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The Atkins Diet – Why It’s My Personal Choice
From the time I was a child, through the glorious 20s (fortunately behind me no pun intended) and into my early 30s (before I had my son), maintaining my weight was never a problem. I always trusted that by watching what I ate, if my weight drifted up, a little non-stressful exercise would be all I needed to get back to my ideal weight.
But things change
After the birth of my son (and gaining 60 pounds while pregnant), my thyroid—which has always been rocky—decided to more or less give up the ghost. Actually, when I was about 21, it was discovered that I had a hypothyroid problem (that’s the one where you gain weight more easily and other unpleasant symptoms). I had religiously done the annual blood tests and taken the tiny little pill every day. However, even that changed after childbirth. A normal thyroid hovers in the 0.4 to 0.6 range, mine was 10.0 – a sure indication that it had taken a dive and was no longer regulating my body effectively.
So Enter the Diet Loop
Even at the age of 16, obsessed with maintaining a trim figure, I would “invent” my own diet. I remember that one was nothing but hardboiled eggs, toast, and something to drink. And I lost 18 pounds in two weeks doing it (eggs are the secret).
Later in life I went on The Scarsdale Diet. I can tell you that it really works, but after a while you really start to hate tomatoes. Meat is definitely on the menu with Scarsdale, along with lots of vegetables and even fruit. It’s really balanced. You just don’t get a lick of anything that tastes “sweet”. Oh, and I can’t stand black coffee.
After that it was on to the “diet in a box” varieties. Sure, they work, but after about a week, the smell of cardboard boxes along with your meal reduces the appetite anyway… maybe that’s how it works. And yes, combining the right amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fats is the real secret.
Which lead me to… the Atkins diet.
I didn’t just jump into Atkins. I read the book cover to cover and researched some of it myself. Good, solid scientific facts – along with an eye-opening look at the lobbyist who tells us what’s good to eat and what’s not (read high-sugar cereal manufacturers threatening us that eggs aren’t good for us, only their products are the best).
Okay, research behind me and my sturdy The Atkins Diet in hand, I cleared my kitchen of all the nasty (but wonderful) goodies and started the 14-day part of the diet.
Sure enough, the scale moved (and still does), but more importantly and almost immediately, my clothes start to “feel good” again.
You stay (duh) on the 14-day induction diet for 14 days. However, if you are really overweight, you can continue the less than 20 grams of carbohydrates for longer. And yes, if seriously overweight, it is still healthy.
I will not go into details about the different stages of this “lifetime, change your eating habits” diet. It’s all in the book, and I suggest you read it. So many people I meet tell me, “Oh, but that’s not a good diet. You’re eating too much of ___ or ____. And that’s not healthy.”
My very first question to people who make their negative comments is, “Have you read the book?”
The answer, when something really ridiculous is thrown at me, is a resounding…no. However, they maintain with an air of unbelievable authority that they are right. I just smile and keep moving. I’m thin, more often than not (and I don’t mean this harshly), they need some serious weight maintenance.
To give you a clue about Atkins, I started again (yes, I know it’s a lifelong way of eating, but when have we, the American population, ever fully committed to anything?) late last year (around August 2005) I had an unfortunate 30 pounds sitting on my ass that needed to be removed before it became 50 or more. Pretzels and high carb snacks (where you just grab a quick handful) are my downfall.
By February of 2006 I had lost 33 pounds (and keeping it off). That’s seven months of eating the right combinations of protein, fats and carbohydrates as outlined by the Atkins diet plan. Averaging just under 5 pounds a month or 1.25 pounds a week (give or take), this is a healthy approach to dropping your weight while actually being able to keep it off.
I even invented my own milkshake that works like a charm. Ice cream, Carb Hood Chocolate drink (chocolate of course), a little Splenda and/or Torani Sugar Free Hazelnut, and a can of Atkin’s Chocolate Royale. Fills you up, is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and best of all works like a charm when you lose weight.
So now you know my weight loss and slimming story. But before I go, I would also like to drive you to this charming reality.
Why is it that all of a sudden there are tons of commercials popping up with the “order our diet in a box?” What’s the first thing they tell you? All about the glycemic ratio, of course, and, if done in the right proportions for you, “the kilos just melt away!”
Yes, they are right. But these same people, along with all the miracle pill manufacturers and the ‘health conscious’ community, were until recently the very same ones who shouted at you that the Atkins diet was unhealthy!
Duh… Atkins wrote about, and implemented, the correct carbohydrate combo diet decades ago. At least he has decades of research and true stories to back up what he’s been saying all along.
Combine the right foods for each individual and anyone can lose weight. Throw in some walking to get your ass off the couch and moving, and you’ve got yourself a surefire recipe for weight loss, and keeping it off for the rest of your life.
Find out what works for you, do it, stick with it, and you can be healthy and as trim and fit as is natural for YOU.
(c) Theresa Cahill 2006 – All rights reserved
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