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Old 06-05-2003, 07:34 PM   #1
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Post what is the attkins diet?

i am getting pretty desperate in trying to loose weight and my friend had some results in the attkins diet but i'm not clear as to what you eat how much and so on. i know you only eat meat or something, but what kind, how many carbs are you allowed to eat? thanx alot and responses would be very much appreciated

 
Old 06-05-2003, 07:39 PM   #2
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My hubby and I tried this diet a few years back. For the first two weeks, we could not have any carbs at all. After that, you are supposed to gradually work SOME carbs back into your diet. If I remember correctly, the max number of carbs per day was 30, someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

 
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Old 06-05-2003, 08:47 PM   #3
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You can pick up a copy of the book call "Dr. Atkin's New Diet Revolution" which will outline everything you need to know or you can go the atkins website to get info as well. Just do a google search for atkins diet and you'll find it. There are 4 phases that you go through. Technically, you don't just eat meat. You can also use soy protein and the like. You also eat certain vegetables and gradually add in new ones in each phase as well as nuts and berries, I believe. The whole point is that you are cutting out refined/simple carbohydrates and sugar (breads, pasta, flour and such) so that your body will burn the fat instead of the carbohydrates. The complex carbohydrates are the ones you want such as vegetables, whole grains, fruit. In the beginning, you are allowed only 20 mg of carbs. You can't have caffine, aspertime, or alcohol either. Eventually, when you go into each phase, you will add in certain carbohydrates to see what your body can handle. If your body starts gaining the weight back, then you cut back. It's a whole different way of thinking. All during this, you also do regular exercise. Just do your research and decide if this is something you want to commit to.

 
Old 06-05-2003, 09:21 PM   #4
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the plan is controversial to some degree, but more and more studies are showing the benefits. i really like it.

The hardest part for me was getting over my carb addition. And i do think i have one. Once a chip goes in my mouth i am a goner! I will say as well that i do seem to have more energy.

Yep...I like the plan. I don't eat too many meats, but I love eggs! I like the idea of using butter, whipping cream, and having cheese. And...it works, and In am happy.

Libby

 
Old 06-06-2003, 08:44 AM   #5
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Just remember, it is a lifestyle and not a diet.... you cannot just lose the weight and go back to the old way of eating... you will gain the weight back SO FAST and then some! I did Atkins for a while... it messed my body up, so I modified it to suit me (I cannot handle that much fat, plus I need my fruit and milk!! LOL!) There are alot of low carb plans out there, I suggest you experiment and find the best one for you... they all work on the same premise... keep away from the bad carbs

 
Old 06-07-2003, 11:44 AM   #6
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thanks alot to all of you guys who replied!

 
Old 06-07-2003, 02:55 PM   #7
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I agree that it has to be a lifestyle, not just something you do until you've lost the weight. I personally think diets like Atkins and low-carbding are wrong because they're based on the idea that carbs make you fat. This reminds me of the way people used to think about fat back in the 80s. Saying that carbs or fat is bad for you is an overgeneralization. You just have to know the different types, how much you need, and when to have them. Complex carbs should be part of everyone's diet whereas as simple carbs should be minimized. Likewise, certain fats, like monosaturated fats, are good and required by the body whereas polysaturated fats are the ones to avoid. I've lost weight and my diet has over 160 grams of carbs. You have to remember what carbs are for. They're the body's fuel. Fat and protein are not fuel.

 
Old 06-07-2003, 03:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by DonutsNCoffee:
...Fat and protein are not fuel.
Yes they are. Fat is a fuel source for your body. That is what your body turns to when your intake of carbohydrates is low or you exercise for extended periods of time. How else do you ever expect to loose any fat if your body isn't burning it as fuel? Even protein can be used as fuel when caloric intake is too low. The thing about dietary fat and protein is that they are used for many more functions than just fuel. Carbohydrates have virtually no other function than being a fuel source. And if you don't burn the ones you've recently consumed, then they get stored either as glycogen (very small storage capacity) or converted to triglycerides and stored as fat. The fat stored in your adipose cells is your bodies reserve fuel source.
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Old 06-09-2003, 09:25 AM   #9
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Actually 160g of carbs is considered low carb. Anything under 400g of carbs is low carb. I usually get somewhere between 140g and 220g of carbs per day... I do watch my fat though, I just don't like fatty foods as they upset my tummy. I also get a large amount of protein in as well, it helps with my weight training. Personally, I stay away from white potatoes, white bread and white pasta... I guess I do believe the hype I lost alot of weight cutting them out and have been able to maintain my weight by keeping them out. Of course I indulge every so often... had a full tilt hamburger and fries this weekend, never felt even a twinge of guilt LOL! I think everyones chemistry is different... what works for me may not work for someone else... I guess we would all be skinny minnies if it was a one plan fits all type of world. My advice would be to find what works for you and what you can stick with. I could never stick with a highly restrictive low carb/high fat plan... but I took some of the various concepts and added them to my daily routine, and it works for me... good luck

