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Dr. Atkins Diet Review – Plans, Phases And Nutrition

Dr. Atkins Diet plans are available to the masses online today. Hence if you are looking at bringing about a change in your lifestyle or reduce your weight without going in for drastic measures, the Atkins diet plan would be just right for you.

atkins diet plan

Human beings have battled with weight issues since time immemorial. Scientists and researchers world over have experimented over how this problem can be resolved in quicker and easier ways.

One of the renowned methods of diet with results can be attributed to the Atkins Diet Plan. This plan does provide assured and guaranteed weight loss as a result.

However the Atkins diet is not relatively old as one would expect it to be with the success and popularity it has gained. The plan came into existence in early 1970’s and was bought into existence by Dr. Robert Atkins.

Curious to know about when exactly dieting as a practice came into picture? Well Dr.Atkins diet plan wasn’t too late as Dieting as a concept in fact only came into the picture during later part of the 1800’s. 

The first diet was bought into the world by a man by name Horace Flectcher Horace in those days was more popularly known as “The great Masticator”.

His diet practice basically consisted of chewing his food a 100 times before swallowing as this would break down the particles and help in better digestion. Goes without saying that the expectations were quiet unreasonable and thus this plan didn’t have many takers!

Post the introduction of this concept called “Dieting” diet there were many other dieticians who introduced varied and guaranteed methods of dieting like the “Grape Fruit diet”, diet plan with Saccharin- a substitute of regular sugar etc.

Over a period of time people began to start trends with having weighing scales in their bathrooms to forming groups who were interested in a mass weight loss program.

It was in 1972 however when a game changing diet plan came into the picture. Officially known as the Atkins Nutritional Approach, and more popularly known as the “Atkins Diet Plan” this “Diet Revolution”, consisted of a high-fat, high-protein and a low-carbohydrate diet.

Atkins emphasized on the fact that he had used the study to resolve his own weight issues as he was overweight. After he found success he started to popularize the method that he followed in a series of books.

The first book being Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution in 1972, In his second book, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution (2002), he managed to modify parts of the diet but ensured not to alter the original concepts.

This diet plan severely restricts the consumption of anything that contains carbohydrates in a systematic fashion, thus forcing the body to metabolize fat in order to produce energy.

Dr Atkins Diet Plan was welcomed by all who were desperately seeking ways and methods of losing weight. Atkins has quiet an impressive list of achievements.

His diet plan gained popularity because of the fact that it used the concept of natural healing which were safe, healthy and effective as opposed to alternative methods like surgery and pharmaceutical drugs.

1st Phase of Atkins Diet Plan – Induction

atkins induction phase

The most controlling of all the phases in the Atkins approach is the Induction Phase. The recommended duration for this phase is not less than two weeks.

The main agenda of this phase is to cause the human body to promptly enter into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is nothing but a condition of having elevated level of ketone bodies in the human body.

Most of the time it is generalized throughout the human body, with hyperketonemia. Hyperketonemia is a state of elevated level of having ketone bodies in the blood stream.

Ketone bodies are formed by a process called ketogenesis which is when the glycogen stores in the liver are depleted.  This is when the ketone bodies β-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate are used up for energy.

During the Atkins Induction Phase, the intake of carbohydrates by an individual is limited per day to less than a net 20 grams (i.e grams of carbohydrates minus grams of sugar alcohols, fiber,  or glycerin). In this 20 grams 12 to 15 net grams must be in the form of green salads, fresh vegetables and fruits.

Vegetables could be broccoli, pumpkin, spinach, turnips, cauliflower, asparagus, and tomatoes. The above listed items are just a few to name among the 54 other varieties of fruits and vegetables that the Atkins diet permits one to follow.

Legumes however are excluded from the list of 54 items as they contain too much starch that should be avoided during the induction phase. The permissible foods also include an abundant quantity of all meats, fish, poultry, fowl, shellfish, and eggs.

