What is Atkins Diet?
Atkins diet has been around since 1972, when Dr. Robert Atkins published his book Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution. Atkins diet was based on eating no carb. However today’s Atkins diet is not as strict as the original plan. It is now based on low-carb diet. you can eat protein bars, shakes, and candies that Atkins approves.
So Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate diet. The diet has 4 phases. In the first phase (Induction) you will eat 20 grams or less carbohydrates daily from non-starchy vegetables for two weeks. Then is phase two (Balancing) you will add gradually to your carbohydrate intake until you reach the level where you find sustainable weight loss rate. You can slowly add nuts, low-carb vegetables, and small amounts of fruits. In phase three (Fine-tuning) you can add more carbs until the weight loss slows down. In the Maintenance phase which is the last phase you can add to your healthy carbohydrate intake until you find your carbohydrate intolerance level, which will allow you to maintain the weight you have lost.
Although most people go to Atkins diet to lose weight, Dr. Atkins mentions these other benefits with his diet:
- Reduction of acid reflux and GERD symptoms
- Reduction of skin breakouts
- Improvement of cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and triglycerides
- Improvement of general health
Atkins diet is high in protein and fat. It is high in vegetable, animal protein and saturated fat. Atkins diet is one way to lose weight fast. It makes the body get it’s energy through burning fat instead of carbohydrates. However like any other diet that results in fast wight loss, you have to maintain this low carbohydrate diet to be able to maintain your lost wight, otherwise fast weight loss usually results in gaining weight again.
When you eat protein, your body takes much longer to digest your food. This causes you to feel full for a longer time and therefore eat less which results in weight loss. Carbohydrates on the other digest faster than proteins which makes you want to eat more.
Foods that you have to avoid in Atkins diet are: Sugar, Grains, Vegetable oils, trans fats (usually found in processed food),low fat foods (like low fat yoghurt. Usually sugars are added to low fat foods), high-carb vegetables, high-carb fruits, starches like potato, legumes like lentils, beans,..
You can eat:
Meats, fatty fishes, eggs, low-carb vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, full-fat dairy like butter, cheese, yoghurt, healthy fats, nuts and seeds
If you are vegetarian you can add soy-based foods to your diet and eat plenty of nuts and seeds.
Here is a sample of Atkins menu:
Breakfast: eggs with vegetables, a cup of decaf coffee, or, Omelet with veggies
Lunch: Chicken Breast topped with mozzarella, with lettuce and olive oil or Shrimp salad with olive oil
Dinner: Steak and veggies or Salmon with vegetables