Thursday, May 04, 2006

Foolishly Battling The Atkins Diet Without Ever Opening The Book

"Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." -- Author Unknown

Perhaps if some of these anti-Atkins zealots would simply heed the advice of that famous quote above, then they'd stop resorting to making such fools of themselves. Nah, it'll never happen, they can't help themselves!

This Berkeley, CA-based Youth Radio column written by a media and broadcast trainer named Jason Valerio shows that yet another young skull full of mush has decided to stick his foot in his mouth about a subject he obviously doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

In his op-ed entitled "The Diet to End All Diets!!! Right?", Valerio discusses his "experience with the Atkins (all protein) diet."

Okay, let me stop you there. We're gonna set the record straight right off the bat. The Atkins diet is NOT "all protein" as Jason has reported. While protein can and is an important aspect of livin' la vida low-carb, you don't just gouge yourself on protein. You also get to eat lots of HEALTHY fats as well as carbohydrates. Yes, I said you get to eat carbs! Gasp! Anyone who tells you the Atkins diet is just protein and/or fat is LYING to you and doesn't have a clue what they are talking about.

Speaking of that, let's see what else our dear boy Jason believes about what it actually means to be on the Atkins diet.

He said he looked at many diets but exclaimed he saw only "one that caught my attention."

"Yes, I had found it. Meat! This was the key to the miracle, the Atkins Diet. Unlike the regular diets I had heard about, this diet not only allowed me to eat meat, but it also let me eat as much as I wanted! A diet like this made me feel like there was no reason to exercise as much as I had in the past, since all I had to do was eat meat to lose weight. I had finally found a solution to my dieting troubles."

Are people from the Berkeley area really THIS dopey these days? What are they doing to these kids out on the West Coast that makes them so ignorant?! Whooooo!

While I'll agree low-carb is a "miracle" diet because it helped me shed over 180 pounds, I credit more than just eating meat all the time to my weight loss success. And if you think you're gonna get away with NOT exercising while on Atkins, you will be in for a rude awakening, my friend. While low-carb can certainly be the "solution to my dieting troubles," it only works that way if you adhere to the lessons you learn from reading one of the many low-carb books out there. READ THE BOOK!

But our good buddy Jason apparently never even cracked any of the fine books about low-carb based on what he said next.

"The diet was so restrictive. I thought that this diet would be easier to do than a conventional one because it allowed me to eat all the protein and fat that I wanted. But I didn't realize that it would be so hard avoiding carbohydrates. I found myself restricted from eating bread, chips, rice, potatoes, and anything else starchy. It was so bad that the diet didn't even allow vegetables for at least two weeks for the same reason. The only thing I could really eat was meat and cheese. It didn't even matter how greasy or fatty my eating habits were!"

If you feel "restricted" on the low-carb lifestyle, then you probably aren't doing it right. Again, it goes back to reading the book. Why do people think they can go on what they think is the Atkins diet without ever seeing what Dr. Atkins wrote about his weight loss plan? It's right there in black and white for you to read (you do read, don't you?) and educate yourself further about it.

Had you done that, then you would know that you are NEVER "avoiding carbohydrates" on Atkins. There's not ONE part of the Atkins diet that requires you to give up totally on eating carbs. I DARE ANYONE TO FIND THAT PART OF THE DIET IN HIS BOOKS! I'm not worried because YOU WON'T FIND IT because IT'S NOT THERE! :-P

With that said, if you want to eat bread, then eat low-carb bread. If you want chips, then have a crunchy low-carb salty snack. If you want rice, then grate some cauliflower for an excellent alternative. If you want potatoes, then try cooking cauliflower or, better yet, buy Imitaters. These lame excuses about not getting to eat certain foods ring hollow because your body can and will learn to live without those things. I don't miss and even now feel repulsed by sugar, white flour, and starchy foods. Good riddance forever and ever amen!

