The Atkins diet is for people who are looking to lose weight quickly. In short, this diet emphasizes on eating fat sand proteins but restricts from eating carbohydrates or limiting it to a low proportion. This diet was introduced back in 1970s by a cardiologist named Dr. Robert Atkins. He believed that consuming sugary foods and carbohydrates causes weight gain which is why he introduced the Atkins diet as it restricts the foods that causes the weight to increase.
What is Atkins Diet?
This diet focuses on cutting off carbohydrate intake so as to drop the insulin levels and enhance the fat burning process.
The reason to design this diet was to achieve 4 things.
- Lose weight.
- Maintain weight.
- Stay healthy.
- Avoid diseases.
When a person switches to the Atkins diet, their metabolism state changes, too. Instead of burning glucose from the body to get energy, the body burns the fat stored in the body to get energy. This process is called Ketosis.
Since consuming carbohydrates tends to increase glucose levels, it causes the insulin levels to rise too, this can contributes to weight gain. This is the reason why the Atkins diet restricts the intake of carbohydrates.
4 Phases Of The Atkins Diet
Here are the four phases that make up an atkins diet:
1st phase: The first phase is called induction and in this phase the dieter limits carbohydrate consumption to 20 grams per day. High fat and high protein foods can be eaten during the first phase with vegetables that are low in carbohydrates, such as leafy greens.
2nd phase: Balancing is the 2nd phase of the diet. In this phase, the carbohydrate intake is increased to determine what your carb tolerance is. Try adding 25 grams of carbohydrate in the first week and switch to 30 grams in the second. You may add nuts, cherries, berries and cheese to the diet.
3rd Phase: Increase carb intake by 10 grams per week when you are close to your goal weight. Monitor your weight each week and keep adding until your weight loss slows down.
4th Phase: Gradually begin to increase carb sources and reduce fatty foods and see that your weight doesn’t go up. If it does, limit the carb intake. The goal is to find the amount of carb intake that doesn’t increase your weight. This is important because different people have different tolerance levels.
Foods To Eat:
- Meats: You can eat meats including lamb, chicken, beef, pork, bacon etc.
- Fish and seafood: Salmon, trout, sardines, etc., are high in proteins and should be eaten in An atkins diet.
- Seeds And Nuts: Almonds, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, walnuts.
- Full-fat dairy: Cream, full-fat yoghurt, butter, cheese,.
- Healthy fats: Coconut oil, Extra virgin olive oil,, avocados and avocado oil.
- Eggs: Pastured or omega-3 enriched eggs.
- Low-carb vegetables: Broccoli, Kale, spinach, asparagus etc.
- Fruits:Apples, bananas and other fruits that are low on carbs.
Foods Not To Eat:
- Vegetable Oils: cottonseed oil, Soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil.
- Sugar: Cakes, ice cream, candy, soft drinks, fruit juices, etc.
- Grains: Spelt, rye, Wheat, barley, rice.
- Starches: Potatoes, sweet potatoes (in 1st phase only).
- Legumes: Lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc (induction only).
- Trans Fats: Processed hydrogenated foods.
- High-carb Vegetables: Carrots, turnips, etc (1st phase only).
- High-carb Fruits: Oranges, bananas, apples, pears, grapes (1st phase only).
Benefits Of Atkins Diet
Weight Loss: The main aim of the Atkins diet is to reduce weight and then keep it maintained. The diet first lowers carb intake to drop weight and then adds carbs again gradually to help maintain a steady weight.
Treats And Reduces Risk Of Heart Diseases: Besides weight loss, Atkins diet helps to promote a healthy heart as well. Since it helps to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels, it helps reduce the risk of a a number of cardiovascular diseases.
Prevents Or Treats Diabetes: Since the diet restricts sugary foods, a person is less vulnerable to get diabetes. However, if someone is already diabetic, then cutting off sugary foods and carbs can help a great deal in keeping insulin levels under control.
Treats Acne: Refined carbs can make your acne worse and make them stay for longer. Cutting off these carbs helps to reduce acne risks and also helps to treat it faster.
Atkins Recipes To Know About
Here are some delicious Ztkins recipes you can try:
Sicilian Roasted Chicken
- Chicken thighs – 8
- 2 fresh lemons. (One sliced and one juiced 1-½ tbsp of juice squeezed)
- Crisp white wine – 1/2 cup
- Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1/4 cup
- Half sliced garlic cloves – 6 to 8 pieces
- sprigs of fresh thyme – 2 to 3
- Whole pitted olives (Kalamata) – 1/2 cup
- Kosher salt – 2 tsp
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash and dry the chicken.
- Season each side with pepper and salt.
- Place the chicken in a large roasting pan.
- Take a blender and add wine, one garlic clove, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Keep blending until it turns smooth.
- Pour this liquid onto the chicken in the pan (drizzle on each side).
- Place lemon and garlic slices beside the chicken pieces and sprinkle thyme leaves.
- Let it roast for 15 minutes then to 275 degrees for 40 minutes until it turns brown.
- Remove chicken from the pan and let it cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Your dish is ready.
Low Carb Banana Waffles
- Ripe bananas – 2
- Eggs – 4
- Almond flour – ¾ cup
- Coconut milk – ¾ cup
- Ground psyllium husk powder – 1 tablespoon
- Salt – 1 pinch
- Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
- Vanilla extract – ½ teaspoon
- Ground cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
- Coconut oil or butter for frying
- Take a bowl and mix all of the ingredients mentioned in the list except for coconut oil/butter.
- Let it sit for some time.
- Take a frying pan and add coconut oil or butter. Pour the mixture from the bowl to the frying pan and fry it.
- Banana waffles are ready.
How Soon Can You See The Results?
You will begin to see results in the second phase as your weight will start to reduce. However, sticking to the diet for a number of years is important here because getting off the diet may cause weight gain again.
The Atkins diet has more benefits than just reducing weight. It keeps your heart healthy and prevents other diseases as well.