The Atkins Nutritional Approach, simply known as Atkins Diet or just Atkins is very popular amongst dieters all over the world. It seems that everyone has heard of the Atkins Diet. The diet was popularized by Dr. Robert Atkins (1930-2003) in several books, starting with Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution in 1972. The Atkins diet is not like many other diets. It is certainly not a no-fat or low-fat diet. Dr. Atkins recommends restricted intake of carbohydrates in order to change the body's metabolism from burning glucose/carbs to burning fat. The Atkins diet calls for eating mainly foods high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
How does the Atkins diet actually work you may wonder? Millions of people have reported weight loss from using the Atkins Diet. The diet brings about a change in your metabolism. Our body can burn both fats and carbohydrates for energy. Carbohydrates are the first fuel that is burned to provide energy. This is why Dr. Atkins suggests limiting your intake of carbohydrates so that your body turns to burning fat.
The Atkins diet includes four phases. During the Induction Phase, you can only eat up to 20 grams of carbohydrates each day. You can get your carbohydrates by eating salads and non-starchy vegetables. Protein and fat will form the bulk of your diet during the induction phase of the Atkins diet. This phase takes some discipline and may be difficult at first. However, if you stick out the first few days, it should become a little easier and in the next phase, you will slowly add some more carbohydrates to your diet.
The first phase of the Atkins diet may cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies thatís why Dr. Atkins recommends taking vitamin and mineral supplements. The maximum 20 grams carbohydrates allowed daily during the first phase of the Atkins diet are provided by the vegetables (source of fiber) you eat.
In the second phase of the Atkins diet, you begin to add more carbohydrates your daily food intake. You can increase your carbohydrates by 25 grams daily the first week, 30 the next week and so forth until you stop losing weight. At this point, you 5grams of carbohydrates from you daily intake so you can continue moderate weight loss.
Phase three is known at the Pre-Maintenance Phase. This phase is intended to help you to make the transition from weight loss to weight maintenance. During this phase you add 10grams of carbohydrates each week as long as you are still losing moderate amounts of weight. Lifetime Maintenance is the final phase. This phase allows you to eat a wide variety of foods, however, you do control the amount of carbohydrates you eat to maintain weight.
Studies have shown that many people do lose weight on the Atkins Diet. However, others pose questions as to how safe this diet really is. Some believe this diet can increase the risk of heart disease since you eat red meet and a lot of other fatty foods on this diet. Eating too many saturated fats is a risk factor for heart disease. Some also believe that the Atkins Diet increases the chance of kidney disease. The American Diabetes Association put out a statement that there is a strong chance that kidney damage can occur as a result of eating too much protein and the process of ketosis that occurs on the Atkins diet when the body begins burning fat first instead of carbohydrates.
What are the benefits of the Atkins Diet? Of course, the main benefit is weight loss. People can experience significant weight loss on this diet. For those who successfully lose weight by following the Atkins Diet, it can change their life. Someone who has struggled with weight for much of their lives can gain more confidence and feel better about themselves. When one loses weight, they can be healthier and have less health risks.