|      |       |     |      |

|  Atkins Introduction  |  Induction |  Ongoing Weight Loss |  Pre-maintenance  |  Lifetime Maintenance  |  Vitamins/Minerals  |

FIBRE / PSYLLIUM HUSKS (This page last revised on 4 January 2015)

Although I refer frequently to 'fibre' in my journal entries, it is a subject of such importance that I wanted to centralise my notes on the matter on one page:

(In all the measurements below: tbsp - tablespoon of 15ml; tsp - teaspoon of 5ml)
  • Fibre Supplements – For many months (since early September 2003) I have been taking these in the form of psyllium husks and wheat bran in a glass of water, washed down with at least a further glass of water, taken about 20 or so minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner, although since about 2012 I have taken them only before breakfast, as I find this regimen satisfactory on a consistent basis. In the 2003 printing of 'Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution' (DANDR), at least the version sold in the UK, this topic is discussed by him on pages 75-77 and 136. Read also the 'Rules of Induction' on pages 122-124, specially paragraph 12. on page 124.
  • After about 8 weeks on Induction I began to notice increasing constipation. I had been using wheat bran alone, as I couldn't find a source of Psyllium Husks locally. I had tried a few tsp of wheat bran in a glass of water before each meal, but that was VERY unpalatable, so I started to sprinkle it over my salads as well as the usual olive oil. That was palatable, but did not seem to work - I came to the conclusion that the oil was coating the fibre and preventing it swelling in my stomach.
  • Eventually, I discovered where I could buy Psyllium Husks nearby, in my local health food shop, and since then I have been a regular purchaser. See the next box of this table for full details of the brand I use.
  • Initially, to solve the major constipation problem I had begun to suffer from, I used 1 and a 1/2 tbsp of each of wheat bran and psyllium husks in a glass of water before each meal, washed down with a further glass of water each time. If you leave the mixture for two or three minutes, it will thicken and is easy to swallow. It does not taste unpleasant, indeed it tastes of very little. If you leave the mixture too long, it will become too thick and you may have to dilute it in the glass to make it flow smoothly again. Once my initial problem was solved (within two or three days), I gradually reduced the quantities of wheat bran and psyllium husks to what is written immediately below. Since I started using this mixture in September 2003 I have had no problems at all with constipation, or indeed any other problem with my digestion.
  • Since roughly November 2003 the dosage has consisted of 2 tsp of each before breakfast, lunch and dinner (although since early September 2004 I have upped the breakfast dose to one tablespoon of each). This has proved very successful, together with the increased quantities of recommended vegetables I now eat on the 'LM' phase of the diet. Coupled with occasional use of the various food and breakfast bars produced under the 'Atkins' name, and now available in the UK, I am extremely happy to report that I have been 'regular' for many months. I occasionally increase the before-breakfast dose to 1 tbsp of each. Similarly I have begun to add pulses and legumes - see next paragraph. NB/ More recently (since about 2012) I have reduced my daily intake of each to 1 tbsb, but only once per day before breakfast and this seems to maintain 'regularity' on a consistent basis.
  • Pulses and legumes are good source of both protein and fibre (and taste good) and have negligible fat, although they do have a certain level of carbs, too. Taken in moderation, though, I have found them extremely useful in keeping me 'regular', with negligible effects on my weight and they give a useful feeling of fullness. I tend to use a mixture of black eye, soya and cannellini beans. They come in the dried version, which I soak overnight and cook enough at a time for several days. I add about 2 heaped dessert spoons of cooked beans to each meal, usually sprinkled over salads, although in the case of both scrambled eggs and omelettes I add the pulses to the mixture prior to cooking. Since early September 2004 I have reduced the pulses I take to negligible proportions on a regular basis, although I still occasionally add the doses referred to above to a meal, once every week or so - I made the change because I felt with continuous use, my food 'cravings' had begun to return; in future I'll be keeping pulses for 'special occasions', so to speak (as I do like them).
  • Occasionally, if I find I have to miss a meal, I use an Atkins 'Advantage' or 'Breakfast' bar, together with some nuts either to replace completely or partially a regular meal. In any case, I eat some nuts more or less every day as these are a good source of balanced protein, fat and fibre and can easily be eaten on the move; a 'ration' of nuts consists of approx. 6 almonds, 6 cashew, 6 hazelnut and 2 Brazil - I may take this 'ration' upto twice a day at different times. All of these have useful amounts of fibre, although the package labels warn when using the 'Advantage' or 'Breakfast' bars not to over-indulge as they can have a laxative effect
Availability of useful dietary 'fibre' in the UK (This section extensively revised on 4 January 2015)

Wheat Bran

I use 'Jordans Natural Wheat Bran', but this is no longer available it seems in local supermarkets, nor is there a local health food store any longer. It is however available, together with other brands, online from Amazon.

Psyllium Husks

As my local health food shop went out of business some years ago, I now source this online (the same brand as below) from Amazon and use their 'subscribe & save' facility to ensure I never run out; I have never seen it in supermarkets. This is the brand I use:

  • Lepicol, produced by Lepicol Ltd, Marston Green, Birmingham B33 0NW, Telephone (Freefone) 0500 127249, Website (Amazon seem to stock only the larger size of plastic drum, 350grams, and this lasts me about two months based on my current consumption of 1tbsp a day; the cost online from Amazon is very reasonable (I buy it using their 'subscribe & save' facility), compared with the price listed on the Leipicol website. As well as psyllium husks, this product contains pre- and pro-biotics, which are supposed to improve the digestion and my experience is that they do.

Pulses and Legumes

I use black eye, soya and cannellini beans, some of which are available dried from the supermarket, although I get soya beans from my local health food shop. Of course some are available in tins, but usually in salted and/or sugared water, both best avoided. The dried beans need to be soaked in water for about 8 hours, prior to cooking for a couple of hours in water with not too much low-sodium salt (a fast boil for the first 15 minutes, then about 90 minutes on a slow boil, perhaps a little longer for soya beans). I cook enough to last for several days at a time - the cooked beans store perfectly well in the refigerator.

Atkins products

Although both Boots and Tesco still stock a limited range, the best source is now online via Amazon, where I buy when possible using the 'subscribe & save' facility. In my local branches they are stocked in the slimming aids area, with other brands. The 'Advantage' and 'Breakfast' bars seem to have useful amounts of fibre, although the labels warn not to over-indulge as this might have a laxative effect.

|  Atkins Introduction  |  Induction |  Ongoing Weight Loss |  Pre-maintenance  |  Lifetime Maintenance  |  Vitamins/Minerals  |

|      |       |     |      |

Copyright information & terms of use:  Copyright © 2003 - 2015 William Cameron