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Atkins is for the FAT folks.....(49 posts)

Atkins is for the FAT folks.....t-moore
Apr 28, 2003 10:59 AM
I have lost 45lbs on the diet. Sad to say, by last August I had gotten up to 285lbs. I'm still losing weight. I started riding Oct 1 and now have over 2700mi on my bike odometer.
I feel great when I ride, and like superman when I ride after loading up on carbs. It's the bad habits that I used to have, along with not working out, that is the problem with people like myself. I don' think most of the people on this board are overweight.

If you are already one of the Big Dogs, and in great shape. The Atkins diet Is Not For You. You lucky devil, metabolism so high you probably loose weight in your sleep. Damn right you are going to Bonk. Hell, you are already to great shape, what more do you want !! "LOL" But that's another question. The Atkins diet is for folks like me, and sad to say there are more folks like me than the fit rider who is worrying about the Bonk, and losing that last 5lbs.

Let's get Real, in college I weighed between 185 and 205, and that was a long time ago. At 6'4" I'm still looking to loose another 20 to 30lbs. The Atkins diet lets me Eat. That is something I have great expertise at.

90% of my cycling bud's are in great shape. Atkins is for the other 10% and the rest of us fat folks.

Now let me hear what you got to say to THAT.....
is there any mention in the atkins dietcyclinseth
Apr 28, 2003 11:17 AM
about proper nutrient intake (vitamins, minerals)?

Carbohydrates come in 2 basic forms: refined and unrefined. Everybody knows that nobody should consume refined carbohydrates (ie bleached flour, sugar). What does atkins say about fruit and other unrefined carbohydrates?

I'm glad to hear it's working for you, but this diet just doesn't make any sense to me what so ever.
is there any mention in the atkins diett-moore
Apr 28, 2003 11:51 AM
Hey Seth, how tall are and how much do you weigh? How would you regard your level of fitness. Are you one of the Big Dogs out there..

The Atkins diet can be divided into three phases. The first period is the induction period, and this is the strictest with respect to the carbs. 20 carbs a day for two weeks. If you are happy with your weight loss in the first two weeks, you move on to the second phase. The second phase allows you to slowly increase your consumption of carbs. Week by week, you slowly increase while you are still losing weight. When you are at or near your ideal weight, you enter the last phase.

The last phase of the diet is you increase your weight to the point where you start to gain again. The goal is to find the balance where you are not losing and not gaining. Depending on your metabolism that could be anywhere bewtween 40 and 100 carbs a day or even more.

The diet restricts your fruits and vegetables for the first two weeks, and then it is about MODERATION. For the overweight the moderation is the killer. Very few people are fat because they eat too little. Lastly the book/diet states that exercise is vital to the success of the diet. The book also goes into the simple and the complex carbs and how they affect your insulin levels. The skinny is, no pun intended, that for overweight folks too much refined sugar and white flour are not good.

Back to the skinny, all diets are about moderation, and the Atkins diet gives you the flexibilty that the other diets don't. Nobody wants to starve to loose weight. After pigging out for countless number of years, the low calorie low fat diets are torture. I am one of the lucky ones, I was able to loose the first 20 lbs, and the only excercise that I got, was from Lifting. That was, lifting the fork to my mouth.

I guess I am one of the lucky ones, the diet works for me, and I am able to stick to it. My carb intake is up around 100 a day, with my newfound passion for road cycling, I am a happy camper getting fitter every day. It won't be long before I am the Big Dog....

