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Dr Atkins Diet Plan

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      19.08.2009 17:48
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      I wouldn't do it forever

      I know this diet is controversial- people either love it or hate it. I find, personally, that it works very well for me for a number of reasons I shall outline after explaining the basics of the plan.

      Essentially the diet was borne out of the understanding that refined carbohydrates cause weight gain. I know I used to rely heavily on carbs for quick energy-providing food. But Atkins explains that sugar from the carbohydrate enters the bloodstream quickly and to prevent our blood sugar rising too high, the body produces insulin. This allows the excess sugar to be stored in the liver and muscles, but then it converts the rest to fat. When we exercise we burn energy, but it is the carbohydrates that are used as fuel first. So, the idea is that if you drastically limit your carbohydrate intake your body will be forced to start burning its stores of fat, called ketosis.

      There are 4 stages of the plan. During 'induction', which lasts 2 weeks, you are limited to 20g of carbs a day. This is when you will see the quickest weight loss and can even lose a stone in just 14 days (my partner achieved this!). Stages 2, 3 and 4 basically introduce you back to small amounts of carbs gradually. You can control the amount of carbs you eat as long as you are still losing weight. It doesn't mean you can start eating bread and cakes again, it is still mainly salad and veggies.

      For me, this is a really effective and easy diet plan. When in 'ketosis' your appetite is reduced so I find I am not constantly thinking about food (which I do on other diets). I also find it easy to cook meals that are Atkins-friendly, and I manage to have a varied and satisfying range of foods. Some examples of what I eat:

      Breakfast: scramled egg, bacon, mushrooms, omelettes

      Lunch: ham, cheese, chicken, sausages, boiled eggs, salad

      Dinners: fish and salad, roast chicken and veg, turkey and veg kebabs, lamb chops and roast veg

      Snacks: nuts, cheese, peanut butter

      If you are cooking for other people it is easy to simply adapt your meal by removing the carbs. For example, I could still make a full roast dinner for my family and I would just fill my plate with meat and vegetables.

      Furthermore, you don't have to buy any special books or equipment, just keep to the principles of the plan (which you can easily find online).

      There are, of course, some disadvantages. You do get stinky breath (due to ketosis) and it can sometimes make you feel lethargic. However, seeing the pounds drop off gives me a psychological boost to continue.

      I don't think this is necessarily a plan for life, but it does really make you think about all the processed, refined carbohydrates you eat and how they affect your body. I think it is a quick fix and it certainly works if you have a few pounds to shed in a short space of time. I have stuck to this plan for 3/4 weeks at a time and lost approximately 10lbs. But there are much healthier plans out there - check out the GI diets for more long term healthy eating.

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        21.08.2007 14:00
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        This is a diet based on misleading information.

        The Atkins diet is like one of those 'Get Rich Quick' schemes. The prosects are so enticing and seem so easy to attain, that you want to get stuck in and shed those pounds (or gain those pounds, in the analogy of the Get Rich Quick scheme!).

        The Atkins diet seems so amazing, with such quick results, that it seems almost too good to be true.

        In short, it is.

        As soon as you stop the diet, your weight increases again. And then you have problems to contend with such as 'have I damaged my pancreas?'

        Let me explain how it works.

        When carbohydrates enter the body, they are broken down into glucose by an enzyme called amylase. This glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream and triggers the release of insulin from the pancreas.

        This insulin enters the bloodstream and brings the sugar levels down to normal. When this happens, the liver recognises it as sugar and takes it in. It then stores it for when it is needed. This stored glucose is called glycogen.

        The body takes energy from this supply, while any eacess fat from consumed food is stored in the body.

        Fat is very difficult for the body to break down, and the body would rather use glucose as energy, rather than fat. However, if that supply of glucose isn't there, the body will start breaking down the fat instead.

        Thus the Atkins diet works on the non-consumption of carbohydrates, in order to force the body into breaking down the fat, leaving the body in a constant state of ketosis (breaking down of fat).

        This can cause a number of problems including lethargy and light-headedness.

        Also, the pancreas doesn't need to release the insulin normally used for instructing the liver to store the glucose, so this can stop working or become less effective through misuse.

        Also, ketosis (the breaking down of fat) causes the release of harmful ketones (which is what happens in an untreated diabetic person).

        The fat does disappear quite quickly, but it's damaging to your body to diet in this way. It's like a drug with quite obvious side effects.

        As soon as the diet has been stopped, the body resumes normal function and fat is stored as usual. However, as mentioned earlier, the Atkins diet can cause diabetes due to the pancreas becoming ineffective through misuse.

        Even if the person does not become diabetic, there is a big chance that they will have impaired glucose tollerance (which can turn into diabetes).

        My advice is not to try the Atkins diet at all - however tempting it may sound unless a doctor has prescribed it. The reason it might be prescribed is if you need to undergo an urgent (not emergency) operation for which you need to lose weight quickly.

        Otherwise, stay well clear and eat sensibly.

