What Is The Atkins Diet?

You’ve probably heard of the famous Atkins diet. The Atkins diet has been for a while the most hyped eating plan around and millions of people have tried it at some time or another. Created by Dr Robert Atkins in the early 70s, the basic idea behind this diet is that cutting down on the carbohydrates, while allowing people to eat high-fat food, is going to work. Although many people claimed that the Atkins diet worked for them, it was also highly criticized by medical experts as being dangerous to health in the long term.

One of the best things in favour of the Atkins diet was that it allowed people to eat eggs and cheese and steaks. The Atkins diet plan allows unrestricted amounts of protein, including meats, eggs and cheese, and severely limits foods containing carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice and fruit. It sounds like a dream diet actually. Who’d pass up the chance of losing weight while still enjoying a good eggs and ham breakfast? This led to the diet being very popular at one time. Well, the downside is that you get no bread or salad with that steak. None whatsoever. Which becomes a real problem after a week or so. How much meat can you eat without touching any vegetables at all?

Atkins Diet Phase 1

Anyway, the theory is that cutting out the carbohydrates will force your body to use the stored fat in order to obtain the energy needed through the day. This means that you don’t get to eat bread and potatoes, pastries, rice, pasta, milk, fruit, vegetables On the other hand, you are allowed to eat red meat, chicken, fish, cheese, butter, eggs and mayonnaise. This is going to be your only food for the first two weeks, which is called the Induction Phase.

Atkins Diet Phase 2

What follows next is the second phase of the diet called the Ongoing Weight Loss and it lets you increase the intake of carbohydrates by 5 grams per day, starting from the basic 20 grams per day stipulated by the Induction Phase. The dieter have to find out how far the amount of carbohydrates can be increased before the body is unable to lose between 1 and 3 pounds per week. This is called the Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing Weight and this is where the amount of carbohydrate stops growing. This phase is supposed to last to the point where you almost reach the desired weight.

Atkins Diet Phase 3

With five to ten pounds left to shed, it is time to enter the third stage of the diet which is called the Pre-Maintenance where it is supposed to increase the carbohydrate intake by 10 grams a day in order to slow down the weight loss process. The final phase of the diet program is called the Lifetime Maintenance and means a lifetime of eating around 90 grams of carbohydrate per day for the rest of your life. However, for most people, moving from 250 grams or more to less than 100 grams and for the rest of your life, it could be quite a challenge.

Atkins Diet Side Effects

The side effects of the Atkins Diet is that eating unlimited amounts of fat, especially saturated fat found in meat products, can lead to increased risk of heart disease. While it is true that some people actually did fine on this diet, some got infections of the kidneys from the high-protein content or heart problems from all the fat food they ate.

Dizziness and general weakness are also to be expected as the body goes into starvation mode when denied carbohydrates. With high-fiber fruit and vegetables out of the way you can also expect the problem of constipation. Also, the lack of many dairy products leads to a significant drop in the amount of calcium absorbed by the body and may cause osteoporosis or other bone conditions later on. Research on a healthy diet tells us to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Restricting these foods in the name of weight loss may lead to long term health problems.

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You might be also be interested in the South Beach Diet.

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