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Atkins: Your Best Friend, Your Worst Enemy

August 7, 2013 0 Comments RSS Feed

Atkins: Your Best Friend, Your Worst Enemy

So let’s face it… it’s summertime (or coming close to the end of summertime) and people are wanting to go out, hang at the beach, go swimming, go to the water park…all activities that involve less clothing that normal. People want to look their best. I suppose there are some people who don’t care how they look. I’m not one of those people. But I care how I look to *me*. I don’t care what other people think about me. So, along with people trying to look their best come things like diet, exercise, bulimia (just kidding!). This brings me to the subject of the post: The ever-controversial Atkins diet.

Today marks my 5th day on the diet and this is my second time doing it. This time around, I didn’t weigh myself before hand, I didn’t take before photos, I’m not interested in the hype of the diet. I just want to lose the weight.

The first time I did the diet was shortly after it became real popular. It was around 2003, I had just had my first child and I had put on some weight. I was around 185. It may not sound like a lot, but I’m only 5’7″ so it was for me and that was the heaviest I had ever been. I wanted to try the diet because I heard that it really worked.

The “induction” phase is supposed to last for the first two weeks. During this time you cut out almost ALL carbs. You limit yourself to 20g of carbs a day. For those of you who have never checked how many carbs are in the foods you eat, you’ll be incredibly surprised to know just how many things have carbs and lots of them. A slice of bread, just ONE slice of bread, has 36 carbs. You’d be done for today and the next day! Anything with sugar in it packs on the carbs as well. So, long story short, the induction phase sucks. There are only a certain few things you can eat and you have to eat them ALL the time. It gets old very quickly. But, alas, I was determined to lose the weight so I stuck with it.

Now, after the first two weeks, you’re supposed to slowly start introducing more carbs into your diet (I don’t remember the exact number you’re allowed at this point but it wasn’t a whole lot more than 20). I decided to keep going on the induction phase and limiting the number of carbs I ate to 20g or less. Now, the reason this diet works is because if you’re not taking carbs into your body, it forces your body into a state of ketosis, which means instead of burning glucose from sugar and carbs that your body normally takes in, it starts burning fat. Awesome, right?! This causes your body to lose weight, and fast! I was in the induction phase for around a month, maybe a little longer, and I went from that 185 pounds down to a much healthier, much slimmer 145. I lost 40 pounds, just by cutting carbs out of my diet. It suggests that you don’t drink beverages with artificial sweeteners, but I can’t give up my pop! So who knows, maybe I could have lost more than that in the time I spent doing it.

Anyway, back to the point of this blog post. I’m back on the diet now and like I said, I didn’t measure anything before I started. I had a general idea of how much I weighed to begin with, but not a specific number. And I also have a general idea of how much I’d like to weigh when I’m done, but not a specific number. I’m more focused on how my body looks than the numbers. If I start working out again, which I’m fully planning on, on top of the diet, I could be adding muscle that weighs more than fat, so the numbers aren’t that important to me.

Now, you may ask “What have you been eating?” If you’re interested in trying the diet yourself, take note, because the food gets repetitive!!!! Since there are only so many things you can eat that have little or no carbs, you end up eating the same things over and over again. If you can handle it, it’s well worth the 2 weeks or a month. The main three types of foods that have no carbs are meat, eggs and cheese. You can have any types of meat, including beef, pork, poultry and fish. You can have all the eggs you want and you can have most cheeses. My breakfasts so far have consisted of scrambled eggs and bacon and eggs sunny side up with sausage. Lunches have been egg salad with pork rinds, roast beef and cheese roll ups and tuna salad. And dinners have included things like salmon patties and bacon cheeseburgers without the bun. Now you’re probably saying to yourself that that doesn’t sound all that bad, but believe me it takes some will power to stick with it. Bread is out of the question, candy is out of the question, and most condiments are out of the question. Mustard is the exception. Mustard has no carbs so you can use as much as you’d like. With my roast beef roll ups, I did sacrifice some carbs to put miracle whip on them. But at 2gb of carbs a serving, I didn’t have to spare a whole lot to add some extra flavor. For snacks, pork rinds have 0g of carbs, beef jerky has very little, mixed nuts have very little as well. It’s important to stick with serving sizes though. For the items that have 0g of carbs, it doesn’t matter, but for the items that do those carbs can add up quickly if you’re not watching how much you eat. Finally, for dessert, sugar free Jell-o has 0g of carbs so you can eat as much Jell-o as your heart desires, or your stomach can handle. And if you want to add some extra flavor to it, cool whip only adds 2g of carbs per serving so used sparingly it makes for an excellent dessert.

I haven’t decided yet how long I’m going to stick with it this time. If I hit my ideal body before 2 weeks, I’ll stop then. If it takes a month and a half, so be it. But I know the diet works, and if you follow it past the induction phase to the ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and lifetime maintenance phases, you can lose weight and keep it off for a long long time. Atkins isn’t a crash diet, it’s a lifestyle change if you’re following the program to a T. I’m just using it to lose pounds and then I’ll go back to my normal eating patterns and just watch serving sizes to keep the weight off. Hopefully this post gives you a better understand of the Atkins diet and what’s involved in it. If you try it, good luck and stick to it! It definitely does work!

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