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          12.02.2004 03:49
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          OK, so I admit - I have tried this diet myself - but I was intrigued and wanted to know if the claims were true - i.e. that I would eat a ton of food and still lose weight. Well here is my experience and what I think? GETTING STARTED - PHASE 1 Phase 1 of the diet allows liberal amounts of meat, poultry, game, fish, eggs, 4oz cheese daily, a little cream, butter, oils and 20 grams of carbohydrates per day in the form of green vegetables such as kale, spinach, pepper, spaghetti squash to name but a few. Limited salad is also permitted provided the 20 gram daily limit of carbohydrates is not exceeded. The foods that are out are sugar, flour products, bread, pasta, potatoes, fruit, crisps, snacks, cakes, cookies, biscuits, milk, yoghurts and rice - basically anything starchy or sugary! Doesn't leave much does it? MY TYPICAL DAY'S FOOD: Breakfast: Bacon, egg and 93% meat sausage or tuna/cheese omelette Lunch: Salad (spinach, cucumber, pepper) with meat and cheese - I tended to have a lot of chicken, however, tuna and cold meats like ham and salami were occasionally eaten. Dinner: Meat and green veg. PHASE 2: Phase 2 of the diet is more lenient that the induction phase - the dieter increases their daily carbohydrate limit by 5 grams for each week until a weight loss of 1-2lbs is sustained. These extra carbohydrates can come from berries, nuts, and other foods set out in the book, however, the diet is still low in fibre and excessive in protein. PHASE 3: Once the dieter reaches 5-10lbs below their target weight, the dieter increases their daily carbohydrate limit by 10 grams for each week until a ver
          y minimal weight loss is sustained. It is at this stage when the dieter can introduce starchy vegetables and legumes into their diet, i.e. carrots, kidney beans. LIFETIME MAINTENANCE: Once target is reached, the dieter increases their daily carb limit by 10 grams each week until weight is maintained. HOW DID I FEEL? I knew that the first few days would be difficult because this way of eating was so different to my normal way of eating and I found I craved sugary things for a couple of days. It was hell. However, after two days (when my glycogen stores were depleted) my body kicked itself into ketosis and the hunger pangs and cravings miraculously disappeared. I lost 6lbs in the first two weeks - sounds great doesn't it? Unfortunately this is too good to be true - the two day's worth of glycogen that the body stores is bound up with a load of water - I think I read somewhere that every pound of glycogen is bound up to 3lbs of water - so this is where the initial weight loss comes from. Ketosis feels very strange. I felt light headed and exercise was very strange. I measured the level of ketones in my urine with ketostix - these are simply placed under the urine stream for a second or two and after a minute the stick should turn a shade of purple depending on how many ketones are present. My stick showed up a darker shade of purple. My legs ached, I felt quite lethargic after exercise, however, I did feel very alert at work and found I didn't even think about food. By the time I reached the lifetime maintenance phase, I felt more hungry and it became difficult to keep track of how many grams of carbohydrates I was consuming every day - measuring, weighing and counting was still required and that put
          me off. WHY DOES THIS DIET WORK SO WELL? According to Dr Atkins, this diet works very well because one is experiencing ketosis, their stored fat is used for energy and using stored fat for energy requires more energy in the first place. This claim was proven to be incorrect on the Panorama documentary not so long ago - calories can't disappear into thin air it's as simple as that. It is also untrue that protein and fat can be eaten liberally - it is possible to gain weight on protein and fat if eaten to excess. The reason why most people don't gain weight on the Atkins plan is because hunger pangs are reduced almost completely and it is difficult for one to overeat on protein. Try it some day - see exacly how much chicken you can eat in one sitting - it is difficult - I have tried it! So what is it that makes the work so well? It is protein. Although research is fairly new on this subject, protein seems to keep hunger at bay. I know from personal experience that when I have had a lovely tuna and cheese omelette for breakfast, I really don't feel like eating anything for at least 5 hours - this is why the diet works. The bottom line is that less calories are consumed than used - the calorie deficit - hardly surprising is it? GOOD ADVICE FROM DR ATKINS OK, the diet has some good points - refined carbohydrates are not as nutritious as their wholemeal counterparts. White rice is a fine example - brown rice contains more vitamins and minerals than white rice - during the milling process the outer brain layer of brown rice is stripped and the end product is white rice - unfortunately this bran layer contains a lot of good s
          tuff - there is no calorific difference either as white rice contains virtually the same amount of calories as brown. A little common sense is needed - use wholemeal versions of foods - such as wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta etc. I do agree with Dr Atkins' advice on sugar - sugar is packed into many low fat foods in order to improve taste which kind of defeats the object as insulin is needed to transport this sugar and quite a lot of it too if too much sugar is present. If sweetness is required, sucralose tends to be a favourite amongst nutritionists as it is 'made' from sugar. it does have an acquired taste and may not suit everyone but I have packets and packets of the stuff in my cupboard and I got used to it after a while. Nuts and seeds are great and these are permitted in the later phases of Atkins - just two brazil nuts provide the recommended daily requirement for selenium and a great alternative to ordinary cows milk is unsweetened soya milk - that's just two examples. PROBLEMS: What scares me about the diet is the amount of and protein that is eaten - it is a known fact that excess protein leads to calcium loss, which in turn can lead to osteoporosis. The kidneys are also under a lot of pressure to break down all this protein - kidney stones can be a problem. As a qualified nutritionist I would certainly advise potential dieters not to consume more than their body weight in protein in order to reduce the risk of calcium loss - by 'body weight in protein' I mean - whatever your weight in kilograms, i.e. 60kg, convert to grams, i.e. 60 grams, and try to consume no more than this. The lack of fibre also concerns me. I found myself very constipated on the diet, a condition I very rarely experience normally. The remedy to this is to take a tablespoon of split linseeds (soaked in water) before g
          oing to bed, together with a couple of fibre tablets in the morning - this seemed to help me. The diet is a lot of fiddling around, and I do wonder why Dr Atkins advises on the use of nutritional supplements if the diet is so nutritionally sound. VERDICT The food on the Atkins diet does become boring after a while and the diet can become a difficulty in social events or at restaurants and lunches. More importantly, I would remind any potential Atkins dieters that NOBODY knows what the long term health effects of this diet are - limited scientific research has been conducted.

