Low Sugar, Atkins, Low Carb advice

Mr. Jar and I are doing the research and planning our journey into low sugar/controlled carb eating.

I don’t care if you think it works or not.

For those of you who think it does, what is your advice for dealing with sweet tooth attacks? Dr. Atkins says that if you eat healthily enough you’ll never want sugar or sweets again. And my answer to that is “bull”. I’m not one who scarfs down sweets at every turn, but damn, sometimes I just want a cookie or a handful of m&ms. I note in reading the ATKINS book, that even in Lifetime Maintenance he urges you to stay away from all sugar…

:: jarbaby looks sadly at all the Christmas cookie tins… ::

Is there some little snack or treat that you guys enjoy while staying away from sugar? (keep in mind I’m not really a fruit lover)

Have you looked at the Carb Addicts diet? It’s two meals without carbs a day and one reward meal where you can eat whatever you want as long as you eat it all within an hour. IMHO the hour thingy is quackery.

I’ve been doing it since April. I’ve not had the dramatic weight loss other people have talked about on Atkins but I’m not gaining, I’m slowly but surely losing and it is a totally sustainable way to eat for me. It’s not a diet but a way of eating that I know I can do longterm. I am still not sure I could do Atkins longterm.

And my experience was that the longer I eat low carb the less I want sugar and sweet things. I do a lot of baking and I don’t eat it and I don’t miss it. So I’m pretty hopeless on the sweet low carb ideas. Do a search for Karen Barnaby – I think she’s got some nice recipes.

And yeah, I totally agree that I don’t want to hear any more from people who don’t think it works or if it works, it shouldn’t work or that those of us who know we feel better with this way of eating are just kidding ourselves.

Atkins has a line of sugar free candy. I love the peanut butter cups. There’s also a brand called Purd De-lite that are pretty damn tasty. Both are sweetened with Splenda and Maltitol. On the Atkins box there’s a warning about the “laxative effects” of sugar alcohols, but I had two packets last night and suffered no ill effects today.

If you are not willing to eat artificial sweetners, then I have no idea, but if you can handle AFs, I’d highly reccomend them.



Um…that would be Pure De-Lite. And AF should be AS (artificial sweetners).
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All i’ve done is cut out sugar/bread/pasta/potatoes/and rice. but I will use splenda (tastes and measures exactly like sugar) .
My wife buys pancake mix/syrup/ and candy bars which are all Dr Atkins approved.

Someone whose lost 35 pounds up to several months ago and is maintaining the weight loss with very little effort and quite a few “slips” due to social imperatives. I’m damn well going to have mashed potatoes next Thanksgiving.

I’m just re-starting Atkins in earnest after regaining some of the weight I lost back in 1999. I lost about 60 lbs in 1999 and kept it all off til the second half of last year, when I went off program and started going back to my old eating habits. I regained about 15 lbs over the last year.

I found that once I was on the Atkins plan for a while, my cravings definitely went away, andmy taste buds recalibrated and things seemed a lot sweeter than they used to.

There is some low-carb chocolate available now - several brands are available at www.netrition.com (there’s a whole section of low-carb stuff, and the prices are good).

Maybe some sugar-free jello with whipped cream (sweetened with Splenda or NutraSweet)? I would have this every so often for dessert.

I used to make sort of a fake chocolate mousse in the mini-food processor with mascarpone cheese, heavy whipping cream, cocoa powder, and sweetener. It tastes pretty good, and it was so filling you couldn’t eat much of it.

I’m told Trader Joe’s now carries a low-carb friendly ice cream in individual tubs. I think it’s from Atkins, but I’m not sure. Just a note to beware most of the Atkins products - they had a really bad reputation for being generally nasty on the low carb newsgroup I used to frequent. That was a few years ago (before I found the SDMB), so things may have improved. I still prefer the Atkins protein/meal replacement bars over the other ones I’ve tried, and the peanut butter ones are actually pretty tasty, but most of them are just edible. Emergency rations.

jarbaby, since you like to cook (right?), there are a couple of good cookbooks out there you might want to check out:

The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook
The Low-Carb Cookbook: The Complete Guide to the Healthy Low-Carbohydrate Lifestyle with over 250 Delicious Recipes - this one has a pretty good low-carb cheesecake, IIRC.

I didn’t start adding sweets back in until well after induction, since I wanted to break my psychological addiction to carbs. Instead, I indulged in a lot of high-fat things that I’d deprived myself of on a low-fat diet (which left me feeling hungry all the damn time). When I found myself craving carbs, instead I had some gourmet cheese. And once I was off induction, I ate a fair amount of nuts.

Primaflora, are you sure that CAD’s reward meal allows anything? My recollection was that you had to eat a certain amount of protein, veggies, etc. before you could eat anything else.

jarbaby, Good Luck to you and jarhubby.

