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Old 07-23-2013, 06:20 AM   #1
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Book: The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living

For those of you who have read it, how scientific and technical did you find it? I would like to maybe read this book, but I tend to zone out at technical talk.... and it would be no big deal if I could get it from the library, but our library system doesn't have a copy, so I would have to buy it.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:45 AM   #2
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It's somewhat technical, but written in a readable style.
There's lots of little sidebars with fast facts and examples.

There's some really good takeaway points (such as 10 Clinical Pearls, in Chapter 18).

I think it is worth reading.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:46 AM   #3
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I'm in the middle of it right now and so far not too technical.

I read their book about LC performance first and that one was pretty science-y. A couple of years ago I hadn't heard of the authors or either book, but I found it browsing what was cheap for Kindle. I got the performance book for $.99.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:01 AM   #4
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I loved that book and would highly recommend it. It is a really good book to have on hand for reference as well. When I read it, I made a ton of notes and dog ears etc. and am so glad I did. Really very readable!!

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Old 07-23-2013, 07:02 AM   #5
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This was by far my favorite low carb read. I didn't find it too technical at all, though maybe previous low carb reads helped give me more foundational knowledge to work from? I've passed this book on to many friends who would appreciate the style over something like Why We Get Fat, which I've also passed on, but to a totally different type of a friend lol.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:07 AM   #6
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I would love to read it, but I don't want to confuse myself. So I have a question for those who have read it and also read Atkins: is it consistent with Atkins? I don't mind having new information but I don't want a lot of contradictory information. Normally that is no problem for me, but when I am trying to stay so committed to a plan I don't need extra confusion.

Thanks.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:09 AM   #7
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I have a science background so I love it, it really speaks to me. There might be a couple pages that you would skim if you don't love the technical talk, but overall I think it is a very readable book for anyone with an interest in the subject.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquarius View Post
I would love to read it, but I don't want to confuse myself. So I have a question for those who have read it and also read Atkins: is it consistent with Atkins? I don't mind having new information but I don't want a lot of contradictory information. Normally that is no problem for me, but when I am trying to stay so committed to a plan I don't need extra confusion.

Thanks.
It is completely in line with the Atkins approach. It will only broaden your knowledge. It is more specifically about ketosis.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:14 AM   #9
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I would love to read it, but I don't want to confuse myself. So I have a question for those who have read it and also read Atkins: is it consistent with Atkins? I don't mind having new information but I don't want a lot of contradictory information. Normally that is no problem for me, but when I am trying to stay so committed to a plan I don't need extra confusion.

Thanks.
Yes, it is consisent with Atkins for the most part. The authors along with Dr. Eric Westman wrote the most recent Atkins book (which to me actually lends a lot of credibility to the newest book, as I know a lot of people trash it because it wasn't written by Atkins himself). However the biggest difference with this book (and also from what I have heard from Dr. Westman in an interview) is the whole notion that the goal should be to increase your carbs as much as possible (climbing the carb ladder) is unnecessary. They keep it much simpler - stick with less than 50 g carbs/day to stay in nutritional ketosis, make sure you are eating plenty of fat and not too much protein. It seems way simpler to me to do this than to try to up your carbs every week when carbs are what got me into this mess in the first place.

Last edited by Mistizoom; 07-23-2013 at 07:21 AM..
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:14 AM   #10
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Thanks, Cathy! I will try to get a hold of it.

And thanks, Mistizoom. That actually sounds better to me, anyway. I do DANDR (more or less) and there was no carb ladder in that. Of course, you're supposed to up your carbs during pre-maintenance but I don't think that approach will work for me long term. Under 50 g a day and nutritional ketosis sounds more like what I'm aiming for.

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Old 07-23-2013, 07:26 AM   #11
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It's nearly identical to OWL without the higher rungs with the food recommendations, but like Misti says, climbing the ladder isn't part of it. That being said, the program allows higher carb levels than the 20 on Induction, depending upon your body's ability to handle them.

Phinney eats berries and LC veggies. I think he's at 50 to 100 g carbs with heavy endurance exercise. The sentiment toward carbs in other works by Phinney is to eat your veggies and to add other carbs (berries for example) to make the diet well-crafted and sustainable. They aren't needed for fuel, but if having some nutritious non-induction foods makes it enjoyable and easy to stay with long-term, then they are good.

There isn't a meal plan outlined in the book per se.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:45 AM   #12
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I guess I'm the only one who found it to be a snoozer.
It was recommended here, and I went for it because every other book /documentary you guys rave about is 100% on point! I love Gary Taubes!! Read GCBC and WWGF.

I don't have a science background but I love the technical stuff, have no problem understanding it at all. I found GCBC technical ( there were a few parts I had to re-read to let it sink in) but I love Gary's writing style.

The Art of LC living.. It's hard to explain. I read nothing "new". I found the writing style not engaging.

