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Old 05-03-2013, 11:54 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolcjunk View Post
I agree. I don't really care what Taubes has to say on the subject of calories because none of it applies to me. Calories do count for me, a lot! Even on a low carb diet.

I judge everything diet related by its applicability in my life- Taubes' advice would leave me fat, so I don't follow it and don't consider him a guru or expert on the topic. My advice is- if you aren't losing, are stalled forever, whatever- do what works for you because it doesn't matter what someone said in a diet book if it doesn;t work for you and doesn't help you get to goal.
I would just like to clarify that this situation may not actually be a disconnect between your experiences and the legitimate body of clinical research, but rather a disconnect between your experiences and the way that the relevant research is represented in popular diet books. Bodybuilding "literature reviews" frequently go through popular, mainstream diet books and check the studies that the authors cite, looking for details in those studies that may not be helpful to the mainstream audience for whom the book was written but that may be useful in a bodybuilding context. Bodybuilding literature reviews have frequently found that popular diet books *cherry-pick* portions of research reports that can be *tweaked* to support their hypotheses, while omitting information from those same reports that conflict with the diet author's conclusions.

With regard to your experiences with calories and carb cutting, and Taubes's research citations about the effect of calorie intake, an influential literature review by bodybuilding consultant James Krieger found Gary Taubes providing research data that seems to suggest obese individuals in the study gained weight while eating less than leaner individuals, but the data was actually gathered from a study that was designed to test the underreporting of calorie intake. The obese individuals were dramatically underreporting their calorie intake, as opposed to the leaner individuals, which is what the research was actually designed to study. The cited study neither proves nor disproves any theories of calorie intake and weight gain because, for one thing, the study didn't actually record energy balance in the subjects, only the differences between the ways that obese individuals report/perceive their food intake versus the way that leaner individuals report/perceive their food intake.

James Krieger, Alan Aragon, and Lyle McDonald have all found research misrepresentations in Taubes's work, which is why the bodybuilding community frequently uses Taubes as the prime example for why *mainstream* diet authors can't be trusted. I don't want to pick on Gary Taubes, though, because the truth is that most diet book authors have been found to cherry-pick and/or misrepresent research data in similar ways, including (especially) bodybuilding cult favorites like Ori Hofmekler. The problem isn't necessarily with the underlying research, but rather with the desire of authors to *convince* their audience even if it means *tweaking* the data to make a stronger case.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:21 PM   #62
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Well designed and executed clinical studies are the basis on which drugs and devices are approved all over the world. The key words here are "well designed and executed." They are very complicated and there are many different ways of doing them. I cover the FDA and go to a lot of medical conferences, and clinical studies are the basis of new products going forward, or dying on the vine. But just because a product says "studies show" in its marketing - doesn't mean much. For example, anti-obesity drugs. Two new drugs were approved last year -- for one, the average weight loss was 3 to 3.7% in a year. For the other, the average in one trial was 6.7% and the other was 8.9%. The FDA had not approved an anti obesity drug for more than a decade (because of fen-phen and the heart valve problems associated with fenfluoromine) but, in part because of the obesity epidemic and because they are thinking that SOME weight loss is a positive thing, they approved them, but with required post marketing studies to look at long term safety (especially looking at the heart). So, bottom line, yes clinical trials are essential.

As for water, Bella, there is no scientific evidence showing that we need to drink eight glasses of water a day. We need to keep our fluids balanced, but there is nothing magical about water. If you like to drink that much water, good for you, but the point is that you don't have to. I remember when I first read that- it must have been a bout 3-4 years ago and I went WHAT??? Well, another myth exposed!

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First started Atkins April 1, 2002.
Lost 40 pounds back then and maintained for almost 8 years...then carb creep crept. I've always been low carb, but went hard core again in March 2012.
Hey! You don't have to drink all that water!

