One of the bummers about summer are all of our favorite television shows are on hiatus and you’re pretty much stuck with reruns and lame reality TV. But this year Christine and I found a new summer series on FOX-TV on Friday nights at 8:00PM ET that is absolutely fabulous called Mental. Featuring psychiatric doctors helping patients with various forms of mental illness work through their issues, this show is a gentle reminder that there are people out in the world who deal with a variety of brain-related ailments that could make them unstable.
Take, for example, the following e-mail I received over the weekend from a man who couldn’t wait to share his miracle weight loss plan with me and boy was he excited about it! How do you respond to something like this?
I don’t know if you are bankrolled by a low carbohydrate diet fad company. If you are, then that’s fine and you can stop reading at this point and I understand.
However, if not, I was curious at your obsession with this fad. It encourages lazy people to be even lazier. Carbohydrates are fine as long as you are even mildly active and eat healthy.
Case in point:
Just recently (May 2009-June 2009) I dropped 55 pounds. The first 10 pounds in less than 3 days, 40 pounds in less than 4 weeks, and 55 pounds (and counting) in a grand total of a WHOPPING (watch out now…) SIX WEEKS!
“How how how? Drugs? Surgery? Excercise?”, most all people ask me.
Then I give the answer (and watch their mostly disheartened reactions):
Changed eating habits. Period. No gym, no extra exercise than normal daily errands, no trendy fad diets, etc.
It actually started a little before this time, not the weight loss but the eating habits. Cut out all booze in April, started eating around one salad a day (bright green, not as healthy as I eat now in the dark greens).
Then, it escalated. Cut out almost all sugars, all restaurant food minus a little Del Taco now and then (just their red or green burrito & chicken soft taco), then to mostly organic foods, and at the request of a doctor, started eating a very small breakfast daily for the first time in over a decade.
As I progressed, I was not as hungry as before nor had the desire to eat as much, and meat has almost become foreign to me. Also, soy and rice milk is what I use instead of cow milk 99% of the time, and I take a combination of supplements (multi-vitamin, fruits, herbs, etc) as well as my bottles of pure goji juice just came in the mail last week.
I do every once and a while snack on a piece of candy here and there.
The other almost amazing thing is that I grew up not eating healthy, nor have ever really watched my weight, and since adulthood have fluctuated from 160 to 230 pounds at one point or another. I have not been a big fan of food for years now, as it has a slowing effect on me (much more so before when I ate junk).
Right before I started my new eating habits (influenced by a very close friend), I was the type to order the large medium–rare steak, cow milk with my cereal, eating at all different times of the day, cheeseburgers, and boozing it up a couple of times a week. Got fed up with looking at my double chin in the mirror, back problems (which have all but vanished), and loathed being sluggish at times and sleeping too much.
My point is that not only did I drop a decent amount in a shorter time than almost all other humans do, but I still sometimes eat breads, bagels, spaghetti, cereal, etc. proportionate to my activities. Carbohydrates do not make people obese and fat, inactivity and the AMOUNT that they eat and also I understand that genetics play a factor too. I am intelligent enough to weigh the genetics factor, HOWEVER,
Fast food, most meats, and booze are now like poison to me. Even if I eat too much at a meal, I get VERY sluggish and fall asleep. I had energy before, now it is off the charts and people can’t understand it. Most humans complain and whine about working EIGHT hours a day, I laugh at this as I am self-employed and regularly and almost every day “work” TWENTY hours in the day on average over the course of the week (some days are short naps, and when my body needs it, it makes me sleep 8 or 9 hours sometimes, of which I get upset but accept).
Besides the back pain clearing up and the energy boost, I have dropped 6 inches (36 to 30, and I can fit into 28 even when I find pants that a man can use, the crotch area being way too snug) off my waist (tried to get a tailor to alter some pairs of dress pants, she took one look and said in her accent, “not possible!”), and the passport authority worker had to do multiple glances between my drivers license (fat pic) and my newly taken passport picture to believe it was really me.
