General Diet Plans and Questions - What is your opinion on the Atkins diet?

08-05-2003, 06:14 PM
I have mixed feeling abou this diet. It doesn't really sound the healthiest to me. There are several people in my town losing lots of weight on this diet though. I am tempted to start this diet. Those of you that are on the Atkins, have you had any side effects or anything? Do you like it? Is it hard to be on when you have a family to cook for? I would like your honest opinions and facts. Is it healthy???

Thanks to all!


08-06-2003, 01:47 PM
It worked for me for fast weight loss, I lost 25# in 6 weeks, but as soon as I started to eat regularly I gained back about 40#. It is hard to stick to for the long run...will you never again eat a bagel, pasta, potatoes, bread, a piece of cake? I don't think anyone can really live this way for life. Once off it is so hard to start .02!

08-06-2003, 02:30 PM
I have to say, first of all, that virtually all diet plans work for some people and don't work for others--just depends on how your particular body works.

That disclaimer aside, I have to say that Atkins totally did not work for me. I tried it for three weeks earlier this summer and it aggravated my gall bladder (I already had the stones, I just didn't know it until I started the super-high fat of Atkins) and I had to have it out. That alone I could have dealt with but my body just seemed stressed out by trying to digest all the meat. Putting my experience on Atkins together with some other issues I have had in the past, I've come to the conclusion that my body has trouble digesting meat unless it's ground.

So, because of that, I decided to go back to the low-fat, higher carb WOE, which has worked pretty well for me in the past. I was just trying Atkins to shake up the program and see if it was as effective as everyone said. I did lose some weight--9 (?) lbs. the first two weeks, none the third (I think that was because my body was busy with my gallbladder!), but contrary to most people's experiences, I haven't gained it back. In fact, I weigh less than I did when I quit, even without watching what I'm eating. (The gallbladder thing, again, I think!)

Again, I think what it comes down to is your body's personal make-up. Atkins works great for some, not for others. If you've had a rough time with low-fat, you can always give it a shot! Just make sure you're thoroughly educated, both pro and con, before you start.

08-06-2003, 02:43 PM

I am on the Atkins plan. I lost 10 lbs. in 2 weeks. I love this plan. I am on week 3.

I think this plan will work for you if you realize you are learning about your body and what foods cause you to gain.

I have learned so far that I can eat veggies, meat, cheese, cashew nut, wine or michelob ultra beer and not gain weight.

That is what this plan is about. Clearing out your system for 2 weeks. Then slowly adding certain foods weekly to see what changes your weight pattern.

So far I have a surge of energy that I have never experienced before when dieting. So I see this as a way of life eating.

So this is like any diet. You have to find the foods that work with your body.

08-06-2003, 10:04 PM
Thank you! I think I will try it out and see for myself. I agree it has to be a lifetime change. Not just a 'diet'. I am on day 2 now and so far it has been kind of hard to do. Not knowing what foods to eat doesn't help. When I got to looking I couldn't believe how many carbs are in some foods, like tortilla's. Wow! We'll I will give it a try and see. With God's help I can do this!

Thanks again,


08-07-2003, 09:52 AM
I don't give a fig what the AMA or anyone else says, I think the diet is dangerous AND you CANNOT live for the rest of your life eating this way. I guarantee, when you go back to regular eating you will GAIN weight. You have to find something that not only works now, but you can live with for the rest of your life.


Good luck to you!


08-10-2003, 12:33 AM
Hi. I just did the Atkins diet for a week. i didn't cheat, and lost 5lbs. I also decided today after reading on this board to stop. I joined Weight Watchers Online. Atkins wasn't good for me. 1st, I have gallstones, 2nd I'm breastfeeding, and 3rd, I don't think it's a healthy way to eat. That's my opinion. I'm hoping that WWO will be my ticket to a nice, steady, and healthy weight loss. I would say try something like Weight Watchers that isn't so restrictive and much more healthy.

08-10-2003, 09:53 AM
It's a shame that there is so little consensus about this issue in the medical establishment. Many people will eschew potentially beneficial eating behaviors due to preconceived notions about them, regardless of the scientific data, and due to the medical establishment's own biases, some issues never get studied sufficiently to provide adequate basis for making rational decisions.

The reality, with respect to Atkins, is that many people have lived very long lives, spending decades on the Atkins program. I am one of the people who respond negatively to the Atkins diet, so it'll never work for me, but I know that my comparatively carb-rich diet will simply kill some folks I know, who have diabetes.

There surely isn't an answer that fits everyone, but more importantly, we need to realize that there isn't any "common sense" when it comes to these issues. Nutrition, diet, fitness and health are poorly understood, even by the scientists, so any and all preconceived notions about them should be treated with great skepticism by anyone seriously looking for answers for themselves.

