In your blog you say “I used to be a morbidly obese 410-pound man on a one-way ticket to an early grave!” What was your first thought about “well, I have to change, I am not condemned to be obese forever”?
It wasn’t just one thought, but many. The frequently ripped pants, the boy in the English class I was substituting in calling me “fat,” not being able to sit in an airplane seat comfortably, difficulty breathing, taking multiple prescription medications, wearing 62-inch waist pants and 5XL shirts, and so much more. Sometimes it takes the cumulative effect of a lot of things like this to make us implement change. And I did.
How many diets have you ever started? What have been the results and/or drawbacks?
Do you have all day? Seriously, I’ve tried so many and most of them were built around the premise that a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet was somehow the “best” way to eat for health. This is the lie that people have been led to believe is true and why we still have so many struggles. For a lot of people, eating that way only leads to more hunger, failed weight loss, and a feeling of being trapped into living as an obese person forever.
Finally, you followed the Atkins diet. What was the point to make you follow this diet? Since it is very counter-intuitive or better said, anti common-wisdom diet (high fat/proteins low carbs), how and why did you decided to embrace a diet like that?
My mother-in-law bought me the book for Christmas 2003 and I read it. I totally thought the information in it was bogus because I was stuck on fat-phobia. But everything else had failed me before, so why not try a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet. And I quickly realized that this wasn’t just gonna be a diet with a beginning and end. It was going to be a permanent and healthy LIFESTYLE CHANGE I would do for the rest of my life. And I’m still doing it nearly seven years later.
In your blog you mentioned that you felt really hungry with low fat diets, does it happen in the Atkins diet? Why?
That’s the beauty and secret of eating a high-fat, low-carb diet like Atkins–your hunger is all but zapped! Fat and protein are extremely satiating and so your body doesn’t need to constantly refuel with new food ever couple of hours. Carbohydrates stimulate blood sugar to rise which raises insulin and that makes you hungry. So if you cut down on the carbs, increase the fat and keep protein at adequate levels for your body, you’ll NEVER be hungry!
What is the most difficult part of the Atkins diet?
Getting through the first few days is a real challenge. Some people experience some withdrawal-like symptoms from the sugar/carbs they were consuming and it can be tough physically and emotionally on the body. But once you push through that temporary pain, what you quickly realize is your body becomes healthy quite quickly when you feed it well. Although I was miserable in the early going, getting to the point where I was healthy for perhaps the first time in my life was worth the pain.
What would you say to those that are opposing to the Atkins diet?
I don’t worry too much with the critics because most of them are either vegetarian or have bought into the myths about low-carb living. And it will surprise a lot of people, but I’m not necessarily an advocate for low-carb diets for everyone. If someone chooses to eat another way for their health, then who am I to tell them they are wrong? People need to find the plan that will work for them, follow that plan exactly as prescribed and then keep doing it for the rest of their life. Whether that’s a vegan diet, low-fat diet, or a low-carb diet, just pick your plan and do it. This constant bickering about which diet is better is futile.
Is the Atkins diet for anyone, or is only a diet to lose weight? Would you recommend it to a non-obese person? Why?
Low-carb has been shown to provide some tremendous health benefits, even to people who are not obese. The great low-carb practitioner from Lawrence, Kansas Dr. Mary C. Vernon says there is such a patient as a “Metabolically Obese Normal Weight” person who might be skinny, but their blood markers show they have some abnormal readings. My wife Christine is a perfect example. Her triglycerides were pushing 300 a couple of years ago despite the fact she is not fat at all. But after just six weeks eating low-carb, her number was slashed to 130. HDL “good” cholesterol goes up, LDL particle size is mostly the large, fluffy kind you want, blood pressure drops, and so many other health benefits that I outline in my latest book 21 LIFE LESSONS FROM LIVIN’ LA VIDA LOW-CARB.
Did you really have 16 cans of coke per day?
YEP! Didn’t think twice about guzzling down all that high-fructose corn syrup to the tune of over 1,000 grams of sugar daily. I didn’t care and neither do a lot of people out there.
Before the diet, you need pills for cholesterol, hypertension, etc..? Do you need them now?
