Saturday, August 18, 2007

French Medical Student Features My Low-Carb Weight Loss Success As 'Role Model' For Others

I receive quite a few requests from all around the world concerning my low-carb weight loss success. Some have been personally inspired to begin their own health and weight loss plan while others are just inspired in general that they too can overcome an obstacle in their life like I did. It's gratifying to know the lives of real people are being changed each and every day.

That's one thing that attracted the attention of a medical student from France named Gyanish Gungaram. On my way back from vacation earlier this week, I received the following e-mail from him requesting permission to use my story.

Here's what he wrote in that e-mail:

Hello Jimmy,

How are you doing? I'm Gyanish, a med student from France. I'm writing an article on role models and how they are helping others by providing inspiration for other wannabe dieters. I was thinking of taking you as an example.

I know you are currently on vacation, but can I have your permission to use your before and after pictures to illustrate my points and pull some quotes about you from your blog please?

I'm currently the blogger of Diet Hack. Thanks a lot.

Yours Sincerely,

Gyanish Gungaram

He seemed nice enough, so I permitted him to write his column. You can read the finished product that Gyanish wrote entitled "Role Modelin': Livin' La Vida Local."

It was interesting to see the specific criteria he used to choose me for his paper on finding a diet role model: he knows what has worked him and demonstrated it, has before and after pictures, has detailed the steps taken to lose weight, and has the ability to inspire others to do the same. I think those aptly describe what I do at my blog, so I was pleased to be chosen for this project.

While I appreciate his enthusiasm and desire to use me as an example of a weight loss role model, it doesn't seem our future doctor friend is very keen on livin' la vida low-carb as a healthy nutritional approach according to the article he wrote.

Here are just a few of the ways Gyanish described the low-carb lifestyle:

- Atkins is "a fad diet" (listed among his 19 diets to "avoid at all costs")
- You need carbs for a "constant source of glucose" for energy needs
- Eating excess carbs allows for the storage of glycogen
- "Without carbs, the body would not have any materials" to live
- Don't eat a low-carb diet, but rather try "losing weight the healthy way"

In a way, I don't blame Gyanish because he is simply repeating back what he has been taught about healthy nutrition in medical school. Unfortunately, he's missing out on a lot of the latest research coming out about the controlled-carbohydrate nutritional approach that explains in great detail why this way of eating is perfect for people desiring weight loss and improvements in their health.

But, at least he acknowledges the enormous impact that blogs like mine are having on our culture. And that positive effect on society is expected to continue according to this New York Times column this week that found Google and MSN are being used more and more by average, ordinary people who are looking for REAL answers to their health problems.

While I never intended on being a "role model" in the professional sense of the word since I do not have the education in nutrition and health that others do, I most certainly don't have a problem sharing from my own experiences about how livin' la vida low-carb changed my life forever along with frequently citing the research that backs up those anecdotal claims. It's what I do here faithfully each and every day.

Gyanish said he doesn't think it was the Atkins diet, but rather four other factors that led to my 180-pound weight loss success in 2004. He says the "real weight loss secret" to my success was because I:

1. Drink a lot of water
2. Exercise often
3. Invoked God's help in my weight loss quest
4. Had the full support of my wife Christine

Okay, I can buy into those as contributing factors in my success and continued weight management over the past four years. But I still contend getting my diet in order was priority one--all of these other things simply reinforced that decision.

I left a comment for Gyanish at his blog about his column:

THANKS Gyanish for highlighting my story. However, I don't think the Atkins diet should be lumped in with other truly "fad" diets and would challenge you as you continue your medical education to look at the role of carbohydrate as it relates not just to obesity, but also to the growing epidemic of disease like diabetes, hypertriglycerinemia, insulin resistance, and even cancers.

The evidence is mounting and I appreciate your willingness to be open to new ideas which may go against everything you've ever been taught about healthy nutrition.

Take care and THANK YOU again!

Feel free to leave your own comment about how livin' la vida low-carb has helped YOUR weight and health improve better than you ever thought possible! Then, when the future Dr. Gyanish Gungaram comes across someone who would like to use an Atkins low-carb approach to battling their obesity and/or diabetes, perhaps he will remember the example of a former 410-pound man who changed his life forever eating this way and subsequently enthusiastically endorse it for his patient.

Here's hoping we can keep changing the person at a time!

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Blogger Gyanish Gungaram said...

It was an admiring response to my article about You. I as a medical student has been taught the effects or rather the importance of a balanced diet which includes carb in it. But I'll stay on the look out for the evidence you are suggesting. To be a good doctor is to be ahead of the latest medical news.

Thank you again for providing me the opportunity of using you as role model for my readers! :)

Stay Healthy,
Gyanish Gungaram

8/20/2007 9:57 AM  

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