“How much riced cauliflower and zucchini noodles could I eat before I pulled my hair out?”
Weight loss is not a new game for me. I’ve lost 30 pounds a couple of times. Then, when I ballooned to sizes that required shopping at a plus-size store, I eventually lost about 100 pounds. And I didn’t use any particular diet to do it.
But then, slowwwwwly, over the past seven years, almost 30 pounds crept back on. Ten or 15? That’s fine. But 30—unacceptable.
(Get tons of great workout ideas that will help you maintain a fit, healthy lifestyle for GOOD with The Women’s Health Fitness Fix.)
So I decided to try the Atkins diet, despite having previously dismissed it as a fad. For me, vyying for Atkins-diet results was not only about fitting into the jeans that make me feel like a million bucks. It was for my health. The lab results from my most recent physical exam showed that I was pre-diabetic. That was no joke. I needed to do this.
I figured the low-carb Atkins plan would be good for me, given my pre-diabetes and the fact that sugar is my nemesis. We battle daily. (Oh, how I love/hate my sweet, creamy surrender to pistachio gelato… and dark chocolate fudge and pumpkin cheesecake!) And research consistently shows that low-carb approaches are helpful in managing pre-diabetes and diabetes.
My mission was to try the Atkins diet for a minimum of two weeks and analyze its effectiveness. I had already lost 15 pounds in the last month—the first nine pounds melted off after two weeks of the keto diet, a very high-fat, very low-carb diet which puts your body in ketosis so that you burn fat instead of carbs for energy. Atkins is a type of ketogenic diet, but with more food choices and a greater balance of macronutrients. It’s supposed to be a little more moderate, allowing you to eat more carbs while still losing weight.
Related: ‘I Tried The Ketogenic Diet For Weight Loss—Here’s What Happened’
The Atkins diet happens in phases. During phase one, or the introduction phase, you aim to eat either 20 or 40 grams of daily net carbs (depending on if you want to take a more drastic or moderate approach), with net carbs being total carbs minus all carbs from fiber and sugar alcohols. (For comparison’s sake, current dietary guidelines recommend consuming between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates per day.)
After a minimum of two weeks, once you’re close to your goal weight, you’re supposed to move onto the second phase, adding about 10 net carbs per day, including a bit of fruit and complex carbs, to your plan. Gradually, you add more and more, until you’re in the fourth and final phase, in which you’re expected to have figured out what you can and can’t eat to maintain your current weight. That final phase is basically the lifestyle that you’re expected to maintain for the rest of your life.
Doctors and dietitians don’t agree on the sustainability of this diet. Karen Lesley, R.D., in Fort Myers, Florida, was skeptical when I told her I was trying it. Besides being a dietitian, she’s also a passionate triathlete. “It was a fad diet. Anybody who can eat a pound of bacon on a diet is ridiculous,” Lesley said. “It’s unbalanced.”
Meanwhile, when I told my friend that I was doing this diet, the first thing she said was: “Didn’t that guy die?”
The creator of the Atkins diet, Cornell-educated cardiologist Robert Atkins, M.D., died in 2003, and his cause of death has been quite the controversy. Critics, including many doctors and medical experts, say he was overweight and had heart problems, which might’ve led to his death at 72. His family and company say he died from brain injury complications after falling.
Regardless of the real reason, does a diet’s founder need to be a personal diet success story for the plan to be good? Yes and no. It did make me pause, but then I tried it anyway because I needed to purge sugar and excess carbs from my life for good.
So, I trudged on, telling myself I wouldn’t use the diet as a license to gorge on crazy amounts of fatty meats and cheeses, with few vegetables. The modernized version of Atkins calls for a foundation of vegetables anyway. To get with the program, I looked up recipes, downloaded the Atkins Carb Counter app, and logged my daily food intake.
The best advice you can give your patients is to have no set expectations for their first week on Atkins in terms of weight loss. Here’s what they’re likely to experience when they start Phase 1, Induction:
- Loss of water weight. Most people lose a couple of pounds of water weight in the first few days, but the actual amount varies.
- Then fat pounds will disappear. By the end of the first week, weight loss could total from 2 to 6 pounds, but advise patients not to get hung up on the scale. They should take baseline measurements of their chest, upper arms, waist, hips and thighs. Lost inches are just as significant as lost pounds. If their clothes feel looser, even if weight is constant, they’re on the right track. It’s perfectly normal for weight to vary from day to day, so we recommend weighing—and measuring—just once or twice a week at roughly the same time of day. Better yet, advise weight averaging, produces more positive and meaningful results.
- Certain symptoms may occur. The diet has a diuretic effect. When water and electrolytes are flushed from the body, possible effects include fatigue, light-headedness upon standing up or with exposure to heat, weakness, constipation, chronic headaches and/or leg cramps. It’s easy to minimize the chance of experiencing these discomforts with a little salt and adequate fluid.
- Energy level may be low for a few days. If so, it’s essential to stay hydrated and add a little salt. It’s also a good idea to let the body acclimate to this new way of eating before starting or intensifying activity.
- Hunger or cravings for high-carb foods may persist for the first couple of days. A high-protein snack, such as sliced roast beef, a chicken breast or some cheese should nip these in the bud.
- Energy level improves along with a sense of well-being. This dramatic shift, usually occurs somewhere toward the end of the first or even into the second week. This is a clear signal that the transition to primarily burning fat for energy has occurred.
Your patients can find online support and answers to specific questions on the Atkins Community Forums during this transition (as well as at any other time).
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The Atkins website says that it is a common misconception that the two-week induction phase of the diet represents the whole Atkins diet. Induction, or phase 1, is only one of four steps designed to first accelerate weight loss, then to maintain weight loss and finally to maintain your ideal weight. The initial 14-day phase 1 diet gets you started.
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The purpose of phase I is to make your body shift gears from burning carbohydrates for energy to burning fat for energyвЂ“-both your body fat and what you consume. Your body turns carbs into glucose or sugar. Atkins says your body will look for an alternate source of energy if it can’t fuel itself with glucose because you haven’t given it any, or at least not enough to keep it going.
The most important rule for the 14-day induction plan is that you restrict yourself to 20 g of carbohydrates per day. This doesn’t mean you can have a bite of pasta then eat red meat for the balance of your meals. The Atkins site says that “foundation” vegetables should account for 12 to 15 carbs per day. These include salad vegetables, such as cucumbers, iceberg and romaine lettuce, radishes, mushrooms and celery. Dressing is limited to a tablespoon of safflower or canola oil, olive oil, seed oils or nut oils per serving. Other rules include never skipping meals and aiming for four to five small ones a day. Drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day.
According to Atkins, it should take approximately two weeks to kick-start your body into burning fat instead of carbs. You can move on to phase 2 more quickly or stay in the induction phase longer than 14 days if you choose. If you’re not looking to lose a great deal of weight and you do it quickly, you can move on. Just make sure that you have started to burn fat for energy. Atkins says the evidence of this is the loss of at least 2 lbs. If you need to lose a great deal of weight, you can stay on the 14-day phase longer. Atkins says that there are no risks to staying on the induction diet indefinitely, but you will eventually want to start adding carbs back into your diet incrementally so you will know how many carbs a day your body can tolerate without gaining weight. You can use this knowledge to maintain your ideal weight.
By Maddy Biddulph published 2 May 22
They might seem like similar approaches, there are some key differences between the keto diet vs low carb. We asked the experts to unpack them
Keto diet vs low carb: what’s the difference and which is better? Although the two diets both involve cutting carbs and can help with weight loss, the keto diet (short for ketogenic) is a far more restrictive way of eating and involves limiting carb intake and eating a high amount of fat, with moderate protein.
“Keto means the body has switched into ketosis and is using fat instead of glucose for fuel,” says diet expert Heidi Normanton, founder of Heylo. “Meanwhile low carb diets limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed, especially simple and refined ones found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. Going low carb helps regulate blood sugar but it doesn’t produce ketosis, so the body will first use the glucose stored as energy, then move onto fat for fuel.”
It’s important to have an understanding of your body and the calories and nutrients required for it to function effectively before starting a new diet, adds elite coach Farren Morgan, who runs The Tactical Athlete. He advises speaking to a dietician or a health professional first.
In this article we look at the key differences between the keto diet vs low carb, so you can decide if either plan is right for you.
What is a keto diet?
“A keto diet, also known as a ketogenic diet, is based on lowering your carbohydrate intake and increasing your intake of healthy fats,” says Morgan.
It’s fairly restrictive, but while all keto diets are low carb, not all low carb diets are keto. The keto diet involves getting 70% of daily calories from fat, 20% from protein and 10% from carbohydrates.
What is the low carb diet?
Like keto, low carb diets follow the same principle of cutting carbs and replacing them with protein, healthy fats and vegetables. “Carbohydrates are easier to digest, but don’t provide the same essential nutrients that proteins and fats do for the growth and development of your physique,” explains Morgan.
Keto diet vs low carb: similarities
“Both diets have the same objective in mind – weight loss – but keto diets fall as a subcategory of a low carb diet, while low carb diets represent the umbrella that covers a large variety of other diets that it has under its belt,” says Morgan.
Put simply, a low carb diet is very relative, and doesn’t have specific amounts of carbs you should or shouldn’t consume – unless you are following a set diet plan like Atkins or Dukan. Going low carb also means you’re probably not eating as much fat as you would if you were trying to force the body into ketosis, and you’ll be eating lots of filling lean proteins and vegetables to stay energized.
Both plans have some noticeable health benefits, too. A study in the BMJ revealed that going low carb was associated with higher states of remission among people with type 2 diabetes, while keto diets could improve heart health, according to another study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Further research published in the Frontiers in Neuroscience journal found that the keto diet helps prevent seizures and treat epilepsy, something it was first used for in the 1920s.
Keto diet vs low carb: differences
First up, your carbohydrate intake will differ depending on whether you’re following a keto diet or simply low carb. “With a low carb diet you’d be expected to eat 50-150 grams of carbs per day, but keto diets are restricted to just 50 grams,” says Morgan.
Protein intake is another factor that differs. “Low carb diets generally require a large intake of protein, but keto diets moderate your protein consumption to between 20-22% of your total calories. Keto diets also require a large intake of fats compared with low carb diets to compensate for the protein and carbohydrates.”
