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Old 11-24-2013, 03:00 PM   #41
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animal fats just seem like they would be harder on the body than fats from avocados and olive oil. I can't say I have any scientific evidence of that, but just my own hypothesis.
A lot of people believe as you do, because it is drilled into our heads over and over by the mainstream media. I used to believe it myself. But when I started digging into the science behind this claim, it became clear that it really doesn't exist. Again, here is what Chris Kresser has to say about this in one of his articles on heart disease and diet:

"If youíre wondering whether saturated fat may contribute to heart disease in some way that isnít related to cholesterol, a large meta-analysis of prospective studies involving close to 350,000 participants found no association between saturated fat and heart disease. (8) A Japanese prospective study that followed 58,000 men for an average of 14 years found no association between saturated fat intake and heart disease, and an inverse association between saturated fat and stroke (i.e. those who ate more saturated fat had a lower risk of stroke). (9)"

Here is the link to the article where the above quote was pulled from, if you want to read it yourself: The Diet-Heart Myth: Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Are Not the Enemy
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:40 PM   #42
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It seems like people are looking for a magic pill, or diet, rather than simply understanding that at the end of the day it's calories in, minus calories out. The issue I see with controlling non-complex carbs has more to do with preventing my blood sugar from spiking than anything else. If I eat in a manner that keeps my blood sugar steady, I'm much less likely to binge eat.

But my bigger question, at the risk of sounding annoying, is how many people that are struggling with their weight include daily, or almost daily, vigorous exercise in their lives?

It's not good genes or good luck that keeps my husband and I thin. It's a combination of watching our calories and getting off our fannies on a daily basis. Like today - we just came back from a 40 mile bike ride, which equates to about 1200 calories burned.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:50 PM   #43
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I strongly believe that processed carbohydrates are highly addictive, and I find it very clear that when I give them up and go on an Atkins style diet of almost all proteins and fats, I lose the cravings for cookies, cake, crackers, and flour based products. And while in theory I'm allowed to eat all of the protein and fat I choose, I find that just a small amount fills me up so much that I just naturally stop eating when I'm full. When I'm eating a diet that includes wheat and grain based products, it seems like no matter how much I eat, I still have a craving for sweets and salty crunchy things. I know that I'm not hungry, yet I'm still craving these snacks. The addiction is quite compelling in my experience.

While I don't wish to debate all of the various studies out there, as I'm sure that there are plenty out there to support just about any hypothesis, I suggest that anyone who has a desire to lose weight and hasn't tried a low carbohydrate diet simply try it for a week and see for themselves. If it doesn't work, then you know it's not for you.

But I bet a lot of people will be very surprised to see how easy it is to feel full and lose weight at the same time if they try it.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:57 PM   #44
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It seems like people are looking for a magic pill, or diet, rather than simply understanding that at the end of the day it's calories in, minus calories out...
It's not good genes or good luck that keeps my husband and I thin. It's a combination of watching our calories and getting off our fannies on a daily basis. Like today - we just came back from a 40 mile bike ride, which equates to about 1200 calories burned.
I hear this all the time and yet "watching calories" it has nothing to do with lots of people's experience with controlling weight. I was a skinny kid in HS and college. Over the last 8 years I averaged 100 miles a week on the bike and I worked out in the gym. I did not eat huge amounts of food but I ate poor food choices -- quite a bit of bread, pasta, and ta da chocolate. I also "watched" my calories and made sure to buy skim milk, diet soda, and lots of low calorie prepared foods. Nevertheless I slowly gained 35 pounds over 30 years. When I tried to lose those pounds by controlling calories (i.e. how much I ate) I was always hungry and lost nothing. But when I simply changed my macro nutrients I effortlessly lost those 35 pounds over a few months. I have stayed stay at my college weight for a year and a half now and I never count calories -- I always eat all I want but I avoid sugar, large amounts of white carbs, all highly processed foods, and all low fat foods. Do you have to do it the way I did? No, of course not. But should I change my macro nutrients back to low fat and higher carbs and count every ounce in an effort to hold the line? Why in the world would I do that?
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:58 PM   #45
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But I bet a lot of people will be very surprised to see how easy it is to feel full and lose weight at the same time if they try it.[/QUOTE]

