Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Big Sigh...

I'm pretty sure it was just yesterday I had a month until my 1/2 marathon. Today, it is 3 days away. Fuck. Double fuck. I feel as if I'm going to take a final for a class in which I never attended. Oh, well. I cannot stress about things that I cannot change. I just have to take comfort in the fact that I am in a better place than last year, although not by much.

I read an article yesterday on MSNBC's website that has sort of been bothering me. It was about the "new Atkins diet" and whether or not it was healthy. I clicked on it although I am not on the Atkins diet, my diet is high in protein, low in carbohydrates which is similar to Atkins. Atkins however restricts fruit and vegetable intake, allows for dairy, and processed foods, as long as they are "carb free."

What I keep thinking about is this: "In fact, a recent two-year study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that reduced-calorie diets led to weight loss in overweight adults regardless of which macronutrients — protein, fat, or carbohydrate — were emphasized.

And a just published follow-up study in the Annals of Internal Medicine noted that obese people who followed either a low-carbohydrate or a low-fat diet for one year maintained a modest weight loss — 5 pounds and 9.5 pounds, respectively — at three years. While those who followed a low-carb diet lost more weight initially, they tended to regain more weight by the end of three years.

'These results highlight the difficulty in sticking to a low-carbohydrate diet, as carbohydrate intake did not differ between the low-carbohydrate or low-fat dieters by three years,' according to Dr. Marion Vetter, R.D., one of the study authors. 'For some people, low-fat diets may be easier to sustain over time.'"

Ok, so that is kind of annoying, but then the article went on to say: "protein does appear to satiate more than carbs or other fats, triggering hormones and other chemicals to send “feel full” messages to the brain. Some research has shown that boosting protein in your diet increases fullness and reduces how many calories you consume. Consuming dietary protein also increases thermogenesis, meaning more calories are used to digest, absorb, and metabolize protein than for either carbohydrate or fat. It also helps you hold on to lean muscle mass that often shrinks while dieting.

Consuming more protein (while reducing carbohydrate and/or fat intake) has also been shown in studies to improve insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, blood lipids (including cholesterol), and other cardiovascular risk factors. A high-protein diet has also been shown to control blood pressure, especially when the protein comes from plant sources. In older people, adequate protein intake also protects against age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass."

So, let me get this straight. According to these "studies" there is no difference in long term weight loss between restricting certain macronutrients and weigh will come off as long as calories are reduced. But, a high protein diet satiates more, triggers a "feel full" hormone, causing a reduction in calories consumed and takes more calories to metabolize, and helps you hold onto lean muscle? That's exactly what I want. Oh, and consuming more protein improves insulin sensitivity, controls blood pressure and many other good things? That's exactly what I want.

I think the real problem is this sobering statistic: Only about 20 percent of obese or overweight people who lose at least 10 percent of their initial body weight can keep it off for at least a year (Elisa Zied, R.D., spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, MSNBC online, 2010).

Since January I've lost 12% of my initial body weight (and I plan on losing more). That means I have a 20 percent chance of keeping this weight, and any future weight I lose off. That kept me awake last night, with stupid fears mostly. Is all this for naught? Am I destined to be battling this statistic my whole life, because, so far I have been. Really? Only 20%? I'm betting everyone knows at LEAST one person who has lost a lot of weight, only to gain it all back.

Don't worry, I shut myself up pretty quickly. I have already decided that I am going to be in the 20%. I just find it incredibly interesting how much the odds are against me.

1 comment:

  1. My grandpa always said: a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. But that is not true- sugar is used by the body DIFFERENTlY makes you MORE hungry and LESS satisfied then protien or fat.

    You have to remember the position you are in compared to other people dieting. This is not a fad but a life change for you. Most people binge diet and I do not believe you are in that category. You are changing your life, not just changing your weight.

    I think where most people run into issue is that they diet and then go back to eating what they were before. I think about this a lot- like what will happen if I eat candy again- will I go nuts like before?!?!

    If or when you reintroduce all carbs into your life I think you will not just go full force- you will do it with care and thought.

    Good luck on your 1/2 marathon! We will be driving up to Seattle as you are running! Will think of you!