Let’s dive into the Atkins Diet
So, are you planning to join the Atkins diet and follow the rules of this famous American nutritionist Robert C. Atkins? Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet. This diet aims to improve your body health and keep your weight under control. Well, don’t rush with your decision. Before you start your low-carb, high-fat diet, keep reading our article on the pros and cons of Atkins and what you can and cannot eat when following the Atkins diet.
What is the Atkins diet, and who created it?
The Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate eating method that promises rapid weight loss. The diet restricts the intake of carbohydrates but allows unlimited amounts of protein and fat.
The Atkins diet was designed by Dr. Robert Atkins, who first published his findings in a 1972 book called Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution: The High-Calorie Way to Stay Thin Forever! In his book, he explains how he came up with the idea for the diet after discovering that people who ate more protein lost weight more quickly than those who ate less protein.
It claimed that people could continue eating this way indefinitely without risk of health problems, including heart disease and cancer — but again, there’s no evidence to support this claim.
What is the theory behind this diet?
The theory behind the Atkins diet is that when you eat foods rich in carbohydrates, your body transforms them into blood sugar or glucose for energy production. If you’re overweight, your body may be resistant to insulin (a hormone produced by your pancreas), which means that glucose can’t get into your cells where it’s needed for energy production. Lowering your carbohydrate intake can help you lose weight because it reduces blood sugar levels and reduces insulin resistance in some people.
The Atkins diet allows unlimited amounts of protein foods, including meat, fish, and eggs; cheese; vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, and green beans; nuts; seeds; avocados; butter; oils such as olive oil and macadamia nut oil; and full-fat dairy products.
How does the Atkins diet work?
The diet is based on the theory that eating carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels, which triggers the body to produce insulin. Insulin promotes fat storage and can make you gain weight if you eat a lot of carbs.
The Atkins diet is divided into four phases: Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss (balancing), Pre-maintenance, and Lifetime Maintenance.
What are the Four Phases of the Atkins diet for weight loss?
The Atkins Diet is a four-phase plan for reducing and maintaining weight loss. Depending on your weight-loss goals, you can begin at any phase.
Phase 1: Induction.
You eat only 20 grams of net carbohydrates a day in the strict phase, mainly from vegetables. They will require eating protein food like fish and shellfish, poultry, meat, eggs, and cheese at every meal. You don’t have to limit oils and fats. But you can’t have most fruits or sugary baked goods or bread or pasta or grains or nuts or alcohol. You drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. You remain in this phase for at least two weeks unless your weight loss goals are met earlier.
Phase 2: Ongoing Weight Loss or Balancing.
In this ongoing Weight Loss phase of the diet, you’ll have to focus on eating 12-15 grams of carbohydrates a day from vegetables. You also avoid foods with added sugar. You can slowly add high-nutrient carbs such as more vegetables and berries, nuts, and seeds as you lose weight. You’ll remain in this phase until you’re about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) from your goal weight.
Phase 3: Pre-maintenance.
At this phase, you gradually increase the range of foods you can eat, including fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grains. You can add about 10 grams of carbohydrates to your diet each week, but it must be reduced if your weight loss stops. You remain in this phase until you reach your goal weight.
Phase 4: Lifetime maintenance.
Once you reach your goal weight, at this phase, you can maintain your new weight by following a diet similar to the one that helped you achieve the goal for the rest of your life.
Is Atkins good for losing weight?
The diet has undergone many changes since then, but its primary focus is reducing carbohydrate intake. The Atkins diet emphasizes a very low-carbohydrate, high-protein, and high-fat regimen.
New Atkins focuses more on lean proteins, healthy fats, and high-fiber vegetables as part of the plans. Though, Millions of people have lost weight on Atkins.
Atkins is one of the most popular fad diets and is still widely promoted to people who want to lose weight quickly.
It can be effective for weight loss in the short term, but it’s not a long-term solution because it’s too restrictive. The diet recommends that most of your daily calories come from protein and fat, with only a small amount of carbs.
The idea behind this approach is that it forces your body to burn fat instead of carbs as its primary fuel. As a result, you lose weight.
What can you eat on the Atkins diet?
The Atkins diet is designed for at least 18 years old and moderately active. It’s not for everyone, though — even if you’re overweight or obese, you might not be healthy enough for this diet, which can cause some side effects like bad breath, headaches, fatigue, and muscle cramps.
On the Atkins diet, you avoid eating high in sugar and starch carbohydrates. Foods high in protein and fat are allowed though it depends on the stage you are at.
Here are some of the foods you can eat on Atkins include:
- Meat, fish, poultry, and eggs
- Vegetables (except starchy ones)
- Low-carbohydrate and high-fiber fruits like apples, berries, and citrus.
- Complex carbs like legumes and whole grains
- Low sugar
- Plant fats like Nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado, and more.
