Dr. Atkins Diet
My name is Carol, and I'm a sugarholic.
Saturday, August 30, 1969
Tuesday, January 3, 1984
Sunday, March 17, 1985
Tuesday, June 2, 1992
Thursday, June 18, 1998
My Wedding Reception - and my 22nd Birthday
This is a size 8 gown, and it didn't fit me for very many weeks after this was taken.
This was taken the day before my sixth son, Dale, was born. Pregnancy doesn't really make for a fair picture, but it might explain in part how I happened to accumulate all the blubber in the first place.
My original diet goal was to fit into this dress again. I achieved this goal on Monday, July 30, 2001. Now my goal is to fit into my wedding gown once more.
Carol and Eleanor
Hard to believe we're
Adrienne and Carol
It doesn't matter if this is only a head shot; the fat still shows!
Oh, well, at least I was still taller than Adrienne in this pic!
Thursday, September 16, 1999
Friday, October 27, 2000
Tuesday, February 20, 2001
Friday, July 27, 2001
Sunday, February 10, 2002
235 pounds - OUCH! Even my neck and hands are fat!
The blouse is a size 22/24
This was as bad as it got, and I entertained absolutely no hope that I could ever lose any weight.
Carol with Jimmy Parker
I forgot to tell Eleanor that
Seven weeks after beginning the diet, I felt much thinner, even if nothing much had gone away.
Some of the blubber has gone, anyway.
Paul and Carol
60 pounds and 26 inches missing in just under eleven months. I'm halfway to my goal.
I bought this dress (size 16)
Eleanor and Carol
Well, okay, we STILL don't look like
Sunday, March 4, 2001
|Judy||Judy - having lost in excess of 100 pounds!!!|
I have decided to put aside questions of my fragile ego and include this page for those of you who, as I did,
may have come to conclude that any hope of weight loss is an impossible dream.
The Atkins diet may not work for everyone, but it has certainly worked for me.
If weight loss poses a problem for you, I would recommend strongly you give it a two-week trial run,
and see if it doesn't work for you as well.
I credit my friend, Judy, for giving me hope that something could actually work for me, and for getting me started on the Atkins diet. She has lost more than 100 pounds on this plan - a whole person worth! Generally, when I started a diet - any diet - I gained weight.
I actually gained fifteen pounds on the Slim-Fast plan!
Mention the Atkins diet, and most people conjure up an image of austerity in limits that boggle the mind.
Give up sugar, starches, pasta and bread forever?
The truth is, they are confusing the first two weeks of the diet with a lifetime of eating habits.
I began my Atkins diet --- after a lifetime of watching my
weight escalate from 123 pounds when I married on August 15, 1969
to a whopping 235 pounds thirty-one years later --- on September 4, 2000. After twelve months on this plan, I lost 63 pounds.
More importantly to my ego, I lost six inches from my bust, ten inches from my waist, and twelve inches from my hips.
The resulting energy boost I've experienced far outweighs any loss I may feel at the loss of harmful but beloved foods
I have sacrificed. I look and feel ten years younger than I did only a year ago.
" dieting success on a properly managed low - carbohydrate diet is almost inescapable."
-Robert C. Atkins, M.D., Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution (Avon Books, New York, New York, 1992), p. 15
"Most of the overweight people in the world are carbohydrate sensitive --- often they're true carbohydrate addicts. They need a metabolic solution, not a low-fat one.
They've struggled and struggled with low-calorie/low-fat diets and consistently failed."
-Ibid., p. 16
The Atkins diet is really four diets:
"A low-carbohydrate diet is not austere. Sheer hunger is behind most diet failure.
A lifetime diet needs to be palatable, pleasant, and filling.
The major austerity on this diet is the abandonment of sugar and such refined carbohydrates as white flour.
But most people find that, once they shake off the sugar addiction, they feel no desire to go back to it.
