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The Atkin's Diet

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Hubert888, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran
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    For those who follow the Atkin's Diet, there was an article in the New York Times 1/18/04 about it. I personally think the Atkin's diet is bullsh*t and unhealthy. This article backs my opinion. I retyped it for whoever wants to read it (sorry for the typos, too lazy to proofread):

    "Make That Steak a Bit Smaller, Atkins Advises Today's Dieters"
    by Marian Burros

    After advising dieters for years to satisfy their hunger with liberal amounts of steak, eggs and other saturated fats, the promoters of the Atkins diet now say that people on their plan should limit the amount of red meat and saturated fat they eat.
    Responding to years of criticism from scientists that the Atkins version of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat regimen might lead to heart disease and other health problems, the director of research and education for Atkdins Nutrionals, Colette Heimowitz, is telling health professionals in seminars around the country that only 20 percent of a dieter's calories should come from saturated fat. Atkins Nutrionals was set up by Dr. RObert C. Atkins to sell Atkins products and promot the diet.
    An Atkins spokesman said M/s Heimowitz has been giving these seminars for 5 years, but that they do not represent a departure from the origianl premise of the diet.
    Atkins representatives say that Dr. Atkins, who died last year, always maintained that people should eat other food besides red meat, but had difficulty getting that message out. THere has been a revision in expressing how the diet should be followed, no in the diet itself, they say.
    But in their consumer publications, Atkins officials have never set limits on saturated fat, and Atkins is widely known as the diet that lets you eat all the meat you want.
    Dr. Atkins did more than anyone else to popularize the idea that dieters could eat fat and lose weight. As millions followed his advice, sales of red meat soared and steakhousese grew in popularity. Hig book "Dr. Atkins' New Diet REvolution" has sold 15 million copies. Atkins Nutrionals reported $100 million in revenues for 2002.
    The change comes as Atkins faces competition from outher popular low-carbohydrate diets that call for less saturated fat. A book on one such plan, the SOuth beach diet, came out in april 2003 and has sold more than 5 millino copies. Atkins representatives made the revision, Ms. Heimowitz said, because "we want physicians to feel comfortable with this diet, and we want people who are going to their physicians with this diet to fee comfortable."
    The Atkins regimen remains a high-fat diet. But Atkins officials are specifiying the amount that should be saturated - the kind that comes from meat, cheese and butter - and the amount that should be unstaurated - the kind that comes from most vegetable oils and fish. The revision places more emphasis on fish and chicken.
    Paul D. Wolff, CEO of Atkins Nutrionals, said the company is trying to get its message out clearly. "The way the book was promoted was, here's the program that is counterintuitive," he said. "You can eat a lot of bacon and steak." It was the marketing of the book. THe media saw it as a sexy story.
    "Perhaps what was communicated in the past was unclear" he said/ "We would agree with that./"
    So why not tell people straight out that you can't eat all the steak and eggs you want, Mr Wolff was asked.
    "Interesting question" he said as he hung up to catch a plane.
    The clarification came as a suprise to Atkins dieters who were interviewed. "A lot of people will be totally shocked" said Ellen Bain, a graphic designer in Brooklyn. THe message she said she had taken away from reading Atkins books and websites was "The fat in the diet is very good for you; it doesnt make any difference what kind of fat it is. THere are no limits of any kind in the meat department, like steak and eggs for breakfast, a burger for lunch and beef stif-fry for dinner."
    Ms. Bain,. who said she has lost 48 pounds on the Atkins diet since July 1, said "Is it possible that now they are revising their thinking?"
    Beef, pork, lamb, and butter were on the list of "foods you may eat liberally" in "The new diet revolution" first published in 1992; its update is No.1 on the NYT advice, how-to and miscellaneous paperback best-seller list.
    "Atkins for Life," Dr. Atkin's newest book, published a few months before his death, says: "You should always eat a balance of different types of natural fat." The precise proportion of saturated and unsaturated fat was unspecified. M/s Heimowitz said, because "trying to tell consumers to do math is futile."
    Russ Klein, a marketing executive, who has been on Atkins since Dec.21, interpreted the phrase "foods you may eat liberally" to mean "Eat until you are full." And, he added, "I think it's probably true you can eat all the red meat you want."
    Ms. Heimowitz said people read the phrase "eat liberally" as a license to gorge on red meat. "Not making a distinction between one kind of protein and another, that wa a mistake," Ms. Heimowitz, "and that is why we had to write another book, to get the story straight."
    But she added, "Even in the old book, it says 'eat until you are satisfied but not stuffed.'"
    Total fat in the revised Atkins diet remains much higher than other diets recommend: 60 percent of the calories are still derived from fat, twice the level recommended by the Agirculture Department. Of that, one-third can be saturated fat - also twice the level recommended by the department. The rest should be poly and mono-unstaturated fats.
    That means that a person who eats 1500 calories a day could eat a 17-ounce strip steak every day, according to Mindy Hermann, a registered dietitian. After the diet's first phase, the amount of fat allowed drops to 56 percent, but the percentage of saturated fat stays the same.
    Dr. Atkins said that carbohydates caused obesity and eating fat helped regulate levels of insulin, which helps produce body fat. Ms. Heimowitz said, "Saturated fat ins't as much of an issue when carbos are contorlled; it's only dangerous in excess when carbs are high."
    But Dr, Frank M Sacks, a professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at the Harvard School of Public Health, scoffed at those scientific claims. "What they are saying is ridiculous," he said. The revision, he added, "has nothing to do with science; It has to do with public relations and politics."
    The medical establishment largely disputes Dr. Atkins's reasoning and says that high levels of saturated fats are dangerous.
    Dr. George L. Blackburn, assocaite director in the division of nutrition at Harvard Medical School, said the diet's new version is "definitely healther," but that "all of the studies we have on Atkins are based on the Atkins of the 1970's: eat all you can as long as you keep carbs out."
     