Just to clarify – the CAD reward meal allows anything in the sense that you can have a dessert as part of the meal. You can’t have dessert or sweets as the whole meal. It’s easier than Atkins in that there are no absolute forbidden foods that you can never have. Once a day you can have a meal which includes1/3 the craving reducing protein, 1/3 craving reducing veges and 1/3 carbs including desserts. You start the meal with a salad. They do stress using brown rice rather than white rice – using better carbs than junk carbs like white bread or white rice but you can have them if you really want them.

Am I making it any clearer? I was a bit simplistic in my first post. ** porcupine** have you found that your migraines are affected by carbs? I found that my migraines have decreased to one every 3 months instead of 4 a month and my stress levels certainly have not decreased.

Russell Stover and Hershey’s also make a line of sugar free candies. They’re cheaper than Atkins and most of the other low carb candy products. And I’ve found www.thebetterhealthstore.com to have better prices than netrition.com. And you will discover the laxative effect if you eat enough sugar alcohols.

If you can find them, Carbolite makes a brand of chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies that are really good. They’re expensive (about $1 per 3" cookie). My mother just gave me a delicious no-bake cheesecake recipe the other day. http://lowcarbrecipes.com/samplerecipes.html

I’ve lost 37 lbs since the beginning of the year, and I don’t have any problems keeping with the diet.

Thanks for the help folks, I’m sure I’ll be able to tough it out until Christmas at least! Like porcupine said, I love love LOVE to cook, and I’m particularly good at baking and pastries…damn I’m going to miss those lemon bars :smiley:

jarbabyj the Low-Carber Forum has a huge receipe section. Cookies, cheesecake, brownies…haven’t seen lemonbars but am sure someone will post one if you ask :slight_smile: Helpful site, great support & tons of info there.

Good luck on the new WOE.

jarbabyj, i expect a report on the success of your undertaking in three months. What is your present weight? I’m marking the calender at Dec 11. Ignore this post if it offends you.

Primaflora, I’m glad your migraines are helped by low carb. I definitely noticed fewer migraines when I follow low-carb than when I was on a low fat plan. One of my triggers is low blood sugar, which of course isn’t a problem with this way of eating. I have lots of other triggers, though, and most of this year have had a headache for 20 or so days per month. Things finally seem to be turning around, though - last week I just started feeling better, so maybe my new preventative is actually starting to work. :slight_smile:

jarbaby, one things that you may want to pick up is “Expert Foods not Starch” - it’s a thickener you can use instead of flour or corn starch, so you can have gravy if you want it. I mostly use it for thickening cream of whatever soups. It’s hella expensive, but you don’t need to use much comparitively. You can get it at www.netrition.com, and they have other low carb substitute products you might want to use in the kitchen.

Me, too. I do use whole-grain versions of breads and pastas, and we eat sweet potatoes (you can mash sweet potatoes with milk, butter and a little cinnamon, and they are to die for!). Much as I never would have believed it, my cravings for sweets has all but disappeared. I do indulge in no-sugar-added ice cream and fudge pops. Occasionally, I’ll make sugar-free pudding or jello, or buy some sugar-free candy, like Hershey’s or Russell Stover. I’ve lost about 65 pounds since the first of the year, and have taken 10 inches off my waist. Because I get to eat lots of protein, fruits, veggies and an adequate amount of fat, I find this diet to be very satisfying, and quite easy to stick to! You can email me if you feel like it, my addy is in my profile.

Best of luck!

Dr. Atkins says that if you eat healthily enough you’ll never want sugar or sweets again.

Well, I do agree this is a bit over the top, but I should mention that I was surprised beyond belief that I don’t really have A LOT of sugar cravings. Honestly, I would have predicted that I would be like a crack-addicted monkey forced to go cold turkey, but the cravings are occasional and not too terrible.

I absolutely hate artificial sweetener taste, and I find that Splenda has this same taste (although less of it). The Splenda people claim this is absolutely imposible, but they can go suck my smelly old socks. The best things I have found are the Atkins peanut butter cups – although I think that most of the Atkins Advantage products taste like ass. There is also a brand of snack bar called “CarbRite” which is much better than the other brands out there, I think this used to be called “Doctor’s” and sometimes you see it as “Doctor’s CarbRite.” You’re not going to mistake this for real candy or anything dramatic like that, but it’s okay.

In general, for low carb snack products, I always go with whatever has peanut butter flavor, because peanuts are kosher on Atkins, and I think the peanut butter is strong tasting enough to cover up the “fake” flavors that they use.

If you’re doing the by-the-book Atkins plan, you can add some fruits back after the initial induction period. When I got to this point, I was startled by how sweet the fruit seemed after being so long without cookies/candy/cake. And, like the OP, I’m not a huge fan of fruit. Berries and fresh whipped cream is a great dessert (to my complete astonishment). Oh, and you can eat plain old whipped cream any time, which is good for sweet cravings in the beginning. This must be real whipped cream, of course, the non-dairy whipped toppings don’t count.

