Nutrition & Health OnLine Magazine: Questions & Answers on Weight Loss and Fitness
By Davey Dunn
Q.  I have been on the low carb diet for about a month and while I have lost some weight I have noticed that I really struggle trying to get through my workouts and I seem much weaker. Is this common with this diet or am I doing something wrong?
A.  I am not surprised that you are struggling to get through your workouts since you started the low carb diet because by restricting your carbohydrates you have eliminated the fuel that your muscles burn for energy, which are carbohydrates. We have talked before about how low Carb diets are not the way to produce long-term decreases in bodyfat (Read Fad Diets). Sure this diet will help you drop some weight quickly because carbohydrates are stored in the body with water so by decreasing the carbs in your diet you are also dehydrating your body which will cause you to weigh less. Big deal. Losing water weight is easy and does nothing to reduce your bodyfat level.
Something else you should consider is how much muscle you may be losing while your workouts are suffering. The worst thing you can do to your metabolism is to lose muscle and if your workout intensity is sub par because you are tired then chances are, at the very least, you are not building any new muscle and probably losing some. My advice to you is to stay away from popular fad diets and use the same scientific principles that top athletes use which means plenty of the right kind of carbohydrates in your diet. For more detailed information on how your body produces energy for workouts read the article Energy Systems and to understand the right way to lose weight I highly recommend the articles at the popular Weight Loss Corner here at Nutrition & Health OnLine Magazine.
Q.  I enjoy your magazine but sometimes you seem be a little overly critical of Doctors. I know several Doctors who work hard and genuinely care about treating their patients. You should re-think some of your criticism because not all Doctors are just after your money.
A.  I realize that there are many Doctors out there that work hard and provide a valuable service for the people that they treat. The problem is we get so many emails from people saying, for example, that their Doctor told them to not use vitamins because they are a waste of money or to not use any over-the-counter product for weight loss because they are all just snake oil. When so many Doctors give out such bad information it really makes all Doctors look like they are either stupid or have ulterior motives for giving such erroneous advice.
I almost hate to bring this up but since it happened recently and explicitly depicts where at least one Doctor's priorities lie I think it is relevant to your question to discuss the recent exploits of the Doctor who left his patient in the middle of surgery to go cash his paycheck. Is there a better example of how misplaced some Doctors priorities have become? How can someone in the middle of a serious operation even be thinking about financial matters much less go to the extent of leaving their patient to go to the bank? Every patient puts their trust in the Doctor treating them to make decisions and take actions that are in their best interest. When financial concerns become more important than what is best for the patient then that trust has been violated and I think we live in a system where this happens more often than not.
I certainly do not want to be "overly critical" as you said but I have re-read my past comments and I think my criticisms of Doctors have been fair and accurate. I will guard against becoming overly critical but I am not going to back away from calling it the way I see it based upon the evidence available.
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