Tried it for well less than a week. It wasn't worth it to me to feel that bad with lack of energy. Maybe if I had stuck to it for a couple of weeks it would have evened out.....just wasn't for me. But unlike a lot of people, I don't eat because I am hungry (although occasionally I am)....I eat out of habit, or because I'm sitting around.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:14 PM   #46
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I hear this all the time and yet "watching calories" it has nothing to do with lots of people's experience with controlling weight. I was a skinny kid in HS and college. Over the last 8 years I averaged 100 miles a week on the bike and I worked out in the gym. I did not eat huge amounts of food but I ate poor food choices -- quite a bit of bread, pasta, and ta da chocolate. I also "watched" my calories and made sure to buy skim milk, diet soda, and lots of low calorie prepared foods. Nevertheless I slowly gained 35 pounds over 30 years. When I tried to lose those pounds by controlling calories (i.e. how much I ate) I was always hungry and lost nothing. But when I simply changed my macro nutrients I effortlessly lost those 35 pounds over a few months. I have stayed stay at my college weight for a year and a half now and I never count calories -- I always eat all I want but I avoid sugar, large amounts of white carbs, all highly processed foods, and all low fat foods. Do you have to do it the way I did? No, of course not. But should I change my macro nutrients back to low fat and higher carbs and count every ounce in an effort to hold the line? Why in the world would I do that?
With all due respect, I don't accept this. The only way to gain weight is to consume more calories than you burn, regardless of the quality, or not, of those calories. And the only way to lose weight is to do the reverse.

It would appear the way you ate back then kept your blood sugar in a constant cycle of spiking, then crashing, which would very likely lead to binge or overeating, vs the more blood sugar friendly diet you appear to be on now, that probably prevents it. And I use 'diet' as meaning a way of life, not a temporary state, because that's how it really should be approached.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:17 PM   #47
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Everybody is different. The error many people make is that they assume what works for them works for everybody else. And if it doesn't work for the other guy it's because the other person is doing something wrong, lacks will power, or is otherwise flawed. Nonsense.

If being a Vegan works for you great! If counting calories-in-and-out plus exercise works for you great! If low-carb high-fat works for you, great!

What worked for me was a low-carb diet (good meats and fish, lots of veggies, nuts, whole milk dairy, some fruits, very little sugars and highly processed foods including whole wheat grains, GASP!) . My weight is down, my waist is down, my glucose level is down, and my blood lipids are the best they have ever been. That's just my story. Take what you want and leave the rest.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:26 PM   #48
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Everybody is different. The error most people make is that they assume what works for them works for everybody else. If being a Vegan works for you great! If counting calories-in-and-out plus exercise works for you great! If low-carb high-fat works for you, great!

What worked for me was a low-carb diet (but not quite as extreme as some people). My weight is down, my waist is down, my glucose level is down, my blood lipids are the best they have ever been. That's just my story. Take what you want and leave the rest.
And still I think there is confusion . . .

I agree that there are many, many ways to approach both losing and maintaining weight, and I agree that there is no one size fits all approach.

However, to say that there is some magic combination of food that eliminates the basic equation of calories being consumed needing to be less than calories being burned over the course of a day in order to lose weight is simply incorrect.

We lose weight when we cut back on the calories we are consuming, or conversely, increase the calories we are burning. If cutting calories becomes easier by avoiding some foods, while eating other foods instead, terrific. But at the end of the day, or week, or month, less calories were consumed than were burned. There is simply no other way for weight to come off.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:43 PM   #49
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With all due respect, I don't accept this. The only way to gain weight is to consume more calories than you burn, regardless of the quality, or not, of those calories. And the only way to lose weight is to do the reverse.
It's increasingly being accepted almost everywhere that a calorie is not, in fact, a calorie (in terms of how we deal with them). The way our bodies process what we eat is what makes the difference.

If you're not familiar with the work of people like Gary Taubes, do yourself a favor and look into one of his books. The most accessible is Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It: Gary Taubes (the Kindle edition, but also in paperback or hardcover)
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:48 PM   #50
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We lose weight when we cut back on the calories we are consuming. If that becomes easier by avoiding some foods, while eating other foods instead, terrific. But at the end of the day, or week, or month less calories were consumed than were burned. There is simply no other way for weight to come off.
You are right, and it's how the source of the calories affects how the calories are processed that is often the problem.

