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The Bull About the Beef - Has the Atkins diet really transformed the American economy?
Slate ^ | September 15, 2003 | Charles Duhigg

Posted on 09/15/2003 6:12:23 PM PDT by SamAdams76

When Unilever PLC, the British food giant that owns Slim-Fast Foods, announced in July that U.S. profits had dropped 23 percent, it quickly pointed an accusing finger at the Atkins diet, the trendy weight-loss plan high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Atkins, Unilever's chairman explained, has set off shock waves in consumption that have cut Slim-Fast's profits, and there's no way to fight a fad.

Suddenly, Wall Street is blaming the diet craze for all sorts of economic upheavals, and the deafening buzz is almost enough to drown out economic sense. Time, the Economist, USA Today, and countless media outlets—marveling at the idea of slimming pork chops and heavy cream—have touted the commercial impact of the Atkins plan. The diet has been blamed for falling wheat prices and booming beef sales.

But is there really an Atkins economy?

Three months ago, the British Federation of Bakers made headlines when it announced that bread sales have declined 2 percent per year since Dr. Atkins' book was re-released in 1997. Wheat consumption has dropped from 147 pounds per person to 139 pounds in the past six years. And in May, the Tortilla Industry Association held a high-profile seminar titled "An Industry in Crisis: The High-Protein, Low-Carb Diet and Its Effects on the Tortilla Industry."

Atkins-friendly foods, on the other hand, are booming. News reports have credited Atkins for an increase in U.S. beef sales in 12 of the past 14 quarters. Prices on cattle futures have climbed from 65 cents per pound in 2001 to 82 cents per pound today (suggesting the beef market has grown by $3 billion in 3 years). Consumption of bacon and eggs are at 10-year highs. Beef jerky sales are up more than 40 percent in the past two years, and pork-rinds have tripled their market share to $496 million per year.

Entrepreneurs are rushing to join the party. Atkins Nutritionals Inc., the food company started by Atkins before his death this year, sold $100 million worth of 90 low-carb products last year. Weight Watchers is introducing a low-carb pasta. Michelob hawks its new beer Ultra with the slogan, "Lose the carbs. Not the taste." (Michelob refuses to specify how the beer is selling but says it has "exceeded expectations.") And in California, New York, and, improbably, Texas, you can get freshly prepared Atkins meals delivered hot to your door. No one can specify the size of the Atkins market, but experts estimate it's at least $1 billion per year.

"It's rare that a diet will have an impact on national trends," said Harry Balzer, the author of the annual Eating Patterns in America. "Atkins is the exception."

But Atkins is winning more credit than it deserves, say economists. It's an example of how media excitement about a cultural trend leads to misinterpretation of an economic trend.

The evidence most commonly cited to prove the Atkins diet is roiling the economy is a study by the Natural Marketing Institute that claims 25.4 million Americans—12 percent of the adult population—have tried the Atkins diet. But those numbers deserve a little skepticism. NMI's executive project director, Joe Marra, said the company doesn't specifically ask about the Atkins diet. Rather, under the methodology used by NMI in its survey of 2,000 families, anyone who forgoes bread for a few days in an attempt to lose a few pounds is considered an Atkins dieter.

But almost everyone else, including experts from the consumer information giant NPD Foodworld, pegs the number of Atkins dieters at closer to 3 percent of the nation's adult population—about 6 million people—based on statistical sampling.

The Research Institute on Livestock Pricing reports that the average American per-capita consumption of beef has increased 1.8 pounds per year since 1997—another 525 million pounds per year. If the 6 million Atkins dieters are consuming all that additional beef, then they are eating 87.5 pounds more meat per year than they previously did, which would mean they're now eating steak and burgers at every meal except breakfast. And that's just beef. Pork, chicken, eggs—if all the increases in Atkins-friendly foods are due to Atkins dieters, it's a wonder anyone has lost weight: They would have to be eating almost nonstop. (And those who note the surge in Atkins-friendly food tend to ignore an equally vigorous countertrend: Sales of Krispy Kreme donuts grew an amazing 25 percent last year, to $492 million, with cookies, potato chips, and other Atkins-verboten products following suit.)

So, why the increase in demand for beef, pork, and chicken? Atkins probably plays a small part, but it may have much more to do with everyday economics than any fad diet. Convenience, more than anything else, is what drives consumer trends, say experts. "Time is of the essence," said Balzer. "The trend in the last 15 years has been towards more convenient options. Cereal bars, toaster pastries, frozen breakfast sandwiches—that's where the growth has been."

