Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashback: Bugfixed, Attribution, Atkins 423

Slashback brings you another flurry of updates (below) on the recently reported Mozilla security leak, the Greek gaming ban (you'll never guess), the mega-hour TiVO mod mentioned earlier today, the long-term healthiness of the Atkins Diet, and more. Read on for the details.

Go ahead and get this one out of the way. Seth Scali writes: "The decision last week that ruled the Greek ban on video games as unconstitutional has been overturned, and a new trial has been ordered. Story from TheRegister is here. Don't take your GBA on that trip to Athens just yet ..."

It takes a strong man. Reader edrock200 submitted the story about a TiVO mod which could expand system capacity to more than 1000 hours of recording. The story as shown says that 9thTee is the card's developer; edrock200 corrects this "'The QuadCard, like the AirNet and TurboNet adapters also sold through 9thTee, were developed by a TiVo user named Nick Kelsey (known as 'jafa' on the TiVo Community Forum.) 9thTee is the distributor - though I don't want to take anything away from them, they have been remarkably supportive of the TiVo community and they deserve kudos for taking the financial risks of selling these add-ons.'

'It is truly amazing what Nick has been able to do with his electronics expertise.'"

Thanks for the clarification!

The Lizard sleeps with one eye open. An anonymous reader writes "MozillaZine have updated their article on the recently reported minor security bug in Mozilla [Note Slashdot posting]with the news that a fix has been completed. The bug allowed the webmaster of a site to find out where a user went after their site. The fix means that there are again no known security bugs in Mozilla. Presumably, updates to Mozilla-based browsers (Netscape, Galeon, Chimera etc.) will follow."

What about the all-shrimp-and-chili-paste diet? Schlemphfer writes "A few months back, Slashdot featured a NY Times story that talked about the Atkins diet in glowing terms. This week, the Times has published a Jane Brody article raising serious questions about whether Atkins-style diets are dangerous and unsustainable. Brody is one of the most prominent and respected nutrition journalists, so it's worthwhile to read her take on the matter. Brody's article, which cites some important new research, may be an eye-opening read for Slashdot readers who took the plunge with Atkins back in July." (The NYT requires free registration.)

Suddenly everyone is in deadly earnest. Ian Cumming was one of several people to write with evidence of smileys predating the smileys unearthed by Mike Jones of Microsoft Research. He forwarded an informative message from Brian Dear of Birdrock Ventures, which reads in part:

"On the PLATO system, emoticons were much richer -- made using multiple characters displayed on top of each other. It was possible to type, say, a single character, then press SHIFT-space (which moved the cursor exactly one space backwards), then type another character. The second would display on top of the first. You could keep doing this for multiple characters and create many different faces, beer glasses, martini glasses, all kinds of things. And people peppered their emails and notesfile (PLATO's newsgroups) postings with them all the time."

And what is the PLATO system? The short version is this: PLATO was (is) an education-centered computer system developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Luckily for you, Dear is writing a book about PLATO. His site is fascinating, and the book promises to be as well. Here is a page showing the richness of PLATO emoticons.

Reader Grant Barrett also writes: "The earliest (not first: you can never precisely say which was first) recorded smiley in print discovered so far was found by etymologist and word researcher Barry Popik who posted this message to the email list of the American Dialect Society. He discusses the yellow smiley face which everyone knows, but this particular smiley is the familiar punctuation-based emoticon. (On a side note, he has uncovered some evidence that Harvey Ball *did not* invent the familiar yellow-faced smiley.)"

That reference puts the typographic smiley all the way back to 1953, and as Barrett mentions, was in print rather than online. He also points out that "ESR's Jargon File cites a 'rival claim by Kevin McKenzie, who seems to have proposed the smiley on the MsgGroup mailing list, April 12 1979.'"

But there's only one groove per side ... To all those who thought that the optical-scanning method for playing vinyl was an elaborate joke, note that you can download the creator's code if you'd like. This is not the easy way to do things, but is one way.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Bugfixed, Attribution, Atkins

Comments Filter:
  • Charting progress (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DarthVeda ( 569302 )
    I've been keeping track of my progress since July 13th on Atkins and as of today I am 41 pounds lighter. How about that? Nutritionalists be damned...
    • by ceejayoz ( 567949 )
      The article asks about the long term effects and sustainablity of the diet. No one denies that it works - they just wonder how safe it is in the long run.

      RTFA plz.
      • Re:Charting progress (Score:2, Informative)

        by zaffir ( 546764 )
        Atkins himself says that staying on the diet for a long period of time is bad. It is very hard on your kidneys, and he recommends slowly easing back onto a low-carb (not no-carb) diet after you've been no-carbing it for a while.
        • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
          I don't recall that Atkins ever calls for a NO carb diet at all, even during induction, which is one of my big complaints with people skeptical of the diet - they hear a few choice things that make it sound really bad and harp on them as if they are gospel.

          The other thing is that Atkins is not the only low-carb advocate. There are plenty of other more moderate plans.

          Point 1: None of them, AFAIK, advocate NO carbs.

          Point 2: None of them, AFAIK, advocate high fat (while they may claim it's not as bad as people may think, none of them tell participants to eat lots of saturated fats). In fact, most go into detail about which fats are OK and which are not.

          In other words, contrary to what even the article advocating Atkins said, Atkins never advocated eating a pound of bacon with a stick of butter melted on top. And when people give such examples it only shows their closed mind to the subject, where the gub-ment, and it's low fat crusade, can't be questioned because we've been doing it for so long.

          When my nutritionist actually explained the low-carb theory to me, it made more sense then the low-fat theory, and I'd been a low-carb skeptic for a long time.

          BTW, for me - it's 60 pounds in six months. I have more muscle mass then when I started. Yes, it's because I've been exercising, too, but any idiot can tell you working out is better than not working out, diet aside. Having lost all the weight helps me be able to work out.

          And finally, anyone who thinks low-carb is unhealthy can answer me this: it's the only way I've been able to lose weight, so would I have been healthier 60 pounds ago and with the acid reflux disorder that I had back then?

          There is also the case for cholesterol. Yes, it's a problem, but the truth is that long term effects of low-carb often include lower cholesterol. Why? Because your body produces 80% of the cholesterol in your blood stream, it's not ingested. How does it create it? The liver. What prompts the creation? Carbs.
    • by jcsehak ( 559709 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @09:07PM (#4294169) Homepage
      That's like 20 lbs a month. IANANutritionalist, but I hear that losing more than 10 lbs a month is too much of a shock to your system.

      Think about it--you can just stop eating and lose 41 lbs in a couple weeks. It doesn't make it healthy. You should really see your doctor and make sure everything's going okay.
    • Re:Charting progress (Score:2, Informative)

      by SunCrushr ( 153472 )
      Starving people in third world countries sometimes loose 20 or more pounds a month.
      That doesn't mean that they are healthy.

      There are many diets you can go on which will help you loose weight, but many of them, most likely including the Atkins diet are not healthy for one's body. Sure, if you cut out carbs you will take in a lot less calories, but you will be missing many things your body needs from carbs. Also, a diet high in fats may not be bad, but if they are the wrong types a fats, you may loose weight, but that just means that the paramedics will be doing CPR on a thin person and won't have to strain their backs as much when they lift your lifeless body onto the gurnee after you die of a heart attack caused by the buildup in your arteries. Any diet that tells you to cut out all of any particular type of food is usually bad. Some losses your body experiences on these diets can be made up for with nutritional supplements (pills, shakes, etc.) but for the most part, a lot of what you crave to eat is based on what your body needs. I have seen people do the exact opposite of the Atkins diet, cutting out most fats and sticking to mostly carbs. They loose weight, but they aren't healthy either. One guy I know cut all meat out of his diet and he lost a lot of weight. He later found out that he had low levels of many amino acids that the body requires and that he was also anemic. He started eating meat again and became much healthier.

      The best diet is to cut down on calories in general, taking in a proper amount of calories from carbs, fats, and sugars. Any excess calories can and should be burned off by regular exercise. Moderation and exercise are the keys to weight loss. Atkins presents one way to loose weight, but his method is extreme, and when it comes to one's body and health, extremes are usually a bad thing.
    • Re:Charting progress (Score:2, Interesting)

      by slashmo ( 561398 )
      Well... since I don't know how much you weigh(ed) and what kind of general shape you were in, I don't really have enough information, but I wonder whether you know enough about your "progress." For instance, of the 41 pounds you lost, how much was water, muscle, and fat? How much and what kind of exercise have you been doing daily? For how long do you intend to follow this way of eating? What will happen if/when you begin eating carbohydrates again? You can damn as many nutritionists as you'd like, but unless you protect your lean body mass (muscle) by exercising strenuously and regularly, anything like the amount of loss you reported will result in a terrible, catastrophic dive in your metabolic rate which will result in a fatter body than you had when you began, and future efforts to lose fat will be much more difficult. Be careful.
  • Call me lazy... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by angst7 ( 62954 )
    But I was a little happy when I heard about the Mozilla security bug. Not because I want to see anything bad happen to the lizard (after all I'm using it now), but because I knew it meant that soon Ximian would release a Mandrake 8.2 build of the most recent version taking care of a few of the other 1.0 bugs I wanted to see fixed. :)

    --- [], picking out a thermos, for you.
  • The decision last week that ruled the Greek ban on video games as unconstitutional has been overturned

    Wouldn't that be in violation of the EU Human Rights directive that came in force, or does a basic human rights charter not cover entertainment?

