Category: diet

Good calories, bad calories and weight gain/loss

Time goes fast and I realized the blog has been abandoned for quite a while. I have been reading recently a little bit about weight loss, mainly to update my knowledge, and also for some personal interest, having suffered a broken rib and now trying to recover some shape!

My interest was initially on rapid weight loss. So I wend back to read some old papers on rapid weight loss and performance (e.g. Fogelholm et al., 1993 ) which showed for example that 6.0 +/- 0.6% of body weight was lost in 2.4 days by fluid and diet restriction and forced sweating, and when followed by a 5-h "loading" (food and drinks ad libitum) there was no change in performance with a gradual weight loss programme. However while in experienced athletes such approach might still not produce visible and measurable reductions in physical performance, it seems clear that psychologically they are highly likely to suffer (see Hall and Lane, 2001) as well as having some impairment in cognitive function (see Choma et al., 1998).

However, while looking for some literature on dietary aspects of weight loss I came across some interesting information.

First, two interesting books I just ordered: Good Calories-Bad calories  and Why we get fat from Gary Taubes which quite rightly points the finger to carbohydrates and their abundant use as the main cause of obesity. I will read the books and then write a review, as while I am keen to read his summary of the carbohydrate issue, I am not so convinced about his views of the role of exercise on weight management. What pointed me in that direction was a great letter written by Professor Tim Noakes on the British Medical Journal’s blog. As usual Tim has written some interesting comments. Have a look at it and make your mind up!

The internet is always full of surprises and while looking for information I have been impressed by the project of a personal trainer who decided to gain weight before losing it again to learn how it feels to be overweight and then to show how his methods work in getting himself back in shape. He started in May his weight gain plan and is due to start the reverse process in November. If you are curious about it, go read his blog here.