Last edited by DairyQueen; 05-03-2013 at 03:22 PM..
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:57 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bella View Post
Hey, DQ, what's your take on why we don't need all that water?
Not DQ, but water has been shown to have unique lipolytic attributes that many other liquids do not. Adequate hydration with plain water has repeatedly been shown to be superior for fat loss and weight management, as well as overall health (don't have all the studies on hand, sorry Tril ). That said, it is not sensible to drink beyond your thirst cues, nor do most folks need to cut out all non-water beverages to lose weight well. But water is a factor to consider. Just don't guzzle with abandon unless you're thirsty for it, and always consider your electrolyte balance!
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:00 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post
Of course people should do what works for them, but well done research studies can help figure out what works for lots of people. That doesn't mean it WILL work for you, just that it has a higher probability of working.

Individual experience is valuable for individuals, but that doesn't mean everything extrapolates perfectly.

I'm highly allergic to raw fruits and veggies, therefore I can't eat things like salads. The fact that I'm allergic to them has nothing to do with anyone else, and it would be irresponsible of me to use my n=1 experience with salads (salads can kill!) when talking about good food choices for the vast majority of the population.

The reverse is also true. If 85% of test subjects in a well-designed study do well counting carbs and not consciously limiting calories, but 15% need to do both, that doesn't mean that everyone needs to count both from the get-go. It means that it's reasonable to tell people to limit carbs first, and then limit calories if necessary.
Great post! And a very clear explanation of the overall principle at hand. I'll rephrase it as KISS - don't add levels of complexity unless they're needed, and don't assume what works for you is prescriptive for someone else
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:04 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trillex View Post
I would just like to clarify that this situation may not actually be a disconnect between your experiences and the legitimate body of clinical research, but rather a disconnect between your experiences and the way that the relevant research is represented in popular diet books. Bodybuilding "literature reviews" frequently go through popular, mainstream diet books and check the studies that the authors cite, looking for details in those studies that may not be helpful to the mainstream audience for whom the book was written but that may be useful in a bodybuilding context. Bodybuilding literature reviews have frequently found that popular diet books *cherry-pick* portions of research reports that can be *tweaked* to support their hypotheses, while omitting information from those same reports that conflict with the diet author's conclusions.

With regard to your experiences with calories and carb cutting, and Taubes's research citations about the effect of calorie intake, an influential literature review by bodybuilding consultant James Krieger found Gary Taubes providing research data that seems to suggest obese individuals in the study gained weight while eating less than leaner individuals, but the data was actually gathered from a study that was designed to test the underreporting of calorie intake. The obese individuals were dramatically underreporting their calorie intake, as opposed to the leaner individuals, which is what the research was actually designed to study. The cited study neither proves nor disproves any theories of calorie intake and weight gain because, for one thing, the study didn't actually record energy balance in the subjects, only the differences between the ways that obese individuals report/perceive their food intake versus the way that leaner individuals report/perceive their food intake.

James Krieger, Alan Aragon, and Lyle McDonald have all found research misrepresentations in Taubes's work, which is why the bodybuilding community frequently uses Taubes as the prime example for why *mainstream* diet authors can't be trusted. I don't want to pick on Gary Taubes, though, because the truth is that most diet book authors have been found to cherry-pick and/or misrepresent research data in similar ways, including (especially) bodybuilding cult favorites like Ori Hofmekler. The problem isn't necessarily with the underlying research, but rather with the desire of authors to *convince* their audience even if it means *tweaking* the data to make a stronger case.
It's also worth noting that Alan and Lyle, in particular, have indeed made recommendations similar to Taubes. They just did so with a more solid research basis and slightly less religiosity/woo. I appreciate that the men are very specific in their approach and application, whereas Taubes is aiming for a more general hypothesis and not a specific methodology for a particular population subset.

If you're in the mood to do some reading, the blogs and ebooks of the three men mentioned in Tril's post are well worth the time and money investment. Especially from a performance perspective.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:57 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arctic_Mama View Post
It's also worth noting that Alan and Lyle, in particular, have indeed made recommendations similar to Taubes. They just did so with a more solid research basis and slightly less religiosity/woo. I appreciate that the men are very specific in their approach and application, whereas Taubes is aiming for a more general hypothesis and not a specific methodology for a particular population subset.

