Re: Re: Atkins Diet and tuba playing.

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Posted by Rick Denney on April 10, 2002 at 15:26:38:

In Reply to: Re: Atkins Diet and tuba playing. posted by Matt G on April 10, 2002 at 07:24:40:

I agree. The Atkins and other no-carb diets cause a condition called protein ketosis. At the very least I would start adding carbs until the ketosis goes away. Protein ketosis is described in the link below.

In that link, the author recommend a maximum of 20% calories from protein, but I have much experience with eating at 30% calories from protein without seeing any symptoms of ketosis. This is the so-called "Zone Diet" but I prefer to think of it as a balanced approach with about equal portions of macro-nutrients, and focusing on food high in micro-nutrients. It is actually pretty close to the heart-healthy diet promoted by the American Heart Association.

If your diet makes your breath and urine smell unusual, then it is likely a ketogenic diet. Yes, you might lose weight, but you may be losing weight at the expense of good health.

I have weighed as much as 270 pounds (in 1994), and two years ago I tipped the scales at 202 when I competed in an Ironman triathlon. I'm at about 220 now, because of inactivity over a winter filled with too much other stuff to do. But I know what it is to lose lots of weight at the same time as gaining lots of fitness, and the conclusion I've drawn from my own journey is this: Eat to be healthy, exercise to be fit, and you'll weigh what you weigh. If you eat to be light, you might achieve your goal through starvation, and end up unhealthy and unfit (and unable to keep the weight off once you start eating again). After all, muscle is more dense than fat. Use the mirror and the tape measure to assess progress, not the scales.

Please, no hate mail from Atkins followers. Everyone makes their choice, and I don't always do what's healthy. (Competing in an Ironman is WELL BEYOND what is needed for good health, and probably to an extreme that hampers good health in some ways.) But do not break the rules before learning them.

As to the effect on tuba playing, malnutrition causes weakness and is not good for activities that benefit from good health and general fitness. Playing the tuba is one of those activities.

Rick "motivated by a warm sun and a flabby reflection to start running again" Denney

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