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Atkins Diet Success Stories


Dave C
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Just finished my 2 week induction and I've lost 13 pounds of my 40lb. goal. I feel much more energetic and I really no longer crave high carb foods. This is the first diet that I truly feel I can stick with.

 

Has anyone else done Atkins? What were your favorite foods on the diet?

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I've had diabetes since I was 17, so my diet is generally low-carb anyway. I can't speak for everyone, but once you commit yourself to changing the way you eat, you will not miss the unhealthy foods that you've been used to eating. It won't happen overnight, but if you truly want to make a change in your life, you will do it and you will be successful.

 

Seriously stepping up to a diet like Atkins is a big deal, and Wetwork, you already seem to be feeling the benefits of it. Keep up the good work!!

 

As far as different foods, this is a great time to try a low-carb diet because the food industry has seen that they can actually make money off of something healthy and they are marketing low-carb products now. Even Hardees (a fast food joint in this area) has a low-carb Thickburger which is a huge Angus beef patty with all the veggies and no bun!

 

My vice has always been ice cream, and there are plenty of low-sugar/low-carb varieties out now. My personal favorite has been Blue Bunny, but now Breyers has just released "Carb-Smart" line, which is almost identical to their Low-Sugar line they've always had, but it has a couple fewer carbs and it tastes great!

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I'd like to lose a good 20-30 pounds. I've always been stocky and when I was in college I had was in the best shape of my life, good build and all! So I don't want to lose enough wieght to get all extra thin and bean pole like ;).

 

My biggest vice is bread. I am a complete bread-a-holic. However my other problem is that I have a hard time getting to the damn gym to excercise. I actually can lose wieght pretty easily if I work out on a regular basis but work time constraints (and a healthy addiction to videogames ;) ) prevent that from happening sometimes.

 

My first major step in preventing myself from gaining anymore wieght was the removal of coke and other carb-rich soft drinks from my diet. I moved over to drinking alot of diet products (my favorite of which is diet sprite and diet root beer). Another vice is OJ, I will never give it up dammit!

 

I'd also be interested in hearing what kinds of foods you ate during your induction period Wetwork. I woudln't be opposed to giving it a shot and losing a good 20-30 pounds. I'm currently wieghing in at 248 (I'm about 6'2) and dropping to about 220 would be fantastic.

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Atkins people have the same problem from what I hear.

 

Atkins is not a diet to do if you're not going to follow it. Period. I've heard from many people who have tried it or know people who have that if you fall off, even slightly, you'll rebound the weight, in some cases worse than it was.

 

It's the nature of the diet, as you're metabolically starving yourself from certain nutrients. I'm glad it works for people, but I'm personally opposed to eliminating something from your diet that your body actually needs. I keep myself slim and trim just by watching what I eat and regular exercise, that way the occasional lapse into a bag of Clodhoppers or peanut butter M&Ms isn't going to kill me :).

 

But as I say, different strokes for different folks.

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The biggest problem with Atkins is that most people approach it from a crash diet perspective. Those people will fail every time. The entire idea of starving yourselves of carbs during the induction phase is to literally reset your metabolism, rid your body of the toxins, and then slowly reintroduce carbs and discover your body's tolerance.

 

Many people just stop consuming carbs and say they are on Atkins, but that isn't how it is supposed to work. Carbs are an essential part of our diet, but we eat far too many to be healthy. In changing your diet (hopefully for a lifetime) you learn how many carbs your body can tolerate before you start packing on weight.

 

I refuse to begin Atkins until I have finished, and completely understand, the book. I'm not there yet, but in the meantime I have been cutting carbs in little ways here and there. Once I'm done studying the book I'll hit it hard and hopefully stay there.

 

I've heard many people who suffer migraines find great relief in a low-carb diet. I'm looking forward to seeing if that works with me. I get entirely too many and I'm ready to be done with them.

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I keep myself slim and trim just by watching what I eat and regular exercise, that way the occasional lapse into a bag of Clodhoppers or peanut butter M&Ms isn't going to kill me

 

I agree with that philosophy more than anything Mark. As I mentioned earlier, I lose wieght very easily if I am excercising on a regular basis and not eating 25 slices of pizza and 4 buckets of fried chicken ;) (not that I could ever eat that much anyway but you get my drift.).

