Diet Update: Week 3 – Atkins & Fat Head

So my weight loss isn’t much to report on again this week. As I mentioned last week, my scale broke so I bought a new one but this one is screwy too (fluctuating when I weigh several times in a row) so I have to return it and get yet another one when I get a chance. What I’m thinking is that I gained 2-3 pounds at the beginning of the week when I did a bit of carb loading before I started the New Atkins Diet (yes, I know this is stupid…but I knew I was going to miss Cheetos & potatoes & mac-n-cheese bad for the next few months so I overdid it for 2 days). And then since I started the diet on Wednesday it appears that I lost a couple of those pounds back. I come to this conclusion because I weighed like 6 times each morning until the scale finally came up with the same number 3 times. Not super legit, but a good guess. All this being said, I’m down 7.4 pounds from when I started trying to lose weight 3 weeks ago. Not as good as I would hope for, but still pretty good.

Fat Head

As I mentioned, I have started a new diet this past week. The New Atkins Diet is a low carb eating plan that I have decided to give a try. I’m not usually into ‘fad diets’ but after I watched the documentary Fat Head a few weeks ago it really got me to thinking about¬† how my body might be responding to the way I eat. Fat Head is a kind of spin off documentary discounting the Supersize Me documentary. It was very interesting and discussed the science behind how our bodies process carbs and sugars, how insulin works, etc.

For the first part of the movie Tom proved that you can actually lose weight by only eating fast food (mostly McDonalds). He ate cheeseburgers and breakfast sandwiches…rarely salads and grilled chicken. He didn’t drink soda unless it was diet, and he rarely ate fries or hash browns though. He didn’t pay attention to fat at all, just carbs (limiting them to about 100-130 grams per day), and he limited his calories to approximately 2,000 per day. He walked for about an hour 5 days a week, and he did lose weight. Not only did he lose weight all of his health numbers improved. His doctor was astonished. You can read his food log from those 28 days here.

Anyway, Tom’s point of the movie wasn’t to say that eating fast food is the way to lose weight or is healthy or anything along those lines. His point was to disprove the lies in Supersize Me and to uncover the untruths and crap that the government has fed us the past several decades regarding our health. For instance, apparently there has never been a single study linking high cholesterol to heart disease. Basically, he explains that it’s all about the money. The food pyramids and health recommendations are more about money than they are about our health. There was a lot of science and politics explained in the movie, so I definitely recommend you watching it yourself if you are interested. I can’t describe it all on here, but you get the gist.

Toward the end of the movie, after the fast food diet, Tom switched to a more typical lower carb diet and lost even more weight. Pretty impressive! So this is what got me to thinking about my diet history and how my body reacts to what I eat. I spent the next few days doing some online research and even bought a couple of books (that I am still in the process of reading).

New Atkins Diet

The documentary and my research so far convinced me to give this low carb thing a try. Let me tell you, it goes against everything in me to not worry about calories, but I told myself I would try this diet for at least 2 weeks to form my own opinions. The New Atkins diet isn’t as extreme as the one from several years ago. During the ‘Induction’ phase you are supposed to limit your Net Carbs (Carbs minus Fiber & Alcohol Sugars) to 20 grams per day. 12-15 of those are supposed to come from the list of approved vegetables. So in other words, for the first two weeks my diet will primarily consist of veggies, meat, eggs, and cheese. It also allows for fat (butter and oil).

The Atkins diet doesn’t require you to count calories, and even recommends not to because they don’t want you to restrict fat intake. I however don’t want to overdo it so I am counting mine. So far I’m not really doing anything about it, but I’m just keeping track of my weight fluctuations versus my calorie intake the day prior. And of course, I am keeping it reasonable. That being said, my first day on Atkins I ate over 2,000 calories (way way way more than I would usually eat when dieting), and I lost 1.5 pounds. I’m not putting too much stock into that because like I said, I carb loaded the 2 days prior to this so a drastic change was expected. But it was interesting nonetheless.

Since that first day I’m trying to keep my daily calorie intake closer to 1,500 per day. I am struggling to keep the carbs under 20…I have been closer to 25 about half of the days. And even harder for me has been getting most of my carbs from vegetables. I have increased my vegetable intake so much, but it still isn’t enough. I’m thinking I’m going to have to eat a large salad every day to make it work…we shall see.

I have been trying new low carb recipes which is taking LOTS of time. Looking for recipes, making grocery lists, cooking, counting the carbs…it is time consuming. I am trying to find creative ways to eat the types of foods I like while sticking to the diet. I’m talking bread made with eggs & cream cheese, chips made out of celery root, taco shells made out of zucchini, mashed potatoes made from cauliflower, etc. It is taking a lot of time right now, but so far I have been very pleased with the recipe substitutions. I guess it takes time to adjust to anything new. I’m hoping once I complete some of this initial ground work I will get the hang of things and get better at planning meals to meet the diet requirements.

I’m thinking about trying the sample diet in the book next week just to make it easier on myself to stick more stringently to the plan. I’m hoping that by the end of two weeks I will have experienced enough success to continue the diet indefinitely. And I figure it will only get easier as I go. If it doesn’t work out I can always go back to the calorie counting thing, but for now I really want to do this experiment for myself and see how it turns out. Maybe low carb is the answer I have been looking for…

Posted in Atkins, Cities Travelled, Dieting on the Road, Florida, Food, Sarasota, Week in Review.