Normanton says if your goal is to build muscle, then going low carb could be a better option, as glucose is needed to repair muscle. “Many people also feel that a low carb diet is an easier transition and therefore some start with that, then move onto keto,” she says. “The keto diet is also very popular with athletes and some marathon runners swear by it as their bodies are ‘fat adapted’ and it can help them maintain endurance for longer periods of time without needing carbs to refuel.”
But there are some slightly unpleasant side effects associated with both plans. “Transitioning into these diets will be a process, especially regarding the keto diet,” says Morgan. “With low carb diets you may feel weak or experience constipation due to the impact of your micronutrient consumption. If you’re new to the ketogenic diet, you may experience the ‘keto flu’, which includes symptoms such as headaches, brain fog, irritability, fatigue, and lack of motivation.”
Morgan says that these symptoms generally last for a week or less, but in extreme scenarios they have been known to last to a month, so it’s important to be mentally prepared and fully equipped with an experienced professional to guide you before you decide to start your diet.
Keto diet vs low carb: Which diet is best?
“Both are effective for weight loss, so what ultimately matters is which diet is best for you and your body,” says Morgan. “If you’re looking to acquire a physique that’s lean yet muscular you may go for the low carb diet, while those looking for an overall slim physique may lean towards keto.”
D’Andrea Meira, I., Romão, T. T., Pires Do Prado, H. J., Krüger, L. T., Pires, M. E. P., & da Conceição, P. O. (2019). Ketogenic Diet and Epilepsy: What We Know So Far. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2019.00005
Goldenberg, J. Z., Day, A., Brinkworth, G. D., Sato, J., Yamada, S., Jönsson, T., Beardsley, J., Johnson, J. A., Thabane, L., & Johnston, B. C. (2021). Efficacy and safety of low and very low carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes remission: systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished randomized trial data. BMJ, m4743. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4743
Yurista, S. R., Chong, C. R., Badimon, J. J., Kelly, D. P., de Boer, R. A., & Westenbrink, B. D. (2021). Therapeutic Potential of Ketone Bodies for Patients With Cardiovascular Disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 77(13), 1660–1669. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2020.12.065
Maddy is a freelance journalist and Level 3 personal trainer specializing in fitness, health and wellbeing content. She has been a writer and editor for 22 years, and has worked for some of the UK’s bestselling newspapers and women’s magazines, including Marie Claire, The Sunday Times and Women’s Health. Maddy loves HIIT training and can often be found working out while her two young daughters do matching burpees or star jumps. As a massive foodie, she loves cooking and trying out new healthy recipes (especially ones with hidden vegetables so the kids eat them).
A big, juicy hamburger with no bun. Eggs and bacon for breakfast — but hold the fruit. These are examples of meals you can eat on the low-carb, high-fat Atkins diet.
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The Atkins diet has some benefits and can be easier to follow than other diets. But that doesn’t mean you should load up on steaks and butter every night. Registered dietitian Maxine Smith, RD, LD, explains the benefits and risks of this diet plan.
What is the Atkins diet?
Cardiologist Robert Atkins created the Atkins diet in the 1960s. He believed that carbohydrates — not fat — were responsible for health problems and weight gain. As a result, his diet focused on eating plenty of fat, some protein and very few carbs.
“The goal of the Atkins diet is to change your metabolism. You burn stored body fat, rather than carbs, for energy,” says Smith. “And you can do this if you follow the diet closely. But it’s not for everyone, and there may be health risks involved.”
How does it work?
The Atkins diet doesn’t limit the amount of fat you can eat. And you won’t have to count calories or measure portion sizes.
But you will have to count carbs. Carefully. The Atkins diet severely restricts carbs, especially in the early stages. It uses a tracking method called net carbs, which is the total number of carbs minus its fiber content in grams.
“Normally, your body uses carbohydrates as fuel,” explains Smith. “When you don’t eat carbohydrates, your body turns to stored body fat, which the liver breaks down. This process creates ketones, which the body can then use for energy.”
Phases of the Atkins diet
There are four phases of the Atkins diet, starting with the most restrictive and gradually getting easier. “Beginning at phase 1 promotes more weight loss,” Smith explains. “You can start the diet at a later stage, but you won’t lose as much weight.”
- Phase 1: You eat 20 grams of net carbs a day. For reference, the average banana has 24 net carbs, and a potato has 31. The goal of phase 1 is to produce fast weight loss.
- Phase 2: This phase allows up to 30 net carbs. You still lose weight, although not as quickly as you did in phase 1.
- Phase 3: You can increase your net carbs by up to 10 grams per week. Continue this phase until you reach your target weight.
- Phase 4: This is a maintenance phase, where you can eat up to 120 net carbs a day as long as you stay at your target weight.
Other Atkins plans allow 40 or 100 net carbs from the start. They are designed for people who have less weight to lose or want to maintain their current weight.
Benefits of the Atkins diet
The Atkins diet has been around for decades, and it has some benefits. This diet works for some people because it:
- Won’t make you hangry: “Protein and fat suppress the appetite, which is an advantage for people who feel hungry on other diets,” Smith says.
- Cuts calories: If you’re restricting your carbs, you’re also cutting out many unhealthy foods that are common in the American diet. Think white bread, fried foods and sugar. “Most American diets are 55% carbohydrates or higher,” Smith says. “If you cut out all those carbs, you’ll probably eat fewer calories overall and lose weight.”
- Controls blood sugars: Eating very few carbohydrates can help control blood sugar, especially in people who have diabetes.
Risks of the Atkins diet
Although Atkins can help people lose weight, it has some drawbacks. The diet:
- Allows processed meats: Who doesn’t love bacon? Well, the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and World Health Organization, for starters. Processed meats may raise the risk of heart problems and certain cancers. But because they are low carb and high fat, many people following Atkins eat a lot of them.
- Excludes healthy foods: Many people restrict fruits and some vegetables to stay under their carb limit. These foods contain important vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting phytochemicals and fiber. “Eliminating food groups can cause nutrient deficiencies and health problems,” Smith says.
- Has side effects: Eating a very low-carb diet like Atkins can cause electrolyte imbalances, constipation, dangerously low blood sugar and kidney problems.
- Promotes processed foods: The Atkins diet sells and promotes bars, shakes and ready-made meals that help people stick with the plan. But many of these items contain artificial sweeteners, processed ingredients, high-saturated fat and sodium that won’t do your health any favors. “A long list of ingredients isn’t a good sign,” Smith says.
- Has questionable long-term benefits: “We don’t have evidence that this diet is good for you over the long term,” Smith says. “All of the studies have looked at how it affects your health for less than a year or two.”
Focus on healthy foods
If you decide to follow the Atkins diet, take a whole foods approach:
- Limit or avoid processed meats and other processed foods.
- Eat healthy fats, like those found in fish, nuts and olive oil.
- Include healthy carbs, like fresh fruits and whole grains, as part of a healthy, long-term eating plan.
If you have diabetes or any health conditions, talk to your doctor before starting a weight loss plan. Don’t try Atkins if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have kidney disease.
Not everyone prescribes to the keto diet or the ketogenic diet to lose weight. Our nutritionist gives us the top 10 side effects of following this diet especially without supervision.
The very popular keto diet has side effects too
A Keto diet, also known as a Ketogenic diet or low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diet is extremely low in carbohydrates, as the name suggests. The human body primarily depends on glucose as a fuel. On extremely low-carb diets, the body starts breaking down the stored fat to produce ketone molecules and the entire body, including the brain, switches to ketones as a source of fuel. The body is thus induced into a state of ketosis.
What you can eat while on a keto diet?
A Keto diet is very high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbs. The Keto macros are as follows: 70% fats, 25% protein and 5% carbs. The total carbs should be below 35-50 grams and the net carbs (total carb minus total fibre) should be 20-30 grams.
Foods allowed include leafy greens, above-ground veggies (broccoli & cauliflower etc), meats (fish, lamb, poultry, beef etc), eggs, high fat dairy (hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter etc), nuts and seeds, avocadoes and berries (raspberries, blackberries etc), and fats (coconut oil, saturated fats, high-fat salad dressings etc).
You can consume leafy greens on keto diet
Photo Credit: iStock
Foods to be avoided include grains (wheat, rice, corn, cereals, pasta, bread etc), sugar (granulated sugar, honey, jaggery etc), high-carb fruits (apples, bananas, mangoes etc), tubers (potato, yam etc), fruit juices, desserts, processed foods and alcohol.
Keto diet has gained in popularity over the years as it results in rapid weight loss, yet it has several potential risks. Also, it’s hard to follow and stick to because it’s a radically different way of eating.
The short term side effects include:
1. During the transition phase, when the body switches over its fuel supply from glucose to ketones, it experiences flu-like symptoms, also called Keto-flu.
2. During the first few days, the body loses a lot of water, sodium and other minerals like potassium, magnesium etc. Infact, the initial weight lost is due to water loss and not fat loss. The symptoms are dehydration, frequent urination, excessive thirst, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches and muscle cramps.
3. Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is another side effect. The noticeable symptoms during the transition phase include fatigue, hunger, confusion, anxiety, irritability, tachycardia, light-headedness, shakiness, sweating and chills.
Other side effects include:
4. Smelly breath – Acetone is one of the ketone bodies and it has a characteristically fruity smell similar to that of a nail-polish remover.
5. Constipation – is a common side effect in the beginning due to dehydration and drastic change in diet composition. Occasionally, some people also experience diarrhea due to high fat diet.
Keto diet can make you constipated
Photo Credit: iStock
6. Disturbed sleep.
However, there can be some more serious long-term side effects too:
7. The level of lipids and cholesterol in the blood increases due to high fat intake.
8. Acidosis causes the bone to demineralize and erode. It increases the risk of bone injury and fracture.
9. Ketosis results in low urine pH. Bone erosion leads to hypercalciuria. The low pH leads to formation of crystals and kidney stones.
10. Women experience disruption of the menstrual cycle, and in extreme cases, amenorrhea which means complete absence of periods.
Considering these risks, people who have kidney damage, individuals at risk for heart disease, pregnant or nursing women, people with type 1 diabetes, pre-existing liver or pancreatic condition and anyone who has undergone gallbladder removal shouldn’t attempt the Keto diet.
