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King Stromba

Low Carb Diets

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I promised someone I would write up some practical advice regarding losing weight and controlling weight with some relevance to diabetes. This is not intended to be a definitive guide, and I am going to try to make it as basic as possible so people can act on the advice. If anyone would like to add to what I post then please feel free. If you don't agree with what I say, then feel free to try to shoot me down. All reference to diabetes in this post is to type II (adult onset) diabetes, not type I (juvenile onset) diabetes. This is not medical advice, just my opinion ;)

The first thing you need to understand is that weight gain does not cause diabetes. Diabetes causes weight gain. Or more specifically, insulin insensitivity (which is what diabetes is) causes weight gain. Diabetes is not a specific condition but the end point on a spectrum of gradual deterioration in the ability of your body to use carbohydrates effectively. You might start life with good insulin sensitivity, and as you age genetic and environmental factors causes this ability to decline, leading to weight gain. This weight gain then causes the body to do three things. It will make you eat more. It will reduce your metabolic rate. It will reduce your activity levels.

In other words, you don't gain weight because you eat too much, you eat more because the body has stored too much food as fat, rather than using it as fuel for metabolism.

This point is important because it the point at which the mainstream medical community slip up, by quoting the law of thermodynamics. People assume that you get fat because you eat too much or don't exercise enough, but equations move in both directions. So in fact you eat more because you store more. It's the exact opposite of what the mainstream medical community will tell you. People aren't fat because they are lazy and eat too much. The body makes them lazy and eat more because they aren't able to properly utilise their food as fuel. The food we are talking about is carbohydrate.

So why does the body start to accumulate fat rather than using carbohydrate as fuel? It does this because the sensitivity of your muscle tissue to insulin becomes less. More and more insulin is required to push the carbohydrate into the muscle as its sensitivity declines. So instead of going into the muscle, the carbohydrate is pushed into the fat tissue, where it is converted to triglycerides (fat). Fat tissue doesn't become as insensitive to insulin as muscle tissue so the carbs can always get in there. The absence of carbohydrate in the muscle signals the body to release greater and greater amounts of insulin, sensitivity declines further (due to more and more insulin release), and this stimulates apatite to ingest more fuel (as the body thinks its starving due to lack of muscle fuel). The situation occurs over many years but the end result is weight gain, muscle loss and eventually the development of diabetes. This whole spectrum of insulin sensitivity decline is called metabolic syndrome or syndrome X.

If you know what the problem is and you understand this, its pretty easy to see the cure. All you have to do is stop the steady decline of your muscle’s sensitivity to insulin. By doing this you will break the cycle allowing your body to start using carbohydrates correctly, then you will start to lose weight. Just to repeat, you don’t lose weight to cure diabetes, you cure diabetes to lose weight.

So how do we do this? One of two ways. First you need to prime the muscle to accept glucose again. You do this with anaerobic exercise. It has to be anaerobic. This is the type of exercise that is intense and of short duration. Sprinting, weight lifting, martial arts, many athletic jumping and throwing events. If you are unsure, then anaerobic exercise is usually anything you can do while holding your breath. Why anaerobic exercise? Because the body uses a high proportion of carbohydrate as fuel and this primes the muscle like a sponge to accept more to replenish the glycogen (storage form of glucose in muscle). Insulin sensitivity increases and any ingested carbs are soaked out of the blood and into the muscle, avoiding the fat cells. Aerobic exercise uses a high proportion of fat as fuel, so you don't get the same effect. Funnily enough aerobic exercise is what many of the mainstream medical associations recommend. It's plain wrong.

Secondly you need to cut carbohydrates. This breaks the cycle of high insulin levels and allows the muscle cells to increase their sensitivity by upregulating glucose receptors (which down regulate when you release too much insulin). When you cut carbs, the blood sugar levels will fall (as will insulin) and this will allow the body to up regulate the use of fat as a fuel source. So you begin to use fat during normal metabolism and this fat will come from your adipose tissue. With high blood sugar levels, the body cannot release fatty acids from storage, and can only use carbs as an energy source (but carbs cant get into the muscles anyway because they are insensitive so cant act as a fuel, hence your activity levels drop).

So when you increase the sensitivity of the muscle for insulin, you start to lose body fat. The body registers the improved flow of glucose to the muscle, and the reduction in blood sugar levels, by upregulating metabolism, increasing activity and adjusting apatite to the correct levels. Therefore it is the weight loss that causes you to become more active and eat less, not the other way round. You will find that as your muscles become more and more sensitive to insulin (and weight reduces), your level of activity will increase.

