After much foot-dragging, denial and whining, I am putting my toe into the Atkins pool. Both my DH and myself need to lose well over 100 lbs. each, and after a stint on WW in 2002, I am loathe to try another diet. This plan seems to have such wide acceptance (witness the into of a lo-carb burger at Carl's Jr- I nearly fell off my chair!), I had to see what all the fuss is about.
A friend at work has lost over 30 pounds so far, and seems blissfully happy about the plan. I need some convincing that I can really do this...
I'm tired of failing at this kind of thing, and I'm tired of being tired. I've never been a good dieter- think I've only been on 3 in my whole life. I'm less concerned at this point about being "thin"- what I want is to be healthy, and have energy.
The books and web sites keep talking about how your cravings "go away"- and how people are perpetually satisfied on Atkins. I am a doubter, a questioner- does it really work this way? I know for a fact I'm a serious carb addict. Gotta have bread, potatoes, a sweet. Can't keep away from it. Can't see my life without it, either. Do you really have to give it up forever?
And, can I eat beans on this? Mexican food is really important- I can work with the lo-carb tortillas, but I love beans... can anyone help with this one?
OK, I guess that's enough whining and crying for a while... I really want to know what I'm getting into. Thanks in advance for your advice!
01-10-2004, 02:54 AM
I can't speak for everyone here, but I'm happy to share my own thoughts and experiences. The biggest thing I've learned is that this is NOT a diet. It's not something you go on and then off of. As with any successful weight loss, this is a way of re-training your body and making permanent changes in your eating and exercise habits.
I was a carb addict myself and never thought that I could give up bread, potatoes (a daily staple for me) and pasta. And for the first 3 days of induction, I was a raving witch! But yes, if you are faithful in your adherence to the rules of induction, the cravings go away and I started to feel amazing.
It's not always easy to say no to the things we've loved and sometimes to the people we love as well. Most things that are really worth it aren't easy. That's ok. But if you want it bad enough, you will find your way. For me, giving up those foods was the best choice I could have made. I'm happier, healthier, and I don't miss it.
But it's certainly a matter of attitude as much as anything else. If a person spends their entire time pining away over something that they "can't" have, it won't work. So I guess you have to decide if it's worth it for you. Beans will be a no-no for quite a while because they're starchy. So ask yourself what you want more - the beans or to weigh 100 pounds less. It's not always an easy choice, but as you see the amazing changes in your body, it does get easier.
01-10-2004, 08:43 AM
Hi Spygirl. I agree with my friend Star......Atkins is a way of eating and re-engineering your mind and your body. First you must understand the various stages of Atkins. The first is induction. This is the stage where the greatest weight loss will take place. The book is VERY specific on what you can have in unlimited (but within normal) quantities and what to avoid. Its a no brainer really.....avoid starch and sugar and anything white refined. So basically all your breads, pasta, rice, starchy veggies and any sugar or sweet. I guess a way to look at it is NOT to think what you can't have BUT ALL THE THINGS YOU CAN HAVE!!!
Some Atkins followers even go so far as to count the half points of carbs and all the carbs they eat to make sure they are under the limit of the rule of induction.....20 carbs per day. I don't count as the book guides you to use your head and eat when you are hungry and with unlimited amounts of all meats and fish(pure and whole...ie right off the bird) ....all cheeses (hard and cheddar).....all eggs. 2 cups of veggies are a must. Cream is accepted as is whipping cream but not any other dairy....milk is a no no.
It is really up to you how long you stay on induction and lose the weight you want. One month.....6 months.....or 1 yr, I guess it depends how much you want to lose. Any other stage of Atkins doesn't have quite the weight loss as induction but it does allow you to slowly add back some of the fruit and other vegetables and whole grain foods. It is a slow process to find in 5 carb increments where your limit is that you can have extra carbs (over and above the 20 carb limit) but that you also still lose some weight. This second phase is called OWL....on going weight loss. Most people go onto this one when you have only a little amount to lose because it comes off MUCH slower. Then after this stage is maintenance. I'm not too familiar with this one as I'm still on induction but have read up on OWL.
