Monday, October 29, 2007

'Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show' Episode 97: Some Serious Concerns About The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet

Drs. Richard and Rachael Heller developed this strange low-carb plan

In Episode 97 of "The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore," I decided to take a closer look at one of the more bizarre low-carb diets out there today--The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet by Drs. Richard and Rachael Heller. Although there have been a lot of people who swear by this odd nutritional plan, I have some serious doubts about how it can be healthy and effective for you over the long-term.

Click on the "LISTEN NOW" link below or download it to your iPod to hear today's podcast:

icon for podpress  "The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore" Episode 97 [14:14m]: LISTEN NOW | Download

The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet certainly sounds like a dieter's dream: eating whatever you want in whatever quantities you want for ONE HOUR a day for supper. In other words, you basically get a "splurge" meal EVERY SINGLE DAY (rather than every 6-8 weeks on my "planned splurge" strategy)! This includes consuming unlimited amounts of sugary desserts, starchy foods, and even fast food if you want it. Throughout the day, you basically eat a no-carb diet with very small amounts of fat and protein leading up to your BIG MEAL at the end of the day.

YIKES! My biggest concern about this diet is you never stop eating the foods you are addicted to. When I started the Atkins diet in January 2004, there were certain foods that I used to love that I could no longer have on a daily basis. Macaroni & cheese, pizza, donuts, sugary sodas, sausage biscuits, Little Debbie snack cakes, McDonald's French fries, and so much more. POOF! Gone forever from my life and four years later I don't miss them one bit!

Four ways to listen on your computer, laptop, iPod, or phone by:

1. Listening at the official web site
2. Going to iTunes
3. Calling (818) 688-2763 to listen via Podlinez
4. Subscribing to the RSS feed

What's your impression of the Hellers and their controversial diet program? Do you think it could work for you? Why or why not? And if you have tried this plan and had great success with it, then let me hear from you with your story. Tell us all about it so we can understand how this alternative low-carb plan might have worked for you. I personally could never see myself eating that way ever again even if it was for only an hour a day. NO THANK YOU!

We're coming up on my 100th podcast episode next Thursday, so stay tuned to find out how YOU can win some really cool prizes on that special day. Also, I have an interview coming up next Monday with my mom talking about her gastric bypass surgery experience that you won't want to miss. And come back on Thursday for another fun and exciting episode of "The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore"--the top-rated low-carb podcast show on the Internet today. THANKS so much for your support!

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Blogger Jennifer said...

Jimmy Moore is a famous and well-loved, somewhat controversial low-carb blogger. In fact, I link to his site very prominently from my websites ( and ). Our websites have enjoyed millions of viewers per year since their inception in 1999 ( is a little younger).

First of all, let me say in Jimmy's defense, that I do understand where he is coming from, and that for him the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet would most likely not work, as he would have a tendency to eat too many of the wrong carbs in one sitting, derailing his awesome weight loss. Therefore, I totally understand his horrified reaction. Hey, everyone is different! To be perfectly fair, though, there are thousands for whom the modified Carbohydrate Addicts Diet called the Carbohydrate Addicts LifeSpan Program will work and does work, as can be attested to by the fact that the Hellers' diet books have been runaway bestsellers. It is, however, not quite as popular as the Atkins diet and for probably some of the reasons that Jimmy hotly outlines. Again, everyone is different!

I feel I need to be a lonely voice in the wilderness and moderate some of what Jimmy says in a nice way. With the first book (CAD), the Hellers found that some people went hog wild on the reward meal of the day (even although they said it should be a balanced meal) and would eat the very foods that they are addicted to in abundance – and obviously those people were not learning to eat in a balanced fashion and worse yet, were probably not losing much weight. As a result of this tendency of some people to abuse their diet, the Hellers revised the diet with some rules added and wrote the book called the Carbohydrate Addicts LifeSpan Program. This program definitely provides a more controlled approach for the reward meal in particular. The meal is to be preceded by a large salad. Then the actual meal consists of 1/3 protein, 1/3 veggies and 1/3 starch (this can be a ¼ of a potato and a small dessert, for example). However, it is commonly known, that if people stay off sugar and white flour and use the root vegetables only as a form of carbohydrate at that meal, weight loss is more predictable and faster.

Jimmy's objections: 1. the 2 low-carb meals are no-carb meals. This is not true as low-carb veggies are allowed and a listing of craving-reducing vegetables is given.

2. People will not change their poor eating habits. I think if people eat as is described above that that will be a very healthy and balanced way of eating, doing an effective end-run on the amount of insulin the body produces daily.

