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RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
1/4/14 12:13 P

First, nothing wrong with meat, but you don't have to eat a bunch of meat. I eat about a pound a day, but get protein from vegetables, beans, and cheeses too. You don't want extra protein either MARA. It can be converted to glucose in small quantities, but enough to cause cravings.

For people eating higher carb levels in Maintenance, they can get quite a bit from these other sources, and just eat 8-12 ozs. a day of meat/fish/fowl. I rarely eat beef, and never eat pork. Almost exclusively chicken, with some fish in the mix. Not sure if you include fish/fowl in MEAT category, but if not, than you can do Atkins with 0 red meat.

MARAGRAM Posts: 4,845
1/4/14 12:01 P

I did Atkins a few years before I joined sparkpeople. I had no trouble with it digestively, but it seemed wrong to be eating so much meat.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
1/4/14 11:28 A

The body does not need grains. We evolved with almost zero grains, if any. Grains we eat today are processed. If you were handed some from a field, you couldn't eat them, so until recently, they weren't a major part of our diet.

You can get more fiber on Atkins than on a regular diet. Berries are loaded with fiber, as are beans, and most vegetables, which you should be eating at a increased rate while on low carb.

If you are losing too fast on low carb, just up carbs, till it slows down. This gets you even more fiber. Many low carbers eat 15 servings of vegetables, several servings of fruit, and 40-50 grams of fiber. Low carb, and especially Atkins covers a wide range of carbs. You may start out at 20 grams a day, and end up at 120 NET carbs, with 40 being from fiber ( 160 total ).

Since you lost so fast by cutting carbs, if you are losing too fast, and ending up with diarrhea, adding some back in should be an obvious way to slow it down. Just eat MORE of the Atkins friendly vegetables. There are 4 phases.. move from Induction to OWL. Eventually you will be at MAINTENANCE, which you can follow for the rest of your life.

It is sad that people are unable to follow a diet, and instead of just admitting they did it wrong, or did not know how to solve an issue that came up, they say the diet only works for some people. It worked TOO well for you RABBLE-RABBLE, not the opposite. Atkins worked extremely well, and returning to your regular diet resulted in weight gain. Seems that the other diet is what isn't working.

It's kind of amusing that we switched to the current diet in the 1970's, and since then, we have increased heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, PCOS, gout etc. at alarming rates, but no one is advocating quitting that, or saying it doesn't work for them, yet something as simple to fix, as TOO MUCH WEIGHT LOSS, makes the diet unable to be followed.

You chose being at a heavier weight, over simply addressing the problem ( diarrhea ). Quite simple to fix, and you could be a lot healthier at the same time.

What would really help, is if dietitians were supporting low carb, and helping people address these minor issues that happen. Some people don't need to do anything but clean up the carbs they do eat, and some need to go very low carb. Adjustments need to be made, and working with someone would make it a lot easier. Most of us start to panic when things don't go perfectly, and make drastic changes, like quitting a diet that is working, to resume one that made us overweight. A dietitian could have told you how to fix the problem, and you could have continued low carb, and maybe have been at a healthy weight for the past 8-10 years.

RABBLE-RABBLE SparkPoints: (11,507)
Fitness Minutes: (11,106)
Posts: 63
1/3/14 4:47 P

I tried Atkins a few times back about a decade ago. While the weight poured off, even though I tried to get my fiber from vegetables, I would end up with major digestive problems on a regular basis (and normally that is not a problem at all with me). No fun to get diarrhea on a weekly basis. I think the body just needs to have a significant amount of carbs from a variety of sources (vegs, fruits, grains)

Each time I went off Atkins I'd gain it all back.

Does work for some people apparently, just not for me.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
1/3/14 9:01 A

Drink plenty of water TOESGIRL. Low carb diets have a diuretic effect, and you will lose water weight quickly, but run the risk of becoming dehydrated. We need to replace the fluids that we were consuming ( pop, juice etc. ), with water, tea, and coffee. If we don't like water, sometimes we tend to drink less, and dehydration causes the sweating, and headaches, and lack of energy that many people call the " low carb flu ".

