You Don’t Have To Do This Alone
Low carbing can be very lonely. We low carbers are not part of the mainstream of society (yet), and finding support and information can be pretty tough. I am convinced that one of the reasons Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig have been around so long and have been so successful as businesses is because they offer real, physical places to go to and real people to talk with.
Followers of Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig essentially join a club of like-minded people, and these diet businesses offer their followers a sense of belonging and camaraderie that keeps them coming back again and again. It doesn’t matter to some of them that either they don’t lose weight on the programs or that they can’t maintain their weight loss. They have friends there. They belong. And each business has enough people who are successful that those who fail think that the problem is theirs’ and not the program’s.
There are not as yet local low carbohydrate weight loss centers where we can go to meet and talk with fellow low carbers, although hopefully that day will come in the not-too-distant future. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of information available on line, and there are on line support groups chock full of wonderful people who are more than willing to help each other out.
We don’t have to do this alone!
Where To Look For Support
There are literally hundreds of online low carb support groups, and once you have decided which type of forum best suits you, you’ll have plenty of choices. First, though, you need to decide which type of format is most comfortable and convenient for you.
There are basically three types of support groups available: email subscription lists, message boards, and clubs. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses. Some people prefer one to another. Some join and participate in a variety of groups.
The choice is yours.
Email Subscription Lists
Email subscription lists are just that: lists you subscribe to where members email each other through the list venue. They ask questions, give answers, offer support, share research and tips that they’ve come across, and, quite often, become friends.
Email subscription lists come in all shapes and sizes. Some are quite large; some are quite small. The volume of list traffic varies from list to list. Some lists produce very little email, and others generate large amounts of it. Some lists which are hosted by large Internet companies like Yahoo and MSN actually show you the traffic volume of the list on the list’s home page by showing you how many emails have been posted to the list each month for a period of a year or more.
In most cases, subscribers have the ability to choose whether they get the list emails individually or in digests. (Choosing the digest delivery mode means that the list emails will be “bundled” into groups of 25 or so, and all those emails will be delivered to your email box as one email.) If you choose a list which is generated by one of the larger Internet entities, like Yahoo, you will also have to option of “web only/no mail,” which means that you opt to receive no email from the group at all, but will be able to go to the list’s home page and read the posts from other subscribers. (“Web only/no mail” does not mean that you can’t post to the list; you can still post at any time.)
Each list has it’s own personality. The moderator of the list often, but not always, determines this. Some moderators keep tight control over their lists; others are more freewheeling. Any rules imposed by the moderator will be explained on the list’s home page or in an email that you will receive after subscribing.
It’s difficult to discover the tenor of a list by merely looking at the list’s home page, though, so you won’t really know if the list is a “match” for you until after you’ve been receiving and reading posts for a while. Many people “lurk” on a list for a period of time before submitting their introduction, reading the posts from others but not posting to the list themselves until they feel comfortable and are sure that they will fit in. If they like the list, they post an introduction at that time; if they don’t like the list, they can unsubscribe without having made any emotional investment in the people on the list.
As I said, there are hundreds of subscription lists to choose from. I moderate several low carbohydrate support lists through Yahoo:
- AtkinsDiet_LoCarb (Click here: Yahoo! Groups : AtkinsDiet_LoCarb)
- CarbSmart Choices, (Click here: Yahoo! Groups : CarbSmartChoices)
- CarbSmartKids, a list for parents of low carbing children and their children (Click here: Yahoo! Groups : CarbSmartKids)
You can access any of these groups, and many other low carb support groups by going to: Click here: Yahoo! Groups.
Not all subscription lists are hosted by Yahoo. Some of the finest low carbohydrate support lists on line are privately operated. I highly recommend The Low Carb Diet Support List, the Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution Support List, the Texas Low Carb List, and the Food Log Group. You can access all of these lists through: Click here: Lowcarb Mailing Lists.
From the above link you can also access “specialty” low carbohydrate support lists for those following the Hellers’ Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet, celiacs, diabetics, Paleolithic eating, and those interested in exercise and physical training while following a low carbohydrate lifestyle.
Low Carb Support Clubs And Boards
Support clubs and boards operate in a similar manner. Each club or board has a web site address, and you join the club or board just as you would an email subscription list, but you read other club/board member’s posts from the web page and post your own messages from the site as well. You do not receive emails from the group.
