In this article I’ll focus on Dr. Robert Atkins himself, not just on his diet. You may know a little bit about the diet, but are wary because you know nothing about the man who created it. You may not realize that he was a true medical professional who spent years studying weight loss in his own practice in order to create his breakthrough diet plan. In fact, Dr. Robert Atkins was one of the most educated, enlightened nutritionists of this century.
Dr. Robert Atkins received his medical degree from Cornell University, one of the United States’ leading medical schools, in 1955. He became a cardiologist, working with tens of thousands of patients who suffered from various heart-related health issues. Obviously, he was a man who was well aware of the epidemic of health problems, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure that plagues our society today.
Over the years, Dr. Robert Atkins realized that in many cases his patients could decrease or eliminate the amount of medications they were taking if they could get their weight down. He set about developing a low carb diet that would not only help people lose weight, but improve their overall well-being.
On his quest, the doctor realized that most people eat almost half of their calories in the form of carbohydrates – a relatively new development. Since heart disease, diabetes and fatigue were less common a few generations earlier, when refined carbohydrates and sugars were less prominent in people’s diet, he decided to try a new approach to eating – low carbs instead of low calories.
During his research, Dr. Robert Atkins discovered that if his patients ate more proteins and a balanced amount of fats, they lost weight even if their calorie intake wasn’t reduced. He studied why this occurred and realized that their bodies were entering a state called “ketosis,” where body fat is burned as fuel because carbs were no longer available as a source of quick, easy to burn fuel.
A General Feeling of Improved Health
Along the way, Dr. Robert Atkins realized that his patients were also reporting that they had more energy, fewer headaches and in general felt healthier. Many nutritionists would have put this down to simply being lighter and not carrying around as much extra weight. But Dr. Atkins knew there was more to it.
Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
He carefully monitored the triglycerides, cholesterol and insulin levels of his patients and discovered that all of them had improved. Patients on the Atkins Diet had more stable insulin levels and didn’t produce excess insulin in response to carbohydrates and sugars in the system. These same patients also had a drop in bad cholesterol and blood pressure after a few months on his diet plan.
Carbohydrate and Sugar Addiction
Dr. Atkins realized that the people he was treating had been suffering from more than just obesity – they had been addicted to unhealthy levels of carbohydrates and sugars that their bodies simply didn’t need – most of them for nearly all their lives!
It was in 1972 that Dr. Robert Atkins put together his findings in his first book, “The Atkins Diet Revolution.” Millions of people, tired of yo-yo dieting and starving themselves, tried Atkins and proved that it worked. Then doctors began seeing patients of their own who had used Dr. Atkins’ Diet Plan with the same amazing results – better cholesterol and health. Only then did significant studies begin.
Through all of this, Dr. Atkins never wavered; he knew from first-hand experience just how powerful the diet was – it had worked for him and thousands of his patients. Within fifteen years it became the most popular diet in America.
Today, the Atkins Diet remains one of the most-used diets around. Many doctors and nutritionists recommend it to their own patients, finally realizing that Dr. Atkins really had discovered a new and better way to eat healthy. It’s the best endorsement for the Atkins Diet Plan there is – and more people are using it every day. Dr. Robert Atkins was truly a nutrition and health pioneer.