Monday, August 13, 2007

The low fat side of the Kimkins Diet, Part 1

Low Fat Side of Kimkins parts 2 and 3

Hey guys I am splitting this up in two parts as it is getting awfully long. I have been working on this for a couple of weeks now but with us being sick, Maya having food intolerance reactions and then some dramas with my website being down the last four days my time or ability to concentrate lol hasn't been too crash hot. Anyway I have not quite finished the last part but I thought I should put the kimkins bit up now and then tommorrow put up the rest as it is looking too long as I type it out. I have also just started putting together some of the research on VLCD's that I have bookmarked into a page but there is still tons to add but feel free to have a look: Research on Risks of Very Low Calorie Diets.

This post here is just some concerns of mine regarding kimkins, I have seen a lot of people try to deny the very low fat and calorie side of this diet or people try to say claim the safety of Kimkins based on their own success when they did not really do it. So I wanted to make a few points about why I don't see it that way.

The next part I will go into concerns regarding gallstones, rapid weight loss and lean protein (aka Stefannson and the "rabbit diet").

I thought, a good topic to post on would be the fat intake, as the more and more I read up on about kimkin's and other's fitdays the more I see how extremely "anti-fat" this diet is.

There are 2 reasons why this concerns me, first and foremost is health reasons, more on that in part 2. But second is the association of this with low carb diets, low carb was never meant to be low fat, pure and simple. As a low carb community we have fought tooth and nail to show that good stable fat's are not unhealthy, particularly in the context of a low carbohydrate diet, same thing with cholesterol. Yet on the various kimkins plans both saturated fats and cholesterol are kept extremely low. This diet isn't about low carbing in the true sense of the word, in my opinion, carbs are only reduced in order to make the VLCD (very low calorie diet) more tolerable. In other words so you can starve without hunger...

Then you have Kimmer and crew (whomever does the web and SEO stuff with her) promoting Kimkins as the "healthy" alternative to Atkins with this anti-fat, saturated fat garbage....

For those that don't know there are a bunch of dummy sites aimed at bringing in more members by touting the same anti-Atkins garbage.

The last thing I want to see is low fat being made fashionable in low carb circles and undo all the work that has and still is being done by the various doctors, researchers and other people to prove the merits of low carb, fat and cholesterol.

If you are new to low carb and are following Kimkins or any of the said to be low carb "shake" diets such as Tony Ferguson which I have posted about before then I encourage you to read at least one of the more popular low carb books such as Atkins New Diet Revolution (2002 edition is a good one), Protein Power Lifeplan, Natural Health & Weight Loss and Life Without Bread so you can understand the true meaning of low carbohydrate dieting and understand where many of us are coming from. I will make sure to add some links to some good articles on fats at the bottom of this article as well.

I have seen many retorts that go something along the lines of...

"the kimkin's plan I am on does not limit calories"

"Kimmer says you can have just enough fat that makes your menu work, so it is not low fat, just moderate fat"

"I am doing mine a bit different so it has more fat and calories"

Hey if you are doing yours a bit different and eating above your BMR then good for you but that doesn't mean Kimkins per se is okay. Considering, her plans and guidelines (let alone advice) for such plans don't really advocate that if you want the kind of results the diet is popular for, it just means your really just doing a typical low carb diet like Atkins whilst watching your calories!

I hear of many people doing the Kimkins diet more sensibly such as, higher calories and fat and cycling one week of kimkins with four to six weeks of Atkins. That's certainly a lot better then doing Kimkins the way it is meant to be done, but it doesn't validate Kimkins whatsoever. Kimkins promises you rapid weight loss, that is the krux of her plan and why it is sooo popular. BUT in order to achieve those promises that Kimmer and her crew promise you, that her success stories claim... then the majority of you will have to cut your diet down to the bare bones. Thus, I cannot see how doing the kimkins diet in a more sensible manner can vouch for her diet being a good one let alone for its safety.

Her success stories, the stories that are the "proof" of how successful her diet is... how much were they all eating?