3. He likes to eat every two or three hours to keep his metabolism humming. For Jimmy, this is also why this program would probably not be as appealing. However, low-carb snacks are optional on the CALP diet. It sounds like Jimmy would like to have his sugar-free dessert with his coffee, though, and that would not work.

4. He does not like their stance on not using sugar substitutes. I also don't like that and will use Splenda preferentially over sugar at the reward meal.

5. He cannot understand how one can eat foods one is addicted to on a daily basis. He had low-carbers give him a tough time over the one splurge meal he had every 6 to 8 weeks during his weight loss period. It worked for Jimmy, so why knock it folks? Still, Jimmy made this splurge such an occasional thing, that he cannot understand doing this on a daily basis. There is a science behind it to reduce insulin output, that seems to work for many people, if the diet is followed correctly. Eating carbs wily nily in an unbalanced fashion is not the intention of CALP. In fact, one cannot go back for just dessert if one is still hungry. One has to go back for 1/3 protein, 1/3 veggies and 1/3 carbs/dessert in small amounts. How is that eating as much as possible of the bad carbs? Now, admittedly, some people will only go back for dessert and that is incorrect. Some people may not be able to have the self-control faced with that temptation, so it really is a YMMV issue. Some people may have to stay more low-carb at the reward meal, especially in the beginning of a weight loss program. Again, I can see why Jimmy would have trouble with this meal and I understand his reservations completely.

6. Jimmy quotes Dr. Bowden as saying that exercise is not encouraged. This is not true. It is one of the options highly recommended in CALP.

7. He says one can eat carbs in whatever amount one wants to. This is not true of either diet, but CAD was abused that way and so CALP was born. It is not a buffet line of whatever one wants to eat in whatever quantities. Hunger should still dictate the amount and the emphasis for the meal is on "balance".

In any case, this new program, CALP, outlines two low-carb meals, usually breakfast and lunch, snacks are optional (also very low-carb) and a reward meal (balanced) to be eaten in one hour. The science behind it, if I can remember correctly is that a certain amount of insulin (not much) is produced during the very low-carb meals and that at the beginning of consuming the reward meal, about the same amount of insulin will be produced, however, if the meal continues past the 1 hour, sometime thereafter a second surge of insulin will be produced, which will mean more of the glucose in the meal will stored as fat, because of the extra insulin (fat storing hormone) floating in the blood stream. In a person who does not have insulin resistance, this would not be a problem, but as we age, most of us have some degree of insulin resistance. So this diet does, in fact, have a solid science behind it, and its intent is to do an end-run on insulin, which it does.

The only thing I disagree with the Hellers over is their stance on the use of Splenda Granular instead of sugar. For me, sugar is a known poison, and I prefer to make my desserts with Splenda Granular, which seems to me to have been a better way to go for our family, based on the research we did 15 years ago. We know that if we had lived through the entire recipe testing for my cookbooks (seven) using sugar and white flour, we'd all be in trouble in this family. Our sons grew up on Splenda. Our family has been planet earth's only human guinea pigs for massive Splenda consumption (most other people will never consume that much in a life time). Splenda, in case anyone is wondering is not the same as the even more controversial aspartame. Splenda is made from sugar with the sugar molecule being changed so that the body will not recognize it. It is inert, which makes it extremely heat stable for baking. Aspartame is not heat stable and should not be recommended for baking. I was the first in the world to write a dessert cookbook using Splenda Granular for a sugar substitute, mainly because Canada had the product 10 years before FDA approval in the United States.

I myself preferentially on a daily basis like to eat low-carb throughout the day, just like Jimmy does, but occasionally I prefer to follow the Carbohydrates Addicts LifeSpan Program (I prefer it for losing weight as well, as does my husband. I tend to eat low-carb desserts wily nily during the day on Atkins and that derails me.) to allow myself flexibility when eating out or visiting friends' homes or on vacation. This is a useful tool for many low-carbers, without making them feel guilty for occasional indulgences at one meal. Let's not be low-carb traffic cops and let's rather cut the people slack who find this particular Carbohydrate Addicts LifeSpan Program a diet that they enjoy and are successful following. In my opinion it is a good, solid program and it will work for those who can follow it properly. For some, it will be like a license to an all-you-can eat buffet of carbs – but that is not the program! Let's also give the Hellers credit where credit is due! Thanks, you guys! :-)

In defense of my friend, Jimmy, I believe he was reviewing the first book, Carbohydrate Addicts Diet and not the follow-up CALP book.

10/30/2007 12:49 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home