Most of what you’ve been sold about “low carbs diets” is incomplete and misinformed.
I am not a fan of low-carbs diets to begin with… and that is when they are done right!
But what is passing for a “low carbs diet” now doesn’t even equate to the original intention or use of the low carb approach. I’m going to discuss the reality of low-carbs diets.
Today is part 1, but in part 2 I’m going to solicit some help from my friend and colleague Kevin Weiss who at competition time (and ONLY AT COMPETITION TIME!) follows the “true and authentic” low-carbs approach to lose weight, make his weight class, and lift like a champion. (And oh, he’s only a World Champion in Raw powerlifting – and bodybuilding as well.)
Low Carbs Diet Nonsense: What you NEED to Know
In the last two years I’ve devoted a fair amount of my research time to a specific niche of nutrition science.
I’ve been studying the “history” of various diets – how they came to be, how they came to be marketed; and what the real truth of modern nutrition is, based upon what nutritional science history reveals to us.
The “low-carbs diets nonsense” so many of you have bought into is not what the true intentions of the low-carbs diet approach was ever meant to be. More than likely you want to follow a low carbs diet-approach for cosmetic reasons. For others, you’ve been fed so much bullcrap junk science about carbs that you want to follow a low-carbs diet because you are ‘afraid’ of carbs. And that has a lot to do with the history of diet trends.
In the 1970’s the “low-fat” diet approach was the vogue trend and all the rage. And like any trend it had its victors. I myself to this day follow a low-fat, higher carbs approach. But there were and are no one size fits all diet agendas.
And a decade of “low-fat” madness didn’t work for everyone, although it did make people “afraid” of fats as a fuel source. Remember that as we move forward now.
Before there was Atkins, there was always talk in esoteric medical journals about an alternative approach to dieting – AS A WAY TO TREAT VARIOUS BRAIN DISORDERS (specifically, epilepsy).
This diet-approach to “treatment” was referred to as “the extremely high fat diet approach” for treatment. Look at that phrase carefully. This is where diet-psychology and marketing comes into play. It also is where something becomes “mutated” from one purpose to another, and twisted to fit some marketing agenda, even if it violates the rules and principles this thing is founded upon. And such was the case for the “low-carbs diet” approach.
Notice how I put “diet” after the low-carbs phrase: because this is where all the nonsense ensues.
Diet Industry Quandary
In the wake of the low-fat diet revolution; there was a diet-mentality madness associated with the word “fat” as a nutritional component.
The word to this day strikes fear into chronic dieters. Those professionals who believed strongly in a possible benefit for the “extremely high fat diet” approach… well they had a dilemma. In terms of diet-psychology, there was no way to “convince” the consumer – who had been led to fear “fats” – you that there was a benefit to “extremely high fats” as an approach to weight-control.
And this is the dilemma the marketers had. When you want to make money selling a diet “revolution” (as Atkins called it) you can’t do it by getting people to buy into a notion of a sudden 180 degree psychological flip from “low-fat” dieting (because fat is evil and makes you fat) and then expect them to believe “extremely high fat diet” is suddenly the key to weight control.
“Extremely High Fat” vs “Low Carbs”
To make a long story short, the Atkins generation skirted around the intent of the “actual” extremely high fat diet approach. “High-fat” was scary, but the term “low carbs” diet made more sense.
Just like “low fat” made fat the enemy to be feared for weight-gain, well now marketers could do the same by coining the term “low carbs” to fit their diet marketing agenda. The only problem with this is that the term “low carbs” is actually disingenuous to the REAL purpose of the extremely high fat diet approach.
The original notion of extremely high fat diets, was all about its effects on brain chemistry for people with brain disorders like epilepsy. It was never supposed to be about health, nutrition, weight-loss or metabolism. Those are just diet-industry created notions. Historically, the reason medical experts were emphasizing this diet was because of the influence of extremely high fats – and not because of the “low carbs” on the other side of that equation. The modern dieter doesn’t know any of this stuff.
Moreover, in terms of the real intentions of the “extremely high fat diet” Web-MD said this: “The problem with this diet is that it is EXTREMELY DEMANDING and should usually be undertaken IN A MEDICAL SETTING. The extremely high fat diet should provide 4 X’s as many fat calories as protein calories.” It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this is not how the “low carbs’ approach is being applied; especially in the fitness industry and the “get-lean” agenda.
The Low Carbs Diet is NOT a High Protein Diet!
You see Atkins and the rest of these diet pushers couldn’t sell a diet-agenda that suggests it is “extremely demanding” or that it should be followed in a medical/hospital setting. That certainly is no way to make money in the diet industry. So they just ignored “the truth” of the actual ketogenic diet approach – why it was designed to begin with (to treat brain disorders; and how hard it would be to follow if done correctly)
What ended up happening was a pop-culture unfolding of misdirected interpretation of the ‘extremely high fat diet’ as the new ‘low carbs diet.’ But since most dieters and pop-culture followers of “nutrition” still were convinced that “fat” was a bad word – now they were to add “carbs” to this of nutritional profanity as well. Dieters were now fearful of both carbs and fats – and the result is the complete misapplication of the low-carb diet agenda –which was always meant to be “an EXTREMELY high fat diet agenda.
You see the whole notion of a low carbs diet is that it can only work and work properly if fats are not only high – BUT EXTREMELY HIGH.
Get this through your heads – A LOW CARBS DIET WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE A HIGH-PROTEIN DIET!
Because followers of the diet industry's agenda have been so misled to fear both carbs and fats, the whole low-carbs diet approach ended up becoming a high protein diet approach, because followers will never push their fats high enough for this diet to work as it is designed to work. And protein has been sold as some kind of miracle macronutrient.
And those who try to follow this faulty version of ‘low-carbs = high protein and medium fats’ – these people usually pay a high metabolic price for making this mistake. And don’t even get me started on the side-effects of a mis-applied ketogenic or low carbs diets. It’s a mess of digestive issues and other metabolic and health consequences. You can look up “side effects of keto-diets” for yourself – just do so on reputable sites like Web-MD, or Pub-Med.
Basic nutritional biochemistry teaches that carbs and fats are meant to be “protein sparing nutrients.”
This means that EITHER or BOTH carbs and fats must be high enough in the diet, to allow protein to be “spared” to be used to build and rebuild tissue as it is meant to do.
It’s this purpose and the nitrogen component of protein that makes protein special to begin with. But a high protein diet, usually means that either fats or carbs are not high enough – and this produces more harm than good.
And when it comes to the “extremely high fat diet approach” that the low-carb diet is REALLY supposed to be, the percentage of fat in the diet needs to be upward of 70% fats. In truth, the “low carbs” approach — when it is done correctly – it is actually a VERY LOW protein diet.
In Part 2, I’ll give you an example of someone who understands the truth of all of this – and that is that a “real” low carbs diet is an EXTREMELY high fat diet. And you will see someone who uses this knowledge to his advantage to lose weight easily, feel great with lots of energy, and to win World Championships.
The take away message for Part 1 though is that a “true and authentic” low-carbs diet MUST BE an extremely high fat diet in order to work in a positive way metabolically. The original low-carbs diet was never meant to be a high protein diet. Please read this take away message a dozen times or more, till it sinks in!
More in part 2!