Atkins Was My Answer
(New York State)
I have spent a good deal of my life trying out a variety of weight-loss diets and falling off them (with an all too quick gain of whatever weight I lost...plus some extra pounds). There is only one diet which has been really successful for me, and that is the so-called "Atkins Diet" - the low-carb, low glycemic regimen that I live on nearly all the time these days.
My basic problem is that I am the food equivalent of an alcoholic or drug addict. I can’t eat a single cookie, a single chocolate, or a single piece of bread or cake. I am a whole-package fiend; and the more carbs I consume, the more I crave.
The only way I can (mostly) eliminate the awful cravings is to keep my carb intake very low. Happily, the Atkins Diet allows me to consume lots of good food and still lose weight while doing so. No, I don’t eat bread, or potatoes, or sugar-containing sweets, but I can still have delicious meals and even desserts with a bit of creative substitution.
My Chicken Parmigiana is made by sauteing the chicken without breading it and by making the sauce with tomato paste, water, lots of spices, and a smidgen of liquid sugar substitute. I also make a luscious cheesecake filling that’s totally OK as long as I keep it out of a crust!
I have been on the Atkins Diet most of the time for over 10 years now. I originally lost just under 50 pounds, and I have kept most of it off. I do take breaks for my birthday, my husband’s birthday, my anniversary, the occasional holiday, and some summer weekends; but overall, this is the best diet for me. And, it has done wonders at lowering my blood pressure as well.
My early-day food usually consists of some combination of hard-boiled egg whites, raw vegetables with dips I make myself, cold shrimp, homemade white meat chicken salad, or tuna mixed with diced soft tofu, cooked string beans, butter, and a squeeze of lemon (with just a very few slices of cooked carrots tossed in).
Dinner is meat, fish or fowl, usually cooked in the oven, and eaten with vegetables and/or a salad. Pork chops, chicken drums, chicken breasts, etc., are particularly moist when baked with Shake & Bake on them (tho' I scrape it off before eating).
There are all sorts of low-carb products available these days, although you must read labels very carefully, because many manufacturers don't hesitate to mislead consumers. There are ample possibilities even when eating in restaurants.
There's a new book in the library about the Atkins approach to eating. It contains some very useful info plus lots of recipes. You do have to recognize, however, that it may take a few weeks to get accustomed to the Atkins Diet and have the cravings taper off. On the other hand, you are likely to get real reinforcement from your bathroom scale by the end of the first full week!