Atkins Part 2: The merits of the Atkins diet



Beastt

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Originally posted by 2LAP
It looks like Dr. Atkins inventor of the Atkins diet was clinicaly obese at the time of his death (information leaked from his post mortum leaked and reported in British Newspapers).

This makes me think either (1) his diet doesn't work or (2) he wan't on the diet.

If he wasn't on the diet then why not?

Does anyone have any stories about being on the Atkins diet long term or why they have stopped being on it. In the UK the diet has declined as fast as it took off (which in my mind is a good thing)!

I'm after positive and negative stories, particularly from people that are fairly active too.

I heard the same information. He was reported to be 258 pounds when he died, (they said that was technically obese for his height. I have my doubts.). Perhaps more telling is that he died of a heart attack... his third. The diet he prescribes is a heart attack waiting to happen but from a psychological view, if you're in it to make money, the best way is to sell people what they want to hear and that's exactly what he was doing. Tell them they can eat the fatty foods they like, (the same ones responsible for the heart-attacks and obesity problem in America and other places around the world), but make them leave out the sugar/carbohydrates so that the body is forced to burn the fats and proteins that it doesn't digest as well.

Assuming he was following his own diet advice, he's not the first to suffer a heart attack while on his diet. Do a search for "Atkins horror stories", if you want fair warning. Most nutritionists can explain why the diet is dangerous. Most people ask their doctors who, at least in the U.S., receive almost no education on nutrition.

I hope not to hear of any more unnecessary deaths/suffering based on what seems to be bad diet advice.
 

stevek

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This is silly the whole low fat idea was never based on medical facts it was a marketing ploy. Only in America will we fall for such a thing hook line and sinker. Even the medial community fell for it. Fats must be bad they must cause all of the problems. It’s bull what causes the problems is all of the refined carbs and sugars we stuff into our faces. That's what has changed in the American diet.
Humans have always eaten a fair amount of fat. We are made to digest it fine it keeps us full. But grains are a new thing to our diet. And they have been refined so they are not all that nutritious and they are just filler.
Our food pyramid says we should get most of our calories from grain. That was not something doctors decided on it was the corporations that pushed that.
As long as you work the calories off you body can get rid of fat just as well as carbs.
Jumping on Dr. Atkins because there is fat in his diet is bull only the fist couple weeks is there a lot of fat. But guess what? People have been eating fat since we have been human without problems.
As I say again the low fat idea was a marketing ploy. It is not based on fact. We say that reduced fats helps but does it really? What if we tried reducing the carbs???? May do the same thing??? Well it sure seems so. Fat and carbs is not a good combo it seems.
Moderation in both may be a far better way to go. Or just exercise harder and burn them off. Since laziness is maybe a bigger problem still.
 

2LAP

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Originally posted by stevek
This is silly the whole low fat idea was never based on medical facts it was a marketing ploy.
There are a lot of people saying the same thing about Atkins... think about it for a second ;)
Originally posted by stevek
Moderation in both may be a far better way to go.Since laziness is maybe a bigger problem still.
These are the most sensible comments you've ever posted and I think you'll find the general line taken by the 'experts' on this site.

There are some very good physiological reasons for not eating high fat diets/meals SteveK, but I think I have pointed these out to you before. Using your word 'moderation' in fat, carbohydrate and protein is the way to go. Remember that different sources of fat, carbohydrate and protein represent different health benefits and risks - not sources of carbs, fat and protein are good for you and not all are bad!!!!
 

limerickman

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Diets : It's simple : energy in, energy out.
Expend more than you consume, is the only way in which weight can be controlled.
I think the whole diet industry is based upon creating insecurity ie
if you don't eat/do ABC, you'll gain weight or it's bad for you etc...

The problem here in the first world is that we've become lazy.
We get in the car to go to the shops instead of walking.
We take an escalator instead of the stairs.........

