Is Atkins diet really good for you?

The all-famous Atkins diet

Can you spell hype for me please? If you’re living in a Western world, chances are great that you have probably heard of the all-famous Atkins diet. Is this really the most successful diet ever? Well, we can debate over that all day long and we’ll never know, but one thing is for sure – Atkins diet is certainly the most advertised one. For some time now the Atkins diet has been tried by millions of people at some point or another. And this is no exaggeration at all! More than 3 million people have tried Atkins diet at the peak of the hype in 2003.

What is it about?

Basically, the Atkins diet is all about cutting down on the carbohydrates, while you are allowed to eat high-fat foods. This will for example allow you to eat eggs and cheese and steaks. This actually sounds like a dream diet! I mean, can you tell me just who would pass up the chance of losing weight while still enjoying a good eggs and ham breakfast? But hold on, there’s a downside here: you get no bread or salad with that steak! None at all! You see, that become a real problem after a week or so. I mean how much meat can you eat without touching any vegetables at all?

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What are you NOT allowed to eat

This theory states that you need to cut down on carbohydrates which will force your body to use the stored fat in order to obtain the energy you need during the day. This means you must not eat: bread and pastries, potatoes, pasta, milk, rice, fruit, vegetables (there are a couple you can still eat) and, obviously, no junk food or soft drinks!
Atkins diet - woman eating chicken

What are you allowed to eat

What are you allowed to it? Right here: red meat, fish, chicken, cheese, mayonnaise, cream, butter and eggs. This food will be your only food for the first 2 weeks, and that is called the Induction Phase.

The second phase of Atkins diet is called Ongoing Weight Loss, and you are allowed to increase the intake of carbohydrates by 5 grams per day, starting from the 20 grams per day from the Induction Phase. You must find yourself how far carbohydrates can be increased before the body is unable to lose between 1 and 3 pounds a week. This phase is called the Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing Weight. It’s the moment where the amount of carbs stop growing! This phase will last until you almost reach the desired weight.

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Now, it is time to enter the 3rd stage of your Atkins diet. This one is called Pre-Maintenance and here you will increase carbs intake by 10 grams a day in order to slow down the weight loss process. Welcome to the world of 30 grams of pasta per day! The final phase is called Lifetime Maintenance because of eating around 90 grams of carbs per day for the rest of your life. Keep in mind that moving from 250 grams or more to less than 100 grams a day and for the rest of your life is quite challenging for most people.

Side effects of Atkins diet

However, Atkins diet can have some disturbing side effects, although it all depends from person to person. Some people will do just fine with on Atkins diet, but some people have reported that they got infections of the kidneys from the high-protein content. Some reported heart problems from all the fat food. If you will go on Atkins diet, be prepared for some dizziness and general weakness because your body will go into starvation mode when denied carbohydrates. You can also expect constipation to become a problem because you won’t have high-fiber fruit and vegetables in your diet. One last thing to keep in mind: the lack of many dairy products will lead to a significant drop in the amount of calcium absorbed by the body and may cause osteoporosis or other bone conditions.

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