  • Same story you read? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @08:10PM (#4293877) Journal
    I'm not an Atkins partisan (snacking on carrots right now, in fact), but the NYT article is far less negative than the write-up suggests. It acknowledges it's a very effective way to lose weight, warns that it hasn't been studied comprehensively by independent researchers and that it has been linked to kidney stones, warns that it's low in some vitamins (you can buy them in pill form, you know) and then goes on an accurate but point-missing bit about how Americans aren't gaining weight because of too high a percentage of carbs in their diet.

    And closes with Brody saying she thought of it first.

    • (you can buy them in pill form, you know)

      You should be very wary of supplementing vitamins in pill form. Pills do not always provide the best form of vitamins, and are no way comparable to getting your vitamins from non-processed foods.
    • by TomRC ( 231027 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:27PM (#4294863)
      I would recommend that anyone going on any diet start off with at least 2 weeks on Atkins. It really brings home how pervasive "junk carbs" have become in your personal diet. So much food is made of or coated or stuffed with starch and sugar.

      Until I went on Atkins, I didn't think I was eating all that bad, blamed my "metabolism" for my weight problem, and so on - but now I know better. I could probably even stick to a "rabbit food diet" now - though it would not be as easy as low-carb.

      It is bogus that "they" won't study Atkins properly. It isn't like they would have trouble finding volunteers. I only know it has to be better for me than being massively overweight - even with the risk of kidney stones.
  • plato story (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rvr ( 15565 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @08:11PM (#4293880) Homepage
    Back in the 80s I was going to UofAlberta and I stumbled upon the plato system. I tired it out a few times and it seemed pretty neat. I remember wondering why I had not heard of it before.

    One time I was doing some medical simulation. I remember that I had a patient and no matter what I did he didn't seem to be doing better. I recognized all the medical terms except one so I tried it. I selected Lumbar Puncture and man did his vitals ever drop fast! He was the only patient that died under my care. Actually the correct procedure was to immediately transfer him to a hospital at a major centre.
    • by Chester K ( 145560 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:44PM (#4294677) Homepage
      I remember that I had a patient and no matter what I did he didn't seem to be doing better. I recognized all the medical terms except one so I tried it. I selected Lumbar Puncture and man did his vitals ever drop fast! He was the only patient that died under my care.

      If I had a dime for every time that happened...

      Dr. Chester J. Karma, M.D.
  • Just because there are no publicly known security bugs, that doesn't mean Mozilla is security bug free. There could still be some undiscovered or some that are still marked as eyes only. Look how quickly they fixed it once it was public. Look how long it took before they went public. But that won't stop me from using Mozilla.
  • by goingware ( 85213 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @08:15PM (#4293899) Homepage
    A similar diet to Atkins, but probably not so radical, is Protein Power []. I've been on this for a few months, but haven't been completely faithful to it.

    I've lost fifteen pounds, and am still losing weight. I also have stopped having attacks of hypoglycemia, which used to happen almost every day.

    The diet emphasizes low carbohydrate (max 30 grams a day - I can eat half an english muffin a day, and that's about it), and moderately high protein, but really emphasizes eating lots more vegetables.

    They don't pretend that it's balanced nutrition, and explicitly say that one must take vitamin and mineral supplements, which I do.

    Once I lose all the weight I want, I can increase the amount of carbo I eat, but I don't think I ever want to go back to the level of carbohydrate intake I used to have - a couple of cans of Coca Cola Classic a day along with a heaping plate of spaghetti.

    I've tried low-fat diets before and never had any luck with them. Neither have I been able to lose weight purely from exercising since I've been in my 30's (worked in my early 20's though). But I feel better enough with the Protein Power diet that I have started bicycling again for the first time in several years (but I haven't bicycled so much that my weight loss can be attributed to exercise yet).

    I weigh 235 pounds, down from 250. My aim is to weigh 180. I'm 5'11".

    • by Critical_ ( 25211 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @08:30PM (#4293976) Homepage
      Make sure you drink a lot of water since your kidneys will need it. High protien diets eventually lead to kidney stone formation. Have you ever tried to pass a stone? Trust me, its not a walk in the park. As much as you are trying to lose weight based on the type of food you consume, you must also excercise. I run about 3 miles a day which takes me about 30 minutes to complete. I make sure that I eat whatever I want, but I am capping my calorie intake at 1500 cal/day. That 3 miles of running is about equal to 500 calories burned so in essence i take in only 1000 cal/day. Once I reach the desired weight, I can increase calorie consumption to 2000 cal/day and run every other day to maintain it. I weight 215 at the begining of July. I weight 184 as of this morning.

      Whatever you do, just remember... high protien diet MUST MUST MUST be accompanied by lots of water and frequent trips to the bathroom! Good luck.
      • I Drink Like a Fish (Score:3, Interesting)

        by goingware ( 85213 )
        I have often heard advice that one should drink lots of water, especially on diets.

        I have always thought it very odd that some people have to make an effort to drink more water.

        I don't know why, but I have been thirsty all my life. Even since I was a small child. I constantly crave water. So I drink it, gallons per day. That's where the Coca Cola I mentioned above comes in. I also pee with great frequency.

        It happens that one of the warning signs of diabetes is uncontrollable thirst. I've been tested a number of times for diabetes and have been found to be normal.

        The last time I had my blood sugar checked I brought up my hypoglycemia with the nurse who tested me, and she said to eat a good lunch and have a couple snacks in the afternoon, which helps when I remember it but never made the problem go away. The only thing that did help was to increase the amount of protein in my diet and (ironically) reducing the carbohydrates.

        I am never without a beverage at hand. Unfortunately, this is often coffee which I know is bad for me, especially in the quantity I drink it (2 or 3 pots a day). But I drink lots of pure water too. (Note that I was drinking just as much coffee before I started losing weight - I weighed 250 for about seven years.)

        Many people on diets drink artificially sweetened sodas, but I find artificial sweeteners to taste foul. Nowadays when I'm out driving or something and stop into a convenience store for something to drink, I buy a mineral water.

        I recently discovered some flavored but completely unsweetened carbonated waters from Poland Springs. They are flavored with the essential oils of various fruits and berries, like mandarin orange and raspberry.

        • by Reziac ( 43301 )
          Firstoff, I just read the article at /10BROD.html?8vd, and was struck by the lack of basic *biochemical* knowledge. Stuff I learned about zero-carb diets in first year college biochem classes, fer ghu's sake!

          But in general, more protein means less appetite, even if you stay within the limits of normal nutritional balance.

          As to your thirst -- some people's systems don't conserve water well. A high-fibre *or* low-protein diet exacerbates this by keeping more water in the intestine and losing more water in stool volume. (You can QUADRUPLE how much water a dog requires per day, and how much it pees, just by stupidly switching it from a meat-based diet to a soy-based diet!!) And for some people, coffee is a diuretic. But if I were you, I'd have my kidney function checked, just in case.

          Another cause of excessive thirst is not getting enough salt. If you can't seem to get enough water no matter how much you drink, particularly if your throat feels dry and tight, try eating a very small pinch of salt (or dry gatorade mix). If that more or less cures your thirst, your salt balance was off and you really needed the salt.

          As to the hypoglycemia, that, and uncontrollable munchies, are common when people eat refined carbs before noon (typical cereals, donuts, toast, etc.) Have a peanut butter sandwich or a hamburger or leftover pizza for breakfast, and as you've discovered, the problem goes away!!

          Note: Soy protein doesn't count, as it's not well-utilized and tends to lead to amino acid imbalances (producing "cravings"). Plus it's a broad-spectrum allergin and in excess can bollux your immune system.

      • Dynamic Fidgeting(TM)!
        "It's what made a Man out of Mack!" (anyone else remember that one?)
        I fidget constantly, in every possible way, and I find it an
        excellent way to exercise whilst one is stuck performing boring tasks.
        I'm always amazed at how much stronger I seem to be than my peers who actually exercise normally.
        Maybe it's genetics, but this body performs brilliantly given its' 48 yr
        history, and all the abuse that I've heaped upon it.
      • Amen.

        I am a fan of low-carb diets because I personally know they work. I don't care what the "long term effects" of low-carbing are, the long-term effects of being 100 lbs overweight are far worse.