Are you considering giving the Atkins Diet a try? The weight loss program is split into 4 phases with the first phase “induction” being the most restrictive and challenging. Many Atkins followers often find it extremely hard to survive the 2-week initial phase as they must seriously cut back on carbs and get most of their calories from protein and fat. However, it isn’t as terrible as you may think. Let’s kick start your weight-loss journey with the 7-day Atkins menu we are going to walk you through.
A low-carb Atkins meal plan for 7 days
Breakfast: Eggs and leafy greens fried in coconut oil
Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil and a small amount of nuts
Dinner: steak, broccoli
Breakfast: Bacon, poached chicken
Lunch: Rocket salad with tuna
Dinner: No-bun cheeseburger with butter and greens
Breakfast: Omelette fried with butter
Lunch: Shrimp salad sprinkled with olive oil
Dinner: Beef mince and veggies stir fry
Breakfast: Eggs and leafy greens fried in coconut oil
Lunch: Hamburger steaks fried with onions and mushrooms
Dinner: Pan-seared salmon cooked with butter
Breakfast: Bacon, whole milk
Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil and a small amount of nuts
Dinner: Veggie meatballs
Breakfast: Pan-fried breakfast egg rolls with butter and vegetables
Lunch: Lamb kebabs with cabbage
Dinner: Pan-fried pork chops
Breakfast: Bacon, poached chicken
Lunch: Grilled fish and lettuce salad
Dinner: Garlic butter roasted chicken wings with veggies
To provide a clear overview of the science behind a low-carbohydrate diet – and to help those wanting to adopt one – our researchers developed the CSIRO Low-Carb Diet and the CSIRO Low-Carb Every Day books.
- CSIRO Womens Health Guide
- Public health & wellbeing
- Low Carb Diet
- CSIRO Protein Plus
- Total Wellbeing Diet
- Healthy Gut Diet
- CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet
- Healthy Diet Score
- The Digest: previous editions
Last updated: 12 April 2022
Improve your health with our bestselling low-carb diet books
Featuring nutritious low-carb, high-protein recipes and weekly meal and exercise plans, the CSIRO Low-Carb Diet books can help you lose weight without the hunger pangs.
The CSIRO Low-Carb Diet books can also help those with diabetes; our research has shown that by incorporating more healthy fats and lean protein into their diet, while reducing their carb intake, people with type 2 diabetes can significantly improve their blood glucose control and overall health and wellbeing.
[Music plays and a divided circle appears in the centre of the screen and various digital images flash through showing images of activities CSIRO is involved with]
[Image changes to show a rear view of an obese person walking through a crowd]
Prof. Grant Brinkworth: The obesity epidemic in Australia is a major health issue.
[Image changes to show a child eating hot chips and then the image changes to show Prof. Grant Brinkworth talking to the camera and text appears: Prof. Grant Brinkworth]
One-third of children and two-thirds of Australian adults are considered either overweight or obese.
[Image changes to show Dr Pennie Taylor sitting in a chair and talking to the camera and then the image changes to show a female pricking her finger for a blood glucose test and text appears: Dr Pennie Taylor]
Dr Pennie Taylor: Obesity is an issue because it actually increases our risk of chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes.
[Images move through to show a picture of different types of junk food, a hand dipping a chip into sour cream on a tray of junk food, and then Grant talking to the camera]
Prof. Grant Brinkworth: Poor dietary choices is consuming too many energy dense, nutrient poor, discretionary junk foods which are high in added sugars, salts, and saturated fat.
[Images move through of nutrition facts panels on the end of boxes of food, a female with a meal using an iPhone while food calorie amounts scroll through on the screen, and then Pennie talking]
Dr Pennie Taylor: Our community at the moment are faced with this overwhelming amount of information around diet and exercise and lifestyle and it’s been coming at a rate of knots where people aren’t being able to interpret what is the right information and what’s not.
[Images move through of Pennie working on a laptop, a line graph on the laptop screen, and Pennie’s finger tracing along the line graph on the screen]
So, what we’re wanting to do is actually get through to that evidenced based information that we know what works for people.
[Image changes to show Grant talking to the camera and then the image changes to show Grant working on a laptop and then the camera zooms in on the information on the laptop screen]
Prof. Grant Brinkworth: Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are major national health challenges and CSIRO’s mandate is to develop solutions and strategies to tackle our major national issues.
[Image changes to show Pennie talking to the camera and then images move through of Pennie working on a patient and the camera zooms in on the patient’s arm]
Dr Pennie Taylor: So, what we did a few years ago is we actually ran a clinical trial and we looked at the effects of our dietary pattern on people living with Type 2 Diabetes.
[Images move through of different types of low carbohydrate foods on wooden boards, Penny assembling a bowl of food, and then Grant talking to the camera]
Prof. Grant Brinkworth: The CSIRO Low Carb Diet is an effective eating plan that’s lower in carbohydrate, higher in protein and healthy fats, that is shown to be effective for sustained long term weight loss, improved blood glucose control, as well as reduce diabetes medication requirements.
[Image changes to show Pennie talking to the camera]
Dr Pennie Taylor: So, what we’re doing is partnering with Australian food manufacturers and retail outlets to put these foods into environments where they’re easy to access.
[Image changes to show nuts, grains and an avocado on a plate and the CSIRO logo and text appears inset: CSIRO, Meal Suitable For The CSIRO Low-Carb Diet*]
So, the CSIRO Impact Mark is a trademark for CSIRO
[Image changes to show boxes of pre-prepared meals and dishes of food and then the image changes to show a view looking down on a variety of meals in dishes and in pre-prepared packs]
that we are putting on some pre-prepared meals that fit within the construct of the CSIRO Low Carb Diet.
[Image changes to show the cover of the CSIRO Low-Carb book and then the image changes to show Pennie looking through the book and then the image changes to show Grant talking to the camera]
Prof. Grant Brinkworth: We’ve also translated these scientific principles into an easy step-by-step guide book series to ensure that everyone can have access to this scientific research and gain the health benefits.
[Image changes to show Pennie talking to the camera and then the image changes to show Pennie pointing to diagrams of physical exercises on a laptop screen]
Dr Pennie Taylor: We do know exercise is really important just for mental health.
[Image changes to show Pennie talking to the camera again]
But also for Type 2 Diabetes, when you’re exercising you’re getting your muscles working and what that helps to do is actually pull out the glucose from your blood and use it through to your muscles. So, you’re burning up appropriate energy.
[Images move through to show Grant working on a laptop, a view looking down on food on a table, Pennie looking through the CSIRO Low-Carb book, and Grant talking to the camera]
Prof. Grant Brinkworth: Rigorous clinical trials at CSIRO have shown that this plan can be used as a long-term solution to achieve sustained weight loss as well as improvements in blood glucose control and is not just a short term fix.
[Music plays and the image changes to show the CSIRO logo and text on a white screen: CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency]
Professor and Head, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW Sydney
Andrew Brown does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
UNSW Sydney provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.
Some people on very low-carb diets say they feel euphoric, have clear minds and lose their appetite.
Going low-carb might even mimic the effects of GHB – the recreational drug better known as fantasy, liquid ecstasy or grievous bodily harm – on the brain.
To understand why we need to look at how the body processes a very low-carb diet, one that typically limits carbohydrates to no more than 50 grams a day. That’s one cup of rice, two slices of bread or roughly 10% of your total daily energy needs.
Your body thinks it’s starving
A very low-carb diet flips your metabolic switch from burning more carbs than fat, to more fat than carbs. This usually takes a few days in a process known as ketosis.
During this time, your body thinks it’s starving. Once it uses up most of your glucose (carb) reserves, the body stimulates the breakdown of stored fat into fatty acids and releases them into the blood.
When fatty acids reach the liver they’re converted into acetoacetate, an excellent metabolic fuel that belongs to a family of chemicals called ketones. That’s why very low-carb diets are sometimes called “ketogenic” diets.
Acetoacetate decomposes to carbon dioxide and acetone, the smelly solvent best known for its ability to remove nail polish. This is why very low-carb dieters and people who are fasting often have sweet smelling breath.
A healthy liver minimises the acetone lost via the lungs by converting most of the acetoacetate it produces to a more stable substance, called beta-hydroxybutyrate or BHB. And this is where those euphoric feelings could come from.
BHB is almost identical to GHB, the naturally occurring neurotransmitter, called gamma-hydroxybutyrate, that in synthetic form is used as a recreational drug.
BHB and GHB have exactly the same chemical formula. Both consist of just 15 atoms, with the only difference being the position of one hydrogen and oxygen atom. It’s not too surprising, therefore, the two molecules share the same carrier across the blood-brain-barrier, the impermeable tissue that protects the brain.
During ketosis, BHB can reach high levels in the brain, where it can bind to the same anxiety-reducing receptors as GHB. They bind with sufficient affinity that they may have similar effects.
There are no reports of BHB supplements or low-carb diets causing any of GHB’s adverse effects, like loss of consciousness, seizures and death.
So, apart from the similar-sounding name, what evidence is there that BHB produced by the liver by people on a very low-carb diet has euphoric, GHB-like effects in the brain?
Fasting for the original ‘natural high’
The first case of euphoria directly attributed to ketosis was reported by Walter Bloom, who pioneered therapeutic fasts for obesity in the 1950s. After several days without food, his patients lost their appetite, felt remarkably well, and experienced a mild intoxication:
not dissimilar to the effects of ethanol.
Bloom speculated that acetoacetate had caused the inexplicable jubilation.
Other people have observed similar effects, including three Scottish doctors whose patients fasted for up to 249 days in the 1960s. After several days without food, their appetites subsided and all patients felt an increased sense of well-being which:
in some amounted to frank euphoria.
Unfortunately, no studies of the euphoria reported by low-carb dieters have been conducted, as far as we know.
So, researchers don’t know the exact cause of these feelings. Acetoacetate, acetone and BHB, or any of their metabolites, may all be involved, as well as the effects of low blood sugar, which can cause euphoria and giddiness.
A good place to start might be to image brain activity in people on a very low-carb diet and compare activity with people on a normal, non-calorie restricted diet. The aim would be to see if brain imaging of people on a very low-carb diet has similar effects on brain activity seen when people take GHB.
And if you’re thinking of going on a very low-carb diet to get that high, beware. Side effects include loss of calcium from bones, increased risk of kidney stones and growth retardation.
