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Why Weight Watchers is actually a low-carb diet

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The title is a little provocative and this blog takes a little effort to get through but I think it's well worth it:



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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 2/23/2012 2:09PM

    How bizarre. NONE of those are the proportions I typically eat (20% fat, 40% carbs, 40% protein). Have I "discovered" a brave new diet? One that I can market and make lots of money on? LOL

I'd always assumed I was on something kind of like South Beach Phase 1 because that's where I was 3 years ago... The closest thing on that list is probably the Zone diet, actually. Good to know.

Given the proportions I'd argue that I'm way lower carb than WW. On my ideal days the actual grams of carbs is well under 200 and grams of sugar is under 100.

As far as replacing processed sugars and starches in the diet with healthier alternatives, I agree that's an improvement at the beginning. But if you're really trying to fine-tune your physiology, it isn't enough. I think there's a reason bodybuilders eat and work out the way they do - it helps them LOOK they way they do. And pro athletes fine tune their nutrition and exercise for performance.

That's where I look when I want to figure out where to go next. Because I'm already not eating processed starch or sugar, or even unprocessed grains or starchy fruits and vegetables.

Comment edited on: 2/23/2012 2:15:51 PM

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ANGELIA.R 2/23/2012 12:03AM

    Still too high carbs in my book~ but its a great article!!!

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Is eating low-carb natural?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'd been thinking about this for the last few days since a friend asked me this question. I've always advocated eating natural, if possible organic, foods and avoiding all processed foods. I still believe this to be the healthiest form of eating. Leaving out a lot of common types of foods does not seem natural at first. Grains, legumes and fruit are foods that we think of as healthy.
I can see two reasons to eat them in moderation or not at all even for healthy people without allergies.
1. Many fruits and vegetables as well as grains and beans are not the way they were in their wild state but have been selected for higher sugar levels and/or higher starch levels. In many cases they are also lower in fiber than their original counterparts. This is more obvious with fruits like apples where modern varieties are often much larger and sweeter but it is also true for berries, tropical fruits and even vegetables. Just take a look at a typical seed catalog and you'll find different varieties of carrots, corn, peas and other veggies described as "extra-sweet". This is obviously a selling point. In grains it is often the starch content that is much increased and the fiber content that is decreased.
2. Many people nowadays did not grow up on home-made food that is made from scratch. A lot of us have grown up on a mixture of fast food, frozen dinners, snack foods, cafeteria food and very few raw vegetables. Our body has suffered quite a bit for a long time from the resulting overload of corn, wheat and sugar which are the most common ingredients in processed foods. Many people appear to be quite healthy for a long time before obvious signs of diabetes appear and are pre-diabetic and undiagnosed. Eating low-carb for a significant time can be seen as a therapeutic diet to increase insulin-sensitivity in the body and restore it to normal levels. Depending on the person it might be possible to reintroduce some foods back into the diet once hormone levels including insulin have normalized.
For anyone who has never checked their insulin levels before meal time and an hour afterwards this might be a good thing to try.

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ROSEWAND 2/22/2012 4:36PM


Sadly, and as someone who eats organics as much
as available, we are not able to avoid these disruptors
by avoiding conventional foods and eating organics.

These things are so embedded in our environment
that animals such as polar bears living in the Arctic
are full of them. And fish living in our seas are
contaminated with heavy metals. They are in the soil
so that pastured animals absorb them as well.

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HOUNDLOVER1 2/22/2012 2:37PM

I think you make a very good point about endocrine disruptors accumulating in fat and a diet high in fat having a disadvantage there. This is very important to keep in mind for sure.
I can say from my own experience that avoiding endocrine disruptors by eating a mostly organic diet including fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans and only 20% grass-fed meat and organic dairy and eggs did help me with thyroid issue. It did not help me lose several pounds of belly fat.
I suspect that the fact that carbs trigger an insulin release may be a more important issue than the effect of endocrine disruptors on other hormones. Having said that I would never eat a higher-fat low-carb diet if it were not mostly organic to at least minimize toxins.
This issue certainly deserves more discussion. emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/22/2012 2:40:16 PM

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ROSEWAND 2/22/2012 2:11PM

    There is no food that we eat that is in its "natural"
state.Our environment is filled with pollutants, hormone
disrupters, and toxins. Even if you lived on wild game
and plants harvested from the wild, you will be
exposed to the effects of modern industry and

Most of this pollutants and hormone disrupters
are fat soluble. So you are most exposed to them
in fats, particularly in animal fats, not carbs.

