A recent study that was widely publicized in the popular press found that the primary reason why people get fat is from eating a combination of fat and sugar. I've said for years that most people don't get fat from eating just fat or just sugar, but when you combine them it's a sure prescription for obesity. There are a number of physiological explanations for this. Fat is the most dense source of calories at 9 per gram, compared to the 4 calories per gram found in both protein and carbohydrate. Recent studies that have compared consuming a high carbohydrate, low fat diet to a high fat, low carbohydrate diet have found that the low fat diet produces better fat-loss results than does the low carb diet. But there are numerous problems associated with such findings. For one, most of the studies were short-term and provided an unrealistic fat content of about 9% of total daily caloric intake. That is highly unrealistic and doesn't represent the way that most people eat in the real world. Indeed, some of the studies were done on subjects who lived in closed metabolic chambers, where every calorie consumed can be measured. Once again, who eats all their meals in an enclosed metabolic chamber? Perhaps the most ironic aspect of these recent studies that found a low fat diet is best for weight-loss is that they were sponsored by an organization that seeks to prove that low carb diets are superior!
The reality of the situation is different, however. I can use myself as an example. When I competed in bodybuilding contests in the late 60s and early 70s, I tried just about every diet in existence, including a number of so-called fad diets. All of the diets proved to be miserable failures, mainly because I just couldn't stick to them. When I tried the low fat, high carb diet not only was the fat loss infinitesimally small and slow, but the feelings of hunger were so overpowering that even my strict discipline to succeed as a bodybuilder wasn't enough to overcome it. As a result, I usually lasted about 2 weeks on a low fat, high carb diet before giving it up. Eventually, I found out about the low carbohydrate, higher fat diet that had begun to be popular in bodybuilding circles in the early 60s. I tried this diet, starting with what it now known as a "ketogenic diet," where I consumed only about 20 grams of carbs a day. After 3 weeks on the diet, I increased my carb intake to 60 grams a day and stayed at that dose for an average of 3 to 4 months. The first three weeks of the diet was tough. My workout intensity level dropped considerably, particularly on the . . .