Monday, July 30, 2007

Weight Loss 7 of the most common problems that can ruin your way to success:Problem 5

Before you read and maybe start doing what i will tell you in any of my posts please note that you have to Always consult a doctor before starting any type of weight-loss program.
Here is problem 5 from my series of 7 problems that could rip your efforts apart:

Low-Carb or High-Carb?

For those of you who don’t know the benefits of a high-carbohydrate diet compared to a low-carbohydrate diet I put my name that you will after reading this post. This is a very important point as some time ago low-carb diet plans like Atkins and South Beach got some huge press and popularity. Although its popularity has waned dramatically at this point the Atkins’ diet was instrumental in starting this debate in recent times so it will be used as the primary example of the low-carb diet in this post.The first thing to address is that there are a few discrepancies among people concerning what a low-carb diet entails, and in fact even Atkins changed his mind dramatically over the course of the thirty year life of his bestselling book. The most crucial point is that not all carbohydrates are made equal, a point which was fuzzy for Dr. Atkins when his book was first published in 1972. The fact is that fibrous carbohydrates – in the form of vegetables – are crucial for proper functioning, particularly when it comes to avoiding constipation. Although the Atkins diet now encourages the consumption of fibrous carbohydrates, the initial phase of even the recent program limits of them severely enough that an alarming majority of participants find themselves suffering with problems like constipation. The other point that causes discrepancies in opinion is in the immediate weight loss that occurs when people start on the low-carb diet and which some feel justifies the means. Unfortunately the initial weight loss from a low-carb diet has much less to do with fat-loss than with water loss. How so? A report by the Tufts University School of Nutrition regarding the low-carb South Beach Diet explains it well:

“Consider that carbohydrates are stored in the body attached to water molecules. When carbs are not taken in with the diet, every carb that comes out of storage to fuel the various organs and other tissues releases water,which ends up in urine and creates weight loss on the scale that can be confused with fat loss.”Obviously, water loss is not healthy, it’s not sustaining, and it’s not what people on a fat-loss program should be content with. As if to drive the final nail into the coffin of the Atkins diet, in a 12-month comparison study of Atkins diet, the Zone diet, the Ornish diet, and Weight Watchers, Atkins came in last place in the amount of weight lost in the year, according to It also had a relatively high (50%) drop-out rate –
especially for a diet that allows indulgence in fatty meats, cheese and butter.The main reason for this would be that many participants on a low carb diet complain of frequent food cravings, likely due to the lack of energy that carbohydrate deprivation causes. Some of the other common side effects –like headaches, halitosis and hair loss – likely caused more concern. On a bigger scale, this same type of lack of loyalty was reflected by the fact that it went from being a craze where nearly 10% of North American adults were on the diet at its peak, to being bankrupt by July 2005.

Nobody is arguing that certain types of carbohydrates – like white bread and rice, honey and syrup - cause an increase in blood sugar, and therefore insulin, and that fat stores increase because of this. The problem lies in the misnomer that all carbs have this effect in equal measure, which you would believe by following Dr. Atkins’ original book. The other, bigger problem for the Atkins people is the insistence that you can eat all kinds of fattening foods, like steak and cheeseburgers, as long as you avoid certain carbs (like fruits, since they contain fruit sugars).Carbohydrates are necessary due to the fact that they are converted to glycogen when stored in your muscles, where they are held until needed for extra energy. This is made more necessary when you are on an exercise program, which you surely must be to lose significant amounts of weight. As stated, carbohydrates also provide fiber in your diet. The damaging effects of the Atkins low-carb diet have been noted by such institutions as the National
Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, the American Dietetic Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, John Hopkins School of Medicine, and the American College of Sports Medicine, among others.So what accounts for the enormous popularity of low-carb diets if they ultimately are neither effective nor healthy? As mentioned above, there is a great deal of initial weight loss, so participants become ecstatic with their
results and tell others about it as they dehydrate dangerously. By the time they realize they can only lose so much water, and that it doesn’t improve their appearance in a bikini, others have already bought the products. This system works very well – for those making money from it.
For more information about the effects of the Atkins and other low-carb diets, I strongly recommend checking out Now, please note that I’m not saying that you must go on a high-carb diet and stay there. What you need to know is that there are very useful fibrous and starchy carbs (oatmeal, potatoes, yams, brown rice, veggies) that are going to help you fulfill your weight loss goals. One recommendation is to start at a point where 55 – 60% of calories are coming from carbohydrates and work from there. If you experience bad results due to carbohydrate sensitivity (as happens in some endomorph body types), go lower. Just don’t
ever put yourself at 20 grams a day as Atkins would have you in the Induction phase of their program.

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Related posts:

Weight Loss 7 of the most common problems that can ruin your way to success:Problem 4

Weight Loss 7 of the most common problems that can ruin your way to success:Problem 3

Weight Loss 7 of the most common problems that can ruin your way to success:Problem 2

Weight Loss 7 of the most common problems that can ruin your way to success:Problem 1

1 comment:

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