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Old 01-26-2010, 10:32 PM   #1  
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Question Should we try Atkins?

I currently follow Volumetrics by Dr. Rolls but I am willing to switch sides. My husband is a big guy--very tall and overweight. He is diabetic and was recently put on HBP medication. I don't like where this is heading. I think he is more likely to comply with Atkins more so than with South Beach, Mediterranean or whatever. Is ketosis safe for diabetics? Is this addressed in the book (which I know I need to read)? Look forward to your input.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:02 AM   #2  
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My suggestion would be to read Dr. Atkins Diabetes Revolution. You can find used copies on Ebay or Amazon or you may want to check out your local library. It should help answer your questions
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:30 AM   #3  
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I'm a newbie on Atkins, so take my advice with a grain of salt

If you have time, read the Induction Basics thread up above this forum, up in the "stickies." It has so much good information!

Ketosis sounds a whole lot like ketoacidosis. Every diabetic knows about ketoacidosis, and how dangerous it is! But ketosis is completely different, no relation whatsoever to ketoacidosis. Ketosis means your body is burning fat.

So another way of phrasing the question would be, "is it dangerous for a diabetic to lose weight?" And generally, if the diabetic is over his ideal weight and has the go-ahead from his doctor to lose weight, it's not only okay, but a good thing.

Dr. Atkins started using the word lipolysis (means the same thing as ketosis) to describe fat burning, because it was less confusing for people. But most people still use the old word, because old habits die hard.

Well, other than that, I don't have much to add, because the Induction Basics thread up in the stickies answers questions a lot better than I could, but I wanted to say, welcome, I'm glad you are here, and if you do decide to try low-carbing, I wish you the best of luck in your journey to the happiest and healthiest you.

The induction part of Atkins is the lowest carb and the strictest. This is very low-carb for that period, because it is trying to allow your body to clear away the excess insulin and start from scratch metabolically. It starts your body burning fat for energy instead of burning the carbs. Because when your body is burning carbs, it's not burning fat, and that means you aren't losing the fat you want to lose. Then, you slowly add carbs back one item at a time, to give you a chance to see what foods you might be sensitive to, that might cause your weight loss to stall. You also get an idea of how many carbs you can eat each day and still lose weight and burn fat. It varies from person to person so you just kind of have to play it by ear. By the time you are in the maintenance phase of the diet, it looks pretty much exactly the way my diabetic relatives are advised to eat by their doctors - some protein and fat with every meal, and get your carbs from vegetables and some moderate amounts of complex carbs rather than white bread and cake and candy bars.

Any diet should be done under a doctors supervision, naturally. Especially when a person has any conditions like heart disease, diabetes, etc.

From what I can tell, the medical community is arguing with itself about what is healthiest. Some doctors insist that high carb, low-fat is best. Other doctors think that low-carb, with good portions of protein and fat, is best. So you never know what reaction you will get when you tell your doctor what you want to do. If you go to the official Atkins links, they have tons of studies published in medical journals that show low-carbing is good for the health and not harmful. Sometimes it's useful to print things like that out to show to the doctor.

Best of luck to you and your husband, glad you are here!
P.S. here's a link to the official Atkins site! Word of caution, after Dr. Atkins died, a company took over everything and of course companies want to make money, so they are trying to sell lots of products. Including these energy bar things. Some people like them and say they still lose weight on them, but some people find they stall the weight loss. It's just one of those individual things. But there's a whole bunch of good information at that site.

http://www.atkins.com/Homepage.aspx

Last edited by HealthierLori; 01-27-2010 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Edited to add link
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:47 AM   #4  
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I honeybjones and welcome.

I just went and checked out the Volumetrics diet and although it seems to be a highly endorsed diet, it would never work for me. It's nothing like Atkins, that's for sure:

Rolls' approach is to help people find foods that they can eat lots of while still losing weight. The hook of Volumetrics is its focus on satiety, the feeling of fullness. Rolls says that people feel full because of the amount of food they eat -- not because of the number of calories or the grams of fat, protein, or carbs. So the trick is to fill up on foods that aren't full of calories. Rolls claims that in some cases, following Volumetrics will allow you to eat more -- not less -- than you do now, while still slimming down.

For me, the low density foods she describes do not make me full (the ones with lots of water in them)...it's the fat that makes me full. Not only that, but eating large quantities of food makes me hungry even faster, I've noticed. So the combo of low-fat, lots of high water-content foods and eating large amounts would make me hungry all the time.

Lori is right...ketosis is not the same as ketoacidosis. Basically, if one is an insulin-dependent diabetic and has no insulin, the sugar is trapped in their bloodstream (ergo, high blood sugar) but without the insulin necessary to transfer the sugar to the cells, the cells are starving. Diabetic ketoacidosis is when the body is getting NO carbs and thus has to burn fat for all it's energy....releasing huge quantities of ketoacids....and causing an imbalance in our acid/base balance in our bodies....and can be very dangerous if not treated.

