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June 30, 2004

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Eyal

I've tried the Atkins stuff, not conciously knowing it's called Atkins at the time. It was inspired by trying to limit my calories quite severly (about 700-1000 cals deficit per day) while doing cardio + resistance training (which requires increasing the level of protein for muscle building / catabolic reduction). The main benefits are that the body burns more calories breaking down protein rather than carbs and it also has a harder time turning protein into fat. Some of the critics of this loading on protein suggest it is unhealthy since it puts extra stress on the kidneys (indeed you need to drink plenty of water if you're on a high protein - low carbs diet to help with digestion).

The bottom line was that the combination of: weight training, cardio, caloric deficit, replacing carbs with protein did produce very fast results in terms of fat loss. And I say fat loss as opposed to weight loss, since the scales showed only slighlty lower weight than before but the difference was seen in the mirror and felt at the waist level. I actually shortened my belt a few times within a relatively short period of time. One last word about this is that the ketosis state had a side-effect on my mental state, it caused a certain level of lethargy / difficulty in concentration. I believe it's best to do things in moderation when it comes to nutrition / exercise etc. and to me it seems that cutting carbs almost totally is far from being moderate.

Giles

You forgot to mention "Star TV", biggest load of pap I've ever seen. The reruns of The Simpsons are the best thing on that channel.

Eshin

The conclusion in the programme was that the high levels of protein help to reduce the hunger levels. Don't get me wrong, that might be the case, but it's all part of this worrying trend that our lifestyles, behaviour and so on are biologically induced. Essentially, the advocates of these theories would eventually come to the conclusion that we are nothing more than animals.

I agree with you that the success factor might be psychological. It certainly should be. We're human beings and we should be able to control our primal instincts to work for us. That's what we're about - higher reasoning. Once we start blaming proteins, DNA, etc for our behaviours, we'll be happily on the road back to being nothing more than primates with pretty buildings to play with.

Chris

Giles - I don't have anything against Star World. 95% of it may be pap, but it's not all 'Nash Bridges' and 'Miss World', there are a few decent shows - and 'The Practice', which I will admit to watching.

Apart from The Simpsons, there's Frasier, Futurama, and Monk. Not the greatest TV ever, but not bad.

Chris

Eshin - I wasn't sure that they proved that high levels of protein reduce hunger levels, but it's certainly a reasonable theory.

The psychological part is interesting because if people doing the Atkins diet understand that they are actually eating less than before, does that change the way they feel? If you believed that you couldn't be hungry on Atkins because you can eat as much as you like, might you start to feel hungry again when you realize that you are eating less?

Eshin

Okay, they might not have proved it to a satisfactory level. But at the very least, I still feel that we are human beings and we should be able to control, at the very least, our diet.

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