ATKINS DIET - ONGOING WEIGHT LOSS (OWL)


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ONGOING WEIGHT LOSS

These are my journal entries for the period I remained on the 'OWL'  phase of the Atkins weight loss, and diet re-education, programme:

Tuesday, November 4, 2003 Atkins Low Carbohydrate Diet - Weeks 19 and 20

Now in week 21. Measurements last Sunday are at the foot of the message. I didnít post last week because I was away for a few days. In the week to 26th October I again had quite good results. I lost 0.9 kg (1.9 lb), and in the week to 2nd November, the first full week on OWL, I lost a further 0.6 kg (1.4 lb). Chest, waist and hips were down over these two weeks a further 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5 inches respectively, – overall losses so far are 4.7, 11.7 and 8.0 inches respectively.

I am now on the 2nd stage of the OWL carb ladder, adding 5g carbs a day of various fresh cheeses, and seem to have lost about 0.4kg (0.8lb) since Sunday, partly attributable to having unavoidably missed a meal yesterday. Iíll add another 5 daily carbs to my diet this coming Sunday, when I move to the nuts stage of the ladder.

(In all my menus below: tbsp - tablespoon of 15ml; tsp - teaspoon of 5ml)

  • Fibre Supplements – I continue to Ďregularí using the doses specified a few weeks ago, so Iím sticking to those. Perhaps as I progress up the carb ladder on OWL Iíll be able to reduce my fibre dosage a little – I plan to try this next week, reducing the pre-breakfast dose to the same levels as at lunch and dinner.
  • Menus – I tend to rotate a small range of dishes at breakfast (bacon and eggs, or scrambled eggs, or an omelette, sometimes some fish) and at lunch and dinner (rib-eye steak, chicken breast fillet with or without skin, fresh salmon, swordfish or tuna steak, etc). It might seem a little monotonous, but I donít mind – I have got myself off the treadmill of non-stop snacking and general overeating without feeling hungry, so Iím very happy to tolerate some monotony for what is after all a very enjoyable diet.
  • Now Iím on OWL, Iíll be adding back a few more items Iíve missed these past 4 months! As you may notice, I use metric for some measurements and imperial for others – it does not confuse me in any way, although I accept it may be a little bizarre and difficult for others to follow. Similarly, I think of my own weight in terms of kilograms, but take my size measurements in inches, not centimeters – thatís just the way it is.
    1. Breakfast – omelette (2 eggs, 1 oz grated gruyere cheese cooked with butter and olive oil, 40g sliced fresh mushroom), small salad (60g – baby spinach, radish sprinkled with olive oil).
    2. Lunch – chicken fillet with skin (4.5 oz sprinkled with Ďherbs de Provenceí and cooked with butter and olive oil), 40g sautéed broccoli, salad (130g – mixed lettuce, celery and cucumber sprinkled with olive oil).
    3. Dinner – tuna steak (5.5 oz sprinkled with dill and cooked with butter and olive oil), 7 stalks asparagus tips steamed, salad (120g – romaine lettuce, cucumber and rocket with 50g cottage cheese then sprinkled with olive oil).

Supplements - all taken before breakfast, after swallowing the fibre mixture.

  • 1 multi-vitamin tablet (Centrum A to Zinc)
  • 1 vitamin C suckable tablet (500mg)
  • 1 vitamin B Complex tablet
  • 1 vitamin E capsule (400 iu)
  • 1 cod liver oil capsule (525mg)
  • 1 garlic tablet (Kwai one-a-day)
  • Salt Substitute - Solo low-sodium salt substitute – I started using this a couple of weeks ago and feel it is beginning to be noticeably beneficial.

Snacks - none (I rarely if ever have any as I've never been hungry since beginning Atkins).

Exercise - walks with my dog. Morning about 2 1/2 miles. Afternoon about 2 miles. Evening about 1 mile. I now do about ¼ mile of light jogging during the morning and afternoon walks.

Issues this week – OWL seems to be going well.

Cheating this week – Over this past weekend I had four quite large glasses of dry white wine; I was away at a conference and relaxed a little. It doesnít seem to have done me too much harm.

Diet stage – OWL level 2 of carb ladder (30g carbs a day)

  • Age 51 - 1m69 (5'7") Start - 98kg (216.1 lb) BMI/34 15JUN03
  • Target - 65kg (143.3 lb) BMI/22.5
  • Current – 71.4kg (157.4lb) BMI/24.9 2NOV03 - last Sunday
  • Loss to date – 26.6kg (58.7lb)
Friday, November 14, 2003 Atkins Low Carbohydrate Diet - Week 21

Now in week 22. Measurements last Sunday are at the foot of the message. In the week to 9th November, week 2 on OWL, I lost a further 0.5 kg (1.1 lb). Chest, waist and hips showed reasonable reductions - 0.2, 0.2 and 0.3 inches respectively, – overall losses so far are 4.9, 11.9 and 8.3 inches respectively.

