Atkins Diet ? - Printable Version

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- tandkvd - 02-25-2004 07:56 AM

Well my wife is trying to talk me into going on the Atkins diet with her. I see that yuo can't have ANY alcohol during the 1st two week period.

My question is, does any one else here have any experience with this diet. Good-Bad? What do you think of it Dr. Bucko?

- Innkeeper - 02-25-2004 09:14 AM

My dear wife has been on a lo-carb diet for years, and has done very well on it. When you see carbs in meals we post, e.g. rolls, those are for me. Even at that, I usually have the same thing she has. The first two weeks of the diet are supposed to be limited to less than 20 grams of carbohydrates (carbs). At three to four carbs per glass, there is no reason why you can't include wine in the tally.

If you want recipes, e-mail me off the Talk To Your Moderators thread.

- Thomas - 02-25-2004 09:14 AM

I did this diet many years ago--cholesterol levels shot uplike a Nasa project.

But I did lose weight--which I gained back overtime.

Bucko might agree that special diets are temporary things.

Take the calories in, expend the same amount of calories out; the best and only solution; once I learned that, my weight has not altered in twenty-five years.

- cheeps - 02-25-2004 10:12 AM

I just stopped doing low-carb. Same problem - my cholesteral skyrocketed - 247 with an LDL of 187 (I think it's supposed to be something like 60!). I'd been doing it around a year and a half. You do lose weight, but, and this is purely my opinion, I don't think Atkins is good for anyone. You can cut out alot of carbs and fat and lose weight just fine on your own. Just knock off white bread, white rice, white potatoes, and white sugar. Stick to whole grain breads, pumpernickel is best, substitute basmati rice or Uncle Ben's Converted Rice - it doesn't affect your insulin levels the way regular white rice does for some reason, for the white rice (brown rice actually isn't much better for you than white rice carbo-wise anyway), and avoid potatoes - eat sweet potatoes instead. THe sugar is a no brainer - any diet you cut out sugar with. I actually don't mind Splenda so I use that. And as long as you buy quality pasta made from hard duram wheat and cook it al dente, not to the mush stage, you can still have pasta.

The Atkins diet is extreme, and hard to maintain. If you have 100 pounds to lose, it is definitely the way to go, but for the average person like me who is only trying to lose 10-15 pounds, it doesn't work well. I only ever lost 6-7 pounds total and that was the first 2 weeks. The entire year and a half after those first 2 weeks I didn't lose an ounce and it's very common to "stall" after the first couple weeks and go months and months and not lose any more weight. If you can do it and control your saturated fat intake, then you will probably be very successful, but I don't know how you can stick to it for very long without eating too much fat. The point of the diet is that the extra fat satiates you so you're not hungry - take out the fat and you starve.

I bought a book on the glycemic index when my husband was diagnosed borderline diabetic. I was still doing low-carb, but looking for a better "version" to follow as Atkins was just too hard for me and others like Carb Addicts Diet just wasn't working for me. The South Beach Diet follows the glycemic index alot I've heard. ANyway, you basically cut out all the refined white carbs as I mentioned above, eat alot of veggies and fruit, whole grains, unsaturated fat and lean meat, etc. - in other words it's much more common sense. And healthier for you - I think anyway. And you can still enjoy your wine! A glass or 2 a day is good for you using the glycemic index!

Sorry to ramble on, but unlike wine advice, I know a bit about low-carb and can contribute finally lol!! Again, cutting carbs is a good thing, but from my own experience anyway, I wouldn't advise anyone to do Atkins. Good luck!!


- Innkeeper - 02-25-2004 10:31 AM

Bev's cholesterol went down. The trick is to combine low carb with low fat in the diet. We found that "Protein Power" by the Drs Eades far superior to the Adkins Diet. The cookbooks by Fran McCullough "Low Carb Cookbook" and "Living Low-Carb" are excellent, not only for recipes, but for information as well.

- Thomas - 02-25-2004 10:52 AM

I agree with Cheeps' analysis, but I also am of the strong opinion that special dieting (unless it is for specific medical conditions) is a ruse.

Simply discover what energy level you operate at, increase it a little, and then be sure to eat no more than you normally do.But also eat healthy, which is to say: eliminate processed carbohydrates (white food) going for the unprocessed (that also increases fiber), stay away from pre-packaged foods, balance your calorie intake to meet your calorie expulsion, and drink a little wine for thine stomach's (not to mention brain's) sake...

- Georgie - 02-25-2004 11:06 AM

Here's my two cents' worth...I have a lot of weight to lose. I tried Atkins and lost about 15 pounds, but I just couldn't stick with it long term. Plus I always worried that I was doing something terrible to my kidneys, whether or not that is the truth. I began Weight Watchers on Jan. 3 and have lost 25 pounds so far. I have no desire to go off of it and I feel that I am eating in a very healthy manner. Wine is allowed in moderation. It's not a diet of deprivation.