I would bet, that most of the people trashing the diet have not read the book. I tip my hat to Dr. Atkins, may he rest in peace..
not true...there are no bad carbsColnagoFE
Apr 28, 2003 12:35 PM
Sure you should eat mostly complex carbs, but when you are racing there's nothing like a shot of GU to keep you going. Straight sugar mainline. Throw the glycemic index out the window during hard sustained efforts.
other problems with refined sugarcyclinseth
Apr 28, 2003 12:42 PM
then throwing off glycemic levels, such as leaching out essetial vitamins and nutrients, decasifying bones and promoting all sorts of other degenerative diseases.
excess protein will leach calcium as wellColnagoFE
Apr 28, 2003 1:57 PM
I was trying to make the point that there are uses for pure glucose...one of them being during hard, sustained efforts. I'm not advocating throwing away the glycemic index altogether...just knowing when you need what type of fuel.
I agree...t-moore
Apr 28, 2003 2:30 PM
is there any mention in the atkins dietNug
Apr 28, 2003 4:27 PM
If you don't know what the diet says about vitamins and minerals, you don't know about the diet. How can it possibly make sense to you? It makes alot of sense if you research it (and make it through the infomercial-type cheerleading). Bottom line is, it works (dropped my spare tire since the beginning of the year, 15 lbs off easily).
....or for carb sensitive folksmtncranker
Apr 28, 2003 12:19 PM
Over the past three decades I've gone from 155 to 190 lbs. I finally started to see a connection between training for long rides (centuries, 12 hr races, etc) and weight gain. After training and riding each event, I'd find myself up to 5 lbs heavier than when I started - and it was FAT, not just more muscle. The only thing I could connect it to was my increased carb intake during training.

Yeah, I'm sure if I had hired a sports nutritionist I could have figured out a precise diet of carbs for the events which would have maximised energy while avoiding fat gain, but I don't have that kind of $$$. So....

My wife and I went on Atkins about four months ago. In that time, I've lost 20 lbs. while continuing to ride. No bonking, a little low on the "fast" energy pushes, but overall, my speed is up, my endurance is up, and I'm feeling fine.

My wife, BTW, has lost over 50 lbs on the diet. She's using an old NordiTrak and my old bike/trainer set-up for exercise, and has gotten back on her own bike just last week.

Once I'm back to 155, you can bet I'm gonna be real careful about just how many powerbars and how much gatorade I'll be using! I think my body reacts strongly to carbs, and if I'm going to stay at a decent weight, I've got to be careful. I can see the same thing running through my side of the family: even at 190 lbs, I was far and away the skinniest adult in my parents' families.
Did you guys read the latest AMA study?ColnagoFE
Apr 28, 2003 12:37 PM
They concluded people lost weight on Atkins because they ate less calories than before. Sure...cutting out carbs may help reduce cravings for massive binge eating, but it all comes down to calorie restriction--no magic about the ratio of carbs you are eating.
Did you guys read the latest AMA study?t-moore
Apr 28, 2003 12:46 PM
I didn't want to get too technical, but Atkins believed that the simple carbs were addictive and that they caused the cravings and the bingeing.

There is a lot to the diet, and it deserves more than it is a BAD diet.
Read a sysnopsis......mtncranker
Apr 28, 2003 1:06 PM
...was that the meta-study, combining findings of previous studies?

Atkins suggested that the problem with carbs was the insulin reaction in the blood, which affects both fat deposit (body fat and blood chemistry) and appetite.

My blood numbers all move toward the "healthy" range when on Atkins. I find it easier to eat less - I am less hungry. The bulk (pun intended) of what I eat at this point is fresh veggies (especially dark green leafy stuff, kales, tomatoes, etc); I'm eating protein and fat (i.e, meat) but certainly not in mega-portions.

