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OBESITY: My Unexpected Final Conclusion On The Cause And Cure

Advanced Low-Carber



There were a lot of puzzles about obesity that really bothered me. But I believe I have solved them all and it is much simpler than I expected.

I actually believed at one time that it was caused by PUFAs and Fructose (it isn't). Unfortunately I named my blog PUFAs and Fructose. Yikes!

My last blog post explains it. It is a little bit long for a forum post. Here is the link if you would like to read it.

Senior Low-Carber



In addition to the constant "grazing" the overweight cat does, this could also have some bearing on why the cat that won't eat dry food is the slender one.

As I understand it, dogs are non-obligate carnivores but cats are obligate carnivores. The primary ingredient in wet food is meat, but dry food has a lot of carbohydrate fillers.

I have a cousin with a very obese cat and the vet recommended that she not feed it dry food any more at all because of the carby fillers. In fact, she cooks a chicken and feeds it real meat to be sure it is not getting any filler because some wet cat food may have some filler, but not nearly as much as dry food.

To experiment you would have to leave wet food down all the time to see if the chubby cat slimmed down without carbs.

Advanced Low-Carber



Thanks for commenting.

The canned cat food is k/d Renal Health with chicken from Hills Prescription Diet. It contains (among other things) Brewers Rice, Oat Fiber, Corn Starch, and Glucose.

Eating low-carb may have benefits that we are not certain of, yet. But when it comes to obesity they do not matter. I could never understand how I could remain so big eating Vietnamese food. The Vietnamese restaurant I like had a bunch of skinny little Asians in it and here I am a big fat white guy who eats the same food but doesn't lose weight. What was I doing wrong?

Well, obviously it wasn't the type of food that causes obesity (or leanness). Ask anyone who has gained weight eating low-carb or raw vegan (virtually opposite ends of the dietary spectrum).

The 30 Bananas A Day website had an anecdote on the forum of a girl who gained 40 pounds eating raw fruit! I was AMAZED! It's hard to stick to just eating raw fruit, let alone gain weight doing it. That's dedication!

Senior Low-Carber



As I understand it, there are fillers in some wet food, but not nearly as much carbohydrate filler as in dry food. Dry food can be nearly all filler, sort of meat flavored carbs. Regardless with carb fillers, the experiment breaks down just because obligate carnivores are eating carbs in the first place. That would be like the diet where researchers fed rabbits who are herbivores cholesterol enriched diets and then used those experiments to suggest that people who are omnivores would react like a herbivore.

I'm not trying to be contentious, but metabolism is just (in my opinion) much more complicated than one easy little theory and if people have to experience hunger to lose weight, I can't see any diet that relies on going hours feeling hungry being successful long term.

I personally can see the benefits of three meals a day or even less. "The Warrior Diet" is a book about eating only one big meal a day and he has some excellent information about proteins being recycled and the health benefits of that which are similar to the Calorie Restriction concept that studies have proven increase longevity. It's a good book and I highly recommend it not because it is the only way to lose weight but because of the possible longevity factor.

Intermittent fasting is also very successful for many people. Carb cycling is another thing that works for some people quite well. Even so, I believe one has to go long periods of time without experiencing uncomfortable hunger for any diet to be successful and once again hormones will undoubtedly be involved.

I just don't believe going long periods without eating is the only way for everyone. Books like the Zone which is very successful for many people recommend three meals with two zone snacks. Weight watchers recommends snacks and (works for some people although that is low fat). Nutrisystem has their customers eating six times a day and that works for some people.

I have stalled before, but never gained weight on a low carb diet YET no matter how frequently or how much I ate, but I see on websites that it does happen to people and certainly stalling indefinitely seems very common place from what I have read on various message boards.

My own personal theory (and personal experience in terms of stalling) is that oftentimes people are so vigilant about watching every little carb that they end up cutting out some very essential phytochemicals and antioxidants which makes them feel hungry (because their body is crying out for something they NEED) and they overeat meat (possibly grazing as you suggest) unconsciously trying to get something that is missing.

This seems to happen more to people who have low carbed for a while too and my theory about that is that when people first start low carbing, their body has some nutrients in storage similar to what vegans experience when they first start eating vegan and feel just great even for years because the body stores vitamin B12 for quite a while. Only with low carbers, obviously the missing nutrient wouldn't be vitamin B12 but something else. It also might be a vitamin or mineral that they need to take a supplement for if they have to cut their carbs very low due to messed up metabolisms.

