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Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution Paperback – December 29, 2009
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Designed to catapult your body into a state of fat meltdown, Dr. Atkins's diet has taken America by storm. It targets insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. The bodies of most overeaters are continually in a state of hyperinsulinism; their bodies are so adept at releasing insulin to help convert excess carbohydrates to fat that there's always too much of the hormone circulating through the body. This puts the body into a bind; it always wants to store fat. Even when people with hyperinsulinism try to lose weight--especially when they cut fat but increase carbohydrate consumption--their efforts will fail. This is why Dr. Atkins refers to insulin as "the fat-producing hormone."
Dr. Atkins's diet is extremely low in carbohydrates, which helps to regulate insulin production and decrease circulating insulin; less insulin soon results in less fat storage and fewer food cravings. The diet is far from torturous, though--those who've tried it attest that hunger is not a part of this plan. Ninety percent of Dr. Atkins's patients--more than 25,000 of them--have experienced dramatic weight loss. The book includes recipes for such luscious, low-carb dishes as lobster soup, zabaglione, sea bass, and blueberry ice cream, and even includes a carbohydrate gram counter and menus. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The most famous low-carb regime of all" * The Times * --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Fast forward thirty five years later. My weight had ballooned up to 235 pounds, even though I was working out at the gym 5-6 days a week. I met a friend at the gym who had obviously lost a lot of weight. I asked him how he did it.
"Try the Atkin's Diet," he said. "I've lost 35 pounds in 6 months."
That's all I had to hear. So I picked up a copy of Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution - 3rd Edition, and started the diet on December 27, 2009.
The first two weeks are the hardest. You have to go through the "Induction Phase," which is a 14-day period where you limit yourself to no more than 20 grams of carbs a day. This is not as hard as it seems, since there are so many foods with zero carbs, like chicken, pork, fish and beef. The trick is to cook with oil, or a cooking spray like Pam, which also has zero carbs. Butter is OK too.
Even though all pure alcoholic beverage have zero carbs too, they tell you to drink any liquor during the Induction Phase, because it raises your blood sugar, which stunts weight loss on this diet. During the Induction Phase, your body goes into the state of Ketosis, which allows your body to burn fat at a higher rate.
I conveniently tossed this rule out the window, and had one very dry vodka martini every night before dinner and one cognac right before bed. I still lost 10 pounds in the first two weeks. During the next three Phases: Ongoing Weight Loss, Pre-Maintenance and Lifetime Maintenance, you gradually increase your carb intake per day, peaking at 60-70 grams a day, according to your metabolism.
By the middle of April, I had lost 25 pounds and got to my desired weight of 210. And I've kept this weight off, give or take a pound or two, for the next seven months, which takes us to today.
The reason why I love this diet is because it's the only diet I know of where you can imbibe a few cocktails a day and still lose weight. The trick is, no mixers, except water, club soda, or diet soda. Wine is a little tricky, since red wine averages 5 carbs a glass, and white wine 3 carbs a glass. So on Lifetime Maintenance, a glass or two of wine won't kill your diet, but don't drink more than that. As for beer, I was never a beer drinker, but Michelob Extra Light is only 1.9 grams per 12-ounce bottle. Bud and Miller also make a very low carb light beer.
Even though I lost my desired weight, I will never go off the Atkins Diet completely. Once a month, I'll have a slice of pizza. And once a month I'll eat a portion, or two of Dreamfields Pasta, which you can buy at any large food store. But I pretty much stick to a diet of meat, fish, poultry, pork, eggs, bacon, cold cuts like ham, a few nuts, some cheese, green vegetables and tomatoes. But no fruits or fruit juices, which are high in carbs (some wise guy may say tomatoes are a fruit, but not to me).
The bottom line, if you can forgo bread, deserts, pizza, and other foods high in carbs, like corn and carrots, the Atkins' Diet is one where you'll never go hungry. And how many other diets can you make that statement about?