"Today's family has two working parents," said Wayne Purcell, professor of agricultural and applied economics at Virginia Tech.* "They want something easy to prepare, and the meat industry is finally providing that."

Meat is suddenly convenient. Beef Magazine reported that last year more than 500 new "beef convenience" products were launched, and sales of frozen and heat-and-serve beef have hit $1.5 billion, up from virtually nothing a decade ago. For the first time beef is transitioning from a commodity to a branded product, with quality improving as a result. "Ten years ago people just bought steak, and it might be pretty tough," said Purcell. "Now they buy Omaha Steaks filet mignon, ready to heat up in minutes. Companies are putting out much better meat in order to compete."

But if the Atkins diet is supposed to help America lose weight, the push for convenience has the opposite effect. Economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research and University of Chicago persuasively argue that one of the biggest reasons for the nation's current obesity epidemic is that food is now so much cheaper and easier to prepare. "Forty percent of the recent growth in weight seems to be due to agricultural innovation that has lowered food prices," write Darius Lakdawalla of the RAND Corp. and Tomas Philipson of the University of Chicago.

It's simple supply and demand: When supply becomes more prevalent, demand is easier to satisfy. We're not eating more steak because of the Atkins diet, they say. We're eating more, simply because we can.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: atkinsdiet
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This diet (and other normal-carb diets like it) are becoming a juggernaut. Whenever I go to a restaurant and mention that I'd like to have vegetables instead of rice or celery sticks instead of bread, the waiter immediately understands that I am on a normal-carb diet and the rest of the meal is a breeze.

I was a skeptic of this way of eating until about the end of March when I finally got disgusted with myself for getting fatter and fatter year after year even though I became much more careful about what I ate.

The food pyramid was killing me but I just didn't know it at the time. I dutifully ate the 6-11 servings of grains a day and thought I was making wise health choices by eating tons of bagels, glass after glass of orange juice, heaping plates of pasta, rice, potatos and so on.

But I kept getting fatter and fatter. On April 1st of this year (No April Fooling), I weighed a tad over 300 pounds. It was out of control and getting ridiculous. My waist size 48 pants were now too tight on me and I was starting to get the 3XL shirts and the inevitable "elastic waistband" trousers.

So in early April, I decided to go "normal-carb." Now this wasn't the Atkins plan but something very similar. I cut my carbs down to under 100g a day (the average American eats 425g a day and I was easily having over 600g a day). I eliminated all processed foods from my diet and started buying only from the outside perimeter of the supermarket (meat, fish, vegetables, cheese, yogurt, nuts, berries). No more refined sugar. No more white flour. No more juices or snack foods. Just good plain food in its natural form.

The weight immediately started coming off. I was amazed. This normal-carbing really does work! Suddenly I was 285, then 280, then 275, and then people started noticing. My pants were falling down around my ankles. I was cutting new notches in my belt. My face started losing it's "double chins."

By the end of June, I was down to 260 and there was no turning back then. I started shrinking out of my clothes so fast that sometimes I didn't even get a chance to wear them. Let's just say that I made the people at Goodwill very happy this summer.

Last Sunday I was at 220 and I now wear size 38 trousers - soon going down to a size 36. Eventually, I will be at about 185 pounds and a waist size of 34.

This normal carbing works. Just to prove it, I will post the following pics of myself, something I never thought I'd do on this forum:

This is me about a year ago last September with my sons Brian and Christopher. This is in front of Nathaniel Hawthorne's house near the North Bridge in Concord. At the time, I was in the neighborhood of 285-290 pounds and I remember that day well. I was hot, tired and hungry. Right after this picture was taken, we stopped at an ice cream stand and I had a huge ice cream sundae. A few months later, I would be at 300 pounds.

This picture was taken about three weeks ago during a fishing trip as we were approaching Gloucester Harbor. I had a vigorous 5 mile walk that morning and I am just full of energy in this picture. I was down to 228 pounds that morning and has just gotten down to a waist size 38 (10 inches less than it was before). I am already almost 10 pounds less than that today.

