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Deena52 10-25-2009 12:46 PM

New to forum but not to Atkins
 
Hi everyone, I just registered and posted on the introductions forum here.

I lost 30 lbs. on Atkins about 20 years ago but then gained 60 lbs. when I was put on medication after I lost a child in an accident 4 years ago. The medication severely altered my metabolism and nothing I did would stop the weight gain so I went off the medication, repeatedly attempted to do Atkins and could not get it to work for me again.

So started researching on the net and trying various things and discovered that unlike 20 years ago, I can no longer use artificial sweeteners like I could in the past and learned that I have to limit myself to 3 packs of splenda daily in order for Atkins to work again. But that's okay...I'm thrilled that I finally got it to work again, after many frustrating and failed attempts.

I've lost 31 lbs. in a little over 5 months and have 29 lbs more to get to goal....back to where I was before I gained the 60 lbs. My dream is to have reached goal by August, when my oldest son is getting married.

I love Atkins and it works for me...because I am not a picky eater, love my veggies and my main problem with diets is being hungry. But that's never a problem for me on Atkins. Plus, I feel fabulous on Atkins, mood and energy-wise. Of course, this time, with the strict limit on sweeteners, a few of the options available to me 20 years ago are out. But that's fine...I'm so grateful to have a functioning metabolism again and living without certain options is not the end of the world and I'm discovering all sorts of delicious ways to prepare all the veggies I love and they are now my new desserts.

So, wanted to introduce myself over here because I'm a very devoted Atkins gal.

slimmingsi 10-25-2009 01:04 PM

hello and welcome, its been a bit quiet on here this week not sure why think you lot over the pond are gearing up for halloween or something.

i find when i can satisfy my sweet cravins with sugar free jelly. (jello to you) i pour double cream over and its great later on in the phases i get the 70% cocoa chocolate and break off 2 squares and rough grate it over the cream and jelly and its fabulous.

the reason you feel like you have so much energy on atkins is because its artificially increases your fitness level. for my Bachelors degree dissertation i studied the affects of atkins on Lactate threshold and found is rose by nearly 0.5 kph so there by making you "fitter". for the duration of ketosis, as you get on through the phases and add more carbs this inflations reduces back to normal. reason? well not sure never got that deep into it. i also found that my subjects who were running using the borg rpe (perceived rate of exercise) thought they were working less hard after 10 days of induction than they did after the initial pre atkins tests.


anyway if your still awake after that glad your here i drop in nearly every day so will be around. i've lost 32lb from peak and i'm hoping to drop a further 10lb in the next 4 weeks for my graduation photos. its a big ask i know but i'm pushing myself hard to get it done. after that the aim is in english 18st then 16.5st or 252, and 231 to you. then the end goal is not a weight but to get into some 34-36 jeans.

Deena52 10-25-2009 01:37 PM

Hi slimmingsi and thanks for the welcome.

After having my metabolism shut down on me due to medication and then spending months trying to research why I was having problems with Atkins after stopping the medication, I've become quite fascinated with learning all the intricacies of carbohydrate metabolism, etc.

The problem with artificial sweeteners is that although the packet says 0 carbs, it turns out that due to the addition of maltodextrin (to make it powdered), it's actually more than 0 but less than 1, so they round it off to 0....so multiple packets will add up the carbs. But I even tried the liquid splenda and even without the maltodextrin, my body seemed to recognize it as a carb.

However, what I've been doing is sticking to a rather spartan induction and adding in new foods, like nuts, for example, much more slowly than I did 20 years ago and I've noticed that by going much more slowly, I can maintain the ketosis. To me, it seems like it's just taking time for my metabolism to return to normal but I'm hoping that by going slowly, I will be able to eventually add things like sugar-free jello. I've had to adjust things a bit due to the alteration in metabolism I suffered due to the medication I was on.

But like I mentioned, I am SO thrilled to finally get the diet to work again, that having to modify it and live without sweets seems a small price to pay. I always took my metabolism for granted...until I lost it.

