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The paradigm shift continues. More and more experts stop being unnecessarily afraid of fat. More and more people blame the obesity epidemic on junk food, with added sugar and other refined carbohydrates as culprit number one.
Now there are also new rules proposed for nutrition labels in the US. They’ll make it easier to watch out for added sugar:
Some people take a detour and blame the obesity epidemic on the fuzzy concept of calories. They are right in theory, but wrong in practice. The quality of the calories determines how many calories one wants to eat.
In the past, before the obesity epidemic, nobody knew what a calorie was. They still kept their weight. Requiring calorie counting to maintain weight falls on its own absurdity. It’s as silly as demanding that you count your breaths.
Sam Feltham continues to kill the outdated idea that a calorie is always a calorie. He gained five times more weight (!) on junk food carbohydrates than on the exact same amount of calories on an LCHF diet.
Feltham is now doing a fake food rehab challenge. He’s consuming 3,600 calories daily on an LCHF diet. According to over-simplistic calorie counting á la Weight Watchers, he should maintain his weight on this amount of calories. But after eight days reality once again shows something different: he has lost almost 10 lbs (4.3 kilos).
On day 5, Feltham also offered a greeting in Swedish. Why is that? Watch the video above for an explanation.
Sam Feltham carried out an experiment a few months ago that caught a lot of attention. For three weeks he pigged out on low-carb LCHF foods, 5,800 calories a day.
According to simplistic calorie counting, Feltham should have gained 16 lbs (7.3 kg). But in reality, he only gained less than 3 lbs (1.3 kg).
Now Feltham has repeated his experiment with exactly the same amount of calories, but from carbohydrate-rich junk food. On the same amount of calories he gained more than five times as much weight: almost 16 lbs (7.1 kg)!
The difference in waist circumference was even more significant: 5,800 calories of LCHF food for three weeks reduced his waist measurement by 1 1/4 inches (3 cm). The same amount of junk food led to a 3 1/2 inch (9.25 cm) increase in his waist. And you can see the difference visually. Continue Reading →
What happens if you eat 5,800 calories of carbohydrate-rich junk food every day? This is what Sam Feltham is going to find out in a 21-day experiment that he’s now launching. He’ll also monitor various health markers during the experiment.
You may have seen the results of Feltham’s earlier experiment – 5,800 calories of LCHF food daily for 21 days:
While eating an enormous amount of LCHF food he didn’t gain 16 lbs (7.5 kg) as simplistic calorie counting would predict. He “only” gained 3 lbs (1.3 kg).
What do you think’ll happen when he consumes 5,800 carbohydrate-rich calories daily over the same length of time?
Contest: Estimate the number of pounds of weight gain for Feltham in the comment section below. Please also speculate on what happens beyond weight gain (tiebreaker in the event of several correct answers). The winner will be honored in a blog post.
Is sugar toxic and the cause of the obesity epidemic? Here’s a great new video called Toxic Sugar. It’s a recent segment from the major Australian science program Catalyst, on ABC.
It’s arguably the best 18-minute introduction ever made on the true causes of the obesity epidemic. The program features the #1 enemy of the sugar industry: professor Robert Lustig. Also appearing: science writer Gary Taubes and obesity expert professor Michael Crowley.
See it and then tell your friends. This needs to be seen by a lot of people.
Here’s a few comments: Continue Reading →
Here’s a nice read: How to treat obesity with calorically unrestricted diets. It’s written by the medical doctor, A.W. Pennington, who inspired Dr Robert Atkins to lose weight in a similar way. This paper is dated 1953, ten years before Atkins tested it and two decades before his book “Dr Atkins’ Diet Revolution” was published.
Dr Pennington’s plan is a moderate low-carb diet that still allows for a little bit of potatoes or fruit. Sixty years later it should still work fine for most people. There’s no need to voluntarily restrict calories and starve.
If this is a fad diet it’s weird that it keeps outperforming its competitors, decade after decade.
I have one major objection, I would not recommend restricting salt when on a low-carb diet. It has no benefits and increases the risk of side effects like dizziness and fatigue.
A calorie is not a calorie. There are plenty of studies demonstrating how different kinds of food affect us in different ways – despite having the same number of calories.
Recently another interesting study was published. The participants were served milkshakes that were identical in every way, except how rapidly digested the carbs were.
The milkshakes with rapidly digested carbs quickly resulted in a higher blood sugar. But after 4 hours the blood sugar was lower and the participants were hungrier. They also had increased activity in brain regions connected to cravings for food.
In other words: fast carbs makes you hungrier, increases cravings and makes you want to eat more food.
The findings are yet another reason why a calorie is not a calorie. Another reason why the weight advice to “just eat fewer calories” rarely works long term. Soon the only true believers will be found at the marketing department of Coca Cola.
This is a great post by David Katz, MD. He says that obesity is “much more like drowning than a disease”:
My only problem with his view is the obvious one. He blames surplus calories, but that’s not a problem unless we want to eat too much. Unless our appetite regulation does not work.
Get rid of all refined sugar and starch and most obese people can eat all they want and still lose excess weight. It’s been demonstrated in study after study. The trick? They no longer want to eat too much.
The problem is that our entire food supply is full of sugar and starch – it’s hard to find a processed food item without it – and it’s making us too hungry. Unless we cook our own meals from real food ingredients it’s getting harder and harder to avoid it.
It’s like a giant flood, everywhere. No wonder people are drowning.
What happens if you “overeat” on an LCHF diet? It’s a common question and here’s one possible answer.
The young man Sam Feltham has done a three-week experiment, where he’s been eating enormous amounts of LCHF-food. On average 5794 calories daily of which “only” 10% as carbohydrates (menu).
According to over-simplified calorie counting, energy expenditure isn’t affected by what you eat. All excess calories you eat will then lead to weight gain. If this were true Feltham would have gained 16.5 lbs (7.5 kg) during the three weeks, but in reality he only gained 3.5 lbs (1.7 kg).
Here’s the explanation: Continue Reading →
Is the beer belly a reality or a fantasy? Here’s another random expert claiming to have “calculated” that the beer belly is a myth:
It reminds me of the old idea that the bumblebee can’t fly, according to the laws of aerodynamics. Supposedly it’s too heavy for its small wings (but by now science has figured out exactly how it works).
If the problem with alcohol was only due to calories, both wine and spirits should be worse for our weight than beer. But in language after language there exists a special word for “beer belly”, but not for “wine belly”. Here are a few examples:
- German: Bierbauch
- Spanish: Panza de cerveza
- Dutch: Bierbuik
- Estonian: Õllekõht
- Swedish: Ölmage
The difference can be explained by the fact that beer isn’t just full of alcohol. It also contains plenty of rapidly digested carbs, that raise the blood sugar and the fat-storing hormone insulin. Thus beer has a different hormonal effect than wine. Beer tends to promote fat storage.
Beer bellies can’t be explained by calorie counting, but that doesn’t mean that reality is a myth. It’s just another example of how often simplistic calorie thinking misses the point.
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