Atkins Diet Background
Atkins Diet was introduced by Dr. Robert Atkin in 1960. It is a high protein and low carbohydrate diet which avers weight loss. Over the years, he has treated many people successfully having overweight problems. In 1972, he published his book called The Atkins Diet Revolution on his advocated diet plan. The Atkins New Diet Plan book can be called a revised edition of the book as the basic concepts remain same as in the previous book. However, there are some ideas that have been updated.
The diet plan by Dr Atkin is based on reducing carbohydrate intake. Our bodies burn carbohydrates as well as fat. However, carbohydrates are burned first and then fat. Hence, if carbohydrate intake is reduced, fat stored in the body will be used and will result in weight loss. There have been many success stories based on this diet principle. Many people following Dr. Atkins diet plan have experienced remarkable weight loss.
Atkins Diet Basics
The Atkin Diet aims to put the overweight body in a state of Ketosis, where the primary source of energy become the Ketones, that are the carbon fragments created by burning down of fat. By reducing the carbohydrate intake, the body has to depend on its fat for fuel and thus goes into Ketosis. When your body is in that state, you do not feel very hungry and end up eating lesser than before. Though this can instigate problems like constipation and bad breath in some people, the effect on weight loss is drastic.
When we take a carbohydrate-rich food, the food is quickly broken down to get sugar. To keep the level of this sugar controlled, our body produces insulin that stores extra sugar in muscles and liver as glycogen. After these are filled to its maximum capacity, insulin converts rest of the sugar to fat. If we keep the sugar intake in the body high, our body will produce high levels of insulin. In the process, the extra sugar in the body can become immune to the insulin and we might end up developing diabetes, which is a metabolic disorder. Following Atkins diet, while helps you in achieving weight loss, also helps you keep problems such as diabetes at bay.
The ultimate goal of the diet plan is to help people lose weight and maintain that weight once they are at their target. The first step of the Atkins diet plan is called induction. It focuses on making the body move from a carbohydrate-burning to a fat burning mechanism. At this step, dieters are asked to take food rich in protein and fat, while avoiding carbohydrates. The maximum carbohydrate allowed in this phase is 20 gm per day. Also, the sources of getting these carbohydrates should be salads and leafy green vegetables that are non-starchy.
The Atkins diet plan lists the foods that would be acceptable at each phase. For vegetables that are high in carbohydrates such as mushrooms, onions and pumpkins, serving portions are also mentioned. The plan includes a number of recipes and meal plans. People can choose plans according to their taste and preferences.
Exercises do not make a major part of the Atkins diet plan. However, he mentions that some people will have to include exercises along with their diet to enter the Ketosis stage. People doing physical exercises are asked to include extra vitamins intake since the diet they would be taking under the plan would not be a rich source of vitamins. Vitamins are required in considerable quantity in the body while exercising.
Atkins Diet Sample Meal Plan
(Press sausage meat into muffin cups to form a shell. Pour in scrambled egg mixture, or crack in one or two whole eggs, into each shell and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until done)
Decaf Coffee or tea
12 Buffalo Wings
(Cut 6 chicken wings into thirds along the joints, and discard points. Fry over medium-high heat in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan with salt and pepper until crisp. Toss through 1 T of garlic Tabasco sauce.)
Blue cheese dip (2 oz blue cheese, 2 oz cream cheese, 1T sour cream, salt and pepper to taste.)
(Fry pork chops until brown. Remove from pan. Deglaze pan with cream and allow to reduce. Season with salt and pepper, serve over chops)
1 cup mashed cauliflower
(Boil or steam ½ head of cauliflower until tender. Mash with 2T butter and 1T cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.)
2 c salad greens
2 T dressing of choice
Cost and expenses
Dr. Atkin’s New Diet Revolution is available for $16.47 on Amazon.com. Click here to purchase the book at a discounted price.
The major benefit of following Atkins diet plan is that you need not give up foods with high fats such as cream, cheese, meat etc. Also, by following the plan you do not feel hungry naturally and do not have to stay starved purposely. The diet provides a wide variety of food in your plan and thus does not seem boring or monotonous. Though the diet plan recommends least amount of carbohydrate, but food that are rich in dietary fibres are allowed to be eaten as fibre is not digested. The diet reduces risk of diseases such as diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
Any studies across the world have been conducted on the Atkins Diet Plan and comparing it to low calorie diet plans. In many cases, it has been found that though the immediate result is more prominent in the Atkin det plan, long-term results are almost same in both the cases. Besides, both types of diet have a large people dropping out from between the plan which means it is not very easy for everyone to follow.
The goal Atkins diet plan is to use fat for energy generation in the body rather than carbohydrates. In some cases, this can result in increased ketones and also uric acid. This can cause headaches and also result in kidney problems. Besides, the amount of dietary fibre in the meal plan is low, thus making it quite likely for someone to get a chronic bowel problem and constipation. The meal plan also recommends high-fat food which can give cardiac diseases as it could raise the cholesterol level in the body. Further, the plan does not include much physical exercise and only concentrates on the eating habits of the person.
So in the end, the main question remains – should you or should you not go for the Atkin diet plan? Well, knowing all the pluses and minuses most of us would be able to reach at a conclusion, but some can still be undecided. You can try the diet plans for a few weeks to know which one suits you better. Any good diet plan should make you feel healthy and hearty and not weak or sick. In the end, whether it is Atkins or other low calorie diet plan, to get maximum benefits you require consistency and dedication. You any plan that you choose to follow, make sure you stick to the specifications.
Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution
By M.D. Robert C. Atkins
Dr. Atkins’ Quick & Easy New Diet Cookbook
By Robert C. Atkins and Veronica Atkins
The Atkins Shopping Guide
By Atkins Health & Medical Information Services
New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great.
By Eric C. Westman, Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek