Atkins tips & tricks for newbies

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Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 16

Posted: 27 Aug 2010, 23:56
well the scale is moving again. I've had a couple of stop/start times. But learning heaps along the way. Here's what I've learnt - it's all probably buried here in the archives in other people's posts, but if my experience makes it easier for others, that's awesome. Otherwise, I'm cheering anyway!
Educate yourself within an inch of your life - literally!
- buy the book(s) - I've got mine ordered through Borders in Australia but am still waiting for it to arrive - international shipping takes ages!
-even if you have the books, or even if you don't - do the lessons on the Atkins site to get more practical with it
- trawl through the forums, ask questions, - your understanding of this program is what will make or break you
-use or to record EVERYTHING.
-invest in kitchen scales - weigh EVERYTHING and RECORD everything you put in your mouth.
-stick to the program, it works! -Be willing to try new things, you'll be amazed how much variety you actually can have on Atkins
- be prepared. For me, with my extremely busy lifestyle - it's the key to being able to stick to the program.
- if you find you've stopped losing, or cannot seem to lose weight - recheck you are sticking to the program. Check your quantities, make sure you are eating enough. Less is not best for this change of lifestyle.
My experiences:
I did Atkins (or what I thought was Atkins) years ago - failed miserably. Could not go without veggies. It was awful. I decided to re-investigate it recently because nothing else seemed to be working.
I started June 19 at 362 lbs on induction. In 10 days lost 5 kilos (10 lbs) and was going well. Had craving and realise now I was not really doing the program right. First week of July I ended up going away to a conference for a week and did not prepare well. Went off Atkins (but didn't go nuts) for a couple of weeks. In that time I regained 8lbs - so kept two off. And actually regained less quickly than I would have ordinarily to be honest.
Restarted August 3rd at 360lb. By my birthday on Aug 19, I was down to 346lb. Unfortunately, I came unstuck for a couple of days - had 4 birthday parties to attend in as many days and "tried to be good" but didn't PLAN - that was really my undoing. Being stuck at parties where there really weren't ANY Atkins friendly options. Again, I really didn't go nuts. Ate a piece of birthday cake here, a handful of nuts there and really did do my best. Ended up feeling AWFUL! You see, Atkins really DOES make you feel good! My energy levels plummeted in 48 hours. I could barely drag myself out of bed. Awful awful awful. I never realise how awful sugar made me feel. Energy food? Ha, I doubt it!
So that four day foray into party land brought a present of 6 lbs with it. Could not believe it came back that fast. Again - I really was not going all out - I was just not eating the Atkins way.
Restarted at 352 on 24th Aug - today I'm down to 344. Feeling pretty happy about that!
I've now realised I wasn't eating enough. I was using Atkins shakes and bars too much - so have gone right off them the past week - and feel that has made a huge difference. I was having a shake in the morning for my breakfast - not "bad" but I've started eating veggies & eggs instead, and it's helped enormously. I was often having a bar as a snack also - but as a result I was not eating enough foundation veggies, nor enough fat. Now I'm a bit more aware of how to do the program, I'm finding it much easier. I love Atkins. It really is changing my life. I've got a long way to go - but I have absolutely no doubt I'll reach my goal. Not through fad dieting or dieting products, but through eating in a way that brings health and vitality to my body. Loving it!
I live an exceedingly hectic life - I am out all day, and often night times also. It takes diligence and foresight to make Atkins work in the way it should, and not just rely on prepackaged Atkins stuff.
So, here's what I do - when I am home - I make sure to make the effort to prepare food in advance. For me that works like this...
*I put 6-8 eggs on to boil while I'm preparing other things. Once they're hard boiled, I cool them and peel them qickly and keep them in a ziplock bag in the fridge - I use them as a snack, or to add to my lunch time salads.
*I buy cheap plastic take away food style containers - they make life so easy! I buy all my salad & veggies, line up containers and make up to a week's worth of salad ready to go for lunches. I write down every ingredient as I weigh it, labelling the containers salads 1,2 3,etc when I'm done. I tuck a smaller container with dressing in each one (I use about 1/2 teaspoon ranch dressing mixed with 1 tbsp olive oil). I refrigerate all of them, then on the morning I need them, I just grab a container, grab a small can of salmon or tuna or a couple of boiled eggs and I have a great lunch all ready.
*I have a heaps of "steamer" bags I bought at the grocery store (unfortunately I can't find them anymore, so re-use the ones I have after washing them out well). I prepare and weigh a nice selection of veggies for each night and add to the steamer bags (which I've labelled 1-5), again, writing a list down and keeping track of each ingredient. Sounds laborious, but it isn't once you get in the swing of it - it becomes a production line. Once all the bags are packed and sealed, I put them in my freezer - meals size portions ready to go. Yum!
*I also prepare a few different things so that if I'm really tired, it's easier to go to the freezer than to the takeaway store on my way home (which I used to do ALL the time). So, I'll cut up a chicken breast, mix it with olive oil, garlic, spring onion and curry powder, or instead of curry powder tamari soy sauce (again - keeping a record of quantities for carb recording). I bag these up and put in the freezer so I can either defrost in the microwave and throw into a frypan to stir fry with my vegies, or defrost during the day so its ready to go. It's amazing how easy this is, and how incredibly yummy the dinner is! With the curry, I put a tablespoon of cream in right at the end - so yum!
*Another super easy dinner I make a couple of is chinese style omelettes. These freeze remarkably well and all you have to do is nuke them and they're ready to go. (I stir fry some vegies - celery, bell pepper, mushroom, spring onion etc, then add some chicken, tuna or salmon. Cook in about 1/2 cup of stock, or 1/2 stock cube. Once that's all softened, remove from pan, add mixture of 2 eggs and 1 tbsp sour cream, once it's starting to set, spoon your meat & vegies back over half of it. Fold omelette over the vegies then pour in the stock over the top. Put straight into a plastic container, allow to cool, then freeze. Totally yummy.
So - there's a few of my organisational tips. I'm NOT a very organised person generally, so this does take self discipline for me, but it's well worth the effort. When I do make the effort, I save so much time because I'm doing almost a week's worth of meals in one hit. Only takes an hour or two!
oh I forgot - everything I've written down as I'm preparing the food, I keep by my computer so it's easy to log into my fatsecret food diary each day. As I use a salad or vegetable portion, I just have to note the "number" on the container to know which it is in my notes taken when preparing it. (I draw a table with 1,2,3,4,5 etc along the top, the ingredients down the side then just have to note the actual weight in each corresponding box.SOOO much easier and quicker than having to do that every day)
The great thing about this is, it's actually teaching me about portion sizes and control - I have never learnt that before, so it's an eye opening experience to realise just how much I have been consuming previously

