On Doughnuts and Dieting

I think there's a lesson to be learned in the bankruptcy filing of Atkins Nutritionals (search). And it comes from the folks at Krispy Kreme (search). You heard me right... Krispy Kreme.

The problem with Atkins wasn't the loss of interest in low carb dieting. Just like the problem with Krispy Kreme wasn't the loss of interest in hot, sugary doughnuts.

The problem was providing way too much of each.

Krispy Kreme expanded everywhere and lost its cache. Atkins tried to expand everywhere and lost its soul.

Krispy Kreme expanded to other doughnuts and lots of other stores. Atkins expanded to other products and lots of low-carb treats.

Now, to be fair, all of Krispy Kreme's offerings were delicious. And, to be kind, a lot of Atkins low carb bars and snacks were not.

The problem for both was thinking the rest of us could stomach so much. We couldn't. We didn't. Now Atkins is starving for money and Krispy Kreme is starving for respect.

Sometimes sticking to your knitting, means reminding doughnut lovers that you make only a couple of favorites and never waver. And, if you're Atkins, sticking to protein and never succumbing.

Some dieters miss sweets and demand them on a diet that doesn't call for them. Some doughnut lovers miss variety and demand them from a store already making too many of them.

They are the fickle ones: The dieters who come and go, the doughnut enthusiasts who dunk and leave.

None of this means you can't have your bacon or doughnuts and eat them too.

All it means is that at Atkins, you stick to the bacon and at Krispy Kreme, you stick to the sugary doughnuts.

You vary it up at Krispy, you start asking, "Where's the dough?" You do the same at Atkins, you start wondering, "Where's the beef?"

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