About Atkins

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 Food

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.

The Exercise

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.

The Money

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.

June 10, 2004June 14, 2004