The Atkins Diet is perhaps one of the most popular diets that have survived over the years. The Atkins Diet is named after the late Dr. Robert Atkins, who started the Atkins diet in 1972. The Atkins diet is also recognized as the “low-carb” diet, as it promotes eating a high level of proteins, along with a low level of carbohydrates.
There are many people out there who have hailed the Atkins diet as the ultimate diet for those who want to shed extra pounds. If you want to know more about the Atkins diet, you definitely have to read these amazing and interesting facts:
1. The first part of the Atkins Diet is called the “induction phase”
During the first days of your Atkins diet, you will undergo what is known as the “induction” phase. This is the most important part of your Atkins diet to follow, because it will basically lay the groundwork for the rest of your diet. A lot of people who follow the Atkins diet claim that this is the hardest part of the diet, and it would make sense considering that this is where you would make the most radical shift for your diet.
During this phase, your daily diet would be limited to:
• 20 grams of carbohydrates (at most);
• Protein and fat from meat, fish, eggs, and butter;
• No legumes or nuts;
• No pasta, bread, or grains;
• No caffeine; and
• No alcohol
During this phase of your diet, it can be very easy to cheat. Make sure that you write down your food consumption per day so that you are able to keep track of your calorie intake.
It is also during this time that your metabolism would adjust to your new diet, which leads to… (see number 2)
2. The Atkins Diet constantly leads to the munchies
Since you will be removing the bulk of your carbohydrate consumption, it is actually very common during this phase that you will get the “munchies” on a regular basis. You will feel hungry very often, and it will be quite easy to cheat on your diet.
However, cheating on your diet at this point will definitely ruin any progress you may have started. If you are feeling hungry and you need a quick snack, the best way to curb your hunger is to drink water (skip the sugar drinks, coffee, and tea), and eat crunchy snacks such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Carrot sticks, celery, and apple slices are some of the best bet.
In order for you to stop the urge of craving for something that’s not meant for this diet, always keep in mind that why you are doing this in the first place. You need to be firm with your goals.
3. The next part is the “ongoing weight loss” phase
Once you have a more stable metabolism (and you’ve conquered the “munchies” phase), the next part of your Atkins diet is the “ongoing weight loss” phase. During this phase, you will slowly add more aspects to your diet. You can start including nuts, legumes, and berries, although you have to make sure you are introducing it back to your diet in a controlled manner, not rapidly since it might destroy the progression of your diet.
It is also during this phase that you can start re-introducing whole grains to your diet. The one mistake that most people who are unsuccessful with this diet is that they completely eliminate carbohydrates from their diet. This is the most common misconception that many people have towards the Atkins diet: it is commonly understood as a NO-CARB DIET. Carbohydrates are very essential because it provides the body with energy. You can start eating small amounts of whole grain breads and pasta, as well as brown rice. Remember, the Atkins diet is a LOW-CARB diet; not a NO-CARB diet.
4. There will be physiological side effects
When you start the Atkins diet, before long, you’ll probably start to notice that there is kind of a funky smell coming off of you. No matter how many times you take a shower, or put deodorant on, it will seem like the weird smell won’t just go away.
Don’t worry as this is completely normal at this stage. Your body is simply going through a process called ketosis. Ketosis occurs because the body’s metabolic process is being disrupted; instead of breaking down the usual sugars (from carbohydrates) to make energy, it has to get energy from the ketones in the blood.
During the physiological process of breaking down these ketones, the processes releases an organic compound called acetoacetic acid, which is responsible for making a person’s breath smell like acetone. Aside from this, people who undergo the Atkins diet may experience headaches and irritability during this phase as side effects.
5. You will NOT be getting rid of essential food groups
One of the most common arguments against the Atkins diet is that the diet restrictions include getting rid of essential food groups. Growing up, you were always exposed to the idea of carbohydrates as part of the essential food group. Carbohydrates, being among the most important nutrients in the human body, were even on the bottom part of the pyramid, which suggests that you needed to consume more of these in order to become “healthier”.
However, if you trace back human evolution, you will find that carbohydrates were not introduced into the human diet until a few thousand years ago. Until then, human beings lived on a high-protein diet that consisted largely of lean meat, berries, nuts, and seeds. But having no source of carbohydrates was not even a problem to them, because in the first place they have no knowledge about it yet.
