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Atkins diet

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Anyone here on the Atkins diet (or "Atkins Nutritonal Approach" as Dr. Atkins preferrs to call it)?  Nearly everyone I know who has been on it has been successful, so I just wanted to see if anyone here has had any experience with it.
post #2 of 35
My girlfriend's mom is on it. She's lost a few pounds, though she was not - by any means - overweight to begin with. Plus she takes daily aerobics and cardio classes at a fitness center. I don't know the specifics of Atkins, but I'm always a little leary of diets that cut out certain things (such as carbohydrates) from your diet. The best approach to absolutely healthy eating is to follow the food pyramid as best as you can. Every type of food has some redeeming attribute. Just remember, "Everything in Moderation."
post #3 of 35
Here's my usual daily menu: 4:00 wake up, brush teeth. Have one piece of homemade bread with homemade pear compote or other preserve. Boil 4 eggs, eat whites only. Eat bowl of plain yogurt with 2 tablespoons of honey. Drink one glass of skim milk. Sometimes I'll only part of this before my workout, and the rest after. 6:00 swim laps, do some lifting and floor exercises 10:00 have chicken and/or fish, vegetables, and one glass of skim milk evening drink glass of orange juice(which I squeeze myself), drink plenty of water
post #4 of 35
I don't know the specifics of Atkins, but I'm always a little leary of diets that cut out certain things (such as carbohydrates) from your diet.  The best approach to absolutely healthy eating is to follow the food pyramid as best as you can.  Every type of food has some redeeming attribute.  Just remember, "Everything in Moderation."
Following the "food pyramid" is a very different nutritional approach than that of Atkins.  Although I am not a nutritionist, I have read a significant amount about the Atkins diet and I did take enough biochemistry in school to understand many of the metabolic processes involved.  That said, much of what Atkins espoused makes sense. Empirically speaking, it's worked great for me.  I was never overweight and played competitive soccer all the way through college, but put an extra inch or two on my waistline towards the end of my senior year in college.  For the first nine months after I graduated, I spent a long time in the gym trying to get rid of that with no success.  For whatever reason, I decided to try Atkins and after the two-week induction phase, I had lost two inches off my waistline.  For the past four years or so, I've held myself to a low (but not induction-level) of carbs.  Occasionally, I'll binge because grandma's Christmas cookies are too tempting, but generally I'm pretty disciplined. The next thing I hear from Atkins skeptics is that I'm going to fall over dead from high cholesterol.  It does run in my family, but mine is excellent: LDL: 75 HDL: 65 Triglycerides: 85 The fact that the HDL (good cholesterol) level is almost as high as the LDL is notable.  In fairness, I must say that I'm in better physical shape now then at the peak of my soccer career, but either way, Atkins is obviously not killing me with cholesterol. Having trained for competitive sports for so long, I realize that different approaches work better for different people.  I allow for that same possibility with respect to diet, but I do have little patience with people who categorically dismiss Atkins as unhealthy or ineffective. Regards, dan
post #5 of 35
Atkins diet rarely (if ever) works. All the weight that you lose comes right back after you go off of it. The above poster is very correct, you need to follow the food pyramid as closely as possible, plan your calories, and make sure to keep your metabolism up with cardio exercises and snacks between meals. I HIGHLY advise AGAINST the Atkins diet. You can't just cut the most important source of energy out of your diet. Fats are NOT an efficient source of energy. I work at a gym / recreational facility, and here is a segment out of our January newsletter: Q. I want to lose about 10 lbs and get toned at the same time, what kind of diet should I go on? I tried the high protein low carb diet, but it was too hard to maintain. Once I got off it, I gained back all the weight I lost. A.\tI would first like to say that you SHOULD NOT go on a diet. When you go on a diet you are restricting foods and your body needs all three kinds of foods (carbohydrates, proteins and fat). You lost weight on the high protein diet because you lost water and muscle weight. The weight was gained back because you lost muscle which caused your metabolism to drop. Carbohydrates are a very important part of your diet and approximately 60 percent of your calories should come from carbohydrates in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You can even eat non-whole grain carbohydrates, as long as you don't over eat them.
