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Atkins Diet

Invented by Dr Robert C Atkins since the early 70's, the Atkins diet plan is going through a big boom, being one of the most well known dieting programs worldwide.

The theory behind the Atkins diet plan is that a diet high in carbohydrates rapidly increase the body's production of insulin, and insulin invites body cells to store fat.

The high protein diet restricts carbohydrate intake, causing lower insulin levels and as a result a reduction in weight. In addition, the diet makes the body produce ketones, which is said to be "a sign that the body is increasing its fat stores...and suppressing appetite."

Atkins Diet plan Details

Like the South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet is separated into three phases, and the initial phase, or Induction phase can result in rapid weight loss - between 8 and 10 pounds, attributed to fluid reduction - common in most diets.

Induction Phase: lasting 14 days, places a limit on carbohydrate intake (limited to 20g per day - less that the amount of carbohydrate contained in one banana). The diet consists of meat, chicken, fish, eggs or cheese with some green and salad vegetables, butter and oil. All carbohydrate-containing foods such as fruit, many vegetables, bread, cereals, rice, potatoes, pasta, biscuits, sugar and so on must be avoided, as must milk and yoghurt.

Ongoing Weight Loss Phase: lasting from completion of the induction phase until the weight loss target has been achieved. The diet remains similar to the Induction phase diet, but with an increase in the amount of carbohydrate allowed - about 40g a day on average - to enable ongoing weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week. In food terms this basically means adding some berries or melon, some more vegetables, nuts and the occasional crispbread. Vitamin and mineral supplements are advised on the diet.

Stabilisation Phase: Once the target weight has been achieved the aim is to slowly increase the carbohydrate intake until weight stabilises. The amount of carbohydrates at this stage of the diet should not go over 90g a day. (However, a balanced diet has on average around 250g a day).

Why Choose The Atkins Diet?

The diet has many critics, not just because of its calorie-related claims, but because it is high in fat and low in nutritious foods such as fruit and whole grains which should for part of a healthy diet. There is also limited research about how healthy it is in the longer term. Weight can return quite quickly when you stop the diet, again not offering a long term solution to weight loss. Unlike the South Beach diet it has a high drop out rate for the induction phase.

Atkins Diet Results

After the initial weight loss period, following the diet will result in weight loss, figures suggest between .5 and 2 pounds weight reduction a week.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Atkins Diet then see the Dr Atkins Diet page.