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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 10:56 am 
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KPj wrote:
You can't criticise Chi for the post "posing itself as a review" when he clearly states it's not a review.


Sure I can. Didn't we agree to disagree on this already? Since you insist, let's put it this way: acknowledging something does not make that thing instantly turn into something else. If I punched you on the nose and then apologize, would your nose still hurt or not?

KPj wrote:
No one has chimed in to show that any of the points being refuted were taken out of context or misunderstood...


Chi says taht "carbs drive insulin; insulin drives fat; ergo: carbs drive fat" is plain wrong. Don Matesz didn't agree either and wrote these posts where he talked about situations that can't be explained by "carbs drive fat":

http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/05/v ... ithic.html
http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/05/v ... sited.html
http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/05/v ... ted-2.html
http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/05/o ... ffice.html

You'll see he's still discussing the same matter, but instead of focusing on the credibility of Taubes, he's more concerned with the actual concept. What did Chi do instead? Besides the usual barrage of studies, he sets up this ugly straw man argument:

Quote:
Then there is the ethical question. If it can pass for real, because people do tend to lose weight when following a low carb diet, what would be the harm in embracing the book? The same holds true for counterfeit money. If it looks real and you can pay with it, why should you stop using it?

There are actual several reasons. First of all is that someone gets hurt further down the line, because it will come out eventually. This will reflect badly upon you, which is of course your problem. But mind that it will reflect badly on our profession as well, which concerns us all.

The second reason is that we make progress, because we have rational in-depth theories that we turn into great experiments with outcomes we learn from. Storytelling without conclusive evidence however, has kept us in the dark ages for centuries.

Do you really want to return to medieval ages where science had no place and babies died for what we now consider trivial reasons? I don’t think so!


Can you believe he's willingly arguing that if Taubes is left free to wreak havoc on the scientific world, we're going to go back to the dark ages?

I wish he said Taubes is to nutrition what Hitler's to history, then the entire post would have fallen under Godwin's law and we could have called it a day :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:20 am 
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mark74 wrote:
If I punched you on the nose and then apologize, would your nose still hurt or not?


If you're going to play fair, and do what Chi done, then you would tell me you were going to punch me in the nose before doing it, giving me the chance to either walk away or, um, duck. Then I could say, "hey, i'm not going near Mark, he'll punch me in the nose". It confuses me that you continued to read it if that was a problem.

However, for the sake of keeping it constructive, we should agree to disagree as you suggested.


Quote:
Chi says taht "carbs drive insulin; insulin drives fat; ergo: carbs drive fat" is plain wrong. Don Matesz didn't agree either and wrote these posts where he talked about situations that can't be explained by "carbs drive fat":


I may of read it too quickly or something, but i'm pretty sure this is Taubes point, and one which Chi is refuting. Without referring back to it just now, i'm sure one of his points were that 25% of obese people do not have insulin resistance (this is one of the points that stuck with me).

Quote:
Can you believe he's willingly arguing that if Taubes is left free to wreak havoc on the scientific world, we're going to go back to the dark ages?


I agree with you here. I don't like how he puts certain things, one of which I mentioned earlier. Also, thanks for the links, i'll have a look over them later as I have to go just now.

I think it may be best if I copy and paste the individual points made and refuted to keep it more informative.

KPj

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:27 am 
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robt-aus wrote:
Of course there's been selective and intentional selection of items and articles - this is part of constructing a case.


I don't think this is what Chi suggests he is doing. Rather, he suggests that Taubes ignores research which refutes his points.

I liked the following,

robt-aus wrote:
the crux of my extended writings on this is the shallow nature of a case that says "yes you're wrong but I agree with you except the parts i don't agree with - therefore you are unreliable despite many common agreements and your whole case is rot - it's not even worth reading because i read the cover". his argument from authority doesn't fill me with enthusiasm.


Other than the "I read the cover" part (again, he clearly shows where he gets the info he's refuting, it's not based solely on what the cover says).

