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Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 14

Posted: 13 Jul 2007, 03:43
Hi, please read below an extract I have taken directly off a website regarding the atkins diet, after reading please could you comment as I want your opinions. Here is the EXACT quote

Well Known Low Carb Diets
As well as the Atkin's diet, low carbohydrate is the basis for a number of diet plans, the list below shows some of the more well-known versions. The different types do have minor variations but all are basically low carb diets.

The Atkin's Diet - probably the most famous, by Dr Robert Atkins
High Protein Diet
Stillman Diet
Scarsdale Diet
Hollywood Diet
Ketogenic Diet
Zone Diet
What Are Low Carb Diets?
Low carb diets are based on the premise that a diet very low in carbohydrate leads to a reduction in the body's insulin production, resulting in fat and protein (muscle) stores being used as its main energy source.

The aim of low carbohydrate diets is to force the body to use fat as its main energy source, when this happens a person produces 'ketone bodies' to fuel parts of the body that can not use fat as an energy source - the brain, and red blood cells, in particular. When this happens a person is said to be in a state of ketosis - characterised by smelly breath (an acetone smell like nail varnish) and side effects such as nausea and fatigue.

What's Involved?
Basically you cut out virtually all carbohydrate from your diet and increase your protein and fat intake. So you cut out things like pasta, bread, rice and alcohol, yet you eat unlimited amounts of meat, cheese and butter. That's why the Atkin's diet claims to be so luxurious.

Do Low Carbohydrate Diets Work?
In the short term, most people who go on low carb diets do lose weight and they lose it very quickly. However, the majority of weight loss comes from loss of water and muscle tissue, not fat which is what you need to lose to keep the weight off. Also, if you're trying to lose weight permanently, losing precious lean muscle tissue is like sabotaging your own body. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, and burns calories even when you are at rest. A decrease in the amount of muscle tissue you have will lead to a decrease in the number of calories you need each day to maintain your weight, making it much harder to keep your weight under control when you stop following the low carb diet.

So Why Do It?
People are attracted to low carb diets as weight loss is very rapid, and we like to see instant results on the scales! Lots of Hollywood stars go on low carb diets because they need to drop a dress size for a film - they don't do it for permanent weight loss or good health.

Is Low Carb A Healthy Diet?
In a word, no! Essential vitamins and nutrients come from a balanced diet and low carbohydrate diets are certainly not balanced. You can only get many essential nutrients from fruit, vegetables and grains - low carb diets only allow very small amounts of fruit and veg - definitely not enough to give you your recommended daily allowance. The Atkin's diet claims to clear up all manner of ailments, but the bottom line is these diets are lacking in nutrients essential for good health and the high level of protein puts a huge strain on your kidneys.

Low carb diets are also likely to encourage yo-yo dieting, cycles of losing and regaining weight, which has been shown to be a health risk.

Dietitian Says:
"Diets that recommend we cut back on starchy carbohydrate are an 'in vogue' means of losing weight and have gained a lot of attention in the media. However these diets could actually be harming our health in the longer term. The American Heart Association have expressed concern that their high fat content, particularly saturated fat, increases the risk of heart disease in those who follow these diets long term. Low carbohydrate diets go against all the current healthy eating principles and are deficient in many vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, as they restrict the intake of fruit and vegetables. There are also concerns that these diets, if followed long-term, may increase the risk of kidney, bone and liver problems.

A balanced, healthy diet combined with exercise is still the most effective and safe long-term way to lose weight. However the results are gradual and require perseverance. Quick fixes such as the Atkins diet do not hold up to scrutiny and at present there are no long-term studies on the safety or efficacy of these diets."
If the camera adds 10lbs stop eating cameras!!!

Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 1

Posted: 13 Jul 2007, 03:59
Idea I was watching the biggest loser and they were saying the key too losing weight was plenty of water, smaller portion sizes and lots more energy. I agree with this but getting off my phat ass to do it is sometimes another thing. I think that reducing the amount of white colored products we have as well as processed and fatty foods and drinks we would see a remarkable difference in our bodys. If you have a look at the ingredients in some foods can we even pronouce them? Do we even know wot they are? Or wot these products are derived from? If we keep to eating as naturally as we can i dont think we could go wrong. And energy in verses energy out is soo tru! You got to move people.

