Atkins: The Diet I Never Thought I'd Try
I've used this forum in the past and am glad to be back! I much prefer this weight loss forum to the others I've tried.
In the past, I always thought low fat, low calorie was the way to lose weight. I've not been successful with my past methods, although I haven't completely written off JUDDD yet. (It isn't for me right now, but maybe it will be again someday. And it could always be done in unison with a low carb way of eating, so there are possibilities!) I drop a few pounds but then I get tired of the hunger pangs, give into my cravings and sabotage whatever modest success I've had. I'm tired of losing the same 5lbs over and over again.
Like many people, my knowledge of the Atkins way of eating was very limited and somewhat inaccurate. I've been reading up on it and am thinking it just might be for me. So I'm glad to say that today marked my very first day of the induction phase. Learning this new way of eating - and thinking - is taking some getting used to, but I'm confident I can do it. For the first time in a long time, I feel excited about a weight loss plan.
To be honest, I'm scared too. I know I can't go back to my old way of eating...I need to reprogram myself by going through all of the Atkins phases. That sounds...challenging (but not impossible). I binge eat, and I'm an emotional eater. I've struggled with portion control for as long as I can remember. I also LOVE carbs. Normally I eat a ton of fruits and veggies, plenty of whole grains, lots of dairy and, when I'm off the wagon, lots of sweets. I like meat, but I typically don't eat it every day. So Atkins (particularly induction) is basically the opposite of what I've been doing.
Since what I've been doing obviously isn't working for me, maybe doing the opposite is a brilliant idea.
I hope to stick with the induction phase well beyond two weeks. I will wait and see how it goes, how much weight I'm losing and how I feel. Then I'll decide how to proceed. So for now, I'm just going to focus on getting through the first two weeks and getting more comfortable with the rules of induction. So far so good.
I hope I haven't messed up already. Today I had a family lunch (something I would prefer to avoid because it makes it so, so difficult to be on any kind of diet. My family isn't supportive in the least, gets mad if I won't eat certain things and constantly lectures me about nutrition when they're at least as overweight as I am themselves. It's incredibly frustrating and has presented huge challenges in the past).
I was proud of myself for passing up potatoes au gratin - one of my absolute favourites - even after they were waved right under my nose. I asked if the ham had any sort of glaze and was told no, so I ate two pieces along with about a cup of veggies* (cauliflower and asparagus as I recognized them both as being on The List - I avoided the carrots that were mixed in).
*I didn't dare get out the measuring cup and face my family's scorn and lecturing, so I just had to eyeball it.
But later, when I went to look it it up, I read that ham has sugar injected right into it? I guess I shouldn't be surprised because it tasted awfully sweet. I'm so annoyed with myself. I guess all I can do now is assume the ham contained lots of carbs and eat fewer carbs than I had planned for the remainder of the day...I hope this won't set me back.
Last edited by Canadian : 22nd April, 2014 at 07:23 PM
Google is telling me the ham might have about 1.5g carbohydrates per slice. That's not as bad as I thought, although I think I ought to round up to at least 2g as it was sliced thicker than in the photos I've found. Maybe even 2.5. Figuring this stuff out without being able to know how things are prepared or seeing the labels is frustrating! I think this just confirms that I'm much, much better off to do my own cooking even if it means I have to turn down invitations or be a bit antisocial. Losing weight needs to take top priority and if other people don't like that, then it's just too bad for them.
I've started tracking my carbs on MyFitnessPal. I'm noticing a few minor discrepancies between my own calculations and the website's (and it also doesn't take net carbs into account) but it's still pretty handy. In the past I have always hated counting anything but I know it's necessary at least in the beginning. Interestingly, I'm finding I don't mind it so much and it isn't as time consuming as I'd expected it to be.
I'm not deliberately counting calories but the site calculates them automatically for me when I enter in what I've eaten. I see now what people mean when they say they're just not hungry after starting Atkins. I've been hungry a couple times over the past three days, but that urge to snack is completely gone and I've even come up short on my calories. I'm averaging 800 - 1200 calories / day when I understand I should be aiming for at least 1500.
Today I'm making a real effort to get closer to 1500 calories, but it's still proving to be a challenge - I never thought I'd say that. I don't want to overeat meat and eggs, and yet if I try to fill up on other things like vegetables, I go over my 20 carb limit. Today I've already had 2 eggs and a sausage (with spinach, mushrooms and cheese), and tonight I'm going to have to eat 1.5 burger patties (with a salad and some celery stalks) to get close to the 1500. And even then I'll be falling a little short. I feel like I'm eating way too much meat. I know it's only temporary during the Induction phase and it will be easier to incorporate other foods in the upcoming phases, but I can't help but feel I'm making unhealthy choices.
Yesterday was ham and beef and the day before was lots of fish...tomorrow will be chicken.
Even though I've seen other people share their improved blood test numbers, I worry about things like cholesterol. I guess I'm still struggling with my old way of thinking - even after reading the literature, years of mental programming don't just go away automatically! Tomorrow I'm going to buy a carton of egg whites and start adding them to my egg dishes so I'll be consuming fewer yolks. I'd also like to limit myself to eating red meat less often and chicken/turkey/fish more regularly.
Today is my third day of Induction and I'm already 3lbs down! I know it's only water weight at this point but it's still nice to see the scale finally move in the right direction. And aside from all the counting and calculating and label-reading, I haven't felt like I'm on a diet at all. Normally with low fat, low calorie I feel deprived and hungry all the time, so this is a drastic change. I'm actually feeling sort of bloated lately, although not unbearably so. Does a person's appetite usually come back once their body gets used to Atkins, or does burning fat as fuel suppress the appetite long term?
