This is a type of diet that was created by Dr. Atkins who in American cardiologist in the 1970 that is made up of low carbohydrates. This type of diet is advisable for when one wants to lose weight. This type of diet claims that one can lose weight while still eating as much proteins and fat as one wants. The only foods that this diet wants one to avoid is foods that are rich in carbohydrates. Studies on the Atkins’ diet have proven that one can lose weight without calorie counting as long as one eats low carbohydrate diets.
The diet at first received mixed reactions as many considered the diet to be unhealthy in the beginning when Dr. Atkins published the book on Atkins’ diet in 1972. Studies over the years however proved the critics of Atkins’ diet wrong when it was discovered that saturated fat is harmless. This diet has been studied for over 20 years and though it is high in fat content, it does not raise LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol to a bad level.
Atkins diet is one of the best diets to lose weight as consuming more protein and reducing the amount carbohydrate intake leads to reduced appetite. This makes one to avoid binge eating as you can find yourself eating more unhealthy foods. This is important as one loses weight without being hungry. Low level carbohydrates get rid of excess water in the body, lessening the insulin levels which in turn lead to rapid weight loss.
When one takes on the Atkins diet as the route for weight loss, there are 4 simple steps;
- Step 1- Introduction to the diet.
One should start by consuming less than 20 grams of carbohydrates each day at least for the first 2 weeks. At this stage carbohydrates you consume should come from salads and vegetables that have low starch. One should also eat high proteins and fat foods and low carbohydrates vegetables like leafy greens. This will make the body to use fats as fuel of the body instead of carbohydrates thus leading to weight loss.
- Step 2- Continue with the weight loss.
One should then progressively add to their diet, nutrient-dense and fiber rich food. This will also be a further additional source of carbohydrates. One can do this by adding foods like seeds, nuts, low carbohydrate vegetables and small units of berries. During this phase, the may consume20-25grams of carbohydrates in the first week.
Then one can move to 30 grams of carbohydrates during the second week and lastly 30 grams in every subsequent week till your weight loss slow down to 1-2 pounds in a week. The purpose of this step is for you to know the amount of carbohydrates you can consume individually while still in the process of losing weight. This phase should continue till you have left 5-10 pounds to achieve your goal.
- Step 3- Pre-maintenance.
One should then increase their level of carbohydrates intake by 10 grams each week as at this point weight loss will be at a slow pace. One can then begin introducing legumes like beans and lentils. One can even add fruits, starchy vegetables and whole grains. One should continue with this phase until they attain their target weight and continue with this for a month.
- Step 4- Maintenance.
One should then begin a wider range of carbohydrate sources. You should then also be carefully observing your weight so as not to relapse back to your former weight.
Foods to eat in the Atkins diet.
One should eat foods depending on the phase;
- Healthy vegetables that is rich in nutrients and fiber for example broccoli, asparagus and salad greens.
- Fruits that have high fiber but low sugar levels such as citrus, apples and berries.
- Consume complex carbohydrates like whole grains and legumes.
- One should opt for healthy plant fats provided by avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil.