Weight: 161 lb
Exercise: 60 minutes shovelling horse poo and picking up rocks from a new corral
I followed Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution for 10 weeks in 2003. When my daughter was 3-years-old, I realized that my exercise habit—six hours a week either at a gym or running—had been interfering with my family time and helping out around the house. So I quit exercising for 3–4 years and, therefore, gained some weight. In 2003, my Atkins starting weight was 178 lb, waist 37 inches. Goal weight was 162-165. I lost 11 pounds on Atkins. Towards the end I was bored and increasingly noncompliant. Here are my 2003 verbatim notes summarizing my experience with Atkins:
Lost 10 lbs [4.55 kg] over first 5 weeks, ½ of that in the first 2 weeks. I have not exercised nearly as much as he recommended. Have not suffered much hunger or sense of deprivation. No wt change in last 6 weeks, coinciding with poor exercise compliance (may or may not be related). Note that I really don’t have much wt to lose at this point, just a cosmetic amount. At some point, even if fully compliant with Atkins, wouldn’t wt loss stop in everyone? I have no idea how may calories I am eating now. With wt stable, will assume it is around 2000-2400 cal/day. Ten years ago when I was exercising religiously, my wt-maintaining intake was 2400 cal. Probably closer to 2000 now in view of aging and sedentariness. Over the last 6 weeks of stable wt, however, I was mostly compliant with his induction-phase food prescription. To lose wt now I probably need to exercise more and count actual calories. Even took his recommended Essential Oils supplement (2/day) and Basic 3 vitamin supplement (2 instead of 3/day). He has convinced me I am a carbaholic. Sugars and refined carbs are empty calories that don’t provide much except energy, which in excessive amounts is stored as fat. But I cannot yet abandon the dogma that saturated fats (e.g., red meat) can be harmful to circulation over the long run. And his carb restriction would keep me from eating adequate beneficial vegetables. If I want to eat sweets and refined carbs, I will have to exercise more and/or give up fats, vegetables, or proteins. Atkins makes a lot of sense for obese people who love carbs and overeat them. I also like the rapid results of induction phase. I admire the simplicity of the induction phase. Thereafter, the “Ongoing Weight Loss” and “Lifetime Maintenance” phases do require counting carbs. The latter phase, for me, would allow 40-60 gm/day, unless I were a vigorous exerciser (then 90+ gm). A serving of apple pie has 58 gm.
Now it’s six years later and I’m much more willing to reconsider that dogma that saturated fats cause impaired circulation (atherosclerosis). But I still think that fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are healthy for many people.