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01:53 PM on 07/04/2010
Absolutely correct!

Not only are high glucose levels responsible for weight gain and the difficulty of losing it -- it's also ADDICTIVE. This is what no diet guru is saying strongly enough.

Sugar equals heroin. If those with weight issues got that straight in their heads, they would be healthy and happy with their bodies. The yo-yo part of dieting is the addiction part. What works for other addicts works for those with weight issues too.

Food is not life. It sustains life. Food is about health and survival. Nature makes it fun and pleasurable to get us to survive -- just like it does with sex, to get us to reproduce. But the fun/pleasure part of food should be last on the list. Health/survival is first and foremost. If you don't get that straight you're in for a life-time roller-coaster ride -- with your health (#1) suffering. Ironic, isn't it?
02:45 PM on 07/04/2010
One of the best lines from a movie (sci-fi, I believe) was said by a woman
about why her husband, of a different psychological bent in their group, was
so big while she wasn't, said (paraphrased): 'Unlike some people, we eat
to live, we don't live to eat.'
11:30 PM on 07/04/2010
Bart Hoebel at Princeton has done some research that pretty much proves that sugar is truly addictive.
01:46 PM on 07/04/2010
Want to lose weight? It's easy. The first thing you must do is to STOP shoving junk down your pie hole. You can easily consume four or five low-calorie/fat meals throughout the day and feel full at the end of it before you go to bed. And if you do this right, you would have only consumed about 1,250 calories for the entire day. Your body would have no choice but to fuel itself by utilizing your fat storage if you create a diet for yourself like this. And one key element you need in weight loss is WATER. You need lots of water. Almost everyone I know lives in a dehydrated state, yet they don't realize it. You MUST have plenty of water (not tea, soft drinks, coffee) to make all of this work.

Anyway, this high fat/low fat war we're having is meaningless. All one has to do is to follow a simple four, five, or even six small meal plan per day diet. As I've said, by doing this you will fill full at the end of the day. And your low caloric intake (that's the key, folks) will cause you to lose weight. It's that freaking simple.
02:00 PM on 07/04/2010
Lots of small meals doesn't work for lots of people. It's important to step away from the whole pie hole issue and give yourself a break from associating with food for a good part of the day. Little meals can easily expand to medium, and then to big ones.

Water IS very important. Drink water in between actual meals. Stick to an meal schedule. No snacking. Adults really don't need 3 full meals -- we aren't frontier homesteaders anymore. The most significant meal should be lunch.

And stay away from sugar. See my post above about addiction.
02:28 PM on 07/04/2010
Consuming small meals throughout the day in intervals, in my view and from my own experience, is THE way to go in weight loss and weight management. These meals offer the proper nutrition that is required for good health, but they also do something that isn't talked about like it should be: they STIMULATE METABOLISM.

Yep, the ol' furnace is kept stoked by infrequent consumption of low calorie/high quality meals that are consumed in preplanned feedings throughout the day. This works, and the science behind it is solid, as I'm sure you are aware of. The sad part about this is that most folks aren't aware of it and its benefits. Nope, instead we have a nation full of overweight (unhealthy) citizens who are unfortunately lazy and misguided. They don't need to DIET, they need to change what they eat by incorporating lean meats, fruits that they like, and veggies that they like. And you know what? This type of diet really only needs to be adhered to for FIVE of the SEVEN days that make a week. Yes, that's what I said. So this means that the weekends are a lot more open to eat what we want (as long as this doesn't get out of hand of course). And I believe this leeway helps psychologically.
01:31 PM on 07/05/2010
VictorMature said: "You MUST have plenty of water (not tea, soft drinks, coffee) to make all of this work."

So many people say this, but it's a logical fallacy. Your body doesn't know the difference between plain water and water with flavoring in it. If the flavoring is something like tea, it's also beneficial to the body. Sugar, of course, is not. But at bottom, putting some flavoring in water doesn't make it something other than water.

In many parts of the world, water isn't pure. That's one reason people started boiling the water and flavoring it with tea and herbs. Many people in Asian cultures drink tea all day long and tend to be far healthier than Americans.

It's simply illogical to say putting a flavoring in water changes it into something other than water and it no longer counts as water.
01:39 PM on 07/05/2010
If putting something together with water made it into non-water, your stomach would have to be completely empty -- no food in it at all -- for water to remain water. The minute the water combined with the food, it would become non-water. Obviously this is nonsense.
01:39 PM on 07/04/2010
To answer Dr. Hyman's questions:

>> What seems to trigger weight gain for you?

