Carb Counters - Quitting Atkins the Right Way.

View Full Version : Quitting Atkins the Right Way.

06-06-2006, 01:15 PM
Okay, so I know a lot of you are already freaked out because Atkin's is supposed to be a "lifestyle" change, not something you quit. Let me give you some background info. This is only my 12th day of Atkin's so I'm still doing the induction phase. I'm not looking to quit tomorrow or anything, but I will have to gradually transition into something else. I'm joining the Air Force and will probably be leaving for that between October and January for basic training. Atkin's is not something that the military can include in MRE's and such. Being vegetarian for almost 8 years, I'll be stuck with very few selections and NOT low carb. I do not fear carbs as I've been a runner for quite some time and I find them to be the most effective source of fuel. I guess my question is this: Has anyone been able to transition from Atkin's to another diet without the initial weight gain and how long is the process? Right now, even with Atkin's I'm eating 5-6 smaller meals a day. The Body For Life plan that I'll be switching to involves the same number of meals, including one portion of protein, one portion carbs, and healthy fats each day (TBSP of olive oil here and there, avocados, etc). The reason I started Atkins in the first place is to drop some pounds so I COULD join the Air Force. I've lost the 10 I needed, but I would still like to continue to lose more. I'm thinking that I'll just continue with induction a couple more days, then start adding my 5 carbs each week and see how that goes.

On another note, I have a couple concerns on the diet.

1. Is it common that urine is bright yellow during induction/Atkins?
2. I've been getting leg cramps a couple nights and the only potassium supplements I've been able to find have only 3% of the RDA each.

If it helps, I'm 5'5", 165, and run about 2.5-3 miles 5-6 days each week.

Thanks in advance for any information/opinions.


P.S. Please don't criticize me because I'm just trying to prepare my body for the change. I don't have a choice unless I want to completely shock my body in Basic Training.

06-06-2006, 02:04 PM
Hi Tara,

All the best to you in the Air Force! I wish you luck on your transition from Atkins to another weight loss plan. I am going to be completely honest with you, I've had a weight problem all my life and Atkins is the only plan that worked for me so, I am not real familiar with other programs. I'm sure there are lots of others here that can help you in that department.

As far as your my knowledge, no it is not common to have bright yellow urine on this WOE. How much water are you drinking? Are you taking vitamins as they could be a possible cause. As far as leg cramps, that is usually a sign of low potassium and potassium supplements can be dangerous. Personally, I would suggest speaking with your Dr or with a qualified pharmacist.

Continued success to you in whatever plan you choose to go with.

All the best to you!!!!


06-06-2006, 02:41 PM
1. Is it common that urine is bright yellow during induction/Atkins?
No...this tells me you are not drinking enough water.

2. I've been getting leg cramps a couple nights and the only potassium supplements I've been able to find have only 3% of the RDA each.
Drink more water, and make sure you are getting all your carbs....make sure you eat all 20 in induction. The running may also have something to do with the leg cramps. If that doesnt work double up on your potassium.

When are you switching over from Atkins to BFL? I have done this very successfully. Im not sure how it will work once you get into the airforce tho.

You will find the weight loss different on BFL. You won't notice the scale weight change so much as the actual shifting of your body. You will be building muscle, and loosing fat, so the scale may not change much,(may go up a bit too) but you will loose inches and go down in sizes. Also remember that with BFL, its a bit may not notice any changes for about 6 weeks.

If you have issues with cravings from carbs, make sure when you switch to BFL, that you eat your carb with a protein/fat (always!!) Otherwise the carb acts like 3 tbsp of pure corn sugar in your body. The protein/fat will keep it level for you.....keeping your cravings at bay.

