- eating out is possible
- need to buy a book
- no special products required
- not a family friendly meal plan
The Atkins diets works by severely limiting carbohydrate intake producing ketosis, a state in which the body has used up its stored carbohydrate and begins to increasingly rely on fats for energy.
How the Atkins Diet works;
Dr Atkins believed that weight gain is the result of fat synthesis fro excess carbohydrates and high insulin levels. He claimed that fat loss occurs when the body changes from using carbohydrates for fuel to using fats. This change requires a period on a low-carbohydrate diet. The Atkins diet is arranged in stages, the first stage limits carbohydrates such as bread and pasta, fruit, some vegetables and includes high fat foods to encourage your body to become ketotic and start using ketones for energy. Some carbohydrates are bought back into the diet later in the maintenance stage.
Atkins Diet Routine;
The Atkins diet starts with a 14 day introduction to place your body into ketosis. This stage your daily diet is 100g protein (about 400g meat), 75g fat and less than 20g carbohydrates. This stage is followed by the on-going weight-loss stage, here you continue to limit your intake of carbohydrates to about 30g per day (2 slices of bread). This then moves onto the pre-maintenance and maintenance stages, where your carbohydrate intake can be increased to 120g or 8 servings per day.
Is it Healthy?
Reducing your calories intake by cutting carbohydrates is a good slimming process, especially if it is from sugar and processed food, but not taken to the extreme. You will loose weight, but the long term health effect are not known. The initial weight loss during the first week or so is due to water loss associated with glycogen. Though seeing immediate results are a boost for you, once you start eating carbohydrates again the weight will return. Another concern for the Atkins diet is that glycogen stores are necessary for exercise, and exercise is a key to long-term weight maintenance, e.g. dietary carbohydrates are necessary for optimum athletic performance. Fatigue and lethargy are common symptoms from this diet. The lack of fibre in this diet can lead to constipation and an increase in the risk of particular diseases e.g colon cancer. Also,, the restriction of particular dairy products, fruit and vegetables may lead to deficiencies in calcium, B vitamins and important minerals.