Let me give an example I heard from a professor of medicine who has done research into obesity. Mr Jones requires 2000 calories a day to be energy balanced. He eats 800 of those calories as sugar and other foods that greatly stimulate his insulin production. As a result of the insulin surge, his body stores 150 of the calories as fat very quickly. So now he only has 1850 calories to burn when he needs 2000. So he eats more to make up the difference. Sure, he could wait for his body to convert the those 150 recent fat calories to fuel, but he gets very hungry before that happens, so he eats instead. If he ate foods that did not trigger excess insulin Mr. Jones would not feel the need to eat the extra 150 calories.

There are, of course, other factors. Some foods do not trigger the chemicals that tell our brain we are satiated, so we eat more.

And, yes, this is very over simplified for the layperson.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:06 PM   #51
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You are right, and it's how the source of the calories affects how the calories are processed that is often the problem.

Let me give an example I heard from a professor of medicine who has done research into obesity. Mr Jones requires 2000 calories a day to be energy balanced. He eats 800 of those calories as sugar and other foods that greatly stimulate his insulin production. As a result of the insulin surge, his body stores 150 of the calories as fat very quickly. So now he only has 1850 calories to burn when he needs 2000. So he eats more to make up the difference. Sure, he could wait for his body to convert the those 150 recent fat calories to fuel, but he gets very hungry before that happens, so he eats instead. If he ate foods that did not trigger excess insulin Mr. Jones would not feel the need to eat the extra 150 calories.

There are, of course, other factors. Some foods do not trigger the chemicals that tell our brain we are satiated, so we eat more.

And, yes, this is very over simplified for the layperson.
Yes, yes, yes, I agree on all points.

I just get testy when I hear comments that imply weight is not a byproduct of the way in which we choose to balance the calories we take in vs the calories we put out. Because, of course, it is.

And as I said in my initial post here, I likewise moderate my non-complex (i.e., simple) carb intake because of the subsequent blood sugar spike/crash cycle.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:10 PM   #52
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The website you linked to above, "Quackwatch", was founded and is funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Of course they are going to do whatever they can to try to discredit anyone who puts out information that could affect their profits (and believe me, selling statin drugs is enormously profitable). In my mind, Dr. Stephen Barrett of "Quackwatch" is the real quack.
He may well be. I don't agree with everything on that site either. However, it seems he makes the claim that Lundell's medical license was revoked. And, such an order seems to be on the Arizona medical board website:

http://azmd.gov/GLSuiteWeb/Repositor...428be876c4.pdf

And, in fairness, here is what appears to be Lundell's response.

http://greatcholesterollie.com/letter.pdf

The point is not that Quackwatch is great. However, the fact that Lundell's medical license was revoked does, indeed, bear upon his credibility. He may be right (or partly right) about what he contends, but I don't find him particularly credible.

The point is that most people just look for whoever supports their position and if they have M.D. after their name people invest the opinion with a lot of credibility. But, like with many things, not all M.D.s agree on everything and not all M.D.s are credible.

I personally tend to think that lowish carb (probably what some would think of as moderate card (about 80-100g of net carbs a day) works well for lots of people, including me.

But, as someone else said, what makes me uncomfortable at times about both the low-carb advocates and the low-fat advocates is that it has become almost like a religion. The two sides seems to be more and more polarized and they focus too much on the differences between them rather than the areas where they do agree. And, all too often, neither side sees in role for moderation. Both sides cherry pick the studies to only find things that support their point of view, rather than looking at results in a scientific way. That is, if a low carb person sees something that supports lower fat eating or that says it really doesn't matter whether you eat low carb or low fat, often the only response is to try to come up with why the study is wrong. There never seems to be an reexamination of pre-existing opinion. And, I see the same thing in the low-fat camp.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:52 PM   #53
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With all due respect, I don't accept this. The only way to gain weight is to consume more calories than you burn, regardless of the quality, or not, of those calories. And the only way to lose weight is to do the reverse.
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I just get testy when I hear comments that imply weight is not a byproduct of the way in which we choose to balance the calories we take in vs the calories we put out. Because, of course, it is.
I did not make the point I was trying to make. Of course calories in must exceed calories out to gain weight and vice versus. I do believe in the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The point I failed to make is that the facile calories in and out point is not of any use to many of us who want to achieve caloric balance. When I was eating candy, pasta, whole grain breads and cereals, diet sodas, lean meats, skim milk, and low fat yogurt it is a tautology that I consumed more calories than I needed to maintain my weight. Otherwise I would not have gained a pound a year. But I knew that. Yet when I tried to lose weight by controlling the amounts of what I ate my efforts were to no avail. I reduced the amount of candy. I cut the fatty portions of meats. I slimmed down my plates. Or so I thought. Clearly, even though I thought I was accurately counting calories I was in fact not doing so. To lose weight while continuing to eat the types of food I was eating would have required a heroic effort to measure those foods and continually struggle with hunger. And, based on other peoples' experiences, I would still likely have failed. To me such a calorie counting effort is a fool's proposition. It is certainly not what naturally slim people currently do nor what my slim parents did decades ago.

