Diets, such as the Atkins Diet and the South
Beach Diet, can be extremely effective for fat
loss and weight control. You've no doubt known
or heard of someone going on a low-carb diet
and dropping 10 pounds or more in a week. Low-carb
diets are very popular for their rapid results.
Who wouldn't want fast results like this?!
As popular and
effective as low-carb diets are, how can there
possibly be a significant downturn in the low-carb
diet's popularity? After all, aren't low-carb
diets supposed to allow people to eat as much
low-carb food as they want still lose weight?
(people turning against low-carb dieting) and
low-carb diet failure is a reality and I'm going
to tell you the reasons why. Before I do, I
want to make one thing perfectly clear: I believe
low-carb diets do have their place in nutritional
science. They can be a very valuable dietary
strategy and can be very effective for fat loss.
I actually incorporate proper low-carb eating
into my fat loss program "Metabolic Surge
- Rapid Fat Loss!" It's the misinformation
and bandwagon profiteering currently becoming
associated with low-carb diets that really create
the problems we're seeing now with low-carb
1. Manufactured Low-Carb Junk
Foods Are Sabotaging Low-Carb Diets
One of the major
reasons people used to lose so much weight on
low-carb diets was that there was a very limited
selection of foods to choose from. These foods
(like fish, meats, poultry, salads, vegetables,
etc.) are primarily unprocessed and natural.
Enter: big business.
Spying the chance to make a profit, big food
manufacturers (and even little ones) saw a way
to create a whole new market for themselves
in the form of manufactured low-carb foods.
Out came the low-carb cookies, cakes, chips
and desserts. Basically, all the garbage foods
that a person wasn't previously allowed to eat
on a low-carb diet suddenly became available
to eat again.
So we're right
back to square one with people eating junk food.
The problem is, now people think they can eat
as much of it as they want because it's "low-carb!"
If this sounds to you like the "I can eat
all the ice cream I want because it's zero fat"
attitude commonly found with low-fat foods,
you're absolutely right.
Just because a
food is "low-carb" doesn't necessarily
mean it's good for you or that you can eat as
much of it as you want. It's most likely not
going to be low-calorie and don't be fooled...even
on a low-carb diet, calories do count. If you
take in more calories than you burn, you're
not going to lose fat, you're going to gain
The next time
you're at the grocery store, look at the nutritional
information on the label of a low-carb food
package, specifically serving size. One small
low-carb cookie could give you 10 grams of carbs
with another 10 grams in sugar alcohol. The
person who is buying low-carb cookies to satisfy
their craving for carb foods is not going to
eat just one cookie. A few cookies later, they've
eaten their entire carb allotment for the day
and what nutritional redemption do they have
to show for it (and creme-filled goodness doesn't
With the current
tremendous availability of low-carb junk food,
a person doesn't have to eat fish, meat, eggs,
salads and vegetables, which should be the focus
of a low-carb diet. They can eat the same garbage
that got them fat in the first place.
This is one of
the main reasons low-carb diets are starting
to fail and why there is a growing resentment
towards low-carb dieting. Unknowingly, people
have undermined their dieting efforts by supporting
food manufacturers who make highly-processed,
low-carb junk food. People want to believe that
they can continue to eat the same foods they're
comfortable with and still lose fat.
The problem is,
you just can't keep doing the same things you're
doing and expect different results.
As an aside, not
only are these foods sabotaging low-carb diets,
they actually cost a lot more than their normal
counterparts (I've seen a small loaf of low-carb
bread for six dollars)! People are paying more
money for products that are screwing up their
2. Too Much Emphasis on Unhealthy,
High-Calorie, Fatty, Low-Carb Foods
A low-carb diet
is not a "bacon and butter diet."
A low-carb diet is not a "sausage and Diet
Coke diet." Granted, the fat in these foods
is not as much of a problem when eating low-carb,
but you should NOT base your eating habits on
preservative-loaded, saturated-fat-packed, high-sodium
foods. Just because you CAN eat them doesn't
mean you SHOULD.
Dr. Atkins, in
his diet program, actually discourages overuse
of foods like this. He focuses more on unprocessed
meats, fish, poultry, eggs, salads and vegetables,
etc., rather than the bacon, butter and sausage.
The general public seems to only get the sound-bite
message from the "don't-confuse-us-with-the-facts"
popular media, which is "eat all the bacon
and butter you want and still lose weight."