There is no real thing as a bad carbohydrate, just a badly timed one. I have recommended that you cut carbs, and many people have done this with great success. But if you like carbs there are two times you can eat them without the detrimental effect of fat storage. One is first thing in the morning. now your liver glycogen and blood sugar will be low, so you can get away with a high (ish) carb breakfast. The other time is after a workout involving anaerobic exercise. Now all the carbs will soak into the muscles like water into a sponge, with very little left over for fat production.

In terms of foods, I can tell that someone is going to tell me that high fat / high cholesterol diets are unhealthy. They are wrong, and the data in the scientific literature says they are wrong. I wont go into this but all the info is here:

http://www.ravnskov.nu/cholesterol.htm

Suffice to say that saturated fat is not a risk factor for heart disease. High cholesterol is correlated, but not the cause of heart disease. But it wont matter, because when you cut carbs I guarantee that if you are insulin insensitive, both your triglyceride and cholesterol levels will drop to the normal range.

What does cause heart disease is high insulin levels and high blood sugar. The literature has the evidence, but the doctors choose to ignore it. Sugars cross link with proteins and cause glycosylation of cells that damages the vascular system.

The type of fats to avoid are any fat in the trans configuration (listed as trans fats on the ingredients) and anything that is hydrogenated (such as supermarket cooking oils and margarine. Monounsaturated fats are fairly neutral. Eat butter and only cook with lard, butter or extra virgin olive oil mixed with water to lower the temp. If you think you are insulin insensitive eat more protein, more saturated fat and cut down on carbs. In particular avoid what some people call the simple sugars such as fructose, sucrose, glucose and things like high fructose corn syrup. Some people can drink milk, others cannot, you'll have to try and see if it helps by cutting it out.

I would personally say a healthy diet would include no processed food, lots of fresh meat, low carb vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, sprouts, tomatoes), with occasional use of grains or fruit in the morning or after a work out. No sugar, sugary drinks or sugar laden fat free foods. Avoid beer and cider and stick to wine. Avoid breakfast cereals, white bread, rice, pasta, and all the other high carbohydrate food we are told are so good for us. Use olive oil sparingly (only extra virgin). Drink tea liberally, but without sugar. If you like green tea, even better as the caffeine and the catechins are thermogenic and it has been shown in many studies to increase fat loss in humans. Take some sort of food containing omega 3 fats such as mackerel or tuna. Avoid farmed fish like salmon at all costs.

The biggest no no is mixing high carb foods like bread with high fat foods such as cheese. The carbs spike your insulin levels, prevent the body from burning fat, the cheese adds loads of calories, and the bread goes straight to the fat cells. Fructose from fruit is also converted straight to fat in the liver so its another thing to avoid. If you feel you need more phytonutrients eat things such as broccoli or other vegetables with very few carbs in them. If someone wants to lose weight, personally I would avoid most fruits. Its what bears eat to fatten up for hibernation, and it's a great fattening food. Nuts and seeds are great foods on the whole, especially if the seed is kept intact until eating. Walnuts contain omega 3 fats.

Supplement wise, everyone should take a good multi vitamin / multi mineral. Our foods are depleted of nutrients. You cannot get the vitamins or minerals you require from your diet if you shop in supermarkets. Get a multivitamin similar to solgar vm2000 or vm75. Amino acid chelated minerals, at least 1 gram of vit c, 50 mgs of the b vits, and 400 iu of vitamin e.

Of particular interest to people who are insulin insensitive are the minerals chromium and the antioxidant alpha lipoic acid. Chromium is needed for insulin receptor function. You can induce diabetes in animals by depleting the diet of chromium. It has been shown to reverse diabetes in lab animals, and has shown to reduce weight in some studies in humans (probably by increasing insulin sensitivity). You will not be able to get the RDA from your diet. I have seen hospital dieticians try and fail. You must supplement. 200 mcg a day in the picolinate form. Alpha lipoic acid is a supplement that can improve insulin insensitivity. Do a Medline search, there are many studies that show it is effective at this. It is also one of the few substances know to hep with the repair of the glycosylation caused by high blood sugar levels. 100 mg a day as a base level up to 200 to 300 mg in highly insensitive persons. If you think you may have vascular damage from high insulin levels then take 50 to 100 mgs of mixes tocotrienols a day. These are 4 of the chemicals with vitamin e activity, they have unsaturated isoprenoid tails and have been shown to reverse atherosclerotic plaques in humans. One of the only chemicals known to do this.

Anyone else had any experience of low carb diets?

KS

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One of these makes life worth living.

IMG_0048.JPG

That's just a close up to make it look bigger you c0ck teasing bas tard!

P.s Where's the flake?

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Guest DisposableHeroes

If you've been a porker, next day get off your **** and exercise. For me it's long walk (with hills) or road / mtb, enjoyable too.

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Guest X-QUORK
Yes, I got diagnosed as Type II, last year, doc told me to get on m,eds for blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.

Did a bit of research and decided to try low carbs. In general terms exactly the same as you have recommended above.

Have you any concerns about cholesterol increasing whilst on a low carb diet?

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Guest X-QUORK
I did initially and so did my doc, but now that I understand it better I do not. My blood work is fine but yes my HDL did rise. The whole cholesterol thing is another topic on its own. I have also read both sides of the argument and I am on the great cholesterol con side of things.

I do believe that your Triglycerides to LDL ratio is an important indicator of metabolic health.

Agreed. There's a whole lot of bunk talked about cholesterol. Most people don't realise that diet only effects 15% of the total bad cholesterol in the body.

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Yes, I got diagnosed as Type II, last year, doc told me to get on m,eds for blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.

Did a bit of research and decided to try low carbs. In general terms exactly the same as you have recommended above.

Amazing results in first quarter, dropped 14kg, blood levels fine no meds. Doc asked how I done this and I told him I done the exact opposite of wha the said. He just doesn't understand as he gets his info from pharma sales flyers.

Found it difficult at first especially in business and social settings now its just a way of eating. I stay very low carb and am in ketosis. I have the very rare occasion where I will have some high carb..

Eg couple of weeks ago was on a father/son/soccer team camping weekend up the beach, the food was cooked on hot plates and bread was used as the plate. I couldn't be bothered explaining to everyone that I don’t eat bread so I just ate it, no big deal.

One thing I would add to your diet suggestions is use cream instead of milk. I also drink a shot of coconut oil ever morning.

With booze yes wine is good and red is the best, also most spirits are fine with soda water.

The anaerobic exercise is a fascinating subject and I have read a few books on this. I am now on a slow burn system and have only been doing half an hour a week and my son reckon I look like Bruce Lee. I have gained 4 kg from initial loss and believe this is muscle mass which is heavier than fat as my waist measurement hasn’t budged.

I will probably increase this to about 1 and a half a week and have started some very casual swimming with my kids in my pool again now its summer down here.

I noticed that my blood sugars rise immediately after slow burn, then drop. I ma convinced that my insulin sensitivity is improving. My blood sugars also rise after sex. Which to me is an example of yopur body producing blood sugar when required.

There is also a lot of discussion about Alzheimer’s been labeled as Type III diabetes.

Can you explain the slow burn system please?

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In simple terms its about taking your muscle to failure, your body freaks out, thinks its going to die, triggers a muscle building reaction and off you go. It sounds dramatic but its not. I do it from home with some dumbbells. You simply do a repetition very slowly for say 90 secs until you just cant lift it anymore, that is failure, then you do the same for another muscle.

It all sounds to good to be true, but it works for me.

I read another book and they are proposing 15mins a week max , beautiful eh ?

Here is a more comprehensive explanation of slow burn.

Thanks.

I can see why this would work. Slow movement with low reps would use type II fibres and these use glycogen as a fuel source so would be ideal for a low carb diet to increase insulin sensitivity.

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Guest X-QUORK
In simple terms its about taking your muscle to failure, your body freaks out, thinks its going to die, triggers a muscle building reaction and off you go. It sounds dramatic but its not. I do it from home with some dumbbells. You simply do a repetition very slowly for say 90 secs until you just cant lift it anymore, that is failure, then you do the same for another muscle.

I've been told about this method before, I might give it a go. How much kit i.e. weights, bench, etc do you use?

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Guest AuntJess

This post is aimed at the gals on here.

My approach to weight loss/fitness - at the moment, as my knee does not let me go for lovely loooong walks - is to do isometric-type exercises...like Pilates or Callanetics. My weight isn't changing, YET, but my shape is. My slacks are slacker :P - around the waist and I feel more toned.

