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April 27, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Doctor, Dietitian 'Alarmed' By Atkins Diet Column
Jimmy Moore
July 5, 2005

The following article is a reprint from my new blog called "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb":

I found a letter to the editor of the British newspaper Western Mail from a medical doctor and a dietician who specialize in obesity issues and they were not happy with a recent newspaper story heralding the Atkins diet as the best weight loss method available for people despite the negative reporting against it.

Dr. Nadim Haboubi and Ms. Sian Jones wrote in their letter that they were "truly alarmed" that the Atkins diet was painted in such a positive light in that column and said some of the statements made by medical experts in the article were "unfortunately misleading."

Oh, this is just too funny. Here's a couple of obesity "experts" bemoaning the fact that they believe another expert is being "misleading" about the Atkins diet. Welcome to our world, Dr. Haboubi and Ms. Jones! We have to deal with people like you every single day who PURPOSEFULLY mislead the public about livin' la vida low-carb by repeating unsubstantiated theories and rumors that this way of eating is somehow bad for your health. The medical research just doesn't back up the vast majority of these negative claims. You'd rather smear low-carb instead of trying to examine the positive effect it is having on many people like me.

They state that weight management has a three-fold purpose:

- the need for a "negative energy balance to reduce body weight"
- to "maintain a lower body weight over the longer-term"
- to follow a "healthy balanced diet that is low in saturated fats and high in complex carbohydrates."

In a word, HOGWASH!

The "negative energy balance" is referring to eating less calories than you burn off with exercise. I have not done this one time since I started my low-carb lifestyle and my weight came off like gangbusters! The heavy emphasis on calories is simply overrated because watching your carbs is much easier and allows you to eat more food than those hunger-inducing low-calorie, low-fat diets.

If you are on a low-carb program, then you will lose and maintain your weight over the long haul. But a diet that is "low in ... fats and high in ... carbohydrates" is a recipe for disaster for anyone trying to find a permanent way to lose weight. There's a lot of evidence that shows why low-fat, low-calorie diets fail and low-carb succeeds. It's a shame people like Dr. Haboubi and Ms. Jones refuse to look at the good low-carb is doing for people.

They claim low-carb is only good in the short-term because it helps reduce your appetite, but they begrudgingly admit that it can produce greater weight loss than a low-fat diet especially during the first six months. Even still, they say the weight loss is no better a year later.

So what? The fact is you lose weight on low-carb. PERIOD! Who cares if you can lose just as much on low-fat in a year?! That's not the point. The real question is "Can you keep it off once you've lost it?" I argue you will have a much easier time making the weight loss permanent if you are on a low-carb lifestyle than if you continue to suffer on a low-fat diet.

Dr. Haboubi and Ms. Jones repeat the lie that the weight loss on low-carb is not body fat but body water. Are they really suggesting that I lost 180 pounds of body water? LOL!

In addition, they warn without any evidence to back them up that a low-carb plan "might well increase the risk of cardiovascular disease." This is the kind of absurd statements that should force medical and healthy experts out of the practice. As scientists and human observers, they have always examined the facts and made recommendations based on those facts their entire medical careers. Why start injecting personal opinion now? This only prevents so many patients from enjoying a very effective and safe weight loss method that may actually work for them.

Despite the fact that trigylceride and cholesterol levels improved dramatically on Atkins, Dr. Haboubi and Ms. Jones note that the American Heart Association and the British Dietetic Association have noted the cardiovascular risks associated with low-carb diets over the long-term because they supposedly restrict "protective foods" like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Do you ever get the feeling you've answered something so many times that you get blue in the face? Let's just say I get plenty of all of those "protective foods" in my food intake as I'm livin' la vida low-carb.

They conclude at the end that an "emphasis on healthy diet and change of lifestyle and increased physical activity is the best solution in obesity management."

I agree. Eating a healthy low-carb lifestyle combined with a regular exercise routine is a recipe for weight loss and weight maintenance success. It's exactly how I lost 180 pounds and it is what I am doing to keep it off for good!

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