I'm not saying that additives in foods are not to blame - when you see the controversy over GMF's and the fact that cattle in the States (and other countries) are being stuffed with steroids, it's not wonder that dietary needs are not being adhered to.

But at the end of the day, it's down to how we chose to live our lives.
Our bodies are build to move and that's what we need to do.
 

patch70

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Originally posted by limerickman
Diets : It's simple : energy in, energy out.
Expend more than you consume, is the only way in which weight can be controlled.
I think that is actually an oversimplification! This fails to take into account changes in metabolic rate that occur with different foods, meal sizes, and meal timing.
For instance, if all you do is starve yourself, you end up losing weight briefly but then lowering your metabolic rate and drastically slowing your rate of weight loss.
Or, if two people take in the same number of calories, they will have different results depending on timing. If one eats 100% of daily calories at night or 50% each at breakfast and dinner, they will lose less weight than someone who has 5 meals of 20% each or 3 meals with a smaller night time meal.
 

patch70

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Anyone that disagrees with Atkins calls it a "High fat, low carb" diet.
People that have had good results with it do a higher protein, moderate fat & moderate carbs diet (after the initial low/no carbs induction period).
 

ric_stern/RST

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Originally posted by patch70
I think that is actually an oversimplification!


actually, it isn't. it's just simple physics

For instance, if all you do is starve yourself, you end up losing weight briefly but then lowering your metabolic rate and drastically slowing your rate of weight loss.

while, ultimately, the magnitude of the decrease will slow, you'll continue to loose weight until you die.

ric
 

limerickman

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Originally posted by patch70
I think that is actually an oversimplification! This fails to take into account changes in metabolic rate that occur with different foods, meal sizes, and meal timing.
For instance, if all you do is starve yourself, you end up losing weight briefly but then lowering your metabolic rate and drastically slowing your rate of weight loss.
Or, if two people take in the same number of calories, they will have different results depending on timing. If one eats 100% of daily calories at night or 50% each at breakfast and dinner, they will lose less weight than someone who has 5 meals of 20% each or 3 meals with a smaller night time meal.

I'm not a doctor but if you take in less calories/food/fuel, than you use up through activity, I would have assumed that you would lose weight because the body would need to draw on it's reserves of fat to make up the difference.
As I say, I'm not a doctor but it seems to make sense.

But I'll defer to wiser counsel !
 

patch70

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Originally posted by ricstern
It's just simple physics
If dieting were just "simple physics", then nearly everyone who wanted to lose weight would do so. Clearly it is more than just simple physics as such a large % of the population have difficulty.

A recommendations as simple as "Eat less, exercise more" has such a poor success rate because it is an oversimplification.

Sure, if you are a fit cyclist who wants to shed a few kgs, doing more hours on the bike and eating the same or less will work well. But it is a less helpful suggestion for the average couch potato.
 

patch70

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And also ric, being a vegetarian, you don't think that you might just have a little vested interest in finding out the negatives of higher protein diets???
 

jstraw

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Burning body fat for fuel os called Ketosis. If you consume a high carbohydrate diet, this food is converted to glucose very quickly, your body uses what it can and what it cannot, get's converted to fat and stored. This fat will never be converted to fuel as long as the supply of carbohydrates is sufficent to fuel your caloric needs and as long as it's in excess of what you need for your caloric burn-rate, you will add fat to your body. The mechanics of low-carb dieting are pretty straightforward. If you don't supply a steady stream of carbohydrates to be converted to glucose, if you eat slower-converting proteins, your body will go into ketosis and convert body fat to fuel. Additionally, a high carbohydrate diet typically induces dramatic peaks and valleys in your blood glucose levels typified by the broad swings between energy and lethargy so many experience trough the day. I could also say a lot about the impact this has on insulin production, the glycemic index and conditions such as hypoglycemia and diabetes. I won't bore you.

Our western diet is extremely high in carbohydrates, cultivated grains and the poison known as sugar and the like. Needless to say, this is not the diet the human animal evolved consuming.

