Tag Archive for 'low fat diet'

Good Calories Bad Calories Review – the Low Carb Diet it is

I recently had the privilege to read the best book about diet and nutrition I have come across to date, and believe me, I have read enough these books to be in a position to form an opinion on this matter. Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories, which took him 5 years to write, is a wonderful addition to the published literature on this bewildering industry. It is well researched and the information provided is supported by plenty of references and citations. Good Calories, Bad Calories almost provides you with a much-needed set of reading glasses to bring focus to all of the confusing public health debates and the jumble that is the diet industry.

In Good Calories, Bad Calories Gary tells the story of how public nutrition guidelines and the current scientific positions on diet and nutrition evolved. Of how strong and dominant personalities can influence the scientific community to accept unproven theories as facts. As this story progresses it also becomes clear how many of the diets we know today came into existence. It becomes clear for example when fat and salt were identified as major problems as well as why and when the so-called Mediterranean Diet became popular. Of course the book in essence considers the long standing debate raging between proponents of the low-fat calorie restricted diet and the carbohydrate restricted (low carb) diet.

In an attempt to provide a complete view of the debate, Gary describes the scientific evidence supporting both the restriction of fats (as well as calories) and the restriction of carbohydrates as a solution to the obesity crisis. What is also interesting is Gary’s holistic take on this matter. Not only is weight management important, but so are all of the other health related results of a particular diet. It does appear that many clinical trials and studies were very selective in interpreting the results of their studies, and that there are plenty of evidence to suggest that the introduction of refined carbs into a diet increases the incidence of many of the so-called diseases of civilization such as insulin resistance, type 2 Diabetes, cancer and so forth.
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Low Carb Diet vs Low Fat Diet – which is best to lose weight


To this day, scientists are at odds as to whether the low fat or the low carb weight loss strategy is the most effective for losing those extra pounds. On the 25th of January 2010 a study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine that directly compare the low fat weight loss approach to the typical low carb diet.

One hundred and forty six obese or overweight outpatients from the Department of Veterans Affairs clinics in North Carolina were selected to participate in the study and randomly assigned to either a low carbohydrate diet group or a low fat diet group. The study was conducted over a period of almost a year (48 weeks).

The low carb diet was designed as a ketogenic diet and patients were instructed to consume less than 20g carbs daily. A ketogenic diet can be described as a high fat, adequate protein and low carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fat rather than glucose, which it normally manufactures from carbohydrates. The liver converts fats into fatty acids and ketone bodies, which then replaces the glucose as a source of energy. This dietary approach is very similar to the Atkins Diet, which also limits carbs to 20g per day during the Induction Phase.

The low fat diet designed for this study went all out to reduce fat and patients were prescribed Orlistat (120mg 3 times daily) together with a diet very low in fat content. Orlistat is the active ingredient found in Alli and Xenical. Xenical is most often prescribed by doctors for weight problems, while Alli is available over the counter. The low fat eating plan followed by participants was designed to result in a deficit in caloric intake to the tune of 500 to 1000 calories per day. Patients were also expected to ensure that less than 30% of the calories they consume come from fat.

The average weight loss achieved by patients following the low carb diet (without any diet pills or calorie restrictions) equaled the average weight loss for patients following the low fat regime. Keep in mind that the low fat group also had to take diet pills in addition to reducing their calorie intake. HDL and triglyceride cholesterol levels improved similarly for both diet groups. LDL cholesterol levels improved only for the low fat group, whereas the low carb diet had a greater beneficial impact on systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The low carb diet was also slightly more beneficial for glucose and insulin levels, but the differences were not large enough to be regarded as statistically relevant.

The conclusion drawn from this study by the scientists was that a low carbohydrate diet is as effective as orlistat in conjunction with a low fat diet for weight loss and improvement in blood sugar levels, but it is more effective in lowering blood pressure. It is suggested that a low carb diet may be a better weight loss strategy for obese clients with high blood pressure than the typically prescribed treatment of a low fat diet with orlistat.
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Jillian Michaels: Does your metabolism prevent you from losing weight?

Most of us have had occasion to cast an envious look towards the skinny body of a colleague or friend that seems to be able to eat just about anything without any visible consequences. “Great metabolism.” we say, as if we know exactly what we are talking about. Open a magazine, watch TV, and surf the internet and you are confronted with hundreds of products claiming to know the secret to boosting your metabolism. Scientists have made huge progress in understanding how the human body works to nourish and protect itself, but they still have a long way to go for full understanding of this thing we call a metabolism. Still, we can benefit a lot from what they know already, and that is exactly where Jillian Michaels’ latest book, “Master Your Metabolism”, comes in. She explains the latest scientific research about the human metabolism in lay terms that everyone can understand.

Many of you will know Jillian Michaels as the stunning personal trainer star of “The Biggest Loser”; the competitive weight-loss reality TV show that is seen by nearly 15 million viewers every week of the season. “What does Jillian Michaels know about endocrinology?” I have heard said. Well, based on the information contained in this book, a fair bit. Sometimes a lay person can offer a much better or simpler explanation of very technical concepts than a scientist can. Medical professionals often complicate matters endlessly, precisely because of their in-depth understanding of the subject matter. In their eagerness to ensure factual correctness, they find it almost impossible not to give us an information overload. What we really need is just the basic information on how the metabolism works, what it is affected by, and directions for how we can use this knowledge to get those bodies we always wanted.