 
Old 06-09-2003, 10:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by arkie6:
Fat is a fuel source for your body. That is what your body turns to when your intake of carbohydrates is low or you exercise for extended periods of time. How else do you ever expect to loose any fat if your body isn't burning it as fuel? Even protein can be used as fuel when caloric intake is too low. The thing about dietary fat and protein is that they are used for many more functions than just fuel. Carbohydrates have virtually no other function than being a fuel source. And if you don't burn the ones you've recently consumed, then they get stored either as glycogen (very small storage capacity) or converted to triglycerides and stored as fat. The fat stored in your adipose cells is your bodies reserve fuel source.
What I mean is that fat and protein are not normally meant to be used as fuel. That's why we eat carbohydrates. Protein's main purpose is to supply the raw materials for building tissue, muscle, enzymes, and various other things the body needs to operate. The reason we're supposed to have eat fat is because it's used to help synthesize hormones and lubricate joints. Under normal circumstances, carbohydrates should be the only fuel you need. Protein and fat can be used as fuel, but you're basically tricking the body into using them that way, which is the case with Atkins or low-carbing. As a long term eating plan, I think it's unhealthy because you're basically depriving your body of its natural fuel, carbohydrates, and giving it something that it can covert to fuel, fat and protein, but that's something that isn't meant to be a long term fuel source.

 
Old 06-09-2003, 10:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by GoinCruisin:
Actually 160g of carbs is considered low carb. Anything under 400g of carbs is low carb. I usually get somewhere between 140g and 220g of carbs per day.
There's no such thing as too low. Everyone has different requirements depending on their gender, age, size, and how active they are. One person may need 400g while another only needs 150. There's no one number that can be applied to everyone. But when it comes to carbs, what matters the most is when you have them and what kinds. Simple and refined sugars should be avoided and carbs should generally be consumed earlier in the day.

 
Old 06-09-2003, 10:38 AM   #12
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All I was saying is that according to most guidelines, 160g of carbs is technically "low carb"... I was not trying to imply it was too low, or infer to anyone's requirements. It just seems in this day and age of Atkins and the magic number of 20g of carbs, all of the sudden, people think that 100, 200 or 300g of carbs is high... which is crazy. Since the magic number of daily carbs has remained at 60%. I could not handle having that many carbs... I personally do think that there is such thing as "too low", and I personally think that a persons body simply cannot function on 20g of carbs for too long, I tried to do it and lost a gall bladdar and caused overload on my liver. Carbs are essential, but knowing which carbs to eat and which to avoid are essential... I pretty much think we were saying the same thing, but in a different way... I just didnt want anyone to think that 160g of carbs was "alot"... as I think it is probably about perfect. Sorry for the confusion.

 
Old 06-09-2003, 10:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by GoinCruisin:
All I was saying is that according to most guidelines, 160g of carbs is technically "low carb"... I was not trying to imply it was too low, or infer to anyone's requirements. It just seems in this day and age of Atkins and the magic number of 20g of carbs, all of the sudden, people think that 100, 200 or 300g of carbs is high... which is crazy. Since the magic number of daily carbs has remained at 60%. I could not handle having that many carbs... I personally do think that there is such thing as "too low", and I personally think that a persons body simply cannot function on 20g of carbs for too long, I tried to do it and lost a gall bladdar and caused overload on my liver. Carbs are essential, but knowing which carbs to eat and which to avoid are essential... I pretty much think we were saying the same thing, but in a different way... I just didnt want anyone to think that 160g of carbs was "alot"... as I think it is probably about perfect. Sorry for the confusion.
No problem. I actually take in 160g because I'm on a plan that calls for 40% carbs. I've learned through trial and error that if I go higher than this, I gain fat. I'm a big believer in a high carb diet, meaning percent of total calories, but in my case that level isn't that high because my overall caloric intake can't be too high.

 
Old 06-10-2003, 12:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by DonutsNCoffee:
What I mean is that fat and protein are not normally meant to be used as fuel.
Maybe not for the typical American eating the typical western diet loaded with sugar and starchy carbohydrate, but for primitive hunter-gatherer cultures that do not have ready access to processed grain products, dietary fat is typically their primary fuel source.

Quote:
That's why we eat carbohydrates.
No, we eat carbohydrates because they are everywhere you look and they taste good. And they are cheap and convienent.

Quote:
Protein's main purpose is to supply the raw materials for building tissue, muscle, enzymes, and various other things the body needs to operate.
I agree with that. That is why it is important to get adequate amounts of complete protein in your diet.

Quote:
The reason we're supposed to have eat fat is because it's used to help synthesize hormones and lubricate joints.
I agree with that also. It also plays a major part in the development of and functioning of the central nervous system (hey, your brain is mostly fat). It is also a useful fuel source if you are limiting your intake of carbohydrates.

Quote:
Under normal circumstances, carbohydrates should be the only fuel you need.
What is "normal circumstances"? If you eat enough carbohydrates to satisfy all of your energy needs, then you will not burn any stored fat. Isn't burning stored fat the goal of most folks visiting this "Weight Loss" forum?

