The Atkins Diet
began in 1963 when Dr Robert C. Atkins decided to take a scientific approach towards weight loss. He became very concerned about increasing obesity rates among his patients and wanted to do something about it. His revolutionary idea was that weight loss should be managed in such a way that it would become a health benefit. He began with a formalized controlled carbohydrate approach.
Remember this was in the 60s when the average person knew little about carbohydrates or calories. Dr. Atkins helped to change the way we think about food.
Robert C. Atkins
This is only intended to be an overview of the Atkins Diet to give you an idea of what it is about. If you decide to go on this diet you will need to do more detailed research.
The Key Benefits of the Atkins Diet:
- Weight loss
- Weight maintenance
- Good health
- Disease prevention
Other Benefits Include:
- Improvements in risk factors for heart disease
- Hypertension Diabetes.
- Limits consumption of carbohydrates
The Atkins Diet also advocates an active lifestyle which helps to burn calories and keeps your weight balanced.
Dr Atkins argues that a low carb. diet produces a metabolic advantage because “burning fat” means you expend more calories. Some experts disagree and say there is no advantage but this makes no difference to devotees who make this diet as popular as ever.
Seven Nutritional Principles of the Atkins Diet.
These principles are designed to help you make the right food choices and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Protein. Provides energy for your body.
- Fiber. Controls appetite, regulates blood, helps digestion.
- Food low in sugar. Keeps energy levels balanced, reduces hypertension- help to keep cholesterol down.
- Vitamins & Minerals. Helps to protect body from free radicals.
- Good Carbohydrates. Supports weight loss management , promotes good health.
- Good Fats. Essential for human health.
- Activity. Exercise and active lifestyle is important to burn energy.
The Four Phases of the Atkins Diet.
Having four phases means there is always a plan to maintain body weight. This aspect makes it different from other diets which are often only concerned with short term weight loss. It’s because of the implications on long term health that Dr Atkins introduced the four phases.
- Ongoing weight loss
- Lifetime maintenance
It seems logical to us now but it was pretty radical at the time.
The Atkins Diet is based on the theory that people who are overweight eat too many carbohydrates. The body burns fat and carbohydrates for energy but it will burn the carbohydrates first. If you reduce the carbohydrates and eat more protein and fat you will burn stored body fat more efficiently and lose weight.
Types of Food.
Instead of counting calories the Atkins Diet restricts the type of food you eat. You can eat:
Though you must avoid eating them with sauces.
Vegetables play a big part in the diet but the amount of food you eat depends on what phase you are in. Eggs are a staple part of the diet. Hard cheeses and cottage cheese are ok but avoid processed cheese. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day.
Foods to Avoid.
- Foods containing refined sugar.
- Those made with white flour.
- Anything containing corn.
Once you reach your target weight.
The challenge now is to maintain it, in the last phase you will learn how to find the critical point where you balance your diet to keep your weight even.
This is a very general guide, if you are serious about the Atkins Diet you will need a lot more information on your dietary requirements.
For more information on Diets and Healthy Eating, try one of these pages.
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