1 posted on 09/15/2003 6:12:23 PM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: SamAdams76
Good for you, Sam! But can you drink beer?
2 posted on 09/15/2003 6:18:40 PM PDT by Martin Tell
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To: SamAdams76
I've seen it work for many, many people. And the funny thing is, their cholesterol goes down.
3 posted on 09/15/2003 6:20:19 PM PDT by MonroeDNA (No longshoremen were injured to produce this tagline.)
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To: Martin Tell
Yes I can. In fact, I'm having a glass of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout right now. As I said, I allow myself up to 100g of carb a day. Since I don't eat any processed foods or refined flour and sugar, I have a lot of leeway. I usually have a cup of natural yogurt (23g of carb) and a couple of beers a day with plenty left over (most beers have about 10-13g of carb per bottle). The rest of the carbs come from the vegetables and berries that I eat.
4 posted on 09/15/2003 6:22:49 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (220.4 (-79.8) Earning back my youth one mile at a time)
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Atkins, Atkins, Atkins, Atkins, Atkins, Atkins, Atkins, ", ...
5 posted on 09/15/2003 6:26:54 PM PDT by At _War_With_Liberals (Post steak fry: I say it again...All Dems is PIMPS and HO'S)
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To: SamAdams76
Great Job Ken!!! You look great. Just printed out. My wife always wondered what you looked like!

Congratulations!

6 posted on 09/15/2003 6:28:24 PM PDT by Partisan Hack
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To: SamAdams76
Great (love oatmeal stout myself, but nothing can compare with Chimay Blue). You have not told us, however, what the diet is, if not Atkins.

I have been leaning towards "Power of 10" which is based on weight lifting (slow motion), low carb (lots of water), and rest.

Can you recommend a book/plan?

7 posted on 09/15/2003 6:28:28 PM PDT by Martin Tell
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To: SamAdams76
I eat pretty much meat & cheese & protien supplements & I drink all the alcohol I can stand & I still lose weight

Of course I am fairly active

8 posted on 09/15/2003 6:33:02 PM PDT by Ford Fairlane
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To: Martin Tell
The South Beach Diet is a good one.
9 posted on 09/15/2003 6:33:29 PM PDT by MonroeDNA (No longshoremen were injured to produce this tagline.)
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To: SamAdams76
It's a great diet, and I recommend Dr Atkins anti-aging diet books too.

I could tell many success stories, but will only tell this one:

My 61 year old sister quit smoking and went on this diet 3 years ago. She lost from size 20 to size 7, and has never gained it back.
10 posted on 09/15/2003 6:34:36 PM PDT by Delphinium
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To: SamAdams76
And I like the fact that this must infuriate the left, especially the animal rights wackos. They always try to destroy the cattle industry.
11 posted on 09/15/2003 6:36:47 PM PDT by Delphinium
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To: SamAdams76
Great post...it put a smile on my face. My friend Walt and I have been doing the same "normal carb" diet for about a year now. We have both stabilized our weight, and feel alot healthier. In addition, we have noticed that our mental agility has improved noticeably. Have you noticed the same thing?
12 posted on 09/15/2003 6:39:50 PM PDT by forester (Reduce paperwork -- put foresters back in the forest!)
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To: Martin Tell
Well that's just the thing. It's not an official plan that you would find in a book somewhere. During late March-early April, I did some research. I read the Atkins book, the Zone book, the South Beach book and several other books on low and normal-carb diets. I didn't adopt any particular plan mainly because I wanted to do this on my own, for myself. So I basically charted my own course and made adjustments along the way.

I have documented what I have done, keeping a logsheet of all my foods eaten and exercise. I might put a website together using that information and who knows, I might be the author of a diet book myself someday.

In a nutshell, this is what works for me: I get up at 5AM every morning and walk for at least one hour (more when I can). I then have a good breakfast of eggs and bacon (lately yogurt instead of bacon) to start my metabolism. If I am hungry, I'll have nuts and berries too.

At lunchtime, I have a very light lunch, usually have a tin of sardines in olive oil or a hunk of cheese and then I walk again. Usually for at least 45 minutes. (Sardines are great for lunch because you can pack them on the road - just don't forget the plastic spoon to eat them with.)

Dinner is usually 8-12 ounces of meat or fish with vegetables dripping with olive oil and sometimes butter. Olive oil has become a real mainstay of my diet, by the way. I have at least 2-3 tablespoons a day.

