Take me to a court or come to my house and beat me up with a shovel but you can eat carbohydrates and lose weight. I’m telling ya. You don’t have to spend the next few months drinking “keto-compatible” organic hot dog water to lose weight. 

This has been proven when your TV was still in black and white. Seriously.

Back in 1975, Kempner et al. conducted a study that would make low-carb extremists go all “Yeah, I dunno about that, it’s probably the big pharma scam or something.” 

Anyway, here’s the study

Treatment of massive obesity with rice/reduction diet program. An analysis of 106 patients with at least a 45-kg weight loss

And here’s what the researchers did: 

106 massively obese patients were treated as outpatients with the rice/reduction diet, exercise, and motivational enhancement under daily supervision.

Wanna guess what diet subjects were put on? Anyone? Ok. I’ll tell you. They followed a very low calorie “rice/reduction diet“:

The initial diet prescribed for most patients ("unmodified rice/reduction diet") is a low-calorie (400 to 800 kilocalories [kcal]/day. 90% to 95% of the caloric intake is a carbohydrate, taken as rice and fruit.

Vegetables (except spinach because fuck spinach), lean poultry, meat, and multivitamins were added to the diet later in the study but it was still low in calories (less than 1,000 kcal/day) and very high in carbs.

Now brace yourself, here, for a shock: Subjects lost an average of 63.9 kg (141 lbs):

high carb study results

The researchers concluded: 

This report demonstrates that massive obesity can be corrected [<...>] with a combination of dietary manipulation, exercise, environmental alteration, and motivational enhancement. Each factor appears to be important. The reduction of calories is obviously the cornerstone of any weight reduction program.

I’m not sure how many studies low-carb zealots need to realize this but carbs don’t inhibit weight loss. I mean, how do you explain steroid-free bodybuilders getting shredded to the bones eating a mountain of carbs?

Nutritional strategies of high level natural bodybuilders during competition preparation

Could this be because they eat fewer calories than they’re burning? No need to answer. The answer is “yes.”

The reason I’m telling you about energy balance is that so many people think following keto, Atkins, carnivore, etc. are their only options to lose weight. 

I mean, people DM me on Instagram asking if they can eat an apple because it contains carbohydrates.

For chrissakes. It’s the goddamn apple. No one ever got fat from eating an apple. Or mango. Or mangapple. If such exists. 

This is where low-carb extremism has brought us. Watermelons became “fattening…”

When you learn about calories and realize that all diets work in the same way—by making you eat fewer calories—you gain the power to choose any diet that you can stick to long-term

All diets work the same way—by making you fewer calories

If you genuinely think that going low carb may work for you because it fits your personal preference and lifestyle, crack on. Experiment. Avoid carbs. Do what suits you best.

But if you danced with a number of diets and all you have to show for it is an unhealthy relationship with food, you may want to go back to fundamentals

fat loss fundamentals

Ok, let’s wrap this up because I’m hungry and need to go eat my oats:

You don’t need to avoid carbs to lose weight.

But if you want to try a low-carb diet and it’s sustainable for you, go for it. But do so knowing why you’re doing it rather than out of fear or misinformation. 


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Originally published by me on Medium on September 30, 2021

This Post Has One Comment

  1. amen

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