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July 18, 2013 - Day 48 of A Life Worth Living - Bye, Bye Atkins

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I'm not a quitter! I'm not. Really, I'm not. Ok, maybe I am. Sometimes. In some ways. Of some things. For the better part of 47 days, I did the "Atkins" diet. I worked very hard to keep my "net" carbs between 20 - 30 a day. In doing so, I lost 21 pounds. Yeah me! But!!! When I sat myself down and did an "honest" evaluation of what I was eating and how I was feeling, I decided that this was not a program I could do long term. I did it as long as I could, and now I move on to something better suited to me and my personal food preferences.

The human body is made up of a big-ol-gob of water. I don't know - like 70-80% - something like that. Anyway, I was reading this book recently on "running" and the author of the book claims that low-carb dieting eliminates the glycogen in your body and a whole lotta water - making muscles fatigue easily and making exercise more challenging than it needs to be. I have not exercised - not much anyway - since starting my program on 6/1/13. I just haven't had the "energy". My body felt "heavy" and just walking from the chair to the bathroom felt like it was too much. After reading the "running" book, I now think I know why. My body doesn't have the glycogen needed to burn off during exercise. Makes sense to me!

So today I am switching it up! Gonna eat lean meats, veggies and fruit. Oh how I have missed fruit!!! Never thought I'd see the day when I'd take a strawberry over a $100 bill! Now that I have? Time to move on to a new way of eating! Oh, and exercise too. This book I have - titled "Running and Fat Burning for Women" sets out a 25 week program to help folks who are over weight and couch-potato-ish (folks like me) go from a very sedentary lifestyle to a more active one through nothing more than walking/running. I tried it last night and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I walked for 2 minutes, jogged for 10 seconds, walked two more minutes, jogged 10 seconds. And on and on it went. The book recommends 12 minutes of this cycle the first time out, but I'm proud to report that I was able to do 28 minutes. I did it in the comfort of my bedroom while watching a movie. Time just flew by and I was finished before I knew it.

I think this new program will make for a much happier Karen. While the rest of my life might still be chaotic and messy, putting healthy foods in my mouth and moving my body (to the best of my ability) gives me a sense of peace. And that peace? Priceless!

You know I want to hear from you. What I'd really like to know is have any of you ever switched your "program" when you felt like your original program just wasn't working for you? If so, what did you do and was it beneficial (the right thing to do)?

Clock says 5:15 a.m., which means it's now time for me to get up, get showered, get dressed and get to work. I have made up my mind. Today, I WILL have a "spark" kind of day. Hope you'll do the same. Peace to all and much love. . .

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  • WILDKAT781
    I think you are doing the right thing...low carb is not for everyone...I will follow it the rest of my life because it keeps my sugar under control and it is easy for me to follow - I've also lost 50 pounds doing it. But I stay on it because it makes me feel BETTER - if this is not true for you then it is time for a change

    1738 days ago
    47 days and you have lost 21 lbs. I wish my 12lbs. was your 21lbs. I have been on Atkins since May 20th, I will claim every bit of my 12lb loss.Plus there is so many more benefits for me.

    When SPer's have a good weight loss on low carb I read all of their food journals, and Spark pages trying to glean information that might work for me, and it does.

    I wish you all the best on your new approach. A person has to do what a person has to do.

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    1739 days ago
    I think diet is a lot like exercise, you have to find something you like, and then maybe change it up now and then to keep from getting bored. Great job and continued success to you!!!!.
    1739 days ago
    Hi, Karen! It is ABSOLUTELY the right approach to change something that isn't working for you, and I sincerely wish you the best of luck. I hope you will continue to avoid simple carbs and sugars for health's sake. Yes, I've switched programs when they don't work! It is the only intelligent thing to do!

    That said, I am surprised that you admit that you exercised very little, and didn't follow the rules regarding OWL -- but blamed the Atkins Diet. It is absolutely true that your glycogen stores are reduced while in ketosis -- and it is absolutely true for some (certainly it was for me!) that one might go through a period of adjustment (low energy) before your body learns to burn ketones for energy. I combated the low energy by carrying an ounce of cheese with me constantly. The tiniest nibble made a huge difference -- and I was frequently nibbling! It got me through. I am an aerobics instructor, able to outlast my class even though I'm the only one on the Atkins Diet.

    You kept your carbs very low -- near Induction levels -- the whole time. You could have/should have been adding 5 g carbs daily /week after the first 2 weeks of Induction until you found your CCL. This allows you to get the MOST satisfaction from the Atkins Diet (and still remain in ketosis, losing weight!).

    Lastly, I caution you that once you return to eating carbs in excess of your CCL, your glycogen stores, which hold water, will be replenished, and you should expect to regain the water weight. This will make you feel a bit sluggish -- but I expect it isn't a fault of your new diet either! Once you are accustomed to exercise and your muscles and cardiac system are stronger, you won't feel so fatigued.

    Most diet programs WILL work for you over time -- if you follow the rules. But just because they WORK doesn't mean that they are RIGHT for you. Keep searching until you find something that you feel you can do for the rest of your life -- so that you can be successful for the rest of your life! More power to you! I shall miss your kindness and your smile and your optimism. I shall miss YOU!
    1740 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/18/2013 1:27:19 PM
  • NHES220
    I agree with this approach. I do not eat a lot of "simple carbs". I stick to the more complex carbs - I avoid white rice, white breads and baked goods. But I will have brown rice, whole grain pasta and fruits. I always skip the bread basket at the restaurants and go for the veggies instead. But I always start the day with a banana to get my potassium. I am a fan of the walk to run program and was running but strained my hamstring and am working to get back to running. I average 12,000 steps a day between walking and the elliptical.
    I average about a pound a week loss.
    1740 days ago
    If you are feeling sluggish then you probably do need to add more healthy carbs back into your diet. Sweet potatoes, carrots and berries are all fabulous choices.

    I'm quite sure I don't buy what that author was saying about exercise on a low carb diet. As someone who recently competed in a 50km cross country mountain bike race while on a low carb diet, I felt great throughout the race. I did not consume any food during the entire 50km race. No gels, nothing but water. I passed a male friend toward the end of the race who is a much faster rider than me and almost caught my husband who is also a much faster rider than me. They were both exhausted afterward and I felt great!

    Having said that, I do consume more carbs that you have been consuming, but I'm very active.

    What you need to remember is this, Atkins was partially working for you. You were losing weight so maybe trying something like what Mark Sission recommends in his book - The Primal Blueprint might be a good way for you to go. It is a lower carb approach with a focus on whole fresh foods.

    The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance is a great book by Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Stephen Phinney that talks about how the body works while on a low carb diet and exercising.

    ETA: Sprinting is an amazing workout (what you were doing with the run and jog) keep it up!

    All the best to you :)

    1740 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/18/2013 9:19:17 AM
    Think of the adkins as your jump start program Karen. 21 lbs is amazing. I've lost 45 since starting Spark this last time around. It's take me a year of on and off again but it's still my 45 lbs and I claim them!

    Have a super day ~ hugs, Donna
    1740 days ago
    I think it is smart to change a program if you have reservations about it. You gave the Atkins a fair try. You made a judgement based on sound reasoning and personal experience. You made the decision to move on. More power to you!
    Your new program sounds smart and balanced. You sound like you feel better already!
    Like your mantra of having a "Spark" kind of day!

    1740 days ago
    Wonderful !!!!!! So glad to read your blog today Karen, I am hoping for the absolute best for you!!!!



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    1740 days ago
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