Dr Robert Atkins started writing a book about 70 years ago in which he defended a thesis going against the popular belief about the low fat diet's health benefits swirling around at that time. The scientist's work was quite shocking to the whole medical world. Dr Atkins Diet was basically propelled by saturated fat and products low in carbohydrates. Indeed, his revolutionary beliefs brought about some pretty harsh criticism amid the whole medical society.
The scientist's work was quite shocking to the whole medical world. Dr Atkins Diet was basically propelled by saturated fat and products low in carbohydrates. Indeed, his revolutionary beliefs brought about some pretty harsh criticism amid the whole medical society.
Still, the facts are simply undeniable: His book is sold out more than 10 million times. What is the key to its success anyway?
The Atkins Diet is focused on the following matters: How come there is no great effect in people who try the low-calorie diet? What causes it and isn't it normal to lose weight when cutting down on calories too?
A certain level of weight loss actually occurs, however, not for too long; and as for that, you can absolutely shift the blame onto dieticians who recommend it as a weight loss method – they talk about a short period of dieting but don't mention that the lost pounds often double up as a result of the well-known “yo-yo”effect.
Let's say that you consume about 2500 calories per day for a long period of time. If this number gets rapidly cut down to, say, 2000 calories, your body has to find a way to make up for the insufficient amount of daily calories on account of the accumulated fat, and naturally – the weight loss process kicks in.
On the flip side, if the calorie intake gets stable about 2000 kcal, then the human body will quickly get used to it, nevertheless it being about 2500 kcal earlier. The weight loss will cease as soon as the body gets adjusted to it. As wise as
The weight loss will cease as soon as the body gets adjusted to it. As wise as the nature is, it can take a toll on the low-calorie diet as an inner body impulse gets kicked in and starts saving reserves when consuming less calories.
If the intake is about 2000 kcal, the body will drop its energy needs until reaching 1700 kcal per day as the rest 300 of them will join the reserves.
And this is where it gets really paradoxical – the less the calorie intake, the bigger the accumulation of fat deposits.
Diets low in calories are not a solution to the problem according to most of the people. Rather, the situation gets worse that way.
A low-calorie diet triggers an insatiable hunger and the process of losing weight happens really slowly. Dr Atkins developed a program dealing with the fat while increasing protein-rich products and cutting down on carbohydrates.
Dr Atkins offers us a challenge with these low -calorie diets - “Long live the fat and protein, not the carbs!” and “Long live the pasta and fried eggs with bacon, not the flour and sugar stuff!”
“The Mighty 5 “
Each portion down below contains about 5 grams of carbohydrates as the groups of products are listed by their order он the menu.
- 2/3 cup of Ricotta cheese
- 150 gr of curd
- Half a Californian avocado
- A cup of cauliflower
- 2/3 cup of boiled broccoli
- 1/2 cup of red pepper
- 3/4 cup of boiled spinach
- 1 average tomato
- 8 average asparagus
- 1/3 cup of chopped onion
- 2/3 cup of zucchini
- 150 gr of mozzarella
- 1/2 cup of cream
Nuts and seeds
- 30 gr of peeled roasted peanuts (roughly 26 nuts)
- 30 gr of American walnuts aka pecan (about 31 nuts)
- 30 gr of walnuts (about 14 nuts)
- 30 gr of Macadamia nuts (about 10-12 nuts)
- 30 gr of almonds (about 24 nuts)
- 30 gr of peeled sunflower seeds (about 3 tablespoons)
- 15 gr of cashew (about 9 nuts)
- 1/2 cup of strawberries
- ¼ cup of blueberries
- 1/4 cup of raspberries
- 1/4 of Cantaloupe melon
- 1/4 cup of lime
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup of tomato juice
How to eat during the transition as a stage
The consumption of carbohydrates should go up periodically when being on the threshold of the active weight loss – roughly about 5 grams per week. Afterward go in high tempo aka 10 grams per week. Keep doing it until you start losing weight.
If the desired weight is reached, keep the carbohydrate intake still for about a month, then add some more 10 grams and keep a close look over your weight whether it goes up or not.
And if it does, the best thing to do is go back to the previous carb intake – you will think of it as a carbohydrate consumption breaking point for keeping the weight at stable levels.
