Friday, January 12, 2007

South Beach Diets and Fast Food Franchises

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South Beach Diets and Fast Food Franchises

Franchised Business Models and American Diets could be at odds. Yes there is significant issues with this in franchising. First before I get into my discussion for fear of someone, screaming foul. I would like to point to Krispy Kremes recent crash as an example of the changes in consumer buying behavior. We also noticed the IFA-International Franchise Association and the comments made by the Restaurant Association calling this Atkins, South Beach Low Carb Diet a mere fad. I can understand why the IFA wishes to help their members by quoting articles such as this one:

And the USDA is right to make a statement as the shift and focus on the Atkins Style and South Beach Diets are helping Americans lose weight and causing a severe shift in the eating habits. Last time the shift was the five food groups 30 years ago, which caused the obesity of today. Even today the GAO discusses the need for changes in school meals programs and nutritional reasoning and how this will effect pricing and competitiveness: School Meal Programs: Competitive Foods Are Available in Many Schools; Actions Taken to Restrict Them Differ by State and Locality. Obesity slows the human spirit and energy levels and adversely effects productivity in our country, making us lazy, stupid and fat. You can tell by looking at your employees in your franchised business on the frontline.

The USDA is attempting to assist industry with this very fast shift which came out of the blue. After all a big and immediate switch in dietary consumption from consumers will affect farmers, wheat growers, etc. in a very big way. Too fast of a pendulum swing as we are seeing now could adversely effect the agricultural industry. Which today is highly government subsidized, but soon may be a huge target of the WTO as other countries complain. We see conservative think tanks, like the Heritage Group, CATO Institute, Ayn Rand Foundation, discussing the issues of Free Trade and Corporate Welfare. Most of the subsidies go to the Corporate Farmers not the little guy who is used as a reason to write the checks. If people eat less wheat then wheat farmers take a huge hit. Cattle ranchers may see lower prices for grain and they will be glad to see they are selling more beef too.

Remember the old Wendys Commercials made famous by Dave Thomas? Well instead of Wheres the Beef it is going to be Wheres the Bun? And we already see how much the diet issues effect fast food when Subway had blockbuster sales increases after their campaign where the fat guy lost weight by eating there everyday. Personally, I once went to that Subway store that he made famous and there were some cute girls working there behind the counter too, so some of his motivation to go there was probably due to the cuties or babes behind the counter? Never the less, what ever his reasoning was it worked, he lost weight and a smart marketing exec at Subway saw this and scored one of the greatest marketing campaigns ever, ranks right up their with; Two-All Beef Special patties, pickles, lettuce tomatoeson a sesami seed bun and the Taco Bell Dog and the Have it Your Way and the Low Down Menu and the like. Every ten years or so there is a call to action for healthy Americans and that means watching what you eat.

Is this a short term trend? Well, not really it is a cycle set forth by Health Care Professional and a mandate for America. We have heard Presidential talks on this. We have heard recently that Diabetes has surpassed AIDS for death counts. Over weight causes heart disease etc. Moderation of things like ice cream and donuts is going to be a tough one. Nearly all the Fast Food Restaurants have had articles, PR and advertising telling of their low carb deals. Atkins lives on in spirit. Low Carb foods are flying off the shelves at Wal-Mart, Albertsons, Safeway, Win Dixie, Piggy Wiggly, Hughes, HEB, etc. See for yourself, some of these shelves have only a few items left on them each time you shop. Well if anyone says that trend is going away, I would respectfully disagree but be willing to listen to well articulated ideas that maybe contrary to this observational comment. As a matter of fast as I sit at Starbucks and chat, I hear people say they are on a new diet. Literally 1 in 3 people I talk to? So it is not a 20% trend it is a 30% plus trend. And we know from watching modern day trends such as the Homosexual movement and Credit Card Consumption trend, wireless trend, Debit Card preferred payment choice trends that once you beat that 8% barrier it cannot be called a fad. No folks this is not a short term anything.

People I have talked to are happy to look better, feel better, etc. Soon they will be at a weight to start working out again too. It was not all that long ago that Body Builder Arnold the governator headed up Bush Seniors get in shape program, and we see a return of a cycle and the trend is to eat different than the 30 year old food pyramid we were teaching the boomers and Exers.

