Our body can make use of two different types of fuel for energy: carbohydrates and fat. That is why most diet programs would only be modifying the intake of carbohydrates, fats, or both. There are a lot of diet programs already published, and there will be plenty more to come. However, Atkins diet is one which stood the test of time and still has positive results.
In a low-carb diet like Atkins, you control your intake of carbohydrates, such as sugary food, pasta, and bread. The diet focuses on eating food that is high in protein, fat, and healthy vegetables. But, mind you, carbohydrates are comprised of starches, sugar, and dietary fiber; so eating high-carb vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, turnips, corns, and peas, should be regulated.
In Atkins diet, you limit your carbohydrate intake to a bare minimum so the body burns fat, instead of sugar, for fuel. What happens is when carbohydrate intake is dropped to a very low level, the body goes into ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process that happens when the body doesn’t have enough glucose for energy, and stored fats are broken down for energy instead. Once you are able to maintain your fat fueling, you will have less hunger and cravings. That means you lose weight while feeling full.
So what can you eat on the Atkins diet? Your non-carb diet menu will be mostly proteins and fats like meat, poultry, eggs, butter, cheese, and vegetables. Stay away from carbs that are starchy and full of sugar, like grains, bread, pasta, junk food, candy, cake, pastry, and soft drinks. As you progress with the program, you are to add other foods, like legumes, fruits, whole grains, and carb-rich vegetables.
There are four Atkins phases that need to be followed religiously to achieve the perfect body weight.
Atkins diet phase 1. This is the time where you would need to achieve ketosis to make your body burn fat instead of carbs. You will only eat protein, fat, and twenty grams of carbs from vegetables for two straight weeks.
Atkins diet phase 2. You are now adding different kinds of food to your diet, increasing your healthy carb intake. Include nuts and a few fruits to slowly balance your carb intake.
Atkins diet phase 3. At this phase, you are very close to your desired weight. What you do is eat more carbs until your weight loss slows down. You may introduce whole grains and legumes back to your diet. Just make sure to monitor your weight loss to make sure you won’t go past your desired weight.
Atkins diet phase 4. What you will be eating in this phase is what you will eat for the rest of your life. This ensures that you won’t be gaining all those fat that you lost. On a positive note, you can eat as many healthy carbs without regaining weight. Just remember that the allowable carb intake is not the same for everyone. You go through the four phases to know how much carbs your body can tolerate.
If you’re wondering if exercise is essential, the answer is that it is not required. Though exercise would help burn fat faster, it would also drain your energy levels faster; so it’s best to do regular exercise when you’re already at the last stage. In fact, Atkins diet foods are not recommended for athletes since they require huge amounts of energy, and this can only be covered with constant intake of carbohydrates.
The Atkins eating plan may have strict guidelines at its onset, but it is essential to regulate carbohydrates intake to a level that is suitable to a person’s body type and metabolism. Studies show that people on Atkins diet lose weight faster than on other diet programs. However, nearly half of dieters drop out of weight-loss programs before completing them, that’s why discipline always plays a huge role in maintaining a diet.