- Innkeeper - 02-25-2004 11:18 AM

Can't disagree with Foodie.

- hotwine - 02-25-2004 12:43 PM

Same here. Low fat, low carb, high protein, regular exercise (4-6 days/wk, including 2-3 mile runs), at least half a bottle of wine with dinner, no more than 2 oz of Port following, but only once or twice per week (no other alcohol). Dessert maybe once a week, but still low fat, low carb. No white breads, eggs, bacon, butter (substitute Benecol), no cooking fats or oils except olive oil, no snacks.... except maybe a protein bar and Diet RC at mid-afternoon. Holding in the 206-210 lb range after reducing carbs but ain't shrunk any from 6'3", blood numbers are nominal. No complaints.

- wineguruchgo - 02-25-2004 01:59 PM

The problem with Atkins and Alcohol, espically wine, is the sugar. I actually wrote to them and asked what they meant by a medium white wine? They wrote back and said they really didn't know much about wine. Didn't make me feel very good and neither did the diet. Although I lost weight, my body didn't like it.

- quijote - 02-25-2004 02:26 PM

I did the Atkins thing a few years ago and lost close to 30 lbs., 5-7 of which I've gained back. I think it can work for a lot of people, though not for everyone. Aside from losing weight, an important benefit is to recalibrate your metabolism and rethink your eating habits. But not everyone starts out with the same kind of metabolic and consumption profiles (in addition to other body- and diet-related profiles), so the diet won't work (at all or in the same way) for everyone.

Even though I haven't followed the diet in about 3 years, I still benefit from the effects of increased energy and consciousness related to what I put into my body. I don't think it's a good idea to do the diet long-term, but the whole point of it is to reset your relationship to food and grow into a more balanced eating pattern.

More important in the process of losing weight and getting fit, however, is doing regular exercise. Unfortunately, I have lapsed in this area (as I do every winter), but regular exercise (fast walking, in my case) goes a long way to helping lose weight and increase health, no matter what kind of diet you're on.

Interestingly enough, my cholesterol did not go up while I was on the Atkins diet, but it did go up two years after I stopped and had resumed a balanced program.

[This message has been edited by quijote (edited 02-25-2004).]

- willp58 - 02-25-2004 03:29 PM

I am 64, and have had an MI in '91.
I am 6ft tall and now weigh 190. 6 months ago I was up to 212.
I go to a gym and work out 3 day/week and swim on the other 2 days. (no weekend workouts)
After studying the Atkins and talking to many people I decided to try it last October.
I lost the 22 pounds in about 4 months. There is NO alcohol allowed in the first 2 weeks of induction. Alcohol carbs have a special significance that deters weight loss.
I adhered to the regimen closely for about 3 weeks then started to add whole grain foods a little at a time. Also kept adding fruit and vegetables.
Now at 190, I seem to be able to eat a well balanced diet and still not gain weight..Let me add that I eat NO white bread, No potaotes and no pasta and NO cereal except oatmeal with slenda.
When we have a spaghetti dinner, I have a grilled chicken breast covered with sauce.
Because I have a cardiac history, I keep a close eye on my lipid profile.
The last reading was:
Triglycerides = 75
total Cholesteral = 146
HDL = 44

I am satisfied and so is my cardiologist..

Remember - the Atkins diet is *more* about eliminating sugar and not so much focused on eating "bacon".

- Innkeeper - 02-25-2004 03:47 PM

I would like to point out, and probably should have earlier on this thread, that a low carb is not for everybody. It is for people who have carbohydrate intolerance. It has been estimated by Atkins and others that this may represent a third of the general population. How do you know if you have it? For one thing your insulin level gets yanked all over the place. This in the shot run causes one to get hungry at frequent intervals. In the long run it leads to diabetes or hypoglycemia. All or most carbohydrates immediately turn to sugar in the digestive system. A one pound potato might as well be a pound of sugar in a potato skin. This leads to overweight, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and a number of other unpleasant conditions. The only cure is a low carb diet.

Is the diet good for people who don't have this condition? I don't know, but I do know that it is essential for those who do. If in doubt, check with your primary care provider.

- Bucko - 02-25-2004 04:30 PM

I ascribe to the seafood diet and the light eater diet. You see food? Eat it! The minute it gets light, start eating! [img][/img]

Getting serious, Atkin's diet does work. I've had several patients lose 70, 80, even 90 pounds in a year. I monitored their cholesterol and most patients actually decreased their cholesterol. Why? Not a friggin' clue. It doesn't make sense with the training that I received, but lab data doesn't lie. I did have two patients have their cholesterol go up, so I had them modify the fats and they came right back down.