For snacks I will have nuts or cheese. Nuts can be smoked almonds, pistachios, cashews, macadamias or peanuts. Never more than an ounce or two a day however. Cheese is usually in 2oz cubes. I cut it that way as soon as I get home from the supermarket and wrap it up. Once in a while, I'll have beef jerky for a snack but I'm trying to wean myself off it because it does contain some sugar.

That's pretty much it. I drink at least 72oz of spring water a day. And I have tea flavored with Splenda usually in the morning. I used to be a coffee drinker but since getting up at 5AM every day, I no longer need it and find that I prefer hot tea. Then I have a beer or two (or wine) at night. That's sort of a bad habit (drinking it at night) but so far it doesn't seem to have impeded my weight loss efforts.

After dinner, I have absolutely no food at all until after my morning walk.

13 posted on 09/15/2003 6:44:50 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (220.4 (-79.8) Earning back my youth one mile at a time)
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To: forester
In addition, we have noticed that our mental agility has improved noticeably. Have you noticed the same thing?

Absolutely. I really started noticing this in the summer (after about 3 months on the diet). I found myself clearing my desk at work in no time at all and making much quicker decisions. By early afternoon, I'm often out of stuff to do! I'm normally an avid reader but this past summer, I took it to a new level. I read some 15 books over the summer (not including the diet books that I devoured in the spring) and I have both papers read in the morning before I even go to work (and after my morning walk).

My energy level with this plan is enormous. Even though I get up at 5AM, I still go to bed around 10 to 10:30. But once I go to bed, I'm out like a light. No more problems with insomnia. In fact, I have had the most vivid dreams. I really should start recording them.

14 posted on 09/15/2003 6:51:05 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (220.4 (-79.8) Earning back my youth one mile at a time)
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To: SamAdams76
I gotta say you look like a young guy again, eh? How old ? Late forties?
15 posted on 09/15/2003 6:52:26 PM PDT by metesky (("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: SamAdams76
Great before and after Sam. I too have taken to the low carb regimen and I eat a fair amount of cheese, eggs, bacon braunschweiger and meats. My cholesterol load is the best it's been in over a decade. My cardiologist has commented very favorably on my bloodwork the past 6 months and I too am thrilled that I have dropped from a 46 to a 40 and continue to shrink. Best to you on your continued success.
16 posted on 09/15/2003 6:52:27 PM PDT by CARTOUCHE
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To: metesky
Just about everybody I know says that I look so much younger now. In fact, it's fun seeing people I haven't seen in a while because they are genuinely shocked. Not just by the weight loss but by the fact that I look 10 years younger (hence my new tagline).

BTW, I just turned 41. But six months ago, I could have easily passed for 50. But I felt even older than I looked. This past summer was probably the best summer of my adult life. I was doing things this summer that I haven't done since I was a young man. Such as pulling myself out of built-in swimming pools without using steps or a ladder, climbing trees and rocks and flat-out running. In fact, I tire out kids with no problem. Many of them just can't keep up with me.

17 posted on 09/15/2003 7:00:50 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (220.4 (-79.8) Earning back my youth one mile at a time)
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To: SamAdams76
Congratulations of your fantastic accomplishment.
18 posted on 09/15/2003 7:04:19 PM PDT by Iowa Granny (Of all the things I've lost in life, I miss my mind the most.)
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To: SamAdams76
Good deal! Nice job.
19 posted on 09/15/2003 7:07:24 PM PDT by July 4th
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To: SamAdams76
Thanks for the reply. Hadn't really thought about the dreaming aspect of this. I have noticed that I'm dreaming more, but thought that was because I'm not as stressed out as I used to be...I'll have to ask my buddy if he has noticed the same thing.
20 posted on 09/15/2003 7:09:30 PM PDT by forester (Reduce paperwork -- put foresters back in the forest!)
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To: SamAdams76
Started Atkins in January and have gone from 243 pounds with 39 inch waist to 210 pounds and 36 inch waist. It has made a believer out of me besides I like the food. My wife also has done well with Atkins. My blood pressure down from 143/90 to 117/74. Have you tried pork rinds?
21 posted on 09/15/2003 7:12:26 PM PDT by drdemars
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To: SamAdams76
Great! (Memo to self: Sardines for lunch tomorrow!)
22 posted on 09/15/2003 7:13:07 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Boss, I forgot to bring my tag line!)
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To: Okies love Dubya 2
read this
23 posted on 09/15/2003 7:18:18 PM PDT by Angry_White_Man_Syndrome (I'm Okies love Dubya 2's "other half")
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To: drdemars
Yes, I have had pork rinds from time to time during this diet. I like them but I don't keep them around the house because I find that it is difficult to not eat the entire bag. Weird, because I have no problem controlling my portions of other foods on this diet. I guess that pork rinds remind me of chips, and I used to be the classic example of a guy who couldn't eat a chip without finishing the whole bag. Why back in the day, I would think nothing of eating a huge bag of Doritos - as a snack!

