Atkins Diet: High Protein Low Carb Way of Eating

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The theory behind the diet is that restricting carbohydrates forces the body to burn fat for fuel, a process known as ketogenesis. Atkins allows unlimited quantities of meats and fats such as butter, but limits carbohydrates.

atkins diet

Atkins Basics of High Protein, Low Carb, Moderate Fat : Which Low Carb Foods Are Allowed

The basic premise of Atkins is that eating carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars and starches, makes you fat. Atkins doesn’t restrict the use of fat, but without starches such as pasta and bread, there are not too many ways to take a large amount of fat.

The Atkins diet starts out with induction, or phase 1, a phase where carbohydrates (often abbreviated as "carbs") are restricted to 20 grams a day. This phase lasts two weeks. Phase 2 adds five more carbs a day. The Atkins diet has varied over the years, and today’s phase 2 may be tomorrow’s induction phase.

The important thing to remember when eating the Atkins way is that carbohydrates are severely restricted. Low carbohydrate vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and green beans are allowed: fruits generally are not. No rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, muffins, donuts, cakes or any other refined sugar is allowed.

Even a small “cheat” on Atkins breaks the fat burning ketosis mode. Calories are not counted, and although they probably do count, they don’t keep people from losing weight. They may decrease the amount of weight lost somewhat.

Atkins Controversy: Is Atkins a Fad Diet? The High Protein Low Carbohydate Debate Rages On

Any diet that has significant restrictions can be hard to live with. Science has yet to conclusively prove either side of the “Which makes you fat: fat versus carbohydrate” debate, and it’s possible that different body types may respond differently to the diet.

The Atkins diet has been around for over 30 years; it definitely isn’t a fad diet. Many other diets have been designed around the same premise, although many have fewer carbohydrate restrictions.

Many doctors claim the diet increases the chance of kidney problems and heart disease, but many other are confident that Atkins reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol and decreases high blood sugars. Baylor College of Medicine states that low carb diets work better for weight loss and blood pressure control than taking the weight loss medication orlistat with a low fat diet.

Trying the Atkins Diet for a Short Time; Stocking Up on Low Carb Foods

Many people try a diet for a short time to see if it works for them. Give Atkins at least a week; the first few days of getting the body into ketosis and passing up carbs can be difficult. Some people feel nauseated and lethargic for the first few days, but energy levels pick up as fat starts to be burned.

It's essential to have Atkins allowed foods at home before starting the diet. Staying full helps ward off carb cravings. Use oils liberally; they're allowed, and they give a feeling a fullness. According to the Mayo Clinic, people on low carb diets are less hungry than those on a calorie restricted diet.

Atkins also makes a line of snack foods that have low carbohydrates. no, they're not quite as good as a candy bar, but they do meet the need for something "snacky."

Before or while trying Atkins, check out a low carb forum such as Active Low Carber Forum that gives practical advice and encouragement as well as lots of recipes that make it easier to stay on Atkins.

The Bottom (Reducing) Line: Atkins and Low Carb Eating Works for Many People

Atkins isn’t for everyone; it helps to be a big meat and vegetable eater. Some people just don’t feel well eating a lot of fat, and vegetarians probably won’t be able to eat enough protein to do this diet. For many people, however, the Atkins diet works to take weight off quickly.

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