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The Atkins Diet And How It Works

Jun 16, 2008
The Atkins Diet is a popular "low-carb" weight reduction program, but it is often greatly misunderstood! Common, yet slightly exaggerated depictions of the plan portray dieters devouring nothing but vast amounts of meat and fat. Although the program is not quite that simple, many dieters under the program have successfully lost weight and improved their health.

On this plan, dieters follow a highly specific regimen based on cutting carbohydrate intake. The nutritional aspects of the plan are emphasized over exercise and other factors, although getting physical activity is encouraged. There are four phases in the Atkins plan:

Induction: During this two-week stage at the start of the diet program, dieters can only have up to 20 grams of carbs per day. Dieters can ingest high protein foods such as meat and poultry, fats such as butter and oils, and other food with little to no carbohydrate content. Many foods with carbs are not permitted at all, including alcoholic beverages.

This initial phase is intended to help the body switch from burning carbs for energy, as it usually does, into burning stored up fat (the state called ketosis). Most dieters begin to lose weight during this stage.

Ongoing Weight Loss: During this stage, dieters gradually increase their carbohydrate consumption by adding 5 grams of carbs into their diet every week. Dieters fine-tune their diet, losing weight to put themselves within 5-10 pounds of their goal weight, before moving into the Pre-maintenance phase.

Pre-maintenance: Dieters use the Pre-maintenance phase to find out the maximum amount of carbs they can ingest without experiencing weight gain. During this stage, dieters add 10 grams of carbohydrates to their diet each week. Once dieters reach their target weight and can maintain it for one month, they move into the Lifetime Maintenance stage.

Lifetime Maintenance: For lasting results, the Atkins program is designed to be maintained throughout the dieter's lifetime. Using the strategies that helped the dieter reach their goal weight, the dieter develops an eating and exercise program to stay at their target weight. Individuals can revert to previous stages if they ever begin to regain weight.

Dieters who can commit to the Atkins diet are typically successful in losing weight; however, many people are unable to keep following the program and end up quitting early on in the initial induction stage. In general, most diet plans fail because dieters cannot stay committed to the plan.

Many people struggle with dieting because they experience strong food cravings, have problems with compulsive overeating, cannot control their appetites, or simply lack the motivation to lose weight. Overcoming these mental obstacles is the most challenging aspect of losing weight.

One reason why many people cannot seem to manage their eating is because they are emotional eaters. Such people eat in response to their feelings, such as when they are bored or upset. However, this habit programs a "conditioned response" into the unconscious mind. This means that when individuals experience the same emotion that made them overeat initially, they will feel compelled to overeat again and again.

Hypnotherapy works by helping our unconscious minds disassociate our emotions from our eating habits. To eliminate the conditioned response to overeat, a hypnotherapy weight loss program is used to break the association in the unconscious mind between overeating and specific "trigger" situations.

For example, if you tend to binge eat when you feel bored, hypnosis can disassociate boredom from eating in your unconscious mind. Hypnosis can then be used to replace the overeating response with another activity, such as exercising. That way, the next time you suffer from boredom, instead of having an urge to overeat, you will feel motivated to engage in physical activity.

Hypnosis is an excellent tool for stress relief as well, helping us cope with our stressful feelings and relieve tension without eating. As a relaxation tool, it calms the mind, helps you develop strategies to cope with stress, and boosts your self confidence to promote natural weight loss.

Self hypnosis can also be used to remove the emotional stressors that keep you from losing weight. Many overweight people use their weight for emotional protection. For example, after a painful end to a relationship, people might find themselves becoming overweight so they can avoid relationships and avoid having to endure emotional pain again. Through hypnosis, we can turn our negative thoughts into positive ones and focus on improving our health instead of becoming overwhelmed by our emotions.

Not only is hypnosis a powerful motivation tool, it relieves stress, extinguishes the conditioned responses that trigger overeating, and can help you overcome the mental obstacles that prevent weight loss. Hypnotherapy for weight loss is really effective at helping people stay on a diet plan, such as the Atkins plan, and lose weight.
About the Author
Alan B. Densky, CH has invested over 30 years specializing in weight loss. He offers several ways to lose weight, including lose weight CD and NLP to lose weight DVD. Visit his self-hypnosis for self-improvement CDs website for Free hypnosis newsletters, videos, and downloads.
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