Atkins is working for me - what more can I say?
Tellin it like it is....t-moore
Apr 28, 2003 1:25 PM
hey whatever worksColnagoFE
Apr 28, 2003 2:01 PM
I'm not dissing Atkins. I tried the whole low carb (not Atkins per se) thing and felt like utter crap. No energy. Had to reintroduce some carbs and felt a remarkable difference in energy levels. Still if I are too many carbs I got cravings for more of them and had a tendancy to overeat so I think Atkins got this right. I think it also varies by the person and how they react to carbs. When I'm hungry I could down a whole box of cereal if I was so inclined, but if I substituted a chicken breast and a few veggies I'll feel full a lot faster and eat less in the long run. It's all about finding what works for your body. I have a hard time thinking anyone could follow Atkins to the letter and work out daily, but I suppose it works for some.
ColnagoFE..How tall are, how much do you weigh ?t-moore
Apr 28, 2003 2:35 PM
I got a feeling that you are already a Stud...
less than I weighed in February this yearColnagoFE
Apr 29, 2003 5:56 AM
I'm 6'2". In February I weighed 205. Not fat, but somewhat overweight. About 20% body fat. I entered one of those "Body for Life" kind of programs through a local gym where you have 10 weeks to see what you can do to yourself through diet, exercise, etc. I now weigh about 187 and am still losing weight. Down to 11% body fat so I gained a few pounds of muscle along the way too. Basically I weight trained with fairly heavy weights 3x a week, did cardio 5+x a week and a couple of longer rides 3+ hours on the weekends. I gave up drinking beer after work though occasionally I had a couple on the weekends, but just lite beer. I ate 6 smaller meals a day with adequate protein. I didn't really go low-carb, but at one point I lost all my energy because I was not eating enough carbs. Basically went into ketosis and boy did it suck. I could not do higher intenity cardio at all until I introduced some more carbs into my diet. Like I said...I suppose it depends on the person, but I seem to need more carbs for cycling though I try to eat mostly complex ones if possible. Wheat bread instead of white, brown rice, veggies. etc.
Thanks... We are setting the record straightt-moore
Apr 28, 2003 12:40 PM
Great job! Here's what I'm doing.Ken of Fresno
Apr 28, 2003 12:27 PM
Glad to hear it's working for you, but the Atkin's method is probably not the healthiest way to lose weight, especially for those involved in endurance sports. The US Food and Drug a Administration, the Mayo Clinic, The American Dietetic Association and many other well respected institutions are still recommending a daily calorie deficit combined with moderate exercise as the best way to lose weight. It makes sense. If you eat more calories that you use you will gain weight. Having said that, I do believe it's probably better to lose weight the Atkins way than to stay obese.

A few months ago I began keeping a record of all of the calories I consumed each day in order to, as close as possible, determine my daily caloric needs and how many calories I would need to consume in order to maintain my desired weight loss rate. Here is a quick summary of how my numbers add up.

In March '03 I lost 10 lbs. One pound of body fat equals 3,500 calories; therefore I had roughly a 35,000-calorie deficit. That equals a daily calorie deficit of 1,129 calories. During the month of March (31 days) I consumed approximately 61,055 calories (an average of approximately 1969 calories per day). Therefore, to maintain a weight equilibrium I would have needed to consume an average of approximately 3,098 calories per day (roughly, my weight times 14.25).

By adjusting my daily calorie deficit by varying my food intake and exercise, I can have a pretty good idea of when I will reach my goal weight. To be honest, I'm surprised at how easy it is to shed the pounds this way. I may get a little hungry sometimes, but I rarely feel like I'm starving. It does take self-control, but it's worth it.

I've put together a short paper with a list of references on the subject for anyone who's interested.