The approach to diet is a non-diet, but just follow certain rules, as in here:

http://www.amazon.com/Outsmarting-Female-F...l/dp/0446601292

The first thing she tells you to do is get a full length mirror and chuck away the scales!! She's right...well it works for women I think. your weight can seem reasonable but you can be outa shape.

Rules are: Several small meals a day; nothing after 6pm; several walks of 40 mins each perweek - not too brisk as this only burns carbs.

The obvious rule like, healthier food - lotsa veg. moderate protein intake, not much carb but low GI.

Never allow yourself to get really hungry - you'll binge at the next meal if you do. Several small meals should prevent that happening

Muscle mass will increase and fat will burn, so altho' weight MAY not alter too much, you will look trimmer.

NB - these rules are for gals, as the book was designed with them in mind.

I don't believe in cutting carbs out - like some diet regimes suggest - as you need them to digest food. I take supplements for my joints and general well being - flaxseed, as I can't take cod liver oil. I am more a herbal person than a pharmaceutical person.

I'll never have the shape I had 20 years ago - where someone in the local gym thought I was an instructor!! - but I can keep fit and active.

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with houses getting smaller, we all need to be that little bit more lithe.

low carbs good for me, bp back to 120/80 and cholesterol low, so the nurse said.

exercise helps to increase the energy....helps with the joints too. I got very sedentary about 6 years ago and noticed my knees crunching.

took up walking, you know up the road and back, then round the block then bigger blocks....had terrible shin splints at first, but they went soon enough, the knees got better and it was uphill from there.

If I feel a bit lethargic, then 20 minute walk or exercise replenishes and sets up for the rest of the day.

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Check out this site:

http://www.arthurdevany.com/

This guy is at the forefront of all this low carb research. His child died of diabetes and he has spent a lot of time looking into the subject. I followed his advice, starting from last September and lost 25lbs in 3 months. I began to realise that a lot of my "hunger pangs" had been nothing of the sort, in fact they were cravings for carbs, which disappeared within days of starting to eat this way. What we are now beginning to realise is that refined sugar and refined flour are like any refined drug (heroin for example) in that they are not good for the human body. I now feel fitter, more mentally alert & dare I say it, alive, than I have for years. There's definitely something in this.

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Anyone else had any experience of low carb diets?

KS

Brilliant post! +10

Yes I have experience of low carb diets. THEY WORK!

Went on Atkins four years and lost 4 stone.

Snag is the carbs have crept back on again and I've started gaining weight. My suspicion was that my body hasn't got the muscle tone neccessary to establish a high enough metabolism.

I'm now gradually gearing up to go very low carb again, which to be honest is a bit of a depressing prospect, but has to be done.

I do not understand all the hostility directed at Atkins. Unless it was food VI's at work. Bear in mind his diet was based on an earlier, extreme diet that almost completely composed of fats. Atkins diet was not that original, he just had more success with his.

There is nothing unhealthy about fats provided they are the right kind of fats. Obviously hydrogenatated fat found in margerines and fast food should be avoided at all costs.

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King Stromba - that was absolutely fascinating, thankyou.

It explains what I've observed - some people can simply get away with eating anything and stay skinny as a rake. Its all about the insulin.

The only times I've ever had success with weight loss is when I've cut down pasta, bread, rice etc.

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For me all of this came from the 'How do I lose weight?' thread and particularly Bardon's contribution (cheers fella). Watched the Gary Taubes video and that was it. I've lost getting on for 3 stone.

Very easy, no calorie counting, no portion control and a realistic exercise programme.

Marks Daily Apple - Gary Taubes / Paleo inspired health lifestyle. The book is useful as a cut down version of the Taubes Diet Delusion.

Use Fitday.com to monitor your daily intake - it's a real eye opener.

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For me all of this came from the 'How do I lose weight?' thread and particularly Bardon's contribution (cheers fella). Watched the Gary Taubes video and that was it. I've lost getting on for 3 stone.

Very easy, no calorie counting, no portion control and a realistic exercise programme.

Marks Daily Apple - Gary Taubes / Paleo inspired health lifestyle. The book is useful as a cut down version of the Taubes Diet Delusion.

Use Fitday.com to monitor your daily intake - it's a real eye opener.

A friend of mine has lost a lot of weight from following Mark's Daily Apple advice - no bread, low carbs, thinking of stopping dairy. He is a crushing bore on te subject now though.