Then realize that low carb is actually a high fat diet. You are at 20 grams a day, so that is 80 calories out of 1600, or 5 %. With protein being ideally 20-25 % ( let's say 25 % ), that leaves 70% from fat. Protein will remain steady, since excess protein can be converted to glucose, and cause the same cravings, weight gain that carbs do. If your goal is ketosis, then high protein isn't the answer either.

When you think 70 % fat, don't get scared. That will drop as carbs go up after Induction. After 4.5 years on Atkins, I am down to 55-65 % fat. The funny thing is, the higher the fat, the faster I lose weight. Not sure if the higher fat just fills me up quicker, or lower fat = higher carbs, but since protein remains the same, that is true. It is a choice of carbs OR fat for energy.

You will want to eat those carbs equally spaced, with protein and fat. Every diet says to do so, but especially on Atkins Induction, we need to actually do this. You'll want some carbs at every meal, mostly from vegetables. Your foods should be coming from meat, fowl, fish, eggs, vegetables, butter, and oil. Cheese, nuts, and berries can be added after Induction. People tend to eat things like eggs for breakfast, meat for lunch, and 20 grams of carbs at supper. You want to eat more like vegetable omelettes, and meat and veggie stir fries ( 6-8 grams of carbs per meal).

Induction is 20 NET grams of carbs, so 8 grams a meal isn't going to break your 20 g rule. Subtract your fiber, which can be done on your tracker. If you eat 24 grams of carbs, if 4 or more is fiber, you are fine. Don't try 10 grams a day. You need the nutrition in the 20 grams ( 2-3 cups of vegetables ).

60-70 % fat is not that hard to get to, but not simple either. Lots of people love to start with skin on their meat, and lots of ground beef, but soon find that they get queasy from the grease. I eat boneless skinless chicken thighs, because they have more fat than chicken breasts. That plus the occasional fish, or ground beef for chili, is about it. Whole eggs cooked in butter makes a nice high fat breakfast, add vegetables like black olives, onion, peppers, mushrooms etc. Have 1/2 an avocado ( high fat food ), or slices of tomato if you don't want anything in your eggs. More options become available after Induction. Lunch/dinner can have fat added to them by cooking meat in a Tbsp. or 2 of oil. Find one that is agreeable in flavor. I like olive oil, but some people dislike the taste. A cup of vegetables on the side is fine. Or you can have a salad with meat on top for one of these, but I find that I really like the dressing, more than the salad, and end up using 1000 calories to make the salad edible. If you love salad though, use olive oil, and vinegar dressing, or one without any sugar, if possible.

To get more vegetables, eat lower glycemic, lower net carb vegetables. Green beans are 50 % fiber, so a cup may be 6 g of carbs, but only 3 net carbs. Peas on the other hand are 20 g per cup, and 14 of them are NET. Obvioulsy, eating the peas will limit the servings of veggies you can eat. Follow the foods allowed in Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution exactly. Even corn, peas, carrots, beets etc., can be a problem on Induction. Stick to things like tomato, mushrooms, onion. celery. cucumber, peppers, zucchini, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli, plus any green leafy vegetable you can find.

After Induction, it actually becomes easier. You can have snacks of berries, nuts, and cheeses, which adds a lot of variety, plus as the carbs go up, you can eat more vegetables.

Eventually you may try something other than real food, which I would suggest that you do not do on Induction. Even Atkins sells shakes, and bars now, which I consider garbage, but you might want to try them, and see if they stall you. Other things that cause weight loss to stall are sugar free foods, sugar alcohol, and diet pop. Some people have no issues with any of these though. Once you get a month or two into the diet, and feel you have the hang of it, I would try these all one at a time. If weight loss stops, don't consume them any more.