Special thanks to PhD candidate Ruben Meerman for his input, including his animation of BHB versus GHB.
Ketogenic diets (KDs) can enhance the efficacy of classical antitumor therapies.
Effect of KDs on proliferation is tumor type dependent.
Application of KDs to cancer patients is generally well tolerated.
Low-carbohydrate and KDs increase quality of life of cancer patients.
More standardized studies are needed before KDs can be advised for cancer patients.
Cancer is one of the greatest public health challenges worldwide, and we still lack complementary approaches to significantly enhance the efficacy of standard anticancer therapies. The ketogenic diet, a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet with adequate amounts of protein, appears to sensitize most cancers to standard treatment by exploiting the reprogramed metabolism of cancer cells, making the diet a promising candidate as an adjuvant cancer therapy.
Scope of review
To critically evaluate available preclinical and clinical evidence regarding the ketogenic diet in the context of cancer therapy. Furthermore, we highlight important mechanisms that could explain the potential antitumor effects of the ketogenic diet.
The ketogenic diet probably creates an unfavorable metabolic environment for cancer cells and thus can be regarded as a promising adjuvant as a patient-specific multifactorial therapy. The majority of preclinical and several clinical studies argue for the use of the ketogenic diet in combination with standard therapies based on its potential to enhance the antitumor effects of classic chemo- and radiotherapy, its overall good safety and tolerability and increase in quality of life. However, to further elucidate the mechanisms of the ketogenic diet as a therapy and evaluate its application in clinical practice, more molecular studies as well as uniformly controlled clinical trials are needed.
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- What is the keto diet?
- Is the keto diet safe during pregnancy?
- Is the keto diet good for gestational diabetes?
- What if I’m pregnant and overweight?
- What is a healthy pregnancy diet?
When it comes to popular diet plans, the ultra high-fat, low-carb keto diet is incredibly popular. But what is the keto diet, and why does it have people shunning bread, pasta and fruit for cheese, meat and avocados? And is it safe to follow a keto diet during pregnancy?
The short answer: No, pregnant women shouldn’t go keto. Read on to find out why it’s safer to steer clear of this trendy eating plan if you’re pregnant.
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet (short for ketogenic diet) generally requires consuming roughly 75 percent of your daily calories from fat, 15 to 20 percent from protein and just five to 10 percent from carbohydrates. Unlike some low-carb diets that recommend nixing sugar and processed grains (like white bread and pasta), going on the keto diet means eliminating nearly all carbs from your diet, including most fruits, whole grains and some vegetables.
Why? Carbs are the body’s preferred energy source; when the body runs out of carbs to burn, it turns to fat and produces ketones, inducing a state called ketosis. This can lead to weight loss.
Keto diet proponents say that eating this way increases energy, lowers diabetes risk and helps you lose weight quickly without any hunger. But research into keto is still limited, with very few high-quality clinical studies in humans. Researchers have cautioned that there’s still a lot we don’t know about how high-fat, low-carb eating impacts long-term health.
Is the keto diet safe during pregnancy?
When it comes to the keto diet and pregnancy, research is scarce. There haven’t been any controlled studies done in pregnant human women, as testing on this group is, understandably, discouraged. However, pregnant mice fed a ketogenic diet produced embryos with alterations in their growth rates as well as in the development of structures and organs (such as the spine, heart and brain) that may be associated with future dysfunction.
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Experts stress that the keto diet is simply not safe for pregnant women, in part since the basic premise of this diet — teaching the body to use ketones instead of glucose — doesn’t work for growing babies. Glucose from carbohydrates is a primary energy source for baby’s growth and development.
Is the keto diet good for gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes has increased in the past decade, with between two to 10 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. developing the condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since the condition can lead to serious problems for both mother and baby, it’s important to keep your blood sugar in balance during pregnancy. But while there is evidence that a keto diet helps to control diabetes in non-pregnant people, there is no solid evidence that the diet helps with gestational diabetes.
If you have gestational diabetes, ask your practitioner about strategies to help manage the condition, such as eating smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day to keep blood sugar stable, or cutting out processed carbs like candy and junk food while increasing your intake of veggies, nuts, seeds, healthy fats and protein.
What if I’m pregnant and overweight?
Unless your doctor specifically advises you otherwise, you should not try to lose weight during pregnancy. While weight gain recommendations vary based on your starting body mass index (BMI), your body’s first priority is growing a healthy baby, so that should be your main focus during pregnancy, not dieting.
Rather than relying solely on your weight as an indicator of your health, treat pregnancy as the perfect time to shift your attention to increasing the quality of your diet. Focus on eating nutrient-dense, whole foods that aren’t high in refined sugars, and be mindful of your hunger and fullness cues.
What is a healthy pregnancy diet?
Now that you know the keto diet is off the table, what should you be eating during pregnancy?
First off, make sure you’re eating enough calories. Calorie needs vary quite a bit depending on your starting BMI, height, age and activity level, but it’s generally recommended that you add an additional 300 to 350 calories per day in the second trimester, and about 500 more calories than your pre-pregnancy diet in the third trimester. (In the first trimester, you likely won’t need extra calories unless you were underweight when you became pregnant.)
When it comes to the form those calories come in, focus on eating a mix of nutrient-dense foods, including eggs, lean meats (think chicken, pork tenderloin, lean beef cuts), calcium-rich foods (cheese, milk, yogurt, calcium-fortified soy milk), fruits and veggies (avocados, red bell peppers, mangoes, spinach, kale, bananas and sweet potatoes are all good options), seafood (low-mercury fish like salmon and sardines are particularly good choices), and whole grains and legumes.
Instead of eliminating carbs, a healthier approach is to remember that not all carbohydrates are equal. Experts recommend avoiding simple carbs from junk foods like cookies, sugary cereals, candy, chips, soda and ice cream but keeping complex carbs like berries, apples, beans, sweet potatoes and squash on the menu.
And, of course, continue to take your prenatal vitamin throughout your pregnancy and drink plenty of water.
Yes, I lost weight. But this no rice and wheat diet also came with a whole lot of unpleasant side effects.
It’s not as hunky-dory as it looks folks. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
In my peanut-sized, super-experimental world of fitness and weight loss, I am both—the scientist and the rat that is subjected to experiments. From keto and GM Motors’ to low-carb to the Atkins diet—there is hardly any diet that I haven’t tried.
Some pleasant and some not-so-pleasant results later, I still haven’t lost my spirit to keep trying to find that one thing that really works for me. Though I will reveal the lesson I’ve learnt over the years, but more on that later. First, let’s just talk about my recent diet experiment first.
I quit wheat and rice for an entire month
For someone, who loves her morning paranthas and a bowl of dal-rice for lunch, this was quite a huge sacrifice to make. But, the extra weight gained from quarantine snacking pushed me to take this step as I thought to myself, “Let me get rid of the excess weight with a quick-fix diet first and then I’ll get back to my regular fitness regimen.”
Sacrificing rice was hard. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Thus, I did what an ill-informed, self-proclaimed fitness-lover would do: I attacked the two main sources of carbohydrates in my diet—wheat and rice. The idea was to give a bit of a shock to my body by quitting these staples as well as cutting down on carbohydrates and calories to lose weight.
But did it work?
I would be lying if I said that the experiment failed. Because I did lose weight. However, what I had to lose completely shattered my confidence as a scientist and cut short my career as one too.
From my energy levels to concentration levels—I lost it all along with the weight. However, I did feel a certain lightness while I was at it, probably because I removed the most heavy source (wheat) of gluten (a protein that the body might find exceptionally hard to digest) from my diet.
So, I contacted an expert to figure out why my experiment bombed
“The main function of carbohydrates is to provide energy to the body to carry out various functions,” points out Diksha Chhabra, fitness expert, nutritionist, and founder, Diksha Chhabra Fitness consultation.
We need carbs for energy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
She further explains that when you eat excess of carb-rich foods, the body derives its energy from them instead of using up its fat reserves. The high carbohydrate-content of these grains might mean that there’s still more unutilised energy left after it burns these grains. Now, this excess energy can get stored as fat, thus adding to your previously-existing fat reserves.
“However, when someone leaves or reduces the intake of wheat or rice, the body does not get enough amount of energy from an external food source. Thus, it usually attacks its protein sites and breaks them down to derive energy,” Chhabra adds.
Now, the one thing I gathered from her explanation is that there is a high chance that I lost weight due to muscle breakdown and not fat breakdown. FYI, losing muscle is linked with a slower metabolism, decreased weight-loss, and fatigue, which pretty much explains why my chain-wain-sab-ujda post this diet.
Additionally, several studies have found that our brain needs a healthy dose of carbohydrates to function properly. So, I am attributing the loss of concentration to these findings.
What should I have done instead?
I promised I’d talk about the lesson I learnt in the end. So, here it is: Fad diets will come and fad diets will go, but weight-loss from them won’t remain forever.
Thus, the best way is to lose weight slowly and in a healthy manner by making a few lifestyle changes such as working out, getting adequate sleep, not leading a sedentary lifestyle, and eating a balanced diet.
“There are no side effects of eating rice or wheat unless you are allergic to them. If wheat and rice are consumed as per your body’s requirements along with a balanced diet comprising of all micro- and macro-nutrients, while you still maintain a calorie deficit, you will be able to lose weight without compromising on your overall health,” says Chhabra.
“Hence, instead of quitting completely, one should control the portion size of these grains,” she adds and signs off.
Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.
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By Asaesja Young
By Asaesja Young
Antipasto Chicken Pasta, a recipe from our new Low-Carb book.
Low-carb isn’t a new concept. In fact, it’s been around for so long that people might have forgotten about it. But in a world full of nutrition noise, few diets have undergone the type of rigorous testing and research which still hold true.
With so many variations and options out there, we’re providing a science-based insight into the world of eating low-carb.
You have (low-carb diet) questions, we have answers
What is ‘low-carb’?
Low-carb is often defined as a diet providing less than 130 grams of total carbohydrates per day. In our CSIRO Low-Carb Diet, we’ve classified it as 50-70 grams of good quality unrefined, low glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates. This is compared to the average Australian eating 225 grams per day (Australian Bureau of Statistics).
In a low-carb diet, approximately 10-14 per cent of your total energy intake each day comes from carbs and 58 per cent from healthy fats. We also use a higher protein approach across our meals, reaching 25-30 per cent of your total energy needs for the day. They’re a lot of numbers, but essentially it is a low-carb, high protein and healthy fat plan.