I believe one reason why the paleo stuff is becoming so popular right now is because they include the phytochemicals and antioxidants that people need that many low carbers in their zealous attempts to cut their carbs often leave out of their diets to their detriment.

In his book, the Anti-Aging Zone, Barry Sears quotes anthropological data that compared a large number of existing hunter-gatherer tribes, where they estimated the average protein-to-carbohydrate ratio in neo-Paleolithic diets to be approximately 3 grams of protein for every 4 grams of carbohydrate. That's a whole lot more non-starchy veggies than many low carbers allow themselves to ingest.

I was a skinny child. Too thin. They called me "Skinny Minnie" and "Chicken Bones" all through grade school and part way through high school. They weren't being complimentary either. I remember one girl coming up to me saying, "You know you are really pretty if ONLY you weren't so skinny." She was one of the nice ones! A padded bra is the only thing that saved me from constant ridicule after that. At least I finally had a curve even if it wasn't really mine!!!

Because of school, my meals had to be spaced out until I got home (just as children's meals do now yet we have a childhood obesity problem). That meal spacing didn't keep my best friend from being chubby. We were both the same height, but even so they used to call us "Laurel and Hardy."

However, she was Italian and they ate a lot of pasta in her home and on weekends and they always had desert after dinner every night. Her mother kept a cookie jar on the counter. She got cookies and milk for snacks.

I had a lot of Choctaw Indian in me and my mother had watched her mother die from kidney disease caused by diabetes II. So we ate ... well to be perfectly honest, we ate food like Barry Sears describes in the Zone diet. Small portions of meat and lots of non-starchy veggies. We did have potatoes and beans as well available at every meal, but I really didn't like those foods that much so I ate very small portions of those. We could have all the fruit and nuts we wanted, but dessert was only allowed on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and Halloween. Watching her mother die from diabetic complications made my mother very zealous about keeping junk food out of the house. There was no cookie jar to steal cookies out of! My snacks were raw veggies, maybe half a sandwich, nuts or fruit.

On weekends, I ate non-stop trying to gain weight. People commented that I must have a hollow leg, etc. "Where does she put it?" Anyone who walked in the house would always see me munching on something. But with my mother's refusal to allow "crap" in the house, I had no choice but to eat healthy food. One summer in high school, I worked at a clothing factory, saved my money and made a doctor's appointment which I used my own money to pay for. I begged the doctor to help me gain weight. He examined me and told me I was extremely healthy, had no health problems and there was nothing he would do to try to alter my metabolism.

I cried. He was my last hope. I purchased some product I found in a magazine called "weight on" and tried to choke down those huge chalky tasting tablets but they tasted awful. I tried breaking them up into smaller pieces and taking them like a pill, but the jagged edges from being broken up caused them to stick in my throat which was very painful. Eventually, I gave up on them.

It wasn't until I left home and started eating "sweets" that I started gaining weight. The low carb diet was just becoming popular then. I was a vegetarian at the time I first had a weight problem. All the girls in my office went on low carb. I was in heaven being like everyone else who had to lose weight!!! I lost more weight faster than the other girls even though they watched their carbs more carefully. Everyone assumed I had a faster metabolism (duh), but also I munched continuously on raw veggies in between meals.

Ultimately, I think everyone has to figure out what works for them individually. If you believe in going long periods without eating, I highly recommend the book, "The Warrior Diet" as he does have some good points about the health benefits of that type of intermittent fasting.

Advanced Low-Carber



Hello.

Carbohydrates do not cause weight gain and do not prevent weight loss except in how they affect insulin. There may be unhealthy foods that have carbohydrates, but that is way beyond the scope of my conclusion.

Weight gain is caused by keeping your insulin levels too high to burn body fat. Insulin can be triggered by carbohydrates and/or proteins (unless you believe meat eating polar bears are really drinking Coke). Keeping insulin levels low can be achieved by eating very, very small portions OR allowing a period of time between meals for insulin levels to drop sufficiently. Outside of medical intervention, these are the ONLY two ways to lose weight. Any effective diet will have to meet one of those two requirements.

Personally, I would rather wait and eat a hearty meal rather than eat very, very small portions. It is a simple solution and actually is not difficult to do. In the end you get to eat what you like. Delaying gratification also happens to be a virtue.