Joined: Jun 07
Posts: 6

Posted: 13 Jul 2007, 09:29
Well, according to the article you quoted, this guy must be just a pile of bones and fat after losing 200lbs.

Why Eating Too Many Carbs Makes You Fat

Joined: Feb 07
Posts: 100

Posted: 13 Jul 2007, 09:33
Plenty of people lost tons of weight on Atkins but what the article points out - anyone should be able to understand. Replacing carbs with excess butter, cheese, and fatty meats is not healthy for your heart. For HEALTH reasons, a well balanced diet is the way to go.

Joined: Jun 07
Posts: 6

Posted: 13 Jul 2007, 10:12
Low-Carb Dieters Can Eat More

They do so without seeming to drive up their risk of heart disease. Rather than going kaflooey, their cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and ominous bloodstream inflammation generally improve, perhaps even more than on the standard diet.

They appear to lose more weight even while actually consuming more calories than people on a so-called healthy diet.

All of the experiments were short and small. None by itself would make a big stir. But taken together, they undermine much of what mainstream medicine has long assumed about the Atkins diet.

"Some scientists are dismayed by the data and a little incredulous about it," says Gary Foster, who runs the weight-loss program at the University of Pennsylvania. "But the consistency of the results across studies is compelling in a way that makes us think we should investigate this further."

Joined: Mar 07
Posts: 33

Posted: 15 Jul 2007, 13:44
There was a time when it was accepted wisdom that the earth was flat!! Dieticians and many medics have accepted that fat in the diet is bad and associated it with heart disease for many years. Its not something they will give up believing any time soon.

I always think its interesting how the scientific and medical community believe studies that support their premises and can quickly dismiss anything that doesnt. The reality is out there in all the individuals who have lost weight (fat not lean muscle) and have improved lipids and cholesterol levels, despite having higher levels of fat in their diet.

Lets not forget that this is a LOW-carb diet not a NO-carb diet. Once out of induction, the amount of vegetables and other carbs should be increased. I eat veggies and or salad twice a day now which is probably 2 times more than most of the population and probably more than I was eating when I was in weight gain mode.

The reality is that you either accept the premise on which the diet is based or reject it. If you reject it fine, but be happy for the rest of us who are lighter, fitter and healthier for following it.

I personally believe that you lose weight on Atkins because the protien in the diet is very filling and keeps you full longer as does drinking larger amounts of water. if you add up the amount of calories consumed on an average day, you are probably consuming less calories than you were before and bingo! you lose weight without feeling as many cravings as on other diets.

Whatever you believe and whatever diet you are following, lets wish for success for everyone, and leave each to follow his own heart, (rather then be led by the stomach).

Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 5

Posted: 19 Jul 2007, 22:35
That article is ridiculous, and a fine example of the complete idiotic misinformation that's out there. Here, let me break it down for you....but have you READ Dr. Atkins' book? If you had, you'd know why this article is so stupid.

Here, I'll go point by point, quoting your article:
<<Basically you cut out virtually all carbohydrate from your diet>>

No you don't. You eat a small amount of carbs in the Induction phase, which is only 2 weeks, and then you add more and more carbs in. Many people end up eating way more vegetables on this diet, than they do any other diet.

<<yet you eat unlimited amounts of meat, cheese and butter>>

No, you don't. You eat until you're satisfied, but you also eat 3 cups of veggies a day. Fat foods, and protein foods, make you full very quickly, so you end up often eating FEWER calories on Atkins.

<<However, the majority of weight loss comes from loss of water and muscle tissue, not fat>>

False. There is some initial water loss (as with ANY diet), but you are in a FAT BURNING STATE (as mentioned in the article). How can your body be switched to a fat burning state, and not burn fat? Duh. And there's no muscle tissue loss, because you're eating plenty of protein. On "low fat/no protein" diets (i.e. not Atkins), yep, your body can use its own muscle tissue for fuel because it doesn't get enough protein. Not so on Atkins.

<<Is Low Carb A Healthy Diet?
In a word, no!>>

In a few words-- wow, this is a terrible article.

<<Essential vitamins and nutrients come from a balanced diet and low carbohydrate diets are certainly not balanced.>>

You do eat veggies, but yes, one of the 3 BASIC PRINCIPLES of the Atkins diet is that you take nutritional supplements. You should with any diet.

