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Research surprise: Low-carb dieters eat more calories and still lose weight (ATkins vindicated)
Yahoo News ^ | Oct. 13, 2003 | DANIEL Q. HANEY

Posted on 10/13/2003 1:58:10 PM PDT by FairOpinion

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida - The dietary establishment has long argued it's impossible, but a new study offers intriguing evidence for the idea that people on low-carbohydrate diets can actually eat more than those on standard lowfat plans and still lose weight.

Perhaps no idea is more controversial in the diet world than the contention — long espoused by the late Dr. Robert Atkins — that people on low-carbohydrate diets can consume more calories without paying a price on the scales.

Over the past year, several small studies have shown, to many experts' surprise, that the Atkins approach actually does work better, at least in the short run. Dieters lose more than those on a standard American Heart Association plan without driving up their cholesterol levels, as many feared would happen.

Skeptics contend, however, that these dieters simply must be eating less. Maybe the low-carb diets are more satisfying, so they do not get so hungry. Or perhaps the food choices are just so limited that low-carb dieters are too bored to eat a lot.

Now, a small but carefully controlled study offers a strong hint that maybe Atkins was right: People on low-carb, high-fat diets actually can eat more.

The study, directed by Penelope Greene of the Harvard School of Public Health and presented at a meeting here this week of the American Association for the Study of Obesity, found that people eating an extra 300 calories a day on a very low-carb regimen lost just as much during a 12-week study as those on a standard lowfat diet.

Over the course of the study, they consumed an extra 25,000 calories. That should have added up to about three kilograms (seven pounds). But for some reason, it did not.

"There does indeed seem to be something about a low-carb diet that says you can eat more calories and lose a similar amount of weight," Greene said.

That strikes at one of the most revered beliefs in nutrition: A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It does not matter whether they come from bacon or mashed potatoes; they all go on the waistline in just the same way.

Not even Greene says this settles the case, but some at the meeting found her report fascinating.

"A lot of our assumptions about a calorie is a calorie are being challenged," said Marlene Schwartz of Yale. "As scientists, we need to be open-minded."

Others, though, found the data hard to swallow.

"It doesn't make sense, does it?" said Barbara Rolls of Pennsylvania State University. "It violates the laws of thermodynamics. No one has ever found any miraculous metabolic effects."

In the study, 21 overweight volunteers were divided into three categories: Two groups were randomly assigned to either lowfat or low-carb diets with 1,500 calories for women and 1,800 for men; a third group was also low-carb but got an extra 300 calories a day.

The study was unique because all the food was prepared at an upscale Italian restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, so researchers knew exactly what they ate. Most earlier studies simply sent people home with diet plans to follow as best they could.

Each afternoon, the volunteers picked up that evening's dinner, a bedtime snack and the next day's breakfast and lunch. Instead of lots of red meat and saturated fat, which many find disturbing about low-carb diets, these people ate mostly fish, chicken, salads, vegetables and unsaturated oils.

"This is not what people think of when they think about an Atkins diet," Greene said. Nevertheless, the Atkins organization agreed to pay for the research, though it had no input into the study's design, conduct or analysis.

Everyone's food looked similar but was cooked to different recipes. The low-carb meals were 5 percent carbohydrate, 15 percent protein and 65 percent fat. The rest got 55 percent carbohydrate, 15 percent protein and 30 percent fat.

In the end, everyone lost weight. Those on the lower-cal, low-carb regimen took off 10.3 kilograms (23 pounds), while people who got the same calories on the lowfat approach lost 7.6 kilograms (17 pounds). The big surprise, though, was that volunteers getting the extra 300 calories a day of low-carb food lost nine kilograms (20 pounds).

"It's very intriguing, but it raises more questions than it answers," said Gary Foster of the University of Pennsylvania. "There is lots of data to suggest this shouldn't be true."

Greene said she can only guess why the people getting the extra calories did so well. Maybe they burned up more calories digesting their food.

Dr. Samuel Klein of Washington University, the obesity organization's president, called the results "hard to believe" and said perhaps the people eating more calories also got more exercise or they were less apt to cheat because they were less hungry.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: atkins; calories; carbohydrates; carbs; lowcarbohydrates; lowcarbs
And a related article:

Study: 1 in 50 Americans Morbidly Obese

"The number of extremely obese American adults — those who are at least 100 pounds overweight — has quadrupled since the 1980s to about 4 million. That works out to about 1 in every 50 adults. "

But at least I posted the solution first. ;)

1 posted on 10/13/2003 1:58:11 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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2 posted on 10/13/2003 2:00:49 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: FairOpinion
Atkins rocks BUMPS!
3 posted on 10/13/2003 2:00:55 PM PDT by TruthConquers ("Who will liberate us from these tyrants of secularist tolerance?")
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To: carlo3b
Seeee Mr. Carlo, you are keeping us all healthy and happy!
4 posted on 10/13/2003 2:02:46 PM PDT by netmilsmom ( FReeper Jonathansmommie 's baby, Boy or Girl? The ultrasound could not tell. booooo!)
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To: FairOpinion
"It doesn't make sense, does it?" said Barbara Rolls of Pennsylvania State University. "It violates the laws of thermodynamics. No one has ever found any miraculous metabolic effects."

