Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Atkins In Reverse: A Critical Review Of 'The Bread For Life Diet'

After years of explaining to the public why eating too many carbohydrates can be harmful to them, one would think that most people understand that foods such as sugar, bread, and potatoes in higher quantities may not be the best choice for them nutritionally. But now there is a new diet that not only allows such carb-filled foods, but actually encourages it.

It's called The Bread For Life Diet and this is NOT a joke. Developed by Israeli nutrition researcher Olga Raz, this new diet can be accurately described as the Atkins antithesis. In fact, the subtitle calls it "The High-On-Carbs Weight Loss Plan" as if to say to low-carb supporters "na-na-na-na-na-naaah!"

This Bread For Life Diet is allegedly as popular in the country of Israel as the Atkins diet was a couple of years ago in the United States. Now Raz has brought her message of losing weight with bread to the United States thanks to American publisher Stewart Tabori and Chang.

“It’s the diet other publishers didn’t want to touch because it is so anti-Akins and South Beach,” says Debora Yost, the book’s editor, “but I’ve known all along that there were flaws in those diets and knew it was just a matter of time until carbohydrates would come back in vogue and be part of a sensible eating program.”

Uh, that remains to be seen, Ms. Yost. As most people know, the reason why low-carb programs were as successful and continue to be as successful as they are is because people really do lose weight and a lot of it when they follow the plan as prescribed. And I have no doubt in my mind that people can and do lose weight on The Bread Of Life Diet. Let's take a closer look at what this "new diet" is all about.

Basically, you can eat bread, bread, and more bread. Thus, the title of the book. For women, they can have up to 12 slices per day and for men we could eat as many as 16 slices per day (give me a moment while I try to restart my heart!).

Yost said using bread as part of the diet is "not a gimmick."

"Rather it is a real weight loss mechanism because it is eaten in such a way that it corrects the biological processes that make dieting difficult for so many people, and it prevents the cravings and hunger that lead to diet failure,” she said.

I don't know about anyone else, but the thing that kept me hungry the most during my various dieting programs (especially low-fat diets) throughout the years was the consumption of carbohydrates, including bread. But since I started livin' la vida low-carb in January 2004, I have not had to worry about hunger pangs or cravings at all. Not at all! That's why the low-carb lifestyle is such an incredible transition for people who are overweight or obese because it is just a minor tweak in your eating habits to produce unbelieveable and some say miraculous weight loss and weight maintenance. I am proof of that myself!

This diet is being marketed on as "your dream diet" to "buck the high-protein, low-carb craze." But what I see in this diet is nothing more than a low-fat wanna-be. Low-fat diets are loaded with carbohydrates which cause a spike in your blood sugar when you eat something like a slice of bread. That spike quickly turns into a crash which leaves you feeling run down and hungry for some more carbs. This addiction to carbohydrates is what led me to reach 410 pounds and I would never subject my body to that rollercoaster ride again! I don't even think I would do this diet in my dreams!

Also called The Raz Diet (just as Atkins put his name on low-carb), The Bread For Life Diet was supposedly birthed when Raz attempted to see why low-carb diets weren't working for some of her patients, who said they didn't like the way they felt when they were livin' la vida low-carb.

What's not to like about losing a whole lotta weight? I get so tired of hearing people complain about how low-carb makes them feel. That is just a huge cop-out. Of course your body is going to have to go through some physiological changes in the short term, especially during the two-week Induction phase, but those are good changes that will detoxify your system of all those years of overdoing it on carbohydrates like bread. Once this minor inconvenience passes, your body will be set for tremendous weight loss results that will make you glad you stuck with it.

Raz disagrees and claims protein is the culprit for causing such mood swings in people who are livin' la vida low-carb.

Her research participants were fed a high-protein or a whole grain bread diet. Those who ate the protein saw their serotonin levels go up, but then quickly fall while those who ate the bread had sustainable seratonin levels that allegedly made them feel fuller longer.

We can debate how various food rank on the satiety index all day, but this business about seratonin levels doesn't make any sense to me. Am I supposed to walking around dreary and drab all day because I choose to limit my carb intake? Am I now chemically wired to be lonely, depressed and upset 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you knew me personally, then you would know just how idiotic that really is. I'm about the most happy-go-lucky guy you'll ever meet and my attitude has not changed for the worse since I started livin' la vida low-carb. In fact, I would say it has gotten a whole lot better (losing 180 pounds will do that to you!).

Yost chimed in that further research has found eating bread "has big health benefits as well, including the ability to lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar" and "even found it helps relieve headaches.”

The same could be said about eating low-carb, which has been scientifically proven to lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides and stabilize your blood sugar. And do I need to remind you about this recent finding about a certain low-carb food product that has been found to help with headaches?

Raz will be embarking on a 10-city U.S. book tour beginning on September 26, 2005.


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