Atkins Diet Review, Part 1
The best-known low carb diet and the name synonymous with the low carb lifestyle is the Atkins Diet. It is and has always been a controversial low carb diet, so there are quite a few reviews if you search for them – not all of them impartial.
My own Atkins Diet review aims to cover the basics, outlining the different phases, positive and negative elements of this eating plan, and how it might work for you.
Every low carb diet has its limitations – this one is renowned for what it does allow!
Atkins to many means bacon, cheese, heavy cream, steaks, eggs fried in butter… we’ve all heard that these foods are allowed and that nobody should be afraid of saturated fat – as long as you keep the carbs out of your diet. They are all allowed, yes! There are limits, however, and these are certainly not the only things you should be eating on the Atkins diet!
Let’s look at the 4 different phases in Atkins:
The Atkins Diet phases
Phase 1: Induction
The Induction phase lasts for 2 weeks; carbohydrate intake is reduced drastically to 20g per day and instead you eat unlimited protein and fat from allowed food lists. The only carbs allowed are certain vegetables like lettuce, broccoli and tomatoes (maximum three cups per day.) During Induction you cannot have yogurt, fruit or starchy vegetables.
Phase 2: Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL)
Phase two allows you to gradually increase your carbohydrate intake by 5 grams each week – in this way you are able to carefully monitor the effects and you’ll be able to tell if you can add more without gaining weight. You continue in this way, slowly increasing carbohydrates until you stop losing weight. When that happens, you subtract five grams of carbohydrates from your daily intake. This level will allow you to maintain your weight.
Phase 3: Pre-Maintenance
In this phase, you transition from weight loss to weight maintenance. You can increase your carbohydrate allowance by 10-gram increments each week as long as you continue to keep the weight off. You’re learning what will work uniquely for you.
Phase 4: Lifetime Maintenance
The final phase allows you to select from a wide variety of foods, while still limiting the amount of carbohydrates you eat. By the time you reach maintenance, you should have developed an acute awareness of your personal carbohydrate limit, so that even when you eat foods that you may not have had for a long while, you’ll be more conscious of the best way to incorporate them into your diet without regaining weight.
In Part 2, we will look at how the Atkins Diet compares to other low carb diets, and outline the pros and cons of following the Atkins program.