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Man v. Food host Adam Richman loses 70 pounds with soccer and low-carb diet

Adam Richman sheds 70 pounds.
Adam Richman sheds 70 pounds.
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In the battle of man versus food, Adam Richman definitely won. Famed for gorging on the show "Man v. Food," Adam lost 70 pounds with a combination of a low-carb diet and soccer, reported Us Weekly on Thursday.

And Adam's definitely enjoying the change in his appearance. "If you're a guy who's always been the fun-to-be-around teddy bear, then all of a sudden people are viewing you as sexy, it's nice," he told British Cosmo.

So how precisely did he achieve his extreme weight loss transformation? A combination of counting calories and restricting carbohydrates, he told Men's Health.

"I realized that I didn't need nearly as many calories as I'd grown accustomed to. I ate 100 to 200 calories every two hours or so, consumed healthy proteins (yogurt, lean meat, turkey jerky), and drank a gallon of water a day," said Adam.

Featured on his change: No white flour, no starches, he added. In addition, "to combat the monotony of gym workouts, I started playing soccer," said Adam.

For those who want to label this a Paleo diet and proclaim Adam to be a caveman cutie, not exactly. He may be cute, but Paleo plans specifically eliminate dairy on the grounds that our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn't consume it.

However, the low-carb emphasis of Adam's plan does resemble the Atkins high fat low carb ketogenic approach. It helped Kim Kardashian and Sharon Osbourne both achieve their weight loss goals.

Phase two, for example, allows for yogurt as well as healthy fats and protein, Atkins nutrition specialist Colette Heimowitz told me in an exclusive interview. She is the author of "The New Atkins Made Easy: A Faster, Simpler Way to Shed Weight and Feel Great -- Starting Today."

Because it allows for dairy and some processed foods that are low in carbohydrates, Colette added that she feels the Atkins low carb diet is easier to follow than the Paleo plan. It also accelerates weight loss through nutritional ketosis.

To those who question whether Adam can engage in high intensity sports such as soccer without grains, low carb high fat ketogenic diet expert Dr. Stephen Phinney told me that his studies point to an affirmative. In an exclusive interview, Dr. Phinney referred to the idea that carb-loading is necessary for athletes as a myth.

Author of "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable," Dr. Phinney revealed that "the concept that humans 'need a certain amount of dietary carbs for proper function of the body' has no basis in science. It is a myth perpetuated by the USDA and the dietetic establishment."

Seeking examples of athletic performance on a high fat low carb diet? Four of the top six men and women at last year's Western States Endurance Run (100 miles on mountain trails from Lake Tahoe to Auburn) followed low-carb diets. Moreover, earlier this year at age 36, low carb dieter and bronze medalist winner Bode Miller became the oldest Olympic skiing medalist.

Adam also used running as a way to shed pounds and keep them off, he told Men's Health. He admits it wasn't always easy when it came to the food element of his lifestyle change.

"Was it tough when the crew was eating pizza while I had almonds and yogurt? Yeah. But because of that momentary sacrifice, I went from an XXL to an L in 10 months," he added proudly.

And Dr. Phinney says that it gets easier to adjust to the high fat low carb lifestyle. Also the author of "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance," he noted that both he and his collaborator Dr. Jeff Volek have followed ketogenic diets for years and benefited from the boost in energy levels and overall health that has resulted.