08-10-2003, 02:34 PM
Everyone reacts differently so you need to read as much as possible on the diet and look at the "rules".
Are you looking for something you can do as a way of life (WOE)? Can you see yourself following the rules of the particular diet for ever? Or are you looking for quick weight loss?
I personally think Atkins is not healthy or doable for me. I don't like meat that much and can't imagine not eating fruit or bread for the time it takes for the induction period.
If your looking for a healthy way to lose weight for the long run, look at Weight Watchers or Sugar Busters. The South Beach Diet seems like its it's induction period is like Atkins the rest of it is like Sugar Busters.
I've been doing SB for over a year and find it very healthy and livable. My 2 kids and my DH do it too.
I've lost 32 pound. Slow but steady! No headaches or feeling tired and out of sorts.

08-12-2003, 06:59 PM
I tried the Atkins diet for 2 weeks. I was so sick of cheese and meat. I never thought I'd say that but I was. And I was craving things I don't even usualy like. I would have killed someone for a piece of fruit or a glass of milk. Never Again for me!

08-12-2003, 07:21 PM
I think I could have stuck with it, if I didn't have such a negative blood-work reaction to it. I think the bacon, alone, would keep me going. I couldn't imagine going the other way though, limiting protein intake. Besides how bad it would make me feel, and although I don't eat a lot of meat now, I would really have a hard time giving up meat entirely.

Tummy Girl
08-13-2003, 01:30 PM
It is so individual that you and your doctor have to make the decision. I was diagnosed as hypoglycemic a months ago as well as insulin resistence. Low fat, high carb plans make me gain weight, rapidly. My doctor wanted me to go on Atkins to get my blood sugar under control, it was dangerously close to diabetic. So I did induction for just 2 weeks and have moved onto the later stages and am endlessly happy on it. I too had great reservations about it but have continued to be tested monthly, everything from blood work to stress tests. For the first time in my life my body is truly healthy but it doesn't work for others and lots of people have great success on plans that would drive me straight to diabetes.

I think there are many misconceptions about atkins as well as all the other plans out there, you can eat carbs once your system is rid of the cause of your blood sugar problems. It just seems that lots of people stay on induction for way too long and that too I agree is no way to live. The later stages are very reasonable and you can have cake and bread! It's all about listening to your body and taking it one day at a time.


08-15-2003, 06:11 PM
I have been on Atkins for over two months now and finding it is an extremely easy weight loss plan which I can live with forever, as I will eventually be able to add more carbs to my diet in the form of breads, fruits, etc.

This is the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I can honestly say I am in CONTROL of my eating. It is amazing. I too thought I could never live without bread or bagels or fruit or muffins....but it can be done!

Once the 2 week induction period was over, I was amazed to see that I no longer wanted or felt I needed to eat sugary or starchy foods. Now when the bread basket arrives at the restaurant, before my meal I just glance at it. It does not control me and I do not have to inhale it all immediately as I did pre-Atkins.

Cakes and cookies and chocolates no longer call my name, and I am able to eat out in restaurants without having to starve myself all day (as I did on WW) in order to enjoy a decent meal.

So far I have lost around 22 lbs....and aim to lose another 50....does not matter how long it takes, as this is not difficult to do, and I have never felt better!


08-18-2003, 10:42 PM
I tried Atkins a few years ago. I had horrible leg cramps that kept me up at night & didn't lose an ounce & followed it to a T. When I stopped the diet at the request of my concerned mother & husband, my weight ballooned very quickly. I know numerous friends that have been on the plan, lost weight quickly, & couldn't maintain eating all that meat, cheese etc. I'm on South Beach now & feel that it's the right one for me, it stresses leaner meats, cheeses etc.

08-20-2003, 11:01 PM
Hi! I am new here on this site. I ended atkins today actually. I did it for about a month. The reason I quit was because I found I was tired all the time and my body was achy also. I took the supplements suggested and followed the induction very closely. I only lost about 2 pounds on the diet.

I am glad that I did go through the process of being on Atkins because it made me realize just how much carbs I was taking into my body. When you take as many carbs as I was in a day and not working them off, of course it all turns into fat anyway. I was eating all the wrong type of carbs, fries, pizza, cakes and sweets, basically just junk food and did not even really realize how bad it was for my body.

I am now trying to stick with a low carb way of eating, balancing good carbs and protein, but not as low of a carb count as Atkins was. I think this will give me more energy to exercise and do the things I really need to do to lose the weight and live healthy.