        Anyway, Im 6'2" and after highschool years ago somehow found myself at almost 280 lbs. I read about Atkins, bought the book, did the diet. A few months later I was all the way down to 193. That's a LOT of weight. And it worked very well. Weight was practically a pound a day many days. Nothing is more motivating than seeing ACTUAL weight loss on an almost daily basis.

        But, near the last portion of my Atkins weight loss I suddenly had a kidney stone. WOW do they seriously suck. I was wary of them anyway, so I drank plenty, and almost exclusively water. But I got one, and let me tell you, to this day I can still remember the pain.

        I was at my goal weight, so I drifted on and off the diet for a year or so. Within that year (maybe 6 months later), I got another kidney stone. That one sucked too.

        I drifted completely off the diet, but have ever since just been more careful about what I eat. Within a year I was at 215, but that's where I've stayed almost to the pound for 4-5 years now. It's not ultra heatlhy, but its no 280. I also haven't had a kidney stone since.

        So, could it have been coincedence? Maybe. Probably not. If you hardcore low-carb, drink 10 gallons of water a day, that's all I can say. I'd still trade the pain of a kidney stone for the practically instant drop of almost 100 lbs, its worth it. But just be prepared.

    • Low fat diets are not always the answer. I tried them too, and I just made it up by overeating carbs.

      There is also some evidence that moderate increased protein consumption can help control appetite, but it should take the form of very low fat sources (ie/ soy or egg whites).

      However, if you are on less than 100g of carbohydrates everyday, you are only losing water. You need to regularly get your bodyfat measured to ensure that you are losing fat and not water/muscle. I would wager you have lost a lot of lean tissue+water as well as fat.

      Here is a quote from a Registered Dietitian regarding low-carb diets (link []):

      "A 25+-year-old female needs 50 grams of protein per day. Protein is used to build and repair lean muscle tissue. This would not provide enough glucose to prevent ketosis. A diet of 500 grams of protein per day would be equal to 71.4 ounces (4.5 pounds) of meat, fish or poultry. Do you really think you wife can eat that much? (Did you mean 50 grams?) Also, since most sources of protein also have fat, I would guess that a diet that included 500 grams of protein would also inherently contain at least 214 grams of fat. (One ounce of lean meat, fish or poultry has 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat.) A diet high in protein usually turns off the appetite (as do the ketones being produced) and puts a strain on the kidneys. Proteins are large molecules and you blood is constantly filtered by your kidneys.

      Twenty grams of carbohydrate is only 80 calories. If the remaining calories are protein and fat, she could be eating 35 ounces (2.2 pounds) of lean meat. Could this be possible?

      I would bet that a lot of the weight your wife has lost is water because each gram of glycogen in muscles and lean tissue holds 3 grams of water. When you deplete glycogen, you lose water. Muscles and lean tissue are 70% water; fat is only 15% water. Usually these low carbohydrate diets encourage 8 glasses of water per day. This is to help flush the ketones out of the body through the kidneys and to prevent dehydration. One method of determining if you are dehydrated is to grab a pinch of skin on the back of your hand and let go. If you skin snaps back flat, you probably are not dehydrated. Also, look at the color of your urine. During the day it should be colorless and odorless unless you take Vitamin C supplements which will turn your urine yellow."
    • Although the Protein Power diet is nice, Weightloss For You [] has a much more comprehensive diet plan. We (yes, I am affiliated with company) offer a complete system, which includes everything from snacks and vitamins to a comprehensive online management program to track your results. The diet is inspired by the Atkin's diet, but is much more refined and easier to follow. We don't use dangerous weightloss drugs like ephedra, which can cause more harm than good, and eventually lead to regaining any lost weight. Check out the site if interested.

    • Works for me too (Score:2, Informative)

      by gidds ( 56397 )
      I'm not following Atkins exactly, just limiting myself to foods that are 10% carb or less (a friend recommended it to me after losing several stone). And in 2 months I've lost a stone and a half! (That's 21 pounds for you Yanks.) What's more, I'm eating as much as I want, and it's encouraged me to eat a lot healthier: far more fresh veg, etc.

      To answer a couple of other points: the water loss only lasts as long as your glycogen -- less than 2 days. After that, you can lose muscle along with fat (though this is true of low-fat and low-calorie diets too, even more so), but most low-carb diets recommend exercise to prevent this. (Yes, I mentioned the `E' word, but it needn't be too frightening. I'm doing 15 minutes' worth a day at home, where no-one can see, and it's working for me. Based on the programme in The Hacker's Diet, but simplified and extended.)

      And it's not just a standard low-calorie diet; for one thing, carbs give you an appetite. One of the characteristics of low-carb diets is that you don't feel as hungry.

      I'm no endocrinologist. All I know is, it's working for me, and for everyone I know who's tried it.

    • Just to add in my few cents worth...

      I was on the atkins diet during 1991/1992, and worked down to my goal weight at the time. It worked well for me when it came to the ability to lose, but the big downfall (and this is a personal preference thing) was the lack of carbs - I just love my carbs :)

      Fast forward to 1997, and I weighed 376lbs (no it's not a typo), and this time did Weightwatchers. That worked just as well for me, and I hit goal weight (195lbs - right for my height) again a few years ago. It's curious about the comments on kidney stones, as I've had gallstone problems since - which my current doc puts down to the process of rather quickly losing the incredible amounts of weight from 1997-2000.

      Either way, throwing the exercise thing into the mix is a major MAJOR part of losing, if you're over where you should be.

      a grrl & her server []
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I'm 38. When I was in my early thirties I quit smoking and blew up to 240lbs. Two years ago I went on an "eat less crap and excercise" diet. No gimmicks, no games. I avoid the vending machines, get excercise three times a week, skip most (but not all) deserts and got rid of the sodas. I'm now 191 lbs and working towards 180. It has taken a long time and it won't be soon that I meet my goal, but I know I =will= meet it and, most importantly, I'll be able to maintain it. The reason is that I focused on =lifestyle change=.

      The problem with diets is that people think of them as crash programs to fix a problem and that they can then go back to their ways. That's why people go up and down.

      The point is, don't go on a diet. Just eat less crap, get smaller servings and excercise more. It's far less painful and more healthy than some nutty diet.
    • I cut waaaay back on the refined sugar, as in no more sugary soft drinks, candy, cakes, and all that, and dropped 1-2 pounds/week for several weeks, wound up stabilizing about 20 pounds lighter, about where I ought to be. And I stopped getting sick stomach, which used to be a big problem. Mix sugar with yeast (fresh bread, pizza crust, etc) and Bad Things happen. (My homepage is waaay out of date and somewhat inaccurate in case anyone bothers reading it.)

      Other than cutting out the refined sugar I didn't do a whole lot. I still go through most of a bad of Doritos or Sun Chips a week (not quite as fattening as potato chips but far from health food), I still eat pizza... turned out to be pretty easy to stick to. I should excercise just to build muscle mass and feel better, 10 minute brisk walks around the neighborhood help noticibly but I skip them way too much... anyhow, Refined Sugar Is Bad.

      A few rounds of UT:2003 do wonders in terms of waking me up too. Heh. Too bad games are banned at work :-).
    • I also have stopped having attacks of hypoglycemia, which used to happen almost every day.

      You do realize that hypoglycemia is caused by a shortage of carbohydrates, right?

      Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is actually a condition, not a disease. Between meals, blood sugar levels naturally drop - but remain fairly constant between 60 and 110 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). A signal for hypoglycemia is when levels drop below about 40 mg/dL. When blood sugars fall below normal levels, there's not enough glucose immediately available for cells to produce energy. That can cause several symptoms, including sweating, rapid heartbeat, and hunger.


      Also be cautious of so-called health clinics that diagnose "sugar-induced hypoglycemia" and offer treatment with costly remedies.

      (The American Dietic Association's Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, publish date 1998, page 130)

      I don't know what you had, but it probably wasn't hypoglycemia. You may have had reactive hypoglycemia (which is extremely rare) and results from your body oversecreting insulin. That might explain why your attacks went away after you cut the carbs. In any case, you really should see a doctor with a background in diabetes and hypoglycemia.
    • by MAXOMENOS ( 9802 ) <maxomai@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday September 20, 2002 @12:36AM (#4295167) Homepage
      I personally think we'd be better off trying the Drop Dead Diet [] .. same results as Atkins, only a lot quicker.
  • Diets suck (Score:5, Informative)

    by IIRCAFAIKIANAL ( 572786 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @08:20PM (#4293920) Journal
    I like to call the Atkins diet the "make yourself sick diet" (someone elses quote, can't remember who - some registered dietitian) - If I remember correct, you survive off of ketones instead of glucose, which makes you somewhat ill and accordingly, you lose your appetite, eat less, and lose weight.

    The best diet is one that you can stick to. I have lost ten pounds over 8 weeks without ever feeling hungry or giving up junk food. I did it by following the food guide, walking/cycling, and lifting weights.
    Keep in mind, this is a net of ten pounds lost - I have gained muscle mass.

