The Atkins diet is based on the knowledge that fat burning in the body occurs mainly when no carbohydrates are available. By largely dispensing with carbohydrates, the metabolism can be forced to tap into the fat reserves. With the Atkins diet, on the one hand, you can quickly lose a few pounds, and on the other hand, according to experts, a one-sided diet represents a health risk that should not be underestimated.
How the Atkins diet works
Inventor of this chamfering cure was cardiologist and nourishing scientist Robert Atkins. He believed that not the number of calories makes us thick, but the content of easily digestible coal hydrates in our food. According to Atkins’ theory, a carbohydrate-rich diet causes the insulin level in the body to rise sharply. The hormone insulin promotes the conversion of excess glucose into fat, which can then be deposited on our hips and ultimately lead to obesity. If the intake of carbohydrates is radically reduced, the body has to switch to fat burning after a short time, so that fat is quickly burned.
The role of Ketosis
After a few days without carbohydrates, the body reaches the state of ketosis, in which it uses fats to produce energy. In ketosis, fats are converted into ketones, chemical substances that efficiently provide your body with energy. This state is also called hunger metabolism, but can also be achieved by a low-carbohydrate diet.
In addition, without carbohydrates, the body can store bad water and excess water is quickly excreted. This is the main reason for a mostly strong weight loss at the beginning of the diet. The actual loss of fat usually occurs later. If you decide to go on the Atkins diet, it is very important that you take this loss of fluid into account and compensate for it by drinking a lot. Because electrolytes are also excreted with the water. If these are missing, the body reacts with tiredness and headaches.
What foods are allowed during the Atkins diet?
With the Atkins diet, anything containing a small amount of carbohydrates is allowed: Meat, fish, poultry, eggs and cheese are explicitly allowed, bread, rice and pasta as well as sugary foods should be avoided. This also applies to fruit because of the fruit sugar it contains, which also causes the insulin level to rise.
How does the Atkins diet change the way I eat?
The Atkins diet can be divided into four phases. The change in diet does not happen overnight, but slowly. Ideally, the organism does not even notice what is happening (i.e. that it is being put on a diet).
The four phases of the Atkins diet:
- The acclimatization phase lasts 14 days, during which you should only consume about 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. Instead, a lot of green vegetables, fish and meat are on the table.
- Now you start to find the optimal amount of carbohydrates for you. Increase the amount by 5 grams a day while you are still losing weight. This phase takes about 2 – 10 weeks.
- The phase of experimenting to find your personal diet plan begins. Try different diets and carbohydrate amounts, fruit is also allowed again. Certain vitamin preparations can be useful.
- Once you have reached your desired weight and have found your ideal diet, it is time to maintain your weight. You have internalized the Atkins rules and continue to follow them to avoid falling into the kilo trap.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Atkins diet
Despite all warning voices to the defiance the Atkins diet offers the advantage that most humans lose weight thereby very fast, without having the feeling to have to do without much. With this Di?t the quantity of the food is not limited, only coal hydrates stands on the prohibition note.
With a lot of meat, fat, eggs and cheese there are still “delicious” things on the menu, which means that the feeling of asceticism does not arise so easily. And the desire for protein-rich food also diminishes with the Atkins method of nutrition – so overall it leads to less hunger and less calorie intake. Since the blood sugar level is kept constantly low due to the lack of carbohydrates, the body has to fall back on its fat reserves immediately, which is very beneficial for quick weight loss, especially in problem areas.
Advantages of the Atkins diet
- Fast sales success
- Few eating bans
- Reduction of the feeling of hunger
- Rapid burning of fat reserves
- Targeted weight loss in problem areas
Unfortunately, the Atkins diet also has many disadvantages. The high proportion of unhealthy, saturated animal fats can affect the cardiovascular system: the inventor of the Atkins diet suffered from the consequences of such an illness. Whether this was caused by his diet is still disputed today. The widespread avoidance of fruit can lead to a lack of nutrients if a balanced diet with vegetables is not followed.
Another disadvantage is that sooner or later, giving up bread, potatoes, pasta, rice and sugar triggers cravings in many people and cannot be sustained in the long term. Due to the numerous disadvantages, the Atkins diet is no longer recommended by most doctors today.
Drawbacks of the Atkins diet
- Many animal fats stress the cardiovascular system
- High liquid and electrolyte loss
- Increase of cholesterol level possible
- Strong increase in purine levels and uric acid concentration in the body
- Nutrient deficiency due to unbalanced diet
- Cravings attacks occur as a result of carbohydrate deficiency
- Very rapid weight loss favors yo-yo effect
- A lot of meat and therefore negative for your climate footprint
- Red meat is suspected to promote cancer
Does the Atkins diet really work?
In Hollywood, the diet of Robert Atkins enjoys great popularity. Because: Before the shooting of a new blockbuster or a world tour, quick, visible success is possible with it. Catherine Zeta-Jones relies on the fast diet success. And Kim Kardashian is also said to have lost her pregnancy pounds. If rapid dietary success is important, the Atkins diet can certainly be an alternative.
Does the Atkins diet work in your everyday life?
Contrary to the dietary recommendations of doctors, the carbohydrate intake in the Atkins diet is very low. However, it is carbohydrates in particular that enable us to achieve top sporting performance. So if you are very active, it may be detrimental to your performance and well-being to do without these energy sources. Everyday life itself also presents you with problems: going out to eat and doing without carbohydrates? That is often difficult. Also on vacation a Low Carb nutrition is not always simple. Especially in popular travel countries like Italy or Thailand, pasta and rice are real carbohydrate bombs on the menu. So the Atkins diet brings some restrictions in everyday life.
Is it medically questionable?
Today, nutritional scientists recommend a balanced mixed diet in which carbohydrates are an essential component. In this way, malnutrition is effectively prevented, attacks of hunger can be avoided and physical fitness is efficiently ensured. Especially those who feed mainly on meat risk that the ha