A comparison of Zone, Atkins, and other diets

Gary Taubes is citing in his book a fascinating study that compares the impact of the Atkins, Zone and other diets. The diets compared are the following

  • Atkins: 20g of carbs / day for 2-3months, then 50g; unlimited fat & protein (at this level of carbs this diet is arguably almost Paleo as well)
  • Traditional: calorie restriction, carbs 55-60% of cals, fat < 30%, saturated < 10%
  • Ornish: fat <10%; meditation & exercise
  • Zone: 30/40/30% of cals from protein / carbs / fat

The results are here:ATOZ-Study-from-Taubes-book-p191 Continue reading

Nutrition and Metabolism

I have just put up a page on nutrition and metabolism – it is rather long (it is one of the appendices of a book that I am working on). It looks the various views of the nutrition world (Calories-In/Calories-Out “CICO” vs It’s-The-Insulin-Stupid “ITIS”), the latter being expressed in many of the modern diets (eg Atkins, GI, Southbeach, Zone, Paleo/Primal) and what they say about how to lose weight.

Eat more fat to lose weight? – v2.0

Having had the time to read through Mark Sisson’sPrimal Blueprint” (ht Tim) I found that his recommendations are actually close enough to what I wanted to do in the previous post. So rather than updating the math, here the updated plan (with calorie restrictions added by me)

  • Carbs 100g/day (with a view of reducing them gradually to 50g/day (400-200cals)
  • Protein 150-200g/day (600-800cals)
  • Fat to make up the balance to 2000-2500cals per day

Oh, almost forgot: no sugar, no grains, no legumes (ie lentils & friends). Lets see how this goes

Eat more fat to lose weight?

UPDATE: I am in process of updating this post as there were a number of mistakes – so if you find it confusing it is probably because it is. Will re-post once I got it down more clearly (v2.0 here)

Tim made some interesting remarks in the comments of one of my previous posts:

If you’re looking to lose weight, I would up the fat and lower the protein and further lower the carbs …. Dropping carbs to 20% or lower will really help

This got me thinking: from my limited knowledge of the bodies energy pathways the following nutritional strategy would actually make sense to me:

  • Use fat for the majority of the body’s energy needs (more precisely: for all aerobic energy needs apart from the brain)
  • Use carbs for – and only for – the anaerobic energy needs and for the brain as it can not use fat and/or proteins
  • Avoid using protein for producing energy – it is meant to help you build your body, nothing else

How would this look in practice? Continue reading