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  3. 4sfed4

    4sfed4 Karting

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    The typical diet is basically all the stuff Atkins allows, only with a bunch of simple carbs thrown in.

    I am not an advocate one way or the other (not really qualified to make a firm statement), but Atkins does seem to allow massive weight losses to occur. I could see the long term benefits of getting back to a more reasonable body weight as being more helpful than a few months of what might be a diet high in fats.
     
  4. rudy

    rudy Formula Junior

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    I eat 32 ounces of steak a day and a dozen eggs, plus two pounds of cheese and it hasn't hur...........GAHKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!! (slump)
     
  5. 4sfed4

    4sfed4 Karting

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    It would appear the online membership has just decreased by one.
     
  6. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I did a more reasonable Atkins earlier this year (ie. turkey bacon not pork, LOTS of salad and chicken, etc) and lost 30lbs in 4 months. It worked for me because I am a bread/pasta/rice/sugar carb addict.

    No fault of the diet, but unfortunately through extreme indulgence in pizza, burgers and ice cream in the first semester of law school - without keeping up my gym regimen - I've gained it all back...
     
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  8. NY Joe 360

    NY Joe 360 Karting

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    Atkin's diet is horrible. You can lose plenty of weight with it, but there's also alot of side effects.

    While you're on the diet, you have a distinct bad odor. Your breath is horrible. If you don't drink plenty of water, you can get kidney stones. Afew people I know had this happen.

    The high protein intake puts a big strain on your organs.

    One person I know lost about 100lbs so quick he had to have reconstructive surgery to cure the "flaps" of loose skin hanging from his belly. Sexy, eh?

    One thing I do know that works is exercise. Hmm wait, that's the same story as 100 years ago, isn't it? Not only will you lose weight, your health will improve drastically. Works better than *any* diet.
     
  9. GrigioGuy

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    Why do you care how other people diet? If a no-carb diet makes someone feel better about themself, then more power to them. Likewise if someone thinks an avacado, boysenberry and mango diet does the trick, then good for them.

    It's their life, why must there be One True Way? Is it yet another control freak do-things-my-way-or-else thing, like religions are?
     
  10. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    I lost 30 pounds on "Weight Watchers" over 3 months eating whatever I wanted to and have kept it off 6 months later.

    I just started the "South Beach Diet" today to lose the small pouch of stomach fat that accumulates on men.............it's a 4 week very low carb regimen, but it's not overly high protein either, as your total caloric intake is limited.

    We'll see if it works. I am thoroughly sceptical of the spot reduction theory, but hey, enough people are raving about it, and the book was a best seller and a doctor I know said it worked for him...........so.............here we go.

    Breakfast was one fried egg, one piece of lean ham, a glass of skim milk and a glass of tomato juice.
     
  11. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Be sure to include some fat and salt in your diet.
    Otherwise, it's a recipe for disaster.
     
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  13. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran
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    The article just proves that the Atkins diet is HARMFUL to your health. If you dont believe me, then keep eatting bacon and steak and eggs each meal of the day, and we'll see how long or how short of a life you will have. Sure you might lose weight because of the non-carbs intake, but your arteries will be clogged up like a backed-up sink drain.
     
  14. darth550

    darth550 Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Hey Keith,
    It works. my father did it and lost about 20#. He's kept it off for three months now. Following those recipes can be a P.I.T.A. (gotta love those cauliflower mashed potatoes!) :)

    DL
     
  15. 4sfed4

    4sfed4 Karting

    Dec 22, 2003
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    That certainly would be a reasonable assumption.

