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Atkins diet: works only in short run

 
 
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2007 07:24 am
Quote:
Atkins tops other diets in 4-way study

But maximum average weight loss after a year is only 10.4 pounds


By Chris Emery
Tribune Newspapers: Baltimore Sun

March 7, 2007

If you go on a low-carbohydrate diet to shed weight, you've probably made a good decision, according a new report by Stanford University researchers.

Just don't expect miracles.

In the largest head-to-head study of competing diets so far, low-carb plans such as the Atkins diet turned out to be safe and effective for losing weight and improving cardiovascular health -- at least in the short run.

In fact, women who aggressively restricted carbs lost nearly twice as much weight over six months as women on higher-carb diets, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported Wednesday.

The bad news: Even those on the Atkins plan, which outscored three competing diets, were down only 10.4 pounds after a year. And on every plan, by the end of the study, most dieters were slowly but surely regaining the weight they had lost.

"It shows that people will steadily go back to their old habits," said Dr. Lawrence Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center.

Still, researchers welcomed the news that popular low-carb diets are safe and effective, if not a panacea.

Christopher Gardner, a professor of medicine at Stanford and the lead author on the study, also cautioned that the long-term safety of low-carb, high-protein diets is still in question.

"We don't know what a high-protein diet would do over 10 years," he said. "It could impair kidney function or leach calcium out of the bones. But we didn't look at that."

The study is the largest yet to explore the difference between popular diets. The researchers studied four diets representing a range of recommended carbohydrate consumption.

The Atkins diet calls for the fewest carbohydrates and lots of protein. At the other end of the carb spectrum was the Ornish diet, which focuses on cutting fat intake.

The study tracked the weight of 313 overweight or obese women for one year beginning in February 2003. The women were 25 to 50 and lived in the community surrounding Stanford's campus near Palo Alto, Calif.

Gardner said several factors might explain why the Atkins plan was somewhat more effective.

One, he said, is that Atkins calls for drinking lots of water, reducing the quantity of soft drinks and other sweetened beverages the women drank.

The diet also calls for protein-rich meals, which may have cut down on consumption of refined carbohydrates.


http://i15.tinypic.com/29z7z0h.jpg


Source, graphic from the print version, Chicago Tribune, 07.03.07, page A§
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,659 • Replies: 25
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 06:28 am
The world is a peculiar place.

Millions of people are trying to survive on a subsistance diet while in the "civilized" Western World we spend time and energy trying to find the most effective methods of losing weight.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 06:36 am
Interesting, I have lost 37 lbs in 3 yrs and I find no diet to regain the weight I've lost.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 06:38 am
Walter- In my lifetime, I have tried practically every diet that came down the pike. I have probably lost enough weight, over and over again, to make a couple of more people. I once lost 25 pounds with a pill that the FDA later took off the market as "useless". Rolling Eyes

I have learned from all of this that "diets" are basically useless. You can lose weight on them, but it is very difficult to keep the weight off. I think that the main thing that a person needs to do to lose weight is to stay away from junk food, especially calorie laden sodas, eat smaller portions, and vary your diet.

Exercise is important. If you are a stress eater like I am, going for a long brisk walk, and exhausting yourself, will cut your hunger, as well as revive your spirits.

One needs to change their relationship with food, in order to be a successful weight loser.
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 07:31 am
I was watching some British show on TLC last nigth and they were following some seriously obese people around. One guy weighed 750 pounds - ate something like 14000 calories a day. The thing is, he never left his bed and people kept buying, cooking, and bringing him the food.

Talk about empowerment. Some folks are just sadly stupid. Or stupidly sad.

Anyway, I went on a low carb diet once and lost - 10.4 pounds.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 07:54 am
I lose the same 10 lbs every year. I gain it between October and December and loose it between January and June. Year after year after year after ...
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 02:38 pm
JPB--

Black bears gain--and lose--as much as 500 pounds following the schedule you use.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 03:41 pm
You know, I also wonder about those people who are so obese they can't get out of bed.

I mean, they can't get their own food....

If it got to that point with someone I knew, well, I'd figure they weren't the best person to make choices on what to eat, so why would I bring them there 5 pizza lunch?
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 05:44 pm
I have always felt a mistrust for Atkins' diet. It just doesn't strike me a long range healthy.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 06:40 pm
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Dr. Atkins was the antichrist.

mark my words.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 08:40 pm
This link has a picture illustrating Morbid Obesity. I am in awe:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=2396655

According to a story in the newpaper this morning to celebrate reducing from 1235 pounds to 840 pounds six strong men carried him out of his house. A forklift put him on a truck and he rode through the streets of San Nicholas Los Garza, Mexico.

He's been on a high protein diet for about a year. This was his first outing in five years.

He says he had a sedentary job and the weight just crept up on him.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Mar, 2007 10:01 pm
I agree, Edgar. The Atkins Diet doesn't provide enough fiber, and the saturated fat level is associated with some forms of cancer, i.e., colon and breast. And what about the protection we get from vegetables and fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grains, i.e., the various forms of antioxidants?
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2007 04:13 am
The problem with battling overweight, is that the body is notoriously efficient. When one cuts back on calories drastically, the body goes into "famine" mode, and becomes more efficient at metabolizing the calories it does get.

