By Tess Thompson
The Atkins diet, often referred to as ‘the’ low-carb diet, is one of the most popular weight loss plans. It is based on the principle that when people eat fewer carbohydrates their body starts to burn stored fat for energy. The diet plan itself has four phases and the length of each phase depends upon individual responses to the diet and the extent of fat in the body.
- Ongoing weight loss.
- Maintenance or lifelong.
The induction phase is actually optional. However, it is suggested that the first phase is important for inducing a state of ‘Benign Dietary Ketosis’ (not to be confused with ketoacidosis that occurs in those suffering from diabetes). The phase is also the most difficult and controversial part of the diet. It is marked by a severe reduction in carbohydrate intake; less than half of what is usually accepted as necessary for an average adult.
Although there is no restriction on portions that one should eat, the diet has a list of acceptable foods that must be strictly adhered to, during this phase. The only recommended vegetables are broccoli, lettuce and tomatoes, and the rest of the diet primarily comprises of foods rich in proteins and fats like meat, poultry and dairy products. The induction phase lasts for a minimum of two weeks. However this phase can be continued if the body can tolerate the diet or if there is a lot of fat to lose.
Since the changes recommended in the Atkins diet are so forceful and extreme in nature, many people find that their bodies react negatively. This reaction occurs within 3-5 days of starting the diet and can be overcome easily by eating more carbohydrates. Although the negative reaction is transient, people harbor memories of the reaction and hesitate to resume the diet once a problem has occurred.
It is extremely important that the necessary nutrients are ingested during the induction phase. Supplemental vitamins and minerals are therefore, recommended.
As you proceed into the other phases, carbohydrates are added to the diet. The diet however recommends that complex carbohydrates be added to the diet plan. Simple carbohydrates such as sugar and refined grains are excluded through out the plan.
If you are looking for a diet plan that tells you how to naturally lose weight fast your natural choice should be the Atkins diet. Even though the diet plan allows almost all sumptuous foods, it is pertinent to check the diet plan with your physician. This is because it flouts most of the rules of a conventional healthy weight loss plans . Fruits and vegetables are the mainstay of all systematic natural weight loss plans because of their well documented benefits. Although vitamins and minerals can be replaced with supplements, phyto-nutrients are available only in edible plants. These are not allowed under the Atkins diet plans. Exercise, a highly recommended way of loosing weight, is also not emphasized in the Atkins diet program. Empirical evidence also shows that a large proportion of those on the Atkins diet are at high risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases due to the lack of fiber in the diet plan.
Though the Atkins diet allows you to lose weight naturally , the extreme nature of the diet recommendations makes it a fairly risky one.
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