Bottom line, you shouldnt see much change in your weight when you switch over...just keep an eye on the carbs, and always eat your protein first. If you have trigger foods, mine were potatoes of any kind.......dont eat them sub for a different carb. You'll be fine :)

06-06-2006, 02:44 PM
another thought.....

when you start adding in your carbs weekly....make them "clean" carbs. Veggies, and whole grains.

the sooner you switch over to BFL and do your "10's" the better prepared you will be for the airforce. My stepson is in the marines, and still runs...all out...too keep inshape for when he gets called back up.

Good Luck to you :)

06-06-2006, 02:46 PM
Congratulations and good luck with the air force. I have never tried to go off Atkins and switch to another WOE. My daughter went off Atkins and went back to her old way of eating and gained her weight back very quickly. I don't blame you at all for trying to find another woe that will be more conducive to your new military lifestyle. My son is in the Army Reserves and did eat a lot of MRE"S, I checked them out and they are very high in carbs.The good thing is, the exercise you will get will definitely help in the transition.

06-06-2006, 03:06 PM
I wish I had some words of wisdom to give you, but everyone pretty much covered everything :)
I think it's awesome you're joining the Air Force. I'd like to Thank You for serving our country :hug:

06-06-2006, 05:14 PM
Thanks everyone for your kind words and helpful information so far. As far as water consumption goes, I drink about 16oz 5-6 times a day with my meals, so I'm getting a LOT of water. I'll have to check up on potassium. So far, I've decided I might stay on the induction part for 2 more weeks, then start adding the carbs slowly. I just want to be careful not to undo the success I've had so far. I can tell a big difference in my body and in such a short period of time. I can understand why Atkin's is so popular. I'm already receiving compliments on my weightloss. I've never lost weight so quickly. As far as the kind of carbs I'll be eating, BFL is all about veggies, fruit, and whole grains, so they'll be from healthy sources. I won't be eating junk carbs.

Well, I hope to hear back with more info/support. I'll check back in and update whenever I can. THANKS AGAIN!

06-07-2006, 02:05 AM
I had the bright yellow urine too, but the source was the Atkins vitamins not the WOE. Whatever supplements you are taking, your body is filtering what it needs and discarding the rest.

06-07-2006, 10:40 AM
I would suggest taking a magnesium / calcium supplement for the leg cramps. Once I started taking them, my leg cramps (charlie horses) went away instantly.


06-08-2006, 12:23 AM
Bright yellow pee is from Vitamin B complex. Any time you take B vitamins you get that. I think it might be from brewer's yeast. If you do Atkins and take no vitamins, you won't get bright yellow pee. If you don't do Atkins and do take B vitamins you will get it.

Oh and the reason the potassium pills only have 3 percent of the RDA in them? Most people (not on low carb) don't get deficient in potassium, because it is contained in a lot of common foods, and potassium if you get too much can be toxic. So in order to prevent people from taking too much potassium (and dying and their families turning around and suing someone) they don't put much of it in the supplements.

One way to take potassium and to not take too much is to take it in the form of "Morton's Lite Salt". These are made from potassium salts. IF you are deficient in potassium and need more, the lite salt will taste good on your food. If you don't need potassium, it will taste nasty. That way because you are tasting it and not taking it in pill form, you won't accidentally poison yourself by getting too much.

06-10-2006, 10:15 AM
Take in all the leafy green veggies you can that will help with the leg cramps, I use potassium supplements, it is very dangerous to get too much at one time. my multi vit does not supply enough but I take potassium 99 mg (note it is very different not as strong from what the doctor prescribes of 10 - 40 MEQ) you are not overdosing and in danger if you take one or two daily preferred at different times of the day. (I have taken them at the same time if I am crampy and so has my husband) drink your water.

As for your plan to gradually slipto a carb eating diet the plan you stated was perfect. go for it and enjoy your time in the airforce. my 17 year old is joining the national guard. I hope she does well.

