Atkins diet is a type of low carb diet that involves restricting one or more types of foods to achieve weight loss. It was created by Robert Atkins, a man who used the diet to lose a significant amount of weight.
He has written a series of books describing how the diet works and some tips for using it, so that others can benefit from his experience.
The goal of the Atkins diet is to alter the functioning of the body’s metabolism (similar to the diet of six foods a day). By limiting the intake of carbohydrates, you can make your metabolism burn glucose to burn body fat. This process, called ketosis, occurs when there is hypoglycemia.
How do the 4 phases work?
The Atkins diet is divided into 4 phases or stages. The first phase is called induction. During the induction phase, the carbohydrate intake is limited to the maximum.
This phase lasts two weeks and allows to quickly put the body in ketosis. They are allowed only 20 grams of carbohydrates a day, of which 12 to 15 grams must come from vegetables and salads.
Beyond the control of carbohydrates, follow this diet people should consume at least 8 glasses of water a day. During the induction phase, it is expected that a significant weight will be lost, more than 2 to 5 pounds per week.
The next phase of this diet is called CPAP or the continuous weight loss phase. During this stage, carbohydrates are reintroduced, but only at a level where weight loss continues to occur.
Every week you can add 5 grams of carbohydrates. The goal is to continue losing weight to find the balance between weight loss and food consumption.
After the CPAP phase, the pre-maintenance phase arrives. Each week, it increases to 10 grams of carbohydrate intake to the point where the person loses weight and does not win. Prohibited foods are allowed once a week on the menu.
Once the pre-maintenance phase is over, it enters the maintenance phase. The goal is to maintain the habits acquired during the previous steps, so that the weight is maintained.
Many studies have shown that the Atkins diet works. However, there are health complications associated with adherence to a lifestyle low in carbohydrates.
Before starting the Atkins diet, you should talk to your doctor about the advantages and disadvantages that will determine whether this diet is right for you. For those who are overweight, the Atkins diet can bring you the solution you are looking for.
Phase 1 – Induction
During this phase, carbohydrate intake should be drastically limited to less than 20 grams per day, to constrain the body to ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process that uses an alternative energy source to burn fat quickly.
The induction phase usually lasts two weeks, although some choose to continue this phase longer to continue losing weight quickly. Depending on your initial weight, your health and your willpower, you may decide to stay in the induction phase for three weeks or more.
During the induction phase, food enthusiasts ingest many proteins and fats. Carbohydrate intake is very limited.
It is important to note that some fruits and vegetables may contain large amounts of carbohydrates, so it is essential to follow the authorized dietary advice.
Fish, shellfish, poultry, meat, eggs and cheese are available during Phase 1 of the diet. If you want to opt for vegetables, celery, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms and lettuce are great options for the menu.
Of the 20 grams of carbohydrate allowed, about 12 to 15 grams should come from plant sources without starch, rather than grains.
How to increase your chances of success
If you have trouble following your diet, here are some tips to improve your chances of success.
- Eating 4 or 5 small meals during the day will help you feel better than eating only 2 or 3 big meals.
- During the day, avoid spending more than 6 hours without eating.
- You can also try 100-200 grams of protein in every meal, including breakfast.
Drink eight glasses of water a day
During phase 1, you should drink eight glasses of water a day. Many people confuse thirst and hunger, so drinking enough water will help keep the body hydrated and control hunger.
In addition to water, a multivitamin is also recommended.
Fight the desire to eat
Many people experience the urge to eat sweets during the induction phase. To combat these cravings, you can opt for sweet foods with artificial sweeteners like gelatin.
Products identified for the Atkins diet induction menu are also acceptable options.
Opt for the food allowance
The induction phase can be very restrictive, especially in restaurants, but with a little care you can find the food allowed. Avoid starchy or flour-based sauces and vinaigrettes that contain sugar.
Lose more than 5 pounds of weight
If you follow the rules of the diet correctly, you can expect a loss of more than 5 kg during the induction phase, which is a good start to your personal journey. As with any diet, the first steps are the hardest, so do not be so hard on yourself if you make a few mistakes.
Complete menu for phase 1
Tortilla with a slice of yellow cheese;
Eggs with a slice of bacon;
Chicken crumbled with a little cream;
Canned tuna with a slice of cheese;
Omelets ham and yellow cheese;
Blurred with mushrooms and spinach;
1/2 avocado with ham and cheese.
Gelatin without sugar or carbohydrates;
Celery stalks with cream;
Cooked egg seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast meat + green leaves + zucchini (cut zucchini and bake until crisp);
Fish with coconut milk + salad +? tomato;
Chicken leg or leg cooked with bacon +? cup of broccoli + 5 olives;
Chicken fillet with mustard sauce and cream +? cup of vegetables;
1 piece of yellow cheese;
Gelatin with cream.
Meat crumbled with salad + pumpkin + jelly dessert;
Omelets with vegetables to taste;
Roll of cabbage with minced meat (without rice);
grilled vegetables + legumes + 5 olives;
Cod with cream, olives, boiled eggs and parsley;
Tuna salad with grated onion, olive oil, mayonnaise, mustard, pepper and salt.
