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  1. #1
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    Getting off Atkins

    Hello folks,

    I've been on atkins since November. I went from 265 to 215 and I'm very happy with the results so far. I'd like to do another 15-20.

    The reason I started atkins was because it offered me the best chance for success. I hadn't ever done well with dieting because of the slow results. Seeing the quick results in doing Atkins motivated me to keep going, and for the first time ever in my life I don't feel like a blimp.

    Here's the thing though. Now that I've lost 50 pounds, I am confident I'll never go back to being huge. I've used atkins as a crutch to get me through this far, but I don't want to do it anymore. Which is why, two weeks ago, I went out and bought me a nice road bike. Not only do I feel confident to ride it now, I wanted it for exercise, as an alternative to running, which I hate.

    I'm petrified if I go off atkins I'll either stop losing weight, or start gaining. I'm going to buy a trainer for the bike so I can start getting daily exercise (riding is tough this time of year where I live). But I'd be interested in hearing stories from people who have gone off Atkins and onto eating normally and exercising.

    Thanks for listening.

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Atkins is great for losing but once you go off you WILL gain the weight back slowly IF you don't modify your lifestyle. So buying the bike was an excellent investment.
    To keep the weight off you'll have to ride at least 4 days a week. You'll have to increase your miles, as you build fitness, to at least 25 miles each day.
    If you want to continue to lose weight, increase your miles to at least 30-35 miles a day.
    Last summer I dropped 20 pounds by the end of September by increasing my daily miles to 35-40 miles a day, 6-7 days a week, and I ate everything I wanted.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

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    Way to go!

    I, too, lost 35 lbs. between last May and last August.

    I've since adopted a very modified approach, incorporated regular exercise and have maintained my target weight without too much problem.

    What I haven't done is as important as what I have done....
    1. Unlike RonH above, I don't ride at least 25 miles each day 6-7 days/week. I would love to be able to do that, but haven't found the hours. I would not fear that unless you do that you will immediately put that weight back on.
    2. I haven't started in on sweets or deserts.
    3. I haven't started eating much of the CR#P that I was eating before Atkins.
    4. I haven't returned to the days of big-breaded sandwiches, muffins, bagels, etc.
    5. I haven't gotten back on sugar.

    My hunch is that if I continue regular exercise and follow these diet guidelines, then I'll be able to maintain whatever weight I want. I also weigh myself once/week and find that if I get towards the upper end of my target range, I can dial it back pretty easily.

    Best of luck!

    (Oh yeah, I bought my bike as a present to myself after losing the weight...and I love it!)

  4. #4
    opinionated SOB cycletourist's Avatar
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    Try the South Beach Diet. I have friends who are on it- they are loosing weight AND they tell me it is a diet they can stay on for life without feeling as if they are missing anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cycletourist
    Try the South Beach Diet. I have friends who are on it- they are loosing weight AND they tell me it is a diet they can stay on for life without feeling as if they are missing anything.

    I was thinking that. My wife is on South Beach and it's worked great for her. When she eats oatmeal and whole wheat toast in front of me, a little piece of me dies..

  6. #6
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycletourist
    Try the South Beach Diet. I have friends who are on it- they are loosing weight AND they tell me it is a diet they can stay on for life without feeling as if they are missing anything.
    I completely agree... my wife and I have been doing it for a few months now... I lost about 10 lbs. (from 170 to 160 or so, I didn;t have much to lose) and my wife has lost nearly 20... the recipes are great, and it doesn't pound you with Low-carb this, low-carb that... it really stresses eating the right kinds of carbs.. whole wheat bread, no rice, no pasta... since you;ve been doing Atkin's, you could easily slide into Phase 2 of the plan, until you hit your goal weight, and then transisition to phase 3, which is ideally where you will be the rest of your life... it's seems to me to be a good way to go.. I just watch what I eat, and eat as much as I want, until I am full... and I keep losing

    good luck

    jeff
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    Diets just don't work because you can't live that way forever so you regain the weight quickly. The Atkins is particularly poor on that account because the most successful way to keep weight off is with a permanent diet high in the good Carbs and lower amounts of meat products. I lost the hyperlink, but here's an excerpt of a recent Reuter's article:

    "The results of a four-nation study of more than 4,000 men and women ages
    40 to 59 have produced a stunning conclusion in our Atkins diet-fueled
    society: The thinnest people on Earth eat the most carbohydrates. Even
    more alarming, the people who ate the most protein were actually the
    heaviest. "Without exception, a high-complex-carbohydrate,
    high-vegetable-protein diet is associated with low body mass," study
    leader Linda Van Horn of Northwestern University said in a news
    conference reported by Reuters. "High-protein diets were associated with
    higher body weight.""

    and

    "Women who eat whole grains
    and shun highly-processed refined grains gain less weight as they age,
    according to a 12-year Harvard University study of 74,000 middle-aged
    women who were between the ages of 38 and 63 when the research began,
    reports Reuters."

