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Atkins Refresher - From Atkins Online Support
Subject: Slow Weight Loss and Plateaus:
Thank you for your inquiry.
Firstly, do your best to be patient with your weight loss. You have nothing
to be concerned about. While some lose weight consistently on Atkins, others
lose in stages. You are in ketosis so you are burning stored fat for fuel.
You could be eating too much fat. While fat is necessary while following
Atkins, eating too much fat can delay weight loss. Your body burns the fat
you eat first, then the stored fat. If you're eating too much fat, you will
not give your metabolism a change to burn the stored fat in the body.
Try reducing your fat intake slightly and see if that helps.
You could be eating too much. Even protein will turn to glucose if consumed
in large amounts. We recommend no more that 6-8 oz of protein per meal.
Are you exercising? Exercise will not only help with fat burning, but the
more you exercise, the more carbohydrates the body can tolerate. If you are
not exercising, start as soon as you can.
If you measured your chest, waist, hips, upper arms and thighs with a tape
measure before beginning to do Atkins, you should see a loss of inches,
which sometimes occurs when weight loss is only marginal. Also, your weight
can fluctuate from day to day, even from hour to hour, depending upon fluid
balance, hormonal cycles and the effects of medications, to name a few
things. And vigorous exercise can actually cause some weight gain because it
increases muscle mass, which is denser than the fat it displaces. Even if
these various factors cause you to lose pounds more slowly than you want,
your tape measure will reveal that you are slimming down all over. But, as
with the scale, don't become obsessed with the tape measure. You'll know the
inches are disappearing because of the way your clothes fit.
To be sure you are following Atkins correctly, here is a list of common
mistakes to avoid:
1. NO CAFFEINE- Excessive Caffeine can cause an insulin response leaving you
craving sweets, and throwing you out of ketosis.
2. NO ASPARTAME-Aspartame may impact blood sugar levels which will cause an
impasse in your weight loss. Watch for items such as diet soda and sugar
3. CHEESE-4 oz per day maximum.
4. VEGETABLES-Remember, the 20 grams of carbohydrates that you consume per
day should mostly come from vegetables. You can have 3-4 cups of salad or 2
cups salad, 1 cup cooked vegetables per day using only the vegetables on the
acceptable food list. This is very important. Eliminating the vegetables may
shut down your metabolism and your weight loss will stall.
The following list of common mistakes to avoid during Induction will be
1. Do not skip meals or go more than six waking hours without eating. If you
are not hungry, eat four or five smaller meals (or healthy snacks) instead
of three larger ones.
2. Do not omit natural fats. Butter, mayonnaise, olive oil, safflower,
sunflower and other vegetable oils, and the fat in meat and fish will
actually help you lose weight.
3. Do not eat more than 20 grams a day of carbohydrate, at least most of
which must come in the form of salad greens and other acceptable vegetables.
4. Eat absolutely no fruit, bread, grains, starchy vegetables or dairy
products other than cheese, cream or butter. Do not eat nuts in the first
two weeks. Foods that combine protein and carbohydrates, such as chickpeas,
kidney beans, and other legumes, are not permitted at this time.
5. Eat nothing that is not on the acceptable food list. And that means
absolutely nothing! Your "just this one taste won’t hurt" rationalization is
the kiss of failure during this phase of Atkins.
6. Adjust the quantity you eat to suit your appetite, especially as it
decreases. When hungry, eat the amount that makes you feel satisfied but not
stuffed. When not hungry, eat a small controlled carbohydrate snack to
accompany your nutritional supplements.
7. Don’t assume any food is low in carbohydrate; instead read labels to
check the carb count (it’s on every package) or use the carbohydrate gram
counter in this book.
8. Watch out for hidden carbs in gravies, sauces and dressings.
9. Avoid foods or drinks sweetened with aspartame. Instead, use sucralose,
saccharin or the herb stevia. Be sure to count each packet of any of these
as one gram of carbs.
10. Avoid coffee, tea and soft drinks that contain caffeine. Excessive
caffeine has been shown to cause low blood sugar, which can make you crave
11. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to hydrate your
body, avoid constipation, and flush out the by-products of burning fat.
There are a number of dos and don'ts you must adhere to for successful
Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of pure water daily. This can be
filtered, mineral or spring water (not seltzer). You may also have unlimited
amounts of herbal tea (without sugar), but these do not count toward your
total of eight glasses.
Drink only decaffeinated coffee and tea and use only acceptable sweeteners
Treat aspartame (NutraSweet® or Equal®) with caution. Avoid whenever
possible. This includes products sweetened with these ingredients, such as
diet sodas and diet Jell-O. Instead use sucralose, (Splenda®) or saccharin
Check labels on other products that purport to be low- or controlled carb.