Continue reading how mastering your metabolism and you hormones can help you achieve permanent weight loss.

Just when you think you know how to lose weight.


Whoever finds a single fool proof way to lose weight is guaranteed to become the richest person on earth. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, a one-size-fits-all super diet will probably never be discovered. If it is not enough that our bodies are so different, there are many, many other factors at play including cultural differences, lifestyle differences, socio-economic differences and taste preferences. The list of factors that can impact on weight loss success just goes on and on.

It’s really no wonder then that we are bombarded with conflicting and confusing scientific reports. It is very difficult to conduct an experiment that considers all of these variables. As a result, we are left with many reputable and conflicting scientific reports, each claiming that yet another dietary approach is the be-all and end-all for losing weight. Whether it is the Atkins or the Mediterranean Diet, the Low Fat or Low GI diet, or even Weight Watchers; the list is never-ending. It is just too easy to become a bit cynical after a while. How refreshing then, to come across a scientific study that found that most well balanced popular diets work well, irrespective of whether it is high in protein, low in fat, low in carbohydrates or any combination of these!

This study, called the “Comparison of Weight-Loss Diets with Different Compositions of Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates” was published on February 26, 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Its aim was to try and put an end to the age-old debate around the question “Which type of diet is most effective for weight loss”. The research team was of the opinion that many of the conflicting scientific reports on the weight loss topic published previously were based on populations too small to be representative, and that many studies did not track the progress of participants for a long enough period to provide sufficient information for assessment.
Continue reading ‘Just when you think you know how to lose weight.’

Alli can help you lose 50% more weight!


A single search on the internet or even a stroll down to your local drugstore can easily overwhelm you with the sheer range of diet pills available; all promising to help you lose weight. Some of them may actually work, others really do nothing at all, and then there are those that are simply dangerous to use. In such a minefield it is very welcome and comforting to come across a weight loss pill that is FDA approved. Alli, on sale in the U.S. since June 2007, is the only over–the-counter FDA approved weight loss pill.

To dieters Alli offers more than just a weight loss pill – it is supported by a well developed online weight loss program, the “Alli 1-2-3 Start Plan” that offers education, advice and support. After you purchase Alli, the diet is tailored to your individual needs as soon as you register online and create your personal profile. You’ll be provided with feedback, customized guidance, next steps, as well as access to a variety of weight loss resources and meal plans.

The Alli nutritional plan also focuses on aspects such as your general mindset, your relationship with food and exercise and your reaction to setbacks. According to the Alli program your approach to weight loss and your new lifestyle is critical to reaching your goal weight and then maintaining it. Continue reading ‘Alli can help you lose 50% more weight!’

Review of the South Beach Diet

The South Beach diet was developed by a practicing cardiologist, Dr. Arthur Agatston. Dr Agatston did not initially set out to develop a weight-loss plan. He simply got frustrated when his patients, when following the standard, low-fat American Heart Association diet, failed to lose weight or improve their blood chemistry. He then developed a new diet specifically for his patients, which later became the basis for The South Beach Diet, an international best seller. The South Beach Diet was first published in April 2003 and has been on the New York Times best seller list for more than 96 consecutive weeks, with more than 8.5 million copies in print. It was #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list for 38 weeks.

The diet is formulated on the premise that many of us are addicted to carbohydrate foods. Many experts commented that the South Beach diet is really just a revised version of the Atkins Diet. Both of these diets kick off with a first stage designed to get rid of addiction to high levels of carbohydrate consumption. The South Beach diet varies from Atkins in that it consists of three instead of four phases. While the first and last phases of both diets are very similar, the middle two phases of the Atkins Diet has been replaced by a single stage in the South Beach Diet. As result of this difference the typical rate at which South Beach followers lose weight is lower than that of Atkins followers, but fans claim that the South Beach diet is easier to stick to since it offers greater variety at an earlier stage in the diet.

The South Beach Diet is introduced as a balanced weight-loss and maintenance plan that encourages people to eat a variety of foods, such as lean sources of protein, reduced fat cheeses and dairy products, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and good fats like olive and canola oil.  Snacking is encouraged along with approved sweet treats and desserts on a daily basis. The glycemic index (is a ranking system for carbohydrates based on their effect on blood sugar) plays a critical role in the diet, as it forms the basis for Agatston’s advice on how to choose the best carbohydrates to accompany a meal. The concept of the glycemic index (considered with the actual glycemic load) is generally accepted as a crucial component of healthy diets nowadays.
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Beating the Bulge with Proactol

I don’t know about you, but I believe that technology is one of the main reasons why we are nowadays able to live such long and fulfilling lives. Many of us would not have been around today, had it not been for major advances in medical science and technology. So I, for one, am a big believer in using the best that technology has to offer. Yes, we have to develop healthier eating habits, become more active, and all those good things, but…if technology can make life a bit easier, why not?

Have you ever found yourself at a work, family or other social function surrounded by the most wonderful variety of mouth-watering food (high in fat off course), just as you started your new diet? Or do you sometimes feel the need to throw caution to the wind for just one night? Well, fortunately, help is at hand. Fat binders allow us to eat fatty foods and then prevent the excess fat from forming that hated “protective layer” around your thighs or waist!

Proactol

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