Atkins: Do it right or don't do it

by Julian Johnson
(Parma Heights Ohio 44130)

A message from Suzette:

I feel privileged every time a visitor to my site chooses to share, but the comment below truly stands out. Julian has some rather strong feelings about the Atkins Diet in particular and how Americans eat in general.

Julian's passion on the subject is not for the weak of heart! If you might be offended by strong language - or strong feelings you may not agree with - this might not be the page for you.

However, if you want to hear some strong opinions - borne of experience - on the subject of the Atkins Diet, you'll want to read.

Thank you, Julian!

I had lost approximately 30 pounds in three months.

I would eat lean protein and veggies and I even got to drink up to four glasses of wine (shiraz) while remaining in ketosis. I would jog in the mornings and remember the smell of the sweat as I got back into my car. I would stink like a litter box. I would literally smell ammonia emanating from my body.

Regardless, within three months I was running four miles comfortably at least three times a week and looked as trim as I have ever been. Was I doing the diet wrong? Yes. Was I probably causing damage to my body? Yes.

I had cut all carbs for a longer than recommended time period and I was abusing the diet. I eventually gained all of my weight back and then some when I steered away from the diet and am now about to go back to the diet because I have felt horrible eating the garbage that's out there since.

For about five years now I have eaten horribly. Fast food, empty calories, tons of soda pop, at an alarming horrible schedule. I have gotten fat, depressed, irritable and have even developed panic attacks. I have been on the low carb diet for a couple of weeks now, I've lost 12 pounds and already feel better.

I can eat eat vegetables and even fruits (raspberries, strawberries) as early as the third week of the program. The truth is this--We are all being poisoned by sugar. It states very clearly in the book that our ancestors did not deal with the health issues we have today because there was no processed sugar. Hey geniuses, this is a fact--make an association!

I truly believe that in years to come we are going to find that prolonged over consumption of processed short chained sugars are the culprit to the pandemics of heart disease and diabetes if the miserable liars that usually force feed us the lies ever make an attempt at integrity (there's a lot of money in medical treatment of these diseases ya see).

This isn't rocket science, people. When you eat a ton of carbohydrates that aren't used immediately for energy they are stored as fat. This is a fact. It's as simple as that.

I know that I have plenty of fat stores that my body can use for energy so the fact is that all that fat is being reconverted to an available (and abundant) energy source in the absence of the carbs that otherwise would have prohibited the process if they'd been consumed.

Your body says "Hey, why the hell do I need to tap into all this fat for, I got a ton of ready fuel in the form of sugar I just got from this carbohydrate laden meal".

You have to be smart about the diet. Yeah, idiot. Don't eat 20 servings of bacon for "chrissakes". You can eat low carb yogurt, egg drop soup, sugar free jello, pickles, low carb veggies, fruits, turkey, fish, chicken and even, God forbid, a hamburger with no bun from time to time, and remember to stay hydrated and take a multivitamin. Does it sound that unreasonable?

All I keep hearing from the experts is "You have to work off more calories than you consume." Well that's fine if you're Lance Armstrong out there biking twenty miles a day but for the rest of us that is very hard.

The fact is we're gonna probably eat 1500-2000 calories a day and an hour of jogging only eats up about 500 calories. Besides, what will most likely end up happening with this is people will begin to eat less and exercise more to lose more weight faster; after all we are a "credit card" society.

So what happens, people start to starve themselves--wait, isn't that what we were told NOT TO DO? And while you're jumping from one foot to the other you're still a fat ass that the industry is criticizing for being overweight.

You're on a treadmill alright, and you're never getting off if they have their way.

Essentially, we are cutting out the garbage foods and, Oh my, how the industry does not want that!!! NO more fast food, endless amounts of chocolate and sugar in cereal and fruit pies that are healthy because, and I quote Homer Simpson, "they got pink stuff in them, pink stuff is fruit". No more corporate restaurant carb fests and handy dandy quick stop snacks.

I challenge any American to go into a local gas station and find a snack (besides beef jerky--jeez) that is not comprised almost entirely of carbs. Then they wonder why we're all fat?

I'll tell ya' something else, your body ain't gonna like it at first. You'll get used to it but at first, you probably will feel fatigued. Guess what, that's your body bitching like a little kid that doesn't know what's good for it. (If your body had its way you'd keep shoving ice cream sandwiches down your throat til' you weighed 500 lbs.)

Eventually you feel stable. In my case it takes about 4-5 days to get used to it.

I think the problem with this diet is only that people are doing it incorrectly. They are abusing it by eating a ton of animal fats and then they end up with heart disease and scurvy, go figure.

Oh yeah, let's forget all about the genetic component of these dieters as well. It's not the fact that every person in their genealogical tree has died by the age of forty from heart disease--no, it's the low carb diet.

Do the diet correctly or don't do it at all, cause I'm sick of you fat asses becoming fuel for the "experts" to say the diet doesn't work and can even be dangerous...

Look, I'm a big fan of doing whatever works for ya, but I'm getting really sick of all of these Doctors maligning this diet, because if done properly, it's no more more unhealthy than their precious food pyramid. You know, that expert recommended "end all be all of nutrition" diet that floats atop the fattest country in the world... myself included.


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Feb 04, 2008
by: Suzette Kroll-Barancik, RD

I'm taken by your passion on the subject!

You'd be surprised at how many "versions" of Atkins I've heard people follow in my many years as a dietitian.

Someone really did tell me once they wouldn't eat cauliflower because it was "white."

This is a perfect example of being unable to see the forest through the trees. Making good food choices based on nutrient density and positive effects on your health gets lost in the rush to avoid carbs.

Food is more than's information! Food sends messages to your genes as to how they will be expressed...will you develop heart disease, diabetes, hypertension? Part of the answer may be how you are interacting with your environment via food choices! (The growing field of Nutrigenomics is fascinating!)

I love to talk about the notion that "food is more than numbers." When we have tunnel vision and choose food based soley on the "number of grams of carbs" it's easy to follow a diet comprised of packaged, processed foods...just carb FREE ones. (0 carb bars, shakes, etc).

And when we "cheat" on Atkins, it's just as easy to fall into a diet comprised of packaged, processed foods...ones WITH carbs.

And the fact is, NEITHER is really very nutritious, nor a diet our cave man ancestors would have followed.

You make great points about the necessity of watching portions sizes (no 20 portions of bacon!) and choosing healthier foods like yogurt, fish, turkey, chicken, veggies and fruits. Doesn't sound unreasonable to me!

I think you'd love the book Food Politics by Marion Nestle if you haven't already read it. It will reinforce (and likely anger you further) how government/politics influences what is suggested as "good for us"...including the food pyramid.

Most of all, I'm glad to hear you're back on track. Keep up your good work.

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