Atkins Induction: How Does It Feel at Day 30?

On September 2, 2012, I was 207.6. This morning, October 10, 2012, I am 193.0 – 14.6 lbs down in 39 days.

Today, if I haven’t messed up in my counting, I have been on a strict ketogenic-type low carb diet – pretty much a long-term Atkins Induction for 30 days straight and am less than 10 pounds away from my target weight of 185, which is when my wife starts to complain that I look too thin.

I am on day 30. I haven’t been in ketosis this long for a long, long, time.

I have proven conclusively something that I thought I could do but had no proof: that after another 9 years older, I could have the same kind of results I had on Atkins the first go-round.

There’s a notion in the low carb community about ‘The Golden Shot’ – that low carb only works once, and if you lose it and gained it back, you can’t repeat it.

In actuality, it seems you can do this – it just takes a little longer. But what I am finding is that I don’t care about how long it takes because  the diet is making me, in general, feel better.

It is said that it take a person 6 weeks to become fully keto-adapted. I have a little less than 2 weeks to get there. In the meantime, how do I feel, aside from the weight loss? What are the other benefits that makes me see this not as some burdensome effort I must do to get to my target weight, but a pleasant lifestyle change with a number of benefits I had either forgotten or never experienced?

Sugar and sweets hold no allure for me.

They surround me: the box of Krave on the kitchen counter, the Japanese cookies the wife and kids gobble, the cake, the candy. It interests me about as much as a rabbit might be interested in a steak. I’ve had 2 packets of Splenda and a few squirts of low carb ketchup since the start – that’s the extent of my artificial sweetener usage. No soda, no Atkins Shakes. I’ve eaten my old favorite, the Lindt 80% Dark chocolate which is wonderfully low in carbs – I can have 4 big squares and still maintain ketosis. It fills my occasional sweet tooth, which arises every few days – not every few minutes. It’s like being unshackled from a weight.

I see no reason to stop.

Atkins always talked about Induction as being a short-term, 2 week thing. Me, personally, see no reason to stop until my winter vacation in mid-December. If I manage to hang in there until then, I would be in ketosis for 90 days straight. As always, I’m reporting, not recommending.

I seem calmer in general.

While my life has certainly NOT been calm as of late, I have seemed calmer in my reaction toward it. Not that there haven’t been moments, but it seems that my personal drama level has decreased. Without being hungry all the time, and not pining for sweets and treats, a lot of mental burden has lessened at least in that area. I might be eating a smaller variety of foods, but I am changing things up enough to keep me interested. I still enjoy eating, I just don’t need to eat all that much.

Low carb diets have been recommended for epilepsy, diabetes, GERD, and PCOS – might a low carb diet also be helpful in anxiety disorders?

The diet is boring – in a good way.

Don’t  get me wrong – I still love food and love eating. It just doesn’t have the ‘crack pipe’ pull it once had. I get hungry, I eat, I enjoy my meal, I finish and get on with life. The number of mental inventories of the refrigerator have lessened considerably. I went out to dinner with my wife for our anniversary and did the standard low carb trick of getting the simply prepared meat (seared Ahi tuna in my case) with 2 sides of the vegetable as a replacement for the starch, and skipped the bread, except to have a small taste just for the experience of the meal. This bit of bread did not cause some trigger to go off – I didn’t give it a second thought after that, enjoyed the meal and had a lovely time with my wife.

No headaches, unusual fatigue or constipation – might that be because of salt?

All these symptoms might be because there’s not enough salt in a low carb diet. By the way: I have NOT been supplementing with fiber. A lot of the butter I eat is a European variety with sea salt mixed in – I certainly don’t avoid salt. You aren’t supposed to on a ketogenic low carb diet – your body handles salt much, much differently. There is also mounting evidence that our war on salt as being something bad is another misguided health initiative. My blood pressure the other day – after drinking a pot of coffee – was 125 over 75. That’s OK for a guy with a family history of hypertension and had a blood pressure of 190 over 110 when he was 28.

Of course, I have a history of sabotaging myself right after self-congratulatory posts such as these.

As always, should this happen, you will get a full report on any dietary faux pas.


29 thoughts on “Atkins Induction: How Does It Feel at Day 30?

  1. All those months of experimenting with eating whatever you wanted and testing the limits of invincibility and then to drop back into Atkin’s Induction again- quite clever. Well done!

    1. I was *wondering* if I stumbled on to something here: to get low carb to work again got the long-term low carber, might you have to condition your body with carbs first? Purely speculation, of course, but interesting.

