Monday, July 6, 2009

The Atkins Diet and Me (part 1).

By Owen Jones

I read my first Atkins Diet book when I was working in an office in Barry, south Wales. I had been working there for about five years and had put on a lot of excess weight. I had never enjoyed taking part in sport, but my previously, I had worked on building sites, which meant a fair bit of physical activity " enough anyway to keep me in decent shape. After five years on the office computer, I weighed 18 stone 12 pounds (264 lbs or 120 kg), three stone more than I had before and neither I nor my GP were happy about it.

One day a representative of some accounting firm came in for a scheduled appointment, and, while we were awaiting the other directors, we got to talking about working in an office and its tendency to make one put on a stone or two. He said that he had had the same problem before this new, more mobile, job that he had and that now he made sure he got out of the office regularly and walked everywhere he could, time permitting. He also said that he'd read an interesting book on dieting while on holiday in the United States and that he would send me a copy when he got back to his home town. I didn't think anything more of it and never saw the man again. I think his name was Mr. Blackwell.

One day the book arrived out of the blue, but it remained on my desk unread for months and months, until one day, I had a dentist's appointment. I had forgotten to take a book to work to read while I was waiting " something I nearly always did/do because the magazines are always so old and boring. Anyway, I read 50 or so pages that day and I was really impressed. I had never been on a 'proper' diet before and I thought I should give it a a go. I had stopped eating pastry, cakes and chocolate months ago, but it hadn't had much effect and my weight was still on the up, albeit slightly more slowly.

It appeared to me that it was a 'thinking person's' diet There is a huge amount of scope for individual tastes and lifestyles and self-discipline did not seem to be much of a problem because for that reason. The book warned of addictions and fads and how best to overcome or prevent them. These did not seem to be an issue for me. I liked coffee, but could take it or leave it and I had already given up chocolate. I knew that maybe beer and bread could be a problem.

The only rule in the induction phase is to eat not more than 20 grams of carbohydrate per day. The book had a clear list of most foods and their carbohydrate content. I thought it was really easy. In fact, I started eating more healthily in the induction stage than I had been eating before it! I bought a tube of Ketone sticks to check whether it was working and found that I was in ketosis on the third day. It was a very satisfying experience to know that I would be losing weight whatever I did and wherever I was now twenty-four hours a day!

I gave up bread (and beer!) for a fortnight and felt great. I actually felt 'bouncy' or 'springy' as you see a boxer in the ring before a fight. I had no trouble whatsoever staying within the 20 gram limit, although I missed fruit more than I'd expected. But I found ways to compensate for everything. The book has loads of recipes and suggestions so I won't go into them here, but I started eating breakfast before I went to work and in the evenings, took great care and attention over preparing a lunch box for work the next day, usually consisting of a salad, some cheese and various nuts to snack on. You can eat a few strawberries too. In the evening, I would cook up something like a curry (no flour) eating it with green beans instead of rice; or a traditional British meal without potatoes followed by cheese and strawberries and cream. I lost 18 pounds in two weeks and felt wonderful.

About the Author:

No comments: