Today there are a variety of different diet options out there, but one of the most popular and well know is the Atkins diet.
While there is great debate over the benefits and possible dangers of the diet, there are still many people following it today.
So, let’s take a closer look at this diet, the phases you’ll have to follow, the benefits, and some of the dangers that you may encounter along the way.
Atkins Diet Plan Summary
Basically the Atkins diet is a diet that drastically restricts the carbohydrates (sugars, pastries, breads, cereals, rice, and even fruits) that you are allowed to eat. This means that the body ends up going into ketosis. Ketosis is a state where the body starts to use fat for energy instead of glucose, thus burning away excess pounds of fat. Also, during this time it has been found that you usually feel less hungry and don’t eat as much. However, many people have some unpleasant effects such as constipation and bad breath when they go through ketosis!
While you can pretty much eat as much as you want, you definitely have to restrict many of the foods you usually eat, such as milk, white flour, sugar, and white rice. You’ll also find that you can eat foods that most people think of as fatty foods, such as eggs, meats, and cheeses. Thus, most of the foods you eat when on the Atkins diet are fat and protein. In the Atkins Diet you are allowed to eat poultry, fish, red meats, cheeses, butter, olive oil, and even mayo. But did you know that you are only allowed to have 20 grams of net carbs (meaning total carbs minus fiber) each day for the first 2 weeks? A very low number to maintain since even less than half a banana has 20 grams of carbohydrates!
Phases of the Diet
The Atkins diet comes with four different phases that are important to follow. The following are the four phases you’ll have to go through:
Phase 1 – The Induction (2 weeks)
This phase of the Atkins diet is basically the stage that jump starts the weight loss by getting your body to start burning fat from the body. You’ll drastically reduce the amount of carbs that you eat so your body will have to burn fat. This stage will last for 14 days, and during this time you’ll usually see big results (fingers crossed right?!).
Phase 2 – Continuing Weight Loss (until you have about 10 pounds to lose)
The next phase helps you to go on to continue the weight loss plan, even after the first couple weeks. You are allowed to add some carbs that are rich in nutrients to your diet during this time and you’ll continue to lose weight.
Phase 3 – Getting Ready to Maintain (1 month)
This is the time when you are getting ready to start keeping the weight off for life. Your weight loss will continue gradually to lose that last 10 pounds. You’ll also be working on making sure that you keep your eating habits healthy in the future.
Phase 4 – Maintaining for Life
Of course maintaining for life is important, and this is the fourth stage of the Atkins diet. You’ll start to work on the perfect amount of carbs that you can eat and still maintain your weight loss. This way you’ll be able to stay within about five pounds of your optimum weight for the rest of your life.
Claimed Diet Benefits
There are several benefits that you’ll find when you go on the Atkins diet. These are three claimed benefits that you can reap when you go on this diet.
Benefit #1 – You’ll Lose Weight – First of all, you’ll start to lose weight. Your body will begin to use the fat it has stored as you limit carbs.
Benefit #2 – Maintain Weight Loss – Once you get to a good level of carb intake, you’ll be able to maintain your weight loss for life.
Benefit #3 – Your Health Will Improve – Another claimed benefit of the Atkins diet is that your health will improve as well. Those who are on the diet are to make sure they eat foods with nutrients and to take supplements if they need to, in order to get the vitamins and minerals they need.
Possible Diet Dangers
Of course there are some possible diet dangers to beware of when you are considering the Atkins diet. In fact, some health experts actually think that this type of a diet can initiate problems with heart disease and leave some people with kidney or liver problems (from eating so much protein). Other doctors have also mentioned that your metabolic activity can be harmfully disrupted by eating below 150 grams of carbohydrates daily. This in turn can also affect the functioning of your brain which relies on carbohydrates.
My Personal Conclusion:
Take extreme caution with this diet, as noted the dangers listed above can have a long term impact on your health that makes this one of the most dangerous diet plans on the market. And we all know that the inventor himself – Dr. Robert Atkins had many health problems before his death several years back. So in other words, stay away from this diet, it may show immediate results but your diet is being severely restricted in the first few phases of this plan and many people have noted that the weight come s quickly back.