Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Woman Wins Weight Loss Contest With Atkins

This Newport (OR) News-Times story about a 22-year old mother of three winning $1,000 as the biggest female loser in a local weight loss contest is noteworthy because she did something rather odd in this day and age of dieting -- she used the Atkins diet!

Part-time restaurant worker Kari Hankins entered the local 13-week "Lose To Win" contest because she wanted to find a "great way to lose weight after the baby" she conceived earlier this year. She said she was active as a teenager in high school, but having three kids since 2002 had taken its toll on her body causing her weight to rise to near 170 pounds.

The motivation of the prize money as well as her mother also entering the contest helped Hankins shed nearly 38 pounds, or 22 percent of her starting body weight. She said her mom being involved really helped get her competitive juices flowing.

"If it weren't for my mom, I wouldn't have tried as hard as I did," Hankins remarked. "I like to win, and I wanted to beat her. I told her from the beginning I was going to beat her."

Ah, nothing like a loving mother-daughter rivalry in a weight loss contest to bring about something so fantastic for both of them. It sorta reminds me of my weight loss experience in 2004 when I entered a local radio contest called "Ralph's Incredible Shrinking Ton" against four other obese men and women to see who could lose the most weight as a percentage over about 9 months. To find out what happened in the weight loss contest, be sure to read this FREE SAMPLE of the Introduction to my book about my weight loss experience called "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" where I give you the surprising way I won that contest. You'll NEVER believe how it turned out!

For Hankins as well as her mom, they went on what the story described as "a strict Atkins diet" as well as exercise at their local Curves.

"I really watched my carbs," she explained. "I have pretty good will power."

The story doesn't say if she actually read Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution or not. And it's sad to say that despite tens of millions of copies of the book being sold worlwide, you can't just assume people have read it and are following it by the book. Regardless, it's nice to see someone who is STILL this enthusiastic about livin' la vida low-carb and reaping the benefits of this healthy lifestyle choice for everyone to see. Warm fuzzies, warm fuzzies!

She's even raising her youngsters up right educating them about how too many carbohydrates are not good for your body. Hankins recalled how her son recently told his teacher when she came to his school for lunch that "my mom can't eat those" referring to the high-carb lunch foods because "they have carbs." LOL! That's just too cute!

While you would think a mother would try to encourage her daughter to lose weight, Hankin's mom (as her nemesis in the weight loss contest) actually tempted her daughter with low-carb no-nos like regular bread and pasta. Jeepers creepers! But Hankins got back at her mom by buying her some of her favorite sugary butter pecan ice cream which "she ate the whole thing." Can you feel the love between these two?! Hee hee!

What Hankins learned during her very brief stint on Atkins this year is that is was effective for weight loss for the majority of the time she was on it. Like my own experience, Hankins was stoked by how well the weight was melting off of her and that motivated her to continue on with her low-carb plan. She also did something that I highly recommend for anyone who is livin' la vida low-carb and that is to keep a journal of what you did along with the results.

When I was losing weight, I journaled my carb intake, my water intake, my exercise and the amount of weight I lost for every single day I was on the diet. This was a great way not only to keep myself accountable, but also to visually see how much I had invested into improving my health and lowering my weight to see it come to fruition right before my eyes. When you start seeing pages and pages of these sheets after being on the low-carb lifestyle for several months, it gives you a sense of pride to know how much you have accomplished in addition to all the loose clothes, increased energy, and better overall feeling about yourself.

Today, Hankins is "smaller than before" she had her kids and said she is "feeling great" as well. WOO HOO! CONGRATULATIONS to you, Kari! I know your husband and children are so very proud of you as they should be. No doubt they supported you throughout this experience and will continue to be there for you to keep the weight off for good.


She said in the story that they want a fourth baby, so she may be back at it again after having that child in another year or so to do it all over again since everyone knows you shouldn't be on low-carb while pregnant (I'm saying this tongue-in-cheek, of course, because of the common scare tactics used by those who oppose livin' la vida low-carb. However, at least don't eat a ketogenic diet if you are breastfeeding.).

Take a wild guess where Hankins and her mom went to eat after the weight loss contest was over? OLIVE GARDEN FOR PASTA AND BREAD!!! LOL! I did the same thing after I won my contest going out to eat for a high-carb meal that I don't even remember what it was now. That just goes to show you how much I miss eating all those carbs! NOT!

Isn't it great to know there are people like Kari Hankins out there showing us that livin' la vida low-carb isn't dead as the media insists? I am quite confident there are many more people just like her out there with a low-carb success story to tell and I am grateful to the Newport News-Times for printing Hankins' story.

Send a quick note of appreciation to the Editor Gail Kimberling for this positive story about low-carb at

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Blogger Paul Bowers said...

since a low-carb diet is undoubtedly what many traditional peoples consume (e.g. masai, inuit), i find it highly unlikely that it could even be remotely dangerous.

6/21/2006 9:30 PM  
Blogger Paul Bowers said...

remotely dangerous for pregnant women, is what i meant to write.

6/21/2006 9:31 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

You hit the nail on the head, so to speak, Paul. It's indeed not dangerous - only a ketogenic diet could possibly be harmful, although there is no evidence for this.

The Masai and for example the American Indians had special versions of their natural low-carb diet for pregnant women: they supplemented more berries, more fat and organ meats including the blood, and whole milk. As long as the child was not waned off breastfeeding the mother also consumed copious amounts of animal fats, cheese and high-fat whole milk products as well as bone- and vegetable broths, including the bone marrow. As we all know breast milk contains very high levels of both saturated fats and LCPs. This can be maintained by consuming high levels of animal fats plus eggs, cod liver oil and oily fish throughout the lactation period. Saturated fats in mother's milk stimulate the immune system and work synergistically with LCPs to maintain them in the tissues where they belong. Levels of fat in a mother's milk will decrease with each baby unless she takes special care to consume high levels of nutrient-dense fats between pregnancies and during each lactation. So, as history shows once again, we "modern" people can learn a lot from these "primitive" people! At least they understood more about proper and effective nutrition than most of our modern "experts".

6/22/2006 3:17 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Contrast that to studies done on breastfeeding mothers who ate low-fat, strict vegan - there were a number of babies who failed to thrive, and indeed had underdeveloped brain function as a result! I seem to remember reading that as long as the mother's diet wasn't overly strict (ie vegan or Induction-level Atkins, etc.), the baby would get what s/he needed from mother's milk - even if at the expense of the mother's needs. Also, I read somewhere that breastmilk actually contains ketones, the presence of which was used as a scare tactic against low-carbing while nursing. As in, "you don't want your ketones invading the baby's milk". Well heck, they're there naturally anyway!

I personally am low-carbing and nursing an 11-month-old baby boy. I started when he was 2 months old, skipped Induction, and kept nuts, berries, etc. I'm also supplementing with a multivitamin, vitamin C, and Omega3. Both my son and I are doing well, and feeling great!

7/18/2006 4:44 PM  

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