Generations of people have achieved weight loss and optimum health by following the Atkins Diet. HULIQ had an opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview about the Atkins Diet with Colette Heimowitz, the Vice President of Nutrition and Education at Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. Heimowitz also spent time with Dr. Atkins himself when she worked as the Director of Nutrition at The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine. Find out more about everything from how the Atkins Diet works to the latest information about the new Atkins frozen dinners.
Interview with Colette Heimowitz About the Atkins Diet
When my doctor recommended the Atkins Diet, I went online to learn more. I found a wealth of resources and recently posted an article about low carb Fourth of July cocktails that people could enjoy on the Atkins Diet. Often people think the Atkins Diet just includes meat, eggs and cheese. It actually includes lots of lean proteins, fish, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and more. There is also a great selection of Atkins shakes, bars and a new frozen meal line. I asked Colette Heimowitz a few key questions about the Atkins diet:
1. What makes the Atkins Diet so effective for a variety of people?
For many people, their metabolism is simply not responsive to restricting fat - despite heroic efforts of willpower; the end result is often disappointing.The majority of studies indicate that when carbohydrates are reduced, there is a greater percentage of fat loss and better retention of lean body mass.The power of the Atkins Diet rests on the fact that it promotes more efficient fat burning. Finding the point the body burns fat is a unique process, and the Atkins Diet teaches you how to find your own individual carbohydrate tolerance. This is a promising picture of efficient and sustained weight loss and robust health improvements.
2. What three major suggestions would you make to people who are starting to follow the Atkins Diet?
There is an adaptation phase the first week or two, and while the body is making the switch to fat burning you can optimize feeling great by:
1. Making sure you are not going too long between meals
2. Drinking adequate fluids
3. Eating ALL the Foundation Vegetables (12 to 15 net carbs daily)
3. How much weight can people expect to lose on the Atkins Diet?
In the first two weeks you can lose anywhere between 5--15 lbs. depending on your age, gender, activity level and metabolism. After two weeks, people usually lose on average two to four pounds a week.
4. Is the Atkins Diet more of a lifestyle than a weight loss plan?
Transient success at weight loss confers little long-term benefit unless the diet can be transitioned into a sustainable lifestyle. The approach is built for those that seek a lifestyle change that involves better eating habits, ultimately leading to better health and a sense of well-being. Scientific research is increasingly demonstrating the benefits of a controlled-carbohydrate approach in the face of the standard American diet of white flour, sugar and other junk foods.
5. What are the health benefits of following the Atkins Diet?
Fat loss, improved lipid profile, less inflammation, better energy, better appetite control. Patients with pre-existing conditions such as metabolic syndrome or type-2 diabetes, experience rapid improvements and often mandate reductions in medications.
6. Can you eat different foods on the Atkins Diet?
In the initial phases you are predominantly eating lots of vegetables, a variety of protein, and healthy fats. As you progress through the phases, you follow the steps to successful weight loss by adding a variety of carbohydrates in 5 gram increments.
7. Are cocktails, beer and wine allowed? Yes, lite beer, wine, or alcohol can be consumed in moderation in the later part of phase two. How about chocolate? Unsweetened chocolate is allowed from day one.
8.What does it cost to participate in the Atkins Diet? All the tools you need to succeed are free of charge on our web site. Where can dieters find support? On Atkins.com there is a lively community of veteran dieters as well as nutritionists who can answer questions and trouble shoot issues.
9.How do the different phases of the Atkins Diet work to help people lose weight and keep it off? Essential to success on Atkins is the process of finding the maximum number of grams of carbs you can consume while continuing to lose weight, keep your appetite under control, and stay alert and energized. This number represents your personal carb balance, which differs for each individual. It also typically increases as you lose weight.To find it, you progress through the phases ’and gradually increase both the amount and variety of carbohydrate foods you eat. Learning how to balance your carb intake with continued weight loss is what makes Atkins unique. Then, once you’ve reached your goal weight, you’ll find the maximum number of grams of carbs you can consume while maintaining it, stay on top of cravings, and feel good. This number represents your personal carb tolerance and knowing that number will allow you to keep the weight of for good.