You will need to re-introduce these foods, as well as carb foods back in ONE at a time, so you know that if you stall, that THAT food is the cause. If you add cheese, and nuts, and diet pop back in at the same time, and stall, which one caused it, or did all 3? This takes a while, but better to slowly add carbs back in, than stall, and have to start over, and do it right the second time. This is why I don't recommend the SF, and " low carb " foods. You need to be focused on re-introducing real carb foods, not low carb shakes, and bars.

If you have not done so already, I would read Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, and a book of your choice about glycemic index. You will be limiting the quantity of the carbs that you eat, but hopefully increasing the quality, and then as time goes on, adding in a larger quantity.

In 3-4 weeks you will learn new habits, and sweets won't be quite the problem they are now. Till then, you need to have willpower, since any sweets will just re-introduce cravings. For me, it was pop. For those 3-4 weeks, I only thought about PEPSI. After 3 weeks, I just became used to drinking water, and upped intake to 10-12 glasses a day. I still have fond memories of pop, and if I drank some today, I would stall, and probably drinka 2-liter, and have to re-Induct to break the cravings. I am up to around 60 grams a day now, which allows me to enjoy a variety of vegetables, nuts, berries, cheese, and occasionally beans in my chili, so choose that over a pop, and 3-4 weeks of 20 grams of carbs.

In the end, the goal is as many healthy carbs as you can get, that do not cause cravings, or a stall in weight loss. This may be 60-80 carbs if you are diabetic like me, or 120-150, if you do not have many problems. The process from Induction to Maintenance, is identifying these carbs that are okay for you, personally, and the quantity you can consume without these cravings, and maintaining proper weight. What your goal is, is MAINTENANCE. You want to be healthy, at a proper weight, and eating as many wonderful, healthy carbs as possible. By progressing up in carbs, you make it possible to continue Atkins for the rest of your life, instead of just using it off and on when you gain weight. At the end, it will be a much different diet than it is today, for the very reason that less carbs is not the goal. Removing the cravings, and regaining control of you eating is.

Hope you do well on the diet. I have lost 170 in the past 4.5 years on Atkins, but sadly the success rate is pretty low, as are all diets. If you get off track, just get back on as quickly as possible. I probably lost 670, and regained 500, but I just limit " cheats ", and keep aiming for new low weights. Stick to Induction for the full 2 weeks, and you will see that you lose easily, have energy, and don't feel hungry. Hopefully this motivates you, and lets you know that it works. This is important, because people will give you doubts, and knowing yourself that it works, allows you to dismiss them, and their ideas. They mean well, and it may not be for them ( or you ), but if it works, and you can follow it, you will have wonderful results. You will have different results than anyone else, so don't expect their results to be the same as yours.. from my 170 lb loss, to being unable to follow it, and having kidney stones/gallbladder removal. Like any diet, results vary. 50/20/30 did not work for me, but many people do just fine on it, so it ultimately depends on what works for YOU.

Give it a fair try, and see if it is the diet for you. emoticon

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 1/3/2014 (09:02)
MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,275)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,791
1/3/14 8:22 A

I believe in eliminating grains, sugars (processed), and starches for optimum health. I feel best on all natural Paleo/Atkins.

1/3/14 7:47 A

I am doing my own low carb hybrid of Atkins/protein power/south beach. I started with 20-30 carbs and now am at 30-40 net carbs a day. Mostly meat fish veg salad eggs. I have had an occasional glass of wine from the start. I also eat almonds in small quantities and have added back occasional small portions of berries and cherries.

I never got the "flu" symptoms people talk about. I have lots of energy. rarely hungry or out of control. I exercise moderately.

I never eat the low carb candy etc.

I have been doing this since middle of Nov and have lost 15 lbs.

My only cheat was on Christmas day...not a big cheat.

I have done atkins about 10 yrs ago and lost 50 lbs. Swithched to weight watchers and yo-yo'd back up 30 lbs.