* You can choose 1 option for each meal.
Phase 2 – Continuous weight loss
During this time, you will gradually increase carbohydrate intake, reintroducing certain foods into the diet to discover your critical level of carbohydrate (NCC).
Weight loss should continue at this stage, but not at the same rate as in the induction phase.
The principal objective
The main goal of the CPAP phase is to find out how much carbohydrate you can eat while losing weight. Finding the right balance between carbohydrate intake and weight loss will allow you to have more flexibility in your diet and achieve the desired results.
First steps of the PPC phase
To begin the CPAP step, you will need to increase the number of carbohydrates allowed by 25 g. If you continue to lose weight, you can increase the amount of carbohydrate allowed each week until you reach the critical level in weight loss.
Determining your NCC is the first step towards a permanent change in your eating habits.
During the CPAP phase, you have to introduce nuts, seeds, berries, low-carb fruits, other products of the day and vegetable and fruit juices into your menu.
The PPC phase is like a transition phase that prepares you for the final stage of the plan. The wide variety of foods and the increase in the amount of carbohydrates is a relief after the restriction of the induction phase.
Drink enough water
When studying your carbohydrate limits, it’s important not to stop drinking too much water. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and maintain optimal functioning of your body.
You can also continue taking multivitamins or supplements during this phase.
Reintroduction of food
The foods that are reintroduced into your menu during Phase 2 are cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and tomato and lemon juice.
If you choose frozen foods (packaged foods), pay attention to the size of the portion and subtract the amount of fiber from the total carbohydrate to determine the net amount of carbohydrate in the food.
Fight low energy levels
Some plan members experience lower energy levels during the CPP phase. To combat this, be sure to consume the right amount of salt.
Fatigue can be a side effect of fat burning metabolism. As carbohydrate consumption increases, you will notice that this side effect decreases.
Create a healthy eating plan
Phase 2 is the first step to change your diet. The goal of the Atkins diet is to create a healthy eating plan that can be maintained for life. After Phase 2, you enter the final stages which is a preparation for after the Atkins diet.
Discovering the NCC and how to use it is a valuable tool that can be used to maintain a healthy weight throughout life.
Complete menu for phase 2
Omelets with zucchini, spinach and tomatoes +? cup of cranberries;
1 cup of tea + ham and cheese + 5 strawberries;
Scrambled eggs + cheese + grilled sausages + sugar free tea;
Mozzarella + ham + strawberries;
2 fried eggs +? avocado + 1 small slice of cheese;
Tuna pate, mayonnaise, shallots, salt and pepper +? cup of raspberries + 1 cup of tea.
1/2 cup diced melon;
Lettuce salad, endive and tomato +? cup of vegetables;
Grilled chicken + cream sauce and mustard + roasted eggplant;
Roll of meat with mushrooms and butter + green salad;
Zucchini lasagna (without dough) + cauliflower salad;
Steak with fried onion + broccoli + olives + cucumber salad;
Grilled chicken fillet + pumpkin puree + chicory and radish.
1 slice of ricotta;
1/2 cup sunflower seeds;
5 strawberries with cream.
Pumpkin soup with meat and cabbage;
Homemade burger + egg +? cup of cooked green beans;
Chicken stew with broccoli and cheese + green salad;
Chicken soup without rice + 5 walnuts;
Sausage + leek + roast.
You can choose 1 option for each meal
Phase 3 – Pre-maintenance
At this point, you should be about 5 pounds to reach your weight loss goal and lose that weight gradually. You should have a rough idea of how much carbohydrate you can consume to reach the final phase of your diet.
Pre-maintenance is a phase during which you can explore your tolerance to carbohydrates, as well as foods that you can or can not handle. There are five goals that you need to reach during pre-care in
order to reach and maintain your ideal weight.
Objectives of the pre-maintenance phase
1 – Slowly reduce the amount of weight remaining before reaching your ideal weight. You must have about 5 pounds to lose to reach your goal, however, the last 5 pounds will be eliminated more slowly than others, because during phase 3, when the final approaches, you must gradually change your diet to develop a permanent form of nutrition.
2 – Check the tolerance of your body to carbohydrates. During the CPAP stage, you discovered the critical level of carbohydrate intake. In the pre-maintenance phase, you need to see if you can increase this number slightly as weight loss decreases. To find out if you can add more carbs, you need to increase your daily limit to 10 grams a day and keep an eye on weight loss.
The amount of weight you can lose during this phase of the Atkins diet will be considerably less weight than in the previous phase. You can lose about 250 grams a week, but you will continue to progress towards your goal.
3 – Try adding food to your menu and see how your body reacts. During phase 3 of the Atkins diet, you will be able to introduce some carbs that were previously out of bounds to see your body’s response.
Some people do not tolerate foods containing large amounts of carbohydrates, others may already consume certain types of food and some may not. This phase allows you to explore the food and discover what you can and can not eat.