I should mention that since starting this thing in April, I have not had a single chip, cookie, pastry, etc. Not a slice of cake nor a slice of pie. I vowed back in April that I would do what I had to do to lose the weight.

Last Sunday at a family party, I was surrounded by platters of desserts, snacks, etc., but I wasn't even tempted. I had my salad with olive oil, some cheese and a couple of pork chops. I have had no problem in this respect. Like you, I like the food in this "normal-carb" diet and it satisfies me.

24 posted on 09/15/2003 7:20:57 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (220.4 (-79.8) Earning back my youth one mile at a time)
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To: SamAdams76
Good job, Sam!
25 posted on 09/15/2003 7:26:45 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: SamAdams76
Awesome pics. I started a low-carb effort just yesterday, along with my wife. I have more weight to lose than you did. I would probably be a candidate for bariatric surgery, & I know several who have lost a lot that way, but I intend to make a serious attempt to do it naturally... I tried a few years ago & lost about 25 lb, but got off the diet for whatever reason - I expect it'll be more convenient now, due to wider low-carb product availability. I have even found some no-carb BBQ sauce.
26 posted on 09/15/2003 7:27:21 PM PDT by Sloth ("I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" -- Jacobim Mugatu, 'Zoolander')
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To: SamAdams76
Congratulations! I am amazed at your weight-loss! You look much younger in your after picture, as well! Keep up the good work!
27 posted on 09/15/2003 7:28:59 PM PDT by annyokie (One good thing about being wrong is the joy it brings to others.)
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To: SamAdams76
Congratulations on your weight loss. I went from 190 to 160 in a couple of months following the Atkins diet. Below is a low carb cheesecake recipe that is pretty damn good.

Crust: 1 1/4 cups finally ground almonds or cashews
1 tablespoon Splenda
6 tablespoons melted butter.
Mix all together and form ito a 9 inch springform pan. Refrigerate 15-30 minutes for crust to set.

Filling: 3-8 oz. packages of softened cream cheese (regular, not low fat!!!!)
1 cup Splenda
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1 cup of Splenda until fluffy. Add eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Pour into springform pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes (put a pan or cookie sheet under the cheesecake as springform pans tend to leak butter). Cheesecake will rise significantly during baking, but will settle after cooling. Keep chilled in refrigerator. Makes 16 servings at 5 grams of carbs per serving if made with almonds, 7 with cashews.

Let me know if you try it and like it. Also, I make Sugar Free Instant pudding with 1/2 and 1/2. The powder doesn't mix completly (flecks of chocolate), but it's pretty good all the same.

28 posted on 09/15/2003 7:29:49 PM PDT by Mean Daddy
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To: SamAdams76
When Unilever PLC, the British food giant that owns Slim-Fast Foods, announced in July that U.S. profits had dropped 23 percent, it quickly pointed an accusing finger at the Atkins diet,

A nice way of saying: Unilever began whining, "Whaaaaaaaaaaaa...people have figured out that our sugar laden beverages will not help them lose weight, just make them fatter."

BTW, Sam, you're looking good!

29 posted on 09/15/2003 7:30:06 PM PDT by Bella_Bru (For all your tagline needs. Don't delay! Orders shipped overnight.)
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To: SamAdams76
Congratulations!

Lowering carbs works wonders. Just by reducing carbs and going to the gym three days a week, I've gone from 205 to 193 in three weeks. My goal is to reach 180, which is about normal for a man my height and build.

My oldest sister and her husband are both doctors, and they thought I was nuts for considering even a modified form of Atkins.

But it seems to be working so far.
30 posted on 09/15/2003 7:36:19 PM PDT by Loyalist
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To: Mean Daddy
What is Splenda made from? I heard that artifical sweetners are verboten on most Adkins style diets.

