Helen Stracey claims low-carb doesn't "lead to permanent weight loss"
This BBC story points out that there is a new squabble underway between the editorial writers of a scientific journal and other health "experts" with the authors of a new low-carb/high-protein diet that has been wildly popular in Australia since it released seven months ago.
The editorial writers from the Nature journal in their December 22nd issue state that The Total Wellbeing Diet developed by Dr. Manny Noakes and Dr. Peter Clifton is limited in its ability to help people lose weight and says the claims that it is "scientifically proven" are "decidedly unsavoury."
The story states The Total Wellbeing Diet is "similar to the Atkins diet" because it calls for people to eat twice the amount of protein of a common diet. But I had my own concerns about The Total Wellbeing Diet created by the scientists at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) when I first heard about it because it seemed to restrict fat unnecessarily in order to acheive weight loss and improved health, something that Dr. Robert C. Atkins was NOT in favor of.
But I received a very kind reply from Dr. Noakes who explained that they tested their program extensively and found it to be highly successful on the study participants. Dr. Noakes added that more unsaturated fat could be added to the diet and it could still be an excellent way for people to lose weight and improve their overall health.
That's all I needed to hear to stand behind the CSIRO Total Wellingbeing Diet.
So, should it surprise anyone that this book is now being attacked from all sides by the so-called health "experts?" Get used to it, Dr. Noakes and Dr. Clifton. This is something Dr. Atkins had to deal with his entire life and it has continued on long after he passed away.
Over 550,000 copies of the book have already been sold in Australia and it released in the UK in September. The Total Wellbeing Diet will be coming to America in 2006 and Dr. Noakes will even be in attendance at the Nutritional & Metabolic Aspects of Carbohydrate Restriction conference in Brooklyn, New York in mid-January.
The quick success of the book has brought the critics out in droves.
"The diet is being promoted as beneficial for everyone, whereas the published research indicates that it is superior to a high-carbohydrate diet only for a sub-population of overweight women with symptoms of metabolic disorder," the Nature editor declared.
"The main trial showed no difference in weight loss compared with a conventional diet," noted Patrick Holford from the London-based Institute for Optimum Nutrition.
What would opposition to a low-carb/high-protein diet program be without SOMEBODY giving the standard low-fat/low-calorie/portion control response we've come to expect from these people? And we get it from a British dietitian no less! :)
"The only way to lose weight is to take in fewer calories than you need, or to use up more calories by being more active," contended Helen Stracey from the British Dietetic Association.
Gee, where have we heard THAT lie before?! Sheez, you would think these people would come up with something that actually works rather than rehashing the same old failed message over and over and over again until they're blue in the face! But Stracey wasn't done with her comments against livin' la vida low-carb.
"Starchy carbohydrates such as bread cereals, pasta and potatoes should provide the bulk of each meal as they help to provide a sense of fullness and at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day," she continued.
Sense of fullness? What in the world are you talking about Ms. Stracey? Low-carb/high-protein foods like this one have been shown to provide better satiety than the carb-loaded foods you recommend for people to eat. In fact, French researchers found in November 2005 that eating a low-carb/high-protein diet makes the body feel full longer and you eat less calories.
And preliminary results released in October 2005 from a research study on people who are on a low-carb lifestyle found that vegetable consumption doubled for them when they started eating low-carb. So much for the theory that you don't eat fruits and vegetables on a low-carb diet!
There's one more quote from Stracey that needs to be addressed.
"Resorting to unbalanced, quick fix approaches may be harmful to your health, and is unlikely to lead to permanent weight loss, because as soon as you come 'off the diet' you are likely to go back to your original eating habits."
Unbalanced? Now that I'm livin' la vida low-carb, my eating habits are much more "balanced" than when I was scarfing down pounds of sugar, white flour, and starchy foods week after week, month after month, year after year as my body kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger eventually exceeding 400 pounds.