If you are looking to buy a franchise, which involves food, check out the lines at the outlets folks, because we are seeing things not look so good. If you are wondering which business will perform better, watch the public as they vote with their dollars. This will help you visualize what is happening and the full extent of this newest trend.

We have seen Duncan Donuts switch to upscale coffee shops in the urban and suburbs to compete against Starbucks, and those are well received. And to their credit I say excellent work, they saw that one coming. In franchising nothing is guaranteed either you roll with the punches and you adapt to the market or you become an old Fad, one which is not necessarily going to deliver you your American Dream. Show me a food franchise without a sign in the window saying low carb and I will show you a fast food franchise, which has no lines and less same store sales in this quarter. Low carb a trend? No, it is just getting started. Companies are working extra hard to meet the rising demand of the consumer. Any franchise system denying this trend will have stores sales plummet and franchisees upset. Those brands which are known for high carb type foods, will have to spend big or be very innovative in their marketing to re-train customers, not as easy said than done. Any business including C-Stores, 7-11 and Truck Stops must also listen to the customers. As the attitude, consumer buying behavior and consumer sentiment is changing in America along with their belt size. "Convenience Store News" had a two page story on this very thing this months issue confirming our observations, that industry is changing and expect new low carb impulse food items to be emerging everywhere, this is a good thing.

People soon will be buying smaller clothes and fitting into their old favorites. You can already see this at the donation stations and thrift stores from my discussions from those wonderful American Volunteers giving their 2000 plus hours, thank you for this.

Some consumers say they tried the low carb diets but they made them constipated, even so anyone who would say low carb diets are a fab is really the one full of crap. We appreciate the USDA trying to uplift the industry spirits by telling the Food Associations that it is a fad, but to claim they know the future on this without looking at the trend is an incorrect view of observation. Even the GAO has studied these things: Nutrition Education: USDA Provides Services through Multiple Programs, but Stronger Linkages among Efforts Are Needed.

My advice to the franchise buyer? Sure, if you are looking to get into business for yourself; stay away from franchise offerings, which have long branded histories of the types of food associated with high carbs of fattening products. Newer franchises with less brand recognition can shift faster and re-educate quicker. Do not invest in a franchise with food unless you see that the franchisor and marketing departments are focused on this low carb issue. And check out the stores themselves the outlets are people lining up? Sit near the register and listen to what people ask, order and say, you will immediately say, youre right. If you run a small business of any type which sells food, buy those things that will be wanted by those who are on these new diets. That is what they want and it is good for America and our future health care costs, quality of life and life expectancies.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance;

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Some Straight Talk About Low-Carbohydrates and Your Health

There have been many diets and weight loss plans that have come and gone over the years. Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets were popular decades ago. And today are making a comeback.

These diets do promote weight loss. Low-carbohydrate, high- protein diets are more effective. Than low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-calorie diets. Also your cholesterol levels often improve more on a low-carb diet.

A low-carb diet plan structures your eating choices around the selection of lean protein sources. Focusing on fish, soy, poultry, low fat dairy and lean red meats.

It is a diet high in fibrous, crispy vegetables and fruits. Like green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, peppers, spinach, lettuces, berries, cherries, grapes and melons, to name a few.

You are also allowed limited size portions of starchy vegetables. Such as potatoes, carrots, beets and beans/legumes.

However, sweets and sugary foods are eliminated. With the exception of small portions on occasional *diet holidays*.

Your focus should be on healthy choices of fats. That Include raw nuts, seeds, nut butters, olives, olive oil, nut oils. Also some butter, fish oil and flax seed meal.

You should avoid trans fats (partially hydrogenated fats). Like fried foods, excessive saturated fats and margarine that contains trans fats.

Your objective should be to have a protein source at each meal. Along with vegetables, fruit and fats as mentioned above. To help avoid dietary deficiencies. You should include daily nutritional supplements. Consisting of a multivitamin, essential oils, diet formulation and chromium picolinate.

Possible Adverse Physical Effects

You may experience some adverse physical effects with a low- carb diet. Here are some of the negative consequences that could affect your health. Constipation and headaches. Digestive irregularity from lack of fiber. Potential strain on your kidneys. Increased stomach acid levels. Due to a high protein content. And high levels of fat could cause high cholesterol.

If your on diuretic or diabetes medications you should be monitored by a doctor. The low-carb diet affects your hydration and blood sugar levels. Current testing is on going whether a low-carb diet can help diabetics control their blood sugar levels.