After one loses weight, and goes back to "normal" eating, the body will retain more. Therefore, one might eat what is considered a reasonable amount for one's height, and still begin to have the weight creep up again.

IMo, the only way to keep weight off permanently, is to eat a balanced diet, coupled with exercise. The physical activity will enable the body's metabolism to stay in "high gear".
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2007 03:23 pm
Agreed, Phoenix. Weight control must be a gradual process of a life style and not a crash program. The metabolism factor you raise is crucial. I have controlled my weight by daily walking and frequent small meals. After 7 p.m. I eat only fruit and tea. My "main meal" is at 1 p.m. (mostly Mexican, Chinese or Italian (ish) vegetarian or with oily fish on brown rice (made with anti-inflammatory tumeric) or chicken (never fried and always without skin). For breakfast I eat toasted whole grain bread (with a little blueberry jam and almond butter--that I grind myself at the store), or whole grain cereal (cherrios) with fruit, nuts, wheat germ, ground flax seed and two mugs of strong black coffee. Once every two months or so we go to a steak house and freak out on a filet mignon.
I break my routine regularly (for the sake of my psyche) when going out to eat with friends. At home I try to eat small amounts. I never go under 160 or over 166 lbs.
But I never feel deprived and consider my food life to be a matter of desirable life style rather than undesireable diet. I should stress that I am not virtuous in my way of eating. I break the "rules" with some regularity but not enough to undo the benefits of the above.
0 Replies
 
flushd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2007 04:45 pm
This diet is becoming kind of cultish for my liking. Isn't this just putting your body into a permanant state of starvation?

If I am wrong, I am wrong. But I'd like to know for once and for all.

I'm not saying the diet is useless. If you are morbidly obese and need to drop weight or - basically die - then, yeah, doctor supervised, it makes sense.
Or simply if the positives of taking on the diet in the longterm outweigh the negatives (health related problems that need addressing ASAP due to weight).

But DOESN'T ATKINS STARVE YOUR BRAIN???

What I am talking about is NOT the diet supervised by a well qualified doctor (and actually taking his concerns and point of view into consideration).
What worries me is people, people like who I know, who do it with a book and a once-in-a-while-trip for ketone sticks at the pharm. If that.
Because they are chubby.

It just scares me the risks people will take to get slimmer. And if I ever do it - all have permission to kick me in the kidneys to wake me up. Smile
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2007 05:08 pm
Flushd, I also feel the Atkins diet, like the Pritikin diet are a bit cultish--and dangerous! I remember a couple who ate virtually NO FAT at all (the Pritikin opposite of Atkins) and probably suffered from a lack of good--i.e., Omega 3--fatty acids. And I have heard the Atkins can get to your kidneys after a while.
0 Replies
 
Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2007 05:08 pm
Phoenix32890 wrote:
The problem with battling overweight, is that the body is notoriously efficient. When one cuts back on calories drastically, the body goes into "famine" mode, and becomes more efficient at metabolizing the calories it does get.

After one loses weight, and goes back to "normal" eating, the body will retain more. Therefore, one might eat what is considered a reasonable amount for one's height, and still begin to have the weight creep up again.

IMo, the only way to keep weight off permanently, is to eat a balanced diet, coupled with exercise. The physical activity will enable the body's metabolism to stay in "high gear".


DING DING!

Atkins obviously does "work," but how many people are going to make it their lifestyle? Isn't it just as easy, and healthier, to follow the "I'm going to do my homework, eat healthy & excercise(like my body was designed for)" diet?

And I'm sick of hearing people state a high protein diet is going to impair kidney function. As far as I know, not one study has concluded a high protein diet will screw up the kidneys in a HEALTHY person....someone that already has kidney problems, yes. We should be drinking a lot of water as it is.
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2007 07:35 pm
I'm surprised this seems to be new news to some. Even Applebees has had a low-carb menu for several years. How often do you folks crawl out from behind your monitor into the sunlight?
0 Replies
 
flushd
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Mar, 2007 08:38 am
Slappy Doo Hoo wrote:
\

And I'm sick of hearing people state a high protein diet is going to impair kidney function. As far as I know, not one study has concluded a high protein diet will screw up the kidneys in a HEALTHY person....someone that already has kidney problems, yes. We should be drinking a lot of water as it is.


Slappy,

I think there is a difference between a high protein diet and a diet that has excessive protein.

It's when the protein is excessive that liver and kidneys get stressed to ****. Do you agree?

Plus, you'll just get plain fat. Too many calories is too many calories!

Do you agree?

.............

Is anyone here well educated in how ketosis works? I'd love to ask more questions about it. Specifically about how it would affect a person's mood, brain function, and internal organs. Thanks.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Mar, 2007 02:31 pm
And what's this one hears about the preferrability of plant protein over animal protein--especially as we age?
0 Replies
 
 

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