An overview of Atkins Diet Plan:
The Atkins weight loss diet plan was introduced by Robert Atkins, who wrote his first book “Dr. Atkins Diet revolution” in 1972. He was himself a victim of overweight and studied to get rid of it. Finding the results from this weight loss diet program, he used his studies in this book and came up with this a successful weight loss program.
Atkins diet is basically a low-carbohydrate diet, suggested to achieve weight loss goals. The idea that this diet plan holds is that you can lose weight while taking proteins and fats as long as you avoid consuming food high in carbs. The book holds the view that low carb diets are helpful in reducing weight and maintain the weight that you desire.
Theory of the Atkins Diet:
Now think if you can lose weight while cutting on breads, sweets and potatoes and still eating butter, mayonnaise and other dairy products?
That’s the actual idea behind Atkins diet.
The basic theory is that when you literally cut back on carbs, your body start using the fat stores for fuel and thus burn the fats leading to weight loss.
The chief reason for choosing the low-carb diet to lose weight is that when you take more proteins and reduce carbohydrate intake, you end up taking fewer calories and your appetite also goes down which helps a lot in reducing weight.
Now, if we talk about the diet plan in detail there are mainly four phases of this weight loss program.
- Phase 1: This phase is also called the induction stage. During this phase, you are allowed to take 20 grams of carbs per day for 2 weeks. You can have high-protein, high-fat, with low carb vegetables, which boosts up your metabolism level and let you lose weight.
- Phase 2: This is a balancing stage. You can gradually add nuts, small servings of fruits and low-carb vegetables back in your diet plan.
- Phase 3: While you have started coming closer to your weight loss goals, you are supposed to increase the intake in order to slow it down.
- Phase 4: Once, you have achieved the desired goal, there comes the fourth stage when you have to focus on maintaining what you have achieved. At this stage you can eat as many healthy carbs your body allows without any fear of regaining.
No doubt, these phases are a bit complicated, but understanding them and following them will get you the results for sure. Additionally, the Atkins diet plan offers a perfect meal plan to stick to and lose weight in a healthy way.
- Ignoring the induction period, you can also skip to the second stage of this weight loss diet program, which means you can add plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet right from the beginning. All you need to judge is your goal and stick to it completely. This approach proves to be effective.
- If you prefer to stay in to stay in the induction period only, that’s also not a bad idea. That can also help you lose weight efficiently, keeping your low carb intake infinitely low.
Since, this diet program allows you to take carbs and consequently lose weight. There are many other foods that it does not allow you to take while you are following this weight loss diet plan. Here is the list of such foods:
You should avoid these foods while you are on the Atkins diet:
No more than 20gms. of carbohydrates in a day and that too certainly from fresh vegetables.
Trans fats: Almost all the processed foods contain trans fats. Simply check out the ingredients in the ingredient list, you may find it with the name “hydrogenated”.
- High- carb vegetables: turnips, carrots, etc.
- High- carb fruits: pears, grapes, bananas, oranges, apples, etc.
- Starches: Sweet potato, carrots, potatoes, etc.
- Vegetable oils: canola oil, soya bean or corn seed oil.
- Grains: Wheat, rice, barley, spelt, pasta, etc.
- Legumes: chickpeas, beans, lentils, etc.
- Sugar: Cakes, sodas, ice creams, soft drinks, etc.
- Caffeine: Tea, coffee, etc.
- Eggs: You can have white eggs or pastured eggs, rich in omega-3.
- Meats: Pork, chicken, lamb, beef, etc.
Dairy products: Butter, cheese, yoghurt, cream, etc.
Low-carb vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, asparagus, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
Along with the foods, Atkins diet also shortlist certain drinks to consume while you are following this weight loss diet program.
Water: Drink as much water as you can. It will help remove excessive waste from your body.
Alcohol: The diet plan allows you to take dry drinks or the drinks without any sugar or preservatives.
Coffee: Whatever, be the arguments against coffee, Atkins diet suggest to take a cup of coffee as there are some important antioxidants present in it.
Food list for the Vegetarians:
I am sure that the vegetarians must be wandering for the food options for them after reading the above mentioned food list. No need to ponder, dear vegans! The Atkins Diet is for you as well, pay a glance on the food options for vegetarians:
- Use soy-based foods
- Eat nuts and seeds
- Olive oil and coconut oil can serve to be the best ingredients as they are excellent plant based source of fat
- For lacto-ovo-vegetarians eggs, cheese, butter and heavy creams are also good options
Flexibility of the Atkins Diet:
The best thing about Atkins weight loss diet plan is that it does not limit you to particular foods. Though it is a little bit restrictive during the induction period, it allows you to take enough carbs at a later stage.
Since you are allowed to include the grains and the carbs back in your diet, you really need to keep a check on the amount you intake. If you will start taking it back as you did earlier, you are likely to regain which holds true for every diet plan. Hence, you need to maintain taking your meals for a life in order to sustain the achieved weight goal.
A Sample Atkins Menu for One Week
To make it simpler for you here is a weekly Atkins menu for you. Pay a look!
The plan will work well during the induction phase and you are required to add more carbs once you are done with that stage.
- Breakfast: Vegetables and Eggs, cooked in coconut oil.
- Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil and nuts.
- Dinner: Low-carb veggies.
- Breakfast: Bacon and eggs.
- Lunch: Shrimp salad with some olive oil.
- Dinner: Cheeseburger excluding the bun, with vegetables and butter.
- Breakfast: Omelet loaded with veggies, cooked in butter.
- Lunch: chicken with olive oil and nuts
- Dinner: Ground beef served with veggies.
- Breakfast: Eggs and veggies, fried in coconut oil.
- Lunch: Leftover stir fried food.
- Dinner: Salmon with butter and vegetables.
- Breakfast: Bacon and eggs.
- Lunch: Chicken salad with olive oil nuts.
- Dinner: Vegetables and meat.
- Breakfast: Omelet with various vegetables cooked in butter.
- Lunch: Leftover meatballs from the night before.
- Dinner: Pork chops with vegetables.
- Breakfast: Eggs and Bacon
- Lunch: Pork chops
- Dinner: Grilled chicken with some veggies.
Include as many vegetables as you can in your diet plan.
Does it Work?
The Atkins diet is by now one of the best low carb diets and the research shows that it works well if you stick to it properly. The diet allows you to lose weight taking in carbohydrates and also maintain it properly.
In fact, there shall be very less chance of doubting the effects of this diet plan because it allows you to take a perfect amount of carbs once you are done with the induction stage. As a result you do not run of any deficiency in your body and taking the low-carbs in particular amount help you stay firm on the maintained weight.
Since the Atkins diet plan focuses on having more protein and fewer carbohydrates, you are definitely going to take fewer calories. Moreover, limited food options also keep you away from taking calories, which may be the biggest contributing factors in making you lose weight.
In case you are not able to control the serving portions love or having a variety of food, then this diet plan is not for you. You may get overwhelmed while following it and end up with frustration.
Another health benefits:
Atkins diet not only comes with the advantage of losing weight, but at the same time it benefits your health from different prospective. To elaborate: It decreases diabetes or cancer fear. Most importantly, the people following the Atkins hardly have any risk of facing cardiovascular problems in future.
With advantages definitely come the disadvantages. If Atkins diet help get out of various health problems, there are also some risks of following it. Cutting out carbs severely from your diet may result in following side effects to your health.
Additionally, if you continue following the induction stage, it may lead to some deficiencies in your body, leading to a big list of health issues.
However, the diet has made a large number of people achieve their respective health goals, but still it is recommended to consult your physician before following it.