Originally Posted by Alix
There is no way something that nearly eliminates an essential part of the food pyramid can be good for you.
Who told you this? The Atkins diet, the South Beach diet, the Protein Power diet, etc. all eliminate almost all the carbohydrates from your diet, yes. FOR TWO WEEKS, not for the rest of your life!
And take it from me, as a personal trainer, sports nutritionist, senior fitness instructor, and all around healthy type person who observes the modern human in its native habitat, most Americans can well afford to eliminate a ton of carbs from their diets. The average American diet contains two to three times the carbs required for good health, and the worst part of it is, they are consuming mostly processed, simple carbs (white bread, white rice, white potatoes, white macaroni), which are being converted almost instantly into sugar, remain unused due to both the failure of their endocrine system and their sedentary lifestyle, and end up being stored as fat. Now pay close attention, because I am going to explain exactly how a low carbohydrate diet is supposed to work, and will work, IF, and only IF
you read and follow the instructions (a.k.a RTFM)
The first two weeks, you eliminate almost all carbohydrates, which means starches and sugars, from your diet, except for the small amounts contained in your vegetables, and the vegetables you eat will depend on which diet you choose, with Atkins being the most severe carb reduction. The purpose of this reduction in carbs is to sort of reset your endocrine system so that it stops squirting you full of insulin every time you eat. Because your diet has contained so much processed starch and sugar, your body wasn't capable of excreting enough insulin to process the sugars for delivery to your cells, so it tried producing and exctreting more and more every time you ate, until you are producing way too much insulin, and it still isn't enough to do the job. This is what leads to the condition called insulin resistance, which is the first step towards type II diabetes.
So now, with your carb levels at a new all time low, you are required to excrete very little insulin, giving your endocrine system both a long needed rest, and a sort of reset. You will also be consuming fewer calories, and the calories you do consume will be more useable, so you will begin to lose weight, big time!
Now after the first two weeks, you will start reintroducing carbs into your diet slowly, but this time, it will be only complex carbs, with lots of fiber to go with it, and you will consume it in conjunction with large amounts of lean protein and unsaturated fat, which all act to naturally slow down digestion of the carbs. So now your endocrine system is once again ready to start excreting the correct amount of insulin to process these carbs so that your body may use them as fuel, leaving none behind for your body to slap around your waist, on your butt, on the bottom of your upper arms, under your chin, or anywhere else you are bound to find it embarrassing. You will continue to lose weight, but to a lesser degree.
As you progress with your new lifestyle, learning what substances are good for you (lean protein, mono- and non-saturated fats, and whole grains), and what substances are bad for you (saturated fat-laden meats and dairy products and processed grains), you will control and maintian your weight by ensuring your calorie intake is equal to your calorie requirements.
is how, when administered properly, a low carbohydrate diet works, and it will definitley work. THE FIRST TIME! If you go back to your caveman ways, screw up your body and your endocrine system, and then decide to repeat the low carb process, it isn't going to be half as effective as it was the first time, and it's going to take a LOT longer to get back on track.