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From Atkins to Primal - Needs some tips, please!

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  • From Atkins to Primal - Needs some tips, please!

    Hi all,

    I have been following Atkins for the last month and have lost around 16 lbs so far. Atkins has helped to realise the errors of my high carb past and I am no longer fearful of fat! .... I do however, like to Primal approach to eating and really want to maximise my fat burining and incorporate effective exercise to help me shift another 25 lbs and reach my target. I'm sick of my belly. I no longer have sweet cravings or craving for carbs.

    Could anyone kindly give me some pointers, perhaps other ex-Atkinsers, of how to continue low-carb the Primal way. I have ordered Mark's book and am trying to educate myself, but it's always nice to get advice from those who have 'been there' and been successful.

    Many thanks and be patient with me. Best luck to all!

  • #2
    It was a pretty easy switch for me - just cut out the processed stuff that we love on Atkins (like sugar free jello, splenda, peanut butter, etc.) and eat natural foods instead! You've already tackled what is the hardest part for most folks - kicking the grains and sugar!!

    I still keep my carbs around 30 per day but I feel like they're better spent! Good Luck!!
    Last edited by rkj1969; 06-14-2011, 11:37 AM.

    "Do or do not do, there is no try" - Yoda


    • #3
      Here's where to start: Just ask yourself WWGD - What Would Grok Digest?

      Imagine your typical Paleolithic type dude. Mark calls him 'Grok'. Now image a day in the life of our man Grok. (You can have Beatles - 'A Day In the Life' playing in the background of your imagining here... I know I do...) What could Grok have eaten for breakfast in those primitive of times? Lucky Charms? I think not. Kashi? Hardly. Now do the same thing for lunch. Now Dinner? So it turns out if you've done this thought experiment correctly you'll notice that Grok is eating a whole mess of whole foods in the form of seasonal veggies and fruits and game. As I understand it, if you're coming from a Western genetic background there weren't a whole lot of fruits to be had. They require more tropical climates so you're looking at mostly berries when it comes to fruits. Veggie wise pretty much anything goes other than tubers. It's unlikely that Grok would have figured out how to eat starchy tubers like potatoes and yams by cooking them so you can eat as many raw taters as you like! Enjoy! Just kidding about the eating raw taters and such. They're gross raw so just avoid them in general. The grains, as you're aware are strict no-no's. We love Grok but he wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed (stone age still right?) so he didn't figure out how to make wheat, rice &c. edible by cooking the anti-nutrients away.

      So basically, when you're about to eat something just ask yourself: WWGD - in other words, would this be something Grok could have eaten way back when? If the answer is 'yes' then eat away. If the answer is 'no' then it's probably not good for you and you probably shouldn't eat it. There are some exceptions made for low carb foods like dairy even though Grok probably didn't figure out how to milk a cow and probably wouldn't tolerate a cow longer than he needed to spear it and turn it into steak. In the dairy aisle, cheese (soft is better) and butter are allowed. Honey is tolerated but you should probably let yourself get stung by a bee or two to simulate the suffering Old Grok would have gone through to get it.

      But that's basically it.

      To learn more START HERE then try here.


      Effortless Weight Loss - Keep total carbs (fiber counts) in under 100
      Maintinence - 100-150g carbs
      Weight Gain - 150g+ carbs

      Meat - Good!
      Most Veggies - Great!
      Starchy Veggies (potatoes and yams) - Not so good
      Grains (wheat, corn, rice) - Bad
      Last edited by nolineon; 06-14-2011, 05:42 PM. Reason: stuff


      • #4
        The biggest chnge from Atkins to Primal is that you ditch the artificial stuff and eat Real Food. Atkins seemed to be trying to satisfy the sweet tooth and Primal makes you just not want it anymore.


        • #5
          I ditched Atkins for Primal awhile back, and it really depends on which Atkins you're doing how bumpy the transition can be. I was following the original Atkins (1972), which is way different than the later books. The original recommendations have been edited in recent years by the corporation, since Dr. Atkins is now dead, and I think the recommendations for all the frankenfoods come from a corporate desire to sell more products.

          It was a pretty seamless transition for me, but I'm still learning about choosing proper food choices. As I recall, Atkins wasn't concerned with organic vegetables or grass-fed meat, which are things you want to consider/study when you're Primal. I would advise reading Robb Wolf's 'The Paleo Solution' for a well-referenced argument on why grass-fed is better for you. Read his comments on milk with a grain of salt; he backed up his arguments on grass-fed meats quite well. His arguments on milk, not so much. Not at all, actually, but I'm not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. That's still under evaluation for me right now.

          One thing that is VERY different is the exercise recommendations. In the original book, Atkins makes some general, vague recommendations for exercise but no more than that. Mark's Primal Blueprint Fitness makes specific recommendations for exercise. Exercise is not optional with this program. Yes, you can tweak Mark's recommendations to suit yourself (for example, a paraplegic can't do much of what he recommends), but I don't think you can do Primal without exercising. And I know tons of Atkins people who think exercise is an element from the Dark Side.

          I started Atkins with the understanding that I would be able to eat most of the foods I gave up in the beginning at some later point in the future. On Primal, when I stopped eating grains and legumes, that was it. It's permanent. But I also don't have to worry about 'I can't have this yet'. So, in a lot of ways, there's more freedom.
          Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.


          • #6
            Thanks Guys,

            I think for me, I have lost the desire to eat sweet things. .. even when down! I do enjoy the odd coffee with cream and a little stevia. I was a terrible emotional eater. Low carb has changed that. I no longer have the desire to binge on carbs when in a bad mood. Now, I just crave for a fried egg in good quality butter! Last year, I went low carb and lost a lot, then ruined it all on a trip to the UK eating lots of chips (fries), cream cakes and meat pasties! I was like a child... as if my life was empty without these 'comfort foods' ... This time round, I feel I learned from that last experience. What's the point of putting all the wight back on again? Now those fries and cakes have lost their appeal. I think getting over that mental barrier was important .... Cutting the carb umbilical cord, so to speak.

            I also am not keen on all the artifical sweetners and 'frankenfoods'.

            What you good people recommend to be the best form of exercise to maximise my fat burning.... I hate my belly (though smaller now than it was)! How about 30 mins of brisk walking followed by 40 mins on eliptical trainer, 6 times a week?

            Much appreciated!
            Last edited by Sean1974; 06-15-2011, 12:58 AM.


            • #7
              several years ago i did the atkins thing and was very successful. i lost about 150lbs in less then a year. i really liked the diet and felt great while on it. however like most diets out there once you stop following it the weight comes back on with a vengence

              ive struggled trying to lose weight again the conventional way (low fat/reduced calories) and it just doesnt work for me. i just recently stumbled on to the primal blueprint and its like it was made specifically for me. not only is the food exactly what i know will help me lose weight, it has an exercise program i can deal with as well

              right now i am planning on starting this coming monday and we will see how it goes

              as far as switching from atkins to primal i really dont see much of a problem. seems like very similar diet guidelines, maybe even a bit more relaxed as far as carb intake goes for primal
              Primal Chaos
              37yo 6'5"
              6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
              current 338lbs 49" waist
              goal 240lbs 35" waist