If you do put off some weight but still can't reach the perfect body weight even after adding grams after grams, bounce back to the past carb intake.
Dr Atkins Diet Rules for starting the transition
- Each of your meals should contain enough amount of fat and protein
- If the new product causes some weight gain, triggers the appetite or any swelling, quit eating it right away
- Increase the daily carb intake by no more than 10 grams per week
- Put new products into your plate periodically
- If the following carb increasing plan leads to weight gain, go back to your previous one
- Keep taking minerals and vitamins regularly
“The Mighty Ten”
Each portion of products down below contains about 10 grams of carbohydrates as each of the groups is listed according to their order in the menu
Nuts and seeds
- 1/3 cup of sesame
- 3/4 cup of walnuts
- 1/2 cup of pine nuts
- 30 gr of roasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup of hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup of almonds
- 1/4 cup of cashew
- 1/2 cup of Macadamia nuts
- 3/4 cup of American walnuts aka pecan
- 1/4 cup of pistachios
- 1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds
- 30 gr of sunflower seeds
Starchy veggies (steamed or boiled)
- ¼ cup of lentils
- 1/4 cup of beans (different sorts)
- Legumes (steamed or boiled)
- 1/2 cup of potatoes картофи
- 3/4 cup of beet
- 1/2 cup of peeled green pea
- 1 cup of pumpkin
- 1/2 cup of carrots
- 1/4 cup of sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup of plantain banana
- 1/3 cup of parsnips
- 1/4 cup of beans
- 1/4 cup of chickpea
- 1 guava
- 1 plum
- 1 cup of watermelon
- 3/4 cup of Cantaloupe melon
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1 peach
- 1/2 apple
- 12 cherries
- 12 grains of grapes
- 1/2 grapefruit
- 1 kiwi
- 1/2cup of fruity cocktail (preserved without added sugar)
- 1/3 banana
- 1/3 mango
Cereals, and bread
- 1 loaf of whole-grain bread
- 1/3 cup of whole-grain wheat flakes
- 1/2 cup of oatmeal
- 1/4 cup of long brown rice
- 1/4 cup of polenta
- 1/4 cup of barley porridge
- 1/4 cup of steamed spinach
- Enrich your plate with new products periodically and cautiously during the transition in Dr Atkins Diet and increase the amount of carbohydrates by no more than 10 grams per week until the weight loss process ceases.
- The secret to a successful transition is to work it slowly until the desired body shape is reached as the individual should stick to losing no more than 1 kilo per week during a period of 2-3 months.
- The most effective way to prevent yourself from cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes type 2 is to maintain a stable body weight
- The fine line between the weight loss, weight gain and keeping it at stable levels is really hard to keep. It might also take you some time to get used to the carbohydrate consumption daily norms through increasing or decreasing its amount. By doing so you will be able to define your own crucial point of carbohydrate intake so as to maintain the weight.
Maintenance stage: rules
- Develop a strategy to beat the foods tempting you the most during the diet
- Do exercises on a regular basis .
- Do not go beyond your own breaking point of carb intake to keep the weight at stable levels.
- Consume natural food rich in carbohydrates and vitamins lacking any industrial processing
- Take vitamins and minerals according to their compatibility with one another and your body needs
- Never let yourself gain more than 2-2,5 kilos
Watch out for traps!
- Gums and mint lozenges are not typically included in the group of foods, however, they are high in sugar and other sweeteners, so try to avoid them.
- All kinds of diary products labeled “carb-free” should also be avoided. Mostly, such foods are not typical for a low carb diet but for a low- fat one with higher concentration of carbs.
- The initial phase of Dr Atkins Diet is called induction during which the consumption of any fruits, cereals and bread, starchy veggies or dairy products (with the exception of cheese, cream and butter) is absolutely forbidden.
- If a product is labeled “sugar-free, “sugarless” or “no sugar added” it won't do the job since the exact amount of carbohydrates should be labeled there as well, so focus your attention on that especially if you want it to be on your plate.
- Ready-made salads offered in the fast food chains, salad bars or even the fresh veggie or seafood (fish) salads also contain a certain amount of sugar.
Create a menu with permitted products
Your menu should consist of certain products, which we've already listed a few lines above, during the phases of the diet as their quality is an essential moment. The products should be organic and as natural and fresh as possible but not industrially processed. Try to get more natural dairy products and meat, or to put it differently: buy such lacking hormones, pesticides or other chemicals used in the agriculture.
