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Atkins diet – What is Dr. Atkins’ diet?

The Atkins diet is a high protein low carb diet which was introduced in the 1960’s by Dr. Robert Atkins. Atkins diet system claims weight loss and has noted several success stories. Dr Atkin resolved his own overweight condition and successfully treated thousands of patients on his diet plan. He popularized his diet in a book series called Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution in 1972. Dr.

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Atkins New Diet Revolution, is his revised copy with updated ideas but basic concepts remained same.

The majority will sequentially pass through this as they successfully shed their excess weight. Supplementary diets are provided for those who cannot follow the majority route, like those with a high metabolic resistance and those with food intolerances.

Atkins’ diet menu - What can you eat on the Atkins’ diet

The Atkins’ diet menu lets you eat foods that many dieters only dream about. The Atkins’ diet plan is said to work even if other diets have left you feeling depressed and deprived.

About Dr. Atkins diet:

  • Atkins diet menu sets few limits on the amount of food you eat. Instead, it severely restricts the kinds of food permitted on your plate: no processed and refined sugar, milk, white bread, starchy vegetables, white rice and white flour. This includes cereals and pasta made from white flour.
  • The Atkins diet lets you eat foods traditionally regarded as "rich": meat, eggs, cheese, and more.
  • Atkins diet plan claims to cut down your appetite in the process.
  • On Dr Atkins’ diet, you eat almost pure protein and fat. You can liberally eat nutrient-rich unprocessed foods like animal flesh (meat, fish and poultry). You can have red meat, fish (including shellfish), fowl, and regular cheese (not "diet" cheese, cheese spreads, or whey cheeses). You can also cook with butter, have mayo with your tuna, and add olive oil on your salads. 

Then again, carbs are restricted (about 20 grams of net carbs per day, meaning total carbs minus fiber) in the first two weeks. That translates to three cups of loosely packed salad or two cups of salad with two-thirds cup of certain cooked vegetables each day.

The Atkins’ diet menu does allow for adding fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods after the two-week induction period.

How Atkins’ diet works?

Dr. Atkins diet is predominantly based on the theory that overweight people eat too many carbohydrates. Our bodies tend to burn both fat and carbohydrates for energy, but carbs are used first. However, our bodies naturally lose weight by burning stored body fat more efficiently by drastically reducing carbs and eating more protein and fat.

Researchers claim that, fewer the carbohydrates present in a diet, the more sustained the blood sugar level remains throughout the day. This is because sugar is always metabolized first.  Craving is caused by blood sugar fluctuations aggravated by carbohydrate consumption. However, by cutting down carbohydrates, a person’s blood sugar can retain a more even level throughout the day. As a result, he or she will have no cravings and refrain from in-between meal snacks.

Also, diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates tend to increase the body’s production of insulin.  When insulin levels are high, the food is more quickly turned into body fat in the form of triglycerides. High triglyceride levels appear to be one of the greatest risk factors for heart disease. You are able to cleanse the burned stored fat out of their cells, by using the fat cells for energy thus causing the dramatic drop in weight.

Atkins diet – Pros and Cons: What the experts say?

Critics of Dr. Atkins diet say that meat-heavy; high-protein eating patterns could be linked to osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, and renal disease. The great majority of experts and nutritionists maintain that Dr. Atkins’ theories still remain unproven. They are concerned that a high-protein, high-fat diet could cause a lot of problems, especially for the large segment of the population that is at risk for heart disease. Further, the. Atkins diet plan does not include a high intake of fruits and vegetables, recommended by most nutrition experts because of the numerous documented health benefits from these foods.

Dr Atkins diet pros and cons

No one can deny that the Atkins Diet is probably the most successful diet of the last few years. There are many pros and cons that could be linked to this diet.

The most common pros and cons are listed below:

Advantages of Atkins diet

Experts say that only benefit of the Atkins’ diet may be quick weight loss and possibly eating as much foods as desired to some people.  Rapid weight loss is what motivates people at first. However since so many foods are off-limit, a high rate of the followers just drop out before reaching the fourth, maintenance level.

Disadvantages of Atkins diet

Many health experts disagree with the Atkins philosophy. They call it an unhealthy way of losing weight. 

They point out that one negative allowance the Atkins diet offers is eating as much protein as one possibly can. High protein foods are also high in fats; and high levels of fats increase the levels of the “bad” cholesterol. The general fat allowance is only 30% of a person’s daily calorie intake. Dr. Atkins diet menu promotes eating as much fat as desired.

Atkin’s diet can also be taxing on the kidneys. Such high protein consumption increases the renal load on the kidneys and can be detrimental to kidney function in the long run.

However, by far the biggest disadvantage of the Atkins diet is that although the pounds may be shedding quickly, the weight levels off (returns back) over six months to one year.

If you are looking for a worthy diet plan then you can try atkins or even take the advantage of free atkins diet plan.