http://lennon.csufresno.edu/~klm80/weightloss.htm

Best of luck,
Ken
MODERATION is the key to successful dietingt-moore
Apr 28, 2003 12:49 PM
but would you consider Atkins moderate?ColnagoFE
Apr 28, 2003 2:02 PM
Seems pretty extreme to me. Zone diet or something similar seems a bit more moderate.
Hardly Extreme...t-moore
Apr 28, 2003 2:33 PM
The diet is only extreme for the first two weeks. I am still losing weight, on between 60 and 100 carbs a day.
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/289/14/1837ColnagoFE
Apr 28, 2003 12:49 PM
I just dont see how eating a huge bowl of plain rice is bad!the bull
Apr 28, 2003 2:27 PM
If your on this special diet I think it is bad for your heart.If most people would lay off the McDees value meals they would loose weight!I guess I am lucky I can eat what ever I want(although I dont) and I have only gained 5 pounds since high school and I know it is muscle.
Also are you sure you are loosing fat weight and not mucsle weight?I have heard stories that you loose muscle mass on these diets.
You're right, a bowl of white rice won't kill you..t-moore
Apr 28, 2003 2:42 PM
Obesity is a national epidemic. At 285lbs, I was too Fat.
I knew I had to do something about my weight. I looked and felt like a tub of lard. Once you get close to your goals,
you can eat pretty much what you like in moderation.

I wasn't eating anything is moderation, and consequently I was gaining between 5 and 10 pounds a week...
The Atkins diet is not healthy.Eug
Apr 28, 2003 2:59 PM
Some facts:

1) In general, obese people have a HIGHER metabolism than thin people with the same amount of activity. Obese people simply eat more.

2) Exercise increases the metabolic rate and thus caloric expenditure. Regardless of the diet, if the caloric usage is more than the intake, you'll lose weight.

3) An ultra low carb diet is almost always ultra high in protein and fat (obviously). Fat ain't too good for your heart, and too much protein can be problematic for the kidneys, etc.

4) People on the Atkins diet stink.

It's no surprise that the vast majority of doctors and nutritionists recommend a HIGHER carb diet than the average North American eats (because most eat too much fat), but in a well-balanced fashion, and in moderation, with exercise at the same time. Fat remains part of that diet however, because it is important for satiety and for overall nutrition too.

The Atkins diet IS a bad diet. It's just that fortunately, for most younger people, it's not such a big deal. Just don't expect a 65 year-old obese person to respond as favourably.
I guess we can agree that obese people eat too much...t-moore
Apr 28, 2003 3:06 PM
Yep, there are no miracle diets.Eug
Apr 28, 2003 6:40 PM
There are no miracle diets. Atkins is just another (fad) diet, which works for some people, and fails for most of the others... just like any other diet.
The Atkins diet is not healthy.bic
Apr 29, 2003 2:41 AM
) In general, obese people have a HIGHER metabolism than thin people with the same amount of activity. Obese people simply eat more.

Gosh that's a great fact. Based on what?

4) People on the Atkins diet stink.

Guess when your on a roll, not the kind you might eat, why stop with FACTS!!
HMMMMMMM!AaronL
Apr 28, 2003 4:26 PM
You say that after you ride you load up on carbs? If so, then you really are not on an Atkins diet (which is really just a ketogenic diet). What you are doing is following a high-fat diet and are just limiting your total caloric intake. no magic there. Take out the exercise you are doing and I bet you'll gain weight.

You have lost weight and that's fantastic, but don't think that it's a simple as eating refined CHO that put you there, it's not.

The best measurement of the success of any weight loss program is the long-term results. Atkins is no better than any other program after five years (I'm trying to find the study for that reference, it just came out a few months ago).

People are lazy and overeat. They want to be able to gorge themselves and lose weight too. You can't have both.

Don't try the metabolic card either, less than 3% of overweight/obese individuals have metabolic disorders. Everyone else, simply overeats. Even those diagnosed with syndrome X can benefit from exercise and hypocaloric diets.

Atkins is nothing magical, and the odds are against you that you and your wife will keep it off.

Here is what I always wanted to know, why are fat people always the "experts" when it comes to diet and weight loss? In my experience as a weight-loss counseler and when my company formulated a program (which i ran the clinical trials), I am always amazed at how fat people (excuse me, "overweight) always seem to tell me what works and doesn't. If they are so knowledgeable, then why can't they lose the weight?

But when looking at me and seeing that I'm skinny, it's always "you're so lucky, you have good genetics and can eat anything you want." Gee, i guess they forgot to listen to me when I tell them I ride 8-10K miles per year and I don't stuff my face with all kinds of junk. Lucky, no I work my ass off to stay thin.

