No Carb Diet

I know of at least a dozen people who are on a “no carb” diet. The are losing weight, but the diet goes against everything we’ve taught about diet and nutrition for as long as I can remember. How can you lose weight by eating mostly high fat foods such as red meat and cheese and forsaking all bread, pasta, rice etc? Has the government been wrong the last 20 years or is this diet a dangerous fad?

My WildAssGuess: Carbohydrates are always burned first in the body. When there are no carbohydrates in the body, the body will burn fat. Since there is no carbos in the body during a no-carb diet, the body will burn off the fat and raise the metabolism. Again, this is just a WildAssGuess.

Are those people on the no-carb diet exercising as well?

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I don’t think they’re any more active than usual. No stories about going to the gym. I’m asking because this seems like a diet I could actually work with. It would be a pain to have to do without bread, but most diets make you give up nearly anything and everything that tastes good. I just don’t want to find out that you can’t actually live like this for any length of time without harming yourself.

Biochem was a while back, but we talked about this–there are several problems with the Protein (Atkins) Diet.

The first thing you do when you cut out carbs is use up your stored glycogen in the liver and muscles. It takes water to store glycogen; since the glycogen is gone, you pee out the water and–gasp!–lose weight. When you go off the diet and allow your body to start building its glycogen stores back up, the weight comes back pretty quickly.

Most of these diets do involve a decreased calorie intake, which may lead to some real permanent weight loss, but most people ignore that part. (Such as the guy at the restaurant where my GF works who ordered three eggs, two sausage patties, and a pork chop for dinner, but would not have a biscuit.)

In the long run, these diets can lead to kidney stones or other kidney problems, or gout. I don’t figure I need to say anything about the increased fat intake and what that can do to the ol’ heart and arteries.

I really wish this worked, but it doesn’t. Sorry.

Dr. J

USA Today did a comprehensive cover story on this not too long ago. You might try looking at their web site to see if it is posted, or simply go to a liabrary and look it up. It was about two weeks ago.

Their conclusion: only people under medical supervision should attempt it, and only after trying and failing every other plan.

Damn! I just read a web page a couple days ago that really explained the low-carb diets and said why they were dangerous. Basically, they really screw your kidneys up. Also, they don’t necessarily work - I think the fact that Dr. Atkins, the creator of one of the most popular low carb diets, is about 50 pounds overweight says it all.

Try if you want a healthy, safe way to lose weight. Their diet is based on the food pyramid. They do recommend exercise - but only walking. The whole point of this “diet” is that they teach you how to eat correctly for the long term, ie, you eat real food, in healthy portions, and you can conceviably eat this way for the rest of your life.

You need a well rounded diet to be healthy. Period.

Cutting out carbs to loose weight is like cutting out vitamins or cutting out water to loose weight – it works at loosing weight, but it’s very unhealthy.



OK, I found it:

For a web page on Low-Carb diets, check

My wife is on a reduced carb diet and is losing weight slowly but healthily.

She has insulin resistance, which means that a normal amount of insulin isn’t doing what it normally should. So she produces more. The excess insulin also increases the testostrogine level. Other symptoms are polycystic ovaries, weight gain, facial hair, and infertility.

Cutting out carbs is drastic. I don’t see why anyone would want to do that.

But we, as Americans, eat way too much carbos. That stupid food pyramid is a main culprit. 5-11 servings!! No way–unless you WANT to bulk up.

I used to be an athlete (gave it up to be a musician). I was a highly competitive swimmer and runner. Only the very long distance runners and swimmers ate a lot of carbs. Stored carbohydrates do very litte to help sprinters and middle distance runners and swimmers. We ate a lot of proteins, to complement the weight training. We ate a lot of vegetables for fiber (vitamins were taken care of by a pill–usually Centrum).

Carbohydrates are kept to a minimum. Yes, we’d drink fruit juices and eat bananas and oranges, but no pasta, no bagels. Those just made us bloated and heavy.

The pre-race meal could never be agreed upon. The most common was a banana and water. I knew a few sprinters who had candy bars to hype themselves up. A lot took caffeine pills, too.

I’m sorry for droning on about this. My point is that while we do need carbohydrates for a healthful diet, we don’t need that much. And the superior athletes of the world do not eat much of them at all.

I don’t know who first said “everyone’s a critic,” but I think it’s a really stupid saying.

just want to clear something up…I didn’t mean to insinuate that I, myself, am a “superior athlete of the world.” If I may say so myself, I was a superior athlete for a high school kid, but my point was that we low-grade athletes emulated the diets of the professionals, with good results.

