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So... someone explain Atkins and how it works practically to me?


Slimming down the aisle
I'm currently calorie counting and it works for me, when I stick to it and I lose a decent amount each week. I've had a few people say to me that low carb/atkins works even better, so I'm considering it but in a calorie counting with low carbs kind of way. Anyone able to explain to me how it all works? I know you keep your carbs low but I just can't see how on earth you can keep them that low! Like I eat 3 satsumas a day, that's 15 carbs right there!
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Caroline - there is a sticky on this forum just above called "So you are thinking of starting atkins" - I recommend you read it as it tells you all you need to know. With regards the satsumas though, whilst in induction you may forget them; aint gonna happen! Good luck xxx


Slimming down the aisle
I read that but I more meant the practicalities of it, how do you make it work for you?
it's pretty easy to stick to under 20g of carbs, when you avoid all processed foods and eat naturally.
(generally sticking to veg that grows above ground, fish, meats + natural fats - i.e using butters, cold pressed olive oils, coconut oil + avoiding seed or nut oils)

It becomes second nature to avoid things with too much starch or sugar (like.. satsumas) and to opt for suitable options instead. Once you know what foods you have to avoid it's really not that difficult, and once you understand the science behind it, it becomes much easier to not miss those foods either!

I would suggest you read the atkins book if you would like to follow that plan, you may also want to watch something like this The Food Revolution - AHS 2011 - YouTube
if you want to understand why startches and sugars are avoided.

If you do decide to follow a low carb plan, it usually involves eating higher fat levels, (eating high protein levels is counter productive, as excess protein will convert to glucose, raising insulin levels, which is what you want to avoid to lose weight via. low carb eating)

...so counting calories may restrict your choices (as fat is the most calorie dense food) - but it's the fat which helps lower calories, as it fills you up and satisfies cravings, helping to reduce overall food intake. So I wouldn't worry about counting calories, at least not in the first few weeks as you get into the swing of things. If your weight loss is unusually slow or stalling, THEN count calories. :)


This is for life
What she said^^. Feel free to read diaries to get a feel about choices and when it's easy (or hard!)

Nice summary MM
Great post MM...

I have to watch calories as well as carbs... And my average weight loss is 2lb a week ... :)
Caroline I was actually thinking of you, I read your post elsewhere about keeping up motivation. We sound very similar- we both started at the same weight and both have diabetes in the family (my dad and grandma).

I started off calorie counting, but the more I read and researched, low carb just seemed the best, healthiest way to eat. It works wonders for diabetics, and with my weight and genes, I am a diabetic-in-waiting.

I highly recommended reading Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes as a primer on why calorie counting can only get you so far. If you do a search for him on YouTube there are some talks on there. A bit technical (and he talks a lot), but worth it. I also second watching that wonderful talk by Dr Eenfeldt that monocle linked too. I showed that one to my mum who's now low-carbing. :)

Going on induction-level Atkins will almost certainly kickstart your weightloss again if it's slowed down, but do remember that it will eventually slow again- there's no magic bullet. On the plus side, I'm able to eat many more calories now. Today at least 1700kcal, but it varies. I lost 4lb last week, so something's working! Today's fat was bacon, egg yolks, butter and cream*. This diet took some getting used to, I can tell you! :D

Good luck.

*not all together....


Slimming down the aisle
The biggest problem that I have is that I don't cook all of my own meals, I live with my parents and I'm training as a teacher, so I generally eat what my mum is cooking unless it's something really unhealthy or I just don't fancy it. I'll be honest, I'm still really struggling with understanding how on earth you keep your carbs so low!!
If you're not that busy, try doing simple recipes first. And you can also search for the recipe calculator via google so that you'd know how much calories are you taking in the food you eat. ;)
would you be willing and able to cook your own meals? or just take whatever is acceptable from the family meals (the meat and veg) + avoid the startch, (without offending) ?

