The notion of a diet plan that allows you to pig out on bacon (no pun intended), steaks, fried eggs and butter, sounds too good to be true right? But the beauty of the Atkins Diet is that you are actively encouraged to eat as much meat and fat as you can stomach. So whilst it may not be the best weight loss plan for vegetarians, it is perfect for ravenous carnivores. But will you actually lose weight if you follow the Atkins Diet?
How Does The Atkins Diet Work?
The Atkins Diet is in simple terms a carb-free diet that is designed to be followed in four phases.
- Phase 1 – The ‘Induction’ phase involves severely restricting your carbohydrate intake and filling up on protein such as meat and dairy (not milk), the idea being that your body will be forced to use up fat reserves instead of carbohydrates.
- Phase 2 – The ‘Ongoing Weight Loss’ lets you eat a bit more carbohydrate as long as you continue to lose weight. But don’t get too excited because anything nice is still off the menu.
- Phase 3 – The ‘Pre-maintenance’ stage introduces more carbohydrates back into the diet, albeit slowly, with the aim of helping your body return to a normal eating plan.
- Phase 4 – ‘Lifetime Maintenance’ is exactly what you might expect it to be—a low-carbohydrate diet for the rest of your life.
Is The Atkins Diet Healthy?
Many experts believe that cutting out an entire food group (carbohydrates) is seriously bad for your health. Nasty side effects during the early stages of the Atkins Diet are common. A lot of people suffer from a lack of energy, bad breath, constipation and nausea, mostly as a result of a lack of fibre and carbohydrates. Eating lots of saturated fat (the Atkins Diet encourages you to eat fatty foods because they make your feel ‘full’) is not good for your long term health, either.
Does It Work?
It is possible to lose a large amount of weight very quickly if you follow the Atkins Diet, so if you are looking for a quick-fix weight loss plan, the Atkins Diet is a good one to try. However, the diet is extremely restrictive and a lot of people fall off the wagon quickly, so any weight they lost is regained once again.
Is The Weight Loss Sustainable?
It should be possible to maintain your target weight, but be prepared to eat a low-carb diet for the rest of your life, which means limiting the amounts of bread, pasta, cakes, cereals, potatoes and rice in your daily diet.
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