When eating out, be careful you're not consuming "hidden" carbohydrates in
sauces or breaded products. Tell your waiter that you would like your food
prepared free of sugar, flour and cornstarch.
At a minimum, take a good daily multivitamin with minerals, including
potassium, magnesium and calcium, but without iron.
Unless you are physically unable to do so, exercise every day, even if it's
just a walk around the block. This is an important part of the program in
all phases and will certainly increase the rate at which you lose weight.
That's because exercise not only causes you to burn calories, it also
accelerates your metabolism.
Have a snack of a permissible food an hour or two after a meal if you wish.
You must not:
Overeat. You may have heard that you can eat as much as you desire of the
acceptable foods. No so. Stuff yourself with steaks and cheeseburgers, and
some of that protein will convert to glucose in your body. Instead, simply
eat the amount that allows you to feel satisfied.
Drink alcohol in any form.
Use more than three packets of sucralose (Splenda) daily. (More and more
products are being made with Splenda so if you use any, don't forget to
include those grams in your tally.)
Cheat. It takes two to three days for the body to switch from burning
carbohydrates (in the form of glucose) to fat burning. One cheat and you're
back to a glucose-burning metabolism, and you can lose the effects of two or
three days of fat burning.
You must not eat any of the following:
Sugar (in any form, including corn syrup, honey and maple syrup)
Milk or yogurt (cream is allowed in limited amounts)
Fruit and fruit juice
Flour products (breads, pasta, crackers, etc.)
Grains or cereals
Beans and legumes
Starchy or high-sugar vegetables (potatoes, yams, corn, peas, parsnips,
Sweet condiments (such as most ketchups, barbeque sauce and balsamic
French dressing, Thousand Island dressing (check labels for carb count)
Cottage cheese, farmer's cheese and other fresh cheeses
Nuts and seeds
Here is a detailed list from Dr. Atkins regarding slow weight loss and
First, recognize that there may not be a problem at all. Different people
will respond to Atkins differently; some consistently lose weight while
others do so in stages. Don’t watch the scale and become overly concerned
with short-term results. Also, make sure your expectations of weight loss
are realistic. Atkins is designed to lead you to your natural ideal weight.
For many people, that may still be more than they wish to weigh. We strongly
recommend that you manage your expectations in a real and healthy way.
Second, remember that success on Atkins should always be measured by more
than just the scale. Consider the following questions and think about how
they apply to your experience on Atkins:
Are you experiencing more energy and vitality throughout the day?
Are your clothes fitting you better?
Are you experiencing less between meal cravings and hunger?
Have your blood tests improved?
Are you still losing weight, but just at a much slower pace?
Have you lost inches in your body measurements?
Continue to stick with it, modifying it as you go along to make it work for
you, and you will continue to see suitable health enhancing results.
Given all of the above, there are a number of key factors that may inhibit a
person’s ability to have success on a controlled carb program like Atkins.
Listed below are the difficulties people experience most frequently:
Consuming Too Many Carbohydrates
It’s amazing how frequently this is the source of most people’s problems.
Some people can get away with higher carb consumption and still experience
success on Atkins, but many (especially those who are overweight to begin
with), need to be more vigilant in keeping carbs controlled.
Check to make sure you are completely aware of all the sources of
carbohydrates you may be eating. For example, lemon juice, excess
vegetables, and low fat substitute products can contain those few carbs that
could disrupt your success. Keep a complete food diary for a few days to see
exactly what you are consuming. You may be surprised, Also, even if you
think you’ve caught every carbohydrate, check the ingredients on any
processed food you are eating (if a serving size contains less than 1 gram
of carbs, it can be listed as 0 carbs. If you are consuming a lot of this
product, the hidden carbs can add up fast.)
If you’ve done a full investigation and believe you’ve caught all the carbs,
try a week at a lower carb level (e.g. If you’re on an Ongoing Weight Loss
Level, go back to Induction) to see if that might restart your success.
While it is true that calorie counting is not necessary on Atkins, this is
not a license to gorge yourself at every meal. The Atkins Nutritional
Approach is most effective when you eat until you are satisfied, not until
you can’t eat another bite or you’ll explode. Also, try eating slower to
allow your body to signal when it is full before you overeat. Think about
this over the next week and see if it helps you to start/restart your weight
Just as overeating can cause your body to resist weight loss, so can
undereating. If you’re hungry, eat; if you’re starving, you should have
eaten 30 minutes ago.