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            09.09.2003 01:09
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            A great cooked English breakfast namely bacon, egg and mushrooms to start the day and finish my meal off at night with coffee and cream, who’s complaining. I am living proof that this diet works. All it needs is conviction, willpower, bit of imagination and a little cooking and preparation. This has renewed my interest in food, cooking, eating and health. I completed the two week detox crash diet and lost 12lb and 2 inches in the waste line. Over the next two months I had hit my target of losing 21lb, the ideal weight for my height, and lost four inches. I appreciate I was only moderately overweight and had gained a few inches around the midriff over the years, which is nothing compared to people with a real weight problem but I was curious to see whether the theory worked in practice. The Diet Revolution book is easy to read and an essential buy, now heavily discounted and available everywhere. It is really interesting. The theory for the Atkins method of weight loss is simple. You switch your metabolism to fat burning rather than carbohydrate burning. Crash diet for two weeks, eliminate carbohydrate from the diet and body has no choice but to burn fat instead. Easy. The joy of the Atkins way is that it is totally adaptable to you. Firstly the so-called negatives: then read on for “My Atkins”. It is not insignificant that the Atkins life style bashers are mostly sponsored by the sugar, cereal, confectionery, fat alternative and soft drinks manufacturers. They have admitted their worldwide sales have been affected by the popularity of low carb diets – what a shame. Two of the most reported bad effects of the diet are bad breath and constipation. I suffered neither because I ate sufficient vegetables for roughage and loads of water to excrete the ketones (fat burning waste). Press reports talk about developing kidney stones from eating too much protein - but there is no need
            to eat much more protein than you did before, assuming you had at least a half reasonable diet beforehand. Another worry is that all those saturated fats will increase your cholesterol and put your heart at risk - but then there are good and bad cholesterols, and apparently eating natural fats and eliminating the modern manufactured substitutes will reduce the bad and increase the good. Another press hype is the effect on the heart and bones of excreting essential potassium and calcium together with the ketones. There is more than enough calcium in hard cheeses and plenty of potassium in tomatoes for example. An unfortunate example was the death of a 17st 16yr old kid. Apparently she switched from a total junk food diet to following the induction phase of the diet for several weeks. That kind of drastic switch is obviously going to cause ill effects, She was only 16 and totally un-monitored by anyone, even her parents. The press also talks in general terms of the Atkins diet being just a high protein, high fat diet – well this isn’t really true. What you are aiming for is to reduce your carbohydrate intake (drastically only for the two week induction phase) and then re-introduce them to maintain your ideal weight. You only need the fat and protein for nutrition and to satisfy your hunger, it’s not about stuffing. They talk of the no veg, no fruit, and no fibre diet – again not true. Carbohydrates consist of the nutritionally valid part and the pure indigestible fibre that is essential roughage. When looking at food labels you can read the carb value and take away the fibre value to arrive at the nutritionally valid amount, the amount you need to worry about. After the two week induction phase you can start to re-introduce carbs eg, a moderate amount of high fibre breakfast cereal eg All-Bran, wholemeal bread, high fibre biscuit eg Ryvita. Vegetables - you can eat endless lettuce, cucumber, peppers, etc and
            start to go back on your favourites. From no fruit in the induction phase you can start back on berries, eg strawb, rasp, black, cranberries, take to rhubarb and look at nuts, just avoid the high sugar fruits like apples, pears, bananas but re-introduce melon, nectarines, just check the nutrition labels. If you must you can add artificial sweetener, but why not take the opportunity and drop all added sweetness, both real and artificial. All the facts of the diet are argued very convincingly in the Atkins book and they make a lot of sense, and evaporate a whole load of hooey about food and health issues. The http://atkins.com/ website is excellent, well designed and contains a wealth of useful information and keeps you up to date with both their ideas and views and those of critics and supporters alike. Latest scientific reports and studies are posted on the Atkins website, see July 2003 report at: http://atkins.com/Archive/2003/8/8-646110.html So that’s the press reported negatives now here is “My Atkins” During the initial two-week blitz known as “Induction” you will be steadily metabolising fat. The next stage “Ongoing Weight Loss” is to work out how many carbohydrates you can add into your diet and still lose weight, so at this stage you can start to introduce fruit. The next stage “Pre-Maintenance” is to develop a longer term slow steady weight loss program by again tweaking the diet to reach your target weight. The final phase is “Lifetime Maintenance” by which time you will have maintained your target weight and you are putting into practice all your new eating habits. One of the most convincing pieces of evidence that the Atkins style of diet is right for me is the similarity to the Mediterranean diet. In southern Europe heart disease is minimal compared to northern Europe and North America, and they eat a relatively high fat and protein diet wash
            ed down with red wine. What could be nicer than all those delicious cheeses, meats, pates, vegetables and salads eaten under the olive trees amongst the vines on a balmy evening with a glass of red wine in Provence – that is my visualisation of an Atkins lifestyle for me – suits me down to the ground – shame about the British weather though. I have some important tips before you consider starting the diet. Firstly read the Atkins diet book from cover to cover well in advance of starting, there is a wealth of really interesting information in there on all matters dietary and general health. It is very Americanised and has testimonials of obese Americans with staggering pre-Atkins diets who are lucky to still be on this planet, pretty inappropriate to even the worst of a British lifestyle. Also there are some strange foods and recipes that probably won’t appeal to British tastes, but like in any recipe book and weekend magazine they are interesting to read and then say uuuugh. Secondly I recommend getting into the swing of the regime before you start. I slowly reduced my intake of coffee and vastly increased my intake of plain water. I am now on decaff coffee only. To keep track of how much you are drinking - I have an old 330ml bottle and fill and drink at least six a day. Water becomes really insipid but I can now easily drink three in the morning and afternoon. This is in addition to any other drinks. Cheap zero carb lemonade makes a pleasant change. Thirdly, have a blowout if you want on the days before you start the diet. Amongst other things I demolished a Christmas pudding that had been lying in the cupboard. Also over the previous couple of weeks I used up all the bread flour for my home baker, so there was no temptation to make any. There is loads of criticism of this diet, but the examples of how people “suffered” over their two week detox are plain stupid. People struggling to ea
            t three high protein and fat meals every day when they weren’t used to even one decent meal previously would make anyone sick of the site of another rasher of bacon. So again get in the swing of eating what you think are three decent and regular meals before you start, especially a hearty breakfast. Get up twenty minutes earlier if the excuse is you haven’t got time. You’ll find proper protein and moderate fat content meals are far more satisfying than carbohydrate meals, so you need a fair intake of these to not feel hungry later, but there is no need to go mad. The initial detox is only two weeks, what is that in the 4250 odd weeks of your life! Do it for fun, do it as an experiment like me, just try it. The greatest winning streak of the Atkins diet is that, whatever negative things you hear or read, you will see the scales drop by up to a stone over a fortnight, and that is a huge ego boost, you will feel smug and be amazed. The hope is that that short sharp shock will trigger a new eating lifestyle. If it doesn’t at least you tried it, there is nothing to lose but there is a chance you will be amazed. You cannot possibly do yourself any harm during the induction phase. It cannot be worse than eating all the wrong things over two weeks at Christmas and New Year. Another convincing argument for me about the diet is that the types of food that you will be eating are all as natural as possible, natural fats as in dairy products; unadulterated protein as in meats and carbohydrates that exist already in natural foods as in vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds – all you are doing is eliminating the obvious man-made high carbohydrate foods ie the cereal based ones in bread, rice, pasta, noodles, the high starch veg like potato and also all sugar. It is interesting that refined sucrose and white flour have absolutely no nutritional value, and yet the population of the western world population is fuelled by these two high car
            b products. What you are aiming for is eating the highest nutrient value foods that are absorbed the most slowly. The book explains the purpose of this; it is all about avoiding insulin spikes. A spoonful of pure nutritionally useless glucose will give you an almost instant energy spurt whereas a careful choice of a natural food is absorbed much more slowly, providing nutrition, roughage, minerals, vitamins and is far more hunger satisfying. Not far off pure glucose is white flour, so white toast for breakfast is again nutritionally useless, it gives you a sense of being “full”, is quickly metabolised and being almost pure carbohydrate is converted to and layed down as fat. A couple of hours later you are hungry again for mid morning tea and bikkies. Waste of time, make time to have a decent cooked breakfast and you won’t be hungry till at gone midday. There have been three interesting and unexpected side effects from doing this diet. Suppression of hunger, my taste buds and cravings. Reading the book these are mentioned, but I had forgotten them and they took me by surprise. I did forget to have lunch till mid afternoon on a couple of occasions, that was totally alien to me before. The other is a change in the taste buds. I actually like black decaffeinated coffee now, it tastes of coffee, and I can easily eat cheese and pate without a biscuit or toast. Broccoli, courgettes, cauliflower, even a small white cabbage gently cooked with a knob of butter and black pepper, lovely. Previously I would have been saying what no gravy, can’t eat that. You will be amazed how tasty some things really are. Cravings have disappeared. I was never that desperate for a bar of chocolate or a biscuit, but once someone in the house has opened a packet I could easily demolish it, my famous home baked bread is delicious and I would have the occasional chunk with spread and honey. Now though open packets really don’t bother me. So
            it isn’t all willpower, the diet even looks after this aspect for you. I had always enjoyed a breakfast of big bowl of bran flakes with skimmed milk, two slabs of homemade bread with spread and honey and two or three mugs of milky tea. During the induction phase I was totally into boiled eggs, fried breakfasts, omelettes and a mug of black decaff coffee. Previously I was really hungry for my sandwich, yoghurt and piece of fruit by midday. Now I might take a large mixed salad with ham, pate, cheese, cold meat, hard-boiled egg etc. Several coffees and teas later I might have nibbled a biscuit mid afternoon. Now though, after four or so bottles of water, I nibble nothing. In the evenings I might have eaten salads, casseroles, pasta, roasts, mince etc, followed by big bowl of fresh fruit and yoghurt. Now I eat whatever the rest of the family is having but substitute the pure starches for an extra veg. Instead of potato I'd have broccoli, cauliflower, courgettes, leeks, cabbage, anything, the bowl of fruit is restricted to the lower carbohydrate ones and I have cream or crème fraiche rather than yoghurt. This diet really is easy. Now my weight has stabilised I am adding back a slice or two of my homemade wholemeal bread, fresh yoghurt and the odd potato or small portion of rice or pasta. What you will notice, and you need to watch, is that you can easily trigger hunger pangs a couple of hours later - it’s all about sugar spikes in the blood triggering cravings. As the book says white flour and white sugar are devoid of any goodness, so my long-term aim is simply to avoid them completely. As for other pure starches ie potato, white rice and white pasta, I eat very little but eat more nutritionally valid vegetables. I have taken a new interest in food labels and some are quite revealing when you read them in the Atkins way. The carbohydrates that count are only those that you can digest so you need to take to
            tal carbs minus the fibre content. So you can search for anything from fruit to crackers for the nutritionally low carb products. Food can only consist of the three building blocks: protein, fat and carbohydrate. The higher one is the lower the others must be. A good example I found was ham, chicken and turkey prepacked slices. Interestingly the quality ones tend to have much lower carbohydrates, this is telling me they aren’t pumped full of sugar water. The quality cheeses have higher fat content and low or nil carbohydrates, so perhaps not been processed, re-constituted and expanded with non-fats. It throws a new light on things and agrees with the principles I already had of not eating any foods loaded with unnecessary additives. Getting as close to the raw ingredient must be the healthy aim in life. Buy them fresh, cook them yourself and enjoy the rich flavours that nature provides. As Atkins says it seems our bodies have been poisoned for years by nutritionally void carbohydrates. There is a multi billion pound industry out there ruining the health of millions of people. Let’s take some action.