It's all a matter of motivation.

Here is one of the best quotes I ever heard from someone I dealt with with weight loss. She said, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels."

Keep it up my friend, but just realize that you have a lifetime commitement here.
You got it backwards.....HMMMMt-moore
Apr 28, 2003 4:59 PM
What I said was, "that if I load up on carbs before a ride I feel like superman". I have lost 45lbs, and still loosing. I'm way past the 20 carbs induction phase. I'm liable to go out to dinner, and have desert ie:ice cream and pie. But hell, I don't pig out on the dinner rolls, mashed potato's, and the regular sodas. I have also pretty much given up the acohol. On my morning ride after desert, I feel the carbs, I feel the extra energy.

In your response, you mention me and my wife. I don't know if that was just an error on your part or if some of your post was for someone else.

I agree with not all, but with much of what you say. The bottom line is whatever works for you. Like yourself I expect to have ridden at least 8K by the time 10/03 rolls around. I have upped my weekly riding to about 200mi a week. I am one of the lucky ones that can get in 20mi a day before work. I have only been riding since October. I would have never figured, to find an excercise that I love to do ie: cycling in my forties.

Glad to see the responses to the post....
My bad!AaronL
Apr 28, 2003 5:10 PM
I don't know what I was thinking about mentioning your wife. Must be low blood sugar. :)

Best of luck to you and I agree, it's great to see a thread you start get going.

AL
No Harm no Foult-moore
Apr 28, 2003 8:34 PM
Why low carb/high fat and protein works.SnowBlind
Apr 28, 2003 4:32 PM
The problem that Atkins diet solves is that if you eat fat and carbs in the same meal you body places most of the fat right into storage.
Your body needs a certian amount of sugars to keep running. If you eat an Atikins meal, you don't have enough carbs to do the job obviously, nor do you have enough calories in the fat to convert. The result is fat is pulled from storage to meet the sugar (glycogen) needs of the body. Tada! you lose weight! The plus is all that slow digesting protien and fat kept you full between meals.

Low fat/protien but high carb diets (traditional) are harder to work with when you want to lose weight You get hungry easily, so you cheat. If you meet all your sugar requirements, which you will, most of the fat goes right into storage, do not pass go, do not collect $200. They do work from the standpoint of making carbs into fat is a very energy expensive thing to do, and your body does not want to do it. Eat to many carbs and the body will burn it off before it stores it, which is why you get "hyper" after large doses of sucrose. They fail in the fact that you do not feel "full" very long and feel like a snack.

Dieting is very subjective, and should be a life style change, not something you do once in a while.
Personally I prefer to eat what I want in moderation, and cycle more than 8 hors a week to lose weight.
Probably not a good idea to try and change peoples viewsLone Gunman
Apr 28, 2003 4:36 PM
through this forum. So much disinformation and untrue statements made about so called "radical diets". Actually an Atkins type diet is very similar to one used by European cycle coaches for many years. When some people hear the word FAT, it conjures up all sorts of negative responses. By the way, what are cells made up of mostly? FAT!! Where does fat come from? Mostly stored carbs. So save yourself the aggravation of trying to sell the Atkins/Protein Power reduced carb diet. It worked for me, it is working for you, it has worked for alot of people. Those who dismiss it probably see it as junk science, what are you gonna do?
Well said...t-moore
Apr 28, 2003 5:01 PM
It's not a healthy diet.Eug
Apr 28, 2003 6:36 PM
"what are cells made up of mostly? FAT"

Incorrect. They are mostly water and protein.

