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Doing Old-School Atkins

Last time I wrote about getting jittery and having a rapid heartbeat on VLC (very low carb). I cut way back on nuts a few weeks ago and felt remarkably better: more energy, and I can tell I lost a little weight because of the way my shoes and watchband fit. As I mentioned, taking a potassium pill helps the jitters and rapid heartbeat, and if it gets really bad, I can just eat a candy bar (we don't have safe starches at work). So for the first time, I tried Atkins induction. Why Atkins induction? It started with shorts. I'd been shopping for shorts and everything was very short (think Officer Jim Dangle on Reno 911), wildly patterned, ridiculous (where do you wear lace shorts if you're not starring in a Korean drama?) or knee length. There was even a high-waisted, pleated, acid washed pair from circa 1985. So when I saw a gray pair with sailor pant buttons, I bought them--even though they were pretty short (but not tight). Think Officer Dangle again. Being conscious of wearing short shorts at age 45, I took some selfies and realized I'd put on weight. I went out to buy new batteries for my scale, but knew enough already to buy Atkins induction foods on the same trip.

It turns out I've put on ten pounds from my ideal weight. Not the worst problem to have, but one to nip in the bud. I'm one of the few women in my family over 30 and under 200 pounds and I don't want to find out if I have to genes to become very overweight. Even though I've done LC for four years, I'd never tried Atkins induction. But a friend of mine is doing it now and she can't quit raving about it. I got out my copy of Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution from 1972 to see what I could eat:

  • meat
  • eggs
  • two small green salads a day
  • butter, lard, mayonnaise, broth, full-fat dressings
  • olives, pickles
  • pork rinds
  • no-cal drinks like coffee, diet soda, tea, mineral water
  • juice of one lemon or lime.
  • condiments (salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar, vanilla and other extracts, artificial sweeteners, dry powdered spice with no sugar)
  • gelatin dessert with artificial sweetener
  • a small amount of hard cheese and a little cream, but I don't do well with dairy proteins. 

Note there's no unlimited vegetables, no nuts, and no fruit. The book says very little about exercise (it's optional) or fasting. Readers are directed to eat only when they're hungry, eat only until they're full, take a high-strength multi-vitamin pill, and eat small frequent meals if possible. These things seem like common sense; when you accept that weight gain is hormone-driven and that it's mostly carbohydrate that drives those hormones, the whole diet looks like common sense. Unfortunately, quirky, counterintuitive ideas like eating vegetables by the pound, eating fat bombs when you're not hungry for them, or adding "safe starches" have captured people's imaginations lately.

I followed the diet pretty well today; I did have a few cherry tomatoes and went a little overboard on salad. I used cocoyo (homemade yogurt made of coconut milk and culture) as dressing; I figured it was fine. I had some guacamole with my pork rinds tonight; I figured that was fine, too. Results after one day? I craved coffee, just as I did when I started LC. I never liked it before that. I felt a little jittery and had a fast heartbeat once, but a potassium pill made me feel better. I had to pee every few hours. What was surprising was that I didn't feel like snacking, since I've always been a snacker. I couldn't even finish the lunch I brought. I do have a bad chocolate habit; I found it easier today to go without it entirely than to limit myself to a few pieces. I didn't have any LC flu symptoms--I wasn't tired or constipated (I take a magnesium supplement), but this wasn't a radical change.

My latest photo, where I'm in the gray and white sweater, shows me at around my current weight. I'll post more photos as I progress.


Larcana said…
I like the Atkins diet, it does help to get the weight off. I find it easy to follow as well. But of course I eat this way all the time and have for the last seven years. If they wanted to study the diet long term they could ask me to offer labs and I don't miss all the sweets and snacks that others eat. And , yes, they always say to me, " I don't have that much willpower to eat like you." And if you tell yourself something like that..then it is true. Sadly.
Keep up the great blog! I really enjoy reading your stuff.
Lori Miller said…
Thanks, Larcana. I find it's easier to completely give up things I shouldn't eat than to try to eat them in moderation.
tess said…
yes, indeed -- i'm enjoying it too! i'll look forward to hearing more, and how long it takes you to make your goal.
Lori Miller said…
Thanks, Tess. I'm down 1.6 pounds this morning. Maybe it's part water weight, but who wants to carry that around?
valerie said…
You made me google "Officer Jim Dangle Reno 911." Up until a few minutes ago, I was blissfully unaware of his existence. Thankfully, I have some experience in getting over visual trauma, as I saw my father's nipple piercing last summer, and I think I made a full recovery.
Lori Miller said…
Egad! At least you were warned about the shorts. For goodness' sake, don't Google anything else about that show.
Galina L. said…
It is the time of the year when loosing weight is easier, you are right to use it before days start being noticeably shorter. No, water weight is not the good thing to carry around (just my opinion).
Galina L. said…
Moderation is the approach which messes up many people and make them more anxious about food choices. LCarbing is relaxing and satiating.
Lori Miller said…
Yes, and you constantly have to make decisions: how much chocolate to have? Is it OK if I didn't have any yesterday? Just this once (again)? It leads to decision fatigue. I think it also opens the door to bad habits.
Lori Miller said…
The comment "But it's all water weight" has always left me scratching my head. Maybe it IS water weight, but so what? You can regain water weight, but you can regain fat, too. And does anyone really think that a weight loss of more than about five pounds is all just water weight?

I'm down 2.2 pounds total. I actually gained a little from my liquid diet day.
Galina L. said…
Water weight is most probably the water in glycogen. I guess you burn less fat between meals when glycogen is available as an energy source.
Lori Miller said…
Good to know!

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