The Atkins diet also is known as the original Keto diet, is a popular choice among people who prefer a low carb diet plan. It is a low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet.
This diet plan is very popular in the past before the Keto diet plan was introduced. It is however still a popular diet plan choice among people.
The Atkins diet plan slightly differs from the Keto diet plan in terms of net carb intake. While the Keto diet plan requires people to stick to a low-carb diet for the entirety, the Atkins diet plan allows people to gradually add up their net carb intake in their diet.
They do so in different stages and there is no specific time period to jump from one phase to another. People are free to jump forth and back according to their needs.
Also, you get to eat a wide variety of foods including fruits and vegetables while in the Atkins diet plan in comparison to the Ketogenic diet plan.
We now know what it means to follow the Atkins diet plan. So let us discuss the benefits of the Atkins diet plan and who can benefit from it.
- If you are someone who is fit and want to stay that way without having to worry about your weight, the Atkins diet plan is beneficial for you.
- If you are someone who is overweight and wants to lose bodyweight moderately i.e. less than 40 pounds, go for the Atkins diet plan.
- If you are someone who is overweight or obese and wants to lose bodyweight excessively, the Atkins diet plan is exactly what you need.
Three different types of Atkins Diet:
- Atkins 20
2. Atkins 40
3. Atkins 100
The Atkins 20 diet plan is for someone who is overweight or obese and needs to lose weight fast to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, and high blood sugar.
In this diet plan, you are allowed to intake 20 grams of net carb per day. This allows your body to reach ketosis, an alternative metabolic state of the body that converts fat into ketone bodies as an alternative energy source, much faster. As a result, you can lose body weight much quicker and achieve your weight loss goal.
Atkins 20 diet is mainly comprised of foods rich in fat content and moderate protein content. Your plate will more likely include meat and fish with fewer non-starchy vegetables and fruits.
The Atkins 40 diet plan is suitable for people who are looking to lose weight moderately. It is suitable for women who want to lose the weight gained during post-pregnancy.
In this diet plan, you are allowed to intake twice as much net carb per day compared to Atkins 20. You can thus include more vegetables and fruits in your diet and lower the intake of high-fat foods such as meat. You can enjoy your favorite fruits and vegetables if you alternately switch between them.
The Atkins 100 diet plan is best for people who are average weight and want to stay that way forever. In this diet plan, you get to eat as much as 100 grams of net carbs per day.
You can enjoy most of the fruits and vegetables as a part of your diet and cut down your fat and protein intake while maintaining your present body weight. The Atkins 100 diet is mainly for maintaining body weight rather than losing weight, which is the case with most of the low carb diet plan.
So, with the Atkins diet plan you get a wider alternative and you can choose any one of them according to your need.
Health Benefits Of Atkins Diet Plan:
There are many health benefits of going on the Atkins diet. The primary benefit of going on the Atkins diet is that it helps you to lose bodyweight effectively.
Some other health benefits of the Atkins diet plan include:
- It helps to maintain blood pressure.
- It helps to improve your mood by lowering insulin levels.
- May eliminate systemic inflammation.
- May balance blood glucose levels.
- Claims to reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
- May help to improve a wide variety of skin conditions.
Getting Started With Atkins Diet:
If you are planning to follow the Atkins diet plan in order to achieve your weight loss goal, there are a few things that you must understand first.
The Atkins diet plan comes with the following four phases:
- The induction phase,
2. Balancing phase,
3. Fine-tuning phase, and
4. Maintenance phase.
These phases do not have a set duration making it difficult for you to step up.
So, it is up to you to decide when to level up.
The induction phase is where you achieve ketosis and may require at least 2-3 weeks for your body to activate it.
Let us now discuss all the four phases in detail.
Atkins Diet Phase I: Induction Phase
This is the initial phase of the Atkins diet plan. It is designed in a way to help your body obtain ketosis much faster. Limiting your daily net carb intake up to 20 grams per day, you are forcing your body to go on a ketosis mode.
Once your body goes on a ketosis mode, it starts to convert body fat into ketone bodies. These ketone bodies are then used as an alternative energy source by your body instead of glucose.
Your body effectively consumes fat and helps in weight loss.
If you are someone who is overweight or obese and are looking to lose excess body weight, you can start with the induction phase. It will help you to achieve your weight loss goal. You can shade more than 40 pounds of body weight in this phase alone.
