At age 19 and five feet tall, Nina Osegueda weighed 180 pounds. Already aware of her weight problem, her boyfriend hurt her when he cruelly said: "You know, you'd look better if you lost weight." In a recent interview with CNN, Nina revealed how she used the low carb, high fat (LCHF) ketogenic Atkins diet to shed the weight (and wisely dump the boyfriend).
"He was the tall, blonde, skinny type of guy who had no idea what it was like to be a short, Latina, chubby teenage girl," Nina reflected. "I shopped in the 'missus' section of Macy's and felt like an old lady at 19, trying to fit into 'mom jeans,' thinking that crying in the dressing room was totally normal and how I was supposed to live."
Her menu at the time featured junk food from the store, fast food, doughnuts and meals consisting mainly of starchy carbohydrates such as pasta and rice. "I'm just made to be bigger," Nina convinced herself. "I'm just built this way."
However, her boyfriend's advice to lose weight motivated her to ask for suggestions. When he said that his mother had used the Atkins diet, Nina decided to give it a try.
Although a variety of books detailing the Atkins plan exist, "New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great" has the greatest number of positive reviews. There's also a companion cookbook "The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook: 200 Simple and Delicious Low-Carb Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less."
After one year, Nina had lost 60 pounds, fit into size medium rather than "missus" and was "feeling healthier and happier than I ever had in my entire life, with the realization that I had the power to do whatever I put my mind to."
Nina now weighs 130 pounds and slips easily into a size six to size eight dress. A typical day on her diet:
- two scrambled eggs with spinach for breakfast
- a salad with tuna and oil and vinegar for lunch
- cheese, pickles or cucumbers for snacks
- protein and vegetable for dinner.
And by the way: She no longer is with that snarky boyfriend.
How does the Atkins diet work? It's a program divided into separate phases that begin with a jump-start weight loss induction. During that time, carbohydrates are restricted and dieters eat primarily healthy fats and protein. The Atkins diet recently had an update to put more of a focus on fiber and specific types of fat: "The New Atkins Made Easy: A Faster, Simpler Way to Shed Weight and Feel Great -- Starting Today."
Because it's a ketogenic diet, your body shifts on Atkins into fat-burning mode. The large proportion of fats and protein suppresses hunger and burns fat rather than muscle. There's also a workbook and journal to keep you on track when you head to the grocery store and plan your meals: "The New Atkins for a New You Workbook: A Weekly Food Journal to Help You Shed Weight and Feel Great."
Those who complain that they miss sweet treats on the Atkins diet now have a solution praised by Sharon Osbourne, who recently lost about 30 pounds on the ketogenic LCHF diet. The company branded a line of low carb candies, such as Atkins Chocolate Candies (which taste like M&Ms) and Atkins Advantage Bars, Chocolate Peanut Butter.