"Good Housekeeping" features a confused "Atkins" dieter
I'm on the Atkins diet. You're on the Atkins diet. We're all on the Atkins diet. Or are we?
For some reason or another, people in our culture have started calling livin' la vida low-carb the "Atkins diet" like most of us call a facial tissue a "Kleenex" or a soda pop a "Coke." But technically, the "Atkins diet" is a specific plan outlined in the book Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution. Unfortunately, it has morphed into a catch-all for whatever people think a low-carb diet is whether it's true or not.
As a result, we have ritarded fools like this guy who pretends to think he knows what the real Atkins diet is when he's never even opened the book. Let's not forget about this professor who ignorantly claimed the "Atkins diet" has made America fatter. And don't get me started on what this vegan ridiculously thinks.
With all that said, I wanted to share with you an "Atkins diet" weight loss success story featured in Good Housekeeping magazine this month by a woman named Sheila Anderson. She has lost 30 pounds and kept it off for three years. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
However, as I was reading her story, I became concerned that she had not actually read the book written by the late great Dr. Robert C. Atkins, but rather was describing her own generic low-carb diet as the "Atkins diet."
Here are a few examples that set off red flags when I saw them:
"For breakfast, I eat soy cereal with half and half. Lunch is two hot dogs (no bun) and two slices of cheese. Dinners are meat with veggies and a salad with low-fat dressing. About six months ago, I allowed myself to have whole-wheat bread again — just a slice with my salad or a small sandwich for lunch — but I increased my exercise to compensate. I still avoid sugar."
Okay, not bad. But this isn't a typical menu for a person following the Atkins diet by the book. Where are the eggs, salad greens, full-fat dressing (less carbs than the low-fat version!), non-processed meats for lunch, low-glycemic fruits and other essentials for people following this particular dietary approach? Sounds like Sheila is sorta winging it on her "Atkins diet."
As for adding back the whole wheat bread and burning it off with exercise, that's fine if she wants to do that. But, again, that's not something Dr. Atkins wrote about in his book. Avoiding sugar is an important part of the real Atkins diet, so I'm glad she at least acknowledged that.
I could have overlooked that part of Sheila's story, but then I read her advice for others who want to do the Atkins diet that caused me to raise my eyebrows just a bit. Here's what she wrote:
"If you're going to go wholeheartedly into Atkins, you have to commit to cardio and drink tons of water. All of that meat and cheese increases your fat intake, so you have to balance it out with an otherwise healthy lifestyle. If you just do the diet but not the exercise, you may lose weight, but you won't be healthy."
WHAT?! While I am in favor of people getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily as well as drinking plenty of water on the Atkins diet, my mouth is still hanging low at the line "all of that meat and cheese increases your fat intake."
ALL THAT MEAT AND CHEESE?!?!?! What the heck is that all about? Is it automatically assumed that meat and cheese is the mainstay of the Atkins diet? Not always! Plus, what's so bad about fat intake, Sheila? Come on, you know better than that if you've educated yourself by learning from the wisdom of Dr. Atkins.
If you don't think the Atkins diet will give you the proper "balance" or a "healthy lifestyle," then why the heck are you still doing it three years later? The fact is the REAL Atkins diet is the most nutrient dense and healthy lifestyle you will ever go on and gives you all the "balance" you need.
One more thought: I am a strong proponent of exercise while you are livin' la vida low-carb. But I'm thoroughly convinced now that it is MORE important for people who are trying to lose weight and get healthy to get their diet in order first and something miraculous will happen. These slothful individuals will begin to spontaneously WANT to move their bodies with exercise. It happens all the time and becomes a natural part of a low-carber's new way of life.
Again, I can appreciate Sheila Anderson's low-carb weight loss success, but I don't think you can call what she did the "Atkins diet." I sincerely hope she actually reads the book at some point so she can intelligently explain to people what she means when she tells them she did the "Atkins diet." Otherwise, she should tell them she did her own version of low-carb.
Word to the wise: before going on the "Atkins diet," READ THE BOOK!