Atkins Diet

  1. Hello,

    I was just wondering if anyone knows anything about the Atkins diet??? I have been hearing good things about it again, and I was thinking of trying it. I have never been on a diet before but, I cannot stand myself any longer and have to do something. After the holiday's of course LOL.

    I work nights and I really have put on some weight these last two months. So, if anyone has some good advice I would appreciate it.

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    About Y2KRN

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 230; Likes: 4


  3. by   whipping girl in 07
    I know several people who've lost weight on the Atkins diet (or any of the other low carb, high protein diets). I've never tried it myself, but my husband wants to try it, which means I might as well, too, since I'm not going to get to eat carbs in front of him and I do nearly all the cooking.

    Probably the hardest part (for me) will be staying away from cakes, cookies, pastries, etc. I can forgo bread and starchy vegetables but no brownies?! My hubby will be able to resist all temptation except beer.

    Now, keeping it off, that's another story from what I understand. One of the guys I know that did Atkins lost a lot of weight, but as soon as he stopped dieting, he gained almost all of it back. I guess he went back to his old eating habits.

    I've found the best way to keep my weight level is to exercise every day and eat out less. The exercise seems to curb my appetite and restaurants serve huge portions. When I do eat out, I usually only eat half and bring the rest home in a to-go box.
  4. by   emily_mom
    Carbs feed your brain. When you don't get enough or run out, your body starts to burn your protein stores. Even if you are boosting your protein intake, it is not a healthy way to make glucose for energy. I think this is a very unhealthy way to eat. Here are some studies and expert opinions I found on the subject...

    Expert Opinions
    American Heart Association statement against high-protein diets
    American Heart Association paper on high-protein diets in circulation
    American Kidney Fund warns about impact of high-protein diets on kidney health
    American Dietetic Association statement about low-carb diets
    "The Diet War: Low-Fat vs. High-Protein" WebMD chat with Dean Ornish, M.D., on July 17, 2002

    How Safe Is the Atkins Diet?

    By John Casey

    WebMD Feature

    Fad diets come and go, but The Atkins Diet -- a high-protein, low-carbohydrate weight-loss plan --seems never to go away, no matter how many medical professionals denounce it.

    "Low-carb diets have been linked to increased frequency of colon cancer, formation of kidney stones, kidney disease, and even osteoporosis," says Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Commission for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit research group based in Washington. "The weight loss you see in low-carb diets isn't all that much better than what you see in studies of low-fat, vegetarian diets."

    Putting it more bluntly is Kiku Collins-Trentylon, a sports trainer in New York City, who says it's "a pretty evil diet. We all want to sit on our couches, eat nonstop, and have perfect, sculpted bodies. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way."

    Meat is the culprit in low-carb diet danger, says Barnard.

    "The reason for the health worries is in large part due to red meat," he says. "People who eat meat every day have three times greater risk of developing colon cancer. And then there is the problem of the kidneys. They aren't designed to work on an oil slick of fat."

    Big, Fat Controversy

    This summer, however, both Time magazine and The Sunday New York Times Magazine have published much-talked-about stories that say Atkins may not be as bad for heart health as previously believed. These stories were sparked in part by a recent study from researchers at Duke University showing most people who ate a high-protein, low-carb diet for six months lost 20 pounds.

    That much was expected. What wasn't expected was that the researchers didn't see strong evidence of the diet causing any health problems. In fact, both LDL "bad" cholesterol and HDL "good" cholesterol improved.

    The Duke study shows part of why the diet is so popular -- it can produce significant weight loss. What's more, it produces it without a lot of annoying calorie counting and the irritability associated with diets.

    Known for Easy Weight Loss

    "You're not as hungry as with other diets, and that is a really good thing," says Jenny Anderson, an Internet consultant from Mamaroneck, N.Y., who is on the diet. "That makes it easier to stay on it. So does seeing results fairly quickly. One bad thing is that it forbids caffeine, and I had a lot of bad headaches from coffee withdrawal."

    Another drawback to the low-carb diet is its severely limited menu options.

    "At first, eggs and bacon in butter for breakfast every day is fun, but day after day of only meat and fat at every meal can get tiresome," says Anderson.

    So therein lies the controversy. On one hand you have lots of stories of significant weight loss on a relatively user-friendly diet. On the other, you have dietitians and nutritionists who maintain that the weight loss produced is short-term and can threaten a person's overall health, despite the fact that the weight loss itself may have the beneficial effect of lowering cholesterol.

    Who is right? Maybe both sides. It provides weight loss at a very high cost to overall health, or at least that has been the prevailing medical opinion.

    "There have been reports in the medical literature that say that this low-carb diet may not be as bad as we thought," says Susan Barr, registered dietitian in New York City. "That makes people interested again in this diet, but until there is more research on what stresses the diet places on the body, there is no way to know what it might be doing besides providing short-term weight loss."

