Diet Day 4

We’re on the Atkins diet here, and it’s doing two things. It’s making me ketotic (the point of the exercise), and it’s also making me cranky. Or it’s the night shifts.

Now, it doesn’t take much to make me cranky. I could as easily be GrouchDoc as GruntDoc. I just wonder if it’s my body starved for those sweet, sweet carb calories (cue Homer: aaaahhhhhhh….).

One thing’s for sure: after eating all these fats and burning off the carbs, I’ll be nice and thin come cardiac cath time!

If you’ve subjected yourself to this diet, I’d be interested in your (non-profane) opinion.


  1. My wife is on Atkin’s and so am I by association (probably a good thing). I had lost 25lbs on Sugar Buster a few years ago.

    The worst part is getting over the “sugar” addiction. During the first two weeks or so without the heavy carbs or processed sugar, all I could think about was trying to cheat and have a taste of something sweet. After that, the urge died and I found it no issue to stay away from sugars and carbs.

    The best part of the diet for me is that I can have all the red meat I want! I love my steaks!

    Once you make that lifestyle switch, its easy to stay on and you subconsciously start adjusting everything to the low-carb diet, even when out. I found myself just natuarlly asking for the grilled vegetables instead of the potatos at restauraunts, etc.

    But be aware, once you are on it, if you eat something sweet like a cheesecake, the sugar craving comes flooding back, just like alchohol or drug cravings. That’s how I ended up off the diet the first time round. I ate a piece of cheesecake and after that, I couldn’t stop eating sugar for a week.

    I have heard some bad press related to cholesterol and heart problems with Atkin’s, etc. I don’t know how serious it is, but my wife’s Dr is the one that put her on the diet this time round. He thinks it will help her anemia and energy levels. I assume if he thinks its safe (and he is monitoring her), then it can’t be too bad.

  2. Aunt Susie says:

    Are you taking your vitamins?

  3. Did you look into the South Beach diet? To me it seems a lot more nutritionally sound, and heathier. It’s high protein and low carbs, but does not recommend the fatty meats like I’ve heard that Atkins does. It emphasizes lean meat protein, low or non-fat dairy products, vegetables, the good fats (monounsaturated) and the “right” carbs, non-processed grains and no sugar.

    But good luck with Atkins and keep us posted on how you do with it!

  4. Suzi,
    Thanks for the steer. We’re kinda on a roll with this, and it’s working. Perhaps we’ll shift over in a month or so, or look to that for our maintenance, shoud we get there!

  5. I arrived at something similar to South Beach from yet another direction. I started looking at low glycemic load and ended up with a variation on the Paleo diet. Limit foods to things that could in theory be found in the wild: fruit, vegetables, nuts, lean meat, etc. Remove other foods: highly processed anything, fatty meats, grains, etc.

    My internist, nutritionist, and cardiologist are pleased. My weight is down 30lbs in 9 months and the sugar withdrawal symptoms were mild. The one change pushed by the nutrionist was shifting to meal sizes the same as a fist, with a meal any time I was hungry rather than on a schedule. You end up eating frequent small meals instead of three regular meals.

    The cardiologist and internist are exercise fanatics so I get 45 solid minutes per day of exercise, plus regular walking, stairs, etc. Blood pressure and heart have responded well.

    The nutritionist thinks that a carbohydrate metabolism disorder (analagous to alchoholism) will be recognized as a treatable ailment within another decade. All these diets are crude experiments at breaking a carbohydrate addictive cycle.

  6. Dear Dr. Grunt:

    I had much success with the GO-Diet; developed by Goldberg and O’Mara (biochemist and intensivist, respectively). Low carb, high monounsaturated fat, normal protein, high fiber. (You should still be able to find their book on Amazon.) It is a shame that this diet did not get near the attention that South Beach and Atkins has received. I think it a sound approach.

    A few years ago, the NYT Magazine ran a long, but good article entitled “Endocrinology 101” which exhaustively explained the concept behind the low insulin production approach. Once my network is back up, I will send that article. It is certainly something to be shared with the nay-sayers and something that ALMOST converted my Marine-turned-medical. However, he is still sticking to his “low-fat, no sweets, run 5 miles every chance you get” approach.

    All the best and good luck.

  7. Doc — keep us posted on the progress — and don’t forget to smile every now & then despite the grouchiness! ;-)

  8. I did the Atkins diet several years ago in medical school and lost about 20 pounds, but I got really sick of eating red meat, PLUS, it’s expensive.

    It’s curious how, in my opinion, Dr. Atkins tried to evangelize his diet for nearly his entire working career and only after his death have fast-food restaraunts and popular media begun to take notice. The South Beach Diet, on the other hand hopped on the front of the wave that Atkins had already set in motion, and now seems just as widely known even though in its strict form, it’s only been around a short time.

    Lastly, I learned that ketogenic diets are nothing new, having been used for years in the past at attempting to control certain siezure disorders among other things (alhtough I’m not sure how successfully)


  9. There was movie in the 70s movie titled “Sleeper” with Woody Allen as a Rip Van Winkle who wakes up in the distant future. And, there’s a delicious scene in which some medical professionals from the future sigh and lament the primitive dietary knowledge of the 20th century such as the belief that bacon and burgers were bad for you. Who knew Woody Allen could predict the future?

  10. Sounds like you enjoy cheesecake! I bake my own low-carb cheesecake….use splenda instead of sugar, and for the crust, use almond flour instead of regular flour, splenda instead of sugar. It’s great, and my hubby goes nuts over it!! You can put low carb fruit spread on top, and that makes it even better!!