    To anyone that wishes to lose weight or just eat healthy, check out the book "The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food and Nutrition Guide" - it dispels a lot of common myths (ie/ you must increase protein consumption to build muscle but not carbohydrate consumption) and is very informative.

    If you just want the basics, check out Food Guide Canada [] or The USDA Food Pyramid [] for more info.

    There are alternatives to these as well. I don't have any links handy, but there are pyramids for a Meditaranian (sp?) and vegetarian diets as well. A lot of vegetarians are actually in terrible health because they don't eat enough protein or are missing vitamins - if you wish to give up animal products, do make sure you read up on a healthy vegetarian diet!

    A really good website is also at Ask a Dietitian [] - lots of good questions answered there. (Check out the icon if you bookmark it - a little penguin :)

    Lastly, if you are interested in weightlifting, do it right! Use an abbreviated routine (no more than three lifting days per week) and stay away from the muscle comics and expensive supplements. I personally will eat an energy bar if I'm on the go, but wasting money on Myoplex is pointless when a chicken sandwich will work just as well.
    Check out the [] faq or the iron page at [] for some good tips.
    • Use an abbreviated routine (no more than three lifting days per week) and stay away from the muscle comics ...

      You mean like this one []?

      • Hehe, no I mean like this one []

        They are heavily biased (ie/ Last I heard, Muscle Media is owned by Bill Phillips, who owns EAS, a supplement company) and have some insane routines that would easily be overtraining for someone that's not on roids.
    • Re:Diets suck (Score:2, Informative)

      by broody ( 171983 )
      You have some good info there.

      Weight loss is fairly simple. Burn more calories than you consume. Protien and Carbs are your friend, they are easier to burn than fat. By maximizing both of them and minimizing fat, your on the fast track to losing weight. Couple this with a huge glass of water when you get hungry and waiting half an hour before eating and you'll lose some serious weight fast.

      Don't buy into too much of the vegitarian diet bad bullshit. Sure if your a junk food vegitarian your going to have problems but that is a product of any junk food. Meat or not. Eat balanced, give soy and lentils a chance, and don't let the bastards get you down. Viva Veg!

      I've tried a few different lifting programs with varying results. The second best came from good old Arnold's yellow book mixed with the stock Gold's gym program. The best came from using a life fitness machine five drop sets on each exorcise and three days of rest. I find it amzaing less than three hours a week with this method beats six the other way in terms of gains. I'm too early in the later process to see if it maintains the gains that required moving to a five day with the former.

      Here's my diet if I want to drop weight fast. Breakfast, one cup of oats and two huge glasses of water. Lunch egg whites on wheat with all the veggies I can cram on it. Remember bunches of water before meals. Snack on fruit towards the end of the office day. Dinner is either bean/lentil soup or massive plate of rice depedning on if I am craving carbs or protien.

      This site [], while I admit it looks terrible, has some good advice.
    • Re:Diets suck (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BlackHawk ( 15529 ) on Friday September 20, 2002 @12:17AM (#4295079) Journal
      I like to call the Atkins diet the "make yourself sick diet" (someone elses quote, can't remember who - some registered dietitian) - If I remember correct, you survive off of ketones instead of glucose, which makes you somewhat ill and accordingly, you lose your appetite, eat less, and lose weight.

      Sorry. It's not true. I've been on the Atkins for almost 2 months, my wife's been on it for three. We have not had the 40+ pound weight loss, but we didn't want that to happen so quickly anyway. I've lost slightly over 20 pounds. I have kept my carb consumption to under 20 grams per day, as the diet specifies, and here's a big one: there actually are no forbidden foods! If I want to chow on a candy bar, I can... but that will use up all of my carb allotment for the day. I just decide where I want to spend my carbs, and eat that.

      Two weeks ago, Jen had her bloodwork done, just like she'd planned to do when she started. The results? ALL indicators improved. Her BP was normal, iron up in the healthy range (it was low before the diet), triglycerides, LDL, HDL... everything was improved. We both have more energy, we're lighter, and we've both gained muscle mass. Your body has to do something with all that protein, after all.

      Oh, and the nausea? It doesn't happen. Ever. Not even a smidgen. I have no idea where the common belief that it causes nausea came from, but it wasn't from anyone I know on the diet.

      I strongly recommend that you read Atkin's book, or visit his web site ( []) and read the data. There's a perfectly good explanation of why the program works, but it's too lengthy for me to spew on about here.

      As for the long term effects fears, and the article's pointed reference to the fact that there's been no long-term study of the safety and efficacy, try this: find the long-term safety and efficacy studies for rBGH, Viagra, and most importantly, the DPT vaccine. Good luck, and think on the implications of those.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 19, 2002 @08:22PM (#4293930)
    Title: "High-Fat Diet: Count Calories and Think Twice"

    Count calories? Everyone realizes that if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. However, on an Atkins diets, one of the common effects is a loss of appetite, which results in fewer calories in. Ever eat a high fat meal and feel really full? Yup, that's the fat at work. Ever suck a whole bag of chips or a box of cookies down? That's those speedy carbs at work.

    "But in a major report last week, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies emphasized the importance of balance of nutrients, with carbohydrates -- starches and sugars -- making up 45 percent to and 65 percent of daily calories"

    And this is different from the current party line how exactly? It's not. It's the same thing they've been preaching for 30 years as American obesity has gone through the roof.

    One question I'd like to see answered is how long anyone can stay on such a scheme and what happens when you start adding back some of the wholesome foods limited or forbidden on this diet, like sweet corn, grapes, watermelons, potatoes, carrots, beets or oatmeal.

    You don't go adding those things back. It's not just a "weight loss" diet, it's a "way of life" diet. It's like saying "How long until a vegetarian starts adding on the bacon, hot dogs, hamburgers", etc. When they do that, they're no longer in that group, and the benefits they see start dropping off.

    Why hasn't the government tested it? One possible reason is that it is unlikely to be approved by any review committee, given what is known about the effects of animal fats and cholesterol on the risk of heart disease, strokes and some cancers, as well as accumulating evidence that diets rich in fruits and vegetables and moderate in protein and fat can prevent diseases like high blood pressure, prostate cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

    Excuse me? It's think a chicken and egg problem? We can't test the effects of that because we think the effects are bad? If they won't test it, how do we really know what the affects are? The Atkins side says its the high carbs, not the fats, in the diet that are causing the health problems. The western diet has been shown to have a severe negative affect on many non-westerns. Look at Native Americans. Their rates of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes are huge thanks to this "healthy" high-carb diet.

    The Atkins diet is shy on several vital nutrients, including the B vitamins and vitamins A, C and D, antioxidants that slow the effects of aging, and calcium. And, a diet rich in animal protein can draw calcium from the bones, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures.

    Sigh. Atkins himself tells people to take multivitamins and calcium supplements. There are certain types of foods we simply don't eat often in modern society (organ meats anyone?) so that we miss out on some crucial vitamins.

    First, Americans are simply eating more -- an average of 400 calories a day more than they did decades ago.

    And why is that? Could it be the fact that with less fat to make them feel full, and they eat more carbs, which leads to them eating even more carbs?

    What it all comes down to is the fact we need to test these things rather than repeating the same thing for the past 30 years that IS NOT working. Yes, change hurts, but sometimes it is necessary.
    • Nice job.

      I just wanted to add that I've lost 8 kilos (17.6lbs) on this diet in the past 5 weeks. It's the only thing I've ever tried that I've lasted more than 3 days doing... Now I'm eating less (less cravings), I've got more energy, sleep better, I'm exercising again and more. Basically, I've reversed the vicious cycle that was causing me to become a big bloated mess.

      The naysayers are just that. For us geeks that spend 15 hours a day sitting at a desk, this diet is the really the only solution to that poundage you're adding to your gut.

    • Since so many people seem to be missing (or willfully ignoring) the point:

      1. Obesity is bad. Everyone agrees on this.
      2. Reducing the number of calories you eat or increasing the number of calories you burn is the only way to lose weight, short of liposuction. Everyone agrees on this.
      3. High protein/fat foods have a higher satiety value, and eating a diet consisting largely of them is an effective way of reducing caloric intake for many people. This is the point of the Atkins diet, and even it's critics agree that it works in this fashion.

      OK, here's where things start to differ.

      1. There are numerous studies showing that a high fat diet is bad for you. Here's the part most people are skipping over: THIS IS NOT RELATED TO OBESITY. Fat has negative effects on other parts of your body than your waistline. So you can be skinny on Atkins, but that doesn't mean you will be healthy in the long term. Studies on the effect of eating a diet high in animal protein and fat are well-established.

      2. The "obesity epidemic" in America does not automatically mean that there is some basic flaw in the science behind the diet that has been promoted in the past 30 years. What it points out is that the food pyramid and other education techniques in use have not been effective in helping people eat healthy, balanced diets. While yes, it's good to reduce fats, fat has been demonized to the point that people think avoiding fat is all they have to do. BZZZZT. Yes, carbohydrates should be the basis of a healthy, balanced diet, but that doesn't mean you can eat them with abandon.

