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Curious- What did Atkins do differently/wrong?

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  • Curious- What did Atkins do differently/wrong?

    I've not read, much less been on, Atkins, though I remember seeing it on TV with people having platefuls of bacon, eggs and butter (shock, horror! :P ) - and things about people being unhealthy, ketosis etc.

    I'm guessing that the main issue is the hear-complete absence of carbs - I gather Primal is relatively low-carb but veggies and a little fruit will still provide some; possibly the presence of additives and inclusion of foods that are high in antinutrients.

    So I thought I'd ask, since I'm expecting that when I don't fill my plate with rice and bread over the weekend, the next question will be 'oh you're not doing Atkins, are you....'

  • #2
    whats wrong/unhealthy about being in ketosis? (misinformed CWpeople do confuse it with ketoacidosis - a completely different thing)
    whats wrong with complete or near-absence of carbs? - your body can easily produce as much glucose as it needs
    the presence of additives will be a problem if you go the Atkins frankenfoods way - a big nono!
    foods high in antinutrients are avoided when avoiding carbs - no legumes/grains/veggies/fruits
    i guess atkins as a "diet" is very well as long as you eat REAL FOOD.
    whats so great about primal is that ist a LIFESTYLE that includes so much more than "diet" and the "diet" part allows for a big levy among us primals when it comes to carbs as long as we avoid the neolithic agents of disease.
    challenge yourself
    i blog here


    • #3
      I don't know anything about ketosis yet - too noob! Ditto carbs - I'm was trying to figure out why Atkins got such a truckload of bad press, and made assumptions based on conventional wisdom.

      I suspect you've hit the nail on the head with the 'frankenfoods' thing.

      No doubt I could find the book at the library, it might be worth knowing a little about it.


      • #4
        Atkins has a bad reputation because:

        - Most people are idiots
        - Most people think the initial "induction" phase (near-zero carb) is the entire diet
        - The original diet has been modified heavily since Atkins' death to push/sell frankenfoods (energy bars, etc) with his name on them. If you can find the original 1972 book, it's very instructive to compare it with the later editions.

        Also from what I read, Atkins' attitude apparently rubbed a lot of his peers the wrong way, which made them even more loud and outspoken in calling him a dangerous kooky quack and getting mainstream media to likewise denounce him.

        Even focusing on diet alone, rather than the rest of a person's lifestyle, Mark's Primal Blueprint focuses on a lot more than just carbohydrate restriction. There are many ways to eat low-carb, and Atkins is just one of them. You can go into as much or as little detail on this point as you like if anyone rolls their eyes and goes "Oh, Atkins again?" But any time you might get sucked into an argument, debate or whatever you want to call it, just remember:


        Oh, and this post may also be of some use when people inevitably nay-say your choices:

        "Want a laugh? Next time someone mentions that they're dieting, ask what method. When they tell you low-fat so you can congratulate them on their 'wisdom' and they can feel like one of the crowd, which other than being oxymoronic, curiously seems important to a lot of people you can inquisitively inquire that you thought they meant they were trying to lose weight. When they say they are, you can say, oh, then you meant a high-fat diet. Get it? How long do you think you can keep that up?

        "When finally you've explained, and they've understood, you can then ask them how come they're not afraid of clogging their own arteries with all the fat they intend to be releasing into their own bloodstream."


        • #5
          lol@ playing with people's minds... Actually for the most part I've always said that "oh I don't believe in that low-fat crap, I like real butter!" which irks people since I'm usually on the slim side. But when you start avoiding stuff noticeably, that can elicit comments.

          It's so annoying - if I said "no fat" that'd be perfectly okay - but I just KNOW that I'm going to get objections like "oh, a bit can't hurt, go ahead, It's just a softdrink for goodness sake! And you/ your kids aren't overweight!" - though I guess you guys are used to getting those sorts of reactions.

          I'd not seen the Atkins bars and such - we don't tend to get as much of that sort of thing here, and before the internet we didn't catch American fads so quickly. I'll definitely check out the book, I expect there's some useful stuff in there.


          • #6
            I look at it from the "real food" POV. When i did Atkins many years ago, I obsessed about making fake danishes, and fake bread and fake rice. It was all about the quick temporary fix. There was no education about how and why excessive carb intake was bad for you and was making the issue worse.

            Now, I simply eat real food. No fake crap. No margarine, no additives, preservatives. When people tell me that eating real butter is going to kill me, I tell them that margarine is one molecule away from plastic, I also challenge them to put a dish out of margarine and one out of butter. The bugs/animals in their house will eat the butter happily, but will avoid the margarine. Oh, and I use splenda to kill ants.

            As for what people say? I tell them that I have an intolerance to grains and starches and I need to be very careful with what I eat, otherwise I have intestinal and inflammation problems.
            SW: 235
            Rough start due to major carb WD.