      1. I was just abosolutely stuck after 25 days on induction, this time around. it got so stalled i started looking into starches in suppliments, and everything going in my mouth i looked up before eating. I was at about 14 carbs a day and feeling great, but not dropping weight. i remembered one extremely stressful day on 11 carbs , I GAINED WEIGHT!
        stress causes cortesal, cortesal causes weight gain.
        I decided to reload my bodies carb sense. Saw something like this on dr oz.
        ate and drank what i wanted for three days . by second day of return to induction pounds were falling offf again. even better than before.
        keep in mind not to stress over weight loss, just do the diet and it will happen. if stress becomes too high or lack of weight loss starts bothering you, give your self a break.
        last year i tried to attain biggest losers numbers and lost 50 pounds in 56 days. but gave myself 7 days out of the 56 to be my “pass” days. i could have anything i wanted on the pass day. it worked great for weight loss and sanity.
        this has been my best, and fastest results with induction.

        1. I agree with the carb reload. I was on my 30th day of induction and was loosing inches but no weight. This was by total accident that I stumbled across this philosophy, but I had a piece of cake out of frustration and two days later, I dropped 3 pounds. I am now going into my 2nd month and I allow myself one cheat day every other week, but I still stay with the eating plan. On my cheat day, I eat one thing that I have cut from my diet and each time I notice a drop in weight 2 days later.

    2. I also just started yesterday and just for some comic relief for all of you I wanted to say that I needed something sweet so badly tonight that I fried two eggs in butter and then put Splenda on them!!!! That’s desperation!!
      Once out of induction I will make some awesome crepes ( or flat pancakes) using one whipped egg, two T of heavy cream a dash of Splenda and a T of Carbquik! ( half and half is thinner and actually makes the thinner kind that I like) You can tweak it however you like and they still come out delicious!! I use canola oil to cook them in and when they are on my plate and I’m ready to dig in…… I drizzle on a little melted butter and then Splenda!!! They really are fabulous !!!

  2. This post is inspirational for me. I’ve just spent the past 2 days eating too many carbs, I need to get back into ketosis. Still about 20lbsfrom my goal ( down about 45, which took me 2 years to get here( started out with Portion control, then WWers, then LC. LC is the most sustainable, and I can go weeks with no cravings, until I make a poor choicethen the cravings start and eat too many carbs.

      1. Well you’ve definitely inspired me not to. I’m just going to stay as LC as I can and eventually I know I will reach my goal

  3. LCC- I just wish you’d show your face sometime. You have every reason to be proud, and I don’t think you would be stalked or anything. Brad Pitt looks OK, I guess- but now I have this weird image of what you look like. Often, I superimpose the face of this guy at work who has lost a lot of weight onto you, and his personality, too. It’s bizarre. How about a family pic, then ? Or something. Anyway, just a thought. I think it’s awesome you’re moving forward with a book. You should. Your writing skill is superb, in my humble opinion, and your research is extensive. I’d like to do a book on either moderation VS Low-carb, or more about products and foods- recipes, nutrition disclosures, substitutes for sugar, etc.,etc. By doing what you have done, you have created a new story for induction- clearly the most interesting and exciting phase. Cheers to New Beginnings all over again. I think most of us who’ve come back to Induction a few times can relate. It’s a very effective plan that can be very difficult to maintain long term. My runner husband keeps squawking about moderation. He doesn’t understand why that should be harder for me than near-abstinence.

    1. The simple and short reason I don’t blog under my real name is I am afraid it would ‘kill the goose that lays the golden egg’. I fear I might self-censor myself, consciously or unconsciously, and not be as authentic. I believe something would die if I did it and LowCarbConfidential would cease to exist.

      Thanks for the words of encouragement, though. A book is a tough haul – at least if you are trying to make it worthy to read, and at this time in history, self-publishing and finding a wide distribution is more possible than ever before. I suggest you give it a go yourself if the Muse wants you to pursue it.

      Lastly, perhaps ‘moderation’ just isn’t a left-handed Scorpian thing, ya know?

      1. Hmmn. Very interesting perspective. I always ponder what you say, because you have a great, intelligent outlook on things. Thanks!! 🙂

  4. Thanks for your posts. I lost 50 lbs in three months (stayed on induction whole time) about 15 years ago doing Atkins and kept it off for about 7 when I went through a divorce and my emotions got the better of me.

    I am now up to 220 pounds (I’m 5′ 4″) and started LC again yesterday. I very much remember being into the diet a few weeks and realizing “Oh my goodness, I don’t even want to taste that cake sitting in front of me.” REALLY can’t wait to get to that point again.

    Do you have a hard time eating with your family? I am the ‘cooker’ for my family and it is killing me to cook their food and then cook mine.

    Thanks again for your insights. I will be checking back often!

    1. …and thanks for your comment, Brandy.

