The Atkins diet is one of the most beloved diet plans that many people around the world have been following for decades to fight obesity. it is often mixed with the ketogenic diet as they share the same concept of limiting the carbohydrate intake and by that, your body uses up the fat stores for generating energy rather than getting it directly from carbs which are mostly simple sugars that are burned as soon as they are ingested while fat is usually stored in the body in the subcutaneous tissue and viscerally around internal organs like the liver to be used when there is no available source of energy by turning this fat into ketone bodies that supply the body with the energy needed to function you can lose weight. the diet alone isn’t enough to lose weight in order to be healthy it must be accompanied by healthy lifestyle changes and a daily exercise routine to keep obesity away and have a better quality of life.
History of the Atkins diet:
This diet has been around since the last century in 1972 the famous cardiologist Dr. Richard Atkins published the famous book “diet revolution the high-calorie way to stay thin forever” and this book managed to be one of the best-selling books of all time as many people bought it for the Hopes of being thin forever. Dr. Atkins started this diet as amends for treating obesity through diet modifications without the use of harmful medications or the need to restrict calories intake or cause unnecessary hunger. in the year 1992 Dr Atkins published a new book called “dr Atkins new diet revolution” which became a New York bestseller for 5 years in the early 2000s this book got even more fame as many famous actors and celebrities started using this diet and people followed them to get the same figure along with the use of the Atkins cookbook and the diet plans available on their website and the many Atkins nutritional incorporation products like health bars and protein shakes that were sold worldwide until recently in 2018 there has been another surge in the use of this diet after celebrities like Sharon Osborne and Kim Kardashian started using it again along with the launching of the Atkins phone app for calorie counting the Atkins carb tracker available on iOS.
Atkins diet plans
There are many plans that you can follow but the most famous plans on the Atkins website are the Atkins 40 if you have less than 40 pounds to lose and the Atkins 20 if you need to lose more than 40 pounds the main difference is in the net carb allowance you have to stick to in the Atkins 40 you have 40 net carbs every day while on the Atkins 20 you start out by eating only 20 -25 net carbs and work your way up to more. there is also the Atkins 100 plan where you eat only 100 grams of net carbs per day along with portion control if you would like to maintain your current weight or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and there are Atkins plans for people with diabetes who require more attention in planning their diet with their medication use and all of these plans are available online on their website or in the books with many meals plans to follow throughout the days.
Phases of the Atkins diet
1- the induction phase:
The first and hardest phase of the four phases of the Atkins diet as you are supposed to consume 20 _25 grams of carbs for two weeks and this is the phase when you start losing the biggest amount of weight most people report losing about 15 pounds from your goal weight in this phase.
You can have as much fat and protein as you wish in this phase so that your body starts getting used to using the fat as the main fuel source to burn. But you can’t have alcohol, bread, grains, any sugar, or starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes.
2- balancing phase:
The second phase is way easier since you are already accustomed to having very low carb content so you start gradually increasing it to between 25 -45 grams per day it is best to choose the types of carbs that are beneficial to you with lots of fibers like whole grains and brown rice to not gain any of the weight you managed to lose in the induction phase although you will not lose as much weight as in the first phase you can now reintroduce some of the restricted foods from the first phase as berries, nuts, leafy greens, legumes, and yogurt.
3- The fine-tuning phase:
phase 3 is where things get way easier as your body is fully adapted to using fats as the main source of energy and you have already lost a reasonable amount of body weight making you way closer to your weight goal you can add carbs now between 50 _80 grams per day you can now eat starchy vegetables and fruits and have whole grains like oatmeal, bread, and pasta but it is important to not have too many calories as you may gain some weight back with the buildup of glycogen and water retention so add carbs slowly and mindfully till you reach the point where your body is in equilibrium.
4- Maintenance phase:
now all the hard work is over you can add as many carbs as you wish but not exceed 100 grams to be able to maintain the weight loss you managed to achieve throughout the past 3 phases so you have to watch the number of carbs you eat and you will easily be able to go back a phase or two if you put on some weight without so much stress as at the beginning of the process as you are now used to it. Your body now should be able to distinguish hunger from habit and know when you are full to stop eating early on in the meal. you will also be able to understand which types of carbs that your body craves most and the types that harm you more and can control these food choices in your meals and with every phase as you lose more pounds your risk of having chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension and heart disease is drastically lowered.