A question for Atkins and former Atkins dieters

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eKatherine

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 1,286

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 09:14
Some years back, I tried the Atkins diet. Although I lost weight at first, I soon plateaued and stopped losing weight. Eventually I got bored and quit.

Research has shown that people on the Atkins diet lose weight because they end up eating fewer calories, probably because they find fat and protein more satisfying.

I have guessed that the reason I did not lose weight on Atkins was because I was eating too many calories.

My question is, has it happened to any of you that you stopped losing weight, even though you were keeping your carbs in the range you were supposed to be keeping them?

Ingria

Joined: Oct 11
Posts: 532

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 10:22
There is no diet that will allow you to lose weight if you just eat too much. The diet plan (any, I do not mean just Atkins) might allow you to reprogram your habits and hormonal responses (and not just insulin) and give you the way to intuitively regulate your food intake without measuring every spoon of food. Many diets are also rather restrictive in the beginning as this enforces some discipline and allows you to eliminate most common trigger foods, or foods that are not well tolerated by the majority of population. That is if the diet has some scientific backing like Atkins and is not a fad diet. In my personal experience, though I am not a devoted Atkins follower, staying in ketosis allows me to lose weight much faster while I am eating as many calories as I normally would, though it usually slows down eventually (for me this increase in weight loss in ketosis remains for a few weeks even after initial water loss). I would then slow down to my normal 1 lb in a weak or two or three, which is a normal rate for weight loss. I guess it because your body becomes more efficient in ketosis. For some it does not work at all. In the end you have to find the diet that is right for you. The one you can stick with for a long period of time, the one that works for your body, and not somebody else's and the one that works for your life style and personal believes, as most of us view food as much more than just fuel for the body. A good example is the holiday we are going to celebrate this week.
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The first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor. ~ Author Unknown
It doesn’t matter what diet you follow… What matters is what makes you follow your diet. ~ Tom Venuto
eKatherine

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 1,286

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 11:25
I was wondering how common this is. Isn't it true that the Atkins diet suggests to dieters that is it not necessary to control your calorie intake as long as you keep your carbs on target?
Ingria

Joined: Oct 11
Posts: 532

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 11:42
How common is what? Not losing weight in ketosis or not being able to follow the diet or not being able to lose weigh after induction? And how do you want to define "common" - scientific research or anecdotal evidence? Carbs are a heated topic and you will get tons of replies from people for whom it works, and for whom it does not. And both groups will be perfectly right as they will be sharing their personal experience and not statistical information. If you want to know what Atkins diet advocate read the book (preferably the books as they evolved over the years) and don't listen to what people say about the diet (though the majority of people still are able to see only the information they want to see regardless of what is actually written).
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The first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor. ~ Author Unknown
It doesn’t matter what diet you follow… What matters is what makes you follow your diet. ~ Tom Venuto
eKatherine

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 1,286

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 12:11
Well, "common" would be that it often happens that people stall out and need to start counting calories, in comparison with it hardly happening to anyone. If you and I were the only ones who failed to lose weight and also needed to control calories, then I would say it was not common at all.

The Atkins diet, like most, does not and cannot account for how many drop out and why. That is what I am interested in feedback on. On a site like this, there must be a great many people who have tried various diets and can make comparisons based on criteria like that.
BuffyBear

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 403

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 12:52
I got to a point where I had to start limiting calories to jump start my weight loss. Please don't look at my weight graph of late, but when I do follow my plan of low carb and low calorie I will lose weight.
Eat like your life depends on it.

Sandy701

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 344

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 14:00
eKatherine wrote:
Isn't it true that the Atkins diet suggests to dieters that is it not necessary to control your calorie intake as long as you keep your carbs on target?


"The New Atkins for a New You" references calories in a couple of sections, beginning with the "How Are You Doing" section of the "Welcome to Phase 1, Induction" portion.

On p. 107, the book states,"Although you don't have to count calories on Atkins, if you're overdoing the protein and fat, you may be taking in too many calories. We know we said that you don't have to count calories on Atkins, and the vast majority of people don't, but you may need a reality check."

Later in the book, on page 129, in "Moving to Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss," one of the possible actions to breaking through a plateau is to "do a reality check on your caloric intake."

So, even in the most recent Atkins book, the possibility of needing to reduce calories is written about, although it's definitely not the first option recommended.