Trying To Do A "Low-Fat" Version of the Atkins Nutritional Approach
Some people with very fast metabolisms can get away with this and experience
success on Atkins. However, for most, it will inhibit your weight loss and
keep you hungrier throughout the day and thus more susceptible to sugar/carb
Nutritional Deficiencies Caused By Previous Diets
Many people who have been on a diet high in sugar and other refined
carbohydrates, as well as low in fat (which is almost everybody) prior to
beginning Atkins, will have nutritional deficiencies that may not be fully
addressed by the Atkins Nutritional Approach. Readers of Dr. Atkins’ books
know that he is a firm believer in nutritional supplementation. His key
recommendations for everyone include a broad-based multi-vitamin program
(preferably not a "one-a-day", but one consumed through the day for optimal
absorption) and an essential fatty acid formula (which can boost your
metabolism and enhance fat burning). For additional supplementation, refer
to Dr. Atkins’ books including his latest Vita-Nutrients Solution to develop
a program that meets your specific needs.
Virtually all medications will inhibit weight loss to some degree, with
prescription medications being the most problematic. For more information on
this subject, please review the questions concerning medications.
Yeast Overgrowth/Candida Condition
Re-read the yeast chapter in New Diet Revolution, and go on a
yeast/fermentation-free version of Atkins (e.g. no cheese, vinegar,
mushrooms, etc.) for two weeks to see if that precipitates weight loss.
Re-read the chapter on food intolerances in New Diet Revolution.
Lack of Exercise
While Atkins doesn’t require you to kill yourself on the treadmill or in an
aerobic class everyday to see results, the importance of regular exercise
can’t be overlooked. Make sure you are engaged in some form of exercise at
least three times a week, or as directed by your doctor. If you can increase
that to four or five times a week, all the better. You will definitely see
the results on Atkins if you increase your exercise routine.
Lack of Proper Water Consumption
If you’re not drinking enough water, your body is operating inefficiently.
An inefficient body will not respond as well to weight loss efforts.
Basically, by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Do
yourself and your body a favor and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
(preferably filtered), and more if possible. You may go to the bathroom
more, but your body will love you for it. Note: This means water, not decaf
coffee, tea, diet soda or anything else that may include water but is not
Low body Temperature
This would indicate a possible sluggish thyroid. Refer to New Diet
Revolution for how this can impact weight loss and how you can test for this
condition in your own home.
Consumption of Artificial Sweeteners
For many people, products such as aspartame and saccharin are not a problem,
especially when consumed at low to moderate levels (remember that all
sweetener packets contain a gram of carbs). However, some people can
experience a weight loss impasse from these products. For many Atkins
followers, these products have been a "necessary evil", since they are
better than giving into sugar cravings. Our advice: If you are having
trouble losing weight on Atkins, refrain from these artificial sweeteners
for a week to see if it helps.
Consider trying Stevia, a natural product that people use as a sweetener.
Sucralose, recently approved by the FDA and used safely for years in
countries throughout the world (many of which ban the use of aspartame), may
solve the problem for all Atkins followers. We do not believe it will cause
weight loss impasses for any Atkins followers, and are now using it as the
sweetener in all Advantage Bars, cheesecakes and other Atkins food products.
If you have reviewed all of the above and are still having problems,
consider coming to The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine as a patient
or schedule a Telephone Nutritional Consultation (TNC), For information
please call 1-888-ATKINS-8 and ask for the New Patients Department.
We hope this information will be helpful to you. If you still need further
assistance, please feel free to e-mail us again, or contact our Customer
Support Department by phone at 1-800-6-ATKINS, Monday - Thursday 8 am to 7pm
EST and Friday 8am to 6 pm EST. If you are calling from outside the U.S. and
Canada, please reach us at 631.738.7370.
Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
The instructions and advice presented in this email are in no way intended
as medical advice or as a substitute for medical counseling. The information
should be used in conjunction with the guidance and care of your physician.
Consult your physician before beginning this program as you would any
weight-loss or weight-maintenance program. Your physician should be aware of
all medical conditions that you may have, as well as any medication and
supplements you are taking. Those of you on diuretics or diabetes medication
should proceed only under a doctor's supervision. As with any plan, the
weight-loss phases of this nutritional plan should not be used by patients
on dialysis or by pregnant or nursing women.
Visit Atkins http://www.atkinscenter.com Online to learn more about the
Atkins Nutritional Approach, find delicious controlled carb recipes,
participate in live chats, read testimonials about success with Atkins, and
browse our Online Store!
Atkins Refresher - From Atkins Online Support
Subject: Slow Weight Loss and Plateaus:
Thank you for your inquiry.
Firstly, do your best to be patient with your weight loss. You have
nothing to be concerned about. While some lose weight consistently
Atkins, others lose in stages. You are in ketosis so you are burning
stored fat for fuel.
You could be eating too much fat. While fat is necessary while
following Atkins, eating too much fat can delay weight loss. Your
body burns the fat you eat first, then the stored fat. If you're
eating too much fat, you will not give your metabolism a change to
burn the stored fat in the body.
Try reducing your fat intake slightly and see if that helps.
The first paragraph is at odds with the second. Atkins' site has some
glaring problems if one starts to look more closely.
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