I do think this is a good point, and have a feeling this may be what's going on, but I can't call it myself. It does annoy me when people just pick holes in arguments for the sake of of being controversial. It seems all research is flawed in some way because it's limited to the fact that it's not real life. So, you tend to get people who just blindly criticise everything and anything. This may be what's going on. I just can't call it, yet. I have a feeling Chi's main point boils down to the fact that the "underlying" problem with Obesity reaches far and beyond nutrition alone. This is kinda obvious, in my book, and Taubes seems to be just referring to nutrition so factors out with nutrition probably shouldn't be used as an argument.

KPj

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:43 am 
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KPj wrote:
robt-aus wrote:
Of course there's been selective and intentional selection of items and articles - this is part of constructing a case.


I don't think this is what Chi suggests he is doing. Rather, he suggests that Taubes ignores research which refutes his points.

I liked the following,

robt-aus wrote:
the crux of my extended writings on this is the shallow nature of a case that says "yes you're wrong but I agree with you except the parts i don't agree with - therefore you are unreliable despite many common agreements and your whole case is rot - it's not even worth reading because i read the cover". his argument from authority doesn't fill me with enthusiasm.


Other than the "I read the cover" part (again, he clearly shows where he gets the info he's refuting, it's not based solely on what the cover says).

I do think this is a good point, and have a feeling this may be what's going on, but I can't call it myself. It does annoy me when people just pick holes in arguments for the sake of of being controversial. It seems all research is flawed in some way because it's limited to the fact that it's not real life. So, you tend to get people who just blindly criticise everything and anything. This may be what's going on. I just can't call it, yet. I have a feeling Chi's main point boils down to the fact that the "underlying" problem with Obesity reaches far and beyond nutrition alone. This is kinda obvious, in my book, and Taubes seems to be just referring to nutrition so factors out with nutrition probably shouldn't be used as an argument.

KPj


now that last conclusion, Sir, may have legs.

on your first point, i remember a little d i l b e r t cartoon about demolishing presentations you don't like. the advice was something along the lines of 'let them speak for 15minutes, then ask them if the blah blah blah study was considered'. ensure 'blah blah blah' sounds legitimate, but obscure. unless they actually DID consider the 'blah blah blah', seeds of doubt sown. reasonable people recognise that you can't consider everything, and decent writers identify their scope at the outset. then it's a line call when there's two differing authoritative opinions on what's within scope.

can't wait for people who actually can dissect the studies. some of the larger experiements/surveys mentioned are Cambodia sized minefields of potential limitations. like most experiments.

sorry i keep coming back to the the easy 'superficial review' comments. it's either the librarian in me literally saying "don't judge a book by it's cover", or the rationalist saying "don't let the cover define the book". or it could be my spiritual side saying "don't judge"... criticism gets lonely without constructive. in my book.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:13 pm 
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my uninformed 2 cents on the whole thing (not really the article but the theory behind it) is: once upon a time, some guy decided fat was bad so everyone decided to cut out as much of it as they could, but they missed the big picture that certain fats are really good for you. Fast forward 20 years or so and some other guy decides carbs are bad so everyone decides to cut out as much carbs as they can, but once again seem to be missing the big picture that certain carb sources are good...

things come full circle. People don't need to fear fat, or fear carbs. No one macronutrient is evil. People just need to UNDERSTAND their diet and the effect it has. If you want to cut carbs, by all means get rid of $h1t sources like processed sugar, white bread etc, but wire in to potatoes, brown rice, yams etc. If you want to cut out fat, well, getting rid of horrid trans-fat rich sweets and vegetable oils is a great step to getting healthy, but olive oil, animal fats etc should all be staples in your diet. If you're obese then chances are you are eating too much of EVERY macronutrient.

it really isn't that hard to understand. You can't blame obesity on carbs, or fat. People are just looking to blame something so they can get a quick fix to a problem that has environmental and cultural factors extending far beyond the influence of a single macronutrient.

but, whatever. I'm not obese and I doubt I ever will be. I'm off to lift some weights and flex my abs in the mirror. They're looking great and it's all thanks to a diet full of good clean sources of ALL THREE macronutrients.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 2:29 pm 
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RS, very well said. I was thinking about jumping in, but you mailed it.
Tim


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 5:34 pm 
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KPj wrote:
It confuses me that you continued to read it if that was a problem.


