The Atkins diet was first developed by Dr. Robert Atkins in 1963 and reached renowned popularity early in the Millennium.
Dr. Atkins created this diet after reading several other medical studies and learning that the body can alter itself from burning carbohydrates to burning fat instead. Dr. Atkins himself was the first successful person to use this method of starving the body of carbs.
How The Atkins Diet Works
The Atkins diet consists of four phases; Induction, on-going weight loss, pre-maintenance, and lifetime maintenance. During the induction phase a person is limited to 20g of carbohydrates per day.
This phase normally lasts for two weeks, but can be continued for a longer period of time depending on the amount of weight a person has to lose.
Upon entering the second phase the amount of carb intake can be increased by 5g per week.
A person will stay in the On-going Weight Loss phase for a minimum nine weeks, or until they are within 10 pounds of their target weight. At this point a person will enter the pre-maintenance phase and increase their carbohydrates by another 10g.
A person will once again continue increasing their carbs weekly until they find their “Critical Carbohydrate Level for Maintenance” at which point they will enter the lifetime maintenance stage.
What Is a Basic Meal In The Atkins Diet?
A basic meal on the Atkins diet would consist of a meat product, (beef, poultry, fish etc.), and several servings of salad greens or vegetables. Fruits are not allowed during the majority of the stages as they are higher in sugars and carbohydrates which in turn would cause slower weight loss.
This does not mean a person should not eat fruit.
There are several fruits that are high in energy which the body can burn quicker allowing the body to continue its weight loss.
During the early years of the Atkins popularity, and the popularity of other low-carb diets many companies joined in. Pepsi and Coke created their own line of products in hopes of maintaining business. However, many other companies found themselves losing business with the Atkins craze. Pasta’s were created with lower carb counts, as well as specialty chocolate bars.
What Are The Health Concerns Of The Atkins Diet
There have been a few controversies regarding the Atkins diet. Of the numerous scientific studies that have been conducted it has shown a higher risk of heart attacks as one of the more severe health concerns when going on this diet.
There has also been other effects recorded in these studies such as diarrhea, weakness, and muscle cramps which seem to also be present for those on the Atkins diet.
Beyond the health concerns, it is highly recommended that a person take multi-vitamins to compensate for what is lacking in the diet itself. Once again however, Dr. Atkins suggested that while a multi-vitamin is good, the iron intake should be limited because of the amounts of iron found in the meat ingested.
While the attraction of losing weight fast makes many people want to try the Atkins diet for results, there are many rules, limitations, and risks that can be involved. If someone truly wanted to join the Atkins diet fad they will require a very strong will, solid support system, and be reasonably healthy in body and mind to take on this endeavor.
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