Designed to show a False Result? - Research Project of Gary Taubes / NUSI
- POSTED ON: Aug 28, 2013

Any reader who has paid attention to my posts here at DietHobby knows that...

I highly respect the work of Journalist, Gary Taubes, who wrote "Good Calories Bad Calories"  and "Why We Get Fat".  In fact DietHobby's section; BOOKTALK  features "Why We Get Fat", together with summaries of what I personally found in every single chapter.

Since these books were published, I have conducted quite a few personal Experiments-of-One with Low-carb eating. In fact,  I'm involved in one at present.

However, my own experience and education leads me to believe that this not a one-size-fits-all-world, and that while Every Diet Works for Someone, No One Diet Works for Everyone.

As a lay person with no biochemistry education,  I'm interested in Gary Taubes' Low-carb Theories, and am open to the issues involved in his alternative hypothesis ..., although I will admit at this point I am not convinced that the hormone "insulin" is the sole and ultimate answer. 

Based on my own personal Experiments-of-One, and life experience of observing others, I am still convinced that Calories matter. While I can see that the body processes macronutrients differently, and that additional processing differences exist between individual bodies due to genetic and/or hormonal differences etc., no matter HOW nutrients are processed within the body, it seems obvious to me that ultimately, fat gain, loss, or maintenance, is a matter of Energy balance in and out. This is despite whether, or not, one makes the choice to label that Energy with a caloric number. While body processing differences can make it difficult for one to know precisely how much energy each molecule of food possesses, I cannot help but think that Discounting this Truth as  "CICO garbage", as many people in the the low-carb community tend to do, is a rather stupid way to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

I also respect the work of the obesity specialist, Dr. Yoni Freedhof, M.D. and find his take on Gary Taubes NuSi's potential Research very interesting, so I'm sharing two of his related articles about it here at DietHobby. The first article he posted today, and the bottom one is from a year ago. 

 Here's the current one:

I Predict Gary Taubes' NuSi's First Experiment Will Show Dramatic Low-Carb Benefits 
             by Dr. Yoni Freedhof, M.D. 8/28/13 www.

Because that's exactly what it appears it's designed to do.

Taubes lays out the experiment in his recent NuSi promoting Scientific American piece. He's going to take 16 individuals with overweight and obesity and house them in a research facility so as to ensure careful and total control over their dietary intake. Next he'll feed them a diet that's 50% carbs, 35% fat and 15% protein. He'...

Secrets of the Sugar Industry
- POSTED ON: Nov 07, 2012

Gary Taubes has written a new article on how Big Sugar promotes and defends its produce, entitled: "Big Sugar and Sweet Little Lies".

Taubes is a top-notch science journalist, who has written for Discover, Science, and the New York Times Magazine, and is the author of the 2011 best-seller “Why We Get Fat” which is featured here on DietHobby in the section BOOKTALK. He is currently writing a book about sugar.

Gary Taubes also discusses the Sugar Industry’s Secrets in the video below.


Cutting Carbs? or Cutting Calories?
- POSTED ON: Sep 17, 2012

Which is better or most effective, cutting Carbs, or cutting Calories?

Everything I’ve seen and experienced personally, leads me to believe that calories matter even when one chooses to eat low-carb. There’s a possibility that one can eat a few more calories by reducing carbs, but … for most people … the amount of extra calories doesn't appear to be a very large number.

 It seems like there are an endless number of specific diets and rules for weight loss. One of the most popular of these rules is that cutting carbohydrates (carbs) is the best way to lose weight.

The Atkins diet, first popular in the the most famous low-carb diet. This diet recommends limiting foods high in carbs, such as bread, pasta, rice, and starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes. Carbs are replaced with foods containing a higher percentage of proteins and fats (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and cheese) and other low-carb foods (mostly vegetables).

What does the evidence show us about whether low-carb diets really are better for weight loss and weight-maintenance than other diets?

Conventional wisdom says that a “calorie is a calorie” and it doesn't matter what types of food the calories come from, and therefore, all reduced-energy (calorie) diets should lead to equivalent weight loss.

However, some studies have reported that low-carb diets, in the short-term, lead to greater weight loss than other types of diets. What are some possible explanations for these results?

1. Changes in body composition

Energy is stored in the body as protein, fat, and glycogen, which is a form of carbohydrate. If there is an imbalance between how many of these nutrients are ingested (through the food that is eaten) and how many are used by the body for every day functions, body composition will change.

In turn, this will affect body weight because of the different impact that the relative amounts of stored protein, fat and carbohydrates have on body weight.

