The Atkins diet is one of the most popular low-carbohydrate diets out there. Dr. Robert Atkins developed it in the 1970s to help his patients lose weight. The diet revolves around eating foods high in protein and fat and low in carbs.
This causes your body to burn fat for energy, leading to weight loss. If you're considering trying the Atkins diet, you should know a few things first. This blog post will cover everything you need to know about the diet, from how it works to what you can eat.
What is Atkins Diet?
The Atkins diet, also known as the Atkins nutritional approach, is a commercial weight-loss program devised by Robert Atkins. The Atkins diet is classified as a low-carbohydrate fad diet. There is only weak evidence for its effectiveness as a long-term weight-loss strategy
The core principle of the Atkins diet is that by severely restricting carbohydrates, the body will go into a state of ketosis, in which it burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This process supposedly leads to rapid and significant weight loss.
Atkins recommends that people who lose weight consume no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates daily. This carb restriction is challenging to maintain over the long term, and most people who try the Atkins diet eventually give up and regain the lost weight (and often more).
Some potential health risks are associated with following the Atkins diet, especially if it is not done correctly. These risks include kidney problems, heart disease, osteoporosis, and gastrointestinal issues.
The Different Types of Carbohydrates
There are three main types of carbohydrates: sugars, starches, and fiber.
Sugars are the simplest carbohydrate in foods like fruit, honey, and table sugar. Starches are complex carbohydrates found in starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn. Fiber is a carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the body and is located in foods like beans, whole grains, and bran.
The Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate diet that restricts the intake of sugars and starches. The diet allows for high-fat foods like meats, cheeses, and oils. The diet has four phases: induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance, and lifetime maintenance.
Foods to Eat and Avoid on the Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet is a low-carb diet that emphasizes protein and fat. Carbs are limited to less than 50 grams daily, with most carbs coming from vegetables.
There are four phases to the Atkins Diet: induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance, and maintenance. During installation, the first two weeks of the diet, you eat mostly protein and fat with very few carbs. This helps your body burn fat for energy and kick-starts your weight loss.
You gradually add more carbs to your diet during ongoing weight loss until you reach your goal weight. Pre-maintenance is when you start adding even more carbs back to help prevent any weight regain. Maintenance is when you're at your goal weight and eating whatever mix of carbs, proteins, and fats works for you.
Here are some general guidelines for what to eat and avoid on the Atkins Diet:
Foods to Eat:
- Protein: meat, poultry, fish, eggs
- Fat: butter, olive oil, avocado
- Vegetables: leafy greens, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, mushrooms
- Nuts and seeds
- Dairy: full-fat milk, cheese, yogurt
Recipes for the Atkins Diet
We've covered you if you're looking for recipes to help you stick to your Atkins diet. Check out some of our favorites below.
- Roasted chicken with vegetables: This classic dish is perfect for anyone following the Atkins diet. Roast a chicken breast with vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and onions.
- Steak with roasted vegetables: Another excellent option for dinner is steak with roasted vegetables. Season your steak with salt and pepper, then cook it to your liking. Serve it with roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms for a complete meal.
- Salmon with rice and vegetables: Salmon is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, making it ideal for the Atkins diet. Cook salmon fillets in a lightly oiled pan, then serve over cooked rice and steamed veggies like broccoli or green beans.
- Eggs Florentine: This delicious and nutritious breakfast dish starts your day. Peach eggs on top of sautéed spinach and diced ham, then top with cheese or hollandaise sauce. Serve with a side of fruit or low-carbohydrate toast.
Atkins is a low-carb diet that can be very effective for weight loss. However, it is only for some, and some may find it challenging to stick to it. If you are considering trying Atkins, speak with your doctor to see if it is correct.