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Low Carb Ketogenic Diets An Introduction.

To help with weight issues and for overall improved health, many people turn to diets. In fact, government statistics show that while about 65 percent of Americans are overweight, 38 percent are actually doing something about it. The most common weight related issues include but are not limited to.

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Stroke
  • Liver and Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
  • Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)

And according to a recent survey by the National Health Institute, about a third of overweight Americans who are trying to lose weight, are doing so by eating less carbohydrates (carbs) largely because of the increased popularity of diets like Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet.

Although there have certainly been other low-carb or low-sugar diet plans before, and more will most assuredly come out in the years ahead, let's take a look at the basics behind many of the major plans. 

History and Background of Low Carb Diets - Click here to read more

The terminology low-carb wasn't really coined until around 1992 when the USDA announced America's model food pyramid included six to eleven servings daily of grains and starches. However, low-carb dieting dates back more than 100 years before the trendy Atkins diet to 1864 with a pamphlet titled Letter on Corpulence written by William Banting, as close to the first commercial low-carb diet as you could get.

Popular Low Carb Ketogenic Diets  - Click here to read more.

Now, here is a list 14 of the most popular low-carb diet plans and books and a summary of their requirements.

    • This book is was written by Drs. Rachel and Richard Heller and is touted as being the book for any low-carb dieter on any plan who needs help getting back on track right now.
    • Perhaps the most widely known of all low carb diets is the Atkins diet. Created by Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1970s the Atkins diet is considered by some to be the most extreme low carb diet plan.
    • Husband and wife scientist team Drs. Rachael and Richard Heller introduced the term "Carbohydrate Addict" in their 1993 book The Carbohydrates Addict's Diet. The idea is that some people are addicted to carbohydrates just like alcoholics are addicted to alcohol and drug addicts are addicted to drugs. This addiction causes strong cravings, insulin resistance and weight gain.
    • Dr. Fred Pescatore, a former Associate Medical Director at the Atkins Institute, developed the Hampton's Diet. This diet is a mix of low carb dieting concepts and the healthiest concepts of the Mediterranean diet. He encourages the liberal consumption of monosaturated fats to aid weight loss and prevent diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. All of this is laid out in The Hampton's Diet, published in May of 2004.
    • Written by Fran McCullough, the author of The Low-Carb Cookbook, this book's rather long subtitle promises to teach "everything food-loving dieters need to know to achieve lasting success, including: strategies for controlling binges and cravings, dealing with sudden weight gains and secret metabolic weapons".
    • Ray Audette, the author of NeanderThin touts his diet as a way to "Eat like a caveman to achieve a lean, strong, healthy body". At the tender age of 33, Audette suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. After hearing from doctors that his condition was treatable but not curable, Audette decided to undertake nutritional research to find a better cure.
    • Drs. Michael and Mary Eades, co-authors of The Protein Power LifePlan hold views similar to Audette and also believe that modern health problems are caused by our modern diet that is heavy on grains and processed food. (Notable is that Dr. Michael Eades even wrote the introduction to Audette's NeanderThin.)
    • Dr. Diana Schwarzbein is the endocrinologist to the stars. The doctor of choice for Suzanne Somers, Larry Hagman and many others, Schwarzbein encourages extensive testing for hormonal imbalances and then suggests various diet and exercise programs and selective hormone replacement to treat any deficiencies.
    • Suzanne Somers first introduced "Somersizing" in Suzanne Somers Eat Great, Lose Weight in 1992. Somersizing is a way of eating in which you cut sugar and "funky foods" and eat plenty of fats, proteins and good carbs like vegetables and fruit. Foods must be combined in certain ways so that the body easily digests them. Dieters Somersize in two steps, the first (Level One) to lose weight and induce "the melt" of fat and the second (Level Two) for ongoing maintenance of their ideal weight.
    • Developed by Dr. Arthur Agatston, The South Beach Diet touts itself as teaching dieters to eat the right carbs and the right fats. The diet has three phases. In the first dieter's banish their bad carb cravings and induce rapid weight loss. In the second phase, some types of carbs are reintroduced and weight loss is slower. The final phase is the "Diet for Life" phase. This is the maintenance diet and will be followed for the rest of the dieter's life. If at any time the dieter begins to gain unwanted pounds, then he simply goes through the induction and pre-maintenance phases again.
    • On Sugar Busters! dieters cut sugar to trim fat. This diet was created by a group of doctors and the CEO of a Fortune 500 business from New Orleans who realized that low fat foods are full of sugar and that it is the sugar in foods that produces a negative insulin response and leads to weight gain.
    • Written by Rick Gallop, a former President of The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, The Glycemic Index (GI) Diet claims, "if you can understand a traffic light, you'll understand this diet".
    • Created by Dr. Barry Sears, The Zone encourages balanced carb and protein intake. Dr. Sears suggests that you divide your plate into three sections, one for protein and two for fruits and vegetables per meal. This works out to 30 percent protein, 40 percent carb, and 30 percent fat. For each meal, the protein portion should be roughly the size of your tightly closed fist. The carb portion should be the size of two loosely closed fists and the added fat portion should be about the volume of your thumb.
    • Before he began extolling the virtues of Australian macadamia nut oil, Dr. Fred Pescatore wrote the book Thin For Good: The One Low-Carb Diet That Will Finally Work for You. This plan explores the mind-body connection in lasting weight loss and includes plans for men and women as well as a low-carb diet plan for vegetarians.

