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Old 05-12-2006, 01:29 PM   #1  
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Default Atkins Diet -- Questions from a newbie!

Hello everyone. And thanks for looking in. I'm new to this diet and have been on it for 5 days now. I bought those test strips for your urine to tell you if you are full blown in ketosis state. But so far I'm lingering around the small to moderate state.

I actually started the diet about 2 weeks ago but last weekend I had two parties I slipped up on...luckily I didn't go too overboard but it wasn't sticking to the induction.

Also, how long before you notice a change? So far my clothes feel looser and I feel like I've lost some weight. Before last weekend I lost 5 lbs! But I'm afraid to step onto the scale again for fear I'm not losing.

Thanks for your info and insight!
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Old 05-12-2006, 09:32 PM   #2  
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Well, first of all congrats on starting atkins. I'm no pro, but this is what I can tell you. First of all with induction there is NO cheating, I think if you do it takes another few days to get rolling again. I have those test strips too, and my advice from everyone here was not to use them. (For a bunch of reasons) I made myself crazy know damn well that for 3 days hardly had any crbs and I was measuring "trace" on the stick. SO get rid of those. I have been doing atkins since April 1 and have lost 20lbs, one week I fell off the wagon and did horribly but the next week I picked right back up again. The bottom line is - it works if you stick with it and do it correctly. limit your veggies, and forget any extra low carb anything while on induction. I am still doing induction and my typical menu is
breakfast 2-3 egg omelete with a slice of american cheese. (someitimes a small amount of onion and green pepper ) i mean like a teaspoon. and sometimes smoked salmon with it too.
lunch tuna salad over lettuce (whole small can with regular mayo)
or turkey and american rollups dipped in dressing
dinner sauteed chicken breast or slamon with a side salad of lettuce and cucumbers OR a veggie like sauteed zuchinni, spnach or brocolli.
or 2 cheeseburgers on lettuce leaves
I snack throughout the day on cheese sticks 2-3 a day or hard boiled eggs 2 a day. If you follow the book, you will lose. but this is one of those diets where if you say,"well just one bite of that cake won't hurt me" your wrong, it will screw you up for days. I learned that the hard way. Now I am careful and the weight is comig off faster than it ever has for me.
as far as seeing a difference That was abit depressing, Everyone is different but it took a while on me. it was just this week where I noticed that my pants are loose and I could button tops that were pulling apart on me before. So finally the time to do some shopping has arrived! I was begining to think that I lost 20lbs in my head! literally! so just have patience. I never thought I could do this, I used to write all the time for help and received plenty of it! It feels good to finally be able to pass some of that on to someone else! Just get back on induction andgive it your all for 2 weeks and you'll want to stay on it forever! Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:02 PM   #3  
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Thats great advise need2lose. I have been in need of some inspiration, and I just found it! Thanks
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Old 05-12-2006, 11:34 PM   #4  
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needtolose is wright-you can't cheat, or it won't work. You should notice a change in weight loss, although it's just water at first, in the first few days. The ketosis sticks don't work for everyone-I don't know why, but they work for me. I have had to start induction a second time because I went off the diet for about 10 days, so the two times I've done it it takes me 2 days for the sticks to turn pink, and 4 days to turn purple. The book says if you follow it correctly, everyone should be in deep ketosis by day 5. Even if you are just in moderate ketosis, you are still burning fat, so just review what you are eating and make sure you are under 20-that's all you can do...There are lots of reasons why a batch of the sticks can be faulty, like if they are old, the bottle has been opened more than 6 months, or if they have been exposed to moisture. Lots of people keep them in a bathroom cabinet, which is the wrong thing to do-they may give a faulty reading just from the steam of your shower. I like to use mine because they tell me I've been following the diet correctly, but they aren't necessary, and some people are disappointed by a bad batch of them.
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Old 05-13-2006, 01:02 PM   #5  
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Buffy: Jump right back to induction. And they're right, if you slipped, you won't notice the difference as it stops or slows the weight loss. Another piece of advice is to measure. That way when (notice I said when, not if) the scale isn't moving you can check your progress by the tape. Don't always go by the scale as it won't always move--but the measurements will. Good luck and keep on going
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:41 PM   #6  
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Thank you for the much needed pick up. I really appreciate the support I have found here. I've now been coming to this site every day and have to say I think it's been very inspirational for me.

