Diets come and go, but what people hope to get from them remains fairly constant. So let your fancy run free. Get out a piece of paper and answer “true” or “false” to the following questions. Chances are your answers will convince you that sticking with Atkins is the way to go.
Would you like to:
Not be plagued with hunger much of the day?
Eat until you are pleasantly satisfied and full?
Enjoy foods so rich that you’ve never seen them on any other diet?
Reduce your appetite by a perfectly natural metabolic function of the body?
Never have to count calories on a daily basis again?
Eliminate addictive food patterns?
Experience steady weight loss, even if you have had dramatic failures or weight regain in the past?
Learn a way of eating that will keep any lost weight from coming back?
Enjoy enhanced energy?
Feel better than you have in years?
Be more attractive?
Bolster your self-confidence?
Improve health problems that have accompanied your excess weight?
Minimize your risk factors for certain diseases?
Slow the aging process?
You’ve probably got 15 “trues” written down. But is the possibility of experiencing all these benefits too good to be true? Not at all. The prospect of such life-altering changes is of such an order of magnitude that you’ll be tempted to regard it as pie in the sky. You’ll soon realize that’s a poor analogy. First, you will have to forego your pie—it’s chock full of carbs—and second, these results—far from being somewhere up in the clouds—are based on well-grounded scientific facts that have begun to change the way the medical community perceives nutrition. But first, you should answer some other questions about your previous weight-loss efforts.
Is this what you always believed you had to do to slim down the “right” way?
Cut out meat?
Cook egg-white-only omelets with no shortening in a Teflon pan?
Remove the skin from chicken?
Eat your baked potato without butter or sour cream?
Consume lots of pasta?
Have only frozen yogurt, fruit or sherbet for dessert?
Eat foods such as oatmeal and skim milk or granola and a banana for breakfast?
Load up on salads but hold the dressing?
You probably now have accumulated another eight “trues”. You may have stuck with your low-fat regimen. You knew it was the right diet because your friends and family were pleased to see you on it, and congratulated you on your healthy habits. Yet somehow it never quite felt quite right for you. Nor did it ever work the way you thought it would. You found that you weren’t quite satisfied eating this way: You were often hungry and low in energy and–worst of all–permanent, significant weight loss proved elusive. You never actually achieved the goals that motivated you to go on a diet in the first place.
Well, if that description fits, and it certainly does fit the vast majority of people who tried to slim down during the “low-fat era,” you’re the victim of a mudslide of copycat propaganda for a form of dieting that decades of effort and research has shown to be ill-suited to the human metabolism. Most of you will now find that your frustrations are about to end.
Atkins is the most successful weight loss–and weight maintenance–program around. The fact is it works an astonishing proportion of the time for the vast majority of men and women. For those who have a tougher time losing weight at the paced they hoped, their body at least has the chance to heal.
Atkins works because—believe it or not—there is an important purpose to our stored body fat: It’s not just there to make us overweight. Stored body fat actually is our body’s backup fuel system for energy. The most efficient weight loss and weight maintenance program would have to be one that converts body fat from backup to primary fuel. This switch occurs when only an insignificant amount of carbohydrate, our body’s primary fuel, is available. And carbohydrate availability comes from foods containing carbohydrate, because very little carbohydrate is stored in our bodies.
The truth is that Atkins is not a diet. Here’s why:
On most diets you’ll be hungry a fair percentage of the time. On Atkins, you’ll develop control of your hunger and cravings.
On most diets you’ll be counting calories. On Atkins, there’s no need for that.
On most diets you’ll never stop eating high-carbohydrate foods—and these are fundamentally addictive. On Atkins, you’ll quickly learn how to overcome your addictions.
On most diets you won’t learn how to make a gradual transition to a Lifetime Maintenance plan. On Atkins, you’ll learn how to develop a healthy, enjoyable eating program built around your own individualized controlled carbohydrate level for weight maintenance.
The Atkins approach is not a “diet” in the limiting sense of a weight-loss program that you go on and off. Atkins is a way of eating for the rest of your (healthy) life.