The Atkins Diet Plan
The Atkins Diet Plan was created by Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1960’s. He made changes to a diet he read about in the Journal of the American Medical Association , because he had his own issues with weight. After success with the diet, both for him and patients, he then wrote Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution in 1972 (which I still have), and then the revised Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution. A lot of disagreement surrounds this diet, and many people have had success with it.
Atkins recommends staying away from:
High fructose corn syrup
Saturated fats are not a problem, but avoid the trans fats from hydrogenated oils
There are 4 stages in the Atkins Diet Plan:
The first phase of the Atkins Diet is designed to put your body into ketosis. Ketosis means that the body will produce ketones from the fat, and is used as fuel instead of carbs. It causes you to lose some weight fast as your body burns carbohydrates from your reserves. This phase is also very strict. You’re only allotted 20 grams of carbohydrates a day, and can come from salad or other vegetables. Meat, eggs, oil and butter are allowed. A certain amount of cheese is allowed as well.
Ongoing Weight Loss:
In this phase of the Atkins Diet plan, a carbohydrate ladder is followed by slowly building up your carbohydrate intake, you still lose, but you’re learning your glycemic intake levels, and curbing your cravings.
There is a full list of allowed food in the Atkins Diet book, but some of the food you’re allowed to have is vegetables from the Induction phase, nuts, berries, some fruit and starchy vegetables.
You enter pre maintenance as you approach your goal. Carbs are increased again, until you are able to eat enough without gaining weight.
A bigger range of food is allowed once you have achieved your weight loss objective. Carbohydrate consumption is increased a bit more as well. You stay at this stage for the rest of your life. Should you start to gain weight, you go back to a previous Atkins diet phase until you lose weight.
Advantages of the Atkins Diet Plan:
If you’re a meat lover, this is the diet for you. You get lots of meat, you can have butter. You can also have eggs and cheese.
You’ll keep your sugar level down
You’ll burn fat
You can eat whenever you want
Things to watch out for when starting the Atkins Diet
People say that they can’t do the Atkins Diet because it makes them feel weird, dizzy or just generally funky. I’m not an expert on ketosis, and I can’t speak to it, but I would say that this is a sugar withdrawal. You’re in the process of eliminating a lot of poison from your system – all at once to boot – and your body is reacting to it.
Compare it to the alcoholic who has stopped drinking: they go thru DT’s – detox on some level, some have it really bad, and some don’t. (I personally had DT’s for a year after I quit drinking: the first 6 weeks were the toughest.)
You can – and should – expect a reaction with any diet that you go on that eliminates the garbage in your body. The key here is to stick with it. It does go away, maybe in a few days; maybe it will take a couple of weeks. When I started the You Diet, I went thru the same thing, and it was rough (really rough) the first three or four days and then it leveled off, after 2 weeks I felt fine.
Disadvantages of the Atkins Diet Plan:
I’ve had friends say they get really tired, feel sick to their stomachs, and experience headaches in the beginning the Atkins Diet Plan. Carb withdrawal? I don’t know. I personally have never cut my carbohydrate intake drastically, so I can’t judge.
Low carb intake. For me, this simply wouldn’t work: I must have my carbs. I’m happy to switch to healthier carbs, but I won’t eliminate them.