Does The Atkins Diet Work

Does The Atkins Diet WorkSince it was launched in the ’70s, no other diet has received celebrity endorsements as much as the Atkins diet.  Devised by Dr. Atkins, the diet focuses on low-carbohydrate meals.  Whether or not these meals can lead to weight loss is still a controversial issue, especially in countries like Japan and China, which have the lowest obesity rates in the world — but their staple diets, which include rice and beans, have a very high-carbohydrate content.

What Is The Atkins Diet?

The Atkins diet is divided into four phases.  Phase one, or the induction phase, is where you prep your body to lose 15 pounds over a period of two weeks by changing your diet to low-carbohydrate options.  Phase two, or the ongoing weight loss or OWL phase, is when you start adding back some carbs to your diet.  This is a period of slow weight loss.  Phase three, or the pre-maintenance phase, is when you have lost most of the extra pounds and are only a few pounds away from your goal weight.  During this phase, you add more carbs to your diet while still continuing to lose weight.  Phase four, or the lifetime maintenance phase, is when your diet is officially over and you now start incorporating the foods advocated from all the different phases.

How Effective Is The Atkins Diet?

If you stick to the Atkins diet, it is very effective.  You will lose weight and keep it off.  The problem is sticking to it – compliance.  During the early part of this decade approximately 10% of adults in the USA were on some kind of Atkins low carb diet.  However, obesity and overweight continued to rise rampantly during this time.  The low-carb craze made virtually no dent at all in the fight against obesity – not nationally, anyway.

The problem was not that low carbs or good carbs do not work – they do.  The problem was, and still is, that people drop out of the diet, as they do with most other diets.  Study after study found that after two or three years, the vast majority of people who started well on the Atkins diet did not continue long-term.  In the medium-term the Atkins Diet tends to fare better than most other diets.

Sample Of The Atkins Diet Menu:

Here’s a look at what you might eat during a typical day on phase 1 of the Atkins Diet:

  • Breakfast.  Scrambled eggs, sausages and steamed spinach.  Acceptable beverages include coffee, tea, water, diet soda and herbal tea.
  • Lunch.  Roast beef on salad greens, with bean sprouts, olives, onions and dressing, along with an allowable beverage.
  • Dinner.  Baked salmon steak, asparagus, and arugula salad with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, along with an allowable beverage.
  • Snacks.  You typically can have two snacks a day. Snacks may include an Atkins Diet product, such as a chocolate shake or granola bar, or string cheese, olives and avocados.

Does The Atkins Diet WorkHealth Benefits Of Atkins Diet:

The Atkins Diet says that its eating plan can prevent or improve serious health conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.  In fact, almost any diet that helps you shed excess weight can reduce or even reverse risks factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  And most weight-loss diets — not just low-carb diets — may improve blood cholesterol or blood sugar levels, at least temporarily.  One study showed that people who followed Atkins had improved triglycerides, suggesting better heart health.  But there have been no major studies to show whether such benefits hold up for the long term or increase how long you live.

Some health experts believe that eating a large amount of fat and protein from animal sources, as allowed on the Atkins Diet, can increase your risk of heart disease or some cancers.  However, it’s not known what risks, if any, the Atkins Diet may pose over the long term because most of the studies about it have lasted for a year or less.

In addition, the Atkins Diet isn’t appropriate for everyone.  For example, Atkins warns that people with severe kidney disease should not follow the diet.  It also cautions that the weight-loss phases of the diet aren’t suitable for women who are pregnant or breast feeding.  The Atkins Diet recommends that you consult your doctor before starting the diet, especially if you have diabetes or gout or take diuretics, insulin or oral diabetes medications.

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Originally born and raised in Woburn Massachusetts (love my Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins!) I made my trek northward to the beautiful state of Maine back in October 2003 after marrying my college sweetheart. We began a family in 2004 and I am happy to say that we have 4 happy, healthy, beautiful children that bring an amazing amount of joy to our lives! I am also a type 1 diabetic. Diagnosed back in 2006 (out of the blue), at a routine doctors visit. Diabetes has single handed-ly been the biggest obstacle that I have faced in my life. At the time I had no idea of what a roller coaster ride I would be in for, I mean really, what's a couple finger sticks a day and a couple shots of insulin for food...this will be easy, I got this! Well 2 ER visits later, I quickly found out that this was no joke, and if I wanted to see my little ones grow up, this was something that I needed to take seriously! Little by little as we began to digest all of the information that was being thrown at acting insulin, short acting insulin, lancets, test meters, test strips, ketone sticks, carb counting, food groups, glucagon emergency kits, insulin pumps, glucose monitors...OMG, my head was spinning like a top!! After a couple of crazy years, I can happily say that I am well controlled and feel absolutely amazing! Not to be lost in all of this either is the amazing support of my wife. She has been my rock! She has been with me every step of the way, from 2am finger sticks to helping me change out a failed pump in the middle of a crowded restaurant. She truly is an amazing wife and mom and I can't imaging my life without her love and support- love you babe!

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