That said, a lot of people love it. You may want to give it a try.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:53 AM   #13
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@Misti,
I totally get you about raising carbs to find your CCL. It's kind of a double edged sword bc on one hand, I feel better on VLC, and have less cravings, less temptation, and great appetite suppression.
OTOH I can see why knowing your CCL would be handy to know, partik when you're getting to maintenance. It would be neat to know the amount your body could handle.

For me, maintenance is way off pounds wise, but I don't expect to ever reintroduce gluten. I could eat a loaf of fluffy white bread with butter and still be wanting more
However I love dairy and fruit and if I could enjoy say a clementine AND a dish of berries and cream per day and keep things kosher, it would give me a lot of satisfaction with my eating. I do miss fruit.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
They aren't needed for fuel, but if having some nutritious non-induction foods makes it enjoyable and easy to stay with long-term, then they are good.
That's exactly what I got from Atkins too. The carb increments and additional foods in OWL are to make the diet sustainable long-term (from an enjoyment perspective). There's absolutely no health reason to add them.

I really have no desire to add foods back in like legumes and the like. I eat berries occasionally now and it's fine for me, I don't need more. I am approaching my goal weight so I have to consider what I am going to do now and in the future to sustain the loss. I blew Atkins Maintenance before because I added too much back in. Once I start on that stuff, I have a hard time limiting it. It sounds as if nutritional ketosis might be the way to go for me longer term.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:04 AM   #15
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It's an excellent book. If you start experiencing the old zone out feeling, my suggestion would be to break it down into small chunks to read and record one main idea or two for each part read.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Aquarius View Post
That's exactly what I got from Atkins too. The carb increments and additional foods in OWL are to make the diet sustainable long-term (from an enjoyment perspective). There's absolutely no health reason to add them.

I really have no desire to add foods back in like legumes and the like. I eat berries occasionally now and it's fine for me, I don't need more. I am approaching my goal weight so I have to consider what I am going to do now and in the future to sustain the loss. I blew Atkins Maintenance before because I added too much back in. Once I start on that stuff, I have a hard time limiting it. It sounds as if nutritional ketosis might be the way to go for me longer term.
I miss hummus and chili with beans, but I really don't miss TOO much from the old days. And I miss bananas. I go ape for bananas! ( see what I did there? )
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:33 AM   #17
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If you we're just counting carbs, not doing the rungs, most hummus is very low in carbs. I eat it sometimes with celery or just baby romaine.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:42 AM   #18
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Yes, it is consisent with Atkins for the most part. The authors along with Dr. Eric Westman wrote the most recent Atkins book (which to me actually lends a lot of credibility to the newest book, as I know a lot of people trash it because it wasn't written by Atkins himself). However the biggest difference with this book (and also from what I have heard from Dr. Westman in an interview) is the whole notion that the goal should be to increase your carbs as much as possible (climbing the carb ladder) is unnecessary. They keep it much simpler - stick with less than 50 g carbs/day to stay in nutritional ketosis, make sure you are eating plenty of fat and not too much protein. It seems way simpler to me to do this than to try to up your carbs every week when carbs are what got me into this mess in the first place.
So, with NK, for weight loss...I would stick with apprx. 50g of carbs, not net carbs? And it could be any fruit, beans, or whatever-as long as under 50?
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:58 AM   #19
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I miss hummus and chili with beans, but I really don't miss TOO much from the old days. And I miss bananas. I go ape for bananas! ( see what I did there? )
Edensoy black soybeans are an excellant replacement in chili, that's all I really use it for they are great.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:06 AM   #20
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So, with NK, for weight loss...I would stick with apprx. 50g of carbs, not net carbs? And it could be any fruit, beans, or whatever-as long as under 50?
I get the sense that the authors want you to maximize the nutrition and enjoyment from the carbs. I suppose you could do fruit and beans, but I think they are thinking more of the usual veggies with a few additions.

Browsing through the recipe section of the book, I see:
greens, tomato bisque, fried green beans, blue cheese wedge salad, smoothies with berries, cream, and protein powder, tapenade, walnuts.

Here's a suggested day:
Breakfast berry smoothie (low carb, high fat)
Lunch 2 cups mixed greens 6 oz water pack tuna 10 black olives ˝ cup blue cheese dressing (yogurt, olive oil)
Snacks 2 oz mixed nuts, broth 2 oz soft cheese with 6 oz celery
Dinner 8 oz tomato bisque 8 oz steak 4 oz buttered green beans 4 oz sauteed mushrooms 4 oz maple walnut ice cream (made w/ sucralose/xylitol)

Total: 2100 kcal fat, 600 protein, 150 carbs (74% fat, 5% carb, 21% protein)
and then there's some more menus in there for 1600 and 1800 cal with similar macros. I see nuts as a snack, or cheese.

OTOH, they authors state that we don't really need carbs, so if you find a way to put higher carb stuff like fruit in there, there isn't really any prohibition against it.