If you're in the mood to do some reading, the blogs and ebooks of the three men mentioned in Tril's post are well worth the time and money investment. Especially from a performance perspective.
As always, you zero in on the key issue MUCH better than my rambling approach did! Contemporary bodybuilding is COMPLETELY invested in ketogenic "cutting" diets. Overall, I think the entire community agrees with Taubes's major points but take serious issue with his citations and representations of studies. The issue isn't that bodybuilders or bodybuilding consultants *disbelieve* the hormonal benefits of very low-carb reducing diets, it's just that some influential research reviews have made Gary Taubes into a bit of a target in that community because of the way he has represented data.

I, personally, have a bit of an issue with the bodybuilding community holding Taubes up as a target. Because bodybuilders, their coaches, consultants, and trainers frequently complain when bodybuilding literature is critiqued in the context of mainstream reducing diets. They argue -- with good reason -- that their needs are too different from mainstream dieters to be reasonably critiqued outside a bodybuilding context. It seems to me that Krieger, Aragon, and McDonald -- all of whom I respect -- commit that crime (to a certain extent) when discussing Taubes. In writing for a mainstream dieting audience, I think it's reasonable to consider issues of dieter motivation and the value of *hope*. And I think the way that Taubes *tweaks* the research does potentially more good than harm in helping with (in my opinion) the absolute most important aspect of dieting: dietary adherence.

I don't believe bodybuilders are in a position to fully appreciate the emotional difficulties of an obese dieter who feels as if fat loss is an impossible task. Just as I don't believe a mainstream dieter is in a position to fully appreciate the physiological difficulties of cutting below 5% bodyfat. So I don't think it's a particularly productive use of time and resources for either group to do out of context critiques of literature that is customized for the needs of a different audience.

As a Category 2 obese dieter, I have gotten a lot of great guidance and expert assistance from the bodybuilders in my life. But they have been utterly HOPELESS in providing any significant level of reassurance or sensitivity with regard to my emotional needs while dieting. They just don't have a frame of reference to help them understand that, for an obese dieter, the process has to be about more than math and physiology. In my experience, we need a specialized type of emotional support to sustain the level of commitment that we need in order to succeed. For my brothers, a bodybuilding fat cutting cycle is 8-12 weeks. I've spent the past 11+ months cutting and I'm still quite far from goal. I need hope and faith more than I need an obsessive examination of data. Just sayin...
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:21 PM   #67
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I don't get some kind of involuntary appetite suppression by eating low carb, but that's okay with me. I think any plan that promises no hunger, ever, and effortless intuitive portion control that will take you all the way to goal, and magically rid you of all your food issues, is a pipedream. But that's pretty much how diet plans are advertised and books are sold. That is what people want to hear. You have to read between the lines.

kiwistars, yes, Dr. Atkins did say they matter. It's in the DANDR book I used when losing my weight. Page 143 is where he says you may not have to count calories, but calories matter, and very clearly states that gaining weight results from taking in more than you expend. He briefly explains the metabolic advantage of low-carb dieting but ends by saying that eating low carb is not a license to gorge.

So much of what we perceive as "hunger" is really conditioning. Look at weight loss surgery patients--they have to eat a lot less food, and technically their stomachs are full on very little, but their mind and mouth might still be telling them they are hungry because they're used to expecting a certain quantity of food. I mean, we human beings desire food for any number of reasons other than needing it.

I would hate for people to start a low-carb plan, thinking it will take care of all the uncomfortable or difficult aspects of weight loss, only to find that they do have to learn some things that aren't always easy (but are worth it).

The main bonus of low-carb for me is whole foods, nice protein portions, good fats, good nutrition and not needing to snack.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:34 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trillex View Post
As always, you zero in on the key issue MUCH better than my rambling approach did! Contemporary bodybuilding is COMPLETELY invested in ketogenic "cutting" diets. Overall, I think the entire community agrees with Taubes's major points but take serious issue with his citations and representations of studies. The issue isn't that bodybuilders or bodybuilding consultants *disbelieve* the hormonal benefits of very low-carb reducing diets, it's just that some influential research reviews have made Gary Taubes into a bit of a target in that community because of the way he has represented data.