As for veggies, Jason gets it wrong (AGAIN!) because you can even have up to two cups of greens every single day during the first two weeks of the Induction phase of the Atkins diet and MUCH MUCH more than that afterwards. I personally eat more vegetables than I EVER have in my entire life and a survey of low-carbers recently found that vegetable consumption DOUBLED when you start a low-carb plan. Yep, you heard me right, it went up that much! So much for the theory of avoiding veggies on Atkins, eh? Sorry to break it to you, Jason!

Furthermore, if all you are eating is "meat and cheese" on your version of the Atkins diet, then I've got a rude awakening for you -- YOU'RE NOT DOING THE ATKINS DIET! How about going out to your local bookstore or pharmacy and picking up a brand new copy of Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution for yourself and then READ IT? It only costs about five bucks and is a good investment not only for the sake of improving your eating habits and health, but it will also keep you from looking like a fool the next time you decide to write about the Atkins diet.

Nevertheless, Jason's foolish ways didn't end there, unfortunately.

He erroneously thought to himself that the Atkins diet couldn't possibly be healthy for him despite the fact that he was losing weight. Even worse, he came up with the not-so-bright idea that he would only stay on Atkins for a limited time and then go back to eating "normal" again.

"I lost between 15 and 20 pounds total while on the protein diet. This was great, but I soon found out that success was not permanent. The weight came back within a month or two when I got off of the diet. By that time, I wasn't even paying attention to my dietary habits like before. The restrictive nature of the program had simply turned me off to dieting as the primary way of weight control."

Somebody call the WAAAAHmbulance for poor wittle Jason. He got suckered into believing the LIE that if he just hopped on the media version of the Atkins diet for a few weeks and lost a little weight that he could go right back to his old ways again and not suffer the consequences. Awww, poor boo boo gained back his weight. I've got a word for that -- STUPID! You'd have to be a real dunderhead to not see that one coming. Additionally, if something is working for you to lose weight, then WHY oh WHY would you ever want to get off of it?! The answer is YOU WOULDN'T!

That's why people who commit themselves 100% to this way of eating call it a LIFESTYLE CHANGE rather than an "oh-I'll-do-this-for-a-few-weeks-and-drop-it" diet. Nope, that's not how it works. In order to benefit long-term not only with your weight, but also with your health, you MUST stay on the plan. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

But that also goes for WHATEVER weight loss method you choose. Wanna do low-fat? DO IT FOR LIFE! Wanna do low-calorie? STAY ON IT FOREVER! If you're gonna do low-carb, then make sure you are livin' la vida low-carb. There's no middle ground about this -- are you on your desired program or not? Find something you can stick with and you will be able to permanently lose weight and keep it off forever.

This is a concept completely lost on Jason, however, especially when he starts "thinking" for the first time at the end of his article.

"Most people just trying to lose weight forget about health. This [Atkins] diet showed me that just because I was slimming down, I wasn't necessarily doing anything to help my overall health. In fact, after I had been off the diet for a while, I found out that diets high in saturated fat could lead to a higher risk of heart disease and some cancers."

I hate to break it to you Jason boy, but I went on the real Atkins diet in 2004 not only to get down below 400 pounds, but also because I had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and breathing problems that I was forced to take prescription medications for. Not to mention my quality of life pretty much sucked trying to move around my 62-inch waist in a world not designed for people that size. Livin' la vida low-carb changed all of that for me and so much more.

My health today has never been better. I'm active exercising everyday at the gym, playing volleyball at my church and running, jumping and taking stairs without EVER having to catch my breath. Do you know how exhilirating it feels to someone who has always struggled with his weight his entire life? I'm alive and LOVING life like NEVER before!

You're still young, Jason, and must not have that bad of a weight problem to understand what I'm talking about. But for the tens of millions of overweight and obese people who don't know any other way, the Atkins diet and other low-carb nutritional approaches have given them a glimmer of hope that somehow, someway they have found a way to overcome their weight problem once and for all.