I don’t know who first said “everyone’s a critic,” but I think it’s a really stupid saying.

There’s a lot to be said against this diet. And alot to be said FOR it.

It does work for many people, even when you include all the fats. The reason I like it is because it really kills cravings.

I’ve tried the all-meat-all-the-time version, and that’s pretty tough. Even though I am an unrepentent carnivore, preferring to eat animal flesh or products with nearly every meal, when that’s ALL you eat, it can become pretty nauseating.

However, I do believe in a version of the diet which basically says no refined, starchy carbs, which are deadly for people with carb addiction or low insulin resistence. Cut out: pasta, refined breads, white rice, all forms of doughy products and sugar (candy, ice cream, etc.) potatoes, etc. Instead, eat lean meats, poultry and fish, lots of low-starch veges (leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, etc.) beans. Think FIBER. Think density. Pouring white flour and sugar into your system is disastrous, a fact proven, in my view, by the reality that there are more low-fat foods available now than ever before, and Americans get fatter and fatter every year. Sucking down tons of fat-free cookies is much worse than eating a steak, if you have serious weight issues.

Lose the starch, up the fiber. And drink more water than you think you can stand. Lose the crappy chemical-filled sugar-free soft drinks. Work out with weights, do something aerobic. And if you’ve really got issues that make you compulsively overeat to the point where you are morbidly obese and miserable, get some therapy.

Well, now that I’ve had a nice talk with MYSELF…how are the rest of you doing? (I’ve only managed to get the compulsive part under control. I still make horrible choices because I prefer really fatty, starchy food. Just a great deal less of it than I used to. Sigh.)

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patebh, as the only person posting to this thread so far who has actually been on the Atkins diet before (and has recently returned to it)(at least, I was before stoidela posted :)), let me give you some advice: don’t listen to other people’s advice. Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution has been in print for ~20 years, and is doubtlessly available at a public library. Read it for yourself and decide for yourself. Atkins’, IMO, answers all the alleged criticisms of his diet.

When I went on the diet, almost 20 years ago, it was everything it promised. I lost 20 pounds in the first two weeks, then began to hit the ‘plateau’ state which Atkins is quite clear in explaining, and ultimately lost about 50 pounds. I’ve put that all back on plus much more, as well as getting 20 years older, which means its really starting to have a noticeable impact on my life, which is why I’ve gone back on the diet. Men have a better initial success than women, due (IIRC) to the different natural ration of fat to muscle in their bodies.

It is not a strictly no-carb diet; men can usually have between 20 and 60 grams of carbohydrate a day, which equates to one or two slices of bread. Women, as I said, have it tougher. It also clearly directs the dieter to eat lots of fibrous foods in the form of lettuce salads, etc., in order to maintain regularity. There is no practical limit to the amount of protein you can ingest a day, and believe me, Bunky, I’ve proved it!

Once you’ve read the original Diet Revolution, check out the new one, or just buy it or borrow it from someone who did. I wouldn’t put any stake in either of the links someone provided above, because if you check them out, you’ll see that ‘hold the toast’ is just a janie-come-lately who’s doing her own ‘riff’ on the diet, and Dr. McDougall has his own newsletter, tapes, and books he wants to sell.

The reason I left the diet before is because like a lot of people, I have a real lust for all the worst/best foods. Also, before going on it, you really have to both psych yourself up to stay on it, and have some sort of ‘plan’ in place to see to it you never allow yourself to be hungry for longer than it takes to get to the icebox. The other main reason I left was because, if you don’t plan for it and use your creative sense, you can get awfully tired of steak and salad. This time, with the hindsight my first time gave me, I feel much more determined to make my goal.

To anyone who knows what its like to be chronically overweight, and feels somehow guilty about it, I would remind you that humanity has been evolving for the last 100,000 years or so (counting just from Neanderthal & Cro-Magnon man) in an environment where eating was largely a matter of eat-as-you-pick and catch-as-catch-can for meat. Under such conditions, I believe the tendency to gain weight fast in the presence of a temporary abundance of food became imprinted in our genome. Its really only been in the last century+ that agriculture has advanced to the point that an actual surplus has been created, and that a society with a majority of clinically obese people has been possible.

That’s not an excuse to pig out at the local ice-cream shop; it’s just an explanation.

