Friday, June 20, 2008

Why Are You So 'Increasingly Hostile' Against Anything That's Not Low-Carb?

Everyone is a critic on the Internet and that's what makes the blogging universe so much fun in my opinion. You get an unfiltered, uncensored, and sometimes irreverent response from virtually every angle you can possibly think of. And the opinions that are expressed in this format include some that would never EVER be uttered in "real" life from these people. That is especially true of people who leave anonymous comments.

Over the years I have received plenty of complaints that my blog is too much this, not enough of that, blah blah blah. While I appreciate hearing feedback from a representative segment of the thousands who come here daily, the fact of the matter is I blog about what's on my mind from my perspective. I'm certainly not saying that my opinion is 100% accurate every single time I start typing and anyone who believes they are infallible should watch out for that lightning bolt coming down from the sky!

When I started writing about livin' la vida low-carb, it was with a purpose in mind. Tell others about how the low-carb lifestyle can change their life through weight loss, health improvements, and a commitment to living this way for the rest of their long and healthy life. There are all sorts of web sites and blogs just like this for the low-calorie lifestyle, the low-fat lifestyle, the vegan lifestyle, and so forth. So why not have one for the healthy low-carb way of life, too? :)

Unfortunately, some people mistakenly believe that I'm not allowed to be an advocate for low-carb at my blog. Why? Because a low-carb diet isn't necessarily for everyone--something I READILY admit is true. In fact, I tell people all the time to find the proven plan that works for them that they'll enjoy, follow that plan exactly as prescribed by the author of that plan, and then keep doing it for the rest of their lives. If that's low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie, vegan, vegetarian, meat only, WHATEVER, then DO IT!

Yes, I'm enthusiastic about low-carb living and why shouldn't I be? It has changed my life forever. And despite some minor weight gain issues this year (which I'm getting under control now, by the way, with my weight moving down again!), this way of eating has afforded me some of the best health markers of my entire life. Livin' la vida low-carb is why this is happening and I want the whole world to know what it has done for me. Again, this is what my blog is all about.

However, after blogging about that idiotic "big breakfast" study earlier this week to counter all those silly headlines that made people believe they should eat a high-carb breakfast to lose weight, I got the most peculiar comment in response to what I shared. It was an "anonymous" comment (OF COURSE!) and the person who penned it follows a low-calorie diet. While I appreciate that there are readers who come at the nutrition subject from a different perspective than me, it's a bit disingenuous on their part to expect me to kowtow to their preferred way of eating. Ummmm, this is a LOW-CARB blog, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn I'm gonna blog about low-carb living. DUH!

Try asking low-fat diet guru Dr. Dean Ornish to talk positively about the low-carb Atkins diet on his web site. He'd laugh in your face because this dietary philosophy doesn't jive with what he believes is the most nutritionally sound advice for people desiring weight loss and better health. He has a right to his opinions about healthy living and people can choose to embrace or reject what he has to say. The information age we live in affords us the luxury of educating ourselves about what is true and what is not.

That's what makes this comment I received from that nameless low-calorie loving reader so odd. Here's what he wrote:

While I generally agree that some of the articles you post are a bit bogus, I find that you are ever increasingly hostile towards anything non low carbohydrate. I know you are a very strong advocate for the low carbohydrate lifestyle, it has changed your life and you make a living from it. However, not everyone has the will power or the drive to make such a lifestyle change.

A calorie restricted diet is not evil, it won't hunt you down and kill you. A lot of doctors and health professionals choose for their patients to restrict their calories because they can eat the foods they love. If you take a person who has never been on a low carbohydrate diet and suddenly expect them to eat nothing but induction food for two weeks or longer, a high percent of them will fail. Even if they can later add in fruits and nuts and the like, it may be too much of a severe restriction. It may very well be that your health will vastly improve, but it does happen on a restricted calorie diet also.

I respect the work you do, and I respect your opinions, but I do not agree that you should be bashing everyone else in the process. If you had lost your weight on a restricted calorie diet, improved your health, and maintained your weight, would you not promote that and disagree with everyone else?

Jimmy, I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and your lifestyle, honestly. I am not wanting to cause arguments or hard feelings. I just think that a carbohydrate restrictive diet is not a magic cure nor is a calorie restrictive diet. Some will have success on one and not the other, neither is for everyone. I would just like to see a little less hostility towards other peoples choices and beliefs. I respect yours, please respect mine.

My response to this reader's complaint was so lengthy and detailed (because it needed to be), I decided to feature it as a post of its own today so that more people will read it and understand a little more about what I do and why I do it. ENJOY!

