The Atkins Diet is a dieting system that helps the body lose weight naturally by changing a person eating method and by boosting up the person’s metabolism. By following the plan, it promises to help a person lose weight without being hungry all the time. It also promises to help a person’s memory functions and cardiovascular health. Many people who followed this diet’s guidelines and restrictions and who had suffered from diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and/or polycystic ovarian syndrome had overcome those illnesses. Some individuals have even reported feeling more energetic and healthier after just being on the diet for a week.
Now according to this plan, the main reason why people are overweight is because people eat too many carbohydrates. It also states that our bodies are designed to burn carbohydrates as fuel for the body, before it uses fat. Therefore, its theory for losing weight is to do reduce the carbohydrates and eat more proteins and fats. This is supposed to help dieters lose weight naturally without having to skip a meal or skip meals with vital fats. This is the basic principle that guides the Atkins Diets.
Well, the normal guidelines of eating healthy come from the USDA Food Pyramid. This pyramid recommends about 6-8 servings of carbohydrates (like bread, cereals, pasta, and rice). This is a major no-no for people and Atkins diet strictly limits all carbohydrates; so it will stress the importance of major protein sources. All carbohydrates are restricted. Some of the best protein sources are pork, soy products, fish, beef, and poultry.
However, one the great advantages of doing this program is that there is not set limits for what you intake (no intake-counts), and you don’t have to calorie-count. Nonetheless, it does restrict certain food types an Atkins Dieter eats. An example of this is the person cannot consume any refined sugars or foods make with white flour (Anything white is not alright!). The Atkins Dieter must divide their three meals into proper sizes.
Atkins Diet Food List: The Induction Phase
There are basically three phases to the plan, each characterized by the amount of carbohydrates allowed during the period, and the easing of other dietary restrictions as the diet progresses. Of the three phases, by far the most challenging is the initial or “induction phase.” During this 2-3 week period, dieters are instructed to limit their carbohydrate intake to a mere 20 grams per day, with all of these carbohydrates coming exclusively from vegetables. What this means is that foods such as rice, potatoes, pasta and, of course, sugar are entirely prohibited during this period.
There are, however, many foods which are allowed during the induction phase, most without any restrictions whatsoever. These would be foods from protein sources and non-carbohydrate foods containing healthy fats. Below is a more detailed look at the foods list during this initial phase:
• Protein Foods. Protein foods include items such as beef, pork, poultry and fish, along with dairy products such as cheese, milk and eggs. Most of these foods have little to no carbohydrate content, but you should always, according to Atkins, check the labels just to be sure.
• Vegetables. Fresh vegetables (not fruit) are allowed during the induction phase, as long as the total is less than 20 grams per day. This would include items such as broccoli, spinach and even lettuce.
• Healthy Fats and Oils. Unlike other diets that warn people of the dangers associated with fat intake, the Atkins diet is very clear that healthy fat intake (no Trans fat) is an essential part of dieting. Therefore, foods such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, whole-fat mayonnaise and cold fish (such as Salmon which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids) are allowed during each and every phase.
• Beverages. The staple beverage of the diet is water. Dr. Atkins advises dieters to drink at least 8-8 ounce glasses of water a day. Unsweetened decaffeinated tea and coffee is also acceptable, as are diet sodas that are artificially sweetened with Splenda. Fruit juices containing sugar and, of course, alcohol are prohibited during this phase of the regimen.
This diet is not for everyone, but thousands of people throughout the country swear by the program and have seen real weight-loss results as a result of their participation.