And to be honest, I remember 20 years ago, developing a craving for the Atkin's bars, especially the coconut/chocolate ones...so I'm probably better off not eating sweets at all. I'm amazed at how after a few days, I literally stopped craving or even thinking about anything sweet.

slimmingsi 10-25-2009 01:49 PM

i avoid the atkins bars and splenda like they are the plauge. i like lean meats whole eggs (although they will be dropped infavour of egg whites soon) hard cheese and whole leave salads.

where ever possible i avoid refined foods by working to the simple rule of can't pronounce the ingredient don't eat it. and second one, if you can pronounce it but don't know what it is or where it comes from don't eat it.

its not perfect but its a good general rule.

slimmingsi 10-25-2009 02:00 PM

oh if your into studying the metabolism and you fancy reading up on things read up on the kreb cycle this is how the body metabolises fat. i.e what the aktins diet does.

most important part is the need to consume carbs to burn fat! this is where people go wrong they don't get the 20g of carbs a day and so the system shuts down.

Deena52 10-25-2009 02:51 PM

:D Hehe...if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it. That sounds like a great rule. Most likely an added chemical you don't need.

I do mainly fish and chicken, as I care for my dad and that's what he likes. Also eggs, cheese....but I always make sure to get at least 15 Gm. of net carbs. I adore roasting and steaming veggies. Roasting brings out the sweetness. I toss cubed eggplant and a few sliced peppers with olive oil and a little salt and roast it...delicious. I also steam broccoli, spinach, or cauliflower...add butter and a little feta and shredded cheddar...and saute sliced mushrooms in butter and add a bit of feta and cheddar. Delicious. These veggies are my treats for the day.

I love this diet because I'm never hungry. I also like that thanks to the adequate fat, I don't get that drawn-in-the-face look....where it looks like you're losing all you're weight in your face...which can be quite disheartening.

You're right...better off without the splenda altogether, really. Much easier living without sweet cravings. Why are you only using egg whites? Worried about cholesterol?

slimmingsi 10-26-2009 05:56 AM

egg whites are alot lighter i find egg yolk really heavy going to eat and it can make me feel like i've eaten alot more than i have.

the reason you don't feel hungry is because you are in effect eating yourself so when the body feels pekish it just stripps off a few grams of fat here and there.

i'm not a big veg fan never have been so i force the leave salad down. usually i melt some creme frachie in a pot and mix in quaterof a teaspoon of mustard and drizzel it over the salad.

Deena52 10-26-2009 10:37 AM

Have you ever tried roasted vegetables? If I was in the UK, I would make you some veggie dishes and you might love a few of them.:D Do you like to cook? Are there ANY veggies you like? I could think up some nice recipes for you.

This morning the scale said 162 lbs...which would be a total loss of 33 lbs. but that doesn't mean I'm 162 yet. The scale will bounce around between 164 and 162 for a few days, most likely...until it settles at that weight. I've noticed that the pattern is that every few days, I will breach a lower number...but it takes a few days of bouncing a bit....and then it will breach an even lower number...and gradually moves down in that jumpy way.

I don't so much go by the scale as I do by the ketosis sticks. For me, if I'm not spilling ketones, I'm gaining and not losing. I read on the Atkins site that some people lose weight, even if they are not spilling ketones...but it doesn't work that way for me, I've noticed.

It's so interesting to me how different diets work for different people and how much variation there can be when it comes to individual metabolism. For instance, low calorie just doesn't work for me....and I've spent years trying different sorts of diets. Yet, I cannot argue with the fact that so many here have had amazing success with low calorie diets. I'm such a huge advocate of Atkins and on one level, can't understand why everyone wouldn't choose it. But from reading here so much, I realize how different we all are in terms of what works for us....and have to acknowledge that not everyone sees it like I do.

On low calorie diets, not only was I ravenous all the time, but I never had much success....except for the Cambridge diet back in the early 80's...but that was only 331 cals/day, if I remember correctly, so anyone would be bound to lose weight on that....but I was constantly starving on it.

But on this diet, I'm never hungry....never. I have to almost force myself to eat the amount I'm supposed to. In fact, I'd probably have lost more by now if I'd managed to force in the amount of food I should be eating. Basically, the way I see it, we are trading in carbs for the ability to eat very high calorie, filling foods. If I took what I eat daily now, and added in a tiny piece of cake or a piece of bread, I'd gain weight. Yet, keeping those carbs out, I can lose weight on those exact same foods.

My metabolism is apparently extremely sensitive to carbs. I did this exact same eating but was using too much artificial sweetener and instead of losing, I was gaining. And also not spilling ketones. Yet, remove all but 3 packets of splenda a day and suddenly, I was losing....on the exact same food. Yet, 20 years ago, I could use the additional splenda...and even equal...and still lose weight on the diet. My metabolism changed...probably due to getting older and the medication I was on a few years ago.

