Why ‘Everything in Moderation’ doesn’t work

Addictive high carb foodsI’m sure, like me, when you tell people you are on the Atkins diet – after telling them the foods you no longer eat (or want to eat for that matter) – they shake their heads in disbelief and mutter something about ‘everything in moderation’. It’s a favorite line from dietitians and health professionals everywhere too. You’d be forgiven for thinking that something terrible might happen if you don’t reintroduce sweets, pizza, bread or fizzy drinks as soon as possible. So is this good advice? Is it a bad idea to completely eliminate some foods?
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New Irish food pyramid – any basis in science?

Ireland's new Food Pyramid - 2016

Ireland’s new Food Pyramid – 2016

Food Pyramid 2012

Food Pyramid 2012

The Food Pyramid on which Irish dietary guidelines has been revamped. At first glance, it looks like an improvement but as they say – the devil is in the detail. And if the Irish population were to adopt it wholeheartedly – would the health of the nation improve and would it help us head off the looming obesity crisis? Currently we are set to become the fattest in Europe by 2030 according to the latest projections of the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to these projections 91% of Irish men would be overweight or obese and 83% of women. This would obviously have a dramatic effect on our already over burdened health services with the corresponding increase in related illness for example heart disease and type two diabetes. Continue reading

Mother weans baby on to Atkins!

Small child eating meatWhat mother would do such a thing? And how overweight is her baby that she’s trying to put him on a diet so young? And what about all that meat? And surely he should be eating cereal and baby rice? Isn’t it dangerous?

At least these are questions you might be asking if you believe some popular Atkins myths and common misconceptions about LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) diets..
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Is fruit allowed on the Atkins diet

The ‘5 a day’ campaign has been so successful that anyone you ask on the street would tell you that we should all be eating five portions of fruit and veg a day. Fruit is practically the default health food. So is this true and is fruit appropriate on a low-carb diet like Atkins?

Is fruit appropriate on Atkins?

Fruit on AtkinsSo to answer the question on whether you can eat fruit on Atkins –  it depends on your individual carb tolerance and whether you trying to lose or maintain your weight. Fruit contains fructose which is a natural sugar. However, natural or not, it is still sugar to your body and like all other carbs it is converted to blood sugar and used as fuel for the body, with any excess stored as fat. Continue reading

A new report by world experts urges us to Eat Fat and Cut the Carbs

A report entitled “Eat fat, cut the carbs and avoid snacking to reverse obesity and type 2 diabetes” was published by a UK charity called the National Obesity Forum (NOF) on Sunday 22 May. It has caused quite a controversy with Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England saying that it “irresponsible and misleads the public” and other nutritionists making similar statements.

Healthy saturated fatsThe paper, drafted by authors from around the world, was coordinated by Aseem Malholtra, a UK cardiologist who has been a leader of the anti-sugar movement. It’s authors include Dr Robert Lustig, who has been one of the leaders of the anti-sugar movement in the US and NOF chairman Professor David Haslam. Continue reading

How to read food labels

Reading a food label on food packaging

Reading a food label on food packaging

On the popular Sugar Crash documentary aired on RTE earlier this year, a comment was made that you need to have a degree in nutrition and a magnifying glass to read food labels! Well this article should take the mystery out of it and you certainly don’t need to be a nutritionist to do your weekly grocery shop when following Atkins! Continue reading

Atkins is individualised

An important aspect of the Atkins diet that is often not understood, is the fact that it is individualised. By progressing through the four phases, you discover which foods you can eat and how many grams of carbs you can eat a day and still lose weight. And once you have reached your goal weight, you will know how many grams of carbs you can eat a day and remain at your goal weight – for good.