In my opinion it's even a myth that endurance athletes need to gorge on carbohydrates.
 

ric_stern/RST

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Originally posted by patch70
If dieting were just "simple physics", then nearly everyone who wanted to lose weight would do so. Clearly it is more than just simple physics as such a large % of the population have difficulty.


why on earth would simple physics lead to weight loss for nearly everyone who wanted to loose weight? just because a person might know that they need to consume 2500 kcal/day to maintain weight and 2000 kcal/day to loose weight, how would that lead to weight loss.

intrisically most people know they need to eat less (total energy intake) yet, because certain foods fulfill specific needs (mentally and physically) we find it hard to give these foods up.

it's the same for people trying to give up smoking: they know it will likely lead to cancer, yet they're addicted to the nicotine and find it hard to stop. likewise (and i'm not suggesting food is addictive like smoking) people find it hard to give up or cut down on certain foods. this is nothing whatsoever to do with the laws of thermodynamics


A recommendations as simple as "Eat less, exercise more" has such a poor success rate because it is an oversimplification.

it isn't. people find it difficult to eat less and exercise more, but that's for other reasons (see above)

Sure, if you are a fit cyclist who wants to shed a few kgs, doing more hours on the bike and eating the same or less will work well. But it is a less helpful suggestion for the average couch potato.

i thought this forum was "bike racing: health, nutrition and supplements". irrespective of that, people will loose weight if they eat less and exercise more.

ric
 

ric_stern/RST

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Originally posted by patch70
And also ric, being a vegetarian, you don't think that you might just have a little vested interest in finding out the negatives of higher protein diets???

irrespective of myself being a veggie (which i have never suggested anyone doing), there's certainly some evidence to suggest that a high protein diet is bad for you.

ric
 

2LAP

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Originally posted by jstraw
In my opinion it's even a myth that endurance athletes need to gorge on carbohydrates.
Well its perhaps good news then that the sceintific and sporting community has a different opinion on this matter.
Originally posted by jstraw
Burning body fat for fuel os called Ketosis. If you consume a high carbohydrate diet, this food is converted to glucose very quickly, your body uses what it can and what it cannot, get's converted to fat and stored. This fat will never be converted to fuel as long as the supply of carbohydrates is sufficent to fuel your caloric needs and as long as it's in excess of what you need for your caloric burn-rate, you will add fat to your body. The mechanics of low-carb dieting are pretty straightforward. If you don't supply a steady stream of carbohydrates to be converted to glucose, if you eat slower-converting proteins, your body will go into ketosis and convert body fat to fuel. Additionally, a high carbohydrate diet typically induces dramatic peaks and valleys in your blood glucose levels typified by the broad swings between energy and lethargy so many experience trough the day. I could also say a lot about the impact this has on insulin production, the glycemic index and conditions such as hypoglycemia and diabetes. I won't bore you.
Are you sure? This is a really dramatic/exagerated version of what is in nutrition text books and misses out many other key points.

Have you ever looked at what happens to insulin, triglycerides and glucose responses following exercise and exercise training. I think you'll find this bleak picture of yours changes again.
Originally posted by jstraw
Our western diet is extremely high in carbohydrates, cultivated grains and the poison known as sugar and the like. Needless to say, this is not the diet the human animal evolved consuming.
What is the typical western diet as you see it? I think that its likely to vary from country to country as much as it does from individual to individual. Its interesting to note the final stage of Atkins diet has almost as many kcals from carbs as the usual recomendations for a healthy balanced diet.
 

2LAP

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Originally posted by patch70
And also ric, being a vegetarian, you don't think that you might just have a little vested interest in finding out the negatives of higher protein diets???
Are veggie diets considered low in protein? Last time I checked my diet (I'm veggie) 15% of kcals came from protein; this is inline with current recomendations. Also 28% of Kcals came from fat and 57% came from carbs.