How much was Christin eating?

What about all the other girls that newbies are pointed to, to use as a guideline for their own kimkins weight loss?

I think we all know the answer to that one...

And another thing to keep in mind, when you come across websites for kimkins success stories, they are most likely an affiliate that gets paid to promote it and thus may have a hidden agenda.

In my opinion, Kimkins is NOT a low carb diet it is a VLCD diet and thus the dangers that go along with a VLCD diet go right along with the Kimkins diet except the Kimkins diet has no real scientific structure behind it nor is it and the advice, medically supervised like all VLCD's should be.

For those that still insist that any of her plans are okay and not low fat or low calories. Apart from the fact that all plans involve lean protein, how about we look at the alleged kimkins guidelines and tips that are presented with these plans when you sign up, such as...

"Use minimal fat for cooking"

"Use low calorie salad dressings and "light" butter substitutes"

"Don't add fat when preparing foods, e.g. grill meat, discard dripping, steam and bake fish, boil and poach eggs"

"LEAN PROTEIN: Bake, boil, broil, grill, poach, roast, steam, nonstick spray"

"Cook by any low fat method listed above"

"Remove the skin before cooking"

"Trim all visible fat"

"Replace meat with fish as often as possible"

"Replace red meat with white meat - eat chicken, turkey or ostrich instead of steak or chops"

"Beef should be eaten rarely for fastest weight loss results"

"Have meatless meals regularly, replacing meat with pasta or legumes (dry beans, peas and lentils, Toppers and textured vegetable protein dishes)"

"Save fat calories by mixing 2 egg whites + 1 whole egg for scrambles or omelettes. Choose low fat cooking methods and low fat mayonnaise to cut calories. Eggbeaters are excellent"

My gosh what fat does that leave???

Then you have her protein shake plan, where you can replace your meals with "homemade" protein shakes with guidelines on the limits of calories, carbs and protein but no guidelines for fat, minerals or any other nutrients!

Example, in Australia at least, you buy a tub of low carb protein powder designed for bodybuilders from a health food shop and right there on the label with the directions is a warning that it can not be used as a meal replacement... why do you think that is?

I have seen menus where people are eating 5-10g of fat a day, menus where people are only eating egg whites or just 4 bites of chicken and a coffee but not only that she tells them if they are not hungry then its okay!

I have seen people try and justify their fat intake with percentages, sure the percentage of fat isn't extremely low for some BUT if you are following her guidelines then it will most likely be because you are already eating low calories. Bring those calories up to a sensible level whilst keeping the fat to a similar level and watch that percentage plummet!

If you are following any authoritative type of "guidelines" to justify your fat percentage, just keep in mind that as well as the fact that these guidelines are in the context of a high carb diet, these types of guidelines use percentages based on say a 2000 calorie diet not a 500 calorie often seen on Kimkins. That makes a big difference in the amount of fat you eat as I will illustrate below...

To show this I made up a kimkins bootcamp menu minus the small amount of limited veggies. I used 2 large eggs, 2 oz lean ham, and 2 times 4 oz raw chicken breast. This gave me:

477 cals 20g fat 1g carb 68g protein and the percentages worked out to be 39% fat 1 % carbs and 60% protein

So then I decided to use kimmers maintenance menu that she posted on LCF which allegedly runs between 1200-1400 calories as an example for foods to add to it plus I added in a glass of milk as she claims in Jimmy's interview that she has a little milk...
Now I was hoping to go for a higher calorie menu by using her as a guide, but I had trouble getting over 1200 calories (suprise, suprise) which was supposedly her bottom end. But if you go by her interview with Jimmy it is now 1400-1700 calories (yeah right!). So the menu of 1168 calories will have to do. I did not add any sauces etc as she states in that post that she doesn't use them for maintenance. What we have now is:

2 large eggs, 2 oz lean ham, 8 oz whiting, 8 oz raw skinless chicken breast, 2 cups salad greens, 1 cup spinach, 1 cup raw cauliflower, 1 cup boiled potato, 1 x 100 calorie danone yoghurt, 1 cup no fat milk and 1 medium banana.

