Low Fat Diet Best for Long-term Weight Loss

The battle between low fat and low carb continues. A study recently concluded that the low fat approach results in better long-term results. Using the National Weight Control Registry,which tracks the secrets of success from people who had lost at least 30 pounds and kept them off for at least a year. The registry is run by doctors from the University of Pittsburgh and Brown University in Providence, R.I. and the University of Colorado in Denver. (I’m on this registry, and receive semi-annual questionnaires which they use to track weight control over the long-term).

Twice a year the National Weight Control Registry asks participants about their eating and exercise habits. Recent findings appear to support the conclusion that, “People who started eating more fat … regained the most weight over time,” said Suzanne Phelan, a Brown Medical School psychologist who presented results of the study Monday at a meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity.

Experts Weigh In with Opinions on Low Fat vs. Low Carb

Other experts had differing opinions: Dr. Thomas Wadden, a University of Pennsylvania weight loss expert who was not involved in the study, said it is too soon to say which approach is better. Several longer-term studies of low-carb and low-fat dieters are in the works, he said. But he did say, “I do think that people who are keeping the weight off are eating a low-fat, high-carb diet.”

Colette Heimowitz, a nutrition expert and spokeswoman for the Atkins diet organization, noted that the study considered 90 grams to be low-carb, while Atkins recommends 60 grams for weight loss and 60 to 120 for weight maintenance.

She said that for many of the dieters studied, “the carbs aren’t low enough for them to be successful.” They also should have replaced carbs with more protein rather than fat, she said.

Should I Eat Low Fat or Low Carb?

Frankly, I think it’s best to eat what you enjoy, watch portions especially if you eat meals in restaurants, limit treats and get your body moving. The more active you are the better.

Canada Says No to Low Carb

Starting next year food labeling in Canada will not be allowed to have any claims regarding low carb at all, including in the product’s name. Smaller companies are being given until 2007 to comply with the labeling laws. This is because Health Canada has taken the stance that there is no scientific evidence that supports low carb. Speaking on behalf of Health Canada Carole Saindon said, “There was–and still is–no reason from a nutrient point of view to be concerned with the amount of carbs that we eat.”

This is sure to cause an uproar amongst the hundreds of manufacturers currently bringing new low carb foods to market. Recent studies showed that at the six month’s point the low carb diet was more effective but during a 12-month study those early gains were lost and all was even once again. No matter which approach, all dieters ended up with about the same amount of weight lost overall.

It’s interesting to note that “low fat” is considered okay in Canada as are “low calorie” and “low sodium.” Why they decided to pick on low carb, I don’t know but I’ll bet it’s got Atkins Corporation a bit riled. Stay tuned. The gloves are off.

How to Make Pork Rinds and other Fun with Pork

Disclaimer:: If you follow a low carb approach, you may like these ideas. Otherwise, maybe don’t read this.
Since the pork rind’s people are having trouble keeping the shelves stocked, you might consider making your own. Pork Rinds are popular with the Atkins Diet because they have zero carbs.

How to Make Pork Rinds

Take the trimmings from any regular pork, put them in a pan in the oven at a low temp (about 150-200 F) and cook them a few hours till they stop popping and sizzling (that should be entertaining too!). Once the music stops that means all the fat has been rendered out and you have pork cracklings, which according to the poster, “Are mighty tasty in themselves!” I can’t say I’ve ever actually eaten Pork Rinds. 😉

Do it Yourself Lard

Strain and save the fat from cooked bacon in a jar in the fridge. That is pure lard: rendered pork fat. Use this in place of oil for sauteing, and when cooking things like fried eggs.

Do it Yourself Suet

Substitute beef trimmings and you get suet (rather than lard), which you can use if your kosher. Remember how tasty the original McDonald’s french fries were? They used beef suet for their oil which vegetarians went crazy about and eventually McDonalds was forced to switch to vegetable oil.

The same thing can be done with chicken skins, too. “Mmmmm crispy chicken skins!”

It all sounds sorta gross to me, but I don’t go in for eating pig skin eater. People that do, love it.

Why South Beach Diet More Popular than Atkins Diet

The ranking at Google.com for top searches in January 2004 shows the South Beach Diet is now the No. 1 top searched weight loss program with Weight Watchers coming in second and the Atkins Diet third. Since the South Beach diet is simply a modified Atkins Diet but less restrictive, this isn’t surprising. Both diets are based on the principal that reducing carbohydrates and increasing protein will help you lose weight, and it is true. Reducing carbs is the easiest and quickest way to reduce water weight. In fact, if you need to lose a quick five pounds to get into a party dress, I can’t think of anything short of fasting that would do the trick better than a week of very low carbs.

With either plan, for the greatest weight loss success, the key is the quality of carbs you eat. The following are some ideas for better success with the South Beach or Atkins Diets:

1. Reduce or eliminate fast food – that’s right, all fast food. It is simply not a healthy choice to order a McDonalds or Burger King without the bun. If you want a burger, make one at home – far more healthy, and you’ll save an enormous amount of money to buy the new clothes you’re going to need because you’re losing so much weight!

