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Old 10-16-2012, 11:24 AM   #1
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Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat Diet

As a newbie to this forum, I'm trying to find which subforum discusses the diet which Gary Taubes suggests in his Why We Get Fat book. I've looked around these forums a bit, and see that lots of people are using foods that aren't allowed on my plan, so it would be nice to find others who are on the same plan as I am. This is my fourth day on the diet, and I'm feeling much better than yesterday! But I'm not a fan of meat, and already I'm getting tired of eggs. I'm sticking with it, but would like to hear from others on this same plan.

Any suggestions about which part of the forum I should frequent?
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:34 AM   #2
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I didn't see a thread for that either.

You can start one though in the Other Plans forum:

Other Plans - Low Carb Friends

Really awesome book!

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Old 10-16-2012, 12:10 PM   #3
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Miche, I've read Good Calorie Bad Calorie, but not Why We Get Fat. I didn't realize that he had a real eating plan. How does it differ from other low carb plans? I might have to join you in your thread. I have huge respect for Taubes.

I wonder if a nutritional ketosis thread would be consistent w/ Taubes. I would try a search for that.

Last edited by rubidoux; 10-16-2012 at 12:14 PM..
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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He recommends staying under 20 grams of carbs, unlimited meat, eggs, fats, generously restricted cheese, olives, dill pickles, etc., lots of lettuce and scallions, certain vegetables. No nuts, beans, yogurt, milk. He recommends 2 cups of bouillon a day to replace sodium. No mention of ketosis or phases.

His intent is mainly to be persuasive about the general low carb approach, not so much to prescribe a specific diet. However he does include the plan in the appendix.

It's called the "No Sugar, No Starch Diet."

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Old 10-16-2012, 02:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miche124 View Post
He recommends staying under 20 grams of carbs, unlimited meat, eggs, fats, generously restricted cheese, olives, dill pickles, etc., lots of lettuce and scallions, certain vegetables. No nuts, beans, yogurt, milk. He recommends 2 cups of bouillon a day to replace sodium. No mention of ketosis or phases.

His intent is mainly to be persuasive about the general low carb approach, not so much to prescribe a specific diet. However he does include the plan in the appendix.
If you don't over consume protein that is a ketogenic diet

And he ain't kidding about those cups of bouillon! Skip them at your own peril and look forward to leaping out of bed with leg/foot cramps spawned from the gates of doom.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:22 PM   #6
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This is pretty much how I eat. I cannot imagine making this a lifestyle change if you do not like meat. I love hamburgers and steak, so it is easy for me. No point in following a diet if you do not like the food.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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Just get some keto sticks and as long as your changing their color your in ketosis.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:04 PM   #8
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If you don't over consume protein that is a ketogenic diet

And he ain't kidding about those cups of bouillon! Skip them at your own peril and look forward to leaping out of bed with leg/foot cramps spawned from the gates of doom.
Thanks for the caution. Is there already a section or thread for people on ketogenic diets? The only one I found was a specific diet, Nutritional Ketosis.

I doubt it would help to start a thread about Taubes' diet, if I'm the only one on it.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:32 PM   #9
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Low carbers need to take in extra salt?
I knew that there was not restriction on salt
but I didn't realize it was actually part of the program
to purposely ingest it.
What's up with that?
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by avid View Post
Low carbers need to take in extra salt?
I knew that there was not restriction on salt
but I didn't realize it was actually part of the program
to purposely ingest it.
What's up with that?
Low-carb diets tend to rid you of excess water initially, which is why they are so good for hypertension. However, some people lose too many electrolytes with that initial water flush.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:50 PM   #11
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I don't think the book was trying to prescribe a specific name-brand diet, just a way of eating. The way I eat is consistent with what is recommended in the book. The Atkins folks here are all eating that way, as are the nutritional ketosis people, the Wheat Belly people, the Eat Fat Get Thin people, etc. The South Beach people eat a few more carbs and the JUDDD people manipulate calories (someone correct me if I'm wrong), but almost everyone else here is eating more or less the same way that you do.

