How far could you go to lose weight? Are you willing to take away carbs like bread, potatoes and sweets from your diet? Robert Atkins wrote a book almost 40 years ago revealing a diet plan which was meant for the carb-heavy American. The diet works on the theory that when you reduce the intake of carbohydrates your body looks for fuel among the fat stores in your body. This results in burning body fat helping you reduce weight.
Research has shown that low-carb diets can be effective for those trying to lose weight, and it also leads to many health improvements. The Atkins diet faced quite a bit of criticism when it was introduced to the world. Many people considered it unhealthy because of the high saturated fat content but new studies show that saturated fat is harmless.
Phases of the Diet
Phase 1 (Induction): You bring down your carbohydrate to under 20 grams a day for two weeks. These carbohydrates should come mainly from vegetables. Protein and fat is added to the diet from poultry, butter, fish and eggs. This phase of the diet prohibits bread, grains, fruits and starchy vegetables. Nuts, seeds and legumes are not allowed at this time either.
Phase 2 (Balancing): The second phase slowly adds more vegetables, nuts, legumes, beans and berries to the diet.
Phase 3 (Fine-Tuning): You reach this phase when you are closer to your target weight. At this time you include more carbs to your diet so that weight loss slows down for you.
Phase 4 (Maintenance): Once you have attained the weight you wanted to, you are in the phase which calls for maintaining your body weight. Now, you can eat as many healthy carbohydrates as you can without gaining weight.
How to do the Atkins diet?
The Atkins diet does not involve a lot of effort. You will notice some big changes in your menu to begin with, but gradually you will find it healthy and stick to the diet to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Limitations: You have to remember that the Atkins diet limits your food choices to a smaller group of food that are rich in proteins and fat. Some food groups are completely excluded in the first phase.
Cooking and Shopping: The first phase of the diet is most challenging when you have to keep an eye out for carb heavy foods. When you are cooking or ordering food you have to ensure that you count the carbs and limit it as much as you can.
In addition to this you may want to check the labels when you are shopping for packaged food.
Does it Work?
The Atkins diet has been favored by many people. It is considered to be one of the best low-carb diets and it has been effective for many dieters. If you indulge in carb-heavy foods then this diet can help you shed some weight by reducing the intake of carbohydrates.
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The initial phase limits your food choices and omits some food groups completely. However, once you’ve shed weight and reached your weight loss goal, the Atkins diet allows you to add carbohydrates back to your diet and helps you stay on a healthy diet.
The diet can become difficult for those who like variety in their foods. In addition to this, it is important to remember that proteins and fat should be consumed in smaller portions because they are rich in calories.
The Atkins diet is effective for those who can strictly adhere to the rules of the diet.
The diet has had controversies as well. While the Atkins diet is effective for those who want to shed weight, research is yet to confirm the effects of high intake of animal proteins. There is a possibility that it may adversely affect you in the long term.
Those who suffer from conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases and high cholesterol should avoid this diet because of the high protein and fat content. Those who suffer from severe kidney diseases should avoid the Atkins diet as well. It is better to consult your doctor and choose a diet plan that will be more suitable according to your health condition.
The Final Word
There is no doubt about the effectiveness of the Atkins diet. People who need to lose weight will notice substantial results by following this diet. If you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, it is important that you move from the initial phase of the diet to a phase where you simply have to maintain your weight and not completely restrain from carbs.