Do you count carbs when you go out to eat?

The Atkins diet and the South Beach diet are the popular diets that seem to have struck the Fairfield area hard. Some students are hooked on such high protein/fat and low carbohydrate diets because of the fast, significant weight loss.

“My roommate and I have been on it [the Atkins diet] for four weeks. We both lost five pounds the first week,” said an anonymous junior student.

Because beer and pizza are so regularly consumed by college students, many question how easy it is to follow these diets.

“Well, I used to eat a ton of pizza and ice cream, and of course beer,” said another anonymous female student testing out the Atkins diet. “But I just drink hard alcohol, Diet Coke, and lots of steak now.”

The Barone Campus Center food service is aware of the healthy-eating craze permeating campus and decided to post the nutritional information for most foods.

Sodexho actually mandates that all nutritional information is made available for all clientele.

Although the Sky Ranch Grill offers French fries and hamburgers, Jen Belcher, the Stag retail dining manager, says that they didn’t choose Burger King or other fast food companies for the Stag because Sky Ranch is much fresher and offers an overall better product.

The Stag hasn’t changed its menu much because according to Belcher they have to maintain the branded concept that Sky Ranch provides.

“We have been offering more salads this year,” said Belcher. “There are plenty of healthy alternatives if students choose to watch what they eat.”

Although the BCC is trying to accommodate those watching their figure, students think that living in the townhouse or at the beach is easier to following the diet.

“I think its much easier living in the townhouses and being on a diet because then you buy your own food rather than having the things you can’t eat out in front of you, “said an anonymous female student.

If a dieter ventures off campus or decides to dine out don’t think that the diet is doomed.

Restaurants and grocery stores are conforming to the dieters’ needs. Trader Joe’s devotes practically an entire aisle to heath bars including ones made by the Atkins company.

Other local restaurants have altered menu options to ensure the Atkins dieters stay within their low-carbohydrate regimen.

“What’s Cooking?,” located on the Post Road in Fairfield, offers an Atkins diet special everyday. It consists of usually a sandwich on low carbohydrate bread (approximately four grams) or a platter of tuna or egg salad.

“It’s a big seller. If people don’t order the special, many order sandwiches without the bread,” said Angelo Marini, worker at What’s Cooking. “Salad sales have picked up too.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there has been a 10 percent increase in the demand for beef products since 1998. Because the Atkins diet prohibits carbohydrates, dieters stock up on meat and fish.

“It can get expensive,” says one of the anonymous Fairfield dieters. “My refrigerator is stocked with steak and shrimp. I try and look for sales, but that usually doesn’t happen.”

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