I am blessed to have so many kind people who ask me all of the time what I’m doing to lose so much weight so fast. I know I’m not terribly helpful, so I’m hoping that if I can put together one thoughtful (and oh I’m so thoughtful) and thorough (oh, you got me there. I still put my bra on backwards) response, then maybe this might shed some light on my success regarding Atkins.
What plan are you following?
I am following the 2002 Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution plan. I do not use the convenience foods, however, and I am currently following extended induction and expect to be here for some time to come.
I starting following Atkins in 1984 (so this would be the ’72 plan) when my father (a Green Beret who was bedridden due to a broken back) was introduced to Atkins by his then-Berlin doctor, who helped him to lose 80 pounds in 6 months! I grew up, then, from the age of 14 on as an Atkins child, losing weight even then, even though the plan was different than it is now!
I really prefer the 2002 version for several reasons:
Biological zero really doesn’t exist. Even eggs and other forms of proteins have trace amounts of carbs.
- The way foods are added back in (in 5-gram increments) was exciting to a youth who used those carbs to eat jell-o pudding pops (they were within acceptable bounds), but I always added foods back not based on their nutritive values but based upon whether it was chocolate or peanut butter.
- The way foods are added back in the 2002 version allows folks to go from foods less likely to cause issues to foods more likely to cause issues, using each Atkins rung as a means of rotational dieting. This pretty much allows a person to determine almost immediately which foods suit their systems badly.
That isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with the ’72 version. For me, I have followed both with great success; I just prefer the newer approach. Net carbs don’t affect me, and I believe rotational diet plans, such as OWL allows more people to pinpoint food intolerances.
Is ’72 a faster weight loss plan? I don’t think so, no. My father lost 80 pounds in 6 months following the ’72 plan; I lost 100 pounds in 6 months following the 2002 plan. I believe, then, that it comes down to a matter of preference, although I do believe the ’72 plan to be more austere than the newer plan.
But that’s me talking too much.
How did you lose so much weight so quickly?
In the first two weeks of Atkins induction, it is very likely that a person will lose up to 10% of the amount of weight one needs to lose. Granted, I lost 24 pounds in 2 weeks, and I do not need to lose 240 pounds. In this case, Dr Atkins claims that those who lose more than the 10% tend to have a higher metabolism. I do. I might have cottage cheese thighs, but I was blessed with a man’s metabolism.
I followed the plan faithfully, eating to plan, and not deviating. I do drink Diet Sodas (2big, close your eyes), but I am not detrimentally affected by aspartame as 25% of the population tends to be. I am, however, sensitive to Splenda, and do try to limit this sweetener. I am still not sure why!
I also exercised as much as possible that first month, walking nearly 61 miles on an incline on my treadmill. The last time I followed Atkins (2004) I decided I didn’t need exercise. I lost weight much more slowly as a result.
Finally, I have a lot of weight to lose, so, naturally I am going to lose more than the average woman or man. Trust me—I’d rather be starting from a smaller weight and losing less than starting where I am now and trying to lose more weight more quickly!
Are you doing the Kimkins Plan?
Dear Sweet Jesus.
Bless your heart for asking, but there is no way in hell you could pay me to follow that plan. For starters, Kimkins followers lose weight too slowly for my tastes. For a plan which preaches a very low-calorie diet, it seems folks hit rock bottom quickly and run out of steam. I have lost more than any Kimkins dieter I’ve ever seen to believe the rhetoric that the infernal plan is the fastest one out there.
Kimkins doesn’t preach exercise or healthful eating from what I’ve seen. Instead it relies on VLCD in order to try to attain the quick weight losses they claim. The irony? I enjoyed the fast weight loss, but while eating oopsie rolls, Baconators, pizza toppings, Red Robin guacamole burgers, taco salads, egg mcmuffins, and other fare Kimkins folks aren’t allowed to eat.