<<the high level of protein puts a huge strain on your kidneys.>>

This is completely unsubstantiated. There hasn't been a single reported medical case of kidney ailment due to Atkins diet in the history of the Atkins diet.

<<Low carb diets are also likely to encourage yo-yo dieting, cycles of losing and regaining weight, which has been shown to be a health risk.>>

No, they aren't, they are easier to stay on. OTHER diets encourage yo-yo dieting.

<<Low carbohydrate diets go against all the current healthy eating principles>>

OH, what you mean like the food pyramid? If the "current healthy eating principles" are so sound (i.e. eating tons of carbs per day).... why is the incidence of obesity, and the rates of diabetes, SKYROCKETING? Why are people getting fatter?

<<and at present there are no long-term studies on the safety or efficacy of these diets.>>

Actually, there are. There are many 5-10 year studies done, as well as shorter-term studies, that show a low-carb diet is a healthy, sustainable way to lose weight.

So, in short.... utter bulls##t. Where'd you get this article, I'd love to rebut it directly on their site.

Joined: Mar 07
Posts: 5

Posted: 20 Jul 2007, 23:16
The Atkins Diet IS unbalanced; he says so in the book. It is purposely unbalanced to counteract the unbalanced diets we were consuming that made us fat in the first place! However, the most extremely unbalanced part of the diet is temporary and says so in the book. People who criticize the book either (1) haven't read it or (2) were educated in a mainstream healthcare program where anyone who disagrees with their major body of knowledge is labeled a crackpot.

Joined: Mar 07
Posts: 4

Posted: 21 Jul 2007, 15:16
Hello everyone. I believe everyone here is right. The Atkins diet is definitely a diet that needs be tweaked to be a little more healthier. But Atkins basic principles are right on the money...a low carb diet composed of mostly vegetables and protein is a sure way to jump start your metabolism and losing weight. a long-term plan, I feel you get the biggest impact of health improvement and weight loss by eliminating red meats and butter, and watching those calories. Why? Because eventually your weight loss will slow down and you will have to cut the excess calories in your diet to see improvement. Besides, olive oil is a more better healthy alternative to butter...and fish and poultry is much healthier and lower in fat than beef and pork. That's' not to say that you can't have a little bit of beef or pork every now and then for special occasions. But I personally feel it shouldn't be a part of your daily diet. Also, with any weight loss plan, aerobic exercise is VERY important for many reasons. So the bottom line is Atkins does work, but eventually you do have to modify the plan so YOU can continue weight loss and eat more healthier. And let's not forget, whether we like it or not, portion control is also a key element, because as you lose weight, your body requires fewer calories to operate. This is where Atkins shines for me! On Atkins, I can eat smaller portion meals compared to other diets which might include grain. On other diets, I would be still hungry after a small meal. For me, the grains (carbs) was a hunger stimulate. On Atkins, my carbs come from only vegetables and a small amount of peanuts. So there's nothing there to really trigger a hunger response. Now, once I reach my weight loss goal, I can then probably slowly introduce a small amount of 100% whole grain into my daily diet. But the way I feel now, I'm not missing grains. By the way, here's a sample of the meals I eat....My meals are usually 3 times a day -- breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And they're usually composed of either 6 to 7 oz of eggs, fish, or poultry along with 2 servings of vegetables (bagged coleslaw, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, a few small bits of carrots, and etc). As my salad dressing, I still use Hellman's Mayonnaise, because it's the best tasting. Very Happy I just use 1 tablespoonful per serving. I also have a snack after my dinner, which is usually 2 tablespoonfuls of 100% natural peanut butter mixed with a few drops of zero calorie chocolate syrup. And I also allow myself to have a half of glass diet A&W root beer after dinner. So as you can see, everything I cook and eat is well planned and thought out...And most importantly, it's doable and enjoyable! That's what I feel is very important whenever developing a weight loss plan. It has to be doable so you can make sure YOU are enjoying it.

Joined: Jun 07
Posts: 2

Posted: 22 Jul 2007, 08:32
thanks for your opinion. however, i have to say that your statement is a good generalization but doesnt fit for everyone. as my doctor said, if you can eat steak every day and weight 50 pounds less than you did last year you are going to be better off in the long run.

so for me, i have cut my portions slightly, but red meat is a staple and has a ton of good components that continue to help me lose weight.

also, i am eating way more good for me things now that ever before, whereas before it would be 2 burgers with buns and fries or such, now its still 2 burger patties, but on top of a pile of spinach or w/ a side of green beans.

so again, thanks for your opinion and though you may be technically right (possibly) that you would be better off eating fish and chicken, i cant eat that stuff every day. i would get sick of it and end up with a large pizza on the couch again!! Smile

thanks for sparking the discussion!


Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 100

Posted: 22 Jul 2007, 10:53
Hi Everyone,

I tried Atkins several times, as well as many other diets. While for me Atkins gave me a quick boost because I lost about 10 pounds in the first week it is a very difficult plan to follow for us food addicts. I love to eat and if you lose sight of the main idea (living a healthy lifestyle) Atkins can really backfire. I got caught up in eating whatever I wanted as long as it wasn't high in carbs. So 4 weeks on the plan and my CHOLESTEROL was through the roof and I felt like crap. I was irritable and veeery tired. I'm sorry but bacon and eggs everyday is not ideal, in my very humble opinion. Of course when you start to dangle the carbs back in your face it's very difficult not to overindulge because you've been depriving yourself. In addition to that I don't want to do anything to change my body's natural production of insulin. I managed a diabetes center several years ago so this is one factor that keeps me from going back on Atkins.

I decided that I didn't want to restrict any of the food groups. I knew in my heart that it was all about portion control, eating balanced, and exercising. This requires a lifestyle change which results in healthy, sustained weight loss. Believe it or not but I lost 10 pounds the first week doing this diet (my own) then about 4 pound a week for the next month and then about 2.5. I ended up losing 30 pounds. Unfortunately, I allowed some stressful situations to lead me back to my comfort eating. So now, I'm keeping a journal to help get me through those times. I'm thinking about seeing a therapist as well. Hey don't call me crazy! I am a firm believer in mental health Wink

I think Atkins is so attractive because we know we don't have to feel hungry. But if you give yourself 30 days of portion control, you'll find that you can no longer eat as much as you did before the 30 days.

Keep fad diets in their place. If you have a vacation to go one or something and you need to get off 5-10 pounds fine. Grab a quick diet and you will probably find success. But for those of us who have a lot more to lose we need to change a lot of behaviors that there is no quick fix for.

If Atkins is not for you join me at 'Weight Loss on Track', a much healthier alternative.


~Nettie Pie~
"Things that seem hard are not always that hard. Put one foot in
front of the other, and you'll get to the end."

Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 5

Posted: 23 Jul 2007, 15:57
Nettie pie, a few remarks:

I love to eat and if you lose sight of the main idea (living a healthy lifestyle) Atkins can really backfire.

I love to eat, too. There's plenty of amazingly good things to eat on Atkins. But yes, I agree, if you lose sight of the main idea, and don't actually DO THE DIET, it won't work. But, it won't work with any diet. So, it's not Atkins that doesn't work for you, it's YOU that doesn't work for you.

It sounds like you just didn't have the willpower to do Atkins-- it doesn't mean that the diet sucks. Did you even read the book?

If done properly, Atkins is very good for diabetics, and also very good for your cholesterol.

I think Atkins is so attractive because we know we don't have to feel hungry. But if you give yourself 30 days of portion control, you'll find that you can no longer eat as much as you did before the 30 days.

I find that after 30 days on Atkins, I'm not able to eat as much as before, since fat and protein is very satisfying. Portion control happens naturally on Atkins (if you're doing it right), and you don't need to "deprive yourself" of anything, or ever need to be hungry.

Keep fad diets in their place.

Good thing Atkins isn't a fad diet, huh? It's a way of life, a way of eating that has worked for thousands of people. It requires healthy changes. It requires actually doing it right.

Sorry you couldn't hack it! Glad to hear you're losing weight on your own diet, though.

Joined: Mar 07
Posts: 33

Posted: 24 Jul 2007, 14:15
Delainey, well said! I have tried many diets, heart foundation, cambridge, weight watchers, you name it, but I have always viewed them as just that, a diet and never had any intention of changing in the longer term. The outcome was always the same and I always piled the weight back on (and more) afterwards.

I did atkins and lost a substantial amount of weight and then had a radical change of circumstances (emmigrated, difficult time in the marriage, changed jobs, health problems etc)and lost control of lots of lifestyle stuff including how I was eating and then put the weight back on but this happened after a period of 3 years eating atkins style.