And since you've already gone over the list containing all the permitted products that Dr Atkins Diet features, you had better come up with some cooking ideas for meals.
For example, you can have some omelet with bacon, cheese and mushrooms or eggs with bacon for breakfast (as you should go for bacon free of nitrates).
How about having some cream cheese with a slice of salmon fish too? Isn't that a great start of the day?
A chicken salad with ham, or boiled eggs with cheese, veggie salad with a garlic dressing sound like a really interesting idea for lunch too (as nitrates-free ham is a must again). Caesar salad with chicken or tuna also makes a good choice.
As soon as you come home from work, you should treat yourself to a great dinner and that would be your reward. What do you fancy the most? Fried fish or seafood, lamb chops, filet mignon, grilled meat, etc? Add a salad to your meal, whatever it is. You can start it all off with shrimps dipped into a homemade sauce of mustard and mayonnaise, (avoid ready made dressings as they are high in carbohydrates), paste or clams.
Cheese or flavored jelly with whipped cream (go for sugar-free ones) are also good options for desserts.
Second stage of Dr Atkins Diet
If the active weight loss stage is next to enter, then you've finished off the induction phase quite successfully! Well done – you've gone over the initial stage leading towards the delicate figure and optimal health! The most crucial parts of the day are already in the past, so you will be able to adjust your own taste to the diet. This opportunity is a unique feature of Dr Atkins program thanks to which its accomplishment gets genuinely pleasant.
During the next phase your body will be melting down the excessive fat quite intensively, however the unwanted inches around your body and kilos will be burning down quite slowly, but don't worry about that since it's the right way to go!
What's more important here is that the mild part of the active weight loss stage doesn't mean that the forgotten eating habits will bounce back yet again. Sugar, flour and other type of refined foods high in carbohydrates are absolutely forbidden just like before.
The quality of the products in Dr Atkins Diet is not less important than the amount of the same.
During the active weight loss stage:
- Learn how to pick the healthiest carbohydrates
- The maximal level of carb intake causing weight loss continues as well
- the breakage of fat deposits in the body will continue quite intensively as your appetite will surely be under control.
- Bigger range of permitted healthy products (cutlets, fish,etc) to enrich your own menu with
- Weight loss process is slower than it was during the induction phase. This is, however, necessary since your body has to build its foundation for keeping the weight at stable levels
What to eat during the active weight loss phase
There are basically three things making the induction and active weight loss phase so different from each other. The first one is quite obvious: the carbohydrate intake is permitted during the active weight loss period.
Secondly, the menu gets richer and diversified during the same phase; and since fat and protein became fundamental for your nutrition during the induction stage, you are permitted to consume some veggies and salads on a daily basis.
During the second stage, you are able to create your own menu. And last but not least comes the third big difference between the active weight loss stage and induction phase - you should calculate the amount of carbohydrates in the menu which you should take as a serious task on our shoulders.
A bunch of rules when consuming veggies
All kinds of fruits, veggies, cereals, starchy foods, etc contain carbohydrates, being these substances which trigger the appetite, so this is the reason why you should be careful with their consumption.
Dr Atkins offers the following rules when consuming veggies:
- The weight loss method also seems to be contraindicated in pregnant women or when breastfeeding. If you've been taking diuretics, insulin or any other oral antidiabetic agents, you can try Atkins Diet only under direct medical supervision.
- At the end of the initial phase, you can start enriching your diet with fruits full of antioxidants, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc, but do it periodically. These are the fruits that contain less amount of carbohydrates unlike many others.
- Eat veggies, don't drink them – veggie juices lack fiber which is good for your intestines. Besides, the overall amount of sugar, the same contained in the fruit as well, is concentrated exactly there. And this can lead to higher insulin levels too.
- Veggies high in carbohydrates, like zucchini, should be consumed with protein and fat. By doing so the food assimilation gets slowed down, preventing the insulin levels from going high quite uncontrollably.
