Try to stay away from sweetners and sugar alcohols during induction. Some people (myself included) find that they cause sweet cravings.
I’ll agree with everyone else that the cravings really aren’t bad at all. You’ll want something sweet, but it won’t be that compelling, “gotta have it right now” kind of craving.
I have found the recipes at http://www.lowcarbluxury.com to be excellent. Try some of the baked goods with almond flour, once you finish induction. And don’t turn up your nose at things made with pork rinds just because they sound revolting. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Low-carb cheesecake (no crust, or an almond-flour crust) is excellent. Don’t use the Atkins recipe - find a real cheesecake recipe and just substitute Splenda for the sugar. If you don’t have to bake it for at least an hour, it’s probably not a real cheesecake recipe.
A quick version that makes a good breakfast is to beat together 2-3 oz of cream cheese (softened in the microwave), an egg, Splenda to taste, and a dash of vanilla and/or lemon juice. Nuke it until it’s firm at the edges and somewhat runny in the middle (about 1.5 minutes in my microwave). Be sure you beat it well, though - it tastes nasty if the egg doesn’t get well distributed.
I also found that when the sweet cravings were bad, I could do pretty well by snacking on blueberries or strawberries (after induction only). They will taste a lot sweeter to you after a few weeks on Atkins, and a relatively small amount will probably be enough.
I don’t do Atkins exactly, but something similar. (E.g., I don’t eat the artificial stuff, so sugar-free and Splenda are out for me.)
Frozen bananas make great treats. And if you need a sugar fix and can eat them, dried dates are yummy. If you stick an almond or two inside the date, it’s even better.
I’ve been cheating a little lately, and I’ve really noticed how the carb cravings ramp up if I cheat. You do start to get over them after a while, but for me, they’re just lurking, waiting to come back.
Good luck on the diet!
For sweets I use the Endulge Caramel Net Chew bar which tastes like a Snickers bar. For the really hard craving for me (sweet drinks) I use stevia in tea. Use it in the herb form, not splenda, and brew it with your tea – no carbs, no calories, no sugar, just very, very sweet tea. I also use it in whipping cream to make whipped cream (yes it has little green flakes in it but, it tastes sweet). I have made brownies with stevia (1/2 of a cup of dried herbs to 1 cup of sugar). Tasted great when I had one bite, and everyone got a kick out of offering our security monitors (the people who give us the charming little cups to pee in) brownies visibly laced with ‘the herbs’.
I am losing about 10lbs to 12lbs a month on Atkins and after the first 3 weeks my craving for sugar really diminished.
Best of luck on the new eating plan!
The incredible shrinking reepicheep
I’m not porcupine, but I’ll answer this one. I started Atkins back around Easter, and I’ve lost about 40 pounds. Combined with a drug treatment (300 mgs. daily of Topamax), my migraines have nearly disappeared. I cut out all refined sugar and restricted my carbs.
My cravings for sweets have pretty much disappeared, too. I still sometimes want something sweet, but not like before.
Strawberries are okay, carb-wise. Sometimes I’ll have half a banana. The Pria brand protien bars aren’t too bad; I think about 15 carbs or so a bar. I can eat about half and curb a sweet-craving. They’re quite tasty.
And as mcms_cricket said, once I really think how much I want that candybar, I discover I can take it or leave it. I usually have a cup of tea or another bottle of water.
I’ll be honest. I’m :dubious: that in the future a bottle of water will replace the desire for a big crapload of creme brulee…but I’ll take your word for it
Also, I’m on anti-depressant and anxiety medications that I really cannot go off. I know Dr. Atkins says I miraculously won’t need them any more and that they impede weight loss, but I’m just going to have to go through induction at least WITH the meds. Quitting cold turkey nearly put me in the hospital last year.
jarbabyj, I took Prozac and Trazadone all through my time on Atkins, and I lost almost 40 pounds in about 8 months. You’ll be fine.
If this helps with encouraging the Atkins crowd–I’m down 13 lbs. in 2 weeks.
