September 29, 2003
All That Meat and No Potatoes
I went on the Atkins diet only twelve days ago and I've already lost 10 lbs. I broke 180 for the first time in years. I have to tighten my belt an extra notch.
Atkins is highly controversial. Some people swear by it. Many dieticians declare it to be bogus. I'm not qualified to judge the scientific claims, and it's not going to work for everybody, but I can say that it's helped me so far. I've tried in the past to lose weight through the traditional low-fat low-meat approach. Lite this, lite that. Nothing ever tasted good or left me feeling satisfied, I could never stick with it. I would always break down within a few weeks and treat myself to a bacon double cheeseburger as a reward for losing a pound or two. The Ben and Jerry's would inevitably sneak into my grocery cart somehow and then it was all over. On the other hand, if I get to choose between giving up fats OR carbs, the choice is an easy one. A simple intuitive explanation is that it's very easy to overeat carbohydrates, but a lot harder to overeat on fats and proteins -- think about how many cookies, crackers, pieces of bread, gummi bears or glasses of Coca-Cola you can pour into your face without having any idea how many calories you're adding to your waistline? A lot, in my experience. On the other hand -- how many hard boiled eggs or pieces of smoked mackerel can you eat before saying "I'm full, thanks!"? Not very many. By eating a little more meat/fish/eggs/butter/cheese than I normally would, I feel full more quickly and can avoid eating a whole bunch of sugar and crap that I didn't need but would eat anyway without much thought. And I'm making a point of exercising more. In time, I'll let myself eat a more balanced diet, but hopefully I've learned my lesson to cut most of the junk out of my daily intake.
And I wonder, maybe if Fats Waller really had eaten "All That Meat and No Potatoes", he might have lived a lot longer than he did.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at September 29, 2003 11:24 PM
And if Fats Waller had really MEANT what he said in 'Seafood Mama'
I want some seafood, mama,
Shrimpers and rice, they're very nice
he'd have lost a bunch of weight too. But even within the song he falls off the wagon
Bust your mouth on peppermint candy
And the whole thing means something else anyway. As they say in the blogs, read (listen to?) the whole thing.
I have done Atkins in the past with amazing success. Most people have a misconception of the diet. The induction phase has captured the imagination of the public for its eat any fat and meat you want and lose weight magic.
However this is not the true Atkins diet. Once your weight has stabilized and you begin to add more carbs to your diet, you will learn that you must maintain the true Atkins diet where you balance the number of carbs to the point where you are neither losing nor gaining. it is essential that you eat a lot of vegetables (yuck).
If you go back to eating a pre-atkins normal level of carbs or eating the way you did before when you were not gaining or losing you will be saddened to learn that the weight jumps back on with vengence.
Essentially under Atkins, your body goes into ketosis where your body is tricked into thinking that it is starving. Remembering its recent starvation, your baody attempts to hold on harder to the carbs you put in.
If you are going to do Atkins: 1) eat a lot of green vegetables and drink a lot of water; (2) do not return to your pre-Atkins eating -- you will need to transform your diet which is not easy for all; (3) exercise when you start adding the carbs back in because they are harder to lose after your body has thought it is starving.
note it is more difficult to do the induction phase a second time, so don't get to the point where you need to do it a second time. Good luck, and enjoy the weight flying off!
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I have been on the zone diet for 3 to 4 years now, and have had similar success. While on a very carb restrictive diet, I have managed to shed 10 kgs in 6 months. There has been some fierce debate on the similarity of the two diets with the man behind the zone diet, Dr Barry Sears fiercely denying the similarity between the two, but imho both the diets are fundamentally similar as both of them recommends restricting intake of concentrated carbohydrates.
I was "forced" by my high cholesterol count to go back on the zone diet after laying off it for sometime, and have managed to bring my cholesterol count to a managable level _without_ medication.Although this is encouraging, most of the time, I do feel a craving for sweet stuff ( yes even after 3 years ). What really pulls me to stick on the diet though is the psychological effects of the diet as I experience heightened energy levels mentally and concentrating after meals is easier.