Wednesday, March 21, 2007

You Can Just Ask 'Livin' La Vida Low-Carb' Man

Since I got back home on Monday from Reno, Nevada, I've been trying to play catch-up on my work and sleep pattern! Jet lag has hit me hard this week, but I should be recovered by the end of this weekend. I've received lots of e-mail to keep me occupied as always this week and it is full of several very interesting stories I'd like to share with you today.

I'll call this segment "Ask 'Livin' La Vida Low-Carb' Man" as we sift through the great big bag of e-mail that comes through my computer screen almost nonstop. I LOVE hearing from you, so don't hesitate to e-mail Jimmy Moore (that's ME!) anytime at

Here's there first one:

Mr. Moore,

First, let me offer my congratulations on your incredible weight loss accomplishments!! As an individual who has always struggled with extra weight, I found your story to be inspiring. Actually, it was searching for inspiration that lead me to your story.

I am not participating in a low-carb lifestyle, so I did not find you through your awesome web site. Rather, I was reading success stories on Shapefit when your amazing results caught my eye. I find reading about others' accomplishments help to keep me focused on my goals.

The first thing that stuck out in your story was your amazing 180-pound weight loss!! The reason I decided to write was because we are practically neighbors here in South Carolina. My wife and I have been married for 5 years and also do not have children, except of course, our dog and cat.

I started 2007 at 330 pounds. So far this year, through diet and exercise, I've lost 36 pounds. I am not following any particular "diet" per se because my philosophy is when you're "on" a diet, you're either on or off. Through some of the messages I've read on your web site, you've tackled this significant challenge by not following a diet, but rather turning your new eating habits into a lifestyle. My wife and I both exercise every day and eat "normal" meals with the biggest emphasis on portion control.

If I ever write a book, as you have successfully, the title will be a quote my wife used when asked "How are you losing weight?" She answered, "We're eating like people rather than like a horse." If you have the time, I would enjoy corresponding with you through my journey and your continued success.

LOL! I like that. The "Don't Eat Like A Horse" diet. Hee hee! Now that's pretty funny. I sent that very nice man who lives just down the road from me my telephone number and I look forward to talk to him soon.

Here was the next e-mail:

I've been on low carb for over two years and have lost 40 pounds. Because I ride in bike races I've been low carbing off and on. I now want to stay on low carb. Only problem is I can't lose weight like I use to. I'm losing about a pound a week. I tried your 30-30 program, but I only got headaches. Any thoughts. By the way I love your book!

THANKS for those comments and CONGRATULATIONS on your weight loss. If you are already losing a pound a week, then in 30 weeks that'll be 30 more pounds. Sounds like you are doing my "30-In-30" just fine. :) So keep it up! If you get headaches along the way during your low-carb lifestyle, then that could be caffeine or sugar/carb withdrawals and will go away the longer you stay away from them!

THANKS for your comments about my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" book which has seen a HUGE sales boost in 2007 for some reason, especially the e-book. THANK YOU again for writing and contact me anytime!

And yet another e-mail from someone with lots of questions:

Dear Jimmy,

Two years ago I discovered the Atkins plan, and three months later I was down 20 lbs. I was never obese but slightly over weight and man did look good! Women I had never spoken to at work would come up to me and ask me what I had done, it was amazing. I should mention that I had also thrown off my couch-potato chains and started weight-training.

Cut to a year later, I got married, moved to another state, another job, another schedule, and the carbs hit with a vengeance. As a way of jump-starting my earlier routine I bought the Carbohydrate Addict's 7-Day plan, that only left me with more questions than answers.

What IS a carbohydrate these days? Is it better to count carbs instead of net carbs? Can "dietary fiber" spike insulin levels, and therefore be considered a "fattening" carb as well? And can I have Splenda with my coffee? And is there a list somewhere of "Carbohydrate Act-Alikes" that the Hellers mention in their books?

I loved being on Atkins after the initial carb-withdrawal, but now every low-carb preacher has his/her own version and Heaven forbid that I should stray from the path! Please Jimmy show me the way. I have no problem forgoing bread, but please don't take away the Splenda! Looking forward to you guidance.