SAE2012 Posts: 910
1/3/14 7:29 A


TOESGIRL85 SparkPoints: (615)
Fitness Minutes: (150)
Posts: 2
1/3/14 6:23 A

I started phase one on jan 1st. I can already feel a change. I feel more energy and not so foggy. Although I must admit, letting go of sweets is killing me lol. That is my down fall but im trying really really hard. Any tips would be greatful!!!

MEEMAH2013 Posts: 671
6/27/13 10:36 A

I tried the Adkins diet over ten years ago and I lost a lot of weight. But I never felt satisfied, like something was missing. Now I follow some of the principles of Adkins but I must be careful because I could blow my scale on fats! I feel my diet needs to be full rounded and that does include carbs. I feel very satisfied with the Spark People menu planner. I substitute a lot but it makes me feel satisfied and accomplished in a whole healthy way!

TESSA_NJ Posts: 2,501
6/27/13 10:01 A

Works great, but PLEASE read a book (Atkins, South Beach) and don't get your instructions from the internet. Atkins books are very educational and help you to understand how and why your body processes carbs the way that it does.

NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,928
6/25/13 5:42 P

LDHawke, as a woman, I find your generalization about women and carbs to be offensive. I'm sure you didn't mean it that way (I hope), but I don't like anyone saying I can't be happy.

I had to have my gallbladder out. It wasn't caused by Atkins, as I wasn't doing it in those days. However the attack was brought on by a high fat meal. If you've got gallbladder problems and switch from the low-fat diet to the higher fat Atkins, it can cause it to show.

Here's a quote from the above article:

"The risk for gallstones is highest in the following dieters:

Those who lose more than 24% of their body weight
Those who lose more than 1.5 kg (3.3 lb.) a week
Those on very low-fat, low-calorie diets"

Please take note that it does not mention low carb, higher fat diets. It's the low-fat diet that causes gallstones.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,275)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,791
6/22/13 9:33 A

I follow a form of low-carb that aligns with many of Atkins' plan original principles. Like JERF, I avoid a alll grains and packaged/processed goods. .

LDHAWKE SparkPoints: (19,069)
Fitness Minutes: (1,818)
Posts: 771
6/21/13 1:29 P

Yes and my thoughts are "a woman cannot happily exist without carbs."

I will never do Atkins again.

6/21/13 8:59 A

I don't do Atkins but I am "low carb". I JERF, Just Eat Real Food.

I don't eat things that come in packages and are processed. I don't eat grains because they upset my stomach, cause me bloating and aggravate a skin condition. I also try not to eat added sugar and I never eat sweeteners because they are not healthy.

I do eat tons of colourful vegetables, meats, fats, some fruit and dark chocolate. I love potatoes and eat sweet and regular potatoes at least once every day during the summer when I'm more active.

I have found what works for me. Atkins may or may not work for you. If you revert to old habits after losing some weight research shows the weight will come back no matter what diet you do.

It's about making lifestyle changes. In the beginning I started small, I stopped serving bread/buns with dinner. A small change that made a huge impact. With no calorie dense bread at the table the kids, hubby and I have more room to eat healthy foods that nourish our bodies like carrots and green beans. After a couple weeks no one even missed bread at meals.

All the best to you,

6/21/13 7:28 A

I tried it years ago. I got sick and stopped, gaining back the weight I had "lost."

Balance works for me. I've made this about my life, not about a diet, and that's why I've lost the weight and kept it off.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (254,065)
Fitness Minutes: (41,531)
Posts: 27,163
6/21/13 12:04 A

My Sister-in-law's sister ended up in hospital because of the consequences of the Atkins Diet. I don't know if she was doing properly as advocated by the diet plan, but it did cause her considerable gut problems.

As far as having been on it and then going off it and gaining weight back, this is the same with virtually any diet. The thing is, the weight-loss shouldn't be about 'diet' per se, but rather healthy eating/lifestyle in the long-term. If pizza crust or whatever is a trigger for you, then you are best keeping out of temptation's way, but apart from that, it is about a healthy balance. When you look at it like that, then you aren't on a diet, but a lifestyle journey. THAT is what works!


