Friday, March 09, 2007

Atkins Diet Study Spikes Low-Carb Blog Traffic

What an amazing week this has been for those of us who are enthusiastic supporters of livin' la vida low-carb! Following the release of the now-infamous JAMA study providing good news about people who follow the Atkins/low-carb diet, the traffic at my blog has quite literally soared.

While I have the pleasure of seeing about 3,000-4,000 visitors come to the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog every single day (THANK YOU!), the past two days alone has been off the charts--nearly 15,000!!! In fact, on Thursday I set a new all-time single-day record for me with 7,947 pageviews--IN ONE DAY! WOWee hot diggity dog!

The positive Atkins story along with my appearance on local television here in South Carolina has led to the more than doubling of my "normal" traffic. You won't hear me complaining about it because that's even more people who can be exposed to the positive message that I'm attempting to put out there.

With the increase in traffic has also come a simultaneous spike in e-mails from people looking for assistance with their weight loss questions. Again, I am not complaining about that at all and am LOVING it (except that I haven't slowed down a bit since Tuesday!). :)

Since you'll never hear these kind of stories in the mainstream media sources, how about I share with you what real people are writing to me regarding their experiences on the low-carb lifestyle straight from my e-mail box this week?

Read and enjoy!

Hi Jimmy, Thanks for your blog. I have been doing Induction for a week (although I did not do the exact right kind in that I ate a couple of low-carb tortillas which I won't do anymore) and I already have lost 5 pounds. My energy is also way up.

Shortly before I started, I was extremely tired all the time. I would get so sleepy in the afternoons that I would have to take a nap. Of course I wasn't losing any weight because I was asleep about 15 hours total a day! I started feeling better just the second day of my low-carb diet and now I don't nap anymore. I don't feel tired enough to!

I've been posting on a low-carb forum, but mostly reading a lot. It seems like every other post I read is about a "stall." Everyone is having stalls, whether they last a few weeks or six months! I have been on diets for the past nine years, but I have never stalled significantly.

Is this related to the low carb way of eating? Or can it happen on any diet? I'm very concerned because this wouldn't be very confidence-building. I also was wondering about the "one golden shot" theory regarding low-carb. Sounds like trying even one time after to lose more weight is extremely harder than the first time.

Let me know and thanks again.

Those improvements in your health in such a short period of time because of low-carb are remarkable! CONGRATULATIONS!!! As you continue down this new lifestyle change, remember it is always a work in progress. Don't let stalls concern you because they are a fact of life on ANY diet and shouldn't make you give up. And by all means don't for a moment think the "one golden shot" theory is valid because it's not.

Here's another e-mail from a regular reader who saw a shocking television program recently on the subject of obesity:

Hi Jimmy,

No sure if you saw the TLC program, "I eat 33,000 calories a day" that aired last night, March 7, 2007. It's not scheduled to air again, but it is worth seeing if it shows up again. There were 4 morbidly obese people talking about their weight and health struggles. It was a British production. One gentleman weighs over 700 pounds!

It was so very sad to watch, but makes me so glad to be livin' la vida low-carb and losing the weight as a benefit to this healthy way of eating.

By the way, I love your blog. I read your posts everyday and sometimes re-read them because they help get me through the tougher days.

WOW, I hadn't heard about that show on The Learning Channel, but it sounds interesting to say the least. I couldn't help but think about former 1200-pound man Manuel Uribe--except he is doing something about his weight now! It certainly makes you appreciate the miracle of the low-carb lifestyle, doesn't it? THANKS for your very kind compliments about my blog.

There were several e-mails from people wanting my help with their weight loss:

Hi Jimmy,

I am looking for someone to talk with and share my struggles of losing weight. I have tried it all and I can't seem to lose the weight. I need encouragement and suggestions, so that I can begin my journey of getting this weight off and keep it off. Please send me any suggestions that you have that will help me with this problem.

I was inspired by someone that saw your interview on Newschannel 7. I look forward to hearing back from you, so that I can start my journey of losing this weight and keeping it off. I truly need and want your help with this matter. I know my 1st step is to put as much energy in losing the weight that I put in 9-5 job, in which I focus on more sometimes than myself. Help!!!!!

And here's another from a truck driver who wants to shed the pounds:


I am inspired by your story. I'm a desperate man facing having to go on higher doses of blood pressure medicine, diabetes medicine and cholesterol medicine if my numbers aren't down by May on my next doctor's appointment. I have tried the latest diet attempt of trying Pat Robertson's weight loss shakes but I get tired of making a shake consisting of expensive protein powders, fruit, and vinegar, etc. I need help.

I weigh about 380-385 pounds. I have some kind of body pain every day and I know it's my weight. I know how it feels to be trapped inside this oversized body and it doesn't feel good. I actually think I have gained weight since the doctor told me to lose it. She gave me one diet for blood pressure which is the DASH DIET, one for diabetes and one for cholesterol. It hurt me when my little girl asked me if I would feel good if I could run? It would feel good to walk without a struggle and what a struggle it is.

