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Old 06-25-2008, 12:45 PM   #1
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Default Atkins Diet: Good or Bad?

2003 review of Atkins "theories" in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition concluded: "When properly evaluated, the theories and arguments of popular low carbohydrate diet books... rely on poorly controlled, non-peer-reviewed studies, anecdotes and non-science rhetoric. This review illustrates the complexity of nutrition misinformation perpetrated by some popular press diet books. A closer look at the science behind the claims made for [these books] reveals nothing more than a modern twist on an antique food fad."

What do you think? Anything to share about atkins diet?
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:52 PM   #2
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It works really well for some people. When eaten with a whole foods approach and including plenty of green vegetables and healthy fats, it is a much better than what many people eat!
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:19 PM   #3
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I've been on Atkins over 4 years now and unfortunately, Atkins gets a very bad rap because of the lack of information people have about it. If you were to go out on the street and ask the average person about Atkins, they would tell you people on Atkins eat lbs. of bacon, butter & red meat all day. This is NOT true. From day 1 on the Induction phase of Atkins, you are limited to 20 net carbs per day...12-15 of those 20 carbs should be coming from veggies & salad. Atkins is a healthy eating plan...but, it must be followed precisely the way it was written. My advice to anyone with questions about Atkins would simply be...Read The Book!!
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:36 PM   #4
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I'm a little skeptical of Atkins, especially because of the lack of supporting research. A 20g carb limit drastically cuts down fruit and veggie intake, so it's not a very nutrient-rich diet (relatively speaking). Personally, I could not follow a plan that restricted fruit and veggie intake (I currently eat about 10 servings of fruits and veggies daily) so Atkins is definitely not for me. But some people do lose weight on it, and find that it helps to reduce cravings for starch and sugar. I just wonder about health effects decades down the road.

Good luck on finding the right plan for you!

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Old 06-25-2008, 04:05 PM   #5
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Ah I've already expressed what I think on another thread - think it's (a) wildly outdated and (b)unhealthy and (c)not sustainable longterm save for a few exceptional people.

I want to exercise pretty hard, and am a veggie - given my PCOS and low carbing would never in a million years be able to fuel that. I'd agree with your quote, Original Poster. The world moves on and hopefully it will become yet another diet time forgot.
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:39 PM   #6
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every diet works differently for different people
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:13 PM   #7
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I'd probably still be on Atkins if I hadn't become a vegetarian. It worked very, very well for me. I started it in the summer of Grade 9 (I was 14), lost about 50 pounds, and kept it off for two years. I started putting the weight back on very quickly when I went off of it, though. But if it's something you can see yourself sticking to, it was extremely effective for me. When they say no cheating, however, they mean NO cheating. If you love your carbs, do not do this as a quick fix. This is for life or the results just won't last.

Also, the diet has been updated, so make sure you get the new version. The old version cut your carb limit down to a crazy amount, and in the new one you can subtract fiber from your carb total so that you are getting a more complete diet.

I would say that I never felt that extreme fatigue or nausea I see doctors warning about with this diet. I had way more energy, as a matter of fact.

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Old 06-25-2008, 07:16 PM   #8
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Rumor at the time he died was that Dr. Atkins had very high cholesterol and died of heart disease. However, I think there have been quite a few modifications to the program since the original book was published. I have that original book and can see how people got the impression it was all butter and bacon. Like crazyaboutgym said, they all work differently for different people. The only way to know if it's going to work for you is give it a try for maybe a month. Check with your library to see if they have a copy - then read the whole book before you start to make sure you can make the entire program fit with your lifestyle (or make your lifestyle fit with the program). If you don't see or feel anything different by the time you have to return the book you're not out a thing. If you think you'll like it, then you can buy your own copy. But, as JerseyGirl said, you have to have to adhere exactly to the program.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:34 PM   #9
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Actually, I believe Dr. Atkins actually died of complications from injuries sustained in a fall. The weight gain they attribute to him, occurred in the hospital (while he was unconscious) during treatment for the injury (it was swelling, not dietary-induced "fat").
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:46 PM   #10
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He slipped on the ice and died from head trama.
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:41 AM   #11
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Maybe dizzy from the lack of carbs...
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhatPhoenix View Post
Maybe dizzy from the lack of carbs...
Just because you do not like a particular diet plan is not a reason to callously attack the plan or the person who came up with it without documented proof.

Just say you don't like it or believe in it and move on.

