The Atkins Diet: What the Research Says

Losing weight people are incredibly gullible. In search of a quick and effective way to build weight, they often turn to dubious food systems, choose rigid mono-diets and half-starved fasting days. And only a few prefer diets compiled by experts.

One of these diets is the Atkins diet, developed by the American cardiologist Robert Atkins … for himself, but gathered an army of fans. She is in the top 10 most popular diets in the world , but is she really the best of the best?

Atkins diet: the history of appearance

The full name of the diet, which today is still called “Hollywood” because of the celebrity adherence to it, is the Atkins nutrition system .

It is a low-carbohydrate eating plan developed by Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1960s after reviewing a study titled Similarities of Carbohydrate Deficiency and Fasting published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Robert Atkins was inspired by the method described in the scientific report, and based on it, he created a nutrition plan that was supposed to help him lose weight. And it worked! Later, he published a series of books dedicated to the diet he created and gained worldwide fame. And at the same time – both praise and serious criticism!

Weight loss in detail: what does the author say?

According to Dr. Atkins, obesity and related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, are the natural outcome of the typical “American diet,” a high-carb, low-fat diet.

Atkins assures that a person who is losing weight does not need to avoid fatty cuts of meat or cut off excess fat. It is enough to start controlling carbohydrates, trying to reduce their consumption to a minimum. It is carbohydrates, according to the creator of the diet, that lead to an imbalance in blood sugar, weight gain and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, the diet diet severely limits their use, calling for the abandonment of sugar (in any form), products made from white flour and other refined carbohydrates.

Once again about carbohydrates: regular and “clean”

One of the undeniable advantages of the Atkins diet is that it does not require calorie counting or even portion control. But at the same time, it is necessary that a person who is losing weight carefully monitors the intake of carbohydrates.

Atkins used a system he called “net carbs”. It implies that the amount of “net carbs” in a food is the total carb content minus fiber. For example, if half a cup of raw broccoli contains 2.3 g of total carbohydrates and 1.3 g of fiber, then the amount of “net carbs” is 1 g. It is worth noting that experts U . S. _ The Food and Drug Administration does not recognize such a thing as “net carbohydrates”.

And what is the principle of losing weight? Carbohydrates are considered a universal source of energy. When they cease to enter the body, it has no choice but to use reserve resources. They are just fat deposits. The body burns fat and a person gets rid of excess weight. At the same time, physical exercises, according to the creator of the diet, are desirable, but not required!

Today there are three types of diet: the Atkins 20 diet, the Atkins 40 diet and the Atkins 100 diet . The first two options will include 4 phases each and are aimed at losing weight, and the last one is considered a nutrition system that can be followed for a lifetime.

See also  Which is healthier steel oats or oatmeal?

The numbers next to the developer’s name tell how many “net carbs” are allowed on each diet. Accordingly, this is 20, 40 and not more than 100 g per day.

The Four Phases of the Atkins Diet 20

This is the classic version of the diet. She appeared first, and the rest are just her augmented variations.

Phase 1: Induction

This is the most strict phase of the diet, which is designed to start the body in a “burning mode” of all that is superfluous. She calls for the elimination of almost all carbohydrates from the diet, with the exception of 12-15 g of “clean”, which should be taken from vegetables. Allowed vegetables are asparagus, broccoli, celery, cucumber, green beans, peppers.

You should also get protein at every meal. Sources include fish, seafood, meat, eggs, and cheese. You don’t have to limit your intake of oils and fats, while you can’t put most fruits, sweet baked goods, pasta, grains, and nuts on your plate. Be sure to observe the drinking regime – drink about 8 glasses of water per day.

This phase lasts 14 days.

In comparison, most dietary guidelines from the world’s leading organizations advise getting 45-60% of calories from total daily calories from carbohydrates.

Phase 2: Main

During this phase, you continue to consume 12 to 15 grams of “net carbs” per day from vegetables and continue to avoid foods with added sugar. However, the slow introduction of some nutrient-rich carbohydrates into the menu is allowed. You can eat more vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds.

You need to stay in this phase until you lose about 4.5 kilograms from your original weight.

Phase 3: Transitional

At this point, you continue to expand your menu by adding carbs and more. Your diet should include more fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grains. The amount of “net carbohydrates” increases by another 10 grams. However, if adding carbohydrates stops weight loss, you should go back to restrictions.

In this phase, you stay until you lose weight to the desired numbers.

Phase 4: Maintenance

At the final stage of the diet, you stick to a menu that allows you to maintain your weight. If the scale needle begins to creep up, you are back on the path of cutting carbohydrates. Maintaining a healthy weight is work too!

Sample menu of the Atkins diet for the day

  • Breakfast: two scrambled eggs with braised onions, a slice of Cheddar cheese. From drinks, tea, coffee, plain water, diet cola or herbal infusion are allowed.
  • Lunch: meat salad with avocado sauce or baked chicken. Any permitted drink.
  • Dinner: baked salmon steak with asparagus, arugula salad, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. Drink.
  • Snacks: allowed in the amount of two per day. You can eat from specialty foods like Atkins cereal bars and muesli to simple options like cheese or a slice of celery.