This diet gained momentum in the past few years, claiming that sticking to a low carbohydrate diet would increase weight loss and improve one’s health. Essentially, the Atkins diet is based upon the idea that eating an excessive amount of carbohydrates increases one’s body fat. Thus, the diet cuts carbohydrates, such as sugar, white rice, and bread, out of one’s diet. The diet allows one to consume only protein, such as meat, eggs, and cheese. The restriction on carbohydrates also means less vegetables and fruits in one’s diet. Only certain leafy green vegetables are allowed in the diet.
Because protein helps you to feel fuller for a longer period of time, the Atkins diet’s science states that the focus on eating protein while restricting one’s intake of carbohydrates will ultimately cause weight loss. On the Atkins diet, you are to stop eating carbohydrates immediately, but after time, you can increase the amount of carbohydrates in your diet in small, limited amounts. After a certain period of time, fruits are allowed back into your diet as well as certain whole-grain foods.
The diet does increase weight loss because excessive carbohydrates in the body turn to sugar and eventually turn into fat that is stored by the body. If one consumes excessive amounts of carbohydrates on a daily basis, the amount of fat increases and becomes harder to lose through exercise. However, carbohydrates are the fuel for the body. By cutting out the carbohydrates in one’s diet per the Atkins diet, the body recognizes that there is no fuel coming in and must start burning the stored fat in one’s body as fuel. In this way, the Atkins diet helps one lose weight.
Physicians and health experts are wary of the Atkins diet, though. Because of the restriction of carbohydrates, one is unable to eat fruits and vegetables that are healthy and which provide much-needed nutrients and vitamins. What the Atkins diet does allow you to eat is a mixture of protein and fat. For instance, you are allowed to cook and eat butter with anything you consume. Other high-fat foods are also allowed. This can increase one’s cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease and other heart-related health problems.
Very few physicians or health experts dispute that the Atkins diet can help you lose weight. They do contest the proposition that the Atkins diet is healthy. If you are interested in starting the Atkins diet, be sure you consult with your physician or a nutritionist beforehand.