I eventually got to the same point that BuffyBear writes about and had to decrease calories. That said, however, it was the LAST thing I decided to alter and that came about only after about 2 years of successfully doing low-carb.
Preggo38

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 121

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 14:06
I had the same experience with Atkins. I would stall and still be in ketosis (if the strips are to be believed). I was frustrated and even started gaining. I didn't use calorie counting..but stayed less than 30g of net carbs. My doctor suggested Dukan and I had great success. There are alot of differences with the diet but the biggest one is that on Dukan it is LEAN protein only and LOW fat....I think maybe I overdid my calories with the fat?? I'll be a Dukaner for life now.
gg-girl

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 94

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 14:11
I had to do a reality check too! Still do, on a daily basis. Keeping carbs in control really helps with keeping cravings out of my life. So, for me, keeping my carbs lower is key to keeping my calories in line in a manner I can happily live life with. I don't feel deprived, I feel full, I have lots of energy most days & totally enjoy food in a way I don't think I ever did before Atkins!
Never, Ever Quit...Always, find just one more way to try again!
Ingria

Joined: Oct 11
Posts: 532

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 15:48
I cannot say that I ever stopped losing weight on Atkins at any particular point (do not look at my current diet and weight loss, I have not been following Atkins while on FS, though if you check for the days when I was in ketosis you will find more weight loss). I found that I do great and feel well in ketosis and probably would be able to do it indefinetely if I lived on a separate planet. I was consistently losing reasonable amounts of weight following same consistent pattern of more rapid weight loss and plateus that you will have on any diet. Extreme weight loss that some people expect on Atkins is a misunderstanding at best where people confuse water weight loss with fat loss. There is no way you can lose 8 lb of fat per week as some people expect, it is just incompatible with the way human body works. Whether my weight loss was due to intuitive reduction in calorie intake or in any other inner mechanism I cannot tell you. I "dropped" out of the program many years ago because once I start adding carbs to the point when I exceed induction numbers, it works for me as well as any other low carb program, so I do not see any reason to call it Atkins any more. I still go into ketosis every now and then to speed up the process when I know I can eat whatever I want for 3-4 weeks in a row. However I find it difficult to stay in ketosis and still have normal lifestyle where I have to attend parties, go out with colleagues and eat with my family. I still follow low carb approach, and found through trial and error over a very long period of time that for me just counting calories without watching my macros does not work AT ALL. I sure will start losing weight by just tracking calories, but I would have to go down to about 800 calories plus at least an hour and a half of strenuous exercise to see any weight loss on just calorie deficit. By manipulating my macros I can get away with eating around 1350 average with some exercise and still see some slow weight loss. As I do not think that extreme calorie deficit is healthy and sustainable, and as I do not find staying in ketosis all the time practical, I am trying to find a way to combine both approaches. For me it is about practicality and sustainability of the program, not about speed of weight loss. Unfortunately I do not have inner ability to regulate my weight without monitoring what I eat, so I have to resort to food diary. The fact that the program allows me to track both calories and macros is a plus for me, as I would not be using the program that allows me to just track the calories.
~~~~~~~~~~
The first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor. ~ Author Unknown
It doesn’t matter what diet you follow… What matters is what makes you follow your diet. ~ Tom Venuto
eKatherine

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 1,286

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 16:37
Thanks for the replies. I have seen people in the Atkins area eating what seemed like an extraordinary amount of fat. I wondered if it was sustainable or if it was just me.

I read the original book many years ago. I eat a low carb diet myself, and I am gluten-free for life.
Ingria

Joined: Oct 11
Posts: 532

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 17:02
eKatherine wrote:
I have seen people in the Atkins area eating what seemed like an extraordinary amount of fat.


If I advise you to eat more green leafy vegetables, it still does not mean you should start eating them by truck loads. That would too be unhealthy, though eating green leafy vegetables is also part of Atkins. Somehow people forget about green leafy vegetables and concentrate on all you can eat fat, which Atkins is not. Just because people do something that is plain unhealthy or stupid and choose to use a particular diet plan or information they found on a nutrition blog to justify their behaviour, does not mean that information or plan is bad by itself. You do need some fats in your diet, they are essential to your life. If you still eat some carbs, eat enough protein for your weight, and do not shoot for 5000 cal total, choose healthy fats over unhealthy ones, you should not end up with anything outrageous. But then again you have to watch your macros and calories Sad
~~~~~~~~~~
The first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor. ~ Author Unknown
It doesn’t matter what diet you follow… What matters is what makes you follow your diet. ~ Tom Venuto
Diablo360x

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 817

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 18:31
eKatherine wrote:
I was wondering how common this is. Isn't it true that the Atkins diet suggests to dieters that is it not necessary to control your calorie intake as long as you keep your carbs on target?



It is simply a way to restrict calories without having to count them. If you restrict a food group, you have less options so a deficit is created. This is the "trick" of all diets. Without that deficit, fat loss is impossible. You CAN lose weight even in a surplus when you cut carbs because of the fact that you lose glucose and water weight. Eventually you will stall as we only carry so much extra water/glucose.
Love your food or risk failure. No quick fixes, this is a lifestyle change. No extremes are needed just consistency.
Preggo38

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 121

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Posted: 21 Nov 2012, 12:57
That's right Ingria. When I would tell people I was on Atkins I was told it was the "bacon diet". The perception is way off. I was eating more vegetables than my vegetarian friends. Even with the way I'm eating now (and I still need to look into the Insulin Resistance diet)I eat predominantly carbs from vegetables. I usually only have one serving of fruit a day at breakfast with a high protein and only "starchy" foods (potato, sweet potato, corn, rice, pasta...) at most twice a week.



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