If I discarded the post right away it would have been like judging the book by its cover, ain't that right? :wink:

KPj wrote:
I may of read it too quickly or something, but i'm pretty sure this is Taubes point, and one which Chi is refuting.


Of course. I believe Taubes' axiom should be regarded as an overly simplified statement for the benefit of driving the point home, as it's pretty obvious to me there are a lot of intricacies to how the body tries to regulate its myriad processes. It's possible that this single point has been hammered so often, and taken out of context so that now it seems Taubes is saying that insulin and carbs are the only culprits in obesity, but it would seem unfair to me to think a person who has put so much research into his books would really think it's that simple.

robertscott wrote:
If you're obese then chances are you are eating too much of EVERY macronutrient.


Yeah, but why they did that in the first place? Just sloth and gluttony? This is actually one of Taubes points, I think it's something along the lines of 'obesity is a disease of fat accumulation'. And the other question is how do you take them down to a normal weight? it's more complicated than just starving them all (although it may work for some, I don't think it's the norm)

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 4:31 am 
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robertscott wrote:
If you're obese then chances are you are eating too much of EVERY macronutrient.

it really isn't that hard to understand. You can't blame obesity on carbs, or fat. People are just looking to blame something so they can get a quick fix to a problem that has environmental and cultural factors extending far beyond the influence of a single macronutrient.


As Mark said, the work of Taubes is to look at WHY we "overeat". He acknowledges that, yes, to gain mass (in whatever form) there needs to be more calories. However, WHY do some people overeat whilst others don't. His point is really that "overeating" is a SYMPTOM, not a cause, of obesity. Overeating assumes it's all down to energy balance but this makes no sense.

In his first blog post, he takes a quote from another nutritionist saying that blaming obesity on ever eating makes as much sense as blaming alcoholism on "over drinking".

I'm going to attempt break it down point for point to see if we can get anything constructive going :scratch:

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 8:04 am 
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So, this may be lost already but, doing this at least gets things clearer in my own head.

First of all, for arguments sake, forget Taubes new book. Look at Chi's post as counter points to Taubes first few blog posts.
I'll break it up by headings on blog post made by Chi,

The Significant 20 kcal

This is in reference to the following blog post by Taubes,á

http://www.garytaubes.com/2010/12/inani ... vereating/

Very brief summary of both,

Taubes: According the the laws of Thermodynamics, all we have to do is eat an extra spoonful or mouthful of calories (20 kCal per day), over 20 years, to gain 40lbs of fat. Basically, there's no way we could possibly be this precise and, if we had to be, then everyone would be fat. Yes, we need to "overeat" to accumulate fat. Thermodynamics is basically a mechanis, It's the "how" we get fat. It is not the cause or the "why". It tells us very little.

Chi: He doesn't argue that there's more to it but, points out the flaws in the thought process. Still going by the laws of Thermodynamics, if you add mass, you add energy expenditure (the mass needs to be maintained and carried around). In fact, this has already been looked at to work out a formula for such. He provides a reference which apparently shows how a woman of BMI 23 would need 370 kcal too much per day for 30 years to get up to a BMI of 29. His point (all along) is that Taubes provides inaccurate information and this is to show that he does.

Personally you also need to consider that Taubes claims himself to have read "more than a century’s worth of literature on obesity and nutrition and chronic disease" so you've got to wonder how he could miss this. They actually both agree here but, Chi's point is on the quality of information provided by Taubes. 370 kcal per vs 20 is pretty significant.