When I changed the types of foods I was eating, cutting out the candy, pasta, processed foods, etc., I was able to eat to my heart's content and the pounds melted off. Clearly, despite feeling like I was pigging out, I was really consuming less calories. And when I got down to my present weight I either naturally kicked up the quantity of food a notch or my metabolism slowed a notch or both because I continue to eat to my heart's content and I do not gain a pound. With the types of food I currently eat I am in stasis - my body maintains a good weight by itself with no conscious effort on my part to limit amounts. I simply eat what I feel like, when I feel like eating. I do not "choose to balance" the calories I take in, my body does it for me as long as I choose to avoid certain types of food.

The net result is the same. The proper balance of course depends on calories in vs calories out - but the efforts required to achieve that balance are night and day depending on the types of food you eat.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:24 PM   #54
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donheff,

To your points above, I agree 100%. They mirror my experiences with simple carbs/sugars. Not to mention the night and day difference in overall energy level when simple carbs/sugars are consumed vs not.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:45 PM   #55
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When I changed the types of foods I was eating, cutting out the candy, pasta, processed foods, etc., I was able to eat to my heart's content and the pounds melted off. Clearly, despite feeling like I was pigging out, I was really consuming less calories. And when I got down to my present weight I either naturally kicked up the quantity of food a notch or my metabolism slowed a notch or both because I continue to eat to my heart's content and I do not gain a pound. With the types of food I currently eat I am in stasis - my body maintains a good weight by itself with no conscious effort on my part to limit amounts. I simply eat what I feel like, when I feel like eating. I do not "choose to balance" the calories I take in, my body does it for me as long as I choose to avoid certain types of food.

The net result is the same. The proper balance of course depends on calories in vs calories out - but the efforts required to achieve that balance are night and day depending on the types of food you eat.
Excellent summation! Exactly what my experience has been.

It's sad to see how much processed foods has contributed to obesity in the past fifty years. Our bodies naturally regulate how many calories we need, as long as we eat simple, wholesome foods. However, as soon as we add in processed carbohydrates, our brain kicks in and it seems to stimulate our senses similar to how we react to opiates. So even when we have consumed sufficient calories, the addictive qualities of the processed foods keep playing games with our brain, telling us we crave more and more. And, while our brains are loving the experience, our bodies are seeing tremendous spikes in blood sugar, which contributes to the storage of excess fat. And this is fat that we simply don't need, but our brain keeps taunting us to eat more and more to satisfy our addictions. We should be outraged and the food industry as they clearly know they are creating these addictions, and continue to look for way to make processed foods even more addictive so that we keep buying more and more. Just as we can't count on cigarette companies to care about our well being, we no longer can count on major food manufacturers to produce what is good for us. They only produce what is good for them.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:58 PM   #56
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I just get testy when I hear comments that imply weight is not a byproduct of the way in which we choose to balance the calories we take in vs the calories we put out. Because, of course, it is.
Sorry, but it's not that simple. The human body processes calories from different food sources (fat, carbs, protein) in very different ways. Mark Sisson explains this pretty well here: How to Eat According to the Primal Blueprint | Mark's Daily Apple

As Donheff said, Gary Taubes explains this in great detail in his books, also.

And with regard to managing your weight, what you eat is far more important than the amount of exercise you get. That is not to say that exercise is not important for fitness and overall health - it is - but if your diet is poor, you can exercise all you want and you won't lose much weight.
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:01 AM   #57
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Sorry, but it's not that simple. The human body processes calories from different food sources (fat, carbs, protein) in very different ways. Mark Sisson explains this pretty well here: How to Eat According to the Primal Blueprint | Mark's Daily Apple

As Donheff said, Gary Taubes explains this in great detail in his books, also.

