What is the Atkins Diet Plan and How it Works.
An Akins diet review which includes Atkins food list and the
Atkins diet phases 1 to 4.
What is the Atkins diet?
The Atkins Diet is ostensibly a high protein low carb diet, developed by cardiologist Dr Robert Atkins, for his heart patients in the early seventies. He believed it to be solution to the ever increasing consumption of carbohydrates by the American population, believing that a low carbohydrate diet would be a much healthier way to eat.
The theory that the body would convert to a fat burning machine when the first choice fuel, carbohydrates, was in short supply was not new but he certainly popularized it. Bearing in mind we were fat burners in our hunter gatherer days (berries were only available for a short season) this is not new to our bodies but it does take a small adjustment.
Dr Atkins believed his low carbohydrate diet would improve his patients heart conditions by reducing cholesterol levels, and also help stabilize blood sugar levels that would otherwise constantly spike in response to high carb consumption, which in turn causes the release of insulin that lower the blood sugar triggering hormones to make you hungry.
Does the Atkins Diet Work?
The fact that compliance with the Atkins diet will result in significant weight loss is indisputable, there are far too many people that have used it successfully, and continue to do so, for it to be questionable.
Atkins diet plan soon became the most popular diet of it’s time and it’s continued popularity is driven mostly by the diets success, thousands of people who think it’s the best diet ever having lost many pounds of weight.
But there those that believe it to be unhealthy to cut your carbohydrates to such an extent.
Some experts question the advisability of restricting your carbs so much, and others have no problem with it. It is the nature of the beast, every new diet is scrutinized by the fraternity and, as with all things, some experts think one thing and others think another.
But there is no hard evidence to prove that a high protein low carb diet is detrimental to your health and the severe restriction is only in the short of two week induction stage.
The other concern of eating too much fat does not take into consideration the body has become a fat burner rather than a carbohydrate burner, which nullifies the additional fat.
The four stages of the Atkins diet plan are:
Atkins Induction Phase.
The two week atkins induction phase is the most severe, when carbohydrates are limited to just 20 grams a day. Protein will make up the bulk of you meals with a very small amount of low carb vegetables intended to supercharge your metabolism, when it will change to burning fats in preparation for the rest of the diet. It is reported that you can feel a bit fuggy headed, but it will only last a few days, after which you will feel fine.
For the duration of this stage you can eat large amounts of; meat, fish, prawns, chicken, eggs and cheese, with no more than a small handful of low carb. vegetables or
Atkins Ongoing Weight Loss Phase.
This second stage of the diet is much the same as the first with the added benefit of increasing your carbohydrate intake by 5 grams a day all the time monitoring your weight to make sure you are still losing weight. If you stop losing stop increasing the carbs and go back 5 grams to continue your weight loss. When you have lost the desired amount of weight you can move to the next phase.
Atkins Pre-maintenance Phase.
When you move to the Third stage you will need to determine the Amount of carbohydrates your body can handle without gaining weight by increasing the quantity you consume daily by 5 to 10 grams a day, until you start to gain weight, then stop and reduce by five grams. This is the amount of carbohydrates your body can handle and can not be exceeded without gaining weight.
You can now start introducing a wider range of carbs but they should always be the healthier option of whole grains, vegetables, fruit, pulses, nuts and potatoes. Refined carbohydrates like white flour products and sugar should always be avoided.
Atkins Maintenance Phase.
The final stage is a lifestyle stage and can and should be followed as an on going eating plan. You can now reintroduce all of the complex carbohydrates into your diet, you just need to stay below your tolerance level. You have now done the hard work all you need to do now is maintain it.
Atkins food list.
The list provided here is a guide of the most common foods you can eat on the Atkins diet plan; all foods on the list contain less than 10% carbohydrates.
Beef, bacon, chicken, lamb, pork, ham, sausage, duck, game, liver, turkey, ostrich.
All types of fish, prawns, lobster, muscles, scallops, crab, clams.
Cheese, butter, milk, cream, eggs,
Asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts cauliflower, cabbage, chard, egg plant, green beans, kale, leeks, onions, pea pods,pumpkin, squash, spinach, turnips, zucchini,
Tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, avocado, celery, bok choy, sprouts, fennel, mushrooms, olives, peppers,
Atkins Diet Review Conclusion.
If you are predominantly a meat eater you should have no problem staying on this diet plan because you should never be hungry. But those that eat a more balanced meal run the risk of getting a bit bored with the severe restrictions of the early stages of the Atkins food list.
It is a diet that if stuck to will definitely lose you weight, but I would prefer to have a larger daily allocation of vegetables.
My feeling is that once you have finished and you are on the maintenance option, you should allow yourself a treat every now and again. You can always drop your carbohydrate intake for a while if you need to.