2. Reduce or eliminate soft drinks. Whether using sugar or artificial sweeteners, by drinking sweetened drinks you are keeping your desire for sugary foods alive. This includes fruit juice. Eat a fresh whole orange instead of orange juice, or a fresh, crisp apple instead of apple juice. Consider who long it takes to down a small glass of juice compared to how long and how enjoyable it is eating a juicy apple? Wean yourself off if necessary, cut back to one less a day than you now have.

3. Question the wisdom of adding so called “low carb” foods back into your eating plan. If you are following a low carb diet and now you think you can add back some carbs by getting the low carb brands, think again. You’ll gain weight as soon as you add carbs (water), any carbs, and you will be getting an unhealthy food in the bargain. Eat whole foods – whole baked potatoes, fresh carrots, salads, vegetable soups, bean dishes. Eat the real thing! Stay away from the modified versions whether low fat, low carb, or low anything.

Think about it. If you want to lose weight and stay reduced, there are a few things that will need to happen. 1) your diet must include healthier foods in greater quantity than unhealthy foods. I’m not talking “good” or “bad” foods. Any food is fine, in moderation. The trick is moderation – I love cake but I don’t eat it every day. I love all kinds of sweets but I don’t eat them every day. If I did I’d gain weight – it’s that simple. My choice is to stay a smaller size by eating them when I want, but that is infrequently because I want more to maintain my size.

So, by eating pancakes, what’s that do for me? It makes me want syrup, and maybe something sweet later that day too. It sets me up for craving sugary sweet foods. Not what I really want right now, is it? Later, when you’ve reached your goal, staying at goal is the most important thing, and it becomes important enough that a breakfast of pancakes is not going to derail you.

What about bread? Wouldn’t I be better off eating the low carb bread? No. Choose a healthy, whole grain bread. The low carb brands are not whole grain, they are white flour, with added corn starch then artificial sweeteners added. Then they reduce the size of the loaf, and slice the pieces teeny tiny, and claim, “Only 4 Net Carbs per Slice” or something equally ridiculous. Check the loaf. Is a sandwich made with two 4-year old sized pieces of bread going to satisfy you or is it going to make you want another sandwich? Eat the real thing, and you’ll feel satisfied from having eaten an adult sized sandwich, and you won’t feel deprived or crave for more.

4. Think high food quality for the money spent. Is your food dollar being spent wisely when you buy a tiny loaf of bread with Barbie Doll sized slices? No. Is your food dollar being wisely spent by Jello that brags of their low net carbs yet they’ve taken a package that used to serve four according to them (who can’t eat all four servings?) and now it suddenly serves six! Yes, they did add a little Cool Whip to stretch the recipe. I don’t know about you but I’m not satisfied eating two ounces of Jello. I want real food!

Just because the package says a low number of “net carbs” read the label. See the serving size and then calculate how much you will really eat. Then, stand back and count to ten while asking yourself, “Is this a good value for my food dollar?” Most likely the answer will be no, then start slowly moving away from the low carb aisle and get yourself down to the fresh produce. You’ll be safer down there.

If you want to follow a low carb lifestyle, you’ll want to learn to eat less of the white bread, crackers, chips, and packaged cookies, not simply switch to the low carb brands. Incorporate any of these suggestions, even just a little and you’ll get a better result from your efforts at slimming down or reducing your body weight. Small changes add up to big results.

Low Carb Pork Rinds?

I’m looking for info on net carbs and how exactly they turn a usually high carb food like a tortilla for instance into a low carb version, and what do I find? A website about low carb foods with an ad banner across the top proclaiming, “Pork Rinds, fresh, kettle fried.” Does that make any sense?

Does it make sense to eat low carb cakes, puddings, pies, crackers? Low carb cookies, breads, everything high carb suddenly turned low carb by the magic of chemistry and funny math?

If you want to succeed on the Atkins Diet or the South Beach Diet for that matter steer clear of these modified food products. They won’t help you lose the desire to eat cookies, cakes and pies, but rather will keep you in the habit of eating them. Break that habit now and use EFT to lose the cravings for carbs.

Steer clear of low carb versions and if you want a piece of bread, eat good quality whole grain bread. A real piece of bread will satisfy your cravings. Just like with the low fat versions, you’ll be more likely to overeat the modified foods than if you just ate the regular version. Plus, it’s ridiculously expensive!

If you’re dying for a piece of fruit, for God’s sake, eat a piece of fruit. It’s idiotic to think an apple or an orange is fattening. I eat two or three pieces of fruit nearly every day, and I still get teenagers ogling me until I turn around and they recoil in horror since I’m nearly 50-years old! Now that’s funny, and I love it, so eat real food and you’ll be better off.

Experts have blamed the “low fat” diet for the current rates of obesity but that’s not true. It was the “low fat” version of high fat foods, low fat cookies, cakes and donuts, that hurt. People bought these and thought, “Hey, it’s low fat, I can eat a whole package!” without paying any attention to the overall calories, and the same thing is happening with the low carb products. “Hey, it’s low carb, I can eat the whole thing!” Don’t fool yourself, and don’t waste your money.
Something has gone horribly wrong when people will eat deep fried pig’s skin (pork rinds) but shun a fresh, crisp juicy apple.