- Eat less veggies throughout the day since your insulin levels will go up quite rapidly if you consume them in one portion
- Have meals rich in protein (meat, fish, seafood, chicken) and veggies. For example, the Asian cuisine is full of such options
- Be careful when cooking veggies – most of the vitamins and other essential nutrients contained in vegetables are completely destroyed when cooked at high temperatures
- People suffering from kidney diseases, whose levels of creatine goes beyond 2,4, show negative results regarding the Atkins Diet.
- The induction stage is the initial one in Dr Atkins Diet plan. Indeed, his method starts off with induction, but it's not the fundamental one whatsoever. The most important part here is when the body kicks off the process of lipolysis aka the breakdown of fat stores during the induction phase.
Permitted meat and fish products in Dr Atkin's Diet
- Meat: beef, pork, mutton, bacon, ham, beef, venison.
- Chicken: duck, turkey, goose, quail, pheasant, partridge
- Fish: tuna, salmon, flounder, trout, halibut, herring.
- Seafood: oysters, clams, crabs, squid, shrimp, lobster
- Eggs: fried poached egg, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, omelettes
Oysters and clams contain more carbohydrates than any other seafood, so limit their consumption up to 300 gr per day. More often than not the production of fish products and meat (bacon, ham, sausages and smoked ones) includes sugar. Put an effort into avoiding such foods high in nitrates featuring carcinogenic properties. Exclude the consumption of cooked sausages and products made of flour and/or bread and foods fried in bread crumps.
Consume between 90-120 gr of soft, hard or semi-hard cheese made out of non- skimmed milk:
- Sheep and goat cheese
- Cream cheese
- Swiss cheese
All types of cheese contain carbohydrates which serves as a fundamental element when defining the serving of each. The basic rule goes like: 30 gr equals about 1 gr of carbohydrates. During the induction phase you cannot eat homemade cheese, cottage cheese or any other type of cheese.
Low fat smoked cheese along with cheese made out of whey are also forbidden during the phase.
People suffering from candidiasis alongside those of us allergic to diary products and lactose should absolutely avoid any type of cheese in their menu. Some of the permitted type of cheese are soya cheese (tofu) and rice cheese, but keep in mind the amount of carbohydrates even when choosing such over anything else.
You can take about 2-3 cups of chopped veggies from the list below:
- jicama (a root vegetable)
- Bok Choy aka Chinese cabbage
- cultivated briar
- alfalfa sprouts
- daikon aka Chinese radish
- Italian chicory
- sweet pepper
Veggie salads are full of vitamins, fiber and essential nutrients.
Other non-starchy veggies
Consume 1 cup of non-starchy veggies on a daily basis, but only on the condition that you eat no more than 2 cups of veggies per day.
These veggies listed down below are higher in carbohydrates unlike all the salad ones
- pie plant
- celery root
- bean sprouts
- artichoke hearts
- bamboo shoots
- beet greens
- brussel cabbage
- dandelion greens
The necessary amount of veggies had better be measured raw before any heat treatment to avoid putting too many carbohydrates in the plate by chance.
Consume them by taste but also check for any added sugars when buying any.
- hot red pepper
- pepper and allspice
Spice up the salads with olive oil or vinegar (do not use balsamic or any other sugary type of vinegar), lemon juice, herbs and/or spices. You can also use ready made salad dressings only if they are sugar-free or the amount of carbohydrates doesn't go beyond 2 grams.
Fat and oils
Vegetable and animal fats are necessary for the human health as the olive oil is a really essential product. Other types of oils are also permitted as the healthiest of them are made out of: rapeseed, sunflower, soya, sesame, saffron and grape seeds.
Oils extracted by using the cold pressing method are the best option. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils (like corn and soya ones) should not be cooked at high temperatures since their chemical structure gets destroyed when heated.
Oils are permitted unlike the margarine which is strictly forbidden as the heavy amount of carbohydrates in it is only one of the reasons for it. Margarine is made out of dangerous hydrogenated fats containing trans fatty acids; and yet you can find margarine lacking such fatty acids at the healthy food stores.
Dr Atkins Diet permits the consumption of the following beverages:
- Tap water
- Lemon juice or lime (30 ml contains about 2.8 grams of carbohydrates, so take no more than 2-3 tbsp per day
- Herbal tea (no added sugars)
- Mineral water
- Decaf coffee and tea
Dr Atkins Diet forbids any consumption of alcoholic beverages during the initial phase until reaching the active weight loss stage allowing low-carb drinks.