The Atkins Diet

At its heart, the Atkins diet is basically a low-carb, high-protein program. Does it work for weight loss? It can; however, there are risks to be aware of, and in the long term, it may not be better than any other diet, provided you are consuming fewer calories than you burn. Read on to learn the ins and outs of this diet plan.


What Is the Atkins Diet?

Ranked among the "Best Diets of 2014" by U.S. News & World Report, the Atkins diet is advertised as "a faster, simpler way to shed weight and feel great," even without exercise. But does it work? And is it safe?
At just a glance, the Atkins diet is basically a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet plan. This diet claims that you will see results quickly, even within days. It also states that you won't feel hungry, as you eat every two to three hours. You don't even have to exercise!

While this sounds like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it may not be the best option for some people. To help determine whether this diet plan is a good choice for you, let's dig a little deeper.

How Does It Work?

The premise behind the Atkins diet is to control your intake of carbohydrates. The Atkins diet focuses on removing the carbs from your diet so that your body turns to burning fat for fuel. According to this plan, people who eat a diet that is low in fat are usually consuming a large amount of carbohydrates. When you eat more carbs than your body needs, it will store them as fat. The effects, therefore, of eating a high-carb diet result in increases in fat storage.
So Atkins aims to turn the tables on this, taking out the carbs and increasing protein intake. This includes a diet rich in chicken, fish, pork, and beef. You may also have to initially pass on those higher-carb veggies, as well as fruit and whole grains. The absolute "no-nos" are starchy, sugary carbohydrate foods low in nutrients, such as bagels and many breakfast cereals. The goal of eating a low-carb diet is to normalize blood sugar levels, which lead to normal insulin levels so your body can burn fat, which finally results in shrinking fat cells.
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