This is EXACTLY what I was talking about in my blog post about "changes" in your life impacting your diet the other day. I'm certainly not a big fan of the Carbohydrate Addict's diet and hate to see it made livin' la vida low-carb more confusing.

I'll attempt to answer each of your questions, so here goes:

- What IS a carbohydrate these days?

Sugar, white flour, pasta, rice, potatoes, high fructose corn syrup, junk food, fast food--AVOID THEM!

- Is it better to count carbs instead of net carbs?

I count the net carbs.

- Can "dietary fiber" spike insulin levels, and therefore be considered a "fattening" carb as well?

Fiber does NOT spike insulin levels and should be eaten at every meal to SLOW the absorption of carbohydrates.

- And can I have Splenda with my coffee?

Absolutely...I LOVE Splenda!

- And is there a list somewhere of "Carbohydrate Act-Alikes" that the Hellers mention in their books?

I'm not familiar with what this is, but I'm sure you can Google it or one of my readers may know.

Hope all of this helps! Best wishes to you as you keep on livin' la vida low-carb!

Next up in the e-mail bag is someone who's weight is "stuck":

Hi Jimmy,

I really enjoy your blog. I have been doing Atkins for quite some time now. I have to admit there have been short periods when I have cheated (on vacation, or social occasions). I had surgery two years ago and ever since then I have not been able to be as physically active as I used to be.

For 3 weeks straight I was doing low-carb, with low-carb yogurt and some nuts, but my clothes seemed to be getting tighter. Right now, I am basically consuming no carbohydrates and I'm exercising, but my ketone sticks don't change color. I try not to weigh myself because it makes me depressed, but I have about 30 lbs to lose.

I am not sure what I'm doing wrong. I have always been able to take weight off very quickly with Atkins, but it doesn't seem to be working for me anymore. Do you have any suggestions?

THANK YOU for writing to me and I appreciate hearing from my readers. Your e-mail is a common one and I'll help you the best way I know how--from my own experience.

Although you are unable to do as much exercise as you would like because of your surgery, I would encourage you to take a closer look at exactly what you are eating because it sounds like you are getting a few hidden carbs here and there that you didn't bargain for. Probably from the yogurt since your ketone sticks are not getting pink or purple.

Make sure you are eating a variety of foods and you don't have to necessarily eat ZERO carbs, although you should see some color change in the ketone strips if you do indeed go that route. Here are six weeks of sample menus from my diet last year to help you out.

As for the scale, it can help you or hurt you depending on your preference. I like it and let it motivate me. Always have, always will. But put it away if it discourages you because it's not worth giving up because of that stupid little machine.

My suggestion to you is to get back to the basics. Read the book of the low-carb plan you are following again. Scour it, study it, learn it, then LIVE it! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Finally, I got this fanastic e-mail from someone who reminds me of my brother Kevin who was back in the hospital this week to have the fluid that has built up around his heart drained...again! He has this procedure done every few months and he's not gonna last much longer. Check out what one of my readers who also weighs near 600 pounds like Kevin is doing about his weight:

I have been reading some of your blogs and I am very interested in them. I very RARELY read the whole story but I have yours. I lost about 150 lbs (I still needed to lose more) back in 2003 doing Atkins and was healthy and even got a beautiful wife out of the confidence it gave me.

But like your brother, I too went back to my old habits and gained about 200 lbs and I started to feel bad and went to the ER and later went through numerous heart related testing including the stress in which I had to take the injection kind not due to not being able to walk on the treadmill but because I was too heavy for it.

Thankfully I have a healthy heart and I was losing weight by drinking a high fiber drink for breakfast and lunch and then eating a healthy low fat and calorie supper. I lost about 35 lbs and seemed to be doing well though I felt hungry all of the time. When Thanksgiving and Christmas was here I gave in to every bad food and gained what I lost and a few more. I knew I was gaining more weight but was hoping not that much, but I did.

