Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bride-To-Be Wants Low-Carb Advice From Me

It's about that time of year when women all across America are busy organizing, planning, and getting ready for one of the biggest days of their life--THEIR WEDDING DAY! Yessiree, this is the one event that can bring out the best and the worst in so many people who let it encompass and worry to the point that they wonder if it's even all worth it in the end.

Can I get a witness?! LOL!

Seriously, your wedding is supposed to be a magical moment in your life that you should try to make as "perfect" as possible, but most people would just do well to simply take it all in and enjoy the process because you've got the rest of your life to contend with REAL issues that merit your attention. This concludes the relationship advice portion of this blog post. Please deposit $5.00 into the account of J-I-M-M-Y M-O-O-R-E. Hee hee!

There is another aspect of planning a wedding, though, that doesn't get as much attention as the invitations, the guest list, the cake, and the dress. What is it? You know what it is--losing weight. It's funny to me to watch the hysteria that happens when a woman is proposed to and she says "yes." The first thought that crosses her mind is, "Oh, no, I have to go lose weight now for my wedding!" This has always seemed odd to me since that handsome man who asked "Will you marry me?" didn't attach a rider to that proposal by saying "...and lose 20 pounds." Hmm, how many women would agree to that?! LOL!

Nevertheless, women put this pressure on themselves to lose weight and it has become as much a part of the tradition of holy matrimony as anything else. One of my newest readers who is getting married in September and says "wants to look my best" e-mailed me this week about how to lose those 20 pounds the low-carb way.

Here's what she wrote:

Hi Jimmy,

First off, I love your blog. Of course, I had heard of it but I recently started reading it and it's great!

I am wanting to start a low-carb diet. I've found that even whole-wheat bread and various carbs make me crave them more. I have about 20 pounds to lose, I just don't know where to start!

I weigh about 145 pounds and I enjoy eating foods like nuts and peanut butter, whole milk, and various full fat cheeses. I will eat meat like hamburger, steak and pork. I also love eggs and will eat veggies.

Can you suggest a possible meal plan? I thought about going to a nutritionist, I have one, but she has only recommended low- fat diets for me in the past which did not work very well.

I know you're very busy but I hope to hear back from you if you get a chance!

I'm never too busy to help a reader in need, so here's what I wrote back to her:

THANKS so much for writing and CONGRATUATIONS on your engagement. Marriage was the best thing that ever happened to me (yes, even more than my 190-pound weight loss!) so I know you will LOVE IT!

I'm proud of you for wanting to lose a modest 20 pounds in the next 6 months--ABOUT THREE POUNDS A MONTH! This should be easily within your reach.

You're exactly right that carbs make you crave more carbs and more carbs. It's a ruthless cycle that you DON'T want to get caught up in. Skipping the bread (even whole wheat has LOTS of carbs), potatoes, white flour, and the sugar will be an excellent start for your low-carb lifestyle.

You are on the right track with most of what you like to eat, although I would caution you about eating too many peanuts, peanut butter, and whole milk at least during your weight loss on low-carb. There are alternatives for all of these that are better when you are livin' la vida low-carb.

Instead of peanuts, try almonds and macadamia nuts.
Instead of regular peanut butter, try a brand called Naturally More.
Instead of whole milk (or even 2% and skim), try Calorie Countdown.

Eat up to 4 ounces of full-fat cheese daily as well as portion-appropriate meats like hamburger, steak and pork which you say you enjoy. Plus, eggs and veggies are a great start to your day. :)

A menu, eh? It looks like you have it all set with what you eat, so here goes:

3-egg omelet with your favorite veggies and a little cheese
8 oz glass of Calorie Countdown milk

2 oz roasted almonds

Hamburger steak
1 cup of salad greens (I LOVE spinach, but whatever you enjoy!)
Full-fat Ranch dressing (I LOVE Hidden Valley and it's only 1g carb per serving)

2 oz macadamia nuts or a Tablespoon of Naturally More

Grilled Pork or Steak
1 cup of salad greens
Full-fat Ranch dressing

Be sure you drink PLENTY of water (I drink between 1-2 gallons a day, but I'm a big boy still...get up to 1 gallon and you'll be doing great!). Also, I see from your e-mail address that you LOVE Diet Pepsi. Can I convince you to drink Pepsi One, Diet Coke with Splenda or Diet Rite instead? The aspartame in the regular Diet Pepsi has been found to sabotage weight loss among other health concerns.