Low-carb is not an plan that hasn't proven itself because it has in people like me and many others. The truth is that low-carb works and works well when followed correctly. I proudly recommend low-carb to anyone and everyone who has tried and failed on every other weight loss method they have ever tried. Low-carb is NOT for everyone, but it could certainly be the answer for many people who feel stuck in their obesity. It's time for those people to be freed from the bondage of their weight and low-carb will help them get there.

I don't know what you decided to suddenly read (why should I believe you read anything since you DEFINITELY did not read the Atkins book) after you stopped your silly fake Atkins experiment, but eating fat is not the problem with obesity, heart disease and cancer. Sugar consumption is the likely culprit in obesity and disease as more and more researchers and health "experts" are finally realizing this fact.

You really should stop listening to all the propaganda you hear from other people and start doing your own empirical research, Jason. If you did, then you would see the volumes of studies proving that low-carb diets are not only effective for weight loss, but are also helping people overcome some of the worst diseases we are facing these days, including metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Coming to the same old typical conclusions that most anti-Atkins columns do, Jason says he believes "everything is better in moderation."

Okay, then Jason, how much rat poison are you going to eat today? After all, EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. How about castor oil? Be sure you eat your "moderate" amount of that, too, Jason! And you could wash it down with some good ole Clorox "moderation," of course. Don't be silly! :-D

Seriously, this idea of "moderation" is always hilarious to me. I don't care what you say to me, there's NOTHING that will convince me that even a "moderate" amount of sugar, white flour, starchy foods, or processed foods will EVER be good for the human body. YOU DON'T NEED ANY OF IT!

What you do need are healthy whole foods, delicious fruits such as strawberries and blueberries (carbohydrates, by the way!), fresh vegetables, and so much more. Livin' la vida low-carb affords you the luxury of eating so many great-tasting and satisfying foods without ever feeling guilty or restricted. And you'll never feel hungry or deprived while losing lots and lots of weight and making your health better than it has ever been. PERIOD!

Perhaps if our friend Jason and others like him would stop foolishing battling the Atkins diet without ever opening the book, then maybe we could have a real conversation about the merits and differences with low-carb living. But you can't argue with anyone who is too lazy to even read up about a subject before writing about it like Jason did. He really ought to ask for his tuition money back from the University of San Francisco because he must not have learned much while he was there! :-O

You can contact young Jason Valerio to let him know what you think about his idiotic and foolish opinions about the Atkins diet by e-mailing him at Will he open his mind to what the Atkins diet is REALLY about? We can only hope.


Blogger Newbirth said...

Berkeley. Enough said. I live right next door to Berkeley - also known as Bezzerk-ley - and yes, they ARE that crazy. Most people in Berkeley wouldn't recongnize the truth if it leapt up and bit them is the ass. I know because I used to be one of them.

Oh, it has three E's, not two. B-E-R-K-E-L-E-Y. :)

5/05/2006 12:12 AM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

Here's my e-mail to him:


Regarding your article on the Atkins diet, it was so full of wrong information. Might I suggest reading the book first? You parroted every common misconception in your article and have clearly never read the book. Anyone starting any diet needs to read the material associated with the diet first. I would never dream of starting the South Beach Diet without reading the South Beach Diet book first.

And, by the way, Atkins does allow vegetables. In fact, you should be getting a minimum of three cups a day during the first two weeks according to the book, and the most recent guidelines call for 10-15g of net carbs a day from vegetables. Depending on what you choose that can be several cups. You should be eating even more than that you you progress through the phases. If you had done a little research you might have known that. What you did was "fake Atkins." Real Atkins is vastly different. I eat about a pound of vegetables a day.

Before you write on another topic you don't know anything about - there's nothing wrong with not knowing stuff on a topic - please do your research. I wouldn't write about Weight Watchers without researching the program, reading the Website, and talking to people who have followed it.

