Published on February 22nd, 2013 | by George Conte0
Atkins – The ultimate low carb high protein diet
This is the first part of an article series covering the fundamentals of the famous “Atkins low carb high protein diet” that suggests that you can use it to lose weight quickly. I will try to cover everything you need to know in order to start with this diet. I will write about all the pros and cons and my personal thoughts about this nutritional plan.
You can find the second article here: Atkins diet phase 1: Introduction
You can find the third article here: Atkins diet phase 2 – Ongoing Weight Loss
You can find the fourth article here: Atkins diet phase 3: Pre-Maintenance
You can find the fifth article here: Atkins diet phase 4: Lifelong Maintenance
How does the Atkins diet work?
The Atkins Diet was designed by cardiologist Robert C. Atkins and became popular with his book “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution” in 1972. This diet promotes a profile low in carbohydrates, high in protein and fat.
According to its creator, the Atkins diet turns the body into a fat burning machine. Metabolism is the process that converts food into energy or structural units of the body. Eating the right foods can increase the metabolism of the body and can improve the process of fat. When we eat foods with less carbohydrates our body begins to use fat as the primary fuel source (Including the body fat of the individual) instead of carbohydrates (www.atkins.com )
When we digest foods rich in carbohydrates, they become glucose, which is transported by the blood throughout the body. An increase in the level of glucose in the blood causes the release of the hormone insulin, which mitigates its level. Thus, the carbohydrate intake is largely responsible for fluctuations in blood sugar.
The body can’t store more than a half-day energy supply in glucose but at the same time it has the ability to store almost unlimited quantities of fat. It makes sense that the body burns as many carbohydrates as it can immediately after the digestion and absorption of foods. After each carbohydrate containing meal or snack, the body stops burning fat, as the level of insulin scales to meet the increased sugar levels in blood. The calories from fat are always pushed to the back of the line that’s why insulin is called the “hormone of fat.” As long as the body continues to convert glucose to fat, the body is doomed to be overweight. The reduced carbohydrate intake is the key to the Atkins diet.
By changing the balance of fats, carbohydrates and protein in the diet our energy level improves. When eating foods consisted mainly of protein, fat and fiber, the body produces too little insulin. When carbohydrates consumed are rich in fiber, (for example whole cereals, which are converted to glucose relatively slowly) the level of blood sugar remains constant, along with the energy level. Thus, the individual is less hungry at mealtimes.
This absolutely natural process of burning fat primarily for energy has a welcome side effect: weight loss. The Atkins diet claims that there is nothing strange or dangerous when burning primarily fat for energy. In fact, fat is the backup energy source of the body. In times of famine in the past people survived because of the fat deposits they had.
Finally, the Atkins diet claims that the responsibility for weight gain is carbohydrates and overeating. Therein lays the theory of The Atkins Diet and the key to weight maintenance, and weight loss, without cravings or hunger feelings.
How to start the Atkins high protein low carb diet
You must do some preparations before you start the Atkins high protein low carb diet because the first two weeks are strict on the carbohydrate intake (I will talk about that on the next article).
It is advisable to plan the start of the diet when you will have two free from daily obligations weeks and it is advised to avoid starting before you leave for vacation. It is proposed to design your meals in advance so that you are going to have the necessary ingredients prepared and you will not be tempted to break out of the plan. Also you should make a list of the foods you are going to use and arrange to buy them at least three days before.
Another thing worth considering is to ensure that your family and friends know that you are about to start the Atkins diet and if need to separate the space in the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinets. You still need to check the kitchen cabinets and remove all cookies, crackers, cereals and other foods with added sugar and white flour, but keep products such as cheese, olives and oil containing unsaturated fats.
Furthermore, you can eat outside, the first two weeks, but you must remember to make the right choices. No (fried) potatoes or rice, but a good portion of meat or fish with green vegetables or salad and drink plenty of water (at least 8 glasses a day).
It is proposed to consume an iron and mineral-free multivitamin and supplement with omega-3 fatty acids in the first two weeks.
Those who start the Atkins diet would be better to work out more, try cycling, swimming, climb stairs instead of using the elevator or take a walk. Finally, it is recommended to eat four or five meals and two snacks day. Anyone who follows this program should make sure that he consumes enough fat and protein so he won’t starve between meals.