Quote:
Protein and fat can be used as fuel, but you're basically tricking the body into using them that way, which is the case with Atkins or low-carbing.
There is no trick involved. That's just the way the body works. Cut way back on the carbohydrate intake and insulin levels drop and glucagon levels rise. This change in ratios of these metabolic hormones sets in motion the process necessary for fat metabolism. If glucose levels fall low enough, gluconeogenesis kicks in also. Biochemistry 101.

Quote:
As a long term eating plan, I think it's unhealthy because you're basically depriving your body of its natural fuel, carbohydrates, and giving it something that it can covert to fuel, fat and protein, but that's something that isn't meant to be a long term fuel source.
Well, I have to disagree with that. Why do you think carbohydrates are our natural fuel? Just because your body uses them first if available? I would say that all three macronutrients are "natural" fuel sources. Many that have studied paleolithic nutrition would agree. Our ancestors would have relied on different fuel sources at different times of the year and depending on what food sources were available. There would be no fresh vegetables, grains, or fruits available in the dead of winter. That is where meat and fat would have had to provide the body's source of fuel. Now in the summer and fall it is likely that our ancesters would have been able to consume more vegetables, shoots, fruits, berries, nuts, etc. And this consumption of these carbohydrates would have likely helped these people to put on a little extra fat to get through the lean times of winter.

To force your body to burn its stored fat usually takes drastic measures since your body resists this as a survival mechanism (its an evolutionary thing). These drastic measures can either be carbohydrate restriction, calorie restriction, extreme exercise, or a combination of any/all three.

For most that low-carb to lose the weight, higher carbohydrate levels can be consumed in the maintenance phase than in the initial weight loss phase once the excess weight is lost. Some can easily maintain on 150-200 grams per day, while others that are metabolicly resistant, myself included, will need to limit carbs closer to 50-60 grams per day in maintenance to prevent weight gain.

Anyway, enough rambling. I've been following a low carbohydrate diet for over 4 years with no ill effects and still maintaining a healthy weight loss. My bloodpressure is on the low side of normal and cholesterol ratios and complete blood count results all indicate good health.


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Old 06-10-2003, 06:49 AM   #15
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Maybe not for the typical American eating the typical western diet loaded with sugar and starchy carbohydrate, but for primitive hunter-gatherer cultures that do not have ready access to processed grain products, dietary fat is typically their primary fuel source.

We're not living in caveman times. Carbohydrates are cheap and easily accessible. Given that, there is no reason a person should ever need protein or fat as an energy source.

No, we eat carbohydrates because they are everywhere you look and they taste good. And they are cheap and convienent.

What I mean is that is what we are supposed to eat if the idea is to provide our bodies with energy. That is whole point behind carbohydrates. While the body may have mechanisms to convert fat and protein to energy, that's not their main purpose. But carbs have one purpose, to be used as fuel.

What is "normal circumstances"? If you eat enough carbohydrates to satisfy all of your energy needs, then you will not burn any stored fat. Isn't burning stored fat the goal of most folks visiting this "Weight Loss" forum?

Yes, burning stored fat is the goal of everyone here. But that doesn't mean you should increase the amount of DIETARY fat you consume. Weight loss generally requires cutting calories. Those calories should be carbs. But that doesn't mean you should increase fat and protein intake also. The idea should be to reduce carb intake just enough to get your body to dip into its fat reserves. The problem with a diet like Atkins is that it asks you to increase fat intake. The only fat you should ever be using for energy is stored fat, not fat from your diet.

There is no trick involved. That's just the way the body works. Cut way back on the carbohydrate intake and insulin levels drop and glucagon levels rise. This change in ratios of these metabolic hormones sets in motion the process necessary for fat metabolism. If glucose levels fall low enough, gluconeogenesis kicks in also. Biochemistry 101.

Yes, I understand the mechanism. I took Biochemistry also.

Why do you think carbohydrates are our natural fuel? Just because your body uses them first if available?

I think that because that's what I learned in biochemistry.

I would say that all three macronutrients are "natural" fuel sources. Many that have studied paleolithic nutrition would agree. Our ancestors would have relied on different fuel sources at different times of the year and depending on what food sources were available. There would be no fresh vegetables, grains, or fruits available in the dead of winter. That is where meat and fat would have had to provide the body's source of fuel. Now in the summer and fall it is likely that our ancesters would have been able to consume more vegetables, shoots, fruits, berries, nuts, etc. And this consumption of these carbohydrates would have likely helped these people to put on a little extra fat to get through the lean times of winter.

I understand how this mechanism evolved, but those were extreme circumstances where food was not always available. That's no longer the case, which is why such a comparion makes no sense.

To force your body to burn its stored fat usually takes drastic measures since your body resists this as a survival mechanism (its an evolutionary thing). These drastic measures can either be carbohydrate restriction, calorie restriction, extreme exercise, or a combination of any/all three.

Yes, it does require convincing your body to use stored fat. But all the studies on carbohydrate restriction have basically shown that it works because you're cutting calories.

I have lost a lot of fat, and I still followed a diet that was high in carbs. I didn't increase my fat intake or drastically increase my protein intake, which is what the Atkins diet calls for. I did it by slightly cutting back on carbs, doing light to moderate cardio, and lifting weights, none of which I would call drastic.

 
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