9

votes

Is low carb still best for those who are overweight/obese?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 17, 2011 at 12:50 AM

It seems in the Paleo community people are starting to come around and not demonize any specific macronutrient, but is low carb still the best way to go for the more metabolically deranged?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:15 PM

Regarding metabolic derangement - It's a shame that words have multiple definitions but in context this isn't insane, this is definition 2 which is "Throw (something) into confusion; cause to act irregularly" Metabolically deranged is completely accurate and in no way "harsh"

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 18, 2011
at 04:14 AM

I will email too. Going to bed any min tonight as i teach dancercise class tomorrow EARLY am. Thanks to you both!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:16 AM

SM, I'll send you an email right now.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:11 AM

Shari, I am gaining a bit, slowly, so I have to get the calories back down again or get my ass moving in the gym more often. I've been doing the PSMF thing to get back on track, but I am very conscious of over using it too. I am still comfortable with how I look, but I like the number just a bit lower. I would love to talk palatability too! Can we email together? I'm sherpamelissa at gmail dot com.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 18, 2011
at 02:52 AM

Shari: Myabe emailing about palatability would be better? I wish there was just a "discussion place" where we 3 could just yak on about this. It is wonderful being able to think and consider etc with other long-time, big loss maintainers. There aren't many of us around. :(

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 18, 2011
at 02:47 AM

(con't) is actually LOWER when compared to my much higher fat self, right? I was thinking that maybe re: muscle mass I have now, I am the equivalent of 135 as compared to back when I carried 8% more fat tissue? Make sense? I know the same must be true for you two. Saw your pics Melissa and you certainly have beautiful, toned obvious muscles! So, there is that to consider/remember too. And I am one of those *truly* large boned people.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 18, 2011
at 02:41 AM

It feels good to talk about this, as after a long time, suddenly, I have found myself struggling with that maybe what I'd call "over-pushing" thing. NOT GOOD. An important thing to remember, too, is body type. And another is that we are all doing some degree of exercise - mine is pretty much daily - one day off a week, varying types and amounts, but never over 30 min at a hit, pretty intense. SO, I have "converted" alot of fat->muscle just over the last few years and especially this year. I've gone from like 34% fat in recent years to 26 and am shooting for 25. So, that means my 140 weight

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 17, 2011
at 09:24 PM

It doesn't feel "mental" but I'm not sure it ever does when that's what's happening. I know that I am super hungry and going below my current 1400 calories a day or so is torture and makes me so very unhappy. Sherpa I noticed you up'd your calories lately. How is that going for you? Weight is still stable? I'm considering another go at JUDDD (high calories one day/ almost none the next) staying LC paleo but I struggled with it the last time I tried a few years ago so I don't know if that's my answer.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 17, 2011
at 09:22 PM

I'm 5'7" and 155ish. Thinking about this this morning and had an ah-ha moment that I may have some mental block against losing any more due the the plastic surgery I've already had. I was sliced and diced and sewn back together at about 175 and plastics are only good for a max of 20lbs so if I lose more I'm going to be a hella mess again. Well not as bad as before but I can already see the skin around my middle getting lax with the extra 20 lbs gone. There is no way I can mentally or financially have all this redone so I wonder if I am holding back somehow? Never thought of it before

3b7e6c77a5412587152c9e3f22b41c2a

(434)

on August 17, 2011
at 09:17 PM

P.S. But yes, like Rose I'm skeptical that we can really rely on this information. The most reliable information at this time is that low-carb dieting is the healthiest way to lose excess weight. Of course there are a lot of unanswered questions about that, and of course it is possible that something else would be better, but we don't yet have reliable scientific evidence about something better.

3b7e6c77a5412587152c9e3f22b41c2a

(434)

on August 17, 2011
at 09:15 PM

thhq and Rose: thanks for bringing it to my attention! I see that they contacted subjects who had previously completed the "A to Z Study" and sampled those people's genes. Very interesting! But it looks like they didn't publish it for peer review, just reported on it at a conference and put out this press release. Is that right? Are there more details about this somewhere than just this press release? That press release omits critical details, like what they meant by "a genotype matching a diet".