The Atkins diet is merely a way to recall that kind of diet: one that humans have evolved the kind of digestive system for.
6. The Atkins Diet is NOT full of FAT
Some people hear the word “meat” in connection to the Atkins diet, and they immediately think that the diet is full of fatty meat and eggs. This is NOT the case. The Atkins diet focuses largely on good fats, and tries to avoid bad fats as much as possible while giving more importance on the lean part of meats at the same time.
The meat that you will consume when you are on the Atkins diet is largely lean meats and fish. These are full of HDL (high density lipids), which helps lower your body’s cholesterol levels. However, good fats such as those found in nuts, seeds, fish and egg are highly recommended because they are actually essential for the body.
You would also need to avoid foods that are high in trans fat, saturated fats, and LDL (low density lipids) which is the “bad” fat. These are the fats found in packaged snacks, baked pastries, fried food, cakes, and high fat cuts of meat.. You will lose weight quickly on the Atkins Diet
7. You will lose weight quickly on the Atkins Diet
It is common for people to suddenly shed off a lot of weight during their first few weeks into the Atkins diet. This actually caused a lot of people to herald the Atkins diet as a “miracle” weight-loss diet.
However, what most people don’t know is that following the Atkins diet makes you lose weight because you are actually removing the excess water from your body. The liver, muscles, and kidneys hold high amounts of water which significantly adds to your weigh. During your course in the Atkins diet, your glycogen levels go down. Glycogen is basically the storage form of glucose in humans and animals as well. Once the glycogen levels drop, it will result to the release of stored water from the said organs.
Once you drop your water weight, this is when your body will start burning its stored fat to get energy. This is when you will truly lose weight.
8. The Atkins Diet is actually good for your heart
Just like any other structured diet, the Atkins diet can promote good heart health and improve your overall physiological outlook when followed correctly and strictly. One study conducted at Ball State University showed that, on average, following the Atkins diet can reduce your triglyceride levels by an average of 55%.
This drastically reduces the chance of getting heart disease, as well as other health problems connected to cholesterol levels in the body. People who consume high amounts of cholesterol are most susceptible to heart attack and stroke. The main reason is that the presence of cholesterol in the blood can cause the build-up of plaques in the walls of the arteries. This would then result to heart attack.
Aside from a lowered level of triglycerides, the tests also showed that those who have a high-carbohydrate diet increases blood triglyceride levels, lowers HDL levels in the body, and increases blood sugar levels.9. You won’t get gonstipated
9. You won’t get constipated
Another favorite argument against the Atkins diet is that it can cause constipation. Since you will be getting rid of a lot of carbohydrates, you will also be getting rid of fiber-rich foods. If you don’t have fiber in your diet, this could lead to constipation in the long run.
Keep in mind, however, the carbohydrates are not the only available source of fiber.
The Atkins diet actually promotes the consumption of dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, eggplant, and spinach, which are all fiber-rich vegetables.
You can also include berries and nuts once your induction phase is over. If you are having problems with your bowel movement, you can take supplements such as flax meal or wheat bran as a quick fix. However, once you have gotten into the rhythm of the Atkins diet, this will no longer be necessary since you will be eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. Your body will then get used to it.
10. The Atkins Diet can be considered a long-term diet plan
Some people have trouble coping with the Atkins diet simply because they grew up being used to a diet that is full of simple sugars and carbohydrates. Removing these from your diet is very difficult, but necessary if you are determined to be successful with your Atkins diet journey. It is just a matter of discipline and determination. While on this course, always put in mind exactly why you are in it, of course, to get that fit body you are long been dreaming of.
The true Atkins diet program promotes a controlled change in diet, and during the four phases, you will be allowed to have ample amount of time to adjust to the diet changes. Eventually, you will be able to find the right amount of carbohydrates and protein for you to maintain your optimum health and weight levels. Atkins diet basically “teaches” the body to consume carbohydrates without going over the recommended intake that the body actually needs.
The Atkins Diet is one of the diets that are probably the most difficult to follow, but if you have perseverance, the sacrifice wouldn’t even matter. When followed strictly and consistently, this diet can do wonders to your body. This might even the only weight loss diet that you have been looking for all this time!