There are millions of people around the world who have lost their weight with the Atkins diet. This is a safe and effective tool for all those who are looking for an affordable option to get rid of their extra body weight. It is a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate weight-loss diet. It emphasizes eating lean protein and low-starch vegetables and avoiding simple carbohydrates such as flour and sugar. The diet involves a reduced glycemic load to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Fewer carbohydrates lets your body burn more amounts of fat. This diet can alleviate symptoms of health conditions such as fatigue, irritability, depression, headaches, and some types of joint and muscle pain. Here are some unique features of this diet:
- This diet keeps you never hungry. In fact, you eat every two to three hours daily.
- It gives quick and better results. Even after just a few days, you can feel the difference.
- As you come up with your goals, you'll add more fruits, starchy veggies, and whole grains.
- Exercise is not necessary with Atkins diet. While it’s a good idea to exercise for other reasons, on Atkins you can still lose weight without exercise.
Phases of Atkins Diet Program
There are four phases of the Atkins Diet: induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance, and lifetime maintenance. We discuss each phase briefly.
PHASE 1: Induction (kick-start weight loss)
The main purpose of the induction Phase of the program is to kick-start weight loss. It is the most restrictive phase of the Atkins Nutritional Approach. Keep your appetite under control, and stay alert and energized. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. The allowed foods included 4 to 6 ounces per meal of any meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, fowl, or eggs; up to 4 ounces of hard or semi-soft cheese such as cheddar cheese; most salad vegetables; other low-carbohydrate vegetables; and butter, olive oil and vegetable oils. Caffeine is allowed in moderation. If a caffeine addiction is evident, it is best to avoid it until later phases of the diet. A daily multivitamin with minerals is also recommended during this phase. A normal amount of food on Induction is around 20 grams of naturally occurring sugars from vegetables at least 100 grams of fat, and about 18 ounces of protein or 150 grams.
PHASE 2: Ongoing Weight Loss
This phase consists of small, incremental increases in carbohydrate intake, but remaining at levels where weight loss occurs. Low-carbohydrate drinks such as spirits and dry wines are preferred, and must of course be included in the daily carb allowance. You’ll start to climb the Carb Ladder, slowly adding different foods, you can think about nuts, seeds, strawberries, blueberries, melon, cottage cheese, yogurt and more, as you continue the way of finding your individual carb balance.
PHASE 3: Pre-Maintenance
You’re probably now just 10 pounds from your goal weight, which you’ll achieve in Pre-Maintenance. In this Phase, you will gradually see how much you can raise your daily Net Carb intake while exploring the final three rungs of the Carb Ladder.
Here the dieters may be able to add some of the forbidden carbs back into their diet once a week. According to the Atkins Diet in pre-maintenance phase, one's body is beginning to lose the protection of ketosis as one prepares for the last Lifetime Maintenance phase.
Dieters are confident to continue to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily and to increase their daily carbohydrate count by 10 grams each week as long as they continue to lose weight.
The plan recommends that once dieters reach their goal weight and are able to uphold that level for a month or so, then they can increase their daily carb usage by another 10 grams to see if that is possible without gaining. If one gains weight at that level, the plan recommends that one drops back levels of carbohydrates in 10 grams additions.
PHASE 4: Lifetime Maintenance
You are finally in Phase 4, Lifetime Maintenance. This is not so much a phase as a permanent lifestyle. This phase is intended to carry on the habits acquired in the previous phases, and avoid the common end-of-diet mindset that can return people to their previous habits and previous weight. Whole, unprocessed food choices are emphasized, with the option to drop back to an earlier phase if you begin to gain your body weight.