Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Atkins May Be Slimming, But Low-Carb Isn't Dimming

This San Jose, California-based Mercury News story is one of the many "mop up" articles from the Atkins bankruptcy announcement that was made last week.

The column reveals, just as I stated in this post on Sunday, that despite all the negative attacks against the Atkins diet, there are still a whole bunch of us who absolutely love livin' la vida low-carb because it just works!

A low-carb store owner said despite slower sales than what he saw a couple of years ago when the media overly-hyped the Atkins diet and other low-carb programs, there are a lot of people who still follow the low-carb lifestyle.

Is low carb over? No, of course not," he said.

He noted that most people who lose a lot of weight like he did remain committed to low-carb long after the "diet" part of it is over. In fact, he noted in the story that he lost 100 pounds on a low-fat diet, but couldn't keep the weight off for good until he tried the low-carb lifestyle.

I can certainly relate. I lost 170 pounds on a low-fat diet in 1999, but was constantly hungry and missed a lot of the foods I used to enjoy. Predictably, I gained all of that weight back and then some. When I topped out at 410 in January 2004, enough was enough for me. Now, 180 pounds later, I am happily livin' la vida low-carb and loving every delicious bite of my low-carb foods without ever suffering with being hungry. This is THE best I have ever felt in my entire life. Unless you've been obese and then lost a lot of weight, you cannot fully understand just how incredibly liberating it feels to be in this position. I bet my friends Beth Badore, Julia Havey, Adam Wilk and many others could attest to this.

This store owner said the "success of low carb was the death knell" for most of the genuine low-carb companies because they couldn't compete with Kraft, Unilever and General Mills. These food giants took advantage of a trend that was created by and being well-catered to consumers through companies like Atkins. Of course, I think they saturated the market with products that were anything but "low-carb."

Interestingly, this store owner also said that he believes the number of people who are following a low-carb regiment is probably a lot higher than statistics show because most people just eat low-carb foods and aren't necessarily on the diet itself. I noticed this during my interview on the radio last week. Most of the callers would tell you they weren't on the diet currently, but they said they continue to restrict their sugar, potatoes and white flour intake. While they may not be losing weight on a "diet" any longer, I would contend they are still livin' la vida low-carb just like me and many others.

Statistics from Opinion Dynamics Corp. show that people who are following a low-carb program reached its highest level in history earlier this year -- 16 PERCENT! The lastest numbers as of August 2005 show that the popularity of low-carb stands at ONLY 13 percent now. Gee! I guess nobody's doing low-carb anymore, eh? Anyone who says that low-carb is slowing down is either delusional or smoking something...or BOTH! :-)

The article notes that the popularity of low-carb has come in cycles off and on over the past three decades. I contend the media plays an important role in this trend by the way they treat their coverage of certain diets over others. Certainly the low-fat diet is never criticized by much of the media because most doctors, nutritionists, dietitians and health experts actively promote it as the ONLY way to lose and maintain your weight. Of course, they're wrong, but don't tell them or the media that.

This story quotes a dietitian/nutritionist who actually is going to miss some of the high-fiber, low-carb products that have been on the grocery store shelves over the past couple of years. She accurately notes that fiber makes you feel full and can even lower your cholesterol levels. But, she is a dietitian after all and thus recommends people not only eat more fiber, but also eat a low-fat diet with plenty of protein. I agree with two of those three recommendations.

Another great point brought out in this article is a quote from a 58-year-old man who follows the Atkins diet, but rarely bought any of the Atkins products. That's the way my experience has been, too. While this guy said he thought the Atkins products were "awful," there are a lot of other foods to eat and enjoy that not only taste great, but are less expensive than some of the Atkins products. You have to be a choosy shopper and select those items you will want to eat and enjoy time and time again. In fact, mix it up every once in a while so it doesn't become boring, another popular criticism of the Atkins diet.

The point is that while much has been made over the past two weeks about the end of low-carb, the fact is that millions upon millions of us will keep right on livin' la vida low-carb and enjoying all the wonderful health benefits it provides to us. If you're obese and want to find something that is enjoyable and works to help you lose weight, then welcome to the low-carb lifestyle. It's exactly what you've been looking for.


Blogger DietKing said...

Thanks for the mention!
We have a lot of work to do, don't we? ;-)

8/11/2005 7:35 PM  

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