    But, as a bit of anecdotal evidence, I know a fellow who did the Atkins and tracked his cholesterol. The "bad" cholesterol actually dropped over 80 points while dining daily on cheeseburgers!

    I am by no means an expert on any of this, but it seems that food combinations are somehow more important than the foods themselves.
     
  16. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    You never answered the question. Why do you care how other people eat? Isn't that their business, not yours?

    BTW: I never said I'm on Atkins. I never promoted any diet. I just want to understand why it matters to you.
     
  17. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

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    Atkins is so popular because it fits nicely into peoples' lifestyles. Eat lots of fatty foods, don't exercise, and lose weight. Well, common sense alone tells you that if you live this way you're headed for trouble. You have to transition off of it at some point.
     
  18. Robin

    Robin F1 Rookie

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    I agree that it's really up to the individual to decide what they want to do. Oddly enough, I do understand the other point of view to a certain extent. The basic rule for losing weight, or at least not gaining weight, is to burn more calories than you ingest. So if you eat 2000 calories a day, just make sure you burn 2001. It's really a simple formula.. exercise is all you need, yet people spend all kinds of money and change their lifestyle to match the latest fad diet, when all they really need to do is join a gym. If people want to buy all the latest books and pills and whatnot, good for them. I'll stick with eating what I want and getting some exercise.

    -R
     
  19. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran
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    I posted this article about the Atkin's diet because I wanted everyone to know what they were getting into before doing it. Most people have misconceptions that the Atkin's diet is the way to go if you want to lose weight without the exercise. However, most of them do not realize what kind of negative health problems that can arise if they follow the diet. Weight loss is definitely a positive side effect, but the other stuff isnt. I just wanted to spread the word.
     
  20. rob lay

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    I don't believe in any diet, the word "diet" implies short-term. What people need is a life-long good balance of exercise and diet. Just change bad habits and it won't be anything that you need to be conscious about.

    The important thing about Atkins, South Beach, Sugerbusters, or whatever is that people are now realizing that carbs cause fat and health problems. I don't need an article to tell me about common sense facts that too much of something is a bad thing.

    The Rob lifestyle...

    1) Eat smaller meals. Eat 4 times a day or small snacks between meals.
    2) Eat more vegetables and fruits than you think you need.
    3) Eat less fried food, breads, pasta, and sugars.
    4) Try to include protein at every meal. Diversify your proteins from red meat, white meat, fish, nuts, and beans.
    5) Exercise. It feels good, it's fun, and it doesn't take too much time.

    My bad habits I'm working on changing are all the beer, fried foods, and sugars.
     
  21. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
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    If you give up the beer you won't be Rob! Although you seem to do pretty well using a red wine substitute. :D
     
  22. MondialTCab

    MondialTCab Formula 3

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    Find one Atkins book that says that going the Atkins Diet without exercise is the what they recommend and your statement would be correct. They, like nearly all diet methods, recommend exercise in addition to whatever other method they are choosing to limit intake in your system.

    As for the accuracy of the article (not your typing of it but the article) the Atkins website responds:

    Atkins Has Not Changed

    "Make That Steak a Bit Smaller, Atkins Advises Today's Dieters," published in the January 18th edition of The New York Times--and the subsequent publicity--is yet another dramatically inappropriate example of the media reporting on the media and perpetuating a false report on Atkins. This is a great disservice to the millions upon millions of Atkins followers who have been benefiting from this nutritional approach for more than 30 years. The accusation in the media, which claims that Atkins is retreating from its long-held position on the consumption of fat is simply wrong. It is a false premise created by members of the media themselves, based on input from "experts" who apparently have neither read any of Dr. Atkins' books, nor even casually browsed this Web site.

    Atkins has not changed. The basic tenets of the Atkins Nutritional Approach™ (ANA), consistent since 1972, are to control the intake of carbohydrates, avoid refined carbs (like sugar and white flour), eat a balance of fats (including saturated fat but not trans fats) and consume a variety of protein sources, such as red meat, fish, poultry and tofu. Saturated fat remains a valuable part of the ANA. There is absolutely no scientific research to support any claims that eating red meat and saturated fat as part of your Atkins program is anything other then beneficial. These protocols have been consistently reinforced as safe, effective and beneficial and have been further supported by 17 studies released over the last three years.

    Equally as important, and terribly troubling to all of us at Atkins, is the attempt once again by critics of Atkins to ignore fact, science and the clear messages stated in Dr. Atkins' own words over the past 32 years, in order to sensationalize the ANA as the "all-the-steak-you-can-eat" approach to weight loss and good health. This has never been true and the millions of individuals doing Atkins, along with the health care professionals who have read Dr. Atkins' books, clearly understand this. We would urge anyone who is confused, including the media to simply read Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, Atkins For Life or The Atkins Essentials, or review this site, rather than interpret Atkins on the basis of sensational reports manufactured on hearsay and mischaracterization.

