Experts and consumers have been debating the efficacy of Atkins’ low carb diet for years. What’s the truth about this nutritional system: is it healthy? Will you be constantly hungry? Here is an overview of the diet plus some information on Atkins products.
High Carb Yo-Yo Dieting
Dr. Atkins was a cardiologist who saw a correlation between carbohydrates and weight gain. Those who only reduced their caloric intake were less successful than individuals who reduced carbs and sugar.
He explained that there are two fuels the human body will convert into energy: sugar and fat. The one your body primarily uses determines your weight loss success. Every body is different; yo-yo dieting, however, isn’t good for anyone. Besides, those who diet in this way aren’t succeeding so there must be another, better answer.
Recipes for the Atkins Diet
Does a person on the Atkins Diet have to starve her body? She’ll probably feel less hungry than her counterpart even on a calorie-reduced diet because her sugar levels aren’t swinging up and down. There are plenty of tasty dishes available on the low-carb plan including desserts. This way of eating is also ideal for someone who can’t eat gluten.
Smoothies, omelets, tasty salads, and snacks are all on the menu; even waffles depending on the phase you are in.
Atkins Diet Phases
During phase one you only eat nuts and seeds plus a selection of vegetables and proteins. Your daily intake of carb is up to 25g. In phase two, you can double your carbohydrate intake by adding tomato juice, legumes, and dairy. In phase 3, there’s the addition of fruits and starchy vegetables plus whole grains and up to 80g of carbohydrates. Bring your total carbs up to 4x the original number in phase 1 once you reach phase 4: everything is back on the menu. This isn’t about caloric intake but the types of foods that fuel your body.
The Atkins 20 plan gets you started on 20g of carbs. An Atkins 40 Diet doubles that to 40g. Which diet is right for you? Both are high-protein, low carbohydrate choices. With the Atkins 40, however, you start to add more carbs only when you are 10 lbs away from your goal wait. At this point, add 10g each week until you’ve succeeded in losing the weight you have always wanted to shed.
Use the comparison tool on their website to take a closer look. Participants in both programs consume 3 servings of protein daily: up to 6oz at a time. Carbohydrates come from the same sources: mostly green leafy vegetables but also some dairy foods.
Adding carbs starts earlier in the Atkins 20 plan but the addition is smaller: 5g per week. When you reach the maintenance stage, the 20 plan encourages a slow increase in carbs but both of them recommend the same protein consumption as in the early days plus additional healthy fats like olive oil and butter.
Suggestions for Success
Keep a food journal. In this booklet, you’ll keep track of carbs but also foods which make you feel like eating more or set off sugar cravings. Write down ideas for foods that fuel and energize you and recipes you’ve liked. Recommended proteins include roasted chicken, walnuts, avocado, and eggs: there’s plenty of choice. Even cheese is fine because it’s high in protein but low in carbohydrates.
Choose meal replacements with Atkins carb points already printed on them and your daily diet plan will come more easily. There are energy bars, smoothies, and chocolate goodies like peanut butter cups containing 3g of carbohydrates, 2g of protein, and zero sugar. Choose one of their shakes and refuel with 15g of protein plus 1g of sugar and only 150 calories at a time.
Where is the sweetener coming from in your Atkins foods? The granola bars and shakes contain sucralose, a modified version of sugar. This is a replacement the body does not easily process, so consider making your own snacks.