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Low Carb Intelligence vs. Low Carb Stupidity

Remember that movie with Jim Carey, "Dumb and Dumber?" And remember the sequel to that movie, "Dumb and Dumberer?" Well, the low carb mania that is sweeping the globe today has reached a level beyond dumberer? It's more like dumberererer (try to say that five times real fast)

There is an epidemic of "low carb stupidity" running rampant among millions of people throughout the world today - and fast food restaurants, food product manufacturers, supplement companies, and weight loss programs are capitalizing on it in a big way!

The low carb diet is not inherently "stupid," however. It can be quite beneficial within certain parameters and under the right circumstances. The problem is that many practitioners are uninformed, misinformed, or simply lack the common sense and intuitive bodily wisdom to utilize the low carb approach intelligently.

Many low-carbers don't even know why they are on a low carb diet, they're just following the followers (Not intelligent!) Doing what everyone else is doing is always one of the surest, straightest routes to arrive at mediocrity! If you want to be a success, your chances are far greater if you look at what the masses are doing and do the exact opposite!

Fortunately, there is such a thing as "low carb intelligence." Hopefully, by reading my brief rant, you will increase your carb IQ, and soon join the ranks of the extraordinarily fit, lean and healthy "carbo geniuses!"

Low carb stupidity #1

Selecting your beer or liquor carefully to make sure you have the brand with the fewest grams of carbs.

Low carb intelligence

Avoiding alcohol if you're trying to lose body fat. Drinking only in moderation if you're trying to maintain your weight and be healthy.

Low carb stupidity #2

Believing any of the following: Low carbs diets are the only way to lose fat, low carb diets are the best way to lose fat, no one should ever eat a high carb diet, high carbs always make you fat, starches and grains make everyone sick and unhealthy.

Low carb intelligence

Adjusting your approach according to your health status, your goals and your body type, not according to generalizations preached by dogmatic diet "gurus."

Low carb stupidity #3

Going on the Atkins diet (or any other very low carb/ketogenic diet) with absolutely no idea why you're doing it or how the diet works (going on it because "everybody" is doing it and because you see it advertised everywhere.)

Low carb intelligence

Studying the physiology and biochemistry of the low carb diet and completely understanding all the pros and cons. Then making an informed decision whether to restrict carbs based on your own personal goals, needs and heath status.

Low carb stupidity #4

Thinking that very low carb (ketogenic) dieting is a maintainable "lifestyle."

Low carb intelligence

Understanding that reasonable (moderate) restriction of carbs can be a helpful short term strategy for fat loss, a good way to reach a peak, a legitimate method to control appetite, and an effective way for some people to control insulin. But also understanding that a balanced diet of natural foods is probably the most suitable of all the diets for health, lifelong maintenance and weight control.

Low carb stupidity #5

Believing calories don't count if you just cut out your carbs (or not counting calories because it's "too much work.")

Low carb intelligence

Knowing that fat loss always did and always will boil down to calories in vs. calories out. Taking the time and effort to crunch your numbers (at least once), typing up your menu on a spreadsheet, keeping a diary, and/or using nutrition tracking software.

Low carb stupidity #6

Staying on a low carb diet that has stopped working (or never worked in the first place).

Low carb intelligence

Adjusting your diet according to your results; understanding that a common definition of insanity (and/or stupidity) is to continue to do the same things over and over again, while expecting a different result.

Low carb stupidity#7

Believing that you don't need exercise because all you need to do is cut carbs.

Low carb intelligence

Knowing that dieting is the worst way to lose fat and that exercise is the best way to lose fat (Burn The Fat, don't starve the fat).

Low carb stupidity #8

Using the argument; "There's no such thing as an essential carbohydrate" as justification for low carb dieting.

Low carb intelligence

Realizing that textbook definitions of "essential" can be taken out of context to promote a fad diet and that just because there's technically no "essential" carbohydrates (as there are essential amino acids and fatty acids) doesn't mean carbohydrates aren't "essential" in other respects.

Low carb stupidity #9

Using the argument, "You have to eat fat to lose fat" as justification for a high fat, low carb diet, without explaining it or putting it in context (exactly how much fat and what kind of fat?)

Low carb intelligence

Understanding the importance of essential and omega three fats (the good fats), but not taking any single nutritional principle to an extreme (such as, "If a little fat is good for you then a lot is even better.")

Low carb stupidity #10

Saying, "All carbs are bad" or "All carbs are fattening."

Low carb intelligence

Avoiding generalizations, and instead, having multiple distinctions about carbohydrates (and other foods) so you can make better choices. For example:

Low GI vs. high GI carbs
Simple vs. complex carbs
Starchy vs. fibrous carbs
Natural vs. refined carbs
High calorie density vs. low calorie density carbs

Low carb stupidity #11

Not clarifying your definition of low carbs.

Low carb intelligence

Realizing that there are "very low" carb diets, "low" carb diets, and "moderate" carb diets and that you cant lump them all together. (Some people consider The Zone Diet, at 40% of calories from carbs, a low carb diet, others consider 40% carbs quite high).

Low carb stupidity #12

Believing that carrots are fattening because they're high on the glycemic index and because a popular fad diet book says so.

Low carb intelligence

Have we lost all vestiges of common sense? With an average carrot clocking in at 31 calories and 7.3 grams of carbs, do you really think that this orange-colored, nutrient-dense, low-calorie, all-natural, straight-out-of-the-ground root vegetable is going to make you fat? (if so, you are in "carbohydrate kindergarten.")

Low carb stupidity? Lucky #13

Eating lots of processed and packaged low carb foods (including those protein "candy bars")? and thinking you're "being good" and "following your diet."

Low carb intelligence

Realizing that natural, unrefined foods are one of the keys to lifelong weight control and that anything man made and refined is NOT an ideal "diet" food - including the highly processed low carb foods that are all the rage this year. (Doesn't this bandwagon reek of the late 80's and early 90's "no fat" craze, when all those "fat free" foods were being passed off as healthy diet food, but were really highly processed and full of pure sugar?)

--End of Stupidities--

Forgive me for the obvious dashes of sarcasm, but sometimes I just can't help myself and I end up going into "rant mode"? I think the last time this happened was in my newsletter almost a year ago? that was the issue where I wrote about the ad for the candy bar that increases your bench press by 50 pounds? Yeah... I heard those bars are especially effective when you combine them with low carb potato chips (weren't those low fat potato chips a few years ago??? Oh nevermind... it's all soooo confusing!)

Copyright 2005 Tom Venuto

Tom Venuto is a certified personal trainer, natural bodybuilder and author of the #1 best selling diet e-book, "Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle. You can get info on Tom's e-book at: To get Tom's free monthly e-zine, visit


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