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New Year, New Atkins: The Low-Carb Brand Launches Atkins 40 Program

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Were you one of the many who tried the Atkins diet years ago, but couldn’t quite sustain? The idea of no carbs isn’t appealing—and isn’t necessary— for many, so falling off the bandwagon for this diet became all too common.

But after years of conducting and reviewing up-to-date research, Atkins is back at it with a revised and improved program meant to improve sustainability and results. Starting today, the brand is back with their all new Atkins 40. We spoke with Colette Heimowitz, Vice President of Nutrition and Education for Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., to get a thorough understanding of the details around Atkins 40.

Atkins 40 will serve as a “new entry point into the Atkins program,” says Heimowitz. “People can eat from all food groups, and start the program at forty net grams of carbohydrates per day, instead of twenty.” After the company reviewed the literature, they found that most individuals could maintain a fat-burning metabolism at 50-grams of carb intake or less. “This allows them to maintain the benefits of burning fat for fuel instead of sugar, while still seeing the same Atkins results,” Heimowitz explains.

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Atkins 40 is still founded on the same principles that made it famous in the first place: high protein, low carb. With this new program they hope “to be more sustainable. You could eat this way healthfully for the rest of your life!”
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Justin Wiseman’s 420 Pound Weight Loss Story – “Rosie O’Donnell was My Beacon of Hope.”

justin wiseman rosie o donnell

Just when I thought my life was over, I found a whole new beginning, maybe your ending is really a brand new start.  ~ Justin

Recently Justin Wiseman joined the ladies on The View where he finally got to hug Rosie O’Donnell. After exchanging messages on Twitter about their mutual weight loss struggles, the two bonded. Justin credits Rosie with inspiring him to lose weight. Now he’s paying it forward by tackling the childhood obesity epidemic.

More from Justin and his amazing 420 pound weight story in his own words -

Tell me when your weight struggles began. My struggles began well before I was consciously aware of what I was doing. By the age of five I weighed 100 pounds.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I was a food addict pure and simple. Food was my whole world. Every time I ate, I ate to the point of being Thanksgiving-stuffed. That feeling was my high, my pure bliss.

justin wiseman before after

What caused you to realize you needed to change? I had a gut feeling I was going to die soon, which was confirmed by a doctor. I had uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, my sugar was running in the 500s every day. It was so high that sugar was crystallizing on my skin. I had non-obstructive sleep apnea, the weight on my chest was causing me to stop breathing over 200 times a night and my oxygen was dropping below 60. I had high blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, and was even suffering from cirrhosis of the liver. The cirrhosis was causing me to retain massive amounts of fluid.

How did you lose the weight? I looked into weight loss surgery, but at first I was too unhealthy to qualify. I started slowly by making healthier choices and following a lower carb diet. I ate a KFC grilled chicken almost every day. Over 6 months I lost 130 pounds. Following that initial weight loss, I had gastric sleeve surgery to reduce the size of my football-sized stomach. After that I followed the Atkins Diet.

What diet and exercise methods did you employ? At first I couldn’t do much. I could barely get up and down. The very first exercise I did was to dance in my living while Ellen was dancing on her talk show. Slowly I was able to do more.

Did you have any “ah ha” moments along the way? Yes, the first of many was when I started planning my own funeral because I didn’t think I could do lose the weight. The are so many people around the world who are given a death sentence and would do anything to live, but here I was willing dying. How selfish. I also realized how much life I had missed out on and how much I wanted one day of complete freedom before I died.


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Grain Brain Take 2: Another look at how wheat, carbs, and sugar affect your brain

This morning I read a nutrition article that was popping up all over my Facebook feed. The story, This is Your Brain on Gluten, which appeared in The Atlantic, covered the science behind a new book called Grain Brain. From the sound of things, the author of the article, James Hamblin, who is a medical doctor, had been hesitant to cover the book—he wasn’t sure what to make of the general hypothesis, which is that eating all grains ultimately causes mental deterioration such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. But because it’s been a best-seller since its release he finally gave it a read.

grains in handTo say Hamblin remained skeptical after reading the book—and speaking with the author of Brain Grain, David Perlmutter, MD, as well as a handful of other notable researchers and physicians, including David Katz, MD—would be an understatement. He pokes holes in some of the claims and reminds readers that much of the “science” that the diet is based on is either not widely accepted or is simply speculation—a connecting of dots that can’t actually be proven.

Hamblin’s overview of the book and the scientific basis for following or eschewing this type of diet seemed spot-on, but it also felt familiar. After a quick search on DietsInReview I realized why: Our resident dietitian Mary Hartley, RD, wrote a similarly cautionary article on Grain Brain back in October!


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Take Grain Brain’s Villainization of Carbs with a Grain of Salt

Grain Brain is the catchy title of a new self-help diet book on the New York Times Advice and How-to Best Sellers lists. The author, neurologist David Perlmutter, makes the case for a slow death to brain cells caused by wheat, “carbs,” and sugar. Those foods, he says, are behind most of the common but incurable neurologic diseases including Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism, anxiety, depression, and others. To prevent and treat those conditions, he recommends a diet of fish, seeds, nuts, and olive oil, sans the “carbs” from grains, milk, fruit, and sugary sweets. Grain Brain is in the same vein as Wheat Belly and other best-selling Paleo-type diet books.

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David Perlmutter and his co-author, writer Kristin Loberg, followed the diet book formula: reel in the lay audience with indisputable scientific facts and then lead them to ungrounded conclusions because they all sound good. With technical expertise, Dr. Perlmutter explains the workings of the brain and central nervous system. He is up on the hot nutrition topics and buzzwords of the day: inflammation, free radicals, bacteria in the gut, and metabolic fuels.

Sure, we agree that neurological diseases are scary and seem to be everywhere, but are gluten and carbohydrates the cause? Not so fast. David Perlmutter is often called “cutting edge,” which means research verification is needed.  
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Paleo Diet vs. Atkins Diet: Whose Carbs Can You Live Without?

Paleo DietThe Paleo Diet will now challenge The Atkins Diet for the title of “Ultimate Low-Carb Diet.” The Atkins Diet was released to the public in 1958, and continues to be popular amongst dieters thanks to the New Atkins for a New You, an update to the weight loss plan released in 2010. The Paleo Diet is even older—about 2.5 million years older—but is enjoying a modern-day renaissance with seemingly unmatched popularity. 

The lack of carbs is where these two diets stop sharing similarities. Atkins is relatively liberal in food selection, allowing for bacon, cheese, seafood, meat, butter, olive oil and cream. Paleo, on the other hand, is extremely restrictive, with dieters limited to the types of foods only our nomadic ancestors would eat. Red meat, chicken, eggs, fish, fruit and vegetables, and nuts—albeit not peanuts or cashews— are allowed, but grains, beans, dairy, sugar, salt, and flour are all off limits.

Price

You can pick up the Paleo Diet for $14.95 on Amazon, while the newest Atkins book will set you back a bit more, at $16.99. Both have companion cookbooks which you can buy at your discretion, and they’re each $19.99. The Atkins website features a carb-counting tool, scientific evidence, and a recipe guide, not to mention many other tools and features. Paleo’s site has detailed nutritional analysis, published research, and a breakdown of why it’s good to eat like a neanderthal. And of course, both diets feature helpful mobile apps.

Phases

The weight loss plans in each of the books are presented quite differently. The Atkins Diet is more structured, with four phases to conquer individually—Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss, Pre-Maintenance and Lifetime Maintenance—while the Paleo Diet spells out what you can and cannot eat, offers a meal plan, and reads more like a history book.
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