It took me a while to get sorted and now view myself as regaining my old lifestyle which includes healthy activities, healthier approach to working and managing my kids and the housework and include eating right as part of that. My intention was never to diet, but to make a lifestyle change, the weight loss is GREAT but the benefits of being able to manage all the other things is important to.

I get concerned when people describe atkins as quick fix or a way to drop 10 pounds quickly. You can do that but you wont sustain anything in the medium to long term. Those people who try to do that and then pile weight back on tend to blame the atkins plan but they really are either asking for something that isnt realistic, dont understand the plan or just arnt ready for change.

Keep the faith people and for goodness sake READ THE BOOK!!

Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 100

Posted: 24 Jul 2007, 17:22

I did read the book FYI, with the blinders off. Every diet is not for every person, and I have a right to that opinion. ‘THE BOOK’ is not the only source of information. Don’t you think it may be a tad bit bias seeing as how they want to sell books…LOL.


I'm also curious as to how you can possible know what did or did not work for me. The "sorry you couldn't hack it" and "YOU didn't work for you" comments I think were a bit..."extra". No need to be so testy. I think we can agree to disagree and respect one another, but please don't profess to know me because you obviously do not.

Some diabetics cannot drastically eliminate carbs. This can be quite dangerous.

For those of you who are interested in unbiased facts do some solid research, and not just by reading the book or articles that support Atkins.

Whether you are for it or against it stay open minded, the more you know the better….

Consider the other perspectives: vs.

Oh and here is the Wiki definition of FAD DIET…I do believe that is Atkins sitting there in the #1 spot…..See below.

Tah, Tah, Very Happy

~Nettie Pie~

Food faddism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Fad diet)
Food faddism and fad diet are terms which refer to the tendency for idiosyncratic diets and eating patterns. A fad diet is supposed and promoted to improve health but may do nothing at all, or even have the opposite results if it is nutritionally unbalanced and unconfirmed by scientific studies.
Note: the term "food fad" has an alternate positive connotation, namely, a short term fashion among restaurants and consumers over a popular ingredient, dish, or preparation technique.
There are three categories of food fads [1]:
1. One virtue of a particular food or food group is exaggerated and purported to cure specific diseases, and is therefore incorporated as the main constituent of an individual’s diet.
2. Foods are eliminated from an individual’s diet because they are viewed as harmful.
3. An emphasis is placed on eating certain foods to express a particular lifestyle.
Some food fads may incorporate a combination of categories.
Zen macrobiotic diets were considered to be the most dangerous type of food faddism[1]. George Ohsawa, in his book Zen Macrobiotics, promoted a 10-stage diet to create a spiritual awakening or rebirth. The nutritional plan claimed to prevent and cure all diseases. The 10 stages of dietary restriction gradually eliminated certain foods such as animal products, fruits, and vegetables; emphasis was placed on whole-grain cereals. Each stage had a recommended percentage of each type of food group to include in the diet. By the tenth stage, cereals constituted 100% of the dietary intake. Nowadays, such extreme guidance is not found in macrobiotic diets, though.
In some cases, food faddism is considered a form of child abuse. An article in the British Medical Journal provides case studies of four infants who suffered from severe nutritional disorders as a result of parental food faddism[2] Extreme faddist diets are often lacking in total energy, suitable protein, fat-soluble vitamins, and some minerals that are essential for growing children.

Many forms of food faddism are supported by pseudo-scientific claims. Fad diets claim to be scientific but do not follow the scientific method in establishing their validity. One way in which food faddism can be identified as being pseudoscience is that the findings of genuine science are open to revisions, whereas pseudo-scientific claims are not[3]. Another way to verify if a fad diet is pseudoscience is that the observations made that prompt an explanation are also used as evidence to confirm the same explanation[3]. Many individuals who adhere to fad diets will not consider recommendations made by nutritionists and dieticians[1].
The evidence supporting weight loss enhanced by anything other than caloric restriction is lacking[4]. There is also a lack of evidence to support that fad diets produce sustainable weight loss. Fad diets generally ignore or refute what is known about fundamental associations between dietary pattern and human health[4]. In doing so they lend themselves to the arena of pseudoscience.
Some of the scientific community say that food faddism is merely born of ignorance about basic scientific dietary facts. Weight loss experts like Richard Simmons, who tried numerous methods at the cost of his health in his youth, strongly discourage them as not only unhealthy, but also counter-productive in the long term.
Diets commonly accused of faddism:
· Atkins diet
· Breatharian
· South Beach Diet
· Nutrisystem
· Weight Watchers
· Grapefruit diet
· Jenny Craig
· Macrobiotic diet

"Things that seem hard are not always that hard. Put one foot in
front of the other, and you'll get to the end."

Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 5

Posted: 24 Jul 2007, 23:52
Well, Nettie, it definitely sounded like your problems arose when you didn't correctly follow Atkins (which you admitted). Therefore, your problem, not the diet itself.

You quote WIKIPEDIA as a reliable source of information? LOL. That's hilarious.

The DICTIONARY definition of a "fad" is as follows:

a temporary fashion, notion, manner of conduct, etc., esp. one followed enthusiastically by a group."

How then is Atkins "temporary"? It's been going strong since the 70s, had a big resurgence in the 90s/00s, and is still going strong.

But hey, believe what you want to believe. All I know is that I'm effortlessly losing weight without ever being hungry, I am healthier than ever, I eat a diet that is fresh, varied, full of nutrients, my muscle mass is remaining steady while my fat percentage is dropping (has been tested), and I have more energy than ever.

Can you say the same on whatever diet you've ended up on? If so, good for you!


Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 100

Posted: 25 Jul 2007, 11:48
LMAO! Laughing

Ok Ok Delainey. I can see that you're offended by any anti opinion of Mr. Atkins. Sheesh.

You don’t have to attack people for having an opinion. Nor do you have to make nasty references about successes or failed attempts at losing weight. I’m sure you’ve had your ups and downs dieting. And again, you don’t know what I did or didn’t do on Atkins. You are making more assumptions, and scratching out everyone’s eyes who is not a member of your Atkins cult. I’m just wondering if you’ve all of a sudden become an authority on the subject because you’ve read a book... LMAO again.

I am however, very happy for your success on Atkins. Some people are not successful at losing weight on Atkins. Not necessarily because they did it wrong. Maybe it just didn’t work for them. It baffles me as to why you think that is impossible. You’ve chosen to stay on Atkins because it works for you. I’m wondering how many other diets you’ve tried that didn’t work…was it you, or the diet? (rhetorical, don’t bother)
There are so many healthy ways to lose weight. I just don’t think Atkins is one of them nor do I believe it has overall sustainability. If you’ve found your destiny in Atkins…hooray for you!

Oh, and yes, I’ve lost weight on my balanced low cal – low fat diet. In fact I had pasta for dinner last night, a bowl of cereal and fruit this morning and I think I’m going for a California roll for lunch. Lots of variety from day 1.

Feel free to take the last word on this because I’ve said all that I have to say.

You can check me out on my weekly weigh in.

~Smooches~ Cool


Take a look at this information about “FAD DIETS” as they relate DIABETES that I got from WebMD
Hey isn't that Atkins again????

Diabetes Health Center
Diabetes and the Risk of Fad Diets
Plenty of popular gimmicks promise quick weight loss, but for people with diabetes, fad diets can be dangerous.
By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Remember Jared, the Subway Diet guy? He lost 245 pounds eating subs and not much else, every day for a year.
If you want to lose weight, there are plenty of fad diets and gimmicks out there. Think: The Zone, Sugar-Busters, or the cabbage soup diet. Sure, you can lose weight -- but if you have diabetes, you might also put your health at risk.
"You can cut carbs, eat grapefruit, stand on your head a few days -- anybody who sticks to any diet will lose weight," says Luigi Meneghini, MD, director of the Kosnow Diabetes Treatment Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
Problem is, once the diet's over you're likely to return to those bad dietary habits that got you in trouble in the first place.
"Most people look at diets as a temporary measure to lose weight," Meneghini tells WebMD, "but they're not a real plan for changing unhealthy dietary habits."
The key to dieting for everyone -- whether you have diabetes or not -- is keeping the weight off and sticking to healthy eating habits.
Fad Diets & Diabetes: The Special Risks
For people with diabetes, there's another caution -- fad diets can cause downward spikes in blood sugar, says Cathy Nonas, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
"Reducing your calories, even at one meal, will affect your blood sugar," Nonas tells WebMD. "If you're taking medication that's also lowering your blood sugar, you will need to reduce that medication. You will need to monitor your blood sugar more often, depending on the severity of the diet and how calorie-restricted it is."
A fad diet can also increase cholesterol and blood pressure levels -- creating an especially high-risk situation for someone with diabetes, says Tara Gidus, MS, RD, a national spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and a private-practice nutritionist in Orlando, Fla.
"Diabetes can affect a number of systems in the body," Gidus tells WebMD, "putting you at higher risk for heart disease and other chronic health problems -- life-threatening health problems."
You simply have to be more savvy about your diet, says Gidus. A person with diabetes "cannot regulate blood sugar in the same way as a person without diabetes. There is more risk of complications. A fad diet can increase that risk."
Diet Fads: What's Good, What's Bad
Here's a sampling of some popular diets, and experts' opinions of them:
High-Protein Diets