Atkins - or any other diet - is a lifestyle change. Common sense tells us that if you go off any diet plan, you will gain the weight back. Keep that in mind the next time you decide to lose weight.

Victoria Shephard
Oakland, CA
on Atkins since March 2004

5/05/2006 12:36 AM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

What an idiot. Is this what the famous and prestigeous universities produce these days? No wonder civilization is going to hell in a basket...

5/05/2006 1:29 AM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

I think it was Samuel Johnson who is attributed to that quote Jimmy!

If the bozo wants to read the science being Saturated fat he can go here:-

I totally 100% agree with you regarding 'everything in moderation' Jimmy! The only people who say that are skinny, or overweight people that stay overweight.

5/05/2006 3:14 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

About the quote, I've found that the best way to appear intelligent is to listen, when you know little about the subject and to state what you are certain about. This may or may not make you intelligent, but at least it reduces the chances of making a damn fool of yourself.

As for the all things in moderation as well as the 'balanced diet', I'm indebted to Regina Wilshire in her BLOG Weight of the Evidence September 12-14,2005. She compared the nutritional values of a low fat diet crafted by experts at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Disease (NIDDK) with her food journal from the first 2 weeks of her Atkins Diet that showed her diet met the minimum nutritional requirements for all vitamins and mineral while the low fat diet did not. Thanks for the space and keep on chugging. We need people like you to fight for low carb.

5/05/2006 11:13 AM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

We ALL need to fight for low-carb, and keep doing it, otherwise our ever-reliable friends in the media will keep pounding the unsuspecting public with their latest lie, the "low-carb is dead" message! Lies die very hard... no matter how much evidence to the contrary is presented, and no matter how high the quality of that evidence. We need to keep countering all the nonsense out there with the truth and hard, scientific facts.

To quote a famous, historic low-carber: "we shall never surrender!"

5/07/2006 7:28 AM  
Blogger Mike said...


I did not appreciate your article about the All Meat Atkins diet. You did very poor research and have put out material that is flat out wrong. I want you to do your homework and post a retraction. When you trash someone's life work without doing your homework you contribute to an illiterate world.

You say that you are hopeful of a Doctorate degree in Trackademic excellence. I don't know what that is but I presume that a doctorate in any curriculum requires research into subjects before you write about them. Your article was remarkably mistaken about Atkins. I eat many more vegetables than I used to eat before I changed to the Atkins lifestyle, including the two week induction phase. It was Atkins who got me to eat vegetables and get off junk food. There are many more vegetables than potato chips. The human race has existed for millions of years without potatoes, corn, bread, refined sugar, flour and wheat. Every one of these have been introduced into our diet within the last 10,000 years. What has made the human race what it is, is meat vegetables and fruit.

Going on a "diet" is not a good mind set. Living a good lifestyle is. One does not find success by going on and then off of any diet. Since changing my lifestyle my blood pressure is down, my total cholesterol is down, my high density lipoproteins are up,, my weight is down 35 pounds and my triglycerides are way-way down. I have moved off of medications that I previously required. My doctor says to keep doing what I am doing. I feel energized, sleep less and in general feel great. I have been following the real Atkins guidance for three years, not the junk you published.

America is full of people who are moving toward diabetes. My diabetic specialist doctor says "Atkins is a good diet for diabetic patients, it just isn't well understood". The Atkins lifestyle could save the lives of so many of these people who are headed for trouble. Your article if taken to heart by just one of these potential diabetic patients could lead to much pain and suffering.

When you have the privilege to write for the public you have a duty of diligence. You have not contributed to the Mission of Youth Radio which is to: "Promote young people's intellectual, creative and professional growth through training and access to media and to produce the highest quality original media or local and national outlets." You certainly failed on the "highest quality" factor.


5/08/2006 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The quote is from Abraham Lincoln.
And yes I knew this is a very old post.

3/30/2009 6:17 PM  

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