The Atkins diet was created and first introduced in 1972 by Dr. Robert C. Atkins. Dr. Akins believed that diets high in sugar and carbohydrates were the cause of obesity, high blood pressure, fatigue and diabetes. Instead, he promoted eating a diet high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. The critics of the Atkins diet contend that eating a diet high in protein and fat is a recipe for heart disease and other food related illnesses.
The Atkins diet is a strict diet that, if not followed to the letter will not be as successful. The most restrictions for what can and cannot be eaten is found in the beginning stages of the diet and then you are allowed to relax a bit with what you are allowed to eat towards the end of the diet–although there really isn’t a stopping point if you want to continue to see results. But certain foods will never be a part of your meals again on this plan and that is added sugar, refine grains and junk foods.
Like other weight loss plans, the Atkins diet works in stages. The strictest part of the Atkins diet is the Induction stage, which is the first stage where you are limited to the amount of carbohydrates that you can eat. The carbs that are allowed are from vegetables. The stringent reduction of carbohydrates is to cause the body to go into a state of ketosis. When the body is in a state of ketosis it begins to burn stored fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. A rapid amount of body weight is noticed during the Induction stage because the body is using fat burning fat instead of carbs for energy. The length of each stage can vary based on the individual’s body weight. The Induction stage is typically two weeks.
The other three stages of the Atkins diet are OWL or ongoing weight loss, Pre-maintenance and Maintenance. These remaining stages are geared to help an individual find their body’s ideal carbohydrate tolerance. To do this, participants are allowed to reintroduce small amounts of carbohydrates to their system. Their weight loss will decrease to a normal level of one to two pounds and if they begin to gain weight they will cut back on the carbs. Theoretically, as long as they say within their body’s tolerance for carbohydrates they won’t have to worry about weight gain.
Many people have found success in losing weight with the Atkins diet. They have reported having more energy and a boost in confidence. But, unfortunately, many have regained that weight plus more over time. One could argue the fact that people will eventually regain the weight simply because it may be difficult for people to stick to this way of eating over time. Although some people have reclaimed their previous weight the Atkins diet is still going strong and research has showed that the Atkins diet has been more successful in helping people lose weight than many of the other diets on the market.