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 17, 2011
at 06:24 PM

Here's the corporate write-up for the post-study study done on the Stanford research. I am a huge believer in genes and gene expression affecting our health, but I'm also deeply skeptical that we're anywhere near knowing enough to make the kind of confident assertion Interleukin seems to be making here. I'd love to know exactly what the "low-carb" genotype consists of: http://www.ilgenetics.com/content/news-events/newsDetail.jsp/q/news-id/213

Medium avatar

(10601)

on August 17, 2011
at 05:57 PM

Stanford did a study a couple years ago comparing four diet types ranging from high fat Atkins to low fat Ornish. They found that the effectiveness of the dietary approach was related to genetics. My takeaway was that everyone did better on either diet as they increased their protein.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on August 17, 2011
at 05:18 PM

@mem, my comfy weight is right at 140 also, but I'm 5'2", so I'm guessing I'm a little bigger than you. I can get myself to 135, but it's not worth the effort when 140 seems to just happen so easily even without exercise. @Shari, what are your stats, if you don't mind me asking? Learning to accept where I am at as what works best for me took awhile. I also didn't want to "give up". I don't think I did though, I think it was more acceptance.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on August 17, 2011
at 05:13 PM

I saw this question and thought ~paging Lucky Bastard~, so glad you answered!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 17, 2011
at 03:58 PM

Thanks mem. You've done so well! Fantastic! I do try to live in a place of gratitude so it bothers me that I still want more. I keep trying to find the line of acceptance for what my body is willing and able to do and trying to tweak things hoping to find the magic combination that will give me a bit more. It does wear on my mentally though and I don't like that. So tell me what palatability issues you addresses? I'm still feeling very down on the food reward idea but am certainly open to hearing how to implement this idea if it produces real results.

F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on August 17, 2011
at 09:03 AM

After you're not metabolically deranged, there's no point in low-carb paleo. In fact, some people can't do low-carb (IMO). Most paleo adherents now take a stance of "real food", not worrying about the carbs. It's about specific needs, not general recommendations.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 17, 2011
at 07:09 AM

(continued) it - in my sleep - in getting hungrier faster all of a sudden -in alot of little ways - that it is just not meant to be. And per Sharma, where I am now puts me having to eat, forever, like a 120lb person...and that weight was always too low, even as a very young woman for me. And that will only get MORE intense over time, if science is right. So, ya know what? Thank God for Low Carb and paleo. But without LC, I'd be sunk. This last 8 lbs was largely spontaneous wt loss courtesy of palatability stuff, IF and little tweaks. So, acceptance and gratitude in order.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 17, 2011
at 07:02 AM

Shari: For what it's worth, you looked great in the AHS pic I saw. :) And i don't think it is "giving up." I am in the process of feeling that 138-140 is going to be my "forever maintainable" inspite of the fact that I know with my exercise level and manipulating eating I *could* drive down 10lbs more. But I don't feel that it is *healthily* maintainable for me. My original goal was 155 or less and I got to 148 in 02 and always had to manage drift. I should be and am thankful that with some changes/tools over time, I've gone comfortably to 140 now. But when I drop to like 138, I can just feel

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 17, 2011
at 06:57 AM

LB: How long have you been at goal weight and maintained?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 17, 2011
at 06:18 AM

LB, I've had a few people in medicine and science tell me that they think my body is simply done with weight loss. I suppose I could lose more if I starved myself but I'm not willing or able to do that. I know I can't sustain it (I've tried.) I could exercise 7 days a week but that tends to make my hungry so I'm not sure that would really help. I don't want to give up but I am just not sure I'm being realistic. I'm very conflicted about this. I don't want to give up but I'm getting tired of living in limbo.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 17, 2011
at 06:15 AM

I like metabolically challenged, lol. How about metabolically differently-abled. Deranged has such a hostile, negative connotation. I'd love to know who started this phrase so I could smack em in the head.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 17, 2011
at 03:49 AM

Yknow, I used to use it a bit myself but I have really come to think that "metbolicallt deranged" is a pretty harsh and just unnecessary term. Certainly "damaged" or just a more complete description is a better way of expressing it. Deranged is just silly.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on August 17, 2011
at 01:53 AM

if you're not happy with a result you think is realistically attainable, i don't think you need to give up on it, shari. i know what it feels like to be a hard loser- especially when thin ppl are the ones telling u how to get the weight off, hahaha. i figure that if the vlc is working to get it off, then stick with it. have you considered that maybe something like an iodine deficiency could be a confounding issue? women with hypothyroid issues seem to be notoriously hard losers.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 17, 2011
at 01:41 AM