For them, a diet on which they can eat an almost limitless variety of meat and fish and salads and vegetables
prepared in the most appetizing manner (i.e. with butter and cream and spices and herbs to taste) is anything but austere.
The Atkins diet is a dream diet --- luxurious, sane, healthy, and varied."
- Ibid., p. 17
"On the Atkins diet, failure in maintaining weight loss is almost impossible for the committed."
- Ibid., p.18
"What's wrong with carbohydrates? If you mean what's wrong with a spear of broccoli or a bunch of spinach, the answer is nearly nothing, they're magnificent foods. I'm referring to the unhealthy ones --- sugar and white flour, milk and white rice, processed and refined foods of all kinds, junk foods and the like."
- Ibid., p.20
When I thought about beginning this diet plan, I knew which foods I could not eat.
For the life of me, though, I couldn't figure out what was left to me.
After all, I was thinking of eliminating my favorite foods, the very staples of my diet -
sugar, flour, potatoes, rice, corn, pasta and milk.
What is left, I soon found, is meat, eggs, cheese, butter, salads, some vegetables -
in short, more than enough to leave me feeling full.
I discovered strange, fun things about the plan.
For instance, I can have whipped cream, but not milk.
I found developing a taste for diet soda was not as difficult as I thought.
I learned that bottled water comes in delicious flavors.
I have been less successful in convincing myself to incorporate in practice what I know to be true -
that pure water is the healthiest beverage. I have high hopes of doing that yet…
"Sugar has no nutritional value and is directly harmful to your health. Despite vociferous attempts to defend it,
there are hundreds of studies that clearly show how deadly its effects can be."
- Ibid., p. 45
"Let me assure you that eating meat, fish, and fowl isn't a health hardship ---
it's what the human carnivore has eaten for millions of years."
- Ibid., p.45
"Sugar, you see, activates certain metabolic processes that are both
harmful to your health and folly for your waistline.
- Ibid., p.46
"…the likelihood that you'll permanently lose weight by controlling your calories is almost nil."
- Ibid., p.47
"To lose weight, you're going to need the low-carbohydrate diet offered in this book.
You may also need the other two legs of the Atkins Program triad: exercise and nutritional supplementation."
- Ibid., p.56
"In the absence of carbohydrates, the body has no choice
but to burn its own fat."
- Ibid., p. 107
"I want you to be totally, shockingly unafraid of fat during these two weeks…you should strive for the maximum amount of fat during this initial period, and in doing so, you will almost certainly find yourself experiencing the deepest, sharpest, most appetite-suppressingaspects of the diet."
- Ibid., p.107
"What shall I eat?
"The answer is always the same: Eat as much as you want of the permitted foods. If you've spent a whole lifetime plagued by food cravings --- usually, I know, straightforward carbohydrate cravings --- then the pleasant truth is that hunger isn't going to occupy as much of your time and thought. Oh, yes, you'll still have an appetite, and you'll still eat with pleasure and delight, but the days
of obsession are on the way to being past. What a joy not to always be hungry and always be tired and always be searching for some satisfying physical solution that you've never been able to reach. That's the lifestyle of the carbohydrate addict, which so many of you are, and it's a profoundly exhausting and irritable lifestyle that you'll be eternally happy to be rid of."
- Ibid., pp. 111-2
Other than the intense joy I've experienced dropping pound after pound and inch after inch, is the immensely gratifying knowledge that my blubberosity came not from a character flaw or a personality deficiency or a lack of willpower, but from a metabolic defect. Years of searching for a solution had only supplied me with ineffective remedies.
To have finally found something that works for me has brought me incredible joy.
"You can't afford to be fat and unhealthy --- it's as simple as that.
This is a path that will cure you; for many of you, it will be the only path."
- Ibid., p.115
"Since much of the desire for carbohydrate food is metabolic addiction, once the path
of renunciation is completed, the desire for the old goodies is really very small."
