You might think that my lack of a medical degree would in some way limit this column. Instead, the lack is liberating, allowing intuition, experimentation, and common sense to be peers rather than poor little sisters of scientific research.
My first column on the low-carb crazecreated in large part by the paperback publication of Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution in 1999serves as a fine example of the fruits of this freedom.
Since the only scientific research done on the Atkins Diet at that time was a rather unfavorable study published in the the Journal of the American Medical Association in response to the swift success of Dr. Atkins' first book in 1972it sold more than 900,000 copies in seven months!those with ties to the medical community felt compelled to cite the 1973 JAMA study and condemn the new version of the Atkins diet.
I, however, could consider the significant weight loss of the 25,000 clients Atkins personally assisted, the burgeoning obesity epidemic, and my personal experience with simple and complex carbohydrates and praisealbeit partiallythe Atkins diet. I wrote that while there is a better way to lose weight, the Atkins diet worked for the majority of Americans because they already made two major dietary mistakes: they ate too many overly refined, simple carbohydrates and they ate too much fat.
Eliminating the one that triggers excessive insulin secretion, I explained, makes it easier not to overeat and lose weighta fact that was verified years latersurprise, surpriseby scientific research. And years after that, additional research verified the diet I prefer, a high-protein, high-complex carb diet that's low on simple carbs and bad fats not only works as well for long-term weight loss but also is better for athletic performance.
Am I bragging? Um . . . maybe. But I can argue the aforementioned example is an appropriate introduction to the fact that exercising before breakfastsomething I've been advocating for yearshas another even more significant benefit.
Exercise before breakfast has been shown to mitigate the effects of a poor diet.
The Belgian study, published in The Journal of Physiology, took 28 healthy young men, had them eat an intentionally bad dietone comprised of 50 percent fat by calories and 30 percent more total calories than they neededand then placed them in one of three groups. One group did no exercise at any time during the day, one group exercised after a breakfast high in carbs and used a sports drink during workouts, and one group exercised before eating breakfast and drank only water during workouts.
The exercise performed by both groups was supervised to be sure it remained identical and strenuou