February 11th, 2017

Research on low carb diets

The gist of recent research seems to be that a diet is a diet is a diet, whether low carb or low cal.

My take has long been that if you like low carb—if you find it a pleasant way of eating, feel good on it, and lose the weight you want—then by all means, great. I’ve written several posts explaining that my experience on such diets has consistently been the opposite. I find them tremendously unpleasant, feel physically bad while adhering to them, and to top it all off I don’t even lose weight.

Different strokes for different folks.

11 Responses to “Research on low carb diets”

  1. OM Says:

    Unfortunately, I can’t outrun the fork.

  2. James Says:

    Whole foods plant based is where it’s at.

  3. ArmyMom Says:

    I have been going with the Ketogenic Diet with great success. I don’t feel deprived. I feel like I can eat a lot of things that I really like. I have not felt bad, with the exception of at the very first when I stopped my sugar-potatoes-pasta-flour intake. My joints have stopped hurting. My runs are much better with fewer times of exhaustion afterwards. I recover much better after workouts. I have stopped needing to take Advil all the time for aches. I have stopped needing to have caffeine in the afternoons to stay awake. I sleep better.

    Keto is low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) and for once I have found something that I can sustain. I have lost 20 lbs so far and am anticipating losing more. There are tons of free websites that have meal plans and even grocery lists that help a lot.

  4. neo-neocon Says:


    I know that some people have a good experience on that sort of diet. And some people have a bad experience. I am one of the latter. I felt awful on it, although I gave it several tries for lengthy periods of time. But I never stopped feeling awful on it. I am not a big lover of protein foods or bacon or cheese or any of that–I prefer them to stay a relatively small proportion of my diet. If I eat too much of them I feel sluggish and my GI tract is very unhappy. I just feel very odd and bad, and I also lose very little weight.

    That does not mean that I eat a lot of sugar, pasta, potatoes. I eat relatively little of those things.

  5. ArmyMom Says:

    Neo – You must be someone who easily converts protein into glucose. After I got my body adapted to not having so many things that are easily converted to sugar, I have found that if I reintroduce those things, my stomach feels awful. Kind of like what you describe with too much protein.

    Its amazing to me that our individual systems can covert things so very differently and we can have such differences in health even when eating very healthy. Glad that you work well with lots of fruits and veggies. You sound like high veggie, low protein (HVLP)…haha! Just had to try to make up an abbreviation for you. 😉

    I have also found I am good with more veggies but need to limit my fruit intake to those things that are low on the glycemic index. I do pretty good with a significant amount of cheese and non-sugary dairy. This works out well for me since I came up with kidney stones a couple of years ago after being put on large amounts of calcium by a doctor to deal with some bone density loss. Now with all the dairy in my diet, I don’t need to worry about not getting enough calcium for my bones.

    Letting my body use fat for energy has been great! I can now start to train for that marathon that I have always wanted to run. I have my 11th half marathon in a couple of weeks but that is the longest that I have managed to run so far.

  6. OM Says:


    Best wishes for the marathon. The first half of marathons in my experiences have always been fun. And half marathons could be hard but not grim. My best half was 1:21, but that was decades ago.

  7. OM Says:


    Bernd Heinrich (“Ravens in Winter,” “Mind of the Raven”) tried fueling his ultra running training (marathon and longer) with olive oil. It didn’t work out, or rather as you might guess. I don’t recall which of his books it was in. Both were good.

  8. OM Says:


    The olive oil training fuel fiasco was in the book “Why We Run, A Natural History.” It was good book, too. Heinrich was a very fast runner; 2:25 at Boston at age 40, a 100Km race in 6:38.

    Again good luck.

  9. ArmyMom Says:

    Thanks OM! I will look up Heinrich. Have never heard of him.

  10. Rufus Firefly Says:

    A few years ago I started experimenting with a low glycemic diet and found I liked it, but didn’t lose much weight. A bit later I started playing around with fasting and have lost more, better weight than I had in a long time. At 53 I’m now close to what I weighed when I was 30.

    I agree with ArmyMom regarding joint pain. I had not heard of it as a possible side benefit, but I noticed shortly after avoiding high glycemic foods and eating more fat that my knees no longer hurt when kneeling in church. The biggest change I noticed was appetite. If I eat low glycemic/high fat foods a little goes a long way and I’m not hungry for hours. Eat some sugar and I’m hungry in about 2 hours.

    The fasting has been a big surprise. I would have assumed I’d have less energy, but I have so much more and feel so much better. Most days there is about a 16 hour window where I consume no carlories at all.

    I also agree with Neo, people are different and the same things don’t work the same way for everyone. You’ve got to experiment.

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Rufus Firefly:

    Cutting out sugar for a year made me lose no weight at all. I don’t have joint pain to begin with (fortunately), so that’s not an issue. And I cannot fast because I often get a migraine when I do, with aura and everything (not eating for a long time is a rather common migraine trigger).

    Glad the fasting worked for you. It is very counterproductive for me.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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