Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Consumer Reports Skews Atkins Benefits

This Associated Press story is all over the place today heralding a new rating of the top diets in America according to the June issue of Consumer Reports magazine out today.

Do I even need to tell you what they think of livin' la vida low-carb?

The top two diets according to Consumer Reports is the meetings-based low-fat program Weight Watchers and the high-sugar shakes and bars plan Slim Fast.

The rating were determined by the amount of weight participants lost, nutritional content of the foods that were eaten, the diet's ease of use and the length of time partipants stuck with the diet.

Weight Watchers got the highest overall marks, but Slim-Fast was found to be the best weight loss program for losing weight, according to Consumer Reports.

I used to be on Slim-Fast way back when. It was an okay diet, but you quickly get tired of sucking down those nasty-tasting bars after a while. Talk about boring, this was the epitome of boring, regardless of the new flavors they would come out with. It was certainly easy and you can lose weight on it, but it's not something that can realistically be done over the long haul like low-carb.

Speaking of the low-carb lifestyle, Consumer Reports applauds it as a great "short-term weight loss" program, but lambastes it for failing to help participants retain their weight loss and for providing poor nutrition. Additionally, the Atkins lifestyle is criticized for having too much fat and saturated fat, too few fruits, too little fiber and that it "might have a negative effect on some dieters' health."

Here we go again! While I not only used Atkins to lose my 180 pounds in 2004, I have been using it as a weight maintenance program for the past 5 months and have held steady ever since. I have eaten many of the same great-tasting foods I ate during my weight loss with a few additional carbs than I used to eat.

I get excellent nutritional content from the fruits and vegetables I consume and have never felt more energetic in my entire life. As for fiber, I'm eating so much fiber now I can't stay out of the bathroom! Okay, maybe it's not that bad, but fiber is a crucial element for people doing a low-carb lifestyle.

As for fat, I wrote about a new study earlier today that proves restricting your fat intake is not only unhealthy for you, but it will make you fatter! The focus on fat in the United States as a main contributor to the obesity problem has been exposed, and it appears the real story is the myth that says you can lose weight by restricting fat grams. That idea's gone bye-bye now!

This whole idea that low-carb is only for the short-term and lacks nutrition is unfounded. There is no evidence that backs up this repeated lie. There are millions upon millions of people like you and me who can attest to the improvements in our weight and health as a result of livin' la vida low-carb!

An Atkins spokesperson said this Consumer Reports study only examined the first stage or two of their weight loss program and ignored the nutritional approach advocated and promoted in the third and fourth phase where maintenance is encouraged and there is greater flexibility in the plan.

I thought it was interesting that the magazine based its conclusions on "clinical research on each diet," "a nutrient and calorie analysis" of the foods eaten and "how closely they follow federal dietary guidelines."

Well, of course the Atkins approach did terrible with this as the criteria for rating it! With all the negativity about the low-carb lifestyle out there, do you think the "clinical research" is going to look highly on this way of eating. And as for the "nutrient and calorie analysis," these aren't as important when you are doing low-carb as they are when you are on a low-carb/low-calorie diet. Finally, the low-carb lifestyle certainly does not adhere to the "federal dietary guidelines" recommended by the government. Is it any wonder why low-carb was at the bottom of this list of diets?!

The conclusion made by Consumer Reports Senior Editor Nancy Metcalf is that any weight loss and maintenance program needs to be something that people can stick with over the long-term.

And that's why we've chosen to be livin' la vida low-carb, Ms. Metcalf! It is indeed something we can do to lose weight and to keep it off for good.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


I enjoy your articles. Please tell me though how you're getting plenty of fiber. Is that since you got to maintenance? I'm in OWL and I eat salads and lowcarb veggies, but I don't even come close to what many consider an "ample" amount of fiber.


5/11/2005 4:42 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey RB,

THANKS for visiting my blog and sharing your kind comments about my posts.

As for your specific question about fiber, this is one of the most essential elements of the foods you eat when you do low-carb. It can be found in moderate to high quantities in low-carb bars from Atkins, low-carb bread, and much much more.

Look at food labels carefully and choose ones that are loaded with fiber. Of course, I also supplement my diet with 2 Fibercon each day as well.

It's easier to get more fiber now that I'm in Lifetime Maintenance, but it's not impossible with a little creativity and with keen observation during the early stages, too.

Keep on livin' la vida low-carb!!!

5/11/2005 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fiber is easy to get while low-carbing if you know where to go. Flax seeds and flax meal have almost no carbohydrates but are incredibly high in fiber. You can sprinkle them on everything from eggs to vegetables and they have a pleasant, nutty taste.

Garden of Life also makes a terrific product called Super Seed that's fiber-rich and has a nice cinnamon taste. I believe it has one net carb per serving.

Another option is a low-carb hot cereal. Some are surprisingly pleasant tasting, and they're full of fiber. My suggestion: one serving of hot cereal, a few scoops of Super Seed or flax meal, and a Splenda packet. Delicious and filling for breakfast or a snack.

Another option: a low-carb apple-cinnamon granola that has a whopping 96 percent of your day's fiber per serving. It's incredible - I've eaten the whole box before! Check it out here:;$sessionid$BTHLXYZIPITFACQUAOWSFEQKCQB1AGXK?SkuID=234597&BreadCrumbType=SearchResult

Finally, good news for ice cream lovers: most low-carb ice creams are full of fiber. Edy's low carb, for instance, has over a quarter of your day's recommended fiber per serving. Of course, you have to go easy on this stuff, but it's nice to know you can enjoy ice cream AND get your fiber.

Hope that helps!

5/12/2005 4:31 PM  

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