February 10, 2004

The Low Carb Revolution?

Now, I don't want to get into any arguments about diets. I know this whole Atkins thing has worked for some of you out there. I just get concerned when people take things to extremes. Does it work? I'm sure it does. Is it healthy? I doubt it.

Dr. Robert Atkins, whose popular diet stresses protein-rich meat and cheese over carbohydrates, weighed 258 pounds at his death and had a history of heart disease, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Its not fair to laugh at a dead guy...and he did have some medical problems that contributed to his death. But still, I can't help but think that this whole Atkins thing is a fad. Hell, even the local 7-11's have "Join The Low Carb Revolution" signs on their stores. Its getting a little old.

Posted by Chris at February 10, 2004 09:51 AM

Yeah, 7-Eleven, all the fast food places, it's nuts. Yesterday I was at the store buying "calorie free" Diet Hansen's for my boss, and the lady at the checkout counter FREAKED OUT. "This has no calories?" "Yeah, my boss loves it; it means he can drink something else other than diet Rite, since it has Splenda or whateverthehell in it."

Her response was something like the verbal equivalent of "OMGOMGOMG!!!!1111KTHXBYE"


Posted by: Tara at February 10, 2004 09:56 AM

It isn't nice to laugh at a dead guy, but is it ok to laugh at a dead guy who was so obviously full of crap (& cholesterol)?


Posted by: Marie at February 10, 2004 10:10 AM

I just bought a pair of pants last night; size 6.

I have been on the diet for a year now and went from an 18 to a 6.

First, Dr. Atkins died last year after being ingured in a fall on an icy street, not heart failure. There are many factors to heart disease. Diet is one, genetic defects, like mine, is another.

The diet encourages a lifestyle of meat, vegetables, dairy, and small amounts of bread and grains. The idea is to stop filling up on buns and french fries, and eat a salad instead. And in this world of 'super size' and 'biggie fries', learning to eat smaller portions.

People should always talk to a doctor before going on any diet at all.

Posted by: katherine at February 10, 2004 10:24 AM

It's gotten very old. I'm so tired of burger joints and other eateries jumping on this bandwagon.

I'm waiting for the fallout.

Posted by: Annie J. at February 10, 2004 10:25 AM

Sorry Chris. You lost me on this one. I'm gonna keep on believing in the low carb diet. I am losing weight (good for any diet), I feel a whole lot better ALL THE TIME (again, very good), my blood pressure is WAY down (great for me - I'm finally back into normal - actually low normal), my wife's triglycerides have dropped significantly, the list of benefits goes on and on.

I don't give a rat's ass what someone is eating - if those are the results, I have to think that it's a good thing.

Besides, I wouldn't want to be the one to poo-poo something that seems to be working for millions of people. Why burst their bubble? Plus, it's probably easier for someone like you with the physique you've got (no, I'm not trying to pick you up), to say that this is a big fat stupid fad and will soon go the way of the hula-hoop.

Of course, if this does turn out to be a fad (I doubt it, but I won't bore you with the details), then I'll be right back here saying something like...yeah, well, ummmm, I'm like, sorry, man. You were dead on.

Peace, brutha. :-)

Posted by: Buzz at February 10, 2004 10:29 AM

I hear you there! Seems to be the new slogan this year. I think the biggest thing as americans we forget is not too eat so much, and so much junk food. Its hard theese days to get a decent meal when everyone is so busy, its just faster and easier to eat out....


Posted by: dewnut at February 10, 2004 10:35 AM

it has gotten annoying. Even in my local grocery store. They had a carb aware sign under BLACK PEPPER!!


Posted by: whistler at February 10, 2004 10:38 AM

I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. I've had very close friends and folks that I work with have very positive and sustained results with Atkins. Buzz and Katherine are two good examples. Do I believe it works? Absolutely. What I don't like is the idea of fad-izing (is there a verb form of 'fad'?) something like this. I'm tired of everyone, as Annie said, jumping on the bandwagon. I'll be the first to admit that I can't criticize eating habits - I'm a vegetarian, about which many amusing things can be said, I'm sure. And yeah, Buzz, I am a skinny guy and don't have the same concerns as others. I just worry about the effects of turning this into a fad instead of a well thought out lifestyle change.

Posted by: Chris at February 10, 2004 10:40 AM

I personally don't believe any diet works until you face the real reasons for why and when you eat, but I do believe that diets like Atkins/Sugar Busters do have valid points- I'm actually just starting an Atkins/Sugar Buster hybrid myself (but I'm not calling it a diet- I'm calling it a lifestyle change). I know that I'm a sucker for sweets and things like pasta and bread, and refined white flour and sugar are probably two of the worst culprits that lead to overeating, weight gain and obesity (along with eating meals that have gone from regular sized to supersized).

The insulin and glycogen factors that are addressed by diets like these make sense when you read more about them, and I know for certain that I'm a perfect candidate for food plans like these. I'm not cutting carbs altoghether, I'm just making more conscious decisions like getting only 100% whole wheat products and keeping my sugar consumption to a minimum. I think that people just need to do what's best for them- everybody's different :)

Posted by: Kristi at February 10, 2004 11:23 AM

it's alright to laugh at a dead guy,
because it's not like you're going to
embarrass him to death...

i think i'd agree that the truly disgusting
thing is the way it's always just another
"oat bran donut"

Posted by: stacy at February 10, 2004 12:22 PM

chris - you and I are on the same wavelength today, I posted about this as well. I don't care what other people eat, I'm just tired of hearing about the atkins stuff all the time.