Eventually you will probably eat things that aren't on your list as you learn what you can tolerate. Most people start with something very restrictive (e.g. Atkins Induction), and then experiment with adding foods, and the foods that can be added are different for everyone. There seems to be a large variation in the tolerance of fruit, nuts, dairy, artificial sweeteners and prepackaged foods.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:52 PM   #12
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I may be misremembering, but I think the plan in the appendix is via Dr. Westman at Duke and hence similar to Atkins' induction.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by KittyMcKnitty View Post
I don't think the book was trying to prescribe a specific name-brand diet, just a way of eating. The way I eat is consistent with what is recommended in the book. The Atkins folks here are all eating that way, as are the nutritional ketosis people, the Wheat Belly people, the Eat Fat Get Thin people, etc. The South Beach people eat a few more carbs and the JUDDD people manipulate calories (someone correct me if I'm wrong), but almost everyone else here is eating more or less the same way that you do.

Eventually you will probably eat things that aren't on your list as you learn what you can tolerate. Most people start with something very restrictive (e.g. Atkins Induction), and then experiment with adding foods, and the foods that can be added are different for everyone. There seems to be a large variation in the tolerance of fruit, nuts, dairy, artificial sweeteners and prepackaged foods.
I thought the very same thing. He touts a low carb lifestyle and we all follow those guidelines, hence the name "Low Carb Friends". Even if we follow a different diet plan, we mostly watch out for the carbs. I didn't realize Taubes wrote a diet book. I don't believe that was his intention.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:03 PM   #14
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I may be misremembering, but I think the plan in the appendix is via Dr. Westman at Duke and hence similar to Atkins' induction.
Yes, you're right. I found a link to the actual diet.

Yes, I wrote this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miche124 View Post
His intent is mainly to be persuasive about the general low carb approach, not so much to prescribe a specific diet. However he does include the plan in the appendix.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyMcKnitty View Post
I don't think the book was trying to prescribe a specific name-brand diet, just a way of eating. The way I eat is consistent with what is recommended in the book. The Atkins folks here are all eating that way, as are the nutritional ketosis people, the Wheat Belly people, the Eat Fat Get Thin people, etc. The South Beach people eat a few more carbs and the JUDDD people manipulate calories (someone correct me if I'm wrong), but almost everyone else here is eating more or less the same way that you do.

Eventually you will probably eat things that aren't on your list as you learn what you can tolerate. Most people start with something very restrictive (e.g. Atkins Induction), and then experiment with adding foods, and the foods that can be added are different for everyone. There seems to be a large variation in the tolerance of fruit, nuts, dairy, artificial sweeteners and prepackaged foods.
Thank you for the context! That does help me.

Last edited by Miche124; 10-16-2012 at 04:08 PM..
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:11 PM   #15
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I found a link to the actual diet.
Thank you so much for the link! I'm printing it off for a friend.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:26 PM   #16
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Low-carb diets tend to rid you of excess water initially, which is why they are so good for hypertension. However, some people lose too many electrolytes with that initial water flush.
That is very true about the initial release of fluids the kidney holds with a high carb diet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avid View Post
Low carbers need to take in extra salt?
I knew that there was not restriction on salt
but I didn't realize it was actually part of the program
to purposely ingest it.
What's up with that?
Yes. LC is not a low sodium diet. You should get 2 to 3 grams a day in. 5 grams is what you need but as long as you supplement with a couple of grams you'll get the rest from what you are eating.

You can get those extra grams from a couple of cups of broth.

It works like this:

High carb diets (for our purposes that is 60+ grams daily) are water retention diets. The kidneys hold on to water when you eat carbs.

Ketogenic diets (most LC diets - which excludes Paleo, SBD and JUDDD generally speaking because their carb limits are either non-existent or 50g+) are carb restricted so the kidney does not hold water. But you are still working up a thirst and drinking water, coffee, soda pop, whatever, so you are still shedding fluid.