4 – Discover your carbohydrate balance (ECA). Once you have lost any excess weight, the next step is to find the point where you do not take or lose weight. This level is called an ECR.
5 – Keep your weight. Once you know your RCT, the next step is to try to keep your weight constant for a month. Once you have done that, you are ready to move on to the final phase of the Atkins diet.
Remember that the purpose of this diet is not only to lose weight, it is to lose weight and to maintain it forever. This means that you must learn a new way of eating that allows you to savor food without having to fill your body with carbohydrates, and this will change the way your metabolism works. Despite the minor difficulties of the beginning, this mode of feeding becomes a way of life.
Complete menu for phase 3
Omelets with tomato +? sweet potato baked in the oven + 1 cup of tea or juice;
1 slice of whole wheat bread with cottage cheese + 1 slice of cheese + 1 slice of watermelon;
1/2 cup cottage cheese +1/2 tapioca + gelatin.
1 apple or pear;
1 yogurt without sugar + 1 tablespoon oatmeal;
1/2 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds.
Cooked minced meat + 1 tbsp. rice + 2 tbsp. beans + green salad;
Roasted chicken + 2 tablespoons mashed cauliflower + cream? cup of whole wheat pasta;
Beet salad + brown rice + fish;
Zucchini pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs without flour + green salad;
Roasted chicken mussels with pepper and rosemary + cabbage gratin + arugula salad.
1 slice of cheese.
Vegetable soup with meat +? baked potato + sugar free gelatin;
Grilled chicken with artichokes in olive oil + 2 tablespoons rice + watercress salad;
Fillet of fish + salad of bean sprouts + 1 cup of legumes;
Chicken with cream + cabbage + 1 cup of vegetables;
1/2 cup tofu with onions + chicory salad.
You can choose 1 option for each meal.
Phase 4 – Maintenance
The fourth phase is the final phase, called maintenance. During this period, the weight maintenance program will continue. By using and learning your personal ECA, you can maintain your weight for the rest of your life.
The Atkins diet is not just a fad diet. When done correctly, this type of diet can be easily maintained for the rest of your life, leading to a more active and healthy lifestyle.
In addition to dietary changes, many people are becoming more interested in recreational sports and other exercises as weight decreases and energy increases.
Weight loss will help you live the kind of life you have always wanted. Swimming is a good example of the kind of exercise a person can do to lose weight fast.
Use the tools you have discovered
Using all the tools learned during the pre-care phase will help you maintain the right weight for life. The interview is an important part of the plan, it’s actually more than a stage, it’s a way of life.
Use your RCT to count carbohydrates and make the right choices in your diet from now on. Over time, knowing which foods to choose and the amount of carbohydrates they contain will become natural.
Pursue the diet
As soon as you begin to feel better about yourself and your appearance, you will have to make progress and maintain your new weight. If you need additional support, look for certain communities, such as forums or websites, to connect with people who follow the same path as you.
In this way, you will receive support, learn from others, share and interact with people who have experienced the same situations.
The end of the diet
The best part of the maintenance phase is the feeling that you will not be on a diet forever. The Atkins diet will change your life for the better and give you the tools you need to stay healthy.
The proof is in the numbers
The Atkins diet has worked for thousands of people and can work for you too. The feeling of knowing that the diet has ended is priceless. And most importantly, the plan and tips are easy to use and follow.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Atkins diet
You may have heard a lot of confusing information about the Atkins diet. Like any weight loss solution, the Atkins diet has many followers and many detractors.
Instead of trying to find all the information for yourself, take a look at this brief summary of the pros and cons to determine if the Atkins diet may be the solution you sought.
It works – People who successfully complete the diet will not only lose weight, but will be able to maintain it. The Atkins diet is divided into four simple steps that teach you everything you need to reach your ideal weight.
It’s popular – Being popular makes it easy to find information, technical support, tips and tricks for success. Almost everyone has heard about this diet and almost everyone knows someone who has used it.
It’s simple – The diet is based on a simple principle, the restriction of carbohydrates. You do not need to know the science behind the diet, all you need to know is what you need to eat and how much to eat, simply.
It’s motivating – The diet creates a situation in which the loss of a large amount of weight quickly becomes a reality. The thrill of climbing the scales and seeing the flying weight is exciting and even a bit addictive.
It is personalized – it works to find your individual level of carbohydrate intake which results in weight loss. You can customize the diet according to your body. If you find food on the menu that you do not like, you do not have to eat it. There are enough options and guidelines for you to adapt your diet to your needs.
The induction phase is brutal – this is the most restrictive part of the diet and becomes the part where everyone talks about the Atkins term. Fortunately, induction can only last two weeks.
It can be tedious – Constantly restricting your caloric intake can lead to boredom. The first part of the diet is very restrictive and disturbing, leading some people to leave the diet prematurely.
Opinions of health organizations
It is important to note that many health organizations such as the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society oppose diet for possible side effects on health. These organizations also cite an increased likelihood of aneurysms, diabetes and obesity.
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