My advice to you would be.......
-First buy the book "The diet revolution" and read it not once but at least 2 or 3 times.
-Surf the sites and get some good recipies. Dana Carpender makes several great recipie books as does Dr. Atkins.
-Have a good support system.....coming here is great as is doing it with some friends or your hubby.
-Start some kind of excercise plan. Hate to excercise? then don't look at it like that.....walking is one of the best things you can do for your body. Look around where you walk.....you might even notice the first buds of spring.....a new neighbour......whatever! The point is head up and take in the sights.
-Read labels. You will surprize yourself with what the nutrition labels say. sugar also comes in a variety of names....fructose, inverted sugar, corn syrup, maltose....get familiar with all the substitutes. Splenda is allowed.
-Stay away from the so called low carb products. Sugar alcohol is not your friend and all low carb products are not the same. The book strictly says no for a reason.
- Don't set yourself up for failure. Shop the legal foods, don't have the sweets/breads in the house for you to be tempted. Success is one day at a time. Don't be overwhelmed saying....I can't lose 50 lbs. Break them down into do-able goals and then add a bit more time into them. You might have some weeks where you maintain and plateau. Don't give up, its just your body re-adjusting.
-Take a before and after picture. And mark down your body measurements. You will be surprized just how much in inches you will lose. On the weeks where I don't lose pounds, I lose in inches.
phew.....I'll get off my soapbox now!!...lol I didn't plan on re-writing the book, but in a way I should thank YOU!! Writing this post re-affirmed my committment to atkins and boosted my positive attitude towards how well I'm doing and how easy the plan is. Well I've written enough now, and its time for my bacon and egg breakfast with portobello mushrooms fried in butter!!! Good luck and hope to see you on the Atkins board. Post often and get involved....we are here to help and support you. In doing so we motivate and support ourselves. Who knows....in a few months, maybe you'll write a post like this to help another newbie. see ya
01-10-2004, 09:01 AM
Give yourself a few weeks to prepare yourself. If you go into it blinded you will become frustrated very fast. I gave myself 6 weeks to prepare myself, meaning reading the book, getting recipes, reading what folks on the internet had to say, etc. Investigate first!
I can't say for me that the cravings are GONE! because when its that time of the month I want chocolate!! BUT for the most part, because my hunger isn't driving me insane (like if I was eating carbs) I don't have the cravings like I did before.
Not only do I watch carbs, I have to also watch my calories, my metabolism is just shot, due to yoyo dieting and starving myself.
I do schedule times where I am going to allow myself to eat some carbs, like Christmas was one, and the next will be at the end of the month me and hubby are going out for our anniversary.... but inbetween that I will be good. Its persistance, NOT perfection!!
And also remember this, mistakes are a part of the learning process, do not punish yourself for a mistake, just jump right back into it and you'll do wonderful.
When your ready to start, we will give you lots of tips for induction so hopefully you won't make mistakes that we learned the hard way LOLOL.
Hugs and its great to have you hear.
Kim in NJ
01-10-2004, 09:25 AM
I too had to lose over 100 lbs. I too started Atkins because of health concerns more so than "looking good". But I can tell you it is the BEST plan I have ever been on. I've tried WW even for periods of 6+ months with only a 20 lbs max loss. The plan itself just didn't work with me. This was mostly because when you give me 24 pts and tell me I can have 5 Hershey kisses or a full days worth of food, every other day I would eat the 5 Hershey Kisses and the days in between actually follow a healthy program. I was/am addicted to chocolate!
I finally got real with myself after my pulmonologist (for my asthma) saw a picture of my baby when she was 12 months old. I was sitting (rather hanging over) his chair in his office at 260lbs. I am 5'5". He said "Wow your girls are beautiful...how much longer do you plan to be around for them?" A wave of tears came crashing... Of course we know it when we're 100+ overweight - but it's hard to hear it from others especially when we "think" we've tried everything. But once I got real with myself I realized I hadn't tried everything. I really hadn't tried a strict plan which would BREAK that constant craving for dessert each night or the Mexican Food which I love so dearly.
