Sunday, January 08, 2006

Atkins Diet Or Obesity: Which Is Worse?

It's still the first week of the new year and people are diving head-first into finally doing something about their weight. With two out of three Americans currently overweight and one-third of all Americans obese, the time is NOW to do it!

And yet, along comes a story like this one from The Fort-Wayne (IN) Journal Gazette that looks like it is performing an informational service to its readers, but in reality is likely going to discourage people from continuing on with whatever plan they have chosen to lose weight.

Can someone please explain to me why a journalist or anyone for that matter would try to demotivate someone who desperately needs to lose weight from doing so? Being obese is THE single-most unhealthy thing for your body to go through and yet there is constant talk about how "dangerous" certain diets are.

In my not-so-humble opinion, if someone needs to lose weight, then I say GO FOR IT and will encourage them to make it happen for themselves no matter what avenue they choose. Then, if the weight is off and they have learned to stop their poor habits, you can begin to tweak the lifestyle choices more in a direction that will help them lead a long and healthy life. I am a BIG believer in incrementalism in regards to this lifestyle change because I know what it felt like to be morbidly obese at 410 pounds just two years ago. It's NO fun at all! And I am still making subtle changes in my life to STAY healthy now that my weight is under control.

But this story written by journalist Emma Downs is yet another attempt by someone in the media to drag down a perfectly good and healthy way to lose weight that I call livin' la vida low-carb. In a headline meant to attract alarmist attention, Downs warns her readers to "Beware diet gimmickry, other pitfalls."

It amazes me that I can read a headline like that and instinctively know that the story is going to mention the Atkins or low-carb diet somewhere along the way. These people are so transparent in their bias against the low-carb lifestyle that they have become annoyingly predictable. Nevertheless, we'll have to correct the error of their ways -- AGAIN!

Quoting a nutrition "expert" in her column, Downs wrote that it is a good idea to stay away from diets that "promise a quick fix ... are impossible to maintain throughout your lifetime ... or can endanger your health."

EXCELLENT advice! When I started livin' la vida low-carb on January 1, 2004, I wanted to find a way to not only lose weight, but keep it off and reap the benefits of a healthy way of eating. Two years later and 190 pounds lighter, I can confidently say that this is the best-tasting, long-term weight loss and health improving lifestyle change I have ever seen anywhere. I have never been as healthy in my entire life as I am RIGHT NOW! Oh, what a feeling that is!

And yet Down isn't convinced low-carb is everything I believe it is. What does she and her so-called "expert" believe is the way to attain permanent weight loss and weight maintenance success?

"Take in fewer calories than you burn ... following the Food Guide Pyramid, getting exercise when you can, limiting your fat intake, eating breakfast and identifying and fixing bad weight-gaining habits."

Somebody gag me please! If I consciously took in fewer calories, then I would stay hungry more often which would lead me to pig out at some point. That's not gonna happen nor does it need to happen.

The government-indoctrinated Food Pyramid is also a big crock of you know what. It is based on the archaic understanding that you need less fat, less calories and smaller portion sizes to lose weight.

I NEVER reduced my fat, calories or portions since I started livin' la vida low-carb and I lost nearly 200 pounds just the same. This is the biggest LIE of them all from the advocates of a low-fat diet. From my research on the subject of obesity, I am convinced that these people need to be more concerned with the gobs and gobs of sugar they are putting in their mouths rather than the fat they so violently abhor because THAT is what is driving the obesity rates up and up to the alarmingly high numbers we are seeing today.

I cannot argue with the recommendations to get regular exercise, eat breakfast, and fix bad habits because those are all things that heavily contributed to my weight loss success story.

The dietitian in the story gives her opinions about the various diet plans, including the Atkins diet, and Downs is all-too-ready to print these extremely cynical viewpoints from this self-appointed "expert."

“There is no substitute for good nutrition,” the dietitian states. “So, don’t ignore the fact that you’re eating a greasy hamburger, just because you’re obsessed with not eating the bun.”

Actually, I WILL ignore the fact that I'm eating a "greasy hamburger" because the fat in that burger is going to help me burn stored fat just as Dr. Robert Atkins talked about in his books if you would bother to educate yourself about how the low-carb program works rather than rely on decades-old nutritional advice that you were erroneously taught.

Regarding the Atkins diet, Down describes it as "the king of the low-carb craze – the diet that forced us to add words like 'trans fats,' 'ketosis' and 'triple bacon cheeseburger (no bun)' to our vocabulary."