It's been a few more days and I'm feeling better. One thing I did do, as you suggested below, was measure myself. I did this at the beginning and have actually went down a bit despite my wagon-falling.

I modified my diet...I basically made up my own little schedule -- which totally works for me. It's the only way I can stick to it...and as lame as it is, if I have a schedule, I'll go by it. I've cut out the low-carb ice cream and actually do not even miss it.

Does anyone have any advice about caffine? It says to stay away from it -- but I love my daily coffee each morning. I keep it to one cup with a bit of half-n-half...which is allowed on the diet. Do you think this slows people down? I'm thinking of taking the plunge and switching to decaf.
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Old 05-14-2006, 02:12 AM   #7  
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Hi Buffy
I found a really good article (below) about ketosis that may help.

I used to be a major caffeine addict- I used work as a barista and would drink the equivalent of 15 cups of coffee a day. (Man, I'm embarrassed admitting to that one). Just before I started I wanted to know if I could please please have my sweet caffeine, that I honestly couldnt live without it. That surely going on a diet was a big enough change. I was told that
caffeine inhibits the enzyme produced by the liver that breaks
down fat, and it also de-sensitizes our cells to receiving insulin.
Yes diet coke is fine and you will still lose weight.
You can drink 1-2 cups of regular coffee with artificial sweetener but
it will slow your weight loss down a bit, thats all.

For the first 3-4 days I still had caffeine. Then, inspired by the forum and the hundreds of others that did it I decided to give it a go. I stopped drinking it, and yes I did have headaches and a bit of nausea for the first two days, but I took paracetamol and it settled. I havent had caffeine since, and now I have just as much energy, no cravings and am so proud of myself for giving it up. I seriously believed that I could never give it up and yet I have. I would really encourage you give it a go. (There are some great decafs out there, nice herbal teas- my fav. is rooibus vanilla, and of course de-caff. soft drinks).

Stay strong


Ketosis & Ketone Test Strips

By Doreen


1. What are ketones?
2. How will ketosis help me to lose weight?
3. But, isn't ketosis dangerous?
4. How do the ketone test strips work, and where do I get them?
5. I'm following Induction strictly; why won't my strips turn purple?
6. Will I lose weight faster if the strips show dark purple all the time?
7. Does caffeine affect ketosis?
8. Will drinking alcohol affect ketosis?

What are ketones?
Ketones are a normal and efficient source of fuel and energy for the human body. They are produced by the liver from fatty acids, which result from the breakdown of body fat in response to the absence of glucose/sugar. In a ketogenic diet, such as Atkins ... or diets used for treating epilepsy in children, the tiny amounts of glucose required for some select functions can be met by consuming a minimum amount of carbs - or can be manufactured in the liver from PROTEIN. When your body is producing ketones, and using them for fuel, this is called "ketosis".

How will ketosis help me to lose weight?
Most reducing diets restrict calorie intake, so you lose weight but some of that is fat and some of it is lean muscle tissue as well. Less muscle means slowed metabolism, which makes losing weight more difficult and gaining it back all too easy. Ketosis will help you to lose FAT.
Being in ketosis means that your body's primary source of energy is fat (in the form of ketones). When you consume adequate protein as well, there's no need for the body to break down its muscle tissue. Ketosis also tends to accelerate fat loss --- once the liver converts fat to ketones, it can't be converted back to fat, and so is excreted.

But, isn't ketosis dangerous?
Being in ketosis by following a low carbohydrate diet is NOT dangerous. The human body was designed to use ketones very efficiently as fuel in the absence of glucose. However, the word ketosis is often confused with a similar word, ketoacidosis.
Ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition for diabetics, and the main element is ACID not ketones. The blood pH becomes dangerously acidic because of an extremely high blood SUGAR level (the diabetic has no insulin, or doesn't respond to insulin .... so blood sugar rises ... ketones are produced by the body to provide the fuel necessary for life, since the cells can't use the sugar). It's the high blood sugar, and the acid condition that is so dangerous. Ketones just happen to be a part of the picture, and are a RESULT of the condition, not the CAUSE. Diabetics can safely follow a ketogenic diet to lose fat weight ... but they must be closely monitored by their health care provider, and blood sugars need to be kept low, and stable.

