Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Rapid Weight Loss - Is It Healthy and Does It Work?


It is important that the public not only understand the right ways to lose weight, but also equally understand the wrong ways!

There have been many FAST weight loss systems that have come and gone over years - The Cambridge Diet and Slim Fast are two that spring to mind. "LighterLife" is the latest meal replacement diet to tempt the public. This rapid weight loss programme is intended for those people who need to lose 3 stone or more. Why 3 stone or more you may ask? Well, one simple reason is that the programme FORCES the body to break down its own tissue at such a rate (they advertise a stone a month), that anyone without enough fat and tissue on the body, really wouldn't last long on the programme at all, and of course Lighter Life wouldn't earn as much money from them!

LighterLife is a very low calorie diet. Now, there are low calorie diets and there are LOW calorie diets - this is one of those LOW varieties if you get my drift! It provides at best 450 calories per day - I know because I have seen the nutritional breakdown of the sachets and food bars that are used in place of 3 standard meals per day.

Aside from the issues and pitfalls (both socially and psychologically) of living on 3 sachets of synthetic nutrient powder everyday, let me explain further what this does physically and chemically inside the body.

Fast, or rapid and extreme weight loss via hypocaloric (very low calorie) feeding happens because the body rapidly loses water (due to loss of glycogen and protein, both of which contain water), as the body quickly begins to break down muscle, and then fat. It is thought that around 25% of the weight lost on a very low-calorie diet (or low-carb diet) is actually lean muscle tissue.

"So what" you may thinking?

Well, the downside is that it damages metabolism. Long-term, the metabolic rate is driven DOWN to an all-time low, as the body thinks that it is being starved, which it is! FEWER calories are burned on a daily basis, as the body tries to conserve as much energy for "survival". When calorie intake is increased (which it has to be at some point), although this lifts the metabolism again, it doesn't increase it to the same levels as before. The body fails to burn the same amount of energy (calories) as it once did, and weight gain (in the form of fat) is faster than it was before. In order to avoid this happening at its very worst, calorie intake must be increased very gradually, and at the same time, physical activity (including resistance exercise to build back lean tissue) must be increased, and maintained. There are still many people desperate to lose weight that will not except that exercise and healthy "intelligent" eating is the key to long-term successful weight loss and weight maintenance.

Paradoxically, exercising while ON a very low calorie diet is NOT healthy - in fact it is dangerous! This is because the body is already in an acidic state (due to the use of ketone bodies as fuel - see below), and exercising without enough carbohydrate as a fuel increases levels of acidic by-products even more. This increases the risk of metabolic acidosis - which can lead to coma and death!SO?. Those on the LighterLife programme should be advised NOT to exercise all the time they are on this starvation diet. Their bodies are too busy breaking down their own tissue to cope with much else!

We need at least 1000 kcals/day just to maintain our normal metabolic rate and most physiological functions - ideally 1500 kcals to ensure we are meeting all our basic nutrient requirements. Existing on such few calories and forcing the body into starvation mode, means the body must begin to break down it's own tissue for fuel, and to provide the body with the necessary amino acids (i.e. protein) for many bodily functions. By the way, the heart is a muscle, so there is a danger of losing heart muscle too on such a low calorie regimen - which is not something anyone would knowingly want to do? especially if there is a risk of any form of heart disease in the family.

Being so low in energy (calories) is one reason that LighterLife (LL) works. But another reason for the speed of weight loss has to do with the fact that is very low in calories from carbohydrate (CHO). Remember carbs are our main source of energy. Restricting intake of carbohydrates forces the body to make and use "ketone bodies" as an energy source. Ketones are formed in the liver, mainly from fat, and transported to tissues, as well as the brain.

Blood levels of 2 main ketones (beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate) rise, along with the by-products acetone and acetol. You can smell acetone on the breathe of people on very low CHO diets, and it is not very pleasant! These by-products go on to make a substance called glycotoxin methylglyoxal, which consequently also rises in the body. It is THIS substance that can cause blood vessel and tissue damage - something that has been shown in scientific studies. So those people on very low carb diets for a long time (and using ketones as energy) may well be at a far greater risk of vascular damage. This is something everyone should understand when they are considering these extreme forms of weight loss.