Why Diets Work, When They Do

In reference to Taubes second blog post (as stated!), here - http://www.garytaubes.com/2010/12/calor ... ohydrates/

Taubes: He goes over a lot of studies comparing low fat and low carb, pointing out the various flaws in them and showing why it's possible that even the results of the low fat diets could actually be a result of lowering carbs. Most low fat diets also lower carbs and the carb variable isn't controlled therefore, it could be as much down to the lowering carbs as it is to lowering fat or even just total calories.

Chi: Again points out that this has already been studied with the carb variable controlled and no significant difference was found. Therefore, again, Taubes is providing inaccurate information. He also goes on to talk about the Eskimo points that Taubes mentions quite a lot, pointing out that it's not accurate to say that Eskimos live on a "no carb" diet. He counters this argument, too, by mentioning an Indian tribe who's diet consists of 70% carbs yet they don't have any obesity or related diseases. The Eskimo point is not in the blog post by Taubes it is something he mentions quite a lot in interviews.

It’s All Insulin, Bro!

In reference to http://www.garytaubes.com/2011/03/dose- ... -of-dr-oz/

Taubes: He puts his main point across that what makes our fat cells fat is essentially what makes us fat. What makes our fat cells fat is Insulin. Raised insulin will fill up our fat cells, basically. Lower insulin and the fat is released from our fat cells. Raised insulin creates the fat cells, and raised insulin prevents the fat from being released and used as energy. He cites a few biochemistry books to support this. He also gives what I felt was a good explanation on carb tolerance, well, based on what i thought I might of knew about it :scratch: .

Chi: Again, states that the information is inaccurate. Criticises Taubes for claiming the underlying "cause" of obesity (and obesity related diseases) is insulin, or insulin resistance, and therefore, based on his mechanisms of how fat is stored, carbs. Manage your carbs and you manage your insulin. Therefore you manage your body fat and by default, your health. He mentions that over 25% of the Obese are NOT insulin resistance, which flies in the face of what Taubes said, and cites a reference. He also cites a study done on rats where they shut off their insulin receptors and they didn't become obese. His point is that if this is what as at the heart of the book, then the information is flawed. He hints that Taubes understanding of Insulin is also flawed but doesn't go into detail.

They appear to be in agreement on Saturdated Fat, which is the next part.

The rest of it, I didn't find all that relevant, to be honest. The above is what is being "debated". I'm sure Taubes would agree on the other factors out with nutrition alone that contribute to Obesity. This is probably the part that I don't really "like", in the post. It would be more relevant to keep it on diet/nutrition. Sure, there's more to it, but that's where it gets messy in my view. I think it's surprising yet difficult to argue where Chi has pointed out the flawed information that Taubes uses.

I think it would be "nice" if we differentiated "getting fat" and, "obesity". I think Taubes work is more about how we actually get fat i.e. what we actually EAT. If we could figure that out first, then surely it would be much easier to figure WHY we eat the way we do. So you have what you eat (getting fat), and why you eat it (why we continue to get fat).

What got me most was the points about insulin. What Taubes says is, to be honest, what I "believed". I've also seen Chi go into more detail about this via Strength Coach forums and it's made me realise that maybe what I believed isn't actually true. Regardless, I'm confused and have A LOT to learn!

KPj

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:08 am 
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TimD wrote:
RS, very well said. I was thinking about jumping in, but you mailed it.
Tim


cheers Tim, I have my moments


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:21 am 
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KPj wrote:
The Significant 20 kcal


Concerning this point, I think Chi is straw-manning again here.

Taubes' argument as I understood it is about reducing calorie-in/calorie-out to the absurd, to show that if CICO was really all that it matters, you would reach the unlikely conclusion that an insignificant energy excess is enough to gain significant weight over a long enough period.

This applies to almost everyone in the western world, so everyone and his cat should be fat. This is obviously not true, which proves the hypothesis (CICO end-all, be-all) is absurd.

What Chi does is mistaking the finger for the moon and go on to discuss things that, even if they are true, are moot points.

