One of the more well-known and well-studied diet plans is the Atkins plan. At its core the Atkins diet is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet plan that has a high level of animal fat in the foods offered. Some medical authorities have questioned the amount of meat and fat that is offered through this plan but millions of people have had success in losing and keeping off excess weight by following closely the Atkins formula.
There are quite a few studies that have shown that by dramatically reducing the amount of carbohydrates consumed will allow your body to burn excess fat, leading to both short term and long term weight loss. By adding proper amounts of vitamins and nutrients to meals, there are also results that show improved blood pressure levels, a raising of “good” cholesterol levels and increased energy level. Some studies have shown a decrease in LDL cholesterol levels “called bad cholesterol” but this has not been as consistent in all studies.
Does The Atkins Diet Work?
Despite having been available as a recognized diet plan, Atkins still has some contradictory evidence and is still being studied by many medical colleges. While some differing results have been shown by some studies, the Atkins diet and lifestyle plan has been shown to offer its users some valuable weight loss and health improvements when followed faithfully. Because of the ability to eat many favorite foods, such as steak and pork, many people find this type of diet to be an easy one to get started on and then to stay on for an extended period of time.
One of the more attractive features of the Atkins plan is that the food you get to eat, such as eggs, butter, cheese, red meat, will actually help your body to start burning fat. You are replacing certain types of calories that are found in carbohydrates, calories that are considered empty. By eliminating starches, sugars and carbs you are forcing your body to stop burning carbs for energy. Your system is then forced to turn to another power source, fat, and begin to burn that for its energy. This process is called ketosis and it is the process that will have your body burning fat cells, leading to serious and long term weight loss.
One Benefit: Lower Food Costs
One often ignored benefit of an Atkins plan is that many people find that their overall food costs can go down. Because you are no longer eating processed foods and are concentrating on protein-heavy foods you can enjoy some major savings. Breads, sugars and starches tend to be expensive, especially when they are used in prepared meals. While meats, fruits and vegetables can be expensive you have much more control over what you are preparing and can eliminate a lot of unwanted expense.
A common, but potentially harmful, side effect of going on a diet is that people tend to pick and choose parts of a diet that sound easy, ignoring the fact that a good diet plan is a full lifestyle change. This can happen with an Atkins plan if people just look at eating cheese, meat and butter. That may sound fun, and easy to do for a while, but it ignores completely the importance of vitamins and nutrients that are found in the fruits and vegetables that are in the plan. Plant proteins, such as those found in nuts, are a key part of a healthy Atkins plan.
Should You Try The Atkins Diet?
Should you try an Atkins diet plan? Will this protein rich, carb free food plan actually help you lose weight and get healthier? For most people the results are very positive but it is not a magic formula. As with any diet plan, you will need to add some physical activity to your routine to enjoy all of the benefits of an Atkins diet. You will also need to pay close attention to what foods you eat, especially when you are looking at the carbohydrate levels in some food that claim to be low carb. Many people struggle with the idea that some fruits are fine with this diet but others are not acceptable, at least during the first few months.
The Atkins diet and lifestyle plan has a large, loyal following that swear by the results and have stayed with some style of the plan even after they have reached their weight loss goals. On the other side of this is a group who dislike the plan because of its use of fats and red meat as staples, although there are now many options that use less fat and more plant proteins. There is a large retail offering of Atkins products, from snack bars and shakes to full entrees. Most major supermarkets and online retailers offer a wide assortment of Atkins food product.
No diet plan is perfect and no diet plan works for everyone. Atkins has been shown to work well for millions of dieters and has a good support system for those who try the plan. It is well worth checking out if you are hoping to lose weight and keep it off.