      So not only have we been harmed by too-simple explanations of how to eat a healthy diet, the food industry has actively exploited this to sell us lots of very profitable food that has the patina of health ("Now with less fat!") but is in fact still junk food that will make you fat if you eat too much of it.

      This is all about psychology, marketing, and capitalism. It's not about biology. It's very likely that it's harder to limit calories under a high-carb diet. But that doesn't change the fact that it's better for you- remember, being skinny isn't the only goal.

      We need to chuck the food pyramid and teach people the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates, and get a more balanced message out there about fats. The health education community should be taken to task for promoting such a simpleminded, extreme approach to diet. Brody won't make that leap because she's one of the architects of that message. The key is to throw away the bad message, not the science.
    • You write: " And why is that? Could it be the fact that with less fat to make them feel full, and they eat more carbs, which leads to them eating even more carbs?"

      Guess what? Americans aren't eating less fat, they are eating more fat, more carbs, more everything. Supersize it!

  • by Hobart ( 32767 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @08:25PM (#4293941) Homepage Journal
    Golly, instead of using some crazy protein diet, I just quit eating so much (Most restaurant meals are 2x the food , so I would take some home, and cook for myself) and exercising. Now I have half the body fat percentage and 30 pounds less fat. :-)
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Thursday September 19, 2002 @08:37PM (#4294018) Homepage Journal

    Does it help people lose weight? Of course it does. If you cannot eat bread, bagels, cake, cookies, ice cream, candy, crackers, muffins, sugary soft drinks, pasta, rice, most fruits and many vegetables, you will almost certainly consume fewer calories. Any diet will result in weight loss if it eliminates calories that previously were overconsumed.

    I eat just as much on the atkins diet as I did before it, if not more. Now instead of consuming calories from carbohydrates, I get them from fat and protein. Fat is much denser in calories than carbohydrates are, unless you're talking about pure sugar.

    And hey, what the hell does this paragraph say?

    But in a major report last week, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies emphasized the importance of balance of nutrients, with carbohydrates -- starches and sugars -- making up 45 percent to and 65 percent of daily calories and fats, 20 percent to 35 percent. The panel of 21 scientists also urged Americans to keep as low as possible their consumption of saturated fats, the foods Dr. Atkins recommends as his diet's main components.

    "...with carbohydrates -- starches and sugars -- making up 45 percent to and 65 percent of daily calories and fats, 20 percent to 35 percent." Nice ringrish there, sister. I've tried and tried to decipher what this is supposed to say. Does this mean that carbs make up 45 to 65 percent of your ideal diet, and fats should be 20 to 35 percent? Why the spurious "and"? For that matter, the first occurence of "percent" is unnecessary.

    That's not an inaccuracy of fact, it's just an occurrect of stupidity.

    One question I'd like to see answered is how long anyone can stay on such a scheme and what happens when you start adding back some of the wholesome foods limited or forbidden on this diet, like sweet corn, grapes, watermelons, potatoes, carrots, beets or oatmeal.

    The answer: Forever. Some people have been on this diet all their lives, healthily. It's used to control seizures. Do some research before you write an article for the New York Times.

    Second, what makes you say those foods are so wholesome? Sweet corn is laden with sugar, hence the sweetness. Watermelons are little more than water and sugar. Potatoes are a ton of ready carbs, they're white starch; All of those carbs hit your bloodstream at the same time and get turned into glucose very rapidly.

    What is surprising is that after three decades of simmering and soaring popularity, the Atkins diet has yet to be tested for long-term safety and effectiveness.

    What's surprising is that people in countries who ate this way in the first place didn't convince you. A dramatically better article (and not coincidentally one I agree with), What if it's all been a big fat lie? [] (Also in the NYT, free reg. req. etc) points out that people in Italy and the Carribean who ate a lot of starch (classically) tended towards obesity, and other people (who generally ate meat and veggies) did not. Seems simple to me. Being fat is unhealthy.

    Dr. Abby Block, nutritionist at the foundation, said studies of the Atkins diet lasting six months to a year and extensive clinical experience, have shown consistent improvements in blood lipids and glucose levels, suggesting that the diet can improve health despite its high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol, long associated with heart disease risks.

    Why hasn't the government tested it? One possible reason is that it is unlikely to be approved by any review committee, given what is known about the effects of animal fats and cholesterol on the risk of heart disease, strokes and some cancers, as well as accumulating evidence that diets rich in fruits and vegetables and moderate in protein and fat can prevent diseases like high blood pressure, prostate cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

    "high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol, long associated with heart disease risks."? Let's talk about how high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol became associated with heart disease risks. As per the NYT article I cite above, the last time the government spent our money studying fat, they spend several hundred million dollars trying to prove a link between fat/cholesterol intake and heart disease. They managed to prove only that treating cholesterol with drugs lowered the risk of heart failure. THAT'S IT. From that we got the food pyramid, which puts carbohydrates at the base. Eating tons of ready carbs means your insulin level spikes, and that's hard on the pancreas. And any time insulin levels are above a certain point, you store unused carbohydrates as FAT. You don't have to eat any fat whatsoever to get fat, which I think we all agree is unhealthy.

    So in other words, the US government is the last group I'd trust to do a study like that. Last time they tried to prove a link between cholesterol and heart disease, they pushed a bunch of carbs on us and may very well be responsible for early onset diabetes and the american obesity epidemic.

    The Atkins diet is shy on several vital nutrients, including the B vitamins and vitamins A, C and D, antioxidants that slow the effects of aging, and calcium. And, a diet rich in animal protein can draw calcium from the bones, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures.

    Wow, it sure is a good thing that "they" invented vitamin supplements. Otherwise that might be a real problem, eh?

    When nutrition experts began urging Americans to cut back on fats, many filled in by eating more carbohydrates -- a lot more than anyone recommended. Food producers jumped on the bandwagon to produce low-fat snacks and desserts, and Americans went hog wild, eating as much of them as they wanted.

    You know, that's what we were told to do. The government as much as told us that it was fat that made you fat, and we responded by eating carbs. Anything with "low fat" on it sold like, er, hotcakes. Which are made out of refined flour, which is the same as sugar once you have digested it.

    Dr. Denke concurred: "No matter what anyone tells you, it's calories that count. Carefully controlled metabolic studies show that it doesn't matter where extra calories come from. Eat more calories than you expend and you'll gain weight."

    This is horseshit too. While you are in ketosis, you do not store fat. When you have unburned fat, you remove it from your body by an ancient process known today (medically) as a bowel movement. You don't gain it as weight.

    Hence the Atkins diet makes it completely unimportant to count your calories, except to make sure you have enough. As long as you don't eat carbs, your insulin level stays low, which means you don't leave the state of ketosis. Ketosis also has benefits to health, including slowing the rate of lean muscle loss. Furthermore, as I alluded to above, the reduced glucose levels inhibit stroke activity, and the reduced load on the pancreas dramatically reduces the risk of diabetes.

    Mankind did not evolve to eat carbohydrates in any significant quantity. We grew up eating meat, vegetable-type plants which are not generally high in carbs (Except from fiber, which is indigestible), and limited quantities of carbohydrates.

    I want to know which cracker and chip company commissioned this FUD.

    • "While you are in ketosis, you do not store fat. When you have unburned fat, you remove it from your body by an ancient process known today (medically) as a bowel movement. You don't gain it as weight."

      IIRC, the unburned calories that your body sluffs off during ketosis pass out in the urine, not the feces. I could be wrong though.

      The part that really bothered me about the article was this: "Carefully controlled metabolic studies show that it doesn't matter where extra calories come from."

      Which, as you said, is horseshit. Those carefully controlled metabolic studies DO NOT include the study of very low carb diets. They compare moderate carbs to high carbs and see no difference because ketosis isn't a factor. To take a few data points and extrapolate the extremes is not solid science.

      I did Adkins for a year. I lost 30 pounds and kept it off. We went back to a "normal" diet when my son was born and I gained 10 back. I ate a lot more good vegetables on Adkins than I do off, and naturally I felt better.
  • Atkins diet (Score:4, Insightful)

    by olevy ( 63189 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @08:38PM (#4294023)
    I actually started on the Atkins diet as a result of that NYT article. I have been wondering how healthy this diet is long term so I turned to this article with interest. Unfortunately the writer apparently never bothered to actually find out the specifics of the Atkins diet.

    Some misconceptions:

    * Can't eat many vegetables such as carrots. Actually there are three different phases of the diet, and only on the first and shortest phase is this true.

    * Lacking in vitamins. Again this is mainly true of the first phase and less so in the later phases. The Atkins book *strongly* emphasizes the need for taking a wide range of vitamins. Only someone who never read the book could not have noticed this -- vitamin taking is an integral part of the diet! And at any rate now that I am on the long term maintaining part of the diet, I doubt that I am lacking in vitamin intake now.