Sour cream dip can be your best friend for snacks. Oh, and you can use veggies as a delivery system for the dip. Olives are also good. Roasted red peppers are good. A lot of my meals look like antipasto platters, and I make a point to go to the ritzy cheese shop and am willing to try just about any exotic cheese. Super strong stinky cheese is good because it seems easier to be satisfied with a smaller portion. And I learned a lot about cheese.

I also love to bake and I missed doing it. I started baking things I don’t like (things with coconut, for example) just to have the fun of baking without the temptation of sampling, and then immediately bring them to work or give them to someone who likes them so they’re out of the house.

Socially, it’s a little hard at parties or gatherings when dessert comes out and everyone chows down, but since I’m among family or friends, if I still feel hungry I actually go back and eat more of the main course while everyone else is eating dessert. There’s something I really hate about sitting around with an empty plate while others are scarfing down their sweets. In restaurants, I have ordered crabcakes as dessert, or more rationally, the cheese plate. Clearly, the key here is not to keep eating after you’re no longer hungry, so I’m just pacing myself so that I’m still eating at the same time as the other people in the group. It’s hard for people to feel too sorry for you during dessert if you’re tucking in to some really exquisite french goat cheese.

My pathetic moment – when I absolutely, positively need to have real sugar, I dig around in my cookie decorations and eat something like five individual chocolate jimmies (or sprinkles, depending where you live). The Atkins people I’m sure would think this was weak and miserable, but come on, it’s FIVE chocolate jimmies. I am not so far around the bend that I can’t eat five chocolate jimmies.

My son lost 100 lbs on atkins - kept it off 3 years now, so nyaah nyaah to you doubters!
There’s an atkins recipe for pancakes that involved ricotta cheese, soy flour, few other things. Good, pretty thin and light. Make those, spread with some all-fruit spread, roll up, you have a crepe such as our stylish gallic friends enjoy daily on the banks of the storied Sienne…

There are some rubbish recipes in the Atkins book for pseudo-sweet things using sweetener, but they taste foul. The good news is, for me anyway, that when I did the diet, I lost my sweet tooth compeltely after 48 hours. No pangs whatsoever. In fact I just didn’t care about food - I ate to refuel because my stomach was rumbling.

grienspace, I’m not sure if you meant your post in a snide way or not but I’ll answer honestly. I don’t particularly feel like broadcasting my weight on the boards, but I do know that my final goal is to lose 50 lbs, to weigh what I did on my wedding day eight years ago. My husband has to lose much more, at least 75.

We’ll be starting the plan next Tuesday (after my period is over) and I’ll be happy to report on our progress.

Good luck to you and yours.

I loooooooooove Russell Stover, Hershey’s, and Baskin & Robbins SF candy. Good Stuff!

Oddly enough, WW Smart Ones ice cream is the lowest carb ice cream out there (except for Atkins, which is ridiculously expensive). Blue Bunny makes a tasty ice cream-dipped in chocolate-on a stick thingy that’s about 5-6 net carbs. Some of the SF popsicles are tasty (Kroger has my faves).

Let us know how it goes!

Hey, jar, be sure you don’t ever weigh yourself any time during that week leading up to your period. It’s just depressing. That might also be the only time you ever notice false hunger pains and cravings. It’s weird. You’ll be going along for three weeks, not wanting to eat any more than necessary, forcing yourself to eat some meals, and then bam! all of a sudden you’re craving food again. At least it goes away.

I think I’ll reach my goal weight at 140 lbs, which will be 54 lbs of weight loss for me. I should be in size 8’s then.

My husband has lost 48 lbs. He has some serious muscle definition in his abs now. When my brother saw how much weight we’d lost at Easter, he started and lost all his weight within a few months. Then my parents saw that and started also. My dad was creeping close to 300 lbs. He’s already lost 35. My mom weighs 10 lbs less than I do now.

Oh, and I recommend trying a few of the Atkins Advantage bars, but buy the single serving ones first. Some people like them (I love chocolate decadence and s’mores and can tolerate a few others) and some people hate them.

Hi jar ,

I’ll second (and third, and fourth…) what many other people have said here - I really was amazed at how much easier it was to avoid the sweet stuff. My initial reaction was the same as yours- but after a week or so of induction, the cravings really did go away, or at least go down to an easily manageable level - it got to the point where I’d think ohh, a fresh chocolate chip cookie - and then I’d realize that I could take it or leave it.

The key, I think, is that for those cravings to go away, you REALLY have to follow the induction part of Atkins to the letter. Absolutely no going off it. You do need to read the book, of course, but the official Atkins Web site has lots of good information for following the various steps. For example, I found these particular pages to be very helpful:

http://atkins.com/Archive/2001/12/15-325810.html Rules of Induction

http://atkins.com/Archive/2001/12/15-464579.html List of Acceptable Foods During induction - if it wasn’t on this list, I didn’t eat it.

I printed out copies of both pages and kept them on my fridge for easy reference.

YMMV, but when I first tried Atkins, and followed it exactly, I lost weight and the cravings went away. When I tried it again, I wasn’t as careful about induction. As a result, I never went fullly into ketosis and the cravings never really went away.

Good luck - do report back!