Now, not even the Atkins is quite as low in CHO as LL! Three LL sachets provide a mere 24g CHO a day. We need AT LEAST 140-150g carbohydrate to maintain our lean tissue and stop the body breaking down it's own tissue for energy. However, we need a lot more than this if we exercise or are active regularly. If you try and maintain an exercise programme, while eating a low carbohydrate diet, you'll find you won't get very far in terms of increased fitness and increased lean tissue. In fact you'll lose tissue as the body breaks down muscle to a) use as a potential fuel, and b) to repair the exercise-induced muscle damage. You'll only be able to sustain a certain intensity, as above a certain threshold the body can only "go up a gear" by making quick-fire energy from glycogen (carbohydrate) stores and of course if nothing is there - you simply feel "flat", weak and unable to sustain the workload.

I'd like to move onto another important issue, which is never discussed with regard to these weight loss programmes.

The issue of calcium is something that I am concerned about. LL says it provides 900mg of calcium in 3 meal replacement sachets or bars. The first problem is the FORM of calcium used. Calcium carbonate is one of the cheaper forms of calcium, and many reputable supplement companies don't now use a lot of calcium carbonate - at least if they do it is usually combined with a chelated form such as citrate to improve absorption. There are much more absorbable and better forms of calcium now available. We absorb about 40% calcium carbonate. Those with compromised gastrointestinal function, and especially low levels of hydrochloric acid may not even absorb that much.

The second problem or "flip-side" of the coin is that you can NEVER rely on supplementation alone to meet your daily nutrient requirements, and assume that the body will utilise these just as well as it would from food. Ironically 900mg calcium may be TOO much for the body to effectively utilise in this form, with little else to help its utilisation.

LighterLife provides NO FOOD - but seems to think that's OK because the sachets give you all the nutrients you need!?

NOT TRUE...

There is next to no fibre (see below) in a daily intake of LL food powder, and of course no phytonutrients and the array of antioxidants that we find in fresh food - all of which have their own wonderful properties and health benefits - many of which by the way are important for a healthy metabolism!

Calcium plays a vital role in dental health. Not only is it the main mineral constituent of teeth, it also plays a role in saliva, where it has been implicated in remineralising tooth structure after acid attack form plaque bacteria. Whether or not a lack of calcium over 6-12 months significantly effects gum and tooth health is not conclusive, but Dental Practitioner, Dr Rob Endicott had some other interesting things to say about LighterLife?

"I am not a fan of LighterLife and am interested in your comments about the problem of the calcium delivery methods in the product. The problem I have with LighterLife is the lack of chewing, allowing plaque and tarter to build up more readily, having a very direct effect on gum and tooth health, and we have seen this in practice".Mmmmm? now there's a thought!

By the way there is the small issue of fibre! There is less than half the necessary requirement for fibre in a "days nutrition" from Lighter Life. Basically bowel function shuts down after a while - the brain doesn't get any signalling that the bowels are full! Toxins can't move out through the system so I imagine they are re-absorbed back into the bloodstream, and there is a lot more work for the kidneys to do to excrete waste from the blood. Of course the bowels don't get a good daily clean either, which is one of the major roles of fibre in the diet!

I shall leave you all with this final comment?

"IT IS FAR SAFER, AND IN THE LONG RUN, MORE EFFECTIVE TO LOSE WEIGHT AT A SLOWER RATE WITH ENOUGH CALORIES, FIBRE, NUTRIENTS, AND CARBOHYDRATE TO PRESERVE HEALTH, AND MUSCLE TISSUE. GLUCOSE IS OUR PRIMARY FUEL, FOR THE MUSCLES AND BRAIN, NOT KETONES. THE ACIDIC STATE OF KETOSIS IS NOT HEALTHY TO PRESERVE BONE HEALTH".

