The idea of losing weight by cutting carbs like potatoes, sweets and bread while eating butter, bacon and mayonnaise was born more than 40 years ago by Dr. Robert Atkins.
It is impressive that the Atkins diet is still present and has newer versions, such as New Atkins for a New You. Newest versions of the Atkins diet emphasize making healthy choices and sticking to it.
Old or new, the theory is the same; you must cut back on carbs and your body will turn to fat stores for fuel.
How Atkins Diet Works
Atkins diet is one of the most researched diets in the world. Many studies have proven that low-carb diets have the same effectiveness as traditional approaches and can improve triglycerides and cholesterol. The main challenge will be to stick with it for a long period of time.
There are four stages of Atkins diet: induction phase, balancing phase, pre-maintenance phase and lifetime maintenance. The first stage has these rules:
- Less than 20 grams of carbs per day
- Fat and protein from eggs, poultry, fish, vegetable oils, butter and red meat
- No fruit, grains, starchy vegetables, bread, pasta, or dairy except cheese, cream and butter
- No caffeine and alcohol
When the induction phase is over it is time to start the balancing stage by slowly adding more vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and low- carb alcohol. In the pre-maintenance phase you can slowly add more carbs and eat more food. Final phase is a permanent lifestyle and the food you eat in this phase is the same food that you have already been eating.
Pros: You will lose weight very quickly, as your body will use fat for energy. Diet allows you to eat red meat, cheese, butter and cream, while cutting processed carbs and alcohol.
Cons: Cutting carbs can have some side effects, such as dry mouth, bad breath, dizziness, nausea and tiredness. The lack of vegetables, fruit and dairy products may affect kidney in the long run, while high intake of saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease.
Atkins diet is for someone who is preparing for summer and wants to rapidly lose weight. However, if you want to lose a lot of weight over a period of time, like a year, than you should probably try some different diet. The problem is that the Atkins diet isn’t nutritionally balanced and by limiting vegetables and fruit, you are contradicting every advice on a healthy eating.