The birth of my fifth baby came with many joys, but sadly the weight I’d gained during this extended gestation — 41 weeks — was not one of them. From my former 120 pounds to 160 pounds, I was not happy. At 5’4″, my weight to height ratio put me as overweight, but measuring tapes and bones don’t lie. I discovered that my small frame at 160 pounds wasn’t just overweight. I was obese. That word in and of itself didn’t scare me, but the mirror did. None of my prepregnancy clothes fit, and I was forced to wear maternity clothes, or buy new ‘bigger’ girl clothes. Going from a 4 to a 14 was a big change, so I was determined to lose the weight.
Just like after my other pregnancies, I went the route of calorie restriction and exercise. I did toning exercises at home and jammed out to some tunes. I reduced my caloric intake to 1400 calories per day and only ate healthy foods: salads, fish, whole grain breads and low calorie dressings. But this time nothing happened. After a month of healthy eating and maintaining a high level of activity, I didn’t lose any weight and didn’t know what to do. I thought to myself, “What am I doing wrong?” Then I remembered an old friend who had lost 13lbs in two weeks using Atkins. I’m a potato and bread girl, so the thought didn’t appeal to me, but I was desperate so I jumped on the Atkins bandwagon just to see what would happen.
Week one was hard. Actually the first three days were the worst and I developed miserable headaches and I had no energy. When you restrict carbohydrates (your brain and central nervous system’s main source of food) your body starts to burn fat to supply sugar to these areas. This is called ketosis. I didn’t like how it made me feel, but I stuck with it. At first it was hard finding variety, but research on the web helped me find sites that specialize in Atkins friendly recipes. Below is a sample of the food I ate in the beginning of my Atkins journey to weight loss.
- Breakfast: Two egg spinach omelet with one ounce of cheese and two strips of bacon.
- Lunch: Chicken salad with low-carb dressing with one ounce of cheese and bacon bits.
- Dinner: Steak with horseradish and a side of green beans.
- Snacks: Celery and pork rinds
Eventually I was able to expand this list to include many other Atkins friendly foods and still keep my carbohydrate count down to 20 per day for the induction period -which actually lasted three weeks for me. It was a tedious journey, yes, but not without its rewards. After the first three days, I started dropping almost a pound a day. I was shocked. No, I didn’t lose 13lbs in two weeks. The initial weight loss slowed down, and I reported a 7lb loss within the first two week period. After four painful months I was down to 118lbs. No, it didn’t happen overnight, but it happened and I was grateful.
WebMD Atkins Overview