The truth is that low-carb has been around a LOT longer than Dr. Atkins. He was the one who brought it to the forefront of the weight loss discussion, though, and has been the regular punching ball of those who oppose his life's work even long after he has since passed on.

What is most sad to me is the fact that most of the naysayers against the Atkins and low-carb diets have NEVER even read the books. They just blindly disregard all of the science behind it that proves why it works so well for people and simply hyperbolize it to the degree that anyone who tried it is putting their very life in danger. What hypocritical nonsense!

I have said it many times and I'll say it again. You are much worse off from a health standpoint to continue to carry around 50, 100, or 200 pounds of excess body weight than you are on ANY diet program. Period! End of story! Is anyone going to seriously argue this point with me that being obese is healthier for you than ANY attempt to lose weight?!

If you weigh more than 100 pounds over what other people your height, age, and sex weight, then you have a HUGE problem that needs IMMEDIATE action. Avoiding going on a weight loss program such as the Atkins diet because it is supposedly "unhealthy" is simply preposterous. If you need to lose weight, then you should do it HOWEVER you need to do it and ASAP! Don't let intellectually dishonest recommendations of dietitians and journalists keep you from improving your health! The time is NOW and you need to get started before it is too late!

That's where I was in January 2004. I had gotten up to 410 pounds, was on breathing, cholesterol, and blood pressure medicine, and it seemed there was no way my life would ever improve from this sad state it was in. But I started livin' la vida low-carb and the weight came down to a healthy 220 pounds, I stopped taking all those prescription medications, and I am an athletic and physically fit man today all because I took action to save my life from ending prematurely.

But what if I had listened to people like this dietitian and Downs? What if their words sunk into my skull and convinced me NOT to try to lose weight on Atkins? Where would I be today? Would I weight over 500 pounds and feeling even more depressed than I did at 410? Would I have suffered a massive heart attack? Would I be told that I only have one year to live like my 600-pound brother Kevin has been told? Or could I possibly be dead myself? The what-if questions make me shudder just to think about them because that could have easily happened with all the negativity out there about low-carb living.

Praise the Lord I did not listen to those negative influences and started the low-carb lifestyle anyway. And my life will never, ever be the same again.

But there are people out there today who are where I was two years ago and are contemplating the low-carb lifestyle for themselves. They could be reading this garbage from Downs and her "expert" and thinking to themselves that they probably should back off on their fat, calories and portions to lose weight.

If that is YOU, then listen to me for just a moment. I have been where you are and have felt those same feelings. In fact, I even lost 170 pounds in 1999 by lowering my fat, calories and portions, but I felt completely miserable and irritable (mostly from the constant hunger!). While the weight loss was a positive, I just didn't feel right and definitely could not see myself eating that way for the rest of my life.

As you can imagine, I gained back every bit of that weight in just FOUR MONTHS because I was rebelling hard against the idea that I had to feel so deprived when I was trying to control my weight. I'm a big guy and I LOVE to eat. Why would I torture myself on a low-fat diet for the rest of my life?!

From that experience, I learned that I would need to find a permanent way to eat that I could do that would help me lose weight in the beginning and then keep it off for good. Thankfully, I found my solution in the low-carb lifestyle. It was the lifestyle change I had been looking for my entire life.

It is my sincerest conviction in my heart that people should start livin' la vida low-carb TODAY if they have a weight problem. Being obese is NOT your lot in life and you CAN lose weight for good on low-carb. I proved it could be done and am confident it can happen for you, too! GO FOR IT!

You can e-mail your comments about this article to journalist Emma Downs at


Blogger Newbirth said...

Nothing to say to that except AMEN.

1/08/2006 4:51 PM  
Blogger wendy said...

I like low-carb, too. Like your low-carb diet blog. I have a similar site
Check it out.

1/08/2006 9:44 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Amen indeed, Jimmy, another classic and wonderful post. And everybody: write to Emma Downs! this "journalist" that just proved to be either too lazy or too stupid to do her research is in desperate need to be educated!

We really have to support Jimmy in this, not only to let them ALL out there know that low-carb is FAR from dead, as all the imbecilic critics so cheerfully have declared, but also -and more importantly- show the public that there IS a way out: healthy, effective, safe and TRUE.

Go Jimmy! The very fact that the critics keep blasting specifically Atkins and low-carb in general is the best proof that you ARE making a difference! Let's show these bloody liars! Let's annoy the you-know-what out of them by constantly showing and educating the public with the TRUTH!

1/08/2006 9:58 PM  

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