THANK YOU for openly expressing your concerns, anonymous. Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows I have often hit hard on ridiculous studies like this one because they are simply continuing to push the message that low-carb is unhealthy while propping up a low-fat diet as the preferred way. This is not something new and you can see examples of where I've come down on the low-fat/low-calorie lie many times in the past:

MAY 2005: "Low-Calorie Advocate Fails In His Attempt To Discredit Low-Carb"
JUNE 2005: "Why Low-Fat, Low-Calorie Diets Fail And Low-Carb Succeeds
DECEMBER 2005: "Low-Fat: Been There, Done That, Made Me Fat"
JANUARY 2006: "Study: Low-Fat, High-Carb Diet Results In Negligible Weight Loss"
FEBRUARY 2006: "8-Year Study Exposes The Low-Fat Lie"
NOVEMBER 2006: "The Worst Argument Ever Against Low-Carb"
MAY 2007: "Study: High-Carb, Low-Fat Diet Ineffective For People With High Insulin Levels"
JULY 2007: "High School Science Teacher Gets All Snobby With Me Over Low-Carb Support Columns"

These are but a few examples of how my general writing style has not changed very much as it relates to challenging the low-fat diet wisdom. If anything, I've toned it down somewhat from those earlier columns.

With that said, most people who read my writings know that I am all in favor of people finding the proven plan that works for them to lose weight, following that plan exactly as the author prescribes, and then KEEP doing that plan for the rest of their lives. If that's a low-fat and/or low-calorie diet, then who am I to stand in their way and tell them NOT to do it. There are certainly a dime a dozen support sites out there for those particular ways of eating that people can visit.

But when someone comes to the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog, I want them to be encouraged, educated, and inspired about the healthy low-carb lifestyle. Yes, this way of eating worked remarkably well for me to help shed the pounds and greatly improve my health, so I can't help but share the positive experiences and research about it. It's precisely why I started this blog to begin with.

With all the constant negativity out there about livin' la vida low-carb as exemplified in studies like this one, we need MORE people to get fired up and responding to these kinds of things. There are no checks and balances on these people who espouse low-calorie, low-fat diets. They just write assuming ahead of time that low-carb is bunk. But I know better than that because of what has happened to me and to many moore people.

Trust me, if you need to hear from more low-carb success stories, I'm sure they are all too happy to fill up this comments section with their testimony of change.

I'm curious, though. What articles have I posted that you think are "a bit bogus?" Everything I write about is researched and accurate to the best of my knowledge. If you think I've made something up (ergo, the use of the term "bogus"), then I'm all ears. Don't throw something out there like that without providing examples.

And don't misunderstand my passion for wanting to get the word out about healthy low-carb living and think that means I am "hostile." Enthusiastic, maybe, but there is no hostility in my blood. I care about people enough to tell them the truth about what is healthy.

While you believe someone can only accomplish success on low-carb if they have some miraculous willpower or drive, the reality is it takes neither of those to be successful. All you need is a steadfast resolve to make better choices for the sake of your weight and health. When people start caring enough about themselves to reduce their carbohydrate intake to control blood sugar and insulin, eat some protein at each meal for satiety, and consume plenty of fat to burn as fuel and to keep their diet delicious and healthy, then we will see some pretty major changes happening with obesity and disease.

As it currently stands, the low-fat, low-calorie, portion-controlled diet has been given DECADES to rule the nutritional roost. And what has it gotten us? MORE obesity, MORE diabetes, MORE sickness, and MORE death. We're taking more prescription drugs now than ever before and nobody is disgusted by this.

This isn't me "bashing" anyone, it's just presenting the truth. Isn't it true obesity rates have gotten MUCH worse since the great low-fat, low-calorie diet began being promoted in this country in the early 1970s? And diabetes, especially Type 2, has exploded into a literal crisis of health over that same time period, hasn't it? Who is gonna argue that we are healthier as a nation today than we were 30 years ago? Anyone?!

By the way, I DID lose a whole lot of weight on a low-fat diet in 1999 and I was miserable on it. Hungry all the time, weak with barely any energy, dizzy and nauseous, and downright MISERABLE! Although I lost 170 pounds in nine months eating that way, I gained it all back within four months when I couldn't take it anymore.

With livin' la vida low-carb, that impulse to rebel against how I eat has NEVER even remotely crossed my mind. I am more satisfied now with how I eat than I even was when I was eating whatever I desired. Now I desire those low-carb foods my body was always meant to eat.

