Tag Archives: Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution

2002 Atkins Diet at a Glance

Dr. Robert C. Atkins is the modern popularizer of low-carb dieting.  He was neither the first nor only low-carb advocate of the 20th century, but certainly the most influential in modern history in terms of followers.  His Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution was published in 1972 and sold millions of copies. 

Sir Isaac Newton wrote in 1676: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”  Twentieth century giants for Dr. Atkins include Frank Evans, Blake Donaldson (the original paleo diet guru?), Per Hansen, Alfred Pennington, and John Yudkin.  Most of these were physicians, by the way.  William Banting preceeded them, in the 19th century.

Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, published in 2002, was a huge seller then and maintains a respectable sales volume even now.  My impression is that Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., has replaced it with The New Atkins for a New You, which I reviewed last spring.  Enough people still follow DANDR that I need to stay familiar with it.  Here’s my brief summary of the phases.

Induction or Phase 1

  • Limit carbs to 20 g of “net carbs” daily for a minimum of two weeks.
  • “Net carbs” is the total carb count in grams, minus the fiber grams.
  • 3 cups of salad greens daily with olive oil/vingar or lemon juice OR 2 cups of salad greens and one cup of non-starchy cooked vegetables (e.g., broccoli or zucchini).
  • May also eat 3–4 ounces of aged cheese, a handful of olives, and half an avocado daily.

Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) or Phase 2

  • Deliberate slowing of weight loss.
  • Gradually add back nutrient-rich carbs.
  • Increase net carbs weekly by just 5 g, by eating more veggies, nuts, seeds, even berries (this is where the “carb ladder” comes into play, adding carb groups in a specific order).
  • Some dieters can even add small amounts of beans and fruits other than berries, until weight loss stalls.  At that point, you drop back 5 g net carbs, to your Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing (CCLL).

Pre-maintenance or Phase 3

  • Begins 5 or 10 pounds before reaching your weight goal.
  • Weight loss slows even more, taking at least 2 months to lose that last 10 pounds.
  • Can now add some starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, peas, whole grains.
  • If weight loss stops before goal, drop back down by 5-10 g net carbs, to your revised CCLL.

Lifetime Maintenance or Phase 4

  • Starts when you’ve been at goal weight for one month.
  • No more junk food, ever.
  • Stay vigilant for excessive carbs.  You may never be able to go back to whole grains or higher-carb fruits and vegetables.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Gary Taubes reviews the history of low-carb diets in his masterpiece, Good Calories, Bad Calories.

Sir Isaac Newton
Head and shoulders portrait of man in black with shoulder-length gray hair, a large sharp nose, and an abstracted gaze

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Book Review: 21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb

Here’s my review of Jimmy Moore’s new book, 21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb: How the Healthy Low-Carb Lifestyle Changed Everything I Thought I Knew.  I rate it five stars, Amazon.com’s highest rating.

♦   ♦   ♦

Thinking about quitting your low-carb lifestyle?  Read this book first.

Jimmy Moore is a leading advocate for low-carb eating.  His purpose with this book is to educate, encourage, and inspire overweight people to begin or maintain their own low-carb journey.  And he succeeds in spades.

Mr. Moore assumes the reader already knows how to do low-carb eating.  If you don’t, I’m sure Mr. Moore would recommend Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution as the single best source.  As with all diets, low-carb eating has a high drop-out rate.  Most people lose some weight then return to their old way of eating, gaining the weight back.

Even as the author of a balanced, calorie-restricted diet book, I’ll admit that many people have had phenomenal success with low-carb diets, without caloric restriction.  Mr. Moore is one of those: 180 pounds (82 kg) weight loss in one year, and sustained over five years.  Could he be lying?  Sure.  But my gut feeling is he’s not. 

This book is not only a survey of the low-carb world covering the last decade, its an autobiography.  He shares his traumatic upbringing and the frustrating premature death of his morbidly obese brother from heart disease.  You’ll learn about Mr. Moore’s movie career alongside George Clooney.  I was also surprised to learn that Mr. Moore lost 170 pounds (77 kg) in 1999, not on a low-carb diet, but a low-fat one!  Then what happened?  I won’t spoil it for you.  Mr. Moore also owns up to his regrettable and embarrassing affiliation with the Kimkins diet in 2007.

The only weak chapter is the one on childhood obesity.  Mr. Moore moves away from his previous science- and evidence-based arguments, using personal opinion and anecdote more often.  This partly reflects the fact that childhood obesity hasn’t been studied nearly as much as the adult version.

I particularly like Mr. Moore’s review of the scientific evidence in favor of low-carb eating.  The science was inspired and driven by the low-carb craze of 1998-2004.  But the study results weren’t published until after the fad peaked.  So most people aren’t familiar with the science.  Mr. Moore presents it in very understandable terms, which is a gift.

As heavily invested as he is in low-carb eating, does Mr. Moore condemn other methods of weight management?  By no means.  He repeatedly writes: “The point is to find the proven nutritional plan that works for you, follow that plan as exactly as prescribed by the author, and then stick to it for the rest of your life.” 

Steve Parker, M.D.

Additional information: Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Blog

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