My BMI is 20.3 which I supose is evidence that my diet also keeps you trim!!!! My BP and blood lipids are normal (although I am 24 so that would be expected). Perhaps I'll market it as the 'don't eat too much food and leave your car at home diet'.
 

2LAP

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Originally posted by patch70
If dieting were just "simple physics", then nearly everyone who wanted to lose weight would do so. Clearly it is more than just simple physics as such a large % of the population have difficulty.

A recommendations as simple as "Eat less, exercise more" has such a poor success rate because it is an oversimplification.
This is interesting, I think that most people who want to lose weight don't understand this equation or are even given it as advice. Rather they are told to do slimfast, weight watchers, atkins, etc. I also think that people need help or to be told how to 'eat less' and 'exercise more'.

The 'eat less, exercise more' recommendation works well, however I think its failure is due to inability to do this and people who don't want to do this (i.e. the same people that want a magic pill).
Originally posted by patch70
Sure, if you are a fit cyclist who wants to shed a few kgs, doing more hours on the bike and eating the same or less will work well. But it is a less helpful suggestion for the average couch potato.
Why, we all have the same bodies to work with. There is no 'helpful' suggestion for a couch potato; other than exercise more and eat sensibly. There is no excuse for being a couch potato!!!!
 

patch70

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Originally posted by ricstern
There's certainly some evidence to suggest that a high protein diet is bad for you.
And there's some (sure, just "some") evidence that a higher protein, moderate fat and moderate carb diet works and does not necessarily lead to a more atherogenic lipid profile (if adhered to properly).

Again the simple physics argument does not hold water. Eg., three people take in 2000 kcal/day & expend 1500 kcal. One each takes in 100% of those kcal solely as carbs, protein or fat. None would be healthy but they would all end up with different results and these would not equate to a weight gain equivalent to 500 kcal per day of excessive intake.

If it is just "simple physics", how do you explain somebody losing large amounts of weight when on a high protein, very low carb diet even when their caloric intake is much higher than their total expenditure?

What I am saying is the types and timings of food macronutrients has an effect on weight gain/loss over and above kcal in minus kcal out. I am not a proponent of the Atkins and have never done it myself but I have seen too many people get nowhere from being told "eat less, exercise more". Why? Because it is an oversimplification.
 

patch70

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Originally posted by 2LAP
Are veggie diets considered low in protein? Last time I checked my diet (I'm veggie) 15% of kcals came from protein; this is inline with current recomendations. Also 28% of Kcals came from fat and 57% came from carbs.

My BMI is 20.3 which I supose is evidence that my diet also keeps you trim!!!! My BP and blood lipids are normal (although I am 24 so that would be expected). Perhaps I'll market it as the 'don't eat too much food and leave your car at home diet'.
Well, it is lower than is recommended in higher protein diets but good luck with the marketing. I hope you make as much money as the Atkins group!:D
 

davidbod

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Originally posted by 2LAP
Its interesting to note the final stage of Atkins diet has almost as many kcals from carbs as the usual recomendations for a healthy balanced diet.

You seem to have done your research on the Atkin's diet. So why then can't we agree it's not a radical high fat low carb only diet. What I have found in practice is it has weaned me off of the junk carbs and consumed all of my excess fat in about 4 months time. I am now in the much more relaxed phase of the diet which you seem to agree is in line with nutritional guidelines. This diet has done in 4 months what years of trying the oversimplified burn more eat less principle could never do.

David
 

2LAP

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Originally posted by patch70
Well, it is lower than is recommended in higher protein diets but good luck with the marketing. I hope you make as much money as the Atkins group!:D
Yes, they were the WHO and UK guidlines I was refering to; people with particular disease states may have different advice to follow.

I was reading last night that the average UK diet contained just over 40% of kcals from fat. This would make this diet moderately high in fat and low in carbohydrate; yet most British people are overweight.