Aren’t fats bad for me?
Since the ’70s many of us have been told a low fat, high-carb, low protein diet is best. So you would be forgiven for thinking fats are bad. But over time, research has shown that all fats aren’t equal. Eating foods high in good fats, like avocado, nuts, olive oil and fish, can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Replacing carbohydrates with higher levels of good fat in your meals and diet can also help to improve blood glucose control (blood sugar, defined in the next question) and reduce the level of blood glucose spikes after eating.
Why are too many carbs or sugars bad for me?
The lower amounts of carbs and higher amounts of proteins and healthy fats in the CSIRO Low-Carb Diet helps the system by reducing these big increases in glucose levels so the system doesn’t have to work as hard. People with type 2 diabetes could see a reduction in their blood glucose levels.
How does a higher amount of protein help me?
Part of the reason low-carb diets are effective at helping you lose weight is increasing the amount of protein you eat. This helps control cravings and suppress your appetite. Eating higher amounts of protein also helps to maintain your muscle mass, which gets your metabolism burning more calories. Just like fats, replacing carbohydrates with higher levels of protein in your diet can also help to improve blood glucose control and reduce the level of blood glucose spikes after eating.
Do I still have to exercise?
Ideally exercise combined with the nutrition plan is best. Research shows that the level of physical activity you engage in each week is one of the strongest predictors of losing weight and keeping it off. Exercise can also improve your blood glucose control and health and wellbeing, whether you lose weight or not. But if you can’t exercise, the nutrition plan by itself can still make a big difference.
A sample recipe from our Low-Carb book.
So, what’s the science behind it? Why should you go low-carb?
In 2012 we began one of the most significant clinical trials on low-carb and its effectiveness for weight loss and management of type 2 diabetes. The study ran for two years and included one group of people who were given the CSIRO Low-Carb diet, and another group who were given a more traditional high carbohydrate, low protein, low fat diet that had the same amount of calories. All participants had type 2 diabetes and were either overweight or obese adults. Both groups also participated in the same amount and type of exercise (60 minutes of aerobic and weight training, three times a week).
Year one results
Both groups benefitted from reductions in body fat, blood pressure and blood glucose, and improved their quality of life and mood. However, there were striking differences in several important areas.
The low-carb group saw a reduction in their diabetes medication that was twice as large as the high-carb group. The low-carb group also saw an improvement in their glycaemic stability – the peaks and troughs in blood glucose levels across the day being balanced – by three times compared to the high-carb group. This means greater improvements in blood glucose control and reduced risk of health complications associated with diabetes. The low-carb group also had a larger improvement in good fats (High Density Lipoprotein or HDL for short), and a greater reduction in bad ones (Low Density Lipoprotein LDL). This means a greater reduction in the risk of heart disease.
Low-Carb Diet group
Year two results
The cover for our new book, released September 24 2019.
After two years on the assigned diets, the health outcomes remained on par with the results at year one. This showed the low-carb diet was a sustainable and long-term option for weight loss, diabetes control and health improvement
Translating years of research from the lab to the public
After years of research and clinical trials on low-carb eating and its effectiveness for weight loss and the management of type 2 diabetes, we released the first CSIRO Low-Carb Diet in 2017. Following the success of book one, we published book two in 2018 with 80 extra everyday low-carb recipes.
Our third book in the series: The CSIRO Low-Carb Diet Quick and Easy, will be in stores from 24 September. In this edition, we provide an update on the science behind low-carb, including new research on the health benefits of a low-carb diet coupled with exercise. Designed with a busy lifestyle in mind, the new recipes can be prepared in 30 minutes or less with under 10 ingredients.
We’ve also incorporated some easy to grab and go pre-packed supermarket products into the recipes to make mealtime even simpler. If you’re interested in getting a copy, you can order online.
After trying every diet imaginable, I had to go for something more extreme.
My mom never struggled with weight. She has always had an incredible figure, so she didn’t really think about sugar or fat when she fed us kids. Like most parents in the ’80s, it just wasn’t on her radar, but it did start to affect me. By the end of middle school, I considered myself heavy. And while most people experience the freshman 15 in college, I gained more like the freshman 50.
I tried every diet imaginable. I would starve myself down and then regain twice as much. I tried a diet of only pickles. I tried to see how many days I could go without eating solid food. I tried all kinds of nutty stuff. I also did regular things, like cutting calories and exercising, but I could never stay not-fat.
When I got married in 2002, my wedding dress was a size 22/24. Thankfully, I know that my husband really loves me — it’s not just for how I look now — because back then I weighed 240 pounds and the weight kept piling on. By 2005, I carried 262 pounds on my 5-foot-nine-inch frame.
I started noticing abscesses on my legs and went through multiple staph infections. My doctor said he could “almost guarantee” that my issues would go away if I cut carbs out of my diet and handed me a brochure. It listed all carbohydrate-heavy foods on the front, which was everything I loved to eat — donuts and bagels and pastas. On the back was a list of non-carbs, and I was supposed to eat only from that list. I thought, I’ll try.
DISCOVERING MY DIET
I lost a lot of weight at first while eating as much eggs, cheese and meat as I wanted, but with very limited carbs. By the time I saw my doctor again a year later, I’d lost 80 pounds, and he didn’t even recognize me. He was in shock. “I tell people to do this, but no one ever actually listens to me,” he said. Well, I did and it worked. He tells me all the time, “Don’t change a thing.”
What got me to a final weight of about 135 pounds — and staying there — was a diet of only meat, eggs and cheese. And I felt good. I found that if I ate any carbs, it was much harder to maintain the weight without working out like crazy. I thought about cutting them out completely, but, like most people, I thought, It can’t be healthy to eat like that forever. So, I did some research.
About 100 years ago, the ethnologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson studied an all-meat diet based on Eskimo people and Inuit Indians. They lived in Canada before produce was able to be shipped from place to place, so fruits and vegetables weren’t an option, yet these groups had the lowest incidences of cancer and high fertility rates. I also came across zero-carb groups like Zero In On Health, which validated my feelings that I really was feeling better without carbs, and I wasn’t the only one.
My doctor didn’t recognize me. He said, ‘I tell people to do this, but no one ever listens.’
A common misconception about going zero-carb is that it’s all about counting calories and eating chicken breasts. It’s actually a very high-fat, high-calorie diet — and you don’t need to count a thing. It’s as simple as this: You eat until you’re full, and then you go live your life.
Another bonus: My sweet tooth disappeared. Your brain only craves addictive substances that it’s exposed to. (You know how you don’t crave cocaine if you’ve never had it? Stop eating donuts and your brain will quit asking for those too.)
Then there’s the fertility side of things. Before cutting carbs, I struggled to get pregnant. My specialist had warned me that a zero-carb diet might be great for my weight but that other issues, like my ovulation cycle, may not self-correct. Turns out it did. I have three children — a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 7-month-old.
THE ZERO-CARB LIFE
Every day, I eat about 2 pounds of meat — I usually do a mix of steak or chicken wings, thighs, breasts, bacon, eggs and omelets.
Lately, as a working mom with three little ones, I’ve been in a rut: eight quarter-pound burger patties per day, which has earned me the nickname “Quarter” at our local McDonald’s. I’ll have a few in the morning, a few for lunch, a few for dinner. At $4 per pound, it’s inexpensive and easy. I do have coffee, and I don’t really drink alcohol. Now, I’m not saying everybody should survive off of McDonald’s burgers, but I feel pretty great doing it.
My kids aren’t zero-carb like me, but they are on a low-carb diet: fruits, vegetables and meat. They don’t eat sugar — but that’s because they have no desire for it. If we go past the bakery section of the grocery store, they say it smells gross. I’ll allow them to make their own choices as they get older, but until then, I’m hoping I can save them some of the heartache I experienced as an overweight kid.
When I’m cooking for my family, I’ll put a roast in the crockpot and maybe add some vegetables. My kids eat the meat and vegetables, I’ll only eat the meat and my husband gets everything plus a side of mac and cheese. (He can eat whatever he wants and stay at a reasonable weight.) On weekends, my family and I will have an omelet with cheese and a pile of bacon.
I don’t really work out anymore. I’m an elementary school music teacher, teaching kindergarten through fifth grade. It’s a pretty active job — I’m on my feet singing and dancing quite a bit during the day. A lot of people wonder if I’ve had skin removal surgery, and the answer is no. After three kids, my body’s not perfect, but my only surgeries have been C-sections.
These days, I’m probably closer to 145 pounds because I’m breastfeeding and need the extra weight. I’m confident that will drop off once I stop breastfeeding, but I won’t be obsessing over a scale. I stopped weighing myself years ago because my weight just didn’t change.
I think of myself like a lioness. If you picture lions out in a field, it’s not like they force themselves to get up and go running. And they don’t think, I just ate a few hours ago, I should skip that antelope. If they’re hungry, they go eat. They go get an antelope, fuel up, and then they lay down in the field and relax until they’re hungry again. They just follow their body’s lead when they’re hungry or thirsty. If I’m hungry at 10 p.m. before bed, I just eat. There are no time or calorie restrictions. You’re living like a lion.
I’m not trying to make converts here, but no one can argue with how I feel. I encourage people who are struggling with weight, fertility, memory loss, depression or lack of energy to give this 30 days. If you don’t feel better, all you’ve had is some extra bacon. This may not be the answer for everybody, but it’s made me feel incredible.
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Expert Review
Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD
The Grapefruit Diet: What It Is
The Grapefruit Diet, has been around a long time — since at least the 1930s. A short-term, quick weight loss plan also known as the Hollywood Diet or the Mayo Diet (not associated with the Mayo Clinic), the Grapefruit Diet surprisingly has survived the test of time, being circulated by word of mouth, online and in book form — yet no one claims ownership of the plan.
The premise of the Grapefruit Diet is based on an alleged “magical” ingredient in grapefruits, that, when eaten with protein, theoretically triggers fat burning and causes weight loss. The diet is designed to promote fast weight loss; unfortunately, the weight lost is primarily from fluids and not fat and generally returns as soon as the dieter goes off the diet.
The seeds of the Atkins Diet may have been sown by the food choices of the wacky, very low calorie, low carbohydrate, high protein Grapefruit Diet.
