The Atkins diet is a ketogenic diet useful for losing weight quickly: this is how it should be done and for those who are contraindicated
The Atkins diet , also known as “Atkins Nutritional Approach” is a low-carbohydrate diet that allows you to lose weight fast . Here’s how it works and what it consists of.
What is the Atkins diet
The Atkins diet was released in the 1970s by the American cardiologist Robert Coleman Atkins. It is basically a ketogenic diet , so it is based on the clear limitation of carbohydrate intake and the consumption of proteins and fats. This type of diet induces in the body a state of ketosis , that is a metabolic condition that occurs when our body is induced to burn fat, instead of sugars, to produce energy.
The atkins diet works, because the body, finding no sugar, is forced to burn lipids and proteins and thus obtain a rapid weight loss, as happens in the diet of intermittent fasting .
Furthermore, eliminating sugar and carbohydrates stimulates the production of anabolic hormones that increase the sense of satiety and, when combined with the right physical activity, favor the increase in muscle mass and raise the basal metabolism.
In the Atkins diet than you lose ? This of course depends on the starting weight, but you can lose 6/8 kg in a month.
The 4 phases of the Atkins diet
Over the years the Atkins diet has evolved based on studies and scientific evidence emerged; the most recent version is structured in four phases , characterized by the reintroduction and the progressive increase of carbohydrates.
1 The first phase , that of induction, is certainly the most restrictive, generally lasting two or three weeks and carbohydrates are almost totally eliminated. At this stage of the Atkins diet the permitted foods are proteins from mainly animal sources, such as meat, fish, eggs, cheeses and about 20g of vegetable derived carbohydrates.
They do not allow bread , pasta, cereals, legumes, soft drinks, alcohol, and of course even the desserts.
2 In the second phase , which has a variable duration depending on the objectives to be achieved, carbohydrates are gradually reintroduced, 5g a week, mainly vegetables, trying to understand how the body reacts. In this phase, weighing yourself once a week and with a little care, you can understand which foods prevent weight loss and which, on the other hand, do not cause problems. If one week the weight does not change or even increases it is sufficient to return to the regime of the previous week and try to introduce different foods.
3 The third phase , is that of premenentation and is similar to the second, only that the increase in carbohydrates is 10g per week. At this stage you should come to understand the maximum value of carbohydrates that allows weight maintenance
4 In the fourth phase , that of the actual maintenance, we proceed with the quantities defined in the third phase, while granting ourselves some more freedom. Generally we continue to limit the carbohydrate intake between 60 and 90g per day.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Atkins diet
On the Atkins diet, the typical day includes 3 large meals or 4/5 smaller meals, has the advantage of allowing an immediate and rapid drop in weight, which has a positive impact on an emotional level and helps maintain and increase motivation.
In addition, ketogenic diets , like this one, have proved more effective than classic diets in reducing blood cholesterol levels.
The main point against this type of diet, however, is the difficulty of maintaining the weight achieved ; it is in fact very easy, if you do not pay attention and go back to the old eating habits, put the lost Kg back rather quickly. Another disadvantage: the lack of carbohydrates can cause fatigue and bad mood in some people.
Furthermore, this diet can be dangerous and therefore it is absolutely not recommended for those suffering from type 1 diabetes, kidney or heart problems, gout and hyperuricemia.
Atkins diet the weekly menu
Here is an example of a weekly menu for the Atkins diet, ideal for the first induction phase:
Breakfast: 2 eggs and 2 turkey sausages, coffee or tea
Lunch: green salad, half a tomato, cheese, olives , tuna, oil and vinegar
Dinner: veal slice and spinach
Breakfast: 2 eggs and 2 slices of bacon
Lunch: burger, a sandwich and a green salad
Dinner: grilled meat
Breakfast: omelette with tomato, avocado and ham
Lunch: grilled chicken and salad
Dinner: meat and mixed salad
Breakfast: two eggs and smoked salmon
Lunch: vegetable soup
Dinner: grilled steak and salad
Breakfast: 2 eggs with tomatoes
Lunch: grilled turkey burger and red cabbage
Dinner: salmon fillet baked with vegetables
Breakfast: tea or coffee without sugar and 2 slices of cheese
Lunch: legume soup, ham and cheese
Dinner: roasted salmon with a side dish of cauliflower, rocket and cucumber
Breakfast: tea or coffee without sugar and a fennel
Lunch: grilled veal steak with spinach
Dinner: roast chicken and salad