Atkins Diet Explained


Finding The Right Balance

Getting the right nutrition is very important. However, depending on your lifestyle and fitness goals, different diets may be better for you than others.  If your fitness goal is to lose weight, manage your blood pressure, lower your blood sugar, or simply eat healthier, Atkins may be the diet you’ve been looking for.

Atkins Diet: What Is It?

The Atkins diet is a low carb, high protein diet that works by triggering Ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state that happens when you consume less carbs. Normally, your body burns sugar found in carbs as fuel. However, when you eat a low carb, low sugar diet, your body has to change its fuel source. During Ketosis, your body begins to produce ketones from fat reserves in the body. These ketones act as an alternative fuel source, allowing your body to run more efficiently and burn fat more easily.

Cracking Egg

History of Atkins

Today, the Atkins diet is praised as the “flexible keto.” However, it began as a research project conducted by Cardiologist Robert C. Atkins. Dr. Atkins spent years studying diets, nutrition, and weight loss in search of the best diets to lose weight. Later in 1972 he published his novel “Diet Revolution” that would quickly become a huge success across the nation. Since then, the diet has remained popular, and with good reason.

Overview of Atkins

The Atkins diet is very similar to Keto. However, unlike Keto, Atkins is more gradual and less restrictive. Instead of eliminating carbs completely, you can still eat healthy whole grains and carbs in moderation after some time. The flexibility of the diet makes it sustainable for longer periods of time and suitable for a wider range of people. Although it is not necessary, many people follow the Atkins diet in phases. During each phase you eat different types of foods and allow your body to adjust to your changing eating habits. Not only is this method gradual and sustainable but it also helps to prevent some of the negative side effects associated with Ketosis.

Salad Bowl

Atkins Diet Foods to Enjoy

The most important thing to do on the Atkins diet is to manage your carb intake and eat healthier, not less. Instead of restricting your calories, you eat more of healthy proteins, fats, and some healthy carbs. Healthy proteins you can enjoy on this diet include fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, and moderate amounts of red meat. Vegetables, especially leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce, healthy fats, and moderate amounts of dairy are also suitable for Atkins.  Much of what you can eat depends on the “phase” of the diet you are in. For phase one you should eat a high protein, moderate fat, low carb diet. During phase two you can slowly incorporate more whole grains and healthy carbs back into your diet. In phase three you should experiment with your carb intake to determine how many carbs you can eat without affecting your weight loss. Finally, during phase four you should eat as many carbs as your body can handle without gaining weight.

Pros of Atkins

The Atkins diet eliminates junk food, refined sugars, white flour, and other carbs while promoting healthy proteins and fats. This combination will help improve your digestion, your body’s metabolic rate, and allow your body to burn fat more quickly. Atkins is also great for controlling conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Atkins may also be a good option for people who are interested in keto or find keto too strict, but still want to gain the health benefits of a low carb diet. Overall, Atkins is a gradual, more flexible low carb diet that can improve your health and well-being.

Shrimp Salad

Cons of Atkins

While Atkins has numerous health benefits it may not be suitable for everybody. Many people find that Atkins is very restrictive since it prohibits several different foods and even limits some healthy foods. Atkins also causes your body to go into Ketosis which can come with side effects like fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and nausea. However, these side effects don’t last long and vary from person to person.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Atkins is an effective low carb diet that can help you manage your weight and some health conditions. The diet restricts refined carbs, sugar ,and junk food and promotes fresh whole foods instead. While Atkins is both nutritious and good for weight loss, many foods are restricted on the diet which can be frustrating and make the diet hard to sustain. Low carb diets are also not suitable for everyone, so you should consult with your doctor before starting this diet. With dedication, patience, and a little preparation, Atkins may be a great change and help you meet your fitness goals.

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