The idea of "going hours feeling hungry" used to be called "waiting for dinner time" when I was a kid. Three meals a day is not required. Having 1 or 2 or 5 or 6 meals a day is fine and really doesn't make any difference. The important thing is to show up at your next meal with:

1. Hunger

and

2. An empty stomach

Senior Low-Carber



Okay, well it looks like you have solved the problem then. If everyone just does what you say, no one will ever have a problem again, but when you said "In the end you get to eat what you like," I realized that makes it seem like intermittent fasting might be the best way for you personally, but it doesn't make you spiritually superior because you delay gratification since eating only healthy foods is also a form of self-denial not only delaying "gratification" but replacing it with healthy "satisfaction" in my opinion.

I will stick to my theory that when the body is sufficiently nourished, everything else will just fall into place and it then becomes impossible to gain too much weight (which is what I experienced when only healthy foods were available to me growing up-with no limitation or restrictions regarding when or how much to eat)

It is a fact, I feel it worth mentioning that carbs cause a much higher degree of insulin to be released than protein does. And non starchy veggies versus starch cause a lot less insulin to be released. It is also a fact that fat causes zero insulin to be released and that fat slows down the absorption of carbs causing less insulin release if carbs are eaten with fat.

I won't continue with this discussion. Hopefully, we can just agree to disagree.

Advanced Low-Carber




I actually believed at one time that it was caused by PUFAs and Fructose (it isn't). Unfortunately I named my blog PUFAs and Fructose. Yikes!

My last blog post explains it. It is a little bit long for a forum post. Here is the link if you would like to read it.
Charles, your blog is very interesting. I will let you know how this works for me.

Expert Low-Carber



I think there is a problem with the use of the word "cause," as in "insulin causes weight gain," and "carbs are not the cause of weight gain."

Losing, gaining, or maintaining wieght is a process. Carbs are inputs, not the process itself. To a systems engineer, insulin is not an input, but a process enabler, controlled by other inputs and processes.

Here's a blog post by our engineering intern at work and myself about CICO, but the same applies-

http://dietforhumans.com/2012/02/07/is-i...se-to-bed/

It's a bit technical, but we are trying to clarify things people are tossing around and confusion between just an input and the process itself.

If you want to say "I don't need to understand process, all I need to know is more insulin = more fat stored," fine. Now what? What to do about insulin then? It's not a direct input. To manage it, you must understand the complete process as best you can, it's inputs, and what to do about it.

DFH's blog for diet and health: http://dietforhumans.com/

Senior Low-Carber




Losing, gaining, or maintaining wieght is a process. Carbs are inputs, not the process itself. To a systems engineer, insulin is not an input, but a process enabler, controlled by other inputs and processes.

Here's a blog post by our engineering intern at work and myself about CICO, but the same applies-

http://dietforhumans.com/2012/02/07/is-i...se-to-bed/

It's a bit technical, but we are trying to clarify things people are tossing around and confusion between just an input and the process itself.

If you want to say "I don't need to understand process, all I need to know is more insulin = more fat stored," fine. Now what? What to do about insulin then? It's not a direct input. To manage it, you must understand the complete process as best you can, it's inputs, and what to do about it.
I'm not re-entering this discussion except to say the process explanation makes sense to me and I liked some of your recipes. I'm going to try the coconut flour pizza!

Expert Low-Carber




Losing, gaining, or maintaining wieght is a process. Carbs are inputs, not the process itself. To a systems engineer, insulin is not an input, but a process enabler, controlled by other inputs and processes.

Here's a blog post by our engineering intern at work and myself about CICO, but the same applies-

http://dietforhumans.com/2012/02/07/is-i...se-to-bed/

It's a bit technical, but we are trying to clarify things people are tossing around and confusion between just an input and the process itself.

If you want to say "I don't need to understand process, all I need to know is more insulin = more fat stored," fine. Now what? What to do about insulin then? It's not a direct input. To manage it, you must understand the complete process as best you can, it's inputs, and what to do about it.
I'm not re-entering this discussion except to say the process explanation makes sense to me and I liked some of your recipes. I'm going to try the coconut flour pizza!
Thanks.

I experimented some with ways to make crusts with coconut flour and grated cheese. Cheese (like Swiss) fries hard like a crust. If you want a more traditional crust, mix flour and grated cheese and experiment.

DFH's blog for diet and health: http://dietforhumans.com/

Senior Low-Carber



[/quote]

Thanks.