I am never sick, haven’t suffered any adverse effects, and have so much energy I can’t even sleep as much as I used to. I jump out of bed every morning at 5:30 am, and my head doesn’t hit the pillow before 11pm. I exercise every night because I have a lot of excess energy to burn! This is a very good sense of well-being, thanks to Dr Atkins.
Why someone decided to ruin a perfectly good plan that causes people so much misery is beyond me; why she has folks pay $80 to be told what not to eat when they could have, instead, enjoyed the successes I have to date in purchasing nothing more than Dr Atkins’ book on amazon.com, used, is something I can’t explain.
If there are any Kimkins fans out there, and if you want to lose weight quickly, healthfully, energetically, and eat the delicious kinds of recipes you’re seeing on my blog, please drop me a note; I would love to talk with you about how good the low-carb lifestyle is meant to be—the way the good Dr Atkins intended.
I’ll make a believer out of you.
What do you eat in a day?
I do not keep a food journal for a very specific reason: as a perfectionist, it caused me to obsess about numbers rather than listen to the signals my body was sending regarding hunger.
Numbers are man-made precepts (like weight, which measures the skeletal weight as well as the fat) and don’t necessarily perform a function well when we’re discussing the ever-changing needs of the body. Some days you are hungrier than others; as such, it stands to reason that foisting a set number of calories upon yourself every single day isn’t practical. Some days you are less hungry than other days.
I look at it this way: If you put 35 gallons of gas into your tank every day, what happens on the days your car needs less fuel? You overfill the tank. On the days you drive a greater distance, maybe 35 gallons isn’t enough. And, like gas, food is a fuel not to be wasted. And you don’t have to.
I have found that to be able to listen to my body is the best tool available to me. It keeps me from obsessing over whether numbers are too high or too low, and allows me to enjoy the experience of being in a low-carb lifestyle as opposed to emulating one via artificial lab environs on paper.
Now, for those beginning and for those who do need those data points, by all means, you have to do what works for you. If you have not yet honed your hunger signals or need the accountability, there is never a reason to not use the tools available for these means.
OK, so shut up already. What are you eating?
I’ll break things down in terms of things I like to eat. These are merely ideas, and in no way necessarily represent what I eat on any given day.
I do not use Franken foods or processed foods such as shakes or bars, and try to always prepare myself for emergencies and outings by keeping food on hand for events such as those.
Also, keep in mind that I’m following extended induction, which allows for an ounce of nuts per day as per the 2002 Atkins plan. An induction-level member will exclude the nuts. All items marked with asterisks* mean the recipe or a picture on this blog. (v) means that an appreciable amount of vegetable is incorporated into this meal.
*Tex-Mex Smack yo mama scramble (v)
Oopsie rolls as French toast with butter and davincis hazelnut syrup
Bacon (low sodium)
#Sodium platter (essentially a snack plate, will explain more later)
*Oopsie BLT with cheese sandwiches (v)
*Oopsie mini pizzas (v) if fresh spinach is used
*Oopsie rolls with a baconator and a Caesar side salad (Wendys) (v)
Oopsie spicy Italian sub (v)
*Wisconsin broccoli cheese soup (v)
*Chix’ Boneless Buffy Wings
* Lamb gyro and tzatziki (v) with sides
Taco salad (v)
Red Robin Guacamole Bacon burger with oopsie rolls and steamed vegetables (v)
Spicy chicken/turkey stir-fry (v)
* Mashed cauliflower and gravy (v)
*Savory Chowder (v)
Spaghetti squash with Alfredo sauce and pine nuts (v)
*Flax cracker with *taco dip (v)
Flax cracker with dilled cream cheese
One ounce of nuts
Cherry tomatoes (I eat them like little apples) (v)
Small chef salad with a hard-boiled egg (v)
SF jell-o whipped with 2 Tbsp cream, sweetned w/ Splenda. Light!
Oopsie rolls with butter and SF davincis syrup
Snow cones (yes, even in winter!)
