20 responses

  1. Fred Johnson
    October 26, 2011

    You’re totally right! I went low-carb and that was the only thing that helped me lose weight! I couldn’t believe how easy it was at first. But then after not eating any vegetables I felt sick. Once I started eating them again, I felt better but the weight didn’t come back!

    • Abel James
      October 30, 2011

      Atkins gives low-carb a bad name because it encourages people to binge on bacon and bologna. That will definitely eventually make you sick. Real food is where it’s at.

  2. Barry
    October 26, 2011

    First man, I love your site. Ya I tried the ketogenic diet when I was training for my photo shoot and I felt sick after a while. I couldn’t get through my workouts. But I’ll try it again with carb loading on the weekend. That makes sense.

    • Abel James
      October 30, 2011

      Glad you dig the site. Going keto for too long definitely makes some people feel sick. A primal carb-feed may be exactly what the doctor ordered.

  3. Kevin
    January 30, 2012

    Love the site! Been reading it all evening and I like your ideas (and how you write… I kinda suck a writing.. haha). The one thing on this article I’m not crazy about is saying Atkins promotes binges with bacon & bologna. I always thought that too, since that’s what goes around word of mouth and you hear on TV, etc. After getting into primal & lowcarb from Marks Daily Apple, I decided to grab the newly written Atkins book from 2011 (?) to see exactly what it was all about (It may have been from 2010 now that I think of it… recent either way).

    I was pleasantly surprised to see that it doesn’t promote that it all. It does have you do a 2 week ~20g carbs phase … and then it shows you how to increase your personal carb level to fit your needs. Their sweet spot is around 50 – 100+ g/carbs once you’ve got things under control. Very paleo/primal-like.

    They recommend eating higher quality proteins, a foundation of vegetables, enough fat to satisfy at each meal but not crazy amounts like I thought they would, & even some fruit if it works with you. Very primal if you ask me. (Example breakfast: cook 2-3 eggs in 1T butter with sauteed spinach & onions, & maybe a couple slices of bacon or avocado if you want.) They made sure to ward off the Atkins “reputation” by saying that you need to eat just enough protein/veggies/fat to satisfy, but not stuff yourself like everyone thinks/says.

    It does mention both bacon & bologna … you can eat some bacon if you want, but unprocessed meats are better … and avoid crap foods like bologna, etc. There’s also mention of things like cream, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, etc

    I was really surprised, but happy, to see what all they really recommend, which was a far cry from “what I’ve heard” about it.

    The guys that wrote it are big time low carb researchers and are definitely not pushing unlimited amounts of crap foods like bologna. One of the guys, Dr. Jeff Volek has a pretty serious 6-Pack too along with awesome low carb studies going on.

    There is mention of Atkins products (because Atkins is a company and not just Dr. Robert anymore)… but they were reluctant to include them. They made sure to note several times that they’re not needed whatsoever and mentioned it in several interviews after writing the book. They just weren’t into the idea of promoting those kinds of things, but had too since they were asked by the Atkins company to write the book based on all their collective research.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d mention that since I thought the same thing until I checked out the book myself. It’s worth a look just to see what all they say yourself. I bet most people would be surprised by what they have in it.

    • Abel James
      January 30, 2012

      Thanks Kevin! You’re absolutely right: the *real* Atkins doesn’t encourage binging on processed food (although I do take issue with their packaged foods and bars – they’re low on carbs but heavy on chemicals). I actually talked to Jimmy Moore a bit about this recently – people have the wrong idea about what Atkins and low-carb means. I was very surprised as well (quite happily, I might add) when I read the original book and found a much more balanced approach from Atkins than what you’d expect. Word of mouth usually isn’t the whole truth!

  4. Dino
    January 29, 2013

    I’ve used this diet a good portion of my adult life tending to eat sirloin steak & fish exclusively w/water to drink going absolute 0 carb on 4 week intervals inducing ketosis quickly. Perhaps my constitution is different from others but I don’t tend to suffer the symptoms others complain of, IE lethargy, lack of focus etc. I find large quantities of water, up to 96 oz a day helps my kidneys push the protein.

    • Abel James
      January 29, 2013

      Awesome! I’m actually training a bodybuilder to do a ketogenic Paleo diet to slim down right now. It was rough for him to make the shift at the beginning, but he’s rocking it now. Glad you have good results with keto!