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 6

Posted: 28 Aug 2010, 01:38
Great post! Smile Thanks

1. goal - 80 Kg.

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 1

Posted: 01 Sep 2010, 08:52
This was a great post! Thanks for sharing!

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 2

Posted: 01 Sep 2010, 10:02
Thank you for posting this. This is my first day of a low carb lifestyle, so these tips are great. I have to second your comment about sugar making you feel awful. At the beginning of the month, I quit eating sugar. After the initial withdraw (bad headaches, etc...) I felt so much better. Then, I ate junk food, and oh my, did I feel baaaaadddd. I found that it was much harder to concentrate too. It really is amazing what a difference even a little sugar can make, at least for my body.

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 146

Posted: 02 Sep 2010, 09:03
Great idea, great post, awesome job. Thanks

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 33

Posted: 05 Sep 2010, 07:36
keep up the good work. It sounds like your really preparing yourself for your goals instead of leaving it up to chance. Good for you!

Joined: Sep 09
Posts: 1

Posted: 12 Jan 2011, 17:43

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 15

Posted: 20 Jan 2011, 20:53
Thanks for the tips. I have already figured out that I have to cook at least 2 days in advance. Because I have to cook separate meal for family so it makes it easier if mine is already done.

Joined: Nov 10
Posts: 1

Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 07:39
amazing! I am getting better organized myself but hadn't imagined being as organized as you are! Well done. Maybe I will try it. I have been working out of my home fo rthe last few months but now I am back out in th eworld and will need to prepare lunches and snacks. Maybe I will try your methods right from day one!
Thanks for the great ideas.

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

Posted: 24 Jan 2011, 13:39
pam1254 wrote:
I have to cook separate meal for family

I was doing this also, but instead found ways to make just one meal. For me the key is to make sure everything is separate (vs. a casserole, for example) & prepare the protein with the last amount of carbs possible. Yesterday I made a roast in the crockpot that turned out DEELISHUSSS. Then I made some green beans separately, seasoned with just a little butter, sea salt & Mrs. Dash, & some white rice for the kids. I am aware green beans are probably not ok for induction, but you could use a different veg that you can eat or maybe a spinach get the idea. I'll also cook a big batch of pasta on the weekends & put it in a baggie to refrigerate once it cools. Then during the week I may not need to prepare a starch at all...the kids can dish up a portion of spaghetti, heat it up then season with a little butter or olive oil & whatever else they like to have with their meal.

In general preparing the starches as a side allows me to eat the same thing as the rest of my family & just skip the starch. If they don't like it they are welcome to prepare their own food...of course they'd rather eat the delicious, healthy food I already made, lol.
Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it:

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 35

Posted: 24 Jan 2011, 13:45
You say you are not organized well I give you a gold metal on organization with the diet. Great tips and ways to do the recording of food. Great food ideas....

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 2

Posted: 25 Jan 2011, 12:57
Thanks for the post! I'm starting Atkins this weekend.

Joined: May 10
Posts: 1,400

Posted: 30 Jan 2011, 14:31

It works if you follow the program, which is pretty much the case for any diet program. Restricting carbs is challenging & a low-carb lifestyle isn't for everyone. Very often folks try low-carb diets like Atkins & are unable to stick to them long-term, which is normal because as I's not for everyone.

I do think though that a lot of these people end up forming an unfair judgment of the Atkins diet based on this type of experience, when it was their ability to follow the program, not the program itself, that was the issue.
Kat | NO EXCUSES, JUST RESULTS | Next milestone - 256: 60 lbs lost
2013: still up from 1/1, but coming back down...
2010: 50.4 lbs lost | 2011:17 lbs lost | 2012: 1 lb gained
How I did it:

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 330

Posted: 30 Jan 2011, 15:49
Note my motto at the bottom of this post. As Kat said any plan takes committment. Educate yourself, commit to whatever you decide on and the plan will work!


Here is my proof that I am getting it done one pound at a time, one step at a time!

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