Atkins Diet Basics

The popular name for the ‘Atkins Nutritional Approach’ is the ‘Atkins Diet’, which was the invention of Doctor Robert Atkins. He had put on a lot of weight while in medical school and after reading about a certain diet in the medical journal, he decided to improve it and release it under his own name.

Atkins, in his Atkins Diet book, stated that he believed that the prevailing theories about putting on weight were completely wrong. First, he dismissed the idea that saturated fats were bad; instead he said it was it was carbohydrates that caused the weight problems Americans have these days. Atkins held that our obsession with avoiding fat actually worsened the problem. He pointed out that the low-fat foods that were high in carbohydrates were not helping the nation, which probably meant that people on a diet often ate foods that were worse for them than what they had normally eaten.

The Atkins diet moved the focus. Atkins said that by cutting out carbohydrates, people would burn stored body fats. And if you lose the fat, you lose the weight. He said it was not just a matter of eating less. Dr. Atkins held that your diet could actually help you burn calories. The Atkins diet supposedly burned more calories than were consumed everyday. But the claims were contested.

Dr. Atkins also promulgated the positive influence this Atkins diet could have on suffers of type 2 diabetes. As opposed to type 1 diabetes, type 2 is often closely associated with diet and surplus body weight. So, it should follow that any diet that helps decrease weight will help people with type 2 diabetes. The Atkins diet is low in carbohydrates, which must be avoided with type 2 diabetes regardless of caloric intake, so by means of this aspect of the diet Atkins claimed those who suffer type 2 diabetes would no longer need medication such as insulin. The medical world, in general, disagrees with Atkins on this point. They do agree, however, that a lower carbohydrate intake helps with type 2 diabetes, but there is no proof that carbohydrates cause the disease.

What are the steps one has to take to follow the Atkins diet? It is followed in four phases – Induction; On-Going Weight loss, Pre-maintenance and Lifetime Maintenance. Here is an overview of the most important phase – The Induction Phase.

The Induction phase is the most difficult phase of the Atkins diet. Atkins is flexible about the time period ” but recommends it lasts for two weeks. During this phase carbohydrates are severely curtailed ” you can only consume up to 20 grams per day. The idea is to enter a fat burning metabolic phase called ketosis when the body, starved of glucose, will start converting stored fat into fatty acids needed to power the body. Weight loss during this phase can be extreme ” some Atkins followers reported losses of 5-10 pounds a week or more.

The aims of the final three phases in the Atkins diet are to learn the ideal carbohydrate levels for the next two phases, which are continued weight loss and weight maintenance. Many millions of people are still losing the weight they want to on the Atkins Diet ” but beware the risks of consuming in too much cholesterol and fat.

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