The Atkins Diet is the most well known of the low-carbohydrate diets. The diet was created in the 70s by Dr Robert C. Atkins more information can be found in the book ‘Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution’ which is a reworking of the 70’s original. To follow the diet you cut out most of your carbohydrate intake but you can eat as much fat and proteins as you want while still losing weight.
When you first start the Atkins diet almost all carbohydrates are eliminated from the diet this induces a state called ketosis where the body is tricked into thinking it is starving. Due to the low amount of carbohydrates in the Atkins diet the body burns glycogen instead of its preferred source of energy glucose (The breakdown product of carbohydrates).
The body stores three times as water as glycogen so as it is burnt during the induction phase there is a large initial loss of water and therefore weight. This large initial weight loss is a main reason for the Atkins diets popularity. However many doctors say that ketosis is bad because it puts a strain on your kidneys and in prolonged ketosis muscle tissue is broken down. The initial water weight loss is put back on very quickly if you stop the diet
After the couple of weeks on the Atkins Diet, you slowly reintroduce carbohydrates into your diet until you stop losing weight this gives you your maximum carbohydrate limit and you must stay under it in order to carry on with weight loss.
Atkins Diet: Reasons for
- It actually works
- There is a large initial weight loss
- Can eat as much protein and fat as you want
Atkins Diet: Reasons against
- The initial loss of water returns very quickly
- Has a high drop out rate for the induction phase
- Carbohydrates are very low in this diet..
- Ketosis strains the liver
- Constipation can be experienced due to lack of fibre
- High cholesterol in the diet
- Associated with heart disease. High in
- Cancer fighting substances founds in fruits and vegetables are low in this diet
Atkins Diet: Verdict
Not a long term viable diet, as it doesn’t promote healthy eating and cuts out a proportion of foods and has unhealthy side effects. It does however work (which most don’t) and is quite simple to follow which will always ensure a legion of devotees.
Note: If you find yourself feeling weak, you may not be getting enough carbohydrates. Try adding a little more to see if it helps.
When following this diet it is very important to drink no less than eight glasses of water
Atkins Diet – What can you eat?
To follow the Atkins diet you must eat very few carbohydrates and it must be kept to twenty grams a day a lists below will give you some guidance. Since you can eat as much proteins and fats as you like I will start with what you can eat
Eat as much as you want from:
Next is the list of foods you should avoid as they are very high in carbohydrates.
What not to eat
- Cereals (and all its types)
- Breakfast cereals
- Things high in sugar
Now is a list of vegetables split into two sections the first is those with higher carbohydrate levels where you can have 1 cup per day
High levels 1 cup
- Beet Greens
- Eggplant (aubergine)
- Summer Squash
- Zucchini (courgette)
- Bamboo Shoots
- Bean Sprouts
- Water Chestnuts
- Pea Pods
- Collard Greens
- Celery Root
- Brussel Sprouts
- Artichoke Hearts
Lower levels 3 cups
- Alfalfa Sprouts
Dr Atkins’ New Diet Revolution
Dr Atkins’ New Diet Revolution: The No-hunger, Luxurious Weight Loss Plan That Really Works!
~Robert C. Atkins
Paperback – 2 January, 2003
Follow the Dr Atkins diet and forget counting calories. Watch the fat melt away as a healthier and firmer body emerges. Enjoy more energy as well as freedom from a range of ailments from diabetes to heart disease. Essentially a low carbohydrate plan, the Atkins diet boosts your metabolic rate and once your metabolism is changed, your body adjusts to a new way of burning fat.
Dieting can work, and with this medically proven regime you can lose weight without reducing–or counting–calories. On the Atkins diet you can eat luxuriously and feel completely satisfied, experience the metabolic boost the Atkins diet provides, use a maintenance diet that will ensure you never become fat again and enjoy mouth-watering, gourmet recipes.
In this new edition the world’s number one diet expert has updated his proven programme for a new century to include new controlled carbohydrate recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, brand new case studies and the very latest scientific research.