This came to 1168 calories, 26g fat, 86g carbs and 150g of protein. Percentages were, 21% fat, 25% carbs and 54% protein.

So here we have a 477 calorie menu with 39% fat turn into a 1168 cal menu and 21% fat even though the fat has increased slightly in the second menu by 6 grams. Could you imagine the fat percentage if it was 1500 cals with fat kept low? :eek:

This is why when eating low in calories you shouldn't be relying on a percentage to say that you are eating enough fat and why you should be adding fat back in to increase those calories. Do not make the mistake of increasing your calories with low fat products or fruit and veggies only. Of course, if you have been low fatting it and want to change that, then please add your fats in gradually to give your body a chance to make the enzymes needed.

If you are interested in working out calories based on your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), I have put up some information here: BMR and Calories

For those that are new to low carb I want to add here some good articles off the top of my head for you to read regarding fat and low carb:

The truth About Saturated Fats

Why low carb diets must be high fat not high protein

The Cure For Diabetes

Eat Fat to Lose Fat

What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?

Regina's Keys to Success Series

Okay that should do it, look out for part 2!

Other Kimkins articles by me:

Nov 16: Kimkins Diet Scam
Sept 22: The Low Fat side of the Kimkins Diet: Rabbit Starvation, Sudden Death and Resting Metabolism.
Sept 11: The Low Fat side of the Kimkins Diet: Gallstones.
Aug 17: My reply to Deni
July 18: Is Kimkins okay because its simply low carb?
July 15: Kimkins and Kimmer
June 13: Okay Some Kimkins Stuff...


Sue said...

Good blog Sherrie. Look forward to part 2.

Sherrie said...

Thanks Sue :)

Cindy Moore said...

"In my opinion, Kimkins is NOT a low carb diet it is a VLCD diet"

YES!!!! I have posted this several times on forums and repeatedly get told I'm wrong. This is a diet that is low in calories and the way they are lowered is by dramatically reducing fat, protein AND carbs.

Thanks for posting these articles!! Hopefully soon this will be investigated....and I will not feel sorry for those that are affiliated that get caught up in the legal problems that are sure to result.

Sparky's Girl said...

Good article Sherrie! I'm was one of those people who basically did Atkins, and lowered the calories bit. Looking back I see that I realy wasn't doing Kimkins, as you pointed out in your post.

Sherrie said...

Your welcome Cindy, I'm so sick of people pussy footing around or side stepping around the facts with the famous and vague "enough fat to make your menu work" rubbish and then putting blame on the people following it extremely and how its not their (kimkins) fault. In fact that makes me more angry that they try and pass the blame on to their members (see my reply to deni on that issue). I just find it all so manipulating and abusive...

Hey SG I am so glad you just lowered your calories a bit and didn't take it to any extremes!

When you were following Kimkins and had the banner on your blog the one thing you did that made me respect you is that you always said straight off that there were valid concerns and that you didn't know the answers yet and you didn't try to BS anyone even though you had incentive (affiliate).

Cheers :)

Sparky's Girl said...

Thanks Sherrie. I appreciate you sharing that with me. I hope everyone that reads my blog can tell I'm just trying to be honest and that I struggle with what's best for me, just like everyone else at times. It's a learning process for us all.

size8jeans said...

You know, I'm on a low-fat diet right now to trim calories, but even I know enough to know that 30g of fat a day is the minimum for good health, and I found that 2.5g of Omega 3 fat per day helps my mood. I also don't go below 1200 calories a day.

Kimkins is just plain dangerous. It's possible to do low-fat, low-carb, and low-calorie in a healthy way, but Kimkins ain't it. You need at least 30g of fat and 1200 calories.

I've taken the best of Atkins (low-carb) and the portion and calorie control of NutriSystem and blended them into a diet workable for me. I try to keep my net carbs between 80 and 100g a day, but sometimes it goes a bit higher.