There are so many diets out there these days and all of them seem so complicated. Some require you to eat only one type of food for a long period of time (mono diets), other restrict your fat intake, some make you eat a lot of fat (keto), and others restrict full food groups (paleo) or give you time restrictions (intermittent fasting). Low carb diets are a classic too, but they’re a classic for a reason. The Atkins diet is a low carb diet that has stood the test of time. It’s tried and true and it works great if weight loss is what you’re looking for. So here are some things you might want to know about it before you start it.
What Is The Atkins Diet?
The Atkins diet was created by Dr Robert C. Atkins in the 1970s. It’s a low carb diet that comes in four phases. It suggests eating an optimal amount of carbs and urges you to eat enough fats. Originally this diet programme encountered a lot of criticism because of how restricting it was in terms of carb consumption. But in the later years, after multiple studies, it was shown to actually work really well for weight loss.
Atkins Diet Pros And Cons
Like any diet, Atkins has its pros and cons. On one hand, you do have to watch the amount of carbohydrates you can eat and it can be difficult for those who are used on living off of carbs mostly. You can’t really have pasta, bread or baked goods when you’re on the Atkins diet. Even certain starchy vegetables aren’t allowed. Plus, there’s always the added element of having to cook for yourself and eating out with friends becomes challenging. On the other hand, the pros might be worth it cause you will see results, you don’t have to count calories as long as you stay away from carbs and you get used to not eating junk food.
Atkins Diet Food List
Here are foods you should avoid:
Fast food and pre-packaged processed snacks are obviously a big no-no.
Sugar, grains, trans fats usually found in processed foods, diet foods that are usually high in sugar. During the induction phase, you should avoid high-carb veggies like carrots, potatoes, turnips, legumes in general, high carb fruits like bananas, apples, grapes and pears.
Foods that you should eat:
There are some Atkins brand premade snacks and products that you can buy but it’s not necessary. The foods that will make up most of your diet are meats, fatty fish and other seafood, eggs, full-fat dairy products like cheese and milk and yoghurt, low carb veggies and leafy greens, healthy fats like avocado, olive oil and coconut oil, nuts and seeds.
Atkins Diet Meal Plan
A usual day of eating on the Atkins diet might look something like this:
Breakfast: Eggs and bacon with a small side salad
Lunch: Chicken salad with avocado or olive oil and some nuts sprinkled in.
Dinner: Steak or meatless burgers or cooked salmon with a side of vegetables.
Good snacks include full-fat yoghurt, cottage cheese, a couple of slices of cheddar, berries and whipped cream.
Atkins Diet Rules
As we’ve mentioned before the Atkins diet has 4 phases and they’re pretty strict if you want to see results. The main difference is the amount of carbs you’re allowed on each phase.
Phase 1 – Induction. To kick start the diet you go really low on carbs for 2 weeks. When we say low – it’s 20g of carbs per day and 15 of those should come from leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables. You’re not really allowed fruits. The protein and fat intake should be high.
Phase 2 – Balancing. At this stage, you can have slightly more carbs. About 30-40g per day. You can add more nuts and seeds to your diet, more vegetables and low carb fruits. Protein and fats are still high.
Phase 3 – Fine-tuning. In this phase, you’re allowed around 100g of carbs a day. You can have most fruits and veggies, you can introduce moderate amounts of grains. Protein intake still high. That’s the theme of this diet.
Phase 4 – Maintenance. The weight loss at this stage stops. You can eat as many carbs as you want as long as you don’t start gaining weight while keeping your proteins high.
Atkins Diet Results
The results of Atkins are pretty obvious. While you’ll definitely see the numbers on the scale change, it’s the inches that will impress you more. The whole idea of this diet is to cut down on carbs so that you can dip into your fat and use it as energy. So while you burn the fat you’ll see the inches reduce dramatically while your muscles will remain intact thanks to the high protein intake.