I'll be good for a little while and cheat again and I am back to square one. Fear sets in and says I can't do it. I'm afraid that I can't do it. Jesus help me get delivered! Can you give me some tools about some meal plans that are simple for someone who is a truck driver? My job is also on the line because I almost didn't pass my physical due to high blood pressure. Well, enough said. Please help me!

If I don't get help, I don't know what might become of my health and life.

These people are desperate and pouring out their heart to me for help. I've personally responded to each of these e-mails, but I wanted you to see what people are sharing. I received an e-mail from a woman right here in my hometown of Spartanburg, SC, so I called her earlier this week to surprise her with a personal conversation about what she wrote to me about. Here's what she wrote to me:

Hi Jimmy,

I work at the county health department in (of all places) the Nutrition Department. Four years ago I was able to lose 79 pounds on Atkins. In the past 3 years I have had four surgeries for various problems and just forgot about dieting. Of that 79 pounds, I have re-gained 40 back and I just can't seem to get motivated.

I am 54 and I want so bad to lose weight. I have two brothers and we all have been overweight all of our lives. Well, they both have had gastric bypass surgery and it's amazing to see them now. Me, I am a state employee and our insurance will not cover it. So I have no other choice but to lose it by dieting.

I was wondering if you have classes or if you speak anywhere about your weight loss. Do you have samples of menu's of the food that you consumed? When I really get into Atkins and get past that first week I truly enjoy the diet when the cravings for sweets go away. Do you have favorite menus and recipes? Do you buy any of the low-carb dinners, shakes or bars?

If you could help me I would really appreciate it. I am currently raising my 8 year old granddaughter, she needs me and I need to be here for her in the future. HELP!

She was such a sweet lady to talk to and I enjoyed our conversation. Before I hung up, I made sure she knew I was here for her to help her in any way that I can. I'd love to go around doing speaking engagements, but there is still such hostility to low-carb. Maybe that'll change at some point.

I have read your articles and do not disagree with you or the low-carb lifestyle whatsoever. I have done a very low-carb diet and lost four pant sizes in 2 months (I don't weigh myself so my clothes tell me) but that was the best I have ever done on a diet. Yet, I can't seem to get back on and stay back on it and I am acutally bigger than when I started. I want to so badly but i am sooooo weak. I even have very close friends who are doing low-carb right now and I just have no willpower to do it. I guess I need help, thanks for taking the time to read this.

This kind of defeatist attitude is poison for ANY weight loss plan, so try to be optimistic and expectant that livin' la vida low-carb will work and then WATCH OUT! You might find it is precisely what you need to do to lose weight and get healthy for life. Here's another experience from a low-carber trying to live this life:

I am not following any protocol or rules with my eating low-carb. I try to keep track of my eating by writing down my meals. But that is more of a way for me to keep myself in check. I'm writing down the ounces, fat grams, carb grams and calories. Just writing it down to kind of force myself to see it and take responsibility for putting it in my mouth.

So your probably thinking "what is she doing to eat low-carb?" Well, I don't eat any bread, rice, potatoes or pasta. I try to avoid tomato-based products because (I believe) they are high in carbs. Although I do occasionally have some ketchup. I try to avoid sugar.

I'm using artificial sugars in my green tea. If I really get the craving for something sweet I eat sugar-free popsicles, or Breyers CarbSmart ice cream bars, or I try to find sugar-free chocolate bars. I sometimes snack on unflavored pork rinds when the rest of the family are eating potato chips.

So what else DO I eat?

Well, I usually get really nasty cramps from eggs. But I know they are a good source of protein and (I think) some fat. So sometimes in the morning I will take two or three eggs and mix them up with milk and eat those. Maybe with some cheese melted on top, or a tablespoon or two of salsa on top, or a wee bit of ketchup.

Other mornings I will see what meat is left over from dinner and I may heat that up and eat it with some cheese. It is hard because I love bread and butter and almost every morning my daughter eats a slice of toast with butter melting on top. Mmmmmm!

Usually a salad with some ham, or chicken sliced on top of it. Maybe some cheese sprinkled on top, if I have some. When I have Ranch dressing I prefer that, or some Italian. Maybe a few pickle slices on top. Or I may heat up a hamburger pattie or chicken breast and melt some Swiss cheese on it.

Usually I have the same type of food for dinner that I eat at lunch time.

Well, sometimes I get hungry in the afternoon and may heat up another hamburger pattie or eat some slices of ham. Or I'll eat the pork rinds if that sounds good. Now, sometimes I add some veggies to dinner. I'm thinking that is okay because they are healthy carbs...right? And the same thing for fresh fruits. Fresh fruit is kind of expensive for our budget, but occasionally I add them to my diet. Oh and of course, I'm usually drinking water all day long too.

I'm sure that I've got this all messed up. But I'm trying to eat low-carb with what our household budget will allow me. I mean, I've also got to get the family what they usually eat, so I'm trying to make my meal choices and the cost as unobtrusive to our budget and their lives as possible. I don't even know if that statement makes sense, but hopefully you get what I'm trying to say.

Gawsh...I'm craving a cappuccino so bad right now. I could go pour some water into my coffee mug, but I don't think that is gonna quash my craving or fool my mouth. LOL! Well, I'm gonna try to stop bothering you. I can see that you have a lot going on with the blog and all the research you must be doing to keep people informed and up to date with everything.

