Even Tour de France cyclists avoid carbs to stay lean

Even chefs for Tour de France cyclists know more about weight control than most calorie-obsessed so called experts. And even elite cyclists need to avoid over-indulging in carbs:

Today’s a rest day, so we do a low-carb lunch for them. They’re not going so far, they just want to keep their legs going, so we don’t want to fill them up too much. And we don’t want to go too hard on the carbs so they don’t gain weight.

Then we have a philosophy of using lots of vegetables, proteins, and cold-pressed fats, and then we use a lot of gluten-free alternatives. So we try to encourage the riders to try other things than just pasta and bread. I do gluten-free breads as well.

It’s all to minimize all the little things that can stop you from performing 100 percent, that promote injuries, stomach problems, all those things.

Fueling the Tour: Q&A with Saxo chef Hannah Grant

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111 comments

  1. Daniel Ferreira
    Not hatting on amature cyclist, but every time i ride in the morning, and see a pack of cyclist with their $2000-$8000 dollar bikes, a big majority are skinny fat, and a few are really fat.
    ofcourse the serious cyclist are always thin.

    and ofcourse i always see those "energy gels" the use scattered behind them on the road.

    also, when my friend and i cycle, he runs out of gas on the way back home on a 60 mile ride, and needs to stop to eat a fruit of what not, while im still cruizing like nothing has happend.
    he is much faster than me though, but he weights 145lb and i weight 195lb, and have a heavier bike with one speed and he has gears and 5lb ligher.

  2. Vincent
    Yes but when you read it in context you could just as easily explain it as follow. Eating lots of carbohydrates equals lots of calories and on rest day they expend little energy so weight gain can occur. There for they eat few carbohydrates on rest day. Without further information this explanation is just as plausible. And on race day they still go through a great amount of carbohydrates. :)
    Reply: #3
  3. murray
    Vincent, YOU could explain it that way, but the point is that the elite cyclists don't--they explain it as being a carb issue, not a calorie issue, presumably on the basis of experience. Their extensive experience where a lot is at stake personally and professionally and their record of success gives this focus on carbs instead of calories greater warrant of empirical credibility.
    Reply: #6
  4. FrankG
    Why does it seem that some overlook Fat having over twice the calories per gram when compared to Carbohydrate and Protein?

    Why assume that talk of "lots of Carbs" = "lots of calories"?

    If you want to focus on calories, please explain why anyone seeking to efficiently take in a large number with the smallest volume, would effectively "dilute" or bulk out their energy intake with Carbohydrates?

    And yes I've heard how Carbs are that much easier and more "appetising" to eat than Fat... although Fat's satiation quality is apparently, for some strange reason, a bad thing when it comes to weight loss using LCHF eating.

    Evidently macronutrients matter more so than as simply "calories".

    Athletes know this, livestock farmers know this, heck my Mother's generation knew this... it seems that only when big business intersected [favourably for them] with the arterycloggingsaturatedfat myth, it no longer applied to humans.

    Reply: #11
  5. GP
    Good luck in believing that cyclists don't use a lot of carbs. Things may start to change a bit but they still bomb their bodies with a lot of carbs each and every day. Sugar is not that poisonous when you ride your bike for 5+ hours with more than 30 kph. Plus they take doping hard as fuck and that helps them mitigate the bad effects of the extra sugar.
  6. Vincent
    Then show me the literature where elite cycling teams claim that weight maintenance is a carb issue.
    Reply: #7
  7. murray
    Vincent, that is the point of the quote. It tells you what they are doing and how they view it. I expect the athletes and their trainers are too focused on training to divert their attention to publishing in the "literature". One can wait for literature, but life is lived in real time based on available information.

    I note the reference to gluten-free in the quote. I know at least in my area that many top-level athletes are avoiding wheat, but you won't find that in the literature. I found that out by talking to bakers who are getting special requests from athletes. I expect the experience of Novak Djokovic has been a big factor influencing the athletes.

    Speaking of special requests, my butcher asked me why he has so many cancer patients hounding him for bone marrow from grass-fed beef. I told him I couldn't find anything in the literature.