Don't lecture me on "balance," Ms. Stracey, because the typical person who has become overweight or obese has lost all sense of what that word means! A healthy and balanced diet is one that will enable you to lose weight and keep it off for good.
That's exactly what the low-carb lifestyle does for people. While it may lead to a quick weight loss (just as I lost 180 pounds in just one year doing it), that doesn't mean the weight loss cannot be sustainable over the long-term. The way you keep the weight off is you don't come "off the diet." You keep eating this wonderfully delicious way and avoid resorting back to "your original eating habits." That's why people got fat in the first place, Ms. Stracey! Changing those bad habits into good ones permanently is what livin' la vida low-carb does for people.
Do you ever feel like you're just talking to a brick wall? That's about what it's like explaining my support for low-carb living to these "experts" who couldn't care less what we think about it. They already have their preconceived notions about what it is and what they think about it.
Why don't we share with Helen Stracey what we think about her archaic and ill-informed opinions about the low-carb lifestyle? You can send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a recent radio interview, Dr. Noakes explained why this book had to be written and why the criticism it is now receiving was actually expected.
"Look, I think this is really one of the reasons that we were a little hesitant about writing the book in the first place, because it was always going to be a situation where there was going to be some criticism," Dr. Noakes explained. "And what we felt was important though was to respond to public need for information on appropriate diet for weight management, and pushing the boundaries a bit in terms of what was considered to be mainstream advice is always going to be something that upsets the apple cart to a certain extent."
If Dr. Noakes felt like his research could help people get their weight problem under control, then why wouldn't he release his findings to the public? Every other mumbo-jumbo "diet" plan that hits the market these days doesn't go through this intensive examination and debate, so what is it about THIS one that is making the "experts" go bonkers?
Simply put, it's a low-carb approach. Low-carb is supposed to be dead as a doorknob according to the media and the health establishment. And yet here is another approach finding widespread success in the country of Australia. This scares the bajeebies out of those who oppose the low-carb lifestyle because it gives credibility to this particular way of eating that they so viciously oppose.
Dr. Noakes doesn't mind rocking the boat just a bit as long as it can be proven the Total Wellbeing Diet can be an effective tool for people desiring weight loss.
"It was important to demonstrate that this is not just another diet book by someone that claimed that this is the best way to lose weight, this is a book that had a lot of science behind it, that was done by a credible organisation," Dr. Noakes explained.
Noting the success of the book has led to much of the criticism that is out there about it now, Dr. Noakes said this will not deter their efforts to promote the science and research that proves they have discovered a weight loss method that could help turn the tide on the obesity epidemic.
You keep giving those health "experts" and their willing accomplices in the media large doses of the truth, Dr. Noakes. They oppose you because you stand in favor of something they fallaciously believe is harmful. But you have done the research and have written a book detailing your findings for everyone to see. If they don't like what they read, then that's their problem.
I applaud you and Dr. Clifton for standing firm in the midst of the challenges that come with opposition. Hang in there and know that people who are livin' la vida low-carb are proud of what you are doing to champion our cause. Keep fighting the good fight and I can't wait to meet you in Brooklyn in a few weeks.
Send an e-mail to Dr. Manny Noakes and Dr. Peter Clifton thanking them for everything they are doing on behalf of low-carb living.
1-2-06 UPDATE: Dr. Manny Noakes responded to my blog post today with some especially astute comments about the work of CSIRO in regards to health:
"It always seems to be a particular stumbling block in nutrition that personal beliefs seem to dominate over science. I can't agree that a high-protein diet alone can reverse the obseity epidemic but at least it provides a perfectly healthy alternative to current mainstream advice which doesn't suit everyone."
THANK YOU, Dr. Noakes. That is EXACTLY why I created this blog and provide the information about livin' la vida low-carb that I do. People will not know unless they are educated about the healthy benefits this way of eating affords them. THANKS again for being an anchor in the field of nutritional and metabolic research.