The reason self-respecting scientists dismiss it is because it is not a diet that promotes good nutrition. Weight loss and weight loss with sound priciples for nutrition are not the same thing.
Atkins is for the FAT folks? That's SICK!Charlie Amerique
Apr 28, 2003 5:27 PM
Of course you had good role models..

http://raiboy.tripod.com/Donner/id28.html

CA (you could at least wait for the body to cool a bit)
re: Atkins is for the FAT folks.....desertmd
Apr 28, 2003 6:00 PM
People on the Atkins diet fail like every other diet plan. Sure, they lose weight initially, but very few keep the weight off long term. (No more successfully than other diets I would bet.) People that I have known to fail the Atkins do so because they get sick of not eating the things that are good for you - namely carbs (complex and simple). Weight loss is, and will always be (no matter what anyone says) a simple matter of calories in and calories out. We all make choices everyday, and some choose to eat doughnuts, and others eat bagels. Some choose beer, while others choose water. Just ask yourself - do I want the doughnut or do I want to be fat?
Exactly what is good about carbs?MikeBiker
Apr 28, 2003 6:53 PM
All carbs convert into glucose. There are essential fatty acids that the body must have or it will die, there are essential amino acids that the body must have or it will die. There are no essential carbs. You can live forever without carbs, but not without fat and protein.

Mike
Veggies and fruit have lots of other nutrients.Eug
Apr 28, 2003 7:28 PM
It takes VERY little fat intake to get the essential fatty acids. And no matter how much fat and protein you eat, it's very difficult to get certain nutrients, unless you take supplements or eat your meat raw.
I did a project finding many negatives reguarding the diet...benja15
Apr 28, 2003 7:12 PM
Here is an excerpt of part

The Atkins weight loss diet, designed to completely eliminate carbohydrates, is completely absent of vegetable matter. It is a diet based on the primary consumption of meat, and meat products. It therefore shows the shortcomings of meat nutritionally, and highlights the negatives in meat consumption. The diet can cause bad breath, fatigue, dizziness, irritability, and lightheadedness. Due to the lack of fiber in the diet, the digestive tract is disrupted. In addition, water is pulled from the colon to the kidneys, further slowing the digestive tract, as the body attempts to filter out the 40 to 50 percent more protein it receives than is needed. The immune system is also disrupted in this fruitless attempt to purify the body.
The people on this diet do experience great weight loss. However, this weight loss does not come from healthy places. Due to the decreased carbohydrate intake, muscle mass must be digested for energy sources. The muscle tissue is broken down using water, to glucose. This process causes the notorious quick loss of weight. The basal metabolic rate of a person is also slowed due to the loss of muscle mass. Such a loss of muscle mass, leaves a person with the inability to process calories from fat (?The Physical Advances of Being Vegetarian? NP).

this was from a project on the benefits of vegetarianism, while i am not a vegetarian, in my opinion dirived from my research i feel that eating small amonts of meat is the healthest. A vegetarian diet is acceptable nutritionally, but the well planned omnivorous deit is far superiror. A purely meat based diet falls no where near meeting nutritional demands.
I did a project finding many negatives reguarding the diet...MikeBiker
Apr 28, 2003 7:21 PM
Your "research" is completely flawed. The Atkins diet does not "completely eliminate carbohydrates". It is low carbohydrate.

All scientific studies I have seem show that the weight loss is mostly fat. The low fat diets are the ones that show muscle loss.

A "project on the benefits of vegetarianism" must be viewed very skepticaly in its appraisal or a diet that includes meat. Did your report cite any other references?

Mike
Eat right, exercise - then loose weight, dont eat crapbenja15
Apr 28, 2003 7:44 PM
The principal behind any diet is to loose weight, obviously, but the reason you loose the weight is of utmost importance. If a particular diet plan sheds pounds like mad, it seems pretty good and gets popular, but it doesnt mean its the safest, best, or healthiest.

I dont care how much weight you loose, eating too much meat robs your body of nutrients, and the low carbs dont provide energy. your body eats itself. Good if you want to LOOSE WEIGHT and dont care WHY, but it's not healthy

Reasearch shows that as body mass decreases metabolism slows. Your body will slow down as you loose all that weight and will gain it back faster. However research also shows as muscle mass increases metabolism increases.