Lucy-Ann Prideaux MSc BSc RNutr
Registered Nutritionist
Simply Nutrition

Lucy-Ann Prideaux is a registered Nutrition based in East Sussex, England. She helps many individuals with weight problems, digestive complaints, food intolerances, and dietary-related health problems.

Visit http://www.simply-nutrition.co.uk


MORE RESOURCES:

CBS News

New Weight Loss Drug Saxenda: FAQ
WebMD
24, 2014 -- A drug that treats type 2 diabetes has gotten FDA approval for another use: weight loss. Saxenda is the fourth drug for weight loss OK'd by the agency since 2012. It's already available in a lower dose as Victoza for type 2 diabetes ...
New weight-loss drug wins FDA approvalCBS News
Saxenda Approved for Weight LossU.S. News & World Report
New Weight Loss Drug Approved By FDA: Compare Diet Pills, Diets, And ...The Inquisitr
News-Medical.net -Medscape -Bloomberg
all 126 news articles »


MLive.com

Kalamazoo couple turns weight loss surgery into a joint project and loses 350 ...
MLive.com
Through the years, they both tried weight loss plans, even dieting together before they got married. But, diets never really seemed to work. "I've tried Weight Watchers and Atkins and just low-cal and low-fat. I did Weight Watchers maybe six times. I'd ...



KABC-TV

Weight-loss supplements pose major health risks, study says
KABC-TV
But a new Consumer Reports survey of about 3,000 Americans shows one in four has used weight loss supplements. The survey also found more than 90 percent couldn't lose the weight they wanted and keep it off. About half reported at least one side effect ...



Fox News

The 10 biggest food and weight loss stories of 2014
Fox News
I can't believe it's been a year since I compiled my last round-up, but it's that time again! As a research junkie, I think this year's crop of studies in the areas of nutrition and weight management have been particularly fascinating. Here are my top ...
10 Biggest Food and Weight Loss Stories of 2014TIME

all 2 news articles »


Weight Loss Post-Holiday – It's That Time Of Year!
The Inquisitr
It comes this time each year – a realization of the need for post-holiday weight loss. Christmas is past, favorite carols are fading, and the New Year's Holiday is looming. In a few days, the last holiday empty cookie tray will get tossed, the fruit ...



Dallas Morning News (blog)

Dallas Cowboys DE Jeremy Mincey credits weight loss of 25 to 30 pounds this ...
Dallas Morning News (blog)
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jeremy Mincey (92) rushes Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the Houston Texans vs. the Dallas Cowboys NFL football game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Sunday, October 5, 2014.

and more »


Sanford opens weight loss center
AberdeenNews.com
Profile was designed using a large amount of clinical research to ensure a sustainable means to healthy weight loss, according to the release. A clinical and scientific advisory board comprised of Sanford Health physicians and researchers oversaw the ...

and more »


Bidness ETC

FDA Approves New Weight-Loss Drug
Philly.com
(HealthDay News) -- A new, injectable weight-loss drug has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency on Tuesday approved Saxenda (liraglutide) for adults who are obese or for those who are overweight and have at least one ...
Novo Nordisk (NVO) Wins FDA Nod For Weight-Loss InjectionBidness ETC
New Weight Loss Drug Saxenda Approved By FDAHeadlines & Global News
FDA Formally Clears New Injectable Weight Loss DrugViral Global News
Healio
all 13 news articles »


Healthy snacks can equal weight loss
Quad City Times
Need some snack ideas that will help you lose weight in the new year? Finding simple, tasty food options that won't break the calorie bank doesn't have to be so hard. Healthy snacking is actually just that: healthful. Snacking is a great pick-me-up ...



2 Post Holiday Weight Loss Tips That Work!
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Get some exercise. The very next day, get up and take a walk. You have 24 hours to do some damage control. Your body stores glucose in your muscles for energy if you don't use it then it will be moved and deposited in your fat storage (AKA hips, thighs ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.