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              18.06.2003 21:06
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              Well, i've been dieting for years, almost since i was 16 and i've never been monstrously over weight. I'm just one of those people who'se weight fluctuates and not one of the lucky few that can eat just exactly as they please. As i've got older,(i'm only 28 so not pretending to be wordly wise or anything) losing the pounds after a period of scoffing has got harder and harder. Presumably my body has got wise to the pattern and changed my metabolism to suit! A few years ago, i did atkins (militantly) for the first time and lost about a stone, felt fantastic and couldnt imagine ever putting weight back on again. And then it happened, about 3-4 weeks into the diet, i discovered a recipe for Atkins truffles, with cream and hi-cocoa chocolate and nuts. I did what any chocolate starved girl would do and made a batch of truffles immediately, making mental note that i would only be able to eat 2 when finished. and you know where this story is going - i chomped all of them and fell of the atkins diet wagon. 2 years later, i decided on a last resort before i gave up the weight fight and admitted i'd always be chubby, i went back to good old lo-carb atkins. I cant say that i'll be on it forever but i've been doing it for about 4 months now and i've lost a stone and a half. I still allow myself the odd treat so that i dont go chocolate crazy but i just make sure that i count the carbs and stay in control. The main thing i'd say about this diet is that you need to be very disciplined - if youre eating the bacon and eggs for breakfast, then having a sandwich at lunchtime is not going to work - even if it is low fat. The full book thats available is good but the smaller carbohydrate counter is actually easier to get started with. There is a website 'atkinscentre.com' which is also useful but teases you with offers of atkins chocolate bars etc - which will cost around
              £400 a piece by the time you buy them and have them shipped from america! Eating out isnt as bad as you might expect with meals like steak (salad instead of chips) or chicken, omelettes, prawn cocktail and cheese for afters. I could list lots of meal options however i would like to suggest my favourite treat: low sugar jelly (raspberry), 3 strawberrys, small handful of bran flakes and cream - you will never feel deprived on this diet with treats like that!

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                13.11.2002 09:49
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                OK, I've read the opinions and comments about The Atkins Diet, but I feel that a lot of people still don't really understand this diet. The Atkins Diet is huge in America, and is starting to hit the UK. The Atkins Diet is a low carbohydrate diet. I could go into a very lengthy description of how it works but I will try to keep it basic. Basically, Carbohydrate is what gives us energy. We burn Carbs to keep our body going. Therefore, when we exercise, we will use carbs first, and then the fat that we eat, and finally the fat that is stored in our body. Therefore, the low carb diet is designed to cut out step one of the process, jumping straight to burning fat. If we don't use all the carbs that we take in, these carbs will turn to fat too! In addition, the fat and protein that we take in on this diet react in some way (I'm not sure of the specifics) so that the fat we eat is not stored in the body! This means that on the low carb diet, when we exercise we basically jump straight to step three: burning body fat for energy! Now, the diet goes as follows: First 2 weeks: You are not allowed to eat more than 20 grams of carb per day... this sends your body into 'Ketosis', changing the way your body works so that it burns more body fat as energy. Recommended foods are: As much as you want of: Any meat including poultry Cheese Eggs Fish You can also eat small quantities of low carb food such as brocolli, courgettes, butter, cream, strawberries (yes, that was strawberries and cream!!!) etc You can expect to lose up to 1 stone in the first fortnight as your body changes! After 2 weeks: You are allowed up to 40 grams of carbohydrate per day, or more if weight loss is more than 3 pounds per week. Extra foods include most vegetables, some fruit etc Foods to be avoided are mainly pasta, potatoes, bread, sugar, chocolate, cakes etc
                Also you are advised to EXERCISE, as with any diet. Initially it all sounds rather expensive, but you'll find you save the extra money that you would have spent when you popped into Maccy's, or stocked up on goodies! Now you know how it works, I guess you are all screaming 'this is going to give you a heart attack!!!' Research shows that this diet actually lowers your cholesterol! All I know is that it is something to do with the way your body changes for the better! The only recommendation I would give is that you don't stay on the 'ketosis' part of the diet for more than 2 weeks, and that you don't stay on the main part of the diet for more than 6 months. The only proven down side of this diet seems to be 'bone loss'. As you are not allowed milk on the diet, it is advised that you take vitamin tablets whilst on it to keep your calcium levels (among others) normal! Now then, personal experience time! I started this diet due to being 5 stone over my ideal weight. It was recommended to me by a counsellor and I thought it sounded terrible! However, I read the book and discovered that I didn't have to become carniverous! I ate up the food I had stored and bought in fresh and frozen food; whole chickens, joints of beef, sausages, burgers, lots of varieties of cheese, eggs, courgettes, mushrooms, strawberries, cream, brocolli, butter... it looked pretty good! I found breakfast most difficult, as I don't like fry ups (eg bacon, sausage, egg, mushrooms, all fried in butter), but I started off eating leftover chicken for breakfast, cheese omelette and tuna for lunch, and lots of chicken with courgettes fried in butter and cheese for my dinner. I snacked on prepackaged chicken, pork or beef and lumps of cheese and I can honestly say I have never eaten so much in my life as when I was on my diet. I found in the first few days that I go
                t major chocolate cravings, despite the fact that I have no sweet tooth whatsoever, but I got over that pretty quickly! I was surprised to find that I did not feel at all tired, in fact I felt better than I had in years! I weighed myself after a few days, convinced that I would have put on weight from eating too much, and was amazed to see the pounds dropping off! By the end of my 2 week 'ketosis' period, I found that I had lost 12 pounds! And that was with no exercise at all! I put up my carbohydrate intake and perservered for a couple of weeks but only lost a couple more pounds, maybe I wasn't being strict enough, or most likely it was due to my lack of exercise, due to a long term illness. Due to this, I decided to come off the diet for a while as I was getting very bored of chicken and cheese!!! The good thing about this diet is, I have kept the weight off, and my trousers won't stay up!!! I know that I can go back to the diet in a few weeks, as you can re-start ketosis at any time! I plan to lose my weight bit by bit, stone by stone, with breaks in between. Looking back now, I see how bad my normal diet was, crisps, meals out, occasional chocolate bars, loads of pasta, white bread, sugar... and I see how addicted I was to carbohydrates! I even had cravings for bread when I started the diet, and I have always disliked bread! Without any effort now, I can see that I eat more healthily, more vegetables, fruit and fresh meat, much less prepackaged meals and sugary foods. Thats what the Dr Atkins diet is really about, not the fast weight loss, or eating mountains of cheese, but pulling yourself out of the sugar addiction that we all unknowingly have, and educating yourself to eat a healthier diet without even thinking about it!

