Atkins is not a high protein diet - I repeat, Atkins is not a high protein diet...now everyone say it with me: ATKINS IS NOT A HIGH PROTEIN DIET.
There - that feels better.
Last week I embarked on a new diet as I had long gave up on the old one due to no weight loss (or inches for that matter). Deciding I needed a plan to follow - and not one from the past, I happened upon the Atkins website - you know the diet where you can eat all the meat, eggs and cheese you want. What could be better than that?
Actually that's an old wives tale...you can't actually eat all you want of any of that. Atkins is set up into phases which you work your way through. The first phase is "Induction". You stay on this phase for at least 2 weeks but can remain there up to 6 months. Induction of course is the most restrictive area. You're limited to 20 net carbs per day, with 12-15 of those coming from vegetables. You heard me right - VEGETABLES (didn't think that existed on Atkins did you?). But with all diets, my favorite veggies of potatoes, peas and corn aren't on the list. I've been making due with salads of lettuce, tomato and cucumbers; green olives, celery and broccolli...but really how much broccolli can one person eat? I've just never been a big veggie eater.
From the Atkins website, I hopped onto the forums (by the way, the website is FREE and offers alot of tools and support). There's a lot of good people there. The Atkins diet now, though very similiar to the one in the past, isn't quite as restrictive as it use to be, but fairly the same. This sometimes causes some hate and discontent on the forum, but I've never been at a forum yet that *that* didn't exist in. Anyway, I found a group that was all starting when I did and it's always helpful when dieting to have friends on the journey. I also discovered I wasn't the only one having a veggie problem.
Most of the experts stated that it was necessary for you to try to eat the veggies you wouldn't normally eat. I can agree with that to an extent, but if you have to choke down veggies you don't like, well you won't stay on the diet for long!! It was then that someone on the board introduced me to canned pumpkin.
Pumpkin is a vegetable and not a fruit. 1/2 cup of pumpkin will give you 4 net carbs!! Wow!! Pumpkin can be added into a lot of things to make them taste good......Pumpkin crop was really bad last year, pumpkin is hard to find in certain areas of the country - mine being one.
When I say "pumpkin" it must be 100% pure pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling (due to the sugar). All the grocery stores I went to had empty shelves where pumpkin should of been. One had a sign explaining the shortage due to the crops; another had the pie filling type. No one had what I needed and I was on the verge of quitting this diet as I couldn't get the veggie amount down that I needed. I just couldn't.
Hubby, being as supportive as he is, drove me to a Country Market...if anyone would have pumpkin, it would be them. Well they didn't, oh they had pumpkin butter and pies, but not what I needed. But they did have a lot of organic stuff that I'll be able to use in later phases, so it wasn't a total wasted trip. On the way back home, he asked "Did you try Henicles"?
Henicles is a little grocer in town, you know, one of those neighborhood grocers that's just little and a quick pick-up for necessities and things. I forget they exists but we opted to stop in. Good, good choice - they had 100% pure pumpkin - actually they had a good bit and even 2 different brands. I was so relieved.
So I figure, I can blend a 1/2 cup of pumpkin with my vanilla Atkins shake and end up with 4 net carbs there, and make one of the microwave dishes with a 1/2 cup and there's 8 net carbs total. My salads and such should make up the rest!!
And so, if Atkins isn't a High Protein Diet, what is it??? Atkins is a Low Carb, High Fat diet - but only the good carbs and fats. You have to watch the sugar contents of items as well. Most foods labelled "Non-fat", "Low-fat" and "Diet" normally contain sugar in them; so Atkins advises to eat the regular kind; but you should avoid processed foods to begin with anyway. And yeah, you still have to drink a whole lot of water too!!