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PLEASE talk to me about Atkins

Moms View Message Board: Let's Get Fit! (Weight Loss Support Group): PLEASE talk to me about Atkins
By Yjja123 on Sunday, January 4, 2004 - 07:24 pm:

Have you done it?
Long term?
your results?
Any advice or info is greatly appreciated!
P.S...I have insulin trouble high/low and was told this diet can stabalize my insulin levels.

By Cat on Monday, January 5, 2004 - 10:10 am:

Yvonne, John can tell you about Atkins. I'm on a similar diet through Curves. I've lost about 20lbs so far (since Sept), but I've also been exercising (at Curves or swimming). I also have trouble with low blood sugar. I do notice with low carbs it's not as much of a problem. But with the Curves plan you're pretty much eating every 4 hours or so anyway. Check further down this board or in the Archives (do a key word search--on the left of your screen). Good luck!

By Yjja123 on Monday, January 5, 2004 - 11:17 am:

Thanks Cat!

By John on Monday, January 5, 2004 - 12:30 pm:

Hi. I started Atkins in July. As of today I've lost 43 pounds (249 to 206) 5 inches around my waist (43 to 38).
I probably have another 20 pounds to lose but I've deliberately slowed my weight loss recently because I now feel good about my body shape and health.

While I'm not a diagnosed diabetic, it runs in my family (Father, Mother) and my sister also had gestational diabetes when pregnant with her son.

I'd had hypoglycemic sympthoms occasionally (headaches, dizziness) and often felt sleepy after eating so I probably had the beginnings of diabetic sympthoms myself.

I started to gain weight gradually when I hit 30.
My favorite food had been Pasta (tortellini in particular) and I didn't eat much meat at all.
I thought that I was doing something correct in that (cutting out red meat in particular) but cravings for sugar and baked goods (danish, etc.)
made me put on weight.

I actually didn't do Atkins induction per se (just salad and meat) just reduced my carbs A LOT.
I cut out Bread, Pasta, Sugar, Baked Goods, Corn, Potatoes, Soda, etc.

The first week or two was a bit tough as my body withdrew from the high carbs but after that my energy sky rocketed and it became much easier.

Oh, and by the way, my blood pressure dropped from 140/85 to 110/70 and overall blood chemistry improved as well.

You'll know after those first 2 weeks whether this diet is for you or not.

Atkins was a cardiologist by profession and used his diet to treat both diabetics and people with high cholesterol.

You'll find many naysayers that claim that the diet will give you a heart attack and other such nonsense.

While thousands of people have used Atkins to improve their health I'd suggest you visit your doctor for a complete physical and blood workup first to make sure you don't have any serious existing health problems.
The diet is not advisble for people with existing liver and kidney problems.

You can read my chronology of the first months here:

Let me know if you have any other questions...
Good Luck

By Yjja123 on Monday, January 5, 2004 - 01:01 pm:

Thank you.
I have prediabetic symptoms or rather am a borderline diabetic. I did the glucose test and was labeled borderline and the goal is to control it with diet. My doctor told me that dropping the weight will likely reduce the symptoms and to look into a modified version of Atkins. It was suggested that I see a nutritionist but my insurance does not cover that.
I have low blood pressure.
I drink WAY TOO MUCH coffee and always have. I know this messes with my sugar levels. I will have to wean off it though because I tried to go cold turkey and suffered the worst headache and shaking. I know when my sugar drops too low because I will first get ringing in my ears and if I do not eat immediately I will black out. Funny thing is I have always done this (even before I had any extra weight on me). My heart races when it is too high. I have always had a diet full of carbs. Italian food has been my main menu. I want to try Atkins but would like to have more fruits and vegetables than it allows.
Can you recommend a modified version?
Did you just cut out all white food? Bread/rice/flour/sugar?
I appreciate your information!

By Cat on Monday, January 5, 2004 - 02:30 pm:

