Thursday, August 03, 2006

Variety, who needs it?

When I started Atkins for the first time about two years ago, I was amazed at all the different things I could choose from to eat. Besides meat (which is awesome, in case I haven’t stated it enough) I could consume all sorts of non-starchy vegetables, berries, cheeses, oils and creams.

While this was all very tasty and pleasant, it didn’t seem to work in the long run. I would always fall back to my old way of eating, and I could never understand why. I mean, heck, I lost some weight and was doing quite well, and hey, I had variety!

But something kept sabotaging my efforts. I attempted to deduce what it was, perhaps discover some factor or some variable that I had overlooked when I was adhering to Atkins. Maybe I was unknowingly eating something I shouldn’t have been. Maybe it was my friends discouraging me, whether consciously or not.

Maybe I was just weak-willed.

I just couldn’t figure it out. And I almost gave up.

Then, after about two and a half years of low-carb yo-yoing, in desperation, I decided to try Fat Fast. It is an extreme regimen (at least to ‘conventional’ nutrition) outlined by Dr. Atkins in his book. The program consists of 1,000 calories per day, 90% of which is from fat, in five small meals eaten over the course of a day.

I lost about four pounds in three days. It was terrific.

And it was terrific for more than just the weight loss. I had figured out why Induction did not work for me in the long run. The Fat Fast did not contain carbohydrates. Atkins Induction did.

That was the factor.

(Now, I am not bashing the Atkins program. It has been beneficial to a great many people.)

I cut carbs to zero. Things started getting easier. I didn’t want sugar. I didn’t crave potatoes or bread. Instead of forcing myself to eat the burger without the bun, the bunless burger became preferable.

Now, I eat an average of eight eggs and about three-quarters to one whole pound (0.34 to 0.45 kg) of meat (usually beef) a day. I feel great, and don’t really want to eat anything different. Variety was what made me stumble before…why should I start now?

It takes me ten minutes to cook a meal now, as opposed to 30 then. I have actually saved money because the vegetables always went bad before I could make them. I don't go out to eat anymore, (well, rarely) because it is cheaper to broil a steak at home then have O'Charlies do it for me.

And I have saved time too, because I don’t waste said time counting carbs anymore.


At August 03, 2006 9:51 AM, Blogger Helen Barnes said...

Terrific! I saw your link at the zero carb board, and enjoyed reading about your WOL. I wish I had discovered this so early in life, Im sure I would have been a lot healthier now!

keep up the good work, and hold on to what you KNOW is healthier for people will never stop trying to convince you that this is wrong.
We know better!!

At August 06, 2006 5:33 PM, Blogger April said...

1000 calories a day will make anyone lose weight, even me at 104 pounds, 5' 2". No wonder the fat fast works... it's a super low cal diet. You could do the same thing eating just veggies, but you'd go insane and eventually kill and eat your neighbors! No doubt it is easier on an all fat or all protein and fat diet. If I for some insane reason wanted to lose weight, I'd cut way back on carbs, just down to the essential veggies, and go high on protein and fat. It's a great way to make weight loss easy and sustainable.

That being said, I'm a little scared that you're deficient in a lot of essential nutrients like Vitamin A and C, which just a few low carb greens and maybe some peppers or tomatoes would give you plenty of. If you want to plug your diet into some nutritional software, has some for free, as does

Also, there's a super low carb and low cal way to get fiber: 5 grams/1 tablespoon of wheat bran, soaked in about a tablespoon and drained, once a day. Solves your fiber problem without adding noticable carbs or calories.

Now that you're well into your weight loss journey, I doubt that some kale, broccoli or arugua would throw you off the path, but they would really help your nutrition. Kale is great with olive oil! And broccoli is a frequent side dish with steak.


At August 07, 2006 3:08 PM, Blogger The Happy Low Carb Taco said...

Hello April! Thank you for commenting on my blog. I do appreciate it.

I do wish to address your very legitamite concerns regarding my possible lack of essential nutrients. Eggs contain about 323 IU of vitamin A each. I eat about 8 or 9 eggs a day, so that comes out to be 2,584-2907IU of vitamin A a day; and that is just from eggs alone. The best places to get this vitamin is from animal products. (Of which I eat plenty.)

As for vitamin C, I drink about 8 ounces of Orange Crystal lite a day, which supplies me with more than enough of this nutrient.

I hope this may put your concerns at rest.

I enjoyed hearing from you! Thanks again! :)

At August 07, 2006 5:36 PM, Blogger April said...

Hello Happy Low Carb Taco!

How wonderful that you are paying attention to nutrition! Too few people do, especially when they're trying to lose weight.

I'm not sure about the Crystal Light as a C source, lacking in plant phytochemicals and all, but I imagine it's enough to keep you from getting scurvy, so we'll sleep better knowing that you're drinking it. That's yummy stuff too. I practically grew up on Crystal Light.

What's your calcium source? I was really calcium deficient until I started consuming dairy, which of course I didn't during my five years as a vegan, but that's a whole other sad story!!!

Do you like seafood? I had a totally amazing piece of sushi grade tuna today. Hmmmm...



At August 07, 2006 7:51 PM, Blogger The Happy Low Carb Taco said...

Hello April!

My calcium source would be from butter and cream and cheese- I eat a lot of that every day. Eggs also contain a small amount as well. I also make sure to eat a few eggs shells a week if I can get around to it.

Even before I started this WOE, I was always in the habit of taking a multivitamin. This habit I continue to this day.

Regarding seafood, I had a big sushami dinner tonight! (I am seriuosly full.) I love sushi! And raw tuna, I pop the stuff like candy!


~Happy Low Carb Taco

At August 02, 2007 3:35 PM, Blogger Raven's Low Carb Nest said...

Thank you for this post!!!!

I had the same experience with Atkins-- and when I switched to the 1972 version, suddenly I started losing weight again.

Just wanted to let you know I appreciate your writings.




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