I am not on Atkins but have had to cut down on sugars and carbs for medical reasons. I still have some sugar on occasion but have not really had cravings as such. I have lost 32 pounds since the beginning of February. It has been slow but steady and I have not increased my exercise level except to park at the far end of the parking lot at work. Which is not all that far.
I do like Splenda, I have not noticed any aftertaste at all from it. Blue Bunny does a Premium ice cream made with Splenda that is good and comes in a variety of flavors.
Quite right. don’t go off your meds without supervision, guidance and advice from your doctor! FWIW, my oldest daughter is following the same kind of diet I am, and she’s on Abilify for bipolar disorder, and has had no problems (also, FWIW, Abilify is supposedly the first drug approved to treat bipolar that doesn’t promote weight gain). She’s lost, and kept off, about 25 pounds. Went from a size 16 down to a 10/12.
jarbabyj, for what it’s worth, my moods levelled out quite a bit when I stopped eating so many carbs and so much processed food. I’ve always been a bit depressive and anxious.
But I’m feeling MUCH better…
(sorry, couldn’t resist)
YMMV and all that, but that’s just one of the benefits for me of eating this way. (The other major one is my chronic heartburn went away.)
Couple of things that helped alot-
If you aren’t quitting coffee (alot of Atkins dieters don’t and do fine- one of those things you will have to watch closely) you can have coffee, cream & a davinci or torani SF syrup. That did fine for me for the first 4 months, and then the whipping cream was making me stall- I changed that to more conservative servings of half n half and am back to losing about 2 lbs a week.
Wal Marts has the Le Carb ice cream, with 3 effective carbs per serving- the Lemon is great, the Vanilla is not as good as the Atkins Vanilla and I hear the cinnamon and chocoloate almond are good -but I’m so in love with the lemon I haven’t tried them.
Once you are done with induction, a favorite treat was the Atkins vanilla ice cream mixed with some blue berries … very good.
There are alot of good sf prodcuts out there- read up on how sugar alcohols affect your carb count/effective carbs. And a word of caution- these are not “free” foods… they are occasional treats and if you want to have success with any diet, you will have to face that the word treat means something special, not something you have every day.
I only say that because it was a lesson I learned the hard way
Started Atkins 12/27/02
I didn’t officially do Atkins or Sugar-Busters or anything, but I have been following a relatively low-carb diet for the last year or so, due to being diagnosed with diabetes. I would recommend going out and finding a couple of good low-carb cookbooks and culling out any recipes that look good to you. I found a really fantastic quiche in one of them that you make using grated cheese for the crust instead of a regular pastry crust. It was to die for, and I think one slice was like 7g of carbs or something. So you can find stuff like that.
Personally I did find that my sweets cravings diminished greatly after a few weeks of going lower-carb. Actually, my cravings in general went away, for the most part. I used to just stand in front of the fridge wanting to eat the entire contents, on a regular basis, or I’d eat an entire bag of potato chips, or a whole quart of ice cream… whatever. These days I don’t get those cravings so much. When I do get a craving to eat a lot, I try to satisfy it with a low-carb food that I can eat a lot of, like cheese, or dill pickles (OK, yes, I’m pregnant, shut up), or low-carb quesadillas. We found some low-carb whole wheat tortillas at the grocery store, and those things are ridiculously filling.
I also gain great pleasure these days from Splenda-sweetened drinks. I love those sugar-free Torani syrups for putting in coffee, and I usually have a pitcher of Splenda iced tea in the fridge. I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but personally speaking I take great satisfaction in being able to drink as much sweet tea and/or sweet coffee as I want, even if I can’t go consume my body weight in Ben & Jerry’s anymore.
