The following has been added to my About 1972 Atkins page. And now that I have re-visited the original book, I may have been too lax when listing so many recipes as “Level 1”, so I’ll change that now.
Update: March, 12, 2015: Well, after this page has been sitting here for 4 years, I just realized (thanks to a reader) that I wasn’t as clear or specific as I could have been. I’m sure there is a lot of confusion out there, since to my surprise, EVERYONE is jumping on the NET carbohydrate bandwagon. Also, I’ve heard (I don’t go to their website) that Atkins has introduced a “new and improved” version of this way of eating, by starting you out with 40 grams of net carbohydrates per day. Let’s do a little math with the cookie I discussed two paragraphs down. So, if you are now allows (during your first week) to eat 40 grams of net carbohydrates per day, that’s roughly 7 of those cookies (7 grams of net carb) FOR A TOTAL OF 119 TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES IN ONE DAY! I would ask “What are they thinking?” but I already know the answer to that. Money. Their sales started dropping, so they needed to change things up a bit so people don’t feel so deprived. I get it. To me, this is a reflection of our society. Someone doesn’t like giving up everything they are used to eating? O.k. Go ahead and eat it. Does it make you feel fat to see you are wearing a size 16 pant? O.k. We’ll just change it so you think you are wearing a size 14 (they really did do this … these size 14 pants I’m so proud to be in would have been considered a size 16 20 years ago). We need to take responsibility for what we have done to our bodies! So, without further ado, for the first week of 1972 Atkins, you are virtually dropping down to zero carbohydrates. The only reason salad is included is for fiber. Take vitamins to compensate for any lack you will experience. To support this statement, here it is in the words of Dr. Atkins himself:
Not Sixty Grams of Carbohydrates On The Diet But Zero Grams. Here’s how the diet is significantly different. During the first week on this diet, you cut your intake of carbohydrates down to what is biologically zero.
This creates a unique chemical situation in the body, the one favorable to the fastest possible burning of your body’s stored fat. Ketones are excreted, and hunger disappears.
You see, the first fuel your body burns for energy comes from the carbohydrates you eat and drink. If any carbohydrate is available, your body burns this rather than stored fat–and maintains its old metabolic pathways. But carbohydrates, as such, are not stored in the body beyond forty-eight hours.
So when no carbohydrate is taken in, your body must draw upon the major reserve source of fuel–the stored fat.
It is forced to take a different metabolic pathway. In this process your body converts from being a carbohydrate-burning engine into being a fat-burning engine.
This is the diet revolution: the new chemical situation in which ketones are being thrown off–and so are those unwanted pounds, all without hunger. — “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution” (1972), page 13
The Diet Revolution Rules (from “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution” (1972), page 138)
- Don’t count calories!
- Eat as much of the allowed foods (listed below) as you need to avoid hunger.
- Don’t eat when you are not hungry.
- Don’t feel you must finish everything on your plate just because it’s there.
- Drink as much water or calorie-free beverages as thirst requires. Don’t restrict fluids … but it is not necessary to force them either.
- Frequent small meals are preferable.
- If weakness results from rapid weight loss, you may need salt.
- Every day take a high-strength multi-vitamin pill.
- Read the labels on “low-calorie” drinks, syrups, desserts. Only those with no carbohydrate content are allowed.