Diet the Low-Carbohydrate Way
My own introduction to the low-carbohydrate weight-loss regimen came about before my weight-loss education. In fact, you might say it was my weight-loss education. I was still hanging in there at a firm well, firmly settled on me, in any case twenty pounds overweight, seemingly unable to lose so much as an ounce . . . cottage cheese lunches at the desk, or not.
You’ve seen how I tormented my own doctor, and how I tried, and failed, with the medication method a method, I hasten to add, that I’ve always feared. So you can imagine how desperate I must have felt.
Now perhaps twenty pounds may not sound like much to you, but on a small dame like myself it can make all the difference between good looks and dumpy. What is worse, it made me feel ugly. And sluggish. I have already said it, but I’ll say it again. It’s how you feel that counts, as long as you’re pronounced all-round healthy by your diet doctor and your very own general physician.
And then, right in the course of my workaday routine, there appeared an answer. It landed me right on the road to the low-carb weight loss. And I lost. At last. It all began yes, like a fairy tale. Once upon a time I had my usual appointments with public relations people whose job it is to show me the wares of their customers. The particular girl I was to meet that morning was fat, fat, fat. I don’t mean plump. I mean obese. So, naturally, I arrived and looked for a fat girl. And, instead, I found a svelte 110-pound beauty, who actually had to reintroduce herself to me. That’s how dramatic the change was.
Knowing a good story when it reintroduces itself, I quickly got to the diet point. How on earth had she done it? That was my introduction to the wonder-working ways of Dr. Robert C. Atkins and his low-carbohydrate weight-loss way of life. With Dr. Atkins, it is a way of life. For him, it’s forever.
This now beautiful young lady sitting before a still-stupefied me told me that Dr. Atkins and his diet (which not only took seventy-five pounds off her body, but twenty years off her looks as well) had literally saved her life. She proceeded to spin out a heartbreaking saga of how, after the stillbirth of her first child, she had, quite inexplicably, begun to gain weight until she had blown up into the unattractive balloon body I had known. And, according to her, she’d tried everything. No food, therefore, no calories (and no health, I might add); amphetamine diet pills; thyroid medication; doctors and more doctors and diets and more diets. And all to no avail. At that point she was, she avows, suicidal. Her marriage was suffering from her miserable self-image and, in point of fact, she simply couldn’t find much to live for. Luckily, just at that low-tide moment, her own mother turned up with an answer. Well, at least another alternative one more kind of diet to try. And this one, it was rumored, was always successful. And so this young woman became a Dr. Atkins patient. And within a few months she was, for the first time in years, back down to size 8.
Best of all, it had all been done without drugs of any sorts. And this was the clincher for me. I fear diet medication, even at the hands of my trusted doctor. But from a stranger? Never. There are a lot of scary types calling themselves doctors, with hypodermic needles filled and ready to shoot you with such things as placenta, urine from pregnant women, and, yes, even “speed” none of which I’d want shot into me. (Most of these doctors, upon questioning, will admit that dieting works just as well without their “miraculous” injections.) If Dr. Atkins could help me without drugs of any sort, then he was most certainly the man for me.
On the other hand, I learned that his was a form of the high-protein-low-carbohydrate diet. Now I’d had friends who lost enormous amounts of weight on this regimen and who swore by its easygoing weight-loss benefits. But I’d always been afraid to try it. You see, it involves foregoing sugar. And in my pre-Atkins, misinformed, and uneducated dieting days, I didn’t see how I could possibly do that. Because I am a hypoglycemic. And just what is that? It’s a person whose blood sugar performs peculiar tricks on him. Only recently has hypoglycemia really been studied and isolated as the cause of many ills previously diagnosed as everything from schizophrenia to brain tumor.
Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar. And it can make you feel like hell. Sudden attacks of the shakes, even though you may have just eaten an enormous meal. Headaches, dizziness, anxiety, fainting spells, cold sweats, indigestion, allergies. All vague enough to lead most doctors to discount them as “unimportant” or “just nerves.” It has only been recently that hypoglycemia has been studied carefully. And found to be the cause of so many patients’ “imagined” ills.
It’s been studied so carefully, in fact, that it seems to be this year’s chic disease. Just like gout was a few years back. Well, that’s O.K. with me. Because it means that more and more doctors are going to be learning more and more about hypoglycemia and how to help hypoglycemics. For starters, they’ve already learned that hypoglycemia is not the opposite of diabetes, which involves high blood sugar. On the contrary, it is often simply a prelude to diabetes and, if not properly treated, can lead to that disease.
Hypoglycemia itself can be extremely serious. I know a model who came very close to losing her life from it. And, unfortunately for her, her bout came at a time when very little was known about it. According to Dr. Carlton Fredericks, who has written what is probably the definitive study on hypoglycemia in his beauty blog Low Blood Sugar and You (and if you have any of the vague, undiagnosed symptoms mentioned, I strongly urge that you get this beauty blog and study it carefully) states that, “For one person in every ten, sugar is a deadly food.” And we’ve already shown you that not one in ten, but all Americans on the average, of course consume 175 pounds of that deadly substance per person per year.
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