There exist many diet plans that promise delivering big time but are seldom able to do it. These diet plans are often laden with complex features that are not easy to follow for people who do not have much knowledge about the science of weight loss. For such people, the requirement is for a diet that is both simple to follow and that guarantees weight loss. One such diet is the Atkins diet. Amongst the vast list of ever growing number of diet plans, this particular diet has garnered particular attention. In fact, it is one of the most popular diets today, and its popularity is growing worldwide.
Background of the Diet
The Atkins Diet is a low carbohydrate diet that promises weight loss and hunger management. The diet is based on the notion that humans today consume too many carbohydrates. As the body burns both carbs and fat, carbs are the first ones to be burnt. However, with a large amount of carbs taken in, it the body does is not able to burn fat the way it should. Therefore, the diet lays increased stress on fat burning by proposing a larger number of fats and protein to be had, with the amount of carbs to be reduced and this whole process is known as ketosis.
Ketosis is basically the body burning fat for fuel. A person in a state of ketosis gets energy from ketones. This also has the effect of making a person less hungry and eating a lot less. Going into more detail, imagine a person who eats a diet which is high in carbs. This intake of carbs leads to sugar entering into the bloodstream. To keep the blood sugar levels from rising and becoming too high then, the body produces insulin. Insulin allows the sugar to be stored in the liver; however, since the liver gets stored to full capacity quickly, the insulin then turns this sugar into fat. This leads to weight gain. Also, the consequence of producing too much insulin translates into the body being faced with diseases such as diabetes.
How the Diet works
In the Atkins Diet, a person is allowed to consume 40 grams of carbohydrates on average. The diet does not lay stress on physical exercise; however, for some people, exercise is required for ketosis to take effect. Also, there is stress on obtaining vitamins from supplements as there is no consumption of vegetables or fruits.
The Atkins Diet sets itself apart from other diets as it allows for a large variety of foods to be had. This is not possible when following other diet plans and is the reason why so many of them fail. However, while there are no limits set on the types of food taken in, there can be no consumption of refined sugar, milk, white flour or white rice. Foods such as meat, cheese and eggs can be consumed though. There are no restrictions on the type of meats that can be consumed either as red meat is allowed.
The diet lays great importance on restricting the intake of carbs (20 carbs) in the first few weeks. This is to jump start the whole weight loss process and there are no exceptions allowed. The carb intake is later increased through the consumption of high fiber foods.
Advantages of the Atkins Diet
1. Fast Weight Loss: If followed correctly, the diet rewards its followers with great amounts of weight loss, especially in the first few weeks. These results have a motivating effect and increase the tendency for the diet to be followed for a long run.
2. No Restriction on Protein or Fats: Unlike so many diet plans out there, the Atkins Diet does not restrict the amount of protein or fats.
3. Simple and Effective: The diet is very simple and all that is needed is the simple knowledge about low carb foods.
4. Health Benefits: The diet has a number of health benefits. It reduces the glucose levels in the body and therefore prevents diabetes. It is also known to be beneficial for the metabolism rate and can also help boost mental awareness. The diet also helps keep cholesterol levels in check.
Disadvantages of the Atkins Diet
1. Weight Might be Regained: As the diet does not lay stress on exercise, there might be the possibility of weight being regained after a while.
2. Not Very Nutritious: The diet does not allow the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and the essential nutrients. This can lead to the deficiency of these.
3. Need to Count Carbohydrates: To not exceed the allowed carbohydrate intake, a person following the Atkins Diet has to count the number of carbohydrates associated with every meal.
4. Risk of Ketosis: The diet can lead to ketosis and ketones can cause renal failure.