This is not and should not be the focus of any
Why is eating
fatty foods like bacon and sausage contributing
to a downturn in low-carb dieting? Because when
it comes right down to it, these foods will
never be healthy and should not be consumed
in quantity. Not only are they full of saturated
fat and preservatives, the high fat levels mean
they are very high in calories. As I mentioned
before, calories do count, even on a low-carb
diet. If you take in more calories than you
burn (which can easily happen when you eat 500
calories worth of bacon for breakfast) you're
not going to lose, you're going to gain.
3. Turns Out Carbs Are Not
Carbs are everywhere.
They're in many of the foods we love to eat.
They're also in many of the very nutritious
foods we SHOULD be eating. There is no denying
that the human body is designed to efficiently
use carbs for energy. Carbs are NOT inherently
evil nor do all carbs need to be avoided like
The problem most
people have with carbs is that they eat the
wrong types of carbs. Enriched, pulverized,
processed, sugary carbs are the carbs people
have fattened themselves up on for years. These
are the carbs that should be avoided and/or
and whole grains are not the problem. They contain
nutrients that are extremely important to the
body and contribute to health and athletic performance.
Look to high fructose corn syrup and enriched
white flour and you'll find the source of the
Most people truly
WANT to eat carbs and SHOULD eat (proper) carbs,
which makes it that much harder to stick to
a low-carb diet. This is another major reason
we're seeing resentment towards the low-carb
4. Missing Nutrients
The low-carb diet
is a very unbalanced diet. Only eating from
certain food groups will catch up with a person
in the long run (potassium deficiency can be
a BIG problem with low-carb diets). The body
functions best when fed a variety of healthy
foods and people on low-carb diets should be
very careful to be sure they're getting enough
varied nutrition. Unfortunately, as we know,
most people aren't that careful.
If what you're
eating is not giving your body the nutrition
it needs, it will let you know. You will get
strong cravings for the foods you're missing
and you may even develop nutrient deficiencies.
Not a good situation. For most people, a diet
that can leave you vulnerable like this, if
you're not careful, is not going to be effective
in the long run.
*** If you are
currently on a low-carb diet, be absolutely
sure you are at the very least taking a good
5. Sugar Alcohol - The Great Pretender
simply DO NOT exist in nature in the quantities
found in low-carb foods these days. When a body
ingests a large amount of a substance it's not
familiar with in large quantities, what's its
reaction? Bingo - flush it out the other end
as quickly as possible.
In fact, if you
read the small print on some of the foods that
contain sugar alcohols (such as maltitol and
sorbitol), you'll see a little notice that reads:
"Warning: excess consumption of this product
may have a laxative effect."
Maybe it's just
me but in my opinion, unless you're eating something
like prunes where you know what you're getting
into, the foods you eat shouldn't have a laxative
effect (and "laxative effect" is the
nicest way of putting it!). This reaction is
the body's way of saying something is not supposed
to be there.
is this: foods that contain sugar alcohol also
contain calories, which need to be accounted
for in a fat-loss diet. Even though the "impact
carb" count may be low, those non-impact
carbs still have calories [the term "impact
carb" only refers to carbs that affect
insulin levels in the body] that can make you
fat if you eat too many. You may be looking
at a low-carb bar that contains 200 calories
yet has only 1 gram of "impact" carbs!
Those calories have to go somewhere.
For more information
on "impact" and "net" carbs,
read the following article:
Carbs, Net Carbs and Effective Carbs - Is Marketing
Slang Messing With Your Low-Carb Diet?
You can just imagine
there being resentment towards a diet that has
you eating foods that have you sitting on the
toilet half the day. You'll lose weight, certainly,
but it's not going to be how you thought. Move
6. The Dreaded Low-Carb Plateau
What is the main
reason people go on a low-carb diet in the first
place? Results. So what happens when the results
slow down and stop? That major motivation for
being on the low-carb diet in the first place
If you're on a
diet that is not only not working but is actually
uncomfortable, expensive and, depending on how
you're doing it, unhealthy, chances are you're
not going to stick it with very long.
And this is what
we're seeing quite a lot of. People are making
the mistakes that I've outlined here by eating
manufactured low-carb foods filled with sugar
alcohol. They're missing carbs (and the nutrients
associated with carbs) both mentally and physically.
Their results are slowing down and stopping.
downturn in the popularity of low-carb dieting
is on the way and, unfortunately, it's leaving
a lot of people more confused than ever about
how and what to eat to lose fat and stay healthy.
My advice to you:
if you're on a low-carb diet, leave the low-carb
manufactured foods on the shelf and focus on
unprocessed, natural foods. If you're not on
a low-carb diet, do the same thing! Regardless
of what type of diet you're on, a focus on foods
that are unprocessed and closer to their natural
state will help you burn fat and keep your body