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Was He the Father of the Low Carb diet?

The Atkins Diet has been around for ages, so I thought I should look into it. This is also a diet that requires high protein, high fat and very restricted carbs.

Dr Atkins, a cardiologist, who introduced this eating program to his patients in 1972, was way ahead of his colleagues and today almost every diet adheres to similar principles. If you cut out sugar and limit carbs, you will lose weight.

In most cases just doing these two simple things will make a difference to your waistline and your health.

He proposed that the reason that people could not successfully lose weight and keep it off was because even though they restricted calories, they did not restrict carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates equal sugar, which is then turned into fat by your body.  His way of eating was to restrict the carbs and the sugar, causing the body to burn fat for energy.


There are 4 components to the Atkins diet strategy.

Phase 1- induction phase, lasts 2 weeks.

The first, and what sounds like the most difficult, is the induction phase.  This phase is used by people who need to see a rapid weight loss. This is a restriction of a maximum of 20 net carbs per day. To put that into perspective, ¼ c of white flour is 23 net carbs! Lots of meat, fish and other proteins are allowed; mayonnaise, butter, avocado and sour cream etc. are allowed. Plus 8 glasses of water per day.


Phase 2- On-going weight loss

In this phase you may now begin to increase your carb intake to 25 g per day for the first week and then 30 g per day for the second week. After that you then increase at 5 g per day until you stop losing weight, then drop back to eating at the previous level.

Phase 3- Pre-maintenance

You begin this phase of Atkins when you are within approximately 5 kg of your goal weight. In this phase you slowly increase your carb intake till you start to gain weight and then you cut them right back to the previous level, you keep doing this until you can maintain your weight with the increased carbs. At this stage you should not lose more than 500 g per week.

Phase 4- Lifetime maintenance

You begin this final and permanent phase of the Atkins diet once you have been able to maintain your weight for a full month. Most people can eat between 90-120 g of carbohydrates per day, depending on your age, gender and activity levels.

The Atkins diet has been around a long time and you will obviously recognise some aspects of it in the newer diets that are being followed.

Dr Atkins Diet has a very staunch following, with very good results.  The company has all manner of books to help guide you through their programme.

As with any diet, before you embark on serious weight loss attempts, you must have a full check up by your doctor.

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If you have tried the Atkins diet, let us know if it worked for you and if you are still following it.

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