Monday, March 06, 2006

Atkins Diet Like Weight Loss Pills, Causes 'Permanent Damage,' Says Chinese Reporter

Why do the low-carb haters think bacon is all we ever eat?

This Shanghai Daily story from an misinformed reporter (isn't that an oxymoron sometimes?!) named Ayesha de Kretser takes virtually every stereotype about what the media earnestly thinks about livin' la vida low-carb and concludes that the Atkins diet should be scrutinized just as closely as outrageous weight loss diet pills and potions sold on television.

Hoo boy, this one's gonna be a doozy I can tell already! But ready or not, here we go.

The column reads like an op-ed piece, although it is disguised as a "news" story. Nevertheless, there are several gross misrepresentations about the low-carb lifestyle that I must address.

Lamenting the bombardment of ads for pills and miracle weight loss cures that pervade television airwaves these days, de Kretser cites "industry professionals" who describe the Atkins Diet as the "worst" one of them all.

What industry would that be and who says their "professional" opinion is correct? And which version of the Atkins Diet are you referring to? Is it the made up Atkins diet where you get to eat all the burgers, steak, bacon and eggs you want all day or is it the genuine Atkins diet consisting of healthy fruits, vegetables, cheese, whole grains, and even meat?

Based on the tone of the column and what was written next, it's definitely the former.

"When you decide you've eaten enough fried bacon and mayonnaise and you would like to stop the diet, the weight will, according to scientific studies, pile straight back on," the reporter writes.

Do people really think they're making an intelligent point when they so proudly proclaim that low-carb weight loss stops working when you stop low-carbing? D-d-d-d-duuuuuh!!!! What do they think we're all a bunch of crazed nincompoops to fall for this empty argument against livin' la vida low-carb?

Of course you're gonna put the weight "straight back on" if you "stop the diet." The same goes for ANY diet plan for that matter. Try losing weight on a low-fat diet and then quit eating that way. What will happen? Weight gain like you ain't never seen before. Why? Because you didn't make it your permanent lifestyle change.

For those of us who have been successful at losing weight the low-carb way, the reason we are able to keep the weight off is because WE KEEP EATING THIS WAY! Why is that so hard for people to understand? In fact, maintaining your low-carb weight loss is pretty simple once you get used to all the wonderful foods you can eat and enjoy (and it's a lot more than bacon and mayo, by the way!).

Incredibly, de Kretser didn't stop there. She went on to say that Atkins dieters "will likely have sustained some permanent damage" because they allegedly increase cholesterol levels "in a significant way," make you lose calcium and cause bone, kidney, liver and heart problems.

Yadda yadda yadda. You would think they'd come up with something new by now, but alas they have not. I have a question for these people who think the Atkins diet causes all of these health problems. WHEN?! WHEN AM I SUPPOSED TO SUFFER FROM THESE AILMENTS?! Hmmmm? I've been eating this way for over 2 years now and I know MANY people who are been livin' la vida low-carb for over a decade. When is my body supposed to fall apart? Answer me that question.

That's right, YOU CAN'T! It's just another BIG FAT LIE!

The fact is your body will be MORE healthy than it has ever been and certainly healthier than when you were obese, that's for sure. These worthless warnings about how the Atkins diet is bad for your health is nothing more than deperate scare tactics by those who oppose meat-eating (like these crazy vegans and their buddies at PETA -- People Eating Tasty Animals!).

My triglyceride/HDL cholesterol ratio is just about as outstanding as you will ever see and my overall health is one of a strong, athletic, and energetic man. I've never felt as good as I do RIGHT NOW in my entire life because I've walked around carrying over 100 extra pounds for the vast majority of my life. But not anymore thanks to the Atkins diet. Don't let these people fool you into thinking this way of eating is anything but the miraculous weight loss wonder we all know that it is.

Interestingly, the reporter admits in her column that for people who stick with the Atkins diet, it will "deliver the desired results."

You bet your sweet bippy it does. 180 pounds are GONE FOREVER off my body because of it!

Nevertheless, she said people are taking "risks with their health for the sake of ease" when they choose to do a low-carb plan because they eating an "unhealthy" diet.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but what risks to my health am I supposed to see? What's so "unhealthy" about finding the lifelong cure to my obesity problem with the low-carb life? There is NO downside to me.

Check out this so-called Induction menu for the Atkins diet listed by de Kretser in her column:

Bacon slices, four slices
Coffee, decaffeinated, eight ounces
Scrambled eggs, two

Bacon cheeseburger, no bun
Bacon, two slices
American cheese, one ounce
Ground beef patty, six ounces
Small tossed salad, no dressing
Seltzer water

Shrimp cocktail, three ounces
Mustard, one teaspoon
Mayonnaise, one tablespoon
Clear consomme, one cup
T-bone steak, six ounces
Tossed salad
Russian dressing
Sugar-free Jell-O, one cup
Whipped cream, one tablespoon

Actually, you COULD eat that way if you wanted to, but according to page 380 of Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, here is a REAL sample menu for the Induction phase of the Atkins diet:

Southwestern omelette with tomato, avocado and ham

Caesar Salad with grilled chicken

Steak au Poivre
Roasted asparagus
Mixed green salad with lemon vinaigrette
Splenda-sweetened gelatin dessert

Celery stuffed with cream cheese

Do you see the difference? Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Atkins ALWAYS promoted eating more vegetables in his books and a recent study showed vegetable consumption actually DOUBLES when you begin a low-carb program. Also, keep in mind this is just the FIRST TWO WEEKS of the Atkins diet and you get to add back LOTS of great-tasting, nutritious foods during the ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance, and lifetime maintenance phases of Atkins. It just keeps getting better and better!

