The Atkins diet follows a low-carbohydrate diet, which is usually beneficial for people looking to lose weight.
This diet propagates the theory that you can consume as much protein and fat as you want and restrict your carbohydrate intake to achieve weight loss. This diet was formulated by a physician named Dr. Robert C. Atkins.
The main reason why this diet has been found to be effective for weight loss is that with lowering of carbohydrate intake and enhancement of protein intake, the appetite of the human body goes down, which leads them to eat little thus enhancing the weight loss process.
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Atkins Diet Plan
The diet is designed in four phases as shown below. This was done to devise the diet in a systematic and regularized way to give way to a consistent and long-term weight loss.
1. Phase 1 – Induction
In this phase, you have to consume under 20 grams of carbs per day for two weeks. In this phase, you have to eat high-fat, high-protein with low-carb vegetables like leafy greens.
This phase sets the stage for the weight loss program you are looking to go through. This phase is the most restrictive phase.
2. Phase 2 – Ongoing Weight Loss
In this phase, slowly add nuts, low-carb vegetables and small amounts of fruit to your diet.
3. Phase 3 – Pre-Maintenance
In this phase, add more carbohydrates to your diet until weight loss slows down.
4. Phase 4 – Lifetime Maintenance
In this phase, you can eat whatever you wish to but still keeping a check on your carbs intake and without increasing your body weight. You have to be really watchful at this stage.
7 Foods to Avoid in Atkins Diet
Following is the list of foods and drinks you have to avoid when following the Atkins Diet.
1. Sugar: Soft drinks, fruit juices, cakes, candy, ice cream, etc.
2. Grains: Wheat, spelled, rye, barley, rice.
3. Vegetable Oils: Soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, etc.
4. Trans fats: Usually found in processed foods with the word “hydrogenated” on the ingredients list.
5. “Diet” and “low-fat” foods: These are usually very high in sugar.
6. High-carb vegetables: Carrots, turnips, etc (Induction phase only).
7. High-carb fruits: Bananas, apples, oranges, pears, grapes (Induction phase only)
8. Starches: Potatoes, sweet potatoes (Induction phase only).
9. Legumes: Lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc (Induction phase only).
Side Effects of the Atkins Diet
While some feel that Atkins Diet is an effective means of weight loss, there is definitely an unpleasant side to it as well.
Talking about the side effects of the Atkins Diet, we may like to mention that fat burning leads to the production of ketones in the body as the body enters a state called ketosis.
This may result in bad breath, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, insomnia, and nausea. As a result of avoiding fruits, veggies, rice, and cereals, constipation may also occur. As far as long-term ill effects are concerned, we would like to talk about a few.
Because Atkins Diet is unbalanced, it may lead to nutritional deficiencies in the human body. Since the diet restricts the consumption of dairy products, people following the diet may face the risk of osteoporosis.
Poor intake of veggies and fruits leads to a host of diseases like heart problems, cancer, eyesight problems, etc. High intake of proteins may adversely affect the kidneys too.
Because of so many limitations on the type of food that can be consumed, the Atkins Diet, after a while, becomes extremely boring to follow.
As a result, people tend to stop following it after a while, which causes them to gain back all the weight they may have lost owing to the diet. This leads to frustration also.
FAQs related to Atkins Diet
Q. What can I drink when on the Atkins Diet?
Ans. You can consume scotch, rye, vodka and gin but without mixing them with drinks that have sugar. Diet tonic and soda are also permitted.
But if you feel that your weight has started to increase due to consumption of alcohol, immediately cut down on it for you would not want to waste the efforts you have put in.
The diet says that alcohol is best avoided in the first phase of the diet as it gets in the way of the weight loss process.
Q. Can I eat cheese on an Atkins Diet?
Ans. Cheese with low moisture content tends to contain more protein per serving. Such types of cheese include cheddar, Brie, Gouda, blue cheese or mozzarella.
Avoid cheese spread and slices, since their processed nature leaves hardly any protein content in them.
Q. How much weight can I lose on an Atkins Diet?
Ans. Dr Atkins claims that you can actually lose 2.7 to 4.5 kg in the first two weeks, 0.5 to 1.4 kg in the ongoing weight loss phase, and you can expect to lose at the most 0.5 kg in the pre-maintenance phase of the Atkins Diet.
This was all we could talk about the Atkins Diet. Want to know more about weight loss and nutrition.
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