What is the Atkins diet Plan?
The Atkins diet plan is about changing the way your body works. It is a way of looking at food – its principle is built on the fact that eating the right foods can actually affect the way your body works. Atkins is a very low-carbohydrate regimen and high in protein foods and good fats. When you eat too much carbohyrate, the body burns some of it but some are stored as excess fats. When you eat less carbs your body starts burning fat for energy. That’s how Atkins diet plan works – you learn to eat the right foods and change your body from a fat storing to a fat-burning machine.
The Atkins diet plan discourages highly processed carbohydrates such as refined breads, pasta, cereals and pastries since these foods break down more rapidly into glucose and enter the bloodstream so much faster than vegetables and other good carbohydrates. The erratic levels of your blood sugar as it goes up and down, causes your body to store fat and eat even more. On the other hand, if you reduce the amount of carbohydrates and consume a diet with good level of protein, good fat and nutrient dense foods, the body burns fat more efficiently. This is essentially the principle behind the Atkins diet – that weight loss is quicker because fat burns more calories than carbohydrates do.
The Atkins diet plan was developed in the early 1970s and first came to public awareness in 1972 with the release of the book, Dr. Atkin’s Diet Revolution which immediately became a bestseller. Unlike other fad diets, the atkins diet plan has managed to remain popular. Other books were then authored by its founder, Dr Robert C. Atkins.
In his revised book, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, Revised Edition, some of the ideas were modified, but remained true to the original concepts.
The Four Phases of the Atkins Diet Plan
The Atkins diet phase 1 is called the induction stage which is the most restrictive and lasts two weeks. There are certain foods allowed on the atkins diet starting with the first phase. One can eat liberally a combination of fat and protein such as poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, red meat and butter, however, carbohydrate consumption is restricted to 15-20 grams per day, most of which must be in the form of salad greens and other vegetables.
Ongoing Weight Loss
The atkins diet progresses to the ongoing weight loss stage. It allows 15-40 grams of carbohydrates a day. The nutritional approach allow you to add delicious foods back into your diet and continue steady weight loss. At this stage, you find the perfect balance of foods to maintain your optimal weight.
When the individual is about 10 pounds from his desired weight, he begins the pre-maintenance phase. This gradually adds one to three servings a week of high carbohydrate foods, such as a piece of fruit or slice of whole-wheat bread.
Lifetime Maintenance Stage
When the desired weight is reached, the maintenance stage begins. At this phase, the dieter is allowed to consume 40-60 grams of carbohydrates per day. As the atkins plan puts it, you will be confident to eat some of the best and healthiest foods on earth from this point onwards.