Among the many diet plans that have materialized over the recent shift towards fitness and healthier foods, the Atkins Diet has stood the test of time. While it was initially criticized for its saturated fat content, it is now received among the fitness community with a renewed acceptance and zeal. Unlike diet fads, the Atkins diet does not promote any unhealthy means of maintaining a steady weight, but instead promotes healthier food choices and nourishing our bodies with the kind of foods that provide only the necessary nutrients, rather than foods that lack nutrients and only promote weight gain through the consumption of unnecessary calories.
Atkins Diet – What Does It Entail?
Today, there are numerous books written about this diet, and it is regularly recommended by nutritionists to those who are looking to make the switch to a healthy and beneficial diet.
The Atkins diet basically consists of four phases that need to be followed in order to derive its complete benefits. These phases are as follows:
1. Induction – The primary phase of this diet is meant to ease you into the process. It involves consuming less than 20 grams of carbohydrates for around 2 weeks. In this stage, you should consume foods that are rich in either healthy fat, such as avocadoes, or high amounts of protein, such as green leafy vegetables and legumes. This is where the initial weight loss process begins.
2. Balancing – In this phase, you can begin to add low-carb foods such as nuts and fruits back into your diet, so that your daily food intake can become a little more balanced and cater to all your nutrient needs.
3. Fine-tuning – You can enter this phase once you feel like you are reaching very close to your desired weight goals. Here, you may gradually add more foods that are rich in carbohydrates until your weight loss process begins to pick up at a slower pace.
4. Maintenance – In this stage of the diet, you may introduce as much (preferably a moderate amount) of carbohydrates as you want. Your body will be able to burn these calories without regaining any additional weight, due to the gradual manner in which these carbs were introduced.
These phases often blur together, as there is no definitive time period for any of them. Some may choose to stay in any one of these phases for a long time, depending on their weight requirements. The whole point is to kick-start the initial weight loss process and then reintroduce carbs in a manner that allows your body to get used to it while ensuring a holistic provision of all necessary nutrients.
Foods to consume:
The Atkins diet involves plenty of healthy food which are rich in good nutrients that nourish the body accordingly. Some of the main food items to include in your diet are meats such as chicken, beef, and bacon, fish, and seafood like salmon and sardines, pasteurized eggs, green vegetables (which have a low amount of carbohydrates) such as asparagus, broccoli, kale, spinach, and lettuce, among others, dairy foods such as yogurt, butter and milk, dry fruits and nuts like almonds, macadamia, walnuts, cashews, and sunflower seeds. It is recommended that you try to cook your food using healthy fats such as coconut oil or extra virgin oil. Some of the useful beverages to consume while following this diet are green tea, coffee as well as plenty of water.
Foods to stay away from:
The kind of foods that are not welcome in the Atkins diet is primarily unhealthy junk foods that offer little to no nutritional value. These consist of foods that are rich in added sugars, like sugary drinks, ice cream, cakes, and other desserts, grains like rice and wheat, vegetable oils, vegetables, and fruits which are rich in carbohydrates such as turnips, bananas, grapes, apples, starchy foods like potatoes as well as legumes like beans and lentils. However, carbohydrates and legumes should be avoided only during the induction phase. You should also stray away from processed foods that contain an abnormal amount of trans fats as well as products that are advertised as ‘’low fat’’ since they usually end up containing a high amount of sugar. Following the Atkins diet can provide many benefits to your body, since it approaches weight loss in a holistic manner, by imbibing all the good nutrients that are necessary for the body and steering clear of unhealthy foods. As long as you adhere to the rules of the diet and ensure to make mindful choices, the Atkins diet is a sure-fire method to achieve your dream weight goal.