I, personally, have a bit of an issue with the bodybuilding community holding Taubes up as a target. Because bodybuilders, their coaches, consultants, and trainers frequently complain when bodybuilding literature is critiqued in the context of mainstream reducing diets. They argue -- with good reason -- that their needs are too different from mainstream dieters to be reasonably critiqued outside a bodybuilding context. It seems to me that Krieger, Aragon, and McDonald -- all of whom I respect -- commit that crime (to a certain extent) when discussing Taubes. In writing for a mainstream dieting audience, I think it's reasonable to consider issues of dieter motivation and the value of *hope*. And I think the way that Taubes *tweaks* the research does potentially more good than harm in helping with (in my opinion) the absolute most important aspect of dieting: dietary adherence.

I don't believe bodybuilders are in a position to fully appreciate the emotional difficulties of an obese dieter who feels as if fat loss is an impossible task. Just as I don't believe a mainstream dieter is in a position to fully appreciate the physiological difficulties of cutting below 5% bodyfat. So I don't think it's a particularly productive use of time and resources for either group to do out of context critiques of literature that is customized for the needs of a different audience.

As a Category 2 obese dieter, I have gotten a lot of great guidance and expert assistance from the bodybuilders in my life. But they have been utterly HOPELESS in providing any significant level of reassurance or sensitivity with regard to my emotional needs while dieting. They just don't have a frame of reference to help them understand that, for an obese dieter, the process has to be about more than math and physiology. In my experience, we need a specialized type of emotional support to sustain the level of commitment that we need in order to succeed. For my brothers, a bodybuilding fat cutting cycle is 8-12 weeks. I've spent the past 11+ months cutting and I'm still quite far from goal. I need hope and faith more than I need an obsessive examination of data. Just sayin...
What a great overview of both perspectives. Good food for thought.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:09 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peanutte View Post
The answer to your question is, yes and no, it is about calories, but it's not entirely about calories. 1500 calories of rice, cereal and potatoes is not going to give your body the same nutrients and fuel as 1500 calories of chicken, beef, broccoli, olive oil and eggs. A person can lose weight on fat-free yogurts, 100-calorie snack-packs and Lean Cuisines, but that doesn't mean he is losing weight healthfully or nourishing himself well. A person can also be eating lots of nutritious low-carb, higher-fat foods and sticking to the plan 100%, and watching his carbs like a hawk, but not losing weight at all because his calories are simply too high.

Dr. Atkins, the Drs. Eades and others agree that calories do matter and you won't lose unless you have created a reasonable calorie deficit. However, some people find they can lose well on low-carb foods for roughly the same calories as would make them gain on high-carb/low-fat foods. Other people find that they thrive on less fat, and would gain eating the kinds of full-fat foods enjoyed by low-carbers. Still others land somewhere in the middle and do more of a South Beach moderate type of diet.

You'll probably get a lot of different opinions on this topic. In the end, people will speak to what worked for them. If someone lost a lot of weight through calorie reduction on a plan like WW, I don't see how it can be argued that this type of approach "doesn't work". On the other hand you will see people posting about their weight loss while not counting a single calorie but sticking only to counting their carbs. If it works, it works.

Regardless of the plan anyone is doing, calories do matter. The tricky part is figuring out how many of them matter for your weight loss or gain, and whether you personally need to count and track them or not. But, common sense would suggest that the lower your calories are, on any plan, the more important it is to make sure your menus are nutritious and not wasting calories.
Completely agree with this. The reason most low carb diets say you don't have to keep track of cals is because your appetite usually diminishes and you end up naturally not eating as much, but that doesn't hold true for everyone.

I went and had my RMR tested and they gave me a large number - 2480, I tried eating that much and was gaining. And doing low carb. Now that I have knocked the cals down things are starting to move. It is definitely worth your while to keep an eye on them
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