- Ibid., p. 116
This took me a little while - okay, longer than I would have liked - but I can really honestly say now that I can be
around a table laden with desserts and delicacies of all kinds, breath in their delicious aromas,
even slice and serve gooey chocolate cake to others, without a single pang, twinge, or outright craving!
And if you don't find this incredible, you don't know me very well!
"Interestingly enough, the majority of people on the ketogenic/lipolytic diet feel better
even before weight loss mounts up to more than a handful of pounds."
- Ibid., p. 130
I found this to be especially true. After seven weeks on the Atkins diet, I still was rather blubber coated,
yet I was able to run up and down steps, race through busy airports carrying heavy luggage
without becoming winded, and felt younger and stronger than I had in years.
"… when the final tally is made, 80% of all diabetics are obese. Some studies have suggested that,
if you're significantly overweight, your chances of becoming diabetic will be one in two."
- Ibid., p. 140
"In response to the idea that we won't be happy without carbohydrates,
I can only submit that more people are happy on the luxurious butter-and-cream containing Atkins diet than are happy on less luxurious fare!"
- Ibid., p.193
And I must remind you that I'm far happier being thin than I was looking and feeling like I did!
"I'd like to remind you yet again that there are people who still can't accustom themselves to this diet because they can't get past the primitive, popular notion that a diet is something you get on and then get off, as you would a bus. But a diet is not an excursion, and such dieters --- the uncommitted ones --- are often the very individuals who need to lose forty pounds but lose interest when they reach twenty-eight. Then they go back to eating their old diet and four or five months later they're back
to where they were to begin with."
- Ibid., p. 210
"Whatever your ideal weight was, you can almost certainly reach it again.
120? 140? 170? Why not go for it?
- Ibid., p. 213
This is an incredible thought to me.
"If you're going to stay slim and healthy, then a significant increase in the amount ofexercise ---
- Ibid., p. 225
"Obesity is almost always a metabolic problem, and to be specific,
the metabolic disturbance is hyperinsulinism."
- Ibid., p. 226
"As you've seen, the Atkins diet is really four diets: TheInduction diet, which is the most austere form of a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet; the Ongoing Weight Loss diet (OWL), which is designed to continue weight loss over the long haul;
"Naturally, you're thinking, 'Why did I promise that I would never have that food again?
I'm no longer willing to keep that promise.' Must always be always and never be never?
This important question has several answers. In one answer, I ask you to consider the plight
of a recovering alcoholic.
Most of us realize that when an addiction such as alcoholism is the problem, it is far far better that never really be never.
So if your proposed carbohydrate deviation involves something you're addicted to,
I sadly must give that never-never advice."
- Ibid., p.285
I delayed my progress for several months by noticing that I could occasionally indulge my passion
for ice cream, cake, candy, and chocolate in all its glorious forms and still lose weight.
Once I finally admitted my total addiction to sugar and renounced it once and for all
(which regrettably didn't happen until July 11, 2001!), I was able to experience acceleration
not only in pounds and inches lost, but also in boosts in energy and self-esteem.
"One more very important message. Suppose the takes the form of the sugar-laden junk food that's in the house "for the kids. Kids like that stuff, you know." If you think that the most dangerous food additive on the planet is proper nourishment for growing members of the human race who happen also to be your loved ones, then perhaps you should rethink your position. Who, more than someone with virtually their whole lives ahead of them, stands to be damaged the most by a substance that helps create diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease? Allowing kids to eat according
to the pleasure principle and not according to the principle of health maintenance is probably
not the kind of parenting you wish to do. So, make the resolution now:
- Ibid., p. 290
"… I would recommend that you never have the same food on consecutive days."
- Ibid., pp. 302-3
"Since the Atkins diet is mainly a main course and salad diet, make those dishes
as scrumptious as possible. If that extra touch of richness is what makes the dish a success,
then don't feel constrained against using these rich things --- the rule is:
If dieting is inevitable, you might as well enjoy it.
"Meanwhile, we all know there are certain things you aren't going to get on this diet.