Approved beverages or drinks include:
- Water, coffee, and green tea.
However, you can even order Atkins diet premade snacks and shakes that align with the diet’s requirements online.
What can you not eat on the Atkins diet?
- Foods such as white bread, pasta, and other non-whole-grain wheat products are not recommended. The high glycemic index of such carbs only spikes your blood sugar and leads to weight gain.
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners. Sugar is restricted on the Atkins diet. Phase one allows you to eat as much protein and fat as possible, but no carbohydrates are allowed. In phase two, sugary foods such as berries, cherries, and melons are permitted; however, artificial sweeteners are not.
- Alcohol drinks, Alcohol is forbidden during phase one of the Atkins diet, but followers can begin adding it moderately once they’ve moved to later phases. However, beer and wine contain carbs, and all alcohol inhibits your body’s fat-burning mechanisms, so it is not encouraged at any stage.
- Other foods to avoid include starchy vegetables, such as corn and potatoes; fruits with high sugar content, such as pineapple, mango, papaya, and banana; sweets including cookies, candies, and cakes; refined or simple carbohydrates, white bread, and pasta.
12 Ways to start Atkins diet.
To start the Atkins diet, you’ll need to buy special foods with a high amount of fat and protein. These are called “Atkins products,” They’re available in most grocery stores.
1. Choose your phases carefully — While there are four phases of the Atkins plan, you don’t have to follow them all at once or in order.
- Get ready for cravings — if you’ve never been on a low-carbohydrate diet before, prepare yourself for cravings as your body adapts to using fat instead of glucose as an energy source instead of carbohydrates.
- Add a lot more protein — not just meat, but fish and seafood, along with vegetables and low-carb fruits such as berries.
- Prepare to cut out all sugars from your diet completely — including fruit juices and sweetened drinks like soda — until you reach your goal weight (or lose 5% of your current weight).
- Set goals achievable, healthy goals that are suitable for you.
- Choose Atkins diet Plan which is right for you.
- Familiarize yourself with the approved foods list in each Atkins diet phase.
- Plan your food shopping list based on the accepted Atkins diet plan.
- Staying properly hydrated to prevent dehydration that may occur during phase 1 of the weight loss.
- Consumption of more fat in weight loss is not allowed but is an integral part of weight loss on the Atkins diet.
- Taking snacks consistently between breakfast and lunch is allowed on the Atkins diet.
- Seek motivation that will encourage your weight loss goals.
Atkins Diet and keto diet both are low-carb diets.
But there are some differences between them. The main difference between the two is that:
The Atkins diet is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that Dr. Robert Atkins created in the 1970s. It’s based on restricting carbohydrates will force your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.
On the other hand, the keto diet has been proven to be more effective than Atkins as it helps in burning fats faster than Atkins does.
The main aim of the keto diet is to make you enter ketosis, which happens when your body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. A ketogenic diet (or keto) is a very low-carbohydrate diet that causes the body to burn fat rather than carbohydrates for energy. It’s called “ketogenic” because it causes the body to produce small fuel molecules called “ketones.”
Pros and Cons of the Atkins diet
1. The Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-protein weight loss plan. It’s a simple idea, but it can be effective in helping you lose weight.
2. If you’re looking to lose weight faster and easier, the Atkins diet may be right. You’ll eat plenty of meat, cheese, and eggs while avoiding bread, pasta, and other high-carb foods.
- You’ll eat until satisfied with this diet because the focus is on protein instead of carbohydrates.
- If you’re still hungry after eating an entire plate of fatty steak or a pile of buttery mashed potatoes, you should probably see a doctor — not try to follow the Atkins diet!
- Flexible guidelines. The Atkins diet has no calorie restrictions and allows unlimited protein and fats.
- No calorie counting on the Atkins diet plan, but you need to pay more attention to your carbs intake.
- Atkins diet reduced fruit and grain intake.
- Atkins’s diet causes side effects like a nutrient deficiency.
- It may be very hard to adapt to.
- While some people may experience quick weight loss with these diets, others may not lose any weight.
- No sugar or artificial sweeteners consumption on the Atkins diet.
The Atkins diet is the most popular and the most effective low-carb diet because it works. The energy you feel will surprise you. It’s exciting to lose weight when you aren’t hungry, aren’t constipated, and aren’t having headaches. That’s what Atkins does for people, every time, and that doesn’t mean it can work for everyone. That’s why it’s vital to know your genetic makeup before choosing any diet plans.
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Many factors can determine whether or not a diet will suit an individual weight gain or loss goals. These include body weight and fat percentage, weight goals, medications, medical history, blood sugar levels, diets, and other health-related traits. By knowing your genetic makeup in advance, you can ensure that any dietary scheme you select was developed under consideration of your unique genetic profile. You will find it easier to adhere to the diet rules and get positive results faster!
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