BTW thanks for linking the articles, this makes things much easier to follow. I can't help but wonder why Chi didn't do that in the first place instead of generically referring to them..?

KPj wrote:
Taubes: He goes over a lot of studies comparing low fat and low carb, pointing out the various flaws in them and showing why it's possible that even the results of the low fat diets could actually be a result of lowering carbs.


Honestly, this looks to me what robt has aptly called the usual war of studies, IIRC. It's really hard for people who can't delve into the details of methodologies to say anything (never mind the huge amount of time that would be needed to actually review those studies).

I remember reading about studies where an unrestricted LC diet gave better results than a calorie-restricted LF diet. I think Taubes also talks about one such study which was originally funded with the purpose of proving the exact opposite, much to the chagrin of the researchers (who subsequently had trouble securing funds) and quite naturally, of the funders.

KPj wrote:
He also goes on to talk about the Eskimo points that Taubes mentions quite a lot, pointing out that it's not accurate to say that Eskimos live on a "no carb" diet. He counters this argument, too, by mentioning an Indian tribe who's diet consists of 70% carbs yet


Regarding Inuits, it's number wars. Last instance I've read of this was a squabble between a free market zealot and Stiglitz regarding the top 1% in America. Again, if you don't have the tools to really understand why they are getting different results and who's deliberately churning out $h1t (and sometimes, both are!), it's hard to say anything meaningful.

IIRC the Kitava (sp?) are not the only population who's thriving on a high carb diet without experiencing the diseases of civilization, but I can't remember what the other example was (it's been some time since I read that article).

The Japanese are used, too. Often the counter you'll see is that since the specific diet is only eaten by people living in a certain area, that population may have developed specific adaptations to that diet. This is subject to the rebuttal that evolution is a very slow process and that these diets have been around for too little time for adaptations to appear.

KPj wrote:
I think it would be "nice" if we differentiated "getting fat" and, "obesity".


Did you see Fat Head? At the beginning of the film, the author starts telling you that when we usually think about obese, we think about people who are really, really fat. He adds this is far from truth because obese is really the next step after overweight.

As an example he uses himself. He is "technically" obese but if you look at him, he seems overweight at most. This partly is due to how BMI works, IMO: he's quite tall and of course we know BMI does not really work well for some body types.

KPj wrote:
What got me most was the points about insulin. What Taubes says is, to be honest, what I "believed".


How insulin work is, IMO, a bloody mess. I did try to understand the intricacies (Lyle McDonald has a lot of articles about that) but eventually I gave up... it was just too sprawling for me to understand without actually start taking notes.

If you're more motivated than me, I recommend giving McDonald's articles a shot.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:41 pm 
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mark74 wrote:
KPj wrote:
The Significant 20 kcal


... lots of good stuff ... How insulin work is, IMO, a bloody mess. I did try to understand the intricacies (Lyle McDonald has a lot of articles about that) but eventually I gave up... it was just too sprawling for me to understand without actually start taking notes.

If you're more motivated than me, I recommend giving McDonald's articles a shot.


Any publications or URLs you could mention to start me off? As I mentioned, I have an alcohol type 2 diabetic relative, who has experienced more than 25 self induced hypoglycemic episodes and has a massively expanded waistline, due to what I currently understand as continually spiking their blood sugar with softdrinks/beer, elevating their insulin and causing nutrients to be stored instead of used. The more I can read the better.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Hi. Not much time to respond, but some things that float to mind:

KPj wrote:
So, this may be lost already but, doing this at least gets things clearer in my own head.

