Of the many diet plans that have been and gone, the Atkins diet probably created more controversy than most.
At first glance, it looks like returning to a caveman style, meat eating or carnivorous way of eating with all the tasty good stuff omitted.
Fortunately, it is not as bad as it sounds, because the so-called good stuff is actually mostly unhealthy processed, high carbohydrate and sugar-based products, which need to be removed from the diet anyway if you are truly serious about not only losing weight but regaining a good level of physical health too.
In this article, we take a brief look at what the Atkins Diet is and why it works, as well as what is wrong with it as a long term diet solution.
What is the Atkins Diet?
The main idea behind this diet is to stop the body from burning carbs as its main source of energy fuel and switch it to burning fats.
The idea is sound in that the main reason people become overweight is because their body keeps storing more and more fat and it does this because it is getting an excess of sugars from the high Glycemic Index carbohydrate diets that modern generations eat.
The best way to get the body to make the switch from needing carbs to burning fat is to cut carbs out of the equation and just consume foods that high in protein and also high in fat.
Atkins had the right idea and in the early stages of this diet, where you could eat as many steaks and other meats that you like as you want, people did lose weight and in some cases, quite spectacularly. The problems started to arise where you soon get fed up with just eating these heavy, fatty meat laden meals and you start wanting other stuff.
The reason for this is because your body also needs the nutrients it can only get from fresh fruits and vegetables, which for the most part are not included in the Atkins diet.
How to Succeed with this Diet
The best way to approach this diet is to go all out omitting all carbs for the first two weeks or so, then gradually re-introduce them so that your diet becomes more balanced.
That way, you get to maintain the weight loss you have already achieved while bringing your diet back up to its full health.
This kind of approach is taken quite successfully in The South Beach Diet, which uses Atkins as its base for its early phases. However, it softens the blow by bringing back the fruits and vegetables that are needed for a healthy, balanced diet that will keep a person healthy in the long term.
The most effective way of making this kind of carb-omitted diet work is to get into the mindset that you want your body to be fat adapted, or adapted to burning only fat ingested through diet for fuel.
This forces your body to use ketone bodies as fuel, which in most areas is actually the preferred fuel, instead of glucose. Essentially your body gets into ketosis and uses only minimal glucose created by the liver for those essential processes that require glucose, while everything else gets ketones to burn for fuel.
More detailed information can be found about this diet here: Atkins Diet
Posted: Sep 10, 2021