Atkins Diet 101

Philosophy

With all the varying diets and weight-loss programs available nowadays, it’s hard to keep track of which ones actually work and which ones will work best for you. The Atkins Diet originated back in 1972 and was founded by Dr. Robert C. Atkins on the belief that the consumption of less carbs and more proteins and fats would result in greater weight loss. This was contradictory to the common belief at the time that proteins and fats were what caused weight gain to begin with.

How It Works

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Atkins’s diet works on the fundamental principle that proteins and fats are what make us feel full, so by consuming less fats, we eat more to make up for the constant feeling of hunger. Therefore, according to the Atkins Diet, the more proteins and fats we eat, the more and longer we feel satisfied by our meal, resulting in less snacking in the long run. It initially sounds like a paradox, but the diet has been proven to work again and again.

The Four Phases

The Atkins diet is meant to work in four phases:

  1. Reduce carbohydrate intake to under 20 grams per day and switch to a high-fat, high-protein diet. All carbohydrate intake should come in the form of leafy greens. You even want to avoid high-carb fruits and vegetables, starches, and legumes in this stage.
  1. Slowly add more carbohydrates back into your diet at a rate which you can still continue to lose weight. This is when you can resume (or start) eating high-carb fruits and vegetables, starches, and legumes.
  1. Continue adding more carbohydrates into your diet. Your weight loss should start to slow down at this point.
  1. This final stage in the Atkins diet is where you learn to balance your carbohydrate intake and maintain your desired weight.

Foods You Can Eat

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These are the foods that are okay to eat during all phases of your Atkins Diet:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Other healthy fats

Foods You Can’t Eat

Complex Carbohydrates Food Sources

These are the foods you want to avoid during the entirety of your Atkins Diet:

  • Grains (bread, pasta, etc.)
  • Trans-fat (mostly contained in fried foods)
  • Sugar (cookies, candy, etc.)

These are the foods that you also want to avoid during phase 1 of your Atkins Diet:

  • Starches
  • High-carbohydrate fruits
  • High-carbohydrate vegetables

The Results

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Whenever you hear the word “diet,” you automatically conjure images of long hours enduring hunger pangs, and the constant urge to binge after avoiding certain types of foods. That is not the experience you will have when partaking in the Atkins Diet.

The beauty of the Atkins Diet is that it is a way to lose weight without necessarily needing to exercise. All you really need to do is cut carbohydrates (and that’s only in phase 1). After phase 1, you can begin incorporate high-carbohydrate fruits and vegetables back into your life, so in reality, the diet is not as strict as it may initially seem. This low-carb diet will be the easiest thing you’ve ever done to lose weight.