[Sca-cooks] Carb Control Nutritional Plans (was RE: South Beach)

Lady Celia CeliadesArchier at cox.net
Wed Jul 23 13:43:44 PDT 2008

Dragon said: 
<<I was going to stay out of this, I really feel these programmed diets are
not the solution. Changing ones habits, portion control and exercise are the
only things that really, truly work.>> 

And now I have to get into it :) Exercise is an absolute must in any plan
intended to maintain health (and I'm much more concerned with maintaining
health than I am with weight loss, which is generally a side effect if
you're adopting healthier habits and are overweight,) but the "plain simple
truth" of "calories in vs. calories out" simply isn't simple, nor is it
simply true.  Yes, excess calories will always be turned to fat, but there
are a lot of things which impact weight loss beyond caloric intake.
Hormones are a big one, and roller coastering blood sugar levels are
another.  Metabolic rate is a factor, and can be impacted by the two
previously mentioned factors as well as by exercise. (Indeed, hormones and
blood sugar levels can also be impacted by exercise.) There are all sorts of
triggers in our body which cause us to put on and retain weight, many of
them are genetic and very few of them have to do with calories in vs.
calories out. 

<<These strict weight loss diets like Atkins and South Beach are a quick
fix, I really think that they should be avoided as the statistics show that
vast majority of people do not achieve lasting results with them. They go on
a roller coaster cycle of ups and downs, there have been suggestions that
such a cycle is no better than remaining overweight.>>

First, Atkins and South Beach aren't "strict weight loss diets".  That's one
of the problems, is that people tend to be looking for a quick fix and treat
them that way.  They're just as ineffective as every other diet when you
treat them that way.  Atkins, South Beach and all carb control plans are
actually nutritional programs intended to be a way of life, but the best way
to make sure that they do what they're supposed to do, which is to
transition you to a way of eating which is focused on "good carbs", and
"good fats" and *good nutrition* as a daily habit, is to learn how and why
they work, not to just get confused in the rules, which, without a full
comprehension of the underlying principles *do* just look like a "strict...
diet".  It's like the difference between baking a cake out of a box, and
learning how to bake including the food science behind it.  One might get
you through the next birthday party, the other will get you through life. 

And as for the "majority of people don't achieve lasting results from them",
I would agree with you conditionally.  The majority of people treat them
like a diet.  Diets... no matter *what* type of diet it is, Do Not Work!
And that leads me to another place where I agree with you... roller coaster
dieting is deadly, and learning to eat healthfully takes discipline and is
not easy, and is never going to give you the results you want unless you
also pair it with exercise. (Of course, one of the side effects of eating
healthfully is generally that you start having the *energy* that helps to
motivate you to exercise.) But it's also not some simple "calories in =
calories out" formula.  Everyone's metabolism is different, everyone's
nutritional needs and dietary habits are a bit different, and people have to
find the nutritional plan that works for them, then find a way to transition
to it.  

Carb control is the *only* thing that has ever worked for me, but I don't
expect it to work for everyone.  I've actually been on the "diabetic diets",
and they simply aren't maintainable for me - whereas carb control, for me,
is relatively easy as well as being effective.  So it's great that the
conventional portion control and calorie counting (or point counting or
diabetic food types counting, or whatever you're doing that works) works for
you (generic you, not just Dragon), but please recognize and respect that,
just as vegetarianism is not for everyone, so calorie counting (or whatever)
is not for everyone.  

Different things work for different people, and you have to find what works
for you.  But Dragon is 100% right that it *cannot be* something that's
going to be a "diet", because if that's how you approach it, then you may
lose the weight initially, but you *will* gain it back when you return to
your old habits, and usually plus some as well.  You have to find a program,
a nutritional 'strategy', so to speak, that is something that both works for
your system, and which you can live with.

<< Yes, I know there are exceptions to this due to metabolic issues but for
most people, this applies.>>

And this is where I disagree with Dragon the most.  My experience, the
anecdotal stories I've heard and the research I've seen all lead to one
conclusion... metabolic issues are the rule, not the exception.  My research
also leads me to conclude that there aren't any easy answers out there... if
there were, we'd have them and we'd all be thin. 


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