And I am so happy for you that it's somehow turned around for you. Life is so much nicer with some carbs to eat, lol. I do not understand how this variation you noted happens. I do exercise. I do Kettlebell as a sport and I definitely get glycogen depletion. I think you are on to something though. I should note that to maintain my weight I can go up to about 75g carbs/day but to lose I have to go under 25 or so. I am still resistant to living at 75g since I still want to lose some more weight although after years of trying it may be time to hang that idea up and move on.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on August 17, 2011
at 01:19 AM

i feel your pain shari. my whole life i couldn't look at carbs without gaining 5lbs :(. i'm still trying to figure out how come i was able to get myself to a point where carbs are no longer an issue and other can't. i'm starting to think that it may be related to strength training and glycogen depletion. do you do any heavy lifting?

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on August 17, 2011
at 01:15 AM

That's what I was going to type. +1

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 17, 2011
at 01:12 AM

can't *headdesk*

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 17, 2011
at 12:56 AM

IMO, yes. Some of us can handle much carb.

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5 Answers

16
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on August 17, 2011
at 01:04 AM

initially, yes. that has been my experience and observation. if for no other reason, it lets people slip into ketosis which naturally curbs the appetite which is key for obese people who need metabolic healing.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on August 17, 2011
at 01:15 AM

That's what I was going to type. +1

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on August 17, 2011
at 05:13 PM

I saw this question and thought ~paging Lucky Bastard~, so glad you answered!

9
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on August 17, 2011
at 01:17 AM

Those people you speak of will still tell you that low carb can be and probably is the best way to lose weight for most people and most assuredly for someone who is "metabolically deranged" (I HATE that term!) The new claim is that carbs don't make you fat but once you are cutting them to next to nothing will undoubtedly help you lose the fat. I don't buy that argument but that's their claim. Either way for some of us this particular macronutrient must remain a demon.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 17, 2011
at 06:57 AM

LB: How long have you been at goal weight and maintained?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 17, 2011
at 06:15 AM

I like metabolically challenged, lol. How about metabolically differently-abled. Deranged has such a hostile, negative connotation. I'd love to know who started this phrase so I could smack em in the head.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 17, 2011
at 03:49 AM

Yknow, I used to use it a bit myself but I have really come to think that "metbolicallt deranged" is a pretty harsh and just unnecessary term. Certainly "damaged" or just a more complete description is a better way of expressing it. Deranged is just silly.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 17, 2011
at 07:02 AM

Shari: For what it's worth, you looked great in the AHS pic I saw. :) And i don't think it is "giving up." I am in the process of feeling that 138-140 is going to be my "forever maintainable" inspite of the fact that I know with my exercise level and manipulating eating I *could* drive down 10lbs more. But I don't feel that it is *healthily* maintainable for me. My original goal was 155 or less and I got to 148 in 02 and always had to manage drift. I should be and am thankful that with some changes/tools over time, I've gone comfortably to 140 now. But when I drop to like 138, I can just feel

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:11 AM

Shari, I am gaining a bit, slowly, so I have to get the calories back down again or get my ass moving in the gym more often. I've been doing the PSMF thing to get back on track, but I am very conscious of over using it too. I am still comfortable with how I look, but I like the number just a bit lower. I would love to talk palatability too! Can we email together? I'm sherpamelissa at gmail dot com.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 18, 2011
at 02:47 AM

(con't) is actually LOWER when compared to my much higher fat self, right? I was thinking that maybe re: muscle mass I have now, I am the equivalent of 135 as compared to back when I carried 8% more fat tissue? Make sense? I know the same must be true for you two. Saw your pics Melissa and you certainly have beautiful, toned obvious muscles! So, there is that to consider/remember too. And I am one of those *truly* large boned people.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:16 AM

SM, I'll send you an email right now.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on August 17, 2011
at 01:19 AM

i feel your pain shari. my whole life i couldn't look at carbs without gaining 5lbs :(. i'm still trying to figure out how come i was able to get myself to a point where carbs are no longer an issue and other can't. i'm starting to think that it may be related to strength training and glycogen depletion. do you do any heavy lifting?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 17, 2011
at 03:58 PM