    But Is It Safe?

    According to the American Dietetic Association, low-carbohydrate diets trigger short-term weight loss through a process called ketosis. This process kicks in when your body is in short supply of carbohydrates, a prime source of energy for the entire body, but especially for the brain, which operates exclusively on carbohydrates.

    During ketosis, your carbohydrate-depleted body grabs other sources, including ketones from stored fat or protein from muscle, to satisfy daily energy needs. This can lead to ketoacidosis, a state similar to that of diabetes. This type of diet can trigger weight loss, but it can have the kinds of negative long-term effects on health that Barnard mentions.
  5. by   James Huffman
    A friend lost 35 lbs. (so far) on Atkins. His wife has lost some 80 lbs. It works. (They also stopped being vegetarians). What irritates the food pyramid people is that it does work.

    It can also become somewhat grim. Another friend said that after 3 days on Atkins, he could have killed for an orange.

    I would encourage anyone going on Atkins to read one of his books to get some background on the diet. Atkins himself recommends a strict period, followed by a loosening of the rules. He also recommends a multi-vitamin, as well as some sort of fiber supplement.

    While I have been astonished by the weight loss on "strict" Atkins, I know another woman who lost 50 lbs. on a modified regimen. Of course, it took her a whole year to lose it. ;-) What she did was eat eggs and meat for breakfast, lunch was a salad, and then a "normal" meal for dinner. And while the "normal" included some carbs, she said she was careful to not overdo it.

    Good luck with your efforts.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  6. by   kimmicoobug
    I think I should just cut down on carbs and increase my vegetables just a bit and I should do fine (man, I love my pasta and rice!) cause I don't eat that bad, but could stand to lose 20 lbs.
  7. by   Y2KRN
    Thank you all for the great responses and resources. I am not the best with nutrition and all. Nutrition was not my strong point in nursing school. I will look into the resources provided here. I want to start after the holidays. I am not a big sweet eater but, I do love potatoes!!

    I hope you all have a great holiday season!!!

  8. by   sjoe
    You might as well give it a try. It's not likely to kill you (at least not right away). But I would certainly wait until after all the holidays before starting.

    Didn't work for me the two days I tried it, except that I slept most of the time and still have not yet gotten back most of my appetite in the 2 months since then. For whatever reason, a lot of things I liked before make me want to gag just thinking about eating them now. (So I have lost over 10 pounds AFTER stopping it. Go figure.)
  9. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by sjoe

    Didn't work for me the two days I tried it, except that I slept most of the time and still have not yet gotten back most of my appetite in the 2 months since then. .)
    With all due respect how does one expect any diet to work in 2 days? Maybe it did work you lost your appetite and pounds.
  10. by   Agnus
    I've bought the book. I had previously criticized the diet based on what I didn't know about it. I have not read the book yet but what prompted me was a co worker dropped her total cholesterol from 400 to 200 in 6 months. Increased her HDL lowered LDL and triglycerides. She is never tempted when we have pastery at work and is never hungry and her energy level has soared. I can't argue with that kind of success.

    What little that I have read so far in the book it is not like other low carb diets that I have read about. This is different. Nutrition was a strong subject for me and that is why I was so opposed but I am willing to take a closer and more thorough look now that I realize what it can do.
    A week before my friend got her cholesterol results I heard of a study that demonstrated that consuming up to 2 onces of nuts a day lowered cholesterol raised HDL and lowered LDL. AND NUTS ARE HIGH IN FAT. So after learning about this I am more open to the low carb approach.
    Last edit by Agnus on Nov 27, '02
  11. by   Tweety
    I think different people respond differently. I have very mixed feelings about the fat content. Also, just because a breakfast doesn't have toast, I can hardly call bacon and eggs healthy.

    I know a womyn who has lost a lot of weight on a low carb diet. But she eats lean meats and lots of veggies. It's basically a low calorie diet that is doing it for her, but I can't tell her that.

    I'm the type of person that looses weight just fine on a high carb (meaning fruits and veggies, whole grains) and a low fat diet vegetarian diet.

    Any diet that I can't eat oranges and carrots or fruit is not for me.

    I get very sluggish on that kind of diet.
  12. by   Tweety
    Here's an article I found. Now it's slanted toward a vegetarian diet, and may be a bit biased.
  13. by   emily_mom
    I also must have fruit in order to survive...
  14. by   New CCU RN
    My fiancee did it once....lost 80 lbs....over the course of two years he gained 30 lbs back. He has kept 50 of it off since resuming a regular diet. He recently tried to start back up on it and couldnt...he was getting tachycardic, sweaty, and couldnt sleep, was thirsty all the time, it was awful. I made him eat a bagel that night and it stopped...I know strange. Anyhow, from what I have heard from others, you can do it the first time around but it is a one time deal. Good luck. BTW he started running everyday and lifting and eating just slightly better and he has lost all but ten of those lbs.