The Atkins diet is all about cutting carbohydrates from your diet, encouraging the body to burn fat for energy instead. The diet was created by cardiologist Robert Atkins and is not one you can follow for just a few weeks – it’s a lifelong approach to eating.
There are four phases of the Atkins Diet:
Induction – this is the first phase of the diet which lasts two weeks and is extremely restrictive in what you can eat, shifting your body from burning carbs to burning fat. The idea is that you consume no more than an average of 20 grams of net carbs per day. (Net carbs is the total carbohydrate content of a food minus its fibre content.)
Balancing – this is the second phase of the diet and it’s all about finding your personal carb balance by slowly increasing your intake of net carbs in increments of 5 grams each week.
Fine Tuning – this is the third phase of the diet and you’ll only transition from the previous phase once you’re within 10 pounds of your goal weight. Again, it’s about increasing your net carb intake but by higher increments this time of 10 grams. You’ll stay in this phase once you’ve reached your goal weight and maintained it for a month.
Lifetime Maintenance – this phase or permanent lifestyle means you can now start experimenting by reintroducing certain foods into your diet. It’s about remaining in control of your weight and tweaking your carb intake if you start to gain weight again.
The Atkins diet is also made up of 7 nutrition principles which are:
- A high protein diet which provides energy for the body and boosts your metabolism.
- A high fibre diet which regulates your blood sugar and helps with digestion
- A low sugar diet which ensures your energy levels remain steady throughout the day
- A diet which includes important vitamins and minerals which provide energy
- A diet which includes good carbs to avoid your body’s blood sugar and insulin levels spiking
- A diet which includes good fats to keep you feeling full for longer and protect your vital organs
- Exercise is an important part of the program, just like any other diet
If you’re ready to make a positive change in your life and you don’t give up easily, give the Atkins diet a go. Many people including celebrities have followed it and had amazing results. You might just be surprised. For more detailed information peruse the Atkins diet website.
Image via atkins.com