Atkins

DOES THE ATKINS DIET WORK!?

Pros: Rapid Results: Scale moves consistently down . . dress/waist size goes down.

Cons: It’s not only your fat that melts away . . so does your life!

The Bottom Line: Very costly way to lose weight. I don’t mean just money, it will cost you your metabolism, mood and health.
Instead, it’s much, (MUCH) easier, cost & time effective to follow the program I followed eventually, more about it below…

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My Horrendous Experience With Atkins…

Jan 10th, 2008 (Much before my real weight loss journey began) I began the INDUCTION PHASE and Jan 25th I completed the INDUCTION Phase. I was 19 pounds lighter, looked and had been told I look slimmer, down about 1 1/2 dress sizes.

Before I explain why this is a ‘possibly’ dangerous diet I will explain what induction is (for all those who have been sleeping through the low-carb craze that is rampant in America). Click here to know about the Induction Phase

INDUCTION is the first stage of the Atkins “3-step approach”

During Induction you are ONLY allowed to eat foods that are on the ‘Atkins’ APPROVED list. Such foods include . . . MEAT. From Fish to Pork. However you like, however much you like. It is strongly recommended you only eat until you are full, NOT STUFFED!!

You can have eggs – cooked however you like. You can have as much thirst quenching water as you like and if you’re feeling randy you can have club soda. (Club soda – that’s just as good as having iron water! – Mmm.. tasty).

But hey, there are always sacrifices on diets right?

For example, during induction you may not have FRUIT!

What’s that you say? How can fruit be bad on a diet??

Well you silly fool, fruit is riddled with carbs! Why, a normal banana usually has 24-30 carbs, *shiver* Whew, toss that evil fat maker aside
and get with the program jack!

So, no fruit. NO Sugar! No foods with added sugars either!

This basically means you will be buying your meat raw and will have to cook it yourself because most
meats are cured with sugar or prepared with sugar.

Also, in your drinks “Aspartame” is a sugar substitute, a NO-NO. No dairy (I.e. Milk /Ice Cream) except sour cream, cream cheese, any cheeses, and also cream.

So what about vegetables?

Well, since any sane person knows that we do need carbs to fuel our body (lest we become thin reed like Barbie dolls whose necks would be snapped by a passing breeze), Senor Atkins DOES allow 20 grams of carb a day.

Now, the reason I won’t scoff at this ridiculous notion that a person can be fueled by 20 grams of carbs is coz maybe the diet is probably targeted at the super-duper obese (and possibly LAZY) individuals who aren’t moving round at all!

So maybe Atkins assumes more than 20 grams isn’t necessary for its dieters!

What Does 20 Grams of Net Carbs Buy You?

Well, you don’t even have to figure it out; during INDUCTION the good doc TELLS you what it will come from…

…”Veggies.”

Low Non-Starchy Veggies.

All for the price of 20 grams of carbs you can have:

3 cups of leafy salad (measured raw) or (!!) 2 cups of the leafy greens plus 1 cup of ‘other’ veggie, such as broccoli, cabbage, tomato, onion, etc!

Whoo-hoo!

Under no circumstances is Wheat, Grains, Pasta, or any type of substance that doesn’t consist of pure oil, lard, fat, and dead animal allowed to pass your lips during this phase…. with the exception of the 3 cups of salad.

Also, regarding fat, Atkins seriously shakes a no-no finger at hydrogenated products – Trans fats are a big sinister indigestible no-no.

Now, there are two other stages of the diet…

For example, I could have continued with INDUCTION if I wanted to melt off more fat rapidly, or I could have switched and entered into the “Pre-Maintenance phase”. This is where you are going to start to add more carbs to your diet.

You slowly introduce 5 more net carbs per week until your weight loss begins to stop. They suggest you add more veggies, then in a week or two add some berries, etc. There are plenty of highly priced Atkins low-carb foods for you to choose from so in a few weeks or so you could be living large.

In fact, I think this diet is an awesome “idea”.
However,
as good as an idea it is,
it doesn’t always play out the way it ‘should’.

So I had lost nearly 10 pounds a week,
what was my horrendous experience then?

Well………..

What went wrong was this…

The pounds were melting away. Yes, I took my supplements, ate my salad and like I said, week one, I lost 10 pounds. My water intake was nearly 2 liters a day. Seems I ALWAYS felt thirsty. No matter what. Drank 1 liter and still thirsty…

By day 8 I was really tired and not at all hungry.

But it says you may experience this and to just continue…

So I shoved food into me and felt a little better afterward. I went to work as usual, of course only sheer will power got me to my office and I just felt lazy and without energy.

Around day 10…

I was 18 pounds lighter and thanks to my mind over body power I was able to stick to my simple exercise regime (which I was doing for about 8 weeks), I was kind of toned as well. Really excited and grateful for that.

