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Atkins to Dukan to Primal - how to approach?

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  • Atkins to Dukan to Primal - how to approach?

    Hi everyone,

    OK - so I've been researching this site for ages and I'm really connecting with everything I read on here. I'm looking forward to starting this way of eating as it seems a) to make complete sense and 'no nonsense', or fad like and b) able to be maintained for life.

    One thing I'm a bit confused about is - and I think this is from doing different diets and HAVING to count every gram of everything...

    How exactly do you start this? Is it necessary to log and diarise everything? Do you really need to keep counting the carbs etc or do you just go with what you feel is right?

    Earlier in the site (I think) Mark suggests just more or less going with how you feel and changing to the right foods, cutting out grains etc. I like this a lot as I feel like counting everything just makes me obsessed and even at times, eat more. It makes me more 'black or white', that's for sure. Later on though however, there are the graphs etc saying how many carbs you should eat. I'm also worried that I just won't eat enough fat or protein out of habit. BUT - again, I don't want to be logging everything as I don't think this is a good way for me to be living. I don't want to feel obsessed/restricted and then binge etc.

    Just wondering your suggestions on this, how you started?

    Right now I'm 68.5kg (150lbs) and 5"7. I'm looking to lose about 10kg (20lbs) and get back to how I was on Atkins this time last year (but wasn't able to maintain).

    Another question I had was - after being on Atkins, when I did put my carbs up from 20g a day, I did gain weight really easily and quickly. Say, if I'm eating PB and I'm at 75g carbs per day, then up it when I'm happy with my weight to say 120g...Does this mean I'm going to put on weight again easily? I'm just over the yo yo thing. Would love to hear your experience with this.

    I know this is so long!

    Thanks for your help

  • #2
    Welcome Ozgirl. A few suggestions:

    1. Read the Primal Blueprint. Then dive into the Forum, as there are Many Many MANY folks with conflicting stories of what to do VS what not to do, and not everyone is the same. What works for Us may not work for you, and vice versa. Please educate yourself by reading the book cover to cover. alot of you questions are answered by the information provided to you in the book.
    2. There is a thread called " Advice for Newbies" again, LOTS of good insight by those of us whom have been at this for awhile, anything from the carb flu to food, and supplements. Good reading, and lots to absorb.

    From my own experience, I have been primal for a year now, I can't eat too many nuts, too many primal baked goods, or sugar at all, I have a very easy suseptability to leptin and insulin resistance, and I gain if I am not in check. I enjoy primal because it broke me out of the bodybuilder way of eating which was very structured, and obsessive. I enjoy bacon, coconut oil, and good quality meats and veggies daily. I also have a junk food tooth, and engage in pork rinds and dip once in awhile as well! It's all about BALANCE. As for your questions about carbs, I find that if you get your carbs ONLY from veggies, dark green leafy's and limit fruit and sweet potatoes, it's pretty easy to stay in the sweet spot for total carbs. I easlily eat anywhere from 75-150g of carbs daily, and I wear very small clothing sizes. I also have a good amount of muscle on my small body. Good Luck!


    • #3
      Primal Blueprint isn't necessarily low carb, just restricting bad carbs which are easy to spot such as grains, legumes, some seeds and nuts, and processed food. Even if you wanted to count carbs, if you were to spend just a week journaling you're food you would get a good baseline, and not have to worry about tracking after that - and this would only be if you wanted to lose weight and be under the 100g of carbs a day.


      • #4
        I think you should start something like this by first working on the quality of your diet rather than the quantity. In other words, start getting rid of processed foods and start eating more real foods. IF you do that, you might not have to ever worry about the calorie part. As someone above already mentioned, lots of your processed foods come from the grains group: bread, crackers, chips, pretzels, granola bars, cereals, etc. Start by replacing those type starches w/ sweet potato, squash, yams, and tons of green veggies. Try to get a good protein source at EVERY meal. Try to get some healthy fat at every meal (bacon, butter, cream, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado instead of trans-fats and crappy processed seed oils: vegetable oil, canola oil, safflower oil, soy bean oil, etc.) Those would be the big places to start. The rest you can work on later.



        • #5
          I would advise you to go with what feels right for you. It's your life and your body. Some people like to jump in totally, some prefer a bit at a time. Some hate having to measure or write up anything and some are lost without it. You've said you
          feel like counting everything just makes me obsessed and even at times, eat more
          so maybe just take a couple of weeks to get used to the way of eating. If you find you are eating more then maybe that's what you needed.

          Um... 58kg for 5'7" is fairly slim... I'd actually suggest you go for size/shape rather than a weight on the scale. Although a kg of fat and muscle weigh the same, the muscle takes up less space, so remember that the scales are actually not such a good guide but a tape measure or your clothes are your friend.

          If you know you have a low carbohydrate threshold and you want to lose weight then that won't really change for you, except that where Atkins allows 'chemical' alternatives (like artificial sweetener) to keep carbs down, you'll be avoiding them. The other big thing will be to get over being 'carb phobic' as there is nothing to stop you eating up carrots or beetroot or pumpkin or nuts or even fruits except for your appetite and your measurements. If you find that you aren't getting the progress you want, then you might have to cut back.

          In my case (as you asked) I mostly eat fairly low carb (50g or less) because I'm pretty small (157cm), I naturally love leafy greens and salads and grow a lot of that stuff so it's easy to get, I don't tolerate large amounts of stuff like pumpkin and I don't eat dairy or sweeteners for health reasons. That doesn't mean that I won't eat high carb meals simply because they are high carb, but I do pay attention to how my clothes feel and I have had to cut back on fruit/nuts from time to time.
          Evolutionary. Ideology that fits biology


          • #6
            Trust your body once you have defeated carbs (including nuts.) Once you are running on protein and fat, with limited healthy carbs, your body will tell you what it needs. You can't really overeat when you are eating plenty of fat and good protein (which should include more than muscle meat.)
            Ancestral Health Info

            I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

            Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.


            • #7
              The differences between Atkins and Primal for me:

              -I don't drink Atkins protein shakes or use any "low carb" processed foods or shakes
              -I don't make low carb deserts (no matter what plan I'm following, making "treats" just sets me up for a binge)
              -I eat more fruit and more carbs on Primal
              -I stay away from processed meats on primal
              -I do eat dairy on Primal (many don't) but I don't eat large amounts of it. For example, I don't use cheese to make "cheese chips"
              -I don't eat peanuts on Primal (but I do eat almonds, walnuts)
              -I am trying to give up Diet Coke on Primal, but I haven't yet

              My weight isn't really moving yet, but I am close to my goal and am in no hurry. I never counted carbs on Atkins, and I don't count anything on Primal. I can't. When I start counting, I start either undereating (to get a "good" low number) or binging (due to feeling of restriction brought on by many years of dieting)


              • #8
                Hey guys, thanks for all your great advice - I really appreciate it.
                I'm so excited because I can tell this 'diet', isn't just a 'diet'. It's something maintainable! Finally. Despite cutting out the major carbs (grains) it doesn't really seem 'extreme', or unnatural.

                The focus just seems to be mainly eating natural healthy food really...Unprocessed stuff. That makes complete sense.

                I like the idea of focussing too on just being really healthy and feeling great, as opposed to specifically losing weight. So, I think with your recommendations I'll do that! It's funny, the feeling great thing is what attracted me to PB in the first place, it was only after reading these boards and analysing the graphs etc that made me get focussed on losing weight. I'm quite confident that that will just take care of itself in the end?

                Thanks for the support guys