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 lucky person to use this method of starving the body of carbs.
How The Atkins Diet Works
The Atkins diet consists of four phases; Induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance, and lifetime maintenance. During the induction phase, a person is limited to 20g of carbohydrates per day.
This phase lasts for two weeks but can be continued for a longer period 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 Ongoing 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.
However, does not mean a person should not eat fruit.
Several fruits 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 line of products in hopes of maintaining business. However, many other companies found themselves losing business with the Atkins craze. Kinds of pasta with lower carb counts were created, as well as speciality 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 which have shown a higher risk of heart attacks as one of the more severe health concerns when going on this diet.
There have also been other effects recorded in these studies such as diarrhoea, weakness, and muscle cramps which seem to also be present for those on the Atkins diet.
Beyond the health concerns, it’s recommended that a person takes 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 powerful will, stable support system, and be reasonably healthy in body and mind to take on this endeavour.
Who is Dr Robert Atkins
Dr Robert Atkins was born on October 17th, 1930. Raised in Dayton Ohio from where he lived from the time he was 12, Dr Atkins worked towards a career in medicine as a cardiologist.
However, it was his nutrition ideas that gained him popularity and fame. Creating a diet that limited the carbohydrate intake of a person, Dr Atkins began his journey to help people lose weight and stay healthy.
At the age of 33, Robert Atkins weighed over two hundred pounds. He had finished his studies at the University of Michigan and was working as a cardiologist. Dr Atkins read a report about a new diet that came from lowering the starch intake of a person.
Dr Atkins decided to follow this diet and was successful. From that moment onwards, Dr Atkins worked towards perfecting his diet theories and creating his low carbohydrate diet idea.
After an appearance on the Tonight Show in the mid-sixties and an article in Vogue magazine had been printed in 1970, Dr Atkins was well on his way to creating his low carb industry. The first book published by Dr Atkins became a best seller and launched him into the mainstream of the dieting world.
Seeing the success of his diet, Dr Atkins created the “Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine”. In his centre, Dr Atkins claimed to have treated over fifty thousand people, employed almost ninety people, and was the birth place for the Atkins Nutritionals. Dr Atkins created a line of products to help with the dietary demands. Having a series of products that were all low in carbohydrates Dr Atkins used them to help promote the ease of his diet.
Multi-Million Dollar Business
This industry became a multi-million dollar business for him. Between his first book and the time of his death in 2003, Dr Atkins published seventeen books regarding his diet plans. Some were changes to the diet itself, while others were cookbooks with recipes to use throughout the time on the diet.
Even though there was a great success for Dr Atkins with his diet plans, he was not without controversy. The American Medical Association claimed that his diet was unsafe and dangerous to people’s health. With this publication, Dr Atkins found himself being sued by several people who claimed his diet had damaged their health.
Furthermore, the American Medical Association also argued that the diet was unscientific and criticised him a great deal. Beyond all the critiques towards his diet itself, Dr Atkins also had his medical licence suspended when he attempted to practice “Ozone therapy” on a woman by injecting ozone into her bloodstream to assist her with her cancer treatments.
While there have been many success stories regarding the Atkins diet, it’s the negative press that always shines through. Dr Atkins made himself into a household name with his revolutions and should be thought of for the positive contributions he made to nutrition and the medical community rather than a few negative ones.
Even though success didn’t always happen with those on a diet, Dr Atkins always tried to better his patients.
My Atkins Story
While the Atkins diet has great success with many people, there are also those who do not succeed. Whether it is a slip in eating habits or change in lifestyle, everyone has a story about this diet. Some of those stories are good, and some are bad. I am a former Atkins Diet user, and this is my story.
When the Atkins Diet was all the craze, I realised that my weight was a major issue. I began doing research on this diet, was fortunate enough to have a health food store very nearby, and even found support with friends and family. I began the diet while house sitting for a friend. Whatever food I took with me was all that I had so it was the perfect situation. My first day of house sitting was my first day of induction.
Everything went quite well, to be honest.
My side effects during the induction phase were minimal and with the support from the staff at the Low Carb. Store, I was making sure to have multi-vitamins, maintain proper information, and even get first chances at new products that came onto the market. My induction phase lasted eight weeks, twice as long as the minimal and the weight loss was significant.
Moving into the second stage of the diet was quite smooth. Having new foods introduced to me again was nice. I maintained a number of the induction recipes, however, as they truly were good meal ideas. My weight continued to come off during this stage and thanks to the quickness of it; I maintained a good level of confidence and motivation to continue.
It was entertaining as well for me.
I have always been a coffee drinker and giving up caffeine was difficult. One day I was accidentally given a regular coffee and certainly felt the effects. I was like a cartoon with the rapid motion and jitters. This event was indeed entertaining for those around me at the time. As my goal weight was closing in, I entered the pre-maintenance stage. This was when things went awry.
Feeling so great about myself I felt that I could control everything. My confidence was at a new high level, I had a whole new wardrobe and seemingly a new lease on life. I decided it was time to improve my health even more and quit smoking.
That was the beginning of the end for me.
No longer having that oral fixation of a cigarette, I turned to other things. I felt that I could still control my diet when having treats. I would indulge one day and then try to cut something out the next. This was not a good idea. Things began to spiral out of control, and I watched as the weight returned. In six months I had lost sixty-five pounds. It took only another six months for that same amount to come back. My weakness and over confidence cost me with Atkins.
With more knowledge, I would attempt it again. Tell us your story.
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