    Reply: #8
  8. Vincent
    First, where in the quote does there explicitly says that carbohydrates alone can lead to weight gain. Second this is a quote from a cook, and not by the nutritional expert of the team. Also can I conclude that your point is being substantiated with small samples of anecdotal evidence at best as to the stance of professional cyclist teams to carbohydrates? And lastly is the mentioning of gluten free not rather related to the intestinal problems that are associated with gluten rather then carbohydrates and weight gain?
    Reply: #9
  9. murray
    Well, the quote says they have lot of vegetables, proteins and cold-pressed fats, so in the context of saying they avoid going at carbs too hard to avoid gaining weight the implication is clear.

    What reason is there to question whether the person instructed by the team to prepare the food is misreporting the thinking behind it? She uses the word "we" which implies she is in on the thinking behind the design. Are you saying she is too stupid to report accurately because she is just a cook?

    Regarding gluten-free, she implies it has to do with stomach problems. She is not saying they avoid starch; she says they use a lot of gluten-free alternatives and implies they have more carbs on hard-riding days. I mentioned gluten free to illustrate that empirical evidence can be gathered through a variety of sources--bakers, for example. Or team chefs. Is it anecdotal? Sure. But you can learn a lot from anecdotes.

  10. FrankG
    Is everything always about "weight gain". Has someone claimed that "carbohydrates alone can lead to weight gain"? If not, why so insistent on that point?

    Did you read the whole article or just the short quote above? It's up to you of course, but if you have not yet read it all you are probably missing some important information for this discussion.

    For example: in the article the head chef from this team of 39 riders (is it safe to assume "world class level" based on their taking part in the Tour de France?) talks about the nutrition being based on "guidelines". There is no mention of if these are her own, came from a nutritional expert or were developed collaboratively. Nonetheless is it reasonable to expect that a team at this level would have put a great deal of thought, research and experimentation into how to best feed it's star players?

    This may be just a single team that eats this way -- I don't know.. but so what? You start somewhere right? If their methods are successful you can bet that others will soon follow suit.. if not then I guess they were wrong. Presumably they think they have the best approach.

  11. grinch
    "Why does it seem that some overlook Fat having over twice the calories per gram when compared to Carbohydrate and Protein?

    Why assume that talk of "lots of Carbs" = "lots of calories"?

    If you want to focus on calories, please explain why anyone seeking to efficiently take in a large number with the smallest volume, would effectively "dilute" or bulk out their energy intake with Carbohydrates?

    And yes I've heard how Carbs are that much easier and more "appetising" to eat than Fat... although Fat's satiation quality is apparently, for some strange reason, a bad thing when it comes to weight loss using LCHF eating.

    Evidently macronutrients matter more so than as simply "calories".
    "
    ---
    And why do you choose to ignore all the evidence counter to your beliefs?

    "Thirty-nine studies examining dietary variety, energy intake, and body composition are reviewed. Animal and human studies show that food consumption increases when there is more variety in a meal or diet and that greater dietary variety is associated with increased body weight and fat."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11393299

    "CONCLUSIONS:

    These data suggest that increasing the variety of sensorially distinct foods that are virtually identical in composition can increase food and energy intake and in the short to medium term can alter energy balance."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11303491

    If insulin determines both food intake and energy balance, how is this possible?

    In the fattening western diet, people are eating both carbs and fat. Now if it really was about insulin response from carbs, eating carbs and fat together would be counterproductive to fat gain because the insulin response would be lessened due to the lower glycemic index. Isn't that the reason why people say refined carbs are the problem, because the insulin is secreted faster?

  12. bill
    grinch:

    To your last question: No.

    ...and if your argument is that people should
    eat carbs, it doesn't follow from your evidence.

    Nope, it doesn't. Not convinced. What else ya got?

  13. FrankG
    "...insulin determines both food intake and energy balance..."

    Point out to me exactly where in my comment that you quoted (or elsewhere for that matter) I have made this statement.

    It seems to me that just about everybody agrees one of the main culprits in the western diet for overweight and obesity is soda, which is exactly ALL refined carbs and exactly ZERO fat.

    I'm still waiting for the proponents of food reward (or whatever it is called these days) to suggest an high reward food that is ONLY fat and has no carbs.

    I agree that the very worst foods for fattening are BOTH carbs (sugar and refined starches) and fat -- precisely because of the effect that the carbs have on the secretion of insulin... take away the carbs and it no is longer fattening DESPITE being MORE calorifically dense... try drinking an ice-cold 500ml of extra virgin olive oil.

    Or you could keep trying to explain it away while still denying that macronutrients matter more so than as simply "calories".

