Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Loving & Loathing the Atkins diet

No, I haven't really started on the Atkins diet, but my 'carb depletion' diet yesterday can't have been far off!

The theory is that if you go for a couple of days with very low carb intake your body will use up much of its supply, so that when you then carb load for the last 3 days your body (in a sort of physiological panic mode) clings onto more carbs than it would normally do. That meant a diet yesterday something like:

  • 2 slices wholemeal toast & spread (before I remembered what I was meant to be doing)

  • Promax protein shake

  • A pack of ham

  • A 4 egg omelette

  • A couple of 'portions' of cheese

  • A couple of good handfuls of hazelnuts/Brazils/almonds

  • 2 Quorn burgers

  • 4 Quorn nuggets

  • 2 chicken 'fingers'

  • A tbsp salad cream

  • A lightly dressed bag of salad

  • 200ml skimmed milk in roibos teas

With the exercise from a 6 mile run taken into account that left me about 800kcals under maintenance; and that's where the loving and loathing comes in.

Assuming my rudimentary knowledge of Atkins is correct, and my intake yesterday was Atkins-esque I can certainly understand how people would lose weight on it. Just think of all the carb rich foods you can't touch - bread, pasta, rice, cake, biscuits, potatoes, sweets, sugar, chocolate, oats, cereals, crisps, even milk must be limited. That makes it very, very difficult to eat up to maintenance levels and i suppose that's the real reason Atkins seemed to give sudden short term results. So, I love the fact that I might even lose a 1/4lb without trying but loathe the less than exciting diet.

Yesterday's run was actually a little under 6 miles and was far, far hillier than I'd have liked. The pace naturally dropped by best part of a minute a mile so I hope that made up for it. Intervals today but not sure whether I'll run them as per the plan or whether I'll just throw in a few strides, or do a sort of contrived intervals/fartlek session. In either event it won't be more than 3 - 3.5 miles.


Maria said...

One of my friends does atkins about once a year (then he goes back to his normal food and puts it all on again)- it just seemed he liked it because it was so restrictive- he would not even eat some veggies as they were high in carbs (according to him)- it meant that he basically said no to most things and ate chicken and sugar free jelly. Not my idea of a balanced or healthy diet, and it did not teach healthy habits for the long term etc etc.
Just look forward to the carb loading stage eh?

Alison said...

I think you and Maria are right -- it's just that so many foods are restricted, which means that at first at least, you naturally end up in deficit. You can still eat fat and cream on Atkins though, and I think that's where the calories can creep back in! I guess because you're largely veggie a lot of the time, the Quorn keeps that down though. Personally the whole thing hacks me off, even more than the paleo-no-grains movement, but I understand the rationale behind it in this case. Only another day Rob and then you can eat porridge and toast gallor! Well, within reason..

Laura said...

I tend to dislike the atkins, my dad did it for a while but as soon as he stopped he piled it all back on, it's ok if you want a short term weight loss but it's not going to work long term, imo anyway!

BabyWilt said...

Fortunately I was pregnant with mini-me-the-first when the Atkins hit our household. I like the theory of your plan though.

rose said...

My friend did Atkins and he was very very smelly! ahem!

Not sure when you are travelling so wanted to make sure I wished you the very very best of luck.
You've done the hard work now is the time to enjoy the results! Can't wait for the race report. Hope that the temp is a bit less than forecast but I'm sure you'll cope whatever it throws at you!


Manj said...

My sister did the atkins diet and I could never understand it..yuck. NOT looking forward to this particular part of the pre-marathon regime.

~Jessica~ said...

I tried Atkins when I was 16 and it was a relatively new fad...I lasted two days :P There are only so many egg white omlettes a person can stand.

Restricting veggies and fruit just seems crazy to me and a lot of people went for it as an excuse to eat a tonne of bacon and whipped cream (not necessarily together ;) It was marketed as the 'non=diet' gimmick because of all of these traditionally forbidden foods, and in a society that had subscribed to ultra low-fat diets for so long, I suppose to some it seemed like a breath of fresh air. Or not, if the side-effects of ketosis have anything to do with it.

Roll on carb-loading, eh?

BabyWilt said...

Can't send an email so hope you get this, wanted to wish you all the very best for the Paris Marathon. Strength & positivity to you xx

Rose said...

Where are you??? we NEEEEEEEEEEEEEd to know how you got on!


(or is this a 'how do you keep an idiot in suspense' sort of thing)