The Atkins Diet is one the worlds most popular diets but, is it effective?
The Atkins diet is a low-carb diet which is favourable in the weight loss community. For those people who want to lose or maintain their weight and feel healthier and more energetic, a low-carb diet can do the trick.
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Originally the diet was promoted by the physician Dr. Robert C. Atkins, who wrote a best-selling book about it in 1972. It became very popular all over the world and gained a celebrity and public following.
Initially, the diet was actually considered to be unhealthy and demonised by the mainstream health authorities, mostly due to its high content of saturated fats.
However, recent studies have suggested that consuming saturated fats can be harmless.
The Atkins diet has been thoroughly explored and researched and it has shown to lead to more weight loss and greater improvements in blood sugar, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and other health markers than low-fat diets.
There are four phases to the Atkins diet:
Phase 1 (induction): Take in under 20 grams of carbs per day for two weeks. During the initial phase, followers will be eating high in fat, high in protein foods with low carb vegetables like leafy greens. This will promote the kick-start of weight loss.
Phase 2 (balancing): After the two weeks, slowly start adding more nuts, low-carb vegetables and small amounts of fruit back into the diet.
Phase 3 (fine-tuning): When dieters start getting closer to their ideal or goal weight, they can add more carbs into their diet until drastic weight loss slows down.
Phase 4 (maintenance): During the final phase, dieters can eat as many healthy carbs as the body can tolerate without regaining weight.
The easiest way to stick to the phases and promote healthy weight loss is by creating a meal plan that works for the individual and stick to it.
According to Healthline there are seven food groups that a person should aim to include in their diet.
“Meats: Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, bacon, and others.
“Fatty fish and seafood: Salmon, trout, sardines, etc.
“Eggs: Omega-3-enriched or pastured.
“Low-carb vegetables: Kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus and other.
“Full-fat dairy: Butter, cheese, cream, full-fat yogurt.
“Nuts and seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
“Healthy fats: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and avocado oil.”
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Food groups followers should look to avoid while on the Atkins diet include: Sugar, grains, vegetable oils, trans fats, diet and low-fat foods, high-carb vegetables, and fruits, starches and legumes.
The Atkins diet is a brilliant diet that offers flexibility, which could be the reason the diet is so popular.
What is the difference between a keto and Atkins diet?
Both the keto and Atkins diets aim to promote weight loss and improve health by limiting carb intake.
Things like grains, most fruit and sugars are excluded from both diets. However, it is thought that the Keto diet puts more emphasis on eating healthful fats than the Atkins diet
Understanding the differences can help determine which diet is best.
In general, the keto diet is considered to be more restrictive than the Atkins diet.
A person following a keto, or ketogenic, diet will eat very few carbohydrates, lots of fat, and some protein the same as the Atkins, however, the keto diet places more emphasis on carb elimination and protein restrictions. The vast majority of calories in the keto diet come from fat.
Whilst the Atkins diet places strong restrictions on carbohydrate intake at first, but it allows for moderate protein intake.
As a person moves though the phases, the Atkins diet becomes more relaxed, allowing more freedom and a greater variety on food choices.
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