  14. Vincent
    I have a simple request, since the evidence is so apperend, can someone point me to the clinical trials that univocally shows that insuline is the sole cause of fat gain. I would like to read it. And I don't mean articles of so called experts, just the findings of the researcher who conducted the experiments or maby meta analyses of a group of clinical trials. Much appreciated. :)
    Reply: #15
  15. FrankG
    So now you switch tack from "carbohydrates alone can lead to weight gain" which so far as I can tell, no one is asserting, to "insuline is the sole cause of fat gain"... again, where and who is claiming this?

    Your "simple request" sounds like grinch's ploy: where you set up a false proposition and challenge others to defend it.

  16. Vincent
    Ehmm... Wait what? The whole purpose of this website is to promote low carb living. And all I am asking is for the people who adhere to the claims that are made on this website to point me to the scientific experiments that support it, in this particular case that insuline is the sole factor for fat gain. How is that a ploy? You have the evidence, so why shouldn't you point me to the experiments conducted?
    Replies: #17, #27
  17. FrankG
    So "[promoting] low carb living" = "insuline is the sole factor for fat gain"??? I think your logic is flawed and I question your motivation for asking the question in such a way.

    A lack of evidence for a false proposition is not evidence for a contrary position. Evidently "insuline is the sole factor for fat gain" is a false proposition (as I suspect you already know) but that does not discount the possibility that insulin, driven by western industrial foods high in sugar and refined starches, is a major player in our current epidemic of obesity and other metabolic disorder.

    If you need clinical trials that support LCHF eating as a succesful way to improve health markers including reduction of excess fat mass you might try reading this blog as Dr Eenfeldt has kindly collected several together. Beyond that I don't see why I need to do your homework for you :-)

    Reply: #18
  18. Vincent
    No my logic is not flawed, and my motivation is not coming from some evil ploy to trap the people here in some rhetoric trap. But I have a difficulty when a certain research question being discusses is not clear. It seems to me that every time arguments are being exchanged, all i'm getting is: no, that is not what I said, or did I said that? As you state, it "does not discount the possibility that insulin (...) is a major player in our current epidemic of obesity and other metabolic disorder. A "possibility" that insuline is a factor is at least a statement that, in light of the complexity of the subject, is a more, in my opinion, accurate expression of it's role: a factor.
    Reply: #19
  19. FrankG
    So recognising that it is a complex subject, why insist on evidence of reductionist claims like "insuline is the sole factor for fat gain"? Claims which do NOT follow logically from the promotion of low carb living, nor so far as I am aware, a claim that has been stated by anyone here.

    I'm sorry if you have trouble with my pointing out a false proposition rather than trying to answer its challenge. These are not valid research questions but are a waste of time and energy.

    Reply: #30
  20. Murray
    I never saw this blog as existing to "promote" low carb living, maybe to "advance" low carb living. People can adopt the diet they please and assess whether it works for them. Recall that just a few years ago a physician was charged with professional misconduct for counselling a low carb diet for patients with insulin resistance and obesity, notwithstanding the success of the prescription. This blog and others have been working to carve a niche to allow low carb high fat as an option in view of the dramatically positive experience many have had in controlling fat and general health by reducing foods that stimulate insulin. Just a few short years ago mainstreamm funding for anything suggestive that high fat or low carb could be beneficial was blackballed by vested interests.

    Does this mean insulin is the cause of the obesity epidemic? Seems reasonable, but proof of a social phenomenon is a different matter than the empirical experience of individuals. One needs to be careful of falling into fallacies of composition. But to an individual, like me, the causes of the obesity epidemic are irrelevant. The reality is that by managing insulin I reduced body fat, reduced inflammation, reversed hair greying, eliminated tinnitus, improved gum health, significantly improved skin health and sleep fewer hours. I had stopped eating,processed foods years before going LCHF and had in fact avoided saturated fats. What the metabolics research tells me is that there are metabolic reasons behind each improvement. The research does not prove it will work for everyone, nor do most LCHF adherents so claim. Eating fruits and safe starches make my ears ring every time I give them a try, so I know which approach works for me.

    It seems lately that many discussions here devolve into grumpy Stephan Guyenet sock puppets waging a Cold War against Gary Taubes as to the primary cause of the obesity epidemic. Well, have at it kids. Meanwhile I thank Dr. Eenfeldt for his continual stream of useful information that helps explain why LCHF works so well for me and provides tips and useful questions to explore that help to make LCHF work even better.