I would find it difficult if I didn't cook for myself, I'm a student and living away from home, but when I go back for xmas, that is what I plan on doing ^ eating family meals if they are suitable, cooking for myself if they're not..


Slimming down the aisle
I could maybe do that yeah. I had a few months of working before I started my training and then I cooked all my own meals and my mum was fine about it. She does seem to be a bit funny about it now though when I say I don't want something. When I've been looking at it, the majority of veg seems quite high in carbs as well though. It just seems so complicated to me trying to work out what you can actually have!
why dont u have a look at the thread "what are we eating today" its were people post there daily menus, i find writing what i am eating helps me stick to it.
your daily carb allowance should be made up from as much fresh green veg as possible. things like spinach, brocolli, kale etc.
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If you're used to having meat (or Quorn), veg and potato like meals, all you need to do is swap the potatoes for a low carb veg. I now usually have some kind of meat with two veg, like
-lettuce/rocket etc
-green or fine beans
-brussels sprouts
-salad of tomato, cucumber, lettuce

Here are some of my meals:

full fat Greek yoghurt with a few blackberries and tsp cinnamon.
fried streaky bacon and eggs
scrambled eggs with cheese and spring onion (can serve with low carb bread-like thing, like a MiM or Oopsie Roll)

Roast chicken and salad (tomato, cucumber, lettuce/rocket) with mayo or a little hot sauce
Homemade salad of smoked sausage with avocado, lettuce, bell pepper, boiled egg and mayo/mustard
Makerel fillet or ham salad...there's a lot of salad at lunch...

Meat (sometimes a plain homemade minced beef burger with cheese, sometimes lamb chops, steak etc) with any two of the following veg:
-green or fine beans
-brussels sprouts
-alfalfa sprouts

Stir-fried spicy beef strips in a sticky coconut sauce (I adapted this from an old vegan recipe!) with cauliflower "rice".

When I feel the urge for bread I make a MiM (muffin in a minute) or an Oopsie roll...really good with a burger.

I drink coffee with cream and Splenda, and I often add coconut oil which I find gives me huge energy.

I am trying to stay under 20g carbs a day, happy with 30, which is still pretty low. When I started I aimed for under 100g (that was half my previous amount), then 60g, and so on. Makes it a bit easier whilst you work out what you're doing. Also you don't get the side-effects at that carb level that you do at ~20g.


Slimming down the aisle
That's really useful, thanks. What are Muffin in a Minute of Oopsie Rolls? You'll have to share that beef and coconut sauce recipe!
Hello and welcome!

To be both blunt and to the point.

Get a copy of the most recent Atkins book. Check out The Atkins Community website. Stop being so seemingly resistant lol. Just dive into this wonderful way of eating, take that leap of faith but don't anticipate vlcd style losses.

Good luck!


Slimming down the aisle
Well to be honest I don't want to go and buy a book for something that I don't know if I want to do, that's why I was asking about it on here. I really don't have the time or money to waste on a book right now. I'm not really sure how anything I've put here was me being so resistant either, just me saying that I don't particularly understand. And anyway, after speaking to people and looking into it more, I don't want to do Atkins, though I think I may put a low carb slant on my calorie counting but just not Atkins kind of low. So me having bought a book would have been pointless.
Everyone has been great in their replies here, thanks :D.

Atkins isn't for everyone you are right however you could borrow a book from the library and read up on low carb principles to at least get the nutrition side of things right.

Weight loss is or life, it's a tough long road I know - good luck.

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To be fair I didn't buy a book and it's gone great for me. Well, I did buy Gary Taubes but that was after. You can find pretty much everything online somewhere or other, and I'd guess if you're not particularly geeky, wanting to know *how* it works, it's even easier.

Of course knowing how it works may well save you from putting it all back on later, but then that's the same for any diet really.

At its very simplest: avoid white. Pasta, bread, milk, rice, potatoes, flour, and (especially) sugar. Just sticking to that will probably help!
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