Dr. Kwasniewski, along with Dr. Atkins, believes that an excess of protein will turn into glucose and be stored as fat. They differ on the proper amount of protein. Dr. Kwasniewski teaches that as long as protein and carbs are kept sufficiently low, dietary fat will not cause weight gain and does not need to be limited.
The basic premise is this: First, you figure out how many grams of protein you should be eating based on Dr. Kwasniewski's formula. Then you use these ratios to figure out how many grams of fat and grams of carbs you should be eating:
PROTEIN : FAT : CARBS
1 : 2.5 - 3.5 : 0.5
I'll use myself as an example and show you how I came up with my numbers. I am 5'3" tall, which is the same as 160 cm. To arrive at my "due body weight", I subtract 100 cm from my 160 cm, and I get 60 cm. The number 60 is now the amount of kilograms I should weigh. I decided a while back that I wanted to weigh 132 pounds with 25% body fat. And guess what! My goal weight of 132 pounds equals 60 kg, which is exactly what Dr. Kwasniewski's says I should weigh! Interesting...
So, now my magic number is 60, which I can adjust up or down 10%, so for me, that is 6. I decided to adjust my number to 66, because I can.
This means I am allowed to eat 66 grams of protein per day.
Now I use the number 66 to figure out how many grams of fat I should eat per day:
66 x 2.5 = 165 grams of fat
66 x 3.5 = 231 grams of fat
So, this means I should eat between 165 and 231 grams of fat.
Now I use the number 66 to figure out how many grams of carbs I should eat per day.
66 x 0.5 = 33 grams of carbs
The doctor's website is not clear on whether I should eat 33 grams of total carbs or 33 grams of net carbs, but someone on the Atkins Forum said that they heard somewhere that it was net carbs, which is total carbs minus fiber. Just to be on the safe side, I am counting 20 net carbs, which goes along with the Atkins Induction Phase.
If I use the lower number of fat grams (protein grams x 2.5), my day would look like this:
165g fat (79%)
66g protein (14%)
33g carbs (7%)
20 net carbs
If I use the higher number of fat grams (protein grams x 3.5), my day would look like this:
231g fat (84%)
66g protein (10.7%)
33g carbs (5.3%)
20g net carbs
So how does The Optimal Diet measure up to The Atkins Nutritional Approach?
The basic guidelines of Atkins are that a women should eat between 1500 and 1800 calories per day, with 60-70% of calories coming from fat, and 45 grams total carbs, 25 grams fiber, which will equal 20 grams of net carbs. These are starting recommendations, and can be adjusted if you are shorter, which I am.
According to the low end of Atkins recommendations (lowest protein and lower end of calories), my day would look like this:
115g fat (69%)
71g protein (19%)
45g carbs (12%)
20 net carbs
According to the high end of Atkins recommendations (highest protein and higher end of calories), my day would look like this:
114g fat (57%)
149g protein (33%)
45g carbs (10%)
20 net carbs
The Atkins protein recommendations for a woman my height are between 71 and 149 grams of protein per day.
The Optimal Diet protein recommendations for a woman my height are between 54 and 66 grams of protein per day, so only a few grams less than Atkins.
The Atkins fat recommendations are 60-70%.
The Optimal Diet recommendations are 79-84%. Obviously higher.
The carbs are in the same range for both diets.
Anyway, I'm going to try it and see if it is true that I have been eating too much protein all this time and that is why I have trouble losing weight.