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                  24.07.2002 00:24
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                  The first time I heard about this diet was from my mum, she had heard from a friend about it. We decided to have a look in one of Doctor Atkins book and have a read of it before we decided to do it or not. We thought that it sounded quite good and give it a go. What you have to do is cut the amount of carbohydrates you eat to 20 grams a day, for two weeks. This means cutting out pasta, rice, potatoes and high carbohydrate bread. You can eat loads of meat, vegetables (only certain ones, you’ll have to look in the book to know exactly what.), fish and nuts. I could tell you exactly what but you would get bored. So you eat your 20 grams per day by checking every food wrapper for exactly how much carbo’s it has got in it. You can get a low carbohydrate bread from weight watchers if you really need bread but you can only have one bit a day because it has got about 8 grams per slice, and that is the lowest we could find. But as long as you keep the rest of your carbo’s down it doesn’t matter. I struggled at first with this diet because I do eat a lot of pasta and potatoes. In fact I could live off pasta. So cutting it out was very hard for me, and things like some sauces are high as well, so it was quite difficult. But once you have gotten going then you learn what things you can put with what, and make low sauces etc. You could have a fry up for your breakfast everyday and still loose weight! When your two weeks are up you can then increase your daily carbohydrate intake to 50 grams a day, which does help. When I first started, I only done it for the two weeks and I lost 12lbs. I am now doing it again, I have just finished my first week and I have lost 4lbs already. At first I did loose it slowly but the second week I lost the most. You are using up your body fat, because when you eat loads of carbohydrates it is quick energy, so if you don’t use all of your quick energy it will turn itself into fat, which will build up
                  into body fat. That is why they say that low fat diets will make you gain weight in the end because you are eating more carbohydrates. But by eating low carbohydrates you are having slow energy, which you can use over time and will run out so you have to use your stored energy which is your body fat. (I hope that made sense) My conclusion is that it is a good diet to go on, but I don’t think I could do it all the while because I love my pasta too much. The Atkins Diet books are very good, one explains to you how your body works while you are on the diet and the other book has recipes in it, most are savoury but there are some sweets in there too. We tried the cheesecake, it doesn’t have the biscuit bottom, but it is very nice. Another thing about this diet, you are never hungry after a meal!