    "The big takeaway from this study is that not all carbohydrates are
    alike, study leader Simin Liu explained to Reuters. Carbs containing
    whole grains are much more filling than highly-processed carbohydrate
    products, so people who choose brown rice over white rice or oatmeal
    over a doughnut are more likely to eat less--and gain less weight in the
    process. In addition, whole grains create a slow, sustained release of
    sugar into the blood, unlike starchy grains that trigger a rapid
    increase in blood sugar. This slower release is thought to be beneficial
    for metabolism and fat storage."

    There's a lot of good stuff on the WEB, especially in the electronic versions of the major newspapers and the news services.

    Suggest that you educate yourself on good nutrition and gradually modify your eating habits to eat the more correct foods and in more moderate amounts. Cut down slowly. It'll take a year or two to do it right. If you rush, you'll likely not stick with the program and gain weight again.

    The "correct" foods are those foods that provide good nutrition, that you like and very importantly, mitigates your appetite. There is no need to go around hungry all the time.

    A natural (the only ingredient is peanuts) peanut butter snack (on WASA multigrain crackers) for example, is a good appetite killer. High in calories because of the fat, but very healthy. A good idea is to eat 5 times a day vice three. I love the peanut butter thing for a midmorning snack.

    Yes, exercise is critical, but what's right for you won't necessarily mean " 4 bike rides a week". It will mean that you need to educate yourself on the impact of exercise on health and tailor your fitness program to your needs and available time. You might want to add weight training which adds muscle mass which burns a lot of calories at rest.

    Some suggested reading to get you started:

    Health and Fitness in Plain English by Jolie Bookspan, Ph.D

    If you get into biking more, or just general exercise and want to enjoy it more and recover quickly, a superb book on proper hydration and nutrition during and shortly after strenuous exercise is:

    Serious Cycling (second edition only), by Edmund Burke, Ph.D

    Good luck.

    Al

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al.canoe
    Diets just don't work because you can't live that way forever so you regain the weight quickly. The Atkins is particularly poor...
    Thanks for all that info. You went above and beyond.
    Here's the thing about Atkins... I agree that, for most people, Atkins is probably a poor choice. It makes absolutely no sense, and as a long-term diet, just can't be very good for you.
    But it's hard to argue with the 51 pounds I've lost since November, and that's why it's so hard to get off it. It's addicting in a way. Before I started on the diet, my willpower was nil and the prospects of losing weight just seemed out of my control. But the rapid weight loss, although perhaps not particularly healthy, inspired me to continue and continue, and not ruin the hard work by cheating.
    I'd be very surprised if I fell off the wagon and gained all that weight back. My life is much different, and better, now. But it's something that I think about a lot. And it's something I can't rule out as a possibility. So wish me luck.
    Thanks again for the info.

  9. #9
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fallout
    Thanks for all that info. You went above and beyond.
    Here's the thing about Atkins... I agree that, for most people, Atkins is probably a poor choice. It makes absolutely no sense, and as a long-term diet, just can't be very good for you.
    But it's hard to argue with the 51 pounds I've lost since November, and that's why it's so hard to get off it. It's addicting in a way. Before I started on the diet, my willpower was nil and the prospects of losing weight just seemed out of my control. But the rapid weight loss, although perhaps not particularly healthy, inspired me to continue and continue, and not ruin the hard work by cheating.
    I'd be very surprised if I fell off the wagon and gained all that weight back. My life is much different, and better, now. But it's something that I think about a lot. And it's something I can't rule out as a possibility. So wish me luck.
    Thanks again for the info.
    I can understand what you are saying hee... Atkin's jumpstarted you into a better way of life... but now you need something more sensible... even my wife onthe SBD, won;t eat a lot of the bad stuff for her now that she sees the improvements she's made, and the comments she has bee getting from friends...

