When your exercise and diet are unable to control your weight, you might go restless to think of a better way out. Always remember the lack of physical activity, leisure way of lifestyle, inadvertent eating habits, mismanaged sleep schedules along with genetic make-up of an individual to some extent are the major factors governing your weight. Apart from your genetic make-up, all other factors are under the control of an individual. Instead of being disappointed and losing hope that your weight could not be reduced, you need to focus on these particular areas. You can certainly achieve a lean body by scheduling the activities timely and by sticking to a proper diet plan. One such popular diet plan is Atkins diet. It was made popular by a physician named Dr. Robert Atkins. It was the year 1972 when he wrote a best-selling book about diet plan and then after his recommended way of eating gained popularity.
As per Robert Atkins, carbohydrates or carbs make you fat. He put in one imagination in people’s mind that there is a direct connection between the high amount of blood sugar in the body and obesity. Instead of fulfilling your satiety with pasta, bread, potato wedges or even rice, one should look for a high-protein diet. As per some of the case studies, a high amount of protein is not as harmful to a healthy individual as the high amount of carbohydrates. It is these carbs only which raise the sugar level in your body, prompting for a release of insulin. Insulin is the hormone which metabolizes this excess sugar into stored form either as glycogen or fats in the body cells. Dr. Robert Atkins advocated starving the body of carbs, so it was forced to burn its fat stores to acquire energy, as per a process is known as ketosis.
Thus, the Atkins diet is usually recommended for weight loss. Following this diet plan, you will eat protein and fat based foods only and entirely avoid high-carb based foods. Let’s explore Atkins diet in detail here:
The Atkins diet has been divided into four different phases:
For the first two weeks, you are required to cut down your carbs not completely but gradually. You are required to eat below 20 grams of carbohydrates only during these days. You should eat high-protein foods like fish, pulses, etc. along with a small amount of green leafy vegetables. You are not supposed to eat fruits or artificial sugars during these days.
You are required to continue phase one eating along with adding some of the nuts. Here you need to lower your vegetable eating and starting to rely upon protein based foods to satisfy your hunger. It needs to be continued for the two weeks.
By now, it has been four weeks to stay away from carbs in your diet. Now, you are supposed to add some of the healthy carbs like sweet potato to your diet. Remember not to eat a plate full of carbohydrates now. You can eat 1-2 spoons of it only. You will notice a substantial decrease in your weight from this phase onwards, as your body might have burnt all the stored fats from it that has been deposited by earlier carbs eating. This phase will also continue for two weeks.
Here you are not being stopped from carbs eating. But as it is a maintenance phase, you need to maintain your healthy carbs eating. It has to be continued, and you cannot switch to your unhealthy eating habits. Thus, there is no duration decided for this phase. You need to maintain high protein, good fats, and healthy carbs based diet for a long time here onwards.
Once you have entered into the maintenance phase, your body will dislike the high carbs or unhealthy carbs based foods. The only condition here is you are honestly following the other phases by paying immense attention to the period and food to be eaten. If at all, you got confused about what should be eaten and what should be avoided as per Atkins diet plan, then you need to check this food list here:
Foods to be eaten as per Atkins diet
Protein sources: Seafood like salmon, sardines, and trout. Grams like the black and yellow gram. Black gram is considered to be healthiest for the weight loss.
Healthy Fats: Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts are all a good source of healthy fats for the body.
Meats and eggs: Include lean meat, lamb, pork, bacon, beef, etc. into your diet. Eggs which are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids are considered to be the best to eat.
Sources of low-carbs vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, kale, asparagus, zucchini, etc.
Dairy products: Don’t get attracted to low-fat dairy food items, just because you are looking to reduce weight. Eat cream, full fat milk or yogurt and butter. These fats are not harmful to the body when taken in a limited amount.
Cooking Oil: Avocado oil, coconut oil or the mostly used these days is extra virgin olive oil.
Foods to be avoided as per Atkins Diet
High sugary foods: fruit juices, canned foods, ice-creams, soft drinks, etc.
Whole grains: Barley, rice, wheat rye, etc.
Trans fats sources: Soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil etc.
Foods to be eaten during induction phase only
High-carbs fruits: Apples, oranges, pears, grapes, bananas
High-carbs Vegetables: Turnips, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.
Grams and Legumes: Beans, lentils, peas
Drink to be followed as per Atkins diet
Water: Not a single drink could be as healthier as water.
Coffee: 1 – 2 cups of coffee a day would be much beneficial to you.
Green Tea: As a well-known fact it is one of the healthiest beverage of this time. Do not add sugar to your green tea.
Wine: A little amount of alcohol is acceptable as per Atkins diet. You can stick to dry wines and low-carb alcohol like beer.
NOTE: You can prepare your weekly eating schedule like day-wise food items to be eaten for breakfast, lunch or the dinner. This might ease out your task, and you will not rush to get inclined towards your old eating habits.
If you have a habit of eating out often….?
It might be the case that you are traveling too much as per your profession, or you love to eat out with friends. You are not supposed to be worried about following this diet plan. As it is very flexible and accessible to each. Moreover to say, you can still follow Atkins diet while dining at your favorite restaurant. Here are some of the tips for the same:
- Order a main course dish rich in healthy fats like fish or meat in case you are a non-vegan or an egg curry in case you are a vegan.
- Order for a large bowl of fresh salad.
- Request for butter or olive oil based food servings while placing the order.
Quick facts about Atkins diet:
- It is a very healthy and efficient plan to aim for losing weight.
- One can lose approximately 15 pounds or more by following Atkins diet. Beginning with 5- 7 pounds of weight loss in the first phase, you continue to lose weight during 2ndand 3rd phases.
- Most people can lose weight on a short term basis, by any of the diet plans. But following Atkins diet, you could maintain your reduced weight state.
- Moreover to say, it is restricting your food choices by permanently eliminating some of the food items. You need to stick to such diet plan for at least two to three years to remain fit.
- As per a research work, Atkins diet might improve or prevent disease conditions like diabetes, hypertension and heart problems. It is majorly governed by an individual’s genetic make-up, whether he/she will be benefited or not.
- Some health experts are of the opinion that eating a good amount of proteins and fats from animal sources as per Atkins diet might lead to the risk of heart diseases.
- Atkins diet leads to drastic removal of carbs from a person’s diet. Thus, there could be seen some of the health risks like weakness, dizziness, fatigue, headache, etc. over a certain period.
Misconceptions about Atkins diet
Numerous individuals trust that the Atkins Diet advances eating boundless measures of greasy meats and cheeses. The fact is the Atkins Diet does not force caloric confinement or clear breaking points on proteins. Furthermore, the Atkins Diet isn’t proper for everybody. For instance, the Atkins Diet prescribes that you counsel your specialist before beginning the eating routine on the off chance that you take diuretics, insulin or oral diabetes meds.
It is also suggested that individuals with severe kidney illness ought not to take after the eating regimen, and the weight reduction periods of the eating routine aren’t suitable for ladies who are pregnant or a breast cancer patient.
The Atkins diet is a well-accepted and well-promoted diet plan for the individuals looking to stay healthy and fit. It is possible to get in shape by sticking to this diet plan. A proper balance between your carb reduction and protein intake will help in achieving dream weight. One needs to stay alert and get a check-up from the family physician, in the case of any health risks. If a little restriction could reward you with the life-long healthy state, then it is worth taking this risk. Instead of being carried away by rumors one needs to stay positive and a believer of hard-work-ship. All the goals become achievable after that. As per a famous saying: “Being fit is not about better than someone else, it’s about being better than what you used to be.”