Jodi's Reviews > The New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great

The New Atkins for a New You by Eric C. Westman
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's review
Mar 10, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: health-books
Read from March 10 to 11, 2012

I read the 'New Diet Revolution' book in around 2004 and for 6 months or so it really helped me and my health and also helped me lose weight.

The changes in this book include that: lean meat is okay to eat, there are more vegetables on induction, there are 2 paths in phase 4, and there are vegetarian options.

I'm not a fan of the idea that losing a ton of weight per week is healthy, nor that soy products or rice cheese is a health food, or that Splenda or saccharin or protein bars are health foods, and I disagree that 370 - 625 of protein foods a day is NOT a high protein diet! I also don't agree that commercially farmed grain-fed meats and commercial diary products are health foods and found it disappointing that pasture-fed meats etc. weren't talked about in the book.

This book is not as good as the original Atkins book. The focus is more on pushing the exclusive Atkins brand and products than on explaining the science here. It reads a bit like it was written by marketers, trying to twist Atkins a bit to make it fit a wider audience more easily. It lacks the passion of the Atkins books, from the man himself, as well as proper scientific information. It is uninspired and maybe over-simplified and would be in no way as convincing to those who had not read the previous books. It claims to be a whole movement on its own rather than part of one. I'm not sure Dr Atkins would approve of all of the statements in this book.

While the Atkins diet is hands down better than any low-fat or low calorie diet out there, it is not one I would recommend to others any more. I feel there are better ones out there, which take the best of what Atkins has to say and go a bit further with making it a really healthy diet.

I did really well on the original Atkin's diet with 20 grams of carbohydrate a day diet for 6 - 9 months or so. I felt well and had no more hypoglycemia and lost a lot of weight. But after that 6 months was up my body seemed to really struggle with it, perhaps due to the fact I have severe metabolic, endocrine, and cardiac problems. (I'm housebound and 95% bedbound and very disabled.) When I finally went back up to 50 - 75 grams of carbs a day (years later) I felt so much better, and finally was able to start losing some of the weight that had crept back on on my super-low carb regime. It was also a much more pleasant way to eat; being able to have 5 cups of veggies a day and a bit of fruit! Not eating so much meat was also WONDERFUL!!! I feel like staying on this super-low carb diet for so long delayed my health from beginning to improve as well, as it made my body work harder than it had to on food assimilation which of course leaves less metabolic energy and bodily resources left over for the work of healing.

Books such as Perfect Health Diet: Four Steps to Renewed Health, Youthful Vitality, and Long Life explain that eating very low carb and making your body convert proteins to carbs puts strain on the liver and uses up bodily resources, generates ammonia as a toxic by-product, puts a person at risk of glucose deprivation if the are ill or lacking in certain nutrients and makes nutrient deficiencies more likely due to lower fruit and vegetable intake. Very low carbohydrate intake can also cause problems with vitamin C utilisation that may even lead to scurvy, as vitamin C is stimulated by insulin. For these reasons they recommend eating an amount of carbs daily which is very close to how much the body actually needs; 200 - 400 carb calories daily (or roughly 50 - 100 grams of carbs daily). I agree with these authors that healthy people will likely have few problems converting one macronutrients to another (such as protein to carbs, and carbs to fat) but for those of us that are ill it is best to save your body the work and to eat foods in the appropriate macro-nutrient percentages to start with. That just seems to make so much sense!

I really regret staying on Atkins as long as I did. But I just couldn't accept that the book was wrong, or that what worked for a while so well might be no longer working somehow. My very poor health is now finally very slowly improving and I feel my dietary change is playing a significant role in that.

Where Dr Atkins really excels is in his book on nutrients and orthomolecular medicine. If you buy one book with Atkins written on the cover, make it Dr. Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution: Nature's Answer to Drugs for sure! That is a real 5 star book. It is still one of the best there is on this topic. It is an amazing achievement by Dr Atkins. I still refer to it regularly. I think it has just been re-released as an ebook too.

For books on eating low-carb and high fat, and how to eat the foods we were designed to do best with and so improve your health through diet, I instead recommend books such as Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life (by far the best diet and health book I know of) and also The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series) and Perfect Health Diet: Four Steps to Renewed Health, Youthful Vitality, and Long Life (without their 'safe starches!).

5 stars for the work of Dr Atkins but only 2 stars for this very average book.

Jodi Bassett, The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E.
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