The diet also permits up to 113 grams or 4 ounces of  semi-soft or soft cheese like the cheddar cheese; vegetables that are low in carbohydrate content; most salad vegetables; olive oil, butter.

It permits consumption of vegetable oils as well. Quintessential element of this phase is to ensure that one drinks at least a minimum of eight glasses of water per day.

Those who enjoy a casual or a social drink would have to abstain from picking their glass of expensive scotch of wines etc as Alcoholic beverages are complete no-no during the Induction phase.

Caffeine addicts have a reason to smile as the Atkins Induction phase is caffeine friendly allowing intake of caffeine in moderation and this is only so long as this permit it does not cause the individual to have further cravings or results in symptoms of low blood sugar.

In case some one is a caffeine addict, then it is best to avoid the relaxation on caffeine from the initial Induction Phase itself, Caffeine can later be permitted during later phases of the diet.

Apart from the diet listed above, the Atkins Induction Phase also recommends a daily dosage of multivitamin tablets which contain minerals. However multivitamins which contain Iron should be avoided at all costs.

During the Induction Phase, what would be regarded as a normal amount of food intake would be consumption of around 20 grams of sugar and at least a minimum 100 grams of fat.

The Atkins Induction is usually a phase when many individuals can definitely notice a significant weight loss. There have been reports where in individuals who strictly follow the diet plan loss up to an amazing 10 pounds per week.  This of course needs to be combined with regular exercise routine.

The Second Phase of the Akins Diet Plan – On Going Weight Loss

the ongoing weight loss

The Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) phase of the world renowned Atkins diet plan consists basically of a slight increase in the carbohydrate intake by an individual.

The idea behind this phase is to ensure that individual can add on to their consumption pattern without any drastic changes that may cause increase their weight.

Additional carbohydrate intake by the individual is recommended, however at the same time the intake should be controlled to ensure that is remains at levels where weight loss is impacted in a positive way.

The daily target when it comes to carbohydrate intake ideally increase week on week by net 5 grams. This gradual increase thus keeps a tab on sudden weight increase if any.

The goal of the Ongoing Weight Loss phase is basically to find that “Critical and extremely important Carbohydrate Level for Losing weight”.

This phase is particularly important as it is here that the individual gets to establish the most important factor of level of carbohydrate would help in losing weight and ensure no weight regain.

This phase has to be followed strictly and cannot be followed just by another candidates experience in the 2nd Phase of the Atkins Diet plan as the Carbohydrate Level for losing weight generally differs from individual to individual.

 The main agenda of this phase is also to learn in a controlled and systematic manner as to how specific food groups can help in increasing an individuals glycemic levels and also how foods within the specified group can actually affect your ability to control your cravings.

The typical duration for the OWL phase lasts until the individuals weight is closer to target weight i.e at least within 10 pounds or if looked at in Kg’s would be close to 4.5 kg of their target weight.

The first week of this phase required that an individual should add to his diet plan more of the acceptable vegetables from the Induction phase of the diet to one’s daily produce.

For more clarity an example can be that the individual can add in their diet 6-8 stalks of asparagus, one cup of cauliflower, salad, or half portion of a medium sized avocado.

During the following week, the individual should quintessentially ensure that they follow the specifically designed carbohydrate ladder that Dr Robert Atkins had created for this phase and add fresh dairy to their diet list as well.

The ladder basically comprises of  9 rungs and an the individual in concern should ensure that they add the following items into their diet as per the order given in the ladder.

It is not necessary though that one should ensure all rungs are followed as one can certainly skip a rung if they do not intend to include that particular food group in their permanent food habits, such as the alcohol rung.

The rungs are listed below and are to be followed in sequence given below only for better results

  • Induction of the listed acceptable vegetables in phase one larger quantities
  • Fresh chees
  • Nuts and seeds [Cashew, Walnut, almond] etc
  • Berries
  • Alcohol [Can be skipped if non-alcoholic]
  • Legumes
  • Other fresh fruits
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Whole grains

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