    * The diet is boring and focused mainly on saturated fats meat (ie beef). Again, only someone who has not looked into this diet seriously could make such a claim. Ironically, as a result of this diet I have been eating much *more* vegetables than I would have otherwise. I've also been eating a wider range of foods.

    But even more important than that is that she never directly comes to terms with the first articles main theses -- it is an outright scandal that the Atkins test has never been properly tested. Her response is just the sarcastic:

    "Why hasn't the government tested it? One possible reason is that it is unlikely to be approved by any review committee, given what is known about the effects of animal fats and cholesterol on the risk of heart disease, strokes and some cancers, as well as accumulating evidence that diets rich in fruits and vegetables and moderate in protein and fat can prevent diseases like high blood pressure, prostate cancer, heart disease and diabetes."

    In other words the first NYT article was right -- the establishment already knew what was the correct answer and weren't about to let an inconvenient thing like science get in the way! The problem this poses for me is that when I try to find truly, objective scientific points of view -- they are hard to find if they exist at all in the world of nutrition!
    • I'm another person who moved towards a low-carb way of eating in July, in part because of the NYT article (and a number of friends who had suggested trying it). So far I've lost somewhere between 25-35 lbs; I don't know the exact amount because I didn't have an accurate scale for the first month. I do know that I lost about 15 lbs within the first 2 weeks -- the often reported water weight -- and I've lost between 1-2lbs a week since then.

      I'm eating in the same pattern as I did before I started -- two meals a day plus a couple of snacks. Around noonish, I have brunch: usually an omelet with lean meat and cheese in it, but sometimes a couple of turkey dogs with cheese (no bun), and some low-gycemic index fruit. For dinner, I have a meat-centric meal: things like steak, tandoori chicken, rotisserie chicken or In & Out burger done protein style -- often with green salad. For snacks I have string cheese, almonds, macadamias, or small amounts of peanut butter. I have no idea how many calories I'm eating, and I don't plan on keeping track.

      I'm less concerned about some of supposedly scary side effects, because most of them I already *have*. I've had chronic gall bladder issues for five years now -- but it seems to have improved since I started eating low carb. I think part of this is what most often triggered my attacks was a higher-fat meal after weeks of low-fat eating. Now that my gallbladder gets 'flushed' more regularly, I haven't had any problems at all.

      The bottom line for me is that I'm losing weight in a way that *I* feel comfortable doing. I have never been interested in "dieting", and I don't think of this as dieting. I have friends who do things differently, and that works for them. But for me, eating low carb is working. In some ways, losing weight is just a side effect; what I'm most impressed with is how much better I feel these days, how much my mood has stabilized, and how much *healthier* I feel.

      I will probably stay very low carb (fewer than 20 grams of carbs a day) for at least six months, with occasional breaks for higher carb stuff. I sometimes get the feeling that people aren't happy with low carbers because we don't seem to be *suffering* enough. I mean, I've got a friend who treats all food as "fuel" at this point and measures out weights and calorie counts to take a regular intervals. When he's not eating his 6 oz of lean ham or his 8 oz of apple, he's exercising his ass off. It looks boring. It looks tedious. It's netting him almost exactly the same loss rate as I have -- a little less, but about the same. What does he have that I don't? Well, injuries from a fall he sustained when a car cut him off while he was rollerblading. A complete inability to eat out -- he won't eat anything that hasn't been weighed and measured exactly.

      I'm sure we're going to see more posts from the "eat less and take up running!" /. camp. You know, that may work for them, but it's not going to work for me, or for people like me. Not everyone on the planet is physically able to exercise in traditional ways. I'd like to see low carb eating taken seriously as *one* strategy available to people who want to lose weight or reduce their dependence on high-glycemic index foods. It doesn't have to be THE way -- but it is A way.
    • Word to your mother! :)

      I also started Atkins immediately after reading the NYT article. Since I had quite a bit of weight to lose (I was right at 300 lbs.), I decided to stay on induction longer than most, since the book says that's OK, and induction hasn't caused me any problems nor has it been boring.

      Well, as of this morning I weigh 246 lbs. I've lost 54 lbs in about two months. Now that's a lot of weight, some would say maybe too much too fast, however I should point out that I also started biking ~20 miles a day, six days a week. I feel better than I have in 15 years. I'm pretty much bursting with energy. Ever since I was in the Army I've hated physical exercise. But now I look forward every morning to my ride.

      Atkins is probably the best thing that ever happened to me.

  • by Lalakis ( 308990 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @08:44PM (#4294058) Homepage
    The decision last week that ruled the Greek ban on video games as unconstitutional has been overturned, and a new trial has been ordered.

    Well, that is not accurate. The decision of the court hasn't been overturned! The case will just move to the appeals court and we will see what happens there.
    The only court in Greece which is allowed a final decision on a subject, which can't be overturned by someone else, is the supreme court. So, until the case comes to the supreme court, it isn't closed.

  • by Lordfly ( 590616 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @08:45PM (#4294061) Homepage Journal
    Good to know that the guy finally released the source code. It was depressing watching all the "elite" slashdotters on here blasting his idea away, debasing him with a bunch of random equations and "laws of physics". Now that it's open source, you can all move your feet to your mouth :)

  • Caloric restriction with optimal nutrition. [] Currently this is the only method shown to extend the maximum lifespan of a variety of mammals. While it still can't be verified to extend maximum lifespan of humans, the current ongoing primate studies have so far shown the same effects as in mice and other animals. Humans on it have also shown the same changes in their body function as the other primates. If ones needs to improve their eating habits, might as well gain as much additional benifit from it as possible.
    • by Exito ( 21839 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @09:47PM (#4294410)
      Strangely enough, the diet proposed above espouses the very thing that various studies have shown to be healthy: whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetable, lean protein (from lean meats and legums), and some amount of "healthy" fats such as monounsaturated oils.

      The biggest problem (in my opinion) is that people have a phobia about moderation. They want foods to be either "good" or "bad." For years people thought that fat was bad and instead pigged out on no fat desserts. I remember an episode when I was on an airplane, and the woman next to me told me that the no-fat cookie that we had been given was good. It looked disgusting to me, so I offered it to her. Instead of accepting it, she went off on a tirade about how it was perfectly okay for me to eat it because it fat-free and cholesterol-free and therefore was sin-free and guilt-free, while inwardly I was thinking that it was still full of sugar, and still looked disgusting. Those same kind of people also looked at me funny any time I ate nuts or avocados because they were bad "high-fat" foods.

      Now, instead, people have taken the opposite approach and are banning anything with carbs. My dad has seen fried pork rinds being advertised as a carb-free diet food!

      There are clearly health issues that go along with either extreme approach (e.g. diabetes and tryglicerides with simple carb diets and kidney and GI problems with high protein diets), but it seems people would rather cycle between the extremes than try to find a more sensible middle ground.

      Sorry if this is a bit lengthy, but this is an issue that has bugged me for a long time.

  • Atkins Trolls? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @08:47PM (#4294076)
    What I'm wondering, is with the overwhelming number of posts saying, "I'm on the Atkins diet! I'm thin, trim, good-looking, and healthy!", is the Slashdot audience really such a fat, lazy, gullible, stupid bunch, or are there a lot of people who work for Atkins posting here? This is very, very wierd.
  • I eat two bagels in the morning with cream cheese, work like a dog all day, then I eat whatever I can find sometime around 6 or 7. Then maybe once a month I eat like a fly (as in nothing but sugar for a day). Basically the same weight I was in high school, 175 or so.
  • Has anyone just asked Scott Fahlman if he remembers seeing it before his first use? It's not like he's hard to find or anything. []
    • Of course if you'd read his easily found page he outright declares invention of the smiley. But just because I tell the world I wrote the first smiley doesn't make it true...
  • My problem with the Atkins diet is that people treat it as a diet. I've known many people to go on this diet and I think every one has put the weight back on. Why? They treat it as a diet. Yes, you lose weight but as soon as you go back to your old habits you'll get it right back. Those habits got you there in the first place. Three months of losing weight won't make you suddenly not gain weight when you go back to your old ways.

    Good health and keeping weight off requires a lifestyle change. Don't overeat and eat the things your body needs. Get some good exercise and do it right.

    Personally, I hit the gym almost every day. I enjoy it a lot. I also eat so much better than I did 5 years ago and I don't miss it one bit. It's not hard to eat healthy and you'll save money doing it instead of eating out all the time. Since 98% of Slashdot is men I recommend you check out Men's Health magazine. It has some very good info in it....
    • Re:Diets.... (Score:3, Informative)

      by jheinen ( 82399 )
      Read the book. Your friends did not do Atkins. It's not a diet, it's forever. You don't go on Atkins for awhile to lose some pounds. The whole point is to change the way you eat forever.
  • Here's a site [] about a guy's struggles to lose weight. It looks like it worked for him. He talks a bit about what he did.
  • Atkins is okay as a diet, but a diet implies temporary. Low carb is a good way to lose weight at a reasonable speed (don't lose more than 8-10 pounds a month). High protein diets can eventually cause kidney stones. Drink lots of water, take vitamins, and eat as many veggies as the diet will allow, but it's also okay to take a break from it every once in a while.