There are no hard feelings from me. Life is too short to be upset at anyone, let alone someone who was brave enough to share their thoughts and concerns with me (albeit anonymously). I can appreciate your perspective and am grateful you respect mine. Nobody is saying livin' la vida low-carb is a "magic cure," but it sure is dramatically changing the weight and health of a whole lot more people than we are being told about.

If low-calorie diets are working for you, then GO FOR IT! Keep working your plan and it will keep working for you. Get involved at a low-calorie supporting web site, forum, or blog and get all the inspiration you need for your chosen dietary approach. But this is "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" and I will keep on talking about the healthy low-carb life. It's the purpose I have in my life right now and, God willing, nothing will ever keep me from fulfilling that purpose.

THANK YOU again for sharing your thoughts with me and my readers. I may just have to make a blog post out of this response. :)

And so I did! What are your thoughts about this criticism that I am too "hostile" towards anything that's not low-carb? Agree? Disagree? I appreciate hearing what you have to say. Even from "anonymous." :D

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Blogger Sean said...

I'm curious, though. What articles have I posted that you think are "a bit bogus?"

I think he was saying he agrees that many of the articles/studies you link to are bogus.

6/20/2008 4:13 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS Sean. The way it was worded made it difficult to understand what he meant. I appreciate your interpretation and you're not the only one who has seen it that way (I've received a few e-mails with the same feedback). But I'd love for anonymous to respond to confirm. :)

6/20/2008 4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, never expected to get such a response from you. I am sorry that my comments offended you so much. What I mean by bogus. The article about the breakfast study, you strongly disagree with the results. I was simply implying that I agree with you about the article and that I find it to be a bit out of touch with reality. Again, I am sorry if I offended you or anyone else in your community, I have nothing against Atkins or any other low-carb diet. I understand this is a blog about low-carb, hence the name. Nothing is perfect for anyone, and I certainly don't expect you to suddenly have an epiphany and switch to anything else, keep doing what works for you.

Also, the only reason I am anonymous is because I do not have an account to log into and I am not registering for one just to post a comment.

6/20/2008 8:55 PM  
Blogger Vesna VK said...


"While I generally agree that some of the articles you post are a bit bogus..."

So I guess you meant:

While I generally agree that some of the articles you post about are a bit bogus.."

Thank makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.

6/21/2008 10:08 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for your follow-up response, anonymous. But nothing about what you said "offended" me. I just thought it was funny how much you assumed you knew about my basic philosophy regarding diet and weight loss when it didn't come anywhere close to resembling the truth. I can appreciate a differing perspective and welcome it here at my blog. However, to pigeonhole me into being a low-carb only promoter is grossly inaccurate.

THANK YOU for your clarification about your use of the word "bogus." Vesna's rewrite of what you MEANT to say totally makes sense and I can appreciate that you understand that this study was way out in left field.

Nobody in the low-carb community is at all offended when what we truly believe is challenged. That's how you grow and learn to know what you believe and why you believe it. I appreciate people like you who are willing to share your differences, so don't stop if you feel I am wrong about something. As you can see, I'm always happy to address those concerns.

Again, I appreciate your time responding and THANK YOU personally for being a reader of the "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog. Feel free to post here, anonymously or otherwise, anytime you'd like. :D

6/21/2008 10:34 AM  
Blogger SusanJ said...

Jimmy, rather than thinking you are hostile to other WOE, I think you are often too understanding.

It is important to clarify what is meant by the term "works" when we say that a person needs to do what "works" for them. Yes, whatever they are doing may help them lose weight but I think "works" should mean more; it should include improving health.

As we all know, losing muscle or water can lower your weight but doesn't help (and may even harm) your health. And any WOE that keeps HDL low and/or triglycerides high doesn't help your health.

6/21/2008 10:56 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Great distinction, Susan, and you and I are on the same page about that. When I say find a plan that "works," that's EXACTLY what I mean. It works for weight loss and improving your health. Cutting off your leg "works" to help you lose weight, but it ain't very smart. But finding a way to shed the pounds AND improve all those health markers you mentioned is precisely what I am referring to. THANK YOU for the clarification. :)

6/21/2008 11:09 AM  
Blogger Starla said...

Jimmy, I believe you are a voice of reason in a world that is increasingly hostile to the low-carb way of eating (rather than the other way around). I was on today, and I was very saddened by the absolute misinformation they are spreading about Dr. Atkin's version of low-carb.

I'm glad you're on our side. We need an advocate like you out there to keep well-meaning but misinformed people from misleading others into a horribly unhealthy lifestyle.

6/21/2008 8:10 PM  

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