            MWF: 1 hour run/walk, 1.5 hours in the gym - upper/lower and core
            Sat/Sun=Yard/house work, chasing kids, playing
            Family walk every night instead of everyone vegging in front of the TV
            Personal trainer to build muscle mass & to help meet goals


            • #7
              Originally posted by elorajade View Post
              I look at it from the "real food" POV. When i did Atkins many years ago, I obsessed about making fake danishes, and fake bread and fake rice. It was all about the quick temporary fix. There was no education about how and why excessive carb intake was bad for you and was making the issue worse.
              That's my biggest problem with Atkins - and, indeed, any diet where weight loss is the sole focus, rather than health. The idea with Atkins seems to be "let's make pretend bread and pretend desserts and pretend rice" - why?? Why do that to yourself? Better just to say "I don't eat that stuff anymore" and stop trying to fake it.
              Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

              Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

              Ditch the scale!:

              My Success Story:


              • #8
                Originally posted by Helen in Oz View Post
                So I thought I'd ask, since I'm expecting that when I don't fill my plate with rice and bread over the weekend, the next question will be 'oh you're not doing Atkins, are you....'
                People don't really question why I don't have rice or bread on my plate. Most people comment on how delicious my food looks. They comment on what a nice piece of meat and the mix of colorful healthy vegetables I am eating. They also comment on how they wish they could be so disciplined to eat so healthy. My typical response is that real food and vegetables just taste better to me. I can't tell you how many people have seriously offered to pay me to make them a "Big Ass Salad" everyday like I have. I may actually start a small side business supplying people in my office with "Big Ass Salad" makings each day for $6 each.
                God is great, beer is good, people are crazy

                Trashy Women

                Beef Cake's Primal Hardcore Porn<strike>Erotica<strike> mean my journal...


                • #9
                  Hey Folks! I'm new here, so forgive me for making a post without properly introducing myself. I will make a post in the introduction section ASAP! :-) Anyway... I just wanted to comment on what elorjade and Griff said, and simply agree with both of you! I, too, started off doing the Atkin's diet and enjoyed trying to make concoctions that mimicked my favorite foods. LOL It was a hobby! Thing is... I quit dropping the weight. I think the artificial sweeteners and hidden carbs were sabotaging my diet! I've decided to keep things simple and get back to good, whole foods. I've ordered Mark's book and plan to give the Primal Blueprint methods a try! I'm looking forward to it.



                  • #10
                    I'm with ya griff. Sorta reminds me of tofurkey or fake hot dogs. I did make a carb-less cake once out of almond flour, flax seed meal and butter, lots of butter for a special occasion. It did seem awfully heavy to me.

                    I guess that Atkins is kinda like the Richard Stallman (geeks will get that) of the low carb world. You can be completely right, but if you come off as an arse then you'll just put people off. Sisson is more the Linus Torvalds in this analogy. I've noticed he is very careful to keep things in a very positive mood, never says 'well these people are stupid' etc. He also seems (at least in his posts) to have the same slightly self deprecating style that does help blunt the whole cult of personality thing.
                    Apathy is tyranny's greatest ally.


                    • #11
                      Hey, KestrelSF, the Richard Stallman analogy is perfect. He literally changed the world, but made very few friends while doing it. Mark is the most humble world-changer I've ever seen or heard of. His style is one of the best things about him, and will prove to be one of his best attributes I think.


                      • #12
                        To be honest, I needed a psychological crutch of "replica low carb treats" to get interested in Primal, the idea that I could make stuff that mimiced the stuff I'd be missing out on helped me get over it. Of course once I started I just couldn't be bothered to acutally whip that stuff up since the food I was eating was so damn good. Almond flour? I'll just have another steak thanks.


                        • #13
                          I recently went to Goodwill and found a copy of his most recent book, copyright 2002. I wanted to see how it compared to PB. I actually found this newer edition packed full of useful information about insulin effects and what he calls "matabolic resistance" (insulin resistance). He quotes lots of scientific studies - many of the same ones in Gary Taubes GCBC. In this edition he starts using the term "being in lipolysis" instead of ketosis - which I thought was a wise switch clearly indicating that one was able to burn stored fats for fuel. For people who want to lose weight, he has a very disciplined way of discovering just how many carbs one can eat per day and remain in the weight loss mode. Induction at 20 gr/day for 2 weeks, and then increase by 5 gr. increments each week as long as one is still losing weight. At goal weight, one does the same to discover the individual "Critical Carbohydrate level for Maintenance". I liked this individualized approach to discovering just how many grams of carbs/day one can tolerate. One size does not fit all. There is a lot of good info in here, lots of extras for getting over a plateau, coping with severe metabolic resistance, transitioning to maintenance, etc. For those who want to lose weight it works nicely when used in conjunction with PB.


                          • #14
                            Dr Atkins was one of my heroes. Reading his book gave me control over my blood sugar which I hadn't had before. All the new Atkins stuff like the bars and shakes were made after he died and he wouldn't have approved of these at all- often speaking against products like these in his books. It blows my mind that the Atkins diet was passed off as a 'fad diet' where something like Weight watchers is seen as perfectly healthy and the best way to lose weight.


                            • #15
                              Yep, we've got a "weight watcher" at work right now, weight watchers, and diet pills, and diet coke. Her a$$ is as big as ever, and she complains bitterly about how hard her life is. I once asked her if she tought about working out to build muscle to burn off the fat, she said "Oh I don't want muscles, I don't want to look like a man." I thought but didn't say "You'll have a loooooooong way to go before you'll have an visible muscle there Shamu." I'm being unkind, but I've been watching this for the last 3 years. Pill, weight watchers failure, diet coke... uh....