This is a bit of a ramble, so of you have a life or better things to do, you might as well:

I’ve done the high protein/low carb diet. I have never done a diet before in my life and believe very strongly in eating well rounded meals. My problem is that I could eat a ton of bread and pasta and did and never saw my weight drop, despite working out five days a week. After about 28, my metabolism slowed down which was a total pisser. I was a carb addict and so is my husband. It’s how we were raised.

I was working out to 1) get in shape 2) lower my cholesteral 3) keep busy. After six months of faithful working out and cutting out junk food and drive through and TV dinners I didn’t drop a friggin’ pound
( yeah, I know, muscle weighs more than fat) but my Cholesteral levels went up. ARGHHH. I decided to go another six months doing the same thing, with higher carbs for energy and damn, nothing worked.

My workout partner, the prick, moved out of state ( I still haven’t really forgiven him even though I’m going to his wedding this month.)and my workouts didn’t last much longer than maybe six weeks after he left.

Then I went to Germany for two weeks and was stuck in small town that shuts down at 5pm. I hate most german food and snack food there is, well, deplorable. They just don’t eat the crap like we do :slight_smile: Fresh veggies are expensive and if you eat them raw they look at you like you just at the family dog. I subsisted on for 3 to 4 meals a day salami and lunchmeat. Drinking water from the tap is also frowned upon and everyone drinks carbonated (blech!) water. I drank from the tap and am still alive. ( Hell, our well as arsenic in it.) I had very few cravings and AND AND dropped eight pounds.

Being the rocket scientist that I’m not, I just went back to my old eating habits and …Poofff! those eight pounds came back on in less than a month.

I am naturally a skeptic when it comes to diet fads and ignore them. Genetics play a large part of the puzzle and you just can fight the apple/pear shape for so long before you realize that you will always be a fruit. :slight_smile: ( You may quote me on that :slight_smile: ) I was told about the protein diet by someone I respect very much and decided to research it and bought the Protein Power book. It was the first nonfiction book I’ve read cover to cover and it answered every one of my questions. Hubby and I made changes to our eating habits and he lost 10 pounds quickly just by switching to Diet Coke. ( He could drink 8 cans of regular coke a day.) I rarely drink pop/soda and diet drinks give me slight headaches from the artifical sweetners.

I lost 10 pounds ( put me lower than pre-preggo weight) without any working out
( other than my walks with the dog & stroller but those are not consistent.) What amazed me was the fact that I had no cravings during the day. This is a person that use to have to eat five small mini meals a day to keep the headaches at bay. While on this diet, I never had a headache. I am a habitual water drinker anyway and take an excellent vitamin everyday.

Now that I am pregnant, I eat very well, but I do not eat the carbs like I did the first time around. At my last doctors appointment, I’d put on only 10 pounds at what we thought was the 4 month mark and now I know it’s the five month mark.) There are times that I could stuff myself with a three sandwiches because of cravings, but I eat maybe one sandwich and the rest is lunchmeat and cheese. Because I’m on sinus medication to keep me breathing due to pregnancy congestion, I am constantly dehydrated and force myself to drink a large glass of water an hour. I live in my bathroom :slight_smile:
When baby numero two arrives and I finish breastfeeding, I will go back on a low carb regiem. (I also hope to get back into swimming, which is a great love of mine, with the community pool that just opened up. After the 2nd one arrives, I will have to take a wait and see attitude if this is doable.) I limit myself to 50 carbs a day. It’s the only thing that has ever worked for me.

To go on a no carbs diet is insane.If you have to cut back on your carbs, eat them in the morning or for lunch, so you burn them off by daily activity and always drink tons of water.

End ramble

It is important to remember that a special diet is a TOOL. The outcome is a result of the tool’s implementation. After a minor injury in my lower back I stopped regular exercise and indulged in more food. I went from 133 to 146 and got to a point where I just could not stand the extra fat around my waist. So I went on a low-carb diet (the Miami Beach Model’s Diet) and dropped from 146 to 133 in 12 days. Every morning I ate 2 fried eggs a piece of sausage or ham and washed it down with a diet drink. For lunch I ate 2 slices of sandwich meat or a hamburger patty and for snacking I have some Planter’s Deluxe Nuts closeby and ate them in moderation. For dinner I had lots of salad along with a good portion of meat like fish, a quarter chicken, a steak, or pork loin steak. For other snacking I nibbled on pickles, cottage cheese, canned green beans, carrots, and celery. I was sure to eat no bread, no processed foods, and no sugar. I drank all the diet drinks and water I craved and every day I also took a multivitamin, a calcium+magnesium supplement, and a glass of orange flavored Metamucil. The only exercise I had was mowing my lawn twice. I thoroughly read one of Atkins’ books, the Miami Beach Model’s Diet booklets, and SugarBusters before using their diet tips. Most of the weight I lost was definitely fat from around my waist but what I found equally impressive was the amazing control I had over my appetite. I never had energy lows or headaches or any other negative feeling. Most people who badmouth the diet assume that others who use the diet will stay on the diet for a long period of time and base their conclusions on this. And they did not actually try the diet.

