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Diet Review: The Atkins Diet

Oct 17, 2007
The Atkins Diet Plan was created by Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1960's. He made changes to a diet he read about in the Journal of the American Medical Association, because he had his own issues with weight. After success with the diet, both for him and patients, he then wrote Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution in 1972 (which I still have), and then the revised Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution. A lot of disagreement surrounds this diet, and many people have had success with it.

Atkins recommends staying away from:

Refined carbohydrates
Sugar
Flour
High fructose corn syrup
Saturated fats are not a problem, but avoid the trans fats from hydrogenated oils

There are 4 stages in the Atkins Plan:

Induction Phase:

The first phase of this low carb diet is designed to put your body into ketosis. Ketosis means that the body will produce ketones from the fat, and is used as fuel instead of carbs. It causes you to lose some weight fast as your body burns carbohydrates from your reserves. This phase is also very strict. Meat, eggs, oil and butter are allowed. A certain amount of cheese is allowed as well.

Ongoing Weight Loss:

In this phase of the Atkins plan, a carbohydrate ladder is followed by slowly building up your carbohydrate intake, you still lose, but you're learning your glycemic intake levels, and curbing your cravings.

There is a full list of allowed food in the Atkins Diet book, but some of the food you're allowed to have is vegetables from the Induction phase, nuts, berries, some fruit and starchy vegetables.

Pre Maintenance:

You enter pre maintenance as you approach your goal. Carbs are increased again, until you are able to eat enough without gaining weight.

Lifetime Maintenance:

A bigger range of food is allowed once you have achieved your weight loss objective. Carbohydrate consumption is increased a bit more as well. You stay at this stage for the rest of your life. Should you start to gain weight, you go back to a previous Atkins diet phase until you lose weight.

Advantages of the Atkins Plan:

If you're a meat lover, this is the diet for you.
You'll keep your sugar level down
You'll burn fat
You can eat whenever you want

Things to watch out for when starting Atkins:

People say that they can't do Atkins because it makes them feel weird, dizzy or just generally funky. Compare it to the alcoholic who has stopped drinking: they go thru DT's - detox on some level, some have it really bad, and some don't. You can - and should - expect a reaction with any diet that you go on that eliminates the garbage in your body.

Disadvantages of the Atkins Plan:

I've had friends say they get really tired, feel sick to their stomachs, and experience headaches in the beginning the Atkins Diet Plan. Carb withdrawal? I haven't cut my carb intake too much in the recent past, so I can't judge.

Low carb intake. I'm happy to switch to healthier carbs, but I won't eliminate them.
About the Author
Elizabeth Ramer has been on a diet since 2nd grade, and is following the You on a Diet weight management program. Stop by and read my blog, and subscribe to my feed.
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