Atkins Diet Inherent Flaws
- 12-28-2010, 02:50 PM
Atkins Diet Inherent Flaws
Iíve been reading around and Iíve come across a lot of questions concerning the Atkins diet and how it differs from other low-carb diets. I wanted to address these questions with some of my own findings that Iíve gathered over the past 40 years.
Dr. Atkinsís arguments are that calories donít count and that thereís a ďmetabolic advantageĒ to consuming a low-carbohydrate diet, leading to the wasting of energy (fat calories) through the urine and feces.
Atkins is never able to support his argument that calories donít count by citing actual scientific studies showing that the unrestricted intake of carbohydraterestricted food is compatible with weight loss, rather than gain. All of the studies he discusses used a protocol that restricted calories making it impossible to test his claim. And the only study in which calories werenít restricted, Dr. John Yudkinís study, easily refuted Atkinsís claim.
Dr. John Yudkin was the only scientist ever to test directly the whole matter of unrestricted food intake. His 1960 paper pre-dated Atkinsís publications by 12 years and concluded that a low-carbohydrate diet automatically reduced food intake and that calories do count.
Without any scientific study to support his claim, Atkins is forced to support his argument by using the unscientific approach of discussing clients who, he claims, became fat on low-calorie diets. Placed on his version of the low-carbohydrate diet, with its purported higher calorie content, they lost weight, according to him.
This is the ďfactĒ that he uses to justify his invalidation of the calorie theory. Atkinsís argument falls apart when we put-it-to-the-numbers, using standard nutritional calculations for metabolic rates. What becomes clear, from such calculations, is that his clients must have mis-reported their food intake. This fact is as undeniable as the fact that calories do count, as reliable as the rising and setting of the sun and the freezing of
water at 32 degrees.
- 01-02-2011, 07:22 PM
Props for the post. Not many new users drop bombs like that. Again props.
I am continually dumbfounded by continued buy-in of the Atkin's and other low carb diets. The fact that someone would publish that calories don't matter tells me either he is just stupid or is trying to scam people at large. Probably the latter.
- 01-02-2011, 07:43 PM
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01-05-2011, 02:15 PM
Atkins is flawed, but the weight loss experienced on a low carb diet cannot be soley attributed to lower calories. Many respected coaches and writers believe and expound the virtues of low carb dieting for achieving a certain degree of leaness. I've experimented with both, mainly because I love carbs. I've measured calorie intake precisely and calories burned and I have to say I cannot, no matter how hard I try, get as lean on a 'normal' carbohydrate diet as on a low carb diet.
Granted, this may be to do with insulin sensitivity rather than the fats harboring some metabolic advantage, but nonetheless low carb diets have a place in the bodybuilding world.
01-05-2011, 02:38 PM
I think it needs to be said that a 3000 calorie high carb diet is not equivalent to a 3000 calorie keto diet. Different macros have different thermogenic percentages:different efficiencies. Protein for example is the least efficient macro for energy.
Also, carbs tend to be digested and absorbed faster than fats so a lower carb/higher fat diet will provide a more 'timed release' energy supply. Of course this can be compensated for by having more frequent smaller meals if using more carbs.
Lastly, it is important to differentiate between a low carb diet and a keto or NO carb diet. The latter comes with some pretty annoying side effects that IMO, don't justify it.
01-05-2011, 04:49 PM
A also completely agree with the comment with regards to the side effects experienced on a no carb diet. They are bloody awful...really are. Hence now when I cut I don't drop below 70 - 80 grams of carbs a day. At this amount, I find I can successfully manage my insulin without the nasty side effects.
01-05-2011, 06:57 PM
So has anyone tried going low carb ad slathering may+onaise on everything to see if this really is BS?
01-06-2011, 11:03 AM
Dr. Atkins mentions the work published during the 1950ís to late 1960ís by the pre-eminent British physician, Dr. John Yudkin, one of the worldís leading nutrition and low-carbohydrate diet experts. Dr. Yudkin was clearly the first high-ranking expert to prove the reason why the low-carbohydrate diet works so well: it decreases calorie intake.
And this was instructive because it was the first, and only, study in which the subjectsí calories were not restricted. Dr. Yudkin instructed his subjects to eat as much food as they wanted, but they were to restrict their carbohydrate intake. In doing so, the subjects reduced their calorie intake from between 200-1,900 calories a day, a reduction of between 13-55%.
Iíve argued that those who fail to lose weight, or to lose as much weight as they want to is because the low-carbohydrate diet doesnít automatically lead to decreases in food intake in all people. This failure to reduce food intake, automatically, is a cause of the failure to lose weight or to meet their weight loss goals on the part of those Atkins dieters who fail. From the work of Dr. John Yudkin, we can see how variable the automatic reduction of food intake is: One of the six subjects decreased food intake by only 13% and another decreased food intake by 55%. This is exactly why one cannot allow his appetite to control calorie intake on the low-carbohydrate diet, the reason why you must always be aware of his calorie intake.
01-06-2011, 06:48 PM
I agree about monitoring calories. But equally important for many individuals in my experience is managing their insulin.
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01-08-2011, 01:30 PM
Look I am being somewhat rhetorical here. Obviously you are not doing any of this. Am I simply trying to get you to look at the issue from a perspective that is different from the oversimplified one typically found in BB circles. People that claim that they keep their insulin low or that they are insulin resistant/sensitive without any quantitative (ie lab work) are at best, making educated guesses. At worst they are talking out of their... well you know.