I have given away 97% of the fat clothes that I had and my shoes are not fitting so
My point is this: again, if you are on salary with scamkins or any other fad diet, then disregard my lambasting and carry on with your job. If not, consider cluing fat people in on my “secret”, which I will henceforth call the “change your diet and maybe get off of your fat butt cheeks fast track to lower weight quickly & simply” diet plan. You may be surprised at how the TRUTH, in it’s raw form, can and will motivate human oinkers into at least attempting to feel and look better. Enjoy.
P.S. I am male, early 30s, 5 foot 8 and currently 155 pounds (down from 210 pounds in May 2009), and have been considering getting a gym membership as to feel even better and rid myself of the ‘deflated balloon’ skin that slightly hangs off my otherwise flat stomach. I do have muscle mass, so the lowest I am considering is 142 pounds or so.
See what what I mean? Right about now I can hear “The Twilight Zone” theme music playing in the background–loo-loo-loo-loo, loo-loo-loo-loo. Most of my e-mail box is full of wonderful comments and questions from sane people who have a firm grasp on reality. But then you get people like this guy who proudly boast that they have all the answers to obesity in America. And it’s so easy according to him.
In my upcoming new book 21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb (which I am sending off to my publisher tomorrow!), I have a chapter entitled “Low-carb is not even close to being a fad diet.” The insistence that a healthy real foods-based diet like Atkins is a fad is almost laughable now. Who seriously argues that a menu consisting of whole foods like meat, cheese, eggs, nuts, butter, cream, green leafy veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and a few berries as the staples of a diet plan is a passing fad? Not a sane person, that’s for sure!
My “obsession” with livin’ la vida low-carb did not encourage me to “be even lazier,” sir. What it did was free me from the bondage of thinking that the only way I could eat to be healthy was a nasty low-fat, low-calorie diet. If that works for you, then I’m happy you found a plan that enables you to find enjoyment and satisfaction consuming a vegetarian diet with soy, rice milk, and goji juice. But eating like that would not be sustainable for people like me and a large majority of my readers because we would be miserable. Low-carb living has given us a long-term solution to our weight and health problem.
Your assertion that “carbohydrates are fine as long as you are even mildly active and eat healthy” certainly assumes a lot. While I’m glad to see you recognize the perils of sugar by attempting to eliminate them from your diet, the fact is all carbs turn to sugar in the body as does some of the protein you consume. Eating a zero-carb diet is absolutely ludicrous, but choosing select kinds of carbohydrates to consume and keeping them to a minimum is an absolute must to keep blood sugar and insulin under control. This isn’t a calories in, calories out equation as we have been led to believe–it’s all about controlling insulin. And low-carb does that.
Another chapter of my new book addresses the idea of what “healthy” eating looks like. It’s a lesson that so many people need to learn: “Low-fat, low-calorie diets do not have a monopoly on ‘healthy’”. And the fact is low-fat, low-calorie isn’t the great panacea for health that we’ve been led to believe. I know old habits and traditional beliefs are difficult to shake, but we have got to get past the monolithic thinking that there is only one way to obtaining health. Carbohydrate-restriction combined with a high-fat and moderate-protein intake is so beneficial to your health in ways that most people don’t have a clue about. That’s why you have to pay attention to the latest nutritional research on this amazing way of eating.
I think it’s outstanding that you have found a weight loss plan that enabled you to lose over a pound a day for nearly two months. That mirrors what the Atkins diet did for me in the first few months of my low-carb lifestyle in 2004 when I lost 30 pounds the first month, 40 pounds the second month, and 100 pounds in 100 days. How did I do it? I “changed eating habits” as well–from the high-carb junk food that ballooned me up to 410 pounds to a deliciously healthy low-carb lifestyle enabling my body to overcome my addiction to sugar/carbohydrates for the first time in my entire life. And with the weight loss, my body CRAVED exercise because my energy level was through the roof!