Most versions promise a 10-pound weight loss during the 12-day diet. Dieters who want more than 12 days of monotony must wait two days before starting the diet again. Exercise is recommended in some versions and absent in others. Long-term weight control is not part of the diet plan.
The Grapefruit Diet: What You Can Eat
In most versions of the Grapefruit Diet, a small variety of foods are required at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and at bedtime. Dieters are encouraged to drink black coffee and plenty of water throughout the day.
Sample Meal Plan:
2 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, black coffee, 1/2 grapefruit or 8 ounces grapefruit juice
Salad with salad dressing, unlimited meat, and 1/2 grapefruit or 8 ounces grapefruit juice
Red or green vegetables (except starchy ones such as peas, beans, corn, sweet potatoes) or salad, unlimited meat or fish, and 1/2 grapefruit or 8 ounces grapefruit juice
8 ounces skim milk
In the Grapefruit Diet you can use all the butter and salad dressing you desire and prepare foods in any method, including fried. Grapefruit juice must be unsweetened. Any food or beverage not on the diet is not allowed. Snacking is only permitted after dinner. Drink 64 ounces of water daily. Eat all of the approved foods.
The Grapefruit Diet: How It Works
This low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein diet is another low-calorie diet averaging 800-1,000 calories in most versions. Most people will lose weight — with or without grapefruit on the Grapefruit Diet — when calories are dramatically reduced to this level. Unfortunately, there are no explanations for how the mysterious grapefruit enzyme works and why it is only contained in grapefruit and not other citrus fruits.
No scientific studies to date substantiate grapefruit’s power to burn fat.
One small study published in 2006 and funded by the Florida Department of Citrus found that the addition of a half grapefruit or 4 ounces of juice with meals resulted in an average weight loss of more than 3 pounds in 12 weeks, with some participants losing 10 pounds. Researchers suspect the addition of grapefruit to the otherwise healthy meals reduced insulin levels and promoted a small weight loss. Study participants also “slightly enhanced” their physical activity, which could also explain the weight loss.
While grapefruit is a very nutritious low-calorie fruit (66-84 calories per serving), loaded with vitamin C and fiber, it is not a mysterious fat burner. The low glycemic index, high fiber, and low calorie nature of the fruit may reduce insulin levels and help dieters feel full and eat fewer calories. Beyond that, no magic appears to be at work with the Grapefruit Diet. Experts say one small study is not enough to pin magical powers on this fruit.
The Grapefruit Diet: What the Experts Say
“There is no evidence that grapefruit has fat-burning enzymes nor is it a magic bullet for weight loss” says American Dietetic Association past president Connie Diekman.
Kelly Brownell, PhD, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, agrees. “There is no scientific basis to the claim that grapefruit is special in this way,” he writes in a WebMD commentary. “Grapefruit is a good food, but so are other healthy foods like vegetables and other fruits.”
Beyond the nutritious grapefruit, experts agree, the Grapefruit Diet has numerous pitfalls and should not be used for anyone looking for sustainable, long-term weight control. The limited variety of foods is so restrictive it does little to help dieters improve their eating habits or behaviors.
And such a limited variety of foods in small portions is a prescription for boredom, monotony, and taste fatigue. It’s exactly the formula that causes most dieters to throw in the towel, disgusted with trying to lose weight.
“On again, off again diets perpetuate the misunderstanding of healthy weight loss,” says Washington University Nutrition Director, Diekman. “Sure, you will lose weight, but it will be primarily fluids and not the fat associated with health risks. And most people regain it as fast as they lost it — so why bother?” she says.
Healthy weight loss is a process not a promise. “If you want long-term success, don’t waste your time on the Grapefruit Diet,” Diekman says. “Look for a flexible weight loss diet individualized to your needs, [one] that addresses behaviors, includes a wide variety of healthy foods, exercise, and can be enjoyed.”
The Grapefruit Diet: Food for Thought
The expert consensus seems to be pretty clear: Don’t bother with the Grapefruit Diet.
While nutritious grapefruit certainly can be part of a healthy weight loss plan, it contains no mysterious fat-burning properties. If you love grapefruit, reap the benefits of this supernutritious food by enjoying a serving before meals. The addition of a half grapefruit or a glass of grapefruit juice before meals may help fill you up so you’ll eat fewer calories at meals, potentially losing weight. For added nutrition, choose pink grapefruit, which is rich in beta-carotene.
Along with a well-balanced, sensible, calorie-controlled diet, don’t forget to include a regular dose of physical activity — a scientifically proven way to burn fat and lose weight.
A claim the Grapefruit Diet just can’t make.
Notícias do Mundo Todo!
The atkins diet is one of the most popular diets out there. It is also one of the easiest diets to help you lose weight; however, even though everything you need to know is contained within the books and other information you receive, there are a few common misconceptions that dieters come across. For all your meals, make sure you add as little fat and sugar as possible to eat meals packed with nutrients your body needs, and not with excessive calories it does not need. Though this diet can be great to get your weight down, and to make you feel better, it can be hard on the heart if you have had problems.
For example, your family physician can give you an insulin level test that will show you if you are at any risk for diabetic conditions in the future. The primary fat creator in the body is insulin. This means that the insulin is not efficiently removing glucose from your bloodstream. This means that you must drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. Pressure levels associated with day to day living are affecting the wellbeing and are leading to an unfit lifestyle. Though the atkins diet is not as popular as it once was, there are still plenty of people who are on it, and plenty more who still want to try to do it. You are probably still avoiding bread and other processed and complex carbohydrates.
The buns and everything else in the burger gives you maybe twelve percent of your calorie needs from carbohydrates. This induction phase has very little of any type of carbohydrates. You should also talk to your doctor before you begin if you have ever had any type of heart or cholesterol problem in your past. You have to remember that you should still keep your portions down to a decent size, and that you should cut out fats. Experts still argue whether atkins diet is healthy for the dieters or not. The atkins diet guidelines restricts net carbohydrates to decrease hunger. You are required to limit your carbohydrates intake to no more than 20 net grams per day. 8 glasses of water per one day.
One of the most common mistakes that most people make is to not drink enough water. Make sure you get advice from your physician first before conducting this diet. Unlike other diets, this one is extremely restrictive in the first phase, but broadens after just two weeks. You should start to feel better within a few days, and you might be surprised at how much you lose in the first week. It should start your body thinking it needs to burn its food stores. You can have herbs to season your food generously as well as non-fructose sweeteners. In fact, you can expect to lose 9 pounds of fat every 11 days! When you combine the diet with proper exercise, you can lose anywhere between 5 to 10 pounds in one week.
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The Atkins diet, created by Dr Robert Atkins and popularised in his initial book published in the early 1970s, is very low in carbohydrate and high in protein and fat.
It’s based on the theory that when we consume very little carbohydrate, the body will burn fat for energy.
It’s also claimed that eating very little carbohydrate will reduce the body’s production of insulin, keeping blood sugar levels steady and food cravings at bay.
How does the Atkins diet work?
Dieters follow four phases to achieve weight loss.
Phase one: Every meal includes protein-rich foods (any kind of meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, cheese) and only selected low-carbohydrate vegetables (such as mushrooms, lettuce, cucumber).
Extra fats from oils, cream or butter (as well as the fat on meat) are permitted but all fruits, many vegetables, all kinds of grains, legumes, milk and all sugars are excluded.
This phase needs to be continued for at least two weeks.
Phase two: Same as phase one, except you can introduce nuts, seeds, legumes, more vegetables (but only those low in carbohydrate) and a small amount of low-carbohydrate fruit such as berries and melon, plus full-fat yoghurt.
This phase continues until you are within 5 kilograms of your desired weight.
Keen to compare diets? We’ve done the heavy lifting for you
We’ve examined seven popular diets to find out what you can eat and whether they work.
Phases three and four: Progressing into the maintenance phases, you can eat a wider variety of vegetables, legumes, fruits and a few wholegrains such as oats and brown rice.
The maximum amount of carbohydrates starts at 20g per day in phase one and increases to 25-60g per day in phase two.
Once in phase four, you increase your carbohydrate by 10g each week until you find a point of ‘balance’ at which your weight is stable.
Although it claims not to restrict kilojoules, so many foods are excluded that the total kilojoule count per day is below usual levels.
Sample menu for the Atkins diet
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with cheese, steamed spinach.
Snack: Atkins-approved powdered vanilla shake.
Lunch: Roast beef, mixed greens, tomato, and radish.
Snack: Atkins-approved chocolate.
Dinner: Grilled salmon, roasted asparagus, tomatoes, endive.
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What do experts say about the Atkins diet?
You are likely to lose weight on this diet, but research has shown it is no more effective in the long-term than more balanced diets.
What are the pros and cons?
The rigid approach to this diet may make it easy for some people to follow — at least in the short term — but studies suggest in the long term, it’s too regimented for many people to stick to.
Various supplements were initially made by an affiliated company.
The 9 things to consider before dieting
Thinking about trying a new diet? Before you do, read this advice from Dr Sandro Demaio.
Ownership has since passed to different companies and modern versions of the diet have reduced the protein content to some extent and recommended healthier fats such as olive or other liquid oils and avocado.
However, dieters are still given advice that contradicts what the vast majority of health experts recommend.
For instance, they are told a double cheeseburger with extra bacon (a meal high in salt and saturated fat) is fine as long as they reject the bun.
There is some evidence that low carbohydrate diets may be useful for some people with type 2 diabetes, at least in the short-term.
Overall though, the vast majority of medical experts consider the cons outweigh the pros.
The risk of heavy red meat consumption is problematic as the World Cancer Research Fund says that a high intake of red meat, especially processed meat, raises the risk of bowel cancer.
Fresh produce tips
Are the fruit and veggies you’re buying about to go rotten? Armed with the right information, you can pick the freshest produce when shopping at the supermarket.
Current guidelines in Australia suggest eating a maximum of seven serves of lean red meat a week, which is equivalent to around 655g raw red meat a week.
And in spite of some conflicting research findings about saturated fats, the evidence linking this type of fat with heart disease remains strong.
Many studies also back the importance of including wholegrains and a wide range of fruits and vegetables, as well as certain dairy products that are restricted in the Atkins diet.
This is general information only. For detailed personal advice, you should see a qualified medical practitioner who knows your medical history.