Thanks for being there. It is so very appreciated.

Whew! I need a break after that e-mail...(pant, pant, panting!)...ahhhhh, okay! I feel better now. I told this precious person she really needs to get a book about low-carb and follow this way of eating the right way rather than trying to guess about what to do. Dr. Atkins made it VERY clear which fruits and veggies are good for you when you are following his plan. GET THE BOOK!

Here's an e-mail from a fellow blogger working to educate the public about low-carb:

Thanks and keep up the GREAT work! You are saving lives!

I am doing my best to keep up with you. We use our coaching skills to people who are either Type II diabetics and/or obese. We have been gratified with the results and the excitement of seeing people who were basically at death's door, come back to enjoy an energetic and full life.

It's hard to believe that, in the relative scheme of things, this low-carb miracle information is only shared by a very few of us. I am reading a fantastic book now by Dr. Kaisseir titled, "On The Take" and how the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies are in collusion to keep patients on drugs.

THANKS for sharing your work with me! I haven't heard about that book, but it certainly looks like something I'd absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE! Anything that exposes what is happening behind-the-scenes of the pharmaceutical industry is AWESOME. Now if we can just make a difference somehow, some way.

Here's a fan of my blog who is on the South Beach low-carb program:

Hi Jimmy,

I applaud your efforts and really appreciate your blog! I, too, have been on a low-carb: South Beach, for a year now and I have lost 50 pounds. I still have about 30 more to go, but I will do it! This time, I'm keeping it off for good! It will be a life-long change in diet and exercise. Thanks for your encouragement.

You are VERY welcome! Keep up the great work!

Here's a regular reader who was excited about sharing her success with me:

Hi, Jimmy!

I wanted to let you know that today, 1318 days after I started Atkins on July 27, 2003, I have reached my GOAL!!!

Thanks for your blog--it has given me things to think about, and God has used your upbeat attitude to keep me plugging along.

Now I have to figure out how to maintain on this way of life. They say that's harder than losing, so I'm very grateful that you and Livin' La Vida Low-Carb will still be there with me through thick and thin (pun intended)!

That's totally awesome and I'm so proud of you. Keep on keepin' on with your low-carb lifestyle and never go back to your old ways again. Finally, here's a new reader whose doctor put her on a low-carb diet. Can you believe that?! WHOA!

Dear Jimmy:

I just read your blog and found it extremely inspirational. I was "diagnosed" with non-alcoholic fatty liver syndrome in august, 2006. My doctor recommended the Atkins diet rather than medication in order for the liver to rejuvenate itself.

My blood work has tremendously improved and I feel better than I have in years. I gained about 100 pounds during my pregnancy with my daughter. She will be 11 in April, and I am sorry to say I still have a way to go to lose it. I found with Atkins I was losing at a safe pace (about 50 pounds since August), but I have really held steady for a few months. I have every book, cookbook, keep a journal and am very careful about carb counts. I am just stuck and could use some encouragement.

And as for a regular exercise routine...I have NO routine! I keep making excuses that I cannot fit that in (Have I answered my own question yet??). My husband is extremely supportive and has started following the Atkins plan since Christmas. He is feeling better and has always been very active. Any help you could give would really make a difference to me.

I congratulate you on your success, and thank you profusely for providing your e-mail address and welcoming my "frustration." I do believe this has been a positive experience. I have had much more energy and quite honestly, I have not had as many "hormonal" issues (at 44 they were coming fast!!!) which has really improved my mood as well. I know this is the answer for me, but the weight loss has not been there (I have not gained, either!). TMI??? Hope not! Thanks again, are an inspiration!

It's funny how some people who write to me know the answer to their own questions even before they get finished writing their e-mail. LOL! It just goes to show you that we don't always have an information problem but more a support and practical application issue to resolve. Both are important and I'll keep doing what I'm doing to encourage, educate, and inspire those who need a taste of hope in their weight loss.

Is that you? Do you have a question or comment you'd like to share with me? E-mail me anytime at Again, THANK YOU to everyone who has visited over the past couple of days for the very first time as well as my faithful and devoted regular readers. You are all very special to me and make what I do worth every minute of it. SEE YA!

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Anonymous MadFatChic said...

Nice that so many people are loving the low carb lifestyle!

9/07/2009 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello everyone - I actually lost my weight many years ago, after many failures. I lost and re-gained 30 - 100 pounds from age 14 to 32, the time I lost it and kept it off. I've maintained an 80 pound weight loss for 23 years. Looking back, I realize I lost the weight by following a low-carb diet. But, in the years that followed, while I maintained the weight, I ate tons of carbs - in the form of hard candy mostly. I wasn't even eating enough protein. It is only now that I've gone back to my low-carb roots. I've lost a few pounds, but the main thing is, I feel much better; my energy is much more even, and I feel good knowing I'm eating in a healthy way - that's the best part. Thanks for this blog. I'll be checking in often, as at times finding food on the go - which is always for me - isn't easy.


2/22/2012 10:50 AM  

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