Fact vs. Fallacy
Fallacy #1: Ketosis is dangerous and causes a variety of medical problems.
Fact: Our bodies have only two fuel delivery systems to provide us with energy. Our primary fuel is based on carbohydrate and is delivered as glucose. People who eat three so-called “balanced” meals every day get virtually all their energy from glucose.
When a person doing Atkins releases ketones, he or she is in ketosis. Ketosis occurs when you are taking in a very low level of carbohydrate from the food you eat, as you will during much of the weight loss phases of Atkins. Ketones are secreted in the urine (and at times in one’s breath), a perfectly normal and natural function of the body. The more ketones you release, the more fat you have dissolved.
Fallacy #2: The Atkins Nutritional Approach is only effective for weight loss because calories are restricted.
Fact: While some people who follow the Atkins Nutritional Approach may eat fewer calories than before, it certainly is not because the program limits calorie intake. People doing Atkins may end up eating fewer calories because they are generally less hungry and no longer obsessed with food. This occurs for two reasons:
- Stable blood sugar throughout the day ensures that you will have fewer food cravings and false hunger pains.
- The food eaten by a person doing Atkins (meat, fish, cheese, nuts, eggs, and low sugar/low-starch vegetables and fruit) is less processed and more nutritious than that on the typical pre-Atkins menu. Give a body fewer empty calories, provide it with more nutrient-dense alternatives and it will logically be satisfied sooner and require less food.
Fallacy #3: The weight lost on the Atkins Nutritional Approach is mostly water, not fat.
Fact: It is typical of any weight loss plan, including the Induction phase of Atkins, that during the first few days, or even the first week, some of the weight loss will be water loss. However, when you follow a controlled carbohydrate eating plan, your body switches from burning carbohydrate to burning stored fat for energy, resulting in the loss of stored fat. In fact, research shows that even when water is lost during the first few days on a controlled carbohydrate nutritional approach, the water balance soon returns to normal, and the weight loss comes from burning body fat for energy. The most dramatic sign of this loss is seeing the inches drop off your measurements.
Fallacy #4: The Atkins Nutritional Approach is unbalanced and deficient in basic nutrition.
Fact: The Atkins Nutritional Approach actually provides more nutrients than the typical American diet. It deliberately rebalances your way of eating. It is probable that the eating pattern that led to your weight gain was improperly balanced in the first place. The evidence showing that overproduction of insulin is responsible for most weight gain is quite impressive, and the best way to correct an insulin disorder is to avoid foods that stimulate insulin activity-that is, foods high in carbohydrates.
Fallacy #5: People doing Atkins may feel tired, weak and lacking in energy
Fact: Fatigue may occur during the first few days of doing Atkins, while the body adapts to the switch in metabolic pathways. It typically takes about three to four days for the body to convert from a sugar metabolism to a primarily fat metabolism. Your body can store carbohydrates for only up to forty-eight hours, so you can be confident that your metabolic switch will occur, as long as you are doing Atkins properly.
Don’t just take my word for it-turn to the “Food and Recipes” section beginning. Additionally, in the time since the last edition of this book was published, numerous companies have introduced controlled carbohydrate versions of bars, shakes, syrups, candy, chips, desserts, bread, ice cream and more, including my own company. It has never been easier to stay with an eating plan that offers you the full spectrum of delicious foods in quantities that leave you satisfied.