Atkins - Does anyone eat 6 cups of vegetables a day?

Nan S
02-09-2013, 10:00 AM
I've been doing low carb on and off for twenty years, and have a whole bookcase of diet books, I've read them all. In the "new" Atkins, they want you to eat six cups of vegetables every day on induction, while staying below 20 grams of net carbs. I'm delighted to try to push the veggies (though they are more work to prepare than just grilling or roasting meat) but does anyone get to a whole six cups? Unless its just light and fluffy lettuce, which grows old after a while? (I just had a lettuce and bacon salad for breakfast.)

Is it possible to get to six cups of veggies staying below 20 net grams, except for light and fluffy lettuce? And even with light and fluffy lettuce, six cups is a huge amount! I prefer cooked vegetables for some meals.

Part of my concern is I still seem to be having some "induction flu" symptoms, two weeks in. I think I'm getting plenty of salt and plenty of water, but days with mostly meat seem worse to me.

02-09-2013, 10:30 AM
I took this question as a challenge and plugged some veggies into to see if it was possible. Yup, 'tis!

Add 1 cup spinach (1 carb) to some eggs for an omelet

2 cups lettuce (1 carb) - make it a "salad" by adding some protein like chicken or tuna with a teensy bit of balsamic vinaigrette
Raw veggies - 1 cup of broccoli (3 carbs) and 1/2 cup carrots (6 carbs)

1 cup fauxtatoes - mashed cauliflower (5 carbs)
1/2 cup green beans (4 carbs)

6 cups = 20 carbs

(And when you subtract the fiber for net carbs, you're actually a bit under 20 so you have room for the salad dressing and the cream for the fauxtatoes.)

02-09-2013, 10:56 AM
Have you considered starting to up your carbs to OWL levels since you don't have a lot to lose? You might feel better... I know from my own experience that 20 to 30g of carbs is too low for me and that I can still be in fairly moderate ketosis at 50 to 60g of carbs and that I can still stay in ketosis eating 100g of carbs as well... This allowed me to have fruit and nuts which I found really helped me with those "carb flu" like symptoms... The important thing to remember is that you lose weight because you're creating a calorie deficit which can still be done with a few more carbs in the plan...

02-09-2013, 11:11 AM
i used to when on the michael thurman diet and i was never hungry and lost 40 lbs in 4 months.

i am trying to get back to this type of eating but it is hard...i have severe hand arthritis.

i recently moved and noticed the local grocery does sell chopped up veggies. i think i may have to put a little more money into my food budget and take advantage of this.

also...i have read that sometimes frozen veggies are as healthy as fresh and they are easier for me to deal with.

i make soups a lot with many veggies in them and also made a broccoli soup...i use jarlsberg cheese and not too much.

i have a goal to get back on this way of eating cuz it seemed to work for me.

02-09-2013, 12:36 PM
Frozen vegetables are more nutritious than fresh produce unless you are growing it yourself or buying it at a farmers market. Shipping and time cause a loss of nutrition in fresh vegetables. Frozen vegetables are frozen the day they are picked. They are a good buy. I like those one in steamer bags (not the ones with sauce).

02-09-2013, 01:11 PM
Ever since I began Atkins in 2004, I've eaten HUGE salads with plenty of veggies. I enjoy chilled, cooked green beans & broccoli florets on my salads as well as raw cut up zucchini, celery, tomato and a little red onion. I would also mix baby spinach with my lettuce. This made it quite easy to eat a good amount of veggies everyday.
I would also have a green veggie in the evening with my beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts or zucchini....with butter of course:)

Nan S
02-09-2013, 06:08 PM
Wow, thanks guys for such thoughtful replies! I've been plateaud at my current weight for almost two years, and even started to go back up, so I'm seriously dropping the carbs to induction level, or near it. I generally ate lowish carb through the plateau (or I suppose you could call it maintenance), averaging about 100 grams with considerable variation.

With my focus on vegetables versus meat, I'm finding it hard to stay below 30 grams. I think I'm finally losing at this level, though slowly.

There is a trade off-if I don't eat the veggies, I'm simply not eating enough calories because I'm not hungry (one day was 900 calories). Nice not to be hungry, but I woke up with the absolute worst headache and nausea and shaking. Besides, since I've lost lots of weight before, I know my body will kick into starvation mode quickly if I go too low, and totally shut down my metabolism to endure the famine. (I'd do great on a desert island!)

I like the meal plan, and ill have to learn to embrace salads even more. It's a great tip on the frozen veggies. I've got to relearn the net carb counts, though. I was eating fresh Brussels sprouts almost every day till I realized there is a reason I love them: they are sweet!

02-11-2013, 10:09 PM
i just read a warning about brussle sprouts...too many can interfere with meds or something...i cant remember. it was surprising tho. who would have thought? brusslesprouts???

Nan S
02-12-2013, 10:21 PM
I've been on a Brussels sprout kick. Cut in half, tossed in olive oil and roasted in the oven then drizzled with balsamic vinegar... I eat them like candy. Which is sadly almost what they are, very high in carbs.

02-13-2013, 12:29 AM
I've been on a Brussels sprout kick. Cut in half, tossed in olive oil and roasted in the oven then drizzled with balsamic vinegar... I eat them like candy. Which is sadly almost what they are, very high in carbs.

A half cup of cooked, boiled brussel sprouts is 6.8 grams carbs with 3.4 grams dietary net carbs.
Balsamic vinegar is 2.0 grams carbs per Tbsp due to it containing sugar.

02-13-2013, 05:56 PM
"Eat no more than 20 grams a day of Net Carbs, 12 to 15 grams of them as foundation vegetables. This means you can eat approximately six loosely packed cups of salad and two cups of cooked vegetables per day. "

This is the key.

Nan S
02-13-2013, 08:40 PM
Thanks, JerseyGyrl, it must be the balsamic that is blowing me off course with the Brussels sprouts. I really agree eating the veggies is the key, but six cups of even salad is really hard for me to get down. I've gone up to 30 grams net carbs and still seem to be losing weight but feeling much better.

I picked upon another thread where you emphasized the carb ladder. I confess I had been focussing on the total number of carbs, not the type or which ones, and I went back to the book to refresh on foundations and early adds. Thanks for the advice.

Bg124, I was curious if people are actually eating that volume of veggies (while staying in the 20 gram net limit). In early induction, I would be content to just eat meat because my appetite disappears, but I'm trying to force myself to eat more veggies to fight off the induction flu and to give my intestines some fiber to work with. It feels much healthier, but it's an effort to get that green stuff.