Dr. Robert Atkins introduced a low-carbohydrate diet, which he designed after referring to the research paper he read from a journal of American Medical Association. Dr. Atkins actually took up this low-carbohydrate diet to reduce his own excess weight. And based on his own experience he came up with the Atkins diet series. Dr. Atkins believed that the main reason for obesity among people was the consumption of refined carbohydrates such as sugar, flour, etc and the main theory of his diet was to reduce the intake of excessive carbohydrates.

How does the Atkins diet work?

According to Dr. Atkins theory carbohydrates consumption is the main reason for gaining weight. These carbohydrates are nothing but food containing starch, sugar, cellulose and gums are organic compounds and serve as the main source of energy  in our daily diet. Atkins believes that if one reduces carbohydrates his/her weight will automatically reduce. The Atkins diet program thus, promotes the body to switch from carbohydrate-burning metabolism to a fat-burning metabolism.

Atkins diet is quite stringent in terms of consuming carbohydrates in the initial weeks of the diet. The diet follows the intake of protein-rich food instead of carbohydrate-rich diet. Atkins also says that most obese people are insulin resistant; basically in such the people the cells that are responsible for converting the carbohydrates into glucose do not function properly, which results in weight gain and the simple solution that Atkins suggests is carbohydrate restriction.

In this diet, one has to reduce the carbohydrate consumption to 40 grams per day wherein your will body will enter the Ketosis process in which the body starts burning the fat like fuel. The Ketosis process will restrict the body from excess insulin production that in turn prevent from more fat being stored or formed.

The diet basically works in four stages: induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance, and maintenance.

Induction stage consists of 14 days diet plan wherein you can lose up to 15 pounds by consuming only 20 grams of carbohydrates in your diet. In the ongoing weight loss stage you will gradually increase the carbohydrate intake by five grams. And by the time you reach the pre-maintenance you weight loss rate will slow down and during this period you can check if certain food works good for you without increasing your weight. Once you have got the desired weight the maintenance stage begins; you can include good carbohydrates in your diet and see to it you maintain the weight you desired for.

Foods to eat and not to eat in the Atkins diet

Consumption of vegetables with low carbohydrates such as lettuce, broccoli and tomatoes in the initial stage of the Atkins diet is beneficial. Animal protein is also highly recommended in the Atkins diet plan. The diet achieved peak popularity during 2003 and 04 and several Americans embraced the diet to bring down sale of pastas rice and hi-carbs at many grocers.

One must avoid refined carbohydrates food such as yoghurt, rice, white bread, fruits, starchy vegetables (potatoes), junk food and aerated drinks/beverages.

Pros and Cons of the Atkins diet

One good advantage of the Atkins diet is that fatty foods such as meat, cheese and cream need not be avoided. You will not feel hungry while following this diet as you are allowed to eat as much permitted food you as you want. You are also allowed to eat fibrous food in good amount. The Atkins diet is supposed to help people with type 2 diabetes.

The critics of Atkins diet plans say that excessive use of protein rich food leads to osteoporosis, colon cancer, heart diseases and renal disease. Although there are a few studies that support the Atkins diet plan but the weight reduction varies significantly between the first six months and one year later. Besides the Atkins diet is not for every pocket as it is on the pricey side.

Warning and side effects from the Atkins diet

High-protein diet is not something that everyone will be able to tolerate and The American heart Association does not advice high-protein diet, as they not proven to help in long-term weight loss. And these diets prevent individuals from the intake of essential nutrients required by the body. High intake of protein consumption leads to many diseases.

Expectations and tips to those who follow the Atkins diet

The Atkins diet is an effective way of losing weight especially to all those who have busy lifestyle and to those who may have to eat frequently. but it is always better if you consult your doctor before taking up the diet, as he/she will consider your medical and health condition and then prescribe the diet accordingly.