Atkins Diet Plan

The Atkins diet plan has been around since 1972 when the book “Atkins Diet Revolution” was published. Dr. Atkins’ diet plan is based on the premise that the body’s metabolism needs to be changed in order to lose weight. The body uses both carbohydrates and fats from the food we eat to produce the energy needed for its functions. Carbohydrates are the first to be used because they cannot be stored by the body, whereas fat can be stored for future use. The body will use fats to burn for fuel to produce energy once the consumption of carbohydrates is cut down, and this is the basic premise of Dr. Atkins’ diet.  Atkins diet plan pros and cons as well as the consequences have been extensively discussed in the print and electronic media, and dieters can decide for themselves whether the foods recommended on the Atkins diet plan menu and food list is something they would choose for themselves.

The Atkins diet plan is divided into four phases. The aim of the diet is to help people who are overweight shed those extra pounds and maintain their ideal weight once they reach their target weight. The initial phase of the Atkins diet plan, or Phase 1, called induction, focuses on getting the body to change its metabolism and start burning fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. Lasting for two weeks, this phase encourages dieters to eat more protein and fat rich food while limiting net carbohydrates to 20 grams per day. The diet recommends that the sources of these carbohydrates should be non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens and salads. There are free Atkins diet plans, recipes, menus, meal plans, food lists, starter kits and diet trackers available online for those who would like to jump start the process of weight loss with this diet.  Also available online are free Atkins diet planners as well as the Atkins diet book. The Atkins diet plan food list includes a list of acceptable foods for each phase of the diet. Even serving sizes are indicated for those vegetables like leeks, mushrooms, pumpkins, and onions which are high in carbohydrates. Some salad vegetables, with a higher carbohydrate count, also appear on the cooked vegetables list because the vegetable gets compacted when they are cooked.

While discussing the pros and cons of Atkins diet, the fact that the diet plan is very flexible must be taken into account. Menus for the Atkins diet are available for all phases of the diet, and dieters can plan an entire meal, course by course, in the cuisine of their choice. Another important aspect is that there are a wide range of diet plans available to suit various culinary preferences. For instance, there are diet plans for vegetarians and vegans, and even kosher. This allows people from all over the world to try the free Atkins diet in their journey towards good health. Several articles have appeared in the press and on the Internet about low carb diet pros and cons; the pros and cons of the Atkins diet have been part of these articles. Uninformed weight watchers seeing the Atkins diet plan free on the Internet may be tempted to undertake the diet, which could prove hazardous for them if they do not adhere to the plan or the suggested exercise routine strictly, since the diets advocate eating fats and proteins. Prominent among the Atkins diet cons sited is the absence of sufficient fiber in the diet, leading to constipation and bowel diseases. Also listed among the cons of Atkins diet are the increased risk of kidney problems, gout, and high cholesterol levels, leading to coronary heart disease; this is because of the predominance of animal fats in the diet plan.

For those interested in quick weight loss, the free Atkins diet menu plan may appear ideal and doable, but they should proceed with care. The diet requires that those who follow it count their net carbohydrate intake seriously and make radical changes in their dietary habits. Drop out rates are pretty high for this diet, although there are those who swear by its effectiveness for weight loss. The restrictions on carbohydrate consumption are lifted gradually after the induction stage and more complex carbohydrates are added to the diet in the later phases, even while maintaining a steady loss of pounds. The fact that the benefits of Atkins diet can be seen right from the end of the first week is one of the reasons why many people opt for this diet. Visible results in the form of weight loss help dieters stay motivated, and the last two phases of the diet guide weight watchers towards maintaining the ideal weight attained. One of the reasons that the Atkins diet pros and cons come up for discussion in any forum for dieters is that several people have achieved remarkable success in weight loss by following the diet plan. Nutritionists and medical professionals, however, are skeptical about the diet’s success and recommend caution and constant monitoring as the diet may lead to serious nutritional imbalances.

Although the diet allows people to eat large quantities of meat and poultry as well as saturated and unsaturated fats, people find that they can only eat so much meat without the bread or potatoes that accompany the dish. Eating cream without fruits or butter without bread or potatoes is not much fun, and hence, people naturally eat less of these foods.  Limiting the consumption of fruits and vegetables results in the deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals, unless dieters make a conscious effort to take the required supplements. Diets need to be varied to protect the body from coronary heart disease and cancer in the long term. Atkins diet may be useful for those who want lose weight in a hurry, but for weight loss that lasts and lets the body remain healthy, the effectiveness of Atkins diet remains to be proven. Many nutritionists question the basic premise of Dr. Atkins that a high carbohydrate/low fat diet can lead to obesity. It is true that over indulgence in carbohydrates combined with a lack of adequate physical exercise can lead to obesity, but when compared gram by gram, fats pack more calories than carbohydrates. Experts also point out that diets in the Far East, especially Japan and China, are high in carbohydrates and low in fat, and yet obesity has never been a big health concern in those countries. Celebrity endorsements of such diets like Atkins prompt an easily swayed public to adopt the diet without proper medical consultation or supervision.

Submitted on January 16, 2014
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