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                    12.07.2002 20:48
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                    How would you like to spend a fortnight eating bacon and eggs and lose several pounds at the same time? I just did, but I won't be doing it again for a long time! The Atkins Diet is now a huge phenomenon with his book in the top ten paperback list. Hundreds of overweight Americans (and Brits) have turned to Dr Atkins to help them lose weight fast while not going hungry. For that is the secret of this diet - you should never be left feeling hungry - which surely means this diet has a bigger success rate than many others you might have tried. For years we have been led to believe that fats are the root of all evil, and that we ought to instead consume more fibre and eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Dr Atkins says sucks to that, and turns this theory on its head, arguing that carbohydrates are actually the root of all evil, and that our stone-age forebearers survived on animal flesh and the odd berry, so surely that's the way to go after all. They were certainly thinner than us, but I suspect it may have been less to do with their diet and more to do with the fact that a) playstations and comfy sofas hadn't yet been invented and b) eating for Stone-Age man necessarily required more exercise than dialing pizza express. Conveniently, Dr Atkins doesn?t mention Neolithic mans life expectancy. (Wasn't it about 40 years?) So, says Dr Atkins, fats are good. In fact, anything with no carbohydrate is a "free" food, so you can eat literally as much bacon and eggs as you desire. Have them with a side helping of clotted cream if you want. Believe me, this sounds good until you have had three days of eating bacon and eggs, by which time you feel the oil oozing out of your skin and feel like a walking lump of lard. Not pleasant. Of course, Dr A (or shall we call him Dr Evil from now on?) insists, for the record, that he does not advocate having no carbohydrates at all, but simply fewer than we would normally have. Th
                    e diet is split into three parts: For the first two weeks you follow the Induction programme (20 grams a day or less) and then this gradually increases as you move onto OWL (on-going weight loss) and then onto the Maintenance periods of the diet. (He's also gone off the word "diet" and replaced it with "programme", to hammer home the point that this is a life-change, not a quick-fix diet - except I guess about 95% of people do this diet, watch the weight drop off, and three weeks later go right back to cake, bread and pasta. 20 grams of carbohydrate may actually sound like quite a lot for every day, until you consider there?s about 80g in a mug of Horlicks and 20g in a packet of crisps. How does it work? Lets be straight, IT WORKS. Regardless of whether it is good for you or not, you will lose weight on this diet, especially for the first fortnight. Whether your heart will pack in a week later is another question. By removing carbohydrate and replacing it with protein, your body has to look elsewhere for energy and it does so by using a process called "ketosis". This is basically the burning of body fat. Atkins suggests you go out and get some ketone testing strips from the pharmacist. You can wee on these and if they turn purple, you are in ketosis. Personally I'd rather just watch the pounds drop off. I tried 6 independent pharmacists before I could get hold of any, and Boots told me quite categorically that they would not sell them to me (even though they had them) as they didn't condone "the diet". If you really want them, lie and say you are diabetic, as they do sell them to diabetics. More about Ketosis "Ketosis" is something the body uses in emergencies as a reaction to starvation. However, when used for prolonged periods, it leaves deposits of uric acid in the blood stream, which the kidneys get rid of. But lots of uric acid in the kidneys is the cause of kidney stone
                    s. I wouldn't therefore advocate doing this diet for longer than two weeks. I don't believe you can do yourself much harm in two weeks, after all. Other negative effects Dr Atkins says you will be bursting with energy after two weeks on his diet, with your metabolism now functioning more efficiently and all your cravings for sugar and sweet things gone (really, that bit is true.) However, you will also be unable to poo. Think about it. No fibre for a fortnight? I survived this bit of the fortnight by taking senakot tablets, so you need to get some of these or something similar just in case. You will also need to take vitamin supplements (essential oils and multi-vits) to make up for all the vitamins you won't be getting by cutting out things like fruit and veg. What will I be eating? For the first fortnight you can eat as much of the following as you like: red meat, fish, poultry, cheese, eggs, and lots of green salads.with dressings like full fat ceasar or blue cheese. You can also eat vegetables of 10 percent carb or less (broccoli, mushrooms etc). So long as you eat less than 20g carb a day, you can add other bits and pieces to the diet. Animal fat is fine, but burgers are not (added sugar.) The golden rule is check the packets for carbohydrate. Don't think you can do this diet by eating sausages and burgers! Its not as cheap as that, in fact it cost us a fortune in meat and cheeses. You are supposed to cut out coffee and tea (no chance!) but I didn't and this didn't affect my weight loss. Whats do I have to cut out? All fruit, pasta, bread, rice, flour, starchy vegetables, potatoes, +crisps, sweets, chocolate (although you can buy special Atkins bars from the website) and sugar. Recipes In the Atkins book you can find recipes to make "basic protein bread" which uses soya flour, and if you can get hold of soya flour (not as easy as it sounds, try a big sainsburys) you ca
                    n also make things like pancakes. Cheese sauce was one of the funniest recipes I came across, basically you heat up some single cream and add grated cheese (like, 500g!) until it is vaguely thick. How on EARTH can that be good for you? There are some gourmet recipes in the back of the general Atkins book (bright orange cover) but try as I might I couldn?t image chicken curry without rice or naan bread? boo! How much did I lose? I did the diet strictly for a fortnight and lost six pounds. Then I reverted to normal eating again, and I've put it back on since. But for a quick diet (eg for a wedding or something) I would recommend it for two weeks. From a health point of view, I think its nonsense (Dr Evil has just been admitted to hospital with suspected heart problems!) The diet goes against all the things doctors have been trying to tell us for years about healthy eating, and I don't believe it is a good long-term solution at all. However, it was a good two weeks apart from the constipation, and we enjoyed our steak and salads!

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                      18.02.2002 03:57
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                      There appear to be a lot of negative comments and perceptions on this diet. I am wondering how many have actually read the book and understand the principles. Yes, initially I was "confused" and sceptical before finding out the facts. I am not medically trained, but I do have a keen interest in medicine (the whole family work in the medical trade except me, so I can't escape it). Before starting this diet, I checked the medical facts out and found that I was OK to proceed (always check with a qualified physician before embarking on any diet or intensive exercise plan). Read the book first, it explains everything you will be doing. I made the choice to go on this diet after my doctors failed to advise me on how to avoid becoming diabetic (I was diagnosed borderline). This book had logical, clearly defined reasons and external backup references that would take you years to read. The book itself is primarily about rebalancing the body. A two-week induction phase achieves this, where you cut down (not cease) your carbohydrate intake to 20gms a day maximum. This puts your body into a state called Ketosis. Ketosis is a stage at which your body will no longer use the glucose in your bloodstream for energy, reverting instead to your stored fat. As I am keen on weight training, I didn't want a diet that affected my muscle mass (as WeightWatchers did). WeightWatchers left me with good weight loss (3 stone), but poor energy levels and strength. This diet has worked for me, allowing me to perform normally in the gym, without my energy level dropping quickly. The diet strongly advises that you buy Bioketone testing strips to monitor your level of ketosis. I purchased some testing strips called "Ketostix" from a local pharmacy. These cost me £4.70 for 50 strips. You test your levels by passing a strip through your urine and measuring the colour against the pot. This indicates your level of ketosis. It is si
                      mple and quick to perform (reading takes 15 seconds). If you are too heavily into ketosis, you need to bring yourself back to a moderate level. This is achieved by adding more carbs into the daily diet. Finally, you will need to take some good vitamin tablets during the initial stages, along with Omega3 oils. Generally, these are the two most used supplements to most people, so you may find you are already taking these on your normal 'balanced' diet. INDUCTION Stage The principle behind the 'shock' to the system is that in order to regain a balance, you tip the body into the opposite direction and then bring it back to a neutral level. The first two weeks is the dramatic swing, where you cut carbs down to 20gms or less a day. You can have unlimited quantities of meats (including poultry and fish), eggs, most cheeses and a selection of vegetables that are low in carbs. This is the point at which you will lose most weight. You are quite restricted in these two weeks. You will need to stop caffeine intake, drop all sugars, and avoid anything containing wheat. People only seem to pick up on this initial fortnight as being the diet..it is not. Of course it sounds ludicrous that a diet allows double cream in your tea (decaffeinated!), instead of milk. This is due to the lower carb content. It seems strange to be eating eggs and bacon every day for breakfast, but who in reality does that? I have a varied and delicious breakfast each day. ONGOING WEIGHTLOSS stage The next phase is Ongoing Weight loss. This principle is designed for you to start rebalancing your system slowly, increasing your carbohydrate levels along the way. The fact is that the quicker you increase your carbs, the less quickly you will begin to loose weight. This is the stage at which you start to aim for your target weight. It is recommended that you don't increase your carb intake by more than 5gms a day, as not to drop out
                      of ketosis. As you will see, this is starting to bring the levels of carbs back up again gradually (its not all meat, meat, meat!). When you are within 6lbs of your target weight, you go onto the Pre-Maintenance phase. PRE-MAINTENANCE stage The idea of this phase is to lose the last half stone over a 3 to 4 month period. It is a very slow loss of weight, but the idea is that your start fine-tuning your intake of carbs to a level at which your body neither loses nor gains weight. To me that is sensible. My experience. As I had to cut out caffeine (not a bad exercise), I found that I had a headache on day 1 and two of the diet. Bear in mind that the diet itself did not cause this initial symptom, as I didn't go into ketosis until the 3rd day. I did experience mild muscle ache, on days 3 and 4, but this left. Also, I was thirstier than normal nut I was now drinking at least 2 litres of water a day (as any doc will tell you to). My initial weight loss was steady and good. Similar to the best results I achieved on WeightWatchers, but the benefits were great !. I was more energetic after day 3. I always felt sluggish at work after lunch, but this didn.t happen on this diet. My sleeping was the best I had in years and steady (always waking at the same time now without requiring a snooze button attack). My concentration levels increased and I felt I was breathing better (this has been attributed to sinus problems on some people that drink milk, which I stopped doing). The diet claims that you will reduce your cholesterol, blood pressure and general effects of being overweight. I will be getting these checked again soon to clarify the claims. I have a way to go yet, but so far I have no real criticisms on this diet. Sure it is more expensive buying chicken than the usual rubbish I had in sandwiches, but I feel great at the moment and ensure I get a good stock of vegetables in as my carbs.
                      As for being a fad, I don't think people realise that this diet has been out there for over 20 years. A fad is something that comes and goes. I have made what I consider to be an informed choice. It won't last forever, but I hope it will continue to help me reach a good weight level.

