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Dr. Darden: Why Carb Diets?
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Dave Price

New Jersey, USA

Hey Dr. Darden just a quick question on why you suggest carbohydrate rich diets. You prescribe that trainees eat diets rich in carbs when getting lean and building muscle, why is this? So many people out there say to have low carb diets when getting lean, as for adding muscle how is it better to eat more carbs?
Thanks Dave Price
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Ellington Darden

I've discussed the positive side of a carbohydrate-rich eating plan in my books, Living Longer Stronger, Body Defining, A Flat Stomach ASAP, and The Bowflex Body Plan. Generally, carbohydrates are for energy, bulk, and satiety -- and they are an important source of vitamins and minerals.

I've always gotten very good results in fat loss from my reduced-calorie eating plans with at least 50% of the calories supplied by carbohydrates.

Ellington
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mrhighintensity

Nevada, USA

I agree with Dr. Darden - In have experienced with low carb diet for my contest dieting before and I always ended uop loosing more muscle then fat. I will never go on it again trust me. Higher carbs and caloric restriction is the key if you wanna loose fat.

MR
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Mr. Strong

I've always eaten a high carb diet/balanced diet, and have always been very lean, as well as very active. I've always liked eating fruit, vegetables, etc, I'm not sure how to have a balanced diet without these.

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Thorwalsh

As far as "fat loss" is concerned, I would have to respectfully disagree. All studies done thus far have proven the superiority of low carb dieting for fat loss and muscle retention. NOt to say that one cannot get lean using a low calorie, high carb approach or that some people given certain metabolic differences may even do better on such a diet but as far as what is best overall, science is on the side of the low carb diet in order to lose the most amount of fat with sparing the least amount of muscle.
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southbeach

Thorwalsh wrote:
As far as "fat loss" is concerned, I would have to respectfully disagree. All studies done thus far have proven the superiority of low carb dieting for fat loss and muscle retention. NOt to say that one cannot get lean using a low calorie, high carb approach or that some people given certain metabolic differences may even do better on such a diet but as far as what is best overall, science is on the side of the low carb diet in order to lose the most amount of fat with sparing the least amount of muscle.


If any advantage to fat weight loss is present restricting carbs, and I say 'if", is it worth it?

Low Fat Diets More Likely To Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease Than Low Carb Diets:
http://www.medicalnewstoday.co...

""The higher fat content of a low-carbohydrate diet may put dieters at an increased risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) because low-carbohydrate diets often reduce protection of the endothelium, the thin layer of cells that line the blood vessels of the circulatory system. The reduced production from the endothelium of nitric oxide, a specific chemical, puts the vessel at higher risk of abnormal thickening, greater clotting potential, and cholesterol deposition, all part of the atherosclerosis process," says Dr. Gutterman.

Over a six-week period, the researchers found reduced flow-mediated dilation in the arm artery in participants who were on the low-carbohydrate diet. Reduced flow-mediated dilation, as measured in this study, is an early indicator of cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, flow-mediated dilation improved significantly in participants on the low-fat diet suggesting a healthier artery which is less prone to developing atherosclerosis."

The science is not conclusive for superior weight loss via 'low carb'. Restricting refined carbs is always a good idea. Whole natural plant food is a better choice.

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Mr. Strong

Thorwalsh wrote:
As far as "fat loss" is concerned, I would have to respectfully disagree. All studies done thus far have proven the superiority of low carb dieting for fat loss and muscle retention. NOt to say that one cannot get lean using a low calorie, high carb approach or that some people given certain metabolic differences may even do better on such a diet but as far as what is best overall, science is on the side of the low carb diet in order to lose the most amount of fat with sparing the least amount of muscle.




As Dr Darden mentioned he has acheived great results with a high carb diet, many times.

As well as a successful bodybuilder supporting high carb diets to maintain size.

Have you any likewise examples?

