and mukluks???! ha!

Bichon Mom2 Oval Sticker

Lee ~
on 2/4/11 4:05 am - CA
About that eat until satisfied.... when I'm eating carbs, they just keep calling to me and I find myself wandering in and out of the kitchen.  Eating very low carb, when I get the "hungries", I ask myself if I want a hardboiled egg.  If my response is UGGGG, no!  then I know that I'm not really hungry and just dealing with head hunger.

Eating low carb definitely helps me eat until satisfied but an interesting thing is that if I eat just a little bit past that point, cravings start to set in.  So for someone that hasn't weighed what I do today since around 1977, I'd say I've been eating past that point of need/satisfied for many decades.  This is all a learning curve to figure out how to eat as my body needs.

I spent around 17 years in OA where I learned to follow a food plan and that worked pretty well but I never got below 189 in all those years.  The years that I was low carb were the easiest.  The years that I was vegan/no sugar were harder because I was hungry all the darn time.

Low carb rocks but I eventually grow tired of all the meat and cheese.  I just got home from Costco with a huge package of organic celery to give me some much loved crunch in my life!  :)

HW: 249   SW: 229 GW: 149 Age: 63 - Body by Sauceda - 12/2011

on 2/4/11 9:04 am - Durango, CO
VSG on 06/08/10 with
I love your strategy with the hard boiled egg....great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Bichon Mom2 Oval Sticker

Phyllis C.
on 2/4/11 9:02 pm
It's the snack thing that really sucks about low carb!!!  I can do a low carb meal just fine, but when I want a snack, I don't usually think of a hard boiled egg.  But you are right about the head hunger thing.  When you are truly hungry, a hard boiled egg sounds pretty good.

The sad thing about adkins is the fact that all of the butter, cream cheese and cheese one can have, tastes so much better with some bread, crackers or potatoes to hold them up!!

"Me agreeing with you doesn't preclude you from being a deviant."