The Atkins Diet, which is also known by many people under the name “Atkins nutritionist approach”, was created by doctor Robert Coleman Atkins, an American cardiologist and physician. This diet is a low-carbohydrate one, typically recommended for a rapid loss of weight. The advocates of the Atkins Diet stress that the diet allows one to eat as much of fat and protein as one wants, yet just cutting the consumption of carbohydrates significantly.
Over the last decade, a total of 10 studies has been published, proving that existing low-carb diets are effective for a rapid weight loss. In particular, the Atkin Diet promises that, unlike typical high-carb diets, this diet will keep your blood sugar level stable, which also curbs your cravings and decreases the fat storage.
However, this diet is also often criticized for being a fad diet, which means that it makes promises without solid scientific background. Indeed, this diet is a fairly restrictive one, yet it has a large base of advocates and supporters too. In case if you have made up your mind about starting the Atkins Diet, consult your nutritionist and consider all the risks and products you must and must not exclude, first.
Table of Contents
Essentials of the Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet consists of four phases, yet you may be not always able or willing to stick to them. Indeed, if it will appear too difficult or complicated to stick to these phases, then skip and focus more on sticking to the consumption of recommended products. So, the phases are the following ones:
The “Introduction” Phase.
During the first phase, which lasts two weeks, you must eat no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. Thus, you should eat the products with a high consumption of fats and proteins, while consuming low-carb products (such as leafy greens). This gives a kick start to your weight loss, and this is the phase where you lose the most of the weight.
The Balancing Phase.
This may seem as a saving point for you, since you can start eating more carbohydrates. In particular, you may reintroduce some of the seeds, nuts, berries, and vegetables into your diet. At the same time, make sure that, even though your carbohydrate intake has increased, you keep losing weight. This phase is the longest one through the diet course, and you should advance to the third phase once you have only 5 kilograms left until your goal of the weight loss.
The Fine-Tuning Phase.
At this point, you must be really close to the weight loss goal of yours. Every week, you add additional 10 grams to your daily norm of carbohydrates. Do not forget about some starchy vegetables and whole grains, which must be reintroduced as well. Now, you should see your weight loss process decelerating, but not stopping. If it stops, cut some of the carbs you have reintroduced and keep tracking the weight and sticking to the diet until you will reach your weight loss goal.
The Maintenance Phase.
At this juncture, you should have lost the weight you wanted to lose. Now, you should pick healthy carbohydrates and eat as many of them as you wish, yet only if you do not regain the weight.
Products You Must Avoid
Since the diet limits the intake of carbohydrates in large quantities, some of the vegetables and other carb-containing products are allowed. Here, you can see a list of the products that are prohibited through the diet course.
|Legumes*||Starches*||High-carb fruits*||High-carb vegetables*||“Low-fat” and “diet” foods||Trans fats||Vegetable oils||Grains||Sugar products|
|Chickpeas||Sweet potatoes||Tangerines||Peas||Turkey bacon||Biscuits||Canola oil||Rice||Ice cream|
|Beans||Potatoes||Cherries||Lime beans||Low-fat baked cakes||Breakfast sandwich||Cottonseed oil||Barley||Candies|
|Lentils||Pumpkin||Pomegranates||Stewed tomatoes||Salad||Margarine||Corn oil||Rye||Cakes|
|Peas||Corn||Bananas||Black-eyed peas||Peanut butter (reduced in fat)||Cream-filled candies, etc.||Soybean oil||Spelt||Fruit juices|
|Carobs||Plantain||Mangos||Artichokes||Substitutes of eggs||Wheat||Soft drinks|
* – prohibited only during the first and second phases of the diet.
Products You Must Eat
There are 7 categories of foods you should eat when embarking on the Atkins Diet. First of all, this all is about meat: bacon, chicken, lamb, pork, beef, and a few other sorts of red meat. Then, do not forget about seafood and fatty fish like sardines, trouts, salmon, and so on. Eggs, which are pastured or enriched with Omega-3 acids, are also essential for this diet.
Vegetables with low content of carbohydrates are a must for this diet, namely: asparagus, broccoli, spinach, kale, etc. Full-fat dairy products like full-fat yoghurt, cream, cheese, and butter must be not excluded from your menu either. An important part of the diet is also eating seeds and nuts: sunflower seeds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, and so on. After all, don’t forget to add to your meals healthy fats like avocado oil, avocados alone, coconut oil, and olive oil (extra virgin).
Regarding the drinks, you are able to drink water (and do not shy away from consuming it in large quantities), coffee and green tea (all without sugar, of course). Alcohol may be also quite okay, but in small quantities.
Atkins Diet Menu
Here is an example of how your menu may look for the first three days of the first week:
- Day 1. Get a breakfast, consisting of vegetables (which you should previously fry in coconut oil) and eggs. Lunch a chicken salad dressed with olive oil and eat a bit of nuts. In the evening, prepare a steak and some vegetables.
- Day 2. As well as on the first day, prepare eggs yet take a bacon instead of veggies. Lunch what was left on the dinner from the day before. For the dinner, take a cheeseburger with butter and vegetables.
- Day 3. Your breakfast will consists of omelette with vegetables, previously fried in either coconut oil or in butter. For the lunch, cook a shrimp salad dressed with olive oil. As for the evening meal, cook a ground beef stir fry as well as take some veggies.
How can I follow the diet while being at a restaurant?
It is fairly simple to do. In the first place, do without rice, potatoes, and bread, yet rather order more vegetables. Order a meal with a fatty fish or fatty meat. Also, order olive oil, butter, or some more sauce for your meals.
How can it be alright if the diet includes so many products with high contents of fat?
Most of the products included in the list of recommended foods contain, indeed, lots of fats, but those fats are saturated, i.e. not harmful for your body and health.
Video About Atkins Diet
Other Recommended Diets
- Dukan Diet step by step
- High Protein Diet step by step
- Ketogenic Diet step by step
- Low Carb Diet step by step
- Paleo Diet step by step