How do the ketone test strips work, and where can I get them?
Ketone urine-testing strips, also called Ketostix or just ketone sticks ... are small plastic strips that have a little absorptive pad on the end. This contains a special chemical that will change colour in the presence of ketones in the urine. The strips may change varying shades of pink to purple, or may not change colour at all. The container will have a scale on the label, with blocks of colour for you to compare the strip after a certain time lapse, usually 15 seconds. Most folks simply hold a strip in the flow of urine. Other folks argue that the force of the flow can "wash" some of the chemical away, and advise that a sample of urine be obtained in a cup or other container, then the strip dipped into it.
The chemical reagent is very sensitive to moisture, including what's in the air. It's important to keep the lid of the container tightly closed at all times, except for when you're getting a strip to take a reading. Make sure your fingers are dry before you go digging in! They also have an expiry date, so make note of this when you purchase the strips ... that's for the UNopened package. Once opened, they have a shelf-life of about 6 months -- you may wish to write the date you opened on the label for future reference.
Ketone test strips can be purchased at any pharmacy, and are usually kept with the diabetic supplies. In some stores they're kept behind the counter, so if you don't see them on the shelf, just ask the pharmacist; you don't need a prescription to buy them.

I'm following Induction strictly; why won't my strips turn purple?
Ketones will spill into the urine ONLY when there is more in the blood than is being used as fuel by the body at that particular moment.
You may have exercised or worked a few hours previously, so your muscles would have used up the ketones as fuel, thus there will be no excess. You may have had a lot of liquids to drink, so the urine is more diluted. Perhaps the strips are not fresh, or the lid was not on tight and some moisture from the atmosphere got in.
Some low carbers NEVER show above trace or negative even ... yet they burn fat and lose weight just fine. If you're losing weight, and your clothes are getting looser, you're feeling well and not hungry all the time .. then you are successfully in ketosis. Don't get hung up on the strips; they're just a guide, nothing more.

Will I lose weight faster if the strips show dark purple all the time?
No. Testing in the darkest purple range all the time is usually a sign of dehydration -- the urine is too concentrated. You need to drink more water to dilute it, and keep the kidneys flushed.
The liver will make ketones from body fat, the fat you EAT, and from alcohol --- the ketone strips have no way of distinguishing the source of the ketones. So, if you test every day after dinner, and dinner usually contains a lot of fat, then you may very well test for large amounts of ketones all the time. However this does not indicate that any BODY fat was burned.
The strips only indicate what's happening in the urine. Ketosis happens in the blood and body tissues. If you're showing even a small amount, then you are in ketosis, and fat-burning is taking place. Don't get hung up on the ketone sticks.

Does caffeine affect ketosis?
This is questionable. There ARE a few studies that suggest caffeine may cause blood sugar to rise, with consequent effect on insulin ... The studies involve consuming 50 gm glucose orally, followed by a dose of caffeine. This is quite different from a low carber, who is consuming only 20 gm carbs, in the form of high-fiber vegetables, spread throughout the day.
Many low carbers continue to enjoy caffeine-containing beverages with no serious impact on their weight-loss efforts. However, there are some sensitive individuals ... and persons who are extremely insulin resistant may need to restrict or even eliminate all caffeine. If you have been losing successfully then find your weight loss stalled for a month or two, and you are following your program to the letter, you might consider stopping all caffeine for a while, to see if that will get things started again.

Will drinking alcohol affect ketosis?
No and yes. The liver can make ketones out of alcohol, so technically, when you drink you'll continue to produce ketones and so will remain in ketosis. The problem is ... alcohol converts more easily to ketones than fatty acids, so your liver will use the alchol first, in preference to fat. Thus, when you drink, basically your FAT burning is put on hold until all the alcohol is out of your system.
This rapid breakdown of alcohol into ketones and acetaldehyde (the intoxicating by-product) ... tends to put low carbers at risk for quicker intoxication ... especially if no other food is consumed to slow absorption.
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Old 05-14-2006, 08:28 AM   #8  
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Jai I knew that caffiene would slow the weight loss but I did not know that it inhibited the fat loss thinking that it was a easy etabilism enhanser and kept me awake during the day as well as act as a diuretic which I do have excess water hanging around my ankles but wow thanks for the info just when you thought you knew it all some one comes around.... Thanks for the info!

OOOHHH I guess my Super Coopers are going to be a thing of the past of allowed only on fridays as a special treat. (coffee with a shot of expresso cream and sugar free vanilla!!
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