The diet plan I’m highlighting today is another diet that I’m a big fan of although I know that in some circles it’s frowned upon. This is another diet that I remember hearing about long ago when one of my relatives lost a bunch of weight. In my extended family, this is still the “go-to” diet for people who are looking to lose a few pounds.
Dr. Robert Atkins, MD, proposed a view that bears some similarities to the Dukan diet in regards to his opinion that consuming more protein will help people control their weight. There are, however, a few fundamental differences.
Dr. Atkins reasoned that a lot of our problems came from consuming too much sugar. In his book, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, Dr. Atkins shares that many years ago people ate plenty of meat, usually including fat, without as many cases of cardiac problems, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. He points to sugar in all its forms as the culprit.
Considering the fact that there is sugar in just about everything you buy nowadays, from ketchup to bread, there’s some potential validity to his claim.
The Atkins diet is based on creating a shift in the digestive system from looking for fast, easy energy (sugar) to using protein and fat, and some of the less refined starches. Since digesting the protein and fat is harder work, your body would normally keep asking for sugar. If, however, you cut the sugar drastically, your body will eventually adapt to it, and “accept” that it now has to work harder to obtain its energy.
As such, the Atkins diet has you cutting all sugar and carbohydrate consumption to a minimum – even curbing the sugar contained in some fruits and vegetables. Once the sugar levels in your system drops below a certain point, and your body gets used to it, your cravings for sweets will decrease dramatically. Additionally, you’ll find that you don’t feel nearly as hungry. You’ll just notice that you feel low on energy when it’s time to eat.
You are also required to cut out all refined starches like pasta and other items created from white flour. You’ll find yourself eating lots and lots of protein and unlike some other diets, you’re not restricted to just lean meat. The reasoning is that once your body starts processing fat as a source of energy, it will also start eating away at your bodily reserves, and simply excrete the excess sugar in your body’s waste. Because of that, Atkins dieters don’t typically develop any problems with cholesterol. (I’m not a doctor. I’m just a pleasingly plump girl doing lots of research to find the best diet plan.)
As far as I’m concerned, there are lots of pros to the Atkins diet. It’s a great diet for people who are always on the go. It’s easy to follow when eating out. Weight loss is quick in the beginning and fairly steady throughout the rest of the diet. You don’t have to weigh or measure food (a huge plus for those who are on the go). Personally, I’ve always felt great on this diet (so I’d consider that a pro). There are also some tasty treats you can have when you’re craving chocolate. I love the Atkins Endulge Caramel Nut Chew Bars and the Atkins Endulge Chocolate Coconut Bars.
Another pro is that you can get a FREE Atkins Quick Start Kit. It has some helpful info for getting started. Plus, it also comes with 3 Free Atkins Bars.
As far as cons go, when the Atkins diet first came onto the scene, people everywhere (lots of doctors included) touted it as unhealthy and unsustainable. Over the last 20+ years, many medical professionals have changed their tune about the Atkins diet, although there are still some naysayers out there.
Other than that, there aren’t too many drawbacks to this diet. Like most low-carb diets, constipation can sometimes be an issue since you mostly eat meat and fats. Drinking plenty of water can help with this as will a fiber supplement (my personal fave is Benefiber). Make sure to take advantage of the allowed vegetables as they will also help keep things moving through your system.
Lastly, in the very beginning of the diet, most sugar and carb addicts go through a withdrawal stage. You may feel like you have the flu. It can be miserable, but it typically only lasts a couple of days. Once you get through it, you’ll be back to your old self. And pretty soon, you’ll be better than your old self…literally!
If you’re considering this diet, don’t to sign up for the free Atkins Quick Start Kit.
I know lots of people who have successfully lost weight with Atkins and kept it off.
Have you tried Atkins? What are your thoughts?