Have You Read Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution?
Discover What Others Had to Say about Dr. Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet is a Way of Thinking About Your Lifetime of Eating Healthy
Introduction – I’ve read this book cover to cover and I’m going to share my own personal beliefs about this diet. First I will say that I did not read this book to lose weight, I bought it for health insights. I had heard so much about it and all the “Low Carb” hype that I wanted to see for myself what it’s all about.
I do not personally subscribe to a low carbohydrate diet. I do believe that a well balanced nutritional program can work for any person. I also believe one should not focus on losing weight to look better, but lose weight to feel better. We are all unique and some of use are simply designed to be larger than others. There is no one perfect size, but there is one perfect health. If everyone were 5’7” and 125lbs the world would be a very boring place. Just like we need a world with Ethnic Diversity we need a world with people of different sizes. We just all need to be healthy.
I can not tell you what to do, this is not he purpose of this review of Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution book. I have never had a weight problem, other than to eat enough to keep from getting too thin (Go ahead and throw stones at me now). I am not being hypocritical, I read to learn and educate myself about Nutrition. I care little about weight and care a lot about health. Please keep this in mind as you continue to read.
It would be easy to just take a side and say… this book is full of crap or this is the greatest diet book on the planet. But how could I say either if I myself had not taken the time to read it. For the record I read a lot of health related materials both online and in book form. Dr. Atkins book is highly controversial it’s one of those books that people either gravitate towards or pull vehemently away from. And all based on their own experiences.
Dieting is Hard for Some People and We Should Encourage Dieting for Health not for Beauty... Beauty is a Side Effect
Wouldn't you agree that some people are genetically predisposed to store weight in places they don’t want to store weight? I feel bad for people in this position, because they really are in a place that none of us would want to be. There are people who no matter how much they exercise or how well they eat tend to retain weight. But there are also people, who if they eat correctly, and then exercise can sculpt amazing bodies and feel great afterwards.
Dr. Robert Atkins passed away in his early 70’s and there is some speculation as to the real cause. People would like to jump on him and say if what he taught worked so well how come he didn’t live more than an average lifespan? I’m not going to talk about that speculation because it detracts from the importance or lack there of … of the principals and beliefs built into his method of dieting.
As a preface to understanding any diet one must first understand the difference between “Micro Nutrients” and “Macro Nutrients”.
- Micro Nutrients are vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function properly.
- Macro Nutrients are the compositions of the foods we eat – Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats. To further understand Macro Nutrients from a weight loss perspective we must understand that our bodies require fuel (food) and turn this fuel in to energy. An excess of fuel has to be burned off or stored.
The way one keeps score of the “fuel” we consume is with a unit of measure called a “calorie”. Let me expand upon this for a moment. What is a Calorie? A calorie is nothing more than a method for calculating the energy potential of food. Think of it in the way a Thermometer measures the temperature of the air outside.
Calories are not real things, they are just a measurement of “Energy Potential”
Thus all foods have calories… but to calculate energy potential one must understand what types of foods contain how much energy. Fortunately for us this is actually quite easy. You don’t have to know much about an individual food all you need to know is the make up of the Macro Nutrients within a food.
Macro Nutrients are the Key to Understanding Calories
- Fats – 9 Calories per Gram
- Carbohydrates – 4.5 Calories per Gram
- Proteins – 4.5 Calories per Gram
That’s it! All the foods you eat are composed of these 3 Macro Nutrients. For example 2 fats will have the same amount of calories (Energy Potential) regardless of type of fat. This is why a tablespoon of butter (considered an unhealthy saturated fat by most) will have the same calories as a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Considered a healthy fat – primarily monounsaturated). What is important is not so much that you have an exact equivalent… butter contains some protein whereas olive oil does not. What is important is that you understand that calories are nothing more than Energy Potential.
Dr. Atkins Method is About Changing Macro Nutrient Intake Ratios
Dr. Atkins method is about changing the metabolism of foods in the body by reducing the intake of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are quickly and easily converted into fats within the body. Whereas proteins are not so readily absorbed and converted into fats. This has everything to do with the way our bodies process foods.
There is this misconception that all you have to do is cut out carbs and load up on proteins and you magically lose weight. This is simply not true. You still need a balance of micro nutrients.
Dr. Atkins diet consists of Four Phases:
Phase 1 – Induction – For those of you who have the book this starts on Page 106. Induction is the phase where you get yourself ready to get involved in the process of the Atkins Diet. Dr. Atkins brings points to light in this section including – switching your body from a carbohydrate burning mechanism to a fat burning mechanism. Stabilizing your blood sugar, thus eliminating or curbing cravings and breaking addictions.
He further explains the 12 rules of induction and what you can and can not do including acceptable foods. You should note once again this is not a fad diet and emphasis is placed through out on making sure people still consume the necessary Micro Nutrients.
Phase 2 – Ongoing Weight Loss - In this phase Dr. Atkins guides you through goal setting to continue on to the body you want to maintain. Most people jump into weight loss for the wrong reasons. They want to look better! But the real reason one should diet is to “feel better” and the natural side effect being you look better automatically.
Phase 3 – Pre Maintenance – This is actually a very short section beginning on page 168 and is titled “Prepare for Permanent Slimness”. Honestly their isn’t much too this section… it’s a bit of a pep talk about avoiding relapse into old habits and continuing to focus on ensuring ones intake of Macro Nutrients is maintained.
Phase 4 – Lifetime Maintenance – This is where the real power of the Atkins Diet is discussed. You’ve prepared yourself, you’ve lost the weight now it’s time to maintain it. This is also a section full of recipe suggestions (Expanded upon of course in other Atkins Materials like their Website, and Cook Books).
The real power of the Atkins Diet is in Phase 4. Most diets are not realistic in that they encourage drastic dietary changes which are not sustainable for the long haul. Dr. Atkins offers a reasonable plan that anyone with a little discipline can maintain for life. And the food choices you have are actually pretty limitless. This is all about healthy eating at this point, not so much dieting.
Summary: Even at 418 pages this is a pretty easy read. I do not know if this book will help you lose weight, but I do know that there are some terrific principals related to healthy eating that can benefit everyone willing to take the time to read it.
I think you’ll agree that one can not expect to lose weight if they can not change their mindset to embrace the ENTIRE PROGRAM. I’ve spoken to many people who have “tried” the Atkins diet and at first they rave about it then they “fall off the wagon” and go back to their old eating habits. It’s these people that tend to be the most critical of the diet plan. Because it’s less of a diet than a complete makeover of ones eating habits. Even if you are not looking to lose weight I can recommend you give this one a read. I bought my copy at Costco, but you may be able to check it out at your local library as the Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution has been widely published for some time now. ISBN: 1-59077-002-1
Comments Welcome - What has been your experience with the Atkins Diet Plan?