Minerals are lost and since the kidney is not holding onto more fluid the minerals need to be replaced.

And the pecking order, in this case, is that salt is more important than potassium. So you excrete more potassium because the body is trying to conserve salt supplies because you are not getting enough unless you are cognizant of the need or just happen to be someone that salts the heck out of stuff in combination with a higher sodium menu of food.

At any rate, if you aren't getting your ~5 grams of sodium in your body sacrifices potassium which causes the hellish cramps. If you get too low on potassium and salt you get dizzy or headaches or both which is when everyone chimes in and tells you to drink some broth - which is salty.

We come full circle here and this, I think, is why the sodium requirement isn't very well known (unless you read it and believed it in Phinney's book) - if you salt your food and eat enough sodium rich food it never becomes an issue. On the other hand, if you are a low-sodium junky *you* are gonna have some painful familiarity with the exact contour of your calf muscle.

That is the case for me. I never have been a big fan of salting stuff. Just a little when I cook and I don't use much if any at the table. Until about 3 days ago when I got to that part in Phinney's book.

And I end with the usual disclaimer to be aware of your own health conditions before you zap yourself with a ton of salt.

Oh, 5 grams of sodium is 2 teaspoons of table salt. Most food logging sites will track sodium although you may have to set it up. Today I got 3 grams just from the food I ate.


Last edited by reddarin; 10-16-2012 at 04:31 PM.. Reason: Corrected a couple of things.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:59 PM   #17
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@reddarin: Thanks for the fantastic explanation! Bacon'll get me a long way to that sodium level.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:11 PM   #18
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Sorry to double-post, but I'm really confused now.

1. I've been researching a bit today, and have come to understand that Dr. Westman at Duke is the source of the diet I've been on for a few days, inserted in the Appendix of Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat.

2. I watched this YouTube video of Dr. Westman describing the same diet. The title of the video is "Dr Eric Westman - Duke University New Atkins Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss and Health."

3. I also found that Dr. Westman co-authored The New Atkins For a New You book, with Phinney and Volek (names unfamiliar to me, a newbie.)

Question: Does this mean that the diet I'm on is the same diet that is the premise of The New Atkins For a New You? If so, then what I'm on is apparently only a portion of a diet with several phases. This is significant, if I'm not really supposed to stay at this stage throughout my entire weightloss. In other words, I'm confused about the chronology and exactly what Dr. Westman's current position is. Should I be reading The New Atkins for the complete diet?

I'd really appreciate some perspective and context any of you might be able to offer.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:44 PM   #19
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Question: Does this mean that the diet I'm on is the same diet that is the premise of The New Atkins For a New You? If so, then what I'm on is apparently only a portion of a diet with several phases. This is significant, if I'm not really supposed to stay at this stage throughout my entire weightloss. In other words, I'm confused about the chronology and exactly what Dr. Westman's current position is. Should I be reading The New Atkins for the complete diet?
Taubes has said that people wanted him to include a diet in the book, so he chose that one to represent the way of eating that he is advocating. In the book he mentions several other diets (Banting's diet, the all-meat diet, etc.), and they are all basically the same: Avoid sugar and starch. I read The New Atkins, and I didn't find it very enlightening. All it provides is a structured way to gradually add more carbs, but it's not necessary to do that. It's perfectly fine to stay at this "stage" throughout your weight loss. Those doing nutritional ketosis and some paleo folks like myself don't ever add more carbs, and many Atkins people don't either. I believe there is a discussion about this at the end of WWGF.

You'll notice a lot of threads here where people talk about going back to induction. What that means is they tried moving on to the other Atkins phases (adding more carbohydrates) and stalled in their weight loss, so they are going back to the diet you are on. Not everyone can add more carbs and continue to lose, but some can - it depends on how metabolically deranged you are.

Volek and Phinney recommend staying in ketosis indefinitely in their book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance, and I saw an interview with Phinney where he said he has been in ketosis for the last six years, so clearly they think it is just fine to not move on to the other phases.