Yvonne, with the diet I'm doing, which isn't really Atkins and isn't really Curves (I modified it because their plan gives specifics for the first few weeks and I really didn't like a lot of their foods) I get all the meat, eggs and cheese I want, along with what's considered "free" foods. That includes broccoli, califlower, cucumbers, lettuce, dill pickles (watch the sodium, though), and a bunch of others but I can't remember and I sent my book to my mom. I also cut out regular soda and only drink diet now. Jello (sugar free) is a free food and if you get the whipped topping in a can, that's free too. The premise of the Curves low carb diet is during phase one which lasts either one or two weeks depending on how much you have to lose is less than 20 carbs a day. You should lose between 5-10lbs during phase one. Then during phase two your carbs jump to between 40-60 a day. You continue at phase two until you either stop losing weight (you should still be losing about 1 1/2-2lbs a week), you reach your goal weight or you want to take a break. Then in phase three you eat normally (sensibly!). You take your current weight when you start phase three and add 3-5lbs to that. That's your "High weight." When you hit your high weight you go to phase one for 1-2 days to drop that 3-5lbs. The theroy is that you're increasing your metabolism. So the first time you go to phase three it may only take 3 days to reach your high weight. The second time it may take 7-10 days. The ultimate goal is to have it take a month to put on that 3-5lbs. For me, the first time took about 5 days, the second was about 2 weeks and this last time took almost 4 weeks. This diet has worked very well for me, even when "cheating" every now and then. Others that tried it (at Curves) didn't do as well. So what works for one person may not work for the next. I'd suggest getting with your doc and discussing exactly what kind of diet he/she thinks would be best for you to try. I don't have any health concerns, I just wanted to lose the "baby fat" that never went away (my baby's 8!). I'm not too concerned about diabeties, but it is in my family (grandmother and aunt). I also have heart disease, high cholestoral, high blood pressure and cancer in my family. Heck, I figure with my family history I'll be dead by 50! lol jk Oh, and yes, I cut all bread, pasta, sweets (Oh that was hard!), etc. I do have a friend that lost 18lbs in a month just by cutting all white flour. She switched to whole wheat products (bread and pasta). Worked for her. I hope you find something that works for you. I also hope this post didn't put you to sleep! lol I guess I got a little long winded. Good luck. :)

By John on Monday, January 5, 2004 - 02:57 pm:

Those are some common misconceptions about Atkins..
Atkins actually encourages you to consume LOTS of green vegatables like salad, spinach, avocados, brocolli, etc. while reducing starchy vegetables like corn, potatoes, and peas.

The focus is to consume low glycemic index foods (those that result in a slow release of insulin).

It is true that many fruits tends to have a high glycemic index and carb content. However, fruit like berries (blueberries, strawberries and others) have a much lower glycemic index and are VERY good for you.

If you have been eating LOTS of carbs, cutting out just the bread, rice, flour, pasta and sugar may be enough to make you steadily lose weight and improve your insulin.

I personally found the induction phase of Atkins too restrictive as well, though some with serious insulin resistance may need to do induction.

In general from the start I ate a fruit with every meal along with green vegatables. This is very similar to Atkins Ongoing Weight Loss phase (OWL).

Two important things about following Atkins:

(1)It's not a low calorie diet. The only thing you need to watch is the carb content of the food you're eating.
Those that try to do a low calorie version either end up feeling weak or hungry and inevitably fail on Atkins.

(2)You need to eat sufficient fat on the diet.
Fat is essential for good health and acts like a natural appetite suppressent(sp?). Those that try a low fat version of Atkins find that they are hungry, have cravings and eventually quit the diet.
I've NEVER been hungry doing Atkins as long as I've had sufficient fat in my meals

By John on Monday, January 5, 2004 - 03:11 pm:

Interesting hearing about Curves. It actually sounds just like Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) phase.

After doing this for that last several months I've started to realize why this works for me:

Carbohydrate centered meals will make you hungry in a couple of hours.

The Protein and Fat in meat, eggs, cheese etc.
SATISFIES your hunger for many hours.

SO in general you eat less than you normally would want to eat.

If I eat a breakfast with sufficient quantities of Protein and Fat at 7AM I won't be hungry until past 2PM.

If I eat a breakfast of cereal with low fat milk, and a glass of orange juice (my previous diet) I was hungry by 10AM and starving by noon.

By Yjja123 on Monday, January 5, 2004 - 03:13 pm:

Thank you both for the information!
I have decided I am going to cut out sugar, flour, pasta, rice, white potatoes, etc.
I am going to try to eat as much whole foods as possible.
I also started a walking program (3 miles to start)
I will let ya know my results!

By John on Tuesday, January 6, 2004 - 02:41 pm:

A couple other things...

I'd suggest you take a vitamin and mineral supplement when you start (one with calcium and potassium).

You'll lose a lot of water weight in the first couple weeks ( > 10 pounds) and the supplements will offset any mineral loss.

After a couple weeks the water loss will end and this won't be an issue anymore.

You also need to keep your fiber intake up to prevent constipation. If you don't get enough try Psyllium fiber from any health food store.

(Sorry for being so explicit here but this was a problem for me in the beginning ;)

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