    Reply: #22
  21. grinch
    "Point out to me exactly where in my comment that you quoted (or elsewhere for that matter) I have made this statement."
    ---

    You imply it by rejecting every theory of obesity that doesn't involve insulin being the culprit.

    "It seems to me that just about everybody agrees one of the main culprits in the western diet for overweight and obesity is soda, which is exactly ALL refined carbs and exactly ZERO fat."
    ---
    People do NOT get fat simply by drinking soda. They get fat by drinking soda with ZERO satiating qualities IN ADDITION to other foods including fats and/or other carbs, leading to an overall positive calorie balance.

    "I'm still waiting for the proponents of food reward (or whatever it is called these days) to suggest an high reward food that is ONLY fat and has no carbs."
    ---
    Why? My argument all along is that highly rewarding foods tend to be high in BOTH fat and carbs. My studies above demonstrate that variety influences energy intake. The more ingredients you add to your dinner plate, the better its going to taste, the more you will eat, and the fatter you will become when repeated over and over. Take away an entire macro-nutrient and you have less rewarding foods. Before you start throwing bacon at me, bacon is very tasty, but also high in protein. Protein has a strong satiating effect that can negate the hyper-palability of the food.

    "I agree that the very worst foods for fattening are BOTH carbs (sugar and refined starches) and fat -- precisely because of the effect that the carbs have on the secretion of insulin... take away the carbs and it no is longer fattening DESPITE being MORE calorifically dense... try drinking an ice-cold 500ml of extra virgin olive oil."
    ---
    Perfectly consistent with the food reward theory. If you eat fat and carbs together, why would the insulin secretion be high since the food is digested more slowly? That's why Taubes says refined carbs are worse than unrefined carbs, right?

    "Or you could keep trying to explain it away while still denying that macronutrients matter more so than as simply "calories"."
    ---
    Calories matter more than macro-nutrients. Protein matters far more than the other two macros. I think palatability matters more than calories though. I think its damn near impossible to get fat eating bland foods, or palatable foods very high in protein, so calorie intake stays low.

    Reply: #23
  22. grinch
    Murray,

    I don't have a problem promoting low carb diets, especially for those with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, severe obesity, etc. What I have a problem with is intellectual dishonesty. People ignoring evidence and perpetuating myths to promote the diet.

    Funny how there is this great cognitive dissonance regarding low carbers. They might admit that LCHF does not work for everybody, but at the same time they claim LCHF works because of its effects on insulin. If that is the case, why would LCHF not work for certain people? Does insulin only cause some people to get fat, but not all that are fat? I have yet to see a single low carber here explain how somebody can get fat without high insulin. It clearly happens, but there needs to be a mechanism. Are THESE people suffering from sloth and gluttony since they can't blame insulin? Until someone has the courage to answer this question, everyone here that promotes insulin theory is intellectually dishonest.

    Calorie denial needs to end. If your diet doesn't reduce calories either explicitly or implicitly, then your diet is going to fail.

  23. FrankG
    In deference to Murray's excellent post, I have no intention of getting drawn into yet another "discussion that "devolve[s] into grumpy Stephan Guyenet sock puppets waging a Cold War against Gary Taubes as to the primary cause of the obesity epidemic."

    I am not about to answer any challenge to a false proposition that you have concocted from your own poor interpretations of what you think I imply.

    Your comments are filled with disingenuous fallacies: while simultaneously accepting what you would call the "rewarding" qualities of soda -- which is ALL sugar and refined starches -- you then try to explain how "highly rewarding foods tend to be high in BOTH fat and carbs."

    You go on to say "Take away an entire macro-nutrient and you have less rewarding foods." ... who exactly is "taking away an entire macronutrient"???

    Are you saying that LOW carb equals NO carb? I know you struggle with some of my English but they are really not the same word at all.

    Even if we accept that low-carb means a reduction in carbs to the extent you suggest, how is that any different than the decades during which we have been (and still are) admonished to eat LOW-FAT? Isn't that also "taking away an entire macronutrient" and if so, shouldn't low-fat have made food "less rewarding" and everyone lean?