Thanks mem. You've done so well! Fantastic! I do try to live in a place of gratitude so it bothers me that I still want more. I keep trying to find the line of acceptance for what my body is willing and able to do and trying to tweak things hoping to find the magic combination that will give me a bit more. It does wear on my mentally though and I don't like that. So tell me what palatability issues you addresses? I'm still feeling very down on the food reward idea but am certainly open to hearing how to implement this idea if it produces real results.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 17, 2011
at 09:24 PM

It doesn't feel "mental" but I'm not sure it ever does when that's what's happening. I know that I am super hungry and going below my current 1400 calories a day or so is torture and makes me so very unhappy. Sherpa I noticed you up'd your calories lately. How is that going for you? Weight is still stable? I'm considering another go at JUDDD (high calories one day/ almost none the next) staying LC paleo but I struggled with it the last time I tried a few years ago so I don't know if that's my answer.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on August 17, 2011
at 05:18 PM

@mem, my comfy weight is right at 140 also, but I'm 5'2", so I'm guessing I'm a little bigger than you. I can get myself to 135, but it's not worth the effort when 140 seems to just happen so easily even without exercise. @Shari, what are your stats, if you don't mind me asking? Learning to accept where I am at as what works best for me took awhile. I also didn't want to "give up". I don't think I did though, I think it was more acceptance.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 18, 2011
at 02:52 AM

Shari: Myabe emailing about palatability would be better? I wish there was just a "discussion place" where we 3 could just yak on about this. It is wonderful being able to think and consider etc with other long-time, big loss maintainers. There aren't many of us around. :(

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 17, 2011
at 09:22 PM

I'm 5'7" and 155ish. Thinking about this this morning and had an ah-ha moment that I may have some mental block against losing any more due the the plastic surgery I've already had. I was sliced and diced and sewn back together at about 175 and plastics are only good for a max of 20lbs so if I lose more I'm going to be a hella mess again. Well not as bad as before but I can already see the skin around my middle getting lax with the extra 20 lbs gone. There is no way I can mentally or financially have all this redone so I wonder if I am holding back somehow? Never thought of it before

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 18, 2011
at 02:41 AM

It feels good to talk about this, as after a long time, suddenly, I have found myself struggling with that maybe what I'd call "over-pushing" thing. NOT GOOD. An important thing to remember, too, is body type. And another is that we are all doing some degree of exercise - mine is pretty much daily - one day off a week, varying types and amounts, but never over 30 min at a hit, pretty intense. SO, I have "converted" alot of fat->muscle just over the last few years and especially this year. I've gone from like 34% fat in recent years to 26 and am shooting for 25. So, that means my 140 weight

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 17, 2011
at 07:09 AM

(continued) it - in my sleep - in getting hungrier faster all of a sudden -in alot of little ways - that it is just not meant to be. And per Sharma, where I am now puts me having to eat, forever, like a 120lb person...and that weight was always too low, even as a very young woman for me. And that will only get MORE intense over time, if science is right. So, ya know what? Thank God for Low Carb and paleo. But without LC, I'd be sunk. This last 8 lbs was largely spontaneous wt loss courtesy of palatability stuff, IF and little tweaks. So, acceptance and gratitude in order.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on August 17, 2011
at 01:53 AM

if you're not happy with a result you think is realistically attainable, i don't think you need to give up on it, shari. i know what it feels like to be a hard loser- especially when thin ppl are the ones telling u how to get the weight off, hahaha. i figure that if the vlc is working to get it off, then stick with it. have you considered that maybe something like an iodine deficiency could be a confounding issue? women with hypothyroid issues seem to be notoriously hard losers.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 17, 2011
at 06:18 AM

LB, I've had a few people in medicine and science tell me that they think my body is simply done with weight loss. I suppose I could lose more if I starved myself but I'm not willing or able to do that. I know I can't sustain it (I've tried.) I could exercise 7 days a week but that tends to make my hungry so I'm not sure that would really help. I don't want to give up but I am just not sure I'm being realistic. I'm very conflicted about this. I don't want to give up but I'm getting tired of living in limbo.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 17, 2011
at 01:41 AM