10. My doctor recommended the Atkins Diet to me because I have PCOS. Is the Atkins Diet beneficial for other health conditions? What are they and why?
Though the Atkins Diet is not appropriate for every overweight patient in every medical practice, it can be an effective program for many patients in a general medical setting. In particular, individuals with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (all diseases of carbohydrate intolerance) are likely to see symptomatic as well as objective improvements in biomarkers of disease risk.
Carbohydrate is the major stimulus for insulin release, and woman with PCOS typically have high insulin levels so the logical treatment is carbohydrate restriction.
Low carbohydrate diets have also been shown to control seizures, lower blood pressure, shrink tumors, and potentially slow the progression of dementia.
11. Do many other doctors recommend the Atkins Diet and why?
The unremitting high prevalence of obesity in the United States coupled with the very limited efficacy of traditional restricted diets has led to considerable frustration among physicians and patients. As a result, there has been a continual interest and, more recently, an acceptance of the Atkins Diet as an alternative dietary/lifestyle approach to obesity and its related diseases. In fact, the American Diabetes Association recently listed a low-carbohydrate diet as an alternate dietary approach
12. What factors helped keep the Atkins Diet popular long after Dr. Atkins' death in 2003?
Because it works. The relative ease of use and prompt weight loss associated with the Atkins Diet represent the tip of the iceberg, as we wrap up a remarkable decade of new scientific evidence that supports the effectiveness of controlling carbohydrates for a variety of clinical conditions. Over the past decade in particular, a nuanced understanding of how the Atkins Diet works has evolved from a multitude of new studies that have validated previous work and made new discoveries.
The introduction of the Atkins Diet in the 1970s occurred at approximately the same time as the nutrition establishment initially adopted their Ancel Keyes-inspired low-fat recommendations. This may partially explain the historical resistance to the Atkins approach by many health professionals. Despite this inopportune timing, the Atkins Diet has nonetheless enjoyed enduring popularity for nearly four decades. In this same time interval, multiple studies specifically designed to support the low fat, high carb hypothesis have failed to demonstrate its superior benefits. In fact, some have shown just the opposite.
13. The new Atkins frozen dinners are delicious! What major retailers will be selling them?
Wal-Mart and other local retailers, including ShopRite, Gristedes, Publix, Winn Dixie to name a few.
Colette Heimowitz of Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc. has over 20 years of experience at a nutritionist. She spent time with Dr. Atkins as Director of Nutrition at the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine before becoming the Vice President of Nutrition & Education at Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. She works directly with consumers, health influencers and medical professionals to educate them about a sustainable lifestyle. Heimowitz regularly attends conferences and events in the medical community to remain abreast of the latest research. She has a library of over 1,500 scientific research studies related to weight management, weight loss, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Heimowitz earned her Master's of Science from Hunter College in New York, Each year she speaks to students at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York about the importance of nutrition. As a nutrition expert, she has been featured on multiple national television networks including CBS, ABC, CNN, NBC, MSNBC and Fox News Channel. Heimowitz also contributes her nutritional expertise to the media and on the Atkins website. Before her role at the Atkins Center, she directed nutritional departments at several medical practices including the Integrative Medicine Center in NYC and the World Health Medical Group in NYC. Stacey Doyle of HULIQ was pleased to have an opportunity to interview Colette Heimowitz about the Atkins Diet.
On a personal note, I have already dropped 25 pounds on the Atkins Diet. Watch for future articles offering fast facts about the Atkins Diet as well as reviews of the bars, shakes and frozen dinners. There are many ways to stick to your goals without deprivation or paying a lot of money to participate in other diets that are often less effective. The Atkins Diet is actually a sustainable lifestyle that changes the way you view food. Have you had success with the Atkins Diet? Share your story in the comments section below!