    Even in the original 1972 edition of Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution, Dr. Atkins explained, "fat allows for enormous variety in your diet; that vital and best of all, it keeps you from feeling deprived. Of course, you aren't confined to steak, you can have almost any kind of meat, fish or fowl." He continued, "One of the biggest reasons this diet works so successfully is because you eat protein and fat…."

    Dr. Atkins made no secret of the fact that his methodology evolved over time as scientific discoveries added new and useful information. He rewrote his original 1972 book three times, exactly because he felt it was his responsibility to keep people up to date when it came to the most recent and relevant information on controlled carbohydrate nutrition and health. In the 2002 edition of Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, he wrote, "Eat either three regular-size meals a day or four to five smaller meals. Eat liberally of combinations of fat and protein in the form of poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs and red meat, as well as of pure, natural fat in the form of butter, mayonnaise, olive oil, safflower, sunflower and other vegetable oils. Adjust the quantity you eat to suit your appetite, especially as it decreases. When hungry, eat the amount that makes your feel satisfied but not stuffed…."

    By providing individuals doing Atkins with a life-long strategy, including exercise and meal plans (at various carb thresholds) incorporating a wide range of foods, as explained in Atkins for Life, Dr. Atkins believed he would finally put to rest the misconception that his approach was based on eating only red meat. His simple goal was that people would come to understand how to incorporate his controlled carbohydrate nutritional approach as the first step in gaining control of their nutritionally out-of-control lives.

    Millions of individuals who benefit from doing Atkins understand that the ANA is a very effective four-phase approach to healthy eating. The ANA focuses on moving people away from diets loaded with refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour to a lifestyle centered around eating whole foods and nutrient-dense carbohydrates like leafy greens, and finding a balance in the consumption of proteins and fat.
     
  23. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

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    I guarantee that none of my friends who are on the Atkins diet have actually read through it. They have interpreted it as something like:

    Breakfast...3-egg cheese and sausage omelet, no toast

    Lunch...2 Quarter-pounders w/cheese, throw out the bun

    Dinner...Large red meat based dinner, no veggies or starches.

    All combined with an inert lifestyle. The problem is that my friends who are doing this are lazy and avoid physical activity at all costs. Plus, they smoke and drink a ton as well.
     
  24. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    Rob.......

    Lifestyle change is exactly what it's all about!!

    Weight Watchers taught me to control portion size, eat 4-5 times a day and eventually to delete certain things because they were too high in point value (or just eat a lot less of them). So now I have my caloric intake more or less under control as the last 6 months has shown and I am not going crazy.

    It was a tough thing to do.....I used to worship pizza, beer and ice cream. Now I only pray occasionally to the gods of red wine.

    Darth550......

    Well that's good news about your dad. My wife got the book for Christmas and we just went shopping Sunday for all the stuff for 2 weeks worth of menus. And you are right, it was a "PITA" to prepare everything for today.
     
  25. MarkG

    MarkG Formula Junior

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    IMO the Atkin's diet is not too safe; time will tell, long term affects of people who remain on the diet for long periods will tell us how safe.

    I went from 260 lbs to 169 lbs in a few months following what I call the New Balance 990 diet. here's how it works:

    1. cut back on the crap food

    2. buy a pair of New Balance 990 running shoes. Now use them for what they were designed for at least 60 minutes a day (unless you have bad knees; substitute swimming or weight training)
     
  26. Nibblesworth

    Nibblesworth Formula 3
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    Our bodies evolved with a diet filled mostly with protein and water, and very few to virtually no carbs. Carbs didn't come along until agriculture.

    If you want to be as healthy as possible, live the following lifestyle (reminiscent of australopithicus africanus through homo sapiens)

    1. Walk 2 - 5 miles a day (not run, walk)
    2. Drink as much water as your stomach will hold (pretend that everytime you see water, you wont see it for another three days)
    3. Eat a lot of protein and leafy green vegetables (romano lettuce, spinache, etc)


    That's what our lifestyle consisted of for 2.5 mil years, and that's what'll make you most healthy. Notice there is no mention of cheese, cream, fired foods, chocolate, etc, in the above.
     
  27. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    How about bugs, I love bugs, even without the chocolate on top. Plain uncooked works plenty good for me. Lady bugs are kinda sweet and ants have a little bite to them.
     
  28. Dom

    Dom F1 Veteran
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    The only sure way to loose weight:

    Eat Less and Excercise

    Too bad it's so hard to do...


    Doms Fact of the Day: When rats (and monkeys, too it appears) are fed limited vs ad libitum (i.e., all you can eat), those whose food intakes are reduced live longer. (Exp Gerontol. 2003 Jan-Feb; 38(1-2): 35-46)
     

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