Cutting out meat from your diet is not nearly as important as you think it is. The radical vegetarian/vegan movement is indeed alive and well (I have a special chapter in my book just for them, too!) and they’ve tried their best to convince people there is something morally and ethically wrong with eating meat. But the real culprit people should concern themselves with is sugar and foods that turn to sugar in the body–namely starchy carbohydrates. Keeping these to a bare minimum is almost universally known to be a “healthy” way to eat. As for milk, skip the soy and rice versions and go for the REAL stuff– raw milk! Mmmm, mmmm!
While it may seem innocuous to have a “piece of candy here and there” and you’re probably okay if it truly is an infrequent occurrence, just know that sugar stimulates a rise in your blood glucose which then leads to an increase in insulin in your bloodstream that can unnecessarily lower your blood sugar to hypoglycemic levels where you get shaky, irritable, fatigued, nauseous, and hungry. It’s better to view sugar as “rat poison” and avoid it altogether as much as you possibly can. Otherwise, you keep feeding the beast that never stops at just one bite.
Unlike you, my weight has fluctuated quite significantly as an adult from a high of 410 pounds after over three decades of disgustingly high-carb eating habits with brief stints of low-fat eating prior to 2004 to as low as 213 following my low-carb lifestyle change. Although my weight is slightly higher than I’d like for it to be at the moment, livin’ la vida low-carb has enabled me to keep off triple digits for five years and counting all the while granting me the most incredible health I’ve ever experienced! To me, it’s the health benefits of controlling your carbohydrate intake that make eating this way so worth it. Yes, the weight loss is nice, but I’d MUCH rather be healthy with spectacular HDL, triglycerides, blood sugar control, and lots of large, fluffy LDL particles (explained in my new book, too–can you tell I packed a lot into this book?).
You suggestion for people to simply “change your diet” is one I’ve been talking about for years. Unfortunately, we are stuck on two conventional wisdom modes of thinking regarding diet: 1) There are no consequences to eating whatever I want whenever I want because it’s just food and I’ll do as I darn well please, or 2) If you want to lose weight and be healthy, then you have to eat a low-fat, portion-controlled diet. The problem is for most people neither one of these eating strategies will result in making them better and both will likely frustrate them as they wonder if they will ever be able to overcome their obesity and health woes.
This is where low-carb comes in. Like the fictional Prince Charming from the fairy tales, this way of eating swooped in and swept me off of my feet. It was the saving grace when all other suitors had failed me in the past. No longer was I held captive wondering what was wrong with me because I couldn’t lose weight and obtain the health that I so desperately desired. Low-carb quite literally gave me my life back and now I will never be the same again. And like you I bust my tail every single day working for myself to provide the best quality information about healthy low-carb living possible! My readers are TOTALLY worth the effort and I’m blessed to be able to do what I do.
I gave away most of my “fat clothes” a long time ago and, Lord willing, will no longer have to worry with buying them again. My shoe size also changed and now I can see the bones and veins in my feet from all the physical activity like volleyball I engage in each week. Buying new clothes is just part of the process and it’s a rewarding one at that. Again, CONGRATULATIONS on your success.
Just to be clear, I am NOT on the salary of anyone but myself. I’ve been doing this for over four years providing quality information about low-carb living on my blog, podcast show, YouTube videos, forum, and all the other projects I am involved with. Nobody has to pay a single dime to access any of the information I share because I believe the message is too important to try to capitalize off of it. While I do have sponsors who believe in what I am doing spreading the good word about low-carb and I am grateful to them for partnering with me in this mission, the bottom line is people are free to access what I write about at no charge to them and apply it to their own weight and health regimen.
You see, I too believe in sharing “the TRUTH, in it’s raw form” because it unfortunately gets clouded by the same old message we’ve been hearing for decades. Getting people excited about their diet through healthy low-carb principles is arguably the biggest motivation for people beginning on Atkins, Protein Power, or any number of other solid low-carb nutritional plans. Read the books, research for yourself, and then go MAKE IT HAPPEN! It’s what I encourage people to do day in and day at with my “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” brand and I’ll keep doing it for many more years to come!
See how interesting life can be sometimes? Whether you are “a crazed reader” or just one who is interested in sharing your comments or questions with me, I’d LOVE to hear from you! E-mail me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to respond. You certainly can’t be much more whacked than this guy was.