If it were happening over a fire sure. But I'd think that the body is just a bit more complicated than a simple fire.
5 posted on 10/13/2003 2:03:25 PM PDT by NotQuiteCricket (http://www.strangesolutions.com)
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To: TruthConquers
Curious if you are familiar with the Michael Thurmond plan. It has some similarities to Atkins (from what little I know about Atkins) and worked for me to the tune of 40 lbs in 9 weeks. I've been off of it for 6 weeks and am still down 35 lbs (been eating like a pig -- err... a lazy pig).
6 posted on 10/13/2003 2:04:01 PM PDT by mn-bush-man
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To: FairOpinion
I started on a low carb diet 3 months ago and have dropped 22 lbs so far all the while having my fill of NY Strip and caesar salad. To beat my craving for sweets I've learned to make chocolate truffles with xylitol, a natural, low carb sweetener.

The fact that carbs are the main cause of obesity, incidentally, has been known for over 100 years.

7 posted on 10/13/2003 2:04:46 PM PDT by Grim
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To: FairOpinion
In the end, everyone lost weight. Those on the lower-cal, low-carb regimen took off 10.3 kilograms (23 pounds), while people who got the same calories on the lowfat approach lost 7.6 kilograms (17 pounds). The big surprise, though, was that volunteers getting the extra 300 calories a day of low-carb food lost nine kilograms (20 pounds).

300 extra calories. Whoodidoo. I would rather have a few less calories and have some carbs. The weight loss is more or less the same. And then when you reach a target weight, you can have much more fun than an atkins dieter can. I tried atkins and hated it. What's the fun of eating meat if you can't have ketchup, or steak sauce, or a baked potato, or a slice or two of italian bread. A cheeseburger with no bun? Kill me first!

Hey, whatever works. For me, a balanced diet with good sources of protein, plus plenty of healthy fresh veggies, very little processed anything, wine, plenty of regular exercise, and a well balanced lifestyle and I am good to go. Pass the pistachios.

8 posted on 10/13/2003 2:05:38 PM PDT by Huck
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To: Grim
The fact that carbs are the main cause of obesity, incidentally, has been known for over 100 years.

My grandma called em starches. Don't eat too many starches.

9 posted on 10/13/2003 2:06:47 PM PDT by Huck
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To: FairOpinion
The answer is easy. Lots of Carbs equal lots of insulin. Lots of insulin stores lots of fat. Self evident.

Low carb equals steady blood sugar, because the kidney will create carb equivalents from fatty acids and amino acids. Steady blood sugar means less insulin, which means less fat storage.

The answer is that low carb dieters urinate higher levels of fatty acids and amino acids. Why don't they just test the urine?
10 posted on 10/13/2003 2:07:15 PM PDT by Tao Yin
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To: mn-bush-man
"Curious if you are familiar with the Michael Thurmond plan."

==

I vaguely remember seeing ads, but you are the first person I heard of who tried it. It sounds great.

What is it "in a nutshell"?
11 posted on 10/13/2003 2:09:07 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: Tao Yin
"The answer is easy. Lots of Carbs equal lots of insulin. Lots of insulin stores lots of fat. Self evident.

Low carb equals steady blood sugar, because the kidney will create carb equivalents from fatty acids and amino acids. Steady blood sugar means less insulin, which means less fat storage. "

===

This makes sense. Thanks for pointing this out, I actually didn't know it.
12 posted on 10/13/2003 2:11:35 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion
It is a plan that customizes an eating plan based on your body type and metabolism. Here is a site that gives good info on it:

http://www.provida.com/6wk_main.asp

13 posted on 10/13/2003 2:15:11 PM PDT by mn-bush-man
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To: FairOpinion
Instead of lots of red meat and saturated fat, which many find disturbing about low-carb diets,

Meat isn't PC. Anyone that finds a food "disturbing" must be acting out of PC, not medical science.

