Is Atkins the Schticky of the Diet World?

About a month or so ago, I started seeing infomercials for the Schticky.  That whack Sham Wow guy is back hawking the reusable silicone lint roller.  There's a similar product being peddled by the heir to the late Billy Mays.  It struck me as funny because I have one of those things around here somewhere.  My inherited pack rat gene does not allow me to throw the thing away though we never use it.  It's something we have courtesy of the hubs' ex, so I know it is at least twenty years old.  

Which got me thinking about the Atkins diet and low carbing in general.  And the name "Schticky" brings with it its own connotations vis a vis one Gary Taubes use of the word schtick in describing scientists.  The similarities are many:
  • It works very well the first time on most things
  • It has come back after a hiatus from the "As Seen on TV" world
  • It doesn't work as well after you wash it, especially if you don't let it dry fully before using it the next time
  • It comes with a 10 year warranty implying it will work for the long haul.  (For the record, mine still works, but it's not been used more than a handful of times for all these years)
  • It works well on lint, but the promoters over sell it for all sorts of uses it would be inefficient to use it for
  • Having one in the house keeps you from buying one of those good old fashioned masking tape style rollers that work every time for the original purpose so long as you have a fresh sheet on them.
  • There's the Schticky and then there are knock-offs
As Fatman's sidekick boy wonder Glucagon was trying to explain why obesity hasn't been cured even though low carbing has been around for eons, I couldn't help but think of the Schticky.  Why would anyone have anything else if this thing really did deliver on all the promises -- and all for $19.95!!  Waging his war on insulin, Peter Attia MD (never practiced medicine after residency) is the new Vince Offer (that's the crazy Sham Wow dude's name) of low carb.  He was the co-sponsor of Taubes' publicity stunt wherein between the petition and many who left comments essentially bemoaned how Tara Parker-Pope was 60 lbs overweight because she just hadn't applied the right cure.  Perhaps she should try a Schticky to remove the fat ;-)  As I tweeted, Attia misses the point.  Atkins has (a) been around forever, and (b) been repackaged and resold over and over and over.  And yet not only has it not replaced the need for any other approach to weight loss, the landscape is littered with "users" left wanting.  Much like that Schticky in my drawer ...


Tonus said…
"Vince Offer (that's the crazy Sham Wow dude's name)"

That's just too easy.
SJ said…
Oh FFS, the comments on the Attia article are absurd. A couple of paleo/primal dieters mention that they're eating potatoes and it's the goddamn carbocalypse. Why is it so upsetting to these people that some people feel better when they eat a bit of starch?
CarbSane said…
Welcome SJ! Your comment is going to be a quote of the day here in a minute. Those who eat carbs after being LC threaten their cult. Plain and simple.
Woodey said…
Its part of the herd mentality. Basically the mind shuts off and dogma replaces independent thought. This is what happens when people stop thinking and react to what they deem to be the "truth" or in this case "science", which honestly is more pseudoscience formulated out of opinion. Its really unfair to the general public and I am seeing more and more junk science being pushed in the low carb community, a community I might add that supposedly prides itself on being grounded in concrete science.
Anonymous said…
Gary Taubes in Readers Digest


Eric Westman, MD, who directs the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic in Durham, North Carolina, and who cowrote The New Atkins for a New You, has been studying low-carb diets for 12 years. His five guidelines:

1) DON’T TRY TO LIMIT FAT. “Eating high-fat foods keeps you from feeling deprived,” says Dr. Westman. Bacon, cheese, heavy cream, sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, butter, and oil are all healthy parts
of a low-carb diet.

2) SAY GOODBYE TO PASTA, BREAD, AND RICE. To lose weight, most people have to stay under 20 grams of “net” carbs per day (net carbs refers to the number of grams of carbs minus grams of fiber, because fiber doesn’t send blood sugar spiking). That rules out bread (two slices contain about 24 grams of net carbs), rice (over 40 grams in a cup), and pasta (about 40 grams per cup). Once you hit your goal, you can slowly add in more carbs that don’t have a big impact on blood sugar.

3) BE PICKY ABOUT VEGETABLES. Starchy (carb-heavy) vegetables—most of the ones that grow underground, as well as corn—are off-limits. But you can have up to four cups daily of leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and collard greens. Limit broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, okra, and Brussels sprouts to two cups per day.

4) SAY NO TO HIDDEN SUGARS. Fruit, that legendarily healthful food, is packed with sugar, aka carbohydrates. So are fruit juices. Other concentrated sources include soda, cakes, and candy. You may be able to keep diet sodas, light beer, dry wine, and sugar-free sweets on the menu and still lose weight.

5) EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. When it comes to protein and fat, “you don’t have to use portion control,” says Dr. Westman. “Your hunger will go down automatically when you start eating this way—all you have to do is stop eating when you’re full
Lesley Scott said…
" Starchy (carb-heavy) vegetables—most of the ones that grow underground—are off-limits." Unbelievable that they'd promote items including tubers, carrots & beets as "off-limits", given how long we've been cooking & eating them - not to mention limiting items like broccoli & cauliflower. Honestly. This is beyond crazy.
CarbSane said…
Welcome AgingHippie!

Sigh ... there are some things different than I recall from Atkins. Or maybe it's just how it comes off bullet-pointed. For example #5, telling people from the get go that portion control isn't necessary and eat as much as you want -- WANT is a loaded world. But couple that with any restriction on non-starchy veggies as Lesley points out is ridiculous. One reason I was favorable on the New Atkins was they didn't limit certain veggies. Really 4 cups sounds like a lot but it's not and there's really no reason to limit these and not limit protein and fat. Fat especially. Go look at a quart bowl and think salads, etc. Silly really.

Lesley to be fair the total avoidance of root veggies is probably for "getting started", but it really bothers me that carrots are so reviled on Atkins. Those baby carrots make a perfect snack and probably a better option than nuts and cheese.

Westman is another LC proponent who's looking a bit heavier than he was a few years ago. So whassup wid dat if he's such a strong proponent?
Lesley Scott said…
man do I totally agree with you here. I must eat enough raw carrots every day to keep an entire warren of bunnies happy for a year. as for not limiting portions with protein, I know when I had my thyroid issues, I could eat so much roast chicken at a single sitting, it was insane. it's possible to overdo with protein, even roast chicken, of all things, as I (unfortunately) know from experience. they should be advocating just the reverse: eat all you want of cruciferous veggies & limit protein (people should do a George Costanza with their advice - the exact opposite)
CarbSane said…
Yeah, and if you actually look at the carbs they aren't that many, but Dana Carpender blamed her crockpot cookbook weight gain last year in part on the fact that there tended to be more root veggies in such recipes. Carrots are a great snack IMO.

Odd, Westman was the doc advising Jimmy back in 2008 when he was struggling with "reactive hypoglycemia" which wasn't really that anyway. Westman did, at the time, suggest portion control for Jimmy, whose "test meal" at the time was 5 eggs, cheese and a chicken breast. When will these folks learn.
Nahid said…
Looks like Vince, the schticky pitchman has a competitor, I heard it is the girl he ripped off for the product, what a jerk for doing that he is? The commercial is really funny because it seems as though she is telling him to Shove it!

see it-

I think this is better-
Dan@ SHove it said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan@ SHove it said…
The schticky is crap have you seen the shoveit? Apparently, it is from the girl that Vince stole the Schticky from
she is taking him on, on tv head to head, and her lint roller is only 9.99, watch the commercial here it is hysterical
or go to
SHove it
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