Yet that doesn't fit the template of this column which attempts to make the point that the saturated fat consumed by people on a low-carb plan will lead to their demise. Do you see why I keep trying to educate people here at my blog?

"Six slices of bacon, which is high in saturated fat, should not be eaten in one day. Eat that much bacon in conjunction with a burger and whopping big T-bone steak and you're just asking for trouble."

What planet do these people live on? Do they even KNOW a real live low-carb success story and see what we actually eat? Obviously not. While I'm sure I COULD eat bacon, burgers and steak all in the same day, that would be rather boring if you ask me. Meat to me is like something sweet to most people. It's nice to have to enjoy as a treat as part of my regular eating during the day, but I don't gorge myself on it.

I enjoy eating eggs with melted American cheese on top for breakfast, turkey and cheese low-carb wraps with mustard or mayonaisse for lunch and a refreshing salmon salad on low-carb whole grain bread for supper. Of course, sprinkle in periodic snacks of nuts, low-carb bars, and sugar-free chocolate candy to round off my day's food intake.

Does this look like it's unhealthy to you? I would dare say I eat a whole lot healthier than the two-thirds of the population that is either overweight or obese right about now!

Then we find out why de Kretser thinks the way she does about the Atkins diet: she's been reading literature from The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

Well no wonder her view is so jaded! Does she not realize this is the SAME group supporting opportunist Jody Gorran's frivolous lawsuit against Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. right now? Of course THEY are going to oppose the low-carb lifestyle because they are nothing more than a front group for PETA. They like to talk about how carbohydrates don't make you fat and that people should really become vegetarians. No thank you!

While it is possible for people to lose weight eating carbohydrates, it's sure a whole lot easier on the body to limit your carbohydrate intake to keep your blood sugar stable and get your hunger under control. When you eat carbs, your body keeps craving carbs. The more you eat, the more you want. That doesn't sound like a recipe for successful weight loss to me.

However, when you eat low-carb, high-protein foods, your body is satisfied for longer periods of time and you actually eat less calories as a result while avoiding the hunger bug. Now that sounds like a plan for success! It's exactly what happened for me.

At the end of her column, de Kretser urged her readers to "eat a balanced diet, low in saturated fats" and begin an "active lifestyle and plenty of exercise" to lose weight and be happy.

If it was THAT easy, then everybody would be doing it and be successful at it. But the failed low-fat approach is a dying nutritional approach while intelligent and observant people are turning to the low-carb lifestyle to help them overcome their weight problems. It's an excellent choice for them to make and I only wish more people would realize how much livin' la vida low-carb could help them.

With people like de Kretser equating weight loss pills and potions with the Atkins diet, though, it's little wonder that ANYONE is following a low-carb program these days. If you are, then you should be applauded for looking beyond the rhetoric of these anti-meat fanatics with their pointless and hate-filled scaremongering. It may be difficult to explain to your friends and family why you do low-carb, but you can just smile back at them as the weight pours off and stays off for good.

Be sure to e-mail your comments about these distorted opinions by Ayesha de Kretser about what livin' la vida low-carb is to The Shanghai Daily at


Blogger Newbirth said...



Dear Shanghai Daily,

I was saddened to read "No Carb Garb." Where did this reporter get his facts from? The story says the PCRM. Let me ask a very basic question - if someone wants to know about Atkins, why go to a vegan group for that information? Wouldn't it be better to get that information straight from the source - Dr. Atkins' own book? The PCRM is a group that believes no one should eat meat, eggs, or drink milk - EVER. So of course they won't have anything good to say about any diet that allows those things.

Low-carb is low carb, NOT no-carb. We just eat the right carbs that keep us healthy - fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I've been eating this way for 2 years now, eat more vegetables than I even have in my life, and my cholesterol numbers have improved.

And where did that "sample menu" come from? Why not use the one included in Dr. Atkins' book rather than making one up?

In short, this story was extremely short on truth and facts and long on propaganda. It read more like an op-ed piece than real news.

Victoria Shephard
Oakland, California, USA

3/07/2006 12:45 AM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Excellent letter!

Incidently, de Kretser sounds quite like a Dutch name. A better (Dutch) name would "De Kletser". To "klets" means talking total rubbish in Dutch :)

3/07/2006 1:26 AM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

I don't get these idiots!
Why do they love low fat so much ?
Do they think it's low in calories ?
Well if they love low cal, what's wrong with low carb low cal ?

Fat has never increased my cravings, only satisfied them. Carbs on the other hand!

3/07/2006 4:08 AM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

BTW, I never received a reply from them.

3/09/2006 7:38 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

I came across another example of this stupididy today. You have got to read what my South Beach day-at-a-time calendar is saying about Atkins. It's insane and another example of "fake Atkins."

3/10/2006 5:23 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

I read your very nice article, in which you point out the fake-Atkins propaganda, and indeed propaganda it is. Very cheap too. What a load of crock. Like you observed, very disappointing.

BTW: I wrote the Shanghai newspaper too and never got a reply. But don't worry, that's totally normal. I *never* ever receive any reply, not even a totally stupid or hatefilled one.
I guess they are not capable of a sensible reply - not so remarkable if you look at the intellectual and moral bankruptcy that all of these "professional reporters" so proudly display.

3/11/2006 9:18 PM  

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