14 posted on 10/13/2003 2:15:23 PM PDT by narby
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To: Thud
I could have told them this.
15 posted on 10/13/2003 2:15:42 PM PDT by Dark Wing
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To: narby
"Meat isn't PC. Anyone that finds a food "disturbing" must be acting out of PC, not medical science. "

===

You are right. I knew someone who lost weight eating nothing but big, juicy steaks, and kept it off for many years by going on the protein only diet (="big, juicy steakd") for 2 days of every week.
16 posted on 10/13/2003 2:17:43 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: mn-bush-man
No, can't say that I have. I like both Atkins and Protein Power books.
17 posted on 10/13/2003 2:18:06 PM PDT by TruthConquers ("Who will liberate us from these tyrants of secularist tolerance?")
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To: FairOpinion
These "experts" remind me of how the "experts" of old must have responded when told the earth wasn't flat.

I've been on Atkins since the beginning of July. I've lost 40 lbs so far and have never been happier! I never feel deprived. I am rarely tired anymore and I have more energy. My favorite snacks are the Atkins mint or peanut butter wafer bars, or peanut butter cups. The vanilla and chocolate ice cream is also great! And sugar free jello w/ whipped cream!!
There's low carb bread, muffin mixes, etc. I had pancakes the other morning with bacon.

And my cholestrol actually went down 10 points in 2 months.
18 posted on 10/13/2003 2:18:47 PM PDT by California74
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To: mn-bush-man
http://www.provida.com/6wk_main.asp

Thanks. I'll check it out.
19 posted on 10/13/2003 2:19:32 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion
extra loss was muscle
20 posted on 10/13/2003 2:27:22 PM PDT by larryjohnson
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To: FairOpinion
Dr. Samuel Klein of Washington University, the obesity organization's president, called the results "hard to believe" and said perhaps the people eating more calories also got more exercise or they were less apt to cheat because they were less hungry.

But isn't that the whole point of this diet? Why would one want a diet that one is more prone to cheat on because one is hungry all the time?

I think the exercise factor is often overlooked in these studies. On a normal-carb diet, one has much more energy and that is often used for exercise. I did a 12-mile walk on Saturday morning and I had enough energy left over to spend the rest of the afternoon doing yard work and chopping wood. Forget about having the energy to do that if I was on a typical low-fat diet, eating cottage cheese and celery sticks.

21 posted on 10/13/2003 2:28:22 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (208.0 (-92.0) Homestretch to 200)
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To: larryjohnson
Hear hear! 21 people? There's a definitive study.
22 posted on 10/13/2003 2:36:03 PM PDT by tsmith130
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To: Grim
Where did you find the truffles?? The candy with the malt sugar gives me problems I would not like to discuss (but my daughters call them foofies).
23 posted on 10/13/2003 2:45:29 PM PDT by netmilsmom ( FReeper Jonathansmommie 's baby, Boy or Girl? The ultrasound could not tell. booooo!)
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To: FairOpinion
Reas later.
24 posted on 10/13/2003 2:52:23 PM PDT by dix
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To: netmilsmom
The xylitol won't help you much there. Go to the Atkins web site for all kinds of dessert recipes that use Splenda (sucralose). Splenda has little effect on the digestive tract (at least for me) unlike the sugar alcohols. I can't eat any of that maltitol or lactitol candy, either.
25 posted on 10/13/2003 3:12:41 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves
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To: FairOpinion
Now, a small but carefully controlled study offers a strong hint that maybe Atkins was right: People on low-carb, high-fat diets actually can eat more

Eat more calories not more by weight

fats have almost 2x the calories per gram than carbs or protein
26 posted on 10/13/2003 3:21:58 PM PDT by uncbob ( building tomorrow)
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To: Mr. Jeeves
Xylitol is the best for bulk sweeteners. Xylitol chewing gum and mints keep teeth squeeky clean and prevent tooth decay.

Give your guts two weeks to get used to increasing amounts of xylitol.
My guts have never been able to adapt to very much maltitol or lactitol, but I can tolerate xylitol just fine.

It bothers me a little that sucralose is chlorinated sugar.

27 posted on 10/13/2003 3:40:23 PM PDT by RazzPutin
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To: FairOpinion
my husband was just diagnosed with sugar diebeties. When I contacted the hospital abiut their education class I mentioned something about it being so confusing with the "exchanges", etc. and the nurse said they don't do that as much anymore. They count carbs. When she said this I said if that's the case I'd just put him on the Akins diet. Her response was that I could do that but they recommended something he could stay on for life. (You can stay on Adkins) What surprised me is she didn't mention any negatives with the diet except she figured he'd give up.
28 posted on 10/13/2003 3:53:12 PM PDT by Conservative Kay
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To: Lil'freeper; JenB; HairOfTheDog
Pinging my fellow low-carbers.
29 posted on 10/13/2003 5:27:06 PM PDT by ecurbh (Waiting on the doorstep for the cold starlight, there my pretty lady is, River-woman's daughter)
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To: larryjohnson
extra loss was muscle

No it isn't. Several studies that compare low-carb with low-fat diets report that the low-carb dieters lose more weight from fat than low-fat dieters. Here are a couple (but IIRC there are more):


30 posted on 10/13/2003 5:30:04 PM PDT by jennyp (http://lowcarbshopper.bestmessageboard.com)
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To: ecurbh
Thanks! More research vindicating that which I know from experience is true.