The most frequently dreamt of include sweet desserts, pasta, french fries, and bread.
"And yet, over the years, we have learned substitutes for those much desired starches and sweets."
- Ibid., p. 319
Do yourself a favor. Visit the web sites. Call the number. Buy the book.
But by all means, try it.
Want more validation? How's this?
Mon Nov 18, 2002, 2:59 PM ET
By DANIEL Q. HANEY, AP Medical Editor
CHICAGO - Multitudes swear by the high-fat, low-carbohydrate Atkins diet, and now a carefully controlled study backs them up: Low-carbohydrate diets may actually take off more weight than low-fat diets and may be surprisingly better for cholesterol, too.
For years, the Atkins formula of sparing carbohydrates and loading up on taboo fatty foods has been blasphemy to many in the health establishment, who view it as a formula for cardiovascular ruin.
But now, some of the same researchers who long scoffed at the diet are putting it to the test, and they say the results astonish them. Rather than making cholesterol soar, as they feared, the diet actually appears to improve it, and volunteers take off more weight.
Still, the number of overweight people studied this way is small, and the research does not examine possible long-term ills or advantages, including how long people keep the pounds off.
So for now, the researchers say that much more research is necessary before the Atkins diet can be given an across-the-board endorsement, but at least they believe it is safe enough to take into much larger studies.
At least three formal studies of the Atkins diet have been presented at medical conferences over the past year, and all have reached similar results. The latest, conducted by Dr. Eric Westman of Duke University, was presented Monday at the annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association (news - web sites), long a stronghold of support for the traditional low-fat approach.
Westman, an internist at Duke's diet and fitness center, said he decided to study the Atkins approach because of concern over so many patients and friends taking it up on their own. He approached the Robert C. Atkins foundation in New York City to finance the research.
Westman studied 120 overweight volunteers, who were randomly assigned to the Atkins diet or the heart association's Step 1 diet, a widely used low-fat approach. On the Atkins diet, people limited their carbs to less than 20 grams a day, and 60 percent of their calories came from fat.
"It was high fat, off the scale," he said.
After six months, the people on the Atkins diet had lost 31 pounds, compared with 20 pounds on the AHA diet, and more people stuck with the Atkins regimen.
Total cholesterol fell slightly in both groups. However, those on the Atkins diet had an 11 percent increase in HDL, the good cholesterol, and a 49 percent drop in triglycerides. On the AHA diet, HDL was unchanged, and triglycerides dropped 22 percent. High triglycerides may raise the risk of heart disease.
While the volunteers' total amounts of LDL, the bad cholesterol, did not change much on either diet, there was evidence that it had shifted to a form that may be less likely to clog the arteries.
"More study is necessary before such a diet can be recommended," Westman said. "However, a concern about serum lipid (cholesterol) elevations should not impede such research."
No single study is likely to change minds on the issue, especially since an initial weight loss is hard to maintain on any diet. Some answers could come from a yearlong study being sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (news - web sites). That experiment, being directed by Dr. Gary Foster of the University of Pennsylvania, will test the Atkins diet on 360 patients.
In the meantime, the heart association's president, Dr. Robert Bonow of Northwestern University, said the organization will reconsider the Atkins diet as more research results become available.
"Having our top academic centers look at this is wonderful," he said. "We are still dealing with small numbers of patients. We just need more data."
Dr. Sidney Smith, the heart association's research director, said it was a surprise that the Atkins diet did not raise LDL cholesterol. "One small study like this flies in the face of so much evidence. We can't change dietary recommendations on the spot," he said.
Dr. Alice Lichtenstein, a nutrition expert at Tufts University, said she thinks too much is made of the amounts of carbohydrates and fats in people's diets as they try to shed weight.
"There is no magic combination of fat versus carbs versus protein," she said. "It doesn't matter in the long run. The bottom line is calories, calories, calories."