And with regard to managing your weight, what you eat is far more important than the amount of exercise you get. That is not to say that exercise is not important for fitness and overall health - it is - but if your diet is poor, you can exercise all you want and you won't lose much weight.
If this were a thread on budgeting woes, we'd all say "Give us the specifics of your situation so we can assess why your finances are out of whack."

Losing or maintaining weight is no different when you get down to it, so I challenge "us" to actually track our consumption calories against activity calories to see what is really occurring, not what we think is occurring. SparkPeople.com has a good website to do this on, as does LiveStrong.com. Both will also track and break down food consumption by a variety of categories, including carbohydrates.

I've trained and done many long distance endurance events. I can assure you the calories expended each time have led to weight loss in spite of upping my consumption of simple carbs, that under more normal circumstances I would otherwise limit.

Edit: Please note that I completely understand that limiting simple carbs/sugars assists in moderating blood sugar, which then helps prevent blood-sugar-crash overeating. However, at the end of the day, whether or not weight is lost, maintained or gained is still a result of the total calories consumed against the total calories burned. Do we really believe there is something in the air here in America that 'makes' 70% of our population overweight compared to weight stats for the rest of the developed world? Of course there isn't - the reason is we simply eat more than our non-American counterparts. Why are we so resistant to accepting this basic fact, instead spinning our wheels looking for excuses, medical or otherwise, that allow us to feel better about our bad choices?
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:50 AM   #58
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Losing or maintaining weight is no different when you get down to it, so I challenge "us" to actually track our consumption calories against activity calories to see what is really occurring, not what we think is occurring.
As I noted in my post above I agree that you would probably find that weight loss is normally associated with lower caloric intake but, for me at least, logging the effect would be of no more than academic interest. It seems much more valuable to log types of food consumed to find a way to maintain weight while eating naturally (i.e. without the need to count calories, measure portions and the like).
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:20 AM   #59
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As I noted in my post above I agree that you would probably find that weight loss is normally associated with lower caloric intake but, for me at least, logging the effect would be of no more than academic interest. It seems much more valuable to log types of food consumed to find a way to maintain weight while eating naturally (i.e. without the need to count calories, measure portions and the like).
That's sort of a bottom up approach, which works just as well. You've landed on what your body can handle on a daily basis to maintain your weight, so you don't need to concern yourself with the specifics.

And having said that, I can assure you that I will likely consume too many calories, high carb, low carb or otherwise, this upcoming Thanksgiving Day, which will then likely lead to weight gain. When it occurs, I won't be surprised, but I will immediately get back to my normal way of eating, and exercising, to assure the damage is short lived.

I'll now close out, before you all toss me off this board. Happy Thanksgiving Day to you all.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:01 AM   #60
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And still I think there is confusion . . .

I agree that there are many, many ways to approach both losing and maintaining weight, and I agree that there is no one size fits all approach.

However, to say that there is some magic combination of food that eliminates the basic equation of calories being consumed needing to be less than calories being burned over the course of a day in order to lose weight is simply incorrect.

We lose weight when we cut back on the calories we are consuming, or conversely, increase the calories we are burning. If cutting calories becomes easier by avoiding some foods, while eating other foods instead, terrific. But at the end of the day, or week, or month, less calories were consumed than were burned. There is simply no other way for weight to come off.
Totally, 100% agree!!! It's funny to hear Jimmy Moore talk about how low carb is 'the thing' but then will admit that before he went low carb, he was eating 2 boxes of Little Debbie cakes per day and like 18 cans of sugary soda! Talk about from one extreme to the other!

I do think for certain people, eating low carb is an 'easier' way to lose weight and keep it off, and if it works for them, they should definitely keep doing that! For me, I can't live knowing there are foods that are 'off limits'. The 'everything in moderation' way of life works for ME.

But the idea that you can eat 4000 calories per day on low carb and lose weight but 2000 with carbs and you 'gain' ... I don't buy that for a SECOND.

I can't stand going to bed full. I eat a filling breakfast, then a lunch and light dinner (or if I'm eating a big dinner, eat early), try not to snack, and I get at least 45 minutes per day of exercise. And lots of water. But yeah, if I'm at a birthday party, I'll say 'Yes' to the cake and I don't get 'anxious' about going to a restaurant because I'm "scared" of certain foods. Living that way is just NOT for me.
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