at cracker barrel, a half-pound bacon cheeseburger qualifies as a low carb offering
Originally uploaded by andrew d miller
Inspired by my recent reading, I've decided to try a low-carb diet for the month of January and what better one to start with than the most famous of them all: Atkins. I know there is a lot of bad press surrounding the Atkins diet, but Jimmy Moore, one of the most vocal low-carb bloggers around, lost a lot of weight and kept it off.
As far as I can tell, there are actually four different Atkins diet plans available, only two of which were written by Dr. Atkins himself.
- Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution Originally published in 1972, this plan aims to achieve "biologically zero" carbs for the first week. My only exposure to this book when I was in college. One of my co-workers handed it to me and said "I thought you might like to read this." I consider offering someone unsolicited weightloss advice akin to saying "Hey, you're fat and don't know it!" so I promptly ignored the book.
- Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution In his new plan, released in 1992, Dr. Atkins recommended limiting non-fiber carbs to 20g per day during the induction phase. Later phases would allow the user to gradually add carbs to their diet to find the proper level for losing and maintaining weight. This plan also puts emphasis on good carbs over bad carbs (i.e. Glycemic Index).
- Atkins Nutritional Approach Available online at atkins.com, this plan seems to be very similar to the 1992 book, however instead of counting vegetables by the cup, it counts them by the carb. It recommends eating 12-15g of carbs per day from vegetables.
- The All-New Atkins Advantage Recently released, this book is a twelve week program designed to ease the reader in to the low-carb lifestyle. It includes both diet and exercise instructions.
Out of those four plans, I'm going to be following number three. Since not all vegetables are created equally, I would rather count the carbs in what I eat then limit myself arbitrarily to cups per day. Plus, the eating plan is available online for free. It looks like their business model is selling low-carb supplements like shakes and bars, but the actual nutritional information doesn't push the supplements.