While driving down to the in-laws to spend the holidays, we listened to several of Jimmy Moore's podcast shows and one of them was a two-part Q&A with Dr. Mary C. Vernon, a physician who treats diabetes and other ailments by putting her patients on a low-carb diet.
At one point, she pointed out that all diets (presuming fat loss is the objective) are high fat diets.
Let's say you have 50 pounds of excess fat you'd like to lose in order to get down to around 15% body fat or thereabouts. Assuming you'll be successful, what does that imply? It means, necessarily, that you're going to metabolize 50 pounds of your own fat in order to accomplish your objective. So, even if you do this by means of a "low-fat" diet, it's still high-fat, as you've got 50 pounds or 175,000 calories worth of fat to burn through. If you do it in six months, that's almost 1,000 calories of fat per day. Presuming a basal metabolism of 2,500 calories, and what you do eat is 20% fat (a "low-fat diet"), then you'd be eating 300 calories of fat and 1,200 calories of protein and carbs combined, for a total consumption of 1,500 calories. The remaining 1,000 would be coming from your own fat, released into your bloodstream and metabolized. Out of the total 2,500, 1,300, or about 50%, are calories from fat, and so:
All diets are high-fat diets. Now do you get it?
A couple of things to note is that, one, "experts" are full of it when they heckle low-carb on the basis that it's the spontaneous reduction in caloric intake that's responsible for success on low-carb. In essence, they're talking, pretending to make a point, but aren't saying anything. When you lose weight, fat doesn't just disappear, it gets "burned" and counts toward your caloric expenditure (if not your actual intake). Second, it's even more revealing when they make the point, as they often do, that dieters on low-carb often lower their actual intake to levels below similarly disposed dieters on low-fat or plain old calorie restriction.
What this all adds up to is that low-carb -- beyond the metabolic advantages of stabilizing blood sugar and thus, insulin -- is most effective over time at curbing hunger. In the end, this is the way to fat loss of important proportions. Either way, you've got to burn through your own fat, so it stands to reason that a diet that both satisfies your hunger relative to low-fat or "balanced" restricted, as well as keeps insulin low so your fat stores can more easily be released, is probably the best strategy you can implement. Moreover, the two are, of course, related. You're not hungry (or as hungry) because you're getting the energy from your own fat, while the low-fatter or balanced, "everything-in-moderation" genius is perpetually hungry because both diets typically involve a high proportion of carbohydrate, lots as crap frankenfood. Insulin remains elevated, body fat remains locked in, they're hungrier, lose less weight, fail, and then get invited on Oprah because misery loves company. (I was going to do a post on Oprah's 1,000th diet failure; still might, but it may instead come in bits & pieces asides and diversions.)
Want a laugh? Next time someone mentions that they're dieting, ask what method. When they tell you low-fat -- so you can congratulate them on their "wisdom" and they can feel like one of the crowd, which other than being oxymoronic, curiously seems important to a lot of people -- you can inquisitively inquire that you thought they meant they were trying to loose weight. When they say they are, you can say, oh, then you meant a high-fat diet. Get it? How long do you think you can keep that up?
When finally you've explained, and they've understood, you can then ask them how come they're not afraid of clogging their own arteries with all the fat they intend to be releasing into their own bloodstream.
Isn't the age of ignorance grand? Well, at least we can have some fun with it.