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I have to agree with Pharmboy. Everyone I know who's tried Atkins will lose some weight and then gain it right back when they go off it. It also tends to burn off body protein (muscle) instead of fat.

 

Part of the problem is the word "diet." Lose that word. Kill it. Forget it.

 

To make a real change you need a lifestyle shift. Once you start exercising on the regular and thinking about what you're eating from a macronutritional level, you'll be on your way to a healthier body in general, not just a lower scale weight. It is extremely important to eat quality protein, fat, AND carbs.

 

Start by understanding your lean-body-mass ratio. What's your body fat percentage? How much of your body is lean muscle mass? What's your goal? Lose fat? Add muscle? Both?

 

I personally eat 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fat. Most importantly, I eat 5-6 small meals a day to keep my metabolism purring. Eating 2 meals a day is absolutely horrible for you. Your body thinks it's starving half the time and will store much of what you eat, especially that high-fat burger patty.

 

As far as protein, I eat lean proteins that aren't fried (avoid transfats!) and are relatively low in fats (egg whites) and sodium (no cured meats).

 

As far as carbs, I eat quality complex carbs. On days I workout, I "bookend" them around my workout, meaning I'll have some before and after. I always get some good, complex carbs in the morning, like oatmeal or whole wheat breads or cereals. I lay off the carbs late at night.

 

By simply choosing good, complex carbs instead of bad, simple ones and bookending them around a solid workout regimen, you'll be able to change pretty much everything.

 

By lifting weights, you'll add muscle mass which will burn fat while you're sitting on your ass playing videogames.

 

By doing intense cardio when you're not lifting (keep those activities separate if you can), you'll keep your metabolism running nice and fast while exercising the most important muscle in your body, your heart.

 

Try http://www.fitday.com for a couple weeks to log what you're eating and doing. It will teach you to understand what's in your food, and will allow you to understand how your exercise affects your overall daily input and output.

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Originally posted by Pharmboy@Jan 11 2004, 01:00 PM

Atkins is not a diet to do if you're not going to follow it. Period.

Exactly, Mark. I've known many people who go on Atkins and after the introduction period instantly leave it. The only way to really benefit from Atkins or any other diet for that matter is to stick to it. It's basically a change of life.

 

About a year ago I hopped on a scale and weighed in at 195 pounds. I've been 200 pounds once in my life and vowed to never be there again. I looked into Atkins and gave it some serious thought, but then I saw the Zone diet.

 

I wound up not doing any of them, but what I did do was decrease the amount of food I'd eat in a sitting. Just like the Zone diet recommends, eating in moderation. I also drink about a gallon and a half of water everyday (no soda), weight train and exercise 3 to 4 times a week.

 

Within 4 months I had lost 40 pounds and to this day have kept it off. My diet for the past 3 months is 2 tuna sandwiches for lunch with water and potato chips. For dinner I have 2 PB&J's with a glass of milk. For breakfast I usually have a Nutri-Grain bar. Pretty boring I know, but it's food I like and it keeps my weight where I want it :)

 

For those that are on or planning on dieting, stick with it. You're not going to see results overnight, but if you're dedicated and not allow yourself to slip you will be rewarded :D

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To make a real change you need a lifestyle shift.

 

This is dead on, stencil. I could not agree more.

 

Couple summers ago I dropped a whopping 45 lbs in a summer, and went from 210 lbs to 165 lbs. I gained a bit back, as people kept asking me if I was anorexic, but seriously I was far from it. I was still eating pizza, and going for the occasional wing night, and it was awesome.

 

Here's the biggest secret though, cut out garbage. Western diets are filled with really, really bad food. I cut out soft drinks entirely. I average maybe three bottles a year now, and that includes what I have if I rarely treat myself at the theaters. The nutritional information on a can of pop should make you want to run for terror anyway ;).