If I had the answer to a successful diet, I'd give Bill Gates a run for his money. The trouble is, we just don't know that much and it varies dramatically from person to person. Sensible eating, decreasing caloric intake and exercise still makes the most sense to me personally.

- Kcwhippet - 02-25-2004 04:31 PM

I've never been on a diet in my life. I weigh 181 and when I got out of high school back in 1961 I was 156 and skinny. My total cholesterol is around 175 - 180. BP was 109/60 and pulse 58 at last physical a few months ago. My PCP says I'm fortunate to be the type that can eat whatever I want and stay (relatively) thin and in shape. Must be genes because my father's the same as was my grandfather.

- tandkvd - 02-25-2004 09:13 PM

Wow, I guess I hit a nerve talking about diet. So thats how so many people are getting rich writing diet books, every bodys interested.

My problem is that my work has changed. Instead of climbing ladders and turning wrenches, a big part of my job now is to sit at a desk, write proposals and talk on the phone. I know I need to get more exercise, that is my first goal.

I was concerned about the colosteral because mine has been high for about the last five years. My wife has read that alot of peoples colosterol goes down with this diet. I'm glad to know beforehand that some of you have had it go the oposite way.

I keep telling my wife that it's just a matter of simple math. Burn more calories than you take in. Sounds easy huh! But I don't guess that would be a long enough book to get rich on.

My down fall is the Deadly Sins: White Potatos, White Bread, Pasta and CHOCOLATE.

Thanks for the input. I would agree that the lo-carb, lo-fat and cut way back on the Deadly Sins is the best way to go. Along with more exercise.

- quijote - 02-25-2004 11:27 PM

Another thing to consider in a successful diet, aside from exercise and meal ingredients, is _quantity_ of food consumed. Atkins' book is good at driving home the point that people in the U.S. tend to eat way more than what they really need. One of the selling features of the low-carb regimen is that most adherents will pay more attention to when they feel full, and will thus not crave food (carbs) simply for purpose of gratuitous snacking. Imagine whole grocery store aisles full of chips, pretzels, sodas, pastries...and for what purpose?!

Another interesting angle on the U.S. overeating and overweight problem can be found in Eric Schlosser's _Fast Food Nation_, though his primary food focus is on fat and chemically "enhanced" products.

- Thomas - 02-26-2004 09:44 AM

quijote and I must have been separated at birth...I was just going to point that out.

One thing I learned a long time ago is to eat until I am satisfied; not until I am stuffed.

I have friends and family members who marvel when I say I don't want any dessert or I don't want a second helping of something because--I feel right and don't need it.

- PinotEnvy - 02-26-2004 09:56 AM

I have to agree with the eat less/excersize people here. In October, I started excersizing. I got off my couch and began doing 3-4 workouts a week doing the eliptical machines, treadmills and weight lifting. Since then I have increased my metobolism, increased body tone, increased my lean mass and reduced my body fat. I went from about 23.5% body fat to (my last test a month ago) 18% body fat. I expect by now I must be around 17%. I look and feel much better.

The only real difference to my diet is that since I work out right after work, I eat dinner later and therefore am not hungry for a 8 or 9 PM snack. Keeping yourself busy and better planning your meals can greatly reduce snacking. I am another member of the "see food" diet plan. Your body wants nutrition from all the different food types, and I can not believe depriving it of any area can be good for it.

- cheeps - 02-26-2004 10:04 AM

I used to go on a low-carb site alot to get recipes and things and there was constant battling over Atkins over there!! If you dared criticize the diet at all - watch out! I've read alot on the cholesteral aspect because that's what I have a problem with and it is true that quite a few people have their cholesteral levels drop significantly on Atkins, but the argument is whether it was the large amount of weight the person lost that dropped the cholesteral, or whether it was what they were eating that was responsible for the drop. I only had about 10 pounds to lose and my cholesteral has always hovered at the high end of normal. My good cholesteral, or HDL has always been around 65-67 which is excellent. But as I said in my post, after starting Atkins my bad cholesteral, or LDL, went from 105 to 187! It was go low fat, low cholesteral or start taking medication for me.

That's my main problem with Atkins tho - the almost fanatical way adherents defend that "way of eating" (don't DARE call it a "diet"!) without acknowledging, that like ANYTHING, it's NOT for everyone and it can even be harmful for some. If it works for you, go for it. I sure wish it had worked for me as I really enjoyed the diet! It just didn't make sense for me to continue with it. Maybe it's my Italian heritage revolting over not having any pasta for so long [img][/img]!!

I still believe the glycemic index is the way to go. It is very much low-carb, just not no-carb, and you can eat just about every fruit and vegetable, with just a few minor exceptions, unlike Atkins where there are large amounts of fruits and veggies that are no-no's - of course all my favorites were on the no-no list!