6/20/13 10:21 P

I lost a great deal of weight, then gained it back. Then ended up with gall bladder surgery. A friend also had the same experience. I would be curious if anyone else has a similar experience. I think I stayed in phase 1 way too long. But I did lose the weight. 50 pounds.

The health issue was not worth it. I am the kind of person who needs to understand the mechanics of what I am doing, that is why SP works so well for me. I am spending a great deal of time up front learning about nutrition.

HSCROGGINS1 SparkPoints: (1,220)
Fitness Minutes: (62)
Posts: 18
6/20/13 7:18 P

I have done Atkins several times and each time I lost weight only to gain it back. I love carbs too much but I did learn some things from Atkins. I found that I can be just as successful by carb cycling or eliminating carbs (Not veggie carbs) from my dinner.

BEARCLAW6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (15,376)
Posts: 1,939
6/20/13 1:00 P

Naypooie, you are correct! I think we can say the same thing about SparkPeople and pretty much every other diet method out there.

One of the keys to dieting and improving your health is finding the version of living that works for you. I generally follow Atkins and consider myself to be in the maintenance phase. But....I still avoid all grains even though mainstream Atkins adds back in limited whole grains as an option. I also eat some things that are pretty carby but counter that with the exercise that I do. The lessons that I got from Atkins are around finding out what works for me and sticking to it. Every person has to take that journey on their own, using the experiences of others as guides rather than rules.

NAYPOOIE Posts: 11,928
6/20/13 12:41 P

It works if you do it right. If you try to do it low fat or restricting calories excessively, it isn't Atkins and you are unlikely to succeed.

PHATNOMO11 SparkPoints: (11,565)
Fitness Minutes: (8,109)
Posts: 827
6/19/13 9:14 P

Yes, it works! emoticon

MELJONES3478 SparkPoints: (15,754)
Fitness Minutes: (6,082)
Posts: 505
6/19/13 1:27 P

I have never tried the Atkins diet but I have tried the Atkins protein shakes & snacks. They are good.

GIPPER1961 Posts: 766
6/19/13 12:41 P

I have tried Atkins and South beach and found them both to be healthful and nutritious if done correctly. The critics of Atkins focus too much on meat, but the Atkins diet if very up front that most of your carbs will come from veggies. I have found the key to any healthful way of eating is to drastically reduce sugar and processed foods (such as white flour, white rice etc). Beyond that it is just a matter of finding the foods that you can eat long term and enjoy

SLHOWARD3 SparkPoints: (260)
Fitness Minutes: (150)
Posts: 3
6/19/13 10:26 A

Thanks everyone! I'm trying Atkins because I have found it really hard to bring a lunch to work it just doesn't taste good to me reheated. Chicken is the worst! We are not allowed to reheat any fish, so that would leave that out. So prepacked works easier for me. I had tried a few of their meals and they were pretty good. I also am a sugar junky-I'm not a big potato person. I know the sugar will be hardest for me. And I love Diet Cokes, and it took me about 3 weeks to reduce them from 2 a day to 1 a week as a "treat". Some days are harder than others. A little surprised by the high fats during a day, I'd rather have a small piece of cheesecake at 25g of fat then eat 2 egg omelet with cheese for almost the same fats! But I'll try it.

BEARCLAW6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (15,376)
Posts: 1,939
6/19/13 10:08 A

Check out the 'Living Low Carb' team on SP. They are very friendly and helpful with people doing many variations on Atkins (from almost zero carbs as a lifestyle to people just avoiding the big nasties and eating 150 g carbs per day).

