June 11, 2004
I've been on the Atkins diet for more than four months now. I'm not really doing the diet properly, but since it's (mostly) working, I figured I'd put this online in case anyone else wants to see it.
The idea of Atkins is to eat lean meats and leafy, green vegatables. This removes carbohydrates and a large amount of fats from the diet. The fats aren't too important -- they don't shut off the fat/protein burner, but any fat you eat is fat of your own that doesn't get metabolized.
I'm pretty good about the meat. Vegatables are another matter. For lunch I usually eat tuna salad: No carbs and fat only from the mayonnaise. For dinner I switch between fried beef with broccoli and soy sauce (kinda like Chinese food, but not quite), bunless cheesburgers, porkchops, chicken breasts, bratwursts, and Italian sausages. For breakfast on weekends I eat bacon or sausage, with eggs.
Note that I don't eat brekfast on weekdays. This is technically a no-no; I'm not supposed to go 18 hours without a meal like that. But I like sleeping more than I like eating :)
As snacks I eat peanuts and low-carb yogurt. From time to time I eat low-carb candy bars, but a large portion of them taste like sawdust so I tend to avoid it. Ditto for low-carb bagels. With my breakfasts I drink low-carb milk-like food product. I'd recommend the fat-free version if you want something that tastes vaguely correct; anything else feels like I'm drinking heavy cream.
I also eat the turkey-bacon Atkins wraps at Subway, and that's about the only place I go to eat. Sometimes I go out with friends, but not often; I'm likely to blow the diet when I do that.
I'm currently in stage three of the diet, losing weight very slowly. Actually, with a trip to Akron for Memorial Day and a few trips to restaurants I haven't lost anything lately. I'm working on changing that again.
I've found that I don't have sugar cravings like last time. I definitely enjoy desserts more since I don't get that much sugar any more, but without anything around it's easy to pass on it.
Dieting only goes so far, and I plateaued at about 25 pounds lost with just food. I've been running for a couple months now and I've dropped another few pounds. I needed someone running with me for a while to get me going, but now I can pretty much get myself going. It's just a matter of setting a (moderate) goal and aiming for it.
I try to run three times a week, but like the diet sometimes I don't live up to that. It was raining last time I should've gone and I hate running in the rain, so I skipped it. There were also a couple times when it felt like I just wasn't able to run, only getting in two laps before I was spent -- after skipping a Saturday or two that doesn't seem to be a problem any more.
I still have a beer belly though. That probably means some sit-ups or crunches are in order, but that's starting to sound too much like PT, and I didn't like that the last time around. But if I plan on looking at least moderately in shape I don't see where I have a choice. Guess I've got to give it a shot then.
Any money I save by packing a lunch three to four times a week is spent on Atkins-friendly foods. Ready-to-make stuff is actually cheap compared to real meats and the low-carb stuff I eat. I'd be willing to bet that I spend more per month now on groceries than I did on groceries + lunches before.
I wish there was a way to east right and on the cheap, but I think it's fundamentally impossible.