Monday, September 05, 2005

Why Hasn't 'The Next Atkins Diet' Caught On In America Yet?

This Northwest Indiana Times story states that while one certain diet progam is already doing extremely well in Australia and the UK, it has yet to make even a ripple in the dieting waters of the United States.

The new weight loss plan being hailed as the so-called "next Atkins diet" is the glycemic index (GI), which is nothing more than a derivative of the Atkins diet. There is also talk that this similar diet plan could also take over where Atkins supposedly left off. But most of the attention has been placed on the GI diet by much of the media.

This story claims that the Atkins diet is "on the outs" and there needs to be a "new weight-loss strategy" to take its place. The media is desperately trying to usher in a new diet trend. But why? From my personal experience, livin' la vida low-carb has worked just fine. If something is working and working well, then why would you want or need to change it?

The answer is that the media is bored stiff with low-carb. They tolerated it for a while when it hit big two years ago, but quickly started to despise it. As the popularity of the low-carb lifestyle still persists in 2005 despite their constant negativity about it, the media has become downright ugly and hostile towards most anything dealing with livin' la vida low-carb. With only a few exceptions, any story you read or see in the media these days is about how unhealthy or dangerous it is for you. Even still, millions of people just like me are still losing weight or maintaining our weight thanks to this miraculous way of eating.

I discuss this topic in my upcoming book about how the media is always looking for something new to talk about. This story is no different as it asserts "the low-carb diet trend seems to have run its course," citing the Atkins bankruptcy as evidence of this. But what they don't realize is the low-carb lifestyle is not tied to any one diet program nor is it dependent on the success or failure of any one business. People who decide to follow this way of eating can do so without any mandatory purchases of products from Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. or any other company making low-carb products.

That's why livin' la vida low-carb is so adaptable for anyone to try. It's easy, convenient and can be customized to fit your particular tastes. I tell people all the time that this was the best way I have ever seen to permanently lose weight and get healthy. If it worked for me, then it can also work for them!

The story notes that many "Americans continue to search for a way to win the fight against fat."

Haven't we always tried to find the ultimate answer to our weight problem? But we have failed time and time again because we are looking for the quick fix or an easy way out of our obesity. It's time to swallow some cold hard truth: IT AIN'T A BED OF ROSES!

With that said, I can tell you that with the right motivation, support and endurance to push forward no matter what, you will likely lose a lot of weight, keep it off, and feel better than you have ever felt in your entire life by following the low-carb lifestyle. The good news is you don't have to force yourself to eat those nasty low-fat foods to get there. You can instead enjoy the plethora of delicious food choices served up by low-carb. Life on a "diet" never tasted so good!

The GI diet is being hailed as "the next big thing" because it measures how carbohydrates effect blood sugar. But the problem is that 93 percent of Americans don't even look for GI information on the foods they buy, according to an August 2005 ACNielsen survey. That's a huge disconnect between consumers and manufacturers. Market analysts expect the trend to finally catch on in America like it has in Great Britain and Australia, but only time will tell if and when that will ever happen.

One New York-based food-labeling marketing firm representative quoted in this story believes this new trend will be difficult to sell to the American public because of its complexity.

"If you think nutrition in general is complicated the GI is even more so," said Ilene Smith, vice president and director of nutrition marketing for the global food and nutrition practice of Ketchum Communications Inc. "There (are) just too many variables."

American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Cathy Nonas makes a point that I actually agree with her regarding the GI diet.

"I think the GI is intriguing," she said. "But it's very complicated, and not yet very well defined."

It does seem like you have to keep up with a lot of information when you are on a GI diet. It depends on your body type, the amount of food you consume, how you cook your food, and the medicines you take whether they play a role in how your body's glucose levels react to the foods you eat. In other words, how can you really know if the GI diet is right for you if there are so many variables that could make it confusing and frustrating for you? That sounds like a recipe for disaster that may cause many people to give up on it prematurely and go back to their poor eating habits again.

That is why I have enjoyed the low-carb lifestyle. All I want to know is how many carbs I have consumed in a day. That's it! Nothing else. I don't look at calories, fat grams, portion sizes or anything else except for net carbs. I do watch the sodium content of the foods I eat because of my blood pressure, but counting carbs alone has been the easiest plan I have ever used to monitor my food intake. This was a big reason why I was able to stick with livin' la vida low-carb throughout the weight loss and explains how I am able to continue on with it today. Don't make this harder than it needs to be.

Guess who the first company to introduce GI labeling in the United States was? Would you believe it was Atkins? They started putting the GI information, or "Net Atkins Count," on their Advantage nutrition bars about a year ago. Once again Atkins is leading the trend and will continue to provide the public with the very best information regarding the low-carb lifestyle despite their bankruptcy.

Other American food manufacturers are expected to follow the lead of Atkins, but some are wondering if anybody will pay attention to it. There has even been evidence that despite the enormous popularity of the low-carb diet, many people don't know what a controlled-carb lifestyle is about. I am sure many people who try to keep up with everything they think they should and shouldn't eat get a headache just taking it all in. It's enough to make your head spin, and, in turn, discourage a lot of people who need to lose weight from caring about it at all. They might be thinking, "If it's this much trouble, then why bother!" This is a sad state to be in.

Smith said she thinks that will spell the doom of the GI diet as a fad.

"I think it's going to end up being a fad like low carb was," she said. "Nutrition can't be simplified. I think that's the problem."

I agree the GI diet will be difficult to understand for the American public because it varies from person to person, but I disagree that good nutrition cannot be made easy. One of the things that attracted me to the low-carb lifestyle was its simplicity. Losing weight while enjoying the experience was a new concept to me. Livin' la vida low-carb was the only thing that has ever worked for me after trying and failing on too many diets to remember.

So why hasn't "the next Atkins diet" caught on in America yet? Could it be that the original Atkins diet plan is still an easy and effective way to lose weight and keep it off? The media needs to stop looking for the next diet fad and should start educating people about how the healthy low-carb lifestyle can help them overcome their obesity problem. It really works!


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