Get Slim With Atkins Diet Plan

Feb 22 17:40 2007 Michael Douglas Print This Article

The Atkins' diet has been a craze for a couple of decades. Here's how you can gain from it.

All of you who are reading this article right now have definitely been on a diet at some point or the other of your lives. The battle of the bulge is an ongoing problem and we are always on the lookout for various means to win this war.

Along with exercise,Guest Posting our diet and nutrition also plays an important role in reducing our weight. Hence, this obsession persists in all of us to undertake some form of dieting. But going on a diet is definitely not an easy thing. What to eat and what to stay away from is always a perennial problem.

One of my friends told me that she ate the normal menu which she cooked for the family, but her weight loss recipe is "portion control." This is a really simple diet plan. In this plan, you cut down on the portion of food you consume. For example, if you usually have two pieces of toast for breakfast, you should eat only one piece. If you normally eat two cups of rice for lunch, cut it down to one cup. In this way, you are automatically reducing your calorie intake by half.

Another popular method of dieting is to stop all intake of fatty foods and sugar. In this diet, you cut down on your oil, butter and ghee intake which automatically reduces your fat deposits.

While I was leafing through a magazine, I read about one of our Hollywood celebrities following the Atkins' diet. This immediately aroused my curiosity about the diet. Though I have heard about the diet many times, I had no inside knowledge about it. So, I immediately set to work on it and found out certain basic facts' about the Atkins diet which I want to share with my readers.

The Atkins' diet made its first appearance in 1972 and was invented by its namesake, Dr Atkins. According to him, this method enables us to lose weight by inducing a change in metabolism. Our body burns both fat and carbohydrates to provide energy. If we reduce the intake of carbohydrates significantly, our body starts burning only fat to provide energy. This method is called "lipolysis", which in turn induces ketosis. In ketosis, our body burns fat as fuel. Atkins also felt that ketosis will affect insulin production which will result in less fat being formed. And, once your body enters ketosis, your cravings for carbohydrates will reduce significantly which, in turn, will reduce your body weight.

The major difference between Atkins' diet and other types of diet is that, while most diets restrict calorie, intake, the Atkins' plan encourages us to eat more. While most of the diets recommend low fat, high carbohydrate intake, Atkins' does just the opposite. Instead of carbohydrate and sugar, this diet wants us to consume plenty of fat and protein.

The core principle of the Atkins' diet is that, by limiting carbohydrates, our body is forced to burn its stored fat, rather than carbs for fuel.

The Atkins' diet has a four carbohydrates stage plan induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and lifetime maintenance. With the help of these four stages, you can reduce as well as maintain your weight throughout your life.

Induction - phase 1: This phase lasts for two weeks, by the end of which you can obtain significant results. Another point is that, in this diet plan you can begin at any of the phase. But it is recommended to start with induction. As you cut back on your carbohydrates significantly in this phase, you will jump start your weight loss programme. In this phase, only 20 gm of carbohydrates are allowed and hence your weight loss is significant. As you drastically cut down on carbohydrates your body shifts into high gear and starts burning fat. This takes about 48 hours to occur and you may feel hungry and irritated for the first three-four days. But don't worry, as soon as your fat starts getting converted to fuel, you will feel fit as a fiddle. Induction will strengthen your immune system and also improve our long-term health.

Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) phase 2: In this phase, the weight loss pace slows down as you add nutrient-rich carbohydrates to your diet. During this period, you will boost your body's ability to burn fats as well as understand your body better. You will find the right amount of carbohydrates which you can consume and still lose weight. Your body will also prepare itself for permanent weight management. The amount of carbohydrates which you can eat is increased to 25 gm per day for the first week and increased in five gm instalment for the next few weeks. If your weight loss is significant, you can increase your carbohydrate intake. A person has to be on OWL till he or she is within three-five kg of their goal weight.

Pre-maintenance - (phase 3): Pre-maintenance is a practice run for lifetime maintenance. In this phase, you are fast approaching your target. As long as you continue to lose weight, you can increase your weekly allotment of carbohydrates by another 10 gm. You will be in this phase till you reach your goal and stay on it for one month. The ultimate goal here is to achieve a state of balance called Atkins' Carbohydrate Equilibrium (ACE). The ACE is your individual level of carbohydrate intake wherein you neither gain nor lose weight.

Lifetime maintenance phase 4: In this phase, you have to focus on your individual ACE and strive to stay within two kg of your ideal weight for the rest of your life. By following a sensible eating plan, you gain energy, better health and confidence in yourself.

By following these four phases, you not only achieve your dream weight but are also able to maintain it throughout your life. You can learn more about this diet by reading the book, Dr Atkins' New Diet Revolution. But, as with any other diet, this plan also has its pros and cons. The good point is that this diet recommends exercise as a vital part of the weight loss programme. Another point to be noted is that you cannot start on carbohydrates after you lose weight as this will result in your gaining back all that you have lost.

Medical experts advise that people who have gout, kidney problems, diabetes or are pregnant women should not follow this diet plan. As this diet is very stringent, do consult your doctor/dietician for proper advice.

Your dietician will provide you with a proper menu chart as to what should be eaten, in what quantities, etc, based on your eating habits and general lifestyle.

Happy dieting and hoping to see slimmer and fitter readers.

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Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas

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