An interesting article just came out in “The Journal of Obesity”, article you have probably heard about: “Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after ‘The Biggest Loser competition“.
A lot of comments were done on many websites about THIS STUDY but today I will try to give a look at it with a Zero Carb angle.
To resume the situation, the study showed that these "biggest losers", even after 6 years AFTER their “loosing adventure” eating 1000-1200 calories per day, did not recuperate their original basal metabolic rate when coming back to their original caloric intake. Which largely explains the long-term failure of the “biggest loosers/low calories” approach...
To make it simple, it means if you are eating 2000 calories per day, and you go on a “regular food item” diet eating only 1000 per day, your body will adjust and burn less calories to survive. BUT now we know that if you “re-increase” you calories intake WITH the same kind of “regular food items”, your body will not readjust and begin to burn more. There seem to be a permanent damage to the body basal metabolism.
This lowering of the metabolism largely explain the “loss plateaus” we have all certainly experienced in the past doing a "low-cal regular diet".
Clearly you understand to loose weight and keep it down, on the long term, we have to keep our basal metabolism HIGH.
The most interesting point about this study is that one subject regained his “original” metabolic rate, differently from 93% of the biggest losers folks, and he did this by doing bariatric surgery.
Why is this? Because bariatric surgery is just like on a Zero Carb diet: it puts insulin levels down sharply, growth hormone and noradrenalin both go up, keeping your basal metabolism HIGH and preventing any fat storage.
Any diet that brings you into “burning fat for energy” will keep your basal metabolism HIGH. There is no starvation mode. And, on the contrary, any low calorie diet keeping your insulin high (low-cal, low fat), will seriously slow-down your metabolism forever.
So now we know to recover from a lowered basal metabolism from a low calorie diet, one has to move on to a high fat diet, high enough to put his insulin down. For some it may be a LC diet or a VLCD but, as you know, for others it has to be a Zero Carb diet.
Anyway, we have some good studies showing ketogenic diets (whatever it may request for you to go into ketosis…) DO NOT produce any slowing of the metabolism.
So what about the calorie OUT? Nothing realy interesting comes out about this in the study. I guess we are still left with the theory that if you exercise too much, your appetite will go up.
And how to go around this? Forget about these hours of intensive exercise: go into short intensity exercise programs and built some muscle.
Finally, and I want to insist here, a low-calorie diet (with carb items) MAY work for some people and these are the ones with NO SIGN of metabolic syndrome. But we also know the number of these folks is going down, year after year, as the general population is increasing their carbohydrates intake. Our last estimate is this is true for only 10% of our society. Which means 90 % of the population will fail on a long-term weight program if they still believe in the "Cal-in Cal-out, Low-cal Low fat" approach.
This study is just another proof that the Zero Carb way of eating is adequate and scientifically supported!