Does The Atkins Diet Really Work? A Brutally Honest Review
Discovered in the 1970s by Dr. Robert Atkins, the Atkins diet claims to help individuals lose weight through a change of eating plan. The main idea behind it is that most people are eating too many carbohydrates in the form of sugar, flour and corn syrups – and that a shift is necessary if one wants to lose weight. But does the Atkins diet really work? Is there any truth to back its claims? In this Atkins diet review we seek to examine the truth behind its basic principles and assumptions.
Low Carb Diet Plan
This is a low diet plan, it entails consumption of low carb foods for quick weight loss. However, despite being restrictive on carbohydrate intake, fat consumption is slightly allowed. The thought behind it is that by using a natural approach, the body will be forced to burn fat for energy as it will be supplied with minimal amounts of glucose.
With a diet plan consisting of cheese, fish, good fats, eggs, meat and a decent portion of good carbs a person can look forward to losing about 10 to 30 pounds of weight in the first month. Generally, meal plans for this diet consist of a four phase model – starting with induction phase, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and ending with lifetime maintenance.
(1)The Atkins Diet Induction Phase
This phase lasts for about 14 days, during which carb intake is limited to about 20 grams per day. The claim is that one can lose about 15 pounds in the first two weeks. This may happen because the body is coerced to burn fat as carb intake is severely restricted during this phase.
During this first phase, you must avoid carb-rich treats such as cakes, biscuits, crisps, fizzy drinks, pastry, croissants and chocolate. This also means ditching potatoes, milk, rice, bread and restricting yourself to less than 10% of your normal carbohydrate consumption.
In contrast, you can still eat fish, chicken, red meat, eggs and butter. The main goal of the induction phase is to get your body to switch from breaking down carbs to breaking down fats.
This phase lasts for about 2 weeks but this can vary depending on how fast and how much fat you want to lose. The rule of the thumb is to stay in this phase until you are 15 pounds from your ideal weight goal.
(2)Ongoing Weight Loss Phase
This phase allows you to slightly increase your carbohydrate intake by 5g daily for a week at a time. You should do this until you identify your Critical Carbohydrate Level (CCL) for losing weight. The CCL is the maximum amount of carbs you can eat every day to lose 1 to 3 lbs per week. For some, this may be 30g, for others it might be 50g. Nevertheless, carb consumption is still lower than most of us are used to and really only allows for the introduction of a handful more nuts, fruits and veggies. Rice, potatoes, pasta and bread are still put off limits.
This phase should last until you are 10 pounds from your ideal weight goal.
When you lose the required amount of weight, you then enter the third stage of pre-maintenance. In this specific phase, you learn what your body metabolism can handle and what it cannot. You increase your carb intake by 10 grams each day for a week at a time. Ideally, this is meant to slow down your weight loss to less than 1 lb a week in an effort to prepare your body for the last phase.
By now you are expected to start including small amounts of traditional starchy food such as pasta, bread and porridge (in tiny amounts). For instance, just 30g cooked pasta or 40g cooked brown rice would be enough to provide you with 10g of carbs per day.
(4)Lifetime Maintenance Phase
During this final stage, you have to remember that even though the variety of foods that you can eat has increased, you still have to control the amount consumed. Do not slip away into your former eating habits. You are expected to learn to control your cravings so you don’t consume more than what is required of you – in order to prevent recurrent weight gain.
You need to limit your carbs to less than 90g per day – which is roughly a third of what you eat during a normal day. In other words, you'll be following this diet plan for a lifetime.
Atkins Diet Approximate Weight Loss
The scientist behind this diet plan claims that you can expect to lose 6-10lb during the first two weeks. This should however slow to 1 to 3lb per week once you enter the second and successive phases. During the final phase, lifetime phase, you can expect to lose about 1lb per week at best.
Benefits & Criticism of Atkins Diet
The main benefit is that you can lose significant amounts of weight quickly – and this can be very motivating. Thanks to the diet’s allowing plenty of high fat butter, red meat, mayo, cheese and cream, one has many eating options.
Atkins approach ensures the body has enough fuel even as it limits carbohydrates. This approach means more constant energy levels throughout the day, and less cravings. You actually lose weight while still feeling full.
Best of all is that the principles behind this diet have been proven in over 80 clinical studies.
On the downside, though, some Atkins diet reviews confirm that it can be quite difficult to adhere to some rules of this diet especially if you are a vegetarian because beans, nuts and seeds are mainly banned during the induction phase. Also, some critics tend to think that the principles behind Atkins diet plan fail to follow basic principles of healthy eating which science has proven can help keep us free from disease.
Atkins Diet Foods List
You can find the food at most grocey stores and they also include a few snacks such as candy bars and protein shakes It's important to look at the box because they have the Atkins food label according to what stage of the diet you are at, so you wouldn't want to eat a stage 2 food when you are on stage 1 of the diet. You can also find some pretty good Atkins diet recipes online or get them from other people who are doing the diet or have already did the diet.
So does the Atkins diet really work?
The Atkins Diet Review Verdict
This Atkins diet review can confirm that the pros of this weight loss plan seem to outweigh the cons by far. In addition, the fact that most restrictions are lifted as you proceed through the tiers makes it interesting to follow in addition to expanding your bag of food options. However, more research still needs to be done just to clarify on any potential long-term risks of it. However, to this end (and given that the diet has been around since the 70’s), there seems to be no major worries concerning long-term usage of Atkins diet rules.
Suggestions and Notes
If you are doing this diet or are thinking about doing it you should also know that you can hit a weight loss plateau on it and that is why most people who are doing the Atkins diet also take Skinny Fiber along with it, so they can start losing the weight again.
Check out the Nutrisystem Diet Review Here.