Planning The Ultimate Diet

The ultimate goal of a low-carb nutritional diet structure. Allows your metabolic rate to stay high. While satisfying your appetite. And preserving your lean body mass.

However, in order for you to keep this weight off. You must follow the diet structure for your lifetime. This has many health experts worried.

Any extreme type of eating plan. That you follow for just a short time. Most likely will not have long term health risks.

But a lifetime plan of virtually cutting out an entire food group. Essential for your health. Without knowing the long-term risks, is a concern. At this time, the long-term health risks of low-carbohydrate plans have not yet been determined.

However, To minimize or avoid theses specific diet deficiencies. That are associated with low-carb diets. You should approach your low-carb diet as an integrated part of *Your Lifestyle*. Not solely an ingredient focus.

About The Author

Rick Trojan

Helping You Reach Your Goals for Good Health and Living Well

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With so many different diets available, how are we to know what works and what is safe? The only way to be sure is to discover the author's background and the research behind the diet's methodology. Every good diet should give a background about the author and his/her credentials and experience in the fields of nutrition and biochemistry. However, even a vast resume does not mean a credible and safe diet. But it does suggest, at least, that the author has some knowledge of nutrition. Providing research behind the diet proves that the diet is not something the author invented, so long as the research is not self-serving and altered to fit a hypothesis.

Some diets may not need a great deal of tests and studies behind them, simply because they are based on fundamentals. For example, many women's magazines have articles on dieting and weight loss, but they are common sense suggestions that most people concerned about weight should know already: "Eat smaller meals", "cut down on sugar and fat", etc., are typical philosophies. More structured diets should give some scientific reasons for its suggested success, preferably case studies and research performed on everyday test subjects, as well as athletes.

Since we have established the importance of eating a balanced diet in accordance to selecting healthy foods and obtaining RDA minimums, it is possible now to rate the diets in accordance to those specific criteria. Begin with a score of 200 and subtract 10 points from the total for each statement below in which the diet concedes. An ideal diet should maintain a score of 200, but a score of 160 or greater is acceptable.

1. The diet does not include the food groups in adequate amounts. Some fad diets eliminate one or more of the food groups. Do not deduct 10 points if a food groups nutrients (e.g., carbs, proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals) are adequately substituted with that of another food group.

2. The diet does not provide at least 45% of its calories from carbohydrate sources. In order to prevent ketosis, at least 150g of glucose/day is required. Thats 33-50% of total calorie intake on a 1200-calorie diet. Keep in mind that is the minimum. For highly active individuals, that amount should increase to 60% at times, i.e., immediately after exercise.

3. The carbohydrate content exceeds 20% concentrated sugars. At least 80% of carbohydrate sources should be complex, and preferably in the form of vegetables, seeds, and legumes.

4. The protein content exceeds 30%. A very high protein intake is unnecessary, it places additional strain on the urinary system, and it is a poor source of energy. Thirty percent is more than adequate, even for growing children and teenagers. The only group that requires higher protein intake are those who recently suffered a severe injury (e.g., leg amputation), infection, or surgery. However, these individuals will be under the care of a physician with a special high protein diet.

5. Protein content accounts for 15% or less of total calories. Although unnecessary in large amounts, protein still has many vital functions, including tissue repair and the formation of enzymes.

6. Fats exceed 30% of total intake. Besides increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, high fat diets have not been demonstrated to decrease weight better than other methods of proper eating.

7. Total fat consumption is less than 15% of total calories. Fat in moderate amounts is essential for a healthy diet, and such a diet provides taste to many foods. Fat intake below 15% for long periods, for most individuals, is unrealistic. Fat intake that is too low can also be detrimental to children and teenagers who require ample kcalories for continued growth.

8. Total fat consumption is less than 25% essential fatty acids, and saturated fat is more than 30% of total fat consumption. Deduct 10 for each.

9. The diet does not suggest common foods, meaning foods you should be able to obtain at any grocery store or market.

10. The foods for the diet are expensive or monotonous. Some diets require the purchase of their foods or expensive organic foods only obtained through health food stores. Some foods taste so bad they are difficult to tolerate repeatedly (e.g., seaweed). Deduct 10 for each.

11. The diet consists of an inflexible meal plan. The diet does not allow for substitutions or deviations, requiring a person to live under house arrest with the same food selections every day.

