The popular "Atkins diet" was previously known as the "meat and egg diet", according to which you could eat as much protein and fat as your body can absorb, while excluding carbohydrates from the diet and losing sight of the source of obesity directly.
Adherents of this diet regularly filled their plates with bacon, cheese, fatty meat, mayonnaise – in principle all food rich in proteins and fats. And the more, the better.
The essence of this diet is that since both proteins and fats give a feeling of satiety, you do not experience a severe hunger and do not absorb a large number of calories in the end, and, accordingly, lose weight. In addition, since you do not provide the body with carbohydrates, it has a higher chance of remaining in the fat burning regime (because carbohydrates cause a jump in insulin and stop fat burning). However, the followers of this diet had some concerns – many began to worry about their general physical condition, in particular, with heart disease and high blood pressure, it is well known that consuming a rich in saturated fat foods can exacerbate such conditions.
Therefore, the Atkins diet has been made some changes. The focus now is not only on foods high in protein and fat, but also on applying a more balanced approach to diet and emphasizing the importance of beneficial carbohydrates and fats in combination with proteins.
The Atkins diet consists of 4 different phases, the first of which is the most severe and is aimed at a sharp activation of weight loss, while the last phase will help you maintain a healthy weight.
The first phase begins with the consumption of a total of 20 g of carbohydrates per day, the source of which should be vegetables.
During this phase, you can use the following products:
The rules of this phase are the inclusion of proteins and fats in each meal and the reduction of carbohydrates to a minimum – 20. It is recommended to drink plenty of water and carefully read the labels on the products in time to notice the "hidden carbohydrates".
In total this phase lasts about two weeks.
The second phase of this diet is very similar to the first, the main purpose of which is also weight reduction, with the exception that at this stage you will add to your diet 5 g of pure carbohydrates per week, until you have only 2-5 kg, which you want to reset. The real goal of this phase is to study the tolerance of your body to carbohydrates, as well as the type and amount of carbohydrates that you can consume, while continuing to lose weight.
This diet recommends the addition in the diet of carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, i.e. more vegetables, berries, nuts and cheese as the total amount of carbohydrates is gradually increased.
In addition, if you are actively involved in sports, it is better to increase carbohydrate intake to 60-90 g per day, as they are necessary for the body to maintain the intensity of your workouts.
So, we reached the third phase of this diet, which is also called the phase preceding the maintenance of a constant weight. At this stage, you will learn how you should eat to maintain the desired weight in the future. At this stage, you increase carbohydrate intake by 10 g per week, in contrast to 5 g, as in the second phase.
You continue to do this until you reach the desired weight and now support it, or if you lose weight very slowly. In this case, you have found your level of carbohydrate intake to maintain a constant weight (called "Atkins carbohydrate balance").
At this stage, you can add to the diet a variety of carbohydrates, which are rich in products such as:
Undoubtedly, here you are given a much richer choice in terms of nutrition, while, as you can see, you get all the necessary vitamins and minerals necessary to preserve good health for a long time.
Also at this stage it is allowed to afford 1-2 once a week products with a higher carbohydrate content, but do not forget that after such indulgences it will be prudent to reduce the intake of carbohydrates the next day.
It is important to remember that in this phase you do not go back to old eating habits, because they served as a source of excess weight, and although you are allowed to eat foods with a higher carbohydrate content, you should still remember that as before are on a low-carb diet to maintain the desired weight.
So, you have reached the fourth phase, the phase of maintaining a constant weight. At this stage, emphasis is placed on the modified Atkins food pyramid, which is very different from the generally accepted standards. While in the traditional food pyramid there are cereals at the bottom, Atkins has meat and a group of alternative products.
Then comes a group of vegetables, then fruits, oils, dairy products and nuts, and in the very top are cereals – this is the smallest group whose products you should choose least often.
It is recommended to be weighed once a week to make sure that you do not go back unnoticed to old habits in the diet, as a result of which you gain weight again. And if this already takes place, weighing will remind you that you need to immediately take appropriate measures.
This diet is especially suitable for those who suffer from problems associated with low blood sugar, which include diabetes or hypoglycemia. Since you choose products with a carbohydrate content that have very little effect on insulin levels, you will be able to easily control the sugar level and keep the situation under control. Also, the diet will appeal to meat lovers; However, one must be ready to sacrifice the amount of fat consumed (which is a change in the old approach of Atkins).
This diet will not be the best choice for those athletes who engage in physical exercise in a fairly large amount, or those who deal with them often with high intensity. Since carbohydrates are required for high intensity exercise, if its stores and consumption are low, you may feel a decrease in productivity and difficulty in doing your workouts.
These people still can use the ideas practiced today in the Atkins diet, for example, to give preference to carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, but also should increase the total number of absorbed carbohydrates in excess of the recommended rate. The amount of carbohydrates consumed is lower than 100 g (if there are no weekly periods of carbohydrate loading), it will simply not be enough to carry out the volume of exercises that athletes want to achieve.
Since the Atkins diet has changed its approach to nutrition, it has become more healthy and more suitable for maintaining a healthy weight for a long time. In modern society, people consume too much purified foods, the same diet will force you to abandon them. The carbohydrates you consume are natural, the same ones that our distant ancestors ate.
The disadvantage of a diet is that you have to "count" in some sense. Although the diet does not say anything about strict calorie counting, the fact that you need to track the amount of carbohydrates in grams can push away some people and force you to choose a diet with a softer approach.