Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The 34 Qualities Of A Genuine Low-Carber

My friend Michael Kirtley, who owns the Low-Carb Central store in Hales Corner, Wisconsin (right outside of Milwaukee), has penned another excellent article that I thought was worth sharing with you. You might recall this previous column he wrote about all the discontinued low-carb products which garnered excellent feedback from so many of you.

Well he's back again with another gem of a column for you!

As a low-carb retailer, Michael gets to literally come face to face with people who are livin' la vida low-carb day in and day out as they pass in and out of his store. He has seen them all -- from the casual browser to the prudent low-carb shopper and EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN! Because of that, he certainly has a unique position of authority on what constitutes the qualities of a genuine low-carber.

While Michael and his lovely wife Marilyn are both following a low-carb plan for different reasons (Michael for his health because he's fortunate enough to be skinny as a pool stick and Marilyn for weight loss), they know from whence they speak about what it takes to be on this lifestyle change known as low-carb. They try to communicate what they have learned to their loyal customer base at their store.

In the latest Low-Carb Central newsletter, Michael wrote a column entitled "Observations On What Works" that beautifully illustrates what a low-carber looks like where he actually came up with 34 descriptions of people who are earnestly following the low-carb lifestyle. These are REALLY GOOD and I think most of you will see yourself in these traits. I know I sure did!

by Michael Kirtley

I would like to preface this by saying I’m not a dietician or a “health expert." I am just someone who has talked with thousands of people who have come through the door here at our store in the past couple of years. Some have been successful -- others have not, but there are some similarities that are present in almost all of the success stories, whether the goal was weight loss, blood sugar control or better health. So I thought I would share with you some of the comments that I hear repeatedly from the people who have had the most success.

1. They rarely, if EVER say, “I did it following a ‘modified plan’ or ‘my own version’ of a plan”.
2. They read labels, and know what the ingredients are.
3. They are informed about their plan, they understand how it works and why.
4. They count all carbs, except fiber.
5. They don’t pay much attention to dietary cholesterol.
6. They rarely use products with sugar alcohols, and when they do, they prefer Erythritol or Xylitol.
7. They exercise.
8. They don’t really count calories. They just eat until they are full (not stuffed).
9. They choose their carbs wisely.
10. They don’t pay much attention to fat, but they do avoid trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils).
11. The majority of what they eat is meats, vegetables, nuts, cheese, eggs, berries, and some fruits. It’s interesting to note that many of these foods don’t require a nutritional label.
12. They drink lots of water.
13. They take supplements daily.
14. During their weight loss they were at 20-40 carbs per day.
15. They prepare most meals at home.
16. They can tell you exactly how many carbs they eat per day.
17. They don’t consider it a “diet”; it’s just how they choose to eat.
18. They picked a specific plan, read the book, and followed it.
19. They don’t “go on and off of it” depending on the circumstances or when it’s convenient.
20. They know their “carb equilibrium”, which is the number of carbs they can eat per day and not gain or lose weight.
21. They don’t skip meals.
22. They eat foods with nutritional value, not “empty calories.”
23. When you ask them if it was difficult, they say “Not after the first few days.”
24. They take it seriously.
25. They eat several times a day.
26. If a product disappears from the marketplace, they just find something else that works.
27. They keep track of what they eat during the day.
28. They have been criticized by an uninformed person.
29. They plan meals ahead of time.
30. They aren’t too concerned about sodium.
31. They notice the “serving size” on packages.
32. Not one has ever said “I did it with carb blockers”, (or any other type of magic pill, potion or formula).
33. They are very creative in preparing foods.
34. If they have “fallen off the wagon” or “splurged”, they don’t make excuses or blame anyone, they just get back on their plan ASAP.

Well, I hope this helps you to understand some of the things that have worked for our customers. As you can see, there is no reason to re-invent the wheel. I’m not saying you need to do all of these things, but I would bet that the more of these you could implement the better your odds of success. How does that old saying go? If you want to do something you’ve never done, you will have to do something you’ve never done...

Didn't Michael do an excellent job with this list? Can you think of any more that he might have missed? Also, which one(s) do you think are the most important for people who are livin' la vida low-carb? Share your comments by clicking on the link below.


Blogger Newbirth said...

Some people have found we have to count calories to lose. I am always hungry and if I don't count calories I will overeat legal foods and gain.

Also, I have tweaked Atkins to fit best into my life. This means higher protein and lower fat.

7/12/2006 1:03 AM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

Awesome list!

It describes me! I just have to boost that exercise!

7/12/2006 1:50 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

That's a great list Jimmy.

Point 1 - They rarely, if EVER say, “I did it following a ‘modified plan’ or ‘my own version’ of a plan”.

Actually that's not me. I do my own version but that's only because I must have read 10 different books on controlled carb nutrition and I have created an amalgm of several author's work to follow.

Point 11 - The majority of what they eat is meats, vegetables, nuts, cheese, eggs, berries, and some fruits. It’s interesting to note that many of these foods don’t require a nutritional label.

This is 100% spot on. I have a contributing author on my blog and he says the same thing. "... if you are in a supermarket and you are reading a label on food, the chances are you shouldn’t be eating that food!"

Otherwise I think all of Michael's points are spot on.


7/12/2006 10:32 AM  

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