Friday, March 09, 2007

If Atkins Diet Didn't Work, Look In The Mirror

The media coverage and spin of the stunning new research out of Stanford University published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirming the Atkins diet is best that came out earlier this week has continued at a feverish pace in these past few days.

All of this attention reminds me of exactly what happened about a year ago when another JAMA study looked at low-fat diets over an 8-year period and concluded they were completely ineffective for maintaining weight loss and improved health over the long-term. Now these same people are in panic mode and attempting damage control...AGAIN! How much longer will this song and dance charade about the low-fat diet continue? As an intrigued observer of diet and health, I'M LOVIN' THIS!

There have been a few bright spots in the coverage of the Stanford study:

- "Weight of the Evidence" blog author Regina Wilshire's brilliant compilation of quotable quotes from all the so-called "experts" which will have you rolling out of your chair in laughter! Regina, you are GOOD! :) I wish I'd written that!

- New York Times science blogger John Tierney and his outstanding and quite balanced column entitled "The Low-Fat Diet Flunks Another Test." Take a look at the nearly 200 comments that post alone has generated so far. They will be well worth your time to review.

- Mark Sisson's "Daily Apple" blog explains "Why The Atkins Diet Works" and makes a very valid point that if the Ornish low-fat diet had been the one that produced the most weight loss and best improvements in health in that study, then don't you know they'd be falling all over themselves to say, "See, we were right!" But since it didn't happen, they're having to spin it as irrelevant. Thought-provoking piece!

- In case you missed the fireworks that ensued during the teleconference call debate featuring Dr. Michael Dansinger (who I will be interviewing here VERY soon!) and Dr. James Hill along with a whole buncha low-carb supporters on Tuesday night, then be sure to listen to the one-hour audio of it by clicking here. You'll hear yours truly and others in the low-carb community articulate our message that the low-fat monopoly has got to stop. There's no doubt in my mind that we need more open forums like this one if we are ever going to progress forward with ways to help people take on their obesity.

Okay, so there's been some good coverage along with the bad. That's certainly a change from what is generally an overwhelmingly biased anti-Atkins, anti-fat, anti-meat agenda from the mainstream media. And when I was interviewed for twenty minutes by The Baltimore Sun reporter Chris Emery on Monday about my success on the Atkins diet, I was encouraged that quite possibly he would feature a positive story about a real life major low-carb weight loss success story in his coverage of the JAMA study.

It didn't happen.

In fact, Emery chose not to use my story at all in ANY of the series of articles he wrote about the JAMA study over the past few days. He did include one of my readers from the Baltimore area named Pamela Waltos in this column covering the significance of this new research. I agreed to help him find a Baltimore low-carbers and was happy to help.

But take a look at today's column from Emery. The headline screams "Dieting: Battling the yo-yo effect" and it quickly gets into the story of a man who allegedly "failed" on a low-carb diet. Because don't you know everyone who goes on a low-carb diet like Atkins will OBVIOUSLY gain it back, right?! UGH!

This is why I am happy to see Dana Carpender stepping up to the plate to write a book about people who have succeeded on low-carb and why they did because it's as if people like me don't even exist. Yoo hoo, helllllloooo, here we are people...I lost lots of weight on a low-carb diet and have kept it off for over three years--dare I say it, LONG-TERM! GASP! How can this be?

One quote from the "failed" low-carber in the story is telling:

"Once you start cheating it's a slippery slope. You get lazy and [the weight] starts coming back."

Well DUH! That's why you have to make the low-carb diet your permanent LIFESTYLE change--one of the themes you will hear me repeat early and often here at my blog. And it is a point I made to Emery about my own experience when he asked me specifically where I came up with the idea of a lifetime commitment.

"Dr. Atkins recommends it in his books," I said. "Oh," Emery responded.

You'll notice in Emery's column today that he includes the concept of lifestyle change, but fails to truly illustrate that point with real-life examples. Why would he simply omit a major low-carb weight loss success story like mine when it drives home the very point he is trying to communicate with his column? Personally, I don't care if he used my story or not, but at least share with the readers of The Baltimore Sun that there are many examples of people doing very well over the long-term by livin' la vida low-carb. That's all.

The bottom line is this: If the Atkins diet didn't work for you, then walk over to the mirror to see the reason why. Most people who read Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, embrace the concepts in that book, implement those ideas into their lifestyle, and then commit to doing those things for the rest of their life tend to do extremely well. That's how I lost 180 pounds in one year, but more importantly, how I've been able to keep the weight off ever since.

We need to get people to start caring about losing weight and getting healthy. Until that happens, all the diets and supposed lifestyle changes in the world aren't going to change a thing. If all the obesity-related diseases that have inflicted tens of millions over the past couple of decades isn't enough to wake people up to the reality of this serious problem, then what will?

That's why you will hear me say over and over again that it is the personal responsibility of people who are overweight or obese to stop making excuses for their weight problem and to start implementing strategies to make that happen. If you try something and it's just not for you, then try something else. I earnestly believe there is such a thing as "the perfect diet" and it is tailored to the individual.

The obesity problem will not go away on its own, but we can change the inevitability of this epidemic by providing people with a multiplicity of choices they can feel confident in. If and when that day comes, we may finally see more long-term compliance to a weight loss plan that REALLY works.

But why wait for that? Start livin' la vida low-carb TODAY! It may be just the lifestyle change you've been looking for. Let me know if I can help or encourage you in any way on this amazing journey.

Contact reporter Chris Emery and urge him to write a follow-up column featuring people who have experienced long-term low-carb weight loss success by e-mailing

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Blogger Sparky's Girl said...

Bravo Mr. Moore! Very well said.

3/09/2007 12:39 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Jimmy, here is a doc who rocks - he challenges the status quo/Ornish thinking.

3/09/2007 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's why you will hear me say over and over again that it is the personal responsibility of people who are overweight or obese to stop making excuses for their weight problem and to start implementing strategies to make that happen."

Do you realize how pompous you sound right there? Why is it that overweight or obese people are made to feel as it they HAVE to change? Does it ever occur to anyone that you can be fat and also be a happy, healthy individual? It simply isn't fair to put everyone in the same box just because they have a few extra pounds on them. Maybe you should make it your 'personal responsibility' to stop being insensitive just because you've lost weight & feel as if you're now allowed to say these things. If that's what it took for you to be happy with yourself then I think that's wonderful, but don't assume that everyone feels as you do.

5/11/2009 4:28 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I hear you, Anonymous, but it isn't "pompous" to challenge people to stop making excuses about why they refuse to do something about their health. If they're healthy, then that's fine. But most people carrying around extra weight or not. Those are the ones I'm aiming for with my comments. THANKS!

5/11/2009 6:03 PM  

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