12. The diet provides less than 1200 kcalories per day. Less than that and the body's basic functions may not be getting the energy, vitamins and minerals needed to work properly, and the dieter almost is certain to feel hungry all the time. Diets below 1200 kcalories should be reserved for those under the supervision of a dietitian or licensed physician.

13. The diet requires the use of supplements. If the diet provides adequate energy and it is well balanced, supplements are unnecessary. Fat accelerators, such as ephedrine, may increase the rate of weight loss, but the diet should be able to stand on its own merit. Some diet clinics promote a vast array of herbal preparations and fat accelerators, and this is where these clinics make their money not in their knowledge and ability as nutritionists.

14. The diet does not recommend a realistic weight goal. Diets should not be promoting the body of a Greek god or a supermodel. They should not be suggesting that a person lose 100 pounds (even if 100 pounds overweight). Nor should diets recommend weight loss below an ideal weight.

15. The diet recommends or promotes more than 1-2 lbs/week weight loss. Do not expect to lose more than 1-2 pounds of fat a week it is physically impossible unless chronically obese, at which point 3 pounds may be possible. If more than two pounds is lost per week, the body change is due to a loss of water and/or muscle tissue. Gimmicks that promise 10 pounds in 2 weeks are either simply not true or else something other than fat is being lost. Also keep in mind that the more fat a person wishes to lose, and the less a person has, the more difficult and slower it will be to lose additional fat.

16. The diet does not include an evaluation of food habits. Dieting should be a slow process by which a person changes normal eating habits. It should not include looking for quick fixes and quick plans promising short cuts and extreme changes a person would never stay with these programs and such diets do not work long-term. The number of kcalories eaten, and the food selections and their amounts, should be reevaluated on a regular basis perhaps once every 1-2 months to determine the programs effectiveness.

17. Regular exercise is not recommended as part of the plan for proper weight loss. Weight loss occurs twice as fast with exercise, and without exercise there is a greater tendency to lose lean muscle tissue as well as fat. This is not ideal.


Low Carbohydrate Diets: Ketosis occurs, and this presents the same problems as fasting. Once glycogen stores are spent (which happens quickly with athletes and those who exercise regularly), glucose must be made from protein sources, and there is greater wear on the kidneys as a result. Even on a high protein diet, some protein will be taken from body tissues in order to produce enough energy for the nervous system and regular activity. The onset of ketosis is an indication that this process has begun and it is not a positive aspect, regardless of what pro-high-fat authorities indicate.

Great weight loss on a low-carb diet is evident because of the fact that carbs hold water in the muscles at a ratio of 1:3. As carb intake decreases then so, too, does water retention. Much water flushes as a result of lack of glycogen to hold water molecules. Moreover, by increasing protein intake, excess nitrogen flushes with even more water since the kidneys use water to dilute the concentration of nitrogen. Once leaving a low-carb diet and the muscles refill with glycogen, fluid concentrations increase and the dieter regains some of the weight.

Low calorie diets of 400-600 kcalories that consist primarily of protein have the same problems as fasting and low-carbohydrate diets: proteins are used for energy and weight loss comes largely from water. Low-cal diets must be supervised properly by a medical professional and only as a last resort for those who cannot seem to lose weight by other methods. However, even those individuals tend to regain most of their weight back once they return to a balanced diet.

Beverly Hills Diet a diet consisting of grapefruit, eggs, rice, and kelp; it is deficient in minerals and vitamins.

Cambridge Diet a very low kcalorie (300-600 kcal/day); protein/carb mixture with mineral imbalances; the dieter is close to fasting.

Complete Scarsdale Diet this diet is unbalanced nutritionally; some days are calorically restricted; the dieter alters portions of carbohydrate, protein, and fat; the diet consists of low carbs (20-50 g/day), and high fat and protein; the diet has a high meat (saturated fat and cholesterol) content.

Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution this diet is unbalanced nutritionally; some days are calorically restricted; the dieter alters portions of carbohydrate, protein, and fat; carbs are very low (20-50 g/day), whereas fat and protein are high; there is high meat (saturated fat and cholesterol) consumption.

Dr. Linns Last Chance Diet this diet has a very low kcalorie intake (300-600 kcal/day); it consists of a protein/carb mixture with a mineral imbalance; the dieter is close to fasting.

