Hey everybody! It’s been a bit over 2 weeks now that I’ve been doing an “Atkins” style diet and I wanted to catch you up. For those of you in the know, I haven’t been doing induction or any strict carb counting (although I did that back in January). Even though I’m not being as strict as a Catholic nun, I would guess that I keep my carb intake under 40 grams per day. As a reference point, the USDA recommends 130 grams per day (craziness!!) So, here is how I’m managing this diet:
- Eat several small meals each day. I eat 6 meals a day. This includes breakfast, 10am snack, lunch, 3pm snack, 5pm snack and dinner. This helps keep me full throughout the day and it helps to know that I never have to wait more than an hour or so before the next time I get to eat.
- Always have snacks handy. Always. In the fridge at home. And at work. In your purse. In your luggage for vacation. Everywhere! These can be hard boiled eggs, beef jerky, berries, peanut butter, nuts, etc. Anything with a decent amount of protein to curb your hunger. And it goes without saying, nothing with a lot of carbs.
- Find a way to splurge. This will be different for everyone. Maybe it’s a juicy steak. Or a block of extra sharp cheddar cheese. Or a cup of coffee. For me, it’s sweets. I’ll make sugar free pudding with half and half to keep the carb count low. Or grab a handful of blackberries. Or add some sugar free hot chocolate mix to a coffee. There are plenty of options and the important part is that I know I’m not neglecting my cravings (which can easily result in failure of a diet)
- Mix it up. For most of us, Atkins is a new, different way of thinking about food. Because of this, it can be easy to pick a few meals and have the same thing over and over. However, I’d suggest that you try to vary your meals as much as possible. Look up new recipes. Use your imagination mixing together your favorite ingredients. Check out an Atkins-friendly restaurant or cafe. Whatever it takes to make sure that you keep things interesting.
- Measure your progress. Personally, it’s easier to stay on task if I know that I am making strides towards my goal. Measure/weigh yourself at regular frequencies and give yourself a pat on the back when you see that scale tipping the right direction!
- Keep the right mindset. As with any healthy diet (not a lemon-cayenne pepper detox), the change to low-carb diet should be a lifestyle change, not a crash diet that you follow for a few weeks or even months. With this type of positive outlook, you envision a future of looking like Ali Larter in a whipped cream bikini instead of envisioning a future of gorging on brownies, pizza, and pasta.
What (if any) diet do you follow? Have you ever tried Atkins? Would you add anything to this list?
Flickr Image Source: ‘Meat…For Health Defense – Cover’ by Umpqua