Are you a ticking time bomb? I was – high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight, and a smoker. I hated the idea of having a heart attack, stroke, or diabetes (just for starters) but, do you know what I REALLY hated? I hated the idea of attending one more family gathering, office Christmas party, or high school class reunion and seeing those looks of disgust and disapproval for being so fat. You know what I’m talking about. I’d tried to lose weight – dozens of times – and I’ll bet you have, too. The diet “experts” tell us to give up every scrap of food that tastes good and we enjoy and to be happy losing 1-2 pounds per week. Yeah…right. Double that to 4-5 pounds a week and I’ll consider it. If I’m going to diet and feel deprived (and make no mistake about it, I DO feel deprived) the weight loss has to be fast enough to make someone sit up and say, “Hey, you’ve lost weight!” The Atkins Diet is the only one that worked for me. I lost 55 pounds in four months and, even better, I’ve kept it off over a year now.
The whole concept of The Atkins Diet is controlling the amount of carbohydrates we eat. Commonly known as a low carb or high protein diet, the Atkins plan works by eliminating the excess starch and sugar in our daily diet that our bodies can metabolize into stored fat – that spare tire and double chin. Carbohydrates (starches and sugar) are a main component in foods like: bread, pasta, rice, cereal, dry beans, and of course, every delicious sweet thing made with sugar or honey (my personal favorites). But then, you probably knew that. Anyone with a weight problem knows that these foods tend to make us fat. And, that’s why and we feel guilty every time we have that big spaghetti dinner with French bread and spumoni ice cream for dessert.
What I didn’t know before reading and following the Atkins diet book, and what you may not know, was just how I was sabotaging all my efforts on previous diets through the hidden carbs in fruits and vegetables and dairy. Some diet du jour would tell me to eat whole grains, drink skim milk, and eat all the fruits and vegetables I could hold, and I would lose weight…guaranteed. Wrong! A breakfast of Raisin Bran with skim milk and Splenda, whole wheat toast, 6 oz. orange juice, and coffee with non-dairy creamer adds up to a walloping 75 grams of carbohydrates. According to Dr. Atkins’ advice, that’s just about the total recommended carb intake for the entire day (not 1 meal) for a reasonably active person whose body processes carbohydrates well. That’s not me and it’s probably not you, either. Moreover, he says that 75-90 grams is the level to maintain weight – not lose it. He was right. I never lost an ounce on this type of diet, but there were one or two where I actually gained weight! It was only after I found The Atkins Diet, and began to look at my food for what it really was (carbohydrate, protein, fat), that I finally achieved fast and reasonably pain-free weight loss. Even better, it has become a way of eating that I can live with and not put that fat back on.
I’m not going to give you all the details of the Atkins plan because it’s just too important that you read the book, “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution,” yourself. It will give you all the information about the safety and effectiveness of the diet, how to count carbs (not calories or fat), how to lose weight fast, steadily, and keep it off. There’s even a simple carb counter and some great recipes.
What I will tell you, however, is that I really enjoy eating 3-egg Denver omelets and coffee with heavy cream for breakfast. I drool over a garden salad, with a big lump of tuna mixed with real mayonnaise, and all the oily blue cheese dressing I want at lunchtime. Give me a big steak topped with sautéed mushrooms, Caesar salad, and asparagus with hollandaise sauce for dinner – I’m over the moon. And, I couldn’t be happier than to top it all off with a nice gelatin parfait with real whipped cream (artificially sweetened, of course). Most of all, I’m ecstatic to be able to eat this way and lose 55 pounds in 4 months. I bet you will be too. Oh, and by the way, the high blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers are all back to normal. Now, if I could only give up the smoking…