Friday, March 16, 2007

Mixed Messages On Diet Muddies The Water

Ahhhhhhh...busy doesn't even begin to describe my week of activities as part of the HPBA Expo in Reno, Nevada. Whew, what a schedule of interviews and meeting people these past few days, but it has been worth every minute of it. Check out some of how my week has been going in this blog post.

You'll get to reap the benefits of what I have been able to experience with some excellent podcast shows and the chance to win your very own BBQ grill which I got to see up close and personal today--WOW, this bad boy is gorgeous! More about that VERY soon, including a picture of Christine and me with the grill that ONE of you will be winning! YEE HAW!

While I have been here in Reno this week, my e-mail hasn't slowed down a bit! That's okay because I'm happy to meet the needs of my readers by answering their questions about livin' la vida low-carb anytime. I've been shelling out $10 a day just to have the opportunity to have Internet access--but you guys are worth it! Can you feel the LOVE?! :D

One of the e-mails I received was from a young obese reader ready to give up on his low-carb diet after listening to the dietary recommendations of a low-fat diet advocate. Here's what he wrote:

Dear Jimmy,

During August 2006, I decided to finally lose my weight. I'm a male, 19, and at that time, I was 5'8 and 280-285 lbs. I had tried going "low-carb" without ever reading a low-carb book a couple years before that, and I had incredible success, losing 25 lbs in a month, down to 206 lbs from a whopping 231 lbs (at 5'5).

I let go of that when school resumed, and throughout the 2 years following that, I got up to 280 lbs. I was disgusting. So I decided to make a change. Again, without full knowledge of the Atkins diet, I started up low-carbing in that August of 2006. I was eating cheese, meat, vegetables, even the occasional fruit, and I was soaring down the weight scale at an average of 20 lbs a month for 3 months non-stop!

It was then that on my trip to Reno during the winter with my family, that I looked into a bookstore at the local mall, at Jorge Cruise's "3 Hour Diet." I read his crap about low-carb diets and said that we lose muscle mass on it. Right then and there, my world turned upside down. My weight loss dramatically slowed down as I began worrying about fat content, calories, sodium, etc. It was horrible. I started doing worse in school, had less energy, and pretty much started starving myself at only 2 meals a day. I hated it.

I began reading a lot after that, and the two sides of the carb debate were going at it in every source I read. This other book I recently purchased (along with Dr. Atkins book finally :-)), the author, Fred. A. Stutman (M.D.) says that ketosis does work for a while as it first depletes the bodies water reserves, then starts burning fat, THEN, it starts burning muscle. WHAT??? I knew that my muscle loss accelerated when I started counting calories (Thanks to Mr. Cruise). But now, I'm beginning to wonder, and I need you're advice Jimmy, as a fellow low carber.

I had a couple weeks ago gotten down to 165 lbs (almost 120 lb loss, and feeling my bones felt goooood) as I started eating more frequently, and much more protein. I had basically put myself on what you would call the Kimkins diet. It wasn't bad. Fish, chicken, turkey, and vegetables, and the occasional La Tortilla Factory low carb wraps. It wasn't that bad.

So I need you to answer some questions: Does ketosis induce muscle loss?l (I got very flabby and a lot of loose skin after all the weight loss, I wasn't doing that much weight training, but mostly cardio). Where does all the high fat food go when we eat it on the Atkins diet? Does caffeine induce insulin release?

Please answer ASAP Jimmy, as my situation is horrid right now. 3 days straight I have been pigging out incredibly, stuffing myself like crazy on carbs (fruits, Wheat Thins, etc.) till I felt like throwing up, feeling the pain in my liver, on carbs, at first, I went low G.I., but now I'm eating oreos and what not!!! When I look at the scale now, I weigh a whopping 185!!! I stopped excercising too.

What happened? Help me Jimmy! I just want to get back down to of 160-165, and resume my healthy diet, which I was content with. (All the vegetables and lean meats I wanted). Oh how I took that for granted...Once again, thanks.

P.S. I really need your advice now and expert low-carb knowledge. I notice that my original diet resembled Atkins more than it did after that damn Jorge Cruise book which put so many doubts in my mind. I need to save my body and well being before I wreck myself forever and 6 months of hard work by another carb binge.

Jimmy, if this sounds too funny, you're my only hope right now. I check your blog everyday, and it's been a constant inspiration for me to continue thinking and livin' la vida low-carb. There just isn't a better way of life. I miss that life. I know my friend is protein and his sidekick is fat. The Villain is the Carbohydrate. Help me defeat him.

That had to be the most intense e-mail I have received in a while and it merited a thoughtful and yet immediate response. Here's what I wrote shortly after receiving it:

THANKS so much for writing and let me give you this word of advice: Breathe, my friend, breathe. Relax a little and don't fret over this minor bump in your journey. You ARE on the right path, but you definitely need to stop reading Jorge Cruise. Here was my review of his "3-Hour Diet" scam.

Regarding the muscle mass lie, read the research studies saying otherwise: here and here.

As for where the fat you consume goes, it becomes your fuel source for burning stored fat. Read more about this process in these links: here and here

Caffeine can certainly stimulate an insulin rush in some people, so check your blood sugar often to see, especially if you are diabetic.

Let me encourage you with this: YOU CAN DO IT! No matter what you "hear" about from health experts who think they know everything about diet and nutrition, keep educating yourself about livin' la vida low-carb. Get Dr. Jonny Bowden's book "Living the Low-Carb Life" for the BEST review of ALL the low-carb plans.

