***photo courtesy of freakingnews.com
Diets do not work. This is the cold, hard truth. How many strange diet plans or products have you tried on your quest for the "perfect" body? I'm going to share some of mine with you...starting today with the Atkins Diet.
I tried Atkins a few years ago on the advice of a friend. He lost 40 pounds following the plan and could not stop talking about how wonderful it was. This friend went to school with my husband and I've known him for many years...and knowing that he is a very intelligent guy, I decided to try it for myself. We were all on vacation together, so I started it the day after I got back home. I read every book I could get my hands on about Atkins and shopped very carefully for the right foods. I exercised 3 times a week in addition to following the plan. I even stuck to the diet on a weekend in West Virginia later that summer...which was very difficult with the types of foods available.
I ate enough meat and cheese to feed a third world country for months. I did eat plenty of veggies, but stayed away from the fruit because supposedly the natural sugars would screw up the plan. It was so hard to spend a summer avoiding fresh fruit, which was plentiful and looked so good at BBQ's and summer parties. I kept wondering why fruit was a bad thing, but I stayed faithful to the diet. I bought the special Atkins shakes, bars, and candies which were formulated to be low carb and OK to consume.
I did lose 16 pounds on the Atkins Diet...but not as fast as was promised. It took almost 3 months to lose that much, and during the last month I was on it I didn't lose anything even though I still stuck precisely to the plan. I upped my weekly exercise thining it would help, but still the scale did not budge. I decided in September that I would allow myself a piece of cake at my son's birthday party, since I wasn't losing anymore weight on the diet anyway. Once I had that first serving of sugar, I could not stop. For the next 3 weeks after the party I ate huge amounts of cake, breads, and other sweets. I binged on pizza, because I had missed it during my Atkins phase. I actually didn't gain any weight back during that time...but after those 3 weeks the pounds came back on, and they brought their friends to stay.
So...what did I accomplish by following the Atkins Diet? I initially lost weight but put even more back on, wasted a ton of money on specialty Atkins products, denied my body the nutrients that come from fruit and other foods, and ate way too much fat in the form of meat and cheese. I also can truly say that my sugar addiction became much worse after the diet than before. I've always loved sugar, but never consumed it in the quantities that I did after Atkins. I would have been much better off eating a balanced diet and having an occasional sweet treat..and would have been less likely to binge on candy and cake.
I'm finally just getting to the point where a single serving of something sweet satisfies me...and it's been 8 years. Following this diet only set me back in learning to eat properly to fuel my body. The initial weight loss is not worth the damage to your health...stay far away from this plan!