Thursday, June 02, 2005

Low-Carb Is The Lifestyle Change You've Been Looking For

This Arlington Heights, Illinois-based Daily Herald contained a question from a reader to a certified personal trainer which exemplifies perfectly why so many people who claim to "fail" on the Atkins diet.

Here's the question:

"I followed the Atkins diet for awhile, and after a month or so I got back into my old habits. What do you think about the South Beach diet? Is that a good diet to lose some weight for summer?

Before we get into what the trainer had to say, let me take a stab at this question myself. Why did you only do the Atkins lifestyle for just "awhile" and not stick with it? If you want to see any success on a weight loss plan, then you have to be persistent with it until you reach your goals. People are so lazy these days that they expect immediate results. If they don't get them, then they just give up. How incredibly ludicrous!

As for getting back into your "old habits," that's YOUR fault! Nobody forced you to do that and it's certainly not for a lack of incredibly delicious foods you can savor while livin' la vida low-carb. Stop blaming the diet and start looking at what YOU did to cause yourself to fall off the wagon. Pointing fingers doesn't solve the problem you have with weight. Taking personal responsibility and doing it for yourself once and for all will prove to the whole world that you are serious about finally doing this permanently.

As for other "diets," I tend to agree to a certain degree with what the trainer said, so let's take a look at her comments. But she does veer off the road a few times in his comments.

Nicki Anderson is a certified personal trainer, author and owner of Reality Fitness in Naperville, Illinois.

She responds, "I am strongly opposed to diets, which I think are temporary and rarely lead to a long-term healthy weight."

I totally agree. Going on a "diet" just feels bad and that's why most of us low-carbers don't consider Atkins or low-carb to be anything but the healthy lifestyle change that we all know it to be for us. If the mentality is that you need to "get off" your diet once the weight is gone, then nothing is going to work for you. Until you realize that the eating habits you have right now are dangerous to your health if you are stuck as an overweight or obese person and you aren't doing something about it, then you will never make the transition to the healthy eating habits you will need to enjoy a long and healthy life.

"Clients often tell me that they tried such-and-such diet and it 'worked.' However, I must gently remind them that if the diet had worked, they wouldn't be continuing to seek out another diet."

Precisely. That's why livin' la vida low-carb is the one and only eating plan you should do even after losing your weight. Or, if you choose to do a low-fat diet, then that should be your one and only diet for the rest of your entire life (gee, that's a scary thought!). The point is to find what works for you and then stick with it. This isn't rocket science people!

"When people ask me about dieting, I tell them their objective shouldn't just be losing weight, but developing a healthy lifestyle that can be sustained. Most diets are so rigid that there is rarely any room for error; therefore, they are often short-lived.

I could not have said it better myself. Losing weight is fun, but what's gonna motivate you once you reach your goal? How are you going to keep on with the "diet" long after the need for doing one is gone? The answer: sustained weight loss. You must strategize for the inevitable time when you realize that the way you are eating is the way you should eat the rest of your life. Pick your plan wisely and you can do it longer than a "rigid, short-lived" diet.

"If your goal is to attain a healthy weight, it's important that you first learn about healthy eating with the help of a registered dietitian and then develop a lifestyle that can accommodate gradual changes."

Okay, I didn't need a dietitian to help me with my low-carb eating lifestyle because they would have argued strongly against it in favor of a low-fat, "balanced" approach. That's about the stupidest (is that a word?) thing they could ever tell people because it doesn't work for everyone. I talked to my doctor who also had his reservations about Atkins. But once I lost the weight and he saw my health results, he quickly changed his tune.

"Diets don't allow for slip-ups; you're either 'on' the diet or 'off.' In life, one must recognize being perfect all of the time is next to impossible. If you don't allow for adjustments, it's not realistic."

Well of course you're gonna "slip-up" from time to time, but you have to be ready to respond the right way when it happens. I have a strategy I am outlining in my upcoming book that will hopefully help other people who have a propensity for failing on their low-carb program. It's not foolproof, but it worked for me during my weight loss and even today. I'm not going to let the cat out of the bag about it yet, but you will be amazed by how this simple little technique will keep you focused on your low-carb lifestyle a lot better if you do it.

The trainer then gives some "tips" for people to follow regarding the foods they eat, including finding color, quality, and limited quantities. That's all fine and dandy, but you don't have to worry about such things on a low-carb lifestyle. All you look at is the carbohydrate content. That's one of the things that makes this so easy to follow and gives people such incredible results!

"Don't diet! There are thousands of registered diets in this country, and obesity is at an all-time high. Take your time and discover what foods you enjoy that are good for you. Be mindful of all the good foods available and enjoy them as you keep the less- healthful foods to a minimum. A by-product of eating well is an appropriate weight."

That's why so many people have chosen the low-carb lifestyle. We want to stop being an obesity statistic and we want to enjoy good foods to bring ourselves to the healthy weight we need to be. We will also be healthier than we have ever been in our entire lives. That's what happened for me and can happen for anyone.

See, this livin' la vida low-carb thing is not so hard after all!


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