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Different diets explained: Atkins

Welcome! Different diets explained is going to be a new blog post series on the site. We´re going to look at the ins and outs of the most popular diets of the moment.

So if you want to check out more diets, you can click here.  We will be covering very different styles of diets from Atkins to paleo! We´re going to kick off this series with the Atkins diet.

General idea

So what is the general idea with the Atkins diet? This diet is aimed to reduce your intake of carbohydrates.

Because of the low intake of carbs, the body’s metabolism will start burning stored body fat. Normally your body’s metabolism burns glucose as fuel. 

The Atkins diet is made up of four different phases.

If you want to follow this diet as a vegetarian or vegan this is completely possible, it doesn’t require you to eat any specific foods.

The diet restricts net carbs, these are the carbohydrates that have an effect on your body’s blood sugar.

So they are your total carb intake minus the amount of fiber and sugar alcohols you take in.

The Atkins diet prefers foods that are whole and unprocessed with a low glycemic index.



The different phases

You start off with phase 1, this is the induction. For 2 weeks straight you will eat 20 grams of carbs or less per day.

The rest of your diet you fill up with high protein, high fat and low carb vegetables. Phase one will kick start your weight loss.

Phase 2 is called balancing. You will be slowly adding more foods to your diet.

These foods include nuts, fruits, and more low-carb vegetables.

Phase 3 is the fine-tuning of your diet. This phase starts when you are really close to your weight goal.

Phase 3 is adding more carbohydrates to your diet until the weight loss will slow down.

Phase 4 is the maintenance of your weight.

Here you can eat the number of carbs that you want, as long as your body isn’t regaining the weight.

History

The Atkins diet is designed by Robert Atkins. It is inspired by a research called Weight Reduction by Alfred W. Pennington. The diet is classified as a fad diet, this means that there is no solid backing by science.

There is some evidence of its effectiveness but this is very weak. In 1972 the diet gained popularity when Robert C. Atkins published his first book, Atkins’ Diet Revolution Bantam.

The diet promises you to lose weight in a healthy way, that you won’t be hungry and a sustainable lifestyle. The website of Atkins says that it shouldn’t be seen as a diet but a lifestyle since it is sustainable for the long term.

Controversy 

The Atkins diet can be very expensive. An analysis conducted by Forbes magazine found that it is approximately 80% higher than the American national average.

This makes the diet more expensive than the Weight Watchers diet, the zone diet or the South Beach diet. The Atkins diet ranks number 3 of the most expensive on this list.

There has been a comparison study done by Dansinger and his colleagues. Here they compared a group of subjects that were all overweight and had an increased risk of cardiac diseases.

There were four subjects each given there own diet, the Atkins diet, Ornish, Weight Watchers and Zone. All four diets resulted in modest weight loss and improved several cardiac risk factors. But there were no significant differences between the diets.



Summary

The Atkins diet makes you lose weight by restricting your carbohydrate intake, which will get you into a caloric deficit. The diet may not be for everyone since it is significantly higher priced than your average diet.

But it is still a safe, healthy and effective way to lose weight. Since it is so popular there are many tips and recipes out there to get you started.

Don’t forget to let me know what you think by leaving a comment and share!