It's the perfect diet for me...once I tweaked it by cutting way down on the splenda. But as I can see from reading here....it's not what works for everyone. Others have amazing success with diets that did not work for me.

slimmingsi 10-26-2009 10:48 AM

on 331 cals a day you would be starving because you are literally starving in the true definition of the term. 1200 a day is the min recommneded to get all you vitamins and minerals.

the main secret to atkins is it is a low calorie diet. a ketone is a partially burnt fat molecule. a gram of fat is around 9 calories but a ketones as a partially burnt fat means that your not getting 9 calories off it. so you can eat 1500 a day but you wont burn that much.

its like serving a plate of 600 calories but leaving some on the plate when you finish. what you put in isn't what you get

Deena52 10-26-2009 12:53 PM

Shoot, had a whole reply typed out and lost it somehow...not even sure how I did that. Trying to remember what I'd written.

Yes, 331 cal./day would be starvation mode. I can't even believe I still remember that number, 331, all these years later. I ended up modifying the Cambridge diet, as I was okay with just the shakes while running around at work all day, but could not fall asleep at night due to being so ravenous. So I would take a small can of tuna packed in water and mix it with FF mayo, just so I could sleep at night. Did lose weight...as this was still very low calorie....but not a good diet to prepare you to maintain the weight loss.

When I did Atkins 20-some years ago, I was able to maintain the weight for many years until they put me on a medication and I suddenly shot up 60 lbs...which is a huge amount of weight for my height.

To be honest, I don't know how other people do it. I could not even bend over to tie my sneakers and breathe at the same time and I was SO uncomfortable in regular clothing. As soon as I'd get home, I would immediately change into loose, elastic-waist, lounging-type clothing...just to be able to breathe and be comfortable. How horrible I looked became even secondary to how uncomfortable I felt. I'd never been close to this weight unless I was pregnant.....and of course, being pregnant has it's own issues when it comes to being uncomfortable...but that's to be expected....and is temporary.

I should never have stayed on the medication as long as I did....but the doctor kept making me feel that it was me doing something wrong and not the medication. In reality, the medication was actually decreasing my appetite and I should have been losing weight....but instead, just kept gaining and nothing I did would stop it. So I finally insisted on stopping the medication.....just wish I'd done it sooner...and had incurred less damage. It literally shut down my metabolism.

I have SO much sympathy for people who have to be on medications that alter their metabolism. People just don't realize how some of these medications can do this until it happens to them. They think that if you just watch what you eat, it shouldn't be a problem.....but with some of these meds, no matter what you do, you can't control the weight gain.

I could also kick myself for not figuring out this artificial sweetener problem sooner. It seems so simple, looking back now. I could not figure out why the heck I could not get Atkins to work again. I have noticed, when reading around here, that different people have mentioned that it's difficult doing the same diet again (a second time, years later)....and it makes me wonder if sometimes, this might not just be some alteration in metabolism that happened and the person just needs to tweak a few things to get it to work again.

At the time, I was completely frustrated and confused....but once I figured out what the problem was, it seemed ridiculous that I'd not figured it out sooner....and wasted so much time.

slimmingsi 10-26-2009 04:58 PM

as far as my studies on physiology have gone metabolism has no memory. if you do a diet and have a break long enough for the body to adjust to a new one it wont remember the before. it just adapts to what is in front of it.

the reason the atkins works based on the theory of our ancient diet is not a memory of life as hunter gatherers its simply that we havn't evolved fast enough to keep up with the diet.

the reason i believe people say its difficult years after the first attempt is 2 fold 1 lifestyel 2 as you age your metabolism slows.

when they were younger maybe had no kids etc or young kids (lots of running around) now they are older lower metabolism not got the same active lifestyle so the weight comes off slower and hence more disappointing and disheartening.

its not possible nor practical to compare your body years after the first attempt due to wear and tear.

sarahinparis 10-26-2009 06:50 PM

Hi Deena,

Just to let you know that I'm doing low carb (not really Atkins, but around 30g carbs / day) and I'm doing it without any artificial sweeteners (well, without any sweeteners at all).

Many years ago I switched to whole foods and mainly organics, and now I am hooked on that way of eating so it didnt make sense for me to go back to chemicals once I cut out carbs. My taste buds have adjusted just fine.