Unrefined carbs are particularly important to two areas
of our bodies, brains and guts. Neither do well with
long term low carb diets. In addition, many B vitamins
and important micro-nutrients such as manganese
are most available in unrefined carbs.

Comment edited on: 2/22/2012 2:12:50 PM

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 2/22/2012 11:04AM

    Many fruits and vegetables as well as grains and beans are not the way they were in their wild state

Correct, and not stated forcefully enough ^

As someone who works in agricultural genetics, I can tell you for a fact that virtually NONE of the fruits, vegetables, grains, or legumes you find in the grocery store are anywhere near their wild state. LOL

As you have said, everything has been bred for all the attributes we like in table food - bigger, sweeter, less fiber (seeds, skin), etc. And that's just the stuff in the produce aisle. The ingredients in processed foods have been bred to make it easier to extract the starches and sugars.

So yeah, just because it's fresh and came from a plant doesn't mean it's particularly "healthy," especially in inappropriate doses.

Another thing I'd point out is that if you are using a food tracker and just logging "apple," and having a few of those per day, it can add up to 200+ uncounted calories. Because these things are now available larger than the average size when originally measured and put into the nutritional databases.

This is one reason I weigh everything I eat. Because then there's no guessing whether I've eaten a small, medium, or large sweet potato or apple or banana, etc.

100g of apple is 100g of apple.

I'm not going to get into the vagaries of how it was grown, how long it sat in storage, and what variety it is, and how those affect nutritional quality. Everything is an estimate. I just try to remove the most important kinds of uncertainty...

Comment edited on: 2/22/2012 11:27:24 AM

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CONRADBURK 2/22/2012 10:14AM

    I agree with you! Eating fresh produce and avoiding processed foods is the healthiest way to eat! I eat no processed foods except extra virgin olive oil in moderation. As far as the increased sugar and carb content of fruits and veggies, I am using the Nutrition Tracker to keep my carbs at about 25 % of my daily calories, which seems to be working. I find that I need to carefully watch myself with eating fruits, which are so sweet and delicious that I want to eat more than I plan!

Spark on!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MYLADY4 2/22/2012 9:49AM

    It feels more natural to me.

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QUEEN_REINA 2/22/2012 9:40AM

    That is an interesting point that I hadn't thought of. I don't care for a low carb diet for myself, just low refined carbs, but you certainly brought out things I hadn't thought of.

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CARRIE1948 2/22/2012 8:53AM

    All I know is I'm more clear-headed and don't have brain fog when I pay more attention to which carbs I'm eating.

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BD3269PM 2/22/2012 7:03AM

    Interesting. Carbs are not bad but I think it is a good thing to really watch our consumption of them. You know, too much of a good thing.... emoticon

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KANOE10 2/22/2012 6:18AM

    Interesting information. In Wheat belly he also advocates staying away from corn and other grains. I think the most compelling thing I heard was that by 2020 they are expecting one half of Americans to have diabetes!
Great blog! emoticon

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KRISZTA11 2/22/2012 4:48AM

    I'm sure the low carb diet with lots of raw fruits and vegetables is much healthier than the average food of modern man (high carb -fat-sugar-salt processed food), but I'm not sure it is natural.
I cannot imagine prehistoric humans having access to low-carb a diet: I think hunter-gatherers didn't get fat and protein often enough to cut down on carbs, and once our ancestors managed to grow corn and wheat, these must have been the most easily available foods.

Natural or not, today we have the chance to chose low carb diet from the abundance of food that surrounds us.
I'm amazed how well your experience is going, and how successfully you lose your belly fat!
I would love to lose mine, and - though I haven't read Wheat Belly yet - I believe there is a correlation. I always had belly fat, even at my pre-pregnancy weight of 116 pounds (BMI 18,3).
I don't think I will ever have the determination to cut out grains completely, so I guess I'll have to live with it : ))
But I eat very little bread and pasta now - in the pre-Spark years they were the foundation of my food.

