Monday, August 9, 2010

weight management/loss

the age-old debate - less carbs vs less fat - has been undergoing much new study since dr. atkins first proposed a lo carb diet back when my mom was trying to drop pounds for my bar mitzvah. (yes, for a couple years there, she was doing that yo yo thing simply to look hot for my and my brother's bar mitzvahs. when i look at the photos of those events, it's clear she, too, was a by product of an era when thin was beginning to be in. shame - some things have only gotten worse with time.)

most good research on wt loss has concluded that (1) most other studies are too short to be of value; (2) most long term studies show significant wt loss early with substantial wt re-gain later, esp for the more extreme diets; and (3) calories in, calories out is the only way to reduce wt effectively.

and here's a new study, reported in the ny times, that demonstrates no superiority between diets:

now, you might be thinking that hi pro/low carb diets are better because they raise HDL. maybe so, but the article here does not tell us to what extent. we know that simply losing wt lowers LDL and in some cases raises HDL. so the actual difference b/w the two diets may be "significant" but not a lot, that is, not enough to be clinically significant. we just can't tell from this piece of news.

however, there are better and more effective ways to raise HDL, and to lower wt. it's called exercise and balanced eating. we know all about exercise, right? but do we really know what balanced eating is; my guess is, no.

balanced eating is any form of eating that includes those bedeviling foods that one can't help but call - carbs. yes, carbs - fruits, veggies, and whole grains. hundreds of studies show the vast benefits of diets hi in these items. yet, any low carb diet restricts these - esp the grains- early and even throughout the diet period. thus, the diets are boring and eventually unsustainable.

now, one does not need to go to the full lengths of the books to achieve favorable results. in fact, most hi pro diets start feeding you more veggies and some 'special' fruits after a while. but, if carbs are kept to below 40% of your caloric needs, not only are you risking some nutritional deficiencies - esp if you're eating low enough calories to continue losing wt- but maybe even risking losing out on some very well-proportioned and as yet undetected phytonutrients that will help you fight off all kinds of diseases. and they may even help your bad breath.

balanced eating; balanced exercise; balanced living.
what a concept!!!!


  1. It is something that many people don’t understand properly.honestly weight loss is very easy process, the only thing you have to do is to stop eat bad foods and to limit yourself only to simple foods.

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  2. if only it were so simple, friend.
    is it not feasible to eat too much of the 'simple' foods - corn, white potatoes, whole grains, rice - all starches, and also gain wt?
    also, in my work with eating disorders, and with obesity, the concept of 'bad foods' is often a trigger for aberrant behaviors such as food restriction (anorexia), purging (bulimia), and obsessive compulsive behaviors (overeating) as means by which people then manage guilt and low self esteem.
    no, it's not easy to lose wt; if it were, we would no longer be fretting about it in america and even in india, and all countries with burgeoning and bulging middle classes. we've lost our sense of eating for energy and health now that foods are available for hedonism and emotional satisfaction.
    ah, the problem of abundance and mechanization.....


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