Posted by: liz at February 10, 2004 01:30 PM

I will be so glad when this fad is over.
My diet is as follows:
1. Watch what you eat, fat etc...
2. Do not eat until your full, but until your not hungry. The portions we are served today are about 2 to 3 times what you need.
3. Do some type of cardio exercise.
4. Have fun, be happy and enjoy life, stress kills too.

Posted by: rob at February 10, 2004 01:59 PM

What I love is all the established companies coming out of the woodwork to jump on the bandwagon. Like tuna fish or peanuts - I've seen ads for both saying something along the lines of "we've always been low-carb".

This will die out the same as every other dieting fad. It's just not a healthy long-term option, unless you have certain medical conditions, in which case you shouldn't be following Atkins anyway but a diet prescribed by your doctor.

Posted by: pie at February 10, 2004 02:09 PM

I'm amazed at all the low carb stuff coming out. It's kind of wild. I'm thankful for it though, I'm not following the Adkins diet, but I don't eat anything made with white flour or processed sugar. And this whole low carb craze has created more options for me when I do go out to eat or even when I want something as a treat. That said, I am tired of the fad-like advertising of it all.

Posted by: Heather at February 10, 2004 03:41 PM

I believe in "Everything in moderation".. For some reason unknown to me, that isn't do-able by lots of folks.


Posted by: cassie-b at February 10, 2004 04:15 PM

I just want to say that I could be complaining about all the "low-fat" and "fat-free" things out there - god, they're just everywhere! When will this fad end? But I'm not complaining. So, let's just let everyone do what they want to do, 'k?

And, dude, don't diss the dead guy! What did he ever do to you? :)

Posted by: Empress at February 10, 2004 06:21 PM

I was laughing @ Subway's new Atkin friendly sandwhich....

Posted by: Rachel in Alaska at February 10, 2004 09:34 PM

For what is is worth, the Atkins people are apparently claiming that this "physician's group" is actually a group of PETA supporters. While I am certainly not a fan of the way the Atkins diet is followed by most people (as a vegetarian, the meat-centric attitudes of everyone I know who is on Atkins are kind of disgusting) I think it is important to know who is actually doing this "reporting." (This is, by the way, why I don't affiliate myself with PETA, ever.)

See, for example, Yahoo News; the group was apparently exposed by the Center for Consumer Freedom. While I don't know a lot about CCF, they appear to rather biased as well, biased against any anti-obese (??) movements; it is hard to tell from their website which boasts claims that [it is a ] "big fat lie that soft drinks...cause obesity in children." Clearly, the organizations on both sides of this issue cannot be necessarily trusted to be acting with consideration for the verifiable-facts-only, but that does nothing other than make *both* sets of claims suspect.

Posted by: girl at February 10, 2004 10:26 PM


I am disgusted with the Atkins diet... now.. my parents have been on it for the last year, my dad lost 70 pounds (and then stop losing weight and is now trying low calorie + gym.. but not the point) ... i dont see how it can be healthy.. for one thing, you gain it all back after you go off it. (My sister gained 40+ pounds in just 3 months after going off of it) and its not healthy. Carbs are your main source of energy, so being around people on the Atkins diet is like being in a room full of grouchy zombies. ugh.

Posted by: Katie at February 11, 2004 08:50 AM

I have to go with Buzz and Empress on this one. I have seen awesome results from the Atkins plan.

Also, it isn't a diet. It is a way of life. You have to stick to it. You just have to learn how many carbs you can eat a day without gaining weight.

I have more energy now than I did when I was eating carbs. I don't know about all the "grouchy zombies" that Katie is talking about. As long as you take the supplements that you are supposed to take and drink a LOT of water, you aren't a zombie.

Posted by: FN at February 11, 2004 09:51 AM

ok, personally, i'm sick of atkins-bashing by the uninformed...if you're going to bash something, shouldn't you know something about it first?? yes...read a book, it wouldn't hurt you...hell, read all the books you can find on low carb eating (i know i did)...

first, dr. atkins had heart disease THAT WAS CAUSED BY A VIRUS! it's been documented people!! the excess weight was caused by water retention, which was caused by the heart disease! you'd think people would respect a person and not bash them when they are FUCKING DEAD!

second, you are not supposed to "go off" the atkins diet (that's why there's the "atkins way of eating")...if you follow the books, you slowly add carbs back into your diet AFTER you've lost the weight you needed to lose...of course if you go back to eating donuts, cake, and potatoes laden w/crap you will gain back the weight!! helloooooo?? if you go on any diet and then resume the way you were eating before (which got you fat the first time around) YOU WILL GAIN BACK THE WEIGHT!!!

third, *i* was on atkins...*i* lost 90 lbs. on it...*i* had my bad cholesterol DROP 50 PTS. b/c of it...oh, and i was also much happier and had TONS more energy than ever while on atkins...if you're cranky (after induction) you're not doing something right...either that, or you're just a pill to begin with...

*kicks soapbox out from under her as she walks away to enjoy her fried eggs and bacon*

Posted by: lilly at February 11, 2004 09:59 AM

btw, this rant was totally NOT directed at Chris...;) who, thankfully, is not closed-minded :D

Posted by: lilly at February 11, 2004 10:34 AM

Lily, I enjoyed your post. ALthough I have only been doing Atkins for for three weeks now, I feel better than I have in along time. I've bought two of his books, read them cover to cover and it makes perfect sense to me. I've discussed it with my doctor who whole approves of what I'm doing 100%. I feel so much better NOT eating pizza, pasta, buns, bread and all those high carb foods which only give you highs and lows during the day. I also have much more energy than I did before and I plan to stick with it! Kudos to you girl!

(Hey Chris, thanks for such a controversial post, it really sparked some great comments!)

Posted by: seger at February 14, 2004 02:50 PM