Diets and Popular Dietary Treatments

Americans spends millions of dollars each year on diet books, products, and weight-loss plans. With all of this dieting, you would think obesity would be decreasing every year instead of increasing. So, why aren't they working?

Subscriber Diet Programs

There are many subscriber programs available both online and in the real world for dieters. In order to help choose one or just learn more about them in order to help round out your daily life and coordinate your activities, foods - - i.e. perfect diet lifestyle, here are some of the membership programs available.

And let's take a look at how they fit into the real world today. Because while it might be great to lower the body's sugar content and be healthier, wouldn't it be great to learn how to do so while being part of this fast-paced world? 

In the world of instant messaging, quick Internet interaction and the already multi-faceted day-to-day hectic schedules, dietary food budgeting, planning, preparing and shopping are issues that can become major sources of stress and reasons for dieting failure. Dual income families on-the-go and other super-busy wage earners and dieters often already suffer from more than their share of everyday stressors like fears of being laid off, their jobs being relocated or terminated, juggling more than one job, dependents (both elderly and minors) and trying to fund and juggle continuing education into their lives, budgets, and daily routines.

People want and need simpler solutions. And they need simpler dieting plans. Forget spending mega bucks on gourmet, hard-to-find items. Forget spending hours just to prepare meals. And forget counting, measuring, and weighing ingredients.

Natural Dieting Alternatives

Nutrition and Dietary Basics

The Dieting Twelve Steps

Basic Meal And Menu Planning

Social Eating and Traveling Tips

Basic Weight Management

Ogden CL, Carroll MD, McDowell MA, Flegal KM. Obesity among adults in the United States – no change since 2003—2004. NCHS data brief no 1. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2007.
Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Flegal KM. High Body Mass Index for Age Among US Children and Adolescents, 2003—2006. JAMA. 2008;299(20):2401—2405.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010. 2nd ed. With Understanding and Improving Health and Objectives for Improving Health. 2 vols. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, November 2000.


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Fort Madison, IA 52627




What I Read

Books by

Lyle McDonald

The Protein Book, The Protein Book is a comprehensive look at the issue of protein intake for both strength/power and endurance athletes. Coaches looking for the latest scientific developments in terms of optimizing protein nutrition for their athletes as well as athletes looking for answers to their questions will find them all covered in complete detail.

A Guide to Flexible Dieting is a look at some of the psychological and physiological reasons why diets so often fail. Among these is the research demonstrated fact that individuals who are too rigid in their approach to dieting (e.g. expecting complete unyielding perfection at all times) are actually less successful in the long-run than individuals who are more flexible in their approach.

The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook offers a scientifically based approach to quick weight and fat loss. Recognizing that people need or simply want to lose weight and fat rapidly, I set out to develop the safest, most effective way of accomplishing that goal.

The problem of stubborn body fat (typically the abdominals/low back for men and hips and thighs for women) is one that lean dieters have been trying to deal with for decades. Various simple explanations (typically involving estrogen) have been offered but the results from these simple approaches have been, at best, poor. This is a place where simple is simply wrong.

When trying to diet to extremely low levels of body fat, muscle mass and performance loss, crashing hormones, runaway hunger and others are perennial difficulties that the non-genetic elite (or natural) dieter has to face.

Very low-carbohydrate (aka ketogenic) diets such as The Atkins Diet, Protein Power and The South Beach Diet have come and gone repeatedly over the years and there is currently great research and real-world interest in their effects. Unfortunately, altogether too much misinformation exists regarding them.

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