I saw not one single reference to legumes or peanuts, though, so I'm thinking they're not into them. They cite gluten as a frequent inflammation-producer, so I don't think they have wheat in mind as a food, either.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:08 AM   #21
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So, with NK, for weight loss...I would stick with apprx. 50g of carbs, not net carbs? And it could be any fruit, beans, or whatever-as long as under 50?
They say most people will stay in ketosis with under 50 g total carbs a day, and eating sufficent, but not excess, protein to support your lean body mass. They don't prescribe certain foods, and don't really talk about the timing of eating (like if it's ok to eat all your carbs alll at once in the day). Testing blood ketones is really the only way to know if you are in NK, however. So of course YMMV, some people may have to eat fewer carbs to remain in NK. Oh, and they say or imply that weight loss will not happen without a calorie deficit. So you make up the rest of your diet with fat, up to a reasonable calorie deficit for weight loss, or up to your total energy expenditure for maintenance.

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Old 07-23-2013, 11:01 AM   #22
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Now, is NK an appropriate way to maintain weight, or is this only for weight loss? Atkins has you leaving ketosis to maintain and I think that's part of what caused me to fail. Of course I didn't weigh in those days so I had no way to reign myself in when I started to really fail.

My thought process is - if you are on a fat burning metabolism, and no longer have the fat stores on your body to use up, you'd just burn dietary fat and get all the appetite suppression benefits.

Is this correct?
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:15 AM   #23
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Now, is NK an appropriate way to maintain weight, or is this only for weight loss? Atkins has you leaving ketosis to maintain and I think that's part of what caused me to fail. Of course I didn't weigh in those days so I had no way to reign myself in when I started to really fail.

My thought process is - if you are on a fat burning metabolism, and no longer have the fat stores on your body to use up, you'd just burn dietary fat and get all the appetite suppression benefits.

Is this correct?
Right, NK can be used in maintenace. You just up your fat intake until you don't have a calorie deficit. Then all the calories you are burning comes from diet, so you would be eating an even higher fat percentage than during the weight loss phase.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:18 AM   #24
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Now, is NK an appropriate way to maintain weight, or is this only for weight loss? Atkins has you leaving ketosis to maintain and I think that's part of what caused me to fail. Of course I didn't weigh in those days so I had no way to reign myself in when I started to really fail.

My thought process is - if you are on a fat burning metabolism, and no longer have the fat stores on your body to use up, you'd just burn dietary fat and get all the appetite suppression benefits.

Is this correct?
Right. On NK you establish your protein need based on reasonable goal weight, so it never changes (but might need to be tweaked when exercise habits change, including the exercise of walking around with your excess weight). You eat the carbs you want (and can handle while staying in ketosis). Then you eat at a deficit with the remainder of the food as fat. In mainanence, you add fat so that your intake is the same as your needs. I'm thinking you could add a dab more carbs in, too, since so many of us keep carbs super-low for losing.

Phinney describes it as a person wanting to lose weight sees what the mouth sees plus stored fat. (and that's why a NK program for weight loss will look like a higher protein plan---the mouth doesn't see some of the fat.)
On maintanence, there's no body fat to burn, so the mouth sees everything.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:13 PM   #25
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OK, thanks! I will read up on NK because it does sound like a better way for me to maintain as I really like the effects of ketosis, and the foods I get to eat. Adding back carbs was very dangerous for me.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:46 PM   #26
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I do Atkins induction, and plan to stay here for life, so one could say I'm doing NK or the first part of Atkins. The only difference I foresee when I get to maintenance is that I'll add a few more foods, like yogurt, so what I eat, and increase my calories (by upping fat) to maintain the weight.

I'm fully invested in ketosis as a healthy way of life.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:03 PM   #27
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Taubes' GCBC was too technical for me unfortunately but Why We Get Fat... wasn't.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:11 PM   #28
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@Terry,
That's why WWGF was written. Taubes wrote GCBC primarily for physicians and the science community. Wanted to have the rock- solid studies and footnotes first.

How anyone can read GCBC and still think low cal, high carb, low fat, and "healthy whole grains " is the way to go is beyond me. Someone needs to send Oz a copy.

Course, he could never admit it on air, because he's General Mills' talking head.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:19 PM   #29
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After reading all your posts, I got that they are talking about staying under 50 total carbs/day. That is different from Atkins, right? As I understood, Dr. Atkins car count was based on net carbs...
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:43 PM   #30
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After reading all your posts, I got that they are talking about staying under 50 total carbs/day. That is different from Atkins, right? As I understood, Dr. Atkins car count was based on net carbs...
Depends which Atkins book you are talking about.

Basically they say people losing weight need to eat few enough carbs to remain in ketosis. For most people it is under 50 g total cabs a day but it could be fewer. In maintenance they say if your body can handle it you may be able to eat more carbs, perhaps up to 100 g. But they note that people with insulin problems or diabetes may need to keep carbs much lower for life.

They do recommend the book they wrote, A New Atkins For a New You as a "how-to" book for the WOE they recommend.

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