Among other reports at the meeting:
_ The heart association updated its guidelines on fish consumption, urging people with documented heart disease to eat one serving of oily fish, such as salmon, each day.
_ A 12-year follow-up of Harvard's Nurses Health Study found that women who increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables had a 26 percent lower risk of becoming obese.
_ Researchers from the University of Michigan found that older women who are overweight or have had frequent weight swings have impaired blood flow to the heart.
Internationally renowned low-carbohydrate diet doctor, Dr. Robert Atkins, 72, shown in this undated file photo, was in a coma and on life support Friday April 11, 2003, suffering from head injuries sustained from a fall on icy pavement Tuesday after he slipped and fell in midtown Manhattan, just yards from the Atkins Center. (AP Photo/Atkins Center)
|NEW YORK (Reuters) - Diet
doctor and best-selling author Robert Atkins was in a coma and on life
support almost a week after slipping on an icy sidewalk in New York and
hitting his head, his spokesman said on Monday.
Atkins, 72, advocate of a popular but controversial high-protein, low carbohydrate diet who has sold millions of books, was taken to the hospital last Tuesday morning after falling near the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in Manhattan.
Spokesman Richard Rothstein said Atkins was "in a coma and on life support" at the Weill Cornell Medical Center. He said "every measure possible is being considered to save his life."
Atkins developed the "Atkins Diet" -- now referred to as "the Atkins Nutritional Approach" -- that blames carbohydrates, a major energy source, for weight gain. The program has been criticized by the medical establishment as risking disease but several recent studies have shown that the diet can help people lose weight without damaging their health.
He first published, "Diet Revolution" in 1972, which was updated twice and hit the best-seller lists despite the doubters. His latest book, "Atkins for Life," was published this year.
Atkins underwent surgery to remove a blood clot after his fall on the sidewalk, still icy after an unusual spring snowstorm that hit the New York region last Monday.
In a statement on Monday, his wife Veronica Atkins thanked people for "praying for my husband. It makes me proud that (he) has touched so many lives and having this reaffirmed at this time is very much helping me through this terrible ordeal."
This month, the Journal of the American Medical Association (news - web sites), in a special issue on obesity, published an analysis of low carbohydrate diets and concluded there was "insufficient evidence to make recommendations for or against the use of these diets."
But Atkins said the study showed "there is no scientific evidence to support the criticisms of the Atkins Nutritional Approach." He described as "alarmist" statements by the American Dietetic Association and the American Heart Association (news - web sites) that low carbohydrate diets may cause serious health problems.
Instead of carbohydrates and sugar, Atkins followers are allowed plenty of fat and protein from foods such as meat, eggs and cheese. Atkins says the diet changes the body from burning carbohydrates to burning fat.
Diet Dr. Robert Atkins dies from injuries
United Press International
From the National Desk
Published 4/17/2003 1:14 PM
NEW YORK, April 15 (UPI) -- Dr. Robert Atkins, the diet guru of low-carb, high-protein fame, died Thursday at Cornell University Medical Center from injuries received earlier this month when he fell.
Atkins, 72, was on his daily walk to work when he fell on an icy sidewalk outside his New York City office and suffered injuries to his head. A spring snowstorm coupled with icy temperatures had left city streets and sidewalks slippery.
Dr. Keith Berkowitz, a colleague at The Atkins Center, rushed Atkins to Cornell where he underwent surgery. However, Atkins remained in a coma and on life support while family and friends waited at his bedside. His physicians gave him little chance to recover.
On the Atkins Center Web site, his family kept his fans up-to-date on his condition.
"It makes me proud that my husband has touched so many lives and having this reaffirmed at this time is very much helping me through this terrible ordeal," said his wife, Veronica.
The founder of the Atkins Diet had been a controversial figure in the world of nutrition and dieting. But in the last few years, he had begun to see many in medicine and some in research come around to the theory he had been advocating for the last 30 years.
A graduate of the University of Michigan and Cornell University Medical College, he dropped his cardiology practice to open a obesity clinic after he tried what he described as an effortless diet cutting carbohydrates and increasing protein and fat.