Diet orange soda
Diet Dr Pepper chocolate cherry soda with 2 Tbsp cream (cream may be frozen for a ‘float’ feeling)
Diet root bear with whipping cream (read above)
I eat when hungry, stop when no longer hungry, and it’s not unusual for me to start a meal and have to finish it later because I’m just not as hungry as I used to be. I always temper vegetables with a protein and/or fat, and nuts especially since they can wreak havoc on the blood sugar.
# my sodium platter: Kim cracks up at my platter, but she knows it’s the bomb (take that!): 10 green olives, one ounce of medium cheddar cheese, 12 slices of pepperoni, and one ounce of macadamia nuts or almonds (this is very dense calorie-wise, but it is extremely filling. It’s like noshing on your own snack tray. If you are in induction, replace nuts with celery for crunch).
You’ll also notice I’m not a stickler for sweet items, so desserts are very rare for me. I just never crave sweet so much as salty or crunchy.
I will often eat nontraditional breakfast items, such as the sodium platter or dinner left over from the previous evening. I am really not an egg person due to overdoing the egg concept the last time I followed Atkins in 2004.
Yes, indeed! Even at my size, I know that without boosting metabolism (which requires building at least the slow-twitch muscles) I’m never going to burn fat and make my furnace more efficient. That said, I need to hit the treadmill every night.
And you know what? I do it! The nights I fight it the hardest usually always come before the mornings when I wake up with a whooshie too. I have no idea why, but it seems like my body is trying to test me. How badly do I want this? Oh, I do!
I walk for 72 minutes each night on an incline (right now I work between 2 and 3), and I burn roughly 1000-1200 calories in that time.
Sound like I’m speaking crazy talk? Well, let’s discuss physics for a second.
Remember when your lab-frocked science teacher talked to you about the amount of work necessary to move a mass across a flat surface? That even though a box might weigh 25 pounds, you’re doing no work so long as that box remains moving across a flat plane, even when you’re the poor sap carrying it?
Now let’s move beyond this… If you, however, were to move that same weight/box up an incline, suddenly the amount of work you’re performing is exponential. You are burning more calories moving the same weight for the simple reason that you are moving that mass up an incline. You are doing work!
It then stands to reason that I am easily burning at least twice as many calories in the same period of time walking at a slower pace up an incline than walking a faster pace on a flat surface.
I could walk on a flat surface for a faster pace, but what is going to happen to a person who is overweight? Shin splints, back pain, too much bouncing, resulting in knee and joint problems. Slow it down and put yourself on an incline. You’re still sweating. Heck, you’re working hard, and you’re not bouncing or jolting—and you burned a great deal more calories in the process than had you been bouncing and jostling.
I can attest that after walking only 61 miles for the month of January and on an incline, I can book it across flat surfaces now like “Fat Lady Running”. You’ve never seen such stealth in a fat girl since Ding Dongs hit the blue light special outside of a weight minder meeting. Just a month! Think about what a month at a moderate pace and on an incline can do for you!
I’m not going to vaunt my exercise, however. I know it can be dull, especially when you’re in your own home. For this reason, I rent Netflix and watch a series of some syndicated show I’m really interested in. You’re more likely to be excited about jumping on that treadmill when you want to know what happens next in the series.
Finally, has exercise made a difference this time around? I mean, come on. You are on Atkins!
Dudes and dudettes, let me tell you what. The last time I followed Atkins (2004), I did not ascribe to the philosophy of exercise. As such, I lost only 55 pounds in the first three months (90 days).
Right now, as it stands, I have lost 32 pounds in 35 days—because of exercise.
The difference is there.
When will you post your progress photos?
Seriously, I will post mine when I lose 100 pounds. I know that sounds like poppycock and horse feathers, but let’s face it—I’m embarrassed about the weight I’d gained, and having only lost 34 pounds anyway, it’s almost to the scale of Abraham Lincoln losing his mole from his Mount Rushmore face. I cringed through the current progress photos (I have one taken every two weeks), and I can tell you that there’s not a major difference that you can see at this point anyway.
Trust me. I’m not hiding anything. You’ll see head-to-toe shots soon enough (you poor sucker!)
The conclusion, because this is about as long as something James Joyce would have written
You should enjoy Atkins. It starts out as a difficult change, and sometimes a chore, but low-carb dieting a la Atkins has been around for decades, and this is tried and true.
Ask questions, put a support system in place.
Look to accountability in any form in which it helps.
For me, I joined a not-for-profit weight loss group called TOPS. This group meets locally all over
e ever has. If you need that kind of friendly support, look at tops.org for more information. Their plan is a high-carb one, but they welcome folks of all weight loss persuasions.
Ask questions. It’s important enough to mention twice. So many folks have paid it forward so that others can learn. We’ve all started out as noobs in one plan or another, and because of help we’ve been given, now we’re paying it forward.
It’s what friends do.
Remember: The only bad question is the one never asked.
I have a question.
What happened between your success in 2004 and your current start weight? Was the 55 pounds you lost origionally added back? If so, what do you attest this to?
This is coming from someone who lost 100+ pounds in 2004 in 7 months. I maintained that loss for 4 months. Then a large amount of stress entered my life (jobs, home construction, jobs, transfers, 5000 mile moves, jobs, home construction) and right back to my old way of eating (5000+ calories a day of pure carb for the most part). Over the subsequent 3 years, I crawled back to 318 pounds, within 2 pounds of where I was when I started in 2004.
Last fall I started looking at glycemic index and tried to diet using it but I wasn’t motivated and I just remember how much easier it was on Atkins.
When I started last week I found an old post of yours regarding combinging OWL stage of atkins with concepts of glycemic load from Thompson’s book. I ordered the book right away and can’t wait to read it. When I started 6 days ago, I decide I wouldn’t be as strict in induction or I guess skip it. I am essentially eating maybe 18 almonds a day, artifically sweetened yogurt every other day, an orange every other day. I am down 12 pounds, I am in Ketosis (total ketosis mouth and the strips are bordering purple) so I have room to add.
My issue, is I really don’t think I eat enough so I’m trying to eat more this time around. I want my weight loss to be slower. I don’t want to drop this 100lbs again (+ 20 more this time) and end up sticking it back on. Trying to make it more of a food attitude change then a diet. Learning to drive by fast food joints instead of eating from them 14 times a week. If only I could tolerate cream cheese it would be so much easier by the sounds of it with your oopsie rolls.
I enjoy your blog and please keep it up.
My progress this time can be found attached to the same thread I tracked it in last time, including the disgusting start picture and my last ending picture last time around for my own motivation this time:
Bagadonitz Low Carb Site
I know it can be really confusing, so I appreciate you asking.
In 2004, I began Atkins 2002 for the first time. I lost 55 pounds the first 3 months, and 115 pounds total in 7 months. The problem was largely that I was too afraid to eat because I was still mentally adhering to the ’72 plan, and I was not exercising and making this a lifestyle. Plus, I was obsessing about food and eating very little instead of adding in exercise (or real food) in a meaningful way. As a result, coupled with a stressful move and I ended up taking 2007 away. Result? I gained everything back–plus. I am a binge eater when I’m not low-carbing. I have no idea why, but something in my brain chemistry goes wacky and I obsess about food all of the time. Atkins and very low glycemic load are the only things which keep me from going down that very slippery slope.
It sounds like you can relate to some degree! I am so sorry to hear you also did so well and then fell back to old patterns when stress hit!
WOW on doing so well on Thompson’s plan! You are losing so much weight! Isn’t it wonderful? I REALLY love the low glycemic load way of eating very much.
I really like it coupled with the modified OWL concept, because while you DO experience the slightest amount of induction flu, you hardly notice that you’re moving into lipolysis. Your choices are more varied, and to eat yogurt and berries from day one? Superb! No phases? Does it get any better than that??
I applaud your willingness to slow things down slightly, and I understand that it is so easy to under eat due to the stabilization of blood sugar coupled with ketosis.
