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The Atkins Diet Essay

1623 words - 6 pages

“The Atkins Diet” a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet was introduced in 1972
by Dr. Robert C. Atkins. Dr. Atkins believed that diets high in sugar cause the pancreas to
produce the hormone insulin which then causes the body to store calories as fat. He then came
up with the idea that if we consume fewer carbohydrates, then our bodies would produce less
insulin and start using our stored fat for energy and the outcome would be weight loss. (1)

“The Atkins Diet” has four phases. The first phase lasts for two weeks and is called the
“Induction Phase“. In this phase the dieter is to severely restrict their carbohydrate intake. This
is required to put the body into ketosis, which is when the body starts using fat for energy and
produces compounds called ketones. In order to get the body into ketosis the dieter is only
allowed twenty grams of carbohydrates a day. The only carbohydrates allowed are green non-
starchy vegetables. Due to the limited amount of carbohydrates allowed, this phase is the hardest
part of the diet for most people to follow. After a while though people's blood sugar stabilizes
and cravings for sugar decline. The second phase of the diet is called the “On Going Weight
Loss Phase“. In this phase the dieter gradually increases their carbohydrates by five grams per
day until weight loss stops. After weight loss stops the dieter then reduces carbohydrates again,
usually between twenty-five to fifty grams a day, to where their weight loss continues. This
phase will last until the dieter reaches their weight loss goal. In the third phase, called the “Pre-
Maintenance Phase“, the dieter increases their carbohydrate intake until they stop losing weight.
They are then to follow the glycemic index called “The Atkins Glycemic Ranking“. The fourth
and last phase of “The Atkins Diet” is called “Lifetime Maintenance“. This phase is started
when dieters reach their weight loss goal. Dieters are allowed to eat more carbohydrates, but
only enough that will not cause them to gain weight. Bread and starchy foods will always be
severely restricted. This phase is meant to last a lifetime and Dr. Atkins claims eating like this
causes people to become a lot healthier and cut their chances of chronic diseases. (2)

Certain types of foods are permitted while on “The Atkins Diet“. Most protein foods that
have little to no carbohydrates are allowed such as, meat, seafood, and eggs. Cheese is allowed
but the dieter needs to read the food labels to make sure they do not contain a lot of
carbohydrates. Fats and oils are recommended but the dieter needs to make sure they do not
include any that contain Tran’s fats. Virgin or extra-virgin olive oil is highly recommended. For
frying purposes, the dieter should use canola, peanut and grape seed oil. Cold water fish is
advised as a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Mayonnaise and butter are allowed and...

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