Atkins turned the diet industry on its head when he released his first of eight diet books in 1972. "Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution" called for a diet high in meat, fat, eggs and cheese while cutting out bread, rice and fruit.
The American Medical Association called the diet "naive" and "potentially dangerous."
Atkins was advocating a diet high in protein and fat, even saturated fat, at the same time the medical community was calling for less meat, less saturated fat and fewer eggs to prevent heart disease and stroke.
At a time when people started knowing their cholesterol number as well as their phone number and counting the fat grams in their food, the diet went against everything nutritionists advocated -- cutting meat to cut cholesterol and therefore reduce the chance of heart disease.
Nonetheless, the Atkins book was a best-seller and sold in the millions.
Meanwhile, a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet was officially advocated by the U.S. government after it released its Food Pyramid that called for using fats, oils and sweets sparingly while consuming 6 to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta.
Through the years, Atkins brought more recipes and foods into the maintenance diet that were carbohydrates, but used less sugar and white flour.
However, despite the initial panning of his diet from the medical community, Atkins continued to refine his diet and became the founder and director of the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City.
In 1992 Marilyn Rosenthal, in a blurb on Atkin's latest book, wrote in Publishers Weekly that: "Atkins repeats his controversial, questionably valid premise that the elimination of carbohydrates from the diet will result in weight loss, good health, and euphoria. Contrary to current thinking, Atkins promotes a diet of protein and fat in four stages: induction, ongoing weight loss, premaintenance, and maintenance."
The diet targets insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. According to Atkins, 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," Atkins said.
Atkins maintained that a high-protein, high-fat diet was healthful as long as it was not coupled with high carbohydrates.
In the first phase of the diet, two weeks or longer, carbohydrates are almost entirely eliminated from the diet.
Once the dieter is within eight pounds of the target weight, "healthy" carbohydrates and starches, such as fruit and nuts, are slowly added until the daily consumption of carbohydrates causes the person to neither lose nor gain weight.
However, in the last 20 years as Americans adopted a more carbohydrate-heavy diet -- according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture annual grain consumption increased almost 60 pounds per person -- so did their weight.
Despite more and more dieting, 60 percent of Americans were classified as overweight and obese at the turn of the 21st century. Meanwhile Atkins and the people who claimed to lose "a ton" on his diet did not go away.
Researchers that had spurned the Atkins diet in the 1970s started doing studies on his diet in the late 1990s and early 2000s, some to finally disprove Atkins, and some funded by his foundation. Many of the results were surprising.
In five studies, cholesterol levels improved, but triglyceride levels were considerably lower with the Atkins diet, suggesting that heart-disease risk could actually be reduced when fat is added back into the diet and starches and refined carbohydrates are removed, The New York Times reported in July 2002.
However, none of the studies was financed by the National Institutes of Health, and none had been published.
The Times quoted Linda Stern, an internist at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Hospital: "As a trained physician, I was trained to mock anything like the Atkins diet, but I put myself on the diet. I did great. And I thought maybe this is something I can offer my patients."
Despite the growing evidence, many are still worried that eating a lot of bacon and eggs will clog their arteries.
However, after years of refusing to research comparative popular diets, the National Institutes of Health has funded a five-year study trial of the Atkins diet with 360 obese individuals.
In a few years, there may be some more answers in the debate between the high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet and the high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.
Copyright © 2001-2003
United Press International
"The joy is that we can take back our bodies, reclaim our health, and restore ourselves to balance. We can take power over what and how we eat. We can rejuvenate and recharge ourselves, bringing healing to the wounds we carry inside us, and bringing to fuller life the wonderful person that each of us can be."
- John Robbins
Don't you believe it!!!
Time to Say Goodbye
(Duet by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli)
Butterflies clip art courtesy of http://members.tripod.com/~emelinda/index-12.html - 02/08/04