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Monday, September 15, 2014

Week Two: I Lost Eight Pounds

Welp, it's been a week since I went on the Atkins diet and so far I have lost eight pounds. That's an insane amount of weight to lose in merely a week.  Most of that weight was lost in the last few days too, so I'm having trouble believing it's all water weight.

I have a couple anxieties I'm going to address here.

I'm probably doing it wrong!
My biggest fear about doing Atkins is that I'm doing it wrong and that the magical weight loss will stop happening. But of course this is a dumb fear. First, Atkins is highly customizable. When choosing to increase your carbohydrates from 20g to 25g and up the Ongoing Weight Loss ladder to eventually 50g net carbohydrates, it's all about adjusting it to a pace that works for you.  That means I can go at my own pace, reintroducing certain foods with a higher glycemic index as slowly or as quickly as I need to depending on how my body reacts.  All in all, I'm searching for that sweet spot where I know what foods my body needs and what foods my body is sensitive to.

There is so much misinformation about Atkins and it's confusing!
However, because it is highly customizable there are many forums where people bicker over someone who chooses to stay at 20g of carbohydrates for months on end. Whenever guidelines to eating are fast and loose people get very controlling. I was on MyFitnessPal this weekend trying to find some tips and tricks and I mostly found people spreading the old rumor that Dr. Atkins died obese of a heart attack (truth: he slipped and fell on ice and complications from that fall lead to his death. He was never obese until after the fall when days before his death there was fluid build up that almost doubled his weight.), and people sharing stories of how their uncle ate nothing but bacon and eggs and drank no water and ended up with a heart attack and a giant kidney stone. What a waste of time.  Here I am, trying to get 12-15g of net carbohydrates worth of lettuce, green beans, tomato, and pumpkin, and people are going around slobbering on 3 lbs bacon every morning and thinking it's OK.

I'm not ready to move on from Induction until I get better at tracking my carbs.
I think it makes sense for me to stay in induction for a while but not for the reasons other people stay in this phase. It's mostly that I am getting used to trying to figure out just how many vegetables I'm allowed to have. At first I thought the vegetables had more net carbs than I realized.  I was eating five grape tomatoes thinking I was getting five net carbs when really I could have had twenty grape tomatoes. And I'm not exactly missing eating the other food yet. Ask me again in six weeks, but so far on this diet I can have salads, ground beef, pancakes, whipped cream, pizza, you name it. I just have to be creative.  There are so many ways to use egg and cheese to fool me into thinking I'm having bread instead.

This is really disgusting but ...
The only thing that is really bothering me is my stinky "keto-breath."  Since I'm burning fat for energy this process generates acetone which is released into the air whenever I decide to exhale. I basically smell like eggs and nail polish remover whenever I breathe or pee. This just means I need to drink more water.  Drinking water is crucial to prevent odor as well as kidney stones. Pretty much anyone on any diet is at risk for kidney stones if they're dehydrated all the time.

Would it be great if I lost a pound a day for six months? I could be at my goal weight in no time! 
Alas, that is just wishful thinking. I know I'm not going to continue losing eight pounds a week because human bodies were not meant for that kind of drastic weight loss. Google every weight loss statistic ever and you'll read that safe weight loss is 1-2 lbs a week. This includes weight loss on the Atkins diet. I'm absolutely fine with losing 1-2 lbs a week after this. I'm just glad to be out of the 230's and I hope I stay out!

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