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Low Carbs Diet: Pros and Cons of the Atkins Diet

Low Carbs Diet: Pros and Cons of the Atkins Diet

Low Carbs Diet: Pros and Cons of the Atkins Diet

For several decades, the Atkins diet has been one of the biggies in the diet world. It is based on a series of books, featuring a low carbs diet, written by Dr. Robert C. Atkins.


The Atkins low carbs diet first erupted into the mainstream in 1972 with the publication of Dr. Atkins' book, "Dr Atkins' Diet Revolution" Like a lot of fad diet books; it became an immediate, runaway best seller. Unlike many fad diet books, it never dropped out of the publics' consciousness. It's been reprinted at least 28 times in multiple languages and has sold over 10 million copies.


Continuing with the success of his program, Dr. Atkins went on to write "Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution", "Dr. Atkins' Quick and Easy New Diet Cookbook" and "The Vita-Nutrient Solution: Nature's Answer to Drugs".


His theory is that we need to worry less about the number of calories and the amount of fat we eat and focus more on the carbohydrates. Huge numbers of people have found success with his low carbs diet. That's why it's been around for so long.


But, it's not for everyone. Before you start his diet - or any other, for that matter - be sure to check with your doctor. Even if your doctor gives it the thumbs up, have them monitor your progress as you go through the diet program.


One benefit is that while on the Atkins diet, you will do very little calorie counting. You'll be eating very few carbohydrates and a lot of high protein foods, so you may as well say good-bye to junk foods. (Junk food and a low carbs diet just don't mix.)


The concept is that by restricting your carbohydrate intake, your body will enter a state of "ketosis". During ketosis your body will burn the fat in your body for energy rather than the burn the food in your diet. This stops insulin production and stops more fat from being squirreled away in your body.


The diet consists of four primary stages; induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and maintenance.


Initially, you are in the induction stage. This lasts about two weeks. It's not uncommon for people to lose 15 or more pounds primarily due to cutting down your carbohydrates to 20 grams every day. You are restricted to low-carbohydrate vegetables and limited on those as well!


Second stage is when you are past the induction and into ongoing weight loss. Your carbohydrates are allowed to go up to 25 grams a day. This is the level you will maintain until you have reached your weight loss goals. The length of time varies from person to person depending on how much weight you want to lose.


Third is the pre-maintenance level. You've reached your goals, now you can slowly start to add in other foods to test and see which ones you can add back into your diet.


Finally in the last stage - maintenance, you can eat all the "good carbohydrates" as long as you stay away from the bad ones. The idea here is that you won't want the bad ones and eating the good carbohydrates will become your new way of life.


On the cons side of the ledger, there are critics of the low carbs diet who say it's unsafe because it's too severe and others say that you bounce right back to your old weight once you have finished.


If you are being monitored by a doctor the safety should be ok. If you start an exercise program and practice healthy eating when you've finished your low carbs diet, you should be able to maintain your new weight.


With any diet, the key is to find one that works for your particular body, is safe and you will be able to (and want to) maintain.


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