The Science Bit : How and why the PoundforPound diet works

You don't need to read this page in order to start or follow the PoundForPound diet.
However, you may be interested in how the diet works.
 
Most importantly, if you have any doubts about our diet, TRY IT!
You will see results within just two weeks.

We believe the basic problem with the epidemic of obesity is caused by eating the wrong types of foods.

Unlike mainstream advice, fat is NOT the problem. Carbohydrate is the guilty party.

When you eat foods rich in carbohydrates, your body turns carbohydrate into Glycogen. Glycogen is stored in your muscles for instant energy. For a very active person, this Glycogen is burnt up and they do not put on weight.

But for most people who are not atheletes, the muscles reach a point where they cannot store any more Glycogen. As soon as this point is reached, the body has a problem - it has to get the Glycogen out of the bloodstream but can no longer store it in the muscles. What it does do is convert the Glycogen into FAT and stores it in your cells. You get fatter.

Our bodies evolved in an environment which didn't have supermarkets and restaurants. It was a good plan for the body to store away excess food as fat. If the hunt wasn't successful, then the body would firstly use up the Glycogen stored in the muscles and then burn the stored fat.

At most we have 3 days capacity of Glycogen stored. When the Glycogen is exhausted, the body switches to fat burning mode, and the fat which was previously stored is used.

Here's the problem in the modern age:
Because we are consuming carbohydrates every day, we are filling up our Glycogen stores, storing the rest as fat, and never going into fat burning mode.

Incidentally, when our Glycogen levels become elevated, the hormone insulin is produced. Our bodies are now producing far more insulin then they would have produced in our evolutionary past.
 
carbohydrates > insulin > fat storage

The consequence of this constant stream of insulin in our bloodstream is that we can become insulin resistant. The body tries to compensate for this by producing more insulin, which causes more obesity. Eventually, Type 2 diabetes can result, where we have to inject more insulin into our bloodstream.


The PoundForPound diet will do the following for your body:
  • Reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat
  • This means you use up the Glycogen stored in your muscles
  • When the Glycogen is used up you switch to Fat Burning Mode
  • In Fat Burning Mode we are directly targetting the fat stored in your body
  • Body fat will reduce
  • The highly dangerous visceral fat around your organs will reduce (beer belly in men)
  • Because you are no longer experiencing high Glycogen levels, insulin production is much reduced
  • With a reduction in insulin production, there is not fat being driven into storage, and there is less strain on your Pancreas (the organ which produces insulin)
  • Your cells in your body will become less likely to become resistant to insulin (which happens when insulin is produced constantly due to a high carbohyrdrate diet)

So, the ultimate purpose of the PoundforPound diet is to convert all this into a simple, easy to follow eating plan for you to follow.

We have done the research on what foods contain carbohydrate (especially the refined ones which are converted to Glycogen quickly).

These high carbohydrate foods to avoid are listed here.

When you drastically cut down on carbohydrates, your weight loss will begin.

We have also researched the foods which are lowest in carbohydrate, while at the same time being nutritious.

You will be eating the foods listed here: Good foods, low in carbohydrates


The Three Food Types

Protein

Protein is essential for sustaining life. We do not restrict protein on this diet, as it contains the building blocks of healthy bodies - amino acids. Some vegetables contain protein but not in the form of amino acids.

Protein is found in meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and cheese for example.

Fat

Fat is found in meat, fish, cheese, cream and certain nut and seed oils.
Avocado is unusual as it is a vegetable which contains healthy fat.
Fat is essential for a healthy body in the form of fatty acids.

There are 'good fats' and 'bad fats' however.

Good fats are actually essential to the functioning of your body.  Good fats are fats which are found naturally in food in their unprocessed state. Examples of good fats are found in olives, meat, fish, egg yolks, avocados, nuts and flax seeds.

Bad fats are fats which have been processed by industry. Particularly bad are "trans fats". Avoid foods which have partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients - these are proven to be unhealthy.

Carbohydrate

Carbohydrate is a quick source of energy for the body. In the PoundForPound diet we restrict carbohydrate so that the fat in our body is used for fuel instead.

Although carbohydrate itself is nutritionally empty we do eat small amount of it on this diet.
This is primarily in the form of certain vegetables which are packed full of useful vitamins and minerals. But the vegetables we do eat, while containing small amounts of carbohydrate, generally cause a much slower release of blood sugar than manufactured, refined products.

Most overweight people are that way due to the way their body processes carbohydrates.

Acknowledgements and Further Reading

Many thanks go to my old friend Professor Richard Leach who first started posting about his experiences of Low Carb dieting on Facebook. At first, I admit, I thought it all sounded a bit cranky. But he persisted, and set up a dedicated facebook resource Cut the Bullshit Truthful Nutritional Advice. It was this which got me first interested and we have learnt a lot from him. I recommend you take a look.

The following books are recommended.

Mass Delusion - 100 Low Carb Lifestyle Secrets by R Leach and J Whittaker

Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Stephen Phinney and, Jeff Volek

Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution by Robert C Atkins