Consuming too many calories while burning too few calories - regardless of the calorie source.

>> How have different diets worked for you?

I lost 40 pounds in 1 year by taking the gradual approach of losing an average of three-quarters of a pound per week. I ate a variety of my favorite foods while exercising vigorously on a regular basis.

Photo of me wearing only gym shorts every Thursday morning of that year:

>> Have you ever had you insulin and blood sugar tested?

Not sure. If I had these tests, I did not review the results.
03:09 PM on 07/04/2010
cool idea! thanks for sharing!
Follow me on Twitter :)
07:53 PM on 07/04/2010
Your photos are amazing.. what a great idea for anyone who's trying to reshape their bodies and lives. I especially love how much your face changes from the first to last photo. Congrats on your success :)

I've lost 38 lbs in the past year. I stopped soda, packaged food, junk food and most white food. I eat at least 25 grams of fiber (up to 35 grams), 60 gm of protein, 120 gm of carbs and 30 gm of fat. No fads or trends in my diet, just real, healthy food that's changed the shape of my body and the health within. Exercise also plays a big part.

We all know how to lose weight and we all know the foods we should be eating them... starting to actually do it is hard but only for about a week and then it's actually very easy.
12:37 PM on 07/04/2010
I'm afraid that I don't have the time to thoroughly read 9 pages of comments to see if this was mentioned, however, I have had quite a shift in weight loss simply by replacing the regular fats in my diet with coconut oil. Consuming a nearly vegetarian diet for 2 years, although beneficial, didn't move the needle on the scale as much as this shift in about 2 months. I do have some fears about trading one issue for another as coconut oil is high in saturated fat. I've been reading the literature both ways, however, I don't have the time to figure out study design flaws and the like so am left in a state of suspended confusion about it. I'm continuing the coconut oil use for the moment as I feel quite good and energetic and hope for the best. Didn't think I felt bad before, but I noticed a positive difference. I experienced the same thing when shifting to a near vegetarian diet. I think that optimal health is a journey rather than a destination to be reached.
02:51 PM on 07/04/2010
Coconut oil is one of the best things you can put in your body. Saturated fats are the NUMBER ONE FOOD you body NEEDS. I do hope you continue with the coconut oil if you're seeing good results. A couple of tips of which you are no doubt already aware - try to get cold-pressed or cold expelled organic coconut oil, and also the fewer processed carbs you have in your diet the better the results will be. Other wonderful fats are lard and tallow, butter, and olive oil (just don't use olive oil for high heat cooking). Good luck!
08:57 PM on 07/04/2010
Thanks, you have quite an interesting website. I was mostly using EVOO, sesame oil and a little butter before, now the proportion is slanted significantly toward cold expelled organic coconut oil.
08:00 PM on 07/04/2010
Your body produces saturated fat normally to be used as fuel, so I'd stop paying attention to the crazy folks who say it's bad for you. The body doesn't naturally make toxins to be used to keep you healthy. Quite the opposite, in fact. A low carb diet retunes your body to burn that fat as opposed to carbohydrates - which turn into saturated fat when they aren't burned off through daily exercise. Coconut oil is a big part of having a healthy low carb diet.
08:48 PM on 07/04/2010
Interesting. I knew the body produces cholesterol, but had no idea that the body also makes saturated fats. Thank you!
11:54 PM on 07/04/2010
I presume, gavrielle, that when you refer to the body making saturated fats, that you are referring to the fatty acids the body makes out of carbohydrates that are then carried around as triglycerides? I do like your posts! You're smart!
12:26 PM on 07/04/2010
Weight loss,its not the food its the amount,heck the french eat far more fat than we do ,but its in controlled quantities,they eat less sugar,as North Americans we are sugar freaks,especially our soft drinks,fruit drinks and alcohol,everything is cooked in oil,trying reducing your amount.
As i look around its apparent a lot of people eat at more fast food outlets than ever,there really not the cause,its our programming,its the media,its the amount you eat.
try leaving the dinner table, not full,but reasonably satisfied,and heck go for a walk,eat then watch tv or go to sleep is no good,people are just plain lazy.
now i have a product which can curb your appetite and give you that burst of energy,you can judge for yourself,product works like a charm,and guess you will be shocked.
12:15 PM on 07/04/2010
I did the low glycemic thing -- and lost 35lbs. But then I put it all back on, PLUS. I tried the low glycemic thing again -- and did not lose anything.