You don't really need the support of a study or any scientific knowledge to lose fat, its pretty simple really. Oh and remember there are studies and science supporting all sorts of diets, you don't beleive them all do you?
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Ellington Darden

Thorwalsh wrote:
As far as "fat loss" is concerned, I would have to respectfully disagree. All studies done thus far have proven the superiority of low carb dieting for fat loss and muscle retention. NOt to say that one cannot get lean using a low calorie, high carb approach or that some people given certain metabolic differences may even do better on such a diet but as far as what is best overall, science is on the side of the low carb diet in order to lose the most amount of fat with sparing the least amount of muscle.


Show me any other studies, that are even close to being scientific, that reveal the following results:

41 men, in six weeks, each dropped an average of 23 pounds of fat. That's an average of 0.55 pounds of fat each day and 3.83 pounds of fat each week.

In the process, each of these men also built an average of 4 pounds of muscle.

All the data are reported in my book, "A Flat Stomach ASAP."

Ellington

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Larry T

North Carolina, USA

Thorwalsh wrote:
As far as "fat loss" is concerned, I would have to respectfully disagree. All studies done thus far have proven the superiority of low carb dieting for fat loss and muscle retention. NOt to say that one cannot get lean using a low calorie, high carb approach or that some people given certain metabolic differences may even do better on such a diet but as far as what is best overall, science is on the side of the low carb diet in order to lose the most amount of fat with sparing the least amount of muscle.


Clarence Bass has a comment on his site that says "you are an experiment of one." The context of that saying is that while he states a preference on many issues (including a higher carb diet), there are differences from one person to the next. The more I read and study, the less empirical evidence I can find on many issues that would slam the door on opposing opinions.

Take HIT vs volume, rep speed, one set vs multiple, failure vs not to failure, machines vs free-weights, how much protein, diet composition, etc. Every side has their studies to validate their biases. How can both sides be right? It's maddening - until you perform that "experiment of one" and find what works for you. I've tried both approaches to losing fat, and for me I've found more protein and less (not none) carbs allow me to maintain a calorie deficit easier without hunger.
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Larry T

North Carolina, USA

Ellington Darden wrote:

Show me any other studies, that are even close to being scientific, that reveal the following results:

41 men, in six weeks, each dropped an average of 23 pounds of fat. That's an average of 0.55 pounds of fat each day and 3.83 pounds of fat each week.

In the process, each of these men also built an average of 4 pounds of muscle.

All the data are reported in my book, "A Flat Stomach ASAP."

Ellington



Dr. Darden, Since these men were definitely not on a low-carb diet, there could be no claimed "metabolic advantage" that the low-carb camp used to claim existed. So from a caloric deficit standpoint, assuming the 3500 calorie figure for a pound of fat, these men would have needed to be at a daily deficit of 1,925 calories. If they were eating ~1500 calories per day, their BMR would have been 3425 calories per day. Does that seem right? According to the Katch-McArdle formula, a 220 lb man at 30%BF would burn ~2900 calories per day assumind a daily activity level of "moderate". These men were doing 3 sessions of HIT per week with no cardio, correct?

To me, this is exactly what I meant in my previous post about science not always adding up. One side cites science, and the other side says "yeah, but the study was flawed..."
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Ellington Darden

Larry T,

That's why you need to read my chapter 8, SYNERGY, in A Flat Stomach ASAP.

You're right, things don't always add up to the expected total. But there are valid reasons why they don't.

Ellington
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Crotalus

It's maddening - until you perform that "experiment of one" and find what works for you. I've tried both approaches to losing fat, and for me I've found more protein and less (not none) carbs allow me to maintain a calorie deficit easier without hunger.

I agree 100% ... unless I was in those studies , it doesn't mean much to me. I've gotten better results on Paquale's type diet and a little different version of HIT routines ; splitting the routines, 50% sets , JREPS , etc.

What do you do, ignore the results you've gotten and do what the 'studies' say just because they're 'scientific studies' at some university on 100 other people you never met ? IMO, if the studies turned out proving the opposite of what the researchers wanted the studies would never be published. I think Arthur Jones would be the first in line to piss on a study that told him what he did was wrong or didn't work.