This story, which was originally written by Pamela Wilson and published by ABC Health and Wellbeing, has been reviewed by Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM, nutritionist and visiting fellow, School of Medical Sciences, University of NSW, and was updated in 2019.
April 2 — WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) — In the “maintenance” phase that occurs after initial weight loss, the popular Ornish and South Beach diets seem to be easier on the heart than the high-fat, low-carbohydrate Atkins regimen, a new study finds.
Unlike numerous studies that have evaluated diets to see which might be better at achieving weight loss, this study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, looked at what happens to cholesterol levels and other cardiac risk factors when dieters reach their goal weight and remain on the diet.
The study involved 18 healthy people, with an average body-mass index (BMI) of 22.6 (18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal weight). Participants completed four weeks each on the Atkins (50 percent fat), South Beach (30 percent fat) and Ornish (10 percent fat) diets, in random order and with a four-week “washout” period between each diet. The study was done from January to December 2006.
The switch between diets meant that “each person served as his own control,” explained principal investigator Dr. Michael Miller, director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.
At the start and after each four-week diet, the researchers evaluated cholesterol levels and other cardiac risk factors. They also looked at three-day food records at the end of each diet phase. And they checked blood vessel functioning by measuring blood vessel dilation in the arm.
They found that “as you increase the amount of saturated fat [in the diet], blood vessel dilation is reduced,” Miller said. Healthy vessel dilation is important to proper blood flow.
“The diet that performed the worst [on the blood vessel test] was the Atkins diet,” Miller said. “It contains more saturated fat.”
Participants ate about 30 grams of saturated fat a day while on the Atkins diet, compared to about 14 grams on South Beach and about 3 grams while on Ornish.
“We like to say saturated fat should be below 7 percent of total calories,” Miller said. “So, if your caloric intake is 2,000, saturated fat should be about 14 grams [or less] daily.”
The researchers also measured cholesterol levels, including total cholesterol, “good” cholesterol (HDL) and “bad” cholesterol (LDL). “On Atkins, cholesterol levels tended to go up,” Miller said. “LDL increased by 8 percent [which was not enough to be statistically significant].”
On the South Beach diet, LDL decreased by about 12 percent, and on Ornish it declined by about 17 percent, the study showed.
The findings are published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. An early look at the study was first discussed at the American Heart Association’s 2007 annual meeting.
Connie Diekman, a registered dietitian and director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, said that although the study was small, the findings are notable.
Representatives from Atkins Nutritionals took exception with the study, however. In a statement, Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education at Atkins Nutritionals, noted that, “given the short duration of his study, the very small sample size and the weak correlations, drawing conclusions about possible long-term health risks tied to fat consumption in the maintenance phase of any weight control program is not good science.” She also questioned whether the participants were actually following a true Atkins diet.
But Diekman saw the results as reason to worry.
“The outcome does show an indication for concern about the impact of a diet like the Atkins diet that relies on a large amount of saturated fat and the effect on heart health,” she said.
“More studies are needed in both healthy and overweight individuals, but the early indication of this study is that high-saturated-fat diets are connected to heart disease risk, a fact that has been long known but not always seen when diets high in saturated fat are used for weight loss,” Diekman noted.
Originally appeared in the winter 2015 issue of the American Fitness Magazine.
Have you been hearing stories that fats are better than carbs as fuel for endurance athletes?
Maybe you have wondered if scientific research supports those stories. To find the latest science, I attended the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) 62nd Annual Meeting.
At this year’s meeting in San Diego (May 2015), I was able to verify that carbohydrates are undeniably the preferred fuel for athletes.
The following information highlights some of the research on carbohydrates, and how as a nutrition professional, you should educate your clients on their importance. You can also inform them on how many carbs to eat for weight loss.
Highlights on Carbs
Louise Burke, PhD, RD, head of sports nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport, confirmed that carbs are indeed an essential fuel for athletes who train hard and at high intensity. That is, if you want to go faster, harder and longer, you’ll do better to periodise your eating around these hard training sessions with carb-based meals (pasta, rice) rather than with meat and a salad doused in dressing—a high protein and fat meal.
Carbohydrates (grains, vegetables, fruits, sugars, starches) get stored as glycogen in muscles and are essential fuel for high-intensity exercise. Athletes with depleted muscle glycogen experience needless fatigue, sluggishness, poor workouts and reduced athletic performance. (These complaints are common among my clients who mistakenly limit carbs, believing they are fattening. Not the case. Excess calories of any type are fattening!)
Clearly, the amount of carbohydrate needed by an athlete varies according to length and intensity of exercise. Fitness exercisers who train at low or moderate intensities need fewer carbs to replace muscle glycogen stores than do elite athletes who perform killer workouts. Ultramarathoners who do long, slow, “fat-burning” runs can get away with a lower carb intake—unless they want to be able to surge up a hill or sprint to the finish.
A study with CrossFit athletes showed that those who reduced their carb intake (think Paleo Diet™) simultaneously reduced their ability to perform as well during their high-intensity workouts. Those who ate less than 40% of their calories from carbs (≤ 3g carbs/lb body weight/day or
If there is an example of going to any heights for fashion, it will definitely be Kim Kardashian. While the Met Gala holds a bundle of surprises to keep us going throughout the year, Kim’s presence has stunned onlookers this year.
Last night, Kim walked the Met Gala in the dress which Marilyn Monroe wore back in 1962 to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to former US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. She paired her outfit with platinum blond hair and a white fur shrug.
This dress has a rich history ever since Monroe wore it for the President’s birthday. It was auctioned in 1999 for $1.26 million and again in 2016 for $4.6 million. “Met Gala — In America: An Anthology of Fashion
I am so honored to be wearing the iconic dress that Marilyn Monroe wore in 1962 to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy. It is a stunning skintight gown adorned with more than 6,000 hand-sewn crystals by costumier Jean Louis.
Thank you Ripley’s Believe It or Not! for giving me the opportunity to debut this evocative piece of fashion history for the first time since the late Marilyn Monroe wore it. I am forever grateful for this moment,” she wrote in a post on Instagram.
Kim’s impressive weight loss story
In order to fit in the dress, Kim had to go through a rigorous ritual. Reportedly, she lost 7 kilos in three weeks for her Met Gala appearance in the dress.
This is not the first time Kim has been in the news for a hard to believe weight transition.
The Atkins diet
The 41 year old is known for her curves and for determination to be in shape. In one interview she revealed to have tried the Atkins diet after the birth of her second child.
“I did a strict Atkins diet. Strict, strict, strict,” the mother of three said in an interview. As per reports, she lost about 70 pounds by following Atkin’s 40 plan
The Atkins diet is a low carb diet which was brought into trend in the 1960s by cardiologist Robert C Atkins. “The purpose of the Atkins Diet is to change your eating habits to help you lose weight and keep it off. The Atkins Diet also says it’s a healthy lifelong approach to eating, whether you want to lose weight, boost your energy or help improve certain health problems, such as high blood pressure or metabolic syndrome,” say experts at MayoClinic.
The amazing appearance in 2019 Met Gala
For the 2019 Met Gala she took breathing lessons to wear a waist-whittling corset underneath a Thierry Mugler dress. Such was her passion for the event and for her appearance that she carried herself elegantly through the event even though she was unable to sit or use the restroom for the entire night, reports say.
For 2018 Met Gala she lost 7 pounds in 2 weeks
“I was actually really nervous about wearing the dress because I did a cleanse a couple of weeks before and lost 6 or 7 pounds. At the final fitting, I was worried it wouldn’t fit. When I tried it on, though, it fit like a glove. It was perfection!,” she wrote on her website.
Plant based diet, workouts
In order to remain in shape she prefers to have plant based products in her diet. In an interview she revealed that she was drinking sea moss smoothies.
Apart from diet, she follows a rigorous workout routine. She works out in the gym for six days a week. Every six months, she takes a 2 week gym hiatus.
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Society has been setting unrealistic beauty and body standards for women for ages now. And over the past few decades, extreme diets became all the rage. When you search on YouTube, you will find innumerable videos on ‘How To Lose 10 Kgs in 10 Days’. But now many of us know how unhealthy such crash diets are.
But when a person of influence talks about how they lost an unhealthy amount of weight in a short span of time and seem to be very proud of doing so, it becomes a trigger for many others to do the same. And such was done by Kim Kardashian, who is one of the most followed personalities on social media.
Kim set an unrealistic body standard a couple of years ago – a huge butt with a small waist, slender arms but fuller thighs. And now, in her recent Met Gala appearance, she spoke about losing 7 kgs in just 3 weeks to fit into her dress – the iconic dress which Marilyn Monroe wore back in 1962 to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to former US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
To fit into the dress, Kim Kardashian reportedly followed the Atkins Diet to the tea. She cut off carbs and sugar completely for 3 weeks, wore a sauna suit twice a day, and ran on the treadmill.
“I did a strict Atkins diet. Strict, strict, strict. It was such a challenge, it was like a role, I was determined to fit it. I would wear a sauna suit twice a day, run on the treadmill, completely cut out all sugar and all carbs, and just eat the cleanest veggies and protein. I didn’t starve myself, but I was so strict,” she was quoted saying .
However, many people online weren’t thrilled. They slammed her for openly talking about an unhealthy weight tactic when there are women out there suffering from weight and body-image issues. Have a look:
The fact that @KimKardashian, knowing the mass influence she has on humans around the world, would publicly announce, and “essentially encourage” rapid and dramatic weight loss for a “look”, is incredibly disappointing, extremely problematic, and ultimately really sad.
Idiot of the day award goes to Kim Kardashian for her dangerous and irresponsible comments about rapidly losing weight to wear a dress for five minutes. Promoting horrendously unhealthy behaviours and actually boasting about it? It’s almost like she fully forgets she’s a celeb
i know it’s not the first or the last time kim kardashian will talk about weight loss & body image in horrible ways but the video of her proudly saying she lost 16lbs in 3 weeks to fit into her met gala dress does not sit right w me. there’s no way to do that in any healthy way.
@KimKardashian we live in such an unhealthy society that telling people how much weight you lost in a certain timeframe is about to make the diet industry have a hay-day
Sorry but @KimKardashian has daughters and sons that will see her extreme weight loss methods and think that is normal. Not to mention her “fans”. Promoting dangerous unhealthy behaviour that will fuel ED sufferers. She is so tone deaf it’s unreal.