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:06 AM   #20
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I am zero carb and consume a huge amount of sea salt on my meat.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:28 AM   #21
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Taubes has said that people wanted him to include a diet in the book, so he chose that one to represent the way of eating that he is advocating. In the book he mentions several other diets (Banting's diet, the all-meat diet, etc.), and they are all basically the same: Avoid sugar and starch. I read The New Atkins, and I didn't find it very enlightening. All it provides is a structured way to gradually add more carbs, but it's not necessary to do that. It's perfectly fine to stay at this "stage" throughout your weight loss. Those doing nutritional ketosis and some paleo folks like myself don't ever add more carbs, and many Atkins people don't either. I believe there is a discussion about this at the end of WWGF.

You'll notice a lot of threads here where people talk about going back to induction. What that means is they tried moving on to the other Atkins phases (adding more carbohydrates) and stalled in their weight loss, so they are going back to the diet you are on. Not everyone can add more carbs and continue to lose, but some can - it depends on how metabolically deranged you are.

Volek and Phinney recommend staying in ketosis indefinitely in their book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance, and I saw an interview with Phinney where he said he has been in ketosis for the last six years, so clearly they think it is just fine to not move on to the other phases.


In fact, Phinney and Volek directly state that adding carbs back is foolish, if I may paraphrase them, in their A&S of Living book.

So, Phinney does not endorse the 'carb ladder'. The carb ladder is more aptly named the failure ladder. Carb addicted people that climb it will fail. The few that are not very carb addicted will be fine. But if you are overweight and you've tried and failed countless times on the low fat high carb approach you are not likely to survive those tantalizing rungs on the ladder.

Last edited by reddarin; 10-17-2012 at 06:13 AM.. Reason: !!! I said 'carb tolerance' what I meant to say was 'carb addiction'.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:59 AM   #22
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Hmmm . . . I can definitely see your (Phinney's) point, but I also think there is some value in finding your own "sweet spot" of carb consumption. But, I went down the ladder instead of climbing up it, and maybe that's the key difference.

What I mean is, my first intro to LC was "Life Without Bread", and that program simply has you limit yourself to 72g of carbs per day. I felt so good limiting myself to that, that experimented with going lower, and found that I felt even better and had less cravings if I dropped down into the 30's or 40's. But when I've tried to go lower than that, the results have been less than stellar. I've tried on several different occasions, and I simply do not function well, do not look well, do not feel well, on less than 30g per day. If my first attempt at LC had been induction levels, I might have concluded that the diet was flawed or at least that it wasn't right for me.

But on the other hand, I can definitely see how starting low and climbing up would have its pitfalls. The problem is, you don't know when you've reached your personal carb "ceiling" until you've broken through it and gotten to a level where you're gaining weight and experiencing cravings and who knows what else. And that experience probably leads to a lot of frustration, if not total giving up.

I guess there's no easy answer, but personally I'm glad that I started with a diet where the carb restriction was just enough to get me into ketosis.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:01 AM   #23
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Going back to one's former ways of eating is foolish, but the 'carb ladder' is not foolish at all--nor does it connote failure in any way.

I happen to be very carb sensitive; my CCL is approximately 25g, but I know very many people who have done Atkins to lose weight and reached their goal weights, but who are not very carb sensitive.

Most of them now eat many fewer carbs than the SAD (and have a healthier diet than SAD), but they have been able to include many, many more foods than induction level Atkins--which is probably not sustainable for most people, except those like me who are very carb sensitive. The key is to follow the ladder and increase carbs incrementally so the person knows which foods he/she can tolerate and what the CCL is for that person.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:06 AM   #24
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Loving this thread.
Really interesting and useful stuff here.
Regarding salt, I remeber when I had some mild hypertension a few years ago and was seeking to reduce sodium (doctor suggested it, no mention of carbs of course)
I recall going shopping and trying to find products that did not contain salt. It was practically impossible...It seems that EVERYTHING that comes in a can or a box has sodium in it, so I have never worried about getting enough salt.
I will be more vigilant about this now. I don't have any leg cramps or any ill effects from my new LC woe, but I do take a big multi vitamin/mineral supplement every day just to make sure I'm getting essintial nutrients.
Once again, loving this thread.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:11 AM   #25
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Leo, sorry to ask what is probably clear to everyone else, but what does CCL stand for?

