Robert Atkins’ Diet or Atkins Nutritional Approach was created in 1972 after years of hard work and different studies in the area of healthy eating. What makes it different? Experts claim that it guarantees a long life and it also works for your soul.
Although Robert Atkins is a doctor, he is a defender of the alternative medicine. He wanted to create not only a healthy diet, but also a healthy way of life. “Lifestyle” defines this way of life as a composition of adjustments, habits, or subjects and situations connected with a particular group of people.
The lifestyle Dr Atkins offers is based on the word “balance”. Balance in everything you do. So the diet stakes on balanced eating. It is created to help you gain higher levels of energy, therefore you look physically better and this would create a feeling of a great prosperity. This is not a 10-day diet. It brings order, clarity and harmony in your life and in your relations with the world around you; a new model of behavior that you will respect all your life.
The Atkins Diet consists of four stages:
1. First phase – Induction. At this phase you limit the consumption of carbons to 20g per day, as you eat mainly salads and other vegetables with low levels of starch. Here is an example of a menu:
Breakfast: An omelette with avocado and tomatoes, a non-caffeine coffee with cream.
Lunch: A salad and roasted chicken meat at your choice.
Dinner: A salmon and spinach chateau with garlic.
2. Second phase – You increase the carbons to 25g during the first week, 30g during the second week and so on until you notice that you stopped losing weight. Then you continue removing 5g daily and when you notice that you start losing weight again, you keep to these grams daily in your menu.
3. Third phase – At this phase the loss of weight transforms to keeping up this weight. This happens when the weekly increase goes to 10g until you notice that the loss of weight remains steady.
4. Fourth phase – Now you can have more foods as long as you control the intake of carbons and keep to the grams that guarantee the optimal weight for you.
Your body needs energy to work normally. The carbohydrates and fats provide the fuel for the production of this energy. At first, body turns into energy the carbons. Every carbon overstock is saved in the body as a fat. When you reduce the carbons to a specific level, your body burns mainly the fats. At this period you can lose weight or save your optimal weight.
Not all of the carbons have a metabolic impact on the body. Dr Atkins has created the “Net Atkins Index” that shows which carbons influence on the levels of blood sugar. The carbons you should rely on are those you have during the diet. When one gains a perfect body, they will find out individually which is their personal index for carbon balance. And this would be approximately their “Net Atkins Index”. If one feeds according to this index, they stop feeling hungry and they can eat without losing or gaining weight.
Main Effects of the Atkins Diet
The effects of the Atkins diet remain a subject of much debate. Some studies conclude that the Atkins diet helps prevent cardiovascular disease, lowers the low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and increases the amount of HDL, or so-called “good” cholesterol. Some studies suggest that the diet could contribute to osteoporosis and kidney stones. A University of Maryland study, in which test subjects were given calorie increases whenever their weight started to drop, showed higher LDL cholesterol and markers for inflammation.
Low-carbohydrate diets have been the subject of heated debate in medical circles for three decades. They are still controversial and only recently has any serious research supported some aspects of Atkins’ claims, especially for short-term weight-loss. In a comparison study by Dansinger and colleagues (2005), the goal was to compare popular diets like Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone for the amount of weight lost and a heart disease risk reduction. The weight, waist size, blood pressure, and a blood sample were taken, at the beginning, after 2 months, 6 months and 12 months. All four diets resulted in weight loss with no significant difference between the diets.
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