Dr. Reubens The Save Your Life Diet this is a calorically dilute diet consisting of high fiber (30-35g/day); the diet is low in fat and animal products; there is poor absorption of minerals because of too much high fiber.

"Fake" Mayo Diet this diet consists of grapefruits, eggs, rice, and kelp; it is deficient in minerals and vitamins.

F-Plan Diet this is a calorically dilute diet consisting of high fiber (30-35g/day); it is low in fat and animal products; there is poor absorption of minerals because of too much fiber.

LA Costa Spa Diet this diet promotes weight loss of 1-1_ lbs/day; there are various plans of 800, 1000, and 1200 kcal/day composed of 25% protein, 30% fat (mostly polyunsaturates), and 45% carbohydrate; the diets includes the four food groups.

Medifast Diet this diet is balanced nutritionally, but provides only 900 kcal/day; use of liquid formulas makes this diet monotonous and expensive.

Nutrimed Diet/Medifast Diet this is a nutritionally balanced diet, but it supplies only 900 kcal/day; the use of liquid formulas makes this diet monotonous and expensive.

Optifast Diet this diet is nutritionally balanced, but supplies only 900 kcal/day; use of liquid formulas makes this diet monotonous and expensive.

Pritikin Permanent Weight-Loss Diet this is a nutritionally unbalanced diet; some days are calorically restricted; the dieter alters portions of carbohydrate, protein, and fat; the diet consists of high protein (100 g/day); unless the foods properly chosen, it may be low in vitamin B12.

Prudent Diet this is a balanced, low kcalorie (2400 kcal/day) diet for men; it is low in cholesterol and saturated fats; a maximum of 20-35% calories are derived from fat with an emphasis on protein, carbohydrates, and salt; there is ample consumption of fish and shellfish, and saturated fats are substituted with polyunsaturated fats.

Quick Weight Loss Diet this diet is unbalanced nutritionally; some days are calorically restricted; the dieter alters portions of carbohydrate, protein, and fat, although there is low carbs (20-50 g/day), and high fat and protein; there is high meat consumption (saturated fat and cholesterol) with this diet.

San Francisco Diet this diet begins at 500 kcal/day, consisting of two meals per day of one fruit, one vegetable, one slice of bread, and two meat exchanges; the second week limits carbohydrates, with most food coming from the meat group and with some eggs and cheese, and a few vegetables; week three includes fruit; in week four there is an increase in vegetables; week five the dieter add fat-containing foods (e.g., nuts, avocados); week six includes milk; week seven includes pastas and bread, where the diet is maintained at about 1300 kcal/day; this diet avoids the issue of saturated fats and cholesterol.

Slendernow Diet this diet is unbalanced nutritionally; some days are calorically restricted; the dieter alters portions of carbohydrate, protein, and fat; the protein is generally high (100 g/day); unless foods are properly chosen, there may be a deficiency in vitamin B12.

Weight-Watchers Diet this diet is balanced nutritionally, at about 1000-1200 kcal; use of high nutrient-dense foods are consumed; economic and palatable food makes it one of the most successful diets with no real health risks.

Wine Diet this diet is about 1200 kcal/day, containing 28 menus together with a glass of dry table wine at dinner; besides the medicinal components of wine, it is believed that individuals reduce portion sizes when wine is consumed with a meal; the diet is low in cholesterol and saturated fats; there is a focus on fish, poultry, and veal with moderate amounts of red meat.

Yogurt Diet this diet consists of two versions, being 900-1000 kcal/day, and 1200-1500 kcal/day; plain low-fat yogurt is the main dairy dish, consumed at breakfast, lunch, and as a bedtime snack; the diet is high in protein, and it is low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and refined carbohydrates.

Diets that do not provide 100% of the U.S. RDA for 13 vitamins and minerals:

Beverly Hills
Carbohydrate Cravers Basic
Carbohydrate Cravers Dense
California (1200 kcal) California (2000 kcal)
I Love America
I Love New York
Pritikin (700 kcal) Pritikin (1200 kcal)
Richard Simmons

Brian D. Johnston is the Director of Education and President of the I.A.R.T. fitness certification institute. He has written over 12 books and is a contributor author to the Merck Medical Manual. An international lecturer, Mr. Johnston wears many hats in the fitness and health industries. You can visit his site at

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