Read an Excerpt
Are You What You Eat?
You've counted calories; you've counted fat--but nothing has worked. And now I tell you to count carbohydrate grams--you may ask, "why?"
I bet that most of you reading this already know the answer. My best selling book, Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, describes the diet's four phases, and the medical and clinical research behind them. Thousands of people are trying the diet for the first time or coming back to the only diet that worked for them. They don't worry about fat grams or calories because they have discovered the real culprit in weight gain: the carbohydrate.
Carbohydrates Versus Calories and Fat
As Americans have followed calorie-counting and low-fat diets faithfully, they have become fatter. And not by just a few pounds. Twenty million more people are obese today than a decade ago. Every man and woman is ten pounds, on average, heavier. And for children, the situation is even worse. Their obesity rates have doubled during the last ten years. Obviously, counting calories and fat grams has not worked.
But these statistics are not surprising to me. Along with our weight, our carbohydrate consumption has gone way up, too--by 50 grams a day! In my experience, treating thousands of patients, I have found that as many as 90 percent of those who are overweight have a metabolic disorder, not an eating disorder. Once their metabolism changes, their bodies adjust automatically to a new method of burning fat. And there is a scientific tool to alter this metabolic pattern: following the low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet.
Being overweight--especially to a significant degree--often represents the identifiable metabolic disorder called hyperinsulinism. When carbohydrates are consumed, insulin floods the bloodstream, but the body is incapable of utilizing it efficiently. You are left with excess insulin, otherwise known as the fat-producing hormone. This reaction can be bypassed by decreasing the carbohydrate intake.
On the Atkins diet, carbohydrates are restricted to a point at which your own fat is burned as the primary source of energy. With the absence of carbohydrates to fuel the body, a signal is sent out to release fat mobilizers. This burning of stored fat is a natural mechanism of our bodies. And, if you need to lose weight, restricting carbohydrates is the easiest, most hunger-free form of dieting.
Add Up the Carbs, Subtract the Weight
Most of us are unfamiliar with the carbohydrate content of most foods. We need to re-train our way of thinking about foods and become aware that carbohydrates can be found in unlikely places. Because understanding the carbohydrate content of foods is a difficult task, I have created this Carbohydrate Gram Counter as a tool for low-carbohydrate dieting. It will be of immediate help in two important ways.
First, success on the Atkins diet is dependent on accurately counting the total carbohydrate grams consumed each day. You should plan meals and snacks, monitoring the carbohydrate grams you consume. To do this with ease, even when dining out, you'll need a handy and thorough reference guide.
Secondly, the Federal government has established food labeling laws making it easier to find out carbohydrate grams of a food. But it can still be difficult to ascertain the actual carbohydrate gram count of everything you eat. The count listed on packages is for "serving sizes," which may be only a minute part of the whole product and can, therefore, be misleading. Also, you may find a label stating "less than one gram" of carbohydrates--but remember, it may contain as high as 0.99 of a gram. When added up, these counts can lead you astray, especially in the Induction Phase of the diet when carbohydrates are most restricted.
Remember that we have included foods in this book that are not recommended on the Atkins diet. We have even included some of the worst carbohydrate culprits, so you can compare your previous diet to a low-carbohydrate diet.
To ensure that you always have an accurate account of the carbohydrates you consume, you need a precise Carbohydrate Gram Counter. It is for you that I have created this user-friendly tool as an assistant to your dieting success.
--Robert C. Atkins, M.D.
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
Take this book with you to your grocery store, or use it to make out your shopping list in advance. Plan your daily or weekly menu by adding up all the carbohydrate grams in the foods you plan to eat.
Pick foods with low carbohydrate counts.
High-carbohydrate foods often are made with refined sugars or starches, which should be avoided. Try to pick natural foods.
Find low-carbohydrate foods you love for your everyday eating, and also find the treats you can allow yourself on a Premaintenance or Lifetime Maintenance Diet.
Fat and protein grams are listed for reference, but on your low-carb diet, it's the carbohydrate grams that are most important to count.
Consult your doctor when undertaking serious dieting. The advice in this book is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of your personal physician.
For delicious, easy-to-use recipes, plus a summary of Dr. Atkins' diet plan, see Dr. Atkins' New Diet Cookbook. For the entire Atkins diet plan, refer to Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution.
RESTRICTING CARBOHYDRATES ON THE ATKINS DIET
On the 14-day Induction diet, no more than 20 grams a day are allowed.
While on the Ongoing Weight Loss diet, increase your daily carbohydrate consumption by 5 grams every week until you stop losing weight. You have reached your Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing (the maximum number of carb grams you can eat and still lose weight). Eat below this level of carb grams until you have come to within five or ten pounds of your ideal weight.
When starting the Pre-Maintenance diet, you can add another 10 grams a day, or give yourself a 20 gram carbohydrate treat two or three times a week. But be careful--you should continue to lose weight at a very slow rate.
Your Critical Carbohydrate Level for Maintenance (the maximum number of carb grams you can eat without gaining weight) on the Maintenance diet will be tailored to your own metabolism. Most people's will be between 40 and 90 grams a day, but people with high metabolic resistance may find their maintenance level as low as 25 grams. To maintain your ideal weight, keep eating at this level of carb grams.
Dr. ATKINS' NEW Carbohydrate Gram Counter
ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS
C = cup
dia. = diameter
fl. oz. = fluid ounce
gr = gram
lb. = pound
lg. = large
med. = medium
oz. = ounce
pkt. = packet
sm. = small
sq. = square
t = teaspoon
T = tablespoon
w/ = with
w/o = without
" = inch
< = less than
Dashes [--] denote lack of reliable data for a constituent believed to be present in a measurable amount.
Nutritive values in parentheses denote estimated values usually from another form of the food or from a similar food.
BEANS AND LEGUMES
Food (Serving) Carbo/gr Protein/gr Fat/gr Bean dip, Master Choice: black bean (2T) 6.0 (2.0) 1.0 pinto (2T) 5.0 1.0 1.0 Beans and franks, canned (1C) 32.1 19.4 18.1 Beans and rice: See Rice and Beans in Pasta and Rice Beans w/pork and tomato sauce, canned (1C) 48.5 15.6 6.6 Beans w/tomato sauce, canned (1C) 58.7 16.1 1.3 Chickpeas or garbanzos (1C) 122.0 41.0 9.6 Chili, canned: con carne w/beans (1C) 31.1 19.1 15.6 turkey w/beans (1C) 25.0 19.0 3.0 vegetarian w/beans (1C) 38.0 12.0 (12.0) Cowpeas or black-eyed peas (1C) 29.9 13.4 1.3 Falafel (1/2 C) 42.0 15.0 4.0 Great Northern (1C) 38.2 14.0 1.1 Hummus tahini (2T) 5.0 2.0 3.0 Lentil pilaf, Near East dry mix (2 oz.) 37.0 10.0 4.0 Lentils (1C) 38.6 15.6 trace Lima (1C) 33.7 12.9 0.9 Pea or Navy (1C) 40.3 14.8 1.1 Peas, split (1C) 41.6 16.0 0.6 Pinto (1C) 38.0 14.0 0.8 Red kidney (1C) 39.6 14.4 0.9 Refried beans, Old El Paso (1/2 C) 17.0 6.0 2.0 Soybeans (1C) 19.4 19.8 10.3 Tofu or soybean curd (2" cube) 2.9 9.4 5.0