The 3-Hour Diet

WebMD Live Events Transcript

Weight loss and fitness guru Jorge Cruise claims that it matters when you eat, not what you eat. We chatted with Cruise about his new book, The 3-Hour Diet: How Low-Carb Diets Make You Fat and Timing Makes You Thin on May 10, 2005.

The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

Welcome to WebMD Live, Jorge. Thank you for joining us today.

Thank you for having me.

The subtitle of your new book is How Low-Carb Diets Make You Fat and Timing Makes You Thin . How do low-carb diets make you fat?

With the 3-Hour Diet book, what I have done for the last two and a half years is investigate every diet known to man. This has been a passion of mine for over ten years because I was overweight as a child. What I discovered is the majority of Americans currently have failed at losing weight long term. The number of low-carb diet books had increased -- from South Beach to Atkins, etc. You go down any grocery store isle and you even see the South Beach diet products now by Kraft out there -- it's everywhere. And yet, the obesity rates continue to go up. I have quite a following at my web site, and these people are asking for advice. The one thing they want to know is how they can lose weight without failing. This forced me to look at low-carb diets particularly first and then all the other fad diets.

We'll start with low-carb diets; they have an effect that is very difficult on the body. They cause your body to lose due to ketosis. They cause you to lose lean muscle tissue and lean muscle is your metabolism, your resting metabolism. So the key on a low-carb diet, obviously, is to drop a lot of weight quickly and you do. If anyone asked me if you can lose weight quickly on a low-carb diet, I would absolutely say yes -- you can lose it fast .

My plan was compared to the Atkins plan on Dateline NBC about two years ago. The person on Atkins lost the weight faster but at the end of the results the person who had been on Atkins had regained the fastest. The gal that I helped kept it off and lost 20 more pounds. It was interesting to see that on television. That is the number one reason; low-carb diets cause your body to go into ketosis which causes the body to lose approximately 25% of the weight loss from muscle. So if you lose four pounds of weight on a low-carb diet one of those pounds is muscle. And if you lose one pound of muscle, you, decelerate your metabolism by 50 calories a day, meaning that you burn 50 calories less a day. Most people lost five, six, 10 pounds of muscle from dieting back and forth and that's very dangerous.

That is really the core message that catches a lot of people's eye with the 3-Hour Diet? because a lot of times there aren't too many books that will tell you the truth or give you the research. Does it work, yes, but at what expense? That's the challenge with low-carb diets.

What's interesting with my clients is that a lot of them are on a low-carb diet originally before they work with me. They only may eat usually one meal a day -- dinner. Dinner is usually high protein, low-carb. They will skip breakfast, they skip snacks and they skip lunch. If they skip those meals, unfortunately the body goes into a starvation mode. That is the second most popular diet plan for a lot of people who are overweight -- starving, just not eating. They think they are fat and they don't want to eat. They think they can tough it out in the morning and they stop eating. When you stop eating for more than three hours and 15 to 20 minutes, from what the science shows, the body literally flips a switch on.

"So, by eating every three hours you lower belly fat, you burn two pounds a week and you prevent muscle loss, which keeps your metabolism active. Then you constantly reset the metabolism so you're constantly burning fat."

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