Another thing, when I was on atkins I really did not get hungry that much at all and sometimes had to force myself to eat. I also saw that my cravings for sweets and high starch foods were non existent (sp). I really liked that part of the atkins diet.

The Atkins diet has taught me alot about carbs and how the carbs react in your body and I am thankful for that, but I realize that I have to have more carbs than what I was eating on Atkins. Alot of people love the diet and I say go for it, if that is what makes you feel healthy.

08-23-2003, 11:24 PM
hello all!

I dont think atkins diet is very healthy.... but I don think it works for some....

If this is the type of diet you are looking for maybe look into the South Beach Diet.... it is a twist of the atkins.... it encourages higher protein but uses healthy protein (come on we really didnt think eating a pound of greasy bacon for breakfast is healthy did we???) it also uses healhty carbs (no sugar or white stuff)... check it out.... it may be one that is better for you.

Good Luck in whatever you do!

08-24-2003, 12:14 PM
First, read the book before you form an opinion. A two paragraph blurb in a magazine at the grocery store checkout does not count.

Second, and this is important so pay attention NO MATTER HOW YOU LOSE WEIGHT, YOU WILL ALWAYS GAIN IT BACK IF YOU GO BACK TO YOUR FORMER WAY OF EATING. Duh. It's what GOT you fat in the first place. Why on earth do you think it won't get you fat again.

Third, Atkins, as any good weight loss plan, is a life time committment. You may slip up from time to time, but it's a long term plan. There is no "going back to normal" eating. Just like if you lost weight eating very low fat and then went to your old habits - of COURSE you'd gain weight.

Atkins works for so many people. For everyone? Certainly not. We're all different. But if you look at a typical day for someone on Atkins, what you're going to see is no processed food, TONS of high fiber fruit and veg (even on induction you're required to have MORE than the standard 3 - 5 servings. A standard "serving size" is half a cup. Atkins requires THREE cups), some healthy fat, lean meats, enough dairy, and a lot of water. What is so unhealthy about that?

Most people judge Atkins by the first two week bit (it's the most "sensational" and radically different from the old low fat standard so it's the part most often covered by the media) - it's induction, 20 carbs. That is ONLY there to help people get past their carb and sugar cravings. Yes, you're probably going to feel pretty cruddy at first when giving up garbage your body is used to. But then you'll most likely feel amazing. I've never had so much energy, my skin has never looked so good. I've never been able to do this much exercise, sleep so well, go without heartburn and indigestion meds, actually spend most of my day NOT thinking about food. I'm full. I don't have a desire to over eat or eat emotionally. I don't have that miserable 2 pm dip where I feel like death and can't think straight. When I get hungry, it's just hungry - it's not that low blood sugar, can't think, feeling faint, passing out, stomach cramping hunger. I don't think Atkins is killing me. I think it's changing my life in the best way possible.

I would never suggest that one eating plan will work for everyone but THIS ONE works for me. If you haven't actually read the book and talked to people who have been on Atkins LONG TERM (and not someone who started after reading a two paragraph blurb and didn't put in any research) then don't judge.

08-24-2003, 06:06 PM
That's the real problem -- not so much isolated individuals making judgements about an approach based on inadequate understanding -- that only affects that one individual. Rather, the problem is doctors -- the medical establishment in general, but doctors in particular -- who are responsible for providing informed, fact-based guidance on matters of health to their patients, making judgements about approaches based on inadequate understanding.

This came up in another online forum earlier today. This is what I said there...

If the option isn't presented at all, then the patient may remain obese (as I did, resulting in several manifestations of undiagnosed degenerative disc disease). ... I believe the only ethical approach is to present the option to morbidly obese patients WITH [appropriate] warnings, made as forcefully as I feel necessary, rather than not presenting the option at all.

I greatly distrust the doctors who failed to present the option before I [damaged] my back, and even failed to support the option when I decided to pursue it -- this was even after my back surgery. I consider that malpractice, though I'm not willing to pursue the issue in the courts.

08-24-2003, 11:40 PM
Thank you all for your input. I agree with angel and have really studied several diets. I have read the atkins book and did induction. It was terrible for about 3 days I didn't realize I was addicted to something but I had terrible headaches. Then I started feeling a lot better. Had more energy, didn't crave sweet and wasn't really even hungry. Needless to say I realized I couldn't eat like this the rest of my life. So I am doing my own diet. It will be a lot like the south beach. . . watching my carbs and fat. I have been losing weight steadly and slowly. The atkins did teach me about carbs and so I am glad I read the book. I don't want to gain the weight back so I decided to do something that takes the weight off more slowly. . . and I can do the rest of my life.

Thanks again to everyone. You have been very helpful!