Archive for the ‘Weight’ Category

Losing Weight on Potatoes and Junk Food

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Potato Diet

As someone who loves hearing good news about my bad habits, I was excited to read about Chris Voigt, the Executive Director of the Washington State Potato Commission, who is eating nothing but 20 potatoes per day for 60 days (link). Potatoes have been linked to diabetes and the theory is that it’s because of their high glycemic index (see here).

After 30 days Voigt’s health markers changed drastically:

Weight – 197 to 189 lbs
Total cholesterol – 214 to 162 mg/dl
HDL (good) – 45 to 46 mg/dl
Triglycerides – 135 to 100 mg/dl
Blood Glucose – 104 to 92 mg/dl

It only takes 11 potatoes to meet the RDA for all amino acids, and 13 to meet the RDA for protein (calculated using a white, baked potato and with a 10% buffer for vegetable protein).

It appears that he isn’t eating sweet potatoes or yams (especially since his vitamin A intake is very low), but I wasn’t able to verify that.

To be clear, I’m not recommending this diet.

Junk Food Diet

And here is another article, Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds, about Professor Mark Haub from Kansas State University. Professor Haub lost 27 lbs in two months of eating nothing but junk food. He says that this shows you can lose weight eating anything, as long as you eat less calories than you use.

Don’t forget that you can support this blog by buying things from Pangea, Vegan Essentials, and Amazon using the links on the website. Thank you!

Sleep Deprivation and Weight Loss

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

WebMd has an interesting article, Sleep Loss Hampers Weight Loss Efforts.

The study found that when people trying to lose weight slept 7.5 hours per night, they lost 3.1 pounds of fat and 3.3 pounds of fat-free body mass (mostly muscle tissue). When they slept for 5.5 hours a night, they only lost 1.3 pounds of fat and 5.3 pounds of fat-free mass.

Breakfast Eaters Less Likely to Be Overweight

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

A study from Taiwan published in April indicates that people who eat breakfast are more likely to be at a healthy weight. This reinforces most of the previous findings on the subject.

One theory as to why is that skipping breakfast leads to eating more calories later in the day, but that doesn’t seem to be the case as breakfast skippers have been shown in previous research to eat the same or less calories. It seems likely to me that skipping breakfast slows down your metabolism.

It also could be that skipping breakfast doesn’t cause the weight gain, but is merely associated with something else that causes it. To adjust for this possibility, the researchers controlled for age, gender, marital status, educational level, income, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and exercise, and so differences in these variables between breakfast skippers and eaters should not account for the differences in body weight.

Thanks, Tom!


Huang CJ, Hu HT, Fan YC, Liao YM, Tsai PS. Associations of breakfast skipping with obesity and health-related quality of life: evidence from a national survey in Taiwan. Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Apr;34(4):720-5.

Body Mass Index and Mortality

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

I just added the following to the article on disease markers of vegans, and thought it might be of some interest to readers:

Recent research has shown that a BMI of 22.5 to 25.0 is associated with the lowest mortality rate. It has been known for some time that a lower BMI has been associated with an increased risk of death, but that was thought to be due mostly to smoking-related diseases. A 2009 meta-analysis of 900,000 people found that even in those who never smoked, there is a slight increase in mortality below a BMI of 22.5. (1)

The excess mortality below 22.5 has not been explained. One theory is that the excess mortality might be due to lower fat-free mass, which would most likely be lower muscle mass (though could also technically be bones, or even some organs). (1, 2) Studies on BMI and mortality to date have not differentiated between fat and fat-free body mass.

1. Prospective Studies Collaboration, Whitlock G, Lewington S, Sherliker P, Clarke R, Emberson J, Halsey J, Qizilbash N, Collins R, Peto R. Body-mass index and cause-specific mortality in 900 000 adults: collaborative analyses of 57 prospective studies. Lancet. 2009 Mar 28;373(9669):1083-96.

2. Wändell PE, Carlsson AC, Theobald H. The association between BMI value and long-term mortality. Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 May;33(5):577-82.