If a man is not faithful to his own individuality he cannot be faithful to anything - Claude McKayThe amount of carbs an individual can eat and maintain their weight loss will vary considerably from one individual to the next. It depends on lots of factors from how carb intolerant you are, your metabolism, your genes, medical conditions and your level of activity. However, before you read that list and think, “I can’t do anything about my genes/metabolism or certain medical conditions”, Atkins will still work once you keep to the Acceptable Food List and reduce the carbs sufficiently. This is evident once you understand how Atkins works. Continue reading

Sugar Crash documentary – a review

Most people know that sugar is bad for your teeth, but so many people are unaware that it is the primary culprit in piling on the pounds and especially the fat that accumulates around our middles. Hopefully the recent documentary aired on RTE1 called Sugar Crash will help correct this huge misconception. It was an excellent documentary and I think an eye opener for many people. You can watch it here:

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Meal plans on Atkins

Atkins meal plan

Atkins meal plan

Whether you are cooking for one person or for a larger group planning meals is a good idea – you put more thought into what you eat, you are more likely to eat a wider variety of food, you do more cooking from scratch, you are less likely to get take away or eat junk food, you eat tastier healthier meals and you save money. However, while it is a very good idea in general, it is essential, in my opinion when starting with Atkins. Continue reading

Counting carbs in Ireland – total or net carbs?

Handy pocket sized Carb Counter book

Handy pocket sized Carb Counter

A question we’re asked pretty often is whether you need to count total or net carbs when following the Atkins diet in Ireland. The good news is that you just need to count the total carbs – no subtracting of fibre or anything else needed. The reason you might read online about counting net carbs is because in the US the labeling on products is different. In Ireland, when looking at packages or tins – just go by the number after ‘Carbohydrates’.

However, you will probably find you are eating less food that comes in a box, package or tin while following the Atkins nutritional approach and much more from the fresh vegetables aisles and your local butchers and fishmongers. To see how much carbs are in these foods – visit our food list page. You will see a full list of the acceptable foods for each phase there along with the amount of carbs in each. Continue reading

Atkins for breastfeeding mothers

Breastfeeding babyFor new mothers, losing weight is probably the furthest thing from their minds and in my opinion, this is exactly as it should be. I think that in our culture mothers are sometimes expected to bounce back to ‘normal’ as though nothing has changed! In reality, everything has changed and you have a lot more important things to think about in those first few weeks or months. As well as getting to know your baby, establishing breastfeeding, adjusting your sleeping patterns and often your expectations you need to try to give yourself time to rest and recover.

However, at some point when you feel ready to begin losing the baby weight and you have consulted with your doctor, the Atkins Nutritional Approach is an excellent choice. This is true no matter how you feed your baby but when breastfeeding there are some extra considerations so I’ll focus on these for this article.
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The REAL Heart Healthy Foods

We’ve been told for years now to avoid the ‘artery-blocking’ saturated fats and to eat more ‘heart healthy’ whole grains to lower our cholesterol and reduce our risk of heart disease.. So is it true and has it worked?

If this is your first introduction to the idea that the health advice we have been given for so long in relation to diet is questionable, I completely understand that it is a lot to take in but please keep an open mind and do check out the extra resources at the end. Continue reading

Want to lose weight but hate exercising?

For many people, the idea of having to exercise – of forcing themselves to go to a large impersonal gym at some crazy hour of the morning or making themselves pound the streets late at night or spend hours on that treadmill – puts them completely off the idea of trying to lose weight.Fat man jogging tired

For others, its the idea of walking into a gym full of beautiful people in their gym attire is so intimidating that it makes them give up the whole idea of losing weight before they even start. Or perhaps, you are someone that cannot exercise because of a disability or an injury. Or maybe you’re really busy and can’t seem to fit it in right now..

Well, I have good news for you! Continue reading

How To Start The Atkins Diet

So you’ve decided that its time to bite the bullet and get started with Atkins. But where do you start? Well, before we start with the practical steps and the how-to part of it, it’s worth taking a step back to take a look at what you are trying to achieve. I’ll assume if you are reading this article that you want to lose weight and improve your health. And its probably safe to assume you want those extra few pounds/stone to stay lost? Continue reading

5 Common Myths: Answered

In any walk of life, be it gardening or teaching or politics you will get some mis-information or myths. But when you speak to someone who knows what they are talking about you tend to find out the truth.

Like the above example, the subject of diet, nutrition and the human body’s reaction to food isn’t one that everyone is expert in, and this may include your GP. So, when it comes to a specific way of consuming food and getting nutrition into the body via the Atkins Nutritional Approach, then a lot of conjecture, hear-say and third hand information can get mixed up with the truth.

To help you along, here are five commonly held myths about the Atkins Nutritional Approach. Hopefully, this knowledge will benefit you and give you confidence in following and talking about the Atkins Nutritional Approach. Continue reading