The Atkins Diet refers to low carbohydrate diet. Atkins dieters can eat as many calories as desired from protein and fat, as long as carbohydrate consumption is restricted. According to Dr. Atkins, one of the major causes of obesity among the western population was due to the intake of refined carbohydrates like flour and sugar. Atkins believes that when people limit the carbohydrates available, they force the body to use its fat reserves as fuel.
Basically, the Atkins Diet comprises of four stages: Induction, ongoing weight loss,
pre-maintenance and lifetime maintenance.
The induction lasts for 2 weeks whereby rapid weight loss is involved. It is designed to re-balance an individual’s metabolism. During this stage, the carb intake is limited to only 20 grams a day, instead of the usual 300 grams. The person is only entitled to eat salad leaves and green vegetables during this stage of the Adkins diet. Foods like bread, potato and fruits, other than those two stated are strictly prohibited. The daily amount of carbohydrates allowed equals about three cups of salad vegetables, such as lettuce, cucumbers, and celery.
Ongoing weight loss (OWL)
During this stage in the Adkins Diet, the carb intake is increased to 25 grams a day. The OWL stage lasts until weight is within 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of the target weight. When the weight loss stabilizes, the carb intake will be adjusted again to fit the Adkins Diet. As you get closer to your goal, you’ll slowly add back healthy carbohydrates. You are entitled to vary your meals. You can include foods like nut butters, poultry and lean meats.
The weight loss will be less obvious in this stage and you can test certain foods into the diet to see if they would cause any weight gain. If the addition of the new food causes you to gain weight, it is essential for you reverse a stage or two until your weight is stable again. This is because different person’s body will react differently to different food.
This stage of the Atkins Diet is relatively simple. You just need to maintain whatever habits that were acquired from previous stages. Do not have the mindset that you have reached the end of the Adkins Diet. This would cause you to gain weight, and your weight loss effort would be a waste. Again note, if you gain weight, reverse a stage.
There is no particular need for any preparation in before you proceed on with the Adkins Diet. However, it would be best if you consult a physician to have a physical evaluation. The physical evaluation should include blood tests to determine levels of cholesterol, glucose et cetera.
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