The Atkins diet is probably the most popular and recognized low carbohydrate/high protein weight loss program ever created.
The program claims that you can eat as much protein and fat as you wish and you will still lose weight.
It is recommended that dieters are asked to consult their doctor or health care professional before starting any weight loss program.
How it Works?
This weight loss programs claim to fame is a process called ketosis in where by limiting the consumption of carbohydrates you switch the body’s metabolism.
Instead of burning glucose your body burns stored body fat and that is the process known as ketosis. The lower the carbohydrate intake, the lower the sugar and insulin levels in your body, so your body has to turn to stored fat cells instead, burning fat for required energy.
Phase 1 - Induction:
This phase lasts for 14 days and its primary goal is to encourage
weight loss by changing your body’s metabolism and if followed
correctly you should experience significant weight loss. Some people
have stated losing 15 pounds during this phase.
Menu Guidelines for the Induction Phase:
Phase 2 - Ongoing Weight loss:
In this second phase you are allowed to eat more carbohydrates, increasing salad and vegetable intake. After induction the daily carbohydrates may be increased to 25 grams a day for this whole week.
If you continue to lose weight you may increase your carb intake up to 30 grams a day the following week.
You will continue adding 5 more grams every week until the weight
loss stops. Now you know how many carbs are right for you personally
and you may decrease or maintain this number as necessary.
Phase 3 - Pre-Maintenance:
In this third stage you are purposely slowing down your weight loss by increasing your daily carbohydrate intake by 10 grams each week as long as you keep slowly losing weight.
In this phase you discover exactly how many carbs you can eat daily and still maintain your weight or slowly keep losing it.
You may slowly introduce new foods into your diet such as small
portions of fruit, bread, brown rice and starchy vegetables. It is
recommended that you stay in this phase for 1 or 2 months.
Phase 4 - Lifetime Maintenance:
The goal of this final stage is to maintain your desired weight
for life. In phases 2 and 3 you discovered what your personal
carbohydrate intake needs to be. Many people continue with a 60 – 90
gram level daily for life.
You can eat a lot of food and achieve weight loss
Has been proven successful for many dieters
Includes heavier foods which satisfies your hunger for longer periods of time
No calorie counting
Diverts you from drinking alcohol and eating poor quality carbohydrates that may be full of sugar, white flour or otherwise known as junk food carbs.
This type of diet is high in fats which could increase the risk of heart disease and cholesterol levels
Counting and tracking carbohydrates is required
Not suitable for vegetarians because it omits foods such as seeds, nuts, beans and certain vegetables during the early phases of the program
Lacks in vitamins, minerals and nutrients
Some people have experienced bad breath, weakness, dizziness, insomnia and constipation
The Atkins Diet clearly states that the weight loss phases of this diet are not suitable for pregnant women and nursing mothers
Do not do this weight loss program is you have severe kidney disease
People taking diuretics, insulin or oral diabetes medications
must consult their physician or health care provider before starting
As successful as The Atkins Diet has proven to be it almost seems unnatural to deprive the human body of vast amounts of fruits and vegetables.
After all, plant foods are where we obtain most of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need to stay healthy.
The Atkins Diet may be suitable if other diets fail, but may hinder health if used long term.