In terms of feeling bad in the first week or two, it will pass. Some people experience it and others do not...I didn't. Mostly, the Standard American Diet is so packed full of carbohydrates that most people have metabolisms so out of whack that they rely on carbohydrates for fuel instead of the stored fat they carry around. It takes your liver/brain/cells a few days or weeks to ramp up the fat-burning metabolism and during that transition you can sometimes feel weak. In my opinion, it is so very much more healthy to be burning fat for fuel than having to stock up on carbs ever couple of hours just to feel normal. No more hunger shakes. No more sleepiness after lunch. No more feeling that you have to eat right now or you are going to pass out. Isn't that worth a week or two of weakness to break that carb addiction?

And Frogman....the fact that those pounds came back on fast when you started eating lots of carbs isn't an indication that Atkins doesn't is an indication that carbs really are that bad for you!

Edited by: BEARCLAW6 at: 6/19/2013 (10:11)
FROGMAN2013 SparkPoints: (1,747)
Fitness Minutes: (1,690)
Posts: 77
6/19/13 10:00 A

Yes, and it can work really well for certain people.

I did it and lost 130 lbs. I kept it off for a couple of years and then got distracted by stressful job/life and put back on about 60 lbs by returning to my donut-eating way. Now, I am just starting to clean things up and it is working again.

It teaches you about which carbohydrates you can eat and which give you hunger and cravings. For this, it is a good thing. For example, I can get away with eating carb-filled beans to my hearts content, while potatoes are sort of neutral for me but pretty much any grains consumed result in more hunger and more eating. Given that as a profile, any traditional 'moderation' dieting would be doomed to fail for me.

Also, the end point is actually very similar to the ending diet for SparkPeople, but more tailored to your personal traits.

I will add that if you go through phase I, II and III and then don't take the maintenance phase IV seriously, you will gain back the weight and will gain it back fast. When I started slipping up last fall, that 60 lbs came back over just one winter and spring.....But, that is not the fault of Atkins, it is the fault of me eating foods that I know trigger me. Now, that doesn't mean that I can never eat a pizza crust ever again, it just means that pizza crust has the same effect on triggering hunger and bad diet choices in me as cake and ice cream does in someone else. So, I will eat pizza, but be fully conscious and careful for the day or so afterwards. That pizza triggers me regardless of what my plan is....isn't it nice to know it?

I highly recommend that even non-Atkins dieters experiment with avoiding certain trigger foods (grains or sugars or dairy or whatever) and see what happens. Amazing things happened to me by just avoiding sugars and starches for a couple of weeks. Miracles can happen!

6/19/13 9:55 A

I didn't try Atkins, but I tried South Beach diet for a while, which is practically the same thing. I never remember being sick. I did fine...but, as with other things I tried, I didn't stay with it and I gained the weight back that I lost. I had no carbs the first two weeks and then started adding carbs slowly, making sure they were fruits or whole grains. I do remember not feeling hungry.

But now, I am just following what I know about nutrition and tracking my food using the Sparkpeople tools, which is a very balanced diet. My carbs are fruits and whole grains and I stay within the recommended ranges. My meat intake has decreased a good bit. I eat a lot more vegetables than I used to. I have lost 42 pounds since January. When I am hungry, I am satisfied for a longer period with proteins.
I just wonder why you feel the need to follow Atkins when following what is recommended in your food tracker should work. If you are diabetic, I think there is a plan to follow for that...which would be limiting your carbs more.

FP4HLOSER Posts: 968
6/19/13 9:49 A

I have not, but if you do a search on Sparkpeople you will find Teams and many posts about it.

SLHOWARD3 SparkPoints: (260)
Fitness Minutes: (150)
Posts: 3
6/19/13 9:31 A

I am starting it today (Phase 1). When I researched it on the Google I got lots of negatives about being really sick or putting the weight right back on. Not sure I'll have the same issues, I've been watching what I eat for over a year and am not a bread or milk junky. Nothing I eat is really breaded. So perhaps those that got sick were going through white flour withdrawles. A little worried about having enough energy to work out without more carbs. Just wanted feedback. Thanks

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