    I'm currently in a break from my low-carb, fairly high protein diet. I've lost about 15 pounds in my first 2 months. Most of my carbs came from salads, though. That's really the best way to do it, and you do need multi-vitamins on this diet.

    I'm not an expert, and Jane Brody may know a lot, but for a long time, the mainstream doctors have been slamming Atkins and his diet, and a lot of them are starting to have second thoughts about that now.

    What it comes down to is that doctors know a hell of a lot less than a lot of them think they do. I remember in the 70's hearing so much about how salt was so bad for you. A lot of people actually tried to cut all the salt out of their diet. What happened? They died of heart attacks caused by a salt deficiency.

    Moderation, moderation, moderation (not the Slashdot kind). You can diet, but diet in moderation, and when you're off your diet, eat in moderation, and eat smart.
  • hmm... As any geek would know, this is only a "kilo-hour TiVo," not a "mega-hour TiVo" as the blurb states. For those who forgot thier prefixes, here is a short list of the powers-of-ten prefixes:

    10^3 - kilo
    10^6 - mega
    10^9 - giga
    10^12 - tera
    10^15 - peta
    10^18 - exa
    10^21 - zetta
    10^24 - yotta

    learn 'em and use 'em properly.
  • by jcsehak ( 559709 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @09:22PM (#4294267) Homepage
    Are you overweight, and lack the motivation to get some exercise? Have you tried all the other diets out there, and none of them seem to work? Do you get jealous when you see pictures of Ethiopians and Auschwitz prisoners? Do you think to yourself "if only I was oppressed, I could finally look like a supermodel, like I've always wanted?"

    Well have I got the diet for you! It's called "The Gold Star Diet." Here's how it works: for just $2999.95/month, you get a personal trainer to follow you around all day, not allowing you to eat anything but stale bread crusts and moldy soup! He'll curse at you, strip you naked, shave your head, and call you by a number! Pretty soon, you'll lose all your self-respect! That is, if you're one of the few who starts out this diet with any. But that's not all! You also get 14 free mirrors to hang up around your house, so you'll never forget how imperfect you are!

  • For me, I love food too much so I just work out 5x a week at about 45 mins a pop. There is no reason anyone here can't work out 45mins a day. As long a you have reasonable genes you should be able work out and eat a decent amount of while maintaining good form.

    Common Behavior

    • Some people have terrible metabolism and require strict diets.
    • Some people go to the gym and stick their thumb in their ass for an hour, don't even try to work out unless you plan on pushing yourself.
    • Other people go to the gym, and then go home and eat a large pizza by themselves.
    If if work out a a few times a week and don't eat a ridiculous amount of food, the weight will come off, but it doesn't happen overnight. Expect to see some results after four weeks, but don't expect the world. Good things take time, I managed to loose nearly 50 pounds in six months by just working out, five days a week.
  • by xintegerx ( 557455 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @09:40PM (#4294380) Homepage
    Interesting STUFF
    From wycenter_timeline.html []

    1997 - The American magazine Psychology Today's body image survey finds that 15 per cent of women and 11 per cent of men in the U.S. said they'd be willing to give up at least five years of their life in exchange for the ability to reach their desired weight. That same year Redux or Fen-phen is taken off the market after studies link it to heart valve disease.


    1900 to 1920 - Although unconfirmed, there is reason to believe that TAPEWORM diet pills were marketed in the U.S. during the first two decades of the 20th century. Women allegedly swallowed "magic" diet pills that were actually TAPEWORMS in capsules. After they had shed enough pounds, women would take deworming pills to rid themselves of the parasite. (!!!)

    1961 - Herman Taller's Calories Don't Count, which recommends a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates is a best seller in the U.S.

    1967 - Physician Irwin Stillman publishes The Doctor's Quick Weight Loss Diet. He advocates a high-protein, low-carb diet, but includes a recommendation to drink 10 eight ounce glasses of water per day to combat "water loss." Twenty million people try it.

    1972 - Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest coins the terms "junk food" and "empty calories" in reference to candy, snacks and soda.

    Snapple introduces a new bottled fruit drink that is marketed as an healthier alternative to soft drinks.

    And Robert Atkins publishes Diet Revolution which advocates eating all the fat you want as part of a high protein, low-carb diet. It quickly becomes a bestseller. (In 1992, he re-issues pretty much the same exact book.)

    1982- Jane Fonda's Workout video is credited with creating the phenomenon of exercise videos. After selling millions of copies the tape was discontinued by the manufacturer after many of Jane's moves were found to be unsafe (!!!!)

    1995 - North America sees a resurgence of low-carb, high-protein diets. (Back to this again!)

    Also interesting : Bulemia first discussed in 1926, Anorexia brought to light in 1983 when a celebrities dies on stage; in 1929, Candy TV Ads say "candy is good for you."
  • cuz I post links to insightful articles that are completely on-topic. Sorry, I guess I should stick to flaming and offtopic rants.


    Here is another link to an article [] critical of the Atkins diet. Nobody denies it works but it is essentially supported by anecdotal evidence - my man Randi [] taught me better than that!

    As far as I am concerned, we are losing sight of the basic truths of nutrition... quit looking for a quick fix and be sceptical of everything.

    I not only researched various diets - I also talked to people that had lost a lot of weight and kept it off for years.

    Here is what I ended up doing (I won't call it a diet - it's the way I live now):

    I went to Ask a Dietitian [] and used the healthy body calculator to calculate my caloric needs. I was very careful not to overestimate my daily activities. I arrived at a recommended daily caloric intake.

    I referenced that against the Canadian food guide to find out approximately how much I should eat each day from each category. For me, it was 6 ounces of lean meat, 2 servings of dairy, 6-8 servings of grains, and 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. This is what I eat six days per week. If I ate this seven days per week, I would lose 2 pounds per week.

    On one day per week, I pretty much eat what I want without gorging. The first few weeks I gorged until I was sick - now I'm not so bad. This really helps me stick to eating healthy because I know that for the rest of my life, I can occasionally eat snacks and not feel guilty!

    Based on this, I should lose no more than 2 pounds per week - however, thanks to exercise, I have lost a bit more - 10 pounds net. Based on my bodyfat changes, I have actually gained a little bit of muscle, so I have actually lost more than 10 pounds fat, but I'm too lazy to do the math.

    As I mentioned, exercise is important. I exercise 20 to 60 minutes, three times per week in addition to walking for 30 minutes (to and from the train to work) each day. I also weight train three times per week. On my eat-what-i-want day, I sit on my ass and play video games.

    I keep a food and exercise journal to help me keep track of what I eat. And if I slip, I don't freak out or give up - I move on.

    Here is the main thing I learned - there is no "one size fits all diet" - you have to do some research and decide what will work for you while filtering out the crap (fat blocker pills, ab rollers, etc). Talk to a registered dietitian (beware of nutritionists though) if you need help. If you are obese, talk to a Bariatric physician. Set small, realistic goals - don't say "I'm gonna lose 20 pounds in 4 weeks" - say "I'm gonna lose 5 pounds in 4 weeks".

    I now have lots of energy, feel great, look good, and my girlfriend says I don't look so pasty anymore and I'm more of a sexual Tyranosaurus [] now :) Every other diet I tried left me tired, weak, and/or nauseous.

    Once I have lowered my bodyfat, I intend to increase my caloric input again and continue to weight train to build more lean tissue and increase my basal metabolic rate.
  • by jjo ( 62046 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:01PM (#4294487) Homepage
    I'm afraid that Brody is slanting the case a bit. It's interesting that she says

    in a major report last week, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies emphasized the importance of balance of nutrients...

    while the report actually says

    The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life is apparently zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed. However, the amount of dietary carbohydrate that provides for optimal health in humans is unknown.

    The report goes on to develop minimum carbohydrate reccomendations explicitly based on the need to avoid ketosis. Now, that may well be a worthwhile goal, and there are clearly some problems associated with ketosis (such as kidney stones), but one can hardly use that report as another, independent reason for rejecting high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets.
  • It's my understanding that the Atkins diet is a high-protein, high-fat diet. The ultimate would be to live entirely on meat and fat; say, seal, whale and walrus meat. That's what the Eskimos did all around the Arctic coast. They still eat a lot of whale today [].

    Vilhjalmar Stefanson (Can't find any links!) wrote at least one book about his travels in the Alaskan and Canadian arctic. He mentioned several times that the Eskimos ate an all-meat, no-carbohydrate diet, with a very high fat content. He claimed that they maintained wonderful health on this diet, and attempted to prove it to doubters on his midwestern campus (he was an anthropology graduate student) by living on such a diet through a hot summer there while he finished his dissertation. He believed that the high-fat part was essential.