Caloric data and body dimension data (weight and measurements) on the other hand are easily obtained and hence are applicable concepts for bodyweight management.
I will admit that I bought into this oversimplified insulin approach when I first came across it. However after developing diabetes and progressing to type-1, I have a much more detailed understanding of insulin function hence my perspective has changed to one similar to OP's.
Regardless, I am not here to beat a dead horse. If people are content with the Atkins model then it that is their prerogative.
01-08-2011, 02:13 PM
01-11-2011, 02:35 PM
Carbohydrates + Protein - Highest insulin response
Fats - No insulin response.
I've managed to control it by mostly having fat and protein meals, which will ellicit some response due to the protein but the addition of fat and fibre will reduce the response. Also preventing my muscles from filling up with glycogen has increased the insulin sensitivity of my muscles, so less insulin is required to shuttle the protein in the muscles.
You can only eat fat really is you don't want to generate a response which isn't feasible, but lowering carbohydrates intake at least allows you to control the response to some extent.
I'm no advocate of the Atkins diet either. I've tried it and suffered badly. But I have benefitted massivley from taking in more of calories through fats rather than carbohydrates.
Hope this makes some sense!!
01-11-2011, 02:38 PM
Sorry mate. I only just read your comment about type 1 diabetes. I'm really interested in what you learnt about insulin function.
I'm basing most of my comments on personal experience and reading the scivation diet books. Their approach is very low carb and its inspiration came to one of the authors when he was working with diabetics.
But very interested on your thoughts about insulin.
01-11-2011, 03:36 PM
Firstly, fats DO trigger an insulin response. Not as much as carbs do calorie for calorie but they do. All macros trigger some insulin response. The medical community still does not fully understand why fats do; they believe that they 'interfere' with insulin function causing the body to produce more.
This belief that fats do not require insulin probably stems from the fact that for diabetes management, type 1 diabetics do not usually factor in fat content when determining how much insulin to take. However, using this reasoning to then suggest that reducing carb intake in favor of fats will improve insulin sensitivity is bad reasoning.
The second issues is one that I actually find quite aggravating: carbs + protein illicits a large insulin response than carbs alone. Duh! If you take 400 calories of carbs and measure the insulin response and then take the same 400 cals of carbs and then add 200 cals of protein then yes! you will get a larger response. On the other hand if you keep overall cals the same (take away 200 cal of carbs and add in the 200 cals of protein for a total of 400) then no, insulin response will be LESS! The moron that originally published that claim should be ringing in slurpees at 7-Eleven.
Calorie for calorie the order of macros that trigger insulin the most is:
HOWEVER! Fats can trigger more insulin than carbs if the quantities are sufficiently different (ie 500 calories of fats could trigger more insulin than 50 calories of carbs).
This is the crucial shortcoming of the low carb model (not just Atkins) that the OP was trying to explain. If by reducing carb intake, people reduce total calories then they will benefit. If they don't then they won't. Most people cannot be bothered to monitor food QUANTITY so the model overlooks it to keeps things simple but in its simplicity it becomes false in most real world applications. The latter is what matters if you are actually trying to get results.
This stuff leads to bad theories being built on bad theories. Net energy balance (ie calories in minus calories out) and bodyweight are what actually determines your insulin sensitivity. I can eat a high percentage of carbs and still maintain my sensitivity as long as my total energy intake is kept reasonable. I can validate this because I measure my food and since I have to take insulin, I can measure that as well.
Just want to reiterate that I am not picking on your or calling you out. I know that this is accepted dogma in the BB world but alas, it is really not correct. Gurus need to write articles and companies need to sell supps; both will stretch the truth to the limit to do so.
01-11-2011, 03:43 PM
Dr. Atkins helped change my life when it comes to the way of thinking about food......
Everybody can say what they want.....but if it wasnt for him and his book, I wouldnt be where I am today....
I love Dr. Atkins!
221 lbs !!!!
More recently, about 165lbs
Last edited by ax1; 01-12-2011 at 01:53 AM.
나는 2000년 10월 매들린 올브라이트 전 미 국무장관 매들린 사랑, 그 중 한 뜨거운 젠장!
01-11-2011, 03:48 PM
01-12-2011, 12:32 AM
I dont count fiber in my carb count.
On another note, I never counted calories....Its annoying. I just make sure I consume 1.5-2.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. I dont eat an unlimited amount of food, I just know by the way I feel how much I need, and I have tactics to control the amount of food I eat in a single day.
Right now Im experimenting too, seeing what happens when I lower my protein intake just a little and consume more quality fats.
On another note again....Ive been low carb dieting for 10 years now....started it before that "craze"
I actually gained a crap load of weight while low carb dieting....not sure what happened but I started pigging out on alot of crap and overeating (and also not training as hard,) consuming 1 pound steaks with 2-3 links of sausage in a single sitting for example.
Im genetically obese, I can gain 30-40 pound in months if I run a normal lifestyle. Where Im at now with my diet and cant feel better and be happier. Well Ill be happier if I can look like Bruce Lee, lol
나는 2000년 10월 매들린 올브라이트 전 미 국무장관 매들린 사랑, 그 중 한 뜨거운 젠장!
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