Its not a calorie in thing. I gained 4lbs in one day, and the only thing I ate differently was a candy bar --- after six months of not eating anything like it. I gained 3 lbs the next day, for no known reason. I should have gained .25 of a pound if the calorie thing was valid.

Apparently your body goes into hyperdrive to hold on to weight, maybe because of sugar. And it holds that weight in water mostly.

There is a lot to learn yet about weight. Not everyone is the same.
02:58 PM on 07/04/2010
No, we are not all the same. The patterns I notice most though are among people who have gained lots and lots of weight, because by that time insulin does seem to have come into play in a major way, and other hormones seem to be complicating things. The things about eating a low glycemic diet is that you are making a lifetime commitment. Like all "diets" you will gain back the weight once you go back to eating your old way. One of my first rules in my own program is to stop weighing myself, because, at almost 50 and with strange things going on hormonally, I can easily gain 5 to 7 pounds overnight whether I ate or not the previous day. I don't need to get my "mind" involved in that as it only serves to demotivate. Once I took "weight" out of the equation and started concentrating on wellness, things began to get much much better.
07:40 AM on 07/05/2010
Thank's for good article
11:36 PM on 07/04/2010
You are correct when you observe that the weight gain after eating a candy bar is attributable to water retention. A little known fact - when you eat carbs your kidneys retain salt which causes you to retain water as well. The corollary, when you stop eating carbs you release the excess salt and water. I know that if I eat a creme brulee, I will be a kilo heavier the next day. It's the retained water. The flip side of this is that you do need to make sure you are getting enough salt when you do low carb or you will get the common side-effects: constipation, headache, fatigue and maybe muscle cramps.
11:01 AM on 07/04/2010
For those of you who keep saying, in spite of a complete absence of evidence, that it's "calories in, calories out", and that "diet" (calorie restriction) and "exercise" are the only solutions:

The best evidence we have is that diet (calorie restriction) rarely, if ever, results in permanent weight loss:'t_work.pdf

Exercise makes it harder, not easier, to lose weight:,8599,1914857,00.html

A note on physics: The First Law of Themodynamics (conservation of energy) holds for human beings. Every calorie we consume is either used, stored, or excreted.

The whole point of weight loss diets, however, is to use body fat as fuel, and it's the composition of the diet, not the total calories, that determine what calories we consume are stored or used.

It borders on impossible, for example, to gain weight on a diet consisting only of protein and fat, regardless of the total calories. Fat deposition requires a molecule, glycerol phosphate, that is produced only as a by-product of glucose metabolism. (Caveat: We can make small amounts of blood glucose from protein.) Otherwise, blood glucose is made from carbohydrate. For all practical purposes, no carbohydrate means no weight gain, regardless of total calories.
12:17 PM on 07/04/2010
I so agree. Recently I have changed my way of eating to more protein and fats, less carbs/sugar (candida cleanse) and have lost weight, eat an enormous amount for me, and feel really good. BTW, I did not need to lose weight, it just happened, now I need to not lose anymore. This is not for everyone as we all have different metabolisms and need to find what out bodies do best on. I tried vegetarian several times, did not do well.
09:23 PM on 07/04/2010
Samknox - sorry, but Time Magazine got it wrong. In Obesity, a research journal, there's a recent article entitled 'One-year Weight Losses in the Look AHEAD Study: Factors Associated With Success.' The Look Ahead Study is following 5,145 men and women with type 2 diabetes over 11 years. After the first year of study their conclusion:

"Participants' weight losses were related to their adherence to the study's treatment recommendations. Of the three measures of adherence, physical activity correlated most strongly with weight loss, accounting for 16.1% of the variance, as determined by multiple regression analysis. Participants in the highest quartile of self-reported physical activity lost 11.9% of initial weight, compared with only 4.4% for those in the lowest quartile. More frequent attendance at treatment sessions and greater consumption of meal replacements also were associated with greater weight loss, although to a lesser degree than physical activity ... randomized trials as well as observational studies have reported a positive relationship between weight loss and high levels of physical activity. In addition to burning calories, physical activity may contribute to weight management by sparing the loss of fat-free mass or by facilitating dietary adherence by controlling appetite and improving mood."

