What Is The Atkins Diet?
THE ATKINS DIET
The Atkins diet craze of a couple of years ago has mostly passed after most women found it to be unworkable as a long-term option. But some people are still keen on the low-carb, high-fat eating plan, and swear that it help them shed pounds rapidly. So why is the Atkins diet so successful in the early stages? And what are the drawbacks to this kind of diet?
Why Atkins is so effective
The diet, named after its creator Doctor Atkins, works so fast because in the initial stages you lose a high proportion of fluid weight because you are eating virtually no carbohydrates. This depletes stores of glycogen (stored carbohydrate) in your muscle. For every one part of glycogen you lose, you also lose three parts of water.
In the short to medium term the diet carries on being effective simply because protein - which you eat a lot of - is so satiating. So even though it may seem that a lot of fatty, meaty foods are being eaten, overall, people on the Atkins diet still lose weight by consuming fewer calories.
What are the drawbacks to it?
- Carbs are an essential part of a healthy balanced diet, and cutting them out is going to deplete your energy levels.
- Even just short-term adherence to the Atkins diet can cause constipation, bad breath, and reduced capacity to exercise.
- In the longer term scientific research has raised valid concerns about negative effects on the bones, kidney and even the heart.
- The diet is environmentally unsustainable due to its large reliance on animal protein. If everyone in the world were to switch to Atkins there just wouldn't be enough meat to go around
What's a better alternative?
The best way to lose weight is to quite simply eat less, eat healthily, and exercise more. Your diet should consist of a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, and cutting out any of these main food groups is detrimental to your health.
Try to eat as much fresh fruit and vegetables as possible, and when you do eat carbs stick to wholewheat versions.
Using Nutracheck's food and exercise diary you'll be able to keep track of your calorie intake and expenditure, and lose weight by simply being aware of what you eat. No need for fad diets!