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November 10, 2005 | South Carolina Headlines


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Nobody's Doing Low-Carb Anymore Because It's So Popular
Jimmy Moore
May 25, 2005

The following article is a reprint from my new blog called "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb":
This St. Louis, MO-based KSDK-TV news story looked into whether low-carb diets are finished for good as is widely reported all the time, but then came to an inconclusive answer based on the mixed responses they received.

Could it be, a small ray of positive light in the midst of the morass of darkness known as the media??! Let's see for ourselves...

The story begin by going to the local supermarkets where many low-carb products have been "discontinued" and items marked "low-carb" are not selling as well as they once did.

I ran into this problem last night when I went to my local grocery store on the way home from my workout at the gym. I was looking in the peanut butter section for the Carb Options Skippy peanut butter I always get because I like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with sugar free preserves and Atkins bread. But, to my dismay, I could not find it.

When I saw once of the grocery store workers stocking the shelves, I approached him about the low-carb peanut butter and he told me that it has probably been discontinued.

"Oh, we've stopped carrying a lot of those 'low-carb' products because they don't sell," he said. "Our distributors can only look at the numbers and based their decision about which products to carry by what sells. 'Low-carb' just doesn't sell anymore."

I retorted back that while "low-carb" may be out, he'll probably see a lot more items with the term "sugar-free" on them. He was sympathetic about my situation and said he gets questions about low-carb products all the time from his customers.

That reminds me of the Yogi Berra quote that states about a restaurant, "Nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded."

The same could be applied to low-carb products. Nobody's doing low-carb anymore because it's so popular. And that has some grain of truth to it inasmuch as the market was flooded with low-carb products (most of which was junk!) and now there is a consumer rebellion against anything and everything low-carb. This is just unfortunate. But, I talk about this in my book, it just makes you have to look harder for the low-carb foods you can eat.

Sales of "low-carb" products have been up and dipped many times in recent months, according to an ACNielsen report. It's almost as if consumers can't make up their minds whether they want to do the low-carb lifestyle with these foods or not. Of course, many long-time low-carbers don't ever buy these foods and stick with those foods that are naturally low-carb. Yet these type of foods never get counted in the sales success of low-carb.

I just had to laugh out loud when they asked a bread company about whether low-carb is sticking around because it's like asking someone in prison who is about to be released if he would like to stay there.

The bread company's response: "It seems apparent that the hype tends to be fading." What else is a BREAD company who has taken a huge hit to their bottom line because of low-carb diets going to say about them?!

And then there's this dietitian (oh no, not one of those again!) who proclaimed she has seen less of her clientele on a low-carb diet now than she has in the past. But when asked why she thought low-carb was unsuccessful for the people she works with in her practice, this dietitian shows how incredibly ignorant she is about low-carb.

"I think any diet that may be real restrictive often times people follow the diet, lose the weight, but they haven't learned how to make real life style changes. So then they tend to gain the weight back."

Low-carb diets are not "real restrictive" except for the Induction phase when you are limited to 20 carbs in a day. And that's not really as bad as it sounds! But when you do a low-fat diet, you are ALWAYS restrictive on your food choices and cannot make the necessary "real life style changes" necessary to make the weight loss permanent. Just the opposite is true with low-carb. It's a delicious way of eating that allows so much variety and flexibility that you could do this the rest of your life to maintain your weight and health. That's why people like me and the tens of millions of others on low-carb have made it our lifestyle of choice.


The story then moves to some poor guy who claims he lost weight on low-carb three different times only to gain it all back when he got off the diet.

"Mostly because I missed the foods so I would eat the pizza again or I would eat the cheeseburger again."

What an idiot! If you miss pizza and cheeseburgers, then EAT THEM for crying out loud. I do all the time. But the key is to make them low-carb by not eating the carb-loaded pizza crust or hamburger bun. These minor alterations in the foods you love can mean the difference between losing weight permanently or continuing to add to the obesity statistics.

And check this out. On a low-fat diet, this guy will NEVER EVER EVER EVER get to have pizza or cheeseburgers. They're way too high in fat for him to eat, whereas these foods are perfectly fine to eat (with a few changes) when you are on low-carb.

But look what he's trying now to lose weight: Weight Watchers! The low-fat/low-calorie program is his great hope? I wonder how many pizza slices and cheeseburgers they let him eat on THAT diet?! I would venture to say ZIP, ZERO, NADA! He claims he has lost 35 pounds for good, but wait until he starts missing pizza and cheeseburgers again. We'll see how long that "permanent" weight loss lasts on his low-fat diet.

Then we just so happen to get a quote from a representative from Weight Watchers, which was described in this story as "the only scientifically proven weight loss program." Does somebody have a bucket I can hurl in?! How much more biased can you get than describing Weight Watchers in that way? What about all the science and studies that have come out in SUPPORT of the low-carb lifestyle? Hmmmmm? But I digress.

This local Weight Watchers representative in St. Louis said she tried low-carb but had to quit because she couldn't handle it.

"When you feel deprived and you haven't had those foods you binge."

What foods? I hear people say they would miss eating the foods they love if they do low-carb, but nobody can ever quantify what that means. Bread? There are excellent low-carb versions. Pasta? Got Dreamfields? Desserts? If you haven't tried one of the many sugar-free candies and other luscious treats out there, then you are depriving yourself of the joys of low-carbing it! What's the excuse?

Furthermore, you can lose some of your old eating desires the longer you do low-carb because your tastes change. I include a story in my book about a food I used to be completely in love with, but now it is absolutely repulsive to me. It's these kinds of changes that people who blast low-carb ignore. They really happen when you make this your permanent lifestyle change.

But, alas, there is hope that low-carb is here to stay towards the end of the story. They mention that TGI Friday's reports "very strong" sales from their Atkins menu and that the number of people who are on a low-carb diet of some sort has remained nearly unchanged for the past year.

Atkins Nutritionals complements this evidence that low-carb is still trucking along by pointing to the incredible sales of Morning Start and Advantages bars which "continue to be market leaders." While other products have failed in the low-carb realm, a few have been superb sellers and will continue to be for a very long time as long as people are livin' la vida low-carb.

It's unclear from the story what the verdict is about low-carb. They may end up calling it something else (and that's already in the process of happening right now!). In the meantime, those of us who are doing the low-carb lifestyle will keep living our lives with a big smile on our faces knowing we have finally found the answer to conquer this obesity beast once and for all.

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