    Reply: #25
  24. LarryB
    Clearly @grinch is a troll. The best way to deal with trolls is to NOT FEED THEM.
  25. grinch
    "Even if we accept that low-carb means a reduction in carbs to the extent you suggest, how is that any different than the decades during which we have been (and still are) admonished to eat LOW-FAT? Isn't that also "taking away an entire macronutrient" and if so, shouldn't low-fat have made food "less rewarding" and everyone lean?"
    ---

    I'm going to skip the first few paragraphs since you misinterpreted everything I said.

    Low-fat diets DO make people lean....if people can stick to them. There are lots of problems with low fat diets though besides just the bad science that led to them being the recommended diet for all Americans. 1) inadequate protein since people often cut down on meat consumption and don't find alternate sources of protein. 2) lack of quality foods, people buy industrial low-fat snacks that are filled with garbage with little actual nutritional value. 3) people think that eating omega-6 PUFAs are healthy and the preferred source of dietary fat, when they are the worst kind besides trans-fats. Omega-6s have actually increased risk of heart disease compared to saturated fat in clinical trials.

    Besides all that, I do not think the obesity epidemic increased because of low-fat diets, its just these diets are so useless people don't feel very good on them and don't stick to them.

  26. bill
    grinch said:

    "I do not think the obesity epidemic increased because of low-fat diets, its just these diets are so useless people don't feel very good on them and don't stick to them."

    You keep making these kinds of comments with
    nothing to back them up.

    You're just talking out of...

    Reply: #42
  27. Ondrej
    Vincent here is the answer:

    NO TIGHTLY CONTROLLED STUDY IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANKIND HAS EVER SHOWN GREATER FAT LOSS ON A TRULY ISOCALORIC LOW-CARB DIET.

    The bottom line is that when people are taken out of their free-living environments (where researchers have absolutely no control over what they really eat) and placed in a ward environment where they are watched and all food is supplied to them, there is absolutely no difference in fat-derived weight loss between high- and low-carb diets.

  28. bill
    Ondrej shouted:

    ...a bunch of stuff...

    If you have to resort to yelling with no evidence
    backing up your claims, you've lost your case.

    Can we now get back to rationally discussing
    LCHF? Thanks.

    Reply: #36
  29. FrankG
    Seems appropriate to Ondrej's "facts"...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8hP9-qnAxk

  30. Vincent
    What is the false proposition you are referring to?
    Reply: #31
  31. FrankG
    You must have read comment #17, didn't you already respond to it?

    Evidently "insuline is the sole factor for fat gain" is a false proposition (as I suspect you already know)...

    No-one is claiming that insulin is the SOLE factor for fat gain... with the possible exception of those who seek to discredit low-carb eating as an efficacious intervention. Despite grinch's constant misrepresentations of my position, I can readily accept that someone who consciously over or under-eats, can affect their fat mass in the short term... I do not accept that this is an healthy nor a sustainable (for life) approach. In the same way that when Dr Enfeldt states (correctly in my opinion) that a chronic high level of insulin will tend to excess fat storage, this is NOT the same as saying a chronic high level of insulin is a PREREQUISITE of fat storage -- excess or otherwise.

  32. Vincent
    Oh ok. So you mean the proposition, someone said that insulin is the sole factor in fat gain, is false. That's true, no protagonist of LCHF made that exact claim in this post.
  33. Vincent
    But how should the headline of this post, "Even Tour de France Cyclists Avoid Carbs to Stay Lean" be interpreted than?
    Reply: #35
  34. bill
    Vincent:

    Depends on what language you
    speak.

    If you speak English, it needs no
    interpretation.

  35. FrankG
    The headline/title of this blog post is just that.. an headline. It serves the purpose as a placeholder, or something to catch the eye and give a VERY brief summary of what the post is about. It is NOT the entire blog post nor should it be taken as such.

    Of course it is open to interpretation -- many languages may be imprecise... English probably more than most, but the meaning is generally clear.

    I could take it to mean anything ranging from...

    "More than one (i.e. at least two) cyclists who are currently racing in the Tour de France are careful about not to over-consume sugar and/or refined starches when they are concerned about excess fat mass" not a very exciting headline I hope you agree?

    all the way to...

    "NO Tour de France cyclist in the HISTORY OF HUMANKIND HAS EVER eaten a SINGLE solitary carbohydrates EVER because they are so obsessed with weight gain" obviously hyperbole and one does not have to look far to realise that it is clearly untrue.