 

I totally outlawed potato chips too. You'll find after a while, you don't even miss the stuff. I had some chips last night, in fact, and they were oily as hell. I try and drink diet soft drinks too; since weaning myself from Coke I find that it's way, way too sweet for me normally.

 

Suitable replacements are stuff like Rice Cakes. Yeah, boo hoo, squirrel food, but Quaker has been doing a bang-up job with their Crispy Minis. I mean, nacho rice cakes are a godsend. Lays also has those damn fine Baked Lays that I have every now and again too, which aren't bad.

 

Ice cream is easily replaceable with frozen yogurt, you just have to be careful what kind you get for the taste. There are way more choices than there used to be :).

 

Gym's essential, which is a shame since I'm so busy I hardly get there anymore, though I am going to be back in the saddle come Monday as a matter of fact. But if you run for even half an hour solid, you'll shift your metabolism into serious overdrive. It's awesome. I was like Buck, actually, to an extent, I hit 210 and felt utterly miserable about my weight. Then I just decided that it was time to fix things and altered my lifestyle and living habits appropriately.

 

Once you've done it for a couple weeks, it really is that easy.

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In my experience, this topic is far more dangerous than "Xbox is better than PS2" or "Links sucks." It could quickly degenerate, so I'll try to keep my proselytizing to a minimum if people don't come back with "You're going to die on that diet!" statements. My doctor, my wife's doctor, my dad's doctor, his brother-in-law's doctor all are behind it.

 

I first went on Atkins about five years ago. I quickly (man, you'll be surprised how quick) lost about thirty pounds, and eventually lost around fifty. From 200+ to a low of 153. I went off the diet for a variety of reasons (I was bored with bacon, my wife was pregnant and wanted macaroni and cheese! no, mashed potatoes! no, pizza!, it's hard to hold a squirming baby and cook a steak at the same time, I ate at 3 am to stay awake, etc.), but it took a good three years to gain back most of the weight and I'm still fifteen pounds lighter than my heaviest. My cholesterol levels improved on the diet. I eat a lot more vegetables on the diet than off (Cheetos are corn, right?). I no longer advertise myself as an Atkins success story since I've turned back into a fat fucking slug, but it does work. Any dietary change, including unrealistic advice to "eat healthy," requires committment.

 

It does not eat away more muscle tissue than fat. It's a very good diet to adapt to body-building. It's a terrible diet if you prefer cardio. Your first seven pounds lost are just water weight, which you'll gain back immediately if you eat a piece of bread. It works best the first time you do it. Fall off the wagon and you won't see the miraculous results from before (though it still works, it just is slower). It's also far more effective for men than women (this is sometimes because women refuse to give up their low-fat mentality and continue to eat forbidden vegetables like corn, peas, carrots, etc.). OJ is an absolute no-no, the same as drinking a Coke. If you're going to eat an orange, you might as well eat a Twinkie.

 

It is a hard diet to stick with for a long time, it's true. Temptation is everywhere. Eventually, you get so sick and tired of not eating sugar/bread/pasta/whatever carbs that you will break down. And when you have deprived yourself of something for so long you tend to go overboard. Now, though, with low-carb being more accepted by food manufacturers (who will jump on any bandwagon to make a buck) and consumer demand, there are a lot more choices, foodwise.

 

Be prepared for a few negative things in the beginning. Probably on the second or third day, you'll get diarrhea. Bad. You're eating a lot more fat than usual and getting less fiber, so it'll go through you quick. This will stop after a day or so and you'll probably not poop more than once a day. Again, less fiber is the cause, so I also take fiber pills in addition to multi-vitamins. You might also get a really bad headache. Your brain wants glucose and the switch to ketones makes it angry. And you'll have bad breath. No getting around that one, sorry. Carry around those breath strips.

 

I'm always happy to discuss Atkins, but there's a lot of misperception and prejudice out there. Atkins' book is a good jumping-off point, but there are better books. He's a little strident, and it's too bad he died just as his theories were gaining more acceptance. This will probably be a hot topic since pro and con opinions are so firmly held. Feel free to PM me for advice or suggestions.

 

(I just unloaded the groceries my wife bought and it looks like we're going back on it!)

