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The Atkins diet, introduced by Dr. Robert C. Atkins, is used for the purpose of losing weight with a low-carb diet. The diet consists of eating as many fats and proteins you can eat, especially in the form of meat, to lose weight on the condition that you avoid foods that have high carbs. The diet is also possible for vegetarians; therefore, the only source of proteins and fats should not necessarily be restricted to meat. Studies support the notion that low carb diets help lose weight without the calorie count of your diet, and along with that also may improve your health. In the initial stages when the Atkins diet was introduced, it was highly discouraged by nutritionists as it consisted of high saturated fats. However, later studies debunked this and saturated fats were declared harmless.
The diet is also said to help with health improvements, especially for the regulation of sugar level in the blood and of HDL cholesterol, which is good for the body. One of the main factors that help with weight loss using the Atkins diet is that with the high content of proteins and fats in the diet, food intake becomes less as you fill up more quickly. This makes you eat fewer calories without actually ever realizing the difference in calorie intake from your previous dietary habits to those on the Atkins diet. The Atkins diet also consists of certain stages for better and more effective results; in the initial stage, along with the low carb food in the form of fat and proteins, you eat low carb vegetables. After that, you increase the number of low carb vegetables and small amounts of fruit, and later you keep on adding a lower carb food diet until you meet your weight goal. The fourth and final stage consists of maintaining the diet. Sugar, low protein, and low-fat food are discouraged along with vegetable oil and vegetables with starch. Additionally, the body replaces low carb food by breaking down its own fat in order to cover for the carb deficiency, which, in turn, produces ketones.
People may suffer from constipation due to lack of fiber in the diet, as well as from other minor health problems with the restraint to kidneys, which are responsible for breaking down ketones. If these problems become long term, they could cause issues.
One of the main arguments against the Atkins diet is the absence of physical exercise from the diet, which perhaps is one of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle. Other than that, it cannot be continued for the long term and it does not diagnose the habits of a person who gains weight initially, so it can be considered to be rather temporary and short term as one may regain all the lost weight after shifting back to his or her normal diet.
However, if eating habits are permanently changed, it may have a positive and sustainable effect on your health. The diet also may result in fatigue, weakness, and headaches in the initial stage due to lack of sugar, etc. Atkins Diet has also evolved over the years due to newer studies and research, including foods (mostly in small quantities) such as vitamins and salt, to prevent health diseases and to maintain a healthy diet. Before starting the Atkins diet, it is also recommended to consult the doctor especially in case of kidney problems or diabetic problems, and it is also not recommended for pregnant women and breastfeeding women.
The Atkins diet claims that a loss of 15 pounds is possible in the first week but that includes the water content of your body as well. However, if you are able to control the intake of your carbs, you may maintain that loss. The diet may also be cheaper compared to other diets as it does not include special foods, and mostly includes food you consume on a daily basis. All you need to do is just be more selective with the food you eat.
Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on April 2nd, 2023.
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