:rolleyes:

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You say that the truth is the opposite of the commonly accepted 'fact' then you proceed to describe that 'fact' from a different perspective. Fair enough, as the body expands, it desires more and may very well want to exert itself less, but the basic key is that it thus consumes more calories and expends less. It thus gets larger.

The only thing you are saying in addition to the accepted logic is that the body itself makes it harder. The reality is that the accepted logic is on the mark and that people just have to accept that they have to work hard at it.

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A friend of mine has lost a lot of weight from following Mark's Daily Apple advice - no bread, low carbs, thinking of stopping dairy. He is a crushing bore on te subject now though.

:rolleyes:

Whilst it can be a bit obssessional at first, the Mark's Daily Apple thing works well because it's not that proscriptive. It allows an occasional sensible indulgence - red wine, 70%+ chocolate, a handful of nuts. It's enough to keep you on track.

I've had a lot of people asking me how I've lost so much weight and I try not to go into detail.

I just send them the link to the Taubes video and the Robert Lustig 'Sugar as a poison' video.

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Guest P-Diddly

Many thanks to KS for posting this.

I've a confession that recently I slipped back to carbs, pasta and the like. Feel absolutely dire. Sugars are up and my mood is bad.

Enjoying tomato and onion omelette right now. So I might yet cheer up.

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You say that the truth is the opposite of the commonly accepted 'fact' then you proceed to describe that 'fact' from a different perspective. Fair enough, as the body expands, it desires more and may very well want to exert itself less, but the basic key is that it thus consumes more calories and expends less. It thus gets larger.

The only thing you are saying in addition to the accepted logic is that the body itself makes it harder. The reality is that the accepted logic is on the mark and that people just have to accept that they have to work hard at it.

What i was saying was that people think of weight loss as a simple case of cutting calories or increasing exercise. This often gives the impression that the person is greedy or lazy. This makes the assumption that the overeating and lack of exerscise CAUSED the weight gain. All i am saying is that its the other way round. Weight gaion results from a medical / genetic condition of insulin insensitivity. The body responds by increasing food intake or decreasing activity. Both senarios maintain the law of thermodynamics. But in the secons senario, it is the weight gain that CAUSES the energy intake and exercise changes.

Fat people on the whole arnt lazy or greedy. They just have sensitive metabolisms that are borderline pathologies. Telling people with insulin insensitivity to eat less and exercise more wont work because there body will respond by reducing metabolic rate, which leads you to the senario of eating vitrtually nothing, exercising, and still not losing weight. The body refuses to lose this weight because it doesnt have the fuel it needs so it thinks it has to conserve weight. That fuel is stuck in the adipose tissue unavailable for burning.

This is why the mainstream medical establishment dont understand losing weight, and why i have been proving them wrong for 15 years. They think the law of thermodynamics must apply (and they are right) but dont realise that equtions can have two directions. You tell a dietician that exercise and low caloies diets wont work and they will just tell you the people must be cheating and eating things they dont mention or not doing the exercise. They will then quote the law of thermodynamics at you. Its this mentality of looking down on people with this medical condition that has stagnated the progress we could have made in helping people afflicted.

There are many interesting studies tht have been done on weight loss with 'balanced' diets, and time and time again they show that you cannot lose weight by lowering calories and increasing exercise. What usually happens is that weight loss stops after a few pounds because the body lowers its metabolic rate. Any weight loss that does occur simply returns when calories are readily availbale in the diet after high calorie food is reintroduced. The data is there, but doctors choose to ignore it.

I am sure many fat people are convinced they are lazy or greedy, and while they might do too little exercise or eat too much, its not the cause of the weight gain, but a result from it. This should be sent to all doctors on a sheet of paper for them to memorise.

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Anyone else had any experience of low carb diets?

I tried the "Celebrity Slim" version a few weeks back. It's a crap name, but the principle is ok: shake meal replacements for breakfast and lunch, low carb main meal, and 3 snacks (nuts, cheese, meat, tomatoes etc) in between.

The first few days were very hard, but I got used to it and towards the end of the first week I wasn't really noticing the lack of carbs. I lost a good 4kg in the first week. And certainly felt a lot less listless. I lapsed because of a few work trips, but plan to go back on it soon.

You'll probably criticise the shake part of it, but it works for me because it makes planning the day so much easier. I find that if I have to come up with a low carb plan for all three meals it's too much effort and I usually give up (yes, I know, no will power).

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