I am now on the 3rd stage of the OWL carb ladder, adding 5g carbs a day of nuts, a stage Iíve been looking forward to reaching for WEEKS. So far Iíve had some roasted almonds and hazelnuts and just a very few brasil nuts – delicious. I seem to have lost about 0.5kg (1.1lb) since Sunday and I suspect Iím managing to keep up the weight loss partly because of the regular, but not very lengthy periods of jogging I now do as part of my daily dog walking routine. The other reason may be a change in my mineral supplement regime – see below. My stamina remains pretty abysmal, but I think I am beginning to see some improvement – very encouraging and good for the morale. Next week Iíll be able to add some berries – yum! As Iíll be entertaining a few people to dinner during the week, weíll be able to have berries (probably raspberries and blackberries) and cream for a dessert – a lot easier than some of the contortions Iíve had to go through when entertaining over the past few months.

(In all my menus below: tbsp - tablespoon of 15ml; tsp - teaspoon of 5ml)

  • Fibre Supplements – I continue to Ďregularí using the doses specified a few weeks ago, so Iím sticking to those. Perhaps as I progress up the carb ladder on OWL Iíll be able to reduce my fibre dosage a little – I delayed reducing the pre-breakfast dose to the same levels as at lunch and dinner, but I think now is the time so Iíll start tomorrow.
  • Menus – I tend to rotate a small range of dishes at breakfast (bacon and eggs, or scrambled eggs, or an omelette, sometimes some fish) and at lunch and dinner (rib-eye steak, chicken breast fillet with or without skin, fresh salmon, swordfish or tuna steak, etc). It might seem a little monotonous, but I donít mind – I have got myself off the treadmill of non-stop snacking and general overeating without feeling hungry, so Iím very happy to tolerate some monotony for what is after all a very enjoyable diet. Now Iím on OWL, Iíll be adding back a few more items Iíve missed these past 4 months!
  • As you may notice, I use metric for some measurements and imperial for others – it does not confuse me in any way, although I accept it may be a little bizarre and difficult for others to follow. Similarly, I think of my own weight in terms of kilograms, but take my size measurements in inches, not centimeters – thatís just the way it is.
    1. Breakfast – bacon, eggs and tomato (2 eggs, 2 rashers streaky bacon, a medium tomato cooked with butter and olive oil, fried eggs topped with 1tsp each of cream cheese), small salad (80g – tatsoi mix, radish sprinkled with olive oil).
    2. Lunch – rib-eye steak (5 oz with butter and olive oil), salad (90g – romaine lettuce, cucumber and celery sprinkled with olive oil), topped with 80g of chopped mozzarella; this is less than the allowance, but is about as much as I can cope with at one sitting.
    3. Dinner – can tuna chunks in sunflower oil, drained (5 oz creamed with mayonnaise and some of the drained oil) and a salad (90g – romaine lettuce, celery and radish sprinkled with olive oil).

Supplements - all taken before breakfast, after swallowing the fibre mixture.

  • 1 multi-vitamin tablet (Centrum A to Zinc)
  • 1 vitamin C suckable tablet (500mg)
  • 1 vitamin B Complex tablet
  • 1 vitamin E capsule (400 iu)
  • 1 cod liver oil capsule (525mg)
  • 1 garlic tablet (Kwai one-a-day)
  • 1 or 2 magnesium tablets (NEW, 2nd mid-afternoon (150mg each) – 2nd on alternate days.
  • Salt Substitute - Solo low-sodium salt substitute – seems to be making a real difference.

Snacks – Iím having some of my nut allowance late morning and the rest late afternoon. I havenít noticed the re-emergence of cravings so far, but am on the lookout for these.

Exercise - walks with my dog. Morning about 2 1/2 miles. Afternoon about 2 miles. Evening about 1 mile. I now do about ¼ mile of light jogging during the morning and afternoon walks.

Issues this week – OWL seems to be going well. Iím probably being over-cautious with the quantities of fresh cheeses and nuts I am eating – Iím afraid of stalling my weight loss, so I think I will try my hardest NOT to measure my weight daily, but only weekly so that I still see a measureable difference and not become discouraged by daily measurements.

Cheating this week – none.