I cannot speak to the no/low carb diet as I have never tried it.

What I can say is everybody’s body needs a balanced diet. Your body needs a certain amount of protein, carbohydrates, and even fats. The protein helps you do numerous things mainly maintain and build muscle (muscle weighs more than fat and burns more calories than fat). Fat is used as fuel for the cells to do their thing. Fat is easily stored for later use. Sugar is also used as fuel. Carbs are mainly a form of sugar. This gives a quick burn, but can leave you hungry. The protein lasts longer than the carbs and that is why there is less hunger.

Carbs should be limited (anything to excess is bad). Fats should be limited and sugar should be mostly cut out altogether.

I have started a program 4 weeks ago that uses the diabetic diet. I choose a calorie level and then I get to have a certain number of “exchanges” for each meal.

I am eating less than I was before, but while I am occasionally hungry, nothing extreme. Since I have been on this plan I have lose 27 lbs (healthly in 4 weeks). How is this possible? I am eating what my body needs but not more, the fuel above what I am eating is coming from the fat cells. I am walking 60 minutes a day every morning. I am walking faster and further in that 60 minutes each day. (exercising in the morning helps you to burn more calories for the rest of the day.)

I have not had heartburn in 4 weeks (before I had to take pepcid 2-3 times a week).

I have not felt weak from low blood sugar (something that occasionally has happened).

I have craved sugar, but have not eaten any.

One of the biggest keys to the sucess I have had is that I am accountable to the group I am in. My wife might be seen as nagging me, the group is just support for each other.

BTW, my wife has lost 9 lbs in 3 weeks and she weighs in tonight and will likely have lost another 3-4 lbs.

Diets that you go on and then quit cannot work long term. You must make a lifestyle change. That is what we are in the process of doing.

My best to all who are fighting with diets and weight.


Stoidela wrote:

Dr. Barry Sears, in his books on “The Zone Diet” (his modern low-carbohydrate diet, very similar to the Adkins plan), says basically the same thing.

To which I must reply: Americans were getting fatter and fatter BEFORE low-fat foods became available, too. Most everyone gets fatter as they age, because most everyone gets less exercise as (s)he gets older.

The truth, as always, is more complicated than that.

I am lowering my carbohydrate intake to see if this works for me. I realized whenever I over eat I go for breads or sweet things. However, I am NOT cutting carbohydrates out totally. I am also not eating all proteins like the Atkins diet does (I would tire of it totally and stop the diet). I am however increasing my vegetable intake (Actually I love veggies so this is no punishment for me). And I’ve been trying it for the past three days and I haven’t had any cravings, nor have I eaten more than one serving at dinner time (I used to eat two servings usually). In fact, whenever I pass the kitche its to get something to drink (ice tea, soda is reserved for dinner :)).

I also don’t have a raging hunger during my 4 hour block of classes (from 2 to 6 pm). Eating a lot of vegetables actually fills me up so I dont over eat, and it gives me a fuller feeling. During this break I am going to try to start to go out and either rollerblade or just walk around the neighborhood.

My mom tried the Atkins Diet before she got married. She told me it actually worked for , but she thinks maybe it contributed to the problems she had with her gall bladder (she had to have it removed finally, in part because my twin brother kicked it to death while in the womb :)).

Also that food pyramid: I could not possibly eat as many servings of carbs a day as it advised even before I started lowering my carb intake.

Time was I stood where thou dost now
And view’d the dead as thou dost me
Ere long you’ll lie as low as I
And others stand and gaze at thee


27 pounds in 4 weeks??? nearly a pound a day is “healthy”??? What planet are you from, because i wanna be from there. (Not that I would mind losing weight like that, but I have NEVER heard any authority or even fool claim that nearly a pound per day is a “healthy” weight loss. The MOST I’ve ever heard of is 4 pounds, for young men. 90% of the time it is 2 pounds.

Are you sure you have that right? It’s also hard to believe that it even IS fat. Sounds like a lot of water loss to me…

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