Below are some of the induction phase rules you need to follow in order to achieve your effective weight loss goal:
1. Eat on a regular interval:
People often make the mistake of skipping meals when trying to lose weight. It is not the best practice when it comes to losing weight. Instead of skipping meals during the day time, you should eat at least 3-4 times a day.
Dividing your meal into a smaller portion can help you lose weight much faster. So, try eating meals at a regular interval of about 6-8 hours.
2. Add more protein to your diet:
Eating protein more helps to cut down on your daily calorie intake. You feel full by eating fewer protein meals. This helps in effective weight loss. Furthermore, it also helps to protect muscle loss which means you only lose body fat in the process. So including more poultry, fish, and nuts will prove highly beneficial.
3. Say yes to fat:
Eating a diet high in fat content is the goal here. You need to chow down on foods rich in fat for effective weight loss. Eating more of meat, seeds, fatty fish, fruits, dark chocolate, and nuts will provide you with more than enough fat.
4. Look out for carbs:
The daily limit of net carb intake per day is no more than 25 grams. It is one reason why you need to be aware of what you eat every time. Else, you might overeat past the daily carb intake limit.
Try adding more of zero carb and one carb foods to your plate. These foods include;
Zero Carbs Foods:
- Salsa, etc.
One Carb foods:
- Heavy cream,
- Olives and olive oil,
- Cherry tomatoes,
- Flax seeds,
- Radish, etc.
Click on the link in order to find the ultimate zero carb food list.
5. Avoid eating Starchy vegetables and most of the fruits:
Eating starchy vegetables and most of the fruits rich in carb content can affect your entire weight loss process.
It is easy to eat past the daily net carb limit by just eating two apples a day. So, make sure you avoid eating most of the fruits and starchy vegetables.
6. Avoid buying processed foods and grains:
Processed foods such as bread, pasta, etc. are high in carb content and you must avoid them at all costs. The same goes for processed grains such as white rice. So, look out for processed foods while you are out shopping.
7. Shop Smart:
When you go out shopping for food items make sure you check the labels before you purchase. Beware of hidden carbs in canned food items.
Be informed that not all the foods that are labeled zero carbs are actually carb-free. They may contain fewer than 0.5 grams of carbs in them.
So in order to make sure that the product is carbs-free do check the ingredients list to figure out.
8. Avoid Soft drinks and sugary beverages:
Soft drinks are rich in carb content. And not just soft drinks but most of the fruit juices also pack a lot of carbs in them. They may also contain some amount of sugar in them which makes for higher carbohydrate content.
It is best that you avoid sugary juices and soft drinks. Drink more water instead. Water helps to keep you hydrated and boosts your metabolism. It further helps to cleanse your body of harmful chemicals.
Once you start losing weight it’s time to level up and move on to the second phase of the Atkins diet plan.
Atkins Diet Phase II: Balancing Phase
This is the second phase whose objective is to balance your diet and provide continuity to the weight loss process. The goal here is to introduce different forms of carbs back into your diet. You are allowed to add more foods such as seeds, nuts, berries, melon, dairy products, and more.
The time duration of the balancing phase isn’t predestined and it depends on one’s personality and weight loss goal. It is however best to switch to the next phase once you are nearing your weight loss goal.
The purpose of the balancing phase is to gradually add up to your daily carb intake. And by the end of the balancing phase, you may end up increasing your daily carb intake as high as 80 grams net.
Atkins Diet Phase III: Fine-tuning Phase
This is the third phase in the Atkins diet plan. It is the final phase of your weight loss process. If you are in this phase that means you are almost there. You’re less than 10 pounds away from achieving your weight loss goal.
This phase is designed to fine-tune your diet by introducing more of the carbs content in your diet. You can gradually introduce fewer carbs at a time as long as you’re losing weight. You need to stop and cut down on carbs if the weight loss process slows down.
The purpose of this phase is to prepare you for the lifelong process and finding a neutral point. You can continue to explore your personal carb balance and lose weight at the same time.
Atkins Diet Phase IV: Maintenance Phase
This is the final phase where you no more worry about losing weight. You have rather achieved your weight loss goal and now it is time to stay that way forever. That said losing weight is one thing and maintaining the body is another.
It can be quite tricky to maintain body weight once you’ve achieved your goal weight. That said maintenance phase is lifelong and thus you eat everything you ate before and try a few other new things to see if it works for you.
Note that not everyone needs to start from phase one or the induction phase.
Only people who are obese or overweight and need to lose more than 40 pounds of body weight needs to start from the phase one.
So if you are someone who doesn’t need to shade a lot of body weight then you might as well start from phase two or the balancing phase.