Diet stage – OWL level 3 of carb ladder (35g carbs a day)

  • Age 51 - 1m69 (5'7") Start - 98kg (216.1 lb) BMI/34 15JUN03
  • Target - 65kg (143.3 lb) BMI/22.5
  • Current – 70.9kg (156.3lb) BMI/24.5 9NOV03 - last Sunday
  • Loss to date – 27.1kg (59.8lb)
Thursday, November 20, 2003 Atkins Low Carbohydrate Diet - Week 22

Now in week 23. Measurements last Sunday are at the foot of the message. In the week to 16th November, week 3 on OWL, I lost a further 0.4 kg (0.8 lb). Chest, waist and hips showed small reductions - 0.1, 0.2 and 0.2 inches respectively, – overall losses so far are 5.0, 12.1 and 8.5 inches respectively.

I am now on the 4th stage of the OWL carb ladder, adding 5g carbs a day of berries, yet another stage Iíve been looking forward to reaching for WEEKS. So far Iíve only had some strawberries (amazingly, still English-grown) with double cream, but I hope to find some raspberries or blackberries in the next few days, no doubt at this time of year either from Spain or California or perhaps Chile.

I seem to have lost slightly over 0.5kg (1.1lb) since Sunday, although I didnít quite meet this target last week.

Iím gradually extending the length of my brief jogs, whilst walking my dog, and today for the first time I noticed that I could run up a short hill near my home without any calf pain – real progress, I think.

I think Iíll stick on this OWL stage for at least another week, though – quite apart from anything else Iím finding it a little difficult to add more back into my daily diet and not feel over-full. I may add a little more salad though. This week, instead of just giving a sample diet, very much the same as previous weeks, except for the berries added this week, I thought itíd be more interesting to look at how my weight loss has progressed over 4-week periods since I began this WOE; the figures show quite an interesting downward trend, with just a few peaks along the way. It confirms, I think, just how well Atkins WOE works if you follow the book reasonably closely, as I have tried to do, with only minor and very sporadic Ďcheatingí:

LOSS FOR 4 WEEKS ENDING -------- Kg ---- Lb

  •                20jul03 ------------------- 12.5 ----- 27.6
  •                27jul03 ------------------- 10.5 ----- 23.2
  •                 3aug03 -------------------- 9.5 ----- 21.0
  •                10aug03 ------------------- 7.5 ----- 16.5
  •                17aug03 ------------------- 5.0 ----- 11.0
  •                24aug03 ------------------- 4.5 ------ 9.9
  •                31aug03 ------------------- 3.5 ------ 7.7
  •                7sep03 --------------------- 3.5 ------ 7.7
  •                14sep03 ------------------- 3.7 ------ 8.2
  •                21sep03 ------------------- 3.0 ------ 6.6
  •                28sep03 ------------------- 3.0 ------ 6.6
  •                5oct03 --------------------- 3.5 ------ 7.7
  •                12oct03 ------------------- 3.1 ------- 6.8
  •                19oct03 ------------------- 3.6 ------- 8.0
  •                26oct03 ------------------- 3.5 ------- 7.7
  •                 2nov03 ------------------- 2.6 ------- 5.8
  •                 9nov03 ------------------- 2.8 ------- 6.2
  •                16nov03 ------------------ 2.4 ------- 5.2

Supplements – same as last week, except I now take 2 magnesium tablets daily, the first at breakfast and the 2nd mid-afternoon (150mg each). Iím looking at adding Pantothenic Acid, which I can source in the UK, and Pantethine. Unfortunately, the only source I have been able to trace of this is in the US, so it may be some weeks before I can get a hold of it. Iíd prefer to start taking both simultaneously, however.

See previous weeks for other parts of my daily regime.

Cheating this week – none.

Diet stage – OWL level 4 of carb ladder (40g carbs a day)

  • Age 51 - 1m69 (5'7") Start - 98kg (216.1 lb) BMI/34 15JUN03
  • Target - 65kg (143.3 lb) BMI/22.5
  • Current – 70.4kg (155.5lb) BMI/24.3 16NOV03 - last Sunday
  • Loss to date – 27.5kg (60.6lb)
Monday, December 1, 2003 Atkins Low Carbohydrate Diet - Weeks 23 and 24

This morning I entered week 25. I was too busy with Ďreal lifeí away from my PC last week to do a report so this covers 2 weeks. Measurements last night are at the foot of the message. In the first of the 2 weeks (to 23rd November - week 4 on OWL), I lost 0.9 kg (2.0 lb). I would have lost considerably more than this, possibly as much as 1.5kg (3.3lb), largely I suspect because of the lengthier and lengthier light Ďjoggingí I now do whilst out taking my dog for her daily walks. I think I had been instinctively too restrictive in what I was eating and leaving too big a margin below the daily limit of 40g carbs. To compensate, I increased both the protein I was eating and the amount of salads/vegetables I was taking at several meals. In the second of the 2 weeks (to 30th November - week 5 on OWL), I remained on the same 40g carb level a day, but ensured I was eating much closer to the daily maximum allowed. I lost a further 0.6 kg (1.4 lb). Chest, waist and hips showed pretty reasonable reductions over the two weeks - 0.1, 0.4 and 0.4 inches respectively – overall losses so far are 5.1, 12.5 and 8.9 inches respectively.