I experimented some with ways to make crusts with coconut flour and grated cheese. Cheese (like Swiss) fries hard like a crust. If you want a more traditional crust, mix flour and grated cheese and experiment.
[/quote]

Will do. The trouble with that book, "The coconut Miracle" is he used wheat flour in some of his recipes.

Advanced Low-Carber



DFH,

I'm sorry if I confused you. It is an unbelievably simple concept.

Here is an analogy:

When you water a plant you can either provide a constant supply of very little water or you can dump some water on it once in a while, but if you are constantly dumping water on it you will be overwatering and it will get sick and die.

When you eat food you can eat a constant supply of very small portions or you can eat a big meal once in a while, but if you are constantly dumping food into your system then you will be overfeeding it and it will get fat.

Perhaps a biologist could more technically explain what is happening when one "overwaters" a plant or "overfeeds" a human, but there is no need for the rest of us. Similarly there is no need to completely understand the machinations of an automobile to drive it safely, there is no need to completely understand a television to watch it, there is no need to completely understand a baby to feed it, and so on.

I'm not clear on what you want to split hairs over. Insulin causes weight gain. It is the fat storage hormone.

Expert Low-Carber




I'm sorry if I confused you. It is an unbelievably simple concept.

Here is an analogy:

When you water a plant you can either provide a constant supply of very little water or you can dump some water on it once in a while, but if you are constantly dumping water on it you will be overwatering and it will get sick and die.

When you eat food you can eat a constant supply of very small portions or you can eat a big meal once in a while, but if you are constantly dumping food into your system then you will be overfeeding it and it will get fat.

I'm not clear on what you want to split hairs over. If you would like a more technical definition of "insulin" or its exact role in our body, there are PLENTY of resources on the Internet for that. Perhaps you could write a technical paper for those who are interested. I'm just giving a useful explanation for those who wish to lose weight and prevent or stop obesity.
I don't feel confused.

What you described is again inputs, not process. The input in your example is amount of water and timing. A plants death is a different process.

I know about insulin. I keep mine to the minimum, <2.

DFH's blog for diet and health: http://dietforhumans.com/

Advanced Low-Carber




What you described is again inputs, not process. The input in your example is amount of water and timing. A plants death is a different process.

I know about insulin. I keep mine to the minimum, <2.
How would distinguishing between inputs and processes benefit the rest of us who are not engineers? How is that distinction helpful to readers of this forum?

Expert Low-Carber



To me the answer is quite obvious. Most people are interested in losing weight. They want to understand how that works.

Losing weight is a process. It takes inputs (what you eat, how much, and when), and many, many things happen inside the body. Some of those inputs change the body itself, like when a high sugar diet (input) results in elevated insulin. The weight loss process is changed as a result. Insulin is known as an enabler, not an input. (You don't eat insulin.)

Many people are confusing inputs with diet. We see "Just do low carb." Carbs are an input. You probably want to reduce them, or keep them to a minimum, but low carb itself is not the process. The process is lower carbs -> lower insulin -> store less fat.

I'm sure you are asking "why do we care?" I can fool myself into thinking all is well if I only look at inputs. Maybe, maybe not. What happens when you stall or don't eat enough? All of a sudden your single input theory falls apart and you have nothing left.

DFH's blog for diet and health: http://dietforhumans.com/

Senior Low-Carber



"(unless you believe meat eating polar bears are really drinking Coke)"

I suspect polar bears as well as black bears have a different metabolism and genetic structure than humans which dictates how and where fat is stored and for what purpose.

Benay
Low-carb dieting: http://diets.helium.com/zone/10983-under...-carb-diet
My low-carb story: http://www.helium.com/knowledge/125064-t...ked-for-me
Review of some popular Low-carb plans:
http://www.helium.com/items/2063229-most...diet-plans
Ways to measure your weight loss success
http://www.helium.com/items/2068642-ways...eight-loss
What are the benefits of the Atkins diet
http://www.helium.com/items/1910812-over...tkins-diet

Advanced Low-Carber




Losing weight is a process. It takes inputs (what you eat, how much, and when), and many, many things happen inside the body. Some of those inputs change the body itself, like when a high sugar diet (input) results in elevated insulin. The weight loss process is changed as a result. Insulin is known as an enabler, not an input. (You don't eat insulin.)

Many people are confusing inputs with diet. We see "Just do low carb." Carbs are an input. You probably want to reduce them, or keep them to a minimum, but low carb itself is not the process. The process is lower carbs -> lower insulin -> store less fat.

