What Is the Atkins Diet?

What is the Atkins Diet? It sounds like a simple question, but most people I’ve talked to really aren’t sure exactly what the Atkins diet is. Some people think it means eating lots of steak, cheese and bacon and not much else. Other people think it’s a dangerous diet with very little nutritional value. I know that neither one of these descriptions is accurate.

What is Your Opinion about the Atkins Diet?

Do you really know enough about it to say whether it will work for you and if it is a healthy way of life for you? Probably not, so I’ve done some reading up on what the Atkins Diet is really like and put together some basic information to help you decide for yourself if it’s the right diet for you.

The Dr. Atkins Diet plan was developed by a doctor who had researched weight loss and health for years. His own discoveries led him to believe that most people today fight a losing battle against obesity not because of the calories and fat they eat, but because they eat too much refined sugar and certain types of carbohydrates.

According to Dr. Atkins, eating too many carbohydrates causes the body to produce too much insulin, a natural body chemical that will cause a person to retain weight, have fluctuating blood sugar levels and develop a slower metabolism.

Millions of People Have Lost Weight on the Atkins Diet

What is the Atkins Diet?

The Atkins low carb diet focuses on stabilizing blood sugar and insulin so that your body will stop using carbohydrates and sugars as fuel and instead burn more of your own stored body fat. In fact, the four phase diet does do all of these things if you stick with it. Millions of people have successfully lost weight on the Atkins Diet program.

Let’s be honest – there is criticism about any diet, and the Atkins Plan is no different. Let’s take a look at some of each of these.

What is Good About the Plan?

  • If you enjoy meats, beans and lots of vegetables, you will find it relatively easy to stay on this diet. It also allows cheeses and other fatty foods traditionally not allowed with other diets.
  • It often lowers cholesterol in people who stay on it – a surprising side effect that got lots of press a few years back.
  • It can help you lose weight quickly – faster than most other diets on the market.
  • There are several restaurant chains that now offer “low carb” selections or “Atkins approved” dinners to make it easier to stay on your diet when dieting out.

What is Bad About the Plan?

  • If you enjoy breads, pastas and fruits you may find the diet a real struggle, especially during the most restrictive first few weeks.
  • Some people develop minor side effects like constipation or headaches at the beginning of the Atkins Diet.
  • It can be expensive to eat more quantities of lean meats and particular vegetables and steer clear of less expensive but filling carbohydrates.

Think carefully about your own eating patterns and the kinds of foods you like; this will help you decide if Atkins is likely to work for you. One final point to answer the question: ‘What is the Atkins Diet?’

The Atkins diet plan, like most other healthy programs, also stresses that you need to get some exercise. I walked every day and did some low impact aerobics, which was more than enough – the Atkins program suggests that moderation and long-term commitment are the most important factors, not how difficult your workout is.