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                        17.10.2001 23:56
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                        Introducing myself… My name is Dr. Daniel Andersson and I am a qualified medical practitioner with more than thirty years’ clinical experience. I enjoy writing articles that inform, educate and empower; attempting all the time to describe seemingly complex and indecipherable terms and concepts in simple, everyday language. Good health is essential for quality of life, yet many people are still poorly informed concerning the fundamentals of healthy living. I hope to use my articles to help set the record straight. I intend to keep my articles as accessible and enjoyable as possible; my purpose is clear: to encourage everyone to understand the science of good health better, and to apply this knowledge to their own everyday lives. For this reason, I will try to keep medical jargon to a minimum; and to employ analogy to help get difficult ideas across to the reader in an effective and understandable manner. Today’s topic: The Atkin’s Diet The Atkin’s Diet has been around for many years, but for those who know little or nothing about it, I shall attempt a brief description. The Atkin’s Diet is so-named because of its originator: a Dr. Robert C. Atkins of New York City who developed his eating plan concept 30 years ago. The plan has been popularised through a series of best-selling books, including his 1972 ‘Dr Atkins’s Diet Revolution’. The Atkins plan consists of four steps: a 14 day ‘induction’ period (where the dieter is expected to reduce carbohydrate intake to under 20 grams a day), and three periods where carbohydrate intake is gradually increased (though kept continuously below what Atkins insists to be a person’s ‘critical carbohydrate level’ for losing and maintaining weight). The dieter is allowed to eat unlimited non-carbohydrate food, and large amounts of dietary supplements are recommended
                        . Nothing new The Atkins Diet plan is nothing new. Low-carbohydrate diets have been around for decades, and a lot of objective scientific and medical research into their efficacy and side-effects has been carried out over the years. In the short term, the diet works because of a process in the body called ‘ketosis’. Ketosis is the burning of certain fats (called ‘ketones’) in the body. Where only small amounts of carbohydrate food is eaten, the body increases its rate of ‘fat-burning’ (ketosis) and weight loss often occurs. However, there are some potentially unpleasant side-effects, including heartburn and bad breath. Other problems with Atkins’ diet plan Many dieters are excited by the considerable amount of weight loss often experienced in the diet’s first few weeks. However, most of this loss is water and not fat based. The lost water is regained quickly after normal eating is resumed. Because the plan asks for dieters to drastically reduce their carbohydrates in favour of other foods, many of those people following the plan will eat much more saturated fat – which as we all know increases the risk of heart disease. Some studies have reported that as much as 59% of the diet consists of fat (the recommended level is 10-20%). Eating less carbohydrates also requires the dieter to steer clear of nutritionally-dense foods such as fruit, vegetables and wholegrains. Simply trying to make up for the drastic reduction in vital minerals and vitamins, through the use of supplements, is not enough to compensate for the overall lack of good nutrition. Is the diet effective in the longer-term? Many who continue with the plan over many months, sometimes even years, complain of tiredness, nausea and other related symptoms. Several of the patients I have treated for obesity in my own practice attempted the Atkins diet, and not one
                        remained on the plan for longer than four months: all eventually responded to more conventional weight loss techniques, such as increased exercise and eating a more rounded diet. Studies suggest that less than 1% of dieters who successfully keep their weight down in the longer-term use low-carbohydrate eating plans. Moreover, the same study suggests that you are nearly twice as likely to control your weight into the longer-term with a non-low carbohydrate diet than by following the Atkins plan. It’s worth noting that in spite of the fact that around 60,000 people have been treated for weight problems at the Atkins centre over the years, not one study has been carried out to determine the success rates for long-term use of the plan. Such a study would be very easy to carry out, bearing in mind the large number of people treated by the centre. I think this fact speaks for itself. So, how can I lose weight effectively? I don’t generally recommend diets, as they most often simply don’t work. Trying to stick to a heavily restricted and monotonous diet is clearly not good for anyone, and can often lead to excessive and unhealthy eating habits. The point to make here is that it is possible to lose weight healthily, avoiding the potential pitfalls and long-term frustration that often will open up to Atkins plan devotees. First off, eat a balanced, nourishing and nutrient-dense diet. By this, I mean eat plenty of wholegrains (bread, cereals), nuts (walnuts, brazil nuts), low fat dairy products (semi-skimmed milk, cheese, yoghurt), fruit (bananas, pineapples, mangoes), vegetables (carrots, onions, leeks), lean meat (beef, chicken), fish (especially oily fish such as tuna and sardines), tea (rich in antioxidants that delay the ageing process) and complex carbohydrate meal fillers (potatoes, pasta) etc. Exercise is recommended for healthy and sustainable weight reduction. Just a brisk 20 minut
                        e walk 3 times a week is a good start. Swimming, rope skipping and aerobics are also very good forms of exercise. The bottom line Avoid fad diets, however much they are popularised, and instead implement a more balanced, healthier, longer-term approach to losing weight and eating well. Remember: the Atkins Diet isn’t only ineffective, it can potentially damage your health. Always consult your GP before attempting a long-term diet or eating plan.

