Basically a low-carbohydrate diet, Atkins diet has been used extensively for the past 40 years as studied and written by Robert Atkins, MD on his book “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution”.
Since the body runs low on carbohydrates, it works effectively as the body tends to convert the stored fats into energy instead. As a result, ketones are formed to energize the body just when the fats are burned.
The Atkins diet focuses on the idea of consuming carbohydrates less than 20 grams daily for its introduction period which goes on for a period of 2 weeks. After that, the amount will eventually increase to 120 grams daily. The good thing about this diet is that the amount of calories, proteins and fats you consume are not very much restricted compared to other diet programs.
Unlike other diet plans, steaks, burgers and other meat products work best with Atkins, which makes it more appealing to some. Pastries and baked foods such as white breads and cakes, on the other hand, are eliminated from Atkins diet since these refined carbohydrates are labelled as “bad” by the program.
Because the body lacks sufficient amount of carbohydrates, a condition called ketosis takes place to generate energy. However, ketosis somewhat doubles the kidneys’ overall function and the long-term effects are not yet thoroughly studied.
Vitamin deficiencies are also at verge due to limited intake of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Aside from that, calcium levels are greatly affected by low-carbohydrate programs such as the Atkins diet.
Halitosis, constipation and dehydration are among the common side effects of practitioners; whereas rare cases affect the heart, liver and kidney. Hypotension and osteoporosis are also included on reported complications.
Identifying and calculating the amount of carbohydrates to eat every meal could be a little tricky and hard for some people since only 20 or 120 grams are allowed per day. Eventually, people who abandoned the program gained a lot more than the weight they’ve lost during the diet.
Foods to Eat and Avoid
So what are really the recommended foods and those that should be avoided? High protein and fat diet is recommended through chicken, eggs, fish and red meat. You can even have bacon and eggs for breakfast, not a very healthy breakfast if you ask me! Vegetable oils are considered as well. On the other hand, dairy products are prohibited apart from cheese, butter and cream. These are just some of the guidelines on the first part of the diet plan.
On the succeeding weeks, more foods are being added on the plan which includes nuts, legumes, whole grains and more vegetables. For someone who missed drinking alcohol, he should be happy for being able to drink wine and other low-carbohydrate alcohol once in a while after the induction period.
Going through Atkins diet
As practitioners go along, adapting to change becomes easier. However, some people are concerned on some minor changes on their body such as the presence of bad breath or halitosis due to excessive ketone production; though Atkins claimed that the “bad breath” does not really smell bad at all. Some became short-tempered most especially when they experienced headaches. This is due to the fact that the body lacks important nutrients like calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber.
Aside from counting the carbohydrate and calorie contents of foods, practitioners are also encouraged to exercise for around half an hour per day.
Atkins could also be employed for people under certain circumstances such as those who are on a strict vegetarian diet, for instance. How is this possible? Atkins’ official website approves this idea by creating an option there if you want to avoid animal meat and products. The main difference is that vegans wouldn’t undergo the induction stage and would jump to “on-going” stage instead. Beans, legumes and other soy products are highly promoted by the site which makes everything even more convenient for vegans. Though high-carb foods like breads are avoided, gluten isn’t forbidden at all.
Atkins diet on your own
The good thing about Atkins diet is that you can do this on your own by following the guidelines found on their website. You’re the one to control your grocery expenses as you follow the stated meal plans and other weight-loss tools.
Over the years, various researches have been made to prove the efficiency of Atkins diet utilizing the low-carbohydrate contents of diet plan. Ideally, people start with the required food list, which is very limited at first. During the process, one becomes accustomed to the type of healthy foods
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