Ketosis: The silver bullet in weight loss
The heading is a red herring; I should have written "Fat Loss". Though it is less eye-catching, that phrase is closer to the truth, since fat is all any dieter should be seeking to lose, rather than water (which is what most diets are most successful at removing). For anyone who doesn't already know this, ketosis is a condition signaling that the body is burning fat rather than its usual fuel, glucose. It occurs when a dieter eats few enough carbohydrates so that the body uses up its glucose supply and reverts to using its fat stores for fuel. Needless to say, ketosis is an unsurpassed indicator that a given diet is being successful at what it is supposed to do: remove fat. Thin is a State of Mind contains the following passage about ketosis: "ketosis is not simply some vile scheme thought up by an evil doctor [such as Dr. Atkins] to fleece a gullible public, as some critics of the low-carbohydrate approach would have us believe. Millions of years ago the food supply was much less sure than it is today; prolonged famine was a very real possibility. Ketosis is a method of mobilizing the body's stored fat while keeping the creature's mood level and energy level high enough to let it make heroic efforts to search for more food. If abilities simply deteriorated with lack of food, starvation would be a very predictable process that always led to death." Many prominent and writers and researchers in the field of diet and health are united in extolling the value of carbohydrate restriction (Gary Taubes, Professor Tim Noakes, Peter Attia, M.D. and Dale Bredesen, M.D.).
But strangely enough (particularly because their position is no more than an assault on truth), a contingent of the medical and public-health establishment opposes carbohydrate restriction. Just to give one timely example: the most recent issue of U.S. News and World Report's Rating the Diets ranked the South Beach Diet (perhaps the most effective carbohydrate-restricted diet available) 22nd, claiming that the levels of carbohydrates it recommended were lower than those touted by federal guidelines. (It's the latter values that are wrong, not the South Beach Diet's.)
The subject of ketosis (its value, its long-term benefits, cautions about it) is so large that I will be returning to it in many future blog posts. It's extremely important for dieters to know what ketosis can do for them, and how to be careful around it.
Today's words of wisdom: "We can make ourselves miserable, or we can make ourselves strong; the amount of work is the same." Carlos Castaneda, Tales of Power