Atkins in your face
For the past month, Iíve been eating nothing but meat and cheese. Thatís right people; Iím on the Atkins diet, the hottest diet craze of 2003. Sure, Iím about five years late to the party, but Iím getting results none-the-less.
Besides the weight loss, Atkins has had some interesting side effects. One such side effect is that many of my friends, communication majors, business majors and English majors, have suddenly become dietary experts. Iíve heard people spout off more nutrition facts in a single lunch than Iíve heard them speak in class.
ďThat canít be healthy!Ē they cry as a dig into their fourth order of chicken wings in four days. ďYouíre going to have heart failure!Ē they wail as I cut another slice of cheddar from my cheese wheel. ďYouíll be dead by 40!Ē they lament as I put butter on my T-bone steak.
I get it. Itís hard to believe that a diet of meat and cheese can be anything but disastrous for a person. Hell, I have a hard time believing it myself. Anytime I need proof that this diet wonít put me in an early grave, I just look to my dad, Tony. Tony Adams has been on the Atkins diet for over five years, and heís a fit as a fiddle. ďAny man who doesnít like the food on this diet has gender issues.Ē His blood pressure has actually gone down since the diet. And heís looking quite svelte, too.
The thing that interests most people is the list of food Iím not allowed to have. Itís easier, instead, to list what is OK. All meats (chicken, pork, beef and fish, both shelled and unshelled) are fair game. Same with cheeses. Leafy green veggies are good, too. And I can have all the eggs I want.
As far as everything else goes? Donít even think about it. No fruit or fruit juice. No carrots or tomatoes. No potatoes, which includes French fries. No bread, which is the nemesis of a man on Atkins. No sugary treats like candy, pie or pie-flavored candy. If itís got carbs in it, I canít touch it. Milk? Gone. Pasta? Psh, please.
Oh, and did I mention no beer for the first two weeks?
Iíll admit, seeing all of the forbidden items listed on paper is a bit daunting, but it really isnít as hard as you think. Breakfast is a ham and cheese omelet, lunch can be a chicken Caesar salad (but no croutons) and dinner is a bunless bacon-cheeseburger (sadly, no ketchup). It might be different than your average studentís three-squares, but it canít be that far off.
There are two big misconceptions about the diet, one of which I myself am guilty of believing. The first is that once on Atkins, you can never have carbs again. After a period of two weeks, when the Atkins diet is boot-camp hardcore about not having carbs, a person on the diet can pull back and gradually have a slice of bread or a glass of juice every now and again. Up to 60 grams per day after the first two weeks.
The second misconception is that a person can eat as much meat and cheese as they like without any sort of repercussion, which I have discovered is not true. Turns out, I canít have steak three times a day without any sort of health problem. I canít put butter on my cheese and eat it like dessert every night. The Atkins diet is really just like any other diet; itís about limiting and moderation, self-control and reward.
If you happen to see someone sitting in Treetops, peeling the cheese off of pizza and putting it on a chicken breast, please donít be alarmed. Itís hard to believe it, but Iím actually losing weight, and am not a crazy person.
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