Sunday, September 18, 2005

Atkins Dissolves, Low-Carb Evolves

It is rare, but there is occasionally a positive story about low-carb in the media. Unfortunately, usually these kind of stories tend to appear in overseas publications and this story from the Malaysia-based The Star publication is no exception.

In examining the "low carb evolution," this column questions what the future holds for livin' la vida low-carb. It openly asks if low-carb can endure despite the negativity about it, including the recent Atkins bankruptcy, the death of the founder of the Atkins diet, and lingering questions about the safety and long-term effectiveness of this lifestyle change.

Citing recent positive study results regarding the low-carb approach to eating, the story said these have been overshadowed by the "bashing time" that has taken place over the past six weeks or so since the media jumped all over the news that Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. filed for bankruptcy.

But as I stated then and what I tell people now, Atkins the company and Atkins the diet are two very different and distinctive entities. The story notes this as well.

"This is not about low carb diets failing – it is about a particular company failing. A failing company does not mean a failing industry. It is just like the death of the dotcoms -- it did not mean the end of the digital age. Did the death of so many computer companies signal the end of computers? We need to be clear in defining the low carb science and the low carb business."

YES! To be honest, I hardly ever bought any of the Atkins products because generally they were too expensive and did not fit into my particular program. But I know others who live and die by those bars and shakes. It's all a matter of personal preference. That flexibility is one of the things that makes the low-carb lifestyle so attractive to so many.

This story notes that the "key messages of the low carb diet have become mainstream" and part of "the modern lifestyle." Think about it for a moment and you'll realize just how true that really is. Despite the claims that you can't have fruits and vegetables when you are on a low-carb program, these are precisely the foods that are encouraged to take the place of foods such as "soda, potato chips, french fries, high sugar" foods that your body just does not need.

Although there are those who claim diet soda is worse for you than sugary soda, the very existence of so many more options in 2005 is evidence that people are paying a lot more attention to their sugar intake. In my book I note that watching sugar has replaced carbs as the "in" thing for health-conscious people. But what's funny to me is if something is low-sugar, it is also for the most part low-carb. Semantics, semantics.

Other industries that have benefited from low-carb include eggs and beef, just to name a couple. Although bread, pasta, doughnut and potato businessmen have whined about sluggish profits in the past couple of years, they have to change with the market forces to remain competitive with their product. Don't blame the low-carb lifestyle that you chose products that more and more people are realizing they should not eat if they want to control their weight!

"Capitalism works because people buy what they can afford, choosing from products that meet their needs. It is great for the low carb movement that there are now a great number of choices when it comes to sugar-free syrup, sugar-free candy, sugar-free chocolate, even sugar-free jelly beans. None of those products existed a few years ago. It is thanks to Atkins and the other low carb gurus that people are finally becoming more healthy in what they eat. Indeed, the sales of the low carb books have actually increased and even more newer low carb books hit the shelves."

Low-carb books and cookbooks do abound today more than ever. All you have to do is put in "Low-Carb" and "Recipes" in a Google search to find a great listing of low-carb delicacies to choose from. Dana Carpender, a 10-year veteran of livin' la vida low-carb, has sold well over one million (yes, I said MILLION!) copies of her cookbooks in just the past few years and my friend Kalyn Denny has seen a lot of traffic at her low-carb recipe blog since she launched just a few months ago.

In fact, my new book "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" (coming soon!) will be the first major low-carb success story book on the market. My decision to write the book was partially based on the fact that I could not find ONE single major low-carb weight loss success story book at my local bookstore or even at There were a lot of how-to books, but hardly any success story books. I believe this is an untapped market just waiting for the door to be swung wide open. Hopefully my book will be the first in a long line of low-carb weight loss success story books in the coming years.

Actually, I am thinking of writing a follow-up book (yes, I'm even doing it before my FIRST book is out!) to "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" that would feature the amazing low-carb weight loss success stories of many others who have implemented this healthy way of eating into their lives with incredible results. If you would be interested in contributing your story to me for this book, then send me an e-mail with your name, address, telephone number, and a brief synopsis of your low-carb experience. I will be compiling about 20-25 stories to highlight for the book. Also, if you have a web site or blog, please include that information, too. I look forward to hearing from you and your inspiring stories of triumph over your weight.

I really liked this statement from the story:

"It is time for all of us to understand that our joint mission is to eat more healthily, to eat until we are full (not stuffed), and to promote healthy eating to those we love and live with."

Oh my gosh, what a fantastic summary of what I try to convey to people each and every day. It's not about who's right about the method for losing weight. The number one thing is that people do SOMETHING about their weight problem if they have one and to have the guts to care enough about their friends and loved ones who are struggling with their weight to help them out. I take this subject head-on in my book and my take on it will likely surprise you!

The story notes that low-carb is "easily understood" and allows people wanting to lose weight to attain "higher levels of success" with the science to back it up. Noting the Opinion Dynamics Corp's survey which finds millions upon millionsof people are still following a low-carb lifestyle, the article concludes the livin' la vida low-carb is simply "evolving."

"The science is gaining all the time. Welcome to healthy eating!

Be sure to send a thank you note to the author of this column named Dr. Rajen M. He is a pharmacist with a degree in holistic medicine and has done a great service on behalf of low-carbers everywhere with this column.

9-19-05 UPDATE: The author of this article wrote me this very nice e-mail message after reading my blog post:

Hello Jimmy,

Thanks for your kind effort in getting my article on your blog. It was very well done!

You could log on to : for more articles.

I am big low carb fan! I live the low carb life and credit it for my health despite my dad's diabetes and obesity ...

Best regards,

I would venture to say that there are a lot more Rajens out there than the medical community would have us think. We need to encourage these brave medical professionals to not be ashamed of their support for the low-carb lifestyle and to boldy proclaim its benefits to a world of people who are getting fatter and fatter by the day. If we're going to see a turnaround in obesity rates, then more people like Rajen need to step up and do it for the health of people getting sick and dying from weight problems.


Blogger Kalyn said...

Thanks for mentioning me again in your blog, and in the same paragraph as Dana Carpender, no less!! I'm honored. As you know, I finally switched to a faster internet connection, so this weekend I spent several hours creating another blog which acts as a "recipe box" for the original Kalyn's Kitchen. Now you can use a link on the right sidebar to take you to a list of recipes by category and every recipe name is a link back to that recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen. It was an idea whose time had come, I just needed a quicker connection to get it done. I appreciate all the people who laboriously found recipes under the old system and didn't complain, but this new system is great.

Congrats again on the book. Looking forward to reading it.

9/19/2005 10:49 PM  

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