T Nation

Atkins Q's

1.) Is there truth to the claim that you can eat unlimited amounts of non-carbohydrate foods and still lose weight? Is the mechanism for this understood?

2.) Is the Atkins Diet really as satiating as they say? I saw the T-Dawg diet and if what Atkins says is true…it loses the great satiety/non craving advantage the Atkins diet has.

3.) What are the thoughts on Atkin’s bars? Sure it contains ~some~ soy protein powder along with whey and others… and seems to have no junk in it.

-Zulu

1.) You can get fat by eating excess of any food.

2.) It’s satiating because most people who follow it gorge on fatty steaks and whip cream. Satiating to most North Americans = indulging in junk food.

3.) Remember, with the exception of oatmeal, if it comes in a box (or package for that matter), don’t eat it. (Hey, it’s part of the Hot-Rox 10- commandments)

  1. It has something to do with insuline levels, which is involved in storing fat. Some carbs are better than others: white sugar isnt a good carb, whole wheat bread is. Eat “good” carbs that dont cause your insuline levels to raise excessively, but dont over indulge. You can also eat reasonable amounts of prtein and fat, preferable unsaturated. That version of the Atkins diet is satiating.

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1.) You can get fat by eating excess of any food."

Atkins claims that many of this dieters ate MORE calories and lost weight.

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2.) It’s satiating because most people who follow it gorge on fatty steaks and whip cream. Satiating to most North Americans = indulging in junk food."

Why are fatty steaks and whipped cream junk food?? And since when is junk food satiating???

“3.) Remember, with the exception of oatmeal, if it comes in a box (or package for that matter), don’t eat it. (Hey, it’s part of the Hot-Rox 10- commandments)”

So goodbye grow! bars, also?

-Zulu

1.) For the most part, calories in vs calories out still applies. I’ve known people who have gained weight on the Atkins diet.

2.) I’ll agree the Atkins diet is more satieating than other approaches. I have a feeling that this is because fat takes longer to digest and also because fat physically takes up more space in the stomach than most carbohydrate sources.

3.) Atkins bars are about the same as any other nutrition bars, possibly being worse because of the soy content. IMHO the main purpose of bars are for convenience’s sake. Grow bars aren’t perfect either - high fructose corn syrup. The don’t eat anything from a box rules still applies for the most part, though an arguement can be made that some high GI foods have a use as a 1hr-post workout meal.

1.) You can’t eat unlimited, but in some cases people can eat more.

Take a look at it this way. Some regular joes who diet do it by eating way too few cals. Then they go on atkins and eat more yet lose weight. The thing is if they went on a good pf & pc eating plan of similar cals they would also likely lose weight. Just shows you that undereating doesnt always work well.

  1. As far as satiation, yes eating lots of fat and protein tends to satiate. I for one find it extremely hard to go “atkins induction” and overeat. It’s tough to pack in say more than 4k cals when you have no carbs.

3.) Where did you get idea atkins bars have no junk in them? In my mind they went the junk route of most other “protein/mrp” bars by using excessive amounts of glycerin and crappy proteins to keep the price down.
I recall the early atkins bars and they were vastly better tolerated (and also tasted more real) than the current versions. Now I will admit some flavors of the early bars sucked big time, but some (peanut butter for one) actually tasted decent and didnt have lots of crap in them. Cant say that anymore since they sugared em up and oversweetened them.

What I really wish is that a company could/would make a protein/mrp bar without slathering it in fake chocolate coatings and making them exceedingly sweet. Grow bars were good, but still from time to time I would like a yogurt covered bar or something else more real food like. Refigeration/govt regs probably kills this idea…

1.) If you eat too much of anything (carb, fat, or protein) you’ll gain weight. However, the body is less efficient at using protein for energy and will require more calories to break it down. So…technically, yes, you should be able to eat more kcals.

  1. Typically while you’re ketogenic (i.e., lack of carbs) your body is running on ketones and you don’t get too hungry. You may crave carb foods, but I’d be willing to guess this is more psychological. Secondly, there is a hormonal response to eating fat (leptin I think…but could be wrong) that keeps you full. Remember though that the Atkins diet isn’t so specific about food sources. If you’re eating bacon it probably isn’t the healthiest choice.

  2. Don’t be lazy. Prep your meals in advance and skip the bars.

?1.) For the most part, calories in vs calories out still applies. I’ve known people who have gained weight on the Atkins diet.?

I just finished Atkins? book and he mentions hoards of solutions and further investigations if such is the case. He would probably tell those people they didn?t follow it appropriately or suffer from metabolic resistance.