    To take an extreme position from your personal interpretation and then challenge it as if it were a clear assertion by another party, is disingenuous.

    As I mentioned, a (not unsurprising) lack of evidence for such a proposition is NOT evidence in favour of the contrary position.

    With all due respect to Dr Eenfeldt, I don't always read here expecting the heavy science... there are other sites like Hyperlipid that go into than end of things. No, so far as I am aware Dr Eenfeldt makes no claims to being an obesity researcher or even a research scientist but rather a Family Physician with a vested interest in the health of his patients, his family, friends and himself.

    Nonetheless it is a subject that he clearly understands and can present to others in an highly intelligent and highly intelligible way. I note that he often uses humor and a light touch to convey his message for which I thank him in the midst of so much angst from those who for whatever reason see fit to try and destroy what is working so well for so many and has provided hope when none existed before.

  36. Ondrej
    You need to re-read no. 27. I clearly said NO TIGHTLY CONTROLLED STUDY IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANKIND HAS EVER SHOWN GREATER FAT LOSS ON A TRULY ISOCALORIC LOW-CARB DIET.

    You are the one that needs to show A TIGHTLY CONTROLLED STUDY THAT SHOWS GREATER FAT LOSS ON A TRULY ISOCALORIC LOW-CARB DIET.

    Evidently you haven't found one because there is none.

  37. bill
    More yelling from Ondrej.

    A pity.

    Reply: #40
  38. FrankG
    Why on earth force someone to eat an isocaloric LCHF diet? The whole point is that calories are NOT the focus but rather the macronutrients AND their quality.

    By all means measure everything in, out, stored etc... in a sealed metabolic unit and you may find that those eating LCHF freely, are taking in fewer calories than before... or burning more due to an higher metabolic rate than their controls. I can't wait for NuSI to try this (I hope they do).

    If allowing then to eat ad libitum means that they are not hungry why is that a bad thing? You may crow and point at the calories -- which WILL always come out balanced in a sealed metabolic ward... they MUST do.. it's a physical law -- but from my perspective losing "weight" without hunger is much more important.

    Given a choice between constant hunger on calorie-restriction or satiety on LCFH, which would you go for? Which do you think is the healthier choice for your body in the long term?

    Indeed it may be that by forcing an isocaloric diet you may be OVER-feeding the LCHF group, beyond what their bodies would choose otherwise.

    Reply: #44
  39. Ondrej
    I do not believe for a minute that Tour de France chefs - who supposedly know more about weight control than most calorie-obsessed so called experts (???) – have to place elite cyclists on a low carb diet to avoid weight gain when documented research clearly shows that Tour de France cyclists can consume over 7,000 calories daily during the 3-week event, yet barely maintain their bodyweight.

    Saris WH, et al. Study on food intake and energy expenditure during extreme sustained exercise: the Tour de France. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 1989; 10 (suppl 1): S26–S31.

    As a matter of fact, I’ve never seen a chef personal trainer/weight control expert, or a slim chef.

  40. Ondrej
    You need to resort to personal attacks when you lack facts!
  41. bill
    Ondrej:

    No attack. I'm just pointing out that you have
    been hollering.

  42. grinch
    Bill,

    grinch said:

    "I do not think the obesity epidemic increased because of low-fat diets, its just these diets are so useless people don't feel very good on them and don't stick to them."

    You keep making these kinds of comments with
    nothing to back them up.

    You're just talking out of...
    ----

    I'm not going to go out of my way looking for studies to post links to that people aren't going to be read or accepted as evidence anyways.

    So what EXACTLY do you want me to back up? The one who makes the claims has the burden of proof. So if someone says low fat diets cause obesity, they need to prove their claims. The complete lack of evidence linking low fat diets with the obesity epidemic is not my burden to prove.

  43. bill
    Hhhoookay then.

    What exactly is it you want from this
    blog? Seems like a waste of your time.

  44. grinch
    "Why on earth force someone to eat an isocaloric LCHF diet? The whole point is that calories are NOT the focus but rather the macronutrients AND their quality.

    By all means measure everything in, out, stored etc... in a sealed metabolic unit and you may find that those eating LCHF freely, are taking in fewer calories than before... or burning more due to an higher metabolic rate than their controls. I can't wait for NuSI to try this (I hope they do).