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                          26.09.2001 05:25
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                          Lots and lots of people go on diets don't they? Especially after Christmas and during the summer when they are preparing to jet off to some exotic location and wear a tiny little bikini. Fat people go on diets, thin people go on diets, medium sized people go on diets and people put their dogs on diets. Let me tell you, before you go on your diet that it will fail. It will fail before it has even begun. This is because it is a diet. A diet is a special eating regime. It doesn't matter if you go on the Hay diet, the Cambridge diet, the Food combining diet, or the Atkins diet (which I will mention later on). You could even go on the Eat Nothing but Plastic diet or the Diet by Star Sign Diet. All of them are as effective as one another. A diet is a short lived attempt to change a long term problem. Once the diet is over the hard work is done, right? Wrong. Your body is now used to eating less calories, if you have lost weight your body will need less calories anyway simply because there is less of you. When you go back to eating normally you will begin to pile the pounds back on. Worse, the lean muscle that you lost on your diet is no longer there to help you burn the calories so you get fatter. There is no diet in the world that can reasonably claim to help you lose weight without having this effect. The Food combining diets like the Hay diet help you to lose weight because they have so many rules that you end up eating far less than you would have done anyway. Anthea Turner's diet plan consists of such disgusting foods that I imagine it to cause weight loss through vomiting. The very low calorie diets like the cabbage soup diet are some of the worst offenders, they can kill and have done. I recently read a couple of chapters of what was possibly the most extreme diet book I have ever seen. It was called "living on light". The woman who wrote it claims that we do not need food, we can live off some kind of spiritual
                          energy and advises her readers to abstain from food for periods of up to two weeks. She should rename her work "Living on Lies". The diet plan par excellance has got to be the Dr Atkins diet. He recommends cutting out most of the carbohydrate from your diet. Anyone fancy pate not on toast or a burger without a bun? How disgusting. To make matters worse he lies to the reader, informing him or her that this is in fact the diet we are designed to eat. To determine the truth of this statement you have only to look at your teeth and realise that they are not, in fact designed for this at all. To catabolise fat normally you need some glucose. The Atkins victim soon runs out of available glucose whereupon the body will begin to metabolise fat differently. This process is energy wasteful and explains the massive weightloss that occurs on this type of diet. Protein from the diet and from skeletal muscle are also catabolised without glucose and thus weight loss becomes decidedly marked. The Atkins victim will be able to tell that this is happening because they can now get into their jeans. The friends of the Atkins victim will be able to tell that this is happening because their mate will smell horrible. This is because the metabolic process I have just referred to produces substances called ketones at a rate too fast for cells to handle. These smell fruity and rather unpleasant. They are eliminated from the body at first in the urine. As levels of ketones (which are acidic by the way) the body will struggle to expel it and enough will be expelled along with carbon dioxide to flavour the breath with acetone (smells of pear drops). Eventually this compensatory mechanism will fail and a condition called ketoacidosis may result. In ketoacidosis the concentration of ketones has become sufficient to cause the pH of the blood to fall below 7.35. This condition can result in coma and is very serious indeed. I have had friends go on this diet and have wa
                          tched them in their constipated misery. I have seen them emerge from this diet looking as if they have had a brush with cancer. Needless to say they were soon back to their cheerful, somewhat fat selves. There is only one diet that truly works for health and weight loss. A balanced diet. For life. Team it with plenty of exercise and fresh air and you'll soon be slim and glowing with health.

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                            19.08.2001 21:42
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                            When I first heard about this diet from my Mum I have to say I thought she was mad, not because I thought it was particually bad, just because is sounded quite hard to stick to. I love bread, pasta and potatoes (3 of the 4 main things that you can't eat on this diet...the other being rice). So this diet sounded like a nightmare to me at first.That was before I saw how much weight my Mum and step Dad lost in just over a week! Mum has tried a lot of diets and I think itis fair to say that most, if not all of them haven't worked! So I started this diet. I probably found it easier because the whole household was doing it, but it was no where near as impossible as I thought it would be. Being on a diet that allows you to eat a substatial amount of cheese sounds like heaven to me. Basically you can eat as much 'free foods' as you like, these are fish, meat, cheese and eggs. But you must monitor how many carbohidrates you eat...there is a list at the back of Atkins book that helps with this. For the first 2 weeks you eat 20 carbs a day, no alcohol or caffiene. After that you can start introducing more foods, and eating more carbs. The first 2 weeks I did the diet perfectly without being 'naughty'. I lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks!!! I am still on the diet ....of sorts. I do allow myself to have bread etc. but in moderation. 2.5 months on I am still losing weight, I have lost nearly 2 stone. People say that they find this diet difficult to stick to at work. I work shifts, but I didn't find it as hard as I thought. I had a packed lunch of snacks e.g. cheese, suausage, chicken etc. I found that I was eating more than I was previously but still losing weight. Lots of people had negative things to say about this diet, although in hind sight none of them knew what they were talking about. None of my family had any problems with the diet or their health as a result of it. I don't doubt that this diet
                            will not suit everybody, but no diet does. My advice is give it a go. Good luck.

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                              19.08.2001 17:25
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                              i consider this diet the butchers diet.Just Because the only really thing you can eat is meat.I mean the first stage is called the induction stage.And basically all the carbohydrate you are allowed to eat is 20 carbs a day .Which if you don't know thats about half a slice of whitebread.That means you can hardly eat anything like a chocolate bar,can of coke,chips.You say you could probably live without those but basically most foods contain more than 20 carbs.so an banna split is about 91 carbs and blueberry muffin is about 50 carbs.So you would have to live on such primative carbs for two weeks.Then when you've finished on the induction stage you would on owls (ongoing weight loss) where you can eat about 45 carbs a day.Then hopefully finished losing your weight you would go on the maintenance stage where you would reduce the carbs till you stop losing weight.

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                                15.08.2001 23:22
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                                The Dr Atkins diet is based on the belief that by cutting down carbohydrate intake, you can teach your body to burn fat, rather than carbs. For the first two weeks of the diet, you cut out carbs almost completly (this includes fruit, bread pasta, rice etc..) I found the inital two weeks of the diet, where you cut out carbs completly very hard. It made me feel very tired and weak, and after ten days I had to give up. You can eat as much protein, meat, eggs, etc.. as you like and this is why the diet is so easy to follow- you are never hungry. the reason that the diet has been given such bad press is becaues people have been following this part of the diet for longer. Obviously if you cut out a food group completley it isn't healthy. After the initial two weeks you start to introduce carbs back into your diet. My friend has been on it for 6 months now and looks fantastic. She has lost a total of 1 1/2 stone! As with any diet it doesn't suit everyone. You'd be suprised how many carbs are in an apple! (17)

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                                  20.07.2001 21:30
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                                  I am at the moment recovering from an illness and found that treatment had left me completely out of shape. You know, where you can't be bothered to make it to the gym either, and you feel really rotten because your weight is creeping up on you until one day the shock of checking the scales is too much and you think, right, that's it, I'm now taking control of my life again. So I tried the Atkins plan. After having heard so much about it and being a hopeless case (or so I thought) I decided to give it a go. I was promised rapid weight loss etc. so did it keep that promise? No, not in my case. But that is not to say I had no success. After about a month on a very low-carb diet I have managed to lose about 9 pounds. Maybe the fact that this is not as much as I was promised is more to do with my body than the diet itself, but I am nevertheless not complaing. I have found I had to watch my calorie intake as well, but I definitely believe it is worth it. Bacon, cheese, cream, ham etc. - I didn't even know I was on a diet most of the time. First I noticed that I wasn't gaining any weight, which I had been worried about in the beginning (not surprising with that amount of fat). But then I actually started losing weight. At the same time I started feeling much better, and my mood has improved dramatically. The only downside I can see is that the diet (a diet for life! which for the first time after many failed diets I took to be a promise) would be difficult to maintain if you have to cook for the whole family, or if you are a vegetarian (although I'm not saying that it is impossible!). But still: give it a go. What have you got to lose aside from a few pounds?

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