Do you like to have bacon, eggs, steak, etc, and still lose weight? Then the Atkins diet is for you. Developed by Robert C. Atkins, it restricts carbohydrates and emphasizes on proteins and fats. Naturally, it gives rise to the question is Atkins diet healthy. Read on to know the facts.
Atkins diet plan
Atkins diet plan is a protein and fat-rich diet with low carbohydrates. One can eat any amount of meat, cheese, eggs, etc. But, there is a restriction on taking bread, fruits, milk, pasta, sugar, and vegetables. And this raises the question is Atkins diet healthy?
The diet plan is based on the proviso that overweight people take excessive amounts of carbohydrates. While burning of fats and carbohydrates for energy, the carbohydrates are used first. But, the cut on carbohydrates entails a change in metabolism. It starts to burn the stored fat and this helps to shed off excess weight.
Atkins is a flexible diet plan. This can be tailored to complement a wide variety of lifestyles and eating choices. One can attain the ideal weight and stay there by knowing the carbohydrate threshold. Moreover, because of high protein consumption, one does not feel hunger prangs or deprivation.
How does it work?
The carbohydrates and fats are the two sources of body fuel for energy. Usual diet plans followed are rich in carbohydrates and low in fats. Intake of high carbohydrates shoots up the blood sugar level and signals for producing more insulin. Thus, you end up with more accumulated fat and sugar-burning metabolism.
Atkins diet plan works differently. As it restricts carbohydrates, your body learns to burn fats for energy and you start losing weight faster. One can start with Atkins 20. This is quite simple and involves only 20 grams of carbohydrate in a day. There are also Atkins 40 and Atkins 100 plans that involve taking 40 grams and 100 grams of carbohydrate daily.
What is great about the Atkins diet plan is that it involves a lifestyle approach including many options. Atkins 20 is suitable for those who have to lose over 40 pounds and are diabetic. Atkins 40 is okay for those who have less than 40 pounds to lose. Atkins 100 is the best for maintaining the current weight by reaping the unique benefits of low carbohydrate diet plans.
Different phases of the Atkins diet
Atkins diet plan involves an eating program with four phases for controlling weight through intelligent carbohydrate consumption. This is not a one-size-fits-all program. Although there are guidelines, one can opt for a variety of choices based on weight loss needs. This way it answers the question is Atkins diet healthy for everyone.
It stands on the following four core principles
- Losing weight
- Maintaining weight
- Good health & wellness
- Prevention of diseases
And, has the following four phases
This imposes a strict restriction on carbohydrate intakes. During this phase, the body switches off from burning carbohydrates to burning fats for achieving a quick loss in weight. But maintaining this crash-diet for long could be boring. Sometimes urge to eat anything also generates as one can easily lose weight by following the induction phase. This calls for shifting to the second phase.
Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL)
This phase lets one balance the carbohydrate and to loose weight. One can increase the carbohydrate intake slowly every week until the weight loss comes down to 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Start adding asparagus, broccoli, raspberries, strawberries, hazelnuts, almonds, cottage cheese, etc to the diet slowly. When five to ten pounds are lost, then one should shift to the third phase.
This phase is for losing the last few pounds very slowly. It involves gradual inclusion of lentils, fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grains as long as the weight loss continues.
This will help you achieve the target weight. If that remains unchanged for at least a month, you know your carbohydrate tolerance level. Following this, there will be no loss or gain in weight. You are now ready to move to the last phase.
Atkins is not for losing weight only. This plan is designed to stay healthy. By this time, you know how much net carbohydrates you can take. It generally ranges from 40 to 120 grams based on age, activities, gender, metabolism, etc. Sticking to that will ensure no gaining back of weight and healthy life.
While is Atkins diet healthy is a haunting question, people looking for a faster way to lose weight follow this diet plan. It provides several health benefits including the feeling of enhanced wellness without any need for monitoring your calorie intake.
Various studies also indicate that the Atkins diet also yields a wide range of benefits other than losing weight. Following the Atkins diet plan helps to ease the symptoms of epilepsy, GERD, hypertension & stroke, obesity, diabetes, etc.
Common side effects
While people ask is Atkins diet healthy, no serious health risks are associated with the Atkins diet plan. However, there are some minor side effects. But they can be managed easily.
Sometimes some people are found to be struggling with headaches, leg cramps, constipation, bad breath, etc while starting the Atkins diet plan. There is nothing to worry about these. One can easily resolve such health issues by drinking plenty of water and increasing salt intake.
Sometimes heart palpitations are also observed in the first few weeks. This can also be tackled by increasing your water and salt intake. However, if any of the side effects are persisting, one can increase the carbohydrate a little for a trade-off.
Answer to the question is Atkins diet healthy is definite yes. This is easy to stick as one can have delicious and satisfying foods while trying to control weight. If you want to follow the Atkins diet plan seriously, then getting Atkins books could be a great help.