If I wasn’t trying to drop a lot of weight incredibly quickly, I’d be following Thompson’s plan with modified OWL numbers instead of Atkins induction. I’m not using as a crash diet this time around, and it sounds like you and I are both follow sane plans with sanity!
Try the oopsie rolls by making only 1 egg’s worth. This way, if you absolutely hate them, you’re only out one egg. You don’t notice the cream cheese. You really only notice that you’re eating your food with your hands! It is so AWESOME! I’m going to Red Robin for my birthday and I’m going to get their biggest guacamole burger!
I’m going to check out your stats! Please keep me posted about your progress and thanks so much for this discussion. I am very excited for you!
Wow! Congratulations on stopping smoking, and on your previous success!
You’re doing so well!
Yes I left the smoking part out here before. I actually forget about it which is a good sign.
Today I feel much better and ate more. Already feeling the great way I did back in 2004 after just 6 days this time. It’ll take a few weeks to find a good balance of what can and can’t go into my trap and what amount but as of now I’m again feeling satisfied with probably 1400-1600 calories (i’m not really counting) including probably 35-40 grams of carbs.
Tomorrow is my first weight in and of course that is just water. Next week tells the tale. I’m a daily scalie but I know enough not to fret on those occasion days that I jump. They are usually a good sign of too much carbs or not enough water.
Glad I found your blog. I will try the oopsie cakes but I doubt I will take to them. My friends and family call me the cream cheese detector. I can taste it in trace amounts and I hate it. And egg yolks. These limit my choices (no cream cheese bread substitutes or quiches) but I managed before, I’ll manage again.
bagadonitz– You sound very reasonable! That is perhaps the most difficult part of not doing Atkins– finding out which foods cause cravings and which are extremely filling. I was shocked to find out that full-fat yogurt didn’t make me hungry. I usually was able to have blueberries and flax seed meal with it and would be full for a few hours afterwards!
Let me know how you’re doing with your weight. If you’re exercising, you’re going to burn even more through slow-twitch muscle usage!
If you want to try oopsies and hate cream cheese, you could try using mayonnaise in place of the cream cheese. I’m thinking the jump in calories might be a bit much, but considering that a couple is all you need for a burger, they’re probably all the more self-limiting.
Speaking of mayo, have you seen the Chipotle mayonnaise?! It is TDF if you like zippy foods!
Cream cheese does not a diet make, for certain! This way of eating opens folks up to so many options out there, from breaded chicken and mozzarella sticks, to chowder– you name it! The fun part is discovering what you like to eat and not feeling like you’re being overly restricted.
Exercise was never the problem. Lately I have been stagnant as far as exercise for the sake of exercising but the last time around my weight loss was helped along a great deal by taking up distance running. It has been a while but getting back to doing that is what made me quit smoking and is making me lose the weight again (among other things of course). I want to do a full marathon next time and would rather do it at 210 or so then at the 280 I was for the half marathon of the 318 I was last week.
Alas I have to get down to 280 or less again before I start running so off to walk on the threadmill. There is nothing I hate more then a treadmill but walking outdoors this time of year where I live in the dark (the only time my schedule permits it) is not an option. I need some wireless headphones so I can hear the tv. If I turn it up, it wakes the kids.
Anyways, it is treadmill time now.
Cordless headphones are AWESOME.
You’re doing so well! This is going to be your year!
I just happened to stumble into your site while searching low carb friends. Thank you for sharing so much of your experience. You have great ideas and information. I am living Atkins for the _th time… My husband and I are doing it together this time and we are going strong. That helps so much! I am excited to try your recipes as I feel like I hit a gold mine here when I was looking for some to add to my collection. Keep up the good work!
Thank you so much for your kind words, and I’m so happy you have found something here of value for you on your very exciting journey!
Here is to your immense success! Please keep me posted on your progress!
Can you tell us how you make the spicy Italian sub that you listed for lunch options? 🙂
You bet your sweet bippee!
Let me get that for you this week. I haven’t made it in awhile and need to think it through. It’s loaded, though!