If you get hungry (you shouldn't!), then nibble on an Atkins or other low-carb bar or perhaps a sugar-free chocolate bar if that floats your boat. These were essential during my weight loss and I could not have been successful without them. I LOVE ChocoPerfection bars and they are LOADED with lots of healthy fiber, too. And they really are AWESOME! :)

Hope this helps! You're gonna do GREAT! :D Write to me anytime. You're gonna be a gorgeous bride.

My response instigated a follow-up e-mail:

Thank you so much!! This really helps. I actually gave up aspartame a few weeks ago :D I just haven't changed my e-mail because so many people know it and I've been lazy! I had horrible withdrawals from the aspartame since I was drinking up to 10 aspartame-sweetened drinks a day. No weight loss yet but I would never go back to aspartame again.

I drink Diet Rite and Diet Coke with Splenda. Those ChocoPerfection bars sound great. Where do you get Calorie Countdown milk? Is it possible to order it? Let me know, and thanks again.

To answer her questions, I wrote the following back to her:

Diet Coke w/Splenda is MY fave. I wish they'd make a Diet Cherry Coke with Splenda, too. Not gonna happen, but I'd buy stock in it if they did. :D

Calorie Countdown is in the dairy section at most grocery stores. It used to be called Carb Countdown, but they changed the name of it last year.

You can get ChocoPerfection bars from directly from the company or at most of the major low-carb stores. I live on these things for my chocolate fix and they are remarkably good.

THANKS again for writing. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

This e-mail conversation is pretty typical of the kinds of e-mails I receive day in and day out. I am ALWAYS available to answer questions from just about anyone who wants to discuss livin' la vida low-carb. Write to me anytime at If I can help, I will. And if I don't have an answer to your questions, then I will do my best to find the answer. So don't be bashful.

As for this bride-to-be, it turns out she's a blogger at "The Health Fanatic" blog. She is actually soliciting advice from other low-carbers about what she can do to be as successful as she can be on the low-carb lifestyle leading up to her wedding day. You can leave her YOUR feedback by writing a comment to her at her blog.

Here's what she wrote on her blog:

Hi guys. Today I'd like to post about low carb diets. You may have read the Livin' La Vida Low Carb blog written by Jimmy Moore - which is an excellent blog on living a low carb lifestyle. Jimmy lost a huge amount of weight - I believe around 140 lbs - and has been eating a low carb diet for three years and kept the weight off.

I have about 20 lbs that I would ideally like to lose for my wedding. My first dress fitting is in June so that gives me about three months - a rate of around 2 lbs/ week. I became interested in low carb diets after hearing them get a bad rap and then reading in the media that they are as good for your heart as low-fat diets ( a study I read earlier this year). I have a nutritionist and she has always recommended a low-fat diet with plenty of carbs - but I find that those increase my cravings and make me want even more, while also leaving me hungry.

I don't really know how to go about such a thing, but I emailed Jimmy Moore himself and he sent me a great meal plan. I now have something to go on and will have to shop soon.

I recently tried Shirataki tofu noodles - these only have about 1g net carbs and can be found at health food stores or ordered online. If you haven't tried these, please do! I mixed them with a little bit of pesto and olive oil and I thought they tasted great! I bought them soaked in water, and the smell is a little off-putting (it says to parboil them to avoid this) but I just drained them and heated them up.

Jimmy is also against aspartame because he says it slows weight loss. I have been off aspartame completely for a couple weeks now and I only drink diet drinks sweetened with Splenda (Diet Rite and Diet Coke with Splenda are two of my favorites and I also like Pepsi One). Of course I am not seeing any weight loss yet, and the withdrawals were tough, but I think in the end I'll be glad I did it.

I used to eat more low-carb during the day - and eat carb-heavy cereals and sandwiches in the evening. Recently I've been trying to have a few carbs at breakfast and keep them low the rest of the day.

Have you tried a low carb diet? Post and let me know!

I've already provided her with my advice. So, how about giving this bride-to-be YOUR tips about how she should be livin' la vida low-carb? I know she'll appreciate hearing from people who have made this their permanent lifestyle change because she looks like she is ready to make that change herself. THANKS for encouraging her and showing her some love from the low-carb community! :)

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