Atkins/Keto Way of Life

This year I embarked on a journey of changing my dietary lifestyle. This was not brought on by any specific health issue, but was a recommendation from my doctor. When he said that I needed to lose weight, he gave me 3 options, 1) Herbal through pharmacy (costly), 2) Gastric bypass (surgery and longterm supplements which can be costly), 3) Atkins (slight increase in cost)

With a young family, I wanted to keep costs low. I thought surgery is… well…. surgery, and even though it’s been very successful for people, I know of some where is was not successful because they didn’t change their lifestyle to accommodate. So I investigated what Atkins/Keto diet was all about.

What is Akins/Keto diet?

The primary source of energy in your body is glucose (simple sugar) which is derived by eating sugars/starches in dietary world, carbohydrates. A ketogenic diet reduces the carbohydrate intake to a level where the body will actually begin and continue to burn fat (both ingested and stored) for energy. A typical North American adult daily will consume 170-400 grams of carbohydrates based on their body type and number of calories in a day. Atkins has 2 suggested programs Atkins 20 and Atkins 40 with the number indicating the total number of net carbs (g) per day. In an effort to relate the number of carbs to you, 1 cup of Multi-Grain Cheerios is 17g; 1 pork chop is 0g; and 1/2c cucumber is 1.6g.

I have chosen the Atkins 20, but lately have reduced that number to ensure I maintain the state of ketosis and keep burning/wasting away. I have observed a number of pros/cons with this way of life and the process to get there.

The Ugly

Everyone approaches a change in lifestyle differently, sometimes for the good, sometimes not. I found that the most difficult thing was to identify what the change of lifestyle actually was…. is it a diet? or something else? Unfortunately, I’ve been prompted to tell people what they will understand… that it is in fact a diet. The reality is, that likely for the rest of my life I will be following a dietary lifestyle that limits/reduces the carb intake if I am to be successful in the long term.

The Bad

At least while I am in the induction phase (Phase 1) no potatoes, corn, flour, sugar, and anything else that is high in starch or sugars. I actually thought this would limit my culinary diversity, but it actually increased it. Although things like kale should remain in a rabbit’s diet and not mine, some different, new or old favourites have emerged and I have a great time experiencing new tastes for these amazing ingredients.

Another downfall is the perception of others. Firstly there are some that may not notice the change in you, a little disheartening because you are working so hard and it goes unnoticed. Secondly, when someone does notice, they will potentially make comments that are open to interpretation like ‘You’re looking good these days.’ (I didn’t before?), or ‘You’re wasting away.’ (Thanks for insinuating that I have an eating disorder). It’s a long road, stay focused and keep up the good work.

The Good/Great

Bacon and Eggs every day. Not recommended, but if this is something that you enjoy, there is no need to remove them from your diet, but you will have to forego the hashbrowns and toast.

I experienced a 15 lb loss in the first 2 weeks and an average of around 1.5 lbs per week since then. This initial drop and the slow but steady weight loss is inspiring when you jump on the scale and it shows progress

I have also not engaged in any extra exercise. Although it’s recommended, I am running around after a 2 year old, am active with a young men’s organization, and also do lots of puttering around the house. I understand that if I do more exercise the pounds will likely come off quicker, but that may be the next step in this lifestyle change.

One other awesome thing here is that I don’t have to take any supplements, there are no additional costs, and the motivation for a long term lifestyle change is right in front of me without surgery forcing me. I have proven to myself that I have the willpower.


Depending on your initial weight, this is a great alternative to many diets, surgery, or supplements. After 7 months and losing almost 75 lbs, I am determined and destined to no longer be obese. Family, friends, and colleagues that support me are a blessing. Blessings to you.

Would love to hear your thoughts!