I too took time to emotionally prepare myself and READ. I read Atkins diet revolution book and I read about weight lifting, about the obesity rate amongst many Spanish speaking people and about the mortality rates for women of my height and weight. What the heck was I doing? How could I possibly say I love chocolate so much I can't live without it? Or bagels, or pasta, or Mexican Food.?????? Was I crazy? This is my life and I need to take control of what is going into my mouth.
Atkins is strict - I LOVE THAT - because it takes away that freedom of other plans to blow it for a meal, or a day etc. Once you are strict for 2 weeks you will be in ketosis and you will drop tremendous amounts of weight. You will be satisifed AS LONG AS YOU ARE PREPARED! I keep tons of carb free foods readily available for those times when "I just don't know what I want"...deviled eggs in a tupperware container, sugar free jello with a can of redi whip, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, bagged salad green, bacon bits, cherry tomatoes and Hidden Valley Ranch dressing.
No healthy weight loss plan allows you to have candy everyday - or burritos - so I just had to make a FIRM commitment to myself that I WOULD NOT CHEAT - AT ALL for the first FULL MONTH! And I will tell you that by doing that, I lost all my cravings entirely. I actually started in July and did not have any sugar until September 12th on my anniversary when I had a real piece of cheesecake in a restaurant. Nor did I have a piece of candy until Halloween night. I still really battle the candy bit - but it's only because I've let myself have it a few times....I'm trying to emotionally get back to the abstinent part.
Between July and October I went from 260 to 219. I FEEL AMAZING! I still hate to exercise - but when I do it I feel great. At my weight I did not add any exercise into my day until I was 218. Since Oct. I've been battling the same 4 lbs. But in Oct I had gone from a size 28 to a size 24.....and with only 4 lbs since then I have dropped very close to a 20 at this point. So when the scale doesn't move I see the measurements reward.
SpyGirl - You and dh CAN DO THIS - you just have to make that FIRM commitment. If you feel you will try this and then go off - please don't even start then. If this is not a lifetime commitment to eating lower carb - then you will hurt your body more by gaining back even more weight. It's a tough plan to start - but I remember being 9 months pregnant and thinking about my future and how I would handle being a mom for life.....but once I took it one day at a time it was easy. With obesity you need to daily re-commit yourself to your new way of eating and gather your spiritual strength to keep going from whatever source you accept as truth. I know I will be successful at this and with the way I feel even at 215 - if I never lost another lb. I would continue to eat this way because of my energy level and the way I feel compared to last July!
BTW - I had bloodwork re-done in October and my Drs. were AMAZED at how perfect every number was - after 4 full months on Atkins!
Good Luck - we'd love to have you join us...
01-10-2004, 11:39 AM
I will just say this, I spent my whole life drinking milk everyday, gallons and gallons, eating bread 3-4 times a day, tons of peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches, tons of mexican food. Lets just say they knew me by name at my favorite resturants. Pasta Pasta pasta.....
I don't even crave this stuff now, I was the biggest doubting Thomas about it and I said OH I just can't do that I already know, but I was wrong about myself. I still eat mexican, I eat burrito insides, no beans or rice, I throw the tortilla away, Don't miss it at all.
You guys can do it, and I have to say with the support of these ladies here I am soooooo much stronger!! It will work...if you let it.
01-10-2004, 04:36 PM
Welcome aboard! After reading what all of the other gals have shared, I realize I have nothing novel to add but this. The Atkins way of life has worked with me when no other way has. I firmly believe that you can change certain things about yourself, but not others. One thing I can't change about myself is that I am a BULK eater. I don't care what the diet is, as long as I can eat massive amounts of food when stress hits. And let me tell you.......I've eaten tuna salad made with 3 cans of tuna in one sitting and still lost weight that week! Before Atkins I would have eaten 3 cans of Pringles in one evening, not have been any more satisfied, and gained 5 pounds. Atkins broke my carbohydrate and sugar addiction, and gave me a way to deal with my eating issues when they arise.
You keep coming here and you'll get all the support and good thoughts you need to make it through!