With the magnesium that is a good idea as calcium magnesium sodium and potassium is responsible for the muscle contractions and if over excited you are lacking some thing some where. Watch taking magnesium as if you think about it what is the main ingredient of milk of magnesium??? I had also read some where if you take a calcium mag supplement as the receptors of the body are the same that absorb calcium and magnesium the body will absorb the calcium and leave the magnesium. thus again causing loose stools. and a magnusium deficiency. I can go more into detail with chelated and no chelated but I will pass on that as I have not found any chelated magnesium that was cheap. I can say that I have use the combo cal/mag/pottasium and the cal/mag with out any adverse effects.

06-10-2006, 08:28 PM
When I started taking a B Complex, my urine turned bright yellow. I know it's not dehydration as I drink a minimum of 64 oz of water a day plus Crystal light drinks to boot.

I wish you the best in the Air Force. You are going to get enough physical exercise to keep you in shape -- my husband spent years in the Army and he ate everything they put in front of him and he was still in perfect shape.

Try to eat as many whole foods as possible and avoid junk foods like cookies, etc. if you can.

06-11-2006, 02:03 AM
OOh yay, I'm still getting replies! I appreciate it so much. So, after realizing today just HOW long it would take to build up to a "normal" amount of carbs by increasing only 5g a week, I decided to change things up a little bit. Today I had my normal egg beaters (1 cup) and made scrambled eggs as opposed to the omelet I usually make. So, instead of cheese, I substituted a 1/2 cup of oats and a Tbsp of ground flaxseed. That's about 22g carbs after subtracting the fiber. I'm keeping the rest of my meals the same for 5 days, then cutting the protein in a second meal and adding a banana for the next 5 days and so on and so forth until I've added carbs to all 6 meals. This will be a month long process and I'm okay with that. I realize that I might have a little weight gain, but I understand that it will mostly be water weight from adding the carbs. I really don't think it's possible to gain much fat while eating such healthy foods/portions. The seventh week, I'll add a free day. Then I'll be completely through with the transition from LC to Body for Life. I think that everyone can find something that works for him/her. I don't think that Atkin's is for me, being vegetarian and a very active runner and weight lifter. I swear by Body for Life, as I've had much success with it in the past. I just HAVE to stay off of the scale for a couple weeks unless my recruiter insists that I weigh in soon. My weight has been fluctuating a lot lately anyway. Today I was 169.5 (but my scale's 3 lbs higher than the AF scale), so 166.5. I might weigh in next Saturday and each Saturday following. By AF standards, I just need to maintain 165. My personal goal weight for the beginning of July is 160. Wish me luck, please!!! I hope everyone else is doing fine and if anyone has any information or personal experiences switching to a different plan and/or quitting Atkin's altogether, please respond or send me a private message. Thanks in advance and thanks again for all the support. I'll keep you posted on my weight"loss" and Air Force adventure!

06-15-2006, 12:18 PM
I thought it would be nice to give an update. I'm currently taking in between 40-50g carbs a day. I'm weighing in at 167.5 by my scale, which is still less by a pound or two from when I started the transition. I think the additional fiber intake has helped tremendously. I'm also still running 5-6 days a week and I have a the Run For Pride 5k race on Saturday. On Sunday I'm adding a banana each day and I'll see how that goes for the week. I hope everyone's day/week is going well!

06-15-2006, 11:46 PM
I just read through all your posts here and wanted to say congratulations on how well you're doing! I don't think you'll have any gain to worry about as healthy as you are eating and as much as you are exercising-Great Job!

I just went off Atkins, not really planning to. We went on vacation to Mexico, and the foods abounding were all my favorites. The temptations of the rice. beans, and tortillas were too much, and I succumbed. For over a week I ate off plan, and upon my return, I had gained 4 lbs. I wasn't eating horribly unhealthy, fried, or chocolate dipped foods-it's just water weight. I've been back for 3 days now and by drinking a ton of water and exercising, I've already lost that 4 lbs again. I haven't gotten back on Atkins yet, not sure where I'm going from here-I'm just keeping to healthy carbs like veggies and whole grains. I think not drinking enough water while I was there (and more than enough tequila) might have aided in putting on those lbs.....