The famous Atkins high-protein/high-fat diet encourages eating red meat, full-fat cheese, chicken, bacon, fish and shellfish, butter, mayo, and olive oil. With Atkins, carbohydrates are severely restricted during the two-week induction period - which is intended to cause ketosis, a condition in which the body burns its own fat for fuel.
"Ketosis is not good for anyone, but especially if you have diabetes," Gidus tells WebMD. "Most people get into hypoglycemia before they even get to ketosis.
Atkins is "way too low in carbs," says Gidus, and the diet's high cholesterol and fat intake is another big problem, increasing the risk of heart disease. In addition, all that protein makes your kidneys work harder, which can worsen existing kidney problems.
"I definitely advise diabetes patients to stay away from Atkins," says Gidus.
Low-Carb Diets
Cutting carbs is a strategy for many dieters, and it's the cornerstone of the South Beach diet.
Like the Atkins diet, South Beach begins with a two-week induction period meant to trigger ketosis.
Simple carbs are forbidden, but "good carbs" are encouraged -- whole grains, vegetables, lean protein (fruits can be phased in after the induction). Unhealthy fats (including fatty meats) are banned. Most importantly, the diet does not leave out any major food groups.
"The South Beach diet is relatively healthy, since it just eliminates simple carbs," says Meneghini. "Many of my patients have discussed it with me. … For them, cutting those carbs might be an easier way of reducing overall calorie intake than reducing portions."
The first phase of South Beach is "too strict for diabetics," says Gidus. He recommends they avoid it. "But Phase Three, maintenance, is the type of food plan that I generally recommend … there's some good information there."
Carb-Controlling Diets
Glycemic index is a concept of controlling blood sugar based on the types of carbs you eat.
· High-glycemic-index foods -- such as white bread, rice, mashed potatoes, and most cold cereals -- cause a quick spike in blood sugar, so there's a burst of energy, then hunger again.
· Low glycemic index foods -- fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains -- cause levels to rise more slowly and last longer, so there's less hunger for a longer period.
"Glycemic index diets are very confusing, and they're not backed by the American Diabetes Association," says Gidus.
"There are several phases of these diets, where you're restricted to eating all green, all yellow, or all red foods," Gidus adds. "Mixing in other foods totally throws the whole thing off, but nobody eats just one food at a time -- which is why the ADA does not endorse it. You need to be aware of total carbs, that's what the science shows is most important."
Meal Replacement Diets
Meal replacement products -- like Slim-Fast diet shakes and snacks -- are another weight loss strategy.
The Slim-Fast plan involves eating six small meals/snacks every day -- with three involving Slim-Fast products. The rest of the day, you're on your own to choose healthy meals. No foods are forbidden; you can still eat your favorites. However, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables are emphasized.
The products take the guesswork out of portion control, says Nonas.
"A person with diabetes can do a Slim-Fast diet," she explains. "What's important is that you're eating healthy meals, eating smaller portions, eating fruit and vegetables, and getting some exercise. You also need to monitor your blood sugar."
One word of caution: "You must take into account the number of carbs in those products," Gidus tells WebMD. "You may need a shake plus a banana. Also, just because something is low-carb doesn't mean it's good for you. There's the danger of going too low."
Also, if you're eating six small meals a day -- instead of three - adjust your insulin or medications to allow for this change. That's why discussing any of these diets with your doctor is an absolute must.
Extreme Liquid Diets
These are all-liquid meal replacement products - generally, 800 calories or less for daily intake.
For these diets to be safe, you and your doctor must closely monitor your blood sugar and fine-tune your insulin and medications. Using the products can result in an average total weight loss of 44 pounds over 12 weeks. In the long run, that weight loss can improve obesity-related medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. But in the short run, these diets are risky for people with diabetes.
"Generally, with these liquid diets, four 200-calorie shakes a day are allowed -- and that's all," says Gidus. "But those shakes aren't just low-calorie, they're also low-carb. When you add up the carbs, it might not be enough for you. I don't recommend those diets for people with diabetes."
Also, liquid diets don't teach you about healthy eating habits -- which is the most important thing to learn.
Weight Loss: Doing It Right
Fad diets are easy to identify : They often blame particular hormones for weight gain, suggesting that food can change body chemistry.
Trendy diets also often tout or ban a particular food. And their advice is not in line with major health advisors like the American Heart Association, American Dietetic Association, or the Surgeon General.
If you are overweight and have type 2 diabetes, it's important to change bad habits that promote weight gain. Meneghini's keys to healthy weight loss: strive for a balanced diet and more physical activity. "Small changes over time will give you very good results."
And remember, a healthy diet does not exclude any of the five food groups -- grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans, and oils -- ensuring you get essential vitamins, minerals, and protein. Because fad diets severely restrict major nutrients, they can lead to serious health problems later on.
"For some people, making note of the high-calorie junk food you've been eating, then stop eating it, is all you need to do," Meneghini tells WebMD.
This can include alcohol. "If you have diabetes, you have to be careful about alcohol," advises Gidus.
Gidus also recommends avoiding appetite suppressants. "Most people don't overeat because they're hungry. They eat for social and emotional reasons. They have bad habits."
The Bottom Line on Fad Diets
"If you're a diabetic, you need to be more savvy, more aware, and not fall into these fads," Gidus says. "They can be more damaging to your health than for the average healthy person."
As for Jared, the Subway Guy, "I think what he did was great, considering he did it on his own. He found a plan that worked for him," Gidus adds.
"Did he get enough calcium and vitamins? I don't know. But it was not terribly unhealthy -- vegetables, lean meats, bread. It's all about finding whatever will work for you. And when he lost all that weight, he reduced risk of life-threatening chronic diseases."
WebMD Feature
SOURCES: Luigi Meneghini, MD, director, Kosnow Diabetes Treatment Center, University of Miami School of Medicine. Cathy Nonas, MS, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association; professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Tara Gidus, MS, RD, national spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association; private-practice nutritionist in Orlando, Fla.

