A Down And Desperate Dieting Dilemma

Filed under: Atkins Diet — @ March 16, 2007

One of the e-mails I received this week was from a young obese reader ready to give up on his low-carb diet after listening to the dietary recommendations of a low-fat diet advocate. Here’s what he wrote:

Dear Jimmy,

During August 2006, I decided to finally lose my weight. I’m a male, 19, and at that time, I was 5’8 and 280-285 lbs. I had tried going “low-carb” without ever reading a low-carb book a couple years before that, and I had incredible success, losing 25 lbs in a month, down to 206 lbs from a whopping 231 lbs (at 5’5).

I let go of that when school resumed, and throughout the 2 years following that, I got up to 280 lbs. I was disgusting. So I decided to make a change. Again, without full knowledge of the Atkins diet, I started up low-carbing in that August of 2006. I was eating cheese, meat, vegetables, even the occasional fruit, and I was soaring down the weight scale at an average of 20 lbs a month for 3 months non-stop!

It was then that on my trip to Reno during the winter with my family, that I looked into a bookstore at the local mall, at Jorge Cruise’s “3 Hour Diet.” I read his crap about low-carb diets and said that we lose muscle mass on it. Right then and there, my world turned upside down. My weight loss dramatically slowed down as I began worrying about fat content, calories, sodium, etc. It was horrible. I started doing worse in school, had less energy, and pretty much started starving myself at only 2 meals a day. I hated it.

I began reading a lot after that, and the two sides of the carb debate were going at it in every source I read. This other book I recently purchased (along with Dr. Atkins book finally :-) ), the author, Fred. A. Stutman (M.D.) says that ketosis does work for a while as it first depletes the bodies water reserves, then starts burning fat, THEN, it starts burning muscle. WHAT??? I knew that my muscle loss accelerated when I started counting calories (Thanks to Mr. Cruise). But now, I’m beginning to wonder, and I need you’re advice Jimmy, as a fellow low carber.

I had a couple weeks ago gotten down to 165 lbs (almost 120 lb loss, and feeling my bones felt goooood) as I started eating more frequently, and much more protein. I had basically put myself on what you would call the Kimkins diet. It wasn’t bad. Fish, chicken, turkey, and vegetables, and the occasional La Tortilla Factory low carb wraps. It wasn’t that bad.

So I need you to answer some questions: Does ketosis induce muscle loss?l (I got very flabby and a lot of loose skin after all the weight loss, I wasn’t doing that much weight training, but mostly cardio). Where does all the high fat food go when we eat it on the Atkins diet? Does caffeine induce insulin release?

Please answer ASAP Jimmy, as my situation is horrid right now. 3 days straight I have been pigging out incredibly, stuffing myself like crazy on carbs (fruits, Wheat Thins, etc.) till I felt like throwing up, feeling the pain in my liver, on carbs, at first, I went low G.I., but now I’m eating oreos and what not!!! When I look at the scale now, I weigh a whopping 185!!! I stopped excercising too.

What happened? Help me Jimmy! I just want to get back down to of 160-165, and resume my healthy diet, which I was content with. (All the vegetables and lean meats I wanted). Oh how I took that for granted…Once again, thanks.

P.S. I really need your advice now and expert low-carb knowledge. I notice that my original diet resembled Atkins more than it did after that damn Jorge Cruise book which put so many doubts in my mind. I need to save my body and well being before I wreck myself forever and 6 months of hard work by another carb binge.

Jimmy, if this sounds too funny, you’re my only hope right now. I check your blog everyday, and it’s been a constant inspiration for me to continue thinking and livin’ la vida low-carb. There just isn’t a better way of life. I miss that life. I know my friend is protein and his sidekick is fat. The Villain is the Carbohydrate. Help me defeat him.

Click here to read my response to his concerns as well as his unexpected follow-up response.

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