Like Bass said, the only experiment that should matter is the one on yourself.
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southbeach

What Bass says now..

"I’m impressed—and encouraged. My diet is largely plant-based.."

http://cbass.com/Esselstyn.htm

Plant-based is high unrefined carb.

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Thorwalsh

As I said previously, I'm not arguing the long term effects of Low carb, although I believe that elimination of sugar and refined carbohydrates has a huge beneficial effect on people's health to dismiss the consistant findings of EVERY study comparing Low carb diets to other forms of dieting when it comes to LOSING FAT is just not sound.

Dr. Darden, your own study would have been valid had you placed half the group on a low carb diet and the other half on the high carb diet and compared the results. As it is, you only proved that it worked but not that it would work BETTER.

Last year Drew Baye actually discussed a recent study that showed the muscle sparing quality of low carb dieting. And Drew was no fan of low carb. The results in every study are always significantly in favor of low carb diet. They are often downplayed by the researchers though because this is not the result they expected. I read one study that said that although low carb dieters lost Twice the weight of other dieters it wasn't a lot of weight. That shows bias in the interpretation plain and simple.
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Ellington Darden

Sorry, guys, but experiments of one are NOT science. Sure, you can learn from your personal experiments -- but they can also be misleading, very misleading.

The idea is to use personal experiences to develop hypotheses -- which hypotheses become the basis behind tests and measures to determine average outcomes. Then, these outcomes -- if they are strong and positive -- become the starting point for careful research that involves groups of subjects and control groups, checks, balances, and statistics.

Of course, all of this requires considerable time, effort, and money -- which is why most training and nutritional research is performed by graduate students in university settings.

Ellington
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southbeach

Thorwalsh wrote:
As I said previously, I'm not arguing the long term effects of Low carb, although I believe that elimination of sugar and refined carbohydrates has a huge beneficial effect on people's health to dismiss the consistant findings of EVERY study comparing Low carb diets to other forms of dieting when it comes to LOSING FAT is just not sound.

Dr. Darden, your own study would have been valid had you placed half the group on a low carb diet and the other half on the high carb diet and compared the results. As it is, you only proved that it worked but not that it would work BETTER.

Last year Drew Baye actually discussed a recent study that showed the muscle sparing quality of low carb dieting. And Drew was no fan of low carb. The results in every study are always significantly in favor of low carb diet. They are often downplayed by the researchers though because this is not the result they expected. I read one study that said that although low carb dieters lost Twice the weight of other dieters it wasn't a lot of weight. That shows bias in the interpretation plain and simple.


I assume you are resistance training while losing fat.. that alone will spare muscle. Will avoiding whole unrefined plant food preserve even a few ounces more.. you haven't provided any evidence for this additional sparing effect.

Calorie restriction is the ultimate fat loss key. Calories in vs calories out. As Dr darden rightly pointed out plants are nutrient dense. Once you reach your preferred bodyweight, stop losing weight then what? Will you revert to the heart healthy low fat high plant nutrition?
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Thorwalsh

First let me say that I have no stake in this whatsoever. If someone wants to do low carb, high carb, in between, it matters not to me. My point is that the reasearch that is out there, which should be noted was actually conducted to disprove the efficacy of low carb, shows that low carb spares muscle while losing fat significantly better than other forms of dieting.

On a personal note, I used to eat high carb, low fat and my blood lipid profile and triglycerides were a mess. Switching to low carb brought me from high risk of heart disease to normal risk. But as Dr. Darden noted, an experiment of One is not science.

I also have Dr. Dardens flat stomach A.S.A.P. and am a big fan of his and respect his advice but if I were to cut weight for wrestling or enter a bodybuilding show, Low Carb would the method I, personally would choose.
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Mr. Strong

Thorwalsh wrote:
First let me say that I have no stake in this whatsoever. If someone wants to do low carb, high carb, in between, it matters not to me. My point is that the reasearch that is out there, which should be noted was actually conducted to disprove the efficacy of low carb, shows that low carb spares muscle while losing fat significantly better than other forms of dieting.