You can access any number of clubs through Yahoo (Click here: Yahoo! Clubs) or MSN (
Click here: Web Communities on MSN – Main Page). Of the MSN clubs, I highly recommend Low Carb Friends, which is run in conjunction with the Food Log Group I mentioned above. ( Click here: Low Carb Friends). There’s also a very active group called the Low Carb Community (
Click here: Low Carb Community), a group for single low carbers (Click here: Atkins and Low Carb Singles), and many, many more.
Some ISPs (Internet service providers) host their own low carbohydrate message boards and forums. I’m on AOL, so I’m familiar with their ThriveOnLine health board (Click here: THRIVE: Atkins). You can only access the Thrive boards if you are on AOL. If you are not, you may want to check with your ISP and see if they provide a similar service.
Where To Look For Recipes
Part of the support we need as low carbers is a variety of resources for low carbohydrate recipes. While you may find one or two low carbohydrate cookbooks in your local bookstore, they are usually limited to one or two selections, and all the bookstores carry the same one or two. They’re a start, but they’re not enough.
Low carbers are always looking for recipes, and there are thousands of them available via the Internet. All you have to do is find them and then either cut and paste them into a file or print them out.
Low Carb Recipe Lists
I run two low carbohydrate recipe lists. The first is Celebrate Low Carb. Celebrate Low Carb is a low volume, non-posting list that I use to distribute low carbohydrate recipes in themed digests. It has over 700 low carbohydrate recipes in it’s files, and subscribers can access them any time.
I specifically designed Celebrate Low Carb for those people who want to receive a limited amount of email. Celebrate Low Carb generates only eight emails a month. You can subscribe to Celebrate Low Carb by going to the list’s home page:
Click here: Yahoo! Groups : CelebrateLowCarb.
My second list is the CarbSmart Recipe Exchange. Again, it is designed for people who want a limited amount of email, but subscribers to the CarbSmart Recipe Exchange can post their own recipes and food related questions and answer queries from other subscribers. I preview all the posts to insure that they are on topic. If someone posts an off topic question or comment, I answer them privately and their post does not go through to the list. You can access the CarbSmart Recipe Exchange via it’s home page at: Click here: Yahoo! Groups : CarbSmartRecipeExchange.
Low Carb Recipe Web Sites
There is a plethora of low carbohydrate recipe web sites, and I’ve collected a few of the best to share with you. These are by no means the only low carbohydrate recipe web sites out there, and I’m certain that I’ve probably missed some, but this should get you started:
- Click here: Balderon’s Low Carb Recipe Collection
- Click here: Recipes (Lynne’s Chocolate)
- Click here: Low Carb Recipes (Rowanmoon’s Recipes)
- Click here: Low Carbohydrate Cooking – Recipes
- Click here: Peggy’s Atkins Recipes
In addition to these fine recipe web pages, CarbSmart will be reintroducing our own recipes pages in the near future. They will feature original recipes by myself and other low carbers as well as recipes using CarbSmart’s products so that you will have a variety of ways to use them.
More Support In The Future
I am in the process of compiling a long list of useful web site links for low carbers which will include links to general low carbohydrate informational sites, food count sites, plateau and stallbuster pages, medical information and studies, measuring your progress, inspiration, essential elements of your diet, how low carbing effects certain diseases and syndromes, and exercise.
I will have all these web site links in the article, and then they will be posted in a new “Low Carbohydrate Links” section of CarbSmart. Hopefully, this will save you a great deal of time, something we’re all too short of.
You an essential part of CarbSmart, and we welcome your input. We want to make CarbSmart the most complete source of information possible, and you can help us achieve this.
If you have a low carbohydrate subscription list, club, or group that has not been mentioned, please email me at [email protected]. Include the link to your list, club, or group and we will include it in our new “Low Carb Links” section.
If you know of a noncommercial low carbohydrate recipe web site that we have not included, please send the hyperlink to me at [email protected] so that we can include it for everyone’s use.
And, as always, you can email me at the above address with any questions or suggestions that you have. Don’t bother trying to make me feel old and out of touch with the “modern” world, though. My kids have that one covered. (Mothers of teenagers know why animals eat their young.)
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your help.