And I am so happy for you that it's somehow turned around for you. Life is so much nicer with some carbs to eat, lol. I do not understand how this variation you noted happens. I do exercise. I do Kettlebell as a sport and I definitely get glycogen depletion. I think you are on to something though. I should note that to maintain my weight I can go up to about 75g carbs/day but to lose I have to go under 25 or so. I am still resistant to living at 75g since I still want to lose some more weight although after years of trying it may be time to hang that idea up and move on.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 18, 2011
at 04:14 AM

I will email too. Going to bed any min tonight as i teach dancercise class tomorrow EARLY am. Thanks to you both!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 04, 2011
at 06:15 PM

Regarding metabolic derangement - It's a shame that words have multiple definitions but in context this isn't insane, this is definition 2 which is "Throw (something) into confusion; cause to act irregularly" Metabolically deranged is completely accurate and in no way "harsh"

6
3b7e6c77a5412587152c9e3f22b41c2a

(434)

on August 17, 2011
at 05:11 PM

There have been many controlled experiments of fat people trying to lose weight by following different diets. The results show that a lowish-carb diet is better than the mainstream low-fat/low-calorie approach. See the review paper by Hession et al. published in 2008 in Obesity Reviews, entitled "Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat/low-calorie diets in the management of obesity and its comorbidities".

However, the results do not show that the lowish-carb diets were all that great. They were moderately effective for fat people to lose weight. A typical obese person on a low-fat/low-cal diet will lose around 10 or 15 pounds in the first six months and then regain some of it in the next six months, ending up only a few pounds lighter at the end of twelve months than they started. A typical obese person on the lowish-carb diets in these experiments followed a similar pattern but a little better, losing maybe 20 pounds in the first six months, but then regaining some of it so they ended up merely a couple of pounds lighter than their friends on the low-fat/low-cal diet. Disappointing!

So according to these results, while you shouldn't get your hopes up too much about following a lowish-carb diet, you should be even less enthusiastic about following a low-fat/low-cal diet. These results also show something interesting: the lowish-carbers consistently lost more excess body fat than the low-fat/low-cal'ers, even though they were (in most cases) allowed to eat as many calories as they liked.

The lowish-carbers also generally had better improvements in their blood lipid profiles, which is consistent with everything we think in paleo and/or low-carb theory and inconsistent with what they think in the (rapidly fading) mainstream theory.

Now here is where I depart from the hard experimental evidence and give you my own guesses and intuition.

I suspect that there were a host of issues which undermined the lowish-carb dieters in these experiments. If, when embarking on your own personal journey, you avoid these problems, I suspect you will have much better results than the average test subject did.

  1. Many of the test diets asked the lowish-carb diets to add carbs back in (after a certain time, or after they had lost some of the excess weight that they intended to lose). In my opinion if you have a problem with obesity and you are serious about fixing it, you should plan to stay on your new diet for at least a couple of years, if not for the rest of your life. You should at least give a major change like going to very-low-carb four or six months just to see how it works.

  2. Many of the test diets asked the participants to aim for fewer than 30 grams/day, and some even higher than that. I would advise a fat person to try "as few carbs as possible" for as long as it seems to be working for you. I would definitely suggest that you target less than 20 grams of carb per day, and the "zero-carb" approach seems excellent. In my opinion, many fat people are a lot like alcoholics, but with carbs and/or sugar instead of alcohol. (I certainly was!) If an alcoholic goes on a "moderate alcohol" diet, in which they limit themselves to one drink per day, they are going to be a hell of a lot worse off 12 months later than if they go on a "zero alcohol" diet.

    (And by the way, I think people who find themselves feeling well and doing well on a relatively high-carb diet should be a little bit careful about recommending the same indiscriminately to others. By way of analogy, you may do great with a moderate intake of alcohol, but if the person you are talking to is a recovering alcoholic then you may do them harm by persuading them that a little alcohol is a fine and healthy thing.)

  3. These test subjects were given specific instructions, which were designed to test a hypothesis, and they were discouraged from doing anything else. You will, of course, experiment on yourself, do more of what seems to work well and less of what doesn't. You'll also feel free to combine multiple kinds of dietary changes and other forms of self-improvement.