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Very slow run on the treadmill - my body is getting used to low-carb

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

At least that's what I have to assume. I expect to be slower on the treadmill, but not that much slower. It could also be that my body is fighting off an infection since my husband has been sick recently.
Today I only ran 3 miles on the treadmill because the weather was very cold and windy. I already realized during my warmup that I was much slower than usual.

Mile 1 4 mph
Mile 2 3.9 mph
Mile 3 3.6 mph
Total time for 3 miles was about 47 minutes, average heart rate was 134, I was pretty tired after 3 miles and did not feel like running any longer. It all felt more like a 10 mile run.
I have since read in Peter Attia's blog "My pet peeve" that it can take several weeks for your body to adjust to low-carb eating and he answered me directly later in the day and said that it took him about 12 weeks to completely adjust his workouts to ketosis. I'm not even sure that my body is in ketosis so far. But still, this may mean that my next half-marathon will be quite slow, but that's ok, losing belly fat is worth the patience that it takes for health reasons alone and there is always another race to run later in the year.

I'm finding it easier all the time to think of new recipes to try. Today I made some more ice creamfor dessert from heavy cream, almonds, almond oil and vanilla. It's very tasty without sweetener because almonds are naturally a little sweet. My family like it, too. We each had one small piece of very dark chocolate on top.
Dinner was ground beef browned with onions and tomato sauce and a big green salad of different lettuces with apple cider vinegar and olive oil. My family had some brown rice pasta with it and I looked at it and wondered why I liked pasta so much before.
This way of eating is easy because none of things I am staying away from I miss.

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MAGGIE101857 2/22/2012 6:51AM

    We have been eating much less pasta and substituting spaghetti squash in it's place. Our one weakness is Meg's 3 cheese mac...have to say we love that recipe!

You are doing so well with this new way of eating - and your blogs about the journey have been so interesting! I'm really enjoying them and learning much from you. emoticon for sharing!!!!

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KANOE10 2/22/2012 6:36AM

    I am glad your low carb eating is going well. You really can find wonderful recipes that are low carb and will find yourself enjoying your meals! I have been doing low carb for so long that I can't remember if there was an energy loss initially. Right now my energy is the highest it has been in years.


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A proper response for Dr. Oz concerning low-carb

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This speaks for itself:


This link also includes a link where you can read about the talk between Dr. Oz and Gary Taubes.

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DEC2DEC 2/22/2012 11:09AM

    I love that blog! Thanks for posting.

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ORGANIC811LFRV 2/21/2012 3:14PM

    In the raw community especially there is a debate between high fruit/carbs/low fat and low carb. People succeed differently. I know for me low fat and moderate carbs works wonders for me. That being said we must decide for ourselves what works best.

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KANOE10 2/21/2012 1:17PM

    Thanks for this info. I checked out taubs'blog on you tube..watched a few more. He is articulate and compassionate. I liked an Oz show with Ornish, Taub. and The American Medical Association.
Thanks so much for the info. I like the War on Insulin words! emoticon emoticon

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Quick and Easy low-carb and vegan soup and a great link

Monday, February 20, 2012

Coconut Curry Vegetable Soup

This soup was not planned as a vegan meal. My husband likes meat but he forgot to buy some at the grocery store. So the soup turned into a vegan dish, my first low-carb and vegan soup experiment:

2 packages frozen California mix (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
thaw in 1 cup boiling water in big pot
1 large can tomatoes
6 ounces crimini mushrooms
garlic, turmeric, Bragg's "soy sauce" or sea salt, cilantro, hot pepper sauce, curry powder to taste, simmer for about 10 minutes, then add
1 can coconut milk, simmer for a few minutes. Serve.

This was enough for 4 people in spite of the fact that we both ate two large bowls full. I made it pretty spicy and we both gave it two-thumbs-up. Meat would not have added anything other than protein, really.


I also stole this link from JUSTBIRDY'S sparkpage which is of a truly excellent blog :

This guy is a medical doctor and is a very clear thinker. Highly recommended. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NDTEACHER1 2/21/2012 11:10PM

    I'm going to try this. Thanks for sharing.

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STESSOUTCHICK1 2/21/2012 9:42AM

  OOOOO YUMMY! When I go to add blog
nothing Changes. so is there another
way to blog? LOL Sometimes I cant
even go visit my friends. Good grief

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ECOMUFFIN 2/20/2012 11:39PM

    That looks yummy!

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