?3.) Atkins bars are about the same as any other nutrition bars, possibly being worse because of the soy content. IMHO the main purpose of bars are for convenience’s sake. Grow bars aren’t perfect either - high fructose corn syrup. The don’t eat anything from a box rules still applies for the most part, though an arguement can be made that some high GI foods have a use as a 1hr-post workout meal.?

Wow, grow bars have fructose corn syrup?? There are no sugars in the Atkins bar, which to me is a HUGE plus. The soy content I wouldn?t consider a negative?just less of a positive. (Unless that?s all you?re eating). It?s like having the occasional tofu?it?s not the ideal food but it?s ok in small quantities.

?Where did you get idea atkins bars have no junk in them? In my mind they went the junk route of most other “protein/mrp” bars by using excessive amounts of glycerin and crappy proteins to keep the price down.?

All the ingredients on the bar seem healthy to me. The possible exception is the soy, which I?ve mentioned and the glycerin which seems a necessary evil and is probably better than the usual corn syrup or white sugar.

-Zulu

Anectodal alert–I was on Atkins a couple years ago, and pretty effortlessly lost about 25 pounds, while eating many more calories than I did previously. I would routinely eat an eight- to ten-ounce ribeye for dinner, with a salad covered with blue cheese and olives, and then as a pre-bedtime snack eat half a container of mascarpone cheese with shredded coconut/splenda/macadamia nuts. That’s close to my caloric intake for the entire day now! I also did not excercise regularly.

That said, I did plateau, and not nearly at the place I wanted to be. I did keep eating the same way for a couple months after that, and while I did not lose, I did not gain, either.

I would say I ate as close to “unlimited” as I really wanted to. The satiety factor cannot be denied…it’s plain hard to binge on some foods, even if they taste really good (f.ex. I ate tons of whipped cream), without the presence of carbs.

However, I am also a very carb-sensitive individual–more so than most people I know. My personalized version of T-Dawg incorporates the very low end of the recommended carb spectrum–maybe even a bit lower.

As for the Atkins bars, the chocolate coconut is pretty tasty! No comments on the nutrition, but it’s better than nothing if you’re on the road or caught without a decent snack.

LS

I think the atkins diet is like any diet a means of losing weight to get to a desired goal weight. THEN when you’re there you should reintroduce eating a balanced diet. That’s the part nobody seems to mention when I hear them talk about eating however much fatty crap they can. The bars are convenient but I’m tend to veer away from anything that has large amount of soy in it. Plus the protein isn’t really all that high. Worst of all any diet that says you don’t need to exercise just burns my ass.

Are you trying to play devils advocate Zulu?

I think what we are trying to say is that the Atkins diet is not for bodybuilders (unless you make some serious modifications like introducing calorie counting and perhaps occasional refeeds). I think Atkins approach of eating anything you want as long as it has no carbs can be used very successfully by people who are overweight, but those looking to play around in the single digit bodyfat percentages should probably look elsewhere.

As far as glycerin being superior than corn syrup in a bar, I tend to agree, though I would need to know the specifics of how glycerin was metabolised before I’d be able to make up my mind for sure.

I also did the Atkins diet a few years ago and had the same results as Lisa. I was amazed at how much food I can eat and lost weight at about 1 to 2 lbs a day. That was also with minimal exercise. I was 235 lbs and 25%. Did hit a plateau and went back to eating normally and kept it off. Much better than starving yourself which I have done before as well.

Zulu, where is NeilG when you need him?

http://my.netscape.com/corewidgets/news/story.psp?cat=51180&id=200310131531000197491

Low-Carb Diets Are Working, Study Says

“A lot of our assumptions about a calorie is a calorie are being challenged,” said Marlene Schwartz of Yale. “As scientists,
we need to be open-minded.”

as far as the atkins bars go:

i think the bigger issue is that they list hydrolyzed collagen (a zero-biological protein–as in not useable) as the second ingredient. a little bit of protein (especially soy isolate) is not going to make you sprout breasts on the spot, but since it is the first ingredient listed you have to assume that it makes up the majority of the protein count.

If you’re dead set on combining lifting with ketosis you’re much better off with a CKD than pure atkins imo.

Anyone interested in Atkins should note that it includes three diets in the plan. The one everybody thinks about (and all the scientists complain about) is just the induction phase. That’s a two week only, near zero carb phase. From there, you actually do ramp up the carbs until you find something you can live with, so Atkins is much more balanced than many believe.

You should read his entire plan before trying the diet so you understand what’s going on. Then I recommend you go to Mercola’s web site and get his views, which are a little different, just to balance the view points. Mercola isn’t anti-carb, but he is anti-insulin.