Fact: I had higher (bad) cholesterol before I went on a low carb plan.
Fact: My blood pressure has improved since I went on a low carb plan.
Fact: I eat MORE leafy greens now than I did before I went on a low carb plan.
Fact: Overall, according to my doctor, I am significantly more healthy since I began low carb.

And to someone who talked of rumor, no, Dr. Atkins definitely died from significant injury sustained from a slip on the ice.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:58 AM   #13
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I do believe that carb reduction can improve one's diet but I'm still against atkins. I don't know much about atkins so this is part ignorance and part personal opinion - but I've seen alot of bad press and alot of people ill from it. It could be lack of education but I feel that anything which receives bad press receives it for a reason and I'm generally against 'diets' because losing weight and becoming healthy should be a change in life not a temporary situation.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:24 AM   #14
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I'd like to address a few issues concerning Atkins here. The first being, Dr. Atkins death. Dr. Atkins passed away on April 17, 2003. His death was caused by a fall in which he hit his head while walking to his office April 8, a day after a spring storm iced sidewalks. Surgeons removed a blood clot, but he lapsed into a coma. This is his death certificate: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/gi/dyn...rgatkins1.html

As for "supporting research" regarding the Atkins program, there are 2 very impressive articles that come to mind: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-sds030107.php
as well as, http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/...ins-diet_N.htm
I would also like to clear up any confusion regarding 20 carbs per day & "not a very nutrient-rich diet" Limiting your carb intake to 20 carbs per day is for 2 weeks during the intitial phase of Atkins known as Induction. On Induction you eat lean protein such as chicken, fish, lean cuts of beef, eggs and more. You can have your choice of good fats; olive oil is one of the best. Plus, you’ll eat leafy greens, a variety of fresh, colorful vegetables. You get away from the sugary baked goods. You’ll also hold off eating fruit and nuts for two weeks but, you bring these nutritious foods back in later phases – and still lose weight. You will then progress to the 2nd phase of Atkins, known as OWL (On Going Weight Loss) in which you will
add more carbohydrates back into your diet week by week while you keep track of your weight. You’ll eventually determine your own very personal threshold level of carbohydrate consumption. For some it can be as low as 25, for others it might be 100 or more. Everyone is different. OWL should be followed until you are 10 lbs. from your weightloss goal then you should progress to the 3rd phase of Atkins, Pre-Maintenance. In Pre-Maintenance you will add things like apples, peaches, strawberries and bananas as well as, whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal and whole grain, high fiber cereals. As more carbs are added back into your diet, you may want to cut back on the added fats such as salad dressings, mayonnaise, butter or cream. It really hinges on your tastes. Once you've been at your goal for a month, its time to move to the final phase of Atkins...Lifetime Maintenance. Healthy eating and increased, continued activity are yours not just temporarily but...for the rest of your life! If you've followed & you continue to follow the plan precisely as written, you will easily stay within 5 lbs. of your goal. This is the way to do Atkins properly & heathfully. If you've heard stories of people getting ill from Atkins, its most likely because they did not read the book & they are doing it incorrectly.

Dr. Atkins created the 4 phases of Atkins for this to become a total lifestyle change...hence, "Lifetime Maintenance". This is no temporary fix. Eating plenty of lean protein – chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish, shellfish, lamb, pork, veal, eggs and a variety of vegetable proteins as well as delicious fruits, whole grains & good fats...IS certainly a healthy lifestyle

For the skeptics...have a look at this, it is truly inspirational!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmRaD683OXU
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:57 AM   #15
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I think the primary reason low carb and other low GI plans get such a bad rap, is the super low carb introduction to the plans (such as Atkins induction and South Beach Phase I).

Nausea, headaches, dizziness are common reactions to extremely low
carbohydrate eating for many people. Plans will often attribute the symptoms to "detoxing" or "withdrawal" or some such, but it is my personal opinion that some people just do not tolerate super low carb eating.

It is a shame that most studies comparing Atkins to other plans, if you look closely, are not comparing OWL to other plans, but induction to other plans. Induction is a poor example of what low carb/ low GI eating is all about, but it is what most people think of when they hear "Atkins" or "low carb."

I wonder if the plans would get the same reputation, if instead of gradually increasing carb levels, the plans entailed gradually decreasing carb levels until the optimal carb threshhold is reached. Which, by the way, is also a legitimate option. Because he is an insulin-dependent diabetic, my husband was advised to cut carbs in this backwards way, and it is working very well for him.
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