Above all, stop your binge eating and start over again on your low-carb commitment. Sound like a plan? :) Best wishes to you!

After sending all of this information to my 19-year old reader, here's what he wrote back to me the next day:

I took your advice, and I basically have a couple things to say to you. You have actually reinspired my love for low-carb diets (after I ate some turkey for dinner to get used to the taste of meat again after a 3-day hiatus into a high carb, refined sugar binge), I'm returning back to Induction type low-carbing tomorrow. Meat, Fish, Poultry, and those delicious veggies. That's how our ancestors were, and that's the way I'm gonna do it. Thanks again Jimmy!

Basically put: You're awesome! You're the MAN! I absolutely LOVE YOU for giving me that hope again. You're my number one source for information on diet from now on. Anti-low-carb books are now a think of the past. I just had one more thing to show you. The bodybuilder Tom Venuto has some VERY interesting views on low-carbing. It seems as if he's not against it, nor is he for it. He says things like (If one were to follow a low-carb diet, they should follow it for no more than 3 days, and replenish carbs on the 4th, to give constant jolts to the metabolism so it doesn't adapt to low-carbing). What's your say on this?

So, one more time I wrote him back:

THANKS again! My role in this is nothing more than providing people with information and then lettting them make the choice about what's best for them. If others want you to eat gobs of carbs, even intermittently, then my question for them would be to show me why that is good for me compared to livin' la vida low-carb. They can't do it because they realize it is a slam dunk! CONGRATULATIONS again and keep up the great work!

Do you have any more thoughts to share with this reader? Feel free to put them in the comments section below.

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Blogger The Bunnell Farm said...

Addictions addictions addictions. Those are the voices in your head
young man that are saying feed me feed me feed me, sugar sugar sugar,
carbohydrates carbohydrates carbohydrates. Feed me feed me feed me.
Addictions addictions addictions. The weight trainer is addicted
addicted addicted, just about everybody is addicted addicted addicted.
Wake up wake up wake up. Smell the roses smell the roses smell the
roses, live live live. Love love love. Good bye good bye good bye, good
luck good luck good luck. To you to you to you.

3/16/2007 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is possible to lose lean muscle mass IF sodium and potassium intakes are too low (PubMed). The thing that came from Jorge Cruise's book probably came from the flawed "Turkey Study" that's often cited.

As for that body builder who eats carbs on the fourth day, such an eating pattern would prohibit adaptation to a low carb diet. Enzymes and such need to be built and that takes more than two to three weeks. Eating carbs before then would keep the body staged to utilize glucose for energy. If carbs are in short supply while the body is still in preference for glucose, protein is used to make glucose. Even if enough protein is consumed to provide enough energy and prevent the loss of lean muscle mass, it still defeats the purpose in that fat is no longer the main source of fuel as it would be if carbs are kept low to none.

3/17/2007 2:58 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

So the reader has found a diet that works great for him. I would recommend that he stops right there. Why keep reading about all these other diets? Why not just enjoy the weight loss/control and get on with life?

3/17/2007 11:30 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I agree, Jennifer!

3/17/2007 2:55 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

I agree also, if it is working then stick to it and let your friends know that you are on a mission.
I know my friends at first said to me that it was just one meal or just one bite but when I told them that my desire was more then that one bite or I won't give myself permission to take it, they backed off.
Outside influences are the hardest thing to concure but once you put your mind into your mission, it will come.

Good luck!


3/17/2007 5:58 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I guess all I can say is do not ever listen to anyone who says that low carb is dangerous or does not work. After seventy years of study, there is no evidence to support this claim, and a great deal of evidence to the contrary. Trust your own body as a guide. If what you are doing works wonders, then why let someone scare you off of such clear success?

Becoming a low-carber means learning to think for yourself and realizing that you cannot trust most nutritional advice, even from licensed doctors or the government. The bizarre reality of our times is that most nutritional advice is precisely what will do us the most harm! Do what works for you, but most people will find that the only diet that really works for them is low-carb.

Don't trust doctors or self-proclaimed advice-givers or diet-of-the-month book hawkers, trust yourself and the evidence of your own body. This may make you a bit of a loner at times, but you will gain complete control over your body, and there is no better feeling or proof than that. People will be attracted to your better looks, better health and better energy. Your experience is living proof of low-carbs effectiveness. And everyone in here will stand behind you on this, so you are not alone.

Educate yourself, trust your own instincts, and ENJOY the awesome effectiveness of low-carb, and everyone will enjoy you more.

3/17/2007 7:16 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Jonny's books are the best!

Isn't it amazing what "they" are doing to people? I know some that think transfats are safer than saturated! I've seen people totally freak over their cholesterol numbers, whn most people should be happy to have them!!!

I'm positive that this is going to change. I cannot believe they can ignore the evidence for much longer. But, in the meantime, they sure are working at it!!

I heard about a mom that was told to put her 2 yr old on a diet!! And of course, it's low fat!

3/17/2007 10:11 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

@kevin: "Becoming a low-carber means learning to think for yourself and realizing that you cannot trust most nutritional advice, even from licensed doctors or the government."

I couldn't have said it better myself, Kevin. That is SO true.

3/17/2007 10:54 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

I'll never touch a Johnny Bowden book. He is a turncoat who capitulated to the anti-low carb terrorists.

3/18/2007 7:25 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

As the owner of the blog, Jimmy may not be free to make some of these more radical (but true) statements, but the commenters can, and Jimmy can allow comments without liability.

3/19/2007 4:44 PM  

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