There are several articles that suggest that for some people, your body sends out insulin based on a sweet taste, even if it doesn't turn out to be sugar. The effect may not be as great as for real sugar, but for some people I suspect those insulin surges can impact weight even on a low carb diet.

Deena52 10-27-2009 02:07 PM

Hi Sarah,

I was so thrilled to see your post here...I've read your entire blog and have been keeping up with it. You're a very courageous person and I really admire you. I've really enjoyed your blog...you write well, you have an amazing life and I love your perspective and outlook. It's been very comforting to me to read it, for some reason. I suspect it's simply because of who you are and how you live your life. I'm so thrilled that this diet is working for you too.

I love this diet for so many reasons...the primary ones being that I'm rarely hungry and it works so well (for me). BTW, I love all your veggie dishes and recipes you've described. I'm in veggie heaven...trying all sorts of new ones and developing recipes for them. I made a savoy cabbage soup yesterday...delicious.

But another reason I love it is that the weight comes off my body is such better dimensions. On low-cal, I would get drawn in the face initially...it would look like I was losing all my weight in my face and I'd think, "oh great, now my face is smaller and it makes my body look even bigger".
I'm rather short so I wear men's levi jeans and at 195 lbs. I was in size 40" waist. Today, I am wearing a pair of 34" waist jeans (levi's). Technically, still being above 160 (I was 161.5 lbs. this morning....but it will jump around for a few days before it actually settles at that weight)...I should NOT be fitting into these yet. I wore size 34" quite a bit in the past and they should not be fitting me until I'm below about 155 lbs. I'm amazed at how well they're fitting me.....and I'm thinking that it's the way I've been burning the fat off my body. I've remained in small to moderate ketosis every day so I know it's fat that I'm burning.

From past experience, I should be fitting into 32" waist jeans when I reach goal at 135 lbs.....so I should surely NOT be fitting into these 34's only half-way to goal. I would not have fit into them at this weight years ago. But I never had this much weight to lose before. At my highest pregnant weight, I was 174. Never in my wildest dreams (nightmares) did I ever think I'd hit 195 lbs. I don't think I've fully gotten over the shock of it even to this day. I don't remember looking at myself in a full mirror once that entire time....I must have just blocked it out.

Back in the 90's I used Atkin's to lose the 30 lbs. but this time, I've had to use it to lose twice that much and it's so interesting to me how the weight is coming off.....and that I'm fitting into a size pants I could not have at this weight in the past.

I know I need to cool it....I am such a huge proponent/cheerleader for this diet that I want to go out into the world and tell everyone how great it is. But I've learned that different things work for different people.....and I've been amazed to read all the success stories here on such a huge variety of different diets.
It's funny though...nothing sells like success. Yesterday, in my now-fitting 34" jeans, my neighbor stopped me and wants me to give her all the info on Atkins induction. When I first started this a little over 5 months ago, she sorta scoffed at it, saying she couldn't eat that much protein. I tried to tell her I eat a normal amount of protein but she didn't seem that interested. Suddenly now...she is.:D Go figure.

After thinking about it....I'm thinking I should knock even the 3 packs of splenda out and adjust to unsweetened coffee. Everything else I'm eating is so healthy...why add those chemicals into it? Sounds like a good idea to me, now that you mentioned it. Thank you.:)

Hi Slimmingsi~

It's so interesting that you brought up the diet of our ancestors. I've given quite a bit of thought to the rationale of Atkins in terms of what our ancestors ate....that we came from omnivores (possibly even carnivores at an earlier point)....not herbivores.
But I didn't stop to think about evolutionary adaptation to diet. I'm wondering, though....do you think the human body would be able to adapt to the diet of highly processed foods many eat today? So that it would not cause all the negative health consequences?

I went to nursing school back in the 70's and was working in a hospital by the late 70's....and I cannot believe the huge epidemic of diabetes in this country since then. And not just diabetes, but insulin-dependent diabetes. It's almost unbelievable. I mean, I know that was 30-40 years ago....but the explosion of insulin-dependent diabetes in that short a time span is really horrifying.

Just the basics, in terms of physiology, that I learned was that eating large quantities of simple sugars can overwork the pancreas. Initially, a pre-cursor to diabetes can be hypoglycemia...where the pancreas releases too much insulin (the first signs that the pancreas is beginning to malfunction) and this rapidly drops the blood sugar and one can become lethargic, diaphoretic, develop a headache....and also become very hungry again...very quickly. As the pancreas malfunctions more, the person can become diabetic....with the pancreas either unable to release adequate insulin or unable to release any at all.