"Things that seem hard are not always that hard. Put one foot in
front of the other, and you'll get to the end."

Joined: Mar 07
Posts: 33

Posted: 27 Jul 2007, 01:37
Ladies, Ladies!! its time to call a truce on this one. This is a site for supporting each other and celebrating each others success. No one plan will work for everyone. Lets keep positive and be real happy for each other as the pounds are coming off.

At the risk of sounding like a hippy (no offence to the hippies) its real hard to change your weight and a bit of love goes a loooong way.

Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 10

Posted: 29 Jul 2007, 02:13
i really truely wish people stop scaring me about this diet. I haven't felt this good is... well, never. I have energy and i'm happy. I choose to do this and I will not quit. it's soooo annoying that people are trying to frighten me. There was a study in New England: many people went on the atkins diet and they did research on EVERY PERSON, and do you know what they found? N.O.T.H.I.N.G.! please please please stop trying to keep me from reaching my weight and being happy. I'm pround of myself, AND i have enough energy to run 4 miles which i never did in my life!

"why do simple things in life have to be wrong?"

atkins is fine

read this

or this:

Joined: May 07
Posts: 8

Posted: 29 Jul 2007, 08:01
Sorry, here's another reply re Splenda. Sure, you can have Splenda, just be sure to count it as directed in Atkin's book.
"Mountain lions always will behave as lions, and developers as
And there seems to be no chance of outrunning either species. "
Richard Louv

Joined: Aug 07
Posts: 109

Posted: 29 Aug 2007, 20:27
well my dr is the one who put me on the atkins diet so thats the one i allways do sure there are days i fall off the wagon but trust me the low carb diet i found to be the most easiet one to get back on the band wagon love to all shelly.
i love scottish terriers they are the best breed ever !!!!

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