01-10-2004, 09:58 PM
Spygirl: All the other girls have said it and said it well! Atkins is the only thing that works for me. On low-fat ways of eating, I was starving... constantly. I was never satisfied. Atkins keeps me satisfied and losing weight. I was under the impression that losing weight was painful -- it doesn't have to be! With Atkins, I'm fully satisfied. If I'm hungry, I can eat. But, I've noticed my appetite has really decreased. And, those carbohydrate cravings do go away. Occassionally I'll get the urge for something sweet, but it's not nearly as bad as it used to be. And, once you get past induction, there are plenty of substitues for pastas, breads, sweets, etc.
You just have to find what works for you and stick with it. We'd love to have you join us!
01-11-2004, 12:25 AM
Wow... you guys are so committed! It's amazing to listen to your stories.
I'm glad you're saying to prepare yourself before you jump in... I'm a real research-alholic, and have to know EVERYTHING before I get involved- you should see how long it takes me to buy a car!
One thing that is really leading me to get this weight off is my youngest daughter. This child is so much like me, it gets scary. Her body type is identical, and with my cooking, the weight is going on already. If I don't make some fundamental changes NOW, what kind of mother would I be to not only take poor care of my own health, but the health of others that has been entrusted to me? I can't let down myself, my husband or my kids any longer. I need to fix this.
Why is it for so many of us- strong, smart, independent, beautiful women, we allow weight and food to control our lives? Why have I waited so long, and allowed it to get so bad?
Well, I guess that's enough looking back- it's going to be time to look forward. I'm going to get some good recipes and clean out the pantry. It will be sort of like Passover week all the time- nothing leavened is allowed- except this will include the sugary and snacky stuff too. Wow. Not even matzoh! No latkes. But I can cook a mean brisket!
Thanks to all of you for your responses... you've been so kind and warm! I'll be coming back to let you know when we're going to start. The hard thing will be when the DH loses more faster- after all, men just have to burp and the lost weight!
01-11-2004, 09:59 AM
SpyGirl, you just wait and see how creative you will become when it comes to cooking. Aren't Latkes made with potatoes ? well how about trying to create them w/cauliflower, like the mock mashed potatoes ?? see the recipe section in the low carb recipes. You'll be amazed at how good it taste, incredable.
Don't worry about having to turn down the cakes from your girls, you'll come up with a good excuse. My daughter is 2 1/2 she is always trying to shove food in my mouth, she's sharing.... but I just tell her no thank you, my tummy is so full, that toast or what ever is for you.... she's like Ok, and on her merry way lol....kids :D
You know when I ate the carbs over the holidays, I had tummy ache's at night and I slept like crap. One day into low carbing and I slept like a baby....... go figure huh lol.
Just one more good thing about low carbing zzzzzzzzzzzz!
01-11-2004, 10:49 AM
You can do it - it's the same old adage " If I can give up my bread, potatoes, pasta and sweets anyone can!"
Being prepared is the key and you are right to research and read everything you can get your hands on....and start collecting recipes that might help you in the long run.
It is true that once you have cut out the sweets/startches you will no longer crave them - for me part of the beauty of this plan is the "freedom" from carbs that you can get. When the bread basket comes to the table I no longer feel COMPELLED to eat it - I can just look at it...and leave it alone - this constantly amazes me!
Log onto to www.fitday.com and get an account to log your food intake. Also check out www.atkins.com, www.lowcarber.org and www.atkinsbythebook.com for more inspration and recipe ideas.
01-11-2004, 01:53 PM
I have very little to add but the fact that atkins (PP for me) works and is the only way that I can do this. I went off and tried to just watch what I ate and I did every biet that went in and blosomed back up the 65 lbs back that I has worked so hard to lose imangine going from a size 24 to a 12 then back up to the 24?? low carb is my way that I can live again and be happy any other way is death to me. I gained back to where I was as I am addicted to food of the carb variety. I can not stop at just one. but with low carb I can I feel health my numbers are healthy and well I am just a vison of health!!
just go for it!! try it what do you have to lose but fat???