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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Tuesday, February 25, 2003
12:15 AM

After all of this, the Mishmash Continues because despite Fumento's fine reputation (and welcome diligence in responding to this blog), here I am sitting with about 12 fewer pounds on my body and knowledge of one friend who's been happily on the Atkins diet for a decade or more. I think after all of this Fumento may arraign me for magical thinking.

A few loose ends. When Fumento mentions his pasta diet below, this is what he means, as described to me in an earlier email:
I never said Atkins didn't work for anybody. Like any restricted diet, if you can live within those restrictions it will work. Personally, I find that if the old pants are starting to get a bit tight I start eating virtually nothing but pasta with a bit of parmesan for a couple of weeks and the weight falls off. Why? It's BORING! To the extent I stick to the pasta, I'm just not going to eat that much.

But that is not the kind of life I lead with Atkins. I eat as much as I want, whenever I want. I am not bored by what seems to me a wide variety of foods, most within the carnivore kingdom: beef, pork, chicken, sausage, ham, fish of all kinds (flounder, cod, tuna, haddock, swordfish, I should stop here since the fish family is rather large), etc., etc. Did I mention shrimp? Cheeses? Perhaps we are talking semantics here, and I want to address a serious man seriously, but I don't feel I have only a few small things to choose from, and thus out of boredom eat less.

How is it possible to eat as much as I want and lose weight? Two possible explanations are offered by low-carbers: Different mechanisms related to the insulin response process low-carbs differently than high carbs, burning fat instead of storing it; and secondly, the satiety mechanism. Low-carbers claim that when you eat higher-fat food, you feel full more quickly, thus you don't need to eat that much before you're satisfied. That makes sense to me.
When I raised the latter in my last email to Fumento, he responded:
It's not a matter of whether it makes sense to you. It's a matter of what do the studies show. My article tells you what the studies show...Fat is NOT more satiating than carbohydrates.

Fumento then offers this link to a new study--he would say yet another study--that shows fat is not more satiating than carbs.

But you know, it's also a matter of how much I weigh. Less.

Fumento has published a scathing attack on Gary Taubes' methods that merits, in the end, a response from Taubes and not some blogger. Hopefully we won't have to wait for that $700,000 book to get it.

Now for some zero-carb sugar-free Jello.

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