    If allowing then to eat ad libitum means that they are not hungry why is that a bad thing? You may crow and point at the calories -- which WILL always come out balanced in a sealed metabolic ward... they MUST do.. it's a physical law -- but from my perspective losing "weight" without hunger is much more important.

    Given a choice between constant hunger on calorie-restriction or satiety on LCFH, which would you go for? Which do you think is the healthier choice for your body in the long term?

    Indeed it may be that by forcing an isocaloric diet you may be OVER-feeding the LCHF group, beyond what their bodies would choose otherwise."
    ----
    Frank, if everybody's low carb experience was just as good as yours, then this epidemic would be over by now. The truth is nearly everybody who has dieted has tried a low carb diet at one point or another in their lives. Most of them lost weight quickly (many plateauing before reaching their goals however), but most of them could not sustain the diet because it is too restrictive and impractical in our culture where we are away from home for long hours and need to eat out and/or live with family members who constantly surround us with non-compliant foods. Just as it takes a lot of willpower to count calories with a less restrictve diet, it takes a lot of willpower to restrict a large number of everyday foods, particularly those extremely tasty foods that people are always offering us.

    So given that I find low carb diets just as impractical as calorie restrictive diets, I have been seeking a protocol that borrows what works about low carb (satiety, high protein, lower palatability, whole foods, no counting), and leads to a sustainable caloric deficit / balance, independent of macro-nutrients. I just can't see myself trying to adhere strictly to a dieting protocol that is explained by scientific reasoning that I believe to be highly flawed and/or incorrect.

  45. bill
    grinch said:

    "The truth is..." and a bunch of other 'claims'
    without any proof.

    Yet he/she also had said:

    "The one who makes the claims has the burden of proof."

    Now I'm confused.

  46. Ondrej
    US obesity epidemic is due to more calories consumed rather than carbohydrates.

    USDA data shows little difference in per capita carbohydrate consumption between 1909 and 2000; per capita daily energy intake in 2000, however, was higher by 400 calories. As a result, the proportion of daily calories derived from carbohydrate in the US has actually decreased - from 57% in 1909 to 50% in 2000.

    http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/publications/foodsupply/foodsupply1909-2000.pdf

    PDF pages 30 and 31.

  47. bill
    Ondrej:

    Okay. So therefore... what? You want
    us all to bow down to your superior intellect
    and start eating carbohydrates again?

    Guess what? My blood numbers are
    excellent on LCHF and I get through the
    day without any hunger. LCHF works for me.

    What do you hope to accomplish?

  48. FrankG
    It's also confusing, if not downright disingenuous, to suggest that a diet can be high protein while still being "independent of macro-nutrients".

    As for comparing the "will power" required to walk past a plate of pastries when one does not even feel hungry, to the "will power" required to be constantly hungry, consciously restricting how much you eat, while working out intensively at the gym... then there is yet more confusion and dishonesty... they are NOT the same thing.

    Tell yourself what you need to, to get through the day. By your own accounts your ARE eating LCHF (do the math -- compare your intake of sugar and refined starches to the SAD) but simply refuse to accept that is insulin is the main factor for why it works.. rather it has to do with "food reward". Suit yourself... you're not any closer to convincing me that I am wrong.

    Oh well... not getting dragged into your crazy world of make-believe anymore :-P

    Reply: #49
  49. Ondrej
    So what’s the alternative? I’d say there are two. If you are serious, determining your macronutrient and calorie intake and counting calories, this is good for competition. Another option is just eating regular meals to satiety that are “real food”, including pasta, rice, potatoes, bread…just not KFC/Twinkies only. Everything your non-obsessive grandma would consider ok. Then add the indulgences on top if you want. This is super easy to follow, you don’t need to limit, count anything. If you are still fat long term, sleep more, walk more, exercise more – not necessarily another HIT, rather some leisure activities – and be patient.

    “Numerous scientific authorities, including the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics, have acknowledged that the most effective way to achieve and sustain a healthy weight is to exercise regularly and eat a balanced, nutrient-dense diet that allows for the enjoyment of all foods within individual calorie limits”

  50. Paul
    Acta Cardiol. 2007 Aug;62(4):381-9.
    Low carbohydrate ketogenic diet enhances cardiac tolerance to global ischaemia.
    This is a unique study showing ultrastructural variation in cardiac muscle in relation to cardio-protective function in rats fed a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet. This study suggests that the LCKD is cardio-protective functionally.
    Reply: #53
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