Discussions that mention potassium

Diet & Nutrition board

[quote]Originally posted by sharonped:
I know there are lots and lots of proponents to both low-carb and low fat weight loss. I've read hundreds of studies, and can't seem to get a consistent answer. Are there any women out there in their 30's who've been ON Atkins for at least 3 years, lost at least 50 pounds, and have kept it off? Most of the extreme successes I've heard of have been men.

I'm not a woman, but I'm a guy in my 30's that has maintained a 35 pound loss for over 4 years now by following a low carb diet. I've read several books on the subject, and the version I follow more closely resembles "Protein Power" by Drs. Eades (I highly recommend this book). Another good book that stresses the need to avoid highly processed carbohydrates and highly processed foods in general (sugar, white flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, nitrates, etc.) and focuses more on women's issues is "The Schwarzbein Principle" by Diane Schwarzbein.

[quote]Tried Atkins for about 4 days, and felt horrible the whole time...

That is typical if you have been living primarily on carbohydrates for a long time. It takes time for your body to do the switchover to fats for fuel.

[quote]don't know if that was just coming off sugar or going into ketosis...

Possibly. Until your body converts its metabolism to one that burns fats as its primary fuel instead of glucose, you will likely feel sluggish, even ill for a few days. Its like you are having withdrawl symptoms. Another possibility is potassium deficiency, which is fairly common in those that just begin a strict low carb diet. The Eades mention this in their book. When you restrict the carbs, you will likely lose a lot of excess fluid. Along with this initial fluid loss you will also likely lose electrolytes, potassium being the primary one of concern. You can supplement with potassium tablets (suggest 200 mg twice per day) during the first few weeks of the diet to see if that helps.

Also make sure you are eating plenty of food. Ketosis tends to curb your hunger and many just don't eat enough when they first start this type of diet.

[quote]I'm interested in Atkins only because it seems I have a lot of symptoms of hyperinsulinemia, although I've never had it officially checked.

If you have symptoms of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance (reactive hypoglycemia, fat gain around waist, abnormal blood lipids and in particular elevated triglycerides, PCOS, and hypertension to name a few), then yes, a low carbohydrate diet that severly restricts sugars and starchy foods is the way to go. These are the foods that trigger the most significant release of insulin. Fat in your diet has virtually no effect on insulin levels. And it is difficult to follow a low fat diet that isn't high in carbohydrate, which would likely make your symptoms of hyperinsulinemia worse.