For many of us, being obese or overweight is a big curse. Obesity makes us look ungainly and it is extremely harmful to health. Unfortunately, losing weight (and keeping it lost) is one of the most frustrating long term nightmares. The result: a rise of a huge number of ‘wonder’ diet plans and products. The weight loss industry must be one of the biggest in the world.
Perhaps the most popular amongst all the diets floating around (and also pretty controversial) is the Atkins Diet, a diet created by Dr. Robert Atkins in 1972. The Atkins Diet involves limiting the consumption of carbohydrates to switch the body’s metabolism from metabolising glucose as energy to converting stored body fat to energy. This process is called ketosis.
The big advantage of the Atkins Diet is that it does not restrict the AMOUNT of food that you can eat. According to Atkins, most diets fail in the long run because they restrict the amount of food that you can eat, leading eventually to a discard of the diet by a majority of dieters. On Atkins, you only restrict the consumption of carbohydrates.
The Atkins Diet is divided into 4 phases:
1. Induction Phase: For the first 2 weeks. In this phase you are ONLY allowed to eat non-vegetarian food, hard cheese and salads and low carbohydrate vegetables (total carbohydrate intake limited to 20 grams per day).
2. On-going Weight Loss Phase: In this phase, you gradually add carbohydrates in increments of 5 grams AS LONG AS there is continuing weight loss.
3. Pre-Maintenance Phase: This phase begins when you have around 4-5 kgs. to lose and you incorporate additional carbs into the diet.
4. Maintenance Phase: This is the long term phase where you incorporate the optimum level of carbs which ensure that your weight stays stable.
The diet REALLY WORKS; I have seen many people lose huge amounts of weight on Atkins. However, the diet has its critics and although Atkins disagreed with all these criticisms, it is worthwhile knowing about the possible ill-effects. Check about the diet (and its possible drawbacks) on the net or buy Atkins’ book/s.
Also, before embarking upon this diet, do remember that itvirtually prohibits goodies such as bread, cereals, sweets and sugar, liquor, potatoes and high calorie vegetables and other high calorie foods. If you think you can live with very restricted quantities of these foods in the long run, Atkins could just work wonders for you.