The short name for the Atkins nutritional approach is the Atkins diet, which was the brainchild of the doctor named Robert Atkins. He had gained a lot of weight in medical school. He read about this diet in the medical journal and decided to improve it and release it under his name.
Atkins, in his Atkins Diet, believed prevailing theories about weight gain were all wrong. First, he dismissed the idea that saturated fats were bad. Instead it was carbohydrates that led to the weight problems Americans have. Atkins held that our obsession with fat actually worsened the problem. He pointed to all the low-fat foods that were high in carbohydrates. That meant people on a diet often ate foods that were worse than they normally ate.
The Atkins diet shifts the focus. By cutting out carbohydrates people would burn stored body fats. Lose the fat lose the weight. It’s not just a matter of eating less. Dr. Atkins held that your diet could actually help you burn calories. The Atkins diet supposedly burned an extra 950 calories everyday. But the claims were not true.
Dr. Atkins also touted the positive influence this Atkins diet could have on people with type 2 diabetes. As opposed to type 1 diabetes, type 2 is often closely associated with diet and people who weigh too much. So in general any diet that helps decrease weight will help address type 2 diabetes. But the Atkins diet is also low in carbohydrates, which must be avoided with type 2 diabetes regardless of caloric intake, so by means of this aspect of the diet Atkins claimed those who suffer type 2 diabetes would no longer need medication such as insulin. The medical world, in general, disagrees with Atkins on this point. They agree lower carbohydrates help with type 2 diabetes, but there is no proof that carbohydrates cause the disease.
What steps does one take to follow the Atkins diet? It follows four phases - induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and lifetime maintenance. Here is an overview of the most important phase - Induction.
The Induction phase is the most difficult phase of the Atkins diet. Atkins is flexible as to the time period ? but recommends two weeks. During this phase carbohydrates are severely limited ? only up to 20 grams per day. The goal is to enter a fat burning metabolic phase called ketosis when the body, starved of glucose, will begin converting stored fat into fatty acids needed to power the body. Weight loss during this phase can be extreme ? some Atkins followers reported losses of 5-10 pounds a week.
Learning the ideal carbohydrate levels for weight losing and for day to day intake after the weight loss ends are the purposes of the final three phases in the Atkins diet. Millions of people are still losing weight on this diet ? but beware the dangers of taking in too much fat.
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