I've felt so much better in the six+ months I've been on Atkins. Even if I hadn't lost a ton of weight I'd be happy.
31 posted on 10/13/2003 5:31:13 PM PDT by JenB
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To: larryjohnson
extra loss was muscle

I wondered the same thing, since the article addresses only total weight loss, not what was lost. Kinda meaningless without that little data point.

This cought my attention, too: the calorie allotment was "1,800 for men"! Man, that sounds like some kind of starvation diet, unless these folks were real couch potatoes.

32 posted on 10/13/2003 5:33:34 PM PDT by absalom01
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To: JenB
Yup, same here. My shrinking waistline (about 4" so far) is a testament to the fact that Dr. Atkins was right. I've been slipping a bit the past few weeks though, and may need to go back on induction a bit after the move.
33 posted on 10/13/2003 5:35:12 PM PDT by ecurbh (Waiting on the doorstep for the cold starlight, there my pretty lady is, River-woman's daughter)
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To: ecurbh
may need to go back on induction a bit after the move

I can sympathize. (I'm taking a break from moving right now). We've been hitting convenience food too heavily lately here- due to the move- and I feel awful. Can't wait to get back on track.

34 posted on 10/13/2003 5:44:48 PM PDT by Lil'freeper
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To: NotQuiteCricket
The first time I've ever seen the laws of thermodynamics applied to dieting!

I've been 10-15 lbs overweight for the last year or so. About 3 weeks ago I decided to experiment with a no-carb (or nearly so) diet. Dropped five pounds in the first five days. Since then I've eaten like a pig and, even with a little cheating (the occassional light beer), I've dropped eleven pounds.

Atkins works and is much easier to maintain as you never have to go hungry. "Professionals" who say it doesn't are simply charlatans.

35 posted on 10/13/2003 6:26:43 PM PDT by Reverend Bob
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To: Lil'freeper
I can sympathize. (I'm taking a break from moving right now). We've been hitting convenience food too heavily lately here- due to the move- and I feel awful. Can't wait to get back on track.

Quick tip: When eating a hamburger, rip the bun off as you go along. You'll end up eating only 1/2 the bun.

Quick tip #2: Peanuts. :-)

36 posted on 10/13/2003 8:25:24 PM PDT by jennyp (http://lowcarbshopper.bestmessageboard.com)
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To: nutmeg
read later bump
37 posted on 10/13/2003 9:15:35 PM PDT by nutmeg (Rush Limbaugh: The Voice of Sanity during 8 years of the Clinton Reign of Terror)
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To: Lil'freeper
beef jerkey
38 posted on 10/13/2003 9:48:11 PM PDT by NotQuiteCricket (http://www.strangesolutions.com)
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To: FairOpinion
Hard for them to swallow, huh?
39 posted on 10/14/2003 1:43:39 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
The Atkins Diet will prevail!

Another viewpoint: Doctors' group urges Atkins diet ban*** "Research has clearly shown that high-protein, meat-heavy diets increase the risk of osteoporosis and kidney disorders and that low-fat vegetarian diets help prevent heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and other health problems."***

40 posted on 10/14/2003 1:46:29 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: netmilsmom
Where did you find the truffles??

I made them myself. It only took 3 tries before I got em to commercial quality. They're yum yum good and only 3 carbs for a rather large chocolate truffle. If you'd like, I'll send you the recipe. Just freep mail or message me.

41 posted on 10/14/2003 12:43:40 PM PDT by Grim
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To: FairOpinion

42 posted on 10/14/2003 12:51:29 PM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Another viewpoint: Doctors' group urges Atkins diet ban*** "Research has clearly shown that high-protein, meat-heavy diets increase the risk of osteoporosis and kidney disorders and that low-fat vegetarian diets help prevent heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and other health problems."***

Sorry, that is NOT a doctors' group... it is an adjunct of the Animal Rights movement and are opposed to any diet that contains meat.

43 posted on 10/15/2003 1:30:10 AM PDT by Swordmaker
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To: Swordmaker
Bump!
44 posted on 10/15/2003 1:41:21 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: larryjohnson
extra loss was muscle

You should research what you are talking about. Low carb dieters experience much less muscle wasting than low calorie dieters.

45 posted on 11/29/2003 8:56:54 PM PST by Nov3
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