      I *do* have plenty of problems eating with my family, and am frequently the ‘cooker’. I made pasta for the kids just the other day. Sometimes that goes better than others. Last night – I had some. Not too much, however – and taking the long view it’s not going to kill me.

      Of course, I’ll be better today…at least I hope 😉

      Congrats on your fresh start and hang in there – you’re not alone.

      1. I am starting again today and you guys are very encouraging. Thank you because, I remember the headaches and hunger pangs

    2. Brandy, I hope you check this post. I also lost about 50 lbs on Atkins and then went through an ugly divorce and gained the 50 black + at least another 15. I have been on induction for almost three weeks and have not cheated ONCE and have lost 2 lbs. Very discouraged – the last time I had lost about 5 lbs a week so 2 lbs when I’m being so careful is not a great thing. So, tell me, how are you doing? Are you losing like you did the last time?

      1. I fine that very hard to believe I’m a Atkins believer and u can lose two lbs with cheater. What are you doing different or what type of foods u eating?

  5. Just started induction today! is there anyway you can post your menu of what you are eating? Glad I stumbled here.

    1. Hi Mary Ann,

      If I posted a menu you would likely be disappointed. A menu is like a personal friend – you can’t borrow someone else’s friend and have it be the same thing.
      You can build your own, however. The place to start is with a list of foods you genuinely like, and modify them for low carb. For me, I like a BLT. As bread is the only no-no, I just wrap the tomato, bacon and mayo in a lettuce leaf. As I love pasta, I make a ‘sauce’ filled with low carb veggies and meat, cover it in Italian cheese and skip adding the pasta itself. As a kid I used to love a roast beef with butter sandwich. Now I roll up the butter in the roast beef. You get the idea. Experiment.

      The next step is to go exploring. Try something new, with the thinking you’ll give it an honest try and maybe end up throwing away perfectly good food. Stick to unprocessed stuff as much as possible. As Michael Pollan said, stick to foods your grandmother would recognize. Meats, veggies – and maybe some berries here and there. Try new ones slowly – maybe one or two a week. Doing this I picked up a fondness for plain full fat greek yogurt, smoked salmon with cream cheese, and Lindt 85% dark chocolate. If you had asked me before I started low carb if I would ever find myself eating these food regularly, I would have looked at you like you had 3 heads. Some things come and go from my diet. I occasionally enjoy sardines – sometimes not. Or tuna with mayo. Or American cheese with tomato.

      If you keep at it you’ll end up with a library of what I call ‘core foods’ that keep you happy and satisfied because you like them and enjoy eating them. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to adapt – and don’t starve yourself, beat yourself up over occasional mistakes or make yourself miserable.

      How’s that for a start?

      1. I’m just starting agin. For anyone that has a eating problem, this food will satisfy you if you really want to lose weight. Can l just say Don’t cheat yourself by eating things you shouldn’t. Then blaming the diet.Good luck! Really

    2. What I do is use the Atkins bars the shakes and just started the meals there great espeacially if you don’t have time to plan or make a meal.

    3. what I did to get through the first two weeks was use the Atkins bars snacks and shakes they work keep appetite down and good if you don’t have time to prepare meals. I started eating their frozen foods they are really good

  6. Combine your lowcarb dieting with an hour of aerobic activity and your pounds literally melt away. Also u guys should try supplementing ur fiber intake with Chia seeds. 2net carbs equals your whole daily requirement for fiber at about 25g daily! I lost 21 pounds in 2week on induction with excercising and having lots of H2O and Chia seeds. Im 35yo, male and 240 down 219 but i will stay on induction another week or 2. Goal is 150 lbs. 5’9″ tall here.

    1. I wish I could motivate myself to exercise, Jack – that’s my one big hurdle.
      I know you can lose weight without it, but it certainly doesn’t *hurt* weight loss and might even help – and it is usually healthy for you as well.
      I *do* wonder if that 150 is too low, but if that’s what your going for, continued success to you – you have a plan and you’re workin’ it!

  7. Are there any salad dressings that don’t have any grams of sugar that are worth eating? I noticed that some of them only have the 1-2 grams of carbs per serving but there is 1 g of sugar (like Kens)

    1. My personal feeling on this is a little sugar won’t hurt. I’m more concerned about the types of fat in the dressing. A lot of soybean oil or sunflower oil is more important to me than a little sugar – but that’s me.

    1. 193 was a low for me – I went up afterward as the holidays approached and went back up to as high as 213. After the usual misadventures, I am back to 202 and trending lower again – doing what I did above.. Welcome to ‘Me’ – this is what I do – over and over – to the delight and dismay of the nice folks who visit my blog more than once.

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