As I am now on the 4th stage of the OWL carb ladder, adding 5g carbs a day of berries, I am enjoying all the additional vegetables, nuts and berries I am allowed and so far havenít noticed any particular Ďcravingsí. With nuts I am careful that I measure out what I am allowed onto a small dish and PUT THE BAGS OF NUTS AWAY IN THE CUPBOARD OUT OF SIGHT – I then ration out my nut allowance over the period when I am preparing lunch or dinner. I do NOT want to get back into the habit of Ďsnackingí between meals, something I no longer have any desire to do and just donít notice. The strawberries available here at the moment seem to be from Holland, but it wonít be long before theyíre coming from Spain or Morocco – many years ago I lived in Morocco and consider them to grow amongst the best strawberries available anywhere. The blueberries Iíve been getting have been from Chile and have been delicious. Iím going to stay on 40g carb a day for the next one or two weeks, but make sure I am actually eating pretty close to this daily limit and not instinctively eating less. In both the last two weeks I have Ďcheatedí a little by having a couple of glasses of red wine each week and I shall certainly be continuing to do so, but will of course not overdo it. Depending on progress over these two weeks I expect to be able to move to ĎPre-maintenanceí sometime during this period. I want to make the change when I have about 7 lb left to lose. At present I am 8.9lb from my target.

Supplements – same as last week.

Cheating this week – minor; a couple of glasses of wine during the week.

Diet stage – OWL level 4 of carb ladder (40g carbs a day)

  • Age 51 - 1m69 (5'7") Start - 98kg (216.1 lb) BMI/34 15JUN03
  • Target - 65kg (143.3 lb) BMI/22.5
  • Current – 69.0kg (152.1lb) BMI/23.9 30NOV03 - last Sunday
  • Loss to date – 29.0kg (63.9lb)
Wednesday, December 10, 2003 Atkins Low Carbohydrate Diet - Week 25

Now in week 26 (This week straddles OWL and Pre-maintenance (PM).

Measurements last Sunday are at the foot of the message. Last week (week 6 on OWL), I again remained on the same 40g carb level a day. I lost a further 0.6 kg (1.3 lb). Chest, waist and hips showed small reductions - 0.2, 0.2 and 0.1 inches respectively – overall losses so far are 5.3, 12.7 and 9.0 inches respectively.

Since last Sunday, I seem to have dropped a further 0.4 kg (0.9 lb) – validated over two days – so I now have only 3 kg (6.6 lb) left to reach target. Therefore, I decided today to move on to ĎPre-maintenanceí, rather than wait until next Sunday. Iíve added more nuts, comprising additional amounts whilst preparing lunch and dinner. Iíve also added some more vegetables – some courgette and some mangetout. So far I havenít noticed resurgence of cravings, but Iím trying to observe this over a couple of days, just to check!

Supplements – I forgot to mention last time that the week before last I added Co-enzyme Q10 to my daily supplements (1 x 10mg tablet). Last week I added Pantothenic Acid (1 x 550mg caplet), mentioned last week.

Cheating this week – I was away this past weekend for 3 days and ate both home-cooked and restaurant meals. However, I was able to stick pretty closely to the rules. I did have a few glasses of wine, though, and Iím afraid that one of the rib-eye steaks I had was accompanied by red rather than white wine.

Diet stage – OWL level 4 of carb ladder (40g carbs a day) until 9 Dec; Pre-maintenance (50g carbs a day) with effect from 10 Dec.

  • During the week I felt able to get a new pair of jeans in a smaller size, 32Ē waist, and they are not at all tight on me. I also got a pair of 33Ē waist chinos last week and they too are very comfortable – in a week or so Iíll probably have the courage to go for a pair of 32Ē chinos as well. I also treated myself last week to a couple of very fine sweaters (I donít like chunky sweaters), one of which is 100% superfine merino wool and is really Ďdressyí and the other is 70% cashmere and 30% silk – ridiculously over-the-top, but very comfortable to wear and it looks great, too. All this is a great morale-booster.
  • Age 51 - 1m69 (5'7")
  • Start - 98kg (216.1 lb) BMI/34 15JUN03
  • Target - 65kg (143.3 lb) BMI/22.5
  • Current – 68.4kg (150.8lb) BMI/23.7 7DEC03 - last Sunday
  • Loss to date – 29.6kg (65.3lb)
Future entries are in the 'Pre-Maintenance (PM)' page.

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