BUT...as long as you either produce insulin or take insulin, you will not go into diabetic ketoacidosis. It's not how much carb you take, it's related to whether you have insulin so are able to get those carbs/sugar from the blood to the cells. Plus....we eat 20 grams net carbs on Atkins induction, which is plenty to maintain our metabolism....and not unhealthy. In fact, a low-glycemic diet is excellent for diabetics. Many of the best endocrinology experts believe that the standard treatment for diabetics, ADA diet with insulin coverage...is treating diabetes backwards. And that the cornerstone of treatment should be a low-glycemic diet and trying to keep insulin needs low. On a low-glycemic diet, you don't get the high sugar spikes. Even with insulin coverage, they cannot control the blood sugar every minute of every day (until they invent an artificial pancreas). But a low-glycemic diet can keep the blood sugar more stable and in the more normal range.

Not to mention...when I first started working in the hospital, they were putting diabetics on these 1200 calorie ADA diets and not only were they often too low calorie for the individual but they were very rigid back then...using sweet and low and only fruit cup or diet jello or diet ice cream or diet cookies for dessert (by diet, I mean sugar-free). They had terrible success rates with this diet because few adhered to it. Eating all these sugar free desserts just made them crave sweets and they'd cheat all the time.

So then they went to allowing regular sweets but then doing this whole complex calculation involving what you planned to eat, your BS before starting the meal, etc....and then covering yourself with insulin. Which IMO is the WRONG thing to be doing.

I'm not even sure I totally trust all this A1C stuff, either. My husband is an insulin-dependent diabetic and he eats a horrible high carb diet but knows how to cover himself with insulin....and already he has an enlarged heart, hypertension, and a few other goodies, including being overweight. Yet, his A1C manages to stay within normal range....it seems he can fool the lab values, from my perspective. I tried repeatedly to put him on Atkins to no avail. He's a huge advocate of low-fat and high carb. Also acted like I was trying to poison him when I made meat of any sort. IMO, he has/had it all backwards in terms of his diabetes.....and in terms of marriage, but that's a whole other story.

I think this diet would be excellent for your husband. I'll be really interested to know how it works for you...and how you compare the two diets.....especially because I would be so hungry and having a great deal of difficulty on that Volumetrics diet.

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Old 01-27-2010, 12:24 PM   #5  
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I do pretty good on Volumetrics because I am not someone who can eat beyond capacity. When I am full I am FULL and there is no room for anything else. But, I also have lived in this body for a long time and know that when I give it a lot of protein it runs longer than a Prius on a gallon of gas so I think switching will be little to no trouble. I am going to order the book JerseyGirl suggested but until I get in, I need everyone's advice. We are going to the grocery this weekend and I am not entirely sure what to buy. I don't eat any pork () so that leaves me with beef, chicken, fish and ???
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:42 PM   #6  
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Here's what I basically buy:

Chicken and fish (salmon and tilapia, mainly)...and Costco has fabulous fish.
Eggs
Bacon (I just shred and use as a garnish in salads)...you can probably get kosher turkey bacon.
Half and half (for my coffee)
Butter
Mayonnaise
0 carb farmer cheese...add a little salt and diced cucumber
Shredded cheddar and crumbled feta/goat cheese (use as garnishes)
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Spinach, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Green Beans, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Red peppers...I steam most of them and add cheese and plenty of butter. Roast the eggplant and sometimes the asparagus. The brussels sprouts, I add a packet of splenda and shredded bacon...very good.

This is my basic list....I know I use a lot more veggies but I can't think of any more off the top of my head. I eat dark meat chicken but will buy skinless, boneless breasts and steam them to make chicken salad (just easier to dice up). Make lots of egg salad with shredded bacon too...plus regular salads with shredded bacon and shredded cheese on them. Mayo in the chicken and egg salads. Lots of steamed veggies with butter and a bit of shredded cheese. If I forgot anything I'll come back and add.

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Old 01-27-2010, 12:45 PM   #7  
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Protein helps me feel full longer, too!

The stickied threads up above (FAQ's, Induction Basics, etc.) provide lists of what foods are okay to eat and in what quantities, on induction and in the later stages. They are right here on these boards, free of charge, so you can get all the information you need to get started, before your book arrives.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:53 PM   #8  
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I am a diabetic that uses low carb to stay off metformin and all other diabetic medications I used to take. It does work. If he takes diabetes meds it is very important he work with his Dr while doing low carb. Low carb can very drastically cut the blood sugar levels. If you are not working closely with your dr that can spell big trouble.