On a personal note, I used to eat high carb, low fat and my blood lipid profile and triglycerides were a mess. Switching to low carb brought me from high risk of heart disease to normal risk. But as Dr. Darden noted, an experiment of One is not science.

I also have Dr. Dardens flat stomach A.S.A.P. and am a big fan of his and respect his advice but if I were to cut weight for wrestling or enter a bodybuilding show, Low Carb would the method I, personally would choose.




Were you not exercising when you were a high risk for cardiovascular disease?

How do you eat enough fruit and vegetables on a low carb diet. I can't imagine eating mainly meat and dairy containing all the vitamins and minerals you need. I can't imagine not having a mountain of mashed potato with my dinner on a Sunday.

You should try my seefood diet :)
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Thorwalsh

Actually I was training, lifting weights as well as cardiovascular exercise. My doctor wanted to put me on drugs, I gave low carb a try and it worked.

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Butters

Mr. Strong wrote:
How do you eat enough fruit and vegetables on a low carb diet. I can't imagine eating mainly meat and dairy containing all the vitamins and minerals you need. I can't imagine not having a mountain of mashed potato with my dinner on a Sunday.


Low-carb doesn't mean no-carbs. People seem to mistake a low-carb diet with the retarded Atkins plan. A more reasonable low-carb diet for BBing purposes may keep carbs around 50g during the week, which can be a couple of pieces of bread, a piece of fruit, and a ton of green, leafy veggies. Then there should always been scheduled re-feeds, or carb-ups where you could indulge in small amounts of things you have been craving.

A low-carb diet of lots of veggies, some fruit, lean protein with weekly carb-ups, couldn't be any unhealthier than the bagels, and frozen TV dinners that Darden recommends.
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txiron

First I would like to state that I respect Dr. Darden immensely.
That being said, I was wondering about the "frozen dinners & bagels" and the like. Is this truly healthy?

Dr. Darden, is it your opinion that your body burns through it anyway, thus it is OK as long as you create a caloric deficit? I sure would appreciate it if you could set all of us straight.

P.S. I have read most of your books and do not remember this being addressed. BTW, Thank you for being so accessable to the general public.
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Ellington Darden

txiron wrote:
First I would like to state that I respect Dr. Darden immensely.
That being said, I was wondering about the "frozen dinners & bagels" and the like. Is this truly healthy?

Dr. Darden, is it your opinion that your body burns through it anyway, thus it is OK as long as you create a caloric deficit? I sure would appreciate it if you could set all of us straight.

P.S. I have read most of your books and do not remember this being addressed. BTW, Thank you for being so accessable to the general public.


Okay, where's the proof that the bagels and frozen dinners that I recommend are damaging to your health? Sure, there are some opinions, but where's the proof?

Ellington

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Dave Price

New Jersey, USA

Seriously guys its a bagel and frozen dinner.. Look on the darn ingredients labels and see what's there made up of. Sure not all foods are equal. However I wouldn't go as far to say frozen dinners are garbage to your health..

Maybe a HungryMan frozen dinner is shit but something like Healthy Choice and the Lean Cuisine dinners are fine. Just eat good overall food and exercise hard,, exercising is the biggest factor. There's no magic just work hard at it and the results will come. Dave Price
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bdog

All low-carb diets do is f-up your metabolism. They make serve a purpose temporarily, but the people I've talked to and my own experience with them is that when you go back to eating more carbs you gain back the weight you lost and then some!

Low-carb dieting is a fad, just like low-protein was in the 70's and 80's and the low-fat diets in the 90's. You need balance and portion control and/or calorie restriction.
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marcrph

Portugal

Sorry, but there is no clear evidence to support severe restriction of carbs as promoting either health or weight reduction. All carbs are not the same. Choosing fiber-rich carbs, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as foods low in saturated(coconut oil is great though), and preferably high in monounsaturated fats seems like a reasonable course to follow. Choosing a double cheeseburger without the bun does not.

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