All you need to know about Atkins Dietary plans

Atkins Food Pyramid

Atkins Nutritional Approach is a wonderful solution for a low-carbohydrate diet by well-known nutritionist Robert Coleman Atkins. It is a much admired but very contentious way of loosing and managing weight or simply dieting. He was also a physician and a cardiologist in America, who devised a way to closely monitor the intake of carbohydrates, protein and fat.


Robert Atkins, born in 1930, was about 224 pounds in 1963 due to a rich diet of junk food and decided to lose weight. He read an article on a low-starch diet and lost weight by following it. Since he was a doctor, he also treated 65 of his patients and they lost weight too. He started research work and then devised as what was known as the “Vogue Diet”. He became a public figure when he came into view on Tonight Show in 1965. In 1972, he was published with his first book; Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution. In his second book, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, was a slight amendment. However, his original concepts remained impervious. His demise in 2003 has put a halt on the series of his publications. However, he did release the last edition that year before his death. The book is called ‘The Essential Atkins for Life Kit: The Next Level.’

What is it?

Atkins Diet is a great way to improve body’s metabolism that eventually results in weight loss. It is an impressive way to help our body generate energy from the accumulated fat content in our body. It is done by engaging our body to consume and use limited carbohydrates and simply metabolizing glucose to engender energy. Since our body utilizes more calories in burning up stored fat, hence additional calories can be expended as compared to normal diet plans. It can go as high as 950 calories per day, which is a phenomenal figure. It also results in dwindling inception on hunger as the fats and proteins take more time to digest. In short, Atkins dietary views are the ones that restrict digestible carbohydrates or “net carbs” that are in collision with the blood sugar level. This explains why low-fat diet fails.

The Four Phases

1. Induction

This program induces you on a strict diet. Two weeks of which are highly recommended when you decide to start dieting with Atkins Nutritional Approach. This include low carbohydrate intake and more of fruits, vegetables, moderate amount of Caffeine (optional) and multivitamins. The most significant weight loss is visible at this stage. You may have a metallic tang in your mouth or may be a sweet odor on inhalation is an indication that all is going as planned.

2. Ongoing Weight Loss

This phase includes of an increase in carbohydrate consumption however balanced at levels where weight loss occurs. About 5 grams a day increase is targeted in the daily diet. This stage is more about controlling the cravings and to find your individual level of carbohydrate level of losing weight.

3. Pre-maintenance

The increase in the intake of carbohydrates is about 10 grams a week as you progress further. This stage focuses on discovering the carbohydrate level required for maintenance of body weight. This is the ideal intake of carbohydrate on a maximum level you can devour, without gaining any weight.

4. Lifetime maintenance

For an apt weight management throughout your lifetime, it is essential to form habits. These habits are inspired from the first three stages of Atkins diet and form the base. In a way, the three stages have helped you acquire thorough knowledge about your body and its barriers that come between an ideal weight management. Avoid getting back to your old habits or else you may return to your earlier weight. By now, you have fined tuned your body from carbohydrate burning to fat burning metabolism. Go back a stage if you gain weight. It’s that simple.

Why has it grown so popular?

Atkins Nutritional Approach achieved its peak admiration in 2003 and 2004. During that time, 1 out of every 11 North Americans was following Atkins Diet Plan. Sales of pasta and rice declined tremendously. The figures dropped from 8.2 percent to a whopping 4.6 percent. Almost everyone had sought for low carbohydrate products. Giants like Coke and Pepsi also jumped in and came up with Coca Cola Zero, Pepsi One and their diet versions. A one hour documentary called “The Low Carb Revolution” was aired in 2004. After Robert Atkins death and the rumors around it, the popularity dwindled. However, many people still follow and benefit from this dietary approach.

Misconceptions involved

  1. There are various delusions around this approach. People believe that you can eat as much of fattening products as you want.
  2. Another perplexity is in the first Induction stage where the diet is strict and calculated in ‘net’ figures. It is believed that two weeks recommended of the first stage are essential and then third week onwards you can get into the stage.

The truth

You cannot eat as much as you want. That can be fattening. The revisions in the book clarified the delusions around it. It does not impose a constraint or define limits for you. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the fiber from the diet. It is calculated to check the impact on the blood sugar level which should be maintained strictly and not the whole food item. Also, you can stay on the first stage as long as you want, depends on the weight you need to lose. You need to find your own limits as per your body.

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