The Atkins diet was designed by Dr. Robert Atkins as a low-carb nutritional approach. It became popular back in the early 70s and it has been promoted ever since as one of the best weight loss options. Dr. Atkins’ metabolic theories and scientific studies created the basis for the New Diet Revolution. To describe it in very brief lines, the Atkins diet is a restrictive weight loss approach that aims at reducing the blood sugar level by eliminating carbohydrates from the daily diet. The emphasis falls on unprocessed, whole foods, even if carbohydrates remain a no-n.
The Atkins diet is strict even with black rice and vegetables that are recommended as low glycemic carbohydrates in other diets. Atkins Nutritionals is the company that supports the diet and markets the foods specific to it. There are four phases corresponding to this approach: induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and lifetime maintenance.
INDUCTION lasts or two weeks and it is the most restrictive phase of the entire Atkins diet. During this period your daily carbohydrate intake will not be higher than 20 net grams. Tomatoes, asparagus, spinach, pumpkin and 54 other vegetables can be used successfully during this phase. Legumes like green beans are not allowed.
You can also eat fish, fowl, eggs, cheddar cheese, olive oil and butter. You should drink at least 8 glasses of water per day during the induction phase.
The next phase of the Atkins diet is ONGOING WEIGHT LOSS and it is characterized by an increase in the carb intake with 5 net grams every week. Use the carbohydrate ladder designed for this phase, and make sure your meals follow it.
PRE-MAINTENANCE brings 10 net grams per week, so that you reach the level up to which you do not put on weight.
LIFETIME MAINTENANCE emphasizes the eating habits that you’ve acquired during the first phases of the Atkins diet. If you focus on unprocessed foods, health and fitness benefits remain permanent.
There is much debate over the risks and benefits of the Atkins diet, and it’s far from being over. It is not sure whether the health benefits are as high as emphasized by some program promoters. Experts haven’t been able to come up with a clear conclusion concerning existing data. It is advisable to carefully weigh the pros and cons of the Atkins diet before you decide to make it a weight loss approach for you.