Thursday, September 21, 2006

Eberstein Slams Low-Carb Water Weight Myth

I am so glad to know there are people like my friend Jackie Eberstein (one of my 2005 low-carb "movers & shakers") out there trumpeting the cause of livin' la vida low-carb. She has admirably defended the lower-carb approach as the safe and effective weight loss plan that it is while continually setting the record straight about what the low-carb lifestyle is REALLY all about to a world who just doesn't understand.

She is truly perplexed how so many people have become completely jaded by what they hear in the mainstream press about livin' la vida low-carb and believe it to be the gospel truth regarding what low-carb is all about. It most definitely is NOT.

"The amount of inaccurate or even misleading information that is passed off as fact among many people regarding lower-carb lifestyles still surprises me," Eberstein wrote in her most recent column.

This Diabetes Health column from Eberstein deals with another oft-repeated myth about low-carb: it's only water weight that you lose.

Eberstein responded, "I’m sure many people who have lost 30, 40, 50 or even 150 pounds would have a good laugh at that statement."

Yeah, we sure do, Jackie. As someone who has lost nearly 200 pounds on low-carb in 2004, I suppose I could go swimming in those 200 pounds of H2O that must have just evaporated into thin air from my former 410-pound body. HA! I addressed my thoughts about this issue of water weight loss in great detail in this blog post. To me, that's just a huge crock of you know what and I am shocked that anyone would actually believe it to be true. But they do.

Just as a quick aside, but do you ever hear any other weight loss plan that produces incredible weight loss results being accused of only being "water weight?" Take, for example, this week's episode of NBC's reality weight loss show, "The Biggest Loser." Some of those contestants lost upwards of 20 pounds in one week. WHOA, that's a lot of weight to lose all at once, isn't it? Did you hear anything about water? Hello, anyone? The answer is NO you didn't because everyone was just so happy for that person that they lost weight. The same should be true for low-carb dieters as well!

Eberstein explains why livin' la vida low-carb actually burns stored fat after the first few days of Induction and continues to do so better than any other nutritional approach according to all the latest research.

The studies she reports in her column show:

- Fat begins to burn after 72 hours on 50g carb daily diet
- Muscle mass INCREASES without exercise on low-carb
- Diabetic women burn mostly fat on low-carb diet
- Low-carb causes greater weight and body fat loss than low-fat
- Water loss only accounts for a small percentage of weight loss

This correlates with this study that showed low-carb dieters burned TWICE as much fat as low-fat dieters without any measurable difference in activity level and this study showing muscle mass is preserved when you are following a low-carb plan. Another study has shown that you lose fat, not muscle when you reduce your carbohydrate intake and yet another study reveals the startling fact that eating a low-fat diet can actually make you FATTER! EEEK!

Eberstein said there is a very good lesson to be learned for all of this misinformation that still floats around out there regarding the low-carb life that millions of people enjoy with great success in 2006.

"Often people are frightened away from a lower-carb eating plan that could be the key to successful weight loss simply because of myths or wrong information. If you want the facts, do some of your own research, read the books and don’t believe everything you hear or read in the newspapers or on the Internet."

Amen, Jackie! That's what I try to do right here at the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog day in and day out. Sometimes it seems so overwhelming when you feel like a lonely voice in this battle, but hearing people like Jackie talk about low-carb in such a positive light restores my hope and energy that we can get through to those people who are so misinformed.

I thank God for people like Jackie Eberstein, who worked with the late great Dr. Robert C. Atkins for many years by the way. She has seen it all over the years and knows the constant uphill battle that defending this lifestyle really is. But her love and respect for what Dr. Atkins promoted for three decades still lives strong today and she remains just as vigilant in her support for livin' la vida low-carb as ever. I am honored to have her as a regular reader here and hope to share more from her in the future.

THANK YOU for all that you do, Jackie! You inspire me to keep doing what I am doing because it is all worth it to combat these constant lies and distortions about the low-carb lifestyle. We have a fight on our hands, but I for one will NEVER give up! And I know for a fact that neither will you. :)

9-25-06 UPDATE: Several of you asked about the study showing muscle mass increases without exercise. Jackie was nice enough to provide this information:


The reference for this study is Volek, J.S., Sharman, M.J., Love, D.M., et al, "Body Composition and Hormonal Responses to a Carbohydrate Restricted Diet," Metabolism, 51 (7), 2002, pages 864-870.

To quote the study the authors hypothesize that "elevated beta-hydroxybutyrate concentrations (AKA ketones) may have played a minor role in preventing catabolism of lean tissue on the carbohydrate-restricted diet but other anabolic hormones were likely involved (eg.growth hormone)."

I think this is an excellent example that there is more to weight loss and low carb than just calories in-calories out. Different foods have hormonal effects that are currently being studied.

That does not take away from the importance of regular exercise as a part of a healthy lifestyle.

Hope this info is helpful.

Best regards,


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Blogger Jenna said...

This is a sincere question. How can muscle mass increase without exercise on a low-carb diet?

This was the only point that you made that didn't have a study readily linked (or I didn't understand which one), but it intrigues me the most.


9/22/2006 7:03 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey Jenna,

THANKS for your question and I have submitted it to Jackie directly for a response. I'll post what she says here when I hear back from her. THANKS for reading my blog!

9/22/2006 8:59 PM  
Blogger AnOldHouse said...

- Muscle mass INCREASES without exercise on low-carb

I'm totally not buying this one either and quite interested in Ms. Eberstein's response.

9/24/2006 6:17 PM  

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