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It Doesn't Have to Be This Hard

If I'm ever in a trench defending my homeland from barbarians, I want Linda Wells, Editor-in-Chief of Allure magazine, next to me. She's spent her last couple of vacations at a boot camp eating vegan food, sans booze, caffeine, gluten and sugar and going on five-hour hikes, getting blisters along the way. She doesn't feel (or sound) self-righteous. She's lost eight pounds, but says she's ready to "re-tox."

The same issue of the magazine describes the program of a weight loss clinic called Medi-Weightloss: 500 to 800 calories a day of protein (around 125g to 200g), supplements, laxatives, and a prescription appetite suppressant called phendimetrazine.

Jesus wept. Starvation diets--and this diet is well into starvation territory--have been well studied. They're known to cause weakness, fatigue, loss of libido and psychosis. Low-fat diets can cause depression, among other problems. And what's with the heaping helping of protein? Plugging in the author's height and weight into Jenny Ruhl's protein calculator and assuming she's 35 years old and sedentary (the program forbids exercise for the first two weeks), the calculator recommends 90g of protein a day. Your body needs protein for maintenance and repairs, but it can't run on it. It can only run on fat or carbohydrate.

The program is supposed to employ ketosis, which one expert interviewed says is "debunked":

While many physicians used to believe ketosis could permanently reset your metabolism, that theory has been debunked, says Robert Kushner, the clinical director of the Comprehensive Center on Obesity at Northwestern University and chair of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. "Ketosis is your body's last resort to keep you alive. It's an unhealthy situation to be in," he says. During ketosis, your body forms ketones, which, if they build up, can cause bone damage and may affect brain and kidney function.

Jesus wailed. In 2013, there's a medical VIP out there who doesn't know the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis? Wikipedia describes ketoacidosis in a similar way as what I've generally read:

Ketoacidosis is a pathological metabolic state marked by extreme and uncontrolled ketosis. In ketoacidosis, the body fails to adequately regulate ketone production causing such a severe accumulation of keto acids that the pH of the blood is substantially decreased. In extreme cases ketoacidosis can be fatal.[1]
Ketoacidosis is most common in untreated type 1 diabetes mellitus, when the liver breaks down fat and proteins in response to a perceived need for respiratory substrate. Prolonged alcoholism may lead to alcoholic ketoacidosis. (emphasis added)

Ketosis just means you're using fat for fuel. We're in ketosis when we wake up. This is bad?

The author (Hallie Levine Sklar) says elsewhere in the magazine, "They told me to eat 500 to 700 calories a day. But I work and have three kids under five, so I can't imagine realistically subsisting on that." Good for her. And may she and Linda Wells both come on over to low-carb living: lattes made with heavy cream, all the calories they want, and the energy to run around with three little kids. No drugs, boot camp or blisters needed.

Source: Allure Magazine, July 2013.


tess said…
Every time i hear someone claim to have debunked something, i know they're a goddam FRAUD. the only person in history ever to do a good debunk is Denise Minger. ;-)
Anonymous said…
Re-tox! I love it!!
Lori Miller said…
Somebody needs to go around debunking the debunkers.
Lori Miller said…
When you've paid for a ticket to hell to lose eight lousy pounds, a sense of humor comes in handy.
Anonymous said…
Denise can debunk someone to an inch of their lives without ever being mean and nasty. Which is a real skill.

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