Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Carbohydrates: Not Guilty

Postmenopausal women who ate a diet low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains didn't gain weight over an average of nearly eight years.

The findings may finally put to rest the notion - propagated by popular diets such as the Atkins, Sugarbusters, and Zone plans - that carbohydrates are the root of all dietary evil. This study shows that increasing carbohydrates doesn't necessarily lead to an increase in weight, so it goes counter to some of the recent enthusiasm for cutting down on carbs and increasing fat," said co-investigator Jacques Rossouw, M.D., a project officer of the Women's Health Initiative at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, in an interview.

Dr. Rossouw said an important message from this study is that caloric restriction rather than a focus on individual diet components is about the only sure-fire way to achieve weight loss through dieting.

Dr. Michael Dansinger, an obesity researcher at Tufts-New England Medical Center directed a rigorous analysis of four popular diets that was published last year. He wrote an editorial that accompanied the current study in JAMA. Now, ''they can say, 'Take that, Dr. Atkins,' " he said. ''That's a much sexier story than saying, 'Well, this is the largest study of dietary intervention and low-fat diets, and we got zero across the board.' "

Dansinger's study last year found that low-carb diets were at least as effective as low-fat diets in spurring weight loss, but all the diets ended up largely failing because they were so hard to follow in the long term. He said some people may take the study as further proof that no type of dieting works, but that is wrong, he said. "When people combine cutting calories with exercise and remain consistent, the results can be impressive. What the field most needs is to develop ways to help people be consistent."

How boring, huh? Cut calories and exercise to lose weight. Well, to make this prescription as easy as possible, I recommend cutting caloric intake and exercising daily, resulting in a 500 calorie deficit. That's 3500 calories, or one pound per week.

Switch to diet soda (saves 150 calories)
Walk 40 minutes (burns 250 calories)
Switch to mustard instead of mayo (saves 100 calories)
500 calories


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At 11:43 PM, January 29, 2006, Anonymous joel said...

Although I don't think you can use fasting as a diet or weight loss program, I do feel that it can be a great start to a proper weight loss diet and exercise program. I think it is definitely something that everyone should do at least once a year.
Link to this site. weight loss using hypnosis


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