    jeff
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fallout
    Thanks for all that info. You went above and beyond.
    Here's the thing about Atkins... I agree that, for most people, Atkins is probably a poor choice. It makes absolutely no sense, and as a long-term diet, just can't be very good for you.
    But it's hard to argue with the 51 pounds I've lost since November, and that's why it's so hard to get off it. It's addicting in a way. Before I started on the diet, my willpower was nil and the prospects of losing weight just seemed out of my control. But the rapid weight loss, although perhaps not particularly healthy, inspired me to continue and continue, and not ruin the hard work by cheating.
    I'd be very surprised if I fell off the wagon and gained all that weight back. My life is much different, and better, now. But it's something that I think about a lot. And it's something I can't rule out as a possibility. So wish me luck.
    Thanks again for the info.
    There are always exceptions to every rule and it's likely you are one and not gain the weight back. Consider the 51 pounds as a big victory in the first battle. The war is a life long endeavor with the first year the hardest. The last half of your comment is the key: you've already changed your thinking, you realize that you are in control and now you have to "tune" your habits. You are likely over the "hump", no pun intended.

    A real challenge today is that there are many more food choices than just 15 years ago. Unfortunately, most of the new choices promote weight gain and many have replaced choices that did not. That's why I stress learning all you can about nutrition. Another challenge is that the bad food, highly laced with corn syrup, sugars, and partially hydrogenated oil is subsidized by the Federal Government to the tune of 15 to $20 B a year. The good stuff (fruits (fresh or frozen), whole grains and vegetables) are not, so it will cost more to eat well. You'll more than make up the difference with reduced medical costs in the future.

    By the way, the good stuff tastes better once one brakes the sugarry/salty/fatty taste addiction (a natural addiction) that manufacturers deliberately use to get us "hooked".

    Al
    Last edited by Al.canoe; 03-11-04 at 03:29 PM.

  11. #11
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Instead of dieting, I made these lifetime lifestyle changes, which have made a significant contribution to wieght loss, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure. I realize this won't be for everyone, but here's the nutshell version of my program.

    1. Very little cheese, whole milk products and very little fatty meats.
    2. Significant cut back on junk food (chips, cookies, etc.)
    3. Consume carbs in the form of whole grains, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables.
    4. Consume protein in the form of beans, yogurt, a wide variety of soy products and fish or chicken two or three times per week.
    5. Calcium supplement (Recent study showed people who boosted their calcium intake lost 11 pounds in one year without even trying.
    6. Regular aerobic exercise.

  12. #12
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    Adding some "food for thought" to Blackberry's list: serving size for meats/fish is considered to be 3 or 4 oz. Not a heck of a lot compared to what they try to give you at restaurants. The wife and I eat out at least once a day, mostly for lunch. We often order ala-cart , we split meals or we take part of it home. We often give instructions on how to prepare the food (light cheese or no cheese, substitutions for French fries, light Feta cheese and extra veggies on the piazza, etc.). We tell them no bread or croutons, except at this great Italian place.

    We love Mexican food, but it's a killer as far as maintaining/losing weight. There, ala-cart works as does scraping off the cheese. Tailoring the preparation of Mexican food is harder as there's often a language barrier. We consider it a training exercise and after a while, the restaurant staff gets the hang of it. If done with good humor, it always leads to better food at no additional cost.

    At one Mex restaurant, I get to dialog with the owner once in a while on how they prepare some of the items. For example, I learned what they used a healthy vegetable oil in the beans. I love their beans and it's the only place in town to eat Mexican beans. However, I still leave half as they just give you way too much.

    I'm hoping that the Congress eventually passes a law requiring restaurants to publish ingredients and nutritional information for their menu items, at least for the big chains. This however would place too large a burden on the small restaurants. Possibly they could be required to just list ingredients and maybe even the quantity as well. That and a little knowledge of nutrition would be adequate.

    Al

  13. #13
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    chances are you will settle for a comfortable range somewhere between 215 and afore mentioned 265. i don't knwo your frame or build, but your body knows where it feels best. and it isn't always where you think it feels best.

    The key is to lose fat and the excess water that your body keeps as a defense mechanism. the quick loss can only be classified as muscle. now you are young enough for that not to be a great concern health-wise, but we like to see your body rid itself of excess fat, not muscle. and since muscle weighs 3 x what fat does, you only have to muscle waste a 1/3 of your loss when compared to the harder task of getting rid of fat.