I was feeling really weak though. Not a feeling I enjoy or can just wave aside as a ‘sacrifice’ for thinness. (A term you CONSTANTLY see in Atkins books).

My mind was like…

The quest for thinness is everything *chanting* You want to be thin don’t you… *more chanting* …. don’t you!!!???!! *and more chanting* Sacrifice, Sacrifice, Sacrifice…

Um, excuse me dear mind; but my health is/was not worth being thin.

I just told myself to stop right here and not wait for my immune system to crash along with my energy and strength!

Also, you will notice severe, and I mean SEVERE mood swings during Induction.

The Real danger for me regarding this diet was…

If you were not raised eating hardcore meat, and I again mean HARDCORE meat, this diet may do a lot of serious damage to your life!

Sunday (day 12 of the 14 day Introductory phase)

Day 12, I was so weak (and depressed actually) that I couldn’t even get a game of pinochle with my family (my parents had come over).

That day I could barely hold my head up while playing cards and was so depressed I wanted to die, I broke down and ate a slice of bread.

1 slice.

I felt 20% better immediately and the tears subsided to a minimum. I felt weird though. Like my body was being attached by an alien substance.

I just shrugged it aside and went home and went to sleep. (I was still THAT tired). Monday morning – day 13 – my throat was raw and it hurt to swallow.

My gums that had been tingling previously while on the diet, felt really awful – like I could pull my teeth out. What the hell? I was congested and could practically FEEL my immune system had tanked and was trying to desperately claw itself back to dear life.

That morning I felt even more strange and unbalanced and there was a pain in my abdomen where the bread was churning around. Wanted to stay in bed curled in the fetal position but had an 8:30am summer class to take (I teach at the Bloomsburg University).

I forced myself up and went – grabbing a huge tossed salad on the way. After eating the salad with PLENTY of dressing I felt better. After class I grabbed ANOTHER salad and felt even better. My throat was a little less raw.

I sat around a while contemplating the reasons and didn’t think a little slice of bread would be the reason so I just chalked it up to seasonal allergies or a cold or whatever.

I could barely walk I had so little energy…

So I decided to forget the Atkins plan altogether and bought the closest carb available (on a college campus, that is Pizza) and intended to scarf it down. I only got 1/3 of the way done when I couldn’t eat anymore.

I bought a soda (mu’ah’ah’ah, SUGAR!!) and got 1/2 down. I felt IMMEDIATELY better. Like 75% better and I could lift my arms and make a fist out of my hand!!

Oh halleluiah!

I shakily went to get the train home, other piece of pizza tucked under my arm. Came home, throat 50% better, but head clouding over quickly. Dry mouth – despite drinking tons and tons of water.

Went immediately to bed.

Woke up around 7 pm went to the market came home and around 8pm, while watched the Swan finale, drank 1 liter of root beer soda, 2 cups of vanilla ice-cream, some noodles I made with some egg rolls I made. When I felt I couldn’t conceivably get anymore sugar or carbs down my throat I went to sleep.

Next day, I woke up really congested but my throat was 95% better – just dry mouth really. I still felt weak but my energy levels were spiking. I just felt HEALTHIER all together. My mind was clearer, my depression had lifted, body chills nearly gone, etc.

Atkins gave me…

Temporary weight loss (It all came back in March!)

Huge muscle loss and energy loss.

Huge mood swings and depression (NO, it wasn’t PMT!)

These things are too high a price. I didn’t have constipation, thank god, that pleasantly surprised me.
I didn’t have bad breath though by the 9th day I was beginning to think my body was oozing animal fat. I just felt greasy all the time – but I just showered more.

Plus, that stupid picture of people doing aerobics right under where it says, “Phase 1: Induction” is annoying and totally misleading.

You will NOT be doing aerobics while doing 2 weeks of Induction. Maybe you can do it the first week and even feel good, but your body will start crashing before you ever get situated into the Pre-Maintenance phase.

That is just false advertisement and is probably why it says in small captions…

“You’ll be surprised that you won’t need to exercise as much as you think you should” . . . *snort* yeah, I bet. If they had their way you wouldn’t exercise at all.

In theory, the Atkins might be the greatest thing since sliced bread (pun not intended)… but…

…But in reality our body needs carbohydrates + minimal exercise to keep our immune system strong and going. Strange how people forget about the old immune system until it bails on you!!

Bottom line: I, very honestly, in capitals…

DON’T RECOMMEND THE ATKINS DIET TO ANYONE – EVEN A LITTLE.

UNLESS YOU ARE ABLE TO CONSUME NOTHING BUT MEAT
(Let’s face it, that teeny weeny salad portion is nothing to even mention) – DON’T DO THIS DIET!

Your body absolutely does need Fruts and significant amounts of veggies.