The Atkins Diet: Pioneers Of Low-Carb Methods

The Atkins diet promises something downright tempting, especially for lovers of meat dishes: lose weight without giving up ham & eggs, steak, and co. We’ll tell you what the Atkins diet – a pioneer of low-carb diets – is all about.

The Atkins Diet: Fats, proteins, few carbohydrates

The highlight of the Atkins diet: you can continue to eat protein and fat as you please.

This means that during the diet you can do whatever you want

  • meat
  • Fish
  • sausage
  • bacon
  • eggs and co.
  • meal.

The only thing you should avoid for the most part is carbohydrates:

  • Bread,
  • ​potato
  • pasta,
  • rice

should not be on the menu. You should also avoid carbohydrate-rich fruits and vegetables according to the Atkins method. If you still don’t want to do without healthy greens, you should use lettuce, which consists primarily of water.

But you don’t do without carbohydrates completely, even during the Atkins diet: In total, around 15 to 20 percent of your diet should consist of carbohydrates, with the rest being made up of fats and proteins. Atkins himself also recommended taking additional dietary supplements, minerals, and vitamins, otherwise, a nutrient deficiency could occur. In addition, you should drink plenty of fluids.

The four phases of the Atkins diet

The Atkins diet, in its original form, is divided into four phases:

  • the initiation phase
  • the reduction phase
  • the pre-maintenance phase
  • the ongoing maintenance phase
  1. The first phase lasts fourteen days, during which a maximum of 20 grams of carbohydrates per day should be eaten. The first phase is therefore the preparation phase.
  2. In the second phase, in which the weight loss process is already in full swing, the carbohydrate content can be increased again by five percent per week – until the weight loss stops. According to Atkins, this is how you get to know the exact maximum amount of carbohydrates that is necessary for weight loss.
  3. Phase three is the phase in which the weight loss begins to stagnate before the final phase begins, in which the desired weight should be reached.
  4. In the last phase, you can eat a little more again. Noodles, potatoes & co. can only be enjoyed in small quantities from now on.

Ketosis: This is what the Atkins diet does to the body

Carbohydrates are converted into energy and fat by the body. That’s why the Atkins diet relies on a massive reduction in carbohydrates. The advantage: the body switches to fat-burning mode. First, it uses the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. Once these are empty, the fat and protein stores are exhausted – this metabolism is called ketosis. The liver forms ketone bodies, which serve as energy suppliers, and the body switches to ketosis mode.

What are the benefits of the Atkins diet?

The Atkins diet is controversial: While many critics advise against it, it is still very popular with many who want to lose weight. The Atkins diet is relatively easy to follow, especially for people who like to eat meat regularly – and by not eating carbohydrates, you can usually see initial success quickly.

What do I have to consider with the Atkins diet?

One thing is certain: the Atkins diet is not to be considered a balanced meal plan. It encourages you to consume too many fats and too few carbohydrates. Although this may initially achieve a desired weight loss effect, it is anything but conducive to health. In particular, the lack of natural roughage and trace elements and the high-fat content of the diet is considered alarming. These factors can promote cardiovascular diseases and impair bone health.

By the way: Another unpleasant effect of the diet, which, however, is not harmful to health: acetone is produced as a by-product during ketone formation – and this causes an unpleasant mouth or body odor.

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Written by Elizabeth Bailey

As a seasoned recipe developer and nutritionist, I offer creative and healthy recipe development. My recipes and photographs have been published in best selling cookbooks, blogs, and more. I specialize in creating, testing, and editing recipes until they perfectly provide a seamless, user-friendly experience for a variety of skill levels. I draw inspiration from all types of cuisines with a focus on healthy, well-rounded meals, baked goods and snacks. I have experience in all types of diets, with a specialty in restricted diets like paleo, keto, dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan. There is nothing I enjoy more than conceptualizing, preparing, and photographing beautiful, delicious, and healthy food.

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