Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Just say "no" to carbs

Well, I've bought into the brainwashing and am trying the Atkins plan. I bought the book last week (in the Orlando airport) and started the program yesterday. I think that I've eaten more eggs in 2 days than I usually eat in a month (3 yesterday, 3 today). I haven't been hungry since I began the program: for example this morning I ate my cheese omelet at 6:30 and at 11:30 I still wasn't really hungry for lunch, but ate it anyway since I won't have time later this afternoon. I used to eat breakfast in the car on the drive into work a little later (7 or so) and would be hungry by 11 am. I'm eating food that I like, but that makes me a little queasy, like tuna salad. It takes fine, but I hate the way it looks and smells. I'm trying to block the fact that I just ate a large portion of it.

After almost 20 years of "watching my weight" (i.e. feeling guilty for eating "bad" foods), this diet is very counter-intuitive. It's strange to have to closely watch how much lettuce and other veggies I eat, while I can put as much butter and (sugar free) salad dressing on them as I like. I'm actuaully eating things that I haven't eaten since I was a kid, like cream cheese celery logs and olives from the jar and buttery veggies. Reading the book, I was convinced that I'd lose some weight, but it doesn't seem possible now that I'm not hungry and eating fatty stuff.

It's also amazing how difficult it is to find low-carb, full-fat foods. All of the ground beef was extra lean, the dairy products were skim, and the salad dressings were low fat. And everything that is processed contains sugar or corn syrup or some derivative of sweetner. I thought that my first grocery cart-full of Atkins diet food would look gross: all meat and fatty stuff, but in fact it looked a little healthier than usual: no pre-packaged, highly processed foods, sugar, snacks, or alcohol, with lots of veggies.

I've been telling people for the last week that I was planning on doing this, and just about everyone you tell knows someone who's lost lots of weight on the program. My concern, however, is that the book and the program seem designed for inactive people with a large amount of weight to lose. I'm a pretty active person, and only want to lose 20 lbs (well, I wouldn't be upset if I could lose a little more). I hope that all of the "science" still applies. :)


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