Atkins Rising

USA TODAY reports that Carb-crazed Atkins dieters’ cutback on starches has taken a bite out of the $6 billion bread business this year, and breadmakers are responding with attempts at low-carb breads.

Score one more for the low carbers. I used to have to go to specialty stores for low-carb food, but I’m seeing more and more low-carb, high-protein foods in grocery stores these days, and I think it’s a great thing. I’m sick and tired of seeing low-fat this and lite that. I tried the low-fat diet for years and only got fatter. Switched to Atkins and lost 55 pounds in the first five months.

There are only two things I don’t like about the Atkins diet. First is that I can’t have as many pretzels as I would like. Now, some people may say that I seem to eat a pretty good amount of pretzels anyway, but they may be surprised to learn that I eat about 10% of the pretzels I crave. I especially miss them around 3:00 in the afternoon, often sitting at my desk, longing for something salty and crunchy.

The other thing I don’t like is all the naysayers. I recently came across a post on Mark Pilgrim’s site about low-carb food. I normally agree with 95% of Mark’s opinions, and I read his site faithfully, but I was disappointed to see him characterize the popularity of the Atkins diet as “based on convincing millions of Americans that the real problem with their daily Ultra-Happy-Double-Cheeseburger habit is the bun. I can certainly see why this would catch on…” Well, yeah, there may be some logic there, but when I switched to Atkins, I was eating very low-fat and only getting fatter. I went from around 200 pounds to 247 pounds by following a low-fat diet, and I was hungry the whole time. And yes, Mike, I was exercising regularly at the time, visiting MU’s new gym three times a week.

I’m rarely hungry, genuinely hungry, when I’m doing full-on Atkins. And I’m hovering between 187 and 192.

It’s funny. When I first started back in 2000, my family went nuts. They warned me that I was killing myself, playing with fire, blah blah blah. I appreciated their concern, but I did it anyway. My grandma was the most vocal opposition, but my most ardent supporter. Sunday dinner usually consisted of a lecture for me, followed by sugar-free Jell-o. Grandma rules. Now, several people in my family are considering the diet for themselves, after seeing that I not only lost the weight, but have kept it off for over three years.

So stories like the one in USA TODAY make me smile. low-fat dieters have plenty to pick from. Let’s give the low-carb folks a choice, too.

And after the holidays, I’m back on Atkins again. I feel lousy after the things I’ve eaten in the past two weeks.

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