It's interesting to read about all the various theories, ideas, beliefs, and suggestions in regards to diets. But it can certainly get pretty confusing with so many conflicting paths out there. Should I eat more calories, less calories, or stay about the same? Should I eat more fat, less fat, or stay about the same? Should I eat more veggies, less veggies, or stay about the same? No one agrees. So despite all of the research, eventually you come to realize that you are basically on your own. It is you who decides what you are going to put into your mouth, and what you are not. And what you choose to do is generally based on what is most important to you at the moment.
Do you want "fast" weight loss, or are you comfortable and happy with greater food choices, more variety, an occasional treat, causing you to lose at a slower pace? Do you have health issues such as gall bladder or liver problems that require you to eat less fat than the average Atkinite would recommend? Do you believe in and/or fear starvation mode? Do you believe in and/or fear the calorie theory? Do you enjoy fatty meats? Lean meats? Vegetables? Butter and Mayo?
All of these and more, are questions that each of us have to personally address in order to make the best choices for ourselves. Because we need to find a path we can live with for the rest of our lives. The truth is, that no matter which plan or path we choose to enter, maintenance isn't going to be a whole lot more. So whatever we choose, we need to be able to live with it for the rest of our lives.
But before we can make that choice, we need to seriously consider a couple of things.
The biggest problem with diets is the "hunger." Can you live with being hungry for the rest of your life? Few people have that kind of strength. I know I certainly don't. So for me, the path of Ketosis is the most sensible of all of the options available to me.
The second biggest problem with diets is the deprivation. Otherwise known as eating for emotional reasons. Do you crave sugar/carbohydrates? Can you "stand" being in a room where someone else is eating something yummie and you not indulge? Or do you lack the willpower required to abstain from foods that are poisoning you?
How badly do you want to lose the weight? More than that chocolate cupcake? More than that bag of bbq potato chips? More than that loaf of piping hot, home-made bread?
The beauty of "real" Ketosis is that it goes a long way in helping us deal with all of these types of problems, concerns, and more. But there isn't just one single way to get ourselves into that metabolic pathway. What we want to do is clear out the glycogen that has been stored in our muscles and liver so that we force our bodies to turn to our body fat for sustenance. Thereby changing our defective carbohydrate metabolisms into fat-burning machines.
This requires that we cut our carbohydrate consumption to biologically zero. But other than that, there are several ways to go about getting into Ketosis. Here are three, but I'm sure there are others. These are just the ones I am currently aware of. Each method is designed to get you into a fat burning metabolism within 3 to 5 days, after which you can then choose (with the help of your doctor) which low-carb Plan/Path you are going to follow:
The diets listed here are NOT meant to be medical advice. They are posted here for informational purposes only. They are an accumulation of the information I have collected from reading hundreds of posts about them over at LowCarbFriends.com --
Kimmer's Experiment (K/E)
Eat as much lean protein as needed to satisfy hunger (lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs)
Basic condiments and spices are okay
Diet beverages, coffee and tea as desired, w/o cream, but a bit of sugar sub okay
Diet gelatin limited to 1 cup per day
Chicken and Beef broth okay, homemade prefered
No alcohol, no cheese
Meat and Egg Fast (M/E)
Eat as much protein as needed to satisfy hunger (meats, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese)
Fats are allowed in reasonable portions (including cream, and poultry skin)
Diet beverages, coffee and tea as desired
Sugar substitutes okay
Spices and Herbs w/o sugar, Extracts, Mustard, Horseradish, Vinegar okay
Atkins 72 Induction
Everything on the M/E list plus:
2 cups of loosely packed mixed greens with celery, cucumber, and radishes
Salad Dressings without added sugar are okay (moderate portions)
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
Chicken or Beef broth okay
Diet gelatin okay
Cheese, up to 4 oz per day of hard aged cheese (no cream cheese or spreads)
Heavy Cream, up to 4 tsp per day
Eat in accordance with your appetite. Do not go hungry. If you are hungry, EAT. Don't worry about calories. These Ketosis-inducing diets are not about weight loss. They are about ridding your body of glycogen and switching your metabolisms from burning sugar/carbs to burning fat. Once Ketosis is entered, your appetite will take care of its own calorie reduction.
However, you are not required to force yourself to eat either. Ketosis is self-regulating. Let your hunger be your guide.
How long it takes you to enter into Ketosis, or how much weight you will lose during this initial period, will depend upon how badly you were overeating carbs before you begin one of these diets. Also be aware that the Atkin's Flu (Induction Flu) will be a lot more pronounced, the more heavily you were over-indulging in carbs, so take it easy and get lots of rest, but to the same extent, so will Ketosis. You will know when you have entered this blessed state because your appetite will become suppressed. You don't really need Ketostix to tell you that.