Lamya Tawfik says low-carb produces "lack of energy, lack of warmth"
This Islam Online column by freelance journalist Lamya Tawfik details her belief that weight loss resolutions for the new year cannot be kept if you are livin' la vida low-carb.
As someone who not only tried, but succeeded quite nicely at keeping my New Year's resolution to lose weight in 2004 on a low-carb plan, I was greatly disappointed to read Tawfik's comments regarding this incredible way of eating that has so radically changed my life forever.
In a section of her article entitled "Low Carb vs. Low Fat," Tawfik contends diets such as Atkins are an oxymoron in nutrition.
"So you can basically order a burger and eat it without the bread. You can eat vegetable sautéed with real butter and still lose weight. Load up on cheese but no, you can’t have it on bread. And don’t eat fruit, they are carbs."
Clearly Tawfik is trying to ridicule livin' la vida low-carb with this little rant of hers. What's so wrong with eating a burger without the bun? Think about all the carbohydrates you are keeping from your body by skipping it. You don't need it!
In fact, my local talk radio show host Ralph Bristol, who wrote the foreword to my book, was talking about diets this afternoon on his show and pretty much challenged me on the premise that the foods I eat would be better between a couple of slices of bread. I explained to Ralph that it's just not worth the pain and agony to eat those unnecessary carbs which will then turn to sugar in my body and make me fat! People are eating WAY too many carbohydrates for their bodies these days.
But Tawfik sees irony in the fact that you can eat vegetables in fat-laden butter and "still lose weight." Gee, imagine that?! Eating fat CAN help you lose weight. It's been scientifically proven to improve heart health, too, Ms. Tawfik! GASP!
You CAN eat lots and lots of cheese (and I do!) and can even eat it on some great-tasting low-carb breads or wraps. These bread products are MUCH lower in carbohydrates and usually contain a very high fiber content which even Tawfik cannot argue is GOOD for you, too!
And don't tell me "don't eat fruit" as part of my low-carb lifestyle! I get to eat LOTS of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and more. What I DON'T need are unnecessarily high-sugar fruits that will simply derail my weight loss and weight maintenance when I am livin' la vida low-carb. I think I'll skip the 30-carb bananas thank you very much.
While Tawfik quotes an Egyptian nutritionist who confirms the Atkins diet is good for weight loss and healthy living, she then makes the ridiculous notion that it produces a "lack of energy, lack of warmth, and most importantly, it’s impracticability."
"What happens after the weight loss? Weight maintenance is jeopardized because unless you plan to kiss all carbs goodbye for the rest of your life, you’re likely to put it all on back again."
A "lack" of energy and warmth (what the heck is that, anyway?!)? I've never been more energetic in my entire life, Ms. Tawfik. My body overflows with energy and vigor like never before now that I am livin' la vida low-carb and almost 200 pounds lighter than I was just two years ago. What is so impracticable about this way of eating? I find it to be incredibly easy to follow because the foods are so scrumptuous and appetizing to savor and enjoy.
And I don't "kiss all carbs goodbye" as you suggest, Ms. Tawfik. In fact, I eat LOTS of carbohydrates! The only difference between the way I eat now and how I ate when I was 410 pounds is the fact that I now have a purpose when I put something into my mouth. Do I want to enjoy the good low-carb foods that will keep my weight under control or will I mindlessly shove whatever I want into my mouth and live with the consequences? I think I'll choose the former over the latter, Ms. Tawfik!
Proclaiming that "carbs are an easy source of energy," Tawfik quotes someone who makes the ridiculous statement that "low-carb diets are particularly dangerous for children, adolescents, old people or women who are pregnant or lactating."
But low-carb/high-protein diets provide people losing weight on them plenty of energy and a metabolic advantage over other kinds of weight loss programs, especially the failed low-fat/low-calorie/portion control diets that are constantly shoved down our throats by the government and so-called health "experts."
Livin' la vida low-carb is a great plan of action for overweight or obese children, teenagers and even senior citizens.
I'll give credit to Tawfik for pointing out the shortfalls of a low-fat diet, too, including that they are deficient in vitamins and make people feel tired and unable to function. She added that fat is good for normal brain activity and low-fat diets can be harmful to the body.
But her recommendation for weight loss and maintenance includes cutting calories, following the food pyramid, exercising daily, implementing a lifestyle change, and losing no more than 1-2 pounds per week.
Some of that advice is good, although I encourage counting carbs instead of calories because it has worked very well for me. And during my weight loss in 2004, I lost an average of about 3-4 pounds per week, most of it in the very beginning. I have now kept that weight off for a year and counting. I fully intend to keep my weight under control for the rest of my life by continuing the low-carb lifestyle change that I have implemented.
Tawfik ends her story on weight loss with some pretty wise advice.
"The truth of the matter is, weight loss, like any goal, requires discipline, effort, change of lifestyle, and creating time. Put simply, you can’t eat all you want and lose weight. You also can’t lose the weight without effort and you can’t hope to maintain the weight you lost, if you don’t change your lifestyle."
Hey, she's finally got it right. But I have found that livin' la vida low-carb is arguably the easiest and best way that I have found to lose weight and keep it off forever. It's such a shame that this remarkable lifestyle change is still so misunderstood even after all these years it has been out there.
You can respond to Lamya Tawfik about her comments against livin' la vida low-carb by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.