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I didn't realize how few carbs the Atkin's diet required. Personally, I don't see why you can't just consume fewer carbs than you do now, (but more than the Atkin's plan), make sure they are of high quality (no sugars, change to wheat bread, etc) and still get good results.

 

I also like what other people are saying and I agree. I don't like the idea that a magical diet is all you need to lose weight and be heathier. It takes a huge commitment to seriously change your life, and I respect anyone who steps up to the plate to do so, Atkins or not.

 

And except for the 40/40/20 I follow pretty much everything Stencil said.

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I totally outlawed potato chips too. You'll find after a while, you don't even miss the stuff. I had some chips last night, in fact, and they were oily as hell. I try and drink diet soft drinks too; since weaning myself from Coke I find that it's way, way too sweet for me normally.

 

I'd like to emphasize this. I drank soft drinks all the time until I was about 17. Then, when I was told I had diabetes, I suddenly HAD to stop. No cheating, no going back, I would never be able to drink a soft drink ever again. EVER.

 

I started with diet sodas, and once you start drinking them for awhile, I really started to enjoy them. Then, after months of drinking diet, if i ever came into contact with a regular soda, be it a restaurant mistake or whatever, I was totally turned off by the taste. WAY too sweet. I was surprised that I even used to drink that crap.

 

As it turns out, now my beverage of choice is water. I supplement that with a little coffee everyday, some milk, and a beer or diet soda here and there. That's about it. I still eat pizza or other foods that aren't that great for me occasionally, but it's all in moderation, and it's nothing I really have to force myself to eat that way.

 

I don't know if I'm just lucky, or if it will work for anyone, but now, I don't miss regular soda/potato chips/starchy foods AT ALL.

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Originally posted by Starhawk@Jan 11 2004, 06:30 PM

Personally, I don't see why you can't just consume fewer carbs than you do now, (but more than the Atkin's plan), make sure they are of high quality (no sugars, change to wheat bread, etc) and still get good results.

That's a great plan. It's also one of the hardest things in the world to do. Giving up calories and portion control doesn't come easy, particularly when you are fat and used to eating a lot. You really feel punished with a low-calorie diet. The great thing about carb-cutting is that you have to give up an entire "genre" of food: sugars. I found it far easier to stop eating Twinkies since it was okay to have another piece of bacon. Eating low-carb really isn't as extreme as people have made it out to be. I eat far more vegetables on low-carb than not. I still eat some fruit. Mostly what I eliminate is any food that comes in a box.

 

The best thing in the world to give up is sugared sodas. At 150 calories a pop (heh) it really adds up.

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Originally posted by Starhawk@Jan 11 2004, 06:30 PM

I didn't realize how few carbs the Atkin's diet required.

The Atkins plan only requires a set amount of carbs in the first two-week Induction phase (below 30-40 grams). Once you're in ketosis you gradually add carbs until ketosis stops, then drop a little bit below that. Exercising really gives you a good cushion for this. Back in the day I could eat ~75 grams per day without problem.

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I don't miss regular soda/potato chips/starchy foods AT ALL.

 

See I'm not a big potato chip fan or any of that crap. I rarely eat any of it at all. Above anything else I'm just a complete bread whore. I *LIVE* in Panera. I'm an absolute sucker for a good croissant or bagle and breakfast sandwhiches are like little pieces of gold. ;)

 

One thing that I just cannot do, be it akins or whatever is give up orange juice. I have OJ running through my viens and I'll never let it go. :D

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One thing that I just cannot do, be it akins or whatever if give up orange juice. I have OJ running through my viens and I'll never let it go.

 

If I had to choose something I miss the most, it would be OJ. :) I've been OJ free for about 7 years now, although I do still eat actual oranges.

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Originally posted by Ruffneck@Jan 11 2004, 12:33 PM

I was planning on starting the Atkins tomorrow actually. Any tips? What kinds of food were you eating?

 

I need to have my hand held if I'm gonna be trying this stuff. ;)

Glad to see all the discussion in this thread. We could turn this into our own little support group.

