Weight Management

Atkins Diet- Know How It Works

Atkins diet is based upon the theory that too much carbohydrates in the diet makes people grow fat. When the calories released by carbohydrates are not consumed in their entirety, the excess calories get accumulated inside the body in the form of fat. By limiting this excess amount of carbohydrates in our diet, Atkins diet attempts to help us reduce weight.

Diet Plan

Atkins diet can be divided into four phases. In all these phases, there is just one thing common- a reduced amount of carbohydrate intake.

Phase 1
The 1st phase of Atkins diet lasts for a minimum of two weeks. This is a restrictive phase in which the amount of carbohydrate taken in is limited to about 20 grams.

This drastic reduction in the amount of carbohydrates consumed results in a state called ketosis. In this state, the body derives its energy from ketones, which are little carbon fragments created by the breakdown of body fat. In this state, the body tends to feel less hungry and yet it gets all the energy that it wants. However, side-effects such as constipation or breath odor might occur in some cases.

Phase 2

In this phase you need to increase your consumption of fibrous vegetables. This would help you reach a state called "Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing" after which you will begin losing weight.

Phase 3 and 4
In these phases, you need to maintain the results that you have obtained over the last 3 to 4 weeks. During this phase, you can increase your carbohydrate consumption. However, it should not reach excessively high levels which could induce weight gain. Hence, processed and refined carbohydrates, which are high in calories, should be avoided.
Analysis of Atkins Diet

Apart from lowering consumption of carbohydrates, Atkins diet allows unlimited consumption of fat. This has come under heavy censure from different sides who claim that the healthy limit of fat in our food is about 30 per cent. Anything extra would be harmful for the body.

Further, health professionals question the idea of forcing the body into a state of ketosis. Though it might help people in attaining their objectives over a short period of time, in a longer run it can prove to be a health hazard.

However, if you intend to begin this diet, we strongly recommend that you do some research and read as much as possible about Atkins diet before beginning with it. You can begin with the book brought out by the diet's formulator, Dr Atkins. It is titled Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution. Further, do not forget to consult your physician about it.
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