However, the vast majority of studies in which they’ve measured calorie intake very accurately (that is, they’ve locked people in a room and measured exactly what they’ve eaten for several days), show absolutely no difference in weight loss based on the composition of the diet. High-protein diets and high-carb diets resulted in the same weight loss.

2.  Changes in metabolic rate

The body’s metabolic rate (the amount of energy expended by the body in a given time) is dependent on the composition of the diet. Consumption of protein, for example, is known to result in a larger increase in energy expenditure for several hours after a meal compared with the consumption of fat or carbs.

But the overall effect of diet composition on total energy expenditure is relatively small. As a result, the assumption that a “calorie is a calorie” is probably a reasonable estimation as far as energy expenditure is concerned.

3.  Changes in hunger levels and satiety

Some diets can lead to ...

Sugar Binges
- POSTED ON: Apr 21, 2011

 I recently heard someone say:

"I  plan on making the most out of tomorrow’s holiday.
Even if that means I'll be shoveling plain sugar into my mouth
and eating until I vomit."  

The above-quote is a good description of binge behavior.
Some people are only joking when they say
 that they are going to eat sugar until they vomit or feel like it. 
This may only mean they will actually have a few pieces of candy 
and/or cookies which will seem like a lot to them. 

But, some literally do Binge on a regular basis,
and this means they  actually do eat a large amount, 
such as one or more family size bags of candy/and or cookies
and these people...despite a great deal and time and effort....
are not able to overcome this "addiction-like behavior".

People are mentally and physically different.

I think there can be no doubt that Taubes, author of  Why We Get Fat
is correct when he says that sugar is a special kind of food,  
because i
t seems to "hijack" the brain.

Sugar seems to be an issue with almost everyone,
ever the definition of "bingeing" seems to differ between individuals.
For some, "bingeing" means "giving in" to a piece or two of cake
and for others it means eating the entire cake."
Most people equate "bingeing" with "Emotional Eating", 
but perhaps Taubes is correct when he says 
that this isn't merely a mental or behavioral issue. 

Maybe there's actually a large physiological issue...
our respective bodies are different in more ways than size.

Some of us seem to be more sensitive to carbohydrates than others.
There are some people for whom even "healthy" complex carbohydrates...
such as baked potatoes and whole kernal corn... can trigger binge behavior.



Experimenting with Diets
- POSTED ON: Apr 13, 2011

I enjoy trying out different Diets,
and my personal style is to "carve out my own path".
Therefore,  I'm usually involved in some type of dieting Experiment-of-One.

"Good Calories Bad Calories", by Gary Taubes, published in 2007.
is an excellent book, however, it is about 500 pages long
with more than 100 reference pages,
and was written primarily for medical professionals.

I’ve read it at least 5 times, and I still haven’t absorbed it all
because it is really hard. I have a doctorate in law,
with an extensive history in legal research,
but I still found it to be difficult reading.

The new book by Taubes,
"Why we get fat and what to do about it", (2011)
was written geared to people like me…those who are not medical professionals.
It is 250 pages and is a far easier to read.
Although it isn't what I would call a quick read.
This is the book that DietHobby is now featuring in BOOKTALK

This year, I am experimenting with Low-Carb
because I have not yet found a Way of Eating to maintain my weight-loss
that I enjoy enough to continuing doing for the rest of my life.

Low Carb is one of the few ways of eating
that I have very little personal experience with.
My body desperately wants to regain its lost weight,
and maintenance takes constant vigilance.
I’m hoping that low-carb will help eliminate some of my food cravings,
as well as some of my hunger.

I’ve also spent a lot of time experimenting with Intermittent Fasting,
and some of that was by using the 24 hr fasting method
suggested by Brad Pilon. in his e-book, "Eat Stop Eat".
I own that book as well; have read it thoroughly several times;
and think it is probably the best book around that addresses Intermittent Fasting

I will probably do more experimentation of Intermittent Fasting in the future.
Neither Calorie Counting, Low-Carb or Intermittent Fasting are mutually-exclusive.
A 24 hr fast is one way to further reduce insulin,
and many low-carb people use it for that purpose.

My primary purpose for Intermittent Fasting has been to reduce my calories
for up to one to three days a week, in order to drop my calorie averages.
For me, the primary difficulty with Eat Stop Eat, or any Intermittent Fast,
is not keeping my calories low on a fast day. I can do that.
On Fast days my practice is to eat dinner only, around 350 to 400 calories,
with no snacks after dinner.

However, on “normal” days, the days before and after an intermittent fast,
I ha...

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