Monday, October 28, 2013
I have heard the above and similar questions in various forms a number of times by now and I do think it is one the we low-carbers may want to think about, so I'm viewing this blog post as a starting point for discussion. Here are some possible answers:
- Low-carbing is like any new life style/eating style, it takes a while to get the hang of it, both in the sense of avoiding mistakes and also in the sense of changing habits that may have existed for a very long time. Most people have some ups and downs until results are consistent.
- Low-carb has gotten a reputation for working even for people who are so heavy they can barely do any exercise. This is a reason why a higher percentage of extremely obese people start low-carb. Someone who started out at over 300 lbs or more may have lost 100 of those, but is still in the obese or overweight category. To lose a lot of weight takes a lot of time.
- Low-carb is not always easy to practice in a society where low-fat is preached at every corner and on display in most public places and on advertisements high-carb fare is much more common than high-fat/low-carb fare. Learning to negotiate social situations and triggers to eat carbs may take a while in this environment.
- There are a number of mistakes that people make when they first start eating low-carb because this way of eating works so differently from other forms of eating. Only learning the basics of low-carb eating will bring good results and during the learning process progress may be slow.
My favorite resource is the book by Phinney and Volek "Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living" and it's companion "Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Performance".
-Some people who started out obese and/or insulin resistant and had been for a long time may have damaged their metabolism through years of sugar abuse (I'm one of them) and while low-carb works better than anything else it may still not be possible to reach "normal" weight without additional means (i.e. very active lifestyle, drugs to improve insulin sensitivity).
-Regardless of weight, most health markers for people on low-carb lifestyle diets are much improved, many after only a few months, including but not limited to blood sugar and insulin levels, blood pressure, HDL/Triglyceride ratio, thyroid hormone levels, energy levels, sleep patterns, brain function, overall activity level. There are reports of low-carb and/or ketogenic diets improving, preventing or eliminating autoimmune diseases, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimers, seizure disorders, cancers and even depression. Many of these benefits may be linked to the reduction of inflammation in the body. All these benefits are even more important than reaching "normal" or "ideal" weight.