The Atkins Diet

This Diet might be called a protein-lover’s delight.  Under this weight loss plan, you can eat all the meat, eggs, and cheese you want, while cutting back on carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, and fruit.

The theory behind the plan is that increasing protein intake and reducing carbohydrate use will change your metabolism, allowing you to lose weight.  Fans of the Diet argue that high levels of carbohydrates cause an overproduction of insulin, causing hunger and weight gain.  Under the Atkins plan, carbohydrates are limited to just 15 to 60 grams a day.

The Atkins Diet is billed as particularly effective for those who’ve tried low-fat, high-carbohydrate Diets.  The Atkins plan can lead to fewer food cravings and faster weight loss.  Another advantage—it’s easy to follow.

But nutritionists note that eating high amounts of fat, especially that found in meat, can lead to a greater risk of heart disease.   Under this plan, you’ll also have to give up potatoes, rice, pasta, rolls, desserts, and caffeinated beverages when dining out.   Also, limiting carbohydrates means the body has to rely on fat or muscle for energy.  If the body breaks down fat, a byproduct called ketones are formed.  These ketones can cause nausea, fatigue, and possibly harmful fluid loss.  This can be quite serious for people with diabetes, heart, or kidney troubles.

The Atkins Diet may not be exactly family-friendly; children will find it especially hard to give up breads and cereals.   It also may be unrealistic to expect to eat large amounts of food and avoid gaining weight.

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