First of all, for arguments sake, forget Taubes new book. Look at Chi's post as counter points to Taubes first few blog posts.
I'll break it up by headings on blog post made by Chi,

Sorry - haven't read the blogs - please throw out my responses, but i'm referring to the k i n d l e version of WWGF.
Quote:
The Significant 20 kcal

This is in reference to the following blog post by Taubes,á

http://www.garytaubes.com/2010/12/inani ... vereating/

The twist here is that in the book a lot of material and pages (essentially the first part of the publication) is devoted to trying to explain why the 3rd law of thermodynamics isn't relevant in the case of human digestion/metabolism. Chapters like "biology, not physics", "thermodynamics for dummies" set out trying to explain why the current paradigm isn't suitable. It's a case of using techniques based on one paradigm (CICO) to state that the other ("3rd thermo isn't relevant") is wrong. We've two different, incompatible approaches here. I find this type of debate nearly intractable, because in essence it's "the law isn't the way to think about this", and the response is "under this use of the law that doesn't work". It's a bit of a mainstream bombshell to state "obesity is not a disorder of energy balance or calories in/calories out or overeating, and thermodynamics has nothing to do with it" (ch 6, sorry no page, k i n d l e)
...
Quote:

Why Diets Work, When They Do

In reference to Taubes second blog post (as stated!), here - http://www.garytaubes.com/2010/12/calor ... ohydrates/

"My study's better than your study".
Quote:
[b]It’s All Insulin, Bro!

In reference to http://www.garytaubes.com/2011/03/dose- ... -of-dr-oz/

...

Typically saying something is wrong is accompanied by an alternative explaination. It's a difficult device when someone else's understanding is dismissed but no counter explaination is offered.
I'll happily listen to anyone and everyone about the role of insulin in human metabolism for personal reasons. I've not found the materials used/discussed by Taubes to fly in the face, or cause any personal cognitive dissonance, about material used by diabetes educators in Australia.
...
Quote:

The rest of it, I didn't find all that relevant, to be honest. The above is what is being "debated". I'm sure Taubes would agree on the other factors out with nutrition alone that contribute to Obesity. This is probably the part that I don't really "like", in the post. It would be more relevant to keep it on diet/nutrition. Sure, there's more to it, but that's where it gets messy in my view. I think it's surprising yet difficult to argue where Chi has pointed out the flawed information that Taubes uses.

I think it would be "nice" if we differentiated "getting fat" and, "obesity". I think Taubes work is more about how we actually get fat i.e. what we actually EAT. If we could figure that out first, then surely it would be much easier to figure WHY we eat the way we do. So you have what you eat (getting fat), and why you eat it (why we continue to get fat).

A personal recommendation here is to spend some time skimming Michael Pollan, who I think has some reasonably grounded views on what and why 1st world western (primarily North American, but it has applicability to many other nations) people eat what they do, and about the results.
Quote:
What got me most was the points about insulin. What Taubes says is, to be honest, what I "believed". I've also seen Chi go into more detail about this via Strength Coach forums and it's made me realise that maybe what I believed isn't actually true. Regardless, I'm confused and have A LOT to learn!

KPj

It's nice to have things to provoke further research, and potentially change behaviour. I can't see too much weight in a criticism that says (simplisitically, of course) "Hey! This guy's approach would only assist 3 out of 4 big fat people! What a joke"...

Rob


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 7:21 am 
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robt-aus wrote:
Any publications or URLs you could mention to start me off? As I mentioned, I have an alcohol type 2 diabetic relative, who has experienced more than 25 self induced hypoglycemic episodes and has a massively expanded waistline, due to what I currently understand as continually spiking their blood sugar with softdrinks/beer, elevating their insulin and causing nutrients to be stored instead of used. The more I can read the better.


These are from my bookmarks, hope they help a little:

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-lo ... inner.html
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-lo ... -loss.html
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-lo ... ss-qa.html
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-lo ... art-1.html
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-lo ... mones.html
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-lo ... art-1.html

PS: beer is not as bad as soft drinks if consumed with moderation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer#Health_effects

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 9:09 am 
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Thanks Mark - i've some reading ahead of me. I got to the end of the day thinking about the health effects of sugar and carbs, and realised i had char kway teow - malaysian rice noodles for lunch and several beers after work. then my wife suprised me with takeaway pizzas (s!) for dinner... and i was happy about all of it. we're a funny species.


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