Also, one of the experts quoted in Times, Dr. Timothy Church, said his professional opinions were misrepresented and noted that weight maintenance is different than weight loss. Virtually all people who lose weight and keep it off are exercising to maintain weight, he said.
09:40 PM on 07/04/2010
Here's what Dr. Timothy Church says:”-debate/
11:35 PM on 07/04/2010
The laws of physics dictate that forced exercise and calorie restriction will create a greater caloric deficit, thus greater weight loss, than calorie restriction alone. One thing is certain, the dieters were hungry, and the exercisers were even hungrier, and hunger is by far the most common reason that dieters fail to adhere to their diets.

The problem is that, for all practical purposes, trying to maintain weight-loss using calorie restriction and a "balanced" (any significant amount of carbohydrate) diet, with or without exercise, is impossible.

When Dr. Church says that "Virtually all people who lose weight and keep it off are exercising to maintain weight." he's talking about a very select group.

The best evidence we have (see the link to the UCLA meta-analysis above) suggests that the failure rate for calorie-restricted diets, whether or not they are accompanied by exercise, is somewhere in excess of 95%.

It's not a question of what people CAN do as a part of a dietary trial, it's what they WILL do in their everyday lives. It's possible, through an act of will, to lose weight in the short-term by restricting calories and exercising. It's also possible, in theory, through an even greater act of will, to maintain weight loss in the same way. It doesn't seem to be possible in practice, however.

Having said that, there is some evidence that exercise can help maintain weight:
10:58 AM on 07/04/2010
I struggled with my weight all my life until I changed my diet six years ago. I have since lost 50 pounds, and I have kept the weight off for years, and my weight has not fluctuated by more than 5 or 6 pounds in all that time. I believe that anyone who is willing to adopt a diet similar to mine can achieve the same results. Here is how.
I am a strict vegan. I no longer eat any meat or dairy products, and I make vegetables the centerpiece of my meal at least twice a day, and I try to include raw vegetables or a salad at least once a day. I also try to keep my carb and sugar intake low. This is vital. Sugars, especially refined cane, beet and corn derived sugars, are devastating to your diet and your overall health. For this diet to work, you must cut out the sugar. I also do not eat gluten. Whether or not you have gluten intolerance (and you may not know you have it even if you do), you should avoid gluten. It is not good for you, and if you go gluten free, it will help you keep your carb intake in check which is also critical.
When it comes to fat, I don't worry about it too much. I avoid foods that are fried or contain more than 30% fat calories. I try to get my fats from healthy sources, nuts, avocados, and olive oil.
Med student, Colorado
11:25 AM on 07/04/2010
Vegan is good, just so long as you take care to supplement vitamin B12. B12 deficiency is common among vegans, because it's not available in fruit/vegetable sources.
11:40 AM on 07/04/2010
Yes, I take a liquid b12 supplement. Good point. Some people may also want to add a fish oil supplement, although this is not strict vegan.
Med student, Colorado
10:46 AM on 07/04/2010
For me, high dose prednisone triggered weight gain 10 years ago, but I was unable to lose it all even after I was off the medication and no longer cushingoid. However, I've recently lost ALL of it. What did I do to do that? Just eat a healthy, balanced diet (no dieting here... I'm not a Yo-Yo), and exercise- LOTS of exercise (I decided out of the blue to train for the most ambitious cycling event I could think of... 120 miles across the Rockiesand over 3 major passes in a single day). Next week I'm riding in Colorado's Triple Bypass, with the National Kidney Foundation as my chosen charity I've been supporting through this. I've ridden thousands of miles in my training, and have even ridden to the top of the highest paved road in N. America multiple times.

Riding for Renal 2010
"A life saved, riding to help save others"
Sponsor/Donation page:
Med student, Colorado
11:38 AM on 07/04/2010
FYI... Healthy diet and exercise are also the best ways of avoiding 80+% of kidney disease. The most common causes of renal failure are uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension, leading to diabetic nephropathy and renal artery stenosis.
10:29 AM on 07/04/2010
Boy, is my face red...but not that red.

I've been citing the results of two Swedish dietary trials that supplied 3,000 calories/day and 1,500 calories/day.

It turns out that they were Danish trials that supplied 1,850 calories/day and 950 calories/day.

