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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 04-14-2005, 05:54 AM   #1
johnatan pladott
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our next door neighbor just gave us some books about the atkins diet. It sounds a lot like the Zone: low carbs, low insulin.
I've been "working" on my wife to lower our carb percentage, after reading about the zone here in crossfit. I also think she is hyper-insulin (craving for sweets, recurrent crashes, tires easily). so is there a difference between them?
my wife really trusts our neighbor, who gave glowing recommendations to these books.
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Old 04-14-2005, 06:13 AM   #2
Graham Hayes
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The take away lesson I've learned from reading these boards is Atkins is great for sedentary populations but not for athletes...we need the carbs. I don't know if the difference is as basic as Zone has carbs, Atkins doesn't. But both are huge improvements on modern eating habits.
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Old 04-14-2005, 06:47 AM   #3
Brian Hand
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Atkins:

-Very low carb (ketogenic)
-Drastic; hard to live with permanently
-Very effective for people with a lot of weight to lose
-Requires strict adherence, does not tolerate cheating, lapses, etc. well at all; little flexibility.

Zone:
-Balanced and sustainable, moderate approach
-Relatively low carb but not ketogenic
-Provides some benefits even if not followed to the letter
-Flexible enough to modify slightly based on individual needs

I would say Atkins is good for highly motivated people who have a lot of weight to lose, for whom weight loss is more important (at least in the short term) than athletic performance. It also might be good for a severe carb addict to "dry up" with before starting the Zone.

Long term the Zone is hard to beat, although some people will wind up modifying it slightly. Few people can stay on a ketogenic diet for years.
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Old 04-14-2005, 06:49 AM   #4
Eric Keller
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I have not personally tried Atkins, but a colleague of mine mentioned that he had. His big takeaway was that it worked to drop weight, but you can't exercise on Atkins. The Zone seems to be more moderate, acknowledging the body's requirement for carbs while encouraging low-glycemic carb sources and protein and fat to moderate insulin.
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Old 04-14-2005, 06:55 AM   #5
William Hunter
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If you figure out your Zone carb gram requirements, you'll probably be in the area of 100-125 grams per day. Atkins typically starts you out with about 20 grams per day. Pretty big difference, but the SAD probably has about 250-450 grams of carbs per day. Both are a drastic improvement with regards to insulin production.
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Old 04-14-2005, 07:42 AM   #6
Larry Cook
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Pretty accurate descriptions so far. Atkins certainly starts with a very low (almost zero) allocation for carbs. This is very similar to South Beach and NHE ... essentially this is to accomplish, in quick order, a metobolic shift from being a carb burner to a fat burner.

Over time Atkins allows more carbs (about 50g I think) and Atkins also follows the "net carb" approach (basically subtract fiber grams from total carb grams to get a net number).

I think Atkins can be a great way to jump start a weight loss program because many people lose a chunk of weight pretty quickly (yes, some water weight) which is a nice motivator for the instant gratification crowd, and it does a good job of getting your body to do that metobolic shift.

If you plan on doing Crossfit,though, Atkins won't cut it. I think you'll need a higher level of carbs than what they recommend. Some Crossfit people seem to do fine with a carb load less than the Zone prescription, but I think they certainly consume more carbs than Atkins levels. So maybe Atkins to start, but then something more Zone like when activity levels increase.

Larry
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Old 04-14-2005, 08:29 AM   #7
Robert Ronngren
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I think the Atkins food pyramid is pretty good:
Atkins pyramid
Increase carbs with additional exercise, pretty sound advice.
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Old 04-14-2005, 11:24 AM   #8
Tyler Hass
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Atkins and Zone seem to follow opposite paths. Atkins: start low carb, add more carbs when you reach desired weight.
Zone: start moderate, add more fat when you reach desired bf%.
The Zone becomes more Atkins-like and the Atkins diet becomes more Zone-like. Hmmm... I'm not sure what to make of it. I see plenty of success stories on both sides, but Atkins seems like a weight loss diet and Zone a performance enhancing diet. In the context of CrossFit, I would side with the Zone diet, but JMO. Most of the anecdotal evidence around here would side heavily with the Zone Diet. It's hard to ignore so many positive results, especially John Walsh's. He was even hoping it wouldn't work!

Tyler
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:00 PM   #9
John Walsh
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Tyler is right. I was hoping the Zone wouldn’t work but it continues to work. It is also quite reasonable and rational. I don’t have to try to alter the diets of my entire family nor do I have to make a big deal about how I can’t eat this or that when at someone’s home or a restaurant. This is a useful, well-balanced and healthy eating plan. I tried Atkins when I first started toying with CF and I always felt gassed. Coach pointed out that this was logical since Atkins was sort of the Zone for sedentary folks. I’m secretly still hoping the Zone won’t so I can go back to being the “diet crank” but the evidence is just too compelling.
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Old 04-15-2005, 11:41 AM   #10
Matt Gagliardi
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Tyler is right. I was hoping the Zone wouldn’t work but it continues to work. It is also quite reasonable and rational. I don’t have to try to alter the diets of my entire family nor do I have to make a big deal about how I can’t eat this or that when at someone’s home or a restaurant. This is a useful, well-balanced and healthy eating plan. I tried Atkins when I first started toying with CF and I always felt gassed. Coach pointed out that this was logical since Atkins was sort of the Zone for sedentary folks. I’m secretly still hoping the Zone won’t so I can go back to being the “diet crank” but the evidence is just too compelling.

Who are you, and what have you done with the real John Walsh?

JK man...glad to hear you've had such a good experience with Zone.
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