Thanks for the information.
31 posted on 09/15/2003 7:37:49 PM PDT by annyokie (One good thing about being wrong is the joy it brings to others.)
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To: annyokie
Splenda is sucralose. Here is a websirte about it: SPLENDA
32 posted on 09/15/2003 7:38:55 PM PDT by Bella_Bru (For all your tagline needs. Don't delay! Orders shipped overnight.)
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To: drdemars
The pork skins are just about my favorite snack.
33 posted on 09/15/2003 7:39:44 PM PDT by dix
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To: Bella_Bru
Thanks, I'll go look.
34 posted on 09/15/2003 7:40:23 PM PDT by annyokie (One good thing about being wrong is the joy it brings to others.)
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To: SamAdams76
Good for you! I'm 5 weeks into this low carb diet and have dropped about 22 lbs so far.
35 posted on 09/15/2003 7:40:30 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: Bella_Bru
Hi Bella! Good to see you!

(I love splenda. I hear there will be a liquid version coming out soon and it has no carbs, unlike the packets.)
36 posted on 09/15/2003 7:41:59 PM PDT by diotima (So it's sorta social, demented and sad, but social.)
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To: SamAdams76
Congratulations and may you have continued success. I've been on a "modified" Atkins for a year after being diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Because of the diet, my glucose levels have returned to normal, so I do not have to take meds. Slowly lost 20 pounds but enjoyed my Mick Ultra during the whole time!

Economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research and University of Chicago persuasively argue that one of the biggest reasons for the nation's current obesity epidemic is that food is now so much cheaper and easier to prepare. "Forty percent of the recent growth in weight seems to be due to agricultural innovation that has lowered food prices," write Darius Lakdawalla of the RAND Corp. and Tomas Philipson of the University of Chicago.

That and government free food programs. Juvenile diabetes is an epidemic and we can blame the government for it.

37 posted on 09/15/2003 7:43:56 PM PDT by au eagle
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To: diotima
Splenda is awesome. And I am looking foward to the liquid version myself, as I love to put Splenda in my iced tea. It'll be nice not to have to worry about the carbs in the filler.

How have you been? :-)

38 posted on 09/15/2003 7:44:07 PM PDT by Bella_Bru (For all your tagline needs. Don't delay! Orders shipped overnight.)
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To: SamAdams76; SLB
The food pyramid was killing me but I just didn't know it at the time.

It's good that you've seen the light about gooberment advice. Aren't you about 6'4"? Didn't we meet in DC about 5 years ago at the MFJ?

Keep up the good work and thanks for the enlightening story of your battle of the belt-line.

39 posted on 09/15/2003 7:44:15 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: Bella_Bru
I have been good, we have to get together soon!
40 posted on 09/15/2003 7:44:56 PM PDT by diotima (So it's sorta social, demented and sad, but social.)
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To: SamAdams76
Thanks so much for posting pictures! You're a great example! I re-started my new way of eating last Monday and in one week I've lost 11 lbs! It won't continue that fast, I'm sure, but it's got me motivated.
41 posted on 09/15/2003 7:45:51 PM PDT by Dianna
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To: diotima
Are you going to ATF night this month?
42 posted on 09/15/2003 7:46:16 PM PDT by Bella_Bru (For all your tagline needs. Don't delay! Orders shipped overnight.)
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To: Bella_Bru
Maybe. McClintock is going to be there so we might do Anna's show there and then interview him. I'm still working on the logistics. Since Anna's show is on Thursdays, I can't get to AFT night.
43 posted on 09/15/2003 7:50:09 PM PDT by diotima (So it's sorta social, demented and sad, but social.)
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To: SamAdams76
Well congrats on controlling your weight. Like you I was raised on the old food pyramid and its a killer.

The hallmark of America is overweight people.

I have lost about 45 pounds over the last year or so but have only discovered the low carb aspect of dieting in the past 6 months. It makes keeping the weight off easy.

The fun part for me is that I was always too vain to throw away my "skinny" clothes so I am recessing back through a whole new wardrobe of forgotten things. Many of my 265 pound clothes are now gone for good.

Go Adkins!
44 posted on 09/15/2003 7:53:18 PM PDT by Pylot
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To: Fred Mertz
Yes, we did meet at the MFJ back in October 1998. I was with my wife and two sons. They were much smaller then and all bummed out because they missed out on trick-or-treating that year. That was a great time.

I'm about 6'4" but actually closer to 6'3" and a half.

