atkins diet revolution

The Atkins Diet, also known as the Atkins Nutritional Approach, is a low-carbohydrate diet. Although it is no longer as unique as it once was when it was first popularized by Robert Atkins through his series of books – which began with “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution” in 1972 – it continues to be one of the most well-known and followed low-carb diets for weight loss.

The diet has evolved over the years, as new weight loss research was discovered. Today, the Atkins Diet is meant for both men and women and is designed to encourage dieters to eat more proteins and fewer simple sugar carbohydrates. The idea is that by eating more protein and less sugar carbs, the dieter will feel full longer and not experience fast weight gain.

Contrary to popular belief, following the Atkins Diet doesn’t mean that you cut out all carbs from your diet. The ones that are primarily targeted are the “bad” carbs – refined sugars and “simple starches” (i.e. potatoes, white rice, white bread, etc.). That said, the diet does place significant focus on boosting the intake of protein and fats, such as eggs, chicken, and meat.

How Does the Atkins Diet Work?

The Atkins diet plan is designed to be followed as a lifestyle; it isn’t a short-term weight loss plan. It can be followed by those who wish to drop pounds and by those who want to maintain their weight. There are four “Phases” of the diet to ease your body into the change.

  • Phase 1 – Kickstart your weight loss by transforming your body into a fat burning machine. During this phase you limit the amount of carbs you eat to about 20 grams a day. Instead of carbs being your body’s main fuel source, it will be fat. That said, Phase 1 is only for those who want to lose 14 pounds or more. If you do not have much weight to lose or you are vegetarian, you can start at Phase 2.
  • Phase 2 – During Phase 2 your goal is to find your body’s carb tolerance and continue ongoing weight loss. This means discovering the level of carbs you can eat daily while still losing weight. In this phase you can slowly increase your carb intake by adding certain carbs like seeds, nuts and others back into your diet.
  • Phase 3 – In this phase you will work toward finding the right carb balance and building up your carb tolerance so you will be ready to maintain your weight loss long-term. In Phase 3, you will increase your carb intake up to 10g per week.
  • Phase 4 – This is the maintenance phase and is about staying low carb for life. By the time you’ve hit this phase, you will have reached your weight loss goal and all that’s left to do is maintain and continue to manage your weight. It’s all about balance, healthy lifestyle and regular exercising.

Will You Lose Weight?

The good news is that it is possible to lose weight on the Atkins Diet. By eating fewer calories, the body stores less fat and can burn off more stored fat. Furthermore, there are several books, as well an official website that can help dieters with their weight management goals by providing them with support, recipes, and other guidance. It is relatively inexpensive, as no additional products are needed after the initial books are purchased. That being said, there are several different low-carb Atkins brand food products that can be purchased.

The bad news is that there are no studies that prove the Atkins Diet is a healthy and effective long-term weight management plan. For decades this diet has been surrounded in controversy.

Furthermore, many Atkins dieters struggle with the strict food plan that they are required to follow as well as with the fact that they need to give up baked sweets and treats. As a result, it is common for dieters to give up on it. In many cases, once the diet is stopped, weight that was lost is gained back and the body has a difficult time readjusting in terms of properly digesting the carbs that had previously been eliminated.

The bottom line is that the Atkins Diet can lead to short-term weight loss when followed as directed. That said, due to its highly restrictive nature, most people have a hard time adopting it as a lifestyle, which doesn’t make it a realistic, long-term weight management program.

If you are considering following this diet, it would be in your best interest to first consult with your doctor as it will likely require you to adopt a diet that is very different to the one you’ve been following. It is particularly important to discuss your decision with a healthcare provider if you have an existing health condition, are pregnant or nursing.

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