I should also add I haven't really experienced the bumpy transition into Induction that some people report. I did have a headache for a while the first day but that's not unusual for me so I don't attribute it to the change in diet. My energy levels and things like that haven't suffered, so that's encouraging. Like I mentioned, I feel kind of bloated and have a mild stomachache, but I was actually feeling that way before switching to Atkins so it might be something else entirely, not sure.
I do worry about the 'carb flu' I've seen people mention but I'm putting that right out of my mind for now because it's a long way off for me. I worried that sticking with Induction for two whole weeks would be a challenge, but I'm feeling good about it so far. I could easily stick with it beyond the two weeks if my body keeps responding well to it.
When I was starting out, I went to the grocery store and found myself kind of at a loss as to what to buy. I just wandered around the meat aisles reading labels and wondering how I would ever make a go of this way of eating. But even just in a few days I've done a lot of reading, have found a bunch of great Induction recipes and have lots more ideas. So I have a nice little list for tomorrow's grocery run.
I think I'm going to have to buy calcium supplements because I'm not getting enough from my food, and my multivitamin only provides 30%. (I used to drink lots of milk, eat cottage cheese and yogurt, etc.) I'm also hoping to find some almond milk that's lower carb than the stuff I have now, which is 3 carbs per cup. I know 1 carb almond milk is out there, it's just a matter of finding it!!!
Hiya how are you getting on today? sounds like you're doing everything right, you need to be a label detective! I've never had atkins flu we must be the lucky ones! well done on your progress so far! xx
Hi Sam, I'm doing good today thanks! It's day 4 and I haven't had a single carb craving which for me, is incredible! Label detective is right...but I expect it will get easier as time goes on. Are you new to Atkins too, or have you been at it a while? We're very lucky to not have the Atkins flu - I hope it continues for us both!
I've been tracking my food online. I thought it would be tedious but I'm actually enjoying playing around with it so much that I've planned my meals several days in advance just to see what the numbers would look like! And I quite like having all kinds of info and graphs at my fingertips. One thing it's showing is that I'm not getting nearly enough potassium. A quick search online suggests this is a common problem during Induction. I did find a list of potassium-rich foods suitable for Induction, but I'm not sure I can eat enough of them in a day to boost my levels without going over 20 carbs. Do most people in Induction take a potassium supplement?
I don't have leg cramps or anything like that, but since I'm on my way to the store later today anyway, I'm wondering if I should pick up some potassium supplements along with my calcium. (I know both can be harmful if you get too high a dosage, so I'll probably take them on alternating days or something, and only if I haven't gotten enough from food.) Any input from anyone in the know would be appreciated!
Thanks Susie, that's good to know! I didn't buy any supplements today but will pick some up next time.
I found almond milk today that's only one carb (and the net carbs are zero). Very excited! Grocery shopping takes so much longer now that I'm studying each and every label, LOL. Today took me well over an hour when normally I'd have been in and out in probably half that time.
Today was my first day cooking actual meals...like combining lots of ingredients, I mean. Until now I've been keeping it very simple. I'm definitely not used to cooking the way I did today, measuring each and every thing! Normally I don't measure anything, which I suppose is how the extra carbs/calories creep in (well, that and my junk food binges).
I'm still being diligent with MyFitnessPal, too. I paused in the middle of dinner tonight to make sure I could actually finish everything on my plate without going over my daily carb allotment. Usually I'd start losing steam and go back to old habits around this time, but I'm still going strong. I'm really eager to see if the scale has gone down but I'm going to stay off it until Monday, which will be one full week. Fingers crossed for good results!
Last edited by Canadian : 25th April, 2014 at 03:45 AM
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- Rep Power
Diet: Atkins/Carb cycling
Start Date: 13/3/2013
Start Weight: 13st8.0lb
Current Weight: 9st6lb
Goal Weight: 8st12lb
Goal Date: 8 December 2014
Start BMI: 32.6
Current BMI: 22.7
Goal BMI: 21.3
Total Weight Loss: 4st2lb
Weight to Lose: 0st8lb
% Lost 30.53%
Welcome and looking forward to reading your diary.
Getting rid of the food zombie one bite at a time.....
get to 9st 11lbs done!!!!!
fit comfortably in all size 12 jeans done!!!!
get to 9st 7lbs done!!!!!
feel those size 12s drop off my ass getting there!!!!!
Fit a size 10 don't care if it's a squeeze it's a start done!!!!!
get to 9 stone
get to 8st 12
Fit comfortably in a size 10 jeans from every store.
Thanks Kat1e and Goldilukes, I look forward to getting to know you!
Hi Canadian-subscribing. Welcome and good luck. Tracking on mfp is really good but can be tedious sometimes. Potassium is a tricky one. Think Susie has the best idea and worth a go.
Hi coffeelover (mmm, coffee).
I agree - I've had some mild leg cramps the past couple of nights which are abnormal so I figured I'd best not put it off any longer. I bought potassium supplements this morning.
Well, technically I went to Walmart for the sole purpose of buying potassium supplements, bought a bunch of other stuff I didn't know I was looking for and then, on the drive home, realized I never did make it to the aisle with the potassium! Some days I swear my brain doesn't work. But I swung by a grocery store and pretended it was intentional. They had bottles with different dosages and I wasn't sure which to get. I got the smaller dosage and figure I can just double up if MyFitnessPal shows I'm still not getting enough.
For lunch I made a delicious-smelling (haven't tasted it yet) shepherd's pie based on an induction recipe I found online. I didn't measure the ingredients as well as I should have, so my tracking might be a bit off today. I agree about MyFitnessPal being tedious. It's been an eye opener for sure and I'm glad I signed up, but some days I don't feel like obsessing over it. I think tonight I'll just have a meal I know is low carb to make sure I stay under 20...maybe bacon and eggs.
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