The Atkins Diet

If you have only heard about one diet, you have probably heard about the Atkins diet. Named after its founder, Dr. Robert Atkins, this diet enjoys great name recognition. Thought by many to be the father of fad diets in the decades since its inception, most people know that the Atkins diet features all the meat you can eat, but know little else. Here are a few more details that might help you to understand Dr. Atkin’s diet a bit better.

The Atkins diet is based on minimizing your body’s production of insulin by eating protein in abundance but nearly no carbs. Insulin is naturally secreted by your body to adapt blood sugar into a form usable by your muscles. Insulin is released when carbohydrates are digested. By not eating carbs, you secrete less insulin. In Dr. Atkin’s theory, that means that your body will burn fat to produce energy in the absence of carbs. Burning fat means losing weight. Bingo! Weight loss!

There are four phases to the Atkins diet. In phase one, called the induction phase, you eat a diet made up almost entirely of protein. You are allowed only 20 grams of carbohydrates a day. One slice of bread is around 15 grams of carbs, so your daily allowance is very limiting. During the two week induction phase you are expected to lose up to 15 pounds. That certainly gets you psyched about Atkins!

Phase two is called ongoing weight loss. During this phase, you slowly re-introduce foods back into your diet. Your daily carb allowance starts at 25 grams and slowly increases as you determine how many carbs you can eat and still lose weight. This is called your ongoing weight loss level. This carb level varies from person to person, so finding your individual carb allowance is the key to this phase. Most people spend one or two months in this phase.

In phase three, you are preparing for your life of maintenance. You enter phase three when you are about 10 pounds from your goal weight. During this phase you slowly increase your daily carb intake, from your ongoing weight loss level to a level where you neither gain or lose weight. The Atkins people call this your carbohydrate equilibrium point. This phase is all about preparing for a lifetime of maintenance, called phase four.

Phase four, called maintenance, is part of your life forever. If and when you gain weight, you return to phase two carb levels until you drop back to your target weight. Should you drop below your target weight, you merely bump up your carb level for a week or two.

The Atkins approach is easy to understand and easy to follow. The lack of carbohydrates is normally offset by binging on proteins. The increased consumption of fat and cholesterol is a concern for many physicians. The Atkin’s diet claim that weight loss will come strictly from fat is not scientifically supported, either. But most people are able to stick with the Atkins diet for at least a few weeks with lots of burgers, cheese and nuts, and most people lose weight, too.

Is the Atkins diet for you? Most people, especially men, can lose 5-10 pounds quickly. The unlimited access to protein keeps you from feeling hungry. Maintenance is more of a problem, though. Cholesterol can also be a problem with Atkins, so be sure to get regular checkups.

Have you tried the Atkins diet? Click on the Comment button and let us know how it worked for you. And remember, diets are easier to follow when you have a diet buddy. Click over to WannaBuddy and find yourself a diet buddy if you don’t have one already.

No comments:

Post a Comment