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Our New Way of Eating

I’ve had so many requests for info on our new way of eating, that I’ve decided to blog it.  Hope it works as well for you as it did for us. 

This is the easiest weight loss I've ever experienced.  We ate at Goodwood last night and I thought for sure I'd be up a pound this morning.  Instead, I was down a pound.  We had wings, coleslaw, veggies, and a half rack of baby back ribs each.  I had saved plenty of carbs during the day for the sauce and boy did I enjoy it.

Basically, we started with Atkins Phase 2.  I eat no more than 30 carbs per day.  Bob probably eats around 50.  The key is tracking your carbs.  Weigh or measure what you prepare and then write it down, until you get the hang of it.  Hint: Do it before you eat it!  I have a great digital scale and I measure by the gram, then use my Diet and Exercise Assistant to track the food.  My daughter suggested MyFitnessPal.com  It has apps for iPhone and Droid and/or will count and track your totals online.  I also ordered and read Atkins new book, “The New Atkins For A New You”,  from Amazon ($10 and a true bargain).  It explains the science behind the diet and gives great eating out tips.  One nice tidbit: you can subtract the fiber from the carb total on any fruit or veggie.

After you lose all the weight you want, add back 5 carbs a day for a week, then the next week add 5 more.  When the weight starts to creep back, back off 5 and then realize that's your body's limit.

We don't eat watermelon, pineapple, grapes, bananas, or tropical fruits.  They're loaded with sugar. We eat strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew and any berry.  No starchy veggies, i.e. potatoes, peas, or corn.  No grains, flour, rice, etc.  No sugar.  We love spaghetti squash, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, cabbage, summer squash, and green leafy veggies.  We eat nothing but whole foods . . . real food, including nuts (not peanuts or cashews – too many carbs).  Fish, beef, pork, chicken and we don’t choose the lean varieties as they have no flavor.  We don’t drink juice.  God put it in fruit for a reason, not so that we could strain out and toss all the good stuff.

Here are the foods on phase 1 and phase 2.  Add them together.  Links> Atkins Phase 1 and Atkins Phase 2.  Keep in mind that the carb cravings go away and stay away after three days . . . unless you eat too many and then they're back.  After seven weeks of doing this, they don't have any appeal.  We've been to five weddings the last five weeks, and believe me, we've turned down plenty of carb-laden food or as my friend, Jimmy, calls it, “carbage”.

I listen to Jimmy Moore’s interviews every night.  He helps keep me focused and provides great info.   You can download his podcasts on iTunes or on his web site.   His interviews talk a lot about what we can do to prevent type II diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin or the cells of the body become insulin resistant or insensitive to the action of insulin.  Everything we buy and eat is laden with sugar and the insulin reaction stores the pounds and ups the bad cholesterol.  http://www.thelivinlowcarbshow.com/shownotes/ 
The best thing you can do is read.  Here's a good place to start.  It's technical, but informative.  I wasn't eating enough fat and when I upped my fat intake, the weight flew off.  After six weeks eating this way I had my cholesterol checked.  It was down 23 points and my LDL was down 10.    http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/fat-not-protein.html
http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/lbm  This site will help you determine your lean body weight.  Now you can figure out how many grams of protein you need.  Lean body weight times 1 to 1.5.  Example: my lean body weight of 101 x 1 = 101.  101 x 1.5 = 152.  So somewhere between 101 and 152 would be the right number of grams of protein for me, a 132 pound 5’7” female.  I average around 110 grams of protein.

Carbs and protein are both 4 calories per gram.  Fat is 9 calories per gram and you should eat 60-70% of your calories in fat.  Don't buy lean anything and buy full fat dressings.  We eat lots of spinach salads with our meals because spinach is nutrient dense.  Salad dressing is the only thing I’ll eat that is not just one ingredient, unless it’s something I’ve prepared myself.  I average 77 grams of fat per day.

Most fruits these days are so large that they are 2-3 servings.  1/2 orange is 10 carbs, so you can see that 2 oranges would kill all of your carbs for the day. 

Joined this group: Low Carb Friends Lots of tips, menus, and recipes.  I don't do the goofball ingredients.  I prefer whole foods.  We buy the Premier Protein shakes at Costco and keep at least two in each vehicle in case we're out and can't find something we want to eat.   Don’t skip meals.

Atkins.com is another great source of recipes and ideas.  If you’re a Facebook member, join the Atkins page for great daily tips from those who are having success with the program.

One more tip:  Since this way of eating is naturally diuretic, you may have a problem with constipation.  Atkins suggests drinking a cup of broth morning and afternoon, which will add back the sodium you are losing. 

Menus seem to be the biggest obstacle.  Usually I have cut up cantaloupe and veggies on hand, with ranch dressing for dipping.  I was the same weight for 8 days.  Added more fat and the scales dropped.  Go figure.  It’s not what we’ve all been taught.  Low fat everything has made us all gain weight because the fat has been replaced with sugar. 

I've now lost 16.5 pounds, which is two pounds below my goal, but we're going on a cruise, so I'm sure that will adjust.  LOL  Picking a goal helps you focus.

Plateaus are common.  This may help you by seeing what our weight loss has been.  I plateaued for 8 days and then had a couple of 4 day spells along the way.

Week 1 = -6
Week 2 = -1.5
Week 3 = +1
Week 4 = -5
Week 5 = 0
Week 6 = -2.5
Week 7 = -1
Week 8 = -1.5
Week 9 = –.5
Weeks 10-13 = –1.5
Week 14 = -.5
TTL = –19

Week 1 = -6.5
Week 2 = -1
Week 3 = -1.5
Week 4 = -2.5
Week 5 = -1.5
Week 6 = -1
Week 7 = -1.5
Week 8 = –1.5
Weeks 9-13 = –1.5
Week 14 = –1.5
TTL = –20

Good luck and let me know of your success.  Happy eating!

Edit: I’ve had several friends try to improve on  this way of eating.  Low-carb/low calorie doesn’t work. Neither does low-carb/low-fat.  If you follow the instructions I’ve outlined, you’ll most likely lose weight.  If you try either of the two options above in this paragraph, your metabolism will slow down and you’ll stay where you are and just be miserable, lethargic and hungry.  Don’t do it.  The formula that works is low-carb, moderate protein, high fat.  Do yourself a favor and read Atkins new book.