First, just for laughs…
Listen to Bud Light’s Real Men of Genius ”Mr. Over The Top Carb Counter”:
The best thing about following the Atkins Nutritional Approach is that immediately — from Day One — your body switches from primarily burning carbohydrates to primarily burning fat as its main energy source.
So you know that you’re making a difference in your weight-loss from the start!
Lose Weight & Feel Great On Atkins
Truth be told, you’ve probably tried Atkins before… but quickly became dismayed with the whole process of having to count carbs and limit yourself from ingesting certain foods. But, I’d highly recommend giving it a go one more time.
With the boom of the low-carb phase in society in recent months, it’s not only “trendy” to go low-carb, but it’s easy too!
Many of our favorites places are offering low carb diet foods on their menus:
- Restaurants have created no-hassle low-carb menus (and we’re talkin’ all the hip & cool places you like to eat). Check out this health report on the worst low-carb restaurant entrees.
- Grocery stores are stocking low-carb food products (including pasta noodles, bread, and baking mixes).
- Not to mention all the tasty sweet treats available due to the recent invention of sugar alcohols, which have received a favorable nod from the FDA!
With all of these options in support of the low-carb dieter, it’s no longer hard to stick to the Atkins plan. Plus, most food labels have taken the guesswork out of it for you too… clearly indicating the number of “net carbs” in their products.
If you’re up for it, there’s no time like the present to jump on board!
Now, onto all the juicy details including “legal” snacks and desserts to die for, recommendations for what to order at restaurants, how to spice up your low-carb menus at home, and where to find grocery stores selling Atkins-friendly food items in your area…
How I Did It…
For me, to be able to stick to the Atkins plan, it was important that I first find acceptable answers to the following questions (in this order):
- Can I still enjoy sweet treats and desserts?
- Can I still eat out at my favorite restaurants?
- Can I prepare low-carb meals at home with little effort?
- Can I find low-carb food products readily available in my area?
I’m happy to say that I found the answers I was looking for. And I’d like to share them with you…
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
It’s no longer considered “taboo” if you want to satisfy your craving for something sweet while you’re following the Atkins plan. As I mentioned in an earlier article, full-size candy products like Reese’s peanut butter cups, Hershey’s almond chocolate bars, and Russell Stover’s heath bar toffee wafers are our favorites. These products are made with sugar alcohol rather than typical table sugar.
I must warn you, however…
While you won’t get drunk off of them (cuz it’s not that kind of alcohol!), you might experience some slight gastrointestinal discomfort. It has been documented that sugar alcohol reacts differently in the GI tract, causing gassiness and cramping in some (but not all) people.
Atkins recommends no more than 25 grams from sugar alcohols a day, but I’ve had symptoms from as few as 8 grams… it hasn’t stopped me though. The trade-off is worth it: rich, creamy chocolate to top off a healthy, low-carb meal. My favorite is the Reese’s peanut butter cups (2 of them have 8 grams of sugar alcohol and only 1 net carb!)
So, if the need for sweets outweighs the tiny bit of discomfort you might experience after eating candies made with sugar alcohol, then you might be interested in knowing that you can purchase large boxes of these candy products at Sam’s Club at a reasonable price.
How To Stay Low-Carb When Eating Out
We eat out A LOT! It’s just easier. While we HAVE curbed our desire to dine out as much as we used to, we still do at least once a week.
(Did you catch that?… Another benefit of being on the Atkins plan: You save money, since you might not go out to eat as much as usual!)
Here’s what we do…
We either save our “cheat night” for a full-course “regular” dinner at a local restaurant, or we stick to the Atkins plan and order from the low-carb menu that most places have these days.
Here are some great tips on how to eat out and not go over your daily carbohydrate limit:
- While Subway and TGI Fridays were among the first to add low-carb options to their menus, most major fast-food chains have followed suit.
- If you’re following the Atkins plan, you need to be true to the plan, day in and day out. Here are some great tips for how to eat low-carb ANYWHERE.
- For those who travel a lot, here are some things to watch for when you’re traveling, or if find yourself eating out at a restaurant you’re not familiar with.
Where To Buy Low-Carb Food Products
These days, most grocery stores carry Atkins or other low-carb food brands. Many even have an entire department devoted solely to low-carb options!
In the Nashville area alone there are more than 130 stores selling Atkins-brand products, including: Walgreens, Walmart, GNC, and Kroger — to name just a few.
Preparing Low-Carb Meals At Home
I like it because you can sort the results by Cuisine or which Course you’re preparing.
You can also sort all of these low-carb recipes by whatever “level” you’re on (Phase 1: Induction, Phase 2: Ongoing Weight Loss, Phase 3: Pre-Maintenance, or Phase 4: Lifetime Maintenance).
And there’s a great keyword search box.
Need Some Motivation To Get Started?
Here are some tips for getting personally motivated to try the Atkins plan … and most importantly, how to stick to it!
If you don’t already own the book by Dr. Atkins called Atkins For Life, you should. It’s a great book.
You may also want to check out the Atkins Online Progress Tracker for some additional encouragement to jump on the plan. There, you can monitor your own progress online – post your measurements, your weight (…if you so desire; no one can see it but you), and even your “before” photo. (Be sure to pick a really BAD photo, so you’ll feel even better with the smallest amount of progress!)
Professionally, I pursued my Masters Degree in Family Therapy at Texas Tech — where I obtained invaluable expertise and experience helping people with a wide variety of physical and emotional health issues. Personally, I think it's useful when people realize that they're not the only one going through a difficult time. So any time that I think my personal health experiences would be helpful to someone else going through the same thing, I will share my story here. With health issues that I've personally experienced (like Endometriosis, Lyme Disease, Hysterectomy, Skin Cancer, Ganglion Cysts, Autism, and other topics that very few people enjoy talking about) and health products that I've found beneficial (like sleep aids, essential oils, and medications)… I do my best to provide my own raw and honest firsthand experiences that I think others would appreciate hearing about and (hopefully) find helpful. I'm grateful that I have a number of friends who have also been willing to share their very personal stories here — regarding their own physical and emotional health. When I'm not writing about health topics, you will find me sharing Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).