I am truly beginning to suspect that eating all these processed carbs and simple sugars are doing far more harm than the fat that was blamed as the huge culprit. The last time I did Atkins, I used margarine....this time, it's butter. I can't believe that I somehow thought margarine was healther....a fat is a fat...why alter it with chemicals? At this point....I'm not even 100% sure that all this stuff about healthy versus unhealthy fats is true. I'm hoping they do more studies on this. It's amazing how dietary recommendations have changed over the years....sometimes completely reversing prior recommendations.

I just FEEL so much better on Atkins...mood and energy-wise. I feel so sluggish and crappy when I eat any significant amounts of carbs. Is this just me or am I actually eating more like my ancestors did and that's why I feel better? Or am I just sensitive to carbs and should permanently stay the heck away from too many of them? Or maybe my body never adapted (evolutionary-wise) to a high-carb diet most eat?

OK...I'm writing a book here, I fear. Will wrap this up for now.:)

slimmingsi 10-27-2009 05:40 PM

Simple answer? nature will always adapt. yes we will adapt to the highly refined diet but if you think we are not adapting at the moment very well to this diet and we are talking the best part of 4-500 years since sugar as in the stuff in a bag first hit the diet.

if we still havn't full adapted to refined sugar after half a millenia then i don't see us evolving to the modern diet this side of the year 3000, but by then no doubt some wonderful on demand internal body nuclear power implant will take over from food.

Deena52 10-28-2009 10:20 AM

WOO-HOO! Scale said 161.3 lbs. this morning!!

Of course, I'm not setting my heart on this number, as it will likely bounce around for a few days.....but things are going swimmingly, as the numbers continue to edge downward.

I didn't get enough fat yesterday and this morning it showed...only trace ketones. I was craving soup and ended up eating my veggies (savoy cabbage) cooked in a home-made chicken broth....ergo, not enough fat. Normally, my veggies are steamed with butter and often cheese, added....or bathed in olive oil and a bit of salt and then roasted in the oven (ie: eggplant).

I also have a tendency to love raw fish, but of course, one cannot slather butter on raw salmon and eat it raw. I will defrost a nice piece of salmon and impulsively want to eat it raw....but know I need the butter....so will cook it in order to get the butter/fat in for the day.

So I have to be sure to eat something with either butter or mayo on it today to get that ketosis back above trace.

Gosh, I just love this diet. I want to go out and spread the message but know not to do that. I'll read so many posts on various forums here where people are stalling on other diets, esp. the calorie counting ones.....and want to recommend Atkins...but restrain myself.:D
Because I also see that so many have been extremely successful at low cal diets and know Atkins isn't for everyone.

I mean...who knows...perhaps I am truly a carb addict and that's why I feel so fabulous on this diet and why it works so well for me. That doesn't mean everyone else is a carb addict like I might be or has my exact same metabolic issues, whatever they may be.
I see people on these low carb diets yet the carbs are much higher than what is allowed on Atkins....and I cannot for the life of me figure out how they are working for these people. If I was eating that amount of carbs, I would be totally stalling....I know this for a fact...I've tinkered with this diet quite a bit and know what works and what doesn't.

I had a BIL and SIL who went on Atkins quite a few years ago and both lost quite a bit of weight......yet she was eating peanut butter and having one can of regular soda daily and he was drinking beer......yet they lost weight. I never could figure out how they managed to do that.....all I can figure out is that perhaps it was not the metabolic effect of Atkins but that they were actually eating less calories than normal....that did it. I surely could never use Atkins successfully and eat peanut butter and have a can of regular soda a day. That would NEVER work for me.

Slimmingsi~
I fear a great many folks are gonna drop dead too early in life thanks to their diets. Did you see that movie "Super-size Me" by Morgan Spurlock? You can see it on youtube....in its entirety. Very interesting to see how a pure McDonald's diet for only one month had such a negative effect on his health and his blood-work. And I know for a fact that there are many people who eat a huge percentage of their meals using fast food places. It's cheap and it's filling.......and apparently, also addictive.

I think it would take decades to adapt to this sort of diet, if it was even possible......and meanwhile, many will get diabetes and other health problems and die an early death due to all this processed food....high in sugar and chemicals.


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