 

Tips? - READ THE BOOK!!!, READ NUTRITION LABELS and consider vitamin supplements - read the Atkins or other low carb book before starting the lifestyle change. Yeah, I should have used the word lifestyle as opposed to diet in my subject tile.

 

What am I eating? - A few items....Swiss Omlettes with non-nitrate pork or turkey bacon, chef salads no dressing (greens only, other veggies after induction), tuna w/ mayo, steak, burgers, shrimp sauted in butter and garlic, chicken, turkey, salmon, buffalo chicken wings, cream cheese or natural peanut butter on celery sticks, ham, turkey and chicken roll and other low nitrate cold cuts, cheese and parsley sausage ring, hot dogs with mustard and saurkraut, lime seltzer, Boylan diet cream or root beer soda (it has the "good" artificial sweetner). I just had my 1st Atkins shake (2g carbs - Chocalate Royale is the best IMO) Atkins ice cream bar (3g of carbs) and damn, was I surprised how good it tasted.

 

And no, low carb lifestyles do not consist of sitting down and consuming 20lbs of bacon in one sitting as a meal. After induction you can have some of the lower carb vegetables, fruits, nuts

 

Tomorrow I'm having my 1st fruit in 2 weeks, some strawberries, cantelope and heavy cream.

 

I exercise 30 minutes a day, 4 days a week and walk briskly from the South Street Seaport to Broadway and back during lunch break at work.

 

Yes, there are many misconceptions about Atkins all stemming from when it was 1st introduced years ago and written off as an unhealthy diet. That couldn't be further from the truth...

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My wife is doing remarkably well on the Slimming World diet (I'm not sure if its a UK-only thing, sorry). There are two great things that I'll say about it, which if you've tried and failed on other diets I'm sure you'll appreciate:

 

1) She's managed to stick to it for six months now. This is the big one, really. There are changes in what we eat (obviously - its a diet), but you don't get bored of the monotony of it, or find that you have to do really weird things (like the Atkins loads of meat with nothing on the side trick). Once you get used to it, it feels like you're just eating healthily, in the way that seems impossible when you just say it like that.

 

2) Its easy to stick to as a veggie. As a vegetarian, you can imagine that Atkins is a turn-off straight away, and most of the other diets are a nightmare too. There seems to be a myth that all veggies are stick-thin malnourished people; this is actually a load of rubbish (probably unfortunately). Even though I've lost around a stone in the last 6 months merely through having the same meals at home as Caz does (and eating at work as bad as ever), I'm still another 2 stone heavier than I was back when I ate meat.

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I must admit I've not taken to any form of crash dieting whereby I have to undertake a new eating regime....etc. I've come to think that in truth, you shouldn't have to radically alter your eating habits unless you suffer from something like diabetes in which, of course, changes need to be made.

 

In college I was a very big lad, pushing 260lbs I dare say. That was a few years ago, and it's taken a long time (including one year where I personally screwed up and lost nothing, and gained a bit), but I am finally nearing my target weight having just exercised more, and eaten normally. I've actually not weighed what I way today since I was about thirteen years old, and I am nearing old age (22 :) ).

 

I kind of used the Weight Watchers points thing as a blue print, as it doesn?t restrict you of any kind of food, it just lets you get used to eating foods in moderation, which used to be my problem, I just couldn't eat in moderation. If something was there, I'd usually have it. I'm about 180lbs right now, and wish to shed another ten, and then I am done. Eating healthily, or perhaps it's best to say eating normally, and never denying myself a certain thing now and again, plus exercising about forty minutes a day every other day, and lots of water, has done me the world of good.

 

I know a few people in the US who did Atkins; it's been good for some, bad for others. I know a friend of my brother's over here tried it and he was loosing body fat rather inconsistently on his body. It wasn't for me, and I did think long and hard about doing it (on two occasions come to think of it).

Whilst what I did has taken quite a long time, there's less chance of my putting it back on so suddenly as my body is accustomed to a typical normal intake of food for a meal. It's just accustomed to normal eating habits I don't have to deal with falling off the wagon so to speak, since their is no wagon. Only fault would be if I binge on food, which will be tough since my body would easily reject the types of portions I used to eat which made me the size I was.

