Everything You Need To Know About The Atkins Diet

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There
are so many diets out there these days and all of them seem so
complicated. Some require you to eat only one type of food for a long
period of time (mono diets), other restrict your fat intake, some
make you eat a lot of fat (keto), and others restrict full food
groups (paleo) or give you time restrictions (intermittent fasting).
Low carb diets are a classic too, but they’re a classic for a
reason. The Atkins diet is a low carb diet that has stood the test of
time. It’s tried and true and it works great if weight loss is what
you’re looking for. So here are some things you might want to know
about it before you start it.

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The
Atkins diet was created by Dr Robert C. Atkins in the 1970s. It’s a
low carb diet that comes in four phases. It suggests eating an
optimal amount of carbs and urges you to eat enough fats. Originally
this diet programme encountered a lot of criticism because of how
restricting it was in terms of carb consumption. But in the later
years, after multiple studies, it was shown to actually work really
well for weight loss.

Like
any diet, Atkins has its pros and cons. On one hand, you do have to
watch the amount of carbohydrates you can eat and it can be difficult
for those who are used on living off of carbs mostly. You can’t
really have pasta, bread or baked goods when you’re on the Atkins
diet. Even certain starchy vegetables aren’t allowed. Plus, there’s
always the added element of having to cook for yourself and eating
out with friends becomes challenging. On the other hand, the pros
might be worth it cause you will see results, you don’t have to
count calories as long as you stay away from carbs and you get used
to not eating junk food.

Here
are foods you should avoid:

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Fast
food and pre-packaged processed snacks are obviously a big no-no.

Sugar,
grains, trans fats usually found in processed foods, diet foods that
are usually high in sugar. During the induction phase, you should
avoid high-carb veggies like carrots, potatoes, turnips, legumes in
general, high carb fruits like bananas, apples, grapes and pears.

Foods
that you should eat:

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There
are some Atkins brand premade snacks and products that you can buy
but it’s not necessary. The foods that will make up most of your
diet are meats, fatty fish and other seafood, eggs, full-fat dairy
products like cheese and milk and yoghurt, low carb veggies and leafy
greens, healthy fats like avocado, olive oil and coconut oil, nuts
and seeds.

A
usual day of eating on the Atkins diet might look something like
this:

Breakfast:
Eggs and bacon with a small side salad

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Lunch:
Chicken salad with avocado or olive oil and some nuts sprinkled in.

Dinner:
Steak or meatless burgers or cooked salmon with a side of vegetables.

Good
snacks include full-fat yoghurt, cottage cheese, a couple of slices
of cheddar, berries and whipped cream.

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As
we’ve mentioned before the Atkins diet has 4 phases and they’re
pretty strict if you want to see results. The main difference is the
amount of carbs you’re allowed on each phase.

Phase
1 – Induction. To kick start the
diet you go really low on carbs for 2 weeks. When we say low – it’s
20g of carbs per day and 15 of those should come from leafy greens
and non-starchy vegetables. You’re not really allowed fruits. The
protein and fat intake should be high.

Phase
2 – Balancing. At this stage, you
can have slightly more carbs. About 30-40g per day. You can add more
nuts and seeds to your diet, more vegetables and low carb fruits.
Protein and fats are still high.

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Phase
3 – Fine-tuning. In this phase,
you’re allowed around 100g of carbs a day. You can have most fruits
and veggies, you can introduce moderate amounts of grains. Protein
intake still high. That’s the theme of this diet.

Phase
4 – Maintenance. The weight loss
at this stage stops. You can eat as many carbs as you want as long as
you don’t start gaining weight while keeping your proteins high.

The
results of Atkins are pretty obvious. While you’ll definitely see
the numbers on the scale change, it’s the inches that will impress
you more. The whole idea of this diet is to cut down on carbs so that
you can dip into your fat and use it as energy. So while you burn the
fat you’ll see the inches reduce dramatically while your muscles
will remain intact thanks to the high protein intake.

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