Avid, did your hypertension improve when you went LC?
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:14 AM   #26
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Beg pardon.

I misspoke in my earlier post when I said 'carb intolerance'. What I meant to say was 'carb addiction'.

I've edited the post to make the change and I apologize that it affects what is being said in the two subsequent posts that refer back to mine.

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Old 10-17-2012, 06:19 AM   #27
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Beg pardon.

I misspoke in my earlier post when I said 'carb intolerance'. What I meant to say was 'carb addiction'.

I've edited the post to make the change and I apologize that it affects what is being said in the two subsequent posts that refer back to mine.

No need to apologize on my account! I just removed the quote from my post, since you edited. I think it's an interesting and valuable discussion. Hope I didn't sound argumentative or anything. I was just pondering...
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:36 AM   #28
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Going back to one's former ways of eating is foolish, but the 'carb ladder' is not foolish at all--nor does it connote failure in any way
I completely agree that the *idea* of the carb ladder is sound and worthy of thinking about.

Where we part ways, though, is the practical application of the carb ladder.

Few people, I think, can withstand the climb and the allure of 'it is only 10 more carbs, I'll be alright' after they feel they have found their sweet spot - even if they aren't particularly carb addicted.

The reason I say that is in no small part due to the frequent "I am back" posts you see in the lobby. Of course, the group of people doing that are self-selecting - that is, they failed, and all of the successes don't come back and post "I am still successful!" lol.

But!! If the carb ladder induced success rather than failure why hasn't Atkins gone exponential decades ago??

Success begets success. If a plurality, not even a strict majority, were successful with the carb ladder then the Atkins diet would have reached a tipping point 30 years ago and the entire country would be low carb and at their sweet spot.

Mainstream nutritional dogma *cannot* overcome personal success. That is, the shrill cries of mainstream nutritional zombies fall on deaf ears for a person that is personally successful with the LC woe.

There are, of course, some big flaws in my argument. For one thing, a sizeable percentage of the population are not carb intolerant and therefore LC has little attraction for them. Another issue is the fact that while carbs may indeed be destroying a person it can take many years before the issue comes to a head. We can see that in the explosion of diabetes in the country. No one would pursue a woe that ended in diabetes if they knew that was what was happening to them but they do not suffer the effects of carbs until it is either too late or on the brink of being too late.

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Old 10-17-2012, 06:39 AM   #29
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WOE: NK
Start Date: Aug 13, 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretalyn View Post
No need to apologize on my account! I just removed the quote from my post, since you edited. I think it's an interesting and valuable discussion. Hope I didn't sound argumentative or anything. I was just pondering...
Not at all! It is a great discussion
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:26 AM   #30
Senior LCF member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,448
Gallery: Leo41
Stats: 340 then/145 now
WOE: Low carb/calorie cycling
reddarin-
You assume that everyone who regains weight has actually climbed the carb ladder. But in the years I've been on this site, I've noticed many, many people who don't read the actual plan and just go by what they read here and often don't have a clue about the carb ladder.

Moreoever, it's not the concept of the 'carb ladder,' but the people who implement it that's the problem you're describing. The idea is to find the level of carbs that you tolerate and that doesn't stimulate your appetite (thus leading to overeating). If people just keep adding carbs without regard for how their bodies respond, then they can easily go beyond their CCL.

Finally, most experts agree that regaining lost weight is very, very common--regardless of the plan because people eventually tend to slide back into their old eating habits. That has absolutely nothing to do with the concept of the 'carb ladder.'
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