    • It's my understanding that the Atkins diet is a high-protein, high-fat diet.

      It's my understanding that Atkins is a high-protein, don't-worry-so-much-about-fat diet. Early in the Atkins history there was more of an emphasis on high-fat, but that's mostly gone at this point. However, there are also several other low-carb strategies that are lower-fat.

      It's not *either* high carb *or* high fat. You can have a reasonable low carb, low glycemic index way of eating that isn't high fat.
  • Atkins (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LRJ ( 71361 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:34PM (#4294629) Homepage
    I must have debates on this diet at least 3 times a week and most people that I have these debates with don't really know anything about it (hmmmm...sounds kinda like /.) The high protien, low carb part of this diet is really only for the first couple of weeks. The purpose of this 'induction' period is to train your body to start burning fat instead of carbs - like it's supposed to. After your body has relearned what to process for energy, you are supposed to gradually add carbs back into your diet.

    My wife has been heavier set most of her life and has worked VERY hard (LARGE amounts of excercise and watching everything she eats) to try and control this as long as I have known her - mostly to know avail (anybody that didn't know her would never believe she's a fitness nut). She also had reservations about this diet (for many of the same reasons stated in the above article), even after a good friend of ours started showing excellent results after being on it for a couple months (we're still wondering who stole the other half of that fat man =). Her first attempt was too try and integrate some of the ideas into her current diet but she saw no results and kinda gave up on it. After some persistance from our friend, and after I did a bunch of research on the net, we finally got her to just try it fully. Within three weeks she was definitely seeing results and not all of it was weight loss. She also has (had) problems with Rosacia (adult acne) but she hasn't had a flare-up since being on the diet. She has also had irregular periods almost all her adult life but since starting the diet she's been on time - to the day! Her energy level is also completely different. She has always been a high energy person but it was like a fake energy (just do something to be doing something), now she's has the same type of energy but she can actually focus it now - she also actually seems to make more intelligent decisions and doesn't fly off the handle over stupid things as much either (because she thinks about it first).

    My opinion is that this diet, like any diet, may not work for everybody but for some people it's exactly what they need. If you are overweight you're already unhealthy anyways so I don't think trying this diet for a few weeks is going to be any more unhealthy for you than lugging around all that extra weight.
  • Read the original article closely! (You'll be one of 20 or so people who seem to have done so). The article did not actually contain evidence that the Atkins diet was good. Rather the article talked about the lack of study of the system.

    If nothing else, Atkins himself turns me off to anything he puts forth. It may be the product of years of frustration, but he comes across as being anti-scientific. He has closely honed his 'used car salesman' pitch. What I've heard him say, and the way that he propogandistically avoids commenting on real scientific research leads me to not find him trustworth, and by extension I don't find his 'product' trustworthy.

    Eat your broccolli and go for a brisk walk.

  • Here is a link (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rnd() ( 118781 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:57PM (#4294742) Homepage
    The original article on the Atkins diet from the times makes some very valid points, however I think it misleads the reader in one respect: by showing evidence that the low-fat high-carb food pyramid is flawed and then concluding that the logical alternative is to eat a high-fat low-carb diet, a la Dr. Atkins.

    In reality, studies have shown that both high-carb and high-fat diets can lead to health problems.

    Keep in mind, the original food pyramid myth was promoted because of discoveries during the Vietnam war that American 18 year olds had tons of plaque built up on their arteries and 18 year-old Vietnamese did not. The conclusion that was drawn was that the American high-fat diet was the cluprit. Hence, the food pyramid as we know it.

    However, if you think about what the research has actually shown, the ideal diet is as follows:

    Lots of vegetables, some high-fiber grains, and a small amount of meat, preferably fatty fish.

    Now think for a moment about the nutritional conditions that existed during the majority of human evolution. We were engineered by evolution to consume a diet very much like the ideal diet described above. Of course, exercise is critical to health as well, and our ancestors got plenty of that in the course of their daily lives.
  • by Fugly ( 118668 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:58PM (#4294746) Homepage
    How can you write an article arguing against use of the Atkins diet and miss the obvious and deadly mental health problem it presents?

    You can't drink beer for two weeks!!! []

    I'd rather be a fatass than sober...
  • by freerangegeek ( 451133 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:17PM (#4294823)
    I've been researching and using forms of ketogenic dieting for YEARS now. I highly recommend Lyle McDonald's book [] on the subject if you really want to understand what metabolic changes go on, and how you body adapts to the lack of carbohydrates. I have no financial interest in this book, I'm just an extremely satified customer.

    I'm not going to rehash all of the information he gives, except to say that this diet has worked wonders for me, allowing me to reach goals of weight loss without sacrificing strength.

    To rebut the article. Ketones have never made be 'nauseus'. Instead, I find that when ketogenic dieting my hunger is blunted, not removed. The swings that sugar and insulin cause in my body go away. That alone is worth the effort.

  • I made a previous comment about PLATO here [], but if you want to cut to the chase and get to the PLATO games, you can find that info here []. Definitely hit the next links at the bottom of the page.

    Most of the things we take for granted now, like email, chat rooms, and MMORPGs, we were doing back in the mid-70s.


  • by TitaniumFox ( 467977 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:46PM (#4294942) Journal
    One interesting thing to note about dietary issues in general is the evolution of man vs. the evolution of our diet.

    For a moment, toss out everything any diet "expert" has ever told you. Toss out the USDA's damn pyramid. Look at biology. Add up these few, relatively simple facts.

    Step in the WayBack Machine(tm) and look at much more simple times. The human body and its metabolism is geared towards periods of relative "feast" and "famine." Seeing as the primary use for fats is fatty acid precursors, the sources of energy are protein and carbohydrates. Carbs are really effecient foods, but are usually scavenged. (fruits, berries, tubers, etc.) Sources of protein are usually hunted.

    The way the body's metabolism flips between a glucose-centric pathway to a ketone-centric pathway makes perfect sense. In times of feast (abundant carbohydrates), use the carbs, storing everything away that is in excess. In times of famine, catabolize the fats into their building blocks and get energy from them (while looking for more berries.)

    Homo sapiens and its relatives have existed for thousands of years on this metabolic model. Evolution would have it that it is the most successful model for the given environment. Things stay pretty matched while things follow the format of:
    Humans hunt the tiger.
    Humans catch the tiger.
    Tiger eats a human.
    Humans go look for smaller tigers and potatoes.
    (ie. food chain struggle, varied diet)

    Fast forward to today: Humans hunt McDonalds. A Big Mac gives little struggle (unless you try to fit the entire thing in your mouth at once).

    Our food has evolved into a carbohydrate-rich diet because that's what the USDA said was good for us. On that note, carbohydrates are also the cheapest form of food, so when the Gub'ment is handing out subsidized food to everyone (public schools, hospitals, army bases, FBI cafeterias, etc), it would make sense to hand out carbohydrates. Abundant, cheap, energy-rich? C'mon. It makes perfect economic sense. But it doesn't follow nature. Nature would have us eat fewer carbohydrates and more protein, like our ancestors did.

    The Atkins diet is simply putting things back into a biological perspective. Most criticisims of the diet focus too much on the induction part of it. Getting the person with a fistfull of twinkies back on the proper metabolic path is an awesome feat of biochemistry and cell biology, but it happens when you go low/no carbs. No one, including Dr. Atkins, says that the induction part of the diet is The Proper Diet.

    One need only look at the effect of morbid obesity on life span to say that any negative effects of the induction phase of the diet are minute in comparison to the effects of hauling an extra 100 lbs of fat. Perspective is needed. It's like worrying about whether your 8-character root password has suffecient random characters in it, when you're running the La735t 57@ck 0v3rflo\/\/ on your apache server.

    Finally, why rely on other people to digest all of this information (even me) and put their own (perhaps political) spin on it?

    For those who wish to delve into the more archane, I suggest you go to NCBI and do some literature searches on the ketogenic diet. You'll see that there are some positive neurobiological and hormonal impacts that it has.

    National Center for Biotechnology Information [] (Medline)

    Search for some of these keywords (each line together):
    ketosis ketogenic
    ketosis epilepsy
    ketosis protein sparing

  • Stupid Geeks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by inerte ( 452992 )
    Stupid Geeks are trying to overthrow the system.

    They've lost every battle. Slim is nice, fat is bad.

    Guess what, Geek?

    Fat is a way of life. Not dark neither light, the system in first place, isn't right.

    Laid on /. are ways to become more accepted. Some are black and white, some, some, some.

    Where's my candy?

    Nowhere to be seen. I eat because I like. I lie not because I eat, but because I inhale other's people opinions.

    I would rather die creep then die healthy. At least I would taste life.
  • ...that on slashdot, diet tips would prove a hotter topic than browser bugs, video game legislation and Tivo hacks combined?

Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. -- F.M. Hubbard