The Atkins Diet is now called "the Atkins Nutritional Approach," which
is supposed to be a life-long approach to eating.
Dr. Atkins blames carbohydrates for weight gain. Carbohydrates include
sugars, starches, grains, pastas, fruits, and starchy vegetables like
potatoes. According to Atkins, if you cut the carbohydrates, you'll
loose weight. The Atkins system claims to switch your body from a
carbohydrate-burning metabolism to a primarily fat-burning metabolism.
Atkins recommends eliminating sugar from your diet. Instead of
carbohydrates and sugar, you are allowed plenty of fat and protein.
How it works
The Atkins diet consists of a four-phase eating plan in conjunction
with vitamin and mineral supplementation and regular exercise.
The four-phase individualized eating plan allows you to knowledgeably
select which foods to eat based on your need to achieve weight loss
and weight maintenance, enjoy good health and prevent disease. Food
selections will differ to varying degrees depending upon the phase you
are in and your individual metabolism.
Phase 1: Induction
Restrict carbohydrate consumption to 20 grams each day, obtaining
carbohydrate primarily from salad and other non-starchy vegetables.
Phase 2: Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL)
Add carbohydrate, in the form of nutrient-dense and fiber-rich foods,
by increasing to 25 grams daily the first week, 30 grams daily the
next week and so on until weight loss stops. Then subtract 5 grams of
carbohydrate from your daily intake so that you continue sustained,
moderate weight loss.
Phase 3: Pre-Maintenance
Make the transition from weight loss to weight maintenance by
increasing the daily carbohydrate intake in 10-gram increments each
week so long as very gradual weight loss is maintained.
Phase 4: Lifetime Maintenance
Select from a wide variety of foods while controlling carbohydrate
intake to ensure weight maintenance and a sense of well-being. This
lifestyle is the foundation for a lifetime of better health.
Source: The Adkins Website
The Atkins Nutritional Principles
1. Weight Loss
2. Weight maintenance
3. Good health
4. Disease prevention
Source: The Adkins Website
Here is a Dr. Atkins Carbohydrate Gram Counter to find the Net Carbs
in many of your favorite everyday foods.
Does the Atkins diet work?
According to a study that appeared in the July 2002 issue of the
American Journal of Medicine the diet leads to significant weight
The high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet popularized by Dr. Robert
Atkins has been the subject of heated debate in medical circles for
three decades. Now, preliminary research findings at Duke University
Medical Center show that a low-carbohydrate diet can indeed lead to
significant and sustained weight loss.
Source: Low Carb Website
In an article at the ABC News website Eric Westman, assistant
professor of medicine at Duke University in Durham, N.C., found the
diet helped a group of 41 people drop an average of 21 pounds, lower
their cholesterol and triglyceride levels and raise HDL, the so-called
good cholesterol, over a four-month period.
Source: ABC News Website
According to the AtkinsDietAlert Org. there are a number of health
One of these risks is Ketosis.
High-protein, very-low-carbohydrate, weight-loss diets are designed
to induce ketosis, an abnormal state that also occurs in uncontrolled
diabetes mellitus and starvation. Over the long run, ketosis can
contribute to a variety of physical problems, including calcium
losses, increased risk of osteoporosis, and an increased propensity to
form kidney stones.
High-protein diets typically contain higher-than-recommended amounts
of dietary cholesterol, fat, saturated fat, and protein, and very low
levels of fiber and some other important dietary constituents. (..)
High-protein diets are not recommended because they restrict healthful
foods that provide essential nutrients and do not provide the variety
of foods needed to adequately meet nutritional needs. Individuals who
follow these diets are therefore at risk for compromised vitamin and
mineral intake, as well as potential cardiac, renal, bone, and liver
You can take a look at a nutrient analysis of the sample menus for the
three stages of the Atkins diet as described in Dr. Atkins' New Diet
Source: The Atkins Diet Alert Org
The American Heart Association does not recommend high-protein diets
such as the Atkins diet for weight loss.
Some of these diets restrict healthful foods that provide essential
nutrients and don't provide the variety of foods needed to adequately
meet nutritional needs. People who remain on these diets very long may
be at risk for inadequate vitamin and mineral intake as well as more
potential health risks.
Although they have existed for decades, high-protein diets aren't
proven effective for long-term weight loss as they pose serious
potential health threats for some people who follow them for more than
a short time.
Coronary Heart Disease, Diabetes and Stroke:
High-protein diets emphasize foods like meat and eggs that are rich
in protein and/or saturated fat. Some of them also drastically limit
consumption of such high-carbohydrate foods as cereals, grains,
fruits, vegetables and low-fat milk products. (..) Eating too much
protein can increase health risks. High-protein animal foods are
usually also high in saturated fat. Eating large amounts of high-fat
foods for a sustained period raises the risk of coronary heart
disease, diabetes, stroke and several types of cancer. People who
can't use excess protein effectively may be at higher risk of kidney
and liver disorders, and osteoporosis.
High Blood Pressure:
High-protein diets fail to provide some essential vitamins, minerals,
fiber and other nutritional elements. A high-carbohydrate diet that
includes fruits, vegetables, non-fat dairy products and whole grains
also has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Thus, limiting these
foods may raise blood pressure by reducing the intake of calcium,
potassium and magnesium while simultaneously increasing sodium
Source: American Heart Association
Dr. Dean Ornish was interviewed recently at WebMD Live
Dr. Dean Ornish espouses a middle-of-the-road approach to dieting. He
states high-protein diets may work in the short term because some of
their principles are accurate. Americans do eat too many simple
carbohydrates like sugar, white flour, and white rice, according to
Ornish. The body absorbs simple carbs quickly, causing blood sugar to
spike and provoking an insulin response that speeds the conversion of
calories to fat. Reducing sugar and processed grains can aid in weight
loss. Ornish proposes eating a high-fiber diet that replaces simple
carbohydrates with complex carbs like whole wheat, brown rice, fruits,
vegetables, and legumes in their natural forms.
Source: WebMD Live Website
The Atkins diet plan - is it right for you?
This article discusses the benefits and risks that are associated with
the Atkins diet plan.
Increased chance of heart disease
Increased chance of kidney disease
Menus and Recipes
Dr. Atkins Food, Recipes and Seasonal Menus
There is a sample Atkins diet menu here:
Here are a couple of Dr Atkins Recipes.
Atkins Diet Meal Plans & Recipes
These are typical menus for all four phases of Atkins diet.
A brief analysis of the Atkins diet by Kathy Goodwin, a registered
dietitian for The Diet Channel:
Additional information that may interest you:
At the Epinions website there is a detailed review of Dr. Atkins diet
which includes testimonials as well.
Opinion Summary: Atkins Diet can work--if you're committed and careful
Pros: Can eat a lot, rapid weight loss for some metabolisms
Cons: Health risks to some people
Source: Epinions Website
You can read over 200 reviews of the Atkins diet here:
Dr. Atkins' New Diet Cookbook is available for online purchase at
Barnes and Noble.
How does the Atkins diet work?
Atkins diet risks
Atkins diet benefits
Atkins diet sample menu
Atkins diet recipes
I hope you find this helpful.