Atkins Diet

One of the reasons that humankind suffers from obesity and being overweight is definitely caused by the modern lifestyle.  Nowadays, with the restricted life style of sitting around in front of the computer in the work cubicle, eating some fast food in the 20 minute lunch break, getting to where we need to go in a car instead of walking or bicycling; all lead to a generation of people who are either obese or overweight.  Of course, another important point is the fact that human beings were evolved to store fat cells in their body to protect it against times of famine, like the times in the Ice Ages. At those times, the food was scarce and thus the body had to be able to store fat cells to reconvert them into energy when there was no food available.  Actually, this was a very useful survival trait, which allowed mankind to survive the Ice Age.  However, in the modern times this genetic trait, combined with the modern life style of the 21st century; has caused more people than ever to have an obesity problem that affects their aesthetics as well as their health.  Thus there are more diets and weight loss programs that are available today than ever and Atkins Diet is one of them.

The Atkins Diet was started in the 1970’s by the late Dr. Atkins himself.  It is mainly a type of diet that concerns itself with eating almost no carbohydrates and eating proteins as a substitute.  Atkins Diet was especially popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s all the way to the 1990’s.  It’s main popularity stemmed from the fact that it was getting the results especially in short intervals. In the Atkins Diet, you are able to lose some significant pounds steadily and especially in the short term.

In the Atkins Diet, there are several phases.  In the first phase you are completely restricted from carbohydrates.  This means that you cannot eat these in any combination in the first stage of the Atkins Diet.

  1. Sugar and any sugary product like candy bars, chocolate bars, pudding, pastry, brownies, cakes, etc.
  2. No white flour products.
  3. NO white rice products
  4. No white pasta or macaroni
  5. No white bread
  6. No fruit (since fruits contain fructose or fruit sugar that is a carbohydrate)
  7. No vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and peas which are high in carbohydrates.
  8. No dairy except butter and cheese.

As it can be seen the Atkins diet is especially restrictive in the beginning.  However, what is surprising is the fact that in the Atkins Diet, you are allowed to eat as much as protein you want in the form of chicken, fish, red meat, cheese, butter etc. However, you are not allowed to eat any fibered foods because they contain carbohydrates.  In this diet, you begin to lose weight steadily for every week that you are on the diet. You are allowed to eat as much as meat, cheese, and butter that you want.  You are also allowed to drink tea or coffee and you can even drink alcohol daily without a hazard to your diet. As you pass a certain phase gradually, some low glycemic fruits and vegetables are introduced in to your diet.

The Atkins Diet really limits the food that raises your blood sugar and thus causes you to gain weight.  It actually induces a state in your body that causes your body to burn its fat cells for energy.  Since your body is not receiving the carbohydrates that it needs, this way your body is forced to overcome its genetic habits that are a remnant of the ice ages and thus your body stops storing fat cells and begins burning them.  

So as you can see from the overview of the Atkins Diet that it really does force your body to lose weight through a special mechanism.  However, as successful as it may be, it is one of the worst diets that you can do for your general health.  Yes, it does work, but it is not recommended for your health.  Most people who go on the diet, jut gorge themselves on steaks, pork chops, meat loaf, butter rolls just to overcome their feeling of hunger.  Since eating all of these foods are allowed and as much as you want, many people lose control and just overeat in proteins and fats.  The surprising thing is that they do lose weight since they are not really taking food that gives them calories based on sugar.  However, they end up gaining large amounts of cholesterol, blood fat and also they end up being constipated with intestine problems due to low intake of fibered foods.  All of the symptoms above do lead to several problems like heart disease and hypertension.  Perhaps after the death of late Dr. Atkins who has died of heart disease and high cholesterol; it is not surprising that many people have stopped using Atkins Diet and it is also not surprising that Atkins Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Besides the obvious long term effects, there are various short term effects on your body.  Because you limit the amount of carbohydrates that your body is supposed to receive every day, you become lethargic which means that you feel sluggish, lazy, and unable to complete your tasks due to a feeling of low energy.  It is also possible that you may get dizzy spells and you may even faint if you press yourself too hard.  Also, many people on the Atkins Diet has experienced bad breath as a side effect.  In addition since the Atkins Diet doesn’t incorporate a regular exercise program, you can imagine the condition of people who have been eating and gorging themselves on meat and high cholesterol products with no exercise.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, it is better that you don’t endanger your health with diets like Atkins diet and you adopt a life style that allows you to lose weight and keep it off.  This means that you have to do regular exercise, you must eat less but at the same time you should eat more frequently and more nutritionally balanced to keep yourself healthy and fit at the same time.  This is the key to losing weight and not programs like Atkins Diet.

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4 Comment(s)

OK Well... The creator of this diet did not die from heart disease. He slipped & fell on a snowy sidewalk and died several days later. He was 72 years old.
By: KC 10 years ago
I have to say that out of all the diets ive tried....this one definitely works. I lost 40 pounds in 2 months and managed to keep it off for 3 years. You have to be very open and have quite an imagination to make the things youre able to eat more interesting. Out of all diets, this one has been the easiest.
By: Mrs. Stakko 10 years ago
Wait...what're you supposed to eat if this diet prohibits like everything?
By: Whitney 10 years ago
This article was very useful n it shows the pros n cons about the Atkins diet
By: That guy who ain't goin to do Atkins! 11 years ago

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