Friday, August 31, 2007

Silent No More

In good conscience, I can't keep silent about the Kimkins diet any longer.

Yes, I tried Kimkins back in June and July.

Yes, I lost weight, about 14 lbs in about 3 weeks.
Yes, I paid $60 to belong to a forum for support and encouragement along with the dietary guidelines published by "Kimmer", the screenname of Heidi Diaz, whose reputation in the low carb world has....ermmm....fallen into some disrepute lately.
I thought it was the best solution to overweight I'd ever heard.

I got sucked in by promises (and results) of quick weightloss with no exercise.
I'm not a patient person, so this appealed to me enormously. When I do anything important, I tend to go "whole hog" and overboard sometimes. Plus, I travel a lot, and when I'm home it's hard to find time to work out. Oh, this diet just sounds like a dream come true, doesn't it?
I didn't know enough about dieting in general to know any better, so when the pounds began falling off I was raving, excited and told a lot of people about Kimkins. I had no idea what was coming....

At week 3*, my weight loss stopped. I began questioning Kimmer and the admins on the forum. Their advice was "drop your carbs, drop your fats..."that food" isn't allowed on Kimkins etc."

This meant, in a practical sense, drop your calories. So I did. For a little while I dropped my daily caloric intake to approximately 600-800 per day.
How did I feel?
Ravenously hungry. My stomach growled almost constantly. Deciding it was time to kick up my exercise routine a notch, I tried to work out one day on the elliptical machine at the Y (I'd been walking at least a mile a day or every other day at that time in my hilly neighborhood). After about 6-7 minutes I was getting woozy, my knees felt like jello, and I couldn't see straight. I decided to finish my workout on a treadmill. I took it easy, but only could finish another 4 minutes before the dizziness and weakness in my legs made me a little scared and I stopped.

My daughter, the RN, who was working out with me said "Mom, you look kind of funny, are you ok? Maybe you better sit down and just drink some water." Red Flag #1
Oddly enough...the weight loss never resumed. Even at lowered calories. Red Flag #2

Shortly after that day at the Y (I didn't make the connection between my caloric intake and the failed workout) I began experiencing what felt like gallbladder attacks. My GERD was out of control and I had to begin taking double my daily dose of Nexium. Red Flag #3

I began adding some fat back into my diet, knowing by that time that keeping your gallbladder "out of work" is not advisable. Of course this upped my caloric intake considerably.

I began to must be the diet. I didn't want to quit. I wanted to keep going. I desperately wanted to lose weight--still do!
But then I began looking around on the internet. I found a couple of low-carb support forums and to my surprise (and horror) it turned out that on a couple of them, Kimkins as a WOE was somewhat frowned upon by experienced low carbers. Red Flag #4

What???? Why??
I needed to find out why.
The more I looked the worse it got.

...and there are more. Links on all those blogs will open your eyes.
When Jimmy Moore pulled his affiliation and posted his apology to the low carb world, I knew it was time for a serious personal reality check.

There are many bloggers who have explained just why Kimkins is such a dangerous dietary plan. I won't attempt to explain the medicine and science of it here.

Suffice it to give you some important links:
VP Health & Fitness
Most of what's wrong with Kimkins is stated over and over again in the books I've been reading. Kimmer (Heidi) claims to have cobbled together her WOE from Stillman's and Atkins and then tweaked it into something she calls her own. I haven't read Stillman's Diet but I have now read Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution, and I assure you, although the similarities are there between Atkins Induction program and Kimkins - she removed some of the most important nutritional considerations that Dr Atkins insisted on.
Inside the Kimkins organization, there's an ongoing shakeup in the administrative section. Becky (aka Littlebit on the KK forum) has been banned for 'differences of opinion'. Amy (aka Curlygirl) long a forum regular and excellent cook with her own site--is now MIA from Kimkins forum. I don't know for sure but I think maybe some of the Kimkins insiders, even those who did take the weight off with her program and are now trying to maintain their weight, are beginning to see the light.

The bottom line is, Heidi Diaz continues to promote and make a lot of money from her dangerously low calorie-low fat-lowcarb-no exercise needed** crash diet, and people are calling her on the carpet about it.

Just because *some* of the Kimkins followers are enjoying some weight loss success (yes, there are some), I predict that sooner or later most of them will experience metabolic slowdown, thyroid problems, electrolyte derangements, hormonal imbalances, muscle-mass wasting, and many other long term health problems.
Just because it's not happening to them TODAY doesn't make this diet safe!
We're talking long term dangerous effects. Life changing disability or death may result from following any low carb-lowfat-low calorie diet!!
Just because people drink and drive and live to tell about it - does NOT make drinking and driving safe!
Just because people experiment with illegal drugs and live to tell about it - does NOT make illegal and recreational drug use SAFE.
Kimkins, as with any other RISKY behavior, may not kill you may feel ok today and maybe tomorrow and maybe even, if you're really healthy and lucky next month....but sooner or later, as my mom always said....the chickens WILL come home to roost.

*I didn't know that most weight loss in the first week-10 days is WATER!
** Even Dr Atkins advocates exercise! In fact, almost every book I've read recently advocates exercise--not so much to burn calories but for toning, and feeling better and building muscle mass which BURNS calories even at rest. Among other health benefits....

Hey, Happy Labor Day Weekend to all. Be Safe!


Tracy said...

Glad to hear you stopped...kudos to you for paying attention to what your body was telling you and holding your health needs in higher regard than the desire to drop some poundage quickly. Hope others realize what a scam artist this person is!

Stephanie said...

Thanks Tracy. I just hope someone can benefit from what I shared rather than make the same mistake!

Vilma said...

Hi Stephanie...

Just wanted to let you know that I have moved my blog to my own host, so there will be dead links on your post.

Can you re-direct people to these addresses instead:

I would REALLY appreciate it!

All the best!

~ Vilma