Here are the particulars:

"...the first meaningful report on the efficacy of carbohydrate restriction for weight loss was one published in 1936, by Per Hanssen of the Steno Memorial Hospital in Copenhagen. Hanssen reported treating twenty-one obese patients over two years with an 1,850-calorie diet that contained only 450 calories of carbohydrates, or a little less than 25 percent.

Hanssen compared his results with those reported five years earlier by physicians at the nearby University Clinic using a diet consisting of half the calories but twice the proportion of carbohydrates (over 50 percent). "At Steno Memorial Hospital," Hanssen noted, "a diet of 1,850 calories will reduce weight as quickly as a diet of 950 calories at the University Clinic of Copenhagen."

(From "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes.)

I think my point still holds: It's the composition of the diet, not the total calories, that determines the rate and amount of fat loss.
10:24 AM on 07/04/2010
atkins said most of this decades ago and he took a lot of crap for it. there have since been many studies with findings that indicate atkins was right. having said that, i can't imagine an atkins diet for very long.. so moderation moderation moderation
01:20 AM on 07/05/2010
I've been on a very low carb diet, close to Atkins induction, for almost 8 years now and there's no way I would go back to eating carbs.
08:41 AM on 07/05/2010
"there's no way I would go back to eating carbs."

yep, i've heard that from people who've maintain a low carb diet. good to hear, glad it's working for you.
my comments are of a sensitive nature . . .
03:09 PM on 07/13/2010
Yeah, its hard, but I'm not ever going back on carbs. I'm losing weight, drastically improving my cholesterol profile, lowering blood pressure, no longer have any intestinal distress, and in general feel less sluggish and heavy. Eating just a few carbs reminds me of why I made this decision. I'm hoping that not having the constant insulin release will prevent heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, and Alzheimer's -- and there's a good bit of research that this is a possibility and worth pursuing. For someone as insulin resistant as I am, moderation will not work -- but maybe OK for those with a healthy metabolism.
09:58 AM on 07/04/2010
why strive to lose the weight? Because many reasons that people need to lose weight, I think if you are not overweight and healthy, nut you are only look not so pretty because you think you body not slim. Healthy is the most important things for your life, so do not try to against you nature body. Eat well, consume enough calories, do exercises, drink water, and sleep well are enough for health.
09:48 AM on 07/04/2010
The problem with medical science is that they keep coming up with new research while the poor people die following their earlier research.
09:27 AM on 07/04/2010
I recall reading Dr. Adkin's book. Glucose tolerance tests and low glycemic diets are his basic idea and, it is too bad, he was ridiculed until the day he passed away.
09:51 AM on 07/04/2010
Sadly, the "new" low glycemic diet is just a modified version of Atkin's diet. Insulin is the root casue of most obesity not directly related to massive overeating, which most fat people simply do not do, but some do.

I have lots a great deal of weight by watching my diet and following a low glycemic diet. It is slow, but it is sure and the weight importantly does not come back.
Lawson Meadows
Plant in your kids, the seeds of greatness!
05:16 PM on 07/04/2010
Yep! Little Debbie overload, spiked insulin, excess blood sugar loads adipose... next thing you know you are the president of the "Chunky Monkey" club. Congrats on taking and keeping it off.
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08:55 AM on 07/04/2010
Calories, calories, calories.

If you don't know how many you are consuming, you are consuming too many.

Cut calories to less than 2,000 a day, and exercise, and you'll lose weight. Simple formula.

Fat calories are more satisfying and carb (especially sugar) calories often make you crave more, so have bacon instead of cereal. But cut your intake down to lose weight, and EXERCISE!
03:05 PM on 07/04/2010
I don't know how many calories I am eating in a day at all and I am losing weight. So clearly, you don't have to know how many calories you are consuming in order to lose weight!
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05:12 PM on 07/04/2010
But ultimately, you are consuming fewer calories than you spend in daily exercise. Or you could have an illness that is affecting your body's ability to absorb or process food. But with weight consumption of calories is the whole issue, and with the obese, much more often than not, lack of awareness of how many thousands of extra calories they consume - largely drinking soda.
my comments are of a sensitive nature . . .
03:11 PM on 07/13/2010
Wow, I've just done way too much research of SCIENCE to believe that what works in a test tube would work the same in individual's complex bodies.

Calories in, calories out has been debunked.