The Atkins diet is a low carb diet that is recommended by health specialists for weight loss. The Atkins diet was originated in the 1960s by cardiologist Robert C. Atkins and then this diet was promoted when he wrote a best-selling book ‘Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution’ in 1972. He encouraged people to eat more high fiber vegetables and to do more exercise. Since then, this low carb diet has been popular all over the world and many books and research has been done on it.
What Atkins Diet is All About?
Atkins diet is a low carb diet and its proponents claim that you can lose weight while eating as much as fat and protein you want. You just need to avoid food with a high amount of carbs. It helps you to lose weight by limiting carbohydrates and controlling insulin levels.
Four Principles of the Atkins Diet
According to the website of the Atkins diet, it has four main principles:
- To lose weight
- To maintain lose weight
- To achieve good health
- To lay a solid foundation of good health for disease prevention
According to Dr. Atkins, the main reason for gaining weight is the consumption of refined carbs, especially sugar, corn, fructose, and flour.
Working of the Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet works differently than other popular diets. In the Atkins diet, the body’s metabolism switches from burning glucose, sugar, as fuel to burning stored body fat. This lowers the level of glucose as well as the level of insulin in the body. However, when the glucose levels are low in the body, it switches to use its fat stores as well as dietary fat for the energy. In this way, a person loses its fat and weight from the body.
The Atkins Diet as a 4 Phase Plan
If you are planning to follow the Atkins diet as a plan for weight loss then you must be aware of the 4 Phase plan of the Atkins diet:
In the Induction Phase, you must intake 20 grams of carbs per day for at least 2 weeks. Following eating patterns by taking high fat, high protein with low carb vegetables like leafy greens. This kick starts the weight loss.
In the second phase, balancing, you have to balance your diet by adding slowly the nuts, low carb vegetables, and a small number of fruits into your diet.
In the third phase of fine-tuning when you are very close to your goal weight, add more carbs to your diet until weight loss slows down.
In the last phase of maintenance, here you can eat as many healthy carbs as your body can tolerate without gaining any weight.
However, you may find it difficult to follow these phases at first. Some people skip the induction phase and include plenty of vegetables and fruits from the start of their diet. This approach can also be effective in your weight loss journey.
Food to be Avoided in the Atkins Diet
If you are following the Atkins diet, you must avoid these foods:
- Grains that include wheat, barley, rice, and rye.
- Sugar: Fruit juices, cakes, candy, ice cream, etc
- Vegetable oils: Soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, Canola oil, and other oils.
- High- Carb Vegetables: Carrots, Turnips, etc in induction only
- High Carb Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, grapes in the induction phase only.
- Starches: Potatoes, Sweet potatoes in the induction phase only
- Legumes: Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils in induction phase only.
Foods to be Included in the Atkins Diet
You must base your diet around these foods:
- Meats: beef, chicken, lamb, and others
- Eggs: the healthiest eggs that include omega-3
- Low- Carb vegetables: spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and others.
- Full- Fat Dairy: Butter, Cheese, cream, and full- fat yogurt
- Fatty fish and seafood: Salmon, Trout, and sardines, etc
Beverages Acceptable in the Atkins Diet
Following are some of the beverages that are acceptable in the Atkins diet:
- Water: In the Atkins diet, water should be your go- to beverage
- Coffee: Research has shown that coffee is high in anti-oxidants and quite healthy in diet
- Green Tea: Green tea is also a healthy beverage that you can choose for your diet.