My Reasons for Choosing the Atkins Diet


My weight has never been an issue for me, not when I was a kid, not when I was in my roaring twenties (which are, happily, behind me, no pun intended), and not when I was in my early thirties (before I had my son). If my weight ever strayed above my optimum range, I knew all it would take was a bit of low-stress activity and a return to my usual eating habits to get me to my goal weight.

But Time Moves On

My kid was born healthy, but I gained 60 pounds during my pregnancy, and my shaky thyroid eventually gave out. When I turned 21, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, the endocrine disorder that causes weight gain and other unfavorable symptoms. I had been taking the daily tablet and participating in the annual blood tests without fail. Even yet, things shifted once she gave birth. Thyroid levels should be between 0.4 and 0.6. Thus mine being 10.0 is a clear sign that mine has crashed and is no longer controlling my body as it should.

Then, Begin the Dietary Cycle

I was the type of person who would “invent” diets at the age of 16 to try to keep my shape in check. One consisted only of hard-boiled eggs, bread, and liquid. I followed the plan and shed 18 pounds in just two weeks (the eggs are the key).

In retrospect, I should have followed The Scarsdale Diet. I can attest to its efficacy; nevertheless, the result is an eventual and profound aversion to tomatoes. Scarsdale serves meat coupled with a wide variety of vegetables and fruit. It’s a perfect balance. There is not the slightest hint of sweetness. I also strongly dislike black coffee.

The “diet in a box” variants followed. Sure, they work, but after using them for a week or so, you start associating the scent of cardboard with your meal, which may explain why they are effective. The true trick is balancing your carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake.

That’s how I ended up on the Atkins diet.

Atkins is not something I impulsively tried. I read the whole thing and did some more research on my own. Excellent scientific evidence and an enlightening look at the lobbyists who tell us what to eat (e.g., high-sugar cereal manufacturers suggesting that eggs aren’t good for us because they want us to buy their products).

Now that I had done my homework and had my trusty copy of The Atkins Diet, I cleaned up the kitchen of all the awful (but wonderful) things and began Phase 1 of the diet, which lasted for 14 days.

The numbers on the scale changed (and continue to change), but more importantly, my clothes began to “feel right” again almost immediately.

The induction diet lasts for a total of 14 days, as the name implies. However, if you weigh a lot more than you should, you can keep eating less than 20 grams of carbohydrates daily. It is still healthy even if highly overweight.

The different phases of this “lifetime, change your eating habits” diet is beyond the scope of this article so I won’t go into further detail. Everything you need to know is in the book, and you should read it. Many individuals I talk to say, “Oh, but that’s not a good diet. You consume excessive amounts of ___ or ___. And that’s just not good for you.

When someone makes a nasty comment, I ask them, “Have you read the book?”

When someone asks me something so absurd, my response is always the same: no. They continue to insist, however, with questionable credibility, that they are right. I keep moving while smiling. I’m skinny, and they usually (and I don’t mean this rudely) need to watch what they eat.

To give you some idea of what it’s like on the Atkins diet, I recently started it up again (yeah, I know it’s supposed to be a lifetime way of eating, but when have we, the American populace, ever done anything committed?) I had 30 unlucky pounds sitting on my butt that needed to be removed late last year (about August 2005) before they ballooned to 50 or more. I have a weakness for pretzels and other high-carb foods conveniently eaten by the handful.

I started losing weight in November 2005; by February 2006, I had reduced 33 pounds. That’s seven months of sticking to the Atkins diet plan’s recommended protein, fat, and carbohydrate ratios. With this method, you can safely lose weight at a rate of slightly under 5 pounds per month or around 1.25 pounds per week (give or take).

Even my milkshake recipe turned out to be a huge success. A can of Atkin’s Chocolate Royale, some ice, a Carb Hood Chocolate drink (chocolate, duh), a dash of Splenda and Torani Sugar-Free Hazelnut, and a pinch of salt. It’s satiating, healthy (full of vitamins and minerals), and helps you shed pounds like magic.

My experience with losing weight and becoming in shape is now complete. But before I go, I want to draw your attention to this fun fact.

Why are so many commercials now featuring the tagline “Order our diet in a box?” Which piece of advice do they give you first? It’s all about the glycemic index, of course, and “the pounds just melt right off!” if you follow the formula strictly.

They are correct, you know. In fact, up until recently, it was these very same people—along with the miracle pill industry and the “health conscience” community—who was yelling at you about how unhealthy The Atkins Diet was.

Duh… Decades ago, Atkins popularized and implemented the optimal carbohydrate combination diet. At least now, he has decades of data and anecdotes to back up his claims.

Anyone can achieve their weight loss goals by combining the proper foods. Combine eating less and exercising more, such as by walking, and you have a foolproof plan for losing weight and keeping it off for good.

To be as healthy, trim, and fit as is natural for YOU, you need to figure out what works for you, do it, and stick to it.

All Rights Reserved (c) Theresa Cahill, 2006.

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