my experiences of following a low carb diet

Starting on Atkins

on May 12, 2012

So, I wanted to try the Atkins diet and lose weight just like my brother was doing.  As luck would have it I found a copy of Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution for 75p in my local charity shop.  This was the 2003 edition:

I read the whole book before I began.

I learned about problem with carbohydrates and why the Atkins diet works.  I discovered that I had all the signs of glucose intolerance and pre-diabetes – constant cravings for high carbohydrate foods such as sweets, chocolate, pasta and bread, a tendency to binge, bouts of fatigue, mood swings, dizziness, trembling and palpitations to name just some.  I discovered what to eat and what not to eat.  I got started on Phase 1 which limits carbohydrate consumption to just 20g a day.

It felt crazy eating this way.  Typically I was having foods like eggs and bacon for breakfast, prawn marie rose with sald for lunch and steak with broccoli and butter for dinner.  Snacks were cheese and olives or hard boiled egg.  Gone from my diet was all the sweets, chocolate, bread, pasta, rice, chips and potatoes.

Although I didn’t feel hungry, I was very thirsty and wanted to drink lots of water.   The sudden removal of all the carbs from my diet made me feel very light headed and weak at first.  I got a few headaches too.  It remined me of how I felt when I quit smoking – I had very similar withdrawal symptoms from giving up nicotine!  Another more pleasant side effect I noticed was that I no longer felt an overwhelming desire to consume biscuits and crisps and snacks throughout the day.  The urge to snack on such things constantly used to be as strong as the urge to have a cigarette.  I remember going to a school parents evening back then and feeling so empowered because I  had no desire to snack of the big plate of biscuits laid out for the parents!

The best effect of all though was stepping onto the scales and watching in amazement as the pounds dropped off!  I had never been able to lose weight like this before!!

I was still worried about the health effects of following what seemed to me then such a crazy, outrageous diet but a bit like a reckless teenager, I kept on going as I was loving seeing those scales swing lower and lower.  It was like magic, I could hardly believe it was happening!  But it was and it continued to work.  I began to see that finally after years of frustration I was going to get control of my weight and I liked it.

I realised that I wanted to stay in control and that probably meant continuing with this way of eating for the long term.  I knew I could manage that because all the cravings for the high carb foods were gone and I felt in control of my eating habits.  I needed to know more about the health risks of eating this way because I was always being told by the Government and Health Organisations that a healthy diet is one that is low in fat and high in carbohydrates and here I was risking my health by doing the exact opposite.  Getting slim yes, but was it at the expense of risking heart disease by eating all this fat?

So, my next move, was to start researching and I looked on the internet and I bought and read various books about low carb eating to find out more.  What I found out totally amazed me and changed my whole perspective on healthy eating!


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