I'm sure you are asking "why do we care?" I can fool myself into thinking all is well if I only look at inputs. Maybe, maybe not. What happens when you stall or don't eat enough? All of a sudden your single input theory falls apart and you have nothing left.
Where was it suggested that insulin was an "input"? Also, I'm not sure what you mean by a "high sugar diet" or what difference that makes.

A person can lose weight eating the exact same foods they ate when they gained weight if they eat those exact same foods but allow time between meals for their insulin levels to drop and body fat to burn. Sugar, starch, fat, and protein do not cause obesity because of some special "obesogenic" property they have.

Advanced Low-Carber




I suspect polar bears as well as black bears have a different metabolism and genetic structure than humans which dictates how and where fat is stored and for what purpose.
I'm not sure what you are suggesting. Are you just wanting to help us discover that bears are different than people? That, of course, is true. Are you suggesting that bears can get fat eating protein but people cannot? That would be very false.

Aside from Jimmy Moore's consternation with gaining weight eating low-carb, there is also Dr. Atkins's own notorious anger with people not losing weight on the diet. The relevant remark at the 0:42 mark in this Youtube video. Even Jon Gabriel was yelled at by Dr. Atkins. The relevant remark is ALSO at the 0:42 mark in the Youtube video.

Low-carb simply does not work for some people and there needs to be an explanation as to why. I explained why. Protein and carbohydrates can both spike your insulin. You can still lose weight eating low carb, but you have to give your body time between meals for insulin levels to drop.

Junior Low-Carber



Reading this makes me feel like I'm stuck in some sort of catch-22 with regards to my health goals.

Based on calculations offered by Dr. Rosedale in his ATLCX interview, I need somewhere between 80-90g of protein per day. If I recall correctly, he also said that eating more than 20g per meal would result in the body converting the excess protein into glucose, which can also keep insulin levels elevated for much longer if I'm not mistaken. This is why I try to squeeze-in some chicken thigh meat with skin in between the lessons that I teach (in intervals at least two hours apart). On some days I do eat less protein but that's because of a hectic teaching schedule more than feeling satiated.

But if what you're saying is true, then regardless of how I should go about with my eating style (two ~40g protein meals morning and evening vs. two fat-heavy ~20g protein meals with two ~20g protein "snacks"), I will still have to ultimately choose to sacrifice protein for fat-loss or sacrifice fat-loss for adequate protein, right? In effect, even on a(n) LCHF diet, I have to do a back-and-forth of diet similar to what bodybuilders/strength-trainers do (bulking and cutting?) to look and feel my best (and not end up "skinny-fat" before my term is done ;>_>)?

I hope that didn't sound confrontational, I would just like a good answer to this so I could possibly incorporate it and be at my personal "best" by mid-June. I do notice I have hit a "stall" with my fat loss in my abdomen and legs (pinching and mirror opinion), but I have made some muscular gains doing Body By Science workouts.

Expert Low-Carber




I suspect polar bears as well as black bears have a different metabolism and genetic structure than humans which dictates how and where fat is stored and for what purpose.
I'm not sure what you are suggesting. Are you just wanting to help us discover that bears are different than people? That, of course, is true. Are you suggesting that bears can get fat eating protein but people cannot? That would be very false.

Aside from Jimmy Moore's consternation with gaining weight eating low-carb, there is also Dr. Atkins's own notorious anger with people not losing weight on the diet. The relevant remark at the 0:42 mark in this Youtube video. Even Jon Gabriel was yelled at by Dr. Atkins. The relevant remark is ALSO at the 0:42 mark in the Youtube video.

Low-carb simply does not work for some people and there needs to be an explanation as to why. I explained why. Protein and carbohydrates can both spike your insulin. You can still lose weight eating low carb, but you have to give your body time between meals for insulin levels to drop.
Every time I decide on a "final conclusion" on the root cause of weight gain (or absence of weight loss), I have to change it due to new facts.

We have all heard the insulin stuff and take advantage of it. The reason LC simply does not seem to always work is most likely one's IR status. IR people need to do LC and understand insulin, and non IR people don't.

I'm very much in the IR camp, but I keep fasted insulin below 2. It can't get much lower. I'm doing a minimum of carbs. I eat 2 meals a day. Total calories is minimal. If your declaration of cause is accurate, weight should be falling off because insulin is so low, but I have to still work really hard at it.

DFH's blog for diet and health: http://dietforhumans.com/
 






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