So at 577 lbs I am drinking my high fiber drink with 10 grams of carb per serving for breakfast and lunch and I now eat a low carb healthy supper. I have been doing this for a week and a half now and I am doing great and I am NOT hungry. In fact I have to sometimes remind myself to eat. I move very well at my weight (I'm 6' 7") and unless I fall down and have to get back up it does not register in my brain how heavy I have gotten.

Carbs are my weakness and a healthy low carb eating habit is something I can live with. I just have to remember that it is a LIFETIME habit. People must realize that when you do decide to go low carb that you must watch it so you stay within the amount of carbs to maintain your weight or you will gain it back and very quickly. I am going strong and will continue Lord Willing and if my will power holds strong.

God bless you, Duane! I am so proud of you for taking this important step in your life. Morbid obesity is an awful place to find yourself in, but you are doing something about it. Keep at it, my firend, and NEVER EVER EVER give up! Please let me know how I can help you in ANY way.

My brother Kevin has not gotten the message that his weight is killing him, but you have. If I can help save you before it's too late, then my efforts at my blog, in my podcast show, and with my book have NOT gone in vain. Keep it up, buddy! YOU CAN DO IT!!! You don't need willpower, but a steadfast resolve to do the right thing. Once you start livin' la vida low-carb you should keep on livin' la vida low-carb for life!

Gotta question or comment for "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" Man Jimmy Moore? Drop me an e-mail at

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Blogger Tom Bunnell said...

I think that the "We are sugar addicts" phrase fits in here. My eating
compulsion was definitely fueled by my sugar/carb addiction. I thought
I had a compulsive eating disorder and for years I was sure of this but
I couldn't find a cure without going into a whole psychological thing
which I resisted doing. Then I went after sugar, at the time not even
knowing that modern carbs like white flour and rice and potatoes and
corn were in fact sugar. I thought I wasn't eating sugar while I was
eating all these foods. Dumplings for instance. What could be better
for you, eggs and ground up seeds, no sugar there. It turns out
dumplings are pure sugar. When I discovered this and got to true near
zero sugar and modern carbs everything started to fall into place. A
few months later I discovered I was on the Atkins diet without knowing
it. My compulsive eating disorder had left me because it never really
was a compulsive eating disorder. It was a sugar modern carb sugar
addiction, like a drug addiction. The compulsion left me and my low
carb or Atkins or Liven La Vita low carb way of living and eating took
over. I didn't have a mental condition. I was simply addicted to sugar
and low carbs.

I am six months into this and I have lost 35# of the 180# I have to lose. I feel much better.


3/22/2007 8:47 AM  
Blogger Amy Dungan said...

To the person that is having problems losing weight: Another thing worth looking into is the possibility of Candida. Many people have issues with this and don't even know it. He/She could try cutting out all fermented foods for a while and see if it helps. You can read more about this in Chapter 25 of Dr. Atkins book (DANDR).

Also take into consideration any medications, hormones, etc. that may have changed since the last time your reader tried Atkins.

If none of these things seem to be the problem, the maybe they should try the fat fast for a couple of days, just to see if they have a higher metabolic resistance than they used to.

Oh.. and don't rely on the ketone strips. They can very often be unreliable. I can be in deep ketosis and never change the color. The amount of water you drink will alter the results as well. If your bottle is out of date or not sealed well... I could list many more reasons why you shouldn't rely on them. Just use them as a guide if you like, but let your body tell you if you are in ketosis or not. (appetite reduction, metallic taste in mouth, etc.)

My last suggestion would be to try adding a few more carbs in (veggies) for a week and see what the results are. Some people do a little better when they have more veggie carbs.

As they say: YMMV (your milage may vary) so try different things until you find what works for you.
Good Luck!

3/22/2007 10:26 AM  
Blogger TESS said...

I agree with Sparky. Ketostix never turned for me because i drink an incredible amount of liquid every day. I will also say that some people will need to keep a food journal and may find tey have to watch calories as well. YMMV! Good Luck!

3/22/2007 4:55 PM  

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