  5. Crazy Atkins Girl
    February 11, 2013

    And just where in any of the Atkins publications does Atkins recommend binge eating bacon and bologna? No where! He says to limit process meats and would prefer for you to avoid them! (Therefore, no bologna and no hot dogs!) And he also says to limit nitrates which is found in bacon preservation methods, so stick to organic or use in moderation. The Ketosis phase of Atkins is only 2 weeks at 20 grams or less of carbs per day and then you begin to add in more healthy carbs, in the form of veggies, until you reach the point where you are not gaining/not losing to find your maintenance level. Then back off the carbs just a hair (5-10 grams from maintenance level) until you reach your goal weight. Atkins didn’t give Atkins a bad name. People who do not do their research and assume that if you don’t eat bread or pasta you must be surviving on lunch meats gave Atkins a bad name.

    • Abel James
      February 14, 2013

      Thanks for your comments – I agree 100%! Most people get the wrong idea about Atkins – I actually enjoyed the original book and diet quite a bit.

  6. Kristy
    February 28, 2013

    Love this!! I followed at Ketogenic diet for just under 6 months and lost 50 lbs!! Its been over a year since I hit my goal weight and through still limiting my carb intake to a max of 150 net carbs, I have kept off every single pound!! Great article!!

    • Abel James
      March 6, 2013

      Wow, that’s awesome Kristy! Congrats!

  7. Carey
    February 28, 2013

    Atkins does not encourage no vegetable eating. Fruits are discouraged because they have so many sugars but you can basically have a veggie fest everyday.

    Note on Ketosis: For me, I can get very sick and vomit similarly to food poisoning and I can’t even keep down water. I have these ketone strips that test the levels of ketones in the urine and every time this happens they always indicate that I have large amounts of ketones. I just need to make sure I’m eating a lot of veggies so that I give my body some carbs. Usually I will lose like 5 or more pounds in like 2 days right before this happens. So if they weight is coming off too fast be careful. So if this happens to you once, its not like your body gets used to it. It will keep happening if you get too deep into ketosis.

    • Abel James
      March 6, 2013

      Thanks for clarifying, Carey!

  8. Frank
    March 1, 2013

    Some of these posters and the article’s author might want to read Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution. In his original publication he explicitly states that you should stay away from deli meats and hot dogs because they are unhealthy foods. I think too many diet plans are trying to capitalize on the line “Hey, buy our book/program. We’re low carb but not crazy like Dr. Atkins!” Atkins recommends vegetables and meats for only two weeks. Almost immediately you can start adding in dairy, nuts and fruits. There is never a time when vegetables are to be avoided. It’s all in his book.

    • Abel James
      March 6, 2013

      Hi Frank,
      You raise very good points. I was impressed with Dr. Atkin’s work when I first read it. It’s more of an issue of people who don’t read his original books and go out to McDonalds and get 2 burgers without the bun and think it’s good for them. Veggies definitely have a very important place in all of this.

  9. Dr. Seuss
    July 20, 2013

    How can you say “excess carbs make you fat” and imply that excess fat and protein don’t? Do calories not exist to you? Why is every Eskimo I see who eats only fat and protein obese while every asian living on white rice is thin? If you exercise and you eat below your caloric needs, it doesn’t matter what foods you eat, you’re going to burn fat. Energy doesn’t come from nothing

    • Abel James
      July 20, 2013

      That’s right – calories-in, calories-out is a flawed framework. Listen to my show with Gary Taubes for some interesting insight into why: http://www.fatburningman.com/gary-taubes-why-we-get-fat-the-problem-with-calories-and-why-eating-eggs-wont-kill-you/

    • R London
      October 8, 2013

      Dr. Seuss,
      I’ve been on the ketogenic diet for two years now for epilepsy. When looking at the nutritional information on food I NEVER look at anything but the carb count. I weighed 132 when I began this diet, lost about 8# to 124 and have maintained this weight throughout the two years. I have a blood test biannually and everything (including cholesterol) is right on the mark. Oh, and the best part? Seizure free (med free) two whole years. BOOM!

      There is more to this diet than just weight loss-

      • Emily Dewey
        October 8, 2013

        So true, it’s not always just about fat-loss. So happy to hear you’ve had such success dealing with epilepsy. Do you follow Sean at http://freerange-human.com? Sean also has epilepsy and as had similar success to yours. – Emily, FBM Team

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