Atkins Diet

The Atkins diet plan is clearly the most popular low carb diet on the market, with so much media attention given to it all the time. This fat loss program also claims that it is carbohydrates that leave your body feeling even hungrier later in the day, therefore, by eliminating those extra carbohydrates from your meals you will not be as hungry later on which means that you will lose weight and not be struggling with hunger.

The Atkins diet focuses on the relationship between carbohydrates and insulin. Carbohydrates stimulate the secretion of insulin, and insulin converts excess carbohydrates into fat cells. The Atkins logic is that by eating low amounts of carbohydrates, less insulin will be secreted into the bloodstream, and thus less food will be converted into fat.

Dr Atkins tells dieters to limit carbohydrates to 20 grams a day for the first two weeks, then gradually raise their carbohydrates to as high as 60 grams a day.

What the Atkins diet does is deprive the body of its natural fuel, which is glucose from carbohydrates and forces it to find alternative sources of glucose fuel in fats and proteins.

The Atkins diet works on a theory that the body will use its fat cells as a source of fuel. The breakdown of fat cells produces a by-product from the fat, called ketones, which then enter the bloodstream and cause ketosis to set in.

Ketosis suppresses hunger, however it can also cause nausea, fatigue, light-headedness and dangerous fluid loss; therefore anyone on this diet should drink extra fluids in the form of water (at least 8 8oz glasses a day).

As with most diets that people try, some will have good results, some will have bad, this is because we are different genetically. The Atkins Diet has had major publicity for years, and will continue to do so, as the diet has a number of success stories associated with it.

One major problem associated with this diet is what you can actually eat, especially if you are a vegetarian. Just look at most products within your fridge or cupboards in the kitchen and you will see the high content of carbohydrates.

My comment on the Atkins diet is to try it for a while, but be prepared to feel tired and have mood swings similar to those of smokers quitting, as your body will crave the buzz that today's sugary diet produces. This feeling of being tired and miserable will force most people to give up the Atkins diet, as it is the presence of carbohydrates within our meals that gives us our energy shortly after eating.

Remember that a large proportion of your body weight is in the form of water stored in your muscle tissue to prepare the body to utilize its glucose stores also in your muscles and liver. If you remove the glucose from carbohydrates, you remove the water; yes you lower your bodyweight but you also lower your energy output.

If you choose to go on a low carb diet, aim for one that reduces your calorie intake from carbohydrates gradually to avoid the feeling of tiredness, and thus increase your chances of sticking with the program, the following food guidelines may help you in preparing your menu.

The next page will advice you on what foods you should eat.

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