Monday, July 25, 2005

Study Reveals Secret To Low-Carb Success

This Los Angeles Times story about the importance of protein in a low-carb lifestyle exposes a dirty little secret that those of who are livin' la vida low-carb already knew.

When you eat a controlled-carb diet, it goes without saying that you will be eating a lot more fat and protein than you would on a low-fat/low-calorie diet, which is generally higher in carbohydrates. The extra fat that you eat on a low-carb approach can help you feel full and give you the energy you need when carbohydrates are removed from your eating plan.

This article notes a new study that shows the reason why low-carb dieters are more satisfied for longer periods after eating is because of the extra protein they eat.

The study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington found that consuming higher quantities of protein (30-40% of calories) resulted in them eating less calories and losing more weight than a diet consisting of less protein (15-20% of calories).


While eating a low-carb lifestyle does not automatically mean you will be eating more protein, you certainly have plenty of high-protein options available to you when you cut out the carbs. Meats, cheeses and more are all very acceptable foods for you to sink your teeth into when you are low-carbing it! But don't tell that to these experts. They'll do anything to discredit low-carb.

For example, read what this head of human nutrition at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Copenhagen said about this study: "One of the reasons why the low-carbohydrate diets seemed to work is not because of low carbohydrates, but because of high protein."

WHO CARES why it works, it just works! Why can't these people just accept the fact that low-carb is an effective way to lose and maintain your weight. If that means we're eating more protein and that's what is doing it, then so be it. But if the two go hand-in-hand (and they do for many low-carbers), then why should it matter WHY it works. I'm content to know that it just does.

In fact, the study participants were forced to eat all of the food they were given in the study and many of them complained that they felt like they were eating too much on their high-protein diet.

This is something that I tell people all the time. If you are hungry on low-carb, then you must not be doing something right. The exact opposite happens when you are eating low-carb foods. You find you don't get hungry as much when you eat these kind of foods.

Now when I was losing weight on a low-fat diet in 1999, I was CONSTANTLY hungry. All of those carbohydrates I was eating were making my body crave more and more food until I would be ravenous on a continual basis. That doesn't happen much to me now that I'm on low-carb as long as I can eat on foods every few hours to maintain my hunger.

This week while I have been on vacation in Tennessee with my dad, it has been challenging being able to eat often enough to not get hungry. While I am trying to be good on my low-carb and they are trying to accomodate me, it is difficult for them to understand that I need to eat more often than they do. They like to eat big meals and then not eat for hours on end. I used to be able to do that, but now I have to eat SOMETHING more often.

Last night, my dad even said the reason why I have been getting so hungry this week is because I'm not eating enough carbs. Oi! My own father is so uneducated when it comes to these kind of things. I just gritted my teeth and asked if I could eat something low-carb. It's a learning process that more and more families need to go through for us to lick this obesity problem.

The article warns people that consuming too much protein can be bad for your kidneys if you already have kidney problems. But that should not prevent the vast majority of people from attempting a low-carb lifestyle if their weight is not under control. It helped me lose 180 pounds and has helped millions of others lose weight permanently.

This new study coincides with another study earlier this month that said consuming a high-protein, low-carb diet is good for your bones.

If you would like to try any of the high-protein, low-carb recipes that researchers used in the study, then click here.


Blogger Sandylp said...

I'm hardly ever hungry eating low-carb. I usually have to remind myself to eat because I know I shouldn't go too long without eating. One of the best things about the low carb lifestyle is that it eliminates those cravings for something sweet. I get so tired of strangers arguing with me about low-carb food choices that sometimes I tell them that I must make these choices because I'm diabetic, (even though I'm not). That shuts them up! People seem to accept that reason more readily.

7/25/2005 3:51 PM  
Blogger Levi said...

No offense, Jimmy, but I, and many others actually DO want to know why and how low-carb helps people. Call it curiosity, or geekiness, or whatever, but I think understand how and why your body works in certain ways is extremely helpful in fighting off these erroneous attacks. For example the one you mention above from Copenhagen. I just read recently that a study all the way back in '92 showed that the fat-burning promotion prevelent in ketogenic diets like Atkins was do not to caloric reduction but to carbohydrated reduction. They showed that the same thing happened when people were simply fed an iv solution of almost pure fat that accounted for MORE than their normal caloric needs, thus it had nothing to do with caloric restriction or even getting more protein. Obviously it's not going to happen like this in the real world, but it just shows that some people are spouting things that have no basis in science, or have already been disproven in one way or another. They do this because they are hell bent to criticize low-carb because it goes against some holy low-fat ideology that they can't bring themselves to abandon, despite the fact that science is supposed to be dispassionate. The best way to counter these people is to point out in their own language what is wrong with their assertions, not to say "who cares." I realize a lot of people don't want to get into the nitty gritty of the science, but that doesn't mean it's not important and that it doesn't actually uphold the low-carb philosophy. The critics use the pretense of science to criticize low carb, but if you look at their science, it actually is not science, or is bad science, you just need to look at it more closely...

7/26/2005 9:35 AM  
Blogger Regina Wilshire said...

For example, read what this head of human nutrition at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Copenhagen said about this study: "One of the reasons why the low-carbohydrate diets seemed to work is not because of low carbohydrates, but because of high protein."

As I noted in my review of the Lean Plate Club article, Arne Astrup (quoted above) is biased - he is medical advisor to Weight Watchers in Denmark and his department at the university is heavily funded by the food industry for studies.

Personally I thought this study was unimpressive. It did not track health risk factors like cholesterol, CRP or insulin/blood glucose control and was just another comparison of two "low-fat" diets. The fact that the diet with higher protein had a greater satiety value is noteworthy, but this study was definitely not "low-carb" and failed to assess risk factors that are routinely tracked in low-carb studies.

7/26/2005 11:38 AM  
Blogger DietKing said...

I seem to remember in one of Dr. Atkins' books him addressing that issue with regards to caloric intake--if I remember correctly, he used a very non-scientific, simple example to show how calories, while they cannot be outrightly ignored when reducing, are only a small part of the equation when on a ketogenic diet, i.e., there is also a chemical process going on as well. Atkins told of a patient of his who continued losing weight while eating nothing but steaks, eggs, butter, etc.--all highly caloric foods--but since there were no carbohydrates introduced to tamper with the function of fat cell storage and release, the patient did not gain weight despite ingesting a tremendous amount of calories, that is, perhaps (I forget the figure) three or four times the government's recommendations. Interesting stuff.

7/26/2005 1:42 PM  
Blogger Jean Jitomir MS, RD said...

If you are interested in finding moderate-carb, high-protien recipes, my blog is focused on primarily this;

A protein bar is posted already and more will appear in the future; all of my recipes are kitchen-tested before posting!

Hope to see you there!

11/20/2007 5:09 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey Jean,

CONGRATS on your success! Can you e-mail me about an interview for my blog? I know my readers would love to hear more about your amazing story!

11/20/2007 5:24 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home