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The Atkins Diet

Robert C. Atkins

Robert C. Atkins, M.D., was the founder and medical chair of The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine, in New York City. A 1951 graduate of the University of Michigan, Dr. Atkins received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical School in 1955, and went on to specialize in cardiology. In his more than 40 years of practice, he cared for more than 65,000 patients.

Atkins diet information
The Atkins diet was devised by Dr Robert C Atkins. Dr Atkins was a pioneer of the high protein/ low carbohydrate diets that are so popular today. Dr Atkins published his book 'Diet Revolution' in 1972 and it was an immediate bestseller. The theory of a low carb diet had been around for some time when William Banting devised the in the late 19th century. It was Dr Atkins that popularized the theory that you can eat all the proteins you want and lose weight as long as you eat no carbohydrates. Over the years Dr Atkins modified his position and the diet now allows non-starchy vegetables and some unrefined fruits and grains. The Atkins diet does not allow sugar, simple carbohydrates or refined grains and starches wherever possible.

The Dr Atkins programme is a high protein diet in the purest sense and allows almost no carbohydrates at the start of the diet. The diet works by inducing a state of ketosis in the body and you may eat as much food as you like while in this state. Ketosis is when the body believes it is starving and is deprived of carbohydrates to burn so it burns fat instead. There is some dispute whether or not ketosis is damaging to the body (especially the liver), there is also debate as to whether the body burns lean muscle mass for fuel not just fat. You can check if you are in the state of ketosis by checking your urine for the presence of ketones with a urine test stick (available from the chemist)
The first two weeks there is an induction phase which is like the original 'diet revolution' where carbohydrates are very restricted. There should be a large initial weight loss that will be mainly water. After the first induction phase there is a transition or ongoing weight loss stage this involves slowly increasing the amount of carbohydrates in your diet until your body comes out of the state of ketosis. This can be seen by testing your urine or when you start to gain weight. When you are within 5lbs of your target weight you enter the last stage of the diet, which is 'maintenance', and it is for life long eating.

Atkins Diet : Reasons for

  • It actually works
    Is safe if you keep some carbohydrates in your diet
    Can eat as much protein and fat as you want and still lose weight

Atkins Diet : Reasons against

  • Weight can return quite quickly when you stop the diet
  • It has a high drop out rate for the induction phase
  • Bad breath is a side effect of this diet
  • The diet is high in cholesterol and saturated fats which are linked to
  • Low in vitamins and minerals especially in the induction stage

Atkins Diet : Verdict
The Atkins diet is an effective diet and is very good for weight loss especially in the short term and is based on proven results. To succeed on this diet you must enjoy eggs meat and high fat foods and be prepared for a life without many foods. It is important that you have 8 glasses of water with this diet to flush the ketones from your body it also avoids having bad breath. The diet doesn't promote healthy eating or a balanced diet

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