|(In all the measurements below: tbsp - tablespoon
of 15ml; tsp - teaspoon of 5ml)
Fibre Supplements For many months (since early September 2003)
I have been taking these in the form of psyllium husks and wheat bran in
a glass of water, washed down with at least a further glass of water, taken
about 20 or so minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner, although since
about 2012 I have taken them only before breakfast, as I find this regimen
satisfactory on a consistent basis. In the 2003 printing of 'Dr Atkins New
Diet Revolution' (DANDR), at least the version sold in the UK, this topic
is discussed by him on pages 75-77 and 136. Read also the 'Rules of Induction'
on pages 122-124, specially paragraph 12. on page 124.
After about 8 weeks on Induction I began to notice increasing constipation.
I had been using wheat bran alone, as I couldn't find a source of Psyllium
Husks locally. I had tried a few tsp of wheat bran in a glass of water before
each meal, but that was VERY unpalatable, so I started to sprinkle it over
my salads as well as the usual olive oil. That was palatable, but did not
seem to work - I came to the conclusion that the oil was coating the fibre
and preventing it swelling in my stomach.
Eventually, I discovered where I could buy Psyllium Husks nearby, in my
local health food shop, and since then I have been a regular purchaser. See
the next box of this table for full details of the brand I use.
Initially, to solve the major constipation problem I had begun to suffer
from, I used 1 and a 1/2 tbsp of each of wheat bran and psyllium husks in
a glass of water before each meal, washed down with a further glass of water
each time. If you leave the mixture for two or three minutes, it will thicken
and is easy to swallow. It does not taste unpleasant, indeed it tastes of
very little. If you leave the mixture too long, it will become too thick
and you may have to dilute it in the glass to make it flow smoothly again.
Once my initial problem was solved (within two or three days), I gradually
reduced the quantities of wheat bran and psyllium husks to what is written
immediately below. Since I started using this mixture in September 2003 I
have had no problems at all with constipation, or indeed any other problem
with my digestion.
Since roughly November 2003 the dosage has consisted of 2 tsp of each
before breakfast, lunch and dinner (although since early September 2004 I
have upped the breakfast dose to one tablespoon of each). This has proved
very successful, together with the increased quantities of recommended vegetables
I now eat on the 'LM' phase of the diet. Coupled with occasional use of the
various food and breakfast bars produced under the 'Atkins' name, and now
available in the UK, I am extremely happy to report that I have been 'regular'
for many months. I occasionally increase the before-breakfast dose to 1 tbsp
of each. Similarly I have begun to add pulses and legumes - see next paragraph.
NB/ More recently (since about 2012) I have reduced
my daily intake of each to 1 tbsb, but only once per day before breakfast
and this seems to maintain 'regularity' on a consistent basis.
Pulses and legumes are good source of both protein and fibre (and taste
good) and have negligible fat, although they do have a certain level of carbs,
too. Taken in moderation, though, I have found them extremely useful in keeping
me 'regular', with negligible effects on my weight and they give a useful
feeling of fullness. I tend to use a mixture of black eye, soya and cannellini
beans. They come in the dried version, which I soak overnight and cook enough
at a time for several days. I add about 2 heaped dessert spoons of cooked
beans to each meal, usually sprinkled over salads, although in the case of
both scrambled eggs and omelettes I add the pulses to the mixture prior to
cooking. Since early September 2004 I have reduced the pulses I take to
negligible proportions on a regular basis, although I still occasionally
add the doses referred to above to a meal, once every week or so - I made
the change because I felt with continuous use, my food 'cravings' had begun
to return; in future I'll be keeping pulses for 'special occasions', so to
speak (as I do like them).
Occasionally, if I find I have to miss a meal, I use an Atkins 'Advantage'
or 'Breakfast' bar, together with some nuts either to replace completely
or partially a regular meal. In any case, I eat some nuts more or less every
day as these are a good source of balanced protein, fat and fibre and can
easily be eaten on the move; a 'ration' of nuts consists of approx. 6 almonds,
6 cashew, 6 hazelnut and 2 Brazil - I may take this 'ration' upto twice a
day at different times. All of these have useful amounts of fibre, although
the package labels warn when using the 'Advantage' or 'Breakfast' bars not
to over-indulge as they can have a laxative effect
|Availability of useful dietary 'fibre' in the
UK (This section extensively revised on 4 January 2015)
I use 'Jordans Natural Wheat Bran', but this is no longer available
it seems in local supermarkets, nor is there a local health food store any
longer. It is however available, together with other brands, online from
As my local health food shop went out of business some years ago, I now
source this online (the same brand as below) from Amazon and use their
'subscribe & save' facility to ensure I never run out; I have never seen
it in supermarkets. This is the brand I use:
Lepicol, produced by Lepicol Ltd, Marston Green, Birmingham B33 0NW, Telephone
(Freefone) 0500 127249, Website
(Amazon seem to stock only the larger size of plastic drum, 350grams,
and this lasts me about two months based on my current consumption of 1tbsp
a day; the cost online from Amazon is very reasonable (I buy it using
their 'subscribe & save' facility), compared with the price listed on
the Leipicol website. As well as psyllium husks, this product contains
pre- and pro-biotics, which are supposed to improve the digestion and my
experience is that they do.
Pulses and Legumes
I use black eye, soya and cannellini beans, some of which are available
dried from the supermarket, although I get soya beans from my local health
food shop. Of course some are available in tins, but usually in salted and/or
sugared water, both best avoided. The dried beans need to be soaked in water
for about 8 hours, prior to cooking for a couple of hours in water with not
too much low-sodium salt (a fast boil for the first 15 minutes, then about
90 minutes on a slow boil, perhaps a little longer for soya beans). I cook
enough to last for several days at a time - the cooked beans store perfectly
well in the refigerator.
Although both Boots and Tesco still stock a limited range,
the best source is now online via Amazon, where I buy when possible
using the 'subscribe & save' facility. In my local branches they are
stocked in the slimming aids area, with other brands. The 'Advantage' and
'Breakfast' bars seem to have useful amounts of fibre, although the labels
warn not to over-indulge as this might have a laxative effect.