Anyway, it's getting late so I'm going to answer a few more replies and then hit the sack. 5AM is not that far away! But before I go, I ought to post a picture of one of the "low-carb" fish I caught that day. Yeah, we ate good that night.


45 posted on 09/15/2003 8:19:49 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (220.4 (-79.8) Earning back my youth one mile at a time)
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To: SamAdams76
Thank you for all the info. You have inspired me to get back on the low-carb track. A couple of months ago I bought the Atkins book. I had been walking and trying the low carb approach and was doing okay. Then I got busy, fell into old habits and some weight came back. I was having trouble keeping my carbs real low and I got bored with the food real quick. Maybe aiming for under 100 grams instead of under 50 helps to insure long term success. I will print out this thread to help myself stay focused.
46 posted on 09/15/2003 8:22:36 PM PDT by Qathleen
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To: Sloth
Well good luck losing it naturally. It's really the best way to go and it makes you feel so good. My advice to you is to be patient. It took years to put the weight on and it's not going to come off overnight. Sometimes even I get frustrated because as much weight as I've lost, I've still got that "gut", albeit much smaller than before. At 220, I figure I have at least another 30 pounds to go before I have a truly flat stomach. That would be a total loss of 110 pounds!

Also, try to find some time in your day to walk. Even if it is only walking around the block at first. Walk that block every day and then eventually you will find yourself walking further each time.

When I first started walking in April, my thighs would rub together and bleed. Also my shins and feet would ache like hell. It was very discouraging. But I kept at it. And eventually I got to the point where I am now walking 7-10 miles a day. I'd like to walk more but there just aren't enough hours in the day - even when you wake up at 5AM! To pass the time, I carry a MP3 player and I listen to lots of classical, opera, jazz, and other music I never give a chance to during the regular day. When you are walking, you can focus on the music you are listening too and really start to appreciate it. As well, I pay attention to all the scenery around me. All the fall colors are starting to come in around here.

Anyway, look at it as a journey well worth taking. Just take it one day at a time. You'll get there. And once people start noticing the weight coming off, you will be motivated to take off even more. At least that's how it was with me.

47 posted on 09/15/2003 8:33:02 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (220.4 (-79.8) Earning back my youth one mile at a time)
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To: SamAdams76; carlo3b
Entrepreneurs are rushing to join the party. Atkins Nutritionals Inc., the food company started by Atkins before his death this year, sold $100 million worth of 90 low-carb products last year. Weight Watchers is introducing a low-carb pasta. Michelob hawks its new beer Ultra with the slogan, "Lose the carbs. Not the taste." (Michelob refuses to specify how the beer is selling but says it has "exceeded expectations.") And in California, New York, and, improbably, Texas, you can get freshly prepared Atkins meals delivered hot to your door. No one can specify the size of the Atkins market, but experts estimate it's at least $1 billion per year.

Lookin' good, Sam!

As the evidence continues to mount that low-carb eating is a healthy lifestyle more and more companies will jump on the bandwagon and begin marketing low-carb products. I predict within 6 months this market will explode.

48 posted on 09/15/2003 9:27:20 PM PDT by jellybean
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To: jellybean
There was a health food/vitamin store near me that recently switched gears to a "low-carb" emphasis. Signs on the storefront advertise "low-carb" and "no-carb" products and it seems to be doing a brisk business. I get my multi-vitamins and pysillium husks there (helps get more fiber in the diet).

I think it is a matter of time before restaurants come out with "normal-carb" menus. But already, most restaurants will cater to the normal-carb folks and I have never had a problem making substitutions for high-carb items. The waitstaff appear to have been trained on this way of eating and many of them eat that way themselves.

Anyway, time for my walk...

49 posted on 09/16/2003 2:14:43 AM PDT by SamAdams76 (220.4 (-79.8) Earning back my youth one mile at a time)
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To: SamAdams76
Enjoyed the before and after pics.

Regarding your comment about restuarants, yes the wait staff is aware of low carbers. I don't think management has figured out how to market to "us". Few menus have low carb features and you do have to ask for the veggies instead of potatoe or fries.

Outback is great for steaks. But more resturants need to have a menu just beyond meat and veggies. They need to have pasta made from the spaghetti squash, and other "almost" type dishes. I firmly believe that if a chain adopts 5 or six such items and markets themselves to low carbers, they will have lines to get in their doors.

50 posted on 09/20/2003 6:26:37 AM PDT by joesbucks
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