    Now you should be concerned with maintaining your weight for now. let your body feel its way to this new standard before trying to continue losing. even if it is 6 months. <anyone can lose weight...how many know how to maintain that loss>

    as you begin riding you might even gain weight. that is why i want you to take your waist, neck, thigh, calf measurements. (ex: i am just coming out of my off-season program the same weight as in october, but i gained so much more muscle. my body shape changed although my overall weight did not)

    your muscle gains from riding (as well as the increased nutritional requirements) might increase your mass a bit initially, but you'll feel stronger and your new muscle will eat fat as fuel, but that process will take a while, so stay the course.

    adkins is for the sedentary masses. there is no way to do that diet while being physically active. no way you'd want to limit your fuel for endurance...

    or you can allow yourself to cheat ONLY when the red sock beats the yankees or when the red sock management stops trying to convince nomar that they really love him and didn't really want to trade him.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  14. #14
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Ok time I weighed in here (no pun intended).
    I was on South Beach, had about 10 lbs to lose.
    I say "was" due to the fact I've started to add things
    in that are not strictly in the south beach book. However
    I've become much more aware of glycemic index etc.
    Fallout, Phase 3 of the south beach diet is really how you
    eat for the rest of your life (here's the lifestyle change),
    yes you get oatmeal, whole grain breads etc. but in moderation.
    If your wife is doing south beach read the
    sections on phase 3. I think it would be a good way to
    help get off atkins.

    Marty
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotek
    Ok time I weighed in here (no pun intended).
    I was on South Beach, had about 10 lbs to lose.
    I say "was" due to the fact I've started to add things
    in that are not strictly in the south beach book. However
    I've become much more aware of glycemic index etc.
    Fallout, Phase 3 of the south beach diet is really how you
    eat for the rest of your life (here's the lifestyle change),
    yes you get oatmeal, whole grain breads etc. but in moderation.
    If your wife is doing south beach read the
    sections on phase 3. I think it would be a good way to
    help get off atkins.

    Marty

    Yup. That's what I've decided to do. Gonna hit South Beach phase II just for a week or so to get into the swing of it, then it's on to SB Phase III for the foreseable future.

    Thanks guys.

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    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    Good luck Fallout... let us know how it is going !

    jeff
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  17. #17
    PackerFan mwbirren's Avatar
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    I hear what all of you are saying, and share "some" of the feelings of the originator of this thread. I say "some" because though I'm still in the induction phase (max 20 grams of carbs) and glad I started this diet, its been very easy for me to follow. On the other hand, sometimes I miss the bread, potatoes, and sweet things. I'm gonna stick with this thing through all the phases because I believe once I get to the maintenance level it really isn't dieting anymore, just eating right.
    But I do have a question for everyone. While I've been on Atkins, I have been commuting/riding quite a bit. I'm training to so the STP (Seattle-to-Portland) in one day this year (~200 miles). I done the ride 4 times before, many moons ago, one of those times in one day. Anyway, I'll probably be within 15lbs of my goal weight by then, but feel I'll need to do some carbloading in order to fisnih the darn thing. Anyone have advide to do this safely? I suspect that carb-loading the day before the ride would not be a wise thing to do. Probably need to ease into the carbs before and pull back after till I hit my goal.
    Thanks,
    MikeB

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fallout
    Hello folks,

    I've been on atkins since November. I went from 265 to 215 and I'm very happy with the results so far. I'd like to do another 15-20.

    The reason I started atkins was because it offered me the best chance for success. I hadn't ever done well with dieting because of the slow results. Seeing the quick results in doing Atkins motivated me to keep going, and for the first time ever in my life I don't feel like a blimp.

    Here's the thing though. Now that I've lost 50 pounds, I am confident I'll never go back to being huge. I've used atkins as a crutch to get me through this far, but I don't want to do it anymore. Which is why, two weeks ago, I went out and bought me a nice road bike. Not only do I feel confident to ride it now, I wanted it for exercise, as an alternative to running, which I hate.

    I'm petrified if I go off atkins I'll either stop losing weight, or start gaining. I'm going to buy a trainer for the bike so I can start getting daily exercise (riding is tough this time of year where I live). But I'd be interested in hearing stories from people who have gone off Atkins and onto eating normally and exercising.

    Thanks for listening.
    Dude, you sound like a spittin image of me. I didn't go on Atkins, but i hate running, and i bought a bike for exercise. HOWEVER, i learned to eat right and less, while bumping up the exercise. went from 285-215, and dropping. take a multi vitamin, and try to keep calories at 2000-2100 a day, and they gotta be clean calories, no crap! its okay to have the crap once in a long while, but not all the time. Bread should be whole wheat, all the time, try to eliminate starches as much as possible. Hope this helps, let me know otherwise.

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