NOPE! I’m off of all prescription medications completely. WOO HOO!
What are now you LDL, HDL, levels?
I like to look at triglycerides and HDL as the best markers for my cardiovascular health and those numbers are 65 and 57 respectively. As for my LDL, it’s the particle size that matters most (read Lesson #2 of my latest book to find out more!) and mine are mostly the large, fluffy kind that are protective against cardiovascular disease. Additionally, I had a CT heart scan of my chest in 2009 to see if there is any plaque buildup in my arteries and my score came back a perfect ZERO! NO plaque buildup at all!
What is the opinion of your medical doctors about your diet? Do they agree? Do the oppose?
It depends on who you ask. I’m sure a lot of the older generation of doctors just want to treat patients with drugs like they always have. But there’s a new crop of physicians who are in favor of more naturopathic approaches to treating disease and low-carb is an excellent therapeutic method for so many chronic illnesses people deal with. Within the next generation, we’ll see a wider acceptance of this way of eating amongst the medical profession.
Do you think that medical doctors have enough information about nutrition?
Sadly, no. Of the doctors I have interviewed on my podcast show, most of them admit that they only got a few weeks of training on nutrition in their entire medical training. And unfortunately, once they are in practice their primary source of continuing education comes from pharmaceutical reps. I’d love to have the opportunity to share the latest nutritional studies supporting carbohydrate-restriction with doctors, but the general public is exempted from this bureaucratic juggernaut.
Why do you think so many people give so little attention to what they eat?
The simple answer–they don’t realize the consequences of their actions. People think they get diseases because it’s genetic and runs in their family. But you can buck the trend of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer that may be common ground in your family by feeding yourself a solid diet that is nourishing to the body. And if people knew how much better they would feel eating this way compared to consuming all those sugary drinks and starchy junk foods, they’d do it today. Convincing them of this is an uphill battle.
What do you think about the vegetarian, vegan, no meat movement?
I think it’s more militant and political to the fringe believers than it is to the average person out there who thinks killing animals for food is wrong. I have no beef (all pun intended) with anyone who chooses a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. But I wish those who eat that way would respect my decision to eat a meat-based low-carb diet as MY choice. It’s treated more like a religion than a diet.
Why did you decided to start “Living la vida LowCarb” blog? How is the blog going?
AMAZING! Here it is five years later and I’ve had over 5 million visitors come through my blog over that period of time. I’ve always tried to be brutally honest about my experience and provide the best, most up-to-date information about healthy low-carb living on the planet. My motivation is always to educate, encourage and inspire people who desire to lose weight and be healthy. That’s been my goal from day one and will always be what drives me to keep it going. I LOVE my readers and appreciate their dedication to the message I share.
What success cases from your readers have you found since you started your blog? What has been the most surprising case (apart from your case)?
There are so many I couldn’t possibly be fair to single any specific ones out. But I’ve heard them all–from triple-digit weight loss success to people who are controlling Type 2 diabetes with the use of a low-carb diet and no medications. That’s just amazing!
You’ve also published two books about your experience, how they are working, and what are your plans for the future? Do you expect more people to joining the low carb movement/diet?
My books are tools for getting the message out and I’m grateful to those who have supported the work I am doing. I plan on continuing to blog, write books, do podcast interviews, make YouTube videos, and whatever I can do to keep the message alive that low-carb is the way to go if you desire optimal weight and health. And, yes, the message is spreading like wildfire not just in the United States but around the world that livin’ la vida low-carb is an incredible way to eat. I expect that trend to continue to build momentum in the years to come.
Finally, Since your blog has a Spanish inspired name, do you dare to say something in Spanish to 1C11 readers?
It’s been a long time since I took Spanish classes in high school and college, but I’ll try:
Nunca te rindas y sigue “Livin’ La Vida bajas en carbohidratos”
HA! Told ya it’s been a long time! THANKS for the opportunity to share my story!
Jimmy Moore, Less of Moore, More or Less, LLC
Author of “21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb: How The Healthy Low-Carb Lifestyle Changed Everything I Thought I Knew” (BookSurge 2009)
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