Atkins diet, also known as the Atkins Nutritional Approach, is a low-carbohydrate diet formulated by Dr. Robert Atkins. Dr. Atkins stated that he made this diet to resolve his own overweight condition. The diet is efficient for many patients, but there is also a lot of controversy regarding this eating plan. For example, the diet includes recipes with some high cost ingredients such as lobster tails. Another bad point about this diet is that it possibly increases one’s risk of heart disease, as many other high-protein and low-carbohydrate diets. Some of the members of scientific community even claim that the weight loss during the Atkins diet results from increased water loss, and not from the reduction of stored fats.
How Atkins diet actually works?
Atkins diet is focused on improving the rate at which the body converts the food into the energy or into the body’s building blocks. Reducing the intake of carbohydrates from food and eating mostly vegetables rich in fiber, will make the body burn fats faster and force it to use stored fats as the primary source of energy, instead of using carbohydrates.
Eating too much carbs can also contribute to frequent fluctuations in blood sugar levels. These fluctuations are usually responsible for severe food cravings and feeling of hunger. When a dieter reduces the intake of carbohydrates, it becomes possible to get an exit pass of the blood sugar roller coaster. This happens because digested carbs actually convert into sugar.
Eating dishes composed mainly of protein, fat and fiber makes the body produce less insulin and hold the blood sugar levels steady. A person will therefore, be less hungry at meals and free from food cravings. The body will continue using back-up energy source, from the fat deposits, and a dieter will lose weight at a stable and welcome rate.
The Atkins food pyramid
Atkins diet uses a specially formulated food pyramid that contains five different layers. At the base of the pyramid are proteins sources such as poultry, fish, beef, pork, and soy products. The second stage is composed of low-carb vegetables such as green salad, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and spinach. To lose weight, a person is advised to eat foods from the base of the pyramid: lean protein, leafy greens, vegetables and healthy oils.
As the person loses the weight and approaches the goal, he or she can advance to higher layers of the pyramid: fiber rich fruits, diary, nuts, legumes and whole greens. The third stage is composed of fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, pears and avocados. At the fourth stages are vegetable and seed oils, cheese and dairy, nuts and legumes. Top of the pyramid is made of whole grain foods such as barley, oats and brown rice. No added sugars and trans fats are allowed.