A Bad Idea—Combining Lowcarb with Low Fat

Often I’ve seen people decide it would be an absolutely brilliant idea to combine lowfat and lowcarb to—you know—somehow get the best of both worlds?

My experience is that reduced fat (and thus reduced calorie) lowcarb will work for weight loss in some bodies for a relatively short time…sometimes just a few weeks, sometimes even for a year —if they can hang on that long.  (I call “a year” in this case a relatively short time when we’re speaking about a lifetime change.)  However, I’ve seen nothing but eventual weight gain and, what’s worse, increased weight loss resistance in people who attempt to take this approach.

This is what I believe the experts are talking about when they say that “diets make you fat.”  I finally understand and totally believe that.  And I believe this is just as true about lowcarb “dieting.”

Some people do tend to overeat on lowcarb—I still do sometimes even all these years later  They eat too many calories and those people do need to start paying closer attention to calories in order to keep losing, especially as they begin closing in on a healthy body weight.  But trying to lose weight by cutting calories (especially FAT calories) to rates below your body’s basal metabolic rate will end up boomeranging virtually every single time.  Eventually your “hunger dam” will burst wide open, especially when you stop losing, when you stop getting a payoff (weight loss) for your virtual starvation.  And mark my words, you’ll break and go hog wild, in what I’ve come to call an OWTHIMAW moment.  (Oh what the hell, I might as well…) We’ve all had a long history of those, right?

The challenge facing people in this situation, especially emotionally entangled eaters, is to stabilize calories at a sane rate, at 200-250 calories above your basal metabolic rate.  AND to keep the fat percentage in their diet as high as possible, in the 65-75% of calories range.

This, sadly, can be a boring proposition to those of us who have been all-or-nothing addicted eaters.  But a big part of the adjustment I believe needs to happen in order for this to be a permanent change is coming around to being satisfied with “boring” food most of the time and learning to find highs and thrills in much more appropriate places than at the bottom of a bowl of lowcarb ice cream.