Resoning would imply that if you exercise to loose weight you will burn more calories, loosing FAT weight ( the GOOD way ), build muscle mass, and keep your metabolism the same as when you were a bloated pig.

Supliment this effort with balanced dieting, such as properly managing calorie and carb intake, as well as nutrient managment and you are on your way to a better life.

What better way to exercise than bike... who can argue this?? -- dont even try

Put down your greasy stick of bacon, suit up ( and please wear mesh over the spandex ) and get out there and bike
I don't like the Atkins diet either...Eug
Apr 28, 2003 7:34 PM
...but there is less risk of muscle breakdown, since the protein intake in the diet is so damn high (and potentially dangerous for people with borderline kidneys, etc.).

A vegetarian diet can be very healthy, but most often isn't because it's very difficult to get the proper nutrient spectrum with a purely vegan diet. eg. Pregnant Hindu women in North America are often advised to take supplements.
Actually required protien is extremely low...benja15
Apr 28, 2003 7:47 PM
Too much protien in the diet can have adverse consequences as well as haveing too little

bone mass loss being one

too much of a good thing i guess
Your first sentence is a crock of Sh++t....Get Realt-moore
Apr 28, 2003 8:32 PM
I own Dr. Atkins first book copyrighted 1972, and his second. Nowhere in either book does he state that the goal of the diet is to eliminate carbs.

I would like to see the source of info that you started out with...
And don't forget: Constipation!Eug
Apr 28, 2003 7:38 PM
A low fibre high fat and protein diet is great for inducing constipation (for most, but not all people). Unless you enjoy that glass of metamucil every day. Bleah! ;)
This was a great post......Let's call it Quits, no Harm no Foult-moore
Apr 28, 2003 8:43 PM
atkins critics should get your facts straighttarwheel
Apr 29, 2003 5:45 AM
It's amazing to me how Atkins critics get the facts all screwed up. Have any of you critics ever read Atkins' book or tried the diet? I don't think so. First, the diet does not totally consist of meat and fat with no vegetables. The diet allows a number of low-carb veggies -- namely lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, kale, olives, cucumbers, pickles, etc. Salads are one of the key elements in the diet and you can eat all the salads you want as long as you don't go overboard on high-carb veggies like carrots. The diet also allows you to eat lots of other non-meat, low-carb foods such as eggs, cheeses and nuts. Second, the induction phase (first 2-4 weeks) is the only time when you severely limit carbs to 20 grams per day or less. After induction, you gradually introduce more carbs into your diet until you reach a point where you can maintain your body weight or drop weight gradually.

I am slightly overweight and have had no luck losing weight on traditional high-carb diets. No matter how much I exercise and watch my diet, my weight stays the same or drops extremely slowly when eating the traditional high-carb diet. On the Atkins diet, I lost 15 pounds in one month -- and kept the weight off. I have been dieting the traditional way -- exercising a lot and eating less, but not restricting carbs -- since January this year. During that time, I have lost about 6-7 pounds while cycling about 125 miles/week on average and lifting weights, walking or playing tennis on days I don't ride. I have really limited my food consumption. However, I am only losing weight at the rate of about 1.5 pounds per month. I will probably go back on the Atkins diet for 2 weeks just to take some pounds off at a faster rate.

The main reason I haven't gone back on the Atkins diet is that I'm not that much overweight and I love to eat carbs. I really missed cereal, bread, pasta, etc, while on the diet. But it works, particularly if you are one of those people who are sensitive to carbs in their diet. One caveat to the diet is that you really need to read one of the Atkins books. He makes a lot of recommendations that are typically ignored by critics. Eg, you need to drink a lot of water while on his diet to prevent overloading your kidneys. You also need to take extra vitamins to supply nutrients you would normally get from carbs.