Atkins diet: What is it, foods to eat, benefits, risks
Simply put, the Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate diet, popularly known for weight loss. Several studies over the past decade have shown that low-carb diets aid in weight loss, pretty effectively. Originally promoted by physician Dr. Robert Atkins, this diet routine has today become increasingly popular around the globe. Here is everything you need to know about the Atkins diet.
These are the four phases of the Atkins diet
Phase 1: Eat high-fat, protein-rich, and low-carb veggies like leafy greens. Phase 2: Slowly, start taking more nuts, fruits, and other low-carb veggies as well. Phase 3: When you are really close to your target weight, start adding more carbs to your diet, to slow down the weight-loss process. Phase 4: Eat as many healthy carbs as you can take without putting on weight.
Foods to eat: Here's what to include in your diet
When you are on the Atkins diet, you should look to increase your consumption of meats (beef, pork, chicken, lamb), fatty fish (salmon and sardines etc), eggs, low-carb veggies like kale, spinach, broccoli, and others. Also, increase your intake of full-fat dairy items (butter, cheese cream), nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds), and sources of healthy fats (read coconut oil, avocado oil etc).
Foods to avoid: Here's what you should stay away from
On the other hand, you should lower your consumption of sugars (soft drinks, cakes, candy, ice cream, etc.), grains (wheat, rye, rice, barley), and vegetable oils (soybean oil, corn oil, etc). Also, stay away from trans fats, that are usually found in processed and packaged food items. Furthermore, reduce your intake of high-carb veggies and fruits (carrots, turnips, bananas, apples, oranges), starches, and legumes.
Atkins diet for weight loss: Does it really work?
The Atkins diet can start weight-loss process in phase-one. In fact, you can lose as much as 7kgs in this phase. You will keep losing more weight in phases two and three, if you don't take more carbs. However, studies suggest that these results are mostly short-term, and people following low-carb diets tend to gain back weight rather quickly.
Here are some other health benefits of the Atkins diet
Apart from (short-term) weight loss, the Atkins diet can also help improve certain serious health conditions, including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. However, it is not all good news- this diet-plan also has many risks associated with it.
What are the risks associated with this diet?
Since the Atkins Diet involves cutting your carbs intake drastically, there can be some unwanted side effects, including fatigue, weakness, headache, dizziness, and digestive issues. Furthermore, restricting carbohydrates could also lead to nutritional deficiencies, which could later bring health problems like diarrhea and nausea.