1 billion people on Atkins diet cannot be wrong
Through all my life I was a bit chubby. I always wanted to lose weight and I have been exercising in the gym for many years doing the usual things: super circuit, aerobics, treadmill and pushing some weights. I tried a few diets such as Weight Watches but I was forever hungry – it did not work for me. Despite being reasonably fit, my muscles were always covered with some fat. The worst I got to was about 200 lbs in weight (height of 5’6”). For the past few years my blood pressure shot up and the doctor gave me some pills which did not seem to help much as I could not get the pressure below 150/95 or so. Then came the high cholesterol and more tablets – again the tablets did not help much. For the past few years my blood sugar started to creep up and sure enough, the tests showed the Diabetes type 2. My doctor said “you have to do something if you want to live long”.
At this point of time I started thinking about what I was eating. For BREAKfast at about 8am I had some toast, coffee and some orange juice then went to work. By 10:30am I was light headed and starving. I had a sandwich or two, coffee and some biscuits and by lunchtime I was starving again and if I would not eat soon I would feel like I was going to pass out. This repeated at 3pm at 6pm when I had a generous dinner and again before bed. I realised that I ate at least 6 times per day but always thought that it was my metabolism and it could not possibly be any other way.
Fortunately as an engineer I travelled a lot around the world to different countries and experienced a lot of “off the beaten track life with the locals”. I was a regular visitor to China where I would often spent anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks at the time. As a visitor I was looked after very well and this meant a lot of dinners-Banquet style. I always enjoyed the chinese food that was somewhat exotic at times and as I was always a good eater I ate a lot. One thing I noticed on return to Australia that China was the only country where I mysteriously lost my weight at the rate of about 1kg (2.2 lbs) per week despite eating large quantities of food. Also I never really felt hungry but still ate anyway as the food was always very nice.
What did I eat in China? Well not the usual chinese food that one gets in any china town. As one of the chinese delegates visiting me in Australia (from Beijing) said to me: ”you eat a modified chinese food in Australia”. The origin of the western style chinese food (Cantonese) comes from Southern China where rice is a staple food. It is not the case in most other parts of China, especially up North where the climate is cold and the rice does not grow. Therefore traditionally, most of the chinese people (in China) do not eat much rice. Actually their food is almost never sweet and their desert consists of dumplings with non-sweet meat of vegetable filling in a very thin pastry. The only other carbohydrates that they consume are the occasional rice noodles and some fruit.
So, when you go next time to Beijing and stay in the western hotel together with all the westerners you will be served rice, bread, toast , sweets, fries etc. because that is what the westerners ask for. On the other hand if you go off the beaten track where you do not see a white face, you won’t be able to buy: bread (chinese do not eat bread, cheese, sweets etc.) I tried once to look for a bar of chocolate or a similar snack, but gave up after a few hours of shopping. These western goodies are only available where the tourists go. For those non believers that chinese people do not eat rice regularly, listen to this: Once we had a banquet style dinner in a large restaurant (about 100 guests there) in a smaller town. I felt a bit off colour and after not eating for some time I decided to order a plate of plain boiled rice only. The waiter came back from the kitchen and apologised telling me that they do not have any rice. So I resigned myself to not eating, but the rice actually came after about more than half an hour. My interpreter said that they sent a girl to some shop to buy a packet of rice for me. When I asked “don’t you eat rice here” the reply was “sometimes”.
From my observations, chinese people eat very little of carbohydrates, lots, lots and lots and very wide variety of vegetables, a great deal of protein (meat of many parts of animal – you’ll be surprised what they eat sometimes) and some fruit usually together with the dumplings at the end of the dinner.
Now I know why the chinese people are so slim! This experience taught me a very good lesson what to eat at home. My wife was not very impressed with my demands of meat and vegetable diet but she realised that I was serious when I started to cook for myself. After that I stumbled on to Atkins diet and I bought his book for $5 at the book market. After reading a few pages I realised that Atkins was basically conveying the same knowledge in a bit more scientific manner.
After being on the high veg & protein diet for a few months I took myself to the doctor following the blood test. At that stage I only wanted to lose some weight. When the doctor saw my blood test results on his computer (sent over the net) he said: “ Holly dooly, what have you been doing?” I panicked, thinking that something was wrong, but he quickly assured me with “No – your test results improved dramatically”. My blood sugar was almost normal, the cholesterol was half of the previous figure and when he measured my blood pressure – for the first time in many years it was normal! What’s more I noticed when exercising in the Gym that while doing exactly the same thing on the treadmill for many years, my pulse that the machines measure, showed consistent reduction of 10 to 15 heart beats per minute for the exact same exercise setting. So, on the low carb food mirroring the chinese experience my health has improved dramatically, I lost weight and at last I am now never hungry and do not crave for anything!!!
In the nut shell: If any western dietitian tells me that I may be doing something wrong I can reply with confidence: “Read Atkins diet book and go to China to learn - 1 billion of Chinese people that are on the Atkins diet cannot be wrong!!!!!!!