 

 

I?ve not cut anything out, save for sodas. I would consume Diet Coke like there were no tomorrow, but I didn?t care for what soft drinks would do to one?s teeth and so on. Never cared for beer, wine I am happy to drink, and I love water. I can't get enough of it and will usually get through a big bottle a day, more out of habit now than necessity, which I suppose sums up my way of eating in a nutshell. I made dramatic cutbacks on fatty snack intakes too like chocolate. I still have some chocolate and the occasional bag of crisps, even the odd biscuit, but my natural diet has changed so as that I don't crave such things as soon as I seem them.

 

Things like Ketchup?.etc I rarely have anymore. Bread is still a weakness, always will be. If there is a warm stick of French bread around, I am done for. :) I?ve refused to cut out bread entirely mind you, as I deem it silly to do so. I eat wholemeal more than white these days, and may have an actual bread product only a couple of times a week, if that. I eat more pasta and baked potatoes than I do bread these days. My fruit and vegetable intake is a drastic improvement over what it was only a few years ago. I just eat more healthily, cutting nothing out, just working with realistic portions. The great thing now is, I am not even counting what I eat as I know what's enough and what isn't (you certainly don't want to consume less than you should). I don't even sit and get fussy if offered a fatty desert or whatever, because such things do you no harm unless you eat them every day. It's just normal eating.

 

I won't dismiss Atkins or anyone on it. As I say, it's not for me, but it has worked for some who are able to stick to a certain eating regime for the rest of their lives. Personally, like I said, I see no reason to do that, but whatever works for a person and get them into a healthy state they are happy with, is fine. There's so much out there, you just need to ?choose wisely? as the Knight said to the Archeologist.

 

Daniel

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My wife and I tried atkins for about 5 months. We had good results but ultimately we became very bored with the food options. So we went off of it. We gained back a lot of the weight because we were eating not so good stuff again. Then a little over a year ago my wife decided she was through. She started working out everyday and was getting some results to that then her friend filled her in on some of the weight watchers point system. There is a great utility you can get for palm pilot that helps this. I decided to do it with her and we both saw great results.

 

The problem with most diets is peoples perspectives about them. Most are viewed as something you do until you get to where you want then you go back to your old ways. They are quickly discouraged when they either do this and fail miserably or they realize that they have to continue to do something for the rest of their lives.

 

The key thing that the weight watchers point system hit me on was the fact that it didn't dictate what I could eat but how much of it. I personally am addicted to eating certain things as I'm sure many are. This system gave me the ability to say ok I can have pizza but only 2 pieces. Or I would have to save up extra points to use toward it. I find it is one of the easiest diets to ajust to because it doesn't change anything about how you eat now except for the how much you eat. If anyone wants the palm program PM me.

 

Atkins works wonderfully as long as you follow it. I was never happy following it though. The other difference between the two is if you fall off the wagon the price is higher in atkins as it takes you 1-3 days to get back into induction. Weight watchers you fall off the wagon and you just get back on the next day hopefully having learned not to do that again.

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The key thing that the weight watchers point system hit me on was the fact that it didn't dictate what I could eat but how much of it. I personally am addicted to eating certain things as I'm sure many are. This system gave me the ability to say ok I can have pizza but only 2 pieces. Or I would have to save up extra points to use toward it. I find it is one of the easiest diets to ajust to because it doesn't change anything about how you eat now except for the how much you eat.

 

Exactly, I find it hard to even deem the Weight Watchers points system a "diet" to be honest. The great thing is, as I was saying, you soon reach a point where you stop counting because your body soon knows how much is too much, and your stomach changes so you just dont crave things as much,. You're still eating everything you liked, but in natural moderation. It's even better if you introduce more things that are so good for you like more fruit, veg and water.....etc. I just call it normal eating.

 

You're not really made to look at anything fattening, like a nice desert for example, as a "treat" or being "naughty"... I hate branding some foods like that because when you start doing that you become notoriously fussy and you'd end up as someone counting calories until the day you die.

 

Daniel

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