Last Updated on September 30, 2021 by Smart Life Picks
The Atkins Diet is a low-carbohydrate diet that has been around for a while. While it is still very popular, a lot of people who are on the diet to lose a lot of weight very quickly. The common question about the diet is: “Does it really work?”
There are a few principles I need you to understand in order to put Atkins into action. Let’s start with a couple of definitions. First, a calorie is simply a unit of energy-precisely the amount of heat needed to raise I gram of water 1 degree Celsius at sea level.
Second, metabolism is the sum of the physical and chemical processes by which food is transformed into energy. Now let’s move on to some concepts and misconceptions.
It is true that gaining weight results from taking in more calories than you expend. But excess calories certainly cause you to pile on the pounds-and this is a gigantic “but”-only when you are eating a lot of carbohydrate along with fat.
So it’s time to abandon the assumption that the only way to lose weight is to strictly control your intake of calories. Many people think that only one thing matters: how many calories you take in and use up. It’s not that simple.
When you follow a controlled carbohydrate approach, you get what I call a “metabolic advantage. When you control carbohydrate consumption sufficiently, your body will switch from burning glucose derived from carbohydrate to burning primarily fat for energy.
This means you could eat, say, 2,000 calories and still begin losing pounds and inches.
In contrast, if you were consuming 2,000 calories on a low-fat diet, you might not lose weight, and you might actually gain weight.
The metabolic advantage is that burning fat takes more energy so you expend more calories. And if you eat fewer calories-as many Atkins people do because their appetite is usually diminished-you’ll likely lose weight even faster. So it’s not that calories don’t count, it’s just that you will burn more of them, with less hunger, when your body is operating on a fat-based metabolism.
Here are some reasons why doing Atkins Diet works:
(1) It mobilizes more fat for use as energy than any diet you have ever encountered. In a clinical setting and countless testimonials, Atkins has repeatedly been proven to take off more fat than other programs when an equal number of calories is consumed. This incredible advantage has been researched and validated.
(2) The controlled carbohydrate nutritional approach is not one of deprivation. Sheer hunger is the main reason for the failure of most weight loss efforts.
A lifetime eating plan needs to be palatable, pleasant and filling. You will have to abandon sugar and other refined carbohydrates such as white flour. But most people find that once they shake off the sugar addiction, they feel no strong desire to go back to it.
For them, a nutritional approach that allows them to eat a vast variety of meat and fish and salads and vegetables prepared in the most appetizing manner-i.e., with butter and cream and spices and herbs-is anything but austere. Eating Atkins-style is a food lover’s dream come true-luxurious, healthy and varied.
(3) Atkins is the easiest way to maintain weight loss. The trouble with losing weight on a low-calorie/low-fat diet or on a liquid-protein diet is that the maintenance program is so very different from the weight loss program. So when you go back to your former way of eating, the pounds return with astonishing speed because you are unprepared for maintenance.
There are sound physiological reasons for this.
When you restrict the number of calories you eat, your metabolism shifts into a survival mode, meaning it slows down to conserve energy. When you go back to a higher-calorie diet-as you inevitably must-your body is still in its mode of burning calories slowly. So it becomes extremely hard to continue or maintain weight loss.
Success at maintaining weight loss is the great plus while doing Atkins. What most people know about it is that you can usually lose a lot of weight rapidly. And you probably can. But the key point is that the weight doesn’t return. One of the reasons is that it doesn’t create a big difference in the number of calories you eat during the weight loss and weight maintenance phases.
The Atkins Nutritional Approach is actually a continuum of four phases that transition seamlessly from one to the next. Phase 1, known as Induction, crashes you through most weight loss barriers and will generally introduce even the most metabolically resistant person to weight reduction. Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), will carry you smoothly toward your goal. Phase 3, Pre-Maintenance, eases you toward adopting permanently a new, healthier way of eating that, with a modest degree of diligence on your part, will allow you to stay slim forever.
Phase 4, Lifetime Maintenance, is the game plan that will keep those banished pounds at bay for the rest of your days.
Let me state one crucial fact that you should always keep in mind: For people who comply with all four phases of Atkins, failure to maintain weight loss is very rare.
(4) Not only does Atkins not deprive you of the pleasure of eating, it energizes you and makes you feel just plain good. And those two things are definitely factors in keeping the weight off, because few people are willing to go back to feeling lousy once they’ve experienced the joys of feeling good.
As a matter of fact, for about half the patients I see, the most compelling reason they continue to do Atkins is that they feel noticeably worse if they stop the program.
Plus, when you are full of energy, you are more inclined to exercise, enhancing weight loss and replacing fat tissue with muscle, which will also help you cut inches from your measurements. People will see the change in you, enhancing your sense of accomplishment and self-respect.
(5) The plan is healthy. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that controlling carbohydrate intake results in improved blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, moderation of blood-sugar levels and reduction of blood pressure. All these indicators result in reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. And, incidentally, in my forty years of practice, I’ve yet to see a single study that has shown that a high-protein diet causes kidney problems.
In addition, Atkins can effectively and quickly make a positive impact on many of the most common annoyances that patients reveal in the privacy of their doctor’s office. In all my years of practice, I’ve heard and seen it all: fatigue, irritability, depression, trouble concentrating, headaches, insomnia, dizziness, joint and muscle aches, heartburn, colitis, premenstrual syndrome, water retention and bloating. For the lion’s share of patients, Atkins is a specific prescription against such ills.
(6) Atkins works because, as an increasing body of scientific evidence shows, it corrects the basic factor that controls obesity and influences risk factors for certain illnesses.
That factor is excessive levels of insulin. An essential hormone, insulin governs the basic mechanism by which the body lays on fat. When found in excessively high levels-we medical folk call that state hyperinsulinism-insulin vigorously promotes the development of diabetes, atherosclerosis and hypertension. More recently, it has also been linked to increased risk of breast cancer and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
And so the Atkins approach finds itself at the center of health planning for a long and vigorous life.
This diet does seem to make your stomach to shrink in some places. Some people claim that this happens because ketones build upon the walls of the stomach, but other people claim that the thinning stomach is due to the fact that fat cells are getting smaller in the stomach.
Ketones are actually released into the bloodstream when the body uses fats for energy. These ketones help you use glucose more efficiently, helping your body to be able to burn fat more efficiently.
However, if your metabolism slows down because your blood sugar levels are too high, the ketones stay in the blood and you don’t need to make them get out. I do think that this diet can help some people get on the right path toward losing weight. Of course, many people are disappointed with the lack of results they get and quit before they actually see any results.
You will need to be very careful when using this diet to lose weight. It is only a good choice for people who really want to lose weight. For some people, this diet will help them to avoid weight gain altogether, but not everyone who tries it can get on the right track.
While keto may seem like a good idea, you really need to watch the amount of carbs you eat. Carbohydrates are the most important thing to keep in mind when using this diet because they will make the carbs that you take in through food into ketones, which can help you burn more fat.
But remember that these carbs can make the carb cycling program of keto so important part of the diet. It may take you a while to get used to this kind of diet, but if you want to see results, you must be patient.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are certain carbs that are OK for you to eat. The list includes sweet potatoes, bran cereal, and dark chocolate.
There is one serious side effect of the Atkins Diet, and that is ketoacidosis.
People can experience ketoacidosis when the ketones in their blood get into their brain, causing seizures and confusion.
Although the side effects of keto are more serious than they were in the past, the ketones are still metabolized by the liver. This makes them harmless if not consumed over a long period of time.