Of these three diets – Atkins, low-fat, low-glycemic index – guess which is the worst for keeping weight off?

Why, it’s the low-fat one, of course.

Which means that right now would be a good time to:

“… reacquaint ourselves with minimally processed carbs. If you take three servings of refined carbohydrates and substitute one of fruit, one of beans and one of nuts, you could eliminate 50 percent of diet-related disease in the United States.

Our diet causes much of our health trouble, in other words. Garbage in, garbage health.

The low-fat craze of the last 30 years has been a really bad idea, because it was (1) wrong, and (2) based on sloppy research and junk science, and (3) has led directly to an epidemic of adult-onset diabetes caused by bad eating habits explicitly recommended to us by the government.

The brutal truth, condensed into a list from the article:

  1. Atkins: burned 350 more calories per day than low-fat.
  2. Low-glycemic index (or “Mediterranean”): burned 150 more calories per day than low-fat.
  3. Low-fat: dead last, chump

In other words, the way you eat impacts directly on how many calories you burn.

This is because — though you should definitely read the article — excess carbs (say, more than 10%-20% of your daily calories) are wreaking havoc with your metabolic rate and your blood sugar and insulin, which causes your body to store fat. Each time you eat lots of carbs, your blood sugar spikes quickly (if you are susceptible to this condition, and not everybody is), which is followed by increased insulin to bring down the blood sugar. Lather, rinse, repeat. This cycle is not good for your blood vessels, and causes damage over time – that’s why diabetics like Ron Santo eventually lost both legs to amputation caused by lack of circulation. And every repetition of the cycle causes your body to store calories as fat rather than burn them – see list above.

But you can train your body to burn fat as an energy source by eating fewer carbs and forcing your body to adapt – I did this last summer. Reduce carbs drastically for a few weeks, and your body will develop the right enzymes to burn fat for energy, which not only stops the cycle of storing excess calories as fat, but allows your body to burn existing body fat for energy, making you leaner over time. At first, during this process, you might feel low on energy while your body converts from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat, but after a few weeks, you actually feel better than you did before — no energy or mood swings, and you can go longer between meals. It’s a total win/win, in my mind.

Just eat sensibly, don’t eat too much for your energy needs, consider carbs a treat instead of a staple, stop worrying so much about fat in your diet, make sure you get some fresh fruits and vegetables, eat only when hungry as much as feasible, and stop obsessing over food. Have you ever noticed how often we talk about food? It’s crazy. We live in truly insane times – more food than our grandparents and others who lived through the Great Depression could have ever imagined, but instead of being thankful for our bounty, we are in fear of it. This is crazy.

So if you want to lose weight the right way — as a side benefit of being healthier, not at the expense of your health — you should cut back on junk food and pop and fast food, and stop fretting so much about lean protein, i.e., chicken breast, over steak or red meat. Steak and red meat are not the problem – crappy, over-processed, under-nourishing food is the problem: chips, nearly all breakfast cereals, fast food in general, and pretty much everything that comes in some kind of packaging and is shipped from far away in non-refrigerated trucks rather than food (1) that is picked from a green growing thing of some kind, or (2) that used to walk on the earth or (3) that used to swim in the sea, is probably not that good for you as a person, and is making our country fatter and fatter and costing us a buttload of money in terms of health care costs for behavioral diseases like adult-onset diabetes and the types of heart disease that are reversible by changing one’s diet.

And watch your portion sizes too – most of us already and/or drink eat too much. Start by eating less of everything, then prune out inadvisable foods by either not eating them at all, or reducing consumption to just once a week, max.

Eat what you want, but understand that (1) junk food is just not good for you, and you should severely limit how much of it you eat (tiny amounts here and there, or binge once or twice a month, max), and (2) your right to eat what you want ends when your adult-onset diabetes causes my health care costs to go up.

Especially now that the same geniuses in government who thought they knew better about what we should eat, but instead caused a near-epidemic of adult-onset diabetes which cost us trillions of dollars, and many lives, are now destined to be in charge of our overall health, via the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) which was upheld today by the U.S. Supreme Court. Yay.

via Which Diet Works? – NYTimes.com.

Advertisements