Kim Kardashian in Marilyn Monroe’s dress was not iconic, more so disappointing. She looked beautiful, but she lost weight in such an unhealthy way to fit in, which is a horrible example — and Marilyn Monroe had much more of a positive impact 🥲
Kim Kardashian’s comments on losing 16 pounds in 3 weeks are vile. Glorifying rapid weight loss when so many young women follow and admire her, no wonder eating disorders are rife. She should not be broadcasting it ever, let alone to her followers. #MetGala2022
i’m gonna say it and no one can change my mind:
fuck kim kardashian for deciding she NEEDED to wear a historical dress & then publicizing her extremely unhealthy weight loss to achieve that. the kardashians are already responsible for so many unhealthy beauty standards. fuck this
— aly!! 💖 is STREAMING WD (TV) (@ninjaravioli7) May 3, 2022
Losing 16 pounds in three weeks is NOT HEALTHY. There is no healthy way to lose that much weight in that amount of time. That needs to be understood. Kim kardashian never misses a chance to gloat about weight loss that will further worsen the mental health of the fitness industry
Kim Kardashian’s comments on losing 16 pounds in 3 weeks are vile. Glorifying rapid weight loss when so many young women follow and admire her, no wonder eating disorders are rife. She should not be broadcasting it ever, let alone to her followers. #MetGala2022
Do you agree with what these people have to say?
Limiting your intake of carbohydrates restricts the majority of your diet to protein and fat. However, severely limiting your intake of carbs to 20 grams or less daily can result in uncomfortable and dangerous side effects. Before beginning a diet, speak with your health-care professional.
Your body uses carbohydrates as its primary source of energy — glucose — to fuel your cells. Glucose is required to maintain brain and muscular function. Fruit, starchy vegetables, beans, pasta, rice, bread, sugar and dairy products are the main sources of glucose in most diets. When you consume large amounts of carbohydrates, your body converts unused glucose to glycogen and stores it in your liver. Once your liver is at capacity for glycogen stores, your body stores extra carbohydrates as fat. The lowest safe amount of carbohydrates is 50 grams daily, according to MayoClinic.com.
Irregular Bowel Movements
Dietary fiber keeps your bowel movements regular and helps prevent constipation. Primary sources of fiber include whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables — all of which contain high amounts of carbs. Men need between 28 and 34 grams of fiber daily and women between 22 and 28 grams daily. Not consuming enough fiber can result in diarrhea, constipation and nausea.
Lack of Energy
When you severely limit carbohydrates, you restrict readily available energy. This can result in fatigue, weakness, dizziness and headaches. The symptoms are more severe for those with an active lifestyle or regular exercise routine. The primary cause is the lack of glucose to fuel your muscles — the fatigue, weakness, dizziness and headaches worsen the lower your energy stores become.
Limiting your daily carbohydrate intake to fewer than 20 grams causes ketosis. A ketogenic state is the key element to the Atkins diet’s success. Your body enters ketosis when it no longer has enough glucose to keep your brain and muscles functioning. It produces ketones that break down fat for energy. Ketones are acidic and accumulate in your blood; high levels of ketones in your blood result in ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis can cause loss of appetite, abdominal pain, confusion and — in severe cases — death. Side effects from entering a ketogenic state include fatigue, headache, nausea and bad breath.
Focusing on Good Carbs
As your body’s primary fuel source, carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet. By emphasizing nutritious sources, you can get the benefits of not only carbohydrates, but an array of other essential nutrients, such as B-vitamins, iron, antioxidants and even protein. Healthy options include whole grain like oats, brown rice and quinoa, starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, legumes such as beans and lentils and colorful fruits and veggies.
- MayoClinic.com: Low-Carb Diet
- MayoClinic.com: Diabetic Ketoacidosis
- MayoClinic.com: Atkins Diet
- Cancer Research: A Low Carbohydrate, High Protein Diet Slows Tumor Growth and Prevents Cancer Initiation
- Everyday Health: How Do You Tell the Difference Between Good and Bad Carbohydrates?
Serena Styles is a Colorado-based writer who specializes in health, fitness and food. Speaking three languages and working on a fourth, Styles is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Linguistics and preparing to travel the world. When Styles isn’t writing, she can be found hiking, cooking or working as a certified nutritionist.
The Mum-of-two said her weight was making her ‘miserable’ but that she didn’t want to go on a crash diet
- 17:41, 5 MAY 2022
- Updated 17:12, 6 MAY 2022
A woman from South London has said she was finally galvanized to lose weight after being unable to chase after her two-year-old son when he ran dangerously close to a flowing river. Sue Gridley, from Greenwich, found herself, aged 27, weighing nearly 18 stone.
She said her mental health was “on the floor” due to her weight. She knew she had to take action, before it had a long-lasting impact on her children. The mum-of-two told MyLondon: “On a walk, my son ran towards a river and it was full and flowing. And as he ran I thought he was going to get in there and die and I knew I couldn’t catch up with him.
“Even in the summer I would wear big trousers to cover myself up. I wouldn’t take my kids swimming as I didn’t want to be seen in a swimsuit. I got very few photos with my children. I would never have full-length body shots. If someone took one without me noticing, I would be mortified.
“My weight meant I was afraid to go to mum and baby groups as I knew I’d be the biggest one there. And I just didn’t want to be the mum in the playground that people looked at.” After the birth of her first son, Lenny, Sue got diagnosed with postnatal depression, which she said further triggered a difficult relationship with food. “I just sat and home and ate. I was in such a bad place that it was a comfort thing.
“And with my second child (Freddie) the whole thing of ‘you’re eating for two’, I took full advantage of that. When you’re pregnant, no one comments on your weight as you are meant to be big. I just ate what I wanted and told myself I would deal with it after but given I had two pregnancies close together you don’t ever deal with it and it spiralled out of control. As a new mum, I was busy, I wasn’t concentrating on myself”.
Now age 39 looking back, Sue added: “It was a sad time. I missed out on lots with my children. You don’t realise until you look back but [my weight] put me off going to new places and meeting new people.”
Soon, Sue found herself being unable to fit into size 22 clothing. She could only shop at plus-size shops. That’s when she knew things had to change. “My kids aside, it would have really impacted my health. I would have been diabetic.”
Having always been “around a size 16”, Sue said, while in her 20s, she had tried many diets. But nothing worked. “I tried the atkins diet, I tried not eating pasta, I listened to the ‘no carbs before marbs’. You starve yourself and you’re miserable.
“I would lose a stone but then put on two. I would go back to normal eating and pile it back on. I would always just copy random diets off the internet but the results never lasted”.
Sue found success with Slimming World – where she lost six stone, over a couple of years. She said the weight loss has been “life-changing”.
“Previously, I wouldn’t have been able to walk the dog around the park,” she said. “Now we go swimming once a week. We do a family dog walk around the park, we run around. I go to gym. We do things together now. I remember before, I’d see the little hill in Greenwich park but couldn’t have gone up. Now I can go up without taking a breathe. I would have been dying previously. The kids can’t keep up with me now.
“The kids do have treats but they usually go to the fruit bowl first now, because they see me doing it. We all eat the same meals. I’m not eating silly foods or shakes so they don’t see it as ‘diet dinner’ it’s just dinner. They make the better choices because its intrinsic in our house now.”
She said she owes her success to the in-person “community” of Slimming World. “It’s all about finding that friendly community. You need that weekly support. Otherwise can feel so on your own,” she said. The former primary school teacher now works at Slimming World in Erith, South-East London.
In South London 68 per cent of the population is overweight, according to Slimming World. It comes as American TV personality Kim Kardashian actively shared that she lost 16 pounds (just over a stone) in three weeks to fit into her Met Gala dress, by cutting out “all sugar and carbs”. A move that has been widely criticised for promoting toxic diet culture.
Referencing Kim K’s comments, Sue said: “Losing weight really quick is a dangerous way to lose weight. It scares me, given her audience is young and impressionable. Before, I would starve myself for weeks and get no long-term results
“But I’ve shown that you can still go out for dinner, have a glass of wine etc. and still live a healthy lifestyle. I just know I don’t have to binge on it now.
“It clicked for me when I found out that I could eat pasta and rice and lose weight. I remember I joined ‘ slimming world] the week after my birthday- I ate lots of cake and thought ‘well you’ve blown it’. But actually I was met with support that it was normal., it’s ok to enjoy food.”
Got a similar story you want to share? Get in touch with Health Reporter Lucy in confidence [email protected]
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Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide helped people lose up to 50 pounds, the sort of weight loss results only consistently seen with bariatric surgery.
Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly last week disclosed the latest data from a phase III trial of its experimental type 2 diabetes and obesity drug, tirzepatide: People who took the drug lost up to 22% of their body weight and achieved far greater weight loss on average than the placebo group. The findings, while preliminary, suggest tirzepatide may become the second major medicine in a new era of obesity treatments, provided that patients can actually afford it.
The SURMOUNT-1 study involved over 2,500 patients who were overweight (defined as having a body mass index from 25 to 30) or obese (a BMI over 30), and also had a condition possibly related to their weight, with the exception of diabetes. These patients were randomized to receive either a placebo or one of three different doses of tirzepatide, delivered weekly via an injection under the skin. In addition to the treatment, each group was advised to go on a reduced calorie diet and increase their physical activity. The trial was ran in the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and Taiwan.
Each group lost weight on average over the course of 72 weeks, but the loss was much greater in the tirzepatide groups. Those given a 5-milligram dose lost 15% body weight on average; those on a 10-milligram dose lost 19.5%, and those on the 15-milligram dose lost 20.9%, compared to the 3.1% weight loss seen in the placebo group. When accounting for people who dropped out of the study early, the study’s researchers estimated that people on the highest dose lost an average of 22% body weight, or around 50 pounds. Adverse effects were generally mild to moderate, but included nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which often occurred early on as people’s doses escalated.
The findings have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, so they should be taken with some caution. But the figures seen here, assuming they’re sound, are simply unprecedented for a drug, according to Samantha Harris, an endocrinologist at the Scripps Clinic who focuses on weight management and diabetes care.
“The ability to lose 15%, 20%, or 25% of total body weight with medications is incredible, as these types of results have typically only been seen in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery,” Harris said in an email to Gizmodo.