The Atkins Diet
In 1963, Dr. Robert C. Atkins began to formalize the controlled carbohydrate approach after researching and studying a number of different articles. Dr. Atinks was very troubled by the increasing obesity in his patients as well as all over the U.S.
The Atkins Diet is predominantly a low-carb diet and it has two important unrecognized factors in Western eating habits that lead to obesity. First, is the consuming of refined carbohydrates which includes sugar, flour and high-fructose corn syrup. Second, is the saturated fats that we consume which in today’s age, is in almost everything. That’s why you might have seen a lot of new foods with the label “0 saturated fats”.
The Atkins Diet is simply an amazing diet because it gets right to the point. It cuts out everything that is bad right at the source. The main cause of obesity are those two factors; carbs and saturated fats. Therefore, eliminating those from your diet will get you on the right path to losing weight.
Of course there are numerous phases in the diet which must be followed. Phase 1 of the Atkins Diet which is also the introduction is the most difficult. It restricts carbohydrates to a maximum of 20 grams per day. Vegetables are also included in this phase (12-15 net grams) as well as all meats and cheeses (113 grams). This is the most significant phase of the diet because this is where people lose the most weight. On average a person will loose anywhere between 5-20 lbs.
With a total of 4 phases in the Atkins Diet, a person will rapidly loose a lot of weight, considering that they’re exercising as well. With a little bit of exercise and following the Atkins Diet, you can loose a lot of weight. This diet is excellent for anyone wanting to loose a lot of weight (50-60 lbs).
The 4 Phases of the Atkins Diet
Phase I: The Induction Phase
The first phase of the Atkins diet is the most restrictive of all the phases. This phase lasts for approximately 2 weeks and it is supposed to cause the body to quickly enter a state of ketosis. Carbohydrate intake is limited to no more or less than 20 net grams per day. 12 to 15 of those net grams must come from greens such as vegetables (broccoli, spinach, pumpkin, cauliflower, turnips, tomatoes, and asparagus, to name a few of the 54 allowable vegetables. Legumes are not allowed in this phase (such as green beans which are too starchy for this first phase). In this phase, you are allowed to eat meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, fowl, and eggs. You can consume any one of those foods as well as up to 4 ounces (113 grams) of semi-soft cheese such as cheddar cheese; salad vegetables; any other low carb veggies; butter; olive oil and vegetable oil.
In this phase, you must drink 8 glasses of water a day and alcohol is not allowed under any circumstances. Caffeine is also allowed, but in moderation and with a lot less sugar. A daily vitamin is also recommended, except for iron. During this first phase, dieters will see a weight loss of 5-1o pounds a week.
Some dieters also use Ketostix, a small chemically reactive strip used by diabetics. These strips let the dieter monitor the time they enter ketosis, or fat burning phase. Dieters can also find out if they are in the ketosis state from a metallic taste in the mouth.
Phase II: Ongoing Weight Loss
In this second phase called the Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), dieters increase their carbohydrate intake. In this phase, carbohydrate intake is increased by 5 grams every week. A goal in OWL is to find the “Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing” and to learn which foods and food groups affect your craving control. The OWL phase lasts until weight is within 10 pounds of the target weight.
During the first week of this phase, dieters should add more and more of the induction acceptable vegetables to their diet. For example, 6-8 stalks of asparagus, salad, etc. The second week of the phase is about incorporating carbohydrates into your diet. This phase lets you add fresh dairy to your diet. The ladder has 9 rungs and should be added in order given.
- Induction acceptable vegetables in larger quantities
- Fresh cheese
- Nuts and seeds
- Other fruits
- Starchy vegetables
- Whole grains
Phase III: Pre-Maintenance
In this phase, carbohydrate intake is increased by 10 net grams a week by the ladder groupings and the key to this phase is to find the “Critical Carbohydrate Level for Maintenance”, this is the maximum number of carbohydrates you can eat each day without gaining weight. By doing this, your body will learn and get used to the allowed carbs every week.
Phase IV (last phase): Lifetime Maintenance
Just like on a car, your body needs to be maintained for life, right? This phase is intended to carry on the habits that were learned in the previous three phases and get the dieter to accept and follow this dietary routine, without an “end of diet” mindset. Whole, unprocessed food choices are emphasized, but you can also return to phase I if you find that you’ve gained some weight.
So if you’re thinking of changing your life around, the Atkins Diet is the right diet for you. This easy-to-follow diet will tell you everything you need to know about losing weight, as well as exercising the proper way. All you have to do is stick to it. It may sound hard at first, but after just one week on the Atkins Diet, you will see a considerable amount of change in your body weight.