Originally called the Atkins Nutritional Approach, the Atkins diet was first devised by Dr. Robert Atkins in 1972, but only became mainstream in 2002, after Dr. Atkins published a book that advocated drastically reducing carbohydrate intake. While the diet may have been attacked by a number of critics over the years, it is still one of the most popular, and relevant, dietary programs today for those who are looking to lose weight, and this is due to several different reasons.
It Really Works
There have been many dietary programs introduced to the mass market over the years, but these often do not work, and can sometimes be incredibly unhealthy, which is why they tend to be viewed as fads. However, there have been multiple studies carried out on the Atkins diet, the majority of which have concluded that the diet really does work in aiding with weight loss. For those that have not had success with the diet, this is usually not due to the diet itself, but rather down to how difficult some may find it to stick to all of the rules.
A Structured Program
Unlike many other weight loss diets out there, the Atkins diet consists of a structured program with four different phases. The first stage is the hardest, and is called Induction, requiring the individual to cut carbohydrate intake to just 20 grams a day, of which all 20 grams should come from greens. The lack of carbohydrates forces the body into ketosis, which is where it turns fat stores into energy. After two weeks, other foods can then begin to be added back into the diet, and the individual needs to try to work out their “personal carb balance”. Once the ideal weight is almost reached, the individual can then gradually increase carbohydrate intake, while maintaining their ideal weight. The final stage of the diet is called Lifetime Maintenance, and simply requires you to cut back on carbohydrates by ten grams if you begin to pile the pounds back on.
Atkins Compared With the Typical American Diet
Experts all agree that there are many problems with today’s typical American diet. Not only does it consist of far too many calories than required, but it is also loaded with salt, sugar and cholesterol, while lacking in dietary fiber and phytochemicals, which are plant-based substances that protect the heart and prevent cancer. On the other hand, the Atkins diet promotes regulating calorie intake, while cutting back on processed foods, which reduces salt, cholesterol and sugar intake. It also places a huge emphasis on plant-based complex carbohydrates, which is something that the American diet is lacking.
The Atkins diet is still tried and true, and, even if you are not looking to lose weight, there are still many beneficial aspects to the diet that you can incorporate into your life. From cutting back on calories to seeking out plant-based sources of carbohydrates, the Atkins diet is one that has withstood the test of time, and really proven its worth.