Just to share my personal experience, over the course of about 10 months, I lost 40 pounds by following a lower-carb diet. I didn’t do an induction phase and I only limited my carbs to 100-125g per day, which is a lot compared to some people who are doing Atkins, I know. But even limiting my carbs to that level allowed me to lose quite a bit of weight without even trying that hard. (I also increased my daily exercise and was going on at least a 1-mile walk three times a week while I was losing the weight, which I’m sure helped.) I share this because prior to diabetes and going low-carb, I had tried to lose weight like 839304830 times by following a low-cal, low-fat diet, and usually I’d lose like maybe 5 pounds, and then it all came back. Following low-carb, I wasn’t even trying to lose weight, just control my blood sugar, but the weight peeled right off. It really changed my mind about low-carb diets. (Although again, the diet I followed was a lot higher-carb than some people’s.)
Good luck with the diet, and keep us updated!
I’ve been on Atkins since January, and the most amazing thing is that I totally lost my craving for sweets, usually my major weakness. That is, until I was on vacation in May, and decided to go off the diet for 2 weeks. I had an intense craving for sweets that whole time, which went away when I got home and went back on the diet. As long as I don’t have **any **sweets, it’s not a problem.
Same goes for binge eating. As long as I stick to the diet, I don’t binge. This is the one diet that has to be done “by the book.” You can’t go on-and-off, like with other diets.
Pure De-lite chocolate bars. The dark ones have only 1.1 grams of net carbs. All the good tasting low carb sweets are expensive but if you really need something sweet it’s worth two bucks.
For a quick pick-me-up a glass of sugar free orange Metamucil can work wonders.
Now wait a minute, I never said THAT! A bottle of water will NEVER replace a good creme brulee. shudders No comparison. It’s just that once the cravings go away, it’s much easier to resist the creme brulee…I still had to consciously resist it, but it wasn’t as hard to do.
I think she was responding to me. What I meant was the cravings for sweet stuff really does go away. The desire for a “big crapload of creme brulee” is replaced by the desire for a much smaller serving of creme brulee. I used to always eat dessert, and always have a snack (or two) while watching TV later on. Now, I never have dessert, and don’t feel like I need it. The craving for something sweet after dinner just went away. Really, it did. If I want something while watching TV, I can usually resist a while, and usually decide I don’t want it after all. The 40-pound weight loss is a big incentive, in that I can say to myself, “Don’t undo what you’ve already done.” And if I do want something sweet, I’m satisfied with a smaller portion.
Today was the first day of induction and mr. jar and I are crabby as all get out. We were trying to wean off of the caffienated coffee before we started, but quitting sort of half cold turkey today has left us in a murderous rage.
I had some muenster cheese and turkey for breakfast with a cup of green tea, then some scrambled eggs and bacon for lunch, and I made mr. jar polish sausage with kraut and bacon for dinner.
I also threw out a 3lb bag of reese’s peanut butter cups.
It pained me. I suspect I will have lost at least 50 lbs by tomorrow.
I never did give up the coffee when I did it. I was using Equal, but switched to Sweet and Low. Atkins doesn’t recommend aspartame (but I forget exactly why). They recommend Sweet and Low or Splenda, which I couldn’t find at the time.
I used half and half, too. I just could not give up coffee. I would have killed someone without my caffeine fix.
The bad part for me was making dinner for my kids and husband, who expect bread and potatoes with every meal. It was sheer torture. I’d make them dinner, and then eat by myself in the kitchen.
Just to offer an alternative:
Atkins was too strict for me. What can I say? I’m a food wimp. I hunted around for alternatives and found the Insulin Resistance diet.
The premise: it’s basically a moderate carbing diet. You can eat up to 30 carbs every two hrs as long as you pair it with half that amount in protien (30 carbs needs 15 grams of protien, 20 carbs needs 10 grams of protien etc.) The idea behind it being your insulin level stays low enough so you don’t store excess as fat. However much you go over 30 carbs is stored. There are exemptions such as milk, which you can drink freely.
Why I like this diet so much (and diet is really the wrong word, it’s a new way to eat) is that if you go off it, you haven’t messed up the diet, you’ve just made the choice to store extra fat and next meal you go back to normal. There is a great book all about (check amazon) which can explain it better than I.