Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Looney Low-Carb World According To Mike

Meet Mikey Tsai, reluctant low-carber!

A friend of mine told me about this hilarious editorial from a man who started a low-carb diet recently that I thought you would enjoy.

In a rather cynical look at the low-carb approach to weight loss, Honolulu Advertiser staff writer Michael Tsai whimsically talks about livin' la vida low-carb as if it's the worst thing you can do to lose weight.

Describing himself as a "carboholic" (yeah, weren't we all before we started low-carb?!), Tsai whimsically said he would have a tough time avoiding "all that fat-building goodness" in the form of pasta, mashed potatoes, stuffing and more. Apparently Mike has no idea that there are very delicious versions of all kinds of foods people think are taboo on a low-carb lifestyle. There are low-carb and no-carb versions of pasta (have you tried Dreamfields brand yet? WOW!), bread (check out the incredible-tasting ZERO CARB breads at, and many other delightful foods to savor and enjoy on your low-carb lifestyle. You can even substitute cauliflower for potatoes to make remarkable mashed "potato" dish. Add butter, garlic salt and cheese for a delicious side dish even your non-low-carb friends will clamor for!

Our buddy Mike apparently chose the South Beach Diet, which has the most restrictive Induction phase of all the low-carb programs out there today. After three weeks on this plan, Mike says it (and I quote) "sucks, sucks, sucks." LOL! I've been there, felt that before, too! But the good news is it doesn't stay that way. If you can endure through a little hardship at the beginning, the promised land of weight loss heaven will quickly come into view. I detail my struggle with the first few weeks and what I did to endure in my upcoming book. It's hard, but it is something that you must do if you ever want to rid yourself of those extra pounds you so desperately want to shed.

But poor Mike characterizes his low-carb lifestyle as "nonsense" and blames his older brother for getting him into this mess when he stepped on a scale and weighed a "disgusting" 182 pounds. Mike must be about 4 feet tall if he thinks that makes him overweight! I would look sick if I weighed that LITTLE! It just goes to show you that weight loss goals vary widely from person to person. In fact, you could say I LOST MIKE during my weight loss on Atkins! Hee hee! You're not so big anymore, my friend.

Desiring to return to the physical specimen he was in high school, Mike said he contemplated Atkins, but was "worried that an exploding heart might hurt my overall health." Alright now, Mikey! Watch it with the insults on my favorite weight loss method there. There's a lot of misinformation being spread about the Atkins diet that you could stand to come read my blog every once in a while to further educate yourself about the truth that has avoided reaching your eyeballs thus far. I promise not to bite ... too hard! You are low-carb, aren't you?

Thrilled by the prospect of still getting to eat meat, Mike made the prophetic statement, "Cow without carb is like TV without sound. You might get the gist, but why bother?" Mikey, Mikey, Mikey. Hey little buddy, why don't you grill up a couple of fat, juicy half-pound hamburgers, load it up with as much bacon as you want, and melt your favorite cheese on top! Then dunk each and every bite of this savory morsels of beefy goodness in your choice of mayonaisse or mustard for a delight so incredible you'll forget about ever eating it on a bun again!

Unfortunately, Mike quickly tires of eating meat (there are a lot of other options on low-carb, you know!) and said he is in a "persistent vegetarian state" eating raw vegetables and not getting enough calories for "proper brain function." If you reach this point, Mike, it's time to EAT. I have a friend who asked me for help on her low-carb lifestyle and she always complained about how hungry she was. My answer to her (and to you, too!) is EAT, EAT, EAT! There's no reason whatsoever that you should ever allow yourself to go hungry. NEVER! If you get hungry while livin' la vida low-carb, then you're not eating enough. Gasp! That's one thing you'll never hear about a low-fat/low-calorie diet!

The saga of Mike continues as he has visions of carbohydrate-filled foods dancing in his head while he sleeps. And despite his moaning and groaning about the difficulties of the low-carb lifestyle, Mike said his "pants got looser" and actually lost 11 pounds in the first two weeks of doing it. That's an astounding SIX PERCENT weight loss of his initial body weight. WOW! I'd say it's working very, very well, don't you think, Mike?

Mike explains his "dilemma" by wondering out loud if he should "stick with a diet that, dang it, seems to work ... or fall off the wagon and embrace my inner musubi?"

I don't know what an "inner musubi" is, but I know that livin' la vida low-carb is the way to lose weight and keep it off. Maybe with a little encouragement, Mike will decide to make this his permanent lifestyle choice. How about sending him a quick note to let him know you're rooting for him? Tell him "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Man" (that's me!) sent ya!

06/23/2005 UPDATE: Guess who caught wind of this blog post? It's none other than Mike Tsai himself. Check out how successful he has been livin' la vida low-carb so far.

Hi Jimmy,

A buddy of mine forwarded a link to your "Livin' La Vida Low Carb" site and I just wanted to drop you a line to say I enjoyed your response to my most recent "About Men" column. As I'm sure you know, the column was meant to be a humorous take on my recent (and ongoing) experience with the South Beach Diet and so not every quip is meant to be taken literally.

I should probably fill you in on my "182. Disgusting." comment. The paragraph that followed, and which was edited out for space, explained that I'd been an active marathon and ultramarathon runner for 10 years before a minor knee injury, my wedding, and a return to grad school nudged me over to the sidelines. In the two years since, I've put on more than 25 pounds by maintaining my high-carb diet without keeping up my level of activity. (I'm 5-foot-8, so those extra pounds were pretty noticeable).

The diet has worked out well so far, and as of today I'm down to 167 (have also started running, swimming and biking again and I'm cutting down on the heavy weightlifting). I've tried quite a few low-carb recipes with mixed results. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, so the sugar limitations haven't been much of a problem, but I've yet to find a suitable alternative to crusty baguettes or home-fried potatoes.

Anyway, keep up the nice work with your articles and congratulations on the strides you've made in losing, from what I've read, the weight equivalent of my entire body!


Michael Tsai
Staff Writer
The Honolulu Advertiser

Isn't that amazing? Here's a former guy who was a marathon runner in high school trying to get back in shape and what is he choosing? Livin' la vida low-carb! WOO HOO! He's lost 15 pounds already and is getting his body back to the healthy way it used to be. CONGRATULATIONS Mike and come join us from time to time at this blog. I like the way he writes (makes me jealous he's so good!). :-)


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