Low-Carb Is Dead

Discussion in 'Gator Country Health and Fitness' started by Dreamliner, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    No, of course I'm not saying that no one's doing it anymore. For all I know more are doing it than ever. What I am saying is that there is no evidence for its commonly reputed advantages.

    There are free-living studies and there are ward studies. Free-living studies are basically where researchers ask you to eat in a certain way, cut you loose and you report back. Ward-studies are essentially where you are confined to a facility and they watch you like a hawk so as to ensure that you're eating in a particular way.

    As I understand it, of the free-living studies which compare low-carb to high-carb, roughly half show low-carbers losing marginally more weight than the high-carbers. Strangely (just kidding) the other half are never referenced by promoters of the low-carb approach.

    Note: it has been suggested that the reason some free-living studies show an advantage for low-carb is that, when there are no restrictions on eating, higher-protein diets afford better satiety. Thus, low-carbers consume fewer calories overall.

    Of the ward studies, without exception they show no advantage for low-carb. It all comes down to calorie deficit. There is no 'metabolic advantage' to severely restricting carbs. Moreover, which, if any, elite athletes do it ? Even bodybuilders are going high-carb these days.
  2. ajoseph
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    ajoseph Premium Member

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    I have been low-carb/good carb eating for about 8 years. I noticed a dramatic affect on weight loss (even though I didn't necessarily want to lose weight), and of course more significantly to me, a dramatic improvement in my blood tests. I "cheat" on the weekends, and during the week I remain carb-disciplined.

    I always have weight gain after eating crap over the weekend. I re-stabilize during the week. This lifestyle works for me, but it is definitely not for everyone.
  3. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and let me hasten to add that I'm not telling anyone not to go low-carb, at least not generally. I'm just pointing out that there is nothing magical about stringently restricting carbs. Or, put another way, there is nothing especially insidious about carbs.

    Low-carbers lose weight, and improve their blood markers, because they are restricting calories. For that matter, you can eat mostly donuts and, as long as you've established a calorie deficit, you will lose weight and your blood markers will likely improve.
  4. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    In fact, I advised a woman, awhile back, who wanted to drop thirty pounds. What came out of our discussion is that she'd lost weight in the past by restricting carbs. She further ventured that she rather enjoyed eating that way. So, basically, I asked her why the hell she ever stopped.
  5. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts on this are that calories matter over all other factors when trying to change body composition. Mess that up and I dont care what the macros are you wont see results. Now, I do think for athletes, bodybuilders, anyone who is competing in something where their body composition and diet can give them an edge should focus on whatever macro breakdown can do that for them. While still considering calories appropriate for the goals first.

    When you say bodybuilders even use high carb now, you are half right. They do very much use high carb to bulk and increase their muscle mass. However, when they are competition dieting you better believe the first thing they cut is their carb intake. Though, I dont think we need to go touting the habits of bodybuilders as something that the general population should be following. So many of their strategies are simply unhealthy and I am not even talking about the drugs they use.
  6. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure about the bodybuilders anymore. Recently I read that Jay Cutler got 700g carbs a day right up to the Mr. Olympia contest and runner-up Branch Warren 1,000g.

    Now, there may be some merit in carb-depletion for fluid manipulation. But that only takes a few days and has nothing to do with fat loss. And I'm not entirely sure about that particular strategy anymore especially since bodybuilders also use diuretics and, as you mentioned, God knows what else.
  7. ajoseph
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    ajoseph Premium Member

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    Speaking solely on my own experiences, I eat a lot of food. I just stay away from carbs during the week. I dont think I intake less calories. However, I NEVER calorie count, so it is possible I am wrong about the caloric intake. Likewise, I do not keep up with the scientific studies, like Dreamliner, so my comments are squarely based on my own personal observations and results.
  8. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes what feels like a lot of food is really not a lot of calories. The reason I believe removing carbs works for many is that what they end up cutting out is the stuff high in calories, then you replace it with things that are more filling and fewer calories. That is if you aren't eating a bucket or almonds or a pound of bacon each day. A number of years ago I did a carb cycle to lose some weight really quickly and it worked great, wasnt counting my calories then either, just the carb intake. Later when I looked into how many calories I was eating I did find that the low carb days were also pretty low in calories.

    The truth is what works for you is all that matters. So, low carb isnt dead in that sense as there are still plenty of people who will do better eating that way than another.
  9. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Ahem, yes, like I said in my opening sentence. :wink:

    But you do bring up another good point. Generally, much of the year I'm within striking distance of six-pack abs. If I want to bring out my abs quickly I cut back on PB&J sandwiches, scones, ice cream and such. Now, are my abs coming out because I've reduced carbs to the tune of 100-150g a day or is is that I've reduced roughly 800 calories or more a day ?
  10. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I changed it a little, I said they do better on it than eating another way and never mentioned its lack of a metabolic advantage. And that is how we get away with plagiarism.
  11. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    No disrespect intended towards anyone, but I don't get the impression that people have any idea how many calories they're getting. I spoke to a woman just last night. when she found out I was a fitness trainer (and this seems to happen a lot) ... she proceeded to tell me my business. She complained about how she couldn't lose weight even though all she was eating was fruits and vegetables ... or so she said. She also added that her metabolism was 'zero.'
  12. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you're an example of what I've mentioned regarding the free-living studies. People who consume higher percentages of protein, at least half the time, consume fewer calories overall.
  13. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    There is also the problem on the other end that if you talk to 3 trainers you get 4 opinions. That lady probably got some bad advice or didn't follow good advice then got frustrated and decided that it must be because she has no metabolism. People love to make up excuses when things dont go the way they want or they too hard to see them through.
  14. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    She told me, "Maybe I need to eat more." I replied, "Why don't you try it and see what happens ?" She has my card.
  15. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    She also theorized that she was in starvation mode. I asked her if starvation mode was true, wouldn't POW's be chubby ?
  16. ajoseph
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    ajoseph Premium Member

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    And truth be told,I NEVER calorie count ...
  17. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    That's good. About half the folks I work with don't have to count calories. But about half do. I'm working with a lady who had previously gained ten pounds on the Atkins Diet.

    And some are under orders not to eat anything that they do not pre-measure and everything must be meticulously recorded. For them, food is like a drug. I'm forcing them to drastically lower their dosage.
  18. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    I find some people actually really enjoying logging their meals. At least in my family experience. My mom who has lost a lot of weight recently did so by cutting calories and one of her tools for that was an online food log. It really helped her. And now my sister who is actually trying to gain some muscle is doing the same thing and found it is a struggle for her to get in the necessary calories each day with her training. She is just not hungry.
  19. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I told one of my clients that if his friends consider all his measuring and recording obsessive to tell them, "I'm doing a science project." Well, he is. through trial-and-error, and through personal experience, he is laboring to determine precisely how much food he is allowed to eat and still accomplish his weight-loss goals. Then, having nailed down the amount ... all he then has to do is to learn how to enjoy the amount of food he is allowed to eat.

    He's discouraged and stressed about his relative lack of progress. My surmise is that it has to be stressful not to know how much food he is allowed to eat in order to lose weight.
  20. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, thats the hard part you need to stick with it awhile to give it a chance before moving on to the next thing. People want to see results immediately and it doesnt always work that way.

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