  4. I would assume that most of the test subjects kept eating the low-carb industrial-era foods such as seed oils even while they reduced the high-carb industrial-era foods. I would encourage a dieter to explore the gamut of "paleo diet" principles in concert with low-carb.

  5. Similarly, I suspect that a lot of people who try low-carb are still under the impression that animal fat is unhealthy and so they avoid fatty animal meats even while avoiding carbs. We have plenty of evidence now that this is a big mistake, making the diet less healthy, less effective for weight loss, and probably inducing problems like constipation and tiredness. Eat plenty of fatty animal meat!

  6. In general, the test subjects may have been under the impression that low-carb was an inherently unhealthy and unnatural diet which they should use as sparingly and briefly as possible while still achieving their weight loss goals. Certainly many of the researchers who organized the studies believed that, and they may have given that impression to their test subjects. This misapprehension makes it harder to eat right, be happy, and live well. I would advise you that the low-carb diet you are about to start is???as far as science has been able to determine so far???a perfectly healthy and sustainable lifestyle. It offers numerous benefits apart from just losing weight. Embark on your new life with joy and enthusiasm, not with worry!

Okay, that's my answer. I suspect that most fat people can experience wonderful improvements on a diet which is very low in carb, and is also healthy in other ways, and which you intend to monitor and adapt, but also to remain committed for the long term, and which you approach with an attitude of anticipation and joy.

If you re-read this answer, notice the break between what I know from hard evidence???repeated experiment???and what I believe from various other kinds of evidence.

3b7e6c77a5412587152c9e3f22b41c2a

(434)

on August 17, 2011
at 09:17 PM

P.S. But yes, like Rose I'm skeptical that we can really rely on this information. The most reliable information at this time is that low-carb dieting is the healthiest way to lose excess weight. Of course there are a lot of unanswered questions about that, and of course it is possible that something else would be better, but we don't yet have reliable scientific evidence about something better.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 17, 2011
at 06:24 PM

Here's the corporate write-up for the post-study study done on the Stanford research. I am a huge believer in genes and gene expression affecting our health, but I'm also deeply skeptical that we're anywhere near knowing enough to make the kind of confident assertion Interleukin seems to be making here. I'd love to know exactly what the "low-carb" genotype consists of: http://www.ilgenetics.com/content/news-events/newsDetail.jsp/q/news-id/213

3b7e6c77a5412587152c9e3f22b41c2a

(434)

on August 17, 2011
at 09:15 PM

thhq and Rose: thanks for bringing it to my attention! I see that they contacted subjects who had previously completed the "A to Z Study" and sampled those people's genes. Very interesting! But it looks like they didn't publish it for peer review, just reported on it at a conference and put out this press release. Is that right? Are there more details about this somewhere than just this press release? That press release omits critical details, like what they meant by "a genotype matching a diet".

Medium avatar

(10601)

on August 17, 2011
at 05:57 PM

Stanford did a study a couple years ago comparing four diet types ranging from high fat Atkins to low fat Ornish. They found that the effectiveness of the dietary approach was related to genetics. My takeaway was that everyone did better on either diet as they increased their protein.

4
C029fb3c7c1f1ed4a004390bef728e2d

on August 17, 2011
at 01:16 AM

Paleo adherants are being more friendly to higher carb because we're all no longer glucose addicted, and are instead ACTIVE and FIT, so we can reintroduce more carbs into our diet without issue. But in order to get to this point, we all needed to start off as low carb!

Paleo is definitely low carb and should always remain that way.

F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on August 17, 2011
at 09:03 AM

After you're not metabolically deranged, there's no point in low-carb paleo. In fact, some people can't do low-carb (IMO). Most paleo adherents now take a stance of "real food", not worrying about the carbs. It's about specific needs, not general recommendations.

3
Medium avatar

(10601)

on August 17, 2011
at 01:24 AM

During the period of my metabolic derangement (8 A1C and 200 fasting blood glucose) I restricted all carbs. I eliminated the high glycemics completely - white rice and the dry breakfast cereals of any kind were the worst. The ultimate solution to recovering insulin sensitivity was getting my weight down, but that took months. Eliminating high GI carbs got blood glucose down in less than a week.

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