I started as a 207 lbs diabetic in 2000 on meds. I got a new dr who wanted me to try low carb. i got to a very healthy weight in 6 months but more importantly in half of that I was completely off meds. I stayed low carb , healthy, thin and off meds for a good 4+ years. Only when I got sloppy with low carb eating again did I gain weight and need meds again. I have been off again since Dec and plan to keep it right this time and stay off even if I'd never lose another pound.

Hope that made some sense!

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Old 01-27-2010, 01:15 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybjones View Post
We are going to the grocery this weekend and I am not entirely sure what to buy. I don't eat any pork () so that leaves me with beef, chicken, fish and ???
Eggs. However many eggs you think you'll use in a week (or however long between shopping trips) double it. I have been back to the store for eggs once already this week. You go through them so fast.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:25 PM   #10  
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You all are awesome. You don't know how much I appreciate the help. I am really excited about this and can't wait to see what happens in the next few months! As a side note, I checked the label on my soup today and while it only has 160 kcals for the whole can, it also has 32g carbs and only 6g protein.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:05 PM   #11  
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I wish you the best of luck on your journey to the happiest and healthiest you ever!

I don't know which type of diet will end up being the best one for you - we are all so different, with different metabolisms, different preferences, different medical issues (be sure to check with your doctor before beginning a diet and discuss the specifics with him or her) and everything, that no one diet would be perfect for everyone, I think.

But whichever way you choose, the ladies on the message boards here are wonderful and will support you 100%!
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:09 PM   #12  
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You will become an expert and get to know exactly what you can eat...because really, the list is very concise and not complicated and you'll pick it up very fast.

Basically, you want to do all your shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store and just avoid the aisles altogether. Meat, dairy and produce/veggies (can be fresh or frozen, really). Avoid most canned and processed (packaged, boxed foods). Always check ingredients...even items that claim to be low carb can have sugar in the ingredients. Also remember, each packet of artificial sweetener has a half a Gram of carb (the liquid does not) due to having to add maltodextrin to make it in powdered form. They are allowed to round it off to zero but they are not carb-free and can add up.
Avoid any and all low-fat dairy items...eat the full fat. In fact, don't get anything "lite". You want to eat REAL food...in the pure form. No junk.

It's amazing how many dishes you can come up with just using meat, fish, butter, mayo, veggies, eggs and cheese. And the butter, mayo and cheese will really fill you up and keep you filled up. And then to boot, the ketosis will decrease your appetite significantly.

hehe....I think I have about 4 dozen eggs here. Always have plenty of eggs. Also keep things like chicken and egg salad (made by YOU, not store-bought) in the fridge for snacking.

Mazel Tov.

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Old 01-27-2010, 04:21 PM   #13  
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Ok I keep seeing the word "mayo" ummm I do not like mayonaise but I do like Miracle Whip. Talk to me about Miracle Whip. Also, I don't care for whole milk and actually prefer 1%. Can I do 2% instead? Egg salad check, tuna salad check...but what do you eat it on? A fork? Or is this where some of my 20g would come in? I think I have a pretty good handle on the meals--lean protein, lots of vegables but watch out for carrots, whole grains in small doses, season well, rinse and repeat. (Yes, I am a big joker; hopefully people will appreciate my stunning wit.)
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:31 PM   #14  
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I don't know anything about Miracle Whip, but if it has sugar listed in the ingredients, then it's a no-go. You're supposed to use mayo with no sugar added, but I can't find it in my grocery store and I've been losing with plain old Hellmann's.

The trouble with skim and low-fat milk is that the lower the fat content, the higher the carbs. That's *why* you're eating so much fat on this diet, because the carb content of high-fat foods tends to be low. You will pick all that up from the book, of course.

Whole grains aren't actually part of the diet, even in small doses, at least not until phase 3 or 4, I think? In phases 1 and 2 you should be avoiding them completely. Tuna and egg salads you eat on green salad, or maybe as a dip for celery sticks or cucumbers. There are some Induction-friendly recipes out there, and if you google 'Oopsie recipe' you'll find a 'mock bread' that you can use in place of bread or hamburger rolls. I am going to make a batch tonight and try it out with egg salad tomorrow for lunch.

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Old 01-27-2010, 05:16 PM   #15  
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Here's a great site that lists exactly what you can eat:

http://www.veronicaatkinsfoundation.org/lifestyle.htm

Most mayo has some sugar in it but it must be just a smidge as it never affects my ketosis. However....I have to travel a bit to get this but I stock up on Duke's mayo, which has no sugar in it...but can only get it at Food Lion in this area. The Miracle Whip, not totally sure but I'm betting it has too much sugar and probably carbs listed.

Salads I eat with a fork but some wrap it in lettuce leaves.

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