post #6 of 35
I would be inclined to agree with Brian, though I admit I have not done a whole lot of research on the Atkins stuff.  I have done a lot of reading and studying on weightlifting/bodybuilding, and if anyone is like me and trying to put on weight, carbs are VITALLY important to fuel hard workouts.  Now some people on the diet might not be looking to gain muscle or are not working out/doing cardio, and in that case it would seem that the diet was working, but not as much as if you did the diet and the things I mentioned.  But then it would seem reasonable that if you try to work out or run for 30 minutes with very few carbs to burn, your bodyfat energy is gonna go very quickly and you'll hit the wall 15 minutes into your routine.  I could be wrong, it just doesn't seem that your bodyfat would fuel an intense workout/cardio session, and if you aren't doing those things, then just like Brian said you are probably losing mainly muscle or water weight just by starving yourself of carbs.  And if that is the case you better like eating burgers with no bun, because you'll probably have to do that for the rest of your life so as not to gain back what (supposed) body fat you lost.  Just my theory. Kevin
post #7 of 35
I'm not sure whether Atkins would work, I haven't tried it, and don't plan to. But it seems like only yesterday that fitness professionals were advocating a high carbs diet, like the one that professional long distance runners use. I think that the type of diet and exercise regime that would work best varies from person to person, depending on a realistic assessment of your ability to manage diet and exercise and what your fitness goals are. In order for the Atkins diet to work, you would probably need tremendous discipline. A lot of foods would simple be taboo. Also, I can't imagine how you could do certain types of endurance sports on such a low carb diet and imagine that if you go on Atkins, it would be very difficult to get off it without gaining a lot of weight back because you've altered your metabolism. Personally, I love my carbs, and don't feel full without them. I also get really cranky and jittery when I'm hungry, so I eat throughout the day. On Banksmiranda's diet, there is simply not way I could get through the day without killing somebody. (1 piece of bread with jam is barely a snack.) I also run about 25-30 miles a week, more in the summer, and I always carbo-load before any race that is 10 K or higher (usually half marathons.) Lately, I have tried to get more protein into my diet because I tend to gain muscle mass very slowly. But ultimately, I believe that moderation in diet and regular rigorous exercise (if you can read during your run, you're not running)is ultimately the most sustainable (and enjoyable) way to keep healthy.
post #8 of 35
I hate fad diets, especially when people go nuts of them and think they're the best thing ever, despite having little clue how exercise and nutrition works. I like my own diet personally: it's called "I eat whatever the hell I want." Seems to be working fine, since right now I'm 5'8", 135 lb
post #9 of 35
i'm with aybojs on the eat whatever the hell you want diet. i stay in shape by playing soccer and basketball. i've noticed that when i don't exercise for a while i start craving more junk food, but as long as i play sports and stay active i tend to crave healthier foods. the thing is to find what works for you. pay attention to what your body is telling you.
post #10 of 35
It seems that the Atkins diet will be unhealthy for you in the long run. When we diet and such, we should be thinking in terms of health and not just losing weight so you'll look better. Did anybody hear about Atkins himself. I heard something that he weighed approx. 250 pds. when he died.
post #11 of 35
Did anybody hear about Atkins himself. I heard something that he weighed approx. 250 pds. when he died.
More mis-information via PETA... Atkins did in fact die at 250+ pounds and PETA, through a group of Vegan MD's whose org. escapes me apparently leaked his PRIVATE medical records and highlighted the fact that Atkins died extremely overweight and qualified as obese. They attempted to use that information to further their cause re: the treatment of livestock due to Atkins. It wasn't about the diet, it was about the animals. HOWEVER, Atkins was admitted into the hospital after heart failure at 200 lbs and gained the 50 - 60 lbs while laying in bed IN A FREAKIN' COMA.... So yeah, he died obese and I suppose that 200lbs might be considered overweight depending on his height, but there's something sinister about not only acquiring and releasing his medical records to the media, but in distorting the facts and "using" his weight gain via coma, IV's, fluid diet, etc... against him post mortem. Now stepping  off the soapbox...
post #12 of 35
But, what about his general health. I think they also said he had heart problems too. It seems that Atkins will help you lose weight, as would any diet, but the long-term health of using it should be further studied.
post #13 of 35
More mis-information via PETA...
I may not be too sure about Atkins's diet plan, but I have to say I'm on his side against PETA. Those maniacs just keep getting more and more desperate to further their cause. Don't get me wrong: I wouldn't be cruel to any animal, but I don't in the least agree with how PETA goes about their business.
post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies, gentlemen. It seems that those who dismiss Atkins as being unhealthy do so based on the misconception that it completely eliminates carbs from your diet.  This is not the case.  At the beginning, the plan calls for the consumption of no more than 20 carbs per day for at least the first two weeks.  This forces your body to burn fat to keep up with your energy needs.  After that, you begin to increase your carbs.  As you reach your goal weight, you have to find out for yourself about how many carbs you can eat and not put the weight back on. Exercise is also a part of the plan.  Atkins suggests brisk, half-hour walks early on.  I agree with F4iryder14 that you should not attempt a hard workout when your carb intake is low, but if you want to work out at that level, you should probably increase your carb intake to a higher level than you would otherwise. I should probably point out that I am not a nutritionist either.  The preceding is just my take, having read most of Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution and talking to friends who are on it.
post #15 of 35
I don't think that the misconception arises from whether or not carbs are eliminated. Instead, I think it had more to do with the consumption of all that protein. Atkins was himself a doctor, but most medical doctors do not recommend this. A few scientific studies have proven that it did help people lose weight, but this was only for a small sample size and there have not been that many scientific studies done for the Atkins diet. There have not have been any long term studies either. We're talking about the long term effects on the heart.
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